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Am I still a "runner"?

My 8-miler was a success! 😀

I’m so happy I can say that after last week’s TORTUROUS 7-miler. I haven’t mentioned it before, but I have a history of plummeting blood glucose after long, strenuous exercise. I’ve struggled with this since 2000 when I first started running. Last week was also a struggle…I barely made it out of the shower before I was on the ground, calling for Mr. Prevention to bring me juice. I’m ashamed to admit all this because I deal with blood glucose for a living!!!! I learned from last week’s mistake and ran with some G2 this week.

In retrospect, Gatorade probably would’ve been a better choice, but something seems sooo wrong about drinking so many calories as you burn them! I want to eat those calories and enjoy them later, dang it! But, hypoglycemic events are not worth it, even for a foodie like me. 😉 I also brought a glucometer home. Just in case. Didn’t need it…but just in case.

I finished 8 miles in 90:22. I’m not thrilled with the time, but I’m thrilled with executing my plan from start to finish…a modified Galloway — 8 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. When I shared that I was going to attempt this 1/2 marathon, you all gave me the wise advice to do what I could and have reasonable goals and expectations. I think I implemented some that advice into my run today!

minute 1: 5.3 mph
minute 2: 5.4 mph
minute 3: 5.5 mph
minute 4: 5.6 mph
minute 5: 5.7 mph
minute 6: 5.8 mph
minute 7: 5.9 mph
minute 8: 6.0 mph
minutes 9-10: 4.0 mph (walk)


It worked out perfectly (watched Failure to Launch on TBS from start to finish!) and the only tough part was the last 10 minutes when I completed this circuit for the 9th time. 11:17 min/miles.

Question: Because I’m opting for a run-walk combination on my long runs, am I still labeled as a “runner”? How do you define running?

I’m not too keen on labels, but I was curious. You won’t hurt my feelings, promise 🙂 Way back when, when I was running 6:45 minute/miles, I would’ve scoffed at that old lady doing her run-walk stuff, too! 😉

But in all seriousness, if you haven’t done so, check out Jeff Halloway’s site. I really like how he talks about injury prevention with a run-walk approach. And, obviously I’m all for prevention 😉

In addition to my hypoglycemic episodes, I also wanted to show you guys what’s going on with my neck. It’s a good thing I went in…it’s not pretty.

So here’s a normal, healthy spine…

If you look at the center picture, and see how the neck curves to the right around C4 & C5. Well, mine curves to the left and is pinching the nerve on the inner portion of the spine. NOT FUN. My chiropractor said that I’m fine to run, but to ice it and not to push it physically. Another good reason to adopt this Galloway run-walk method for my long runs.

To celebrate the end of another long run, Mr. Prevention and I made Italian-style pizza served with Chianti, of course.

Toppings: 2% mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, grape tomatoes, fresh garlic, and arugula. Our favorite pizza from Italy (minus the turkey pepperoni and plus bresaola) 😉

I’m off to San Jose, California for a diabetes conference this week at Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute. I hear we get to wear insulin pumps for the duration of the conference and simulate life as an insulin-dependent diabetic. I’m really excited and am hopeful that what I heard is true! What an enlightening, humbling experience. We shall see! But, expect to see some serious diabetic info coming up on the blog this week!

Random Question #1: Have you ever seen a chiropractor? If so, for what type of pain or injury?

Random Question #2: Have you ever been to California? Where did you go and what did you love most?

…And how are those DO What You DON’T Challenge goals coming along? I’ll be doing some yoga and weight lifting in Cali to stay on track! Hope you’re hanging in there…it’s already April 18th!!

See you in Cali,

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  1. lessonstolearn
    April 18, 2010 / 6:19 am

    You are definitely a runner, Nicole! Great job!

    I understand the blood sugar problem. It it happens very rarely so I don’t think about it a lot, but when it does, it really shakes me up. About a month ago I ran 8 miles or so. I felt good… came home, showered, and as I was drying my hair, I broke out into a sweat, got dizzy and nauseous, the room started spinning and I laid down on the bathroom floor. I literally crawled to the kitchen and guzzled some Crystal Light (I understand the Gatorade thing…I don’t like to drink calories that I’d rather eat). The feeling passed in seconds and I was fine. I was about 10-11 weeks pregnant, which may have contributed to it, but it has happened before (maybe a year ago?) so I know I need to be aware of the issue, however rare it is.

    That was long-winded. But don’t think twice…you’re a runner!

  2. April 18, 2010 / 6:30 am

    That pizza looks amazing! I’m counting the days until I get to have some good pizza again (it’s non-existent here)!

  3. April 18, 2010 / 6:57 am

    Nice job with the run – that pizza looks amazing!

  4. April 18, 2010 / 7:11 am

    I’m not a runner. Do I get to decide if you are? Dunno.

    Have fun in California!! I miss it! I used to live there (great up in LA and went to school in the SF/Bay Area). My ex lives in the San Jose area. It’s an interesting place with lots of tasty foods to eat! I definitely miss the weather and the variety of food available!

  5. April 18, 2010 / 7:17 am

    IMO you are still a runner. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. April 18, 2010 / 7:23 am

    If you’re running the majority of the time, you’re a runner. 8 miles is no small feat!

    I’ve never been to a chiropractor, but I’ve always wanted to go! I’m so curious about how exactly they adjust a person.

  7. April 18, 2010 / 7:29 am

    I get kind of annoyed with people who assign the “not a runner” label to people who take walking breaks– get over it! Lady, if you’re covering eight miles, in my opinion, you’re a runner!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. April 18, 2010 / 7:56 am

    You are SO a runner! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Good job being smart with your running goals. The last thing you want is to get injured! (Or pass out from hypoglycemia. that’s bad too. Have you thought about using Gu gels or other sports energy “food”? Or having something like chocolate or jelly beans with some simple sugars?)

    That conference sounds like fun! I’ve been to SF and LOVED it there. If you get a chance, go to the Ferry street Market. It is foodie heaven!

  9. April 18, 2010 / 8:03 am

    You’re a runner! 8 miles is no small distance.

    Have a great time at the conference.

  10. April 18, 2010 / 8:52 am

    Yes, I would say you’re still a runner, though I don’t really think labels like that should mean anything. You run, isn’t that enough?

    I’ve been going to chiropractic off and on since 1991. Some Drs are better than others so it’s worth searching around.

    I was born in California and then went back for college so I’ve lived there about half my life. Have a great time!

  11. April 18, 2010 / 9:07 am

    You run! You’re a runner!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have hypoglycemic episodes while running every now and then too. But, since I’ve been balancing my carbs and protein more, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in how my blood sugar levels feel. For me, when I eat too many carbs, that’s when I struggle the most. Good for you for taking along the sports drink. You must stay energized and hydrated!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My aunt lives out in the suburbs of LA and I loved going to Hollywood and taking a tour of all the Star’s homes!! So touristy, but it was so cool to me!!

  12. April 18, 2010 / 9:51 am

    Yay for completing 8 miles. That’s great! This definitely constitutes as being a runner…8 miles is a pretty long distance!

    San Francisco was the one and only time I’ve been to Cali, but I loved it soo soo much! I can’t wait to get back there. Have fun!

    And yes, those are pictures of a part of my garden back home (obviously not at college), and I can’t wait to get back!

  13. April 18, 2010 / 10:17 am

    1. Yes you are a runner, without a doubt.
    2. Keep that sugar in check. My brother is an insulin diabetic, who’s in the fire academy, and Wed night he had an scary incident where his sugar got too high and he passed out.
    3. Pizza looks good right about now.
    4. I have never been to a chiropractor. To me it is a pseudo-science. I cannot respect a “doctor” who is at the mall peddling his “services.” When was the last time you saw a cardiologist do that?
    5. I have been to California, last time was in 2000. However, this fall I will be spending a few days in Palo Alto with a cousin of mine. San Fran & Napa here we come!


  14. April 18, 2010 / 10:48 am

    Of course you’re a runner! I am so happy for your 8 mile success and run/walking is TOTALLY acceptable! Girl…you are out there doing it which is more than probably 75% people can say! Woot to you! AND with your spine…double woot! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. April 18, 2010 / 11:15 am

    It’s funny you bring this up, because i recently had the same debate with myself. According to my ACE Personal Training textbook, running is only considered running when a person is chugging along at 8min miles or faster. WHAT?! I don’t agree with this at all. According to the book, anything slower than that is considered jogging or walking.

    I think you are a RUNNER!! don’t let anyone tell you otherwise !

  16. April 18, 2010 / 11:16 am

    Of course you’re a runner and you just beat me out yesterday as I ran 11:23m/m over 11 miles. Got me by 6 sec!

    The only thing that bothers me about run/walkers (I am one in training) is that in my HM race people would just starting walking all of a sudden in the middle of the road. No looking back first or stopping on the side like they’re suppose to. In fact one time I came across 5 or 6 of them running together and they all were walking beside each other meaning a big detour around them.
    Ok I think I’m whining enough now ๐Ÿ™‚

    San Jose? Lucky gal. I haven’t been back to visit my family there for 10 years now. Hard to get away when you run a one man operation. Enjoy the trip.

  17. April 18, 2010 / 11:44 am

    okay you are SO A RUNNER!! GREAT job girl!! that is AWEEESOME! home made pizza is da bomb for real too!

  18. April 18, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    Isn’t it crazy to look at your x-rays. My neck is well… a train wreck. I went to a chiropractor in high school, and then again recently, but my most recent visits taught me that acupressure was really the way for me to go (for my specific neck configuration). The acupressure he did helped way more than the alignments, so I switched over to going to acupressure massage and it’s helped a lot. I’m not saying one is better than the other, it all depends on your specific situation.

    The last time I was in California was a second ago.. oh wait now it’s a second from now… oh no… a half a second ago… ahhh – yes I’m a dork. Born & raised in California and while I’ve moved within the state, except for some summers elsewhere I’ve lived here all of my life. I hope you enjoy your time out here ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. April 18, 2010 / 1:13 pm

    congrats on your run! (and yes, I would still call it that!) That pizza looks delicious.

  20. April 18, 2010 / 1:23 pm

    I definitely stay you are still a runner! You are putting in the miles and running, so even with walking breaks you are a runner. ๐Ÿ˜€ And a smart one for caring for you and your body’s needs first.

    I have never been to a chiro or to California. I would love to go to Cali though. A chiro could be cool to visit too.

  21. April 18, 2010 / 1:23 pm

    I don’t have a definition for running, LOL, because I don’t run. Okay, I’ve jogged a handful of times for very brief stints. Kudos on your eight miler.

    I’ve been to San Diego a couple of times and absolutely loved it. I adored Balboa Park and all of the activities that take place there.

    And anytime (anytime) I lay eyes on the La Jolla coastline, I fall in love. In fact, I break out with the James Blunt “You’re Beautiful…”

  22. April 18, 2010 / 1:59 pm

    You are a runner! You may have to walk now, but you will build up the endurance to get thru those runs. For me, it’s more mental than physical. Just keep up with the training and you will have no problem in the half.

    No chiropractors for me, only athlete-certified massage therapists!

  23. April 18, 2010 / 1:59 pm

    Definitely still a runner!

    I grew up in the SF bay area and lived much of my adult life in Silicon Valley, yep near San Jose. (until I moved to Seattle about 2 years ago) Northern California is the good half of the state not full of the fake garbage in the southern half (foul water stealing thieves) yea, you grow up in northern California you don’t have much use for the south ๐Ÿ˜› Half my family still lives in San Francisco.

    There are some amazing trails to run, go up to Palo Alto and run on the Stanford campus, awesome views of the bay area and you can really get away from the cars, you can get there on the train from San Jose in about 15 minutes then free shuttle from the train station to campus. (I taught at Stanford for 10 years it really is an amazing campus).

    I have a friend who has the insulin pump it is really interesting talking to her about it and how it affects her life etc.

  24. April 18, 2010 / 2:18 pm

    HELL YEA YOU ARE A RUNNER!!!!! and a kick ass one at that! I am so proud of you!

    How is Lily doing????

  25. April 18, 2010 / 3:24 pm

    I would absolutely consider you a runner! Excellent job!

    Your pizza looks so good, I love the pretty arugala on top.

    I’ve never been to CA, but I’ve always wanted to go! Your conference sounds like a life-altering experience. I can’t wait to read more about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. April 18, 2010 / 3:46 pm

    Okay, many thoughts,

    I think you are still a runner.

    Never seen a chiropractor, but I probably should.

    I’ve been to Cali a few times. I loved my time in San Diego and northern Cali is really nice. Have a good time at the conference!

  27. April 18, 2010 / 4:27 pm

    1. Chiropractic can be a lifesaver. It, combined with massage, was the only relief after a car accident left me with bulging disks and a cervical spine as straight as an arrow. You have to find one that you really trust though. They are not all equal.

    2. LOVE California. My sweetheart and I went on the dream trip last September. Flew to San Francisco (AMAZING) and stayed for 5 days. We saw the Redwoods, walked over the Golden Gate, rode the cable cars, saw a baseball game, went to Alcatraz… it rocked. Then, we rented a car and drove down the coast and saw some of the most beautiful beach ever. (San Simeon, Monterrey, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo were the highlight spots of our trip) It took us another 7 days to get to LA, which was ok. Then we drove across the Mojave and went to Vegas for a few days. Loved the Mojave, but could have passed on Vegas.

    I dig your blog. I will be following along!

  28. April 18, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    Yes, you are still a runner. Absolutely!! All the “experts” I go to for running advice definitely encourage walk breaks as a stragegy for distance. I’m trying to motivate my mom to start running. I want us to do a half marathon together in June.. and I suggested she jog 4 minutes, walk for 1. It’s still great cardio. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your Italian pizza looks so delish. That arugula was a nice touch. Now I’m craving carbs.. I’m such a carbivore!! Enjoy Cali.

  29. April 18, 2010 / 4:39 pm

    I love CA but it was always easy for me to get there because I lived in Vegas. Have fun at the conference. I admit working with DM too that sometimes I look “dumb” when my BG goes low. Yes, I carry glucose tabs in my purse just in case.

  30. April 18, 2010 / 4:59 pm

    umm yes you are a runner i cannot even imagine running more than 5 miles let alone 8.. you rock!

    oh no about your glucose levels.. sounds scary I am so glad you brought that device home and are taken precautionary measures! I hear you about the Gatorade.

    Ouch Mrs. spine….ew

  31. April 18, 2010 / 7:06 pm

    You are DEFINITELY a runner, in my opinion! For a long time I couldn’t even say I was going out for a “run,” I always said “jog” instead because I felt like I was so slow. But then I decided that no one has a patent on the label of “runner,” so I don’t care if you’re run/walking, shuffling, or whatever, the title of “runner” is yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. April 18, 2010 / 8:27 pm

    You are TOTALLY a runner! I always feel like it’s a run even with walk breaks, you get out there and complete the distance and that’s what matters!

  33. April 18, 2010 / 8:39 pm

    Q1: I heard a quote once “The difference between a jogger and a runner is a race bib”.
    Haha. Sometimes I STILL don’t feel like a real runner. And that 10K? I walked a LOT. Even people who run ultramarathon’s, WALK.
    And Galloway= AWESOME. I do the 8/2 split usually. Gets me through my runs! Now I can do a 5K (that’s mostly flat, haha) running the whole way…but I’m still around a 10min mile pace. And I’m cool with that.

    Q2: Yes, I’ve seen a chiro…in fact the race directior whom I adore and talk about in my blog is a chiro…I haven’t been to him though. I went to hopefully get help with my Crohn’s. However…the one I went to….was NOT good. Most of the time my friends who went to chiro’s…said after an appt how GOOD they would feel…how much better and more loose they felt. I hated it. It hurt…and I didn’t feel a difference….and I thought the guy was nuts.
    Turns out…he was.
    Sooooo yeah. No more chiro for me. I mean really…WHY did I have to spend the first 5 minutes of every session standing on a huge vibrating platform? Who even knew those existed?!?!?! Weiiiiirdness.

    Q3: Cali love! Lol. Not really. I mildly tolerate the state. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although I DO love wine country. If you’re out there and close to it, look up Cline Vinyards and go for a tour. Mmmm that was my favorite. We also toured Korbel and some others. My sister lived in La Jolla for several years and my aunt lived in San Fran. It was nice…but it’s not somewhere I would want to live. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m happier on the east coast!

  34. April 18, 2010 / 8:58 pm

    I definitely think you are a runner! I have heard great things about the Galloway method.
    During my internship, I would an insulin pump. It was definitely a learning experience. I know that people forget its there, but I was so worried I was going to pull it off so I was always super cautious.
    Have a great time! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  35. April 18, 2010 / 9:50 pm

    oh i wish you were coming to so cal instead of san jose…..i live in so cal! what a great long run. i never worry about time when i run long. i think you did great and good idea to take something for your blood glucose levels-very smart ๐Ÿ™‚
    hope you have a great trip and be safe!

  36. April 18, 2010 / 11:03 pm

    You are definitely still a runner even you do a run-walk combo. A lot of runners do, dont they? Have fun in Cali!

  37. April 18, 2010 / 11:41 pm

    Ok first of all, how strange is it that 3 hours ago I was wondering what an actual Italian pizza would be like.

    Taking walk breaks doesn’t take away from being a runner. It mean you’re a runner that’s realistic. That’s how I learned to run, and I think its a great way to avoid injury.

  38. April 19, 2010 / 3:47 am

    You are definitely a runner!

    I’ve gone to the chiro, but stopped because it was doing absolutely nothing to help me. I think I might’ve just had a bad doc though. Good luck!

  39. April 19, 2010 / 6:16 am

    YES you are a runner girl – good for you…if I ever slip into running again – that’s how I’d try it – the walk/run – I never would have thought that would be something I’d do in the past. But now I realize it is still running and it’s important, smart and it’ll get you running faster…what’s the point of just going for a few minutes, stopping and giving up?
    And love your pizza!!! Did you make the dough?

  40. April 19, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    You are definitely, without a DOUBT a runner! I know what you mean, but the fact that you are running and get in those miles – that’s what counts. That is more than most people can say!

  41. April 20, 2010 / 8:46 am

    I’ve been to L.A. to see Mr. Prevention :).

  42. April 21, 2010 / 4:42 pm

    I still think you’re a runner! I hate it when people judge based on pace.

    Ouch about your neck! ๐Ÿ™

  43. May 1, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    Great job on the run. I agree with your chiropractor (I’m a chiropractor too), ice and take care of that neck!!

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