Mileage Recap ~ 26 June – 1 July…Have You Hugged Your Physical Therapist Today?

I think everyone should go to physical therapy at least once a year in my humble opinion.  You most likely will be blown away at how out of balance your body gets with the normal wear and tear of daily life.  I first went to a PT after I had my knee surgery four years ago.  As I was doing my rehabilitation exercises my PT casually mentioned that it looked like one of my legs was longer then the other.  Upon closer inspection she mentioned that my pelvis was twisted.  In order to get myself in alignment not only did I have to do knee strengthening but pelvis stabilization exercises.  I have always had hip issues and this was most likely due to that fact.  I had also received an MRI about 3 years ago meant for the hip and you know how that goes.  It’s like taking your car for an oil change and the mechanic says “yeah we changed the oil but did you know your radiator has a leak”?  This was one of those moments.  I go into for the MRI for the hip and come out with a slightly bulging disk review.  Hmmmm.  I know if I just don’t think about it, won’t the diagnosis magically just disappear…….

Fast forward to the present, the doctor wants me to get a follow up MRI. Since I have been having a few niggles here and there I was nervous about the prospect of the bulging disk because I still was having pain radiate down my right leg from time to time and of course the left knee issues.  Good news – no bulging disk!  It was gone.  I was a little perplexed because the doctor told me if there was damage or the disk was herniated then it wasn’t going to fix itself.  So he gave me an order for physical therapy to “fix” what needs fixing.

I love my PT!  She first made me go through some exercises and evaluated me then measured my hips and said, yep your right hip is rotated 1.5″ inward.  Amazing.  So I’m way out of alignment and now I have to work to stabilize and bring the pelvis back.  I asked about the bulging disk and she mentioned that if it’s no more than 9 degrees it can correct itself.  That’s great to know.  She also mentioned that the new running shoes I bought, the ones where they watched me run then made a determination on the correct shoe, were wrong!  That sucks.  Because my arches are so high the “stability shoe” I have is incorrect.  So, I will need to purchase the right shoe before I get up into the longer runs.  There is plenty of information and research on how the wrong running shoe has caused major injury and damage to the body.  My personal mantra is you can skimp on everything else but never on the shoes.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive pair, but a good shoe and one that is correct for you.

I’ve been attending PT for two weeks now and I can tell a difference already in my pain level during and after a run.  It is really amazing.  During my last session I mentioned that my right glute was really tight and I started prattling on about foam rolling and the PT says with a huge grin let’s do some myofascial release! Yay…uh what is that?  As a registered yoga instructor I know about fascia.  Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  The collagen fibers that make up the fascia need to stay supple and be able to slide and move.  When muscles stay tight, the fascia clings to them, and both can become rigid over time.  That’s why it feels good to stretch, foam roll, tennis ball therapy and do yoga.  You may even have purchased an instrument for myofascial release and not even realize it!  For more on fascia read this article:  A Body Part You Never Knew Could Be Making You Miserable .

Back to myofasical release.  The PT tells me to go in this special room.  I’m excited because I think I’m getting a spa treatment!!  She comes back with a tool like this:

It looks like a shoehorn.  I realize there might be people out there that don’t know what a shoehorn is….I’ll give you a clue…it helps you get your shoe on…Google it my friends.  All the while I’m still smiling.  She then hands me the tool to inspect and she speaks in a kind voice, “see it has a little serrated edge at the top almost like little teeth”.  She hands it too me like a dentist hands a child the drill before getting a filling.  See Jimmy, it’s really not that bad, and will be over  before you know it!  Okay….spa treatment!  Then she smiles and says, “Oh yeah this might cause a little bruising”.

How could something so right go so terribly wrong!  My sweet PT went from all smiles to badass in 3 seconds flat.

It was like a bad European women’s wrestling match dream.  Spa treatment, spa treatment, spa treatment…I clicked my heals three times as I felt those little teeth digging into my right glute and I realized I wasn’t in physical therapy Kansas anymore.  PT smiles and laughs ~ “you thought you were getting a spa treatment didn’t you”!  I had to laugh…how the heck could she read my mind!

 

I’m not going to lie, it was damn painful.  I’m still feeling the “release” as we speak.  The only problem with PT is doing the homework.  You go and have these sessions, but then you have to be disciplined enough to come back and do your homework.  I would say I’m a C+ student at the moment.  I am doing the exercises, but I could be more disciplined.  Over all I’m pleased and hope this will make me stronger.

Running was good this week.  Still hanging at the 6 mile mark for the long run.  The long run was about at a 6 on the 1 – 10 scale with a pace at 11:57.  Slooowww and hot.   Logged 11.78 miles for the week.   I have 6736.58 miles gratefully remaining.  Even though it’s tough I had this song playing and so true.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 4 June

I looked at my blog page and my countdown widget now says 4 months to go!  This is really going quick almost a blink of an eye.  I am in the very beginnings of training for the Dublin Marathon.  After my calf injury, again, I rested from running for almost a full two months.  During that time I have been strength training, walking and some riding.  I can’t tell you enough how much the strength training has been helping me.  Working on the core and legs have given me less pain in the knees and hips.

I started off just walking then I incorporated short bursts of running then back to walking and it really has helped.  I had minimal pain in the knees, especially my left, all the while building into longer runs.  So it seems to be working.  There is no pride here either.  If I started to feel little niggles I simply slowed down or started to walk.  The best part was my breathing.  I didn’t feel tired at all.  That was a fantastic feeling.  Although, it is starting to get very hot now, the long runs will have to happen in the morning…on a weekend ~ lol.

This upcoming week will be more of the same, building strength, and foot placement.  One of the nice things about starting from the beginning is correcting the errors.  I tend to slog along sometimes so when I’m doing that I mentally remind myself to pick up the feet and swing the hips more.  May has been my biggest month yet this year at 92.66 miles.  I had a total of 26.33 for this tally and 6786.02 miles wonderfully remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap~ 5 – 12 March and Figuring Out Aer Lingus

I’m annoyed.  Last week while I was adding my post I inadvertently deleted my menus.  I had my posts in somewhat of a decent organization and just like that when I was trying to add the Dublin Marathon tab I deleted something.  The posts are still there, but it will take a while to put them where I want them to go.  So, my site is a little wonky.  Then that brings me to my next annoyance – Aer Lingus.

I wanted to be sure I would have the true Irish experience, even when it came to flying.  Sooooo, I had the great idea that I would fly Aer Lingus.

Let’s just say, these Irish eyes weren’t a smilin’.  This was not easy to do.  I went to the Aer Lingus site and punched in the travel dates.  Lots of choices came back and soon enough I was choosing seats, meals and put in my credit card!  Yay!  Done!  Then comes the confirmation email.  “Due to some complications, your request cannot be processed at this time“.  Oh come on!  You know how you’re excited to get something done then some little glitch happens and everything comes to a halt.  Next, call customer service.  If only I could find the number.  They had a bunch of numbers on the site and you had to choose the number from wherever you were calling, Europe, Asia, United States and so on.  This also wasn’t easy or straight forward.  I call the toll free number and I get in a hardy Irish accent “Thank you for calling Aer Lingus, we are experiencing higher than normal call volume at the moment“, do tell.  So I waited on the phone for 30 minutes, after the 30 minute mark another recording comes on and says maybe it would be best to email and then the email address is given so fast I couldn’t understand it.  Again, I’m searching the site to find an email address.  I finally Googled to find the address.  Why can’t sites be specific.  You have a problem here is the email address, so easy.  I send my email, but I figure I will try and call again tomorrow anyway.

I call the next day and I finally get through.  The gal on the phone was super helpful, got me booked and I sighed relief that it was over.  Only it wasn’t.  I get an email from my bank the next day.  FRAUD ALERT – someone in Ireland is trying you use your credit card!  Sigh.  I’m glad I called.  I let the bank and card company know, yes, I’m going to Ireland and I made the charge.  Isn’t it a little intrusive you have to verify some of the stuff you do?  I mean I see it both ways for security, but I can’t tell you how many times my card was denied when traveling and I would have to call them to verify, yes it’s me.  Lesson, call the bank and card company and let them know you will be traveling.  I almost want to say it’s none of your business where I am at the moment!  I’m glad though, I had two plane ticket charges because of the online submission.  Unfortunately, the representative never took off the ticket reservation I made on line.  It happens that the flights are a few different carriers under the Aer Lingus flag.  I will be flying United Air, British Airways and Aer Lingus.  I’m glad I got this part out of the way, but will be double and triple checking to make sure everything is still lined up.

This weeks mileage was pretty good.  I didn’t run at all this week, trying to get the fluid on my knee to subside and letting my back rest.  I have foam rolled, did yoga to stretch out my overly tight IT bands and glutes, and focusing on core strength.  It seems to be working.  There were a couple of days with some extreme pain but I can tell there is improvement.

More exciting news – I have broken the 7,000 mile mark!  I was looking at my spreadsheet and low and behold I have made it into the 6000s!

This week saw a total of 30.24 miles.  I rode the stationary bike for 6.2 and walked 3.57 and rode my bike 20.47 .  I have 6974.94 miles luckily awaiting.  Happy Irish Miles to You!

New Year – More Miles and the Danger of DuraFlame

Aaaaannnnd we’re back.  Well me, I’m back.  January blew by.  It always seems that when the holidays are over, everyone is at breakneck speed–to get stuff done.  They don’t always know what, but by God we’re gonna get shit done this year.  That’s how January becomes one big crazy blur.  I used to make New Year’s resolutions.

I’m going to do this, and that, and this and oh yes, that!  Uh…yeah.  So I got tired of that crap.  I mean, you shouldn’t have to wait until the new year to decide – yep, this is going to be the year!  Just do it.  So I don’t even bother with that any more.kewpie-doll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just think of an idea, see if it’s viable, I plan, then it’s off I go.  No hovering over the great porcelain god after a night of drinking on NYE celebrating all the “awesomeness” I’m going to do the following year. Just kidding, that was an extreme sentence above, I just wanted to see if you are still with me….ok put it out of your mind.

What was really extraordinary is this year started off with an “un-bang”.  Yes, I believe an infant just learning to crawl would have cleared more  mileage then I did in January.  First, I was traveling.  My daughter was still home from college and we went to Slot Canyon in Arizona (more of that in another post) and I went home to South Carolina to see family and my new niece.  Mixed in with that was an injury.  Nothing sexy like falling off my bike or running a big race and pulling a muscle.  No, that’s not how I roll.  No, I decided that I would tassel with a 6pk DuraFlame box on my way inside the grocery store.  It has been cold lately in the desert.  We do drop to freezing temps from time to time.  It doesn’t last long, but it’s chilly.  There isn’t a lot of wood for the fireplaces here.  You’ll see the prepackaged wood, about five pieces in a bag, but it’s a little pricey.  Burning a fake log, while not that esthetic, does give you ambience and heat.

I’m on my way into the grocery store and I see the box…so shiney, and six logs! You know how they stack stuff at the store entrance.

duraflame I pull a ballerina move by balancing on one leg, reaching down with my left hand to grab the box and throw it in the cart as I’m still walking into the store, mind you.  During mid swing, I hear a pop.  I drop the box and then I became really dizzy and my breathing became labored.  There are moments in life you know aren’t going to end well.  This was one of those moments.  I just stood there trying to gain my composure while my lower back was screaming.  I was hurting so bad my breathing was erratic and thought I would pass out.  I knew that I might be calling for help because I couldn’t move forward.  I stood there holding on to the cart with both hands for what seemed to be 2 minutes in front of the automatic door just watching it open and close because I was in its radar proximity.  Meanwhile, people just passed me.  WTH Ahwatukee?  After I caught my breath I hobbled in to continue shopping.    Long story short – I have been recovering for about 3 weeks.  I was able to get in some walks, a few short runs and a couple of rides.  I was really hoping to blaze out of the 2017 gates, but that didn’t happen.  Bonehead move for sure.  Some days you start the day feeling like Wonder Woman™ and then reality sets in:

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I’m starting off the year with 20.91 miles!  If you do make resolutions I hope you reach your goal.  I have a few goals for this year too….one is to do more miles than last year.  Here’s to all the Wonder Women out there..Happy 2017 and Happy Miles to You! 7042.73 left to go.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap …The Girl’s Trip Special Addition and August Recap

I have joined the ranks of thousands of other females and embarked on the time honored frilly favorite…the girls trip or aka girls vacation.  A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Denver and met two high school friends to reconnect.  We stayed a few days in Summit Colorado and made our way down to Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Sedona and finally Phoenix.   It was a week full of adventure and discovery and I was able to put in some miles along the way.

First stop was Colorado.  What a beautiful state.  We stayed in Summit for a few days with little side trips.

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Beautiful Colorado

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Next Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This was my first time in Santa Fe and it was just bustling with shops, artisans, bands and plenty of food to eat.  I did a lot of walking and I got in one good run.  Some of my faves:

Candles in the Basilica

Candles in the Basilica

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Wooden gate

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Oldest church in Santa Fe

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Love the dried chilies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Flagstaff.  I absolutely loved this place…why you ask, because it has trees and is cool.  If there is one thing I have learned to appreciate being in the desert is that I miss green and trees.  Stayed in a cute little A frame on Fort Tuthill, owned by the US Air Force.  Only open to the military.  Have some magnificent woods in Flagstaff and I was able to get in a 5 mile hike.

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Our A frame cabin. Hey there’s Jen!

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Inside was so darn cute and it came with a family of feral cats! I was in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bonus stop! The crater outside of Flagstaff. This was really cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Sedona, AZ.  Sedona is absolutely gorgeous.  Lots of art and artsy people.  We went on a Pink jeep tour to one of the Vortexes.  Visiting one of Sedona’s many vortexes attracts many kinds of people.  I found it interesting that our guides theory is completely scientific.  The reason humans feel energy at the vortexes is due to magma closer to the earth’s surface.  Don’t know if that was true, but interesting anyway.

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Our beautiful world.

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Obligatory tree pose.

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Then finally back to Phoenix, AZ.  Was grateful to travel with these two ladies and will have memories to last a lifetime, or until my memory fades….with all of this travel I had a very good month with cycling, running and walking with 76.54 miles for August and 7,845.02 miles gratefully remaining.  Sometimes I think it’s weird to “share” my mileage adventure in a blog.  Often feeling it is a little arrogant…that must be the Catholic in me.  I will say, social media has it’s good and it’s bad.  This is it’s good.  I’ve been friends with these women since high school ~ this year will be my 3oth high school reunion.  Life is short…live large.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 17 – 27 Apr…Ten Days Until the Grand Canyon Half

This month has been my best mileage month in a long while.  For the most part training for the Grand Canyon Half has been good and fairly pain-free.  I have been switching between the hydration pack and the water belt.  I’m not really sure which one I will be using at the race.  I like the pack because I can pack more in (phone, keys) but the water belt is lighter.  Training with both has been more challenging than I thought.  On the days when there is a little bit of a struggle carrying water isn’t the best fun.  I just realized that this will be the first race where I have to carry water.  There are no water stops at the race.  I think it will be safe to say speed won’t be the main objective.

My longest run last week was eight miles.  It’s so funny how some days you just feel great and others your feet are like two bricks.  I carried the hydration pack on this run.  I felt good and for the most part my pace was strong and I had to walk several times.  But…I got it done.  I filled the pack up all the way with water, 2L, and really didn’t drink but one-quarter.  It was hard and it wasn’t.  I didn’t feel as winded but there were points I just had to stop and wog a bit, mostly uphill.

Pain is to a minimum but I’m experiencing all the familiar foot and back niggles that remind me of when I first started running.  Just shows I haven’t been running for a while.  I remain excited about the race and my goal is to finish strong and thankful.

Mileage count for this entry is 28.62!  Really very happy about that number.  Miles remaining = 8,157.  Happy Miles to You!

Midweek Mileage Update and Using Salty Four Letter Words

Now that I have your @!#$ attention!  I haven’t included a sidebar post in a while and I thought meh ~ what the heck.  Had two interesting experiences today…so stay the #@!% with me if you can.

Have you ever met someone and immediately knew you didn’t like them?  I mean, the more they talked you just couldn’t take it?  That happened to me today.  I was at the bank for what I thought was a business credit card meeting with a lady who travels around to the bank branches helping clients.  The minute she walked through the door…I didn’t like her.  I think it was a combination of her and the spiel I was about to hear.  I just didn’t want to hear that $%^&!@#$ today but had to honor the appointment.

She was one of those people who would be talking and then immediately squirrel!  And some crazy #@$! too!  I mean I was thinking what the heck!  Ha!  You thought I was using the other word didn’t you!  I will admit this was the first time I really was ready to walk out of something.  I mean I was through with this one…and she knew.  She knew she was losing me.  Then…all of a sudden…she dropped the f-bomb.  Bam!  It was like a nuke had just gone off.  Everything was neutralized around me and there was no sound.  Just the ringing in my ears and her mouth moving.  After I got over the shell shock and my hearing came back she started cussing like an old salty sailor.  I’m thinking to myself what the !@#$!  It was like the Charlie Brown teacher.  She’s talking and I’m having a conversation with myself and all I heard was a muffled sound.

Self, I asked, why do you think she’s speaking this way?  It was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment.  I really think she thought speaking this way was…going to…bond us.  Now don’t get me wrong…I’ve used some salty language.  Four letter words and me, well let’s just say we’re not strangers.

The whole time I’m analyzing what was it about me that made her think I would be like @#$! yeah!  Was it my eyes?  My mouth?  My I couldn’t give two @#!$@ attitude!  Holy *(%$ she’s a mind reader!  She knows.  She knows what I’m thinking.  Finally I say, “I do believe I have misunderstood this meeting and what it was for” and I just wanted to get the #@!$ out.  I get up to leave and she says you know I’ve had two surgeries for aneurysms.  I sit back down.  “Yes”, she said, “I’m not like most people”.  “I live every day like it’s my last and I am grateful”.  Well, now she’s talking my language.  I softened a bit and listened to her story, shook her hand when she was through and told her to have a wonderful day.  Interesting how something so ##@$@@ weird actually turned out okay.

Second, I texted a friend of mine just to see how she was doing.  She immediately told me about a dear friend of hers that suffered a seizure and is now in the hospital for about three months for rehabilitation.  It’s weird how you just know sometimes that something isn’t right.  Just happened, like that.  Both of these women are young and if you read this blog regularly you know how I feel about dying young.

If I may plant the seed, know that no one is promised tomorrow.  Do those things you want to do…see those places you want to see…and be those things you want to be.  It ain’t !@#$%^& easy but maybe some of it can be won.  How about these “salt of the earth” words: live, love, life and hope.  Had a good run, it’s coming back.  Allergies are a little crazy but what the heck!  Adding 3.55 at a 10:00 pace.  8,224.38 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!