Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How NOT to Train for the Seattle Half Marathon

Just checking in to say HI in case this is my last post before I pass out on the course of the Seattle half marathon this weekend.  The only thing that has me excited for this race is the fact that my running buddies are as equally undertrained as me and we have already agreed to run/walk it for fun and just chat along the way.  Well except for Becky...she can't do any running "for fun" ;) and I'm sure she'll be waiting for at least an hour after she finishes for Meghan, Nicole and I to come hobbling across the finish line!

So how have I NOT been training for this race? Let me list the ways!

1. Not running more than 6 miles since Hood to Coast - that was back in AUGUST people!

2. Not running more than 1, 2 MAX days per week and always with friends <---my only preferred way to run these days.

Devin, Lauren, me, Becky, Rebecca!
3. Not really caring at this point! After my intense summer of running I needed the break and still do so I'm in no hurry to jump back into any sort of training plan right now and I'm totally ok with that.

I've actually been hitting the gym pretty hard for the past 10 weeks lifting weights so while I'm much stronger I haven't been keeping up with the cardio.  I will admit every time I have gone out for a 6 mile run with friends I feel really strong and even felt good during a super speedy session with the Nuun Megan's the other week so that is confidence boosting I suppose.

Me, Megan, Megan - I only ran fast to get to beer!

I'll be running this for fun, friends, and to rep my ambassadorships with Nuun (psst $20 4 packs with free shipping Friday through Monday, go get some!) and Ragnar! I got some super sweet Ragnar gear in the mail yesterday that I'll share in my race recap.

So if you see someone wearing Ragnar/Nuun gear struggling out on the Seattle course this weekend just know that I probably shouldn't be running and don't feel bad for me ;).

Have an amazing and safe Thanksgiving everyone!!

QUESTION: Who is racing this holiday weekend? Turkey trot? How I wish the half was just a trot!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Adventures of Spleen-less Stacey

Oh man, too long from the blog again...I do think of it often and how I want to post but then I just don't.  But I do have something to share, mostly because it is all over and I'm just insanely thankful that all is good again!

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen the countless Cone of Shame pics over the past week of my pup Stacey, but here is the story behind it:

To start I have to say that my 11 year old herding mutt, Stacey, is just about the healthiest dog out there. She has never had any diseases, injuries, or cause for me to when I left her with friends one weekend only to return to find out she had a very sudden moment of weakness I immediately knew something was very wrong.  After a quick ball throwing session with friends they were walking home and Stacey simply decided she could not go any further and laid down on the sidewalk.  My friend had to carry her home where she laid on the deck for hours.  She got better, gradually got energy and even ate and drank before I returned from my trip.  My friend urged me to take her to vet to get her checked out and I agreed 100%.  I should also note that I've been feeling a mass on her stomach for a little over 6 months now but didn't think too much of since she has little nodules and masses all over now...super common in older dogs.  

My normally very energetic hiking buddy!
The vet couldn't find anything still wrong with her when I brought her in but did feel the mass in her stomach that I did.  He immediately recommended an ultrasound to see where exactly it was and what is was attached to but that he suspected it was a splenic tumor.  I had never heard of this before but some quick google searches revealed how very common these were in dogs and many dogs were not so lucky and had their spleen rupture and die.  What probably happened during her walk was a slight bleed that was able to clot on it's own.  Another startling thing I read was that 50% of the time the tumors are cancerous and the cancer is so aggressive the dog usually has 3-6 months to live :(.

With all of these thoughts and findings swimming around in my head Stacey went in for her ultrasound and they confirmed what they already thought, she had a tumor on her spleen and the only cure is removal of the entire spleen.  They found NO other tumors on the ultrasound and deemed her an excellent candidate for surgery...a very major dog surgery I might add.  I tried and tried not to think about the fact that it could be cancerous and my time with her might be limited and just focused on the surgery and her recovery...I actually did a pretty good job at that.  

On November 6 I dropped Stacey off at my vet (very tearfully I might add) and waited by my cell phone to hear how the surgery went. A few hours later I heard surgery went great, she was already waking up and they didn't see any other tumors inside her while they were in there.  She did so well in recovery she came home a day early and even ran to me when I picked her up...even the vet techs were surprised by her energy 24 hours after surgery!

post surgery - 17 staples long...ouch! :(

The Cone of Shame adventures begin
She honestly recovered so much faster than I thought and a few days later she was really acting like her old self again. The best part? On Friday afternoon I received a call from my vet with the insanely GREAT news that her tumor came back BENIGN...NO CANCER! It was seriously the best news I've ever received before starting a weekend.  

Besides looking a bit skinnier, she was acting and looking like her old self more and more every day. And then I just couldn't stop myself from taking tons of Cone of Shame pics:

I mean, really...she is pretty cute without the cone but add that and the cuteness factor is multiplied by about 100 in my opinion.  12 days post op she went in to get her staples removed and despite her being insanely nervous and scared it was relatively painless and now she has a battle wound to prove what an ordeal she went through.

When she realized where we were going...

Healing up nicely!
I cannot express my gratitude to my vet clinic enough.  They have been so amazing through this whole experience...always answering all of my questions, being super sweet to Stacey and being all around awesome.  Having her spleen removed was the easiest decision and easiest money I've ever spent!  I'm hoping in a few weeks time I can get her running short distances with me again and that we can have a few more years of adventures together...unless she lives forever...which I assume she will ;). 

So that is what has been up in my world lately. I feel like I finally climbed out of a little stress cloud and can focus on the what is coming up for the rest of the year...thanksgiving with friends, Seattle Marathon, my mom's 60th birthday and Costa Rica for Christmas!  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Race Recap - PurpleStride 5k

This past Sunday I participated in the PurpleStrike 5k to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.   My neighbor organized a team through her work and asked me to join...seeing as the race was literally across the street from where I live in Magnuson Park this was a no brainer.  My mom's good friend who I used to babysit ALL the time for just went through a pretty intense bout with Pancreatic cancer.  She is one of the extremely lucky ones and is surviving after lots of chemotherapy and radiation and a very big surgery to remove "hopefully" any chance of it coming back! I walked for her!

Yep, I walked it. I really did plan on running but someone (read: me) had too much fun at the Sounders game the night before (despite their 2-1 loss) and didn't feel 100% Sunday morning. Luckily, a coffee and a brisk 5k walk was just what I needed to feel normal again.  The walk was insanely crowded and I was immediately surprised by the fact that people really just leisurely walk 5k's...I figured they would at least try to power walk them.  My neighbor, Lindsey, and her friend Alexa and I walked together and tried to dart around groups when we could to at least walk fast enough to keep warm.

I like their motto "Know It. Fight It. End It". And that an older gentleman is wearing a tutu :)
We walked a 5k loop around Magnuson Park that I often do with my pup and we enjoyed seeing all the tutus and people walking for a great cause.

I think we finished in around an hour and it was so weird to walk across a finish line, pretty sure I've never done that before.  I'm glad I didn't end up running because the people in our group who did run didn't start with the runners and ended up having to dodge 100's of walkers for the whole course.

Our whole gang!
Afterwards, Lindsey's boss treated us all to brunch at 50 North near University Village.  This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've been to 50 North and I highly recommend it. They use good local ingredients and have typical more upscale american fare but sometimes with a twist that is always delicious!

After slacking and not running this race I realized I really need to turn on my running game if I'm going to run a half marathon on December 2nd.

Question: Anyone ever walk an entire race before?