Friday, July 26, 2013


Remember how my neck was hurting on Tuesday and Wednesday? Well, dumbie me decided to go ahead and run my 2.5 miles of speed work plus some time on the ARC trainer. On Wednesday night, I got a massage then walked 4 miles with friends. I was feeling pretty decent until....

Thursday morning. Ugh, ugh, ugh! I woke up and thought that my neck must have been pretty much healed so I headed to the gym to run my 5 miles. When I got there, I realized I had left my cell phone in the van so I trotted outside to get it. All of the sudden, my shoulder and neck seized up. The pain was unbelievable. Still in denial, I got on the treadmill and attempted to run. Not happening. So, I then attempted to walk and made it a mile and a half before tears started rolling down my face.

I got some ice from the folks at the front desk and sat for awhile. Of course, the ice made it even tighter and it got so bad that I could barely walk out of the gym. After I got home and got the kids some lunch, I laid down. Well, that was a big mistake because then, I couldn't move. Literally. I tried for 45 minutes to roll to my side to no avail.

After making a few desperate calls to friends to see if anyone had muscle relaxers, I called my doctor. She called a prescription in for me and a friend of mine picked it up and brought it over. Sadly, it didn't kill the pain at all so we headed to ER as soon as my hubby got home.

I was seen immediately. The conclusion was that I had a severe cervical strain. Two shots of Dilaudid and a Valium brought me from a pain scale of 10 to about a 7.5 - 8. I headed home, with prescriptions for Valium and Vicodin.

I am off all activity for 72 hours so it's looking like I won't be doing a long run this weekend. Thank goodness that I am still early in my marathon training.

Lesson of the day - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If I had taken that Tuesday as a rest day, this may have been avoided.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


So, I'm marathon training. This requires a lot of planning and commitment because my schedule has 6 days a week of workouts. I do cross training on Mondays and Saturdays; Friday is my rest day; Today is Wednesday. By using deductive reasoning, that means it's a run day. But....

MY NECK HURTS! I mean, *really* hurts. It was a little tight when I woke up yesterday morning, but I was fine during my 6 mile treadmill run. Sadly, as the day progressed so did the tightness. I was popping Ibuprofen like candy without much relief. I even tried a heat wrap that had been part of a SWAG bag from one of my many races. This morning, it was painful to get out of bed.

Now, I am faced with the decision on whether to run or not. I haven't completely made up my mind. On one hand, I could use the rest. But, on the other hand, I really want to get some good mileage in! Luckily, I have a massage scheduled for tonight so tomorrow's run should be just fine. Ack! Help me decide!!!!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

What I would eat if I didn't have self control...

Inside Out S'mores Bars

Click on the pic to link to the recipe if you dare...


As soon as I finished my last blog (read: whiny, annoying, self-deprecating post), I logged on to Facebook and saw this: 

SNAP! I am back to reality. Who cares about the stupid pain I have in my ear or the fact that I am still wearing my ugly glasses? Is it really *that* big of a deal that my hair is filling up the drain? 

I've got a marathon to run, people...

99 DAYS!

Am I falling apart or what?!?!?!

I live a healthy lifestyle. No smoking or drug use. Very little drinking. Lots of exercise. Fairly good diet.

So, WHY am I getting hit with stupid illness after stupid illness?!?!?

First, it was my ears. In June, I started having pain when I laid down to sleep. Headed to Med Express to find out it was a middle ear infection. Got Amoxicillin and took it all, as prescribed.  The pain never went away completely but I didn't want to waste another $40 on MedExpress so I just suffered through it.

Next on the list was my eyes. I went to America's Best to get new contacts, only to find out that I had a raging eye infection (bacterial keratitis). I had to take steroid drops every 2 hours while awake and stop wearing my contacts until it healed. By the way, this happened RIGHT before vacation <insert extremely sad face here>

In addition to this craziness, I also started exhibiting weird symptoms like brittle nails, hair loss (I could make a wig of the hair that is falling out when I get a shower!), and some fatigue. WedMD tells me that it is hypothyroidism. I had blood work done yesterday and will know more when that comes back. While I was at the doctor's office, I also let her look in my ear and now, it's the ear canal that is infected. I start ear drops today.


I *know* there are MANY people in worse situations, but in *my* world, this is all just causing me to be stressed out and frankly, kind of a "B" to those around me. (Oh yes, I should also add that my basement situation isn't exactly making me stress free either...) I just want it to end so I can go back to being the fun loving chick I usually am.

As I am finishing up this blog, I am feeling like a major whiner BUT....

It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to....

Sunday, July 14, 2013!

This weekend, we camped at:

This was a MUCH NEEDED escape from the reality of our stinky, wet basement and a good opportunity to get in some family active time. See, I have decided that my family will not be the type to lay around, watching tv and eating all weekend long. I've BTDT with my ex and I hated it. Ordering pizza and watching a movie on Friday nights is one thing but to extend it to an entire weekend and then into the week and eventually into the evening routine was just not working for me. (That, folks, is number 693 of why we aren't together anymore...)

Lucky for me, Nick loves likes tolerates tent camping and tolerates likes loves me enough to go along with my plans. This weekend was our second tent camping trip of the Summer. The first was to Salt Fork State Park in Ohio, over Memorial Day weekend (read: the coldest Memorial Day weekend EVER - 37° overnight!).

I was bound and determined to get a run in at the park, despite the fact that we would be sleeping on the ground (hello, back soreness!) and were with another family. I made a plan. On Saturday morning, I would put on my running clothes and as soon as there was a break in the action, it would be RUN TIME. Fortunately, after breakfast, everyone wanted to go fishing, so I rode with them to the stream, decked in my running gear. They set up their fishing gear and I headed off.

I decided to run from the stream to the campsite and back and whatever that mileage ended up being would be my run for the weekend. I hadn't paid all that much attention to the road as we were driving to the stream and wasn't exactly prepared for the crazy straight up the hill beginning to my run. One thing is for sure though - my legs were completely warmed up by the end of that hill. The rest of the journey was rolling hills but definitely felt like more uphill than downhill.

Our campsite

The beautiful view I had while running

As I approached the stream, coming down that glorious hill that had, at the beginning, been the crazy hill, I heard the kids cheering me on. It was like I was running my own race. I sprinted toward the finish and glanced at my watch. It read 6.23 miles. Oh snap! I cannot end on an uneven number like that... I waved to the kids and continued running but it was up another stinkin' hill. I went part of the way up and then realized that exact mileage wasn't that important, so I turned around and headed back. By this point, they were loading up the van. I stopped my watch and then looked down. 6.66 miles. Seriously?! Ok, uneven mileage I can handle but triple 6's WERE NOT happening. I turned my Garmin back on and ran across the small parking lot and back for a 6.7 mile finish.

Everyone wanted to hike immediately so we set out on the Pumphouse Trail.

What a view! 

After the hike, we went to the beach area, where there was a cool playground.

And then to a picnic area where it appeared that a new television show pilot could have been taking place. We called it "Corrupting the Amish" because our girls were teaching their new friends with the pretty dresses how to do splits, while the boys showed them how to put sand all over the slide. Great fun! *wink* 

After a quick lunch, we decided that another hike was in order. This time, we went to the Laurel Hill Creek Trail.

On Sunday morning, we packed up our campsite and decided to do one more hike before heading home. There was a trail listed in the guide as "Difficult" but since our kids were such experienced hikers by this point <heh>, we decided to go for it.

Em holding a baby toad that she spotted along the trail.

See that dip on the left side of the picture. It was like that for the majority of the trail. We just made sure to hold hands with the kids during that time, and they did just fine.

What a wonderful weekend! And we made it home just in time to get to a first birthday party and replace all the calories we burned all weekend long....

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Crazy storms here flooded my basement and forced me to throw away a ridiculous amount of my stuff. It was; however, just STUFF. I'm hoping to move past it and just be thankful that everyone is safe and healthy. My newest mantra:

Good night!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Squeezing it in - Vacation style

Working out on vacation is NOT easy. Before leaving for our Massachusetts/Rhode Island trip, I googled (Really, spell check?! That is TOTALLY a word) and referenced a surprisingly well worded Wikihow article on maintaining an exercise routine while traveling. These were the tips suggested in the article:

1. Research the area you will be traveling to ahead of time.

My plan - I used Google maps to survey the area where our hotel was located, noting that it was about 2 miles away from the touristy spots that I knew we would be visiting.  I knew that, if nothing else, our day in Boston would involve a lot of walking. After that, it would be in my friend's capable hands.

What happened - We did A TON of walking in Boston, thanks to my map checking.

 2. Carefully plan out your travel schedule and make note of any gaps in your itinerary that can be filled with an exercise routine.

My plan - We didn't have much of an itinerary which was mildly challenging really freakin' hard for this Type-A personality.  We knew that Friday would be spent in Boston and then on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, we would be in a small town outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Tuesday would be a traveling day with somewhat early flight. I told myself that I would get up every morning before everyone else woke up so that I could run.

What happened - Unfortunately, I didn't account for the heat wave that crushed all of New England while we were there so my early morning runs just didn't happen. I did get a chance to run 4 miles with a friend on Friday, 3.1 miles to the beach on Sunday, and on Monday, my friend and I went to the local YMCA where I ran 4 miles and did strength and core stuff.

My friend, Marianne, met me at my hotel on Friday morning and we ran a couple of loops around Castle Island. It was super hot and humid but we made it through. Thanks Marianne!

3. Pack equipment and information that will help you construct an exercise routine while on vacation.

My plan - I absolutely refused to check bags so we didn't have much room for bringing anything. Luckily, being a runner, all I needed were my Brooks Ravennas, my trusty Garmin, and some workout clothes. I was ALL SET! 

What happened - I had EXACTLY what I needed! Yay me :)

4. Discuss your workout plans with a traveling partner.

My plan - My hubby knows me well enough by now to know that I'd be working out on vacation. No discussion needed.

What happened -  As far as I know, he wasn't surprised by anything. Well, except for when he woke up on Monday morning, and I wasn't sleeping beside him anymore since my friend and I went to the gym earlier than expected.

5. Pair an exercise routine with healthy eating while on vacation.

My plan - My friend had just completed a 21 day (plus some) sugar detox so I intended to try to stay away from alcohol and sweets along with her. She is also a member of my 70 Summer Days to a Slimmer You Challenge so I figured we would keep each other in check.

What happened - could have been a lot worse but the weekend did involve some alcohol and a few sweets. I really felt like I balanced it out well though - every indulgence was met with a calorie burn (i.e. dancing to Those Guys after dinner and drinks). 

6. Be creative and think about different ways to exercise at your hotel.

My plan - Since we were just at a hotel for one night, I didn't need to worry about this one too much, but I did plan on doing my ab challenge and squat challenge reps as a supplement to my running.

What happened - Both July 4th and 8th were "days off" for the challenges but on the other days, I actually remembered to do them. Well, every day but today (but I promise I'll do them before bed).... 

7. Choose sightseeing and tourist activities which require aerobic activity.

My plan I planned to walk, walk, walk while on vacation. 

What happened - Accordingly to my FitBit, Friday was 8.42 miles. On Saturday, I left my FitBit at my friend's house to charge while we went to a 4th of July celebration at her aunt (FYI: this word is not pronounced like the insect, "ant") and uncle's house, but we did leave the picnic to walk back and forth to 5pm Mass at St. Thomas More, so I know that was at least 2 miles of walking on top of everything else I was doing that day. On Sunday, I totaled 6.82 miles, and Monday was 6.71 miles. 

With two of my kids and two of my friend's kids on a walking tour of the mansions in Newport.

 All in all, I will call this vacation a success! I felt like I was able to let loose a bit without going hog wild. Balance is key and I feel like I succeeded in finding that. *pats self on back*

So, what is YOUR plan for vacation this year?


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Shipped off to Boston

 On Independence Day, in the EARLY morning hours, we shipped off to Boston. We arrived in the city at Logan Airport at about noon and took a bus and then a train to the closest station to our hotel. Unfortunately, it was still close to a mile walk, carrying all the bags. At check in, we noticed the sign for their free airport shuttle. Whoopsie!

After a brief nap (read: adults slept but the kids did not), we went out to see the sights of Boston, with the highlight being the free Boston Pops concert at the Charles River Esplanade.

My little runner girl wanted to hear all about the Boston Marathon as we waited for our bus to the hotel.

Memorial for the tragedy in Boston.

Boston Strong!

It was seriously sooooooo hot out!!!!!

 We decided to forgo calling the hotel shuttle to pick us up since it was so crazy busy in the city. Instead, we walked a little over 2 miles back to the hotel. I promised the kids that we would stop for ice cream, but surprisingly, there weren't any shops along the way. We compromised with some frozen treats from the Seven-Eleven. Kids are so easily fooled...

When we got back to the hotel, I checked my FitBit and saw that we had walked 8.42 miles that day. For me, that's no biggie but for a seven and five year old, I am SUPER impressed....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

They say it's your birthday.

Happy birthday to me!!!!

I woke up in the morning and pretty much ran to the dining room, expecting to see a cupcake waiting for me. Nothing. I opened up the fridge. Nope. Checked near the computer. Negative.  I, then, searched the entire house and came up empty. No biggie, I thought, I really don't *need* the cupcake...

From that point on, my day went on as normal - no real indication of birthday-ness, except for the constant Facebook love I received from family, friends, neighbors, former classmates, and even an ex-boyfriend. I did a Turbo Fire HIIT DVD, took the older kids to playground camp, went to the park with two other children that I was watching and visited a library story time in the early afternoon. 

When hubby came home, I was beyond thrilled to see that he had brought home a couple of cupcakes from Vanilla Pastry Studio. We ate dinner and then I scarfed down BOTH cupcakes. Sure, I could have shared them but he insisted they were for me...

Then, the guilt set in. Here I was, pigging out on craploads of sugar and I hadn't even run that day. I seriously wiped the chocolate off of my mouth, put on my Garmin and music and headed out the door. I hit the hills HARD and was panting by the end of mile 1. I could also feel the cupcakes in my belly creeping back up by that point and they weren't tasting as good the second time around. I slowed down a bit and walked a few of the insane hills but for the most part, kept my pace reasonable. I hit 3.4 miles in front of my house but decided I should go for 3.6 since it was my 36th birthday. After a quick up and back, I came inside and had to get ready for my planned movie outing immediately. 

Yup, that's me in all of my sweaty 36 year old glory.

All in all, it ended up being a really nice day, despite a bit of craziness. I'm ready to start out another year of my life! 36 feels better than 26, believe it or not....

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's raining. It's pouring...

And this Mama ain't snoring...

So, my plans to work out during playground camp were derailed by the rain, but I refuse to let that get me down. My new plan is to pop in a DVD and burn some calories while the kids do puzzles and play board games. Off to vacation in a few days so I MUST get something in...

I'll check in later.