A week ago, my life totally changed.
I’ll write more later, but I wanted to share some photos to let y’all know she’s joined the world!
I’m a day late, but on Sunday the Elf4Health challenge was to make a gratitude list of 20 things you’re grateful for. This was a fun, yet maybe a little difficult, challenge that we did last year, and I’m happy to do it again this year.
So, in no certain order:
Your turn: List two things you’re grateful for!
How’d you sleep last night? Or have you not even gone to bed, yet (if you’re like my husband and work midnight to 8 am), how exhausted are you right about now?
Lately I rarely get more than 4-5 hours of sleep it seems. There’s a few factors coinciding with this (Dally’s on meds that keep her drinking and needing to go outside at all hours of the night, lots of thoughts going through my mind, inability to relax…), but my worst nights are Monday nights. I ref volleyball at a local German bar/restaurant from 6 pm until about 1:30 am. I’m exhausted through the night, but lately it seems like when I get home around 1:45, I can’t fall asleep right away. For example. this past Monday night/Tuesday morning I think I finally fell asleep around 3 am. And guess what…my alarm went off at 6:43 (don’t ask–I’m strange about time) so I could make my 7:30 class at Man O’War CrossFit.
I do this every week–Tuesdays suck for me! Sure I could probably sleep in and make the noon class, or even the 5 pm class, but I like my peeps in the 7:30 am class. And I like to get my workouts done for the day early–even when I’m working from home and no longer have to be in an office by a certain time. So, yes, I still wake up early everyday (even Saturdays) for my workouts. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I digress…
So, every Tuesday morning I walk into the box and proclaim “I hate Tuesdays” because the workouts are always tough ones. This week’s was no exception:
Talk about rough!! This was the first WOD where I felt like I could maybe throw up (which is pretty good, considering I have never felt that way, even when I started CrossFit in April). My asthma was affecting me for the first time in a long time and I had trouble breathing about 7 rounds into the WOD.
This was one workout where I definitely thought, “Maybe I should have tried sleeping in and tackling this at noon…” But by then it was too late–I was already dressed, had my half banana with peanut butter, and starting to fully wake up.
How important is sleep to fitness?
According to research, growth hormone is produced mostly while you sleep. What is growth hormone? Growth hormone does many things: promotes fat loss, reduces fat storage, increases calcium retention, and can help boost your immune system.
Also, getting a full night’s rest has been known to satiate your hunger. (Which I’m always hungry…)
Read more from Men’s Fitness.
Sleep also allows your body to repair itself–hello recovery from tough WODs and long training runs!
It can also impact your mood (yes, I tend to be a tad cranky on Tuesdays) and your performance in anything–using your brain or physically. So I probably don’t do my best on my Tuesday workouts.
Hmm…so with all this in mind, maybe I need to rethink my Tuesday routine to include more sleep? (Though I do admit, every once in a while I’m actually able to take a nap during the day, but that’s pretty rare.)
How does lack of sleep affect you in your workouts? Everyday life?
I’m up in Indiana for about a week or so because today my mom had surgery. It’s been in the works for a while, and the day has finally come. We’re all anxious and excited for her, but also a little nervous about the days ahead. She feels the same way.
You see, my mom is having bariatric surgery.
My mom has always been overweight since I can remember. When I was younger, it wasn’t too bad–she worked a full-time job as a head injury nurse and was able to enjoy spending time at horse shows and rodeos with us with no problem. The weight wasn’t a big issue then.
Then my mom was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. If you don’t know what fibromyalgia is, here’s a nutshell explanation:
Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
She had fibromyalgia before it became a more popular term (to where you now see ads for medicine). With this diagnosis, it was almost like her health instantly went downhill. She retired from being a nurse and I think that’s when depression started to slowly hit get a grasp on her. Then I went off to college and moved out on my own, thus leaving an empty nest (my sister lives next door, but leads a busy life as well). The horse shows stopped, but dad continued working. Slowly she started having troubles even just walking–the past few years she’s had to use a cane when he legs were too stiff or too full of fluid to really bend and move very well.
It’s been hard seeing my mother’s health deteriorate. She hasn’t been able to walk down to the barn in I don’t even know how long, and I was worried about the length of her walk for my wedding when my brother-in-law walked her down the aisle. We’re hoping this surgery is a restart to her life, and that maybe this will allow her and my dad to enjoy their golden years together.
Her surgery is called the Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. In this type of gastric bypass surgery, a small section of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch that is about the size of an egg. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. (According to WebMD)
The past few days mom’s enjoyed her “lasts”–last McDonald’s sweet tea, last dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant, last chai latte from Starbucks. She also went shopping with my dad to get some of the things she’ll need for her recovery, including V8 Juice, baby food, and a Nutri-Bullet to make smoothies. I brought my protein powder for her to try (we all know the trials and tribulations of finding a protein powder we like) and my sister bought her a bunch of samples from her nutrition store.
I’ll be home for the next few days to make sure things go smoothly with the start of mom’s recovery, and to help out on the farm. Mom will be in the hospital until Wednesday, then her real re-start of her new life begins. We’re all hoping it’s the jump her health needs to tackle her golden years.
Do you know of anyone who’s had gastric bypass surgery? How’d it go?
Do you have any experience with fibromyalgia?
13. Who is your biggest supporter?
Wednesday morning I went to my fourth physical therapy appointment. I went into the appointment with a list of concerns: my knee wasn’t better (in fact I felt that it was worse than when I started PT), and my right heel/Achilles tendon almost paralyzed me in pain last week.
Last Friday I really wanted to go for a run, so I did a 3.75 mile loop around where I work and my old neighborhood. The run felt great–I didn’t push myself and ran around 9:00-9:10 miles. I felt like I could go for longer, but I was afraid of pushing myself too much. I stretched, went home to shower and then tackle the night’s festivities of a cookout with friends and bowling with the hubs and his co-workers.
Through the night my knee was a little sore. But the scary thing was my right heel/achilles tendon starting hurting so badly when I walked. It was hard for me to lift my leg just to walk, so I’d basically drag it behind me. No clue what that’s about, so I brought it up to my PT, Ryan, on Wednesday. His main concern was that my knee wasn’t any better, but he did say I should talk to a sports medicine doctor about my heel/achilles–it might be because of my heel spur.
We started my PT session with a strength test, to make sure I’d been doing my exercises to strengthen my quads, since that was supposed to help my knee feel better. I’d improved greatly, and even lengthened my quad muscle in my left leg by 3 inches (it’s now only 2-3 inches from heel to butt!). So I’ve improved in that respect, but it feels like my knee is getting worse.
For example, I can’t cross my right leg over my left knee for very long–it feels like I’m pushing down on the knee cap and it starts to ache. Tuesday, while reffing volleyball, it ached depending on how I held my legs. I can’t stay in a deep squat position for very long, or else it starts to hurt.
CrossFit sees you doing a lot of squats and lunges. I’m not able to get the proper form for all of the exercises, which isn’t good.
Last night, at agility class, I wasn’t running my best, mostly because I was scared about my knee. My instructor noticed, and so did LaMesa, and it affected our courses greatly. I pushed any negative thoughts behind me, and pushed through one last course run and it was great…but my knee didn’t feel so great. After the long hour-drive home, I hit the Ibuprofen and wrapped my knee in ice for 25 minutes before bed.
It’s frustrating to me that I can’t run. The weather has been gorgeous. My goal after the Run the Bluegrass was to keep my mileage up so I could easily tackle any next race I wanted, and now I’m only running 3-4 miles once a week (compared to 11 + long runs a week while I was training). Whenever I do get the chance to start training again, I’ll be starting back at mile 1, and that hurts! I’ve also gained about 5 pounds in the month of no running and battling being mildly depressed because of the sudden stop.
I scheduled a follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor for the earliest I could get in–May 23. whomp whomp I have one more PT appointment with Ryan next week before I decide to take a break from that until I hear from the doctor. I’m hoping I can try to get in a little earlier–May 23 seems so far away!
So how do you battle frustrations that stop you from doing what you love?
Thursday morning I slipped on a pair of running shorts and my Run The Bluegrass shirt and headed out the door…to my physical therapy appointment. I went into it with a little bit of excitement but also a little bit of nerves–I didn’t really know what to expect.
My PT, Ryan, is great! We sat down and he asked me the usual questions to get going like if it there was anything that might have suddenly started the pain or if it just showed up. What sports I do, etc. I was quite impressed when I said that I did dog agility with my Corgi and Swedish Vallhund, he asked “Which type of Corgi? Pembroke or Cardigan?” (Most think a Corgi is a Corgi, just one has a tail and one doesn’t.)
Then he got down to manipulating my legs to really pinpoint the pain. He checked the strength in my quads, hamstrings, and hips, as well as their flexibility. He was impressed with how flexible my hamstrings were (“That’s not always normal for a runner”) and how strong my legs were in general, except for my hips (“That’s normal for a runner”). One interesting note: While laying on my stomach, he had me bring my heel to my butt one leg at a time. My right heel came within two fingers of touching my butt cheek, but my left heel was a full hand (including his thumb) from my butt cheek. While he noted that it’s normal for your body to not be symmetrical, this was a concern because of the large difference. Which means I need to work on stretching my quads more.
Verdict: Patellar Tendonitis (cue the “dun dun…DUUUUUNNNN!”)
Then we moved into the gym where, after a quick warmup on a stationary bike, he showed me some stretches and exercises he’d like me to start doing three times a day. The stretches were already ones I incorporate almost daily: standing quad stretch, pigeon pose, and crossing one leg over the other and bending down. I just need to do them more often and hold them longer. The exercises were also ones I have done in the past, but I’m just not as diligent as I should be. I was giving a nifty blue rubber band to do these workouts at home:
To wrap-up the initial appointment, he hooked me up to a little electrode pack to deliver some anti-inflammatory medication straight to my tendon. He said I might feel little pricks, but I didn’t feel much of anything. Twenty minutes later, the appointment was over and I was already scheduled for my second one next week.
Ryan said he felt like we could take care of “my little problem” in about 4-6 weeks, as long as I’m diligent about doing the exercises and the stretches. He said he was impressed that I came in after only a month of discomfort–most runners wait until much longer to come in. He said I could still run, but just know that it could prolong recovery. He told me he hates to tell runners they can’t run, even for short periods of time, because he knows it would drive them crazy (haha, how’d he know??). So I’m going to just do some short runs once or twice a week outside (no jarring on the treadmill any more) when I’m feeling froggy, but I’ll end them with my exercises and extra stretching, as well as icing the knees, like usual.
I’m not going to push it with the running, but it makes me happy to know that I can get back to doing something I’ve come to love, even if I can’t really train for any races at this point. But I’m OK with that.
What’s been your experience with physical therapy and getting back into your sport?
This “5 Things Friday” is brought to you by racing nerves!
That’s right…less than 24 hours from now I’ll be running in the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon–just my second half marathon, but a scary one with lots of hills and one giant hill! I’ve been training hard since January, run in single digit temps with 3 inches of snow falling, run in totally different locations in the area, joined two running groups to train for this, and learned so much. I hope I’m ready!
My first half marathon I ran in 2:17:58. I’m hoping to better that time–aiming for 2:14 or so. We’ll see. I just hope I can keep the nerves at bay and just run my race and keep a solid pace.
I checked out the Run the Bluegrass Race Expo last night, and was totally bummed that I ordered the wrong size race shirt! FAIL! I’m hoping I can trade with someone for a smaller shirt. The expo was alright–not as big as the Kentucky Derby Marathon/Half Marathon Expo last year, but it was nice to see the local companies.
So, without further adieu, here are my five things for the last Friday of March!
I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Not only because of the half marathon on Saturday, but I’m hoping to host a little Easter gathering with friends Sunday evening. Then M and I are headed to Cincy for the Reds Opening Day on Monday! I just hope the weather holds up and is at least decent for us!
What are you looking forward to this weekend?
I’m jumping the bandwagon to do “Five Things Friday”–just a way to wrap up the week and gear up for the next one.
But first, I just wanted to say Happy February! Last night we had some major snow and wind–we couldn’t even see our neighbors! I woke up this morning to about an inch or two on the ground and single digits (7*, with the wind chill at -11*!). I slept in because today’s my rest day as I gear up for 9-10 miles tomorrow. Last night I finally got M to join me at the gym and we did some circuits that I thought might leave me sore, but no soreness here (now M, on the other hand, I wait to hear him whine…haha).
So now, for my Five Things Friday:
Tonight we’ll do a simple celebration at home, maybe some pizza, wine, and Family Game Night on the XBox (flashback to old times when we were first dating), then going out Saturday. (I have a long training run in the morning tomorrow, so I don’t want to get too crazy with food/drink.)
What are five things you’re happy for this week?
Saw this from another HealthysELF blogger, Danica, and thought it’d be fun to share some randomness about me. Feel free to do the same!
A – Addictions
I know I’m addicted to sugar (so bad), but I’d also have to say that I’m addicted to pushing myself. I’m always trying to challenge myself to do something or be better–I can’t just sit around and do nothing.
B – Bed size
Queen — But M and I would love a king! We keep saying whenever we move into our own house (we currently rent), we’ll buy a king bed. One can only dream…
C – Chore you hate
I hate going through and cleaning up the dogs’ poop in our backyard. Uck!
D – Dogs or cats?
I used to be a cat person, but now I wouldn’t trade my pups in for the world! I still love cats, though.
E – Essential start to your day
I feel like I have an off-day if I don’t get some type of workout in in the morning (be it running or yoga). But definitely have to have some love from my dogs every morning!
F – Favorite color
I love silver, but people say it isn’t really a color. 😛 I am also a fan of the chocolate and turquoise combination.
G – Gold or silver?
See above–silver! My rings are white gold, though. 😉
H – Height
5’8″ … though I always strive for an extra inch.
I – Instruments you play/have played
I played the trumpet all through grade school. I attempted to join the high school band my freshman year, but volleyball and horses/rodeo took up my time. (Ironically, M also played the trumpet in grade school! Aww!)
J – Jobs you’ve had
In no particular order: Western wear store sales person, customer service rep at a bagel place, construction worker, sales person at a salon/spa/beauty supply store, basketball arena usher, photographer, media relations intern, publications intern, editorial assistant, freelancer, e-newsletter/photo editor, web producer, volleyball referee
K – Kids
Only the fur kind — 4!
L – Living arraignments
Our little family lives in Lexington, Ky.
M – Mom’s name
N – Nickname
I’m not really called by any nicknames any more (sadness!), but I have been called: Arzy, Roughie, Smart Ass…
O – Overnight hospital stays
Only when I had pneumonia in the first grade, and I was in the hospital over Christmas! Total boo!
P – Pet peeve(s)
People who don’t use their turn signals, people who are oblivious to what their dog does, litter bugs, etc.
Q – Quote from a movie
“You tell ’em hell’s comin….and I’m comin with it!” — Tombstone (I could list many, MANY more from this awesome movie)
R – Right- or left-handed?
S – Siblings
Just one, my big sis (2 if you count my brother-in-law)
T – Time you wake up
Varies depending on what I’m doing in the morning, but mostly either 5 or 6 am
U – Underwear
Always a necessity
V – Vegetables your dislike
I grew up hating spinach, but now I’ve come to accept how awesome a veggie it is. I don’t like olives, though.
X – X-rays you’ve had done
It seems like my feet have been the most X-rayed feet ever lately! But I’ve also got films on my fingers and knee.
Y – Yummy food you make
I love baking, so anything I bake I love. But I’m starting to venture more with cooking, and so far my favorite has to be either the grilled chicken bruschetta or Anne’s chunky turkey veggie soup.
Z – Zoo animal
I’m always a big fan of the otters, seals, giraffes, and the ocelots (which are rare at a zoo)!