Sunday, June 27, 2010


Sunday, June 27, 2010
3 miles

It has been a while since my last post. I have run an additional three workouts between this one and the last one that I posted, but I've had little drive to write about them.

Shortly after my last post, I began having breathing problems. I felt like I could not get air into my lungs, and the feeling lasted over a week. Whether I was resting, working hard, or sleeping, I couldn't breathe. Finally, after about five days, I went to the emergency room. Five hours of CT scans, ultrasounds, and blood samples ended with no conclusion. The doctors were clueless, and finally, awkwardly, suggested panic attacks as the source. I had not ruled out the possibility myself, but I hoped that it was something more, that my chronic shortness of breath could be attributed to something more than stress and anxiety.

The next day, I had an appointment with a therapist and immediately following, with a psychiatrist. While my therapist gave me a diagnosis of panic and promised she would help me develop coping strategies for my stress, my psychiatrist decided that my labored breathing could be a side effect of a new drug I was on, so she stopped that treatment and gave me a new and more interesting set of prescriptions that require a day planner to manage their administration.

Anyway, since that incident, the breathing problems have, for the most part, ceased. I still do not know if I can say it is because I stopped taking a medication that i was allergic to, or if it is because the new medication is totally sedating me and preventing me from becoming too stressed out and reacting physiologically to increased anxiety.

So all that being said, I've felt a little unmotivated to run and even less motivated to write about it when I do manage to run. A few days before I went to the E.R., I ran a hill about a mile away from our church, which was great because I don't get a chance to run hills running in my neighborhood in the center of Tucson. I ran that same hill and got the same time a couple days after my evening in the hospital.

I ran about three miles last Wednesday, and I ran that same route tonight finishing 3 seconds faster. I am getting more accustomed to the heat, and if I begin my run at about dusk, 95 degrees does not seem to affect me as much as it did a month ago. I have completed my runs without stopping and maintained the same pace (albeit a slow one) for each mile.

I know that I have been a little redundant in my posts, but I am hoping by saying it out loud (or posting it in a blog) I will be more accountable and begin to gain more control over my body and mind through the discipline and satisfaction of running.

I'll end this post here, but I plan on posting in the next day of so about other changes I've begun to make in my life to promote my own health and well-being. More to come...

Monday, June 7, 2010


Monday, June 7, 2010
3.03 Miles

So, it definitely isn't record time for me to run 3 miles, but I hydrated last night, got up early, and ran 3.03 miles WITHOUT STOPPING!

The heat definitely affects me, and without the blazing sun and 104 degrees fighting against me, all I have to worry about is my own will, which I conquered today during my adventure.

I almost always run around my neighborhood, whether it is the perimeter or cutting through streets. Today I ran up the middle and around the outside, making my run an easily even 3 miles. Since I live about two blocks into my neighborhood from the perimeter, I actually have to pass my street and run along the perimeter in order to get an even number of miles.

Today being the first day of not stopping in a while, my confidence of finishing the entire route was low. On my final mile, I approached my street, and experienced an overwhelming urge to turn there instead of running the additional two blocks to the main road. I gave myself every excuse: "This is your first run you haven't stopped, you have to give yourself a break," "You can always run a little past your house and double back," and "You just can't make it that extra couple of blocks, it's too far and you might start to walk."

But somewhere, amidst those negative thoughts, I heard one soft cheer: "You can do this."

As I ran that one cheer got louder: "You can do this" and it was backed up by, "Keep going!"

By the time I actually reached my street, I strode past it without hesitation and made my way to the last short leg of my run, down the main street and back to my house.

It felt so good to have completed that run not only without stopping, but without cutting the route short, and therefore selling myself short.

It seems simple, but I think we all need a reminder every now and again that small cheers will help you so much more than discouraging noise, and we should be thankful and grateful for those "cheerleaders" in our lives. This post mainly focuses on my own confidence and encouragement, but it is also important to acknowledge those in our lives that cheer for us, even when we do not.

I'd like to close this post by thanking my lovely husband, Germar, for being my biggest cheerleader and best friend.

There are so many others that I could thank here, but I think I'll save those for a different story on another day.

Friday, June 4, 2010


In case you need a break from my "runner's anguish" posts, here's an article about hydration. Thanks, Molly!

Even healthy eaters often underestimate the importance of their water intake and wind up suffering from chronic, low-grade dehydration. Here are just a few reasons good hydration is essential to good health:

Energy: Suboptimal hydration slows the activity of enzymes, including those responsible for producing energy, leading to feelings of fatigue. Even a slight reduction in hydration can lower metabolism and reduce your ability to exercise efficiently.

Digestion: Our bodies produce an average of 7 liters of digestive juices daily. When we don’t drink enough liquid, our secretions are more limited and the digestive process is inhibited. (Note that drinking too much water all at once, particularly with food, can also dilute digestive juices, reducing their efficacy and leading to indigestion.)

Regularity: As partially digested food passes through the colon, the colon absorbs excess liquid and transfers it to the bloodstream so that a stool of normal consistency is formed. When the body is low on water, it extracts too much liquid from the stool, which then becomes hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. Slowed elimination contributes to bodywide toxicity and inflammation.

Blood Pressure: When we are chronically dehydrated, our blood becomes thicker and more viscous. Additionally, in response to reduced overall blood volume, the blood vessels contract. To compensate for the increased vein-wall tension and increased blood viscosity, the body must work harder to push blood through the veins, resulting in elevated blood pressure.

Stomach Health: Under normal circumstances, the stomach secretes a layer of mucus (which is composed of 98 percent water) to prevent its mucus membranes from being destroyed by the highly acidic digestive fluid it produces. Chronic dehydration, though, impedes mucus production and may irritate and produce ulcers in the stomach lining.

Respiration: The moist mucus membranes in the respiratory region are protective; however, in a state of chronic dehydration, they dry out and become vulnerable to attack from substances that might exist in inhaled air, such as dust and pollen.

Acid-Alkaline Balance: Dehydration causes enzymatic slowdown, interrupting important biochemical transformations, with acidifying results at the cellular level. The acidification of the body’s internal cellular environment can be further worsened when excretory organs responsible for eliminating acids (e.g., the skin and kidneys) don’t have enough liquid to do their jobs properly. An overly acidic biochemical environment can give rise to a host of inflammatory health conditions, as well as yeast and fungus growth.

Weight Management: Feelings of thirst can be confused with hunger, both because eating can soothe thirst and also because dehydration-induced fatigue is often misinterpreted as a lack of fuel (e.g., sugar). Both dynamics can lead to false sensations of hunger, triggering overeating and weight gain. Inadequate hydration can also promote the storage of inflammatory toxins, which can also promote weight gain.

Skin Health: Dehydrated skin loses elasticity and has a dry, flaky appearance and texture. But dehydration can also lead to skin irritation and rashes, including conditions like eczema. We need to sweat about 24 ounces a day to properly dilute and transport the toxins being eliminated through our skin. When we are chronically dehydrated, the sweat becomes more concentrated and toxins aren’t removed from our systems as readily, which can lead to skin irritation and inflammation.

Cholesterol: Cholesterol is an essential element in cell membrane construction. When we are in a state of chronic dehydration and too much liquid is removed from within the cell walls, the body tries to stop the loss by producing more cholesterol to shore up the cell membrane. Although the cholesterol protects the cell membrane from being so permeable, the overproduction introduces too much cholesterol into the bloodstream.

Kidney and Urinary Health: When we don’t drink enough liquid, our kidneys struggle to flush water-soluble toxins from our system. When we don’t adequately dilute the toxins in our urine, the toxins irritate the urinary mucus membranes and create a germ- and infection-friendly environment.

Joint Health: Dehydrated cartilage and ligaments are more brittle and prone to damage. Joints can also become painfully inflamed when irritants, usually toxins produced by the body and concentrated in our blood and cellular fluids, attack them, setting the stage for arthritis.

Aging: The normal aging process involves a gradual loss of cell volume and an imbalance of the extracellular and intracellular fluids. This loss of cellular water can be accelerated when we don’t ingest enough liquids, or when our cell membranes aren’t capable of maintaining a proper fluid balance.