Getting High

I’ve been away and loving life for a little bit. Being off from school and free from many of they day-to-day stresses of “normal” life has offered me the opportunity to take really good care of myself and spend time with people I love.

JB and I were lucky enough to spend some time at the Obi-wans’ house in Colorado with some of my siblings. It was a ball and included waking up to a little angel every morning.

Nope. It sure doesn’t get any better.

Fortunately/Unfortunately, being in beautiful Colorado also means running at a mile above sea level. The air is thinner and every run felt like a death march.

Breathtaking. Literally.

Breathtaking. Literally.

I love running back home where there are trails and paths and great, safe places to run all over Colorado. Everyone–I mean EVERYONE, says “good morning” or head nods and traffic actually stops for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Which is good because I’m pretty sure if anything at all had made me stop I would have sat down and given up on every run.

Because there is less oxygen in the air, my blood became more viscous (thicker) and was operating on less “fuel” per breath = I got tired a whole lot faster than I normally do at sea level.

So, what’s a girl (or guy!) to do when getting all “Rocky Mountain hiiiiiiiigh, Coloradooooo” while training?

  1. Bring fluids everywhere. You can get severely dehydrated at altitude in a flash. Even my 6-milers required water. Do it.
  2. Don’t look at your watch.
  3. Try cross-training in addition to your run if you’re really itching for more of a workout.
  4. Run slower. Run shorter. Your body will not function the same at 5280ft. so don’t expect it to. It’s maybe not the time to do your longest run of the season.
  5. Plan runs when the sun is low. You are 5280ft. closer to that burning ball of fire and will get burned/dehydrated much faster. Also, sunscreen.
This is one of those times to just enjoy the run.

This is one of those times to just enjoy the run.

The longest I ended up running in a single stretch was 9 miles. And I was totally spent by the end of it. Good thing I had someone to give me a hug when I got back.

Peanut hugs are the best kind.

Peanut hugs are the best kind.

You can totally keep your training up while traveling above sea level, but be mindful that your body is working much harder up there than it does down here. And if you feel any of the symptoms of altitude sickness, seek medical attention immediately. It’s no joke.

Enjoy the run when you’re up in the mountains. And don’t miss out on those little person hugs. They’re worth more than any finisher’s medal at any marathon in the world.

Now go out and run.

A to Z

I couldn’t write yesterday because I only had one thing on my mind and I didn’t want to pollute this happy little blog with it so I just didn’t write.

Today is a new day and, in light of my story being recently featured in Psychology Today last week (hello new readers!), I decided to take part in this A to Z About Me Q and A.

A to Z

A. Attached or single?

Attached now for 9 years. And it keeps getting better.

Our wedding was SO FUN!

Our wedding was SO FUN!
(Image courtesy of elisabethmilay.com)

B. Best friend?

JB. The Obi-wans. My 4 sibs and Chi-Chi.

C. Cake or pie?

Hmmm…gotta be really great cake (like from SugarSweet Sunshine or Alice’s Tea Cup) but I’m also a big fan of both Cherry and Apple pie. Why choose just one?

D. Day of choice?

Friday. Always happy for the weekend and it’s Date Night.

E. Essential item?

Beauty: Mascara. Clothing: Perfect jeans. Workout: Chafe-free shorts.

F. Favorite color?

Pink.

"Pink is my signature color."

“Pink is my signature color.”

G. Gummy bears or worms?

Neither. Twizzlers or Snickers, please.

H. Home town?

Born in Glen Ridge, NJ. Lisle and Woodridge, IL for childhood.

I. Favorite indulgence?

Great Jones Spa facial.

J. January or July?

January. Everything feels new in January.

K. Kids?

Love ‘em.

L. Life isn’t complete without?

Snuggling next to my man and taking a nap after a long run on a Saturday morning.

No husband? Give me all the pillows then.

No husband? Give me all the pillows then.

M. Marriage date?

11/13/09

N. Number of brothers/sisters?

2 sisters, 2 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law, 2 brothers-in-law, and one special significant other.

O. Oranges or Apples?

Oranges. When they’re perfect, they’re delicious.

P. Phobias?

I don’t like snakes, but I don’t think that’s a phobia. They’re just creepy.

Q. Quotes?

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

…in that vein: “If you just keep going, eventually you’ll get to the finish line.” ~me

R. Reasons to smile?

My gorgeous niece. Flower deliveries. Dates with friends. Too many reasons, really.

S. Season of choice?

Fall. Fall in New York City is magical.

T. Tag 5 People.

Jesica, Tina, Kristin, Jenny, Hillary, BethMichelle…but really, everyone should if they have lost their will to write or need to get their writing mojo back (ahem, Sara).

I want all my friends to do it!

I want all my friends to do it!

U. Unknown fact about me?

I can only crack my middle fingers on each hand.

V. Vegetable?

Before J-pouch: raw green beans. After J-pouch: sautéed zucchini.

W. Worst habit?

Being late/loud.

X. X-Ray or ultrasound?

Ultrasound cuz it’s more than a diagnostic tool. It can treat, diagnose, and image.

Dr. Abby says, "When in doubt, ULTRASOUND!"

Dr. Abby says, “When in doubt, ULTRASOUND!”

Y. Your favorite food?

Sugar cookies. And Two Boots Pizza.

A Monster after my own heart.

A Monster after my own heart.

Z. Zodiac sign?

Gemini. Totally a Gemini.

You can do this survey too! Pingback, tag, or Tweet me if you do. I want to get to know YOU better!

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Naysayers

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: A day when we share why it’s better to be here, not matter what kinda crap we got going on, than to not be here. A day to reflect on the fact that life is awesome and I, for one, am glad to to be here.

Naysayer: nay·say·er (\ˈnā-ˌsā-ər, -ˌser\) one who denies, refuses, opposes, or is skeptical or cynical about something.

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Five or six years ago I was with extended family, sharing my new goal of going back to school to become a physical therapist. I had a long road ahead of me, pre-reqs and GREs and hoops to jump through and all, but I was excited to finally find what I wanted to be when I grow up!

And this one Naysayer just kept shooting me down.

“It’s a really competitive field.”

“Those classes are really hard to get through as an adult.”

“So-and-so didn’t get into this-other-medical-school, you probably won’t get into NYU.”

All from the same person. The same Naysayer. It got me so down about my choice. In fact, this was what I’d been telling myself for years. It’s too hard. You’re not smart enough. There’s no way they’d want you. Finally I’d got the guts to say it out loud and here was a Naysayer trying to put me down before I even go going.

photo-9JB, the Obi-wans, and my closest friends didn’t let me give up on my dream. And here I am. At NYU. Kicking butts. Taking names.

There was another Naysayer who (still) cannot believe I’m not working as a personal trainer for the money and, instead, putting money into my education. I can’t. I just CAN’T even begin to tell you how frustrating THAT conversation is for me.

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Naysayers can get you down. They get me down sometimes, too. But they can also be fuel for your Fire of Awesomeness. Naysayers are often people who are not living the life they want to live. (These Naysayers certainly weren’t/aren’t) and they just loooooove dragging others down to their unhappy level.

You know what, thank you, Naysayers. You have given me the opportunity (more than once!) to say, “TOLD YOU I COULD DO IT!!!”

If that’s not a reason it’s better to be here than not, I don’t know what is. Happy BTAT, friends. Haters gonna hate, you keep on rocking.

Now go out and run!

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2012 Retrospect

Confession: I don’t really want to look back on this year. I mean, I DO because it’s over and I’m happy about that but I DON’T because whenever I think about it, I cry.

And not pretty cry. I ugly cry about it.

It seems like a far-off nightmare that I have only just recently woken from to realize that I have my life back and can do the things I like/want to do instead of planning my day around bathrooms and getting shot up with poison.

I much prefer to be out running that doing most any other thing. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

I much prefer to be out running that doing most any other thing. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

Instead, I prefer to say I learned a lot of stuff in 2012.

  • I learned that my husband is THE BEST.
  • I learned that sickness can bring people together & make relationships stronger.
  • I learned who my friends are, cliché but true.
  • I learned that father-daughter bonding happens over the strangest conversations.
  • I learned where every single bathroom in Central Park is located & which I prefer.
  • I learned that videos of my niece make me smile even while drugged up post-op.
  • I learned that I am smarter than I give myself credit for.
  • I learned that a mother’s instinct extends well beyond childhood.
  • I learned that flowers & cards make me happy when I’m blue.
  • I learned that I am only limited by myself.
  • I learned that scars don’t matter so much as the story behind them.
  • I learned that Twitter & Facebook can be places of great support.
  • I learned that there is life both in & after sickness.
  • I learned that my brothers & sisters are seriously awesome.
  • I learned that I love running more than I thought I did.

I learned that change is a part of life but it’s what I do with the opportunities I’m given that will define me.

Catch you on the road in 2013!

Catch you on the road in 2013! (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

I’m ready for 2013 and all the adventures it holds, including: no fewer than 2 new babies, 4 weddings (& counting…), my first clinical rotation, several half-marathons, a 200 mile relay, and maybe another 26.2 to round out my total to 10.

I’m ready.

Looking ahead, never behind. When I look back for too long, I tend to trip & fall. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

Looking ahead, never behind. When I look back for too long, I tend to trip & fall. (Image courtesy of MK Photography)

What did YOU learn in 2012? What are your goals for 2013? 

Happy New Year!

Now go out and run.

Marathon Widow/Widower

It is no secret that marathon training takes A LOT of time.

Early morning runs, weekend long runs, nights at the gym, stretching at work. It’s just soooooo time consuming.

Very, very early marathon morning (MCM '05)

Oh yes. Get used to this hour of the morning

It’s tough to marathon train when JB isn’t also training. We hardly see each other during the week and I’m gone for hours and hours on Saturday and then sore for the rest of the weekend and all I want to do is sleep.

I’m super-fun during training.

Tons of fun.

Tons of fun.

It’s like he’s a Widower. Well, he’s sort of a perma-Widower for the next three years because of school, but that’s neither here nor there.

Point is, it’s lonely to be married to a marathon runner. And it’s absolutely fair to get a little annoyed at said marathoner.

There are things I do to make sure JB doesn’t feel completely annoyed with me for the three months I am running 40+ miles a week and spending my Saturday afternoons in ice baths instead of at brunch with him.

  1. Make sure he knows my schedule. Like, a weekly hard copy of my workouts schedule. If he knows what days I’m available, we avoid a lot of miscommunication.
  2. Schedule in down-time with him. He likes afternoon/evening quality time so I make sure to get my weekend workouts done in the morning.
  3. Make sure to do things he likes. I’m setting aside time for me to do things I like to do, so I make sure I’m planning things I know HE likes to do. Give-Take.
  4. Ask him to meet me at the end of my run. He likes to run with a buddy (me!) and at the end of my runs I’m fine with just shuffling along the river for the last few miles.
  5. At the end of the season, I make sure to thank him for his support and talk with him before I decide to start up another fun athletic event.

Communication = happy home.

And they lived happily ever after.

And they lived happily ever after.

Now go out and run!