Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas and 2 Feet of Snow

Christmas was great! Christmas Eve is spent at my mother-in-law's for the Italian - Night of the Seven Fishes!!! Yummy! 18 people at my house for Christmas day. Lot's of wine and good food and family! Hope you all had great holidays!

My attendance at the gym has been spotty at best in the last 2 weeks. I've been there 3 out of the last 4 days and had my first easy run on the treadmill since the evil snowman incident. It was a very slow run for a mile. My ankle was taped to high heaven. Good news is that it didn't give me any trouble. But it was a very sloooow run. I'm happy tho. I've been doing my favorite Arc Trainer and have diversified to the bike (might be thinking about a bi or tri for 2010).
My new Garmin has not had any use lately. We had 2 feet of snow - yes that's TWO feet of snow (actually about 25 inches - see pic above). My decorations actually continued to light up - however, they were under all that snow! It rained heavily on Christmas and melted a lot of the snow that had been there for a week. I had to drive back and forth to work in it over the weekend. My normal trip would take 25 minutes - 1 1/2 hours later - still trying to get home. I saw some crazy idiot running in this storm. Cars were sliding all over and here he is running in boots with earphones in - he's lucky he wasn't killed.
My new favorite drink is Bubble Gum vodka - it is seriously dangerous and yummy!! Have some set up for New Year's Eve.
I'm working on my wish list for 2010 for runs. I'm trying to get hubby to run with me - should be fun since we have opposite working schedules. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taken out by a Snowman

Last week started out really well. I made it to the gym four days in a row. I ran two 5Ks at the gym and did my weight circuit twice and was a maniac on the arc trainer. Then comes Thursday morning. I got home around 8:30am from a horrible 12 hour night at work (Where I found out that the patient I had for the last two nights who had a bad pneumonia tested negative for swine flu but was now a rule out TB patient.) Just wonderful.

Well, anyway.... It stormed pretty heavily the night before and my twinkling snowman was lying in my driveway. I got out of the care and slipped on a wet leaf, went over on my ankle, heard a pop and twisted my knee. After the immediate need to vomit passed and a stream of potty mouth where I insulted the snowman and his mother, I hobbled into the house. I took Motrin and wrapped an ice pack around my ankle and knee and tried to sleep. Of course the ice pack leaked and my bed was soaked.

I wrapped my ankle and limped into work. I had a friend xray my ankle and I have a hairline fracture. I "borrowed" an airboot. I guess the 5k I had planned for Sunday was off. This is what happens when I finally get my Garmin! Not gonna have to worry about pace time - it's really, really slow!

Monday - I still have a lump on my ankle (nothing like Lisa's beautiful swelling!) but I can walk a little better with it wrapped tightly. My knee is still sore tho. The Jingle Bell 5K for arthritis is this Saturday. Maybe I will walk a mile if I can :P


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great Sunday

I was actually off on a Saturday night from work (doesn't happen that often since I work the Weekend Program :) Went to the gym with hubby today. Did 20 minutes on the arc trainer and then did a 5K on the treadmill in under 39 minutes which is my fastest. :) I'm slowly working to 30 minutes. I've shaved over 9 minues off my time in the 4 months that I have been running :)

We got home and I had all intentions of riding the bike that my oldest son won for me throwing rings on bottles down the shore. It's an 18 speed Huffy. He was a little upset that they didn't have a "boy" color so he got it for me in purple. I have never ridden the thing but my 11 year old has. The peddles are shot, one is hanging off, the kick stand won't stand and there is a rip in the seat. Well, bag that idea until I get replacements for everything.

I am trying to decide if I want to leave the weekend plus program at work for the critical care float pool. Money is a wash but I would only have to work 1 weekend a month. The downside is I would be getting pulled all over the hospital (well the critical care areas anyway). I have to let the manager know this week. Decisions, decisions.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday Bust - Tuesday Better!

So hubby gets home from the gym on Monday and gets called into work on his day off (our day off). Does he say no? Unh uh. I'm like, hello? Can I get to the gym now. I have the contractors in the basement. The washer repairman still to make an appearance, inspectors to inspect and Ginger to get to the vet. He kisses me goodbye and says he'll be back soon.

The washer guy arrives. He finds a quarter (or what used to be a quarter) jammed in somewhere. The door pops open and OMG the smell (wet sheets sitting in the washer for about 6 days). It took 3 washings to get rid of that funk - phew! Needless to say the gym was a no go. I couldn't even get to the treadmill cause it's packed up with the construction in the basement.

Tuesday I made it there. I did 1/2 hour on the Arc Trainer, ran for 2 miles and did 1/2 my weight circuit. I should just probably run a 5K tomorrow at the gym because the 2 Turkey Trots that are near me this week are right after 12 hour night shifts. I may attempt Saturday's tho..???

It is almost 1am and I am in work. Since 3:30pm I have been asking, any homework to do, studying (because we all know that this does not count as homework). Anything before I leave for work? Crickets chirping. I get a text from my 16 year old son at 9:20pm asking if I am an organ donor. Hmmm.... where are we going with this? He has a paper on organ donation and has to ask me my views. I ask...when is it due - cringing. Tomorrow, I am almost done. I said email me what you have and I'll edit it for you. It has to be 1-1/2 to 2 pages long. What is your definition of "almost done?" I said there is barely 1-1/2 paragraphs here. He said yeah but with double spacing, bigger font and moving margins.... You are in 10th grade. The teachers know all these tricks. Put some of your nurse stuff in it for me please. Twenty minutes later I sent it back to him with tables, etc. I did it for him because I'm still ticked at the teacher for giving him "0s" when he was out with the swine flu. It was the end of the marking period and he couldn't make up the classes. (These are gym classes I'm talking about - the paper is for driver's ed.)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Runs started out well and New Moon!

Well, last week started off great at the gym. Monday, I ran 1.5 miles and did 1/2 hour on the Arc Trainer elliptical. Tuesday, 1/2 hour on the Elliptical, ran for 1.5 miles. Had all intentions of doing 3 miles and then circuit but after 6 phone calls, I gave up. My 12 hours of OT was cancelled at 5 of 6pm while I was walking out the door - can you say pissed? I didn't have my contractor (having the basement finished) come over this day because I had to work night shift (this is 2 Tuesdays in a row I've been cancelled now!!:( Wednesday, I did the Elliptical for 1/2 an hour and then resurrected my "runner's" circuit training plan. I had one of the trainers - Linda - at the gym designed a plan to increase my endurance and strengthen my legs for the Bridge run. I started this 3 weeks before the run, but only got to do about 3 times because of all the sickies in my house (me included). I worked Wednesday night and then went to visit my parents on Thursday morning. My dad had back surgery on Monday. I showed him how to get up and down the steps and in and out of a chair and bed (you know - the whole nurse thing I had going LOL). So I was up for about 30 hours about now. I passed out when I got home and woke up in time to get ready to see the midnight showing of NEW MOON!

I went with hubby's cousin Grace and several of her friends. Hubs was guilted into seeing Twilight with me and was glad to get out of this one. I have the vampire addiction - he wants no part of! It was great!!!! The second book was the slowest in the series for me but they did an excellent job with the movie and Jacob was so buff! June 3 for the next one!! I was soaked by the time I got home - running for the car in the parking lot. It monsooned all the way home, I actually had to slow down to the speed limit LOL!

I worked Friday and Saturday night with all intentions of getting to the gym - didn't happen. My new front loader washing machine has been stuck in lock position for 6 days now. Wet sheets have been in there - can't wait to smell that hot mess. The guys are coming today to fix it (hopefully). The contractors are here bright and early, permit inspections and Ginger gets a pedicure at the vets today. She is so not one of the dogs on tv that just happily holds up her paw to clip her nails. So she goes to the vet. Hubs is at the gym now and my turn is next. Mondays are the only days we get to spend off of work together. Usually we go to the gym and then out to breakfast. Now we go in shifts :(

Monday, November 16, 2009

Running with dogs...hhmmm.

So I took the dog for a walk last night. I decided I would try a little jog around my development. I haven't run/jogged since the race because of my hip so I wanted to start with a light jog. I've read in different magazines about the benefits of running with a dog. Many breeds are good running companions. I have a miniature pinscher. Minpins do not fall into the good running companion category.

My development is about 0.88 mile around. I let Ginger pee and then started off on a nice easy jog. Stop to pee. Jog. Stop to sniff mailbox, pee again. Jog. A leaf blew by, try to catch it. Do you see where this is going? (or not going actually). Another mailbox, pee. There are 55 houses in my development, that's a lot of mailboxes. She has to be empty by now. She is 15 pounds of muscle. When she throws on the brakes, she can actually pull me to a dead stop. She does not stay on one side and will frequently cross over in front of me. This landed me on my knees and her yelping when I tripped over her and got tangled in the leash. Caesar where are you?

I did get about .5 mile at one time. My hip did not hurt during the jog, still twinges when I sit and sleep on it. Hopefully I can get to the gym today (contractors working in my basement).

I've been looking at 5K Turkey Trots to do one. There are two coming up that are close to me. HOWEVER, I work 12 hour night shifts and both of these runs are the morning after a 12 hour shift. Don't know if I'm ready for that :) We'll see.
Yeah! I got to gym. I was able to do 1/2 hour on the elliptical and run 1.5 miles at 4.0. No pain when running but a little twingy after.
Good news on the floor in the family room that's been on backorder from Lowe's forever. I had my basement contractor give me an estimate and the flooring place that he deals with has the same floor and can get it to us in less than a week. We are also SAVING $1000.00 woohoo!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Next Day...

Did anyone get the license plate of the truck that hit me, backed up and did it again? I felt pretty good the night of the race. I woke up Monday morning and my eyes were sealed shut, nose stuffed and running at the same time (how does that happen?) Chest was tight. I got out of bed and almost hit the floor. My calves had learned 2 more languages during the night and were letting me know in no uncertain terms that they were pissed! I felt like I had rocks in my calves. Wait, there is a new pain. My right hip was killing me. I never had hip problems before. Great, I run my first 10K and now I need a hip replacement. I could barely walk that day or the next.

My "cold" lasted another week and a half. My calves were okay by day 3. My hip, however, is still making its presence known. I can walk and bend over now, but sleeping on it or crossing my legs while sitting is still very painful 2 weeks out. I haven't been to the gym since the run and plan on heading back tomorrow for a slow restart. I plan to be better prepared for my next run!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ben Franklin Bridge 10K - November 1, 2009

Staring at the ceiling at 3am. It's raining outside. My nose is stuffed up, my chest is tight and it feels like my head is being squeezed. Just great, this was not good. The butterflies in my stomach were morphing into aliens. I was more than a little nervous.

Out of bed at 6am, dressed in my new running clothes and borrowed black Phillies hat, the girls were locked and loaded (read snug sports bra here), knee brace on, attempted to eat toast with peanut butter (suggested by Chrissy D.) and some yogurt. Not really happening. I took Dayquil so I could breathe and found an albuterol inhaler to take with me to open up my lungs. Several texts back and forth from Chrissy. Got good luck from hubby and left with number 577 pinned to my chest. My playlist was planned to play Britney's "3" around the time I should hit each new mile.

I should have taken into account the bridge closing traffic. I only live 12 minutes from the bridge. It took me 50 minutes to get close. Then I was directed into 2 (not 1) full parking lots. I was going to lose Chrissy soon because she was leaving her phone in the car. We were going to meet at the large Campbell's sign at Campbell's Field. The race was to start at 8:30am. When I got to the sign, the runners were being led to the starting line (8 blocks away). I couldn't find Chrissy. My phone rings and its her, she ran back to her car to call me. Meet at the front she says. Who knew there were two large Campbell's signs?

Finally, we find each other and take off running for the starting line (did you read where we ran for the start?) We get close and see that the race has started and we had to vault over the median on the bridge. Next came a mad dash through all of the walkers. I was trying to get my iphone to itunes, but the whole playlist flew by and landed on the crappy songs at the end (so much for my carefully timed playlist.)

By the time we broke through the walkers, and made it half way up the first side of the bridge, I couldn't breathe! I slowed way down and took a hit from the inhaler. Chrissy was shouting words of encouragement. Telling me to breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth. It would help if my nose wasn't stuffed. By midspan of the bridge, I didn't know if I could do this, my lungs were screaming. Another hit. (How many hits of an albuterol inhaler would cause SVT on an already overworked heart? hmmm) I told Chrissy to go ahead, don't wait for me. She stayed with me for the first mile and then I made her go. She asked if I was going to be okay. I didn't know how to answer her but nodded yes. With a smile and an "I'm sorry!" the 28 year old took off. What the hell had I gotten myself into, I'm 42 - what made me think I could start running at 42? The crowd started to cheer and I caught a glimpse of the first place finisher blur by me - on the other side of the bridge - OMFG! A few more people, then a whole military division, carrying the American flag and chanting one of those 1,2,3,4 songs.

I was now over the first incline and coming down to the first water station. Yes, I needed a drink. My mouth was so dry. I make the turn around and see volunteers holding gallon jugs and runners cupping their hands for a drink. Are you freakin' kidding me, they had run out of cups. I tried the hand cupping thing and ended up with more down the front of me. Oh well.

Back up the Philadelphia side of the bridge. I could feel my face getting red, I took my new Nike jacket off and tied it around my hips. I spotted a photographer at the top of the bridge and smiled and waved like nothing was wrong as I passed by. (I later purchased this pic, cause it looked pretty good :) Over the hump and downhill now. Can I do this? I saw that I was way behind my recent bridge times when I ran the pedestrian walk. I was doing this just to finish. Just to say that I could. However, it was very disconcerting to look over the bridge into the Field and see the winners already finished. First place was not in jeopardy, but I did not want to be last. That was for Lorraine. I saw on the website that an 80 year old woman named Lorraine had completed the race several years now, almost always in last place. You go girl. I was looking for Lorraine. I had joked that I would be run buddies with her. I had given myself 1 1/2 hours to do this, because after all, I was not a runner. Chrissy said "one hour" and I told her her good luck with that.

Exiting the bridge, I passed by 8 Rutgers students screaming encouragement and telling me "go Phillies hat." 3.1 miles down, 3.1 miles to go. The next water station actually had cups, but when I tried to drink it - I almost choked myself. Volunteers lined the way screaming encouragement - they really helped. Forced me to smile and give a thumbs up and pick up a little energy. I'd like to thank the cops who directed traffic with cigarettes dangling from there mouths, clapping an cheering for us - thanks for that big lungful of smoke - really needed that. Another hit. I actually ran between miles 4 and 5 in less than 12 minutes (read really fast for me) and knew I should probably slow down a little.

The next mile was the longest in history. We also ran through a an AFL-CIO convention. The people waiting to get into the Center were cheering for us. I turned into what looked like a back alley and saw the Navy ships. One more mile, I could do this! I passed by a blind man being directed by his son from behind. The son was riding a bike. I also passed by a little boy with his father(?). I later found out that he was 6 years old.

The cold wind was blowing - it was 51 degrees. The rain had stopped at the starting line, but my feet were soaked. Not too badly. I was taking inventory. Calves were okay, shins okay, ankles okay. Just the breathing was given me trouble. I spotted Campbell's Field. A couple of turns through the parking lot - dodging cars full of runners who were done and leaving. I turned into Campbell's Field and was overwhelmed emotionally. I almost started crying. I spotted Chrissy behind the finish line cheering me on. I looked up and saw that I was coming in at 1hour and 27 minutes. I actually beat the time I gave myself! (The chip time came back at 1:25.14 - even freakin' better!!!) I put the finishers' medal around my neck - I did it!

I said goodbye to Chrissy after she told me I could do the Broad Street 10 miler in May with her now - what's another 4 miles? I drove home all proud of myself. I couldn't wait to show my family my medal. Well, hubby was at the gym, my oldest was still in bed and my youngest comes up to me, wrinkles his nose and says "you smell funny." Yep, I did it!
P.S. Lorraine was there and she finished last. You go girl!!

Getting ready for my very first run!

After I renigged on my promise to run the Broad Street 10 miler with my friend Chrissy D - I decided to make it up to her by running the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k. Did you read below where I NEVER ran before? She told me that if I cancelled on her again, she would drag me across the bridge by my hair. Okaay then.

I was in shape until a work injury side-lined me (a patient decided to herniate two discs in my neck and tear my shoulder in two places - thanks!) So kiss that bikini goodbye. Pain and inactivity followed. I found myself unable to sleep and in front of the pantry at 3am - everything screaming "eat me!" My day consisted of Percocet, Valium, Red Bull. Percocet for the pain, Valium for the muscle spasms, Red Bull so I could pretend to play mommy for my children. So, physical therapy, epidurals, steroid injections and 40 pounds later, I decided that getting ready for this run was going to help me get back into shape. (I decided against 3 surgeries at this time.)

I had already conquered the ellipticals at the gym. I could do them for an hour on level 6 and barely break a sweat. Surely I could run a measely 6.2 miles. I moved on to the treadmill. I couldn't even run .25 miles continuously. This was a lot harder than it looked.

The Ben Franklin Bridge is almost 3 miles back and forth and it went up, up, up!! and then down. The first time I crossed it (walking, mind you) on the pedestrian cross-walk, my calves were cursing me in three languages. What did I sign up for - who was I kidding?

I downloaded inspiring, fast beat music to keep me pumped up and ready (Britney, Buck Cherry's Crazy Bitch (yep that's me), Pink, PCD, etc.) I decided that I would go for distance and not speed. I discovered that I had exercise-induced asthma when I pushed a little too far (anything at that time was too far). Soon I was able to run a mile, then 2 - at once. I continued to "do" the bridge and even took my kids a couple of times. I had to find a better way to keep my iphone close. They didn't make an arm band that I liked so I found a "runner's belt" online and soon had it. I tried it out one day in the park. My 11 year old was with me and started laughing when I put my iphone in it. "Seriously mom, a fanny pack?" It is not a fanny pack, it is a belt. It stays still, doesn't ride up and I can put my keys in it too. So there!

The weight was slowly coming off. I decided to take a drastic measure - no alcohol at all for the month before the race (oh no, what was I thinking.) My goal was 20 pounds by race day. I continued to plod along on the treadmill. I was up to 5k with almost no problems. However, when I tried to run outside, my body rebelled. The park trail was 1.3 miles - however, it was not flat (but hey - either was the bridge). I was a wheezing, sweaty mess .4 miles into the "run." I was running faster than I was used to on the treadmill. (GPS is a wonderful thing - an app I downloaded on my iphone let me know my distance, speed, and even mapped my route - love the gadgets!)

Strep throat struck my son (11) and he generously shared it with me two weeks before the race. I bought new sneakers (Asics Nimbus Gel 11) and my shins and calves let me know it was not a good idea to change things two weeks before the run. So I went back to my Nike Lunar Glides and made everybody happy. My 16 year old decided he would like to try on the Swine Flu one week before the run. My throat was still bothering me from last week and my chest was tight. I was having some serious doubts if I would be able to finish this race. Not to mention Lysol toxicity from degerming the whole house.

I completed 5.5 miles on the treadmill on my birthday, 6 days before the Sunday race, and for the first time I thought I might be able to do it. It rained for the next two days, so I didn't run the bridge (think shuffle up and run down). I worked Friday night and had off on Halloween. Was I ready? I made my goal of losing 20 pounds two days before the run - yeah me! (20 more to go!)
P.S. Read posts bottom up :)

Ben Franklin Bridge

Ben Franklin Bridge

Kids on the Bridge

Kids on the Bridge