10/31/2009

Happy Halloween!



I didn't do much for Halloween... This afternoon I attended a play, Dracula, starring one of my students. She did a great job, sweet kid. Following the play I decided that I wanted to search for something Halloweenish to wear tonight as a couple of my friends and I went on a tour of Portland to hear about some of the hauntings.... and I found a purple wig... so... I decided it would be fun to have an alter ego for the night...it proved to be entertaining... and fun. The walking tour in Portland, wasn't that impressive... not necessarily worth the money, but... enjoyable. The man giving the tour was a good story teller.... and I think that is an art that is dying... so I enjoyed that part. I am glad the clocks are getting set back tonight... an extra hour of sleep is welcomed tonight... Tomorrow... I am going to a FOUR hour ZUmba Party! We'll see if I can walk on Monday! Maybe I should take the purple wig??

10/27/2009

Broken Hearts


I got an email from my dad today... letting me know that my mother's grave now has a headstone...I had not realized that her grave didn't have a stone yet... I knew she was buried next to my grandmother, but have not gone to the cemetery... and don't think I can... at least not anytime soon. Earlier this month, Dad took another step in his journey by ordering the stone for Mom's grave... and he emailed today letting my sister and I know it was placed today... He also apologized for putting us through all this... I hate that he takes any ownership in this... I'm sure it stems from feeling like he wasn't able to protect us, his girls (mom included in that), from all of this... I know that he would have done anything to stop this, to prevent all of this... and hate that in addition to his devastating loss of his wife, that somewhere he feels like there should have been something he could have done to make it different... I guess that's one of his many amazing qualities, and one of the many reasons we love him... but I don't think he should have to have any other layers on top of this... I hate this... I really do... I feel like Dad is taking steps to make it through every day, working so hard to just make it through each day. And many of the things he is doing to move forward brings so much back to the surface... Yuck.

10/25/2009

The rest of my day...

After this morning's workout, I thought about a nap... a nice long nap.... but it was so beautiful out that the call to go to the ocean was greater than the call from my pillow....So I went to Two Lights State Park...and am sooooo glad I did. It was amazing! The waves, the sound, the smell, the colors, and the warmth of the sun, made for quite an afternoon. I thought of my mom a lot today as I watched the ocean... she loved it there... and today, she would have wanted to sit there forever. Good to think of Mom, but really miss her. Enjoy the pictures! (I tried to post a video so you could hear that ocean, but not sure if it will post properly.)
video

Just for the record...

This weekend I went up to visit my dad... Left here Friday afternoon, stopped to see my grandmother and my aunts, who I always enjoy seeing, and got to Dad's a little before 7:00 p.m. Yesterday was a rainy day and we spent the day working in the apartment attached to my dad's house where my maternal grandmother had lived... Dad had already done a lot in there... I just did some cleaning... then we went out to supper...(in northern Maine dinner is the noontime meal...and supper is the evening meal!) And this morning... I got my butt up at 6:10 a.m. and left Dad's house by 6:30.... why? Because ZUMBA started here, in Portland at 10:15! I got to the gym at about 9:30 and did a little arm work and walked backwards on the treadmill (at a very slow, safe pace) before class.

So... just for the recors... if I can haul my BFA out of bed on a SUNDAY... when I could sleep in.... to drive 3 HOURS to get to a Zumba class... there is NO EXCUSE for not going to the gym (4 miles form my house) early in the mornings.... Got it? Got it. So yes, that means tomorrow... I will be at the gym by 5 a.m.... none of this 10 past business... and I will work out for an hour... no more excuses!

10/22/2009

I gotta say it again... I LOVE Zumba!

I just got home from Zumba and I feel amazing, great, energized! It's such a good workout, and fun... I needed it after such a crazy couple of weeks at work...and next week will be similar... I have had soooo many meetings that require so much paperwork! I have been working on it at school, between teaching, working on it at home until 8 or 9 each night... but after next week, things should ease up a bit and I can relax....

Considering all that, I am pretty proud of myself because, other than today, I got my BFA to the gym every morning this week! Granted it didn't quite happen as i had planned... the plan was... alarm goes off 4:45... get up, throw on gym clothes, be at gym by 5, work out until 6ish, then home, shower, school.... Monday I got to the gym at 5:10, and did 3 miles on the elliptical in 38 minutes, just less than 13 minutes a mile, and came home... Tuesday, got to the gym at 5:20... just did legs, strength training, for about 40 minutes, then left... Yesterday, got to the gym at about 5:30 and did 30 minutes on the elliptical and called it good... but there was a natural consequence for my getting there later... the elliptical machines I like were all full... so I had to use the other kind... not as fun... but it worked my BFA more... and I am happy to say I have visited 2 scales this week, and they are within a pound of each other, and I am down, as of tonight, 27 pounds... since April... not rapid weight loss, but weight loss none the less... I am happy with that... considering all the emotional stuff... I have not turned to food as much as I could have and have been consistently active... so... I think getting back into my morning routine will help a lot... and I still think that by next Oct 1, I will be down a total of 125 lbs! I can do it! I WILL do it!

So what I need to get out of this is that even when life is stressful, very stressful at work, I can still fit in my workout... I feel good about that.

I'm looking forward to the weekend...seeing some of my family and and of course, being active!

10/18/2009

How did I not realize...

6 months ago today, mom died...

I had gone through the entire day and didn't realize that...

Since the marathon...

What have I been doing since the marathon? The answer is... not much... well, at least physically... My very wise sister forewarned me about the post race crash... something that apparently runners experience... having trained and worked so hard for a goal, then achieved that goal... then what?? I was convinced I would not be one of those post race crashing types... but apparently I am. I was sooo excited to do the marathon, to finish it, and to finish it at a pace faster than I thought was possible... I got all kinds of praise from people at work, from friends, and have even had some strangers tell me they saw me walking the half and were impressed... So... after the half marathon (Oct 4)... that following Tuesday I went to the gym and did a light workout... then Weds. I made it to the pool to tread water for 45 minutes... but then I had a long weekend and other than a light walk in the woods with my family on Saturday 10/10, I did nothing... until Weds. 10/14, when I returned to the gym and did the elliptical machine... Then Thursday I was determined to go to the gym for Zumba that I got a little overzealous... I got to the gym at 5:20, figuring I would walk a little on the treadmill before the 6:00 class... well... the funny part of this story, is that the class didn't start until 7:00... so I worked out from 5:20 until about 6:50, then did Zumba from 7 to 8... I was quite tired by the time Zumba began... Then I didn't do anything Friday or Saturday, but did make it to ZUmba this morning... And... to add some excitement to Zumba... I brought a new accessory. My friend Debbie had a birthday yesterday... and I bought her a bday present, and decided to get one for myself too... hip scarves, that have jingly coins like belly dancer scarves... it was fun and does make me what to put my hips into it a little bit more!

My knee has been a little tempermental since finishing the half marathon, nothing major, but a little twinge here and there. And, it does make me nervous... but... in my head I am attributing it to the fact that I have done little strength training or the physical therapy exercises for my knee that I had been doing a lot... so this week I am going to focus on those exercises and see how it goes before starting to panic.

In addition to having some lull in my physical workouts, I had not been eating well... and had not been on the scale in about 3 or 4 weeks... so today, at the gym, I braced myself and got on the scale... and it was good news... good enough to make me wonder if the scale is properly calibrated... so I will follow up with another scale... before being too happy... but it does add some motivation.

The rest of life has been pretty hectic... work... I have had numerous meetings that involve extensive amounts of paperwork... so... I have felt a bit overwhelmed.

On another note, here are some random thoughts...
I think my mom has started appearing in my dreams... well.. not appearing... because I don't remember seeing her in my dreams, but I remember things she said or maybe thought in the dreams... of which there have only been a couple I think... I saw a commercial on tv that reminded me of one of my dreams... silly really... where I was talking about getting a new cell phone because my battery was dying in my phone (which has actually been going on).. so I saw the commercial on tv where the creepy robot talks about being able to replace dead batteries with fully charged ones... and I remembered my mom telling me to just get a new battery like the commercials say... and I remember telling her that my carrier was not the one for which the advertisement applied...but... I was confused after remembering that because those commercials are pretty recent... so.. it must have been dream... then... another dream... this one I do remember... took place in my parents house, not the one that they owned for the last 2o years or so, but the house we had when I was a little girl. In my dream... I remember being at the campground with my family... not sure who was there for sure, but do specifically remember seeing my dad, my sister and her family, and me, in the dream...I do not remember seeing my mother.... and for some reason I sensed that my parents and I went to their house, our house, to get something, and while we were there, I remember being in the dining room, dad and I sitting at the table and my mom directing my and my dad's attention to the sky to see the beautiful sunset...and somehow watched as the colors changed as the clouds went from puffy to soft horizontal lines of brilliant reds and oranges... now... I don't remember my mom saying anything in my dream, or hearing a voice, but I just somehow knew she was there... and showing us the sunset...

Sounds simple enough... but, I do know there is significance with the sunset... after mom's first surgery, my sister and I left the hospital to head back to my house, and I was very emotional... and as we drove, and ate various pastries, the sunset was gorgeous... and it got to me because I remembered my mom sitting up at the campground (before ever being sick) as she watched the changing sunsets... and made a comment that if she had a job after she died, that she would want to paint the sunsets....

Crazy? Maybe... but it made sense to me somehow...

One other thing... sadly I learned this weekend that my high school principal, who was probably close to my mom's age, mid fifties, died last week from a heart attack. He and his wife had been living in Florida and their kids, who are probably in their mid to late 20s still reside in Maine... another sad loss... my thoughts are with his family...

SO... I'm not sure what it means... to have the feeling of my mom in my dreams... especially the cell phone battery thing... but, I look forward to her presence in my dreams...

For Karla

This post is for a woman maned Karla who left a comment on my blog, but I have no other way of contacting her...

Karla, I am sorry to hear of the need for a second surgery and the possibility of radiation. It sucks. There are a lot of other people who have similar stories to yours. There is a very large group of people on facebook, about 200 of us, who have or are dealing with PVNS in many different ways. Everyone there takes comfort in having support from each other and also feel good because there are opportunities for us to encourage and help one another. If you have facebook, in the search bar type in PVNS is Pants. (Apparently an English term for saying PVNS is crap!) You may find support and help there from other people.

You asked about knee exercises... I got a list from going to physical therapy. THe CPM machine was not a joke for me... I believe, without it, I would not have regained the range of motion that I have. It is monotonous being in that thing for several hours a day, but it does help. If you don't have a machine, one way you can work on bending your knee further is sitting in a rocking chair and as you rock, gradually bring the heel of the leg you had surgery on closer and closer to the chair and eventually kind of under the chair and as you rock forward you will feel it... when it hurts a little, hold it there for a while, then rock back and repeat... my doctors swore that being able to straighten my leg was as, if not more important, than bending it... so make sure you are doing some exercises to do that... if you can sit with your legs straight out in front of you, put something, like a light dumbell on your knee (with cushioning) and sit with it for a few minutes at a time while pulling your toes toward yout body (Flexing your foot.) This also works if you can use a foot stoolso that gravity helps pull the back of the knee toward the floor.

Email me anytime at Ihavepvns@aol.com

10/04/2009

The Marathon.... (well... half marathon!)

Yesterday I was very excited... I was anticipating the arrival of my sister and a friend from high school...both of whom were planning to walk the half marathon with me and my friend Suellen. The four of us got together and headed to the marathon registration. We picked up our numbers and shirts then headed out to dinner... at the Macaroni Grill, where we could write on the table covers with crayons. Very fun! In addition to the four participants, a few great people joined us at dinner to get us psyched up. This is my amazing friend, Debbie and her family. SHE is amazing... truly. (For so many reasons!)

This is a picture of Suellen and her sister Kris. Both of these ladies have been good friends to me and were very helpful following my surgery. Suellen has often become my partner in crime, including our gym adventures.
this picture includes (from left to right) Jaime, my friend from high school, my sister, and me! We all graduated from the same high school, recently Jaime and I have been in touch via facebook.

This was me, today, about 6 a.m. as we were getting ready for the day. Last night there were some severe thunderstorms and it was pouring. We were worried we would get wet, but this morning the rain had stopped, and we managed to stay dry. (Except for the sweat....ewwww!)




This is me at the start line... look at all those people. There were over 3300 participants! Amazing. It was so cool to be a part of an event where so many people were being active. Awesome.
By mile four, our foursome had split in half. Jaime and Suellen had decided to do some jogging and went ahead of my sister and I. My sister could have ran this race, and finished with a good time, but she opted to stay with me, and I was very glad she did.
This was part of the route.. absolutely beautiful. We were envious of many houses along here... gorgeous.





This was the bagpiper who played before the marathon started and was then out on the side of the road, playing for us all. It was nice... I think this is the first time I have seen a female bagpiper... cool!






This was the guy that, at the moment, was my favorite helper along the route. HE signified the turning point for those of us doing the half marathon. I went to take his pic, and someone took my camera and got us in the picture too. The halfway point, I must say, was at the top of a steep hill... we turned and headed back towards the finish line and we were doing pretty well. Close to mile 8 one of my toes began hurting and I could tell I had a blister. (I had put on a few bandaids before starting to prevent blisters in places I usually get them... this was a NEW location.) Sis asked if I could keep going without starting, but I could tell if I didn't take care of it now, it would slow us down later... so I stopped and took off my sneaker and sock... OUCHIE... not a pretty blister- had already popped, between 2 of my toes... put on a bandaid, it felt much better, and we got going again!
By mile 10 I was pretty excited... I realized that potentially I could completely conquer the 4 hour goal... as long as I kept up my pace. At this point in the race I had stopped maintaining conversation with my sister... I was focused on keeping my stride, and getting it done.





This is me between mile 11 and 12... I took this pic myself... not a happy face... I was ready to be done, but I was very happy with the outcome!








Still going... where is the end anyway?







Ahhh... 13 miles... 0.1 miles left... I can do this.... Sis took over my camera to get some good shots.. Thanks Sis!








I like this shot because if you look close... you can see my scar on the back of my leg... if you can get over how awesome my calf muscle looks! Ha!





Cool pic... with the finish time in the background. LOVE it!










This is a pic of the four of us who did the half marathon today. Cool chicks!








This is Debbie and her son... so glad she was at the finish line... though she made me cry... emotional...two of my co-workers were at the finish line too, and that got me all choked up! It was really nice to feel supported...






Me and my Sis... Love ya lady!











I thought a lot during this walk... about where I was 2 years ago... still using a crutch post surgery... and wondering if I would ever be able to walk a mile... let alone 13.1... the people who went to dinner last night and showed up today... have been there for me through a lot... I am sure I will have more thoughts soon, but for tonight I am tired, and heading to bed!

MIssion Accomplished!

I did it... finished the half marathon... in 3 hours 40 minutes! I am so excited... and tired... I will write more about it, but wanted to post this shot that has me and my time in it!

10/03/2009

Twas the night before.....

Twas the night before Christmas? Nahhh... It's the night before the marathon! Yahooo! "Tomorrow tomorrow I love ya tomorrow... you're only a day away!!!"

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place