Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stair Master Workout

Today was a semi-cross-training day for me. I ran 3 miles and stopped because my stomach hurt, so I hopped on the stair master instead. That machine makes me sweat so much. Is that the case for you? I am not a total sweaty person like some people, but when I got on that machine after running 3 miles I started to drip. Seriously. I lost an incredible amount of sweat in 25 minutes. It amazes me how good of a workout the stair master is - my legs are tired right now. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 51 degrees and rainy, but I can't wait to run outside. I plan on doing some type of long run..not sure on how many miles, I think it will just depend how I feel once I get going. I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2010. It has been a great year for of my life. I'm hoping the same for 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Running

I've learned this year that I really like to run outside, however, running outside in the winter provides some challenges. A few days ago I ran while visiting my parents. The city they live in has had a ridiculous 28 inches of snow in December - it is everywhere. Some people do a really good job at shoveling off their sidewalks, while others do not touch them. The ladder is a problem when running, especially on hills.

My goal was to do a solid 8 miles around an 8-minute/mile pace. This would have been totally do-able on the treadmill, but I wanted the fresh air and to put my garmin to good use. I set out running and wanted to get to a flat, main road in their city. I realized that the hilly road that leads to the main road has sidewalks that rotate sides - not one that goes all the way up and down. After running down and up a huge hill, I realized that the sidewalk ended and I needed to turn around. I crossed the street and cut through another neighborhood to get to the main street. I was happy to get there and new that I would be on relatively flat land for a while.

What I did not anticipate was the amount of ice, snow, and slush I would have to run through on my run. I kept have to skip and jump around the sidewalk and hurdle snowbanks when crossing streets in order to log my miles. I was constantly afraid of slipping and landing on my butt, and getting hurt by twisting an ankle or something. After 4 miles I headed back since it was close to dusk. I went through a different neighborhood that was even quicker and ended my 7-mile (unfortunately) run in 59 minutes, happy that I did not get injured.

When I woke up the next day and even today, I am sore. My ankles and knees are sore from running on a weird surface and having to do hurdles. I've gone back to the treadmill for the past 2 days, but plan on running outside tomorrow and for sure on Friday. It is supposed to be 51 - heat wave!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season for High Blood Sugars

I love Christmas. I love spending time with my family, getting dressed up in ugly sweaters, listening to Christmas music, seeing lights outside, and eating an abundant amount of cookies. However, with my cookie-cravings come high blood sugars. I know I am a very picky eater - I don't like a lot of food, but cookies are something I love. Therefore, when they are everywhere I have a hard time staying away from them. Cake and pie I could care less about and won't touch, but when I see cookies it is a different story.

I am going to try to limit my cookie intake to 1 per meal this year. When I type this it sounds like I am a glutton, but if I only eat 2 cookies per day my blood sugars should be better...I hope. Imagine going to your house to find 10 different kinds of delicious cookies waiting for you to consume them...limiting yourself would be hard, right? Maybe I just need some more will power this holiday season.

Although I've been having high blood sugars, they tend to come down quickly because I've been exercising a lot lately. This week I've logged some major mileage and it has felt good. My times have been good for me which is nice because I didn't think I was in that great of shape. It is always nice to start the year off on the right foot.

Speaking of cookies, do you have a favorite? I love peanut butter and my mom makes these cookies with peanut butter dough and then a peanut butter cup in the center of them. Happy holidays and I hope your blood sugar is going better than mine!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Schedule

What is your day typically like? Here is how I normally function on a day where I am teaching. However, today I am not abiding by this schedule since I am winter vacation (yay!!!).

5:03: Alarm #1 goes off. I wake up but continue to lay in bed, trying to decide what time I should get up out of bed for the day.

5:11: Alarm #2 goes off and I hit snooze, knowing that I need more sleep.

5:31: Alarm goes off again. This time I actually get out of bed and turn it off, realizing I need to get going or else I'll be late to school. I then make coffee and get in the shower.

5:31-6:40: Shower, drink coffee, attempt to wake up, do my hair, pack my bag for the gym, pack my lunch, and eat breakfast.

6:45 - 7:05: Drive to school. Think about everything that must get done.

7:05 - 7:30: Get things ready in my classroom for the school day, check school email, grade some papers.

7:30-2:30: Teach.

2:30 - 5:00: Grade papers, projects, homework, tests, plan lessons, organize other school-related things.

5:00 - 7:30: Work out, stretch, run and lift, depending on the day.

7:30 - 8:00: Drive home.

8:00 - 8:30: Dinner. Sometimes I go out with friends which means that I either don't eat if I'm not hungry or I take a snack to eat. And I go to bed a lot later.

8:30 - 9:00: Check email, read blogs, etc.

9:00 - 10:15: Do all other random things that need to get done.

10:30: In bed, hopefully sleeping.

What is your day like?

Looking Ahead to 2011...

Are you a goal-setter? I feel like I am always setting and re-setting goals in all areas of my life. With the new year just around the corner, I've made some goals. Here are a few of my goals, which, of course, I hope to accomplish all of them being the perfectionist that I am.

A few 2011 Goals:
  • Run a marathon! This will be the year I will run a marathon. My current plan is to run the Chicago Marathon in October.
  • Run 2 half marathons. I want to run a spring half somewhere to keep me motivated during the winter. Also, I want to run the Quad Cities half again this year. I loved that race and want to do it again.
  • PR. It is wonderful to run and I'm always happy to cross the finish line, but there is something special when I PR. I know I have the ability to PR in a 10k for sure, and am hoping for the same for 5k. I am going to run a St. Patrick's Day 5k so I'm thinking that might be the ideal time. I see speed work in my future this winter. I'd also like to PR in the half, and getting below 1:42 would be ideal.
  • Get more sleep. I've not gotten nearly as much sleep as I should be getting, especially in the past 2 months. I need to go to bed earlier so I can function better during the day. I need to make sleeping a priority.
  • Read, read, read. This summer I read 18 books, but since I've only read 3. I love to read but have not had a lot of time for it lately (see above: get more sleep). I'd like to read 2 books per month in 2011.
  • Appreciate the little things. Sometimes I feel too busy that I don't appreciate all that I have or the things that people do for me.
  • Run with others. On Sunday I ran 11 miles with a friend of mine who is training for a marathon. I can't remember the last time I ran with someone else - probably high school. The miles went by so quickly when running with him.
  • Don't have regrets. Pretty self-explanatory.

Do you have any goals for 2o11?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Training with Friends

One of my friends is currently training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. Actually, two of my friends are running it (more to come later). Friend "A" plans on doing a full Ironman in May, so this is part of his training for that. He's natuarlly a cycler, so running isn't his number 1 passion. I've been talking to him about training for awhile now and I'm going to go on part of his 20-mile run on Sunday. As of right now, we are going skiing Saturday, driving back on Sunday, and then running later in the day. I have a feeling I might be a little tired...

I feel like it is hard to find someone to train with me. I run fairly fast, and faster than all of my female friends that run. I also log many more miles than the majority of my friends. Finding someone who runs close to the same pace and has the same distance goals in mind is hard. Do you run with a partner? Do you have similar abilities, or how do you make up for your differences? I'm excited that I'll be running with "Friend A" because his training runs have been about 8-minute/mile pace, which is just a tad slower than what I currently run. I'll be meeting him at his halfway point and then log 10 miles together. I don't remember the last time I ran with someone...should be an interesting change.

Now, my other friend running this marathon - "Friend B" - has a different approach, one might say. He's run a few other marathons (2 I believe), and doesn't think he needs much training to run them. I asked him yesterday how many miles he is up to and he said 8. I wanted to say that I am not even training for anything right now and am passed that! Aren't you worried?!??! I would be having major panic attacks if I was in that situation. So I asked him his goal pace, which he told me was 8:30/mile. I wanted to say WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Is it possible to run that fast of a split with sooooo little training. It's not like he bikes or anything, either. I'm a little concerned.

Do you have crazy friends, too?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A New Sport

This weekend I'll be going skiing with a group of friends. I've never been skiing in my life and am both excited and nervous. Growing up, my parents always wanted me to be healthy. I played AAU travel basketball the majority of the year, starting in 4th grade, and they did not want me to get hurt. Even in college, after my basketball-playing days were over, I never had the desire to ski. I am always cold, and being in the cold just does not appeal to me. However, my friends were going and wanted me to come, so I decided I should.

Although I love to try things, especially sports, that I've never done before, I typically get those nervous butterflies in my stomach. First, I'm nervous about my pump. Running is easy - I just keep my pump clipped to my running shorts/tights/pants and it is fine. However, with skiing there is the risk that I am going to fall down. I'm 100% positive I'll be falling a lot on Saturday. What about my pump? Will it be okay? I sure hope so. I plan on bringing my back-up pump in case something major happens, but I'm crossing my fingers that nothing will.

And then there is the whole blood sugar issue. Do you burn many calories while skiing? I'm wondering if I should plan on it being like biking, or more like a slow jog day? I'm not sure at all. What do you do?

We've gotten a ton of snow so far for December, which should be good for skiing, if they got as much in Wisconsin that we did in Illinois. In the meantime, I'll try to stay warm.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I knew it would happen sometime. This morning I woke up with a runny nose, massive headache, and a high blood sugar to greet me. My blood sugars were running abnormally high the past few days and I thought I might be getting sick, but hoped not. However, I typically get sick every winter at least once without fail. Hopefully I can get some major sleep this weekend to cure myself of this never-ending nose-dripping cold. Maybe going out to the bar last night until 11 wasn't such a good idea...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Meme: First One Ever

This weekend felt non-stop and the trend has continued into this week. Due to being tired, I decided that it was time for me to complete my first meme on my blog. You probably know a lot about my running and some about my diabetes...but now you get to learn more. (don't you feel honored? just kidding). My meme was stolen from Allison's blog.

1. What do you order at Starbucks? It really depends on my mood. I like their Thanksgiving and Christmas blend coffee a lot, so I usually just stick to that. Sometimes I go for a Skinny Vanilla Latte, but only on the rare occasion. I do love Starbucks!

2. Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast? Does my house count? I am not a morning person and would rather sleep than eat any day of the week. However, breakfast is my favorite meal. I like weekend mornings when I can leisurely eat my breakfast in my pajamas while doing mindless things, like going online. However, if I had to pick a favorite restaurant, it is a tie between the Athenian Grill (in Iowa) and Egg Harbor (in Illinois).

3. Are you on Twitter? Why or why not? No, and I never will be. I am against it because I don't think a person needs to share everything about what they are doing with the world. I have better things to do than post on it and read about everyone else. Twitter = waste of time in my opinion.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas. I love it and watch it every year with my mom and sister. We can all quote it word or word.

5. Are you a good gift giver? No, I'm not, and I know it. I over think about the person I am buying the gift for and have a hard time making decisions. Good thing that we make Christmas lists in my family so there is no need to come up with anything on my own. (I recently learned that many people have never heard of families doing this - does yours? I've never known a different way.)

6. Do you like your handwriting? Yes, I like my handwriting when I write slowly. I think it is pretty good, and very "teachery" as I've been told.

7. Is your signature legible? Sort of. I have a long first and last name so the first part looks like it and then the end just kind-of trails off.

8. Have you ever been to New York during Christmas season? No. I've never been to New York City at all, but want to go some day.

9. Are there any items that you are completely brand loyal? Unfortunately, yes. For running shoes I only wear Saucony. I'm a big fan of The North Face, Nike clothes, Polo, J.Crew, the Limited, Vera Bradley, and more. I need to get over this habit.

10. Who is your favorite public speaker? I don't really have one. I'd rather read a book than hear a speech.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

True to Myself

Do you remember being in middle and high school and following the crowd? Maybe you were strong and did not ever do that, but I did occasionally. I'm an introvert and like to please people, so sometimes it was just easier to go along with the group than say what I really wanted or felt. I know I still sometimes do this, but just because I like to get along with people. I don't like having people not like me. For example, if I read a post on a blog that I don't agree with, I don't need to write it out. I can just think it instead.

This year I've become much more true to myself. If I don't want to do something while around people, I don't. If I do want to do something while around others, I do. I feel that the results of living my life this way have been incredibly beneficial. I've had a pretty good last 5 months of 2010, and December isn't even over yet. I love my friends, have a wonderful class this year, have run well, and just overall really enjoy life. I do what I want to do, and act how I want to act. It is a freeing feeling. I'm living for me, having complete control over what I do, and love it. Now that I type that, it sounds very self-centered and egocentric. Although I'm focusing on being true to myself, I still make room for others, and gladly. Being true to myself has made me less introverted. It has allowed me to love my life, and for that I am grateful.

Are you true to yourself? What benefits have you reaped from being true to yourself?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Taking it Light Before Revving it Up

I originally to take it light in mid-November and December as far as mileage is concerned before starting to log some major miles after the first of the year. I've stuck to it...not really logging anything longer than 5 miles for the past week. However, today hit and I had the urge to run something longer. I wanted to run for longer than 40 minutes, so I ran 7.5 miles and it felt wonderful. My body felt pretty good as well. I had some hamstring issues around mile 6, but they worked themselves out so I felt pretty good when I finished. I didn't push myself hard and ended up finishing in 1 hour and just under 30 seconds, which I was quite pleased with. Tomorrow I haven't decided if I'll do 5 miles or less, or some type of cross training, or take the day off completely. It all depends how I feel and what I feel like doing.

Are you taking it easy as far as running goes in December? Or are you training for something? There are not a ton of races around here in the winter, so December is a good month to relax.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome, December

I love the month of December for a multitude of reasons. Below are my top 10 reasons why I love the last month of the year.

  1. The first snow typically falls in December. Today was the first day it snowed here and it was beautiful. I love seeing snow fall.
  2. Since it is the last month, I always reflect on the past year. It helps me remind myself of both the good and bad things that have happened, and allows me to set goals for the next year.
  3. Christmas! I love seeing my family during the holiday.
  4. Christmas cookies. I don't like a ton of desserts, but cookies are by far and away my favorite. Don't you just love the peanut butter flavored dough cups with the miniature peanut butter cup in it?
  5. Giving presents to people. I would much rather give a present than receive one.
  6. Shopping for the presents I am going to give to people. My family is very diverse in terms of what we are interested it, which makes for a variety of shopping stops.
  7. My birthday. This year I'll turn one year older...26 here I come!
  8. Christmas vacation at school. I love my students, but it is nice to get a break from them and relax for a bit.
  9. Christmas music. My personal favorite is Christmas in Killarny by Bing Crosby. I bet you have not ever heard it before, right?
  10. It gives me great joy and hope to look ahead to another year, not knowing what experiences I'll have or be transformed by.
Why do you love December?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Favorite Race of 2010

2010 is coming to an end rather quickly. Tomorrow, or rather in a few short hours, it will be December 1, and the last month of the year always flies by. A few weeks ago I thought I had one, or two, stress fractures. I went to the doctor yesterday who said that I don't have any (yay!), but rather sometimes my legs need a break is more like it. Pretty much: I need to do more cross-training.

Today during my nice 5 mile run I thought about all the races I ran in the past year. I did not do a single race from June 2009 - May 2010 - a whole year off of racing. Part of that was due to being injured (stress fracture), but another major factor was the fact that I moved to a new state. I noticed when I moved from Minnesota to Ohio after college I did not do any races for a year as well. habitual lifestyle carries over into all areas of my life!

This summer and fall I've run a variety of races - 7 to be exact. The most amazing thing was that they were all different distances - the shortest was 5k to a half marathon. I PR'd in 6 out of the 7, the only non-pr being my half. However, I was able to PR because of the randomness of the distances, not because I ran that well for some of them.

For the "I cannot believe I finished this race" award goes....the Bix 7 mile race. This race was in mid-July and it poured for the entire race. On top of that, only a few weeks before the race I found out I am anemic and my iron was so low my doctor was surprised I could even run. All 7 miles were on hills, which is especially tiring if you have a low energy supply to begin with. I ended up running sub-9 minute miles and was so proud of myself. Next year I will conquer the hills!

For the "I can't wait to sign up for this race again" award goes....the MC200. It is so different being on a relay team for a race. Although the weather was not favorable for my 3 legs of the race, I still had a good time and was glad to do it. If you run this race be sure to breathe in the fresh air before you run along the country roads of Wisconsin.

Lastly, the "my favorite race of 2010" award goes to....the Quad Cities Half Marathon. I love the distance of the half and it suits me well. Granted, I've never run a full so I don't' have anything to compare it to, but I just really like the half. The course at QC was flat as a pancake. It was nice to have my uncle sign up for the race with me, have my cousin working an aid station, and my parents, brother, his friends, aunt, and cousin supporting me. Even though I didn't PR, I still had a great time and would go back in a heartbeat.

Looking ahead to 2011, I have a couple races planned that I'll be posting about shortly.

What was your favorite race of 2010? Are you a nerd like me and give awards to the races you've run?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Running Through a Winter Wonderland

I was so excited for Thanksgiving to come because it meant a little break for me. I love breaks and vacations, even if they are little ones. As with most major holidays, I packed my bags and headed for my home state of Iowa to celebrate with family.

Thanksgiving went well and although I don't eat the majority of what everyone else eats (turkey, dressing, gravy, pie, corn) because I am a picky vegetarian, I did enjoy a nice salad my mom made especially for me along with some fresh fruit and a couple sugar cookies. It is okay to break your normal eating habits every now and then, right?

There was a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, but I decided not to run it because I am not sure what is going on with my leg. I was going through running withdrawal earlier this week and decided to go for a short run on Thanksgiving. I ran 5 miles and it felt wonderful. I know I say this a lot, but running makes me feel so alive, even if it was 2-degrees with the windchill.

Today I wanted to see how my leg felt again, so I ran after dusk for a short 3 miles. I didn't have any pain, either, which i was happy about. Although there is not any snow on the ground right now, it was still cold outside. The neighborhood where I run when I'm visiting my parents had many Christmas decorations on display. I actually ran by a park where they had a huge light display set up that you drive through in your car. It felt like I was running through a winter wonderland.

I hope you Thanksgiving was nice as well!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Sound of Diabetes

I've had an insulin pump for almost 5 years now and although I have not had the same model, as I got a new one 2 years ago, not much has changed. I've always had a clear one, although I've always wanted a purple one. (Random fact: I love, love, love the color purple. But, I realized it was not practical to get a purple pump because what if it is out and I am wearing black, or blue, or orange? It would not go at all, which is why I got clear) Over the course of 5 years, I have always had my pump on vibrate.

When I first got my pump I thought if I had my pump on sound beeps rather than vibrate mode I would draw attention to myself. Therefore, I set it up so it would vibrate and have never changed it. The only time my pump beeps at me is when there is a low battery. I am aware of that noise, especially since it is the only noise that comes from my pump.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I"m teacher. Today during my first period class (literature), I heard the pump low battery sound. I was standing in front of the class and checked my pump; however, my battery icon was full. I thought I might be hearing things, so I continued to teach. Then again, 5 minutes later, I heard the same noise. I have a girl that has diabetes in my class, so I wondered if she was beeping for some reason. She is good about testing her blood sugar when need be, so I just let it go, especially since she looked just fine.

A few minutes later the students were watching a short video clip on WWII, when my student with diabetes came up to be and said, "my pump warning is going off. It says I have a low battery." I asked her if she had a spare with her supplies, but she did not. I got one out of my purse for her, along with a coin to undo the battery cap. She couldn't get the batter lip undone, so I did it for her. The new battery was in and no more beeping was heard throughout the day.

Sometimes it is nice to know that someone has the same things you need in case you run out. I am glad I had what my student needed.

Were you ever in a random place and needed something that someone else had?

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Can you believe that Thursday is Thanksgiving? The older I get, the faster times goes. I can remember being young, when the years go slowly, thinking that is just how the world works. However, my parents always said the older you get, the faster time goes. It seems like a couple days ago that the new school year started, but really, I've been with my students for 3 months.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that does not get much attention. It seems as though we move from Halloween to Christmas and just totally skip this holiday. I enjoy Thanksgiving for a few reasons. First, it provides a nice break from teaching (3 days off = wonderful!). I also get to spend time with my family, which I love to do. I'll be driving to my parent's home and my some of my mom's siblings and grandma are coming to their house on Thursday. It will be nice to see my extended family, especially my uncle who ran the Quad Cities half with me. I'm sure the trash-talking will be in full swing, especially since he is trying to qualify for Boston next year (2012). Finally, I like Thanksgiving because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on everything in my life I have to be thankful for. I know I have been blessed throughout my life, from having wonderful friends and family to having a job I love, just to name a few.

What are you thankful for? Do you think Thanksgiving should get more attention, instead of being skipped over?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Elliptical is my Best Friend

If I repeat the phrase, "The elliptical is my best friend" enough times, will it come true? I didn't count how many times I said it today in my hour-long stint on the machine, but I think I might have set a world record.

Last week I ran a lot of miles and after a nice 8.5 mile run on Tuesday, my left leg hurt in 2 specific spots. I thought I might have a stress fracture since the early fall, but my sports medicine doctor said no. I was 95% certain that when I work up on Wednesday morning I had one, if not two. (picture me crying now) I thought that maybe the pain would magically disappear as the day progressed yesterday, but it didn't happen. Today the pain is definitely less, but still there. Therefore, when I went to work out, I could not even look at the treadmills. I headed straight to the elliptical.

I don't know what it is about the machine, but I just find it boring beyond belief. I know some people feel this way about a treadmill, although I don't mind it. Going into my workout today, which I knew was going to be at least an hour on the elliptical, I decided to engage in positive self-talk, stating numerous times over and over again while watching Wheel of Fortune that the elliptical and I were friends. Good friends. Best friends. Over and over and over again. It helped, as anything goes better if you have the right attitude, but it still wasn't the best. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to stay on the machine longer and have a better workout.

I decided not to call the doctor because I'm going back in a week and a half. Do you think this is the right choice? If my leg feels better and I don't have any pain tomorrow or this weekend, would you risk running on it? It is hard, because I love running, but don't want to hurt my body more.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day

Today, November 14, is World Diabetes Day. I feel like it is ironic that I have been making correction and after correction today, trying to get my blood sugar below 170. Oh well, sometimes these days will happen. Luckily, it is not the norm for me. Hopefully you are having a better blood-sugar day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A few days ago my friends and I were discussing the concept of time. There are many different types of time: work time, sleeping time, and leisure time. The main question that was brought up again and again was: "is my leisure time quality time?"

I had to stop and think about this for awhile. In my opinion, any hours not spent working (for me, teaching or doing school-related things) or sleeping is essentially leisure time because I get to decide how I want to spend it. It is my choice to do what I want. Some activities that occupy my leisure time are running, reading books, reading blogs, hanging out with friends, talking on the phone, driving, and wasting time on facebook. Am I using my free time in a good way? In many ways, I think yes, but then there is always room for improvement.

Running is a very important part of my life. I spend a lot of time working out, stretching, running, or doing other exercise-related things everyday. I spend a lot of time doing it, but I think the return I get from exercising benefits me in all other areas of my life. I've blogged about how running brings me happiness, which flows into the other areas of my life. This part of my leisure time is quality time indeed.

Reading novels and blogs is also quality leisure time in my eyes. Every time I read I learn something new - whether it is something I've never heard of before, or just realizing a different opinion on a topic that makes me analyze how I think about something. Back when blogs started, I was opposed to them, thinking that it was a waste of time to write one or read one. But, my opinion has greatly changed. I have learned so much from other people who blog and have found much of the advice that other people leave for me useful. There are some blogs that I enjoy and learn more from than others, but each blog offers something unique.

The other parts of my leisure time are often spent driving and on other Internet sites, such as facebook. Driving is necessary and can be both quality or a poor use of time. Sometimes I enjoy driving because I get to think about things and just let my mind wander. However, I feel like I drive a fair amount, but this is a choice I made. I decided to live in a different suburb than where I teach, thus making my commute longer to work. However, I love where I live. There are pros and cons to everything. It would be a better use of my time to live in the same suburb, but then I wouldn't get to live where I want to live.

Lastly, I think everyone pretty much has one thing that they do that is not quality leisure time. This could be watching TV, which is true for many people I know. My downfall is facebook. I don't go on the website a ton, but I find it interesting. I like to know what my friends from high school and college are up to since I don't live by the majority of them anymore. However, the problem happens when I get hooked on looking at their photo albums. I think I could spend hours just looking at pictures on facebook, which is not time well spent. However, I think it is important to have some time in my day that I can just do something minimal, like look at facebook. It is part of my life and although it is not quality time, I don't intend to give it up. I could cut back a little, but not totally.

In general, I am happy with how I spend my leisure time. I think it is pretty quality time.

How do you spend your leisure time? Is it quality time?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Six Things about the Betes

As many people know, November is National Diabetes Month. Today is the 6th annual Diabetes blog day, where people are supposed to blog about things we want you, and the rest of the world, to know about diabetes.

1. It is just fine if I eat sweet things. I feel like this common stereotype often comes up when people find out i have diabetes and am eating dessert. Guess what? I like cookies and eat them regularly. They are also very good when treating a low blood sugar.

2. I am a person, not a disease. When I was younger someone once told me I could not do something because I had diabetes. I am stronger than diabetes and have accomplished a lot in my life with it. Yes, diabetes is part of my life but it does not control what I do. I control it, not the other way around. If I want to do something, I do it. I'm a pretty determined person.

3. Diabetes does not define me. This goes along with #2, but when I think of myself, my first thought it not 'diabetic.' I feel that runner, daughter, sister, athlete, and teacher describe me more than diabetic.

4. An insulin pump is an insulin pump, not a camera, ipod, pager, or other technological device. It is necessary for me to live and has greatly helped me live a better life. Deciding to use an insulin pump instead of shots was the best diabetes-decision I've ever made and never look back.

5. Some people with diabetes are skinny. I feel like a lot of people think that all people with diabetes are large. My BM is 19.0, which is far from overweight or obese.

6. Diabetes not only is part of my life, but also the life of my family. Growing up my mom and dad cared for me, especially my mom. She was my walking pancreas when I was in elementary school. I know that my parents always worry about me since I have diabetes because it can my/your life if things go wrong, but I am determined not to let that happen.

Every year around this time I am astonished that I made it another year living with diabetes. It has been 21 years since I've been diagnosed and know I can live with it for another 21 years. Not that I want to live with diabetes for that many more years, but I don't think a cure is that close. However, I can always hope for one.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The Hot Chocolate 15k wrapped up my race calendar for 2010, and I could not have asked to end it on a sweeter note. This race was by far and away my best of the year. Although not everything went according to plan, the end result was great.

The race temperature was an incredibly cold 30-degrees, which caused major stress on my psyche trying to decide what to wear. I ended up over-dressing and threw my gloves away at mile 6 to get some ventilation. However, the biggest conundrum was that my Garmin stopped working on the way to the race. I thought I was doing to die, but then realized that it is not like I've always had it. I have run the majority of my races without it, and so this will just be another. (Side note: it is now functioning.)

The race was crowded, but I managed to get into starting corral B. This was wonderful!!! I got to start near the front, which benefited me later in the race. The race went well, and I really don't have a whole lot to report. The post race party was delicious and I consumed a fair amount of chocolate. Below you can find my stats:

Distance: 15k
Chip time: 1:12.04
Pace: 7:44/mile
10k time: 47:28
Overall Place: 843/12,356 (top 7%)
Gender Place: 215/8/150 (top 3%)
Age Group Place: 65/2,272 (top 3%)

I am glad this race ended well. It gives me more motivation for the upcoming year, and helps me set some more goals for myself.

Are you done racing for the year? How did your last race go?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am racing on Saturday and have never felt more unprepared for a race in my life. Training for my 15k was hard because it is an awkward distance, I've never run one before, I have been trying to get healthy, and have 5 million other things going on in my life. My race mix has not been made, my outfit has not been picked out, and I'm majorly lacking in the sleep department. But...

I am still excited to race. I think if you are excited to do anything, no matter the circumstances, you truly love it. I love running, and am excited to go out there and hit the pavement for 1+ hours on Saturday morning in the freezing cold temperatures (forecast is 33-degrees = chilly!!).

I know I'll be even more excited tomorrow after attending the race expo. I don't know about you, but I love race expos. I like to see all of the stuff they have to offer and see all of the runners - veteran and newbies alike - milling around.

I do have one question that I don't know the answer to. I've been assigned to starting corral B. On the website it gives no information about starting corrals and google does not turn up any valuable information. I plan on asking how the corrals were picked at the race expo. If I've been put with the slower people I'll kindly request to be moved up. If I'm in a faster corral, that is great, I'll start toward the back. I know my place and my pace. I just hope I'm in a suitable corral.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Doctor Visit, Running, and Sleepiness

Do you ever had spells where you have so much to do and since you are tired, the quality of your work suffers and takes twice as long? Welcome to the story of my week thus far.

Yesterday I went back to the sports medicine doctor. He told me that I don't have a stress fracture. I was beyond happy! I thought I might since I was feeling pain in my left leg during some runs, but he thinks it is part of my weak hamstring problem. I still have to go to physical therapy 3 times a week for the next month, but he said he could already see some improvement. I am feeling better when I run, too. Hopefully this trend continues.

Yesterday I ran 7.5 miles and lifted weights and today I logged 9.5 miles in preparation for my 15k race on Saturday. My running times have been pretty slow the past couple days. I am tired and not getting the amount of sleep I need at night, which is effecting my running. Tonight I plan on going to bed as soon as I'm done posting. I want to be well rested for my race on Saturday. Plus, in addition to running in Chicago Saturday morning, my mom and I are going to see a play Saturday night. I want to be well rested and enjoy our time together. I love it when my mom visits.

Do you notice you don't run as strong when you do not get enough sleep? With that being said, I'm off to bed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Memorable Halloween

Halloween was tons of fun this year. It was quite a celebration! We went into Chicago to Wrigleyville to some bars and had a wonderful time. I ended up being a zumba instructor. I even carried around zumba shaker hand weights all nights. Note: the weight in the picture is a shake weight. We met a guy on the train who had one, so of course I had to give it a try). I even met Richard Simmons at the bar. He tried to show me how to stretch and put his leg on the bar stool. However, he fell over. I felt bad laughing but it was funny. It was a late night but here is a picture so you can see my wonderful outfit. I actually wore sunglasses, like the smiley face. I also wore neon green, orange, and pink striped high socks to compliment my outfit. I felt like a glow bracelet.

How was your Halloween?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

21 Years Ago Today...

my mom took me to the doctor's office and was told that I had diabetes. My mom always tells me she knew something was wrong when I drank 2 glasses of milk before dinner eat night when I did not even like milk. Even though it was Halloween, I got to trick-or-treat. The next day I went to the U of I hospitals and clinics for 1 week. I don't' really remember too much of it, except that one day I got to make a little pizza and my parents told me I could not have it so I gave it to my dad to eat. Later, they found out I could have it and apologized multiple times.

I never liked Halloween growing up due to the fact it was when I was diagnosed. However, this year I decided to celebrate. It is just another day. Just because I was diagnosed on Halloween does not mean I must mourn all day. In honor of that, I went out and had a fabulous time this weekend. Lack of sleep doubled with dancing all night made for a rather tiresome day, but it was worthwhile. Halloween this year was memorable. (more on this later in the week)

Here are 21 things I have learned in 21 years of living with diabetes...
  1. Although I have diabetes, it does not dictate how I live my life.
  2. Unlike what the general public assumes, sweets will not kill me. The public often assumes wrong when it comes to type 1 diabetes.
  3. Transition from shots to an insulin pump was something I dreaded at first, but am so glad I ended up doing.
  4. Good doctors are a god-send.
  5. The online community is supportive. Reading blogs is something I never imagined myself doing, but now cannot imagine not doing it.
  6. I am stronger than I think I am.
  7. My fingers will always have dots on them, and that is okay. Sometimes other finger sticks will bleed to create random designs when I am checking my blood sugar. My favorite is the face. : -
  8. I've made so many mistakes with my diabetes, but have learned from each one. They have each made me a stronger person. (see #6)
  9. If a guy can't accept the fact that I have diabetes, he is a jerk.
  10. Being thankful that I am alive, healthy, and with no complications is something I hope will continue.
  11. Running helps me manage my diabetes better.
  12. Other sports do crazy things to my blood sugar.
  13. I love my meter, although it may be old school.
  14. Tucking my tubing in to pockets is necessary so my site does not get ripped out by a door, which has happened a number of times.
  15. People often think an insulin pump is not an insulin pump, but rather an ipod or camera. Don't you like to take pictures of your legs?
  16. Consistency is key to my management.
  17. Having a schedule and sticking to it help me manage my life and diabetes better
  18. People will always doubt what I am capable of if they only see a diseases, not a person.
  19. Support is key, no matter who it comes from.
  20. D-anniversaries should be celebrated, just like birthdays. It is a accomplishment to make it another year.
  21. Getting advice from others helps me take better care of myself. Thank you!

Over the past 21 years, I have heard so many times that a cure will be found for diabetes soon. That would be great, but whatever. I don't remember my life without it and think it would be weird but wonderful to transition to a life living d-free. However, I'm not sure that will ever happen. But it is always nice to hope.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Recently, I have felt like I needed more diabetes support. I like to read blog and occasionally comment, but reading something online and talking to someone face-to-face are completely different in my opinion. I went to a diabetes support group when I was younger and first diagnosed. I remember sitting at the table at the hospital with other kids. Our parents would talk to each other. I think the meeting was more support for the parents with diabetic children rather than the children.

Then, I got older and busier. I started to play sports year-round, then I moved north for college. After that I landed in Ohio, where I went to a few diabetes support group meetings and thought they were beneficial. Since moving to Illinois, i have not found a group close to where I live for adults with type 1 diabetes. There is a young adult group in Chicago that meets one time a month, which seems really neat, but it is too far for me to go to those meet-ups, especially on a weekday when i have to get up early the next day.

I can't find anything online; however, I know that that does not mean something exists. I miss talking with other people that have had diabetes for a long time. I like to learn new things and hear other perspectives. It helps me grow in my own knowledge of it and how I can become better at taking care of myself. I also miss the camaraderie.

Are there any diabetes support groups for adults near where you live? Do you go to diabetes support groups?

***Thanks for the feedback on the insulin post. I appreciate it!***

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Insulin Intake

I often wonder if I use too much insulin on a daily basis compared to other diabetics. I know every one's body is different and the activities a person participates in, such as running, effect insulin intake. Is there some sort of range that I am supposed to be in? It is a question I've never known the answer to in all of the years I've had diabetes.

I know that my activity level greatly impacts my insulin sensitivity. When I am logging more miles running then my insulin need decreases. Currently, I am averaging about 25 units a day (combining both basal and bolus totals). Sometimes I wonder if I am eating too much. Although I do not usually have a problem with over consumption, I know I eat more during training periods due to the fact that I am burning more calories. there a range for insulin intake that I should aim to be in? How many units do you average? Another other advice?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Foam Roller Magic

If you have been reading, you know that I am going to physical therapy for a knee problem which I don't really even know if it is a knee problem. My leg has been off-and-on hurting-wise, sometimes it feels more like a stress fracture while other times it is the hamstrings. It is very frustrating, not only for me, but for my therapist. He constantly asks where, if at all, it hurt when I ran and I have a different answer every time.

After 3 sessions last week that really did not do anything for me besides make me sore, which is beneficial but the pain was still there, my therapist decided to try something different today. He heated my knee first and then foam rolled it before I ran on the treadmill and did all of my stretches and exercises. The heat worked wonders and I had no pain. At the end of my therapy session I once again used the foam roller. As I sit here typing this post, I can honestly say my legs are feeling great which is wonderful since I ran 8.5 miles on my own, plus one at therapy, and walked a mile. However, I'd never be able to tell.

With this being said, I am a believer in the magic of the foam roller. I purchased one awhile ago but never used it. I will definitely start tomorrow. Plus, my foam roller is purple, which makes it that much more enjoyable to use because I love the color.

Do you own a foam roller or any other device?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Halloween is just around the corner - only 10 days away. My students are counting down the days until they can dress up and get their candy fix. Many times over the past week I've been asked what I'm going to be for Halloween. It always amazes 10-year-olds that some people do not go trick-or-treating anymore.

I used to not enjoy Halloween. When I was 4, I was diagnosed with diabetes on Halloween. It will be my 21st anniversary with diabetes this year. You can expect a post coming up on that in the next week or so. However, instead of not enjoying the holiday, this year I decided I should just embrace it and all of its festivities. I don't like to dress up in costume because it is not my personality, but this year I am going out with friends. One plans on being the Chiquita banana lady (she made her entire outfit) and another a chia pet, which I find rather bizarre. Other costumes include a knight, football player, Eskimo, and rocker.

Since I am moving this weekend (2 days away!), I don't really have time to plan anything elaborate. My friends told me I should be a runner. I told them that is not out of the ordinary, but they said I should go for it. So if you see a tall girl with a sweatband, tank top, running shorts, shoes, and ponytail in 10 days, be nice and wish me a happy day. Just treats please, no tricks.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Being Diabetic on Race Day

This summer was full of races for me. I completed many more races this year than in the past, which has taught me a lot. I ran 6 races between June and September, all of which were different lengths, ranging from a 5k to a half marathon and then the MC200, which was 21 miles, but not consecutively. I liked being able to focus on different running skills - speed work some weeks while logging distance weeks the next. Variety is the spice of life, right? The only thing I didn't get to accomplish was my marathon. There is always next year, right? (I hear that a lot now that I live by so many Cubs fans!)

Although each race was different, one thing was always the same: I came to start line as a person with diabetes. Before the races while other people were warming up, stretching, listening to music, or just goofing around, I was testing my blood sugar, analyzing how much insulin on board I had, and how the distance and my nerves woudl affect my blood sugar.

Testing my blood sugar is such an important of my pre-exercise routine. ALthough I norally run in the afternoon and races are held in teh morning, I always check. Information is key to success. On race days I wake up 3 hours before the race and eat breakfast. I do this because I do not want any active insulin in me when I race. I try to eat the same breakfast to eliminate that variable on race day as well. I test about an hour before the race, but I also like to test 30 minutes and then again before entering the starting corral or walking up to the start line, depending on the race.

Since I like to test a lot before I race, I need my meter. I do not run with my meter. I feel like it would be another thing to carry or somehow attach to me. Sometimes I already feel rather bionic with my insulin pump, ipod, and glucose tablets and don't want another device. I only rely on my body during the race, which has its ups and downs. So you might be thinking...if you don't run with your meter but test right before entering the starting corral, where is it? Luckily, I have the most caring and helpful mom in the world. She typically comes to my races and carries my purse that has everything in it - meter, extra infusion set (many fall out because I sweat a lot), Gatorade, glucose tablets, shot blocks, water, gum, and just about everything else. After the race we find each other, where I can test again.

It is wonderful to have someone accompany me to the race and hold all of my diabetes stuff. It makes my life s much easier. My mom has come with me to 3 half marathons, my dad 1 (he really did not enjoy holding my purse!), and the other 2 I had to do on my own. This summer, I had someone come with me in 3 out of the 6 races, not counting the MC200. The MC200 was a little different with the vans, so I guess it kind-of counts since my meter was always at the start of my run and finish. So, I'm 4 out of 6.

All those logistics are great...but then I always worry about my body after the race. However, I think I'll save that for another post. How do you take care of your diabetes before races?

Monday, October 18, 2010


When I was I growing up and even until recently, I used to think what people thought of me. I was always concerned with impressions and my perfectionism and trying to get everyone else to see that aspect of me. However, this year, things have changed.

I am not sure when the change happened exactly, but it was sometime this summer. Last school year was rough. I moved from Ohio to Iowa to Illinois over the summer of 2009 and was devastated when I learned I had a stress fracture and had to take time off from running. Living in Ohio was challenging because I was away from my family, friends, and the lifestyle I had known. The friends I made there were wonderful, though.

When I came to Illinois I viewed it as a chance to start over. I had made some stupid mistakes in Ohio and wanted to stop letting them bug me down. New place, new life, right? Last school year was rough, both physically and emotionally. I teach in a private school where the expectations for teachers are incredibly high. Students score in the top percentile on standardized tests and are leveled for math and reading. Even the kids in the "lowest" group in those classes are average compared to the rest of the children in the United States. But, although the kids are smart, my class was not well behaved and the parents were not the best. You always have some that are good, but the majority were not. I needed the summer more than a marathon runner needs water and Gatorade.

Although I had some health issues this summer (low iron which caused me to fore go my dream of running a fall marathon), my perspective started to change. Everyday was wonderful. I worked on things for this school year, ran, biked, did yoga, and read like crazy. I was around my friends and started to really love my life.

Is my life perfect to the outsider? Not by any means. But right now, I could not ask for a better life. I have the best class this year, have made more friends (which is much harder to do than I originally thought), and continued to run, which always brings me great happiness. Life is good and I am happy. What else could I possibly ask for?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Madness

My next race is a 15k, another new distance for me to conquer. It is called the Hot Chocolate Race and every time I go to the website I just think about how wonderful the post-race party will be. I'm excited to run this race because my mom is coming from Iowa for it, and it is my first race in Chicago. Yay! I've been thinking about how to train for a 15k a lot lately. I feel like a 10k isn't that hard since I do a lot of 5-7 mile runs normally, but 9.3 is a bit longer. Today I ran 8 wonderful pain-free miles at a 7:56 pace and then walked another one just because I felt so good about my run. Any suggestions on how my training should go? The race is on Saturday, November 6th.

I think this might be one of the busiest weeks of my life. On tap for this week:
  • 3 sessions of physical therapy (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), each lasting 1 hour
  • Moving on Saturday. Not far - just to another suburb. But I have some major packing to do.
  • First quarter ends at school, meaning report cards are due soon.
  • I'm getting observed by my principal at school.
  • Meeting friends on Wednesday (we typically do this).
  • Training for the Hot Chocolate Race

Now that I type it out, it really does not seem like that much. But, I am a person who likes routine in every aspect of my life. The majority of things on my list are not normal for me, which means I'll have to rearrange my schedule to make time for them. I know that sleep must remain a top priority for me, as I cannot function well if I'm not well-rested. Hopefully I'll make it through next weekend. Do you have a busy week?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Doctor Week

I feel like I've had my fair share of doctors this week. I went to the sports medicine doctor on Monday, who recommended physical therapy for me 3 times a week for the next 6 weeks. Although I do not consider physical therapy a conventional doctor's visit, it still gets half a tally due to the fact that I need to take time out of my day to go. Today I was not only blessed with the opportunity to go to the physical therapist for the first time, but also my endocrinologist.

When I first moved to Illinois last year I had full intentions of keeping my endocrinologist in Ohio. I loved going to him and although he was tough, he always gave good advice and helped me tremendously. However, as I lived in the Chicago suburbs longer and longer I realized I was never going to go back to Ohio for a doctor's visit so I got a new one here. I really like my new endocrinologist.

"Dr. S." is a good endocrinologist for me because he works with many other athletes. He knows how our bodies are different than the "normal person" and how our activities influence our blood sugars. Today was a routine check-up and went well. He looked at my numbers, told me I should take a little less insulin in the early night, and said I was doing better than I was in the summer. In the summer I had a lot of low blood sugars, but he was pleased with my progress. My A1C was 5.8, a number I was happy with. I am so glad it is getting into the upper 5's, rather than the lower 5's.

Other than that, I need to get my iron checked again to see if it has come up any. I know it has, but I told him I was feeling really tired lately and wasn't sure if it was iron or just being incredibly busy. Another good thing about today was that I ran 6 miles...the most miles I've logged consecutively since my half marathon. Overall, it was a great day and has been a very good week. Who doesn't like great weeks? Hopefully you are having one as well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dreams Be Dreams...

Jack Johnson, anyone? Putting on his music after a hectic day is something I greatly enjoy. Right now my Jack play list just happens to be on Dreams Be Dreams. Now, to get to the point...

Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. Some days I wanted to sell houses, others I wanted to be in the business world. I ended up as a teacher, and love my job. Teaching 5th grade can be fun and tiring at the same time. This year I have a wonderful class. Seriously, I could not ask for a better group of students.

This is my 4th year teaching, and I feel like I've experienced an array of students with varying abilities. Last year I had a child with asperger's syndrome in my room. I've had many students with ADD or ADHD, one dyslexic student, and some other issues. However, this year I have a student with diabetes in my room.

I knew that I was going to have her in my homeroom last year and it has been motivating for me. If you live with diabetes or any other 24/7 health condition, you know that you go through ups and downs. Some days I'll test 10 times while others only 4 or so. Some days I am in range all day and others I could not hit my range if my life depended on it.

One thing I have noticed is that having a child with diabetes in my classroom has made me more conscious of my own diabetes. All of the students are aware of testing from my one student so it was nice on the first day I could just tell them I had diabetes and they already knew what it was and what comes along with it (testing, sometimes eating, etc.).

Two weekends ago I walked in the JDRF walk, on the team my student had. It was a wonderful experience. There were multiple students who came out to walk with her and parents as well. I had not walked in the JDRF walk for many years, and debated walking it this year because it was early in the morning (according to my weekend standards - 8 a.m.), but am glad I did.

I am always amazed at the variety of people in my life that have a positive impact on me or inspire me to be a better person. This one student in my class is such a person for me. Do you have any people like that in your life?

Monday, October 11, 2010

PT...Here I Come

My nagging knee seemed to be getting worse after the QC half and resulted in me hardly running at all the past two weeks. I was never certain what was going to happen...sometimes I would be fine for 5 miles, other times it would hurt to stride at mile 3. I never knew, and it was frustrating me. My running was suffering and my next race, a 15k the first week of November, is not that far off. I needed to get my miles logged!

So, I did what I hate doing: I called the doctor. I hate going to the doctor. In fact, there are only 3 conditions in which I will go:

1. For an endocrinology appointment. I believe seeing my diabetes doctor is important because I get valuable feedback on how I am doing and ways in which I can improve.

2. If I can't run. This was obviously the reason I called the sports medicine doctor.

3. If I feel like I am going to die. Luckily, this has never happened.

If I cannot categorize going to the doctor into one of the categories listed above, I won't go. I am also very picky about my doctors and often tend to dislike them for various reasons. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the doctor I went to today.

He had me do some squats and looked at my knee. He seemed to know right away what the problem was and told me some exercises to do to fix them. However, he told me I needed to go to physical therapy to get healed quicker. So, for the next 6 weeks, I get to go to physical therapy three times a week. I'm sure you're jealous. Don't you wish you could spend an hour of your day stretching and flexing your quad muscles that are not properly balanced?

My doctor told me I could keep running and doing whatever I wanted, which I must say I was shocked to hear. But, I was so happy to hear those words come out of his mouth. If you have been reading my blog, you know that running brings me great happiness. I was able to run 5 miles today which felt wonderful and know that going to physical therapy will help. It will probably make me a stronger runner. Let the happy miles continue...

Is your pump a camera?

On Friday I was out with a group of people, some that I knew and others that I did not. After eating I got out my insulin pump to bolus and a guy that was talking to me said, "Is that a camera?" That is definitely a new one that I've never heard. Have you ever gotten that comment?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quad Cities Half Race Report

Do you ever feel like you just go, go, go and don't even have time to breathe? That is how I felt ever since the QC half, which took place on September 26. But, as all things do, things will get less-hectic and return to normal, in time.

I went to the QC on Saturday. My aunt and uncle live there so I got to visit with them and stayed at their house. Plus, my uncle was also running the half. I didn't know what I was capable of doing because my training was so erratic this summer and leading up to the marathon. My knee was hurting off and on and I was hoping it would be find on race day. I didn't think I could PR and was fine with that. Let's be honest - they all can't be PRs! I've run 5 halves and PR'd for all of them, so I was due to not PR for once, or so I thought.

Going into the race I had tons of questions. What should I wear? It was supposed to be upper 40s...long sleeve? short sleeve? I opted for shorts and a long sleeve running t-shirt but got really hot running in it towards mile 10. I also wore gloves for the first 8 miles before tossing them into the trash can along the route. Should I run with a pace group? If so, which one? 1:50, 1:45, 1:40? I felt like I was on decision-making overload, and I am a really bad decision maker.

I ended up running with the 1:45 pace group for the first 10 miles and then started to get tired so I ran on my own. I finished with a time of 1:46.20, which I was pleased with. My previous half (Flying Pig in May of 2009) I ran 1:43.06, so it was 3+ minutes slower, but still okay. I had a fun time because I did not put the pressure on myself to PR. It made such a difference! Also, my blood sugars acted nicely, and I ended the race at 203...much better than my other post-run numbers. I had a good time at the race. My parents came down for it and my brother and some of his friends so it was nice to see them all.

Unfortunately, my knee has been acting up post-half-marathon. It is random - some days I'll run 3 miles with no pain but it will kill shortly after. It is a hard thing to describe. I know that it makes me stride differently. My knee gets really tight and although I can walk fine, running causes excruciating pain. I'm going to visit my endo. in a week so I'm going to ask him if he knows a good sports med. doctor to go to. He works with a lot of athletes so I think he'll give me some good advice. What do you think I should do - not run at all? I do have a 15k planned on November 6 in Chicago and I really hope to run it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Night Before the Night Before

Back when I started running cross country in high school - 10 years ago (makes me feel ancient!) - my friend's dad, who ran a lot, told me that it was important to get a good night sleep the night before the race; however, getting even better sleep the night before the night before the race was even more important. At that time, I believed "Mr. C." and didn't question it. I tried to get a lot of sleep the 2 nights prior to racing. I don't really know if it is true or not, nor do I care a whole lot because I know sleep every night is critical to how well I run. Maybe you don't need much sleep, but I do.

Tonight is my "night before the night before" night. I am running the Quad Cities half marathon on Sunday. As I sit here and type, I am getting more and more excited. Tomorrow morning I'll get my things packed up, leave the Chicago suburbs, and drive two hours west to the Quad Cities. I am staying with my aunt and uncle, who is also running the half.

Everything for this half is so different than what I am accustomed to. Normally, I taper totally different than I did for this race. Last weekend, I did 7.5 miles on Saturday and then 11 on Sunday. However, when I hit mile 10 on Sunday my knee started to hurt. It was a weird feeling, and I couldn't stride right. Monday was okay and so was Tuesday, but Wednesday I only ran 3.6 miles before stopping because my knee was killing me. I took Thursday, today (Friday) and tomorrow off. I don't know the last time I took off 3 days in a row. My knee feels better now, so I'm hoping for a wonderful race.

Have you ever experienced something hurting during a training run so close to your race? If so, what did you do? Do you have a long taper or short taper?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Breaking Through to 22!

I LOVE running, perhaps a little too much. I like how it makes me feel. I like that it is individual and I don't have to rely on a teammate. I like competition and the thrill that comes from it. Therefore, I love racing and, even more, PRing.

This morning I got up at 5, had something to eat, and busied myself for the next hour and a half before I drove down to where the 5k I was running in was starting. I ran in this same race last year and clocked 23:03. I don't run 5ks usually, and I REALLY wanted to PR. I have been trying to work on my speed while training lately. I knew I could break on through to the 22' was in me.

I was pleasantly surprised that my stomach was as calm as it was this morning. Perhaps it was because I knew the course and it was in my hometown, or maybe the stars were just aligned for me. At the starting line I got my iPod cued up and ready to go so when the gun went off I would be ready to run. And, off I went.

I knew that if I wanted to PR I would have to start fast, and that I did. I ran the first mile in 6:56, and it felt soooo good. The second mile was into the wind, but I was still feeling good and ended up clocking a 7:20 according to my Garmin. The third mile was glorious, as the wind was now at my back. Although I was running on a straight road, it felt like I was running downhill. My last mile was 7:17ish. I knew when to sprint to the end, and ended up finishing the race in 22:24 (7:12 min/mile). I got a nice flying foot trophy for placing in my age group, but more importantly I was happy and proud to join the ranks of the sub-23 5k group.

Diabetes-wise, I tested about 20 minutes prior to race time and got 108 on my machine. I had a little Gatorade because I wanted to start at a higher number. When I was done racing, I tested again, only to find out I was 245. This has happened to me for my last several races, where I get high numbers. I know when I race I have a lot of adrenaline going through my blood and think that might make my numbers high? Does this happen to you?

In other news, I have decided to run the half marathon at the Quad Cities Marathon and not the full. I've been having some knee/leg issues that have prevented me from logging the appropriate number of miles. I am hoping to become stronger and PR for the half. In a way I feel like a failure for not doing the full, but the good thing about marathons is that there are tons of them. I can do one next year. But for now, I'll stick to the half.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Yes, that is right. I'm #27. Jerry had posted on how he made someone's list of the top 50 blogs about diabetes. I decided to click on the link because I wanted to see if there were any blogs on there that I had not read before. Guess what I found? My blog was on there, as #27. Maybe your blog made it, too, and you just don't know it, like me.

Speaking of blogs, I'm always looking for new ones to read. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Treadmill Etiquette, Take Two

Many people have posted on treadmill etiquette, especially related to how a person smells and how much they are sweating. However, today at the gym when I was on the treadmill, I realized there was a different topic about treadmill etiquette that needed to be covered: noise. Specifically, how loud your feet are when they hit the treadmill belt.

In case you have not noticed, I'm a pretty picky person. The same is true for my running routines. I've been doing doubles everyday, running 5.5 miles at a forest preserve in the early afternoon and then doing another workout in the evening. (Side note: today I had an awesome run: 5.5 miles with a 7:46 min/mile average. It felt wonderful!) I always try to take one of four treadmills that have the TV screen at eye level. I just like the way they are set-up compared to the others, where you must look down at the screen.

After I was about half way done with my treadmill run, a woman got on the treadmill two slots away from me. I didn't think anything of it, as there was another man in between us who I see quite frequently. I did start to notice her when it sounded like stampede of slow elephants was running beside me. Clonk! Clonk! Clonk! Clonk!

I thought maybe she just needed to get into her running groove and then her footsteps would become lighter. However, this did not happen. I was watching TV at the time, but still her footsteps were louder than Pat and Vanna on Wheel of Fortune.

I got to thinking: why does a person's feet hit the treadmill that hard? I even took out my ear plugs at one point to see if my steps were loud, but did not appear to be. I remember when I ran xc in high school a person told me that your footsteps are loud if you are tired when you are running. I don't really know...I've never had the need to look into it. Do you know? Would a person who sounded like a herd of elephants bother you? I can say that I was happy to go to the StairMaster for once.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On Setting and Meeting Goals...

When I first started running distance races, my goals were simple: never walk and finish the race. These were pretty easy to attain, since the longest distance I have done is a half marathon. However, as I have started to run more, my goals have gotten more specific. There is always either exhilaration in meeting a goal or disappointment to some level when a goal is not met.

I ran in my first 10k on Saturday and was excited to do so. After thinking about my summer of running, finding out I'm anemic, and then being put on iron pills and feeling stronger, I knew I could turn out a good time for this race. I ran quite a few miles leading up to the race, but decided not to run at all the day before it. I have always ran 1 mile the day before a race, no matter what distance the race was. My goal heading into the race was 49-something. This would be about 8-minute miles, close to the speed I was running last year before my stress fracture.

I am happy to report that I achieved my goal! According to my Garmin, my race time was 49:48, an 8:01 pace. I was so happy that I ran well in the hot and humid water, out in the sun. There was not hardly any shade along the route. There were 500 runners between the 5k and 10k, and I was the 3rd female in for the 10k and got 1st in my age group. Not that the competition was amazing or anything, but it still feels good to have a good race where I was so happy with the result. It has been a hard summer in terms of running, and this made things look so much better again. After my run today, I was thinking how happy I am after running. It is definitely something I am thankful I can do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've been running outside many days this summer, and, therefore, enduring the awful heat and humidity the Midwest has endured. Yesterday, though, when I was getting to ready to run in the late afternoon, I had no desire to be out in the hot sun. Instead, I got in my car and drove to the gym and hopped on the treadmill.

My goal was to do 7 miles at 7:50ish pace, and 3 more at whatever pace I could run at in preparation for my 10k on Saturday. I accomplished my first goal, running 7 miles in 55 minutes and realized that I had to get off the treadmill to get some water. I was so thirsty. When I got back on to complete my remaining three miles, my infusion site started to itch. I continued to run, only to realize that the white, round thing that sticks to my skin was coming up. I looked at it and realized it was completely out. My sweatiness had taken its toll on my pump site.

I carry extra pump supplies with me, so I went and put in a new infusion site and all was well again. However, I started thinking about my luck with the adhesive white circles this summer. I have had more of them fall out this summer than ever before. Is it due to the heat and running in it, and sweating in it? I'm thinking that is the reason.

Being a person who is cold 99.9% of the time and who can often be spotted in a jacket or sweatshirt in mid-summer, it is weird to say this, but I am looking forward to some cooler temperatures. You'll probably have to remind me of this statement in another month or two, but right now, a temperature in the 60s or low 70s would be welcomed by me with open arms.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another Race in the Books and a Funny Medal to go Along with It

This morning I ran the Epworth Town and Country 8k (5 mile) Road Race. It is a super small race - there were only 250 that ran, and half ran the 2 mile route. It was held in rural Iowa, about 25 minutes from the city where my parents live. Most people think Iowa and think "flat!" but this race (and the Bix, too) prove that theory wrong.

The race started at 8 a.m., so I got up at 5 to have my pre-race breakfast. Even though I slept like crap and was tired, I knew I had to stay up and occupy my time somehow. I left for the race at 7:05 and got there are 7:30, checked in, did some stretching, pulled up my iPod mix that I wanted to listen to, and started to run when the gun went off.

The temperature at the beginning of the race were excelled - low 70s, but they crept up as the race progressed. It was not horrible, though. I went out and felt good, visualizing crossing the finish line in 39-something (my "everything is wonderful and working 110% well" goal). My first mile was 7:33, followed by 7:49, 8:30, 8:55 and then 8:40. Everything is logged in my Garmin watch, which happens to be packed away right now, so I may be a few seconds off. My final time was 40:21. I got 2nd place in my age group (20-29) and a medal.

The medal, instead of having something running-related on it, like most would think, had 2 academic books and what appeared to be the Olympic torch. It wasn't engraved or anything. When I got it, I had to laugh. It made me think I won a Quiz Bowl or the National Geography Bee, not placed in a road race. I'll have to post a picture later to see what you all think!

I'm going back to Illinois right after I eat lunch - lots to do. Tomorrow I hope to log a nice, long run in preparation for my marathon.

Have you ever received any weird/funny medals for running races?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Night Running

I am a creature of habit, especially during the school year. I set my alarm to the same time, follow the same routine, eat the same foods for breakfast and lunch and most dinners, exercise at the same time everyday, and go to bed at about the same time. During the summer I am not quite so anal, but during the school year it is a bit ridiculous.

Since I'm back in Iowa for a few days, I decided I wanted to mix some things up. I am running an 8k (5 mile) race on Saturday so I knew Friday would be a very light day. Today I got up and had lots of errands and other things to do, including going to the spa, and didn't get my run in. Therefore, I decided I would go running tonight, after my nail polish had fully dried. I wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly good pedicure!

I drove to my normal parking spot where I run and started out at about 9:45. I run a 5-mile out and back route along a nice street that is fairly busy. It is interesting how much I noticed at night compared to when I have run this route during the day. I learned many things...

The Good:
  1. The temperature was cool - 73 degrees and, of course, the sun had already set so it was not warm at all. Perfect running weather.
  2. Hearing the bugs/insects. I am not an animal person at all, but I did enjoy hearing all the noises. I usually run with my iPod, but decided not to tonight.
  3. Not obsessing over my times. Since I have gotten my Garmin Forerunner, I feel like I am constantly looking at it to see how fast I am going. At night, I have to turn on the back light, which I didn't really feel like doing. So I just ran. I heard my Garmin beep every mile, which was all I needed. I didn't post a blistering fast time or anything, but it was a nice run.
  4. Relaxation. My run tonight was so relaxing. I feel in such a good mood.

The Bad:

  1. My stomach. I ate more food today than usual and could feel it all in my stomach during the run. Now I realize even more why races are always held in the morning. My stomach couldn't take it!
  2. Darkness. I didn't really think about lighting being an issue before I ran, but it was. Some parts of the route were well lit, but about 2 miles was not. I did not want to trip on any sidewalks so it felt like I was picking up my feet incredibly high. It was also kinda hard to slow down for every dip in the sidewalk where the sidewalk meets the street - which there are many of on this route.
  3. Cars. I kept feeling like I had to look around every time I crossed a street to make sure no cars were going to be in my running line, which made for multiple pauses.

I hope to be able to run again at night soon. Do you like night running?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Random Running Musings

An update on my life:
  • I think the iron pills are working...yes!! This past weekend I logged 15 miles on Sunday and played 2 softball games. FYI - I do not consider softball physical activity. It just means I was out in the sun for 3+ hours, enhancing my farmer tan.
  • I've been running at a forest preserve that has no trees, which I think is comical. It just has a lot of tall grass. It is relatively flat with some gently rolling hills. The path is 5.5 miles. The bad part is that there is no shade and I've been doing my first run of the day around noon, which is also the warmest part of the day. My times are getting better each day, too, which makes me very, very happy.
  • I can't believe it is August already. School starts three weeks from today. I need to have my classroom set up by the 15th. I feel like my summer is basically over. Back to the real world with busy days.
  • I'm going to Iowa to visit my parents/brother this weekend. I'm leaving tomorrow. On Saturday I'm running an 8k (5 mile) race. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a PR for sure because I've never run a race that distance before. I'm hoping to run 41:00 or below.
  • Have you heard of Leadville? It is a 100-mile race in Colorado in a few weeks. My brother is running it this year. When he talks about his training, and then I look at mine, I feel like such a wimp. If you've ever done Leadville, I automatically think you are amazing.
  • Although my endurance is improving, I am still having a hard time running more than 10 miles at one time. Therefore, I've been splitting up my longer runs to make them into two shorter runs. For example, on Sunday I ran 7.5 before I played softball and then another 7.5 after softball, for a total of 15. I know that is the only way I'll be able to log in the adequate mileage I need right now for marathon training. However, I wonder how I'll do when I go out for my 20-miler in a few weeks. I'm nervous that I'm not training enough. Any thoughts?
  • Next weekend I'm going to southern Iowa to visit my Grandma. I love going to visit her so much. She lives in a small town and there is not much to do so we just talk and eat. This year I planned on visiting her when the next town over was holding their Sweet Corn Festival race. I signed up for the 10k. My aunt might run it, too, which would be neat. I'll log another PR for this race, as I've never done a 10k before.
  • Finally, a toe update: My big toenails are still holding on for dear life. I wish they would just fall off. It is so nasty. I have 3 toes that are so bruised. Thank god for nail polish. Also, I have 4 toes with blisters that just don't want to go away. I've logged a lot of miles this summer, both running and biking, and it has taken a toll on my feet.
  • I'm off to run 9 miles....many happy miles to you, too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Bix 7: A(nother) Memorable Race

Saturday morning I ran The Bix, a 7 mile road race in the Quad Cities, although the race was only in Iowa. It was quite the race and overall a great time.

I went to the Quad Cities on Friday and stayed with my aunt and uncle. It was nice to see them. I had many family members running the race: me, my uncle, cousin, brother, 2 second cousins and 2 third cousins. Also, my aunt's dad ran with the race.

I got up early - 5AM - to eat breakfast before the race. The weather was supposed to be awful - steady rain all morning. We decided to leave for the race a little after 7 because we didn't want to stand out in the rain. We got down to the River Center at 7:40...20 minutes before start time.

Luckily, we were all in the 1st starting corral. The gun went off right at 8:00 and the race started. The course in INCREDIBLY hilly. The first 0.5 mile is up a steep hill, and the hills don't stop after that. Luckily, it is an out and back course, so for every up hill I knew I would get to go down it on the way back.

It rained steadily through the entire race. Actually, before the race even started my shorts were soaking wet, looking like I got them out of the washing machine. I wore a dri-fit t-shirt so it wouldn't be heavy in the rain. The temps were bad - it started out near 70 degrees and didn't get much warmer due to the rain.

I saw my parents, aunt and another cousin, grandma, 2 other aunts and 2 more cousins along the course cheering. It was so uplifting because they were at different points throughout the race. I liked being cheered for, too. I ended up finishing the race in 1:02:36, an 8:56 pace. I was pleased and hadn't run that fast in a while. After the race I felt pretty good, too. I think maybe my iron pills are starting to work. One can only hope!

After the race I met my uncle and cousin who finished before me and we were waiting around for my aunt's dad. I got soo cold standing in the rain. I didn't warm up all day.

I signed up for my next race, too. I am really excited about it. It is a 10k in Iowa on August 14th. It is in a little town about 10 miles from where my grandma lives. I try to visit her every summer and this year I wanted to run in the Sweet Corn Festival race so it just worked out. Plus, the 10k coincides with my marathon training. I'm off to go running now....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ironman, can I have some iron?

(Sidenote: I have a hard time sitting through movies, and, therefore, have not seen many. However, I have seen both Ironman movies.)

On Wednesday I went to see my endocrinologist for a check-up. He had me get some blood work done beforehand since it had been over one year. I went to get it done a couple days before my appointment. Blood work always seemed like a waste of time to me and an unnecessary needle in my tiny veins. But I went, like a good patient.

When I was meeting with my endo., we talked about my training regimen. He gave me some advice that has helped other athletes he has worked with in the past. As we were talking, he was flipping through my blood work results. My stomach began turning when he started asking questions....

"I assume you've had low iron in the past since you are a vegetarian, right?" No, my iron has always been fine.

"Have you been feeling tired lately?" Yes. When I started to think about it, after I did a 15-miler in June, I did not have enough energy to do anything longer than 10 since. I chalked it up to just working out a lot, twice a day. However, I was told differently.

I am anemic. My iron is so low that my doctor was surprised I could run for 10 miles straight. I guess I have a lot of determination to get those runs done. He ordered more blood tests to be done since not only was my iron incredibly low, but also my white blood cell count as well. When I asked him why that was, he told me that it could me anything from not being hydrated enough while I gave blood to the iron effecting it to leukemia to a vitamin deficiency. He wanted to see what was wrong. He did give me a prescription for iron so I can have more energy again.

I got a call yesterday from the nurse, who told me that not only was my iron low (apparently there is a range and 10 is low, but my iron count was 2), but also my hemoglobin (which should be 13-15 - mine was 10), red blood cell and white blood cell count. She said that my iron was the most concerning and my doctor will check the other levels at my next appointment in October.

I started to wonder about things....I think my iron has been low for the past month for sure. But, how did it get that low? I had been sleeping 10+ hours a night, which I know is not normal. This past week has been pretty rough and I feel like my tank is drained. Although I started taking my iron pills, I know they take a couple of days to work. My doctor said he didn't think I would be full strength again for 1.5 months.

With all the conundrum of the week, I decided not to race in the duathlon that would have been today. Honestly, I don't know if I could have done all the biking. The hills on the course were mountainous! But, I am still doing the Bix, the 7-mile road race. My runs have been slow - 9:30 pace or so - but I will complete it. The last mile is all uphill which will me I will be completely exhausted at the finish, but I don't care. I've wanted to do this race for a long time, and even though my time will be awful, I'll try my best. Life will go on, my iron will come up, I will get more energy.

Have you ever had low iron? What did you do for it? How low was it?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Valley of Training

The summer heat is getting to me. I've been trying to train like crazy for my upcoming races (7 mile road race in 2 1/2 weeks, 5k possibly in August, marathon in late September, and a few half marathons thrown in for good measure), but this past week I've lacked motivation. I'm still doing my runs and bike rides, but I can't put my finger on what it is. I know that it is critical for me to log as many miles as possible now in order to best be prepared for my marathon, but the miles are long and hard and typically slower than I'd like.

I've started to wonder if possibly I'm over training. I've been doing double workouts for the past couple of weeks and although it has done wonderful things for my insulin absorption, it has left me feeling a bit tired. I tried to analyze my diet and noticed that I didn't get enough iron which possibly was causing me to feel tired. I've tried to add more iron-rich foods, although this is a hard change for a picky eater like myself. However, it has seemed to work as the past couple days I've had more energy.

Do you ever hit a valley in your training or in life? How do you get over it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Like an Old Lady

Since I have been seriously training as of lately, I have felt like an old lady when I get out of bed in the morning. Is this because I am not a morning person? I don't believe so, but trust me, I really do not like getting out of bed. I guess it is good that it is summer right now. (Do you wish you were a teacher?)

My problem happens as soon as I step down on the ground after getting out of my bed. I awkwardly have to hobble around until my feet decide they feel good enough to act normal, which allows me to walk normal. I've tried to diagnose where it hurts or if it is just me being sore from a long workout the day before, but it seems to happen every single day. My right leg and foot appear to be doing just fine, although the left foot is what is causing me trouble. I had some problems with that foot back in high school and found out then that I have a tarsal coalition (two bones joined together that are not supposed to be), but have not had any real problems since then - 7 years ago. I don't really know what the problem is, or even where it hurts, but I do know that I don't want to get old and hobble around because it is not fun.

Do you know what my problem is? What should I do?