Hi there and Happy Sunday!

I slogged through a trail 10k yesterday morning and my victory was that I didn’t quit. I ran the Wolfe’s Run Trail 10K, the third and final race in a “triple crown” series held by Complete Race Solutions here on Staten Island.

not my finest race photo but it was free and that’s always a plus. It also clearly shows that this wasn’t easy for me and that means I was working hard and that means I give myself a pat on the back. Go me!

The funny thing is that last year I ran the first two races of the series but got injured before the third so I missed out on getting my last interlocking finisher’s medal.

Last year’s 2 interlocking medals

And yesterday I got that 3rd piece but it is a totally different design for 2018 than it was for 2017 so no bueno. But even so, I still feel complete now anway. HA!

this year’s missing piece

The weather was ridiculously warm. It was in the mid 70s by 10am when the race started and my body has barely had time to acclimate to running again let alone acclimate to the warm temps.

The course was set up as two 5k loops. I kid you not that I was ready to go home after that first loop and it was so hard to talk myself into going the distance.

I finished in 1 hour and 24 minutes and honestly I don’t even care what the finish time was. I’m just happy to have completed my first race of the year.

My feet are pretty banged up. I have blisters everywhere. And there were plenty of rocks and Sweetgum tree balls that irritated my poor toes.

running over the sweetgum balls….ouchie!

The course had a nice mix of terrain including about 150 feet on the beach, some multiuse paths and then some technical trails through the woods.

running on the beach

I had to walk a whole lot. The first 5k I only walked on the inclines and on the beach until I got to the wet sand. But the second 5k? I walked some downhills too. I was THAT tired.

I’m at the far left. This was the first mile before everyone smoked me and before I totally melted in the sun 🙂

There was this one moment when I realized that I hadn’t needed to look at any of the trail markers because there was always someone in front of me but by the second 5k there was no one in front of me and that meant getting to know those little orange ribbons and yellow arrow signs in the ground real well. Hey, at least I didn’t get lost!

I enjoy the races that that Complete Race Solutions puts on for so many reasons. They’re soooo enthusiastic about what they do. They take a lot of time crafting the courses and the same group of runners seem to attend each event so I like to see familiar faces even if I only know one or two really. I love that the races are all just a few minutes from home and in parks that I frequent regularly anyway. This particular park is about 1/2 mile away from my old high school and where I’d hang out all the time with my friends. It’s also the same park that has the dog park that I used to take Duncan to daily when he was a lot younger.

I’m secretly wanting to run the NJ Half in 2 weeks but I know I won’t be ready. So my next race will be in about 6 weeks when I run the Spring Lake 5 miler. I’m hoping to get stronger in the next 6 weeks. But hope is where I’ll leave it. 🙂

In non-running news Duncan is still doing the usual….

like a siamese twin.

morning nap in the warmth of the sunshine

And I’m trying not to cut myself as much at work but that’s not going so well. I usually have 3 bandaged fingers by the week’s end. LOL. It’s not just the blade that I cut myself with. The edges of the backing paper to the adhesive vinyl are so sharp I’ve ended up with paper cuts that are so deep. The thumb is my most recent self-inflicted wound.

 

So what have you been up to? Anyone running Boston tomorrow?
Do you prefer running in the heat or in the cold? Signed up for any races?

Hi there.

Happy Spring. Here in New York City we got a big dump of snow thanks to Nor’ Easter Toby. But it has mostly melted.

at the beginning of the storm

at the beginning of the storm

the morning after the storm

the morning after the storm

I got back at the beginning of the week from being away for 17 days. Away from home, away from Duncan. Needless to say it was tough. But it was for something very exciting…

Mr. SOTSS is opening a business. It’s a franchise called FASTSIGNS.

Welcome to FASTSIGNS :)

Welcome to FASTSIGNS 🙂

Basically a business that creates visual communications like signage for other businesses. In addition to traditional signage there is digital signage now added to the mix and even vehicle wraps. When Mr. SOTSS made the decision to do this I immediately jumped on board because I knew I could help him design the signs. He was really excited about the production part of it (actually building the signs). So this seemed like a great combo. This has been in the works for well over a year now and over that span it became clear that he, as the franchise owner, would be busy with many tasks at first, including the very important task of sales and that the production part is really more a dual role for the graphic designer…moi. I knew this would be a challenge for me, and as I learned while we were away, challenge is an understatement.

Let me back up for a minute and tell you about the trip which was to the corporate headquarters of FASTSIGNS, in Dallas, Texas. We had to complete a 2 week intensive training.

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

We set out back on March 2nd on a drive that would ultimately land us in Dallas, We were originally going to take our dogs which is why we opted to drive. We also thought it would be fun to see a bit of the country as we traveled (I think we covered 15 states total—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansa, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland).

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

We ended up not bringing the dogs (HARD THINGS #1: Leaving my dog for 17 days! and HARD THINGS #2: Leaving my home for 17 days when I’d never been away for longer than 8 days before.)

We started the drive through a snow storm and the first 6 hours of the trip were very stressful for us but more so for me. I legit had a panic attack in the car and asked if we could pull over. And so we found a WalMart and he got new windshield wipers and I took a few deep breaths. HARD THINGS #3 was definitely getting through the snow storm. There was an 18-wheeler trying to make it up a hill on the Interstate and kept rolling back. We were the vehicle directly behind it.

But after that we were smooth sailing and made it to Ohio where we slept for the night.

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

The next day we drove through Kentucky and into Tennessee and when we got to Nashville we walked around for a few hours.

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville

nashville-cashmuseum

music-row

 

silly timer-camera stuff

silly timer-camera stuff

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville

nashville-cashmuseum music-row

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Another Memorable Winter Vermont Weekend

Well hello strangers?

I cannot even believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted. Well, yes, I guess I can. It’s becoming quite apparent that my blogging frequency will remain this way for a while. My feet are improving slowly and I’m going to test the waters with some easy run-walking starting next week and I truly hope to run a few 5ks this spring. I also registered for the super popular Spring Lake 5 miler that I have run a few times and spectated a few times. That’s in late May. I actually ran it last year as my initial toe injury was healing but just a month later I was back to limping 🙁

 

I got back Sunday night from such a lovely weekend getaway in Vermont with Mr. SOTSS.

A historic beauty!

The Inn at Weathersfield: a historic beauty!

This year’s trip was a little different than our last 3 trips because Mr. SOTSS’ sister was getting married. So instead of going at the end of January we went a month later. And instead of going to West Dover, VT we headed a bit further north to Perkinsville, VT to the Inn at Weathersfield, where the venue of the wedding would be.

inn-weathersfield

(You can read about our previous ski weekends here, here and here) First, let me say this Inn was the most quintessential bed and breakfast and the owners Richard and Marilee were so welcoming. I couldn’t help but notice this note that Marilee wrote to Thomas, the original owner of the Inn (when it was just his residence back in the late 1700s)

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We arrived Wednesday night just before dinner and basically had dinner and settled in.

A toast by the fire.....welcome to Vermont!

A toast by the fire…..welcome to Vermont!

Fresh baked cookies were waiting for us in the room daily!

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It was really a bizarre weather day, reaching 80 degrees at one point on the drive up. But thankfully Thursday morning we woke to temps below freezing because that’s what a Winter Vermont weekend getaway should be! Breakfasts were AMAZING!

Farm fresh eggs with lots of veggies, homemade sourdough toast, bacon and potatoes along with the very important first cup of coffee....heaven

Farm fresh eggs with lots of veggies, homemade sourdough toast, bacon and potatoes along with the very important first cup of coffee….heaven

Michael, the awesome chef made a veggie scramble. We’re talking eggs with carmelized onions, sauteed spinach and peppers and fresh sharp cheddar cheese. They source locally for all their ingredients. Oh and homemeade sourdough toast and even homemade grape jelly.

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Next up was a day of skiing. We went to Okemo Mountain which was about a half hour from the inn. I struggled a bit at first because there were some icy spots and a lot of groomed trails. But eventually my confidence gained and I felt less wobbly.

 

Still sporting my 25+ year old skis. I always giggle because NOBODY has skis this old anymore. But they work and I'm not ready to invest in new equipment that I only use once or twice a year.

Still sporting my 25+ year old skis. I always giggle because NOBODY has skis this old anymore. But they work and I’m not ready to invest in new equipment that I only use once or twice a year.

Okemo

Okemo

chairlift selfe

chairlift selfe

 

Friday and Saturday we got to snow shoe on the grounds of the Inn. We went as a group with the bridal party on Friday and then just the two of us on Saturday. I love being outside in nature and I love snow. It was so quiet and beautiful and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures.

:)

🙂

I love the way the tree trunks and limbs create such a beautiful pattern here

I love the way the tree trunks and limbs create such a beautiful pattern here

Hi there

Hi there

And the light filtering through the trees.....sigh. so beautiful and serene.

And the light filtering through the trees…..sigh. so beautiful and serene.

snow shoers

snow shoers

even a pop of blue sky

even a pop of blue sky

group shot!

group shot!

"just pretend we're having a casual conversation"

“just pretend we’re having a casual conversation”

 

And then the reason we were all there…..the wedding…

More »

First, sorry I’ve been MIA for the last 3 weeks. Truthfully, I’ve been unmotivated to post lately. But I thought I’d share my recent experience with the new foot doctor I saw last week and also just ramble a little about what’s been on my mind today.

I was walking Duncan earlier and my mind was all over the place. I was trying to solve a million things and feeling frustrated that I was getting nowhere with every single thing. I was so annoyed and found myself being hard on myself for not coming up with solutions. And then it dawned on me that I can really be my own worst enemy.

My process is my process. I don’t always think linear and I sometimes take a while to process things before I can work it out. I don’t know why I struggle accepting it and just let it be. 

I know I’m a worrier, over thinker and over feeler…but I find myself constantly criticizing myself and being so hard on myself for being those things. Really! If I just accept that that’s my process I bet I could save myself a lot of angst. 

I think it’d be so cool if I could just “own it”. You know? Like  “Yeah, I’m going to get a bit whiny and emotional about this and hem and haw a bit but don’t worry….it’s just my process….and i’ll come through in the end.”

So that’s that.

Anyhoo. I’ll update you a bit about my #toewoes

My last run was over 2 months ago at the Big Chill 5k. I wanted to see if rest would help. Well actually I’m sort of lying. I ran for 3 whole minutes last week.

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I was walking around the neighborhood just enjoying a warmish day and the break in my workload and just felt this urge to run. But after 3 minutes I chickened out for fear that my foot would really hurt. The original toe injury really barely bothers me these days…..but it’s the toe on my other foot that has now become the main pain and driving me insane! #intentionalrhyming 🙂 My feet have actually started to slightly improve over the last 2 months but I decided to find a new foot doctor to go to anyway.

Last Thursday I had my first appointment with the new doc and wow….he spent 45 minutes with me! He did a thorough exam and was able to determine a few things that might be causing me the toe/forefoot pain. I have high arches to start. I also have this thing called Equinus, which is a fancy word for tight calves and limited ankle dorsiflextion. This can cause extra pressure to the ball of the foot. Probably caused by a decade of running without stretching very much. I have neuromas on both feet which could be contributing to the pain as well. And lastly after doing x-rays he noticed that my metatarsal heads aren’t aligned well. Apparently they should sort of fan out and I have a few that are the same length and parallel which also puts too much pressure on my toe joints. The doc didn’t say this but i’m probably about 10 pounds heavier these days thanks to such a huge decrease in calorie burn and huge increase in making poor food choices and I know that means my feet have to support that extra weight which can’t be helpful. 🙁

He taped my feet up to support my arches and added metatarsal pads too to see if wearing that for a week would help.

I feel like a Geisha

I feel like a Geisha

Metatarsal pads

Metatarsal pads

Unfortunately after 4 days I couldn’t take it anymore and removed all the tape and pads. It wasn’t working. It actually made my feet feel worse. He also told me to start stretching my calves religiously 3 times a day, every single day. I’ve been doing that and I think it’s actually helped me some. I know it could take up to 12 weeks of this to really lengthen the calf muscles so probably too soon to tell. But wow! Go Google Equinus and read about all the things tight calves can exacerbate….it’s wild!

We talked about next steps and I have a follow-up appointment this Thursday. We might try orthotics to go along with the calf stretching and just see if that helps. He mentioned alcohol sclerosing injections or cortisone shots for the neuromas but I’m not ready for that as I don’t think the neuromas are my source of pain. It feels more like joint pain rather than nerve pain. Lastly he wants me to get some bloodwork to detect for possible arthritis.

It has been so long that I’ve woken up to yet another day of foot pain. Do you know the discomfort when you’re shoes are a few sizes too tight or your socks are so thick your feet hurt in the shoe or they’re too narrow? Yeah, that’s the discomfort I’ve felt in some capacity pretty much daily for 10 months.

Emotionally this has been quite a challenge. I spent the Spring and Summer doing yoga, swimming and riding my bike—trying to convince myself I was staying physically fit and emotionally fit too. But yoga started to irritate my feet (those downward dogs and planks!) and then the winter arrived and I stopped swimming and biking. I’m not getting any high-impact cardio at this point. I have managed to at least 2 night hikes a month though.

I love how the sky looks reddish.

I love how the sky looks reddish.

These Altra Lone Peak trail shoes have been amazing! They are the most comfortable things ever.

These Altra Lone Peak trail shoes have been amazing! They are the most comfortable things ever.

I’m missing my double digit long runs. Just yesterday I pulled up my iTunes playlists and there at the top was one titled “10 mile music”. I started to cry. I told you I’m an over feeler!

In the meantime I’ve been finding other outlets that aren’t exercise related. There’s been red wine and coloring book therapy.

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And I set up a SnapChat account just so I can play around with the filters. Apparently fake eyelashes and a bow do wonders for me 🙂

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Oh and carbs…lots of carbs.

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Mr. SOTSS and I tried to politely share a tub of popcorn at the movies but we kept bumping in to each other. Now that I think about it maybe he was trying to deter me by grabbing my hand. LOL!

I’m about to have some major life changes happening over the next few months. I’ll save it for the next post. But Duncan will have to get used to being separated from me a little more. Or maybe I should say I will have to get used to being separated from Duncan a little more.

Am I going back to being a latchkey pup again?

Am I going back to being a latchkey pup again?

inseparable

inseparable

Sigh! It’s all good though. All exciting stuff!

How are you?

Tell me some highlights of your last 3 weeks.