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happenings ’round these parts

21 Feb

While there hasn’t been a lot going on for me lately, there have been a few key big ticket items that packed a punch.  Without further ado, I shall elaborate:

1. I put my name in the lottery for the New York City Marathon!  Yay!  I’m beyond hopeful this becomes my reality.  I know it’s a long shot but the thought of it is too dreamy for words.  It’s on my bucket list of races, along with the Flying Pig Marathon.  I’ve talked about this one before because it’s so fantastic.  My optimistic plan is I will do the Flying Pig and then spend the week hanging out with my Michigan family and then wrap up the vaca with the Kalamazoo Marathon.  It will happen.

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please, oh please!

2. I decided I am going to do the 1/2 marathon of the North Olympic Discovery marathon weekend.  In a prior post I said I was going to do the full, but I haven’t started any kind of training yet.  While in the past this wouldn’t have stopped me from jumping in feet first (so to speak), however, after putting my poor knee through the wringer during the Detroit 26.2 I am going to play it smarter this time around.  I know, who am I?!  Not to mention, it’s even cutting it close to be starting a 1/2 marathon training plan.  I live on the edge.

3. I caught the plague (only slightly exaggerating here).  It was that nasty influenza that seems to be running rampant.  It hit our town – I swear, every other facebook post was about families being down and out with the flu.  I didn’t/couldn’t get off of the couch for 6 days.  I did have to make one trip to the post office for work and I came home and napped for a few hours, I was so exhausted.  And it’s still lingering a bit.  So, if at all possible, stay healthy!  A fellow LuLaRoe consultant in town and I were talking and her family caught it.  Her hubby walked around the house with a mask, haha!  I laughed, yet now I think he was brilliant as he didn’t get sick.

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my sweet baby niece – poor little sicky!  she is the one who passed along the illness.  this is also my “I don’t do mornings” face!

4. I turned 39.  I love aspects of my birthday; the numbers are sequential, I love being an Aquarius, I love having a winter birthday, and I don’t shy away from the attention.  I do have troubles with the aging piece.  It’s a surreal experience for me.  My niece and I were talking the week before and she said, “aren’t you going to be 40?”.  I paused and my heart skipped a beat.  Was I going to be 40?!!  For a moment, I wasn’t sure – did I mention at my doc visit before I moved back from MI I thought I was 37?  I told the nurse she was wrong when she was trying to confirm my 38 status.  Her response, “the computer does the math” when we were talking about what year I was born.  I felt like I lost a year of my life!  Then when my niece said 40, I panicked that I lost yet ANOTHER year!  I’m not ready to be 40.

5. Now, the Sunday before my birthday, I was babysitting my sweet baby niece (this was also the day of my contamination).  I walked into my sister’s kitchen and my feet went out from under me – their floor was like a freakin’ ice rink (and apparently walking is dangerous for me) and I went down.  HARD.  I was holding an unlit jar candle that came crashing down as well, (I think) crushing my pinky finger, and bouncing up to smack me in the face.  I laid on the floor for a moment, in shock.  Then I almost threw up and passed out.  I got up and moved to the couch where I spent about 10 minutes trying to stay conscious and vomit free.  My poor pinky turned purple immediately and blew up.  I was convinced it was broken.  I no longer think this, I think I smashed it.  It still messed up and have a feeling the healing will continue to be slow.

6. Did I mention I caught my bout of influenza the day before my birthday?  Instead of enjoying some festivities, I was on the couch.  Some perks were, my dad made me pancakes in the morning and then later brought me my favorite dinner from a local place, my sister dropped off two cupcakes, and my grandma made me a lemon pie-like dessert.  It was quite sweet of them.  I also started watching Justified.  I dig it.  What this does mean is the week leading up to my birthday (my poor hand was a disaster) and the 2 weeks after it were a rude beginning to this upcoming year.  I’ve decided it’s the universe’s way of purging the toxins from my life to ready me for an epic year ahead.  Probably starting around March 1st.

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a tall cool drink of water – perfect for those sick days!

Please agree with me with regards to the universe’s plan for me.  Much obliged.

 

my “moronic” muscle

8 Nov

Last Friday, I took some annual leave.  During a meeting with my boss the day before, I talked about my stress level.  I realize now I mentioned that “my health is not great” twice due to all of the stress as of late.  She kindly encouraged me to take the day.  I said I had a lot to do.  A couple of hours later, I recognized the gift and put in for the day.  It was a fabulous idea.

My second PT appt was bright and early Friday morning and I considered canceling it since I didn’t have to get up early anymore.  Nevertheless, recovery, right?  I got out of bed and made the appt.  Daren – PT friend, asked me how the muscle memory exercises were going.  I told him, I couldn’t believe these simple movements made my muscles sore!  I also said I couldn’t figure out where my patella was.  He had a plastic model and I was confusing tendon with patella, it made much more sense.  I had no idea the patella was so small!

We went through some exercises – a mix of stability and active ones.  I rode the bike for 6 whole mins, but that was the only cardio.  Even though I could feel my knee, it didn’t really hurt per say.  More irritated, I think.  I was definitely surprised when going through these strength exercises I broke out in a sweat.  They were tough!  During one of the exercise, Daren asked if I was feeling any pain.  Nope.  He then provided music to my ears, “I really think you just abused it by doing too much when your knee/muscles weren’t ready”.  Good news indeed!

it’s probably too early to hug him, right?

I know I said I was happy to be a lazy bones and I really am. That said, I’ve worked hard to lose almost 20lbs in the last year and I don’t want that to by the wayside. Sure, feeling crummy stomach-wise is helping with the decrease in eating but somehow, this doesn’t seem very healthy. In fact, it sounds eating disorder-ish, which is definitely NOT what I am looking for.  I told this to PT friend.  He said he understood – both about getting back into the habit of lying around and wanting to be active.  Next week we are going to evaluate and try the elliptical, which is going to be a riot since I can’t catch the rhythm of said machine and foresee failure.  I asked about swimming and looks likely as an option for next week.

I did ask about one of those electrode machines that contract the muscles for you.  I don’t know why but I really want one.  He said I could buy one myself, to which I asked if I needed one for recovery.  He said I didn’t since those machines are used to contract muscles that can’t do it on their own.  He said my muscles can, “they are just moronic right now”.  HA!  This cracked me up, my thigh muscle is a moron.  It’s perfect.

Physical therapy

icing the poor moron

PT update – over and out!

guilty-ish

3 Nov

I always feel guilty after writing a post that doesn’t have some sort of happiness infused.  At least I’m sticking with my Catholic roots!

Here are a few updates:

1. I had my first PT appt yesterday for my knee.  Basically, I messed it up good and plenty!  He said some medical words to describe the problem and I swore I was going to remember them but I don’t.  I’m pretty sure it was part of my knee is rubbing on my tibia.  In my head this explanation feels off since it doesn’t seem possible although I never took an anatomy class.  I might be remembering incorrectly.  Whatever, it isn’t great.  Upside – actual orders to be a lazy bones!  I do have some exercises to do.  I asked him if these were strengthening exercises but apparently I’m not there yet and these are merely exercises to remind my muscles how to work.  Great scott – even my muscles can’t remember to remember.

I have another PT appt this week and then three next week.  I am very committed to recovery and it is quite clear that my big muscles (quads? the ones on the top of my thighs) are weak as hell.  When I mentioned this he readily agreed.  I need to put the brace back on, do the memorization exercises and no activity <– the lazy part.  I have a feeling the sit on your ass orders will go by the way side sooner rather than later so I’m going to give up feeling guilty about doing just that.

2. Sunday I moaned and groaned about my stomach.  I’m still at that stage.  I am also grateful I can afford to eat what my body can handle.  For instance, there aren’t a lot of fruits and veggies (or many other things) my stomach can tolerate.  Blueberries are a major winner.  They are currently $10 per 18oz at Costco – yowza!  I bought two.  Also, the gluten-free bread is $8.00 per loaf (Costco), the ham is $8.00 per pound and a half or so (Costco) and then the “granola” bars I can eat are $5.00 a box.  I am wildly lucky I can give my stomach the royal treatment, even if it is acting like an ungrateful punk.

I only almost vomited once yesterday! Improvement!

3. The weather is wacky.  Last week, one of my big programs consisted of cooking a variety of sausage (including my FAVORITE hot dogs ever!) on grills (outside) and serving them to students over 200 of them.  It was really cold, rainy and it snowed earlier in the day.  This week?  Close to 70* the entire week.  I want Nov. to feel like Nov.  Not to mention, this kind of weather freaks me out!  Oh and I strongly recommend getting hot dogs from a real life butcher shop.  It makes such a major difference in taste!

4. I went to do laundry on Sunday – I was fiercely determined and even walked down to the w/d room.  Alas, someone was already using both machines.  I set a timer to make myself get up an hour later to check said laundry machines to see if they were empty but by the time the alarm went off, my motivation was gone.  Tonight is the night friends – I can feel it.  Laundry will be accomplished.

5. I finally pulled my popcorn popper out from under the sink.  It’s one of those ‘stir crazy’ poppers and I remember having to have it.  Considering I’ve been downing Skinny Pop like mad, I figured I should save a few bucks and make it myself.  And put the popper to good use.  I bought some sunflower oil like Skinny Pop uses and hit it.  Yum!

ok, so I do miss the ease and taste of some skinny pop

6. Get this: I was RIGHT!  Word of advice, make friends with a doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist.  No, this isn’t license to stalk someone but I’m pretty darn lucky to know a couple of pharmacists.  How does this relate to my being right?  Because my pharmacist friend, we were fellow “Panty Raiders” on a Ragnar Relay and a blogger (I really dig her and her blog!), read my post the other day and my ice eating IS a sign of anemia!  Look at me all sleuthing and stuff!  She also made a recommendation of a brand of iron to get.  So today, I’ll be starting to combat this low iron business.

This is riveting stuff, isn’t it?  Happy Tuesday!

bride of frankenstein walking here

30 Oct

I was struggling to walk after the race and the med tent was not close to the finish line.  I finally found it and I iced my knees for a few mins.  After changing in my hotel’s (nasty, nasty, nasty) public restroom I got on the road.  My knee was HURTING.  Why do knees have to bend and then unbend?!  It even hurt to move my foot from the gas pedal to the break.

I still didn’t regret this fancy piece of frosting

oh so pretty!

oh so pretty! and a bit blurry…

Sunday night, my knee was trashed.  I decided to make a doctor’s appt for the next day even if I was jumping the gun.  I felt silly considering I ran a marathon – of course my body would hurt.  But even I knew this was mighty different from my other aches and pains.  I saw a P.A. first and I told her the story.  She said she would have pushed through the pain and finished as well!  Ha!  A kindred spirit!  I’ve noticed P.A.’s are much nicer than doctors.  I prefer them.  The doc came in and wiggled/bent/almost made me cry moved my knee around.  I had a ton of inflammation under the knee cap.  She said some kind of name for it but I forgot to remember.  They had me change into a pair of giant shorts so she could better evaluate my knee and with my stripped compression socks and booties, I was looking HOT!  Oh and I was offered a wheelchair twice as they watched me (try to) walk.

yes, don't be shy, of course I will give you fashion advice!

yes, don’t be shy, of course I will give you fashion advice!

The plan for x-rays fell through as the tech was at lunch, so I was instructed to go to the sports med clinic (down the hall) where they set me up with a knee brace.  My knee felt less wobbly – a positive, and I was scheduled for my first PT appt this pas Wednesday, but work got in the way.  The PT guy was great and he said my knee was too swollen to start prior.  (They were very kind to add me to their schedule this upcoming Monday morning.)  Since the brace helped as much as it did though, I thought I would be okay to walk to my next meeting and then across campus.

I am delusional.

No running for 5-10 days – PT guy’s orders.  Heck, even walking has been rough.  So, I’m looking forward to PT.  I’ve known for a while that certain muscles in my legs aren’t very strong but I thought running would take care of this.  PT guy told me he is going to teach me some strength exercises and some stretches.  I think it says I’m supposed to go for 6 weeks.  Thankfully, the brace and PT are all completely covered by insurance and it’s on campus.  Lucky me!  Let the healing begin!  I also promised my brother I wouldn’t run for a bit.

I know I will come back a stronger runner.  I want to learn to better care for my knees, since the other one is kind of pissed it had to carry the weight during the marathon.  Seriously, it’s acting like a petulant child.  I’m going to teach my dad these exercises as well since his knees need some TLC, too.  I was icing quite a bit the first week and a half… now I need to rejoin that party.  Smarty pants, right here!  Although, walking like the Bride of Frankenstein is right on time for Halloweenie!

okay, I’m not this mobile at all but I like to think I’ve got a bit of this sass!

vitamin D

10 Mar

At my last back adjustment, I was given the, “you will most likely be able to run after this week”.  That means this week.  I was told that I could walk all I wanted.

Poor transition:  Last week was silly.  I’m not quite sure why it was so trying and I feel kind of guilty about moaning and groaning about it since I can’t pinpoint what my deal was.  Nevertheless, when the weekend hit, I was all, “No people or real pants allowed”.  I stuck to this.

HOWEVER, I did walk this weekend!!  Wahoo!  Sunday I even went outside!  I gave up my mole-person status for about an hour and high tailed it around my neighborhood.  Since I will be able to run soon, I figured getting outside was a good idea.  Not to mention it was about 40* and there was some sun.  It was great.

The walk went pretty well.  My legs don’t remember things like hills and slanted sidewalks so it was a good reminder.  I haven’t walked or ran outside (for exercise) since Nov. and I’ve missed it.  Funny thing, I’ve said before that I’m not a person who LOVES to exercise.  But when I started up again in Jan after being sick for forever, I really appreciated it.  Sure, I put it off but it felt good to be active.  Now, I am eagerly anticipating getting back to running.  Of course it helps that spring is springing but I also feel the urge to train again.  It’s been some time since I felt this way and it’s a great feeling.

Other than soaking up the vitamin D on Sunday, things around these parts have been busy.  I kind of feel as though I’m behind and what should be a catch up week (it’s spring break here) is now suddenly packed to the gills.  The silver lining?  Next Friday I’m leaving for a work trip to New Orleans!  I’ve never been there.  I will be eating so much!  Oh and of course doing work things.  That’s probably important.

this is how excited I am about eating all of the culinary loveliness

Last on this list of this very discombobulated (spell check doesn’t like this word so it is probably spelled incorrectly) post, is I made the cottage pie this past weekend.  I’m not kidding when I say that on Sunday I did NOT want to spend the time to cut the veggies, steam the squash, brown the meat and then cook all of this.  To be honest, it was a bit labor intensive (by my standards of lazy cooking) but it turned out to be so worth it.  I need to adjust my seasonings for the next time around as I frankensteined a couple of different recipes to accommodate my little brat of a stomach and it seems to be missing… something… I still don’t know what.  The bacon really shines though and I might just add more on top of the leftovers – you know, as a garnish!  I also added some other veggies and some potatoes so I should have considered this when spicing this puppy up.  Again, it is good and makes great leftovers.

Okay, over and out.  Today I’m working late and hoping I can hop on the tready when I get home later tonight.  I’ll see how I’m holding up from this long day.

Do you mix up a variety of recipes?  How do you adjust spices?  I need advice!

adventures with “dr. chiro”

3 Mar

I had my first adjustment last week with my chiropractor a.k.a. “Dr. Chiro”.  I watched “The Adventures of Mr. Peabody and Sherman” a couple of days before, so this was at the forefront in my mind:

Thankfully, this wasn’t how it went – well the pretzely piece.  My first stop was a hydro-bed.  A rolling jet of water moves up and down your body (focusing on your area of hurt but hitting other areas as well) and it feels kind of nutty.  It kind of tickled at first but when I was able to relax it felt good.  It does move up around your neck and I’m positive this must have been what it felt like when in the womb.

We went to another room to discuss my x-rays.  Guess what?  Dr. Chiro asked me if I had my gallbladder out to which I answered yes and how did he know.  Sure enough, I have staples in me and they showed up on the x-rays.  Funny, I had no idea there were staples needed so you can bet your bottom dollar I googled that business to ensure this was how it was supposed to be.  It is.  Seeing these staples was my favorite part by the way.

I love me some office supplies – now I have some with me at all times.

Anyway, I have a pinched nerve currently and then I have some other things happening with ye ol’ spine.  I have one degenerated disc – he thinks from a fall earlier on in life and bone or whatever has grown around it.  It puts some odd pressure on another disc but this one seems to be holding up well.  Good job disc I don’t remember the number of!  There are some alignment issues as well that we are going to work on, too.  All in all, it will be a few weeks of PT.  I have kick-ass chiropractic coverage (25 free sessions a year!) so I will be using up these bad boys but then it’s only $35 a session after that so I’m good.

Then onto the adjustment table.

I told Dr. Chiro I was nervous about it.  He laughed and told me not to worry <— because THAT always works for me.  I laid down and he pointed out that I’m massively stiff.  Not any news to me but I don’t realize it since this is my state of normalcy.  Then the weird adjustments started.  I laughed hysterically.  It wasn’t a high-pitched laugh, more of a deep-belly laugh I couldn’t control.  It didn’t hurt per say, although the areas that are currently tender felt it more than others.  It was so out of my realm of experience that I still can quite describe it.

When we were in the room with the x-rays he had posters of orthotics.  Since I jacked up my arch a few years back and am certain this is what has irked my ankle, I asked him if this was something he looked at.  I also went on to explain my poor PT appt  from earlier.  He said we would do some foot-mapping to see if this was anything he could help with or not.  Score!  Essentially, I’m just pouring out all of my running ailments – one stop shop!

This week I have three adjustments – last night/Wed/Thurs.  For the most part, my back is feeling better and I kicked the pain meds on Saturday.  It’s still stiff but I have a lot more movement and less pain – yay!  I also turned the corner with this cold so another win for me.  I even did some laundry this weekend, albeit, I borrowed a Radio Flyer from a friend to transport said laundry to my laundry room.  I may have looked like an idiot but it was a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself.

Hope you all are having a good week.  I’m reserving judgement… bad dreams.  I need to stop watching LOST right before I go to sleep at night!

p.s. I need a new office chair – this one is killing me at the moment.

i’m a fragile like a potato chip

23 Feb

Thanks for the support with my crummy PT appt and the mean guy.  Or as Slacker Runner perfectly nicknamed him, “asshat”.  I love it!

Saturday three of my wonderful friends surprised me with a visit to help celebrate my birthday.  It was fabulous to see them since two of them live out of town and all of them have little ones.  Trying to find a weekend when we are all available is quite the experience in planning.  It was great to see them!

I had a burger at lunch – Ron would be proud!

We went to see 50 Shades of Grey (Ron would NOT be proud) – completely different from what I expected and better than I thought it would be.  Then onto a local establishment called The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange.  It’s a neat concept where they have a bunch of different beers with screens set up as the stock exchange.  The prices fluctuate based on the “market”.  We were there during the afternoon (the market wasn’t open yet) and they have some tasty grub… unless you are gluten-free/low FODMAP/can’t eat many things.  I guess I should have figured this given the whole beer theme but thankfully, we had a very kind server who helped me out.  I left her a big fat tip, since I was a bit annoying!  (I did eat some homemade potato chips there which helped to inspire parts of this post.)

this was me with my burger as I’ll explain in a moment

I also learned a very important lesson this week… Don’t put off miles you can accomplish today just because you could run tomorrow – or whatever (I’m writing this with some serious meds in my system).  Just get miles in when you can – I’m talking to myself here.  Now, I know it seems like there is always something wrong with me but it’s simply because I’m accident prone.  Or fragile.  Or something.  Look at this pic of me from kindergarten – do I look hearty to you?  Nope, and I’m still not.

I wouldn't have survived in medieval times

I wouldn’t have survived in medieval times

Anyway, Friday morning I was getting coffee from McDonald’s and this guy rear-ended me a bit.  There was no damage to my car and really it didn’t feel like much.  I hurried onto work, where I had to carry my super heavy purse around and then scooched a couch a few feet.  At lunch, I carried my super heavy purse back to my apt.  All good.  Then, 45 mins later, I bent over to get aforementioned purse and my back seized.  I am not sure if I’ve ever felt this before but I knew it wasn’t good.  At the same time, I figured I tweaked it and I was over-reacting.

I’m a delicate potato chip that drinks coffee – naturally

It hurt.  A lot.  I went back to the office (after unloading many of the offending heavy articles from the purse) and realized the pain didn’t really go away.  It got worse as the afternoon wore on until I went home around 3:30 since I needed some meds.  Cue laying on the couch all of Friday and Sunday.  If my friends hadn’t bent over backwards to make Saturday work, I would have laid on the couch then too.  As it was, I stuffed my face with a few pills and cursed a lot in my mind.  I figured out a decent med combination (my apologies to my stomach and liver) and used some BioFreeze.  Small baby stretches seem to help momentarily, so that is good?  I also got the name of my friend’s chiropractor, who he swears by, if things don’t get better.  Currently, I’m getting my deep squats in though, since this is the only way I can reach the ground.  That’s a plus!

I have no idea if any of those morning activities impacted my current predicament or if it was simply how I bent over but man, I feel so bad for people who have chronic back problems!  Did you know how many movements require the use of your back?!  Yesterday, I utilized some peak drugged-up time to fix an oatmeal bake and get some energy bites ready for the week (more on why this is important tomorrow).  I was stirring the energy bite mixture and it made my back hurt – I wasn’t expecting this!  I am sincerely hopeful this is a fluke injury and I’ll be able to write an “all better” post soon.  That being said, I have so much sympathy for those who have constant struggles with their backs.

hopefully my recovery won’t include these shenanigans

Anyway – no running miles for the week.  I had a couple of walking miles in there but that’s it.  It’s a good reminder for me to stop trying to fit all of my training/fitness into a few days, which isn’t all that good for my body anyway.  I need to keep it more consistent so I’m not a) saving everything for the end of the week and b) not sitting on my arse for days.

***Edited:  I typically write my posts the night before.  Today, my back is a bit better but still I’m walking around like some kind of weird robot, forget bending over and pain meds are my BFFs.  I made a chiro appt for Wednesday.  I feel like a fraud/big baby though… what if there is nothing wrong?!  I don’t want to look like an idiot.  However, I can’t relax, am in pain or move very well either so I’m going with possibly looking like an idiot.  We’ll see.

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