Sweet Things

I had such a nice birthday on Wednesday. Lovely cards, flowers, and phone calls and songs from friends, all my siblings, the Obi-wans, and my sweet baby niece. All she said was, “No” but it was fun to hear her little voice all the same.

I mean, who wouldn't want to hear from this sweet little baby girl? And her shoes are soooo snazzy!

I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear from this sweet little baby girl? And her shoes are soooo snazzy!

Peonies are the sweetest smelling flowers. If you haven’t ever been to New York in the Springtime, you need to get here immediately. All the corner stores and flowers shops are teeming with gorgeous peonies for about 4 weeks.

I not-so-subtlety hint that peonies are in season to JB every year.

I not-so-subtlety hint that peonies are in season to JB every year.

And then they disappear for the rest of the year. But it’s always so lovely to have them around for those 4 weeks.

Gotta stop and smell the peonies every now and again.

Gotta stop and smell the peonies every now and again.

Birthdays are so special to me. This year is especially awesome because it’s the start of a whole new year of healthy Abby. And I kicked it off the best way I know how–an 8 mile run in Central Park at dawn.

And I loved every step of it.

I didn’t have any special birthday dessert yesterday. Partly because I was so beat after work that I absolutely couldn’t imagine going out and party because I’m saving my cupcake celebration for this Saturday’s Cupcake Run.

Cupcake stickers instead of race bibs.

Cupcake stickers instead of race bibs.

Can’t wait to see all of you there! 8:30am at the 72nd St. Transverse at the top of the Bethesda Fountain stairs. $10 for the fun run and then meet us at the E. 66th St. lululemon for cupcakes!

All proceeds go to Team Challenge, which is a cause very close to my heart.

Oh, and non-runners who want to enjoy cupcakes are welcome, too. Meet us at the store around 9:15am for some sweet things. Don’t forget to bring cash for the raffle, including a villa in Mexico.

These are a few of my favorite things...to give away!

These are a few of my favorite things…to give away!

Anyway, hope you all have had a little bit of sweetness in your week, too. Two more weeks of crazy hospital…stuff and then I’m FREE AS A BIRD!!!

See y’all on Saturday.

Now go out and run!

The Cupcake Run

I like cake.

My love of cake started very young with ice cream cakes from Carvel.

My love of cake started very young with ice cream cakes from Carvel.

I mean, what’s not to like?

As I honed my baking skills, I often made cakes for dessert. Lucky me, I have a big family and there was not usually too much left over for any one of use to indulge in for more than two days.

Not so now, as it’s only JB and me. Trouble in Bakery Land.

Always Mom's helper when it comes to Christmas cookies. Plus, I get first dibs on them straight out of the oven!

Always Mom’s helper when it comes to Christmas cookies. Plus, I get first dibs on them straight out of the oven! Note the cupcake pajama bottoms.

Thankfully, in New York City, there are plenty of places to get just one cupcake. And they are all different and hit the spot, depending on what I’m craving.

So why not pair two of my favorite things for one great cause?

Cupcakes + running + fundraising for Team Challenge = awesome way to spend a Saturday!

Hello, Cupcake Run!

Details:

  • What: The Cupcake Run
  • Where: Central Park 72nd Street Transverse at the top of the steps in front of Bethesda Fountain
  • When: Saturday, May 25th at 8:30am
  • Cost: $10 donation to the CCFA via my fundraising page OR $10 cash at the race 🙂
  • Bonus: After the race, enjoy cupcakes from different local bakeries AND buy raffle tickets ($5/each) for my amazing raffle (psssst…don’t forget about the villa for 10 in Mexico that’s up for grabs!)
  • Course: 4 mile 72nd St. Transverse to 102nd St. Transverse loop + 1 mile to the Lululemon store on 3rd Ave between 66th & 67th Sts. where the cupcakes will be!
What's that you say? You like winning prizes? I got you covered all over the place.

What’s that you say? You like winning prizes? I got you covered all over the place.

How do you register in advance? Make a $10 (or more!) donation here. How do you show up and register? Bring $10 on the morning of the run and give it to me to get your race “bib”. Don’t forget to bring cash for the raffle!

Questions?

  • Is this an official race? No.
  • Will there be time chips or a gun start? No.
  • Is this a fun run that anyone can do? Yes.
  • Do I have to run the whole 5 mile course? No.
  • Will there be cupcakes for the runners bringing up the rear? As long as you’re at the store before 9:30am.
  • Can I run it remotely? Sure. I just can’t ship you cupcakes!
If I can find them, there will be Bronx Bombers cupcakes. Go Yankees!

If I can find them, there will be Bronx Bombers cupcakes. Go Yankees!

Can’t wait to see you all out there next weekend. Don’t forget to tell your friends.

Admit it, you always want a cupcake after you run. Here’s your chance.

Now go out and run!

Wednesday Workout on Tired Legs

This hospital PT stuff is rough.

Hooray for scrubs and sneakers because if I had to wear real clothes and shoes and do all this stuff, I’d be in big trouble come Chicago in three weeks.

Hooray for scrubs!

Hooray for scrubs!

But my legs are still getting adjusted to 8 hours days on my little feet. I don’t sit for most of the day, rather, I stand around quite a bit. Walking I can do but standing? Ow. My legs have felt tight and tired for every one days since I started at the hospital.

Me + my foam roller = BFFs.

Me + my foam roller = BFFs.

So I’ve been foam rolling a lot and putting my feet up whenever possible because this week started back on training for Chicago.

When trying to maintain speed, it’s a good idea to do speedy workouts. One of my favorites ends up totaling 6 miles but feels like more. Here’s how it goes:

  • 2.25 mile warm-up
  • Form drills (high knees, butt kicks, hip openers)
  • 5 x 400m sprints on the track, 200m jogging rest in between
  • 2.25 mile comfortable pace home

This run is a great reminder of what speed I’m capable of running. I aim to have my 400s under 90 seconds. I succeed most of the time except for #2 when I completely lost my focus because I thought I was going to hit a squirrel.

Dear Mr. Squirrel, The track is no place for you to be wandering. You might get run over by a sleepy runner. xo Abby

Dear Mr. Squirrel,
The track is no place for you to be wandering. You might get run over by a sleepy runner.
xo
Abby

The other thing I like about this workout is that my run home pace is always close to race pace and feels effortless! It’s amazing what a little perspective, warm-up, and pushing crazy-fast will do to make your race pace feel easy.

A good reminder that I can do it for 13.1 miles, no problemo.

Don’t hate on the speed workouts. They keep you in tip-top shape and fast for your next race! It’s not always about lots of miles, but the quality of those miles.

What was your Wednesday Workout? Tell me all about it!

Now go out and run.

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Forward

This year hasn’t flown for me where school is concerned. The opposite, in fact. It has CRAWLED.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that's what this year has been like.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that’s what this year has been like.

But when I look back at exactly one year ago today, it seems like it was only a few months ago and not twelve. One year ago today, I spent most of the day under anesthesia, in the OR and recovery room, having my colon removed to cure my Ulcerative Colitis.

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn't worry so much. See Dad? I'm smiling = I'm ok!

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn’t worry so much. See Dad? I’m smiling = I’m ok!

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, I couldn’t run 2 minutes on the treadmill before I had to jump off and race for the bathroom. Last week, I ran a PR in the half marathon. 1:40, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and I’m gonna kick ass in Chicago running for Team Challenge in three weeks!

Jersey, baby!

Jersey, baby!

Last year, I was so sick I was getting chemo pumped into my veins, iron IVs, and hydration solution every week. As of right now, I’m only on one drug, soon to be DRUG-FREE!(This probably means very little to anyone but Mrs. Obi-wan. Look, ma! No drugs!)

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

Last year, I missed just about every single running/walking/sporting event with my friends. This Thursday, I’m walking in lower Manhattan with my lululemon family and friends in the Taking Steps walk to spread IBD awareness. (Join me!)

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Last year, I was terrified I wouldn’t make it through my first year of DPT school because of the two surgeries, the colostomy bag, or some other unforeseen disaster. Not only did I conquer my first year of school, this Friday I will be exactly halfway through my first rotation. And I’m feeling great about it!

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

What a difference a year makes. I cannot thank my friends, family, classmates, running community, lululemon family, and all of you enough for all of your support and encouragement over this past year.

I guess today’s post embodies all of what Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays are really all about: forward motion in the hopes of a better tomorrow.

I was scared to go forward with surgery but I did it and I don’t regret it one little bit.

I was scared to go forward with school, not knowing if my body would hold up, but I did and I made it through (with a little LOT of help from Birdie).

I was scared to come forward about my disease and surgery and all that but I did and managed to not only make new friends, but reach out into the IBD community to help other people struggling with the same decisions I had to make.

And no matter what happens, it is always better to be here than not to be here. I know that now more than ever.

Happy colon-free-iversary to me! I am totally colon-free and kicking ass!

Now go out and run!

A New Routine With No Options

Hello friends! It’s great to be writing again, even if writing at this hour of the morning means only one thing: I am up and I’m not running.

Why?

Because it’s pouring rain. I know, I know, I should just go out and run. But it’s pouring cats and dogs, supposed to add lightning to the already nasty mix, and it’s super-dark out there. Not my idea of a good idea to go out. And I’m still awake! I didn’t go back to sleep! Booooooooooo rain.

Gross.

Gross.

Treadmill after work it is. Sigh.

And work — WORK! is at the hospital. I help treat, evaluate, and advocate for patients from the minute I walk in to the minute I walk out. It’s exhausting, hence why I prefer to run in the wee small hours of the morning.

Student PT Abby at your service!

Student PT Abby at your service!

This whole work-all-day-and-exhausted-at-night thing is new for me. I’m used to having my day severely broken up with clients and classes so that if I miss a run in the morning, I can grab a quick loop around the park that night.

Not so anymore.

Dawn run or bust!

Dawn run or bust!

I’m bummed about my lack of workout options on days like this. Pouring rain in the dark makes for scary city running and my neighborhood at work isn’t exactly safe for me to get a lunchtime jog in (plus, we don’t have employee showers and,well, YUCK).

And since I’ve been falling asleep at 8:30 (yup, I’m cool like that), an after work workout doesn’t seem like it’s even possible.

Soooooooooooo tired.

Soooooooooooo tired.

What’s a girl to do? Whatever I can.

Options:

  1. Run in the morning
  2. Run at lunch and use baby wipes (you’re welcome, patients)
  3. Run home from work
  4. Run at home after I get home from work
  5. Run on the treadmill (with everyone else in the free world) after work

Option #5 is obviously the last option. I hate running at 6pm at the gym on the treadmill with all of Manhattan. Talk about claustrophobia. 

It's not the treadmill I hate, it's the overcrowded gyms.

It’s not the treadmill I hate, it’s the overcrowded gyms.

Regular working people of the world, I feel your pain. I have never had “regular” working hours and now that I do, I hate it. I want my 6am start time back so I can work out at the gym when no one else is around.

Pretty please?

These 4.5 more weeks are going to crawl by. Should be interesting since I pick up training for the Chicago Half this weekend. Ruh-roh.

Speaking of Chicago…you can still get in on the raffle to win a stay in Acapulco for you and 10 of your friends by donating to the CCFA. $20 donation gets you 1 raffle ticket. Sand, sun, and fun with friends sounds pretty good right about now.

This is a real place. A real place where you could be going with your friends if you donate $20 or more to my fundraising page. Seriously.

This is a real place. A real place where you could be going with your friends if you donate $20 or more to my fundraising page. Seriously.

How do you Normal Working Hours people do it? Do you work exclusively in the morning or at home or on lunch? Share your wisdom with me!!! How do you stick to your workouts when Mother Nature conspires against you?

Now go out and run!

(Or, if you’re like me, run after work!)