It’s 54 degrees and rainy today. It was close to or over 90 degrees last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I going from air conditioning to heated seats in the car. :)weird weatherSpeaking of heated….i’m loving that the yoga studio is warmed to about 82 degrees during class. I went to class on Saturday and then went for a run. I RAN 4 MILES!!!!

First running (timer-camera) selfie in 8+ weeks!

First running (timer-camera) selfie in 8+ weeks!

It’s been the longest run since before my injury back in Mid-March. And the honeysuckles are emerging and I couldn’t be happier.

honeysuckles are my favorite!

honeysuckles are my favorite!

I RAN 4 MILES!!

I RAN 4 MILES!!

Had I not had this injury I would have been running the Brooklyn Half on Saturday so it was really nice to not only have a great yoga class in its place but to be able to run 4 miles as well. It helped me handle the situation rather well. Although the day before I had a sad moment and handled the situation by giving myself some TLC in the form of a Donut and some weird toe massage thingys.

TLC donut and Flex Tastic toe thingys

TLC donut and Flex Tastic toe thingys

I’m really excited that I’ll FINALLY be able to run a race that I registered for next weekend….the Spring Lake 5 miler. I ran it last year after being injured or just spectating the two years prior.

Last Thursday Mr. SOTSS and I attended a fundraiser event held by the Greenbelt Conservancy here on Staten Island. They are the organization that maintains the trails and organizes the weekly night hikes that I joined earlier this year. They are also now my client which I love.

Had fun in the photo booth with my hiking group and got to ride a carousel too

Had fun in the photo booth with my hiking group and got to ride a carousel too

Other than yoga and running this weekend, we took the doggies for a walk at a new park (ticks! I hate them! Duncan ended up with 3).

Nope I'm not sick....just look a little green from the light filtering through the green leaves above me. Wearing a green sweatshirt doesn't help the color balance lol!

Nope I’m not sick….just look a little green from the light filtering through the green leaves above me. Wearing a green sweatshirt doesn’t help the color balance lol!

Happy pups each in their own lane. Of course Chester is in the "fast lane"

Happy pups each in their own lane. Of course Chester is in the “fast lane”

There are 3 ticks photo bombing this photo.

There are 3 ticks photo bombing this photo.

Then we made beef and chicken kebobs on the grill. I even made some Tzatziki to go with them.

MMMMMM

MMMMMM

Let's eat

Let’s eat

Latest wine discovery. I nice blend from Australia...Cab, Shiraz and Merlot.

Latest wine discovery. I nice blend from Australia…Cab, Shiraz and Merlot.

I’ll be working all day while it rains outside and then hitting up yoga tonight. It’s still so bizarre that the word yoga has entered my life. I’m so happily surprised at how much I love it. :)

 

Hi and Happy Monday.

What a weekend! I’m exhausted….physically and emotionally spent but smiling and optimistic and that’s the moral here.

On Saturday morning I dropped of the doodle and then picked up Mr. SOTSS to drive down to Atlantic City where my friend Barbara was getting married. We had a few hours to clean up and look fancy before the wedding started. IMG_9494After being misdirected to the reception location we arrived at the correct ceremony location a couple of minutes late and there was Barbara with her mom about to walk down the aisle! Luckily there was a secret side door that we were directed to and managed to get situated just before they entered. A lovely (and quick!) ceremony that got right to the point. Remember our loved ones not here,sand unity thingy, do everything with love, rings, i do, kiss done! Love you Barbara! Congratulations to you and Drew. IMG_9517

I had been quite anxious about wearing heels for the wedding because of the toe injury.

The shoes are Naturalizer!

The shoes are Naturalizer!

But thankfully I managed to get through the night and only felt pain when I danced more than 2 songs straight….so I took frequent breaks.

The "wolf pack"

The “wolf pack”

It was great to see my “wolf pack” again and enjoy such a lovely evening that kept me from thinking about the NJ Half Marathon the next day that I knew I’d be DNS’ing.

Cake always helps too

Cake always helps too

Since I wasn’t running I told Mr. SOTSS I’d drive to the start of the race so he could catch a few extra winks of sleep. We got home from the wedding late and probably didn’t fall asleep until midnight and then were on the road at 5:15am the next morning.IMG_9518

We drove about an hour and a half to get to the race. It was 7:09am when we arrived and the race begins at 7:30 so I dropped Mr. SOTSS off at the entrance and then went to park. I met up with him on the Port-a-potty line and when we realized how long it would take him to finally get his turn I took his gear bag and ran it over to the gear trucks to get transported to the finish.

I was crying a lot just being there and knowing I wasn’t running. Then I saw a cute goldendoodle and started loving on him. As I started walking back toward the potties I realized I had misplaced my spectator cheer signage! I started to panic. Luckily I found them on the floor by the gear trucks. Whew!

I used my customized emojis to create the perfect cheer signage!

I used my customized emojis to create the perfect cheer signage!

By the time Mr. SOTSS got out of the bathrooms the first few waves had already began and he was forced to start in the last corral with slower runners and walkers. But he was happy to have an empty bladder. Unfortunately this meant a lot of bobbing and weaving for him which may or may not have been the reason he was about 6 minutes slower than usual overall. (Yes! He is so consistent….this was his 8th half marathon and most of them are about 1:50 finish time….)

After the last runner was off I hopped on a shuttle bus that takes you to the finish area and from there I walked a few blocks to a spot on the course between miles 9 and 10. I had about a half hour alone before meeting up with the rest of Mr. SOTSS’ family. I was there early enough to see the fast runners including the first and second place male winners for the half…

This was the winner. He finished in 1:08!

This was the winner. He finished in 1:08!

And the second place winner wore a suit!IMG_9522

At about 8:40am Mr. SOTSS’ mom, stepdad and two daughters arrived with their team spirit and signs in tow and together we all welcomed Mr. SOTSS at his arrival to mile 9 (ish) just 15 minutes later. IMG_9525He was so happy to see us and I had the most beautiful moment snapping photos one by one as he kissed each daughter and then his mom….and then me. IMG_9534Being injured can cause me to be….well…no really polite way of saying this….selfish and cranky. I tend to get absorbed into the whole “woe is me” scenario and forget about all the good things that are going on right in front of my face. One of my favorite sayings says to be grateful when you’re up and graceful when you’re down. So why is it so hard for me to be graceful? #workinprogress. Anyway, there I was just filled with emotion seeing the smiling faces of his mom and daughters. After he passed we made our way toward the finish where I was able to record a little video of Mr. SOTSS running the last 100 feet to the finish. Hearing the girls screaming “go daddy go!” was awesome.

The entire day was awesome….despite my emotional outpour of sadness at first. We all reconnected in the evening for a celebratory dinner also celebrating Mr. SOTSS’ birthday which is coming up this week.

So this morning my feet and legs ache but that’s because of the dancing/walking in heels and then walking so much yesterday along the race course. But I’m really excited because my friend Roseann has convinced me to try a yoga class. She’s been going a while and loves it and I figured this may just be the time for me to try it. I’m a true yoga class virgin. Never been to one.yoga

And my next mini goal is getting back to my Wednesday night hikes this week.

So running and the Brooklyn Half marathon on 5/20 are still question marks for now but I’m definitely seeing the light at the end of the injury tunnel and feeling grateful for the movement I can do now.

How was your weekend? Was it a “What a weekend!” kind of weekend or a lazy quiet one?

Bad news or good news first?

OK let’s start with the bad news. I’m not running the New Jersey half marathon on Sunday.IMG_9455

This will be the second half marathon I’ve had to DNS this year. I wasn’t able to run the Philly Love Run last month due to this toe injury (and I also wasn’t able to run the 3rd of the trail run series meaning I’ll only have 2/3 of my interlocking medal. )

How sad....2/3 of an interlocking medal

How sad….2/3 of an interlocking medal.

Good news….I can walk 3 straight miles before my toe starts to hurt.

walkin'

walk 3 miles once a day

IMG_9461This is progress. Unfortunately my entire body lost fitness and all my muscles are so sore, achy and tight. My “good” side has been bearing extra pounding while I limped for the last 5 weeks that everything is angry. My knee hurts, my foot hurts, my glutes hurt, my hamstrings hurt. Sigh! This is going to be a LONG recovery process. I’m actually wondering if I’ll even be able to run the Brooklyn Half in 3 weeks.

More good news. I’m going to be at the start and the finish line to cheer Mr. SOTSS on. Last time I was at one of his races he set a PR so hopefully I’ll have the same effect on him.

I saw a clip on Rachel Ray this morning with Bob Harper, the coach from the Biggest Loser who recently had an almost fatal heart attack. His story resonated with me because he spoke about his fear of returning to the very thing that is his passion….the gym/working out. I’m feeling similar about running.

So, with a stiff upper lip I accompanied Mr. SOTSS to the expo. This wasn’t the first time I went to an expo for a race I couldn’t run. Ah, Brooklyn 2015.

I’m truly excited for him and to be able to see him cross the finish line but I’d be lying if I said I’m not crushed that I won’t be able to run. Figures….good weather forecast too.

So until further notice my prescription for recovery will be to walk 3 miles once a day….with meals of course. 😉

And of course taking lots of cute photos of Duncan always cheers me up.

IMG_9440 IMG_9465 IMG_9466

Have a great weekend!

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?