There hasn’t been much running or blogging happening on my end this past month. In a way, it feels like I have lost the wind in my sails. My job, which was supposed to have been a twenty hour a week job, has snowballed into a 30-35 hours per week job. While I have always understood that a job may sometimes require a little extra time past the allotted pay to get done, 10-15 extra hours per week was not an expectation I had when I originally accepted the position. The stress has caused me to be physically exhausted while experiencing restless nights trying to figure out how to get all my work done on time.
Three weeks ago, I stated my case to my supervisors, and this past week, I was informed that starting next week, my hours would increase! I tell you what, there is nothing more uncomfortable than advocating for myself and risking the chance of coming off to my supervisors a whiny employee who is unable to manage her work load. However, I knew if I didn’t say something, I would grow resentful and eventually resign. At the end of the day, I figured my self-advocacy would either lead to change, or affirm that resigning was the right option. Thank goodness the former and not the latter panned out, because I GENUINELY enjoy working with students and administering assessments to help them access their academic potential.
Work, while stressful, has not been the major culprit of my low mileage. In January, when I ran my first half-marathon of the year, I ran with an uncomfortable pain on my left arch and heel, which in turn caused a jolting pain in my left hamstring. Furthermore, I also ran the race with severe stomach and back cramps and I attributed all the cramping to that biological time of the month. It wasn’t until I got to my hotel room after the race, used the restroom (in a rather painful manner), and noticed small like crystals in the toilet that I learned the cramps weren’t due to the time of the month. In reality, I was passing KIDNEY STONES! I spent three days after my half-marathon drinking excessive amounts of water, running to the bathroom, and bracing the pain. Fortunately for me, the stones were small enough to pass naturally and there was not further medical action needed. When studying my eating habits, the following was discovered:
- I was not consuming enough water throughout the day
- I was exercising with a dehydrated body
- My kidneys were working extra hard to filter the six supplements a day I was consuming with very little liquids in my system
- I wedged myself into the coffee drinker category, further dehydrating my body
- When I was drinking “water” it was carbonated (Perrier) water, another diuretic because of the carbonation.
- Since November, I went from consuming 40-60 grams of protein per day, to 90 and above grams of protein per day!
Thank Goodness I did not suffer from larger sized kidney stones after the drastic dietary changes I underwent! Thus, my water intake has now increased, I am now in the social-occasion coffee drinker category, I’ve decreased my protein intake to my pre November levels, allowed carbs to continue to be the major source of my nutrition, stayed away altogether from carbonated water, and flushed all of the supplements down the toilet – which is where they were ending up any way. The experience has only confirmed what I have always known; what works for one person does not necessarily mean will work for another person (me). Our bodies are unique machines, and while there are health guidelines that are important to adhere to, the guidelines are not a step-by-step written in stone subscription to how every individual should be governed (no different than parenting).
Because I have been training without a purpose since the end of the Marine Corps Marathon last October, my training has felt like a job without pay. This means I HAVE TO FIND A RACE. I am planning on not running at all this week to allow my hamstring the maximum amount of rest, but would like to schedule a half-marathon race taking place in the next eight weeks or so. I’m also STILL trying to figure out a good marathon that will give me an opportunity to train properly. Because of some personal scheduling and conflicting travel schedules happening this Spring and Summer, I have not been able to find the “ideal” marathon. I may just have to take the plunge and sign up for one so that I can be forced to figure out a way to make it work instead of the other way around.
There have definitely been family adventures this past six weeks, and I am hoping I get to further detail our family outings in the next post or two.
Have you ever had to advocate for yourself at work? How did your speaking out turn out? Do you think you consume enough water throughout the day?