Thursday, October 18, 2012

One mile? More like one leg raise.

Many people knew I was training for a marathon last spring, and while probably more than a handful of people had very little faith that I'd actually get there, well you're right, but not for the reasons you probably think...

I was always one of those people who thought it'd be cool to run. I'm what I like to call athletically challenged, but for some reason running just didn't seem like a bad idea. Of course when it came down to actually doing it there was always an excuse. I need shoes, I need work out clothes, I need, I need, I need. But when I got the awesome running shoes and the flexible clothes that embrace a running lifestyle, it really came down to being utterly embarrassed that I was 25  and had no clue where to start.

I joined to keep track of all my efforts and was directed to Hal Higdon's marathon training guide. I got a gym membership for the first time in my life and actually used it. I did a 10K and a 5K with decent results considering I'd only had a few weeks to train for each. Then I moved to Pittsburgh and there was another obsticle in my way. Mountains. I think they call them hills here, but I'm from Oklahoma, so they're definitely mountains.

Nate and I found a gym to join here right after the New Year and I began training for the Pittsburgh Marathon almost immediately. I logged runs, followed my schedule, made up playlists to get me through that boring treadmill workout when the weather was bad. My longest runs were always followed by text messages to my closest friends and posts on Facebook bragging about my latest accomplishment.

I completed my 12 mile run, but when it came to my half marathon distance of 13.1 miles, I was unable to get even half-way through. My ankle and left knee were in a lot of pain. I tried walking it out, tried doing some weights and some shorter runs, but even backing off didn't seem to help. We figured it was just too much too soon. Going from no activity to full on marathon training in less than six months is pretty intense. By the middle of March it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to bounce back from whatever this was and finish training in time for the race, so I transferred my registration into Nathan's name.

The next several months were filled with anything besides physical activity while I tried to give my joints a rest. Once July hit I was pretty stir crazy, so we hit the gym doing weights to strengthen up my leg muscles before getting back into running, figuring that's where we'd gone wrong. However, a month later I still couldn't get through a two mile run without a lot of pain in my left knee.

That's when we decided I actually needed to see a doctor. Chondromalacia patellae is what the othopedist diagnosed. Basically the cartillage under my knee cap was irritated because the muscles on the outer side were stronger than those on the inner side and it was pulling my knee cap out of its correct placement. Cure? A few months of physical therapy, which entailed strenghtening exercises, ice, electronic stimulation, and taping of the knee. Oh, and absolutely no running.

So far I'm about six weeks into my therapy and I'm noticing little differences. Of course the exercises are moving the knee cap back into position, which again irritates that cartillage, so until it's in the correct placement, I'm going to continue having significant pain. I continue to walk up stairs one at a time (having been told that stairs are a definite no-no), I don't go to the movies since prolonged sitting in the same position is also uncomfortable, but I have been cleared to ride a bicycle, and I'm not having pain every day.

So the new game plan? Pittsburgh Marathon 2013 hopefully! My physical thereapist says I'm at least half way through my therapy, measuring the movement with each session. She's been increasing the intensity and difficulty of my exercises rapidly, knowing that stir craziness (and well, money) is a definite factor. We've already got a new marathon training schedule in mind; one that is at a very low intensity so as to ease into it this time.

The future is bright. By this time next year, I'll most likely have completed one marathon and started training for a second. I'd really like to do the OKC Memorial Marathon in 2014, but we'll see...

Monday, October 15, 2012

30 by 30: My 27th Birthday Update

Earlier this year I made a post listing 30 things I wanted to do by the time I turned 30. With the recent passing of my 27th birthday, I thought it'd be a good idea to update the list, seeing what I've accomplished in the last few months...

  1. Participate in 6 craft fairs with my crochet stuff
    I've done one craft fair. It wasn't very successful, but I did manage to come out in the green.
  2. Don't let others get me down and remember this every day, "You is kind, You is smart, You is important"
    This one is still hard, but I'm working on it every day.
  3. Read 30 new books (yes Sabrina I stole this)
    I've read 4 new books so far, and I've got 2 others started. (Damn you Harry Potter for trapping me in and making me want to reread you. You don't count!)
  4. Remember the little things and don't fight over money
    Another continuous effort, but significantly easier than #2.
  5. Learn Italian or Spanish
  6. Get 10,000 fans on my Facebook model page
    I haven't worked on this much, seeing as my modeling is at a hiatus, but I am up to a little over 1200 fans.
  7. Run a marathon
    I was halfway through training last spring and had to quit. A later blog post will reveal those details.
  8. Remember to send out birthday/anniversary cards to my family/closest friends without them being late
    I've actually done a pretty good job of this one. I've sent out more than I ever have, and only one or two have actually been late.
  9. Join a crochet/scrapbook/women's group (or 2) here in PA
  10. Continue learning how to fix my '71 Camaro by myself
    I learned how to fix the secondary fan attached to my radiator and I will soon be learning how to touch up small paint chips and surface rust.
  11. Reach 300 blog followers
    So far I have increased my followers from 3 to a whopping 8, but with so little blog activity, that's not surprising.
  12. Have an official date night at least twice a month
    We have an official date night once a week!
  13. Fill the 4 journals I have sitting on my bookcase
    I'm half way through the first one; my journaling took a vacation around the same time my blogging did.
  14. Crochet 4 afghans
    I've finished two afghans, and am over halfway through with my third. I've also done a 3x3 baby blanket.
  15. Be old fashioned "pen pals" with my Grandma and Sabrina
    I continue to do this.
  16. Build a clientel for my hair styling work
    Still working on this one, but as long as I'm a stylist, there's always room for my book to grow. I'm off to a good start.
  17. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home
  18. Take enough pictures to fill my two Christmas/Winter scrapbooks
  19. Finish Grandma Molly's memorial scrapbook album
  20. Remember to take photos with Nate, friends and family year round so I can scrapbook our memories
    Got my camera charger back from Oklahoma, and have been doing better for vacations, but not smaller events. Of course this means I need to pull my scrapbook stuff out of the closet...
  21. Start my own racing scrapbook
  22. Reread Writing Down the Bones and follow her suggestions for writing topics in my journals
    I've got my own copy, and started...
  23. Remember to share good news, not just the bad news
    This I've gotten much, much better at doing.
  24. Get some legitimate, paid modeling work
    I've had a several offers for around Christmas!
  25. Sign up for 30 modeling contests
    I signed up for three. I didn't win them, but on a different note,  I have been published in a magazine! That is definitely better than a contest :)
  26. Attend pilates or yoga classes
  27. Run the NYC marathon
    Maybe in 2014?
  28. Take a cake decorating class
    Honestly not sure if I still want to do this one. I might need to come up with something new.
  29. Take up ballroom dance lessons again
  30. Visit the top 10 places to go in Pennsylvania as listed here:
    I've only hit one place on this list: Falling Water, but I've also been to Kentuck Knob (Frank Lloyd Wright's second house in the same area). While I didn't get to Kennywood, I was able to make a trip over to Sandcastle, the water couterpart.
Of course some of these things will never be finished. They are continuous works in progress, but everyone should have a few guidelines in their life. What are some of your goals? Are they bucket lists or things to do before a certain milestone?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nutshells and Acorns.

Gosh I miss blogging! Well writing in general to tell you the truth. Sometimes it really is the most simple things that make us the most happy. A cool breeze when you open your front door. A good book on a rainy day. Your favorite song on the radio. Or that winding road surrounded by trees that makes you feel like you're on the set of Twilight. Okay, maybe that last one is just me....

A lot has happened over the summer and fall is in full force. The weather has gotten cooler, leaves are starting to change and OU/Texas is just around the corner. This is my favorite time of year. Of course normally fall is a relief from the Oklahoma summers of 100+ degrees, and while it definitely didn't reach that heat in Pennsylvania, I'm glad summer's over.

I've been at the salon here for 8 months already. Man that time certainly did fly by! I've accumulated quite a few clients and I'm slowly gathering more. The owner is about to celebrate the shop's 25th anniversary, which is pretty cool. We'll have a big party, so if you're in the area and want an invite let me know.

In addition to the salon, I've decided to become a PartyLite consultant. It has been so much fun so far. I've met a lot of really great people, made some extra money, and who doesn't love candles?! I've always had a bunch of candles in my room as long as I can remember, so it seems only fitting that I now sell them. Nate and I just got in our Ginger Pumpkin scented tealights tonight and they are definitely one of our favorites.

The other big news is that I was published in a magazine! It's two full pages of Ashley Rachelle, which includes three photos by two different photographers. A huge thanks to Pamela Kay for putting on the photoshoot last December. All the models and photographers involved are awesome, and in my case the gift just kept on giving!

I'll post links, photos, and additional tidbits on everything later, but for now that's an update in a nutshell. It's definitely my bedtime...