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Friday, July 8, 2011

One Year Ago...

this very moment, I was being wheeled into the recovery room. Not that I remember any of it. I don't remember anything until about 4am when I decided I was going to hop out of bed and take a shower. Needless to say, the shower NEVER happened, not until I came home.

I am one year post-op and although this year has screamed by, I am ready to not have any more "hip surgery anniversaries." From one week, to one month, to 6 months, to 11 months, to now, one year. This should be it. As I sit here, I have a bit of a reminder, as I think I always will, with a tiny ache in my quad. For some reason, rain or snow gives me this ache. Sometimes worse, but always manageable with Ibuprofin, and hardly worth mentioning.

In the last year, I have gone through 6 months of physical therapy, ran all sorts of trails that they said I would never be able to run, and finished a marathon. Mentally, I have learned that there is more to life than running, enjoyed hikes with my husband (mental because I would have never thought nor slowed down enough to hike before), and trust that I will not get fat if I don't run 60+ miles a week. I am a much more balanced person: I spend tons of time with my teenage daughters (Happy Birthday Halee!) and my husband, play with my cats, work on house projects, think of creative ways to teach my students, and enjoy watching nature.

I always say that God has a wonderful plan even though it may be hard to see it when you are right in the middle of it. But God definately had a plan for me! And His plan is ALWAYS better than mine, even this time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Running for Fun

Now that I don't HAVE to run, I am enjoying going out and doing whatever, whenever. It has been 3 weeks since my marathon (is that it?) and I have ran a handful of times. A little over a week ago, I was invited by a mom of one of my daughter's friends, to go do the Incline with the girls and her. So we headed up. It was a hot hot day. The three of them agreed to go halfway and I would go to the top, run down, and meet them for the rest of the trip down. I made it up just fine. On my way down, I got distracted, and tripped on a root (that now I have since gone back to figure out why and it is still hidden pretty well by the dirt). I sat there and attempted to breathe. My left ankle, the same one I sprained about 3 weeks prior to the marathon, was definately hurt. I also cut up my right knee and could see about 20 rocks IN it. Well, when you're on Barr Trail, there is only one choice, you have to go down. I hobbled down and decided that my ankle hurt bad enough to visit the doctor. After xrays, it was just a severe sprain. The nurse had the pleasure, not really, of scrubbing out the rocks while I screamed.

In the meantime, I got a Crossfit membership on Groupon. I have gone once, and it was an easy workout but the muscle soreness crept up on me after. All upper body, which is what I need. I have ran a couple of times, carefully. Since Stephanie is training for the Ascent, I did do a run just beyond Barr Camp this last week, which gave me 13+ hard miles. I don't really have any goals right now, but if I were to say I have a pseudo goal it would be to maintain the distance of 13ish miles. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, oh well. My hip is completely fine and not even a thought anymore. For all of you hipsters, isn't it nice to know that one year post-op, it will really be part of the past? Halee's birthdayis this Friday, and that marks my one-year anniversary!

One more note: Marc and I are going to try, together, to do a blog just for our house. Since I couldn't find many blogs for Arts & Crafts Era homes, I thought it would be fun. So I will be posting our "house" adventures on there. Our Arts Crafts Home Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Post-Op Marathon-CHECK!

This may be an entry that surprises many and isn't exactly what some may want to hear. I'm talking to the hipsters out there. One year ago today, I was waiting anxiously to be cleared from my hip stress fracture, still on crutches (after what already seemed like too long), and couldn't run or walk for exercise. July 8th marks the one year anniversary from surgery. As you all know, it was 4 good months post-op that I had to wait to take a "jogging" step. I started working up to "running" from November through January. Then, marathon training began shortly after. I was FORCED to rest and not run for such a long time that I had the post-op goal of running a marathon. I think because I had at least 5 hip patients tell me I wouldn't probably run again, or it just wouldn't be the same. I fought that with everything in me and perservered through the miles, and the long runs.

Something that I didn't focus on: the lack of enjoyment on each long run, and many shorter ones. Something has definately changed. I use to long to go for a run, and my favorite runs each week were the ones over 2 hours. Not so much now. This time around, I dreaded it. Each run came and went and the feelings didn't really change. I hoped that it would.

Marathon Day: Stephanie and I started together. It was hot and hilly, but a beautiful course. Around mile 12, she went ahead. I was perfectly okay with this because my only goal was to enjoy the run. Beginning early, I couldn't wait to get done and actually wanted to quit. I kept thinking, "God, just get me through this...I don't want to get a DNF." (I have never had a DNF.) Getting lost on course (as about 90% of the other runners did as well-reported by race coordinators), didn't help. I couldn't wait to just get this done and over with. I crossed the finishline and as Marc waited to hear, "I'm so disappointed with my time, I need to redeem myself and run another marathon...," he instead heard, "That was my last marathon, I never want to run one again!" My girls, Marc, and Stephanie were a bit surprised.

The day after: I was a tiny bit depressed. I sat in the car on the way home and Marc asked what was wrong. I WANTED to like it. I really wanted the love for it to come back during the race. I hoped I would do the marathon and the passion would come back. It didn't. My back up plan: run half marathons for a while and enjoy running. My only goal is to trail run for enjoyment. 100% fun. I will mountain bike and hike too. I have said that if I ever do a marathon again, it will be in several, several years, if and when the passion comes back around. "I wouldn't have known that I would feel this way unless I tried it!" as stated by my friend Lori. So true.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Marathon Countdown!

I was counting yesterday...the "parts" or rooms of the new house that we have completed. In order of completion: Christian's Room, the Living Room, the Dining Room, Master Bedroom, Halee's Room, Upstairs Hall leading to Downstairs, Sunroom, Half Bath, Master Closet, and Kitchen...which still has a few more days on it. Although the kitchen is still not done, the work remaining will be done by the contractor, thank goodness. The yard has undergone tranformation with several new plants from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo plant sale, and several new bushes (including my first rose bush) to make the back yard just the way we like it, with lots of flowers. All this being said, I haven't had time to write, but I have made time to train for a marathon!

In two days, I will be 11 months post-op from surgery repairing my labrum in my right hip. I find myself reflecting regularly right now, because the weather, smells, and summer activities, keep reminding me how thankful I really am that I can go run up a mountain or simply walk across my backyard. A year ago in June, I had been on crutches since early April and they were a regular part of my routine. I found myself anxious to have surgery and get the recovery process started. I was also unsure of my outcome and how well surgery would really go.

Taking recovery pretty serious was the best thing I did. Getting back into running many months post-op was worth the wait. My body definately has muscle memory and the work-up has not been hard at all. I have completed 4 runs over 20 miles (20, 21, 22, and 24 miles). I do not feel my hip and can say that I am 100% recovered. (I am not as flexible with that leg, but no pain.) I was told by a few that I would probably never run again, and I was told by my PT to not run trails like Barr Trail (the trail leading to Pikes Peak Summit with a huge elevation gain). After running just about every trail in the Colorado Springs area, with many steep ascents and descents, and feeling just fine, I decided to tackle Barr Trail this last weekend. Stephanie, my training buddy and my PT's assistant, has trained with me every step of the way. This will be her first marathon. Since our big race was only one week away, we decided it best to only go to Barr Camp (6 miles up, 6 miles down). It went great, and my hip felt fantastic. All of this training and ultimately, this recovery, means one thing: I am ready to run a marathon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Big News

I finally received the big news today...I have officially been given the title: Distinguished Teacher. It is quite the process, but one I am pleased I went through. I was offered the opportunity last year, and decided to wait one more year. I have only been teaching 3 years (finishing my 3rd year), so I feel very honored! Lots of hard work, but all worth it in the end.

The Remodel Continues...

The kitchen has officially started. It is the final stage in the "initial" remodel phase. We have officially completed, Halee's room, Christian's room, Master Bedroom, Stairway (hallway), Living room, Dining room, Sunroom, and half bath on main level. The only other "summer" project will be the girl's bathroom and all of the doors in the house: taken off, sanded, hardware cleaned since it has all been painted by previous owner, and put back on. The doors have original hardware, which is suited for the skeleton keys. We love it. So here are some pictures.
Sunroom - BEFORE

Half Bath - BEFORE

Monday, April 25, 2011

Distinguished Teacher?

I am officially in the evaluation process (completed four of six weeks) for Distinguished Teacher in my school district. It is an exciting time to go through this because this is the time of year many teachers get tired, but I have the opportunity to step it up.

The team came in and saw me this last week. It is always unannounced and so when they came through the door just as the bell rang, I didn't have my normal 15 minutes or so to wake up. The lesson couldn't have gone any better. It was reading time and we were review story elements. I decided to read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The students participation was at its height and my energy with them was obvious. We finished up our whole class time and then I was observed doing a small group for reading. At the beginning of the year, I had 14 students well below grade level, and as of last week, was officially told by the middle school that pre-assess them, that my class was on grade level or above. I already knew that most were there, or very close, so hearing from someone else is always nice. She actually asked if our classes were leveled (meaning, did I have the high class?). I replied, "Nope, we've worked really hard!"

Either way, distinguished or not, I have one of the most rewarding jobs that exist and am very fulfilled by what I am entrusted with daily: teaching children!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I felt this entry should be one of its own. On Tuesday (the 12th), we had to say goodbye to my best buddy, and most favorite running partner, Tuff. I had put it off as long as I could and it was all for selfish reasons, so I decided enough was enough. In the last 5 weeks, Tuff had become a "study" for Bill, our vet and close friend. He ran more tests, did laser treatment every other day along with a medicated bath, and gave him more meds. Finally, a positive test result: Cushings Disease. Something that can be managed, in some situations, but will never go away. We attempted the meds and there was no improvement. He had swelling in one of his feet, that was obviously painful, along with bleeding out of his side. While I justify his death, I know I don't really need to. Every friend that would visit us and see him, told us it was bad. He got out last week, and the lady that found him called us with, "When was the last time you have seen your dog?" When Marc answered about 15 minutes prior...she was appauled and threatened to call and report us for animal abuse. Once Marc explained, she was apologetic, but needless to say, he didn't deserve to be forced to live in this condition.

I have so many memories of my Tuffy. He protected me, stayed close to me, ran with me regularly (although more in the earlier part of his short life), looked at me with pure love, played with me, and loved me.

Marc was "banned" from the room because I didn't think I could handle him, as well as myself, during his last moments. Bill came in and said, "Sorry, I couldn't fix him." As he looked down, I saw his tears drop on Tuff. I asked him to reassure me that we had done everything. He did. He was the best dog I've ever known. Born an "old soul," he was never misbehaved. I will always remember our special times.

Years ago...camping

Too Much to Say

I am going to make a better effort at staying up to date on my blog. I have been incredibly busy with the new house, training for the marathon, and teaching. The new house is amazing. We have officially completed 5 rooms and a major hallway (which included stairs). Today, we scraped off a ton of popcorn (yep, on the ceiling) in the sunroom and kitchen. The kitchen remodel will begin officially in two weeks, but we are doing some major drywall work before the hole gets cut in the wall and the floor tile gets taken out. Simultaneous to the kitchen and sunroom remodel, there is a half bath that is being gutted and redone. That is more my project and the wallpaper came down yesterday. Fun. Here is a photo of our bedroom "before" and "after".

Marathon training is well on its way. I officially have a 22, 24, and 20 mile long run left. I completed my 20 miler yesterday feeling really good. My last 4 weeks have been 15.5, 17, 18, and then 20 milers. I rest this week, build up a bit more, and then taper. Although I have worked hills to death, they still aren't coming as easy as I had hoped by now. They are on my list for this week AGAIN! My long runs are averaging 8:40ish pace. I have normal long run aches, but really nothing from my hip to even bother mentioning. After I complete this marathon (June 11), I will cut back to half marathon distance and mountain biking and try to find some races that are around that. I have really picked up on mountain biking because of all of the trails by my house.

This school year has been the best ever. My colleagues, as well as my students, have been amazing. I feel privileged to say I work with friends. My students are all a great bunch too. I will miss them when it is time to move in just 5 short weeks. I am in the process of "going for" distinguished within my district. This has added a bit of extra work, but mostly I just have to be ready for a team to come observe me at any given moment. I am excited to go through this experience and will hopefully be a better teacher for it.

There is more...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where Have I Been?

This time of year always becomes filled up with lesson planning, preparing for CSAP, and then administering the "BIG TEST" in just a few short weeks (four to be exact, but who's counting?). I am looking forward to spring break more than ever this year because we are moving at the end of February, and that week will be well spent.
Our New "Old" House!

Summer can't come fast enough. As much as I love spring, and WILL enjoy it, I am ready for summer. For the first time in my Harrison career, I have had not one snow day, but two. Our high temp for yesterday was -5 and the high for today was suppose to be 2, but I only saw 0 in my car. A big warm-up tomorrow, 40+ degrees!

Marathon training has officially began. (All you hipsters will probably be interested to know how I'm doing 7 months post-op...) I am up to 12 miles on a long run. Glad to report that I am running my long runs just about :15 seconds slower than I was prior to surgery. Around a 9 minute pace. I did my first official tempo run this last Monday - torturious like I remember, and I was able to hold a 7:50 for three solid miles (total distance of run was 7 miles) in wind with temps around 7+. I am extremely happy with my speed and where I am at already. I would be thrilled to just stay here. That being strength, especially on hills, just plain ol' stinks. It is not even so-so, it is miserable. My legs turn to jell-o and my breath gets short. So I am embarking on a few "hill" workouts to try and remedy this situation. I did one today and am already feeling hopeful. My workouts look like this: Saturday - long run, Monday - tempo style run (medium distance), and Thursday -intervals (except for now I am working on hills). I will be doing two to three difficult hilly trail runs a month to work on those hills as well. In March, I will add in a minimum of one day of mountain biking (difficult) a week. Right now I am doing spin at least one day a week and lifting two. Overall, I would say I am pretty much back to normal. So happy with my results.

So happy in every day life, our life!