Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Can Tell Everyone In the World But I Can't Tell You....

Thank you so much again for being so supportive! I really need the smiling moments these days.  Speaking of which if you want to smile, read this.  If you are like me and forever long to live a life like Jody Sawyer from Center Stage you will love this (Thank you to Ali for posting this link, amazing!)

One day Jody Sawyer, one day..
So I have gone from last week's not being able to even spell Amenorrhea (I kind of still have to sound it out and like to spell it "Ameoherra," if I am being honest) to talking about it the topic A LOT!  So much so that I will probably lose 10 followers for every time I mention the word Amennorrhea.  Yup there goes another one.   But it kind of happens to be the topic of the day or in this case the week.  I promise to have some fun Sweepstakes in the next day or two to lighten the mood.  Nothing like Compression Gear to make people smile, right?

Everyone looks their best in compression right?

So while I have been talking up a bit storm to strangers on the Internet about all things personal, there is still one very important person left to tell about my uhh situation.   It is funny while some of you I have never even met or spoke to before Monday's post, this person I have seen at least once a week for the past three years of my life.  I guess it is easier to tell "strangers" (although we are not really strangers, are we) all the intimate details of your personal life than those who you admire, look up to, and are close with.  But regardless of how hard this may be or the fact that there is a part of me that hopes the problem is a Thyroid issue (not likely but stay tuned), tomorrow morning I will head into P.T and talk to my P.T/Coach.  I envision the conversation going something like this

Me: So we have good news and bad news, the good news is that I had the most amazing 13 mile run ever on Sunday followed by some pretty kick ass 4-mile repeats Tuesday.  The bad news is now I have to tell you all about my personal girl life issues and be all awkward because if I want to have a baby, I have to get my period and to get my period I have to eat more and cut out a day of our training and our MARATHON!!
PT: Uhhhhh...Commence Running to the hills to get away from this crazy woman who wants to tell me way too much information.

That's me, Crazy Woman, I am the one in the cool monkey fuzzy pants

Ok, that is my worst fear and I am absolutely not giving my P.T. enough credit.  My rational mind knows this will not be his reaction.  In fact, about a year and a half ago, I created a much more awkward situation for him when I deferred Marine Corps Marathon and took a 2 month hiatus from training to work on my emotional and physical health.  At that time, I was sooo scared to admit all this to him, worried he would be angry or upset with me, that we would never work together.  In short, I blew the whole thing out of proportion and was shocked and overwelming touched when his response was:

You are an amazing runner.  The way you moved from a 10K to a half and your speed is amazing. You have the ability to be a great marathoner if you want that and I will be here for you when you want it. Come back to me when you are ready whether six months or two years from now.  And then he gave me a hug.

Seriously?!?!  I clearly have the most amazing coach in the world.  It is almost 2 years post this discussion and I still remember it like yesterday. It got me through; it stuck with me; it was one of the most amazing things that anyone had ever said to me.

So for tomorrow, I am hoping for an encore.  Is that really too much to ask? ;) Regardless, I have got to man up and do it.  It has taken me a while but I have found that you get nowhere without being honest to yourself and your providers.  It would be unfair for me not to tell him, for both him and I.   So even though my face might get a little red during my "I don't get my period speech" (kind of like when you watch sex scenes with your parents) tomorrow I am going to bite the bullet and explain to my P.T. what is going on.

In the meantime, the Thyroid issue.  Some fellow bloggers (thank you!) have brought to my attention, through their own experiences, that they have been misdiagnosed or mistreated for Amenorrhea.  They did not need to slow down or gain weight, but rather it was Mr. Thyroid that was causing the problems and they just needed medicine.  While it seems unlikely, to me, that this could be my problem, I am going to my PCP tomorrow, and thus I have already emailed her telling her she MUST give me this test (apparently I know best).  Even if my blood work says my Thyroid is fine, I have to get a cheek swab test to make the actual determination.  So what the hell?  I am always game for the good old cheek swab.

In other news, I am hoping that my PCP can help me find a new doctor or at least a second opinion or person to talk to.  I have gotten some recommendations for different OB-GYNs and Reproductive Endocrinologists (RE) but I am not sure where to go first.  I would really like to go to this woman recommended by my nutritionist but she is booking into July.  Great, real helpful.  When I spoke to the secretary about the waiting list, she pretty much equated getting in to see this doctor to the chances of me getting a spot in the lottery for the NYC Marathon.

Although I have gotten into Falmouth Road Race two years in a row, so you never know (except for the fact that I totally just jinxed myself).  P.S. Once upon a time I did not know you could make a wardrobe out of running gear and wore this outfit every time I ran - yes I did laundry every day.
Further to even get on the list, I need to book an appointment.  So July 6, Dr. H and I have an appointment, so useful.   I am going to continue my search for a doctor combination (OB-GYN and RE) that "gets me."  While many have warned me that a new doctor will say the same thing, I need a doctor that is going to be more compassionate and understanding.  Hopefully my PCP and I can talk through some options.

And if two doctors in one day is not enough, tomorrow also starts Acupuncture.  I was originally going for my neck but now also for this whole "period thing."

Gosh, I am exhausted just thinking about all of this.  So thats it, one day, three doctors, maybe some answers?!?

Do you ever find it hard to open up to the ones you are closest with?  Have you ever tried acupuncture?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Amenorrhea Part II - Hard Choices

Thank you everyone for your wonderful supportive comments. I promise to respond soon.  It really meant so much to me. Ok back to it..

The decisions that I made yesterday were not easy ones.  They are unsettling, in some ways, difficult in others, and exciting in  yet other ways.   The choice to give up my May Marathon was not easy.  The commitment to eat more with the potential to gain weight has been less than fun and the fact that I have to give up some of my beloved running just plain well sucks.  But here we are Day 2 and I am still alive.

So how did this decision come to be?  Well, before I even went to the doctor, I had an inkling he was going to tell me gain weight and reduce exercise, especially running because everyone always seems to go after the running.  Why is that?!? However, regardless of my "inkling" I was not at all prepared for the cut the exercise in HALF and gain 10 lbs "prescription."  It seemed so counter intuitive to me - that all the things that are suppose to be "good for you" just became bad for me. This is how the conversation went:

Doctor:  How much do you run?
Me:  Well, not as much as others, I run 3 times a week, cross train 3 times a week.
Doctor: Can't you just do less like 30 minutes instead of an hour
Me: Institute noise that sounds of like ehhhh and look down
Doctor:  How much do you run on weekends?
Me:  2 hours-ish
Doctor: Can't you do an hour?
Me: If I go faster.....Can't we just start with the increase in food and then go to the running?
Doctor: Yes but if it does not work, we will take out the running and we will see that I was right
Me: Yes, but if eliminating the running and increasing the food does not work, we will see I am right.

Clearly, the doctor and I did not see eye to eye.  Additionally, I knew this relationship was not going to work for me necessarily.  I generally need someone who "gets" me and who can hold my hand a little bit more, especially when things are tough.  I am also still not convinced that this is an all or nothing thing.  So I did a little research and talked to more people.

Unfortunately, regardless of anyway you slice it, everyone seems to agree that I need to at least cut some exercise and eat a bit more.  To make the decision to this was not easy.  I wrestled with it over the past four days, I made Pros and Cons lists, I talked to more people, and I considered my priorities.  I went from being just plain PISSED off that this was happening to me to feeling an enormous amount of pressure.  I felt that even though my husband and I were in this together it was ultimately my decision.  Would I gain weight and reduce training in hopes of getting us closer to having a baby or would I put it off to be a smaller size and run another marathon? I also felt extremely worried and self conscious.  I stressed that I would gain a ton of weight and none of my clothes would fit and everyone would talk about all my weight gain.  I worried that I would give up what I love to have a baby and resent this fact.  Further I stressed about that I would give it all up and this potential solution would not actually work.  I was scared that I would lose blogging if I was not training for a marathon and lose my training partner as well.

Not everyone understood.  Why not just give up the running? No big deal right?  Just gain a few pounds, no one will know, right?  Some got it, but others just didn't....

Why people can't understand that this is me having fun is totally beyond me...

So I went through the motions - the sadness, the fear, the anger, and then ultimately the Acceptance.  I realized that while I love running so much and that while I wanted to run a May Marathon, I could live without it.   That there would be other marathons and that I could find other ways to support my love of running.  That I could adapt and find ways to keep enjoying running as well as blogging for that matter.  My running partner and I talked and she was totally awesome suggesting that we could run whatever I could on Sundays and she would pace me to a "wicked" fast half marathon come May and then we could go cheer on our speedy friend.  That even though we could not run 15 miles together, we could do 6 or 8 miles or whatever I am allowed and then go for breakfast and she would be able to refuel from a hard workout and I could just, well, eat my 200 extra calories and enjoy!

Fruit Loops here I come

I talked to my family and made the decision to be open about this topic on my blog.  To allow the experience to help me put a more personal spin on my blog.  It does not mean that the running talk is going away (don't worry)  but that I can share more with you all and I am really excited about that.

As per the weight, we will see.  Somehow letting others know that I have to be eating more makes it easier.   I am not actually proud of that fact because I know the theory is that I am glad people know because they won't think "I am out of control."  This is something I am admitting but NOT something I think is the healthy frame of mind.  I am working towards being ok with the weight and food intake because that is what I need!  That is what my future baby needs and I want to do everything in my power to prepare my body to be ready for a baby.

So there you have it.  These were hard choices.  They make me sad and, at the same time, happy, but hopefully they will  make me stronger (and strong enough to have a period).

In the meantime, I keep trying to convince Aaron into a puppy, you know, for practice.  He does not seem to be so agreeable.  I guess one of us has to be the responsible one here..

Too cute!!! This is Aaron's goldie from childhood, Jazz.  She got to live out her years on a farm (literally) we miss her a lot now that she is no longer with us :(

Have you ever had to make tough choices?  How do you do it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Truth - Ameno What?! Amenorrhea

 Disclaimer:  As you may have guessed from recent posts, some personal things have been going on in my life that I have not been 100% forthcoming with.   I always debate how much I want to share on this blog, and lately, I could be sharing more than I have.  After much consideration, I decided that it might be helpful for me and hopefully you all to open up a little more.  Not sure where this will take my blog but we will just give it a go and see what you all think and if it works.  I hope you will stick with me...

With great runs (and great running partners, husbands, and providers) comes, great clarity.  

Luckily for me, I am blessed today with all of those things, which could not have come at a better time because I really needed all of these things to come together to make some big decisions.   Today's run and conversations before, during, and after have led to some BIG decisions, as they often do (it is something about running that just brings those wise thoughts or crazy spouts of energy).  I am not sure where these decisions will lead, if they will change as we go, or if they will stay the same, but for this moment this is where we are at (and by tomorrow I may even be somewhere else, stay tuned).

The Big Decisions of 2012
Big Decision # 1 - I will not be running the NJ Marathon, if possible, I will do the half.  Sigh.

I love marathons, there will always be another marathon.

Big Decision # 2 - I will increase my calorie intake by 200 calories a day, if not more.

White Chocolate French Toast here I come!

Big Decision # 3 - I will cut back training to 4 cardio sessions a week and 1 strength training sessions followed by two full days of rest (or a day of full rest and a day of Stretch, Flow, & Relaxation Yoga).

Me and my elliptical.  Will you miss me? I promise to visit.

Now the explanation, and like I said, we are getting a little more personal here.  I hope it can benefit us all. While Aaron and I are still very young,  we have hopes of starting a family in the near future.  We have been together for 8 years and are ready to add an addition to our home.  The only problem being is to add that someone, namely a baby, you need to get pregnant.  To get pregnant, generally, you need to get your period.  I am not pregnant and I am not getting my period.  This is, as you would guess, problematic.

No Aaron not that kind of baby, close though.

Let's back up and give you the whole story.  Until July, I was on the pill and getting regular periods, most likely due to the Pill.  The combination of hormones in the Pill, estrogen and progesterone, allowed me to have regular monthly periods, keeping me healthy and my bones protected.  In July, I went off the Pill and have not had my period since.

My doctor told me to wait, that some women take up to 3 months to re-regulate.  I waited, but nothing happened.  While this was ideal for marathon training, it was not so great for baby world.  After the marathon, I went back to my doctor and we tried another hormone, Provera - a hormone meant to essentially "jump start" your body into having a period.  Again, no luck.

Thursday, I saw a Reproductive Endocrinologist.  In a very blunt and scientific manner, he looked at my labs and told me that I should stop exercising and sit on the couch and eat french fries (and yes that is what he said).    I was diagnosed with exactly what I thought I would be diagnosed with - Secondary Amenorrhea.

SecondaryAmenorrhea occurs when a woman who was previously menstruating stops menstruating.  It is, in essence, an absence of a period.  While some might rejoice in this, it is not a good thing and it can have negative consequences if not treated.

Clearly, regardless of the "baby factor" we are taking this very seriously.  It is not something to play around with.  In comes the dilemma,  what causes it and how to treat it.  There are a number of opinions and causes.  Some causes include natural ones, hormonal imbalances and structural issues.    None of these fit me as far as we can tell.  What does, however, fit me is these other "lifestyle causes" including stress, low body weight, and excessive exercise (maybe, it is debatable if this is actually a cause).

The "prescription" from my doctor, as noted, was to gain weight (10 lbs) and drastically reduce my exercise.  But not every doctor subscribes to this theory. My nutritionist, Nancy Clark, argues that it is not the marathons but the caloric deficit that is problematic.   In essence, my body does not have the calories it needs to sustain life or a period and do all that I am doing.  Increase the calories, reduce some exercise, and see results.

Thursday night when I came home from the doctor, I was fairly distraught.  The idea of just gaining 10 lbs and cutting out almost all exercise seemed a little much for me to handle.  After doing some further research (thanks Google) and talking with Nancy, it seems that there are other options.  Yet even further I feel the need to discuss with more doctors and get more opinions on which is the correct route to go for me.

In the past few days, I have talked with a lot of friends and professionals.  I have ridden a bit of an emotional roller coaster and I have made the above decisions.  However, getting to these decisions was not easy.  In some respects, after gathering more information, these decisions may change again...But for now, let's start here, with how I came to this decision....

To Be Continued...

Have you had any experience with Amenorrhea? Do you struggle to decide how much to share if you blog?

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  I am not providing advice as a professional but sharing my story. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What Defines You As A Runner?

Over the past few days, I have had the unplanned "opportunity" to take a step back and look at my running and reflect.  To understand what is important to me, what I want out of running, and what makes me a runner.  In many aspects of my life, I do this often, but with running, I generally just GO, GO, GO!!

See... GO GO GO!!!

There is always another race, another training plan, another PR to tackle.  It is, in short, addicting.  Don't get me wrong, I love it.  I love so many things about running minus those very painful moments...

Really running, I do love you, can't you tell?

But like it or not conversations and suggestions led me to think about how much I value running and what makes me a runner.  Long story short, for the immediate future anyway, we decided that it might be a good idea for me to tweak my training just a tad.  I generally take one rest a day week.  For a little while, however, I am going to experiment with taking one full rest day a week and one rest or Stretch, Flow and relaxation day a week.  The hope being that this extra day will allow my body to recover more, for me to feel a bit less stressed, to help with that whole weight gain thing (more this week if I am feeling all sharing is caring like), and hopefully to even enjoy the benefits of yoga and rest.  After all, as people keep telling me I "Run for Fun," right?

We run for fun in this family, can't you tell?!?

When this was first suggested to me, I actually jumped at the chance, probably because the other options were cut your training in half (clearly one day v. half, I will take the one day).  And I am still pretty O.K. with this option, it is reasonable, sensible, and, hopefully, a step in the right direction, for me anyways.   Yet, the more it ruminated with me, the more I started to think about whether this made me less of a Runner, less of an Athlete.  In my mind, I went over and over my training plan thinking about which day I would cut and which day would "hurt" me the least.  What would happen if I only got 2 days of running in instead of 3 or 2 days of cross-training instead of 3?  Would all be ruined?  Am I any less of an athlete if I choose to take that extra day while so many around me double up on workouts with a bike and then a swim; or a run and then cross training; and here I am twiddling my run.   The comparison game is a very VERY slippery slope and one that is not healthy nor one I wish to venture down.

For instance, I choose not to compare my height to Aaron's, I will always lose.

Ultimately, while these "evil" ideas try to invade my thoughts, I know better and am stronger than such thoughts.  Maybe one less training day a week will hurt my speed and endurance, or maybe it will help.  Maybe the extra day will ward off injury and some Stretch and Flow yoga will help me stay limber (now I just need the perfect DVD to accomplish this).  Honestly, I don't know the answers to these questions and like any wonderful Type A Runner that scares the crap out me.  What, I can't control it, I can't control everything?!?  Apparently, that is not how the world works...

Or maybe I can control everything, I am a marathoner after all..

Seriously, whether I like it or not, I am going to have to learn to be O.K. with the fact that I cannot control everything.  In the meantime,  I have to remember a valuable lesson:

A runner is not defined by how many miles you log in a week;
Nor by how fast you are, how long you go, or how much training you do.

The Simple Act of Running Makes You a Runner! 
You Run Therefore YOU ARE A RUNNER!

I am a runner. I define myself as one and no one can take that away from me but myself.  If I call myself a runner, then I am one.  If I choose not to, then I am not for that moment.  But for now, I AM a runner and no amount of miles, training sessions, speed, or lack thereof will take that away from me!

How do you define yourself as a runner?  Any good Stretch and Flow Yoga DVDs for me?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Numbers Game - The Time to Gain

Remember when I wrote all about how I avoid scales and numbers?  Oh when was that, like three days ago? Yup!  Remember how I told you all that I don't know what I weigh and am happy about that?  No need to have a scale for me.  I am very happy not knowing.

Here I am just a few days ago the foam roller and I blissfully unaware

Well apparently, my doctor did not get the message when I said I would rather not know my weight or maybe he chooses not to read my blog (I don't know how that could ever happen especially with a Chobani Sweepstakes occurring )  because in the course of our discussion today my weight and the number attached to it came up multiple times.  Yup, fun for me, so enjoyable to now know a number I have been purposefully avoiding ever so well for many many months.  And guess who seems to have been right about gaining?  This gal.  Apparently it seems a new medication I have been taking added a good 5 lbs to my waist line in about 20 days.  Yay medicine! Yay knowing my weight for the first time in over a year and a half.

Couldn't be happier!

Aaron was with me at this visit and he said his heart sunk when he heard the doctor say my weight and prayed that I did not hear it.  But I did.  And I am actually here living to talk about it.  Because you know what it was not that bad, even though it was 13 pounds heavier than I thought.  Yup, I have literally been thinking I was 13 pounds lighter for the past 1.5 years.

Whateves, I still think I am pretty cute right?

And you know what? I don't care.  It is just a number.  It does not define me or who I am in the least.  I still am in love with my body and proud of it.    I am still going to move on with my day and the number will be what it will be.

That being all well and good.  My doctor does want me to gain five pounds (yet to be determined if that is in addition to the "medicine weight" or if I just to replace one with the other).  This is not so easy.  I mean yes it is easy, I just have to eat all fun foods right? hehe.

Dear Aaron, please take me to the Cape right away for some Captain Frostys Yum!

But it is still a tall order first of which being will it effect my training and my running? Will people notice? Will people wonder and will my cute dresses still fit is second in the order of questions.   I guess, though, I have to take a page from my own book here and remember it is only a number and it will not define me, that there is more to life and that if for right now I need to gain a few pounds that is ok too.

In the meantime, while I am accepting all this added weight, I would love to hear from you all.  I know this is somewhat counter to what most healthy living bloggers are working on but have you ever had to gain some weight?  How do you handle it? Does it effect your training?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Three Rs - Responsibility, Running, and Relaxation

Tonight after dinner, we sat on the couch watching TV and then Aaron had to go upstairs and finish work.  This left me with a choice.  To do the grown up thing and clean up all the dishes or to just leave it for tomorrow and say to hell with it, I am a grown up if I want to leave the dishes at the table (and by table I mean the coffee table) and go upstairs and blog and proceed to curl up in my big bed and watch yet another episode of Gossip Girl, then I damn well am going to do it (there were a lot of curse words in that sentence...oppps).  So, with a sigh, I got up and, you guessed it, cleared the dishes.  (Although sometimes if I am being honest those dishes wait till the next day - sorry Dad)!

This got me thinking about responsibility, running, and relaxation.  Do I dare say the "Three Rs." I like to think I am pretty good with the responsibility and running part - although my husband may argue otherwise, but he better not if he knows what is good for him.  I get up every day, get my training in, get to work, come home, deal with housework and do all the grownup things that need to be done.  As per running, I may not be the fastest runner or the best out there, but I hold my own.  It is that relaxing part that I was never so good at.  The part that tells me "hey just throw caution to the wind and choose not to put the dishes away."   That part of me that refuses to listen to the voice in my head when I just want to sleep an extra hour instead of going all the way to Boston at 5 a.m. for Physical Therapy.  And that part of me that spent 14 hours a day studying for the bar exam.  Yea, it is that part that is just not so good at the relaxation.

I got the whole running thing down, except when it lands me here.  This is what happens when you don't relax or when you run 20 miles in 80 degrees...

In the past few years, I have gotten better with this whole relaxation piece.  Just ask my husband, you know the guy, I beg each night to get my frozen yogurt pops from the fridge a mere 20 feet away.  But things have been a bit crazy lately so the relaxation piece has taken a back seat to Mrs. Responsibility and even running as well (as clearly demonstrated by the jello legs of last week).

I could be responsible or I could act like a kid - you decide..

I just have a very hard time "doing nothing."  Just being and enjoying.  To just let paperwork go, to forget about the dishes, and to just rest.  Ultimately, it builds up and it has been building.  This week I am exhausted and I am not sure why.  In comes, my goal and commitment for this post.  Counter to everything that is the fast pace society that I live in,  I am pledging to find time this weekend to just be.  To relax.  To let the laundry, the paperwork, and the dishes wait and to just enjoy a moment free of responsibility and even running and relax.   We all need that sometimes...

And by relax I clearly mean make Fro-Yo.  Did you know the best appliance in your kitchen is the ice-cream maker?

How do you balance the three Rs?  Do you ever leave the dishes to the next day (don't make me feel bad here folks)?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Fear of Weight Gain

Have you checked out my Chobani Sweepstakes?

Yesterday, I put on my pants for work and they seemed a little....snug.  Today, I put on a different pair of pants for work and again they felt a little...snug.  If this had been me two years ago, it would have sent me into, to be honest, FREAK OUT MODE!  I would have run to the scale to see if my brain was playing tricks on me, if the dry cleaner's had magically shrunk my pants (hmm...it is not like they are jeans), or if worst of all, I had actually put on a little weight.

Ok this has nothing to do with this post but it is like my new favorite picture so why not.

Instead, today, I jokingly said to Aaron that I guess I am gaining weight, laughed and brushed it off.  I did not run to the scale and I did not obsess. In fact, I have not weighed myself in over 2 years (minus doctor's visits and I ask them not to tell me, it is a number and it does not define who I am or what my day is going to be like).  I made the wise-minded decision that my body was once again fluctuating or that my mind was in fact playing tricks on me, and then I went on with my day, for the most part.  At one point, I did let myself admit to Aaron and Robin, that no matter how much I have learned to respect my body and leave numbers alone, it is a bit scary to feel as if I have gained weight.  Maybe it is the lack of control or the fear of growing larger and larger (again control), but the idea of it can be unsettling.  

In today's world, it seems that all too often we are fixated by numbers and weight.   Society and the media have taught us that to be healthy, happy, and beautiful you have to be TOO skinny.   To fear weight gain like the plague and feel bad about ourselves if we are not the ideal body type.  This conditioning has translated into an epidemic of skinny jeans, low calorie snack options, and fad diets.  I am not saying that all of these things are bad - I have my so-called "skinny jeans" which come out for the right occasions, but it also makes me sad, sorta.  Sure, it is good to have a handle on your health and with that comes a handle on your weight (meaning being a healthy weight for your body type), but at the same time it is sad that a number or particular body type can determine so much.

Today, I am proud that I could move on with my day and my life.  That yes it did bother me a little but I did not freak out.  I did not decide that I needed to run extra hard tomorrow or eat less or differently.  Instead, I took it in stride as something to notice and be aware of.  Maybe I have gained a few pounds, maybe I have not.  I don't know.  I do care, I am not going to lie, but I know that I am happy, healthy, and beautiful.  I know that I can continue my day, my week, my month and see what happens.  Maybe, I will need to reassess my exercise and diet, and maybe I won't.  But overall, it will not dictate my life and I will not be a slave to numbers.

Still happy and healthy, pizza and all :)

I would love to know what you think.  Do you freak out about numbers, scales, and weight?  How do you move past it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is it Friday Yet & Chobani Review & Sweepstakes

Unfortunately no winner came forward for VitalSox so there is a new winner "JenR."  You have one week to email me to collect your prize please!
It is not even close to Friday and I am already exhausted.  It is something about doing long runs on Sundays instead of Saturdays that leaves me down for the count.  When my long runs are Saturdays, I have Sunday to recouperate (e.g., an hour of ellitpical, followed by endless errands, followed by time on the couch with TV if I am lucky).  But with Sunday long runs, it just does not seem that way.

But like it or not, it is not Friday, it is only Monday (or Tuesday depending upon when you are reading this) so we need a little bounce in our step and honestly, the thing that has been getting me going lately or putting a bounce in my step is Chobani.  This is not a ploy, and no, I am not kidding.  How in the world can you not get giddy when a sample case of these shows up at your doorstep?!?

One sure way to beat the Monday blues is for a case of this to show up at your door. One way not to beat the blues is to leave your Chobani in the fridge at work and not get to have it when you get home (good thing I have extras!)

Yup, Chobani was nice enough to let me sample and review all these wonderful flavors and giveaway a case to you all as well.  But as nice as they were to do so and even though I had a whole wonderful case at home, I could not resist buying MORE Chobani at the store that same day (the sample packs don't have the new flavors in them yet, sorry).  I am pretty sure Aaron might kill me for the amount of yogurt I stocked in our fridge but I could not help myself).

 Can you really blame me? I had the chance to sample all three new flavors I had to go for it!

Believe it or not, if you had asked me three years ago, I had never heard of Chobani or Greek Yogurt.  In fact, if you tried to get me to eat yogurt I would have said unless it is frozen yogurt, forget it!  I really did not understand the appeal of yogurt.  Up until 2 years ago, I would have told you that I only liked "Danon Fit & Light No Carb, No Sugar" Yogurt - seriously Steph?!?  Now I am all about the carbs hehe.  

But something magical happened one day in the past year or so, I discovered Chobani and it was life changing.  I am not even kidding, it was really a life altering event for me.  It turned me on to all different kinds of yogurts and now I can say I am proud to be a yogurt fanatic and will easily and happily have yogurt, especially Chobani, as part of every meal if it were up to me (and I don't even know all the cool cooking tricks that others know; apparently you can make breads, dips, cheesecake from Chobani, who knew?!?).   While I would like to make Chobani part of every meal, it generally appears at breakfast or lunch for me. I love Chobani and Go Lean Crunch with a piece of fruit or Chobani and Granola. 

 It may seem boring to you, but don't knock it until you try it...oh sooo good!

I can't get enough of this stuff plus it keeps me satiated and content.  Nutritionally, it is pretty awesome too - you get tons of protein for not too much fat and calories.  I am not one to obsess over the amount of fat and calories in something, but this seems to be a good balance.    

And of course, it is wildly tast.   Out of the flavors that were in the sample pack (including Mango, Plain, Vanilla, Lemon, Pineapple, Honey, Pomegranate, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry, & Peach) my top three favorites have to be Mango & Pineapple (tied) and Black Cherry third which is saying something because I don't generally like cherries or cherry ice-cream.  I don't even like Shirley Temples!    Although I have to admit, I have not tried all the flavors yet.  Even though I want to, I tend to get sucked back into having my favorites over and over again.  Out of the new flavors that I sampled (not in the Sample Pack)  I liked Passion Fruit the best followed by Blood Orange and then Apple Cinnamon.  Do you sense a pattern here?  I really like the sweet options.

So if you have never tried Chobani before (and if you have not, do not wait to win this Sweepstakes, get to the store right now and eat Chobani as if your life depended upon it) or if you believe you don't like yogurt let me try to explain to you the magic that is Chobani. Chobani is a greek yogurt so it is thicker than most yogurts.  For their fruit flavors, they have fruit pieces mixed in with the Chobani.  It does not taste "fake" or "processed."  Rather, the added fruit is a wonderful addition to the yogurt giving it flavor and a nice sweet taste.  Chobani goes wonderfully with cereal and other crunchy goodies or you can just go for it and add chocolate chips to the mix!  Any way you spin it, it is amazing and worth giving it a try!!

Ok, so like I said Chobani is giving you the opportunity to win a Sample Pack!  All you need to do is comment on this post and you will be entered in the Sweepstakes to win the Sample Pack (lucky you, I am already jealous).

Full Terms and Conditions here
Basics:  To enter the sweepstakes for Chobani sample pack  please just leave a comment on this post, meaning the post that announced the sweepstake.  The comment does not have to be anything in particular.  It will be used so that your name can be entered into the sweepstakes as facilitated by Random.Org.   There is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY or any other type of consideration that must be given to enter this sweepstakes.     By entering a comment, you are entering in the sweepstakes and are thus agreeing to the full terms and conditions outlined here. 

Eligibility Requirements:  To enter this sweepstake you must be over 18 years of age and a United States citizen.  Other restrictions apply.  You can enter by simply leaving a comment on this blog, NO PURCHASE or other consideration is neceessary.   You cannot enter by any other means. 

Duration and deadlines:  This sweepstakes starts on Monday January 23, 2012 at 7:00  p.m.  and will go to Monday January 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.  Winner will be announced by Wednesday February 1, 2012 at 8 p.m. and will be announced through this blog - Runforfun-stephanie.blogspot.com.  A winner has one week from the announcement of the winner to claim the prize or else a new winner will be chosen (Friday February 10th after 8 p.m.) .  All prizes will be awarded.  Thus if the winner does not come forward, a new winner will be chosen.

Prize Description: There will be one winner and they will receive Sample Case of Chobani.

Disclaimer:  This sweepstakes is being held in the United States and is open to United States citizens, making it under federal and all 50 U.S. states law and jurisdiction.  The sweepstakes is VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  The writer of this blog is not liable or responsible for any lost or broken items and is held harmless.  She is also not liable or responsible for any injuries or problems that occur from using the item won in this sweepstake.   

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wellness Day & Coupon Codes

I have to admit I am a little bit behind on this post, about 2 weeks behind in fact, but better late than never? It took me a while to get all the pictures together and my ducks in a row but I wanted to make sure this post still got up.  So here it goes...

For the past six months, I have been working on an event for my Temple's Sisterhood.  It started out small and conservative.  But like most things I do, it got BIG fast!  Before I knew it, the idea of a Wellness Fair went from a simple Sunday afternoon with members of the Sisterhood to inviting anyone and everyone and having almost 50 sponsors!  How did this happen?  Easy, I am a runner and when someone suggested the idea of having a few wellness speakers come in, I immediately thought, why not make this like a race expo?  And the rest was history...

The goodies just kept rolling in...

Before I knew it, we had an awesome swag bag valuing over $200 with $100 for Accelerated Fitness, two weeks free pilates and yoga at Endurance Pilates and Yoga, samples from Pretzels Crisps and Pop Chips, an Everstride Anti-Chafe Stick, 10% Tommie Copper gear, discounts on Bondi Bands, 3 Sessions as One2One Body Scapes, and more!!  It got pretty intense.

There were 100 bags to pack!
But the bags are packed!

And we are ready to go!

Besides the bags, the vendors started to appear too (well, appear meaning I was, like Aaron likes to say, "adorably persusasive").  By the time the day arrived, we had so many different vendors including  Indulgence Day Spa and Philip Ciampa Salon, Eastern Sun Acupuncture, Whole Foods Market Woburn, personal trainers from Form and Center Fitness, Mui Chiropractor & Wellness Center, yoga instructor from Yoga by the Green, Fitness Centers like Gymnasium and more!


So two Sundays ago, the big day, the day I had planned for so long arrived!  From 1-4p.m. on January 8th, the Wellness Day went off without a hitch.  We had over 200 people come and participate.  They received a free Swag Bag, got to enjoy free massages, sample nutritious items from Pretzel Crisps, Whole Foods,  Pop Chips, and Stonyfield Farms, and hear from all different speakers.  They also got the chance to win items from CEP Compression, Road ID, Bondi Band, SugoiCode Blue, Vitalsox, Greater Boston Running Company, Juice Plus+, and more.  Finally, there were nurses taking blood pressure, Physical Therapists doing balance tests, and mid-wives discussing birthing and other topics. It was pretty fantastic.



The day went by quick but it seemed like everyone had a great time.  It personally left me exhausted for oh a good two weeks, I am still recuperating (thus the very long time it took to post this post).

But now that the dust has settled I am taking a step back and enjoy some freedom.  The Wellness Day was tons of fun but it was tons of work and I am enjoying, hopefully, a few weeks of rest and recuperation.

Until the next big event,  I may or may not be agreeing to work on a big blogger meet up for the Boston Marathon, I am sure some of these sponsors would be game right guys? :)

  In the meantime,  we still have some awesome things for you all, even if you could not be at the event.  

  • Go to EverStride and use FunRun as a coupon code to get 25%
  • Go to BondiBand and use RunforFun as a coupon code to get 10%
  • Go to VitalSox and use RS1BL1TS to get $10
All of these products are amazing and worth adding to your list of "must haves"

I just want to take a chance now to thank all of our sponsors for the Wellness Day.  I could not have done it without them.  They have been nothing short of amazing and they are worth checking it out for sure! I can't wait to work with them again!

Happy Monday folks!  Have you ever planned a big event?  Would you be up for a big blogger/reader Boston Marathon meetup?

Our sponsors included:
Whole Foods Market Woburn, Lexington Fitness Club, Lexington Running Company, Pretzel Crisps, Code Blue, Bondi Band, EverStride, Skin Sake, One2One BodyScapes Fitness, Tommie Copper , Peanut Butter & Company, Yasso Pops, Hint Water,
VitalSox, Stuffitts, Tribe Hummus, CEP Compression, SUGOI, Juice Plus+, Attune Foods, Form & Center Fitness, Brenna Q., LMT, Eastern Sun Acupuncture, Gymnasium, Amy Sonnanstine, BS RN, Pop Chips, Families for Depression Awareness, Winchester Hospital, Jewish Birth Network, Esther H, MPH, Certified Nurse Midwife, Women’s Health Associates, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Certified Birthing From Mentor Within, Alison D., Lahey Clinic, Gynecologist, Yoga By the Green, Endurance Pilates & Yoga, Down Under Yoga, Mayyim Hayyim, Sharsheret, Road ID, Stonyfield Farms, Allan Azoff’s Martial Arts Academy, JP Licks, Zyrra - The Bra Experience, Heidi L, Ph.D, ATR-BC , Mui Chiropractic & Wellness Center, FORCE, Forte Fitness & Physical Therapy, Janette Z. L., MS, CGC - MGH, Ctr, for Cancer Risk Assessment, Henry Oliveras Shiatsu Massage, Qigong & Tai Chi , Indulgence Day Spa & Philip Ciampa Salon, Accelerated Fitness

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Poem to Mrs. IT Band

Oh Dear Mrs.  IT Band

Oh dear Mrs. IT Band,
You never liked when I ran.
You told me pretty loudly,
How running long distances made you rowdy.
I tried to be very nice,
And give you lots of ice.
But dear old Mrs. IT Band,
You were still never a fan.

For a while you went away,
And let me play.
But now you want to show me whose boss,
And put up a fight like Randy Moss.
I do not like to play your games,
I do not have to time and this is pretty lame.
So dear Mrs. IT,
Please calm down and come around!

Do you sense a theme here? Yup, my wonderful Mrs. IT Band has come out to play.  I am not excited to see my old friend.  We have spent many races and training runs fighting together and unfortunately, she usually wins.  Back in 2009, I suffered from IT Band pain and then again in 2011.  It was not pretty....

All smiles?

Thursday morning after my treadmill run I felt a ping at the top of my hip.  I knew that ping.  It felt tight.  It felt like Mrs. IT Band wanted to come out and play.  I have been rocking compression gear, ice, Aleve, and foam rolling ever since.  I even tried KT Tape, but oddly enough that seemed to make it worse.  I have been getting up and stretching as much as possible.  It is not crazy painful (although I have not tried running on it yet), it just feels tight.  Once I get up and move around and stretch it, it loosens up, but I just don't know what to think or frankly what to do (even though I have been here twice before).  Part of me believes I am making a mountain out of a mole hill and the other part is screaming at me to WATCH OUT (Mrs. IT Band can be very very sneaky).

Becoming Best of Friends with My Foam Roller

Tomorrow I have 12 miles on tap.  I want to go outside.  I know my PT would say go for it.  He would not stop me in the least as seen from the past two rounds of IT Band Pain.  He mainly just has me power through it, work through the exercises, and move on and I do move on eventually...

The PT & I one week later after the crying picture (see above). Came back to place 3rd in my age group for a 5-miler - powering through..

But I am still unsure about tomorrow morning - do I go outside and enjoy the frigid air with my awesome running buddy, do I hit the treadmill, do I do nothing?

I hate being in these positions and cannot believe I am here again.  I am hoping that this is just a fluke.  I am hoping to ride the wave.  But it never seems to be that simple for me.

Welp, that is it tonight?  All you wonderful runners out there I could use some good running advice!