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Tahoe [Feb. 26th, 2014|09:30 pm]
Back from vacation and it was pretty much a blast.

I followed my doc's advice and preloaded the weekend by taking immodium etc. ahead of time.  I also took a day off before the 7 hr drive and got up earlier than usual in an attempt to push my clock back.  I also tried to be gentle with myself, in expectations and in warning J. that mornings I would need at least a 2 hr ramp up before any kind of out-of-house activities.  So I woke up around 11am on Thursday after bed at 5am, forced myself to stay awake and went to bed at 10pm.  I was able to sleep through til 8am and get up so we could leave on Friday at 9am.  I brought my wonderful beautyrest TALL floofystrong pillow which propped up really well in the back seat so I could comfortably nap during the drive.  My BIL Brandon and his wife Azra make for great company so the hours flew by - plus I think the tall pillow actually helped mitigate any back seat car sickness on the curves going up the mountain.  We got into Tahoe a bit after 4pm with no traffic and everyone was pretty much arriving at the house at once.

The rental was absolutely gorgeous, better than the pictures.  I fretted a bit w/ making sure everyone knew where they were sleeping and had enough pillows and towels - What can I say? Takes me awhile to get right into vacation mode.  It turned out to be a pretty good mix of people - the hot tub and pool table went nonstop and everyone was just awesome about pitching in.  Dishes seemed to do themselves, Scot made some amazing meals for the group.  J. brought a BB gun and targets so we had a lot of fun shooting at cans and the targets in the trees.

The rental was a mountain house with a lot of stairs and the kitchen was at the top, so there was lots of oofing up and down those stairs. Oof! Oof!  Esp after skiing.  Beautiful house with lots of amenities and gorgeous views.

I prioritized getting to bed early and was able to wake up at 8am and be upstairs to socialize and have breakfast around 9am which is pretty darn miraculous.  I did some gentle GI-targeted yoga when I got up which I think helped.  It was a huge pleasure to be able to drive 5 minutes to one of the side lodges, park, walk only a few hundred feet and be able to rent skis, buy lift tickets, and be ready to hop on a totally uncrowded lift.  Unfortunately!? Mother Nature didn't cooperate and the wind had shut down 6 of the main lifts so Heavenly advised us to punt.  We had done a 2 day ski rental and so they let us push the 2 day rental to the next 2 days and we didn't buy lift tickets, to try again the next day.  A few of the guys had gotten up the hill early so we were concerned they'd get trapped on the CA side - unfounded concern as they run shuttles between all sites.

I was disappointed that my rally push didn't result in ending up on the hill.. I had told myself that if I could get one good day of skiing out of the weekend, that I could feel accomplished and anything else after that would be a bonus.  So instead I dragged J. to the other side of the lake for some cross country skiing.  He's a trouper - I don't think he enjoyed it very much.  :)  The trail site was huge and we barely even scratched the surface of it, but there also wasn't too impressive a snow base to really enjoy that wintry woods experience.  It was still fun and since he's better at so many other sports, it's entertaining to have one sport to lord over him a little.  Plus, the wind that was plaguing the mountain gave us a great tail wind push back to the xc lodge. :)

We did get back on the hill on Sunday and skied with Azra's sister's bf Garth - He's a psychiatrist and naturally won at "Cards Against Humanity."  The skiing was pretty good considering the drought... lovely snow conditions comparable to ANYTHING tho' some of the slopier runs in the shadow mountain lees tended to be icy. I'm just an OK skier and basically ski to enjoy the schussing and the scenery. I can't carve through ice and I suck at stem christies so my ice management skill is to try to glide over the icy patches which results in speed - Not a great idea on narrower more crowded runs.
After we had to take one particular icy narrow run a third time to get back to our lodge on the 2nd day, J. was keeping an eye out for me while traversing the bottom half of the run. I got tired of trying to carve the run and told him now that the run was clear enough I was just going to straight line the rest of it.  He was picking up speed to gain the cat track ramp and I blew past him, knocking his socks off.  He blames his "slower" skis. :)

As the days would get later and certain runs more crowded, I'd get tired and my technique on icier runs would pretty much devolve to panicky beginner snowplowing.  Also cuz I'm not a black diamond fearless young'n anymore. (Ok I was never that, but black runs were more of a "Eh, less fun but doable" thing at that age than a "No thanks, I want to live" thing) There was a bit of unpleasant contrasts of built up moguls and bare icy patches - would be great to experience the mountain on a less crowded weekend with more ideal snow conditions.  Saw lots of people falling. Lots.  One memorable moment was when J. joined me at the side of a run where I was resting; we were well out of the way and a snowboarder bowling down out of control completely took him out. It was deja vu of the same thing happening to Kyle at Snowmass. I did take one spill and an ice patch at the bottom did wrench my hip a bit after pulling an edge but nothing a good ice pack couldn't deter.  J's more comfortable on water skis and had some falls but his confidence and skills definitely built through the weekend.  Stupid natural athlete. We rode up a chair lift with a Tahoe native and he said it had been tons of blue ice just a few weeks earlier, so we were fortunate I guess.

Unfortunately, speaking of falls, on that first day we got to the CA side of the hill in time for Brandon to take a bad snowboarding fall and hurt his shoulder.  We had to limp him back down to the lodge - which on a huge hill like Heavenly took a few lifts and runs.  Azra had been just starting a ski school class with the girls, so she had to opt out so she could go with him to urgent care.  We still weren't down at ground level lodge, we were at gondola level so they had to bundle Brandon up in a covered sled and snowmobile him and Azra down the mountain which she highly enjoyed.  He's OK - torn AC which should heal in 4 weeks.

Having conquered the mtn on the first day, I set a conservative goal of "just a few runs in the afternoon" the 2nd day.  I was feeling pretty nauseous that morning anyhow... but since we ended up with the group, it ended up being more than a few runs.  I'm happy because we got all the way over to CA to the roundabout chute run I wanted to do... a lovely mountain skirting chute through the woods. They ban beginners from it because you need speed and because as I discovered, beginners don't know how to deal with cat tracks.  People, the tracks in the snow are straight! Get a clue: This is not your moment to test your carving skills, or to ride 5 abreast, or snowplow the middle of the track while pole towing your kid on the right.  Keep up your speed, keep your turns to a minimum and stay to the RIGHT.  It's why I considered the weekend a win in that I didn't injure myself or anyone else, LOL.  #ObstacleCourse  I could have been happily done when we reached the CA lodge and shuttled back over to Nevada, but it's that ski thing.. when your buddies turn to you and go "One more?" it's hard to think you don't have that one more in you, what with lift ticket price and all.  One more at Heavenly means like 4 more just to get back over to the other side of the mountain, so we definitely got our ticket's worth of skiing that day.  Was happy and tired, got a hot chocolate chip shot to close out the day.
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Tinkerbell Half Marathon: The Wingening [Jan. 21st, 2013|04:10 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Well, I survived.

No lie, even with all the prep and training and feeling basically ready... it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I'm not sure why it was so much more painful than the 14 mile training run.  I think it boils down to the event itself; you spend a lot more time weaving and bobbing and thinking about the other people in the race than you do about your form.  By the time I was thinking about form, I was in so much pain that better form didn't really matter much.  

But I gave it my best and I really rocked that shit.  I ended up taking very few walking breaks, which is a departure from my training... I averaged in training a walk break per mile.  Granted, my training times were about the same (12 min. mile with a 10 min magic mile) but I think that has to do with having to run slower on average in the event due to the crowds.  But it was pretty amazing to go "Wow I haven't stopped to walk once in 6 miles!"  I only stopped for a brief bathroom break (Hooray for real bathrooms!) and when I did stop to do any walking breaks in Miles 8-13, they felt so odd and counterproductive that I was back to jogging soon enough.  

PlaceNameBibAgeDiv PlaceGender Place5k Split10k Split15k SplitClock TimeNet TimeHometown
4326ANDREA DANEK1023733694362435:061:12:491:50:113:07:472:38:07CASTAIC, CA

The official results are correct.  I had a runner tracker going to post my results to twitter and FB... a few folks tweeted me back during the race, which I was able to see, and was an awesome pickmeup.  It did say that my first 5K split was 20 min. miles... and then I apparently completed my 2nd 5K split in a lightning fast 8 minutes. Three minute miles!  I'm the Amazing SlowFast Girl!  It said my friends' estimated finish time according to the first split was like 10:30am... at that rate they would have been dodging cars and park goers to finish!  I think they measured the first split from gun start, maybe?  Still... my brother watching the tracker results thought by the 5K split that they would have swept my butt by Mile 1, and my husband thought I must have been having major stomach problems.  Nope, just wonky chip tracker.  

Pre-race was tough.  If I ever do this event again, I will stay at the resort for the weekend.  Took me nearly 45 minutes to get OUT of the park after the race, not counting the brainfog 30 minutes I spent wandering around trying to find my car.  I tried to go on Friday night to the expo to pick up my bib and it took me 2 hrs to push through the Orange Crush and go 34 miles.  Insanity.  So I missed being able to pick up my stuff, but I did get to have dinner with my Twitter friends @saalon and @LWQuestie (the people who are the reason I signed up for the race)

This really threw off my pre-race plan.  I work a night shift, so the idea of getting up on Sunday at 2am to drive to Anaheim (when 2am is usually when I'm going to bed) is a heartburn flipper nightmare for this IBS girl.  I was going to sleep as late as possible on Saturday (til 5-6pm) then stay up for the corral time of 4:30am.  Now I had to get up like normal on Saturday at 12:30pm to rush down to Anaheim.  It still took me 2 hours to get there on a weekend.  I then went to my friend Mark's house - He lives about 20 min. from Disney and is a vamp like me, so we laughed our asses off at Breaking Dawn Pt 1, ordered in for Chinese food, and I fretted and catnapped and jittered til 3:30am.

Even with getting there at 4am, it still took 45 min. to get into the parking garage, hit a bathroom, and walk over to the massive starting chute.  I was hoping to start with my friends, but they had already weaved themselves up to the front of our corral.  It wasn't like Everest where the corrals were open - These were fenced off.  I worked myself as far forward as I could, no doubt smacking many people with my wings in the process.  I was the sorry!sorry!sorry! girl.

I got up as far as I could til it reached maximum pack. I texted Eric for an arm raise and we saw that we weren't too far off.
They moved the corrals up and in the course of the walk, by the time we stopped I saw with surprise and delight that we had ended up in the same row, so I wingsmacked my way over to the E's for an epic YAY!hug.  When they're the reason you got your butt off the couch and ran your first half marathon, it's damn rewarding to find them in the thousands of people for a "Holy shit we're doing this" starting line hug.  One of those REAL, in the NOW moments of awesome that resonate in your mind for a long time.  I've learned in this whole journey that just getting to the starting line is half the battle.



I'm also very proud of myself that I didn't need to take a Xanax for a panic attack.  It came close many times this week for sure, but I fought it down.  The Everest 5K corral wait almost gave me a panic attack, so I tucked a few pills into a newly found zipper pocket in my jogging shirt that I dubbed my Xanax pocket.  I'm happy to say that the corral weaving distracted me enough that I felt like I was *doing* something rather than just standing there waiting and fretting.

It was surreal to be in such a long chute that you couldn't even see or hear the starting line.  I only barely heard the gun start fireworks.

The first few miles were a bitch - The normal leg burn of the first few miles piled onto two freeway overpass climbs.  I remember being astonished at the Mile 4 Marker because it felt more like a Mile 6.  

However, running through the park was MAD cool.  A twisty, distracting, bright colorful wonderful madness.  The soothing Celtic music at Mile 3 was oddly out of place.  Mary Poppins and the chimney sweeps were hanging out at Main St., where I cursed the lack of curb warning in the round as I stepped off a curb HARD.  (Curb stepping is my sciatica causing nemesis but I was lucky to not sustain an injury here).  There were so many surreal Disney moments of running through a patch of darkness only to burst into a shock of light and music.  They had the color fountain dealy going, the castle lit up, the rides lit up.

Speaking of the Castle, I had major brain fog.  I was complaining to J. that they had changed the course this year and failed to meet their promise of letting us run through the castle.  Last year, the runners ran up Main Street and through the Castle.  Then I saw some pictures of the course, with people running through the castle and was stunned to think I could have missed or shortcut any part of the course.  THEN it hit me, duh, I *DID* run through the castle, but it was misleading because we came through the back rather than the front.  One moment I'm looking at the Lost Boys on the carousel and Peter and Wendy hanging by the side, and thinking to myself if I have a chance to hit a park bathroom before we got to the Anaheim section, and the next I'm bursting through the Castle tunnel and catching on to people's excitement at a great photo-op moment.  It was such a brief blip that it didn't even register on the Pain Painting that had become the race in my mind.

I totally missed seeing Tink herself - she was hanging on top of this building before Main St. Honestly I think she was absent from last year's race, and on top of something for this race, because it would have been too much of a bogdown to have a pic opp with her along the course.  

THAT BEING SAID - I completely missed seeing Jack Sparrow by Pirates of the Carribean.  Either he was on a bathroom break or being swamped by ladies, because I saw him in a pic directly in front of the Pirates ride, and I saw that same damn sign during my run and no Jack.  Just a couple of cute pirates. That's one char opp I would have stopped for... Disney doesn't do many Jack Sparrows in the park anymore because naturally he's just too popular with the ladies.  Jack Sparrow at a womens' race? Nicely played, Disney!

It was bitchin' to see Darth Vader and some storm troopers pic opping in TomorrowLand... it didn't occur to me until later how important and WHY they would be there: the Lucasfilm acquisition.  
ETA: My stepdaughter tells me that Darth hangs out for the StarTours stuff, but I haven't really heard of them showing up in races before (and the line to see him was looooong) but it was still verra cool to see them!

Long line for Cinderella - Apparently some folks waited so long in character lines that they got swept! LOL.

My fellow runners were a pretty epic tribe.  I expected lots of rude walker walls, picture opp stoppers, wing face smackers, but it honestly was very well spaced out.  I ended up in a pack of a hundred folks or so that were moving at more or less a similar pace, even with starting at the rear corral.  I loved the runner patter - I was feeling pretty wretched at Mile 11 and I heard a lady say to someone else "I have no strategy left.  At this point it's just one foot after the other" because that's exactly how I felt at that point. Loved seeing guys in rainbow colored tutus. Loved the Peter Pan who was pushing a lady Cap'n Hook in a wheelchair.  Loved the little girl in PJs happily waving at us through her living room window. Loved hearing that a runner later left her a pair of wings on her front yard bushes.  Loved even more hearing that other runners saw her jumping for joy at receiving the wings and that even LATER runners saw her wearing them while waving.  Epic to look back along the freeway overpass turn in Anaheim and seeing a mile's worth of green tutus and wings, as a spectator commented "I didn't realize there were so many runners in this!"  I broke into tears at seeing the amazing turnout of the ladies in the Red Hat Society... it's just awesome to think of all these sweet little old ladies waking up at 3 in the morning to come cheer us on. (And paying 15 bucks to park at Disney)  There must have been a hundred of 'em.  Lots of awesome local h.s. bands and cheerleaders to help us along. I like the spectators who tell you where you're at in the race "80% done, guys! Keep it up!"  ... "Halfway there, it's all downhill from here!" "Mile 11! You guys are doing great!"  Very appreciative of the awesome lady hollering "Strangers with candy!" at Mile 8, handing out twizzlers.  The Mile 8 Twizzlerers were also apparently at the WDW half.  Saw the "I didn't wake up this early to watch you walk!" sign dude like THREE times, now there's a dedicated heckler!  Loved the "Pain now, vodka later" sign dude in Dtown Disney.

Miles 9-13 were basically just pain and a hypnotic bobbing of wings and tutus.  Even the cheering was kinda losing its pickmeup power.  What *was* comforting was not being alone in that pain.  There was a long silent stretch right before re-entering the park where no one was saying much of anything because there wasn't much left.  I was hurting at this point because something about my running form tends to crunch on my waterworks, leaving me with an urgent feeling of needing to pee even when I don't have to.  Eff the finish line, I needed a bathroom! (I really didn't, my kidneys and the like were just unhappy) 

They took us through the tunnel ramp again before coming through California Adventure... Everyone was walking the ramp.  Just about everyone.  I didn't want to lose any momentum so I half jogged it but it was again incredibly comforting to see that everyone else was just hurting at that point.  Everything I read about marathons prior said not to expect a magical lack of pain - to trust that it would just hurt and be OK with it and know that every mile during the marathon was an EVENT mile and earned.  What I was thinking at the time was that I have no idea how people run full ones.  Looking around? Everyone was in pain.  And then, to come around the turn into the final stretch and be assaulted with noise and cheering and excitement - You blink into it, stunned, uncomprehending.  It ceases to have meaning.  It was a Stephen King Long Walk moment.

"Last turn!" A cast member promises, but in Disney style, there's ANOTHER hair pin turn in the parking lot before the actual finish line, though you already saw the arch.  Misleading as hell, but I put it together later that they had done this because of complaints last year of limited finish line cheering space.  This gave more fence surface area for families to hang out and cheer the final stretch.  And nuts to the spectators who were yelling at us to run so that we'd cross the finish line at a run: "Don't let them see you walking over the finish line! RUN! LET'S SEE YOU FINISH THIS WITH STRENGTH!" Easy for YOU to say, Standy McGee!  I couldn't even tell which of the bumps was the finish, so my finish video will have me nonchalantly passing over it to triumphantly arm raise under the unimportant arch, LOL.  

Yeah, I cried at getting a medal.  20 weeks of working toward something I could have never imagined doing.  The 5K was hell on my sciatica and I couldn't comprehend doing anything more than that.

Will I continue to run after this?  I'm not sure. I really enjoyed the paseo runs so I think an occasional weekend long paseo run will be doable.  My first priority is to take my in-shapedness and hit it up against the mountain trail - Take an 8 mile trail that I've done before and see how my new lungs do against it.

Will I do any more events after this?  I'm not sure.  Maybe if friends or family run another one, I would.  The 5K was really fun.  This half marathon was fun but I reiterate that it was also really hard and painful for me.  Maybe it'll be like what people say about childbirth ... after enough time passes you forget about the pain and remember the good moments and find yourself right back at another starting line.
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Tales of Graces [Aug. 2nd, 2012|08:16 pm]
[mood |calmcalm]

J. got me a tiff gift recently - a highly rated RPG in the Tales of Graces series?  I wasn't familiar with it and still need to finish off the lackluster meh that is FF13.  I think if he had consulted me, I would have asked for the newer Zelda game on wii, but it's fun to give a new series a try.  Just have to rouse m'self a bit to actually get started and into the game.

So far I'm really enjoying the game.  The cut scenes are 2D animation which is a new experience for me - It's like watching an anime series and working for the scenes.  It has sort of a cutesy Star Ocean feel to it, but with enough familiar RPG FF-ish elements that I'm not feeling too far afield at all.  But the best part so far really is the characterization and voice acting - It's top notch.  No clunky plotting or cultural oddness here.  The main character Asbel so far is just so darn LIKEABLE.  I'm still a bit befuddled by the battle system.. there's a lot of manual options built into it, but the battle just goes by too quickly for me to learn much strategy.  I can't say that it isn't fun though - I'm sure the button mashing strategy will bite me later on, ha! 

E. really wanted me to read the Hunger games so I'm giving it a try.  Normally the whole teen angst BattleFight to the Dystopian Death thing wouldn't interest me, but I have to say that the series is very readable and the death part isn't overly gory or mawkish.  I can easily see it becoming a part of school literature as a staple for younglings.  It just has that school lit-ish feel to it.  I'm about a quarter through the 3rd book and the series has lost a bit of momentum for me, but I've decided that Finnick is totally my boyfriend.  *nod nod*. 
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the Long Run [Apr. 27th, 2011|01:19 am]
[mood |determineddetermined]

I'm in week seven of training for a 5K, as most of my FB friends already know, because I'm constantly whining about it.  *G*

My brother and his fiancee invited me out to their May wedding planning trip to Disneyworld.. when they were making reservations, they noticed that the park seemed more booked up than usual and found out that it was because of a 5K scheduled that weekend.  Jessica thought it sounded like a fun idea... Run for charity, get some Disney swag, see the park after hours.  So I've reluctantly agreed to join the cause, having never run for anything before in my life.  It was a good excuse to get that treadmill I've been wanting to get, after I was unsatisfied with the elliptical.  And I have some weight that could stand to be lost.

The most (and probably only so far) enjoyable thing about training is hitting training goals.  I get itchy to jump on the treadmill and knock out another session for the week, just to say that I'm done with it.  I'm also reluctantly enjoying the challenge in that as a solo sport, it really forces you to spend some time with your strengths and your weaknesses.  It's you with yourself in a room of sorts, with no distractions, and you have to fight it out to the bitter end and learn something about yourself along the way.  And by solo sport I don't mean that it can't be social... I simply mean in the sense of, setting your own goals and meeting them.  But to poo right back on the social sport aspect of it, someone suggested a running group to me, and I quietly thanked them for the advice and inwardly nixed it.   I work a night shift and am out of the house 12 hours a day.  Finding time to run really can't involve the extra commute or planning / commitment of a running meetup... and I like to run when I feel like it... Not sure people would want to run with me at 4 in the morning, and I mean 4 in the ass end of the day am, not getting up early 4am.  :)  I'm kind of a strange person, anyways... there are days when I feel like I can't even handle half a mile, and days when I'm doing great and I tend to prefer to climb the proverbial mountain alone.

At any rate, I'm preferring running and training alone, and checking in with my chiro/ nutritionist and race partner on the other side of the country.  I know that I'll enjoy the social aspect of the 5K event though, because I hear that it's easier to run and compete when others are there as well. 

As the training goes, I'm finding the sport to be extremely A-type and bipolar.  At times, there are manic highs, where things are going great, i'm hitting my goals, I'm getting a great endorphin rush and then... There are these miserable, gruelling lows where I feel I can't go another step.  I don't have the luxury of a real protracted training program so I have to push myself harder than I'm naturally inclined to, and I'm really not enjoying interfacing with that aspect of my personality.  It's simply not one of my strengths and I'm very prone to whining.  *G*

One of those lows proved to be VERY illuminating and funny however.

See, I've been using a mio watch to train outside to transition off the treadmill, and I was really struggling out there.

About two weeks back, I attempted to approximate the event.. there's a 16 minute-per-mile pace requirement, so I simply ran the 3 and change miles and saw how long it took... around 56 minutes, so I needed to lose about two minutes per mile.

(A short interjection here... after that miserable, icky, "I don't think I can do this event if it's going to be this hard for me" crying session in the truck after the approximation run, I called J. to find out if he wanted me to bring something home for dinner... He sheepishly admitted that he'd been kidnapped to be a friend's date to the House cast and crew wrap party at Eva Longoria's restaurant in Hollywood, but you know, he REALLY didn't want to go.  HOW AWFUL LIFE MUST BE FOR YOU.)

I stepped up my training, pushed hard on the treadmill for the next two weeks.... Got back outside again, and was aghast to check the watch and see that I was still pushing 0.8 miles at 16:30.. I hadn't improved my time ANY!   And I was bent over, nauseous and dizzy.  WHY WAS THIS BEING SO HARD?  Surely 3.8mph on the path couldn't be SO much harder than on the treadmill?

After another "I'm going to have to admit to my brother that I can't do this" crying fit, I suddenly had a thought...

I had started FARTHER back the last time, and was at the same approximate place, still struggling to make a mile according to the watch.  How was that possible?  Moreover, construction chalk marks indicated that more than a mile had passed.   (It's very sweet.. at the end of the bike path, someone chalked in the Shel Silverstein poem "Where the Sidewalk Ends")

So I checked on a satellite map, then the next day, brought out my iPhone and tracked the distance with an app that ties into GPS.

GUESS WHAT... my stupid watch lied to me.  Not only was it WRONG on the distance, but in just briskly walking the distance to measure it?  Easily the 16 minute mile.  So I was actually pulling more like a 13 minute mile when I ran it on Fail Day, and anything FASTER than that brisk walk would have met the race requirements.   Hahahahahaha.  So you can imagine, I had a good laugh at myself and my sadpanda emo attitude about the race and my cursing of the Disney people for being ridiculously unreasonable about their pacing reqs... ("They think people can briskly WALK this??????")  The Iphone app agreed with the construction marks on the distances. 

Jessica's running on a bum knee, and I'm running on a bum bum.  I got my NCV and ultrasound tests back.... 
Short summary:  About five years back, I sprained my back doing yard work.  A week later, I stepped off a curb without realizing it was there, and really jacked up the "what should have been a minor" sprain.   An MRI showed nothing, and years of chiropractic, PT, acupuncture, alternative healing, have not really completely healed / fixed the issue.   I told my new chiro/nutri doc that a medical intuitive/clairvoyant had seen a nerve being compressed by swelling / swollen tissue, and that led her to order the NCV and ultrasound.

Both tests agreed that there was a problem, and that it was in the L5/S1 area.  (I was really glad actually to get results of any kind... I almost passed out during the NCV and it would have been so not worth it if the tests had come up inconclusive)   The NCV got a 3.4 ms delay between my right and left tibia F-axis, when the normal tolerated delay is < 2.0... That suggested to the neurologist that it was good ole L5.  The intuitive was correct that a nerve was being compromised / aggravated.

The ultrasound saw inflammation in the joint (suggested by higher reflectivity, isn't that SO COOL /geekgirl) and some swelling in the muscle next to the spine and in the lumbar plane muscles that go diagonally down to the extremities)  

The med intuitive believes that only a physical intervention of some kind like surgery would solve it... The chiro of course believes in a more aggressive, focused protocol so we'll see what happens. 

Running is not a major problem for the injury, it's sitting that's awful... but it's also not exactly ideal... my right side does a lot of compensatory work, and my right hip / glute feels a bit tweaky after a run.  In the long run (HA! No pun intended) I won't be doing this aggressive a program and will be doing more jogging/walking than running, but in the meantime I'm loaded up on joint and ligament support, and loving my protein shakes and my ice.   I also had been reading that grounding really helps for inflammation, so I've spent the last few weeks sleeping on a grounding pad.  Music is also a friend, so I've been running to some podcasts that are structured nice and long in 30 or 60 minute mixes... and then I sub in lyrics, as I'm trying to be a hero ( "because heroes do it for just another minute" ... )
Keep on dancing-
Keep on RUNNING til the world ends
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Synchronic circles [Mar. 22nd, 2011|06:43 pm]
I bought "Under the Dome" by Stephen King.  (If you're a Stephen King fan?  Don't bother.  If you're a fan of good fiction?  Don't bother.)
While I was waiting for a kindle refund to sort itself out, I saw a Courage the Cowardly Dog episode where they get put under a dome.

While reading the book, I kept thinking about the Simpsons movie.

Then on Sunday, there was a Simpsons episode... Mr. Burns shows the townspeople a copy of the book "Under the Dome" and says that it's where he got the idea to put the town under a dome.  

...

My mom is trying to convince me to attend Kyle's wedding reception in Marquette in Oct. 
As I'm chatting with her, I'm checking fares on the Virgin website to see what would it cost to fly to Chicago.

The office line rings, I pick up.  A voice says,

"Do you ever fly Virgin?  They're running a fare special to Chicago."

*boggle*
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(no subject) [Mar. 9th, 2011|06:54 pm]
Rubbing up against the spaces that make me feel uncomfortable, to find out what feels like a burr against my skin.  Putting myself outside my comfort zone.  Defining that which makes me afraid.  Hopefully, pushing through and growing. 
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perspective... [Nov. 19th, 2010|09:08 pm]
I took Sadie to the vet today to check on her wheezy cough issue... the vet clinic is just minutes away, but I had to go back to get her paperwork, so I felt bad for the two car trips she had to endure.  Unnecessary kitty trauma!  (Thankfully, Sadie trauma sounds like a uber cute squeezy indignant clown doll)  But she got to see a bulldog!

Anyways...
As I was standing there at the counter settling up my bill, a man came in crying and with a shaking voice... his 11 year old dog had suddenly collapsed.  The vet and him went out to carry the dog in.. and just hearing that poor man's voice breaking with shock and concern and grief, it made me strangely glad that I was there for a relatively minor issue.  The dog was awake and alert as they carried him in, and I hope that he's ok. 

After I dropped off Sadie and gave her pets and meds, I headed down to work.  The car starting pooping out.. it's had an engine light on for a few months, when J brought it in to get diagnosed, the diagnostics said it was either the spark plug or the coils, so J replaced the spark plug and since the coils were more pricey, we had to wait a bit.   The new coils had arrived and he had installed them this morning... But today the car was really unhappy any time it needed to shift, and would sorta poop out and only go 60, or only go 40, then sorta shudder itself through the shift and keep going.  I called J and said that the car was behaving funny, describing the symptoms, and said that I preferred to switch cars with him as it was a shorter distance and I'd be leaving work later than him.   So I headed to Universal...

PRAISE the car breakdown gods... the car finally died as I was making the turn on Lankershim right down the street from the studio, giving me just enough juice to get into the Chevron parking lot.   Thank you for not dying at home thus stranding me, thank you for not dying on the freeway, thank you for dying right at a gas station and not in the middle of Ventura Blvd.   I was so cheerful about it that as I waited for J., I sat down next to and talked with a homeless woman there.   She was friendly and very concerned about the car breakdown, so I went and dug up some change for her, which she first tried to refuse taking.  A few minutes later she asked if she could go get me some Carl's Jr.  (!!!!)  I scoffed at that and said that no, I could go buy HER some food, but she refused.   I don't really expect people to be understanding of my problems, so I was pleasantly surprised when the gas attendant asked in a concerned way what had happened, had I ran out of gas? etc.?  I also thought I was blocking the driveway a bit when another customer stayed parked there, and wouldn't go around me, so I fluttered and shrugged my hands a bit and said that I couldn't move.. he parked to put air in his tires, so I got out and apologized saying "Sorry I thought I was blocking you" and he said "No, I'm sorry cuz I thought I was blocking YOU"  and I laughed and said "Yeah, I couldn't have moved anyways!"   What's this?  Polite, nice people in LA?  

Anyways, the homeless gal's concern was really bizarre to me... what's a broke car compared to NO PLACE TO LIVE.   She was so terribly concerned about it.  The problems of others do have a way of putting our own into perspective...
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EMERGENCY: FAN IN NEED - RAINBOW [Aug. 26th, 2010|02:37 pm]
Originally posted by perclexed at EMERGENCY: FAN IN NEED - RAINBOW
Y'all were so amazing to me (something I include in my daily gratitude/thanks mantra), and I'm hoping you can help another fan in serious need right now.

rainbow is in the Eugene, OR, US area and is having extreme financial difficulty right now. She has severe physical limitations (multiple brain injuries, life threatening MCS and multiple immune and autoimmune dysfunctions), and her husband was laid off two years ago. He is looking for work, but there isn't a whole lot in their area right now. His unemployment has run out.

They aren't sure how they're going to pay the mortgage for the coming months, let alone after that. Health is a big issue - money to get her meds is problematic, and Paul has been sick for two months but they haven't been able to get him to a doc. They have shut off notices streaming in, they're not sure how they're going to feed themselves and the cats, and they're really at the end of their ropes. They live very simply, but there's been a few unexpected things that have come up since unemployment ran out and it's been extremely difficult the past few months.

Carys does do tarot, energy and intuitive readings, and I found a lot of value in the reading she did for me. She's one of the most spiritual and kind people I know, and she could use some assistance if you can spare any.

If you're moved to contribute via Paypal, she can receive funds at carys AT starfire-studio DOT com (of course replace the AT and DOT with the appropriate symbols).

If you're interested in ordering a reading, you can find the information page here:
http://starfire-studio.com/readings.html

Facebook page for Starfire Studios:
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/StarfireStudio?ref=ts

rainbow is one of the kindest, most unique souls I've had the privilege to get to know via our online interactions. She is always there with support, a kind word, understanding...she's absolutely amazing and I'm pretty worried. Any help you can give would be most appreciated. Especially if you can repost to your own journal and spread the word.

If you are able to help and want to leave a comment, I can try to track totals here. I'm hoping we can get at least $3500 to get them some breathing room for a bit.

ETA: rainbow has a little more on this here. Please take a look and help if you can!

ETA2 @ 1123 hrs 26 Aug: rainbow let me know earlier that we're at about $350, which is 10% of goal! YAY!


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super!!!1!!!supplement [Feb. 9th, 2010|02:52 am]
I picked up this green food supplement from Whole Foods the other day, and just looked at the label today...
Wow, this supplement contains:
Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6 + B12 (in percentages up to 1000%~!)
Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic acid
biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum
Fish oil, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil
acai, grape seed, green tea, white tea, resveratrol
*takes a breath*
Alfafa, asparagus, beet, blueberry, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, collards, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, grapes, kelp, lemon, onion, papaya, pineapple, spinach, tomato
cat's claw, elderberry, garlic powder
*another breath*
L-histidine HCL, L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine, L-Lysine HCL, L-Methionine, L-Phenylalanine, L-threonine, L-5-Hydroxytryptophan, L-Valine
Ashwagandha, astragalus, bupleurum
barley grass, chlorella, spirulina
american ginseng, asian ginseng, Montmorillonite, ginkgo powder, corn silk powder, cranberry, milk thistle powder, black pepper extract, and ginger extract
OH but I'm not done, it also has turmeric, beeswax, soy lecithin oil, and sodium copper chlorophyllin

Sheesh it's like anything that anyone has ever said has been good for you has been stuffed into one supplement!  My feet shouldn't even stay on the ground after that!  Did they miss anything?

The purple butterbur meanwhile works fairly well for the migraines as a non-caffeine alternative.
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terrified squeeee!!! :) [Jan. 13th, 2010|01:13 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Husband was on the phone today with a tire sponsor, who's giving him oodles of discounts because they have new tires they want to try out at Buttonwillow... and when J. told the nice fellow that we were hoping I'd one day like the Ninja 250, they told him they would throw in a free ridealong at the track for me!! They have a two seater that they use just for ridealongs and were going to let J. use it, but he'd rather me ride with the nice safe instructor man and follow along behind J., so that we can watch him and his line. How exciting!!!

So here's where I find out if I could really like tearing around the track at 180mph! Er, I suspect that the nice lil (slower! safer!) endurance races up at the desert track will be more up my alley, once I get my riding chops up. ;-)

They do a charity ridealong at Laguna Seco with former GP riders and it.looks.terrifying.
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