THROWBACK THURSDAY: COLORADO EDITION

So, as I mentioned yesterday, we’re leaving for Colorado tomorrow to visit my parents. We went out there around this time last year and I just want to prep you for all the amazing views you’ll be seeing here next week. Here are some of my faves from running/hiking/driving around last year.

The first day we were in Estes, we went for a run and took an #elfie. It’s a thing. These guys are roaming around EVERYWHERE in Estes Park, and they are not scared of humans. I’m pret-ty terrified of them though, because more than one idiot tourist has been charged by one. This pic was taken VERY VERY quickly, before we darted off in the opposite direction.

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Pretty good view, all around I’d say.

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This was from our hike last year to Sky Pond. It was SO gorgeous. I had gone on the hike a few years before, but couldn’t complete it because I was alone and there was some dangerous rock climbing toward the end. Crazy to think I missed out on a such an amazing view. It was definitely worth it.

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Highlight of last year’s trip? I saw my first moose! We deliberately woke up ridiculously early and drove through Rocky Mountain National Park searching for one. We were about to call it quits when we saw a bunch of cars pulled over on the side of the road. And lo and behold there was a whole moose family! Dad, Mom, and baby. I could only get a decent picture of Dad though, because he kept pushing Mom & Baby back further into the woods. It’s going to be hard to top this experience this year.

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And lastly, the views are just ridiculous there. I really cannot wait to be back. I mean, this one was taken in a gas station parking lot for crying out loud!

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And driving through Rocky Mountain National Park, scouting for moose…

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I’m so bummed I won’t be able to hike or run this time around, but I’m sure we’ll find other ways to occupy our time. We’re talking about going rock climbing while we’re there (depending if I get clearance from my doctor). S has never been and I haven’t gone since I was a kid.  Stay tuned!

HUMP DAY HAPPENINGS

I realize I’ve been bombarding you guys with a lot of words lately, and very few of them have been very positive. So here are a bunch of things that are making me happy this week, in picture form.

I got these flowers delivered to work from my parents for making it into the marathon. It was pretty cute.

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And some funky flowers from S that came on the same day.It was pretty embarrassing they both showed up within about an hour of each other.

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I’ve been living in this Nike hoodie for about a week now. It’s a new fave.

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We’re leaving for Colorado to visit my parents (they live in Estes Park) on Friday and I’m already super duper excited. I’ve created a “to-pack” list. And while I’m bummed I won’t be able to run and hike there like I normally do, I’m still packing clothes for all of it, because comfy living is embraced in Colorado and it’s the best.

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Lastly, I loved this post from Oiselle earlier this week. It’s so important to surround ourselves with good people.

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Hope you’re surviving this week. Only 2 more full days to go!

THE HEARTACHE

This morning while I was walking to work I saw 5 runners out and about. That’s no more than I normally see, but for some reason today I was extremely aware of them. And I felt so damn jealous. One girl in particular was absolutely cruising, with perfect form, and she looked so happy it made my heart hurt. Between getting accepted into the Boston Marathon, the perfect autumn weather, and some emotional stress the past week, I’ve been absolutely aching to go for a run. I actually day dream about the day when I can wake up before the sun, lazily drag my butt out of bed, lace up and head out the door. I’m craving that feeling of being so physically exhausted (the type of exhaustion you can only get after a long, hard run) that thought of getting off the couch just to go to bed is unbearable. I can’t wait until my legs feel constantly tight and touching my toes is no longer a possibility. I want to run so badly I’m convinced that dying of a broken heart has to be a real thing and I’m at risk.

When I got into work this morning, with an especially heavy heart, I started looking at all of my photos from the Providence Marathon, my Boston qualifier. This one is my favorite.

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It was taken by my old roomie (who surprised me that morning at the hotel I was staying in in Providence) probably about a half mile away from the finish line. S hopped in to run with me (for the 3rd time during that race) and the first thing I said to him was “I think I’m going to vomit” followed by “I’m going to make it. I’m going to qualify.”

I remember feeling so terrible for the last 6 miles of that race—I hit the wall so, so hard. I was convinced at mile 23 I wasn’t going to make it. By mile 24 I looked at the time and realized that I could. That realization comes through quite clear in my Garmin stats too. I went from an 8:31 pace, to a 7:51 pace, and my 26th mile was done in 7:36. The last .2 was at a 6:53 pace. And even though I distinctly remember wanting to lie down and die somewhere around mile 25, I would do just about anything to feel that way again. Because I knew at that time I had given it absolutely everything that I could. And I hope, that come April 18th, I can again.

BABY STEPS

So, mostly due to my emotional instability last week I didn’t really tell you guys much else about my visit to the pressure point dude. While I told you some interesting things, I wanted to give you guys some more insight on what my next few weeks are going to look like. First, as I told you I’m wearing this brace for the next 4-6 weeks (I died a little inside when I found out it’d be that long)

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I also think it looks like a home arrest mechanism, which makes me feel pret-ty badass. But instead of alerting the police of my whereabouts, this gorgeous piece of eye candy is designed to help re-train my muscles to work the way they’re supposed to in my left leg. After the injury, my body basically responded to the pain and designed a new “normal” way to walk which minimized the pain and strain on my muscles. Of course now that the pain is gone I’m walking inefficiently and poorly, and my muscles need to learn how to function properly again. As a little bonus, before I put this on every morning I have to sit down and squeeze my fibula and tibula into place. To do this I start at my knee, and grip my kneecap where those bones connect and pulse 3x. Then I move down my leg and do it on my calf, and lastly on my ankle. After I do this, I check for pain in my calf, and if it’s still there I repeat this until it’s gone. Then I put the brace on. While the exercise itself is so simple it actually feels like it does nothing, it does minimize the tenderness in my left calf so I feel like it has to work to a certain extent.

Additionally, I discovered that my hip and ankle are both grossly weak and my hip is actually out of alignment. The therapist did what he could to help my hip and pelvis during the session, but I also have to do a series of exercises to help with that every day as well. Same with my ankle. Both of them are just tiny pulses with very controlled movement and a lot of repetitions, but they’re surprisingly time consuming and a little difficult (which I suppose is the point).

I’m seeing him again on Thursday to see how I’ve progressed in a week. I’m feeling a lot better so hopefully that shows during the appointment. Either way I’ll keep you guys posted.

The lesson I’ve learned through this whole thing? If you’re not getting the answers you want from the first or second doctor you see. Find a third, or a fourth, or however many it takes to get answers. It’s worth it.

Anyway, this whole post is been a little boring so look at this adorable puppy that I ran into on Friday.

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A MUCH NEEDED WEEKEND

So after a very emotional week—finding out I GOT INTO BOSTON 2016 to finding out I won’t be running anytime in the super near future, I am definitely eager for weekend (so much so that I took a vacation day today). A bunch of us girls are going up to Maine for a weekend and I could not be more excited about it. One of the girls and I are making food all day today, and jeans/any pants without an elastic waistband have been banned for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to the distraction.  I don’t have much else to say, I’m still processing everything I found out yesterday, but hopefully I will have a fresh and more positive outlook for you on Monday. In the meantime, check out the Hungry Runner Girl for some much needed strength and positivity. I could definitely take some notes from her.

Have a good weekend.

WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN

I find this especially true in the kinds of days one tends to have (one, especially being me). Yesterday I was the happiest I’ve been in weeks. I was basically high as a kite all day. Today, my butt hit the ground again after seeing a pressure point therapist about my foot. See, S had heard about this guy at Reach the Beach this year, from one of the other runners in his van. He thought it was a good idea for both of us to go and get checked out (S has had a recurring problem with his foot for almost a year now). Since I was (and still am) pretty desperate, I immediately agreed. And after reading the Yelp reviews about this dude, I was pret-ty convinced he was a sorcerer and I was going to be able to run miles and miles by Sunday. That is most definitely not the case. The thing is, the news today wasn’t especially bad. There were just no miracles.

See, as it turns out, my biggest problem these days isn’t the soft tissue damage that was done to my foot back in July, but a minor ankle sprain I also suffered from, but no one identified until now. His reasoning was that the sprain was so minor (nothing even got inflamed) that it went entirely unnoticed, by every doctor I saw before him. I think this is for a couple of reasons. 1) The pain in my foot was so bad before that I couldn’t walk normally when I saw either doctor, so it’d be impossible to tell what was causing the problem—my foot or my ankle. And 2) I frankly just don’t think they gave a damn. But now, since the pain in my foot has subsided and I’m walking “normally” it’s easy to see how much my ankle is shooting out with every step. So what does this all mean? Ultimately, that I will not be running until my ankle has resumed its strength and my body is back in alignment. In the meantime, I will be doing a series of exercises to regain strength in my ankle, while also wearing a brace just below the knee that is designed to keep my fibula and tibula in place, and keep my ankle stable when I walk. This whole realization caused a lot more tears than were probably appropriate. The doctor also said though that both S and I might be feeling emotional as a result of the pressure point therapy he did on us today. While it’s not totally abnormal for me to cry for no reason at all, it made me feel a little bit better about the amount of tears that were shed this afternoon. SEE, THERE’S A SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION FOR MY CRAZY, OK?

Despite the outcome, today was super interesting. It was insane to see how connected the body is from this guy. See, S had a pain in his neck (it wasn’t me), that was very tender to the touch. This dude worked on his foot aggressively, for about 10 minutes, and somehow the pressure in his neck completely released. It was insane to see. There really is something magical about pressure point therapy. The other thing I learned today that was interesting was how much emotions come into play. The guy tried to remind me to stay calm because if I’m tense and upset my body isn’t going to heal as quickly. He really emphasized how much emotions can come into play with the functionality of the body.

Have any of you ever seen a pressure point therapist? Did it help? I’m due for another appointment next week, so he can see how the brace and the exercises are helping. I’ll let you guys know before then if I think he’s full of you-kn0w-what.

In the meantime, let me show you a glimpse into our afternoon:

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I RAN TWICE YESTERDAY

Guys. I did. I mean, both times were for trains, but I did it! The first time was on my morning commute, and I admit I still felt a bit awkward and stiff, but the second time, on my way home, I SPRINTED down those stairs with very little caution. I didn’t even really think about it until halfway down and I felt pret-ty great about that. I think next week is my week! (Notice how I’m still putting it off because I’m a scaredy cat?)

In the meantime I’ll continue to rely on BodyPump to keep me going. I also feel like I’m coming down with a head cold (one has been doing the rounds at the office) so I might take some extra rest days this week too.

In other news, I got this hoodie in the mail yesterday and I really love it. It does run super large, so if you get it, size down by at least one size. But check this hood out. It’s frighteningly cozy, I don’t even mind that kind of resemble that scary guy from Star Wars.

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Also it’s fall which means pumpkin flavored everything. I’m not sure if Sam Adams had Pumpkin Batch beer last year, but I just discovered it and it’s my new favorite. I also appreciate the excellent play on words.

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Lastly, I better start running again soon because I’ve gotten back into the Oreo binge. They’re just so amazing. I even had a dream about the S’Mores ones last night (they’re impossible to find, so it makes sense they’re only in my dreams).

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THE FEAR IS REAL

So my foot has felt pretty good the last several days, maybe even the past week. While some days definitely feel better than others, I’m about 75% sure I could return to running (albeit very slowly) if I wanted to. But honestly—I’m really terrified. I just don’t want to push it too hard too soon and do any more damage. I’m pretty sure that the soreness I feel now on occasion has less to do with the original injury and more to do with how I’ve been walking on it for the last 11 weeks or so, but I still feel very wary. The good news is that S and I are going to a pressure point therapist on Thursday, who has RAVE reviews and I’m just sort of placing all my eggs in that basket and hoping he can cure me for forever. Only time will tell on that one I guess. Has this ever happened to any of you guys though? Coming back from an injury, being extra scared to start running again? Or am I just a coward?

Anyway, here are a few things from this weekend:

The whole weekend was incredibly gorgeous, weather-wise. It felt just like the beginning of fall should. We had the windows and porch door open all weekend. It was glorious. The city we live in is ok looking too.

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When you’re icing and the dog gets thirsty.

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We found this tennis ball on a walk about a week ago. So far he doesn’t get the whole concept of fetch, but he really enjoys chewing on it and showing it off to anyone who will look at it.

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Lap dogging it and not caring one bit.

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Maybe I  should make this blog about Riley instead? I seem to post more pictures of him than anything else. I promise once I get back to running that will change though.

A RUNNER’S TRANSLATOR AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

One of my running friends posted this the other day on Facebook and I can’t believe I forgot to share it with you guys. A few of my favorites:

“So, what’s your PR?”
Translation: “I’m comparing myself to you, and suddenly my confidence in my own ability is somehow related to your best time.”

“The race didn’t go well. But it happens, you know?”
Translation: “No, you don’t know. You will never, ever be able to comprehend how awful it was. I cried. I puked. I walked. I had diarrhea. My body hates me. The sport hates me. The world hates me. I trained for four months for this? WHY ME? WHY?

“I’m just hoping to finish.”
Translation: “I will PR or die.”

“I get irritable if I don’t run.”
Translation: “If I don’t run, I may or may not become homicidal.”

That last one I can really relate to right now. I’m sure anyone I’ve come in contact with over the last 10 weeks can attest to it as well.

Here are a few other fun things for you this Friday:

My mom sent these super soft fox socks to me at work, which basically made my day. For those of you who don’t know, I’m obsessed with foxes.

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When I got home last night I had some fun with Riley. Well, fun by my standards. Maybe not his. He kept sticking his nose in my gym shoe bag because I’m sure it smells horrific (amazing to him, of course). So I thought this was the necessary next step.

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Then S got home and Riley was much happier.

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Also have you guys Peanutized yourself yet? I did one for me and one for S. I think they’re pretty accurate.

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That’s all for now. Happy Friday everyone!