Friday, July 27, 2007

5-second rule?

So looking through some of the assorted professional magazines etc. I have on my desk, I came across an article I wanted to share:

A new rule to let you "drop" your guard.

Relax: You no longer have to feel a responsibility to stop a worker before they eat that dropped Cheeto that's sat on the ground for longer than five seconds.

You now have 30 seconds to a minute before you have to worry about the worker catching e-coli and trying to get workers comp. As a part of a new university study, food was dropped at a snack bar and left for varous amounts of time.

The new verdict: Wet foods usually can stay on the floor for about 30 seconds before e-coli kicks in, and for dry foods, usually about a minute.

Of course, if you happen to be a klutz like me today, and spill dried oatmeal on the floor, you need to fight the ants for it. Seriously - I went to pick it up, and there was an ant, not 15 seconds after I dropped it, trying to drag off an oat.


A week of crap...

Okay, it's official.

I am tired of traveling.

At work, it has been pretty much decided that I need to be out of the office (and out on the property) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So I spent Monday afternoon and evening traveling to Minot, ND where I spent three nights.

The North Dakota State Fair was going on that week too, so it was a bit difficult to get a hotel room. I ended up in an okay place - it had no exercise room, but had a pool. I had also brought my bicycle along with me.

Well, Monday, I didn't exercise, since I got into Minot at about 9:45 pm. Road glazed and tired, and needing to meet up with the work crew at 6:30am, at a location 45 miles from where I was staying...

Tuesday, it was hot. And I mean hot. It hit 104 degrees in Minot. Being out with the work crew wiped me out but good. I fell asleep in my hotel room that afternoon, but knew I needed to do some exercise, so after I woke up, I headed for the pool. I enjoy swimming laps, but the pool was kind of cloudy, and it was hard to see where the end wall was to make my turns - I ended up jammimg my fingers into the wall a couple of times. Then there were the two girls who I think were making a game of seeing how close they could get to me, without having me run into them. Grrrrrrr. All I wanted was one stinkin' side of the pool. Plenty of other space, folks. I spent a couple of hours at the mall there, to wander a bit, to get out of my cracker-jack box of a room. The only good news was that the size 12 pants were fitting me...

Wednesday, it was hot. Not as hot as the day before, but still not that great. I had stopped at the grocery store on Tuesday (had a fridge in the room!) and had packed some drinks, a couple of whole wheat wraps with turkey and cheese, and some 100-calorie packs in a cooler for the day. We were going out on the rail, and they told me we would stop somewhere for lunch so I didn't need to bring the cooler. I should know better. At 2pm, when we finally got off the tracks, we stopped at a convenience store.... After getting back to the hotel, I went to swim laps again. ( I wanted to get out on my bicycle, but it was raining.) This time, swimming laps, it was some guy who kept getting in my way - he was not paying attention, and another girl was there, deciding she would try and swim under me to touch the wall underwater. Um, the pool, at it's deepest was 5 feet. I gave up after half an hour.

Thursday, out again on the rail. And talking with folks, etc. By the time I got on the road to drive home, it was after 1pm. I was tired after three nights in a little hotel room, where I kept waking up because the A/C kept cycling on and off. So what did I do to keep myslef amused and awake? Of course... I munched. After a stop in Fargo for a break at the DQ for dinner, I got home around 10:15.

I leave with the best of intentions, but they never seem to work out. I just want to be able to spend a week at home without feeling guilty.

And with all the driving, and static positions I was in... my knee has been bothering me all week. Fabulous.

Another thing that has been bothering me is I have these odd boil/blister itchy spots on the toes of my left foot. I think they might be stress related, or related to wearing socks and work boots all day, but they are not getting better. In fact, it started on one toe, and now four are affected.

I think I need a new lifestyle.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Undiscovered Country

Friday, I had another appointment with the physical therapist. More ultrasound therapy on the hip and the knee. I have been able to do some really good stretches, and the hip is starting to feel more normal. And I think the taping technique I have been using on the knee is working too, so I will definately continue to do that.

Yesterday, my training schedule said 18 miles. I thought that was a little to daunting for me. So I headed out with 15 miles in mind - my plan was to run to Phalen, around twice, back near home, then run my 5-mile loop around Beaver Lake. And I did it. I walked about 4 times during the route, to eat some Sport Beans, and drink water. It took me 2 hours and 51 minutes. As I was hitting the point that was 2 miles from my house (so 13 miles into the run, about) I looked at my time: 2:28:00 or so. The furthest I have run has been my half-marathons (13.1 miles) and I finished last year in 2:29:00 or so.

Yesterday, I ran further than I have ever run before. 15 miles. I kept wanting to tell the people that were on the path exactly how far I had run that day.

And I admit it, I got kind of teary and emotional at the end of the run. I did it. Me. With the knee and hip pains that just were not so bad yesterday on the run.

When I was warming down, and stretching, my cell phone rang. My parents caled to tell me that my BIL had woken up that morning. It's the first time he has been awake since the accident on the 11th.

After bathing, and getting cooler etc. together, I headed up to my parent's house to deal with their garden, which needed some harvesting, since they have been gone to be with my sister and BIL. So I also got in about 2 hours of gardening yesterday... I picked raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers, beans, beets, lettuce, zucchini and tomatos. I just feel kind of bad that I will be gone 3 nights this week, so I won't be able to enjoy it all!

Today will be a day of some laundry, packing, and hopefully some relaxation! My knee is not painful, for the most part, but if I move wrong, it starts to tell me. Best to take it easy today.


Friday, July 20, 2007

30 minutes in the morning

It sure makes me happy.

The alarm went off at 5:10 this morning. I stumbled out of bed, kind of wishing I had not had as much beer as I had last night, grabbed my running clothes I had set out last night, got dressed, taped my knee (I am finding that the tape works best - I can wrap it tight around the front of my knee, and then have it looser around the back, so those muscles/tendons don't start doing wonky things as I am running) , considered getting the mp3 player then decided against it, then I was out the door.

I wanted to set a good tempo, but not kill myself.

Started running, started my stopwatch.

It was a beautiful, crisp morning. I enjoyed being out by myself, before most of the world was moving. Noticed that the folks that have the house near my first turn had FINALLY trimmed the tree, so I could stay on the sidewalk! Nearing my landmark for 1 mile, I was thinking I was doing pretty well. Timer said I was at about 10:15 for the first mile. Not bad!

Around the next corner, up the first significant hill. No Fear! I lengthened my stride, and conquered the hills with style and panache. Rounded the next corner to all sorts of birds singing in the bushes. Worked on my runner's stride.

Heading into the home stretch, I was still feeling pretty good, running faster than during my long runs, but not to the point where I was straining. I gave a pretty good kick at the end, and stopped my watch when I crossed my starting point. 30:04. Sweet! (3 miles, Check!)

30 minutes in the morning, that's all it takes!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Admitting it is the first step.

That is me.

It's been kind of nutty with my schedule this week - that's my excuses and I am sticking to it. I went in to work Tuesday for the Midnight shift. And Wednesday I went in for 2nd shift.

I have exercised once this week. I did 60 minutes on the NordicTrack. I thought about going running this morning, as I am back to normal work hours, but somehow managed to put the alarm radio on AM rather than FM like it was supposed to be. I guess I might have needed the extra sleep.

My knee? Have not done my PT exercises this week either. Feeling twinges when I walk. But the good news is that it does not hurt. I am guessing it does not hurt since I have not run since Saturday. Although, I did run 8 miles on Saturday without much pain... I am hoping to get in at least 10, and hopefully 15 on Saturday. I am planning on going EARLY so I will be done before it gets too warm. That means I likely will not be running with my group again. And after that, I will be going to my parent's house to see how their garden is faring, and pick what I can - as they are in Olkahoma, and are not real sure when they are coming home.

My brother-in-law is still in intensive care. I guess my younger niece was having a bit of a melt-down last night. She does that, but this is probably related to the fact that she has not been able to see her father at all (they won't let children in the ICU, unless it is a "dire" circumstance.) They operated on his leg yesterday, and hopefully that is the only surgery he will have - so they can start weaning him off of the pain meds and remove some of the tubes and intubations. It's gonna be a long road to recovery for him.

Yikes, just yikes.

At least I can still run.

Monday, July 16, 2007

he loves me...

So, finally the boat got sold. After much prodding and pushing, it got a "for sale" sign on it on the 7th of July. On the 12th, Eric got a call from a man that had seen the boat and was interested. 10 minutes later, he called back - asking if he could take the sign off of it, so nobody else would be able to call about it to purchase it!

So we went shopping on Friday afternoon. We had planning on getting a new ring (for me) because my original wedding band/engagement ring just had issues - the main one being that I am hard on rings, and had bent the prongs on my ring 6 or 7 times in the 3 1/2 years I had been wearing the engagement ring... so I got a new ring to go with the band I had been wearing.

I keep looking at it, it's beautiful!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly

It's all there today...

the good: Looks like Eric has sold the boat! The one he was supposed to sell last year, the one that he wanted to "fix up" before he sold it, the one I told him mid-June that he could not go fishing until he had it up for sale...

the bad: Knee is still being cranky. Ran on the Treadmill Tuesday night, I was not able to do the 5 miles I had planned. Ran 3 this morning, and it is giving me "twinges" today, but not unbearable pain. I have a PT appointment tomorrow.

the ugly: I got a call from my mom and dad this morning, telling me that they were not going to be around this Saturday to go shopping like we had planned... They were on their way to Oklahoma... My brother-in-law got hit by a car while riding his bicycle yesterday. Someone found him laying by the side of the road. He has a broken leg and a broken hip. The MRI showed that he has what they suspect is a small bleed in his brain, but not big enough that they need to operate right away - they are monitoring him.

So if you pray, please do.

Update: here's the story from the news station I also talked to my sister, who says he's responsive, but he had a collapsed lung most likely caused by the collision, and they are not sure what kind of surgery, if any he is going to need for his hip/leg.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hot cha cha

Boy, it's been hot.

So the update on the hip/knee pain.... I went to the doctor on Monday, who referred me to the physical therapist.

Went biking Monday (11 miles), Tuesday (12 miles), and Wednesday (23 miles), and had no knee pain.

Saw the physical therapist on Friday. Still not really sure what it is - she does not think it's an IT band problem, since that type of problem is more prevalent in bicyclists than in runners. But the hip is definately stiff and less flexible than the other side. And since the knee pain is only showing itself during weight-bearing exercises, plus the weird "click" in my knee when it gets rotated, she suspects it is partly a cartilidge problem. Lovely.

Um, why exactly did I decide I wanted to run a marathon?

Anyway, she suggested that I contunue on the same type of program for the next couple of weeks... she even said that if the knee pain was showing up at the 6-8 mile mark, that I could do training runs for a while at that distance... then realized I said that it was noticable at the 3-mile mark. But... and this is my trying to push it... I might try and throw in a couple of shorter runs this week to see what happens, because I feel the knee, but it's not unbearable until after 8 miles or so.

Only 8 miles.

Would you listen to me? Sheesh.

So I decided with 15 miles on my schedule for Saturday, I would try running the three lakes (Harriet, Calhoun, Lake of the Isles) which is 11 miles, and see how I was feeling to decide if I was going to do another lap around Harriet. And it was HOT. Lordy lordy lordy. Anyway, I got about 9.5 miles in, before I had to walk. Shooting pain in my knee. Stretch, stretch. Sit down on the grass and rest for 5 minutes. And the whole thing just wiped me out. Seriously. I went home, and about fell asleep in the bathtub. So I got out and ate a bit of something, then laid down and took a two-hour nap. After waking up, I was still not well, having a rather low blood sugar moment. A handful of Golden Grahms, and some real Kool-Aid, and I was feeling a bit more human.

Sunday, I took the day off, and the good news is that it does not hurt to walk.

And traveling this week, I got on the bike at the hotel tonight after I checked in. I also have my bike in the back of my truck, but I am thinking about running tomorrow morning on the treadmill, to see how it goes. A glutton for punishment? Perhaps.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Back in the country

Well, I got back on Friday, but that's neither here nor there...

It was suprisingly an okay week in Calgary. Usually, I get pissed off at the meetings, then I go out at night and get food that is bad for me, and I drink too much.

And yeah, I did some of that, but not that much - even at the dinner that they had for our group where the drinks were flowing freely... I had water to start, and only about 3 glasses of wine.

I stuck to my plan, and biked 10.5 miles on Tuesday, and 11.5 on Wednesday. Thursday, I just had no motivation, so I took the day off (but we did log a couple of miles walking after our meetings that evening) and Friday I got my rear out of bed and swam laps before I packed and met two of my co-workers to share a cab to the airport. Yep, we were planning on meeting in the lobby at 7:30 am. I managed to get up, swim for half an hour, sit in the jacuzzi for about 10 min, shower, pack, get ready, check out, and was in the lobby at 7am. Yikes.

This weekend was pretty good, actually. I met my running group on Saturday morning, and ran about 8 miles. There were points where my hip started screaming at me, but I stopped, and stretched, and worked on my running style to see what worked best, and I finished the distance. I also talked to the coach a bit about what I was doing for training, etc., and she seemed to think that I was taking the right approach. I am planning on doing more biking and swimming this week for exercise, and hopefully getting in to see the doctor. Although I do take it as a promising sign that even though I am somewhat sore and moving gingerly, my knee really does not bother me.

Also on Saturday, I met one of my friends, and we sat on the patio of a local establishment enjoying the weather, each other's company (we really needed to catch up), and some half-price tap beers. Oh, and she enjoyed the cigar I brought back from Canada... since you can actually purchase Cuban cig ars there.

Today, Eric and I went to a friend's house where he pruned a couple of trees for her. I sat and watched. And after we got home, I have managed to balance the checkbooks (sitting outside on the patio with a glass if iced tea), cement patch the fountain (I want to get it running this week), and weeded and watered the flower beds. Eric has the whole week off of work, and I have Wed, Thurs, and Friday off. He's planning on heading north for some fishing, provided he gets enough work done on the boat that needs to get sold...

That's about it. I'm looking forward to a nice long bike ride tomorrow!