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.

 

Let’s look at 2014 Shall we?

2014 turned out to be kind of a nutty year.

Looking back at my goals I can see that I was feeling plenty optimistic about 2014…

I did some of what was on the goal sheet.  Not all.  Worst thing is that I did not make the entire year without major injury.  I had massive major injury, which did lead to a few discoveries, but lets talk about the good stuff first!

As far as running, I trained really very well. I worked well with my coach. We had a good year with ups and downs.  He had a baby, I had a herniated disc….which one of us is happier?

My biggest running highlight is Not, oddly, a race, but one particular workout which I won. (finally). For 3 years now, the Yasso 800 repeat workout shows up fairly regularly on my plan. It is a workout that I particularly loathe.  For me it is a workout which gives me the chance to feel as if I am wearing a crown of total glory, or one of Poo.

royal-crown03smtumblr_nato6fVnf61s2jlrho1_400For years the goal was to get to 10 800 repeats with a quarter mile rest in-between.  I’ve had so many failed ones, where I managed 4 of the 6 required for the week, or ran half a repeat and had to stop and start over again.  800’s are important, but they really produced a lot of anxiety in me. This year, I finally got over it and was able to just arrive, do the workout, and be done. I managed 11 800 repeats one day, because I find it a bit hard to count when simultaneously flirting with vomiting and dehyrdration. All the repeats were in my target pace range for the full marathon.  It was a great great moment. (the fact that I never was able to do the marathon kind of makes me cling to this as proof I was ready…)

Kind of strange that a workout would be my highlight, but I still smile when I think of that day. It’s a little bitter sweet, as it looks like I’ll not be able/allowed to train like that again in the future.

I started really doing open water swimming.  Prior to 2014 I had swam at Lucky’s Lake, a popular place, but as far as OWS, it’s pretty tame.  In 2014 I took on a 3.75 mile swim in the Indian River Lagoon which really did change things for me. It was one of the first things I attempted when I wasn’t 98% sure I could complete. A lot of people expressed doubt and I was proud to have finished right in front of the Mayor of the town of Melbourne. After that I managed a 2.5 mile swim in real Open water Ocean.  In addition I participated in the Alligator Lighthouse swim in the Keys, which didn’t work out that well due to Jelly Fish.  I’m glad I did this. I met a lot of new people and expanded my horizons.  Most importantly, and surprisingly, my confidence soared with each swim event, even the difficult Alligator lighthouse swim. Open Water Swimmers are a smaller group than runners. We all see each other at events so it has been nice to have that as a second thing that I “do”.  Plus I really don’t compete with my friends since they don’t really do it much.  So big plus…Open Water Swimming.

As far as my profession.

I am now Certified in Infection Prevention!  I do not have to do that again for 5 years.  Wahoo!!!

I have a new job which I think I will like a lot.

I was able to travel in August/September to Port Harcourt, Nigeria and assist with efforts to fight Ebola.  At the time it was, as it always is, a Huge hassle.  But…in the end I am very glad I went. I met some wonderful people, and some very not wonderful people.  I feel that we were able to make a difference, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to return to Africa.  Praying all the time for Ebola and Africa.

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And I got 100% on the first round of CMS validation- a process which gave me horrific nightmares.

So Nice work in career department.

In the “other” department…

I got to volunteer at several events with friends, including the Princess Half Marathon and the Special Olympics.

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And, I made some new pals in the lifeguards at the pool (New OWS kayak buddies! yes!) And ditched some people that were totally not healthy to be around for me.

The real bummer of the year was that in late october I had the herniated disk.  That thing is killing me.  I feel like a boat adrift  in a very big ocean without oars. We stopped the coaching which is appropriate, and in a way it’s a good time as new baby is all that is on anyone’s mind anyway, and there truly isn’t a lot to be done right now, but I miss our discussions and miss the common goal.  Despite this, I have had some remarkable healing since the injury and am very lucky to be able to move with relatively little pain at this point.  Looking forward to the repeat MRI and seeing what the new year brings.

 

 

 

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?

 

Life’s Little Updates

So….

I suppose after all the Lighthouse Loop Aftermath, I should probably post a little bit of an update.

My life has really changed somewhat from lots of running and swimming and biking and work to…. lots of couch and work and planning activities that require movement VERY carefully.

I did have an Epidural Injection early on this week. I detailed that over on my training blog.

I have been pleasantly surprised that with each passing day I am seeing some slight improvement so that my activity tolerance has improved each day.  The pain has decreased and while it is still quite present, it is manageable.  Now, I would not like to live my life like this for forever but it is managable.  I do think if I get similar improvements with my next two injections I might actually heal myself of what every physician has agreed was a really rather large injury to my spine.

The only exercise I am allowed is walking in the pool.  This is two things: a bit boring, and VERY COLD.  I am not walking very fast and thus don’t generate heat, and while it’s Florida…it’s still cold in the evenings.

I have signed up to do a virtual race – in the pool.  It’s an odd concept, but it has motived me to get in when I didn’t want to.

The other amazing thing this week is that I started my new job on Wednesday.

I was quite concerned given my back is not great.  It has worked out so far fairly magically.  I arrived. My NAME is on the door to my OFFICE.  Yes folks I have an office with a door that shuts and locks.  We discussed getting business cards, something I was flat out denied at the other place, immediately.  I was then issued a destop and a laptop, as well as a myriad of office supplies.  Then I was told to manage my time appropriately and not to worry too much about it.  I tested that today accidently by arriving at 0811 am.  I left the house late and true to form my leg doesn’t cooperate that well in the morning hours.  Everyone has understood entirely about my back and has not expected me to go jaunting about the hospitals.  Yahooeey. This relaxed introduction indeed had something to do with them not being entirely prepared, but…that also worked in my favor as I adjusted, spent some moments simply laying on the floor to take pressure off my back, and fooled around.

I realized on my way home that I really had been unhappy at the old job.  I felt so much freedom in one day, and it was just entirely such a better atmosphere.  NON-toxic.

SO breath of fresh fresh air in the employment field.

It is also a good distraction to have while dealing with injury…so many new things keep my mind off the fact that my running season is rather done. I know nothing is going to rescue it, but having to learn about parking, cafeterias, figuring out which units are my units, managing some obligations at the old hospital…well, I have less time to dwell on it.

My second distraction is of course it is Operation Christmas Child time….whoo Hooo!  I enjoy doing this so so much!  this year I had some extra finances so I will be doing 5 boxes.  I’ve made some photos and will be posting a new OCC post. My old post form 2011 still gets a lot of web traffic. Drop Off is this weekend.

I’m thinking very carefully on the running and I know I’m pretty upset….there are a lot of races I have not enjoyed that I want to in the future, so…wishing good healing thoughts to me. 

 

Still that said, the odd horizontal work place “violence” is gone, replaced with normal co-workers and new challenges…so at least I’ve got something to dig into.

My biggest frustration is that I have no good reading material. Given my new tolerance for some activity, I may be able to remedy that this weekend at the Library.

Job update.

I really don’t have time for a regular post.

But…

I did finally get the job offer today.

It was kind of a let down actually.

Partly because frankly we all knew it was on offer.

I got an email this morning saying…

“can’t wait for you to be down here full time, working to get your office set up, hoping that it will be the one next to mine, gonna be fun”

The recruiter was disorganized and kind of distracted.  He offered at a bit lower than I expected, but the offer was OK, so I took it.  He seemed surprised, but actually he just wasn’t really ready to go through his spiel.

BUt thank goodness the offer is in the stratosphere.

I can not resign tomorrow.  My new boss is at my hospital for special rounds, with my old boss.  Will not want any awkwardness there.

So Wednesday Afternoon.

Whew.

I can’t wait to get down there either.

 

Tension

So this week… I have the “big interview”.

 

It’s a bit of a farce.  I spoke with one of the persons who works down there and her response was this….

OK here’s the deal with the interview.  It is all a facade to get you to bring cupcakes….that’s all plain and simple.

So…After that we bust out laughing.

I go tomorrow. I have not told my manager, but I think she knows because yesterday she was fishing and fishing for information and I just wouldn’t give it to her.  In addition, we are still in the middle of a regulatory audit, and she knows if I leave she will have to figure that out on her own.  Now…I’m not that mean.  Once I accept, I will make and submit the last audit template and review the cases and make corrections as needed.  The only job left would be to submit photocopies of the charts.  If there is more to be done, I can conveniently be available for a “consultant fee” which will be like paying through the nose, but when I think of all of the hassle I’ve dealt with.

Grass is not usually greener on the other side.  It’s usually greenest where you water it, but….

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Sometimes, you really do need to find a different place to “water”.

 

Clarity

So this week, the job situation changed for me somewhat.

I really was feeling so unsure about what to do..  known evil….unknown evils?

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So you know sometimes you just really wish for the clarity from God to make a decision.

Moses, you know…

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So where was my “flaming shrub”?

Well it came.  As soon as I started to consider, the signs started hailing down on me.  I had one of the worst weeks ever at the hospital.  So many things were wrong and crazy.  By today I had had my last straw.

I filed the application, an interview was set up.  Wednesday.

All I need to do is find something nice to wear and let my boss know I’m headed downtown for a meeting.

I’m always amazed at how an emotionally trying day can be totally exhausting….

I do have some fun weekend stuff to look forward to, but wow.  My life is about to get really different.