Shoulder updates and how hard is it to actually rest?

This damn shoulder. Excuse my french. But you know what, this is likely to be a cursing heavy post. If that ain’t your thang, don’t read it. I almost want to name the shoulder so I can have something specific to use when I’m particularly angry (like right now) at how it’s not improving as fast as I want. Matilda? Susan? Claude? Any suggestions?

It is better than it was in the fall, but it’s not nearly better to the point whe I can do the shit I want and need to do. As in ‘need’ for my job. It’s becoming a problem. So now the question becomes what more can I stop doing? Do I need to actually take time off work to let it rest? The massage therapist (because I am one of those people who has a physical therapist, massage therapist, doctor and entire staff of the doctor’s office who greet me by name when they see me, not just after they’ve looked at the check in sheet) thinks my coracobrachialis is super tight and unhappy. It would actually make sense to me if this were the muscle which was torn/ strained/ whatever went wrong since it’s in the correct spot, the insertion points are both where I get pain and it’s the most tender spot. Plus if it were super displeased I can only assume it would affect the bicep, resulting in pain extending down the bicep to my inner elbow. Buuut what do I know.

This is the train station. I think. Late afternoon suits it well, don’t you think? I can walk around the train station without hurting my shoulder. Which is good news I suppose.

ANYWAYS she said I should try to lightly massage it a little bit on my own when I can just to get things loosened up. And guess what? Between not lifting/ restraining weights of patients I shouldn’t be, massaging this little muscle on my shoulder, and trying really really hard not to make stupid choices the shoulder is feeling better. The question is, can I keep it up until it feels better for 2 weeks straight? And then ease my way back into real life activities? THIS SHOULD BE SO SIMPLE, yes I know. Rarr.

See! I can rest. While on the beach. When it’s 50 degrees outside and windy. And when my roommate is there.

I promise it really has been slowly improving. I guarendamntee it would be almost if not completely better now if I had just taken 3 or 4 weeks off when it first got injured and rested then pt’d the shit out of it. Hindsight. Plus I have a gigantic problem with the idea of resting, obviously. Something to work on.

Sorry for the rant-tastic post! I’ll make the next one more puppy and glitter filled, mk?

Toby! He’s older. But still very sweet.

Puppy! So who else has the ‘non-resting’ problem? Anyone? Bueller….

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Ice cream sandwiches

I have been wanting to make ice cream sandwiches since the Riprap hike.  Seriously.  You can even ask the Trav.  
So today, I did something about it.  I made my standard chocolate chip cookie, let them cool and then slapped some delicious vanilla bean ice cream between two cookies and took a bite.
Verdict?  DELICIOUS.  

Field. I like. I made the Trav walk up this hill because I wanted to find out what kind of hike it turned into. Apparently it turns into the AT.

I also made a batch of these amazing vegan cookies and I’m thinking about trying the ice cream sandwich thing with them.  
And if it doesn’t work I think I’ll manage to force them down without the ice cream.  OR they may be incorporated into some sort of ice cream ball nonsense.  Interesting……

Also, I feel kind of sick.  I may have taste tested the batter.  For both batches of cookies.  And tested the cookies.  Oof.  

And in sweatier news, I did get in one walk/run this week on Thursday.  It went pretty well but the calf was fairly painful and tender on Friday.  Granted I also had a sports massage and she worked on my calf pretty hard so I’m thinking it could be a combo.  You should be proud of me though- I wanted to run more on Thursday but I didn’t!   

The gait analysis is next Thursday.  I’m actually pretty nervous about it which is silly.  But i kind of feel like it’s a test and I want so badly to have improved and be able to run more!  

The shoulder continues to improve slowly.  I’m going though most days pain free!  Yayyyyyyyy!  The doc says I have to go through two weeks of pain free living before I can start (what’s the key word everyone? Say it with me now) SLOWLY incorporating heavier lifting and more activities.  

How was everyone’s weekend?  Exciting?  Laid back?  Bluegrass band in a three sided barn in the middle of nowhere?  (Oh that was me.  And it was awesome btdubs).  

Edit: whoops, wrote this post Sunday night, posted it Monday morning.

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Hiking weekends are the best kind of weekends

Happy Monday! We’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful weather the past two weekends and you know that that means- hiking!

Last weekend my friend and I drove up to Shenandoah National Park and did the Riprap Hollow hike. (recommended by Leonard Atkins’ book: 50 hikes in Northern Va. Smart guy that Leonard). We parked in the Wildcat Ridge parking lot and trekked up the AT to where the Riprap Hollow trail began. It started off as this leisurely walk through lush grass and nice pine trees on the top of the ridge, which then wound around to a rockier trail with amazing views.

Pretty sweet views. Also apparently there is a smudge on my camera lens. I should look into that. (PUNS!)

There were multiple spots to sit and enjoy the scenery and the Trav and I made sure to take a snack break at one of those rocky outcrops.
Then the trail descended down the mountain and began running parallel to the stream. There were multiple stream crossings and this fantastic swimming hole. Too cold today, maybe next time!

It was a nice spot, so we decided to stop and eat food while sitting on rocks. In the middle of a stream.

'Take a picture of me because I'm coming back here! And I'm going swimming!' was what I said. So Photogenic all. the. time.

The killer part of the trail was the last 2.7 miles. (not gonna lie the entire time we were going down I kept thinking ‘oh man we’ve got to come back up every foot we go down!’) Straight uphill. Brutal. I think we finished in 3 hours and some change.
We trucked our tired legs over to the Loft campgrounds and set up the tent. And I made the fire! I was so excited about it.

This is the fire Christine built. And it burned until she put it out. Victorious!

Trav went for a run (yes, a run after hiking 9.6 miles) whilst I cooked a veggie burger (Gardenburger Chipotle Black Bean. nice and tasty) over the fire and tried not to inhale it. Nothing tastes better than food cooked over an open fire after a day of hiking!

I can't even begin to describe how delicious this was.

This weekend I was headed back to CVille and wasn’t really feeling like driving up the mountain to go hiking. Instead I opted for one of my favorite hikes- Sugar Hollow. It’s a nice easy hike up to a (freeeeeezing!) swimming hole with a rope swing and rocks to jump off. I used to hike there all the time when I lived in CVille. It’s gotten a bit more crowded in the past five or so years, but it’s still a favorite spot.

We hiked up past the swimming hole – with a quick stop for a jump in to test the water with a verdict of brrrrrrrrr!) and made it up to Jarmins Gap in the Shenandoah Park. No need for driving up the mountain; we’ll just hike it! Stopped for a granola bar break, then hopped on the AT and trucked on up to the Calf Mountain shelter. I’ve never actually stayed at a shelter- true story. It was fun to poke around and see what they had at the site: a nice hut with a top shelf for bunk bed style sleeping, multiple sites where you could put up a tent, a giant pole for hanging food to keep it away from bears, fire pit, privy and a nice view of the valley through the trees.

Gimme shelter!

On the way back we saw one mama bear with her 3 baby cubs(!) at which point I insisted on us walking much faster while my friend wanted to watch them make their way up the mountain. I call it a ‘healthy fear of things that can rip my face off’ and he calls it an ‘irrational fear’. Whatever.

Jumped in the swimming hole on the way back and headed back. Boy that water was cold! I’m talking take your breath away cold. Definitely makes you feel aliiiiiiive!

And the great news? My calf and hip did pretty well through all that hiking.
I was especially pleased with how well the calf did on the Riprap hike since I had done the last portion of that hike (the Wildcat Ridge) as an out and back hike in January and my calf really hurt afterwards. I really focused on using my hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and quads to power up through the uphill to take the load off my calf which is what Amy (my amzing PT) has recommended.

I have also been given the go ahead to integrate walk/ runs consisting of either 4 min walking with 1 minute jogging for 20 minutes or 1 min walking with 1 min jogging for 10 minutes. This is huge! Get excited!! I’ve tried both ways. The longer one seems to piss off the calf more, so I may stick with the shorter version for now.

And the shoulder is sloooowly getting better! I’ve accepted that I will most likely not be mountain biking this summer but I’m definitely to the point where I would much rather just be completely healthy and whole and not injured and pain free than try to push trying to do things when I’m almost better and start the whole process over again. If that makes sense.

These are very nice flowers outside my parents' house. I also ate lots of really delicious food in my parents' house which I did not take pictures of. You'll just have to trust me that it was super tasty. This picture really has nothing to do with my shoulder. or calf. It's fine.

Wow I did not mean to make this such a long post. Does it make up for the dearth of posts recently? No? Oh well!

I hope everyone else had a glorious weekend. Any exciting adventures? Relaxing weekends at home? Busy, getting things done kind of weekend? Tell me!

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Perfect for transplanting and getting better.

Hok.  So once again I missed thankful things Thursday.  My B.  An update of things referenced in my previous post and then we’ll move right along.  

Firstly, I did not make good on my plan to get to the gym before work.  Once. Yes.  Kind of a major fail on that account.  I realized on 3 of the 4 days I would only have to time do a 30 minute workout combined with 10 minutes of stretching.  This wouldn’t include any PT, weight training etc.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around waking up an hour or hour and a half earlier to do that.  I may try again later this month or next month.  We shall see.
Secondly, I had a great time and even felt useful at the volunteer gig!  And having a limitation actually forced me to step outside of what I would have normally volunteered doing (ie shoveling compost, wheelbarrowing massive amounts of mulch, churning dirt) and try my hand at moving little baby seedlings from their big bunch to an individual little spot so they could be sold. The volunteer coordinators were really understanding when I said I couldn’t lift or move anything over 15 lbs and said I would be perfect for transplanting. It was great!

Things I transplanted were not flowers. They were lettuce varieties and some type of pepper. But I have pictures of flowers not lettuce. They're all in the plant family right?

Now.  Things with various injuries are finally getting better!  I realize that they have been improving over the months but it’s such a slow process that sometimes it doesn’t seem like anything is happening.  But I’ve been able to practice yoga at home, steadily increasing the amount of time spent on the mat.  Yay!  When I get up to an hour and am able to stay there without pain for a few sessions I may even go back to class!!!
AND big news my darling PT said I should start throwing in a little bit of jogging when I’m out walking.  Nothing strenuous or crazy but she did say that there are fewer knots, lesions, balls of scar tissue whatever in ze calf and the ones that are still there are much smaller.  Awesome!

The new for realz gym at Mdub. It's pretty sweet. Maybe when I'm all better I can go throw a basketball around at my gym here. That would be nice.

The Richmond Monument 10K was yesterday and I headed out to cheer for friends running.  It was fun to see everyone running and excited to be out there.  However I failed on actually recognizing people- it was the runners who yelled out to me and not vice versa.  It’s surprisingly hard to look for people you know and cheer for them in a race!  Especially when you don’t know what they’re wearing.  Note to self: next time get people to tell me what outfits they’ll be wearing in race.  Although obviously I hope to be one of the participants in a race before the year is out!

How was everyone’s weekend?  Full of fun and merriment?  Laid back and restful?  Any sweet plans for the week?  I’ve got the Naked and Famous concert on Monday which I’m very excited about and a doctor recheck and sports massage on Thursday.  Woot!

PS  I saw the hunger games.  It was very good.  I was impressed with how well they translated everything.  I’m not in love with it but I enjoyed it a lot.  What did other people think?  

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Perspectives and happy friday things

Did anyone else have a busy work week? Cause oh man it just felt crazy here all week. I was super happy when Thursday (aka my day off) rolled around. So happy in fact that I didn’t even post things I’m thankful for. I was off doing errands, PT, hiking, river lazing, trying a new ab workout that kicked my butt, cleaning me room and enjoying having a friend cook me a tasty dinner. (What up). I guess you could say I’m thankful for being able to do all those things! I also signed up to do this volunteer thing called an ‘Urban Farm Workday’ Saturday morning. I’m kind of excited and nervous all at the same time. Nervous cause what if I a) am terrible at everything, b) am not helpful because of my various stupid injuries or c) find it really really dull. But I’m excited because new people! New places! Outdoorsy things! Helping the world! (or a small part of RVa. Whateves).

I’m also looking forward to the Irish festival in Church Hill. Yay for more Irishy things going on in Richmond! I also want to try and put up a few more pictures in my room if it’s rainy this weekend as predicted. I’m debating between buying a pre made cork board frame at target or trying to make my own. Keep in mind I am not crafty. But I am also cheap. Hmm.

Bridges. You know my weird love of bridges by now right? Too bad I'm not nearly crafty enough to build a bridge.

Now, some random thoughts for you because it’s Friday and I feel rather scattered.

Whenever I hear about people getting upset because they had to miss a long training run or got sick and couldn’t work out for 3 days which is totally going to derail their plan or they have some body part that kind of hurts but they’ll give it a day to rest and then go on a run to see what it feels like I have to shake my head. Most days with a probably annoying half smile and a pair of quickly raised and lowered eyebrows. I’m happy to listen and empathasize but some days I just want to shake them and say ‘YOU KNOW NOTHING’. You don’t know what it’s like. But at the same time I understand. It’s amazing to get caught up in a goal and so easy to become completely wrapped up in it so you don’t see potential harms to yourself until it’s too late. Be smart people. And enjoy the incredible gift that is your body. Take care of it, explore all the things it’s capable of. Just don’t run it into the ground like me.

I am in love with the song ‘Rivers and Roads.’ by the Head and the Heart. I saw them on Wednesday and if you ever get a chance to go to one of their shows do it! They were fantastic live.

For some reason this picture seemed appropriate to
place here. It is neither a river nor a road. Oh well.

I’m going to my first book club meeting on Monday. I’m geekily excited. Don’t judge.

I plan to see the Hunger Games on my next day off. Trying to avoid the crowds, you know. I also apparently need to see 21 Jump Street.

Enjoy your weekend!

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St. Patrick’s Day and back to morning workouts

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend. I had a blast. One of those weekends that seemed way too short. It started with fantastic music on Friday night- the Hot Seats at Ashland Coffee and Tea and just got better with a close friend from college coming to visit on Saturday for St. Patricks day! (Disclaimer: no green beer was imbibed during her visit. But we did break open the bottle of generic Baileys). We ventured down to ‘Shamrock the Block’ on Saturday and waded through the crowds of green wearing, sweating, slurring, stumbling, yelling, baby toting, smiling people. It would not occur to me to bring a baby, toddler or child under 18 really to this event but hey, different people obviously have different thoughts on what they’d like to expose their child to. I also saw a ton of puppies and for the most part they looked overheated. So we stopped in the middle of the hoards, took a picture and kept on trucking until we reached the end.

Hoo boy! It sure was an experience. We ended up at Cap Ale for a more relaxed good time sitting in their outdoor patio. And for random encounters of the weekend, I saw a kid from my summer league team whilst walking to cap Ale and ran into an acquaintance from college at Cap Ale! Small world people. Small world.

Now, in a total change of topic, I have decided I need to start working out in the mornings before work again. I couldn’t remember why I had chosen to make that switch back in the fall and I quickly remembered last Monday when it was flipping gorgeous outside and I had to get my exercise fix inside because I (everyone chime in now, you know the refrain!) can’t run or mountain bike.

Pictures of hiking/ biking trails. You're bored of these now? I'm SO SORRY. Just kidding. I'm not sorry at all.

And I like to get some serious sweat in when I workout. Sorry. It’s an addiction, I know.
So I think my goal over the next two weeks will be to get to the gym before work at least 4 times. Baby steps. That way I can enjoy the nce weather by hiking around, going to the river, etc after work.

Yay for planning things. Have a FANTASTIC Tuesday!

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Thankful Things Thursday: Short and sweet

There seems to be a pattern with my blogging.  AKA for the most part I post on thursdays.  Why?  Because thanks to Ali who started all this and isn’t annoyed (so far) that I borrow (steal) her idea every Thursday,  I get to list the things I’m thankful for and I like that. 

And this Thursday I am thankful for:

Feeling better!  Sports massages and muscle relaxers are helping this girl out.  My neck is almost back to normal.  (:

Spring flowers.  They is pretty.

Another picture where I'm all like look look look at the light and the flowers and the oh-so-gorgeousness!

Eric from True Blood.  Yes.  I said it.

The rivah. Looking forward to rivah days this summer!

Mmmm lazy river days.

And tomorrow I am going to listen to some sweet jams after work with awesome people. What up!

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