The Easiest Training Week Ever

Last week I posted about having a possible stress fracture.  I was pretty postive due to the nature of the feeling and my doctor’s remarks that I had a stress fracture.   His remarks were: Although it hasn’t shown up on the X-ray, I’m confident you have a stress fracture so we will do more tests.

Since I woke up in this pain (I never felt any pain while running) I had some sort of hope it was just a bruise.  On a side note I really did wake up on the wrong side of the bed last Friday.

My X-ray last week came out clean.  No abnormalities.  My doctor and I were still confident that I had a stress fracture so he ordered some more tests.  It was more difficult since I had just had both an X-ray and an MRI on my other foot.

Long introduction short after getting some more indepth tests done, I do have a second metatarsal stress fracture.  I thought I was being careful coming back from my arch problem last month (other foot).  I didn’t start running until I felt good so I wasn’t overcompensating.  I didn’t up my miles to fast and the only speed work I did in the last two months was a 1 mile road race.

Last Friday was the first day I felt the pain my foot. I literally just woke up in a lot of pain. My previous run on Thursday felt fine. At work the previous day I told my coworker I planned to race in a Labor Day 5k since I was injury free.

But I do have a minor stress fracture and no amount of questioning is going to heal my bones any faster.  (but a bone stimulator will…hint hint…)

I have deffered my fall marathon.  I don’t plan to do any fall marathons.  I don’t know if I plan to do any spring marathons.  The only one I would really consider would be Shamrock in VA Beach…but who knows my recovery rate.

Or maybe I’ll wait even longer, marathons are abundant and I like the half marathon better.

Shockingly, I didn’t cry when the doctor told me “You have a stress fracture”.  I thought I would.  I don’t really even feel sorry for myself.  I don’t really know how to feel.  I feel like when you are too shocked to really know what to think. Almost like when a relationship is ended so abruptly you are still in the processing phase.

If I was having a great training cycle, I would feel more mental pain.  The fact is I wasn’t having a confident cycle and my body probably just needed more rest and time away from running.  I never had any terrible runs but since April I haven’t had any runs that really stuck out to me either.  It was just meh.

Being injured stinks and I’m not happy about it (at all) but at the same time my life is not over and I will keep moving on.  In November and December, (knock on wood) I should be running again.  Hopefully I’ll be running happy and with a new found (from my long lost) passion.  While I’m upset I’m not devestated.  It’s more obnoxious because it’s harder to walk (at the pace I would like too).

So what is my recovery timeline looking like?

I’m currently 10 days into recovery. If I heal appropriately it will be between 4-6 weeks to heal. It’s not a full break, in fact it’s not bad break at all. Two days ago I stopped taking any pain meds. I could be running again by early to mid October (running being a mile or two). I won’t be running any sort of consistent mileage until November. This is all reliant on healing appropriately though.

Finally, what has my training been like since being injured? (The point of this post…)

Since Sunday’s are my normal training post this is easy enough: I haven’t done anything since last Friday.  I joined a pool only to find out the pool was closed for rennovations until next week.  I’ll get into the pool next week. I guess I could have just written that paragraph and had the shortest “training” post ever.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a second metatarsal stress fracture?  Or stress fracture in general?  What are your healing secrets?

What is an activity you like to do outside of working out?

Seven Star Diner (Sewell)

Seven Star Diner (Sewell, NJ)

After a more than eventful few days at work and life, Erin asked if I wanted to get dinner last Saturday.  I happily agreed: a new diner and new area…two winning combinations.  After googling diners in South Jersey, the Seven Star Diner in Sewell popped up.  I’ve found just googling diners in NJ; I can quickly look at diners close by.  I’m never within a few miles of a good diner. 

Seven Star Erin and I

Seven Star Diner Atmosphere: A

The entire parking lot of the Seven Star Diner was packed.  Immediately we thought we would have to wait for a table…but staying to true diner values, they always have room for one more party.  I think in 95% of diner reviews, I start off saying I have thought the diner would be packed yet I’ve only ever had to wait once at a diner.

We sat in the bar and lounge area, which was nice.  They were playing top 40 music, which was always fun.    They played all of my favorite songs, including Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off.”  They had already won me before we got the meal.

Seven Star Diner Coffee: A

The coffee was good and 1.99 for unlimited refills.  The whipped cream was good. I forgot to retake a photo.  I’ve been failing my diner reviews lately.

Seven Star Diner Food: A

The menu at the Seven Star Diner is huge. The Seven Star Diner had everything from seafood to steak to pancakes…everything.  If a diner doesn’t have everything, then it’s not a true New Jersey diner. The Seven Star diner also had a lot of different specials, which is always a plus since not everything was pretty cheap.  The Seven Star diner had more specials than any other diner I’ve been too so far.

I ordered the large house Greek salad with salmon and pita bread.  Together it was probably the most expensive combination I could make ($19), but it was a huge salad and worth it.  I could have ordered a normal salad which was roughly 10-13 dollars…but these are my favorite.  It was worth the price.

Seven Star Salad

Seven Star Diner Dessert: A

Since I haven’t been working out, I haven’t been as hungry.  While I saw a sign that said the desserts were made from Mastori’s bakery (my favorite dessert diner), I wasn’t hungry for one at all.  Somehow my second stomach made room for red velvet cake and Erin, and I split one.  I often think I should limit my diner reviews to diner cake and coffee reviews.

Seven Star Red Velvet Cake

The red velvet cake did not disappoint at all.  I’m pretty sure our waitress gave us about ¼ of the entire cake.  I won’t complain, though.   Certainly, one of the top 5 pieces of cake I have ever had.  It was so dense, and the cream cheese frosting made it perfect.  Mastroris cake has never let me down.

Seven Star Red Velvet Cake 1

Seven Star Diner Cost: $$

For two people it cost 44 dollars.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back to Seven Star Diner (Sewell)?

I plan to come back.  The Seven Star Diner has become one of my top five favorite diners.  It’s got an entire open bar and an extensive menu of more items that I cannot wait to try. Since writing the orginal review, I’ve been about five more times, and the Seven Star Diner has never disappointed. It’s one of the best in South Jersey.

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Question for you: What is the most expensive meal you have ever gotten?

When it Rains, It Pours

I imagine myself walking down a road. My car has some sort of mechanical failure and I’m somehow left stranded without a cell phone. I’m not in NJ where gas stations are plentiful but back in Texas where gas stations are miles apart.  So I walk to the nearest gas station which happens to be 8 miles away.

this stinks 1

Around 4 miles I imagine myself shouting: HOW COULD THIS GET ANY WORSE?

And out of nowhere it begins pouring rain and wild turkeys appear out of nowhere. So I run the last four miles in the pouring monsooning rain (while being chased by turkeys.)this stinks 2

Thanks for that one life.

Last Wednesday I sat in my house pretty upset. I had just returned after an exciting weekend with my family and now I was back at an empty and lonely house.  I asked myself…how could this get any worse?

My answer came two days later when I woke up with a possible stress fracture. After getting a small arch injury, I ran a few weeks completely pain free…only to wake up with a stress fracture in my other foot.   I have no leads, no idea or anything about how I could have gotten this fracture.

When it rains…it pours…I guess. 

Eventually that rain must stop though. My entire life won’t be filled with rain clouds.

I went to the doctor earlier in the week and had an X-ray.  Not surprisingly the x-ray showed nothing.  Normally x-rays don’t show stress fractures for a week or two (until they are  healing).  The doctor wanted to do more tests since he was confident I do have a stress fracture. We are currently in the process of waiting to schedule an MRI or ultrasound test.  Honestly, I’m not going to run at all for a while so it makes no difference to me.  I’m going to rest either way.  It’s the matter of “officially” diagnosing it but official or unofficial rest is only going to help.

A lot of people have asked how I’ve stayed so positive right now and honestly I haven’t.  I’m in a pretty low time in my life.  I’m not going to whine all over the internet but the fact is: this stinks.  The only thing I can do right now is continue to stay busy and truck through this situation.  I am pretty mobile (IE: I don’t lay on my couch all day eating Doritos and crying).  I have used this time to engage in other interests, hang out with more friends and do other things.  My life does not revolve around running (and never will) so I find and have other things to do.   Do I wish I could run and that my finance was home?  Of course, but it’s getting through these tougher times that makes the better ones…better.

Eventually the rain will clear, my umbrella will dry and I’ll be back to where I was.  Being negative is not going to help the situation.  I must look toward the positive and look towards the future.  I have always said “your life is a collection of events and stories, not an individual chapter.”  I am still sticking to that motto and come November or December, I will be ready again to conquer the world.

Or at least dry out my umbrella.

Questions for you:

Do you find it pours rain occasionally in your life?

How do you stay positive in tough situations?

How My Parents Became Proud Owners of a Donkey Named Badonkadonk

Yesterday was national dog day.  While dogs are cute (my parents own two), I’m not really a dog person.  Our landlord said no pets so that is the excuse I use when people ask why we don’t have any dogs.  I like other people’s dogs but I’ve never really wanted dogs of my own.

I tweeted yesterday asking if there was a national pet donkey day because my parents own one of those too.  It seems like everything has it’s own holiday these days, so why not a donkey.

But before explaining the story, let me take a selfie
But before explaining the story, let me take a selfie

Immediately I got multiple responses about the donkey and asking for pictures.  Long time readers know that my parents somehow accumulated a pet donkey but I wanted to spread the joy with everyone.

About 10 years ago, (gosh I feel old now), my parents bought a second home on the Eastern Shore of VA. Unlike where they live now, most of the area is farm land.  They bought it for once both my parents retire to move somewhere peaceful.  The house is beautiful and located right on the water.  There are three houses nearby and a bunch of cornfields.  It’s adorable, peaceful and relaxing.  Neither of my parents are farmers or people that know much about farming.  We’ve always lived in rather populated areas and farming never interested them.

donkey

The previous owner of the house was a farmer himself.  He owned a donkey, a pig, two chickens and two goats.  When he moved out, he asked if he could if he could leave the animals there while he found homes for them.  They essentially could live off the land and didn’t need anything (from my parents).  My parents said sure…

The first time I visited the house, I loled and said we should name the donkey: Badonkadonk.  My parents and brothers thought it was funny.  It wasn’t our donkey and we didn’t expect to see him for more than a few more weeks so we did.

Hello ladiez
Hello ladiez

Long story short, the previous owner never came and got his animals.  The pig eventually lived a good life and passed away.  The chickens ran away (hopefully not too far because the Perdue farm is right down the road).  My parents began renting the house out and opted to give the goats away to someone who wanted and could care for them.  Goats are mean creatures and the new tenants had a baby.  After putting an ad on craigslist that said Goats for free, they were given a new home in two hours.

Bandonkadonk still lives strong though. We have no idea how old he is or anything about raising a donkey.  Google provided basic information and he has never had any health scares (We believe he must be over the age of 30). The farmer said they live off the land.  We feed him horse seed as well as the acres of grass he has access too.   He seems to be happy and always loves visitors.

Lessons College Never Taught Me…

It’s hard for me to believe that college is starting soon again.  It seemed like just yesterday that my friends were done with the semester and coming home for the summer.  Now people are going back to college or even starting their freshman year!  I remember each trip my parents took with me to college.  Each 700 mile drive was unique in some sort of weird and awkward way.

I learned a lot about myself during college (both mentally and physically).  The most important lesson I learned however,had nothing to do with courses.  I learned about myself as a person.

I’ve written about my definition of success and happiness several times.  I’ve also written about struggling post college several times.  When I was in college, I thought one I graduated, I would easily get a job in my field, work and then I would be successful.  I did my college time and now the reward (a job) would flock to me.  It’s partially true that I interned then worked in my field at SUNY Oswego.  I loved it and truly enjoyed my time there in the public health field. I learned even more about myself, my field (public health) as well as my personal relationship with Tim.

In the late spring of 2013, I had an important decision to make.  A decision college doesn’t really prepare you for.

Do I move and get out of Upstate NY? 

I was dating at the time, and a long distance relationship won’t work forever.  He was finishing his training so it made sense for me to move down there.  Being in the military, Tim will never have flexibility to move where he wants.  It was either I move or we continue having a long distance relationship.

I chose to move.  In the fall of 2013 I moved and found myself unemployed with no job leads.  People asked me all summer my job plans and I said I have no idea, live off savings and find one.

Being unemployed came just one year after spending four years trudging through gail force -30 degree winds to class.  It came six months after digging my car out of snow banks for work.

I stayed unemployed from September until around March.  During that time we found out we were moving to New Jersey.  We had one of the roughest winters on the east coast and southern states weren’t prepared to plow (I felt like I never left upstate!)  I hit the job market at the worst time since businesses weren’t hiring.  The last thing they wanted (or needed) to do was hire for their closed business.  I ate away at about 75% of my savings that I saved the previous year working.   College never taught me about budgeting or savings…but I thank my parents often that they did.

I applied for jobs everywhere and in every field.  Quite frankly living in Del Rio Texas, a job was not going to happen.  I lived there six weeks but almost a year later (read: last Tuesday) I finally found a job in my field that I remotely qualified for.  (After getting dozens of emails to be road kill collector…I don’t know why I’m still on public health job list…or why collecting road kill requires a public health degree…).  I would have most definitely had to do something outside my college degree if I had lived there…which is fine but not anything college prepared me for.

So when we moved to NJ, I was more than happy..  So many opportunities that aren’t road kill collectors!  I probably applied to close to 30 jobs.  (I filled out about 100 job applications).  I applied for multiple public health jobs, running store jobs, even a substitute teacher (as I spent 3 years with a double math/education major).  I was bored being at home and financially it wasn’t going to work out well if I was going to stay unemployed for another year.

As good as my first year out of college was (job wise), my second year was as bad. That was something I was not prepared for.  The only thing that would have really prepared me would be living through this situation.

So when I got a call that they would have room for me at a local running store, I jumped on it.  After 8 months of doing nothing, it was a nice change.  Now working there about 6 months, I can say I fully enjoy it.  While college taught me how to solve derivatives at the drop of a pin, it didn’t teach me that I was also growing as a human.  I was learning how to educate people in health awareness but I was also growing and needed to experience these lessons for myself.  I wish college taught me that it’s okay not to do anything in your major as long as you are successful financially, mentally and physically.  If you can say all of those things as well as you are happy with your life, then college has taught you well. 

I regret nothing about my education, my post college life and where I’m at right now.  I’m enjoying my life, financially stable and successful both mentally and physically.  None of those things are anything I took a college course for but at the same time needed college for.

Questions for you:

What is one thing you wish college had taught you?

What has been your favorite job?