Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sprained Ankle

I don't ever seem to do things the easy way.  Last week I was going out to the car to get my headphones before I went on my run.  As I was walking next to my car I stepped on the edge of the driveway while wearing my running shoes.  My left foot tipped into the flowerbed next to the driveway and I rolled my ankle.  It hurt!  I said bad words!  Then I stood there leaning up against my car and thought of some more bad words.  I was mostly mad about hurting myself in such a stupid way.  Do I get an injury during a run or tough workout?  Nope.  I get hurt walking to my car!  I'm talented that way.

I went on my run anyway.  Mostly cause I was so mad I don't think I really processed how much it hurt.  I took it slow and only ran 3 miles.  The silver lining for that run was that my "slow run" was at a 13'30" pace, which a few months ago was a "fast run."  Oh my, what a difference a few months makes.

These are pictures of my ankle the next day.  Or should I say Kankle?

Lovely swollen ankle and toenails that are in dire need of a pedicure!
Right foot view for comparison.  Notice I have an actual ankle bone on this foot.  :-)
The ankle would feel pretty good while I was working but once I drove home and sat for a little bit it started hurting.  Lot's of ibuprofen and ice but it didn't feel like I should run on it.  I went for a hike yesterday morning.  It ached while we were hiking and I can tell today that I pushed it.  But I gave it a week and at this point I HAVE to get running or I'm going to lose some serious ground in a hurry.

The hike Monday was a blast.  We have some amazing places to go hiking in Oregon, many of them are practically in our backyard!  This one was a little over 6 miles and was a big loop.  Hills but not overly steep and a nice wide road/trail to follow.  I think I will be using this trail for some of my hill workouts as I get closer to CLR.  I'm pretty sure that I won't get lost but then again, I'm the girl who sprains her ankle walking to her car, so no guarantees.  :-)  It was lightly sprinkling for most of the hike.  The last two miles the wind really picked up and it rained quite hard.  Good thing we are seasoned Northwest athletes.  Everyone had on rain gear and hats or hoods so nobody was too miserable.  It was still beautiful and every time we go, even when we go to the same place, it looks different.  The only ones that looked miserable were our friends dogs.  Poor little Olive got cold and was shaking by the time we were done.  Good thing her momma had a nice towel to warm her up with and they live really close so she was going to get a nice warm bath when they got home.  The weather is supposed to improve through this week.  I'm glad, I thought we were done with cold and rainy for awhile.  We always get rain, hello, it's Oregon.  But it was weird to have it get so cold too.  Felt like it was the end of February or the beginning of March, not the end of May.  

I was supposed to run today but came home with a migraine.  I can push through a lot of things but a migraine isn't one of them.  I'm going to take some more medicine and crawl into bed.  Hopefully things will be better in the morning.  Getting a little frustrated with my own body getting in my way.  Sprained ankles and migraines are not conducive to being a runner.  :-(  Maybe tomorrow I will feel more like a runner.  I don't feel much like one right now.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Busy Week!

Another busy week at the Van V's!  Meetings after school three nights in a row, two runs, one daughter's District track meet and another daughter's second week of her school play and one doctor's visit.  No wonder I'm tired all the time! And I think it is going to be like that until the end of the school year. 

Training began on Monday for the Cascade Lakes Relay.  I'm really excited about doing better this year.  If the training goes as well as it did for the Eugene Marathon then I should be significantly faster than last year.  Especially since I will be building off the progress I have made since the beginning of the year, rather than starting from scratch. 

This week was challenging to get all the work outs in.  Between being tired and having a lot of extra stuff going on in the afternoon/evenings it was difficult.  I only missed one run.  Hopefully I will be able to do better this week. 

Monday was tough.  I have only run a couple of times since the Eugene Half.  I know better.  Every time I take a break I regret it and swear I won't do that again.  While it wasn't a terrible run and it wasn't like I was starting completely over I could definitely tell that I hadn't been consistent with my training.  I ran two miles and walked/ran the last one.  It didn't help that it was hot.  Remember, anything over 55 degrees is hot to me when I'm running.  :-)  Tuesday was even warmer and I was supposed to do four miles.  I ran three and walked a half mile.  Partly because I was just done and partly because I had a meeting at 6:00 and I needed some time to cool down before it started. 

I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday.  Yet another follow up visit to discuss how things are going.  Still tired, still overweight.  My poor doctor.  I feel bad because I know he is trying to help me and he believes, as I do, that something is not quite lining up right.  But he just isn't able to pinpoint the issue.  We talked about different options that included diet pills, a weight loss clinic or going to a dietitian.  I'm not really excited about the pills.  I am also not excited about the weight loss clinic because Doc said they would most likely put me on a doctor monitored very restrictive calorie diet.  Which would mean I would probably have to quit running for a few months.  I really don't want to do that!  I have worked too hard to make progress to stop now.  lol  I want it all.  I want to lose weight quickly AND be able to do it with my running and eating healthy.  At this point I have decided to keep doing what I'm doing.  I am making gains.  According to the doctor's scale I have lost 21 pounds since Christmas!  That's about three pounds better than my scale says.  Isn't that weird?  Usually the doctor's scale is worse than the one at home.  Lucky me.  :-)  This is nothing to sneeze at.  I should be thrilled but it is hard when I feel like the amount of effort I'm putting in should have led to almost twice that amount lost by now.  I'm trying really hard to focus on the fit of my clothes instead of the pounds.  Not an easy task for me!  My self perception is not good.  My doctor asked me what my goals were outside of the number on the scale.  I said I wanted to be down to where I could by regular clothes at any store, instead of having to go the plus size store or section.  I wanted to be not wearing clothes bigger than my husband or be watching a football game and realize that I'm the same height and weight as a professional football player.  And I'm not talking the kicker.  That does not help with the self-image! 

I watched the new Dove Real Beauty Sketches video the other day.  Wow!  If you haven't seen it yet, check it out:

I am pretty sure that my self portrait would not be very attractive. lol  It's hard to see myself as others see me.  I'm working on that but it is definitely a work in progress!  Have you ever noticed that your reflection in the glass door going into a building looks bigger than you actually are?  The funny thing is that in my mind, that is the size I really am.  That's how I see myself.  Or I will point out someone who is heavy and say "I look like them" and my husband will look at me and say "WTF?  You are not even close!"  But that's how I perceive myself.  Self image is a difficult thing.  I hope that I have instilled it better in my daughters than I have it in myself.  I find myself realizing more and more as I meander down the road to a healthier me that it is more than just losing weight and being "skinny".  It is about finding out what my expectations for myself are and feeling like I have some control in not only my health but in how I perceive myself.  The Bible says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I need to make sure that I am taking care of the body God gave me.  I'm a miracle.  :-)

I didn't run on Friday.  I spent the evening with one of my girlfriends for a much needed evening of laughter and friendship.  We watched a chick flick, talked and had a great time.  It was a nice way to end a VERY long week!!!

I had signed up for a 5K race in Lebanon that supports the Lebanon Schools Foundation.  I had tried to get my whole homeroom class to join me.  At first everyone was going to do it with me and then one by one they backed out.  Other sport commitments, sleeping in, and in general a lot of excuses.  I could have used this as an excuse as well but I had promised my students that I was going to do this run and I was going to keep my promise.  The race was basically one lap around the track and then three one mile loops around the block.  There were only 11 people signed up for the race.  Guess who was bringing up the rear?  Yours truly!  I started out way too fast!  When I heard my average pace after the first half a mile I though "Uh oh!"  and almost started to slow down.  Then I decided, what the heck, let's see how long I can do this for.  Breathing was hard and I got really tired but I pushed through.  I finished the 5K in 33'54" which is an average pace of 10'54" per mile!!  Holy Moly!  I was pretty excited.  I have never been so excited to finish last place before.  But I have learned with running it isn't about what place you come in, it's about meeting goals and setting PR's.  The weather was cool and there were light sprinkles.  This is actually the best running weather for me.  Not so cold where I have to have a lot of layers but not so hot that all I can think about is how hot I am.

I must have worked hard because I got home, showered and sat down on the couch and I was out like a light.  I got a nice hour long nap which felt wonderful and I am pretty sure I earned.  May not have been a long race but I certainly worked hard during it.

I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing.  I'm going to keep working on the challenges on the inside while I'm working on the challenges on the outside.  I'm going to keep trusting that God has a plan and that in the meantime I need to do my part.

Gotta go.  Time to get in another run.  :-)


Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring has Sprung

I don't officially start my new training for the Cascade Lakes Relay until next Monday. The last week and a half it has been hard to get my runs in. I definitely do better when I'm on a training plan. There have been lots of after school activities and trainings with work and I have been really struggling with being tired.

It has been an entire year since I first started seeing my doctor about what was causing the fatigue and weight gain. I now know a lot of problems that I don't have. That is a blessing. However, we still don't know what problem I do have. That is a frustration! I go in again next week and I think we will start having to be more creative. I think my doctor is secretly liking the puzzle of it all. Good thing I like him. The last doctor I had just used to tell me I was stressed and I needed to relax more. Not very helpful advice. My new doctor completely believes I am doing all the right things and there is something hinky going on. Gives me hope to keep looking for answers instead of just giving up.

While I haven't done a lot of running the last week I have been doing a lot of yard work. I think that it probably balances out a little bit, but only a little. Our oldest daughter is graduating from high school next month and we are having a graduation party to celebrate. This will be an outdoor party (weather permitting) and I spent all of last weekend getting my flowerbeds cleaned out and ready for flowers and then spraying off the front and back porches. It took three days to get it all done but the weather was absolutely glorious. I had Friday off and got to work in the yard, run errands with my husband and get things done around the house. It made me miss the days where we had the farm and I was a stay at home mom. I would do my book work at the farm but could hang out with my hubby during the day and generally get things done as needed.

Sunday I went and got a few hanging baskets and flowers. Last night I went out and planted all the flowers. I had only intended to plant the impatiens but once I got going I didn't stop until everything was in the ground or a planter. It looks really nice and they will have a month to grow before the party. I planted impatiens, petunias, and geraniums. My planters have a mix of petunias and other flowers and one that is all million bells. The trick now will be to get my family to actually water them for me in June when I am gone for a couple of weeks. :-)

I have a very warm class room when the weather is nice my room is a sauna. Yesterday was a hot day and the room was warm at the beginning of the day. I had a team meeting in my room at 7:45 a.m. and I got there around 7 to get some work done and open up the windows. Every single teacher that come in for the meeting said, "Wow, your room is really hot!" Like I didn't already know that. lol If it's that warm in the morning you can only imagine how much worse it got as the day progressed. A hot day with warm Middle School bodies and it was pretty miserable. My 6th period class was falling asleep, literally! It doesn't help that my room is also the room where they have added the server for the computers on our end of the building. It is in a locked closet and it runs all the time, putting out more heat to add to the misery. By the end of the day, my head hurt, I was hot and I was as grumpy as my students. I came home and didn't want to run because the thought of getting more hot just made me even more grumpy.

That's when I decided to go plant my flowers. Joe was going to be doing some things in the yard too and I always like it when we are both outside working. Planting flowers is almost as therapeutic as running. I got to dig in the dirt, smash dirt clogs, look at pretty things and make my yard beautiful. I can think of worse ways to spend a warm, spring evening.


Snap dragons and more petunias
Hanging basket from Country Barn
I'm always amazed at how visibly happier the flowers look almost immediately after planting.  Some of them were a little root bound and a few needed more water then they had gotten and were looking rather sad.  I loosened up the roots, popped them in the dirt and gave them a good soak.  By the time I got the back yard pots done and came back to clean up in the front they already had perked up.  The next day new flowers were already coming out.  Isn't it amazing what flowers (and people) will do when they are given a little room to grow.  :-)

I start the next training program on Monday and I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove of the schedule again.  I think I might look for another 10K to do in July.  I have been focused on the Half Marathon distance for so many months it would be fun to see how much I can improve my time since the 10K I did in January.

I have to brag a little bit about my awesome students.  I have a great homeroom class.  It is called my Spartan class because, well, our mascot is the Spartans.  Very clever, don't you think?  :-)  Last fall a student in our school did the unthinkable and took her own life.  There were many factors involved in her depression, one of them was that she was being bullied.  As a school we decided to step up our game about bullying and we have been working on a anti-bullying program during our Spartan class.  When we started this in January my students were not happy.  They didn't think it would matter and nothing would ever change.  We have had some very honest conversations in the months since and I have had the privilege of watching this group of kids start to believe.  The are starting to believe they can be the difference.  That they can be the change.  That they have more power to do these things then they ever thought before.  I think the most important thing is that they BELIEVE!  I'm so proud of them!!!!  A reporter from the local paper came and watched one of the lessons/conversations and had an article about the school a few days ago.  Here's a link to the article:

The quote at the end from the two girls is my favorite part.  I love my job!

One more random thing before I finish this post.  I think I need to get my next pair of running shoes a half a size bigger next time.  I love my shoes and have gotten the same brand for the last couple of years, Brooks.  But I am one of the people that has longer second toes than my big toes.  Which normally isn't a problem except for when I run 13.1 miles.  Then it seems to be a problem.  I got a blister under the toenail on my left foot after the Corvallis Half.  I popped it and it was healed enough that it didn't hurt during the Eugene Half which was a relief.  I was worried about that.  However I lost the nail, again.  I lost that same nail last summer.  Sigh.  Guess I'm going to have to redo my pedicure and paint the skin.  I'm bummed though cause I just got the pedicure not too long ago and I used one of their colors so I have to take it all off and use my own.  Oh well.  :-)  Here is a picture of my lovely toes, minus one nail. 

I guess this means that I really am a runner.  Only people who run a lot would be proud of missing nails.  And I really am kind of proud of it.  :-)  It means I worked hard.  Beginning the next round of training next week.  Here we go again.  :-)