Archive | July 2011

Reunited and it feels so good…

My baby dog is back where he belongs 🙂

Yup, all pictures of the dog.  I am so happy to have him back home 🙂

When it rains…

It definitely pours.  We may be having beautiful weather in P-town this weekend, but the sun can’t seem to clear the storm clouds that seem to be following us around.

Quick recap – my back went out on Tuesday and I’ve been tied to the couch since then.  Had a trip to the ER for some medical intervention.  Then my dear Leland had a run in with a bottle of Ibuprofen on Friday night and is currently hospitalized at Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital so they can flush his system and make sure that it doesn’t damage his kidneys.  So that brings us to this morning.

This morning my back was bothering me and I decided it was time for a chiropractic intervention.  I Googled chiropractors in my area and just started calling to see who could get me in as an emergency.  Luckily about 10 calls in I was told to get there as soon as I could and they would squeeze me in.  Success!

So the Hubs and I are driving to the chiropractor man, and the car in front of us has a dog in the back seat with his head out the window going absolutely crazy at another dog.  And then the dog jumps out of the car.  Jumps out of the freaking moving car.  They slam on their brakes and we slam on our brakes.  I get ready to jump out of the car to try to help catch the dog and… we get rear ended.  Rear freaking ended.

Don't be jealous of my Prizm. Or of the red tape. Haters be hatin'

The chiropractor told me that this was the only time he has ever seen someone get rear-ended on the way to the chiropractor for back pain.  He did work some magic though.  Feel about 75% now.  I have another appointment on Tuesday so hopefully we can take care of all of this back pain business.

Leland Update:

We visited Leland this afternoon at the hospital.  They did blood work last night as a baseline to compare the next 2 tests to to make sure that any ibuprofen that got in his system doesn’t affect his kidneys.  The little guy was so excited to see us.  It broke my heart to have to leave him there again.  We’ll hear results tonight and then be able to pick him up late tomorrow after the 48 hour mark.

Here he is!

Cone of shame.

So sweet.

Yes, I cried like a baby when we left him there.  We’ll be spending the rest of the day working on the house, and apparently dog proofing.  I’ll be back with good news tomorrow 🙂

Leland vs. Ibuprofen

Today was a rough day for Leland.  This morning he had his first vet appointment in quite a while for shots and a general check up.  Poor guy was violated.  He also has fleas, so we need to treat him for those as well.

We had a big discussion with the vet about his separation anxiety and new-found destructiveness.  He’s had some slight separation issues since we got him (he was so attached to the Hubs for a while that when the Hubs was gone for the evening, I would have to walk Leland for hours just to keep him from freaking out) but things have gotten worse since we moved into the house.

I think this is to be expected since everyone’s routine has changed and his environment is different.  The vet gave us some tips on how to deal with his anxiety and we started putting those into place right away.

Things came to a head this evening.

I fell asleep pretty early, and was upstairs in bed when the Hubs came home.  I woke up to the Hubs yelling “Leland, what did you do?”

It turns out he had chewed up one of my TOMS and ripped open a bottle of Ibuprofen.  A full bottle of Ibuprofen.  Ibuprofen is very toxic to dogs.  A freak out ensued.

For the record, we don’t now how many he ate, if he ate any.  It was a new bottle (approx 1000 count), and I don’t know exactly how many I’ve taken since we got it, so it would be too difficult to figure it out that way.  Due to his size even 2-3 could cause major renal or nervous system issues.

We rushed him to the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital and they were amazing.  They examined him and started treatment and then came decision time.

Hospitalize or take him home and hope for the best.

This is the part I hate.

Ultimately, we decided to hospitalize him for the recommended 48 hours.  I realized that I would not be able to live with myself if we took him home and he got really sick.  The hospitalization was recommended so that they could keep flushing his system to get any traces of the medication out, and we would be unable to do this at home.  I decided that I would rather pay the money than take the risk.  If I brought him home and he ended up permanently ill (or worse) I could never face the fact that I made that choice based on money.

Right now I can’t sleep and I have horrible feelings of guilt because I left the bottle out where he could reach them.  I’ll be going to visit him tomorrow and hopefully we can bring him home late Sunday night.  It’s too quiet in the house right now.

Sweet dreams, Leland.  They’re going to take good care of you.  Thank you everyone at Dove Lewis.

Thoughts during a forced rest day.

Day 4 of my captivity.  I did actually get dressed and the Hubs was excited to see me in something other than my tank top and shorts.  Don’t want to freak anyone out, but I even showered.

I made a lovely midnight to 4 AM trip to the ER for a little help.  Since then, I’ve been much more comfortable and able to move around.  I vaguely remember that I kept falling asleep while the discharge nurse was giving me directions.  Not my fault they gave me happy juice.

Today was originally supposed to be a father/daughter date day because my dad has been absolutely amazing through this whole moving process.  We did end up spending alot of time together, but not exactly what we originally had planned.  We fueled up with Froyo, dropped off the keys and passes at the old apartment (OMG OFFICIALLY DONE!), and drove way the heck to North Portland to get my Ottoman.  Then I treated him to some food and then he brought me home so that I can continue to work on my butt dent on the couch.

I thought I would share some of the random thoughts that have been going through my mind during my forced rest break.

  • If Leland could speak, what accent would he have?
  • Why did I eat so much cereal?
  • What marathons should I do next year? (yes, I have a problem)
  • I kind of miss work (smack the face!  I miss the people, not the stress)
  • If I’m really good, maybe I can work out a little Sunday…
  • Tri bike or Road bike?
  • I wish I had a friend that is a chiropractor.  Maybe the Hubs will become one.
  • I want to watch Transformers.
  • Hmm, I’ve watched all my regular shows.  Maybe I should check out Hoarders, etc.
  • Oh God, the cereal!  Why?!?!?!!?

That’s all for now.  I’m about to go into a cereal baby and pain med induced coma.  Unfortunately I have my CC number remembered so I could accidentally sign up for a race and not even know it.  If I wake up and Hoarders is on tv I’ll know I’ve truly hit rock bottom.

An Ode to Core Strength

Right now, I am couch ridden due to a back injury.  Honestly can’t say what happened, except that I woke up on Tuesday.  I have a history of these kinds of issues, but this episode is much worse.  I am able to do some limited movement, thanks to using my abs to sit up, lay down, and stand up.

Imagine your body is a car.  You spend tons of money on expensive wheels and tires because they get you where you need to go.  You put in premium fuel because the cheap Arco gas just won’t cut it.  Yet the frame of the car is as flimsy as a cardboard box.

That is what happens when you spend all your time developing strong arms and legs but neglect your core.  I like to think of my core muscles (back, abs, obliques) as a corset.  The corset holds everything in and provides stabilization (pretty sure its impossible to slouch when wearing a corset).

My favorite core exercises are planks,The prone jackknife, and V-ups.Ok, so lets say that you exercise you abs religiously.  You have a glorious six pack that you could grate cheese on in an emergency.  You might be missing the most important part of your core: actually using it.

Utilizing my core is something that I wish I had understood when I was younger and figure skating.  Sure, I did sit ups and crunches, but I was never able to translate that into a jump or spin.

I believe that a good portion of folks at the gym forgot to use their core, even when they are doing core exercises.  Often, I see a person holding a plank with their lower back and stomach sagging.  That puts all the pressure in their back, causing pain and inefficiency.  Pull that bellybutton up to your spine!

The easiest way for me to think about it is to suck in my stomach about 50% of the way.  If you suck in the whole way, it becomes difficult to breathe, but half of the way starts to engage your transversus abdominus, adding another layer of muscle help.

I used this trick while teaching youth figure skating.  While learning to skate backwards, it is common for the kids (and adults) to push off the wall and immediately fall forward.  However, I remind them suck in their tummy a little bit and look at something on the wall and bingo, they stay up!

I try to incorporate this feeling now in my own workouts.  For example, when doing lat pull downs, I squeeze my abs in on each rep to not only protect my back, but to add a little more muscle to each rep.  Also, I have been working on squats lately as part of the New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I have some concern for my low back while lifting heavy weights, so I am very careful to pull in my belly on each lift.  I can definitely a difference on reps when I use my abs and reps when I do not.

I am also learning to activate my mulha bandha, or pelvic floor.  If you are familiar with yoga you may have heard these terms.  Engaging these muscles adds another layer of stability in my work outs.  I have found 2 ways to feel and then activate the mulha bandha.  The easier way is to lie on the floor on your back and let out a gentle cough.  Notice what happens between your bellybutton and your pelvic bone.  Try this exercise a few times and try to hold that tightness after you are done coughing.  Another effective exercise is to go from down dog to forward plank and back several times.  However, instead of pushing with your legs or back or shoulders, imagine there is a “fist” of muscle between your bellybutton and pubic bone.  Use this “fist” to push you forward and pull you back.  It takes time to understand these sensations, but trust me, the first time my body got it, it was amazing (and an amazingly good workout).

“O” No…

A while back I shared with everyone that I am in fact an old woman.  That especially rings true today, as I am at home… on the couch… and my back is out.

I was feeling a little tight this morning and I kept stretching it out.  It progressively got worse and I made a massage appointment.  The pain kept getting worse and worse until I went hobbling to the massage therapist early hoping they could do something.  They were so awesome and let me lay in an empty room with a heat pack on until my appointment.

As good as the massage felt, I wasn’t well enough to go back to work.  I basically can’t turn my head or move my upper body.  I resemble a cross between Quasimodo and Taco Neck Syndrome (does anyone else remember those commercials?).

The scary part of the massage?  The mention of the “O” word… over-training.

I’ve been afraid of this.

I tend to take on more than I can handle, emotionally and physically.  I feel emotionally ready to really kick my rear in MCM training, but apparently my body isn’t ready.

I made a promise to myself that I would take care of myself during this training cycle.  Of course, that promise was easier to make when I was feeling good 🙂  But, it is better to take a few days off now than in October.  I’ll take off today and tomorrow then reassess.  Wow, I really hate saying that, but I need to do it.

Until I start feeling better, I’ll be hanging out with my caregiver…

"Less running, more dog cuddling!"

What went wrong today…

I set out to do my first long run of MCM training today.  Michelle was unable to join me, but I was still motivated to tackle 10-12 miles on my own.  I got all dressed up in my new skirt from, grabbed some water and gu just in case, and set out on my way.

Digi camo for MCM? Yes please.

And I barely made it 3 miles.

The excuses:

1. I was sore from weight lifting yesterday.  I’m currently following the New Rules of Lifting for Women program, and yesterday involved some squats.  I’m not that sore, but running was a little uncomfortable.  It probably would have worked itself out had I made it more than 3 miles, but I guess I’ll never know…

2. My wardrobe malfunction.  The above adorable skirt was only available in their triathlon skirt, which means there are no attached shorts.  No problemo! I’ll buy some bike shorts and be on my way.  I’ve had great luck with my other running skirt with the longer shorts, so I thought as long as I bought shorts the same length I’d be set.  Oh Nike, how you consistently fail me.  1 mile in and I was miserable.  All 5 inches of inseam where it wasn’t supposed to be.

You suck.

3. My shoes.  I’m kind of at a loss for what to do about my shoes.  I’ve run successfully in Nike Frees since the beginning, but they just aren’t working for me anymore.  Toward the end of Vancouver training, I was having issues due to the size of my shoes (I was wearing my normal size) so when I bought a new pair, I followed the stores advice and sized up.  Things were OK in the beginning, but I am starting to notice that I’m running completely different from how I used to.  It doesn’t feel “easy,” meaning that I feel like I need to do extra work to keep from tripping over my shoes.  When I run in my old shoes I feel like I can just skim across the ground, but I have the size issue.  Maybe it’s because I am also in the Free Run + now, instead of the 5.0s?  Maybe if I bought a size up in the 5.0s I’d be good.  Maybe its just time to find a new shoe.

The truth:

I need to get over it.  My legs were not that sore.  I can’t even really call it sore; it’s mostly just that I feel different and it’s a reminder that I did something yesterday.  Needless to say, I’ve run through worse.

I could have gone home and changed.  I was only a mile from home when it really started bothering me.  I could have gone back, changed, and then finished like a big girl but instead I chose to be stubborn.

I’ve run a lot of miles in my shoes.  Another 8 wasn’t going to kill me.

I’m disappointed that I keep letting myself get so upset and defeated as soon as it feels hard.  I am glad, however, that I came home making all these excuses but that I immediately recognized them as excuses.  The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.


I want to be the athlete that I know I can be.

Let’s talk about pace

Right now I’m hanging out on the couch at my folks house with the Hubs, Leland, and various other animals.  My folks are off gallivanting like a couple of teenagers in love and we’re back here taking care of the livestock.  We get our revenge in August when they’ll take care of our dog child for 2 weekends in a row.

Seriously, look at that cuteness.

I am also recovering from my very first track workout.  Overall, I liked it and I’m excited to keep doing them throughout the summer up till the Marine Corps Marathon.  It’s not very often that I run as hard as I can, so it’s a nice change of pace (see what I did there?)

Speaking of pace… if it weren’t for Garmino, I’d have no idea of my pace.  During the last training cycle, I was pretty consistently running between 10-10:30 pace without thought, but other than that I’m lost.  Today was an interesting experiment in pacing.

The workout was 6 X 400, then a recovery jog, then 6 X 200.  We ended up walking 400 between each of the 400 repeats and 200 between each of the 200s.  Here’s how it ended up:

400s – 1:48, 2:11, 2:09, 2:04, 2:00, 2:00

200s (per quarter mile) – 1:43, 1:40, 1:47

Looks like I started to figure out my pacing on the 400s.  For the 200s I just tried to go as fast as I could.  I should start using a stop watch for those since Garmino won’t do 1/8 mile intervals.  You mean I can’t just rely on technology?  Lame…


Things are coming together

We now have a lawn 🙂In case you didn’t catch all of the glory, I have a second picture for you.What does Leland think about it?Ok, seriously?

Many millions of thanks to my loving husband for making me a yard.We also got our garbage can from the garbage collector people today, but I resisted the urge to take a picture of it and share.  I’m ashamed of how excited I was to see it though.