Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two months in

I'm now about two months into Weight Watchers.  I slowed down some in my weight loss, especially because the WW app keeps "yelling" at me that I was loosing too quickly.  Part of it was that in the beginning (once I got the hang of the point system), it was somewhat easy to eat within the daily points allotted and I rarely needed to us many of the weekly points and never tapped into the points I earned through activity.  That is until my running mileage started to ramp up for my half marathon training.  When mileage ramps up, so does my appetite.  So I've been using those weekly points and occasionally the activity points.

Now that my mileage has creeped up, I'm craving carbs a lot more.  I'm trying to make sure I prep in advance of a workout so I don't get out of control hungry after a workout.  So the day before a long run, I've been trying to make sure I've fueled really well.  It's been working for the most part but I ran 10 miles on Wednesday and I was hungry all.day.long.

I'm down just over 18 pounds so despite the long run munchies, I'm still losing weight.  I have another month on my WW membership and as of now, I plan to extend because it does seem to be working for me.  Tracking my food has been huge in helping me eat smaller portions, slowing down when I eat and really listening to my body in terms of, am I really hungry or am I ignoring the signs that I'm full? Or am I just bored, sad, anxious, not paying attention to what I'm eating, etc?  Those have all been my biggest triggers for over eating .  Knowing I have to record everything I eat means I think twice before I eat anything.

One thing I still have trouble deciphering is how I feel at night.  Before bed I get very tempted to have a snack.  Especially if I have points left to use for the day.  The thing is, if I've eaten a balanced dinner, I'm not usually hungry before bed.  It's just a habit that I'm having a hard time breaking.  I'm trying really hard to force myself to drink a glass of water and just go to bed.  Because usually I'm just tired and bored by that time.  So why eat when I should just go to bed?!  It seems so simple but it's much much much easier said than done!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Big Time Training

Since I fell short of my "Big Time PR" at the half marathon in the spring, I've been training hard for my second attempt which is in about 6 weeks.  I think losing some weight, incorporating more regular strength/cross training, as well as running longer/more frequently has made all the difference.  I am regularly churning out mileage at faster the PR pace.  I even pulled off PR pace while pushing Megatron in the stroller for a portion of my long miles recently (a friend was taking turns with me pushing).
Letting Megatron stretch his legs post-run.  No playground nearby?  That's ok, he's content to climb on anything available including the stroller and park benches.
Just trying on mama/s sweaty running shoes.  Never mind the fact that I'm not wearing pants...I was really hot after our run!
Getting these runs in has been interesting lately.  The Pilot's schedule has been pretty rough on all of us so Megatron is usually in tow for my runs.  Luckily I have some amazing friends who have been pushing him in the stroller so I can lighten the load and focus on my pace.  Luckily Megatron is still really good about going along for the ride.  Early morning runs he just sits there and eats his breakfast.  I've done a couple evening workouts and those I usually bring a book or toy for him.  But honestly, I think he just enjoys the scenery.  He now announces when he sees another "babeee" in a stroller or someone on a "baaa" (bike), among other things that I don't understand what he's saying.

Why does mama keep dragging me out of bed to meet up with these crazy people?!

Now that my long runs are over 8 miles though, I feel bad making him sit that long.  So I've had to do my last 2 long runs on a weekday because that's when The Pilot was home.  And even more insane for me is that I'm knocking the miles out EARLY so I can get home, cleaned up and spend time with my boys.  The Pilot is hardly getting any days off so when he's home, I don't want to run out the door and be gone for hours at a time.  I want the three of us to be together.  So this week I did my 10 miler at 5 am.  I was done before Megatron even woke up.  I did 4 miles with another mama and then when she needed to head home to get ready for work, I set out to finish the last 6 on my own.  I will say, the only other times I've watched the sun come up while running was during the Disney races.  Granted the sunrise in Central Ohio isn't quite as magical as the sunrise over Cinderella's Castle, it was kind of fun to watch my little town wake up and start its day.

That 10 miler gave me a huge confidence boost as I head into the home stretch of training for this second attempt at a "big time" PR.  While my splits were all over the place (like usual), I held it together and never really hit a wall.  I do think my perspective on long runs has changed.  Now rather than it being something I have to do, I look at it as a great time to get some me time. Normally I start slow and then pick up the pace around mile 3 or 4.  For my 10 miler though, I did the first 4 miles with someone faster than me.  Obviously we went out too fast for me and I kept slowing down.  Then I had a recovery mile once I struck out on my own, and then I found my groove again. 
Since I had already done my long miles for the week, when my usual crew met to run yesterday, I still showed up with Megatron just so we could socialize while getting some miles in.  I was planning on 6 miles but like with many runs with them recently, I get to all that socializing and forget to watch how far out I've gone and ended up doing 7. :) Never thought that would happen!  I used to stare at my watch just waiting to turn around.  Now, I just run.  Even with the stroller.  Now obviously I have to take some cues from Megatron to make sure he will be patient to get all the way back.  My wonderful friend Kim pushed Megatron for the first 3.5 miles (when I realized I needed to turn around!) and then I pushed him back.  I was really proud of those last 3.5 miles because I was still managing PR pace while pushing the stroller.  And that 11:33 at mile 5?  Hot damn!  I kept thinking it was a fluke but I know exactly where I was when that was happening.  My training group starts 30 minutes earlier than another group and by the time I hit mile 5, the other training group was coming towards me but their faster runners were coming towards me, then turning around and heading back so then I was getting passed by runners.  Any one who has done a race knows that running near people who are faster can make you run faster.  I felt a surge of energy and without realizing it, I was hauling.  I didn't notice it until I had to stop to take a very tight turn with the stroller.  At the corner, there was a runner who was lost so I stopped to help....and realized how heavy I was breathing.  Haha.  Once I got going again, the pack was long gone and I was pooped.  I was also starting to get some heckling from the front seat and had to open a fruit pouch for my passenger.  It was also time for his immunosuppressant (my little Pavlov dog starts grunting when the alarm on my phone goes off signaling its time for his medicine) so that also gave me a chance to catch my breath and back off to a much more comfortable pace.

Why yes, I always look this happy when pushing 50 pounds of toddler and stroller while I run. ;)

Hopefully I can keep this up as I head into another 10 miler and hopefully at least one 12 miler.  Then it will be time to taper...which means I will lose my mind and think I'm losing all my speed and I will cry when it hurts to do 4 miles. ;)

Post run selfie!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Keeping it together

Ever since Megatron's diagnosis, The Pilot and I have taken the role as his advocate.  We are his voice.  When we found out he would need a transplant at some point, we started advocating for organ donation.  While our journey hasn't been easy, advocating for him has felt very natural to me.  Maybe it's a natural role for a parent or maybe we just rose to the challenge.  

Lately though, in taking care of Megatron and feeling like I'm constantly advocating for him, I've sometimes forgotten to take care of myself and advocate for myself.  I think that's common for a lot of parents but it's not as simple or benign as wearing yoga pants all day or forgetting to shower.   It's a lot more complex, though those things happen sometimes too. 

I've had this expectation of myself that over time, I would come to terms with Megatron's liver disease.  That as time went on, it would get easier.  In general that is true.  Each day gets easier and more and more, the focus is on raising a normal toddler and not always focused on surviving liver disease. Things become our new normal and don't require much thought.  Megatron is healthy and as of his recent 2-year well visit with the pediatrician, he really is a pretty normal little boy.  With the exception of meds and some other transplant related things, he's a normal little boy. So if he's so normal, why am I still struggling?  I've asked myself that question a lot lately.  I keep expecting that I'll just accept our journey and life will move on.  But that just hasn't been happening like I thought it would/should.  Then, around the anniversary of his transplant, I started having a lot of flashbacks of times when Megatron was sick and in the hospital. I figured it was just because it was the anniversary and it was a time of reflection of all we had been through.   But they continued and would haunt me whenever I tried to sleep.  I was frustrated.  Why was something that happened over a year ago still bothering me?  I couldn't make sense of it.  But as a fellow (wonderfully kind and strong!) blogger recently wrote, I was ok until I wasn't. I knew I was struggling but in my cloud of fatigue, I couldn't decide what to do about it.  Again, I kept thinking it would just pass.

It wasn't until Megatron's pediatrician, my own primary care doctor and then someone on Megatron's transplant team, pointed out that I did go through a significant trauma, that I realized that maybe the flashbacks were something that I couldn't deal with alone. After some encouragement from a wonderful friend, I made the step towards facing the trauma that all happened so fast that I couldn't process it as it was happening.  I found a counselor to help me work through it.

Anyone who knows just a fraction of what my family has been through in the past 2 years won't be surprised to hear that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is what I've been struggling with.  Even though it's probably not a surprise, I've been reluctant to share that diagnosis.  So many people have pointed out that I've handled Megatron's medical issues with such grace, that I'm an inspiration, I'm so strong, etc. but on the inside I've been feeling like a fraud.  I know that I am strong and I never completely fell apart when we were in the thick of things with Megatron but on the flip side, I didn't have that option at the time.  My baby needed me to have it together.  So by some miracle, I did. But as we climbed out of the weeds, I was starting to fall apart behind closed doors.

I lay down and close my eyes at night and hear the beeping of the IV pumps in the hospital.  I see Megatron, skin and bones and a horrible shade of yellow.  I see Megatron's central line coming out of his chest and remember administering IV medications at home.  I see the feeding tube coming from his nose and remember waking up in the middle of the night to add more formula to the feeding pump. He didn't sleep through the night without medical intervention until he was 10 months old.  He wanted to sleep. I wanted to sleep. But his sick little body was starving before transplant and then post transplant, he was burning through calories to heal, in addition to playing catch up with his growth. I remember crying as he would throw up his feeds pre-transplant and it would be a horrible shade of bright orange because of the meds.  And suddenly I snap out of it and immediately become frustrated that I was still awake and thinking about things that happened last year. Yet when I close my eyes again, it starts all over again.  Sometimes I'll be driving and an ambulance will pass and the sound of the siren makes my heart skip a beat.  Not because it gives me a flashback of riding with Megatron in an ambulance (twice), but because my heart aches because someone's loved one is in there and I don't want anyone to feel how I felt those days in the ambulance.  Sometimes one of Megatron's toys will start to play lullabies and I cringe because it instantly takes me back to sleepless nights in the hospital and Ronald McDonald House.  I have practically jumped over the couch to turn the lullabies off just to make that feeling go away. All of these things combined have been a recipe for disaster.  Before I knew it, I was operating on just a couple hours of sleep a night.  I was exhausted and emotional.  Not a good combination when trying to keep up with a very busy toddler. 

The flashbacks of Megatron's medical challenges last year have been the biggest hurdle for me to face.  It's the hurdle that still causes me the most stress, but that hasn't been the only challenge.  Losing my grandma when Megatron was only 10 days old, finding out my dad was (to put it nicely) a jerk, then my parents' subsequent divorce in the midst of Megatron's liver failure, being forced to quit my job and take on the incredibly important role of being a stay-at-home mom, a role I never really wanted, have all played a part in trying to tear me down lately.  Because they all happened in rapid succession, and because Megatron needed me, I didn't have time or the ability to process any one of those major life changes.  And that is where I am now.  Taking each of those things and trying to pull them to the surface so I can face them, process them and move on.  Because I don't want to let any of these things make me bitter or angry or sad.  I want to accept that these things are part of my story and will make me who I am, who I have yet to become.  I want them to make me stronger and happier and more appreciative of my life rather than making me afraid to close my eyes at night.  It's going to be a process but it's a challenge I'm ready to take on.  A challenge I NEED to take on.

In working through some of these things, I confided in the counselor that I sometimes feel like a fraud because everyone seems to think I've held up so well given the circumstances.  On the inside though, I feel like I'm falling apart.  She pointed out that in true, type-A personality fashion, I am harder on myself than anyone else.  Knowing about my blog, she suggested maybe it was time to "fess up."  That if I shared my experience, I might feel better and in the process, it would help me move on from some of the things that have been troubling me. She also pointed out by sharing my story, just as I have shared Megatron's story, it may help someone else face their fears, ask for help, realize they aren't alone in being haunted by a trauma.   That certainly helped me face my own fear of sharing what has really been going on.  PTSD is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  It is real and valid and scary.  I was still reluctant to share but I also realized that by "fessing up," I can let go of some of those guilty thoughts of feeling like a fraud.  

In order to move on, I have to deal with these past traumas that were all very much out of my control. It's been a couple months now since I started working with the counselor and it's certainly getting better.  I still have a lot of work ahead of me but like I said, this is a challenge I am ready to take on. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

One month in

I've been doing Weight Watchers for a month and I'm already down 13 pounds! I call that successful!  The first 4-5 days were the hardest.  I was hungry!  Once I got the hang of the points system and learned how many points were in things, it got easier.  I also learned what filled me up or held me over until mealtimes for little to no points.  My daily fruit intake is finally where it should be and my veggie intake is getting there.  

One thing I'm struggling with a bit is eating "real food."  To make some recipes lower in points, you need to use low fat/nonfat, reduced sugar foods.  All things I avoid because they have been highly processed to get that way. They have weird ingredients added back to make them taste better.  No thanks.  I do admit that occasionally I'll have a frozen Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine meal when I'm short on time/real food.  Not ideal but sometimes a necessity.  Especially given that I have to prep special meals for Megatron due to his food allergies. But overall I've been trying to eat real food, even if that means more points.  I've usually been earning plenty of activity points up balance it out.

Overall though, it's going well and it's been fairly easy to stick with.  It's time consuming to enter in recipes but it's obviously been worth it now that I'm seeing results.  Over the weekend I realize I fit into a pair of shorts I wore when Megatron was 3 months old.  After I lost the pregnancy weight but before I gained the transplant stress weight.  And now, just a couple days later, I can pull the shorts right off without unbuttoning or unzipping. While convenient for bathroom breaks, not so flattering.  Hopefully I can make due until the weather turns cooler and I can just wait to buy new shorts next year.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Cap City Half Marathon recap....and a plan!

Better late than never for this race recap!

Cap City Half Marathon
May 2, 2015

So this race was to be my "Big Time PR." Training went better than in the fall (Megatron's health has drastically improved!).  I was getting my miles in though my pace wasn't real consistent.  Between alternating back and forth from outdoors pushing the run stroller and being on the treadmill, it was very difficult to gauge my actual pace and progress.  But I felt I was really within striking distance of beating my PR of 2:49:44.  And then the breathing issues kicked my a$$ race week.  Even though each day leading up to the race I was feeling better and better, my confidence was shaken. 

In order to focus on resting up before the race and then the race itself, I shipped Megatron off to stay with his grandparents.  The Pilot ended up being home so we had a date night/pasta party together before an early bedtime.  It was like a mini stay-cation without the kiddo around!

On race morning, I was awake freakishly early but I was glad to be up and getting ready to race. There is always a buzz on race morning so it makes it easier to get up.  I was more calm than I've been before most races.  I had already made peace that the day might not be my day to PR.  Between the breathing issues I had had and the fact that the weather was expected to be one of the warmest days of the season so far (no time to acclimate!), I knew even if I had a smart race, I couldn't control those things and their effect on me during the race. With that in mind, I was going to give it my all, but I also knew I was going out there to finish and enjoy the time with my friends.

With The Pilot acting as my sherpa and photographer, we met up with friends, including Katy, who would be running with me, before the race.  The Pilot watched our gear as we hit the porta-potties (have I mentioned how wonderful he always is on race day??).  Before we knew it, it was time to get in our corrals.

Love these ladies!  They have all been so supportive of all my running adventures as well as our liver drama.

I love the corrals.  Normally I hate crowds but something about lining up for a race, music blasting and the anticipation of the start is so much fun.  If felt like it took forever for our corral to be called up to the start line and naturally by the time it was our turn, I was convinced I had to go to the bathroom again.  Luckily, since this was half marathon #11, I also knew it was most likely nerves trying to trick me.  I told myself I would wait a mile before stopping.  And like I figured, one mile in, I didn't have to go.  Nerves lie!

Hanging in our corral, waiting to walk to the start line.

I told Katy in advance that I was going to just focus on my breathing for the first couple of miles to make sure that I found a good rhythm and that I wasn't having any breathing issues.  Not much talking going on!  Luckily it was still pretty crowded at that point so we just cruised along, finding our groove. I always know that it takes me a good 4 miles before I really start to feel good.  I was to remind myself of that anytime I'm running.  Seriously.  Even after all these years!  This day was no different exept that around mile 3, I was still feeling way more stiff than normal. 

One of our cheerleaders, Kim, took this picture.  Katy and I are in the neon green a couple rows back with a zillion people chasing us!

I tried to shake the negative thoughts. But then mile 4 hit.  Mile 4-5 was awful.  Like, I want to quit, this was a stupid idea, I'm never running again kind of awful.  I don't know what the problem was.  Everything was stiff, my right hip was hurting (even though its my LEFT hip that's been tight all season), it was suddenly VERY hot and we were facing the sun for a short portion.  I put my head down, tucked in behind Katy and willed myself to follow her. 

Luckily the course turned and was a gradual downhill for a couple miles.  There was some shade and I tried to regroup.  Our pace wasn't great but it wasn't so far off that we couldn't recover.  We finally started chatting since I realized my breathing was fine.  It was just the rest of me that didn't feel so great.

The miles ticked by.  We saw some familiar faces along the way.  Just past mile 8, I was ready to take a walk break and I told Katy that once we got up a slight incline and around a corner, I was going to walk.  As soon as we came around the corner though,  we saw our fan club, which included The Pilot.  I'm pretty sure I said something to the effect of "shit, now I have to keep running so they don't see me walking and start yelling at me."  So we kept running.  The Pilot snapped some pictures but then jumped out and ran next to me for a minute.  I told him that I wasn't feeling great but that I was still trying for "Big Time PR."  He just said to keep going and so we did.

This is when it REALLY started to warm up.  It was probably around 70 but it was a long, cold winter and we hadn't run in that warm of weather yet this year.  Katy and I were both feeling it.  We trudged a long.  The 2:40 pacer passed us awhile back but then the 2:50 pacer snuck up on us.  For about a half a block, I tried to stick with her but I knew I didn't have it in me.  I backed off and told Katy that I couldn't keep up.  She was relieved.  She was about to tell me to go on when she noticed my trying to stay with the pacer.  So we had a laugh that we were both in the same boat.  We had already talked before the race and agreed to let the other one go if one of us wasn't feeling it.  Yet there we were, neither of us had enough left to hang with that pacer.  And so that's when I knew Big Time PR wouldn't be happening that day.  Like I said earlier though, I had already made peace with the fact that the day might not be my day for a PR, so we were fine. 

The rest of the race was still realy tough even though we slowed down.  Everything ached.  I was dying for an aid station that had BioFreeze to rub on my hip but there wasn't anything towards the end.  Somewhere around mile 11 (??), two of our friends who ran TO the race, then ran the race must faster than us, came back out for us.  They were doing 20 some miles as a training day for a full marathon so it was no big deal to them to pop back out for a few more with us.  It was so nice to have them there to distract us from our misery.  Haha.  It was much more jovial than some of my other races at that point, even though I was in a lot of pain.  There was a lot of walking!

We finally made it to that last, evil tenth of a mile.  And I cried.  What??  I saw some friends from the local Moms Run This Town group cheering on the sidelines and I started to cry.  I think it was the pain, the relief that I could see the finish line, the thankfulness that I feel that I'm able to train and race still, and a million other things that just caused the tears to spill over a bit.  I pulled it together once I stepped over the finish line and got my medal...with a quick stop for some BioFreeze.  A race finish line might be the only place I feel comfortable enough to stick my hand down my pants...which I totally did as I rubbed BioFreeze on my burning hip. 

Finishers!  With the lovely Sarah and Meg who came back for us... no man left behind!
My finish time was 3:02:09.  Not a personal worst and it was faster than the half I did in October with very little training (and just 2 days after we returned home from Megatron's last surgery) and faster than the half I did when I was pregnant!  Haha...probably not good comparisons but faster is faster.

Even at the time I wasn't concerned with the fast first 2 miles.  It wasn't too fast and didn't feel like it then either so I don't really consider that to be a contributing factor to the lack of PR.  Can you tell when we realized we didn't have enough gas to keep going for that PR though?  Haha.

So, it wasn't my day to PR.  But not long after the race, I found another half marathon to sign up for (registration was only $12!!) so in October, I will make attempt #2 at Big Time PR. 

I've already made some changes that I think will help my performance.  I didn't cross training for Cap City.  I meant to, but I was struggling to balance life and my commitment to the 2,015 in 2015 Challenge.  Running that many miles isn't easy for me.  It takes effort and planning given my schedule.  Not an excuse, just my reality that I'm ok with. I know I'm running enough miles to be successful at finishing a half marathon (finishing faster is obviously yet to be proven).  But I made a commitment and I am going to run those miles!  I think the lack of cross/strength training really ended up wearing me down a lot faster than if my entire body would have been stronger though.  So I am making a much more concerted effort into working cross/strength training into my schedule.

Something else I'm taking an additional step towards is losing weight.  It's no secret that I've gained back all of the pregnancy weight I lost while on maternity leave.  Liver disease is an ugly thing.  Stress and stress eating are ugly.  And while I have lost weight since we came home after Megatron's transplant (which is when the weight piled on), I just haven't been able to keep it going.  Even though I'm working out regularly, it's not enough (nor would it ever be).   I know what I SHOULD do, I just lack the consistent willpower/motivation to stick with it.  I'm a stay at home mom and the kitchen is always open.  I don't necessarily eat junk all day, but I certainly eat too much of what I do eat. 

You know how I said I had already made peace if my PR at Cap City wasn't meant to be?  Another reason for that is in my head I knew I was the fittest I have ever been when I got my current PR.  I was the thinnest I had been in years.  This year at Cap City, while I knew I was well trained, I was carrying 30 pounds of weight that I wasn't carrying when I got that PR.  That's pretty significant.  So now I'm making more of an effort in that area as well.  I recently joined Weight Watchers.  I've never done anything like this and I've never been one to "diet."  Lifestyle changes have much more impact!  So far it's helping make me more aware of what I eat (instead of mindlessly eating) and how much I eat.  I've already seen progress in a short amount of time so that's good to see! I'll be sure to keep blogging about that progress.

So the goals are: lose weight, cross/strength train, run, and get that BIG TIME PR in October!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Do You Mean It's Not Asthma?

Last month I had what I thought was an asthma flare up.  It's not uncommon for me to have a flare up in the spring when I also have trouble with my seasonal allergies.  But I just couldn't shake it.  My doctor called in prednisone, which usually helps pretty quickly.  Except it didn't.  And my rescue inhaler wasn't working.  So for the first time since being diagnosed with asthma 25 years ago, I went to the emergency department.  They gave me a breathing treatment and a heavy duty dose of steroids in my arm.  I felt much better. 

I wish that was the end of the story.  In reality, I've had multiple flare ups in the last couple years.  I went from well controlled asthma to having horrible flare ups.  They often happened around Megatron's surgeries and other challenges so the doctor thought it was being induced by stress and we agreed that it would calm down now that our life is a little more calm.  But the thing is, our life will always have some amount of stress when it comes to Megatron. 

And here's where one of Megatron's doctors stepped in.  I had texted her when I was having the asthma attack and couldn't decide if I should go to the ED.  She ultimately told me to go, which I did.  But then she texted me that she set up an appointment for me in a couple days.  She is "friendly" with a pulmonologist, who basically had me diagnosed before I even showed up in his office.    It was a good thing too because the morning after the ED visit, I was right back to having trouble breathing.

At the appointment my pulmonary function test showed completely normal lung function.  Someone having trouble breathing and has a normal pulmonary function test is NOT having an asthma attack.  I have vocal chord dysfunction.  So I guess when I really stress out, my vocal chords try to close up, making it very difficult to breathe.  Say what?  All these years thinking it was just asthma?  That threw me for a loop.  I probably do have asthma, but it's most likely not as bad as I've always though (or even as bad as my primary doctor thought).  VCD is triggered by acid reflux and stress.  Two things I have had buckets of since Megatron was born.  So the goal is to try to lessen those triggers but I have also met with a speech therapist.  The speech therapist will help me with vocal cord exercises and help me learn the difference between asthma issues and vocal cord issues.  That is going to be really important because if it's my vocal cords, the rescue inhaler isn't going to help at all.

So luckily it isn't serious and it's already starting to get better.  One downside was that the ED visit came 5 days before and the pulmanologist visit and diagnosis came 3 days before my "big time PR" attempt at the half marathon distance...

...to be continued.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Side Effects of Big Time

Before Megatron's last surgery in the fall, I was on Mission: Undo What the Baby Did.  That hasn't really stopped, it's just now called Big Time PR.  The goal being to reclaim my pre-baby body but also to reclaim a bit of the person I was before Megatron's health went into the crapper.  I'm running a lot now.  I've been running 13-20 miles a week since the new year.  The 2,015 in 2015 is a huge help keeping me motivated but also training for my Big Time half marathon PR is keeping me in gear.

The downside to focusing on running so much, I'm not mixing it up enough to confuse my body enough.  I don't seem to lose much weight unless I'm doing lots of different types of cardio.  The thinnest I've been since college?  During my triathlon training seasons.  I think the swim is what kicks my metabolism into gear the most.  Even though running is my focus right now, I am still seeing some side effects. 

I lost a good 7-8 pounds a couple months ago due to some very unpleasant food poisoning.  The few times that has happened before, the weight returns as soon as I'm able to eat again.  This time though?  I haven't gained any of it back.  While I would have much preferred to lose that weight it a less traumatic way, I'll take it.  But that was a couple months ago and the scale hasn't moved since. But something else moved.  My belt.  I recently started to cinch my belt one hole smaller.  I think while the scale isn't moving much, my weight is shifting.  I think my legs are getting much stronger from all the running and I'm finally starting to tone up in some areas.  There is still A LOT of work to be done but it is nice to finally see some physical changes after so much hard work.

Another side effects involves a pair of jeans.  Let me share a timeline of my favorite jeans.  I wore them through my first trimester before needing to switch to maternity jeans.  Then, I was able to get back into them when Megatron was about 3 months old.  Then Megatron's transplant happened and I lived in a hospital with crap food way too accessible or at Ronald McDonald House where I really only had access to a microwave and its hard to eat healthy with just a microwave.  The stress also had me making very poor food choices in general.  The jeans haven't fit since I gained the baby weight back during the transplant recovery process.  That is until last week!  I can get back into my favorite jeans!  Yes, losing another pound or two would make them feel even more lovely,  but they button and I don't look like two pigs fighting under a blanket (name that movie!).  I am so happy!  Jeans have been a challenge lately.  I've in between sizes.  The jeans I've been wearing are getting loose and baggy but the next size down is just a bit too tight still and causes a major muffin top.  So when I randomly tried on my old jeans and they pulled right on, I nearly had a party in my closet.  I even made Megatron give me a high five.

So here's to progress!!