Month-Long Week of Sickness

I believe the worst is over.
I think we both are on the road to full recovery, finally.
Has it really only been a week and 3 days since Hubby brought home the cold? It’s felt more like a month long battle for blood, snot, and glory and for the most of it, we weren’t winning.

Last Friday, 5/19th, Hubby came home with a cold that knocked him flat on his butt and I spent all weekend trying to care for him. Sunday night, 5/21th, I felt my tonsils and lymph nodes begin to swell…Oh gods no…

I’m screwed…and I was.

Monday I forced myself to go to work (while sick with a cold and a yeast infection, but had to take Tuesday off because I had nothing in the tank.
Wednesday, Hubby and I returned to work again and made it through Thursday, though my left eye was having some itching and some strange gunk that I hadn’t experienced before. Hubby actually had a half day WFH on Friday so as long as he got through Thursday he would be fine.

Thursday evening all hell broke loose as I had to call into work again for Friday because my eye was literally crying the same phelgm that I was hacking up. Boogers coming out of your eye was just too much to handle. I hit a CVS Minute Clinic the next morning hoping the nurse would say ‘pink eye’ and prescribed something.

 

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Covering the eye in case it was pink eye so it wouldn’t spread.

Nope, because apparently, I was bleeding from my eye. Fuck, Fuck, Damnit!

After crying in my car, in pain, half blind, coughing desperately thinking “do I have enough funds in the HSA account since we haven’t made our $3k deductible?” I said a few additional curse words and found an eye doctor willing to squeeze me in for an emergency appointment in 2 hours, less than a mile from home.

 

I thanked my lucky stars because it’s nearly unheard of to find a specialist open on a Friday before a Holiday weekend, must less with an opening to fit a new patient.

I returned home and began hacking my head off in the middle of walking up the stairs. Bad move, considering my coordination. With one tiny misstep, I tweaked my lower back. I was bed ridden for two hours on the heating pad, seriously wondering what did I do to anger any God(ess)es or if Fate just wanted to roll everything into this week, before the move in June.

I crab walked into the office 2 hours later.
The good news, it wasn’t the standard pink eye, so not as contagious. Yay! Right?
Nope…

The bad news, it was acute bacterial conjunctivitis, a severe case, and a major concern. Due to my vicious hacking up phlegm, I had burst blood vessels, resulting in a subconjunctival hemorrhage as well. There was a risk that the bacterial infection could transmit into the vessels via the hemorrhage causing blindness. Especially, since the Cold wasn’t through with me yet.
This recipe for disaster was quickly averted with potent antibiotic drops to last me through the following week. I have to sleep with it bandaged so it doesn’t spread via my pillow, just in case.

 

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Halloween came early.

Since Friday, the coughing has lessened from constant phlegm rockets to a more post nasal drip annoyance. Hubby and I still can’t sleep through the night but the hack attacks are less frequent and I might be getting 4 – 5 hours of deep sleep instead of 2-3 light dozing.

A few tips and tricks I’m gonna suggest when you and your S.O. get sick together.

 

  1. Buy tissues in bulk and buy 2 bulk packs. We’ve gone through 9 boxes of tissues collectively and have 4 more unopened packs left.
  2. Buy bulk water. Don’t use glasses and tap/water coolers. You will not have the energy to wash dishes constantly and you don’t want to reuse contaminated glasses by “assigning” a glass to yourself. You’ll just be sick longer.
  3. Microwave foods are your friends. Soups, mac and cheese, Jack Daniels heat and serve pulled meats, soft breads, and soft snack bars. You won’t have the energy to cook and favorite foods will not sound good. Right now being healthy is making sure you eat and get calories in so your body can try to fight the cold. Forget the salad and make the easy mac.
  4. Each to his own but we’ve found the Alka-Seltzer Plus medicine brand to be the best action. Two types: Severe Cough, Mucus, and Congestion (Day and Night); Alka-Seltzer Plus Day and Night. Pair those with Delsym for throat irritation (night time).
  5. Overuse of medicated cough drops will cause upset stomachs. Consider Ricola, if you are getting OTC meds. Ricola does have sugar free varieties in case of diabetic issues.
  6. Decide early on who is gonna be the food/drug runner. We all know that someone (though my bet is on the females) will have a better constitution to handle being sick and still get necessary shit done. There is a stereotype that men tend to be big babies when they get sick. In my marriage, when my husband is down and out…he is very much Down and OUT, so the tasks fall to me. That’s just the way it is. Accept it and move on. You can grumble while running the errands without the SO in the car.
  7. To S.O. who is not the drug/food runner in the relationship – Spoil the hell out of your sweetheart because they are just as sick as you are but putting aside their sickness to take care of you both so you can rest and heal.
  8. Keep multiple trashbags by your bed. The pile of tissues will be utterly absurd. Remember I said we’ve gone through 9 boxes this week? Where did you think they went after use? Yep, the floor. Energy conservation guys, clean up when you think straight.
  9. Know that you both can, and probably will, get on each others’ nerves. Sick and tired does not make for romantic times, only short fuses. Frustration tears will happen, just sniffle and snuggle through them.
  10.  Travel size hand sanitizer bottles EVERYWHERE.

 

No Runs this Week

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In my last post, I might have mentioned that Hubby came down with a cold from work Friday night and after playing nurse all weekend the symptoms kept up upon me too. The first sign was feeling my lymph nodes/tonsils swelling up like sponges hitting the water. I love my husband (and do not condone domestic violence) but man, I wanted to punch his leg cause I knew…oh I knew, what was coming next. <BEEEP!>

The first stage, a painful sore throat with no other symptoms, always scares me, I’ve had tonsillitis several times and that is much worse than a cold. One cold bug does not manifest the same way for each person, so I’m terrified that it’ll transform into the vilest of throat pains.

I forced myself to go to work yesterday because I already have most of my PTO time booked for next month’s move and I also needed a break from the sick husband. I was relieved, to a small degree, when the drainage/cough crud began later that afternoon. This was very good, no tonsillitis. I can breathe…ermm cough in relief.
I stayed at work as long as possible until my afternoon reporting was completed. Then I booked it around 2:15pm to go to the store and get soft foods for the two of us.

Soups, soft rolls, baked beans, easy mac and cheese, and that pre-cooked jack daniels pulled meat trays seem to be the winning ticket when you have a sore throat but your body needs substance.
I would also include instant oatmeal and peanut butter/ jam English muffins for breakfast and snacks. Nature Valley has a soft baked oatmeal squares that are a delicious choice and remind me of coffee cake.
A smart move I made this time was purchasing bottled water. When we’re sick we tend to stay in bed, and our water cooler is downstairs. So it’s common problem that we do not stay hydrated when our bodies need it.

I slept until about 7:30pm and made dinner (yay! nukeables!) and the easy mac was very warm and soothing for the throat. I figured it would cause coughing, but it was divine!

Now it’s Tuesday, and a sick day for the both of us (Hubby on #2), but I’m anticipating being at work tomorrow because I have a secret weapon for these types of colds.
Forcible Hacking. Yep, it sounds just like it is.

Morning and evening you bend over the sink with running water and forcibly cough the crud up until you think your throat will bleed. This gets a lot out and also loosens the nasal cavities so you can get some out with a tissue. Then it’s a spritz throat numbing spray and a cough drop and tuck yourself into bed.
Hubby still has the coughing fits but I’m not and that’s only because I get it out of the way as much as possible so I can sleep.

Needless to say, my running this week will be zero. This cold will take at least a week to run its course and my body will need recovery time, as all its energy is going into healing right now.

I wish you all happy and healthy runs!

 

 

Turtle report: C25K W1/D2

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I’m late to posting this but I’ve been taking care of a sick husband for the last 2 days and somehow this has actually helped my weight loss (which doesn’t make much sense).

Date: 5/17/2017
Time: after work around 4pm
Weather: Pre- Summer warning. AKA 92 degrees, hair dryer winds and humid
Mood: I’m gonna finish. Then I’ll play some Ingress…..afterward: ” UGH, melting…car…need car.” Ingress was not played.
Headspace: Little hard to switch gears from thinking about work. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about how hot this summer was going to be.
Weight: 321ish lbs. I haven’t been doing dailies this week
Plan Mileage: none
Actual Mileage: just over a mile
Gear Notes: left shoe is still feeling loose. I only have 140 miles on this pair so they should be holding up fine, but I’m beginning to think that due to my weight if the standard 300 miles is too high. Logically, they would degrade faster as the weight goes up. Good thing I have a second pair ready in the wings.

There were some stretch breaks as my calves and my peroneal muscle was not having fun on this particular run. I chalked that up to waiting too long between runs and not stretching and rolling like a should be (aka daily). The main goal was to just finish and get it done after work. Partially, I thought about hitting the treadmill but knowing how summers can be here I might as well start acclimating now.

So now it’s been 3 days since my last run, mostly due to the fact that we had rounds of storms since Thursday. Then Friday night Hubby came home with a “summer cold”, which knocked him flat on his ass.
I’m torn between being the doting nurse and saying suck it up. After all, I don’t get a rest day when I have a cold (still have to do the chores, cook etc). I love him but when he gets sick it takes everything out of him. I’m trying to be understanding and making sure he takes his meds and rests this weekend. He doesn’t get sick days at his job (contractor still) so he really needs to rest as much as possible.

I just fed him breakfast and he’s already asleep again, while I’m plotting the possibility of running between the raindrops today. Hmmm….

Now the strange thing is that yesterday I didn’t do anything but a quick med run and dinner/grocery run for a single day. The rest of the day I was up here next to him crocheting granny squares and rewatching Vikings on my laptop via Prime Video. It was a nice way to relax the day away – something we haven’t done in about a month.

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So today when I got on the scale I was a bit shocked that it reflected back 318.8 lbs. I’ve barely been running and Saturday it was more hydration and rest than snacking and moving about. it doesn’t make sense but I’ll take it! This definitely proves that maybe not doing something every minute of the weekend is a good thing.

Well, I got to begin the laundry and dishes while Sir Snore catches some more Zzzzs. I hope you all have a nice dry weekend and keep running!

 

Turtle Report: C25K W1/D1

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Howdy! Back in the day, I use to write up “Speedbump” training logs to keep me accountable and document the tiniest factors that contribute to the outcome of a workout such as diet choices, hydration, mental space, and weather with some funny musings and any pictures. Today it’s coming back!

Date: 5/14/2017, Mother’s Day
Time: OTD 7am
Weather: low 63, breezy, sunrise just happened.
Mood: Awake, surprisingly. I was up until 11pm writing my last blog post so I really wasn’t sure how the wake up was going to go. Work up naturally about 6:30am YAY!
Headspace: Clear (again, surprised it wasn’t foggy due to the late bedtime).
Weight: 321.2 this morning, so that’s the official number to tackle.
Plan Mileage: Finish W1/D1. Pace and distance, not a concern.
Actual Mileage: 1.38 miles / 36:50 min
Gear Notes:
Took the Griffin iTrip BlueTooth adapter for my Bose headphones for their first run together. The adapter works as a receiver for my phone so instead of having the headphones physically plugged in (and limiting my mobility) the phone just bluetooths from inside my pocket/vest. The iTrip also has track buttons which my Bose headphones are missing, which is my only gripe with them. There was some small static twice but not enough for me to be annoyed with. I’ll see if it continues.

My Osprey vest did have a small malfunction today with the rib straps that shimmied loose enough that the back of my left arm was hitting a sharp edge. I hadn’t noticed it before but it did require a gear dump and fix before continuing. Had this been a longer run it might have been more annoying. I’m still in absolute love with this vest!

Run completed! I got to play “tag’ with a few local cottontails and a crow family as I returned home. Once back, I got did my stretching, rolling and even had energy left for a 10 sec plank before coming upstairs to wake the Hubby.

Trying to be Better

I keep thinking I should blog more but when I sit down to the computer I blank on what to say. I feel I have to tailor everything that I say to fit a niche. Well I’m not niche-able, hell my ass has problems fitting in some seats so how is it going to fit in a niche?

The last few months have been a blur and not a running blur, I’m sad to say. It was my choice and I’m living with the results. Hubby developed an ankle/tendon issue and could not even walk or take stairs easily. Refusing to go see a doctor (MEN!), we got him a slip brace and it helped quite a bit. We’ve been doing walking on the weekends playing Ingress (his fault, now I’m hooked) to get his ankle back under him and see if running will be in the future. He’s put on weight and mine has crept up about 5-6lbs in the last 3 months. Even with eating mostly healthy, the lack of movement is my biggest issue.

Which brings me back to today. Hubby and I went out for a spot of Ingress after work at a local park and it’s prom season. My lovely April of bluebonnets and storms have given way for slim and trims in sexy gowns to take over my quiet spots. I won’t lie to you – every self-esteem issue came up because there was no way any hot blooded male would not notice those barely covered youthful curves. I don’t fault my Hubby for a quick look but I fault myself for the negative mindset and the internal anger I should not have directed at him due to my own insecurities. It wasn’t fair and I guilt tripped myself all the way home. I am my worst enemy.

Upon arrival, I went straight to the scale. I had only eaten a Schlotzsky’s sandwich and then my usual sandwich/salad at Paradise Bakery so It’s not like I had McDs and Burger King and CiCi’s buffet for my meals. I did okay, not lean and green but certainly not trash food.

323lbs at the end of the day. Well, fuck. Fine. I accept the number cause its the truth. But I don’t have the like accepting it.
Then I checked FB. My galpal (who got me into running) was back at Disney for her 3rd round of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Challenge. Sigh. *hangs head in shame*

My ultimate running goal is a 2 parter: drop 175lbs (ideal weight of 150lbs) and run the Disney marathon weekend with her.

So what the Fuck have I been doing? Sitting on my ass bitching about work and no time to run. I get up at 4am to get ready for work, get home by 5pm and then making dinner an hour later and then in bed by 8-9pm. I suck at putting me first.

Well, that’s changing in less than a month, because we are moving. Yes, after 5 years of living in Plano we will be moving to the lovely Valley Ranch area in Irving.

I’ll be cutting my commute from 20 miles to 4 (45 min one way down to 6min). I won’t have to get up early to travel before traffic hits the highway, heck I won’t even have to touch a highway! Biking to work would actually be possible (going home might be more complicated).
BEST NEWS, I will be a stone’s throw from Sam Houston Trail Park, a 22-mile loop + 4 other parks linked via a greenbelt to total up to about 29 miles, I think (fuzzy number). I just have to cross one side street and I’m in the park!

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So now, there is no excuse. I’ll have a 5 minute (maybe 10 minute tops) drive home at 4pm. It would give me literally over 2 hours before Hubby would be home for dinner. I can run a 5k in an hour. This will be a training dream come true. I’m looking so forward to it that I’ve gotten in contact with the

This will be a training dream come true. I’m looking so forward to it, that I’ve gotten in contact with the IRC and considering some social runs which I’ve never done outside of races.

Another change I’m making to my running is only signing up for 3-4 races a year (the big ones I care about). This ties into my financial goal of paying off my credit cards/ student loans/ car loan debt before I’m 36. Six more years. (Happy side note – the car will be paid off in 10 months!)

After some sporadic runs in the last few months, I can tell you that I’m completely unfit to race. Walking, I’m great – 2 hours of energy with a smile… but to run again, like under a 20-minute pace? It’s going to require redoing my C25K training again.

So with a pending move on the horizon and the Purge of stuff well underway, I can only commit to doing my C25k training right now. I’m not going to beat myself up by setting the bar too high and becoming all consumed by running (hey I have other hobbies!). Plus this is Texas y’all. No one in their right minds begins hard training in summer! 9 weeks of 3x week, starting tomorrow would put me mid-July to complete it. I can hold steady that distance and work on pace through August/September. Then begin adding distance in October when we level out of the 90s…hopefully.

I don’t know how often I will write in here this time. I’m tentatively gauging for once a week as the only time I have to write is on the weekends and pre-moving will begin impacting that soon enough.

It’s 10pm so I’m gonna turn in so I will actually get up at 7am to get my run on. Have a Great Weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Appetite and Anxiety

I meant to write earlier this week regarding running gear but life made an abrupt right and my anxiety got triggered at work and home.  Anyone who has suffered from it knows that it an uphill battle. An anxious mind is a strong, powerful mind, as anyone who has tried to rationalize themselves out of anxiety will tell you. An anxious mind can outrun, outpower and outwit rationality and logic any day of the week.

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My trigger? Money and the fear of lack thereof. Even though we are fine and financially stable the idea of finances, bills, moving in June, and my personal conviction of paying off credit cards down to a manageable sum will stir up my racing “what if” thoughts every time. I was already dealing with some stress at work and Hubby texted me that he finished out taxes and this time we owed…to the tune of  $932.00 (he had been laid off and we survived on severance from Thanksgiving 2015 -February 2016). He was not happy, promptly forgot my trigger and told me at work.

Queue with the racing thoughts in 3,2,1…

I start thinking of bills; the pending move; how expensive apartments are; bills; Hubby not on permanent yet at his company…around and around the thoughts rush. My hands start shaking. I get a lump in my throat. Tears prick my eyes and all the while I know I’m having an anxiety attack and that logically I have nothing to be concerned about. Then I get super annoyed at myself while trying to steady my breathing and stop the racing thoughts. The symptoms subside for a while but then any stressor can key up the racing thoughts again.

The biggest tips I’ve found that help:

1. Distract yourself. I keep a positive quote book on my desk so I pick a page and read it.

2. At home have a signal so that your family knows you are either in the middle of an attack or riding the end of one. I have stuffed german shepherd that I latch onto. Hubby knows what that means.

3. Be AWARE:
A: Accept the anxiety. Don’t try to fight it.
W: Watch the anxiety. Imagine it is outside of you and you are just observing it.
A: ‘Act normally’. Carry on as if nothing is happening. Panic will soon ‘get bored’.
R: Repeat the above steps until you start to relax again.
E: Expect the best – it will pass quicker and quicker the more times you do this.


This was a rough week for the emotional roller coaster and the scale also reflects it. We cut spending on groceries this week due to the timing of our paychecks and rent so 2 days I ate pizza at work (the 1st and 3rd). What does surprise me… and makes me think I need to up my caloric intake…is that the weigh-ins on the next day I dropped more than a pound. Also when we ate at Carrabba’s on the 30th for our anniversary (the full spread of appetizer, salad, main, dessert) I only gained .6 the next day and soon dropped that as well.

4th:319.6
3rd: 321.2 (pizza)
2nd: 320.8
1st: 322.0 (pizza)
31st: 322.8
30th: 322.2 (annyv. dinner)

So I think we are going to change up our dinner habits this week. Instead of going the uber healthy route I’m looking to make a few the below recipes that are a little bit heavier but wholesome.

I found all of these at Budget Meals on Facebook. I highly suggest if you use this social media platform to like them and enjoy the daily suggestions. If not, I’m sure you can get emails.

Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Skillet Shepherd Pie
CopyCat Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Biscuit and Gravy Casserole 
Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
Old Fashion Goulash
Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

My grocery list is ready, we’ll try the Broccoli Rice and Cheese first but I’m going to add grilled chicken tenders and the onion soup mix suggestion. I’ll take some pictures and let ya’ll know how it turns out!

Not just sore muscles

Well, my back is still in recovery from the race, much to my annoyance. I’m rearranging my schedule to sit on lacrosse balls and my PVC pipe “foam roller” instead of hitting the gym today. My upper glutes are the worse – if I move to tuck my tailbone, I feel a deep ache pull on my low back.  I was in more pain during that race than I want to admit and today I have an empty water bottle wedged between my lower back and the chair trying to desperately get the tightness to relax.

I use to be really good about getting regular massages with most of the VIP membership going towards 2-hour deep tissue abuse to try and loosen my muscles. Sometimes it worked and others just did not get deep enough to the root of the problem. Only one therapist explained to me that it wasn’t my inflexibility causing the problem, but the fact that I was “fascia bound” so bad that my muscles could not move.

That day I learned Fascia is.

Fascia is made up primarily of densely packed collagen fibers that create a full body system of sheets, chords and bags that wrap, divide and permeate every one of your muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs. Every bit of you is encased in it. You’re protected by fascia, connected by fascia and kept in taut human shape by fascia…

 It wraps around each of your individual internal parts, keeping them separate and allowing them to slide easily with your movements. It’s strong, slippery and wet. It creates a sheath around each muscle; because it’s stiffer, it resists over-stretching and acts like an anatomical emergency break. It connects your organs to your ribs to your muscles and all your bones to each other. It structures your insides in a feat of engineering, balancing stressors and counter-stressors to create a mobile, flexible and resilient body unit.

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Ever trimmed a chicken? That is fascia.

 

 

  Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your fascia maintains its optimal flexibility, shape or texture. Lack of activity will cement the once-supple fibers into place. Chronic stress causes the fibers to thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle. Poor posture and lack of flexibility and repetitive movements pull the fascia into ingrained patterns. Adhesions form within the stuck and damaged fibers like snags in a sweater, and once they’ve formed they’re hard to get rid of.”- Runners’ World

That last paragraph sums up my entire body right now. My calves only move when poked. My glutes and back, well.. my spine is protected with a sheet of armor. Hubby has actually beaten my lower back and the only takeaway was his wrists ached afterward. I’ve had massage therapists ask how do I run because my muscles just…do. not. move. period.

Last week I finally admitted that I need something that will fix my fascia so I can work out without pain. Lacrosse balls and foam rollers only stretch the tired muscles, not loosen the harden layers of connective tissue so they can move freely and optimally.  I can do plenty of yoga but as it stands my range of motion is ridiculously limited.

There was a tool (actually 3 options) to help me with this. It’s called the FasciaBlaster created by Ashley Black. She’s studied the fascia system for over 20 years and developed the tool specifically. I loved the fact she took the time to make videos of every possible demo and there is a whole YouTube library of both her tutorials and the ‘blaster” community. I like the results I see, while I’m using this for a specific reason many in the community experience fat loss, lost inches, muscle toning, flexibility and less cellulite. You could call this a body sculpting tool in all truthfulness.

 

On my birthday I placed the order for all 3 products and, to my surprise and delight, they just arrived today! Before I start using these tools I’ll take my measurements and before photos to document my success. Right now I need to get some massage oil and a 60+ inch ribbon tape measure to be authentic.  🙂 I’m so excited!