my stomach is on strike

For the last few weeks, my stomach has decided to take a trip down memory lane & revert to its ultra troublesome state.  This past week was the worst so far & I almost had to go home early from work on Thursday & then did have to call in sick on Friday.  I have some special meds to take when it gets bad, but they make me a little blurry, which isn’t a helpful side effect when working with patients!

I’m in the midst of a bad IBS flare up & it completely sucks.  There are some variations in the types of IBS and mine includes an epic stabby feeling inside my stomach, nausea, & bloating.  It’s quite painful & unpleasant.  Since mine is combined with an ulcer, Pepto Bismal tabs are my bestie.

I like the taste of these now.

My diet has played a role.  Since I started working at the office, I’ve eaten more gluten than I have since I went to France for my brother’s wedding two years ago.  There are a lot of office treats & I’ve had to grab some lunch out when I’ve forgotten mine at home.  Way, way, too much for this gluten sensitive gal.  I’ve been eating way too legumes, a no-no on the approved FODMAPs list also.  Then there’s been sooooo much popcorn!  I’ve never had problems with popcorn in the past but it’s been extreme as of late.  I just finished my last 1/2 a bag of Skinny Pop & I won’t be buying any more for as long as I can hold out. This one is going to be TOUGH.

Skinny Pop – it’s my true (addictive) love!

Next up, the stress.  Ugh.  Starting a new career is challenging and I get frustrated with myself as it feels like my progress is slow.  Money is tight – what is this rent & utilities nonsense?!  It doesn’t help that WA is in the top 10 for most expensive states to reside.  I love LuLaRoe but I’m finding it difficult to forward this income source as my business person skills don’t seem to come second nature to me.  There are some other loose ends as well, so consequently, my anxiety is playing a key role in my Pepto popping madness.  My insides are basically downing pint size shots of cortisol, or at least this is how it feels.  Bad dreams, constant fretting, and I was having at least one panic attack daily for a month.  It’s no wonder it feels like Wolverine lives in my stomach & is trying to find freedom from the confines of my stomach lining!

I’m guessing this is why Wolverine wants out (source)

Then there is the lack of exercise.  I’m quite the couch potato.  This isn’t good on a couple of levels.  1.  The New York Marathon is in 4 months – eeeeek!  I have downloaded a 16 week training plan which looks doable for a successful finish.  But there is that whole thing of ACTUALLY GETTING OUTSIDE!  2.  I’m finding I’m quite fatigued when I get home in the evenings.  9.5 hour days are long & I just want to be in sweat pants, sitting, & zoning out in front of the tv.  Productive, eh?  My former stomach doc told me working out helps with the stomach pains, & that I have to get up even if I feel really crummy.  Of course it’s easier for him to say than for me to do.

my goal

When I was speaking with my sister about some of the above, she asked me to think about things I can control so I don’t feel so helpless.  And there are a few if I convince myself that it’s within my reach.  There is an optimistic part of me that while currently being drowned in stomach acid, is hoping feeling more in control helps calm this flare up as missing work isn’t an option and my stomach hurts!  The stomach issues are also aiding in my lackluster LuLaRoe sales since my energy levels are tapped by the time I get home.  But it means I really do need to take this control back.  I’ve already jumped back on the gluten-free train – I need it out of my system.  I’ve started down the path of dealing with my student loans dilemma, & I went for a run today.  I advertised for a couple of in-house LuLaRoe Open Houses for the week & reread my last post on motivation – turns out I can give myself decent advice.  These aren’t giant steps but they are steps nonetheless.  I mean, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all, right?



I can’t even believe it!  The entertaining part was I was sitting in the free clinic as I’ve managed to get sick again and they made me wear this:

yes, apparently they thought I was contagious – could’ve been my nasty cough.

I was laughing at this piece.  Then I almost started crying happy tears.  I am SO FREAKIN’ THRILLED!!  I am still in shock – I mean, I don’t know the odds of getting in, all I know is I’ve tried before with no luck.  I’m positively over the moon.  And I have this huge, gigantic urge to make the most of my training cycle so I can make this epic race even more incredible.

Oh my gosh – can you even believe it?!  THIS IS HAPPENING!


Oh, and the dramatic mask?  The doc did a (very quick – too quick?) listen to my lungs and they are clear.  I’ve managed to catch a nasty cold.  But guess what?  I only partially care at this moment!

all the pretty races

For the last few years, I’ve packed my schedule with races.  Whether it was spring (one or two in the winter) or fall, I attempted to fill it with as many as I could afford.  All with the thought/plan to “REALLY train this time around” and make those PR’s happen.

this is how I feel about a PR…

This wasn’t the case.  And with each race there were a few more aches and pains because all too many times I didn’t quite prepare as much as I should have.

I decided to be slightly more realistic this year.  I did sign up for a mid-winter race and realized this was dumb and didn’t end up doing it.  Aside from that delusional moment, I did fairly well.  I signed up for the 5k/10k back to back in June with a 1/2 marathon the following weekend.

I trashed my knee (my poor patella) with some serious slanted sidewalk during that 5k/10k.  This race is HARD.  There is a reason the quote is “The Thrill, The Will, The Hill”.  The hill is a freakin’ beast.  I climbed it once during the 10k, a 2nd time to get to the 5k start and then a 3rd time because I decided parking near the start was a better idea than near the finish line.  Must learn for next time!

this race kicks my trash - every time.
this race kicks my trash – every time.

The 1/2 was a great time as I was able to escape “up North” –  Michandger speak anytime you head to the Northern part of Michigan.  It was in stunningly beautiful Charlevoix (go there – it’s listed as one of the most beautiful places to visit).  The race is really fun, has some sweet swag, an awesome medal and the course is nice.  I was worried about my knee but it wasn’t terribly bothersome.  Because of my lack of training, my goal was to hit under the 3 hr mark.  I did just this – yay!  Not to mention, I got to go with a great friend for a mini-break.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.
the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.
this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!
this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

After this, it was onto France and then immediately back to work.  This is also when I dabbled/half decided to sign up for the marathon.  At this point, I had plans to sign up for two 1/2 marathons to help with marathon training along with my favorite 5k/10k Peacock Strut combo.

Despite signing up for the Peacock Strut and picking up my shirt, I woke up the next day with no desire to run.  I skipped it.  I still don’t regret it.  I also didn’t end up signing up for the 1/2 marathons and instead went to NY to visit my brother where I ran the Bronx 5k – a much better and more fun decision!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!
me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

Suddenly October rolled around (I have no concept of time right now) and I ran three races – whoa!  The first was an impromptu 5 miler in Indiana with one of my great gal pals.  It was a very small, local race, which I always enjoy.  My knee was painful and stiff.  I couldn’t run the whole time (I added in some walk breaks).  It definitely made me nervous as the marathon was looming.  M and I stuck together and without her I would’ve walked a lot more.  Once again, I need to up my mental game.

Next up, the Detroit Marathon – have I mentioned this?!

Lastly, the weekend following the marathon was the Campus Classic here on campus.  I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, since you know, I could barely walk.  The Campus Classic is the first race I ever did.  I’ve told the story a couple of times here and I’ve never missed a race since.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to run it, which was a bummer but against my better judgement, I walked it.  The first mile was in the 17 min mile range.  I was being careful of my knee.  After I heard the time, I decided to screw my knee and the aftermath, I wanted to be done – faster.  I started focusing on catching people.  The second mile was in the 16 min pace and the last was a 15 min pace.  I was quite pleased with the negative splits, although the not so nice voice in my head provided some disparaging remarks regarding my overall time.  My friend used her real life voice to knock some sense into me.  Another race in the books!

probably my final campus classic -
probably my final campus classic

I don’t see the local Turkey Trot in my future.  I’m not sure if I’ve missed one since I started running though… if it does happen it will be another walking race.  I need to keep reminding myself that recovery is front and center.  Remind me of this if I start any crazy talk pretty please!

One last thing!  My medal for the 2,015 miles in 2015 came in the mail the other day – a lovely piece of hardware!

2,015 in 2015
the lighting sucks in my apt – there are some cute mountains in there, too!

dang spider…

Day 4 of Spider Watch 2012

i’m pretty sure it’s looking for a way in…

Have I mentioned how much I hate spiders?  Especially these kind – with big fat bodies… and big fat legs… and pinchers… ewww.

I think it’s looking at me

then my dad mentioned it was probably a VERY cozy in this protected space and might just have BABIES! DAAAADDDD!!  How could you put this scary thought in my mind!?  Not to mention, the spider has been very active today – perhaps testing the boundaries of the window like the Raptors in Jurassic Park did?!

Today is also the start of the Runner’s World Summer Running Streak!


Yeah, my running self and the heat don’t really get along very well.  See, the running part of me is much more of a WA girl – and not even Eastern WA – Spokane used to get mighty toasty.  Nope, I’m talking about the mild wilderness of good ol’ Port Angeles, friends.  So, I will be waiting until it cools a little bit to try to crank out a mile or more tonight.

But most importantly on this holiday Monday, I would like to give a huge THANKS! to all of my friends and family who have served our country.  I take it for granted that I can type what I want on this blog, get an education, walk around outside freely – any number of liberties I enjoy on a daily basis because of your sacrifice.

seeing the Statue of Liberty just reinforced my pride to be an American!

fire, cupcakes & lady liberty

I am determined to catch up on my New York adventures!  Here we go!

First up, we travel in style – my sister brought her french press to make sure we could get our coffee fix first thing.  Both of us need a caffeine kick to get our buns moving in the morning so Heid made sure of this!

seriously, you should travel with my family!

I have terrible luck with gas stoves and have almost successfully blown up my sister’s house on a number of occasions.  Most recently, I practically burned off my eyebrows.  But there must have been some magic in the NY air

I made fire!

We decided to hit up the Statue of Liberty on Saturday because Sunday was supposed to be colder.  We wanted to walk by the Empire State Building first and then make our way down to the island.  Umm… yes, it was chilly

it felt so much colder than this!

We got slightly sidetracked on the way to the Empire State Building by this wonderful, wonderful place

YUM - no, didn't buy this one
but did steal a bite of this chocolate cocoanut one of my dad's!

With our sugar rush, we felt ready to tackle the frozen air again.  We walked to the Empire State Building, which really wasn’t too far from where we were staying.  With our head’s bent against the wind, the building seemed to pop up out of nowhere and my dad said, “Hey, look up!”

It definitely made us dizzy to look up!
I loved all of the flags around NY

We hit up the lil’ souvenir shop (where one of the workers followed my sister around making VERY odd noises!) that was across the street for few gifties for folks who were helping to take care of pets and so forth

Heidi embracing NY
Godzilla? King Kong? All around awesome?
in my price range ;)

We started walking towards the Statue of Liberty and we decided a taxi was a much better idea since we were already really cold.  According to the map it didn’t seem that far but we were silly and it turns out it was a lot further than we thought.  We finally got down to Liberty Park and WOW – was it frigid.  The wind was brutal.  I had my great new coat (thanks dad!) but my sister just had some layers and she was hurting.

dad and Heidi braving the elements for tix to Statue of Liberty
while I stayed undercover and froze!

We had a bit of a wait so we took shelter at what used to be a fort.  I decided it was prime time to get my “street meat” an item on my “must do” list.  I will admit, it wasn’t the greatest hotdog ever but it was more for the experience than anything else

yay for street meat!!

As I mentioned we took shelter and also waited for Sabrina to meet us.  For the record, “Staten Island ferry” sounds a lot like “Statue of Liberty ferry” when spoken with a french accent.  Good thing Sabrina can walk quickly!

the park workers trying to get warm and playing a gambling dice game

Bear with me and just keep looking at the pics :)

I have a TON of pics of the Statue of Liberty! A reliable source told me you feel more patriot when you see her and it was so true
here's Lady Liberty's old torch - they are currently doing renovations
one of my favorite pics from the trip! You can see dad's eye in there too! :)
this was in the gift shop where we took refuge and I found it a bit creepy

Onto Ellis Island next… the ferry ride was nice and a chance to warm up in between the two outings.  We found ways to entertain ourselves

this was harder than it looked - thata boat was arockin'!
me taking a pic of Heid
while I took a pic of her! See? Easily entertained and Sabrina fit right in as she took a pic of all of this :)

Whew!  This is seems really long – I’ll finish up Saturday and then start on Sunday.  Sunday was a HUGE day so it will help to split it into two parts.  I know, can you barely contain your excitement?!  As I already mentioned it was amazing to spend time with my family.  One thing I have noticed since being back here this week is that there is a loneliness that I can’t seem to shake.  When I am with them it isn’t as pronounced but alone I feel my mom’s passing more.  I’m sure this is a natural part of the grieving process but I wasn’t expecting it.  Hell, I wasn’t expecting any of this and this week was hard.  I’m hoping this upcoming week is better.  I think taking advantage of hanging out with friends will be important as well as getting back into regular running and working routines.

me? in the big apple?!

Today has been a rough day.  I woke up sad, lonely and not feeling well.  Then I saw the woman who was mean to me in my interview so then we could add cranky to that list.  I had to go out shopping for work and I saw these

oh my gosh! They are SNOWMAN marshmallows!!!

I’m basically a marketer’s dream!  Nope, it doesn’t take much!  I mean, they are a.dor.a.ble and are vanilla flavored.  I’m a sucker for vanilla too.  But seriously, I can’t wait to put these in my hot chocolate.  OR, I have decided I am going to attempt to become a tea drinker.  I am not really sure why but I’m going to give it a go.  We’ll see…

Back to recapping New York… Friday morning I was exhausted from my Thursday adventures.  I made it to New York and wasn’t super impressed with JFK.  I guess I had totally built it up in my mind that everything in NY would be bigger and better but Detroit has a great airport so maybe I have been spoiled.  As I was picking up my bags, this little pigeon flew into the baggage claim area.

awww, cute little guy

Not only was this the first native New Yorker I met but on closer inspection I noticed the poor little pigeon’s feet had been pecked to pieces!  I know!  Wow, NY is a tough town!

I finally met up with my brother’s girlfriend, Sabrina.  She is awesome, French and Cambodian and calls me “Ahhmee”.  Yep, I love it.  We got to the apt where my dad, sister and I were staying and it was really homey

this was our room - it was really cute

Next, we wanted to run and grab some food.  My sister asked a local where the nearest Subway was.  This is Heidi’s version:

this is NOT what New Yorkers consider to be a subway...we continued to have miscommunications ALL weekend!

Then we had to get ready for Kevin’s show!  We were running behind so we had to boot-scoot to the subway, grab our metro cards and start jumping on trains.  All of this would have felt very “New York” except all of us women were in heels so some of the excitement was replaced with pain :)

my 1st metro card! that I proceeded to drop somewhere. boo.
here's what New Yorkers consider to be a subway. silly us

The theme was “Collaboration” and essentially Kevin edited his team’s pics so they overlapped and made new pictures (this description doesn’t do it justice).  It was INCREDIBLE!  Then there was a wall with the word “Collaboration” written on it where people could put up pictures however they wanted.  We brought a lot of mom and I posted the following around the letter “A” (for amy)

yeah, there were a couple of emotional moments during the evening...I'm just getting used to being a crier

Other people ended up putting pictures of mom as well, despite having no clue as to who she was or our situation since the pictures were just in a pile.  There were a TON of pics up of her on the board, which was really neat.  This one was my favorite though

mom as a siamese twin :)

The show was a great success.  People could buy cuts – this was where they could cut their picture from the wall.  It was really impressive and I loved seeing Kevin in his element.  I sometimes forget he is a known and award-winning artist/photographer.  I mean, I see one of his pictures and just ask him to print one off for me; others have to pay serious cash!  People stayed at the show for a really long time and my sister and I ‘people watched’ and this woman’s outfit really caught our eye

I'm not sure I could pull this off but possibly a variation?

Yes, I am a creeper – I had to follow her around a bit!  Then I found this little dude and was very happy he could no longer give me the plague


Sabrina was a huge success at the event as well!  She was a model in one of Kevin’s prints, worked the room, helped to sell the photographs and just made an all around great impression on everyone involved – including us!

dad and sabrina

It was a night to remember!  I felt so lucky to be a part of it.  Last week, I had started feeling really guilty that I was basically trading a trip to NY for mom.  I knew it wasn’t true but it was still a reoccurring thought in my mind.  While these feelings didn’t totally disappear, I did realize that being there for/with Kevin and the rest of my family was invaluable.  And in NY, there are SO MANY crazy cool distractions that even the sad moments didn’t last long.  I feel so lucky to have spent the time with Heidi and my dad, getting to know Sabrina, and seeing Kevin in action.  Still more to come!



crunch time!

Want to know one of my pet peeves?  When you do someone a favor and then they throw it back in your face x5.  URRRGGGG!  This morning I woke up and checked my e-mail.  I need to stop doing this as it’s a lousy way to start the day if the e-mail ‘Inbox’ doesn’t have anything good in it.  Anyway, I helped a person last week and ended up saving them $100.00.  They weren’t entirely happy with me and they wrote a really rude e-mail about me and passed it along.  The NERVE!  Now, I wish I had just charged them the $ but I was trying to be nice.

Okay, enough whining… look what came in today!

new keyboard! Wahoo!

Yep, my new keyboard.  I took a pic of it with my totally radical sandwich so I could show you that I haven’t quite learned my lesson as far as eating around technology.  Also, look at that sandwich!  SUPER yum!  Technology hates me.  Here is the torture I have unleashed on other devices:  Diet Coke all over my laptop – absolutely no recovery on that one, yogurt all over my keyboard, water droplet – which we talked about, oatmeal, a variety of bread crumbs, Simon, oh yeah, the list continues.  I bet technology starts crying when it finds out it’s headed to my place!

Tomorrow I have a big interview for an internal promotion.  I’m nervous of course but the other part of me is having trouble gearing up – I should be WAY more anxious.  I recognize that due to recent life events, getting geared up for anything (emotionally) is asking a lot of myself.  But I really do care!  I hope it goes well!

At least Chuck Norris isn't going for the same job I am! ;)

After the all day interview, I am going to jaunt home and get ready because…

headed east!

I’m headed to NEW YORK!  I have never been and am excited.  My dad, sister and brother are all meeting up to see my brother’s show.  Kevin’s girlfriend, Sabrina, will be joining us – we have never met her in person.  She is such a sweet woman and I can’t wait to hang out with her.  I might have already mentioned this but crunch time has hit.  I haven’t packed, my apt is a disaster and tomorrow I will be busy all day.  YIKES!  So, this post will be short so I can throw some moderately attractive clothing into a suitcase, run the vacuum over my apt and finish prepping for the interview.  Wish me luck – I’m going to need it!