Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Well Oiled Machine

Sometimes I forget how crazy my life is until I see it in writing. That being said, I need to remind myself of how my life went from busy to hectic in about a week. At one point, my life was about as busy as stay at home mom and freelancer, to full time job, less freelancing, and family. About a year ago, marathon training was added into the mix. Last week, part time school was lumped on. Now, art show (if you want to call it that) and sewing cloth diaper covers are the cherry on top. I'm not sure how I function like this, but I'm pretty sure I just function in auto-pilot, which, I am completely OK with. I enjoy being a machine and not having to deal with frivolous emotions of being human. I know they make pills for that, but I think I just answered the question to my age-old problem. If I don't want the medications, I need to be busy. It's just how I thrive.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

No Way To Rationalize

Anxiety and panic attacks are interesting. I had a discussion with someone about anxiety, panic attacks, and medications. I was told by the person that their medications for panic attacks weren't working and they thought their doctor was giving them placebos. The person stated they felt helpless sometimes with stress of things building up and what not and no matter what, the stress would not go away. I then concluded to tell them about my experiences with anxiety and panic attacks and how ultimately my attacks and anxiety often wound up with an urgent conviction death was eminent. I responded that I had been put on Xanax a few months back and it was actually working for me for problems I never considered to be anxiety related problems and I had never even considered anxiety or panic attacks, but thought my problems were due to my asthma. I do get post traumatic stress that often leads to anxiety and ultimately panic attacks. I'm convinced it started a decade ago when I was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to Reglan. Something about my body being helpless, muscles hardening, not being able to breathe, hearing the old lady next to me screaming because she had to give a mucus sample to test for pneumonia, swearing at that moment I was going to die at the ripe age of 20, alone and in a cold, sterile ER room strapped to a stretcher. That feeling of remembering what it's like to truly feel like you are going to die. How often I am so physically exhausted, but mentally awake, my body starts to relax as I go to bed - my heart rate slows down as I go into sleep mode, my muscles relax, then my brain notices how long it is between the times my heart beats or I take another breath and I remember: I am going to die now. I pay attention to my breathing and heart rate and try to get it elevated a bit because I am not ready to die yet. Next thing I know, my heart is beating frantically and I am fully awake lying in bed in fear that I am going to die, but my heart is beating fast, so I am alive and fine, but now I will have a heart attack out of fear. I take deep breaths to try and calm myself, sometimes I'll get up, or turn around and hold onto Jesse. I tell myself I'm OK and it's fine. But another part of me is certain I am still dying. And sometimes I do wind up calming down and it's OK and I'll lay in bed awake for a few hours afraid to go to sleep so I don't die. And sometimes, I'll now just take a Xanax or two and calm down and go back to bed. But it's not just in my sleep. Sometimes, when I have a hard time breathing, which I thought was my asthma, but is actually reflux, I would start to have these panic attacks. It would be the same combination of physical rapid heartbeats and mental state of fear and really there is no better way to describe it than fear. The anxiety part is interesting, too. Sometimes, random things will trigger a deep sense of fear on me. I can't explain this fear or why I have it, what I'm afraid of. I just feel fear of something bad happening. I could be sitting doing absolutely nothing and suddenly be overcome by fear. Usually it will only last for a few seconds, maybe a few minutes. Most of the time, I'll get so engulfed trying to figure out why I'm afraid, that I'll completely forget I had that fear. Its a strange phenomena. I am OK with dealing with stress in life, curve balls that are thrown at me, accepting the fact I can't fix things I have no control over and that I should not stress those things. I accept stress. I understand it is a driving force for me to perform at my best. But trying to comprehend how my body goes into fear mode at random or thinking it is about to expire is beyond me. Maybe it's a natural mechanism that all people have.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Southern Luaus

Today we ran 15 miles. Training for the Soldier Marathon is on track and doing well. I've been really lucky this year in the sense I have not had any of the issues I had last season when I was training for LA. I'm guessing there's a number of factors contributing to this. First off, when I trained for LA, the farthest I ever ran was a 5K. I'm going into this training with one marathon under my belt. Second, when I was training for LA, I did not have good form. I was a over striding heel striker. Since I transitioned from my Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s (which I do still love and use often, especially on treadmills) to my minimalist Brooks Pure Cadence, I have noticed I have not been having the issues I had last season. I do have a few aches, which I'm sure I will never finish any run over 10 miles without some form of an ache, but it's not nearly what it was like last season. Anyway, today we had the most pleasant surprise at the 5 mile mark. One of the other ladies in the Columbus Jeff Galloway Program has a husband who as become a bit of a local legend among the Galloway group. Last year, he started to create these little sag stations for the long runs. There was a St. Patrick's Day green themed station in March, an Easter themed station in April. Today he showed up again with a truly awesome luau set up for the summer. Armed with tropical fruits like pineapples, bananas, and grapes, along with other runner snacks like pretzels, ice cold water and Gatorade, and completely decked out in a true luau fashion with a grass skirt around the table, a lei around his neck, a pink flamingo pegged into the ground and playing Jimmy Buffet, it was truly a tropical treat for the entire group.

I had to ask him how early he got up to set this up and it was a bit of an ungodly hour to be up for anyone on their day off. The fact he was out there doing this was awesome because he was out there supporting his wife (which is super cute), and the entire group (which is super awesome). Did I mention he was up around 6:45 on a Saturday to do this? I'm pretty sure he's definitely a contender for the awesome husband award this month. He definitely needs a medal from the group for all he does.

Volunteers are always appreciated at races. I know every runner I know always thanks those handing out water or guiding us on our routes. But sometimes there's the unsung heroes of races. The people who aren't part of the organizations running an event, the people who are just there because and for whatever reason decide they want to support the runners with food and snacks they purchase on their own. These people are awesome. So are the people who create signs and stay out all day long, even to support the people who are coming in long after the races cut off time ends. Anyway, this is kind of a big ol' shout out of THANKS to anyone who has ever volunteered to help organize, operate, run, hand out water, hand out snacks, and anything at a race, and to anyone who has ever just been nice to runners just because and devoted their time to being awesome. Seriously, it's the little things, guys.

On a final note, I decided to try Gu finally. That's never gonna happen again. My issues with textures are so bad, I can't even deal with it despite it tasting like the most delicious coffee ever. I think I may have had half the packet and I nearly vomited on the spot. I could just imagine if I were some 20 something miles in what would happen. So yeah, Gu, never in a million years. Whoever said it was like eating frosting has never had frosting ever. It's like eating snot. Wonderfully flavored snot. And I don't like eating snot, so yeah. Back to Cliff Bars and Sport Beans for me. I'll give shot blocks another shot, too. They're just too chewy.