Killing Time

(written on 03 FEB, during prep for GI scopes)

I am writing and posting this blog entry merely for the sole fact that it will keep me busy. I am by no means responsible in what I say due to the delirium brought on by starvation. Read at your own risk.

The household woke up at about 740ish. Typically by then I would be getting ready to cart of Kid 1 to school, but I decided since its not Finals week of Senior Year that I would keep her home. Plus, I have some crafts/activities planned, so it should be fun. Not “Chuck E Cheese” fun, but also not just parking them in front of the TV.

0815 :: Making the kids’ breakfast wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be. A cup of tea for me. Whoo.

9:45 :: Busted out the play doh for the kids. BOOM. Best mom ever, and it gives me time to deep clean some stuff around the house since my ‘prep’ hasn’t technically started yet. Had a cup of chicken broth, and it immediately made my stomach hurt. Apparently the sodium in it was not welcome.

1130 :: I’m not as hungry as I thought I would be, but making the kids’ lunch was pretty painful. For my prep today I made it a point to give them food I am not necessarily a fan of, but I caught myself wanting to just lick the strawberry yogurt covered raisins.

1200 :: Bottle number one of Magnesium Citrate on the schedule. Aaaaaaaaand it won’t open. I briefly thought about going to my neighbor, but quickly realized everyone here works. It took all I had to open the bottle. #WeakSauce. Also, the drink is DISGUSTING and insanely sweet. Why can’t things be unflavored? It takes an embarrassing amount of time to drink just a mere ten ounces of it.

1205 :: Immediately start burping like crazy and nausea sets in. I’m internally freaking out a bit, because the doctor’s office doesn’t say anything about puking this up against your will. Keep busy, keep distracted.

1300 :: Random nap time, for about 30 minutes.

1400 :: THIS SHIT IS AWFUL. Second (and final) bottle of Magnesium Citrate. Instead of shooting the ten ounces of melted Lemonhead laxative, I dilute it into two separate bottles totaling 50 ounces each. I’m giving myself 30 minutes to drink it all. To pour salt on the wound, the kids are snacking on trail mix and applesauce, and my darling daughter is offering to split it all with me. So sweet, so young, so naïve.

1430 :: Ok, totally finishing these bottles in the next 15 minutes.

1445 :: By the hour. Totally by the hour.

1500 :: I resorted to calling the Doctor’s office to see if I totally messed this up by not finishing the ten ounces in time. She said to take my time. I wanted to kiss her through the phone.

1700 :: Kid’s dinner time. The upside to all the nausea is definitely that I have zero desire to eat. Which is good, because 24 hours ago I couldn’t fathom not eating for longer than two hours.

1807 :: Hunger hit like a sum bitch. OMG.

1853 :: Fixed a warm bowl of chicken bouillon. Delicious. I wish I was kidding but that stupid Magnesium Citrate left a nasty, sickly sweet metallic taste in my mouth.

1855 :: I keep daydreaming about my next meal. Not sure what I’ll have. It’s suggested I eat something easy to chew, as coming out of sedation might make it hard to masticate. I think they underestimate my hunger. Ideally, a huge steak, sweet potato and bacon wrapped asparagus…

1903 :: My bloating is ridiculous. You would think that being on laxatives all day would keep one feeling slim and thin; not the case.

2000  :: Kids in bed. This is where it gets hairy – I definitely require a snack before bed so this will be quite painful.

2038 :: I would literally lick a stamp for sustenance at this point. Took a shower and head to bed, for the sake of making time pass.

Killing Time

Digestive Debacles

I’m not sure when I last was complaining about stomach issues, but here I am yet again.

I’m hoping my use of GIFs will distract you from the real problem at hand.

Slight recap, without the details: After having my daughter, my digestive system decided to rally against me, after years of apparent neglect and abuse (sarcasm, if you can’t tell.) For however long, I did what everyone else would do – ignored it and put up with it. After I figured out that this wasn’t normal, four years ago I decided very hesitantly to ditch the Zebra Cakes and beer, taking up a gluten free, stomach friendly diet. Yes, it was painful, and NO I don’t care what anyone says, nothing gluten free tastes ‘as good as the real thing.’ Please stop saying that. Going gluten free has been working well for the most part, until about four years ago. In fact, I’ve blogged about sporadic stomach issues, and I didn’t realize I was having these issues for so long until I searched my blog for them about five minutes ago.

Whenever my stomach started to hate me, I chalked it up to various things. “Maybe I had a slip up” or “Maybe I have allergies” etc. My mom is deathly allergic to certain oils (sesame, vegetable), my aunt, cousin and grandma on my mom’s side have a myriad of stomach issues as well. Apparently, I am not bionic, which is bullshit. When we first moved to Oklahoma (21 months ago, OMG) I started asking the doctors here for allergy blood testing, as well as whatever else they could find. If you know me at all,  you will find this all incredibly ironic. I HATE going to the doctors. I literally wound up with a hole in my leg due to MRSA because I didn’t want to go to the ER for the longest time.

However, when you start missing life on account of your stomach, it is not fun. I’m 29, and shouldn’t have to mentally memorize where bathrooms are in various places. Note to self: if you ever open a department store, have restrooms in the back like Home Depot, not just in the front like Kohl’s and Target. As I type this, my stomach hates me. 48 hours ago, I felt like I could have done a Spartan Dodgeball Triathlon Crossfit Super Marathon 5k.

After about 18 months of fighting the doctors, I finally received a referral to a Gastroenterologist here in town. A good friend once mentioned to me that “you HAVE to be your biggest advocate” and I certainly wish I would have pressed the issue harder. Upon meeting the GI, I was at ease immediately – it also helped that he closely resembled an Armenian Jimmy Buffet. After going over symptoms over the past 6 years, from the OBVIOUS to mouth sores and bleeding gums, he recommended further testing. Yep, scopes. At freaking 29. So sorry, so old; I should start eating supper at 430 and bickering with my husband over Wheel of Fortune while knitting on the couch (this, sadly, doesn’t sound too bad!)

This all happens Wednesday, which means I fast and ‘prep’ on Tuesday. They wanted me to go in this morning, but that would have meant fasting on Superbowl Sunday (LOL NO.) Plus, I have wisdom tooth… teeth? issues and it hurts just to eat. Of course it does, because life is just so awesome like that!!

Luckily I just got Netflix (did you guys know about this!? so awesome) and I feel into the wormhole that is Always Sunny in Philidelphia. Not sorry.

Digestive Debacles

Myriad of Stupidity

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to get my body fat read this morning. Unfortunately for me, this meant fasting until I got there (NOT EVEN COFFEE, BTW) and I had the “great” idea of hitting the gym afterwards. I clearly wasn’t thinking, because WHO goes to the gym on an empty stomach. I don’t do anything on an empty stomach, let alone without coffee. That is basically the only thing to know about me. Rule #1 :: coffee. I figured I had food in my gym bag, so I loaded up little man and left. I could show you a picture of the annoying little graph, but I’ll spare you the jigsaw and just say I weigh 131 with 28% body fat. 37 lbs. of fat weight, 94 of fat free. I am NOT a fan of these numbers, by any means. I go monthly, so in February I expect something different. Spoiler alert: I did not have food in my gym bag, and I hit the gym anyway.

 

So, in keeping with the “how dumb can Natalie be today” theme, I hopped on the treadmill to do some speed work. I did a half mile warm up, then SIX by 400s. Mind you, I have not run regularly for about a year, let alone anything remotely close to speed work. Literally the craziest I get is at Sams, running to the last Talenti jar of Chocolate Chunk, because TALENTI’S. So there I am, running 400s and I’m sure I resembled a camel on a hamster wheel, because it felt ridiculous. I did a progression run, “just to see” what I could do (again, stupid.) 8:20, 8:06, 7:53, 7:35, 7:24 and finally 7:13. That last one hurt but it felt oh so good to be doing this again.

I felt relatively fine after the run so my stupid little brain went, “OMG LET’S DO LEGS!” so I did. I had a tight timeline because the childcare maxes out at two hours, but I managed to get in squats (also stupid because I used the heavier bar without realizing it but wheeee unexpected  and unprepared for PR’s!), leg curls, extensions, leg press and lunges. Was definitely spent by the time the workout was done.

Anyway, it’ supposed to hit about 75 here today, so I’ll at least be a warm idiot… hiking with her kids… because she’s a glutton for punishment fan of super cool adventures!!!!!!

awesome.

Myriad of Stupidity

Sunday Already?

Running has picked up significantly over the past week, something I’m proud to finally be looking forward too again. Unfortunately, the Brooks Pureflows had to go back. As always, the fit was perfect, the shoe was lightweight, and the one complaint I had, led me right back to the store after a two mile run. Apparently, Brooks changed up the style of the Pureflows and added a hard elastic over the top of the foot. I believe there is supposed to be a little bit of give, but mine did not. No matter how I tied the shoes (again, over the course of two miles, so it was super annoying to deal with) my toes still went numb and the elastic made the top of my foot itch. I came home and inspected my old Pureflows, and was surprised to find the same band there – but constructed of a stretchy knit material that had significant wiggle room. Just odd. The shoes would have been perfect, given the band issue.

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Hard to see the comparison here…  it truly pained me to send the Brooks back! I wanted to try the rest of the Pure line, but was completely turned off by the plastic band across the foot, which every kind had. However, I’m glad to report that my feet are happy in some new Mizuno Wave Riders. Also, I apologize if the whole band issue is something that’s taken the running community by storm and is relatively old news – I’ve been out of the loop for AWHILE. Like, over a year.

Anyway, over the course of the last few days, I’ve had a mix of cross training (leg day, shoulders, bicep/tricep) but my favorite had to be my time spent at a local boxing gym. The boxing world is completely unknown to me, but the guy who owns the gym is Grady Brewer, who won a reality show about boxing and is basically a complete (but very humble) badass. It was pretty neat, and I’m hoping to maybe take some lessons over the summer. Little man enjoyed himself immensely!

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Lastly, I decided to pain the yoga nook upstairs, which was a BRILLIANT move the day after boxing. I am on the last coat now and should be finished this week. How lucky are those who can knock this out in a day… not so much a reality in this house with kids, pets, errands, Army life and whatever else life throws into the mix. I’ll be making this room into more of a functional office space, considering I spend more time (sadly) on the computer than a yoga mat. Some teal and golden accents, and this space will be pretty cozy.

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Tomorrow I get back on the speed work. I cannot remember the last time I did this, and to add salt to the wound I’m also going to get my body fat read. All of this followed up with leg day, so Wednesday DOMS should be absolutely brutal. Expect a full report on tomorrow’s embarrassment.

Sunday Already?

The Demise, Destruction; Recovery and Rebuilding.

Where to even begin…

I will start off by saying 2014 is a year I fully intend on NEVER repeating, not even in the most remote sense. I promise this isn’t your typical “OMG totes less sugar in 2015!!” resolution. Looking back on the majority of the year, I come to the sick realization that I can only remember bits and pieces, like a stranger looking in on a foggy memory. Though I do remember happy memories (thank you TimeHop), I would be amiss if to ignore the elephant in the room – I remember a lot of misdirected anger, sadness, and even resentment. Towards little things, towards big things. I would feel it at first, like a tiny jelly bean, just nudging me inside mentally. One event after another, my mind and mouth too stupid to actually SAY something; what I’m feeling, anything, because that’s too girly or whatever excuse I had on hand at the time. For the sake of ‘vague-blogging’ you can guess it had to do with personal life, let’s just get that admission out of the way. Eventually that tiny jelly bean would tailspin out of control until I basically resembled a shell of my former self and I admittedly threw. in. the. fucking. towel. In every sense of the word, I gave up. But others did NOT give up on me, even when things seemed the most bleak.

Friends that meant well, knowing the nonsense I was going through, would often call for play dates or simply talking it out. Temporarily ‘fixed’, I was (and still very much am) eternally grateful for them, until I needed to whine to them over monotonous ramblings, yet they sat there with every ready advice and a listening ear. Again, eternally grateful. Unfortunately this meant ignoring other friends, as I closed myself up to everyone else, even family (gulp.) – especially those that didn’t deserve it. In 2014 I learned who and who I could not trust. It took a lot of mental energy to simply make it through the day, and even MORE energy to look around and tearfully realize the people I thought would be there, in fact, were not. Without sounding too dramatic, I have learned to keep things at arm’s length now, and whatever my bubble is made of, had to grow a bit stronger. But, my family is intact, and stronger than ever; something I did not picture last summer. Thank GOD for forgiveness (so much of this), laughter, tears and my husband. Seriously the man deserves a medal.

Eventually came the breakthrough. Aren’t those wonderful? LOL… like when you’re watching a show and you realize the antagonist is actually the golden boy everyone loves, or you’re building a STUPID Ikea cabinet and you finally freakin’ realize they gave you extra knobs, those funny Swedish jerks! I started working out again (read: not running), gained a cat, let certain extracurricular go, stopped going to church (yes. yes. I know how this sounds…)and found a couple of *new and improved!!* friends that I still cling too like leeches. Long sob story short, I finally started being a normal, functioning adult.

Late 2014 came to be even better, because the happiness continued. The communications came through clearer, and  everything ebbs and flows the way it should. So thankful for that. If you feed something, it will grow – you decide what you feed; your anger or your happiness. I will not lie, there are days where I mope around snapping at the poor dog for breathing loudly; but more often than not, things are good.

I finally knew I was coming around to being my former self when I spent four hours driving around town looking for running shoes. The further away the shoes slipped out of my reach, the more defeated I became. After the third sorry excuse for a sporting good store I went too, I sat in the car, and proclaimed loudly that, “I JUST WANT TO RUN.” Boom. Yet another layer of the icky 2014 was shed, just like that. I have new shoes, and have run happily a few times this year, and am happy to see where 2015 takes me.

Running wise, I have a lot of work to do. I am eyeing some half marathons in the area, lusting over some trail races, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

I also realized recently I missed writing. Even when things were tough and weird and spiteful, I would write, momentarily feeling better. I have toyed with the idea of blogging again for a few weeks, and here I sit, 768 words later. So thanks for making it this far, and hopefully I’ll give you substantial reading material (hi mom.) littered with PR’s and many race recaps. Or not. Smile Back to the Old Self I go!!!!

The Demise, Destruction; Recovery and Rebuilding.

A Historical Run Around Ft. Sill

Well it’s been a bit quiet on our front, and for good reason. There are only so many ways I can make treadmill running exciting, so let me sum it up for you… it was cold/snowing/icy out, therefore I ran on a treadmill 3 or 4 or 5 times a week in various distances anywhere from 3 to 5 miles. So there you have it. Social media REALLY drove me crazy this winter, as I was bombarded with posts about ZMG SNOW IN WINTER… I didn’t need to contribute to the obvious.

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A friend and I did get together and she definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of cross training. At any given moment you could find us doing some crazy rowing thing as a warm up and from there even doing a tabata workout [FUN, by the way!!!!!] or a Crossfit influenced workout composed of slamming a sledgehammer into a tire and box jumps. It got intense, and I’m hoping that even though I resorted to it to ‘keep me busy’, that we continue to do these workouts. It makes the chore of cross training a bit more fun, and there’s always something new to do. Heck, I even got kettle bells for Valentine’s. Smile Blogger fail, as there is no picture of the workouts…

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The weather has turned here in southern Oklahoma [but not the wind, so don’t even ask] and in the past few days the temperature has hit about 70. Cue shorts and tank top runs. Definitely beats out the past couple of weeks being cooped up with sick kids, as well.

Short story, and you can stop here if you want: I got 6 miles in at a 9:17 average pace. I didn’t look at the watch once and went off effort alone, and definitely could have pushed this harder than I did. Happy with the run for sure, considering I ran 6 two days ago at a 9:07 pace. So happy to be covering decent miles again.

Long story: HA, you are in for a treat. As most of you know, I can be quite the nerd. I love history, and there are historical markers all over this post. In fact, I can even see one from my driveway, and know of three within a half mile. Though we have driven around to see some, I thought it would be pretty neat to see them on foot, as some are farther off the road and not ideally driven too. If you’re wondering whether or not there are historical markers nearby for events/people/what have you, check out www.everytrail.com/ – I’ve already planned numerous outings using their maps, and there’s also an app for both Android and iPhlub. According to this site, there are over 30 sites on our post alone. Granted, many are in the same location because they’re located in a museum, but others are free standing – in fact, we’ve driven by them not knowing what they were. I definitely plan to use the app to check out other places as we travel the nation, I am definitely beyond ecstatic that everything is laid out for me and I won’t miss anything!!

Without further ado… here are some of the historical highlights of my run.

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- this sits along the edge of a golf course –

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- Flipper’s Ditch. You have to read a summary of his life here. Born a slave, Henry Flipper was the first black graduate of West Point [1877] and amongst other notable career events at Ft Sill, he designed a drainage system that is still in use today. From there his career took him to various posts until hit with controversy, as he was caught up in an embezzlement charge and subsequently relieved of his military duty. His dishonorable discharge [1881] was overturned by President Clinton in 1999. Pretty interesting, I’d like to read his autobiography if I get the chance.

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- not sure if you can read the picture in the upper right hand corner… but it states that the marker shows where General Sheridan had his tent. In the picture below, you can see the distance between the Mess Hall Tent and General Sheridan’s. Not too far. Also, I snapped the picture to show how far off the road General Sheridan’s historical marker is – something not easily seen. In fact, we had driven by it numerous times before we realized there was even anything out there. -

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- I hit my turnaround point at Geronimo’s Grave. I felt very out of place ‘touring’ the Apache Indian Cemeteries, and felt uneasy as I snapped quick pictures, even though there were others around doing the same thing. There is a morbid curiosity when it comes to cemeteries and gravestones, and I felt for some reason I was violating the sanctity of death. If that makes any sense at all. –

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- This plot was especially interesting, as the majority of names contained “Bailtso”, and one grave that was fenced in, within the plot. I went back and forth on my decision to go in and peek at the name, but in the end curiosity got the better of me, I took a picture, and made a mental note to google the family name later. I have yet to do that, I really just need a pocket historian to tell me everything about the area. Some information can be found in this book, “Women of the Apache Nation”, which I’m hoping the library has. –

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- ‘son of Clarence & Helen Bailtso, Died on May 22, 1918 (? can’t really read the year), 7 years old’. Honestly, I think that’s the thing that made me most uneasy about looking at the gravestones – the majority of them were infants and children. I also think I have a lingering PTSD-like notion about white headstones found in military settings… I wish I was exaggerating, but there is just something about it that puts my stomach in knots.

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- Geronimo’s Grave. I wish I would have had the guts to stick around and take more pictures, maybe in due time.

Anyway, there you have it folks. Quite possibly the longest blog post I have written to date. I wish I could go on longer about my experience with this run, as it truly was enjoyable and didn’t feel like effort whatsoever! Good times.

A Historical Run Around Ft. Sill

Snow and Gratitude {Landeck, Elizalde, Tully}

Overnight and into the early morning, our nook of an Army post in rural Oklahoma received about 5 inches of snow. I am hoping that is it for today at least, considering more snow is expected to fall throughout the week. I do not need to remind you that while I appreciate the scenery snow brings to the view outside of my window, I absolutely LOATHE being cooped up inside without a chance to get out. Because we do not live in a plow-friendly part of the country, I thought all hope was lost in running – the gym was closed, and the house is too tiny to put a treadmill in… until I actually heard a plow go by and reveal a CLEAR canvas of road – not even ice underneath the snow! Everything was at a standstill; snow had stopped and there wasn’t wind whipping around – I knew it was time to hear the therapeutic crunch of snow and ice beneath my feet and soak in some me time.

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Today I ran for quite the trifecta of individuals. While I did not know these individuals, I have connections to them in one way or another. It was easy to have these men on my mind during my short run, and I am lucky to have these connections to them in my life, for more reasons than one.

CPT. Kevin Landeck, was an Illinois native who perished 7 years ago in Iraq when an IED went off near his vehicle. Kevin was stationed out of Ft. Drum, and prior to that he went through Purdue’s ROTC program where he met his wife, 2LT Bethany Landeck. Kevin was touted as a natural born leader, a ‘man’s man’, and was quick to make his friends laugh.

SFC Adrian Elizalde is a name I have heard for years. I ran with his amazing sister, Rachel, for years while we were stationed at Ft. Lewis. His birthday was this past week, and I wish so deeply I would have had a chance to meet this outstanding individual. His loss was felt by many, going back to even his childhood community. Not only did he excel in his military career, but he also was an avid fitness junkie, spending his free time training in mixed martial arts.

SFC Michael Tully was killed alongside SFC Elizalde from an IED. SFC Tully seemed destined to be in the military, jumpstarting the process at the age of 17 when he joined the Marine Corps. He later joined the Army, where he went on to have an impressive career that sent him into Iraq on his second tour as a combat medic. Striving to complete challenges in both work and personal life, SFC Tully also was a certified Scuba diver, and completed Ranger school.

Snow and Gratitude {Landeck, Elizalde, Tully}