Hello Again

It’s been almost a full year since my last post (3/27/13). A lot has happened over that time span.

I took a new job over the summer and moved to New Orleans. With the job transition, my racing took a back seat and I didn’t get to achieve my goal of running 6 half marathon or more races for 2013. I completed 4, but did run 13+ miles a few times during the end of the year while training for the RnR New Orleans Marathon. I’ll kind of accept that as an achievement, but it’s not really the same as racing.

My running streak continued throughout the year, but finally ended at day 399 because of a foot injury. During that time, I ran in 8 different states and in Amsterdam, Holland. I hated stopping, but it was something I needed to do to rest my foot. I was limited in my running for a couple of weeks and decided to drop down to the half for the New Orleans race. I wasn’t able to get the distance runs in I needed to make it through the full.

Even with my limited running in the month of January, I was able to finish the race in just under 2 hours at a time of 1:58:55. I was very pleased with that time. I owe a big thanks to a high school friend of mine who I ran into while running and we pushed each other for almost 9 of the 13.1 miles.

My beautiful wife, Karebear, decided to run the half as well and ran with a friend who was running her 1st half marathon. It was great to see her cross the finish line. She gave up on long distance races after completing the RnR Madrid Marathon in April of 2012, but has now realized how fun halves can be. She does plan on doing another at some point. She started a running streak over the summer and is over 250 days into it. She’s talked about stopping, but after that many days, it just becomes a part of your lifestyle and it’s hard to stop.

When I stopped my streak, my motivation began to lack and I decided to start a new streak February 1st. I’m now 11 days into it and I feel great!

My blood sugars have been doing fine, but I need to find an Endo here in New Orleans.

I won’t be posting daily or weekly, but I do hope to post more than I did last year. I also, hope to run a few more races too. I’m thinking about doing the Piney Hills Half again.

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My mental race

As I’ve posted before, I have been slacking with my running since the marathon last month. Last week I decided to write out my running schedule as if I had a race to run.

I’m basically doing my 5 week, 1/2 marathon training schedule. My workout schedule is M/T/Th, so I just adjusted the miles and days to fit. I’ve been sticking to it and running in the mornings. Although today I slept a little late and had to run it tonight. It was a nice 3 mile run. The weather was perfect!

I’m still looking for a race to run (or two) before the RnR Chicago 1/2 marathon. I saw a friend of mine post a race in a few weeks. It’s the Hell’s Hills 5K, 10K & half marathon. It’s in a month and a half and sounds very intriguing. I would do the 1/2 marathon. I’ve never run trails before, but I run hills all the time around my house. It sounds like a fun challenge and may be something to try out.

Since I’ve made the adjustments with my insulin intake pre and post workouts, my sugars have been doing much better and I’ve been feeling awesome. I surprise myself each time I workout and also how well I can run after them.

I’m getting stronger, gaining muscle and maintaining my weight. I’ve never felt better!

Every time I think about the trail run, I get a little excited. 🙂 Anyone have any advice on trail running?

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Sometimes things don’t go according to plan

Yesterday was one of those days that everything I had planned to do, just didn’t go the way I expected it to.

It basically started when I woke up and ended when I went to bed.

Work issues came up first and I had to work my schedule around dealing with them. That was the little ball of snow that started falling down the mountain. Everything I had planned had to be moved to a different time which caused conflicts because I was dealing with other people for most of my day. That ball of snow started getting bigger and bigger.

The only thing that did happen on schedule was my doctor’s appointment. That’s because I had to show up on time to that. Once I got there though, it didn’t go like I thought.

I was expecting a better result from my A1c test (definition here). The goal result is to have an A1c lower than 7. On my last visit it was exactly 7. This visit it had risen to 7.4. I was shocked!

I have been exercising more and eating better over the last 3 months. I have also been taking a nutritional supplement. I thought my sugars had not been as high as they have been, but when the doctor prints out your readings from your pump and it’s on paper, it didn’t look as good as I had thought.

My doctor said, “There’s always a pattern. We just have to find it.”.

Well after looking at my readings and asking about my workout and running schedule, we found a pattern.

My sugars have always gone up during and after workouts of less than one hour. Why this happens, I’m not exactly sure, but it does. Also, the nutritional supplement I take before workouts has 5g of carbs and I have not been taking insulin for these carbs. I was using these carbs to get me through my workouts.

We decided I needed to start taking insulin for them and doing a correction bolus for my sugars beforehand. I need my sugar to be as close to “normal” before I do any type of activity.

The extra carbs I was putting in my body and not accounting for was really throwing off my blood sugars. Even though the visit didn’t go as I expected, it did end better than it started. Diabetes is hard on you when you think you’re doing everything right and it turns out not like you think. From the beginning of the year, I have felt better and worked harder than I ever have.

The visit did bum me out for the rest of the day, but I was glad we found a reason for the higher A1c level.

Today is a new day and even if I didn’t wake up early enough for my streak mile before work, it’s already been a better day. It’s also raining today, but I might do my run outside this evening for a little cleansing run. 🙂

Days like yesterday don’t happen very often, but when they do, they really are tough on you. Have you had days where everything you have planned gets out of whack?

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I’ve been slacking

I’ve really been slacking with my running since the marathon 3 weeks ago.

I’ve continued my streak, but I’ve only been running a mile. Last weekend I ran 2 miles, this past Wednesday  I ran 3 miles (it was a slow poker fun run) and today I ran 4 miles.

Today’s 4 miler really opened my eyes. It was a tough, long 4 miles. I didn’t realize how quickly my stamina would drop. I was struggling.

The weather was much hotter than I had been running in, but it still surprised me how tough it was.

This winter I was training the all the time, but since the marathon, I don’t have anything to train for until July. I really need to find another race to run. I enjoyed my training season and was really good about following it.

I guess I’ll be looking for a race and in the meantime, I’ll be “pretending” I’m training for something. I’ll write out a run schedule and stick to it with long runs on the weekend. I’ll sign up for some 5K’s and support the community too.

I’ve got to step it back up!

I’ve been slacking on my blog too. I’ll step it up here too.

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Teamwork is important

I’ve been running a lot by myself. I do like it. It’s nice to be out by yourself and have some alone time.

I do wish I had a group to run with though. Even though I don’t run with one, I still have a team of support. Karebear, my family, my friends that “cheer” me on on my fb posts and you, my readers.

We all support each other even though we’re not actually running beside each other.

A friend of mine started a Running Streak group last week. The goal is to run a mile from March through April. I’m not sure how many are in the group, but I’d say it’s between 15-20.

We all encourage each other to get out there and run. A lot of these streakers aren’t “hardcore” runners, so it’s important to cheer and encourage.

It takes a lot to get out there everyday and run. Life is very good about getting in the way. Everyone, and I mean everyone needs encouragement.

If you’re on facebook or twitter and see someone post about exercising, make a comment or like it. If you have friends close by, get together for a run or workout. You just might be the encouragement they need.

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Busy, busy, busy

I’ve been super busy with work. I’ve had business execs in this week and traveling.

I have gotten in two great workouts. They have really been good and I have felt good! Today’s especially was really intense.

I’ve been keeping up with my running streak, but have only been running the required mile.

I’m feeling great and I’m intergized! I weighed myself this morning and have lost 8 pounds in the last two weeks. I can also tell that I’m getting stronger with my workouts.

My blood sugars have been lower over the last couple of weeks too.

As busy as I’ve been, I’ve felt good and I’m excited to see what’s to come!

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I keep trucking a long

Nothing too exciting has been going on lately with me.

I’ve been steadily running my streak miles. I haven’t been to a workout class in over a week. I took last week off to recoup from the marathon. I’m having trouble again signing up for classes. I’m on the waiting list though.

My sugars have been doing very well recently.

I hope every one has started March off well!

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

This is very over due! My apologies to Willbfit. She nominated me for this award a few weeks ago and I totally skipped over it.


Thank you for the nomination! It means a lot when someone tells you that you are inspiring.

It’s a good feeling knowing that people read your blog and a great feeling that people get something out of it.

I am to give a few facts about me and nominate other blogs.

Facts about me:

  1. I have ran as many races in the first 2 months of this year as I did the entire year last year (3).
  2. I love Asian food. It doesn’t matter what kind.
  3. I have 18 1st cousins and we are all close.
  4. I have ran at least 1 mile every day for over 100 days.
  5. I saw Pulp Fiction 7 times in the theater.
  6. I love to cook.
  7. I can recite the Greek alphabet very fast.
  8. I have been alligator hunting.
  9. I think my dream job would be owning a professional sports team.
  10. I’m a kid a heart.

Here are my nominees:

  1. Stevey’s Training Room She is a personal trainer and posts great, quick workouts that get the job done. She inspires everyone to up and do something.
  2. Rachel’s Table She has a great blog about finding, cooking and eating real, local food. Check out her recipes. She’s also pretty funny.

Each nominee should write a post about the award, link back to the blogger that nominated you, and then list some fun facts about yourself.  You in turn are to nominate other bloggers, leave them a comment on their blog informing them they have been nominated with a link back to your blog.

Thanks again for the award!

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100 days of running

It’s been crazy the last few days. The marathon and finishing out the month for work hasn’t let me post much. I’ve been exhausted!

Yesterday was my 100th day for my running streak. WOW! 100 days of running at least a mile!

I’ve done a lot with my runs during these last 100 days.

I ran during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

I ran fast and I ran slow.

I ran with my blood sugars being high, low and perfect.

I ran with a heavy heart and tight legs.

I ran when it was hot, cold, raining, and snowing.

I ran barefoot.

I ran before the sun came up, during lunch and well after the sun went down.

I ran outside and on a treadmill.

I ran alone, with friends and with family.

I listened to music and sometimes I just listened to my feet hit the pavement or treadmill.

I ran in 4 different states.

I ran 3 distance races: The MS Blues Half, The Piney Hills Half and the RnR New Orleans full and PR’d each time!

The most important thing is: I ran.

I’ve gotten faster and stronger, but still can do better.

I thought about ending my streak at 100 days, but now it’s a part of me. It’s a habit. It’s always in the back on my if I don’t get it done early. I’m not sure when I’ll stop, but for now, I’ll keep on streaking.

Thank you Jessie for lighting this little fire under me! She became a friend through TNT last year and has been streaking for over 250 days.

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Rock N Roll New Orleans recap

On Sunday, Feb. 24th, I ran the RnR New Orleans marathon.

I had my alarm set for 5:30. It was a 7 am start time and I was staying just a few blocks from the start. I woke up at 4:30 instead. I guess I was excited for the race.

The race hadn’t been on my mind much the week following up to it. I’ve had a really good training season and I felt pretty confident going in.

I laid around in bed for a while and looked at the course. I started getting a little nervous. 26.2 miles is a LONG way. I finally got out of bed around 5 and started getting dressed. My blood sugar was 74.

After I got dressed, I thought it would be a good idea to eat something of substance before the race. I fixed myself a bowl of oatmeal. I usually don’t eat much before I run, but I knew it would probably help with my blood sugars. Before I ate my blood sugar was 133. I only bolused for half the carbs since I would need my sugar up for the race.

After I ate my oatmeal, I started wondering if it was a good idea to change my routine. Like I said before, I don’t usually eat much before I run. Luckily, I didn’t have any side effects from eating.

I walked down to the corrals around 6:15. My cousin was running the half and I wanted to see her before the race and wish her luck. She was in corral 8 and I was in 14, so I didn’t think we would be running into each other after the start. We did meet up and said our well wishes. I walked back to my corral and patiently waited for the start. I checked my sugar again at 6:30 and it was 216. At 6:45 I was getting anxious and checked my sugar again. I didn’t want it too high or too low starting out. It was 180 and I decided to eat some GU gel to keep it up for the start of the race.

Slowly but surely 7 am came around and the race started. The elites were off and 20 minutes or so later my corral was starting. I worked my way to the head of my corral and took off. I was feeling strong and confident. I was going to check my sugars every 5 miles like I had been doing during my training.

My goal for the year was to finish a marathon in under 5 hours. My previous time 5:36. With the excellent training I’d been having, in my mind I wanted to finish in under 4:30.

Course map

Course map

I started out faster than expected. It was a very crowded first half of the race with over 10,000 runners. Karebear was waiting for me at mile 2 where we turned on to St. Charles Ave heading into the Garden District. I saw her as I was coming up and worked my way to the side to give her a high five. I noticed she looked a little teary eyed and me tear up a little. I asked her about it after the race and she said she was just really proud of me. It helps a lot to have good support. 🙂

St. Charles Ave was basically a 4 mile out and back stretch. I was running just over an 8 minute mile for the first 3-4 miles and I kept telling myself to slow down. I was trying to get around everyone and it just made me go faster. At mile 5 I checked my sugar. It was 114 and I thought that was strange since I had eaten a GU gel before the start on top of a high sugar. Then I realized I had forgotten to decrease my basal for the run. I stopped on the sidewalk, made the decrease and ate another GU.

I only brought 5 GU gels with me. I usually don’t need them until I get into the double digit miles. With that scenario I would have a couple extra if I needed them. Well, I had already eaten 2 and I was only 5 miles in. I knew they would have some during the race, but I was nervous about running out.

Around mile 6 I was running through a water station. Someone stopped right in front of me and forced me to quickly move to the inside of the pack. When I did that, I literally almost ran into my cousin. She was walking through the water station and we ran the next 3 or 4 miles together. It was nice to have a running buddy even if was just for a little while.

Karebear got a pic of us around mile 8 1/2.

Running cousins

Running cousins

Around mile 9 we wished each other good luck again and went our separate ways. I checked my sugar again at mile 10 and it had dropped to 46. I had just picked up 2 gels at the previous water station and quickly ate one of them.

I was still feeling good mentally and physically. I knew the halfway point was straight ahead along Esplanade Ave. This road runs behind the French Quarter and goes straight into City Park where the finish lines were. The streets were still pretty crowded and I was still weaving through the crowd of runners. Once I got to the entrance of City Park and the marathoners veered left to continue, I checked my sugar again. It had come up some to 76 and I ate another GU gel.

As the marathoners continued, the crowded streets got slim. I think about 1 out 4 racers ran the full. The route continued along Marconi Dr. and Took a right onto Lakeshore Dr. for a out and back loop to finish at City Park.

Around mile 16 I began to feel the pain and my pace started slowing. I checked my sugar again and it had dropped again to 68. I ate another gel and continued on. I passed trough a water station where spectators and cheer groups were handing out snacks. I grabbed some pretzel sticks and ate those. It was like I put cement in my mouth. I carry water with me and I had been getting Gatorade at the water stops, but my mouth was dry. It was awful!

Around mile 16 1/2 we turned onto Lakeshore Dr. It was a beautiful stretch with Lake Pontchartrain to our left, but there was a fierce head wind and no more trees to shade us. The dreaded mile 18 was approaching and I wanted to get past it so bad. My 18 mile training runs were the worst runs for me. My feet were getting sore, my calves were getting tight and my knee started to bother me. I told myself to keep going and I could make it.

I got to mile 18 and hit a wall. I stopped to the side and stretched my calves. As I started back running I realized how far 26.2 miles is. It’s a long FREAKING way! I’ve gotten pretty used to half marathons, but I quickly started to remember why I said I wasn’t going to do another full after the last one.

Lakeshore Dr. was only a 3 mile out and back stretch, but it was the longest 6 miles. I thought I ‘d never get to the turnaround point. My Nike+ was about .15 miles faster than the race mile marker were, so I decide I’d run until my Nike+ told me I had reached a mile and walk until I reached the race marker.

This was a good idea for the first couple of times, but it got harder and harder to start back up again. I finally reached the turnaround and the back half was a lot shorter. Once I got back Marconi Dr., it was just 4 short long miles to go. I continued my run/walk method and was still making good time. I was definitely going to finish in under 5 hours, but 4 /12 was going to be close. As I got closer to the entrance of City Park, I pushed myself harder as I ran. I checked my sugar on last time and it was 84. I was almost finished.

The City Park portion was the final 1.2 miles. We ran back towards the entrance from Esplanade Ave and turned towards the Museum of Modern Art. The finish line was just passed the museum. I could hear the music and the crowd cheering.

I got my 3rd or 4th wind and picked up my pace once I passed the museum. I started passing a few people and didn’t want anyone to pass me. I knew Karebear would be around the finish line and I definitely didn’t want her to see me walking. I also didn’t know if my cousin was still around or a friend of mine who I knew was there as a spectator. I wanted everyone to see me running!

Just before the finish line I saw Karebear! It gave me a big boost and I double stepped it to the finish. I didn’t know I could move that fast with all the pain I was feeling.

Karebear took a couple pics of me making my way to the finish line.

I little it's almost over fist pump

A little “it’s almost over” fist pump

I think I can, I think I can...

I think I can, I think I can…

I crossed the finish line! Clock time read 4:55 and change. I was thinking I was about 20-25 minutes faster from my later start. That would put me close to my goal of 4:30.

I got my medal, grabbed 2 chocolate milks and went to find Karebear. I was exhausted! I quickly found her and sat down on a some tree roots. My knee was throbbing and my feet hurt. but I had finished.

Karebear told me the runner tracker app said I finished at 4:34:17. I was thrilled! I finished just over an hour faster than my Madrid marathon last year.

I was so exhausted a hungry, I didn’t want to hang around for the festivities. I forgot to take a picture around the finish line, so Karebear took one of me by the car outside of the park.

I'm beat, but happy!

I’m beat, but happy!

I started getting texts from friends and family congratulating me. I as thought more about my time, I started thinking about things I could have done better or differently. My cousin who I ran the Piney Hills Half with me, text me “Congrats, you did what most people can’t and what most of the rest won’t.”. That made me think about not getting so caught up in the time and what I could have or should have done, but to realize what an accomplishment I had.

The rest of the day went well. I did not take a nap. I did get to eat a Peacemaker poboy and oysters from Acme. I was craving it after the race! My sugars stayed great throughout the rest of the day and went to bed earlier than normal.

Thanks to all my friends and family who supported me during my training and during the race!

I definitely want to run this half course. Hopefully next year.

This is my last full…for a least a little while. 😉

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