Friday, April 27, 2012

Mister I and Cute New Shoes

Finally, I had my MRI Arthogram yesterday afternoon! 

After cancelling my initial, extremely overpriced appointment with Memorial Herman over a week ago and after being stood up by the doctor on Monday, I finally made it.  I guess 3rd time really is a charm!  I don't know why I sound so excited, because it's not really a fun experience.  But, I hope this will lead to some more definitive answers, so I guess that makes me happy. 

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous.  I knew from friends that the procedure wasn't necessarily painful, but I also knew that the doctor had to inject a contrast dye into my hip.  I DO NOT like needles.  Or pain.  So, just knowing there would be needles involved gave me the heebie jeebies.  Yuck!

I started the process by changing into a very attractive hospital gown and some awesome foamy shoes.

You know you're jealous of these puppies!  Maybe I should wear them to the office?  Or perhaps for a night out on the town?  Maybe I'd start a new trend!

Then, I had a regular MRI.  I've been through this process before, so no issues here.  If you've never had an MRI, you basically have to lie very still while you go into this lovely tube.

The tube, or as I call it, "Mister I"...looks a bit scary, huh?

The first thing I noticed was a swishing sound that reminded me of a washing machine.  Swish, Swosh, Swish, Swosh.  Then, there are louder noises.  But don't worry, they give you earplugs to help with the loud sounds.  These sounds are loud clanking sounds, then some weird buzzing in different tones and finally you have loud sounds that sound like someone's bad impersonation of a machine gun.  The sounds kind of remind me of a bad sci-fi movie, but I can't put my finger on which one.  Andromeda Strain, maybe?  This part of the process took about 25 minutes.

Next, I was escorted to a different room for my "procedure" (i.e. the injection - yikes).  The woman who prepped me was super nice.  She explained what the doctor would be doing.  Basically, I'd have an injection of lidocane to numb the area.  Then, the doctor would inject something to help him see the area better.  Finally, I'd get the contrast dye injected directly into the hip joint. All the while, the doctor would be watching every move on a screen that shows an x-ray image of my hip joint.  This would help him be absolutely sure that he was working in the right area.    

I have to confess, this was not really fun.  First of all, they inject stuff right into your hip, aka your groin.  The doctor had to put some alcohol in the area and draw an X...kinda like on a treasure map, X marks the spot!  The lidocane injection hurt for a few seconds and my hip felt weird.  It wasn't really painful, just very uncomfortable. Okay and maybe a teeny bit painful.  The lady who did the prepping even told me that I could hold  her hand if I needed to, lol!  After that, I only felt a little pressure from the needle.  Once that part was over, I was escorted back to the MRI room and had to repeat the process again.  I knew the drill since this was my 3rd time doing this...gee, I'm getting good at it. :-/ 

Unlike my 1st MRI, I was placed all the way inside the tube.  I can certainly see how someone with clausterphobia could freak out inside there! I tend to be figgety (is that a word?), so in order to be calm and absolutely still, I tried taking my thoughts to a happy place...

Running through the streets of New York...definitely one of my happiest places!

After almost two hours, I was finally done!  Afterward, my hip felt wonky and sore...something they forgot to tell me would happen.  I sleep on my right side, so this should be interesting. My next doctor's visit is scheduled for next Friday.  Until then, I will be in suspense,  Keep your fingers crossed that I get some more definite answers!

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words during this hip injury!  It means to world to me!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dear Stupid Hip

Dear Stupid Hip,

I feel like I needed to address a few things and clear the air between the two of us. 

First, I know I worked you really hard over the past year - training for triathlons and then training for NYCM.  You helped me run more weekly miles than ever before and helped me earn an awesome PR.  For that, I thank you.    I also acknowledge that I made you run on concrete outdoors more than ever before.  I'm sure this was a difficult adjustment after running so many miles on the dreadmill in the past.  I hope that you accept my apology for this.

Second, I am sorry for continuing to make you work when you were trying to tell me to stop.  Yes, in December when you tried to tell me that you were tired with your not-so-subtle aches, I ran that 18-miler anyway.  Even when I finally stopped running, I continued to abuse you with spin classes, swimming and the elliptical.  I also made you endure exercises from the chiropractor and ART.  Honestly, I don't blame you for being angry with me. Again, I am sorry.

Now, it has been 8 weeks since my last real lower body workout.  My lower half is getting larger and flabbier.  I haven't even done my core workouts for fear of making you angrier. I have only worked out my upper body, leaving you some time to heal and reflect on what made you angry to begin with.  While I am not sure exactly what part of you is angrier, I know that 8 weeks off should make every part of you a little happier.

As you know, I attempted to walk 2 miles on Saturday.  You seemed to be okay with this and for that I am grateful.  However, you were not happy with my slow bike ride on Sunday.  I just wanted to let you know that I now understand that you do not want to bike yet.  I will not bike for at least a few more weeks, okay?  With that addressed, I would like to ask you to stop aching.  I attempted another 2-mile walk yesterday and was paid back with achiness for the rest of the day. 

Please, it's just walking. While I would rather be running, walking is something I would like to be able to do without pain.  So, if you are going to take forever to heal, I would appreciate having the ability to at least take a couple of walks each week without pain.  If you do not want to walk, I guess I can accept that...however, if that is the case and I return to only working out my upper body, would you at least speed up the healing process a little?  I can accept that I may not be racing at all this year, but I do have some goals for early next year that I would like to start working on soon.

If you do hurry up and heal, I promise the following:
  • To begin running ever so slowly...even if it means just running for a minute and then working up to two, three and four minutes at a time.
  • To split my time between the treadmill (or trail running) and running on concrete.  I realize running exclusively on concrete may not be a good idea going forward.
  • To strengthen my core - especially my glutes.  I know I worked on this a lot last year, but then slacked off a little in October, November and December.
  • To stop calling you stupid.  I know that this is immature and mean, but not being able to train has caused me to become grumpy, depressed and at times, angry. Please try to put yourself in my shoes.  Seeing everyone around me preparing for tri season and other races is difficult.
  • And finally, I promise to LISTEN. If you ache, I will stop everything and baby you until you are ready to start again.
Hip, thank you for taking the time to hear me out.  Please hear my plea and consider healing quickly.

The rest of the body you are attached to

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keyword Searches

I know that some of my blogger friends check to see who is viewing their blog on a regular basis.  Some of the stuff you find out from this is pretty entertaining.  I will admit, I rarely check to see who is viewing this blog.  Partially because I forget that I can do this, and partially because I am doing good to find the time to post each week.

But, last week I actually took the time to take a peek and what cracked me up the most was the keyword searches people used to find this blog.  So, for your entertainment, here are the top keywords used:

Grumpy:  Seriously?  Who knew this dwarf was so popular? I mentioned once that I was feeling grumpy and even posted a picture of the dwarf.  This, my friends, was by far the most popular keyword used to find my blog.  Not running.  Not triathlon.  Grumpy.

Latex:  Maybe folks out there are kinky, but mostly I think they were looking for information on wetsuits. The keywords "wetsuit latex" were used often and found this post.  Also, someone was looking for LaTex Runner...whoever that that is.

Deep breaths:  Perhaps the two people who used this in their search were stressed out.  I wasn't able to help much with that...unless they were inspired and decided to take up running!

DAVID BECKHAM ASS:  No kidding, someone searched for this and they did type it in all CAPS!  What they found was a runner who, at the time, had a David Beckham obession.

There were also a lot of searches for things like P90X, Insanity and Texas running blogs.  I have to admit that it was fun to see that people in other countries read this and it was entertaining to see what keywords were being used...I just might have to check this out more often!

Do you track who views your blog?  How often do you look at this information?  What are the funniest keyword search words you've seen?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Week in Pictures

Not too many pictures this week.  The highlight was going to the Kiddo's 1st grade program.  The theme was "Go Fish" and the Kiddo was a "Clown Fish".  She had a speaking part and everything.  I think she was most excited about her name actually being in the program!

The kiddo goofing off after the program (L), the kiddo being a ham on stage (R)

On Friday, we had a cool crazy front blow through.  I tried to capture the sideways rain in a picture, but couldn't manage to capture it on my camera phone.  I work on one of the higher floors of the building and you could feel the building sway and shake in the crazy winds!

The view on a normal, sunn day (L) and the view during the rain storm (R)

This weekend, the weather was awesome!  The lows were in the 50s and the highs were in the 70s on Saturday and 80s on Sunday.  The Munchkin had a birthday party to attend on Saturday and the Kiddo had one to attend on Sunday.  In between the birthday parties, the Hubs and I spent a lot of time working in the yard.  We pulled weeds and planted flowers and some new shrubs.  And, I am attempting to grow roses for the 1st time ever (Knock Out Roses)!  We'll see how that goes...I don't exactly have a green thumb.

How was your weekend?  Any races, workouts or gardening???

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Steps

Well, I am still waiting on MRI #2. The doctor I’m seeing is a part of the Memorial Herman / University of Texas Medical School system and the “Ironman Sports Medicine Institute”. I read some negative comments about this institute on a discussion forum, but was referred to this particular doctor by a friend I trusted, so I figured I’d try it.

I did like the doctor. However, I was not pleased at all with one thing about Memorial Hermann – the pricing. I was scheduled for MRI #2 on Monday of last week. It worked out perfectly, because I was already scheduled to take a vacation day from work to take care of a few other things. But then, I received a call from the doctor’s office around 3 pm on the Friday before the MRI to tell me that after speaking to my insurance company, the procedure would cost me $1,500. If my Grandma were here, she'd say that Memorial Hermann "thinks the sun shines out of their arse!" and I'd have to agree.  Normally, I have no issues with having a high-deductible health plan, but OUCH that was a lot of money for me! My HSA is usually hardly touched each year, but this year it is being drained pretty fast thanks to all my attempts at fixing this hip. After the initial sticker shock wore off, I called my doctor’s office and asked if I had any other options. They referred me to an imaging center that still could provide a clear MRI, but at just over ½ the cost of Memorial Hermann. Yippee!!

Fast forward to today – the day of my MRI appointment. I drive to the imaging center…it’s not exactly convenient to my home or work, but I guess that's the price of a cheaper procedure. After filling out some paperwork and waiting about 10 minutes, the woman at the front desk called me up. It seems that the doctor who administers the injection had an emergency and had to leave. Ugh! So here I am, still waiting to find out some answers. The good news – I got a couple of hours of my day back.

On a happier note, I am convinced that I am healing. On Saturday, I finally got sick of doing the P90X upper body videos and decided to take advantage of the awesomely cool morning temps.

I went for a walk!

Okay, so walking is not the same to me as running, but it is something. I woke up before dawn and walked a slow 2-miles around the neighborhood. I took in the cool, fresh air and just enjoyed being outdoors again. Oh my God, how I’ve missed the serenity of my morning runs!

Just me, the stars, and an occasional runner…awesomeness!

And the best part? The hip didn’t bother me!

Confession #1 – I was very, very tempted to break into a jog. Confession #2 – I did jog, but only for about 10 steps . I just had to see if the pain I felt on that last 2-miler was still there. It wasn’t. But, I know better. I know from the occasional aches from my hip that I am still healing. I stopped the jog and just continued to walk. I didn’t want to, though. And, what’s even better is that the hip felt fine the rest of the day. There were no extra aches, even after working in the yard later in the day. None!

Because of the success of Saturday’s experiment with walking, I decided to attempt something new on Sunday....

I biked!

If I had to rate what I’d like to do more, it would work like this:

Running > biking > walking > strength training > swimming

Biking felt great, even though I was just going for a casual ride! I loved that I could move quickly though my neighborhood (unlike my walk). I had my Garmin on, but only to show the time. I wanted to ride for 30 minutes, but without worrying about speed or cadence. I quickly realized that I miss my bike almost as much as I miss running! The bad news – even though my hip felt okay during my ride, it ached a bit for the rest of the day. Only a little teensy ache, but enough to tell me I might want to wait a little longer before attempting to bike again. I was bummed about this, especially since I registered for Tour de Cure which takes place in September. I know it was dumb to register for anything with a stubborn injury, but I was certain that I’d be okay by then…and I took advantage of a coupon code to register for only $3!

So walking yes, biking no. At least it’s a step in the right direction…a teensy, little baby step!

Add in "do Cardio and SWEAT!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Week in Pictures

Wow, hard to believe another week has passed.  Last week was uber busy both at work and at home.  Here's a little of what we did...

First, I was so excited to receive this in the mail!  It's my super cool Swim.Bike.Mom. tech shirt.  I *heart* it!  There's still a little time to order yours, so go get more info here if you want one!  I would have taken a picture of me in the shirt, but I had nasty swim hair and zero make-up.

It's cute, it fits great, it's my Swim.Bike.Mom shirt!

Speaking of swim hair, I finally went back to the pool and swam a few laps to test out the hip.  While swimming is my least favorite of the 3 sports, it did feel good to get back to one of my "normal" activities.  My last swim was in early February, so I felt really out of practice.  But after a few laps, I felt pretty good. I managed to get in 1,800 with my pull buoy.  It felt pretty good at the time, but after my swim, I noticed that my hip hurt.  This could be because I was tightening my hips the entire time in order to hold the buoy in place.  So yes, it is a little frustrating to know that even swimming with a freaking pull buoy may not be something I can do yet.  Grrrrrrrr.  I have the same issue when doing planks and regular push ups...annoying because I was hoping planks would help my core until I was all healed.  That, and I've worked really hard to be able to not have to do girlie push ups!

The pool...I've actually missed it.  Sort of.

 I had the morning off from work to take care of an appointment.  This meant that I was able to go to the Kiddo's school for "Movin' and Groovin' with Moms" and I could also hang out and have breakfast with my girl!  I won't even go into the menu choices at the school cafeteria...that could be the subject of a whole other post!

My girl at breakfast!

We were brave and took the kids out on a school night to see Disney on Ice!  Yes, it was focused around the princesses, but the Munchkin enjoyed it anyway.  I think there was just enough action to keep him entertained.  The Kiddo was absolutely overjoyed to see all of her favorite characters on the ice!  The only downside? It took about 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot afterward and we didn't make it home until almost 11 pm!  The other downside? It can be an expensive night out!

  • Tickets to Dare to Dream - $15 x 4 (cheap thanks to a coupon code I had!)
  • Cost of Parking - $10
  • Souvenirs (one sword and one light up lantern) - $28
  • 2 Sno Cones - $24 (no kidding, they were $12 each!)
  • Hearing squeals of delight from your kiddos - Priceless!

The kiddos with their loot!  Man, this crap is expensive!

On Friday, we headed to the Toyota Center to see my favorite team play - the Rockets!!!!  I am a big Rockets fan, but we rarely go to games these days.  Let's face it, the cost for a family of four to go to a NBA game is not cheap!  We can do basketball and hockey cheap (and we do!), but not basketball.  Plus, the Hubby is not a huge NBA fan.  However, we had an incentive - the Kiddo had won a free ticket from a fundraiser at school, so we decided what the heck!  We ended up losing to the Suns, but it was a great game.  And, I am happy to say that the Kiddo enjoyed the fast pace of the game as much as I did.  Looks like we have another Rockets fan in the family!  It was another late night, but luckily we could sleep in the next morning.

Another night out!  We had a great time cheering for my beloved Rockets!  Do you think the Munchkin likes cotton candy???

I also had more P90X this week.  I am trying to do 2 upper body workouts per week and 2 sessions of Kenpo per week (upper body only).  So far, this is working out for me,  but of course I'd rather be running or biking!

The evil one-arm push-up!  I aspire to do these one day - right now I can do them on my left arm, but only girlie-style.

And finally, we bought this monstrosity!  After years of going back and forth on the topic, have officially made the conversion from queen bed to king bed.  The Hubby was kind enough to stay home and wait for the delivery, so I didn't see it until I arrived home from work...and wow, it's MASSIVE.  And, I love it!

How was your week?  Any great workouts or other plans over the weekend?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hip Update - Guessing Games

Injuries are frustrating. What’s even more frustrating is not knowing exactly what’s wrong. Even after spending $500+ on a MRI. And seeing 4 different doctors – 2 orthopedics and 2 chiropractors.


I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Chiro recommended having orthopedic look at my MRI results. I did. I went to a somewhat popular orthopedic who specializes in the hip. He basically told me that the quality of my MRI was very poor and that he’d have to go by what the radiologist’s report said. He was mostly concerned about the stress reaction, but not so worried about the labral tear or iliopsoas tear. His recommendation was to refrain from any high impact exercise for 3 months and to lay off anything that required the use of my hips for the next month or so (i.e. swimming, biking, etc.). Okay, no worries. But, it really bothered me that he couldn’t tell anything from the actual MRI. So, time and money pretty much down the drain.

One of my friends knows an orthopedic who works a lot with hips. In fact, she has referred three of her friends who run to this ortho for hip issues and all three are a-okay now. I decided to put my HDHP and HSA to good use…I scheduled an appointment for him to review my MRI.

I saw this doctor last week and he confirmed what the 1st orthopedic said – my MRI is crap. He checked my range of motion, which is what every other doctor has done. The problem? My hip doesn’t hurt much (if at all) no matter how you move it. This is good for me, but bad for trying to diagnose anything.  The doc's main concern was the possible iliopsoas tear.

The first thing this ortho did was recommend a cortisone shot and see if it hurt while running. I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, but apparently if he injects cortisone into the hip joint and it stops hurting when I run, then the pain is more than likely from a labral tear. If it hurts when I run, then we can rule the labral tear out.

Seriously, I am growing tired of the guessing games. I'm tired of a lot of things!  I am tired of trying to schedule dr’s appointments into my already busy days. I am tired of co-pays and waiting rooms.

I pretty much told the doc that while I want to get back out there ASAP, I also want to be able to swim, bike and run for the rest of my life. Not only do I want to know what the heck is going on with my hip, but I want to know what I can do to prevent this from ever happening again. If the cortisone shot is the best way to do this, fine. But is seemed like a guessing game to me. “What about the stress reaction?” I asked. I wanted to know if I agreed to the cortisone shot and tried to run, would it bother that? He shrugged. Based on my crappy MRI, he wasn’t sure if I even had a stress reaction. He also couldn’t be certain that I had a labral tear. In fact, I probably do…apparently labral tears are common. It seems that a lot people have them and never have any issues with them. (I would be the lucky one!)

Finally, the doc told me that when he sees a doctor, he usually tells them what tests to do.  I asked him what he's recommend in my situation.  He told me that if we really want to know what's going on, we could do another MRI, but with contrast. And, since they’d have to inject the contrast dye, I might as well try the cortisone.  I agreed, although the thought of injections of any kind freak me out.

So that's the latest - MRI #2 on Monday and follow-up visit to the doc a few days later.  If I've learned anything through all this, I've learned that even in 2012 being a doctor requires a lot of guessing games. So much for "modern medicine"! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do a girl a favor...

...and vote!

After much arguing deliberation, the members of the Hubby's Texas Independence Relay team could not decide on a team name.  The result?  They called themselves, "Team Name?  We don't need no stinkin' team name!". 

Yes, this is really their team shirt!

Now, they have been nominated for "Best Team Name"!  But, they need votes (lots of votes) to win.  Please take a minute to go here to vote for them.  Then vote on your smartphone, then on your work computer, get the idea!
Many thanks!!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Week(s) in Pictures

It's been awhile since I bored you with a photo dump, so I thought I would make up for lost time.  After this, you will know what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks.

First, I have always wanted to learn to grow vegetables.  Our yard in Suburbia, especially with our rather large playset, will really not accomodate a large vegetable garden.  Instead, I decided to try my hand at growing some veggies in containers.  I found a pretty cool little kit at Target where you basically just add the seeds.  I am attempting to grow cucumbers, sweet basil, red peppers, cilantro and tomatoes.

The Kiddo with the seeds all planted (L) and our seedlings two weeks later (R)!

 I've also been doing a lot of this...

These are pike's press push ups - love'em!

The Kiddo and I had a girls night out a couple of weeks ago.  We went to see Annie!  My parents took me to see Annie at The Music Hall (which has been torn down and replaced) when I was ten.  I loved it!  In fact, I loved it so much that I probably drove my parents crazy playing the soundtrack (on an 8-track) over and over and over.  I still have my program from that day and have grown to love musicals and all things theatre.  We had a great time and I was happy that the Kiddo seemed to love the show as much as I did.  We even stuck around for autographs afterwards, which made the Kiddo's night!

Clockwise from top left - The kiddo before the show, the kiddo after the show enjoying the lights of the big city and the awesome view, the kiddo getting an autograph from Annie herself  and me and the kiddo.

And, I did more of this...

This is Kenpo X...I only do the arm movements and none of the fancy footwork or kicks.  Hey, it's MUCH better than the hand cycle!!!

Also, I tried taking our annual Bluebonnet pictures with the kids.  The Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower and a lot of people make the trek out to the countryside to get great pictures of them.  As always, I waited about 1-2 weeks too long, so the colors were not as vibrant.  Plus, it is so hard to get two kids to both look at the camera with a natural smile at the same time - why is that????

My silly kiddos - I had to bribe them with sno-cones to get a little cooperation.  My favorite is the one on the right.

We've also been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we've been having.  It's a bit warm for March/April, but still nice enough to run around outside without feeling like you're going to pass out from heat exhaustion.

We've been doing a lot of this!

My family had their annual reunion at Huntsville State Park.  Funny enough, this park is less than a hour from our house, but yet I have never been there.  It's gorgeous!  If you live in the Houston area, you must go there.  There are campgrounds, biking and hiking trails, etc.

I gave up on getting smiles and just told the kids to act silly here.

We even took the kids out on the canoe - yes, we're stupid brave like that!

I am super proud of the Kiddo for making all-A Honor Roll again!  She was happy that they served her favorite - plain glazed donuts - at the awards breakfast.  Last time, it was the powdered sugar kind.  She also liked that the A/B Honor Roll kids were awarded with popsicles...she loves popsicles.  I told her to keep making A's and we'd see about getting her a popsicle at home!

The Kiddo at the Honor Roll breakfast

Of course, yesterday we celebrated Easter.  We actually celebrated Friday with my Sister-in-Law and her family, again at the reunion on Saturday and then on Sunday at Church and at my parent's house.  It was a tiring, but amazingly fun weekend!

Yep, we dyed eggs, went to Church, hid eggs, hung out at Grandma and Grandpa's and had a visit from the Easter Bunny!

One last thing...I am super proud of my Hubby and his team for completing the 203-mile Texas Independence Relay!  This was the 1st year for the entire team and they did fan-freaking-tastic! 

Clockwise from upper left - The hubby's team with the cannon before the race, the Hubs and a teammate after the race with medals, the awesome bling, Hubby wasted no time breaking in his TIR mug!

Have you participated in TIR or another relay race?  How was your holiday weekend? 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eating Cardboard

As you know, I worked hard at changing some of my eating habits before NYCM. I was already pretty careful about what I ate, but still had some things to work on. I had been eating my fruits and veggies, but sugar and processed foods were still on the menu (and not just occasionally). Before NYC, I cut my sugar intake in half and worked toward eating clean(er). My two vices continued to be Lean Cuisines for lunch (it’s easy!) and my daily Diet Coke. The result? I lost about 8 lbs and felt fantastic!

In my effort to eat clean(er), I decided to try something that I had been curious about for awhile - Ezekiel bread. I had seen the bread mentioned time and time again on clean eating blogs. I read a little about the bread - Apparently, this Ezekiel bread is made the way the Bible intended. Who knew. I figured if Jesus ate it, then why not try it?  (I also found this post, which I found a bit humorous!)


So, the interesting thing about this bread is that it contains no flour or yeast. It is made from sprouted live grains instead. The label states:

We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread - from all vegetable sources - naturally balanced in nature. Ezekiel 4:9® Bread is made from freshly sprouted organically grown grains, is naturally flavorful and bursting with nutrients. Rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and natural fiber with no added fat.

And, the ingredients were simple and easy to read. No crazy chemicals listed here:

INGREDIENTS: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

I really liked the sound of this!

I excitedly picked up my first loaf, which was found in the freezer section of my local grocer. Holy cow, over $5 for a loaf of bread? I thought to myself, “Okay, okay…it’s healthy, so it’s worth it right?” WWJD?

I was anxious to try it, so I tried making a sandwich with it later that day. The verdict?


It tastes like cardboard! I tried it as toast with fruit spread and thought it was a little better. I tried it again as toast, but this time with almond butter and honey. Better. I kept trying the bread. I even bought another loaf once we finished off the first one. I thought that maybe the taste (or lack of) would grow on me.

It didn’t.

Sorry folks, but Ezekiel bread is just not for me. I know some of you out there love this stuff, but it's just not my thing. And my kids?  They wouldn't touch it.   Instead, I found healthfull bread from Oroweat.   Actually, the Hubby spotted it first and recommended it, so I can't take credit for it.  The bread is tasty and has some of the same benefits – 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per slice. And, it has "no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives." And again, it's TASTY!

However, this bread is made with flour. And yeast.  And, it is pricier than the store brands and Mrs. Baird's.  Oh well! Seriously, I know that we should eat to live, not live to eat and I have been working to mentally change my attitude toward food - “Fuel the Machine” has become my motto. But what’s the point if you just don’t enjoy it at least a little?

Do you have a food motto?  How have you changed your eating habits since becoming more active and fit? Do you eat things that you don’t really think taste good because they’re healthy?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Life Happens

Long time no post! Thank you for all the comments and e-mails about the last post…most of you agree that if working out is that important to you, you will find a way to get it done. However, my recent increase in work hours had me thinking about the opposite end of the spectrum - when life gets in the way. Sometimes it seems that no matter how badly we want to accomplish something, life happens. Or in my case, work happens.

In December of 2010, I set my sights on the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Texas. However, I had not been in my job for more than a few months and I had heard about how hellish the month of February could be due to several projects that would be underway…many with very short turnaround time and tight deadlines. This proved to be true – it was a super busy time, plus I had to travel for work a couple of times. After missing crucial workouts, I decided that 2011 would not be my year for this race. There were other 70.3 distance races later in the year, but I wanted to focus on the NYCM. And, I’m glad I did – a 23-minute PR was well worth it!

In 2011, I decided that 2012 would be my year for the 70.3 in Galveston! NYC would be behind me, I had been through the “busy season” once and knew what to expect, I didn’t forsee any business travel – I could do it! Of course then I had my injury. But over the past month or so, I couldn’t help asking myself whether or not I really could have trained for this race. If you remember, this is what it has been looking like when I leave work for the day:

Luckily, with the time change it's not quite this dark when I leave now!

Would I have been committed enough to leave work at night, then go to the pool and swim? I would have missed all the spin classes - would I have been driven enough to sit on a spin bike, in a dark spin room, alone at 9 pm for 1 1/2 hours? Only to wake up at 4 am to either run…or work on spreadsheets? And, if I needed to work on spreadsheets, when would I fit in that run? Maybe during lunch? If I could get away. Would I have had the energy to run and bike long on the weekends, only to repeat the same work schedule again the following week?

I’d like to say absolutely, without a doubt, I would have been in “find a way, make a way” mode. But, let’s be honest…training for a 70.3 is time consuming when you do it right. When you add a full-time job, it’s hard. When you add a full-time job with crazy-ass hours, it’s really hard. Add family and well…

Point of all this rambling?

Sometimes no matter how hard you want something, life makes it extremely difficult. It’s not that you’re any less driven or don’t want it badly enough. Life happens. Sometimes it’s work. Sometimes it’s a sick parent, spouse or child. Sometimes it’s all of the above all happening at the same time. (Hopefully, it's only temporary)  You have to fit the training in where you can, but be realistic about your goals and priorities. Let's face it, to excel in one area usually means a decline in other areas.

For example, when I was in grad school (and working full-time with a hubby and the Kiddo), I knew that I did not want to give up running completely. I also knew that there was no way I would have time to successfully train for a marathon and still do well at school and work.  I continued to run when I could – mostly for stress relief and fitness, and I still ran some 5k races and a ½ marathon here and there. That’s the most I could do with the time I had available. Family, work and school were higher on the priority list. Kinda like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…work allows us to put a roof over our heads, feed and clothe the family, give us a sense of security, start a savings, pay for the kid's college...and then we can focus on training.

Back to Pysch glad I took those classes back in undergrad, lol!

The time you spend training is directly proportionate to the results you get. The time I would have been able to spend training during busy season at work might have been enough to get me successfully through a half marathon race or a sprint distance triathlon. Could I have completed the 70.3? Maybe. But it would not have been pretty. Or fun.

So maybe in some weird way this injury saved me (or at least my sanity). I know I would have been going insane trying to balance workouts and this work schedule, all the while feeling guilty about the lack of time with the family.  I have come to realize that this particular role at work will never be different in February/March and I might need to pick a different 70.3 to aim for. At the same time, not being able to run at all during busy season has been difficult – I have no way to relieve the stress that comes with this time!

Has life gotten in the way of you reaching your race goals? How do you adjust?