Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Not Running (Fast)

This blog post was originally called Pokey Pilates.  It originally had a sad, cynical tone to it.  Kind of went something like, "poor me, I cannot run. Poor me, I have to do "chilled out" workouts.  But then I got tweets like this yesterday and I knew it was time to change my attitude and be thankful, hopeful, and excited.

Honestly if you do not read Jenny's blog, you are doing yourself a disservice.  She is pretty much the sweetest girl I know

So in the spirit of capes, tutus, and thinking positive, I am changing this whole post into 10 Reasons Why I Love Not Running (Fast)
Once upon a time, I loved workout classes and GASP  hated running.  For someone who has absolutely no rhythm whatsoever and is always a half step off, I sure my loved my step and cardio kickboxing.  My movie selection was complete with the Firm, a rockette (yes rockette; with my favorite dance friend Jenn) dance workout video (don't laugh it kicked my ass), and Billy Blanks Taebo.  Like running, these workouts were great while on vacation, hardly anything to carry but the video, just ask Aaron.  For running on vacation I only need to bring my two pairs of shoes (a back up of course), fuel belt, shorts, shirt, Garmin, iPod, shotbloks, sparkle shirt etc.  While doing workouts on vacation, I only needed the video and then the steps and 4 sets of weights that went with it.  O.K. maybe not so similar, I think the day I retired the Firm for running was the happiest day of Aaron's life - no more 4 sets of weights and steps to carry EVERYWHERE and I mean EVERYWHERE we went.

Unfortunately for Aaron, Operation Stephanie Low Key Workouts is under way.  On Monday, my doctor impressed upon me that it was totally ok for me to continue to run, do pilates, yoga, strength training, and walk.  Runner Steph would be off the table running with those words, but "I want a baby Steph" knew that my doctor was not telling me "it is fine for you to go to Hot Yoga and then do an hour of speed work."  Nope, instead she meant SLOOOOW miles, relaxing yoga, and nothing too strenuous.  She gave me general guidelines of absolutely no more than 10 miles in a week, 5 miles max at a time but generally like my nutritionist said only 30 minutes a day, 5X a week of working out.  Sure, I sort of want to jump off a ledge at this recommendation. Absolutely, I want to go kick out some hardcore hill workouts.  Yea, I am little scared of losing my body, my speed, and fitness.  But then I remember that 22.  I remember my bigger goal and I sit back down and tell running, for once, it will have to wait.  Instead, I am relaxing, rethinking my workouts and being positive.  So a list that is for me as much as it is for you on why this is a good thing:

It is a good thing that I can't run like a fast crazy lady right now because...

10)  It is going to snow tomorrow and be cold, which is not much fun when  running

Face masks do not make for great conversations while running

9)  Usually when it is snowing and cold, I have to hit the treadmill and I kind of hate treadmill running instead I will just make tomorrow a rest day and not worry that my training will be off

8)  My toes have not had 10 toenails in months, maybe years, so it will be nice to grow some of those back, why not

7)  With all the money I save on race entries, we can go to a tropical island (Dear Aaron, did you know I have planned a trip for us with Jenny and Beth and their husbands to a tropical island)

6)  I can still eat WHATEVER I want and do not have to run 18 miles to do so

Cookie within a cookie, never gets old!

5)  I can sleep in, workout, and still be early for work (although I currently woke up at 4 a.m. today, so yea)

4)  I can be the coolest cheerleader of them all on the sidelines

Come say hi at the next race, I think you will be able to spot me

3)  I can party hard on Friday and Saturday nights as there is no long runs in my future a.k.a go to bed at 10 instead of 9.

2)  Maybe every muscle in my body part will stop hurting for more than five minutes

1)  I don't have to buy any more Brooks sneakers for awhile as back up pairs (although I just bought three, I can't help myself, my shoes are a dying breed)

In the spirit of being a low key runner, I put on my running gear and headed out with my favorite running partner for the first "Stephanie is a chilled out relax runner run."  We did 3 miles.  I walked twice.  I did not break a sweat.  I absolutely did not break any speed records.  I did not get hot.  Instead, Robin and I shuffled along, we moved our bodies, we chatted.  I made it through.  I was a well behaved patient.  I had such a cramp  in my side, if you want to call it that (I want to hopefully call it pre-ovulation), that our pace was perfect.    I would like to tell you I am 100% o.k. with this run and it was all puppies and rainbows, and while I did actually enjoy it (because I love my socializing time), part of me wanted to sprint and go crazy and be like 3 miles, sure that is o.k. as long as it is 3 miles of speed.  But I didn't because life is so much more than 3 speedy miles.

Post run no sweaty faces here. I am so proud!

 I was even more well behaved that night when I celebrated my 3 miles by refueling with two helping of this..

Waffle cone, caramel swirl ice-cream
Aaron is very excited to be in this picture!

Yesterday morning I chose NOT to run two miles with Aaron, even though I would have loved to hit the pavement.    Instead, I tried a Pilates video from Netflix.   It was not so successful, but more on that later.  In the meantime, I spoke with the PT this morning.  He suggested two days of weights and three days of running 3-4-5.   That is a bit TOO much but it made realize I can still run,  I can still keep my base I just have to truly Run For Fun!

Tell me how you run for fun or even better tell me why you love not running fast (humor me people).  If you have any good pilates tips or workout videos that would be great too...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My New Favorite Number - 22 & My Foodie Penpal

Monday is an amazing day of the week.  Don't you all agree? Don't you all love Mondays?   Well, I am LOVING Monday today.  It has been pretty much the best Monday in a while, maybe even the best day I have had in weeks so I am going to smile from ear to ear and grin happy and soak it up.  Other days may have disappointments ahead but today I am hopeful, happy, and very very thankful.

So why is this Monday amazing....well there is this

Today is a VERY good day as Girl Scout cookies are involved...

and there is this...

What do you want to celebrate with post ultra-sound? I know what I want!

and this...

Running today! Doctor's orders!

And this

This shirt 

Will soon have a matching skirt like this girl's.  Janine offered to make me one agreed after I stalked her.  Janine maybe we should go in business together,  I will sell the shirts and you the skirts

BUT most of all there is this....

My excited face post ultrasound

So did you guess yet, why 22 is my new favorite number?  Welp, if you have not, I will try to contain my excitement as I tell you that is the size of my follicle! 22!!! YAYYYY.  This is BIG news because it means that I am really close to ovulating.  We need a follicle to be about 22 before they can trigger ovulation.  So this is great.  The doctor could trigger ovulation now but my uterine lining is 5.  They want 6.  The thought is that I will ovulate on my own but just in case we go back on Wednesday and if I have not ovulated they will give me a trigger shot of hcG!  I was so excited I almost cried.  The doctor was so proud of me and was like "Go Steph, way to grow that follicle! You did a good job."  And I was like yay for two eggs (the actual eggs you eat I mean) a day and lots of fat and sitting around.  Aaron told me "way to negative split."  It works in this context, sure. To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement lol.  I am riding the up side of the roller coaster right now.  Just hoping it keeps going up.

OK, in other news, foodie penpal day!   Have you heard of this?  The awesome Lindsay of the Lean Green Bean puts it on and it is just what it sounds like.  You sign up with Lindsay (all are welcome readers and bloggers) and you get a pen pal. You then send your pen pal gifts.  At the same time you are sending gifts, someone else is sending you gifts as well. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.  It is not expensive, you are not supposed to spend more than $15, but people make good use of the money.  This month I received a wonderful package in the mail from Maggie.  It was perfect timing.  I was in a bad mood that day and needed a pick me up and Maggie gave me a great big smile.    I must really display my love for PB and my big protein and fat push because Maggie hit the nail on the head with peanut butter galore and I was ecstatic 

 I was so excited about these. Did not even knew they existed.  Perfect because I have had to give up a ton of my favorite granola bars, including the PB nature valley in favor of just protein snacks. I was so psyched for this.

Again something I never knew existed. Instant peanut butter! Really! I can't wait to try this in a smoothie because where else.

Besides this I also got some amazing other goodies, look at this stash

Chocolate, trail mix, a mug, fruit sticks, KIND bars.  IT was like Hanukah come early haha

Thank you so so much Maggie! And thank you Lindsay for organizing this great event. 

 That is it for me folks.   I have things to do, a follicle to grow, you know how it is... :)

Give me some good foods I can eat on my non-fiber days and tell me what was good about your Monday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wild Rover 3-Miler - A Spectator's Point of View

"Hi, my name is Stephanie and it has been 5 days since my last run."

Silly, inappropriate reference? Maybe, but it seriously just popped into my head when I was about to start writing this and nothing could seem more appropriate it.  It is currently Sunday night and I can describe my state of being as well feeling gross.  I have not exercised at all since early Wednesday morning.  I have been on complete rest and to add fuel to the fire I have not been able to eat any whole grains, fruits, veggies, or nuts in the past 48 hours.  It feels like a horrible, unthinkable version of detox here.  But tomorrow is ultrasound day and post 11:30 a.m. visit I have big plans including this

Chobani and Go-Lean Crunch and Grapes.  Already packed. So excited@

I told Aaron to get ready for a TON of fruits and veggies this week to compensate. I never thought I would miss my fruits so much.  Plus  I never thought I would say this but I am VERY excited for after work tomorrow when I plan to get my workout on consisting of walking or maybe some pilates and strength training followed by a slow run on Tuesday with Aaron.

Speaking of Aaron and slow, maybe I should bite my tongue because he is anything but as proven today through his amazing 3 mile race where he finished in 27:36.  Yes the boy who told me he hates running, who ran his first 5k on January 1st with necessary walking breaks and coming in under 35 minutes has totally crushed his old times and goals.  Coming into this race he wanted to break 30.  I say he got there. Try harder next time Aaron ;)  

Aaron speeding towards the finish

So today was a race morning but one like none other for me.  Today was the first time Aaron and I went to a race and I wore the "I <3 my crazy bitch" Shirt because I would not be racing.  Instead, Aaron would be representing our family. It was a late race -  1 p.m. -  so I lounged around beforehand.  I did not worry about what went into my body even eating cottage cheese, cookies, lox, string cheese all before going to the race.  I did not worry too much about what to wear or being too hot; ratherI wanted to be warm.  I was not nervous.  Well, lets take that back, I was VERY nervous about getting good pictures,  I have a lot to live up to as Aaron always gets great pictures of me (I blame the following pictures on the fact that my hands were so cold it was hard to get a good grip on the camera).

Running or not, I am going in style

Once we got to the race, I did not worry about a warm up or getting my number;  I was the one who held all of the bags and new dri-fit shirts.  I did not line up in a crowd of people shivering together in shorts waiting for a gun, instead I stood a little bit ahead camera at the ready; and once they took off I wasted no time going inside and watched the clock waiting until they would return and I needed to go back outside.

We got to run this race with Janine.  I swear more strangers asked to take her pictures than I could count

Determination. Need I say more

Before I knew it, it was time to go outside and get the camera ready.   Janine was first.   She is too cute and full of energy.  Plus she is cool because her husband's name is also Aaron.

She makes these skirts herself and runs in them!  Dear Janine, please please please make me one.  I will pay you in Shot blocks and Nuun Tablets.

And just as she met me to help cheer Aaron on, there he was! 

I am not sure if the people next to us appreciated my flashy sign and need to scream and cheer for random people. Come on they are running people, they need a cheering squad and I am at your service!

Three minutes ahead of schedule in comes Aaron!  I may have let out a scream along the lines of OMG It is Aaron!!  I was a tad bit surprised to him that early (not that I don't believe in you honey, I promise I do!)  

I think Aaron was shocked too, I took this as he rounded the corner and saw the time clock..

Before you knew it, the race was over, medals collected, drinks all around, and it was time to go home.  Aaron talked my ear off about the race and I could not have been happier for him.  I am sooo proud of him and cannot wait to join him running soon.  I know he is going to get pretty speedy, pretty quickly so I better join him now while his pace his still a comfortable pace for me and we can run together.  I am even contemplating running the 4 miler with him next week as it is at my allowed running levels.  Aaron, can I pace you please?  If I can keep up!

Congrats to the runners!

In the meantime, there is the matter of this NJ marathon that I was supposed to do.  Clearly, I am not.  I had transferred it to a half which I can also cannot do. But I know someone else who might be able to.  Yup you guessed it.  I am convinced Aaron can do this half in the beginning of May.  I have almost got him convinced, who is with me?  Help me convince Aaron!

Ok, lets hear it for Aaron.  And some words of persuasion please.  That was a $95 half marathon that I would rather not lose all the money on....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Redefining Health

Over the past few months, my meaning of health and fitness has come into question a great deal.  In my opinion, I was healthy.  I ran, I ate "right," and was a suitable weight.  I did not restrict my food, ate a sizable amount, and exercised to "optimal" fitness.  I ate a good combination of foods and gave my body what it needed.  To me, healthy meant balance- ice-cream when I wanted it, Chobani other times.  Fruits and veggies and proteins too came into play.  I just did not worry much about it.   I was happy & healthy, or so I thought...

 Vegas Half Marathon December 2011

Ever since that first doctor told me to sit on the couch and eat french fries, my definition of health has come into question.  The more I read and the more people I talk to, I realize that this doctor might have been getting at something.  Interpreted a different way he could have said (and probably did but I was not listening) you need to eat more fats, gain a bit more weight and body fat, and let your body rest more.   From that vantage point, it does not sound too bad, but what it could mean for me and for many other women struggling with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA) is drastic changes to life as we know it.  Put simply it seems to mean...

Instead of running for hours on end, restrict your workouts to 30 minutes a day, 5 days max and that does not mean 30 minutes of speed work.  Instead do pilates, yoga, take a stroll in the park, go on a Slllloooowwww jog.  

Flying while running, no go. Take it down a notch..

You may be at a healthy weight, but what is another few pounds - Eat more and not just anything, include the F word, FAT (and proteins too)!  Don't forget more cholesterol.  Hormones need them to grow.  You can eat healthy fats & proteins- peanut butter, almonds, salmon, olive oil, avocado.  Also you might want to try some whole milk products - real ice-cream, fat-filled yogurts - you know the drill.  Don't be shy about eating a hamburger and french fries or some pizza.  It is good for you.

Yup, there is an Oreo in my Chocolate Chip cookie, because why the hell not!

Relax!!! Stop trying to DO, DO, DO.  Don't control everything.  Just relax and things will happen.

Who me, a control freak? No, I am just running for fun...

And maybe my personal favorite, 48 hours before ultra-sounds make sure you cut out anything you remotely used to think was healthy - nothing with fiber including fruits, veggies, whole grains, cereals, nuts, you name it. 

Poptart for snack because the only other non-Whole Grain thing we seem to own involve previously mentioned cookies and because Poptarts are good people, really. 

So reading this over, I know the above sounds a bit cynical but I think it also displays my feelings and mood and  I try to keep it pretty real here so  I decided to just leave it as is.

I have been struggling over the past few days to find my happy medium and to redefine health.  I am determined to take HA by storm and to beat this thing.  I am, at this point, prepared to sit on my butt and eat French Fries because french fries rock people and you know it.  Right now, that is what I am doing until my next ultrasound on Monday.  No working out. At All.

However, my nutritionist has told me that it is ok for me to do the light 30 minute workouts and that if I am not hungry, that I can eat less and not gain weight as that is for women who are underweight while I am not.  I have been doing a lot of researching, talking with others, and thinking and I am just not sure.  I always want to do the right thing and make the right decision.  I always want control.  People have given me their opinions and have mentioned that even at a healthy weight and BMI, that I may and they too have needed to gain.  It just seems so...up in the air.  Everyone is pretty much in favor of the light workouts but I am still not 100%.  I know I need to not over think this and RELAX, but alas I find myself ruminating about what the correct path is for me only to once again realize there is not one correct path.

In the meantime,  I am contemplating the idea of these 30 minute workouts.  Gone are the days of speed workouts and hills, of training plans, and long runs.  This is very hard for me and it is very sad.  But it is only temporary and I - Will - Be - Back!  Instead, I spent sometime today on Netflix finding some good workout videos to try...

I am setting the mood

I am also thinking about some walking or running at a slow pace with Aaron.  I am not going to make a schedule.  I am just going to go day by day and do what my body wants.  This is scary for me.  I like my schedule, I like having a plan and checking it off, but I have got to work on this re-liquishing control thing anyway, why not start here.  I am also going to try and trust my body on this whole food thing.  Intuitive eating has never been something I am very good at.  I have a plan, I stick to it.  I add calories for running and that is that.  We do not truly know if I really need to gain or not, but more fats and proteins will not hurt.  So I am going to stick on my normal plan and not shy away from that carton of ice-cream or extra cookie.  I am going to try and eat intuitively and honor my hunger.  Again, this is scary for me.  But it is well worth it.

Or I will just keep eating at Robin's house and she will take care of this for me

Is all of this what many would consider healthy?  Not in the world I am used to.  This is very much counter to all I know, but in some ways maybe it is not so different.   This is just what is healthy for me right now and that is O.K.  So I will try to stay true to myself, honor my body, and remember my goals as we march forward.
Aaron is running his 4th race ever tomorrow. I am determined to be the best cheerleader possible!

Have you ever had to redefine your meaning of health or slow down your training?  How did you do it?

Friday, February 24, 2012

GAME ON Amenorrhea, GAME ON!

Today is a new day.  Today is Friday. Yesterday, was what it was, but that is in the past.  All I know is what is in front of me at this moment and staying in this moment is safe and manageable.    Today is a new day and today I woke up with a new sense of hope, motivation, and determination.  Maybe it was the wonderful comments, tweets, e-mails, and texts I got yesterday (thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart you have no idea what it meant to me), the trip to the mikveh, a very special Facebook message I got this morning from a wonderful mother, a cohort of strong women that I have found battling the same issue, OR maybe it was watching the Hunger Games Trailer for the 10th time that really stuck with me (Dear Robin, why have we not bought tickets yet).

Whatever it is today, I am back to being the strong, "Challenge Queen" that I know that I am.  A very good friend reminded me this week of who I am.  She explained that when life throws my challenges I step up to them.  Something clicks for me and I just do it, full on.  What others may struggle with.  I grin my teeth and bear it.

A year or two ago, I was faced with such a situation.  And it kind of went like what happened yesterday.  When I was told that I needed to face my challenge and that it was for my own good, that yes I would have to make scarifies but ultimately I would be happier and healthier, I cried.  Even though I wanted to be happy and healthy, the idea of this challenge was preposterous to me.  I could not do it.  I would not do it.  So I cried, I felt sorry for myself,  I fought and then I talked to friends, found comfort in family, and faced my fears.  Again and again I looked challenges and stumbling blocks in the eye and told them to go to HELL!  While at my support group this week, I was questioned on how did I do this.  Being asked this question was so humbling.  It made me feel so good.  I realized how much I had been through and how much I have accomplished.

Don't mess with me, seriously. I take these Amazing Mazes down like no other

Today, I remember those challenges. I remember how when I was told to stop exercising that I did.  Something in me then clicked.  I knew what I wanted and needed to do and the stars aligned to allow me to do so.  I was very very lucky, but I was also very strong and took to my challenge like the "Challenge Queen" my friends have since dubbed me.

I have had my "woe is me time" and while I am not saying this will never come again (stay tuned Monday for my next appointment), but now I am ready to face life, the world, and whatever it has to throw out me.  I have a bracelet I use for challenges like this is has on it the words

Wisdom, Faith, Tranquility

For my earlier challenges, Aaron and I thought this was most appropriate.  If you take just the initials, can you read between the lines.  In the past, while trying to be peaceful, I was also taking my anger, using it to my advantage and making it determination.  Something along the lines of this situation.  While I am trying to relax, be hopeful, and accept, I am also determined.  Determined.   Determined - WTF Infertility. W.T.F!  I am not taking this lying down so be ready for a battle.  And I am going to win in one way or another.  Because we will have a child.  It may not be tomorrow or a year from now or two years from now.  It may be biologically ours or not but either way we will have a child that we will love and care for.

So it is Friday and I am calling GAME ON!  So come on Mr. Amenorrhea (with your very hard to spell, still have to Google name) try me.  You think that adding a few pounds and taking away my running is going to break me, well then you have underestimated me.  

It is Friday. It is a day to smile.  Leave me a message, tell me how you are determined, how you preserve or why you are smiling today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Running and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea - Admitting Defeat

Editor's Note: For all those reading this now as of 2016 - I want to tell you there is a lot of hope and true opportunity for recovery.  I tell you this from a place of  having had two beautiful babies, periods, and marathons!  Please check out to see the book my colleagues and I wrote about the topic and how to to recover. We are here for you. You can do this!!

Honestly, I was not going to post to you all today.  In my fits of sadness, anger, and disappointed I had pretty much resolved to take a 3 year old mentality to this whole situation and put on a very extravagant pity party which included not contacting anyone until someone, anyone actually knocked on my door and asked me if I was okay. Yes, I pretty much waited for a phone call or text message or email last night because I expected people to magically know I was suffering and to come to my aid.  Real big Steph, I know.  Honestly, it is probably better that no one came knocking because I was not too much fun to be around.  Poor Aaron he is getting the brunt of my "pleasant" behavior.

I would like to tell you that this morning I have a renewed sense of hope and determination, but that is not entirely true.  I do feel better than yesterday and almost ready to face the world again.  However my outlook is still pretty poor and I feel very sad, angry, frustrated, and stubborn all at the same time.  Beautiful right?  And while I could pretend otherwise, I have decided to be as "real" and true to myself on this blog as possible so unfortunately, you are all getting the good, the bad, and the ugly, and today it is ugly.

Can you guess what brought all these wonderful feelings and such a "happy" Stephanie out to play?  It is not so hard to figure out that yesterday's doctor's visit was not as successful as I had hoped it to be.  Going in, we were hoping that my follicles had gotten to a point where they would be ready to ovulate.  We had shot in hand ready for the battle.  No go.  No shot to stimulate ovulation for me, not even close.  My largest follicle was 13, we need it to be at least 20 and my uterine lining was 3, you need a minimum of 6 or 7 to hold a baby.

My doctor asked me about my changes in food and exercise and was none to please to hear that I ran 13 miles this weekend.  She explained to me that I really need to run no more than 10 miles in a week 5 miles at a time, not get too hot (how you not get hot by running is beyond me), and have to keep getting the cholesterol needed for hormones to build up.  Fun?  How do you get healthy - gain weight, eat more, exercise less.  Joy.  The more and more I read these scholarly articles and websites, they explain that hypothalamic amenorrhea occurs due to a combination of stress, weight loss, and/or exercise that ultimately blocks gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) important for that whole ovulation thing.  Women are told to eat more, exercise less, and may or may not need to go with some rounds of hormones like Clomid.

So where does this all leave me?  My doctor explained that there is a chance that my follicles will still grow.  They have the ability to grow 2 mm per day so we are going back on Monday to see if by some amazing chance they did.  I am not hopeful.  She said they could also shrink, stay stagnant, or grow a little but not enough.  My guess is they will shrink, we will try Clomid for another month or so with no success and then move on.  I told you I was not in the most happy of moods.  I am probably losing followers by the dozen but at least blogging is still therapeutic, right?

Until then, my doctor wants to make sure I am cutting down on the exercise and continuing to eat lots of fats and proteins.  I emailed her this morning but honestly right now I am almost resolved to do no exercise until my appointment and see if that helps.  It is only a five day experiment of sorts so I am kind of like why not.  Today I feel so defeated and worn down that I am not even in the mood.  Since I officially cannot workout to the point of getting "hot" and I cannot run more than 5 miles, I have absolutely zero training aspirations so what is the point or harm in taking the days minus my sanity.  I used to run to stay in shape but clearly it is looking more and more like I need to pack on the pounds so that is out the window.  And while yes I run for fun, much of this fun is through training, goals, and chatting with friends and I am not seeing much joy in 3 miles alone on the treadmill right now at all.   In all, like I said, I feel alone and without purpose.

I know I can turn this whole post into positives.  I can say that my follicles were only 8 last time and now they are 13.  That I have a major purpose and goal in not exercising or exercising less.  That this is not forever and just for right now.    I get it, I can say all of those things and eventually I will.  I know.  But right now, I am sad and I am angry and I am defeated and sometimes I kind of just need to ride those waves of emotion for a little while longer until I come out on the other end.

I hope I have not lost too many of you in my "woe is me" post.  Not so fun, I know.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Note if you have come here for the first time please continue to keep reading or check out some more info on my new blog  as always feel free to email me I am here to help.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hope & Bondi Band Review and Sweepstakes

Tomorrow is the BIG day with a visit to the doctor to see if the Clomid has worked at all.  I am trying to not get too excited, but ultimately I cannot not be too excited so I am just letting myself feel hopeful and excited and then if I have to deal with disappointment, then I will deal with disappointment.

Thus lets do something fun, upbeat, and hopeful....a Review and Sweepstakes!

It is no secret that I love me some Bondi Bands.  From the moment I started using them, I knew I could never ever go back.  I have tried to go without them when I am at the gym sometimes - a light elliptical training or maybe weight training -  but honestly, I just feel naked without them.  Ok, maybe not naked, but absolutely not happy because like I said

Once you go Bondi Band, you really never go back.

So what is so great about them? I feel a list coming on....

a) they totally complete the outfit (just kidding...sorta) and I can sport my blog logo at the same time!;

this all matches, right?

b) they hold back my ever growing hair (dear hair, please please please be long enough to cut for Locks of Love, I am ready to go back to short hair now);

c) they catch all my wonderful sweatiness and keep it out of my eyes and more importantly my eyes; and

Not looking too happy but at least there is no sweat in my eyes

d) they keep my ears warm (seriously these things can be ear warmers).

When I first started wearing Bondi Bands, I really was worried that they would slip out of my hair or would not stay in place.  This has never really been a problem.  Sure I have had to make a few adjustments now and again but overall they stay exactly where I place them.  Initially, I was also worried that they were just going to really annoy me. I have a ton of neck problems that often results in pain behind my ears so I was worried that the placement of the band would feel heavy and irritating.  Again, never the case.  They do not bother me in the least, it is like they are not even there.

I generally do not fold my Bondi Bands.  Some people like to fold them in half so the band is not so big  and you can absolutely do that, but it just was never for me.  I am all about showing off all of my Bondi Band.   Just what works for me.  You can also wear the Bondi Band under a hat or a helmet.  I wanted to try out the helmet, but I don't own a bike or a helmet.  I did try using the Bondi Band with my hoodie and that was not as good.  In that case, for me, the Bondi Band fell off twice, but I was also using a full face mask and I think it kept getting stuck to the Velcro from the mask, so I am not sure I would use this combo again.

So there you have it. Short and sweet.  Bondi Bands are just pretty darn awesome and I do not really have anything bad to say about the product in the least.

Even better Bondi Band has offered to allow one of you  a chance to win your own.  You will get a Heavy Sweat Wicking Bondi Band and can even provide your top two choices of styles.  While there can only be one winner, everyone can utilize the 10% coupon code that Bondi Band has provided.  At purchase, just use the code 


Basics:  To enter the sweepstakes for a Heavy Wicking Bondi Band 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 Wednesday February 22, 2012 at 5 a.m.  and will go to Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 5:00 a.m.  Winner will be announced by Friday March 2, 2012 at 8 p.m. and will be announced through this blog -  A winner has one week from the announcement of the winner to claim the prize or else a new winner will be chosen (Sunday March 11th 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 he or she will receive a Heavy Sweat Wicking Bondi Band valued at $8.00

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Running on Clomid

Ok, ok, I know I promised to write about something else and I really was going to do a Bondi Band review today but those things take time and I have about 20 minutes to write this blog, jump in the shower, and be at work on time.  No problem.

The past week I have been enjoying the fun filled experience of taking Clomid, a hormone that basically is supposed to help your body prepare for ovulation.  When I asked my doctor about side effects, as I have heard different things from different people, I got everything from some people feel nothing to some people have an extreme form of PMS.  You can experience hot flashes, bloating, mood swings, and cramps.  I figured, given my experience on Provera, I would easily get lucky on the bloating.  And without fail just hours after taking it, I began to feel as if I were a "Beached Whale."

Beached Whale means don't leave the couch and watch as much "How I Met Your Mother" as possible

I think you have to take all of this in stride.  All the things that I have experienced thus far in the past few days could or could not be related to Clomid.  On Wednesday and Thursday, I was so bloated after I ate and drank that I could hardly move.  On Friday, I had an emotional breakdown over whether we should have chicken for dinner.  On Saturday, I had a crappy run, albeit I did have wonderful company, so it was not all that bad.  And on Sunday and Monday I had these intense lower back pains which I have decided means that something must be working in my body somewhere.  But all these things could all just be me - I have been known to be indecisive about dinner and I was tired from work, bloating could have been in my mind or overeating, and back pain could be from a strain of sorts.  I do not really know.  Some of my friends tell me it is absolutely the Clomid; others say it might also be a little bit psychological.  I will never know, but it is just how I feel and that is O.K.  Aaron and I are working really hard on me just accepting my feelings.  I cannot feel "bad" or guilty for feeling them, it just is and that is that.

All this could just be a result of too much challah...but there is no such thing as too much challah, seriously.

The weirdest part of all though has to be the running.  I have never been a huge believer in this whole mind-body connection.  But in the past few weeks, watching my running combined with the Clomid, I am starting to get the feeling that a) my body is telling me something and b) Clomid and running are not friends.  I tried Googling Running & Clomid and got some information about how you can run while on Clomid but I was kind of looking for more answers about why my body has come to a screeching halt.  Since about a month ago, my running has taken a significant plummet.  I know I am actively trying to slow down, but it is like my body is three steps ahead of my mind.  Things that used to be easy are now hard.  I cannot push my legs to get up to my normal fast speed.  I just do not have it in me - I do not know if I do not have the energy or the drive, but something is just off when I go to get on the elliptical or go out for a run.  I can work up a glisten of a sweat but fun beat red faces that I like to sport are few and far between.  I am watching my speed diminish and lets just a 13 mile run at a comfortable pace was nearly impossible.

Yesterday, my very wise friend Jen told me that it really was the medicine.  It amazes me that a little pill can really make that much of a difference, but apparently it can.  This made it a little easier on me.  Additionally, I am truly starting to feel that my body is accepting what my mind cannot.  My body knows I need to slow down and is doing it for me whether I like it or not.  I am not going to lie.  This is not easy.  I am so used to getting out there, pushing hard, and doing my best.  It is difficult to comprehend that my best for now is a new all time slow for me.  Combined with the fact that I am getting added rest days and am sitting around a ton more, it is easy to begin to feel negative towards my body.  And it is and would be all too easy.  So I am not allowing it.  I am reframing the situation and marveling at the fact that my body knows what it has to do to get healthy and be able to support a baby.  This is something I want and my body is essentially helping it along so I can go kicking or screaming or I can join forces with my body and rock this whole pregnancy thing.  No Big Deal.

Run, Walk, Crawl Finish.

Regardless of whether you are trying to get pregnant, dealing with injury, or just going through a phase in your running where you feel you "should" be faster, stronger, etc., I challenge you to be gentle with yourself,  to trust that your body knows best, and to reframe.  It is so so easy to be hard on yourself, to be mean to yourself.  But this is never called for.   So I will try today and the next day to continue to be gentle and work with, not against, my body.

How do you be gentle with yourself when you need to slow down?

Monday, February 20, 2012

When You Are Not Running...

Not running can be very very hard on a runner.  Not to offend anyone, but I am not sure others who are not a slave to running totally get it (actually those who do not run are the sane ones and we are all probably just a tad crazy or addicts, or at least I am).   Many people who do not run, simply cannot understand why it is such a big deal for me to tone down the running or workouts, take more rest days, and just relax.   Many people would jump at the chance to sit around and be lazy.  A license to not worry about being dragged to the gym, to just be and have all this free time to do whatever you want.  But what if the thing you want to do is the thing you are not supposed to do?  Then it become a bit more difficult....

While I am still running and working out, it has been dramatically reduced.  I did run long Saturday, but during the week a racked in a total of 2 miles.  Maybe that is why trying 13 on Saturday was not so pretty.  Otherwise, last week, minus Saturday, I logged a total of 1 hour of sweat time, if you want to call it that.   I am not sure what the future weeks will bring.  If I will continue along this schedule or further reduce my Saturday runs.  I just cannot tell at this moment and that is O.K for now.  I am just taking it moment by moment.

When my other friends are injured and cannot run, I always sympathize with them and then push them to enjoy the things that they cannot while training - time with friends and family, lunch dates, relaxation, etc.  I realize that this is a lot easier said than done when you are an addict.  The first time I gave up running for a few months to allow my body to recoup it was HARD.  Looking at others running made me really really sad.  I was stir crazy.  But it was also one of the happiest times in my life.  My body was regaining strength and I was giving it the rest it needed to do that, no matter how much I believed it hurt.  So here I am again watching others train for marathons and post fast and faster times while I wonder how I am STILL so hungry even with the reduced exercise and couch sitting.  I thought this time around was going to be even harder as my love for running has increased exponentially, and while it has not been easy by any means, I am remembering to enjoy all the other things that I can do when I am not running for fun....

Yesterday was a perfect  example of this.  Earlier in the week, I set off to arrange some plans that I would have to look forward to on the weekend as my training took a backseat...

Nothing better than a good brunch....

Especially with good food and..


Yesterday, I also woke up with an incessant need to work on our home.  I told my father I was being all "homey"  he replied "the word is nesting."  Regardless, we enlisted our friends to help rearrange the furniture (isn't that the only polite thing to do when people come over, to put them to work?).  After they left, we set apart adding some finishing touches which included a very important trip to Home Goods, a store that I have overlooked but is pretty freakin amazing...I stand corrected.  Some very necessary buys resulted in our new living room...

After months of our living room's fire place not working and our T.V. Stand hiding it, I am pretty excited that we now cannot only see the fire place, but it works as well

We then moved onto the bathrooms.  We added some new art, which I love.  It kind of makes me want to go buy potpourri and decorate the bathroom more...

And then we Aaron set to work on the most important project of the day...

Yup, we Aaron installed toilet paper rods, we may or may not have been living without them for the last nine months, minor details (no judgment please).  When I was 13, my father and I put together a desk.  You know the ones that come in a million pieces?  This desk was HUGE and took literally 4 hours to put together.  He told me then when I found someone I wanted to marry, I would not be allowed to marry him unless he could do the same.  I am certain Aaron would be up to the job, he rocks these tools, while I hold my ears and play on Twitter (my dad is shaking his head at me as reads this I know....)

All in all it was a wonderful relaxing weekend.  Now if I could only get these back pains to subside (although I am secretly hoping they are a sure sign that something is working inside my body).  

Have you ever had to scale back your running for a time?  How do you keep sane?