Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sick and afflicted

So, last week I picked up a little cold and I was confident that I could just push through and work through it.  I have been mostly successful, but today took me clean out.  I got up for spin, had a wonderful time, went to ethics class - and then I was pretty much done for the day.  Being the ridiculous grad student that I am, I went and found a bathroom that had a couch in one corner (pretty sure they are meant for nursing mothers) and I went to sleep for two hours. I woke up, took a test, went to swim, had a less than impressive workout, and then went home to sleep for two more hours. Half a container of orange juice and one very lazy evening later, I am wondering if I will even be able to sleep tonight. :|

Blergh. I guess that is really all I have to say.

BTW, one of my lanemates in swim today asked if I was ok. When I told him that I was sick he said, "You know, I was thinking about it, you have had a really rough semester. There has been something constantly going on for...for a long time now!"  He was right! Surgery to remove skin cancer, a sprained ankle, and now this crazy cold. I think it has been at least a month straight that something has been trying to get me down.  Luckily, I don't feel at all behind on my training.  I am so glad that I started when I did so I would have some leeway. Heaven knows that life tends to get in the way sometimes! But then it all works out in the end. 5 weeks to Disney!

Do you still workout when you are sick?  It depends for me. I thought it was a good idea this time, but now I am not so sure. I think I will just take it a little bit easier.

Thankful thought for the day:

November is almost over and that means that I am almost done with my second to last semester of grad school! I can't believe I am almost done with this. I honestly never thought I would do it, and once I started, I never thought I would survive! And here I am! Hooray for me!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spin. Swim. Run.

Monday. Oh, Monday. It always comes in the worst way after a break. I got up this morning to go to spin and felt like I had been hit by a truck. Usually the thought of rocking it out on a spin bike is enough to get me out of bed. Today it was the thought that I can have no more than 5 absences or I won't pass my pass/fail fitness class. Of course, I felt great when I got there. I don't know what I am going to do for the almost month long Christmas break...I might actually have to buy a gym pass. Yikes. But then, I signed up for two sections of spin next semester. Hmm....

Anyway, Mondays, Wednesdays are spin and swim.  We did butterfly drills in swim today. It totally killed me, but butterfly also makes me feel super strong, so I won't complain. After swim I went to the last session of  our Negotiations class.  I can't believe how close the end of the semester is! We gave out awards today and I won "Most Persistent Negotiator."  I think that is a good thing.  Our teachers also gave us cards (I think they are bribing us for good reviews, as it is the first time they have taught this class -more on that in a minute).  The cards were personalized and my teachers praised my grit and my determination to improve with each passing week.  It is interesting to hear what your teachers see in you when you just assume that you were lost in the crowd during the semester.  I really did love that class. It taught me to be more confident and to communicate more clearly, and to better understand those that I communicate with.  Grad school is funny because I feel like I have learned so much more about myself than I have about Public Administration - and it is totally worth it.

At the end of class our teacher gave each of us a bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears (what did I say about bribery?). I got two because one of my classmates somehow doesn't think that they are the greatest treat ever to be made and gave me her bag as well. At about the same time my friend texted me to see if I wanted to run with her.  At this point I decided that chocolate covered cinnamon bears would double well as running fuel. We got home and headed out for our run.  It was an easy three miles, and I felt great.  Spin, swim, and a run?  It was a big day.  I tell you, it is really weird to be a girl and be worrying about getting in enough calories. Usually we focus so much on restricting, it is so liberating to focus on properly fueling and packing in good calories.

I ended the day at my friend's house. He had just finished putting the finishing touches on his Christmas decorations and so we put a virtual fire on the tv and sat and enjoyed the Christmas lights, decorations, and tree. I love this season. I can't believe December is almost here...then it will be the new year...and then I will be in Florida running at DisneyWorld....then I will be back here in my last semester of grad school. Whoa.  I need to stop thinking about this. I think I am going to go eat a couple of chocolate covered cinnamon bears.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Today was Small Business Saturday. Thanks to my handy-dandy AmEx, I had $25 to spend at a local small business. Thanks for being supportive American Express! All I had to do was make a qualifying purchase and AmEx would credit my account $25.  Who could say no?  I looked up the small businesses in the area and was thrilled to find that both of my favorite local running stores qualified!  I ended up at Runner's Corner in Orem.  I felt like a kid in a candy store!  I was in the store for at least 30 minutes trying to decide what I wanted.  I kept going back and forth between something sensible, like new socks to something a little more fun, like neon arm warmers. I decided to go for something that, as the guy who checked me out said, was sensible and fun:

I bought The Stick.

Sensible - for my tight muscles. And fun - the package says that it is like "A toothbrush for your muscles". How is that not fun? My calf muscles are pretty much always tight, no matter how much a stretch (but I will admit that I am not always the best at stretching) So, hopefully using The Stick to keep up on my "muscle hygiene" (like dental hygiene...the whole toothbrush thing...get it?) will help my little calf muscles to chill out. I will let you know how it goes. 

To celebrate, we also went to Yogurtland! I had the good fortune of guessing the correct flavor that they will have on the first day of their 12 Days of Christmas.  Honestly, I have just been dreaming about them having an eggnog flavor during the holidays and I lucked out that it was also the correct answer to their twitter contest. So it was free day extraordinaire! Free $25! Free Yogurt!  I never even knew that Small Business Saturday existed, and now it is one of my favorite days of the year!

Thankful thought for the day:

I am thankful for FROYO! I may have a problem. I love it. A lot. But we won't talk about that. Let's just say I am thankful for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Best Day Ever, Turkey Trotting, AND A PR!

So, my last post was all about my tragic day. My very tragic day. It was very tragic, and frankly, it was much too tragic for my liking.  I decided that I needed a new day. So I sent an email to my friends who were still in town for the holiday and told them I would appreciate the opportunity of scheduling their evening for them.

Yup, I am a geek. If, after reading that, you do not have Sponge Bob's  best day ever song stuck in your head, allow me to remedy that.

So, with this song running through my head I picked myself up, cleaned my house, did some homework, and put in a couple more miles on my hattoris. Then, we made the magic happen. The best day ever consisted of me and three of my very best friends piling into QueenKate's swagger wagon and heading to the mall for dinner at Red Robin and then off to the movies to see the new Muppets flick.  Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like best friends, bottomless fries, and some muppets to make a bad day better. If you are ever in the middle of a pity party anytime soon, take my advice and plan a real party STAT!

The best night ever led to the best morning ever. I woke up at the crack of dawn and suited up for the American Fork Fleet Feet Turkey Trot. Last year HRH and I ran this one together and this year we recruited a couple of friends and a bunch of HRH's family to come run with us.  I LOVE TURKEY TROTS! I love being up before the world and knowing that I have done something great to combat my usual turkey coma that most of the world submits to on Thanksgiving. Oh, AND it was was whole 30 DEGREES warmer than it was last year.  We ran at a balmy 39 degrees this year instead of the freezing 9 that we ran in last year.

I ran with one of my best friends who is in from out of town. He has been a big part of my running journey, helping me to realize that the only thing holding me back was me. We broke away from out little pack pretty early on in the race, unable to fight the temptation for a little more speed.

I will tell you the nice thing about running with a boy: not only are they usually a little (or a lot) faster, but they also make me feel like I have something to prove, so I push myself more than I usually would. And even though I have been battling a really nasty head cold, I pushed through it and we came in just under 30 minutes. While I have run a sub 30 5k before, this was the first time I have done it officially.  Hooray for me! The rest of our crew did a bang-up job and crossed the finish line a couple of minutes later.  We celebrated and then all went our separate ways for major turkey consumption.

My first stop was actually the movie theater.  I had planned to meet my mom and sister at the theater just after the race and I made it in just as the previews were starting.  Yup, we went to a 9:00am showing of Breaking Dawn. Honestly, the whole Twilight thing isn't really my thing, but my mom and sister LOVE it and it was so much fun to see this movie with them. There is just nothing quite like family. I spent the rest of the day at home with said incredible family.  I hosted a dance party in the kitchen with my nieces and nephew, and overall, we had an amazing day.  I love Thanksgiving. How cool is it that there is a whole day set aside just to be thankful for what you have in life?

Thankful thought for the day:

My family. They are everything I could ever hope for. It is rare to find such awesome examples of unconditional love and support. I love them.  Oh, and I am grateful for crappy Vampire movies.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This week so far has been one of the hardest I have had in a while. And by a while, I mean A VERY LONG TIME. I got some bad news the other day that completely turned my world upside down. I am having a really hard time trying to make sense of it all and have realized that this isn't going to be reconciled any time soon. It is messy and complicated and pretty much devastating.

Last night I felt completely overwhelmed by all of it and woke up feeling much more at peace, but still completely at a loss for what to make of all of it. Luckily, I have some incredible friends who will stand by me through anything, and who were there for me so I wouldn't have to be alone.  When I checked my email this morning there was my Runner's World quote of the day. I am constantly amazed at how these quotes so often seem hand picked just for me. This was today's:

I don't know if running changed my life or if I changed my life for running, but who cares really? My feet keep moving, my arms keep pumping, and my mantra keeps rolling, "Be patient. You got this."

Valerie DiMambro

"Be patient. You got this." 

I ran 6 miles with The Blur yesterday. It was really slow because I have a cold and I am still recovering from last week's sprained ankle, but I kept thinking that as long as I kept moving, I could do this. Not very long ago I never would have dreamed that I could run even 6 miles, but now, even after being off of my ankle for a week and before that out of commission from my surgery, I knew that I was strong enough to do this run. 

I think that the same is true of my life right now. I feel like I am suffering from a major emotional injury right now, but I can do this. Because this is SO MUCH bigger than me, I just need to hand it off to God and remember that he has it all under control. All that is left for me is to do is to be patient, and to keep moving forward. I've got this. I truly believe that we are all so much stronger than we think we are.  This is just a good opportunity for that to be proven to me. 

BTW, also when I opened my email this morning I found out that I had won the nuun giveaway at I run, therefore, I am! What great news on a difficult day like today! Thanks!

 Thankful thought for the day:

Serunity.  I am so grateful for the clarity and perspective that a good run brings to my life. Whether it is working stuff out while I pound the pavement, or relying on those endorphins when I get back, I am so thankful that running is a part of my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Running Buddy Part 2

The Blur is in town this weekend! Tragically, I don't think we will be able to run while she is here, as I am still recovering from last week's sprained ankle.  I LOVE to run with this girl. She is an incredible runner who has participated in almost 10 half marathons and is pretty much my hero. Last year she asked if I wanted to run a half marathon with her, and I thought she was crazy. I am pretty sure that I laughed and she didn't think it was funny. That totally took me by surprise. I didn't think there was any way I could ever run a half marathon, and she didn't question my ability at all. That totally changed my world. I agreed to run, signed up for the race and started to train. Sadly, I got injured a few weeks before the race and just barely made it through the 5k event, but training for that half made all the difference for me. I fell in love with running. I love how I feel when I go. I love every time I go out and can say, "That is the furthest I have ever run.", knowing that I never thought in a million years that this was something I was capable of. It has influenced every other aspect of my life. I am capable of so much more than I ever thought I was.

I have The Blur to thank for this. We have been on fun runs and on therapy runs, we have supported each other through injury and through days when it is hard to get out the door. She always believes in me - even when I don't believe in myself, and somehow that is enough. Thanks Milla girl. You rock my world.

How did you start running? 

Is there anyone in your life you has helped you to understand that you are stronger than you think you are? 

Thankful thought for the day:

I am grateful for the unconditional love of friends that makes life such a joy to live, even through the tough times. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011



Just 4 short days ago Amanda at Run to the Finish tweeted that she had a pair of Saucony Hattoris that she was giving away to a good home. They were in my size, and I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel a tiny bit like Cinderella in that moment. I have been wanting to try the Hattoris for a while, but my grad student budget just wouldn't allow it. Enter twitter and the magic of the bloggy world. I asked her for the deats and she said that if they would be a good fit, I would just need to pay shipping and they would be mine! Of course I said yes!

Well, fast forward to TODAY and imagine my surprise they arrived at my door! Thank goodness for that speedy USPS! When I opened the box it was stuffed with Odwalla bars and Amanda had even tossed in a pair of flip flops for good measure!

It feels like Christmas! The shoes fit perfectly, the Odwalla bars just restocked my nearly depleted power bar box, and the flip flops are coming with me to swim class on Monday!  Amanda - you have NO IDEA how perfect this little box was today!

P.S. Amanda is running the Philly Marathon tomorrow. Let's all put some good things out in the universe for her! Best of luck!

Have any of you had any good surprises lately?

Thankful thought for the day: I am so grateful for the little things that remind us that we are truly loved by someone greater than ourselves :)

Friday, November 18, 2011


Last night it snowed! Yesterday was a beautiful fall day. Midafternoon I was thinking about how happy was that we actually had a Fall season this year. Usually it goes by much too quickly. Utah is known for skipping both Autumn and Spring. As far as I am concerned that is a tragedy, as those are my two favorite holiday. But this year was different. We had a lovely Fall and it even held out all the way to practically Thanksgiving! Of course this means that the days of indoor running and the dreadmill are close upon us, but I am going to hold out until it gets to icy to run outside. Low temperatures, I can deal with. Black ice that could lead to more sprained ankles? Yeah. Not worth the risk.

Anyway, another sign of the season is that last night my church group held it's annual charity auction. Being a group of young single adults, I am always surprised at how generous these grad students and young professionals are. Over the last couple of years I can't remember them taking in any less than $1,000 for Sub for Santa families.

Another perk of these auctions is that they are put on by young single adults. We don't always have a lot to give so people get pretty creative. One pair of girls offered a "consulting date" where they will take two boys out and then let them know how they can be better dates, and hopefully have more dating success in the future. This is the example they used for how much their consulting services could help someone out:

It was priceless.  Good old Neville Longbottom.  10 points to Gryffindor! Maybe I should have seen if I could bid on the boys who won the consulting.  Seriously. If they are going to end up like this? Yes. Please. :)

 Other people offered fancy dinners, baked goods for a month of Sundays, music lessons, personal training sessions, more dates, and lucky me - I ended up with a dinner and a "flurry of compliments." That means that I get one personalized compliment everyday for a month - from a very witty man. Unique? Yes. Totally worth it? Oh, yeah.

The auction was a great way to kick off the season and to start getting into the spirit of giving. And when the snow started to fall later on in the evening, I thought that I might just be ready for a cup of cocoa, some Christmas tunes, and night by my fireplace. We are almost there. Almost there!

Are you ready for the holidays?

What is your favorite way to give during the Christmas season?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Did I mention that I am in grad school?

This is how I feel right now:

This weekend is going to be one big homeworky blur. Luckily, once that is all taken care of, it will be THANKSGIVING BREAK! BYU doesn't have a Spring break or a Fall break, so this little vacation feels long overdue. Of course, we come back to our last few days of classes and then it is finals, but this will still be a nice break.

In other news, I went back to spin yesterday and I got back in the pool after more than 2 weeks out of the water. Spin and a recently sprained ankle are maybe not the smartest idea, but it felt so good to be back on the bike. I took it easy, but I will prolly be sure to take more time off should I ever sprain my ankle again. Sadly, I am pretty sure it is doomed to happen. Swim was awesome. I made up my own workout because the class was working on dolphin kicking with flippers. Yeah, at least I am smart enough to avoid the flippers. But honestly it was so nice to do something active again!

I wrapped up my day with a couple of hours of work. We held an info session for prospective students who are interested in the MPA program. I love recruiting. I am so lucky to have this job. I really enjoy getting up in front of people, sharing my experiences, and then helping them to figure out how to best achieve their goals. Now I just need to figure out how to put all of that into a long-term career when I graduate in April. Yikes! Speaking of graduating... back to the books!

What do you do to stay sane when you are injured?

Thankful thought for the day:

I am thankful for school. Even though it causes me a lot of stress, I have become a better person over the last year. I owe so much of that to the challenges I have overcome in grad school and to all of the incredible people who have helped me make it through.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


***disclaimer*** This post is about an injury and I did post a picture - if you get queasy you might want to skip this one.

Saturday morning I woke up ready to run.  I suited up and drove over to Orem to check in for the run. The group for the 10k was pretty small, but I was ok with that. It was overcast, but the rain had stopped and as far as I was concerned, the weather was as perfect as it could be for a November run.

I ended up having some timing chip issues, so I got a late start. After about a mile I felt like I was settling into my groove and was thrilled that I was catching up to the group.  However, this was when we ran through a section of road that was under construction. There was no shoulder on the road. It was just road and then a few inches of mud and rocks and then weeds.  While trying to stay on solid ground, but not get hit by cars, I hugged the edge of the road. The next thing I knew, I caught the lip of the road and my ankle rolled right under me. I hit the ground hard.  I am pretty sure I went into shock for a second, but I knew that I just needed to breathe it out.  People asked if I was alright, and I waved them on. I was convinced that I would just have to sit for a second, then walk it out, and then start running again. I had been on track for my goal time, and I was pretty sure I would be able to make up for lost time. I got up and started walking, then I started to jog. There was no way this was going to happen. I was only 1.5 miles into a 10k. Maybe I could just loop back on the 5k route and at least finish something...

I called my best running buddy, The Blur. I knew that she would understand and that she would give me sound advice. She told me I was crazy and that I needed to get off the course. She was right. It sucked. I hobbled over to one of the race volunteers and he called to race coordinator to come get me. While I was waiting he gave me a first aid kit so I could start cleaning myself off. It wasn't pretty.

However, I was kinda grateful that I got beat up a little more than just my sprained ankle. Battle wounds at least make you look a little bit cooler as you are hobbling off of the course 4.5 miles early.

Even though I didn't get to finish my first official 10k, I decided that this race was still an important part of my progression as a runner.

Here are 3 reasons that this experience proved I am legit (or crazy):

1. The first thing I thought when I saw my knee was, "Thank heaven I didn't wear my new tights! I would have torn a huge hole in them."

2. When people asked if I was ok, I tried to convince them as quickly as I could that I was alright so I wouldn't slow them down and ruin their race time.

3. I tried to run again - and was willing to bow out when it wasn't working. Pushing harder only would have made it worse. That is an important lesson to learn.

I spent the rest of the day resting and icing my ankle. That night my roomie and I got pizza and Magelby's chocolate cake and watched Sherlock Holmes. Injury sucks, but sometimes recovery can by nice. Now I am just going to focus on getting better so I can get back to my training. :|

Thankful thought for the day:

I am VERY grateful for ice packs, ibuprofen, and my ankle brace. Many thanks to the person who invented them!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today was a little rough. At noon I decided to hit the reset button on my day. I took a bath, got ready for the day - again - and headed into work. It was actually pretty magical how well that worked. I put in a few hours at work and then went to dinner with my dear friend Hali.We used to work together at UVU. It was SO GOOD to see her. She is also almost done with her graduate degree and is a total rock star. And the greatest news?  She is  seriously considering training for the Salt Lake Half Marathon so she can run with my in April! YAY!

Speaking of half marathons - I am going to run my first official 10k tomorrow so I can send the time to Disney and not have to start at the very back of the pack in January. I don't think that my time will be stellar, but I am just looking to be respectable. I'm shooting for 10 -10:30 minute miles. I think I can do it. :)

Thankful thought for the day:

I am thankful for super epic 11.11.11 wishes at 11:11:11pm. This one had better come true!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sneak Attack Christmas Music

I LOVE the holidays. I love them very much. I love the chill in the air, I love hot chocolate, I love celebrating with family and friends, I love Christmas movies, I love the glow of a fire, I love the smell of chimney smoke, I love it all.  But even with all the love I have for the holiday season, I have a hard time jump starting holiday celebrations before their time. Just a day or two after Halloween I walked into Yogurtland and there was Christmas music playing.  There weren't any Christmas decorations, and the only holiday flavor they had was pumpkin pie (and that is way more Thanksgiving than Christmas if you ask me) (Oh, and as long as you ARE asking me, I think peppermint and eggnog would be great fro-yo flavors and I hope to see them soon). Anyway, the point of the story is that was a sneak attack. I wasn't expecting Christmas music, it wasn't time for Christmas music, and nothing in that store indicated that there should be Christmas music. SNEAK. ATTACK. 

Something similar happened this morning. I was on my way to school, innocently flipping through my radio stations when one of them started playing Christmas music! That is not supposed to happen in my car! Not for 2 more weeks! It was a sneak attack! It caught me off-guard and it took me a minute to process before I could even think about changing the channel, but before I did, I realized what song was playing...
Even if it is a little early for Christmas music, this may be my one exception. I have unending love for both David Bowie and Bing Crosby. The fact that the musical paths of these two incredible musician passed is, in and of itself, a Christmas miracle. So I say throw tradition out the window! Give in a little! It is always time for David and Bing!

Merry Christmas!

Thankful thought for today:

I am grateful for my cozy bed and hot chocolate.  Even better when the two are combined. It is those moments that make me almost love winter!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Running Buddy Part 1

As long as I am running with the gratitude theme this month, I would like to focus a couple of posts on my best running friends. This one is for HRH - yup, she goes by Her Royal Highness. :)

We ran tonight, and as we ran we got to talking about how crazy it is that we have been running for just over year.  Mostly we just had a hard time believing that we had stuck with it! Who are we?! We started last September because HRH's mom was part of an organization putting on a Halloween 5k. We signed up to be supportive and to give ourselves a good kick start to start exercising regularly.  It was HRH's first 5k and my third.  We were slow and steady - and we had a great time! We decided to sign up for another race a month later. It was the American Fork Fleet Feet Turkey Trot. When we got to the race early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day it was 9 degrees. 9 degrees! I think that if you are willing to run in weather that cold, you are legit. There is not turning back. You are a runner. We were runners! It was such a thrill to be out there in the freezing weather at dawn on a day that I have traditionally slept all I could only to wake up to help cook, set the table, and then eat my weight in turkey and stuffing.

There were several hundred people running. That was one of the first times that I got a really good taste of just how incredible the camaraderie of the running community is - and how great it is have your friends be a part of that community. We are all set to run the Turkey Trot again this year, and this time we are bringing a lot more people with us. I LOVE being able to share this with others. That is one of the reasons I am so grateful for HRH: it is cool to grow as a runner, to get better, stronger, and healthier - but it is even cooler to develop deeper friendships and to watch those you love grow too.

It is also awesome to run with HRH because she brings her phone and we listen to the Justin Bieber station on Pandora. She is hilarious and witty, and is also willing to give me free therapy when I need it  - those runs are beneficial in about a million ways ;) She is our safety police, always making sure we run in safe places, and never alone in the dark. She motivates me on days when I don't want to go and is always supportive of my crazy endeavors.

Thanks for sticking with me HRH!

Who is your running buddy and why are you grateful for them?

Have you ever run in a Turkey Trot?

Thankful thought for today:

This one is pretty obvious - HRH, my thankful though for today is YOU!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Slow and steady wins the the long run.

So, today I had to take a day off from spin and swim. Boo. I won't lie, I was going a little crazy by the end of the school day. I am not used to having that much time on my hands. Spin and swim break up my stressful school days and make them bearable. Today I spent SO. MUCH. TIME. staring at my computer. My swim teacher told me that I could come observe and help teach and still get credit for attending and you had better believe I jumped at the chance.  At 12:50 I slammed my computer down and headed into class. Everyone looked at me crazy when I walked into class fully clothed. (How often can you say that?) To those that asked, I just said that I had minor surgery and left it at that.

It was actually really cool to observe my swim class. Watching everything from above is so different from trying to figure out what is going on when you are in the water. To refer to an earlier post, it is so vital that we slow things down to be able to improve.  Our class is a beginner one, and there were a lot of people in the water who were just going through the motions; kick your feet, move your arms in a circular motion - but that is all they were doing. Their limbs were just moving through the water, not working with the water to move them. They were putting in so much energy and getting back such minimal returns.  If they would concentrate on pulling, on maximizing force, it would be so much easier and they would go so much faster. There is an intermediate class in the pool next to us and their more advanced swimmers were just gliding through the water, making it look SO EASY and moving so much faster than our little pool of beginners. Correct application of effort is the key - not frenzied effort.

Lesson for the day - again?

Don't be afraid to slow down and get it right. It will actually lead to more success in the future.

In other news - even though I had to take a break from my classes - I ran tonight! It has been about a week and it felt so good! My leg was just fine and I am excited to get back on track.

Thankful thought for today:

I live in a BEAUTIFUL area. Today, I am grateful for the Wasatch mountains - especially when I get to run in the canyon. Here is a picture so you can be grateful too. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner is often reserved for family. Everyone gathers and sits around the table, enjoying creamy mashed potatoes. It's the American dream! Well, living in an area where pretty much everyone is single and away from family, this isn't a dream that we get to live very often.

Enter my totally amazing church group - they decided that every first Sunday they would organize groups of about 10 people and each group would host a Sunday dinner. This way, we get to eat something that isn't ramen or macaroni and cheese (even though I see nothing wrong with mac and cheese), hang out with something like a family, and we actually get to know people who we see around all the time - AND we may have had a couple of really good looking boys show up at our house. I think I could get used to this Sunday dinner thing.

I will be sure to let you know if anything awesome comes of this new faux-family thing.

BTW update on the leg -

I have never had stitches before. My doctor said that the surgical seal should have formed after 2 days and I should be good to spin to my heart's content tomorrow, but I am a little skeptical. I certainly don't want to go swimming, the idea of putting my poor wound in the water for an hour just doesn't seem very smart. Am I being paranoid?  I am going to try a short run tonight. Keep your fingers crossed and put some good things out in the universe for me!

Thankful thought for the day:

There was snow on the ground when I woke up this morning! I LOVE the holidays!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rest Day

It is 8:43 on a Saturday morning. I should just be getting back from my long run. One of our local running stores hosted a group running this morning, complete with waffles after the run. I won't lie when I say that I almost cried because I couldn't go. I am very thankful that everything worked out on Thursday and that I am cancer-free, but I really hate that I can't run this weekend. I am not the greatest runner in the world, but this has become so important to me. Running keeps my head clear, it keeps me confident, motivated, and quite frankly, it keeps me happy. It clears my head on rough days and gives me some much needed guilt-free me-time.

The doctor told me that I can't exercise for at least two days. I have definitely taken 2 days off before, but it is different when you don't have a choice. :(

I remember last March when I was injured and ended up driving past a race that I had signed up for, but couldn't run. I totally cried then too.

Have you ever cried because you couldn't run? Why is running important to you?

Thankful thought for today:

Today I am grateful for long runs! Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Friday, November 4, 2011

An Unlikely Brush with Cancer

A couple of weeks ago I had a "suspicious" mole removed. It was suspicious enough that they sent me to a specialist a week later to have it looked at.  The doctor had to take a larger biopsy from my leg and then he sent the scans to yet another specialist. I got the call on Tuesday that it was a melanoma. I made the first available appointment to go in and make sure that we got all of the cancer removed. I got to the doctors office around 9:00am. The doctor sat down with me (pulled his chair right next to me - never a good sign) and explained that I had stage 2A metastatic skin cancer.Cancer? Me? He said that only 1 in 100-200 of his patients who have suspicious moles removed end up with a dangerous diagnosis. I was the oddity. He began talking about survival statistics. The odds of survival are very good, but it still was very unsettling to be talking about odds at all. This time they had to take even more from my leg to make sure that all of the cancerous  cells were removed. I then waited in the special waiting room - stocked with candy, snacks, drinks, books, and videos for about an hour and a half. Thank you to my journal and Angry Birds for keeping me occupied! Anyway, after processing they informed me that everything looked great. (GREAT news!)  They brought me back to stitch up my leg and I was feeling pretty good - until I wasn't.

I may have a history of passing out when I get my blood drawn, and apparently stitches are no different.  I started feeling light headed and then asked the doctor if they would be ok (prepared) if I passed out. He assured me that he had never had anyone pass out when they were lying back on the procedures table and that I would be fine. Less than a minute later, I was gone. That prolonged the procedure, and the entire visit a bit. I am pretty good at making things adventurous. I spent the rest of the day in a nauseous, foggy haze. Things are ok, but it really gave me quite the scare. In fact, I am still not sure what to think about it. I have a lot of questions that I didn't get to ask cause I was a little loopy after passing out. I will ask them when I go back for my follow up.

For now, I am taking a lot of pain medication, avoiding the shower for two days, and have been expressly commanded that I am not to exercise until Monday. Boo. I am not thrilled about that, but it is certainly worth it.

Anyway, I think that this is the part where I urge you to make sure you are doing regular self-checks, and that if you notice ANYTHING irregular, GO GET IT CHECKED OUT. It may save your life. You are worth it. I have always been one of those "it will never happen to me" girls. Even when I went to get the mole removed, it was because it was bugging me, not because I thought it was a problem. As much as I wish we were invincible, we simply aren't. So do me a favor, and make sure you are taking care of yourself.

Thankful thought for the day

When I told my little sister about all if this, she asked why I hadn't said anything earlier. She said that she would have come with me and held my hand. I love that kid. I am so grateful for a loving family, especially my incredible, reliant, kind, and altogether fantastic baby sister.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Thankful thought for today:

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for good doctors.

I am also grateful that my doctor said that I remind him of all of the backcountry adventure guides he has ever had - thinking about a career change :)

...more about this visit to the doctor tomorrow

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Magic Mile - Part II

So, there is a class that I have been taking that has caused me a lot of grief.  Many of my classmates have dropped it, and I won't lie that I have been jealous of them as our class size has dwindled. I didn't really consider quitting as an option.  I felt like if I dropped my class it would mean that I wasn't a very good grad student. I was also afraid that if I lost the credits, I would have to make them up next semester.  That would have pushed my currently difficult but manageable load straight to crazy town, merely prolonging the anxiety the class was making me feel. So, I haven't really entertained the idea of quitting. However, I have been running like crazy trying to keep up and it just isn't working like I want it to!

Enter Jeff Galloway's magic mile (see post below). I had also recently read Dieter F Uchtdorf's talk on Things That Matter Most. Both of these men shared the idea that sometimes, just when you feel like you should be pushing harder to make sure you are achieving everything you can - you should actually be slowing down.  I guess Aesop actually said it too, "Slow and steady wins the race."  So, I decided that I needed to reset my goal pace for the long run that is my life. As part of this new pace, I went to talk with our program's assistant director to see what I should do about my class. She was practically enthusiastic about me dropping the class!  "If that is going to be best for you, drop it!" We discovered that I don't need the credits from this class, so I don't even have to make it up.

WOW! So much stress has been alleviated. I didn't realize how much it was affecting me! I am now a better student, a better friend, and I am so much happier! Take away lesson? There is no shame in slowing down - sometimes it is slowing down, or cutting back that actually allows us to use our energy more efficiently, and then we can do more.  Who knew?

Thankful Thought for Today
Today I am grateful for education. Grad school has taught me so much - not just about Public Administration, but about who I am and what I am capable of.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So, it has been a pretty crazy week. Hopefully I will be filling you in on that shortly, but for now, I will just say that I cannot believe it is NOVEMBER! Where did the time go? Where did the sun go? It rain/snowed this morning, so I waited until 7:00pm tonight to go on my run. It was clear when I started out, but then it snowed again! Is it crazy that I kinda liked it? There are few things in the world that make me feel more hardcore than running in the snow. BAM!

Anyway, November is here and it is time to start focusing on the things that I am thankful for. This month, I am going to try to focus on one thing every day.

Today I am grateful for: my best friends.  The keep me motivated, make me feel loved, make me laugh, and I honestly consider them to be family. I don't know what I would do without them.

Happy 11/1/11