Monday, July 24, 2017

Running With Hypothyroidisn

This year I turned 52.  And apparently for me, that brings some changes.  Some more welcome then others.   I like to think that as an athlete I am pretty well in tune with my body.  I rarely have ever gotten sick (I can't even think of the last time I had the flu and I've never taken a flu shot).  But this year, I noticed some changes that I didn't think were good.

It started with my hair.  Most women love their hair.  It is our crowning glory.  When I was younger I had amazing thick hair.   And then I had 3 children.  And so it thinned.  Which is so very common after giving birth.  Now my children have super thick hair.  But now I was losing it.  By the handfuls. After I showered, I'd seen a ton of it in the drain.  After I brushed my hair, I'd see a ton of it in the sink.  I would get out of the car and have long strands all over my clothes.

Then I noticed a kind of overall sadness.  Not depression but just sadness.  No Mojo.  No desire.  No wanting to do much of anything.  And the fatigue.  O M G.  The Fatigue.  I'd sleep 10 hours and be exchausted after being awake for 2 hours.  So I'd nap.

Then the running just got all crazy.  I knew I would have to rebuild to the longer distances slowly so I started smart - with intervals.  But after 30 seconds I'd be exhausted.  So I pushed even harder - after all I have a half marathon in a few months to run!  So now, I've managed to work myself up to 1 1/2 miles before having to take a very long walking break.  It's a struggle to get 4 miles, a challenge to make it to 5.

Let's not forget about the numbness in my fingers, followed by tingling.  And my body thermostat was reeking havoc -   No, things were not normal at all in my body. Let's also not forget that I was having conversations I couldn't remember, asking the same question a dozen times without remembering the answer, watching movies I couldn't remember.

So I started doing some research.  Yes, I googled my symptoms.  I knew it had to by my thyroid or maybe even my testosterone levels.  So I set an appointment with my doctor.  Recited to her all my symptoms since I was tracking them and making notes on my iPhone.

Pretty much a checklist for thyroid issues.  Yet, I felt that I was being dismissed when she said, "You probably just need sleep" and then wrote me a script for Ambien.  After I persisted and insisted that she do some blood work, she finally sent me to the lab for a T4 and TSH.  

3 days later, she called and said that indeed my T4 was low and proceeded to call in a script for levothyroxine.  1 pill, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, eat one hour later.  
 So I did just that and began researching some more.  I am one of those who wants to know symptoms, side effects, nutritional impact and the such.  That's when I learned that was a lot more to a blood work up for Thyroid then the two she ran.

The medication I am on is currently not working so I am off to an endocrinologist to get a full load of thyroid blood work done.  What I have found in the meantime about running with Hypothyroidism is that it can indeed be done.  But I just have to be smarter about it.  I can't always push myself.  I will have to listen my body and respect it.  There's a really great article about athletes and hypothyroidism here

I've also learned that Hypothyroid could actually be Hashimoto's, an autoimmune deficiency.  I also learned that their are foods that will help my thyroid such as Brazilian nuts (because of their selenium) seaweed, Omega 3 Fatty Acids (which can be found in wild caught fish and salmon).

I am not a dr and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn, but if you listen to your body and think you might have a thyroid issue to talk to your doctor about it.  Don't let yourself be dismissed but instead, insist on them exploring the possibility.

There's some great online resources - currently I am loving - she is a doctor with low thyroid so she gets it.  You can find her blog at

Another great resource regarding nutrition and your low thyroid can be found here.

Are you running with hypothyroidism?  Got any tips you want to pass along?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Big News!

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore Route 66 Marathon and Half.  And for good reason - their finish line celebration is one of the best, those medals (which just get better year after year), the incredible expo, their swag bag and their team of directors is amazing!!  This year, Route 66 Marathon and Half are adding another feature - Ambassadors!  And I've been asked to be one!

Becoming an Ambassador for one of the best races I've been in is super exciting for me.  It's given me the motivation to get back to blogging, focus on training and clean eating and it's a great way for me to give back to the race I love.

I was reflecting back on the past Route 66 marathons and realized that I always get so excited about the training for it because we start training in the hottest months and then we run the race on (what it seems to be) the coldest day of the year!  Every single time!!  Cold weather to me just means I'll run faster because I want to get out of the cold.

I also remember the year, we helped with set up (which makes for an even earlier wake up than if you are running).

That was also a year we were running it as well.  We thought it would be fun to just jump in at the start line (since we were there helping set it up) at the beginning of the race.  Look closely in the picture below - front row - the tall one and short one in blue.

By the way, that was a bad ideal.  Don't start with the elites if you can't hang with the elites. 

That year was one of the warmer Route 66 race days.

Unlike previous years when we would run with wool socks on our hands and double thermal layers. 

 One of my favorite stops on Route 66 is Mile 9 (it's on Cincinnati).  It's quite the party - complete with jello shots, snacks and a great cheering squad which helps motivate you to get up that long uphill mile! 

If you are running Route 66, you have got to stop and appreciate all the stops along the way!  The People of Tulsa really go out of their way to cheer on all the runners and walkers!  It definitely makes it worthwhile to make this a destination run if you are not from Tulsa.  

Don't forget you want to sign up now for the Route 66 Marathon & Half here.  By signing up early, you get to personalize your bib!  Plus there is another rate increase on August 31st!  

Not ready for a Half or a full but want to run long?  Grab some of your friends and sign up for the relay!! 

Look for my training plans to be posted later this week!  Gotta go get my run in...

Saturday, July 8, 2017

First Mile Recap

We did it.  We ran the First Mile - the official kick off to training season for the Tulsa Run and Route 66 Marathon.  It was about 98 degrees outside (with a triple digit heat index) but we ran.  1 mile.

Just how does one get a good race picture?  Most of the run pictures from that night show everyone smiling and having a great time - many with thumbs up - and then there is always me.  Serious face.  O well, my husband (in the blue with the Fun Hurts hat on) was all smiles!  If you want to see more First Mile pics, you can find them here.

We went with the 11:00 min pace group - a little slow for us, but since we are just both starting back, we felt that it was a reasonable goal.  We are also both having to learn how to run again. The hubs has a paralyzed diaphragm which takes up about half of his lung - so breathing is much more difficult than it should be.  It's a long story on how it happened (and I'm sure I'll write about it eventually), but the short end is that it cannot be fixed.  So running for him, which was never his passion, is more of a torture event.

As for me learning to run again, it's been months since hitting the road (losing your running partner can be a difficult adjustment) and while I've been pounding miles out on the treadmill, road running is more difficult. My endurance isn't what it was a year ago but that will come around.  My official training schedule won't start for a couple of more weeks, so for now, I'm concentrating on completing 3 miles without stopping.

So the First Mile is always produced by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, as they are the official training partner for both Tulsa Run and Route 66 Marathon.  They always do a stellar job in producing this fast paced event.  From food to beer (or sweet tea), to t-shirt give aways, new training apparel, and big water based inflatables.  This time was no different.  They pretty much have putting on events down to a science.  If you are looking for a great training program, you should check them out here.

What was great fun for me, was all the people.  Having worked with Fleet Feet for almost 4 years and being away from there for exactly one year, meant I got to see a lot of old friends and get lots of hugs and reconnect!  It's that kind of excitement that will help me keep running and training!

If you haven't signed up for the Route 66 Marathon yet, you better do it quickly as rates will go up on July 15th!  You can sign up here.

What are you training for?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It's Official...

I've registered for the Route 66 Half Marathon, so there is no turning back at this point!  Training for this iconic event officially starts with my participation in Thursday's night First Mile event.

They offer various distances so whether it is truly your first mile, or you'd like to go a little further (3 mile or 5 mile options are available), this is a great way to join other like minded crazy runners and make your training official!

Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa always makes great events, and this one will be no different.  Even though it is free, they pull out all the stops, from beer & beverages, to slip 'n slides and games for the little ones.  They will have last years Route 66 Marathon merchandise available as well, and they always debut the Route 66 Medals - ALL of them!.

I spent the weekend at a cousin's house (with a ton of other cousins) and put a team together.  One of the members lives in Tahlequah and so we won't be training side by side but virtually.  I'm putting together our training runs based on her schedule - she's a Maternity nurse so sometimes her schedule is pretty crazy.  It'll help us both to know someone else is out there doing our same runs.

I'll be posting the training plan here next week!  If you haven't signed up for the Route 66 Marathon yet, you can do so here.

That's it for today!  Have a great July Fourth!

Monday, June 26, 2017

I'm Back!

Yes, it's been awhile since I've blogged.  But life gets in the way sometimes - what's a girl to do?  Anyway, I could give you this amazingly boring recap of what's been going on in the past two years, but I won't.  I will however, share with you on this Motivational Monday (who started that anyway?), who I got to watch and cheer on yesterday!!

Even if you are not a runner, you must likely have heard of the New York City Marathon.  For me, it is a bucket list item that I would love to check off sometime.  I have a friend running it this upcoming November with her husband.  He is running for Team for Kids and has to raise $2500 by the end of October.  Team for Kids supports the NYRR Youth Programs which brings free running and fitness programs to students across the country.  You've been living under a rock if you aren't aware of the state of most public schools - underfunded in so many arenas and some of those cuts include removing recess, gym time and even after school athletics.

NYRR Youth Programs offers a free youth fitness program to schools, community centers and participants.  It's a great program that helps kids fall in love with running, offering curriculum, coaching and rewards!  If you fill like it's worth it, I'd love you to drop a little donation on my friend Kevin and support him as he trains to cross the finish line for this great organization.  The link to donate or to learn more is here. 

His first fundraiser was 25/25/625.  He was going to run 25k for $25 in donations on 6/25.  Clever, heh?  I really wanted to run a leg of it with him but since I just started my training after a year off...that wasn't really a good plan for either of us so I joined my friend in the sag wagon for cheer squad!  They rounded up pacers for each 5k leg of his 25K.  With the route planned, we met up at Riverwest Festival Park and sent Kevin off on his first 5k.

After his first solo 5k, the running friends started showing up - the weather was great, the company good and the cheer squad solid!  

For the 3rd 5k, he got two pacers.  

For the 4th leg, he was back down to one.  But first, a little re-fuel.  

Leg 5: Another friend to join the fun!!

Finish line!! 

Great job Kev!!  Amy and I held on and cheered him in good and strong.  I think it is great motivation watching someone else run a long distance in an effort to help out a worthy cause.  I'll keep Kevin's hard work in mind today to motivate me as I tackle getting back into my run training!!  Why do you run?

Friday, March 6, 2015

1st Trail Run Ever!

Last Sunday, March 1, I decided it would be great fun to go running on a mountain covered in snow.  Yep, the weather weenie was going stir crazy and decided it would be great fun to go try something new.  After all, what's life like without a little spontaneity?  

The race started at 1 pm.  I made this crazy decision at noon.  Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa owns the run so I knew I could probably get in with such a last minute notice (we showed up to the race at 12:30)! Plus with the weather being so dang cold and ALL the snow, I also knew that several runners would not show up.  

I grabbed my old retired Adidas Boost  because I just couldn't imagine getting my current runners all dirty/cold/wet.  I also grabbed my snow boots so I could walk around afterwards.  

We parked and I jumped out, only to discover that no tread on my shoes would not be good for the snow!  So, I quickly put my Superfeet Carbon in my snow boots (yes, my snow boots) and got myself  and Perfect Pacter registered to run!  

Trail Madness is a great name for this race - on this particular snow covered day!  

We decided we would run the 8k.  In Snow Boots.  I keep pointing out that I was running in Snow Boots because sometimes, we know better and yet....we don't listen to ourselves or to the multiple running specialty experts we work with.  TRAIL SHOES PEOPLE!!  

At the water stop (the turn around for the 4k) I realized I was in deep trouble as my ankles were chafing, a little bloody and in a lot of pain.  After all I had on my favorite Feeture Merino Wool shorty socks!  Note:  one should wear taller socks when wearing snow boots.  Perfect Pacer offered the option of diverting to the 4k finish.  Really???  

We kept plugging along.  It wasn't all horrific.  I kind of liked it.  A lot. You do things on a trail run that you normally don't do in other races.  Like stop at frozen ponds and take pictures.

And we actually got GOOD race photos for once by the official race photographer! 

This is what we did after the race: 

We tried to warm up with K and A as K cooked burgers for the couple of hundred brave, crazy folks!  
And it was really all worth it.  Because I placed 3rd in my age group.  I won't mention how many people were in my age group because that is irrelevant. 

Next time you have a chance to do something different, something spontaneous and totally  out of your comfort zone, you should.  Especially if it is Trail Madness! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting Back on Track

I always hear remarks in the gym referring to someone else's weight or their ability to lift/run/work harder/faster/longer.  It gets old and here is why:  we can either choose to work to the best of our ability and leave everything in the gym or we can simply show up and phone our work out in.

The gym is a place for us to come to in order to leave better.  No matter what your fitness level, no matter your size or weight or lack of...if you are working your hardest, grunting and sweating and giving it everything you have, you are more likely to see the results you are looking for.

But there is a caveat - you simply can not out work what you eat.  They have to line up.  I have a simply philosophy -

1.  I don't want to kick my ass in the gym or on the road and negate it in the kitchen.  I choose my food based on fueling needs for my body.

2.  If I eat 80% correctly, then the other 20% when I don't will definitely not kill me!!

With that said, On Sunday Jan 4th, I knew that I needed to get back on track with my eating if I wanted to really get back to the fitness level that is best for me!  So I decided that I needed to simplify my eating (even further) and I have taken it to the next level.  My goal is go Paleo 6 days a week - with a few modifications.

Remember,  in order to have a lifetime of weight loss success, your plan has to be realistic. It is simply not realistic for me not to have coffee & creamer, or greek yogurt or....Wine (or a vodka martini).  So...those are my modifications!

An occasional glass won't kill me.

Here is how week one looked:

Breakfast:  Greek Yogurt

AM Snack:  3 oz of Chicken Breast
This actually breaks into 5 servings!!!
Lunch:  Apple with 3 oz of Chicken Breast (if I'm at the gym or store) OR a LARGE Salad with spinach, celery, carrots, radishes or Shakeology (Vegan Dark Chocolate is what I'm digging).


I just add 1 scoop to 6 oz of water.  My Friend Jen adds delicious peanut butter! 

PM Snack: Apple
Dinner:  4 egg whites with asaparagus, sun dried tomatoes, jalepanoes and fresh pico de gallo on top!  Delish!

Yes...I eat the same thing about 6 days a week - boring?  No, at least not for me.  I discovered years ago, that if I could keep my choices simple that I wouldn't blow my work outs with poor food choices.  It helps keep me on track.  Do I enjoy what I eat??  Yes, because I'm pretty much a creature of habit.

It's a different story if I go out to eat (that's another blog post).  I do cook differently for the men in my house - spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf, crockpot recipes galore.  But they need a different kind of fuel.
Here's how I am changing it up tho:

Breakfast:  3 oz of Chicken Breas
AM Snack:  Apple
Lunch:  Shakeology
PM Snack: Greek Yogurt
Dinner:  my usual egg white concoction - sorry, I really do love it and it requires absolutely no thought on my part.

OK - I didn't change it up - I just moved my foods around based on my running training.  Don't judge me.

Everyone asks what I take on the road -  I love these single servings of Tuna - they may not be 100% paleo, but remember what I said - 80%!!!

Having experimented with nutrition for the past 7 years, I have discovered what works best for my body, best for my runs and best for my weight lifting and active lifestyle.  That is what sets you up for a lifetime of weight loss success.  Finding what works, keeping it basic and simple but yet enjoying a good meal out, or a nice gluten free pizza from Joe Mama's on date night every once in a while.

What are some of your go tos?  What goals have  you set for the upcoming year?  Did you make a plan or do you just plan to wing it?