Saturday, May 7, 2011

Playing with foam

Thanks to my wonderful iliotibial band, I'm not allowed to run for awhile. :( TORTURE.

So this is the perfect opportunity to do some core workouts. I've always enjoyed yoga and I practice every morning as the sun comes up. The problem is that I need more of a challenge. And what could challenge me more than a $40 piece of foam?

6" inches in diameter, 36" long, this thing makes a good dog toy gives me a challenging workout.  It also acts as my own personal massusse.

I roll my body on the roll of foam and it massages all my aching muscles.  It is much cheaper than a deep tissue massage, I don't need to schedule an appointment, and I don't have to worry about my towel falling off when I'm getting off the table (I made that up. It never happened. Honestly.)

I also do many of my laying and standing yoga positions ON THE ROLLER instead of on the floor. This is a major challenge because, as you can guess, it ROLLS.  And when mom is on the floor in contorted positions, trying not to fall off the roller, the children LAUGH.  And when the children laugh, mom laughs.  And when mom laughs, she falls off the roller.  And when mom falls off the roller, the children laugh more.  And when mom gets back on the roller while laughing, she loses her balance and falls again.  I'm sure you can see where this is headed.  Overall, it's a great ab workout.

So if anyone is looking for me, I'll be on my foam.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

60 second update

I'm a blog slacker... 60 seconds to get you all up to speed.

April 23, 2011

May 1, 2011


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Running the Wrong Way

Yes, 4 days before my first 5k, and I have suddenly realized that I'm running the...

Yep, all this time I've been running backwards. It's definitely been a challenge but I have defeated the whole solar glare element. ;)

Seriously, no one ever taught me how to run. I just kind of RAN. I wasn't involved in sports in high school (this one time, in band camp...). I wasn't on the track team. No one ever watched how I ran. So I just did my own thing.

So now I'm preparing for this 5k on Saturday and my feet have been swelling and hurting like crazy! I've done a lot of research and here's what I have discovered:

1) I've been running on my toes. That's just what comes naturally to me. It's the way I walk around the house barefoot too. On my toes. Apparently running on the toes is great for sprinters. I, however, am NOT a sprinter. The only place I sprint is to Subway to see if the man behind the counter will flirt with me and give me free cookies (love ya Crystal!)

So now, 4 days before my first 5k, I need to completely re-learn how to run. And that's not easy. I went for a run yesterday and focused on landing on my mid-foot. FLAP FLAP FLAP! It was so annoying that I had to turn my music up louder!

Although I do have to say that my "toe running" does explain my kick-ass, well-defined calf muscles. But apparently my style of running just isn't meant for long distances. Hmmmph!

2) My running shoes were too small. They fit fine when I was wearing them out and about. But NOT good when running. My big toes were actually touching the end of the shoe. And when you run long distances your feet swell. That explains the toe and arch pain! I guess I now have 4 nice pair of running shoes to wear when I'm NOT running.

So I went shoe shopping today. It turns out that my shoes WERE properly fitted when I bought them around 6 months ago. But my feet have gotten wider with running. I guess they spread out more. Lucky me. I now have wide feet.

I ended up getting a pair of Newton running shoes. They mimic natural, barefoot running, but offer stability and motion control for us over-pronators. Big word. It basically means that I have flat feet and when I run, my feet rotate in too much. Since my feet have become wide, I ended up getting the men's version of the shoe. Which means it's only 1/10 less ugly than the women's shoe.

Can you say "Big Old Clown Shoes"?

P.S. I should probably make notes on my calendar to remind myself to re-read my own blog posts. When I signed up for the Stonyfield 5k, I mentioned that at least one of my friends was donning COW ATTIRE for the day. I had planned to get something "cowish". I searched online. I came up with all these ideas of clever things to sew and make. Then I forgot about it. I have nothing. Oops.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Running Drunk

I'm really enjoying this RunKeeper tool. I run outside with my iPhone in my hand and the RunKeeper app tracks my distance, speed, pace, etc. via GPS.

It's a tech gadget geek's dream come true!

Even better, I can keep track of my progress online. Here's my route on a recent 3.11 mile run:

Gotta love that elevation!

And then there are those drunk runs. Okay, not really :) I just think it's kind of funny that according to this, I completely missed the road in some areas.

And of course the RunKeeper app keeps track of my totals. I'm very happy with my total mileage since I started using the app.

Unfortunately, I don't think the total calories burned makes up for the damage I did with the Girl Scout Cookies!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cows, Margaritas, Beaches and Beer

Here's the line up of events I'm participating in:

April 23 - Londonderry, New Hampshire
StonyField Farms 5K race
1. Successfully run while dressed like a cow.
2. Eat lots of organic yogurt.
3. Actually finish the race.

May 1 - Exeter, New Hampshire
Margaritas 5K run and Mexican Fiesta
1. Beat my time from the previous race.
2. Eat lots of Mexican food.
3. Drink lots of Margaritas

May 14 - Marblehead, MA
Beach to Beach 5k run
1. Beat my time from the previous race.
2. Get sand between my toes.
3. End up at the correct beach.

June 5 - Newmarket, New Hampshire
Smuttynose 5K
1. Beat my time from the previous race.
2. Drink lots of beer.
3. Drink lots of beer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My New Dining Room Table

I know, know. It's been awhile since I've posted. And you have all been eagerly waiting for an update...

Training is going well. I guess I'm not as out of shape as I thought I would be after the surgery :) I'm up to 4 mile runs on the treadmill. Yeah me!

My plan is to continue to train for the Stonyfield 5K race in April. After that, I'll focus on the other areas of the triathlon. You know, the whole learning to swim part and the buying a bike part. Don't worry, there's still plenty of time.

As some of you know, I live in a condo. Condo-dwellers sometimes have to make difficult choices due to the limited space. This is one of those examples.

Catch a rare first glimpse of my new dining room table -

There are some great advantages to this:
1) I don't have to go to the gym to lift weights
2) I don't have to go to the gym to lift weights
3) I don't have to go to the gym to lift weights

Now take a look at this angle. I think it makes a wonderful accent piece.

I know what you're thinking. "You don't have a dining room table! What about family dinner time?" Not a problem! The table is safely stored in the garage. All we need to do is re-assemble the mission oak sides and move the car out of the garage. Voila! Family dinner al fresco.

P.S. I have a really awesome husband because he's the one who bought this as part of his fitness routine. After dragging my feet at first, I'm just now realizing the benefits - I don't have to go to the gym to lift weights ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wanted: a running bra that supports cow udders

I signed up for the Stonyfield Farms Earth Day 5K Race on 4/23.

I will be running with a group of friends. I know at least one of these friends will be donning COW attire for the race. So I suppose I must follow suit. Cow suit, that is. I can't help but wonder if they make running bras to support cow udders...

The race will be good training for the triathlon. I have been cleared by the doc for walking and light yoga, so I was able to do some of that this week. But I'm really anxious to start running again. I'm hoping I can get back into shape before the 5K. If my calculations are correct (and it's highly probable that they're not), that's only 10 weeks away....

Well, if I'm not back into shape again, I guess I can always eat a lot of yummy yogurt samples, huh?

P.S. If anyone has great ideas for cow attire you can actually wear while running, send them my way!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

-- REDRUM --

I think everyone knows I'm generally a pretty active person. And you can probably guess that I'm a pretty horrible patient.

My husband and children have been absolutely WONDERFUL in taking care of me. But that still doesn't stop me from trying to do to much. If I had a nickle for every time I've heard someone say, "Go sit down and rest!", I could probably buy myself a....a....uhm...a new ovary? Ok, maybe a new ovary on the black market...

So apparently the term "bed rest" translates to "you're not allowed to go out of the house". No matter how much I cried, begged, and even tried to bribe my beloved husband yesterday, he still refused to disobey the doctor's orders and take me to the grocery store with him. Hmmph!

I've been out of the house ONCE since I came home from the hospital on 1/8 and that was for a doctor's appointment. I'm going ape shit. Stir crazy. Losing my marbles. And the snow doesn't help.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You know you want to see this!

So in my last post I mentioned that I had surgery. Make that unexpected, unannounced, totally-mess-up-my-schedule surgery.

I was having some pain in my left side, off and on. For about a year or so? I dunno. I do know that I'm very good at ignoring these types of things.

A few weeks ago the pain got pretty intense. We assumed it was a kidney stone, as I've had those painful little buggers in the past. I took some Motrin. Drank some water. Took some more Motrin. And passed out for the night.

The next morning I KNEW something more serious was happening, so we went off to the ER. Can I just say that IV Morphine is a gift from Heaven? I went from doubled-over in pain to not having a care in the world...

I'm usually good at reading people's faces. This is especially true when an ultrasound tech has squirted clear jelly all over my abdomen and looks like she's about to either:
1) cry
2) vomit
3) make a quick phone call to the Guiness Book people

Everything else is pretty much a blur. The rest of the day included words like "cyst", "ovary", "cat scan", and "surgery", along with a really fun ambulance ride to a bigger and better hospital where they specialize in Guiness Book-type things.

So here's the fun part. I got a copy of the pathology report the other day.

The normal pre-menopausal ovary is 3.5cm x 2cm x 1.5cm.

My ovary was 9.8cm x 7.5cm x 6cm.

I'd love to tell you that the items in the photo are the actual things, but no :( Much to my chagrin, they wouldn't let me bring it home in a jar. So I did the next best thing......Since 95% of us are most likely visual learners, the logical solution was to make clay models (afterall, most of you are from the US and probably have no clue how big a centimeter is. Remember when we were in 5th grade and they decided we needed to learn the metric system and then changed their minds because no one got it? I digress...)

So here's the problem. The normal size ovary model is accurate. My ovary? I RAN OUT OF CLAY! It should be 3 cm taller and 4 cm deeper. But I'm sure you get the idea.

Yeah, I'm recovering. Slowly but surely. I still have that triathlon goal and I think I'm off to a great start. Today I took a shower and I didn't need a nap afterward. THAT is progress!

P.S. It's always an interesting scenario when your child finds you playing with clay and says, "Cool, mom! Can I make an ovary too?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes, thankyou, I am insane.

I just signed up for a triathlon.

I know some of you are sitting there thinking "Wait a minute! Weren't you in a morphine-induced stupor last week, updating your facebook status from the hospital after under-going major surgery?"

Uh, yeah. And your point is...?

The triathlon is on 9/11/11. PLENTY of time. And as soon as my doctor clears me from bed rest, I'm gonna start training. I mean it. Really. Enough of this laying around crap. I'm ready to run. And bike. And, er....swim.

The triathlon consists of a 1/4 mile swim, a 10 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. Here are a few things I need to do over the next 8 months:

Get my doctor's permission to walk down the 3 flights of stairs from my apartment
Buy lots of running magazines
Start exercising and stuff
Figure out what triathletes wear
Remind myself that "triathlon" does not have an extra "a" - as in "triathAlon" (We won't talk about the first version of that nifty banner up there)
Buy a bike
Learn how to swim


And YOU lucky people get to follow my progress through surgical recovery, training, preparation, and the actual event.

Aren't you totally excited? I AM!

P.S. TO MY FRIENDS WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE TRIATHLON WITH ME: Consider this a challenge. Do I dare you to beat me in the race? Hell, no. I'm not stupid. I dare you to out-blog me!