Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Grace poors down like rain

Last Friday as I headed out for my morning run,  I headed out with a very heavy/anxious heart. I had been thinking about my miscarriages, which has been the first time in a while.  I honestly try to avoid thinking about it, because I get sad.....but my mind had been thinking of my four lost children a lot the few days prior to my run.  So as I ran, I prayed....I offered up my run and asked God to help me understand why I was thinking about this.  After my miscarriage in March/April, I had a bunch of tests done.  The Doc said that anything over three miscarriages is indicative of there being more than just the odds.  So we waited six weeks after the miscarriage, and they drew like two gallons of blood...okay not that much, but a lot....something crazy like 22 vials of it, and sent it off to Mayo clinic for the testing.  Three weeks later I got a letter in the mail  stating that most of my blood work looked normal, and at this point it appears that I have something called a Lymphocyte compatibility disorder.  A who what??????  I called the Dr office and the explanation I received was that there is something incompatible between my husband and I's lymphocytes?  HUH?  Essentially what it means is that because of the compatibility thing.....my body doesn't always produce the protecting amino acids/hormones it needs to identify the baby as not a threat.  So in other words,  My immune system sees the baby as a threat to the body, and goes on the offensive.  There is speculation that since Steve has an autoimmune disorder, if that is passed on in the genetics, my body sees it as a foreign entity....but it is speculation.....we don't know why for sure. We do know that it can be treated with a low dose of prednisone during pregnancy.

I thought knowing why I had miscarriages would help..... I always think if I understand something it would help me cope..... it didn't help at all.  Initially I was numb and a little angry.  It just kinda sat there.  I wasn't sure what to do, or  how to process the information.  I still felt pretty indifferent about it up until my last few runs.  On Friday when I was running,  I was thinking of my little ones....I know that two of them were boys, and I named them Shane Mathew, and Gabriel Martin.  The first two miscarriages I had,  I had never gotten a feeling, or names as to if the babies were boys or girls, or what to name them.  As I was praying I was thinking about what it would be like to see my children in heaven one day,   and I thought how happy I would be to hold sweet Shane and Gabriel, and  Ryan and Timothy.  I was taken aback momentarily, because I just knew those were their names.   It is kinda funny because those two names have never even been on a list of possible names.  They are both great names, but not ones I would have picked.  God gave me the names of my other two angels in heaven.....What a gift.  My first miscarriage was over Ten years ago  I've gone that long not knowing Timothy's name,  and God shared it with me,  it is a humbling and wonderful gift.  I came home after that run, and my heart felt a little lighter.

I went out the next day for my run and again I had a heavy heart.   I offered up my run and began praying my rosary.  As I ran and as I prayed  I began to feel healing.  I know that sounds weird, but I could feel my heart becoming lighter.  I finally acknowledged how truly sad,  and angry I was over losing Gabriel.   I have a tendency to just jump to what I think is the right answer "well I don't understand why, but God will get me through",  but I don't always allow myself to walk through the emotion I need to find healing.  For the last few months, I've been saying I'm not angry,  I know God will carry me through,  and even though I have no doubt God has been carrying me through.....I really have been quite pissed off!  I gave my anger and my sadness over to God.  I was overcome by joy and awe.   I Feel So blessed.   I Think of what a miracle the four Children I have living here with me are.   I miss my four in heaven, but God has blessed me and entrusted me with four amazing Gifts.  Medically it seems to be a huge miracle to me....I have this compatibility thing, and yet I have four amazing Children....WOW.

Today I went out for my 3 mile run, and I felt lighter.  I offered up my run and began my prayers.  I felt strong and encouraged, and happy.  As I cross my "finish line"  I look at my watch.  I ran 3.04 miles in 30 min and 30 seconds.....According to map my run,  my mile pace was a 10 min. mile pace.  My fastest pace....last week was an 11 min 25 second mile pace and that was for a 2.93 mile.  1 min 25 seconds off my mile pace.....not too shabby.  God is GREAT!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reaching for goals, and fighting discouragement

Today I ran 2.93 miles.  I have been doing runs based on time, 20 min to 25 min, and then on to 30 min. .  So far this training period, my running has been SLOW.  I am finding it very hard to push myself.  I ran a 4.63 mile run on Saturday, and begged my hubby to run with me, because I know I will never get any faster if I don't push myself.  Sometimes when I am running I get so lost in my thoughts, yes I am a expert daydreamer,  that means I don't realize my pace, and that usually means I go slow. Today I decided to map out a 5k course and start running that each day to get me ready to start my half-marathon training. So I map out my course, and head out. I offered up my run in prayer and then I started focusing on my pace.  Yesterday when I ran the 30 min, I ran crazy slow, like a 13 min mile pace.  I wanted to finish my 5k in 33 min.  So I started running. The times I felt myself slowing, I would push myself harder.  As I am coming upon the finish I am excited, because it looks like I am going to finish my run in the 33 min goal.  I crossed the finish point and I was pumped.....33 min exactly!  I did my cool down walk the rest of the way home and go in the house and share the news with my hubby.  I tell him I am going to go log my time on Map my run, so I can get my pace.  As I review the map, and the 5k course map, I marked out, I notice there is a little side street highlighted that I don't run, I wasn't sure how that happened so I adjust my course, and realize that I didn't do a 5k in 33 min, but only 2.93 miles.   Which was the equivalent of and 11 min 25 sec pace mile.  I was bummed.

As I re share the actual stats from my morning run with Steve, I tell him how disappointing it was.  He was completely baffled by my disappointment.  He tells me how I'm still at the beginning of my training, that I've only been running a few weeks, and I am running faster than when I started last year.  I know he is right.  It is just that now I have sent this goal to try and reach the two hour mark in my half-marathon, part of me is panicking.  I will have to run around a nine minute twelve second mile pace.  I in my mind can not comprehend how (when I am pushing myself)  I am running a 11 min 25 sec mile pace, how I will ever be able to run 13 .1 miles at a 9 min mile pace.  I know I am getting ahead of myself I still have twelve weeks of training and hopefully 50  more pounds to drop by then, but for some reason, I don't see it happening. 

I have struggled with this my whole life.  I set a goal, and then the self doubt creeps in.  I had someone say to me recently, "You just put your mind to something, and you do it, that is AWESOME."  I honestly felt a little guilty accepting what I consider a compliment, because oh how do I struggle!  I vacillate between thinking, I can do this, and oh no, I have set myself up for failure...this goal is way to lofty for me to obtain.  Then I start obsessing and get myself all worked up, and then I feel discouraged.  Okay probably a little to much insight into my crazy thought processes for you, but that is my daily struggle.

As I contemplated my disappointment,  I reminded myself, that I am way ahead of where I was two years ago, when I didn't get off the couch.  I reiterated to myself what Steve told me this morning about being at the beginning of my training.   I need to stop projecting to October and concentrate on the small victories I have each day.  Today I ran almost three miles.  Today I pushed myself.  Today I got out of bed.  Today I weigh less than I did last year at this time by almost 20 lbs. Today I tried.

I am always the first one to celebrate the tiniest victories for other people, but I don't always allow myself the same courtesy.  I can see that God is using this journey to teach me to be a little kinder to myself.  I am realizing that while it is the most natural thing in the world for me to be kind to others, I don't know how to be kind to myself. Man,  God is so much smarter than me! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time Flies, Pounds drop, running ensues

Well my hope to be a more consistent blogger is so far falling a little short, but It has only been a month instead of two.  So it is progress.  Steve is home from his two week stint in June, his surprise was well received, we have celebrated Steve's Birthday, Mary's Birthday, the fourth of July, and so much more.

We had some testing done on Sarah for her most recent seizures.  We got good news and more of the same news.  The good news is they felt confident in saying that she does not have one of the more serious types of Seizure disorders......however, they didn't feel they could completely rule out a seizure disorder at this point either.  The neurologist said we had two options, we could wait and see, or we could start her on a daily dose of anti-seizure medication.  I have done lots of research and anti-seizure meds are some pretty serious medications with lots of side effects.  Steve and I feel that it is not in Sarah's best interest at this point to start her on a medication for a possibility.  She has maybe two seizures a year, and the frequency of the seizures vs. the risks of the medications this just seems the best way to go, for now.  If it ever comes to a point where the frequency increases greatly, and of course she is diagnosed with a seizure disorder, we will go the medication route, but for now, we will wait and see.  She still has a very good chance of outgrowing this.

I am so thankful that she is such a tough kid.  She is so full of the dickens, stubborn, strong-willed, adventurous, fearless, and nothing seems to slow her down or stop her.  She just rolls with it and pushes forward.  It makes my job as her parent quite challenging at times, but I am so thankful for her spunk and liveliness and joy.  It is very reassuring to see her out that giving life all she has got.  It gives me a quiet confidence that she will be okay.....no matter what we face.

I have started training.  I ran a 5k on July 7th.... I only ran four times before the race, so  I was completely out of shape. I also had a serious summer cold, which was later diagnosed as Bronchitis. It was the slowest 5k I have ever run, but it was fun.  I ran the whole thing, and I finished.  It was pretty cool too.  My Bro-in law Pat and his wife Angi, their kids, Steve and I and our kids, and my brother James and his son Christian all ran it.  Of course they all finished ahead of me.  After Pat got done winning the race....yes he won the race, and his daughter Grace won the 1.2 mile, and all 5 Castle Children were in the top 10 of the 1.2 mile finishers.  They all came back for me, and ran me in.  There was a time when I would have been embarrassed that I finished so much further behind everyone, but I honestly had the most fun in the race, and having my family run it in at the finish cheering and yelling for me as I run as fast as I can to the finish line was a pretty fun feeling.  I missed a week after the 5k due to nasty Bronchitis, and even though I have not stopped coughing even after a bout of anti-biotics....I have started running again, and I will be ready for my half-marathon training to begin July 31st.

I also started a new diet.  It is called the Ideal Protein diet.  It is the HARDEST diet I have ever been on, but it is also the most effective.   I have so much more energy, and I feel so much better, and I have lost 34lbs since May 21st.  34 pounds in 8 weeks is more than four pounds a week.....I am excited.  I have days I want to cheat, but seeing the results on the scale and in the inches....I've lost over 33 inches from my body as well,  it makes it easier to stick to the diet.  I have 56 more pounds to go, but I believe I will reach my goal weight before my half-Marathon.  Did I mention that my goal weight is my Pre-baby weight..... as in before 8 pregnancies(4 miscarriages), and giving birth to my four children weight.  I will be so excited if I reach that goal....not to mention it will definitely help me with my running.  I have heard for every ten pounds you lose, you can take a minute of your mile pace, up to a point. So my goal for my half-marathon this fall is to finish it in two hours.  I ran my first one last October in 2 hours and 31 minutes.  I think I can do this. 

That is the update for now.  I will post again soon!