Lessons in Running: I am invincible! Until I’m not.

You know that thing, where you’re totally 100% motivated, crushing your workouts and ticking off the days until your next marathon with your Coach because GOALS when all of the sudden out of nowhere – POW! – you’re sidelined by your cardiologist for 5-7 days??? Benched. Grounded. Stop. Drop. And roll over and scream because WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO YOU?!?!? And not for nothing, why do I even have a cardiologist? cry babyAbout a month ago when I started blogging again, I posted about what I had been up to and alluded to a health issue that I had experienced. I was planning on posting about it because it was a terrifying experience that I wanted to share as a cautionary tale for athletes everywhere. The moral to the story I never told was: Don’t dismiss chest pain. Or chalk it up to a million other things. If chest pain wakes you up in the middle of the night – Go get checked out immediately. Don’t screw around.  Note: I would like to state for the record that I am NOT a doctor nor am I a health care professional. But this much I know: if chest pain wakes you up out of a sound sleep, GO GET CHECKED OUT BY ONE. 

Some months ago that’s exactly what happened to me. I woke up with a horrible chest pain in the middle of the night. I froze for a minute, pondered the thought of a heart attack and calmly took my pulse. I breathed through it and came up with exactly 42 reasons why my chest could be hurting me. I ran 10 miles yesterday. I raked a yard full of leaves. I did push ups. The list went on and on until I had convinced myself that I was fine. Until it happened again. Then I got nervous. I woke up my other half in a panic. The chest pain resolved. I hemmed and hawed about going to the hospital. I stayed in bed.

This is ridiculous. I can’t go to the hospital?!?! I’m fine. It’s gone. They’re not gonna believe me. What am I gonna do? Be the vegetarian, non-smoking, marathon runner who has a few minutes of chest pain and stroll on in?

Well guess what? That’s exactly who I was – a seemingly “healthy” athlete with a cardiovascular problem. The next day I called my doctor and made an appointment to be seen. I told them I had had chest pain. Oddly, an appointment materialized out of no where. Because that’s what happens when you have chest pain – they take you seriously, Colby. Myth busted.

What followed was a series of very scary events. I saw my doctor and was immediately sent to the emergency room. I was in a hypertensive crisis. Crazy high blood pressure and a very unhappy heart. After a host of tests in the Emergency Department, they determined that I was hypertensive and possibly had pericarditis- an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac surrounding your heart. I was referred to a cardiologist.  I followed up immediately and within days had a monitor on, a stress test scheduled,  a follow up appointment and a plethora of tests down the pike.

As for my stress test? I was unable to do it because of hypertensive crisis number two in one week. Mission aborted. Me, the runner, could not do it. I was beside myself and straight up scared. I’m gonna have a heart attack. I was immediately put on blood pressure medication. Why? Why is this happening to me? Shit. If I knew that I was going to wind up on anti-hypertensives I would have sat my ass on the couch, ate bloomin’ onions all day and smoked Camels. Either way, I’m here. Sometimes you swim in a crummy gene pool and sometimes you don’t. And if you’re wading in the deep end of that pool,  all the kale in the world isn’t going to help you. Neither are the marathons. 

What a scary, stressful mess. I was confirmed to have viral pericarditis. And I had high blood pressure- which was probably waiting in the wings to make it’s formal debut. It chose right then. I had to stop running entirely for weeks and take copious amounts of NSAIDs. And right now, as in TODAY? I have it again – recurrent viral pericarditis. My blood pressure is perfect. Thanks, meds! Why this decided to reemerge I am not exactly sure. But fortunately I am incredibly blessed to have excellent doctors and access to great healthcare which is something that I will never take for granted. I have no doubt they will figure it all out. For now, I have to stop running for a little bit to get this under control. Then we get to the bottom of it. *cracks knuckles*

My real reason for writing all of this was not to scoff in the face of HIPPA laws or to host a pity party,  it was to tell you: If a health issue pops up, don’t ignore it. There’s such an emphasis on PRs, PBs, BQs – that sometimes its easy to forget that running – any kind of running at all – is a gift. The same goes for your health. Just because you’re a healthy endurance athlete, doesn’t mean you’re immune to cardiovascular issues, or health issues in general. While running and exercise has be proven to be beneficial to your health, it’s also not a “Get Out of the Hospital Free” card. Shit happens. And sometimes it can happen to YOU. Don’t ever take chest pain lightly. Or, try and talk yourself out of seeking care immediately because you’re a marathoner – they won’t doubt you because you look “too healthy to be here”.  Issues can pop up out of no where. Listen to your body. Don’t doubt it. Respond quickly. It’s counting on you.

XOXO,

Colby

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Are you there Blog? It’s me, Colby.

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It’s been a while. And by while I mean a WHOPPING year and a half since I sat down, cracked my knuckles and busted out the ol’ blog.  That’s crazy!  I think my last post was about a 3 day juice cleanse. Why? Not sure. Not sure why I didn’t blog, not sure why I embarked on a cleanse either. Although in hind sight, no clue why the hell I drank kale and celery for three days and passed on the tacos and IPAs of my own volition. Kidding. I actually felt great afterwards. It was a ‘reset’. And a good one at that.  I needed it.

It’s not like I ran out of shit to say. Christ. I’m a talking machine. Or races to train for and run. I actually ran two marathons – Vermont City and super recently Sugarloaf in Maine. One was a shit show (pun not intended) and the other a really strong “comeback” race. I’ll get to the “comeback” story later. It’s a goddamn doozy.  Scary stuff.  Or places to visit. I’ve been on several AMAZING adventures! We took a van out west and it was GLORIOUS! There’s enough material in those trips to power this little blog for 3 years.

So why haven’t I blogged?

Simply put, I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  I think for the past year and a half I’ve just felt pretty damn unmotivated all around. It’s like a Death Eater got a hold of me for a minute or two and sucked a little bit of my soul out. Which is sad, because I really enjoy writing little bits every now and then. About running, about life, about Drunk Otis…about anything.  I don’t even care how many people read it. I really don’t. It’s a creative little outlet that happens to be in a very tiny corner of the internet.  It keeps me thinking – of things other than work and the current state of affairs in the world which I equate to Living in the Upside Down.  Actually, in the backwards Upside Down. Good gravy.  What the hell has gone on! It’s funny because I think I blame social media for not blogging on social media.  Oh, the tangled webs we weave!  It’s so easy to get caught up in an IG rabbit hole or reading political commentary that seriously makes you want to stab yourself in the eye with one of those weird wooden spoons you ate Hoodsie Cups with as a kid.  Those things were like Smurf-sized tongue depressors. So odd.  I got sucked into all of it and then I got sick of ALL OF IT. Of opinions and commentary and people talking AT YOU. Buy this. Wear this. Like this. Follow this. Run like this. Train like this. Eat this. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.  Gah. It’s exhausting. It’s like Information Fatigue. Fucking TILT.  I needed to step back. And take a breathe. And shutdown.

So what changed?

Not sure. Maybe it’s finishing up a marathon that really meant an awful lot to me. Maybe it’s having just spent 10 days milling around Arizona and Utah in a van with dear friends hiking and exploring beautiful places. Maybe it’s hiring a running coach.  I’m not sure. All know is that I just went to Google “Best Lobster Rolls in Connecticut,” and here I am, blogging. I’m glad I did. I needed it.

It’s good to be back after a cleanse.

xoxo,

Colby

3 Day Juice Cleanse: Success!

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72 hours of not chewing a damn thing. No food. No tacos. No nothing. Just juice. And dark green juice at that. Done-zo. I neither fainted nor died. Which were both pluses. I managed one run, two walks and a Bikram Yoga class. Otherwise, I laid low. It’s not really the time to run Yasso 800s when you’re consuming just juice and are damn near glycogen depleted. I mean I’m nuts and all, but there was just no way my legs would do it. Nor did I want to. This was a reset for me. A nice calm, green reset.

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Cheers!

I am pleased to report that I did not cheat. Not. Once. Even though I did make dinner for My Beloved which was both torturous, cruel and unnecessary. (I wanted to stick my face in it for Pete’s sake.) Even though He stocked our fridge with my favorite Bordeaux and IPAs. Even though there were homemade dark chocolate covered pretzels on my counter. And Christmas cookies at every turn. I held steady. Here’s why…

Doing this was quite the undertaking. I shopped, juiced, prepped and cleared my schedule of Holiday Shenanigans for 3 days. Note: Buying lots of organic produce ain’t cheap. I also planned it around my training schedule. Because continuing training at my “normal” pace during this would not be conducive to life. I’d be belly up on the floor.  Finding 3 consecutive quiet days in December was harder than I thought. I know. All of this is total selfish nonsense, #firstworld to the max. But investing in your health during the season of over indulgence is important. It sets the tone for the year ahead. So I’ll take being a lil’ selfish.

There were definitely some low, hangry moments. Day 2 was a bear for me. There were also some verrry tempting moments on Day 1 that tested my commitment. I’m looking at YOU, gallon of peanut butter pretzels 3 feet from my desk. Another unnecessary bullshit hurdle. If all of the tempting hurdles taught me anything, it was that I could clear them. Easily.  Will power is really like a super power sometimes.

Somewhere late into day Day 2, it actually became easy.  In a bizarre twist, I had tons of energy and felt sharper. No joke-more clear headed  and with an awful lot of focus. Maybe it’s no sugar? No caffeine? Maybe I imagined it? I really have no definite proof other than to say that come Day 3, I really felt great. I slept soundly. I felt leaner. Slightly meaner 😉 and definitely more clear headed.

So now what? Welp. I am far more motivated to eat cleaner and mind the sugar and caffeine. Maybe limit myself to one coffee, instead of a pot. Or two. Limit the carbs a bit. Clean up the edges. It also eliminated comfort eating. You know when you pad around the kitchen, opening the fridge 100 times then settle for a box of half stale Reduced Fat Wheat Thins? Yeah. That kind of comfort eating. When I felt hungry, I had a glass of water *lightbulb* which curbed the craving. Simple. Basic. And no damn surprise. I haven’t felt this hydrated in months. In fact, I haven’t felt this AWARE in months. Let’s hope it sticks. 😊

What’s your go to comfort food? Do you hang up your water bottle come fall? Would you ever do this?

3 Day Juice Cleanse: Homestretch!

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I’m so close to the end I can taste it. And it doesn’t take like Green Juice. It tastes like pure joy. I’m not gonna lie. Day 2 of this 3 Day Juice Cleanse  was rough. Talk about peaks and valleys. I was a mid-day mess. I may have even gotten a little snappy or, hangry as the kids say. Late afternoon yesterday was the low point. Hungry and just plain pooped. But then things shifted inexplicably and I started to feel much, much better as the day went on. Energized even.

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Me. 3:17pm yesterday.

I am moving on along though, the end CLEARLY in sight. Which brings me to my next point, clarity.  I don’t know if it’s the caloric reduction, the lack of caffeine or what, but I seem to have crazy focus. I also feel a little bit like a fog has lifted. Maybe not fog. Maybe film. I had felt like everything lately- mind included- had been dulled. Like covered in a film. I felt sharper last night and super focused. It was odd. Of course maybe it was just the Herculean willpower I displayed last night, cooking My Other Half dinner. WHICH I DIDN’T EAT. What kind of complete and utter shit is that? I must realllllly love him. I feel like I can hang this over his head a bit. I feel a “Remember that time I was doing a cleanse and was starving and STILL made you dinner like it was 1954 and I was in the kitchen in kitten heels and a cute apron COOKING FOR MY MAN?!?!?!” in my immediate future. I survived though. And he enjoyed supper.

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Seriously.

Last day, Poodles. I’m curious to see if the increased energy/clarity or whatever I’m experiencing hangs through today now that the hump of Day 2 is over. I’m also curious to look around the interwebs and see if people report feeling this way. And of course if there is any scientific proof of it- because I’m a science dork at my very core. Whether it is real or simply perceived doesn’t matter. I feel it. So I’m goin’ with it! 🙂

Have you ever done a fast? Have you ever done a cleanse? Who makes dinner at your house? 

 

3 Day Juice Cleanse: 1 Down, 2 To Go. And yes. I’m starving.

feed me seymor

And by FEED ME, I don’t mean gallons of green shit. I mean trays of pizza. Sweet Clumps of Kale, Day 1 is DONE! Hooray! Actually. I’m being far too dramatic. It really wasn’t that bad. Like at all. In fact, I even managed a short run to break in my new Altra’s and then went to Bikram Yoga.

Hold up, hold up…
Let’s let that sink in.

I am in the throes of a juice cleanse and I went to Bikram Yoga.

WHO AM I?!?!?

Maybe I am shape shifting into Deepak Chopra! I’m a goddamn Paragon of Health! That is of course until Day 4 rolls around and I’m stuffing my gob with scoops of guac and IPAs.  I suppose it could be worse. I could be in the throes of a Stranger Things Netflix binge covered in Dorito dust. At least I’m trying. Tiny victories, Poodles.

As you know, I kicked off my 3 Day Juice cleanse yesterday. No time like a Monday in December when you have a Christmas Cookie Swap at Tina’s the end of the week to start a cleanse. Never fear. It will be wrapped up by then. Yesterday wasn’t so bad! I was juiced, packed and prepped early. Here’s how the 3 Days will go:

8am- 10oz of Grapefruit/Orange Juice Combo. Freshly squeezed. Freshly fresh.

10am- 10oz of Green Juice. This is the main staple of this particular cleanse. It consists of kale, spinach, romaine, green apples, parsley, celery, lemon and cucumbers. I might be forgetting shit. It’s all green. With a splash of yellow. Freshly juiced. Freshly fresh.

12am- You guessed it. 10oz of Green Juice. Again. Uh. huh. Green. Glug, glug.

3pm- 10oz of Lemonade. But not Country Time. Fresh lemons, lime, Grade B Maple Syrup (which, BTW no longer is called that. Now it’s GRADE A, DARK AND ROBUST! I added the exclamation point because it seems necessary. And I love syrup.) and cayenne pepper. I don’t know why, but drinking this makes me feel like Beyonce. If only…

5pm- 10oz of Green Shit Juice. I kid. I love you Green Juice. You make me feel whole.

1hr before bed- Cashew “Milk”.  Raw Cashews, that delicious syrup Vitamixed to a creamy elixir. It is a delight.

That’s all, Folks. See what’s notably missing? Besides beer and garlic knots and chewable food? COFFEE. I’m off caffeine. GAHHHH. That’s worse than anything. I had a very dull headache that did seem to subside as the day went on. I missed coffee yesterday. In fact, I miss it more today but that’s for tomorrow’s post. In addition to all that GREEN, I’ve been drinking quite a bit of water. Which is making me freezing cold. Not kidding. I’m swaddled in fleece and peeing LIKE A BOSS! I am also drinking green tea simply because I am freezing.

I’m not sure if going for a short 30 minute run on the treadmill then doing Bikram was smart, but I felt good. So I went. And sweated PROFUSELY. Of course I re-hydrated. Shit. That’s all I’m doing. Again, don’t follow this nonsense! Check with your doctor before you drink Organic Sludge and do steaming hot yoga! You do YOU. This is simply my opinion and crazy experience.  In an evil nod from the universe, this is what greeted me as I left the gym.  Temptation, much? Whore basket.

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You’re killing me Planet Fitness.

Today admittedly, I’m a little tuckered. But I am not ravenous. I think today I’ll probably just take Drunk Otis for a walk. That may be smarter. The point of this cleanse is to go easy on myself, rest the gut, detox, blah, blah- not beat the snot out of me.  I’ll dial it down. I’m going to have to. I’m dragging at the moment. Time for GREEEEEEEEN.

Until tomorrow, Friends!

xoxo

Have you recently switched running shoes? What do you run in? Have you had to switch because of changes made to the newest edition that didn’t work for you? Why do companies do that? 😦

3 Day Juice Cleanse: Day 1. Oh, this is gonna be good.

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Sorry, Ellen. I love ya, but I’m talking about it. I have to. It’s either that or I grab that bag of peanut butter pretzels sitting 3 feet away from me, snatch them like a fiend and inhale every last one, salty peanut buttery pieces flying around my head like a hysterical snow globe. Accountability is key for me. And putting it out there on this little blog is my way of doing so. I’ve embarked on the 3 Day Juice Cleanse before. It’s usually at the onset of training. When I want to get my head set, detox and de-bloat. You know how I love a delicious IPA. Welp. It’s time to PUT THE BEER DOWN COLBY and pick up the GREEN JUICE. You’ve read about my existential crisis and about kicking off base building complete with Bikram Yoga, clearly I’m searching for something. I think it’s just something called health.

Let’s face it. I ain’t getting any younger. While I audibly gasped it pained me to have to check the 45-50 year old box- WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK! – whilst registering for the Vermont City Marathon, I need remind myself that yes, while age ain’t nothin ‘ but a number, my slow post-Boston Marathon recovery, tight ass hips and overall creakiness is more than just a state of mind. It’s real. So, in order to help myself be my best self, I need to invest in my health a bit. Up my health game, if you will. To be kind to my body. Listen to it. Honor it. And to stop being so unnecessarily hard on it. I’m looking at you, Craft Beer. cleanse mindy

Now whether a 3 Day Juice Cleanse is going to transform me into a glowing paragon of perfect health or morph me into Deepak Chopra remains to be seen. My guess is No. It certainly will not. It’s not going to cure me of all of my ills. It’s also not going to make me drop tons and tons of weight either. It’s not a magical elixir.  It’s also not a diet. It’s a reset for me.  It will set the tone for how I want this training cycle to go- healthy, focused and disciplined. It will de-puff and de-bloat me. It will rest my gut a bit. I’m not even sure that a gut needs to be rested. But without bulk in it,  I feel like it will allow for more vitamins and nutrients to be absorbed unhindered. What do I know? I just know what I think. This is strictly my opinion, my crazy ass experience. It’s not a recommendation. So, please, don’t listen to me. You do YOU. – Just read and laugh and share and say Oh, Colby, You cray! Then leave YOU CAN DO IT! in the comments. I’m a biologist not a nutritionist or gastroenterology guru. Just a girl who’s set on drinking green shit in the hopes of feeling better about herself.  That’s all.

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I’m hoping my 3 Day Juice Cleanse will be a break from my dependence on caffeine which is GETTING OUT OF CONTROL. I’m wired for sound lately. It’s a bit much. I’m several hours and two juices into my day and already I can feel an ache of a headache sans caffeine. That’s just dumb.  I need to throttle back.  I’m also hoping that it will inspire me to up my water consumption from thimble to actual glass. I’m awful lately.  Dehydration alone can be contributing my my issues-  dry flaky skin included.

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So here goes nothing. I just swilled my first of many Green Juices and I didn’t die. All total today I will have 1 Orange/Grapefruit Juice, 3 Green Juices, 1 “Lemonade”, and 1 Cashew “Milk” and of course water and non-caffeine herbal teas if I want.  I’ll explain more later provided you don’t find me rocking in the corner bingeing on peanut butter pretzels. Imma look and feel fabulous! At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Who am I kidding? I’m going to be a salty swearing starving Pirate. But hopefully I’ll have good skin and de-puffed belly. Stay tuned!

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Would you ever try a juice cleanse? 

Climbing into your Comfort Zone

Everyone talks about moving out of your comfort zone. After all, that is where the magic happens. Right? RIGHT?

No one seems to cover those times when you need to crawl back into your comfort zone and chill for a while. Maybe even a long while. When you are way too tired to be looking for magic.

Well, I’m gonna.

Sometimes life hands you challenges…your adrenaline is flying, you’re on edge, you are existing on fumes, caffeine and raw nerves…and you haven’t seen anything resembling a “comfort zone” in months. So if you happen to catch sight of it? The LAST thing you need is to climb out of the darn thing.

Haven’t posted in a while. My husband had a pretty serious surgery in December to remove a tumor in his salivary gland, which took multiple ultrasounds, pre-surgical biopsies, bloodwork, the surgery and even multiple post-surgical biopsies to determine was benign.

Benign. Possibly the most beautiful word in the English language.

The whole ordeal, which took several months from start to final diagnosis, plus additional time for him to recover from surgery, was, ahem, draining. I was TAPPED OUT.

I read a lot of women’s magazines, etc. while sitting in waiting rooms, and noticed that everything was telling me to get me out of my comfort zone. Screw that. My comfort zone is a distant memory. I realized I needed to rediscover my comfort zone. And that is exactly what I did.

Books upon books upon books? Sure thing. Snowshoe races? Not this year. Put off everything on my to-do list while I do the Sunday NY Times crossword? You bet. Sign up for new kinds of race challenges? No f-ing way. Not now.  Make a fire as many nights as possible and plunk my butt down in front of it? Absolutely. Try “Intensity,” “TRX” and “HIIT Triple Threat” classes at my new gym? Ummm…No, No and No. I have mostly stuck to tried-and-true spinning when I can’t run. Binge watch The Office starting at Season 1 with my two oldest? Absolutely.

It’s one thing when you are bored, complacent and in a rut. THEN, you should do something to move out of your comfort zone. But when life throws you so far out of your comfort zone that you can barely find it? Love yourself enough to put the challenges and goals aside, and find a way to crawl back in. Stay as long as you need. Eventually, it, too, will pass.

Anyone else feel the need to “cocoon” lately? What do you do when you need to climb into your comfort zone?

Naughty but Nice

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Well beat me with a candy cane and call me Ms. Grinch! Christmas is HERE! Phew. At least my tree is up. And my presents are wrapped. And my stockings are hung by the chimney with glee. Glee might be a strong word. More like disgust. Drunk Otis has a “thing” for stockings as you all know. Which means he’s been trying to drag them around the house for about a week now. I can tell by the glitter on his whiskers and the totally soaked Christmas Stockings he leaves around the house in tatters. All he wanted for Christmas was his own Instagram, so Santa came early and now that fool is live on IG. Go give him a follow. He’s a mess. A slobbery, handsome, silly mess. #squadgoals

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As for Blogging, uh, what blogging? You know it’s bad when you have to request your WordPress password. I know I’m not alone! I’m looking at you, Salt. Oh, Colby. This happens every damn year. Work completely goes off the rails starting in November and my blogging falls promptly in the trash. I hate that. I am happy to say that my running has not fallen in the shitter. I’ve been loving the run. It’s been unseasonably warm up here in New England. Almost freakishly so. It’s kind of left me a little bit unnerved. Especially when this happens to you in December:

Global warming is for REAL. Not only did I find a tick on my hand in DECEMBER (Truth be told I blame Drunk Otis. As I do for any and everything these days.), my front lawn, which spent most of the summer looking like hay, is lush, green and fabulous. We might even have to mow that bitch again. ON CHRISTMAS EVE. In other sad news, I’ve only gotten to bust out my fabulous new Janji tights a handful of times. Christmas Eve in Connecticut might top the charts at 70 degress. So check my Instagram to see if I’m Jingle Joggin’ in a Janji singlet. So. Wrong.

Christmas did sneak up on me this year. More so than any other. That’s what happens when you find yourself, as we all do, RUSHING. Rushing to finish. Rushing to start. Rushing to rush. Who can enjoy the season when you’re traveling at warp speed? No one. So today, I am slowing down.  I am giving pause, if you will.  This evening I plan on planting my jolly ass on the couch in front of my jazzy tree, glass of wine in hand, and cheesy Christmas movie on the telly. Whether you celebrate Christmas is neither here nor there to me.  I do, but for you, Merry Whatever! Happy {insert term here}! Quite frankly, the PC-ness of it all is kind of grating on my last strand of tinsel, but I digress. 

My hope for you during your unseasonably warm winter runs, is that you take a minute to exhale, and think of all of the people you have encountered this year who have moved you. To tears. To smiles. To joy. All of them. Thinking? Good.  Now I hope a smile creeps across your face and a wave of happiness and gratitude knocks your heart over, and you say “Thank You” out loud, to no one in particular, like a Crazy Pants. There is much in life to be thankful for. The Holidays to me are about spending time with the people in your life who move you. And toasting. To love. To health. To happiness.

Enjoy, Friends! And CHEERS! 

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My InsideTracker Ultimate ReTest. Progress!

Inside Tracker Logo

Remember that time I took InsideTracker’s Ultimate (Re)Test and never told you how I had progressed? Or, regressed as it were. Benjamin Button style. I never filled you in. That wasn’t nice of me. Oh. But I had a plan. So what do you think? Based on my initial experience, was I able to make diet and lifestyle changes based on InsideTracker’s personalized recommendations, turn back the greedy hands of time and perform my best?!?!

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Source: Giphy

CLIFFHANGER!

Let’s review.

When last we chatted, I had taken InsideTracker’s Ultimate Test which examined my blood for biochemical and physiological markers of health. They analyzed the data extensively, and established my very own optimal ranges for each biomarker. So fancy! When markers weren’t “Optimal,” they provided me with science-driven nutritional and lifestyle interventions all geared towards improving performance, vitality and overall health.

Blood Don’t Lie, Poodles.

My Original Test was less than optimal. Girlfriend needed work. Which wasn’t shocking, considering that’s what prompted me to stage my own personal Health Intervention in the first place. Stress. Insomnia. Sluggishness. Horrible post-run recovery. And over all “Meh-ness.” I had also dealt with a very real cancer scare which thankfully had a positive outcome. I became laser focused on taking care of myself as a result. My InnerAge measurement, which examines chronological age versus specific key biomarkers was 60.3 years old. P.S. I’m 43. I was stunned.

My first set of results prompted three key health goals:

  1. Optimize key biomarkers 
  2. Reduce my InnerAge
  3. Improve my performance and run a Boston Marathon qualifying time

    Oh. And win the lottery while I’m at it. Lofty goals.

    The Ultimate ReTest.

    Since receiving my original results, I implemented almost all of the nutritional and lifestyle recommendations into my daily life. I also took sleep seriously. As in, it became my job. Many of my high biomarkers were influenced by stress and lack of sleep. Based on my first set of results, there were 2 main areas that needed serious work. I decided to focus on these two. Baby steps, Poodles. Baby steps.

    • Cortisol. When you hear “cortisol,” think stress. Your body releases this hormone in response to stress- both physical and emotional. My body was releasing it quite a bit. 
    • InnerAge. Oh, InnerAge. Why have you forsaken me?  I’m practically AARP card worthy. InnerAge is determined by 5 particular biomarkers integral to the aging process. Mine were awful. 

      Goals vs. Reality:  The Verdict.

      Cortisol. I achieved almost a 25% reduction in cortisol levels! I’m still no where near optimal, but my levels definitely improved. I’m just north of normal.  I have made sleep a priority. I have implemented a No Screen policy before bed. I have incorporated meditation and yoga into my life. I am exercising. I have let the small things go. Why sweat them in the first place?  I am managing my stress. And I do believe it’s working.

      Cortisol Over Time

      InnerAge. Well smack my ass and call me Sally O’Malley! I’m in my 50s! While I know I have a ways to go, I am gaining control. Progress! Remember, I am 43. I was 60.3. I’m at 53.1. I can’t wait to see where I am currently.  I’m coming for you Optimal! With a decrease in cortisol levels, a subsequent decrease in fasting glucose levels and an increase in Vitamin D levels, I’m not surprised I’ve gotten “younger.” Isn’t 50 the new 30? #wishfulthinking

      InnerAgeRetest

      Running Performance. After I received these results, I began an intensive marathon training program, Hansons Marathon Method. It was grueling. I was concerned about recovering and adapting to the high mileage for the 18 weeks of training. See why I’m tardy?  I have never run more intensely in my life. I am also acutely aware that ramping up training without adequate nutrition is goal suicide. This was training on a whole other level for me. I really took InsideTracker’s nutrition recommendations to heart. I ate cleaner and smarter. I drank more water. I slept soundly. I have never felt stronger in my life. As a result?

      • I am down 10lbs
      • I successfully completed training injury free
      • I recovered from weekly mileage in the 50s-60s brilliantly
      • I ran the fastest marathon of my life
      • And I qualified for Boston!

      Knowledge is power. And minor improvements can yield great rewards. Marginal gains. That’s how I am looking at InsideTracker’s results. Small incremental improvements add up to significant improvement when you add them all together. I plan on continuing to add small improvements with InsideTracker as a guide. I am overdue for my next test. I can’t wait to see where I am heading.  Sadly, I did not win the lottery. Although I do feel like I’ve won the Health Lottery. And that’s priceless.

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      The Marathon of a Lifetime.

      Interested in InsideTracker?  Feel free to use code:  BFRRUNCOLBYRUN to receive InsideTracker’s deepest discount of the year!  This will be valid until Tuesday December 1. Happy Black Friday, Poodles!
      Note: I purchased an Ultimate Test  at a discount and InsideTracker provided me with an InnerAge measurement at no additional cost. As always, all opinions and views expressed are my own. My. Own. But you knew that already. 🙂

       

       

      The Ultimate Retest

      Well slap on a tourniquet and find me a vein!  It’s Retest Time!  And I’m freaking out.Dying

      • Remember that time I found out I was really 60.3 years old according to InsideTracker’s InnerAge measurement, which looks at your chronoclogical age vs. key biomarkers then tells you how old you really are? In my case, I was 17-point-freaking-3 years OLDER than I actually am. Yes. Hello, AARP Card.
      • Remember that time I was feeling completely “off” and decided to be proactive about my health and took InsideTracker’s Ultimate Test, examining a whole slew of biomarkers that could possibly be contributing to my overall “Meh-ness”?
      • Remember that time I had a horrible cancer scare, and decided to GET IT TOGETHER, and be the healthiest, best Colby I could be? Let’s face it. I dodged a bullet. I would be crazy not to.

      Yeah. I remember it. I remember it all. The stress. The insomnia. The results.  If you don’t remember, please, read my original review, In Search of Optimal Health. My InsideTracker Review HERE. It was eye-opening.

       InsideTracker is a personalized health analytics company who’s platform tracks and analyzes key biochemical and physiological markers in your blood. And let me tell you: Blood Don’t Lie. Once your blood is analyzed, their platform analyzes your results with jazzy algorithms and a massive scientific database to determine your optimal range. You wind up with personalized optimal zones for each marker. When markers are not optimal? They provide you with science-driven nutritional and lifestyle interventions all geared towards improving performance, vitality and overall health. Totally empowering.

      Since receiving the results from my original Ultimate Test, I have implemented many of the nutritional and lifestyle recommendations into my daily life. I honestly have. Which is why I am chomping at the bit here. There were 3 particular biomarkers that needed serious work:

      1. Vitamin D. Bone Health and Energy. My level was in the weeds.
      2. hsCRP. The high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) test measures CRP,  a marker of inflammation throughout the body. I don’t even want to discuss how high mine was. I would venture to say that it was high because I hadn’t slept soundly and continuously in MONTHS. Insomnia is NOT a friend. Relive my angst, HERE.
      3. Cortisol. When you hear “cortisol,” think stress. Your body releases this hormone in response to stress- physical, emotional. Mine was obscenely high. Health concerns + Insomnia = STRESS. No surprise that my cortisol levels were crazy high. A cancer scare will do that to you.

      Then there was InnerAge. {Sigh.}

      InnerAgeI wish I could tell you that my real name ISN’T Nicole. And that it was sent to that poor, old, broad by mistake. Alas, it is I. What was driving this? Several things. My OBNOXIOUS hsCRP levels, my non-existent vitamin D levels and glucose levels that, while not officially “high” were higher than normal (for me). Thanks, High Cortisol Level. You’re a peach. My liver values were, shock of all shocks, optimal. Cheers!

      Ouch.

      I had my blood drawn yesterday. I’m already obsessing over the results. Patience, Grasshopper. I will say this:

      • I have been sleeping 7-8 hours a night. 
      • I am less achy. 
      • I am running tons of miles lately, and am recovering really well. KNOCK ON WOOD, PEOPLE.
      • I have lost 5 pounds. Bonus!
      • I feel leaner. 
      • I have clearer skin. 
      • I feel much brighter. 

      And now, the wait. Cross you paws. And call me Benjamin Button. 

      To definitely be continued…

      How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you take any supplements? How old do you feel