Friday, November 29, 2013

And speaking of Iran...

I know the suspense is killing you so let me just get it over with.  Yes, I'm running again!  Don't crap your pants just yet, we're talking baby steps.  I got the all-clear on Monday afternoon to run, but I have to start off very lightly and gradually increase, so that in 3-4 weeks I should be back to my 'ol self!  I'm pretty much sticking to the treadmill, just doing 1-2 miles.  So far so good!  Of course, with yesterday being a holiday I just couldn't resist going out for a little run out back.  Just me, the icy puddles, howling wind, and a butt load of hunters.  I had originally thought of doing a little loop in the woods but made a grown-up choice to do an out and back on the roads to avoid getting shot before dinner.  Look at me, so grown up now!

And speaking of making grown up choices...even though I'm cleared to run, I'm not going to give up the other activities.  Swimming, biking, and <gasp> strength training have become a part of the routine so I'm sticking with them!

And speaking of strength training... last weekend I was at the gym and it was an interesting mix of weekenders.  Usually I only go early weekday mornings before work, where most everyone is a couple decades older than me.  On this day there were a lot of teenage boys.  You know, the footballish types.  The ones you wonder what the heck their parents fed them to make them so ginormous.  I made an assumption that they were probably on a football team, and they were probably talking about whatever big giant teenage boys talk about.  Imagine my surprise when I walked by them on my way out, and overheard them engaged in a very grown-up discussion about the Iran nuclear negotiations.  I probably should've stuck around to learn a thing or two, but speaking of football, I had to head off to a frigid Gillette Stadium to watch the Patriots game!

so cold that our clothes were threatening to fly off
And speaking of frigid, it's been super cold around here all week.  I was lucky enough to get to work from home today, and just now realized this is what I've been wearing ALL DAY:

I look like I'm ready to shoot a deer and rob a bank all at once.  Maybe I should consider turning the heat up.

And speaking of turning the heat up... tomorrow morning I'm in for a huge sweat fest!  Jackie and Kristen are coming over with their bikes and trainers, and we are going to do a group trainer ride in my family room!  I'm so excited about this, because trainer rides are so boring.  These girls are bound to spice things up, and I can't wait!  We'll keep this up all winter and will be ready for triathlons in the spring!

And speaking of triathlons... although I'm totally anti-retail, especially anything to do with holiday-themed sales like Black Friday, I got sucked in big time.  Scott, who apparently likes me to spend money, told me about a ridiculously good deal on a wetsuit.  Granted, I won't need a wetsuit for another six months, but I will need one next year and this was just an offer I couldn't refuse.  So, now I'm the proud future owner of an Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit.  Happy birthday to me!  I told Scott that since he made me buy it, now he needs to come to Massachusetts and do a triathlon with me.  I think he thinks I'm kidding.  It will be amazing if this wetsuit actually even fits me.  I did use the online sizing tool, which customer reviews tout as "very accurate", but I didn't even meet the minimum height range of 5'2" for a female.

And speaking of being adorably small, here's the annual picture of me with the kids: my nephew, niece, and son.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  I'm very thankful for my health, good feet, good food, great friends and family, and - of course - online shopping.

Friday, November 15, 2013

There's Hope!

Well it's been a long, long road with this bum foot, but I'm happy to say I think I'm finally going in the right direction!  After spending the last 7 months doing everything from physical therapy, to buying stock in KT Tape, to using plantar sleeves and Strausberg socks, to orthotics, and not to mention "das boot", I finally took the plunge and got a cortisone shot.  It's too early to say if this is the miracle cure because I still won't try running for a couple more weeks, but this is the first time I can "hit the floor walking" first thing in the morning instead of sounding like a wounded animal.

I got the shot on Monday afternoon, which was uncomfortable to say the least.  I walked out of the doctor's office feeling great, since my foot was so numb I couldn't feel anything.  Unfortunately the numbing spray wore off and I was suddenly thrust into one of the top 5 pains of my life.  Seriously, it was that bad!  Lucky for me I had a hidden happy stash of Vicodin, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't pay it a visit.  The next morning when I got up, I was afraid to even step out of bed.  After a couple little tests, I gingerly stepped down, and couldn't believe what I felt: nothing.  No pain. I know part of that was probably the residual Vicodin and Motrin floating around my body, but I was very encouraged by this!  Over the next few days I really took it easy, even though it was feeling pretty good.  My foot was still quite puffy from the shot, and I definitely didn't want to do anything to cause damage.  Yesterday I swam, and this morning I biked with no issue.  I'm not going to say it's 100% pain free, but it's a significant improvement since pre-shot, so I'm hopeful!

So what else have I been doing with all my down time?  Well, it got a little too chilly for kayaking, but I've been continuing to swim 3-4 days a week.  And finally, after going to my gym for a whole year, I finally branched out and went to the weight room.  Now I'm incorporating strength training and the elliptical into my workout routine, which makes me sore, sweaty and happy.

A couple weeks ago I went to North Carolina to see my good buddy Scott complete his first full Ironman distance triathlon at the Beach 2 Battleship in Wilmington.
Me & Scott at the swim exit

Feeling unmotivated?  Go watch one of these.  Watch people exhausting every cell in their body, and then digging even deeper, to achieve their goal.  It's inspiring and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't awestruck, humbled, and impressed.  I don't think I would ever even consider doing that distance, but it definitely gives me something to think about!

We chased Scott down the highway!

Scott was amazing and smashed his goals with a time of 10:24, which is good because I warned him that since I was driving 14 hours from Massachusetts to see him, I expected great things!

And since spectating was such grueling work, we then rented a beach house after the race to rest and recharge!

Views from the beach house
Fall is my favorite time of year for riding my horse, and I've been lucky to get out on some beautiful fall rides.

Brigham Hill in Grafton, MA
Recently Julia decided she wanted to get into mountain biking.  I hadn't been on my mountain bike since I bought my road bike in June, but decided to go out on some fall rides.  We went to the Upton State Forest, along with Jackie and Mike, and I forgot how much I love it!

Flying down Park Road in Upton - weeee!
We loved it so much that the following weekend we went back out, in the Douglas State Forest.  This time Julia brought her husband Tony, who hasn't been on a bike in 20 years!

Altogether now:  "awwwwww :-) "

He's clearly a natural, because I wouldn't in a million years have ridden this route if it was my first time on a mountain bike.  I never did check in afterwards to see if he could walk or if he's even still speaking to me, but at the time he had lots of smiles on his face! In any case, proof that we made it back alive!

It was a race against the sunset trying to get back before dark!
So there ya have it.  Running? No. Vacationing? Swimming? Gym-going? Riding? Mountain biking? Yes! I'm truly hoping that my next blog post will be full of complaints about how sore my legs are from running!