New favorites

I got a new toy last week. It was an early birthday present to myself thanks to cashing in reward points

image: Barnes and Noble

So far I love it!! I started off with a free copy of one of my favorite books that came already loaded on the nook “Pride and Prejudice,” and have now moved on “Cutting for Stone.” It’s so easy to ready, and I love the touch interface to flip the pages. I can still highlight things, write notes in books, and bookmark passages. And I got a nice cover, so the nook looks just like a book 🙂

I apparently have developed an obsession with sweet potato fries lately. I completely blame Coach Jeff. He told me they would make a great snack. There’s only one slight problem, it’s really hard to stop eating them! Fortunately they are super easy to make! Pre-heat your oven to 400. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into the shape you want (wedges, steak fries, etc…), and place in a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (or more if you’re like me). Toss everything together and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, and then flip and cook until done (they’ll be soft).

I got these fabulous shorts at Lululemon a while back. They’re the speed short, and despite being a little shorter than I’m use to they are fabulous. They don’t ride up at all! I got them along with the groove short for speed workouts, but I think I may wear these for the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon in November. It’s never to early to start thinking about what to wear :-).

So excited about this week!! It’s my favorite week of the whole year. My birthday is later in the week, and I actually get to celebrate for a change since I finish work early enough. Dinner reservations have been made, and a vegan cake is being picked up. Let’s just hope my parents don’t eat the whole thing while I’m in Savannah working this weekend. Yeah, it’s the start of the orchestra season too this week!! And I’m going out to run on the race course while I’m there, but that’s another post 🙂

Hips, hips, hips

All week I’ve had songs like “the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone,” or “head, shoulders, knees, and toes,” stuck in my head. Why? Ah, well it all has to do with the hips. I haven’t been too happy with my hips over the past week. At first my coach just thought the IT band that runs from the hip to the knee was tight, and that was my problem. So I stretched, and used my foam roller, and nothing got better. Last Thursday I couldn’t finish my run, so since my mom was walking where I was running I had her shoot a quick video of me running. I immediately sent it to Jeff. The verdict? All of my problems came from my right hip dropping because it was out of alignment. Seriously, why do we need hips? I was confused, upset, and frustrated. Jeff told me to go to a chiropractor. It was a simple fix, and I would feel a lot better.

Fortunately I was able to get an appointment the very next day. Of course it wasn’t just that my hips were off. My neck was out of alignment, my shoulders were tight, and then there were those darn hips. I felt the difference in my shoulders and neck immediately, but even after the adjustment my right hip was still complaining. On Sunday, two days after the adjustment, I went for my 3 hour-long run. I could tell a difference immediately. The first 9 miles were brilliant until I stopped to take a gel, and everything started going downhill. The left knee hurt, my right hip was yelling, and I was almost in tears. I called Jeff to see what I should do, and he said just take it nice and slow back to the car. I had a follow-up appointment at the chiropractor Tuesday morning, so for the rest of the day Sunday I had an ice pack attached to my knee, and my foam roller near by.

Before my appointment Tuesday morning I went for my scheduled run. It was miserable, and I didn’t finish. I cried for a bit while walking home, and then sobbed as I uploaded my run for Jeff, and started explaining what had happened. I couldn’t believe how bad it was. I had just run a little over 4 miles, and couldn’t go any further. I saw the dream of not only running a huge PR at the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon drifting away, but the race itself. When the chiropractor asked how things were going I was really honest. Things weren’t good. He immediately knew that the hips were still off, and from what I was telling him suspected that they could have been off for years, not just weeks or months. I wasn’t over optimistic this was going to work, but then he started adjusting things. Holy moly, it felt like a battering ram had run into my back afterwards. He checked my range of motion, encouraging me to lift the right leg higher, but I couldn’t. By the time I walked out my back finally felt like it was relaxing some. I still wasn’t happy. More than anything I was sore, and I had my longest day of teaching ahead of me. It was a long day.

Fast forward to Thursday. I didn’t want to go for my run. I felt for sure that I would just be met with the same disappointment from earlier in the week. I got in my car to run laps around a local park so that if I had to abort, at least my car would be near by. I started warming up. Okay, this isn’t too bad. I cautiously ran the first of six intervals. So, I know I’m not running fast enough, but this is okay. Maybe I’ll be alright after all. Before I knew it I had finished my run. Finished! I was a little sore, and my left knee wasn’t thrilled with me, but I had done it. It felt weird. My form is not the same, but in a good way. My knees now land under my hips, and don’t collapse, so that my ankles now line up with my knees. My mom was shocked the first time I said that. Isn’t that what they’re suppose to do, she asked. Um, yes, but mine didn’t. Running shoe stores just told me I pronated, and put me in crazy heavy shoes that tried to control what I did. Never once, until I got a coach, did someone actually look my form other than my feet. All I can say is thank goodness for Jeff!

Things are better now. I’m playing the violin better. I went for my lesson Monday night, and my teacher practically did cartwheels after my lesson. Why didn’t I realize these things before? Because I was so use to doing them in a way that wasn’t good for me I couldn’t tell they weren’t good. I’m more relaxed, holding the violin better, and not getting as tight while I play. It feels weird, and things don’t always make sense, but if they work I’m going with it. My teacher was thrilled. I sitting straighter, and walking better too. Mom thinks I look taller. I told her it’s just easier to sit right when your back isn’t going all crazy on you. I have another follow up appointment Friday morning, but the good news is that I don’t think the adjustment will be as big. I’ve discovered lots of new muscles that aren’t as strong as most of the others, but I’m working on that too. That way maybe my hips will stay where they belong from now on!