Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cincinnati Half Marathon

I did my first half marathon without TIm today.  My solo effort had my nerves on edge, as Tim is the one who always works out driving directions, parking, and departure time. The races started at Sawyer Point which is an area that I am only slightly familiar. Thanks to NancyBarbara, my trusty GPS I arrived successfully!  The races sells itself as a low key no frills event and I would say that is exactly true. The course was pretty cool, running around downtown Cincinnati.  I have never been around Paul  Brown Stadium  so  it was a sight seeing adventure!  I started out probably faster than I should have, but was feeling good.  The temperature at the start was pretty nice and  pretty soon I had worked up a good sweat. The first 9.5miles of the race were pretty I eventful, and then it started to drizzle and the wind really picked up!  At this point I was on the stretch that runs along the Ohio River  and was hating every second of the breeze. By mile 10 I was shivering cold and wet. It wasn't supposed to rain!  Here is where I fall apart.  I hadn't been running more than twice a week, so I was a little undertrained but had been getting in a weekly long run, so I knew that I could go the distance.  Unfortunately the cold rain made my legs cramp, BAD!  My quads, calves, and hamstrings were cramping, in both legs!  Every step was painful!  I started feeling sorry for myself and putting on a little pity party, which resulted in not taking full breathes and causing dizziness!  Not one of my brighter moves!  I gave myself permission to walk the rest of the race with the coal of moving slow, breathing deep, and being thankful for the ability to be able to finish!  I finished, slow and steady.  My legs feel really beat up and sore. I dread what they will feel like tomorrow!  I have no pic of me because all I wanted to do was get in the car and get warm!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Had This Crazy Idea.....

My idea was to complete an ironman triathlon.  .  An ironman is a triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 run.  No, I'm not crazy I wasn't going to do it all in one day.  My goal was to do it over the course of one week.  I'm happy to say that I did complete the the ironman, but it took me 8 days.  Maybe I'll try it again some day.

My summer numbers / goals:  run 107 / 125, bike 1000 / 563,  swim 8 / 25.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure The Tour de Cure could have been appropriately named, Tour de Hills, Tour de Beauty, Tour de Countryside, Tour de Heat, Tour de Humidity, Tour de Goats, or Tour de Fun. As always it was a great ride and Tim took excellent care of me!
A few months ago Tim suggested that we participate in this American Diabetes Associations bike ride / fund raising event. I have had several students who live with diabetes and I am extremely impressed by them and how they live with diabetes. I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to do something in their honor. Tim and I made a team and raised $415 to be donated to the American Diabetes Association in Honor of two of my students, Alexis and Jordan. We had decided from the start that we were going to do the century ride (100 miles.) Just before the race we learned the century riders needed to finish by 3:00. Well, I'm slow and finishing by 3:00 just wasn't possible for me. Tim and I were discussing our options, one of them being to ask if we could stay on the course without support to finish up our ride. Let me explain what "support" means. The event had stops every 15ish miles where they supplied water, sports drinks, food, and restrooms. We were riding out in the beautiful Iowa countryside, so support was a MUST HAVE on this HOT summer day!
As it got closer to the day of the ride, the temperatures were getting higher and higher and the reality of us staying out on the course without support was becoming less and less likely. We had made an initial decision to start the 100 mile course (the events had staggered start times, with the century starting first) and then just picked up by the SAG (support and gear) truck at 3:00. That decision lasted less than a day. In rolled the storms! The hourly forecast called for storms at the start of the century ride, so we decided to just go with the 50 miler. As we were leaving home there were still rumbles of thunder and I was a bit worried that the ride wouldn't take place because the skies still looked pretty dark, but there was no rain so we were going for it! There we are at the start line enjoying the singing of the National Anthem when huge rain drops start to fall! Fortunately it only rained for about 2 minutes, and we never saw another drop the rest of the day! I was happy at first to have no rain, but then on came the HEAT! Do you know what happens when it gets really hot right after a rain? ? ? Yep, that's correct HUMIDITY!! I had told myself before weeks before the event that I would not only be doing this event to honor my former students, but I would think of their strengths to help me to complete my course. I have never once seen either one of them complain about living with diabetes. They take multiple trips to the nurse's office on a daily basis for check ups and medications. They have to check in after lunch, before lunch, before school, after school, before class parties, after class parties, before class treats, after class treats... do you see my point? They are TOUCH!! Pain hit me around mile 40. I needed to remind myself not to complain and just keep going. I was hot, stinky, sweaty, my legs were tired, and my bottom wanted to be done with the bike seat. I kept telling myself that this would all be done once the ride was over and that I would go back to living my normal life. My pain would end, their diabetes wasn't going to, and that was the purpose of the event.. to raise money for research in hopes that some day soon a cure might be developed. With this in mind I continued through the end of the ride. I was a hot, sweaty, stinky mess at the end! Some highlights of the event: Red Riders - people who were riding with diabetes! There were several, three stood out to me- 1. a female a few years younger than me riding a mountain bike. This was a very hilly route and it was difficult enough on my road bike, I can't imagine doing it on a road bike. I also kept reminding myself how lucky I was that I didn't have to live with diabetes. 2. A 20something man with an insulin pump on his belt. I had never seen someone so active with a pump. I found it encouraging. 3. An older rider. He impressed me for two reasons - 1. His age and the fact that he was still so active 2. His derailed broke and his bike was stuck in a high gear. That means that he was stuck in the "pedal hard" gears and couldn't move to the "pedal easy" gears. This was significant because this course was HILLY! I heard him asking around at one of the stops if anyone knew how to fix his gears. They told him no, but he could put his bike in the SAG truck and be picked up. His answer was, " No, I'll ride the rest in high gear before I SAG back!" WOW!!!!!! What a tough human spirit! Overall, this was an EXCELLENT ride! I am disappointed that I didn't get my century ride complete, but I think that the life lessons that I took from all of these living with diabetes is worth my than anything that I could get from any other bike ride. And not to the numbers - Goals: This week: run- 16 bike - 42, swim 1/2. I will have to add the numbers up on the next blog.
Oh.. here are two new friends that I met on the ride.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This past weekend we did a two day bike ride totaling 116 miles! We started by camping in a small park on Friday night, there were no campfires with smores, but it was fun just the same. We rode our bikes from Preston, Iowa to Dubuque, Iowa. The photo above is the elevation map of the ride. It was VERY HILLY! There was one grand hill called, "The Wall." We did this ride two years ago and I skipped The Wall, so this year I went right for it! I am proud to say that I made it!! Saturday night spent the night in Dubuque and then rode back to Preston on Sunday. The ride home was DIFFICULT because most of the ride was either uphill or right into a strong wind. There were times when I found it difficult to keep my bike going in a straight line because of the wind. It was a great weekend! As always Tim took great care of me. He hauls all of our electrolyte and sodium needs. I'm a very lucky gal! I don't have any photos yet, so I'll do a blog with just photos. Tim got some good shots. Here are my numbers / goals: Run 37 miles - goal is 125. Bike 340 miles - goal is 1000. Swim 5 miles - goal is 25. P.S. The bottom and legs are still sore!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Crazy Busy!!

totals: run - 37, bike - 224, swim - 4.5 Goals are: run - 125, bike - 1000 swim- 25

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Deb & Tim are riding in the Tour de Cure

Tim and I will be doing a century ( 100 mile ) ride on June 30th. My goal is to raise $150 to support the American Diabetes Association. I am a teacher and work at a school where we have insulin dependent diabetic students. The two diabetic students that I have had are amazing children! They have the strength and courage of 10 adults! I will be doing this ride in their honor. You must know that putting ones behind on a bike seat for 100 miles isn't easy, nor is living with diabetes. When I want to quit or am uncomfortable on the bike, I will focus on the strength that I have seen in these children. They really are amazing! If you can help support this cause, here is my fundraising link. Here are the workout totals so far. Run - 50.6, bike - 153, swim - 2.5. Wow, I really need to get those bike miles up!! My goals are: run 125, bike 1000, and swim 2.5. I'll be focusing on bike for the next few weeks. I love to ride my bike! Nothing soothes the mind like a nice peaceful - bird free - bike ride.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

too busy to even give it a title

3 run. 11 bike. 34 bike....... only 5 more days to work!!!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Busy, Busy Bee!

This has been an amazingly busy week! The good news is that the bladder hasn't hurt much in two days. The bad news is that I think that I am experiencing a painful side effect to the new drug that has taken away the bladder pain! Always something! I am going to try to use about half of the medication and see if that makes a difference. No, I'm not a doctor.. but I know my body and I also know that I don't want to run back and forth form doctor to doctor again this week! Heck, I don't even have time to mow my lawn this week... sorry neighbors! Here are the numbers... I'll add them next weekend... too tired to do it now. Swim 1/2 mile. Run 3. Bike 20... Oh, I got my first ride in to my beloved, Sand Road. I'll post pictures of Sand Road this summer. It is my favorite ride! -- Off to another busy week.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

But, I Feel Fine!

This week started off with a surprise. I had done my yearly 24 hour urine collection for my kidney doctor and had to drop it off at the hospital early Monday morning. Let me pause for a moment to tell you how FUN it is to have to collect every little drop for 24 hours.... ugh! I know, I should just be thankful that I am alive for another 24 hours.. okay - back to the story. The blood draw was pretty routine and I headed off to work. The doctors office called me within a few hours to see if I was, "Feeling better?" This was a shock because I didn't know that I was feeling bad! The nurse informed me that my blood sugar level was 45! Story break for informational purposes - Normal level would be 65 - 99. Okay - after reading about symptoms and normal levels and talking to some health care professionals, I have my doubts that this was a true reading. I felt fine, actually good. Another odd tidbit, I had fasting blood work done 3 days previous and my level was 72! The story gets better. This is the same doctor that called me last year at work and told me that my potassium levels were extremely high, and that I needed to go to the ER IMMEDIATELY, as I was in danger of having a heart attack! That news was enough to make me have a heart attack! ( I followed doctors orders and upon recheck was fine! ) Back to the nurse - she told me that IF, "I was concerned about this, that I could call my PCP." WTH... IF I WAS CONCERNED? Then she proceeded to tell me that the next reason for her call was to cancel my appt. I'm guessing that she wasn't too concerned about my kidneys either, as she wanted to reschedule my appt. for July. I proceeded to visit with Dr. Google and found that hypoglycemia can be a side effect of my lupus medication, so I called my lupus doc and left a message. Her nurse called me back and told me, " She doesn't think your medication would do that." OMG IS THIS ALL A JOKE? Tim and I both had found this connection, but she didn't think so ? SSSSOOOO, I told her that I was seeing my PCP next week or did she think that I needed to see if I could get in sooner... she didn't answer! I still feel fine and have felt fine, so I guess I'll drop this in my PCP's lap when I see her later this week... WEIRD I SAY... WEIRD! Okay... time for the numbers... this week I ran 14.1 miles, biked 16.5 and swimming 1. This brings my totals to: Run 37.6, bike 69.1, and swim 3. My goals are: run 125 miles, bike 1,000 miles, and swim 25 miles. I did them all in order this week! Have a great week!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let's Do The Numbers

I have been thinking of another new goal that I want to achieve this summer. I want to do an ironman length triathlon... over the course of a week! ( I got you, you thought that I was going to say I wanted to do an ironman!) For those of you who don't know the length of an ironman is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. I think I can do this! Okay.. right to the numbers for this week: bike - 25.3, run - 8, swim - 1/2. My totals are now: swim - 2, bike - 52.6, and run - 23.5. My goals are: swim - 25 miles, run - 125 miles, bike - 1000 miles. I know I didn't do those in order, I wanted to be sure that you had something to think about.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Health Care Frustrations !!

My purpose in this blog is two fold: 1. To vent, and 2. To let fellow lupies know that they are not alone when it comes to health care frustrations. Let me start by saying that I generally like my team of doctors. I expect a lot from my doctors and if they don't live up to my expectations, I fire them. Since my lupus diagnosis I have had 2 lupus doctors, 3 obgyn doctors, and 4 primary care physicians. I know that makes me sound like one big B****, but insurance and health care is expensive. I want the best for my money. I have learned that I have to be my own advocate! So here comes my rant! I find that all too often I have to diagnose myself and then convey the diagnosis to multiple doctors to be certain that the treatment doesn't conflict with a treatment or medication from another doctor. I have been having bladder issues that I mentioned previously. I want to a urologist on Thursday. His office was just switching over to electronic records. I told him how happy I was that my doctors would finally be able to share my records with the click of a mouse. Much to my dismay, he informed me that it won't work that way... yet. He went on to inform me that there are numerous ( I think he said about 24) vendors who are selling programs that meet the qualifications of the federal mandate which calls for all medical offices to switch over to electronic records. These 24 different programs do not communicate / share with each other, thus making it impossible for doctor A to share with doctor B in this new electronic age. My doctor then went on to explain that in order for his small office - 2 doctors, 1 nurse, 4 office staff -to afford this electronic upgrade, they had to merge with a larger office to cover expenses. This may explain why my co-pay went up from $20 to $40. Backing up a bit - when I first was called back to the exam room, the nurse had a technology support specialist with her, training her how to use her new laptop. The first order of business was to renew prescriptions. The second order of business was to update medical history. The nurse said to me - I have you down as taking no medications, is that still correct ? In my head I'm thinking... ummmm no, do you not remember handing me the prescription? Okay, again I'm not upset with the person as much as the process. The computer training should have taken place out of the office, not with me. I was pretty sure that the nurse was seeing this program for the first time. The tech specialist was telling her, " now ask her.... " and so the nurse would repeat what the tech specialist had just said. I almost told her that she didn't need to repeat the question, but I wanted to seem as polite as I could so I just waited for the repeat and then answered. As if this wasn't enough, every question only had a place for her to mark "yes" or "no" and I the answer to each of my questions was "sometimes." For each question the tech specialist had to show her how to unlock the cells so that she would type my answer. When she left the room I felt like she maybe had learned how to sue the computer, but hadn't heard a word that I had said. Back to the doctor. - At the end of our conversation he felt more comfortable with me seeing another specialist and proudly announced that since their two electronic systems possibly didn't communicate that he had faxed his notes over to the other specialist's office. I thanked him and wished him well in implementing his new system as he wished me good health. I paid a $40 copay for... what...? ? ? Saw second specialist today. - No lap top toting nurses.. we are off to a good start! I explain to her why I am there and ask if she has the notes from yesterday's visit.. she hasn't. Long story short - she can't find them so she calls to have them faxed again. The never arrive! Fortunately I had written down everything that the first doctor had suggested to me and was able to convey the information. Yay Dr ME ! For the purpose of sharing with other lupies - What's going on now ? - Since I started going through drug induced menopause around age 29, I have no estrogen to speak of at the tender age of.. mumbles incoherently . Parts of my body think that I am elderly and are extremely irritated by my physical activity. The solution - estrogen cream! I hope that in three months time, I will be as good as new, and my doctors will know how to use their computers! End of rant! I feel better already! Oh.. did I mention the cost of the new med? ! ? Wow!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recovery Week With Few Miles

In the last month I have done two things that I am very proud of: 1. I ran 20 miles. 2. I ran the Hawkeye 25k Race Course. I wasn't sore at all after the 20 miles, but was REALLY feeling the pain after the 25k. If you are doing the math real quick on your fingers, ( I teach 2nd graders so find finger counting perfectly acceptable) 20 miles is more than a 15K. The 15K was on trails and had some hills, thus the difference. I always joke by telling Tim, "Deb loves hills." Nothing could be further from the truth, but maybe some day I will convince myself! As a result of this pain, I had very low milage this week. I had 1.5 miles in swim, 0 on the bike - sorry Betty ( Betty White is the name of my bike - remember I teach 2nd graders - I am full of names and sayings) and 25.5 miles of running.

My totals are: swim 1.5, bike 27.3, and run 25.5. My goals before the start of next school year are: 25 miles of swimming, 125 miles of running, and 1,000 miles on Betty.

On the lupus front, I have an appointment with the urologist this week. I am having some issues that I believe are lupus related. I always wonder if I should just come out and tell the doctor what I think the problem is, or give them the info and wait for them to tell me. I had a primary care physician who loved it when I would come for a visit because we had a deal worked out that I wouldn't tell him what I thought, just symptoms and then we would compare our answers. We often had the same answers. I miss him, he took a job as a hospital administrator. I'm thinking that I will probably tell the doc what I think is going on, since I have read that it is common among women with lupus. Lucky me!

Actually, I am lucky to be alive to be experiencing this, so I won't complain!

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Spring / Summer Goal

I'm dusting off the blog and going to use it for some goal setting. I like to swim, run, and bike.. so here are some goals: Between now and the start of the 2012 - 13 school year I want to: Swim 25 miles, run 125 miles, and bike 1,000 miles! I have done two bike rides this week totaling 27.3 miles.