Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 dollar therapy session!

im a mess. a big. fat. hot. mess. ive got a lot going on in the little brain of mine of mine one of which being that in a week and a half im having back surgery. yea, you they cut me open, push away some muscles, shave (really? shave?) off part of my disc, put the muscle back and close me up again. yea- im kinda scared. ok, i lied...alot scared. reach the beach was one of the best and most emotional times ive had in a while. by the time we reached the beach i couldn't hold on anymore. i let my teammates stuff their faces with some well deserved food while i took a walk and cried for a while.

that was supposed to be me running up that ski slope.

i was supposed to be making a fashion statement in the headlamp and vest at 3:30am

danielle powered through her last leg and we all joined her and crossed the finish line together. they even gave me a medal. but i didn't deserve it.

one of the things that ive been missing in all this is exercise. sweat. hardwork. ive thought about going to the pool on several occasions. it scares me. im not a great swimmer by any means. technically im pretty funny to watch. i got talking to morgan about aqua jogging and decided i could probably manage that. the monday after rtb i decided that i was going to hit the pool and give it a whirl.

im not going to lie, i googled "how to aqua jog" before i went. trrrrue story. the first night was all about figuring it out. i think i jogged 1600 meters that night. i felt good, my hip was starting to bother me at the end so i stopped before anything got bad. after i called morgan so she could give me some more tips. i figured out how to keep track of my laps but i learned that when i zone out i forget. focus sarah focus!

i went back again the next night and busted out 2700 meters in about 55 minutes. i have no idea what this means but it was probably one of the best workouts ive had in a long time, both mentally and physically. i started off a bit slow but about 8 laps in i got in to a groove. its kinda like how i really hate the first 3ish miles of my runs. i usually want to turn around and go home and just as i am about to stop and start walking something clicks in and i settle in to my run. this was the same kind of thing. i slogged for a while before something kicked in and i powered through the rest.

tonight i went back for my third workout. 3000 meters in 60 minutes. again, no idea if this is "good" or "bad" but i honestly don't care. i paid 3 bucks for a 60 minute therapy session. i thought about alot of things tonight. each time i got to the end and turned to head back i looked at the wall ahead of me and focused all my energy there. i saw a lot of numbers on that wall. 4:06:23, 59:59, 1:57, 8:30, 26.2. i saw myself running through the finish line of MY marathon (oh, and i looked gooood incase you were wondering). i thought of luau and sam who were both battling autism today- my problems were nothing compared to theirs. i thought of zach, who inspires me in more ways then he will ever know. i cursed at runners who can bq on a regular basis but then i thought that maybe i have a quality that they wished they had. there were times when i felt like i wasn't moving at all, it was these times when i literally talked to myself out loud and said "don't stop now sarah, finish this". i also finally figured out what my 26.2 tattoo is going to look like. epic.

the first two nights they had music playing but tonight there was nothing. all i heard was my breathing, and the sound of the water. i wondered if this is what it was like to run without music, something i have a hard time doing. i don't like hearing my feet hit the pavement or my breath completely out of control. i started to think about the things i need/want/am going to do to be a better runner. im mentally ready to put in the time, effort, and hard work needed to be stronger and faster.

im sorry for all the debby downer posts lately but tonight i feel good. im excited for the future, for my plans, to use this experience to make me stronger.  hang in there with me cause im going to need all the support i can get while i get cut open. im still scared.
happy sarah leving the pool!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the art of spectating

during my adventures in boston, i met red and spike. since red and i are both broken we were forced to spectate the 5k rather then run it. as we were walking to our spectating spots red asked me if i had heard of spikes spectating abilities, which i had not. simply put, out. of. control. i kindly asked spike if he would write a guest post for you. he agreed....without further adieu, i present spike and the art of spectating.

I love to spectate.  I’d like to tell you I do it because, as a runner, I appreciate how awesome it is to have a positive spectating experience; but that would be a huge lie.  Whilst running I am almost completely oblivious of most spectators, what they are yelling, or the signs they may have made.  So, that altruistic motive is right out.

I do it because it amuses me.  Seriously.  Sad...yep.  But honest.  I just blurt out things I think are funny.  And, because some people who have spectated with me find the things I blurt out humorous, I’ve been asked to do a guest post about it.  I hope I don’t fail.  There is nothing worse than being introduced as ‘this hilarious person’ only to be asked on the spot to be funny—and then fail. 

So, with failure to be funny looming, I’ll begin.  

How does one describe the process of being a witty idiot?  Well, just think about things runners think about, and then say something somewhat related and somewhat absurd.  Example: most runners are trying to P.R. their race, so anything that has to do with obtaining a P.R. is excellent fodder.  I like: “Beat your P.R. like it was a piƱata!”  Or, perhaps: “Break your P.R. the way old men break wind…recklessly!”  As you can see, the trend here is to use an exclamation point at the end.  So, tip one; say it with meaning.  

Each race provides an opportunity to customize your cheers.  The first thing one could ponder is the name or theme of the race and poke fun at that.  At the Martian Series of Races I was fond of: “There are aliens behind you and they have probes…run faster!”  After finishing Boston and meeting back up with the Redhead, I told runners: “You are not hallucinating, there is a unicorn ahead!  Go get your unicorn!”  During the Cleveland Marathon (and half) I yelled: “At least you are not running the Detroit Marathon (or half).”  I can do this because I’m from Detroit.  Had anybody else shouted that and not been from Detroit, they would have found themselves in a fistfight.  Therefore, tip two; make fun of Detroit, aliens, or unicorns.  

An important footnote (man do I wish blogger allowed real footnotes): the surroundings of where you are spectating are also great places to find inspiration.  At Martian there were cones along the last .1M of the route.  So, I suggested runners “Help the city save money by picking up a cone and carrying it to the finish line!”  While in Cleveland, we were directly across from the Carol B. Stokes Federal Court House.  I used a bullhorn to go all ‘Mr. Tour Guide’ on them; informing participants they were running past the Carol B. Stokes Federal Court House.  I would then elaborate by shouting “Court was not in session” and that “Judges are nude under their robes.”  What is important here is that you should lie if you are uncertain of the accuracy of your statements.  Telling runners “there are 3,612 bathrooms in the CBS building” is perfectly acceptable even if you are off by two or three restrooms.  This leads us to tip three; lie like a rug.

When you see the runner(s) you are there to spectate you can cheer wildly.  But I prefer to yell: “That is my friend Beth!  Hey, my friend Beth is in front of you!  Go pass her!”  Then I let Beth know: “Beth, they are coming for you!”  However, perhaps you could go with something more encouraging like: “You look better than a new pair of snow tires!”  These things will undoubtedly lift your runner’s spirits.  Therefore, tip four; talk about something you would like.   

Every runner knows that finishing is the hardest part.  So, a good spectator should recognize this fact and provide helpful information to motivate the runner.  And I’m not talking about yelling: “You are almost there!”  Please, this information is useless and vague at best.  I like to tell runners there is “Free water at the finish!  Literally, almost unlimited amounts of free water!  All you can carry just ahead!”  Near the finish line, this really gets the racers going.  I also encourage runners to finish by letting them know there are also “Free bananas at the finish.”  And, even though it is cruel (see tip # 3), I’m not above telling runners: “There is almost no water left!  Run faster to get the last cup!”  This leads us to tip five; provide helpful information.

Signage.  The Redhead is better at this than I am.  She comes up with amazing phrase that are short but effective (example: “Light it Up!).  She then writes it in large easy-to-read-as-you-run-past letters.  I prefer to put something more longwinded on the sign, cramming letters in like Japanese subway riders.    Example: “It’s about glory and points for the Playmakers race series.  If they look like they might be in your age group, pass them.”  Or, for a women’s only race: “The Jingle Bell 5K lacks balls, and that is a good thing.”  As discussed above, you can incorporate parts of the race into your signage.  At the Mason State Bank 5K a hill comprises the last .2M of the race.  This resulted in: “Welcome to Heartburn Hill.  The younger cousin of Heartbreak Hill.”  Soooo, around the bend ends up at tip six; use a pencil to write in your slogan before you begin with a marker to ensure proper spacing.

Lastly, make up random things.  I’m fond of telling runners: “You are so close to finishing you can practically make out with it!  Go make out with your marathon!”  Or perhaps: “The people behind you are slower than you!”  Plus, the old: “Kittens are faster than tomatoes!  Are you!?!”  And thus, my last tip; make parents with children around feel a little uncomfortable.  

I hope you find this helpful. And remember, there are kittens in hot pursuit.        


Sunday, May 22, 2011

reach the beach

i cant wrap my mind around the weekend i just had. it will be a few days before i get a full recap up...but we REACHED THE BEACH!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

three things thursday

reach the beach edition

1. even though im on the injured list, im still going along with my dirty little freaks (yeah, thats our team name. i know youre jealous) to reach the beach this weekend. im going to be the dd....or something like that. really, i am just going to be the super peppy annoying chick who has all kinds of energy cause she isn't running at all hours of the night on no sleep. all said and done, i think we have had 16 +/- different people on our team. we are now down to 10 1/2 runners for a 12 person relay. we lost 3 1/2 of the runners in the last 3 weeks (me included). awesome.

2. we might just have the best shirts ever.

3. our team captain danielle has been such a trooper. finding runners, designing shirts, ordering shirts, assigning legs, reassigning legs, turning a 12 person run into an 11 person run, to a 10 person run, to a 10 1/2 person run, organizing vans, food and tweet-ups! she rocks and i dont think she is ever going to be in charge of a relay team again! thanks d. xoxo.

follow us on twitter #dirtylittlefreaks

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

and the verdict is...

just when i thought i had shed all the tears physically possible regarding my injury, my lack of running and my pain....i shed a few more yesterday. ok, i lied, a lot more. some of you know, many do not, but i had a meeting with a neurosurgeon yesterday to discuss my options for my herniated disc. whenever i mentioned back surgery to anyone, they freaked.

back surgery is risky

i've heard so many horror stories

you're too young for that

my friend had that, it didn't help

yeah, i heard it all. if you had asked me 4 months ago if i would consider back surgery, my answer would have been hell no!. but this is wearing on me. mentally and physically. big time. i can't begin to explain to you the kind of pain i am in so that you would understand. im not asking you to understand. what i want you to know is that i have tried everything. ok, maybe not everything but i've tried a lot of other alternative types of therapies. this is not a decision i made quickly. unfortunately, due to my insurance, i have paid for many of these alternative therapies out of pocket. well, my pockets are just about empty now. i literally cant afford to keep trying things and have them not work for me. so im having surgery. you may or may not agree with my choice but i had to do what was best for me and my family.

june 8. 3 weeks from today. it should last about an hour and ill spend a night in the hospital, being taken care of by the very people i work with. yea, that awesome insurance i have also requires me to get my care at the hospital i work at. sweet. it's a 6 week recovery and i should be able to run 8 weeks after surgery.

this throws my whole fall racing plan out the window and ill start from scratch. i won't be running my first marathon (insert tears) but i will make the best of it. im still going to be at MDI because i can't miss the epic weekend with an amazing group of people. shabby ally is going to run the relay with me and we are going to have fun! im still going to raise money for train 4 autism and springy pond farms. (click here to donate *wink wink*)

you hear that running Gods!? im going to have fun and im going to run again!!!

im also planning on getting some revenge at the chilly half marathon in newton which was my first half. i wasnt sure if i would be able to run this after running MDI but since im not running the full, i will absolutely be there. everything else is up in the air.

getting better is my first priority and ill put all my energy into a healthy recovery. red and i have been tossing emails back and forth about our injuries and how they have sidelined us from what we had hoped would be an epic 2011 racing season. we have decided that 2012 will be ours and in the meantime we will motivate each other to stay positive and focus on what is important.

God, grant me the serenity to accept when i cannot run
the courage to run when i can
and the wisdom to know the difference

Monday, May 16, 2011

three things thursday, take 2

blogger kindly removed this post when they went down last thursday. ugh. here it is again!

train 4 autism update!! wooooot woooooot! i finally was able to nail down a charity that i am going to be raising money for while i train for mdi (yes, i WILL be training for mdi...positive thoughts my friends, positive thoughts!). i decided to go with a place called springy pond farm. this is a place where my brother takes horseback riding lessons in the summer. its run by an amazing women named jennifer cammack who is an occupational therapist. she was actually the one who suggested to my folks that zach see a developmental optometrist (they seriously have those things!?) because she said the reason zach isnt reading yet (13 years old) is because he doesn't track left to right and top to bottom, his eyes wonder all over. annnnnnyway, she rocks but like alot of businesses these days she needs monitary help to stay open. insurance companies don't pay for these lessons and it can be expensive on top of all the other bills that my family, and so many other familes who have autisitic children have. i've set a lofty goal of raising 5,000 over the spring and summer to help her out. i'll be running for train 4 autism and im putting together a team to run with me on oct 16. im going to have a post telling you more about jennifer and springy pong farm soon but in the meantime, i wanted to share this with you! i have a donation page set up and you can go here to donate if you would like to help out.

a new piece of art is in the process of being made at my house! ruddley and ty took a trip to the craft store and picked up some supplies. then ruddley stripped ty naked, squirted some paint on the canvus and set him on it. it was fun and messy and awesome. this is only the first step. he is planning on adding to it, ill post a picture of the finnished project.

im a crew member? uhhh yeah, so a few weeks ago i volunteered to crew for some of my NERT friends who are running the vermont 50 miler in september. then i realized i have no idea what that means. what am i supposed to do or how i do it? i know being a crew member is super, duper, uber important and i don't wanna mess it up. im sure there is nothing like being at mile 40 and hurting, tired, feeling like death and you really need your crew to help you out and they have no idea what they are doing. so i was chatting with someone on twitter about it and he told me i really need to know my runners and what they will need. he also told me not to ask stupid questions (like, are you tired? do you hurt? do you want to quit?). i don't really know the runners needs as far as running is concerned. i do know what kind of beer they like, does that count? i figured i should probably fix that problem. an opportunity came up to crew for some of the same NERTS at a ultra marathon relay in july. i figured this was a little less intense and i could practice my drinking crew skills here and get to know what these runners will need before i crew for the vt50. i really have no idea how this is going to, do i really have to be awake for this whole thing? will they be nice and let me sleep? i mean, i know they are running the entire time are they aren't going to be able to sleep but crewing takes a lot of effort (ummm, i think), i should probably get a nap:-) haha, clearly im going to be an awesome crew member, duh. hopefully i don't get fired before race day!

do you have any brilliant tips for me?

happy thursday/ monday

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a little help from my patients...

i dont talk about my work on here and i try to keep that private. but today i wanted to share something with you. each day i run a group for my patients at work. today's topic was gratitude. something i think that we could all take a lesson in from time to time. for me, my lesson came today. i won't go into details but we had a good discussion and one of my patients said something that really hit home to me and brought me back to reality. i like to wrap up my groups by reading a reflection or a poem of some kind. today we read one of my favorite poems that i have on file and i wanted to share it with you.

be thankful

be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
if you did, what would there to be to look forward to?

be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

be thankful for the difficult time.
during those times you grow.

be thankful for your limitations
becuase they give you opportunities for improvement.

be thankful for each new challenge
becuase it will build your strength and character.

be thankful for your mistakes
they will teach you valuable lessons.

be thankful when you're tired and weary
because it means you've made a difference.

it is easy to be thankful for the good things.
a life of rich fulfillment come to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

no matter how healthy or unhealthy we are. how rich or poor. how educated or uneducated we are....we all have setbacks from time to time. it's how we deal with them that seperates us from each other.

there are a lot of things in life i am grateful for. my friends, family, and my health are among the most important things for me. right now i can't run, but i sure am grateful that i can walk. i may not be able to play with T like i want, but i can still still his beautiful smile and hear his contagious laugh. im grateful that i have bloggy friends who are out there and follow my ups and downs, that care enough to text me, email me or send me a message on twitter when they notice i haven't been around or having a bad day. you don't know it, but i really appreciate it. thank you.

what are you grateful for?

Monday, May 9, 2011

im a mom first.

ive struggled with this post for the last week. i didnt (and still dont) know what i wanted to say or how i wanted to say it. i dont want to spend this entire post complaining- but im frustrated and hurting. i spent last week on the pity pot and feeling pretty sorry for myself. i didn't think you needed to join me there.

if you've been following you know im injured. you can read a little more about that here. since then things have gotten a little worse each day. at this point im on a crap load of pain meds which make it bearable to get through the day. i still walk all funny. ive been told my my super awesome and nice coworkers that i look like i have a load in my pants, mego preggo and an abnormal gate. now thats hot.

ive tried everything. heat, ice, chiropractor, core strengthening exercises, 2 steroid shots (they lasted 2 days each), exercise and rest. ive seen 4 different doctors and nothing is making this any better. i finally called my pcp to come up with a plan c. he ordered another mri and set up an appointment with a neurosurgeon. he thinks that part of my disc has broken off and is pressing against my nerve. this may explain why the steriod shots have not been working.

im frustrated

im hurt

im not running.

the thing i do to cope with life is not there when i need it. i have been in denial about how bad this injury might be. i was convinced that id be better in time to run the reach the beach relay next week with my dirty little freaks. i mean really- this injury happend in january, 4 months later i thought id be ok. sadly, i had to make the decision to back out of the race. i cried for a while. then the realization that i might not be better in time to start training for the mdi marathon set in. this is the race i have been looking forward to for over a year. i spent last summer super mego preggo and unable to run. i spent the summer looking forward to start running again. this was going to be the summer that i made progress as a runner. i was going to get stronger, faster and i was going to get a killer PR at beach 2 beacon. as im laying in bed, crying and feeling sorry for myself something happened...

ty was playing on the floor and he started fussing. i got out of bed to pick him up. i couldn't. i couldn't get down on the ground to play with him, to pick him up, to comfort him, to be a mom to him. i realized at that point that i was being totally selfish. yeah, i want to get back to running but i need to get better so i can be a mom first. this is his first summer. we having camping trips planned, days at the beach, hikes, baseball games to go to, dirt to play in. i need to be better so i can enjoy all those things...then, once im a mom again, i can be a runner. ty needs me. my husband needs me.

so that's whats going on in sarah's world. i'll keep you posted as things progress. im going to get off the pity pot and focus on the better things in life. i woke up to a beautiful sunny day. things will get better and i will be ok.

"falling down doesn't make you a failure, but staying down does" -anonymous
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