My Blog Posts

The evolution of my bling collection

Bling. This girl doesnt need sparkly diamonds. 
I dont run for the bling but it is a bonus-it symbolizes determination and hard work. 

I won the trophy at my first race…2nd in my age group, Hopkinton Lions 5K, Oct 2010
My “bling” collection as of March 2011

That is where it started and this is where it went…

My bling collection as of January 2012
2012, a little more bling after the Cinco de Mayo 5k

Fall 2012, notice the box full of kindling
From the box of kindling I won at Frenzy in the Forest Summer 2012, 1st in age group

That box of kindling now
Beautiful…I love it!!!
The extras
Room to grow

Call me selfish, but I run for me!

First or last place, you are a bad ass. It doesn’t matter if you only run a mile or if you run 200 miles. If it makes you happy than keep running and BE PROUD!
Ragged Mountain 1st AG, Pats Peak 3rd AG
Today I participated in two races. One started at 7am, the other at 6pm. The Winter Wild series takes crazy runners, snow boarders, and skiers up and down ski mountains all the while YOU are sleeping (before the ski areas open). I completed the Winter Wild series last winter. I finished 2nd in my age group for the series last year. This year I was unable to do the whole series due to my surgery recovery. This year I am racing to build back some strength. I had no expectations for placing in these races yet I am 2 for 2 for ending up placing in the top 3 of my age group. Darn it. You see, I am my toughest competition. I race/run for me. I give myself challenges. I am fairly successful within my age group and often end up on the podium for my age group. No one expects me to do this but me. I try to give myself a break but its hard. I don’t want to let myself down.  Today, after my first race I started getting mentally prepared for my second race-snow shoes. I participated in my first snow shoe race last Sunday and lets just say I wasn’t all that impressed. I sucked wind, walked within the first mile, 
Moose Mountain Snow Shoe Race
and I felt like I spent the entire time in an anaerobic state. I managed a first place win for my age group, but it was a small race. Today at 6pm I challenged myself to give snow shoe racing another try. The race was put on by the team I race with acidotic RACING and it was a night race…no brainer, I was going to give it a try. (I ran a trail race on almost the same course this summer and placed second over all for the women) While it sounded like a good idea at the time I was trying to be okay with just running. Go out there and run…have fun. That is not easy for me to do. The “You NEED to place” side of me usually takes over. I saw the above status on my friend Kristina’s facebook page. It was perfect timing. I really needed to read that at that moment. 
Tonight I raced at Kingman but I did it differently than I normally do. I took my time getting to the start. I was near the end of the pack, probably within the last 10-12 people. The horn went off and I didn’t move. Eventually I got to the start, turned on my Nike+ sport watch and ran. I was smiling. I eventually started passing people but only to maintain my pace. NOT to “win”. I had so much fun this race and I beat my desired time which was good enough for me! Yes, I post about running and my races on my personal facebook page however I dont do this to brag or boast. I don’t do this for the kudos and recognition. I do it because I am proud of my accomplishments and my failures. I know not everyone understands and you dont have to. Like I said, my running is for me, my racing is for me. 

Back in control… I want my body back!

The past year was a little challenging for me. Initially I was quiet about my issues, I slowly opened up to my closest friends and then after about 4 months I let it all out, opening up to anyone that would listen. Most people were surprised because on the outside you would never know anything was wrong. I had a great race season and was able to spend some quality time in the mountains and on the trails
*Kingman Farm trail race, August 2013
I think I started talking as a way of working through what I was feeling.  I felt as though what was happening to me was unfair. It was out of my control and I didn’t like it. It all started in late March a couple months before I was in full racing mode.  By July I had lost 12ish lbs and at my lightest weight the numbers 1-2-8 showed up on the scale. Part of me was excited to see numbers that I hadn’t seen since  high school but overall I was not feeling great about the weight loss. I was told by close friends and family that I was *too skinny* I don’t think I was too skinny. It was just not the side of Sarah they had seen before, or not the side they had seen in almost 20 years. Honestly, I didn’t like it mainly because I wasn’t eating much because I didn’t know how my body was going to respond to what I was eating. The first seconds I saw that number I was like “oh yeah, holy crap!” Ten seconds later I was saying to myself “damn girl, you need to eat!” I have said it before, I am a recovering control freak. I have been trying hard not to over focus on the things that I cannot control. I really wanted to be in control of my GI issues and in July I started making changes to my diet. By the fall I had gained about 5-7 lbs back and was feeling very comfortable at 133-135. I worked hard to get to that point, I was the fittest I had ever been and I was running well. The time spent on the trails and running in the mountains paid off!  I pretty much could sustain at 135 without having to focus on my diet. Cool. I was healthy and I felt great, minus the GI issues.

By the end of October I learned that the diet changes weren’t enough. Not enough had changed for me to figure out what was going on. My life was consumed by my GI issues.  All my conversations and thoughts had been taken over by wondering how my body was going to react to what I was eating. I figured out a few things that made it better and was able to keep weight on but I felt like what was going on with my body was out of my control and it was making me crazy. Pretty sure there was some depression hidden in there as well.  I made the decision to have surgery to remove “baby fibroid” that was sitting in the back of my uterus, growing comfortably. There was a small chance that removing that thing was going to alleviate some of my GI issues so you bet ya, I went for it.   I had planned on losing some fitness and probably a little weight gain. Pretty sure I was going to see that dreaded 1-4-0 again (a number I proudly hadn’t seen in over a year) but knew it would only be temporary.  Mentally preparing for surgery was pretty easy for me. I ran a PR half marathon a couple weeks before the surgery and did what I wanted to do before I was laid up for 6 weeks.

Surgery and post-op went way better than I had planned. I felt great. I wasn’t pushing myself too much, I had a great partner, and a faithful watchdog keeping an eye on me.
After a couple of weeks my lower back and body was feeling crippled. I was slowly able to sit up right and was able to cough with minimal pain. After 2 ½ weeks I decided I wanted to start going to the gym. Just to get my body moving. I stretched a little and sat on the reclining bike that I had set at level one.I couldn’t have set it at a harder level if I wanted to, it made me laugh to have it set at such an easy pace but it felt good to move my body parts! Since I couldn’t drive myself, I was never at the gym unsupervised! I did go for a short run/shuffle shortly after that. I needed it. The doc told me I could return to physical activity slowly, rule of thumb- if it hurts, don’t do it. I followed his orders and made it a slow 1.5 miles. 

My first post surgery run

I did run a 5k on New Years day about 3.5 weeks after surgery. I was careful and it felt good. So I did it.  I was excited to be able to fit in my running clothes! One week later, that all changed. Happy New Year! At week 4 I was able to return to work part time. I started to notice that the clothes that I wore 1 to 2 weeks earlier were fitting a little tighter. It was still uncomfortable to wear pants but tight yoga pants weren’t going to be acceptable professional wear at my meetings  that week. Feeling slightly anxious about the fit of my clothes, I blew it off knowing that I was beginning to increase my activity and the weight wouldn’t stay on for long. One week later that attitude changed. Devastation took over. Imagine waking up one morning to find out that you are 10 lbs heavier than you were the day before. Yep. That pretty much happened to me. I was working part time so once I was done that first week I was in my comfy clothes until the next week. When I got dressed for work-ugh. I went though almost all the pants I owned trying to find a pair that fit. What that heck! At one point, I weighed 147!  How was this happening? To top it all off I decided to put my increase in activity on hold. Too many people were expressing concern about my return to exercise with talk about internal bleeding etc. I was still active but not as active as I hoped to be. I have to say that it is very frustrating to hear things like: “oh geesh, you gained weight, you could afford a few pounds”  or when people snicker  and roll their eyes like I am over re-acting.  REALLY!? How do you not understand that I have regressed almost 2 years? That’s many miles spent running, that’s a lot of blood , sweat, and tears. I know I could afford to gain a couple pounds but I have NO clothes that fit and I am feeling uncomfortable in my own skin again. I am feeling the same feelings at 145 that I felt at 195. Very depressing.  I know I associated my surgery with a c-section and giving birth to a fibroid but I wasn’t pregnant, I didn’t have any time to prepare my body or my wardrobe for this kind of weight gain. I had hoped it was hormonal but nope. The surgeon shot that down. Really? I went up a whole bra size! I am stuck wearing bras that I haven’t worn in two years (yes, I at least had some bras around). My body felt like it was preparing for pregnancy, breast pain, bloating, widened hips. But its not hormonal. Whatever. I have one pair of running tights I can fit into. They were my first pair that I bought 3 years ago. Before surgery they were falling off me. Now-they are a pretty good fit.  Out of control. Not acceptable.

Paleo porridge

Surgery didn’t really help with my GI issues. It removed a constant pain I had in my abdomen but overall, my symptoms still existed. I found out (after having a colonoscopy and a biopsy) that I don’t have anything diagnosably (<–I think I made up that word) wrong with me, the focus is back to diet again. I don’t mean the losing weight kind of diet, I am referring to the overall diet, trying to figure out what it is that I am eating that could be triggering my issues. Previously I had focused on elimination and a LowFODMAP diet. Recently I did a little more research and chatting with friends about gut health and the Paleo lifestyle. I shot the idea of  it down in the past. It involves a lot of food prep and cooking. My kitchen is tiny and lets face it “ain’t nobody got time for that”. I found some good information online through a couple of different blogs. I found some tips for getting started, cleared my cupboards, and went grocery shopping. I am nearing the end of week one and for the most part was pretty successful with the first phase of my transition. I was already part of the way there with my gluten-free lifestyle but grain free, that’s tough. Surprisingly the grain wasn’t the hardest part.  Finding time to cook breakfast was the most challenging and I quickly got sick of eggs. Through a little more research and a little more shopping I was able to throw together some banana pancakes yesterday  morning and today I made some paleo porridge-so good. Last night I cooked up some spaghetti squash and I did some other food prep, today I will be throwing some “spaghetti” in the oven. In an attempt to make room in my kitchen, I removed the toaster. No grains=no toast I will be donating it to the local recycling center swap shop.

As I stood in my kitchen food prepping last night, I felt pretty good about myself. I found some renewed energy and feel as though I am taking back some control that I had lost.  It feels pretty darn good. 

I am a big fan of change. I need this change in my life. Taking control over my diet, trying to feel better, putting mind over matter has helped me in all areas. I want to train harder. I want to stop making excuses. I owe it to myself to have #noregrets. 
What is left of the flowers given to me by one of my students when I returned to work full time on January 22nd. Today I put the remaining flowers in a small vase that reads Live Well 

 The Paleo Mom‘s blog has been a huge help with my diet. I have saved some Paleo and gluten free recipes on my Pinterest page as well.

*Kingman Farm race photo courtesy of SNAPacidotic

One Word-Roar

About One Word 365:

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals
you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway.
Choose just one word.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long….

It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.
 Discover the big impact one word can make.
 One word. 365 days. A changed life.

This year I want to be heard, be seen, be recognized. I am committed to training smarter, working harder, and stepping out of my comfort zone. I will do throw myself out there and be noticed.
I want to ROAR.

Fake it till you make it. Behind the scenes of my life-pre and post operation

First of all, I don’t feel sorry for myself. Feeling sorry for myself means that I am not being accountable my actions. We, meaning humans, are responsible for the choices we make, the actions we take, and the people we surround ourselves with.  I didn’t put that darn fibroid in my body an many illnesses and diseases are uncontrollable. What we do have control over is how we respond to the news of illness/disease and other life changing situations.
Secondly, what I am going through is not life threatening and I realize many people face much more extreme and life altering illnesses than what I am going through right now. With that said, I am tired and I often feel defeated.

I was excited when I found out that I had a fibroid in my uterus. Strange, I know, but it meant that there was some hope. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was diagnosed with IBS…three different times now over the course 10+years, three different symptoms each time. Irritable Bowl Syndrome pretty much covers everything and to me seems to be what doctors diagnose you with when they dont know what the heck is really going on. Last March I started a long bout of what I call Bad Belly Syndrome (BBD). What this means is that I was have diarrhea, loose bowel, and just plain yucky feeling. I thought I was having a reaction to too many hard boiled Easter eggs but after I quit eating the eggs the BBD continued. I am a teacher and the last week of April was Spring Break. I seldom have plans over break and it was a good thing I didnt because I spent much of break on and off the toilet. The story of my life- If I am home for an extended period of time you can bet I spend a lot of time on the toilet. I finally went back to my GI doc in May or June and have been battling with her ever since. Dont get me wrong, I like her. She is very real and has frank discussions with me talking about “Shit”. <–crude I know but that word is often used in our discussions, she has no

Shufflin’ around the hospital

qualms about using “potty mouth” during my visit. Anyhow she and several other doctor like to say that what I am experiences is because I am training so much, I have stress in my life, I need to change my diet… Guess what? I dont train very hard. I do push my body (when I race) but most of my issues happen outside of my running. I don’t get “runners trots” (well, there was this one time) and I dont often feel horrible when I am running like I do when I am rested. The problem lies in that when I am rested I have GI issues which makes me less motivated to get out and do things.
After talking to some friends and other people with similar symptoms I decided to explore the possibility that problems in my “girl parts” could be contributing to my GI issues. Did I think that was the answer to all of my problems-nope, but I had hope that maybe it could help explain some of what was going on. After much convincing I finally found a doctor to listen to me and guess what-big ole baby fibroid was discovered. In the mean time I had tried changing my diet, religiously followed a low-FODMAP diet for 6 weeks, and transitioned into gluten-free eating. Nothing changed except that I wasn’t really experiencing diarrhea anymore but my bowel movement still weren’t quite right! I still had some pains and just didn’t feel great, most of the time. After several doctors appointments I finally scheduled surgery to have my Fibroid removed-December 11, 2013. Through this process, the reproductive specialists that I was working with had suggested I get a second opinion in regards to the IBS diagnosis. I will be getting second opinion. The earliest I could get into the IBS specialist is May! I am still working with my GI doc and as a matter of fact I will be seeing her next week, to talk about shit. My surgery couldn’t get here soon enough. About a month before surgery new pains in my “pooping parts” had developed and my doctors said is was probably just hemorrhoids or fissures and didn’t think anything of it. When I gave my plea as to why I didn’t think that was the case my GI did her best to convince me otherwise. So I brushed it off but about two weeks before the surgery I was in bad pain, strange things were happening with my pooping parts and my bowel movements and I was tired of fighting the fight so I figured I would just have to wait until after the surgery.

My first run after surgery

Its now after the surgery. I was good for almost a week. Once I was feeling better from the surgery the GI issues started and have been going ever since. The pain in my left side is gone-probably becuase the fibroid is no longer pushing everything to the left. But the other stuff is still there. There have been days when was painful to sit down.
I started back to work part time this week. I was talking to a coworker about autoimmune diseases and how diet can help and that some autoimmune diseases can affect GI. Part of me feels like I am grasping at straws and am denial about the “untreatable” IBS diagnosis but I strong part of me feels that what I am going through is more than IBS. I did some research, one thing led to another and I found some information to back up my concerns. I am ready to go into my appointment on Tuesday, ready for a “fight”.  Keep in mind that I have been researching and trying to find answers this whole time but my symptoms have changed over time and I feel I have a clearer understanding of what is going on. What I do know: meat and vegetables trigger my bowel issues more often than not. I have specific pains, I have specific things going on with my bowel movements <—I will spare you the details. One disease that explains more of my symptoms than IBS is Ulcerative Colitis.  It is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Crohn’s disease is also an IBD. I had a colonoscopy 3 years ago so that is something that the docs aren’t even considering since they typically only need to be done every 5 (this is frustrating to me). I had a stool sample when this all started. I am not sure what they tested for but you bet I am going to be asking if they tested for signs of Colitis. I have had blood work done several times for different things, I just cant remember if the GI has done any yet so yep, I will be checking into that. What also gets me is that I have family history with colon concerns. Polyps, Crohns, cancer, blockages (causing removal of part of the colon) are all things that have been going on with various members of my (immediate and not so immediate) family.  I just want some real answers with more substantial reasons as to why I am having these issues.  

Enough talk about poo. What else is happening behind the scenes. Weight gain. ugh. I didn’t really have any weight gain for about two weeks then all of a sudden my body just shifted.  For about a week and half now my body is acting as though I am preparing for pregnancy. My butt should have a sign that reads “wide load” my belly looks like I am 4 months pregnant, my chest, well lets just say it is a good thing I saved some of my big girl undergarments.

my butt

I have gained around 6ish lbs despite the fact that I have been going to the gym, running a little, snow shoeing and being as active as I can be without experiencing pain. I have not been excessively eating. *Something that I didnt think of which was pointed out to me by one of my friends (on facebook) is that I did have some surgery on my girl parts which is bound to affect my hormones. You bet. I did lose a fallopian tube in all of this and that could be a factor with the ole screwy hormone thing that is happening. Doc didn’t really say much about that other than oh, we had to remove the tube, it was over the top of the large fibroid.*
 My clothes are definitely not fitting and I am even “filling out” my yoga pants-muffin top and all. What the heck! I had to go back to work part time this week and didnt have enough fat clothes to get me through 3 days. I really hope this is temporary…like real temporary.

So there you have it. This is the not so glamorous behind the scenes that I dont post about on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.  Might be TMI but you really didnt have to read it now, did you? 🙂

I used to hibernate

I used to hibernate in the winter. There wasnt much that I liked about the winter. Its cold. I get cold easy. I just couldnt find a reason to want to spend time outside. A few winters ago (at least 5, before I started running) I decided I wasnt going to hibernate anymore. After all, I am a New Englander I should be out enjoying all seasons of the year. When I moved to New Hampshire from Michigan I thought I would pick up skiing again. I had dabbled a little in college and bought down hill skies that I had only used a couple of times since college.  I quickly learned that on my salary, skiing was not going to be my outdoor winter activity. I decided I would buy snow shoes. I had a good feeling that this activity would bring me out of hibernation and it did!
There is nothing like the peace and calmness of a snow shoe hike in the woods. Especially at night and especially when it is snowing! I took some photos and some video on my hike today to try to capture the peacefulness. If you tend to hibernate in the winter, I hope that these pics and video help you change your mind and maybe motivate you to explore what winter activities might be appealing to you. 
*Disclaimer: It was cold today, really cold. I took these pics with my phone and had some issues with the focus due to the frigid temp. 
Fox State Fores Ridge trail, one of my favorite close to home running trails.
Its the simple things…I saw these trees and thought “Snow balls”
Snow covered/tree covered trail…detour was necessary.
And this was the view at the end of my snow shoe hike

Get out out there an enjoy the winter! #noregrets

Last minute end of the year post

I have been thinking about what to write for my last post of 2013 for a few days now. I keep saying “I have to update my blog” but just haven’t been able to get into it. I thought I would be blogging
like crazy after my surgery but truth is, I have gotten lazy. I have been enjoying the pajama wearing life style, watching mindless television and playing Sudoku (<–I just learned how to play thanks to my friend Diane’s care package). Another truth, I am a procrastinator. I am NOT going to make a resolution to stop procrastinating. I actually feel I do some of my best work when I procrastinate. I also don’t do resolutions. I set goals and challenges and since I cant seem to turn down a challenge, I usually reach my goals. So I suppose this blog will be just another blog updating on my progress since the removal of baby fibroid.


First, this has been a challenging situation but slightly less challenging than I thought it would be. I was terrified for surgery. I REALLY didn’t want to be cut open. The morning of the surgery my doc had a little heart to heart with me and told me that he had reviewed my MRI over and over and felt that he needed to make a vertical incision to give himself more room to work. He was afraid that baby fibroid was lodged under stuff (like bowel stuff) and needed some elbow room. That was the worst case scenario. I think he was excited to see what my insides had in store for him. I was okay with the news but still didn’t like that there was a last minute game change. I shrugged it off and repeated my mantra-expect the worst, hope for the best. My positive thinking paid off when I woke up and he told me that he didn’t have to do the vertical incision.(Baby fibroid was also smaller than expected and there were two smaller ones that were removed as well. So it was more like a small orange and a couple small grapes-triplets.)  He explained that once I was out, he was able to do another examination and since I was “out” he was able to root around a little and found that baby fibroid was most likely not trapped under bowel and so it was a horizontal incision and when he got in there it was a very simple procedure. Its a good thing I felt comfortable with the doc and my surgical team or I would have felt a little violated with the way he described the pre-op examination!  Anyhow, I also didn’t need staples. I had dissolvable stitches and glue. That meant one less trip up the hospital, one less favor I had to ask of my friends since I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself. Expect (prepare) for the worst, hope for the best.

I did have to drive myself back to the hospital a week later due to strange happenings in the swelling and fluid. I had an air bubble, gross…weird. The doc couldn’t pinpoint what was happening. Since I was off the painkillers (which did make me feel a little buzz) and I was feeling pretty good, I was able to drive myself the hour up to the hospital. Of course the swelling wasn’t as bad by then but the doc assured me that as long as I wasn’t experiencing a list of side affects that the fluid will subside and there was nothing to worry about. The appointment took 5 minutes. 1 hour drive, 5 minute appointment. I decided to start my Christmas shopping…6 days before Christmas, one day after I sent my care package to Michigan. I should back track and say that earlier that week I freaked out because I wasn’t able to be creative and make and buy special presents for my family like I typically like to do. Control freak in full force. So, I was able to do some shopping for my NH peeps and quickly learned that even though I felt okay, my abdomen was sensitive. I drove the hour back home and sat around the rest of the day and start my Holiday cards. I take pride in being creative and making them from scratch and I was NOT going to give that up! That was Thursday night and the cards finally got in the mail Saturday morning. Christmas was on Wednesday. I was feeling good about getting them done, sore from sitting hunched over for so long but good.

Unfortunately, I am still having some GI issues but I do think the surgery has helped a little. I have an appointment with my GI doc in a couple of weeks and I will go in with my dukes up, ready for a fight. I am still not satisfied with the IBS diagnosis. I am sure that its partially a factor but there is no way what is going on is totally IBS-I will spare you the details and end this discussion.

I have been to the gym 3-4 times now since my surgery and I have ran 3 times (3 days in a row)-1.5 miles, 1 mile, 2+miles!  I felt amazing on last night’s run and thought for sure I was running at regular pace…ha ha. I was about 30 seconds slower than that but it still felt good.  I am off to the gym again today, I probably wont run but will sit and do some cardio on the bike.

One thing that I have been doing a lot of is thinking…
I am getting myself psyched up to start enjoying running again. I was starting to get a little burned out before the surgery so I guess it was a good time to take a break. I am putting together my training schedule and am waiting to see the dates of some of my favorite races before I post my schedule. I have been saying that my big goal this year is to train more and race less. Really it is more like just TRAIN. I am horrible at following a training schedule and pushing myself in my training. So this year I want to train harder and better and possibly race a little less so I can focus more on my training. My dilemma is there are sooooo many races that I want to do! The problem with racing so much is that I want to focus on distance this year with my big race being the Hampshire 100. 100k of running in my back yard! Run Strong. NO regrets!

Okay, time to get out of my PJs and start the day. I wish everyone a safe and happy New Years. May you have no regrets in 2014!


The year of the Fibroid

This is how I started my day…

Pre-Op liquid diet

I am hoping that tomorrow (Wednesday) is the beginning of the end for me! I am having surgery. Basically I am having a C-section to remove a large (baseball/softball) sized fibroid that is sitting in the back of my uterus pushing all my parts around-my girlie parts and my pooping parts.

“Baby Fibroid”

This darn thing has been giving me issues since March and tomorrow…tomorrow it will be evicted from my body!

Most of my friends have heard me agonize, complain, and obsessively talk about my lower GI issues. Its been a huge part of my life. It has affected my work, my personal life, and caused me to be emotionally drained. It started with diarrhea and my intestines growled louder than your average stomach growl. I was bloated, I felt like you could pop my abdomen with a pin. I always felt like I needed to go poo.  I would go from bouts of diarrhea to messed up, crazy, abnormal bowel movements. I finally went to see my GI and she said it was IBS. I was diagnosed with IBS several years back after a period of constipation, firm stools,  blood, and discomfort. I did not buy that what I was going through this time was only IBS. I tried the Low FODMAP diet. At first I loosely followed it and my BM issues started to clear up but I still had crazy GI stuff going on. A LOT of discomfort. I asked my GI and my primary about girlie issues and whether or not that could affect my GI. They both basically said “maybe, but I doubt it”. I finally had a yearly examination with a doctor who ended up not being my primary. SHE listened to me. She was not sold on my theory but she felt like it was worth a shot to have it checked out. She prescribed a transvaginal ultrasound. I will let you figure that one out. Long-story short…Fibroids were discovered. They couldn’t tell how many or how large…2 doctors later and I was signed up for an MRI. The girl parts specialist was doubting that this fibroid was causing my issues, she didn’t think it was big enough. Then she read the MRI results. WOW! I am not an expert but I could clearly see that baby fibroid was sitting back on/near my rectum as well as pushing my uterus and all my other parts out of the way. yep. THIS is probably what has been the source of the nagging pain on the left side of my abdomen that I have had for close to year. Baby fibroid sits on the right pushing everything to the left. I have a good understanding of my body. I know my body and am keen to when things are going wrong. Since March I have been able to sense and feel everything going on…its weird. I can feel bubbles, pains, rumbling, you name it in my abdomen. I feel like I can almost trace my food as it leaves my body. I am ready to not notice this stuff any more. While I have no doubt that the initial signs could have been IBS, I feel the IBS was triggered by the stress baby fibroid is causing my body. I think the LowFODMAP diet helped. I have reintroduced foods back into my diet and even try wheat on occasion and while I don’t get instant diarrhea my GI tracts gets a little messed up but it did from time to time when I was on the diet. I am hoping that once baby fibroid is out and my parts are settled back in I will start to get some answers about my diet etc. I am hoping that diet will be one less thing I will have to worry so much about with my training. Don’t get me wrong. I will still work towards eating smart and healthy but I hope to be able to go back to eating healthy and not have to worry about every little thing I put in my mouth and how it might affect my GI. It tends to drive ya a little insane after awhile.
I laugh because lately I have had similar symptoms as to what I have been told pregnant women have: Irregular bowel movements, what I call “fireworks” in my lower abdomen that could be similar to baby movements, bloating (I look a little preggers) and indigestion. Its time for Baby Fibroid to go!
I want to thank all my family and friends for your support. A BIG thank you to my running friends as my GI issues was often the topic of conversations on our runs. I hope that the next time I am asked  “how are you feeling?” I don’t have to come back with some poop related story and I can truly and honestly say “I feel great”! 

Sparkly headbands, running skirts, trail shoes, and a smile!

Picture taken at the top of North Kinsman

Who is this girl? I have said it before but I never would I have imagined that I would be running mountains/trails for the fun of it! Well, I take that back. There was the time I ran away from home when I was around 3 years old. I grabbed my blueberry picking bucket, hiked up a big hill and headed out on the trail. Apparently I didn’t get very far because when my dad found me I was tumbled over, tangled in the wild blueberry bushes! My dad loves telling that story and now I get call him and share my true hiking/running adventures.

Beautiful colors all weekend long!
At the trail head of Kinsman Trail

I dedicated Columbus day weekend 2013 to me, myself, and I. 

South Kinsman
View from Bald Peak off of Kinsman Trail
Didn’t quite make it to Cannon but I made it to this un named 3,000 footer

 The gorgeous trail as the sun was setting on the way down Kinsman

I decided to stay up there for the night and found this lovely campsite

It was “illegal” but it was also the middle of the government shut down and the campgrounds were closed and Ranger Rick wasn’t on duty to bust the rule breakers.
I started out on my 20ish mile journey from the trail head for North Twin mountain.
The morning fog was burning off but after I got above tree line this was the amazing view that I saw…
I headed to South twin then down to Galehead where this was the view…okay so there wasn’t a view!
Next up was Garfield…which provided another amazing view above the clouds. The view made up for the rugged trek and less than enjoyable terrain at times on the way over from Galehead.
I took Garfield trail back down and much to my surprise it was runnable! As I was heading down I passed a man and a group of young teenagers for a second time. They were surprised to see me running and one of the boys yelled “you go girl” and I thought to myself… Yeah, you go girl! I had a hug smile on my face the rest of the run down. Once I reached the access road I soon discovered that the map can prepare you for where to go but it cant prepare you for the elevation…The access road back to the trail that would eventually lead me to my car was all up hill and while I had intended to run it I had about 3-5 miles to go and my feet were less than thrilled. It was beautiful and made for a nice run/hike.
I have to admit, I wasn’t really sure where I was going, it all looked good on the map but what I was taking wasn’t really an established route but I made it…super proud of myself and super hungry. I wasn’t prepared with snacks/food for another day and managed to complete my 20 mile journey on a pack of shot blocks, peanut butter, 1 pack of vanilla gel and 2 rice cakes. BTW-vanilla gel tastes pretty good on a rice cake!
Little did I know that this adventure would kick start a new journey-hike all 48 of NH’s 4,000 footers!



Its impossible to watch a sunset and not dream ~ Bern Williams

Tapering for the Marine Corp Marathon began this week. Now you runners that know me know how bad I am at following training plans. My goal for next year is to race less and train more/better but since I filled my schedule with a bunch of races, and I have a hard time not going all out when I race, I am blaming my race schedule for my poor training ethic this year. Anyhow, after the VT 50 I decided that I could start following the marathon training plan to get me through the next couple of weeks. (Funny thing is I did the same thing while training for the VT 50…I decided to stick to the training plan the last two weeks of the plan.). I had a nice 5 mile run with some intervals thrown in on Monday. The colors were beautiful running in Deering on the back country dirt roads and rail trail. On my way home Monday I had noticed that the colors down Bear hill road looked like they were at peak and the reflection of the setting sun made them look even better.  Tuesday the plan was to run 3 miles. REALLY? 3 miles. Ugh. Barely worth getting geared up to only run 3! BUT I remembered how I felt the night before as I saw the reflection of the setting sun down Bear Hill road  so on Tuesday I set out for Bear Hill on my measely lil 3 mile run. I did contemplate not running at all and tried to find a good excuse (including this darn head cold that I am refusing to let get the best of me) but there are not any “good” excuses for missing a workout.

A couple pics from last Monday:

View from back country road in Deering

Tuesday: So I set out for Bear Hill, its a great road because in addition to the farms and hill it parallels the river. I had my phone with me anticipating great pictures along the way. I was disappointed because it didn’t look like there was going to be a good sunset. Boy was I wrong. As I headed up bear hill I took some pics of my favorite cows and made my way up. I hadn’t planned on running all the way up since I *only* had to do 3 miles but I saw the sun. It was orange and pink and the reflection on the colorful trees was beautiful so I just had to make my way up to the top for a better view. I could see the brilliant colors of red, orange and pink shining brightly from behind the trees. I rounded the top and started back down to find one of the most amazing sunsets I had ever seen. This past week there were so many beautiful sunsets! I soaked it up as much as I could because winter is coming and I know there will be some cloudy days ahead. I know to never second guess going for a run- You never know what adventures you will find until you get out there and explore.

Some pics from sunsets this past week:
Bear Hill


Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. ~Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday on a trail run

There is no beginning or end to your dreams or plans. Life is a journey from moment to moment.
Live each moment to its fullest
~ Garth Catterall-Heart
Saturday sunset in the White Mountains

At the end of the day there are no excuses, no explanations, and no regrets.
~Steve Maraboli