RADjournals: Lisa Cabiles
From an unhealthy 100 pounds to finishing my first 100 Miler
In 2009 I suffered from severe digestive issues secondary to fertility medication. After I had my first child, Makaio (now 15), I developed secondary infertility. After about a year of trying to conceive naturally, my husband at the time and I decided to seek medical help. We chose the most conservative approach, and I went ahead and took Letrazole, a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This first round didn’t help my follicles at all, so we decided to try Clomid, another FSH. This round of 5 pills each didn’t stimulate my follicles either; the medications only attacked my autoimmune disease Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and put me into a downward spiral of severe digestive issues. For 3 years, I was in pretty severe digestive distress, and could not eat normal foods. I went from doctor to doctor with few answers. Finally I found an acupuncturist who had similar issues, and solely became an acupuncturist because no doctor could help her. However acupuncture had. I trusted her with my life, maybe in the beginning because I had little other hope; but over time she became one of my dear friends and healers.
However before I found my acupuncturist, Sharon, I became very ill. Everything I put into my body, my body almost immediately rejected. I would have severe pain every time I tried to eat. I got down to a mere 99 lbs, and my doctor and I decided to insert a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) to get me nutrition. The PICC line at least stabilized my weight at about 105 for a little while before I became septic (blood was infected) from the PICC line. This landed me in the hospital from December 26th-New Years Day, requiring heavy doses of antibiotics. Even as an RN, I didn’t realize how sick I was (sepsis is about a 40% chance of survival with many patients needing to be in the ICU). I remember the attending physician asking me where my husband at the time was. We were both merely trying to survive raising a small child, working, and focusing on getting me better.
After I got out of the hospital I went to acupuncture once or twice weekly, and slowly started to get better. However at the end of January I developed a blood clot in my left arm (most certainly from the previously infected PICC line). So back to the ER I went; luckily I talked them out of admitting me for another hospitalization, and was able to manage the therapy on my own. It required me to take 2 weeks of Lovenox injections, and 6 months of Coumadin with monthly labs to ensure the medicine was keeping my blood anticoagulated (thin) to keep the clot stable and not cause more severe symptoms.
I promised myself after I got better, I would live life to the very fullest, never looking back. I was still having trouble gaining my weight back; however I knew if I could get pregnant, the immunosuppressive state of pregnancy would very likely allow me to be able to eat normally again. We both wanted another child, but knew any kind of fertility treatments were off the table. I had no idea how this was going to happen as I was at 110 lbs and not having cycles at all.
However one day, during an acupuncture treatment, Sharon noted that my pulse was different. She asked if I was taking any new medication, in which I responded nope. She then did a few acupuncture points, but was fairly conservative and told me she wouldn’t do any more acupuncture on me until I took a pregnancy test. I was so confused. How could I be pregnant when I had not one cycle, except prior to the birth of my son, who was now 6? I did as she said though, as I knew she had some amazing intuition. I took 2 pregnancy test, and in disbelief both came back positive. God blessed us with a little girl about 11/2 after I was so sick in the hospital. During my pregnancy I was finally able to start running again. I’ve always run, but this valley of illness took me to soaring new heights and a hunger to live life to the very fullest. From 2012 to 2016, I ran tons of stroller miles, solo miles, and trail miles. But it was not until November of 2016 that I ran my first marathon with the goal of getting that #BQ, It was in my hometown, the Seattle marathon, a particularly hilly course, that I secured my first #BQ This first marathon was simply the beginning. Deep into the marathon world, I have run 41 marathons to date, completed Boston 2018,2019, and 2020, and have my sights set on Boston 2021. I just completed the Jack and Jill Marathon for a race PR of 3:05:27.
I’ve also delved into the Ultra world; I’ve run about 5 50Ks, and ran my first 50 miler at Jackpot Ultras in which I won overall female and 2nd overall with a fellow RAD elite! This spurned me on to sign up for my first 100 miler. On June 26th, I completed Strawberry Fields 100 miler in 21:27:47. It was pretty brutal as race temps were at a high of 100-113 F. I stopped focusing on running, but instead focused on keeping my core temperature cool. I knew if I could keep my core temperature cool, I’d have a good chance of finishing the race. Only 7 of us finished that day out of an original 46 registered. I was 2nd overall and crushed the old course record by 11/2 (22:59 old record) My amazing teammate crushed it by about 3.5 hours in a time of 19:37!
Next up I have Never Summer 100K and am planning on attempting the Wonderland Trail in a single push in mid-late August. I am so thankful to honestly say I am living life to the fullest with my 3 beautiful children, and hope to inspire others in their running journey. Never give up; you’ll never know your potential until you truly try. Often there is failure along the way, but if you keep persevering you will come out stronger on the other side.