Hi everyone! I’m still alive! Life has been pretty busy between vacation, what feels like endless doctor’s appointments, decision making, and good ole' physical therapy. I'm currently working on a huge post in regards to my current physical well-being. To hold you guys over as I diligently work on the post, I'm going to do a photo dump of random pictures from my vacation to Wildwood, NJ last week.
This was one of the first pictures that I took during my trip. I have the maturity level of an 11-year-old boy. But hey now…they even sell shirts that say, “I grabbed a wiener in Wildwood!”
I’ve decided that I need one of these little guys in my life. Look at the peeper on the left!
I also really enjoyed playing around with different looks during vacation. :)
It wasn’t chilly at all during vacation. Isn’t that obvious?! I blatantly acted as though it was snowing on the beach. I swear I’m 80, not 25.
Wind was never an issue either.
But the sky was pretty cool.
And Sean totally cooperates when I ask him to smile. Squinty Magee gave me a smirk. Close enough.
Okay, okay…so maybe he does occasionally cooperate with me.
But no matter the case, I will always love him just the same. He is my best friend.12 notes
Sean and I are, of course, still getting along just wonderfully. In fact, things couldn’t be better. He is my rock, especially with all that I’m dealing with at the moment. About 1 month ago, I step into his house only to find flowers and a homemade card waiting for me on a table. He’s so sweet. :) That very same night, we went to a ‘Half Christmas’ party that was hosted by one of his friends. We literally celebrated the halfway point to the holidays, haha! We cooked on the grill, ate watermelon, and enjoyed the company of one another. There was even a festive glittery, purple tree set up in the backyard. There’s never a dull moment with Sean’s friends…that’s for sure.
I’ve been trying to enjoy the summer as much as I can, despite my constant, daily basis pain. This week begins week 2 of physical therapy - not too much relief as of now. Unfortunately, sciatica and back issues aren’t very easy to resolve, and the pain can get pretty intense.
Maybe I can go back to duck watching while I heal like I did back in the day (kidding). I looked pretty cool with my Minnie Mouse purse, because ya know…3-year-olds have important things to carry.
I’ve been to a couple of Pirates’ games this summer, both of which they won - they are having an awesome season. The last game I went to had 2 extra innings, but the boisterous New Yorkers that were sitting behind us made for a very good time!
I’ve also been spending a lot more time with my mom. For one of our recent mother/daughter dates, we went to IHOP, and I had their Simple & Fit vegetable omelette made with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It was delicious, something I absolutely recommend. After breakfast, we partook in some retail therapy. I spotted this gem in Target…
Just, why? WHY?!!!!!!???
My best friend and I went to Taylor Swift’s concert on the 6th. I’m a TS crazed fan, so I was uber excited! Phenomenal. She never ceases to amaze me with her live performances.
And, I’ve certainly been enjoying the very few days of sun that we’ve had this summer. The weather has been so insane lately. Mother Nature has a serious case of the blues.
Sweat does wonders for my hair…said no one ever. I hope everyone else is having a great summer! :)9 notes
He loves me for me.
He doesn’t care about my stretch marks.
He doesn’t care about my excess skin.
He doesn’t care about my not-so-perfect smile.
He sees a girl who has fought a tough fight.
He sees a girl who has shed her cocoon and sprouted her wings.
He sees a girl who loves him just as much as he loves her.
He is my rock.
He is my best friend.
I love him.
When I was amidst of finding out whether or not I had a sacral stress fracture a few weeks ago, I felt pretty down with the possibility of not being able to run the Mt. Summit Challenge. I was already signed up for this race way before the term ‘stress fracture’ even entered my mind. And once I was cleared to run again by my orthopedic, Dr. Aaron Mares, I was ecstatic that I was still going to be able to participate in this race. You see, the Mt. Summit Challenge is the very first race that I ever ran - my very first finish line, a life changing moment for all runners and walkers alike. The date was April 10, 2011. This race landed on my plate after being convinced by a friend to sign up. Not even thinking in terms of a race that is ‘one of the toughest races in Southwestern Pennsylvania' (3.5 miles that climb over 1200 feet), I mailed in my application. Yes, mailed. I like the traditional standpoint of the race. I was finally going to have the chance to re-run the race that started it all.
I may be sporting propeller hair, but what I love most about this picture is that I’m smiling. Fear didn’t stand a chance that morning. When we received our cue to start, it’s the first time that I truly felt like a runner both inside and out. I was no longer the girl who could barely make it through the warmup in gym class. I was a runner. I was no longer hiding. I was completely exposed to the world as I pushed my way through the crisp, cool air.
The race started as a challenge between two friends, who were both talented runners. Rumor has it, that they were challenged by a group of guys to run the summit, from Uniontown. And they took them up on the challenge. Turns out it was in the middle of night and in February!
I know you may be questioning me as to why I didn’t just run this race last year. Last year, I was a week or so away from running the Pittsburgh Marathon, my first full. I, like many other runners, suffered from extreme taper madness. Paranoia struck me fierce, and I was convinced that my legs were going to break in 73 places if I were to breathe wrong. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but you get my point. I didn’t want to take any chances in jeopardizing my performance on May 6, 2012.
It took me a little over an hour to get to Hopwood. I’m not typically one for driving far away for short distance races, but this race holds a special place in my heart. I met up with 2 members from the Steel City Road Runners Club, Kimberly and Clint, both of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting until Sunday. They are both so incredibly nice, which I expected them to be. I felt like I already knew the both of them very well, even before meeting them in person. We all stood around praying not to be blown away by the gusts of wind and chatted until it was time to gather together at the starting line. Within the short amount of time that we were lined up, the wind picked up even more so than before. “Great,” I thought! Wind and a hill - the perfect scenario. It was time for us to show everyone what it truly means to be a Runner of Steel. I managed to run just over 1 mile before I started my run/walk strategy. My goal was to make it to the top without dry heaving.
Here I am running next to Kim - not exactly sure what point of the race this was. We pulled one another all the way to the finish line. I look like I’m either in deep thought or trying not to throw up.
It was definitely the headwind, but this meme is way too funny not to share. The conditions were windy, rainy, and chilly. That morning, we ran against the wind 100% of the time. Runners of Steel indeed.
When we finished, Kim and I congratulated one another with a cheerful high-five. We “MOUNTED THE SUMMIT!" I really wanted to beat my time from 2011 (45:57), but I ended up taking a smidgen longer to finish this year (46:38). I heard a lot of people talking about how it took them longer because of the weather conditions. There’s always next year! Kim and I already made a pact, "same time, same place!" :)
We stood around and spectated the finish line for a little bit as we waited for some of Kim’s friends to finish. As the goosebumps on my chicken arms began to multiply, I noted the same constipated look on everyone’s face as they ran up the final steep incline into the finisher’s chute. To give you all an idea of what we accomplished that morning, here is the course:
The elevation is comparable to a 7.5% incline on the treadmill.
It’s definitely a challenge, and I still can’t believe that this is what I chose as my first race back in 2011 and more so what my friend ‘chose’ for me. Apparently, this person had faith and believed in me. I’m just grateful that I found faith and belief within myself. And it left me wanting more. Here I am in 2013, 31 races later. Time sure flies.
Most people run or walk back down the Summit, and I would have, but I didn’t want to risk re-injuring my IT band after finally beginning to make some progress. One of Kim’s friends drove us back down, and we all said our goodbyes. I drove home and took a much needed nap! There’s nothing quite like running up a 3.5 mile hill with a headwind in the cold rain for fun! Call me crazy, but I can’t wait for 2014!5 notes
Okay, let me travel back in time to Monday, the 4th. I’m bringing up the 4th because I received a crazy phone call that night while I was asleep.
The next morning, I did what I usually do when first waking up. I checked my phone for any missed calls or text messages. I had a missed call and voicemail from an unfamiliar number. I listened to the voicemail in a complete fog and heard something along the lines of “blah, blah, blah calling from the Dr. Phil Show blah, blah, blah…" To be sure that I wasn’t losing my mind, I listened to the message once more. "I’m not sure if this is the same Adrian that was on the Today Show…" I was a bit awestruck and started freaking out on the inside. I immediately thought, “oh my goodness…am I going to be offered the chance to be a guest on the Dr. Phil Show?!” It was the craziest feeling having heard such big news the very first thing in the morning! I got ready for work and couldn’t wait to tell my coworkers the exciting news! They were all thrilled! I jotted down the number and was more than eager to call them back during my lunch break. It was on my mind for the entire morning, which made the time pass by very slowly. I rushed to eat my lunch, then I went to a private area and made the phone call.
I told the woman my name and that I was returning her call from the night before. She was puzzled at first and questioned who I was. She had her “aha" moment and began to explain the reasoning behind the phone call. Dr. Phil was looking for woman who’ve lost a significant amount of weight, such as myself, and are now very attractive. The catch? Their current spouse or partner is having trouble handling the situation. She then asked me if this pertained to me. I assured her that my boyfriend, Sean, is very supportive and proud of me. She basically applauded me for my success and healthy relationship, but she closed the opportunity with an "unfortunately, we can’t move forward with this…" We said goodbye and ended the call on a very awkward note. The conversation was quick and to the point, but it was enough to leave me with a negative aura. Some people were like, "you should have just lied!" Why? To get a free trip to L.A.? No.
A trip to L.A. isn’t worth making Sean look like an insecure jerk in front of America.
I was very taken back by the entire thing. It was just a strange phone call. Naturally, I got my hopes up, but I was also let down very quickly. Oh well. I mean, it’s still pretty cool to even receive these types of calls in the first place, but it would’ve been even cooler to be able to go to Los Angeles, California. I was born in southern California, so I’d absolutely LOVE to be able to go back some day. I’m sure if I ever have the chance, I’d never want to leave again! One of my biggest dreams is to be able to take my mom to California for a week long vacation before it’s too late. She was born and raised there, and she misses it terribly. I don’t blame her. I’d miss it too. Someday…
The day after my comeback race, Sunday the 9th, I kicked off week 3 of P90X with Chest & Back / Ab Ripper. I still despise pushups.
I feel your pain Mr. Potato Head.
For some reason, I’m not seeing much improvement in that category, but it’s still the beginning. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle the entire time during this DVD, but I still get the job done. And out of all of the DVDs so far, this is the only one that I don’t really enjoy. So I simply “do my best and forget the rest,” and move on. And I know I’ve said it before, but I truly can’t believe how dedicated I’ve been. I used to lose interest in DVD workouts pretty much as soon as I’d hit the play button, plus I’m also training for a half marathon. Double whammy.
I was a little antsy on Monday because it’s Plyometrics day. I love plyometrics, and it’s really beneficial for runners. But being that I just raced hard 2 days prior, I was worried that it was going to be horrific or perhaps cause an injury of sorts. I ended up feeling great! My heart rate wasn’t as high as it typically gets during plyo, but that surely didn’t keep me from sweating cats and dogs the entire time. If I can recommended any one of the P90X DVDs as a means of cross training, it’s this one.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are double days for me - P90X before work and a run after work. It’s pretty intense, especially considering the mere fact that I’m also on my feet for more than 8 hours between these sessions. Tuesday, the 12th was going to be my first run since the March Mad Dash. Here’s my recap posted that day: I definitely expected this run to be a total disaster after racing hard on Saturday. I was also pretty exhausted from broken up sleep last night (stupid bladder). I almost made the decision to skip this run and push it off until tomorrow. That’s how barf-tastic I felt - body and mind. Still, I decided to lace up my shoes, give it a whirl, and see how I felt after the 1st mile. Around the 1st half mile, my left calf muscle began stiffening up. I decided to take off my knee strap and the stiffness subsided a lot - weird. This was my 1st outdoor run sans knee strap, and the decision was made on a complete whim! I didn’t have any discomfort around my knee for the entire run! And considering that I just raced (a 10 miler to boot), I was surprised. My “recovery” run ended up being better than a shuffle (9:34 average pace), and I somehow managed to pull off consistent negative splits! Woo! I’m so glad that I decided to get out there!
Thursday morning, P90X: Legs & Back / Ab Ripper was on the agenda - another awesome workout. That evening, I planned on running 6 miles, but not everything goes quite as planned. Here’s my recap posted that day: The weather outside was chilly and very windy, but the sunshine set all of these problems aside or at least made these factors more tolerable.
The sun has been hibernating for much too long! I definitely surprised myself with my pace - I think my speed is slowly coming back. (That kind of sounds like an oxymoron.) This was supposed to be a 6 mile run, but upon turning around on the bike trail and making my way back to Lysle Blvd, the railroad crossing bars were down. This always seems to happen to me, so I figured that I’d do what I typically have to do…wait out the train for several minutes. When I took another glance, I then realized that the train was PARKED. It was on a complete standstill. “What the heck am I supposed to do now,” I thought? I looked to my left and saw a ridiculously curved bridge in the far distance that was recently constructed to give any passing trains necessary clearance as well as offering a means of exit for trapped cars/pedestrians on the opposite side - such as myself. I had to backtrack in order to get to the bridge, but I didn’t really have any other choice. I wasn’t going to stand there all night trying to concoct some train dance in a pathetic attempt to make the train move.
It felt like it took an eternity to reach the bridge, and after crossing the bridge, I had to essentially run back to where I 1st started when I realized my predicament. Only this time, I was on the opposite side of the train - YOU DON’T SAY? I was finally able to head home after unintentionally adding over 1 mile to my run. It’s a good thing that I was feeling tip top! Talk about an intense day. Over 1 hour of P90X in the morning, and a 7.2 mile run after being on my feet for over 8 hours at work. My beast mode switch was definitely on!
Mile 1: 9:18
Mile 2: 8:59 <—-1st sub-9 minute mile in a training run since the fall!
Mile 3: 9:08
Mile 4: 9:05
Mile 5: 9:10
Mile 6: 9:21
Mile 7: 9:38 <—- Cool down.
Mile .20: 1:51 (9:15 pace)
Saturday, I learned that extra sleep can cure anything. Here’s my recap posted that day: Originally, I was supposed to lead the 8 mile, 10 minute pace group downtown with the SCRR, but when my alarm clock went off this morning, I was less than eager to get out of bed. I didn’t feel rested at all. My sleep has been chip-choppity all week long, so I decided to try and catch another couple of hours of sleep. Best decision ever, but unfortunately, this meant that I wasn’t going to make it to the group run after all. :( Sorry guys…
When I woke up a little whiles later, I felt a lot better. The extra sleep was just what I needed. I decided to head to the Waterfront in Homestead to run on the trail there. The temperature was cold, but not holy-crap-I-can’t-feel-my-body cold. I actually warmed up rather quickly. I planned to run 2 miles out and back in one direction and 2 miles out and back in the other direction. But during the 2nd round of out and backs, I was feeling exceptionally good and decided to shoot for 10 miles instead of 8.
Sweet, sweet double digits.
The verdict? This was an awesome run! I saw so many other runners, including a married couple that I personally know! :) Small world! Plus, I ran with myself. What I really mean is, that I was completely in-tune with my mind, body, and spirit. I ditched the music and ran to the beat of my own methodic breath and the sound of my cadence - my own metronome. It’s definitely nice every now and then and made for a very enjoyable time. I could’ve done without the headwind though.
Blue. Bliss. Brooks. Be.7 notes