Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Missed Opportunity

On Sunday it became pretty clear that my mom wasn't going to make until we came to visit. I did get a chance to talk to her on the phone, but I don't know if or how much she heard or understood.  That was a really tough call.

And then we waited.

Monday morning I witnessed one of the most magnificent sunrises that I've ever seen.  I can't help thinking that sky was meant just for me.

We waited some more.

At about 1:50 am my time Tuesday morning the phone rang.  We knew before answering what that call meant - her battle with illness was over.

It's funny how mixed my emotions have been.  I'm really sad that I didn't get to see her one more time.  I'm really sad that my last conversation with her may have been one that she didn't hear or understand.  I miss talking with her.  She had told me that she wasn't afraid of death, it was the dying part that she wasn't so crazy about.  I'm comforted in knowing that the scary part is over for her now.  So is her pain.  She can finally be truly at peace.

My daughter is incredibly sweet.  She told her professors that she didn't want me to be alone and came to surprise me with a visit, bringing her puppy.  I called it puppy therapy.  We went to the dog park and laughed and smiled.

My future son in law was the first to stop by with a token of sympathy.  He brought me these flowers.They're beautiful and it was very thoughtful.

It's been a tough week. In time, I'm sure the good memories will replace the pain. And there has been an outpouring of love and support and prayer and good thoughts from friends and family near and far. My daughter and I are still travelling on Thursday, but instead of the visit that I had hoped for, it's for a memorial celebration of Mom's life.

[Update: Our flights out today got cancelled! Uggh. Now flying tomorrow morning arriving tomorrow afternoon]

Time to let the healing begin...

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Running makes me smile
Decision made to go see my mother this upcoming week. I do know that she is comfortable, warm, and resting well at the Hospice Facility, but it seems her time is short. Will be flying out Thursday evening with my daughter and returning Sunday late afternoon. Praying for safe travel and clear roads for the drive to/from the airport on that end.

No decision yet on whether to drop a class or not, but I have decided which one I will drop if that is the action that I take. Meanwhile, I'm doing my best to keep up.

Husband is back home. Shopped for enough food for a few days yesterday afternoon, and will shop for the week tomorrow. Ran yesterday. Planning to run this morning as well. Probably won't run next weekend due to travel/visit, but that's okay.

Thanks for the support and kind words.  This has been a particularly tough week.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mid-week Melt Down

This has been a rough week and keeping it to myself isn't helping. My kids left to go back to school and my husband is traveling on business, so I'm on my own in the middle of one of life's storms. I'm going to lay it all out there.

My mother's health continues to decline. She lives in OH and I live in NM. It's hard to be far away and unable to do much to help. This afternoon she will be transferred to a hospice facility. I know in my heart that this is the best place for her right now, but I'm still sad. I don't know how urgent the situation is. Should I rush out to visit her again now or should I wait a bit? And nobody can find her original papers (power of attorney, will, etc) and I'm told a copy isn't good enough. I don't expect any of you to have the answers, but this is a big part of what is troubling me right now.

My classes started this week. It's been 20+ years since I've been in school. One class is fully online with some online collaboration. The other class is a hybrid with a mixture of online, face-to-face on campus, and web conferencing. None of this online technology existed back when I was in college earlier in my life. Yesterday morning I was thinking that taking two classes while working full time was not the smartest decision and that I should drop one class. But I think I'll give it at least another week before taking any action to drop something.

I was feeling all accomplished about getting up and doing some of my school work early this morning.  Then as I was walking by my refrigerator on my way to work, I saw my half-marathon schedule.  D'oh!  I had completely forgotten about my scheduled workout for today. I can't do it after work because I have a class meeting. Tomorrow's not the answer either because I'm already planning to do run-walks both Friday and Saturday and my body is too fragile for three days in a row.  I'm going to have to let this workout go and figure out how to make everything work next week and in the future.

And then there is normal life stuff going on. Work is busy, but otherwise okay. We still have a small section of fencing that needs to be done, but my dogs haven't escaped since working on it. My glasses prescription is off, but I have a new pair ordered that should arrive soon (fingers crossed that the new prescription works out). We're basically out of groceries and leftovers, but Husband will be home this weekend and we can restock then. Until then I can eat smoothies and yogurt and cereal for dinner if needed.

Life is tough sometimes. I know that "this too shall pass," but when so much is happening at once, it can really get to be overwhelming. When Friday comes and I'm able to run off some of my stress, I am sure that I'll feel better. But until then, don't be surprised if I'm a basket case.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday PSAs

After being super excited about running on Friday (okay, it was a 2:1 run:walk interval, but still...)  my knee was a little unhappy the next day, so I'm holding off on running again for another week.  So I was back on the trainer this morning and wondering what I might be able to blog about.

I realized that I've learned a few things over the past few days the hard way and thought I would share. Knowledge is power, people!

  1. If you decide to prop the front wheel of your bike on a phone book while the back wheel is on the trainer because you don't have the proper cradle piece for the front and aren't clipped in, prepare for an ugly tumble if/when the front wheel slips off the phone book. 
  2. If you decide to clean like crazy as an emotional outlet for some icky life stuff that you aren't sharing on your blog, please remember to wear gloves while handling steel wool.
  3. Similarly, if you decide to vacuum area rugs while the floor is still wet from mopping, be extra careful not to inadvertently dump the canister contents all over the still wet floor.

 And if any of these things happen to you, the best way to deal with them is to laugh it off, pick yourself up, and try to learn from your silly mistakes. No need to thank me, I'm here to help. Hahahaha.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 17, 2014


Stop the presses....I actually ran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boring Details:
  • 5.1 miles
  • 2:1 Galloway interval
  • 13-something overall pace including the walking
  • Toe didn't hurt
  • Knee feels "okay"

Didn't think to get a photo at the time, but believe me there is a huge goofy smile on my face.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Acceptable Substitute or Missed Workout?

The key to my half marathon training these first few weeks continues to be flexibility. My toe is finally doing better.  My knee *might* be okay for a run-walk starting next week, I know I can at least try and find out. But this week, I'm still doing workout substitutions.

I am okay substituting my cycling minutes on the trainer right now for running minutes.  I am also okay having Friday marked as an easy day with the idea that it's just some un-prescribed walk. My training plan calls for a long run on Saturdays and last week I tried substituting an hour trainer ride, but ended up bailing on it and doing a 5 mile walk. I was okay with that too.

For this week, I only needed to do a 3 mile run.

Here is the dilemma.  Yesterday (my easy day), I did a 45 minutes walk which ended up being 2.6 miles.  I could easily count that as my 'easy' day, just like it says in the plan.

Today I did not run, cycle, or walk.  But I did work on erecting a field fence (150 linear feet completed today) and boy am I tired!  To be honest, I didn't do the bulk of it, but the part that I did wore me out. I'd have no issue counting this as my exercise for the day if it was supposed to be a strength workout at the gym, but it's supposed to be a 3 mile run.  I am unsure whether I should count it or not.

You may be thinking that I'm totally over thinking this.  You might be correct.  However, I'm taking great pleasure in checking off easy prescribed workout as it or a reasonable substitute gets done and I'm not sure if my 3 mile run should get checked off or not and it's making me crazy!

What do you think?  Did the fencing work provide a good enough substitute for a 3 mile run in week 2 of my half marathon training? Should I leave it unchecked as *gasp* a missed workout in my half marathon training?  Is there something else I should do, like try to fit in a trainer ride Sunday?  Am I completely over thinking this?

Update:  I am not counting it.  My arms are sore, my legs are fine.  Fence building was a strength thing, not a cardio thing.  Also, my step count was ~9950 steps compared to ~15000 the day before, so clearly I wasn't even doing a lot of walking in the process.  I also feel that I should add...I know that the best was to train for a running event is to run.  I need to be creative in my training to let both my knee and toe have time to recover.  Fingers crossed that I'll be running next week.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Weighing In:  I'm almost afraid to mention this for fear that I will jinx myself, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that my weight stayed steady over the holidays. I attribute this mostly to the decision not to make any cookies this year at Christmas. I also tossed out some of the leftovers (stuffing, pie, etc) after the holidays rather than snarf them all down like I usually do. Watching what I eat is always key, but it seemed especially important during the holidays given my limited mobility. Now if I could just resist the urge to celebrate this achievement with a batch of cupcakes...

Feeling Flustered:  I'm back to work and already feeling like a chicken with my head cut off even though my classes haven't started yet.  I honestly have no idea how I'm going to pull this all off (work, school, training, family stuff, yard/house work etc.) over the next several months.

It's the Little Things:  I bought one of those twist mops.  Maybe you've seen ads for them. Maybe you have one already. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. In any case, while my floors are nowhere near as clean as those in the ad nor did it make me feel like dancing, I did find that it really does make mopping a whole lot easier.

I'm not exactly sure what it says about me when one of the highlights of my week is getting a new mop and bucket (sad, but true!)?  Maybe I need to get out more.  Hahahahaha.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

On Doing a 365 Project

This year I'm participating in a 365 Project.  This means that I'm taking and posting one photo per day to a group site.  It's my second time doing this, and I wanted to share some learnings from last time.  I had originally joined thinking that it would be a good way to improve my photography skills.  I probably did, but I got so much more out of it than that.

I didn't realize much I would enjoy viewing the other participants photos. much I would learn about myself. hard it would be to pick JUST ONE photo on most days.
...that it would effectively become a photo journal of my year. much I would miss it when it ended.

This year I'm going into it knowing that it doesn't matter so much what others think of my shots, I care a whole lot more about how they will make me feel when I look back on them.  I already regret the choice that I made one of the days last week. I'm going to try hard to avoid that.

With that, I will share my first weeks' photos.  Follow me on Flickr if you want to see more.  Ping me if this is something you are interested in joining (it's not too late!).

taken at the crack of dawn New Year's day

My grand dog - I was puppy sitting for Daughter

Stare down over who would get the tennis ball

Pensive kitty

I regret this one - should have photographed something else that day

first day back to work after 2 weeks off

spectacular sunrise this morning

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reflecting on Week 1 Half Marathon Training

What went well:
  • I was able to do *something* for each of my prescribed workouts.  Yay!
  • Using the bike on the trainer made for a decent running substitute for my "30 min" runs.
  • I'm no longer limping.  As a result, my walking pace improved from 20min/mi to ~17:30min/mi.
  • Reading via Kindle app on the bike trainer made the time more bearable.  Thanks for the suggestion!!

What didn't go so well:
  • I planned to substitute a 5 mile run with a 60min trainer ride; however, my knee started complaining so I only made it 35mins.  Ended up substituting a 5 mile walk instead.
  • While my toe is better, it isn't fully healed.  Only a few pairs of shoes fit comfortably. Can't wear my preferred walking or running shoes.

Plans for week 2:
  • Continue with trainer rides to compensate for the prescribed 30 min run workouts.
  • Attempt at least a tiny bit of run-walk-run *if* toe is better enough to fit into running shoes by next weekend. 
  • Begin tracking against goals for Winter Miles Challenge.

On an unrelated topic, I finally made a decision on a laptop and bit the bullet. I opted for an older used laptop with features that should be sufficient for my needs.  I just couldn't justify spending lots of $$ on a new fancy lightweight one that was probably overkill for my purposes. 

So while it's true that I won't know exactly how good of a decision this was until it arrives and I can test it out,  I'm content with my decision to be frugal.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Three Things Thursday

See the silvers?  Almost all grown in!
Going Silver:  Not sure how many of you noticed in the photo I posted from Christmas, but my greys (or silvers as I prefer to call them) are almost completely grown in.  My last hair coloring was May 2012, so it's been well over a year and a half.  I had calculated that it would likely take over 2 years based on estimated hair growth rate and length of my longest hair.

If you are thinking about it, I will warn you that this process is not for the feint of heart! But I can say that I'm very happy that I decided to do this. To be honest, I get more compliments on my hair now than I ever did while I was coloring it. I think the trick is to use purple shampoo occasionally to keep the silvers from getting brassy and to make them shine.

Making my List, Checking it (off) Twice:  I have my half marathon training plan posted on the refrigerator.  I've now successfully checked off the first two workouts.  Both were listed as "30 min" which I completed on the bike trainer while I'm waiting for my toe and knee to get better.  Tomorrow I plan for an easy walk of 4-ish miles and Saturday will be my "5 mile long run" which may end up translating to an hour on the trainer.  I'm convinced that the key to my success will be flexibility, adaption, and a positive attitude!

Race Planning:  I'm eyeing the local Sweetheart Run, scheduled for Feb 9th, for my comeback run.  Not thinking of it as a race so much as a fun run.  It will be held the weekend of the first week that I expect to be able to run.  It's a special event to me because it's always the weekend that Husband & I celebrate our birthdays, so I really hope to be able to participate.

Happy New Year!!!!