Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Am I crazy or what?

This pretty little kitty will be a new and welcomed addition to the family on June 25th.

What's that you say? Am I really trying yet again to introduce a new putty tat to the household? Yes, as crazy as it seems, I will be doing just that.

You see, my aunt's kitten had kittens. They adopted the kitty not knowing she was pregnant and low and behold, 4 more kittens!!! How can I not offer to take one in?

The logic? Well, the hope is if it's a little girl (and she is) and she's young (which she is) than perhaps they will be more nurturing and loving than rejecting. And the biggest point I'm counting on? She won't be mental like Squeakers!!! Don't get me wrong, I do love, adore and miss my sweet Squeakers, but lets be real, he had...excuse me...has his issues. Even in his new home. Thank you to Karen for taking him in and finding his antics amusing!!!

I've tried to talk to Jasper and Syda about it but the refuse to talk about it. If nothing less, perhaps they will just learn to tolerate her, but I'm hoping they will learn to love her.

Oh, and my other reasoning!! All three of my kitties, Jasper, Syda and Squeakers were all from Animal Rescue and older and or Feral. It'll be very different experience to have a healthy, happy, undamaged kitten in the household.

Can't wait!!!

Red Bull gives you wings!!!!

Err, scratch that....Surgeon's give you wings!!!

Wow, where to begin to explain this statement!?

I guess I'll start where I left off; Turkey Day. My sweetheart's family came into town and it made for a wonderful Holiday. I can't imagine anything better than good company and good food, except making it through with relatively little damage to the scale.
I'd like to say the same was true for Christmas but unfortunately, not possible. On December 18th, my sweetheart and I ran our first race together, the Celtic 5 miler. It started out a wonderful morning, got there on time, warmed up, started the race, was keeping good time and about half way through I felt some familar pain. I recall telling my running partner (my man), "I think I have a problem. I think I have a pinched nerve". At the time, the pain wasn't too bad, came and went. We even managed to keep up the same pace, a little more than a 10 minute mile. I was thrilled that we finished our first race together and in an awesome time of 54 minutes and some change. As the adrenaline wore off, we walked around to check out the various costumes and kilts and get some food. It didn't take long for the little bit of pain to turn into crippling pain. Within 20 minutes I was leaning on my man and hobbling back to the car. Spent the next few days trying to convince myself that after a few days at the chiropractor, all would be well. By the end of the first week, I decided the chiropractor wasn't helping at all and was on the phone reaching out to my doctor, requesting stronger medication and an MRI. Unfortunately, our Christmas vacation in NC was canceled. I was taking high doses of hydrocodone every 4 hours just to function and even that was just getting by. Instead we stayed home, played Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong and experienced and had Chinese food for Christmas Eve and Indian food for Christmas. There was no cooking in my condition.

The MRI informed me that I had a "sizable" herniated disc in my S1/L5. In addition, a fragment had separated from the disc and was pushing my nerve to the right and impinging my nerve routes down the left leg which is why I was unable to sit. I found relief only when lying on my belly. At work, they installed a keyboard try so that I could stand all day long, in order to get my work done. After two cortisone shots in January that gave me relief for only a couple of days, we pushed on and scheduled the surgery for February 7th. It couldn't come fast enough. The Docters at Mercy hospital are amazing as is the hospital itself. I cannot say enough good things about them all and am happy to recommend them to anyone suffering with back issues. They all did their best to fit me into their schedules, even when they had no room, because they understood the pain I was in and were truely eager to help.

The surgery has come and gone and I am still in the midst of recovery but doing wonderfully. I may not be running, but I am walging. Walging = walking with jogging intervals. Currently, I am up to 4 miles, alternating between walking and jogging every 5 minutes, several times a week. I up the jogging and decrease the walking a little bit each week. In just a few more weeks time I get to start taking Zumba classes again and maybe even start up my P90X and ab work again. I'll be taking my first post surgery Spin class tomorrow evening and am super excited about it. Hope to zip lining this summer too (a belated birthday present from my sweetheart!). Not sure I'll be training for that half-marathon just yet, but it's not that far out of my sights. Currently up about 15lbs from my previously reached goal weight, but I'm working on that too. Slowly but surely!

More updates to come!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Day vs. Me

The Holidays are upon us and so is the yearly battle with not gaining the dreaded "holiday weight".

Last year on Thanksgiving morning, I was up at 6 am for a 7am spin class. For dinner, it was just my sister and I and we made a vegetable with some fast and fancy green beans, a sweet potato bake, and addicting roasted cauliflower. The best part, I ate it all guilt free.

This year, my sweethearts family joined us for Thanksgiving. The plan was to get up every day at 6 am to keep to my usual schedule and routine. That was to include my weekly runs, P90X DVDs and the stair master. More importantly, the plan was to enjoy my Turkey dinner, but in moderation.

I would love to say that I did all of the above, but the truth is...I didn't even come close. I can blame the not exercising on the company. Which is true, but only in part. If I really wanted too, I could have made time and excused myself to get it done. But I just didn't feel like it. In fact, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my boyfriend had to force me out of bed to work out. I was grateful later but downright whinny at the time. As for food....I indulged in waaaay to much mash potatoes, macaroni and cheese and the best....cheesecake, pumpkin pie and even some awesome mimosas.

The result of my Happy Thanksgiving on my body? I have yet to brave the scale. I decided I'll get back on track today and weigh in on Sunday. I didn't quite make it up for my 6 am workout as planned but I did get it in when I got home tonight. However, due to the many splurges on this Monday, I really don't think the workout made a dent in the extra calories I consumed and didn't need today. That's the hardest part of cheating on a holiday like Thanksgiving. I've gotten so use to taking in larger quantities of calories than I'm use too and suddenly I am cutting back and I feeling starved!

To make matters even worse? The lack of exercise flared up the Fibromyalgia. By Friday, everything was aching at some point or another and the meds just weren't cutting through the pain and the exhaustion was setting in. Oddly enough, this made me NOT want to exercise even more!

I guess the lesson learned this fine Holiday is that you can't win them all. Now it's time to get back on track. No body is perfect.

Thanksgiving is now over and Christmas is just around the corner. I will be spending it in NC with my sweethearts family. Lets hope I make out better this time. If not with the food, at least with the exercising!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Officially in training for Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder is possibly the toughest event on the planet. The 7-12 mile course is designed by the British Arms Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie Forget finish times. Simply completing a Tough Mudder is a badge of honor and it's a badge I want. Footage can also be found on youtube.

I will be competing in a Tough Mudder obstacle course on April 9th at 11 am in Allentown, PA. I am sooo freak'n excited. Even better, my sweetheart will be competing with me. Feel free to come watch. Spectator tickets are $15, but I promise you, it will be an amazing event! Especially if I make to the end and get to run through a wall of fire!

However, the kink in this plan is that after the concussion/neck injury in late June, I've only done cardio and no strength training. Any muscle/strength I might have had is long gone. How can I possibly make it through a Tough Mudder obstacle course when at the moment, I have absolutely no upper body strength whatsoever?!?!?

Thus, training began. On Monday November ,I began my P90X workouts. I've even made it up at 6am for a full week! When I started P90X some time ago I was picking at random which of the 12 DVDs I wanted to do. This time, I am flowing the guide book. Tonight, I take my measurements and before picture and hopefully by April, I'll look something like Dreya above. Maybe not quite that good, but I'm hopeful. *smile* Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!

I have a little less than 5 months to train. I even went out and bought my Iron Man "Gym" which hangs over my door to allow me to do my modified pull ups and chin ups and also is useful in my push ups. Yes, I can do modified push ups and pull ups in just two weeks! Woohoo!

I'm on my way to strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie!

Tough Mudder, here I come!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I started my training a few weeks late because I was training for my Lancaster 50K bike ride. I modified the training program to fit the time I had to train. Oh, and I waited until two weeks before the race to read the Galloway book which was full of all sorts of useful training information I could have used when training for the Baltimore 10 Miler. But I did it, I ran a half-marathon. I ran 13.1 miles for the first time ever!

Not only did I run it and love it, but I ran it in 02:03:36. The best part, I had a 9:26 pace! I was hoping for a 10 minute pace! Woohoo!

Next year, the full marathon! Or, at least that's the plan. The only hitch with that? The fibromyalgia. I noticed after my 12 mile run in NC, I slept through the car ride home from NC to MD. I then slept for another couple of hours after getting home and I slept through the evening just fine as well. After the half-marathon, the same exhaustion hit and I went to bed by 9:30 pm on more than one evening last week. Is it the shear act of running 13 miles or is it the fibromyalgia? Is it a combination of both? If I'm this exhausted after 13 miles, what's going to happen when I'm trying to run 20 miles?

Next up, I have the 5 mile Celtic Solstice on December 18th. Last year, they ran this race in a blizzard. After that, I'll be looking forward to the Tough Mudder competition in April. Time to focus on not just cardio but strength training. If I'm going to make it through a 12 mile obstacle course, I need to start working on my upper body strength.

Tough Mudder, here I come!

I'm still being referred to as an athlete. Still feeling rather blah about that word. Feeling more like a half-athlete really. Maybe after Tough Mudder and hopefully completing the full marathon, I'll be ready to call myself an athlete.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I survived the NC fire ants!

That there is what I looked like when I realized I had stepped in a fire ant hole and my feet and shoes were covered in them. I wasn't even standing there for two minutes, trying to take a photo. As I walked back to the car I'm wondering why on earth are my feet itching and burning all of a sudden. Looking down, it was only seconds before my shoes went flying and I'm frantically trying rub the little buggers off of me. Did I mention the concern to see the veins on my feet swell as the pain continued to get worse.

Where would we be without the Internet and smart phones? After a brief search on my lovely IPhone, we paid a visit to Walgreen's where I promptly purchased Witch Hazel and 100% pure aloe gel, sat down in their parking lot and doused my feet. Thank goodness the relief was almost immediate. While I had to apply every few hours to keep the pain away and my feet were a slimy green mess for the rest of the day, I am lucky enough to report that we worked quickly enough and I did not have any "pustules" on my feet from the little bugger bites, as the Internet suggested I might get.

Why was I in North Carolina being attacked by fire ants, you ask? The main reason was to attend wedding. Therefore, I needed my feet to look beautiful and sexy in the only pair of sexy black heels that I own. But, just as important, it was my last long run to complete for my training before the Big Half Marathon taking place this Saturday. I had to run 12 miles and needed my feet not to be swollen, burning and itchy.

I did manage to run 12 miles, for the first time ever! Even better, I had the pleasure of doing it on the Al Buehler Trail in Duke Forest. It was a beautiful site. So much so that I did not even use my ipod to listen to music. Just enjoyed the natural sounds around me. How rare is that.

However, this leads me to wonder why is that I have to go all the way to North Carolina to trail run?

As for the Firbromyalgia, the running is taking it's toll. Between the run and the drive to and from NC, the exhaustion set in and I slept through most of the car ride home, after I got home and even through the night. Feeling better and managed to run my 5 miles on Tuesday. The week before a race it's important to reduce the mileage and rest up. Thursday I run 4 and then...

The next time I post, it'll be after running my first half-marathon (13.1 miles) on October 16th as part of the Baltimore Running Festival. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm hoping for a 10 minute pace but I've heard there are plenty of hills on the course and they just may slow me down.

Wish me success folks!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Running - be it on the road or hitting the trails

I have just realized that it has been over a month since I last posted; shortly after I completed my first 50k in Lancaster on my mountain bike.

Currently, I am training for the Baltimore Running Festival, where I will be running my first half marathon. For this reason, I will be running 10 miles this weekend. It will be the 2nd time ever having done so and the 1st time since I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler in June. I ran 9 miles yesterday morning and having skipped my 5 mile run on Thursday, it was not easy, to say the least. I have 3 more long runs, including this weekend, to slowly increase my mileage from 10, 11, and then 12. I’ll run 13 for the first time the day of the race. Less than a month to go!

To help aid me in my training, I decided to once again try those energy packets you squeeze down while running. My first experience with the energy pack was a different brand and I didn’t think I as going to be able to keep it down. It was like warm strawberry/banana yogurt. This time I tried an apple cinnamon gel flavor by “Boom” and damn, was that good. Imagine running along and opening up a packet of apple pie filling and squeezing it into your mouth. All that was missing was the crust! Not sure it gave me the energy it promised, but who cares when you’ve got squeezy apple pie on the run! Next up this weekend will be the “Gu” brand. Lets up it’s just as good as “Boom”!

Before the big race, I have the Race for the Cure 5k, the first weekend in October. Nothing like a good 5k to get the adrenaline going. Can’t wait to run with the Team – Go Anytime Fitness in White Marsh!

Once I complete the half-marathon and my official training is over, I’ve decided I might look into some trail running. For the locals, no, the NCR trail does not count. While visiting a friend in NC back in July, I got to experience trailing running for the first time in the beautiful Umstead Park. I probably ran about 4 miles but due to the uneven path, rocks, tree roots and all sorts of other natural obstacles I had to avoid, it felt like 6 miles. I would prefer to forget that I failed to avoid those natural obstacles a couple of times, but given my clumsy history, I expected nothing less and I believe my friends would be disappointed if I hadn't fallen at least once, haha.

In addition to the try trail running, I need to decide where I’ll be completing my full marathon in 2011. If I am going to make it 26 miles, I would prefer it to be flat. Baltimore, I have learned, is not flat. What's better than going on vacation to run 26 miles! Nada! Therefore, I will be scheduling next years vacation around running my first marathon. Right now, Little Rock Arkansas is on the table. Disney’s marathon sounds awesome but I won't be ready by January 2011, and I work the first few Saturdays in January anyway, so that one is out.

Anyone have any suggestions?