Running Injuries Update

For a while now I’ve battled some running injuries. Last year there was the IT band, which seemed to heal on its own (thank to more research done by me about what I could do to help the health of my IT band: foam roller, more stretching, more strength in my glutes and hamstrings). This year it was my left knee developing patellar tendonitis towards the end of training for the Run The Bluegrass Half.

Since the half marathon, which was at the end of March, I’ve been going to physical therapy–first to learn more exercises and stretches for my legs (again an issue with lack of strength and flexibility in my legs), then ultrasound therapy directly on my knee.

My legs have gotten much stronger, thanks to the exercises I’ve been doing and also CrossFit. I’m more diligent about stretching throughout the day as well, so my quads’ flexibility has improved quite a bit as well. Now we’re using the ultrasound therapy to break up the constant inflammation and swelling. Thursday morning Ryan (my PT) said it was OK for me to get back to distance training, as long as I keep up the strength and stretching exercises and realize that my knee might always hurt a little after a run, but ice and Ibuprofen will help that. Yay! Fall half marathon(s) anyone??? 😉

But, of course, there’s always a catch…I can’t pinpoint exactly when this started, but my right heel has been bothering me for quite some time now, especially after a run. I’ve been running in Powerstep insoles (rather than going for custom orthodics, which I don’t have the money for), and my shoes are all in decent shape. When I went in to see my sports medicine doctor for a follow-up on my knee at the beginning of the month, he told me to do toe lifts and heel stretches off of a step or curb a few times a day to strengthen my feet/heel area and to stretch all of that as well. I’ve been foam rolling my calves as well, to see if tightness was a factor. And yet, it hasn’t gotten better. After running 5 miles Wednesday, then almost 4 miles with friends Thursday morning, my heel was not a happy camper during my dog agility class Thursday night nor when I woke up this morning to go to CrossFit.

It worked itself out to be a mild pain by the time I walked to the box and did the workout, but when I came home I made sure I stretched, did my toe raises, then foam rolled my calf and iced my heel. I’m going to try to baby it today to see if it’ll calm down.

Both my PT and sports med doctor don’t see if being plantar fasciitis, but I’m always concerned about that.

I’m open to any suggestion about what to do about this new little bug!

What running injuries have you had to overcome when it came to training?

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Battling Boredom

I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately. And, to be quite honest, I don’t handle being bored very well–asking anyone in my family or M. I can only “relax” for so long before I go stir crazy.

So how have I been battling boredom lately? Well…

  • Clean the house
  • Do laundry or anything that’ll fit in the washer
  • Mow the lawn
  • Plant flowers, water said flowers, move said flowers in and out of the sun constantly
  • Write blog posts, read more blogs
  • Go to CrossFit
  • Go running
  • Look for new recipes
  • Bake (but be careful if you don’t have many people to help eat what you baked)
  • Walk the dogs
  • Train the dogs in agility in the back yard
  • Brush the dogs
  • Look for new DIY projects for around the house, then figure out how to execute the project on the cheap
  • Find things you no longer need and list them on CraigsList to get rid of them and make a little extra cash

And that’s what I did this morning. After an early morning wake-up to meet some friends for a 3.5+ mile run at 5:30, I walked the pups, showered, and headed to my physical therapy appointment. During our 12-minute ultrasound therapy session, Ryan told me I was good to increase my mileage and start training for more races–yay!

After that appointment, I ran a few more errands before coming home and hitting the computer for some blog reading. Then I listed a couple of things on CraigsList, like my old television from my apartment that’s just been sitting in our spare bedroom for 3 years and a some wedding decorations that weren’t claimed by friends for their wedding. I’m looking forward to getting those out of the house and getting a little extra cash in my pocket!

It’s hard to do much when M has to work–he comes home a little after 8 am and sleeps for a good chunk of the day, so I have to keep the house (meaning the dogs) quiet, so that limits what all I can do during those hours (no mowing, no vacuuming, nothing very loud or disruptive basically). That’s hard.

Now it’s time to do a little transcribing from an interview I did yesterday and try to contact some more sources. But first I’d like to know….

How do you tackle boredom in the summer? Give me some more ideas, please! 🙂

Yummy Fresh Summer Dinner

Friday night M and I joined some friends at Whole Foods for their 5 on Friday event to try five different beers with be different recipes. They were all very good, but we were still hungry by the time we got home. We had some chicken sausage that needed to be cooked, so I found a recipe that sounded perfect for the evening:

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I found the recipe using my AllRecipes.com Spinner app on my phone, but I changed it up some to suit what we had in the kitchen.

Stuffed Zucchini with Chicken Sausage

2 Zucchini
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 links chicken sausage with cheese, casings removed
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 can diced Italian-style tomatoes (most of the fluid drained)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon basil (I used dry, but you can use fresh if you have it)
1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs (to help soak up the mixture)
1 clove minced garlic
Chopped onion (I had minced dried onion that I did a couple of shakes)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Cut the zucchini length-wise (cut off the ends as well). With a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell intact all around the zucchini–you decide the thickness of the flesh. (I love zucchini, so I didn’t make it too thin, though remember this will mean an adjustment to cooking time.)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then cook up the chicken sausage, breaking up the meat while it cooks. After about 8 minutes or so, sprinkle the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and basil. I saved some of the zucchini flesh and decided to chop that up and throw it in the chicken sausage mixture as well.
  4. Pour the can of diced Italian-style tomatoes (partially drained) into the mixture and add the onion and garlic at this time. Stir the mixture until cooked through and then turn off the burner.
  5. In a bowl, scrape the sausage mixture into a bowl with the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Lightly stuff the zucchini boats with the mixture. I had the boats already placed on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until thoroughly heated and the mixture is brown on top–about 30 minutes.

I loved this dinner–so light and so easy to make. Since I left the zucchini a little thicker, I think next time I should maybe bake the zucchini by itself a little first, or bake the entire thing more. Or maybe even grill the zucchini first! Hmm…I’m going to play around with it and will let you know.

Try it and let me know what you think!

CrossFit on the Brain

With all the extra time I have on my hands, I’ve been putting a lot of attention to CrossFit–going to classes more often, learning about the different maneuvers, etc. Last week I hit the box at Man O’War CrossFit five times, taking only Thursday and Sunday (our normal rest day) off. (Thursday I ran 4 miles before my physical therapy appointment and I didn’t want to stress my knee too much that day.)

By Saturday, my body was exhausted. I wasn’t really sore (except in the quads) as I thought I’d be, but it was more exhaustion. What I thought should have been a “not too bad” WOD was rough.

Here were the past four workouts, including this morning’s:

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These workouts are all bookended with a 1 mile run to the box and a 1 mile run from the box. It’s nice to live so close to the box, because I can save gas (and be environmentally friendly) all while burning some extra calories (and help work out the lactic acid in my muscles).

In today’s class, we built up our weight for front squats with each 3-rep set. I worked up to 95 lbs, then backed down to 75 for the max reps set (3 times). My knee has been a little sore lately, so I wanted to baby it. The 95 lbs was still pretty tough, and just a small stepping stone for more weight as I continue to get strong. For the max reps, I was able to get in 10, 13, and 15 with the 75 lbs. Not bad!

I’m really enjoying my time working with Taylor and Brenton on my form–I’m often reminded to keep my chest up in the squats and know what I’m doing right and what I need help with.

And, as if right on cue, I saw a link to this article on The Lean Green Bean Blog this morning about seven of the biggest mistakes people make with CrossFit by The Box Magazine, so I wanted to share the valid points with you:

  1. Kipping without base strength. I’ve found that I started kipping on my pull-ups when I’m exhausted. I really need to not do that, so maybe I need to step back and focus on my form on pull-ups by making sure I’m going straight up and straight down.
  2. Cherry-picking WODs. I don’t do this–I just go! I will look at the week’s WODs list on the Facebook page to prepare myself, and I might see what day would be good for my off-day (if there is a lot of one workout that I know my knee can’t do, I might choose an alternative workout that day), but I know I need to work on all of the maneuvers.
  3. Half-assing your workouts. I hate if I think I’m half-assing anything, so I don’t believe I’m guilty of this. I just try to not kill myself too much.
  4. Overtraining. I’ve been there, done that with everything I’ve done, so I’m trying to be conscious of that (hence my off days).
  5. Too much competing, not enough training. When I start to catch myself trying to be faster than someone, I take a moment and remind myself that I’m here to better my strength and form, and doing something fast just to be first doesn’t mean it’s right.
  6. Lack of accountability on range of motion. We’re not pressured with worrying about no-reps right now, but I do remind myself that I need to get my butt lower on squats and I need to work on push-ups on my toes. I’ll admit that I have yet to do a WOD as prescribed. But I need to work up to that (see #2 and 5).
  7. Avoiding scaling for Rx distinction. No worries here–I’m happy to see the scales! I need to have the correct form in order to build my strength to hopefully work as prescribed at some point.

CrossFit is definitely a place where your pride can get in the way of your progress. You have to focus on yourself first–make sure you know what you’re doing is correct and be honest with yourself. It can be pretty humbling, and I’m OK with that.

What’s been your experience with CrossFit? Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? How have you corrected them?

Bullying in the Workplace

A lot of attention has been paid to bullies in schools and bullies via the cyber world. It seems like it’s gotten worse lately…or maybe it’s just that our eyes are more open to things such as simple name calling or a push in the lunch line. There are shows dedicated by Dr. Phil and Katie Couric about bullying and kids at least monthly. But what about the adults? Does bullying stop when we hit 18?

In my experience, no, it doesn’t. There is bullying in the workplace–a place where humans are expected to act like adults and treat each other with respect. Where there are rules, but most of them are assumed.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), the definition of bullying is as follows:

The repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done

I had struggled with my own workplace bully for a while, but it didn’t get to a point of concern for myself until the past year or so. My stress level was sky high; my unhappiness reached a point where I could no longer cover it up by a simple slight smile. I felt threatened for my job, even though I worked hard not only from 8-5, but on the off hours, to, trying to make sure we were on the top when it came to different aspects of our industry. And yet, there were times that no matter what I did, it didn’t matter–it was like I was still a screw up and I was difficult to work with.

The WBI says that workplace bullying is driven “by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s)” and “requires consequences for the targeted individual.” There was control being forced upon from many directions. And even though one of the said-bullies wasn’t even my manager any longer, there was still that need to force control over me.

My personality can tend to be a little strong, I’ll admit that–I am a Scorpio (through and through), after all. I’m hard-headed and I will battle to show that I am right. But majority of my actions have never been malicious in any form towards anyone, yet there were a couple of people who took it that way. Instead of talking with me about it, they’d go to others to show their displeasure and ask that something be done. It was like I was targeted for some reason or another. I never took their same route–I was afraid of being labeled as a tattle tale or someone who had to rely on someone else to do their fighting. I’d straighten my posture, clear my throat, and focus solely on my job and doing the best that I can.

But some times that best isn’t good enough. And somehow, even though other parties in the company knows that you’re being targeted by someone, there’s no one that stands up for you. No one that says for a second for everyone to just stop and confront the situation head-on. No one that really has your back in the battle. Instead, everyone keeps their noses to the computer screen, until one day they’re shocked by a company-wide email. They walk around the office, wondering what happened, and how this could happen to such a hard worker, where the one who they knew was the bully got away scot-free without even a hint of a scar.

I’d hate to think that the bully won…mostly because they got what they wanted. It was a bad situation for a while, and many knew how unhappy I was and how stressed I had become (though I’ll admit I was immune to my feelings of stress until I had a few days to reflect on life then). I wanted out. I needed out. This was just more of a kick in the pants to make a move faster than anticipated, and a kick in the pants to truly start my life over, like I had dreamed of for a while now.

So maybe the bully didn’t win. But that’s the point, right? To not let your competition feel as though they’ve won? To just pick up and move on, dust off your shoulders and move forward like no one saw you trip and fall? You’ve been dealt with a shitty situation–now it’s time to make the best of it. It’s not about lemons and lemonade–this is your life, your career, your passion we’re talking about. The bruising from all the punches you took for the past year or so will soon fade. The things you were forced to remember because you had been there for longer than some will soon disappear and your memories will be filled with better, happier things. But how do you move on, without that feeling of bitterness, without that feeling of being letdown by those you trusted and thought had your back? How do you move on from the hurt that has damaged your trust?

That’s what we do. That’s just what you do. You continue showing that you’re a strong person (in your will, physicality, mentally, etc.) and that you are better than your bullies thought of you. Their opinions and their thoughts mean nothing to you any more. They mean nothing to you any more. That time you spent in that work environment now only means time on your resume. And for that, you should be thankful for that experience, because it’s taught you more than the career skills you’ve acquired for that next job and that next experience, but it’s taught you how to be a better person than they were and how to be a better employee who hopefully stands up for herself better.

 

My First Hero WOD

I hope everyone’s week is going well so far. Monday was spent hitting up Man O’War CrossFit for an early morning workout and walk with the pups, as the routine has been lately.

I also helped a friend work on building her own chicken coop. She’s had chickens before, in her urban home, but a raccoon was able to sneak in and kill the last bunch, so this time she’s building a bigger, better coop. (She has a Masters in architecture, so she enjoyed drawing up the plans.) I used to help my dad with a lot of construction projects when I was in high school and college, so it was fun to work with power tools and wood again.

Dally was the quality control supervisor for Joy's work on the saw.

Dally was the quality control supervisor for Joy’s work on the saw.

Today’s CrossFit workout was exciting for me–it was my first Hero WOD! I’ve missed the last couple of benchmark WODs, so when I found out today was a Hero, I was pumped to try it. I had planned on waking up early to fit in a short run, but after not getting home from reffing volleyball until 2 am, I decided it was better to sleep in. So I ran to the box, with plans to run back to get 2 miles. (One of the perks of living near your box!)

Here was the WOD:

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Brendon warned us that “Sevens” was tough and only two people in the box have been able to finish all 7 rounds with the prescribed weights in the 35 minute cap–Tara and Iverson. Bad-ass! None of us were working with the prescribed weights, but my personal challenge was to get all 7 rounds done, and I did…in 25:23! I was whooped!

Sevens

7 Handstand Push-ups
7 Thrusters
7 Knees to Elbows
7 Deadlifts
7 Burpees
7 Kettlebell Swings
7 Pull-ups
7 Rounds

This WOD was named after seven CIA agents who were killed in action by a suicide bomber. These were each of their favorite maneuvers. (It’s pretty cool to know the story behind the Hero workouts–they inspire you to really give it your all, when you know they gave theirs for our country.) You can read more about Hero workouts here: Explain the Hero Workouts

My Rx:

Handstand Push-ups — Toes on the box at 20″
Thrusters — Men’s bar (45 lb)
Knees to Elbows — Knees to Chest
Deadlifts — 85 lbs
Kettlebell Swings — 26 lbs
Pull-ups — Used green rubber band (moving up!)

I was exhausted afterwards and thought maybe I’d just walk home, but when I walked outside, I thought the best way to cap off a Hero workout would be to push myself a little more and run home. It was at a slower pace than running to class, but that’s OK–I did it.

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What’s been your latest physical barrier you’ve pushed through?

Have you experienced a Hero WOD yet?

Protein Smoothie with Coconut Water

About a month ago I received a fun package in the mail from Zola, as part of my affiliation with Fit Approach and the Sweat Pink Ambassadors. Inside it had two cans of  coconut water (one with pulp and one without) and a bottle of acai juice. Oh, and some fun neon green sunglasses, which LaMesa had to try on:

w00t!! Coconut water and acai juice! Whatever shall I make with it??

LaMesa rocking the neon green Zola shades.

LaMesa rocking the neon green Zola shades.

Anyway, I wasn’t too sure what to do with the contents, but the first thing that came to mind was a protein smoothie. Usually I don’t keep tabs one what all I put in my smoothies–it’s usually a toss-in-as-I-go type of affair, but after sharing a pic of this smoothie on my Instagram, I was asked for the recipe, so here it goes:

Peach & Coconut Protein Smoothie

1 Handful of fresh spinach leaves
Frozen peaches (however many you’d like)
Half a frozen banana
1 Heaping tablespoon full of plain Greek yogurt (I like Oikos, but it’s whatever you’d prefer)
1 scoop ProComplete One V-Core Vanilla Bean Protein powder
1/4 cup Zola Coconut Water
1 Packet Hodgeson Mill Milled Flax Seed
Sprinkle of chia seeds

  1. Combine everything but the chia seeds in a blender. Add as much or as little Zola coconut water as you’d like. (Some like a thicker smoothie that they actually eat with a spoon, or a thinner smoothie to drink while on the road.)
  2. Pour the smoothie into the container of choice.
  3. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top.
  4. Enjoy!

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I made my smoothie a little thicker (I added a lot of peaches and spinach) because I wanted to enjoy it in a big mug and spoon. I don’t know what it is about eating a smoothie out of a bowl/big mug some times, but it’s relaxing and I feel like I stay fuller longer. Could just be a mind thing.

I’ve made a protein smoothie using the Zola coconut water with a frozen berry mix (raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries), spinach, and plain Greek yogurt that M enjoyed after his first CrossFit class.

I love using the coconut water because it’s so versatile and doesn’t flavor your smoothie too much. Plus, coconut water helps with hydration, which is perfect for summer time and recovering from workouts.

I drank the acai juice on its own throughout the week, as a little pick-me-up with my lunches. It had a consistency an flavor that takes a little getting used to, but it was still pretty good. I’d never had plain acai juice before, so this was nice to get to experience.

What’s your favorite summer time post-workout smoothie recipe? (I’m always looking for new combinations.)

**Note, I was provided the samples for free from Zola, but all views are my own.

Good News & Good Workouts

So I finally think that the week is ending better than it started. First of all, the good news: the biopsy came back as benign–there doesn’t seem to be any cancerous cells, but the doctor wants to keep an eye on it with regular checkups. That’s perfectly fine with me! Whew! One bullet dodged…

And now for some good workouts. Thursday morning I ran 3.6 miles before I had to head to physical therapy for my knee. We’re now focusing on ultrasound therapy for my knee–I’m still doing the exercises to strengthen my legs, but the ultrasound therapy should help break down the inflammation and swelling that’s still in my knee. After the first session, my knee felt fine–wasn’t sore or anything from my run earlier. And so far, it’s held up to some tough CrossFit workouts, so I think it’s working.

And for the first time I have hit CrossFit four times in a week! Gotta love having a more flexible schedule, right? (One positive look at it…) I missed Thursday’s workout, which stinks because I heard it was killer, but I hit Friday and Saturday’s workout.

Friday, June 14:

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Strength: 5 rounds of four Cleans

I was able to do the strength portion with 55 lbs. I might have been able to add more, but I really am trying to focus on getting my form correct first, before adding a bunch of weight. When you add weight, you tend to start to lose your form as you tire, but if you’re diligent about keeping your form, it shouldn’t be too bad.

WOD:
5 Overhead Squats
100 m Sprint
7 minute AMRAP

I was able to get in seven rounds, plus the five overhead squats, in seven minutes. It was exhausting, though! I used a 35 lb bar for the squats and did tend to lose a little of my form, but Taylor was good at reminding me to keep my elbows locked.

Saturday, June 15:

I was excited about today because M was finally joining me for CrossFit! It was Man O’War CrossFit‘s “Bring a Friend Day”, so he tagged along to see what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately, it was a killer workout to start him off. But the newbies (there was one other) only had to do 10 minutes.

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WOD:
EMOTM 20 Minutes
5 Medicine Ball Cleans
5 Medicine Ball Slams
5 Squat Jumps
Hold plank on forearms for remainder of minute

By the 10 minute mark, I wanted to be done! Again, I was focusing on my form for the cleans, using a 14 lb medicine ball. I’d get anywhere between a 15-20 plank hold every minute. You’d think it wouldn’t be too difficult, but your legs are burning after the first few rounds. M struggled a little, but he did the 10 minutes then rested. I ended up with burns on my elbows from the planks from slipping with sweaty arms. Ouch.

I showed M how to use a foam roller on his legs, since he was saying they felt like Jell-O, plus I figure they’ll be a little sore come tomorrow morning. 😉

So a great way to kick off the weekend–good news and a good sweat!

Real quick, I wanted to share this easy grilled dinner I made Friday night. I simply marinated some chicken breasts in Italian dressing and put them on the grill. Meanwhile, I sliced up a sweet potato into “wedges” and tossed them in some olive oil, sea salt, and nutmeg, then plopped them on the grill (on aluminum foil) while the chicken was cooking. I also sliced up half of a red bell pepper and tossed them in olive oil and grilled for a few more minutes, too.

I put together a quick spinach salad with slivered almonds, reduced-sugar cranberries, carrots, and a little shredded cheese just for a little something more.

And voila!

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What’s your favorite easy summer meal?

Double-Unders, Snatches, Dead Lifts & More…. CrossFit!

Despite everything going on in my life right now, I’m still taking time to care for myself and workout. CrossFit has been great to work out the aggression and frustration, too! 😉

So here are two of the past workouts from Man O’War CrossFit:

June 11:

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We warmed up with a quick core AMRAP, and let me tell you–Turkish Get Ups at 6:30 am are not fun!! Plus, I was taught to do them a different way, so to do them the way Taylor showed me, with a 17.6 lb kettlebell (when I used to do them with a 10 lb dumbbell) was hard!

I then did the WOD:

50-40-30-20-10
Double Unders
Kettlebell swings
1 Wall Climb

My goal for the DUs was to try to do 10 in each round, then the rest singles. I’m lucky I was wearing capris, because I knew I would have had welts on my legs and butt to match the welts on my arms! They hurt so much, but yet I’m determined to figure them out! I did the kettlebell swings with a 26 lb kettlebell, and then I worked on my form (getting my hips closer to the wall) for my wall climb. I think I was finished in 13:34.

Wednesday’s workout was fun because I was finally able to meet Nicole there. Like me, she had always been interested in trying CrossFit, and after reading my posts, she bought a Groupon and has started going to Man O’War! So it was fun to finally get to workout with her on a rare day off for her.

I walked the mile to the box from my house (lucky, I know) as a warm-up. Then the fun began:

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After a group warm-up of three 1000m runs with 10 jumping jacks between each set, we stretched then started on the the strength portion of the workout: five sets of 4 deadlifts with medium to heavy weight. I was able to up my weight to 115 lbs! Brendon really had us focus on our form, which was definitely what I needed. With the lighter weight my but would raise higher faster, which is what you don’t want to happen. But as we got to my max weight, my form was better.

Then the WOD:

2 Muscle Ups (or 2 chest to bar with 2 dips)
4 snatches
10 Rounds

Because I can’t do a muscle up, I did the two chest to bar with two dips on the box. Though, I actually did three of each because I felt like my first C2Bs were always a little weak. I moved myself from the wider, thicker purple band to a more narrow green band to give me something to work on. We weren’t doing it for time, so the clock wasn’t running–Brendon wanted us to focus on our form for the snatches more than anything, which is why I just did the 35 lb bar. I felt that I could maybe do more weight on the bar, but I told him that I really wanted to get the technique down first. After the workout, I think I have the snatch down-pat….for now, at least.

This morning I ran 3.6 miles in 33:52 before I headed to my physical therapy appointment–we started ultrasound therapy on my knee today, so I’m hoping that helps the healing process. I’ll let you know how that goes.

What’s the one CrossFit maneuver, or even regular workout maneuver, that you are focusing on this summer to improve? I’m focused on the double unders and more of the Olympic lifts.

In a Rough Patch

It’s Wednesday…how did it get to be Hump Day already? Well, I can tell you, it’s been one helluva week for me, and I’m hoping things will start to look up at some point.

I spent the weekend in Indiana visiting my family and helping my dad run a dog agility trial. It was a long, grueling weekend of keeping things going, as well as running Dally and LaMesa. Luckily Dally came through and was a rockstar like always, which made things a little easier. LaMesa, on the other hand, was her usual self where we had our usual struggles. Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Life has taken a big turn for me recently. I’m taking a big step and gone out on my own for right now–no more stable salary, no more stable schedule, etc. I’m looking for something new currently, but I don’t really know what direction I want to go in: Do I want to stay in the equine industry? Do I want to stay in the media sector? I don’t know. Do I dare consider going back to school for something else? I have no clue. I have a lot of questions and not one single answer at the moment…and I hate it.

Another part of my rough patch was when I had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning. I won’t go into detail, but they took a biopsy of something that looks like it could be pre-cancerous or cancerous. I’m hoping to get the (positive) results in the next few days.

And, finally, Tuesday afternoon I had to make the difficult phone call to the veterinarian. Mara, my 16-year-old cat, has not been doing well lately. Back in March we had one pint of fluid removed from her lungs. In May we repeated the process. But since then, she hasn’t gotten any better. She was tired–barely able to walk very far in the house before she had to lay down to catch her breath. But yesterday it was different–she wouldn’t eat her canned food, and this time she had to pant through her mouth in order to breath. When M woke up, I told him I had to call the vet. When 5 o’clock rolled around, we loaded up the car and headed to the vet. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, she died on her own while we waited for the vet to come in.

 

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Mara was born before I went into high school. She “helped raise me” (as my mom says) through high school and college, and moved from Indiana to Texas, to Oklahoma, and now Kentucky with me and Dally.

M was just as affected by Mara’s death as I was. I’m lucky that I have him to comfort me. He’s taking recent events pretty hard, but he’s still been my rock, and for that I’m so thankful. I hope everyone is lucky to have a support system like I do.

So how have you been??