Spring things

It’s mid-April but I keep forgetting it’s spring.

While I’m not wearing it daily, I’m still wearing my puffy-down jacket in rotation because the mornings and evenings are still cold.

Oddly enough, I usually rely heavily on Claritin because my allergies really flair up during this time of year but so far, nothing! I know, I know, this is a really good thing! But, a part of me makes me wonder if maybe my allergies aren’t bad since I’m not spending as much time outside since I’m not running.

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I have enjoyed the sun breaks we have seen. I have enjoyed the return of baseball and cheering on the Seattle Mariners and having hope since well, it’s the start of a new season 🙂

I’m looking forward to warmer weather and outdoor BBQs. I’m looking forward to next month when the neighborhood outdoor pool will open and I’ll be able to swim outside in the sun! I’m looking forward to putting my boots away and wearing my Birkenstock sandals.

Ok, so maybe those above items are more summer-related for Seattle.

Spring, are you really here?

Be the match

[Note: I wrote this post at the end of December and with the holidays and going out of the country, I never published it. But, this is something important to me, so I am sharing it now.]

Natalie never made it to the point of being healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant.

I’d like to think that if she had, there would have been a match waiting for her.

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Because, not all blood cancer patients who require a bone marrow transplant for treatment have a family match. This means they need a donor — someone who is not related to them who happens to be a match.

Somewhere in between working in health care field for four years and the impact Natalie has had on my life, I’ve known I wanted to join the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. It’s “just a cheek swab” to join the registry. If you’re matched with a patient in need, then, well, it’s a little more than that.

“Doesn’t it hurt?” people have asked upon learning I finally joined the registry.

Yes, drawing liquid marrow out of the back of your pelvic bone with a needle doesn’t sound fun. But, it could save someone’s life.

Natalie was 17 years old when she passed away. My friends and I were 17 mourning the death of our dear friend. Kids shouldn’t have to mourn the death of their friends. At 17, we were all still just kids.

So, I’m just doing all that I can do, while I can, to help others who need it.

I know that Natalie would do the same.

 

 

Injured runner: I’m having a hard time with my weight

I wouldn’t say I was ever a person who had “body issues.” I ate whatever I wanted to when I was a teenager and in my early 20s. Because I exercised regularly — and let’s be real, I’ve always been a fairly healthy eater — I was pretty content with my weight and how I looked.

But, I’m having a hard time right now.

As an adult runner who is pretty in tune with her body, this is the third time I have had one of these “I’m having a hard time with my weight” moments.

Four-and-a-half years ago, I lost a noticeable amount of weight (without meaning to), and it freaked me out.

And then a year-and-a-half ago, I gained some weight and was having trouble accepting it. I eventually returned back to my “normal” weight but my issue now is that since I’ve stopped running in August, I have gained approximately ~8 pounds.

Being an injured runner is hard enough but now I have to deal with weight issues too??

When I went in for a doctor’s appointment at the beginning of the year, I stepped on the scale and when the nurse marked 136, my stomach sunk. It was validation for what I had been fearing for the past several months: I’ve gained a significant amount of weight.

My “normal” weight is typically around 127/128.

Some of my pants are tighter than they used to be. Some shirts are a little more fitted than I want them to be. The worst part is that I do not feel good about myself. 

My stomach area feels huge. And I have been exercising daily, but it’s all just not the same as running.

I’ve brought this up with a few friends and their responses are pretty similar: I’ll lose the weight when I start running again … I look the same, I have nothing to worry about …

But, I do not feel the same. 

And, I’m trying to take the steps to feel better. (It started with stopping calling myself fat). It’s also continuing with not stepping on a scale until I feel better with myself. 

Because really, the number on the scale isn’t so much what is bumming me out. It’s how I feel that is.

Knowing your strengths

I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test a few times but always took it with a grain of salt. After all, depending on my mood, I swing between getting an “I” or “E” (so, introverted or extroverted).

Recently at work we took the Clifton Strengths assessment. I’d never heard of the test before but it was pretty eye-opening. Based on many questions answered, it assesses your greatest strengths. (They call them “themes” and there are more than 30 themes to be placed into!)

In a workplace, knowing one another’s strengths helps with building better teams and thus producing better, timely work.

My top five strengths include: responsibility, individualization, analytical, strategic and achiever.

The “individualization” one first caught me by surprise because I thought it meant that I preferred to work as an individual and (essentially didn’t want to be around other people). It’s actually not that at all. When it comes to Clifton Strengths, individualization means you are intrigued by the unique qualities each person has. You don’t like to group people into “types” but would rather know how each person is special and different.

I definitely have a “get it done” attitude which is where the “responsibility” and “achiever” themes come from. I don’t always associate myself as a super analytical and strategic person but I guess those must come from my journalistic upbringing. I learned that you need facts to prove things. You need to write/report based off of known knowledge, not just what people may say.

Knowing these strengths goes beyond being helpful in a work setting. They can be applied to your personal life and goals as well.

We don’t always know exactly what our strengths are. Or, is everyone just way more self-aware than I am?

Something non-running and non-not running-related to talk about for once 🙂

For the love of running

You’ve been with me during my highest of highs. You’ve been with me during my lowest of lows. You’ve caused me heart ache time and time again.

You’ve taught me to work hard. You’ve taught me that I can reach above what I think I’m capable of achieving. You’ve taught me to eat properly and get at least eight hours of sleep a night. You’ve taught me patience.

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And, above all, you’ve brought me to some of my most valuable people in life and have helped strengthen our relationships. You introduced me to my BFF. You helped bring a childhood friend and I closer together as adults. You’ve kept my high school (cross-country) friends together after all these years. You have given B and I some of the most greatest adventures together.

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All because of my love for running.

But, the love story’s a little different now.

I haven’t been running for now six-and-a-half months. (Darn you, stress fracture of the knee!) Since I wasn’t diagnosed right away, my last good, pain-free run was the last weekend of May. That seems like forever ago.

I’ve always thought that the hardest part about running was back when I ran the Chicago Marathon with an IT band injury. Or, when I missed breaking 4 hours at the Eugene Marathon by one minute and 19 seconds.

Nope.

The hardest part about running is now, when I’m physically unable to run.

I know I’ll eventually be back at it again. But, it’s hard to be sidelined for so long. Running makes me feel strong and calm and happy and alive all at the same time.

Will it remember me when I’m healed? Will it give me that same feeling? Will I want to achieve the same running goals again?

I don’t know.

But, I do know that my love for running goes deep — we have 15 years of history — so I’m not giving up on you now.