2018 is rapidly approaching

2017 wasn’t that great, honestly. I don’t know that I’d call it an entire “tire fire”  but it definitely kind of seemed like one.

Unknown-1.jpeg I don’t even think I made any goals for 2017. I was just starting to run again, and was very stressed out at work.

Well.  Here we are with a bunch of 2017 accomplishments behind me:

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2017 was a crazy crazy year.  We had Joint Commission Prep, and then the big Joint Commission visit.  I had running, and ran for most of the year without any coaching.  I didn’t enjoy that much, and I was not good at coaching myself. I “ran”  or shall we say “completed” a half marathon in November, which I really regret.  Now in 2018 I am better set up for a good year.  We do not have any massive inspections scheduled this year, I am back with coach Skeletor, my job seems to be pretty stable for the moment, so I should probably make some goals.

So… Here goes. I feel like my goals are almost always identical, so common, but… I don’t know, I guess a lot of us struggle with the same things.

  1. Lose the surgery weight.  I have really been challenged to lose this weight. I didn’t think I’d be able to run again, and then all of a sudden I was, but with all this extra weight.  Now, I’m not fat-shaming, but being overweight is awful for running. It puts extra stress on joints, and slows a person down. In addition, there are several forms of cancer linked to being overweight, so why would I NOT want to put this as a goal.  I did very well in October and November, and then kind of fell into a wagon of Christmas Cookies in December.  So… Modest goal is to lose about 2-3 pounds a month.
  2. Run a half marathon with a fairly ok time.  My idea of a fairly ok time is 2:20.  It’s not very fast, however, it is not so slow that the sweepers will catch me. Consider the Marathon again.  I am thinking about Route 66 Half Marathon. It’s one of those large events, were a slower runner can blend in and not feel very obvious.
  3. Improve my strength. I have not been doing much weight lifting and I want that to change.
  4. Improve my ability to perform Executive Function Tasks. I struggle with some very basic things at times, and lately this has led to me being late, not having the tools I need for the task at hand, and in general wasting a lot of time.  I actually set up an appointment with a physician to see if there is anything they can do to assist with this.  I’m capable and do generally get things done “on time” but often I waste a lot of time “futzing” around, and there are things that get “forgotten”.  If I can master some improved organization skills, I think I’ll be less stressed on a daily basis.
  5. Consider another long distance swim event.  There are several.  It might be worth it.
  6. Complete the research study I started at work.  (Man do I hate it).
  7. Keep clothing off the bedroom floor.  Kind of a basic one here, but for some reason this is not hardwired in me and it can become like a jungle.
  8. Visit the Dentist.
  9. Read a few more books in 2018….

So…. Those are the initial goals.  Usually by February, they change!

What are you goals?  When you’ve been successful what was the key to your success???

 

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New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions?  Are they the same ones you make every year, or….are you branching out in 2016?

The lady is IRRITATING, but… Interesting ideas here.

I do like to make resolutions and then see where I end up 365 days later (we get an extra day this year too in February!!!)  But this year, I kind of struggled.  I want to make some athletic goals, but I’m really still in the early stage of healing and so most of those goals can’t really be implemented. In addition, life is happening while I am healing so, I need something to focus on in the meantime.

So here are a couple of goals for 2016.

My MAIN goal is to set myself up to return to running.  Oddly one would think I was doing this already but in reality, i think I was so hopeless when the surgery happened and the aftermath I was very nervous in the immediate recovery period, that I tried really hard not to think about it, and as a consequence…I am currently not ready to ru never if I was 100% healthy.  So what goals go under this?

  1. Eat correctly.  I have a super sweet tooth.

stock-illustration-15279384-sweet-toothSo this is going to be really hard for me. Like many people, I eat well for a few months and then settle into a pattern of take out…some junk food and what not.  When I prepare food that I like it’s pretty easy to avoid the junk… I just have to actually prepare it.

2. Do the exercise I can do…within moderation.

I was recently cleared to use the elliptical and the stationary bike as long as my knees don’t come up high. I started on the bike and increased from 10 minutes daily… My quads…my quads have been burning. After a few days, I added in the Elliptical.  So by the end of this week I was doing 10 mins of elliptical, 20 mins on the bike, 50  minutes of walking on the treadmill and 30 minutes of pool walking every day.  One day my legs just started to hurt.  I need to adjust somewhat because none of this moderate exercise will get me in great shape.  Doing too much does irritate the nerve which is still healing.  So in support of my L5 nerve, I’m going to support it by doing a little less. A delicate balance.

3. Manage my Money better.

I’m not crazy with money management, but I have a tendency to get very disorganized and to have late payments not because I was lacking money but because I put off sending the payment in.  Already this year, I seem to have lost an entire coupon payment book.  (I’d do it electronically but there isa  14.00 fee for electronic payment!).

So… What I have done is take 12 envelopes for the coupon payments, write 12 checks, dated appropriately and addressed and stamped them all.  Each month I need to grab one and mail it at the appropriate time. This SHOULD be easier than making the time to write the check out each month and look for an envelope and stamp, right?  We’ll see.

In 2015 I upped my automatic contributions to both my savings and retirement accounts. I didn’t up them very much, so I seem to still not be contributing the MAX to the Roth. This year, I will try to contribute as close to the MAX as possible. This may be a bit tricky as I am also trying to finish furnishing the home.

4. Volunteer

Since I hurt my back I’ve not done any volunteering at all.  None.  Zilch.  I did serve the community as I gave fairly generously to the food bank in November and also adopted an older lady from the tree at the gym and provided her with bed linens and a comforter and a new outfit.  I tried to volunteer several times.  Each time I relayed the information that my back was bad, and EVERY SINGLE TIME I was asked to do something insane for a healing back- like “Set up tents” or “Rake the field for long jump”.  So at this point, I really have to be careful about volunteering and I suspect if I sign up for something like helping a kid with homework, I might have a better chance of success.

5. One totally time specific goal…

 RUN The TURKEY TROT In November 2016.  I might be visiting my parents, but there is ALWAYS a Turkey Trot.  The Turkey Trot in Carlisle PA was my first running race that I remember doing. It was an untimed race and  I was so overwhelmed by the entire experience I never even looked at the clock when I crossed the finish.  In truth I’d prefer to be in Florida and run the race where I had a massive PR and got to run with a bunch of running buddies, but… we’ll see where I am.

6. I should have some work goals.  My Goal for work is to survive through 2016.  That’s it.  I did a ton last year- I was published, I served on committees that I didn’t want to serve on, I volunteered for a lot of stuff that I regretted.  So… Here’s to getting through 2016 with a job.

SO, let’s all go “Kill it” in 2016.

 

Being Crew…and more.

This weekend I chose to be the crew for a distant friend who was running her first ultra marathon.  (a race longer than a marathon) in her case, she was running a trail 50K.

It may or may not have been the best idea so soon after the spine repair, but I’ve been feeling pretty good and most importantly I had agreed to do it.  Having experienced the support of a wonderful kayaker when I raced at Alligator Lighthouse this September, I felt like being crew for this woman was a way to give back. It was also a way to be part of the running community I miss.

It was a fairly fun experience.  My whole role essentially was to hang around the start/finish area, and wait for my runner who made 2 passes through the area during her run.  One the first pass I helped her change shoes and socks, get a drink and some pain control. On ether second I provided cool towels, more food/drink and encouragement. It was a little difficult for me; not to help her but to wait and wait in the hot sun.  For the rest of the time I did a number of thins.  I read a little bit.  I’ve been reading a collection of short stories my Dad sent me, Joy Williams, the Visiting Privilege. She is a good writer, but I’m not so sure I like her style, and her topics… SO DEPRESSING.  I snacked on a variety of things, took some short walks, taking a few pics of the lay of the land.

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I got to cheer all the finishers and talk to all sorts of people, other crew, other runners.  With little wifi and cell reception, people really spoke to each other.  This was a lot of fun. We all need to do this more often.  Post race, I drove 2 hours to return said runner home and take myself home.  It was a HUGE day for me, and when I got home I was so tired, I actually left the keys in the car with the car unlocked. Seriously. In the aftermath, I really want to run again. I want to spend time on those dusty roads, I want to see the things that she saw, rather than just the finish.. I want the hills and ruts and mud to reveal themselves to me…. but this is the big question… can that happen for me. I suspect lately that it will, but who knows.

Today was ok, I woke up tired and napped throughout the day.  I then embarked on some cleaning and cookie making… and maybe just maybe overdid it as I find that several neurological symptoms are returning.  I am moving more towards acceptance of the ongoing come and go of the nerve symptoms, though I have a small bit of hope that next year at this time, the come and go nerve irritation will be a thing of the past, I mean, the nerve is now unrestricted, and one would hope it might eventually calm down with a rare, occasional flare, rather than a frequent aggravation.

As part of attempting to deal with my on going symptoms I listened to  this radio cast.  In general I have found most of the resources on the web to be somewhat helpful, but this one didn’t do it for me.  I suspect that while this last year has been really difficult for me as far as pain and dealing with it, next year, may be a lot more difficult.  last year I spent the year chasing something that would “Fix” my spine… So, it was easy to have hope…. that I’d find the “cure all” or the perfect fix.

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Now it’s pretty much as repaired as it is going to get. So now, it’s sort of a wait and see how much it can improve, and learn to cope with what won’t.  If things really really improve and I only have to deal with nerve pain once in a while then I will probably go back to my old life with minor adjustments and feel much better.  If they don’t and I’m not able to return to some things, I’m going to really have to pretty much reinvent myself.  I have not really been able to come up wth anything I’d like to explore more.  I have to admit, I really really LOVED my life.  If I had really had a desire to do other things, I would have done them, so there is this moment.. of severe questioning of what will make me experience Joy again…and I suspect, but , I don’t know, that it is not crochet.  Even with all the swimming I did, it just did’t really “do it” for me.. The one thing I don’t want to do is to seek physician after physician in hopes of attaining something that may not occur, become the chronic patient.  so… I suspect that 2016 may be a year of watchful waiting… and listening to a lot ore TED talks…I have a feeling that it will be a deeply revealing year, and I’m not so sure I’m ready for all that reveal of emotions, thoughts, physical sensations etc…

2015 is here

I love New Year!  It is a time when we really do reflect, and make some plans and at least for 4-6 weeks charge boldly into new activities with fervor.

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I tend to do better with my resolutions that the average person, but I’m a person who has always loved lists and goals and things to check off.

This year I am going to really have to adjust my expectations and hopefully it will be an epic year in unexpected and delightful ways. I kind of have some doubts.

My first goal is to purchase and move into a home.  I have sort of a revulsion to home ownership, as I purchased my first home during the big home ownership BOOM prior to the BUST.  I then had a big life circumstance change and ended up selling the home right before the bubble truly burst. It was sagging and I essentially broke even.  The mortgage was actually more expensive than rent and my neighbors were difficult to say the least.  So my feelings on home ownership…are definitely negative.

That said, it is now several years later.  Rent in my community is Sky High.  My rental neighbors are for the most part good, but have been getting louder and louder. I have saved some money and now own my car etc, so have little debt.  I discovered if I can qualify to be one of the 20% of people under 55 for a “55+ active community”  I can get a modest home in what should be a fairly quiet community.  If I qualify I should be able to move in June.  I have an appointment to look at one they are newly building this week.  I am really feeling nervous about the whole thing, so I enlisted a friend to come along and smooth the way.  I am continuously reminding myself that the home purchase before coincided with a variety of life challenges that no longer exist, and secondly I was not really able to easily afford the mortgage.  If the mortgage ends up being what it is estimated to be with my current downpayment, this would actually save me some cash which would end up going to HOA and property taxes.  So financially it makes sense. Financially it should not be a hardship (except for the years and years of mortgage…) Emotionally…it is making me nervous.  It is so permanent.  If I fall in love with someone out at the coast, I will still have a home in the central part of the state.

Second goal is to really feel established in my job. I am doing much better there since my leg pain went away.  I just don’t feel fully settled. I think after the 90 day mark passes I will feel lots better.  That will be on February 12 or so.  Nothing to do there, except keep on keeping on.

Third.  I have toyed with this one in the past…State Park Visitation.  I love our state parks, and want to see all 161 of them.  I think I’ve bene to about 4.  So this year I am going to try to do some Manatee Viewing, some Spring swimming, and some hiking.   I’m going to go to one today, after I fully wake up.  Many parks allow dogs and so I will be attempting to bring Teucu-The-wonder-dog with me. I probably will see less wildlife, but it will be fun for him, and frankly some of the parks are a bit secluded and not well visited, I will be safer with the pup.

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Fourth.  Fitness. I typically have a pile of running goals with some fun swim things mixed in.  I am really up in the air about this one.  My main goal is going to get healthy enough that I can participate in fitness as I would like. I have some definite swim goals, and some running goals, but if I have the surgery all will change.  So my goal is to maintain some fitness activities and gain strength.

Beyond that.  There are books to be read.  Friends to spend time with. Experiences to be had that hopefully will be unexpected and pleasant.

What are your plans for 2015?  Anything large on the horizon?

 

End of week.

Happy Sunday everyone!

How has your week been?  Any awesome training?  Any Awesome events?

I regret to tell you all that my week of training was kind of regular, like always.  No events, Nothing particularly awesome.  I’m fighting a bit of a feeling of despair.

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Because I am an adult, I know that this feeling comes and goes.  When smack in the middle of it though, it’s unpleasant and it is hard to believe that it will pass.  Plus, it’s a bit hard for others to understand.  Like, I’m really battling this out, and I come in the gym and my friend is there…she wants to complain about not getting a parking spot close to the door because of a soccer tournament. She is fired up about this, and I am like feeling like I am sinking into a mudpit of misery.  So I kind of kept to myself a lot.

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So training.

So I am feeling lousy.  But the week was designed really well.  I could hug my coach (but I probably won’t…) Every time I would think “oh wow, I’m pretty sore, I don’t want to run when I’m this sore”  there was suddenly a swim on the workout.  It was like Ha ha ha, the workout was designed for me…(which duh, it was).

17.5 miles this week.  It seems like nothing but I admit that it has been somewhat draining on me.

2 swim sessions which adds in about 3 miles of swimming

and the Bike… about 54 bike miles total.

So since I am so down on myself…I need to recognize progress:

Tempo run on Wednesday…I know it should be on Tuesday so I can report “tempo tuesdays”  but whatever, my tempo is usually wednesdays.  I did not want to run it and found that I am capable of running below my 5K PR pace…(well for 2 miles).

FIrst speedwork session of the year.

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Executed perfectly.  learned some new strength exercises.

Had a bit of fun cycling with a friend.

Hoping my persistent bad mood lifts soon…I have a feeling it may.

 

 

2014 is on US!

And it is time for some goals.  I’m not so sure I like the idea of a Resolution.  Not that it is any different than a goal, but somehow I am used to working in goals.

Major goal this year would be to run without major injury.

2013 was a pretty good year for doing this.  I ran well and really only had major major injury in November/December.  It was a doozy and I lost my base and gained weight, so we’d like to work to avoid that.  My thought to avoid it is that I need to actually do more maintenance work and stretching.  I also stepped on a scale this morning, and it was not a very fun moment.  I have gained 4 pounds since I last stepped on the scale.

So one that note here are the actual goals

Take Yoga class one time weekly.

Stretch and do basic daily exercises DAILY. (ugh ugh ugh)

Continue to work with massage therapist weekly.

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I dislike Yoga, so this will be a bit of a challenge, and the daily stuff…also challenging.  I adore my current LMT, so the challenge with that is actual appropriate budgeting.

Get my diet in line with my training.

I went back to using “My Fitness Pal” Ap on my phone yesterday.  I found I liked the updated version a lot.  It does help me because sometimes I just don’t want to admit I ate 18 Jujubees, so I don’t.  Once I start to run a lot again, I can be a little more loose in the diet area, but for now.  It’s Yogurt time!!!!

Study for Certification Exam

This has to become a 30 minute part of my day.  I’ve been so far very unsuccessful in incorporating this.  I am also trying to read more in the field.  CDC sends out TONS of articles each month and I never read them.   (Most are a bit erudite, talking about rare malaria strains in Botswana…)  I printed ONE yesterday and will read it today.   I am also setting up my study area today.  (It’s been used for massive ironing this weekend!)

WildCard Goal Learn to Ride a Bicycle!

Yeah, I never learned.  It is terrifying to me.  But it would really add to my fitness experience, AND I’d be able to look at Triathlon.  My coach looked at me last night and said, “Maybe you’ll hate it but I think that once you get going you will really really love riding…”  He’s probably not wrong.  So today I am going to the local bike shop to get measured for the right size bike and then the coach and I are going to take a look at Craig’s List and see… I think frankly he is so upset at what occurred in November and December that he wants me to give up marathoning all together and concentrate on triathlon.  I’m not there yet.  Not at all.  BUT…Bikes…well, I just want to ride like the wind or what not.

I’m a bit jealous, in urban areas there are adult learn to ride classes!  REALLY!  But I do not live in such a hip area.  So it will be me and the coach running after.  Going to look into adult training wheels though.  girls_learn_to_ride_bike

Let’s do some updates.

December is starting out kinda rough for me.

To begin with…I have no holiday plans.  I really want to go home and see my family, but I part of me is holding back from making the effort, it can be so rushed and tiring.  I usually enjoy it though. So I need to think on that. I felt like I really wanted to be at home at Thanksgiving, but of course that was after viewing cute family photos.  I know my sister was sick, and I would have ended up parenting her kids…and I would not have enjoyed that.  

Work is going well.

I need to start studying in ernest for the Certification exam.  I had kind of put it off because I wanted to run the Marathon December 29th and then start during recovery.  Now, with the injuries: No Marathon.  No Recovery.  I do still have to study though.

Also have end of year stuff coming up that isn’t that fun, so Nose to grindstone.

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At least I am less stressed out about work compared to last year.  This year at work has actually had a lot more challenges than last year.  Luckily I’ve figured out how to deal with them a bit better.  

 

Training.  Well.  My adductor is HEALED.  WAHOO.

It’s pretty awesome to be able to move and do stuff like put on pants without having to debate it or end up in agony.

The down side.   I gained about 5 pounds.  AND…I lost quite a bit of running fitness.  I still have endurance, but I really can not seem to accelerate when running.  I can plod along, but try to accelerate….and I feel the pain. And I actually don’t get much faster.  Not looking forward to building the 800’s speed work again.

I have a meeting with the coach man this week.  He told me not to think about racing, but of course I kind of am looking.  Every time I get an email telling me that race entry is open on a web site, I want to run that race.  It’s taking a bit of an effort to hold back.  I actually do not want to run half of what I think I do. 

Even though it isn’t on the “plan” I am doing a plank challenge with some friends.  Here we are all at the Space Coast Marathon on December 1, Starting our plank challenge….SO theres that.  I’m the one in the yellow that is a girl there on the far left.  Very proud to say we are a very ethnic and international group of Plankers.  Several countries represented (USA, England, Brasil)

1450172_10202137026054525_2091970124_nSo we’ll see.  I am eagerly awaiting 2014 season.  I think If we start slowly and rebuild strong, I might have the Halcyon Season that I was expecting this year.  It’s a lot of hard work, for a few little results.  We shall see.  I am antcy for a plan, and my coach, being the relaxed guy that he is, is more anxious to see me totally healed,.  And this is WHY I HAVE A COACH.  Because I am bull headed person who would, as he says, “wear the horns off a billy goat”  He has helped me see a bigger picture.  Today I totally skipped my 1 mile run.  My back is still kind of messed up from this weekend.  I had good massage, but it did not entirely fix it.  I do like the new massage therapist.  He’s so different and much easier to work with.  

“Give this Christmas Away”  is progressing.  My Mother is awesome and each year provides us with an electronic advent calendar.  As a child my sister and I had usually SEVERAL advent calendars in play, and we loved opening the little doors daily.  

papadventcalendars23-12b-okIt occurred to me yesterday that a friend’s child who is in hospital might also enjoy the electronic version.  With my Mom’s help, I was able to send the family one.  I hope they enjoy it. My bigger hope is that they have the time to get it activated, and that they can use it to entertain him.  Given circumstances I expect not to hear anything, and I would hope they would not feel stresssed to try to reply.  

The local kids toy drive drop off opened at the Gym today, I was SOOOO excited!!!!  

I have a bunch of things that have been collecting in the house.  A few Barbie Dolls, some clothes for said Barbie Dolls, an art set, and some tennis balls, and such.  So I will be dropping that off tomorrow!  

I think as soon as I get through some of this work at work, and get on a study schedule…as well as a focused training schedule, I’m going to start to feel great!