Friday, June 15, 2018

A "hip issue"

I don't know if you remember my "hip issue" that I had last summer, well, I've never thought it totally went away, although my hip feels better, it hasn't been very flexible no matter how much I stretch it.  And I've had an ache in my thigh on the same side for a little while, which I attributed to my tight hips.  I just figured I had knots in my hip that were pressing on a nerve, so I've been "rolling" it with a lacrosse ball against a wall.

I decided I should get it looked at to make sure it wasn't something more serious.  I was thinking cancer.  So this week I went to the doctor and she ordered some x-rays on my leg.  Yesterday I heard back from the dr's office . . . my leg is fine.

However, the x-ray caught my hip and a small part of my lower back.  I have "mild osteoarthritis" in my hip.  And something called pars defect.  After lots of time on google, I discovered that pars defect is caused by a stress fracture in your lower back.  There is a thin bone that can be broken and if not treated right away it doesn't heal correctly.
The "spondylolsis" is just the fancy word for the stress fracture.  The "spondylolisthesis" is how it heals if not treated.  The biggest incident I remember, where I always said I "cracked my tailbone" was one time when Damian was very young, 3 or 4, and I was not with my husband.  He was in a timeout in his room and I was sitting at the top of the stairs listening to him cry.  I decided to sneak down the stairs and was trying to tiptoe, well, my toes missed the second from the top step and I went airborne and landed on the third from the bottom step on my backside.  I had just gotten a job and didn't have insurance, so I didn't go to the doctor.

Well, over time the vertebrae that was fractured starts to slip forward, which can cause all sorts of problems, including, you guessed it, a pinched nerve. 
The white line indicates the vertebrae
that has slipped forward. (not my x-ray)
The most common symptom is lower back pain, which I don't have, but according to what I've found online other symptoms are leg pain, numbness, and/or weakness. 

Anyway, what I've seen online for treatment is surgery if it's bad enough.  They would fuse my vertebrae together.  The good news about this is that (again according to the internet) full recovery is often achieved. 

So at this point, I don't know where I stand with all this information.  This is all stuff I found online.  I had to go back to get another x-ray on my back, the first one wasn't for my back, it was for my leg, it just happened to catch my lower back.  I went yesterday for that x-ray and I probably won't hear anything till next week.

And honestly, at this moment, I don't know whether to be more concerned with the pars defect or the arthritis.  If the pars defect can be fixed, then the arthritis is the more serious condition. That won't get better.  All of this will affect my running.  Which really has me depressed. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

the last 3 weeks

Wow, my last post was on 5/16, that's 3 weeks ago.  Huh, well, I haven't had a lot to say lately, as I've said before.

I did start running again in May, which I think I covered already.  I hit 54 miles for May, so that's pretty good. If I plan to do the Tri-Cities marathon again this year, then training starts at the end of June.  I have to be up to 8 miles for my long runs by the first week.  I am currently running about 5 miles for my long runs, I think I can easily get up to 8 by the end of June.  I do want to start some speed work, I haven't been very fast, I actually feel like I'm getting slower. . . but the whole reason I want to do the marathon again this year is to get under 4 hours, and that will mean speed work.  I'm currently averaging just under 10 min miles, somewhere around 9:45 or 9:50.  I just need to go run some hills.  ; )

We won't even talk about my monthly goals.  I pretended to continue to care about them through April, but didn't have any heart in it.  When an important person in you life dies, the little things quit mattering so much.  However, I did do two things . . .

I scheduled a dr appt for my leg.  It is still bothering me, what I called a "hip issue" last summer, is more of a "leg/thigh issue."  I have stretched, and I have rolled, and it hasn't really helped.  I just want to make sure it isn't a really serious issue.  If I knew what it was and knew for sure how to fix it, I would be okay with it.  That appt is next week, so we'll see what happens.  I'm sure I'm gonna have to get a MRI or x-ray or something.

And the other thing that I did was I went for a hike with Damian on Memorial Day.  It was the perfect day for a hike, cool and not too hot.  We went up to a lake that a friend of mine recommended, it was about 7 miles round trip.  Damian brought his collapsible fishing pole and hammock.  He fished, I hammocked.  =)  Although, it was in the shade and I was freezing, so didn't stay in the hammock for long.  Plus the lake was full of submerged trees, so he was afraid of snagging his hook.  Which he did on his last cast and lost his hook.  Oh well, it was still fun. 
We had lunch on top of a giant rock.  It doesn't look like it,
but we are way up off the ground.  In fact, our legs were
dangling over a very large drop while we ate.

I almost forgot, while we were hiking up Damian had to stop to adjust his pack.  While he was doing that he looked over at a stump he was next to and said "there's a bottle in there."  When he moved I went to look and there was definitely something in the stump.  I wanted to see what it was, so I pulled it out (hoping it wasn't someone's drug cache).

Turns out it was a geocache.  =)  I thought that was pretty cool.  My parents (well, now just my dad) do it, so I knew what it was.  I really, really wanted to write my Mom's geo name on it, but we didn't have a pen.  So we folded it back up and put it back where it belonged.  If we ever do that hike again, I will bring a pen, although my Dad asked me to put his name on it, so I will.

Last weekend was the Insane Inflatable.  We signed up for this in October with my Mom, so it was pretty hard to do it this year.  I really didn't feel like it, but I had fun anyway.  Maddox enjoyed it too, so that's what matters, right?
All of us

Those that are participating
my niece
The kids in the red shirts are my niece (very back) and nephew
with his girlfriend.

My sister's husband (aka our waterboy)

That's us at the finish line.
It was fun but we probably won't do it again.  My Mom isn't here and my other sister didn't do it this year either because she was just diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in her back, and has been in a lot of pain. 

After we were done with everything (we also had dinner with my aunts and uncles for an aunt's birthday) my dad and I went to the cemetery to visit my Mom's grave.  I haven't been there since her funeral and they put up her headstone right before Memorial Day.  I wanted to see it and I didn't, so I went.  It was a hard one, I won't lie.
My dad left some petunias on her headstone (I know it's a terrible picture) but while we were standing there a hummingbird moth came by and visited.  It's kinda funny because my dad and I were talking earlier in the day about the hummingbirds and the hummingbird moths that come to their house.  My mom loved petunias and she loved the hummingbirds and the moths.  Anyway, the hummingbird moth is in the picture, which you can't see very well.  I wish it was a better one, but oh well. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

It's been awhile

My life hasn't been any different than it has for the last 6 years.  Sometime in February I passed a "runiversary" and in March I passed a "blogiversary."  I think that I am still blogging the same old boring stuff.  I run, I eat (sometimes well, sometimes bad), I drink, I work, I sleep and repeat.

Losing a loved one has a sobering affect on you.  It definitely makes you care less about some things.  There are things that just aren't very important to me right now, and for the month of April that was running.  Although, I did intentionally take the month off, I didn't have that urge to go for a run.  Not really at all.  When my sister and I walked Bloomsday a few weeks ago, I felt that urge a couple times, but it's still not the pressing need it once was.

I started running after Bloomsday and my foot is doing great.  I am rolling and icing it regularly, almost daily, and the miles I've done so far (13) has not been hard on it.  I do need to start running more if I am going to do a marathon in October.  My training needs to start in June for that.

My schedule has been pretty hectic. I have school now, so I'm working on that, and Maddox is in Little League, and of course his games are on Tuesday and Thursday, the two days of the work week that I run. 

At the end of April I decided to switch gyms.  I switched from the LA Fitness near my work to one in Mount Vernon because it was easier to go to after work.  I went several times in April and haven't been back since I started running again.  I'm afraid I'm going to have started paying for a gym that I'm never going to use, and this particular gym is a year contract or I have to pay a fee to cancel.  (LA Fitness didn't have a year contract.) I was doing online spin classes when I was going, and I really enjoyed it, but trying to figure out what days their group room was open when I was home was rather annoying.

My dad came over last weekend to watch Maddox play baseball, and for Mother's Day.  It was a really nice visit with him and it really helped me keep my mind off my Mom.  I am still in denial that she's gone.  It really just doesn't seem real.  The other day I had a moment of pure anger, not at her, but at the world.  Why her?  She was so full of life.  Why now? 

And I get angry when I hear other people's stories of their parents death.  I always feel that it isn't the same.  A security guard at the courthouse was telling me his mom passed away "sometime in February or March."  He was telling me this less than a month after my mom passed away (also about a month for him too) and he couldn't even remember when it was.  And then he was saying she was in her 90's, she was struggling for a long time, and I couldn't help but think . . . it's not the same.  You expected your mom to die.  90 is a great age to die . . .my mom was 70, and a very young 70, and she died very suddenly.


Back to life. 

On top of my dad being her this last weekend, I bought a car.  I'm super excited about it.  We've needed a second car for years, and this year I was going to make it happen no matter what.  At first I was planning on getting an older car that I could just buy outright, but the more I looked, the more I realized that the price I could pay outright would not get me what I wanted.  I found many cars that would have worked, but I really wanted a newer car with few miles that I won't be afraid is going to die on me. 

I ended up getting a 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT, and I love it.  It's much newer than I was thinking I would get, but I'm super happy with it. 

Here are pictures from Bloomsday and the last few weeks.

The first day I decided to go for a run, I was excited, it had been sunny and warm all day.  As soon as I got home and got dressed, it started to rain.  =/
 My new car!  =)
 Damian umpired a game on Saturday.  My dad and I decided to go watch him.  He did very well.
 Finally a sunny run!!
 Maddox running to first at his baseball game last night

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I haven't felt like blogging much lately, I don't know if you can tell.  I don't feel like I have anything to talk about. 

I don't know if you read my last post, the letter to my Mom, but in it I posted that I started school.  I started a Master's in Professional Counseling program online through Grand Canyon University.  I don't know how fabulous the program is, but I'm doing it.  I'm also freaking out a little about it.  I haven't been in school for 20 years, which means I haven't written a paper in that long either.  I'm a bit worried about it.

Anyway, this program has school weeks that go from Thursday to Wednesday, so each new week (and assignments) start on Thursday.  Today is the first day of my third week.  I have done all the assignments and so far I have an A. =)  This particular class is a intro to graduate studies class, so it's not really about my profession, but it has been pretty helpful in reteaching me things I haven't done for 20 years.

Two weeks ago I ran the Tulip Run.  It wasn't anything special.  In fact it was a pretty rainy, dreary day.  It rained heavily while we were lined up at the start line and then stopped just before the race started.  It was my slowest Tulip Run ever, well, other than the first one that I walked.  Somehow I managed to get 2nd in my age group . . . out of 3.  =)  I did get a medal though. 

The Tulip Run was the last time I ran.  I have been struggling with my foot, I'm pretty sure it's plantar faciitis again, and it seemed to be getting worse, not better, so I decided to take April off of running.  However, I thought that I would regret not doing the Tulip Run because I've done it so often. 

I started going to the gym again.  I was trying to go during the week during my lunch break, but it hasn't been working out very well.  I made it twice last week, but not at all this week.  But I also like working out on the weekends, and I can't drive to Everett just to go to the gym both Saturday and Sunday, so last weekend I went to a local gym and paid the drop in fee. 

I started thinking about it, and it makes much more sense for me to join a gym that is close to home rather than close to work.  I joined LA Fitness because I was going with my sister to spin classes, but it's been almost a year since we went.  Also, Chris is working fulltime in Everett now, so he usually has the car and I can't get to the gym during work hours anymore.  If I had a gym membership close to home I could just go after work when I need to. . . so last night I joined the gym in Mt. Vernon.  I plan to cancel my membership at LA Fitness tomorrow.  I'm kinda sad, because I really do like LA Fitness, but I haven't been going, and I really can't go right now.  Plus, their spin bikes are sooooo much nicer than Urban Fitness (the local gym I joined). UF is $10 cheaper though, so I suppose we'll see how it goes.

I've been going to do a spin "class."  Really, it's me, by myself, watching a YouTube video.  But I have found a couple "classes" on YouTube that are really good.  I will probably get tired of them, so I'll have to look for more, they're not as prevalent as I thought they would be. 

The first Sunday in May is Bloomsday, and I'm walking with my sister, we'll see if spin "class" keeps me in shape enough to walk 7.45 miles . . .

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mom blog

My mom used to send emails to us (my sisters and I) titled "Mom blog." 

If this was a piece of paper, I'm sure it would be covered in wet spots and smears . . .

Hi Mom,

I miss you.  I love you.  I wake up every morning thinking about you.  I had a dream a week ago about you that was so vivid I can still see it.  In it you knew you were going to die so you were going through things in the bedroom in the basement (why you were there, I don't know, I don't think you can even walk into that room now).  I came in and just sat with you, and you put your arms around me and gave me one of your hugs.  We didn't say anything, but I remember thinking this just isn't fair.  And it isn't, it isn't fair, and it isn't right.

Maddox started baseball right after you died.  The first practice was so hard because I kept thinking about how you wouldn't get to see one of his games this year.  I can hear your voice, you know, the one you used when I played sports cheering me on, yeah that one.  I can hear you yelling at Maddox when he hits a ball.  I hated that you were so loud, especially when I was young, now I'd give anything to have you yelling in my ear cheering for Maddox.   I'm so worried he won't remember you.  I was looking at pictures of you with him a week ago.  It was too soon. Neither one of us walked away from that glad we did it.

Damian started spring quarter.  I know we were worried he'd drop out, but I convinced him to at least do this spring and he can reevaluate in the fall.  He's become pretty directionless, and I don't know how to help him.  I think that maybe going to a community college and staying where he's comfortable was a bad idea afterall.  Maybe he should have gone to a 4-year college right away.

He doesn't talk much about you.  I know he's hurting.  He told me he had a dream about you where he heard your voice.  I think the vivid dreams that we inherited from you has been a curse this last month. 

It's been a month.  Yesterday was exactly one month since you died.  I keep trying to convince myself it wasn't real.  But it is.  You are gone and I have no idea why.

You would be so happy that we (Barbara, Nancy, Tami and I) are talking a lot lately, and getting along.  Yes, even Barbara and Nancy.  We went to Ocean Shores a couple weeks ago, well, Tami couldn't, but Barbara, Nancy, Daddy and I went (we had to take Maddox, but he was great).  Everyone keeps asking how it was, and I don't know how to answer that question.  We didn't go to "have fun."  We went because Daddy needed to get out of your house.  I did run a race on the beach though.  =)  Again, I heard your voice "Way to go Cathy! Wooo!" yelling at me. 

The week after you died, Chris was told by his work that he had to either take the admin job that pays $15 an hour (but is full time) or turn in his 2 week notice.  He decided to take the job, but it's a significant pay cut.  I think he's been pretty depressed, and I don't have anything in me to help him.  His heart isn't any better, and his eyesight is permanent. 

Chris went to the ER 2 days after you died because he had swelling in his legs.  He called the on-call dr (we were home to grab funeral clothes) and the dr told him to go to the ER, I think mostly because we were leaving the next day to go back to your house.  That was a waste of time, and I couldn't stop crying while I was there.  The poor nurses heard all about you.  Anyway, it turns out he has just been retaining fluid, he's on some pills and he lost 21 lbs in 3 days in water weight (I need some of those pills!!). 

Also during the week after you died, I signed up for college.  Yes, I decided to get my Master's degree.  Tara, yes, my roommate from college, drove all the way from Idaho to come to your funeral.  It was so nice to see her.  I haven't seen her in 17 years.  We sat and talked for a long time after the "festivities" were done.  She was the final straw that pushed me to look seriously into school.  I had been talking to a friend at work about it and she just made me decide it was worth it.  Plus, with Chris's job, it will be good to look ahead for me, to better my opportunities.

So I started yesterday on the one month anniversary of your death.  It's a 4 year program, and I'm terrified, and feel like it will take forever.  But really, 4 years isn't that long.  It's a master in professional counseling, which is kinda weird that it's not a MSW program, but all the MSW programs I found were already full, and I decided if I didn't start now, I never would.  A coworker told me about this course that she is doing, and said it's easy (well, her words were "it's not fierce") and they take new students every single Thursday of the year (their week starts on Thursday).  So I called the number she gave me and I got the ball rolling. 

I think a lot of it was because I was looking for something else to occupy my headspace.  So here I am, a college student after 18 years of not being in school.

I'm worried about Daddy.  We all are.  We all are trying to keep in contact with him as much as possible.  And I think he's trying to get out of your house as much as possible.  He interviewed a housekeeper yesterday, I don't know how that went, but hopefully the house won't get too bad. 

I dread going back to your house.  Your house has a very distinctive smell, you even smell like it when you come to my house.  It is a good smell, but it is definitely you.  I dread smelling it, but then I think I dread even more NOT smelling it. 

Oh!  I found this cool running series the other day.  I was going to sign up for it because if I ran 3 races as part of their group, then I would get this really pretty, really cool whale medal.  So I was looking for races I could do, and I finally found 3 I thought I could do without a ton of traveling.  I started looking at the fine print.  I guess you have to sign up to be a part of this group, and pay a fee of $21 a month, and you get all the races for "only" $63 but you can cancel your membership anytime.  So I thought, okay, I'll sign up, sign up for all 3 races, and then cancel my membership and do them and get the medal.  Well, then I saw that if you cancel your membership before a race you've registered for, than you also cancel your registration for the race.  The last race I could do is in October, which means 7 months of paying the $21 fee.  All in all, after 7 months and 3 races, the total came out to $336.  If I paid full price for all the races it would only be $208, so I decided I can't do that.  I won't get that cool medal for you.  One of the races was called the "Orca Run" so I think I will try to do that one for you.  I don't know what that medal is going to look like though.

I miss you.  You were (are?) such a big part of my life, it is pretty amazing the hole that you've left.  My kids miss you.  I love you.

Love always,

Monday, April 2, 2018

April goals

I haven't put any thought into April goals.  I don't even know if it's worth making goals at this point.  These are going to be the most simple goals there are, just saying. . .

Goal 1: getting outside (hiking) . . . In April I will save $20 towards hiking gear.  That's it, that's all I can do at this moment.  Which is a shame because $20 won't do much towards helping me get gear and it's going to get warmer out, but that's all I can handle now.

Goal 2: yoga . . . In April I will do some sort of stretching 4 days a week for at least 10 min.
I can totally handle this and since I have not been stretching much at all, I have noticed the ache that I had in my left thigh coming back, so I definitely need to get back into it.

Goal 3: PR half and full marathons . . . I will go to the gym at least 2 times a week and do some cycle work on a bike.
I am currently trying to prevent plantar faciitis from getting worse. My foot is pretty painful right now after I run, so I think I need to stop running for a little bit.  Especially if I want to train for another marathon, and PR it.  I am only driving to work 2 times a week, so the gym is not doable more than that and I don't have a bike at home.  If I can manage more than 2 times a week I will try. I do need to start rolling and icing my foot religiously (right now I'm average once a week on really bad days).  So . . . ice and roll 4 times a week.

Goal 4: healthy eating . . . I will eat a salad 2 times a week, afternoon coffee 2 times a week. Count calories and stay within my limit, cut back on the stupid candy from Easter. And I will go back to trying to keep wine on weekends and one day in the middle of the week, but honestly, that might not happen.
I haven't really been weighing in much.  I've been afraid to step on the scale, to be honest.  I even skipped my monthly weigh in yesterday, I can pretty much say that my weight is at least 155, and I don't want to know if it's more.  It will make my life worse.  So I'm going to work on my diet instead.

Bonus goal: Tattoo
Many years ago I had a friend that got a tattoo of her Dad's handwriting that says "I love you, Dad."  At that time I thought that would be amazing to get, so I had both my Mom and my Dad write that on a piece of paper.  My Dad instead wrote "Me too" under my Mom's "I love you, Mom."  I hadn't had any burning desire to get the tattoo before now, but now I do.  So that is my bonus goal, to get that tattoo, or at least schedule it.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March goal recap

Well, March was a bust.  The first week was the week my Mom died, and everything after that has been shit.  But I will go over my results anyway. My Mom died on the 5th, the first Monday, it's the week before that is gone from my memory.  I can remember the week of clearly, but things are pretty fuzzy before that.  I actually met 2 new clients at the end of February and have no memory of meeting them at all.  I met with them again last week and this week and they both remember me, but I have no memory of them.  One of them even asked me how my son's girlfriend was, I don't remember talking to him about it. 
Goal 1: getting outside (hiking) . . . In March I will save $20 towards hiking gear.  Nope, didn't happen.  Didn't even remember I had written this. 

Goal 2: yoga . . . In March I will do some sort of stretching 3 days a week for at least 10 min. and one week of 4 days.I am also going to schedule a massage somewhere.  I did not do this.  I think I accomplished stretching 2 times most weeks.  But there was no massage scheduled anywhere.

Goal 3: PR half and full marathons . . . I will run at least 3 times a week and with a day of speed work. I did not run 3 times a week with speed work.  I think I ran 3 times a week, but no speed work at all. Ice and roll 3 times a week.  I also did not ice and roll at all.

Goal 4: healthy eating . . . I will eat a salad 2 times a week, cut back my afternoon coffee to 2 times a week.  Wine on weekends and one day in the middle of the week. Um, no.  Just no.  I don't know what I ate, it was a lot of fast food the first week of March.  Coffee, well, probably 3 or 4 times a week.  And don't even get me started on the wine.  I've had a lot of wine.