Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 is in the books and 2016 is off to a slow start. Putting it out there. Keeping it real.

So long 2015. You've been an interesting year.  I had the fewest amount of races in 2015, compared to any year since 2009 when I started running. This was because of that thing called "toe melanoma" I found in January and had surgery for in April (Stage I).
  Really need to think about the longevity of photos. I'll share what I learned: 

"Get a pedicure before having a procedure on your foot/toes, as people will look at that photo for years to come".  

I've learned a lot about Melanoma this year, including that people can get it in their fingernails!  If you have a black streak suddenly appear from your cuticle in your nail, get it checked out! 

Before the surgery, I did the Marine Corps 1775K run at the end of March, as a walk with a friend who was conquering breast cancer. We were guaranteed access to the Marine Corps Marathon in October for finishing this race.  My next race didn't happen until June-- a 5K prediction run where I ran my slowest 5K, I think ever--42 minutes something--but still it was a run, a first race after foot surgery and a race in which I was able to say, "I am coming back."  I didn't do another race until September when I decided I *really* should be doing a half in order to see where I'll be for the MCM in October.  I did the Quad Cities half (Moline Illinois) and finished the second half with an 80 year old gent in PI time 3:14. My slowest half ever, but considering the training this year and that it was my first half back, it was a great time.  I did two 5Ks back to back for breast cancer in October. I actually have never done a breast cancer 5k, as I always had prior commitments that first weekend in October when the local ones are held. I did one in my town for support to a friend in her mid 30s with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I did one the next day for so many I know who have had this cancer,  was in a city nearby, and had over 25,000 runners and walkers. I've never encountered a 5K with so many people, and so many who were "just" walkers out for the cause!  It was an amazing experience. My final race was the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my slowest marathon ever, but I improved my first half time from September, and ran a second half that was comparable to my other marathon second portions. My toes really started to hurt about mile 21. I was worried about my legs, and my feet in general getting me to the MCM finish line, but my toes were hurting so much. I started shuffle running at the end, knowing I had huge blisters under the nails.  I ended up losing both my big toe nail and index toe nail on both feet. I tried to save the nails by taking a long soak, sterilizing a pin and popping the blisters, but it didn't work.

Six.  6.  S-I-X races this year. Seems like a low number, but it was a tough year.

The middle of November is when I was thinking, "I need to get back to running, it's been two weeks since the marathon." I didn't and a couple days later I literally hit the gluten-mobile. . . . . pizza delivery driver. He ran the stop sign,  I hit his vehicle.  25 to 0 in seconds gave me a concussion, neck, mid back and low back pain, as well as pain in my right wrist because I went from 10/2 hand positions to 10/slamming on the horn.  I'm really thankful it was about 5pm and slightly sprinkling which meant that there were not any college students out walking to their cars on the street. I am amazed he didn't hit any pedestrians or cyclists.

One might not think the wrist would be much of an issue, but taking off a sports bra/top is painful. Using a mouse/laptop for more than 30 minutes is painful, makes the wrist make weird cracking/popping sounds. A highlight from the accident is the neck xrays which showed my neck was fine, no broken bones. However, from the jaw pain/neck issue I had in April/May/June, I had seen a chiropractor who did xrays.  That showed my neck was not curved as it should be. My xrays from November show my neck is curved as it should be :-)  My chiropractor is awesome and his cracking my C5 for the jaw issue really helped. . . .the car accident was causing issues with C7. As a result of the accident, I really didn't do much for the next 6 weeks.  I did fly for Thanksgiving, and had to hustle through the airport --in extreme pain--to make my connection. Popped Tylenol as soon as I got on the connecting flight (only med I can really take for pain because of my gut conditions).  I walked just over 4 miles on Thanksgiving day with one of my sisters, at a pace of about 2.2mph. While she could have walked faster, I really couldn't. Any faster and my lower back hurt from the twisting of my hips. Really, the *fun* part is asking people to slow down their walking. I really hate having to do this, especially with tore employees who show me where something is in the store. Thanks pizza delivery gluten man. :-( 

A few years ago a friend told me that she puts a dollar in a jar for every day she runs/exercises. I thought this was a fabulous idea. I did it last year with the proviso that I'd put a $1 coin in for any exercise I did in which I had to change clothes. So if I ran and then did yoga it was $1, but if I ran in the morning and biked or did yoga in the afternoon, then that was two changes of clothes and that meant two dollars into the jar.  I basically figured it was one long workout if it didn't involve a change of clothes.  This year I stuck with that same thought, but with the changes this year brought I didn't put as much in the jar as I had hoped.  $134 was in the jar on 31 December 2015.  I thought it was good, considering that many times I wasn't able to exercise. Except, I realized after the 4 weeks of "sit on the couch and do nothing" orders from the general surgeon that I could have probably laid down on the floor and done the Pilates 100 stomach exercises and such. At the time I had been struggling with "I'm sitting here and what can I do other than arm curls". 

Reward money jar

What did I do with the money?  From the 2014 reward jar I had a sterling silver ring made with an amethyst stone, which is The Mike's birthstone.  From the 2015 jar, I took in some pearls I had from The Mike's and my 2009 trip to Hawai'i, plus a couple freshwater pearls I had from which I had to restring a necklace. The jeweler made drop earrings with the three sets of pearls (two round whites, two round chocolate and the two white freshwater).  They're pretty. While they did cost more than the money jar had, I felt it was worth it to make something I will wear instead of having sit in a drawer :-) 

I'm putting it out there, and keeping it real. 

Most of the time in the past I haven't posted my times from workouts. I feel it's not about the times of a workout, but about the workout itself, as everyone is different and has different goals and times. I should only push myself against myself, and not push myself against someone who has a much faster pace and is unrealistic and unattainable for me. I think that pretty much just sets a person up to get knocked down. I want to be about building UP!  Therefore, I'm putting this out there:  
My workout for 1 January 2016. 
2 mile walk. 
2.7mph (I did walk a little slower at the start)
48 minutes. 

My lower back hurt, but not as much as I thought it would. 
 I had to change how I occasionally held onto the treadmill bar because of the wrist. 
I watched the Rose Bowl Parade at the time. 
The Mike was tinkering in the basement, so we kept each other company. 

I could put out there in the Quirky world that, "I walked today" or "I did two miles today". Instead, I'm putting it out there in the universe, to keep this recovery real, that I walked at a 24minute mile pace. ARGH. I use to run double that. I use to walk at 3.7mph (I could walk over 4mph in high school, but that was a while ago).  
This is about where I am NOW and I want, *need* to get back to where I was and more.
Afterwards I did some stretching. Open leg stretching side to side which pulled the lower back area. I did dolphin pose (modified downward dog on forearms) to protect the wrist which hurts. 
Happy new year 2016. Where the only resolution is a "simple" resolution to improve.
Here is to all of US for a better 2016!

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