Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Non-Dairy Day

            Myles can be a very happy, smiley baby, and these days more so than in the past.  We’ve had some challenging months with him.  A couple minutes of a crying baby is tough enough, a minute of a screaming baby can get to you, and Myles used to scream A LOT.  He could scream for a half hour without anything apparent being wrong.  He went from sleeping through the night or getting up just once, for a month, and then was getting up for 3 times, and a few nights it was every hour (I’ll do the math for you, it equals no sleep for mommy).  Terrible sleep and all the screaming and crying took its toll on us.  We had months of this.  Sometimes I would cry or scream with him even.
Terrible ad. So not true.
            The question of “what is wrong with him,” didn’t seem to have an answer.  I was repeatedly told it was most likely a dairy allergy and that I should change my diet.  I drug my feet on this, as I am a dairy girl through and through.  Plus the fact that everyone seems to be allergic to something these days, well, drives me nuts.  After being so defeated from 2 months of this, I decided to take the drastic leap of going non-dairy.  I had to quit nursing and only pump, feed him formula, and then go off dairy myself.  I could then test my milk with him again after about 4 days.  I bought almond/coconut milk.  Do not drink it thinking it will taste anything remotely like real milk by the way.  But did you know what all REALLY contains dairy?  Not just my beloved (chocolate)milk, but also yogurt, cheeses (cream cheese, sweetened condensed, powdered cheese snacks), chocolate chips, cool whip, ice cream, even my favorite cereal said it contained dairy.  Now what on earth COULD I eat?!  God bless those cows!  Day 1 passed and I was depressed on top of tired and miserable.  And I was hungry.  And thirsty.  And unsatisfied.  This is no exaggeration.
            The next day I had Myles’ wellness check-up and his pediatrician thought it sounded more like acid reflux than a dairy allergy.  PRAISE THE LORD!  I went home and splurged on all things dairy.  After almost 2 weeks on his medicine and still not seeing changes from Myles (it can take at least 2 weeks before taking full effect), in desperation, we threw everything at him at once: foods twice a day, 30 hours of gentle-ease formula, letting him cry at least 5 minutes before responding, and also keeping him on the meds a while longer.  Things did seem to at least improve for a while there, at least the screaming calmed down for a long time (we have returned to some of that some days again).  We have also definitely concluded that he is not allergic to dairy milk.  Thank goodness.  
            While some days (and all too many nights) are still pretty challenging, I’m at least enjoying dairy in my life.  Without it, what else would adequately replace the approximate 50 grams (or more) of protein that I get from it daily?  (I refuse protein powders).  I was still in-season training at the time, and I was concerned about how it would affect my recovery and my body.  Being that sleep is the king of recovery though, I had hit the point where I was willing to try anything.  But thankfully, thus ended my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad, non-dairy day.  I’d like to NEVER do that again, please.

If you had to give up dairy, what would you miss the most?  Comment on this post and you can be entered for a chance to WIN free chocolate milk swag!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Three Eagle - Race Director's Desk

            Yesterday marked the 2nd annual Three Eagle Half Marathon & 5K, and what a day it was!  Last year’s race was a huge success, but there were several big changes we made in order to really improve up on it.  We changed the finishing route from bumpy grass to running on paved streets.  We upgraded our long sleeve race shirts to dry-wick.  We added awesome door prizes, and gave away over 50 sweet items!  We moved everything to the Reiter Center for both days, adjusted the schedule to better accommodate participants, and we even added bakery cookies to our post-race menu!  We also switched to a timing company that would give us more thorough results faster and on the spot.  We had start and finish banners made for us.  All the while we still offered it at the same lower fees, kept our pumpkin mile markers, and treated everyone to ice cold chocolate milk post-race!     
            We lucked out with another year of perfect weather, hitting a high in the low 60’s with a cool wind and warm sun.  The fall colors were at their peak and it couldn’t have been more beautiful out there on the trail!  We had incredible sponsors who provided us with our printed materials, buses, chocolate milk, television and radio promotions, music, door prizes, post-race massages, and the funds to be able to give our participants so much while keeping their fees lower than most other races.  We had amazing volunteers to mark pumpkins, stuff bags, work registration, set-up the course, be our traffic monitors and crossing guards, help with post-race food and around the finish area, with awards, etc.  And my outstanding husband again provided us with all of our designs: website, posters, brochures, banners, shirts, awards, and even photography on race day.  We were blessed with so many people who all came together to make this possible!  THANK YOU!
            Registration numbers were up this year as well.  Last year we had 352 register and 305 participate.  This year we had 377 register and 351 get in on the action on race day!  We had 3 out of the 4 course records fall as well!  While we know that there were a few things we could have done better and can improve upon for next year, we also heard a ton of great feedback!  One person went so far as to say that this was the best event in Three Lakes!  A lot of comments were about how well organized the race was – I give a lot of credit to my amazing race committee for this!  Other stand-outs that I heard were how awesome the volunteers were, great food (especially the fresh ground peanut butter and the plethora of chocolate milk), and the much improved finishing route.  The trail is always top-notch thanks to the Three Eagle Trail Foundation!  This is the race that you want to do year after year. 
            This year I also was able to partake in running the half marathon after all of the morning prep stuff.  I’ve run and biked on this trail quite a few times, but this was the first time being in a race on it.  It was crazy cool to see fans at crossings and along the road cheering the runners on!  I got to see our awesome aid stations in action, and be a part of the biggest race ever held on the trail!  While it was personally my worst half marathon time ever, I’m glad I got to be a part of our signature event.  You really won’t find anything nearly as beautiful.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Journey of Healing on the Three Eagle Trail

Mommy Spotlight #2          
            October 11, 2014 – Carley Reynolds toed the starting line of her first half marathon.  This wasn’t just any half marathon.  This was the Three Eagle Half Marathon, which utilizes the Three Eagle Trail in a point-to-point course.  This wasn’t just any trail either.  I’ll get to that, but first, let’s back up to July 19th.  Carley was 4 months pregnant with her and Dan’s second child, and just one week from the ultrasound that would reveal the gender of their baby.  She just had her 30th Birthday.  She was planning a “reveal party.”  They were going to be the family of four that they had been dreaming of for so long.
            During a surprise birthday party with friends and family, Carley took a break and realized she was bleeding.  While trying not to think the worst, panic and fear still set in, and her and Dan went to the ER.  After repeated ultrasounds, tests, and too much waiting, they were told that their baby no longer had a heartbeat.  They were told what to expect over the next few hours to days, and they went home.  The process began quickly and it wasn’t long and she was holding her perfect baby in her hand.  Tiny ears, closed eyes, ten little fingers and toes, a fat little belly, and… he was a boy.  He fit perfectly in her hand and stretched from index finger all the way across her palm.  They named him Matthew.
Enjoying the trail on bikes
            Carley and Dan started their healing process by spending time together outdoors – out on the lakes, and on walks and bike rides on the trail by their home.  They wept and they mourned their loss.  They planted a tree in Matthew’s honor.  During that first week of healing, Carley realized a few things.  This was a completely unexpected event in their lives that she had no control over.  It has forever changed her, but it could be a change for good.  She set out to take control over what she could: what she did with her time, and how she treated her body.  She wanted to be the best version of herself, and so started her wellness journey, with her first mission being a half marathon.  And what could be better than a half marathon that used the very trail that she and Dan spent so much time on trying to heal?  It would be a tribute to her family and the son she lost.
            At the starting line, Carley took a deep breath and started on the culminating event that she had been preparing for, for the last three months.  After the first few miles, she settled into a rhythm.  Amongst the beautiful towering pines and over boardwalks, the winding trail went on, and her mind was a rollercoaster of emotion.  There was doubt, but there were also feelings of love and support from family and friends.  She had a mission and a vow to change her life for herself and her family that she had to keep.  Every sunray and cool breeze carried Matthew’s presence, with him encouraging, “You can do this Mama.”
            Nearing the finish line, Carley was cheered on by her friends, her husband, and her son Collin, who ran out to her and joined her in crossing the finish line of her first half marathon.  She squeezed Collin tight and received her Finisher’s Medal, along with a hug and a bouquet of flowers from her dad.  They stood there, squeezing each other tight, and cried.  This was a life-changing journey.  This was about family, friends, support, encouragement, and love.  This year, Carley won’t be running the Three Eagle Half Marathon.  Instead, she’s celebrating being 21 weeks pregnant with another baby boy – due February 13th!
            As a competitor and athlete, I understand that fitness can be a great outlet for emotion.  It can provide an emotional lift, an adrenaline boost, a time for thought process, and an opportunity for self-discovery as you learn more about yourself and gain greater perspective.  As a mother, those benefits become even more valuable!  And exercise is something that can be a family event, or even a chance for peace and solitude.  As the Race Director for the Three Eagle Half Marathon/5K, I couldn’t be more proud of the race that provided such a journey of healing for someone.  I hope that it continues to be a challenging, yet rewarding event for many years to come!