Tips for running/exercising with Chronic health issues

So I thought before I posted my race recap for Rock N Roll Arizona I’d write about some tips on how I was able to do it. I post these recaps with huge smiles on my face, but it takes more than just a smile for me to get there. I’ll be talking mostly in terms of the race but this goes for other workouts too, even walks with the dogs.
First off Prep If going to work out to the point of a sweat, even a light one I make sure that the day before I REST. This worked out well because we had a long ride the day before so I made sure to pack plenty of snacks for car ride, hydrate with NUUN (yummy electrolyte and/or vitamin drink tabs)and wear a pair of compression socks. More on those later.

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As far as goodies/aids:
As pictured above, I like a 1. comfortable to carry water bottle and water or NUUN .
I love Nuun’s material, it’s light weight I hardly notice it. I would have never carried water for short runs pre Lyme but this helps to give me energy and also to cool me off if I over heat.

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2. Peppermint essential oil. I had developed some back pain after the drive down, whether it was from Lyme or just driving who knows… I had some oil in my roller ball so I rolled some on my pain spot to sooth pre start. I also use this at the base of my skull if I feel warm or of its hot out to cool down.
3. Shades. A lot of us with Lyme have light sensitivity. It hasn’t been bothering me lately but wearing sunglasses helps with the floater I often have in my left eye and of course it’s good to protect your eyes anyway.
4. Sea bands. These little wrist bands are placed on a certain spot on your wrist and using acupressure help alleviate nausea. I didn’t use these in Arizona but I have used them on many-a walks, hikes and even normal activities: they work!
5. KT tape. I used this for post run shin pain for walking around Tempe. I’ve had on/off shin pain for about a year or so. Most likely due to Lyme and co-infections. This helps pull everything in so to speak. I’m no scientist. Lol
6. SPIbelt. Aka spiffy runners fanny pack. I use these to carry my phone and doggy bags on walks but for the run since I had gotten a new phone I used this in place of an armband. I also put little things I may need to get me through the run such as ginger chews or in an emergency; aspirin.
7. Knee Strap: I have had patella tendinitis pre Lyme due to years of figure skating, dancing and then hurdling. Now with Lyme my joint pain tends to flare a bit. This makes me pain level virtually zero.
8. Compression Socks. These are key. I used to just use them for long runs but now I’ll even wear them around the house. They are a must for my 5k’s. The compression increases circulation and helps pain in my achy legs. Since beginning treatment I’ve had some leg pain. I think in part due to inactivity but also just Lyme itself.
9. A watch with a heart rate monitor. I used my holter event monitor for the latest race but will use my heart rate monitor on my Garmin for normal runs just to make sure I’m taking it easy.
10. Road ID. I forgot to label it because it’s hidden under my KT…oops;). This bracelet has all of your emergency contacts on the wrist and a profile with all medical info and Meds. Just a must.
Lastly, post run be sure to rest, stretch and refuel. By rest I mean definitely put your feet up for some time. I took my son’s nap time to sit on the couch and watch my HGTV.
I hope this helps someone. We do have limitations but by making adaptations some things are really possible. More than we think.

Happenings 1/21

A couple weeks ago (for the second week in a row due to having colds/bugs plus an increase in Lyme symptoms) I stayed home from church. I pulled out my Bible to do some journaling and got a call from my mom that my aunt unexpectedly passed away. I’ve always been close with my aunts so this was very sad. I just wanted to share a few memories: When I was about 8 we went to visit her and my uncle in Florida where they were living at the time. One day we I believe we’re going to go horseback riding on this huge farm but when we arrived riding was over for the day so we walked around. From every direction, I swear even the tree tops there were these huge peacocks jumping all over the place. I swear they were trying to get me. I think I’ll always associate peacocks with my aunt. She was beautiful and unique like them… Speaking of unique I can remember one Christmas opening her gift and it was a Chinese food purse! Huh? We chuckled but then realized how funky and cool it was, I will always remember her for her unique style unapologetically herself, something we should all strive to be. My aunt had her own chronic health issue. I’ll leave it at that for privacy/respect for my family but I will say since my diagnosis we had a kinship, knowing a little what the other was going through. I generally am the last person awake in my household and I could always count on going on Facebook and reading her inspirational posts, comments on my photos, blog or wall. She helped me feel less lonely. Rest in peace.
The world also lost another special individual recently: Peggy SueIf you’ve run Disney before you’ve probably seen her. She was a fixture on the courses in her motorized scooter with a motivational sign. I ran Disneyland half marathon in 2013 four short weeks after losing my twins and being in the hospital with sepsis . I got the OK to run but I knew it would be rough seeing I hadn’t run in a long time. What made things worse was the heat. It was in the 80’s and humid so humid. I had heard about Peggy Sue on the RunDisney pages and when I saw her with her “hello complete stranger, im proud of you too” sign I was thrilled. It was toward the end of the race and I didn’t know if I would make it, she gave me that push. What I didn’t know that year was that she was just diagnosed with cancer, what I didn’t know is that she has a condition that weakened her muscles. She came out anyway and cheered for people she didn’t know, race after race despite her difficulties. How inspiring is that?
health
The first couple weeks of January have been rough. My Lyme symptoms had been strengthening again: fatigue, headaches, brain fog etc. I think this was happening for a few reasons: we hadn’t gone out of town in some time (we usually have an overnight about once a month but hadn’t recently and something about the desert and this house makes me worse), I was out of my NUUN all day which had been helping with energy, I was out of local honey (helps with allergies and inflammation) and I think also it’s time to do more Lyme bug killing. Also I’ve had a couple colds/bugs. People just don’t cover coughs for the most part around here…when we were in Arizona that wasn’t the case….I am feeling overall better after our run in Arizona (race recap will be up this week).
docs
I had a consult with the seizure neuro not long ago. He wasn’t 100 percent convinced that what I’m experiencing are seizures but he did take me seriously in regards to Lyme. He grew up and spent a lot of his life in Maine so because of my history with Lyme is ordering an EEG and MRI and even said we could do it without contrast. I’m nearing the end of my 30 day event monitor for my tachycardia at night. The office forgot to order it so we’re about two weeks behind schedule on that. Up next Lyme doc on Feb 5, cardio follow up Feb 13, and will be scheduling a neuro soon as well.
what else>
I’ve mentioned in my resolutions that I was going to look into learning more about oils. I’ve teamed up with EchoChic to do just that. I’ll have a weekly feature coming up soon. We had a good time in Arizona. Too bad we couldn’t stay because our team is super bowl bound. I’d love some tickets.
Whatever battle you’re fighting keep fighting and tell someone you love them(even if they’re furry). Continue reading

Tea time

There’s been a lot going on health wise and more..more on all that in a happenings post. But always good for rest and relaxation is a good cup of tea.
(Not to mention health benefits. ) Newport Skinny tea is at it again with some sales and promotions. Most recently a “sparkle sale”.
What I’m really excited about is their new cocoa tea. Some info from them:
“The delicious flavors of Newport Skinny Tea
in a brewable tea made from roasted cocoa beans
you can brew this tea in a coffee maker or a tea infuser
Give gentle long-lasting energy with no crashes
Suppresses appetite
Highest known antioxidant ORAC rating of any food
Traps dietary fat and suppresseRoasted Cocoa beans
Peppermint Leaf:
Kokum Fruit:
Anise Star Fruit:
Cinnamon Bark:
Stevia Leaf:
It tastes like minty hot chocolate with no calories and no sugar
it has the consistency and richness of coffee,
its really unlike any beverage we’ve tried before
It contains theobromine like tea, not caffeine like coffee,
and it does not contain the same type of acids as coffee either,
people who can’t drink coffee generally can drink cocoa bean tea
without any issues, but if you are unsure start with a small amount
and monitor your reactions.s production of fat cells
Soothes digestive tract and suppresses cravings
Satisfies sugar cravings with stevia
If you love Hot Chocolate you will love this tea!!!”

So anyway I’m pretty excited about this. I should have my sample soon and them be sure to look for my review and giveaway in the up coming weeks!

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Resolutions, reflections and ramblings

I thought after the summer of 2013 where I lost the twins and was told I nearly lost my life 2014 would be my year… instead I lost another pregnancy to start off the new year, got the answer I thought I wanted to hear (Lyme disease) and have had a lot harder time with treatment than I ever imagined. It hasn’t all been bad of course. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons:

1. When the going get tough the tough get going.

It has showed me what true friendship means. In the couple months before diagnosis my little one was invited to children’s parties, after diagnosis the same folks no longer think of him, some unfriend Facebook or just stay silent. On the flip side I’ve had such support from others via phone calls, messages and treats sent to me, as well as info on natural products/nutrition to fit my new lifestyle.
2. My family kicks ass
Since diagnosis I’ve had my mom and aunt come out, another aunt and stepfather (that was planned before I suppose) and my brother. The company has been a wonderful boost and the help with Ry has been amazing. I’m really hoping for an east coast move. A 17 hour drive home will seem like cake for the holidays…or a short flight in a town near an airport.
3 Forgiveness is hard. I’ve learned sometimes that’s easier than others.
4. love makes things easier, better, brighter from family, friends, God and furry friends and it’s all that really matters.

2014 highlights
1. Running with the Bears run (you can read my recap back in August)
2. Yoga journal live in San Diego
3. This Christmas Season
4 family visits
5. RNR Vegas because it was proof I can run/family came/Hoover Dam

Resolutions
1. Restart a regular yoga practice. This will for sure help me live happily in the moment.
2. Be brave: it will be time to kill more lyme buggers and that’s scary.
3. In corporate more all natural treatments into my protocol: maybe FAR sauna, vitamin C, invest in a biomat.
4. Find a real camera and learn some photog tips. I used to be into it in my youth and I treasure photographs and memories.
5. Learn more about essential oils and maybe get in the bizz.

Things I’m looking forward to in 2015
1. Being a NUUN ambassador. I love the product and how it’s helped me with my energy.
2.MOVINGGGGGG . The desert while beautiful is not what expected. I went to Scottsdale to visit a good friend in 7th grade and I kinda thought that would be what this would be like….nope. I’m a beach gal all the way.
3. Getting my tattoo. The last one I was just a baby.
4. Continuing on the road to wellness. My mother gave my husband and I the Hood to Coast documentary for Christmas (highly recommend it btw). One older kick ass lady, had a heart attack on course, was without a heartbeat for 2 minutes and came back the next year. Her closing line really got me. She said “never stop fighting to do what you love”. That’s what I’m going to do, whether that be running, yoga or just being with my family.

These are great thoughts and I know that’s not necessarily what will happen….I will keep flowing through this fight the best way I can. Happy New Year! Feel free to share any thoughts or goals. 🙂

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How Great is our God in Sin City, AKA RNR Vegas 2014

The irony that this was the first song on shuffle of my phone was not lost on me, but more on that in a minute. I’ve been meaning to write this up for ages, but hey at least it’s still 2014….
Memory Lane
We ran this race last year: I did the half marathon, my husband the full. I had my mom, step-father and grandmother come watch and help with our wee one. I had finally gotten to a point where I felt comfortable running 8/8:30 for my 5k, 8:45/50 ish for my 10k but the half marathon distance I struggled, I’d generally lose my gas around mile 11. In retrospect the endurance piece was probably those lyme buggers bringing me down. I had just felt a pre-cold coming on the day of the expo, no surprise but decided to stop by the b12 shot booth and that made me feel amazing! To sum up, I took pics with my running elivis’, ran a 2:18, smiling ear to ear, saw my family near the finish to high five, and then partied until dawn (ok so like 2 BUT late for us). I came away with it just being pure fun. Shiny silly fun. So when my lyme diagnosis came I was bummed that I couldn’t do this again….but then they added a 5k so I signed up, with the insurance of course.
The theme of weekend appeared to be ahh we’re late. In part, I think because of them adding the 5k this year which made it possible for bling junkies to do a race on Saturday and Sunday and get an extra medal. So lines abound for everything. I had just gotten over a cold that turned into a sinus infection and honestly I wasn’t even sure I was participating period. We made it to the expo about 10 minutes after packet pick up was supposed to end, but it was still going. Stopped at the NUUN booth and grabbed some of their usual expo special (2 tubes of NUUN with a water bottle for 20) and hopped back in a taxi line to head to SLS on the other side of the strip for my start. We has just made it there at 6 on the dot. I had take my temp, all the stress of running to make it on time through me into a little flare and I right at 100. Couldn’t get it lower….so I put my sweats on and threw a frown on. My aunt (who was running the 1/2 of the half) and husband (who was running the full) convinced to to at least start.
So I did, at the very back of the pack. With water bottle in hand I joined my fellow runners, said a quick prayer to make it through and to ask if I was making the write descion. The start was under a glowing archway. And we were off. The camaraderie was evident from the word go as people encouraged each other and just had fun, And after we run under the tunnel of lights I turned my music on in one ear and then the Chris Tomlinson song came on: I had made the right choice. I took it slow, ran when I felt able.
The course
It wasn’t entirely a closed course but a portion of the road roped off. I didn’t mind, it was nice getting high fived by people out of the town, or cheered on my folks who had been clearly enjoying all that Vegas had to offer. We passed the Riveria, and Circus Circus and finished at SLS parking lot through an archway of twinkly Christmas lights. For the last .10, I let myself just run, like I used to, freely. There was a concert after but we didn’t stay long, we had dropped off my son with my step dad and ran off and plus it was time to leave. My favorite part of the night was walking on the archway to get the monorail and hundreds of running a ran to the sides that overlooked the road, the last runners were on the course. One lady in a tutu, arms raised in victory and the women in front of her beasting it with a prosthetic leg. You would think it was Tweens cheering for One direction the way people were cheering. That’s it, Lyme disease would not take me from this community.
The next day I was in full on spectator mode. The run/walk had made me feel fantastic and gave me a lot of energy. My stepfather, son and I joined my aunt at her start. Again late so we didn’t have time for the concert. (Macklemore) it wasn’t Snoop like originally planned so I didn’t mind too much. But what I didn’t like was that the moved the stage to right where the runners spilled into the start area last year off of street (across from Mandalay bay-ish area). So we has to walk an extra block or two to get to her start. Very ineffectiant. I literally ran with her to the corrals we pulled over, I grabbed her gear and she just, I mean just made it. We got to see her run by about a mile in. Our plan was to take public transportation to see her finish…but after walking ALLL over the strip we realized it wasn’t feasible without a cab. I guess “old Vegas” just as accessible and we had a two year old in tow so cabs were out. It’s a bummer for those runners because crowd support is great for this weekend and they don’t get their lion’s share. They did however have a shuttle provided for them to get to near the half/full finish so we met our runner there.
After celebrating her success and quickly changing at the hotel. It was unseasonably cold and a bit windy. We headed over to the marathon finish and cheered runners, high fived and waiting for my husband to cross. It was cold…I know I said that but man. Unfortunately he had a slower run than normal so we were Popsicles when he crossed but I’m still proud!
Runner perks This year they gave you little bracelets to wear to access your discounts. We took advantage of the High Roller at the Link. It’s this huge Ferris Wheel you can sightsee the strip about 300 feet or so in the air. They have a bar so you can bring one on your little orb. It was really neat to see the Bellagio fountains going off from the sky. I would highly recommend it.
So over grade A-. There’s room for improvement, especially in organization area. I think when you increase the field of runners things get naturally a skewed. Also move the stage back to where it was… But overall Vegas is just fun. A big playground for adults and that’s the vibe I get from this race weekend. So go and have a blast, maybe even PR while you’re doing it. It’s a nice place to do it.
What I really got here was that I can still run, as long as I take it easy. And I really reap the benefits for at least a week following in energy, muscle ton, a little mental clarity. See you on the road….

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Treading water isn’t that bad, aka Happenings 12/17

Where to begin? It’s been a busy month or so. We went to the Rock N roll Vegas race weekend. I should have that recap up soon. I actually sat down one day to write it and then my two year old commandeered my IPad. That cold I picked up from gymnastics turned into a sinus infection, but I was no longer contagious so I went for it. I was so glad I did because I felt better the next day. I forget sometimes how great a little run can be/act as a natural antibiotic. I took a bit of med-cation there. Had a glass of wine, a bite of a soft pretzel. Oh behave! It was, as always amazing to see family. More on our adventures in the recap.
I had started drinking NUUN all day. I discovered NUUN regular formula while training for half marathons as an electrolyte replacement. The all day formula has a ton of vitamins and minerals so I thought why not? I’ve noticed an increase in energy since drinking these. And as a bonus I discovered today that I’ve been selected as a NUUN ambassador for 2015.
My headaches haven’t been quite as frequent. I did have another evening episode the week of Thanksgiving, some migraines the week of my cycle but overall less. I still have my neuro follow up the beginning of next month.

I decided to run the local trail turkey trot on Thanksgiving. I took my hound who I normally do not run with at races. She was always a bit crazy in public. She surprised us all and was a model canine citizen.

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Next up was my LLMD appointment in San Diego. Not too much to report. We talked about adding an herbal remedy for a possible babesia (co-infection) by that jack hole tick that brought the lyme but decided to hold off because of those herxes I mentioned in the last happenings post. So we were to increase the Pekana detox drops. I had gotten out to 7 drops twice a day when I began having some heart racing issues again at night. So now were backing off that too. I had to see the cardiologist about that and he wanted a 30 day holter monitor (event monitor) to see what’s up. The Lyme doc is pretty sure it’s lyme related and I’m inclined to believe him. Alas like most doctors offices near here (well near as in 2 hours or under) somehow there was a delay in getting my monitor….
I also had a follow up phone consult with my naturopath. She suggested broccoli seed extract pills to add to the protocol for detox. I’ll start that soon hopefully. She also wants to treat babesia but with artmesian (sp). She mentioned that with my current protocol I’m essentially treading water and won’t really make significant progress until I can tackle the last form of Lyme and possible co-infections. I think I’m a bartonella candidate too but we’ll see. Treading water is better than drowning though and like everyone says lyme treatment is a marathon not a sprint. Oh the irony because all I want to do is sprint to the finish and then run an actual marathon. I’m learning patience though and truly listening to my body.

I had my brother in for a visit and we went on a hike and visited a feline conservation center. Thanks for the help/company Bill!
We had a fun Christmas weekend this past we did a local jingle jog we’ve done the past three years. My sweet tights from red dress boutique helped me win the costume contest. I also ran with my little Winnie again, she’s finally turned a corner at age 4! We rested, I detox bathed and then we were off to see the Christmas light display at the CALM zoo. Seeing the holidays through child’s eyes is just so magical and I’m so grateful I was able to be there. Unfortunately there were lots of very sick people out and about that couldn’t manage to cover their coughs. It just baffles me. Maybe it’s from years of working in schools where we learn to be courteous and hygienic but man…..oh man. So you guessed it, sore throat and sniffles here. I’m not going to let that ruin my Christmas spirit though. I hope everyone has a happy Christmas and healthy new year. Please reach out to just one person you think could use a smile.

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Cyber Monday tea Giveaway and Malibu Beach Beauty Tea Review

Newport Skinny tea/Malibu beach beauty tea has posted awhile back that they were looking for bloggers to receive samples and review their products. I jumped at the chance. I’m really looking to incorporate various natural/healthy products on the blog. I shared my story with the founder of the company and she shared that she had overcome some health issues using holistic means so she was excited as I was for this partnership.
So this tea contains various herbs that “stimulate your body’s natural energy pathways and detoxification systems” (from their insert). This really intrigued me because as a Lyme fighter we are huge into detox. Our bodies are fighting this illness and the toxins need an exit. I had noticed my skin getting oily in treatment process.I will say that I saw a difference after a couple cups. I will definitely keep this products in mind the closer I am to being lyme free.
So how’s it taste? It’s yummy as I expected. I love tea, especially since wine is on the back burner during treatment. This is a loose leaf tea. I do have an infuser on my Christmas list but for this taste test I used loose leaf filler bags purchased for about 6 or 7 dollars on Amazon. Getting back to the flavor, it has a very light licorice taste (nothing harsh I’m not black licorice fan by any means and I dug it), there is a lot of dimension to it but overall I found it to be an uber pleasant green tea. I added some local honey and some lemon to mine for additional flavor and to help the sore throat I had at the time. I would definately recommend this because it’s yummy, different (not your boring diner tea) and will help your skin woes.
So the giveaway . I’m going to keep it simple the first time. All you have to do is: 1.like this post and 2.either leave your email here or shoot me an email @valmyette21@hotmail.com. (The emails will only be shared to the company who will use it to send you coupon codes, updates and news). Entries will be received until Saturday and,I’ll have my little guy draw a name from a hat and the winner will be announced by midnight PT on Cyber Monday.
In the mean time you can check out Malibu Beach Beauty tea on http://www.NewportSkinnytea.com. Best of luck everyone and Happy Thanksgiving.

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