Thursday, February 27, 2020

Allergies SUCK!


Let me paint you a picture of how my life has been lately. I have to look at the label for everything because I don't know what is in everything. There's so many things that I've taken for granted for my whole life that now I can't. To cover that a little bit more, let me reverse back to September.

I came home after picking my daughter up from cheer practice and sat to eat dinner. A few bites in I got food stuck in my throat. Sounds bad, but it isn't abnormal for me. I've lived with swallowing issues my whole life. We have always figured I just had issues swallowing because I didn't chew well enough or I took too big of bites. This time was different. I couldn't get the food cleared (down or up) after a couple of minutes. Not even after 10 minutes; or an hour! So I called a nurse.  After speaking with them and going over a lot of questions they said that as long as I am not in any discomfort, not too worried, and if I can sleep elevated the food will likely clear overnight. Then I should follow up with my doctor in the morning. Not being one to worry too much about it since I felt fine, I went to bed.

The next morning I tried to take a drink of water and the water came right back out. The food was still stuck. So, I got the kids off to school went to the emergency room.  They gave me less than an hour to find a ride because they were going to put me under so that they could do an endoscopy.  Luckily my buddy Pedro was able to come help me out. The problem is they said that they couldn't do the scope because my throat was so swollen.  They tried to balloon my throat and it was still to swollen. They did a biopsy from my esophagus, but couldn't do the one from just below my stomach like they were supposed to in order to check for Celiac Disease as well. Prior to the procedure they guessed that I have something called Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The test results confirmed their suspicions. As a result they sent me to an allergy specialist.  Come to find out that I am allergic to several things:
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Egg
  • Dairy
  • Beef
Now I have to give a lot of credit to my wife because she tries so hard to make sure that every meal fits my newfound lifestyle. Even though I tell her all of the time not to, it still stresses her out. I love her so much for doing that for me. This has been a real adjustment for all of us; and it gives me a new way of thinking about things and eating. It makes it really hard to find food that I can eat at times, especially the convenience foods that we are all so used to eating. Throughout our searching we have found a few brands that are very safe because of how stringent they are to make sure that they cover as many allergens as possible. One of my favorite brands so far is Enjoy Life. It has really been helping me to enjoy the foods that I can't have like cookies. Yes, we all enjoy us some cookies from time to time.

For anyone that deals with any type of allergens, my hat is off to you. Especially if you've dealt with any kind of allergies for a long time, and if they are more severe/life threatening. Whereas I'm just finding out and having to adjust majorly. I'm also putting my family under the stress of having to worry about what I'm allergic to. It goes even so far that my seven-year-old daughter even looks at labels and tells me, "Daddy, you can eat this there's no allergies." My heart breaks that she is that smart, and also feels that she has to look out for me. She shouldn't have to look out for her dad.

Monday, August 27, 2018

UPDATED: I can't keep calm, I'm running an ultramarathon!

I have been looking forward to attempting an ultramarathon for some time. Even though I signed up for The Hawk 50 miler earlier this year, that doesn't mean that it actually stuck in my head that it was actually going to happen.  For those that don't know, an ultramarathon (according to Wikipedia) is defined as "...any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)."  They typically start at 50 km, or 31 miles...then go to 50 miles, 100 km, and 100 miles.  There are several other distances that care covered, but these are the most common.  My longest race to date has been at the G.O.A.T.z Trail Run back in 2014 and I ran ~21 miles.  And I've done some half marathon distances and an endurance event (read Obstacle Course Race, or OCR) that was the Spartan Race Beast that was ~12.5 miles up and down the Tenmile range of the Rocky Mountains in Breckenridge, CO.  So, going up to 50 miles is a leap no matter how you look at it.

I wish that I could say that I am excited about running this race, but I am not.  Okay, let me correct that....I REALLY AM!  I'm scared that I will let myself or others down and not be able to finish.  I'm also scared that my lack of training, to how well I want to be trained, won't be enough and I won't be able to continue or complete the race in the allowed time and that I will miss a cutoff.  I know that I have a very, VERY generous cutoff that I am up against (31 hours), but it is still a fear of mine given my lack of experience.

I signed up on January 7th of this year.  I figured that I had plenty of time to train for it.  Did I do enough training?  No.  HECK NO!!! Life's ups and downs have kept me mentally stressing and not focused on it.  A couple of months ago I created a training plan.  A pretty aggressive one.  I started okay, but my long runs tended to suffer and get cut short or left off for one reason or another.  So, I am naturally worried about what I can do.  According to UltraSignup.com, it estimates that I should be able to finish in around 15:28:07.  That is 15 hours, 28 minutes, and 7 seconds.  When I have looked at how I have been running my goal was to finish in under 15 hours.  According to them I will be close.  I am not totally sure how I will do, but I will give it everything that I have that day.  Maybe I will be fast enough and they "let me" upgrade to the 100 miler and I totally kill myself. Bahahahaha! Not likely!

If you want to track me that day they will have live tracking available from Timer Guys.  The website is timerguys.com.  Since the event isn't going on all you can do is find the general description of the event HERE.  The 50 mile starts at 7:00 AM CDT on September 8th, 2018.  My bib number is 586.

Oh, I did forget to mention something.  September the 9th is my birthday, so this is actually going to be a run to celebrate my birthday this year!  Maybe every year if I get daring enough to make it some sort of tradition for myself.

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Welcome to the Orange Mud Dirt Unit!

The Dirt Unit - Orange Mud's Ambassador Program
You read that title correctly! I got an email from Kevin at Orange Mud last night.  He is the Social Media Manager for Orange Mud.  I have used a couple of different water bottles from Orange Mud and I currently am using the Double Barrel HydraQuiver quite regularly.  I'm eyeing the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2.  There are 2: version 1.0 and version 2.0 with some improvements.  We'll see if I get one of them.  If I do get one, I will need to do it soon so that I can break it in.  Why you might ask?  If you didn't read my last post (Time For Changes) then you don't know that I am signed up to do my 1st 50 mile run next month.  I am running The Hawk 50.  This will be my 1st Ultramarathon attempt.  I would want/need to get used to running with it beforehand.

If you have never looked at Orange Mud before, they are worth checking out.  OBVIOUSLY! I use the products, isn't that enough reasoning!?  If not, how about this...the CEO/Founder, Josh Sprague, created the products originally out of his own need to fill his own void.  Once he found that it worked he figured others might want a similar tool in their hydration arsenal.  Thus Orange Mud was born from Josh's destroyed gun holster and the Kansas clay that he runs on so often.  There are are hydration packs for running, biking, SUP, and plain old walking.  They have "The Wrap" (seen at left) that is a towel that velcros around you at events so that you have a towel to change behind or simply keep things clean.  It also can wrap around your car seat to keep it clean like Caden and I did after a mud run. And no fitness company would be complete without some specialty clothing and gear bags.

For all of my friends and family that either want to try the products, or expand their current lineup...I have some good news for you.  You can use the code CECILVFRIENDS to get 15% off!  How is that for awesome!?  You can benefit from me running for Orange Mud!

Me sporting the Double Barrel HydraQuiver
at the Market to Market Relay in Nebraska.
Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time For Changes

Over the course of the past several months our household has been undergoing some changes.  Some good, some bad.  All of them are happening, so we have been working together to deal with them in the ways that we can.  One of the things that we have changed is the addition of a new workout space at home.  If anyone reading this knows me at all then you know that most of the miles I log are on a treadmill.  In the past this was done over lunch a lot at work for what I was calling "RUNCH".  (I borrowed from another runner the term "RUNCH".)  At the end of the Summer to the beginning of Fall I lost my job and this ability was stripped from me.  So, I started using our family membership at the gym we had been members of while searching for a job.  I did find a new position and started just about 2 months after I lost my previous position, but the workout facility is much more limited.  I still have access to treadmills at work, but I have been busy learning things that I haven't utilized the space much.  This is where the addition of this new space comes in.  I am now the proud owner of a treadmill!!! Thanks to my amazing wife!  We searched and found one that we could afford to help us all out.  Now I have the convenience at home and can run a little easier.  It is a good thing because I have something big coming this year.

Ever since I ran the G.O.A.T.z Trail Run and did the 21+ mile run I have not returned to trails for a run.  Now, one might say that the Spartan Race in Breckenridge and other OCR that I have done count.  I am talking about a trail run, not an OCR.  That long run was some time ago.  Now, I have been watching several runs and checking out ones that I want to do....eventually.  One of these is called The Hawk in Kansas.  They have 3 distances at this race: a trail marathon, a 50 mile, and a 100 mile.  My goal race is to complete at least one 100 mile race.  Obviously getting there means that I have to work for it and probably hit some of the shorter runs after it.  In the past I have attempted a road marathon twice and had to drop to the half both times for different reasons each time.  Well, the stars aligned and I trained my butt off for Breckenridge.  Let's see what I can do for a trail race.  I have officially signed up for The Hawk 50 on September 8th, 2018.  It is going to take a lot of work to get ready, but I know that I can make it.

Lately I have been thinking about my life and how my training fits in or should fit in. I know that I will never be an elite and I will likely never have a podium finish or be good enough to qualify for The Boston Marathon or Western States, but that isn't going to stop me from running or exercising to better myself.  I have had and want to continue to have amazing experiences with friends and family; not to mention the creation of new friendships.  So I will continue to do these long runs, OCRs, wacky runs, or other fitness events to help keep me healthy and to make life interesting.

For a while now I have entered different giveaways, winning some and losing most.  However, I still enter because it is always nice to dream.  In this same spirit I have a race ahead of The Hawk 50 that I will be running thanks to GNC and me being a Pro member.  They gave away 5 entries into any Spartan Race in the US for the remainder of 2018 and I happened to be 1 of those 5.  So, I chose the Spartan Busch Stadium Sprint in St Louis, MO after I spoke to a buddy that is going and have a troupe going together.

Spartan Busch Stadium Sprint

As I was looking at hotels Sierra came and asked me what I was doing.  I told her that I was looking hotels for the race and she asked if she could go.  Including a point that she has never got to go to a race with me.  I didn't think that she was serious at first, but it turned out that she was.  I looked and they do have a Spartan Kids race that she can do.  I spoke to my wife, then talked with Sierra about needing to do extra training specifically for it including some straight runs beyond what she does for all star cheer.  She said, "Wait!!! I CAN GO!!! YEAH! Dad, I need a training plan."  I knew that Spartan had a Kids Training Plan that I could easily download and give her as a base and we'd build on that.  Needless to say, she is excited to run her first OCR and go with me.

Sierra's 1st training run with me.
In support of my needs to train (or practice) I am happy to be a Nuun Ambassador (otherwise known as a Nuunbassador) for a 3rd year in a row.  I have been using the products to help with hydration for several years. As of my training for the Spartan Beast last year I started using their Nuun Performance line to help with other needs.  It has the electrolytes that I need to stay hydrated, but it also incorporates carbohydrates to help support your energy needs.  I just ordered some Orange Mango as I have been using the Blueberry Strawberry.  My worry is that my stomach will react to the orange part, but I will see as I train for The Hawk and whatever comes my way this year.  Tiny chance I'll also sign up for the Hitchcock Hundred's 50 mile.  Very tiny chance!

Honey Stinger HiveTo help support me even further I was honored and welcomed into the Honey Stinger Hive as a Honey Stinger Ambassador for 2018.  Not something that said too much about in the past, but I have used the Waffles quite a bit. They are very yummy!  I also have used the Chews, but those have become my race gummy bears when I need that something sweet during a run.  I have used the gels once or twice, but have bought a small stock for now to get me going and to find my favorite flavors.  There is a Mango Orange that might pair well with the Orange Mango Nuun Performance.  I haven't tried that combo just yet.



And for a bit of entertainment.  There is a musician/dad/runner named David Rosales.  I found him recently on the Ultrarunner Podcast (URP) and he has this amazing song that incorporates his running and being a family man into one awesome song.  So, for your viewing and listening pleasure...."Good to Be Alive" by David Rosales.