Sunday, July 17, 2011

A different kind of PR

This morning sucked.

I'm just going to be honest.

But let's start with last night. My great friend Ali and our other friend Vanessa road tripped it down to Colorado Springs and spent the night at Ali's parents house.

Her stepdad made us some fabulous spaghetti and we spent the evening lounging around.
And setting up our running gear, and oohing and ahing over our sweet free stuff!

We knew we had an early morning ahead of us and so we decided to presume with some Nyquil... straight from the bottle.

I have no idea why we have sunglasses, but it made sense at the time.

But I'd absolutely love for you to try and figure out what in the world is happening here :)

Thankfully the Nyquil knocked us out. Not that it made getting up at 5:30 any easier.

But we made it to the starting line and we were ready and rarin' to go!

And while I ALWAYS NEVER watch The Bachelor... :)
One of the old contestants (Andy I think) was there and spoke for a bit
Sarah Micke I have a feeling you know who this is

Then began the race.
I had already mentioned that I had planned on running this race for fun. My body has been crapping out on my lately and with the development of the allergies and asthma my breathing has been mediocre at best.

But it's easy to tell yourself that you're running for fun, and then there is the issue of actually doing it. Thankfully Ali read us a little devotion about being nice to our bodies when running and how by listening to our bodies they will actually thank us in the end!

Quite frankly I got a severe stomach cramp, as in my entire stomach seized up, and it was there for the first 4 miles or so... excellent.

Miles 5-8 were great and at mile 8 I truthfully didn't believe I was even going to finish the race. My entire body was weak and I even had to stop and sit a few times. I had chills for the last couple miles as well... kind of weird considering it was in the 80's.

And I walked like nobodies business. Typically I cringe at the thought of walking during any sort of run, but today I didn't care. I was nice to myself, I listened to my body, and I didn't beat myself up over the fact that I was going ridiculously slow.

And after making friends with some other women that were walking/jogging I finally made my way to the finish... 15 minutes slower than my half marathon last year in Korea... and 29 minutes slower than my Alaska time :)

But I finished.

Honestly this race was HORRIBLE, I have never felt worse during or after a run. 

And while I may not have run a great race, PR'ed or done anything amazing. I was able to listen to myself and be kind to myself. I had grace with my body's limitations, and that feels better than any time I could've gotten. 

and maybe tomorrow after my legs start working again I'll be able to take the advice of the fun necklace we got in lieu of a medal.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Allergies, Asthma, Awesomeness

If you've been reading this blog for any period of time you know that I've been training for half marathons quite consistently since January. I ran a race in April and quickly signed up for a race in July. And because I wanted some extra bonding time with my sis I decided to run another one in June in Alaska. 

So it's been a solid 7 months, and for some odd reason I hadn't been getting any better. Which is frustrating.  Sure I did great in Alaska, but going to sea level doesn't hurt. 

Since May I had noticed that breathing was getting difficult at times, and my heart rate was sky-rocketing within the first 20 minutes. I didn't bother with it until I got back from Alaska and realized something was up. I figured it was Exercise induced Asthma and called a clinic to get it checked out.

My first hint that this was going to be out of the ordinary is that they didn't know how to pronounce my name when they called to confirm the appointment.

Yes, they couldn't pronounce "Sara"... needless to say I was already feeling this place might be a little sketch.

When I arrived I informed the nurse that there was NO WAY I had any allergies, it was all asthma. So I took a breathing test... four times. I apparently cannot breath in and out of a tube properly.

I'm special.

Then the doctor came in. A short, stout indian man with a comb over and a limp started to check my ears, mouth, breathing, and last... my nose. As soon as he looked up my nose he shouted loudly and asked how I'd been breathing.

The man could not see any air passage in my nose. excellent. Allergy testing time.

69 pin pricks in my back, and 17 shots in my arm later, turns out I'm allergic to most weeds, grasses, animals, etc. basically EVERYTHING. And my body doesn't like to show outward symptoms... so it all settled into my nose.

Causing me to not get enough air, causing my snoring, and my constant sniffle.

And I had no idea earlier because the altitude and the dryness have triggered the symptoms. Thanks Colorado.

As ridiculous as finding out about all of this was, I am happy to have some sort of idea as to why it's been extremely difficult to breathe lately.

I left with this...

2 nose sprays (used every day)
2 inhalers
1 set of eye drops

I *think the nose spray has been working, but it's a little hard to tell.

I head back in this next week and if its not any better then I get a cat-scan of my deviated septum and if it's bad enough possibly surgery. 

don't you just love good news??

Anyway, the afore mentioned half marathon is this Sunday so we'll see how it goes. Quite frankly my body is a little on the tired side so I think this race will be purely for fun!

And if you wouldn't mind praying for my stuffed little nostrils... my terrified of surgery self would much appreciate it :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The 14'er

Last week my good friend Ali (who I ran this race with) asked me to go for a hike. This wasn't just any walk through the woods... we were going to tackle a 14'er (a mountain above 14,000 feet). It was my very first one... and it was a blast!!!

(unfortunately our nice camera is in the shop... and I have completely forgotten how to use the point n' shoot... so bear with me)

 Ali figuring out the way                                          

Both of us are training for a half marathon ( this sunday! yikes!) And we still had to stop frequently... let's just say climbing 5,000 ft in 4 miles gets tiring!

We finally made it to the top!

6 miles in 3 hours... we were pretty proud :)

Now there was another peak we could've gotten too... but the clouds rolling in made us a bit nervous. And thank goodness we weren't feeling too adventurous because half way down the mountain it started raining and the peaks were covered in fog.

Guess we'll just have to hike it another time!

Ali is just way too cute :)
Not only that, she is a fantastic friend and woman of God.
Our conversation for the entire trip was so great and encouraging for the both of us.
Have I mentioned how blessed we have been in the friends department since making our way out to CO?

It wouldn't be complete without a jumping picture :)

Overall my first 14'er was a great experience and I'm pumped to hike some more this fall!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alaskan Adventure: Family

Now that Jon and I have been back from Alaska for a week, I've been looking through the pictures and already wondering about when we'll go back.

Not only did we get to do and see so many things that people only dream of, we were able to spend some quality (albeit) busy time with family. The last time my siblings were all together was during Jon's and my wedding... 3 years ago. With all of us spread all over the world (Alaska, Finland, South Korea/Colorado) it has made our time together few and far between, but that much more cherished when we do get the chance to be together.

So to finish our trip off we took some family photos. Nothing fancy, but it's all of us together, and that's what matters.

Joel & Miia

Nate & Jess

Nate, Jess, Sammy & Ben (Jack was already sleeping)

The boys with Auntie Miia and Uncle Joel

We actually got them to sit nicely with us... miracle.

Sophia, Mari, and Grace 

Attempting a picture with Henry... not happenin'.

Rebecca and Eric with their munchkins... 
hopefully their Christmas card this year... because it's awesome.

And one more with our Aunt Kathy and Uncle Scott (who just happened to be in Alaska at the same time!)

Thank you so much Eric, Rebecca, Nate & Jess for hosting all of us and for making this one fantastic family reunion :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Alaskan Adventure: Denali Round 2

As the skies were beginning to clear we made our way to a rest stop/tourist stop I wasn't that interested in the books or post cards, but the animal antlers were calling my name...

That thing was HEAVY... and it was only one. I couldn't imagine having two and then having the neck strength to actually move.

Moose impress me.

turning into a dall sheep.
no. big. deal

The to Jon's dismay I made him get involved.
he wasn't as excited as i was.
shocking, i know.

but my niece grace was MORE than happy to oblige her crazy aunt!

Ok, see at the very top of the clouds this white peaks? 
Yeah, that's Mt.McKinley.

Apparently, we were extremely lucky to see even this much of the mountain.
Like 90% of people that go, rarely ever even see the mountain.

John (the wheezing bus driver) explained this would be our last shot of it most likely, so we took pictures like crazy. 

Oh hello mr. grizzly!

The half way stop at Wonder Lake

The siblings

Becca and two of her girls. Sophia and Grace


Later in the afternoon the sun relay started to break out and it was gorgeous view after gorgeous view. 

So as I was taking pictures out the bus window, I snagged a glimpse of a larger snow capped mountain behind us.

I, being the nice sister I am, abruptly woke up my brother Nate asking "Nate! Is that Mt. McKinley?? Is it??"

Why yes, yes it was :)

(this is without the zoom. that mountain is still HUMONGOUS)

So despite a dismal morning and a little bit of disappointment at not seeing the mountain clearly.
I'd say we got our money shots in, and the 11 hours on the bus were MORE than worth it to see that massive, snow capped mountain!