Thursday, November 29, 2012

Running for my sanity

Disclosure:  This will be a sad post.

I started running in 2009 and felt so free, something that I'd been missing for a long time with my health problems.

Last year, April 2011, The Mike and I were in the central part of the state for a bike race for him, a 320 mile  journey, with a couple checkpoints and his wallet for food at convenience stores.  . . I saw him off at 4am (or is it 5am?) and then went back to the hotel and got up later for a run.  It was a great run too, some hills, some crushed limestone walking path gravel, and some concrete.  When I got back to the hotel I had a missed call from dad:  Mom had another heart attack, a pretty bad one and was going to have open heart surgery.   He suggested we not come home, since surgery was going to be soon-- the next day on Easter Sunday. . . mom is never one to want to "announce" she is ill.  I called my siblings and then waited, went shopping, went to church to pray and then went back for the vigil that evening. I even called the race coordinator to see how The Mike was doing.  The next weekend was nephew's confirmation on Sunday and we drove to see my mom on Saturday. She was still in the hospital due to a blood clot in her left arm.  She was looking great and perky. We played BOGGLE. She kicked my butt in those matches!

The Mike took some pictures of this, which is fabulous, since ten days later she had a massive stroke leaving the left side of her body without movement.  We headed over to see her again (we keep telling her she doesn't need to go in the hospital for us to visit!), running for relief, for thinking, for meditation, for release, for sanity . . . 

One of these runs was near the hospital. I went out early on Sunday morning for a run, beautiful weather.  As I headed out, I realized I had left my whistle/flashlight in the hospital hotel, but figured I'd be fine. . . I ran to the Old Market and was almost back to the hospital when a car drove by, stopped in the center of the five lane road and street harassed me. The car went on, I went back to running and then the car came out from a side street, did a U-turn in the road. I sprinted across the road and then we were at a standoff. I realized exactly where I was then and I took off sprinting for the fast food places just over the top of the hill.  I also picked up some gravel rocks in case I needed weapons. . .I've never gone for a run without my whistle again!

Last fall, dad broke his leg in a freak accident.It would be the first time in thirty years he was not on the combine at harvest!  He had been visiting mom every day in the nursing home and this break (through the high waters of the 2011 Missouri River flood, through road construction, through miles separating them) and him being in a rehab unit meant that they wouldn't be seeing each other for a while.
Dad was able to drive on this road, before the flood, an hour each way to see mom in her rehab unit;
after the flood the detour took an hour and half each way.
I was blessed one weekend with springing mom from the local nursing home (only half an hour from their place) and delivering her to dad at his rehab unit (an hour away). Oh my, the sweet love on their faces at being reunited was amazing.    Even though they weren't suppose to be left alone, I left them alone in dad's room. He had the call button nearby if needed and I was outside the room.  Mom was so perky after seeing him. She had to have been frantic in the nursing home knowing but not knowing what was going on with him.

Picture a photo here of a woman in a wheelchair leaning forward grasping the hand of her husband she hasn't seen in weeks, the husband laying in bed with his leg bandaged all up, grasping her arm. [I forgot to ask dad for permission to post the photo, so I won't, even though it's a very sweet photo].

Dad brought mom home in May.  He's been caring for her every day. They have had drive-in date nights with DVDs as they retire for the evening.  They have excursions to the big city for treasure finds at the one of a kind stores.  He's always been a pretty good cook, and he's become a master at the crockpot and loves it.

Three weeks ago mom was eating less and sleeping a lot more, so he called the doctor and they said to keep an eye on her and to call in a week if she's not better.   They admitted her last Monday for tests and sent her up to a city hospital (one they hadn't been to in the last year or two!) and did more tests there.  Run, run, run for some understanding and peace and thinking and .  . . .

We drove over and saw them this weekend. Dad had said things didn't look good, he didn't know everything yet, but that she has advanced metastatic cancer.   Dad's a mess, of course.  Mom is eating like a bird, maybe a quarter cup of food at a meal, maybe a cup of food if she's feeling good.  I went for a run that morning, it wasn't a good run in time at all, but it was for the body and to help it deal with this stress.  

Last week one of my siblings called. It's not good. The doctor said of one hundred people, only fifty might live to see the Christmas season. Obviously, not a good night, nor a good sleep.  I woke up at 3:30 and could not get back to sleep. I thought of how I could get ready and leave the house without waking The Mike and where I'd leave a note so he'd know where I was.  In the end, I didn't go for a run then.  I got up at 6am with my alarm and got ready for a run, but I was so lethargic and tired and it was wicked foggy outside, that I decided to do some yoga instead.  I didn't do a lot of yoga, but I did some. .

The fine line between exercising and working out and maintaining one's health.  Exercising after four hours of sleep or so with stress on top may or may not be a good decision. Today I decided against it, since I was feeling pretty worn down already.

Love the one you're with, love the ones you have in your life while you can, honor their wishes and memories after your face time is over.

I wrote this last week and have to say that I haven't run that much in this last week. Part of this is due to wanting to get my sleep in order to keep my body healthy. I know, I know, running will help too, but my body needs quality sleep. It finally started getting it on Sunday, after a week of three or four hours of sleep nightly.  The Mike now has a cold and I'm trying to avoid that with vitamins, teas, and sleep.

Run happy and run for sanity. Get out and RUN. . . tomorrow for sure, maybe tonight after errands.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Race, Meatballs and pumpkin pie, not together of course.

November 3rd I entered the local Veterans Day event.  I've done this race the last two years as well and it's a great event put on by the local race director. He is awesome at what he does, and has over a decade of experience behind him in directing, and more as a racer. . . plus, he uses common sense when organizing a race.  

This race brings out many people from the community, although only about three hundred participate.  We even have the high school NAVY and Marine ROTC join in the fun. 

I was so very excited when I finished under 30minutes, with a gun start. When I got home, my watch said 29:09 so I may have actually been a sub-29 had it been a chip timed race (his 13.1s are chip timed, the 5ks aren't)

I was so excited with that information that I didn't even look, until The Mike pointed out, that I was also in the TOP HALF of the racing group too! It was quite wonderful to be in the top 50% for a change! 

This past weekend I made meatballs. .  Half cup meatballs that I bake on parchment paper. YUM.  I didn't have any bread crumbs on hand, so I used rice krispie cereal. Now that they offer the gluten free variety (they took out malt to make it GF), it is less sweet, so it's almost like bread crumbs/rice crumbs!  I smashed those in the package with my rolling pin and then continued to make the meatballs.  1 pound each of hamburger and pork sausage, 1 onion diced or minced (depending on how much work you want to make it) 1 egg, parlsey, pepper and parmasean cheese. Sometimes I add some garlic too, but not this time. 

These are great put on top of spaghetti, sliced for layering in lasagna, slicing for a sandwich, or for eating by itself.  

After I found this recipe, I found a 'meatball' scoop at the local kitchen shop.  I figured a half cup scoop would be good for meatballs or ice cream scoops!

Sunday I attempted to make an egg-less refrigerator pumpkin pie/custard.  I used the recipe on the back of the evaporated milk tin.  Let's say, um, it wasn't to the liking of the people in this household. I tossed out the custard and, still craving a custard NOW and not next week for Thanksgiving, I made pumpkin custard last night.  

I just use the recipe off the pumpkin can.  I was following the recipe for a two pie batter, and I remembered to halve everything except the eggs. I still put in all the eggs. Oops. 

Curious as to what would happen, I peaked in the oven.  I had made a souffle of sorts! 

IN the heat of the oven.
After dinner of pasta, marinara sauce and meatballs, we had our mini custard containers of pumpkin custard. I completely forgot to take a picture before we ate those. . . MUCH better than the no-bake. I think this is definitely the way to have pumpkin "pie" without the fat from a crust in between the holidays.

The pie after cooling.