When you consider all things, diabetes, although it is a pain sometimes, definitely is not the worst chronic condition one could have. I thought about other chronic conditions and many are a lot worse, so coming up with a disease I would want to switch with was rather challenging. Ideally, diabetes would just go away. However, that isn't happening soon, so instead I would become Celiac in its place.
Changing my diet wouldn't be too awful to do. I went gluten free for a bit last year during marathon training and it was just a different way to think about food. Obviously, if you do eat gluten than that would suck. However, there are so many people jumping on the GF band wagon that it is easy to find options to eat at most restaurants. Some of my favorite foods are GF anyway, including my favorite:
Although I don't truly consider myself part of the DOC, given the fact that not too many diabetes topics are spoken about here, I don't think it has impacted how I treat others' medical conditions. I am a caring person by nature, so I am concerned when someone else gets hurt, injured, or sick. But that is part of who I am, and would be regardless of other people.
As I've done attempted in the past, this year I will be participating in Diabetes Blog Week. This year my goal is to actually blog about diabetes for the entire week.
Today's prompt deals with doctor visits:
I think I am in the minority in that my doctor spends more than 15 minutes with me, rather 30 minutes. I don't hide the facts of my life from my doctor. He knows that I am a runner and that I do a plethora of cross-training. He knows that I have always struggled with low blood sugars, and the panic that I feel when I see a number over 200 come across the screen on my meter. He knows that change for me is very hard, and also that I don't like to use the Bolus Wizard on my pump when I eat. I believe in being completely honest with my doctor. This means telling him the good things happening, the bad things, and the ugly things.
If my doctor read my blog, I don't think he would at all surprised. I blog about what is important to me on it - mostly running, a little diabetes, with some random stuff thrown in. Having diabetes requires a lot of work, and even more so if you are an athlete. Diabetes is always present, and needs a lot of attention. I think that many people start to have problems because they do not pay enough attention to it. It is more than counting carbs, finger sticks, and insulin shots/boluses. It is carrying GU with you on any any run over 3 miles and wearing a bracelet that identifies me as having a dysfunctional pancreas.
I feel incredibly lucky to have a doctor that understands me, and can help me take care of myself better.
After a rough few weeks in regard to running, including a half marathon that included a stop at the med tent at mile 6.5 on what was supposed to be a 1:32 half PR, I've been especially hating diabetes. Sometimes having it just sucks - and there is no other way to put it, but especially so when it derails my plans.
Today I opted to run a little later in the morning instead of in the 30* weather. On the schedule was a "long" run of 10 miles, which was broken down into a 1 mile warm-up, 8 mile MGP run (7:37 pace) and a 1-mile cool-down. As I got out of my car and waited for my satellites to load, I looked at the beauty around me. I could see flowers rapidly moving in the wind, and a bright blue sky. It was incredibly windy, but a good day to run.
A few steps into my run I had to stop and wait for a car before I crossed the street and continued to run on the path. As I waited for the car, I noticed two people on the other side of the street. One man was wearing a Boston Marathon shirt from this year, and was talking to another man. Not really thinking much of it, I looked down at my watch to see that it was paused. It was then that I realized the other man. He had a prosthetic leg.
After the car passed, I ran by, saying hi to both men on the way by. As I ran 1 mile out, I thought about how different life would be without one of my legs. How much harder running would be. Could I even bike? Everything would be different. And as I turned around and hit the 2-mile mark, I saw the man running by me the opposite direction and said "hi" again.
I am constantly amazed by other people. This man was out on the prairie path today running, just like me. However, although I am 100% positive he does not know it, he changed my perspective. Did the run today go as planned? No, not in the least bit. I had a low blood sugar around mile 6 and ended up running an over pace of 8:00 miles, instead of 7:45. But I could care less because I could still use my legs to run. It made me thankful that the majority of my body does work well.
This run today was more than just a run, but helped me gain perspective of the good things in life, and to be thankful for what I do have.
In my five years of being a runner, I have been self coached. I took advice from others, but ultimately it was me who dictated what I did. Being self coached requires a great deal of discipline. The only person you are accountable to is yourself, which can be both a blessing and a curse. I think that worked out fairly well for me in the past. I achieved some respectable PRs under my own guidance.
But, I want to become better. I don't just want to be "average"...I want to be considered "good". I don't think I can achieve this on my own, which is why I am going to start working with a running coach on Wednesday. My coach "W" is a runner himself. He actually coaches my best runner friend, who I have trained with for the past year.
The self-coaching door is shutting come Wednesday and the "getting coached" door is opening wide. With it come all sorts of excitement, dreams, and goals that I hope to accomplish. I realize my goals are ambitious, but W says that they are attainable. This scares and excites me at the same time. In the next six months, my goals are:
1. Break 1:30 for a half marathon (sub 6:53 average pace)
2. Break 20:00 for a 5k (sub 6:24 pace)
3. Break 3:20 for a marathon (sub 7:38 pace)
And as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." It will take work, but I believe my body and mind are capable of running these times.
In the past week, I have experienced a bomb and a flood. I'm currently waiting for a tornado to happen to complete the trifecta.
Considering all things, I thought I handled the Boston Marathon bomb quite well. This is mostly because I didn't hear it go off, and was 1/2 mile from the finish line. Plus, my parents were in Boston with me. They could handle the logistics of getting back to the hotel while I hobbled down the streets of Boston after them trying to find our way to the bus station. Luckily, my mom and I flew back to Chicago on Tuesday before American had all of their problems. I was emotionally and physically exhausted from the race and the chaotic aftermath, but dealt with it quite well.
Then, on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, we had torrential downpours in Chicagoland. My school was cancelled on Thursday and Friday, which provided me with a nice break to regroup. Although, I couldn't, because where I live was flooded. Water was all over the floors, and I had to leave. Luckily, I have some great friends that have helped me out. But, after a while I personally feel like I am a burden. Therefore, I stayed 2 nights in a hotel. However, I couldn't take it anymore. Tomorrow night I've decided to reside with friends again.
Unfortunately, I have not handled this event as well as the bombings. On Saturday I cried 4 times. On Monday I get to see my endocrinologist. I think it is safe to assume I'll shed some tears in his office.
I realize that temporary living somewhere is not the end of the world. But it is incredibly inconvenient and causes more stress in my life. Right now, I need peace and not stress.
The good thing is that after this week, things can only get better. Unless, of course, the tornado actually does come.
I got up at the early hour of 4 AM to get ready for the Boston Marathon. After getting lots of glorious sleep on Friday and Saturday night, I didn't sleep much at all Sunday night. All kinds of negative thoughts kept swirling around in my head, like how I wasn't in shape, would have to walk the final 3 miles to the finish, tripping during the race....Not the best thoughts pre-race, but especially pre-marathon.
Outfit I decided to wear. I started the race with 2 pink gloves and not 1... I don't think I'm Michael Jackson.
I decided what to wear that morning, got everything together, and got into a cab with my parents so we could go to the hotel to catch the CARA charter bus. A friend that does track with me sat by me and in back of us was my friend that I would be running the race with and her boyfriend. The bus left a few minutes late, but we made it to Hopkinton in plenty of time.
I was supposed to start the race in 2/4, but moved back to 2/7 to run with my friend. We decided a few months ago that we were going to run the race for fun, and not race it. Getting to Boston was the challenging part, so our goal was to enjoy every moment of the 26.2 miles.
My brother, who ran Boston 3 times, told me what to expect: 13 miles of gently rolling hills followed by 3 heartbreak hills and 5 miles of downhills. This helped a lot, as most people say the first half is all downhill. Really, the first hill is at mile 1.75.
We started running and I shed my throw-away gloves at mile 3 because I started to get warm. By mile 6, I was hot. I took off my arm warmers and my friend weaved them through my tank top. They stayed there until mile 17, when we saw my parents. We briefly stopped to talk to them. I gave them my arm warmers and my mom gave me some GU packets. We continued on our way, and then mile 19 happened. I was already incredibly hot by this point, and went was taking a cup of water and pouring it down my back in the hope that it would cool me off. However, that didn't work. At mile 19 I got cramps in my legs, and it sucked. My friend listed to me complain about them, especially knowing that THE Heartbreak Hill was rapidly approaching, knowing I wanted to walk. "You'll regret it for the rest of your life, so I won't let you," she told me.
I listed to her, and I followed her up it, at a rather slow pace. For the next few miles, my cramps would come and go. By mile 21, I had to use the bathroom. My friend and I did 99% of our long runs together, and as most runners know, talking about poop is not odd. And although I really needed to use the bathroom, there was no way that my will would let me stop, nor would I poop my pants. We talked about other things instead. Rather, my friend did most of the talking this part of the race.
When we saw the 40k sign, I knew the end was close. The crowds had been awesome the entire time, and although I was in pain, I didn't really want it to be done. We concluded the marathon by running a 6:59 pace for the last 0.4 miles. And just like that, 3 hours and 46 minutes after we started the journey in Hopkinton, the Boston Marathon was over.
This may have been my slowest marathon, but it is the one that I am the proudest of. The course was the toughest. My legs were just not feeling it. But sharing the experience with one of my best friends will be something I will never forget. Running by thousands of fans was amazing. Boston definitely does live up to what everyone says about it. I don't know when, but I'll be back to make another 26.2 mile journey here again.
Over the past 5 days, I have felt such a wide array of emotions. It was a weekend filled with excitement, nervousness, celebration, triumph, and tragedy. However, after returning home to Chicago today, the emotion that resonates the most is that of love. Luckily, I was already across the finish line and on my way to the family reunion area when the bombs went off. I didn't know what was going on, which is probably for the best. It wasn't until a man at the restaurant i was at told us about the finish line that I really realized what was happening. But, I was by my parents, and my sister was texting me like mad. Cell phone service was sketchy, and I would end up getting numerous text messages all at once and then not have service for the next 10 minutes. Getting back to our hotel was another adventure, one that I felt scared during. However, I am amazed of all of the love that was shown in Boston.
The love was shown in ways both big and small, by those that I know very well and those who I don't know at all. From a guy in my running group making sure everyone from the group that was running was safe to my sister doing everything she could from the west coast to texts and messages and emails from friends and family.
This was a special weekend, one that was designed around a race. But running the race was the least important detail in the end. This weekend showed me the various ways that love manifests itself in the world today, especially in the wake of such a horrific act.
A few weeks ago, my mom asked me if I wanted to go to yoga with her. I was surprised at this question because although my mom exercises, never has she had any interest in doing it with me. I planned on visiting my parents and grandparents for part of my spring break, so she knew I would be home around that time anyway. I do believe she was even more surprised when I said yes, I would join her.
Keep in mind that my yoga experience is incredibly limited. Back in 2011 when I was training for the Chicago Marathon I went to yoga a few times the day of my long run to help with stretching. Since then, I have been to one class. Yoga and me just aren't compatible...I am not flexible, have a hard time being still, and like to move fast. I could care less about how I breathe, while that is a main component of yoga. Can you see why I haven't been back in over a year?
When my mom and I got to class, it was pretty much how my mom described it, with the average age of the person in then class being about 65. My mom also told me that I could not sit by her for fear of laughing. I am proud to report that I made it the entire session without laughing out loud.
When I went to other yoga classes, I always felt (more or less) like the outsider with being so inflexible. However, today, I fit right in. Granted, we didn't do a whole lot of movements/exercises/poses (whatever they're called), but what we did do, I was able to do, which made me feel good.
The moral of this story is that if I plan on going to yoga again, I think it would be best to find a geriatric class, which is obviously better suited to my ability level.