Recovery is fun!

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Especially when your boys are willing to spend many hours playing card games with you to break up the time spent reading on your new kindle or in front of the TV:

Phase 10

 

We’ve had this game for awhile but at first our brains hurt or we were just too tired or something to want to figure it out. But with a long weekend looming for 16 and considering that he was (shock!) feeling a little bored with his Xbox, he brought this out. We’ve since played 6 games, one with 27 and had a damn fun time smack talking and laughing at the whole thing.

Meanwhile, I made the mistake Thursday afternoon of thinking that I could take a walk in the beautiful warm weather we are having. Since that was scarcely 24 hours after my surgery, it was not the best plan. It wasn’t awful, but I did feel some cramping happening as a result so I shut it down completely the rest of the day and on Friday. Saturday I ran some errands with 16 and felt no side effects. Renee checked in to see how I was doing and if I wanted to just walk on the trail while they did our usual longer Sunday run. They had to be out there for 90 minutes. I figured even if I could only stroll for a bit that since it was on my favorite birding trail – especially in the winter – then that would be a great test plus I could enjoy the sunshine.

I strolled for a mile. I mean, really STROLLED. Did stop and try to ID birds from memory. I didn’t carry binoculars or a bird book because I had put on my running shoes and was prepared just in case I felt well enough to pump up the walking pace.

Which, I did, so miles 2 and 3 I sort of started into my previous fitness walking pace of close to 15 min miles. That took a 65 mins and they would still be on the trail for another 25 so I decided to start alternating some light jogging segments with the walking. By the time 90 mins was up I had gone 5.3 miles and felt 100% FINE.

So how about that? I went from doing the K9 5K last weekend under a bit of duress from the fibroid symptoms (36 mins) – evicted the pesky buggers on Wednesday – and then today, a week after the 5k and 3.5 days after surgery – I walked/jogged for 5.3 miles in 90 mins.

I like that kind of recovery a LOT!

Oh, and new habit check in – I added $5 to the total this week so I have $21.55 saved.

After I get into finishing taxes this week I’ll put my mind into coming up with something fitness related. Even though the recovery has been encouraging, I am being honest about my limits to come up with something else until I am totally cleared after the 2 week post-op visit and once the larger tax chore is mostly completed since that will take up time and mental capacity 🙂

K9 5K

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No, I didn’t get a dog (oh, how THAT would traumatize my spoiled kitties!!) But, I did borrow a dog to participate in another Just For Fun 5k event – The Petco K9 5K that was held Sunday at the racetrack just by my house. As you can tell from the pictures – it was COLD. We’ve been under frost warnings for the last three night/mornings and they were not kidding about it.

When we met up with Tanja and her dogs, the one I was going to run with – Miles – was just shivering! Eve had to take off her jacket and wrap him up for a bit to get him to stop.

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Pre-race photo – Tanja has her ridgeback Sarah. Last year they finished second, this year they were third but with a better time so for Sarah, it was a PR on the course 🙂

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I was just having fun, not going for speed and once Tanja and Sarah were far enough in front of us that Miles could no longer smell his mom, he stopped running full speed and we settled into a nice trot.

Running with a pack of dogs is hysterical! Here’s a few things you never hear at other race events but which were the most commonly heard things at the K9 5K:

“Heel! Heel!”

“Good dog”

“Oh, whose a good boy?”

“Hey, stop sniffing that butt!”

“Water for you and your dog! Fire hydrants and porta potty’s!”

and my personal favorite made as both a question (because the runners forgot to bring their own):

“Poop bag? Do you have a poop bag?”

And then again at the water stops:

“Poop bags!! Get your poop bags!”

Yeah….I was giggling a lot. There were also the sights and smells of many dogs making use of the poop stops. Weee. Including one larger dog who decided he had to go NOW and that meant cutting across my path dragging his poor unwitting owner into the trees. I managed to keep the rubber side down, but it was a little more treacherous than the usual race courses!

Miles did great – he only tried to veer off a few times and a quick “heel!” got him back on track. I have no idea about our time because I wasn’t participating for that reason. It was just fun.

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Oh, and dinner with all the girls later that night topped off with some after dinner drinks? Just added to the fun of the day.

(No one knows why that photo is blurry..ahem)

It was a great way to launch into Eviction Plans, Version 2.0 which will mean shutting down the longer runs/workouts for a couple of weeks.  FWIW the fibroids staged a last ditch attack in the middle of everything yesterday but I refused – REFUSED – to let them keep me from doing what I wanted to do.

As of Wednesday they will be gone – gone I say! Gone to where the termites lay.

Bwahahahahahaha!

(Yes, more morbid loony tunes around here – whatever)

Oct 26 – When politics and personal life collide

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OK, so I am not transitioning DIRECTLY into fluffy fun from yesterday. There’s a transition of sorts.

As I hinted at in my race report, there have been some err….female problems..going on recently as I approach that time in a gal’s life when certain reproductive systems prepare to take a dirt nap 🙂

When I went in for my annual appointment with the female lady parts doctor, she surmised that it would be a good idea to check out my uterus via ultrasound for fibroids or other irritations and potentially do what is called a hydro thermal ablation to sort of “cleans things out” and reduce the irritations and thereby reduce the excessive…er…flow. (yes, trying to keep it palatable for the male readers, but you gals know what I’m talking about, right? Right)

Since this is my first ever issue in this regard, and since my kids are older – the only experience I’d had with ultrasounds before was a while pregnant and external only and I did have to prepare in any way.

This morning I learned a little something about myself.

1) Running has definitely made me mentally tougher (hey, I ran that 5k after all these issues which in itself made my doctor laugh at my insanity and toughness). I know this for sure because today I did NOT kick, punch or scream at the ultrasound technician, nor did I allow my bladder to explode as it wanted to while she took what felt like 10 bazillion pictures.

2) Because I do drink water, and a lot of it, every day as my primary source of liquid – I really do NOT need to prepare for an ultrasound by drinking 32oz of liquid a full hour before the procedure. Since I am plenty hydrated as a rule and since my bladder clearly fills up FAST – in the future, I can just drink 24 oz 30 mins before.

Woulda been nice to know #2 ahead of time so that I didn’t have to test the boundaries of #1 🙂

The politics part is that the second step of the ultrasound after she took a bazillion photos of my uterus through my overly full bladder and then released me to empty it (best feeling ever!) – part two was a vaginal ultrasound. As soon as she said that I almost involuntarily giggled. Yeah, giggled. You see, being the political geek that I am I had hear a little bit about this procedure this year. Thanks, in large part, to the Governor of Virginia who is now referred to on the left as Governor Ultrasound” (Tried to pass a law mandating a vaginal ultrasound for any woman who wanted to terminate a pregnancy. Also wanted to make her pay for it. Great guy – see yesterday’s post on how I feel about the GOP right now) Also, thanks to that coverage, I knew what the to expect before I even saw the wand that is used. And that thought in my brain which had me sort of laughing at the connection allowed me to relax and get through the second part pretty well. Even though it also seemed to go on forever!

Can you tell I am having so much FUN this “vacation” week?

In case you missed the twitter update

Aside

I passed my latest blood test with flying colors! Cholesterol is down. Triglycerides are way down. I didn’t even have to debate with my doctor on medication – she was thrilled with how the Lovaza+diet+exercise seems to have done the trick. Unfortunately for my wallet, the Lovaza is a fairly recent FDA approved pure Omega 3 capsule so there are no generics yet, but she’ll keep an eye out.

Meanwhile, I get to go SIX months before testing again – yay!

Of course, since I happen to like that I lost 10 pounds and also that I have toned abs & can even see some muscle definition in my upper arms & shoulders….you know I will keep up the more extreme exercise I started. Yes, I will even keep up with the running – which is currently really just a super snail pace slow jog. And I wont go back to eating Skinny Cow every night. Ice cream stays a once a week (at most) treat. But at least now I wont worry about things when I go on vacation & pig out a bit. I deserve it!

The worst 30 minutes of the year

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George Clooney, Cannes film festival

Image via Wikipedia

 

Ladies – raise your hands if you knew exactly what I meant just by that title.

Now, I promise I’m not going to go into humiliatingly graphic detail here – isn’t it enough that I’m posting pictures of me from the 80s? – but I still have a few items to get off my chest about *that* doctor visit. *Speaking of chests, that one is the tied with dental visits as the second worst appointment of the year – OW ! Sucks to be a girl sometimes!*

It starts with the weigh in. No matter what your size, this is always unnerving, right ladies? I mean, I don’t even come close to having body image or weight issues and yet I always get *pissed* when that damn doctor’s scale registers a total at least 5 pounds heavier than my scale at home.

“Wait, don’t write that down on my chart! That’s not right. Let me take off my shoes! They have to weigh 2 pounds each!”  Yeah, that’s what I scream in my head as I silently step off the scale and follow the nurse into The Room.

Then it’s on to the next humiliating dance. No matter how many times you go through this, you still panic, right? You just *know* that despite all evidence to the contrary, the Doc is *going* to come into that room before you are done getting into that half foot sliver of a gown. Because it is somehow SO IMPORTANT that you be properly COVERED UP when he comes in! And it’s not just YOU that must be covered up. So should your clothes. Right? Because even more important than YOU being properly seated on the table with the gown fully CLOSED and COVERING everything that he is about to quite closely examine – well, it would be an even more earth shattering event should he see your BRA or PANTIES!! Oh no. They must be properly folded and placed UNDER your long pants and sweater. And don’t let even a hint of the bra strap show!!  Horrors!

And then? THEN?

Well, then you wait.

In the cold, no FREEZING room. On the table with the flimsy paper cover that crinkles with every breath & shiver & chattering of teeth as you sit there in that gown trying to cover every possible inch of skin.

So you start to look around. At anything BUT the end of that table and any instruments on the counter. If you have a good doctor there are things on the wall for you to read. No, not cross sections of human bodies, but nice things like pictures and thank you notes from other patients. Mostly of babies that he’s delivered of course.  You might even see pictures of people you know since he’s been in the area as long as you have (as happened to me last year). Or maybe you have a really cool doc who puts up funny cartoons and sayings to help you relax.

One of the reasons I like my doc is that he is fast & efficient. I’ll work up this feeling of nervousness & dread all day (today – heh!) leading up to the appointment and then he will literally be done with the worst of it in 2 minutes. All that anxiety for 2 minutes of what really amounts to mild physical discomfort.

One of the other  things I can count on about him is that he will ask the SAME DAMN QUESTIONS every time! EVERY time. Ten years into seeing him and it’s the same three questions which get us both through the procedure.

“How old are your kids?” (followed by small talk about the boys & their current endeavors)

“Where do you work?”

“Oh, do they have an MBA program?”

I do not know why he always asks about the academic programs offered at my university – but he does!

One of these years I’ll be in a good enough frame of mind to maybe throw out some random/snarky answers to liven up the conversation.

Or maybe I’ll just grit my teeth & give the same answers all the while wishing he had some photos of George Clooney or Patrick Dempsey on the ceiling. Now *those* would make me *relax*!!!!!

Ultimately though, when he shuts that door after he leaves and I start putting my clothes back on, all I will be thinking is “YES! Clock has been reset! I’ve got 365 days until I have to do this again!”

 

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Ladies – raise your hands if you knew exactly what I meant just by that title.

Now, I promise I’m not going to go into humiliatingly graphic detail here – isn’t it enough that I’m posting pictures of me from the 80s? – but I still have a few items to get off my chest about *that* doctor visit. *Speaking of chests, that one is the tied with dental visits as the second worst appointment of the year – OW ! Sucks to be a girl sometimes!*

It starts with the weigh in. No matter what your size, this is always unnerving, right ladies? I mean, I don’t even come close to having body image or weight issues and yet I always get *pissed* when that damn doctor’s scale registers a total at least 5 pounds heavier than my scale at home.

“Wait, don’t write that down on my chart! That’s not right. Let me take off my shoes! They have to weigh 2 pounds each!”  Yeah, that’s what I scream in my head as I silently step off the scale and follow the nurse into The Room.

Then it’s on to the next humiliating dance. No matter how many times you go through this, you still panic, right? You just *know* that despite all evidence to the contrary, the Doc is *going* to come into that room before you are done getting into that half foot sliver of a gown. Because it is somehow SO IMPORTANT that you be properly COVERED UP when he comes in! And it’s not just YOU that must be covered up. So should your clothes. Right? Because even more important than YOU being properly seated on the table with the gown fully CLOSED and COVERING everything that he is about to quite closely examine – well, it would be an even more earth shattering event should he see your BRA or PANTIES!! Oh no. They must be properly folded and placed UNDER your long pants and sweater. And don’t let even a hint of the bra strap show!!  Horrors!

And then? THEN?

Well, then you wait.

In the cold, no FREEZING room. On the table with the flimsy paper cover that crinkles with every breath & shiver & chattering of teeth as you sit there in that gown trying to cover every possible inch of skin.

So you start to look around. At anything BUT the end of that table and any instruments on the counter. If you have a good doctor there are things on the wall for you to read. No, not cross sections of human bodies, but nice things like pictures and thank you notes from other patients. Mostly of babies that he’s delivered of course.  You might even see pictures of people you know since he’s been in the area as long as you have (as happened to me last year). Or maybe you have a really cool doc who puts up funny cartoons and sayings to help you relax.

One of the reasons I like my doc is that he is fast & efficient. I’ll work up this feeling of nervousness & dread all day (today – heh!) leading up to the appointment and then he will literally be done with the worst of it in 2 minutes. All that anxiety for 2 minutes of what really amounts to mild physical discomfort.

One of the other  things I can count on about him is that he will ask the SAME DAMN QUESTIONS every time! EVERY time. Ten years into seeing him and it’s the same three questions which get us both through the procedure.

“How old are your kids?” (followed by small talk about the boys & their current endeavors)

“Where do you work?”

“Oh, do they have an MBA program?”

I do not know why he always asks about the academic programs offered at my university – but he does!

One of these years I’ll be in a good enough frame of mind to maybe throw out some random/snarky answers to liven up the conversation.

Or maybe I’ll just grit my teeth & give the same answers all the while wishing he had some photos of George Clooney or Patrick Dempsey on the ceiling. Now *those* would make me *relax*!!!!!

Ultimately though, when he shuts that door after he leaves and I start putting my clothes back on, all I will be thinking is “YES! Clock has been reset! I’ve got 365 days until I have to do this again!”

Sure, THAT, I remember!

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I recently wrote about my little issue with Proper Names and how they have vanished from my brain.

Here’s a couple of examples of this from this past week:

Ran into a friend and her son while out running errands one night. The mom and I chatted, the boy says “Hi Ms N” and I say “Hi, how are you?” Notice no name inserted there. Why? Because I could NOT flipping remember it!!! Now, in my defense, this was not the son who is MY son’s age and therefore the one I know. Still, after watching enough sporting events together on the sidelines, I know the younger brother’s name. I do. I really DO! Only I didn’t. Came to me later that night of course. At least it finally did come to me.

Walked to the store last night. Ran into a mom and dad from football. Haven’t seen them in awhile since their son did not play on SB’s team this year. They have an older son who already played freshman football this year so we started talking about that. Talked a LONG time. Yes, I remembered their names. I remembered their boys names (middle son is SB’s age). To this very moment I cannot think of what their daughter’s name is!! I can see her face. I know she’s in 6th grade. I probably see HER more often since they live around the corner from my street and she walks to the elementary school that I pass on my way out to work every day and I see her at least once a week. HER. That girl. The one with NO NAME!!

Just now, I am laying on the sofa after spending all of last night and most of today battling chronic neck pain (doctor has referred me for physical therapy at this point as I have a muscle that is just perpetually over stretched and now hurts more often than not and when it flares, it flares badly & responds to no pain meds beyond maybe reducing it from a level 7 to a 4). Anyhoo…I’m pretty up and down all day today with my energy level and don’t even want to focus to read for very long so vegging in front of sports on TV is about my level of mental capacity. Laying there. Eyes closed for a moment and the ESPN baseball crew start talking about the basketball playoffs, and then about hockey and oh, see that player about to come up to bat? He’s from Canada! He’s wearing #33 – do you know why?

I swear that I opened my eyes, said out loud “Because that’s hockey goalie Patrick Roy’s number!” And I was right.

THAT – I remember!!

Are YOU stronger than a bread roll?

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This all started back in 2006 when I was 41 and thought I should have some blood work done because I hadn’t ever done it (well except when they test your iron before donating which up until then had always been fine). I was a quite shocked to find out that my cholesterol readings were high. Like, 40 points high! However, both the good AND bad kind were high so the doctor suggested changes in diet & exercise to correct it. At the time I was going to Curves at least 3 times a week and they did BMI readings once a month and mine was always quite low. (yeah, yeah, I know, I am blessed with hummingbird metabolism which keeps my weight down even if I don’t try too hard, but still, low weight does not mean for a minute that you are “in shape”).

Of course I never followed up with the doctor. Life intervened. I didn’t really change my diet either. I *did* pick up the workouts. I declared Curves just not intense enough and as I’ve mentioned here, I started with a different, harder workout routine and I’ve really liked it.

Then they had a health fair as part of open enrollment month at work and a gal from Scripps was there with a BMI testing machine. I stepped up confidently.The workouts for the past year had surprisingly caused me to lose a few pounds so that I am almost down to where I was in my 20s. So I was pretty smug to say the least. Then – WTF? The reading came back like 5 points higher than it should have been given my age, height & weight! Aaack! The nurse offers to do it again in case she messed up any settings (doubtful since she can even log in the 1/2 inch that I am above 5’4 and I gave her the high end of my weight range). I let her and it comes back 4 points too high! Bleargh!!!

So I made an appointment with the doctor from 2006. I don’t mention the BMI debacle, but I go ahead and give blood at the lab again. That was Friday so I wont know for another week perhaps what the results will be. Meanwhile I realize this now ALL has to be due to diet. And I have to face my weakness for fast food burgers. And fries. And my overall lack of fresh produce. I’ve made a concerted effort in the last two weeks to only have fruit on hand as an afternoon snack, and to have salad with (or often for) dinner each night. Given that I already gave up the daily sodas or coffee over almost two years ago and I really don’t have a sweet tooth, I know it’s salt that getting me. And those burgers. Those juicy, yummy burgers!

Today after my two hour 5 mile run/hike I head up to Solana Beach because I need some more work out supplies/clothes. Finish up at Big 5 and go next door to order a nice oriental chicken salad to go. Salad, carrots, peanuts, chicken breast & ginger dressing. A 1/2 order. Yeah, I am going to treat myself to a soy Frappucino from Starbucks, but hey, I just worked out! Plus I’m only having a salad for lunch! Lemme alone.

Waiting for the salad I run into a friend and she’s eating there and the waitress drops off a plate of garlic rolls at her table. They are literally dripping oil from them. We both eye them with suspicion and discuss how we are NOT touching those. I’m relieved that I am not eating there so I can avoid the rolls.

Get home 20 minutes later and break into my salad container to find……garlic rolls….4 of them:

Yeah, I said 4. Yeah, there are only two up there. No, I was NOT stronger than the garlic rolls.

Yeah – guess I better work out some more.