Sunday, October 11, 2015

The cloud is lifted.

Soooo....I went to Bali.  And Borneo.  I left the last day of August and returned September 16th.  Truthfully I was very nervous about going.  I get a little nervous whenever I leave for an extended period of time but this trip was half way around the world.  In a country I've never been to.  What if they don't have phones? or INTERNET??   I'm just a little bit kidding.  I wanted to stay in touch with my kids and make sure all was well at home.  

Before I left I was dealing with some pretty big stressors.  Work was really at the top of my list with some things going on that I didn't agree with and I felt unappreciated at best.  I had a few calls throughout the summer that were pretty stressful.  The ones you don't forget.  Sometimes it builds up when you are making life and death decisions and have so much responsibility.  

My most irritating stressor was my last marriage.  It's like a freakin broken record.  I just stopped talking about it with anyone because I was sick of hearing it myself.  I was tired of getting super anxious when I had to go somewhere that I knew he frequented.  I was still so angry about his lies and the lack of accountability.  Tired of being hurt that I lost a friend.  It was all bundled into this mass of stress that was making it difficult to be who I wanted to be. I felt broken. I never really wanted to go out.  I started taking my Ativan more regularly the day I found out about the lies and almost 2 years later I was still on it daily.  I needed to find some control.  I needed a break.  

This trip was the best thing I've done for myself in many years.  It was a life changing trip.  No joke.  I have thought many times why it turned out to be so amazing. I keep coming back to these 3 things.

1.  Our hostess and trip planner, Carol.  Carol has a passion and respect for the people and the islands that is infectious.  Just seeing the twinkle in her eye and the big smile as she travels around and talks to people and sees amazing stuff is awesome.  Adding Tracey made a threesome that ended up giggling late into the night and days upon days of laughter and love.  

In Taiwan waiting for our connecting flight to Bali.  Had to try out the selfie stick.  I never really mastered it. 

Carol was such a trooper with all my pictures/selfies/groupies.

2.  The Healer.  We went to a Balinese Healer.  We each had an hour and we each had completely different experiences.  We were all affected deeply.  When I walked in the first thing she told me is that I was beautiful but that I had a cloud over me.  (That's where I get the cloud reference)  We talked about the big things that have been bothering me.  She gave me some awesome advice and then she did some healing thing that involved aligning my chakras.  I laid on a massage table, closed my eyes and she did stuff with her hands and healing stones.  It was very interesting.  

3. The Island.  I felt like I was getting energy and strength everyday I was on vacation.  Either from the Ocean, the little girls dancing, delicious food and even seeing all the wild animals.  Every day was a gift.  A gift of strength and time that helped me to re-align myself, my "cloud" and definitely my chakras!  


The ocean in Tulamben, by far the most peaceful part of the trip. 

So grateful to be able to see wild animals in their habitat.

No words.
I'll just let Carol and Tracey giggle.

Coming home was painful.  I was with the best women ever, all day, every day and then we separated to go our different ways.  I was also back home.  Away from the part of the world that I grew to love immensely.  It took a good 24 hours but I pulled it together and was able to function.  

Since being home I have never felt more calm and less stressed.  Even when stressful things come up I feel like I can handle it so much better.  Before I left I had had to take an Ativan every night so I could sleep and not go crazy in my head and now I don't need them.  I've been wanting to go off of them on a regular basis but just couldn't seem to wean myself down.  I keep them around in case I have an anxiety attack but I feel like I have a lot more control.  I'm really finding happiness within.  Happy with myself.  It doesn't hurt that for 17 days I had my girls telling me I was awesome.  Carol and Tracey have been my cheerleaders.  I hope I can be the same for them.  

That is some serious stuff.  Luckily I have A LOT of pictures that can show that not only did we enjoy that trip and see cool stuff it was, hands down, off the charts FUN!  

I'm still going through them and I'm going to share my days on vacation in the next couple of weeks.  Light myself a little incense and share my experiences.  Keeping the cloud lifted and the chakras aligned!!

Blog on............

Friday, October 2, 2015

A fresh start.

Years ago a friend of mine had a child that was having trouble with bowel movements.  I remember distinctly her stating that he was on some meds to clean him out so he could have "a fresh start".  So when I scheduled my "YOUR OVER 50" colonoscopy I figured, at least I'll have a fresh start.

A fresh start indeed.

I didn't keep it a secret.  I posted all kinds of things on Facebook about my "night of a 1000 waterfalls", which is a term.  Google it.  I know I don't have too many boundaries but when I started talking to people I realized that there are those who are putting it off.  Then there are those that give some great advice such as, add lemonade Crystal Light into your bottle of mag citrate and put over crushed ice.  Num NUMMY!!

So lets be honest and clear about this.  It's not something that I would choose to do for shits (hehe) and giggles.  But I believe completely in cancer screening.  I check my moles, my breasts and now my colon.  Cancer is a big fat bitch.  Most of the time it kills people slowly and viciously.  I don't fear cancer but if I can kick it in the nads early then I will.  

My colon cleaning arsenal.  
Yes, I have folding chairs for my dining. I call it the simplistic look. ;)

The instructions alone are intimidating.  They give you a list of mediation that you can get over the counter and tell you all the wonderful things you have to do for the next 3 days.  It's starts off with stopping your blood thinning medicine and each days adds another tidbit.  Stop eating nuts, wheat, beans, seeds, etc.  Then at 2 days before they want you to go on a clear liquid diet.  TWO DAYS?  Luckily I didn't look at my instructions until after lunch on Tuesday.  OOPS.  I started clears at approximately 2pm.   Of course I panicked.  

Because I'm starving and I need a lot of food!  
HINT:  Lots of the jello was a no go.  You can't have any red dye.  I thought orange would be safe but I was wrong.  Grape too.   Oh the misery!!

Then I spent all Tuesday night looking up things about bowel prep.  I found things like this:

Seriously?  Am I going to be stuck sitting on the toilet all night?  My legs will fall asleep and I'll get a DVT.  

Lots of advice on creams and potions to put on your bung holeo.  What? Is my poop going to turn to acid?  I haven't ate spicy food for awhile. 

Another thing listed on the prep instructions is to consider adult diapers.  
No.  Just no.

Absolute truth is I've taken care of enough patients that have had accidents to know that if you take enough miralax and fall asleep your poop will do everything in it's power to find freedom. 

I put an old thick blanket on my bed with a towel on top.  I also wore a night pad.  This is TMI, huh?  Needless to say my feared humiliation did not come to pass.  

I didn't have to spend a ton of time on the toilet.  Things moved like water out of a faucet.  I was hungry and it was inconvenient but it was not horrible.  Everyone reacts differently so maybe I'm just lucky.  

I used PooPourri's "Call of the Wild".  It worked magically.  Smelled like a wild ruby grapefruit!

 BTW.  There is a website called "the great bowel movement".  It's more to help with those that have Crohnes and Colitis but dang, what a cool name.  

Many bloggers have summed up the experience a lot better then I could and I couldn't find my favorite but this gal summed it up with my kind of humor!

My hints are pretty simple and some are advice I'm passing from my friends to friends.  

1.  I did not leave the house.  Once the Mag Citrate was in I hunkered down with an iPad full of books and stupid games that help me zone out.  I also Facebooked.  A lot.  

2.  Crushed ice makes everything better.  But drink with purpose because you don't want the ice to melt and then you just have more to drink.

3.  Buy some cool yellow and green jello.  Jello becomes the most delicious thing EVER!  I rotated it with broth (salty) and then juice and a root beer.  Look at the ingredients of what you buy.  NO red dye.  

4.  My toilet paper is pretty soft.  Do more blotting then wiping.  Have toilet wipes handy for splash and extra cleaning.  A little vaseline during the epic downpour helps too.  I did't get sore at all.  

5.  Add Crystal Light lemonade to the mag citrate.  It's not too bad over crushed ice.  

6.  Get a straw.  Drink with purpose!!

7.  Wear a maxi pad. If your a guy then wear one.  Why not?  Just to cover the little leakage.

Thats all I got on the prep.  I set my alarm and finished my Miralax at 430 in the morning.  By the time I left for the procedure at 8 I was feeling pretty confident.  
I wore comfy sweats and flip flops.  They put me totally naked in a gown and I got the cool yellow socks with grippers on both sides!  

The nurse put in an IV and holy crap lady, I didn't even feel it!  Best nurse ever. I was given fluid and rolled into the "room".  They put me on monitors.  My doctor looked me straight in the eyes and updated me to the whole plan.  At least I think he was looking at my eyes, I didn't have my glasses on.  We laughed because we have friends in common and then I told him if he perforates my bowel then pass all other hospitals and take me to the U so I can get my surgeon friends on board.  If I have to be flown then don't call AirCare...I'd rather walk.  He thought I was weird but I'm a flight nurse and we feel pretty strongly about stuff that will probably never happen to us.  After that he gave me a bezoar to hold.  (That part may not be true, or is it?)  The propofol was magic and I remember saying something about diving and then I was awake and it was done.  

Thank goodness they didn't find anything weird!  Whew!

It was over like that!  I did have a polyp that he removed.  I was up and out the door within about 30 minutes from waking up.  Felt great!

I spent the day with this look on my face.  Although I hate to brag but they didn't stink.  They were musical though....a downright symphony. 

So please my peeps.  If your over 50 then take the plunge. If you need me to talk you through it I will.  Find a reputable doc with a good history and go for it. I can't lie when I was a little weirded out on the way there.  I don't think my butt hole has ever had a date...exclusively.  

I'd like to dedicate this post to my life long friends, Jill and Ken.  They gave me advice and support along the way and they are funny as hell.  Thank you!

Blog on.............

PS.  I'm still running.  I also just spent two and half weeks in Indonesia and Malaysia.  I have full updates coming up about that vacation.  It was fantastic!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Documentary Review "The Last Mile"

Slow day at work.  We did a flight early and I'm all caught up with all my paperwork.  I decided to look through Amazon Prime and see if they had any good documentaries or films that I could rent and watch.  I have pretty much watched the death out of Netflix, HBOGo and Amazon Prime.  I should read a book...I know.  

I love a good book, movie or documentary on running.  I love to talk about it and plan and buy stuff.  It has really become my life and defines part of who I am.  This documentary addresses that feeling.  Why do we run?   


Here is the trailer for it. 

John Burkett is a runner and a film maker.  He set out about the country asking people why they run.  What he found is interesting and fascinating.  I became just a little bored during the interviews with the pros but when he moves to talking to regular people it started my running motor.  Turns out they aren't just regular people.  

In the end it's true that there is no secret.  People who run, and love to run, just do.  For ALL the reasons.  My frustration with not having enough time to put in the training and rest that I need was lessened.  My excitement to get on the next training plan spiked....kinda like a "new running shoe" day.  Well, not quite but close.  

Of course I only have to convince myself.

I rented it for 2.99 off Amazon as a prime member.  It's a little over an hour long.  It's a great way to spend 3 bucks.  I recommend it, especially if you need a little jump start or motivation.  

Speaking of next race.  I don't have a planned race until Oct. 24th.  I'm running the SLC Haunted Half in a penis costume.  I'm kidding.  Probably.

I was sick with the flu after the Timp Half on August 1st and have just in the last few days been able to get back to work and not feel like I'm going to puke.  I'm even feeling my energy increase. 

Complimentary early morning helicopter pic.  
Best job ever.

Hoping for a nice run on Wednesday to kick off a non-training couple of weeks.  I'm going to Bali in September.   (yeah!!!)  I'm taking my running shoes.  I'm not really training until I get back.  It will not be a fast half marathon.  Guaranteed!

What is the least amount of training you've done for a half marathon??
Blog on...........

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Timp Half Marathon Recap

What?  I ran a half marathon?  I didn't even speak of training!  I know, my blog has been on a BAB (big ass break) and I have 3-4 half posts written but not posted. I'll get back to that another time.  For now lets get some feel-goods on the half marathon I layed down last Saturday.

First of all, after the Marathon I really needed a break from everything.  I wanted to sign up for at least one half marathon this summer to keep me motivated.  I choose the Timp Half.  It's a downhill half marathon that gets lots of good reviews.  But then I also wanted to mix up the training and I surprisingly found one I really liked through Shape Magazine.  (Weird....I know)  

It was nice to do something different and the circuit training is nice.  It really worked my core.  My goal for the race was to be strong and feel strong. I wanted my legs to show up to the game and they did!  I was a little slow at the end, but overall I felt amazing! 

The day leading up to the race was just a comedy of "do not do before a race" things.  On Thursday night I flew all night long and Friday I didn't get near enough sleep.  I did get some sleep Friday before the race but I was behind and I was also dehydrated.  Dang work!

The morning of the race I realized I forgot my water bottles.  BAM!  So I spent more time at all the aid stations making sure I drank plenty of water.  

Here are my splits.

Mile 1 - 8:56
Mile 2 - 9:27
Mile 3 - 9:21
Mile 4 - 10:03
Mile 5 - 8:37
Mile 6 - 8:03
Mile 7 - 8:26
........and I ran out of the canyon......
Mile 8 - 10:19
Mile 9 - 10:31
Mile 10 - 11:06
Mile 11 - 10:51
Mile 12 - 10:42
Mile 13 - 10:30 
Mile .29 -  8:48

Total 13.29 miles/ 2:09:30


I feel confident I can beat my PR of 1:59 in the next year.  I just need to plan better and keep training!  

Peeps I ran the Ragnar with last year

I didn't even pretend up this hill.  It was a walker....

Not a horribly bad finish photo!  Yippee

My TomTom showed the race was a little long.  I did get a little slow on the last half of the race but dang I felt strong.  I still like to walk occasionally but some days I was feeling like my head would not get into the game because I was too busy concentrating on when my next walk break was.  In the months since the marathon I've really got my head into the game. A lot stronger.   

I ran with Amy, well we went together but ran separately.  She kicked some ass and PR'd.  Also ran into some friends.  It's always so much fun!

So happy to feel excited about running again.  It was edgy there for a bit.  Glad to have done the race.  It was well organized and I really enjoyed it!

Here's to another update this summer!!

Blog on............

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ogden Marathon Recap

This recap will be almost all in pictures.  
I don't have much to say.
It rained from mile 2 to 26.2.  A lot.
It was freezing.
I wore my 6 dollar throw away rain jacket from Savers the entire race.  
I was slow. 

For a while at least.

So true.  
Everyone who ran yesterday was super hardcore.

We did have a great time.  I got us a hotel room a block from the finish/bus pickup.  We met up the night before and really just had fun and talked. I shared this sweet experience with fellow flight nurses Amy and Deb.

TWINNERS shirts.  Love the shirt, hate the color.

Amy and I hanging out talking and posting stuff on our phones

Amy figured the timer out on my phone.

Fact.  Danger.  hahaha

I had rice and chicken in my teeth.

The morning started way early.  4am to get to the buses by 5.

Finish line forecast.  ew

Long wait by the fires in the cold.

Hoping for clear skies.

We found us a helicopter pilot!  Congrats Clint on meeting your goal by 5 minutes!  Animal!
SOOOO many runners!  Took us 7 minutes to get to the start line.

Amy ran with me and Deb took off and finished over an hour before we did.  This was before the swearing began. 

More then half way.  Stopped at the potty - which took over 5 minutes to get clothes down to pee.  Soaking wet all the way through.  And yes, that is my throw away black jacket.  I have a really cute outfit under it. We also had some gummy bears.  At this point we just wanted to finish.   haha

Over 5 hours...but heck, at least we weren't pulled off the course from hypothermia.  

First marathon in the bag.  Yes, I already want to run another one.  I really would like a do-over.  
I actually felt pretty good during the run.  The problem was there was no chance to warm up the muscles.  At the start the front of my ankles were very painful and tight, which had never happened.  When that went away everything from my glutes to my knees was so tight.  Not cramps just painfully tight.  I was scared to do too much stretching because I was SO cold.  The cheap gloves I wore stayed on about 13 miles.  They were finally SO wet that I threw them away.  I tried tucking my fingers in my jacket and that helped. My fingers tingled for 2 hours after my hot shower.  Our shoes were absolutely filled with water for more then half of the race.  They were heavy and coupled with the tight muscles we pretty much gave up any hopes of under 5 hours after the pacer paced us.  Amy's jacket that was suppose to be water proof couldn't stand up to the rain.  Actually neither jacket kept us dry but I stayed dryer longer.  

The one thing I was most nervous about turned out great.  I had a Luna bar, Honey stinger waffle and banana before I ran.  I had mixed a Clif gel (cherry chocolate is my fav, but they didn't have those on the course) with one of my applesauce (this brand has a flat screw on top which fits better in pockets) and put it back in the applesauce container.  I also carried one applesauce without anything in it and one hazelnut butter.   In my water bottles I had one water and one Skratch hydration.  I used half the mixed applesauce at 45 min and 1hr30min.  After that  I would have a half of a gel then a little bit of applesauce.  At mile 20 I finished the applesauce with the hazelnut butter.  I drank a couple of poweraids and had a cup of water at each water stop.  No stomach upset at all.  I'll keep that system and tweak it when I train for my next one.  

I'm just a little sore today.  My back hurts a little but dang the front of my ankles and tops of my feet hurt SO bad.  My toes are fine! (miracle - lots of Vaseline on the toes) I thought with the new socks and soaking feet I would be screwed.  A day of eating crappy food and watching season 10 of Dancing with the Stars (first time watching) is what this day is doing.  

Met Jeff Galloway in the elevator!!!
I do have his books and I use the 5/1 running ratio.  He had his hand on my shoulder and was shaking cold!!  


My finish stats.  
...and I didn't die.

Thank you Amy.  We had a real bonding run.

AND..we slept together.  
I'm not talking about the hot shower.  No pics, didn't happen.  ;)
You know your freezing when you don't care who sees you naked.

Huge props to the organizers of this marathon!  It was one of the biggest races I've been to.  So many volunteers and they were so awesome.  Most of the time when I took a cup from a hand it was just shaking.  Two shaking hands passing off cups of water.  I am so very thankful.  Ton's of water stops, plenty of portapottys, lots of Clif products, oranges, bananas, band aids, Vaseline, whatever we needed.  There was trucks driving the course hanging out silver warming blankets.  I felt like we were being watched closely for safety and taken great care of by all the volunteers.  Some awesome cheer leading going on!  The course markings were spot on and the timing thing with the app was great!  Amy and I got notices when our friends passed certain points.  Then we smacked talked them for being so fast.  ;)

Funny how marathon training takes over your life.  I can't wait to get back to having some time.  My bathroom needs cleaning...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dino half recap and the Marathon countdown begins!!

One week before my first marathon I ran a half marathon.  Crazy?  Yeah buddy! But how could I pass on THIS medal?

Photo credit:  Tera Schatz

With these people

Photo Credit:  Kind stranger

The usual subjects.  Jason and his wives.  
Me, Jen, Ashley, Tera (real wife...we make her sleep with him) and Jill
Dream pants FOUND

I don't regret a minute of it.  I love traveling, going to dinner and hanging with these people so much.  We don't really run together but it's still a blast.  

Before we ran we sat in the car and I worked on looking really smart with my glasses on.

Photo Credit:  Jen Quarry
I was actually adjusting my glasses.  Maybe.  

The race itself was awesome!!  It was storming like crazy the day before but race day we had just a little light rain and cloud cover.  Nice and cool.  I bought a sweet zip jacket for the start and then dropped it off at one of the aid stations.  

My goal was very simple.  Run it slow and easy.  I stayed with or behind the 2:30 pacers.  I stopped at aid stations.  Ate a few oranges and drank water at each one.  I even stopped to pee at one point.  I kept my "run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute" approach.  Sometimes I had to run a little faster to get past annoying people.  Mean?  Well, there are people that annoy me and I'd rather just not run next to them.  Like the three girls all across the road.  One of them yelling at the pacer to slow down and why does her neck hurt.  I wanted to chime in something catty but I didn't.  I'm growing up so big!


The last mile I just eased in.  Ran almost the whole time and ran past the pacers.  I'm thrilled.  I wasn't too sore except the hammy on the right that has been tense.  I kept the slow pace and I had a blast.  

A beautiful course!  Easy downhill and lovely scenery.

photo credit: Me

I'm covering his scary face but it's a COOL medal!!

photo credit:  guy that works at the hotel the doesn't wash crotches.

We took the after pic at the hotel because it was freaking cold once you cooled down and we had tossed the jackets.

STINKY  (aka Jason) took second in his age group!!

I took 6th.  Can you imagine if I actually ran it.  Dang, I love getting old!

So whats the marathon plan?

I want to run it under 5 hours.  I want to keep it easy and slow at first.  I would rather finish and be ultra slow then kill myself trying to make some fast time.  It's my first one.  I want to take the time to learn my own do's and don't of marathon running.  I will be doing my walk/run that I hear lots of "poo poo" about.  Like it's cheating or something.  It's easy for me to start running again and get in a groove.  Towards the end I just run how I feel.  I don't force the walk breaks after the first half.  I have some negative split numbers that I'll be looking at during the race.  

I'm most nervous about fueling.  I don't think it's going to be hot so I'll be wearing my capri's with the pockets.  I did take one Clif GU and had it at mile 9.  No stomach upset.  I think I'll take some applesauce (2 with stuff mixed in) and then have GU's also (provided at aid stations).  Thinking about taking a packet of hazelnut butter.  Jill told me it helps with that feeling that you are just REALLY hungry.  It happened in my 2 long runs around mile 17.  

I also had a new fuel belt to try.  

Nathan Mercury 2 hydration belt

I've had a tough time finding a belt I like.  Finally the belt makers have figured out how to put a little stretch into their belts instead of just clips.  I had to make a few adjustments but after that it stayed put and felt great.  I have 2-10oz flasks.  In one I put some SKRATCH hydration in lemon/lime and the other water.  I also took water at the stations and drank some Skratch every 45 minutes.  I switched to Skratch when I bought a small pack to try on my long runs.  I like the taste and it appears to work.  I do use my go to NUUN before the race and drink one the night before and anytime I think I need some extra electrolytes.  

Plan for this week:

I have some great aches and pains that I'm ignoring ala taper.  Stretching, rolling and hydrating.  I'll do a short slow run.  I'm trying to eat healthy and good carbolicious.  Did I mention I'm hydrating?  I had my pre race illness already, hopefully.  I had a headache from HELL last night.  I blame Rock Springs.  Heehee

I'll end this ridiculously long post with my favorite Marathon/running memes.  Laughter will get me though....or not. 

Then I'd be dead.  Fear.

 All the great memes.  I hope thats what my race looks like.

Bulls would make me run faster.  FACT.

I'll consider it.

I do NOT want to chafe mid run.  I'll be properly lubed. Trust me.
Hope I don't start a crotch fire.

What do you carry for hydration?

Always asking for Marathon advice?

Is it really Saturday?

Blog on.............