FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What's Happening?

January was filled with sickness for me. I am usually the last one in my house to catch what's going around, IF I even get sick at all. Well, I had worked with the photography company for a few days, two of them being with pre-schoolers, and two days after that I was hit with the stomach bug. I. Do. Not. Vomit. So, I was awoken with intense stomach pain at 5 am on a Saturday and then suffered the rest of the day in bed, fighting the urge to throw up. I know. I know. I would have felt better had I let it out. I WILL NEVER KNOW!

Due to the stomach virus I took in very few calories. I even made Charlie go out and get Popsicles, because that's all I could think of tolerating. There were several days of slowly increasing my solid foods as my stomach could handle them. And then days after that I got a horrible cold. After about a week I went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't strep throat or bronchitis or pneumonia. I babysit my niece's kids and I didn't want to pass anything on to them. All the tests were negative.

So, all that was a good jump start to my weight loss goals! But seriously, being sick isn't fun. I am down 7 pounds since January 2nd. And since being cleared to do anything I want after 16 weeks off I've been doing a lot of walking. I still haven't renewed my gym membership so I am pretty limited to what I can do. My daughter has started a healthy lifestyle change, as well, and we've been walking together as much as possible. I bought her a Fitbit so she can easily track both her diet and exercise and she loves it so much more than lugging her phone with her everywhere. I am involved in my local running store's February Miles challenge, where the minimum goal is to walk or run a mile a day (bronze level). 13 days in and I'm still at it, even after having some really horrible weather here and having to walk between my house and my neighbors house in my snow boots about 100 times. I don't think I'll hit the silver level of the challenge. That's a minimum of 75 miles. It was only 2.68 miles averaged a day, but the weather and my new job hasn't cooperated with that.

Oh, yeah, I got a new job! Or another job, if I can squeeze the photo job in with this part time job. This past year the bills have just piled up with two kids in college now and having a seasonal job with a seasonal salary I could never count on was really part of the problem. I wanted to take some of the stress and burden off of Charlie's shoulders, even though he never complained to me. I knew the library would be hiring because my son recently got a promotion from one department to another and they would need to fill his position. I applied right before New Year's Day, interviewed on January 3rd, had a second interview a couple of weeks later and started working on the February 3rd! I'm a page in the Reference and Adult Services department, which entails shelving materials, covering the copy/fax room and DVD room, setting up classrooms for programs, etc. So far I'm covering the easy stuff, like shelving, and as I progress they will add more tasks and responsibilities. So far, so good. And the library offers their employees so many benefits, like paying into a pension, different investment programs and insurances. One of the best perks is that when the library closes due to inclement weather and you were scheduled to work, you get paid for your shift! I got paid to shovel my driveway on Thursday!! WOO HOO!

I think it will work out well. I have always loved being at the library, borrowing books, printing things for free (up to 5 free prints!), using the computers... My kids spent hour upon hour at children's programs, summer after summer, when they were small. And I know so many people that work there. Having grown up right in the community, I've either worked with co-workers in the past, or they're my kids' friends or their friends' parents! So very strange! I saw my son in the break room and I said to him "This is weird," and he replied "No, it's not!" I think I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! And to hear my superiors compliment me on raising my son well, what "a delight he is to work with" and how annoyed they are that he defected to another department! LOL I can't hear enough good things about him. I guess I can take credit for that, along with Dad, right? Hope I make him as proud as he makes me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Moving On

16 weeks. I was prohibited from running for 16 whole weeks. That frigging changed yesterday. I went to the doctor and I was cleared to do whatever the hell I want. My break is healed and now I just have to be careful. If I experience any pain I need to back off and see him.

So, yesterday I went to the high school track with my daughter and planned on a quarter mile walk warm-up and then run the straits until we hit 1.75 miles and then a cool down with another quarter mile walk. It was just so weird to run again. It was extremely cold and windy at the track so my eyes and nose were running and my lungs were burning, since I'm still getting over a virus. My ankles were feeling it and occasionally my feet and knees let me know I hadn't done this in quite some time. But, I felt so good that I managed to run a FULL lap after several times around the oval.

12:40 pace for a quarter mile!

I'm sore today, but I sore I've sadly missed for far too long!

I am nearly 40 pounds heavier than my lowest weight ever (I think I got off the scale that day and immediately gained 5 pounds) and 30 pounds heavier than what I was when we ran our Ragnar 4 years ago; that's 8 pounds a year. In those 4 years I've had knee surgery and broke my foot. I've also ran a marathon and 7 half marathons as well as several 10ks, 5ks, one milers, etc. Both of my kids have graduated high school and are continuing their academic success in college. My husband and I are still loving life together and enjoyed a trip to Nashville for the premiere of the documentary. Life goes on and great things happen. Do I feel better weighing less? Absolutely, but my happiness can't hinge on what the scale or the tags on my clothes say. I am actively trying to change those things. I'm still going to run and eat better and be better at my health, because that's what really matters- being healthy to continue to enjoy these momentous events. The scale will follow.

Monday, December 5, 2016

One More Week?

So, today it has been 8 weeks since I went to the ER and was put in a boot. I was non weight bearing for SEVEN whole weeks. At 5 weeks I was sentenced to two more weeks non weight bearing and I broke down and cried in the exam room. I cried the whole way home. I was so done with bearing all my weight on my left foot, quad, hip, glute... but I had no frigging choice. It put me in a funk that didn't help me keep my mind focused on eating well and doing the physical activity I could while out of the game.

Two weeks ago I was prescribed and qualified for 100% financial coverage of the Exogen ultrasound bone healing system. It's an ultrasound device that you use 20 minutes a day to help promote blood flow to the area of the injury, which has been found to accelerate healing by up to 38%. I was a bit peeved that I hadn't received the device earlier, but, according to my doctor, that's the insurance companies fault. "They" don't like covering them before 90 days with non healing, so he was shocked I had one already. I've been using it regularly and I am hoping it's doing its job. (The device is mine to keep, so I think I'll start using it on my left foot, since it's been angry with all the hopping I had to do for 7 weeks, even with the knee scooter and walker.)

Finally, last week I got the good news from my doctor that allowed me to start walking in the boot. I see him again next Monday and we'll see what the x-rays say, again. I'm surprised I haven't grown a sixth toe, it's been radiated so damn much. My foot hurt the first day of walking on it. It was the 1st time I experienced any pain since I broke it, so it made me really nervous. The pain subsided, thank goodness, but I'm still experiencing major soreness in my hips and now in my left foot. Everything is out of alignment because the boot is just so tall. My stability sneaker is still not high enough to keep my hips parallel to each other. And yet I hear there is no physical therapy prescribed after this injury. Huh.

When I was able to stand on both feet I weighed myself and I am up 7 pounds. That sure will help my running and any pain I might experience when I am finally permitted to exercise again. Not. Doc said no exercise, not even the recumbent bike, last week. I was surprised by that and bummed out, thinking how bad could that be?!? Apparently enough to jeopardize my healing.

7 more days, then what? I have no idea where my fitness will be. I have no idea what kind of pain I will experience. The uncertainties scare me. NYC Half Marathon on March 19th and the Philadelphia 15k on April 1st. 14 weeks to go from 0 to 13.1 miles. Terrifying.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Two More Weeks, Plus

So, on the 24th I went back to the foot doctor after two weeks in the boot. He did new x-rays and decided I would be in the boot, non-weight-bearing, an additional three weeks, with another recheck on November 14th. THREE MORE WEEKS!!! He said two weeks ago I could walk in the boot and drive after just four weeks off of the foot. He's a filthy liar!!

Doc said I'm healing, but because it's a small bone with a weak blood supply he's being cautious. Just wonderful right? He also prescribed a suped up Vitamin D supplement to aid in the healing process. 50,000 IU, to be exact, to be taken once a week for four weeks. I asked him if there would be any nasty side effects with such a high dosage. He assured me there would not. If I get the shits from this and can't make it to the bathroom in time because I'm hobbling one foot there will be hell to pay!

It tasted fine...

Just a couple days hopping on crutches was torture to my upper body, especially my pits. My mom had a walker that has a seat, basket and convenient cup holder so my dad dropped it off for me to get around the house. It has been a life saver. I have reading materials in the basket and I'll put stuff in there to throw out or move from room to room. I'm able to perform household chores like cook, sweep, mop etc. It fits perfectly in my bathroom, which is just a tad bigger than a port o potty!

Betsy, almost as pretty a color as my PT Cruiser!

My sister lent me a portable commode for my bedroom upstairs. I have a bathroom upstairs but 1). we don't use it and 2). I also just wouldn't want to maneuver around near the stairs in the middle of the night, multiple times. Having to just hop out of bed to pee is very convenient! I may not return it! LOL Charlie would certainly stop emptying it, that's for sure.

Without being able to stand on two feet, I also needed a shower chair! Since my brother and father have had both of their hips replaced we have one of those in the family as well. That's one less task poor Charlie has to do although he *does* have to lug the thing into the bathtub for me. Poor guy.

Yesterday I received a text from my sister asking if I was home. Frigging wise ass. Anyway, she managed to get her hands on a knee scooter. It's definitely way kinder to my right hip since I don't have to lift it onto the walker seat if I want to scoot rather than hop all over the place, but it's a tad long and fast! I can zip from the front door to the living room doorway without taking out the moulding, but I can't pivot as well with it. Think 6-point turn as opposed to a quick swerve. However, I'm thinking I may be able to take the thing for an actual "walk" outside...

Just getting out of the house for something other than a doctor's appt would be nice!

I think I have just about every product I could possibly need to make life as convenient as possible with this injury. My friends and family have been great, helping with getting my daughter home from class, picking up some groceries when needed, and visiting, texting and calling to keep my spirits up. I've used online grocery shopping sites for big shops. It's so much more convenient and less time consuming walking up and down the aisles of a grocery store! It took me 3 hours to shop twice! It's a necessary evil because I refuse to add another chore to Charlie's already overflowing plate, and I'm glad it's an available service for those who just need it to live.

Facebook and the boob tube have gotten way too much of my time lately, but what else is there to do? I started reading the first 'The Walking Dead' compendium. I'm interested to see the difference from the show to the book. I'll stop after the second one since I don't want to get ahead of the tv show. I'm trying to keep my house as clean as possible, but I need someone to throw out the garbage and recyclables and put it to the curb. Laundry certainly can't be done alone. And I'm unable to drive, so I'm not working, which stresses me out.

I'm home all day, every day. I'm trying to stay as active as possible without making my situation worse. I am able to "work out" sitting down, but I would give anything to just take a walk in this great fall weather!! Seeing all my friends post about their fall race schedules makes me pine for a quick jog around the block, let alone a half marathon.

"Patience grasshopper." I know, I know.

What would you do with all this time on your hands???

Friday, October 14, 2016

Well *THAT* Sucked!

Although I am still up 25 pounds from my running weight in the documentary, From Fat To Finish Line, I am still enjoying running and racing with my good friends. This year was full of big races. Since we had the goal of gaining entry into the NYC Half Marathon in 2017, we had to run 4 of the 6 select races. I was lucky enough to gain entry into this year's NYC Half via lottery, so I was aiming to complete the entire 5 borough series.

As you may already know, the NYC Half was on March 20th and it was frigid. I was running it on my own, which is a really odd sensation, not having my husband by my side. I slogged through it. In May, we ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon and that was my best performance in a long distance race this year. The weather was perfect and the course was scenic. All the stars aligned for me that day. And the Queens 10k, although hot, was a pretty good showing for me with a 1:18-ish finish time. Then came the Bronx...

Bronx start- photo courtesy of Kim's "long" arms

September 25, the Bronx 10 Miler. I was so excited to run *only* 10 miles. My longest run prior to this race was the 10k course on the Selden Hills on my 45th birthday, the 13th. I managed to make the Selden Hills leader board in July and August, meeting and surpassing the required 24.8 miles to get on it. So, I was attempting a 3-peat for September. (I did it!) The hill work would come in handy for the Bronx course. Race day was very sunny and slightly warm. I felt pretty good about the day, though, and my first 5 miles were strong. 1:03:08 to be exact, and I was cruising steadily up those hills. Then I started to feel icky. It's the only way to describe it. I thought I was hydrating and fueling well. My body was telling me otherwise.

Game face Media's AWESOME free race photos!!

And the sun was beating and the day was getting warmer. I started to get queasy and light-headed. I took a gel and it hit my belly like a gut bomb and just sat there. I managed to finish with a second 5 mile split of 1:18:47. I crossed the finish in 2:21:55 and immediately looked for a place to sit and drink some water. I refused to go to the medic tent. I'm an idiot that way. I managed to recover somewhat for the long ride home, but we didn't get to do our usual celebratory meal because of me. I was better when we pulled into my friend's driveway and I vowed that I would hydrate and eat well 2 weeks out from the Staten Island Half.

I did what I said I would. Along with my usual coffee I was drinking 2-33oz bottles of plain water. I should've just set up camp in the toilet. I have a bladder the size of a Gu Chomp. I ate pretty well and tried to stay away from my crappy treats. I wanted one last good long run before the half, one run that would boost my confidence, so Kim and I met up in Sayville for a flat 8 miles. NYRR was enforcing a firm 13:45 pace or a 3:00 course limit. I guess Staten Island doesn't have the sidewalks the other courses had for you to move over to if you are slower than that projected pace. That made me nervous.

I ran 8 in 1:43:48, a 12:59 pace. Not bad! That made me feel a bit better going into the half.

And then there was the weather report for the 9th. It wasn't horrible, but the forecast can always change on a dime. The Weather Channel was calling for the rain to stop around 9 am, and although the race started at 8:30 am, with the corral we were in, it would take about 30 minutes to plod up to the start mat. We were SO fortunate that our friend's husband drove and we parked in a dry garage with access to bathrooms. The goal was to stay dry for as long as possible.

Of course there was a .75 mile walk to the start, so we headed out and found a bus stop enclosure to huddle under until it was time for the last pit stop before the corrals. It was getting ugly out. It didn't look like it was about to clear up in an hour. We made our way to the corrals and got to cheer on our friends who were running in the 5k race. It's pretty discouraging to see the elites finish their race before you even start your own.

waiting for a bus that would never come

We finally began running at 8:50 am. My first 5 miles, again, were great. They were slower than the Bronx, which is what I was aiming for. I didn't want to blow it all in the first half. I was under a 13:20/3:00 finish pace but not a lot. It was cold. And it was windy. And it was raining a slushy, messy mix. I slowed down in mile 6, but not horribly. My 10k split was 1:21:23. And then we turned to run alongside the upper bay and the wind was pushing us back. And the running stopped. It was miserable race conditions and I was miserable.

still dry-ish at the start

The next 5k took me almost an hour... We were trudging up hills and wading through flooded streets. The scenic views of the Verrazano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline were nearly invisible in the fog and we couldn't even try to take it all in because the wind prevented you from picking your head up. And then, in mile 11, I felt a suspicious pop in my right foot. I didn't land hard or oddly. It was a normal footfall. I was walking for God's sake! It felt weird but not horrifically painful. We moved along. (We never saw a sag bus, probably because of the running conditions. We made sure to thank all the volunteers for braving it with us!) The glorious finish at home plate of the Staten Island Yankees was a muddy mess and I can't imagine even attempting running through it if I could. Our friends were cheering us on from the stands and hearing them scream our names made the floodgates open. It was a bad Oprah ugly cry right then. We finished in 3:28.

on the way to the finish

The smile masks the misery.

We all cried a bit together then got our shit together for the .75 mile walk back to the parking garage. We all changed into dry clothes and I tossed my saturated pants and hoodie, not caring whether I ever saw them again. Charlie couldn't stop shivering. It was an hour into the long drive home before he stopped. And my foot started to hurt.

By the time we got back to Long Island and hit an Applebee's to celebrate our accomplishment I couldn't bear any weight on my foot. I needed assistance to walk into the restaurant. I still enjoyed my meal and our reflections on the year. We did it. The Fab Four is running the NYC Half Marathon together.

photo courtesy of JS Lit

When we got home at 5:30 pm I took off my shoe and my foot was swollen and bruised. Not good. I decided to ice it and call my orthopedist in the morning.

But I couldn't get an appointment until Friday so we went to the local ER for xrays, and this happened...

I broke my 5th metatarsal. At Mile 11. And I finished with a broken foot. In really shitty weather. It sucked. I finished. And now I'm wearing this. I am ordered to be non-weightbearing for four weeks. I go back for new xrays on the 24th to make sure I'm healing well and then at 4 weeks if all goes well I can bear weight on it with the boot, driving without it. Best case scenario, I am free after an additional 2 weeks. I can't work right now because I'm not quite sure how to figure out the logistics with transportation and the actual work. I'm very thankful I have older kids, a very helpful husband, family and friends, and I never signed up for any other races this year. It pays to procrastinate!

So the goal is to be the best patient ever and get back to running the end of November. I'll be back to square one. My goal right now is to watch my diet carefully to not pack on any more weight. I'm using my upper body tremendously being on one foot, so I can feel those muscles as well as my core working overtime. I'm doing an aerobics workout from a chair. I have no excuses now not to "work out." I'm afraid to run, but I'm not going to give up. No matter how slow I go, and what other people may think of me, I'm a runner. It doesn't matter how slow I go, as long as I don't stop.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

44 and 11 Months

One month until the big 4-5. *GULP* Charlie will be 50 exactly one week later. Where the hell did the time go?!? We are together since I am 19! There's no way we've lived 26 years. I mean, my kids keep getting older, but I don't *feel* it! Well, other than the heel pain and the creaking, cracking joints, and the grey roots and crow's feet... I still think I just got out of high school.

Speaking of getting out of high school- my youngest graduated! Now I have TWO college kids in the house! Boggles my mind! We had her graduation party out which was great. The only stress I had was picking up the cake on a busy Sunday afternoon and decorating the private room at the restaurant. I was relaxing the night before and I was home sitting on the couch watching the Olympics when we got home. Easy Peasy.

So proud of Chelsea and her accomplishments!

The Bronx 10 Miler is 6 weeks away and the Staten Island Half is 8 weeks away. I've been working hard. If I am not running I am climbing flights of stairs on the Stairmaster and getting my 10,000+ steps in daily. And when I *am* running at least one of those weekly runs have been in Selden, on the hills. I used to think the people who trained on that course were nuts. Why intentionally do that to yourself when you can run nice and easy on the treadmill or in your own neighborhood? And then you go to any of our umpteen local races and you witness the sea of red shirts flying by, almost every age group award category dominated by a Selden Hills Warrior. Running hills can make you a better runner.

my hills PR splits in September with elevation gains and losses

My friends and I have found our own little niche out there. We aren't as fast as most of the group, but we're doing what we can, and together, which makes it enjoyable. Just walking the 6.2 miles is a feat. My friend Laurie and I have even attempted the 15k course, (790 ft elevation gain), which we really weren't prepared for. Next time we will bring more water or money for beverages. Our friend Kim was like a mirage in the desert when she pulled up in her car offering ice cold water! It has been incredibly hot and humid here, like most of the country, and I sweat like a mo fo on any regular given day. Add humidity and I become a flipping mess. It was a sad, slow 9.35 miles, but we did it. We may even be crazy enough to attempt it again this week.

This s what pure misery looks like!

The most exciting news is From Fat to Finish Line was released on iTunes and Amazon! And people are loving it! It's been great to hear from family and friends how much they enjoyed it and most importantly were inspired by the message of the film. Hard work and determination can lead you to any finish line you are dreaming of!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It's Been *HOW* Long?

Um... 8 months? After the NYC Marathon, I kinda went into that slump you have after planning a huge party. You know, like a wedding, an all-consuming life event that you get tunnel vision over and nothing else seems to matter? Training for a year, fundraising, planning the marathon weekend with my friend Jen, was all I could think about between working and taking care of the family.

Then it came and went, all that planning and anticipation for a 24 hour day. Now what? Well, I put that 20 pounds I lost before the marathon back on. I think I started overeating the week before the marathon and then the holidays hit... I've been up and down since January. I was doing really well with some challenge groups, but my determination and motivation seemed to fizzle out. Now I am about 9 weeks from my 45th birthday. Frickin' fabulous, right? I'm just gonna keep trying.

I've raced a lot, for my standards. There was the Rob's Run Cross Country 5k on November 29th and the Run to the Brewery 10 Miler on January 17th.

Run to the Brewery

And then I got into a little race called the NYC Half Marathon through the NYRR lottery. Charlie did not get in and we weren't about to fundraise for him to do it with me. It was VERY strange doing a race and that distance without him. I had to get myself through it. It was extremely cold that day, but I commuted with my friends Alicia, Jen and Jeff, so I wasn't alone and knew I had them waiting at the finish line for me.

After getting into the NYC Half Marathon my friend Alicia decided to run the 5 Borough Series, where there is a major run in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, da Bronx and Staten Island. AND if you run 4 of 6 qualifying races you are then guaranteed entry into the 2017 NYC Half. THIS was how Charlie was going to get to run that race, with me.

The next race in the series was the Brooklyn Half Marathon, on May 21st, and it was a warm one, but I did well and enjoyed the day with Charlie and our friend Kim, who was now also running the 4 of 6 races to get into the NYC Half with us.

Grand Army Plaza on the Brooklyn Half course

For fun we ran the inaugural Brooklyn Bridge Memorial Day 5k on 5/29. Since it was the first time this race was put on, we should give the race company the benefit of the doubt, but most of the logistics of this run left a lot to be desired! You start in Manhattan and run over the bridge into Brooklyn. Sounds pretty simple, except the course really wasn't closed and it was as hot as Hades and there was only one sorta self-serve water station at 1.7 miles... I could go on and on. We finished and after getting some post race pics, we all walked back over the bridge back to Penn Station, but before we hopped on a train home we had a phenomenal meal in Brother Jimmy's BBQ. It was a good day spent with Charlie, Kim and our friends Chris and Zorana.

me, Kim, Charlie, Chris, Zorana and Tana

sharing the bridge with tourists and cyclists was *not* fun

On June 18th we ran the Queens 10k in Flushing Meadows Park, home of the 1964 World's Fair. It was a very hot day and I was thanking the good Lord above that we only had to run 6.2 miles. Jeff and Alicia took the 3 of us in and Jeff, again, took awesome race day pics!

3/5 done for me and 2/4 for Charlie! photo courtesy of JSL Sports Photos

It's now July 13th. Two months until my 45th birthday. Ten weeks until the Bronx 10 Miler and about 12 weeks until the Staten Island Half Marathon. We are probably doing the Smith Point Bridge 5k on 9/10. It's the 1st race we ran together and we missed it the last 2 years because of my knee injury and marathon training. I'm also thinking we will finish up our race calendar with the Suffolk Half Marathon on 10/30. It's not far from where we live and we did the 1st annual on my birthday last year. Might as well try and keep that streak going!

I have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be for the SI Half. I'm anticipating a tough course and I really want to get back under the 3:00 cut-off. That's only going to happen by dropping weight and working hard.

WHAT I REALLY WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU....... drum roll please....


From Fat To Finish Line is being released on iTunes and Amazon on August 2nd!!! It can be pre-ordered right now! Here's the links to order it on Amazon and on iTunes. 

After 4+ years it's finally a finished product I will be holding in my hands! I have seen multiple edits and I just love it. I know you all will enjoy it, too.