Is it really all about the numbers?
Is it really all about the numbers?
Last Friday, I went to see the GI doctor for a followup on my May blood work - a test to see how things looked after 4 months of a gluten-free diet.
Essentially, I failed my test. In December, when I was first diagnosed my number was over 100. The goal, when I went on the GF diet on January 10th, was to lower that number. It is still over 100.
So, why did I fail? In my effort to hold on to some things, I ended up dealing with a lot of cross-contamination that effectively negated all of the gluten free products. So, while I was eating GF bread, the cereal I was eating (Kix) was made in the same factory where wheat products are made. There was enough cross-contamination (which I was initially reluctant to believe) to keep my gluten number high.
What does this mean? It means I need to be a lot more aggressive in how I approach the gluten free diet, in preparation for November blood work. So, if any food says, "May possibly contain wheat," it is out. And, I can no longer take a sandwich, and just eat the inside. Glutens are sticky enough that they can go from the bread onto the meat and effectively ruin it. It means I need to be very specific when ordering at a restaurant that they clean the surface before they make my meal. No more cheating allowed.
I felt like I had failed. All of this change in diet amounted to nothing? I hadn't done enough. It was a difficult pill to swallow. This is now round 2. I get another opportunity to lower my number. I have a new Kix cereal, it's called Gorilla Munch (both kid and celiac friendly), and actually tastes almost the same, it's just more expensive. My hope is that by truly knocking gluten out of my diet, I'll have continued running success, like Amy Yoder Begley and Stephanie Rothstein have experienced.
Is it all about the numbers?
Saturday, my challenge was a tempo run: 20 minutes easy, 20 minutes moderately fast (marathon pace), 20 minutes faster than that, 20 minutes easy = 80 minutes/9.5 miles. But it was already 70 when I headed out, and I felt hot and even sluggish in the warmup (when I'm normally fighting to stay slow). I started my watch after the warm-up and lasted 25 minutes at tempo pace. I then decided it was just better to finish the run then push too hard and be completely zapped of energy with a few miles to go. So, I stopped my watch and just ran without the concern of time. A few miles later, I felt my energy resurge, so I picked it up again. Afterwards, it turns out I averaged 7:33 pace during the tempo part, and 8:12 overall. Okay - that is great! Much better than I anticipated halfway through the run. Those are good numbers.
But is it all about the numbers?
On Sunday, I turned 25. A quarter of a century. While I've had friends be a little antsy about that, I think it is great. It sounds like a real grown up age. Of course I don't think you're fully grown up if you refer to people your age as grown ups, hmm? The only "bad" thing about turning 25 is that I have to say goodbye to the 18-24 age group in road races - I did well in that category. And in the past year, as 25 approached, I kept an eye out for how I would fair in the 25-29 category - there are a lot of fast women in this age division! So that will be a new challenge, to try and place in this category!
I think I can sign off on my first quarter, but I'm also hopeful about what is to come in the second one. A career, love, my own family - those are the things I am looking forward to. And while I don't necessarily look or feel really any different than I did last week, in some ways, life begins anew.