Friday, March 10, 2017

Foto Friday

I have not been a very good blogger.  I've got a computer that barely works, an icloud that is full, and a winter of discontent that have really dragged me down.  But I've got a new computer, a marathon on the horizon, a return to multisport training soon, and a vacation upcoming so it seems like a good time to get back into a routine.

So I'm starting now with some cute pictures of the kid.  I've kind of started a new series on my instagram that I'm calling Life in Black and White or for the younger generation, #lifeinblackandwhite.






Thursday, March 02, 2017

Lent

I'm not Catholic.  Nor am I overly religious.  But, I feel like this Lenten season is a good time to get my act together and focus.  And yep, I'm talking about my running.

Before I went back to work I had my act together.  I was doing all my workouts; I was hitting goals; and I was following my nutrition.  After I went back to work, I got tired, lazy, and fell off the wagon.  With two and a half weeks until my marathon and with Lent starting this is a great time to jump back on that wagon.

So, I've committed myself to following that nutrition plan again.  It's gonna help me sleep better, which will help with my patience and desire to work out.  And hopefully it will help me lose a little weight and oh yeah, maybe turn out some good running performances. 

I'm a day and a half in with a gazillion to go and I'm doing alright.  I'm a little sugar and sweets deprived which has made me hangry, but I can get through this.  I CAN EFFING GET THROUGH THIS!!!

What did you do for Lent?  Or did you do anything for Lent?  Or what did you start fresh in March?

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Sloopy Update #2

It's been four weeks since our dog Sloopy's emergency surgery to fix the herniated disk in her back.  Unfortunately, we don't have any good news to report.  We met with the vet yesterday for a follow up and our poor doggy has still not regained deep pain sensation in her hind quarters.  What this means is that she is very unlikely to ever regain it.  We now have a permanently paralyzed dog.  

Personally, I am struggling with processing all of it.  I am totally okay with putting my dog in a wheelchair.  She will adapt, she will be able to get around again, we'll build little ramps around the house, and she will return to the (somewhat) active dog she was.  But, it's everything else that goes along with this that I'm struggling with.  Let's talk about the obvious.  She has no ability to go to the bathroom on her own.  We have to express (squeeze) her bladder to get her to pee.  She will have a bowel movement on her own but it happens whenever it happens which usually in the middle of the night or during the day while we're at work.  She now stays in her crate during those times which makes for an easy clean up, I guess, but I literally wash her blankets every.single.day.  Supposedly you can put a handicapped dog on a schedule but we haven't figured it out yet.  We also need to worry about things like bladder infections and bed sores.  Plus, we travel A LOT.  Our usual kennel does not take care of special needs dogs.  I'm not even sure if this is an option.  And if we do find someplace/someone, what the heck is that going to cost?  And we have to get her measured for a personalized wheelchair.  Holy hell!  This is costing us a fortune and has really changed our way of life.

But can I bring myself to put her down or take her to a shelter or adopt her out.  I love this dog.  She was my first baby and for Dave, it is his first pet ever.  She's the same dog; she doesn't have use of her back legs.  

For now we're taking it a little bit at a time.  We are scheduling her for a therapy appointment where she will be evaluated further and then measured for a wheelchair.  We borrowed a wheelchair from someone at Dave's office that doesn't quite fit her but we've been using to help train her.  We will do research on getting her on a bathroom schedule.  And we will have to look and ask around for pet sitting options as we're traveling a couple times in March. 

If you have any good advice, please help a sister out!  Keep our little doggy (and our family) in your thoughts and prayers.  It's been a difficult road.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pilates on Steroids!!!

I've been going to pilates on the reformer now for a couple of months.  I really love it.  I see it making a difference both mentally and physically. But, my favorite instructor took another job at another studio (and I have no idea where she went) and the new instructor at the Y, well, I don't particularly like her style.

So I took a break.  I didn't do it for a few weeks.  I missed it so I wanted to try to find something else, something similar.  Most studios are STUPID expensive, but there was a first time fee for a local place call Butcher Shop Fitness.  As my mom says, only a masochist would go to a place called Butcher Shop, but I've got to tell you, I loved it.  It was like pilates on steroids.

Meet the Megaformer.  Pictured: not me.

The megaformer is about twice the size of the reformer and has more pulleys and has a front and a back and has about a zillion different weight settings (springs).  The workout itself is called Legree Fitness, which is like some dude that made up his own version of pilates.  The workout was intense.  I shook and sweated and felt like I had zero fitness.  But it was awesome.  I went back a second time. And now I have to find a way to afford to get a monthly pass or something so I can go all.the.time.

Have you tried Legree Fitness before?  Have you seen the scary megaformer?  Would you go to a workout facility called Butcher Shop Fitness?  :) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Warm Up Columbus Half Marathon 2017

You can't win them all.  Or even come close, I guess.

I'm in the thick of marathon training.  It's four weeks until the race which means I have 1-2 weeks of heavy training left.  My body is shattered.  I have back pain that is not going away.  My calves and hamstrings are tight.  I am so tired I could sleep at the drop of a hat.  My mind is fragile.  I'm teetering somewhere between excited for the race and wanting to not do it at all.  I want to quit with every workout I do and yet I'm excited to run every day.  I am a mess.  You would think with this fitness, now would be a good time to run a half marathon.  Except, it wasn't.  My body and my mind just said no and I had to work to finish the race.

 That's me in the grey tank with black arm sleeves and green shoes.

I started off well, maybe even a little too fast.  I was in the 7:30s-7:40s - a pace I should be able to hold.  I was trying to calm down, though, as it felt a little tough and I knew there was a lot of race to go.  With longer training, those first couple miles lie to you, so I kept telling myself that.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until mile 5 that I felt good and also unfortunately, that seemed to be the only mile that felt okay.
You'll see in a lot of these pictures that I'm looking over to the right.  Lots of speculation on Facebook as to why.  It is actually because the husband and kid stayed home and I was hoping they'd surprise me and show up.  I was always looking for them.  I really wanted them there.

In my head I wanted to drop out of this race so badly - at the 5K mark, at the 10K mark.  But the course is a one mile loop you do again and again.  I could talk myself into doing "just" another loop.  
In the last mile I got passed by two women and that didn't make me happy.  I wanted to go with them but I really had nothing left.  In the end I came up 10 seconds short of 10th place and an award.  This may be the first time I've run this race and not gotten an award.  I'm not going to lie, I was super disappointed with this race.  I wanted it to be better.  I wanted to be faster.  I want to look thinner and leaner like I feel.  I want to be fast like those chicks that were whizzing past me.  This wasn't the confidence booster I needed going into the last few weeks before the marathon.

 Don't I look exhausted?

But, the marathon is a different beast and I don't have to run balls to the wall like I do in any other race.  Plus, the marathon is at the beach so there will be other things to see.  And the husband and maybe the kid will be there.  I need my support team. 

Just a few more weeks of focus and then the real goal. 

For bonus blogging points....is this 26point2ers Amy's KOB?  Dude, he was FLYING!!!  He lapped me no fewer than 4 times during the half marathon.





Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Life Update

It's winter.  It's dark outside.  I'm working all day and surviving the evenings.  And I'm running lots of miles.  There's really not a whole lot to say.  But I swear there's a few of you reading this that would probably like an update. 

Let's start with the dog since I left you hanging last week.

Sloopy
We brought Sloopy home from the hospital one week ago today.  The first two days were rough.  We cried a lot.  We didn't sleep much.  I worried we had made the right choice in doing the surgery.  I worry about her quality of life.  I worry about our quality of life.  But after several days we have settled in and seen improvements that give us hope.  Honestly, the bathroom thing is not that bad.  She's easy to squeeze the pee out of her (most of the time) and when she has to go #2, she does.  She doesn't leak and I've only been peed on twice.  It's kind of like having a baby all over again, except I can put the dog in her crate and she will sleep all night.  The first couple of days were rough in getting her to eat and especially with taking her medicine.  Now she eats her own food and we're down to one medicine a day which she easily eats with a chunk of cooked chicken.  She still has no use of her back legs but we have seen improvement.  She now wags her tail, which, from what we read, is voluntary and a good sign that signals are moving down her spinal cord.  She also stiffens her legs when picked up and can hold herself up for a blink because she's still not stable.  She has started licking in hindquarters which may mean that she has regained some feeling and is trying to get the pins and needles she's feeling.  We have even seen her move her legs a few times.  She does not respond to pain, however, she doesn't respond to pain even on places she can feel.  She's never been a dog that yelps when she gets hurt.  Her staples come out next week and we have a follow-up in a few weeks.  From what we have learned and read, this is a VERY long process.  We are trying to be patient and still holding out hope that we have made the right decision.

Running
My marathon is coming up fast.  It's only about 6 weeks away.  My training has been okay, at best.  I was on a roll until I got sick the entire month of December and then I basically had to start over again.  Two weeks ago I did an 18 miler that felt like death.  When I got home I had to have Dave take off my shoes and pants and help me into the bathtub.  This past weekend, though, I did a 20 miler that was great.  I hit all the paces and it didn't seem so bad.  I wasn't that sore and have been able to return to working out quickly.  This week is another big week of training ~45 miles for the week, and I will conclude with yet another 20 miler.  I, finally, get to race next week and am hoping for something good.

Back to Work
I've now been back to work two months and things are starting to fall into place.  Those first couple of weeks were really rough.  Anderson and I both battled some serious illness.  We both had sinus infections.  We both had pink eye.  We had a cough that wouldn't quit.  We both visited the doctor twice.  And then one day we were better.  Now every time I see a kid with snot all over his face at daycare I get nervous, but Anderson has been in preschool and child watch programs for years so hopefully we are over the initial sickness shock to our system.

Just a few weeks after I started at my job they informed us that we were moving offices to a different suburb.  I was PISSED!  I specifically chose this job over a different, probably, better option because it was walking distance from my house and I could keep the little one in his preschool.  I was so upset that I even thought about calling the other company and seeing if I could continue with the interviews.  But, I have decided to stay put.  Yes, I will have to pull Anderson out of his preschool and put him in his daycare all day (which is one of the best preschools around, but not a Christian preschool like he is currently in) and yes, I will have to drive to my job now, but I have to give this a chance.  It's good for me to get back in the game, refine my skills, and then decide what I will do in a few years once Anderson starts school.

In addition to the full-time job, I have continued to fill in time-to-time at the Y.  It's kind of a pain in the butt, but I like it there, I'm comfortable there, I adore my manager there, and I also get to keep my reduced family membership.  I have no plans on leaving and they have no plans on getting rid of me, so I'm sticking with it.

God's Watching Over Us
Probably the most stressful thing for the last several years has been finances.  It's hard to be on one income and my part-time job paid for nothing.  We thought me returning to work would allow us to live a little more comfortably and be able to do the things we wanted to do.  But our dog getting sick really threw us for a loop.  I have been scared out of my mind.  Would I be able to do my marathon in March (it's out of town)?  Would our vacations we planned this year be put on hold?  Should we cut back on some of our expenses like TV, etc. (things you don't need but would struggle to live without)?  But God's been watching over us.  We did our taxes which is going to help out tremendously.  And Dave got bumped from a flight this week that gave us big money in airline vouchers.  So this month is still going to be a challenge as we pay off our credit card debt but barring any other craziness, life should return to normal soon.

- - - - - - - - - - -

So that's what new.  Life has been busy.  Life has been uncomfortable.  We're managing.  We're going to get through all of this and see the sunlight again.  And I swear I will revive this blog with rainbows and puppies sometime soon.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend

I was planning on an easy weekend.  I didn't have to work at the Y; I had easy training; and the goal was to work on our bathroom remodel.  Unfortunately, the weekend didn't go that way.

Friday afternoon was hectic.  Anderson was tired, I was tired, and we were not getting along.  There was a lot of yelling on both sides.  Our dog, Sloopy, is a very nervous dog.  With loud noises, especially yelling, she begins to shake and pants and wheeze.  I noticed she was doing this Friday but didn't think anything of it.  We snuggled her and babied her and went to bed as normal.

Saturday she continued to wheeze, which seemed odd.  In addition, she wasn't really going anywhere.  Usually she is my shadow and follows me everywhere.  She just stood in one place and when she did move she was limping.  Her back legs weren't working right.  She looked like she was drunk.  I was very concerned.  We decided to take her to the emergency veterinarian.


They evaluated her there and the news was not good.  She had a herniated disk in her back which would require surgery and shouldn't be a big deal, EXCEPT, our dog has a heart murmur and she would need to be seen by a cardiologist to determine if her heart was even strong enough to make it through surgery.  Sloopy is only 7 years old and a member of our family so we had to give her a chance so we agreed to go forward with all of this.  We had to leave a $4400 deposit up front. 

The cardiologist evaluated her on Saturday evening and said her heart looked better than they thought so they approved her for surgery.

Sunday morning, the phone rang at 7:55am and it was the vet hospital.  Sloopy had gotten worse overnight.  She now no longer had function of her back legs.  The possibility of recovery had dropped significantly.  She needed surgery right away and even then may never be able to walk again or go to the bathroom by herself.  Again, we agreed to have the surgery done.  They did more test on her and did the surgery.  We did not hear back again for nearly seven hours.

The update we got after the surgery is that she had a very bad herniation and because of the force of the hernia, her spinal cord had been badly bruised.  They told us not to come that day, that she needed to rest and recover.  A tech called us later in the night to let us know she was alert and responding and even told us she had moved her back legs.

This morning, though, the doctor called us to report there was no news.  Sloopy was alert and happy and sitting up, however, she has not yet moved her back legs (unlike what the tech had told us) and she has not responded to any pain stimulus.  The doctor said that's right where she should be, that only time will tell if she gets function of her legs back again.  We get to see her today after work.  Oh, and the financial people are probably gonna tell us we need to spend another $2000.  (Guess, we'll be putting that camper up for sale!)

This has been extremely rough.  Dave and I have cried all weekend.  Our dog is not that old!  We want her to come home with us and be the dog she was before.  But we also have to make tough choices about what happens if she never regains mobility.  And on top of all that is how all of this is explained to our son.  He has been with us through all of this and we've been very delicate in our wording to help him understand what's going on without scaring him.  I wish this didn't happen.  I wish this nightmare would be over.  I want my Sloopy girl to come home.