Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's been a while!

I haven't updates this for quite some time now and this will be a quickie!
I have the Chicago marathon on Sunday and thought that deserved an update I guess, time will tell. 
I have only raced twice since the Houston marathon back in January, which was my 2nd marathon where I finished in a PR 3:01. 
Since then I have done a small local 5k and 10k, both were abysmally slow but I'm hoping that's in part due to Houston summer heat/humidity.
I have been training consistently and have averaged around 90 miles/week for what feels like forever. I peaked at 124 miles and I think my stand out sessions were 14 miles at 6:30 an 8 miles @ 6:11, both on the treadmill. 
The vast majority of my runs have been done on the treadmill, hundreds of miles all summer long, the reason - to hit the paces set and avoid the Houston summer. 
So on Friday I will board a plane solo and have a couple of days sightseeing before running, hopefully, my fastest marathon to date.
I am leaving the kids and hubbie behind which I am nervous about but I hope to enjoy myself and not spend the whole time missing them. 
My goal...... I'd really like 2:54. Having not raced it's hard to know where I'm at but I don't have too much longer to wonder. 
Oh, one other thing. Before Houston, and indeed pretty much since I started running again I have had stomach issues. I was having to stop 3/4 times every run in the weeks leading up to Houston and there was a fair amount of blood involved. Well, I am all cured.
I have cut out gluten and whilst I think it has helped the thing that made the, literally overnight difference, was taking around 1.5 tbs of Psyllium husk at night before I go to bed. It's a fibre supplement and basically gives a good 'clear out' (sorry!) first thing and then I have ZERO problems both during and after runs. I literally haven't had any issues since trying it, sooooooo happy. It's so nice to be able to run and not have runs interrupted. Happy days!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5k time again

Just a very quick update, not that there's much to report really. I have the Dr's on Wednesday when they are going to have me swallow a little camera and take a look at my small intestine to make sure the bleeding isn't coming form there. I don't think it is, I think it's the same haemorrhoids as before but the Dr thinks otherwise? I have continued with keeping dairy to a minimum, I am pretty stupid and don't realise all the things that dairy is in so have not cut it out 100% (ok, so I know it's in chocolate but I'm eating it, the end.) The copious amounts of milk I was having has gone and I do notice a improvement in the stomach department but no huge cure I was hoping for. 
Having said that, this week has been a success, I'm still stopping but not as often and I'm getting the miles in. Yesterday was 20 with 8 recovery today with no huge problems, I'll take it.

The pollen that seems to affect me so hugely in Feb/March has gone and I am breathing easy again, so with this renewed vigour I asked coach Doug if we could target a 5k on May 25th in The Woodlands. It's a while off but it's nice to have something to shoot at and it's the first available weekend when soccer will have stopped and we will only have swim team to 'deal' with, so is logistically doable ish. 

My 5k PR is 19:30, so not exactly setting the heather on fire. I haven't run too many 5k's and we are not the best of friends. I used to think of myself as being fast, I think I kind of was in my youth? But these days...... I need to try to rediscover some speed so asked Doug for a schedule that was high in miles but full of fast stuff too and he has duly obliged, thank you AGAIN Coach Doug :)

So time to get back to work and be focused again, just hope my stomach cooperates.  

Hopefully when May 25th comes I'll have a 5k PR that begins 18:??, that would be nice. 

Then it will be around the time to get focused on Chicago and the fun really begins :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spoke to soon 

Back to having some major discomfort with my 'stomach', I was worried I had spoken too soon. 20 miles on Saturday became 10, the weekend before 23 became 16.
It is frustrating the sh*t out of me. I got told today that I look so good when I run and I'm lucky because, as the nice lady who told me this had 'not been made by god to run', presumably she thought I had? sigh. I spared her the gory details but did let her know that every step of my 8 miles with 6 x 1 mile repeats at 6:30, were fairly uncomfortable. It was supposed to be 10 miles but I called it a day after the repeats were done.
I didn't mention the frequent bathroom stops to pass mostly blood or the constant ache I have in my rear end and stomach whilst I run and sometimes for a while after. She was trying to give me a compliment after all, poor lady, I apologised for my response but she caught me at the wrong time and I found myself being the crazy lady who gives her life story when a simple 'thank you' was all that was required!

Back to the bum Dr on Friday, maybe he can help.

This is driving me crazy, I just want to run. 

answers on a postcard please.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicago is a go go

Got a place in the Chicago marathon woo hoo! Also continuing to feel like a brand new runner since cutting dairy, kind of feels like nothing's going to hold me back. Look out Chicago, here I come :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

easy fix?

21 miles, 0 pit stops! After literally months of stopping 3/4 times every run (that's a lot of stopping and a little bit frustrating when you're putting in 90/100 + miles a week) today I had a pain free, stop free run, all 21 miles of it. The difference, no milk or oatmeal for a few days. Goodbye forever oatmeal and lovely, lovely milk :(

I got so caught up in my other recurring problem (bleeding) that I was convinced the two had to be related but it was just plain old diet. I should have learned this lesson already but forgot it somehow along the way. Need to make a note to myself and put it on the fridge perhaps. 

I will maybe give oatmeal a go in a few weeks time with almond or soy milk, just incase it is just the milk that's hurting me but for now I am happy to not dabble. 

So here's hoping that's an end to my troubles and I can get back into enjoying me some big miles. Keep everything crossed for a spot for me in Chicago marathon, find out on Tuesday! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bum Dr

Thursday was the first time ever than I have not eaten a single thing for an entire day. I didn't know that was possible, I realise I sound like the spoilt brat I am, I know people go hungry every day but I feel light headed if I haven't eaten for 30 minutes and I couldn't comprehend an entire day of no food. 
Anyway, it took SO much will power but when you're paying, what turned out to be $1250 for a camera up the butt it does provide some motivation to make sure you do what you're supposed to do and do it well! It's not like I could have cheated and got away with it right?! I wonder how many people do cheat, I mean there must be a LOT, I'm going to ask the Dr when I go for my check up in 3 weeks :D

The front cover of Times magazine that I picked up in the waiting room. Oh the irony.

Long story short (get comfy, we know by now I not capable of an abridged version) I drank a gallon of the most vile tasting stuff all afternoon Thursday and almost instantly what went in my mouth came out my.... you get the picture. It wasn't pleasant but wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have my Kindergarteners open house at 5:30. Great. My husband is offshore so I am on single parent duty for 3 weeks. We decided to walk - seriously do I have anything between my ears at all? I got through it unscathed, just had to put on a bit of a bust of speed on the walk (waddle) home to avert disaster.

My kids asked why I was going to the dr's, so I told them. They didn't believe me at first, what does it say about me that my kids think I'd make something like that up? Anyway, once they were convinced they found it just about the funniest thing they'd ever heard. I asked that they not tell anyone, private family stuff, so of course my eldest told everyone at his table the next day at school. Apparently it's 'totally gross' ha!

We were all up at 5am and my mum drove us all to the hospital that is around 40 mins away, she was on school run duty. It's handy having parents that live close by....sometimes. 

I was seen fairly quickly, got into the gown (nice) and lay down on the bed. It's kind of sad that this was one of the most relaxing mornings I've had for years, no kids, no one demanding anything of me and me being the one on the receiving end of a lot of care and attention. I could have a colonoscopy every month and enjoy it! 
Of course cue my period to start right then, and the ridiculousness of me being worried that they were going to see. Emmm they're going to see a whole lot worse than that :s
The Dr doing the deed came in and said 'you never told me you know *****, he said you're a crazy runner'. Yes, great so nice to meet a friend of a friend when he's about to stick something up your bum. Honestly, not weird at all. Then the conversation turned to running and the fact that 3:01 means I must be 'virtually world class' that made me laugh! 'Not quite' hahahaha! I felt like a little bit of a super star, a complete fraud but hey it still felt kind of good. 
Then I was told that I'd be out for only a very short time. Hold the phone, say what?! I'm getting knocked out?????? I have never been unconscious before and was very nervous at the thought. I asked if it was necessary. I think they thought I was insane, I was told I didn't want to be awake during this but really it can't be any harder than child birth right? After a bit of a discussion I agreed and I watched the sleeping potion go in and then I was out.
What felt like seconds later I was woken up by the nurse and felt the best heavy sleep EVER still surrounding me. That is some good ****! Can I go again, please, can I go again?! Ha

The upshot was they removed a polyp (no biggie) and cauterised some internal haemorrhoids that had been causing the bleeding. Other than that, a clean bill of health. 

He suggested a 'good bacteria' pill once a day to help with what he described as the 'runners diarrhoea'. 

I am happy I can now separate the two issues. I didn't know if the blood and sore stomach/having to stop all the time were related and indicative of something more serious. They are not on both counts. So the bleeding has been dealt with, now I need to work on my diet to help my tummy. I have a feeling the oatmeal and/or milk that I eat every morning might be an issue so have eliminated both and we'll see if that helps. I was good before long runs, cutting out dairy and high fibre 24h's before but got lazy and now every run is a long run and so I have to face up to making the change permanently. 

I wasn't supposed to drive for the rest of the day but had to go get the kids from school and then stop off at the dr's for my 4 year old who had a temperature and sore ear. I was a bit spaced out and think I enjoyed the sleeping potion for most of the day yesterday! 
No long run this morning but will go tomorrow, I might get to enjoy a trouble free run if my oatmeal/milk hunch is right - how great would that be great!

I other news, I entered the lottery on Tuesday for the Chicago marathon. Their system crashed during the regular sign up so they decided to allocate the remaining 15,000 through a random lottery process. I have a feeling I might have mentioned this is my last post, not sure? Anyhoo fingers crossed I get a spot, I do hope so. If I do then I can begin to panic about leaving the kids for the 1st time ever, well there was that night in the hotel before Houston but getting on a plane and leaving them for 2 nights? eek! Will find out on Tuesday, if not I need a plan B because I have some serious low 2:50 business to take care of.

Got some gear for the running group I am very proud to be part of, some for my best cheerleaders too!

Other than that nothing much planned for the summer, it's too hot here for racing. I think I might do at least one sprint tri as a gift to myself to break up the summer. I wont train for the swim or bike sections, I just like getting out of my comfort zone to remind myself how wonderful my comfort zone is. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013


No, not a misspelling by this, at times foul mouthed mother of 3. I am in a bit of a funk. 

I didn't race the Woodlands half this weekend as planned. I am having a hard time hitting anything other than easy paced runs due to the vile pollen that lingers in this part of the world during February/March. It is killing me. It was the same this time last year, of course I had no idea then why all of a sudden I couldn't crawl round 10 miles without desperately wanting to walk (it was my 1st real time running here during this time of year). A year on and I've learned a thing or two but not how to defeat these seasonal allergies. 

So that's part one of the funk. Part two is a bit more personal. I have mentioned it a few times now, my 'stomach' and the trouble it has been giving me for quite some time now. Well, it hasn't improved any, in fact I'd say it worse than it's ever been. It is frustrating the sh*t out of me - pun intended. I have to stop 3/4 times every run and every time there is quite a bit of blood. TMI? The pit stops have been going on for ages now, the blood thing has got worse. 
So I made an appointment and have the pleasure of going for a colonoscopy on Friday. I don't really care too much about the procedure, the most disturbing part is I don't get to eat for the entire day before or the morning of - like I asked the nurse 'emmmm is that even possible?' she assured me I wont starve but I'm not convinced I wont keel over. Oh well, need to get this thing sorted out. My stomach is sore and achy virtually all the time to varying degrees. It's worst whilst I run and afterwards, I get to around 5 miles and just want the run to be over - this is stealing my running joy.
The bottom (pun not intended) line is if I can't get some kind of resolution to this I will have to throw myself into some other activity. I can't keep going like this, it's simply not worth it for me. Running is...was my joy and now it is just a big pain in the arse (ok, last one promise). The good news is that there are triathlons, and I can swim and ride a bike so I have somewhere to go if I need it. I am hoping this will be something that can be fixed. I've never had any health problems before, I come from a family that has had very few health problems, we're lucky like that and we seem to live forever so I am finding this very frustrating. Pain has become my norm during runs and after and having taken a step back I realise that this should not be the case.

I hope this doesn't sound too depressing a post, I'm just a very matter of fact type of gal and whilst I want nothing more than to get into Chicago (going to have to wait with all the other to see if I get a spot through the lottery for the last 15,000 spots) and blow my PR out of the water, it's not going to be possible unless I can sort this thing out.

Oh, you know what else is great? The fact we have a HUGE health insurance deductible so will have to pay for the procedure entirely out of pocket, talk about adding insult to injury! Oh how I miss you NHS!!!! (but not the HUGE taxes we pay to fund it ;)).

In other news I find myself volunteering to be my 6 year olds football (soccer) coach for this season at the Y. How do I get myself into these things?! I'm actually really looking forward to it, just have to keep my somewhat competitive nature on tight reigns, 'they are only 6, they are only 6'! I went to a 'soccer clinic' at the Y on Saturday and the guy taking it said 'you're the one that runs all the time aren't you?' 'emmmm, yes, yes I am'. It felt like a  bit of a confession.
My kids sporting activities start to ramp up from this point on, 1st we have 2 kids in soccer and then summer swim league starts and I'll have 2 doing that also. Exciting! That means having to get up and have my long run done by 6:30am on Saturdays and some of my long runs are 28 miles! Thank you to Doug Storey for accommodating my high milage through the summer request, we'll see how it goes tummy permitting. You see, I am not all doom and gloom, I am hoping I can find an end to the trouble I'm having. 

I have wondered if it's diet related but nothings changed, but then things haven't been good for a long time.....part of me wonders about the porridge (oatmeal) I eat every morning. I rediscovered it maybe around a year ago having not had any for YEARS and am now addicted to the stuff. I know that we can crave things that we are in fact intolerant to. Maybe I'll cut out the porridge and therefore the milk and see if that helps any. 

I just want to be able to run and not feel discomfort, well the effort type of discomfort is my friend this other not.

Hubbie is also away for another 3 week trip which means I am bound entirely to my 2 hour time limit at the Y but that's fine with me at the moment, I don't have any desire to go any longer. I do take imodium for all runs over 15 miles, I am tempted to use it on all my runs but don't think that's a good idea but it does still offer some relief. 

So it's back to over the bridge and back, over the bridge and back, oh how I love that bridge. I actually do, it represents freedom for me AND thank goodness it's tree lined so I have hiding places :s

Hopefully I'll be saying goodbye to the funk soon and be back to working hard and enjoying it.

Some completely unrelated photos to show it's not all doom and gloom!

 4th place in 1st ever science fair, he's the handsome one on the left (I am living in a never ending 'Wonder Years' episode) ;)

 This child was born to be a gymnast, we may have found her thing!

I ran over that bridge a few times during my 50k, never saw any naked children. Apologies Texas, stupid naked Europeans.