New Challenge, New Goal and New Bike !

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I haven’t written lately, as I have been dealing with a really painful case of plantar fasciitis- even a cortisone shot hasn’t healed me enough to resume running.

I have missed having a goal.  I miss the structure of a training plan and having something to work for.  I have never thought about cycling, not really.  I have cycled in the sense of adding it to my cross training.  I would take out my husbands second hand mountain bike and ride 9-10 miles.  It felt heavy and after about 9-10 miles I was done.  In reality it probably wasn’t the best for road riding, in which that was what I was doing!  But, it served it’s purpose.

About a week ago I got the idea.. why don’t I sign up for a bike event?   A beginner event with low mileage- I found an event that has a 35 mile, 62 mile or 100 mile choice.  I could start with the 35 mile ride as something to work towards.  But, first I need a bike.

Ok, here again, I have never researched bikes or what I need.  I asked around and was told by a few people who have much more experience (and actually know what they’re talking about) that I should get an entry level hybrid bike.  OK, sounds good!  Now, where do I go…?

I began looking on Craigslist for used bikes.  I know that I want decent bike.  I want something respectable, but I also don’t want to break the bank and buy something completely out of my league for a hobby I just decided to undertake.  If I could get something in between?

I was lucky! I got a little better than just in between.. better than I ever expected to be available to me.  I ended up getting a Marin Fairfax SC5 hybrid bike, she’s a 2014 model, but brand new.  I love her!  She rides so smooth, and fast!  Wow, what a difference a nice bike makes!  She retails for about $1200.00 at the Marin Bikes Factory Outlet store in San Francisco.  But, they were offering 20% off, also- and that was for a 2015 model.  A 2014 can probably be found for even less than that.  Marin Bikes has a solid history and is owned and run by bike enthusiast’s .  They know what they’re doing!  I also live in the area and want to always keep it local-which is not hard with a bike that has such a solid reputation world wide.

I am so excited to get started on this new adventure.  I have a lot to learn about my bike and how to take care of her.  It’s really the first nice thing I’ve ever invested in outside of my cars for myself.  I can honestly say I don’t think I have bought myself anything at this level before.  It’s not like it’s terribly expensive, but I have always had bikes purchased from K-mart, or Costco, etc.  I was fine riding anything we had laying around.  This is different.

I am excited to have a new goal, and something new to learn about.  I am excited because I actually think I will be better at this than running.  It’s less torture on my body.  Running just beat the shit out of me, and I was always fighting some sort of injury.  I feel like its too violent on my body.  I still love it.  And, I actually would like to come back to it.  But, I have to heal, and that is going to take a lot of time.  I joke with my husband and say, “I wanted to get fit, and do something that was healthy and good for me.  Since I started running I have never had so many problems with my health as I do NOW.. how ironic is that?”

I have that enthusiasm back for something, and am excited to take on my new challenge.  I will post a picture of my new beloved.  I haven’t named her, yet.  I joke she is my 3rd daughter!

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I Took the Cortisone Shot! (as well as found a great healthy cookie recipe!)

After 5 months of pain from Plantar Fasciitis I opted for a cortisone shot.   I have to say, so far– I am glad I did it.  I, of course, know I am not off the hook and need to continue my physical therapy of stretching, ice, massage, taping helps, orthotics for my shoes (Green Superfeet work great for me) to heal properly.  But, the pain was so excruciating and none of those things seem to be helping me heal.

Also, I need to work harder on my diet.  I have to lose weight.  I do good for a few days, and then I totally blow it a day or two and then go back.  I am not going to make progress if I don’t get as serious about my diet as I have with my exercising.

I have researched healthy snack ideas and planned things for the week.  I have cute containers to portion control and have found some recipes to make treats without flour, sugar, etc.  My favorite one I tried this weekend was Quick Oatmeal banana cookies!

I used two very ripe bananas, about a cup (I eyeball measure) of quick oatmeal oats, and raisins (You can add some dark chocolate chips, or nuts, also).  That’s IT.  Mash it all together (don’t use too many additions or I read the oatmeal wont stick together as well).  Also, grease (I use pam non-stick spray) your cookie pan well so nothing sticks -that could be a nightmare.  Here is the link of of the recipe for any other ideas or questions http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/07/2-ingredient-cookies-plus-the-mix-ins-of-your-choice/  .  I baked them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes like they said.  They were so yummy warm!  It was like eating an energy bar.  They didn’t last more than 20 minutes in my house.  My little one kept asking if she could have another.  I said sure, there is nothing in them that isn’t healthy for her.  She can have as many as she wants.  My husband loved them and kept going back for another.  I loved them.  They smell great, too.

So, I am trying.  I have lost 5 pounds only so far.. it should be more if I was more successful keeping the food out of my mouth.  It’s the hardest thing ever!  I know what I have to do.  I have done it in the past more than once.  It’s just doing IT !!

Today is a new day, and I can make it a good day.  Hope you do too!

A Nightmare With a Happy Ending!

It has been a rough few weeks.  Absolutely, mentally excruciating.

I thought I was over the hurdles and back on track to working towards my goals, but then life threw me another curve.  My transmission went out on my Jeep, literally 12 hours after I heard the good news I was officially done paying off my Jeep!  O.M.G!  Really?!!!! Yes, really.  Now before someone (and, yes, many people did say this) “at least it didn’t happen when you were still making payments on it”.   True, but, I had just made the last payment and hadn’t any time to recoup or save money , yet!  It was devastating.

My husband thought he would save us money and attempt to fix himself.  I was against it, as transmissions are not easy fixes.  I appreciate what he was trying to do, but it had the makings for another mess I mentally couldn’t handle.  However, I had no choice, but to let him attempt it without having world war III in my house. Two weeks I waited for him to get the part and attempt the work.  It didn’t work.  We could still drive the car, but it was in permanent third gear.  A transmission guy drove the car, and said, “its not mechanical, its a code or software issue and only Jeep can fix it.”  Luckily, I have a friend who works at the Jeep dealership.  I didn’t originally take it to her because I know they charge by the hour just to diagnose the problem at $150.00 an hour that is one road I didn’t want to travel even if I knew someone who worked there! But, if its a code issue then I had to let them take a look.

I told her if its over two hours she needs to call me.  I can’t do more than $300 for a diagnosis, unless they know what the problem is.  She called me later that day.  I just happened to be at my mechanics shop in Marin County who was smogging my BMW.  He deals with import cars and while he is good, he isn’t cheap either, when she called from the Jeep dealership.  She informed me it wasn’t electrical nor a code.  She needed more time to take apart everything including the part my husband replaced.  I asked how much this was going to cost?  She paused, and very hesitantly said, “it could be 750.00 and that isn’t even a guarantee.”  I was speechless.  I couldn’t say anything, except break into tears, and I handed the phone to my mechanic.  He had no clue at first what I was handing the phone to him for.  I just kind of muttered.. talk.. to .. the Jeep.. dealership.. I can’t.  I was just done.

Bless his heart.  He did.  He took the phone and asked what they were doing, what have they checked so far.  Then he spoke with their transmission guy and between the two of them they discussed, and decided what to do.  He got off the phone with them, and gave me his advice.  He said, ” I think this guy sounds knowledgeable.  He seems to think he can fix it without new transmission.  I think you should let him finish with it, and just bite the bullet.  If you need a new transmission I told him to take it out of the dealership and I will do it cheaper.”  I had gathered my composure by now, and said, “Ok”.

My friend then spoke with me and assured me they are looking out for me, and promised she is not charging me unnecessarily.  I knew she wasn’t.  I realize its the dealership and it is what it is.  I had accepted the fact I was probably going to need a new transmission and started telling myself, “I got this.  I got this… I can handle this..”  I had no time for any reprieve from owing money, or any breathing room.  I just have to deal with this.

The next day I hadn’t heard from anyone.  It was two O’clock in the day and I braced myself to make the call and figured I better call AAA and have my car towed.  But, my phone rang.  It was my friend at Jeep saying, “you’re so lucky girl.  It’s fixed!”  I was shocked! NO! Really?!  YEP!  It was a part that was bent, a valve casing.. and turns out it was a hundred dollars cheaper than quoted!  I am so happy.  I bought a bottle of whiskey (I was told what he drinks) and brought it to the transmission guy when I picked up my car.  She purrs like a kitten!  Finally, it seems everything fell into place. We celebrated by going to dinner in Sausalito.

I am so fortunate I know the manager of Scoma’s in Sausalito.  I had never been there before, and she had told me if I ever wanted to come to let her know.  I had called and make reservations there a month ago.  When we arrived, she had set us at the BEST table in the house.  In front of a beautiful bay window, with a view of San Francisco city skyline and Bay Bridge.  The weather was perfect.. in the 70’s in early evening!  Super crowded though with a lot of tourists enjoying this cute city by the bay.

I had Maine Lobster and spinach salad.  My husband had steak and lobster.  My daughter loved her clam chowder and fettuccini.  We were given French cheesecake with raspberry sauce on the house.  My daughter lost her front tooth at dinner! It was like a perfect dream ending!  I am now so excited to FINALLY get back on track and start my training!!  What a relief… I thanked everyone with good reviews on Yelp, hugs and little thank you gestures of my appreciation.  I learned another thing.. having a good mechanic is like having a good doctor.  I want one who can diagnose correctly and fix the issue.  When you find one.. never stray!  I will be doing all my recommended services from here on out!  Hope everyone had a Happy Valentines Day!

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Our view from our table!

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Beautiful night in Sausalito, Ca.

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view from deck of restaurant

Mental Recovery– Mental Health Is Just As Important As Physical Health

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My last post had me in a bad mental state.  Mentally I had just shut down.  I was exhausted from trying to negotiate every day life and all the issues I was running up against.  Our family had sacrificed for five years paying off debt.  Five years of not going out to dinner, not buying new clothes, not buying any new furniture when needed.  I had to juggle bills constantly!  I was finally done, so I thought and the relief of knowing I could live again with some financial freedom had me bouncing off the walls!  Well, it hit a hiccup.. temporarily…

I had called to ask for final pink slips, etc and confirm the balance was zero (thinking this is just a formality, of course its zero!) to hear the lady say, “You still have a balance of $4,000.”  I was thinking.. NO, NO, NO.. that can’t be right!  I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.  To make a long story short, and skipping all the other crap that went wrong with this situation.. I am blaming Mercury.  Mercury was and is in retrograde.  I don’t care if anyone doesn’t believe in that stuff.  I do. I even had told my husband, be careful, allow yourself extra time when doing things as things will go wrong-just allow for it.  Then this happened, and I thought, thanks Universe! Why is this happening?  How?  Well, turns out it was a clerical/bookkeeping error!  Oh, my goddess!  I cried.  I literally wept tears of happiness.  How can I diet, exercise and train when mentally I was checked out?

Which brings me to my next point.. mental health is just as important as physical health. The difference I feel knowing this was a mistake, and I don’t owe anything more is like a miracle feeling.  I am so happy I can’t sleep.  I am looking forward to starting my day back with eating right, starting my exercise program and looking forward to the future.  I understand how some people can get to a point and just check out.  I do. Depression is VERY real and scary.  I have only been there a few times in my life.  I am usually extremely strong.  But, everyone has a breaking point.

The good thing was I had some great people along the way who helped me.  They just happened to be all men.  Weird?  Maybe .. but, I find men tend to step up and can really recognize when someone needs something.  There are times when things can be pushed to the side, and then there are those times when they can’t. Men seem to know that distinction.  Women in my life have never really been that for me.

My husband was amazing.  He really nurtured me this week.  He knew I was in a dark place and it was him who was going to have to be the strong one.  A few others just did nice things to making life a bit simpler, taking a bit of the load off of me by tackling projects I couldn’t handle at the moment.. one was at work, and then a nice attorney (yes, I said nice and attorney in the same sentence.. there are some, for sure!) who looked into my situation and emailed me with the results that I was in fact, clear.  Each of those people in their own way, with their kindness, kept me hopeful.

If you ever have the chance to do something nice for someone, do it.  You never know how something so small to you might make a big impact on someone else.  I try to pay that kind of stuff forward… and I will again.  Thank you Universe for showing me how you usually balance things out in the end.  I can’t wait to start my Spin class tomorrow morning!

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MIA.. A little hiccup..

I was so excited to start my program.  Unfortunately,  I got a little bad news.  Nothing too critical,  but it’s deflated my sail a bit.  I thought I was finally debt free… It was such a weight off my mind, shoulders, etc.  I found out I actually have 2 more months of payments I had no idea about.  Another two months of struggling…another two months of the stress it took to manage every month that I finally thought was gone!  Urghhhh!

It’s not earth shattering,  but I don’t feel much of anything right now.. Just kind of numb.  Then on top of it I realize what idiots I deal with when they plop petty bullshit in my lap without any sensitivity to my feelings.  So,  many I think are friends… Are not friends at all.  Instead of support they’re the type that will correct your grammar or spelling in my post.  Or,  others I have supported – – don’t even ask how I am.

At the end of the day I don’t lose sleep over it.  I am used to being strong and have learned to only count on myself. I will bounce back in a week or so and get started again, after I give myself a little time out.  Because right now…I don’t give a fiddlers fuck. 

I am In the Mind Set! First Serious Steps Towards Next Goal- (Sometimes it takes your mind a little longer to catch up) .

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2015 Runner's Calendar

This week was the first week I started taking steps towards the San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon.  I began using my fitness pal app again, and tracking my food more seriously.  I am really taking it slow in the running department choosing to focus on losing weight before my scheduled training plan takes effect. I am keeping my runs to 1-2 miles at the moment 3-4 times a week, with cross training.

I know losing weight is going to ease my knees and injuries.  I really want to get into some really decent shape to give this 2nd half marathon a real go.  I have 6 weeks to drop some weight and gradually get into better condition without pushing my body too fast, before my training plan calls for scheduled mileage increases.

I started with a chiropractor to adjust my knees, feet and hips.  He adjusted me today.  Who knew ones feet could be adjusted?  They did!  He felt on the bottom of my feet (where I am complaining of Plantar fasciitis).. my feet popped into some alignment!  Then he adjusted my knees and hips.  I am returning a few times a week as I am gradually easing back into my running and he will adjust me accordingly.  He is also applying Kinesiology Tape to my knees friday to show me some different techniques I can try.  I figure this is a better step in the direction of being pro-active than taking Rx strength Aleve, as my M.D. suggested.  I am on a mission to try and cure this, not mask it.  I absolutely have no problem thinking outside the box.

I also have my beautiful new Runner’s Calendar for 2015.  It’s hilarious how excited I am with a calendar, but I have always wanted one.  It has races all over the world on different dates listed,  with July 26th listing my sweet SF Marathon, which I blew up in the photo. It made their list! Also listing tips to prevent injury, exercises, motivation quotes, and of course beautiful destination pictures of places to run.

I love having a goal.  It really is something I now know I need in my life.  I need something to look forward to, to keep my eye on the prize, and striving to be better.  I need the structure.  Its probably why I love running so much, it requires an amount of discipline I haven’t always been good at.  I have finished everything I have set out to do so far with my running goals, which hasn’t always been the case.  This is teaching me to not give up on other goals I have.  After this goal, who knows, maybe it will be back to school for me!

Oh.. and as of today… 3 lbs down… to be continued !

Slowly, but Surely

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I have been slow in starting my goal, but I am working on starting!  I signed up back at my health club yesterday.  It offers Yoga, Spin, water aerobics and has an Olympic size pool for laps.  I don’t officially start until February 1st.

I am going to try the Hal Higdon Training Plan this time for Novice 2.  I will start February 1st.

I have toyed with the idea of starting a new blog under a different name that is more incognito so I can say everything I really want to say.  Emotionally sometimes I just want to vent, and express myself without fear of people I know reading it.

We all have people close to us that emotionally aren’t very nice to us.  It’s a real struggle sometimes to not let the negative talk or hurtful voices take over.  I have pretty thick skin, but, sometimes I have to remind myself just because someone says something to me, doesn’t make it so.  Don’t let other people’s perceptions or projections of themselves stick.  Ask yourself, “do you really give a fuck?”  If the answer is no, then turn away and say it.  Don’t get lassooed into a negative net.

2014 in review… Goodbye and Hello 2015 !

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I am very excited about 2015. I am one of those people who loves New Year’s, and look forward to what it may bring. This year I am especially excited for.. 2014 has been one of the best years emotionally, as I have grown as a person beyond what I could imagine. I ran over 425 miles (that I kept track of) finished two half marathons, one 10k, a few 5k’s and found I am capable of so much more then I gave myself credit for.

It’s also been one of the worst years financially I have ever, ever encountered–Barely making it through each month, yet it also gave me empathy for others who struggle. This year I start with a clean slate, my debts paid off, and finally with some disposable income to take my daughter to Disneyland, a vacation which we haven’t seen in a few years, even go out to dinner which was considered a luxury (sad, but true). I am not ashamed, as we dug ourselves out and preserved through it all– still healthy, together and in a better place! I have a new grandbaby, and both my children make me extremely proud. My husband has a much better job, benefits and is a good daddy. I have all I need. I wish you all much love, happiness, health and success in whatever your goals are for 2015. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Cure for Plantar Fasciitis? Maybe….

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HI!  It’s been a while since I have written anything, and to be honest I was at a loss of what write!  I would sit down and ponder.. and all I could come up with is–

1.  I have gained 12 lbs since October.

2.  I have hardly run due to being lazy, and more feet issues.  This time Plantar Fasciitis.

3.  I am so unmotivated I can’t even think of something to blog.

Today I woke up and my Plantar Fasciitis is like GONE.  It has been plaguing me for at least two months!  I have done massage, stretching the feet and calf muscles.  I have been wearing my supportive shoes even when they looked unattractive with what I was wearing.  I have limited any exercise which might exasperate it.

I think they all helped, but it was still not going away.  Up until 2 days ago I thought at times I needed crutches it hurt so much, like someone sliced my heel with a razor so deep and I had to walk on it with searing pain! I read online somewhere someone said they were told it was a Vitamin D deficiency.  I started taking my Vitamin B complex and a multi vitamin religiously about a week and a half or more ago.  Could that be the cure?  It’s hard to say, but it seriously went away as quick as it came on, and that seems odd to me.  It didn’t gradually disappear.  I can still feel some hint of soreness, but its like 90% gone.  I am thrilled to say the least.  I hope it continues and I will monitor it, and see if lasts.

Now, I have started tracking my food again on Myfitnesspal .  It connects to my Strava account so my exercise calories are automatically entered.  I find that when I track my food I am more successful.  I really, really need to get at least 30 lbs off.

My goal for 2015 is to run the 2nd half of the SF Marathon and PR (that shouldn’t be hard) and see how well I can do when running on all cylinders.  I am excited and beginning to feel motivated!