Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Dog is Trying to Kill Me

I know, I need to stop writing these posts.  Someone's going to think the dog's a danger to society.  Nope, just a danger to me.  Many people have now said that I'm going to be put in a bubble for the month of the wedding so that I can't injure myself anymore.  Might not be the worst idea in the world.

Last night a salesman stopped at our door to talk to us about windows.  Chris actually set up an appointment to get a quote.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but, as he said, I guess a quote can't hurt.  We did this once before with a contractor that stopped at our door, and we decided we didn't trust him as far as we could throw him.  Anyway.  Harper is not used to visitors.  We need to work on this.  Any of you that are nearby, please feel free to come ring our doorbell on occasion.  She needs practice.  She starts barking her head off, and jumping at the door, SUPER excited.  Chris went to answer the door, and I went to grab and hold her.  In her excitement, she knocked me over.  Admittedly, this is not hard to do, since I still can't put weight on the one knee, and have no stability.

As I fell, I collided with the open, wooden door.  My left shoulder has a large, nasty-looking bruise, and my head has a big, tender egg.  I curled up on the floor crying.  Freaked out the salesman pretty badly, and he was not inclined to believe our "she's friendly" comments.  He did stop back later, though, as Chris said that he would have to so he could check on me.

Fortunately, Chris gave me the night off and walked the dog.  I can't keep walking on this knee.  I need to acknowledge that I need to REST it.  Not just get to the point that I can tolerate not taking pain killers, and then exercise on it, and inflame it again.  One day I will be whole.  I will, I will!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Quick post.  I have one written, but like always, I don't have the photos uploaded.  So, it'll have to wait.  But, I have to share what has rocked my world.  THEY HAVE CLOSED THE DOG PARK FOR THE NEXT MONTH.  Yes, that deserved the caps lock.  Now I have no choice but to walk on the painful knee.  GRR.  So, crank up the ice machine, I'm gonna need it after the walk.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Now THAT's How to Instruct a Class

After the Yoga fiasco, I was really starting to question my local YMCA.  Don't get me wrong, I still would have loved the equipment, access to the pool, and the like.  However, classes were not sounding so appealing.  Well, strike that thought!  Today I went to a Cardio Fusion class that was just wonderful.  Here's what the instructor did right:

1)  Started promptly and made the class aware of what equipment they needed (2 sets of weights and a mat).
2)  Gave 3 levels for every exercise we did.  For most, I did the most difficult without stress, but my knees can't handle lunges yet.  She noticed, asked if I was having trouble with my back or my knees, and made a suggestion.
3)  Was friendly, but not overly talkative.  The class revolved around the work-out.
4)  Had a silly "woo" noise, which initially I found a little annoying, but it kept me entertained.
5)  Looked the part.  Great, toned body.  Not excessively thin.  Cute workout attire.  Now, I don't base entirely on looks.  I had a wonderful arms and abs instructor once that appeared overweight.  But it does help you believe that they know what they're doing.  Also, can't stand the anorexic looking ones.  Although, honestly, they're rarely the instructors.  There was one woman in class today, and she just couldn't keep up!  EAT something!  You'll have more energy!
6)  Adequately stretched before and after the class, but didn't waste time.
7)  Invited us to join the following (abs) class.  Of course, I had to go to work, so that wasn't gonna happen, but I wish!

Anyway, I'm just pleased.  And wish the class was every day.  And, am AMAZED that after 3 weeks of not working out (aside from walking the dog many miles most days, which I don't count), I still flew through the class no sweat (ok, there was sweat, but it was a breeze).  Can't wait til I can actually RUN again, but for now?  Happy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ideal Yoga Class

I'm pretty open minded.  I don't necessarily believe that there is ONE right way to conduct a yoga class.  That said, there are two very distinct ways that one should not.  One of which I experienced yesterday.  And have consequently dropped both classes.

The WRONG ways to teach yoga:

1)  Yesterday's class was entitled "Yoga with Meditation".  Ok...I'd prefer it to focus on the physical nature, but I'm not completely opposed to some of the new-age spirituality.  The class, though?  5 minutes of poses, and 55 minutes of "meditation".  The meditation involved the elderly woman lecturing us on how we needed to drink water and how wonderful silence was.  As she talked.  Without stopping to breath.  For 55 minutes.  Furthermore, she enlightened us with such gems as, "Some people think meditation's complicated, but it's really just acknowledging that you're part of the universe"...mmm...little over-simplified perhaps?  Or, when asked how to prevent your foot from falling asleep when sitting on it for so long, the instructor told the student that it was her body telling her she was tired and needed to nap.  Finally, during the 5 minutes of exclusively sun-salutations, the instructor never managed to once go straight from up- to down-dog.  Just saying.

2)  Denise Austin.  No one wants to hear her peppy little cheerleader voice when they're trying to get deep into a pose.  The only person who likes her videos is a male friend who offered to take them off my hands.  And I'm not sure he's a yogi.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Anyone want a dog?

Kidding.  She's becoming such a sweet, wonderful, cuddle-bug.  However, that sweet, wonderful, cuddle-bug and her pit bull friend took out my good knee on Friday.  Since I was still not walking particularly well, as my left knee was sore from overuse, I was taking Harper to the dog park every evening.  She has a habit of treating me as "home base".  She'll race around the yard, chasing her buddies, then return to me at full speed.  Protection?  Checking in?  Who knows....  Either way, she and her friend came barreling towards me, and collided with my RIGHT knee.  A few witnesses heard it pop.  It was not pleasant.  I have not seen a doctor, and am hobbling around all right.  I have self-prescribed ice, ibuprofen, a knee brace, and rest.  And to think I thought my LEFT knee hurt...oh this is worse, folks.  MUCH worse.  As a response, since the weight is creeping back after 2 weeks of inactivity, and to have a PRAYER of running 10 miles in a month and 1/2, I have signed up for 2 yoga classes and a cardio class that start this week at the Y.  The cardio class isn't until Friday, so we'll see how mobile I am by then.  Regardless, I believe running is OUT for the foreseeable future.      

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Runners' Knees

We've all heard of tennis elbow.  And, certainly, as a competitive swimmer, I looked down on people whose shoulders didn't make atrocious popping noises, because, obviously, they didn't work hard enough.  (Ok, I was a twisted kid).  I am coming to realize, however, that bad knees are rampant in the world of running.  Since I haven't been able to run in about 2 weeks, I figured I'd use the extra time and let you know what I've learned.

For instance, a good start is this article at Runner's World: PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME ("RUNNER'S KNEE")  It tells you that you shouldn't increase your running by more than 10% per week to prevent overuse injuries.  Your body just isn't used to the demands you're putting on it.  (Hello?  Katy?  Suddenly going to running daily might've been a BAD idea.)

I LOVE the Calorie Count community.  They are very supportive women, with great suggestions!  Unfortunately, they recommend staying off of the knee, icing, stretching, and rest.  All very logical advice that I ignore.    

Time to Run offers a more detailed analysis.  Most useful, are the exercises they suggest:

Exercises include:
1) Place pillow under knee, tighten quadriceps, push knee down into pillow and lift foot up. 20 times
2) Repeat exercise as above with foot turned out in order to strengthen the inside of the quadriceps muscle. Repeat 20.
3) Squats. Perform with back against wall. Bend knees slowly to between 45 - 60. Ensure that knee travels over line between big and second toes. Hold for a count of 5 seconds. Relax slowly. 20 times
4) Step-downs. Stand on step or box. Tighten quadriceps and lower opposite leg slowly to the ground.Ensure that knee travels over line and between big and second toes.Then raise the leg up onto the step,relax. Repeat 20.  Increase the number of repetitions in increments of 5 every two days, all the way up to 60 reps.
Stretching - of the quadriceps, hamstring, iliotibial band (ITB) and gluteal muscles
Return to running gradually
Full recovery is usually between four to six weeks 

Make sure to check out all their great tips for working through the injury, though.  INVALUABLE.

Obviously, I think Cool Running has a lot of wonderful information to offer.  Their tips that I still need to look into are to take ibuprofen to reduce the swelling, and potentially get new shoes that better support HOW I run.  Admittedly, my shoes are getting a little worn and may not be doing their job. 

Hopefully, I can let all of this sink in, follow the advice, and be back on the road soon!  Otherwise, Kelle is going to have to kill me because I won't be properly trained for the 10 mile race in May.  I'm trying, I promise!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day Lie whole life I've been so proud of being "mostly" Irish...and I've just learned the truth.  Thought, at least I'm ALL British Isles.  Not just an American Mutt.  From somewhere.  Kinda.  But the truth has come out...  I'm a mutt.  Per my aunt, my grandmother is 1/4 German and has a grandparent named Weaver.  How could you grandma?  Crush my shamrock dreams!  ;)

In all reality, explains where the blond hair and blue eyes came from.  My grandmother is a downright gorgeous woman.  Wish I had a picture to show you!  I have one alright picture.  Here ya go.  

Ya can't see the family resemblance at all, can you?  I know, lil creepy.  I'm so my mother's daughter...with my dad's eyebrows and coloring.  So, even thought I'm totally in an identity talespin, and having to acknowledge that my children will be primarily GERMAN (Chris is 1/2 German, 1/2 Slovenian), raise your pint and have a HAPPY SAINT PATS!   

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So...I have not posted in forever.

I could blame it on my bum knee...but that's just given me more time since I can't run.

I could blame it on the dog who ate a can of pineapple and was puking all night...but that just meant I was awake all night...and had more time.

I could blame it on the wedding...but, y'know, we're actually getting pretty close, and most decisions are made.

I could blame it on having wonderful friends and a social life...but...why would I want to curse that?

Alright.  I'm just a bum.  I will find something to say soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Horror at the Dog Park

Yesterday, Harper and I went to the dog park to try and burn off some energy.  I was planning on going out with a friend, and Chris can't study unless Harper will pass out.  She had been there both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday went phenomenally...but a dog attacked her on Sunday and she freaked out.  Stupid, irresponsible owners...  ANYWAY, I don't want to write about them.

Last night, I'm standing there talking to Judah (beagle-mix) and Michelle (pit-mix) 's Moms.  All of a sudden, Michelle's mom SCREAMS bloody murder, "Where did that dog come from?"  As we see a LARGE black lab throwing itself against the OUTSIDE of the dog park fence.  A car stopped on the road, and our assumption was that it had stopped to help.  Oh, no.  What REALLY happened is that the lab was SO excited to get to the park, that it jumped on the window controls, rolled down the back window of the car, and jumped out of the moving vehicle.  The stopped car was the owners.  Fortunately, the dog was fine, and it immediately came inside and ran around like the loon it is.  Scary, though!

And, for your viewing pleasure, a couple photos proving that the ears are indeed up:

Friday, March 5, 2010

They Grow Like Weeds

Ok, got on it and added some recent Harper pictures.  We're at about 60 pounds and 5 cups of food a day.

Talking to dad.

Her favorite...belly rubs.

Forget that.  Her favorite...peanut butter jars.

Who me?
As of this week she's had both ears up more consistently, so we probably won't have to tape them.

Oh, and amazing moment.  Last night, as I was sitting on the couch, I watched her take one toy over to her toy chest, put it in, and select another.  Did not teach her that.  Go Harper!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's coming...I promise

Alright, I've been stalling on doing a blog post because I know people want puppy pictures, and I have failed to download my camera.  I know, drag me out and shoot me.  So, here's a brain dump.

Wedding:  Aunt Polly, you were right.  Should've gotten married last August.  This year and a half engagement has been WAY too long and 99% of the planning was done eons ago.  Finally ordered invites, so if they ever arrive...people will be getting them.  Couple weeks maybe.

Puppy:  MUCH better.  She's been on more of a schedule, and has been a million times easier to handle.  Doesn't mean she doesn't have her issues.  #1 right now is jumping on people.  Sorry to all the recent visitors she's mauled.  She's still the friendliest cuddlebug ever, but doesn't realize how big and strong she is.

House:  Window in the bathroom cracked in the snowpocalypse, and a lot of the drywall seams are visible because of the shoddy job the previous owner did.  Strongly considering new siding and windows soon.  Bob the builder came out and told us we don't have to worry about the cracks we're seeing, though.  Phew.

Exercise:  It's weird.  I've lost 10 lbs, my clothes are LITERALLY falling off me, and I feel like I'm in great shape.  Still frustrated with my progress, though!  For instance, before work today, I ran 2.5 miles, and walked 0.75.  Not too shabby, right?  Well, other than I should be running 4 at this point.  We'll see if I make it to running 10 at a time by May 2nd yet.  Eek!  Already took the wedding dress in once, and have an emergency fitting scheduled for the week before the wedding.  Thank goodness for a phenomenal seamstress who can turn it around in time if necessary!

Well, there's what's on my mind.  I promise to try and download pictures tonight.