Getting back together…

I know that it has been a while since we caught up, months actually, and If I’m honest, I was a little nervous about tonight, and I wasn’t sure it would be the same, feel the same.

I know that when things got hectic, and I got sick – I let us slip…  That’s why coming back was so hard. What if it wasn’t the same? You know we had great times together. What if something else comes between us again?

I made the decision to see you at the last minute. I think it was so I wouldn’t talk myself out of meeting. My stomach was a knot, my head a bit of a mess… What if doesn’t feel as good as the last time, what if the magic was gone…

I wore the outfit you like, Ha, no, You don’t really care what I wear do you? You just want me to turn up. I think I wore that outfit for me, I always feel great in that top and those pants – ready to take on the world, confident, strong…

Before I know it, the dream is reality again. We are together, my knees start to shake, I kind of stumble, and I am slow, but slow can be good, right? I know I am rusty, but the rhythm comes back, my arms, legs, hips all start to work in sync – it feels wrong, but right at the same time, such a cliché!

After a while I realize I am so tense, Damn, I know I am over thinking this. I just want it to be good, like it used to be –  like I used to be. I use a little mantra, relax Lin, relax, I feel the tension in my shoulders go, then I relax some more – just feeling every moment with you…

When we finish I can feel those endorphins kickin’ round in my system, I almost forgot how good it could feel – just you and me…

My body quiets down, the feel good wearing off as my heart rate returns to normal. I am lying on the bed, and it starts; I know you never criticise me, – it’s never you – but the doubts creep in, and those critical voices come out to play,

“You started out too fast, your pace was off.”

“There was no rhythm – towards the end you were lagging, you know you were.”

“HA the ending, well you didn’t…you didn’t finish well dear”…

I almost scream, SHUT UP! – But it is now 2:30am and the apartment below would probably hear… So I scream it in my head… I remind myself, it’s ok to be rusty, it’s been a while, and that you don’t care, It doesn’t matter how long I lasted, or that my rhythm was off, that I was slow, or so hot and sweaty at the end that it was a little embarrassing…

What matters is that I came back to you tonight, in the wee hours of the morning, I came back to you, and you welcomed me with open arms, no judgment, no laughter, no “You should have come back sooner”.

You don’t judge me, never have, never will, and that, that is why I love you Running.

Lin xox

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The issue with tonsils – Advice needed

My tonsils are inflamed and toxic, they are actually poisoning me, and are now resistant to antibiotics . I have seen an ear nose and throat surgeon and have a surgery date for the 1st of August to have the buggers taken out.

My issue is at the moment, every time I push myself to exercise, do my long runs and training sessions, I end up getting sicker. My Doctor has advised me to stop stressing my body and ease off my training… This is difficult and is upsetting me. I want  to do a half marathon in 3 weeks that I have entered, but every time I push myself I get sicker and taking 3 – 4 days to get better;  The tonsils get worse, I find it hard to swallow and I get a temperature and headaches that don’t go away..

It seems like a no brainer, stop pushing myself… But that is what I do now – I push myself, I love the feeling of pushing my limits, long runs and proving I can do it…

I am really unsure about continuing my running training at the moment, or if i will be able to compete in the half marathon… this makes me want to cry a little…

To all my runner friends out there, Any one got any advice here? Should I keep going with some 10km & 15km and then push it on the day? or stop and take a break on the long runs until the tonsils are gone???

Till next time, Lin.

Winter Tea Tonic

It feels like my throat and I have been at war for the longest time. I have had bouts of tonsillitis for the past few years, at least 4 to 5 times a year. It is frustrating and when it gets bad, the tonsils end up infected and then send their infection around via my blood stream. Fun times….

I have an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon, I have waited for 2 months and have around 2 weeks until I see him, and hopefully it will be all systems go and he can take them out. The sooner the better 🙂

Until then I will keep drinking a little drink that I like to call my lemon ginger winter tonic. It is very soothing for the throat. All it contains is lemon juice, fresh ginger, honey and hot water and I thought I would share it for the cold winter ahead. It is a lovely drink even if you’re not sick.

The lemon juice aids in decreasing dehydration, has vitamin C which assists in promoting and protecting the immune system.

Ginger is used in many asian countries steeped as a tea to help with the common cold and flu. Ginger has been shown to reduce free radicals and promote gut health.

Honey apart from tasting nice and being a good sweetener, has been used in Ayurveda (indian medicine) for 4000 years to rebalance the body. In more recent years honey has been proven chemically to have antibacterial and antiseptic  properties.

So the drink is easy to make, tastes great, soothes my throat and can’t be doing me any harm.The recipe is as simple as this all placed straight into my favourite big red mug.. (the mug doesn’t need to be red but it is my favourite color and cheerful)

You’ll need the juice of half a fresh lemon, 1 teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon of honey. Pour over boiling water… Wait to cool a little and drink.

Personally using fresh lemon, ginger and good quality honey is a must, I also love to eat the ginger at the end of the drink as it has been cooked by the boiling water and I think that it gives me an extra boost. You can adjust the amounts of each to suit your tastes, but remember the sugar content in the honey!

Enjoy, Lin xox

The Best Medicine (is half an hour)

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – YouTube

Seriously, Watch the link above, it is a great watch; I love an easy to follow, informative animated presentation – and I am not going to write about the ins and outs of the video – Just watch it, it is better than any summary I can write. Surprisingly  it does touch on a post  I wrote a while ago in relation to TV and health…But If you don’t watch it the premise is that one half hour a day is the best medicine for us, it’s free (ie walking) and will save us our health and hip pocket!

I just got the big thumbs up from my surgeon this week to go ahead with exercise. I had reconstructive plastic surgery of a tummy tuck and arm lift 6 weeks ago. He let me know I can get back into everything: slowly building up my running and weights… I did my first 2.5km run back after 6 weeks off this week – I Loved it, I went without my Garmin running watch which calculates distance, pace, heart rate etc. I went just for the love of running and not looking at numbers allowed me to relax and let my body go at its natural pace whilst I continue to recover and build up.

Exercise for me is not just about losing more weight or weight control. For me exercise just makes me feel really bloody good! I am addicted and get a bit of a high off it 🙂

Exercise has improved my quality of life and improved my overall fitness. It gave me my life back, and I would much prefer to live a 21 -23.5 hour day (giving the balance to exercise) than ask for more hours in a day – Honestly there ARE enough hours in a day; and I am willing to bet that a large majority of people who would ask for more hours would end up giving those hours over to their TV habit anyway. 😦

We cannot change the clock to give us more time (unless you have the DeLorean with a flux capacitor in your garage), but we can change our priorities, our lives, families and communities by becoming healthier. Every minute counts, and it is up to us what we do with them.

Till next time

Lin xox

Plastic Surgery; Preparation

Trusting your Surgeon - you need to feel comfortable with them!

I first saw my Plastic Surgeon in November last year (2011) ,and, prior to going, I had done all the obligatory preparation that the modern woman does;  primarily  I Googled the heck out of the topic.  😉

But seriously apart from the google self research, I got a referral from my lap band surgeon, spoke to my GP and gotten another referral for the plastic surgeon, and begun to meet with a psychologist  to talk about the changes ahead.

During all my research there did not seem to be a lot to find about people’s personal journey’s with this type of surgery. There was a lot of info from American sources, mainly plastic surgeons who were explaining their services and methods of surgery. Overall I did not find much of this information to be either relevant or helpful.

What I did find helpful was a list of questions to ask your plastic surgeon about their qualifications, the procedures you are considering, what they would suggest, recovery etc. I went to the Plastic surgeon with the idea of what occurs in America as being the norm. This would be what most of us have seen on USA TV shows; where people who were once morbidly obese and after losing their weight, have multiple procedures at once – including a belt lipectomy (tummy tuck all the way around the middle), arm lift, thigh lift and breast lift.

So I spoke to my Surgeon (lets call him House) who has consulting rooms at a very reputable Private Hospital in Malvern. On our first meeting he listened to my story of weight loss, running and wanting to deal with the skin that was holding me back both physically and emotionally. He listened well, answered all my questions on my list and explained what he thought would be the best plan forward for my personal situation and case.

House explained that I would likely get better results in the long term by breaking all the procedures that I would need up over 3 different surgeries. This would allow my body to recover better, allow the skin to be stretched in one direction for one procedure and then tightened the opposite direction on the next procedure. House also explained that in the USA they tend to have to do all the procedures at once to get their health insurance to cover it as they often won’t cover and pay for multiple procedures despite this providing better results over time (Yet another reason to be thankful for Australian Health Cover).

House was great in the initial consultation, he showed me pics of his work and I felt at ease with him. I scheduled the 1st surgery for tummy tuck including a lateral thigh lift (this means it goes a bit wider than a tummy tuck over to the sides) and a Brachioplasty (arm lift) for Feb 14th 2012…We agreed that these were the two main areas that were affecting my health, exercise progress and self esteem the most, and to start there and work on the other areas progressively over the next 18 months.

From this point it was a matter of working out the logistics such as; time off work, money, and staying fit and healthy… What I found out in the lead up to surgery was that despite wanting the surgery I was very scared and fearful of what was ahead.

Some days I was fine with the idea of surgery, but mostly I spent most of my time trying not to think about it. Part of the reason (apart from not liking hospitals) was that I was scared more this time than the last time I had surgery (which was the lap band surgery). I was scared because I love life now; and actually have a life to lose… Last time I didn’t have any quality of life, nothing to lose and the prospect of something going wrong didn’t seems like it could be worse than the life I lived then.

I spoke to friends and colleagues, and my Psychologist about this… Their feedback was it is OK to be scared (it is normal) but they also reminded me that my surgeon and all the people involved in the surgery are professionals and do this type of surgery all the time!

This was what I needed to hear and allowed me to think about the surgery in a new way…

So in the lead up to surgery; I used a variety of strategies to get through and deal with the anxiety –

*Being informed & trusting that House is a professional who knows his stuff and practices at a great hospital.

*Staying busy and speaking to my friends, family and Psych. A Big thanks to my all friends and family for listening to me and a special thanks to SM who told me her personal story of plastic surgery and what she went through with a tummy tuck!

*Continuing to live a very social life – Meeting up with friends, going out, working out and having a few drinks; still living and enjoying life.

*Knowing that at the end of it all, I am strong and can get through this (They have drugs for the pain right!)

So in the next installment I will talk about the day before surgery and the big day itself!

Till next time

Lin xox

Crispy Bacon & Face! – Summer Running Tips…

Red Faced - Burnt and Embarrassed at my own stupidity!

Saturday morning started off perfectly… It was a blissful start to the weekend, I met a friend for breakfast at the beach cafe and overlooking the water we caught up. I ate a delicious corn fritters, with crispy bacon and sipped chai lattes.

Then pulling out our books or in actual fact our kindles, (I do love my new kindle) we sat reading and sharing the best bits of our books… Perfect morning, weather was just warm, slightly overcast and the plan was after the 3 hour breakfast to go home, change and head out on a run.

So that was what I did. Went home, got changed and while it was still just warm and overcast I headed out… Rookie mistake for summer running #1 – I forgot to put on sunscreen and clear zinc…For some reason it didn’t occur to me – I am not used to running in the afternoons, and prefer night or early morning before dawn.

So out I headed, into the overcast Melbourne weather down to my beach path to run.

Before I started I decided to try for 8km today rather than the 6km I thought of earlier in the day, my rationale was if I was not going well at the 3km point I could turn around and shorten it to a 6km run.

Recently I have been struggling to run in summer, my heart rate has been topping out causing me to stop briefly, so I set my Garmin watch to just show my heart rate, and ran to keep it stable rather than focus on time, it was a pleasant run, it was warming up and I was working up a great sweat, at the 3km run I felt great, strong and ready to take it to the 4km turn around. Then the clouds cleared and it got warmer, It was just before the 4km turn around that I realized that I had not put on my zinc or sunscreen… There was not a lot I could do about it now, as I was just as far from home as I was close.

I didn’t feel like I was burning (I found out later I was), and my heart rate was climbing, but still under control, so I turned at 4km and headed back. I ran back to my start point at Mordi beach, then very hot – hopped straight into the water to cool off… It wasn’t enough, the damage had been done, and despite feeling great about completing the 8km I was headed for trouble .

Getting home I noticed that my nose and forehead were a little red. I had some water, quick shower and nap before heading to work at 6pm. I woke redder than I thought I would, and continued to crisp up as the night went on, Initially at work I felt sick, but after 2 hours felt better – that is until 1am – I was sicker than I have been in a long time, couldn’t stop being sick and had to call my parents to come pick me up and drive me home….

My work colleague believed that I had heat stoke and that despite all the water I was drinking my body (face, neck and chest) were still cooking and had become redder as the night went on.  I was crispier than the bacon I had for breakfast.

So now I am at home, it is Sunday night, I have had to call in sick and I am trying to sip water – sit in the air con and give my body time to recover… my face is puffy and red and I am very grateful for good friends who will deliver Gatorade and Icypoles 🙂 which have made me feel a lot better!

What I have learnt about summer running –

*Always, always always wear sunscreen and clear zinc – wear a hat or visor if hats make you too hot.

*Listen to your body – Run to a heart rate marker not time, – you still run hard and workout, some days you can’t do your usual pace and this is ok.

*Be smart about the time of day you run… If I must run during the early arvo – loop around water bottle stops or stop along the route more often to hydrate.

*Make sure I am adequately hydrated before the run.

*Still walk out to cool down stretch out after the run despite being hot.

*Re-hydrate after the run and cool down quickly if over hot.

*If you feel sick – rest – (don’t try to stay at work, no one wants to throw up in front of colleagues, and no one wants to see that)

Well till next time, I am off to watch the tennis and keep hydrating..

(A Very Crispy) Lin xox

Rest is not an Option – it is a Requirement

Just a little tired?

I think I possibly only have two gears – All or Nothing. I don’t think this is good, and I need to work on this… Leading up to Christmas (without realising) I upped my running too much. Basically I was enjoying my running so much that I forgot to track what I was doing, and increased my km’s from roughly 18 – 20km a week to 32km. My hamstrings, ITB and calves went out on protest, and I couldn’t figure out why I was so tight… then sitting in the physio’s waiting room (to get him to look at the hammies)  and playing with my Garmin watch I realised my mistake…

I wasn’t tracking my running and running to a plan… I wasn’t giving my body enough time to rest, or have rest days from running, and as I saw that I had run 32km in that week I cringed at the thought of having to admit this shortly to my physio.

SO I rested, for 2 weeks over Christmas I rested my legs, and they thanked me. This resting was not easy – I felt antsy and wrong – all I wanted to do was run…  But with further physio, work on the foam roller and no running, my legs gradually improved and I got my range of motion back….

Then I went for a run, it was hard after a break – the fitness dropped a little, it was hot even at 5am, but i enjoyed it and pushed out 4.5km…. then i got sick – Pushed myself too much and came down with a mild tummy bug, still went to work and thought I was OK – But still deciding that I needed to exercise, have fun and make the most of my summer, off I went water skiing….Got to the lake only to realise I was still not 100%, had a go anyway and learnt that this is not a good idea when you can’t keep down fluids. (Throwing up whilst clad in a wetsuit, floating on your back and skis in the air is not fun)

This lead to spending the next 5 days under the weather, short on sleep, long hours at work and quite emotional… All my fuel tanks felt low and I was a bit of a mess.

Why am I sharing all this? Good Question really – and I think this is why…

As I said, I only seem to have two gears – all or nothing  – and what I am scared of is if I start to do nothing (because of illness, injury, lack of sleep, work etc) then this may lead me back to bad old patterns, but what I need to find more of is BALANCE.

BALANCE with my workouts, balance with sleep, work, rest days etc… When I moved to Mordi I walked everyday, now with improved fitness and the ability to do more, i do do more… Sometimes I think I might do too much – leading me to a place where I am doing more damage than good. I need to have rest days of walking and swimming to give my body time to recover from the hard days when I exercise for 3 hours or more. Rest is important to building muscle and cells regenerating and I know this, but I have this thing where I think If can do more I should do more… BUT  with proper rest I am more likely to not become sick or injured and be able to maintain a good workout schedule. So for now that is the aim. Still be active everyday – but for it to be OK to listen to my body, have a gentle walk or swim and not think I need to break myself down and hit it hard every day…. So I will see how that goes.

Till next time, Lin xox