A little of this and a little of that

Hi there.

Happy Friday!

This photo popped up on my Facebook memories page. Baby Duncan! 8 years ago. He was only about 7 months old.baby-duncan

I’ve been home from Block Island now for over a week and trying to stay active without running as the toe slowly heals. I’ve been doing a little of this and a little of that. I made it to yoga 3 times in the last week and am loving it still. I’m working hard to hold that crow for a full 3 breaths. And I really think we all need to spend a few minutes every day inverted. (no pictures :( I tend to shut my phone before I enter the studio.)

I live in a development with a community pool that I hardly ever use. I bought my home 17 years ago this month (I really can’t believe it’s been that long) and for the first 14 years I think I literally went once and only dipped my feet in. Then, in 2014 when my friend Jane talked me into doing that triathalon, I went twice to see if I could swim.

swim skirts are the bomb.

swim skirts are the bomb.

Well, this past week I have already gone twice and am discovering that it doesn’t matter that I’m not really a swimmer, I can stay afloat doing a doggie paddle/breast stroke hybrid and got 10 laps covered my first swim and 16 laps covered yesterday.

I have a silly shorts tan :)

I have a silly shorts tan :)

I definitely love to set goals and while I don’t love being out of my comfort zone, it feels great to get my heart rate up. If only the pool were deeper I’d try pool running. But it’s only 4ft 3in deep.

Dear toe: take your time healing. It's ok.

Dear toe: take your time healing. It’s ok.

I’m now 3 sessions into physical therapy and optimistic that this will help me heal faster.physical-therapy

I took my bike out once this week and it wasn’t until 10 minutes in that I realized I never reconnected the front brake after coming back from Block Island (the way the bike went into the bike rack meant removal of front wheel and that required the disconnection of the brake). OOpsie! Good thing I really use the back brake more than the front.biking-brake

I also managed one “power walk” this week. My toe felt really good on Sunday so I walked briskly for 3 miles.

Rocking the "shorts creep"

Rocking the “shorts creep”

And I went on a hike with my hiking group this past Wednesday.

we heard lots of frogs in this bog

we heard lots of frogs in this bog

IMG_1463

Getting ready to hike

Getting ready to hike

I keep fantasizing kayaking. I miss it. I wish I lived on a lake.

So a little yoga, a little swimming, a little walking, a little biking and a little hiking have helped me to Sweat Out the Small Stuff through the week.

Oh and I drove out to Pennsylvania to visit my dear friend Stef. We’ve known each other for 30+ years now! She has a labradoodle too—Bella. It was a great day of catching up.IMG_1430

And Duncan got a haircut!

I never grow weary of his before and after side-by-side photos

I never grow weary of his before and after side-by-side photos

I’m gearing to be back to running in the fall but for now I’ll keep doing a little of this and a little of that :)

How was your week?

How to Sweat Out the Small Stuff Block Island Style

I spent 5 days on Block Island. It small island off the coast of Rhode Island. And Mr. SOTSS’s daughter K-Corn (my nickname for her) drew it so accurately here. It kinda looks like a duck.block-island-chalk

We were there to celebrate Mr. SOTSS’s dad’s 70th birthday and the 4th of July.

J-Beans (my nickname for Mr. SOTSS' other daughter) wearing her patriotic blue cat ears.

J-Beans (my nickname for Mr. SOTSS’ other daughter) wearing her patriotic blue cat ears.

The one thing I can say for certain is that there are no bad views anywhere.

adorable houses with flowers and picket fences

adorable houses with flowers and picket fences

There is only beauty out of each and every vista.

Heaven

Heaven

I would go for walks and take in the view only to turn around and see something even more beautiful.

I want to marry these flowers!

I want to marry these flowers!

So I figured since this blog is supposed to be about running and stress relief (and doing any exercise that makes you feel less stress really especially when unable to run) I would design this post to highlight that stuff. More »

Hi there.

How are you? I watched the Boston Marathon yesterday while working and couldn’t help but tear up watching Meb cross the finish line at his final competitive Boston Marathon. He’s an amazing athlete but more than that he displays such grace and is an inspiration to so many. meb-final-boston

Watching the marathon also made me teary eyed because it reminded me how lost I feel without running and especially the structure of training for races. I’m working really hard at keeping myself positive and keeping things in perspective especially this week….tomorrow will mark 18 years since I lost my husband to cancer. I always get very reflective during this time of the year.

18 1/2 years since this photo. I can only smile but still feel sadness when I think of all the things he never got to do in life having it end so early.

18 1/2 years since this photo. I can only smile at the memories but still feel sadness when I think of all the things he never got to do in his short life.

And I can’t help but to think about the journey my life took from April 19, 1999 to today. I had 2 choices when going through such a traumatic experience. I could let it swallow me and withdraw from life or I could work really hard every day to do my “grief work” to help myself heal. I chose the latter and while I had plenty of pity parties along the way I truly made an effort each and every day to live fully.

So in the midst of this toe injury I’m starting to connect those dots (again!). I have 2 choices right? Well I want to do whatever I can each day to help myself heal.

I was feeling a lot of improvement with the toe last week and then this weekend I had a setback and it felt more achy and uncomfortable but today it’s starting to bounce back a little. Another reminder that the healing process isn’t linear. There will be ups and downs but if I continue to do the work and rest and ice and massage and strengthen I’m on the right path.

I have that tendency to spiral when I don’t see progress fast enough and this injury is just another opportunity to build mental toughness and to get better at handling this kind of stuff. Really, if you look at it from the perspective that any setback or bad time in your life is an opportunity to build mental toughness your ahead of the game. Like looking at a glass half full right?

I rode my bike again this weekend while Mr. SOTSS ran and it was awesome. bike-daffodils12 miles for me and 10 for him. teamsternwellWhile I don’t feel like biking replaces how running makes me feel it definitely helps. And knowing that I’m making an effort to be active rather than sitting on the sofa all day sulking means I’m doing my “work”.bike-imposter

We drove out to Long Island to his Dad’s for Easter this weekend and spent some time at the beach with the dogs before the festivities began. smile-sallyboy-dogIt almost didn’t happen because Mr. SOTSS had some really bad poison ivy and after a few days of some major discomfort we decided to go to an urgent care facility to see if he could get some stronger meds. Unfortunately since it was Easter Sunday, they were the only location open around town making them so crowded that we bailed. Mr. SOTSS didn’t want to sacrifice the time slot we had set aside to take the dogs to the beach and decided he’d just suck it up and deal with the poison ivy discomfort for now. I don’t know if I could have done the same. sternwell eastbeach

Good catch Chester!

Good catch Chester!

What opportunities do you use to build mental toughness?

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full kind of person?

Anyone else dealing with an injury or other setback?

Since the anti climactic MRI results at the beginning of the week I’ve been lucky to be super busy with work and not really dwelling too much on all that I was missing out on. OK well, missing another hike sucked and seeing other runners enjoying our great Spring weather sucked too but I I’ve been riding my bike whenever I can to get some physical exercise and mental health benefits as well.IMG_9110

I enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the marina for 11 miles on Tueday. Yesterday was a not-so-enjoyable 8 miler around the neighborhood. And today I tried out a new greenway near my house that actually worked out well. I like riding where there aren’t any traffic lights and car traffic and this greenway is almost completely free of that. Just 1 traffic light. 7DED65E2-01BB-4E17-8889-8EF967A8779FIt’s about 2.5 miles I did 2 out and backs for a total of 10 miles. And tomorrow Mr. SOTSS will be running 10 miles so I’ll most likely bike along for the same mileage. I got a great tip from a commenter on another blog I commented on. She said to attach my step counter watch to my sneaker to track steps while on the bike. It worked! YAY!

So when Mr. SOTSS and I first met in 2014 we only really got together every other weekend. We realized after a couple of months that we wanted to spend more time together so we decided to get together every Thursday evening. It’s been “Date Night” ever since. And while mostly it involves just walking the dogs and watching some tv and catching up on how each other’s week has been I’ve always felt it important to put on a little makeup and do my hair as if it were a real date.

A little eyeliner and some tinted lip balm. Just the basics...

A little eyeliner and some tinted lip balm. Just the basics…

So last night when we were deciding what to do he suggested walking up the block to the local pub for a drink and a bite to eat. I loved that idea. It’s only a mile away so I was fine to walk (oh and my toe is improving….more on that in the next paragraph!). It was really nice. Just to mix things up a bit.

I'm hooked on Ace Pear Cider

I’m hooked on Ace Pear Cider

So today while biking up a hill I felt a pain under the toe and at first got worried that I further injured it but in fact I think just the opposite happened because after I was done riding I noticed I was limping less and feeling more confident to put weight on that foot. Maybe this is a sign that I’m close to being healed. (27 days and counting since the limp began). I wonder if scar tissue had built up or if my toe was just stiff from lack of use and maybe the movement helped.

Cautiously optimistic!

Have a great weekend.

The tortise and the hare!

The tortise and the hare!

Happy Easter if you celebrate!