Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New bracelet

Check out this amazing Whole Heart bracelet from Alex and Ani! 20% of the proceeds go towards the American Heart Association through December! I love mine! 
Note: This post isn't a sponsored post, I'm just super excited about my bracelet ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Winter Park Road Race 10k

Heyyyyy...remember when I said I am on a break? Wellllll I ammmmm...minus this race. Tee hee.

My friend Kathleen (who I have mentioned a million times before because she is just that cool) had foot surgery last year. She is slowly easing her way into running again, starting with walking. However, Kathleen's walk is my slow run. Ha. Her pace is so impressive. She wanted to test out her super fabulous walking so we signed up for the Winter Park Road Race 10k.

I walked. By walked I mean I chased Kathleen for 6 miles. We did some intervals of running but nothing major. I hit my usual wall around 4 miles and just did what I could 'til the end. Kathleen was absolutely amazing. I'm so proud of her for coming back like she has and kicking major butt at the race. I'm sure I'll have more stories about Kathleen soon. She's a survivor. I'm so proud to be her friend.
Go Kathleen!

Amen!

WORST Damn Race

My battle with fatigue continues. My times have been slow, my energy level is low and I crap out around 4-6 miles whether I'm running or walking. I feel like I'm throwing my entire body against a brick wall. It hurts. So what do you do when your body is shutting down on you? Sign up for a half marathon! GENIUS!

I signed up for the Orlando Best Damn Race awhile ago. I was really hoping that things would be better by March 1st. I could not have been further from the truth. However instead of surrendering my bib and living the spectator life, I strapped on my Nikes and chugged a Muscle Milk. Here I am at the start of the race with Amy and Jo. It should be said that these 2 are amazing. They stuck with me for the first 6 miles are so and then I couldn't torture them any longer and let them run ahead. This isn't my favorite pic in the world but it's the only one from this day worth posting. You'll find out why.


After 6 miles I felt like throwing in the towel. I was overheated, thirsty, exhausted and ready for a nap. But there was still 7 miles to go. I started walking...a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Like walking more than I was running. I tried walking fast, but I just didn't have the gas in the tank. I ate gu, I drank water, I even tried rocking out to Jay-Z. Nothing helped. Around 9 miles I saw Kathleen, Joe, Lina and Chris. They were motivating but it only lasted another mile or so. Kathleen and Joe even jumped in with me but by mile 10 I was walking the entire time. Kathleen and Joe met me around mile 11 and walked in with me. As I came around the corner and headed for the finish line I was miserable. I was boiling with anger and frustration. I barely even remember getting my medal because I had tears in my eyes after seeing the time clock. 3:04. After I got my medal I burst out into tears. The not-cute-when-you-cry kind. Yuck.

Now I know what you're thinking. 3:04 is 2 minutes faster than my St Pete time...I should be thrilled! Not so. Time is not the issue-how my body felt is. I felt crappy during St Pete, but I felt like I was falling apart during Best Damn Race.

So readers, I'm taking a break. No running for awhile. It has been a source of severe, crippling stress for me and I have enough of that in my life right now. That being said, I put my name in the drawing for the NYC Marathon back in December. I think that depending on what happens March 26th (the day of the raffle) I will figure out a way to ease my body back into running in a fun, productive way. Now back to my nap...

95.3 The Obie & Lil Shawn Show w/ Estee!

What a way to spend the last day of Heart Month! Now I definitely don't know if I'm cool enough to even blog this but I had the chance to be a guest on The Obie & Lil Shawn Show w/ Estee on POWER 95.3 on February 28th. Obie himself discovered he had a heart murmur that required corrective surgery after a simple check up at the doctor. Again, we never know. Check out his story here.

Although it was only for a few minutes, the experience was amazing. So far my speaking engagements have been in front of a group of people. It was fascinating to think about people like me, driving in their cars on their way to work, listening to my story and hopefully learning something about heart disease.

So thanks Obie, Lil Shawn & Estee. 95.3 you rock!


Obie, Meghan from Orlando AHA, moi, Estee & Shawn

Friday, February 7, 2014

WESH 2 News for Go Red!


What a fantastic day! Today I am the Social Media Ambassador for The Heart Truth and was interviewed on WESH 2 News! Here are a few of my favorite shots from this morning.


Check me out on @TheHeartTruth today and don't forget to rock your red today. Let's raise awareness and slow down the silent killer.








Even Max goes red!

It's here!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Survivors Unite!

Wondering what I blogged about on fellow survivor blog TheyCallMeMini.com? Here is my guest post! Just another way I'm celebrating American Heart Month...how about you?
Elizabeth Edwards once said, “You recognize a survivor when you see one. You recognize a fighter when you see one.” I can smell a survivor a mile away these days. Survivors have a sense of calm, mixed with the smell of adversity and perseverance. A survivor stands strong in the face of life’s little bumps in the road and scoffs at little trials and tribulations, because they know the road can be rougher. These survivors walk amongst us each day, carrying the weight of their challenge in an invisible backpack. How do I know this? I am a survivor.
My name is Sarah and I’m a 33 year-old widow maker heart attack survivor. Stop. I know what you’re thinking. Let me multiple choice the heck out of it for you. Did I…
a.) have a history of heart disease in my family
b.) have blood pressure and cholesterol problems
c.) have  a weight problem
d.) lead a sedentary life
e.) all of the above?
The answer? None of these. In fact I was a 31 year-old half-marathon runner of average weight and no family history. I was in good health, both mind and body. But that all changed before I even knew what happened.
In January of 2012 I suffered from 2 heart attacks due to a 99% blockage in my mid-LAD, also known as the widow maker for its grueling statistics. I suffered serious damage to my heart, and even greater damage to my emotional health. I dealt with depression and a host of self-esteem related issues. As I worked to rebuild my life that had crumbled down around me, I took the time to re-examine my life and priorities. Want to learn more? Check out my blog at heartattackat31.blogspot.com.
As we embark on February, home of American Heart Month and Go Red for Women, I am reminded how fortunate I am. I am not a statistic, I am me. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. I must go forth and live my life in the most grateful way possible, since I have been afforded another lease on life. This time I will appreciate it a little bit more. This time I walk as a survivor.

The 2nd Annual Amazeball Race

This post may be a week late and a dollar short, but it's here. I celebrated my 2nd heart attack anniversary with a ton of laughs. This year's scavenger hunt around the city was (dare I say it?) even more fun than last year. We had a great turn out and I have a ton of pictures that are hilarious and being made into a Shutterfly book as we speak!

Our list was even bigger and better than 2013! Thank goodness for Jo, who helped come up with some amazing photo ops for our players. Here is a snippet of the list. Just a snippet...that's all you get!

I'd show you the rest...but then I'd have to kill ya. Just kidding. Needless to say the only picture I will be posting below is the rated G version of the group picture. Thank you to everyone who participated. It totally made my anniversary. 




Guest Blog: They Call Me Mini

Please welcome a guest blog from a reader! His blog, They Call Me Mini, chronicles his emotional journey from a widow maker heart attack and cardiac arrest at 35. Check him out.

* * * *

Thankful, so very Thankful.

Those are the first words I posted on my Facebook the night I found out I had gone into Cardiac Arrest during my surgery to place one of two stents in my blocked artery.  This was 5 days after my Heart Attack.  I still await a second surgery.

I am Mark, a heart attack survivor at an age where we all feel we are still invincible.  I was 35, a runner, fairly healthy, ate decent (we all have our vices),  a former smoker, a guy with hypothyroidism and newly diagnosed with diabetes type 2.  I did have some factors but I thought I lead a life that would counteract these.  I was wrong.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

My thoughts in that moment were about things unsaid to others and this is where being thankful begins for me.

Experiencing a Heart Attack at 35 years old or any age for that matter you have so much to be thankful for.  Your life really has just begun and to have it taken almost taken away makes you appreciate what is to come.  Good or Bad.

As I move forward in my new life, the words Thank you and I love you will be said a lot more.  These are actually two of the hardest words in life for people to tell others and I sit here and wonder why.  They  can change so much around you.

Today I am thankful for a second chance at life, the people who surround me, support me, the opportunities I now will take hold of and rock!  I am also thankful for being who I am, perfectly imperfect.

The oddest thing you may read here is that I am thankful for my heart attack.  It taught me an invaluable lesson and after making more life changes I actually feel better physically than I have in years.  It is amazing how much a blockage can make you feel ill.


As we head into Heart Month, I encourage you to talk about heart health, hug a friend, thank them for being in your life and tell them you love them.  You may change their life and not even know it.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Stewart

January 25th is the anniversary of my stent. That means Stewart the Stent and I have been together for 2 years now. Keep up the good work Stewart. xo
For your info....muchas gracias Wikipedia :)

Seasons 52 5.2k

Yesterday was perfection. I woke up at 4 AM to run 4 miles with Amy before we met Kathleen for the Seasons 52 5.2k. This was Kathleen's first race since foot surgery and she was amazing! Amy and I chased after her the entire race. Since I'm the slowest walker ever, we decided to make this a speed walking training. After careful look at my intervals lately, I see how much my minute walk breaks are slowing down my overall pace. So we pushed our walk pace and finished with a pace of 14:54! Not bad! I don't think I've ever walked faster than 16:00 in my life!

The rest of the day was spent stuffing race packets for The Amazeball Race (post to come) and movie night with my love. *Insert shameless plug for August: Osage County here* 

Amy, Kathleen and I - Photo creds go to Chris 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2 Years

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness" - Eleanor Roosevelt

2 years ago today I had a heart attack. I unknowingly clung to my chest on my couch, hoping that the pain would subside after 2 doctors told me I was fine. 2 years ago I knew absolutely zilch in the heart disease department. Today I can't tell whether I'm bitter or impressed that I know so much. 

This next week is going to be hard for me. Each day between the 21st and the 25th, I will remember what happened on each day of 2012.

Jan 21st/Sat: First heart attack, sent home from 2 different urgent care centers, no sleep
Jan 22nd/Sun: Suffering at home, terrified, no sleep
Jan 23rd/Mon: Went back to work, hurting all day, no sleep
Jan 24th/Tues: 2nd heart attack, drive myself to the ER
Jan 25th/Wed: Angioplasty, Stewart the Stent and I are introduced - BFFs for life

As I type this out, I am smiling. I know that these last couple of years could have been a pity party. I could use the heart attacks as an excuse to do nothing, be nothing, experience nothing. But that's not me. I'm the type of girl who continues running, continues breathing, continues living. All because I can. All because I am lucky.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy 2014 everyone! Hard to believe that 2013 is over with. I'm thankful for so many things this year…new love, new friends, amazing lifelong soul mates, a new job, a new home and my fuzzy children. I'm thankful for a year without a heart attack and a couple of half marathons under my belt (or shoes, so to speak). It has been a tough year. I haven't felt well. September through the end of the year I dealt with crippling fatigue. I still have no idea why I feel so crappy on a regular basis, but hopefully 2014 will bring some enlightenment, resolution and good health.

So I suppose this is the place where I list my resolutions for 2014. I didn't make any resolutions for 2013 except to say I would live life to the fullest and take care of myself. I definitely have done that this year. I've traveled, spent quality time with those that I love and dove head first into new and exciting opportunities. This year I want to do the same thing. Keep living, keep loving. Are you with me? 

Found this image on Facebook. Lovin' the message.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

I'm 33!

I'm 33! This year my birthday was on Thanksgiving which was appropriate since I had so much to be thankful for. I hope your day was as amazing as mine. 

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Women's Running Series Half Marathon


So you might recall last year that I rocked the Women's Half Marathon in St Pete, FL. You might even remember that I PRed and almost killed myself doing it. This year went a little differently. First of all, my training this season has been ROUGH. I haven't felt well since August. I've been tired and my energy level has been painfully low. My longest run this season had been 8 miles and that was a rough day. So I wasn't expecting miracles from this race. I had 2 goals-1. not die & 2. finish. Reasonable, no?

Good morning! Geared up and ready to go!

Saw this on the sidewalk on my Starbucks run at 6 am. It literally translates into "for more information"…interpret as you'd like

Amy and I at the start

Amy was kind enough to stick with me through the first 9.5 miles. We started out nice and slow, even hitting a bathroom stop around 3 miles. I walked a few extra times, but things were going well. We hit another bathroom break around 8 miles and a quick spray of the SalonPas. At 9.5 I knew I needed to take it easy. I was getting dangerously tired, so I walked. Amy took off and I did the best I could to keep a decent walking pace. When 10.5 hit, I started running 1 and 1s with a few 3s thrown in for good measure. I managed to finish and not want to off myself…win! The time? Not great. In fact, it's my slowest half marathon time. But, I'm happy I was able to finish under these circumstances.
DONE!

It was windy. Cut me some slack on the hair. :)
Celebratory bubbly
She's done.
As always, this race will be both a motivator and a source of stress for me. It was the first race I ran after my heart attack and I'm pretty hard on myself. When will I learn that doing the best I can is enough? Probably never. Until then it is a work in progress.

Got my charm for this year & added it to the necklace

Monday, November 11, 2013

Minor Setback

It's been a couple of months, let me tell you. I have been super tired again. It's been hard to run, workout, go out at night and get up in the morning. Basically I've been drained. I haven't even blogged! Really, anything besides the absolute bare necessities has been impossible. The last couple of weeks I've forced myself to run but it hasn't been fast or decent distances.

Now, the average person might say, 'hey, just relax and get some rest.' That sounds fantastic but the reality is I have 2…not one…but 2 half marathons at the end of November. First I have Women's Running Series Half Marathon in St Pete on November 24th and then the weekend after is the Space Coast Half Marathon. Frankly my goal is just to finish both without passing out. A few months ago I would've loved to crush my St Pete time from last year. Now I will settle for finishing. I also signed up for the Best Damn Race in March. I'm hoping to get this fatigue taken care of and set that halfie on fire.

So here is the quickie recap of what's been happening...

Chicago weekend (I was sick AND tired!)
Max was a minion for Hallween

Amy and I volunteered for the Disney Wine & Dine Half
Doc ordered 24 hours on this lovely heart monitor. No showering, no running…fantastic



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Orlando Heart Association Go Red for Women Executive Breakfast

What an opportunity! This morning I was able to speak at the Orlando Heart Association Go Red for Women's Executive Breakfast. The breakfast was at the beautiful Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. I arrived at the crack of dawn but boy was it worth it. I had a room of captive ears. They all listened to my story and were presented with a ton of information about women's heart disease and stroke. Amazing job OHA! I was honored to be a part of this event!
Let's do this!
Me, doin' my thang. I even got a few laughs.
Heart shirt, red pants, red lipstick...holler.
No, thank YOU!

Thank you gift bag.


#selfie!

Sleep Study


This Monday night I had a sleep study. I was extremely nervous. I think it takes a lot of trust to allow someone to watch you sleep all night. But, I packed up my animal print throw and my iPad and headed out the door.

I got there around 8:30 and filled out all sorts of information like how I feel like I sleep, if I snore, etc. Then I was wired up and ready to go. Well, technically I watched Teen Mom 3 and Rachel Maddow, and THEN slept. Gotta soak up the free cable. I'm so pathetic.

I slept horribly. I didn't want to disturb any of the wires so I tried to stay as still as possible in a very awkward position. But before I knew it, my wake up call was in my ear. I headed out the door and back home to shower before work.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a link (although not a causal one) from heart disease to sleep apnea. Low oxygen levels while sleeping can put a serious strain on the heart. This may or may not be another piece of the crazy heart attack puzzle for me. Either way, it was definitely one of the more interesting experiences I've had.


Heelloooo throw.
Those are going on ME?!

Ever feel like you're being watched?
I quickly took a very blurry picture in the dark before the cameras went on. Shh, don't tell.