Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Obviously I have been gone for a looonnggg time. I might fill in some of the gaps and I might just plug along as if I have been here the whole time. A short recap (because who really cares anyway) we went to Florida (loved), had a Hurricane named after my mom Irene (not so lovey), attacked by a Lupus flare up (stupid), blizzard Halloween weekend (weird), working a ton (really stupid), and here I am feeling surprisingly good.

Since the two of you who read this are probably wondering: Am I running and am I still a Vegan? The last time I ran was in September when the Lups got me and I was on the 'roids. I was totally out of wack and decided to take a break. I feel like I can start to get back into it now albet slowly (walking). As far as my diet, I have invented something called the Lupus Diet since everything has to have a label these days. People usually don't bother me with regards to what I eat if I call it that haha. It is primarily vegan, with lots of raw fruits and veggies, always vegetarian, but I eat whatever I want if we are out to dinner and I leave myself 1 day a week if I feel like eating non-vegan. Oh, and obvi Holidays do not count!

The boring recap is over yay! Here are some fun pictures from apple picking this past September! I uploaded them from my phone so they look all wacky and unformatted (is that a word?). You're lucky I even figured out how to email them to my blog so don't complain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

when i'm not blogging i'm not being healthy

Here's a little secret for you...

If I'm not blogging that means I have fallen into some bad habits and I am trying to avoid talking about them! Namely, my healthy diet has fallen into the gutter. I have flown off the handle and am subsisting entirely on a diet of garbage. I blame this on the fact that it is summer and I am either working entirely too much because co-workers are on vacation, or I am on vacation. For non-work weekends James and I are at the beach or some kind of party which equals bad food choices. It all started after I came back from Florida and I just decided to keep eating like I was on vacation, where calories don't count. After all, I had another vacation coming up so why bother eating better if I was only going to eat junk again? This was really fun at first. I have been running pretty regularly so I don't look terrible and I eat chocolate, carbs, and cheese all day. I don't think about what I am having for dinner because I just eat chips or pasta. Really good huh? Plus, my malaria/lupus medicine is working fabulously, and I feel a million times better. This is a huge blessing! I guess that after a year of eating really well just to function daily it has been nice to throw caution to the wind and scarf down whatever I want and still feel okay. Up until now that is. Lately, I haven't been feeling "great" and I can only blame my diet. I don't care what anyone says, food matters, especially for me. I may be taking a magic pill to feel better but I shouldn't rely on that alone. After all, I don't want to be on this stuff for a long time no matter how minimal the side effects. So, here we are, back at square one. I am going to start planning and prepping my meals again, trying new recipes and sticking to old ones. Wish me luck!


Has been going well! I'm looking to do a Half Marathon in the Fall. Maybe... It is something that I really want to do, I just don't want to push myself too much. I think that if I start now I will be able to do it. The problem is that I have had some minor set backs. I have been very consistent, running 3 miles a few times a week and some half-assed XT on the other days. I even wake up before the sun to get my runs in because the heat has been crazy on the East Coast! So that is all good. The bad is that I am having trouble increasing my mileage. I'm frustrated because I'm still having problems with my knees. I have been wearing an ACE thing on my left knee because my right one is usually okay. For a while I had braces on both and I think that I may have to go back to that. It just looks stupid. My last two doctors said my knees were fine so I think that it is just some weird inflammation thing going on. This is another reason I want to revamp my diet. I think it will help my running.

I am stuck in a rut for my XT days. I was going to buy Tracy Anderson DVD's but the reviews are terrible. She is the trainer for all of the super fit fabulous celebrities. Maybe she is better in person? Either way, I cannot afford to fly to LA for personal training sessions so I am back on my search for something.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First 5K!

It all started with a simple FB message from my cousin Pam inviting me and our cousin Krystal to run a 5K with her. This was something I had been wanting to do for a long time so once I knew I wouldn't have to make an appearance at work I signed up. At first I didn't really think about it. After all I had been doing a 5 or 6 mile once a week. Then I started to feel really crappy again. Pretty much the whole month of May was a wash. I worked ridiculously long hours and ran very little.

May was also the month that I decided to try medication for the mild form of Lupus that I have. My doctor informed me that it has a very successful record, few side effects, but it can take 4-6 weeks to start working. At this point I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired I was ready to try something.

The week before the race I was still feeling like garbage. At this point I resigned myself to the fact that it would take me about 36-40 minutes to finish the run depending on what happened with my legs. Sometimes they are good, sometimes not so good. I even thought about dropping out of the whole thing so I would not embarrass myself!

Luckily, I hadn't signed up by myself and backing out wasn't an option! All of the sudden 2 days before the run I started to feel better, much better. I even had a root canal which caused my mouth to hurt but overall I was feeling good. I was starting to get excited for my first run!

Saturday began warm, with a cool breeze, and slightly overcast skies. Great shuffling weather! I got up, walked the dog, and we hit the road. Of course I made James come to be my official photographer. I had no idea how many people were going to be there or how long it would take me to get my number. As a result we arrived on scene about 40 minutes before the start. I now know that this is way to early for me. The people there with me were stretching, running around, and doing all kinds of serious runner things. All of the sudden I felt out of place because I didn't have a cool warm-up routine! I picked up my goody bag and proceeded to exit the pavilion when I saw a big map on hot pink poster board. omg was I supposed to memorize this?! Was the course that hard that it needed a map? no, I can just follow other people. but what if i'm dead last and there are no other people? Those were the crazy thoughts running through my brain. Soon enough I wised up and decided that I didn't need to figure out how to read or memorize the map. We took some pictures and then it was about time to line up!

I met up with Pam right before the start.

We decided to start together because the beginning is fun and then we would part ways if I had to walk or was really slow haha

I was so excited when the race went off! We actually ran at the same pace which was great. Pam said that many people start off way to fast and we would get to pass them at the end. I sure hoped so! The first mile flew by, I felt fantastic. I told myself to just keep going and then the second mile was behind us. Only 1 mile left!

This was the fun part. The last mile started about where the finish was and looped around. I knew this from all of my time reading the map. I was almost done and started to get really excited. There was a guy playing a trumpet and lots of people cheering. We saw Pam's friends going into the final few yards a good 10 minutes ahead of us! They were serious runners. We started laughing because the mom's with strollers who started a full 5 minutes after us were not far behind! Then we noticed women running while carrying kettle bells, also not far behind!
Towards the end Pam ran ahead to try and beat her time from last year. I saw James on the side lines taking pictures and cheering. I was tired but decided to push myself in the home stretch. Pam was right, I started passing tons of people! this was great!

I did it! I was beaming as ran across the finish line!

My official time was 33:39. Which was great for me! Since I started running again the best I had done was 36. I finished in the 800's out of 1300.

I have to give a BIG thank you to Pam! I would not have signed up for a 5K if it wasn't for her. Plus, I know that the reason I did so well was because we ran together. Thanks Pam!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

where have i been?

WARNING!! The following contains a boring recap of what has been happening in my life for the past few weeks. I will try to be as brief as possible. This is also why I posted a funny picture of my favorite friends and I. If you get bored go back to the picture.

Everything was going just peachy with my health and running up until a week before we were to leave for my bff's Fawn's wedding in Florida. Side note: growing up I had a bff named Mary Kate so we were Mary Kate & Asheley and my other bff's last name was Patete so we were Little & Patete weird huh?

Anyway, I contracted a bad cold because everyone at work was spewing germs all over the place. Like my rheum said, "you're immune system is already going crazy so when you get a simple cold it is going to knock you off your feet" oh, thanks. Basically, I could barely do anything besides get to work. I don't even know how I packed. By the Grace of God my hacking cough diminished enough so that I didn't cause a riot of noise on the flight.

For the first day in Florida I still felt crappy but I swear the ocean heals everything because after a day of playing in the waves I was much better. The wedding was amazing, I loved seeing my friends, we love Florida, I fit a fabulous run in, and James and I want to run away to there soon!

Our return flight landed us home late and I didn't get to bed until 12. For some stupid reason I decided to work the next day which just set me up for a week of exhaustion. My whole routine was thrown off and I haven't gotten it back into place even though we came home the first week of May.

I literally haven't run since vacay and I just signed up for a 5k with my cousin. I'm so excited! I'm not worried about finishing it, 3 miles is nothing, but my time is going to be embarrassingly slow. Like 40 minutes slow lol. To be honest, I am writing at this very moment so I can put of my run for a little longer. I am going to shoot for 4-5 miles today. For me, the first run after a hiatus is usually great, it's the day after that I feel like I am dying. Did I mention that the 5k is in 2 weeks? yeah, I better get my butt moving!

I fell of the vegan bandwagon hard! I decided that for the last 2 days of vacay that I would eat whatever I wanted. It was great. The problem is that when I came home I was in such a funk that I couldn't stop eating garbage. This happens every time I come home from a vacay. I'm so sad to not be at the beach that I console myself with food. At first I didn't notice any difference in my health. Now, I feel as bad as the garbage I have been eating. No energy, aches and pains blah blah. So I will be back on the vegan path starting... tomorrow! Today is my day off and I have a great book and a box of cheeze-its with my name on it hehe.

I went back to my rheumatologist last week. I really like her and I am glad I finally found a good doctor. My bloodwork is still all over the place. Some things as bad some are good. According to the tests my type of Lupus is the reactive type which is good. Something happened to throw my immune system out of wack, such as a virus, causing the Lupus. She thinks that I will continue to get better and never have a major problem again. This type of Lupus is just the annoying kind causing joint pain, muscle weakness and pain, fatigue and other stupid stuff. Luckily, it is not the kind that affects vital organs. yay! After a long talk I decided to go on anti-malarial meds that treat Lupus symptoms. No one knows how or why it works but there are minimal side effects and in most patients it is very effective. If I am going to have this why not try to alleviate some of the problems. In addition, I am at the point where I am just tired of feeling like this and am ready to try something. I haven't really noticed a positive difference yet, it takes about 4 weeks for the meds to get in your system. On the flipside, I haven't gotten worse! Furthermore, I am on a mega dose of vitamin D for a month. Like most Americans, I am vitamin D deficient. This has nothing to do with Lupus but my rheum said it might make me feel better and its only a vitamin.

That is pretty much it. I have put off running long enough and I am going to hit the road before it rains!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

From Short Sleeves To Snow

When you live in the Northeast, or anywhere with seasons, you have to come to terms with running in all different types of weather, sometimes in the same week. This Winter/Spring has not disappointed. One week I ran in the upper 50's in short sleeves and wind pants. A few days later I had to shorten my long run because of a snow storm. When I did my long run that week it was in 16 degree weather. Basically, you never know what you're going to get.
Pictures before my run in the snow. It was too wet to take my camera with me.
After my first run of the year in a t-shirt I felt pretty confident that the warm weather was here to stay. Boy was I wrong. The mild temps were short lived indeed with rain, sleet, and snow following close behind. I had no idea that one week I would be running with the sun shinning on my face and the next I would be pelted with wet snow.

In way it is kind of fun. It breaks up the monotony of running around the same places. You really feel the seasons, the weather, and can appreciate them in a way others probably do not. A run in the first warm day of the year brings a type of wonderful joy. It feels like the world is waking up from a long slumber. The air smells fresh and clean. And, just when you think you can pack your hats and gloves away, you wake up to a snow storm. A beautiful dusting of sparkling white powder turning your ordinary back yard into a winter wonderland. I was excited to shuffle around my neighborhood that had transformed into a picture from a fairytale. There was something special about running in the heavy wet snow because I knew (hoped) that it would be the last snow storm I would be running in for several months at least. I really enjoyed myself. Sure it was slippery and wet, but the temps were actually in the 30's which was great. Whereas for months I had muttered under my breath running around ice and snow banks, I knew that this time the ground was too warm to hold the snow and in a matter of days the inches would melt away and therefore I relished slogging through the slush. It was the perfect farewell to Winter even though it is technically Spring. Goodbye Winter we will meet again soon enough!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ode to LG

Little Guy

In the April 2011 issue of Runner's World the Editor's Letter was about his life with his dog Trucha. She lived a long eventful life to the age of 15. In that time the author was a runner, became married, and had children. Through it all Trucha was by his side. By the end of the story I was crying of course lol! Pets are a part of our families. They give us boundless love and loyalty and fill our hearts the way few things can.

My dog, Little Guy, is a 5 pound Chihuahua. He may not run with me but he loves to go for long walks, play fetch, and snuggle. He is a typical Chi in that he barks at other dogs and takes a long time to warm up to strangers. He is a crazy little dog but he loves my husband and I with all of his big heart. When I was really sick and could do nothing but lay on the couch for hours he would be content to lay with me, his little face by mine. When I started to get more energy I was so thankful for a companion to take short walks with. Plus, there is nothing better than coming home to a fluffy ball of love. He is so ecstatic that his wagging tail shakes his whole body and he rolls over for belly rubs.

He just congradulated me on running 5 miles, and sat on my legs/lap as I stretched. In addition, he runs around when I do strength training and jumps on my stomach when I do ab work.

Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for my furry family member!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When Tanning Goes Bad

HAPPY ST. Patrick's Day

Do you notice something weird in these pictures? Look closely. Thats right, I look like an orange oompa loompa! I have a confession to make. Hello my name is Asheley and I am a tan-a-holic. I love tanning. To be more specific, I love laying in a tanning bed being blasted with fake UV rays. It is really one of the best things ever. Everything about the whole experience is wonderful. It smells good, feels great, and looks fabulous. There are a number of problems with this. Obviously there is skin cancer. Which for some reason I was able to forget about. In fact, I would still be having a weekly session at the tanning place if it wasn't for the fact that I may have Lupus and the sun is a big trigger for a flare up. Hopefully, I am one of the lucky 20% of people with Lupus (if it fully develops) that are not sun sensitive. After all, I really love the sun.

So as not to tempt fate, I have stopped tanning completely. My orange hue is from tan in a can, or rather, bottle. I swear that I do not look orange in person. In fact, someone at work even commented on the fact that I looked really tan and must be hittin the parlor again. I don't know what happend in these pictures but obviously it isn't good! Therefore, my new mission is to find a fake tan that looks real. There has to be something out there. After all, how do celebrities get tan? I doubt that they lay in a tanning bed, and yet they all looked bronzed and gorgeous on the red carpet. I vow to uncover their secret!