Friday, October 29, 2010

A weekend full of team spirit

After a successful trip to the endocrinologist last Friday (SUMMARY: It turns out I have both Graves and Hashimoto's diseases - both types of auto-immune thyroid disorders - which is why my levels are all over the place), I went on to have a really fun weekend here in Ithaca. The doctor gave me a new prescription for propanolol (a beta-blocker medication) to lower my crazy heart rate to more normal levels, and so I was able to run in a 5K race for the Finger Lakes Cancer Resource Center on Saturday. Several of the people in my church book club formed a team to run this race in honor of the people in their lives that battled/survived cancer, and it was my pleasure to be a part of both their running and fundraising efforts.

Here is a picture of our team before the race. Our team was called Team Millennium Falcon, and I was so excited that we had a Star Wars theme because I found a really cute Lego Star Wars shirt in the boys' section of Target! My character was R2D2.

After the race! This was my first 5K race since I used to competitively race in high school and college, and I have to say that it was interesting to line up at that starting line again. So many Saturday morning memories! When the gun went off, I immediately zapped into "race" mode and for a brief second, I wanted to run ahead of my teammates in order to see what kind of a time I could run after all of these years away. I am so glad that I got over this and chose to pace my teammates toward their goal of finishing in under 45:00 instead. I am sure that my time would have been terrible/disappointing in comparison to what I used to be able to run, and more importantly, there was something really special about motivating people who had never finished a 5K before to keep the pace. Ironically, it was my slowest finish that I have ever had - 35:25 - and yet, it is also one of the finishes I am most proud of. Everyone that ran in our group ran the entire time, and we had a lot of fun along the way using our trusty lightsaber to guide us to our next milemarker!
On the next day, David and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Pittsburgh vs. Miami game. I was so excited to go to watch the game that I almost forgot to put shoes on!

It was a close game, but ultimately the referees decided to hand the victory to my Steelers. (Thank you refs - your check from the Rooneys is in the mail I am sure...) During the game, we also did the Blazin' Challenge, which we have been wanting to try since we started going to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch football games. In this challenge, you have to eat 12 Blazin' wings (the hottest wings there) in 6 minutes without any drinks or napkins. Both David and I accomplished this task (I ate them in 5:53, and David in 5:18), but our victory was bittersweet because the Blazin' wings absolutely destroyed our digestive systems for the rest of the day.

This weekend = low key. We have tons of leftovers to eat, Rescue Me episodes to watch, and Red Dead Redemption quests to complete! :) Oh, and of course we will hand out yummy Halloween candy to any cute kiddos that come by our door on Sunday. Happy Halloween to all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October already??

Time is flying, and I realized it has been over a month since my last blog post. David and I have been spending a quiet fall in Ithaca, and it has been nice to be at home and do things around here for a little while. (I am not stir-crazy yet with our no travel pact, but I have a feeling by November I will be itching to go to the airport and go somewhere just in time for Thanksgiving!)

I'd say that the reason I haven't written much is because there isn't much to say, and that would kind of be true, since we are typically doing normal things that I wouldn't want to bore everyone with. However, the real reason for my absence stems more from the fact that I have been feeling physically out of sorts lately, which has thrown my moods and state of being completely out of balance. My thyroid levels are totally out of control (my normally low levels have spiked to ridiculously high levels instead), and I find it is affecting me more than I would expect or even like. In fact, I don't even really like to talk about it all that much because I feel silly admitting that something as small as a thyroid imbalance is causing chaos in my life when so many other people have to deal with real diseases like cancer or diabetes.

The main problem is that my heart rate just won't go down. I have always had a naturally low heart rate (the one good thing distance running did for my body), and so it is totally strange for my heart to be racing at all times. My heart rate is 120 as I write this from my desk chair, I feel like I have extra adrenaline rushing through my veins, it is hard to focus, and the worst part is, when I can focus my mind starts to race to keep up with my heart beat. I start to worry (even more than I already do) about stupid things, or even worse, the smallest irritation will take my mood from mellow to Incredible Hulk in less than 60 seconds. (Is this how people on steroids feel when they are juiced up and angry? I wonder if this is a different sort of 'roid rage?!?) And so, I am a strange version of myself that desperately wants to maintain her usual happy state of mind, but is instead taken over by flashes of panic and uncontrollable anger.

I also can't exercise even remotely without elevating my heart rate and inducing scary chest pain (that my PCP doctor has assured me is nothing to worry about even though I feel like I am having a heart attack), and so I am beginning to feel like an old, 300 lb. woman. Today David had to slow down his walking pace because I was breathing heavily and struggling to keep up, and it continues to frustrate me. I keep telling myself this is not a reflection of my physical shape, but it is hard to maintain that attitude as I am huffing and puffing up the stairs of our apartment building!! :)

*sigh* The good news is, after months of being 'roid crazy and waiting to get into the endocrinologist, I am finally going to see the doctor on Oct. 22. Hopefully he can fix me up.

This is much more personal than I usually get with this blog, but then again, I am not the type of person that shares any piece of news that 1) is remotely personal or 2) does not involve the adjectives, "happy", "exciting", "fun", or "cute". It's just not how I usually work, because talking about anything else means that I am not working hard to focus on the positive things in life, especially all of the things I have to be grateful for. Also, it is also really hard for me to admit that I am struggling with anything, because as someone with a type A+ personality and perfectionist tendencies, I'm not supposed to struggle. However, David has taught me recently that if you can't share your flaws and your struggles with your family and your friends, who can you share them with? And so, with this blog I am taking a step to be a little more open...just like he is. what else has my (limited) blog audience missed while I have been away dealing with my self-absorbed 'roid issues? We took down our Danger Zone garden two weeks ago now that our crops are done producing and the cold weather season is fast approaching. It was kind of a sad day, though I am already looking forward to next summer when we can improve on what we accomplished this past summer. Also, speaking of things to look forward to - Elliot Roth comes to visit in just three weeks! And soon enough it will be November, which is always a happy month because I start listening to Christmas music!

I think I will end this incredibly long post with a list of things that make me happy because it will make me happy to think of them, and it will be more uplifting:

1. David's laugh, David's kisses, David's cooking, and David's tickles...okay, just David.
2. One Day, by David Nicholls (even though this book made me cry extensively)
3. Tuesday and Thursday night TV (and today is Thursday!)
4. Angry Birds
5. The fact that my research project is finally leading towards productive results
6. Apple cider, caramel apples, pumpkin spice lattes, kettle corn, and fall foods in general
7. New songs by Taylor Swift
8. My new Gap cardigan (that I am wearing right now)
9. Getting lots of mail (hint hint)
10. Book club (we are reading The Hobbit for November, and I am making cupcakes for our snack)