Saturday, December 3, 2016

Being Negative! A Drumstick Dash Recap

Did I get your attention with that title?!  Don't worry...negative isn't a bad thing here.  Come with me as I take you through the past couple weeks and what's been going on during that time.

After my last weigh-in, I did some looking back over the numbers.  Turns out that was the most I had weighed in at least 12 months.  That's as far back as I wanted to look.  However, I Wasn't discouraged at that fact.  In fact it made me realize how completely out of shape I was when I started this blog.  Even at this weigh in I was still 15 pounds lighter than when I started a year and a half ago.  There has to be something positive to say for that.  I didn't let myself get all the way back up to that same spot and I am easily in better shape physically than I was then.

With that being said, I still feel that I am making an impact on some of the people around me.  I often find that people are sharing their successes with me regarding fitness.  The first coworker to share something with me sent me a message on Facebook telling about their longest run in quite a while.  She said that even though the distance wasn't what she wanted that she felt good when she had completed it and was looking forward to doing even more.  I am trying to get her to sign up for the Mini so she has a goal to look forward to.  We'll see what she does.

The second person has FAR surpassed me in her weight goals.  She decided over the past year or so that being there for her son for as long as possible is the MOST important thing in her life.  She vowed to lose a considerable amount of weight with a goal being to do so by Thanksgiving.  Let me just tell you, she worked hard for that goal.  She stopped eating most of the sugar in her diet, significantly increased her water intake, and most important of all got moving.  She walks every morning and evening.  During the time I was aware of her efforts she has had the strongest will power of any person I know.  On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving she stopped me in the hall to tell me she had reached her goal!  She had lost 100 pounds and you could see the absolute joy in her face to be able to share not only the news, but the realization that she absolutely could do what she had set out to do.  Here's the takeaway.  Set a goal, focus on that goal, put in the work, and you WILL reach it.  I want to thank both of these people for being open enough to share their stories with me.  I am not mentioning their names because I am not trying to exploit them.  I simply want to congratulate them and share their story.  Plus, I know they both read this blog so they know who they are.

Let's switch over to the Drumstick Dash.  First of all, I want to thank all of the people that donated to such a worthy cause and helped me to again achieve the honor of being labeled a top 10 fund-racer for the dash.  This year I was able to turn over $550 to wheeler mission through the help of all of you.    All of that money goes directly to the organization to help feed the homeless of Indy.

The expo day was great, minus the fact that it was raining a little.  I would much rather it rain on expo day than run day.  I was able to easily pick up my packet and check to make sure my bib was functioning.  I also visited the shirt exchange since the lost weight hasn't quite been where I expected it to be when I signed up for the race in April.  I took some photos and some video to use later.  I headed home and grabbed some food on the way before heading to a local basketball game.  Early to bed wasn't really in the cards, but I got enough sleep to be ready for the next day.  Before I headed to bed, I made sure to set out all of my items that would be needed for the next day.  Here's Flat Dan!

Race day started out nice and early and we were both ready to leave the house within a minute of scheduled time.  That's unusual for us...there's always something extra to do before we leave.  We headed down to Broad Ripple in the dark and got to see the sunrise on the way.  We arrived at the parking area about 7:50 and headed over to our call spot for the race.  I stretched out a little and made sure everything was ready to go with my Garmin.  I was in my corral at about 8:45 and the race started at 9.  The beach balls in the air and the 20,000 strangers help to take away those preface jitters.  Just after 9:00 I crossed the start line, hit the start button on my Garmin and got into my zone.

I had set a goal in my mind of pace for the day and my plan was not to deviate from my strategy.  For the first mile I was simply dodging people and trying to focus on sticking to my pace strategy.  I spent a lot of time looking at my watch and focusing on my breathing.  When I hit the first turn to head south on Keystone Ave, I was surprised by a tap on the shoulder.  A friend of mine from high school realized it was me and we wished each other good luck on the race and as well to have a Happy Thanksgiving.  You never know who you are going to see in a race and it was a pleasant surprise to see her.  When I hit that first mile, I realized my pace was about a minute faster than I had anticipated.  New goal in mind immediately...beat the original goal and never run a slower mile (this is known as running negative splits).  I tried to enjoy the scenery a little more while I was at it and watched people cheering each other on, stopping to take selfies, and overall being in good spirits.  Just after the 1 mile mark, I passed the group of firefighters walk in full gear.  They were given a 20 minute head start on the race.  I made sure to clap for them the entire time I passed them.  They are always an inspiration to me and are also one of the largest fundraising groups for the day.

Miles 2-4 went exactly as I had planned them (after updating my plan at mile 1) and I was running with negative splits.  I received a text from my brother around mile 2 to let me know they were tracking me online.  That always lights a little fire under me to not let people down that are watching me.  For the first time in a race, my Garmin was matching up exactly with the mile markers through the first 3 miles and mile 4 was less than a tenth of a mile off.  However, after running this race previously I knew that it actually runs about a tenth long at 4.6 miles.  When I hit the split at mile 4, I wasn't so sure I was going to be able to finish that last 6 tenths at a faster past than the previous 4 miles.  I was definitely using what I had in the tank to push through.  Last year, I was cheering the people around me to finish strong.  This year, I was cheering myself in my head to do the same thing.  When I crossed the finish line, I knew I had come close, but I had to actually check the splits to realize that I had made my goal of BEING NEGATIVE.  I had run the entire race in negative splits even though I went out a little faster than I had expected.  Although I ran the entire race roughly 3 minutes slower than last year, I feel my actual race plan was better this year.

I followed the lines through the the recovery area to grab a banana, a bagel, and some chocolate milk and then found Mrs. Re-Dan-imation to head back to pick up my gear and return home.  She was proud of me and then informed me that even though she texted me during the race that she wouldn't be able to get my picture at the finish line that she was able to find a way there.  I obviously knew because I saw her when I finished and tried to give her a good smile.  I was happy she could do it and I always like it when she is able to see me finish.  We spent the rest of the day eating with her family and "enjoying" some football.  It was good to relax after the rush of the morning.

I had decided before visiting the expo the day before the dash that I wanted to make a video about the dash experience.  However, some of the clips I took the morning of the run didn't quite match up with the overall feel of the videos I shot at the expo, so I instead focused the video on good Wheeler Mission does and how many people are involved in the Dash itself.  I have shared the video below in case you didn't get a chance to see it yet.

Because I am posting this at a random time of the week, I am going to include the most recent weight info I have.  Over that time I have lost 2.5 pounds  I don't really consider it a loss, I consider it a return to where I was.  Progress is progress.  I am not down on myself about it.  As a matter of fact it makes me happy that I was able to even do that.  One day I will achieve that goal of mine and I will celebrate like nobody can believe.  Until then...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Back in the Game!

I know, you were probably thinking I had quit completely and you were never again going to read one of my honest and hilarious blogs.  Guess again!!  I'm back and ready to hit it hard.

Since the lsat time we spoke, I have had a lot going on.  First, Mrs. Re-Dan-imation and myself went on a little fall break vacation up to Michigan, I helped with the Jaycees Halloween party to benefit a local program for adults with special needs, the Cubs won the World Series, we held a presidential election, and my team competed in the Lego League competition this past Saturday.  Needless to say, there has been a LOT of things take place.  Let's tackle them a little at a time.

Michigan was a blast.  The weather was basically perfect for fall break.  Although some people may not consider that to be true.  We were able to relax and enjoy the scenery at the John Ball Zoo and the Frederick Meijer Gardens.  We visited with our friends that moved to Michigan recently.  I had a great beer every day (Grand Rapids is known as Beer City, USA), we did a little outlet mall shopping,  had some great food,  and even went out to Lake Michigan for about 15 minutes through a cool park. I would definitely go back if for no other reason than to get another bowl of Grand Traverse Whiskey Fig ice cream from Love's Ice Cream.  Hands down the finest cup of ice cream I have had in my entire life.

Just a few of the fun things we did in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Since those wonderful days in Michigan, we have been quite busy around the Re-Dan-imation household.  The Halloween party is always a fun event to hold and this year was no different.  Although I didn't dress up this year, I still had a great time!  If you ever get a chance to participate in something like this I highly suggest you do it.  For that matter, if you ever get the chance to be a part of some sort of civic organization, you should totally do it.  Giving back to your community is a great thing to do and leaves you with a great sense of pride.  One of our next events will be shopping for needy families for the holidays.

The decorations on the table I was stationed at for the Halloween party.
This was quickly followed up by that crazy election we just had.  I'm not gonna get on any political high horse here or even share my opinions on the election as a whole.  What I will say is that regardless of who you voted for and whether or not they won or lost, the recent violence at protests and hate mongering through vandalism is unacceptable.  As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about tha-at."

This past weekend a group of 7 students that I help coach participated in their Lego League competition.  Although the scores didn't quite fall the way we had hoped, the kids had a great time and were super proud of themselves.  Every competition is a learning experience for both the students and the coaches and we will come back next year just a little bit stronger than we were this year.

As we get to this point, I am sure you are wondering whether or not I am going to tell you about my progress towards my fitness goals.  Well, here we go.  Last Monday, I stepped on the scale for the first time in a while.  It showed 279.8.  That means that I have gained back roughly 15 of the 30 pounds I had lost in the last year.  I am looking at it from both directions.  It is unacceptable that I let it creep back up on me.  It is also good that I caught it again before it got to the point where I was right back where I started.  Having seen that, last week I got 2 runs in and monitored everything that went in my body with MyFitnessPal.  And then...I forgot to get on the scale this morning before I ate breakfast...D'oh!  It's ok.  I will check back in next week (before Thanksgiving) which is right before I began my self inflicted plateau last year.  I have a little better feeling going into the holidays this year.  Last year, I thought they were going to be no big deal because I was getting in my workouts and didn't think I really had to worry about a couple days.  This year, I am well aware of the impact that the holidays can have and I will be prepared.

I am again doing the Drumstick Dash this year to benefit Wheeler Mission.  If you remember last year I was super pumped and all of you helped me to raise an additional $600 to benefit the mission.  I am trying to fund-race again this year and at this moment sit at $260.  I would absolutely love to hit $1000 and be able to provide 444 meals through the kindness of all of your hearts.  I have included a video as well as a link to my fund-racing page right HERE.  It is also linked on the right side of this blog page.  Please consider giving even if you think it is a small amount.  Every $2.25 that is raised provides 1 meal for a homeless person.  I can't think of a better thing to support for the Thanksgiving holiday.  With that being said...until next time. Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Great Pumpkin Run Race Recap

Well, I did it.  I completed another event that I signed up for.  This would be the first race I have run since June.  October 8th, I participated in The Great Pumpkin Run that was held at Dull's Tree Farm.  This was definitely a new experience for me.  This is the first time I have run on any kind of terrain other than pavement or a treadmill.  The course went over harvested corn fields and gravel roads.  The tracks left from the tractors provided for some very uneven ground.  I even almost went down at one point when I lost my footing.

This was another race that was signed up as a large group.  Myself, Mrs. Re-Danimation (her first 5K) and her parents, along with a group of friends.  Many of us also participated in the additional challenge of carrying a pumpkin for the entire 5K to earn an extra medal if we could complete the entire distance with the pumpkin in our arms.  I'll admit, I chose a pretty small pumpkin as I knew the distance and terrain were going to be my main concerns.  I did finish with the pumpkin and earned both medals.  We spent another little while walking around the pumpkin patch and tree farm and then headed home to prepare for our evening plans.  This is the first time in quite a while that I have seen over 20,000 steps in one day.

Speaking of steps, I have switched platforms from FitBit to Garmin.  When my FitBit Charge HR died completely recently I chose to pick up a Garmin activity tracker that also gives golf yardages.  I was under the impression that the steps would sync with my FitBit account, but soon found out that only recorded activities and not daily steps transferred.  Oh well.  I chose to switch and I am sticking with it.  I can't wait to use it for the first time during a round of golf.  It should be pretty nice to just look at my wrist for yards to the green instead of having to wake my phone each time.  Not that I am good enough to need exact yardages, but it's not like anything could make my golf game much worse.

After finishing our 5K many of use were involved in hosting the first Oktoberfest in Frankfort in about 20 years.  The Frankfort Jaycees and Frankfort Main Street put on the event.  Myself and many of my buddies in the Jaycees were responsible for the admission gate as well as the most important part...the beer.  We spent the remainder of the evening having a great time listening to Polkamotion and serving all the beers we could handle.  The event seemed to go smoothly and we are looking forward to only make it better in the years to come.

As I write this my wife and I are enjoying a much deserved short vacation.  Since we were a little busy with the hospital in the middle of the summer, we were unable to take our vacation we had planned then.  I love the fall and feel like these type of short trips sometimes end up to be my favorite.

On another note, I am participating in the Drumstick Dash for the second year in a row.  This year I am again Fund-racing.  This means I am raising money to help feed the homeless in Indy.  You may not live in Indianapolis, but helping those less fortunate than yourself is helping mankind no matter what your location.  Wheeler Mission does what it can to help those that are struggling more than we are.  I am begging you to do what you can to help this worthy cause.  You can click on the Fund-racing link located directly on this page.  All of your donations are tax deductible.

Seeing as I am on vacation currently, I am unable to accurately check my progress regarding my weight.  I will do so soon and update you at that time. Also, I would like to say good luck to my brother and his wife as both of their bands will be competing in Semi-State this coming weekend.  Best wishes to all F. J. Reitz and Castle Band members.  Until next time....Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Big Fat Liar

Yep!  That's about how I feel right now.  I feel like I have talked the talk and even walked the walk, but that right now I am completely dragging anchor.  I have been told many times by people that they like to read my blog because it is "real."  It's definitely real.  It's my life.  It's my struggle.  It's my way of maintaining so-called accountability. 

Let's see where that accountability has gotten me recently.  I'm almost positive this is the first post to be released on a Thursday.  It has been two and a half weeks since my last post.  I haven't lost a pound in the last month.  I have skipped two races recently, one due to heat and the second due to lack of training.  I am about to skip a third because there is simply no way I am prepared currently to run another half marathon.  I am down on myself and I am pissed off.

I am mad that I let myself back into old habits.  I'm mad that sometimes I have even been ok with it.  I'm mad that I have been able to play multiple rounds of golf the last few weeks, but I haven't stepped foot in my running shoes to get on the treadmill or head outside.  I'm mad that so many people have been proud of my efforts and for the last few posts I feel like I have been letting not only myself down but them as well. I'm mad that I have only run twice since I started coaching cross country.
After our nice float down the White River for Labor Day weekend

I'm happy that I have been able to spend times with friends floating down the white river.  I'm happy that my golf scores have continued to drop little by little.  I'm happy that I have been helping my wife get things done at school.  I'm happy that I had one of my cross country runners sign up for the Indy Mini-mini 2 mile run and finish in the top 10.  I'm happy for many reasons, but they aren't covering the fact that I spend too much time sitting on the driveway talking to people and waving to passers by when I could be working on myself. 

You know what really makes me mad!  I signed up for these races with the true intention of lowering my times for those respective events.  I'm mad that I love the feeling of finishing with the crowd no matter how long it takes me to complete it.  I'm mad that I have talked to many people into doing things regarding their health and then I sit back and do nothing with mine.  I'm mad that I am a giant hypocrite!

I just hit reset on my run planner for the Monumental Half-Marathon in November.  I have got to focus on it.  I've been told that it is a nice flat and fast course.  If I don't finish it in a few less minutes than it took me to finish the Indy Mini I'll be a little disappointed.  But, not as disappointed as if I don't make an effort at all.

I've learned a lot about myself recently.  I've learned that I EASILY fall into complacency.  I easily fall into the trap of focusing on things outside of my true focus of myself.  I've learned that I like to relax and that my self doubt can overtake any progress I have made in the past.  I am still roughly 20 pounds below where I started when I began writing this blog, but if I don't fix it now I am going to be right back where I was when I began...and probably worse. 

I am not looking for sympathy, and to those of you that have read my blog from the beginning, please don't say "Oh, you'll be ok."  That's not what I need.  I need a good swift kick in the seat of the pants and a push out the front door.  I need an alarm set an hour earlier in the mornings to attempt to get the runs in before school if possible.  I need a lot.  But, what I need most is to focus on the mantra I put out every time I write this post.  FOOD. FEET. WATER. REPEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Finding Shelter in the Storm!

The last couple weeks, I have been much more active.  I also had an interesting weekend this weekend and said goodbye to some friends that are moving away.

I have gotten in a couple workouts over the past couple weeks and I have also mowed the lawn three times.  That may not seem like a lot, but I sweat more mowing the grass yesterday than I did running for 30 minutes another day.

I have started building up some endurance again.  But, I have a LONG way to go before I am ready for another half marathon.  This is one part of the storm I am working to find shelter from.  Races are bearing down in me that I am not truly prepared for.  I am trying to decide whether to continue with those races at a much slower pace or to focus on races I have farther down the road.  I will soon come to a decision but I am hoping that completing my upcoming half is something I am capable of even if I do not attend my race this Thursday.  I am straddling the fence over whether this race would be a good training run for the half or whether I should do a different training run here at home.  Like I said, I'll get it figured out.  As for the workouts, they have been going well.  I said hello to the treadmill again and it wasn't that mean to me.  This week, I will be increasing the time amount for sure.

This weekend was definitely an interesting experience.  I had plans to go to Indy and take a ride on the HandleBar followed by going to the OAR concert.  As we headed down to Indy the sky started to darken.  While we were in our uber headed downtown it started to rain.  We hoped it would last a short time and hopped on the HandleBar for a trip around town.  The rain did not let up and we rode the entire time in the rain.  About halfway through we stopped at 9 Irish Brother on Mass Ave. to grab a beverage and the skies really opened up to the point that we stayed there for about an extra hour.  When the rain finally let up we hopped back on the "bike" and headed back downtown.  Unfortunately by this time our concert had been cancelled so we headed out to a local establishment for the remainder of the evening.  It was a great time even though I was still soaked to the bone.  Unfortunately, the night before this event, one of our friends had some limbs down on their house and her power was out...the house where we were staying.  When we got back we helped move some furniture in the basement to keep it dry and make sure that the sump pump was on a working battery.
Our stop in 9 Irish Brothers! Just a few drowned rats in there!

Yesterday was a rough day for the family.  We were sending some family friends off on their journey back home to Michigan.  Although they won't be leaving until this Saturday we made sure to spend some time together this weekend as a goodbye.  We were able to go out for dinner and then came back to my in-laws house to hang out and give some going away presents.  It was a sad day for everybody involved, but we know we will be seeing them again soon.  We can't wait to visit them in Michigan at some point.

As for my weight.  It am still headed in the wrong direction.  As we have discussed on here before, the drinks this weekend didn't help.  But, the snacks I have been having in the evenings aren't helping either.  The fact that my training has started to pick up again will definitely help.  Until next week.  Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to School Madness

What a busy time of year!  It has been even busier this year as Mrs. Re-Dan-imation has picked up a full time position as a kindergarten teacher!!!  Most of our free time the past two weeks has been spent getting her classroom ready and buying additional materials.  Yet again, my training has taken a back seat to something that needs to be done first.  I am not complaining in the least, just stating the facts.

Why not focus a little more on what I have enjoyed helping with over the past couple weeks?  I thought it would be fun to share some pictures from decorating her classroom as well as the bulletin boards outside of my classroom.  We decorated her classroom with a beach theme as you should be able to tell from the pictures.  Also, a thank you goes out to her family and friends for helping out as well.  Many people donated things to help her or came to school to help her get things organized.

Look at all those workers!!  Even the small ones!

The whole classroom, matching bulletin board, and the trip to Once Upon a Child!
I had to do a little work to my own classroom and one of the things I tend to pride myself on is the ability to come up with clever ideas for bulletin boards.  Here are the two I started the year with.  If you don't think they are clever, well...too bad.

With all of this work, I have been eating fast food on a consistent basis.  We finally went grocery shopping this week for what seems like the first time since we have been back from the hospital.  Obviously this hasn't been good to the diet.  I'll be honest...I am starting to get a little concerned with the fact that I have another half marathon coming up in September.  I am just going to take it one day at a time.  I may just have to use this as a learning experience.  I most likely won't set a PR at the Mill Race, but I have good feeling about the Monumental Half Marathon in November.

Last week, I weighed in at 271.5 lbs.  That puts me higher than two weeks ago.  For the first time since I started this journey I forgot to get on the scale this morning before I ate breakfast.  I decided that I would much rather skip the weigh in than see an even higher number on the scale.  As always, I am not discouraged, I am just letting you all know how it is.  As we continue getting our head back into school, I am also working toward getting my body back into fitness mode.  It WILL happen.  Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Improvement for the Mrs.....and Me

I am sure many of you are wondering where I have been.  This is the second time in a row I have gone two weeks between posts.  I don't want you to think that I have given up on the process.  As a matter of fact, I am getting ready to head back to school and I am certain my eating and calorie counting will improve as I head back.  I am still here and I am still on the path to health.

But, what I am sure you are all even more concerned about is the health of Mrs. Re-Dan-imation.  As the title of the post lets you know, she is definitely improving.  After we came home from the hospital, it was a battle between her having to eat a "liquid" diet and what she really wanted to eat.  The medicine she was given for her esophagus has really helped with her eating.  The only real problem still lingering around her eating is that she coughs when she eats because the food is irritating her throat a bit when she swallows.  That should continue to get better.  Also, she has lost 18 pounds since she returned home!!  That may sound like a lot for her little body, but she was holding so much fluid and it has finally left her system so her weight is actually back to normal.  She is feeling a LOT better about the fluids she was holding and she totally does not feel like she looks pregnant anymore.

After returning home and getting things back to normal for a few days, we got a call from the fertility doctor's office.  Since we have had complications in the past and she has not been able to remain pregnant for a full term, it was our doctors suggestion that we have our embryos genetically tested this time to absolutely make sure they are good to go before they are transferred back to her. Here is where the whole process gets really interesting.  If you remember from the last post, the doctors removed 46 eggs from her.  After the embryologist fertilized all the eggs, 33 actually became fertilized.  Of those 33 eggs, the next test was to see if they made it to the 3 day mark.  26 made it to the 3 day mark.  The next mark is becoming what is called a 5 day blastocyst.  We had 15 make it to the point of 5 day blastocyst.  That means that in the olden days of IVF (the 1980s) we would have had 15 embryos to implant at some point.

Well, with modern medicine comes much more accuracy.  Of our 15 blastocysts, we had 10 biopsied and then frozen and had the other 5 frozen without being biopsied.  It's an expensive process so testing the extra 5 was just not in the cards.  Now for the results.  Of the 10 that we had tested, 5 were deemed as non-viable.  This means that implanting them  would result in pregnancies that would not make it (they were all missing/had extra chromosomes).  Of the other 5 that we tested, 1 would be a viable pregnancy but would have Turner Syndrome meaning that it would be a healthy person but would be sterile.  That will definitely not be an embryo we will be using as Kristy could never live with herself knowing ahead of time that her offspring could never have a child.  That leaves us with 4 perfectly viable and healthy embryos, but wait it gets cooler than that.  The embryologist informed us that of those 4 embryos, 2 are boys and 2 are girls.  HOLY COW!!!  Didn't even think about them knowing that, but obviously since they are checking for abnormal chromosomes they would know.  We have decided though, that when we do implant one, it will be randomly chosen by the embryologist and we won't know whether they have chosen a boy or a girl until after.  If everything turns out healthy and great, I am sure we will choose to have the other implanted the next time.  We're working on one thing at a time here.

Since, Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was feeling better and I had already planned a golf weekend in Michigan, I got to head up North.  I headed out on Friday with friends and clubs in tow.  The plan was to play 18 holes on Friday and 36 holes on Saturday.  It just so happens that weekend was the hottest weekend of the summer so far.  Surprise, right?!  We did manage to get in all 3 rounds, and also enjoyed hanging out in the pool at one of my friend's brother's house.  Thanks Mike for letting us stay at your place.  I even had my best round of the summer at what was easily the nicest course we played.

Last week we had more big news come our way.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation accepted a 2nd grade position here in town at the end of the school year.  She was obviously excited about the opportunity, but sad to leave her friends and coworkers at the building where she spent almost every day last year.  Well, a kindergarten position opened up and after the principals talked, they contacted her to see if she would want to switch.  She spent the evening thinking about it and discussing it with me and then chose to go ahead and make the move.  This building and grade level are both where her heart truly lies and both principals knew it would be the right fit.  I guess you could say it was lucky she had been sick, because she hadn't set up her room completely so it was a quick move of her stuff across town.  Since then, we have been spending most of our free time getting her room set up.

However, this weekend was the Frankfort Main Street Hot Dog Festival.  My mom decided she was going to have a booth at the festival this year to sell the wooden and canvas signs that she prints and paints herself.  I was pretty pumped about the idea.  On Thursday, I helped her set up her booth and then Friday and Saturday we spent literally every waking minute at the festival.  I had a great time, even though it was pretty sweltering in the booth because they get pretty stuffy.  She was pleased with how she did and is looking forward to having booths at other festivals in the future.  I can't wait to help her again.  You should check out her stuff here (she can make custom orders if you are interested).

That brings us up to this point where you are probably wondering about my weight over the past couple weeks.  Well, not being able to eat the same meals as my wife the first week really put me in a bad spot.  I ballooned up to 271.1 lbs.  That's what happens when you eat fast food all the time and stay inside not doing anything except keep an eye on somebody that just needs to rest and recuperate.  This last week, I did much better and my weight went back down to a respectable 267.7 lbs.  I am still not down to my "high" mark of having lost 30 pounds, but I will get back there soon.  I am looking forward to continuing the journey and sharing it with you.  Thanks to all of you that read and commented on my last post (it has had over 2200 views...about 1800 more than any other post I have written).  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was truly touched by all of your support and still gets asked around town about how she is feeling.  I hope that many of you that viewed that post keep following me on here.  You can subscribe by submitting your email at the top of this page.  I would love to have more of your follow me.  With that I will leave you for the week.  Until next week...Food, Feet, Water, Repeat.

Monday, July 18, 2016

124 hours in a HOSPITALity Room

You may have noticed that I did not post an update last week.  That is the first time I have skipped a post completely since I started writing this blog.  There is definitely a good reason and you can probably pick up on it a bit from the title.  Be prepared for a long post today as there is a lot to catch you up on.

You may or may not be aware that Mrs. Re-Dan-imation AKA Kristy and I have been trying to have children for 5 of the 6 years we have been married and that the process to this point has not been successful.  That is where the story starts this time.  Recently we have started the process of IVF again from scratch.  We have been through this process before and knew what to expect going in.  So after multiple doctor visits, daily and sometimes multiple daily belly injections, and even more doctor visits we were to the point of egg retrieval.  Let me start there.

On Friday July, 8th we went to our Fertility Doctor's office in Castleton.  Kristy was nervous and excited at the same time.  She was nervous about the anesthesia she would be under during the process but I had been reassuring her all morning that all would be fine.  After the procedure the doctor came in to warn us that Kristy's ovaries were what is called overstimulated.  This means that the ovaries were significantly enlarged and as a result they removed a whopping 46 eggs from her that day.  That may sound like a good thing, but it also means that her abdomen is full from her ovaries instead of anything else.  The doctor prescribed her some pain meds, some shots to shut down her ovaries, and instructed her to drink fluids non stop to prevent dehydration.

Fast forward to Friday evening.  Kirsty is in considerable pain and has taken two doses of her pain meds.  She was able to eat and is doing her best to stay hydrated.  Saturday gets worse for the pain and she is starting to feel nauseous.  Saturday night she spends a lot of time in the bathroom getting sick.  She is having trouble holding down fluids.  Sunday gets worse and we contact the fertility doctor for suggestions.  He tells us to come in Monday morning to get checked out and go from there.  Kristy does her best to make it through the night and control the pain and the nausea.  (By the way: Sunday was our 6th anniversary and we were supposed to leave for Hilton Head Island on Saturday for a family vacation with the rest of her family.  Her parents had already left on Thursday and her brother was waiting to leave with us. )

Monday morning Kristy is so nauseous that she can barely walk, but we manage to get her to the car so we can make it to Castleton to check in with the fertility doctor.  After they do a quick ultrasound check on her ovaries they see that one of her ovaries is 8cm long and the other is 10cm long.  Normal is somewhere less than 3 cm.  They also can tell she is significantly dehydrated so they tell us to head across the street to Community North Hospital.  I wasn't quite expecting this, but I should have been.

Our home for the next 5 days!!
Our next stop was the ER where we registered and waited just a few minutes to get into a room.  After blood was drawn and an IV was hooked up we waited to hear results.  After a couple hours, the doctor came in to explain to us her condition.  Kristy was SEVERELY dehydrated and this dehydration had caused her to go into acute renal failure (kidneys not functioning correctly).  Normal levels for functioning kidneys is 0.5 on the test and hers was at 3.5.  Her electrolyte levels were also way off so they started to work on getting those back in line as well.  By the way, I did weigh in Monday morning and was at 264.3 lbs.  That was pretty good, but probably because I was staying up trying to help her and I wasn't eating a ton because she couldn't hold food down and I felt bad eating when she couldn't.  After 6 hours in the emergency room Kristy was finally moved to a room in the Progressive Care Unit which is a step down from Intensive Care.  Basically, she was considered pretty sick.

I informed family, told my brother in-law to head to Hilton Head without us and asked my mother to bring me some dinner.  Kristy was basically trying to sleep and manage her pain and nausea.  For the next two days the only times she was really awake was when the nurses cam in to check her vitals or give her meds.  All I could do was sit there and explain to the doctors and nurses what we were going though to help them with identifying how to treat her.  Her Critical Care doctor had never dealt with a case of Hyperstimulated Ovarian Syndrome and spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the fertility doctor to understand the condition.  To give you an idea of her pain amount, check out the picture of the medication area of her board.

Finally on Wednesday, she was starting to level out on her electrolytes and was able to hold a little longer conversation with the nurses.  I could tell she was getting back to herself.  The pain was still pretty good and her stomach was pretty swollen.  This is because her enlarged ovaries were pushing against blood vessels and not allowing them to hold all the fluids they were pumping her full of.  Today they would do what is called a Paracentesis.  This is a process where they stick a needle into your abdomen and extract the extra fluids to relieve the pressure.  They removed 2 liters (a full size pop bottle if you have trouble picturing it).  and then sent her back to her room to try to eat some dinner so we would have the all clear to leave on Thursday.  Woohoo!

But, wait a minute, when she tried to drink or eat she was in excruciating pain.  They gave her what is literally called "Mary's Magic Potion" thinking that yeast had gotten in her throat when she wasn't using it for basically a week and this would clear it up.  Two doses later and no change.  Doc informed us we would not be leaving on Thursday, but instead Kristy would be having an Endoscopy to check and see why it hurt so bad to eat.  Her endoscopy happened around 3:00 on Thursday and the results were that she had basically had the world's worst case of Acid Reflux.  Apparently she had already been having some reflux prior to the weekend, but she wasn't aware of it. Then the vomiting followed by lying flat with no food in her stomach resulted in the acid just sitting there eating her esophagus.  She was diagnosed with LEVEL D esophagitis (The worst you can have) for the bottom 10 cm on her esophagus.  Basically her esophagus was one giant ulcer.  She was prescribed some medicine to help fix the ulcer and also numb the throat so she could eat.  Back to the room again.

She was still having pain Thursday night so we dealt with that through pain meds again.  She also was yet to eat anything but a popsicle so heading home was not an option.  Friday was spent in the room still dealing with back pain (not walking around and lying in bed all week wasn't helping with this) and trying to get her to eat something from her prescribed fluid diet.  Friday night, her condition was finally downgraded and it was determined that we would be moving rooms at some point so people considerably more sick than her could get a room in the Progressive Care Unit.  She even did a couple SLOW laps of the hallway to try to loosen up her back.  Around 10:30 we were moved down the hall to a different unit.  The room was twice as big and I could actually walk around.  Kristy even did a couple laps.

Saturday morning we ordered Kristy some fluid breakfast AKA Cream of Wheat and she was able to eat that much better.  We were informed that the doctor was going to be discharging her and that we should prepare to head home.  Here is how excited she was to be leaving the Community North!!

After 124 hours in the HOSPITALity room we finally headed out the front door, got Kristy in the car, and headed home.  She still looks like she is 5 months pregnant because she is retaining fluids.  Her ovaries have not completely shut down but that will happen soon.  She just informed me this morning that her back pain is basically gone.  She is still on pretty much a fluid diet cause it hurts to eat anything with rough edges.  But she has improved to the point that she has ZERO nausea and can hold down any fluid or food that she eats.  As her fertility doctor told the hospital doctor...this condition makes the patients feel like they are literally on their death bed.  Kristy would agree.  But, I will tell you that she is the STRONGEST person I have ever met.  Her brother called her a badass and said that she has too much of her father in her to let the pain win.  I have seen this woman be at a level 7 on the pain chart and still ask nurses about their lives, children, job, etc.  She is a hero.  We want to thank the following people for being there to help her through this process.  They may never see this post, but we feel better knowing we have thanked them. Kristy's Doctor at the hospital Dr. Nunez.  The following nurses Hannah C. (PCU), Julia (PCU), Sarah S. (Resource Team) Dana D. (PCU) Stacey (PCU), Chrystyne (PCU) and Kyle (MEDSURG).  And also the following Patient Support Techs Shannon (PCU) and Shawna (PCU).  Without these great people Kristy's experience may have been less enjoyable.  She literally did not have a person come into her room that she did not appreciate or enjoy talking to.  We are forever grateful.

Headed home finally!!

I again stepped on the scale this morning to see 266.8.  Let's just say I didn't eat particularly well in the hospital and the only exercise I got was walking back and forth to her bed to make sure she was ok.  I didn't care one bit what my weight looked like today.  Until next week.  Food. Feet. WATER!!!!! Repeat.  Gotta stay hydrated, right?!  On a side note: Kristy is not currently pregnant, we have not implanted any of those harvested eggs, and we are not sure when it will be happening just so you are all aware.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Yearly Adrenaline Rush!!

What a great week!  A lot of fun things to talk about so I hope you have a few minutes to read through this one.

To start off the week on Monday, we were invited to have a pool day with some family friends.  Obviously, we took them up on it.  After heading down to their house we gathered everything and headed to the water.  Being that it was a high of 93 that day, the pool was a bit more crowded than they expected, but we still had a great time.  We headed back to their house afterwards, cooked out, and relaxed.  The ride home was a bit chilly as the great weather had allowed me to take all the doors and part of the top off of the Jeep.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was huddled under a couple sweatshirts in the back, but she didn't complain.

Wednesday and Friday were yard work days.  I have been in a constant battle with my backyard since we bought our house a few years ago.  The previous owners had it professionally landscaped and they were able to keep up with it because at least one of them was retired and enjoyed pulling the few weeds that popped up every day.  We; however, are not retired.  So the backyard has become something of a well maintained grassy area mixed in with nature preserves where the landscaped areas existed.  Needless to say, not something I am proud of, but it is what it is.  This year I managed to clear, level, and plant grass seed in one of these areas and it is looking great.  So instead of continuing to fight these areas I have succumbed to the wishes of the Mrs. and we cleared out two more areas and planted additional grass seed.  We also took down a pine tree (fun with the chainsaw) and planted seed where it was as well.  Here's hoping it grows even though it is a warmer part of the season.

This is when the real fun of the week begins.  Wednesday evening we began really getting set up for the Frankfort Indiana Jaycees (follow us on Facebook or Twitter) 4th of July Fireworks.  This fireworks show is the largest hand fired show in the state of Indiana and if you haven't watched it recently it is truly a spectacle.  If you don't know what this means, it means that we are loading 3", 4", 5", and 6" shells (fireworks) into mortars (the tubes they shoot out of) and lighting them with large road flares for the most intense 24 minutes of our year.  On Wednesday, our goal was to sort all of the shells and prep them by removing plastic wrap and rubber bands.  We then place them in large plastic tubs and sort them according to the number of minutes for our show.  A lot of effort goes into making sure this part is done particularly well, as we don't have time to fix shells the night of the shoot.  It also helps keep us safer knowing things are ready to go for us.

Our original goal was to set up the actual firing site on Sunday night to allow us more time with our families on Monday, but the weather dictated otherwise.  So, Monday morning we were out swinging sledgehammers and tightening down wire to hold the mortars tightly in place.  The last thing you want is a rack of mortars to fall over with live shells in it pointing at yourself or the crowd.  Safety remains a priority for us and we take our time to make sure everything is right.  Luckily, Mother Nature decided that the Frankfort Jaycees needed to have their fireworks display and she pushed the rain well south of us.  We began our show at 10:10.  Hard hats, ear protection, safety goggles, long sleeves, and jeans are all required to participate.  It was definitely still humid after all the rain we received and although the temperature had dropped below 80 it was still pretty hot under all those layers.  I managed to sweat through both my sweatshirt and jeans.

After a quick count down from our lead operator we began the show.  The next 24 minutes is always a blur.  It is amazing how quickly it goes when you are actually taking part in it rather than watching it from the crowd.  It seems like about 5 minutes as opposed to almost half an hour.  You are either running back and forth from the tubs to the mortars, brushing embers of other people, or watching shells fly out of the mortars next to you. IT IS INTENSE! I may have already mentioned that though.  After it was all over, we had set off every shell, and considered it a success that not only were we right on time according to the music being played on the radio, but also maintained safety with zero injuries.  Celebration time was in order.

I did still remember to get on the scale Monday morning.  I was happy to see 267.0 lbs.  That puts me at a loss for the week of 0.4 lbs.  With all the manual labor involved during the week, I was expecting a little more, but it's still a loss.  Onward and upward (or maybe downward it should be). Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Always Honored

The first thing I did this week was play a round of golf with a few friends.  Although i finished last, which I am used to, I sure had fun.  Time on the golf course is never time wasted unless you are playing with the wrong people.  A few hours in the sun attempting to force that little white devil down the fairway provided plenty of frustrations and laughs...maybe even occasionally a "good shot" from the group.  But most of all it's a time to catch up with friends and commiserate over your misfortunes on the course.

I only got in two other workouts this week with one of them being mowing the lawn in 91 degree heat.  I'll be honest, it's weird the times you can actually tell when you are in better shape than the past.  There have been times in the past where mowing the grass was a struggle in heat and humidity. This week, not only did I complete it without the self propel that has been broken since last summer, but after a short break I proceeded to organize the peg wall in the garage and then removed the doors from the Jeep.

You are probably wondering why this week's post is titled Always Honored.  Early in the week I received a Facebook message from a friend.  Turns out my old band director, Chris Day, was being introduced this weekend at a conference for Edward Jones.  I have spoken about Chris before in this post and you should be able to tell why this Facebook message brightened my day.  His wife asked me to write a little something about him as she has read my blog and remembered I had mentioned him as an inspiration before.  Without blinking an eye, I told her I would be honored.  As you and I were not invited to see him introduced at his work function I decided that including it on here would be appropriate.

"Dedica-spiration! Although not technically a word, it’s still the one I am going to use to describe him.  From the fresh faced band director my final two years of high school to the man I know today, I couldn’t think of a better way to characterize him.  As a band director his was goofy and over the top and it organized a group of kids into a true harmony of effort.  We would do anything for him. We couldn’t believe it when he decided to change gears to work for Edward Jones but none of us could do anything other than support him.  Turns out it was one of the best decisions of his life (besides marrying Molly of course). 

As his dedication to his job took hold he spent many hours at the office and you could tell in his pictures.  Then something clicked and he decided to begin running.  I had no idea until he shared a blog post one day chronicling in just a few paragraphs what took him a year to complete.  The man had lost 100 pounds and turned his life around physically.  How could you not be inspired by that?  He didn’t stop there though.  Since, he has finished countless 5Ks, half marathons, marathons (including the Boston Marathon when his attempt would have caused any sane person to call it a day) and longest, but not least a full Ironman Triathlon.  Not to mention that all those people he inspires everyday voted him into a sponsorship from Team Chocolate Milk so he could help spread his love of the sport with so many others. 

Most recently he was named an Ambassador for the 40th running of the 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  He made the cut the first time they even had the ambassador program.  I can’t say I am surprised.  This race was my first half marathon and I have to say that listing him as my Ambassador was nothing less than an honor.

I consider this man to be one of the finest I have met in my life.  He inspired me to be better as a youth and still inspires me to be dedicated in everything I do as an adult.  He inspired me to start my own blog as I venture down my journey of weight loss through running.  He is a terrific husband, father, teammate, or any name you may know him by.  Knowing that the word Advisor is attached to his profession seems to fit him supremely well. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Chris Day. " (Show Chris some love and check out his blog too)

Thinking about his inspiration on my journey had made me consider my dedication to my journey.  I am spending too much time in my summer living like a college student rather than an adult that still has 80 pounds to lose.  What do I mean by that?  Well, being as though I don't yet have children, I have the ability to stay up late and sleep in as well.  I am always looking for ways to improve and this is going to be my next stop.  I will no longer be sleeping in as late.  I have written before about trying to get up early and get in my workouts in the morning.  This HAS to start soon.  It's not just about setting my fitbit to wake me up early in the morning.  It's about actually adhering to that wake up call and being productive as well.

So, How did I do on my weight this week?  Well the scale says I lost half a pound (267.4). Like always, I'll take it, but I wish it was better.  The goal is to get every workout in this week as well as do some yard work in between preparing for the fourth of July and our upcoming vacation.  I also have to get in a little school work time this week as well.  Wish me luck. Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Run(317) Broad Ripple Race Recap

Welcome back...I decided actually posting on Monday this week would be a good idea.  A lost has gone on this past week including running my first race of the Run(317) 3 race mini-series that I signed up for.  I have lots to share about that as well as updating you on my progress for the week.

Let's start with the race recap.  On Thursday myself, my brother in-law, father in-law, and 2 friends all participated in the Run(317) Broad Ripple race.  I have been looking forward to this race as it is the first one I have taken part in since the mini marathon in May.  With this race taking place at 7:00 in the evening in Broad Ripple the schedule for the day was a little different than a normal race.  I have done many training runs in the evening but never a race.  I wasn't exactly sure what my preparation should be like for this race, but I have learned a little about that from this event.

We started out by meeting up around 5:00 to head down to Indy.  We tried to take a different route to avoid the traffic on I-465 during rush hour.  Turns out it didn't matter and we got stuck in traffic on Keystone anyway.  I could tell at this point that my nutrition for the day was going to be enough to set a PR for the day.  However, I did bring a GU Roctane Gel to take before the race so I figured I would be ok.  We parked about half a mile from the start of the race and walked to the start line as a bit of a warm up.  Hitting up Chipotle for a quick bathroom break was a great idea.  When we got to the start line we made sure we were all ready to go.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation wished us all good luck and headed to a good photo vantage point.  While we were waiting for the race to start, I was looking for water so I could take my gel, but none was to be no gel because I didn't want to cramp up because of it.  Oh well.  We listened to the Jennifer Hudson version of the National Anthem (turns out the scheduled singer was also stuck in traffic) and I snapped the picture below.
And the home of the brave!
We all made sure our devices were switched on and ready to go and I got into the zone with my headphones.  From this point on, all I ever hear is the music in my ears and my breathing.  I kinda like it that way. I did hear the count down to the start though because the speakers were rockin' and the crowd was counting down too. Here's us crossing the start line.
As I started the race, I was a little surprised at how quickly the first turn came up and how narrow it was.  I should have been prepared for this because we were running through Broad Ripple.  After the second turn like this, the roads opened up a little and we were on our way.  My in-laws started to pull away from me which honestly didn't surprise me.  My father in-law is in much better shape than he thinks.  I found myself settling into a pace and could definitely feel the heat getting to me.  I decided after the first mile that my goal was simply not to walk at all during the race.  I could tell I was not going to set a record today by any means.

The water table was setup right at mile 2 and I was definitely ready for it.  The cups were overfilled a little and they appeared to be out of gatorade.  I grabbed a cup and squeezed it to a point so I wouldn't spill any.  A lesson I learned after the mini.  I held on to the cup a little longer than normal so I could get a little extra water in the system.

The last mile went better than I expected.  Coming into the finish I could tell I was spent but I tried to push it a bit and finished strong.  My finishing time was nothing to write home about, but I didn't walk at all so that was a small victory for as hot as it was.  It could always be worse.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation managed to get a picture of every one of us finishing.  She's good!
Finishing Strong!
I finished the race with an average pace of 13:28 per mile.  As I said, I wasn't blisteringly fast, but I finished.  I still have a LONG way to go.  But I am maintaining my training for my next half marathon in September.  I will be looking forward to see if I improve at the next Run(317) in July on Mass Ave.  Hopefully I take some time off this total.  Anything is an improvement, but I am hoping for quite a bit.

As for my weight this week.  There isn't much to say about what went down on the scale this morning.  When I looked down I say 267.9 lbs.  That's an increase of 2.6 pounds this week.  I have no idea where that came from.  My eating wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't terrible either.  I was a little weak when ice cream was in sight, but I still think I did much better than a two and a half pound increase.  I'm not going to be mad or aggravated about it.  But, I am going to do my best.  I had a family relative tell people the other day that I am too worried about weight and to keep doing what I am doing and the weight will follow.  I agree with that statement, but my dedication to eating healthy has to fall in line with my dedication to completing each run.  I will get there.  Until next week. Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.