10k or Half Marathon?

I’m laughing now, but not long ago I was fuming mad. Last year in November I registered for Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and the River Bank 25k. Fast forward to February of this year, and I found myself reading medical journals and doing online research on excessive exercise and the heart because my dad unexpectedly had a heart attack. I decided to back down from the long distance races and focus on heart health with 10k or less runs. So the beginning of March I got online and transferred from the 25k down to the 10k and then read (it must have been on their website because I can’t find any emails) that for event transfer for Gazelle you’d need to pick up your bib and bring it to a special table at the expo to get a new 10k bib. Ok, great!…I thought it I was all good!

Then I saw that the Gazelle 10k was sold out. It made me wonder what happens to all the people that are planning on the 10k but purchased a half bib? It got me thinking though about how much I love the Gazelle half. So I contacted the race director. Looks like their policy must have changed between the beginning of March and now because I was basically told I have no choice but to run the half or defer to next year.πŸ™ˆ I skipped speed work in training in favor for easy runs thinking I had no reason to be focusing on speed anymore because Nashville is just a go for fun race….so this half I have no idea what to expect. I love Gazelle though, so I am excited to run it once more.

I recently ran a 2:11 half in training for my last half (Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville), so I’m hoping for that or better but we will see what unconventional training does for me 😬.

Health update

I thought it was time for a little health update. It’s been about three months now since my food sensitivities and Candida overgrowth diagnosis, and I am feeling better than I have in a long time! I have pretty much figured out through trial and error what foods are the biggest culprits to my gastrointestinal distress after going through the list of foods they said my body reacts to (plus others that weren’t tested). So far I’ve found these foods cause the most problems: corn, bananas (😒), garlic, wine (mostly sweet ones), kombucha (😭), and cashews. I am sad I had to put kombucha back on the list! And I’ll probably never get over the fact that bananas make me bloat up like a balloon. Fingers crossed that side affect goes away eventually…I was eating them 2-3x a day haha!

I have plans to have some corn shell tacos as my post race meal after the Nashville half, and I’m already excited about it! πŸ˜‚ haha No clue how I’ll feel since I’ve done pretty good avoiding it the past few months. But I have high hopes I’ll be fine and I just needed a break from those foods. If not, I’ll just know what to expect if I have them and continue to do my best to avoid them.

If you’re having GI issues, I’d highly recommend seeing a Naturopathic doctor (if your regular primary care physician can’t do the testing) and getting food sensitivities and Candida tested. Remember, food allergies and food sensitivities are quite different. It wasn’t cheap for the tests, but for what I learned and how I feel now it was well worth the money.

Health update

I mentioned earlier last month in a blog post that I haven’t been feeling great lately. I started feeling like almost everything I ate would make me sick. You may have seen my post on Instagram where I briefly gave an update on my blood test results.

But, basically I found out I had food sensitivities to 39 different foods.😱 And I tested positive for Candida overgrowth.

Here’s what I learned. You should be rotating your foods. Do not eat the same foods every day. The ‘meal prep’ pictures that are all over Instagram where people prepare the same foods to be eaten for several days in a row might sound like a good idea…healthy food already prepared! But no, you’re looking for health problems doing that. You shouldn’t be eating the same things day in and day out. Rotation is key so you don’t develop food sensitivities like I did.

I often made a salad for lunch with a base of kale, tomato, onion, and chia seeds. I did switch up what other ingredients I would throw in, depending on what I had on hand. But guess what showed up on my sensitivities list? You guessed it…ALL of those things (and then some!).
Gluten is not on my list because I’ve been GF for several years. Most of the items on the list are foods I consumed every week, if not daily. I used turmeric and cinnamon every.single.day. I probably over dosed on almonds because I was rotating between almond and cashew milk, and eating them on salads and for snacks, almond butter, and they are in many Larabars.

Now what? I went to a Naturopath doctor and she suggested I take anti-fungals in addition to the probiotics I already have for the Candida overgrowth. However, it was completely up to me. I am in a gray area because numbers over 100 are considered overgrowth and my IgG (the chronic overgrowth) was 168, and my IgM (recent Candida overgrowth) was 124. So, they’re on the lower end of being ‘abnormal.’

The fact that my food sensitivities came back with so many, I am going to first focus on that. I will be eliminating all the 2 and 3 star items as well as the 1 star items that I consumed daily. For 1 star rating, I have been instructed to eliminate them for 3 months. The 2 star items should be eliminated for 4 months, and the 3 star for 5 months. I had a few 2 star and one 3 star item, with the rest at 1’s. Interestingly enough, my booklet says the 1 star items can cause more symptoms than the 3 star items and, “the number of antibodies just gives us a way to decide how long a person should avoid the food in order to decrease the antibodies and symptoms.”After that period of time, I can begin to reintroduce the foods one at a time and only one food per 4 days. If I react, I remove the food again. If not, I can reintroduce a second food.

I’m hoping the Candida really isn’t much of an issue because that’s a whole other set of restrictions. I am trying to maintain 80/20 Candida diet while going through my food sensitivities elimination, but am trying not to stress about it if that doesn’t happen. Stress can affect Candida levels as well!

So I have lots of information to review and prepare for this big diet change. I’m very hopeful it will bring me some relief. I’m looking forward to writing an update post down the road. Until then, learn from me and my mistakes. Rotate your foods! 😊

Why my energy is lacking lately

I’m still shocked I’ve been able to make it through my regular workouts with how I feel when I get up and how I feel in the late afternoon.

Who has heard of Candida overgrowth? Chances are not many people have. Candida is the most common cause of fungal infections and I only know about it because people in my family battle it. I’m not sure if that’s what my gastrointestinal issues have been caused by lately, but I’ve been on this restrictive diet to kill off the bad bacteria and have felt loads better since…except for the lack of energy that has suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. I told my mom about how I was feeling and she said it’s a ‘thing’ and actually has a term – a Herxheimer reaction, when there is a rapid dying off of the bacteria. But, I also think I haven’t been eating as frequently …simply because nothing on the list sounds good as a snack (for lunch or dinner, sure!). I am so used to eating fruit, carrots and hummus or some sweet potatoe crackers for a snack and can’t have those things now. I have been eating  the gluten free nuts and seeds on the safe list now (and in all honesty, almond butter straight from the jar 😜), which I have always had in my diet but not in this quantity haha!

You have to avoid sugar (in the cleansing phase, all fruit too — I still use Nuun though – it’s sweetened with stevia and munk fruit), yeast, vinegar (so condiments and salsa are out), alcohol, dairy, caffeine, starchy vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peas, parsnips, and many grains. Sounds like a nightmare for a runner, right?! No sugar and less carbs?? No more pitted dates for running fuel for a while, and my gluten free bread and pasta are out for the time being.

I don’t know if the lack of energy is just a coincidence or not. But I know I have found some foods that I am sensitive to. Sadly WINE is near the top for worst offenders (insomnia, GI issues, and itchy skin). Beans are are a close second with the GI problems. I’m hoping with this diet ‘cleanse’ that the side affects won’t be as bad down the road when I do have a glass or two of wine or a Mexican dish with black beans or hummus.

Breakfast is usually some hot buckwheat cereal with a little almond butter, cinnamon and a pinch of stevia (I miss bananas!). Lunch lately has mostly been salad with sardines (don’t say ewww until you’ve tried the ones from Costco! They’re de-boned, packed in olive oil, and in a BPA free can) or quinoa, plus some veggie toppings that often included any of the following: radishes, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, avocado and cucumbers. If I have the fish, I am usually good until dinner. If I have quinoa, I’m usually hungry by 3pm and exhausted. Dinner is pretty basic and simple with chicken or turkey and one of the approved veggies like broccoli, asparagus, or rutabaga plus some mixed greens.

I battle psoriasis and since going on the Candida diet, my skins ‘itch factor’ has improved dramatically. But, I am still having GI issues…just not as bad. So I’m just trying to figure this all out.

In the meantime, you’ll probably find me on the couch in the late afternoon when my energy suddenly drops. 😴

I just found a recipe for some coconut flour crackers and I’m going to try making those and eat them with some homemade guacamole (if they’re not too coconut tasting) for another snack idea. If you’ve had to do this diet too, what were some of your favorite snacks?

1-Year Anniversary of 1st Triathlon!

This is just myΒ Tuesday night ramblings…

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of my first tri!Β fb IMG_2216

I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking about the sport of triathlon lately. Immediately after the race I wasn’t sure if I wanted to improve upon my sprint time, or try a new distance. I just knew I wanted to do more of them. After a while, I decided I wanted to go big and do the 70.3. After riding in the Holland 100, and having a crummy experience, I began to re-think what I wanted.

Why do I do what I do? I love a challenge, but I also have to enjoy it. The Holland 100 showed me I definitely do NOT like super long bike rides. I know I really enjoy riding 30-ish miles and riding 50-ish is not awful. So, I’d probably be happy (or at least not miserable – ha!)Β with a 70.3 bike ride if it wasn’t a super hilly course. But, maybe not?

Do I do an Olympic distance and see how I like that before deciding on the 70.3? This is something I’m leaning towards now. It’s not that I’m afraid of a 70.3 distance, it’s that I’m afraid I wouldn’t enjoy it. Being miserable for several hours isn’t worth it to me. I have to enjoy it to some degree. If I do the Olympic distance and love it and thinkΒ a 70.3 sounds fun, I’ll sign up.

In two months, registration opens for a local tri that has both a 70.3 and Olympic distance. So, I’m about 85% sure right now I’m going to sign up for the Olympic for 2017. I’ll update in October :).