Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's Another 6 Miles?

Well, I officially signed up for the Turkey Trot on November 17th! The race is at 9am, so I'm hoping the sun will be shining and it'll be above freezing that morning! :-) I also was able to get one of my fellow kindergarten teachers to sign up for it yesterday - this will be her first 5K! I'm excited that I'll have someone to run (slowly jog) with this time. I actually signed up for it last week, but still haven't gotten myself to go running since the Shoreline Classic two weeks ago.

Then this morning my sister-in-law asked me to do the "Glo Run" with her and her husband (and maybe Tim's cousin) on November 3rd. It looks like so much fun!!! It's an evening run, beginning at 7pm, where the runners get to wear glow sticks, neon shirts, and there will be black lights, strobe lights and a DJ throughout the course!! You do get a number bib, but the run itself is not timed - it's more about the fun and less about the run. :-) I'm SUPER excited to do something like this with family, and it'll be excellent practice for my Turkey Trot two weeks later.

Looks like I'll really need to keep up with my running so that I'm in tip-top shape for these two 5Ks in November. After I signed up for the Glo Run this morning, I was definitely motivated to get back outside again. It was perfect running weather - beautiful, sunny, low 60s with a slight breeze = perfect! I had been telling myself to go to Walgreens to get my flu shot this week and I've just forgotten, so this morning I decided to run to Walgreens and get it! Then after I got my flu shot, the pharmacist told me to walk around the store for a couple minutes to make sure I felt fine before I left, and I made the comment, "Oh, so I shouldn't run home, then?" She looked really confused and I told her that I ran here and that I was planning on running back....she didn't really seem to care, haha! So after I walked around for a few minutes, I decided to start walking back, but after a couple minutes of walking I just gave in and jogged all the way home (0.8 of a mile each way).

I've been feeling fine since I've gotten my flu shot. A couple other CFers I know have experienced some nasty side effects from their flu shots this year, so I'm really hoping that doesn't happen to me. I've never had a reaction to the shot before and I've gotten one every year for as long as I can remember. The only problem I get is a sore arm for a couple hopefully it'll stay that way this year, too.
People have asked me why I get a flu shot if it doesn't protect from every strain of the flu. My answer to that is because some protection is better than none at all. When I catch a cold, or worse the flu, it impacts my body more than a person without CF, especially if it makes it's way into my chest. It could really take a toll on my lung function and my weight because my body would be working extra hard to fight it. I'm also more susceptible to germs this year since I'm working with wonderful, germy, gross little 5 & 6 year olds! So, I suck up a little arm pain for a few days if it means trying to stay even healthier this winter.

Speaking of things taking a toll on my weight - I've definitely noticed that I've lost some weight since I began teaching. Of course I don't mind the way I look because I've lost a lot of my CF belly, but I know that it's important for me to gain a couple extra pounds in case I do get sick this winter. I've also heard that the more healthy your weight is, the better your lung function is....someone please explain that one to me...?
Anyway, I've been struggling with the amount of calories that I'm taking in vs. the amount that I'm burning at work. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, but it's just not enough. Plus I think the extra running is also burning calories that I'm not getting back. I'm really trying to get better about eating healthier because it makes me feel much better (less bloating & bathroom issues), but then I feel like it's harder to get the extra calories I need. If anyone has suggestions of healthy ways to add calories to my diet, I'd really appreciate it. I can't snack too much at work because I'm with my kids most of the day - but I can sneak in a quick snack during plan time if I have it that day. I don't drink whole milk, I drink 2% because it makes me feel better. I'm not a huge peanut butter fan, unless it has chocolate on it. I'm not a huge snacker, I'd prefer to have meals, but I know that has to change. And I'd say I'm a fairly picky eater when it comes to vegetables...but I'm trying to eat healthier -- more home cooked meals and less frozen, fatty crap. Suggestions welcomed in the comments section. Thank you :-)


  1. Hey Colleen! Way to go on all that running you are one committed cyster my friend. As far as the flu shot no reaction for me either. The flu shot hurts for a few days for me as well. Doesn't if feel like a little kid punched you in the shoulder really hard and the pain lingers for a few days??? At least thats how it feels for me.

    I'm a germ a fob so I have no idea how you prevent all those germs. I assume you go through bottles of purell. How do you avoid a sick student?

    Yea so on the weight thing I heard of the same thing how healthier weight leads to higher lung funtion. I think its really a correlation and not scientifically proven. My assumption is healthier weight leads to less hospital stays, able to fight off infection easier etc. All this should predict higher lung function. I really think its kind of a mix though. As you know everyone is different who has CF. For me I have a very healthy weight 170 lbs (height of 5ft 9 inch) and I would say average lung function funtion FEV1 73%. I will soon need a diet.

    So for the extra pounds you can have some of mine. But for some advice. Have you tried those instant breakfast drinks like Boost, Carnation, or how about even adding a Slim Fast drink in a can? For me I just started this recently adding a can of V8 not really a calorie increase but it has many veggies and vitamins. Plus it helps my digestive system :)

    Take Care Colleen SORRY for the long comment!!!

    1. Thanks, John!! And I agree with you about feeling like you got punched in the shoulder, haha.

      I'm not really a huge germ-a-phob, so I think that's one thing that helps. Plus I just love kids, even if they are pretty gross...and mine students are definitely gross this year (lots of hands in the mouth, shirts in the mouth, shoes in the mouth, feet in the mouth....EWW!) Whenever they do something like that I call them gross, haha, in hopes that they won't do it anymore. There's lots of Purell and hand-washing going on in my room. I can't really avoid a sick student. Luckily at this age their parents usually pull them out of school if they aren't feeling well. Otherwise I have taught my kids to cough/sneeze into their arm rather than on their hands. Of course they don't always remember...but we have a sink in our room so they can wash their hands.
      I'm also loading up on my vitamins daily, which I definitely think helps, too.

      My weight has fluctuated about 5-10 pounds in the last couple years. I somehow gained all the weight I "needed to" to be at a healthy weight, but then I felt very chubby and uncomfortable with my body. So then I started cutting back on my eating and lost a couple pounds so that I was back to a comfortable body image, but still a healthy weight. But now I'm losing weight and it's not on purpose. I'm just SO incredibly busy with work, that I'm not eating as much as I should.

      Don't apologize for the long comment...I think my response is even longer :) Plus I love to know that I have readers who care. Thank you! I can't wait to see your little Alayna, by the way! She'll be here before you know it! :-)

  2. Nuts and avocados! Make some guacamole for snacking, yum! Or, I just eat avocados with some salt, yummy! I also make smoothies with greek yogurt, fruit and/or peanut butter, but I also add Chia Seeds which are SO good for you and super high in Omega 3's. If you like eggs, I make a fritatta on the weekend, then I have protein/veg/dairy all for my breakfast in one 'pie'. (here is a yummy recipe, but I leave out the extra salt b/c the cheese has enough and I add ham -

    1. Man, I wish I liked guacamole/avocados....see, I told you I'm a picky eater. I'll definitely try to add eggs and nuts into my diet though. Thank you!

  3. Okay, so the weight=good lung function thing IS proven in studies over the last few years, but they don't yet quite know WHY it works that way, LOL. I was at Duke when a bunch of that research was being done and they really stressed the importance of it. Some CFers who have good lung function and pancreatic health do gain plenty of weight as they get older (I even know a few middle aged CFers who are a bit overweight, amazingly enough!), but the majority don't. So yeah, from what I understand, they're not sure exactly why a higher weight leads to better lung function yet, but they definitely see that when patients gain weight it keeps them more stable for longer. Good luck gaining your weight back!

    1. That definitely makes sense about the extra weight keeping you stable. I think like John said above, too, that it helps fight off infection. Luckily I've been healthy enough to fight off infections even when I have been a little under weight. Maybe this holiday season will help me put a couple of those pounds back on. :)
      I hope you're feeling well and I can't express how excited and happy I am for you and Mahon!!!!

    2. I hear you on the body image thing. I'm most comfortable with a BMI of 20-21, but I've found the hard way that my body works best (stays healthiest, ovulates better, etc.) with a BMI of 22-almost 23. I had never weighed that much until I switched enzymes to Zenpep a few years ago and suddenly put on about eight pounds! (Then I actually lost the weight again last year, but going on Kalydeco helped me gain it back.) I've sort of come to accept most of the time, though, that it's really better for me all around if I'm at the higher healthy weight vs the lower one. Now I'm having weight problems again, actually... I so far haven't really gained anything in pregnancy, and it's kind of stressing me out! It seems like all the CF mamas I know lost a TON right after delivery, and I'm worried that if I don't put on enough it's all going to come from my regular stores, and then I'll have an even harder time keeping well when baby is a newborn, which I know will already be a struggle. So, I'm with you on the weight gain bandwagon right now! ;)