Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stigma This

There are days when getting out of bed is overwhelming.

There are days when the thought of going out the front door is paralyzing.

There are days when getting out of the house is an itch that can't be scratched fast enough.

There are days when everyone around you laughs and you join them.

There are days when moving fast isn't fast enough.


These are the days of my life. I am bi-polar with hypomania. Each person with this defect presents differently. I just happen to function and create on a higher level than others. I can have insanely organized and creative periods and times where being organized is not a priority to me.

Bi-Polar Disorder can be defined as the follow:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe than the normal ups-and-downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated. A combination of professional counseling and medication helps most people live productive and fulfilling lives.

Bipolar symptoms are sometimes not recognized as parts of a larger problem, so it can be years before a person is properly diagnosed and treated. While some experience symptoms during childhood, bipolar disorder often develops in a person's late teens or early adult years. It has been reported that at least half of all cases start before age 25. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Bipolar mood changes are called episodes, and people usually shift from manic to depressive episodes.


For many generations the word bi-polar has been taboo. Telling people that you have depression or anxiety or a mental health diagnosis was social disaster. Many patients have been told not to tell anyone for fear of being denied jobs, being considered a social outcast. It can be intimidating to tell people about your illness. You fret and worry about whether or not you will have friends left. You worry about keeping your job, getting a new job. You worry about being shunned by friends and loved ones because you are "unstable". Due to the stigma many with mental health illnesses will forgo treatment and self-medicate with illegal drugs, alcohol, food or other reckless behaviors. These things can seem to help for some time but are not directly treating the illness especially bi-polar disorder.

Facts v. Fiction of Mental Illness

FICTION: People living with a mental illness are often violent.

FACT: Actually, the vast majority of people living with mental health conditions are no more violent than anyone else. People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime.

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness — nor can it be cured by positive thinking or willpower — proper treatment is needed.

FICTION: Only military personnel who have been in combat can be diagnosed with PTSD.

FACT: While PTSD is prevalent in men and women who have seen combat, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can trigger PTSD, including violent personal assaults such as rape or robbery, natural or human-caused disasters, or accidents.

FICTION: People with a mental illness will never get better.

FACT: For some people, a mental illness may be a lifelong condition, like diabetes. But as with diabetes, proper treatment enables many people with a mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

FICTION: Children aren't diagnosed with mental illness.

FACT: Millions of children are affected by depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As a matter of fact, 1 in 10 children live with a diagnosable mental illness. Getting treatment is essential.

FICTION: "Mental illness can't affect me!"

FACT: Mental illness can affect anyone. While some illnesses have a genetic risk, mental illness can affect people of all ages, races and income levels, whether or not there is a family history.


There has been some amazing and ground-breaking research in the last 5 years regarding mental illnesses especially bi-polar disorders. Quite a few studies have linking bi-polar disorder to a defect in DNA. The Medical News Today article explains the new research being done across the nation into what exactly causes or can cause bi-polar disorder.

The facts are that 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain-related illness including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.

The fact is, your child's teacher, the bus driver, the next door neighbor, husband, wife, best friend, police officer, fire fighter, pilot, soliders and just about everyone knows someone with mental illness.

We can all agree that bullying is wrong that making fun of people is cruel and mean. Why is it then that when someone is acting differently than expected they are describe as being "bipolar" or you hear "The weather is totally bipolar" We expect our parents and Military to be strong and brave. So much so that men and women in our armed services are committing suicide at a rate of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 in 2010. That is 17.5 to many. Many are afraid that asking for help and getting counseling will undermine their career. As of September of 2011 there was an estimated 1,468,364 active duty service personnel. This number does not include reserves on active duty for training.

Now I'm not great with math but let's take a look at the numbers. 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain related illness so that means out of the approximately 1.5 million activity duty military personnel that approximately 90,000 of those men and women are living with a mental health issue. Now don't quote my math. Some of you know I married my husband to do the math and well he's sleeping while I write the post……..but back on topic.

There are so many false stigmas about those of us with mental health illness. Why? Why do people automatically assume that you are dysfunctional if you share your mental health status?

One of the websites I've quoted above is one of the best resources on the internet.

Another voice in the dark stigma of mental health is Logan Noone here is his story Bipolar Disorder Recovery.

I've read it and heard it said "Be the change you want to see in the world."

I draw the line in the sand and I refuse to hide. I have bipolar disorder and I am not a stigma.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

How did I train for my first half marathon?

I've been asked several times just how I train for 1/2 marathons. The very first one I trained for I followed a program put together by a friend in the Hendersonville Running Club.  The plan is based on the runner being a beginner.  You can modify and change as you need.

One of the things I did after my first marathon and once my intervals decreased was to modify my mid-week runs. If my long run on Saturday is scheduled to be 8 miles I split up the miles during the week so that they equal a total of eight miles. That way I'm running 16 miles that week.  As you get stronger and able to maintain a minimum weekly mileage make sure that half of that is your long run on Saturdays or whenever you decide to do your long run.

The following schedule is for your long run mileage only. Whatever interval you plan on running for your long run is what you should run during the week. The weekly runs should be the time to push your intervals making the amount of time you walk shorter and shorter. Use your long run as your "practice race" leave it all out on the road.

This is a 17 week plan. If you already have a base mileage down just find where you are at and adjust from there. As well as working on increasing your mileage you need to cross train.  I have also included the helpful information that was passed on to me. I did not come up with this plan it is just what worked for me.

Weekly schedule recommendations are as follows:

Run/Walk Weekly plan

1 long run)

2 base runs per week of 30-40 mins (3-4 miles) (treadmill: +1 mile)

2 easy (Cross Training) days per week of 20-30 mins

Recommended Cross-Training (on non-run/walk days)

15-20 minutes of Core Exercises (2-3 times a week)

Spin, Pilates, Walking, Stretching, Zumba…

•Minimum weekly goal is 3 days of Run/Walk.

•Ideal weekly goal is 5-6 days of activity. (1-2 days of rest)

•Begin the program at easy Run/Walk Intervals, then advance gradually to 5/1 Run/Walk Intervals.

•Run/Walk Intervals are not rigid. Shorten 1 minute walk breaks if HR has recovered and trainee is no longer breathless.

•If you are forced to skip/miss a long run, then try to get your long run in as soon as you can.                                                                      

Long Run Schedule:


Long Run/Walk Distance
Races to consider
As you build mileage consider running 5 or 10ks to get use to race day
3 (1/2 Intervals)
4 (1/2 Interval)
6 (1/1 Interval)
5 (2/1 Interval)
7 (2/1 Interval)
6 (3/1 Interval)
8 (3/1 Interval)
6 (4/1 Interval)
9 (4/1 Interval)
6 (5/1 Interval)
10 (5/1 Interval)
6 (5/1 Interval)
11 (5/1 Interval)
6 (5/1 Interval)
12 (5/1 Interval)
8 (5/1 Interval)
13.1 Race Day

Tapering is your friend. It will keep you fresh for the race but also let your body get the rest it needs prior to your race. If you are consistently skipping your walk breaks then you should try to eliminate them all together. Listen to your body and walk when you need to.


One More Step, One More Mile, One More Finish. ©






Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winner! Winner! Swiftwick for Dinner!

As you all know we did a March Madness Give A Way! We were giving away three prizes BUT as life happens and spring training gets in the way we only received one entry. We so loved this entry because of the answer to the answer to the first question.
We so loved this answer that we decided we needed to give this Lynne a pair of socks that she would love so  much that even her dogs would leave them alone.  So from one Lynne to another please enjoy your Swiftwick March Madness gear! 

To Learn more about Lynne please check out her fantastic blog about running and being a single parent of two large dogs On The Other End Of The Leash

1. A picture of you and Swiftwick socks. hint find a retailer near you.

Please don’t disqualify me for not having these socks.  I’m a single parent of two very large dogs who are eating me out of house and home.  Plus they eat most of my socks anyway.

2. A picture of you running in a race or finishing a race.

3. The best running outfit you own

 This is what I wore for my first marathon in Vegas.  Still my favorite shirt.

4. How do you carb load?
I like the Mac ‘N Cheese at the Hard Rock CafĂ©.  I’ve eaten it three times now before racing in the Denver Half and Full marathons.  It has chicken and white cheddar.  Yummy!

5. Your biggest no no for race day. (remember be creative)
Remember your Body Glide!  I ran into a pharmacy along the race course to find something to relieve some chafing I had going on.  The chafing was being caused by the other no-no – DO NOT wear something new on race day!  Thank goodness for Burt’s Bees!

6. Do what moves you.

  Yes I’m one of those people who dress up their dogs!  This is Jersey Girl.  She passed away last year from lymphoma.  She was the greatest at playing dress up.

7. Confirmation for your next race showing your name and the race (on this picture only can you blur out all other information)
The 13th Flying Pig Marathon | Sunday, May 1, 2011 6:30 a.m.

Search Results
Day, Lynne
Colorado Springs
United States
Marathon powered by P&G

8. Your favorite running shoes.

I just changed over from the Nimbus to the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 12.  I’ve tried every shoe though.

10. Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
Back in 1993, I got married on St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m not Irish and neither was he.  It just seemed like a fun thing to do on a Wednesday.  We went to the Justice of the Peace, got married, had Pizza Hut and celebrated at the local bar.  Nice little wedding day.  Divorced 375 days later!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life, and three months of non running......

It's been a really weird year. I haven't really felt my self. Well it has finally come full circle. Seems like I've been out of step all year. Just not quite my self.

I just couldn't quite figure it out. For many years I have tried to not take any non essential medications. Treating things naturally if possible. If your body it sick it's built to fight off some illnesses. If you have a stomach bug let your body get rid of it. If you have a cold, rest and vitamin C and mom's chicken noodle soup.

There are things that you need to get medications for but our bodies are amazing machines. When fed well and tuned up it will tell you what it needs.

A couple of weeks ago I started having lower back pain that could not be relieved via chiropractic care, so I went to the doctor. I ended up having an upper UTI still up in the kidneys, more liking just festering there and not getting better. It has probably been a systemic problem for most of this year, causing me to feel off.

The doctor put me on a really strong antibiotic to get rid of the infection. Unfortunately I had a sever life threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic. My face and lips swelled up and had trouble swallowing. It was terrifying. We got to the ER and they gave me an epinephrin shot, a quick acting steroid shot, and another antihistamine.

Let me tell you the epi shot was NO joke. It seemed to fire up every muscle in my entire body at the same time. The purpose is to move what ever it is causing the reaction out of your body as quickly as possible. It speeds up your heart and makes your system work hard. For the next three days I felt like I had run a full marathon TWICE! I slept and and slept and rested.

Monday I went in for a follow up and also found out that I am B12 deficient. This from lack of feeding the body correctly. So today is Wednesday and I am finally feeling amazing.

The kidney infection and other problems lingering in my system from the infection cause a significant weight gain of almost 15 pounds in just a few days of water weight. I have now lost all the sick weight and feel so much better.

I am not released yet to return to Art of Strength  or running. I am feeling, and looking so much better.