Just Give Me a Pill Box

Why do bloggers feel a need to share such private information as their medical history?  I don’t know.  But we do.  Or I do.  I complained on Twitter Monday of having to do blood work and my results came back today.

Turns out I have hypothyroidism.  And guess what?  It makes me happy.  And I’ll explain why.  I’ve had so many of these symptoms, two of which I specifically talked to her about on Monday.  Many of which I was simply blaming my aging, personality, stress, work load, even the season.  And I’m sure that contributes but now, with a diagnosis and a prescription, I have the hope of change.  Before today, I was really trying to deal with the fact that I was just getting older and I was going to live with how my body is different.  And I know, my body is and will continue to change.  But maybe this can slow the process down a bit and return me to a bit of normalcy. 

My Vitamin D was very low as well and that scares me a bit knowing a deficiency can contribute to cancer or cardiovascular disease, two that are a big concern in my family.  Scott already had some at the house since his is low as well.  I’ve already started my dosage.

The good news is all my exercise has paid off and my cholesterol has decreased.  My LDL has decreased from 135 to 115!  I’ve gone from Borderline High to Near Optimal.  Yay for C25K!  No cholesterol pills for me!!

Overall I’m really happy that nothing else was of concern and that the things that were brought up were correctable.  I still think I’m showing my age though…I’m gonna need one of those pill boxes for every day of the week now!

Couch to 5K – Just Hand Me a Cap and Gown

I think I graduated anyway.  Today I went to finish up week 8 of 9 with 28 minutes of running.  I’m still kind of slow with all the running, usually running about a 12 minute pace so I knew when I got to the final week 9 it was unlikely I’d actually make the 3 miles (5K) in the 30 minutes it had set. 

I got to 10 minutes today and really thought I might have to walk for a bit.  I hadn’t eaten much today, didn’t take any Advil, didn’t have an Energy gel and haven’t been stretching well so things were stacked against me. But if I’ve learned anything over the last 8 weeks, it’s if I push through, I can do it.  Shocking revelation, I know.  I guess Nike was right all along, Just do it!  So I did. I slowed the treadmill down from a 5.7 (10-11 min pace) slowly down to a 4.8 (12 min) and ran through it.  By 25 minutes I realized I was feeling great and decided I would run longer than the scheduled 28 minutes.  Week 9 you run 30 minutes I guess in hopes you are at a 10 min mile by that point but I wasn’t quite there.  I was already over my time though and really nothing hurt.  I was tired but my breathing was regulated so I just kept going. And for the first time, I had legit ran 3 miles.  Over 3 miles in fact.

It all started with an inspiring and INSISTENT friend

Continued with the help of an awesome iPhone app

About all ended with a tough week 4

And actually ended unexpectedly early.  I’m calling myself a graduate.  I have gone from my Couch to a 5K.

I don’t HATE running now.  I don’t love it like I do spinning still but it’s amazing how my body has adjusted.  Everything on me used to hurt when I ran but today, nothing but a little pain in my left hip.  My ankles which always felt like they might dislocate my feet from my body are now stronger.  My shins which would ache don’t give me any trouble.  The burning in my calves is gone.  My breathing is easier to control.  I guess it figured out that I was serious about this running thing.

Now I haven’t won any races or even signed up for any races but I really want to do a few thank-you’s for getting this far.  Just imagine me on-stage with the music playing and Kanye sitting in the crowd ready to interrupt.

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I want to thank Melissa and my dad for being the runners they are and inspiring and encouraging me.  C25K app creators for making all the cues easier and TrySports Charlotte for setting me up with some fabulous equipment and doling out spot-on advice.  I’d like to thank my family for letting me have time away to take care of myself.  And yes, God, thanks for the well-being, means, and strength for getting me through.

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So what’s next?  I think a spinning class is in order to be honest!  Melissa promised me a piece of chocolate cake at graduation back in week 4.  And yes, I think I’ll keep running.  Maybe even run a few races this Spring.  But even if I don’t know, at least I know for a fact I CAN!  And more importantly, if I can, you can too!  Go get started!

Couch to 5K – 6 Week Check-in

2010-01-15_1359

Thought I published this yesterday…

What you see there is all I have left to do before graduation.  The walk breaks are over.  I am running.

Week 4 was hands down the turning point for me.  That week we began 5 minute runs and it beat me down pretty bad.  I would kill for 5 minute intervals now.  But I guess that’s what training is all about.

I know I said it here before but stretching, hydrating, energy gels and podcasts (and Melissa) have all saved me in this program.

I did do something different today for my first 25 minute stretch that I wanted to throw out there.  You seasoned runners will be pleased. I know I said I hated running outside but today I went to run at the local walking park.  Scott and the kids packed a lunch and played on the playground and I ran.  It was 55F and just a beautiful day.  I found the time went faster and it was easier to adjust my pace (from really slow to much slower).  And of course, I loved having my family nearby.  Emma even ran out to give me my water bottle once.  With the weather not permanently nice, I’m sure I’ll be going back to the treadmill but I have to say I’ll definitely be giving it more of a chance come Spring especially now that I’m doing longer runs.

I can’t say yet that I like running.  I like that I’ve completed 6 weeks of training. I like that I’ve improved during those 6 weeks tremendously.  I like that I’m exercising consistently.  I like that a 5K doesn’t seem like an unachievable goal.  I especially like that I’m not gaining weight anymore (although I’ve only lost 1.5lbs in the past 6wks).  But running?  Nah.  Give me a stationary bike in the dark at the Y for an hour any day.

Couch to 5K – Halfway Done

I know I just posted about this but I wanted to officially declare myself halfway done with the program.  Yesterday morning I had a great run, finishing up week 4 of 9.  And after the first of week 4 I really didn’t think I’d say that again.  I did make a few changes that I thought were worth talking about.

  1. I stretched and stretched and stretched and used The Stick liberally for the 2 days prior to the run.
  2. I used these energy goo things Melissa bought me for Christmas 15 minutes before the run.  It’s hard to tell if it helped but it is one thing I added.  I also determined that vanilla gingerbread probably isn’t my favorite flavor.
  3. I listened to a podcast versus music during the run.

I think the last surprisingly made the biggest difference.  I love music and I love spinning/cycling to music.  It’s the main reason I love my favorite spinning instructor.  He always makes sure we are peddling to the beat of the music.  But running to music?  It has just NOT been working for me, especially since I’m switching between run and walk all the time.  I found with listening to the podcast, I simply listened.  It was easier to not pay attention to the running and I wasn’t using a ton of energy trying to keep up or slow down with the beat of the music.

For you runners…what else am I missing?  What flavor of the energy gel is your favorite?

For you non-runners, when are you starting C25K??

C25K – Update at Week 4

I haven’t posted too much here on my Couch to 5K progress.  It basically goes Amy complains about running, she huffs and puffs and hurts through a run and then comes back, pats herself on the back by posting the completion on Facebook and then complains about how long the next run is.  There has been absolutely nothing glamorous about it.  I don’t enjoy it.  I haven’t had any epiphanies. I still don’t like running.  So there’s that.

There’s this little list in my C25K iPhone app and it has checkmarks up through Week 4, Day 2 and I can not make myself not check the next one off.  But this week I’ve been very, very close to quitting.  I posted on Twitter that Week 4 looked scary.  And it was.  I thought maybe it was my imagination.  Maybe I hadn’t eaten enough.  Maybe I had too many rest days in between because of the holidays.  Because man, that was tough.

But I found out that most people quit in Week 4 or 5.  After searching a bunch of the C25K forums, it turns out that a lot of people said just get through Week 4 and you’re good.

So this week for me isn’t just having fun with an iPhone app or trying out running.  To me this week is do or die.  Am I going to quit this C25K thing or feel like I’m going to die trying?  Because you don’t put your body through what I’ve gone through the last two workouts just because you’re playing around.

Last night Melissa got me into her gym and she did the whole program with me.  She even matched my cadence for some of the running and walked when I walked.  Something that she, as a marathoner, really didn’t have to do.  She doesn’t know it, but a lot of times when I’m at the gym and I just don’t think I can run anymore, I imagine her on the treadmill to my right.  And Dad’s on my left.  And even sometimes Melissa’s brother and sister join us.  It sounds stupid but it helps to know there are others that have gone before me and were right where I was.  And if they can run for miles without dying and even enjoying it, I can too.  So last night when Melissa was actually running beside me, I can’t tell you how much it helped.  At the end, I simply had to watch her run and somehow tell my body just to do the same thing because I couldn’t do it by myself.

As today is New Year’s Eve I feel it’s pretty appropriate for me to choose to go for it.  Make it my goal to finish this thing.  I should be done the first week of February.  I have no idea if or when I’ll run a 5K.  I’m honestly ok if I never do one but I don’t think Melissa is going to let me NOT do one. 

I found this quote here and laughed so hard.  It’s pretty much where I am with this whole thing.

"I run. At least, that’s what I am telling myself. It’s actually more of a "continued forward motion at a semi-consistent pace while praying I don’t die" kind of activity."

But that’s ok.  I’m still going to check all the checkmarks, publish all the Facebook posts and hopefully by February continue in a forward motion at a semi-consistent pace while praying I don’t die for 30 minutes in a row.