Saturday, October 23, 2010

another week in the books... and hitting the books again.

Last Wednesday I finished course #4, which means this past Wednesday I began course #5... which means today I had lots of fun reading to do, and yes that is sarcastic; while I love learning, today's reading from a textbook wasn't exactly pleasure reading. But nonetheless, I love learning and the other homework I have to do for the week isn't bad. I have to do some student profiles/ case study stuff which will lead to a larger project. The good news about this course (Advanced Analysis of Reading and Language Arts) is that there is no midterm or final! I've had several courses with midterms and finals during this degree... I hadn't taken a midterm or final since undergrad at Stonehill! While I'm used to the testing thing again, the idea of a course without a test for this half a semester sounds nice! After this course, I will officially be half way complete with my CAGS degree... although I technically will only have 3 more courses to go, then a practicum :)
As for this week, other than grad school, it was busy. I have to say my class this year is a lot easier than last year. I think all of the needs in the room, plus the chemistry of the group just made for a challenging crew that drained a lot of my energy. I find myself enjoying being in my room a lot more this year, which is great.
Unfortunately still no running this week... but I've been an elliptical machine. (haha, literally.) I use it as my daily cardio... ranging from 60- 90 minutes on it. I went to the physical therapist again this week, which meant more ultrasound, plus another iontophresis (sp?) patch put on my knee for 24 hrs. The pt also gave me more exercises to add to my routine. I can add weights to my lunges and she has me doing some squats now too. I feel like my knee is getting stronger... but am not going to push it with a run yet. I don't have the ortho again til the second week in November, so I am going to wait til a few days before that to try a couple (easy) runs.
Other than that, I really have nothing exciting going on. I feel like I am at a point where I am ready for a change... possibly moving sooner than I thought? I don't know, but recently I have the itch to move out again. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that my parents are letting me live at home again, but at the same time sometimes it's just too busy here and I feel like I can't do my work or relax. I also feel like I really don't have much space to call my own, other than my room, which I hate living in all the time, but at the same time when I am home I'm usually in here... or the kitchen, or the bathroom!
I've started to look at places... I don't think I want to jump into anything yet, but feel like maybe I should be thinking about it for the spring if I find something I like? I know I said I didn't want to rent again, but at the same time, I don't really want to invest in a house/ condo if in a couple years I could relocate depending on the uncertainty of my future. So in a way I don't see renting as wasting money, but rather buying myself a little more time until I definitely want to commit to a certain location for many years.
I've managed to save a considerable amount... and could save more, but feel like why should I just keep saving and saving? I mean you know the old saying "you can't take it with you?" Why not live and enjoy someplace while I'm here- I don't know, I guess I'm in a carpe diem kind of mood right now! Either that or I watch way too much hgtv- house hunters, property virgins, my first place... it's all making me want to be back on my own again!
Well it's time to go make some dinner, then perhaps some more apartment hunting online!
Baby shower tomorrow! :) Maybe I'll remember my camera and actually post some pics! I know blogs with pictures are more fun, but when I'm somewhere having fun I really don't like to take a lot of pics... I'd rather live in the moment... but a baby shower has a lot of sitting around, and my family is huge so there will be a lot of present opening, good time to play photographer!

Monday, October 18, 2010

yes, i qualified for the boston marathon... and no i am not running, by choice.

Can we say holy craziness batman? The Boston Marathon opened today for registration at 9 am and by 5:03 it was full! That's nuts!
I qualified for boston in my first marathon, running a 3:21... and the plan was going to be to run Boston in 2011; however, I decided over the weekend, that this is not meant to be. I am not ready to focus on training for another marathon right now. Instead my goal is to finish my physical therapy for my knee, let my injuries from my bike crash fully heal, and then focus on getting back into a running/ training program again. Don't get me wrong, I haven't skipped a beat relative to overall fitness; however, being able to log real miles again instead of all x-training stuff will feel good.
I think at this point my body is best fit for the half marathon, so after I am fully healed, I plan to build up to focus on this race. Ideally I would like to talk to a coach/ have someone help me to train smarter, not necessarily harder. I work very hard; however, sometimes I know a shorter and quicker track workout may be better than a 10 mile run. At first though I am going to ease my way back into running- before I start any hard core training.
I am really shocked though that the marathon sold out in 8 hours today and part of me thinks it's absolutely crazy. I know it's a great race and full of tradition, but still I don't think any race should be this selective- and part of it is they reserve so many numbers to make people raise money for charity. I fully support raising money for charity, but this seems like backwards thinking... hmm I didn't get into Boston, but if I raise $1000 then I can run? If I were to run a race for charity it would be thinking the other way... I'd like to raise money for x organization, and this seems like a good way to do it. My family actually did this for the Crohn's and Colitiis Foundation a couple of years ago, although it was for a walk in Boston, not a race.
Well I guess that's the end to my Boston rant... I still wish good luck to everyone who's running it and probably will run it someday myself too; however, I don't think the marathon bug is in my body right now. Breaking 1:30 in the half was a pretty good feat for me and I think with a little training and coaching I could creep down into the range near 1:25... so that's going to be my next focus when my body allows me! (Listen to your body... I've learned this over the years!)
As for today, it was a decent day at work... busy of course, but good! I made my trek to the gym after a quick stop at home to change and banged out 75 minutes on the elliptical. Then I did some upper body lifting! And my back didn't hurt while doing it!!! I've had some knee physical therapy exercises to do, which I did, and did some abs... they didn't hurt my back either!
But just to be safe I am now heating my back since it's a little sore and icing my knee- the doctor wants me to do this daily, so I am trying to be a good patient!
Randomness of the day... I got a letter to be a part of a study for people who have recently taken pain killers, I would have gotten paid $50 to do it... but have to decline because you have to have had taken the drugs for 3+ months and I only had to use them for 3 days :) Oh well!
Time to get some work done before finally resting for the evening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a numbers game

I am all about numbers, I've love math my whole life and actually wanted to be a math teacher when I was younger... of course that was until I was a senior in high school and took AP Calc... that kind of turned me off from math for a while. However, I do love it once again and get to teach it every day (of course it's a lot easier than ap calc!)
Not only do I teach math daily, but also I am doing math daily in my head... usually while running. I have a habit of looking at time and calculating splits in my head. I am also super-schedule oriented, so I'm always planning the day and dividing up the time I have left. I think teaching little ones makes you value every minute; my school day is pretty much divided into 15 minute intervals- you have to consistently mix the day up or you lose their attention!
But today I am not talking about running, schedules, or teaching, I am talking about shopping.
Ok so this isn't that big of a deal, but I really played the numbers game today at cvs. Here's the thing- I needed to buy body wash and a baby shower card. I was planning on going to Target, but found in my purse two coupons for $3 at cvs... only catch I had to spend $10. I also saw a $1 coupon in the paper for the body wash I needed. Now I am no big coupon clipper, but today I had fun trying to save money and think I may look for these deals more often!
So I went to cvs and picked up the bodywash I needed... originally $5.99, on sale for $4.99, plus I had $1 off! Then I found a card; however, I hadn't spent $10, so I figured I'd buy some more vitamins... I'll use them sooner or later when my bottle runs out! AND score... they were buy 1 get 1 free! So I got 2 bottles for $7! I also had to pick up a bag of mints (nobody likes a teacher with bad breath!).... Ok so here are the numbers after the cashier rang it up: $23.98... gave her the 3 coupons I had, then she scanned my rewards card, and like magic the number went down to $7.15! I felt like I got a real steal... I mean that's like way over 50% off my original sale!
Ok so maybe I am way too enthused for that savings spree; however, small things make me happy. I still haven't completed all of the errands I need to do... next stop is Target- cvs is too expensive for certain things!
The other number I want to mention today is 97. That is the number of minutes that I ellipticalled today! This is the longest I have done since the accident. I did this at a slower clip and ended up doing 12 miles, so that was around 8:05 pace. This isn't quick, but I got a good sweat out and didn't leave too fatigued. I think there's something to be said about going a little longer at an easier pace. Obviously I would have rather run this length and not ellipticalled it, but like I said yesterday, just gotta keep going on the road to recovery and stay positive!
It's looking like the numbers aren't going well for the Pats...
As for the rest of the day it's looking like more school work to get down in addition to my Target break, plus getting stuff ready for another busy week! I start my 5th course in my CAGS program this week too! When this one is done it's the half way point, woohoo!
Happy Sunday and end to the week! --If only tomorrow was a day off too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a bumpy month

I know, I haven't posted in nearly a month. I think I kind of strayed away from blogging because I didn't want to face reality; I wasn't happy. I have been frustrated with the whole patellar tendonitis deal, but had a positive attitude and thought ok, no biggie, I will treat it and be running again in October.... let's just say things have a way of changing.
As a part of my cross training routine I have been riding my bike more, which I love. It's a fun, great way to exercise. It's also neat/ different from running because you get to cover more terrain than in a run. A long run may be 15 miles, but a long ride may be more like 50.
Speaking of 50 milers, this was the cause of my trouble. A couple of my uncles and I have done Hub on Wheels before in Boston; it's a 50 mile ride to benefit Boston Public Schools. A good cause, a fun ride, spending time with relatives; a great day, right?! WRONG. Ok don't get me wrong, it started off as a great day, up at 5 am, heading to Beantown, riding Storrow Drive which was closed to traffic, fun times.
(having fun-pre crash)
However, this fun soon turned to fail. 20 something miles into the ride I crashed. I don't mean like I just felt or slipped up... I was going too fast down a hill, lost control of my bike and wound up off the road on the ground, bleeding and sore. MAJOR OUCH. I totally knocked the wind out of me, I stood up and tried to compose myself, but was hurting and crying because I was confused and didn't know what to do. My relatives didn't know I had crashed and I was screaming for them, but to no avail. I had no choice, I had to walk for help... 15+ minutes later I managed to walk out of the woods and find a volunteer who called an ambulance.
In the meantime I was lying on the side of the road calling my fam to tell them of the accident and ask them to head out to Boston; I tried to remain calm, but my back and side hurt so bad I didn't know how badly I was hurt. The men in the ambulance wanted to take me to the hospital, but I asked not to go, I'd rather go closer to home. So they cleaned me up and let me lie on a stretcher while I waited for my aunt (who lives in Newton) to come pick me up.
My parents met me at my aunt's house and then brought me to Worcester to the ER. I have never been to the ER before (well for my own injury) so this was a first.
I went right into triage (the Pats were on so maybe that's why it wasn't busy?)... they actually thought I had a concussion because my pupils weren't responding appropriately? Not sure, but I think this expedited my trip in there. Turns out no concussion, but they did want x-rays, as did I. I had 9 x-rays done... at this point I was already visibly bruising and you could see the cuts on my back to show where I had hit first. The only major cuts were on my forearm-- I skidded on a rock, so they bandage that up. They x-rayed my upper chest, back, lower back, leg, and arm... amazingly I hadn't broken or fractured anything. However, I did have some bad bruising. I could barely walk and taking off my shoes was a huge challenge. They also checked my kidneys- apparently where I fell first was right near that area, but no kidney damage either!
I am not one that likes to take medication; however, the doctor insisted that he write up a prescription. So I took it, but vowed that I was going to try not to use it. I didn't for the first 2 two days, just took some ibuprofren to ease the pain; however, day 3 it was too much. The doc was right when he says that sometimes it's a couple of days later that it will hurt more. Getting out of bed/ getting in bed/ moving in general was just torture. I missed 4 days of school and basically spent those days confined to the recliner and heating pad. It's amazing how long the day seems when you can't do anything but sit/ lay down. Unlike feeling sick when you just want to sleep it off to feel better, I wasn't tired, didn't want to sleep and felt like a complete slacker for feeling like I could really teach if it weren't for the fact that I could barely move!
Taking the meds on day 3 was an interesting experience. I had some thing called "Tramadol" which according the paper that they give with it, it is frequently prescribed for people with back surgery or c-sections. Either way, I only started with taking one and it totally made me "loopy." I'm pretty sure this is the reason I very rarely drink, because I hate not feeling like I am in control of my body. A little less than an hour after taking it I really just felt silly. Like my head was spinning, I was talking to my brother and would just start laughing. I could lay in the recliner and I felt like I was moving, but I was sitting still. It didn't ease all of the pain, but it totally chilled out my head! No wonder why people get hooked on those things; I can understand why if you're so hopeless and want to just lose control of your mind then you'd pop a pill- kind of scary if you think about it though.
My accident was on a Sunday and by Friday I was determined to make it to school. I went in, thanks to a colleague who drove me because I was taking pain killers and couldn't drive! My kids were super good, I kind of conducted the day sitting in my chair a lot, but got through it and was happy to be there!
It's been 3 weeks now since that accident. My back and ribs are still not healed, and the accident has lengthened my pt with my knee injury. I ran last week because the ortho doctor told me to... let's just say it was not a fun 6 mile run. I didn't feel knee pain, but I think that was because my backs and ribs hurt so bad. Sneezing still feels like I may explode and as I type I am on the heating pad again. HOWEVER, I am going to try to be positive again. I am able to workout again and worked out everyday this week. I have been doing the elliptical and today did it for 75 minutes, covering about 9.6 miles. Tomorrow I am going to try to do 90 minutes on it.
I have yet to get on my bike again; however, this is partially because it's broken. I need to bring it to Bicycle Alley to have it repaired... my handle bars are kind of broken and the alignment is off.
I think that I haven't been on this blog in a month because I was in denial. It's hard to want to write when you feel like a failure. Over the past couple of weeks I just felt all around like I was a failure... couldn't run, couldn't work, basically helpless. But I shouldn't have felt that way. I was able to walk (barely)away from this accident. So many people aren't that lucky. I may set high standards for myself that I may feel like I am not meeting right now, but I guess I am giving myself a kick in the pants and have to say that I am lucky. I am hopeful. It may be a couple more months before I am back to where I was running before, but I will get there. I have just finished my 4th course in my CAGS and start the 5th this week. So far I have a 4.0 gpa, not too bad. I may be single and living back at home with my family; but I am lucky to have such a loving family who is there to support me in so many ways. Someday I will find that special someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with, someday... I am ready if you're out there and want to come walking by anytime now! I am lucky to have a great class and a secure job, but am hopeful to be forwarding my career in another way in the future. (Maybe even next year?)
Well I guess this post was more than I intended to get out when I first started, but I think I needed this. I felt like I was hiding from myself from not updating this, but I think I was afraid to face reality. But in reality, it's not so bad, I have overcome challenges in the past and feel like I am on my way to getting back on track.
It may have been a bumpy month, but there will always be bumps in the road... I just know that now I need to slow down to get through them, before I lose control! :)
Since I am now back to reality, I have to get some necessary weekendish things done... namely grocery shopping! I have already been to Trader Joe's earlier today, but find that some things I can just buy cheaper at the grocery store, so I'm headed there now. For some reason I find walking up and down the aisles very relaxing! :)