Sensing a Theme…

I love reading about and watching the Barkley Marathon. There’s something so primal (and completely insane); it’s just fascinating!

I found this post: A-Z OF BARKLEY MARATHONS, THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS ULTRAMARATHON The people who run Barkley are both nutjobs and heroic. I appreciate these qualities. With so many races now returning from virtual-only, my entire news feed is flooded with photos and stories of runners doing what they do best. The familiar feelings of being inspired have returned. At this moment, I have 3 more physical therapy sessions before I am officially cleared to go forth and run! It’s exciting yet also a tiny bit terrifying. Granted I have run during the course of PT; however, it has been under their guidance. Now it’s time to leave the nest!

I sure would!

There is a 5k (my longest distance since injury recovery) scheduled next weekend – I did sign up with intent to run – and my therapist stated go for it! Note: it’s a run, not a race. Speaking of racing, recently I remembered meeting an Army officer when I worked in Oklahoma. He would never train lower body because he said as a collegiate and military-sponsored soccer player he received all the lower body training he needed on the field. I brushed it off as surely he knew what he was doing; I thought it sounded odd but to each his own.

Today, I’m dealing with the ramifications of this very same mindset because as someone who runs consistently I believed I didn’t need (or make time for) a solid strength training routine because everything I needed I could find out on the road/track/treadmill. Now look where I’m at. Just look at it! This faulty line of thinking forced me to take an extended break. But it also reframed my entire way of incorporating preventative training.

Now what, Kel? Well – I have the tools, literally and figuratively; I have the will; I have the reason. Nothing can stop me except myself. My plan is to prioritize strength training with the same schedule I’ve had for PT, i.e. 3x/week. As much I dislike the word balance (yeah right), my motivation is not finding myself in this position again. Don’t be like soccer guy! So, if you need me, I’ll be over here with my happy little stretchy bands doing what someone else more knowledge than I showed me how to do. And I will appreciate it!

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I ask you –

Can you imagine the mindset of taking on a challenge like Barkley?

Have you ever overheard (or been given) terrible advice?

Share your thoughts on activities like a Barkley or a Ragnar!

Day in Photos, pt 723

These are kind of my fall back posts when it’s been a slower writing time. Or when I get lazy. But posts like this can be fun and equally entertaining.

Salad on repeat. I actually enjoy the meal prep routine. Some people I know meal prep every.single.meal but I’m not that dedicated. Or strict.

On the topic of salad, these are my final baby tomatoes from the plant we’ve had growing since this time last year. It has survived ice, snow, seasonal changes, and me. Mostly me. I suck at growing anything. I grew a human. Surely that counts!

My gummy game is still going strong! I’ve considered stopping. Ctrl-Alt-Delete. But I really have a hard time considering not playing. Maybe I really am addicted.

And, finally, we visited with my parents. Mini always asks if Scoot Scoot will be in attendance. Fairly certain she loves animals more than people. Can’t blame her.

Mom, Mini, and Dad

I brought my own iced coffee on the way. This time I had no alternate agenda searching for coffee shops. In case you were wondering.

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I ask you –

How many times a week do you eat salad? A typical week: 5

Should I stop playing gummies? It’s ok if you say yes.

Tell me about your upcoming weekend!

On the life scale … + PT Update

Just when I get accustomed to a routine at physical therapy – a collection of 8 or so exercises targeting core, hamstrings, knee, and glutes – I’m treated to a wonderful surprise. A new routine! It’s really not wonderful. But of course they didn’t remove the exercises that are the hardest for me. Oh no. Why would they do that? Ugh. Instead, they leave the super difficult ones and add some others in place of the ones I was starting to master. Sure. Why not.

I like to call these “truly awful”

In related news, I can tell my lower body strength is increasing. Because Texas graciously awarded us a week of beautiful Spring-like weather a week after the second ice storm, I was able to run outside. Not one to waste an opportunity, the run was my first since beginning PT and I could tell a difference in the way my hamstrings didn’t feel “wobbly”. There was a slight knee twinge around mile 1.5 so I walked some, then when I restarted, everything felt fine. It’s working!! I’m extremely thankful to Renau Rehab for guiding me; working with Max and PJ has been incredible. Beyond being very knowledgeable, they’re also kind, funny, and invested in my return to running.

these are called “one-legged wonders”

Also, have you ordered your Running on Fumes merchandise yet? There’s still time and many options available, from tanks to hoodies to coffee mugs to tote bags! You can find your next RoF item here!

the beloved Ms. Dory! (hoodie)

Last week was one of those weeks where if it isn’t one thing, it’s a billion others. From craving ice cream – all I could find were popsicles – to multiple days of gorgeous sunshine, besides the craziness, it was one for the books. Personally, I’m just glad we’re moving forward.

This is officially the week before my birthday week (it’s a Sunday this year) and I have big plans. Stay tuned!

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I ask you –

What part of exercising is your favorite? When it’s over!

How often do you do any task that requires standing on one foot?

Tell me your favorite cold, sweet treat!

In All My Years, a memoir

Things it took 35+ years to learn

  • Eat before taking medication, unless otherwise stated
  • Your phone camera is a lifesaver when it comes time to remember stuff
  • No one gets extra points for not asking for help
  • I enjoy watching grown men get beat up, sacked, and tackled. Football. I love it.
  • Move the tampon string out of the way before you pee.
  • We are the common denominator in all of our relationships.

Other Stuff

This was such a great article about why we are the way we are. Even if you hail from a completely normal, functioning family, surely not everyone you encounter or have a relationship with is the same. It may have resonated with me more than even I’m capable of understanding. More to come.

More Fascinating Things

I must confess. When others told me they were practicing “mindful eating”, I thought it was just another buzzword, a clique-ish term, a passing fad. Big eye roll. Same goes for “intuitive eating”. Of course I’m intuitive! I know if I don’t eat soon, I’m going to get angry! How’s that for intuition. But, lately, I haven’t been restricting my carbs or cutting out fruit or doing any of the other things I believed worked for me previously. Just a few weeks ago, I mentioned using the MyFitnessPal app and I’m happy to report it’s (still) really useful.

mini decorated my workout area – bands shown here

There’s even been a few instances of completing my PT routine at home. Necessity only. The booty bands in the photo above are worth every penny of the $10 I spent. I’m using them for squats, deadlifts, and knee rotational exercises, but the options are limitless.

In light of my upcoming birthday, the learning curve will – hopefully – never cease. But, if/when it does, my final piece of advice is this…Unbuckle the seatbelt before attempting to exit your car. I’ll be here all day.

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I ask you –

What is your best piece of advice?

Have you heard the term “intuitive eating”?

Tell me the buzzword you currently hear most!

Reminiscing

Of all the strange things we go (and grow) through in life, one I’m definitely having a hard time wrapping my mind around is my beautiful, great Aunt Mary Catherine not living in the home I’ve only ever known for her to live in.

Her voice is that of an angel, she is so very humorous, and her kindness cannot be rivaled. You have no idea how much it’s been tried. But I believe she’s embracing her new life in new surroundings near her sons. She joyfully stated apartment living would do until she “ran out of money or ran out of life!” I mentioned running out of patience. We had a good laugh. Alas, her home “is not Boxelder” anymore; yet she maintains a pleasant disposition toward the “old, gray-haired women” whom she says are both nice and sweet, but she’d rather not have so many meals with “a lot of women I don’t remember the names of”. Ditto.

her smile makes my heart happy

Fortunately, we were able to visit her recently in her new abode. Mini has been asking me for weeks when we were going to see her; unfortunately, it took me entirely too long to actually plan a trip. In reality, her new accommodations are actually closer than where she previously lived (+/- 3 hrs versus 4 hrs). As her birthday is in April (she’ll be 95), I’m hoping our family has a big birthday celebration planned. Remind me to ask them about this.

“Whispering Hope” by Percy Faith is a song she mentioned as one of her favorites. Growing up in the big band, big orchestra years, she shared a story of questioning our hometown’s funeral director why this song wasn’t played at funerals and her expectation that it very well should be. I’m making note of it here as a reminder she has a desire for it to be played when she passes. Her wish is my command. In the meantime, I treasure every hug, every smile, every ‘I love you’ we share.

blueberry pie

And, of course, there was a warm blueberry pie awaiting our arrival! Mini ate two pieces. Aunt MC shared another story of when she and my Uncle Jack were newly married and driving up the East Coast, my uncle noticed a roadside stand selling blueberries. At that time, Aunt MC had never eaten a blueberry and didn’t know what one was! Turns out, my uncle loved blueberries and once they became easily located in grocery stores, she had to figure out what to do with them all the time. Introducing the most famous (in my world and family) blueberry pie. Every minute I spend with her is such a blessing and a lesson in our family’s history.

I wish everyone had an Aunt Mary Catherine. But not mine; she’s spoken for.

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I ask you –

Do you have someone in your life like my Aunt MC?

Is there a family recipe you love the most?

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love blueberries? I’m a 12!

Wonderland

Finally found – it wasn’t really lost – the 2 missing dumbbells to complete the set. Now I can begin doing a full workout in the prescribed time instead of half, then alternating sides. It was nothing more than an annoyance so no hard feelings. It’s not like I was really doing much anyway.

I vaguely recall a time where I was able to mix cardio with strength training and actually make it work. Let’s see. Circa 2018 or so. Never too late to get restarted! I’ve used running as an excuse to not lift and vice versa; whilst knowing full well the secret is their complimentary relationship. My struggle has been letting go of a number on the scale. Really need to address this. So I’m refocusing on what makes me feel best.

For some reason, thinking about the gym reminds me of an amazing woman named Geri. She was the food bank director when I worked at the gym in Oklahoma. We just clicked. She was hilarious and always had a listening ear. During one summer, she was getting ready for a female relative’s upcoming wedding, so she asked how to use the stand up tanning bed. I explained, got her set up, and went about my way. Weeks later, she told (showed) me how she was able to get the perfect tan for a backless dress (I may have the details wrong, but I know the dress was more open toward the top). Returning to the tanning story – she demonstrated how she’d use whatever top she was wearing as pants while tanning in order to prevent anything more than her ankles and top getting tanned. Not sure why this sticks in my subconscious. I recall laughing hysterically at her preciseness. She was so great. I don’t know what has become of Geri. I looked her up (stalked) her a few times, but no dice.

Credit: hardcorecomedy2.0 via Instagram

Hello, from this rabbit hole. Anyway, I think I’m probably not eating enough which is why I go through these crazy binge/restrict phases. And, once a month, my hormone swings are enough to drive anyone insane. Not so much the emotions, but the cravings and complete lack of self control. I really gotta get it together. To date, myFitnessPal is working really well though. The tracking functions are simple; I haven’t had to manually enter any foods yet either.

Has anyone seen Geri?

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I ask you –

What size dumbbells do you own? Any missing?

Have you ever used a tanning bed?

If you were Geri, where would you be? Probably hiding from me.

Diagnosis meets Prognosis

The jury is in! Aside from (or maybe in accordance with) a torn meniscus, physical therapy is going swimmingly well. Torn is a bit of a general term when the meniscus is already healed. Luckily, my body did what the body does and indeed it healed. That’s the good news. The gray news (I’m not using the word “bad” because it’s not really terrible) is I have a lot of work to do in order to correct the resulting lack of strength and balance due to said injury. My left knee/hamstring/hip/calf are all very tight while also very weak. My balance is off because I don’t have a lot of confidence and am afraid of hurting myself more. All this being said, I’m the most enthusiastic PT patient I ever met!

been awhile since I used these

In approximately 5 weeks, I will have completed 15 therapy sessions and everyone seems to have high hopes I can return to running in a normal fashion. Praise the Maker! Perhaps this was my wake-up call. I’ve known for some time – ahem, years – you can’t expect the body to perform at peak condition if you’re not giving it an opportunity to ever be at peak. In my case, I devote all my time to running during a training cycle, then return to strength training during the “off season”. Never have I been able to (i.e. made time for) strength training, flexibility, and running. Together. So here we are.

these are demonic torture devices, so I bought my own

Currently I’m ramping up my collection of therapeutic tools, like these nifty cloth bands that make my outer thigh burn like fire, and a weight bench for step-ups, supermans, and full body dumbbell exercises. Among other things. Put those gym management skills to use, Kel! I want to be strong AND healthy enough to run. Since my powerhouse of strength is seriously degraded right now, I fully understand this will take time. Most importantly, it will take discipline to continue what I’m learning in PT. I don’t know if you know this by now but I’m an extremely stubborn and dedicated person. Shocking, I bet. Surely I can devote my time to the exercises that will ensure I am able to run for years to come.

There’s probably many who are shouting “I told you so”. Trust me, I told me so, too. Sometimes we get into the groove of same old, same old…status quo…whatever the word du jour is. But until there’s several people with fancy titles and notepads asking you to stand on one foot – until that very moment – you (I) will continue to say everything is fine. Even when it isn’t. Even when a simple task like standing on one foot was once so incredibly easy yet somehow is now not. I remember running my first race after the traumatic DNF. I needed that run to regain confidence, to remind myself I’m capable of finishing, to prove my body and mind are okay. It was hard. The entire time I ran I was examining every symptom I experienced, wondering if I was hydrated enough, did I eat enough the past week, what if I pass out again, and the list goes on. How dramatic I sound right now I know not! All I know is this is real life to me.

On the bright side, the rehab facility is easily located and I’m thankful I have a position where I can attend therapy as much as needed to get me back in fighting shape. As long as I can outrun an enemy, hopefully it won’t matter if I can’t beat them up. But I’ll try!

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I ask you –

Have you ever had a torn meniscus?

Do you have any favorite “PT-style” accessories?

Tell me something interesting about your week!

Creativity + Projects

One of my New Year’s thingies (that’s the Greek word for whatever word isn’t resolutions) is to stop telling myself and others I’m not creative. And when I have moments of self-doubt, I remind myself of all the times I was creative.

Like when I refinished this entire wooden chest. Including removing hardware, it took several months because I couldn’t decide on what finish coat to use. And I think it was cold, too. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

disregard the dust – it’s hard to clean around the butterflies

Or when I repainted and reassembled this tired, wallpaper-ensconsed RELAX sign. Seriously. Wallpaper! It was hideous.

honorable mention: fake flowers

Don’t forget the time I decided to make my own poster as leader of yet another Freedom group. Early birds get the Word! I’m on a role for all time leadingest Freedom group leader, currently at 1.5 semesters. It’s a thing. The 6am group rocks it!

still needs work

The snowstorm threw a wrench in our starting date plans, but someone smarter than I decided it was always a good idea to give us a few spare weeks in case of emergency. Or blizzards.

I’ve also successfully kept up with two calendars for going on 3 months! My work calendar has become a lifesaver and my home calendar is extremely motivational. I tend to overlap lots of events just because it’s fun to write in them. Paper or keyboard, writing is my thing. And mini’s crafting desk is always a source of inspiration. Truly it’s an anxiety-producing nightmare, but let’s be positive!

I’m positive it gives me anxiety! There’s glitter everywhere. And these foamy ball things for slime that stick to every-effing-thing. Let’s not forget the paint. Ohhhhh, the paint. Ugh.

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I ask you –

When was the last time you created something?

Are you known for being crafty?

I’m team no glitter! Agree?

Frustrated w/ Life + PT Update

Considering running a marathon. Admittedly I realize how insane that must sound at this very moment when I’ve not begun a full recovery much less have a scheduled PT session at this very moment. Pause. Side note: I’ll be attending PT twice a week for 8 weeks. If I can’t get it figured out by then, surely I have bigger problems. Restart. I’d like to run a marathon. Notice I didn’t say race a marathon. Just run. For fun. To say I did it. And I’ve got the perfect one in mind! Sometimes the cart is located before the horse. RnR San Antonio, 3 Dec 2022. We’ll get back to this.

PT update: it’s now mid-Feb and I finally have an appointment. Finally. I almost feel like I should have just kept the original appt in early March. Then I wouldn’t have spent countless hours on the phone waiting on a referral, then a call back, then for a fax machine to work. Seriously. A fax machine. FFS.

I’ll probably write a whole other post on this eventually…for now, let me mention the usefulness of My Fitness Pal. I know a few people who employ this app to keep track of their eating habits, etc. Until recently, I was under the impression I was doing just fine without any help. But, for some unknown reason, ahem, probably my age, my body does not seem to be reacting well go any weight maintenance tools. Could it be my consistency lately would best be described as totally inconsistent.

Nonetheless, I’m having zero luck sticking with any real plan. I’m keto on the weekdays and off the charts on the weekends. The cravings for everything are almost unbearable. My weight makes me grumpy. Is this a midlife crisis?

Team Zero Self Control

Truly I think I’m just frustrated with waiting so long to get started on physical therapy. I’ve been “slogging” aka very slow jogging whenever the mood strikes me. But I know I perform better in life when there’s a plan in place.

So here’s to starting PT this week and finally moving forward with recovery, as well as returning to a consistent lifestyle of training, however that may look.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May your Hallmark holiday be everything you hoped for. Please remember to buy your spouse/loved one/child(ren) a card and write a message inside. Trust me.

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I ask you –

Do you use an app to track nutrition?

What is your experience with My Fitness Pal?

Share your own PT story.

Day in Photos, pt 4 + Snow Notes

First snowstorm of 2022 was a rousing success, in my humble, North Texas, don’t drive on wet pavement opinion.

Also, I had just recovered from a stomach bug my generous mini brought home from school. Bless her heart. Every single year during Jan/Feb time frame, I inevitably contract some sort of digestive issue resulting in at least 24 hours of disgusting unmentionable symptoms. Truly an exciting time to look forward to. You may think I’m being dramatic, but I’m not. Every year for the past 10+ years. Like clockwork. It’s a running joke now. If you’ll recall, I was almost finished with a 31 day run streak in Jan 2021 when I got suspected food poisoning on the 27th. Run streak: busted. I could barely walk to the bathroom much less run.

Anyway, the photos. Who needs proper snow weather clothing when Crocs and a thin nightgown will do just fine.

Anyone else addicted to the popular game Wordle? Jason, I know you are! I’ve got two degrees and this is what I use them for.

Doing well!

As the day progressed, it got colder and snow-ier. We also found appropriate clothing, less pants that fit. Stop growing! If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be scouring all 3 local stores in search of ski or snow pants for an almost six year old.

Sledding for days

As my office and I were discussing the possibility of snow days, of course talk turned to driving on ice. I stayed quiet. Upon my coworker’s remembrance of the reason I don’t drive in this weather anymore, the next sentence ensued “…what kind of employer would make their employee drive to work in that?” Let me clear it up. No one except my own insane need to do what I felt was right made me drive that day. I felt a loyalty to people I worked with and for. Repeatedly they instructed me to stay home. Repeatedly I replied I got this. And we know how it ended. Now, I am thankful each day I believe in my heart there is nowhere I am more needed than to stay home when the weather turns bad. My family is here and I have nowhere to be.

Now excuse me while I patiently await the next round of snow days. After a weekend of 70 degree weather to make it really complicated.

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I ask you –

Do you play outside in the snow? I’d rather watch.

Wordle! Who else plays?

Give me your best snowman-building tricks!