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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hip Dips

Do you know what hip dips are?

Hip Dips

Not only did I think that other women didn't have them, I also thought that I was the only woman who cared about them. I definitely have them, and they are big, but my hips are big, so I guess that's what can be expected.

Interesting, anyway.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ups and Downs of Hypothyroidism

I've been cross training pretty much all the time since joining my awesome gym in November. At the same time, I am also still following my plan of not dieting and eating what my body needs and wants. Back in February, I posted about how nervous I was that my average daily weight had gone up about 4 pounds. As it turns out, the intuitive eating thing is easy as long as you're not really challenged by it. And, so far this year, I have been nothing but challenged by it.

The day after I posted my weight worries, I posted again that I'd gotten my results at the gym and found that despite my weight going up, my measurements had gone down and that I was feeling pleased again and comfortable with my results.

I'm going to be honest, things have gotten crazy ever since and I've been nervous about blogging about it because I don't want to admit that this stuff really gets to me. As long as I kept my worries to myself (and Todd and my running group), I felt better about it.

What happened is that since I last posted about my weight in February, I've gained another 12 pounds, for a total of 16 pounds gained since joining my gym. This has been a real challenge for me to accept in my quest for accepting my body. And, it began to seriously worry me. I really couldn't find a reason for it.

After my two posts in February, I decided to stop weighing myself, and I didn't weigh myself until I went back for results at the gym around the third week in March. Then, I was up 7 pounds. The rise in weight was enough to make me want to start weighing myself again, and I have ever since. The 7 pound gain did not come with the drop in measurements, and I had gained some inches. I didn't have body fat percentage from my previous results to compare.

I've been seriously wondering what the problem was, and started feeling like I should see a doctor, because this weight gain could be classified as "unexplained." Finally, I went in for a routine check up (with my gyn, if that's not TMI) and he tested my thyroid. I'd just had it tested in February and it had been 3.46, which was a tad high but still "normal." This time? It's up to 7.8, which is actually higher than it was when I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and hair... everything suddenly fell into place and clicked in my head and I realized that was exactly what was going on. I felt silly for not realizing it.

My regular doctor upped my dose of synthroid and I am on day 2 of taking it. Now, I just have to watch out for the symptoms of hyperthyroidism - which are just the opposite of hypo. I'm not sure why my TSH levels suddenly spiked, but I'll see my doctor next week to hopefully find out.

My thyroid is annoying.

The good news is that I did have results day at the gym on Tuesday, and I found that since March, I've gained 6 pounds and I've gained inches, but I've also gained muscle. My total body fat is still exactly what it was in March. I'm not losing any fat, but I am gaining muscle. That means I'm getting stronger, so that's a good thing.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Stats as of 30 April 2012

April 2011
38.2 miles
8 hours, 11 minutes
Avg Pace: 12:52/mile
Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (May 2011): 2:34:21 (11:47/mile) 

April 2012
67.4 miles -- 29.2 more than in 2011
13 hours, 59 minutes -- 5 hours, 48 minutes more than in 2011
Avg Pace:  12:28/mile -- 24 seconds faster than in 2011
Ocean City Half Marathon: 2:32:49 (11:40/mile)

Year Totals for 2012:
255.1 miles @ 12:44 pace

Late blogging this, as has become my usual.

I'm pretty pleased with my OC Half results, plus I ran a ton more miles in 2012 than in 2011. Like earlier in the year, it's just circumstances. Last year, I had just had surgery to remove varicose veins in my leg and I wasn't permitted to run for 2 1/2 weeks. That took a big chunk out of my running last year. Still, my pace for the miles that I did run was faster than last year.

My big worry is that so far in 2012, I've gained 15 pounds. I mentioned that I had put on about 5 pounds earlier this year, and I thought my post sounded a touch crazy. Now, with me having gained three times that much, I'm feeling a little more nervous about it. I had some medications that I've changed and I think that is the main culprit, but it's a little tough seeing that on the scale. No, it's not muscle, I haven't gained 15 pounds of muscle, and I've grown out of some of my clothes.

Todd joined my gym with me, since he's jealous of my swimming, so I'll be recommitted to that. I was still going regularly, but I had cut my swims down in length and I was doing fewer sets of weight training. Is that all related to my weight gain? Yeah, possibly.

Also, an update on my foot: I finally decided that my main problem is that I had bad shoes. I've ditched the old ones and purchased shiny new ones. I've done two runs in the new shoes and they're feeling great. My foot is not 100%, but I feel pretty confident that it will get better now that I've switched shoes. I'm going to wait a few more weeks to see before going to the doctor anyway. My mileage is reduced since it's the start of the season, so I am not too worried at this point.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ouch, My Foot

I can't believe that I left out my foot pain from my Ocean City Half Marathon race report. I totally didn't even mention it, and it was a HUGE part of the race!

I started having pain my foot, around the back of my arch and front of my heel of my right foot around mile 5. I have to be honest, I've had pain there lately, for maybe the last few runs right before the half,. but it came and went and it was never even bad enough to mention in my running logs that I keep. It was only happening when I ran, though, so I think one thing is that I would just forget about it after the run. It was definitely never bad enough for me to quit running or take it easy.

Mile 5 of the half, though, it started to really bother me. I kept on going, but since I wasn't even halfway through, I was pretty worried about it. At one point around mile 8 or so, I really really started getting worried that the foot situation would continue to get worse and that I would have to stop running or walk it in.

It didn't get that much worse, though, and it maybe even got better again before the end of the race. Or, maybe I was tired in so many other ways that I just stopped paying attention. After the race and into the after party, it still hurt, but I sort of ignored it.

That night, the pain was still around. The next morning, I had a limp. I decided it was a bruise, since while I was running, it seemed like it was the arch of my orthotics that were really aggravating it. I decided to see if it improved, since I had already decided to take some time off from running before the new season started.

The Tuesday after the half, I was already planning not to run, but I was planning to run Thursday since the run was with Jeff Galloway. My foot was better on Thursday, but it had still been a little sore as of Wednesday night, so I decided to not risk it and took the extra day off. I was leaving Friday for a little vacation for Todd's birthday, so I didn't run that weekend or Tuesday. So, basically, I haven't run since the half marathon on April 28.

Everything was fine, and I had mostly forgotten about it and thought it had healed until yesterday. We spent the last 5 days in Jamaica, and I was walking either barefoot or in flip flops the whole time. That being said, I wasn't actually walking. While we're normally pretty active, we spent this entire trip sitting on the beach and really didn't move a muscle all day for four days straight. Yesterday, we went to Dunn's River Falls and I climbed the falls - and in the midst of it, I felt the foot pain again for the first time in a week. I wasn't doing any thing crazy at all.

Partway through -- I thought, OH NO. Plantar Fasciitis. It didn't hurt too much yesterday, but today I put my foot back into regular shoes (my hiking shoes, not running shoes), and my heel started getting progressively worse. I can feel it walking now.

UGH. So, I'm supposed to run tomorrow for the first time since the half. We'll see how it goes. I'm currently icing it. Fall training starts on Saturday, so hopefully I'll be able to work through this.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Todd!

My awesome husband turns 40 years old today!

I love that guy!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ocean City Island to Island Half Marathon 2012

Saturday was my third half marathon this year, which is a lot for me. The first was the Disney Marathon Relay in January, followed by the Rock and Roll USA Half in March, and now this was the Island to Island Half Marathon in Ocean City, Maryland.

Todd and I headed down to the beach on Friday afternoon. I had packet pickup at the Francis Scott Key .Resort. No expo, just a packet pickup. I ran into a couple of fellow runners there. We had some time to spare before dinner, so we relaxed for a little bit. My mom has a condo in Ocean City, so we were staying there.
Pretty sunset over the bay at dinner

We met the running group at dinner at Fresco's. We were a big group (17 of us), but it worked out pretty well.  Delicious food, and we were treated to a beautiful sunset view over the bay as we started dinner.

I was up early on Saturday, and I wasn't sure what to wear. My phone said 38 degrees (but the sun hadn't risen yet), so I put on capri pants and a long sleeve and a vest. It was against my better judgement, which said shorts and a long sleeve. Guess where this is going?  I was hot. Bad choice.

Todd dropped me off at the Ocean City Inlet, where the race started. I met up with our huge group and week took some photos. Thank goodness for small races, I was able to get up only about an hour and 15 minutes before the race, and I only waited about 30 minutes for the race to start.

The race started at 7:30. I headed off by myself, I chose not to run with the group. I was doing 1 minute 15 seconds of running and one minute of walking. The course first looped around the boardwalk and pier, and this part of the course was super crowded. I ended up skipping a walk break at one point and I was really sort of pulled along a lot. at mile one, just before crossing the bridge out of Ocean City, I looked at my watch and saw that I did the first mile in 10:40.  WOA. That's pretty fast for me.  I knew that I probably couldn't keep up that pace, so I slowed it a bit.

The course headed out of Ocean City towards Assateague. I kept up at a pretty good pace, around 11:30-11:45 per mile for several miles. By then, I was hot. I was seriously regretting the vest and wished that I had short sleeves or shorts or SOMETHING. I tried carrying it, but that totally sucked. I ended up unzipping it and just doing my best with it. There was no wind at all. We were off of the ocean, so the wind just wasn't getting through. Temperatures had risen into the 50s.
The group before the race

Let me be clear though - I've run in races that were over 85 degrees, this wasn't THAT bad.

The course looped through a neighborhood and through some pastures. Then, it turned back on to the main road. At this point, we were running on the shoulder and the road was not closed. Part of the shoulder was taken up by those divots that make noise when you run off of the road, so in most places there was only room for runners to run two abreast. Such a narrow course really stinks for a Galloway runner. I found myself constantly having to get people's attention who were running with their friends and/or wearing headphones and not paying attention to me.

I was still on PR pace, but I was getting tired. I promised myself that I could think about switching intervals at mile 10. So, when I got that mile, I decided to switch from 1:15 & 1s to 1:1s. I knew I could keep up my pace at 1:1s. It worked out well, and I stayed in pace for another couple of miles.

We came upon the bridge, and it was looming in the distance. It looked huge, so I decided to switch my intervals to 30:30 so that I could be sure I'd easily get up the hill.  It worked out fine, the hill wasn't as big as it looked from far away.

I ended up sticking with the 30:30s. I turned the corner towards the finish line and my time was 2:31 something. My PR was 2:33:38, so I knew that I needed to run it in to get it. I hate running it in! But, I did. I managed to run the rest of the way! Yay! My watch said I set a new PR, but I just didn't trust it. It was too close.
The group at the finish
I waited at the finish line for the rest of the group. The only things that they had at the finish were cookies and water. The line for the buses taking us to the finish party was LONG. It was really chilly, so we shivered while bus after bus came and went. Finally, the buses they'd used for bag claim were empty and those came by and picked up some of us. It was about 20 minutes to Seacrets, where the after party was happening. We finally got there and... another line.

We waited again to get into Seacrets, since IDs had to be checked. My friend Steve and I had gotten separated from the group, so we searched through the super crowded night club for them. We didn't find them, but we did find a table with pizza. So, we each had a slice... and then I realized that I'd totally cut the line. Oops. Apparently the food line was REALLY long and I'd just walked up and not even realized it. I did end up having a beer because I felt like I should take free beer when it is offered!

I ended up only staying at the after party long enough to get my official time.. 2:32:49, new PR.. WOOOOO! Yay!

Then, Todd came and picked me up. Since the race was on Saturday, we were able to enjoy our Saturday night! The weather was rainy, but we had a great time anyway. :)

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