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Celiac Disease, Half Marathons, Triathlons, Marathons ... Oh My!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let’s see, it’s been about 2 months? Yea, I’d say it’s time to blog… Typical me. Alas, here I am (Gah! It’s always a good day when you can use the word “alas” :D)
So, a lot has happened in the past 2 months that I would like to update everyone with. I started experiencing some severe dizziness and vertigo along with heart palpitations about a month ago, maybe even longer. I started to get faint when I had my heart palpitations (which happened anytime after I ate certain foods) to the point of feeling like I was going to lose consciousness. Then one Friday at work, I started to lose vision, and I thought for sure I was going to pass out – but then everything returned to normal, however, the dizziness remained. I called my husband to come pick me up from work – he took me to the emergency room and after blood tests and inner ear tests and MRI’s and more blood tests – the final results were in: I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

For those of you who don’t know, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that targets the small intestines. Most people are born with it, and whether or not it shows up right away or later in someone’s life might be determined by whether or not they were breastfed as babies. My mother breastfed me for a long time – this could be part of the reason why I didn’t start showing severe symptoms until the age of 23 – regardless, I’m glad it was this and nothing worse – like a tumor or anything similarly related. The way this disease is treated is by cutting out ALL gluten containing products – this basically leaves the following food options: Meat, Dairy, Fish, Nuts, fresh fruits, fresh veggies, healthy fats and oils, limited starches like corn, potatoes, rice, and NO wheat, rye, or barley or anything that may contain these things. I’m choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise – after all, aren’t all those food options I’m allowed to eat what I SHOULD be eating?? All the processed garbage, all the pastas, all the breads, all the cakes and muffins and cookies and chips – I have to cut them out?? Well, GOOD! I needed to cut them out regardless, now I just have to! It’s definitely a lifestyle change, but a good one, and I certainly cannot complain because the outcome could have been so much worse! Plus, there are plenty of gluten free food options and MANY different gluten free restaurants out there (thank you, Outback and all Outback affiliated restaurants!!) that cater to people who have Celiac Disease. In fact, just the other day, I was at Glory Days and they were celebrating Celiac Awareness Month – very cool!

An update on my half marathon training with Team in Training: I’m hooked. I’m so excited, but I’m also very sad (I don't want it to be over!)… My run in San Diego is exactly 20 days from today. In exactly 18 days, I will be landing in sunny San Diego, CA with my Team in Training teammates and gearing up for one of the biggest days of my running career. I will be running my first half marathon after training my a$$ off for an UH-MAZING cause next to my best friend Danielle (DSLICE418). I can’t even talk about it, I get too excited. Just know that it’s coming up, and when it happens, I will recap with (hopefully) LOTS of pictures full of smileys and giddiness in front of a beautiful San Diego backdrop. But until then… I will continue to train with my team and collect more names to add to my t-shirt for the race of people who have passed away from cancer that will be pushing me to run and finish the race strong. Did I mention, I can’t wait for this race??

OK – in other news. June isn’t just going to be a big month for me because of the Rock N Roll San Diego Half… it’s also going to be the month I (again, hopefully) *drumroll please* ………………………. Participate in my first triathlon. I own a bike (and I cycle fairly regularly at the gym, and on a trail near my house), I am part of a gym where there is a giant Olympic sized swimming pool that I enjoy frequenting on the regular, and I enjoy running… so, this seems like a no-brainer to me. There are SEVERAL sprint distance triathlons in my area coming up in the next few months and will be going on throughout the summer. The first race is on June 24th – I think I could probably complete one right now (though I’m sure I would be very slow), but I have a few weeks to train this month and int he time leading up to my half marathon and after my half, as well. This means I will be training for a 400 meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 5K run to end the race. It has been a dream of mine (since I started really training for this half marathon) to participate in a half Ironman, so I want to see how my body feels after a sprint distance triathlon and then I’ll gauge after that experience if a half Ironman is still something I really want to do. If I feel I’m not ready at the end of June to do the tri, then I will sign up for one in mid-August which is being hosted by the same company. If anyone has done a tri of any kind – are there any tips you can give me on a first time tri or training for a tri in a short amount of time??

But wait, there’s more. I’ve caught a bug. Caught what bug, you ask? -- The marathon bug, OF COURSE. After speaking with my mentor, Renee, from Team in Training, she has convinced me, I’m ready to start training for a marathon. And at first, I resisted. I laughed at her. I told her she was crazy. This body? Run HOW far? Chyea right… NOT happening, sister! But, she’s right. I am ready. As I lose more weight – as I continue to get my body used to pushing itself, as I condition my brain to believe that it CAN do things even if I never HAVE done them before, it will get easier. I am giving myself a little over 5 months to get ready to run in a marathon – and I will be running in the 37th Annual Marine Corps Marathon this coming October – to celebrate my 24th birthday – and I will be doing it with none other than, Team in Training (but of course). I can’t think of any other way I’d rather celebrate ending a season with Team in Training then by immediately starting up another one. I wanted to be a mentor for the Fall season, but I was too late to the game, so I’m thinking about possibly signing up as a mentor in the Winter season and finally having my own group of people to cheer on and inspire :D. More on that later – as the time approaches. I’ll keep you all updated if I get selected and we can all celebrate together if it happens.

The Marine Corps Marathon is going to be a test – a test to see if I can do it – to see if I can start a marathon and if I can finish a marathon. I can honestly say it will be the hardest thing I will ever have had to do in my life – I’ve run 14 miles at my farthest mileage – that was really hard, but I knew if I had to keep going, I could have. I think in 5.5 months I’ll be in an even better place physically and mentally regarding my goals. Right now, I wonder if I can do it – my goal is that in 5.5 months, I’ll KNOW that I can do it and I WILL do it. If I cross the finish line on October 28th, I will also be doing a full marathon in Arizona on December 9th. I have already signed up for the Holualoa Tucson Marathon, but if I can’t finish at the Marine Corps Marathon, then I will just go ahead and drop down to the half marathon once I get to Tucson. However, the REALLY cool thing about the Tucson Marathon is that it is almost an entirely downhill course – this course has been recommended for people doing their first marathons or people who want to PR at a marathon – it is also a Boston Qualifier - because of it’s all downhill course people generally go faster than they normally go… but you know what that means? I need to SERIOUSLY do some downhill training – because downhill sounds nice and certainly more easy than going uphill – until you are doing it for 26.2 miles – talk about some sore quadriceps… anyone know of some good hills to train on in Maryland, Virginia, DC area that are realllly long? Let a girl know! I’ll be posting the rest of my half marathon/ triathlon/ marathon training plan in another blog in case anyone cares .

*Picture provided by courtesy of www.tucsonmarathon.com

For those of you who actually got to this point, thanks for reading. I know I talk (type) too much! You all are awesome. And if anyone is interested, though I don’t update as often as I probably should – because I’m still getting used to it – my twitter (which is dedicated to running and a healthy lifestyle) is @willrun4babies – If you all would like me to follow any of you, I would love to! Just let me know what your twitter is – I hope everyone is doing well… see you in another month or two (just kidding… I hope). emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD7770942
    So much to do, so little time! I'm very proud of you for not letting Celia's get you down! Oh...blog more ;)
    3161 days ago
    Half marathons, triathalons, and full marathons. You are going to be one busy girl thsi summer and fall, but it sounds like you have an amazing support system and will rock all of you events. Whatever training group you get this winter to cheer on and support during Team in Training is one lucky group!

    One of my friends was diagnosised with Celiacs a few years ago and it was a tough transition for her, but she doesn't seem to have a problem with finding great healthy, yummy foods. You are so right about the Outback Family... amazing. Many other restaraunts have gluten free menus if you just ask. Other amazing factoid: homemade rice crispy treats are gluten free if you do need a yummy treat. I've also made her gluten free cheesecake with berries that was delicious.

    Best of luck on all your adventures this year!
    3170 days ago
    How freaking inspiring!!! You'll have to keep us posted on how the triathlon goes!
    3171 days ago
    Triathalon training now! And your first marathon... That is awesome. Keep us posted on how your training is going. I'm glad you've got the celiac figured out and that you are feeling better. Good luck with your training!
    3171 days ago
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