Friday Free-For-All – 08/12/16

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I’ve been living the bachelorette life this week. Ben has been down in NY and PA since this past Saturday, helping his uncle Harry do some work on his family’s historic farmhouse. While it’s been really cool doing my own thing and being completely independent (like going to bed at 9:30 after watching trashy TV and eating popcorn for dinner), I really miss Ben. It’s weird and too quiet without him around.

I leave work at noon today to prep for 100 on 100. I was able to finagle a half day so that I can a) finish packing, and b) catch the team van down to Stowe. The relay is obviously a point-to-point affair, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to drive to the start and leave my car there, only to have to then find a ride back to the start to pick up my car. Team J’Adore Hardcore will leave Burlington around 3 to arrive in Stowe for packet pickup and final registration details around 4. Then it’s takeout and an early bedtime, because we’ve got to run 100 miles on Saturday–Eek!

I just finished watching Stranger Things on Netflix and I’m OBSESSED! Are any of you watching? It’s so good. The kid actors are incredible, and I’ve never been so impressed by Wynona Ryder. She’s inhabiting her role beautifully, and I seriously hope she wins some kind of award because DAMN! Anyway, if you like slightly creepy, suspenseful type stuff that’s not outright scary, you should check it out!

I’m doing a 34-day free trial of You Need a Budget (YNAB). Some friends of mine have been using it for a couple of years, and take every opportunity to tell me how amazing it is for budgeting, meeting financial goals, and paying off debt. I’m currently using it just for me (Ben and I have a yours-mine-ours financial setup) to try and get myself out of the overspending cycle I’m currently on. It takes some getting used to, because you can only budget with the money you currently have in your accounts, versus using your expected income for the month, and you have to account for every single dollar in your budget. It makes sense because then you’re able to roll over unused dollars from one month to the next and really understand where your money is going, but there’s definitely a learning curve. I’m hoping that it helps me out, and if I end up liking it/understanding it better, I’m gonna try to get Ben on board to use it for our joint finances, especially as we work toward saving for a house.

I think I may be injured, and I have no idea how. On Saturday, July 30th, I went to sleep fine. On Sunday, July 31, I woke up with a very sore shoulder. I assumed I’d just slept weird and it would work itself out. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The pain sort of comes and goes. Certain things make it hurt more, and it’s always very stiff and painful first thing in the morning. I’m starting to suspect I may have pinched a nerve or pulled something out of place, but, as always, I’m reluctant to go to the doctor. I just hate spending money on something that may or may not be serious. But because it’s now been almost two weeks, I figure I should go get it checked out. I’m planning to call my doctor’s office on Monday.

Manic Monday – 06/13/16


Roller Coaster 10k Training Week 1
What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 06/06/16: Hot YogaHot Yoga
I’ve switched my yoga day from Wednesday to Monday, and this was my first class with the owner of the studio. He’s awesome. We did equal amounts of gentle stretching and energetic flow and I felt great.

Tuesday 06/07/16: 3 Miles Easy + Arms3 Miles + Arms
I got up at 5:30 am and banged out 3 miles, then did a tiny baby arm workout. I’m glad I got up early because by the time I left for work, it was pouring rain, and rained off and on the rest of the day.

Wednesday 06/08/16: 3 Mile Tempo1 Mile w/u + 3 Tempo Miles
My splits were 10:54, 9:46, 9:27 and 9:22, so this was actually more like a progression run, but I’ll take it. My goal pace for the 10k is 9:30, so the “tempo miles” were pretty spot on.

Thursday 06/09/16: Rest | 2 Hours Roller Skating
This was all fun and games, and pretty good exercise too, until I fell hard on my tailbone. Not good.

Friday 06/10/16: 3 Miles Moderate | Rest
After my fall on Thursday, I was in a significant amount of pain just trying to make it through my daily life, so I decided to forego running and just try to get better.

Saturday 06/11/16: 6 Miles | Rest
My tailbone was still quite painful, so I just tried to rest and relax as much as possible.

Sunday 06/12/16: RestRest
Still in pain. More resting.

Weekly Mileage: 7.07
Total 2016 Mileage: 399.57

Well, that’s definitely not the first week of training I wanted. I’m still in quite a bit of pain, and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better, if it’s getting better at all. Unfortunately, there’s not much point seeing a doctor or getting x-rays, because the only treatment for a broken or bruised tailbone is rest, and I’m not going to pay to have someone tell me what I already know. According to the wise and all-knowing internet, a bruised tailbone can take up to 4 weeks to heal, while a fracture can take up to 12. Oof. I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s hard.

Have you ever had a non running-related injury affect your running?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/10/16

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I had my first training shift at Athleta on Wednesday. So far, so good. The people are great, the environment is dynamic, and the discount is BALLER. My second “training” session will be tonight, which basically involves me trying on ALLTHECLOTHES. The theory is that in order to properly sell and represent the brand, I have to know how it feels, how it fits, and how to style it. I’m excited to try on all the pretty things! Of course, this is probably going to make me want to buy all the things, but I need to stay strong.

Ben and I are about to adult super hard and go see a financial planner. Yes, I work for a financial planning firm, but I want to keep my personal life separate from work as much as possible. We’re trying to get really serious about buying a house and starting a family sometime in the next year, so we need to get our shit together. For people our age, we’re actually pretty savvy (I think), but we need some professional guidance for the next steps.

I did something stupid last night. I went roller skating with friends. It was great. I was having fun. I was doing well. Then I tried to exit the rink a little too quickly, my legs went out from under me, and I went down HARD on my tailbone. I don’t think it’s broken, but it’s pretty painful. Walking, stairs, and standing up/sitting down hurt. Sudden movements hurt. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to run at all the next couple of days, which is very frustrating. Aside from being in pain, I feel pretty stupid for not being more careful.  It’s hard sometimes to remember that I’m not a kid anymore, and stuff like roller skating should be approached with a little more caution.

When is the last time you went roller skating?


Friday Free-For-All – 04/29/16

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This week’s Friday Free-For-All post has a theme: STRESS!!!

Insult to injury. Literally. I hurt my left quad and right foot during my attempted 18-miler on Monday, and then I got sick this week. Maybe a sinus infection, maybe just a really bad cold, but either way, headache, major congestion, mild fever, and crappy sleep. I haven’t run at all since Monday, but I think I’m gonna attempt a gentle 5k today. My fever is gone, and although I’m super congested, I’m feeling better than I have the last couple of days. This week has just been kind of a crap fest. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my 20-miler with Athleta and RunVermont on Sunday, but I think that if worse comes to worst, I’ll just go for it and use some run/walk intervals to get me through it. That’s not how I’ve been training up until now, but I REALLY would rather do my 20 in a group setting than try to do it on my own later.

Ben’s employment situation. I haven’t talked about this much on the blog, but it’s weighing heavily on my mind this week. Ben is an educator, and unfortunately, job stability isn’t always a thing when you’re a teacher. Ben and another teacher were hired at the same time last year to cover two full-time positions for teachers that were away on leave. One of those teachers has decided not to come back, and one still has a year of leave left, meaning that there is now one permanent full-time position available. Due to budget cuts, the other temporary position covering leave is now only a part-time position, and we don’t know the actual extent of the position and pay. Ben and the other teacher both interviewed yesterday for both positions, and we just don’t know how the chips are going to fall. The other teacher has more experience and a Master’s degree, but Ben is better at classroom management and has better people skills. They may decide they want to pay more for the other person’s experience, or they may decide they want to save money by hiring Ben. It’s really scary not knowing whether or not he’ll will have a job next year. He has applied for a few other positions at other schools, but hasn’t gotten any interviews, which is super discouraging. Taking a pay cut by accepting the part-time position at his current school, or not getting a job at all would mean that we’d need to do a serious lifestyle overhaul, and delay a lot of stuff like home buying and starting a family even further. The uncertainty is putting a lot of strain on us right now, and it sucks not being able to plan long term because we just don’t know what next year will look like. Thankfully, it sounds like we should know either way by Monday at the latest, so at least it’s not going to drag on for weeks.

Shoes. I’m still feeling stress about my damn shoe issue. I can’t say for sure that my leg and foot issues on Monday were due to the shoes rather than just stress or attempting too much mileage after a week of almost no running, but I’m a little nervous about attempting 20 miles in the Mirages on Sunday. I’ve been doing lots of research, and even used this great shoe finder app on Runner’s World (Shoes Like Mine) to find some options. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Wednesday night and tried a bunch of the recommended options, but totally struck out. Every shoe I tried just didn’t have enough room for my toes. It seems like most toe boxes sort of angle down toward the front of the foot, but my toes angle UP, so it’s hard to find a shoe with enough room. I’m trying not to panic, and I still have some options for other places to go, but it sort of feels like zero hour here, and I’m anxious.

ONE MONTH. Vermont City Marathon is exactly one month away. In some ways, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever and I can’t believe it’s finally time, and in other ways, it doesn’t seem like enough time has passed, and I’m under-trained and oh my god how am I ever going to do this?? I think if I can just get through this 20-miler on Sunday, I’ll feel a lot better about things. I seriously can’t believe it’s almost taper time. I honestly don’t even feel like I “deserve” a taper because I haven’t really been training all that much these last few weeks. It’s so weird. All I can say is, thank God for Coach Suz. I’d be a mess right now without her. OK, more of a mess than I already am…

Who else is feeling stressed out this week? I need a massage… Or a drink…

6 Weeks

Today marks exactly six weeks since my last run.  It was a painful one.  My left foot had been hurting for a few days, but I decided to run anyway in the hopes that a short run would warm it up and loosen up whatever was angry in there.  That was a mistake.


After that day, my foot hurt even more.  Like a lot.  And it didn’t want to get better.  I went to the doctor and got x-rays, but didn’t have a stress fracture.  My doc didn’t know what the issue was and told me to just “treat it like a stress fracture.”  Which meant no running.  Which sucked.

It’s been a long six weeks.  Lots of butt-sitting.  Lots of whining.  Lots of trying to understand why some people enjoy biking (ow, my butt).  But now, finally, my foot feels better.  It’s actually been pain free for over two weeks, but I didn’t want to rush into things and possibly have a relapse and be super angry.

So today, for the first time in six weeks, I will attempt to “run.”  I put it in quotation marks because it will be neither fast nor far.  A mile max, with a good warm-up and cool-down, and sloooooow.  And I will stretch and ice and wear my arch support inserts and squishy shoes.  And take it easy tomorrow.  And if all goes well, I’ll try another mile later in the week.  Wheeee!

What’s the longest you’ve had to take off running due to injury?  What did you do to keep your sanity in the meantime?

A Break from the Norm

Yes, I know, this is not my usual Manic Monday post.  But between my foot issues, a mysteriously painful, possibly-strained muscle in my abdomen, and the Thanksgiving holiday, I didn’t really do much last week.  I made it to the gym exactly once and did some random strength stuff at home, but nothing really worth writing about.

Today is December first, and while for the last few months (September, October, November), I’ve done monthly goals and recaps, I’m gonna skip that today as well.  November was a bit of a wash.  I ran twice, got injured, and biked twice.  Again, not really much worth summing up.  And since I’m injured, I won’t be doing too much training, so there’s really no point in setting goals for December, other than “don’t gain 10 pounds because you’re not running anymore.”

I will hopefully be seeing my doctor this week and figuring out what’s up with my gimpy foot.  Until I’m running again, I’ll be spending a lot of time with the recumbent bike and focusing on strength training, which has definitely been lacking over the last year or so.  I’m hopeful that mixing it up a bit and getting myself stronger will mean that all this time off from running won’t necessarily mean a huge loss of fitness and speed once I’m back at it.

And now, to dispel the gloomy tone that has unintentionally crept in, I give you this:

Photo Dec 01, 8 39 48 AM


Do you have any goals for December?

My First DNS?

I’m taking a break from happy wedding stuff to talk about something not so fun.  I promise a wedding recap is in the works.

As I’ve already mentioned a couple of times (here, here and here), I’m having foot issues.  According to my research, it looks like a possible stress response or maybe stress fracture, because the pain lessens with rest, and increases with use.  This means that I wake up every morning feeling fine, and then my foot begins to hurt more and more throughout the day, which is a horrible tease.

For the last few days, it hasn’t been super bad, but it’s also not really getting better.  I’ve been just a little bit busy lately what with getting married and all, so I haven’t made an appointment with the doctor yet.  I’ve also been kind of putting it off because in my brain, if I don’t have an actual diagnosis, I can just sort of pretend it’s not happening and do my own thing, whereas a diagnosis and doctor’s orders might involve things like boots and not running for 6 weeks.  I’m also sort of afraid of the potential cost of diagnosing my issue.  I’m on a high deductible insurance plan, which means I pay for everything out of pocket until I hit $2500, and x-rays and MRIs ain’t cheap.  And then there’s the possibility that after spending all the time and money for appointments and imaging, I could walk out without a diagnosis at all, and just end up back where I started…

I haven’t run in about 2 weeks, which up ’til now hasn’t been a problem because I’ve been so busy. But I’m signed up for a Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday and a Santa 5k on December 7, and as of right now, I don’t think I’ll be able to do either.  I’ve never had a DNS before, and now I may have 2 in a period of about 2 weeks.  This stinks on multiple levels.  Firstly, that’s about $75 in registration fees that I can’t get back.  Thankfully, both races support excellent charities that I’m happy to give my money to, but it’s just not the same as giving them my money and doing a fun race.

Secondly, the Turkey Trot is a pretty easy course, and I was hoping that after a strong summer training season and a half marathon PR, I could get a shiny new 5k PR too.  That’s obviously out of the question now.  Even if I do run on Thursday (yes, thank you for your concern, I know I shouldn’t), there’s no way I will race it and risk further injury.

I will most likely head over on race morning, pick up my t-shirt and bib, and just cheer on the other runners.  It will make me really pissy, but I guess I’ll survive.  And in the meantime, I’d better call the doctor.

Have you ever had a DNS (did not start)?

How do you handle injury? Do you rush straight to the doc, or do you try to ignore it and hope for the best?

Are you running a Turkey Trot on Thursday?


Manic Monday – 11/17/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

Monday 11/10/14:
I was ready to get back to the running game after a week off, and in my eagerness, I did something stupid.  I had been experiencing varying degrees of pain in my left foot for several days, but I steadfastly ignored it and ran 2.5 miles anyway.  It didn’t hurt any worse while I was running, but by the time I got home, it hurt to walk so badly that I was limping.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I tried to stretch and massage it as best I could, but it was very painful.  I also did 6 push-ups and a 30 second plank.

Tuesday 11/11/14:
My foot was still hurting very badly, so I took a rest day.  I rolled my foot out with a golf ball on and off all day, and tried to remain sitting as much as possible in order to rest it.  When I got home, I did some strength exercises:  7 push-ups, 30 second plank, 30 second plank on each side, 5 single leg bridges on each leg, 30 clamshells each side, 20 leg lifts each side.  It wasn’t much, but if I can’t run, I need to do something.

Wednesday 11/12/14:
Wednesday I was till experiencing a pretty high level of pain in my left foot.  I didn’t roll it at all, as at this point I was unsure whether it was actually a muscular issue or maybe a stress fracture (please, god, no), and tried once again to stay off it as much as possible.  I also had my final wedding dress fitting (!!!), and it really started to sink in that I’m getting married REALLY SOON!

Thursday 11/13/14:
I went to see Lyric Theatre’s production of “The Producers.”  Lots and lots of people I know were involved with the show, so I pretty much had to go.  It was opening night, and afterwards there was a champagne reception in the lobby of the theatre.  It was to see all of my friends, including some people I haven’t seen since college, and it’s making me really excited to audition for Legally Blonde in December 😀  When I got home (at 11:45 pm, mind you), I decided to bust out some squats, single leg lifts, clamshells, push-ups, and a plank, because, why not?

Friday 11/14/14:
Thankfully, my foot was starting to feel a little better, but I didn’t want to push it and risk hurting myself more, especially after all the walking and standing I did on Thursday night, so I just took another rest day.  Ben and I met up with some friends at Vermont Tap House for dinner (delicious wood-fired pizza), and went to see Interstellar.  It was really, really good.

Saturday 11/15/14:
Saturdays seem to be the days where I clean.  I vacuumed the entire basement, cleaned our room, and did laundry.  Then Ben and I pretty much had a date night at home.  We drank a few beers, and worked on our wedding playlist, while dancing around the kitchen and generally being all adorable and in love cause we were ONE WEEK AWAY FROM OUR WEDDING!

Sunday 11/16/14:
After getting up decently early and having a good breakfast, I babysat most of the day for an adorable 15 month-old.  He ended up falling asleep in my lap around 4 so I got to read the rest of the time.  And the best part is, the mother paid me TWICE what I had asked, so it was a total win.

Hey guess what, guys?  I’M GETTING MARRIED ON SATURDAY!!!  Holy crap.  That means that this week is probably not going to be a very good workout week, especially with my foot still feeling kind of ouchy (It’s actually better this morning than it has been in over a week, but I’m not holding my breath, because it tends to get worse as the day goes on), but I’m going to do my best to keep up with some body-weight exercises at home.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday Free-For-All (Twenty-Two)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

The theme of this week’s Friday-Free-For-All is “I have awesome coworkers.”  Read on to find out why.

Everyone in my office ambushed me yesterday with a wedding gift.  I got a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisies (my favorite flower!), a card, and gift certificates to the salon where I’m getting my hair done, the salon where I’m getting my nails done, and for a massage.  I almost cried, I was so blown away by their thoughtfulness and generosity.  No matter how small your wedding is, it’s still expensive, and these gift certificates are going to take care of a large chunk of the financial burden of making me look pretty on my wedding day.

Photo Nov 13, 8 13 03 AM

One of my coworkers hand made a gorgeous necklace and earrings for me to wear on my wedding day.  She made them especially for me to match my colors, and they’re absolutely beautiful.  I’m a lucky girl.  I didn’t get any pictures because the lighting in my office sucks, but you can be sure there will be lots of pics from next weekend!

I got a Fitbit Flex!  Another coworker wasn’t using hers anymore because it wasn’t syncing well with her phone, and when I happened to mention I wanted one, she gave hers to me!  Talk about serendipity! And awesome coworkers, of course!  I’m excited to hopefully up my activity level during the day, and learn more about my sleeping habits.  Of course, my excitement is tempered a bit because of my next point:

I am an injured runner.  Somehow, I messed up my left foot.  It’s extremely frustrating, because I’m fairly certain the initial injury was not caused by running.  After the half marathon on November 2, my feet were a-okay, fine.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, everything was hunky-dory in foot-land.  But Wednesday, I noticed it was a little painful when walking or standing.  I biked at the gym on Wednesday night, and then didn’t do anything even remotely exercise-like for the rest of the week.  Then this Monday, genius that I am, I decided that maybe running would help stretch it out.  Rookie mistake.  While running, it didn’t really hurt any more or less than it had before.  But after I finished my 2.5 miles?  I was totally lame.  It HURT to walk and I limped around the rest of the day.  Since then, walking has been no fun (hence why the Fitbit is slightly less exciting than it otherwise might be).  Thankfully, it seems to be getting better.  The pain peaked on Wednesday, and is getting progressively less.  I’m just trying to sit still as much as possible, keep it elevated when I can, and NOT RUN UNTIL IT’S BETTER.

no running

Do you have a Fitbit or other wellness tracking device?  Do you think it helps motivate you to be more active?


Friday Free-For-All (Nineteen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

Running is a cruel, vindictive mistress.  I took all of last week off from running due to general burnout.  Then, I didn’t run the first half of this week due to a vicious head-cold.  I finally made it to the treadmill last night with the goal of completing at least a 5k.  I started out nice and slow, but I knew I was responsible for cooking dinner, so I gradually picked up the pace throughout the course of the run in order to get done and get home faster.  About 1 mile in, I noticed that my right groin/hip was a little twinge-y, but I carried on, focusing on good form, sure that it was just complaining about running again after an extended break.  I finished with a respectable 5k time of 29:40, and went home, where my hip continued to complain.  I stretched and rolled and went to bed, worried.  Sure enough, I woke up this morning and it’s still not happy with me.  I wouldn’t call it a full-blown injury (very minor pain), but it could definitely progress if I’m not careful.  This is really poor timing.  I’m supposed to run a half marathon in 9 days.  I know it’s probably my fault for not taking it as easy as I should have after not running for a week and a half, but it feels a teeny bit like the Running Gods are punishing me for taking time off.  Now I’m worried because this weekend was my last chance to get a double digit run in before the half next weekend, and I’m not sure I a) should even try to do it, or b) would be able to even if I do attempt it.  I’m planning to do some gentle yoga and more stretching tonight to see if that helps, and I may put my long run off until Sunday to give my leg a chance to figure itself out.

Ben’s bachelor party is this weekend.  He is very excited.  His cousin Will is even making the trip over from Rochester, NY, which is about a 7 hour drive on a good day.  This means that I’ll have Saturday night all to myself.  I’ll most likely be home in my PJs drinking wine and playing video games, because I’m not actually having a bachelorette party.  What’s that you say?  How come I’m not having one?  Quite frankly, that’s just not my scene.  I don’t need a “final hoorah” before getting married because I know that getting married isn’t going to prevent me from having fun and seeing my girlfriends when I want to, and the whole “let’s go to the bars and get wasted” thing is really not my scene anymore.  Not to mention the fact that my schedule is jam-packed right now, so trying to add another official “event” into the mix would stress me right the fuck out.  So yeah.  I might just call up one of my girlfriends and see if she wants to watch Disney movies in our PJs while eating ice cream.  Definitely more my speed.


Bagels with cream cheese are one of the most perfect foods on this earth.  I’m currently eating a whole wheat bagel with plain cream cheese, and I’m pretty much in romantic love with it right now.  Ben had better watch out–I might decide to marry this bagel instead of him.  Just kidding.  Imma eat this bagel.

Have you ever dealt with an injury/strain right before a big race?  Any advice?

What’s your favorite breakfast food?