Days 138-139 – The Never-ending Celebration

19 05 2010

A birthday gift I will treasure!

Even though I created a blog and drew some crazy attention to myself with this exercise-every-day/half marathon training project of mine, I really didn’t want to make a huge deal of turning 40. I will admit that it’s been a great excuse to have a fantastic few days with dear friends who celebrated and showered me with indulgences — from a pink bedazzled wine glass, a pedicure, total surprise dinner out and, best of all, great catching up time together.

We all get so busy with everyday life, and we see one another several times a week — passing in parking lots and playgrounds and exchanging a few stories and updates. But nothing beats hanging out time when there is no place else to rush off to. Or long overdue phone conversations with favorite lifelong friends. I really appreciate all of you so much and if turning 40 encouraged fun times, I’m glad to have done it. Thanks again to everyone who made my birthday WEEK fantastic!

I feel like it’s been one long great party that started with Cinco de Mayo and kept going…Field day, kindergarten graduation and end of school this week — followed by an upcoming family wedding and vacation — (thankfully) takes me out of the spotlight, but keeps the celebration and fun times going as we kick off the summer.

I will go back to daily exercising — very anxious to take my new Garmin for a trail run — but thinking of a summer vacation from blogging as I maximize the precious days with my kids at home to play. I imagine I will find reasons to write here and there and find articles I simply must share with fellow runners, moms, diabetics and others in this wide world of readers who have found me (never imagined anyone would read my random posts…) and encouraged me.

I will be on a quest for a new goal to keep me going — another run? or something totally different? I’m not ready to decide, but I know I will enjoy the journey to wherever it leads me.
(A photo taken by Jo-Anna at the race of me and Kerrin by the coyote warning sign. No, we didn’t see any in the park!)


Day 136 — 13.1 Miles Behind Me

16 05 2010

A wonderful race day started with a huge surprise. Jo-Anna picked me up at sunrise (5:45 a.m.) — what an amazing friend to be up with me so early and smiling. When I got in her car and we started talking… Kerrin – hiding under a blanket – jumped out of the back seat! I screamed, nearly peed my pants, and still can’t believe she came all the way from Pittsburgh to surprise me. I am so lucky to have such incredible friends — Kerrin and Jo and those who have followed my blog in support, emailed, texted and called with encouraging words and birthday wishes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In short, I met my goal of running a 10-minute per mile pace the whole way and keeping my blood sugar from tanking! My time (by my watch) was 2:10:26. I stopped the clock during two pit stops for glucose checks and refueling and hydrating with Jo-Anna and Kerrin on designated corners.

It was a beautiful morning with chill and sunshine — perfect for running in shorts and long sleeves. It was the flattest course I’ve ever run. Sketchy-yet-entertaining areas of Colfax Avenue on the 7 miles east gave way to the beautiful gardens and the canopy of 100-year-old trees in my old Park Hill neighborhood that led to back to City Park and the finish line.

Such a huge help having my friends waiting at 5.5 and 9 miles with bananas, Gatorade and a backpack full of supplies…I couldn’t have done it without you cheering me on. And, of course, heading for brunch and window shopping in Cherry Creek after. Kerrin and Jo-Anna have been my race buddies and close friends for six years now. Ever since we decided (ironically, while sitting at McDonald’s with our kids after preschool) to do a sprint triathlon together. Five tris, several runs and countless memories later, they knew just how to keep me laughing and running today.

More birthday festivities followed, and I had such a good time — maybe in a post-race fog — that I forgot about it being my 40th. I feel just the same today…not older but maybe a little wiser after training for and running this race. Scott and the kids gave me a new Garmin 405 GPS running watch from my wish list… to track all those miles waiting for me on the road ahead!

Day 134 – Run Like Todd

14 05 2010

Today was packet pick-up at City Park. A reality check as they were setting up barriers for the course — causing some butterflies in my stomach as I stood in line with people who looked very fit and fast.

When I picked up my number I was pleased to see that I am #2300 — I love very round, even numbers! A huge relief, because a few years ago, Jo-Anna and I picked up our triathlon packets to find I was #666. Really – that’s what they gave me and wrote in huge black magic marker on my arms and legs on race day (it’s customary for a tri to i.d. the participants, and it usually doesn’t wash off for days). This is what you want to be wearing to brunch in Boulder to turn some heads.

Much happier with #2300, I looked closer at my bib number to see TODD in large letters on the bib. Turns out someone misprinted EVERY bib number, so I will be masquerading as Todd Blum, a 27-year-old man who wears an XXL shirt and presumably runs much faster than me. Maybe that will work out well… especially if he has my bib. Not if he gets my female M shirt though. Perhaps he’ll medal in my 40+ age group?

They said our timing chips were accurately assigned to our own names, and you had to check at a laptop manned by a 12-year-old boy who assured me my chip was tied to my identity. Why this little boy had this job is a mystery. His dad must have been the embarrassed printer.

I breezed through the Race Expo to pick-up a very unisex-looking white tech tee with the lime green race logo. White is not the best color for sweating in. I will probably never wear this shirt, but will keep it because I will have earned it (or Todd will have – I’m so confused now). And it says “Colfax Marathon,” so if I do wear it, I will seem more impressive than the half-marathoner I’m trying to be.

In my ongoing pursuit of race accoutrements, I bought a HydraPouch at the Boulder Running Company’s booth. I checked these out online a few weeks ago…a very soft, lightweight plastic that opens like a coin purse (the kind the bank used to give you for free and my grandma collected for us). You’re supposed to fill it at race water stations to carry with you for a bit, then clip to your belt. It’s a cool concept, but I wonder how long those lines will be for the refills?

With my SpiBelt (which they were also selling today) and my new, blue pouch, I will totally look like an amateur ready for action. Good thing, in that case, that my own name is NOT in large letters for all to see. I will be sufficiently hydrated, ready to run like an XXL 27-year-old man!

Days 127-131 – Getting back on the running wagon

11 05 2010

My Botanic Garden Mother's Day Purchases

In the many days since my last post I have hit a wall. Not a bad wall entirely, because it came with a fabulous Cinco de Mayo block party with friends Saturday, Mother’s Day festivities with my family Sunday (Zach’s card says he loves me because I “give him cokes.” That’s supposed to be “cookies.” He had never had a Coke until Saturday night at the party when I wasn’t paying attention.), and the new flowers in this photo — my annual Mother’s Day present to myself from the Denver Botanic Gardens Spring sale Friday.

Exercise-wise I am still in a bit of a funk. Ran 7 miles Saturday (before the party) that felt similar to pulling the wagon uphill with Zach in it at the Gardens’ sale. I stretched on other days and went for a bike ride with Anna Sunday, but yesterday I gave in. No run. No stretch. Busy shuttling to ballet and just decided to take a for-real rest day on Day 130. We have cold, windy weather — even a chance of snow for tomorrow — that is not helping my cause.

The dread of the race has one bright side though – totally making me forget that on Sunday I also turn 40. The whole reason for doing this now seems like an afterthought…making it still a perfect plan that is now only FIVE days away.

Days 125-126 – A free pass for my birthday

6 05 2010

I have to admit – I am sick of running right now. After logging over 280 miles this year, I have suddenly lost my desire to get out there, and I’m just ready for a break beyond the Classical Stretch I did yesterday.

Today — a windy, chilly, drizzly day — I forced myself into running tights and planned to do 6 miles. After 3 miles my blood sugar was dropping — near 60 — so I cut it short at 3 miles. Tired of pushing my blood sugar up quickly enough to run more miles in my short afternoon while the kids are at school. Is this burnout? Just 10 days before the race? I know I will get back into my groove…

But I’ve been thinking lately how nice it would be if — for just one day — I could give back my diabetes, take a vacation from it, leave it with grandparents and get a long overdue break. Would I remember how to eat willy-nilly, whenever and whatever I wanted without estimating the carbs or pushing buttons on my insulin pump? Could I really eat pizza or a slice of birthday cake without worrying about how tired it would make me later when my blood sugar rose? (Because I rarely estimate enough carbs for those treats).

Without my pump on, I could wear a very fitted dress — the one I always avoid in the dressing room…I could jump into the pool on a whim and not flinch when someone hugged me — in fear they might knock it off my waist. Would I feel like I was missing a part of me without it on?

I don’t feel sorry for myself very often. But Type 1 diabetes is with you 24/7. There’s never a snack or a walk in the park that doesn’t impact your body and require you to make adjustments. And I think I’m tired of how much work it is to run 13.1 miles with it. Almost always I don’t think about this…I let it inspire me to fight back and prove it can’t limit me. Deep down, I know I am blessed with many, many amazing people and good fortune in my life — including the technology and doctors that make managing Type 1 a realistic pursuit. And there are so many more tragic diseases I suspect are much harder to live with. Or that you don’t get to live with.

But I still crave just one free pass…and one chance to remember freedoms long forgotten over 28 years. Can I have that for my 40th birthday please? The day of the half marathon would be perfect — when running those miles would be so much easier without the extra weight.

Day 109-110 – Stepping it up after 40

20 04 2010

Depressing news story from yesterday’s Denver Post “Fitness” section — typically full of more encouraging info.

“Women must step it up as they age: What keeps the weight off at 40 isn’t enough later” I’ll let you read it, but the gist is that Harvard research suggests “women with a body mass index less than 25 (which is the acceptable BMI) needed 60 minutes of daily moderate activity to ward off weight gain.”

Nice news for a Monday morning! This is 4.5 hours/week more than the current CDC recommendation (30 minutes, 5 days/week)…just to “ward off” pounds, not lose them.

Good news for runners, though: “The report concluded that 30 minutes of daily intense activity such as running would keep women from gaining weight as they age.” Still…daily?

So I was motivated to run yesterday — just shy of 30 minutes. Today, a late night Classical Stretch. Miranda said we were doing “fake Tai Chi” moves. And, apparently, not enough of them to keep me from gaining weight after my 40th birthday next month. Guess I’ll have to do 3 Classical Strech programs in a row.

A few women in the article did not take the findings well. One said:

“I think an hour a day is a lot to ask people to do. People are busy. It’s not realistic and it’s going to turn people off.”

She’s right…but no one is asking anyone for more of their time, just sharing the unpleasant news that exercise is hard work that can’t be picked up at a convenience store. We do manage to find hours for TV shows, phone calls, reading the Sunday paper — things we enjoy. Do we give up these daily mental breaks in the name of better longterm health? Oh – aging is full of harsh realities!

Day 60 – My real age

1 03 2010

Day 60! Whew…and another whole month behind me, even if it was a short one… Today my fascination with aging and Internet tools lead me to RealAge site with its confusing slogan: “Live life to the youngest.”

You can take a quiz about your genes, health and lifestyle to see what age your body might as well be. They added a depressing seven years to me — making me 46.8!! I thought perhaps this was the Type 1 diabetes at work, but no — it’s about me not eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day and not knowing my blood pressure, cholesterol or heart rate numbers (I know these are fine, because the doctor checks them every 3 months…I just don’t know the numbers but there isn’t a choice for that on the quiz.).

The site gives you suggestions for diet, fitness and more. For me that includes flossing my teeth more often and more strength training. Yes, some tips are easier to implement than others. Also need to add more vitamins, eat more fish, less red meat and the ever-impossible 5-a-day. Most of my strikes were in the diet category — and I really think I’m a pretty healthy eater relatively speaking.

Just a few tweaks and I should be back to my young, almost 40-year-old self in no time! Luckily I learned that having my dog is keeping me young, along with my silver SUV (50% less likely to be in a serious accident than other colors!).

There are many tools on the site to help you make changes, and I signed up for weekly emails to “Grow 10 years younger in 60 days.” Since I have exactly 76 days ’til my true 40th b’day, this should put me ahead!

All jokes aside, I am amazed at how many sites are out there with quizzes, tools, calculators, plans and trackers. Information overload for anyone trying to learn more about how to live healthier. The three things RealAge put on my personal plan are: 1) relieve stress (with yoga, tai chi, pets, friends, etc.) 2) Eat fish — more omega-3, and 3) Vary veggies to get those 5-a-day.

I’m really already working on two of these…but the fish one is tough. Not a seafood lover at all. Today I did make barley soup with tons of veggies for dinner and did two Classical Stretches with lots of tai chai plies, so maybe I can turn back the clock in time!