Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Life

Sorry it has taken so long to recount some of my adventures, but basically, life has been like a roller coaster with ups and downs, laughter and screams, a little bit of motion sickness, and time and space rushing past this girl that I have either not had the time to update this blog or I did not have the strength to do it.  A lot has happened in the past seven weeks and this might be the longest that I have abandoned my blog. Not that anyone minds, I am sure there are much more exciting and fun things to read/glance at on Facebook and Twitter.  Taking time to read one of my blog posts is just not in the cards for most people anymore.   I am going to try my best to see if I can keep this post short.  HA!

Ryan "Ironman" Barnett and I are enjoying the java from the Coffees of Hawaii Catamaran.
When I left off seven weeks ago, I was preparing for a HUGE adventure.  I went to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to watch and volunteer at the Ironman World Championship.  I flew in and was picked up at the airport by Ryan "Ironman" Barnett.  The next morning we swam out to the Coffees of Hawaii catamaran and got our morning cup of java along with an interview by John Newsome and Bevin James Eyles for their IM Talk podcast.  Ryan and I did a run in the Energy Lab and I finished of the day with a spectacular vegan dinner with Coach Carrie Barrett and Hillary Biscay and Belinda Granger.  The next few days were spent hanging out with Coach Carrie and Shawn Barrett as we hit the race expo and participating in the Kona Underwear Run.  On Race Day, Carrie and I had a blogger buddy meet up with Shirley Pratt and volunteering on the run course at Pro Aid Station Number 1.  It was amazing seeing all of the professionals racing, as well as the final finisher to come across the line before the clock hit 17 hours.  I don't think that I could have had a better "first time" trip to Hawaii or a better birthday.

Getting interviewed for IM Talk.

Hanging with Craig in the showers after a swim.

A post Energy Lab Run photo.

A fantastic dinner with two beautiful women of this sport.  Thank you Hillary and Belinda for a wonderful evening.

Blogger Buddy meet up with Shirley Pratt and working a run course aid station.

When I got home, it was back to reality and back to being a single mom as El Esposo headed off to Trinidad for three weeks.  It was time to get back to workouts with regularity and time to figure out why I was breaking out in hives multiple times during the day.  I met with Dr. Krupka who is a specialist in Functional Medicine.  He works on finding the root cause of the symptoms rather than finding a way to cover up the symptoms and make them disappear.  I had to wait a week to get in to see him once my test results came in from a saliva sample I had sent off to a lab before going to Hawaii.  Originally, we were looking to see if I had a gluten sensitivity.  The results came back negative.  That is good.  I can still eat bread!  However, we found out that an enzyme that is in everyone's saliva to help break down food as you chew it up before it gets to the stomach was missing.  This results in the stomach and intestines getting irritated by certain foods that have naturally occurring histamines in them.  The enzyme in the saliva breaks down the histamines in tomatoes, spinach, salmon, chocolate, citrus fruits, red wine, yeast, hard cheeses, and other foods.  When you have allergies, it is the body reacting to histamines you encounter in the air or surfaces you come in contact with.  My histamine levels were off the charts and the only way the body knew how to "dump" them was to try and excrete them out of my skin, resulting in the hives.  Allergies shots, smoke in the Texas air due to wildfires, naturally occurring fall pollen and ragweed, and the inability to break down the histamines in foods before they got to the stomach had done a number on me.  Now, I am on a treatment to try and lower the histamine levels in my body.  I still have the hives, but now it may be only once a day instead of multiple times a day.  I have a long way to go, but it is a start.

Work has been work.  Fun at times, and work at other times.  I taught a successful Pilates Master Class utilizing the Pilates Chair and the Arc.  The participants enjoyed the challenge of the class and requested another.  I am going to see if I can get some more equipment brought over from another gym to teach another Master Class next month.  One of my personal training clients told me that she really buckled down and cut back on the nightly glass of red wine and bowl of Goldfish to loose 10 lbs.  Way to go!  Just making small changes can make big differences.  Another one of my personal training clients has hit the one year mark of working with me.  In that year, she has lost 35 lbs., gone from a Chicos size 4 to a 1.5, and feels amazing with her new energy.  Her big test this week is to see if she can keep up with her family on a ski trip and get up on her own when she falls down.  I know she can do it.  I am so proud of her and she is determined to keep going with her weight loss.  She has 20 more pounds to go to hit her goal and we are taking steps to get her orthodics so that she can start running again without her bunion bothering her.  On the other end of the spectrum, 171 gym locations of my employer were sold off to a huge competitor.  There are about 100 gyms left and Texas was spared.  It shall be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks and what changes will be made.

In the days leading up to Halloween, I was feeling an impending sense of dread about the holiday.  I did not want to pull out my decorations, I did not want to buy candy, I did not want to open my door to Trick-or-treaters.  I ended up taping black garbage bags over my windows and sitting in a dark house.  Later that week, I had to bail on a long run because I knew that nothing productive would come of it.  I was in pain from hormonal shifts and after a brisk 30 minute walk, I realized that it would be too painful to run.  That was a bummer.  But the funk didn't stop there.  I became increasingly down in the dumps even though it was sunny outside.  I had issues weighing heavy on me about work and my training (or lack of it), and things I had to get done before time ran out on me.  After a good cry, things started to get better and then I ate a donut.  That donut about killed me.

For five days I was in severe abdominal pain as the donut loitered in my gut.  I despise donuts but I succumbed to it's mesmerizing evil cyclops eye and ate it after a bike ride that left me hungry.  I could have waited to get something else, but the donut was there and it was quick calories.  It was like throwing a grenade in a hole and throwing cement down with it as a chaser.  I wanted the donut to exit my body by any means possible, but it did not want to leave my gut and hung in there as long as it could, making me miserable.  Dr. Krupka first laughed at me for eating the donut and then gave me the "I know I'm preaching to the choir, but..." speech.  The yeast, sugar, and trans fats had inflamed my stomach and intestines so much that things basically shut down and the donut did not move for a good couple of days and festered inside of me.  After the 5th day and some of Dr. Krupka's treatment, I was starting to feel better and wanted to get my long run in.  So, last Thursday, I ran 16 miles and ran the last of that donut out of my system.  I feel so much better and I will never eat another donut again, no matter what.

And that leads me to the present.  I think I may be coming down with some sort of sinus thing.  I had to take a decongestant for the first time in a long time and my nose is drippy.  I want to keep this above the neck and not get it into my chest.  We shall see.  The Banana had a good swim meet a few weekends ago and swam the 1650 yd. event in 22:29:34.  The kid is fast.  He participated in the District Honor Band auditions and made 2nd Chair Trumpet.  He had a great band concert last week that my dad and step mom got to come in to town for.  The report card came with A's and B's on it!  He has one more swim meet and another band concert before the end of the year.  Coaching my Team in Training tri team has been good.  More people are starting to show up to weekend trainings as we start getting closer to 2012.  I am still not in a holiday mood and and a little ticked off at the radio stations that have been playing Christmas music for the past few weeks.  I am sure it will pass.  Once I struggle with getting a 35+ year old fake tree up and mess with the lights until it pisses me off and I throw some ornaments on it, I am sure that I will feel more jolly.  Ok, so next post will contain a pic of the tree.

Until then, later gators!