Catching Up, Making Changes, Moving Forward

OK, so it’s been a while. But race season is finally kicking back in a couple weeks! So taper mode is officially ON. I’m excited and feeling good, my last 20 mile run went great, so I feel confident that I will do well at my events…or at least finish. I have no time limits I am setting on myself but finishing. I just can’t put that pressure on myself.

A lot of changes have occurred for me this year:

1) This is hard for me to say, but after years of my health not improving, I had to go back to being a carnivore.  I will request, if you are a vegetarian or vegan follower, please don’t judge me too harshly.* If you have celiac disease, sometimes (more often than not) your body is less adept at absorbing nutrients and a lot of us suffer from some pretty severe vitamin deficiencies. My iron and B12 levels, among other things, were abysmal for years, and no amount of supplementation was helping. I was taking supplements religiously every day and it did nothing, and my blood work always came back the same: borderline anemic, B12 deficient, D deficient. I felt fatigued all the time to the point of crashing at my cube like a narcoleptic. I couldn’t get through the day without an afternoon nap. My specialist kept telling me that supplements weren’t as easily absorbed with celiac, and the essential nutrients could be absorbed more efficiently by ingesting real food. My fatigue levels and overall health were suffering big time. I was also having a lot of GI issues from trying to supplement my protein with foods like beans (let’s not even get more into it, shall we?). So after a lot of soul-searching I made the switch, and trust me, it wasn’t an easy decision. But I am feeling better, and my diet is definitely focused much more on whole foods and much less on processed carbs. I still eat lots of fruits, veggies, and nuts, but also supplement my diet with lean organic protein, eggs, and greek yogurt. I also have found my runs have improved, and my muscle recovery is faster. So I think this was a good decision for me, as hard as it was to do.

2) I am having some more health issues that are being investigated and should have some answers soon. Long story short, I tested positive for another autoimmune antibody and have to go through some more testing before we know for sure what’s going on. It’s frustrating but I am not going into panic mode. I’m a fighter, so no matter what I’ll tackle whatever this is and keep moving forward. What else can one do? I should know by June though, and that will be a relief. Also, it’s good to know that sometimes these tests can result in a false positive, so I have to take all this stuff with a grain of salt. Besides, I already have an autoimmune disease, what’s one more? I realize I say that lightly, but how else can I approach it?

3) My 2014 race calendar has been finalized, and I am looking to run six new states this year! The states will be Massachusetts, West Virginia, Missouri, New York, New Hampshire and Tennessee. I will actually be fundraising for the Memphis Marathon St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, so more to follow on that. It’s been a while since I have raised money for a cause, and the St. Jude’s is an AMAZING cause! Memphis is a bucket list city for me to visit, as I am a huge Elvis person, so obviously I must go to Graceland while I’m there! I should also note that I have no time expectations for any of these races, because guess what? Almost all of them suck: hills hills and more hills. Several have been coined as some of the toughest races in America. Why do I DO THIS to myself? Well, plain and simple, they fit my calendar. I was never one to insist on a BQ, and on these courses that thought needs to be thrown out the window. So it’s all to just have fun, get a medal, and fill in my map. The idea of being at 21 states by the end of the year is an exciting prospect indeed.

4) Some have been asking about the name and profile changes. Well, there’s not much to it. Crash was actually my old kitty’s name, and as a 4-week old kitten he used to fall asleep in the funniest positions. He would just totally crash, and thus he was christened Crash from then on. Lately I have been feeling the need to do the same. I felt stressed, like I was constantly moving, never allowing myself any downtime. It was Eat, Run, Repeat for the longest time. I think we ALL need time to crash every day, it’s an important part of feeling balanced. I have been so tired and overworked for so long, I finally decided I needed to give myself that downtime, that crash time. Play a video game. Take a nap. Spend time with friends and family. Read. Watch The Big Bang Theory and laugh. I felt pressure on myself to run high mileage weeks, keep up with ridiculous expectations and very little sleep. So I stepped back and decided to allow myself the crash time, my mileage has been cut back a little, but nothing has suffered. I actually feel like I’m less achy and tired by giving myself a little cutback time.

So in a nutshell, that’s it. I should have some more entries soon, as my next race is in two weeks, the Memorial Day Marathon. Wish me luck as I move forward, and I will be posting my progress soon!

*If you are a celiac vegetarian or vegan and it works for you, hats off. Our bodies are ALL different and we all have different issues to contend with, so I may sound overly defensive without needing to be, but this is just in case some haters decide to come out of the woodwork and throw in their two cents.