Monday, November 28, 2011

Please Place Your Seats In the Upright Position...

...because the crazy is taking off.

Remember when I said "let's run a marathon in Donegal in 2013"? Yeah, I don't either but apparently I did. I think I was too busy listening to Ciaran McMenamin's sexy, sexy voice to pay attention to what I was typing. (That man needs to start doing books on tape STAT! It's probably the only way I'd ever make it past the first four chapters of Twilight.) I also mentioned it to a few people in real life, partially in jest and partially in "wouldn't that be fun" until three of them (serious runner types) challenged me back to make it happen. And could I plan a tour of Ireland while I'm at it?

With three actual runners interested in attending the race and two friends who just want to come along to cheer* (and drink in the pubs tour the island), I've started looking into what it would take to make this a possibility. While I know that September 2013 is a looooong way off, getting people thinking about it now (and possibly saving) will hopefully make it easier to get people to commit to it when the time comes. (If the time comes, there are still no guarantees at this time.)

For the reason why I picked Donegal of all the places in Ireland to do a marathon, it's all about the beautiful pub countryside and people. Plus the run looks like a fun, low-key event with hilarious race rules. Also, the eyes of the cow medal light up. They had me at "[a]nyone consistently getting in the way of cows behind them will be be beaten!" and now they've got a light up participation medal? My heart just skipped a beat!

If this does go ahead, please understand that non-runners will also be welcome. My hope is that we can find a nice balance between a small-ish group but making it large enough to be able to work out some travel deals so I'll probably aim for 12 people. Again, this is just to get you guys thinking about it.

As for my current state: back is getting better but it's still slow going. Legs are still very smooth considering what they were like after three weeks of no shaving. I have decided to rewatch all the extended Lord of the Rings** movies because I'm a giant dork and the nights are getting dark so early. This is after I finished watching the entire Underworld trilogy (even the crappy 2nd one which I only watch because Scott Speedman - who can't act, let's be honest - runs around shirtless for most of it). Sadly, that pretty much has you up to date on my life right now!

*and this isn't counting people who've expressed interest but not an actual commitment to coming.

**that's right, extended. I'm a hard-core nerd, yo!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's a Miracle

I was supposed to have a big blogging day today (mostly over here) but then plans got in the way and now I have to go be social. I know! How dare my friends expect me to actually want to see them?!? This is why I prefer my imaginary friends: they are always on my schedule.

Okay, okay. So it's nice to see people and be social and productive and, and, and... but I did have to pop on to pass on some very important information: after three weeks of not being able to bend over, I CAN FINALLY SHAVE MY LEGS!!!!

Perhaps that's an overshare but I'm just so happy to have smooth legs again that I don't really care. This is obviously a sign that things in the back department are improving. This week: smooth legs. Next week: back flips! That's how it goes, right?

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend with your own WOO-HOO!! moment.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Injury Update

Having never had a back injury which has taken this long to heal, I started getting nervous that I had done some serious damage. I mean, it's over two weeks since and I still get out of bed looking something like my grandpa did when he was in his 90's. The most recent person I know with a back injury had to have surgery she did so much damage and 16 months later she still doesn't have full motion back. That thought kept circling in the back of my mind every time I felt pain back there.

The one positive is that the period of sustained back pain (as opposed to the 'only when I move the wrong way' pain) is now limited to the first two hours after I get up. Surely, that's a step in the right direction. I sent an email to a friend of a friend who's a physiotherapist about expected recovery time. Subsequent emails throughout the course of this morning have made me feel much better that I haven't actually done anything serious, and now I have a few handy-dandy exercises to do along with some light-stretching/yoga poses.

The downside is that week three of my goals looks exactly like week two... and week one... and probably like week four, if I'm being honest. Injuries suck. Instead of bore you with "hey, I'm aiming to walk... again!" for the next two weeks, I'm going to hold off on officially posting goals until they're of something more exciting... like 'bending over without groaning'! Because right now, that would be really exciting for me. [See previous comment about injuries sucking.]

In the mean time, expecting posting to be sporadic and/or a pity party. Feel free to bring the ticker tape.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holding Steady

Other than two days when I decided not to walk (once due to my back being sore again, once due to driving up island to visit family), I rocked last week's goal. Sadly, my back is still a bit of an issue. While I'm still noticing improvement, my injury is in an annoying location that I tweak anytime I sit down or bend over. Full recovery is going to take longer than I originally hoped.


It does, however, make writing this week's goals very simple: walk 20 minutes every day... again. I'm going to up the ante a wee bit and add two easy sessions of yoga. I'm hoping it will help with the back issues.

The downside is that I'm lacking in blogging mojo because you can only talk about not being able to do things for so long before you feel it's better to just shut up. Curse you, back pain! CURSE YOU!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Goal: Heal Quicker!

Last week I set two simple goals: don't skip dance class, and go for a long walk. I went to dance class... and then failed to do anything else for the rest of the week. Even my at-home goals suffered because it's hard to crochet when you're lying on your back or clean out your fridge when you can't bend over.

I have a very quiet weekend, what with the laying on a heating pad and all. While my mobility has vastly improved, bending over is still pretty much a no-go area at the moment (so is sitting up without back support). I tried a bit of a walk on Sunday to meet up with my mom and by the end of the 20 minutes, I knew that I had reached my limit for physical activity for the day. Boo-urns! I had thought I was getting better but that was a wake up call.

I had to revamp my list of fitness goals for this week as one of the goals was weight training. It's really hard to work around back pain. I can't just work upper body because of a knee problem or lower body because of a shoulder issue. Also, not being able to walk for extended periods of time... also difficult to work around.

Sigh. So much for my 'off to a good start' gumption.

Still, the pain won't last forever and I can still do small things so I'm committing to walking for 20 minutes every day. It's not much but it's something and I'll adjust as the back improves. It's just something to make sure I don't spend the whole week sitting on the couch!

If my back feels better sooner rather than later, I'll throw 2 yoga sessions onto that list but I don't want to push myself too quickly.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Back" At It

I almost didn't go to dance last night. I hadn't slept well, I was cranky, and it was pouring. It was an argument with myself but I dragged my wet, sorry ass up the stairs to the dance studio still not entirely convinced that I had made the right decision. There is something almost addictive about the sound of djembes and doundouns.

We started by going over the sofa dance (it's the name of the rhythm of the hunter's dance. Get your minds out of the gutter, you sickos!) before breaking into two groups and and performing for each other. When it was my turn to perform, I gave it my all. The other dancers noticed, the drummers noticed, and I fed off that energy. Even when we reached the end and I just wanted the dance to end but Pete (the lead djembe) decided it would be more awesome to just keep playing but faster, I kept myself going.*

When the song ended, I wandered over to the seated dancers and jokingly collapsed on the floor. As I 'fell', I felt something shift in my back. When I went to get up, I felt it shift further and my back cried out a little. I figured I work the pain out over the next 30 minutes.

No such luck. I couldn't twist in either direction without pain. I excused myself from the dance floor to sit down and stretch. I couldn't sit without pain, I couldn't bend over without pain. In short, I could stand incredibly still and that was about it.

We had a business meeting for Matoto after the dance class and I tried to fix the back pain with the consumption of beer. Dull the pain, all that jazz. Either that's only a myth or I didn't drink enough ;) I would have had a bath with Epsom salts when I got home (how did injured people function before Epsom salts? Seriously, how?) but I haven't cleaned my bath since before Ireland (I'm a shower girl) and there was no way I was bending over to clean it.

I popped a few pain killers, laid down on the heating pad and promptly got "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" stuck in my head. Because that's what everyone wants running through their head when they're in too much pain to get up and put on music: Smashing Pumpkins. Although it did kind of fit with my whole 'I'm pissy and in pain' mood.

While my back is feeling better (and I was finally able to bend over and clean up the hairball in the hall this morning), my level of mobility is still limited. Walking is fine for short distances, but I look like I'm 87 when I try and turn, bend, or sit. Damn, squats are out? Shucks!

Now, I think it's time for another back pain beer!

*In set West African Dance (as opposed to the traditional circle dance), you do the one move (or collection of moves) until the djembe plays the break and you move to the next move. Be nice to your drummers, people. If they hate you, they can keep you stuck in one move for-ev-ah! I was about two moves away from yelling "play the f*cking break" at Pete last night... and we get along!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goal Slacking

I have finally set my fitness goals for this week: have my fitness goals ready to go for next Monday!

Obviously, I'm as awesome at this whole 'goal setting' thing as I am at this 'staying on track' thing.

I actually did set a few fitness goals this week but they were small because I set a lot of non-fitness goals and I didn't want to bog myself down with lists. I still have to write 'thank you' letters to everyone we stayed with in Ireland (yes, write as in pen to paper with my best penmanship), I need to go through my spice cupboard and my fridge and clean them out, I need to find a job, I want to bake some Zupfe, I'm working on a craft project involving spray paint, I'm trying to set aside 30 minutes a day to crochet, and I stupidly decided to give Nanowrimo a shot... again.

I looked at the list above and wrote down the following fitness goals: don't skip dance class, and go for a long walk at some point. I'm aiming big this week!

Despite the lack of concrete fitness goals for this week, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I really want out of the six months (the length of my journal) so while I have been lackluster in actually setting my weekly goals, they've never really been that far from my mind. I've gotten them figured out for next week and will be doing some of them this week (doing yoga in the mornings, for example) but I don't want the added guilt of not achieving them when I already have a full plate.

I may be the only person who has to write 'write to-do list' on her to-do list.