Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Frank

I started writing this four weeks ago, the day after we unexpectedly lost our constant companion and best friend, Frank.  I never wanted to write this post, but I feel like I should. I want to remember everything about him, including his last day with us. 

Frank was a huge presence in our lives, mine in particular.  I found him on a rescue website, he was 12 weeks old and came from a kill shelter in Georgia.  I was drawn to him right away, I went to meet him at the foster home with my sister in law Jeannine.  As soon as I walked in, he broke away from the other dogs and came right to me. I picked him up and he immediately stuck his nose in my neck, like he was saying "You. I choose you." It was love at first sight.

I never thought I would feel a loss as hard as I feel this one.  Mike said to me last night that he keeps thinking that Frank is going to come back from where ever he is.  Everywhere I look I expect to see him, and it's impossible to go for a run or walk in my neighborhood.  The other day the dog down the street stood at our driveway, staring at the house, looking for Frank.

Frank had been a bit off the last two weeks of his life.  One day he didn't want to go on a walk, I had to pick him up to take him home, which had never happened before. That boy loved his walks!  His appetite also went down, but he kept drinking water.  Just when I was about to call the vet, he was his normal happy self.  

The second weekend of spring break, we went to the ADK, a place that made him so happy.  He was not himself, and I got nervous.  Looking back I wish I snuggled with him more, we were there with my niece and brother and sister and law, and he snuggled with us all. Monday I decided to call the vet, but when I went home for lunch, he was much better.

He got better as the week went on, we went for walks and on Thursday Mike grilled him a chicken breast, and I took a video of him barking and running out to the deck. I sent it to my niece and sister in law and said "Frank is back!"

Friday morning I let him out like I usually do, and as Luke walked out the bus I couldn't find him.  I ran around yelling for him for a few minutes, and I got nervous. I finally went back towards the house, and he was sitting at the front door, wagging his tail and watching me run around the house yelling his name. I texted Luke that I found him and everything was okay.  I didn't go home for lunch that day since Frank was doing better. I regret this so much. When I came home from work at the end of the day, he was his normal self, so we took a walk.  For some reason I went a slightly different way than our normal route. We came home, and we got ready for Eliza's violin concert.  Right as we were ready to leave, Eliza couldn't find her violin, so I was running around the house and yelling as we looked for it.  Frank was laying down, but sitting up in front of the sliding glass door in the kitchen, just watching me.  As we ran out of the house I looked back at him, and yelled out "Bye Frank!" I usually pet him goodbye but I ran out of time.

A couple hours later we came home, Eliza stayed at school to watch a movie. The house was quiet.  We are always greeted by Frank barking.  We came inside and couldn't find him anywhere.  Luke and I ran outside, Mike checked everywhere, and he finally found him laying in the downstairs bathroom.  He wouldn't move but he was awake. I kept yelling to him. I think he might have been drinking out of the toilet, and had some kind of episode. I called the vet, and since it was 8:00 they said to call the ER, which I didn't realize was close to our house.  Mike carried him to the car, and I held him in the backseat and kept talking to him. He was completely limp. I knew something was horribly wrong.  

Once we were at the vet, we quickly learned that he was critical.  The doctor said he had a belly full of blood, and what looked to be a tumor.  It looked like it had spread to his brain, or that he had a bleed on his brain.  They were not able to operate.  I asked the doctor if I had called two weeks ago when he was first acting weird, if it would have changed anything. She said no. We look at those two weeks as a gift.

We decided to end his suffering. Mike went to the school and got Eliza so she could say goodbye.  I felt horribly that Luke had to see everything from start to finish.  I stayed with Frank to the end. 

As we work through our loss, we decided to write down everything we could think of about Frank. We miss him so much, and always will.

When I would come downstairs in the morning, he would be curled up in the corner of the couch like a deer.  When I would come close to say good morning, he would twitch his tail, then slowly tap it in greeting.

He would come running out to the car when I came home and run up to the open car door before I even got out.

He loved to lay in front of the heat vent under the kitchen sink, I would do the dishes around him so I wouldn't disturb him.  

When Mike would come home from work, his tail would wag rhythmically, tapa tapa tapa against the cabinet door and it would beat along with him.

I would sit at my desk and type with him sitting next to me.  Then I would feel him staring at me, which meant he wanted to go out or go for a walk.  If I kept ignoring him, he would reach out and pull on my arm, to let me know It Was Time to Go Out!!

We would run during the summertime at camp, or run behind the golf course, and black flies would swarm around us and his ears in particular.  I would take his leash and sort of swing it around in a small circle around his ears, and try to get them to fly away.

When we ran and it was hot out, if we reached a patch of grass, he would dive into it and lay on his side to cool off.

He was lazy about kisses. He would give them to Daddy easily, but I would have to ask for a kiss right in his face, and then he would give me one.

We sang two songs about him" Franka Frank, Franka Froo, Franka Fank, Franka FRANK FRANK FRANK FRANK!"  And the He's a Dog Song, which got louder and louder with each verse.  

Luke and Eliza's friends called him Frankie Doodle.  Uncle Chris called him Francis. Uncle Rob called him Frank The Tank.  He has such a shiny coooat.

He would rest one paw on your foot if he felt like it. He had to touch some part of you if he was next to you.

He had a nick taken out of his right ear, and it would stay down when the other ear would go up.
I loved to smooth them both down at the same time as I petted him,

He loved to eat.  He loved the sound of the opening of the deli meat bag,

Every night at 7:00 he would let us know he was ready for his peanut butter bone. Mike and I both had to give him one, he would trot off to the living room with his tail wagging. After he was done, he would come back into the kitchen.  Mike would ask "Did you want to Show Me Something?" He would walk you over to the treat box, and wait for you to give him one. When Daddy gave him a treat, he had to go over to the living room rug, and lay down, if he had a paw on the hardwood, he had to back up. When I gave him a treat I would say, Sit, Shake, Lay Down! And he would do it.

When he was a puppy, we had people over, and I looked in the dining room, and he was standing on the dining room table, and his face was in the bowl of greek salad.

Another time we had two blocks of cheese on a platter  on the table, he jumped up and ate them.

Another time he took a chicken thigh off the counter and swallowed it whole. We fed him a bunch of rice so that it would pass through his system okay.

He loved pizza crust.  As he would watch me eat, and I got near the end, he would shift himself and get impatient because he knew his chance to get something were coming to a close.

He was the Bacon Bandit! He once ate a whole plate of it up at camp, one minute it was there, the next it was gone. He loved steak, but his favorite was Filet Mignon.

He once got into the box of treats and we had to put a hand weight on them to keep the box closed.

He loved to lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

Another time he ate while so excited, and inhaled so much food Mike had to give him the Heimlich.

He used to make Rmmrmm noises as he ate. He would drop his food on the floor and eat it that way.

He loved the sunshine.  He would politely wait at the sliding door, and when I would go to open it, he would look up at it and wag his tail so happy to go outside.

He loved to lay in patches of sunlight, especially the front door.

He loved to stretch out and lay on the deck on the bench in the sun. He would sigh with contentment

Up at camp I would go outside to read and he would go with me. If I went inside for water or a snack he would bark to come in.  Once he was in, after a bit I would go back outside and sit down. Then he would bark to come out.

He loved to run with me in the campgrounds, he loved to drink the cold stream water.

He LOVED to swim, I can hear the splash/clomp as his feet went into the watter,and he would try to eat it.  When he was deep enough he would use all four legs to swim and his nose above the surface of the water made a sound as he exhaled.  Once he got out of the water he would walk a bit, then puke all the water out on the road.

When he got off the couch to stretch, he would then lay on the floor and sort of throw himself down and roll to the side, exhale and sleep.

He loved to stand in the middle of whatever game the kids were playing.  He would stand there wagging his tail and just look at me if I asked him to come.

He followed me into the bathroom. If the door was partially closed he would look in, then nudge it open and come in. If it were my bathroom, he would turn around and jump on my bed and wait to see what I would do next.

He loved Daddy's blue and grey suede work gloves, he would find them and run off with them.

When Daddy was on the deck with him, he would say to Frank every night,  "you know you make me very happy."

We would sit and wait for the school bus in the afternoon, I would sit on the step, he would lay down at my feet. Sometimes I would bring him to the bus stop. If he was inside he would lay down in front of the screen door with his head level to look out and watch us.

When we were on a walk and a dog would come up, he would sit, then lay down as they walked by.  Little dogs made him nervous.

I loved the bone at the top of his head, I would pat it down, and rub under his chin that was going grey.

He loved to lay on the deck at camp, his head would make a thud as he laid himself down.  He also would dig a hole under the deck so deep that he could stand up underneath.

He drank out of the stream. He loved to wander in the woods.

When he ran his ears would be back and he would trot along in a perfect rhythm.

He got so excited when I started to get ready for a run, especially my shoes. He would hear my garmin turn on and come running.

He loved all our shoes, he would knock you over and kiss your face as you tried to put on your shoes.

He loved to look out the guest room window, and Luke's bedroom window, and the couch so he could keep an eye on outside.
Daddy blew the deck off with the leaf blower, and cleared a path so that Frank could have somewhere to go in the snow.

If he laid on the leather couches in the dark, you couldn't see him because he was a black doggie.We loved how he smelled, and his coat was so shiny and soft. He had a very shiny coat, he smelled like Frito's sometimes!

Sometimes if you let him out, he would stand in the front yard, then just lay down like that' where he was going to hang for a while. He would go in the bushes in the front yard and chase whatever was in there.

When he needed to go out, he would sit patiently by the door to the garage until we noticed him, he would look up with just his eyes.

Frankie want to go out? go OUT? and he would look at us sideways. To get him to come back in I would say Frankie want some ham?

I would tell him to go get that squirrel to get him to go out, he would bark like crazy.  He loved to run around the house outside as fast as he could in a circle.

I called him Mommy's Baby, Mommy's Last Baby. "Say hello to Frank" Hello to Frank!! I would pet him and say "He's a baby, he's a baby dog!" Mike would say "He's a good boy Mommy" I would say "yes he's a very good boy Daddy!" 

He would get between us when we would kiss, he would nudge us or jump up on us.

He would bug out when we were packing up for camp, he would jump in the car before it was time to go so that we wouldn't leave him behind.

He could smell deer as we got closer to camp and would get worked up.

He liked to lean into the front seat of the car and see where we were going. He would be asleep in the back and if Mike slowed down he would come up front to see what was going on.

If a doorbell rang on TV, he would freak out. When someone showed up at the front door, he would start barking, we would say "Bathroom!" he would go in there and keep barking, and watch us as we closed the door.

We couldn't say "here" or else he would bark, we had to use code words. If we came home and saw our shoes all over the place, we knew someone had come over.

He would be a bit unsure when we dropped him off at Kountry Kennels.  I would go in his pen and set up a bed for him, I always felt sad leaving him there, even though it was only once or twice a year. When we would come and get him, he would hear our voices and start barking, and be so ready to come home.  On the way home, he would fall asleep in the front seat because he was exhausted.

When I was going downstairs I would say "Frankie lets go" and he would come next to me, and run down the stairs with me.  He had to go down the stairs with his back right leg up in the air, that leg used to bother him sometimes.

Aunt Ali, Uncle Chris, Aunt Meagen, Uncle Darrell, Erin, Juliet, Caroline, Grandpa Sleeper, Donna, Uncle Rob, Aunt Jeannine, Alyse, Aunt Tina, Uncle Norm, Nate, Olivia, the neighbors on the street, my running friends, my Fleet Feet friends, and so many others, all loved Frank.

Grandma and Grandpa Baker loved him, Grandpa especially.  He wasn't keen on too many dogs, but he liked Frank. He once took Frank on a small hike at camp, which was a big deal. After his stroke, Grandpa was fine with Frank jumping up on him to give him a kiss.

We would ask if he wanted to go for a ride.  If he saw Mike getting ready to go somewhere he would hover and when Mike would say, let's go, he would race to the car. He loved to go and drop the kids off at summer rec.

He once jumped out the living room window when religious people rang the doorbell.

He jumped into the trunk of Daddy's new car right when he brought it home

When I would turn my garmin on, it would beep and he would come running,

He chewed the metal around the window on the deck, there are teeth marks from where he ripped it off.

He always found a pillow, and would flip it around until he got it just right.

If we were outside, and he was inside he would bark and bark because he wanted to be out too.

We would go in the garage and he would come with us.

He didn't like the cold because he was from Georgia,

He didn't like the rain.

He didn't like the wind.

He liked the snow.

When we heard his toes tapping on the floor while he walked, we knew it was time for a nail trim,

He was so funny at Petsmart when they put the collar on him to trim his nails, he would keep his ears back.

He would come into the kids rooms and jump on their beds as we said goodnight.

He would always lick the inside of Luke's mouth

Whenever daddy wanted to relax Frank would jump on him like a maniac

Frank would always snuggle with Grandma Rohan, she always gave him a slice of American cheese.

Frank ate grass and threw up after.

Frank almost ate a cicada but it buzzed in his mouth before he let it go

He did not like the owls in our backyard, and he didn't like the vacuum. The UPS man and postman drove him nuts!

We have dings on the floor where he dropped his bone, and toe scratches on the bathroom door.

Frank was the best dog in the whole world.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Intermittent Fasting: Weeks One Through Seven

Rockin' the pants for Boeheim's 1,000th win
This is the first time I have attempted Intermittent Fasting to lose weight.  I have tried: low carb, low fat, no sugar, cabbage soup diet, writing down what I eat, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, watching what I eat, and exercise. Over the past two years I have put on almost 30 pounds, due to family and work stress, early menopause, chocolate, and wine.  I finally got fed up after Thanksgiving, and really wanted to feel good for my 45th Birthday. A friend of mine has had success with IF, so I figured, What The Heck, lets try it for a few weeks and see what happens.

At first the idea of not eating for several hours at a time was daunting.  Then I looked at what I ate for breakfast, and brought to work for lunch. My bag was full of snacks for when hunger struck, carrots and hummus, trail mix, cheese sticks, apples.  This is in addition to the turkey sandwich I ate at lunchtime.  Then the piece of chocolate I had in the afternoon for a treat.

The funny thing is, even with all this food, I was really hungry in between.  Then a light bulb went off, and I figured, if I'm going to have a grumble in my stomach, just let it grumble, and not feed it.

The week before Christmas I decided try to IF. I googled and went on Pinterest and read about the three different methods to fast.  Fasting has been practiced for various reasons other than weight loss, during a fast insulin levels drop, human growth hormone increases, cells repair themselves, and hormones regulate.

I decided to fast for 16 hours and fit my food into an eight hour feasting period.

The first thing I do in the morning is drink water, followed by one cup of coffee.  I put a tablespoon of natural creamer that is 30 calories in my coffee.  Apparently if you stay under 50 calories, your body will remain in a fasted state.   There are recipes to add grass fed butter to coffee, to help the body feel full as you fast, but I haven't tried that yet.  I drink a great deal of water, between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m I drink 50 ounces.

I tend to break the fast around 2:00.  Mike and I eat dinner late, a habit that we formed when we were living in NYC, So if we eat at nine, I don't eat again until 1:00 the next day.  Every day is different, it was tricky to try this type of eating during the holidays.  The first few days I was really hungry.  But I kept busy and during my lunch hour I went to the library or did errands.  As my co-workers brought in treats, it was easier to avoid them completely, instead of having a little taste that kept me yearning for more.

After Christmas break I looked forward to getting back to a routine, it was easier to be at work with no temptations.  When it's time for lunch, I have an apple or a salad to start, then eat whatever leftovers we had the night before.  I still have a cookie or chocolate for a treat, as well as wine with my dinner.  I didn't restrict any foods, I wanted to see how my body reacted to fasting alone.  My plan was to try fasting until January 31st, my birthday.

I started to feel lighter, less bloated.  My skin looked clearer.  I have been working out when I can, on the weekends I go to the Y before I eat lunch. If I can't fit a visit during the week, I walk on my treadmill or walk the dog.  I am still waiting for my new orthotics so I can't run, but I have been using the step machine or the elliptical, followed by whatever weight machine that is available. This is a busy time of year at the Y!

Last week wasn't the greatest workout wise. We went to the SU game at noon on a Saturday, we had passes to the free beer and snack tent, which was fun. My birthday was a few days later, which meant not one, but two birthday cakes.  I had PTA meetings and dinner out with a friend another night, so my Y visits and walking did not happen.

That said, I have definitely lost weight. I wore jeans to work the other day, not my size 12, not the size 10, but the 8. Granted I had a muffin top but I wore a sweater.  I put out my clothes for work tomorrow, not the size 12 dress pants but the size 10.  I wore a dress last week that I hadn't worn since Thanksgiving, it was noticeably looser,  I'm not going to get on the scale, because I don't want anything to mess with my momentum.  I have a long way to go, and I know slow and steady is better, so I'm going to continue IF until April Break.  I usually go for my yearly check up then, so getting weighed then is unavoidable.

I am hungry during the day, and there are moments when I am STARVING, but I drink water or have decaf tea, and the moment passes.  I thought my energy would drop, or I would feel lightheaded, but it hasn't.  Although when it gets close to lunchtime, I am more than ready to eat, but when I look at the clock and see that I have a half hour to go, that time is nothing.

I do need to be much more consistent with my workouts.  I get up at 5:45 so there is no way I'm working out before work.  After I get E off the school bus, I'm heading back to school to get L from swim practice which narrows my workout window even more, as I have to make dinner and so forth. But there is a way and I will figure it out.

I also need to focus on my diet.  The daily chocolate (Christmas and Birthday leftovers...don't get me started on Valentine's Day) needs to be more of a weekend thing.  I do feel fuller sooner than I used to, so maybe my stomach is shrinking.  There is even more meal planning now, to make sure I fit enough of the right foods into that 8 hour window.

I feel good, which is more important than anything, and will keep in mind that summer bodies are made in winter.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: It Was All About My Feet

Here I sit, in sweaty gym clothes after working out, shoveling the driveway, and cleaning my house. I get a little OCD about greeting a New Year, so things need to be in order before I can relax, pop some champagne, and break out the 7 layer dip.

This year didn't fly by for me. It was full of all sorts of things, new and old, and as I look back I can really say I gave 2016 my all.

The biggest change for me was to start a new job.  I left the fitness industry and started subbing as a Teacher Assistant in my district.  I mostly split my time between two schools, and I really got to know the kids, I still miss some of them.  As spring arrived so did another opportunity, this one at the high school, I'm now in a full time position that I really enjoy.  It's nice to be in an office setting again, to dress up, although there are times when I miss my sneakers.

Speaking of sneakers, I wouldn't be me if I didn't deal with some kind of running injury. The year started out well, I ran the Seneca 7 with 6 other friends, we covered 77.7 miles, my three legs added up to just over 11 miles.  Running around Seneca Lake was beautiful, but I feel like I spent the day waiting on line for a porta-john, or eating!  After that race I could tell it was time to update my Saucony Hurricane's, but a size 11.5 is hard to come by.  I also couldn't justify spending $150 on new kicks when I have so many shoes from working at a running store. I ran the Boilermaker 15k, and kept swapping out different shoes, but none could compare to the Hurricane.

I stepped up my training for the Wineglass Half Marathon, which takes place in October.  By August my right foot was really bugging me.  After one long run in August, I came home limping, and kept limping for about a week.  I figured it was plantar faciitis, and went to PT.  Where I discovered that I had dislocated my cuboid bone, which was why I could barely walk! My right foot is very weak after breaking that ankle three times, my foot couldn't take the pounding anymore.  I went to PT where they used the Grafton's Technique to break up all the scar tissue, and I went ahead with running the Half. Which was stupid, but I had my hotel reservation, and didn't want to lose my spot in a popular race. PT taped up my foot, and it was okay until mile 11, where I pretty much limped to the finish.  I took my first visit to the medical tent, where they taped it again and told me it was time for a rest.

Rest I did, going back to PT, then the chiropractor, where I had gotten my orthotics made.  The orthotics really weren't feeling right.  Chiro didn't help so I sucked it up and went to the foot Dr. Where lo and behold an x-ray showed an enormous bone spur that was pulling on the fascia, and causing nerve damage.  Whoo hoo!! I have to go back next week to get a set of new, rigid orthotics that should get me back to running.

Running?!?  Yes, running!  I've come to the conclusion that I can't run long distances anymore, my foot just can't take it.  So no more 26.2 or 13.1, my longest is going to be the Boilermaker 15k.  I figured if I'm smart, and keep mixing things up at the gym, then I can get back on track again.

Oh, and getting back on track also means to drop weight.  Again.  Early menopause is no joke, the weight comes on and stays on.  I was taking hormones to give my heart some protection, but in April I stopped them completely.  I was getting such bad migraines that I had to do something.  I recently had a physical and blood work done, all my numbers are good so I'm going to do what I can to stay heart healthy.

Which brings me back to the weight issue.  I tried something new a few weeks ago, Intermittent Fasting.  The way I do it, is fast for 16 hours and fit my food into an 8 hour stretch. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.  I'm hungry all the time normally, so I figured why eat something if I'm still going to be hungry?  I skip breakfast but have coffee, eating my first meal at 1:00 p.m.  December had it's challenges, I did have Christmas cookies and wine, but my clothes are feeling better.  I'm going to continue for the month of January, and after the 31st (my 45th!?!? birthday) I'll reassess and figure out my next step.

My goals for 2017?  Add some more adventure!  A trip to the Outer Banks made me miss living by the beach so much, it prompted Mike and I to really think about where we want to be in the next 10 -15 years. We're getting the kids their passports and have our third trip to Disney World planned for this year,

I'm closing out 2016 with a new sense of optimism and hope for the New Year.  I hope to be a good Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Friend.  I am thankful for my world and all it contains.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

What I learned from 2015

I know that time flies, and every Christmas we ask ourselves, how is it December already? How is a New Year already upon us?

I'll tell you how.  Go through your iPhone and delete 530 photos to free up some memory, and you will see all the moments that made the year fly.

Every year I have good intentions to better myself, and I can finally take a deep breath of satisfaction knowing that in 2015 I did just that.

Since I blog mostly about running, I am happy to say that I got back on track, after healing a broken ankle and bulging Achilles tendon. I conquered my favorite Tipp Hill Shamrock run without incident or pain.  Which lead to a hot but happy Boilermaker 15k, then to my first dusty, tricky, yet successful Old Forge Half Marathon trail run.

Since the half I took some time off from running, and after joining our local Y, focused on mixing things up.  The one rule I have for myself is that I need to do something different every time I go.  I am focusing more on strength training, and less on the machines.  It takes great effort for me to limit times on say the elliptical for only 30 minutes and challenge myself with other things. I must say I absolutely love the star climber, 20 minutes on that and I am a puddle.

After four months of this, my fat jeans are falling off me, and I had to return my Christmas presents for smaller sizes.  I have yet to get on the scale, and I don't want to.  Putting on my 2 sizes smaller skinny jeans are enough proof that I'm doing well.  The key is, to keep up the activity whenever I can. This isn't a short term thing, it's going to be for the long term.  I would like to drop ten more pounds, which I'm confident I can do.

I do have a bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet for my sister's wedding in March. I plan on trying it on a month before the big day to see how it looks.  It's in my bigger size. I'm hoping to have to pay to have alterations done, which I will happily do!

My fitness goals for 2016 are to tackle my first relay with some friends, the Seneca 7 in April.  Then hopefully my 9th Boilermaker in July, then the Wineglass Half Marathon in October.  That will also be a first, but I've head good things about it, and it's a beautiful time of year.

Family wise, we had some tricky months.  My doctor finally confirmed that I went through early menopause.  When I say early, I mean ten years early.  It took a while to figure out which hormone replacement therapy levels that work best for me.  HRT is needed to prevent heart disease, but when I'm in my 50's I should be able to stop taking them.  Now I'm learning what thinning hair and dry skin is like, but I'm happy to finally know how my body should be acting. And how I should act in response.

Mike and I had a lot of stress due to outside forces.  I won't go into details because it doesn't matter, but we finally had some resolutions to those stresses.  It's amazing how much the burdens we have carried have been lifted. I am cautiously optimistic.  I am very aware of the hardships that others in this world face, and our problems are minuscule in comparison.  But I feel like we are coming out of our difficult space, and I am thankful and grateful.

I did some soul searching career wise.  I enjoyed my time at the running store, it was an interesting place.  I was fortunate to have flexibility with my hours there,  but I was ready for something new. So I took a leap and a chance and landed a position that will give me the same schedule as the kids, with new challenges in a new environment.  After an interesting two weeks, I am taking a deep breath and am looking forward to a true fresh start on January 4.

I learned a lot about people this year.  Friendships are an interesting thing.  I am still amazed at how high school seems to have never ended.  One thing that I need to remind myself is that people are the way they are mostly because something inside them causes insecurity.  I have no one to impress other than my husband and my kids.  My true friends are my friends because they genuinely like me.  I need to focus on that, to appreciate them, and be a good friend back.

I truly feel like I appreciated every moment of 2015, and I lived every moment, good and bad.  I am thankful and grateful for it all.  I don't like to make resolutions, because that means I have something negative about myself that I need to change.  I want to focus on the most important things to me, That means to be a friend and partner to my husband, and a positive role model for my children, and to love them to pieces.

Because that's what it's all about.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Review Time! Sigvarus Compression Socks from BrightLife Go!

I'm a fan of compression.  

I've experimented with socks and sleeves, wearing them during a long training run, or after a run for recovery. While training for my first marathon I hadn't discovered compression yet, but I did use the socks for my second, to great effect.  I honestly felt a huge difference in my recovery and performance that time around.  

Since I work at a running store, I learned about the science behind compression. Basically, the material is tighter by the ankle, and gradually lessens as it stretches up the calf and to the knee.  This helps force the blood back up to the heart, to increase circulation.  This action helps keep the muscles fresh, to give support as needed and even help with injury recovery. 

BrightLife Go

Thanks to the lovely folks at BrightLife Go, I had a chance to choose a pair of compressions socks from their vast selection of different styles, price points and compression levels.  I had a hard time picking just one, some of them were really cute, like this pair from Zensah:

  I ultimately decided to go with a pair from Sigvarus, which was from the Athletic category:  

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The first thing that I noticed was how soft the socks were, with a cushioned bottom.  They were definitely more comfortable that my other brand, and seemed more pliable, and easier to put on.  Compression socks are a bit of a struggle to put on, like super tight panty hose, but these were a breeze.  

I also liked the different panels, which you can see by the grey seams, one hugged my calf, the others, the arch of my foot. 

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I wore these a few times on the treadmill as I started training for the Boilermaker 15k, giving myself some extra help near my injured ankle. I was trying to be cautious as I slowly made my way back to longer runs.  

I have a half marathon coming up on September 12.  The other morning I ran nine miles, then spent the morning packing up the car for one of our trips to the ADK.  I decided to put the socks on after my run, and wore them all day, until dinnertime, after we unloaded the car, unpacked, and made dinner.  I happily woke up the next morning without any soreness or stiffness, just fresh feeling legs.

If you're in the market for compression (and I highly recommend it) head right over to BrightLife Go and get shopping!!

*Note: I was sent a pair of socks for the purpose of this review, the opinions on the product are my own.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Boilermaker 15k #8 Race Recap!

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You know that saying, "Time Flies when you're having fun?"  That seems to be an understatement, as it's suddenly August.

I have been feeling good these past several weeks.  I have been running consistently, taking every opportunity I have to do so.  The kids are now done with their summer camps, so this morning I forced myself out of bed and out the door to run six miles before Mike left for work.  It was so worth it.

I know I have lost some weight, but I'm afraid to get on the scale, I'd rather go by my clothes than obsess about a number.  I did put my skinny jeans on last week, I can button them, but if I sat down, I would blow the button off. My eating habits have gotten cleaner, it's so much easier in the summer with all the produce available at the farmers market. Now when I need a snack I try to ignore the chips and heat up some leftover roasted veggies, or pair them with hummus.  I have figured out some minor things with my Doctor that have been going on with me physically, wich has also helped, and I'll go into more details about that in another post.

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Post run, post shower, wet shirt, size 12 feet. 

It's been almost a month since the Boilermaker, my eigth one! I trained well for it, my sister in law J and I tackled some pretty intense hills during our long runs leading up to race day. J and I ran it for the first time nine years ago, and in the past couple of years, ran with various groups of friends.  This year, our friends had to drop out of the race for various reasons, so it came full circle, as it was just the two of us again this go around.

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Race day was actually really nice, the sun was out as usual, but there was a breeze and no humidity, it didn't get hot until mile 8.  I kept a consistent pace, drank water just when I was thirsty, and had a couple of GU chomps here and there.  It's funny how my perspective on time has changed, unlike past years, I didn't even look at what my finish time was, I was just happy to run a good race.  We didn't stay at the after party for too long, choosing instead to head home to a lunch of chicken from the smoker, courtesy of my brother in law.

I had a chance to try out Sigvarus Compression socks from the lovely folks at BrightLife Go, so check back tomorrow for my review!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Progress!

It is February 25, and in this month alone, we have had 20 days of sub-zero temperatures.  The kids maxed out their snow days, our driveway is shrinking due to snow banks, and our family room ceiling has cracked and water has been leaking on the floor for the past week due to ice dams.

But Daylight Saving is next weekend, so Spring must be on it's way!

Since we last spoke about my health and fitness goals, I seem to be making some progress.  I still haven't stepped on the scale, I have a tendency to obsess about the number so I decided to forgo it and continue to let my clothing be my guide. My "larger" sized jeans are fitting much better (ex: I can button them) so the weight I gained after breaking my ankle must be gone.

Food wise I've had my ups and downs, my birthday in January plus Valentine's Day ended up with cake and chocolate on my kitchen table.  Now that it is Lent I've given up chocolate, which is what I usually do. I had a battle with a bag of BBQ Lay's chips, and ended up sending them to work with Mike to save myself.

I'm still eating my fruits and veggies, which has never been a problem.  I've been making soup on the days I'm not working, besides a great lunch, a bowl at four o'clock when the snacks are calling to me seems to help fight the hunger pains.  I do love vegetables, always have.  The other day Mike came home from the store with a cabbage, he saw it and thought I would like it. Who needs flowers? Nothing says love like a head of cabbage.

Next weekend is the Shamrock Run, which I'm really looking forward to.  Today I ran/slow ran on a high incline four miles on the treadmill, my longest post injury.  My last three mile run, I tweaked my knee on the same leg that has the ankle/Achilles issue, so I must still have some weakness there.  But today I felt great, rode the bike as well and did some planks and PT exercises.  Great day in the pain cave!

I tried out a new pair of shoes that I got from work, they are the Newton Kismet.  They aren't a true stability shoe like I usually wear, but my orthotics fit the shoe really well, and they felt great.  They have five lugs under the mid-foot, and end right before your toes.  It does take a bit of getting used to, my toes feel like I'm hanging off the edge of a box.

Plus they're pretty, and if you look closely at the above photo, Frank is practically standing on them.