Thrilling Sea Kayaking Adventure

I absolutely love this picture and this memory of me sea kayaking just a few short years ago in 2011! I felt so alive! It was absolutely thrilling! Thrilling in a way that I’d never experienced before! It was something I had been wanting to do, as a bucket list item, but had never done before and had no training for. I had gone kayaking before a few times, but only in calm water in a kayak that wouldn’t overturn if you tried, and for short, more leisurely distances. I did not know how to roll in the kayak, which is the most important thing you must know how to do, esp. when sea kayaking out in the ocean, far from the shore. I had never even tried to roll in any kayak. I had never been in a kayak like that before, its a trick just getting into it, its so very snug and small to get into, and once inside it feels like you cannot move your legs, which is how its supposed to feel. But if you’re not used to it, and you need to get out in a hurry, its one more thing to think about why this might not be a good idea, yet I couldn’t wait for my new adventure, throwing caution to the wind, I just felt like I needed to do this. Even if I knew how to roll in another type of kayak, I would have needed specific practice knowing how to roll in this type of kayak because it is such a different experience and requires a much greater level of skill, experience, knowledge and practice. Yet I wasn’t afraid, just excited, and aware of the possibilities, which is important in any adventure.I felt so alive, like never before. It was the very best feeling. I want that feeling again. I want to feel this feeling again and again in my life. I don’t want to be so busy with all my many responsibilities that 4 years go by since I’ve done something like this for myself. 

That day turned out to be both fabulous and treacherous. We kayaked all day to different light houses, got out and explored a bit at each one.  I did exactly what my very experienced friend told me to do, he said keep your core strong at all times and it will balance you not to roll over. He said I was a natural at it, and said it looked like I’d done it before. He also said the weather looked great for all day, but that as we all know weather can change and if it did, he said he would save me if anything happened. That made me feel good and safe because I trusted him and knew he was highly experienced and capable.  I felt like I was in the best of hands and I felt very thankful for this new exciting adventure I was about to embark on in the very best hands, equipment, and conditions. Well, all of a sudden it went from a very good and perfect day to a very stormy, treacherous and scary day. The weather quickly changed and dramatically, from gorgeous perfect blue skies and relatively calm sea as much as a sea is calm, there were still big waves of course but that’s the ocean and it was manageable. But the waves became huge and very choppy with the sudden blustery, rain storm, making staying in the kayak very difficult. It had started raining out of no where, we could hear thunder and it was coming closer, quickly. We were in the middle of no where in the ocean at the time, not close to land, we could not see land at all. I did what he told me to do, which was I kept my core so very tight, that no matter how hard those waves tried to knock me down, I very thankfully stayed up somehow. I thank God for this miracle, as I know it was God who saved me that day. It was very stormy, and yet to say that seems like an understatement.  Its safe to say that there aren’t many storms like this one, especially being out in the ocean makes the storm worse to anyone in a tiny little kayak, even though it was the largest kayak I’ve ever been in, it was small in comparison to how the ocean just tossed us about once the storm hit. It was so stormy that my very experienced friend, who has kayaked all over the world, and in extremely challenging conditions, for many many years, and owns several kayaks each valued more than some people’s cars, well, He fell into the water, not once, but twice, because it was that treacherous. He was able to get back into his kayak each time but he later told me it was extremely challenging and that he wasn’t sure if he could get back in the kayak the last time it threw him from the boat. He said the waves kept attacking him violently and every time he tried to get back in the boat it would knock him back in the water.  Somehow I kept going as fast as I could, faster than I’d ever gone before and stayed afloat.  I couldn’t see exactly where I was going, all I could see was huge crashing waves and heavy rain and surrounded by water, no land in sight.  I only had one thought on my mind during this time, I knew I could not let the kayak roll into the water,or I would surely die. I believed this because I knew how very snug and tight it was to get into the kayak to begin with, and how disoriented I would likely be, upside down under the water, stuck in the boat.  I knew that you must actively make sure you get your legs and body out of the kayak, while upside down under the water.I knew I would be stuck in the boat and my legs would not just fall out of the boat to safety.  The boat is tight around you to begin with, then you wear a skirt on top of it, as they call it, on the kayak that further straps you into the kayak so as to keep water out while you are sea kayaking, because although we kayaked initially in relatively calm waters most of the day before this happened, part of sea kayaking is that the waves lapping up against the kayak and rocking the boat, would otherwise quickly fill with water even under mild conditions.  Without the skirt, that snaps in, and completely encloses you into the kayak in a water tight seal, the kayak would fill with water, weigh you down and sink you.  It was a raging storm, like I’d never experienced before.  I’d never been out in a small boat in the ocean during a big storm like that either, so that has a lot to do with it too, but even so, it was a raging storm.  I knew I absolutely had to stay afloat. I kept a very tight core, thankfully stayed afloat and made it to an island, where I stayed for a while, not knowing at the time, where my friend was, or what I should do, if I should go try to find him or stay put. He eventually made it to the island.  I’m not sure how long it took, because it felt longer but was maybe 15 minutes. He then told me all the trouble he had unexpectedly and that I had done exactly the right thing by getting to safety and waiting for him.

I absolutely loved that thrilling adventure. Live life to the fullest. Although I have definitely done many things in my life that I am living life to the fullest, does not mean I cannot improve upon that. I intend to make sure I live life to the fullest even more, no matter all my many responsibilities I have, we all have busy lives, commitments, money issues, etc. but all I am encouraging you to do is not wait for someday.  Please live your life today.  Tomorrow is never promised. Live life to the fullest to feel fit forever. #feelfitforever

Lorraine 2011 kayaking with Mike Obrien from Mass now NH but this was in the ocean in CT where we met to kayak in his kayaks

3rd Place Age Group Win!

Racing to the finish, with only 7 seconds to spare, I won 3rd place in my age group of 40 to 49 year old women at a 5k race this past weekend.  Near the end of the race, there were several people bunched together and my gut told me to push ahead and run as fast as I could.  I am not good at knowing how old someone is just by looking at them, so as I ran past all these people, I had no idea how old they were and if they were in my age group. My gut feeling paid off because I won 3rd place by only 7 seconds!  The 4th place finisher in my age group was only a mere 7 seconds behind me and I am sure if I did not run past all those people at the end, I would not have placed in my age group.  I always love the feeling of being able to run faster at the end of a race as I run towards the finish line and through it.  It is a fantastic feeling to be able to run as fast as you can, with the wind in your hair, seemingly flying past people,to the finish.  I am not always able to do this, especially in much longer distance races, but when I can, it is one of the very best feelings!  I had no idea that I had won 3rd place age group until I read the results online later that day after I got home because I had to leave shortly after the race.  It was such a great race!  The people, the music,  a live band with really great Christian music, the food, all different kinds and plenty to go around, a really nice tech t-shirt for all the runners, and a free sample of a very nice smelling foot cream from a local up-scale boutique.  I had never run in a ‘Race for God’ specifically, but I had always wanted to. I believe every single time I run,  I run for God’s glory. It was a great feeling that everyone  was running for this reason. A wonderful feeling of unity – I run for God.   It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to be part of such a wonderful group of people who run for God.  Athletes of Christ is the group that put this beautiful event together. I am very much looking forward to doing other races with them.  Thanks so very much for everything. I loved it.  It looked like everyone thought it was a fantastic event for kids and adults alike.

I also very much enjoyed meeting a fellow runner that day who approached me before the race and introduced himself.  Most of us runners are friendly and love making friends with other runners.  Many times, it turns out that we have runner friends in common.  We chatted for a long time both before and after the race and had such a wonderful time talking running, races, mutual friends and future events we plan on seeing each other at. I loved hearing all about his many decades of running and the races and states he has raced.  It was so very interesting and we loved sharing our race stories and future plans.   It is always such a great feeling to make new runner friends.  Many times it feels like you have been friends forever, even though you just met.  It’ s a great feeling that stays with you for long after the conversation ends.  I’m still smiling from my fantastic weekend for many reasons, even though I usually smile, being the naturally happy person that I am, but now even more so.  Our experiences in life are more important than anything else, more than any material item, because they help make us who we are and no one and nothing can ever take our experiences away from us.  They are ours to enjoy forever.  Experiences help keep our bodies and brains feeling their best and help keep us feeling fit forever.  #feelfitforever #athletesofChrist

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Why and Where Sugar is the Enemy

wp-1463734286710.jpgWe all know that sugar tastes great and has no nutritional value, but most of us believe that in moderation it will not hurt us in any great way.  It is a generally accepted belief in our society that everything in moderation is okay and even healthy, but is it really?  Let’s explore what sugar really does to you and what foods and drinks it is found in, you may be surprised.  Alcohol is a form of sugar.  Starches are forms of sugar.  Traditional sugar is not the only way we ingest sugar.  Sure there are better choices of sugar than others, such as natural sugars found in fruits, such as dates are a great way to have something sweet that also provides great fiber and nutrients and can be substituted as sugar in recipes.  But if you are trying to heal from an injury or a surgery, if you are training for a race or other fitness goal, or if you are trying to lose weight, sugar can seriously and significantly reduce or even eliminate your chances of success.  Why?  We must remember that just because we feel pretty good, does not mean that we could not feel better. Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value. If a food is not helping us, it is hurting us.

Just because we are not aware of a food hurting us and as far as we know, and we feel pretty good, does not mean that a food is not actually hurting us.  It is important to eliminate foods for at least a week but preferably a month, and then slowly re-introduce them, one at a time, so as to find out if we are sensitive or intolerant to them.  Many times problems pop up that are thought to be attributed to some other reason other than sugar.  But why not sugar?  Why not at least consider the fact that some of your problems may be attributed to sugar?  Are you having trouble handling stress? Are you having trouble sleeping?  Are you having pain, headaches or bloating?  Are you having trouble losing weight?  Are you not reaching your fitness goals as quickly or completely as you’d like?  Do you believe that it is your lot in life that you have a certain illness that you cannot recover from and its not worth even trying to overcome it?  Do you think you’re too old to fully recover from a surgery or injury and you’ll never be the same again?  I encourage all of you to think about eliminating sugar from your diet, or at least significantly reducing your sugar.

Sugar does not allow the body the heal.  Sugar puts the brakes on all your good efforts every time you eat it.  Why would you want to work so hard for your goals, only to then go backwards and lose all you’ve gained for the pleasure of moments on the tongue?  We must change our thinking and replay these truths about sugar, over and over again in our minds, so that we can be the change we seek.  Of course, there are other things we must eliminate from our diets, such as all processed foods, all packaged foods, and eating out or take out foods.  They are usually high in sodium, another culprit against our best health.  All these foods are very dangerous for our health in general, but especially if we are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, because they sabotage our good eating efforts and set us back much further than most people know.   It’s not worth it to enjoy these foods at the expense of your health.  Your health is priceless, treat it that way please.  Everything we eat is either helping us or hurting us. Please remember this simple phrase in all you do to feel fit forever.  #feelfitforever

Do I eat sugar now?  There have been times that I have had absolutely no sugar, so that I could heal and train at my very best.  Eliminating sugar has worked wonderful for me and I know it will work for you.  Understand what sugar does,and where it is found.  Many times sugar is hidden, or unexpected in certain foods and drinks.  I encourage all of you to research all your foods and drinks, read labels.  But it is best to not eat anything that has a label, because many times it has ingredients you would be better off avoiding, especially if healing and health is your goal. I do allow myself to eat some sugar, now that I am fully recovered from my brain surgery, but only in moderation. I never eat traditional sugar.  I allow myself small amounts of local honey or pure maple syrup or other more healthy forms of sugar such as dates.  The key is knowledge of exactly what you are eating and exactly what it is doing to your body.  I believe once you know exactly, you can then start to make permanent changes for better health.  Change takes time.  Be patient.  Be realistic.  Stop believing everything you have for years because that kind of thinking got you were you are today, it did not bring you to your goals or your best health.  Start changing your thinking to grow in your knowledge and get your best health to feel fit forever.  #feelfitforever

 

 

Why? Always ask why.

wp-1463673754859.jpgOne of the very best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is to always ask why.  The advice seems simple and sound. But I wonder how many people actually live their life like this always in every single thing they do. The advice was given to me by a CPA I worked with years ago when I was first working in the field. It was good advice as he meant for me to apply it to each assignment given to me so as to best understand it and complete it accurately and timely.  Knowing the why helps immensely.  But I have decided,  over the years,  to apply this simple rule to every thing in my life.  It has rewarded me greatly in many ways to think this way about every thing.

For instance,  last year when I was suddenly told I needed brain surgery,  I didn’t just accept it because the doctor and the reports said so. I spoke with several neurologists and made sure several tests were done, before making my decision that it was necessary.  Just because a doctor or a test says something doesn’t mean it’s true. I believe many times it is, but you may wind up doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t ask why, in detail and research it yourself fully.
Years earlier when I had massive blood clotting and required 5 surgeries in 6 days,  I didn’t just listen to what the doctors said, if I did, I would have been dead. I went to 6 different specialists in 2 days because my arm suddenly went numb and I knew that wasn’t right. My gut told me something was wrong.  Yet those 6 doctors each gave me a clean bill of health,  saying I was in fantastic shape, better than people half my age. It wasn’t until the last doctor, who wasn’t even her field to specialize in blood clots, but she knew,  thank God,  to order an ultrasound. Then once on the ultrasound table, within less than a minute,  the technician said, don’t move, I’ll be right back. I knew that wasn’t good news, but I felt good that they finally found what was wrong.  I had no blood flow to my right arm and limited blood flow elsewhere,  yet all those other doctors gave me a clean bill of health and said I was in fantastic shape.  Even after I was then rushed to one of the only hospitals in the country that does the special surgeries I required and after I got home to recover,  I still relied on my own very thorough research, figuring things out on my own,  and listening to my body.
I know that vitamin K rich foods naturally clot your blood, but I made sure to thoroughly research exactly what foods and to what extent.  There has not been one doctor or nutritionist all these years later that I’ve spoke to who knows what I know now. It’s not a topic widely researched and even if it was, I absolutely believe that you must put the time into checking things out for yourself,  no matter who has a degree, a license,  experience, because your health is priceless.  Your life is priceless.  Why would you accept less. Why not ask why? #feelfitforever

Personal experience provides lesson learned

Lessons learned in life are a huge part of growing.  Many times those lessons learned need to be taught by personal experience.  Such as in this picture of me racing last year in pain. I would have been better off not racing. I was in pain because  my doctor told me I had a fracture, a slight fracture, and said I could do limited running.  Of course, all I really heard, as the runner that I am,  was that I could still run, even though I heard him say ‘fracture’ and ‘limited running’.  Thank God all I suffered that day was great pain and not a continued, long lasting injury.  Many runners fall prey to injury over the course of their running life.  Many times, runners keep running when they should not.  Most runners will have to deal with an injury at some point and many keep running despite knowing, on some level at least, that they would be better off not running.  I get it, I am a runner, and we want to keep running.  What I have learned, over time, is invaluable.  I have learned that it is much better to be able to keep running for a lifetime than to run for that one day that you were looking forward to. Do not push yourself and run in that moment in time when you would be better off not running due to a sharp pain or an injury.

Listening to your body is vital.  You are the only one in the world who can do this.  No matter what a test says, a doctor says or the statistics prove, it is you, and you alone, who ultimately knows more than anyone about your body.  Master the gift of listening to your body.  This is your ticket to success in training and in all you do in life.  We live in a fast paced society were we are all used to instant gratification.  We all want, what we want, when we want it, but that is immature many times.  Not to say that age determines maturity, because it absolutely does not.  But many times as we get older, we realize that patience and listening to our bodies is much more important than anything we may want at that moment.  Yes, its very important to live life to the fullest every day and to make sure that we are not waiting for ‘someday’.  Sadly, many times ‘someday’ never comes.  But we must never do things in the moment at the expense of our health.  When I raced last year, although it made me happy to do it on some level, I was not happy with all the pain I suffered.  In retrospect, I know I would have been better off not running that day.  Many times, I think we all need to learn lessons for ourselves.

Love yourself enough to listen to your body and be kind to yourself always, so that you will have many more days to enjoy yourself and everything and everyone else that makes you happy.  Listen to your body to  #feelfitforever

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Strength Training for your health and performance

I absolutely love my Total Gym!  I have used it to not only gain strength and performance in training, but it has brought me back to health from brain surgery.  I started on level 1, the lowest level available, back in October 2015, and now am on level 7!  This amazes me not only because of how many levels I have been able to achieve in such a short amount of time (it is now only May 2016), but because when I started on level 1, I was only able to do 3 very simple exercises and not many repetitions of each one.  I would try to do as many as I could, but could only do a few repetitions of each of the 3 simple exercises.  Those 3 exercises made a huge difference in my recovery and left me feeling like I did a lot more.  They left me feeling exhausted but also like I knew I worked my body in a good way.  I had brain surgery July 2015 and was not allowed to exercise until months after, leaving me very weak.  The level 1 felt very hard to do for that reason.  The fact that now I can do many different exercises and at a much higher level makes me feel amazing and thankful for the incredible accomplishments I have been able to do.  I consistently did my strength training.  I always worked to the best of my ability, most every day at first, then weekly, and over time it really paid off.  Total Gym is not only great for athletes of all abilities, but for anyone struggling with physical limitations because it allows many people, like myself, who would otherwise not be able to do more traditional exercises, to exercise safely.  When I first started on level 1 on my Total Gym, I had the constant feeling like I would lose my balance and fall, even though the 3 exercises I started with were all in the seated position.  I have really come a long way in my strength and am fully recovered from this very serious surgery thank God.  I am not a spokesperson for Total Gym in any way.  They have not contacted me and I am not getting paid for anything I am saying about them.  I am just a very satisfied customer and felt it was very important for me to share my story so that others can be helped.  I know Total Gym is mostly known for building a great body in a short amount of time, which is true, because it works many muscles at the same time.  But I wanted to make sure the word got out that it can also be very pivotal in helping people recover from injury and surgery.  Strength train for your health.  Strength train for recovery.  Strength train for daily living done better.  Strength train to feel fit forever.  #feelfitforever wp-1463583644865.jpg

New Easy Recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding

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I’m so excited that one of my favorite ways to enjoy avocados,  just got much easier,  and all by accident.  Usually when I take the flesh out of the avocado , I do it the traditional way that is suggested.  I cut the avocado in half, then I take the pit out by stabbing it with a sharp knife so I can then scoop out the flesh. Except this morning when I tried to stab the pit, the knife stuck, but  didn’t get the pit out no matter how hard I tried.  But gladly as I tried a new much better and much faster way of getting the flesh out was discovered.  I discovered that as I held the avocado as I tried to take the pit out, what was actually happening was the entire inside of the avocado, flesh and pit, was being squeezed out. I also discovered that it took out much more flesh out of the avocado,  leaving absolutely no flesh behind, and all within seconds. It was so quick! And then removing the pit was easy once out of the skin. I made my favorite avocado chocolate pudding this morning in no time flat! And nothing was wasted.  I am never going back to the old way of doing this.  I absolutely love learning new things every day,  especially when I discover it for myself and get to share it with you.  All you have to do is squeeze the half avocado and the entire inside comes out very nicely,  cleanly and quickly.  Keep learning.  Keep discovering. Keep eating healthy.  Who says you can’t have chocolate pudding for breakfast? You can if it’s made out of avocados and very little honey to taste.  Avocados are superior in health benefits,  boasting more than twice the potassium of bananas,  fiber, and loaded with super nutrients. I’d say if you’re not eating avocados, you’re missing out on feeling fit forever.  #feelfitforever

Brain Health. May is Brain Health Month

They say we learn something new every day, but do we learn enough every day to achieve our best brain health? What is the optimum level of daily learning for you?  I believe we all must push ourselves to make it a habit to read more, ask more questions and find the answers on our own through investigation and experimentation.  These habits are essential for optimum brain health.  Make sure you are always learning something new to have your best brain health.  How much time daily depends on where you are starting from.  The key is to make small manageable changes that you can stick with and that become easy habits of how you live your daily life.  May is brain health month.  Make sure you feed your brain all goodness in all you do.  Make sure you eat well, exercise, and have good thoughts always, no matter what, because it really does make a huge difference in your health.

I had brain surgery last year unexpectedly for benign lesions.  I can tell you from personal experience that if you keep learning new things every day, your brain will definitely feel and function amazingly.  I am living proof.  Your brain requires different things to be at its best daily.  Your brain requires learning new things regularly, stellar nutrition and proper hydration daily to be its best.  Your brain requires quite a bit of water compared to the rest of your body which is so much larger in comparison.  For each glass of water you drink, 1/3 of it is utilized by your brain, compared to the other 2/3 utilized by the entire rest of your body. That is a huge difference.  Meaning that your brain requires much more water to function properly at its best than your body does in size comparison, but of course your body also needs water to function properly to be at its best.  Your body needs water to be able to perform its best, recovery its best and feel its best.  Your head is filled with many different muscles, more muscles per size area than anywhere else on your body.

A well hydrated muscle is a happy well functioning muscle.  We all have different hydration needs, not only compared to each other, but more importantly compared to ourselves because we are always changing.  Change is constant.  The environment, our diet, sleep, stress, and fitness level can all effect how much hydration we need at a given time.  Therefore, one day we may need more hydration than another day.  We must learn to listen to our bodies and regulate our hydration accordingly.  It is very important to not wait until we are thirsty to drink water, because by that time we are already experiencing dehydration.  It is key to try to stay hydrated and also keep in mind not to over hydrate.  This can be achieved by keeping a steady flow of sipping water throughout the day and making sure to also have steady stellar nutrition throughout the day as well.  This will help greatly in not being over or under hydrated and feeling your best.  #feelfitforever #feelingfitforever

Pictured below is my brain scar of July 2015 a few days after surgery and the other picture is of me in the hospital with my surgeon after brain surgery.  I am very thankful to have been able to go through and overcome this huge challenge in my life.  Although I had no symptoms or pain before surgery, thank God it was found accidentally and removed.  It was the recovery that proved to be a challenge for me that made me an even stronger person than ever before that I am very thankful for.  #Jesusispower #thankyouJesus

My 1st Ultra Ever! 50 mileTrail Race at Rock the Ridge

Lorraine Rock the Ridge 2016 just before mile 15ish

My very 1st ultra distance running was at Rock the Ridge 50 mile endurance trail race this past weekend.  I am still beaming with excitement that I am now an ultra runner!  I feel amazing!  Although, I was not able to finish the 50 mile race because I got sick and had to go to the hospital,  I did complete 36.85 miles, making me now an ultra distance runner!  In those 36.85 miles there was about 4,000 feet elevation gain, much more than I’ve ever done in my life! The full 50 miles would have been about 7,000 feet elevation gain, and I had every intention of finishing the race.  I felt good, I felt strong and I had it in my mind that I was going to finish. I am a fairly new runner.  I only started running in late 2010 and only on and off since then because of several severe medical issues, but I believe it has been running that in part saved my life more than once.  I weighed 100 pounds more in January of 2010 and I lost the weight on my own!  I had been on diets before and gained the weight back.  I came up with my own way of losing weight and being healthy throughout my body and mind.  I called it feelfitforever because that’s exactly what I wanted, I wanted to feel fit forever, not just for a certain date in time or for a certain outfit, etc.  I wanted to actually feel really good for the rest of my life and figured looking good would follow.  It made sense and it worked and it continues to work!

36.85 miles is by far the furthest I have ever gone in my entire life!  My longest run before was 26.2 miles only once before this race in training.  I trained for a very short time, only 3 months to become ultra, not standard at all, many much more experienced runners train at least 6 months for their first ultra.  I felt like I had no choice but to train with what little time I had and then go for it, because this race is the race I had been dreaming about and we never know what the future holds.  My gut told me I absolutely had to do this race this year, to do it now and not wait even though I would be under-trained.  My gut, I believe, is God guiding me in all I do.  I believe this was a vital accomplishment that I needed to do at this point in time, so as to continue growing in my personal health and fitness journey more successfully and more fulfilling than I ever could have without it.  Its an absolutely gorgeous place to run and is world famous, I am so glad I listened to my gut and did this race!

Becoming ultra has been such a huge accomplishment for me and against all odds too. I have suffered from many severe medical issues. One of them was last year, about 9 months ago, I had brain surgery.  It is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through and all brain surgeries are different any neurosurgeon will tell you its not like a standard knee replacement where you pretty much know how things will turn out.  Brain surgery is different for every single person. Mine was very hard.  I felt great before the surgery, had no symptoms, thankfully the benign lesions were found accidentally and weren’t able to cause a problem because they were removed before that could happen. I was NOT allowed to do anything after the brain surgery for about 6 weeks and then it got infected and I had to do nothing for another 2 weeks, making the total time of doing nothing a full 8 weeks!  I lost all my strength.  I couldn’t do normal things like push open a heavy door.   It was only about 7 months ago that I was even allowed to start walking, let alone running.  It was such a huge deficit physically that when I got on my Total Gym for the first time about 2 months post brain surgery, all I could do was 3 exercises, on level 1, and only a few repetitions of each, and only 1 set of those few repetitions! I absolutely struggled to do these but I knew I had to get back to me.  It was miserable not being me.  I fought hard to make the new me, as I call myself feelfitforever, and I was determined to get my feel fit forever feeling back as soon as possible!  Also,  I had a constant feeling like I may fall down, even while I was on the Total Gym in a seated position!  I just fought through it constantly, knowing that I must retrain my brain.  I was unable to do any standing exercises for a while, and I made sure I was with someone when I started walking.  It has been a long hard road and I pushed myself every single day.  I am so very thankful I did.  It sure is amazing to me now, in such a short time after brain surgery, that I greatly surpassed all of my pre-brain surgery physical accomplishments, having only done 1 full marathon about 2 years before my brain surgery.

I feel great now, thank God. But at the race,  I  got food poisoning and needed to go to the hospital to get several bags of different IV fluids.  I felt much better after getting the IV fluids that night after the race and especially by the next morning.  I woke up feeling like myself, not like I ran, let alone the furthest ever in my life!  I attribute this to a combination of things:  I had to walk a lot to get back to an aid station so that my boyfriend could drive me to the hospital, the IV fluids at the hospital helped me greatly, and I believe that it was because of God that I was able to run this race in the first place and it was because of God that I felt good the next day.  I felt really good the day after the race.  No soreness.  No blisters.  No chaffing.  I like to celebrate all the things that did go really well for me during the race.  I trained for and figured most everything out myself as far as everything that I would need to know: pacing, hydration, fueling, mental endurance, inspiration, motivation, go to phrases and mantras to keep me going and focused and determined.  I had it in my head that I was doing this and was going to finish. It was a main focus of my every day life and I believe you need to have that constant thought focus on your goal to make it a reality.  Every thing you do and everything you do not do, matters in making accomplishing your goal a reality or not.  I also believe we must always focus on the here and now and celebrate little victories and not only focus on the big goal.  Adjustments must always be made and really learning how to listen to your body throughout the day, is the best gift you can give yourself.  You need to have stellar nutrition, there are no cheat days, you are only cheating yourself if you cheat while you’re training for something.  There will be plenty of time to cheat on food and drink after you achieve your fitness goal.  I allowed myself some foods these past couple days after the race, at first thinking that I couldn’t wait to enjoy these foods I hadn’t had in such a very long time!  But when I ate them, I didn’t enjoy them like I thought I would.  Proof that the longer you stay away from foods that are not good for you, the more likely it is that when you finally do have them they will not taste nearly as good as you remember.  I can’t wait to race again!  I am already eating healthy again now and feel much better for it.  That’s what its all about anyway, feeling good!  I love feeling good!  Who doesn’t want to feel good?  The way to feel good and feel fit forever is to eat healthy whole foods consistently and mainly (eating whole foods entirely is best), exercise daily in at least some way, make sure to feed your thoughts daily with all good things and feed your brain daily by always learning new things for the rest of your life.  #feelfitforever