Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Medical Mystery

I hate going to the doctors. Like H-A-T-E! I try and avoid them like the plague (and even if I had the plague, I would probably still avoid them for as long as humanly possible). Maybe it is because I am a bit of a medical mystery.

Let me give you a little background - when I was in 9th grade, I fractured a vertebrae in my back. I had to wear a back brace for a while and it was supposed to take care of the issue. Well, after the healing happened, the pain still remained. I went to a myriad of doctors, getting tons of tests (MRIs, CAT Scans, Ultrasounds, etc), taking just about every medication under the sun, going to physical therapy, getting acupuncture (they even hooked up electrodes to some of the needles and had them pulsate - talk about VOMIT!), you name it, I probably tried it.

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After months and months of different appointments, a chiropractor actually asked my mom if she had heard of Fibromyalgia. Of course she had, she had been diagnosed with (as had her uncle, my grandma's youngest brother), but didn't want to mention it to my doctors for a few reasons (First, at that time a lot of doctors still didn't "believe" in fibro. They thought it was "all in the mind", something the patient just made up. Next, she wanted the doctors to come to their own conclusions. And, finally, there were/ are no tests for it, so it wasn't like they could technically do anything to say YES or NO. Fibro is sort of a "catch all", like if you can't figure it out, you just call it fibromyalgia because of the symptoms. (Sort of like my stomach issues that they figured was Irritable Bowel Syndrome because they couldn't find anything else more specific wrong.).)

Well, at least we had a name to the issue (and I wasn't as crazy as all the doctors made me out to seem), but that didn't fix the issues. A lot of the medications for fibro are just treating the smorgasbord of symptoms (whether they are for sleep, fatigue, depression, pain, etc) and many of them, once you get on them, you are on them for life. Since I was still young when I was diagnosed, the general consensus was "stay active, eat healthy, and you'll be fine".


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Ha, if it wasn't so painful it might actually be funny. Let me tell you, I am active, I try and eat as healthy as possible, and I am NOT fine. I am living with constant pain and just having to manage life around it. After so many doctors visits and so few answers, you start to get discouraged and just decide to throw up your hands.

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Lately, I have tried a couple alternative options. Even though massage is NOT my jam (my hubby loves it), I tried to give it a go. I have gotten a couple Living Social deals and have gone to a few appointments. Sure, they can be relaxing (mostly due to the calming music, unplugging and not looking at your phone or computer for the hour, etc), but I wouldn't say they helped my body feel better, so for me - not worth the money (lets be real, I'd rather put that money towards new running shoes or a race registration).

Today I tried a chiropractor again for the first time in probably 15 years. I have NOTHING against the practice, I just have a hard time spending money on myself HOPING for a fix/ cure to yet again walk hobble away disappointed. Like the massages, I saw a deal on Living Social for this chiropractor and they were right up the street so I figured I'd give it a go.

This first appointment was more of an exam. The chiropractor looked at my posture (to which he mentioned my right hip was at least a third of an inch higher than my left... totally makes sense as to why my right hip flexor is always tighter than my left) (oh yeah, and although my shoulders are aligned correctly over my hips, my necks jets out funny apparently...), took some X-rays and did a decent amount of chatting. 


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He asked me, "If you were Bill Gates and money wasn't an issue, and I was a magic genie, what would you want?". Well, besides to run faster, find someone to pay me to blog, take pictures and run, and oh yeah, some world peace, I thought a decrease in general pain and a quicker recovery time from running would be a great place start and something maybe he could help me with!

I have to go back on Tuesday for my next appointment. At that point we will go over my X-rays and see what is what, along with an adjustment, if needed. He said he will lay out a course of action (if he believes chiropractic care can help any of my issues), where we will work as a team. 

To be completely honest, I have to say I have little faith in it. I would LOVE to say I am optimistic or at least hopeful, but at this point, that is not the truth. It does not have anything to do with the method, it has to do with that fact that after so many years of NOT finding anything to help I don't let my hopes get up too high only to have them crushed again.


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So, there it is. A tiny bit of my wacky medical history... But the main take away is that I am stepping out of MY box, trying something new, and attempting to put me and my body as a priority.

Have you ever been to a chiropractor before?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fake It Till I Make It

I get it. I sound like a broken record. I feel like I am either talking about the heat/ humidity or my self-doubt when it comes to my training and attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon. For that, I am sorry, truly, I am, but at the same time, I have to keep it real since those are a lot of the thoughts jingling around in my head these days.


The mind is a VERY powerful muscle. Sometimes I think it might be harder to train it than my legs. For example, I "know" I can run X miles, but for some reason, as soon as my mind has decided to give up on a run or tells my legs it is too "hard, long, hilly, fast, etc", my legs will give in and listen to it in a matter of nanoseconds.


In all honesty, my shorter distance runs haven't been terrible. I have been able to keep at or below my marathon pace when I am supposed to on particular runs and I am still crushing my progression runs, but my long runs... UGH! I think it has been a combination of the elements along with outside circumstances (for example, last week I gave blood the afternoon before my long run and didn't realize how much it would effect me). I remember a friend telling me "Fall PRs are made in the summer", but, man, this summer has been ROUGH!


And don't get me started on how in the world I will be able to hold my marathon pace for 26.2 MILES when it can feel like a complete struggle-fest for a mere 6 or 7. Thankfully the course of my next marathon is similar to falling down a mountain, at least for the first half, so I am banking on gravity doing a little of the hard work.


I am very grateful that the race is still over 2 months from now (although I know that time will FLY, especially since I have a 10K and 3 half marathons between now and then). My biggest hope is that I am able to get in a couple quality long runs before race day because my confidence is in DIRE need of them!

Source

So, here it is... The new game plan... I mean I guess it has been the game plan all along... Give 110% and see what I can do... But now I've gotta BELIEVE that I CAN give it my ALL and be proud of whatever the results may bring!


Any advice on training the brain? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

REVIEW: Bulu Box

Thanks to my relationship with Sweat Pink and Fit Approach I was given the opportunity to try out Bulu Box. Who doesn't love samples and subscription boxes?! 

Disclaimer

A little bit about this box: Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you’ll get a custom box filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you. Shipping is free and you can cancel anytime. 

Sounds easy peasy, right?! Well, IT IS! You simply sign up for a monthly, 3, 6, or 12 month plan and then just wait for the box(es) to be delivered to your doorstep! (You are able to sign up for the standard Bulu Box or the Bulu Box Weight Loss. I was sent the standard box for the purpose of this review.)



BuluBoxReview

I have to admit, when I first open the box I was a little underwhelmed. I have done a few of the subscription boxes in the past and this one felt a little minimal. The cost per box is $10 (which is on the lower end of subscription type boxes), so 4-5 samples for that price isn't terrible, but I just wanted to warn you in case you were expecting a packed box with oodles and oodles of goodies.

In my box I received a Mediterra Tomato & Basil bar, an Island Boost Blueberry & Pomegranate fuel, a More-T toothbrush, some Bugeater Food Jump protein powder, Earth's Care Anti-Itch cream, and Yerba Prima Daily Fiber formula



BuluBox

Again, maybe to some folks these would stoke them out, but for me, I was fine taking or leaving all of the items. None of the samples had me running to the box to give them a go right away. (Hear me out, just because this box didn't have me jumping for joy doesn't mean that it wouldn't have others pumped or that the following month wouldn't have 4 to 6 amazing options.)

First off, Ryan and I are both vegetarians, so the protein powder made from crickets was out. Honestly, even if I did eat meat I am not sure I would actually be able to drink it without cringing from the thought of insects (not to mention, I am not a big protein powder drink drinker). They do claim that crickets are a more environmentally friendly form of protein than some alternative powders, so it has that going for it... 


The toothbrush had me intrigued. The bristles were perpendicular to the handle, instead of the standard parallel design. The setup is supposed to promote up and down brushing to reduce tooth sensitivity and give your mouth a deeper, easier clean. I'll say it took a little getting used to, but I definitely liked it! Not only does it help with the up and down motion (rather than the side to side that I normally do - OOPS), but it is a great way to clean your tongue too. 



MoreTToothbrush
Brush, brush, brush your teeth!

Bars, bars, and more bars. Who doesn't love a good bar? I know I do - they are convenient and easy to throw in your gym bag, purse, book bag, cup holder in the car, etc. This one was a bit surprising. The flavor profile was yummy (you could definitely taste the sun dried tomatoes and the basil), but the fact that it was in a "granola bar" form threw me for a bit of a loop. I would give it a 3 out of 5. It was good, but I think if I am going for a "bar", I would prefer a sweeter flavor rather than a savory one like this (It felt like it was more of a meal than a snack. It sort of reminded me of the scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the gum changes into all of the different courses of the meal. The bar itself was tasty, just not quite in the format I was expecting.).


MediterraBar
Mediterranean yumminess in a bar form

I was told I was anemic last year, so my doctor suggested I started taking iron supplements to make sure I was getting enough of the mineral. Sometimes iron can give you some stomach issues (especially for someone already diagnosed with IBS), so along with the iron I also take a couple fiber gummies to make sure everything stays "regular". The fiber drink that came in the box was okay. The flavor wasn't bad, but as you can see from the picture, no matter how long I (vigorously) stirred it or extra water I added, I couldn't get the powder to dissolve (and I was NOT about to chew it down). I think I'll stick with my gummies.


YerbaPrimaFiber
Orange flavored with LOTS of sediment at the bottom

I know I seem like a Debby Downer, but it was just how the cookie crumbled. I hate not loving products sent to me, but I gotta #KeepItReal.

I have a consistency thing (what don't I have 'issues' with, geesh, this post is just pointing out all of my quirks, now isn't it?!) so I can't really do gels for running fuel (they remind me of snot). Thankfully for you, the hubby DOES like gels, so he was able to try out the one that came. He liked this one because it was a little more liquid-y than the normal type so it went down smoothly and didn't linger in his mouth for long. He used it during our 9.5 mile run this past weekend and although he said he would normally prefer more of a standard flavor he still gave it two thumbs up.


IslandBoost
As "island-y" as we got during our #SundayRunday... Alongside the San Luis Rey River

The anti-itch cream isn't too "sexy", but I'm sure it will come in handy. I haven't tried it yet, since I haven't been itchy, but I much appreciate it being an earth friendly cream made of peppermint and other mint oils. Although my mom reminds me that I am not made of sugar and won't melt, I must be pretty sweet because bugs are attracted to me like NONE OTHER! I am positive this will come in handy, but like the other products, I'm not sure I will love it enough to actually go out and spend money to purchase it.


EarthsCareAntiItch

I know I may not have had such an AMAZING experience, but that doesn't mean you won't love the Bulu Box. I would totally recommend (especially for the price without the discount code) you give it a go and try it for yourself. And what is even more tempting is that you can use code SWEATPINK and save 50% on a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. I mean at that price they are sort of just giving it away, right?!


BuluBoxDiscountCode

Have you ever tried a subscription box before? If so, what was your experience? If not, what is holding you back?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Workout Recap - Week 34

Sunday, August 16th 7 mile run with the hubby, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Monday, August 17th – 7 mile progression run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Tuesday, August 18th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), 4 mile treadmill run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Wednesday, August 19th –  19.6 mile bike ride, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Thursday, August 20th 7 mile (pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Friday, August 21st –  14 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Saturday, August 22nd – REST DAY, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Okay, so maybe Sunday was only supposed to be a 4 mile run, but when your 7 year wedding anniversary falls on the same day your hubby has 7 miles on his schedule you sort of HAVE TO run a couple more miles, right?!

Time for a little real talk - my long runs have NOT been at the speed or pace I would like to see them at, but then again, this week I was trying to listen to my body and take it slow, seeing as I had given blood the afternoon prior... Hopefully my upcoming long runs will start building that confidence I need to attempt a BQ race.

How were your workouts this past week? 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sharing Saturday - PROBAR BOLT Energy Chews

I mentioned it a while back, but I was lucky enough to be asked to be a part of the PROBAR Blogger Network. One of the many AMAZING perks of this relationship is being sent product to try out, stock up on, etc.

PROBARBlogger
Aren't they lucky to have me?! HA!

Well, one of my FAVORITE products from PROBAR are their BOLT Energy Chews. Like, legit, they are the way I fuel for EVERY long run.

PROBAR BOLT Energy Chews
Just a FEW of the MANY recent pictures on my phone of my BOLTs

Lucky for you, I have a couple extra boxes in my cupboard and I figured, instead of continuing to stockpile and hoard them, I would offer one of those cases up to a lucky reader. I mean, that is the point of Sharing Saturday, right?!

SharingSaturday

There will be ONE lucky winner this week!! The winner will get a box, which includes 12 packages, of Strawberry (since it is my favorite flavor) PROBAR BOLT Energy Chews.

PROBAR Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter early and often (some of the entries are available DAILY). I did want to mention, this giveaway is NOT sponsored or affiliated with PROBAR in any way... I am just sharing some of my extra fuel with YOU! It will run through Friday, August 28th at 11:59pm PST. I will contact the winner via email (using the email address listed through Rafflecopter) who will have 24 hours to respond and claim their prize. Winner must be a U.S. resident. Also, the entries ARE verified, so please make sure you complete the task or I'll have to pick a new random winner. Void where prohibited.

And just in case you don't win (or maybe you do win and want to try another product as well), I have a 15% off coupon code EVERYONE can use on their orders (this includes gear, variety packs, etc) - so make sure to stock up!

Carlee15 Saves 15%
Use code "CARLEE15" to save 15% off your online orders!

Have you ever been #FueledByPROBAR?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Disneyland #WeRunSocial Meet-Up

Will you be in the Anaheim area on Saturday, September 5th at 1pm? Are you running any of the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races (NOT a requirement, but those folks would hopefully be in the area at the right time)? Do you like fellow, fun runners? Wanna share a drink and pose for a million and a half selfies? Are you GOOD PEOPLE? Wanna meet some of your favorite Instagrammers/ Twitterers IRL? Do you like free gear (okay, this one we are still working on, but who doesn't love free stuff, right?!)?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you should check out the Meet-Up that Linzie and I will be hosting with the #WeRunSocial crew!


Very low-key, but #AllTheFun! Stop by for the whole time or just walk by and wave. And I promise, although some of my pictures look as though I am trying to bite you (#CrazyCarleeFace), I am really rather friendly ;)

And, by the way, some people are still confused about the coolest crew around. I am sure I could come up with some witty comments about who #WeRunSocial is, why it was started, and the multitude of reasons why you should "join", but Pavement Runner explained it so eloquently that I figured I'd let him do the honors (especially since it was his brainchild to begin with).

Source

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Really, it is THAT easy. We are a group of runners who love encouraging one another to run, love life, and be social about it. I know for me, some runs SUCK (take yesterday's pace run for example), but knowing there is a crew of like minded individuals (some of whom I have never met) cheering me on and willing to have my back can make THE WORLD of difference! Sometimes we have the opportunity to meet up off the inter webs (and I can attest, when this happen, it can be even BETTER than Disney magic, and THAT is saying something) and this is one of those times!

So, come on down, stop on by, grab a carpet and FLY, to another great social meet-up! Hope you can join us! But even if you can't, you should still consider joining the #WeRunSocial movement (as long as you are 'good people', that is).

PS If you are coming and want a #WeRunSocial hat (and let's be honest, why wouldn't you... THEY ARE FRESH!), make sure to pre-order them from Pavement Runner and we will get you HOOKED UP!

Source: Pavement Runner

Will this meet-up make it onto your calendar?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

When Self Doubt Creeps In...

Man I hate it when self doubt creeps in... But, then again, maybe it is just reality making itself known...


This morning I had 7 "pace" miles on the calendar - meaning I needed to run 7 miles at my marathon goal pace (which is around 8:00/mile). I don't know why, but I was pretty intimidated by it... I originally decided I would run it on the treadmill because I thought maybe it would help me to keep the consistency (I mean, if your legs don't keep up, you fall and die, right?!). But as I was getting ready I knew I needed to force myself to go outside and pound the pavement (don't get me wrong, I love the treadmill, but at that moment I knew I was using it as a crutch because I didn't think I could run the miles on my own)... 

I knew I was letting fear and self doubt win the battle going on inside of my head... 

"What if I couldn't hit my goal pace?" "If I can't run 8:00 miles for 7 miles, how am I planning on running them for 26+ miles?" "I don't think I can do it" "Maybe I should just scrap my goal of attempting to qualify for Boston right now before I get my hopes up too high"
Please tell me I am not the only one who this happens to...

Anyway, I drove down to the beach and told myself all of those cliches you see on Pinterest - "If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done", "If your dreams don't scare you then they're not big enough", and "If you never try, you'll never know". Can't say they helped, but at least I was trying to focus on the positive. 
As always, my first mile was way too fast. I settled down around mile 2, but decided to take a different route for this 7-miler. I ended up going down the bike trail instead of around the harbor, which turned out to be a disaster for many reasons. First, it was a new route for this distance, so I wasn't 100% sure where to turn around, when to expect the difficult climbs, etc. Next, the bike path has mile markers on it, so although I try to avoid looking at my watch constantly, it was hard to ignore the distances on the ground (which seemed to make the run drag on). Also, I noticed my times were slowing down each mile I ran, which started really playing with my head - so much so that I needed to stop and regroup around mile 5 to try and shake the negativity out of my brain (GRRRRRRR - WHY WON'T IT JUST STOP SOMETIMES?!).

Don't get me wrong, I am still thankful for the SUCK-TASTIC runs! 

I ended up getting all 7 miles under my goal pace of 8:00/mile, but let me tell you - IT WAS ROUGH! I am sure the lack of a good night's sleep last night played into it (I woke up around 1:30am to go pee, couldn't get back to sleep until around 3am, and from 3 till about 6am was on the floor trying to get comfortable). Not only that but my legs felt like they were full of led and I was overall feeling a bit run down and beat up.

Splits from today's run

At least the scenery is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING :) [even with the hellacious humidity]

Although the numbers look decent, it felt less than great...

Let's just say I am happy that run is done and that tomorrow is a new day, but today was definitely NOT the confidence booster that I was hoping for...

Have you found any ways that work for you to shake the self doubt?