lacrosse ball rolling and almost Thanksgiving

I am super pumped for the holiday season!  Thanksgiving break started today, and I’m heading to Ryan’s house later this afternoon to spend the break with him and his family!

I haven’t started packing quite yet, but I have piles.  I’ll be bringing this crew:

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Foam roller and lacrosse ball.

I had another chiro appointment this morning–We’re actually thinking that it’s not my piriformis, but a different deep glute muscle.  (It’s hard to pin point because all of the surrounding muscles are tight.  Apparently 23 years of not stretching has caught up with me).  He stretched me out, and I got electroacupuncture– I learned that electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture that delivers an electric current to your muscles to tire them out so that they’ll become looser and uncontracted.  It does not feel very pleasant.

I’ve been rolling on the foam roller for three weeks, but I added the lacrosse ball on Monday and I’ve already noticed a big change, which is encouraging.  It’s good for digging into deeper muscles, so try it if you’re tight and have a decently high pain tolerance.

I never thought I would be excited to use this machine, but I was today!
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(source)
Also known as the “good AMT with the blue not yellow pedals.”  I tried it last week (it hurt and I quit), but was painfree today!  Since I can’t get myself to bike, maybe this machine will help. 

Lastly, remember those nasty bananas on my fridge that I couldn’t part with?  I finally gave in and made banana bread last night.  I was inspired by Andrea because she made banana bread for class on Monday even brought in Nutella (her taste buds clearly know what’s up).  My banana bread does not taste nearly as good as hers did..  Good thing extra Nutella makes everything taste better!

On to packing and Thanksgiving celebrations.  Have a good one!

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Best Thanksgiving side dish? (mine is stuffing)
Have you ever tried acupuncture?

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pizza!

Eventually this running blog will be about running again.  Until then, I’ll stick to talking about the biking I’m hardly doing and the nice things that Ryan does for me.

  • Starting with this pizza.  After receiving the exciting box of snacks in the mail on Thursday, Ryan ordered me a surprise pizza on Friday!  I was instructed to be at my apartment on Friday at 7pm and hold off on dinner.
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    SURPRISE!  I told the pizza delivery guy that I did not know what or who was coming to feed me at 7pm, and he thought it was a hilarious idea.  Ryan was also eating pizza, so we skyped and had a pizza dinner date!  He knows that these past few weeks have been stressful and difficult for me, so this was the coolest and most creative idea ever.
  • And that pizza is like the gift that keeps on giving…for 3 more meals!
  • My injury is slowwly continuing to get better, I think.  I’ve been biking an average of 3 times per week…and resting the other 4.  Pretty sure that November 2013 is the most physically restful month I’ve had since I started running back in high school.  It’s hard to be motivated to bike when you don’t really like biking and are being eaten alive by school work.  So the transition back to running might be rough, but I’ll think about that when I can run again (easier said than done).
  • I biked Wed-Saturday and took Sunday off.  If off means all day studying.

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Which is funnier: How I Met Your Mother or Modern Family?

Picture post

Here are a few pictures and not very many words because all of my brain juice is currently used up.

Exciting pictures first!  After quite possibly the most academically stressful and worst two weeks ever (which will continue for the next 2 weeks), I came home to THIS:

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A package of study snacks from Ryan!  It was very sweet, and the timing was perfect.  He obviously knows my food preferences because he sent two different kinds of pretzels and lots of candy!  Yay!  Bre and I must be sending out stress vibes because Ed just sent her a “You can do it” cookie cake.

Speaking of cake, I tried something new for life group tonight!  It’s like a jello poke cake, but with pudding instead of jello–Here is the original recipe source.  (Hers looks way prettier than mine does.) My cake actually looks a little disgusting, but I think it will taste better than it looks.

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Some people like to bake and think it’s relaxing, and sometimes I wish I were one of those people.  I have a pile of old bananas on top of my fridge because I swear I’m going to make banana bread so I don’t waste them.  Can you make banana bread in a crockpot?  I can handle the crockpot.
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I will probably forget about these bananas because they’re high up on top of my fridge (and I have a history of forgetting about bananas).

Last picture:
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Nooo.  What is worse than being forced to bike from a running injury?  A dead ipod and the bike.

Injury update: Still can’t run, but walking is 100% fine.  I took Monday & Tuesday off and biked on Wednesday & Thursday.  I’ve been rolling and stretching and rolling and stretching.  I had a follow-up appointment today for massage and KT taping.

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Banana bread or pudding cake?
Favorite form of cross training?

storm view

Here is everything I did on Saturday and Sunday: studied (and accomplished a lot!), foam rolled, stretched, talked to Ryan (and complained about studying, foam rolling, and stretching), and went to church.  I also got groceries and biked twice.  Social highlights included seeing church friends and greeting the Walmart greeter.  …

There was this giant storm on Sunday that ripped across the Midwest and caused building damage and power outages.  My neck of the woods was okay, but I know that many people are without power, so hopefully things are fixed up soon.  A bunch of stop lights are down, and I drove through several confusing intersections with way too many lanes to gracefully handle the break down.

You know where I was when the first little bit of the crazy stormage hit?  On the spin bike, facing a giant window wall.  It was before the tornado warnings started, so it was safe.
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You can pretend you’re injured and pedaling away on this spin bike too!

I watched this giant puddle grow and grow.  At its largest, you couldn’t see the white lines on the road!

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Big cars and sports cars careened through it, normal cars inched through it, and cars with drivers like me U-turned around it.  People ran through it with shoes, people ran through it with no shoes, and people tried to jump over it and missed (with and without shoes).

Workouts this week and injury update: Today was an unplanned rest day and tomorrow is a planned rest day.  Eventually I will find bike motivation in order to stay in reasonable running/cardio shape.
My sore/tight glute is continuing to loosen up and feel better, but it still has a ways to go.  Walking is almost pain-free!

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Do you like thunderstorms?

Kiwi ice cream and a stand up desk

In the wise words of Ryan, “Congratulations on making it through the week!”  Five days of a million looming end-of-the-semester projects without running off some stress was hard.

But that’s why they have ice cream, right?
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1. My ice cream is on the right.  I wish I could say it looks giant because it’s closer to the camera, but actually it was just giant.
2. I called Bre weird for getting granola on her ice cream until I decided to get kiwi on mine.

Bre and I got ice cream after our workout date on Friday afternoon.   She swam, I biked, and we met up afterward at the smoothie/ice cream place in the lobby.  It was my first workout in almost a week, and it felt really good to sweat again.

Injury update: I saw a chiropractor on Friday morning, and she thinks it’s my piriformis (a deep butt muscle that can tighten and push against your sciatic nerve) that is causing the problem.  I am supposed to do certain stretches 3x daily and take a few more days off running.  So far, I’ve stretched like 10x yesterday and today and foam rolled my butt, and I can tell that it’s helping.  I can also tell that I should have been foam rolling and stretching my butt muscles all along because they are very, very tight.

Since the appointment, I’ve read everything I can find about the piriformis, and I’ve found that “sitting too much” is one of the culprits.  Pretty sure I’ve been sitting more this semester than any other time in my life, so I made a stand-up desk with a ham box from Costco to help the problem at home.

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Costco should really market these ham boxes as table top desks with a built-in drink cubby.

The workout plan for this week is to hit the bike regularly and stretch/roll as much as possible so that I can hopefully run by next weekend.

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Do you use a stand up desk?
Waffle cone or cake cone?

The new vlog! just kidding.

So I’m glad we’re moving on to Thursday.  Can I get an “AH-MEN” from Bre, AP, & Lauren please.  I’ll spare you the details, but Wednesday was rough, and our list of projects/papers/presentations just got a little longer.

But the entire day wasn’t terrible.  Meet my friends and our crazed creepy smiles.

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I promise the orange flower is a clock on the wall and NOT a hair accessory.

Andrea and I introduced Jaime to this blog…or should I say possible vlog.  Per Andrea, Alex generously offered to compose and record “the mile report” jingle if I turn this little hobby into a vlog (video blog).  Andrea told me this while I was eating a salad, and I choked on a bacon bit.  Like it literally went down my trachea and is probably sitting in my lungs right now, even after a full 5 minutes of cough-laughing.

I gladly accepted only Andrea sings the jingle and guest stars in every post.  And trains with me for my next marathon..I haven’t told her that part yet, but I’m sure she’ll be okay with it.  Sounds like a rock solid plan to me.

What should our first post (vpost?) be, Andrea?  We can wear winter running attire to fit with the running blog theme, but you’ll have to run without me since I’m injured.

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Are you a morning person or a night person?

Hi winter

We welcomed the first snow of the season this week.  It was pretty, but I was glad that it melted right away.  I’m not ready for winter.

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I choose fall leaves over snow

Scraping the ice off my car was the most cardio I’ve had in a few days, and I am not even joking.

After Sunday’s run fail and all-day pain, I made a chiropractor appointment for Friday morning.  It still hurts to walk, but the pain has kind of moved down to my butt instead of my back.  Maybe I should see a PT instead, but I’ll start with what I have.  The entire left side of my butt stabs with pain every time I shift weight to my right foot (like when walking).  Who can diagnose me??

Google can!  And with every medical condition there is, all at the same time!  I should probably stop googling my symptoms before I convince myself that I fractured my pelvis or something.

As a chance to rest my butt/back, recharge the muscles that feel fine, and (start and) finish 2 final papers and 5 final presentations (I feel like I’m forgetting 5 more projects…), I’m taking the entire week off from any sort of exercise.  Bouncing back next week–on the bike–shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Usually I have a difficult time taking rest days, but I’m happy to take these 6 or so days off to do other productive things.  Running and being in shape have temporarily dropped down about 10 notches on the “things that are important to me right now” scale.

Happy Wednesday!

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Do you like snow?
Is it easy for you to take rest days?