Tale of Two Runs

So I ran a race a few weeks ago. The Torchlight 5K. It’s a fun race- it starts at the Basilica and goes through downtown Minneapolis and ends in my neighborhood on St. Anthony main.

Now, I have been running with Moms on the Run- but even though I insist on running despite my husband’s concerns, my doctor’s concerns- I have not been running that much.  I have been skipping my Saturday group because I am sooo tired (loosing sleep for early meeting at work) or we have had stuff going on and then honestly- it is HOT in July and I do not do heat well- so I have skipped at least once due to heat- and another day I was having such a rough day I just skipped because I thought I was going to cry… LOL You know- we all have those days!

Starts at the Basilica!

Starts at the Basilica!

So anyway- when I ran this race- I was not as prepared as I probably should have been. But I did it anyway! LOL My Guy waited for me at the finish line. This is the first race since I met him that we did not run together! Crazy!

Look how far away from the start I am! I was in the 4th wave!

Look how far away from the start I am! I was in the 4th wave!

Anyway- I started out way too fast. But it always feels SLOW. I knew from the beginning that it would be a rough one. I ran my Moms on the Run intervals which was 8 minutes run- 1 minute walk. THAT killed me. The last intervals I had really done was 5/1 so this was quite an increase.

Almost at the start!

Almost at the start!

It was cool to run the beginning 1/3 of the race because there are huge crowds already lined up waiting for the Aquatennial parade that comes after it. And it was awesome to have My Guy waiting for me at the end.

I don't look too bad for the hard race it felt like it was!

I don’t look too bad for the hard race it felt like it was!

There's My Guy!

There’s My Guy!

One of the cool things about this race is that there is a big party after… bands, free beer, merchandise tents… it’s a good time. I got to see my Moms on the Run coach after the race- that was fun and My Guy and I grabbed our free beer- even though we don’t even really drink beer! LOL But at a Beer Race- you have to drink your beer! LOL

Coach Colleen!

Coach Colleen!

Free Beer!

Free Beer!

So seriously- it took me a LONG time to recover from this race. I don’t know why it was so hard. Maybe because I ran that first mile so fast? Maybe because it was 8 minutes of running? But my knees hurt so much after- and for a couple of days- but that was the first time all summer (after the shots) that they hurt so much. I didn’t run for more than a week after because I was just still UGH.

Then yesterday- it was our regular weds run group night. And I did NOT want to go! UGH! LOL It’s hot and I am just all blah! So My Guy decides he will go sit in the park and read and wait for me- so we will leave together and I will know he is out there waiting. That actually did help- it was good for us both! And I always do love being with the ladies!

Instead of the intervals everyone else is up to- 15 run/1 walk X2… I did my 5/1 X6. Since I really have not been doing much of the extra work and skipping classes like I mentioned before- I figure I should go back to where I was comfortable and start working from there.

Always such a pretty view on my runs!

Always such a pretty view on my runs!

St. Anthony Falls

St. Anthony Falls

It felt so much better! It was still hard- especially going up that last hill… but I did it! At the end- I was the last person back to the start and they are all so sweet- two of the gals ran back to run to the end with me. THAT is why I love this group- no one is ever left behind!

(In the beginning I was one of the first ladies finished each week- almost two years off from running- my knees were happy and rested- but now after even just the two days – ok or ONE day- a week running- this arthritis, even with the cortisone shot- is making it very difficult!)

I actually feel pretty good today- even though  my pace with the shorter intervals was ALMOST as good as that race! I am not nearly as sore and it won’t take me a week to recover. Crazy! I knew I was not doing great at the race! Also- I feel good about kind of restarting at this level. My Guy and I are going to run a Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving- as kind of a “Last Hurrah” to running for us both. I think I will be able to work back up to a pretty good pace if I stay focused and stop skipping classes!

Race Pace

Race Pace- Full 5K

Run pace

Run pace- Not quite full 5K

So anyway- that’s just some run musings… It’s interesting. My ambivalence yet my desire to run fighting with each other… I only have a few more months to run- so I really need to get this going!

How is your MOVING? Are you getting out there this summer?

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The Funniest Thing…

So- most of you know that I work from home. My commute is THE BEST!

Bedroom —–> Living room!

On really rainy days- My Guy brings me my laptop (and my coffee) in bed… so I don’t have nearly as far to go! LOL <3

So anyway- I have those great windows behind me while I work. I look out over a bunch of great trees! They even keep the rain from coming in the window and I can always enjoy fresh air!

So that is the background- here is the story- I have a 7:30 am conference call EVERY DAY! (Let’s not even get me started- that alone could be a blog post! I loose an HOUR of sleep every day! It is actually starting to take a toll on me- but that is a whole different story!) Anyway- when you start your day on the computer for work at 7:15 it doesn’t leave a lot of time for a shower and getting all pretty!

So the other day I had to get out to meet My Guy around noon for an appointment, but I had conference calls throughout the morning. I snuck a quick shower in between calls but did not have time to actually get dressed before the next call. So- hey-  I live alone- on the third floor- and it’s not a video conference… no worries!

I put on my make-up while I talked on the call… and since the air conditioning is on I heard lawn noises in the back- but it wasn’t distracting- it was normal outdoor yard sounds.

Until I stood up and stretched- in my skivvies- and looked out the window!!

A MAN IN MY TREE!!

A MAN IN MY TREE!!

LOL OH MY WORD! LOL That was a scare! HA! I don’t think he saw me- or cared if he did- but boy did I get a big chuckle! How did I not know that there was a swarm of MEN in the trees in the backyard as I sat there and quietly worked in my undies??!!

Lot's of huge branches on the ground!

Lot’s of huge branches on the ground!

Oh! Hello There!

Oh! Hello There!

After he climbed down a ways!

After he climbed down a ways!

That was a scare! LOL And it makes for a fun story!

Have you ever had anything strange like that happen to you?

La-

 

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Busy Summer

So lot’s going on this summer… (But not too much!)

1- The Girl graduated from High School! WOW! My Guy’s baby girl is all “growed up!” What a great kid. I just adore her. She is fun, smart, independent, and full of ideas! We are actually moving her into her own apartment this weekend. I never would have been ready a month and a half after I graduated to live on my own- it’s pretty amazing. She and her BFF are just getting it done! She is enrolled in community college and ready to make her place in the world!

IMG_2500 IMG_2516 IMG_2514 IMG_2510

2- We are HOUSE HUNTING! OMG! How much fun is it? I really am enjoying the process. When I bought my first home back in NY- it pretty much fell into my lap- so I didn’t get to have the whole “house hunting” fun. We found one last month that we really loved. Totally cute and totally in the low end of the budget- so happy making! THEN came the sad making- this has been the wettest spring since 1876- and the inspection revealed water in the basement. That just threw it all off and we could not see a good way to move past that. So, now “Onward and Upward” as I like to say. I keep telling My Guy- “I will fall in love with 100 homes and that means I can fall out of love with 99 too!” He on the other hand is more methodical in his thought process and as the primary “maintenance” guy has more concerns than I do. At the end of the day we both know that we will both KNOW when we find the right one. We have only seen about 15 houses so far- so we are still kind of in the early stages and we are already on a very good 2-month to 2-month lease so we have time. I am excited about the possibilities!

3- I am still running. My knees are holding up OK. Not awesome though- they are kind of starting to ache a little and now I freakin’ have shin splints! Are you kidding me? UGH! But I am truly enjoying the whole community spirit of being in a running group! On Monday I met one of the other gals and we ran our extra workout together. We also got caught in a huge downpour! LOL It was fun and crazy! There were some other gals who heard we did that and next Monday we might have a couple of us all running our extra workout together. Fun- just fun! :) My weight is staying steady- hoping to loose a little more this month- but as long as I feel good about what I am eating and my activity level- I am going to be happy with this for now!

Running in a crazy deluge!

Running in a crazy deluge!

After a run with Coach Colleen!

After a run with Coach Colleen!

True Mom Style- double stroller and I have trouble keeping up with her!

True Mom Style- double stroller and I have trouble keeping up with her!

What is going on in your summer?

La-

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Down and Down!

YAY! Finally- I am moving the scale in the right direction and feeling good about it. Yes- my knee situation sucks. I am moving past it and going to keep on finding ways to live a healthy lifestyle and keep working on getting back to my goal weight. (Loosing weight is a REALLY good thing for knee issues… REALLY!)

Down 10 lbs!

Down 10 lbs!

So- finally since Easter I have lost 10 lbs. At the time of writing this it was closer to 12! WHOO HOO!!

Exactly 10!

Exactly 10!

Running two days a week- SPIN/Krank two days a week (I need to figure out how to add a long ride on my bike every week to really feel like I have it “figured out.”) I have not ben going crazy with worrying about food- but I have been being careful.

Eating like I know I should- mostly veggies and lean protein. No snacking. (OK OK fine- occasional snacking!) I have noticed that I always drop at least a little when I have exercised. That is pretty good motivation!

I am going out of town next week for work. It is always a little more difficult to manage that whole “healthy lifestyle” thing when out of town- but I am sure going to try! I do not want another “chimichanga incident.”

They were goading me on- to "Strike a Pose!"

They were goading me on- to “Strike a Pose!”

I love the “gym” I go to. It is a SPIN/Pilates gym mostly. No treadmills etc. It’s been a totally fun experience! So glad I bought that Groupon! Still trying to figure out the class schedule outside my SPIN/Krank class- summer schedule changed and I don’t get to do my mat Pilates anymore. :( But it’s still so worth it!

What do you do to stay active and MOVING? How are you doing in your weight loss/ healthy lifestyle journey?

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The Knee Saga Takes a New Turn

So- you have seen me over the past few days, weeks, months, years… complain about pain in my knees. From general pain when I run/walk/breathe to pain from falling off my bike just before my wedding. It’s always an adventure.

Recently I decided to try running again- in a methodical- fun- social manner- so I joined Mom’s on the Run. Love this group! And… the pain was back. Sometimes worse than others- sometimes waking me up in the night because of the ache. It doesn’t hurt as much when I am actually running- it’s just all the rest of the time! LOL

So I decided that I needed to find out once and for all, am I injured? Or am I just being a baby with the pain? (Though I really do have a pretty high tolerance for pain). I felt like the time has finally come to get some “final words.” My chiro and my Physical Therapist have been so helpful over the years- but at the same time- it never really gets significantly better.

So this past Thursday I went to the orthopedic Dr. He was recommended to me by my Mom’s on the Run coach. She has seen him a few times and without surgery he has helped her to keep on running so I figured that was a good place to start.

At the clinic we discussed my history of knee pain and injuries, he watched me walk, he felt my knees and asked where it hurt, he held his hand over them as I bent them back and forth so he could feel the crunch and pop as they moved! (It’s so gross to hear them make all that noise!)

He told me that he had a pretty good idea what was wrong- but he was going to send me for X-rays right then to be sure and we would get back together as soon as the X-rays came in.

He came back and said “Yep. I was right. You have severe osteoarthritis in your knees. I thought that is what it was, arthritis under your knee caps, but you have significantly more damage than we would normally expect in a woman your age.”

Say what? I have OLD KNEES??

In my Dr. notes in the online account it says this: Findings: Severe degenerative changes patellofemoral joint, bilaterally with mild medial compartment narrowing.

(Sigh) Just this past December my mom had both of her knees replaced. I never really thought about that as “genetic.” But the arthritis that caused her knees to degenerate apparently is.  At one point I looked at the Dr and asked, “Wait! So does this mean that I could need to have my knees replaced someday?” His response? “Well if you live a long happy, healthy, active life and do everything right… Yes. Definitely.” FRAK!

So- crapola… At least I know what is wrong- even if I do not like the answer.

Bandaids for my cortisone steroid injection boo boos!

Bandaids for my cortisone steroid injection boo boos!

Now I have to work with what I have. He gave me a steroid/cortisone shot in each knee. He said that should pretty much eliminate the arthritis pain for 3-6 months and start working within 24 hours. (It DID!) BUT it is not a cure. When it starts to wear off I need to go back and he will try a medical knee lubricant. It takes about a month for that to work but it lasts about a year for most people (if it works- it works in about 67% of people or something like that!). Then pretty much this is something I will have to keep track of and do regularly forever (until the new knees.)

He said I could run. It depends on my own tolerance for pain. I will swell and have some pain from running still (there is a lot of damage in there already and running is not exactly preventing further damage) but it will not be nearly what it is now. Ice and Advil will work. I could do it for one more summer- but he does recommend I think about finding other activities I can be passionate about. (Good thing I like my bike so much!) Of course my husband and my chiropractor are pretty much anti-running at this point because they worry about the damage I will do in the meantime even if it doesn’t hurt as much.

Also- the other aches and pains are still there- My tib/fib joint is all loose and wobbly and half the time is out of place (oh yeah- MOM has THAT problem too- thanks again! LOL) and because I have been in pain my body has been trying to compensate so there is other soreness… but that will start to get better since the pain is gone. (Fingers crossed!)

The Dr said the number one thing I need to work on is strengthening my quads to help support my knees better. I will also be sure to enlist the help of my chiro and my Physical Therapist to try to make this last as long as I can and be as healthy as possible in the meantime. Mom also has some good recommendations for joint lubrication support and being that she has been through all this already- I will be getting some of that good stuff ASAP.

So there we have it. An answer. Not one I like AT ALL. One that made me crawl in bed next to My Guy and have a good cry. One that still kind of stressed me out.. but at least I know what I am up against.

Oh and if you are wondering? I AM going to run the rest of the summer with my running group. Slow and steady. I probably will only run the two days of group- no extra intervals- and I will keep doing my SPIN/Krank class and I will ride my bike the other days… but I am going to make the most of the last summer I will EVER be able to run… and enjoy my Mom’s running group!

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