Half Marathon


Last year I set a goal for myself to run a 5K. The goal wasn’t to compete in a 5K run but to see if I could complete a 5K run myself.
After following the couch to 5K plan, I was able to run a 5K after 6 weeks of training. Since then I haven’t been running as much. After a couple of months without running, I decided I wanted to start again and work up to a 5K. It’s not something I can jump right into.
I figure it’s a good excuse to get outside and get some fresh air. I also noticed that even though I constantly struggle with my asthma while running, running 5Ks did seem to improve my endurance. I found it easier to go up/down steps and to do other workouts.
About the time I decided to get back into running again, I got something in the mail about upcoming 5K, half marathon, and marathon races in the area in October. I toyed around with the idea of running the half marathon.
I’m not going to lie, the idea scares me. I just hate the idea of the possibility that I might not be able to do this and I don’t want to fail. I’m afraid of failing.
I decided last week it was silly to not at least try something I want to try just because I’m afraid of failing. It will be tough to do this by myself. I don’t really have any runner buddies. I’ve been trying to get friends to join me even if it’s just walking. I’ve been trying to get people interested in just running the 5K. It will take a lot of self motivation on my part. I do have friends who will support me with positive words but sometimes it’s nice to have people who will drag me out of bed and run with me. 😉
I plan on participating in this race even if I don’t reach my half marathon goal. I will either do a combo of walk/run the half marathon or race in the 5K race.
I figure I have about 5-6 months to train for this so I’m going to go at my own pace for about a month or two, then switch to a more serious training program. I checked out a couple of half-marathon training programs and they all suggested to start with 4 miles. I can’t even run 2 miles without stopping. 😉 Today was day #6 of “training” and I ran 1.25 miles. So yeah, I have a long way to go.
I honestly have no idea how in the world I’m going to achieve this goal. I’m more of a sprinter and have always struggled with finding the endurance for long distance runs…it has always been my weakness while playing sports.
If I do accomplish my goal of running a half marathon….then I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to me.
Or am I just bonkers? 🙂

Hoarse Voice and Hiccuping

I had a sore throat for about a week and half which resulted in a hoarse voice. Let’s just say that was the first time I’ve ever really heard what a hoarse voice sounds like. It sounded kind of “rough” to me.

I’m still trying to figure out how to describe sounds.

I also found that I understood the spoken word “normally” (Kara said it) when I was with a couple of friends last night. It’s still such an odd feeling to catch these random words here and there. Growing up, I never really understood any spoken words except: “ok,” “hmm,” “yes,” “bye,” “no,” and understanding my name was kind of hit-and-miss. This was with my hearing aids and this was considered somewhat decent for my hearing loss background. Congenital profound hearing loss, not really benefiting from hearing aids until I was 8 years old, not wearing hearing aids constantly until I was 15 years old, and no access to language for the first ~2 years (~20-24 months) of my life.
I never ever thought I would understand more than those simple words without lip-reading. Even though it happens rarely, it’s still an awesome feeling when it happens. I love those moments…..
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks. 😉
Sometimes I wonder if I understand more than I realize. Then again, there are days where I can barely hear general environmental sounds. My CI seems to be acting up a bit again so I’ll have to talk with my audiologist on Monday about this. :-/
Also, why is it that I find myself giggling to myself whenever I hear myself hiccuping or sneezing?

Access to Information: Oklahoma City Bombing

It has been 15 years since the Oklahoma City bombing.

I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. I was also living in a town about 3 hours away from Oklahoma City at that time.
This was before I had a pager/cell phone. We did have the Internet at home but it wasn’t part of my daily life back then. This was also when I was the only deaf kid in grades 2-12 (the 2nd oldest deaf kid was in the 1st grade) in the whole school district. This was also around the time when closed captions chips were finding their way into TVs. All TVs larger than a certain size (I can’t remember the details) have to have closed caption chips in them now. None of the TVs at my school had new TVs and there was only one TV in the whole school building I could watch because it was the only TV with a caption decoder box hooked up to it (remember those big, clunky things).
I’m typing up this post to touch on a different perspective. One that many people don’t think of.
It’s how accessible information is to the deaf community during a time of national emergency. Things have improved over the years with more captioned news shows, access to the Internet, and pagers/cell phones. It’s still no where near where it should be. Deaf New Yorkers who witnessed 9/11 will tell you it’s still a problem…a problem they experienced while their lives were at sake.
I didn’t find out about the OKC bombing until lunchtime even though it had happened around 9am that morning. I’m sure the teachers tried to keep it on the down low but when I found out…no one else seemed surprised. It was like most students already knew about it. Talk about delayed information. Overhearing information is SO important.
I was eating lunch at school and one of the school cafeteria employer turned on the TV in the lunchroom. A TV without captions. All I saw were images without knowing where or what had happened. I finally asked a hearing friend of mine what happened. She just said there was a bombing in Oklahoma City. I didn’t get any additional information even though I could tell people were talking about it. After school, at home my mom offered to interpret some TV news briefings about the bombing since they weren’t captioned. I declined because it’s hard watching someone you care about interpreting something you know would upset them. I also declined because I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow what was being said (it’s hard to watch an interpreter and a TV screen at the same time, resulting in a lot of lost information).
I missed out on all the emotions everyone shared with each other. I missed out on all the discussions. I missed out on the acceptance process people go through together by sharing their thoughts. I didn’t have access to any of that information because the social media simply wasn’t accessible at that time and I couldn’t overhear conversations.
I was clueless. I felt so dependent upon others to supply me information. I knew the information I got was being filtered and minimized. I felt so isolated and powerless without knowledge. I felt lonely…like everyone knew what was going on but no one felt it was important to share such critical information with me. I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand what was going on when everyone else did. What I understood was what I saw through images via photos/video clips on TV. I felt left behind when everyone else felt they pulled together as a community.
Never take information for granted. Share information with people around you.

Aural Rehab

I admit it, I fell off the aural rehab/auditory training wagon once again. I did get back on track today and did some work with the Sound and WAY Beyond computer program. I have mentioned before I usually choose a word from a closed set of 4 words and I know the general topic (e.g. animals, time, numbers, etc.)

I try not to look at the 4 words ahead of time so I can see what I can pick out just from hearing the word and knowing the category. There are approximately 100 possible words in each category even though only 4 are listed at a time. I’m usually way off but every once in a blue moon I come pretty close. I usually come pretty close 2 or 3 times out of 25 different sets within a category and once I look at the words…I generally get around 70-90% correct (depending on how focused I am at that moment).

Just thought I would share with you my rare “I got it!” moments that happened during today’s auditory training.

The words in the red=my guess, and the words in the blue=correct word.

1) Octopus (I got this one right off the bat..knowing the category was “animals” and knowing this was one of the 100 words in this category I’ve ran across before. I still think it’s pretty cool I got it out of 100 possible animal words without having to look at the closed set list of 4 words!)
2) Sunday, Saturday

3) Late, Lent
4) -at, Cat
5) -6, 96
6) 6-, 63
7) 95 (got this one completely correct!)
8) 69, 96
9) May (completely correct too!)
10) Full, Hall

Even though I’m usually way off base 90-95% of the time without looking at the closed set words….I’m pleased that I’m finally getting something and will take what I can and will continue to build on that over time.

South Padre Island 2010

I went to South Padre Island (SPI) with some friends for a few days (April 7th-12th, Wednesday-Monday). We rented a cute beach house about a block away from the beach for a very reasonable price since it was off season.

We left Kansas about 10pm Wednesday night and drove through the night. This was around 3am somewhere in Oklahoma. It was about an 18 hour drive and we got to town about 4pm Thursday afternoon.

On our way to SPI, we took a little detour and ended up at the University of Texas with our KU shirts. 🙂

After eating at Whataburger, picking up BBQ food for the next few nights, and catching up with Alex + Vic (who met up with us later on) we all headed to bed. We got up bright and early Friday morning to watch the sunrise on the beach.


I tossed the football around with Dennis, JonMichael, and Vic after the sunrise.
The gang with our matching t-shirts and nicknames. Mine was Dominant Jean (aka Dominant Gene).

After the sunrise, everyone else decided to take it easy for a few hours. Most of them took a nap or just relaxed. Dennis and I wanted to explore the island. We ended up going for a 6-7 mile walk around the southern part of the island (4 hours) before grabbing some lunch. We saw this HUGE jellyfish that was the size of a soccer ball (no joke).

Sand angel!

There was a jetty on the southern end of the island. Dennis and I walked almost all the way to the end of it until it became really slippery especially since we were wearing flip-flops.
After everyone got back from eating lunch and Dennis/I got back from our walk…we decided to jump into the pool for a bit. We also tried to have a water balloon fight which didn’t go well because the balloons wouldn’t break upon impact (owie)!

After some pool time, we all sat around trying to figure out what to do on Saturday. I got a bit antsy and wanted to do something. Alex, Morgan, JonMichael, and I decided to explore the northern part of the island. I loved that part of the island. It was pretty undeveloped and was all just sand, sand dunes, and ocean…except for a dead end road.

Saturday morning, JonMichael cooked everyone breakfast before we headed out for the day. We decided to take a boat/snorkeling trip. Gretchen, Marie, and JonMichael went snorkeling while the rest of us either played Frisbee or chilled on the boat. We also had lunch on the boat (grilled burgers). It was an enjoyable 3 hours.

After the boat trip, we decided to head up to the northern part of the beach and hung out there for a bit. Morgan, Alex, Marie, and I all went into the ocean for a bit….that is until we got chased out by a man-o-war jellyfish (there were TONS of these all over the beach). I was also given a kite by a stranger, it was such a good day to fly a kite. Vic, Alex, and I also took a walk past the dead end road to explore some more.

We decided we needed to say good-bye to the beach Sunday morning before we headed back to Kansas. We left late Sunday morning and got back to Kansas about 7:30 am on Monday.

Thanks everyone for making this trip possible and for all the awesome memories!

VIIth Nerve

Imagine listening to one of your favorite songs and getting split-second sharp pains in your neck that matches up with the beat of the music.

It appears that one of my electrodes is stimulating my VIIth nerve (8th nerve aka cochlear nerve) causing split-second pain (similar to what a pulled neck muscle feels) on the left side of my neck. It seems to occurs with certain frequency at certain volume levels. Levels that don’t occur often, thankfully!
It’s fairly common issue and is mostly just a nuisance. I’m just glad I haven’t had to deal with any twitching issues….
My audiologist will be able to get me in next week to figure out which electrode it is and turn down the level. Then I should be able to hear without any pain….. 😉