Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ghost of My Dearly Departed Gallbladder

Last night, I packed my gym bag with the plan to get to the 5:45 am cardio resistance class at my gym. I've really neglected weight training these past few months because I've been focusing on running, and believe me it shows :(

Anyway, my goals for the next month, until around December 1, is to concentrate on how I used to work out and remove my focus from running. I'm honestly burnt out from running. Don't get me wrong, I love those long runs outside, those couple of hours where I let my mind wander as I run. Love them! But the tedious gym treadmill sessions are becoming so dreaded that I need a break from them. I'll still run outside this month when I get the chance just to retain the ability, but I want to get back to things like cardioresistance, kickboxing, zumba, dance jam, and other fun-themed workouts. The race isn't until the very end of February, so can actually still complete a 12-week program, although I don't really think I have to start at the very beginning at this point.

Well, back to my intended cardio resistance session this morning. I was all set to go, and I was looking forward to it. But sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up with really bad nausea. I have no idea what brought it on. It was the kind of nausea that comes from you gut (as opposed to the sinus-induced vertigo-type nausea). It was really intense and then I just sort of fell back to sleep. But I'm still left with a lingering green-around-the-gills feeling this morning, so I scrapped the gym. Bummer.

I keep thinking about what I must have eaten that would make me so sick so suddenly. For dinner, I made some chicken noodle soup with leftover rotisserie chicken, 99% fat-free cream of chicken condensed soup, with corn and shiritaki noodles. It was so hearty and delicious! With it, I had some of my made-from-scratch light banana bread, which I make with egg beaters and butter substitute. It couldn't have been my dinner because the nausea came on hours into the night.

I'm thinking it's one of two things: 1) I drank some 1% milk before bed or 2) it was mental.

I have off-and-on lactose intolerance. Sometimes dairy is just fine and I can eat all the cheese and milk I want without a problem. But sometimes, dairy really makes me feel terrible. I get this stabbed-in-the-gut feeling then bloating and gas, diarrhea, etc, you name it (TMI). I know I can't eat butter burgers, frozen custard, and, to an extent, too many cheese curds. I discovered this the hard way. So the milk might have thwarted my workout!

But then, I'm thinking that I didn't really drink that much milk. I drank from a small carton, maybe 1/2 cup? And it was 1%. Watered-down dairy is my dairy of choice because, well, it's milder on my stomach. So maybe I was dreaming it? I've been having some strange sleeps as of late. I fall asleep just fine, but I've been waking up in the middle of the night. I've also had some vivid dreams. So maybe I was dreaming it? If that's the case, though, why do I feel stomach-achy this morning? I feel that hungry/sick feeling, where your stomach growls and you feel hungry, but you don't want to eat. Is it just me who gets this?

Maybe it's the ghost of my gallbladder coming back to haunt me, LOL. Thursday is the 1-year anniversary of her demise and removal!

I packed my gym clothes and hope I feel better by this afternoon so I can go.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pictures from a Weekend in Lancaster County, PA

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road Trip!

Today is my last day at work this week because Brian is flying down tomorrow for a long weekend. We're going up to Amish country to go on buggy rides, taste shoo fly pie, and whatever else comes along. It should be a nice fall weekend for going out to the country, so I'm looking forward to it!

Since my 10 miler, I've only run once. On Tuesday of this week, I ran the most agonizing 5 miles ever on the treadmill at the gym. There were a few reasons why this particular run sucked. 1) It was at the gym, on the treadmill. With daylight dwindling down everyday, I can't make it home in time to run a good run while it's still light out. I won't run at night outside for a lot of reasons. Period. 2) I was on a treadmill that seemed to be away from any sort of air conditioning so the air around me felt stagnant and warm. 3) I didn't realize that I might have a bit of a bug. I felt ok before my run, except for a little chest congestion and cough. Then when I started running, I just felt fatigued, nauseous, and zapped of energy. The following days I've felt a little sick to my stomach and I think it's because of some sinus issues giving me a touch of vertigo.

Anyway, I'm hoping to feel better enough to run at least a little tomorrow morning. If not, I'm not going to kill myself. I'd rather feel great for my trip (and for my runs) than exert too much energy running and make myself sick. I've proven to myself that little breaks (and I mean little as in a few days) from running and working out won't diminish my abilities or make me into a lazy slob. In fact, my next run after a break is always awesome.

I'll be back with pictures!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 Miles for New Boots

I've been taking advantage to the cool (not cold) fall weather these past few weekends by leaving my car at my parents' house at night and getting dropped off at my condo so that I can run to my car in the mornings.

This Saturday morning was crisp, sunny, and just plain perfect weather for running. I started out with the goal of 8 miles (1 more mile over last week's log run). I set out at 7:30 am feeling great. The cool morning was invigorating. The leaves are starting to turn, and the splashes of reds and golds shimmered in the morning sun. I also have to admit to a little carb loading the night before (spaghetti AND a slice of pizza at midnight) because I really wanted to have a nice long run without petering out. I don't like to eat before my morning runs so I wanted the carbs to carry me through.

I guess it worked because I ended up running a great 10 miler. I shaved a full 5 minutes from my last 10 miler a couple of months ago. My heart rate wasn't too elevated despite the fact that I was keeping a steady 10:30ish pace the entire time, which is pretty good for me (I'm not fast by any means). I really could have run forever. The morning was so beautiful, so refreshing, that I didn't want to stop after I hit 8 miles. I was on the WO&D trail by then and the two-lane trail seemed like an endless stretch before me, calling for me to run and run and run. As the song says "all my troubles seemed so far away..." I have never not wanted a run to end, but yesterday morning I really truly didn't. The run was cathartic. I was flying, my heart was beating, and I felt, well, alive. It was very precious "me time" when I wasn't thinking of freelancing or taxes or bills. I was alone in my mind despite the other runners and bicyclists. I was at peace with myself. And all day I felt happy. Really, the only reason I stopped was because I was going to the outlet mall Potomac Mills with my parents and I still had to get to my car and drive back to my condo to get showered and dressed. 

At the mall, I saw a great pair of brown leather boots that would look great with skinny jeans and a big sweater. So I treated myself.

They look something like this:

This morning, my car was, again, at my parents' house, but I didn't want to run because I didn't think it would be smart to overdo it. So I walked a brisk 4.5 miles (just straight there and no detours through town), with old (I mean really old as in Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, etc.) country music on my iPod and enjoyed another gorgeous fall morning.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Bird in the Hand

I haven't blogged in several days.

I've been unbelievably busy with work and trying to figure out my next moves. And I've been incredibly stressed out doing it!

Now, I've got to decide how much freelance work I can actually handle without losing my mind because I just found out that the publishers who took over my last freelance job, the one I was let go from, want me to work for them. They want me to take on upwards of 10 or more articles of approximately 12 pages each for a 5-day turnaround deadline. That's in addition to the freelance job I've just finishing training for, which sends me five articles of 30 or more pages a week IN ADDITION to my full-time job and heavy travel schedule. I really don't know what to do. I'm traveling so much from now until the end of the year that I can't breathe just worrying about how I'm going to do everything during that time.

I should point out that the new freelance job (for the old journal but with the new publishers) pays three times as much as my current one, is for journals I've edited for 6 years (I know the style backwards and forwards), and would only stress me out (big time) once a month as opposed to every. single. day. The bad side is that although it pays much more, the work load isn't as predictable as my current one. Some months will be leaner than others. So instead of a predictable 5 articles a week, every week. I might get anywhere from 10 to 15 and maybe even sometimes less than 10.

I have to choose ONE freelance job and let the other one go. But in this economy, I really can't imagine who would think turning down work is a good idea. It seems almost like a sin. But keeping both and being overloaded just for the money seems just as bad because it would be motivated by greed. Maybe someone out there needs work and I'm hogging these two jobs that I can't handle?

In this case would a bird the hand (my current freelance gig that makes me miserable because it takes up every waking free moment of my life) be worth more than a slightly more attractive bird in the bush (I'm definitely hired and filled out all the IRS forms. But I'm not sure how they operate or how much more lucrative it is than what I have now, which, although miserable, is becoming tolerable)? I'll pray about it. I prayed that things would work out when a door was closed to me, when I first got let go and (remember I was going to hock my watch), and I now have to decide between the two windows God has provided. Can't be ungrateful for that!

Regarding my training. I bet you think I've let that slide. Nope! I've not only been training (I ran 7 miles on Saturday, 5 miles on Sunday, and 4 miles last night with long walks on the in-between days) but I'm eating much healthier as well! It really helps to know that I have a handle on at least one aspect of my life!

Anyway, back to work!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Motivations (and pics from my trip to Denver)

This is me last summer (2009), when I was at my absolute fittest I've ever been, back before I got sidetracked by my pesky gallbladder surgery and recovery. I was 145-ish and worked out almost everyday, without fail You can see that I'm not perfect and I'm not pencil thin. But I felt great. I felt like a well-oiled machine. Why was I so disciplined last year as opposed to this year? Maybe because last year was the year of weddings. And being one of the only unmarried (if not the only) people in my peer group, I wanted to at the very least look good, while I congratulated everyone else. Lame, I know.

This year has been all baby showers, so I didn't need any fancy dresses and there were no big parties to go see and be seen. That's a huge motivation for me, albeit misguided. I shouldn't be healthy or not healthy based on who's going to see me. I should be healthy because I remember how great it felt to be lean and clean.

You'd think at nearly 33 years old, the insecure high-school girl in me would just give it a rest already. I haven't run since last week because my plantar fasciitis has been acting up. I did A LOT of walking in Denver. A LOT. I would walk nonstop for hours, sometimes up to 6 hours straight. I just wanted to see everything or as much as I could. And I did!

Here are some pics from my trip. This isn't even the half of what I did. I spent EVERY free minute I had (when I wasn't at work) walking around and sight seeing. I actually had a lot of free time this conference, and my hotel was in a good location downtown. I had Wednesday afternoon after setup, Thursday evening, and all day Friday free.

One of the things I like about sight seeing alone is that I can wear myself out without hearing anyone complain about being tired because I never get tired when I'm sight seeing. I can keep going while in pain, literally for hours, which is why I'm taking a running break this week. I overdid it, but it was fun! And boy did I sleep well at night!

I can eat elk and reindeer when I want without the obligatory "so where do you want to eat?" I can walk from Coors Field to the 16th Street Mall and back again at my whim. I can walk all over the city looking for a the perfect souvenir several times over in a day. I'm barely in my room because that's where you feel the loneliness. I'd rather be exhausted than lonely.

yes, I ate a reindeer dog. It was AMAZING.

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