Thursday, July 29, 2010

Someone Get This Anniversary a Drink!

Today is our 21st wedding anniversary. I have no idea how that is even possible. I'm sure it is simply because I was a child bride. At least that is how I resolve those numbers in my head. However, while today is my 21st anniversary, it is only the second one that I have ever spent apart from Sean. Why am I not with the one I love today on this the "coming of age" anniversary ? Because I am three time zone's away. I am in NC visiting the family and loving every minute of it.

Past anniversary celebrations have included trips, out to fancy dinners, exchanged presents (both grand and simple) and generally had a wonderful time. Today I woke up with the worst hangover of my life thanks not having seen my sister in over a year and too much time spent on the back porch with too many bottles last night. So my first meal of my anniversary was a handful of Excedrin and not enough coffee. I tiptoed around the house while Zach and Maddie danced around displaying the proper homecoming for a long lost aunt. We finally left the house around noon to go to Costco and the grocery store. I began to feel human again and we headed over to the community pool where I lost all sense of reason and put on a swimsuit. We spend the next several hours splashing around and having the best time. Both of those kids are amazing and swim like fish. I am in constant awe of my Sister and her fantastic ability to raise such great citizens! After this white fish belly Oregonian had enough of the NC sun and humidity we headed back home to a wonderful evening of fish tacos (yummy!) and family fun.

Tomorrow we are going camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can hardly wait. I've got a camera and my bug spray and I'm ready for fun. S'mores, coke zero and jiffy pop. It can't get better than that!

And so on this 21st anniversary I say to my dear husband, thank you for the years we've had and I look forward to the ones to come. I'm sorry we aren't spending this day together but I thank you for the nudge to get myself out here before my summer slipped away. I am adoring every second of my time here. You and I,hopefully have many, many more anniversaries to spend together. I look forward to reuniting much sooner than I will be prepared to leave here, but ever so happy to see you again.

Bi-coastal love. Jeez!

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Run or Not To Run

The results are in, the damage is done. Much as I suspected the MRI revealed tears in the left knee. On the one hand the validation that I have not turned into some lame ass wimp and in fact have torn cartilage is somewhat comforting. Of course then there is the other hand which says, what now? Well, what now is that I'm waiting (sound familiar) for the orthopedic surgeon's office to call me and tell me what my options are. Considering my self-referral PT of the last 3 weeks has done nothing to fix it so far, I fear the knife is in my future.

Which brings me to the question of the day. When my regular Dr. called me with the MRI results his assistant informed me that he knew I'd be chomping at the bit and that while I wait for the surgeon's call I may try to run no more than 3 miles at a time and not everyday. I was told NO STAIR TRAINING EVER. Which of course I knew because I'm pretty sure the training for "The Big Climb" is what caused this injury in the first place. So now I have to decide. To Run or Not to Run.

I have been less than charming since my running shoes where placed in my closet. I've been hiking, biking, and even working with a personal trainer, but nothing is the same. There is something about nothing but you, shorts, t-shirt and a pair of shoes hitting the trail that is so minimal but everything all at the same time. It grounds me and quite frankly I could use some grounding.

Does my knee feel any better since I stopped running? No, not really. Does it feel any worse? No, not really. Therein lies the problem. If I run while I wait, could I do more damage to an already damaged knee? Maybe, but then if they have to fix it anyway will it really matter? But if I don't run, can I do more damage to an already damaged spirit? I think maybe I might.

I don't know yet what I will do. Sometimes in life there are no easy answers even on trivial issues such as this. Take a chance? Play it safe? I just don't know. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell me. Heck, I'd settle for a magic 8 ball right about now. Of course it would probably just say "Ask again later".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mojo Maker!

It's been a tough summer. My knee had me sidelined from two races I really wanted to do. I thought I had been taking it in stride until my dear sweet husband broke it to me the other night while on a hike. The conversation shifted to a mountain bike ride of a few days earlier. It went something like this.

Me: I don't know why my bike just doesn't feel right this year. I just feel shaky. I'm kind of a Scaredy Scaredenstein.

Sean: Yeah, you are a Scaredy Scardenstein.

Me: What? That's not very nice. I can say it, but you can't.

Sean: Well, it's true. You used to have mad mt. bike skills. You were crazy mt. biking girl last year. What happened? You've lost your Mojo!

Me: stunned silence......OUCH...That hurt.

Sean: Well.....

Oh man. I'm still reeling from that one. I guess the true ones always hurt the most. He's right, I know he's right but damn man, that is harsh! I had attributed the horrible start to the current mt. bike season to being over 40 and knee injury hesitation, but now.. man it's on.

Luckily I have the power of these socks. Mojo Quest 2010. I've got the power of the socks. I'll replace my energy food with Lucky Charms and that Mojo is as good as found. I hope the blur of the unicorn blinds Sean as I fly by.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Men, One Date

Today, I celebrate two anniversaries. The anniversaries of the two men who had the most influence on the woman I am today. Fate sometimes is cruel in the games it plays. Like dates. Like July 20th. The anniversary of my husband's birth, and my father's death. Two men, one date.

It has been five years since they became ever linked on this date. In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and others like just yesterday. I am eternally jealous that they shared that last morning together. I was not so lucky, but that is not my story of the day. A few paragraphs and a lifetime of therapy probably can't fix that. But I am here today and today I shall attempt to honor them both. For without them I would not be me.

My father and my husband at first glance could not have been more different. Sean was my attempt at rebellion. Oh how that backfired! His long hair, torn jeans with "his ass hanging out", as my Dad used to say, riding a skateboard listening to "crap" on that too loud stereo. He was just the ticket to drive my family nuts. But oh how Sean with his no nonsense Irish charm won him right over.

Over the years Sean became the son my dad never had. Dad took a boy who couldn't locate a dip stick to someone who can rebuild his own car engine. He cultivated his love for motorcycles, tinkering and unfinished projects. Endless hours of treasure hunting in a shop filled to the brim. We now have a garage Dad would be proud of.

Sean taught Dad to loosen up a little. To appreciate good beer and to let your daughter try some stuff maybe you didn't think she could or would do. He taught him to see that there was more than one way to build a deck or fix a clock and that it didn't have to take an hour to cook a steak. Dad learned to get off the lawn mower and go for a quad ride.

Yes, the men in my life learned from each other and I too learned from them. So on this anniversary I bring you the top 5 list of things that show me that I get them both every day.

5. Have you checked your oil?
Every time I hear that I know Dad taught and Sean learned. I heard it weekly from the time I turned 16. It never sunk in for me. Good thing Sean was listening.

4. Practical Purchases.
I want a bike rack for the car. I've been wanting one for weeks. Sean does the research, knows the details of what we really need and finally makes a decision. All major purchases go like this.

3. It's all in the little things.
I've been listening to my itunes through my computer. No speakers, it sounds terrible. Yesterday Sean came home with a set of tiny speakers. I didn't ask. When I lost my shuffle he waited two weeks then came home with a shuffle. He always stops at Starbucks after a hard workout to buy me a skinny latte. Dad used to stop by unannounced and clean my furnace filter. I grew up watching him do beautiful little things for my mom. These are damn fine men.

2. Sense of Humor.
My father and I share the same sick adolescent boy sense of humor. Nothing is funnier than watching someone fall down or otherwise embarrass themselves in some way. Dad and I wore out a VCR tape once of a lady getting hit in the face by a door. I literally lose it laughing my ass off. I also have a lightening fast quick wit usually sarcasm based. That's not vanity speaking, it's 100% truth and my best quality. It came from my father. Sean gets that. He laughs at my jokes and he DVRs "Wipeout" for me. Sean doesn't get embarrassed by my humor, he encourages it.

1. Taco Bell
Every year on Father's Day after spending the day with Sean's Dad, Sean drives me through Taco Bell. What more is there to say?

Happy Birthday Sean. Thanks for keeping Dad in our hearts and in our lives. Thanks for sharing your day every year with such grace.

Cheers Dad. I love you and miss you everyday. And I hope with all my heart that I make you proud.

I think I'll go check my oil.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Perfect is as perfect does.

I have a new hobby. I have discovered surfing! Oh no, it's not the kind on a cool old school long board and some salty air. No way! This kind involves my trusty Mac and a goal of procrastinating on my summer projects. I have discovered the "Next" button on Blogspot. As we all know, I enjoy being a lurker and I'm fascinated by the world of blogging so I've had a blast surfing my way through other people's lives.

The biggest thing I have learned as I scroll though the lives of others is that apparently everyone has "beautiful" children and blessed lives. Well and that people are big fat liars! I have yet to come across anyone who admits to having children who are either less than attractive or bratty. Funny, these must not be the people who live in my neighborhood.

I would love to see just one shred of truth in these entries. I mean I'm all for happiness and bliss, but there are limits to how much perfectness a family can endure without someone going a little crazy and downing a fridge box of cheap wine, and family size bag of ruffles right before they jump on the Pizza boy at the door.

Me, I'm more of a realist. So here is how my summer is going so far. I have started my summer de-clutter projects in the office and am horrified to realize that we have dodged a bullet in that no one has called in the show "Horders Buried Alive" yet. I'm about 2/3 of the way through that room.

My exercise plan has taken a nose dive as I continue to await my MRI to diagnosis the mystery knee. However, after two weeks I finally have an appt. for the scan. The marvels of having insurance. What about those poor people without? What if it had been an emergency? While I have been moving via daily hikes, it just isn't the same and the depression of not running has me behaving badly in the kitchen. See, not that beautiful family of other blogs. Nope, I actually resorted to eating Hot Tamales today and I don't even like them but I found a box in back of the cupboard. That is pathetic. The ironic part is that I have loads of Peeps on top of the fridge but I'm saving them for when I'm back in training. Yup, I have a beautiful and blessed life. Blessed with beautiful peeps that is!

On the plus side I am super excited to visit my sister in just a couple of weeks. That will most likely be the highlight of my summer. That and Sean and I are planning on hopping back on the bikes tonight. Maybe that will help drive out the pity party demons that have invaded my happy, carefree summer days.

Maybe there is something to the perfect life blog posting. Maybe it's just a case of mind over matter. So this is my perfect life posting. Maybe not perfect, but mine. I guess that is perfect for me. Oh and did I mention my exceptionally good looking dog?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dog Days

I guess there is a reason they call them the Dog Days of Summer. I've accomplished about as much as Rogue over the past few days. Seriously, other than hiking every morning (thanks Erin), I've been more lazy than I care to admit.

At least I finally scheduled my trip to visit Sarah. Maybe that will be just what I need to prompt me to get going on the projects I have put off all during the school year for Summer thinking I'd have the time to get them done now. I have the time, just not the motivation. Where's my motivation? Lance is having a terrible tour. It's just depressing, why even get off the couch?

I hate to admit it but I'm slowing crossing over into Erin's year round school camp. I'm not much good with this unstructured down time. It would help if my knee didn't have me off the running train and other "more fun than hiking" exercise options. But I need to accept that until the MRI confirms or denies the possible diagnosis, I should get off my duff and get some crap done.

I will do that. Really I will. Tomorrow. Right now I think I need to go take a nap, or maybe work on that butt indentation on the couch. It's starting to pop back up again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Race Official

This is Sean after completing the "Fueled by Fine Wine" half marathon this morning. I was supposed to run it too, but since my knee currently has me sidelined, I was the "official event photographer". Isn't he cute? I think I'm going to keep him! I love a man sporting some bling!

Right after this picture we walked back to the car where I was the "official window blocker" while he changed his clothes and I grabbed my unused race number and we headed back down to the event where the real fun was happening. I love a race that ends with more than a dozen local wineries pouring delicious Pinot Noir at 9:30 in the morning. We sampled some fruit of the gods, munched on some string cheese and ate some delicious salty meat! There are no pictures of that cause I'm a public school teacher and it wasn't even noon yet! From there we loaded ourselves back in my trusty little subie where I became the "official pace car" to get one tired racer back home. He is currently content to sit on the couch watching Formula One and Tour De France on the DVR.

With my "official" duties done for the day, I rewarded myself with some Crazy Days shopping downtown and a new pair of Teva flip flops for only $19. While I wish I could have run with Sean in this event too, it was fun to get to see him finish for once. I think I screamed louder than any other fan there. I was kicking myself for forgetting the cow bell! It's good to be a fan sometimes and for Sean Ross, I'm one hell of a fan! Awesome Job Sean! Can I touch the medal?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Evil Lurks in Spandex!

"Coffee will stunt your growth!" "Gum takes 7 years to digest", "Coke and pop rocks together will choke you". These are all lies of our youth. We believe them because they were told to us by people we trusted. These were the words of mothers, fathers, grandparents. It had to be true, and we continued believing the untruth.

Out of the 70s and into the 80s. Enter Jane Fonda. Fitness Goddess. She brought it to the masses. Her striped hideous body suit and braided headband dancing around in the heart of the aerobics era. Oh how I loved my Beta video tape workout. "No pain No Gain" was drilled into my head as I sweated and "felt the burn". Oh I was smoking hot and I believed everything the fitness guru told me.

Here it is 20 years or more into the future. I'm not so smoking hot anymore, but I know a good workout when I see one. So I've done boot camp, spin class, stair running and trail running. All in that quest for health. As my body has aged I've felt the "pain". As I felt it I was transported back in time, back to the mantra "no pain, no gain". So it didn't really phase me when my knee started hurting on a more regular basis. I'm doing more these days, and like it or not, I'm older. (Notice I said old ER, not old), so of course I'm going to feel it more. I've had conversations with friends about the pain and they assure me that sometimes things just hurt, that's just what comes with some activities. I agree wholeheartedly.

So imagine my surprise when my knee decided to puff up like an old water balloon after my last run. Sure the run hurt, but no more than normal and actually not quite as bad. A fluke I thought, it will go away. But rather than go away, it go worse. By the time night fell, I could hardly bend my knee.

Two days later a trip to the Dr. confirmed my fears. There is actually something wrong with my knee. Not sure what because I'm in the midst of the insurance game before I can get the much needed answers of an MRI. But the conversation I had with my Dr. did not leave me confident.

ME: "Well, it can't be too serious right? I mean I can still run".
Dr.: "You have to be very careful about running when you are older"
Me: "I'm 41 years old, I'm not Old!"
Dr. "I said old-er, not old, I'm younger than you and I have arthritis from running"
Me: "Oh, well, but if it was a tear I couldn't run right"
Dr.: "Oh, you'd be surprised. The body is a remarkable thing, it can work through injury, the injury just continues to get worse.

Me: "Oh, so then, I have a 10k on Sunday"
Dr: "I can't run anymore, Dr. "G" can't run anymore, running on injury creates permanent injury. Have I ever told you about a book called "Chi Running"

Me: Yes, last time I was here.

Dr: Yeah, so are you going to listen to me this time?

Me: Yes, yes I will, So about that race on Sunday? You're saying I can't run my 10k race on Sunday then?"

Dr.: Long drawn out sigh..."I wouldn't"

He pretty much lost me after that. He said I can walk, swim (oh good, you all know how I feel about that one), and potentially bike if my knee can take it. Whatever, I just want to know when I can run again. I'm not going to give up yet. Much like those bandaged Tour Rider's, bloody and battered but still on the bike, I'm hanging on to a pipe dream right now. But I'm hanging on for dear life.

See, the problem is, I came to this sport "Older". I'm not finished yet, I just got started. I will listen and back off, but I'm not done. However I do have a few parting words for a certain evil doer.

"No pain, no gain" Jane? Really? Kiss my ass lady. If my MRI is denied, I'll be sending the charges to you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sports Fanatics!

Today we ventured out of our normal weekend cocoons and headed south to Track Town USA to watch our first Prefontaine Classic meet. Sean bought reserve tickets a couple weeks ago and it's a good thing he did because the event was sold out. We had fantastic seats especially considering they were on the back stretch and in the nose bleed section. However, we could see the entire track and the center field action as well. What an amazing show. The three hours flew by almost as quickly as the track shoes on the feet of any of those runners out there. We witnessed 20 men run the mile in sub 4 minute miles. Yes I said minute. Those guys are insanely fast. I can't even complete a thought in four minutes, let alone run a mile. I think it is safe to say that we have a new tradition and we will be attending next year. We were so inspired by those athletes that we had to do something big ourselves.

So...we went to VooDoo donuts in Eugene. They just opened a new store down there so we had to track it down. I must say, while the donuts were as good as always, the ambiance is not as great in Eugene as the Portland location. Believe me, there was atmosphere in Eugene. And a very distinct patchouli stench, but it just wasn't the same. Maybe it was the lack of crazy. Eugene has earthy, but not crazy. No one really does crazy like Portland can! It is extremely difficult to compete with the "flavor" of Burnside.

When we got back to Corvallis we took Rogue to the dog park and then hurried back home to drop him off so we could hit our next big sporting event of the evening. Nope, we weren't done yet. We had a baseball game to go to. We had reserve tickets to The Corvallis Knights tonight. I love those boys of summer! Plus tonight was a fireworks night which is perfect. We got a great baseball game in and saw fireworks after so now we don't have to trek down town to see the fireworks tomorrow night.

Which leaves us more time for our final sporting event of the weekend. The Tour de France starts today! We love watching the tour together. It is the first event that we ever will both sit down to watch together. Technically we are already behind because it started today, which we have on DVR but I don't think we are going to watch tonight because we have a date for a long run in the morning.

But come tomorrow, we'll get up, get that pesky long run out of the way and then hit the couch for some long awaited Lance time! Go Lance Go!

I better sign off for now. All this exercise is making me so tired.....