Monday, January 31, 2011

Scalpel Please

Today was doctor day.  Oh doctor how I love thee and waiting in thy office for… well basically for hours.  It all starts with the Physician’s assistant coming to get me.  He proceeds to asks me questions pretty much irrelevant to anything the doctor might need to know.  He then asks me to wait.  I take pictures of Jack to pass some time.  Okay I took one and this was it. 

jtt

Doctor Cunningham comes in and decides he’d like to give me a steroid injection to help me be pain free.  He then asks the PA to come back in for prep and for me to get in a gown.  Jack takes a picture of me.  There was one.  This is it. 

gown

The PA comes back in and preps the materials needed.  He mutters some small talk and seems utterly disgusted by his job. 

prep

The Doc comes back in to administer the shot.   He swabs and stabs me with a numbing needle full of lidocaine.  I believe the saying “this might sting a little” is a tad of an understatement.  I believe my statement of, “yeah that didn’t feel good” was true and correct.  After he stabs me, he walks away and wipes his nose all while leaving the needle sticking in my shoulder.  He gets a good guffaw out of it all.  Oh the life of an orthopedic.  What a hoot. 

After the actual shot, which felt equally as good (some numbing agent) he asks the PA to come back. 

shoulder

I find it hard to believe that his time is so valuable that he is unable to spare a second to slap on a Bandaid himself. 

I no longer try to figure out this cat and mouse game of Doctor and PA.  I pay my $38 and I’m on my way a little perplexed by what just went on and a little jealous that I don’t have an assistant. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I was a Mudder Fluffer

Today was another day for me to be a spectator and not a participant.  I can’t say that I wasn’t a little jealous (again) that I wasn’t able to run this race.  Today George did a Tough Mudder endurance event.  I honestly think they should have to come up with a new term rather than endurance event.   Maybe torture event or you-will-be-in-pain event. 

In case you haven’t heard of it, Tough Mudder is a 10 mile run interrupted by 19 challenging, use every ounce of your strength, obstacles. 

course map

There was no way as a spectator to capture every event but I did my best to document the day. 

sdt

Wait what?  How’d that get in there? 

No seriously, I did cheer on George at every obstacle I could physically get to.  It all started with jumping into an ice pit. Yes they are literally dumping bags of ice into a pit full of mud.  How’s that for a start?

iceice startice jump

ice finish

Yep I’d say that looks cold.  Everyone and I mean EVERYONE said that is was beyond what you can imagine as cold.  Apparently everything in your body just wants to “seize up”.  I was thankful for them (and for me) that today was a 70 degree day.  I couldn’t imagine this in 30 degrees.  YIKES!

The amount of running alone was pretty intimidating but just to push your limits even further there were hills and A LOT of them.  I felt bad just looking at them.  It was seriously brutal.

hills

Don’t like hills?  Try your hand at a 15 foot drop into more freezing water.  Ok they didn’t actually add ice cubes to this one but the water was still “freaking freezing”. 

jump jump readyjump1jump3

George said this swim was brutal but it was the first and no one knew exactly what to expect.  One thing I knew for sure, if they were to survive any more swimming they would HAVE to put their faces in the water.  Swimming with your face out of the water just expends way too much energy.  I think they learned their lesson. 

My favorite obstacle was the motocross slope (ok truth be told my favorite was the shock wires. I could have watched that all day… more on that later).  This thing was STEEP and it was slippery.  Coming down looked like a whole lot of fun. 

climbclimb2climb3climb4climb5climb6climb7climb8

After this obstacle George seemed to be in really good spirits and I think I started to really relax and stop “worrying” about him.  He actually looked like he was having fun. 

gpt thumbs up

The mud and muck continued far beyond what I was able to see or get to.  We would wait and every time George and his group rounded the corners we were there cheering them on. 

balancegpt intensehead

gpt3

Just when the “boys” were looking a little weary there was another swim.  I prayed George would just suck it up and put his face into the muddy, stinky, freezing water and get the swim over with.  He did!

swimswim3swim4

By mile 10 there were only 5 or 6 more obstacles and I knew he would make it.  I settled in to my spot in front of the shock wires and laughed at cheered for all the crazy people almost to the finish line. 

shock3shock4 

This was a pretty awesome experience as a spectator and an amazing accomplishment as a participant.  This was not an event for the timid or weak but if you make it to the end there is BEER!

end3

I’m really proud of George’s strength and determination to finish this event.  Way to go you Tough Mudder!

gpt sdt finish

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pain in the Feet

Today was my longest run on my training plan.  TWENTY miles.  I knew this would mean 4 plus hours of running for me so I packed accordingly, 5 Gu Gels.  Turns out I should have packed a meatloaf sandwich or something!  By mile 8, I was STARVING. 

The temperature was pretty warm.  It started off around 50 degrees and ended at about 70.  I had on shorts, my sweet Steeler socks, a tank and a long sleeve shirt (that I quickly ditched in Julie’s car). 

sdt

Julie is getting over a cold/sinus infection and hasn’t run all week.  She had 9 miles on her training plan for today but due to the way the trails are laid out she agreed to do 10 with me.  She was struggling today (as one would expect dealing with illness) but really pushed through.  I was pretty proud of her.

julie

Julie getting her stretch on

The first 10 miles were “easy” for me.  I was talking non stop and basically just enjoying the time with Julie.   I love that I am able to break down a really long 20 mile run into 10 miles (with a friend) and 10 miles alone. 

20 mile Run:

  • Mile 1:  12:18
  • Mile 2:  12:19
  • Mile 3: 12:47
  • Mile 4:  12:40 -----> Gu
  • Mile 5:  12:35
  • Mile 6:  12:44
  • Mile 7:  12:04
  • Mile 8:  12:46 -----> Gu
  • Mile 9:  13:18 -----> Poor Julie was hurting Sad smile
  • Mile 10: 13:09 -----> Strong finish for Julie and she heads out

When Julie left my mind was in the right place but my belly was grumbling for “real food” and my feet already hurt.  I had a pretty good 5 mile jaunt and then things really started to unravel.  I was in serious pain.  My breathing and heart rate seemed to be even and under control but my IT bands, hamstrings and my feet…. OMG MY FEET hurt so badly. 

I tried to tell myself to just slow my pace even though I knew that it wasn’t my breathing that was causing me to struggle.  I knew in my mind slowing my pace was only prolonging the pain but I just couldn’t get my body to move.  I stopped and walked maybe 2 times (for about 30 seconds each) but it only made things worse when I tried to start back up.  

I saw a “mantra” on the bridge and decided to adopt it for the next 5 miles of my run.  I would focus on one point up ahead.  I would not focus on the full 5 miles left but just the one point ahead of me.  I’d like to say it was a miracle and things improved but it only helped a little. 

breathe 

Honestly from mile 18 on it was basically a hobble.  My feet were toast and my ego was hit hard.  I couldn’t help but think what I would do if I had 26.2 on the schedule today.  Would I have been able to do it?  Would I have been strong enough to finish? 

  • Mile 11:  11:57
  • Mile 12:  11:34 -----> Gu
  • Mile 13:  11:45
  • Mile 14:  11:58
  • Mile 15:  11:42
  • Mile 16:  11:48 -----> Gu
  • Mile 17:  12:09
  • Mile 18:  12:18 ------> Last Gu
  • Mile 19: 13:02
  • Mile 20:  12:38

Total:  4:07:45

Average:  12:23

When I was finally finished I felt somewhat defeated but I know that each day and each run is different.  I still have three weeks left of training to prepare myself for 26.2 miles.  Today was just another valuable training run to prepare and humble myself.  I might have to rethink my 5:00 marathon goal, but hey I’m flexible!

flexible

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Focus on What Matters

Ok I’ll get it off my chest.  There were swimsuits, there were almost tears, and there was a bad mood that ensued for the rest of the day.  I’m only human so I have days where trying on swimsuits sends me into a self loathing frenzy of “depression”. 

bathing suit

This is the one that finally sent me over the edge (obvi: this is not me)

I work out five days a week (most weeks) and yet I still don’t see what I like in the mirror.  My husband suggests that I’m looking for perfection but the flaws I see are real.  So I’ve sat around most of the day contemplating why it matters. 

My children see me as a mom who wipes their tears, feeds them food and shows them constant love and support.  They know I exercise to make myself healthy and don’t even know the concept of exercising to make one’s self skinny.  So no, my kids don’t care what I look like in my swimsuit.  They just see mom.

OBX 2010 208

I guess I worry that I’ll be judged— that people will think I should look a certain way because I work out a certain number of days a week or run long miles on the weekend.  I myself wonder why I look the way I do when I work so hard.  It forces to me to look at an unpleasant reality and that is the FOOD. 

Christmas Cookies 2010 017

Honestly, I don’t even want to go there.  I want to enjoy what I eat and not worry about “consequences”.  I don’t want to go to the place of craving the foods I “can’t have” because I’m restricting certain foods from my diet.  It just doesn’t work for me. 

So I have two choices:  continue to live the life I am and accept what I see or restrict my way to 10 pounds lighter and most likely STILL not like what I see.  Neither one will make me happy, neither one will necessarily make me any healthier and neither one is going to make me love me in a swimsuit. 

After much contemplation I realize I wasted a valuable day sulking over something that just doesn’t matter.  I think I’ll go focus on something that does.

family3

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hello World

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around double digit mid-week runs.  So, when I was faced with 10 miles today, I’ll admit I wasn’t overjoyed. 

The weather was totally gorgeous though-- almost 70 degrees and not a cloud to be seen.  The nice weather helped me to have a better attitude about things but my tight ankles and IT band were still nagging at me. 

 sky

All of the sudden (about 2 miles in) Hello World came on my iPod and I really started listening to the words.  It just kind of hit me.  I was taken back to this summer when I was lying in bed with 3 pins in my arm doing nothing but watching trashy TV and waiting for my arm to heal. 

I wanted nothing more than to be able to run or do anything active for that matter.  So here I was in the midst of a beautiful day focusing on the “suffering” of a 2 hour run.  Listening to these words--

I remember why I am here

to surrender and believe

I fall down on my knees 

oh hello world, hello world, hello world

I finally surrendered to “the run” and really started to enjoy THE DAY.  I swear as I crested the top of a hill I was soaking in the sun as it warmed my body and actually felt that comfortable feeling you get when the sun comes out from behind a cloud when you’re lying on a lounge chair.  All the sudden I wasn’t running, I was soaking in all the day-- this beautiful day-- had to offer. 

lake

  • Mile 1: 11:13
  • Mile 2:  11:00
  • Mile 3:  11:10
  • Mile 4:  11:07
  • Mile 5: 10:51
  • Mile 6:  11:08
  • Mile 7:  11:13
  • Mile 8:  11:22
  • Mile 9: 10:55
  • Mile 10:  10:39

Total:  1:50:46

Average:  11:04

Once I surrendered to the day and the run my attitude changed.  I actually enjoyed my run even if it was double digits on a Thursday.  I was running at a comfortable pace, a pace I felt like I could hold forever (or let’s hope for at least 26.2 miles).   

Hello world! 

shadow

 

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: 

eet eet2eet4

wnt2wntwnt3

 

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