Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Experience with MyMedLab.com

After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year, after being dismissed from my doctor because I had a severe reaction to the synthroid thyroid medication she prescribed for me and because I asked for an alternative such as an armour medication, after studying and researching everything about the condition I could possibly find, a friend introduced me to MyMedLab.com.

MyMedLab.com allows us, the consumer, the patient, to take control of their own journey.  It puts the power back into our hands.  MyMedLab connects you with a confidential medical laboratory in your town, and allows you to pay for reasonable laboratory work up.  So, you want a full thyroid panel done and your doctor says "it isn't necessary" but you believe it is - you can order one.  And you get the results quickly!  It took me about 48 hours to get my results.

The results are also easy for you to read.  It gives you the normal ranges, and it gives you your numbers so you are able to see where you are low, where you are in range and if you are over the range.  And while you personally may not be able to interrupt these results, or if you want a second opinion from someone other then your physician, they help you interpret them as well through a group of experts who will answer your questions, identify risk factors and help create a plan WITH you on how to move forward with your physician.

After hearing my story and sensing my frustration with my thyroid journey, David - the founder and creator of MyMedLab suggested that I request a full panel from his company.  After meeting with him personally and learning more about why he created MyMedLab and why he was passionate about the average everyday consumer knowing their baselines and taking ownership of their health, I decided that this was the right process for me.  We talked in depth about what my results may show and he really put my mind at ease of the unknown.  The unknown, of course was about to be revealed.




My blood was drawn and I impatiently waited for results.  Which were quickly delivered to my account I had created at MyMedLab.com.  But what exactly was I looking at?  It looked like all my numbers were in the range that was allowable, albeit it very low - like 1 or 2 points over the lowest number that was deemed acceptable.  So was my thyroid inactive or active?  So many questions -

David reached out to me when he noticed that my lab results came in and reviewed them with me.  Indeed, my numbers were all in range, and thus when my dr. prescribed the synthroid, I had an adverse reaction because it was then creating too much thyroid!  So what numbers did my dr. see that made her think it was low?  Of course, we couldn't answer that question because I had never received a copy of the lab results - another important reason to use MyMedLab - you get a copy of your lab results so there are no unanswered questions. 

With a new revelation that my thyroid indeed was in working order, it brought on the questions of:

SO why is my hair falling out in huge amounts?
Why so much weight gain in such a short amount of time?
Why am I so fatigued all the time?
Why am I so emotional at odd times and yet so disinterested at other times?
Why is my skin so insanely dry all of a sudden?
Why does it seem like I have 99% of hypothyroid symptoms but yet, my numbers say I don't have it?
Where do I go from here?

David advised me to go ahead and get a full, fasted blood draw so we could look at my baselines and maybe, there, in my bloodwork, we would find some of the answers.

So my next step - was...a fasted blood draw at my local lab.  I put in my request for it to be done at MyMedLab and went in a few days later for my fasted blood draw.  This time, I encouraged my husband to get his done as well.  He has battle chronic pain for years, and I thought this might be a good time to get his baseline as well.  Baselines are important because they may or may not change through the years and can reveal all sorts of information about your health.

I spoke with a couple of nurse friends about my experience.  They had never heard of a patient being able to request specific blood work without a doctors' order and even commented that it made them sad "thinking that our medical professionals have let down their patients that the patients know have to advocate for themselves" .  Others thought it was great that patients are wanting to take ownership of their health and were being empowered in such a unique way.

Are you wanting some answers to your health questions?  Do you suffer from a low thyroid or overactive one?  Just want to know your baseline?  Create your account now and order your lab work thru MyMedLab.com.  I'd love to hear back about your experience with them.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Where to eat in Tulsa....

If you are coming to Tulsa for Route 66 Marathon (or for any occasion, really), you may be wondering where you are going to fuel up!  I have a few favorites I thought I'd share with you - keep in mind you don't have to be running to enjoy my favorite eating establishments!  

You'll probably be arriving in town on Friday evening.  Most of the Route 66 Marathon  sponsor hotels are located downtown since that is where is start and finish lines are.  Downtown has some great eating options that you can probably walk to (or Uber if you are saving your legs for the big run day). 

So for Friday Night in Downtown Tulsa, you've got some great options: 

Into Middle Eastern faire - go with Laffa.   They are amazing, locally owned, and located at 111 N Main St, it should be a quick walk from any of the sponsor hotels.  I especially like their Tzatziki ( a greek yogurt based dip), their chicken & lamb Schwarama & Sweet Potatoes.  They also have a great cocktail list that I'm slowly working my way through!  The atmosphere is awesome as well.  They have some great Gluten Free alternatives as well. 


 
There are lots of other options as well - El Guapo for Tex-Mex, Elote (Mexican) which offers both carnivore and herbivore dining options, Phryme if you are looking for an amazing steak (a little pricey for me but definitely a treat), or Ti Amo for Italian cuisine.  These are just a few of the downtown eating establishments - do a google search for a complete list.  There are tons of choices!! 



Maybe you are looking for more "American" style food - then I'd walk over to McNellies - a pub locally owned.  They've got your typical pub food ranging from turkey burgers & sweet potato fries, to Fish & Chips, soups and salads and let's not forget they have over 350 beers for you to taste!  McNellie's is located off of 1st & Elgin.  My favorite there is a bunless turkey burger with the sweet potato fries.  


Running the 5k on Saturday and wanting to refuel afterwards?  I love a good brunch, whether it be on Saturday or Sunday!  A great brunch stop on Saturday  could nclude the Dilly Deli, which is located downtown and is again within walking distance of the start line for the 5k as well as the hotels.  

Dilly Diner is a flashback to an old fashioned deli - the ambience is lively, there is often a waiting list (but it goes quickly) and there is outdoor dining (weather dependent of course).  The have Manmosas (think of it as a carafe of mimosas) and they'll cook your eggs however you like.  They have everything from breakfast to dinner options! 

As for me and my Perfect Pacer, you will find us at Brookside by Day on Peoria.  You may have to uber there - it is about 5 miles from the start line of the 5k.  Definitely my favorite go to place to brunch.  Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, and again eggs anyway you please.  They will even make you an egg white omelette just the way you like it, biscuits and gravy and of course bacon. Again, they just don't serve breakfast - they have great lunch options as well.  Just don't plan on going there for dinner, because they are closed.  


As far as Refueling after the Marathon, they always put out a great refuel section! They have a great selection at the finish line, and then if you are a VIP or in Maniac Corner, you get quite the food selection as well!!  

And while I'll make pit stops at the finish line for a quick refuel, that night is where I'll really get my eating on.  So much so, I'll probably need a feed bag attached!  If you are still in town on Sunday night (You could always check them out on Saturday night as well), you'll find us at KilKenney's on Cherry Street.  



An Irish Pub with an Irish ambience.  Fish and Chips are always on the menu as well as Shepherd's Pie, Boxties, flights of beer to try, and a gluten free menu.  You'll find me in a corner with Perfect Pacer as we will most likely be drinking a dirty martini and I'll be eating my favorite - oysters to start with, and an El Diablo burger (minus the bun of course) with - Irish chips - of course.  They also have a great GF menu as well. 

There are tons of other restaurants on Cherry Street as well - from Hideaway Pizza to Smoke (a steakhouse), Roosevelts (steakhouse), two near salad restaurants, Jason's Deli, Chimi's (Tex-Mex), Mi Cocina (Italian) and a few others!  
Tulsa is great for a foodie - lots of locally owned restaurants for you to choose from!  
Happy Eats!  





















Monday, October 2, 2017

Safely Running...


As Fall has begun, it is a reminder that some of our runs may be happening when it is darker outside. Especially if you are preparing for a long distance fall race!  If you are not a member of a training group and you find yourself solo on most of your runs, this means you really need to take some safety precautions on your training runs.

I personally never used to be concerned for my safety when I was running alone.  When we lived in Texas, most days I would drop off the young boy to school, then head up to this secluded paved, hill road to get in some great training runs.  I could be out there by myself, focus on my music, get my miles in and never once did I think about "all the things" that could happen.

Until one day, when a fellow blogger and Facebook friend experienced a personal tragedy in her family, where a female cousin was killed while out on her morning training run. You can read the story of Sherry here. Soon after that, I read of a gentleman running solo in Arizona that was found killed on his run as well.  It was around this same time another fellow blogger shared a post about running safety.  I knew I had to pay attention.  My husband demanded me to take precautions that I had never ever thought of before.

Obviously we don't want to go through life living in complete fear every day.  We shouldn't - that's no way to live.  And many of us may not have a choice to train in a group instead of solo.  Obviously, we are not going to stop running either.  So, we need to be proactive to mitigate potential safety issues if we are running solo.

My friend at Shut Up & Run posted the following list of advise in 2012, after another woman was killed while on a solo run (you can read the original post here.)


  • Always tell someone where you are going.
  • Stay on well travelled and well lit roads. Don’t take short cuts through woods, poorly lit areas, etc.
  • If possible, run with a dog, a group or at least one other person.
  • Ditch the headphones.
  • Bring your phone.
  • If someone looks shady to you, cross the street or go the other way.
  • Vary your routes. Don’t be predictable.
  • Know where you’re going. Looking confused and lost can make you a target.
  • Don’t be distracted. Perpetrators specifically look for people who aren’t 100% aware of their surroundings.
  • Consider taking a self defense class. You never know when you might need these skills. 
  • Reconsider the pony tail. This is an easy thing to grab and pull.
  • Have an air of confidence. Walk or run tall with your head up.
  • Trust your gut. If something/someone doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. 
  • Bring pepper spray, but keep in mind it can be used against you too.
  • If attacked, do everything in your power to not be taken to another location.
I have another FABulous friend that wrote a great safety post as well (which you can read here.). I love her advice of NOT posting your run courses!  It makes it so easy for predators to find you and track you down.  If you are posting those great mid running posts to IG, be sure to eliminate any identifying information to your viewers.  

I know many of us Strava, DailyMile, etc to track our runs but if you link them to your social media accounts, then the minute you start those tracking apps, you are able to tell people where you are!  If you do choose to use one of those apps, just don't link it and don't make it public.  The  tracking app I use is Garmin.  Only one other person has access to my Garmin account and that's my husband.  I do not have it linked to social media.  

I always make sure my husband knows my route.  Recently we downloaded the Life360 app, which allows him to track me on my run as well (it's also great for tracking your kiddos when they get to driving age).  It shows if I have stopped and where.  It's not always 100% accurate, as usually, when I get within a few blocks of our house, it will say I am home (which is why we prefer the Garmin app).  

I have often crossed the street when coming up on someone that made me uncomfortable.  And I do use my headphones.  One headphone.

I try to run through crowded areas on  sidewalks so that I'm surrounded by people.  However, that doesn't work for long runs.  I try to stay on popular running trails for those longer runs.  

Let's talk about running in the darkness - are you lite up?  There are some great "lighting" options!  Above, you see that there are lights that you can wear on your body  (noxgear) and safety skin!  (Both of these are available the Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa - you may want to look at your local Fleet Feet).  

Lighting Technology is now being woven into tops and bottoms!  You of course need to make sure you are not all in black - this makes you invisible to drivers (even if they have their headlights on).  Look for some great reflective wear tops and bottoms!


What about a headlamp?  Are you wearing one?  My favorite is the Nathan Nebula Fire LED.  It's moderately priced and a comfortable fit. 
Steel Grey


Want a handheld?  Nathan has a great one for that as well - it's rechargeable.  I use the Nathan Zephry Fire 300.  It looks like this...
Black


So... there is a lot to consider before heading out the door on your next solo run.  Is it dark outside (or even dusk)?  Do you need lighting?  Does someone you trust know your route?  Is your social media tracking off?  What's your game plan if someone does approach you?  

We shouldn't live in fear, but we definitely have to be aware and pro-active when we are running alone.  What are some safety tips you follow that I didn't mention?  




Friday, August 11, 2017

How to pick the PERFECT Shoes for your!

So, since I'm officially training for the Route 66 Marathon and Half, it means it is time for new running shoes.  While I may put too many miles on my training miles on these shoes, I'd rather buy a new pair a few weeks before race day then run on old shoes and risk injury.  I knew that needing new shoes meant I would go to my favorite running store.

There are plenty of speciality running stores in my city but I always choose Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.   Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa but this is an unsolicited review of my experience.  I first discovered Fleet Feet years ago on a visit before one of the Route 66 marathons and realized that I had been in the wrong size and type of shoe for years.  Upon returning to Texas, I had to visit my local running stores and continued to be mis-fitted so therefore, my loyalty lies with Fleet Feet.  Their process is professional, personal and precise.

Last Sunday, I met with one of the owners of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, Lori, who personally fit my shoes.  It wouldn't be the first time in the past 5 years that she has fit me for shoes, but it had been over a year since she had last fit me so she put me through the whole process to see if anything had changed since the last fitting.

First she measured both of my feet - while sitting and standing.  Then she put me on the treadmill and taped my running from behind.  This tells her what me fit do when hitting the ground - heel striker, toe or mid foot runner, pronate, supinate or neutral.


It is quite an art of studying the runner foot.  I pronate and toe off.  I have bad form (that's my opinion) and will be needing to take the Healthy Runner class at Fleet Feet so I can get some guidance on how to change my striking.  What I didn't know was that my feet had changed (another benefit of aging).  I went from a 7 normal width to a 6 1/2 wide.  WOW!!


With measurements, and the visual analysis in hand, she knew which shoes would be perfect for me.  She came out with 3 pairs in hand.  She put a right foot of one style on my right foot, and the left of another style on my left foot.  I then went outside to the sidewalk to run.  This is the elimination portion.  Which one felt better?

I couldn't decide.  So I put a pair on and ran in the mates.  I then put the other pair on.  Ran some more.  I still couldn't decide since they were both such excellent runs and felt so comfy on my feet.  So after she felt the shoe on my foot (not just the toe, but the heel and mid point),  she gave me her professional opinion and I went with those.

Now these, are my new runners.  I had sworn years ago that I'd never ever run in a New Balance.  I never thought they made a decent running shoe.  Hmmm...she proved me wrong.




And of course, when you buy new running shoes, you should buy new running socks.  My favorite (as well as my son's) are Balegas.  Deep heel beds, no slip, and I swear I can't make a hole in the toe (and I'm a toe runner so I usually have toes in my socks and shoes).  So I bought myself these fun ones, and the boy the boring gray ones.





Then we looked at one of their new products - Groove silicon wedding rings.  Since my husband is a contractor and I use my hands a lot at up as well, we rarely well our actually wedding rings, so we knew this was a great daily wear answer.  So we both bought one and we haven't taken them off since.  We have had a few runs in them, showered in them, worked in them and we are so glad we made the investment!!



Running shoes are important.  Invest in your feet and in your shoes so your running career will last longer.  Your local Fleet Feet can also aid you in injury prevention, as well as sports bra fittings, and so much more.  Be sure to check out your Fleet Feet store before going somewhere else.  You won't regret it.

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 HypothyroidMom.com - she is a doctor with low thyroid so she gets it.  You can find her blog at http://hypothyroidmom.com.

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...

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Route 66 Marathon Ambassadors  program and have been provided with a Free Entry and VIP  in exchange for my honest opinions about the race.”

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?

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Route 66 Marathon Ambassadors  program and have been provided with a Free Entry and VIP  in exchange for my honest opinions about the race.”