Back in the saddle

Yup.  You heard right.

Rewind.  This morning it POURED on my way to work.  Actually, when I left home, there was a hailstorm going on!  That was interesting.  This is what my commute looked like.  (At a red light, don’t worry.)

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Of course, things cleared up as soon as I stopped driving.

Spring has definitely sprung in these parts.  The grass is green and the flowers and trees are beautiful.

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Unfortunately, they’re also making me MISERABLE.

I seem to be extra-allergic to Kansas City.  All fall I could barely breathe, and now my sinuses are in mucous overdrive.  I felt better this morning than I did yesterday morning, but all day I was sniffling and sneezing and my eyes were watering.  (And I do take Zyrtec once a day, too!)  I also have a constant mildly queasy feeling from all the sinus muck building up in my stomach.  Blerg.  I hope this is gone by Saturday.

Today’s run was kind of a big deal to me.  Mentally, I NEEDED a good run under my belt to feel prepared for Saturday.  As per my taper plan, I ran four miles.  I kept the pace intentionally slow (10:00/miles) so as not to hurt anything just in case.

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It wasn’t particularly easy, given my allergies—breathing was a little harder than normal—but the good news is that my legs felt great!  No random shin/calf/knee/ankle pain.  Hallelujah.

Of course my feet blistered, though, despite coating them in antiperspirant pre-run.  Shocker.  I don’t even care at this point—in one week I’ll be fitted for my custom orthotics.  If anyone knows how to run with blisters, it’s me, and a new solution is in sight.

Anyway, it was a big relief to have a solid run under my belt.  It wasn’t speedy or easy, but it was definitely a-ok.  Phew.

In other news, people are very excited to come to our wedding!

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Bringing the updated total to 63 yeses, 36 nos, 105 delinquent.

Oh, and here’s some further proof that Southpaw and Milhouse are lovers.

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Yup.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?  I have to say, I love flip-flops and I don’t know what I’ll do now that I have a job where I can’t wear them to work every day! 

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Today’s enthusiastic thumbs ups:

  • The anti-inflammatories basically killed all pain in my knees and shins and calves and ankles within two hours.  Yesterday I was sore and achy, today I feel like I could run pain free.  I am THRILLED.
  • I went for my Doppler scan of my legs, and I do not have any blood clots.  Apparently my veins are small and normal.  Yay!
  • I scheduled the appointment to be fitted for custom orthotics on April 12th.  Whee!
  • Because of the scan, I left work about two hours early, which is always nice on a Friday.
  • Made a delicious homemade pizza for dinner.
  • Runner’s World came in the mail.
  • I wrote thank you notes for the gifts we got yesterday.
  • Tim is currently getting us a new printer and ice cream so I can get some wedding shiz done this weekend.

Today’s emphatic  thumbs downs:

  • ALLERGIES.  My throat is coated with post-nasal drip slime that’s making my tummy upset.  Hello, spring!  I was also exhausted all day.  I can’t wait to have a nice, relaxing weekend at home
  • My camera battery charger is MIA.  And my battery is dead.  Hence no pictures in this post (not that there were any to post anyway)
  • No RSVPs.  We currently have 59 yeses and 34 nos.  204-(59+34)=111 RSVPs yet to get.
  • Our venue booked another event the morning of our wedding in our room.  (Which they orally said they wouldn’t do.)  This means our DJ (my uncle, who I’m really close to) can’t load his equipment in until 4:15.  Our wedding ceremony is at 6.  I have no idea how we’re going to make this work.
  • Lots of tiny, piddly wedding things to do this weekend (three random cards to make for the wedding picture table, start working on programs, timeline, order some sort of sucky-inny undergarment, order more gifts for people)
  • I should REALLY clean our house.  It’s gone to hell the last few weeks and we’re booked pretty much every weekend after this one from here on out.

 

What are your thumbs ups and downs for today?

Low.

Happy fake Monday, dudes.  It wasn’t a great one.  I stayed up late last night writing thank you notes, and didn’t take a minute to myself from the time I got home to the time I went to bed.  I had a particularly vivid nightmare about being chased by Captain Hook and Mr. Smee that made me wake up in a cold sweat.

This, however, was good:

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Cantaloupe!  Is it in season now?  Because I was inspired to buy one yesterday, and that was a good decision.  It’s one of those fruits that I used to not like but now I do.  Maybe I’ll come around to honeydew soon!

It was supposed to be a morning snack, but I wasn’t really hungry for one, so I waited until lunchtime.  My lunch also included:   0330 002

A hunk of pretzel bread and a Wee Brie cheese.  (Not going to lie, I bought it largely because of the name.)

And a yogurt mess.

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Totally for the sake of the wedding, I finished things off with a caramel.  These are samples for our wedding favors!  They are delicious.  I think the guests will like them. 0330 004

Around 4 o’clock, I snacked on a Kind bar.  It was good, but tasted like a handful of mixed nuts, and mixed nuts are cheaper.  Oh well.  0330 005

Heh.  Nut Delight.  Giggle snort.

Anyway.  My plan was to try to get 5 miles in today.  Mentally, I wasn’t feeling it.  I just wanted a relaxing night at home with Tim and the zoo, but since I can’t work out tomorrow (another dress fitting!) and Thursday (podiatrist!) I went anyway.

I ran 1.25 miles.  And I quit because the pain was so bad.

What pain?  Well, let me preface this by saying I switched from the cushiony insoles from the running store to my regular shoe sockliner because my left knee and hips were complaining after last week’s long run disaster.  I figured the sockliner would make me blister, but at least my joints would be okay. 

Wrong.

Here is what hurt.  A LOT.

  • Left knee.  Less hurty than it was clicky and kind of loose and unstable feeling.
  • Left outside-of-the-shin muscle from my knee down to my ankle. 
  • Top of my left foot.
  • Blister on my right big toe from god knows what.
  • Right inside-of-the-shin muscle.

I haven’t run since Thursday, so my body has had four days off.  And everything from my knees down was just awful feeling.  My head knew that stopping was the smart thing to do.

I left the gym.  I walked to my car and I cried in the gym parking lot.

Oh, hell, I cried most of the way home, too, and when I saw Tim.

I did what Hal said.  But I have serious doubts about my ability to finish this half marathon, and I hate it.  I have given up so much time to training.   It’s days like today that make me want to throw in the towel and sit on the couch and get fat again.

Of course, the first thing I did when I stopped running was fat talk.

You ate so much crap this weekend.  No wonder your body is breaking down, it can’t carry all the weight.”

Who do you think you are trying to run a marathon?  You’re just the fat little kid in gym class.”

You’re not a runner.  You’re too fat to be a runner.  You never will be.  Runners are thin.”

And so on, and so on. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do right now.  I am so glad I have an appointment with a podiatrist on Thursday.  I hope I can get some answers, because I know the root of all these problems is in my feet.  Everything I have tried to make this better has just made it worse.

And so I’m feeling low.  Two weeks ago, I was 100% sure I would be able to finish.  Now I’m not so sure at all.

Olympics Day!

Happy Olympics day!

I listened to myself and brought eggs for lunch.  I think I overcooked them, so they weren’t great.  I’m still a bit iffy on microwave eggs.  Sigh.

In nerdier news, I downloaded a whole bunch of Olympic video profiles of athletes to watch while I was at the gym (for free).  It was nothing groundbreaking, but interesting enough to pass the time (and pump me up for the opening ceremonies)!

I realized that all I had for a snack this afternoon was very calorie-dense bars.  So I had this PowerBar Harvest Toffee Chocolate Chip bar.  It was okay–not as good as the other flavor I tried awhile back, though.

Then I went to the gym.  Rather than try to get a real long run in today, I decided to just feel my shins out and go from there.  I ran a mile–at the end I felt a few tiny twinges of shin pain, so I stopped and hit the elliptical for 20 minutes instead.  Then, I was on my way out…and there were several free treadmills…and I couldn’t resist.  I hopped back on and ran a fast 9 minute mile pain-free as well.  I feel like the rest is what my shins needed, and I’m confident that after taking off Saturday and Sunday I’ll be back in the saddle Monday with a little more ice and foam rolling.  It’s such a relief to know (I think, anyway) that what I did worked.  I really, really think my body just likes several rest days after 6-8 weeks of consistent exercise.

Anyway, I got home, and the Shape subscription my sister got me for Christmas started with double duty!  I’m looking forward to reading these.


I also got a cute Valentine’s Day gift from my boss (the flowers and chocolate) and a most adorable Valentine from my talented card-making aunt.

Now we’re eating pizza and watching the start of the Opening Ceremonies.  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

Olympics: love, hate, or neutral?

DL Day Two

Self-appointed DL, day two.

Today I tried another new product–Yoplait’s Greek yogurt, this time in Honey Vanilla.  I liked this flavor better than the strawberry–it was more Greek yogurty to me!  I enjoyed it with some frozen strawberries.  Except when it’s seasonal, I buy almost exclusively frozen fruit.  It’s cheaper, and provided there’s no sugar added, it’s just as healthy as fresh.  And you don’t have to worry about it spoiling!

Note to self: bring eggs for lunch tomorrow.  You’ve gone to the microwave the last two days at lunch and gone “hmm, I wish I had eggs.”  Take it as a sign.  Eat the eggs.

I’ve also been working on my weekend to-do list.  I’m SO excited for my mental health day on Monday!

So much to do!

Moving right along, instead of running, I decided to do the OPPOSITE of healthy and make delicious Valentine’s cupcakes to foist on my co-workers.  (And Tim’s.)  I refrained from purchasing us Batman and Glee valentines to distribute as well.  Red velvet, with cream cheese frosting dyed pink and red sugar sprinkles!

Re: Valentine’s Day.  You know, I’m pretty okay with it.  I get annoyed with all the people that are like, “UGH It’s so CORPORATE and invented by HALLMARK, WE show our love EVERY DAY.”  Well, yeah.  So do we.  But really, is it that bad to have an excuse to go out and have dinner and eat some candy?  No.  Especially because January to April is pretty barren as far as holidays go.   We aren’t doing much, we’ll go out to dinner (which we do most Saturdays anyway), and I bought Tim a card and a small gift.  (Emphasis on small.)  Generally, this year, what with the wedding and all, we’re trying to not burn out on celebrating our love so chill is the key word.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to try to run again.  I’m also going to altogether overhaul the rest of my training schedule–I’d built in an extra week just in case something like this happened, so I’m going to do this week’s running next week, and so on.

Tomorrow’s schedule technically says I should run 7 miles.  Honestly, I’ve been really excited about this for a long time.  My personal distance record (PDR, aka, the longest I’ve ever run) was 7 miles, and it’s been over a year since I’ve done that.  I was planning on making my 7 miler a 7.1 miler just so I could say I broke it!  Anyway, I will probably just shoot to do what I can–if I’m pain-free, I might take it to 4 or 5 miles, but if I don’t want to do my longest run ever right after coming back from an injury.  Doesn’t seem smart to me.  But anyway, I WILL break that PDR…probably just next week, not this week.  Such is life.

What are your plans for V-Day?  Love it, hate it, in it for the chocolate?

DL Day One

This sight this morning made me sad.

Me, walking out the door to go to work, intentionally leaving my running shoes at home so I didn’t do something stupid like go to the gym after work.

Being injured sucks.  I feel lazy and I hate it.   Resting is the reasonable thing to do, but I still have that nagging bug in my ear telling me “don’t be a baby, just run through it.”  No fun.

Perhaps instead of running, I should work on my abandoned DIY projects…

Or pay attention to my dog.

Focusing on the positive is hard.  Stupid shins.

In completely minimal wedding news, our calligraphied wedding invitation envelopes should be done and mailed this Friday or on Monday!  Woo.  We’re trying to decide when to send them–I’ve read everything between 6-12 weeks, so I think we’re just going to shoot for the first week of March-ish.  Fun!  Getting RSVP cards will be pretty exciting.

Anyway, apparently my life is significantly less interesting when I’m not running, so I’ll stop reaching for content.

How do you keep from going nuts when you’re supposed to be resting?

Trying MORE New Things

Yesterday I tried new things.  Today I tried more of them!  This is what happens when I go to a different grocery store.  Hey, that just inspired a thoughtful healthy living tip…

TIP:  If you’re in a healthy eating rut, try a new grocery store.  They will have fun new products to try that get you all excited about healthy eats once again!

Anyway, today I tried a new flavor of yogurt.  Yes, I know that this is full of artificial sweeteners and has less protein than Greek, but sometimes, frankly, I like fun flavored yogurt.  And do you want to know how much this cost?  NINETEEN CENTS.  When you stack that against my $1.29/cup Greek yogurt, it looks even more appetizing.

I’m a sucker for all things coconut, but this was kinda fakey.  Not bad, but not great.  Meh.

Also I had an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with peanut butter.  These aren’t new to me, but since they don’t carry them at my regular grocery store I kind of forgot about them.  These are good and made with the healthiest of whole grains, so they are really filling!

Unpictured: I ate another delicious giant orange and relished the smell of orange peel in my garbage can all day.  Seriously.  Love it.  Oh, and a dark chocolate square, and some strawberries and granola.  Wait!  I DID take a picture of the granola.

This is Feed’s Cranberry Coconut Crunch granola.  Again with the coconut love.  Frankly, though, this stuff is terrible and I’m eating it just because it was expensive and I can mask the flavor with strawberries.  It’s very spicy, but not a good cinnamon spice, more…nutmeggy?  I don’t know.  I don’t taste cranberry or coconut in it at all.  Bleh.

I had a new Luna Protein Bar for my pre-workout fuel.  Also, not great.  Super duper sweet (which I usually don’t mind) and had a weird texture.

But then I tried something new I REALLY liked!  I will do a full review of the two items they sent me later, after I’ve had the chance to wear them both a bit, but this is the Propel Track Jacket by lucy activewear (bottom layer only).  I love this thing so much.  It’s cozy, but sleek and cute and fitnessy with really thoughtful details.  Pink puffy heart for this one.

I decided to give running a try again today.  My shins felt fine all day.  I iced diligently last night, took ibuprofen, and foam rolled.   At first they felt great.  About .75 miles in, it went downhill, fast, and I was in pain like I was in yesterday–it FEELS like inflammation, and not a stress fracture, because the pain changes when I point my toes or curl them back while running, and stretching/foam rolling seems to help.  It hurts when I press on the sides of my shin bone/calves, but not on the bone itself.  It’s fine all day except when I run.

I quit at 1.25 miles in.  I knew in my head that running on shin splints is only going to make the situation worse, but I still felt crappy about it.  I tried doing some stationary biking, but my head wasn’t in it because I was so angry and I left after 10 minutes.

One of the things Tim has helped me figure out about myself is that I have a tendency to let a minor problem/irritation spiral into a huge vent about completely unrelated things.  I’m working on it.  I am upset that my body is broken right now.  My first thoughts were, “It’s probably because you’re so heavy, you’ll never be a good runner, you’re such a terrible fraud on the blog.  And whythefuck did you register for a marathon you’re not going to be able to finish.”   Obviously, this is ridiculous.  But I’m struggling with staying in a good headspace while I’m injured.  I know I need to take a few days off the gym and heal, but I can’t seem to quiet the voices telling me that I’m just being lazy and weak.

So, I’m icing, going to foam roll again, and I’m going to put myself on the DL until Friday, when I will try to run again as much as my body will allow.  My hypothesis is that I ran way too much last week (five days in a row, to be exact), didn’t stretch enough, didn’t foam roll, and possibly that this is related to my new shoes.

In other news, yesterday my boss asked me if I was okay.  When I said yes, she said I didn’t look well, and was I tired?  And a few hours later, she popped in my office to remind me that I’ve been building up a lot of “comp time” lately, which is basically overtime time-and-a-half, paid in vacation rather than cash, and a day off might be nice considering how much I’ve been working lately.

So I decided to take her up on it.  I’ve had a few stress-related breakdowns lately, and my body hasn’t been doing so great either.  On Monday, I’m taking a mental health day off work!  Tim has the day off work because of President’s Day, so I figure what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a Monday off together?  I’m so excited and really feel like I need a long weekend.  I’m hoping to get my life back in order–clean the house, do some wedding-related shopping and finish up some DIY, and most importantly, sit on the couch in my pajamas watching the Olympics.  I cannot wait.

Do you take mental health days?  What’s your personal injury policy?