Another weekend has come and gone, and what a weekend it was. This week, I had a fantastic meeting with my physical therapist. She had me working so much more on strength and balance. Afterwards, she did a strength test on me and discovered that my legs and hips are FINALLY equal in strength. That took awhile. And, with 6 days that day to the day the injury began to really bother me…she was very excited about my first upcoming double-digit run on Saturday. 10 miles was the goal…and I was both terrified and excited about it.
And then…my other hip/quad started to act up. It felt like a muscle strain, but it was enough that got me worried about Saturday morning. So, on Friday, I contacted Katie (my amazing physical therapist) and we went back and forth as to where the pain was, how it felt, and what I should do. In the end, she told me to stretch, foam roll, and give the run a shot. If I didn’t hit 10…then to try again the following week.
On Saturday morning, in air temps that felt like 1°F…I struck out on my run…on a steep hilly course…and got through it. Pain free. No limping. No pain. Nothing. It made me feel confident and amazing and strong…all at the same time. And relieved. This is an ongoing battle, for sure…but I needed that run. More than I even knew until I was done.
Anyway…here is a list of 10 fantastic and wonderful things for this week…just because sometimes you find blessings…
1. A short, but amazing visit from my sister and nephew
Side-by-side or miles apart, we are sisters connected by the heart. Seriously, my sister and I have always been close. We have seen and done so much together. We have been with each other through thick and thin. Our bond is amazingly strong. When we get together…watch out. Insanity ensues. She wanted to come and visit and chose Valentine’s Day weekend to do so. And we had an absolute blast. Added bonus…she brought one of her boys with her…Chace (age 6). And we had SO much fun. We braved the cold air and the snow…which Chace loved…we ate good food…we shopped…we played video games…we attempted to play Chinese jumprope, we laughed, snorted, and curled up together to watch a movie. Chace and I baked a special cake. Chace told me that he loved me. Do you know how much that made me want to cry (in the good, happy way)? These are the moments I live for…and miss out on…because I live away from the rest of the family. I hated it when they had to leave. I cried a little this afternoon. But, she’s already planning another trip…and bringing Landon (age 9) this time. I love my sister. And next time, the weather should be better so she and I can finally get that run in together.
I am now the proud owner of a BOSU. I have wanted one for a long time now, but when this became part of my physical therapy, not having to go to the gym to do it became a bit of a priority. The BOSU Balance Trainer is an exercise tool that targets multiple areas of fitness like endurance, strength, balance, and stability. The squishy dome side on top offers a bouncy surface for everything from cardio to strength training. Flip it over…and you work your on your core, lower body , and flexibility. Due to lots of amazing Dicks coupons and a gift card…I didn’t pay anything out of pocket for this. I love it. It’s pink…not blue like they normally are (because…princess). And now I can work on the strength and balance exercises that Katie (the PT) gave me to work on…in the comfort of my own home. SO happy!
3. Feeling like one of the group again
As I mentioned, this Saturday I was set to run 10 miles. I had originally made plans to do this early to have a bit more time with my sister and nephew…but those plans didn’t pan out. Probably for the best, with how cold it was. All that being said, I got up and went out to run with the training group, and ended up striking out for the first 3.5 miles with people from my old running group. It felt so good to be back out with them. They ended up not tackling the heavy hill climb at Iroquois, but since I skipped hill day due to weather, I decided I needed to climb, even though my PT said to try to stick to flat roads. Seeing them, running with them, talking to them…it all just lifted my spirits. I hadn’t felt that good in a long time. I knew I missed it…but I really miss them.
4. New Running Shoes
Sometimes something as simple as a new pair of shoes can make the world feel better. Everyone knows that I love running in Newtons…but…I also love me some bright colors on my feet. And the new version of my Newton running shoes are…silver. Life’s too short to be stuck with boring running shoes. And, as I was in need of new shoes, I went out to fleet feet and went to see Jackson (it was his last day there)…and tried on the shoes I originally went in for…the Adidas Pure Boost X (the ones that were made by women for women). They were…not what I expected. Very different. And, while they felt good, I was a bit worried about lack of support on the arch of my foot. So, Jackson went to work. After I said no to the Adidas Energy Boosts (too much shoe)…he brought out a few more to try. After I gave the Asics Gel Cumulus a try (liked them), and then the Brooks Women’s Launch 3 (loved them), and then the Nike Pegasus Air Zoom 32 (really loved them)…I did something I didn’t expect. I went back to a Nike shoe. Of course, I still have to really road test them, but they felt really good in store. I have heard only good things about the Pegasus…so here’s hoping! THANKS, JACKSON!
5. My nephew’s reaction to the snow this morning
I’ll just let the video speak for itself…
He wanted to see snow…he got his wish. He was so excited. And so cold. Love this boy!
6. Being treated to a cake by Chace
Chace is like his Auntie KJ…he loves to cook and bake. And this weekend, he brought the chef hat and apron I got him for Christmas and go to work baking a cake for dessert and to take home to his dad, brother, and sister. It was a gluten-free funfetti cake (sprinkles rule!) with a strawberry frosting and decorated with some red sprinkles for the Valentines Day holiday. He’s an amazing little boy in the kitchen, and he’s got quite a future as the chef he talks about becoming. The cake…for the record…was super-moist…and super-yum! Afterwards, we all snuggled on the couch and watched Pixar’s Ratatouille.
7. Morning smiles on an early, cold, running day
I have met some of the best people through running. After taking an entire (basically) year off due to this nagging injury, it feels good to be out and running (even if it is slower than I would like) with people. Sometimes, I end up alone and on my own. But I always start with a group. And in these groups, there are people who just make you feel welcome. That’s how Melissa made me feel on Saturday, when I was standing around, arms crossed, just dreading going out in the cold. She pulls me into a picture…and everything just felt better that morning. Sometimes it is the smallest gesture that makes all the difference. Thanks, Melissa!!
8. Gluten-Free and Vegan Cookie Dough
My local allergen-free bakery…Annie May’s Sweet Cafe…sold out, but reserved a cup of their cookie dough for me…because Valentine’s Day isn’t much fun when you’re single…so a big cup of cookie dough is a good meal choice, yes? The hardest decision after getting it out of the fridge today was to have it with red or white. HA! I love my bakery!!
9. Funny Faces
Sometimes you just have to be goofy…in a nice restaurant…with your nephew who requested to sit by you. Because life only happens once. Just be goofy! I love him!
Forget Valentines Day. Just give me chocolate. Dark chocolate, especially. I’ll love you for life. And, trust me, I ate plenty of chocolate this weekend. Because I love enjoying the sweeter things in life with the sweetest people in my life. And we are a family of chocoholics. It’s a lifestyle.
Heading into a new week…here’s hoping this upward trend in my recovery continues. Here’s hoping that the winter weather goes away for good. Here’s hoping for many more good days over bad.
Have a great week, friends!