Why Me?

For the record, I have never once asked this.  My question was more like, “Why not me?”

On May 21st of this year, just before we were getting started with my routine mammogram, I casually mentioned to the technician that I had a dent in my left boob.  I had noticed it earlier in the year and had felt around for a lump.  I didn’t feel anything.  My hubby noticed it too but we both thought it was just part of aging.  We didn’t know.  But the technician did.  She immediately asked me if she could call my primary care physician to request approval to do a diagnostic mammogram instead of the normal screening one.  It didn’t take but a few minutes and she was back with the approval and took a zillion images.  Then she said she needed the ultrasound tech to check things out.  A few minutes later, I was laying on a table and an ultrasound tech was rubbing jelly all over my left boob.  She even checked my armpit and said she was checking my lymph nodes.

I was doing well through all of this and wasn’t freaking out at all.  I knew my boobs were very dense and I honestly didn’t think anything about all the fuss.  However, when the radiologist came in to talk to me about a 1” mass that had showed up that wasn’t there the previous year, I started getting worried.  As he was leaving the room, I asked him how my lymph nodes looked and he quickly said they looked fine.

What they didn’t tell me that day that I now know because I have the reports.  My mass was “highly suspicious for breast cancer.”

The next day, I found this article.

You see, the dent was being caused by the tumor pulling the skin.  I was getting really worried.

I went back in for a biopsy two days later on May 23rd.  I was thrilled that they could work me in so quickly for the biopsy but I wasn’t prepared for it.  I’ve heard from many people since this and some women do just fine during the biopsy. However, a very good friend of mine admitted that the biopsy part was the most painful in all of her breast cancer journey.  It hurt!  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  They take this long needle and first put in the numbing medicine.  Then they go back in there and grab a few samples of the tumor and pull them out.  You hear popping noises and that part was scary for me but manageable.  Everything was fine until they were all finished and I set up.  I blacked out immediately!  I scared the technician so much.  It was only for a second and since I used to be a big fainter back in my late teens and early 20s, I knew exactly what was happening.  The worst thing was I got nauseated.  I asked for help and the tech was running around everywhere trying to find me a barf bag.  Luckily, my stomach settled down and I didn’t end up vomiting.  They gave me some Ginger Ale and crackers and after about an hour, I was good to drive myself home.  Looking back, I don’t think I fainted because of the pain or the medicine or anything.  I think it was due to stress.

Next came the big wait for the results.  May 23rd was a Thursday and the normal turnaround time was 3-5 days.   My only problem here was that the Memorial Day weekend was coming upon us and I knew it would probably be Tuesday before I could hear anything.  We were headed out on vacation and it really did help to get my mind off everything.   I’ll be honest though.  Form May 21 on, breast cancer was the first thing I would think about when my eyes would open in the morning and the last thing I would think about before finally falling to sleep.  I tried to work that Friday after the biopsy and I did get a little work done but I kept catching myself on Dr. Google.  This was a big no no and I knew it but I couldn’t help it.  I tried to not think about it while we were on vacation and I was successful most of the time.

On Tuesday, May 28th, the radiologist called me with the results.  She was all cheerful, asking me about my wound at the biopsy site and how it was healing and for a split second I thought everything was okay.  Then she let me know it was cancer.  Women I have spoken to since did not get there results over the phone.  I’m not sure why my radiology center handles it this way.   I hated getting the news this way but then again, I didn’t want to wait any longer.  Within seconds after hanging up with the radiologist, a Patient Navigator called me to set up an appointment with a breast surgeon.   She kept apologizing for saying that the first available appointment wasn’t until June 10th because my surgeon was going to be out of the office.  I was still on vacation and since I was in shock, I happily agreed to June 10th.  If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have waited so long.  It was only 1 week after I got back from vacation but the waiting has been the very hardest of all.

June 10th finally came and I leaned that my breast cancer as Estrogen + Progesterone + and Her2 -.  My doc said if you get breast cancer, you want those markers to be just what mine were.  My clinical pathology at this point was Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  The tumor measured 2cm on the ultrasound.  The surgeon was nice and very qualified but I didn’t like that she wouldn’t give me her opinion of what to do.  My choices were lumpectomy and see if we get clear edges, radiation and the 5 year pill to block the estrogen or a mastectomy and the 5 year pill.  The only thing the surgeon did recommend for certainty was that I get an MRI.  Since my boobs are dense, she wanted the MRI to make sure nothing else was hiding in there.  A good friend had suggested I get an MRI so I was thrilled.  Or so I thought.  The MRI meant more waiting.

The MRI was June 12.  Since I fainted during the biopsy, I was on high alert for the MRI.  I wasn’t worried about the claustrophobic nature of the test.  I was worried that I might get nauseated again and have to stop the procedure.  I know, I know.  I am a baby!  I stress at the drop of a hat.  Luckily, the MRI went very well.  I think it lasted about a half hour.  I was very cold and they did put a warm blanket on me that helped a lot.  I did start to shiver a little and I was so scared that it would mess up the test.  For the MRI, you get an IV and then you lay down on your tummy and let your boobs hang out through this little attachment.  It is very loud and you hear all kinds of knocking and banging noises.  I chose to wear headphones and they played relaxing music.  I really surprised myself with how well I did.

June 12th was a Wednesday and they said I should hear back in 2-3 days.  I was going crazy by the end of the day on Friday and I still hadn’t heard anything.  My patient navigator told me my surgeon was out on Fridays but she was sure she would call me on Monday.  I decided to call the radiology center.   I don’t think they should have done this but they let me know that they faxed the surgeon the report earlier that day and offered to email it to me.  I let them.  I really shouldn’t have allowed them to do this.  When I got the report late that Friday afternoon, I was panicked!  The MRI measured the tumor to be a little over 5cm with other satellite areas of concern within the left breast.   I don’t think I slept a wink on Friday night even with the good news the MRI showed. (no evidence of disease in the right breast, lymph nodes, liver, or sternum)

I’ve been an on again off again vegetarian/vegan since 2009.  But on that fateful May 21st day of the first tests, I promised God that no matter what, I would be vegan for the rest of my life.  I first got interested in vegetarianism and being vegan for health reasons.  I really do believe we aren’t meant to eat so much of the factory farmed meat in the United States.  Then through the years, I stated being drawn to being vegan for the ethical reasons.  It breaks my heart how animals suffer.  I’m fine with occasional fishing and even hunting to an extent.  I know that many animals just don’t have many natural predators anymore.    I have a problem if you don’t use what you shoot for food.  If it’s just for sport, count me out.

I’ve actually been juicing since we got back from vacation.  I try to drink 64 ounces of fresh juice a day.

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Well, I was heading out to Food Lion on Saturday the day after I got the MRI results to get some carrots.  I purposely left my phone in the house.  Sometimes, I think we are tied to our phones and I wanted a break.  My hubby came running out to me as I was driving out the driveway holding my phone.  He just thought I had forgotten it and wanted me to be safe.    People, my grocery store is all of 3 miles away from our home.  However, I took it from him and thanked him as cheerfully as I could.  This was a God thing for sure because, just as I got to Food Lion, my breast surgeon called me.

She caught me off guard calling me on a Saturday but I was so thrilled.  She said she was on call that weekend and had noticed my MRI fax on her machine.  She let me know of the increased size and also the satellite nodules.  She just wouldn’t give me her recommendations.  All she kept saying was that it was my choice.  I could still try the lumpectomy but she warned me that my breast would be very disfigured.  Or I could go straight to the mastectomy.  We decided at that point to move up my genetic testing so I could make a better decision.

I really wanted to know if I’m carrying that breast cancer gene so I could decide if I should just go ahead and get a double mastectomy.  That test was set for June 21st.

So there you go.  May 21 to June 21.  That’s the first 30 days of my cancer journey.  I actually really dislike describing this as “my cancer journey”.  I’ve got to think of another way to describe this $hit!  If you have any ideas, please share!

This post is so long already so I’ll stop now and pick back up tomorrow.

Stay tuned….

The End of Challenges

Okay, it is time for an update for the Epic 50 Day Christmas Challenge.  Or should I say the EPIC FAIL of my 50 Day Christmas Challenge.

IF you remember, here were my goals:

  1. Beginning today and for the next 50 days, I’m going to follow Lindsay Nixon’s slimming options. I’m not going to cheat and eat candies, breads, chips, and vegan junk food.  I’m really going to eat clean!
  2. 64 ouces of H2O daily! It’s happening!
  3. I’m not going to run or do any of the boot camp exercise groups that I adore. No long and vigorous exercise sessions.  I’m going to focus on yoga, push-ups, and planks.  Probably 15 minutes a day or so.
  4. Along with these, I’m going to try and add some good habits. First up is flossing my teeth nightly.  I do it religiously for a while and then I don’t.   I really want to make it a habit that will stick.  After about 2 weeks, I’m going to add getting enough sleep to the agenda.  7+ hours minimum.  I’m so bad at staying up late and then getting up at the crack of dawn.  No more.  Sleep is so crucial to good health!  Then after another 2 weeks or so, I’m going to add on making sure my sink is clean every night.  My hubby and I are so bad about leaving dishes!  We rinse them out but we don’t take that extra step to unload the dish washer so we can put the dirty ones in.

So for #1 I started off pretty good.  I was following Happy Herbivore’s slimming options and had gotten to the lowest weight I had been all year.  After the marathon, I couldn’t stop eating!  I saw a post on a Marine Corps Marathon FaceBook page from another marathoner that said she couldn’t stop eating either.  That just gave me more of an excuse.  After a week, I tried to get back into really watching my diet but I just couldn’t muster up the motivation.  For the last 50 days I’ve been eating everything in sight.  (and even some omnivore dishes too – cheese included!)

#2 I’ve done really well on!  On Black Friday, we got a new Big Berkey Water Filter and I have been rockin’ the H2O.  We use our Berkey water for cooking, drinking, and even for washing our fruits and veggies.  We also use it to water our organic micro greens.  I’ve got this water challenge in the bag for life!  We even got a Berkey shower filter so we can let our bodies’ largest organ, our skin, enjoy the benefits!  Thanks so much to my sis and brother-in-law for this suggestion!

 

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For #3 I didn’t run, do yoga, or practice my push-ups or planks.  I did go 4 times with my good friend Heather to Burn Boot Camp.  I loved it!  It is sorta like Camp Gladiator except that you are indoors and they provide all the wonderful equipment!  They were running a New Year’s special and I have signed up for the next 6 weeks with them.  I want so desperately to get stronger and I’m not going to get it done on my own.

For #4 I did pretty good on flossing and I have done great on sleep.  I failed miserably on keeping a clean sink.  Oh well.  No Fly Lady certificate for me!

So there you go.  Looking back over the list, I don’t think it was as epic of a fail as it felt like.  So that’s a good thing.

Since it is almost 2019, my gut reaction was to buckle down and whip out a new set of challenges and give it a go again.  However, my WordPress buddy that inspired me to take on this challenge, recently published this post that has me questioning everything!

I also love this post from Happy Herbivore and everything from this blogger!

Whether or not you make a list of resolutions or try some 30 day challenge, I pray your New Year is blessed with love, kindness, and all the blessings you could ever imagine!

Happy New Year!

 

 

50 Day Christmas Challenge

My WordPress buddy who I swear is my long lost sister since we are so much alike, has been posting some monthly challenges and experiments lately.  She’s a wine lover and decided to give up alcohol for 1 month to see if it would help in weight loss.  She also just did an intermittent fasting challenge.  Check out her blog.  It’s really inspiring!  So inspiring, she has motivated me to make a blog post and I haven’t touched this blog since December 26th of LAST year!  And I used to love blogging.  Hmmm, wonder what’s up with that?!

Anyway, I have this little countdown app on my phone and I used it to count down the days until my last marathon.  It was the Marine Corps Marathon and I ran it on October 28th.  It was a wonderful experience and my hubby and I had a nice vacation.  He hadn’t been to DC before and we did all the touristy things.  We had a ball!  I promise.  I’ll write up a race review ASAP!   But for starters, here’s our celebration photo.  Ron ran the 10k that day and had time to shower and nap while I finished up the marathon.  LOL

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Getting back to the app, when I went in to amend it, I found that I could pick any date on my calendar.  I randomly picked Christmas since I don’t have another race until next spring.  I watched the little app count down last week and I realized it would be getting close to 50 days out soon and an idea popped into my head.

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What if I did a 50 day challenge!!!  But what could it be?  I had already told my running coach and running friends I was taking a break from running.  My original plan was to take all of November off.  What would happen if I took December off to?  I remember last year I had a January marathon and I loved it so much because it kept me focused all through the holidays.  Maybe I could use the 50 day challenge to keep me focused this year?

I adore Lindsay at Happy Herbivore and she preaches that “abs are made in the kitchen.”  You know, the whole you can’t outrun a bad diet manta.

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So that was it.

I was getting burned out on running and I was ready to take a hiatus from it.  I have some IT band issues that need more time to heal too.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Beginning today and for the next 50 days, I’m going to follow Lindsay Nixon’s slimming options. I’m not going to cheat and eat candies, breads, chips, and vegan junk food.  I’m really going to eat clean!
  2. 64 ouces of H2O daily! It’s happening!
  3. I’m not going to run or do any of the boot camp exercise groups that I adore. No long and vigorous exercise sessions.  I’m going to focus on yoga, push-ups, and planks.  Probably 15 minutes a day or so.
  4. Along with these, I’m going to try and add some good habits. First up is flossing my teeth nightly.  I do it religiously for a while and then I don’t.   I really want to make it a habit that will stick.  After about 2 weeks, I’m going to add getting enough sleep to the agenda.  7+ hours minimum.  I’m so bad at staying up late and then getting up at the crack of dawn.  No more.  Sleep is so crucial to good health!  Then after another 2 weeks or so, I’m going to add on making sure my sink is clean every night.  My hubby and I are so bad about leaving dishes!  We rinse them out but we don’t take that extra step to unload the dish washer so we can put the dirty ones in.

So there you go.  My Christmas present to me.  In 50 days I hope to be a lean, strong, flexible, rested, push-up machine that just happens to have healthy gums and a clean kitchen!    Ha!

What gift would you like to give yourself this year?  Do you like countdown apps?  Are you a list maker?

Thanks so much for spending time out of your day with me.  I pray your holiday season is joyous!

Melissa

 

KIAWAH!

Now for Kiawah!  I have wanted to run this race for about as long as I have been running.  It’s an old race on the resort island of Kiawah, South Carolina.  This year was the 40th anniversary of the race!

My run club picked it as a focus destination race and a lot of my friends were going.  This was the year!  I checked with Ron and he was free that weekend so I quickly signed us both up.  Since I knew we’d be with friends and no one would want to wait 5.5 hours on me to finish a full, I signed up for the half as well.

We had a blast!  Ron and I stayed with 3 other couples and 4 of the 8 of us were running!  Here’s a shot of Kim, Connie, me and Ron at the finish!

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The drive to Kiawah from our home was about 4.5 hours.  It wasn’t a bad drive but it was raining the entire way and the traffic got a little busy once you make the turn to Kiawah from Charleston.  For anyone thinking about doing this race, I’d recommend that you make it down to Kiawah early in the day or even 2 days before the race.  Kiawah is a private island resort and all the cars have to enter through the main gate.

Also, I’d highly recommend that you plan early and stay on the island.  Pick a place close to the start/ finish line and once you park at your rental home, you won’t have to drive again.

Connie had us covered and took care of all the arrangements.  Here’s a few shots of our room.  The home had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms!  We loved it!

The funny thing though was as nice as our home was, when we actually got out the next day on the run and saw all the mansions on the island, we realized as my friend Kim put it, that we were staying in a shanty!  LOL

Connie, Kim, Ron, and I all ran together for the first 6 or 7 miles.  We were doing 2 and 1s I think.  That’s when you run 2 minutes and then walk 1 minute.  We are all former or current Galloway runners and this method is very good to keep you injury free.  Ron stayed with us but he decided to slow down at bit and then we split up.

It was a great run.  The crowd support was awesome and even though the previous day was all rain, the day of the run it cleared up.  It was cold but no rain!  We were all thrilled.  When you’re a runner you know you have to deal with the cold and you have to deal with rain but when mother nature attempts to throw both of them at you at the same time, it can be a little much for you to wrap your brain around.  We were so happy we only had the cold to deal with.

I highly recommend Kiawah!  Go run it next year and plan to have a blast!

Here’s a shot of the race shirt and the medal!  Best race shirt ever!  Check out the  hood and the thumb holes!

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Happy Running Friends!

 

 

 

RDC Inaugural Marathon

November 12th was the day!  RDC was going to be my comeback marathon.  Charleston was such a disaster and Oak Island wasn’t too much better.  I was determined to fuel well and really give it my all.  I had certainly trained well all year so there was no reason RDC shouldn’t go very smoothly.

Ron and I were ready to run!  Ron the half and me the full.

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Let me step back a minute and let you know about RDC, Raleigh – Durham – Chapel Hill.  This was the first year for this marathon.  The route was almost exclusively on the American Tobacco Trail.     We practice all the time on this trail with my run club.  It is almost completely flat!  Here are a few of my favorite training run shots.  The first and last one are on the ATT but I think that middle one was on a greenway maybe around the lake at Koka Booth Amphitheater.  That’s me and Connie in the first picture and I’m with Deanna in the middle.  Me and Connie again and more friends from our run club in the last one.

 

RDC was a great race!  I liked that it was local and that they were raising money to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The race expo was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  It was a very cold day and the expo was very small but it was well run.  I liked the shirt okay and they gave out a nice sweatshirt.   Here I am a few hours after the race all showered up and sporting the swag.  The medal was great!

 

 

The night before the race we were at home so I was able to easily eat my normal night before a long run meal.  I had a Quorn chicken cutlet and baked Japanese purple potato.  My good friend Claudia swears by a small meal similar to this and she runs a race just about every weekend.   I tested this before my 23 miler and my 18 miler and those runs went very well.

I really wanted to do well in this marathon but I knew I had to be realistic.  All the numbers from my training runs pointed to me doing between a 5:15 and a 5:30 full.  So, I decided to hook up with the 5:25 pacer as early as possible.  I knew I had to keep it slow in the beginning if I had any hopes of finishing strong.

Here I am with Charlotte.  She was the 5:25 pacer and I hung with her from around mile 1 until mile 23.

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Charlotte wears a costume in all of her marathons and I remembered her from Charleston.  She wore a Southern Bell costume in that race that was so awesome.  Complete with a parasol and everything.   This costume was the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and she wasn’t gonna let us be late!

Around mile 23 I slowed down a bit to put my earbuds back in my fuel belt and she got a little away from me.  I caught back up with her but something happened and my legs just wouldn’t move any more.  I was still running but I kept slowing down more and more.

I smiled and told her to go on and she did and she finished the race right on her 5:25 pace.  She was so sweet to stick around and cheer me in when I came in 11 minutes later.  That’s right.  I finished in 5:36 and lost a full 11 minutes in the last 3 miles!  So bummed!

I’m really thankful to Charlotte though because up until mile 23 I had a great race!  I felt wonderful!  Not a smidgen of pain anywhere and I was all smiles the entire course.  Even after I slowed down, I still had a good run.  So many of my friends were on the course racing and it was a beautiful day.  It was a little cold but not too bad and the day was sunny with no wind.

I’m excited for Charlotte because she has been  trying to run a marathon in all 50 states and will be able to achieve this goal in April of 2018.  She’s running the Garmin Marathon Land of Oz in Olathe, Kansas.  They have the Wizard of Oz theme and Charlotte has a lot of costumes planned.  She told me about this article that was in the news about her and I found it.  Click here and learn more about my awesome pacer!

Here I am at the finish with my good friends Connie (on the right) and Deanna (on the left.)

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Connie has been trying to run a sub 5:00 full for some time and she knocked it out of the park!  Deanna was in beast mode too and finished this marathon only 3 weeks after running the Marine Corps Marathon.

RDC is a great marathon and I might consider it again next year.  I love that it is so flat and even though you are on the American Tobacco Trail for practically all 26 miles, you will have a little crowd support.

RDC finishing times

Ron gives RDC 2 big thumbs up.  He had a great half marathon and loved waiting around for me due to the fact that they had an awesome craft beer on tap!

Happy Running friends!

 

 

Hurricane Holden and Ocean Isle Half

September 9th was the day that we were supposed to run the Holden Beach half.  However,  NC was under a state of emergency due to Hurricane Irma and Holden Beach had to cancel the race.

The race directors are so awesome and they gave many options to the runners so we could still get our shirts and medals.  Ron and I chose to run at home and we had a great run on the greenway.  It actually was a gorgeous day in our neck of the  woods and I heard it was gorgeous as well at the beach.  I understand the decision to cancel the race though because you can never be too careful when it comes to the weather.

Here Ron and I are after our half that day.

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Here I am weeks later after we got our medal and shirts when we ran the last race in the series, Ocean Isle.

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The last race in the series was Ocean Isle on October 7th.  We had a blast.  This time we rented an airB&B and although it was very close to the start and finish and very nice, if I run again, I’d try to get a room right down on the beach.

Here’s a couple of shots of our air B&B:

 

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I ran the race in my very first and only Sparkle Skirt!  I chose the Hiker Chic length and I love it so much.  I have even worn it hiking!  This length is awesome for wearing to the grocery store or to Wally World.  So very comfortable!

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It rained a little the day of the race and that is my only complaint of the skirt.  Since it was longer, it absorbed a good bit of rain and I found myself wringing it out a couple of times.

The series is so fun and in 2018 the medals are even better.  Be sure to go click this link to see them!  I don’t think Ron and I are doing the entire series next year but we may just have to go back to at least one of them.

Here Ron and I are at the beginning of Ocean Isle half.

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We both had great runs.  My official time was 2:32:10.

Here’s the last shirt and the medal:

 

 

And here are all the medals in a row!  So very cool.  I have donated mine already but Ron has all of his!

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Happy Running Friends!

Sunset Beach Half

Sunset Beach was the 2nd race in the BAM series.  Ron and I ran it on May 20th of this year.

I made a huge mistake and didn’t book our rooms early and I couldn’t find anything decent close to the start/finish.  We ended up staying about 20 minutes away back in Oak Island.

It actually was a great place.  A super cute old school motel.  Come to find out, the owner had been coming to Oak Island his whole life.  He lived in West Virginia but his family vacationed in Oak Island.  When this little motel went up for sale, he jumped at the chance and bought it.  He and his sweet wife have been remodeling it and loving life ever since.

Our room was one that was recently remodeled and was so sweet.

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We loved it.

On the way down on Friday night, Ron and I go hungry before we made it to the beach and ended up stopping at the Mad Boar.  I was nervous at first because it was so busy and fancy and I wondered if we were dressed okay.  We were dressed very casually and that ended up being perfectly acceptable but we didn’t have reservations.  And they were needed!  I have no idea where all these patrons were coming from.  Mad Boar is really in the middle of nowhere.

We lucked out and there was a spot in the bar and we scored a perfect table.  There was even live entertainment.  Double score!

I was determined to fuel correctly and decided to order harvest veggie pasta.  Ron spied the fried pickles and we had to get them.  They were the best fried pickles I’ve ever had.  I only ate a few though.  I swear.  I’d say, no more than 3 bites!

Fast forward to race morning and I had one small banana.  I met my good friends Lisa and Claudia at the start.

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Even with conscious fuel choices, my stomach messed up again near the end of the race.

Thinking back on this, we had just had a Popsicle they were giving out due to the high heat and humidity.  It may have come from so much sugar.  No clue.  Just really, really, frustrated.

My time was 2:40:18.  Not too shabby for such a hot and humid day and having to stop yet again.

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It actually was a great race.  You had to ride a shuttle due to no parking at the start/finish. We got to the shuttle stop super early and the bus was late.  No worries though.  We still got on the 1st shuttle and snapped this photo.  My sis said we looked like the Hulk.  No clue where the green tint came from.

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I absolutely loved the start/finish area.  It was in a park near the Inter-Coastal Waterway and there were gorgeous old shade trees.  Plenty of pizza and beer afterwards.  Ron even drank a few even though there were American lagers.  Normally he won’t touch anything but an IPA.

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Here I am days later with the shirt.  I love it!  The medal is awesome too!

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My medal hanger is full and just like I have been doing lately, I chose to donate this medal to Medals4Mettle

Side note, I’ve been thinking about how my life is changing.  Never say never!

Last year my run club was collecting old medals to give to a Medals 4 Mettle.  They give them to people that are in the hospital or are fighting hard medical battles to help cheer them up. My good friend Connie was giving hers away.  In fact she once commented to me that she ran a race and was excited that you could check a box to not get a medal.  I was floored.  I couldn’t believe that someone wouldn’t want a medal to begin with and then would be willing to give them away to charity.

This year, I totally get it.  I have so many medals and although I enjoy the thrill of getting them, I really am loving donating them.

I’m also giving away some more of my race shirts.  I purged a lot last year when Ron an I first began tidying the Japanese way.  My new rule is it they don’t fit in one drawer, some have to go and go they do.  Straight to Goodwill!

I’m really looking forward to the other 2 beach races in the BAM series.

Happy Running Friends!

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

This post is dedicated to mojitos.   I really am so sorry this race recap is so late.  This half was way back in March of this year.  I’m only posting for posterity’s sake.  Facebook friends, please ignore this post.  This is all old news.  Just trying to get caught up on my blog.  However, you may want to keep reading just a little to hear the best mojito recipe ever!

My sis and her husband went to Cuba recently and they came back bearing gifts of aged Cuban Rum and Cuban cigars.  Rum for me and cigars for Ron.  They had a really great time in Cuba.  Be sure to check out her travel blog.

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The recipe for mojitos that Rosa shared with me was shared with her from the bartenders at Dos Hombre’s Restaurante  – Two Brother’s Bar.

I’ve had a few mojitos at restaurants since having Rosa’s mojitos and they do not compare at all.

What you do is put your sugar in your glass first (about a tablespoon) and then add your mint leaves.  Take a spoon and crush the mint a little.  Rosa used coconut sugar when she first made one for me because that was all she had on hand.  Now I can’t make a true mojito with any other kind of sugar.

Next add a little lemon (or lime) and then a shot of rum.  Top it off with some Sprite or 7-Up and ice.

They are to die for!

We made them again when we had our sister weekend at the yurts.

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So much fun!

Tammy has since sent me some organic mint seeds so we can grow our own mint and never be out of mojito ingredients.  🙂

Anyway, getting back to the race recap for Tobacco Road.

The thing I like most about Tobacco Road is that they give so much back to the community.  The cumulative total since 2010 is up to over three-quarter of a million dollars at $761,000 in charitable giving.

The expo is on the small side but is very well run.  Shirt was great!  I love the v neck but I wasn’t thrilled about the color.  (Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the shirt.  I donated it already.  It was gray and a nice shirt but the minimalist in me makes me give away things that don’t bring me joy.)  The medal was super pretty.  I loved the medal but I don’t have it anymore either.  I’ve already donated it to Medals for Mettle.

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The parking at the race is very limited and you have to purchase a parking pass really early in order to be able to park at the start/finish.  I had to ride the shuttle this year but it was no problem at all.  It was a breeze to park at the satellite facility and the shuttle was warm and cozy.

I made it to the race with plenty of time to spare.

I never know what to wear when the weather is in between.  I knew I’d be on the cold side to start but I also knew I’d warm up pretty fast.

I chose to wear short sleeves and a skirt but I wore my toboggan.  It was perfect at first but then I got warm.  My hair was sweaty and awful at that point so I had to keep it on. Crazy I know but I didn’t want to scare everyone.  LOL

My race went really well for the first few miles.  I was feeling great and keeping a pretty good pace.

Around mile 6 my stomach started feeling funny so I had to stop at a port-a-john. After that I felt great again and really didn’t lose much time at all.

However, around mile 12, my stomach was all messed up again and I had to find another stop.  I had to walk a little.  I lucked out and found a port-a-john at the last water stop.

Lesson learned!  No mojitos before races.  You know, come to think of it now.  I had gotten some Irish soda bread from Great Harvest the Friday before the race.  Oh my goodness.  That bread is so wonderful.  I tried to limit myself but I probably consumed a little too much of this bread leading up to the race.  After 6 years of running you’d think I would have figured out my fueling strategy.

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Even with the 2 stops my time wasn’t so bad.  2:32:51

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I’ll take it.

It was a good race and I had a lot of friends running.  My very good friend Connie, PR’d by 6 minutes!

She was all smiles.

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Right after the race, I got a massage.  It felt good but I was starting to get chilly again.  It was a super windy day.  After that, I got some pizza and one beer and headed back to the shuttle.

I’ll try you again next year Tobacco Road.  Your course is too flat and fast for me to mess up fueling.

Happy Running Friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not a Millennial but I am becoming a Minimalist!

My Facebook friends know that I read the book 29 Gifts last month and I completed a month of giving.

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It came very easy to me and I loved each and every day. The gifts ended up giving back to me. I learned that even though I am a glass half full kind of girl and very giving by nature, by giving with intention it opens my heart to peace and joy beyond compare!

My FB freinds also know that my sis challenged me this month to join her in the Minimalist Game.

My husband Ron and I started on July 8th. Each of us are giving away 8 things on the 8th of July and then 9 things on the 9th of July and so forth. I added it up and when it is all said and done each of us will have either trashed, recycled, given away or sold 496 things each. That’s almost 1000 items!  Last year we read, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing so Ron and I do have a head start and have paired down so much already. We are very excited! If you are interested, there is a movie on NetFlix right now that can inspire you.

Well what no one knows yet is what has been happening to me since.

When I sit down at night, Ron is usually already sitting in his Lazyboy and has some History Channel or NatGeo show on.  I often love those shows but sometimes I want to watch the latest episode of Alone or The Pioneer Woman.  Ron is not a fan of either of those but he will watch them with me on occasion.  On Monday night I was all caught up on Alone and PW so when I set down, I asked him if we could switch to Apple TV and watch YouTube videos on minimalism.  Every video we pulled up was good to me but Ron wasn’t in to it at all.  Somehow we ended up on this channel:  Living with Lucie and we proceeded to watch for goodness knows how long!  Lucie is young.  We could be her parents.  I have no idea what in the world compelled us to keep watching but we both loved her!  I asked our 22 year old daughter Lydia about Lucie and she knew her well.  I think Lucie must be a big deal with Millennials.

We watched the video when Lucie didn’t wash her hair for 2 weeks.  We watched when she lived on $50 one week.  (She lives in NYC)  We watched when she went without her phone for 5 days.  We watched when she tried to produce no trash for 5 days.  We watched when she wore the same outfit for 5 days.  And of course, we watched when she tried minimalism for 5 days.

So what do I proceed to do on Tuesday morning? I immediately tried to see if I could go without my phone for 5 days.  I did have a caveat that I could use it only for phone calls and for texts from people that didn’t know I was trying to not use my phone.  I also allowed myself to use it for Audible when I was driving only.

I made it okay through Tuesday.

However, today I have failed.  I was eating lunch in the break-room and I was at a table by myself.  There were 2 young females (I guess you would call them Millennials) that I did not know that were sitting at a table beside me.  The first thing I noticed was that one of them had a cloth napkin in her lap.  I was so impressed and knew this was something that I was going to try to incorporate so I wouldn’t have to waste the company paper towels.  I already do not use the plastic cutlery and bring my own silverware from home.  I even brought an old cutting board from home today to leave at work so I could cut my apple.  (Yay for getting rid of a home item and yay for having something to use to cut my apple on each day and not waste a paper plate!)  I was feeling so good.

However, since I didn’t have my phone, I had to listen in to their conversation.  They proceeded to talk constantly about how much stuff their parents had and how they didn’t want any of it.  I started to feel uncomfortable and I couldn’t take it any longer.  I had to do something!  I reached for my phone and started scrolling.  I challenge you.  Try it!  See if you can sit alone and eat beside other people that are talking and do nothing.

Anyway, due to this conversation I overheard, I’m really going to try and not push my stuff off on Andie and Lydia.  I told my FB freinds that I had to save some cookbooks that I was going through for Andie but I’m really going to try and not give anything else.

What is so sentimental to me, is not to them!

Last year after The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I made a lot of progress.  I took pictures of the girls’ homemade Christmas ornaments that they had made in Girl Scouts and school.  After I photographed them, I gave the ornaments a kiss and put them in the trash.  I thanked the ornaments for the joy they had given me and said goodbye.  (Please don’t think I’m crazy….that is what the book says to do.)  We hadn’t used them in years on the tree and I don’t know why I was hanging on to them for so long.

Anyway, I guess to sum it up.  I’m trying to be more conscious about everything.  I’m trying to use my phone less.  I’m trying to produce less trash.  But someone, please tell me that there is research out there somewhere that says that by not using the paper towels at work and washing my own cloth napkins it s better for the environment.   I’m already wondering if the little bit of dish soap and water I use at work to wash my lunch dishes is better then just bringing my lunch in disposable containers.  It must be.  I hope!  I know my lunches are way healthier than a frozen dinner anyway.

Tonight I’m tackling the VCR tapes and the DVDs.  My biggest number so far that I’ve gotten rid of has been 32 Playdough containers.  I had a big plastic tub filled with small Playdough containers and loads of cookie cutters for my grandchildren.  Since the Playdough was pretty dried out anyway and since the grandchildren have moved so far away, this was  an easy decision.  I kept all the cookie cutters though!  Also, you’ll be proud to know that I trashed the Playdough but I recycled all the little containers.

I think the VCR tapes and the DVDs will out number the Playdough tubs!  So excited!

I know I’m behind on race reports and I have them in my draft mode.  I promise to get them up soon.  I’ve got to do a post on my Slim in 6 video challenge too.  I’m doing pretty good but I haven’t’ been perfect with it.

So long for now!  Happy Running!  Happy Eating!  Happy DeCluttering!  and now Happy using our phones less, and Happy producing less trash!

Make sure you have your stainless steel straw too in your purse!  Go strawless!

Muuuuwah!  xxoo

PS… go check out Lucie and get inspired!