Friday, May 31, 2013

Unreasonably Hard - The Bikini Blog

Yesterday I had a great run. I ran the longest I have run in this C25K training session as well.
I ran in sweats, with music playing. It was raining off and on and I just focused on some spot in the distance and kept at it.
The result?
My longest run was at about 11 minutes/mile (it was on a slow yet steady uphill slope) and a near 10 minute interval.

Looks like 2 days of rest is pretty much my magic medication for a great run result.

I noticed some changes - though not yet on the scale. The changes came in the form of getting into an airplane seat and my hips didn't creep under the arm rest (yes, they used to). It's a pretty safe bet that it means about a 1/2 inch to 1 inch off my hips/thighs rather than assuming Virgin American got bigger seats since April.

Front - December - March - May
Back - December - March - May
  Now, one thing that's stuck with me for as long as I remember is that I'm often unreasonably hard on myself. The upside is that it motivates me to be better - to be more than I am now. The down side, is that I can get deeply discouraged. In fact, if there is one thing my oldest friends would change about me, it's that I am really hard on myself.

I've learned to remind myself to be gentle on my emotions/spirit when I'm feeling discouraged or overwhelmed. In this Navy life, it's a constant adaptation process, so that "Be gentle on yourself," feedback loop in my mind gets a good work out. A great example: My Sailor came back from an underway with a bum knee, a bad cold, his hockey team lost their shot at the Stanley Cup this year, and he got 4 hours of sleep before going back to work for a 12 hour shift, with no days off for another week, and he barely missed his last promotion oppurtunity. Talk about your rolling with the punches.

When it comes to my physical progress though, I find taking photos like this are vital to kicking my discouragement in the butt. Well, that and moving heavy things around in the gym.

Physically moving helps me deal with the constant adaptations necessary to thrive in this life. Achieving on those levels is my favorite bi-product. I couldn't imagine dealing with the stress any other way. It's a real gift to be able to move.  I'm pretty much sold on this and plan to stick to it for a year. My Sailor says a year and a 1/2, but we'll see how things go (financially and otherwise).

For what it's worth, this is one girl, who is unreasonably hard on herself, who is happy with how far she's come...

though she's still got a long way to go. ;)

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Yesterday, my Dad's ashes were interned at the cemetery at Fort Rosecrans in Point Loma, California.

The cemetery is just about completely full. They'll stop offering internments soon, and it's next to impossible to actually get a burial plot.

The ceremony organizer met us at the gate and we drove to an area with covered seating. Some flower arrangements in Red White and Blue had been set up. We sat down to a small speech my the organizer. He explained the significance of the awning and being interred in Fort Rosecrans. The speech was clear, respectful, and well rehearsed. After a hidden trumpeter played Taps, and the organizer talked about the significance of the tune, two Sailors unfolded a flag, displayed it for us, and folded it again to perfection in silence. Once done, the senior Sailor knelt and presented the flag to Mom with a short, clear, heart felt speech recognizing Dad's work in the Navy and our family.

The organizer took the urn (a nice, chestnut box) and carried it with him to the wall. Once at the wall, he passed the box off to my brother, who carried it to the wall. A worker was waiting on a tall ladder to put the box into the wall. (The Organizer joking called him 'Tall Mike' to ease the mood.) Dad's spot is near the end of a wall, over looking the harbor. The Organizer joked that they would promote Dad Harbor Master - another attempt to ease the tension. As inappropriate as it may sound, I think the attempts at humor were appreciated. He explained that there will be room for Mom should she opt to be included in the wall in Dad's space later on down the road. His plate would be done in about 6 weeks.

Now, my family isn't big on burials. Dad's internment is a product of family history (due to Dad's naval service, there are Munderloh's in the San Diego area) and the service and internment was free - earned by his service in the military. He was just at the tail end of his Naval service when he met my mom. Actually, he almost didn't get married because they wanted to send him to Gnome, Alaska!

Left photos - the walls of Interment. Right photos - the view from the interment area. Center - Dad's Marker, awaiting carving.
I don't think Dad is 'there'. I doubt that the dead have any real concern about where their body ends up. Memorials and burials are for the living. So the living have a 'place' to go, to cry, to heal, to gather... a hard and fast stone with a name on it to bring comfort to those left behind. Something that says, "This person was here."

But the legacies we leave on this earth go far past that - So here's a little matter of perspective.

As we were leaving the internment area, we met a woman in her 40's carrying a young boy. The little boy was about 2 years old, maybe 3. They were taking in the view. As I turned to go, I overheard the woman say she was the cute little boy's grandmother. They were here with the boy's mother, visiting his father - who was killed 2 years ago in battle in Afghanistan. As I walked away, I noticed a young woman, probably in her early 20's, crouching, her hand on a marble plaque like Dad's, only this soilder was on the lowest level. Her face was quietly pained, eyes closed in reverance. I remember how remarkably young she looked. I absently wondered if it was a father, grandfather, brother or sister she was moarning.

I got in my car and put on my seat belt. The woman with the young boy walked out towards the parking lot, taking the same route I did. As I started my rental car, I checked my rear view mirror.

The young woman crouched by the stone had emerged, to join the grandmother. She took the young boy into her arms and hugged him as they prepared to go.

The gravity hit me.

I got a lifetime with my dad. Most of us get that - a lifetime with our parents. Even if they aren't the people we wish they were. Even if we have our differences, annoyances, arguments. Even if you're blessed with winning the parent lottery like I am - we all had those experiences. We got that lifetime or those years.

Odds are, this little boy never met his dad. 

If he did meet his dad, he probably will only know him through photographs and through the actions and stories of others. It's very rare to have memories before 2 years old.

There is never a good time to lose someone we love. But, man, were we lucky that we got to have a lifetime...

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Gaping Hole

Before I left California in April, and after my dad had taken his last breath, My Sailor and I drove to San Diego to see the cemetery in Rosecrans in Point Loma where my dad's ashes were to be interred.

I held it together during most of the drive. As you can see from the left, I was driving. I know my way around San Deigo far better than My Sailor (who, until then, had only been there twice for brief visits). 

Now, normally I would describe cemeteries, no matter how pretty, still wreck of rotting flesh and bones, and have an overall aura of devastation. Finding myself purposely driving to one seems like one of the last things I'd do. But there I was, in April driving to a cemetery, and here I will be again tomorrow morning, driving to a cemetery.

In general, I believe funerals aren't for the dead - but for the living. They help with closure and with grief (or so I'm told). I've never actually been to one, in my 33 years of life. I've managed to either avoid such occasions, or not have need of them. So it's a little extra challenging that tomorrow I should leave to do the internment ceremony of my dad's ashes into the military graveyard.

Here's the thing:

I think Dad probably would have rolled his eyes at all this, but my brother has a point as well. Having a stone here is something we can bring future generations to that says, "Hey, we were here."

I can see why people do these kinds of things - funerals and memorials - quickly after someone dies. While they are important for the grieving process, each ceremony is like someone cleaning out a wound in danger of festering. Each time, it's cleansing and healing - but it also hurts like hell.

And after tomorrow, there will be one more later in this summer.

Exploring this uncharted territory without My Sailor allows me to be uniquely selfish in my experience, without worrying about anyone elses' day to day.

Right now it's all about me, family, and one day at a time...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Coming Around the Long 'Weigh'...and a Tip for Single Girls

It's easy to get off track in health. Especially at times like these. With My Sailor out Finding Nemo and me laying my father's ashes to rest this Memorial Day weekend, some would say the easiest thing to do would be to curl up with a bunch of chocolate, a bottle of wine, and a box of Kleenex. In some ways, I might agree with that - but that isn't really my style.

Monday, before I left to come down to California, I had another sessions with TrainerGuy. This time, we worked on finding a new Personal Record for my Deadlifts.

Remember when I said I could Deadlift almost 100lbs?

Well, it's true....

VERY true.

And it's every bit the incentive I need to stay on track.

Monday, I deadlifted 205lbs.

In my socks.

Had we not had any further plans for working out (or moving) for the day, I probably could have upped that to 210ish or a little more.

In case you thought that was a typo, let me confirm it. I can lift over 200 pounds.But before I just start tooting my own horn, I've had something of some confirmation today.

I don't have hooves.

Today, a friend of mine signed me into her gym as a guest and I slung some weights around. I'll include the actual work out at the bottom of this email for those interested in a full break down (cough cough... TrainerGuy... cough cough). My work outs when I'm traveling are always a bit more of a challenge, but I got in there and got 'er done.

And that's when AndiGirl confirmed something I've been thinking for a while. I don't have hooves. In fact, I'm far from a gazelle when it comes to my work outs. I'm not a graceful runner - though it's improving, it's yet to come naturally. (Like I've said before, I do it because it's hard.) My dream is to finish a few key races I have on my radar - not necessarily to 'win' or even 'place' in them. My goal is to finish in a way I'm proud of, and to hit that finish line with a smile on my face.

But I may have more in common with my favorite animal than the cheetah or the hoof stock of the world.

My favorite land animal just happens to be...

The African Elephant.

And ya know what? I'm completely okay with that right now.

Running may not be a lifetime goal for me.

But other goals are coming into view.

I really  like lifting. It's hard, but I don't think I like it because it's hard.  I think I just... like it. I seem to pick things up pretty quickly and, well it's fun!

Now, that said, one thing that I'll admit has become a little 'fun' about it, is being underestimated in the gym.

Seriously girls, if you're getting all dolled up, pouring hundreds of dollars into hair, make up, outfits that leave little to the imagination, and shoes that really hurt your feet, you're barking up the wrong tree.

That's just asking for one bad decision after another.

You want attention?

Become 'the girl' in the weight room slinging heavy weights, correctly.

Talk about a conversation starter.

Disclaimer:  I am happily married and don't flirt my way through the gym. I am there to work and, well, here's today's work out:

Warm up: 500m rowing, 30 sit ups, 10 knee to touch lunges, 20 w knee to touch w/8lb ball, 20 body weight squats Work Out- 30lb front squats x20, 30lb rear squats x 20, 40lbs front squats x10, 40lbs rear squats x10, 50lbs front squats x10, 50lbs rear squats x 10, 50lbs front squats x10. Every minute on the minute rear squats w/ 60lbs 3 sets of 5 each. Split jerks 30lbs x1, 40lbs x 10, 50lbs x 8, 60lbs x15, back extension 100lbs x15.

And all of these photos were taken by My Sailor, edited by me. All rights reserved.

My Unlicensed Military Life How-To Manual - Submarine Edition

Deployments are never easy. Heavy work schedules make it a real challenge to do anything but wait around at home to steal a few spare and precious moments of time.

My Cousin recently joined the Marines, and I'm very proud of the way my family has worked through their fears and come together to support him in his journey.

I see lots of things in Facebook, as parts of military groups, that kind of disturb me. There are lots of people out there searching for answers to questions like, "How can I be sure he still loves me? He doesn't act really  excited to see me," or "He is excited to go on deployment! Does that mean he doesn't love me anymore?" or "I hate where we've moved to! How do you cope?"

I've been doing my best to answer with supportive, and realistic comments. I can't speak from any experience other than my own - and My Sailor and I have a rather unique relationship, granted - but there are a few things I've learned that have helped me thrive.

Foster an overdeveloped sense of adventure.

This is the BIGGEST favor any one with an intimate relationship with a military member can do for themselves. At least, I'm convinced it is. It actually solves a LOT of problems.

For example, with an overdeveloped sense of adventure, I find I actually seek out things to enjoy in life, no matter where it takes me. A great example of this at work is when I moved from Sunny Southern California - a place most people consider a paradise - to the 'frozen north' of Western Washington. And yet, I love it. Sure, I love visiting my hometown area too, but at the same time, I miss the tall pine trees, the occasional eagles soaring over the landscape, and the small towns. There are great ups to both places. That doesn't mean there aren't things I don't like. (I don't miss the constant threat of wildfires or the dry desert-like heat from California. In Washington, I struggle with the drastic hours of sunlight, and often long stretches without sunshine all together.) But fostering one thought pattern is helpful. The other - well - isn't. Focusing on what I don't like isn't going to make ANYTHING easier or better. I just acknowledge there will be things that are hard or that I don't like or even that I HATE, and move on to brighter thoughts.

No One is Promised Tomorrow - so Steal Your Moments When You Can

This one doesn't need some long exposition. It's true of those who aren't in the military as well, but especially true for those that are. No one is promised tomorrow.

We plan for it, hope for it, fear it, and long for it.

But we are mortal.

So you have a choice. Have a miserable day/holiday because your loved one isn't there in the flesh to share it with you, or find a way to honor them and enjoy your day/holiday. Your freedom to do so is part of what they are fighting for. Honor the fight and use the gift.

Speak and Live HONESTLY

It's amazing what a little resolution can fix. Not to mention the huge burdens that can be lifted when you don't have to worry about keeping a secret or making a lie sound like the truth. When you practice what you preach, it keeps things simple.

Imagine what life would be like if you believed your partner was always telling you the truth. Yes, there will be those "Do I look fat in this?" that is honestly answered "yes" moments, but when you assume your partner is telling the truth, you  believe  the I love yous and you find you need less assurance of that, because his/her actions line up with his/her words.

It cuts out a LOT of the bull and destroys insecurity. After all, if you're BOTH telling the truth, and living honestly, what are you afraid of?

Oh, and One last thing... Forgive Often and Quickly

Sometimes, ya just gotta have some space, get some air, and forgive yourself for not being the perfect military support mechanism. Ya know what? You're human! Sometimes it just takes a little Sublimely Self Righteous (my favorite beer - Stone Brewery... Yum) and some fresh air.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Own Personal Brand of Crazy 'or' Just Your Average Day

For those of you that are married - imagine your spouse.

That's my handsome goof ball right there in the GhostBusters shirt.
Now imagine it's a regular day and they leave for work.

As the day wears on, your cell phone runs out of juice. Due to annoying circumstances beyond your control, you can't charge it immediately. Annoying, but no big deal, right? Something you can take care of when stores are open.

The time comes when he's supposed to be home... and it passes.... no big deal still. Work occasionally makes him/her stay late.

Then 2 hours pass... then 3....

That was pretty much my morning.

6 hours after his shift was scheduled to end, it actually does end.
Welcome to our household.

Welcome to the Navy.

This is why they say that spouses serve too.

So, that said, I seriously needed an outlet. Thursday is usually my rest day, but I cranked out my C25K anyway. Since I started the Week 4 program, I can honestly say that it's now very real... and I still don't like running most of the time. BUT I'm getting better at it. Some days I enjoy it more than others. I'm doing it because it's hard... because overcoming something that is hard feels awesome.

Challenges are good things.

And occasionally - you stumbled upon little peices of magic in the process - like this vista I spied along the way. (See photo below.)

No editing has been done to this photo.
Trainer Guy and My Sailor are starting to get treated to my own special brand of 'crazy' lately.

See, I tend to... talk to myself. I know we all do it to some degree, but I actually listen to myself. It's like my inner-parent voice comes out and whips my whiney insecurities into shape.

For example, I've been having trouble for a while with the strength of my left side of my body. Seriously - sometimes it acts almost as if I've had a stroke and it's measurably and noticably weaker than my dominant side.  My left arm would struggle to lift a weight my right arm made easy work of.  I was starting to feel like Freddy Rodriguez from Lady in the Water.  You know... the guy who only worked out one side of his body just to see what would happen?

One day, while we were working out, I was getting tired of my left shoulder deciding it wasn't as strong as my right. I had a choice. I could continue to struggle, believing that the anxiety I had over the instability of my left side was 'real', or I could choose otherwise.

So I chose otherwise.  I said something to the effect of, "Cut it out. You can do this. You're just as strong as the other side." Then I grasped the weight and lifted it just fine.
Luckily, TrainerGuy just chuckled quitely.

I haven't had much trouble with my left shoulder lifting anything since.
I've done the same thing with my left left. Struggling on knee to touch lunges was getting really old, so, one day, I told it (out loud) that "You're just as strong as the other leg. Now get on with it." I have a lot less trouble with my left leg now as well.

My Sailor has heard me talk quietly to myself at work as well.
At least I never answer myself.

All of this reminds of one of my favorite bits of one of my favorite books, The Last Lecture, which I highly suggest everyone check out. (I love the audio book and listen to it often.) In this particular portion he was taking about what he learned from a football coach he felt was tough on him as a kid.

“There's a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It's not something you can give; it's something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can't do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.” 

I've always been big on taking on challenges. More than once, I've gotten in over my head, admittedly. But training, marrying a submariner, writing a book and working full time?
Just the tip of the iceberg.
I believe we are just as much 'works in progress' as adults as we are as kids. It's important to take on new challenges and dream new dreams.

Lift this 75lb weight?
"Honey, I won't be home for a while. I'll call ya in a few days/weeks/months."
My left is just as strong as my right...
The insides are stronger than the outside gives it credit for.
And I'll never be done learning.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A bit of Badassery and Writing about, well, Writing

Yesterday was a good friday.

My stitches are finally out of my back. I know, I sound like a real whiner on this one, but I just hate stitches. I've had them several times in my life and after a few days, they become a constant annoyance. So I'm glad to report that they are gone! My scarring disorder is already kicking into high gear, so this one should look pretty interesting this time next year! When all is said and done, though, I'm glad the wound has closed up quickly and with no complications. Sweet. ;)

But that honestly just added to my 'win' list for the day. It started off early when I got a few pages done in my book! Well, a few more pages anyway. I've also started jotting down a few ideas for later in the book/different phases in my life and my family's life.  Yesterday, while writing, I had a moment's pause to think, "Will this offend anyone?" and "Am I divulging too much? I don't want to make my family sound crazy or offend anyone."

That's when I realized - while the book is about growing up and about my family, it's kind of like this blog in that - it's from my perspective alone. And, like I've said before, perception IS the reality we create for ourselves. Since the book is from my perspective, there are going to be different shades and depths to the characters. They'll be colored as I see/saw them. I'm hoping the book will resonate with people, beyond adoptees. There will really be no way to tell until it's done and out there. I have about 7 more months to finish it - which doesn't seem like a long time when I'm looking at my quickly filling calendar, but I've always been good with deadlines, so I'm sure I'll hammer it out.

My 'bit of badassery' for the week took place where it has lately - the Y! You know, I used to DRED the gym. I'd be lying if I said I don't still get a little anxious when it comes to going, but pushing against that anxiety has proven the be a great boon for me mentally, emotionally, physically and beyond. 

 Yesterday (among other things) TrainerGuy and I had a good solid challenge. To max out on box jumps. What are box jumps?  Well...
Not my photo. Unknown source
These are box jumps. Doesn't look too bad right?

Honestly, I have to channel my inner child to get through them. As adults, life has taught us that falling is dangerous/bad. We might get injured. If we don't injure our bodies, we might injure our egos. We've learned that 'failure' is embarassing.

The funny thing is, when we're kids, we just pick ourselves right back up and try it again, or we'd end up never trying anything new or challenging, for fear of failure.

Well, Friday I put my fear of failure to the test. Until now, I'd been doing box jumps of about 10-12 inches. About the height this little tyke is jumping there.

Then Friday came.

I graduated from the step to a "box". I was actually really nervous about this as a step (with a few inserts) has LOTS of surface area. A 'box' has just about enough room for both feet.

Once that was done, we went up to the box My Sailor was using last time he trained with TrainerGuy. I NEVER in a million years thought I'd get there!

But I did! The view from 20+ inches up was pretty awesome.

Then Trainer Guy started adding big round weights to the smaller box, until it was actually TALLER than My Sailor's box! He asked if we were done... but I said to try one more... just 1 more inch... then 1 more inch...

It took a few tries and I've got a nice shiner on one knee to prove it. But I did it! And THAT view?! Well, I was riding that high all day long.

It really puts that instinctive fear into perspective. Our brains are so protective of our bodies, they don't truly realize what our bodies are capable of.

We rounded out the works out with wall walks (aka, wall assisted hand stands), running (about a mile total in running that day), barbell snatches, back squats w/ about 65 lbs, sit ups, and leg raises. TrainerGuy never fails to pack that hour!

Now it's back to the day job, with a run, some planking, and maybe some whip ups thrown in there too. We'll see. At least I don't have to worry about pulling any stitches open now! Yeah!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Letter for Daughters

Yes, it's a misquote, but it's still awesome....
I stumbled across this blog on facebook yesterday thanks to AndiGirl. It should be REQUIRED READING for anyone with daughters (political examples aside).
Disclaimer: I did the 1200 calorie, no-carb, super strict, mostly liquid diets. They do work if you stick to them. In fact, it was so immediately "successful", that I did more than 1 of them. But the weight came back on as soon as I got off of them. Why? Not because I was going hog wild. I learned some great eating lessons from them. It just wasn't a sustainable life style - for me anyway. More power to those who can do it.

I hope I NEVER forget what it was like to be an overweight kid. It wasn't until recently that I've really started to realize what a valuable life experience that was. From 3rd grade until 8th grade, I was constantly told by peers that I was 'different'. 'Fat' was just part of that 'different' label. For the record, I was also adopted, one of the tallest girl in tiny class which had an average of 7 girls to compare myself with, and I was the 'artistic' one. (I mean seriously... how many 4th graders do you know that have every character's part of every song in Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, Miss Siagon, etc... by heart and yet would play any sport set in front of me?) So yes- they were right. I was 'different'. At the time, it wasn't something I was proud of. Just something I couldn't help. As if grappling with those larger topics (like what it means to be adopted and all the mixed emotions that go along with that, to one parent that traveled a lot, living in a multi-generational household, struggling with grades, and being the one 'artistic' one in the family) for some reason the lable of 'fat' stuck like glue. Not only were the kids at school noticing, but at home I felt like every plate of food was monitored. Well-intention things like, "Do you really need that?" or special evening appointments at a kids gym for personal training in the evenings while in middle school (which was more frustrating than effective - as the 'bar' just seemed to hight and was the last thing I needed - just another 'grade' was struggling to make) just drove the point home even more. I was very active. I ate things most people consider 'normal' for a kid in the USA. I played soccer and softball during the summers, and every sport they offered after school (soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, even flag football), I grew up with the self esteem of a snail.

 It carried into high school as well. A recent discussion with an old friend from high school reminded me, "You just had no self-esteem! If you'd had more confidence then, the sky would have been the limit." And if I'm being honest, it played a huge role during my first marriage as well - he made me feel beautiful when I felt that no one else could see me. It couldn't have been further from the truth, but our perception is our reality. I needed that constant external validation.

Oddly enough, it wasn't until I got into theater heavily, and got divorced, that some switch flipped in my head. Yeah - it took me 26 years to learn that confidence is a gift we give ourselves. It's not attached to a number on a scale, what a boy or girl thinks of us, etc. We're on this journey to discover our own worth. Some find it early; some find it later. BUT....

If only someone had told me then what I'm discovering now about body image...

Ready to attack the gym
Now, I bench press 75lbs, and dead lift nearly 100lbs.

If I had gone into high school knowing that I would have this kind of physical power behind me in my 30's, well, my life would be VERY different.

I do see how all that prepared me for this phase in my life. It all happened for a reason and maybe this is it. I keep hearing that it takes a 'special kind of woman' to be a Submariner's wife. And they are right - one with diverse interests, passions, and one that doesn't fear the 'lonely'. (I don't LOVE it, but I've made friends with it.) Come to think of it, I don't live with a lot of fear on a daily basis. Anything could happen to any one at any time. All we have is the moment. So make it count. She who has the smallest denim size still dies. ;)

Physically speaking - I'm not 'there' yet. I'm a work in progress and, as TrainerGuy said on our first encounter, "This is a marathon, not a sprint." As much as I sometimes hate it, it's true. Thankfully, I find lifting to be gratifying. (And honestly, it would be cool to be enough of a fit chick that my kids have a "My mom can beat up your mom... and dad... and older brother..." bumper sticker when we do expand the fam.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boots, Blisters, Bumps, and few Hitchhikers - last week

I love boots. When I was 13, I got my first pair of Eddie Bauer hiking boots and I wore them every day until the cobbler couldn't do anything to repair them. In the summer, I was either in my hiking boots, or some pair of men's sandles (thanks to my wide feet and aversion to things between my toes).

When I have to dress up, even a bit, I aim for boots as well. The boots pictures above are very similiar to my favorite pair of dress-casual boots.

Tuesday,  had the all-too-rare occasion to hang out with my sister-in-law, Y in Seattle!
Sister-in-law Y and Brother-in-Law B
She was in town for a job interview (that I really hope she gets), so we went over to the city to hang out.

Well, we ended up hiking around for hours - which was more than my dress-boots and feet could really handle. I ended the night with a blister the size of my thumb on the sole of my left foot, several smaller blisters on the sole of my heel on my right foot, and... let's just say my little toe looked like a blister with a toe nail.

I slept on it, hoping it would get better, but, well, it didn't - causing me to feel like a complete wimp and duck out of training the next day.  I couldn't bare to wear shoes most of the day, and running or walking was completely out of the question.

Really... over blisters... lame.

However... maybe a day of unexpected rest wasn't an aweful thing afterall. My run on Thursday was AWESOME despite the pain. My last run/walk pace was about 12min 30 seconds, which was 'eh'. Far from my best. But Thursday's run was 'yeah! PR!' Feeling good and running happy in good weather helped me shave off nearly an entire MINUTE off my time!

It was a really great feeling, and a fun confident booster.
 The orange line is my pace, since I started running the C25K RunDouble program back in March. I ended up repeating a few days of the program for a while, just because I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend money on the app (first 2 weeks were free, then ya had to pay). I hemmed and hawed about it and opted to buy the app. It also has a 1/2 Marathon and Marathon training program, so I figure "What's $1.50 if it keeps me motivated, tracks everything for me, and can help me reach some of my Disney running goals?" Like my time with TrainerGuy, it's proving to be a worth while investment.

I repeated Week 3 day 2, doing it once with a friend (on a different app) and once on my own app. Usually, I run on the track (which doesn't track distance or pace, since my GPS doesn't work in the gym) and then run outside as kind of a 'check in'. The weather has been so nice lately though, that I HAD to get outside!

Friday, after a training session that resulted in a new bench press max (5 reps at 75lbs - a 10lb increase from Monday), and a struggling Metabolic Conditioning phase (still not quite sure what caused that, but, as Gordon Harvey - a favorite running podcast/blogger I  follow  - says, everyone 'bonks' sometime days), I went to follow up with my MD to see what could be done about a weird bump on my back/shoulder blade that was driving me batty. It is just in 'that spot' that rubs against just about every bra I own. It's been there for years, but recently has grown. It's annoyance has grown with it's size. At first, he was sure it was a cyst. He's the 2nd MD to tell me that so I basically trusted it. But this time, he wasn't so sure what it was...
So I let him go in and take a look.
What I thought would be a quick 15 minute in-and-out appointment, turned into over an hour of numbing, skin pulling, and digging around in the muscle. The good news is, it was all fairly minor and whatever-it-was, is now COMPLETELY GONE. The bad news?Well, I spent a few days on pins and needles, wondering what it could possibly be. Good news again! The biopsy came back and it was just a nasty infected cyst that had worked it's way into the muscles. Ew..

But, 3 stitches later, I'm right as rain. I had actually anticipated that this would effect my life more than it has. Other than being a bit tender to the touch, it's pretty much a non-issue when it comes to working out, etc. It's just in "that spot" where nearly every bra I own aggravates it, so I'm being gentle on myself in that respect. 

Soon I'll have just one more cool scar to show off. ;)