The One Where Chandler Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

What started out to be a super fun weekend with my friend Caitlin ended up taking a very sad turn on Friday. Caitlin flew in from Boston on Thursday for a long weekend visit, and I was so excited to see her--it had been two years since the last time I saw her! I'll write all about her visit tomorrow, though, because I want to keep this post about Chandler.

On Friday morning, Chandler was showing signs of a urinary tract obstruction. An obstruction is an emergency situation, because if the urethra is blocked, the bladder could burst. Thankfully, the vet opened at 8:00 in the morning, so I asked Jerry to take him in right away (since Caitlin was visiting, I didn't want to have to change our plans). From what I'd read online, I was thinking they'd probably give Chandler antibiotics, and depending on how bad the blockage was, possibly keep him a day or two until he was better. It never occurred to me that it would be the last time I'd see him.

News stories

There has been some huge news around here lately. Remember a couple of years ago (well, those of you that have been reading my blog that long, anyway), when I posted about a girl named Chelsea Bruck who went missing from a Halloween party a few miles from my house? It was a big story, and even made national news. As time went on, there was less and less hope of ever finding out what happened to her, but my hometown community made sure she wasn't forgotten about.

Her favorite color was purple, so people hung purple ribbons in their yards, on their houses, on telephone poles, etc., to show their support.

I was kind of obsessed for a while with the story, because it was so unusual for something like that to happen around here.

Getting back to the norm

Well, I was hoping that this week was going to be so much better as far as my depression goes--not really the case. Last week, I decided to give myself permission (for a week) to just ride it out and not force myself to pretend that I wasn't feeling bad (usually, I try to pretend everything is fine until it actually is--"fake it 'til you make it"). I wasn't sure how this different strategy would work, but I figured it was worth a try.

Jerry went up north with friends for the weekend, and I was really glad he was able to do that--he felt bad going, but I told him I'd stay busy working on the bathroom. Through my week "off", I had no motivation to run, so I didn't; I wish I could say that I ate well, but it wasn't great; and the only real project I did around the house was working on the bathroom, which is turning into a much bigger job than I anticipated (taping, mudding, and sanding the drywall).

A Cat-Lovers Giveaway!

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Muse cat food, a Purina brand.

Last month, on Father's Day, Jerry and I took the kids out for the day and attended an event in the parking lot of a pet store. The event was sponsored by Purina's Muse cat food--it was a "cat inspired spa tour", with offerings like "caticures", "meowssages", and temporary "cattoos". Meanwhile, there were some adoptable cats there who were looking for homes.

My family had a lot of fun! Even the kids got their nails done, and Noah got a massage.

They were mostly interested in playing with the cats, though. All four of us instantly became attached to a long-haired tortoiseshell kitty named Olivia. My kids begged to adopt her, but with three other cats (and a dog) at home, I had to think practically.

All about fueling during runs

I've been asked several times about fueling for running, but it's not a topic that I'm super interested in, so I've never written much about it. You would think that considering fuel = food, I would LOVE this topic ;) But unfortunately, I've always had a bit of a negative viewpoint on "fuel" during runs, because I like to save my calories for post-run food!

Regardless, fueling for running is a rather important topic. There are no hard and fast "rules" to follow when it comes to eating before/during/after your run--if you read 20 different articles on the topic, you will likely get 20 different strategies. The best way to fuel, in my opinion, is however works for you ;)

Yes, that's a cop-out answer, so I'll write some of the common fuel types and methods here, just in case you really have no idea where to start.

New therapist and new running goals

Today was my first appointment with my new therapist. It took a while to get in to see her, but she was highly recommended by a friend of mine, so I waited almost two weeks for the appointment. I was a little nervous to go, but nothing like I was for my first appointment with my previous therapist. Having already been through it, I knew what to expect.

I immediately liked her. (We'll call her "C" on my blog; I'll refer to my previous therapist as "N"). When I was seeing N, I always felt pretty awkward--she was VERY stoic, never showing any emotion at all--and I assumed this was just how all therapists were. It felt awkward if I would joke about something, and she didn't laugh or smile.

Week 49 Weigh-in

Week 49? When did that happen?!

I can't believe it's almost been a whole year since I started calorie counting. A year ago, I was around 160 pounds and dealing with a frustrating stress fracture of my fibula. Since then, I dropped down to my lowest weight ever (my lowest recorded weight is 121.5 on March 1st of this year); trained the hardest I've ever trained and crushed my 10K goal; felt the happiest I'd been in a long time this spring; then crashed and dealt with post-race, post-goal-weight emotions that I wasn't expecting. It's been a whirlwind of a year (well, 49 weeks, anyway).

Running and family stuff

I really haven't felt much like writing lately. You can only say the same thing over and over so many times, before it gets mundane. However, I've been thinking about some new goals to work on, so hopefully I'll find a focus soon and I can write about progress with that.

On Saturday, I did the "Zoo Run" for my Cookies Summer Running Checklist--the "Zoo Run" was where I needed to spot five different animal species during my run. I managed to do it in three miles--I saw a deer, rabbits, squirrels, a cat, and, of course, birds.

Sunday was National Ice Cream Day, and I was looking forward to my "Ice Cream Run"--mapping out a route that finished at an ice cream shop, and then literally run for ice cream.

Tips for running in the summer heat

Unless someone has actually been to Michigan in July or August, they usually tend to think of my home state as being cold--crazy frigid winters and tepid summers. Temperature-wise, Michigan doesn't have many days over 100 degrees during the summer; but the humidity here makes it feel much hotter.

There is a reason that humidity sucks so much for exercise. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air; and sweating during exercise is meant to keep you cool by evaporating off of your skin. Well, when the air is full of moisture already (humidity), the sweat doesn't evaporate from your skin. This results in a drenched-in-sweat body that can't cool off because there is nowhere for that moisture to go.

Even more important than humidity, however, is the dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which the air is saturated with water vapor. The higher the dew point temperature, the more uncomfortably sticky and humid it feels; and the closer the dew point is to actual air temperature, the more uncomfortable it will be.

Starting a new binge-free streak

Thanks for all the support on my last post! I'm still not feeling back to normal, but I'm doing better than I was last weekend. This past week, I've spent pretty much equal time between relaxing and staying very busy. It was the last week of baseball for the kids, as well as Noah's birthday, which kept us busy; other than that, though, we didn't have much going on.

I've been doing really well with my eating habits the last few days, which is good. Early this week, when my depression was the worst it's been in a long time, I did something I hadn't done in almost a full YEAR--I binged.

Getting real with depression

Sorry I haven't written in a few days. I've been going through a tough time (not necessarily with food, but just in general with depression) and I don't really have much to write about here. I think I still need some more time, so I'm going to give it a few more days after this post. But here is a quick recap of the last few days:
  • I quit my run streak yesterday. I never intended for it to turn into an actual run streak, but I really felt like running a lot lately, so I just went with it. Yesterday, though, I felt some twinges in my knee, so I decided not to push it. It just confirms that my body needs rest days! The streak lasted 15 days, which was the longest I've ever done. 
  • I really liked having that routine, though, where I would wake up, eat breakfast, go for a run, shower, and get ready for the day. So, I think I may continue doing that same routine, only I won't run every day--I'll go for a walk or a bike ride 2-3 days a week instead of a run. That way, I can keep the routine, but not get injured from daily running. 

Indoor track (and another trailer for the documentary)

After my last post, I took the boys to their baseball games which lasted all evening. We didn't get home until 8:30, and Joey had been cooped up in the house while we were gone, so I was going to take him for a quick walk around the neighborhood. I started thinking about the unintentional run streak I had going on, and at the last minute, decided to run a mile with Joey instead of walk (to keep the streak alive).

In the six years I've been running, that was the longest run streak I'd ever had (like I said, I'm not a big believer in running every single day). It was hard not to continue it, though! I made sure to go nice and easy, and it was only a mile.

Week 47 Weigh-in

I'm not going to reflect much on my weigh in today, because I wrote it all last week. My "moving average" is up a little more... again. I wish I could say that after last week's confessional about my struggles right now, I pulled myself together and kicked ass this week. But, that's not the case. I am pulling myself along to the best of my ability right now, and that's all I can really do.

Yesterday, I read an email from a reader regarding last week's post, and it really made me stop and think.

How to start running

I've written a couple of posts about this before, but I thought it was time for an updated post on the subject... How to Become a Runner.

In theory, becoming a runner is simple--you just run, and you're a runner! But anyone who tries it for the first time knows that it's not that easy. Running is tough! And at first, it's not enjoyable, because you get so out of breath and exhausted.

When I tried to start a running program (the popular Couch to 5K plan), I could never get through week 4. And more than anything, I hated doing run/walk intervals. I found myself dreading each run interval, which made the entire workout kind of miserable. Since I couldn't get past week 4, I finally decided to do my own plan--something that got the running portion out of the way at the beginning of the workout, and then I wouldn't have to dread the intervals.

Short trailer for From Fat to Finish Line

I almost didn't write a post today, but I wanted to share this video, so this will be a super quick post.

As I mentioned, the From Fat to Finish Line documentary is going to be released on August 2nd--it's coming up so fast! I'm a nervous wreck, especially when I saw this on Amazon:

"Starring Katie Foster"... what?! This is just so crazy to me. I'm actually more nervous than excited at this point. When I agreed to this whole thing, I never dreamed it would actually get this far. On Amazon? And Netflix? It blows my mind!

High Intensity Intervals

I recently spent some time looking at my 10K training, to see if maybe there was something I was doing then that helped the weight drop off so easily (like I said, I wasn't trying to get below my goal weight; but shortly after I started the 80/20 training, my weight started dropping again pretty easily for some reason). I had tried a new training plan that involved a lot of short intervals--something I wasn't used to. I had never done 45-second or 60-second intervals before.

It made me wonder if maybe the high-intensity intervals, coupled with the very slow, easy runs, helped me drop the weight. I have no idea, but I training that way made me realize that I really enjoy doing short intervals like that. It's a very tough workout overall, but you only have to focus on short little bursts of effort at a time, before you get a break.