Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Things I Miss About Running

I feel like I've done a pretty good job of not whining too much about not being able to run. But last Friday I was supposed to have my MRI and a followup to discuss results the following Monday. Instead, my insurance company decided they needed more time to review the doctor's notes so I had to cancel both appointments.

After calling my insurance company on Wednesday, I learned that they won't authorize the MRI until I have a compartment test done. But the doctor wanted me to get the MRI first to rule out a tear because 1) it would make a compartment test - which can be a little painful - unnecessary, and 2) if I have a tear, the compartment test could exacerbate it because it involves running.

I am moving forward on getting this decision reversed, but in the meantime, I'm pissed and annoyed and sad.
So. This week I am really missing running. I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness to share the five things I miss most.

1. The heart rate. I miss having the kind of workout that really jacks up my heart rate and leaves me dripping with sweat. The Bowflex I'm borrowing from a friend is okay, but not a perfect substitute.

2. Being outside. I am missing the last few days of spring in Florida. Right now, mornings are still in the 60s; soon, we won't see a low below 79. I hate missing the last of our good weather!
The other day it crept into the 90s! Cool weather is slipping through my fingers!
3. The data. I am not an over-analytical runner at all, but I miss being able to track my workouts with some quantifiable data. Miles are concrete; 30 minutes of a circuit or cross-training is a little more nebulous. I really miss having real, solid numbers to look at to help me measure my accomplishments for the week.
Just LOOK at all these blank days!!!

I've been doing so well with keeping consistent, and now it feels like all that progress and steady training is ruined.

4. The duration. We all know that strength training and targeted workouts don't take as long as running. Sometimes it's nice to do a workout in under 30 minutes, but some days I really want a good, long, steady workout.
I miss this exhilaration; I'd even settle for a good 60 minutes these days.
5. The mental benefit. I just miss how buoyant and strong running makes me feel mentally. No other workout has ever compared; when I need to lift my mood, running is it for me. It's the one exercise I truly enjoy. It sucks to put it aside. And what's worse...the longer I don't run, the more I need it mentally. I have been really down this week, and it feels like only a run could fix it.
I am so worried that starting from square one (once I'm back) will make me hate running. I'm going to come back to it in the heat of early summer. I'm going to be weak and out of practice. My runner's muscles will have forgotten how to move. It's going to take work to get back to where I was. I was making such progress and now...

Pardon my pity party. But this week, I am just bummed. I wish I had answers and I wish I could be on my way to recovery instead of in limbo. I don't want to run while I wait on the MRI in case I'm doing some good healing right now; but I also don't know how much longer I'll have to rest!

I hate not knowing. I hate waiting.

Commiserate with me? 
Have something to share that will brighten my day?


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Saga Continues! - Kitchen Update

If you have been following our kitchen-remodeling saga, here are the old posts. Looking back on the deconstruction really made me stop and appreciate how far it's come!
1. We made a big hole
2. We got new cabinets
3. We got a countertop, appliances, and installed backsplash which sounds like a lot but we did it over a period of like 3 months
4. I built an island

Matt and I moved into our house in June 2015.

Last weekend, we finally cleared out the "kitchen nook" that has been filled with odds and ends from moving and kitchen construction.
It only took us two years...I have no idea why. The bins of old teaching stuff are now in the attic and we made a huge donation to Good Will.

That same week, I was struck by an unusual bout of motivation and convinced Matt to go thrift shopping with me. I was looking for a table and chairs for under the window.

We went to at least half a dozen shops. I nearly settled for something okay a couple times, but never pulled the trigger. The last place we went to was closed, but they let us in anyway. And there it was, the perfect table and chair set! A little beat up, but made of solid dark wood, which was exactly what I wanted. Not too big for the space, either!
It was marked for $225, but they brought it down to $125 without blinking an eye. My budget was $150.

I put off taking photos until I'd gotten some perfect cushions, but now the space is done!
Comfy cushions are a must.
It's so nice to be able to come out of the bedroom (the door on the right) and into a clean, open room. I'm not stepping over boxes and random junk. I've really enjoyed eating breakfast at the new table instead of having to use the dining room, and it's lovely to be working in the kitchen and not have an eyesore in my peripheral vision.
My view from the sink.
We are on track to have the kitchen totally done by Passover, which is my goal! I've ordered hardware for the cabinets and once we install it (probably over spring break) I'll post one...LAST...update!

What color-scheme is your kitchen?
Do you have a breakfast space in addition to a dining room?
What's the longest time you've put off unpacking after a move or a trip?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly Workouts: 3/20-3/26

Monday: We created a full-body circuit with 60-second repeats instead of our usual 30s. It was pretty brutal!
Tuesday: Although we usually rest Tuesdays because we tutor after school, Elizabeth and I stayed late and completed T25 upper-body. My arms felt like noodles afterward!
I'm not sure why my camera lens is all foggy!
Wednesday: Rest. I had a speaking engagement, so no time for a workout. More on that later!

Thursday: Elizabeth and Stacey did abs after work; I had to deal with a parent and it went late, but I  did the workout at home afterward. Even when working out alone, knowing I had some buddies keeping me accountable really helped!
Friday: Elizabeth and I did the T25 Stretch workout. It felt really good, although I always feel like I've "wasted" a workout if all I do is stretch. This one does bring some squats and low-impact body-weight exercises in to it, so it's not just stationary stretching.

Later that night, Matt and I went to our friend Todd's place because he offered to let me use a Bowflex machine he has until I can run again. I wanted to test it out, so I did a couple minutes on it.

Saturday & Sunday: Rest.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Art Night at the Cottages

Matt's studio is in a gorgeous park; his is one of six artist cottages set up along the river, but they're not close to the road and don't get lots of foot traffic. During Art Fest, we constantly hear, "I've lived here for decades and had no idea these existed!" It doesn't help that most of the cottages had been empty for quite awhile before Matt moved in and started Upriver Ceramics.
So, in an attempt to get the word out, Matt and his fellow artists have started a monthly Art Night where the cottages will stay open late. They invite guest artists to come set up as well. This Tuesday was their first "event." We weren't expecting a huge turnout because this was a new endeavor, but we were happily surprised!
People came in waves throughout the evening to check out the various artists.
Some of the crowd outside Matt's studio.
Steve had a presentation going with some of his bigger pieces; I LOVE the lamps made of pieces of real mangrove roots.
John worked on a painting in full view of our guests.
Around 7:30 I walked over the bridge to pick up tacos for everyone - there's an authentic Mexican restaurant that sells $1 street tacos on Tuesdays, so it's pretty perfect that Art Night is going to be on a Tuesday each month.

Quick side story: When I got to the front of the line to order, the young man did a little double take and then broke out into a huge grin. "I think you were my teacher!" I immediately recognized him - he was my student 7 or 8 years ago, in my first or second year teaching! He gave me a big hug and pointed out his mom, who was working on filling orders. It turns out his family owns the restaurant!
Mm, nothing tastes better than food grilled outside!
Anyway, by the time I got back around 8:30 (taco night was slammed!) the artists were cleaning up. We ate our tacos and then called it a night. I don't usually stay out so late on work nights, but it was worth it.
I'm so excited that this first night was a success! Matt sold a couple pieces, including my favorite, "Forbidden Fruit."
Remember this piece? Well, it went to a good home.
I think this will be a great tradition the artists are starting, and I hope it only continues to grow.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Calf Update & I Need Some Advice

Last Friday, I went to a see a sports medicine doctor about my calves. I was going to go in April when I have spring break, but Elizabeth suitably freaked me out and convinced me to move the appointment up.

Dr. Cintron took a very detailed history - I was glad I have a blog because I was able to pinpoint when the pain started and how it progressed over time. She palpated my calves and had me do a few stretches, none of which hurt. My calves only hurt after certain exercises or while running.

Sometimes they are tight early in a run and then loosen up 30 minutes in; sometimes they feel fine and then get tight a mile in.

She was skeptical that I have a strain or tear in both calves, but ordered an MRI anyway, which I will have this Friday. My followup with her is Monday afternoon. I hate that this is an ordeal; I wish it could just be diagnosed and over with.
In the meantime, no running or high-impact exercise. (What am I supposed to do for cardio?!) I'm on a regimen of taking Naproxen twice daily to combat any inflammation I may have. Before I left, the nurse set me up with some ice and TENS therapy (she was glad to hear I have a TENS unit and was using it at home) and then gave me a massage with Biofreeze.
I hate icing. SO COLD.
She also printed out some stretches for me to do with explicit instructions not to overstretch. I'm very inflexible so I'm totally guilty of overstretching frequently, but I'm going to be good!

So, that's the deal for now. I'm not sure if I'd rather get definitive answers from the MRI (which would mean bilateral strains/tears somehow) or not. No strain would mean possibly a less serious issue, but it could mean compartment syndrome, which Dr. Cintron did not rule out.

I wish I could run just to test the pain and be sure it's still there; I've been resting so long I'm starting to doubt my own memory! But maybe if the MRI is negative, she'll stick me on a treadmill to get some results.

Any advice for getting some cardio while I'm avoiding high-impact exercise?


Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Workouts: 3/13-3/19

Monday: We revisited a favorite leg circuit. I was tempted to be done after 3 rounds but after a bit of rest I came back for a 4th!
Complete each exercise for 30s, and repeat 3-5 times.
Tuesday: Rest. I wanted to run because we are having a freak cold front this week, but my calf appointment was set up for Friday (I moved it up) so I decided to wait to run until after that! (Afterward, I wished I had gotten in one more run because then I'd have a fresher memory for my symptoms.)

Wednesday: Some core work via Blogilates.
Thursday: T25 upper body with Elizabeth! I miss running, but I'm really loving being back into a daily workout routine of any kind right now!
Friday: Rest/Recovery. I left work early for my appointment at the sports medicine doctor. I didn't feel much up to a workout afterward. I'll post about the appointment and all that later this week.

Saturday: Matt and I went thrift shopping...not exactly a workout, but I'll count the walking as at least being "active"!

Sunday: Rest. We cleaned out the breakfast area of the kitchen - finally! - and moved some boxes into the attic.

Not a very solid week, but getting there! I just never feel I'm really having a good workout week unless I'm getting my runs in.


Friday, March 17, 2017

I May Have a Problem...

Disclosure: I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador and do receive a discount for my purchases. None of the links below are affiliate links because I'm too technologically-challenged to set that up.

So, last week I went a little crazy. I have been waiting and waiting to load up on spring Skirt Sports stuff because they release the new styles a little bit at a time and I wanted everything I had seen in the ambassador teaser. I did give in and buy the Lioness in the new color back in February because I wanted it for my race, but otherwise I was waiting.

This week, a giant package arrived and I immediately tried everything on and had a fashion show all by myself. Who's ready for some super awkward pictures?!
The haul: Super Girl tank in Sidewinder; Redemption Capris in Stargaze; Pocketopia capris in Sidewinder; Hover skirt in black; Cascade skirt in Persevere; Go Longer short in black.
I totally underestimated how much I'd love the Persevere print in person. The Stargaze print isn't new, but I waited on buying it because I'm not a huge fan of blue. Once more, I was surprised by how much I loved it in person! I'm sensing a pattern here. (No pun intended!)
First I tried on the Super Girl tank with the Hover skirt. I need to return them both for smaller sizes; the SG is supposed to run small but seemed to run true to size for me; I shouldn't have sized up.
The SG has a pocket in the built-in bra and three along the lower back! It's a perfect cycling top but I'll be wearing it for running, of course.
The Hover is the lightest skirt I have ever tried! The shorties underneath are mesh and the skirt is so fluttery. It's hard to tell in the picture but there's a slit and the skirt is kind of an "overlay" style. I'm anxious to have it in a smaller size so I can wear it!
Next I tried on the Go Longer shorts. Lately I have been wanting slightly longer, airier shorts and thought I'd give these a try. I usually wear the Redemption Run shorts, which have a 4" inseam. These have a 6" and look a little long for me in the photo, but in person they're perfect! Plus, they're super comfortable and exactly what I was looking for.
I changed into my Wonder Girl tank for the rest of my photoshoot so I wasn't mixing crazy prints. I love this tank top; it runs smaller than other Skirt Sport tanks, which works for me because their tanks tend to be a little on the loose side. And I love the built-in bra.

Anyway, the new piece here is the Cascade skirt. I have this skirt in three prints now, and it's no is just so cute! I love the tiers and it's so lightweight in this print!
I own four (or five?) pairs of the Redemption capris. My only annoyance with them has always been the lack of pockets, which the new Pocketopia style corrects. These capris are lightly compressing, don't slip down or ride up, never give me camel-toe...and are basically just super fun and bright!
The Sidewinder print is by far my favorite Skirt Sports print these days. They really hit it out of the park with this one - even Elizabeth, who swears by her Walmart running gear usually (which is totally fine!) is now seriously considering picking something up because Sidewinder is just that irresistible.

The new Pocketopia capris have a pocket on each leg that easily fits my cell phone and other goodies. I rarely get to run in capris because...well, the pockets aren't always necessary, but they are good to have anyway!

Both of these capris have a zippered pocket in the back and a key pocket in front. The Pocketopia run a little less compressy than the Redemption; they're slightly stretchier, too.

And that's it! I am so excited and ready to run...if I am ever able to run again.
Just kidding. Kind of.
If my little splurge piqued your interest, remember to use the discount code 1SSCAPT20 through the end of March for 20% off your purchase!

Which of the prints do you like best?
Do you like wearing loud/bright workout clothes?
What is a must-have feature you look for in workout clothes?


Wednesday, March 15, 2017


*Edit: My mom's fear that I would actually toss any of these photos made me realize I didn't make my conclusion clear enough so let me preface this post by saying that this is really kind of a reflection on minimalism, which is very popular right now, but I don't find anything particularly great about tossing things that have sentimental value just because they're not necessary. My photos and letters are technically worthless and I may be a packrat, but I'd never be able to part with them...and I don't want to. 

I am a little bit of a hoarder. Not like the sick kind, but like the I can't let go of sentimental stuff kind. I've been attempting to consolidate some of my old things into just one or two boxes for storage, but I've been struggling.

I thought I'd share a few things I've unearthed recently in my attempt to spring clean. I just can't seem to part with this stuff!

First, I have an ugly, beat up shoebox full of old photos and the like. I feel like most people have a box like this.
Old, goofy photos of me and my siblings; pictures from our old neighborhood in Ohio; love notes Matt sent me while we dealt with being long distance; a funny coaster from a bar in England; photos of my old pups; postcards of some of my favorite paintings from the Tate Gallery.

In that top-center photo, we are putting on a show for our parents. We used to choreograph dances and perform. We were very talented.

Of course, an old Rampage shoebox can't hold everything. I have a bad habit of collecting notebooks and photo albums.
Hm. It looks so neat and tidy for a bag of hoarder-stuff.
First, I have some of the first books I ever wrote. In elementary school we "published" books. You'd write a story in class, choose a binding fabric, and volunteers would sew them into little books. If yours got a gold seal, you were chosen to read it to the principal and you got a toy out of a prize bin.
There's also a copy of a play I co-wrote in 6th grade. It actually became a school performance. Pretty neat.
Besides old schoolwork, I've held on to some things that I'm just not sure how to get rid of.
My old karate medals.
A signed copy of a Sugar Ray album. I met them when I was 15; they were super nice.
A pack of feminist tarot cards because for awhile I thought maybe I'd become a witch.
My cap from undergrad graduation. All the AXOs decorated our caps with a lyre.
Of course, I also have albums full of photos I rarely look at. Here's a glimpse at the important memories I'm saving in my freshman scrapbook.
I was obsessed with recording names for "future children." Ironic, now that I'm child-free.
I do have some things worth keeping among the random piles, though. My bat mitzvah guest book and Hebrew name certificate are important keepsakes, but the certificate is illegible due to water damage.
I wonder if I can get this restored somehow...
Going through some of this stuff has me wondering, what's the point of keeping it past a certain time? I rarely go back and look through these letters and pictures, and most of the photos don't mean much to me anymore. But for some reason, I still can't let them go!

I mean...are we supposed to shred or recycle things like this? Or are we saddled with it forever? Will I look through them someday when I'm 80 and be glad I held onto them?

I can't help but think that yeah, I will. Maybe I'm just enabling my hoarding, but...better safe than sorry, right?

Do you have a hard time letting go of sentimental stuff?
Do you have any schoolwork from when you were a kid?
What do you do with old photos, etc?


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Workouts 3/6-3/12

This week's workouts start on Wednesday. That's just how things go after races and time off! I've been resting my calves obsessively, so no running this week. Not running means we're going back to some of our old videos and workouts, which has been nice.

Wednesday: T25 with Elizabeth and Stacey! We haven't done T25 in a hot minute and it definitely humbled me. What a tough workout!
It's so awesome to have Stacey joining us!
Thursday: Some Blogilates. I've been neglecting my core for awhile and I could tell.
Friday: We put together a circuit that focused on core and upper-body, but was really kind of "whole body". It felt really good.
Complete each move for 30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.
I rested/stretched through the weekend. I'm hoping to get at least one short run in this coming week. We'll see how the calves take it!

I'm excited to start Monday this week and truly get back into a routine!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday 5: My Week in Pictures

For today's Friday Five 2.0, I'm bringing you something short and sweet. My week in pictures/screenshots!
Sunday: The last art festival of the season.
Monday: Dinner with one of our best college friends, who we haven't seen for nearly 10 years.
Tuesday: Elizabeth and I found out we were awarded a bonus we qualified for at the end of 2016!
Wednesday: International Women's Day. Matt told me he couldn't wear red that day because he had to be in his work uniform, but...
Thursday: Spending time at the studio after work.
Happy Friday! 
What did you do this week?