Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another Day, Another Doctor

This morning I visited my umpteen millionth doctor in my search for help with my running injuries. Every time I meet a new doctor I am sure he/she will be the one who really helps, but now I am finally figuring out that it is probably just another step in my long, long process. 

I went to see this particular orthopedist because I am 99% sure I am developing my third stress fracture in the last 18 months. Something is definitely wrong. 

Anyways, the "good news" is that it isn't a full-blown, super bad stress fracture. Luckily I am smart enough to stop running before it gets too bad (three stress fractures will do that to a girl) so I won't need a boot and I won't need many, many weeks off. I need at least two weeks of no running-- cross-training instead, as long as it doesn't hurt my foot. After that I can attempt a walk/run for about 4 weeks until I am back up to running 30 minutes without walking.

He also wants me to do a few other things:

1. Get a DEXA scan to measure my bone density. I am glad we are doing this, but every doctor I have seen doesn't think I have an issue with my bone density. I don't think this doctor really does, either, but there is a reason I keep getting stress fractures, so maybe this is actually it?

2. Strength train my feet! This is really a thing, and it doesn't involve tiny barbells. I actually already started doing this through my PT's orders, so I need to keep it up. 

3. Take calcium supplements

4. Ice after running. Well, when I start running again. 

5. Use non-medication anti-inflammatory supplements and diet strategies. Did you know that increasing your omega-3 intake, limiting saturated fats, increasing whole grains and adding spices such as curry, tumeric and ginger to your diet are some ways to help with inflammation naturally?

He also basically slammed my training plan, saying the Galloway method of low weekly mileage and high weekend mileage is setting me up for injury. Of course, I pointed out that I injured myself on Hal Higdon's plan, which had higher weekday mileage. So, once I am running again, I need a new plan. He wants to me to focus on being able to run lower mileage more frequently, then slowly increasing the mileage. Apparently your weekend long run should take up only 1/3 of your overall mileage! I had no idea, my plans weren't following that theory . . .

Anyways, I am cautiously optimistic about all of this. Not sure if I am wishing my bone scan will show something or not. On one hand, it would be answers, on the other hand, no one wants to have bone density issues. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

As I mentioned in my last post, this week hasn't seen very much exercise. It was just very low on the priority totem-pole. 

On Friday's run I also realized that there is a 99% chance that the ache in my foot turned in to a stress fracture, so that also means there is a 99% chance my 3rd marathon attempt is officially done. I am going to try to get in to see a new doctor this week, so IF I can get in to see him, and IF he discovers something other than a stress fracture is causing me pain, then there is still a chance I will be back on the marathon plan. But seriously, that's a 1% chance, at best. This would be my 3rd stress fracture in the same metatarsal in 18 months, so I am pretty well aware of how they feel. 

It royally sucks, but life has given me bigger things to grieve over recently. I'm just hanging my head down, waving good-bye to yet another amazing training cycle, and mourning the loss of my favorite activity ever, which would be running, for those following along at home. 

I still have Ragnar to prepare for, and even with a stress fracture right now, I will still be in shape to run Ragnar in July.

And not only did I not really workout this week, but I didn't foam roll, do my PT exercises, do any massage . . . nothin'. 

Total Miles Run: 9.7

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3.5 Miles Run

This was a horribly awful run, complete with snot and tears and grief and feeling like I might keel over at any point.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Elliptical and Strength at the Gym

This was pathetic. 25 minutes total.

Friday: 6.2 Miles Run

It was a gorgeous night for my last run in a long time. 

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest


Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break Week Updates

Inky's passing came during a tricky week. It is the end of Spring break here and so that means the girls and I have been home all week together. The three of us. Alone. Alternating between grief over Inky and fighting because, well, sisters are assholes

My only big idea this week was to take the girls shopping for pretty much everything. We went shopping three days in a row, which is pretty much unheard of for me as I find it exhausting. The girls got everything from new books to shoes to Lego to Easter outfits to lotions, paint, summer clothes, and jewelry. Me? I got nothing, but that's just fine, as shopping for myself with both girls in tow is worse than the worse torture ever.

Eloise reads me her new book

I wish we could have done something more interesting, or seen more friends, or anything, but for some reason my exhaustion and grief made me delirious enough to think that shopping was the best option. My husband, god bless him, didn't say a single negative word about the drain to the bank account. He is not a material guy at all so he probably does not understand why his three favorite girls would engage in such an activity, but he was okay with it. At least outwardly. 

This week basically has seen roughly 1 hour of workouts. That includes running. Not having a break from the girls means I can't get my workouts in at my usual times, and I am a serious creature of habit. I am not complaining, though it sounds like I am, because to be honest the last thing I feel like doing this week is any sort of exercise. I forced myself to go to the gym last night, and I am not sure I've ever wanted to workout less in my entire life. I randomly chose to do 10 minutes of elliptical before doing some strength stuff with the bosu ball. I was in and out of the gym in 25 minutes. You know how you hear "oh, just do the workout and you will be so glad you did when you are done!" Well, I didn't. I felt just as, well, blah, afterwards as I did before. 

The new fun thing is that my occasionally achy left foot is now more my constantly achy left foot. I am more afraid than ever that my good friend Second Metatarsal Stress Fracture (SMSF for short) is back for a visit. I am doing what any good little overwhelmed runner would do, which is mostly ignoring it. 

Grieving is coming in waves in our house. In the interest of privacy, I won't go too much more in to it, but holy cow, being a parent is hard sometimes. Inky is very, very much missed. And usually the greatest bursts of sadness come over missing something so small, like this morning I couldn't stop thinking about his funny tail. As a Manx, his tail was about two inches long, but if you felt along it, there was a big bump in the middle and a little hook at the end. It was so funny. 

I feel like the worst human being in the world by admitting I am super anxious to get a new kitten. Not at all to replace our Inky, although he/she sort of will, but more because I am so darn excited for Opal to have a friend. Opal is going to meet some other cats this weekend to see how she interacts with them and hopefully give us a clue as to what kind of cat might be a good match for her. Cross your fingers she plays nice! She had never been anything but  loving and playful to Inky, but I know that's different than meeting strange cats at now six months of age and bonding with them. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Inky

Loving something with all of your heart means opening up your entire heart to being broken. 

Our boy

This idea is something I have talked to my daughters' about over the past few days. That we can't live our lives fearing sadness and hurt, that instead we embrace love and joy, and know that with opening your heart that wide will make you susceptible to the grief. The sadness comes in direct proportion to the amount that you loved. 

We loved Inky with every ounce of ourselves. 

Love

Adopting two kittens last December shook up our family in the biggest, and best, possible way. Two kittens! It's practically grounds for being committed. They were so small (Inky was about 10 weeks, Opal 8 weeks), just teeny little things ready for their forever families. At the shelter the girls were drawn to the kittens that we would eventually name Inky and Opal. Iris picked Inky quite quickly. A black and white Manx who waited patiently at the door of his cage. Eloise had to lobby hard with buckets of tears for Opal. Matt and I wanted to pass her up because one of her eyes was already crusted over with green goop-- and she was climbing the door of her cage, a troublemaker from the start! We caved, as you already know, and shoved the two furballs in to the carrier, paid the lady behind the counter, swung by the pet store for supplies, and then brought the kittens home.

New kittens at home

Inky spent about six weeks at home being a perfectly normal kitten. He played with toys, he wrestled with his sister-- in fact, we had to pull him off of her constantly when her eye goop eventually mutated in to a full blown upper respiratory infection and she was too tired to play. The girls layered a bunch of their favorite blankets in the bathroom, which served as the kittens' home for the first couple of weeks, and Inky discovered his very favorite blanket was a super soft and fluffy one. He would suck on it, as if nursing. I read that kittens who were weaned too early will suck on blankets like this. We thought it was adorable, if not a little sad, and supplied him with all of the fluffy blankets he desired. 

Inky on his favorite blanket

Inky and Opal were inseparable for the first few weeks. They played and ate and snuggled together. Often Opal would just lay right on top of her brother, which was pretty much the cutest thing ever. Inky appeared to tolerate it, like a big brother would of a little sister. 

Tolerating sister

At the end of January Inky was spending more and more time on a bottom shelf in our bathroom.  It wasn't until I noticed that he had spent an entire day there without moving that I became concerned and brought him in to the vet's office. We discovered he had a mild fever and when they ran a blood test, there were quite a few things off. The doctor talked to me about all of the things it might be, but I still came home and did hours of internet searching. Most signs pointed to one thing: FIP. Everything I read said FIP is 100% fatal, but that it presented differently in each cat and was difficult to diagnose. Other than lethargy, Inky wasn't yet displaying any other outward signs of being sick. 

Playing for a moment

As time went on he ebbed and flowed with how much time he spent laying around. He alternated between shelves, eventually preferring the bottom of our shoe rack, but he also spent time on the back of the couch as well as under a rack in the kitchen. Some days he would bat at a toy, or briefly respond to one of his sister's many invitations to play, or scratch on the scratching post. He started to become more fearful of pretty much everything and darted from room to room when he had to go eat or use his litter box. He stopped enjoying being held or pet, though we loved him so much, we always tried. It was a struggle between warning the girls not to bother him because he was sick, and letting them bother him because they so desperately wanted to snuggle and love on him. 

We call this Opal's "smiling position"

One thing Inky always loved was eating. In the morning he was the first one ready for breakfast (even if there was still food left in the bowl from the night before). He meowed, loudly, until he was fed. He also loved treats, sometimes sitting on the floor under the treat shelf, gazing up at it. I tried not to feed him treats if he "begged" for them, as I didn't want to start a bad habit-- little did I know, though. 

In healthier days, Inky would sleep on Matt's belly. 
They bonded, being the only two guys in the house. 

The week before he died we noticed Inky wasn't walking very well. He basically looked drunk and was having a harder time jumping up on the low surfaces he could previously reach. He also would fall over when he tried to walk on an unstable surface. I realized over the weekend that he wasn't bringing himself to the litter box, so I picked him up and set him in and while he couldn't really hold himself up, he immediately pottied. That little guy, he couldn't move himself around, but never went to the bathroom outside of his box. 

The night before Inky passed away. 
He rarely tolerated Opal near him at this point, so it was extra special she was able to snuggle in. 
She even got to lick his ears a bit. This was Inky's blanket nest on my bed.

On Monday I was watching him closely and his body language made me extremely concerned. He was laying in a way that was more relaxed than his usual tensed up position. I had a brief flash in my mind that he was dying, that if the girls and I went out to run the errands we had planned, he could die. I called the vet and asked if we should bring him in, hoping they would tell me I was over-reacting. Of course, they didn't say that, and told me to come in right away. I frantically texted Matt, who was at work, and I loaded up the girls and Inky and drove to the vet. Matt met us there. 

The vet told us she thought Inky was blind, or at least mostly blind. His eyes weren't responding normally. He wasn't able to really get around. She broke the news that Inky was dying and we could let him die on his own or we could consider euthanasia. We decided to bring him back home and plan our next move. 

Sleeping on my lap on his last afternoon

Matt and I decided euthanasia was the kindest thing to do. Not just for Inky, but for the girls. We had no way of knowing when he would die or how awful it would be, and the waiting would have been hell on the girls, and honestly me, too. We called the vet and planned to have the doctor come to our house that evening.

During the afternoon we fed Inky tuna and laid by him as he rested on his shoe shelf. We petted him, then left him be, then petted him some more. Eventually I picked him up and held him on my chest as he drifted off to sleep. He would have never done that before, it was so bittersweet. We told him we loved him about eighty billion times. 

Saying goodbye

The vet came that night. We all sat around, Inky on my lap in his blanket. He got a sedative, which was a shot and he hated it. One last little burst of fight from our boy. He then relaxed, and a few minutes later got the shot that would stop his heart, surrounded by the people whose hearts were breaking at the same time. 

This is by far the most difficult thing the girls have ever had to go through. I am glad they were there with Inky as he passed, I don't think being gone would have made it any easier. They got to hold him before and after he died. I placed Inky's body on the floor on a soft blanket and Opal came over to say goodbye. She licked her brother's body. The shattered pieces of our hearts broke all over again as we watched. We waited for Opal to finish, and when she walked away, we knew it was time to let our Inky go. I carried him out to the vet's car, and it briefly tickled us all that she drove a VW Beetle, aka a "slug bug", because we play the slug bug game. I laid Inky on her passenger side seat and said goodbye.


Opal kissing her brother goodbye

Inky will be privately cremated and his ashes returned to us. We will have a funeral for him when we get the ashes back and as of now the plans are to put some of his ashes in the ground with a new plant. 

I could write a billion more words on the conversations we have had with the girls over how such a horrible thing could happen to a little kitten. It all boils down to "I don't know" and "it isn't fair". We could fill an ocean with the amount of tears that have already been cried in our house. We talk a lot about cat heaven, about how Inky now has a chance to be a real kitten, in a healthy body. 

We miss Inky in all the silly  little ways you miss a cat that hides away 95% of his day. We miss calling his name, and all of his funny nicknames-- Inky Dinks, Inky Dinky Doo (sometimes adding many, many "Dinkys" to the name), the Inkster, Inks. We miss checking for him on his shoe rack. We miss his loud cries as we struggle to serve up his breakfast quickly enough. We miss that he no longer snuggles in to his blanket nest at the end of the bed. 

Since we adopted two kittens so they could have each other, we have also been sad for a long time that Opal lost her buddy when Inky got so sick. We are hoping we can get another kitten soon. It will help our fuzzy little girl, who desperately wants a playmate, and our human little girls, too (who also want another playmate). 

Our Inky Dinks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Worst

Yesterday, Monday, our dear sweet kitten kitten, Inky, passed away.

It is the absolute fucking worst.

I will write more about it as soon as I feel up for it.

We have two little girls who have had their hearts absolutely shattered. The girls knew Inky had been sick for  long time, just didn't realize how sick-- well, honestly, neither did we. He had suspected F.I.P., something we discovered back in late January after he had spent several days not acting like a kitten at all. We just thought he might go on living a pretty sad life for a long time, but then WHAM. In a couple of days he went from being just okay to barely hanging on for life. Matt and I made the heart-wrenching decision to have him put to sleep, which, mercifully, the vet was able to do at our house last night. 

Iris and Eloise saying good-bye to Inky.
More soon. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

A truly wonderful week of running! I am feeling strong and confident again, which is great, because things were looking pretty dire there. And who knows, they may get there again, so I am definitely going to embrace the awesome, because I have spent far too much of my running days embracing the suck.

Total Miles Run: 21.5

Monday: Yard Work

I skipped yoga in favor of lots of lifting and digging and working my ass off in our vegetable beds. Considering how much I sweat during the project I am absolutely going to go ahead and call it a workout!

Tuesday: 3 Miles Run

Nothing fancy. In fact, I am not even sure I remember this workout?

Wednesday: Strength

I did my new "pull" workout, which went like this:
*lateral shuffle with exercise band around the ankles
*squat on bosu ball
*stork stance with bungee cobra-- okay,  a weird name for this. Attach an exercise band about waist high, the hinge at the hip, holding one leg straight up behind you. Arms are extended overhead then they pull straight down in front. 
*one leg squat with bungee row-- with the same exercise band, stand with one leg bent and off the ground and the opposite arm holding the band close to the body. Hinge at the hip, extend raised leg behind you and the arm holding the band out in front.
*balancing bicep curl
*bent over dumbbell row with staggered stance
*front and lateral raises while kneeling on bosu
*twisting lateral plank
*hamstring press on bosu
I then did an ab sequence which was:
*side plank with dips
*ab crunch with weight
*curl up crunch
*chinnies (my trainer's word for a bicycle crunch)
*plank
*single leg v-up
*push through crunch

Okay, that is A LOT of exercises. No wonder it took me so darn long! 

Thursday: 4.5 Miles Run

I tried to keep my running intervals to 9 min/miles, but I did stop to walk a few times. 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 14 Miles Run 

I wrote about this amazing run yesterday . . . 

Sunday: A Light Strength Workout

Basic moves with abs and some rolling, myofascial release. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What I Learned From 14 Miles

Saturday marked a major milestone for me: it was the first time I had run over the half marathon distance in training. 14 miles. It seems insane to me. Who does that?! Well, lots of people, apparently, including me. I loved pretty much every second of it, too.

I learned that 14 miles is the biggest deal ever, and regular ol' deal all in one.

14 miles made me nervous in a way I had not been nervous to approach a run in a very long time. I felt like I didn't even know how dress for it, which was silly, because I ended up wearing, and being totally comfortable in, a t-shirt and shorts. Having a love/hate relationship with running in my Pro Compression socks, though. I have always run long runs in these socks, but my new theory is the seams in the toe area are giving me blisters.

I learned that 14 miles is an easy distance to pick clothes for, but a hard distance to pick socks for.

Ever since I cheered my sister-in-law on in her 13.1 on the Lake Sammamish Trail I have wanted to run there. On Saturday I was able to, and it was just as lovely as I thought it would be. When cheering I did not realize the trail was packed gravel, and . . .

I learned that packed gravel makes for a forgiving running surface. 

Preparing my fuel for the run was tricky because I wasn't sure I could carry enough with me. I decided on 3 gels and 3 bottles of Gatorade and one of water in my belt. I thought I would take one gel at 4, 8 and 12 miles to be safe. Once I took my second, however, I knew I absolutely did not want that last gel. It sounded terrible. I made it from mile 8 to 14 with just a few sips of Gatorade and finished feeling just fine.

I learned that if I plan to run a marathon, I need some more fuel options than just gel. 

My body seems to have held up to the stress of 14 miles. My newest big worry is my foot. It aches, which might not be too terribly concerning, but I have already had 2 stress fractures in that foot and I don't need a third.

I learned that strength training and focusing on my form and my glutes is really helping, but my body isn't letting me have this marathon without a fight.

Over the past few weeks I have really come to consider my friend Sally to be my new BRF (best running friend). She is just the coolest, strongest, most kick ass runner and I am so thrilled that I have been able to run so many freaking miles with her. We never run out of conversation, and she is my favorite source for answers when I have training questions. She makes running seem effortless, and I am constantly inspired by her ability to, I don't know, run 22 miles like it's NBD. Sally also said she hopes to run the Seattle Rock-n-Roll marathon with me which would be AMAZING, so now I want that goal even more than I did before!

I learned that BRFs are more than worth their weight in gu.

My mad "photoshop" skillz. 


My 16 miler is scheduled for 3 weeks from now. We'll see what lessons I have to learn from that milestone! 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Training for "My Sport"

I think I officially train to run more than I actually run. So, if I considered running to be my sport, you could say I am almost always training for my sport. I suppose that's a good thing? It's a little frustrating to me when I see so many runners I know (in real life and online) who only run. How do they do that?! To be honest, I enjoy strength training. I enjoy going to yoga. I enjoy the foam rolling/myofascial release/stretching. What I don't enjoy is the pressure to keep it all up. Feels like I'm holding all of these balls in the air, and my body is mostly responding well to all of the hard work (except for my stupid knee), but I am scared to let anything fall. 

My trainer is awesome, but sometimes she gives me these epic workouts with a whole bunch of moves and I need to to do two sets of like 20 reps of each thing. A lot of the time I put in a bunch of work, but I don't always end up doing the entire thing. Today I had to do all of this balancing stuff-- squats on a bosu ball, one legged something or others. They take me forever to either maintain my balance, or pick myself up from toppling over. 

So what else is up?

Today I cancelled my StrideBox. Of course, had I cancelled it yesterday I would have saved myself a month of $$. Ah, well. I have received three boxes so far and each one was worse than the last. This month was by far the worst, it included Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter cups and holy god, they were awful. I threw them out after one bite. I don't like fake candy. I like real, HFCS-filled candy. I thought it was interesting that when I cancelled my membership I was never asked why. Seems like they might use their customer's feedback to improve things? 

I also a bit annoyed with Amazon. I have been ordering a four pack of nuun from them forever, seriously, I have probably ordered 15 boxes of these and they have always been $17.99. Always. Today the box is $26.00! What the heck?! I think I need to lay off my nuun habit. 

And . . . today's the day the Ragnar team I am captain of finds out their runner positions! I find this terribly exciting. Spoiler alert: I'm runner #11. Super, super, SUPER excited to be in van #2 this year-- it is going to be so very different from last year! I have to say I'm also excited to not have to leave as early as van #1 and not have to drive all the way up to Blaine to start the race. We get to start in Bellingham. (and, I am the runner who will run over Deception Pass, which simultaneously scares the shit out of me and thrills me to no end). 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

A supreme lack of running this week because of my knee. Two words for that: It. Sucked. Well, I did have a wonderful 12 mile run on Saturday, but once I was done my knee let me know it was not happy with me.

My physical therapist recommended that I not run until my Saturday long run. This week also saw two almost total rest days back-to-back, for no other reason than I was just too lazy to figure out what to do instead. 

Total Miles Run: 12

Monday: Yoga

Again, my favorite. My instructor must have gotten all up in my subconscious for this class, because everything she did was perfect runner-y stuff. 

Tuesday: Walk 4 Miles

I helped out with a field trip Iris' class took and we had a lot of walking to do. And not just walking, but up and down and up and down hills. It was fantastic, and my knee didn't complain, so it was a decent sub for running that day.

Wednesday: Workout With Trainer

I met my trainer at a local park, right on the water, and she led me through a warm-up and some drills and tons of great new "pull" exercises. Lots of fun stuff with the bosu ball, too. I am such a dummy. It didn't occur to me to actually stand on the ball part of the bosu, and she had me doing some squats that way. I have very poor balance, which is probably why I never stood on my bosu, so it took me a while to get through some of the sets! 

Thursday: Massage 

I got a massage for the first time in a while. The therapist worked exclusively on my lower body. When I walked out of the office I wasn't too sure it helped that much, but I have to say, the next day I was feeling more normal. Not great, but normal. Thursday I was also noticing that my hamstring wasn't bugging me as much recently and I went to try "legs up the wall" which typically is almost impossible for me to do without serious discomfort and sure enough, I was able to do it! Not sure what that is about? Curious if it's calming down because I haven't run this week or if I am really doing what needs to be done to help it relax. Either way, hurrah!

Friday: Random Strength/Stretching

Nothing that could be called a workout, but just needed to get in my booty exercises and stretches. I swear, I'm going to look like Kim Kardashian when I am "done" with these exercises. Which is pretty awesome considering I come from a long line of flat-assed women. 

Saturday: 12 Miles Run

I met up with Sally again, joining her for the last 12 of her 22 miler. Yes, 22 miles. Isn't that amazing? I felt like I was just as exhausted from my 12 as she was from her 22 when we finished. Sally is running Big Sur in a few weeks and I am so excited for her. It will be her tenth marathon! 

Sally and I post-run!

My 12 miles went well. My knee pain mostly stayed away, just whimpered a bit here and there, which was honestly about as good as I could have expected.

My weird sorta sideways obligatory Garmin photo. I was surprised our run was so "slow" 
but then realized we had a ton of hills, and I also never stop my watch at road crossings.  


Unfortunately, I was pretty darn wiped for the rest of the day, and my knee pain just kept getting worse. It feels like something is pulling on it, and interestingly, when I foam roll my IT band it puts a lot pressure on my inner knee. Not sure what is up with that, but it might support my PT's idea that my IT band is pulling my knee out of alignment, I suppose.

All in all, it really sucks. I feel like this will likely be the end of my 3rd attempt at marathon training, as history has showed that I don't recover from my injuries quickly enough to make up for my missed training and go on to run my goal race.

Post-run movie. Love this one! 


Sunday: Strength Training

I did my "push" workout. It was really hard, I think my legs were still pretty tired from Saturday's run. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Real Effort

I just realized that I didn't really ever intend to use this blog as just a training log, which, when I look back at my post list, is what it is turning in to. So, in order to keep it from just being a log, I'm going to try a little harder to come up with something to say. Here goes!

This will be another disjointed post full of random updates. That's maybe better than a training log, right?

I got a massage today with a new guy. It was okay. I have now seen two new people since my old massage therapist closed up her shop and it's a frustrating experience. And yes, I am fully aware that this is a FWP (first world problem). The guy I saw today came highly recommended, and I think he might be okay, but I didn't have an instant "OMG I love you" feeling right off the bat. Yes, I went for a massage because of my running aches and pains, but I spent the entire time on my stomach and he worked only on my legs. I think for that my legs would feel 100% better, but they don't. Of course, that might just be the fault of my totally bum legs, and not the massage therapist. He did teach me a couple of things that I appreciated, such as a new-to-me stretch for the front of my hips and a series of movements to increase my range of motion in my hips. 

The one main thing I wanted help with was my new issue-- my inner left knee is still bugging me. It's not awful. Definitely not sure if I should be running on it, so I decided to take off of running during the week this week so I can attack my 12 miler this weekend. That will truly be the test for this new issue. 

I am sure I can come up with something non-running related to say, right? Right? 

This week my daughters' school had their science fair. Have you seen the below image floating around the interwebs recently? It nails it on the head. Exactly. 

Sadly the yelling and crying chart is the most accurate part of this. Eloise cried approximately 
eleven million times. I may or may not have yelled more than that. 

I thought I had the brilliant idea of having the girls do a project together, though I'm not sure if it was better or worse than last year when the girls both had expensive and time-consuming projects that didn't really end up working in the end, anyways. But, science, you know? The only thing this project above is missing is the total cost. Our stupid trifold board alone was over $9.00. Another $12 for the sharpies. Another $10 for supplies. 

The girls made rock candy. It was fairly cool, but still a pain in the ass. And it exactly didn't work how we thought it would. Yay science!

Speaking of girls and school, I signed up to teach a math games type class at the school. It been a secret dream of mine to bring a math club or something to the school, but make it really fun and interesting, play games and do crafts and whatnot. Here's the kicker, though: you guys, I am not good at math (well, anything beyond basic math). I always hated math, always assumed I was terrible at math, always struggled with it. Since becoming so involved with my girls' edumacation, however, I have started to realize that it doesn't have to be totally sucky. It can maybe, possibly, sorta be fun, too. So I am diving head first in to a world of math, something way, way, way outside of my comfort zone, in an effort, to, simply, help make kids excited about math in a way I never was.

That said, feel free to send me your tips, ideas, well wishes, and boxes of wine! 

This delightful little graphic explains my issue perfectly.

Also, in reaching for my Mother of the Year award, I decided to let my bigger girl stay home from school on Friday so that we could do something fun together. Let's just hope that something isn't just her watching YouTube videos all day while I fold laundry and use my foam roller. Well, I can't foam roll and fold laundry at the same time, but maybe some day. So far she is trying to talk me in to buying a bunch of expensive crap for her to make her own lotions and perfumes and whatnot. Damn YouTube! I only told her we were not going to the mall, and that we were going to lunch somewhere yummy (because I love lunch). Will let you know how it goes! Maybe even instagram our day together?