Hi there,

A road trip to Pittsburgh

I just got back yesterday from a last minute road trip with Mr. SOTSS. We both love road trips, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and we also love to tour cities. Just outside of Pittsburgh are 2 well known Frank Lloyd Wright homes—Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. So we not only got to tour the 2 homes but also spent an entire day in the city of Pittsburgh. (A couple of years ago for my birthday we flew out to Chicago to tour the city and also to tour the home and studio that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for himself.)

The drive took us about 5 1/2 hours. We stopped to see Cucumber Falls on our way out. It was very pretty. I love the beauty that nature gives us.

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ta-dah!

Cucumber Falls

Cucumber Falls

It took a while for me to navigate to this spot thanks to slippery rocks and my injury track record :)

It took a while for me to navigate to this spot thanks to slippery rocks and my injury track record :)

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After Cucumber Falls we checked into our hotel which had the most beautiful view.

The view during the day

The view during the day

The view at night

The view at night

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The Summit Inn is a historic hotel that’s been around for over 100 years.

The next morning we set out to tour the first of the 2 Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Fallingwater got it’s name because it was built cantilevered over a waterfall. IMG_3140

The entire home was integrated so well with nature.

fallingwater

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After our tour was complete we headed into the city of Pittsburgh to do the tourist thing. I was told by a friend who grew up in Pittsburgh that there are 2 things we must do in Pittsburgh—go to Primanti Bros. for a sandwich and take the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mt. Washington to get a view of the entire city. Done and done!

corned beef, provolone, cole slaw and french fries. First time I ever had french fries IN my sandwich

corned beef, provolone, cole slaw and french fries. First time I ever had french fries IN my sandwich

Primanti Bros.

Primanti Bros.

duquesne-incline

Just before sunset. What a view!

Just before sunset. What a view!

We also walked across many of the city’s bridges and did a walking tour of some historic buildings.

just a few of the bridges

just a few of the bridges

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So this is what happens when you rely on your boyfriend to take an Insta worthy yoga pose pic. I almost died laughing when I saw where the water fountain looked like it was spraying from!!!!!

So this is what happens when you rely on your boyfriend to take an Insta worthy yoga pose pic. I almost died laughing when I saw where the water fountain looked like it was spraying from!!!!!

And then we discovered this place. IMG_3759

This was cold brew coffee poured over vanilla ice cream with crushed oreos and whipped cream. The most delicious thing I've tasted in quite some time

This was cold brew coffee poured over vanilla ice cream with crushed oreos, whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans. The most delicious thing I’ve tasted in quite some time

Before heading home the next day we made one last stop at Kentuck Knob, the other Frank Lloyd Wright designed home we wanted to tour.

The house is literally built into the hill.

The house is literally built into the hill.

You can see where the roof almost touches the ground here

You can see where the roof almost touches the ground here

Lots of hexagon skylights in this home.

Lots of hexagon skylights in this home.

The dental molding on the home was carved by hand taking 2 years to complete! That's nuts.

The dental molding on the home was carved by hand taking 2 years to complete! That’s nuts.

And of course when I saw the view from the property I had to become one with nature and turn myself into a tree :)

And of course when I saw the view from the property I had to become one with nature and turn myself into a tree :)

It was a wonderful trip that I’m so grateful for. We really weren’t sure we’d be able to get away for a while due to work situations but we made it work!

Big Day

Tomorrow I will begin my foray back into the world of running. I have a 10 minute easy run planned. If all goes well I’ll be adding 2 minutes to each subsequent run for the next month. I’m hoping to run 3X a week so that I can get to 36 minutes by the time the Trenton 5k arrives. This will allow me to run a nice easy 12 minute pace as it will be my first race since May and since re-injuring the toe back in June.

I’m so excited!!!!!!

 

Ever been to Pittsburg?

Do you have a favorite architect or artists?

Nature? Yay or Nay?

 

 

 

So happy to report that my back is almost back to 100%! I was seriously freaking out when i last posted.

So now I’m finally planning my comeback.

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

I’m looking forward to joining my hiking group tonight and returning to the yoga mat tomorrow morning. I’ll modify as needed for my back if I feel the need.

And I’ve resumed what I was just getting underway with at physical therapy for my toe 2 weeks ago when the back went out. Yesterday I did 3 sets of toe raises and took a brisk walk. I’ll incorporate some jumps soon. Just want to make sure my back is truly 100 percent first. The next couple of weeks will be all about stress and rest which is what my toe needs to continue repairing in its final phases of healing. I found this great post on the site irunfar.com about recovering from soft tissue injury that explains everything so clearly.

My plan is to actually start running a little in another week or 2. I’m going to follow the rule of 2 starting with a 10 minute easy run and adding 2 minutes to each subsequent run so long as I have no pain. (I’ll be taking at least one rest day in between runs to monitor the situation).

Over the next 3 monnths I’ve got three 5Ks that I’d like to run (slow and steady!) if possible. I have to say that I am being cautiously optimistic but even just the idea that I’ll be running again this year makes me so happy.

trenton-halfSince Mr. SOTSS has already signed up for the Trenton Half at the end of October I’m hoping I can run the 5K. (Here’s my recap from 20162014 and 2013.)

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Then there’s the Fall Flat 5K in mid-November (where I truly discovered what “conversational pace” was at last year’s race).

big-chillAnd finally the Big Chill 5K in December (you can read a little about last year’s race here. If all goes well I’ll think about increasing mileage next year.

2017 sure has been a roller coaster for me. The highs and lows of injury…..Sigh!

First off, I think I’m going to have to accept that the posting frequency on this blog will have to be what it is for the time being. Every 10 days or so is about all I have time for. So thank you to my small circle of loyal readers who come back to read and don’t forget about me.

So here’s the funny, not funny story…

Last Monday I woke up with some general back/hip aching. I assumed it was because of how I slept combined with PMS. I always get low back pain around that time. I had also had a string of workouts including 2 bike rides the Friday and Sunday before.

Friday ride...high!

Friday ride…high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

The discomfort was mild and I just assumed it’d be gone by the next day. Later on in the evening I went to yoga. Had a great class, held crow for long time, managed a few wheels. Did some awesome hip opening pigeon pose stretches an left there feeling good. Next up was grocery shopping. I live in a 3 level townhouse and refuse to take multiple trips with my grocery bags up to the kitchen on the second floor so I grab them all and do the transport in one trip.

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags.... I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags…. I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Tuesday morning I went to physical therapy for my last toe PT session with the same mild back/hip ache but still not thinking any big deal. My PT told me he thought I was ready for some more weight bearing exercises so he had me do some toe raises, lunges and press off from this machine that reminds me of a space shuttle. And then we did 3 sets of 10 jumps. Still, I felt fine. I actually was giddy at the progression to the final step before returning to running. I was instructed to do the lunges and jumps every other day and if after a week I still felt good I could start running again. Well, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling worse. My back was really hurting. Walking seemed to be the only thing that took the pressure/pain down so I went on my hike figuring the workout would keep the muscles warm and help me recover. Thursday I felt even worse and by the afternoon my back was full on in spasm mode. Tears started. Sleeping each night got worse and worse and by Friday morning I texted Mr. SOTSS with a desperate cry for help.

Well, one of us doesn't have any discomfort while trying to sleep

Well, one of us doesn’t have any discomfort while trying to sleep

I could barely walk down my stairs. He came over and took me to urgent care where I saw a wonderful doctor who helped a ton. He agreed it wasn’t one specific thing but the months of my lack of impact exercise and my compromised walking gait from the toe injury most definitely contributed. So maybe I overstretched in yoga or maybe those lunges or jumps in PT set me off but the weakness was brewing for some time. He prescribed 800mg of Ibuprofen along with a muscle relaxer to take for 10 days. He diagnosed me with back spasms with sacroiliac joint involvement. I spent the rest of Friday with the essentials, remote, coffee, heating pad, pb&j and meds…

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The spasms in my lower middle back have gone away but the sacroiliac hip pain is still there although after 5 full days of meds it’s definitely improving.

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

I went to what should have been my last PT appointment for my toe today and instead we jumped right into PT for my back. The usual, ultrasound, massage, electro-stim and some gentle stretches. If I’m feeling 100 percent by the weekend I’ll return to yoga on Saturday and then take it from there.IMG_2766

I can only laugh and hope that next year I’ll reminisce about that time I was just about to return to running when I got injured AGAIN!

I’m starting to realize that my desire to be active and “Sweat Out the Small Stuff” needs to sync up better to what my body is capable of. I’m almost 44 years old and all the years of running “stupidly” without cross training and strength training has caught up to me.

I’m optimistic about this back/hip thing not lasting so long. We’ll see. In the meantime at least the dogs are feeling just fine…

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“So long as your backache doesn’t interfere with my walks…”

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Have you ever had a second injury on the heels of recovering from the first?

Do you have a funny, not funny story to share?

Random question: What are your favorite crunchy snacks? I need some new options. Getting sick of baby carrots and potato chips. :)