Thursday, April 27, 2017

The WEIGHT battle!

I'm starting to really understand all those times "older" women told me to just wait till I was older because the weight is so hard to get off!  Boy I believe it!!! It all started after my hysterectomy a couple years ago.  All of my adult life I had weighed between 118 - 122, except for the 2 times I was prego. ha   I religiously weighed myself every morning.  I always told myself if I got to 125 it was diet time. LOL  I know some of you reading this are thinking she is cray cray and some of you have probably always been very conscious of your weight too ... even if you don't admit it..:>)  

Anyway, after my hysterectomy where they took everything because I had fibroids all over, the doc started me on replacement hormones.  

~Hysterectomy with ovary removal tied to weight gain. Women who have their ovaries and uterus removed - to treat fibroids, for example - tend to gain more weight in the years afterward than those who only have their uterus taken out or don't have surgery at all, a new study hints.~

I immediately started gaining weight.  I fussed every time I went to the doctor and he'd always say give the hormones time to get regulated.  It didn't matter how much I counted calories, I still gained weighed.  Then my thyroid quit working properly.  Which now I've learned that hormones and thyroid are all connected. I have hypothyroidism!

~Weight gain may signal low levels of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. In contrast, if the thyroid produces more hormones than the body needs, you may lose weight unexpectedly. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is far more common.~

  Both my hormones & thyroid all out of whack on blood work! My thyroid has been up and down.  They have tweaked my meds so much over the past 3-4 years.  My thyroid finally seems to be maintaining a good reading.  I had been hanging at a weight of 131 for awhile now until yesterday I went to the doctor and weighed 133! Another 2 pounds! GRRRRR   

Some people tell me it's muscle gain because around the time of my hysterectomy I had started heavy exercise and added biking and swimming.  I will agree some may be muscle, but this gut is not. LOL   I now have a roll that when I sit down it rolls over the top of my pants.  I can hardly stand it.  It hurts! I often find myself stretching up to make my stomach not roll over.  I believe we all have our very own "magic" weight number in which we feel good. Some may be 200, some may be 150, etc.  Mine, however, is not 133! I feel so bloated most days.  

My doc, which I do lover her...she's worked hard to get my hormones and thyroid lined up, has been recommending for months that I get away from anything with wheat in it.  I've tired and tried.  I'll give up bread, pasta, etc. for a couple days then it's like I run out of things to eat or maybe it's just my cravings get the best of me.  I don't have much willpower when it comes to food! I know that's hard for some of you to believe, but it's true!  I can hit the wall in a marathon at mile 18-20, and thru my willpower I can push myself to finish.  I can't seem to do that on giving up this wheat stuff.  There is so many things that have wheat in them! 

So how do you fight this battle at the age of 50??????  Found this on internet... so encouraging :(

~The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. ... Instead, the weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors. For example, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat increases.~

If any of you have tips, please comment.  I'm at a loss.  I do try to watch what I eat.  I feel most days I eat pretty good.  I just can't lose even a pound no matter what I do! So aggravating and depressing!  I know... I shouldn't focus on weight.  It's just a number.  I did threw out my bathroom scales.  :>)   It's just that I don't feel good overall.  I feel BLOATED.  

According to Prevention magazine here are 7 tips for managing weight after 50.

1.  Embrace weight training - "Once you hit 50, you've got about 20% less muscle mass than you did when you were 20. And because muscle is so metabolically active, muscle loss equals a slower metabolism. That makes you much more likely to put on (and hold on to) extra pounds, says Durbin."

2.  Get your hormones checked! - "Simply getting your thyroid, adrenal glands, and other hormone levels checked—and then taking the appropriate steps to bring them back into balance—can go a long way toward helping people in their 50s lose weight," says Burns.

3.  Choose activities that are easy on the joints.

4.  But don't slack at the gym.  Just because your joints are a little achier than normal...don't skip the gym.  

5.   See a physical therapist. - Physical therapy can help you rehabilitate an old injury or ease joint and muscle pain, setting you up for pain-free workouts.  

6.  Overhaul your diet (I need this one!!) - "To lose weight when you get older, you have to eat fewer calories," says Ferraro. "

7.  Get your stress in check -  "The solution: schedule your workouts like they're doctor's appointments, says Durbin. Sticking to a consistent routine can not only help ease stress but also help people stay on track with their diets." 

Maybe this summer when I plan to take a break from so many races, I will have the time to do some meal prep and focus on mainly eating clean.  All I know is I feel it's a struggle for me.  Maybe since I'm writing all this down it will become REAL.  They say to set goals, say them out loud and they become real.  My goals is to beat this dang bloating!  So I'm on a mission.  Maybe the next time you hear from me on the subject of weight... I'll have some good info.  Until then.... How do you beat the bloating battle?  I'm all ears. :>)  I do know exercise helps so I will not be stopping that because lord knows how much I'd gain if I didn't exercise! GEEZ  There are so many diets and tips out there.. how do you know the right one? 


Monday, April 10, 2017

First TRI of 2017 - Traditions Sprint TRI

Time for a little swim, bike & run report.  Yep I do a tad more than just run.  I did my first sprint TRI in 2011.  Sunfish was the race.  It's a fun one but tough.  Mainly because it's in the middle of the summer in south Mississippi!  I also did TRI4Life in 2011.  I don't really count that one as much because the water was so swallow you could walk the entire distance... which I basically did. :<>) 

I didn't do another TRI until  2015.  I had neck surgery in 2012 and didn't swim, bike or run for a good while.  It took me a couple of years to get back to wanting to do another one.  Well, I think one of my friends named Serina probably talked me into doing Sunfish again is really what happen. LOL  She's good at that.  Since then I've been pretty active doing a couple sprint TRIs for the past 2 years.  It mainly started as practice so I could get ready for the half ironman last year.  Now it's becoming something I'm enjoying.  I believe this was my 7th Sprint TRI.  Maybe that's why it was my best so far.  My favorite number is 7. :>)  

I was a tad nervous all week and tried to hide it.  I kept telling myself not to focus on time.  This was going to be open water practice! The swim is my hardest part.  I love swimming in the pool for training, but something happens when you put me in open water.  I get real nervous.  

Race morning began early for me!  I had decided to not try to get a room at the coast and just drive down for the race which meant getting up at 3:45 am and leaving the house no later than 4:15 am.  I had to get there by 6:30 am to pick up my packet and get my bike set up in transition before they closed the transition area.  It was 42 degrees outside.  I was so glad they had sent an email saying the swim was going to be wetsuit legal!  I could put that thing on and stay warm while waiting to start. LOL  Some people did practice swim about 30 minutes before the race started.  I wanted to, but didn't want to get in and then freeze while waiting till my turn to start.  Here's a shot of some doing the practice swim.  You can see the buoys out in the water.  Love the calmness of the lake!

Soon all the racers started lining up to start.  They limit the race to 300 people from what I've read. 

I was standing alone until I heard some of my friends that I rode bikes with in Wiggins last year.  I was excited to be in line with them to start the swim.  We all chatted a few minutes.  I was so glad to see them.  My cousin was supposed to be at the race, but she texted me earlier and said she didn't sleep much and made the decision to not travel to the race.  Soon I was standing at the water waiting for them to tell me to go.  I jumped in and kept telling myself... go slow... pace yourself... take a deep breath, dig deep and steady rhythm.  I was shocked but I was staying right up with most of the Wiggins group in the water.  The water was cool but felt great once you got started.  

About half way into the swim someone tried to swim over me! This caused me to swallow a huge mouth of water.  I thought I was going to choke.  My body was trying to panic, but my head reminded me to just stay calm... cough the water up.. and take a deep breath and start again.  When I reached the bank and looked at my watch as I crossed the mat coming out of the water I was shocked! My best swim time ever! 13 minutes may not be fast for many, but for me that's awesome!  Especially when I first started out only being able to swim anywhere from 20-16 minutes in races.  I was all smiles.  It feels good to know all that training in the pool was making a difference.  Now to get into transition and get on that bike ASAP is what I was thinking.  LOL  A picture of the transition area where we hang our bikes. 

Once out on the bike I had forgotten that the course had lots of rolling hills! However, I looked down and I was averaging anywhere from 17-18 mph.   I felt great.  Some days you just feel like racing.  Soon Nova passed me on the bike.  She laughed and told me it was better at that time for her to weigh more than me because she could beat me down the hills, but I would soon pass her going up the hill.  It's awesome to have friends during the race that you can talk to even if it's just for a minute.  We encourage each other! Nova and I were back and forth passing each other the entire time on the bike and rolled into transition at the same time.  Here's a picture of me and Nova after the race.  I thanked her for pushing me.  I had the best bike time for a TRI! I averaged over 17 mph! Whoop Whoop.  This also is a big accomplishment for me! When I did my first TRI in 2011 my average was 14.5 mph.  

By this time I'm feeling real good and thinking I may just PR, however I'm dreading the run.  If you remember from my Rise and Shine half race post, my foot/ankle had gotten run over by the stroller we were pushing.  I had not been able to run all week because my ankle felt like I had rolled my foot.  It was very painful.  I knew I was going to have to walk some during the run so I tried to hurry out of transition as soon as I got my bike racked.  

I ran / walked off and on and tried not to look at my watch.  I kept telling myself that it didn't matter if I did PR because I had the best swim and bike time.  I was surprised even with a long run time that when I crossed that finish line...guess what??  I did have a PR! Whoop Whoop 

I will say that Traditions has the BEST after party! Tons of food! Really good food! Everyone brings chairs and hangs out for awhile.  I had not planned to hang around so I grabbed some food and went to see if they had posted any race times.  I knew I probably didn't win anything (there is some FAST people in the TRI world), but I wanted to see where I ended up.  There were no times posted and as I was walking back to see if we could get our bikes out of transition and load them I heard a man making an announcement, so I stopped to listen.

Well this is what he said..... someone had tripped a wire at the swim start and for about 190 people they didn't have a swim start time.  He said they had a list of race numbers without times so to come see him and check to see if your number was one of the numbers.  He said he was going to ask everyone to turn in times from their watches if they had a watch.  Boy you should of heard the chatter around me.  People were saying... oh boy... this going to be interesting... wonder if everyone will be honest with their times.  

I walked on over to check my number and yep.. you got it.. my number was one of the ones that they didn't have a swim start time. :(  I did show him my watch and went ahead back to car to get my bike.  I figured it was going to take awhile for them to figure out all that mess and I had things to do at home after a 2 hour drive to get back home.  I grabbed a quick selfie since I was feeling so good about my swim time. :>) 

I had to wait a few minutes before they would let me get my bike out of transition because people were still racing so I snapped a shot of my car waiting on the bike... :>) 

Even with the slow run time, I feel good about my progress and my results for the day.  As I told one of my friends who recently had surgery, do not give up! It may take awhile to come back, but you can do it! I'm living proof! Back in 2012 when I had my neck surgery I was scared to death to ride my bike.  I was scared I'd hurt myself.  Now look at me! If I can do can you! Sometimes training gets boring and seems so endless, but I promise you if you put in the work... you will see results.  I still have tons of work to do and lots of places I could improve.  I am a work in progress.  

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pink shirts! The run-n-tri group did great!

Later than night I saw a post on FB saying they didn't give out awards.  I guess they were still trying to figure the times out.  

I'm so thankful that God was with me every step of the way! "All who look to him will be radiant!" Psalm 34:5
And thanks to my friends that I knew were praying for me! I could feel your prayers!  I LOVE you guys! 

Until next time... happy training to you! Easter is coming up.  I pray you are all thinking  about what Easter means.  As for me, it means I have life after death.  Jesus paid the price for ME. Oh how I love him. :>) 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rise and Shine Half Marathon (#27) - benefiting the ARC

The Rise & Shine half is a local half that benefits the ARC in Hattiesburg, Ms.  I talked about the ARC a couple of months ago in my Hobble Gobble 10K race recap.  It's a non-profit organization that helps kids with disabilities.  For the 2nd year in a row I would be pushing an ARC child during the half as part of the Freedom Rider group.  I LOVE what the Freedom Rider group does for these kids and had looked forward to this race for a couple of months.  

To push a stroller for a half marathon you need a team of 3-4 people.  Last year there were 3 of us and my shoulders and arms were sore for a week afterwards.  It's harder than you think.  Kathy would be pushing again with me and I had asked Sunshine to join us.  I had also started in January as part of my "strength" training for 2017 doing some arm work.  I'm super glad I started this because my arms and shoulders were not sore this year like last year.  

I was hoping that my sciatic nerve pain would not be bad like it was 2 weeks prior at the Blue Angels half!  You know I mentioned that I analyze everything... and had been trying to figure out why my hip/back/leg had started hurting so badly.  At first I thought it was the running verses the jog/walk program I had been doing.  But the more I thought about it, it was probably all the moving furniture, weeding my flower beds, planting flowers, putting out 25 bales of pine straw and pressure washing that I've done recently. ha  I prayed for God to give me strength and endurance for the half.  I didn't want to let people down after I had committed to pushing.

Colossians 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

So it's finally race morning.  The half marathon started at 7am and I needed to be in Hattiesburg by 6:15am, therefore I was up and on the road EARLY.  As I was praying while driving in my quiet car, it hit me that Kathy had mentioned she was spending the night with Katherine so she wouldn't have to get up as early.  I didn't know if Kat was doing the 5K or the half, but told myself I'd ask her if I saw her before the race.  We could use a 4th person on our team. :>)  Luckily when I parked she was standing there talking with some of the Run4TheKids team members so I asked her and she said she'd love to join us.  I don't know who was more excited... me or Kathy. LOL  Sunshine had not pushed before so she didn't have the memories from the previous year of how hard it is to push like me and Kathy. :>)  Four on the team was going to work great.  We would rotate every mile.  YIPPIE.  We quickly got lined up and ready to start.  

Here's a pic captured by the local newspaper.

We were team "Braydon"!

Each time I've had the pleasure of pushing a different child which is cool because you get to see so many different personalities.  Braydon is 7 years old with down syndrome.  We were told that he would be able to get out of the stroller at the finish and run through the finish line.  I was looking forward to seeing him do this!  Before the race his mom was trying to get a picture and he stuck his tongue out.  Check it out:

Braydon was so sweet! He didn't talk to us during the race, but would point his finger or shake his head yes or no if we asked him something.  He kept playing with the seat belt trying to get it undone and pointing to the ground.  He wanted to run so badly.  We kept assuring him that when we reached the finish line we would get him out and let him run.  

We took a few pictures along the course.  They had AWESOME water stops!  

Several from team Run4TheKids pushing.  We were together for most of the first part of the race.  I enjoyed visiting with each one of them!  I honestly can't say enough about these people.  They are so very special!  Not only their time they give to St. Jude, but also many local fundraisers such as this race for the ARC.

Superhero water stop!

Seymour from USM ... Braydon smiled so big when we came into this water stop. :>) 

We even found Nestor along the course.....

Nestor changed outfits 3 or 4 times during the race.  He's a hoot! I'm so glad he's also part of team Run4TheKids!

By this time you notice that Braydon has ditched the blanket, kicked off his shoes, and then told us he wanted his socks off. :>)  At one part of the race he went to sleep for a couple of miles.  

It was a beautiful morning for a race.  The course is full of rolling hills so it's challenging.  As I was talking pictures and running, I was thinking about what the parents must be thinking during the race.  They had entrusted me and so many other runners to take care of their children!  I'm not sure I could have let a total stranger take my child.  Talk about trust!  Which we weren't total strangers.  Terri, who is over the Freedom Riders, knows each person that pushes.  We've all met out on the running field.  Several of us are good friends.  So I probably should say the parents trust Terri in who she lets push. :>) We literally had their kids for 2+ hours.  One team may of finished under 2 hours... Terri & Jason... two speed demons :>) As for our team we finished around 2 hours 40 minutes.  We stopped took pictures, stopped at the water stations and took it easy.  I actually forgot to stop my watch at the end due to all the excitement of watching Braydon run across the finish line!

Look at that superstar go!  I had no idea he could run so fast! I took a video.  It's all from behind because I wasn't expecting him to take off so fast.  Here's the video.. it makes me tear up every time I watch it!


As you can tell he was pumped to finish! 

Kat, Shine, Braydon and Kathy

Braydon showing off his medal :>)

We weren't the last stroller in .... LOL Results below:

It was such a rewarding day! I can't describe the warmth in my heart just watching these kids getting to enjoy something that they might not get to enjoy without the help of the Freedom Riders. I have a friend that has a child with down syndrome that always says.. "more alike than different"...  so very true!  My hip/leg didn't bother me too bad.  I think the stopping and walking some helped with that issue.  Kat did run over my foot accidentally with the stroller one time. LOL  It hurt, but I was able to keep going.  However, Sunday when I woke up and put my foot on the floor I could tell something had happen to my foot.  I went ahead and rode by bike 30 miles on Sunday followed by an easy 3 miler for a nice brick workout, but that's it.  I haven't ran since because my foot is so sore.  Ha  I'm hoping if I rest it that it will be OK by Saturday.  I have a sprint TRI on Saturday.  It's just for practice so it will be OK if I have to walk some and not run.  It's all about training and not winning for me. 

Ezra 10:4 Rise up, take courage, and do it!

Terri, who is over the Freedom Riders sent us an email on Monday thanking us for pushing and she also sent a message I wanted to share with you:

It's the "Be Attitudes" .... children with special needs.. 

Blessed are they who understand,
My awkward step and clumsy hand.

Blessed are they who know that my ears today
Must strain to understand the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know,
That my eyes are bright, but my mind is slow.

Blessed are they who looked away,
When food was spilled at the table today.

Blessed are they with a cheery smile,
Who encouraged me to try once more.

Blessed are they who never say,
"You asked that question twice today."

Blessed are they who know the ways
Of my heart and love me as I am.

Blessed are they who make me know,
That I am loved, respected, and not alone.

Blessed are they who ease the days,
On my journey to our Father.

Blessed are those who listen,
For I, too, have something to say.

Blessed are they who love Me,
Just Me, for what I am, Me. 

Take time in your life to find the joys. :>)  For me... pushing an ARC child was truly a joy I'll remember forever!  I look forward to other races pushing and meeting more of these special children!


Sunfish FAIL 7-14-18

There is always a first time for everything they say....  Well, for the first time I went to a race out of town and after arriving re...