Flying Pig 5K!

This past weekend in Cincinnati was the annual Flying Pig Marathon. It takes over the downtown and surrounding areas for the whole weekend. There’s a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, kids run, pigability run (for those with disabilities), and flying fur run. There’s concerts, food, family fun fair, health expo, and more. It’s a whole thing. This time around though Dad and I just did the 5K.

When you sign up you have to specify if you’re a walker or runner and also what your estimated finish time is. They use this info to assign you to a corral at the start line with others of similar athletic prowess. They also did a stagger start at the start line. Each corral had 2 minutes until the next one was released. We were in corral G, second to last. The goal was to reach a 16 minute mile pace. They don’t time you out, but if you’re slower than that then they kind of shoo you over to the sidewalk as the reopen the roads behind you in the downtown stretch of the course.

Apparently before the race Dad and I inadvertently switched our assigned bibs, so the gender/age stats aren’t accurate on our official results, but the end times are at least. This was the first 5K that I’ve actually attempted to run. I finished in 44 minutes. Dad finished in 1 hr 2 minutes. The finisher’s medals are super cute! They have some heft to them too. They’re a lot heavier than I would have thought.

During the course of the race they had a couple of spots where they were handing out free food/ water. The free food consisted of pretzel rods and candy orange slices. Weird choices I thought. Two things that would make you super thirsty with no chance of water in sight.

The entire experience was super fun! I think we’ll make it an annual tradition of ours. I’m thinking next year I’ll also volunteer to part of the medical tent for the other races. Maybe even next year I’ll work my way up to the 10K. We’ll see…

Friday and Saturday they had an expo at the convention center where they had a crap ton of venders related to the pig, running, and fitness in general. As you can see from the above pics I bought some pig swag. I’ve gotten into the habit of theming myself for our races. I do themed leggings for the gym for holidays as well. It’s become a bit of an addiction. There are worse things though to be addicted to I think. I also bought Dad and myself hanging placards for our medals since they’re starting to accumulate a little bit.

So what does the future currently hold? My 6 year old twins and I are running a Color Run 5K to benefit their school on May 19th. Then I have nothing planned until Labor Day where I’m doing the Mud Gauntlet 5K. I think I need to find something for during the summer. There’s a big gap in there 🙂 Any suggestions for a good one around July 4th maybe?

 

 

 

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One year Surgiversary!

2 weeks ago Dad and I celebrated our one year surgiversary, or rather surgery anniversary.

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At Dad’s appointment the doc told him how proud he was of him, of us. That he was very pleased with his results and wants him to continue what he’s been doing basically. He’s happy with where he’s landed weight wise, though I know Dad would like to lose another 5+ lbs to break even at 200 lbs. A year later Dad is completely off his diabetes meds and now is strictly diet controlled, his renal doc has upgraded his kidney failure since his labs continue to improve, and his primary has talked about reducing or removing some of his blood pressure meds.

6 or 7 years ago an ortho doc told Dad that he’d need a total knee in 5 years. Well, he’s decided that’s his next step after the rest of the changes in his life stabilize a little bit. He’s currently retiring from one job, starting a part time job somewhere else, selling his condo, selling my childhood home that he’s been renting out, and buying a home out by us. I’m exhausted just typing all that!

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Numbers wise, a year out Dad has lost 75 lbs and 43 inches total (extremity measurements are right side only).

At my appointment the doc told me he was proud of us again. That he was very happy we had each other to support each other, which I agree with. I don’t think either of us would have done half as good or stay nearly as motivated if not for having the other right there alongside.  The doc did say even though he was happy with where I landed weight wise, that I’m “normal”, he’d like me to lose another 5-10 lbs so that I have a fluctuation cushion. I’m fine with that. It gives me a goal so I don’t rest on my laurels, so to speak.

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At one year post-op I am down 56.9 inches overall and 97 lbs lost. Damn the stupid natural fluctuation that happens during that certain monthly time, robbed me of my official 100lbs at my appointment.

This journey is never ending and ever ongoing. It changed both our lives for the better. We both agree whole heartedly that we don’t regret it for a second and wish we had done it years ago. We’re more active than we’ve ever been, have more energy, wanting to do more and actually able to do more. If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery we both endorse it 100%. True, there are some potential complications,  but in our eyes the benefits outweigh them by far. You’re gaining years of life and improved quality of life!

So as not to make this post a novel I’ll do a separate post about our recent 5K adventure. Read on!

I’m Normal?!? (and the Mini Heart 5K walk)

screenshot_20180320-0932491289093212.pngRecently I had my yearly health screening for my work insurance. They take some blood, your weight, waist circumference, and then give you a basic lecture on being healthier. If you fall out of any of the norms for the categories you have to jump through hoops to “earn” the points back to receive your HSA money. This is the first year ever that not only have I been in the norms for all the categories they award points for but that my waist circumference was within normal range! The lady who was giving me the mini lecture was going on about how they would like my weight to be closer to the normal range for my height, not realizing/ knowing my history. Meanwhile I’m internally jumping for joy!

Above I’ve included a chart of my health screenings from years past and a few extra values from blood draws for the weight loss management office, just to show the trends.

So looking at the numbers my blood pressure has improved, not that it was bad before, as well as my cholesterol, HDL, and LDL. Pretty much everything! The couple that haven’t improved have been consistent, neither going up or down for the most part.

So why do we care about the size of our waists and such? The website that explains the reasoning behind the categories lists them as follows: “Waist circumference helps assess your risk for chronic diseases that are associated with overweight and obesity. An excess of body fat, especially abdominal fat, increases your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.Glucose, or blood sugar, is the body’s primary source of energy. When there’s too much sugar in your diet, or your body isn’t efficient at using it for fuel, blood glucose levels can rise. This can eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood used by the body for energy. While you need some triglycerides, too much can raise your risk of heart disease.HDL Cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from the bloodstream, lowering your risk for heart disease. HDL Cholesterol that is too low may increase your risk for heart disease.”

One way to raise your HDL is through exercise. I like that you can see quantitatively the change in the numbers as I started working out from 1 month post-op.  You can also see my food funerals reflected in my triglycerides and cholesterol values for the pre-diet numbers.

 

This past Sunday my Dad and I joined some of my coworkers and 27,000 of our closest friends at the Mini Heart 5K Walk downtown. Over the course of the day there was a half marathon, 5K race, 5K walk, 1K steps for stroke, and 1K kids run. Last I heard about 3 million dollars was raised for heart disease and stroke research and education.

The walk wasn’t a timed race but of course I couldn’t not figure out our time. We finished it close to 1 hour and 14 minutes. That was walking at a leisurely pace around people that were truthfully walking quite slow. Dad even got frustrated a couple of times at the lack of speed of the people walking in front of us. Still, all things considered we were only 10 minutes slower than our finish time for the Thanksgiving 5K, which is really good! Since it’s gotten cold we haven’t really done any training and this was the first course we’ve done with hills. Not too shabby.

Our next challenge is the Flying Pig 5K in May. Dad now has a fire under his butt to train more for it, not only to improve his speed but to improve his recovery time from it. He was a bit sore after Sunday. I was thinking of trying to completely run, or run as much as I can. I’m curious just how fast my time could be. Though I don’t want to leave Dad to walk on his own. We need to find someone willing to walk with him so I can run off.

The Saturday before the Mini Heart there was a health expo at the convention center downtown that I went to. They had booths from all the specialties within healthcare with free screenings, as well as booths from the different running stores selling their wares and booths from future marathons/runs. There was a couple future events that caught my eye, one in particular. There’s a local canoe rental place that’s putting on a tough mudder of sorts. 40 obstacles with mud over 10K on their property. Crazily I think it sounds super fun! I just need to find someone to do it with me so we can keep each other motivated. Dad is not the least bit interested, which I don’t really blame him. Any takers?? Bueller??

Fancy shoes and Purim

 

Last weekend Dad decided he was tired of his feet hurting and so we ventured to a fancy running specialty store for him to purchase fancy gym shoes. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a higher quality running/walking shoe.

We went to Fleet Feet in Cincinnati. They has awesome service, super nice, and were very knowledgeable. The store itself had more than just shoes. It had just about any running paraphernalia you could want. When I have a bit of extra change in my pocket I’ll likely go back for one of their super duper exercise bras ($60ish).

After putting your name on a waiting list, you wait and wonder. They were so busy that they were about 4 people ahead of Dad, which meant waiting probably 20 minutes. Once they called his name they asked what he was looking for in a shoe, what he actually plans on doing in it, any issues with his current shoes, and what size he’s been wearing. Then they do a cool 3D mapping of his feet, and watch his gait while he walked up and down the store barefoot. Combining all this information they brought out several shoe options, socks, and insoles for him to try out. Each pair he was encouraged to walk, or even run, around to test out as much as he wanted. There were several people literally running the sidewalk outside the store testing out their shoes.

Once Dad landed on a pair he liked we learned that he’s been wearing the wrong size shoe! Plus he’s lost all of his arch to the point where he’s completely flat footed and his ankles are turning in to compensate (hence the insoles). All in all he probably spent close to $200 between fancy new shoes, socks, and insoles. Over the next week he said it was like walking on air and his feet haven’t hurt once! Though his knee has been hurting more than usual. I attribute that to his ankles actually in a neutral position again, which is forcing his knees to a more neutral position again. In theory that should work itself out. Hopefully anyway. Our next 5K is in a week.

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I also wanted to wish you all a belated Happy Purim!

“Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus/Achashverosh (presumed to be Xerxes I or Artaxerxes I of Persia, “Khshayarsha” and “Artakhsher” in Old Persian respectively) planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim).

Part of the celebration of this holiday is the wearing of costumes. According to my husband, so take this with a grain of salt, the evolution to wearing costumes on Purim came about from the story. Each year at the party the story of Esther and Mordecai is retold via a play of sorts. The actors act it out in costume. There’s a fair few characters so a good number of people at the party would be in costume for the play. This evolved to everyone at the party wearing whatever costumes they want, or so the husband says.

Last year we went as crayons (our labels had become unpinned by the time the picture was taken). This year the girls went as medieval witches. I went as Emma Watson, combining Belle and Hermione.

Our Temple does a good job with the party every year, hosting a kid version in lieu of Sunday School.  Included is a decent lunch, lots of crafts and activities, and learning opportunities. Everyone involved had fun 🙂 And I managed to only eat two hamentashen (cookie. look it up. seriously yummy).

 

Dad’s 9 month post-op

So I realized that when I posted Dad’s 9 month post-op appointment results last month that I didn’t include a picture to go with it. They always say it didn’t happen if there’s no picture to document! So here it is 🙂

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He and I are both “slow losers” in comparison to some. Both of us are occasionally disappointed in the speed at which the number on the scale is going down. That’s why taking progress pictures is so important though! Even though he “only” lost 16 lbs from July to February the visual difference is very noticeable. We’ve been doing more strength training and more cardio, so we’re building more muscle. So who knows how much fat he’s actually lost compared to how much muscle he’s gained.

Speaking of exercise I’ve learned a new fancy thing in the gym from our trainer. She said she usually doesn’t teach her weight loss management group these particular exercises due to the difficulty level. She doesn’t like to set people up for possible failure and frustration. Dad and I are two of the handful of people that have been coming to the group exercise class outside of our allotted timeframe, so we’re on month 8 (I think?) when usually people only come for 3 months. Therefore occasionally she gives me a few more challenging moves to do just to mix it up.

A few of my favorite things in the gym to do have nothing to do with the machines. I love to work on the Pilates reformers, exercise ball, and the TRX (bands with hand loops, see video). All of these are a lot more versatile than you would have ever thought and give a great workout if you know more of the moves that you can do with them. Basically you’re using your own body weight with them and working on core strength a lot, though other muscles groups are obviously used as well.

I had Dad take a video of me doing two moves that I just learned on the TRX. I needed a visual reference of how high my feet were. They ended up being a bit too low so if you choose to try this at home raise up the loops a bit so you’re in a better plank position. Also I just want it known that that is not the top of my buttcrack you can see there but the tag from my pants sticking up. I’ll do another video later on the exercise ball for comparison. The same moves on two different pieces of equipment can change up the difficulty level exponentially and give variety.

It’s very weird to me how much I actually enjoy working out and going to the gym now, though I am very much looking forward to it getting warm so Dad and I can resume our weekly hiking outdoors.