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Long time, no blog

Monday, November 15, 2010

So, there's been a lot going on with me lately. I suppose that isn't really a surprise. Usually when someone "drops out" for a while, it's because there's a lot going on.

First of all, I've been busy with work, which doesn't leave me with a lot of time for daytime Sparking. But I've also been dealing with a lot of GI issues lately. My tummy has been my biggest enemy lately. Luckily, it appears that the worst is behind me.

PT has been going well. I had my reevaluation last week and I did improve the flexibility in my calf. I went from 1 to 4. Unfortunately, I need to be at around 20. I also need to work some more on my stability and strength in that ankle.

However, I have a new fly in the ointment. You know how I had trouble with my knees a few months ago? It's back and its worse than it has been in years. I saw a orthopedic surgeon today and his diagnosis is chondromalacia. His summation, "Very common and easy to diagnose, but not that easy to treat." He also said I have some of the worst-sounding knees he's run across in his career. Which is something, I guess. He said with knees like mine, I shouldn't be running, period. Great.

I'm not sure if I necessarily accept the "never again" aspect of his diagnosis, but I do have to accept the reality that I won't be able to run the Princess Half Marathon. Besides not being able to complete my goal, the registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. So I'm out over $100. My family is still going on our vacation, so running or not, I'm going to the Expo and picking up my goodie bag and t-shirt. I'm also trying to figure out if I can walk the minimum pace. If not, rest assured, I will be cheering on my Princess Spark Teammates. You guys have been so supportive of me, so I'll definitely be there for you!

Now I just need to find an activity that I can start to think of as my primary exercise- and maybe develop a new goal. But right now, I need to get ready for my PT appointment and prepare to explain to my PT why I'm in such rough shape.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1313HARBOR 11/16/2010 3:01PM

    Bummer! But since you paid for the Princess I wouldn't give up the idea of walking (with your doc's okay, of course). Lots of time to train still. Good luck!

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POOHLA711 11/16/2010 9:31AM

    Hey lady!
First of all, welcome back! I've missed you!

Second, I'm so sorry you've been having all of these health issues. Glad to hear that your ankle is getting better and hopefully the GI issues will work themselves out.
The knee thing... Aw, nuts!!! I know it stinks to get that diagnosis, but if it were me, I wouldn't accept that answer. Do your research, get a second opinion, and do not give up. And your idea about walking the half marathon is a good one. Keep working hard, and I know you can do it!

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SIMPLY-EVA 11/16/2010 9:08AM

  Im curious about the GI problems. Did this develop due to a change in something that your eating or are you getting less water than your used to? I know for sure that this is one thing that can really put a person in a funk. I would say, try adding a hot tea to your nighttime routine. This sometimes helps things go in the right direction. (Out)

Good luck,


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RAINEMARIE214 11/15/2010 9:13PM

    Sorry to hear about your knee! Definitely listen to the doctor though. I was diagnozed with chondromalacia when I was only 19 years old. I didn't listen to what the doctor said and ended up causing more and more problems - resulting in a patella realignment at the ripe age of 21. However, the doctor too told me I would never able to run again, BUT I ran my first half marathon last Sunday. So, my sage wisdom having been there and done that at much too young an age, listen to your doc, do whatever exercises he tells you to, rest if says to, but dont give up completely! :)

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/15/2010 8:09PM

    I am so sorry to hear this!

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FUNFROG79 11/15/2010 7:46PM

    Awwwww! Sorry to hear! I think for Disney as long as u keep a 16 mile you are good! Hang in there! emoticon

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/15/2010 7:00PM

    Well, poop! I know this hasn't been easy but I love your attitude about it! I'm so sorry Jenna - it just plain sucks! (Can you tell that I am kinda angry for you?)

I know you will come up with something new to focus on for exercise and can't wait to hear about it! Hang in there and keep us posted!


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LAURIE5658 11/15/2010 6:33PM

    I am so so sorry this has happened to you BUT I am really looking forward to still giving you a hug at the end of February!!!


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I want my toe back

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Did anyone else tell the "I want my toe back" story at slumber parties or campfires?

One thing I'm not sure I mentioned is that my PT arranged for me to get a home TENS/stim pack for at least a month, with an option to buy it. Doing the electric stimulation treatments at home means that I have more time for other stuff at PT and I can do a much longer treatment. The tricky thing is, it's not really all that intuitive to use. After using it at home for several days, I finally figured out for that every home treatment I had attempted, the unit was in "standby" mode instead of active mode. So I was getting zero benefit for those days and couldn't figure out why I didn't feel better. Anyway, I now have all that straightened out and am using it properly. And how 'bout that- my ankle feels better. (Really need my ::rolleyes:: emoticon.)

Last night, I was walking back into the living room after my stim treatment and thunked my foot into an ottoman. I rarely walk around my house without shoes on, but I was temporarily unshod. I whacked my baby toe on my injured foot pretty good and I suspect it may be broken. It hurts when I stand on it or move it and it feels somewhat swollen. It also has a bruise that circles almost all the way around the base of the toe. On the other hand, it might just be badly stubbed. I know which outcome I'm hoping for!

Earlier in the day, I went to my optometrist's office for an eye exam. I've been going to the same optometrist for close to ten years, but naturally I only see him once a year. Practically the first words out of his mouth were "How much weight have you lost? You look great!" Rather than question whether I looked so horrible before, I've decided to just accept the compliment as it was meant. I *do* look great! And I'm now going to confess that I've had a huge crush on my optometrist for years, so I'm doubly flattered. He asked how I did it, and I was quick to credit Spark People and running.

I also re-colored my hair yesterday, so I am currently a sassy redhead. Don't make me angry! I don't know if they put the legendary temper in the box, too.

Oh, I forgot to mention- I talked to my PT about how much I wanted to run and asked if she could estimate when I can start again. She immediately asked if I'd tried walking yet. Not for exercise, I replied. Her short and sensible answer is "Have to walk before you can run. But don't push it too much. You're still healing." She also wants me to improve my ankle stability and calf muscle flexibility before I run again. So, there's my answer. I plan to head to the gym after PT tonight to walk and strength train. But probably not much walking with this toe annoyance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLY-EVA 11/10/2010 4:32PM

  Hee Hee! " Don't make me angry! I don't know if they put the legendary temper in the box, too. "

Thats funny! If they dont you can always say you thought they did and ride it! Everyone says red heads are firey but brunettes sizzle! Im going for the sizzle tonight!

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LITERARY_CHICK 11/5/2010 11:07AM

    I want your eye doctor. All mine ever says is how terrible my eyesight is compared to normal optically challenged people. When every statement he makes starts, "With eyesight as bad as yours...", I am getting a complex.

Congrats on somebody noticing you lost all that weight! Double congrats that it was a cute somebody.

Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 11:07:42 AM

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FUNFROG79 11/4/2010 10:15AM

    Glad you accepted the compliment! You have worked very hard!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/4/2010 1:24AM

    The big toe is the critical one for running, so if you had to break one, the little toe is the way to go.

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DRPOOH63 11/3/2010 10:30PM

    I agree and so funny because I wondered how much you had changed since your photo on this page. Sorry about the toe, it is a hard weird thing to heal from but I guess it is good all on the same foot!

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/3/2010 1:25PM

    How about a pic of that sassy redhead? Yay on the compliment - you should be so proud!

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What I most want to do right now is also what I fear most

Monday, November 01, 2010

I want to go running. It's a beautiful day with a clear, sunny sky. I mean, based on the temperature, it's also a freakin' cold day (46 deg), but that just means that I'd wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Heck, it was almost that cold when I ran a 5K in September and I was wearing a singlet and shorts. And my desire to put my ankle injury and recovery behind me and just get back to running has become so strong it's almost like a physical need. I want to be able to just throw on my running clothes and shoes, grab my iPod and water, and start my determined trudge. It's not that I ever had delusions of being a good runner or a fast runner, but I did it regularly and I was happy to do so.

Some part of me wants to just give it a shot. I'm feeling so much better. My ankles are getting stronger. My calves are getting less tight. I have virtually no pain at all in my ankle. But I'm afraid to try. I'm only halfway through PT. What if I tried running and totally screwed everything up all over again? What if I made things even worse? And I have to admit that another part of me is secretly wondering if that's what will happen anyway, even if I'm good and patient and wait until PT is over.

I'm also worried about what this is doing to my body. It's been ages since I had a real workout. I have PT three days a week and afterward, I rarely feel like going to the gym. These days, my cardio has been reduced to a mere ten minutes on a machine called a "Nu Step." It's basically a seated stair climber. I'm just so frustrated. I love PT and appreciate what it's helped me do so far, but I would give anything to be done with it.

Tomorrow will be exactly one month from the last day I ran. I feel like I'm in mourning for something that I dreaded a year ago. I've been really unsettled and on edge lately, and I think about 50% of that has been the lack of running and uncertainty of when I'll do it again.

Edited to add: So, naturally, I turned on my iPod to shut out distractions and really get down to work on work stuff and the very first song it played was ELO's "Hold On Tight (to Your Dreams)." I swear, sometimes it feels like my iPod is reading my SP blog. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 11/1/2010 4:52PM

    Hi! Oh I've known this feeling...what about walking? Just to get some fresh air. Your initial ankle injury must have been painful? Maybe try that certainly don't deserve suffering through that again! I'm don't consider myself a "great" runner but I do have the knowledge that every single time I've quit running..I've always started again. Even as painful and brutal as THAT is! It comes back faster than you know! I hope you continue to heal fast!

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KARVY09 11/1/2010 4:12PM

    What did PT say about it?

Ask em. You might be surprised. You might be able to do a light run or something C25K-ish.

I know this sucks but I also know you will be out there again!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/1/2010 4:07PM

    Have you asked your trainer?

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POOHLA711 11/1/2010 3:39PM

    Jenna, you are totally in my head right now! I haven't ran in 2 weeks and I'm DYING to. In fact, i think my hubby is looking forward to my recovery more than I am because I know I've been a total snot without my stress reliever. LOL
I know it's tough, but please wait until you get clearance from your doc to run again. Do your PT and maybe some upper body strength training to get some of that energy out.
I'll do it if you will.
Keep your head up!

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/1/2010 2:56PM

    ELO - love it!
Do not make me go all "mom" on you and tell you DON'T DO IT!
I know it's a pain not to be able to run but you know you risk being sidelined even longer if you do it and UNDO all your great PT work.
What does your trainer say about extra walking? Maybe some walking intervals until you are healed?
I thought of you today when I was running on the dreadmill (which actually wasn't too bad but I much prefer running outside) and was going to check on you to see how you were doing... now I know.
Hang in there!

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Bloggity blog blog

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today is pay day so I celebrated having money again with a cafeteria lunch. I tried out the new Cooking Light offering again. Today was pan seared tilapia, mashed potatoes with shallot parsley butter, and spicy corn. It was very good, but I'm not really a fresh fish girl. I don't care if it's from the sea, a lake, or a commercial fishery, unless it's caught and then immediately frozen, I'm going to think it tastes fishy. The mashed potatoes were delightful. I kept running into lumps of whole potato that told me, "Yup, we're made from scratch!" The corn was a bit too spicy for me, but very good. The neat thing about the Cooking Light station is that I can go to Cooking Light's website and look up the recipes (and nutritional info) online afterward. I put the calories in my Blackberry just in case, though. I also got the "light cookie" to have as a snack. I actually ate it already, because a) I wasn't sure what kind of cookie a "light cookie" is and b) I was curious about how it tasted. I figured out that it's an icebox sugar cookie with a little chocolate drizzled on it. It was all right, but it definitely tasted like a "light cookie." It was as short on distinctive flavor as it was fat and calories. All in all, I'd rather have a piece of fruit or some flavored nonfat yogurt as a dessert.

I had my 7th PT appointment last night. I think it must be going pretty well because PT Jennifer keeps adding new exercises. I have to admit, though, that some of them make me think of a Buffy quote: "Okay, you're just doing this to take funny pictures of me." One of the exercises is to stand on my injured foot only and throw a small weighted ball at a rebounder and then catch it. Anyway, some of the exercises seem kind of silly, but they definitely seem to be working. I have very little pain in my ankle and I'm gaining strength, stability and flexibility.

This weekend should be pretty nice. I'm blissfully free and unbothered this evening. Tomorrow, I have a Pampered Chef/costume party. I will either be wearing my Little Red Riding Hood costume or my Rizzo from "Grease" costume. LRR is cuter, but I haven't worn it for a couple of years. I was at least two sizes larger than I am now when I made the costume. But seriously- it's freakin' adorable (and not in a "naughty Little Red" way- my costume is strictly rated G). The Rizzo costume would fit regardless, since it's just the Pink Ladies jacket, paired with jeans and a black collared shirt and Keds. I guess I'll figure out what I'm wearing tonight.

I still don't know what I'm doing tomorrow night (my cousin and I discussed have a girls' night in with her daughter, but I haven't heard from them in a while) or whether I'm passing out candy with my niece on Sunday. But those things will all work themselves out. I'm just looking forward to getting a little more sleep this weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITERARY_CHICK 11/1/2010 11:22AM

    LOL, it is funny that you have to specifiy that your red riding hood costume is G rated. Isn't it amazing that costumes are no longer about creativity but instead about who can show the most skin?

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POOHLA711 10/30/2010 8:32AM

    I'm so happy that your recovery is going well! You will be back to training in now time! Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!! emoticon

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RAINEMARIE214 10/29/2010 4:58PM

    LOVE the Buffy quote! :)

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LAURIE5658 10/29/2010 2:38PM

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I just asked PT Candi what the heck she sees when she asks me to do a particular movement. She just grinned and said after all of her education and days upon days, years upon years of practicing PT that she had better see something. I love my PT and it sounds like you are getting alot of improvement from yours! PT rawks!

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AXISLADY 10/29/2010 2:25PM

    This was a cute blog. Thanks for sharing!

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Cooking Light at my workplace!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I was just served my lunch by the Executive Chef of "Cooking Light" magazine, Billy Strynkowski! The company I work for (actually the company the company I work for works for- I'm an onsite supplier) is introducing a new "Cooking Light" station in our already pretty impressive cafeteria. To kick it off, Chef Billy came to visit and present the first lunch offerings. They had a white chili available as a soup, but I was there for the main event: cider glazed chicken, brown butter and pecan rice, and carrots, turnips and apples. I would have to say without a doubt that it was the best lunch I've had from the cafeteria. They also had a "light cookie," but I skipped it. I'd rather have my light yogurt, my light apple and my light cheese and crackers for any snacks this afternoon! emoticon

While I was waiting, I took a moment to tell Chef Billy that I cooked the chicken and butternut squash tagine (it's one of the mag's recipes) last week and how much I enjoyed it. He seemed pleased. I've prepared quite a few recipes from "Cooking Light's" website in the past several months. I think it might be time for me to subscribe to more than just their e-mails.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEILIE2 10/31/2010 8:11PM

    WOW that was lucky!
I am going to have to check out the website.
I love pecans........... emoticon

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LITERARY_CHICK 10/28/2010 11:22AM

    With all that light food you are just going to float away!;-)

I wish we had a cafeteria who served light lunches at my workplace. While we do have a lunch vendor they typically serve greasy fried fatty foods so I usually just have some Trader Joe's Low Sodium Minestrone at my desk. You should feel honored to have an executive chef available to make delicious light meals.

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DRPOOH63 10/27/2010 11:25PM

    That is so great. How fun for you. emoticon

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ADKONKLE 10/27/2010 3:44PM

    That is awesome. Reading the description made me a little jealous. Its nice to have resouces like that at work.

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GWCANNON 10/27/2010 1:19PM

    emoticonHow Lucky are you!! It is great that they are giving you 'Light' options at work!!

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LAURIE5658 10/27/2010 10:38AM

    This blog made me drool. Seriously drool.


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BEAUTIFULANIME 10/26/2010 5:45PM

    Now that's what I call a lunch! I'm glad to hear that your cooking yummy foods. It makes me hungry lol. Magazines can have the best recipes ever.
Take care

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FOXXYROXXYD 10/26/2010 3:08PM

    Sweet! The brown butter and pecan rice sounds yummy. It all does!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 10/26/2010 1:38PM

    We took the magazine for years and still have stacks of them lying around. But we decided that we had become saturated with cooking books and mags so let the subscription drop this year. I still use their website. It is really easier to find recipes there than in a stacks of mags.

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FUNFROG79 10/26/2010 1:24PM

    Very cool! Lucky! emoticon

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