Thursday, March 28, 2013

Feeling A Little Better

Have no fear.  My little pity party is over.  Right now, I'm just focused on trying to better myself and keep myself healthy.  So, you know that little Lenten promise I made to myself to focus on my health and well-being?  Yeah, I kind of failed at that.  Here's the thing, working out makes me feel good.  I may be tired afterwards and it may mean less sleep, but I feel good about myself when I do it.  I do think I had taken things to an extreme and was over-doing it (not every work out needs to be 1+ hours), but I think I need those workouts just to stay sane.

When I made my little Lenten promise, I wasn't feeling good in the gym.  I felt like I was neglecting my kennel duties, I was missing out on time with Cody, Lollie, and Hans, and I was so stressed over whether or not I had a "good" workout.  I needed to take time off or at least cut back.  In cutting back, however, I started to go to the opposite extreme.  Sleeping in a little later turned into an inability to wake up on time, indulging in a little luxury food became gorging myself on chocolates, and cutting back from the gym became not working out at all or doing anything to keep up my strength and cardio.  None of these are ways to stay healthy.

Finally, though, something snapped.  I decided I couldn't live that way anymore, I had to start working out again, and I had to eat better.  That's when I messaged my running buddies.  My feet had been feeling good, I'd run a mile a couple of times, and it was time to stretch my legs and test things out a bit.  As you know, things went well.

This morning I ran 4 miles- the farthest I've run since December and the same mileage I injured myself on.  Things were hard.  A four mile run used to seem like nothing, but this one seemed to last forever.  Whereas I used to just be warming up at 4 miles, this time 4 miles left me wiped.  Still, though, I think it was a good decision.  I'm pain free this morning, and I'm encouraged knowing that, even though it was hard, I got through it.

I'm still upping the mileage slowly, but I'm feeling better.  I'm feeling like I can do this.  I'm feeling like my mind and my body are starting to work together again.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I Was Supposed To...

This weekend, I was supposed to be running a marathon in Wrightsville Beach.  I was supposed to have the weekend off.  I was supposed be well-rested and feeling fit, and ready to run.  I was supposed to be fueling and hydrating and carbo-loading.  I was supposed to be preparing to spend a day recovering.

There are a lot of things I was supposed to be doing this weekend, but I'm not doing any of them.  Instead, I am spending my weekend at work.  Hans and I will be picking out a washer and dryer for the kennel tomorrow, and I'm teaching lessons all day today.  Later today, I will head to the gym for a short run (somewhere around a mile), and I will hope that it lifts my spirits a little as well as wakes me up a lot.

The reality is that this injury sucks.  I'm thrilled that I'm finally coming back from it, but I'm so disappointed that I backslid so far.  Since December, I've put on weight, my pace has slowed, and my endurance is gone.  The tone and strength I had in my legs is missing, and I get winded just from teaching a lesson.

I know that getting back into running will help.  I know that once I'm truly back on a schedule I'll feel more energized and healthier and happier.  I know that in the long run, I'll look back and see this as just a healthy lesson in not overdoing things.  For now, though, it's hard not to beat myself up.  It's especially hard when you're tired, sore, and lacking in serious motivation.  Any tips?

Well, I'm going to end my little pity party here.  I have a lesson coming up in a few minutes, and I need to be prepared.  I know I'll come back from this, but today is my day of disappointment.  I wanted to run a marathon this weekend, and I'll be lucky if I can go over a mile.  That's disappointment.   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back in the Saddle

This morning I woke up at 4:30.  This, in and of itself, is not unusual.  Because of the kennel, I'm often up at 4:00, but usually it is not my morning off, and usually it is followed by me working with the dogs.  This morning, though, was for a different reason.  This morning I went running.

My treadmill run on Monday felt wonderful.  In fact, it felt so good that I knew it was time to amp it up a bit.  So, I went on to Facebook and sent a message to my old running buddies.  "Care for a 3 mile run early Wednesday morning?"  We chose a time and a place, and I got excited.

It was hard waking up so early.  Things at the kennel have been super busy and a little stressful, so I really wanted the sleep.  When one of my running buddies messaged to say she wouldn't be able to make it after all, I was grateful that I was already wide awake or else I may have bailed too.

Anyway, I met up with the other running buddy (who, incidentally, was also coming back from some time off), and off we went.  I was so nervous!  Would my foot be OK?  How would my endurance be?  Would I be able to go near my old pace?  I just had to remember to keep checking in with myself to make sure everything was alright.

I am happy to report that all went well.  I know I was pushing things with my foot, and I will most likely rest a few days before running again.  However, I also know I didn't over do it.  My foot is still pain free.  I was able to run the entire 3 miles and didn't have to stop to walk, so the endurance thing is there.  As for the pace?  Well, that could use some improvement, but I trust it will come back fairly quickly.  The only other thing I really noticed was how weak my legs have become.  I really need to work on strengthening my quads and glutes and core so as to avoid future injuries.

So, I am happy.  More importantly, though, I feel very peaceful, very Zen.  The stress from the week seemed to melt off with each mile.  Those three miles did so much for me, and they were greatly needed.

Now, though, it's time for breakfast...a celebratory breakfast!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


First, an update on the running front.  Today I ran a mile again.  No pain.  Yay!  Now to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I have two cats, one of which is named Mo.  I've had him since he was 4 days old after a kind woman rescued him from a Wal-Mart trash bin with his 3 brothers and sisters.  I bottle fed him and taught him to use the litter box.  As a junior in high school, I would wake up for 3 a.m. feedings and potty breaks.  Mo was always the first to wake me up with his loud crying.  He's always enjoyed food.

Mo is now 11 years old.  Over the years he's acquired one nickname: Vomitous Mo.  I call him this because he vomits regularly and often.  Mo vomits if/when:

-he's fed too early
-he's fed too late
-he's fed too little
-he's fed too much
-he wants attention
-he has too much attention
-he plays too much
-he doesn't play enough
-he's riding in the car (this is one he did even before he became known as Vomitous Mo)

and just because.

Other than the fact that it's gross, it's really quite humorous.  I mean, how many other people can predict the frequency of their cat's vomit?  I've had him checked for numerous health issues, and they come back clean, so we just laugh and clean it up.

Recently, however, Mo has not been vomiting.  I mean, it's been two weeks since he vomited.  We've had late nights where I was certain I'd have to clean something up due to his late dinner, but he's been fine.  There have been times where he's eaten extremely fast, and I thought surely he would vomit, but nope.  Heck, he's ridden in the car twice, and while his sister, Stolte vomited multiple times (she's not a fan of cars), he did nothing.  He just stayed calm.

Now, part of me is relieved.  I hate cleaning puke.  But the other part of me is worried.  I know it sounds odd, but it's so unusual for him to not vomit that I'm worried something's wrong.  What if he's horribly ill?  He seems to be acting fine, and his eating and drinking are normal, but what if there's something going on?

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of the whole thing.  Maybe he's ill, or maybe he's finally feeling normal.  One thing that hasn't changed is his love for my socks, but that's a story for another day.  Good night, lovely people!

Handsome Mo

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good News

Well, I have some good news. 

This morning I went to the gym.  This morning was my third attempt at running on the treadmill.  It was my third test to see if I might be able to start running again.

My first test was 3-4 weeks ago.  The actual run was a little iffy, but I was able to go a mile.  I was heartened by this until I returned to the kennel.  By the time I'd returned my foot hurt to the point of needing to ice it.  This, obviously, was not good, so I took some more time off.

On Monday, my foot felt significantly better, so I decided to try again.  I stopped after running for only 5 minutes (plus walking 5 minutes before that) because my foot hurt.  Admittedly, I was having trouble telling if it was the same pain as before or if it was that my shoes were tied to tight and I was cramping.  Either way, I wasn't willing to take the risk, so I got off the treadmill.

This morning, I tried one more time.

After 5 minutes of walking briskly, everything felt great.  My legs, my chest, my feet.  So, I took things up to a slow run.  Two minutes in, I still felt good.  My legs and my feet felt weak, like I hadn't been running in 3 months, but nothing too bad.  Four minutes in, I slowed my pace a hair.  My endurance had greatly diminished, and I didn't want to have to stop so I could breathe, but everything else felt good.  Seven minutes in, I realized I was seven minutes in and still didn't feel any pain.  Things felt good.  Ten minutes in, I slowed the treadmill down to start my cool down.

I had just run for 10 minutes and things felt good.

I was pleased, but my hopes weren't too raised.  It was highly possible that my foot would start to hurt back at the kennel.  It was possible that I'd be on my feet all day, and that all day I'd have to treat my foot gingerly because I'd overworked it.  It was highly possible that I'd have to ice again.  It was possible, but it's not what happened.

I ran for 10 minutes, my foot didn't hurt, and it didn't start to hurt later!!!!

Sure, my feet are tired now, but that's because I've been standing on them all day.  And notice I said "feet" not "foot."  So...Yay!!  Let me say that again.  YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I still have some recovery.  I know I need to take things slow.  I know I need to stay on the treadmill for a short while longer even though every fiber of my being wants to wake up early tomorrow and go for a "short" 3 mile run (and chuck the treadmill out the window).  However, I also know that this is the beginning of my restart.  I can get back on track.  This is fabulous, and I can't wait to start again!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Discombobulate: To upset or confuse.
Grandma was discombobulated by all the birthday fuss.

Discombobulate is a good word to describe me right now.  Each day involves me trying to tackle cleaning, office work, training, working out, cooking, marketing, more cleaning, shopping (for kennel stuff or food, not clothes or anything fun), and socializing.  I find that whenever I try to tackle any one thing I get pulled into fifteen other things, and I never have a chance to just focus my mind.

Honestly, I think that's why I love running so much.  Running has always been my chance to focus on me.  Sure, other things would go through my mind, but they were often quickly pushed away by my next breath.  I miss running, and I miss the peace of mind it brings.

I actually tried running this evening; just a mile on the treadmill, but something to make me feel good.  My foot did OK, but I'm out of shape.  I could feel the lack of support from my core and legs, and I became winded quickly.  I'd like to wake up early for a great total-body workout, but as my husband just pointed out there just might not be enough time in the day.

I know a good workout that leaves me happy and refreshed will help me focus better.  I know that just a little more focus will allow me to accomplish tasks easier, which will help me feel less discombobulated.  I also know that trying to factor in one more thing right now seems so overwhelming.

It really does amaze me, though.  Two months ago I was running 13 miles before work, and then cleaning and working all day.  Sure, food and house cleaning may have suffered, but I seemed to be OK.  I felt good, and for the most part I felt like things were together.  Now, not so much, but I'm working on it.

Things aren't all bad, though.  The kennel is going gangbusters, and I couldn't be happier about it.  Hans and I have figured out a few personal things, and that's great too.  Things may not be all sunshine and roses, but they also aren't all grey clouds and rain.  I may just have a couple of rainbows in there too.

Right now, I'm trying to find my focus.  I'm trying to remotivate myself.  I'm trying to bring some much-needed order in my life.  And if anyone would like to help, I'm taking applications.