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!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who Cares What Anyone Else Eats?!

This is a rant!
I'm getting punchy
I work with this crazy guy named Dave. He always updates me on weird stories that have recently been in the news. I'm not sure if what he tells me is very accurate but it is entertaining. A few weeks ago he informed me that Americans hated other Americans more than anyone else. Amongst their top complaints were about what other Americans ate. Weird, huh? Based on my own experience, I actually think that this might be true. I cannot tell you how many people become upset about what I eat or do not eat. Seriously.

I just do not understand why anyone cares what anyone else eats. I'll be the first to admit that I am most likely in a vegan phase and I could be back to eating SAD (Standard American Diet) in a matter of months or even weeks. But that is no reason why people should be angry when I politely decline eating some foods.

I've been to a few social events since this whole vegan health kick. I never ask for special food or say anything about why I am not eating something like pizza. I just find something that I do want to eat. In addition, I always eat before I go somewhere. Not once have I felt deprived or "wished" I could eat something. If I really wanted to eat the pizza, cookies, or whatever trust me I would. Heck, I even had a piece of real cake the other day but that will be in a later post.

Those who know me, notice that I am not eating the foods that I used to love and they would start to question it. At this point I usually say that I am eating better for my health and if they keep bugging me I'll say something about not eating cheese and animal stuff. This is when things become weird. People, even friends, start going nuts trying to "make" me eat non vegan things. I just don't get it. Here is a good example: The other week I was at a charity event with a set menu. I had the vegetarian option that was covered in cheese. I was unperturbed by this, I honestly wasn't even expecting a meatless option and had been content with my salad. I managed to eat around the cheese never saying one word about anything when everyone else around me started freaking out that I wasn't eating the greasy slop in front of me. It got worse with desert which was a mini apple pie with ice cream. I had a bite of apples from inside of the pie. Instead of just enjoying their own dessert, everyone was exclaiming how they couldn't believe that I was not eating this. Frankly, it's annoying. I don't talk about what you are eating, so please let me enjoy what I am eating.

Here are some of the hilarious comments I have heard followed by things I wish I had said:

  • "You know vegan is not the same thing as vegetarian?"
  • "OMG are you serious!? I had no idea!!"
  • My son dated and moved in with a vegetarian and he couldn't stand it so he made her move out
  • "Oh man, I better start eating meat and animal products or my HUSBAND will forget the vowes that he took in front of God and our family, kick me out of our house, and divorce me"
  • "What does your husband eat?"
  • "um... whatever he wants to eat, he is an adult"
  • "You're not getting any protein"
  • "wow, I had no idea you were a doctor. Actually, due to the fact that I get regular bloodwork I can say that my levels of protein are excellent. What are yours? oh, you have no idea, huh?"

I feel so much better having gotten all of that out!

To end on a positive note, I will add that one of my co-workers gave me the best compliment. She said, "you know, you look really healthy. You seem to have so much energy lately" I thought that was so extremely nice. What a great compliment to give someone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Super Slow 4 Miles - but it still counts!

This past Sunday I went for my typical 40 minute walk/shuffle and something magical happened. This magical episode happens to all new runners or any runner coming back from a hiatus for whatever reason. I'm not sure how to quite explain this but I'm sure most runners know what I am talking about. It's the moment when everything comes together and you feel like a runner.
It occurred on the way back from my run. I had been doing my standard 3:2 ratio of walking and shuffling and all of the sudden I felt so great that I just didn't want to stop. I was no longer worried about becoming exhausted or that this workout would wipe me out for the rest of the day. I just kept going and felt great. Sure my knees and hips were slightly achy but they felt strong, no wobbles or weakness. That is when I knew that I had arrived back into the world of running!
When I returned home I started making plans and goals for the future once again. I am not ready to divulge them just yet, you will just have to wait for a future post. And don't worry James, I will not train for a marathon (yet). After the Lupus thing he made me promise that I could keep shuffling as long as I "didn't do anything crazy like start training for a marathon". I tend to agree with him for the time being. There are plenty of other goals to shoot for and I formed a loose plan in my mind. First, I am going to add a once a week long run into the mix. And that's about all I have come up with so far hehe.
This week I would do 4 miles at a 2:2 ratio and see how I felt. You see, I have this huge mental block to overcome. I'm scared of pushing myself too much because I don't know what will happen. It's not that I am crazy (well maybe just a little). For those of you who don't remember this whole Lupus thing started about a year ago while I was training for a marathon. One day I went for a normal 10 mile run and the next day I literally could not get out of bed. I have never been the same since. So you can see where I might have a dilemma. Although, I'm starting to come to terms with this and I feel like if I listen to my body and take it slow I will be fine. Therefore, I chose 4 miles as a sort of test. I flirt with 3 on my normal running days and I decided to just go for 4 and see what happened. On the day of my planned run I was actually nervous. What if I hit 3 miles and couldn't go any farther? What if I was exhausted the next day? Could I do this? Because of these questions looming in my mind I brought my MP3 player with me. I'm normally not a fan of listening to music on my runs but I wanted to drowned out the negative thoughts. It was funny because for the first 2 miles I was so distracted by stupid things like my clothes and trying to find a tissue. The route I had planned ended up not working due to the fact that it was covered in treacherous ice. I therefore had to add a make shift loop to get the mileage right. Then I caused my Garmin to fall off. I almost had a heart attack because it shut off and didn't turn on right away. All of this made me angry and I was coming on 3 miles. I guess mentally I thought that I might just pass out or something but physically I actually started to feel great and the last mile was awesome. I DID IT! Not only did I do 4 miles but you can assume from my ramblings that I still feel great. I woke up the next day feeling just like I always do. I did some strength training yesterday and went for another fantastic 40 minute shuffle this morning sticking with the 2:2 ratio. I guess it is safe to say that my confidence is building. I am going to stick with 4 miles as my long run again next week. Better to be safe than sorry!