Friday, December 30, 2011

Dream big

^Juno quote. Obvi.

So... another goal I've seen floating around the interwebs is a mileage based one, i.e. run XXXX miles this year. I thought about what that would mean for me and how having a mileage based goal would affect my mental health and physical health versus the more touchy feeling goals I set up yesterday. I'm thinking a reasonable goal would be 1000 miles in 2012, which is less than 20 miles/week.

Pros:
-I'll have something quantifiable, and with an average per week that I need to maintain, I'll easily know whether I'm on my way to achieving my goal (p.s. I write "foal" everytime I attempt to type foal goal. I like to imagine myself "achieving" a baby horse... I could totally care for a pony)

He's so widdle. Wuv.

-This will fit in nicely with my training for many events schedule that I have going on.
-Will encourage me to track my running and maybe see patterns in training frequency/race performance
-Probably not a bad idea to keep me in my happy weight range

Cons:
-Stressssss of having a concrete goal. I got all grumpy and tended to rebel against the Marathon Training Schedule Gods, insisting I knew better than they did when training for Marine Corps, e.g. "20 miles doesn't feel right today. I'll stop at 16 and listen to my body." I fear the same would happen if I had "run 20 miles this week" as a goal.
-Potential for injuries may increase. I am, at most, a 4x/week runner. Requiring that each of those runs is at least 5 miles seems....a little much?
-Not a lot of flexibility with vacations, weird work schedules, etc.
-Not a lot of flexibility with cross training, especially considering I'll be doing tri training in 2012 (maybe I could make a stipulation, just asterisk my mileage by having swimming miles count double, 1 swim ~= 2 run, and biking miles reverse of that, 4 biked = 1 run?). Gah, complicated.
-I hate tracking things, and since I don't use my garmin for every run, I'll need to have a spreadsheet or something to track this... ick.
-Other weird quantification problems- if I walk 5 miles with my mom, do I count it? How about an intense hike with Nick? CONFUSION!

!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah. i don't want to formally commit to 1000 miles in 2012, although I think it is definitely doable, so... let's just do it. Suck it up. It's on. I'll come up with some parameters for myself regarding swimming/biking mileage as well so I know how flexible I can be with my running miles.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012

Everyone else in the blog world is doing it, so I thought I would as well. Here's some 2012 plans/goals.

1. Another marathon? Why the hell not. I don't have a race picked out yet, but I would really like to do the MCM (October 28) again. Loved it.

2. Keep racking up 5K PR's (currently 27:44, which is 8:55/mile, would like that to be 8:50/mile? or less!)

3. Triathlon(s). I did a sprint tri in 2010 and it was great. I know cross training is good for me and makes me happy, so I think at least another sprint tri to work out triathlon kinks would be good, followed by an Olympic triathlon late in the summer. Again, I don't have races picked out yet, but I am looking at the Nation's Tri in September for the Olympic distance and maybe the Rock Hall Sprint in June? Why are triathlons so expensive :(

4. One or more half marathons. Nick has said he'd like to do one with me, so it would be nice to find one, maybe early summer, that works for both of us. Maybe the Frederick half on May 6? Or Marine Corps historic Half in late May. There are lots of races that time of year.

If I do all of these, my race schedule would be:
May: Half
June: Sprint tri
July/August: 5K's?
September: Olympic Tri
October: Marathon

Umm... we'll see?

5. Eat "better," consistently. I know I feel better when I eat whole foods, and my pants definitely like me more when I do. I don't want to miss out on fun stuff or good food, so I'm not going to drastically change anything, but I would like to use better control over the random crap I put in my body, like diet soda (which lately I have only had mixed with booze... better or worse for me? ) and the steady flow of candy. Just because it's in my boss's office doesn't mean it needs to be eaten by me. That is what this Christmas taught me.

6. Have weekly or monthly fitness/eating goals. Just to keep consistency in working out, especially since I'll be in totally crazy work schedule mode starting on February 5 and continuing until at least April 5. Yuck.

And here's some week old pics of my Christmas present wrapping, and bows I was particularly proud of. First is an ingenious re-use of some hair ribbon that I bought a couple years ago to go to a Virginia tech football game. The wrapping paper I used was antique-y gold, green and burgundy, so I combined the maroon with a gold bow and it was pretty.


Second is what I call the sea anemone. I had bits of leftover green curling ribbon that, when cut into short pieces, turned into a neat swirl without needing any curl. Slap a couple pre-made bows on that and you're done!
Maybe I should turn off my flash in the future? Or maybe just keep blinding people with poor picture quality. I'll go with that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weird Wednesday

Today feels so weird, although since this is my sixth week in a row not working a full week, I suppose I should be used to it? Waking up at 5:30 just never really gets easy...

Christmas recap: After some last minute present wrapping, on Christmas Eve, Nick, my parents and I went to see lights at Watkins Regional Park in Prince George's County. It is a nice, chill light festival that you drive through. There's a ton of lights, and it is entertaining even though we're all adults. Then my family went to a rather disappointing IHOP dinner. Long story short, they screwed up the hash browns so many times, I ate three servings. I don't know how that's IHOP's fault, but it is!

Christmas day was wonderful. I spent the morning being lazy with Nick and opening our presents. I got the Brooks jacket I mentioned a while back on my blog, as well as a North Face jacket, some scented lotions, a gift card, and EGGIES. I am a hard boiled egg fiend, and I currently use something like this:


It is very easy and mindless (just stick them in, and it'll shut off on its own when the eggs are cooked), but ask my parents and they will tell you, I am not a happy camper peeling an egg in the morning and tearing the thing to pieces because the shell sticks. Enter: Eggies. I'll let you know if they are in fact as life changing as the commercials claim. I'm optimistic!

We then headed to my parents house where I got so so many gifts, including the Mia by Clarisonic. Yet another product that gets rave reviews that I had dreamed of getting, and now I have it! I have not used it but I am very excited for the potential after reading the reviews. I also got a super gorgeous bracelet that I wore all weekend. Love it.

After presents, we lazed about (notice a theme?), played with toys, and had dinner. My dad made awesome roasted brussel sprouts that even Nick admitted he didn't hate. Yum. We then went and saw Mission Impossible 3, which was alright even though spy/international intrigue/arms dealer movies tend to get me all turned around. Lame.

My final Christmas was yesterday, in New Jersey with Nick's family. I got to play with his nieces (there are 3 who are blood relatives and one who sister's boyfriend's child... 4 little girls under the age of 5) and got a food processor that I'm pretty excited about.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend with Nick, my family, and his family... now to make it through 3 workdays and have another 3 day weekend. Life is hard :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anemiupdate

I got to see Kim last night!! Yay! She asked me about how the anemia thing is going, and that reminded me that I haven't talked about it in a while.

Since November 11, I have been taking iron supplements.

yum... iron-y goodness. 6 times a day.

That's almost 6 weeks! Chatter on the internet says that you should feel "better"ish after a pretty short period of time taking them. After Kim asked me about how I was feeling, I started to really think about whether anything changed. Let's look at some iron deficiency anemia symptoms from Mayo Clinic:
Iron deficiency anemia symptoms may include:
  • Extreme fatigue (had this... still sort of have it)
  • Pale skin (ummm... some iron supplements will not make my heritage less Western European, but it's worth a shot)
  • Weakness (don't really think I ever had this)
  • Shortness of breath (maybe a little better? running feels about the same)
  • Headache (still headache-y, but not more than usual)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness (still get lightheaded when I stand, but that might be lessening? I don't feel nearly as bothered by it as I was before!!)
  • Cold hands and feet (again, this is a lifelong thing that cannot be changed by 6 wee pills a day)
  • Irritability (haha... ask my family and Nick ;) )
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue (never had this)
  • Brittle nails (always had these. assume i always will)
  • Fast heartbeat (I had only noticed this a few times, and I, luckily, have not experienced it lately)
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch (never really been a dirt eater, and my normal ice fondness remains)
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia (yeah right. poor appetite has never been a problem :) )
  • An uncomfortable tingling or crawling feeling in your legs (restless legs syndrome) (YESSS. I was thinking about this while trying to sleep last night and I feel WAY better)

Ok.. let's talk about the restless legs. I've had it in varying degrees of awfulness off and on for years (does that mean I've been anemic off and on for years? Maybe?). It was pretty horrible at times, especially considering I'm pretty bad at falling asleep regardless of whether I have the RLS going on or not. On the nights that it was really bad, I would lay in bed for upwards of 90 minutes, just being grumpy and twitchy. It seemed to be the worst in recent memory this summer, when I was running more, and I got upset that running seemed to make my legs so miserable. Last night, I pondered this and realized I haven't been kept awake by my legs lately, at least not noticeably. There are lots of changes in my life that might affect this, like the cruise and being more active so just being more tired all around, thus maybe falling asleep more easily. I don't want to get all excited and say I'm over the RLS, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

As part of operation: look less like I ate cruise food and drank wine for 10 days straight, yesterday's treadmill run was: 0.5 miles increasing every 0.1 from 5.0, then 0.5 increasing from 5.1, then 1.5 increasing from 5.2, then 0.5 increasing from 5.3, 0.5 increasing from 5.4, and 1.0 increasing from 5.5, plus a big jump to about 7.0 at the end. Money. Then I did some lifting and ab/back work that I am already feeling (side lift things, 2 x 20 both sides w 10 lb weight, back raise things, 2 x 20 with weight, 2 x 20 bicycles and leg lifts, lat pull down things, 2 x 8 with 80 lbs, chest presses, 2 x 7 with 70 lbs). My core is sore, as is my chest. basically sore from hips to shoulders... and the delayed onset soreness isn't ever here yet. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You want randomness?

You got it!

-I had a work lunch today at about 11am and had potato salad, some baked beans (meatless, I hope), and a roll. And 3 half cookies, none of which were very good. Boo wasted calories. Now it's coming up on 2:30 and I'm starving, but want my tummy to be settled to run at 3. I know, first world problems.

-I was going to run yesterday with Nick (for the first time really since the last week of November, yikes) but we both had late lunches/were feeling tired so we lazed on the couch and went out for Mexican instead. Basically the same thing, right?

-I talk of wasted calories because although the scale says I haven't gained any weight, I feel and look like I have.. at least in my head. I feel all poofy and bloaty all the time.

-I made these delicious cream cheese cookies and allspice cream cheese frosting on Sunday night, and then at 4 that night and 4 the next day... plus snacks galore from my parents house (my mom has the best candy and puts it in this adorable Christmas tree dish thing that I can't seem to find online). Umm no wonder I'm feeling puffy.

-I went on a 10 day cruise since I last wrote... that's kind of a big deal! here's the rundown:
    Drive down: great!
    Cruise: meh!
    Islands (Antigua, St. Kitts, Tortola (that name sounds so made up to me...), Barbados, St. Maarten and  Dominican Republic. 6 islands total.): great!
    Drive back: major meh!

-I get seasick. Shouldn't be surprised by this, but I am.

-Here's some pics, including ones from a ridiculous hike that Nick and I did with another couple:


Beginning of drive down.

Marigot, the French capital of St. Maarten. Delicious Nutella crepe, amazing fries, and nice French people.

During the "Pub Hop," aka I drank more fruity drinks in 10 days than I have in my whole life

Me mimicking a rock in Tortoal. I was inverted, thus why I look so uncomfortable. And white.

The top of the dormant volcano we hiked in St. Kitts. Super amazing!!!!!
During hike on St. Kitts... This is a ficus tree. Little bit different than our dinky office ficus trees.

Being accosted by monkeys in St. Kitts


Another shot from the top of the volcano.

$5 pizza delivered wherever you are on the ship, any time of day! yes please!

Our ship!

Nick and me getting toasty in Tortola



Virgin Gorda baths in Tortola

-Some other highlights: trivia, karaoke, comedians, Dancing With the Stars, White Hot Party, boxed wine, 6!, Atlas Shrugged via headphones, and so much more... so thankful I got to go on the cruise, even if my tummy was upset.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The final push

Subtitle: why did I choose to go on a cruise 10 days after the biggest eating holiday of the year?

All week, in addition to feeling meh from the iron supplementation of death (I started taking another brand last night and I have had non-stop raging heartburn ever since... too bad calcium, in Tums, blocks iron absorption... bah) I have also felt icky from a way indulgent weekend. I certainly don't regret having a great time with my family, Nick, and his family, but wow... we pretty much ate and drank (and ate and drank) our way along the mid-Atlantic. I'm a bit of an overanalyzer (read: I'm whiny) about how I physically feel, so I tend to be a little sensitive to the inevitable bloatiness that comes from deviating from my normal eating and workout schedules. Lame. I am just not super psyched about wearing a swimsuit 24/7 starting Sunday, but that is mostly me being neurotic. I know once I get there and get all hopped up on Vitamin D I'll feel way better. Right now I'm just wigging out about a little bit of puffiness.

To combat the puffiness I have been working out extra special and eating as cleanly and consistently as possible. A.k.a. this is not the most exciting week ever. I did some tv workouts on Monday (kickboxing and a toning one), and last night I did intervals on the treadmill! Holy cow, speedwork without a gun to my head? Miracle. I did 10 x 200 at 7.5, not too speedy but they felt comfortable. I actually definitely could have gone a ltitle faster at the end or done one or 2 more, but I'm running tonight so I didn't want to stress out my legs and feet too much. I ellipticaled and biked afterwards.

Tonight is a run with Nick and then errands errands errands! My packing is actually going really well. I only need to get various toiletries and pack my running clothes (which are not clean yet) and shoes (which for some reason are my nemesis).

I'm sooooo ready to be on this cruise. I'm really looking forward to seeing what it is like, since I'm still a little baffled by the whole idea of 10 days on a boat. I'm also excited for the super cool islands we will get to explore, such as a hike to the top of a volcano on St. Kitts. And hopefully I'll come back feeling relaxed and stress-free.


I'm going HERE!!!! AHH!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Whelmed

Oy. So working today is pretty rough. I've got the double whammy of holidayweekenditis and ihaveavacationin6days syndrome. I'm uber distracted.

Thanksgiving was glorious... I had veggie enchiladas with my parents and Nick on Wednesday, Thanksgiving feast #1 with my parents, Nick, and family friends on Thursday, and feast #2 with Nick's family on Friday. The vegetarian friendly highlights? Veggie enchiladas with my family, dolma (stuffed grape leaves) on Thursday, and steamed asparagus with parmesan on Friday. Also, the wine and beer. Those were good too.

Fun fact: not all beer is vegetarian!

Beer (and cider & wine) has everything from:
  • albumin: derived from eggs or dried blood
  • casein/caseinate: derived from milk
  • charcoal: sometimes derived from bone
  • colourings: sometimes derived from insects
  • glyceryl monostearate: an anti-foaming agent that sometimes is an animal derivative
  • isinglass: swim bladders from fish
  • lactose and lactobacillus (lactic acid)
  • gelatin: made from bones, skins and tendons
  • pepsin: a heading agent sometimes derived from pork
  • sugar: white sugar is often whitened using bone charcoal [source]
  • Yikes.

    Also yikes- I ran not one, but two Turkey Trots on Thursday morning before eating. The first was a 5K that my friend's family has been doing for years. It was in downtown DC, meaning Nick and I had to get up bright and early to get to the race. I got a 5K PR!!!

     461 193/918   3709 Laurel          27:44  8:56
    8:56/mile? Hell yeah! I know it's not "fast" but it's fast for me! It was a really fun race. Nick also ran like lightning and finished in under 22 minutes! He's my idol :) Here's a pic I took as we started our run toward the Capitol (faintly seen in the background):


    The second Trot was a 5 miler that started less than 30 minutes after we finished with the first race. We drove quickly (thankfully Thanksgiving morning means no cars on the road) to Alexandria, only to get stuck on side roads with a stop sign every block. It was almost 10:10 when we finally got to the race and got our bibs on. We crossed the start line and were behind everyone- walkers, stroller folks, and even the emergency vehicle that signalled the end of the racers...oops? We started picking people off, and enjoying running together without a concern about time or distance. We finished that race in 51 minutes flat. It was the furthest Nick has ever run in a day, so that's pretty cool. Then we got to go celebrate by eating a lot!

    We stayed up with Nick's family in NJ on Friday night and then headed to Atlantic City. I've never been to AC, and also have never been to a casino, so it was great. A highlight/lowlight was going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, after being excited to see on their website that they had a special vegetarian friendly food option- choose your own side veggies and they'll plate them nicely so you won't feel silly ordering being delivered 4 different side dishes on individual plates. Nick got a steak that he really enjoyed, and my food was delicious! And then we got the bill and my meal was about the same price as his enormous steak... I didn't think it was fair that my veggies cost $40. After grouching a little about that, we headed to Caesar's and played poker and slots until the wee hours of the morning, then wandered around trying to find somewhere to relax and have a drink or dance before bed. Instead, we found still-busy club with insanely overpriced drinks and headed back to the hotel. We were in bed somewhere around 3am... I am too old for that nonsense!

    Sunday was a long, slow drive home. Today I'm tired and generally icky feeling due to lack of sleep and too much carousing over the long weekend. I'm going to eat extra healthy and sleep as much as possible so I get to feeling at least a little more energetic for the cruise... we leave Saturday! Ahhh!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Twenty Thoughts Tuesday

    Because I'm feeling random.

    1. I get to go to 2 Thanksgivings this week! Yay! First is with family friends on Thursday, and the second is on Friday with Nick's family.

    2. It's also my brother's birthday this week and my mom is making a big dinner for him on Wednesday night... special meals all around!

    3. I'm making this cheesecake for Thursday to take over to our friends' house. It is amazing and I'll glaze some strawberries and throw them on top. It is nice and dense.. I can't stand fluffy cheesecake.

    4. Nick and I made black bean dip for a get-together this weekend. It was completely spur of the moment and it was great.

    5. I've taken 3 days off from big-E Exercise (or big-W Working out) and it's kind of amazing.

    6. Why does "exercise" sound like such a lame word compared to "working out"?

    7. I got laser hair removal done on my underarms and bikini line yesterday and I feel like a hot poker was stuck in both places (you're welcome for the visual!). Not pleasant, but totally worth it for the cruise.

    8. Less than 12 days until the cruise!!! AHHHH!  Here's a countdown page in case you want to countdown along with me.

    9. I have no idea what I'm bringing on the cruise.

    10. Here's a random pic from my run last week. I was wearing a new headband (I usually wear sleek earmuffs), sunglasses and headphones, and I felt like a tool.

    11. Still chugging along with the ridiculous iron intake, we're on day 12... nothing to report really, I feel fine but not different. I've already used up one bottle of iron, this guy:

    12. Taking iron does all the unpleasant gastrointestinal stuff that the internet says it does... I have not felt like myself for the last 12 days.

    13. By "not felt like myself" I mean I have been eating way less frequently since I'm nauseous a lot. I'm not super happy about the nausea but I'm pleased with not being ravenous all the time. Maybe my appetite is back to a normal person's since I'm not running as much? Amazing!

    14. Christmas idea from SkinnyRunner: someone please get me this, made from my MCM bib. So cool! I would use them all those times when I'm sitting on my couch, leisurely drinking a glass of water. Jk, that'll never happen.

    15. Yeah.. still barely sitting on my expensive furniture. Oh well... money shmoney.

    16. I had a book club for work that met this week and we had planned on having finished Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Uh yeah, that book is 1100 pages long, and it is dense. I am REALLY liking it, but it's tough to power through. Luckily, everyone else had either barely started or not finished it either, so I was in good company. We talked about how we're going to finish it before the end of January... hopefully.

    17. Just dropped a baby carrot on the floor and cried a tear because these carrots are rocking my world right now. I could probably go rinse it off but that would make too much sense. Trash it is.

    18. Everytime I go to Whole Foods I just end up wanting to buy everything and make amazing food. But then I realize there's a reason people call it Whole Paycheck. Sigh.

    19. If I were unemployed and had sufficient money and sufficient time (i.e., not raising kids all time) I'd make so much food.

    20.  This week is going slow as molasses....


    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Vegetarian Thanksgiving!

    I was inspired to write this after reading Janae's post about having special food needs at large gatherings/work/whenever.

    I've been vegetarian since college (which ended almost 5 years ago. Sad) and my journey to figuring out how/what to eat has been difficult on my end, but it is complicated even more when holidays and other events come up because my food preferences are forced upon other people (that's how I see it at least). With Thanksgiving coming up, this has been on my mind extra since Nick's family is trying to be super accomodating to my needs, which is great, but I'm left thinking about how far other people should be expected to go...

    After college, I went to Thanksgiving at the home of my then-fiance's family. We had been dating for over a year, and I had been vegetarian for most of that time, so they were aware of my limitations. I asked if I needed to bring anything special and was told no. Still, I showed up to that meal to find I couldn't eat anything but rolls... there was meat in the stuffing, the green beans, the mashed potatoes, seemingly everywhere. They didn't have a salad, and I don't like cranberry sauce so it was bread for me! Needless to say, I was grumpy and hungry and hurt that there was no tweaking of any recipes, seeing as I was going to be marrying into their family. Fast forward to the next year, and I brought huge salad in anticipation of needing something. It was big enough to share, but when it went on the table it pretty much disappeared..so I had a tiny salad and rolls. Again.

    Basic consideration of other people's feelings means, to me, you should be mindful of other's limitations and make an effort to accomodate them, but don't go too out of the way. I would have been happy with ONE dish that was not made with bacon or chicken stock, or even an acknowledgement of "oh, holy cow, how'd we forget that you don't eat animals! Silly us!"

    I'm not bitter. Not at all.

    At work gatherings, I'm known as "the vegetarian" in my 30some person group, and that works for me since I hope it means my coworkers get a few more veggies in their diets as well. "Vegetarian" doesn't mean only vegetarians can eat it, and I think some of my very very very carnivorous coworkers are finding that out, which is super cool. I even showed up at work on Monday and was told "We ordered you a pizza and some salad stuff for lunch on Friday and you weren't here!" There was a whole pizza for me in the fridge!!! They're the best.

    Anyways, with another Thanksgiving coming up, and Nick's family being so thoughtful, I'm trying to let go of discomfort from Thanksgivings (and Christmases... and birthdays) past and enjoy being a little different. I have a hard time doing anything that I feel inconveniences other people, so hopefully I can get past that and just be thankful to have people considerate enough to think of my needs and plan accordingly.

    Plus, I can't wait to eat some pies.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    AnemiaGirl 2.0- the anemia-est!

    Last week I saw the hematologist, gave her my history and had my blood drawn. The whole experience took 90 minutes... not my favorite doctor's appointment of all time.

    I was also not super pleased with the encounter because she said that if she looked at my blood results (which she had not seen yet) and saw that I had low iron, it was most likely from 1) being a vegetarian and 2) donating blood fairly frequently. Really? I got a call on Friday with my test results, and my ferritin level was 5. This is referred to as your "iron stores" and shows that my body is just not getting enough iron, so that's why my red blood cells were low too. Her response was to have me take huge doses of iron (at least 65mg 2x a day) for the next 2 months, then we will look at my test results and see if my levels went up. If they have, it indicates that I have not been taking in enough iron through my diet, so I should keep supplementing. If they have not come up, it means I am either losing iron from something internal (like gastric bleeding from an ulcer) or having absorption issues from something like celiac disease.

    Ugh.

    On one hand, it is not bad to take the iron, although it is upsetting my stomach. On the other hand, it sucks to take this passive approach when I KNOW my iron intake does not suck as badly as the numbers seem to be indicating. Also- I have not given blood in 8 months, pretty sure that's not a lingering effect. But I'm not a professional. Sigh.

     In addition to the high dose of iron, I'll keep my dietary intake high (tonight: veggie burger and big spinachy salad!) and also watch what I am taking my supplements and dietary sources of fiber at the same time as. Example: I used to eat my Cheerios while I drank my coffee, and I was planning on taking my iron at the same time as my multivitamin. Apparently those are both no-no's. I'm going to add orange juice to my morning routine with my cheerios and vitamins.

    I've been taking the supplements since Friday and although some people have written that they feel better within a few days, I'm not noticing a difference so far. I suppose I'll be patient and hopefully feel better soon!

    Guacamole

    Subtitle: Avocados are for weird people.

    I didn't officially have Friday off, but I have vacation days to spend so I ended up taking the day off and Nick and I went to DC. He's was in the Navy for 9 years and the Newseum was having a special where Veterans got in free all weekend. Since I was his guest, I got in free too.. that is excellent because normally it's $20/person! I love cheap entertainment. We had a great time at the museum and were super hungry when we were done (although I brought these to snack on all day... those cookies are so ridiculously yummy), so we tried to grab dinner downtown, in DC, on a Friday. Yeah, poor planning. Luckily, we were hungry early, so we managed to get seated immediately at Rosa Mexicano. I've heard good things about this place. We ordered guacamole because it was their "signature." In the past, I've been pretty unenthusiatic about guac, but I figured I'd give it a try. It was a chunky, bland concoction with some humongous, hard chunks of avocado. Lame. I really don't get what all the excitement about guac is, or how people use whole avocados as garnishes for their salads and sandwiches, I just don't like them. My actual meal was yummy, so no complaints there.

    Saturday was uneventful. Nick and I lazed about, went for a nice walk (the weather was gorgeous all weekend), and got dinner with my folks. We went to Outback and I got a big cobb salad, minus chicken and bacon and plus lots of brown bread. Delish. We also went to Whole Foods, where, for the sake of experimentation (and because I was hungry), I attempted to eat guacamole yet again. I'm such a trooper. It was still unimpressive.

    Sunday is where things got interesting. I had been at Nick's since Friday, and went home to get some cooking supplies and clean clothes. I was sitting at my computer when I heard an animal scurrying around in a duct INSIDE MY HOUSE. I started freaking out a little because although my house is full of weird and annoying noises, this one sounded super close to where I was sitting. I investigated just a little before calling Nick and my dad and demanding that someone come over and find the animal, because otherwise I imagined it either 1) escaping from wherever it was stuck and attacking me in my sleep or 2) dying and making my house smell like dead rodent/bird for the next 8 months I'm living there.

    My dad graciously came to my house and we located the stuck animal in the exhaust vent for my oil heater. After lots of fussing and muscling the vent apart, we discovered this little guy was stuck inside (we had been debating whether it was a bird or a rodent... my dad voted rodent because it wasn't making bird noises. I voted bird because I really didn't want to discover an angry possum when the duct was taken apart):



    So cute! We managed to get him out safely (my dad used a long handled soup spoon.. creative!). Here is his last photo before he got released back into freedom:

    I'm going to talk to my landlady about making sure there's a cover installed on my vent so that doesn't happen again. It scared me, but more importantly the little birds and animals could get hurt.

    Here's hoping for a less eventful Monday!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Daylight savings

    Since the whole Daylight Savings thing happened on Sunday, I've been confused about what time it is. I know this happens every year and it's disorienting for everyone, but I think every year it surprises me a little, like, hey, I forgot how fun it is to drive to work when it's almost light out. And I also forgot how un-fun it is to leave work when it's getting dark.

    This is just an excuse to write about how bad I want this jacket:

    Size medium. I already tried it on. Do you see the cute thumb things for keeping my hands warm and comfortable? It's for my own safety! Thanks in advance, blogosphere.

    Monday I did the elliptical and bike at the gym then a sort of wussy weights session. Yesterday I tried extra hard to run. I got into work extra early, so left around 3:45 and was home and in running clothes about 4:15... and the sun was already setting rapidly. The official sunset time was around 4:46 yesterday. I wasn't trying to do tons of miles, but 30 minutes is just not a lot of time. I ended up running for 40 minutes (no Garmin, just a stopwatch... liberating). I got pretty chilly towards end. I felt safe enough, since it was basically light out the whole time I was outside, but it definitely would have helped to be a tad more visible (hint hint).

    My legs are feeling about 95% back to good. My right arch still aches but seems to be getting better. As far as my insane appetite, that lingers on...

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    I'm getting faster?


    Nick just discovered this neat site called Athlinks. It keeps all your old race times and catalogs them by race type or sport (e.g. triathlons). Neat.

    Taking a gander at my 5k results from the last few years:

    28:32 (Saturday)- 9:12/mile
    30:15 (May)- lotsa minutes/mile
    ~29something (results nowhere online.. boo)
    26:42 (last December)- 8:41/mile
    29:19- (2009 and 2010 Thanksgiving Day races)- 9:20/mile

    So, clearly my peak was last December, but I also ran on Saturday on some weak legs that still aren't totally recovered. And it was cold. And I was grumpy. So that's worth at least 30 seconds/mile?

    I blame anemia for being "slow" and for feeling draggy during runs, but from the looks of it, I'm pretty consistent/maybe getting faster. So either it's all mental that I feel cruddy during training runs, or 5K is a short enough distance that I'm able to power through. Hmm.

    The 5k Saturday, as you can see, was kind mediocre. My legs were sore, tight, and angry. My left calf still ached (I walked ~5 miles with my mom on Friday and felt fine), and also my left hip, either from sleeping on it funny or compensating for my other assorted aches and pains. My dad and Nick were there, which was great because it was so cold I don't know if I would have gotten out of the car if the choice had been left up to me. I warmed up by bouncing around on my toes. Fact: you get 0% warmer by bouncing around, but you look 150% sillier. The race itself was alright except for a really terrible woman who finished ahead of me, came back on the course, yelled at me "HEAD UP, SHOULDERS BACK" and when I gasped "thanks!," because, really, encouragement is nice, even if it's annoying, she said "NO TALKING!" Are you serious? She then proceeded to catch up with her friend who was right behind me, and cheer her on by yelling about how tired I looked. Ugh. She might have won, but she lost so many points for being a jackass.

    In the end, I ran pretty hard although my level of exertion did not match my time. Nick got 3rd place in his age group!!! That is so cool! He's super quick... I like to attribute that to the long, slow walk/run combos we've been doing lately. They're clearly showing results.

    Saturday night I went and did a murder mystery/ziplining combo with a group of work people. It sounds weird, and it was. Regardless, we won! That means we get a free giant swing or zipline to use at some point in the future. Super cool. I had never done anything like that before. It was a great experience. Nick took pictures but it was dark out, so I don't think any of them really turned out. Bummer.

    And yesterday was yard work, glorious yard work. I'm sore today from all this weekend's activities but looking forward to getting back to a normal, stress free workout schedule that doesn't revolve around racing and involves a lot more cross training... too bad Daylight Savings time will be taking away my evenings. Grumble.

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Recovering...

    From what I read on other blogs, it seems like a lot of people suck at rest days/taking it easy. I think I might suck the most though? My legs are still not 100% from the race (not even 80%... probably somewhere in the low 70s). I have been dealing with soreness, which is totally expected and I was totally ok with, but I decided to treat it like every day normal post workout sorness and run it out.

    I'm not smart.

    I went out with Nick yesterday, after warning him that I was tired and sore and not to expect any miracles from me. We sloowwwwlllyyy jogged about 2.25 miles, and the whole time my left calf felt like this:

    Or like this, plus extra twisting and minus the adorableness... PS if I came back to my hotel room to find precious towel swans, but my pillows were tossed about willy-nilly, I would not be pleased.
    The arch of my left foot also hurt. Like this:
    I frowned.

    During the second half of the run, we did some run/walking which I always feel bad about because 1) we were cold and running would have warmed us nicely, and 2) I don't like to feel pokey. Again, I'm not smart. Pain (real pain) is an indicator that you're doing something your body doesn't like. So quit it.

    You're might be thinking, "hey, I really hope Laurel takes a rest day today and gives that calf the TLC it needs!" Well I will do no such thing. I will go swimming, where I will take it relatively easy (just a mile, swearsies), and then soak in the hot tub. See? Soaking! That's rest! I have a fun 5K on Saturday for my dad's birthday, so I won't run at all between now and then. And I'll take ibuprofen and drink water and be a responsible human being. Promise.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Wrapping up

    I swear this is the last 100% marathon focused post...most likely :) I'm going into some minutiae I'd like to capture for future races, but it gets a little boring, just a heads up.



     
    First, there were dozens of photographers on the course, and they managed to captured THIS FACE? Seriously? Also observe my shorts uncomfortably creeping... which brings me to my first topic!
    Attire
    I wore the cute new Nike tech shirt from Megan, deemed a success after one run this week, my usual Oakley sunglasses, some Nike shorts I've had since at least 2005, Feetures socks, my Mizunos, my Garmin, a headband from these folks (they put clips INSIDE the headband... genius), and a Moving Comfort sports bra that has been the shining star of my marathon training. That sucker keeps everything locked and loaded. Since I've lost some weight over the course of training, all my normal sports bras have gotten just a little too big.. which in sports bra-ese means they totally don't do their job anymore. Oh, and very importantly. an iFitness running belt. I did the dumb, rookie marathoner thing of buying something at the expo then relying on it the very next day... thank goodness, the internet did not lie about that belt.. it stayed in place! That is something I cannot say for any other belt in the history of belts. Also, it held 6 gels, which was perfect, and my phone was secure in its cool pocket. So clutch.
    Some thoughts on what I wore: I was alternately hot and freezing in long sleeves, depending on how hard I was running and whether I was in the shade or not. My shorts rode up hardcore for the first 2 miles or so, and after that either I ignored them or they stayed in place, whatever, I don't remember noticing them. My iFitness belt took a lot of adjusting the first couple miles also, but then it stayed in place and was amazing. Garmin was great, well behaved, but minor detail- my race is not on my watch!!! Ummmm seriously? Unless I somehow magically cleared it with all the flopping around I did after finishing, that is just silly. I wish I had that on record.
    Chafing
    Oh yeah, a whole category about chafing. Don't worry, not too much TMI. I put bodyglide under the straps of my bra, around my ribcage, and inner thighs. That's it. Did the trick. The only marks I have are rub marks from my gels/fuel belt on both hips. Minor, pencil eraser sized cuts, nothing major.
    Eats
    The day before the race I didn't eat a lot because I was sort of nervous. I had a big breakfast of crepes and eggs, then some coffee, a pretzel, apple, peanuts, snacks at the expo, and Olive Garden for dinner around 7pm. I had pasta with red sauce, a breadstick and some salad. Nothing too exciting. Then when I got home, I had 2 glasses of wine with Nick and some Reeses ice cream.
    Nobody's perfect. Both the wine and the ice cream calmed my nerves and made me happy.
    Morning of, I had a banana at about 5am, 2 hardboiled eggs and some Cheerios. My normal breakfast.  We stopped for some terribly watered down coffee, then got on Metro. At 7:40 or so I had half a crunchy granola bar and a Gu with caffeine (Jet Blackberry, if you must know).
    During the race drank a cup of water and a Gatorade at each water stop (every 2 miles). I had a Gu every 4 miles and I swear those things saved my life. I could feel myself fading for the last mile or so before eating it. Whether that was mental or not, who knows, they did the trick. I did not eat any of the stuff on the course, even the beer in Crystal City, although I did dream briefly about how fizzy and wonderful it would be. I was a little thirsty a couple times during the race, but I also felt like my stomach was sloshing after each water stop, so I'm thinking my hydration level was just fine.
    Food afterwards was lame, although my appetite is back now with a vengeance.
    Music
    I didn't bring any. I know, how can I run almost 5 hours without music when I had been training with it? Well, I did. I knew there would be sights and sounds on the course, and I really didn't want to miss anything. At the start line they played LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and Maroon 5's "Moves like Jagger." Full disclosure, I LOVE pop music, and those 2 songs will forever be linked to standing at that starting line with 20,000 other people and bouncing around in the 38 degree weather. That moment is so vivid. I heard those songs a couple other times on the course too, once in Georgetown and once in Hains point and it was like the stars aligned for me. So fun.
    I think that's it? I know I'll have more thoughts, but I just needed to have a thorough brain dump so for future marathons I have some reference about what worked and what did not.
    Here's a picture of me looking like I'm about to cry. I might have been.
    Shameful posture, Laurel.
    Today's soreness level is like a 3 out of 10. I'm gonna run somewhere around 5 miles tonight with Nick, because Monica's Pile on the Miles challenge started this week and I've gotta get 5 miles in before Friday morning! Yikes! I'll definitely walk as much as I need to, but I'm excited to get out and run again.
    Happy Wednesday!

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Things I will miss now I'm not training...

    -Quality time on the treadmill watching the Science Channel (not kidding)
    -Gu! (sort of kidding)
    -Getting out and appreciating the outdoors through training
    -Satisfying sleep (almost) every night.
    -Satisfaction of knowing I'm accomplishing something that is a big deal for me
    -Satisfaction of good long runs and fast shorter runs
    Things I will not miss:
    -Obsessing over the weather
    -So. Much. Laundry.
    -So. Much. Hunger.
    -Feeling busy all the time
    -Feeling like I didn't have freedom to go out and have fun
    -Guilt over missing runs
    -Obsessing over water intake and nutrition

    And here is a picture that makes me think I'd do it all over again!

     Oh yeah... check out that 2 inch ground clearance... does that qualify as running or am I really just a marathon racewalker?

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    FINISHER!

    Subtitle: Everything is so much more awesome after you're done with a marathon.

    Uh yeah, that happened.

    I might not have been fast, or quick or speedy or anything even close, but I finished, and I didn't walk (except through water stops). Here's some pics and a quick recap of the events of the weekend...







    Expo



    
    Saturday was the very well run expo... in the SNOW! That is so so rare for DC, and a little disconcerting. The Expo was great, but really crowded, and we were there before Ryan Hall... I can't imagine how crowded it was once he got there.

    Race morning:
    No pics of this, Nick was photographing. We had a very early 4:30 wake up time to drive about an hour to the Metro. We stopped for coffee at the only thing open, 7-11, and it was terrible, but I downed it. The metro ride was uneventful (although really full), and my tummy was acting up a bit because I tend to get nauseous on Metro anyways, and it was stuffier and lurchier than usual. Also I might have been a little nervous at that point.

    Once off the metro, we walked for what felt like forever in a huge crowd of people toward the start. There were tons of Porta Potties and the lines were pretty short. We met a retired Marine name Chris who was full of running advice and calmed a lot of my fears. He was great! Walking to the start line was terrifying, and I started getting pretty shaky. I went to put on my newly purchased iFitness Belt and barely could because 1) I was FREEZING (it was in the 30's) and 2) I was freaking out. After crying a fair amount and kissing Nick goodbye, I was on my way. Minor detail- I had pinned my race number to the back of my shirt, and had to turn it around while waiting to start. I made friends with some nice South African men who laughed at me turning around my shirt.

    Race:
    It happened? It was a weird, fun blur. I was on such a high for the first 2 miles or so, but nervous and trying to find Kim and Scott. They caught up to me around mile 2 and we ran together for almost 10 miles. It was so wonderful seeing them, and she definitely pushed my pace, which I needed. It made the first half of the race just fly by. The only thoughts I had were, "holy cow, I'm doing this." My IT band was achy, but only a little distracting. My feet were hurting, which was weird, but I powered through.

    Nick asked me when I knew I would finish, and I think it was around mile 13, I said, well, you made it this far Laurel. I was by myself at that point, and having a great time. I felt strong and happy. Then reality set in: YOU STILL HAVE 13 MILES TO GO. I didn't start feeling super cruddy until about mile 17. I was in pain. My feet ached really bad, and at every water stop when I slowed down to walk, my calves screamed at me. It was around that point that I realized that if I tried to switch to a run/walk combo, I would die. Really and truly, I realized I would most likely not finish if I slowed down, my joints and muscles were far less painful when I was running.

    I saw Nick and my dad at some pretty critical points- around mile 12, 16, 20, and then at the end. It was so wonderful to see them, it really helped me and it is great they were able and willing to come hang out and watch me all day.

    I powered through. I 'Beat the Bridge.' I ran through MISERABLE Crystal City- it was terribly congested and only a couple miles of out-and-back. My least favorite part of the course. I kept chugging along. Around Mile 22, I began counting down the miles left in 0.1 mile intervals-- mayyyybe just a little too early to do that. It became a crazy mental battle to just keep my legs moving, but somehow I did. I haven't pulled my paces off my Garmin yet, but although I felt like I was going <11 minute miles I definitely was not. I was struggling, and that last 0.2 UPHILL (c'mon guys, that's just cruel) was not fun. But then I was done. I actually said, out loud to myself "Laurel, you can stop running when you cross. You get to stop!"

    My stomach was mediocre throughout- I was crampy and uncomfortable off and on, and considered stopping, but I didn't want to make my legs hurt even more, and if I ignored my tummy I did just fine. Also, bathrooms were scarce and seemed to have long lines at all of them. Not cool.

    Post-race:
    Getting out of the finish area was miserable. Another -1 to the MCM- it was too crowded and we all came to a stand still for almost 10 minutes. That was painful, since at this point I was able to fully realize how sore I was. We got space blankets and our medals ( +1000000 to the MCM). This was probably why the finish area was so congested, but getting a few seconds with a Marine who actually made eye contact with me and congratulated me was so special. Maybe have a few extra Marines next time? Then there were finish pics in front of the MC War Memorial, and then the really bad planning hit me. It was a bottleneck trying to get out to where families were, because everyone was stopping to grab water and gatorade and little boxes with snacks in them. It was just terribly crowded. Then there was quite a walk to meet up with spectators. I saw my dad, we walked and found Nick, and then the misery set in. I was SORE and I was FREEZING. My stomach finally decided it was done with behaving, but by the time we got to porta potties at the finish line, they were all out of TP! YIKES. I did finally find one that was fully equipped. I chugged some gatorade, sipped water, and tried to eat... I choked down some of the snacks from the snack pack they gave us- little thing of dried edamame (meh), diced pears (okay), and chocolate (yes!). I sat in the sun for a few minutes and tried to recover, take pictures, and recount the race. I continued shivering and being sad. Then we stood in a long to get back on Metro and begin the hour long ride home... ugh. I started feeling even grosser, super nauseous (riding metro. again) and icky. I puked a couple times when we got to our destinationm, ugh, and then hunkered down in the car. I was finally sort of warm at that point. After another hour long commute, I was back at Nick's.

    I took a little shower and then soaked in a super hot tub for a few minutes. It was amazing. I tried napping but my legs were achy and my mind was still racing. I still had not eaten. Yikes again. After the failed nap, I transferred to the couch with Nick, ate some Halloween candy and 2 pieces of pizza, and chilled for a few hours. Then I went to Taco Bell. I can eat whatever I want, I ran a marathon!

    Today:
    Today I am starving, and I am exhausted. I slept alright, but not for very long. I'm sore, but not ridiculously sore. Stairs suck. My upper body, back and abs are surprisingly sore... I'm trying to eat like a normal person but my stomach is demanding food every 10 minutes. Insane.
    Also, I am so super proud and happy. I am a marathon finisher!!!! More thoughts on the race, training, food, etc. will come this week. Yayyyy!

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Where I'm at

    (stolen from Becky)

    Yeah, that's about right.

    Happy Thursday! 43 hours and counting (I'm not freaking out. Not even a little, nope nope nope).

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    The post about anemia.

    Can we all just agree that since I'm tapering I have too much time on my hands and that's why all I do is read and write about anemia? K thanks.

    New discovery: iron isn't absorbed as well when it's consumed with coffee. Gasp! Also, GRR! I consume 45 of my RDA of iron (today I had double, so that's 90%... can't be too careful) in the form of Cheerios. In the morning. With my coffee. So my options are to time my coffee intake or my cheerio intake differently. I need Cheerios to survive (I'm a breakfast girl 100000%), but I also need coffee to survive. CONUNDRUM.

    I decided to delay my morning coffee to after my breakfast has been absorbed, so at least 8:30am, but long enough before lunch to not affect that absorption. My mid morning snack of an apple and string cheese is not affected because they only have about 0.28mg iron, combined.

    My naturally obsessive personality isn't going to get any better if I have to think about stuff like this.

    I'm feeling very energetic today and very much want to run tonight. I'm going to do a test run of the stuff Megan got me and a new Spibelt because I'm supposed to carry fuel with me while I run? Is this some new trend for me to learn? Nick has a pretty good plan for seeing me several times during the race, but I can't rely on him just in case we miss each other, so I'm going to bring 4 gels with me (we don't get a food station until mile 10, and then it's oranges... sticky.).

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    AnemiaGirl Fights back!

    In the long run (haha.. get it? marathons are long runs. I'm awesome), it totally won't matter, but my dinner last night consisted of:

    2 Boca burgers: 10% iron x 2 = 20%
    2 servings of peas: 6% iron x 2= 12%
    ~1 serving of brown rice: 4 % iron x 1= 4%
    = 36%.

    ...some perspective- the package of peanut butter + fakey-orange crackers I had before swimming was 8% of my iron... and 200 throwaway calories. What has this world come to? Can't I eat healthy plus get a boatload of iron? No? And don't start on me with 'Just add blackstrap molasses to oatmeal!' because that sentence makes me nauseous. If I'm going to choke down oatmeal, which I'm most certainly not, it will not have sugary nonsense involved. Sigh.

    What's that? You've been longing for a poorly lit mirror self portrait of me wearing a tech shirt and work pants? Well, you are in luck!


    I came home yesterday to a package and it was open before I got in the door.. it's 50 yards from my mailbox to my house, it would have been silly to wait those 10 seconds... 


    Sweaty Bands with "26.2" printed on it PLUS a long sleeve super cute technical tee from Megan!!!! She recently moved to Atlanta and got me this shirt from a local running store. I LOVE IT. I tried them both on, although I did wait until I got in the house to change.
    Success!!! The headband feels really comfy already (although I'm normally dubious, the interwebs seem wild and crazy about the things, and Megan heard the same). The slogan on the back of the shirt is also the slogan for the Annapolis 10-miler.. although I am pretty sure Atlanta has better heat and humidity than Annapolis. But the A10 might have them beat on hills.

    I'm going to try out both these items during a short run tomorrow and make sure they'll work, and if they do I'm going to wear them Sunday :) I can't wait... new clothes get me pretty excited.

    Last night I swam somewhere around 1300 meters.. maybe 1400... it was 30 minutes, I know that. I felt alright. Last week, during swimming, my arms felt like my legs do during running, which was alarming. I want to not feel this crappy. This week was a little better, but who knows if that's mental or I'm actually retaining some nutrients.

    Today is an evil evil rest day. I slept icky last night (restless legs syndrome is tied to anemia... please go away, stupid anemia, so I can sleep), so I guess it's for the best that I'm resting. I'm also STARVING, even though I had a big dinner and my usual breakfast (plus extra cheerios for extra special iron!).

    5 days.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Anemia

    Subtitle: Yay I have a new excuse for everything!

    I got my blood work back from my primary care provider and I'm way anemic. Turns out all those times I've been turned away by the Red Cross for 'low hemoglobin' I've actually had really low hemoglobin. Really low. I have a value of 8 g/dL, when the normal band for women is at least 11, preferably up around 12. The Red Cross requires 12 to accept your blood. A little bit of paranoid googling will tell you that folks with persistent low hemoglobin for other reasons (scary cancers mostly) will get transfusions when they get to 8 g/dL.

    Uh.

    My MCH, MCHC, RBC and MCV were also all low... some just right below the normal band, some quite a bit below. My PCP said this all means that I most likely have low iron stores, meaning my body is no longer able to make enough red blood cells. In young women, the most common cause (my Dr. said) is heavy periods. Well, I'm on a 4 periods a year oral contraceptive, so I am not only having light periods, I'm only having them 4 times a year. That is not the cause.

    According to Medline, the most common causes of iron deficiency anemia are (source):
    • You lose more blood cells and iron than your body can replace
    • Your body does not do a good job of absorbing iron
    • Your body is able to absorb iron, but you are not eating enough foods with iron in them
    • Your body needs more iron than normal (such as if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
    Bullet 1 is not me. Bullet 2 might be, Bullet 3 is most likely not me, and bullet 4 is definitely not.

    More info, same source:

    Iron loss can be due to bleeding. Common causes of bleeding are:
    The body may not absorb enough iron in the diet due to:
    You may not get enough iron in the diet if:
    • You are a strict vegetarian (yes, BUT I'm mindful of what I eat......)
    • You are an older adult and do not eat a full diet (I'm older than I was yesterday, but no one could say I don't eat a full diet!)
    I'm seeing a hematologist a week from today, and she will draw blood yet again and do some extra testing to get a better picture about what exactly is going on. One of the most likely possibilities I've toyed with is Celiac, because you can be asymptomatic for Celiac, but goodness I hope that's not the case. I heart gluten so very much.

    I mentioned I'm using this as an excuse for everything from now on, because I'm an opportunist like that. From my totally web-based research, I feel I'm justified in blaming my crappy running on the anemia, because fatigue, especially when excercising, is basically guaranteed. Other symptoms include: feeling grumpy (BINGO!), headaches (eh), and lightheadedness on standing (yep). I am choosing to also blame the following on anemia:
    -super cold hands and feet
    -laziness
    -desire to spend the day tucked in flannel sheets instead of going to work
    -desire to walk up hills instead of running them
    -letting Nick do yard work while I sit on the couch.

    My physician said I'm ok to run the marathon, but just to be careful and don't push myself too hard.. I'm not going to damage myself further by running, but I'm not exactly 100% healthy. She said I could dose myself heavily with iron this week and maybe get a little boost, but mostly I'm stuck with how I am. Crappy performance, ahoy!

    But really... I'm hoping I can cross that finish line and be proud of what I've accomplished.

    6 days.