“Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I wish I could post more, but I just can't right now.


Quick Updates

I swear, one of these days I will upload Brew to Brew photos so you can see what an awesome running toga looks like.  I've been cutting back on FB just because I find it to be annoying and a complete waste of time.  Since I'm cutting back on FB, I'm not on the computer in general so I've noticed I'm getting lazy at updating.  So here's the quick run down:

1/2 marathon is in a few weeks and training is going well for the most part.  If it's cool, it should be a good day.  If it's hot, I won't even try to PR, it will just be for fun.  Our weather is fluctuating between highs in the 50s (good for me) and 90s (bad for me).  So it's hard to predict.  But I know what an over-heated meltdown feels like and I don't need to repeat that performance.

The gluten-free experiment is going well so far.  I ran again on Sunday after 2 mostly gluten free days and I ran 7 miles without a single bathroom stop.  Victory!  I feel better, but I think it will take at least a week before I feel *good* again.  It has been relatively easy, other than the night John had pizza and it smelled so heavenly.  But I decided it wasn't worth stomach cramps and I did not cave.  Point for Sam.

This weekend, I'm trying GF pizza crust Friday night.  I stumbled across this blog and I've already copied her flour lists, tips, and a few other recipes (Pumpkin Chai bread??  Hello!).  I can't wait to try them out!  I made Chex-treats last weekend which are great (Rice Crispies treats with GF Cinnamon Chex instead).  They disappeared quickly.

Gluten Free Goddess

I'll try to take some pictures and post about any successes or failures in the kitchen this weekend.  My biggest decision will be what goes on top of the pizza.  And hopefully I will have nothing but uneventful runs to report.


Fed Up

I am fed up. 

What started as some bad Chinese food turned into a week of full-on GI-distress.  I will try not to get into specifics, but basically I was miserable all week.  This morning I went on my weekend long run and cut an 11 mile run down to 6.  Impressive for the wrong reasons.

The abdominal cramps started just before 3.5 miles.  I knew there were porta potties soon and a park about 1/2 mile ahead.  I was hoping to make it to the park and I'd turn around there.  No such luck, I had to stop at a porta potty next to a soccer field about 0.2 miles away.

My pace was fine and I actually felt good other than when my abdomen was cramping.  Kelly was meeting me at mile 7 (now 6 because I cut off 0.5 miles on that leg) and run the last 4 miles with me.  When I got to the park, I had to make another bathroom stop except the porta potty was DISGUSTING and I wouldn't use it.  We walked about 1/2 mile to the next porta potty by a different soccer field.  I told Kelly I just couldn't run.  Running made it worse.  So we walked a mile out and a mile back.

I'm so frustrated and miserable.  I'm not the hypochondriac-googling-WebMD-self diagnosing type, but I have been online trying to find out what the culprit could be.  I have it narrowed down to two choices: gluten sensitivity or irritable bowel syndrome (what a sexy name for a syndrome).

Since there is no real test for either one, and I know I am gluten sensitive in hot weather races, I am going to try going gluten free for two weeks and see how I feel.  And to be perfectly honest, I'd rather have a gluten sensitivity than irritable bowel syndrome (please proceed with the pain in the ass jokes).

Another reason was trying gluten free is my diet from last week.  We typically don't eat much gluten, mostly cereal (I'm a cereal monster).  But this last week:

Sunday night: Chinese food & noodles (may or may not have gluten but definitely put John and I both in the bathroom)
Monday lunch: Chinese leftovers (the GI problems hadn't started before lunch)
Monday night: Whole wheat pasta
Tuesday lunch: Soup
Tuesday dinner: Pasta leftovers
Wed lunch: sub sandwich
Wed dinner: can't remember
Thursday lunch: pasta leftovers
Thursday dinner: black bean burger on bread
Friday lunch: last of the leftovers
Friday dinner: baked ziti

Enough gluten already?  And why did I make pasta on Monday?  We never eat pasta at home.  Some days were better than others, but every evening was painful.  The only time I felt good was in the morning, at least 11 hours after eating last.  By the end of the week, every time I would get abdominal cramps, I'd have to run to the bathroom because I wasn't sure if it was gas or worse.  Either way, I could stay sitting at my desk.  I felt so bad today, that I cancelled going to Dolce with Kelly.  And I love Dolce.

So my gluten-free experiment begins.  I'm hoping that I don't need to cut out all gluten but for the next two weeks I'm going to try.  I want to clear my system and start over.  Hopefully I can go back to cereal and the other minor things, I just may have to avoid wheat-based pasta and bread.  I'm willing to try anything at this point, just to get some relief.


Everybody Poops

Today was one of those days where I had to make the decision between running and getting to a bathroom quicker or walking and hoping that I didn't crap myself in public.

Mile 1.7:  "Kelly, I need to walk a little.  My stomach is upset."

Mile 1.85:  "I need to slow down."

Mile 1.89 and clenching my cheeks:  "Hold on.  Maybe it will pass."

It didn't pass and I ducked into a church to find a bathroom because I didn't think I could make it another quarter mile to the shopping center.  I was probably right.  Lucky for me 1) I have a very understanding running partner that didn't seem too upset that we had to stop and walk less than 2 miles in the run and 2) the church had a map to the closest bathroom.

Close call.


The downfalls of BMI

I just read this article on body mass index (BMI) and how using BMI may be underestimating obesity rates in the US.  It's not very long.  Here's the article if you'd like to read it.
Obesity Rates May Be Worse Than We Think

Hopefully, you are aware of what BMI is.  If not, here's a link to explain it and calculate your own.  By the current standards, less than 18 is underweight, 18-25 is normal weight, 25-30 is overweight and over 30 is obese.
The article summarizes research done that shows BMI can indicate people are overweight when body fat tests would show they are obese.  Those people who are not diagnosed as obese would be missing out on information about risks and complications of obesity since they aren't being diagnosed. 

The research authors suggest lowering the obesity threshold from 30 to 28 for men and 24 for women.

Crap.  If that is adopted, that means I just went from borderline "overweight" to actually "obese".  You read that right.
I'm 5'4" and weight between 142 and 144 on any given day.  Based on those numbers, my BMI is 24.  According to BMI standards, I am just barely a healthy weight and under the new standards, I would be obese.
What BMI misses is that I'm a triathlete and lifetime athlete.  My pant size is 4/6.  For those of you who know me, I am not a slender build, I prefer to call it "farmer build".  My blood pressure and cholesterol are on the low end of healthy and my body fat percent is consistently less than 18%.  The last time I had it measured by a professional, it was +/- 15%.  For reference, here is a body fat percentage chart that shows the ranges for men and women, and for age groups.
Graph came from www.wellsphere.com

My body fat classifies me as very lean, whether you want to use the 15% during peak training or 18% for off-season.  I had my body fat tested because I was having a hard time losing weight until I realized that I shouldn't be losing weight; much below 15% and then other health risks start.

So what's the big deal, I'm healthy, right?

The big deal is that some insurance companies use BMI to determine your risk factors for insurance coverage.  I can only imagine what the red tape would be like trying to prove I am not obese when a number from an equation indicates that clearly, I am obese.  The math just doesn't work out.

But isn't there a bigger picture here?  If BMI is missing a large section of obese people, and also mis-diagnoses us "bodybuilder" types, then is it really a good gauge to be using at all?  Body fat testing is fast and easy, and with a few simple tools you can even do it yourself.  Body fat is always a reliable index when it comes to determining a person's healthy weight.  Why aren't we using that as the standard?  Maybe my primary care doc doesn't know how or have the time, but it is $5 to have it done at a personal trainers office.  I'll gladly pay that out of my own pocket and avoid being labeled overweight or obese.

(FYI, if you're interested in doing your own body fat testing, let me know and I can do another post about what John and I use.  We are consistently able to get within 2% of what a professional would get)


You Betta Belize it!

John and I recently made it back from our spring vacation in San Pedro, Belize.  I have a little catching up to do, so here are some pictures of paradise.  Besides lounging and drinking, we also went cave tubing and snorkeling.  Those pictures are on an underwater camera which still needs to be developed (if I can remember to drop them off somewhere).  So water pictures will be later.

View from our hotel room balcony

Our hotel served breakfast on the beach every morning

Downtown San Pedro, beach cruiser courtesy of our hotel

The Beer Prayer
 Our lager, which art in barrels
hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk (I will be drunk)
at home, as in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head and forgive us our spillages
as we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not into incarceration
but deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer, the bitter and the lager,
For ever and ever, Barmen.
Key Lime ice cream - delicious

The bikes were awesome!

Jellyfish-looking things we saw on the beach

Rum punch for him, pina colada for her

It's a rough life

Rum punch at the Crazy Canuck's bar