I guess I’m hurt…but here’s how I’ve kept busy

It’s probably easy to figure out that I’ve been out of the loop (blogging, reading blogs, doing exciting runs that are causes for exciting blog posts) because I’m hurt. If not…well there, I said it. I used to be accustomed to this…but to be honest, with the luck I’ve had this year, I am really disappointed. Long story short, the ITB injury isn’t a debilitating injury like last winter’s ITB injury on the other side, or a stress fracture. I can walk around without pain and do short little jogs across rooms, but I know that if I went on a steady run, the grinding pain at the knee would be inevitable. So, I am trying to be patient. I have races to run this summer! I’ve never been injured this time of year, and I need to get better so I can enjoy it! Let me reword that: I like running when it starts to get really hot so that the rest of the summer I am already acclimated and it’s no big deal. Honestly though, call me crazy but  there is no weather that is bad running weather for me. I’m doing all I can for it, and that’s all I’ll say about that for now.

The route.

My last post, on the surface, seemed like everything went downhill. That’s not true though, as my life has a strange way of balancing itself out, often by weighing down both ends to the extreme. On Memorial Day weekend, I attempted to not get so down about the inability to do a long run on such a nice Sunday by planning an alternative: a bike ride to Lambertville and back. It was also my first bike ride with someone else. I wasn’t sure what to expect…crazy, considering I prefer to run with other people as much as possible. You may remember the time I ran to Lambertville with Brennan in February…we basically took the same exact route there, but biked to our starting point from where we were. Some of the hills and gusts of wind were rough, but I tried to not let my speed get too low. I find that my pace varies probably a bit too much on rides, depending on elevation, and sometimes I don’t push hard enough and lose focus. This ride was a new experience for me because I was constantly paying attention. While nothing feels as satisfying as running, I could tell by the end that I had made a much greater effort than usual, without totally overexerting. The trip there was about 18 hilly miles, for which which we averaged 15.2 mph. We found a great sandwich shop when we arrived and ate lunch on the bank of the Delaware River. Getting started again, especially starting up THE BEAST (River to Sea Relay reference: hardest leg of the relay…now imagine it on a bike) was rough on our quads, but we made it up and over. Unfortunately my bike buddy suffered a tire blowout less than four miles from our finish, and I had to finish alone and turn back for a rescue mission via car. I ended up averaging

The view.

16 mph for the return trip, which was our goal (yes, we had a pace goal for this casual ride, whose blog do you think you’re reading?!?). All in all, it was a great way to spend a cool spring day when running unfortunately wasn’t an option. It had been awhile since I hadn’t spent a weekend in a huge rush, driving and running around trying to get to places on time and get things done. This weekend was just what I needed – the very opposite of that. I enjoyed it for what it was, and didn’t think about what it would have been like had I been able to run. Easier said than done…but logically, what’s the use in that?

 

I love presents!

I’ve been getting a lot of packages at work…this makes me happy. I never get packages at home! Often, they are seeded clothing pieces, since I am serving as our store’s “apparel liaison” and therefore get to try out some of the clothing we stock so we can better sell it. On Tuesday, however, I noticed there was a small, lightweight box addressed to me from an unfamiliar address in Massachusetts. I opened it and was so surprised! I immediately burst into laughter. The contents:

When in Boston this year for the marathon and expo, I was on a mission with one of my shoe-company rep friends to steal a Sam Adams 26.2 pint glass. Sunday night, we knew it was now or never, and we tried so hard only to return from the bars empty handed. I can’t tell you how many times we ordered the special edition brew. I mean, not just for the glass, but we definitely would have added more variety if not for the glass mission! So, he had sent me a plastic 26.2 glass! How awesome is that? Apparently at his recent sales meeting in Boston, they gave them out…with the yellow handkerchiefs, I suppose just to look good and not snap. I’ll get a real pint glass someday, this one is good enough until then. 🙂

I never put recipes on here, mainly because my version of cooking or otherwise food-preparing would probably be mocked by everyone else out there. That being said, I’ll supply you with the specifics of the really interesting sandwich I had in Lambertville from Ennis Market (made by someone else, see what I’m doing here?). It was awesome. Raisin bread + turkey + scallion cream cheese. It was put in the panini press, but I’m sure a toaster oven would do the trick. Simple. The onion perfectly complemented the sweetness of the raisin…who would’ve thought?

Random link of the day…I was introduced to Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown clip on Ellen tonight. I love it. She is now my storytelling idol. I think it’s great that celebrities act ridiculous about things just like everyone else does, in some way. If you’re feeling down, definitely watch this gem.

crashing from the high…and notes on gratefulness

As I mentioned in my posts about my marathon, things were going 100% better than I ever expected, as far as running is concerned. I was feeling pretty darn good, and I was grateful as can be for every day that passed. It’s funny how the very best days and the very worst days both can make you equally grateful. Grateful for life, for health, for the ability to walk around on two feet each day, to have a job I enjoy, to have great family and friends who are there for me when I need them.

On Thursday, my IT band gave out on my short, easy “test run.” It was feeling mildly bothersome, as in, I could feel something short of pain. We stopped for a few seconds towards the end of the run at a crossroads and my knee totally locked up and I wasn’t able to run back to the store. The familiar feeling of the unfinished run and painful limp was

So. Much. Pain. (This is not my leg.)

back. And it sucked just as much as it had every time before. It could be worse. It could be two weeks ago, and I would’ve not been able to run the marathon. It could be a stress fracture, leaving me confused and angry again. At least I’ve felt this before (on the other side); I know what it will take to get better (though I’ve been doing everything except resting it, obviously, for over a year without any pain…). I know it was caused not by imbalances or strength issues but residual fatigue in the hips, I imagine, that I overlooked after the marathon. Any marathon I do next is far enough away from now (definitely Boston, Philly TBD). So while I would love to not be in pain (who doesn’t?) and be able to do fun, easy runs (again, who doesn’t?), I came to terms with it, possibly over some beverages and good company, and resolved to be patient.

This happened. The lights to the left are my house….

Fast-forward to Friday night. I was heading home from work in my car, waiting to turn left into my driveway as I do everyday. I switched my work days so I could do an open water swim in a South Jersey lake early Saturday morning, to distract me from my ITB pain. I was hit from behind by a car that clearly did not brake at all, driving 50 mph. I couldn’t believe what was happening, and I panicked because I had no control over it. The car pushed my car into a guardrail to the right, and finally I stopped moving. After acknowledging I had suffered no immediate injuries myself by some miracle, I struggled to get out of the car and tell everyone who had run out of their houses (including mine) that I was fine. Long story short, I am grateful once again that I am alive and fine. Without the guardrail, my car would have undoubtedly flipped over into a small drainage ditch filled with water. The man who hit me was fine, as well as his three year old son. My neck is sore and my knee is bruised (same knee as the ITBS…), all I really want to do is not feel trapped in my house and to run, or bike, or swim. But, I’m happy a totaled back end of my car was all that the crash amounted to.

I’ve always been the type of person to not want to rely on anyone else. I feel like I need to repay people who do good things for me, and I often feel discontented when I know I haven’t done so yet. That’s why I wanted to live within walking distance to work, and why I often refuse to let people give me rides or food or whatever, even if I should probably take them up on the offers. Without fail, people have been coming into my life exactly when I need them, and it is really cool to know how many people out there will actually want to help you when you need it. Whether it’s a ride, a fun night out, a hug, or a snack, I am thankful for all these people in my life, and sometimes moments like this are when you take a step back, stop trying to be the tough guy, and just appreciate the help and support that is all around you.

Random good things that happened this week… 

We had a “FitFest” event at the store, which included sports bra fittings, food, and wine! It’s been awhile since we’ve done anything chill and fun at work so this was a good time.

Speaking of chill and fun, and work, we now have a REFRIGERATOR again!

Cute, no?

We once had a gem of a fridge. It was discarded on August 21, 2012, poor thing. Ask me what happened after. It’s a good story, involving a police officer and a whiny neighbor.

Princeton City-20120821-01385

I got a free pair of North Face Go The Distance shorts. They feel a bit long (it’s relative…) but the waistband is so light and perfect.

gtdshort

I watched the season finales of How I Met Your Mother and New Girl. HIMYM = nice work. That show never fails to be awesome, in my opinion. NG = REALLY?! They could have done better than that. Everything predictable happened. Except for the badger, that was so weird….

Note to writers everywhere: the crashing wedding thing is getting really old.

THE MOTHER. (She grew up in my hometown!!! Rival high school grad, ’03, though.)

Did you see the HIMYM or New Girl season finales??? Please tell me what you thought! Was Taylor supposed to be over-exaggerated and easy to make fun of? What are you grateful for this week?