Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'running'

Two years and a month ago…

Two years and a month ago, I was nearing the end of doing NaBloPoMo- which was doing a blog post a month, like Nanowrimo. That year I’d been getting cramps, spiking fevers, and occasionally vomiting. But towards the end of November, it was so bad I went to the hospital.

And after a lot of tests, and three days in the hospital, I was diagnosed with either Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis- they weren’t sure because the damage was so new.

Nearly two years ago, I had a colonoscopy, and they still weren’t sure which I had, just that I was suffering from one of them. The irony was that it was advanced enough to make my life miserable, but not enough damage had been done for them to figure out what it was.

But I was put on meds, and things have been fine.

Last Wednesday night, I felt a little out of sorts. I’d eaten a big dinner to carb load for my 5k on Friday and figured I’d just eaten a little too much. Shortly after midnight on Thursday, I woke up and began puking. I had stomach cramps and couldn’t get back to sleep. The process repeated itself all night until I’d officially emptied my stomach. So I went to the hospital.

Which is where I am right now. (Hi!)

I had a CAT scan, which verified that it’s Crohn’s, without a doubt. I didn’t get to eat anything on the first day, I’ve been on a liquid diet since then.

Obviously, I didn’t get to do my 5k race. We weren’t prepared enough, so I didn’t even get to fill out the waiver so that TheBoy could pick up my packet for me, so I didn’t even get my tshirt for this year. Oh well.

It’s been tough. I’m not going to lie. Two years ago, the hospital trip might have been marginally easier, even though I had no idea what was wrong with me. For one, TheBoy had been working nights, so I was used to sleeping alone. So being alone in a hospital bed wasn’t such a big deal. This time, I’m feeling the absence of the weight of someone in a bed next to me, the warmth of another person. Also, both of the Kidlets weren’t very attached to me. Oldest Kidlet’s always been pretty independent and not much of a cuddler. Little Kidlet was firmly attached to my mother-in-law, so both of them were fine with my stay. They just wanted me to get home, and to be better.

This time… Little Kidlet’s my Wolf Cub. He curls up with me for at least a half an hour a day, and I miss that. And I know he misses me. He isn’t much for talking on the phone, but for the last two days I’ve had 5 minute long conversations with him.

And this morning, I had to miss TheBoy’s race. It was his first race where I wasn’t at the finish line… and I’m not going to lie, I cried for a long while about that last night. (He did really well, btw! He did his 10k in 55:43- that’s with a pace of 8:58 – which is amazing. I’m so proud)

So it’s been hard. I’m doing better now- but it’s been tough at times, and I know that a big part of it has just been knowing what I’m missing out on.

I’ve had a lot of support from all of you guys (even though I haven’t been posting here, mostly using Tumblr to update since it’ll post to Twitter). And I’ve been really fortunate that my doctors are really great (my gastroenterologist swung by really late last night- it was almost 10pm, I think) and the nurses here have been so kind and fantastic. Apparently I’m an easy patient. Which honestly, I get. I can unplug my IV stand from the outlet and get myself to the bathroom, I just bug them when I’m hungry or my IV is beeping at me. So yeah, I’m easy.

How I spent my Friday. Playing Pokemon X.

How I spent my Friday. Playing Pokemon X.

And I know that for now, I have more of this in my future (and probably surgery somewhere down the line). For the most part, people have been surprised that I’ve only been here once since my initial diagnosis. I guess giant flare ups are pretty common. So I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing right- other than trying to eat fewer prepared foods, fewer fast foods, and avoiding the foods that trigger me (which is dairy, for me) and trying to get a moderate amount of exercise in.

But I also know that I’m lucky. This flare up happened the day before a weekend I’d planned to be gone. My mother-in-law already had Friday off from work, so the kids had someone to take care of them, and had already been expecting me to be gone for one reason. So it isn’t like I had the stress of scrambling to figure out who was going to do what lumped on top of it. And I’m in a room by myself, with wifi, so I’m not completely alone. I know that in addition to my family, I have you guys keeping me company, too.

Sorry for rambling. But thanks for all your good thoughts… here’s to hoping I get to graduate to something beyond clear liquids.

Vlog Madness! DL Half Marathon and 9/11 Healing vs Holding On

Wow guys, I realize now that I didn’t post last week’s vlog vid here, so you get two vids on one page.

First, TheBoy and I did the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend over Labor Day weekend (he did the Half Marathon, I did the 5k) and so I vlogged about it!

Yesterday was 9/11 and I’ve written a lot about it, but had a couple things to say. (Just in case you weren’t in the mood for me to gloss over my feelings, the first minute is actually about TheBoy. So watch it and then stop)

If you have ANYTHING to say about either video, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Happy Thursday!

Go the Distance.

Sorry it’s taken me awhile to get this post up. You would not believe the weekend I’ve had. Aside from the 5k, we had no water at the house for a day and then the internet was dead.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that on Saturday, I ran the Never Land 5k at Disneyland. And it was my first 5k.

So how did it go? Well, I finished. It was a great course- sort of like reliving 1998-2002 in 3.2 miles. Especially since TheBoy was right there by my side. The course was solely in the Disneyland Resort, and a lot of it was in “backstage” areas.

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t run as much as I’d planned on. I walked quickly through most of the 5k, and complained almost the whole way. First my glutes were killing me, and not being used to running in the cold, it felt like I was breathing ice. Then my side started to hurt. But I pressed on. And it was at the point of the race, near the marker for Mile 2, that I lost it. Not because of the physical pain, but from something else.

The route went right by a patch of sidewalk that meant a lot to me. It was where Jerad and I would sit after our shifts and talk before we’d catch the shuttle back to the parking lot or go our separate ways. We dubbed it “warm concrete” (since it was warm from the sun hitting it all day). And it was a sight (and site) I never thought I’d see again.

Gobsmacked by grief, I started sobbing hysterically. While running. And I just kept telling myself to keep going- and I did.

Just as we passed the Mile 3 marker, I hit a wall (not an actual wall, though I am enough of a klutz I wouldn’t blame you for mentally imagining that I did). Everything hurt, and my body was trying to tell me it had had enough. I forced a smile for the photographers nearby, and stopped as soon as I was past them. And a Cast Member standing along the way smiled at me. “You’re almost there, don’t stop,” she said. “It’s just around the corner, you can do it!”

And you know what? I started running again, and the end was literally just around the corner. I smiled as I crossed the finish line after TheBoy… and the weight just lifted off me.

Because I finished. The scariest part of the whole day was this fear that I wouldn’t finish, that my body wouldn’t let me. But I did. It wasn’t pretty, but I finished.


As we walked out to claim our stuff from bag check, we started talking about the “next race.” Then we went back to the hotel, ordered room service, devoured our breakfast and took a nap until just before checkout.

The odd thing is that even as we got to the car at Disneyland, the 5k already seemed far away. The fact that daylight was erasing the path we’d taken from the parking structure somehow seemed to make it seem longer ago than it was. And with every passing event (breakfast, the nap, the drive home) – it seemed even longer ago.

I’m still a little sore, but I plan on starting to walk every day next week and ease back into running as my body lets me. Then it’s right back into training myself to be able to run those 3.2 miles so that I can focus on time goals, rather than simply finishing it.

Tomorrow: My thoughts on Couch to 5k.

Tick Tock

Tomorrow is my 5k. It’s getting real!

TheBoy and I have checked into our hotel, picked up our racing bibs… and it’s on!

I know a lot of people wondered if we were going through with this, given everything that’s happened. But TheBoy’s mother and grandfather were both insistent that we go right on ahead with the run. So that’s what we’re going to do.

It’s funny-I’ve been so nervous the last week, and now that we have the bibs and I bought a new running bra (that would be the one item I forgot)… it’s like all my nerves are gone. It’s going to happen, and if I finish I finish. If I don’t, I don’t.

No need to wish me luck on the race. Just wish me luck on getting up in time. The race starts at 5:30 am!


C25K Week Two Redux.

I had another long weird week where I didn’t get much running in. So today I went, and as I haven’t been able to complete Week Three Day One yet… I thought doing Week Two Day Three was a good way to ease into it.

Week Three has a five minute warm up and 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, three minutes of running, and three minutes of walking. It repeats again, and then ends with a cool down walk. I… just can’t do it. Not yet. I get into the two minutes of running and find myself having to stop.

But Week Two has the warm up, and alternates between 90 seconds of running and two minutes of walking. It was a little easier, and wouldn’t you know it- even after almost a week away from running, I went further than I have in awhile.

I ran 1.34 miles, and had an average pace of 14:09 min/mile. I ran wearing my running pants for the first time, with a jacket.. and boy did it feel good!

Though I admit, I have one reason why I might have been speedier than I expected. I decided to run at 6 o’clock and got out the door in 10 minutes. Which meant that with my half hour workout, I was actually trying to beat the setting sun- there aren’t any lights along the trail, and I’d forgotten to bring a flashlight. Turns out that’s a pretty good motivator.

I think that this week I’m going to run every other day, and get back up to speed- so to speak.

Anyone else doing Couch to 5k? I’d love to hear how you’re doing!

Nothing much to say.

I know. I don’t have much to say? It’s shocking.

It’s been a long hot crazy week and I’m drained. I had a flare up last week, and the cramps went on and off for the last five days. As in, it would skip a day and then bother me the next. This was in no doubt exacerbated by stress.

TheBoy had been working a lot of hours and slept most of the weekend (which he definitely needed), so it was me and the boys. Whom I love, and they did spent a lot of time in their grandparent’s room- but my brain never really left Mom mode.

I didn’t run very much. I did complete Week Two Day Three- it was my first early morning run, and a run done when it was just under 60 degrees. And I was a lot slower. My average pace was around 16 minutes because I was freezing. I think if I’d been running for more than my 1.3 miles, I would have started sweating and warmed up- I just never hit that point.

At some point in time I will have to start training in the morning, as the 5k run will be early morning.

I discovered that I need to buy new bras. Apparently all that running has made my breasts go down a cup size. Don’t cry for my breasts, Argentina- being the size that I’ve been at the last few years has been a bit of a fluke. Most of the time I’m right at the A/B border, which is back where I am.

School has been going well for the boys. The Oldest Kidlet is on top of his homework, and the Little Kidlet is blowing everyone away by how quickly he’s picking up writing. His name already looks better than anyone else in the class, and he’d never really written before September.

Mostly though, I just need for fall weather to start. Something about this constant heat just makes me want to hibernate.

How are you, internet?

C25K: Week Two Day Two

Week Two, Day Two

A five minute warm-up walk, followed by the following intervals: 6 jogging for 90 seconds, 5 intervals of brisk walking for 2 minutes each. The program that I use gives me a five minute cool down as well.

After the run on the treadmill, I was pretty eager to see how I’d do outside. So on Monday (yikes- I didn’t mean to fall behind on these recaps!) I put on my gear, told my mother-in-law to watch my kids and went out the door.

It was a warm day, but not as hot as it has been. By that, I mean it was 88. That should tell you a little about the kind of summer and fall we’re having if I’m only describing it as warm.

My first interval of running was a little slower than I usually start. So I made up my mind to make sure that my walking pace would be pretty quick- and I stuck with that for the walking. Then I found a nice running pace where I could hum along to my music and I just kept going.

Before I even knew it, I crossed over the bridge.

The running trail I go on used to be a railway track. It crosses over one of the major streets near us, and that’s about the halfway point of my run. I used to run right up to the bridge and be informed I was halfway. One day I ran over the bridge. That day I actually made it over the bridge and all the way down to where the dirt trail they put in for walking/running started again.

And I plowed through the rest of the run. The fact that it was hot didn’t matter. I’d gotten so far that I was determined to demolish the rest of the run- and I did. The running interval right after I hit halfway was my fastest yet.

I know I whined in the beginning of C5K about hearing the statistics at the end of each interval- but now that I’ve gotten a feel for the intervals and now that I better understand how my body tells me I’m pushing myself too hard, I’ve been using them to help me feel out comfortable paces.

The stats:
Distance: 1.47 miles in 19 minutes
Average Pace: 12:54

Couch to 5k: Week Two Day One

If you’re following along, the disastrous run was last Tuesday. I gave myself a few days to avoid running with cramps again, and this run happened on Friday. As it was still 100 degrees out (Fall can arrive any time now), I decided to take advantage of the in-laws being out of the house to use their treadmill.

It was only my second time on the treadmill, and this was going to be the first time I would be doing intervals.

On my program, I turned off the GPS tracking, since it wouldn’t work on the treadmill. Then I got my water, my phone (so that I could listen to the intervals) and got going!

Since it starts with a 5 minute warmup, I had some time to figure out speed setting was a good slow walk, and what would make a quick walk. From there, I played with the setting as soon as it asked me to run- moving up the speed in increments of .1 (since that’s how ours handles it. There are several buttons that are shortcuts to speed settings, but you can adjust between them in increments). On the NordicTrack, it turned out that a brisk walk was setting 3 (a 20 min mile pace) and a good run was 4 (a 15 min mile pace).

While those are slower paces than I usually run at, Week Two changes up the program. Plus, I’m used to running on a fairly flat trail- the treadmill is at a slight incline even at its lowest setting.

Week Two, Day One

A five minute warm-up walk, followed by the following intervals: 6 jogging for 90 seconds, 5 intervals of brisk walking for 2 minutes each. The program that I use gives me a five minute cool down as well.

Since I didn’t have GPS to tell me how far I ran (they tell you to turn it off in Run Double’s settings), I had to keep track of the treadmill’s settings. I ran about 1.22 miles, which is a little less than I run outside- but considering it was all uphill, I’ll take it.

So what did I think of running on the treadmill?

It wasn’t 100 degrees where I was running, which was a bonus. Of course, running the entire thing on an incline threw off my groove. Running on a treadmill also meant that my kids have the chance to barge in- which I didn’t like. I managed to kick them out of the room and quickly hop off to lock the door.

Also frustratingly, I had nothing to focus on besides the numbers and no vague idea where I was in the course of my run to help me pace myself. Even with the TV on, it was impossible not to stare at the readouts of how far I ran, how long I ran and how many calories I would have burned if I were my mother-in-law (I didn’t change that).

The more I run on the treadmill, the more I realize that I really don’t like running on treadmills. I guess I like being able to see my progress based on where I am, not on a screen.

Your thoughts? Am I crazy? Do you love the treadmill? I’d love to hear from you!

Couch to 5k: Week One Day Three

If you’ve noticed, there was quite a gap between days two and three. I went to Comikaze over the weekend, and something about walking for hours and carrying the hammer and a bag filled with snacks & my electronic stuff made me not want to go for a run.

The next day I walked around Disneyland for a few hours, too. Monday- by the time I remembered running, it was already dark outside.

So on Tuesday, I was pretty committed to doing this, despite having some fairly bad cramps. We’re all adults right? I had two kids, you know I’m a woman, so the fact that I have a period shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. For the record when I say fairly bad cramps, I mean aches and intermittent stabbing pains.

I suited up anyways and started going. I did the first half of my run without a problem, and shortly after the halfway point, the stabbing pain (which had vanished while I exercised) came back with a vengeance and felt like there was a symphony of knives stabbing me (yes, it was that bad). So I walked the rest of the way.

Average pace: 16:32 min/mile. I made it a little over a mile, distance-wise.

The “cool down” walk was done extremely slowly, and I swear, never before had the street seemed so far. I thought about calling for a pick up a few times, and when I was walking up to the house- my husband was coming out with his keys, off to make sure I was okay. He had been extremely worried about me.

I drank my gatorade, had a little bit to eat- and was sent off to my bed with a heating pad.

Thankfully, that was the worst of my cramps and everything felt better later on. So there you have it- if you were waiting for some misery, there it is. I still haven’t started week two, but I plan on doing that this weekend, and getting back into a regular schedule.

Couch to 5k: Week One Day One.

After putting it off for awhile, I finally attempted Day One again.

Couch to 5k is an interval training program designed to get you in shape to run a 5k, even if you’ve never run before. When I first tried it, I hit a wall. So I started by trying to walk a mile, and now I’ve been running and walking semi-regularly.

The last couple of days, life got in my way and I didn’t get to go for a run. I’m not much of a morning person (especially after the late nights I’ve been pulling writing) so running in the morning is out- not to mention I have two kids to get ready for school.

And running in the afternoon only works when TheBoy is there to watch the kids- and he was sick.

Week One, Day One

A five minute warm-up walk, followed by the following intervals: 9 jogging for 60 seconds, 8 intervals of brisk walking for 90 second each. The program that I use tells me when I’m halfway through the time so that I can turn around, and gives me a five minute cool down as well.

So how did I do? As it turns out, this is a more structured version of my usual run- about another five minutes of running than my mile. Because the app I use announces my average pace at each interval, I noticed I ran harder than I usually do, just to get the time down. Which meant that my walking intervals weren’t very brisk. So I’m not sure that actually helped much.

In the end, it was about 1.22 miles, and obviously the distance depends on my pace. But I survived! I’ll be doing Day Two on Monday (and probably going for a mile run tomorrow)

For those of you here for the schadenfreude, I’m sure I’ll be crying around Week 3.

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