Active Lifestyle+Age=Aches and Pains

You can eat right, exercise, and drink all the water you want but sometimes your body just says….ENOUGH! If you’ve been noticing on these weekly posts regarding what I have done for workouts each week I have been adding a lot more stretching to try an alleviate some aches and pains I have been having. Well, it’s not working and I came to the conclusion that maybe I just need to give my joints a break. More precisely, I need to give my knees and ankles a break. Yes, I know they have never been strong especially my ankles, but recently I have had a sore knee. It plagues me most when going up steps and seems very weak and unstable. So before I do real damage, which hopefully I have not already done, I made a deal that I would take it easy for a week and see what happens. I made this deal with myself Monday evening after my 3 mile walk when I was miserable after I finally arrived home. So here is a look at my easy exercise week….which was not so easy mentally but needed.

Sunday: 3 mile trail hike

Monday: home: 1 mile walk with my kiddos, full body weight workout and 3 mile evening walk

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: upper body weights in laying/sitting position and rowing

Thursday: upper body weights and rowing+ 1.5 mile slow walk on level ground since my knee seemed to be feeling better today I thought I would give a slow walk a try. No pain during or after so I am hoping that it’s on the mend

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical

Not a week I was hoping for but it is what it is. I am trying to learn to listen to my body but at the same time I also know moving helps my body feel better. So it’s a double edge sword at times. In my heart I know walking on pavement, black top, and cement gives me pain. However, dirt trails are not always close by or time prevents me from making the trip to one so I settle for this alternative. Lately, with the snow and ice gone, I have been spending much more time on hard surfaces and I am hoping this is what is causing my joint issues. Time will tell…

 

52 Hike Challenge Officially Completed

If you all remember last year, near the end of September, I registered to do the 52 Hike Challenge along with my husband.

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Originally this was something I choose to do to keep me motivated through the long months of winter here in WI. Which was working out wonderfully at first. Then the holidays rolled around and it got to be a little harder to go outside when the temperatures dropped. Although, it did not stop us all together. If you recall, we even went for a family hike on Christmas Day.

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And shortly after that my hiking all came to a screaming halt for a while because of an unplanned abdominal surgery at the end of January. Obviously, my health came before any goals I had set prior to all this drama but I still had the knowledge in my mind that it is only 52 hikes in a total year and I REALLY wanted to finish. If only my body would have agreed with my mind after surgery all would have been good but clearly it did not. (And neither did my surgeon)

Although, about 9 weeks after surgery I did feel well enough to go on our preplanned trip to Arkansas and this was the first time I had put on my trail boots since being laid up. I remember it being a very emotional time…..for awhile there, while I was laying on my couch trying so hard to feel better, I did not think I would ever feel good enough to hike again. Granted, it was hard hiking in Arkansas and I ended up resting way more than normal on rocks and benches along the trail side, but I was there and doing it and that was all that mattered at that moment.

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Which now brings me to today. About three weeks ago, we complete the 52 Hike Challenge and honestly, even with 10 weeks off completely…..it was not that big of a challenge. It was fun, rewarding, and yes, it even gave me a reason to want to heal and feel better so I could attempt to finish before the year was up. Although, I have to give a big shout out to both my husband and son who helped me get through these rough few weeks after surgery. And also to two great friends who walked the local mall with me every morning during those long winter months so I did not have to walk alone when I was ready to begin rehabilitation.

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Without all these people I can’t say for sure I would have recovered as fast as I did and made it back to my beloved dirt trails as quickly as I did either.

So thanks everyone for helping me complete this goal!!!! I could not have done it without all of you.

 

Is There A Prescription For That?

After a few weekends of summertime fun and games I found that after every weekend I was back to recovery mode for a few days each week. I have also been watching an area of concern near my incision for some time now and decided to finally call my doctors office.

Yesterday, I went to the appointment and luckily left with good news….for the most part. The area of concern is not what we all thought. However, my soreness and swelling at the end of each day is bound to last a while longer…..and by a while, I mean probably another 6-7 months. So when this happens I was told this is my body telling me to slow down and take it easy a bit. Which, if you know me, is easier said than done!

As happy as I was to hear the area of concern was ok, my struggle was with the last part of the diagnosis…..the “take it easy a bit.” Is there a prescription for that? Because this is my time of the year to give it my all and have fun. In 6-7 months when I can give it my all it will be the dead of winter. Can’t they come up with a pill that slows people down or helps them recover faster? In this day and age, you would think so, but apparently not.

So after having a long discussion with my husband, I have come to terms with my slowed down lifestyle plan. (Well, I am trying to come to terms with it) I will be doing basic daily exercise: walking, yoga, and light weights (uggg). And when we return to the gym in fall, just cardio…..no weight machines. My weekends will be light paddling, swimming, and more walking.

If you ever had major abdominal surgery:

How long did it take to get back to normal life?

What exercises did you find helpful yet fulfilling during your recovery?

 

Currently……..

Life just seems to be so overwhelming these days that I often find myself wishing I could add a little more time to each day . Clearly that is not possible so let’s take a look at my life as it is currently.

I am reading: Free Country by George Mahood

I am eating: Bowls and bowls of veggie soup….my favorite

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I am trying to figure out: Who I want to offer childcare services to come summertime. I have been interviewing families for the past two weeks and now need to make a decision.

I am planning for: a trip I have been debating for a few years now and I have finally decided this is the summer it’s going to happen. I am getting healthier everyday, its not too far away, and it has everything we love….trails, parks, water, campfires, wildlife etc.

I am excited about: trying two new products I have recently purchased. One, my Cascala Turkish towels for the beach. Apparently these are fabulous, dry quickly, and are huge. So far all I can attest to is that they are huge…..now I need to take a trip to the beach to test these out. IMG_3382

The other item I am looking forward to getting lots of use out if is my Nemo camping comforter. I finally bit the bullet and bought one. Me and my mummy sleeping bag are not great friends…..I hope this is better. I will let you know after I test it out. IMG_3787

Making me happy: my husband who is completely on board with my plan to do more camping. We were so limited last year with his back injury that I am really excited to get out of the city. He has even started constructing an idea I had to transform the back of my SUV into a sleeping area if the weather doesn’t cooperate with my plans. What a guy….he would do almost anything for me. As I would him:)

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Looking forward to: starting to use some of my new workout routines. While I was recovering from surgery I read many, many, many magazines friends brought me and found some awesome ideas to change up my exercise routine. I have not been able to do a whole lot quite yet, but feel I am getting closer and closer to trying some out. This healing and getting back my stamina is much, much harder and taking much, much longer than I ever imagined it would. So this is probably the biggest thing I am looking forward to at this time.

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Do you have anything on your mind you care to share?

No Abdominal Workouts For Me

I came upon my one month mark where I was allowed to try an abdominal exercise of my choice according to my doctor. Needless to say, I did not even try!!! I wanted to in the worst way ever but I have learned to really listen to what my body is telling me and I know I am not there yet. Every evening when my daycare children leave I am sore, tender and tired.Clearly, I feel myself slowing down and getting sore faster toward the end of the week. I also figured out that frisbee is not my activity of choice quite yet. If my four year old could throw a bit better I could catch it, but since she is not quite at that level yet, every throw she makes I bend over and pick up. After 30 or so throws, I am done!!!!

I know eventually I will bite the bullet and give an ab exercise a try. Although, I am not willing to risk going backwards in my recovery. So for now, I need to be happy with what I am able to do and move on from here.

Here is what I did this week.

Saturday: 3 mile street walk

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Monday: 20 minute recumbent bike, 3 mile morning walk, arms and back weight routine

Tuesday: 1.5 mile morning walk

Wednesday: 30 minute recumbent bike, arm routine, stretching, 3 mile evening walk outdoors

Thursday: 20 minutes recumbent bike, arms, shoulders and legs with 10 lbs of added weight today…..yeh!

Friday: rest

My weekend looks pretty uneventful at this point. With yet another snow storm expected tomorrow, it really puts a damper on my lifestyle. However, I do have quite the list of “to do” items to accomplish. I think we have finally figured out where we are headed this summer for a mini vacation. It’s all written down on paper, now I just need to book it all online.

I also have a list to order with my REI dividend that I have been working on spending since it arrived in my mailbox weeks ago. We plan to do a lot more camping this year and there are a few things I know will add to the enjoyment of this for me. Specifically, switching out my mummy sleeping bag for a down camp comforter.

And my goal is to attend the gym twice this weekend. Hopefully my body agrees and allows this to happen.

For now, you all have a great weekend…see you Monday.

Do you prefer sleeping bags or comforters for camping?

Where is your favorite place to camp and why?

Let’s Chat Over Coffee….Wine….Tea…..

Let’s chat over a beverage of your choice, shall we? For me I think wine would be a good choice today. I have a bunch of random things running through my head lately that maybe getting them out may help me organize my thoughts. So here we go…

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This has been quite the year so far for our family. I, for one, feel as if summer is dragging it’s feet getting here and clearly, it’s affecting my motivation. For some reason I just cannot decide where to visit, what to do, or when to do it this coming summer. Typically I have my campsites arranged, dates chosen, and for the most part, plans made. This year however, I have NONE…..ZILCH!

Onto exercise, I have one word to explain this….FRUSTRATING! I am still so limited to what I can do, much less what I am allowed to do that it is driving me bonkers. I love walking and hiking but I feel as if it’s just not giving me the results I need. I feel so weak and that I have lost so much strength since surgery back in January that I want to start back weight lifting and doing ab work. However, my weight restriction is still limited and I am not allowed ab work for quite sometime yet. I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to things like this, so to say it seems to be taking forever, is honestly putting it mildly.

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Another item on my to do list in my own head is what to do for my husbands birthday which is right around the corner. I always struggle with this. I have an idea but to make this happen depends on one major element (Mother Nature) and that doesn’t always work so well so I feel pressured to at least have a backup plan.

Here is something that has amazed me recently. I did not talk about it much on here but for the past few years I have suffered from what my doctors have diagnosed as hypoglycemia. Well, much like many of the things I was dealing with on a daily basis, this too has seemed to disappear with my recent tumor removal. I thought at first it was because I was not exercising at all. Although, now I am exercising again and have shown no symptoms what so ever. This is a wonderful thing simply because now when I need to leave home, want to go to the gym or simply just want to go for a walk, I don’t have to look at the clock and try and remember when I last ate something and then calculate how long I have before I start having symptoms of low blood sugar. I can simply go back to eating when I am hungry instead of when I need to eat for blood sugar control. This is awesome!!!

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That’s it for me today. Ahhh, I feel a bit better getting some of that off my chest. Now if I could just get it out of my thoughts, life would be even better.

 

 

 

Farewell Gertrude…..Here’s What’s Next

As you all know I saw my doctor yesterday. I had a long list I needed her to give me permission to do which included exercise, go back to work, hike, fly to our vacation destination, and resume life as I knew it before Gertrude ( apparently, this is what my surgeon and my husband named my tumor after surgery) was found and removed. Well, I am happy to share with you all that I checked out good and she is allowing me to get back to life. However, she stated clearly this would be an uphill battle between wanting to do it all and fighting exhaustion for the first few weeks. Uggg, I guess you can’t have it all but something is better than nothing.

Which means I plan to go back to work in about two weeks, I will start exercising again with many limitations, and our vacation we had preplanned before all this medical stuff came about will be happening with a few changes.

First, let’s touch on work. I fully expect going back to work to be difficult. Any mother of three will know exactly where I am coming from. Caring for three kids solo of any age is not easy. I do however feel I threw their little lives, as they knew it, into a roller coaster ride and regardless of where they all found different care for the past few weeks, I feel I owe it to them to make it all good again. We had such a great routine and I will do anything I can to make the transition back easy and smooth. Thankfully they have all been here during my recovery to visit, so it won’t be a complete shock to return and see us all again.

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As for exercise, this is what helps keeps me happy and sane. I would love to jump right back into where I left off…..which will not happen for quite sometime. Being passionate and motivated by exercise is something I have learned to accept as a wonderful thing. I can be having the worst day ever and know that if I can just get myself to the gym or downstairs for a workout, I will feel so much better. Now, I do have the go ahead from my doctor to return to the gym and daily workouts. I cannot, however, do any abdominal workouts for another four weeks. At this time I can try something easy and if I experience pain, I need to wait another four weeks. This means that by summer time paddling my standup paddle board could be quite the challenge at best. Typically, our bodies of water here in WI are not quite warm enough to actually use until at least July, so that gives me about 8 weeks to condition and strengthen my core to be able to paddle my SUP again. Despite being limited to what I can do and cannot do, I will be documenting my workouts again to #1 be able to look back at for myself and #2 share with anyone else that has gone through a similar surgery and give them something to refer to in this situation.

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Briefly, I will touch on our hiking and vacation plans. We had planned to do daily hiking on this next vacation in a region that we have never visited before. Unlike our Utah vacations which are intense elevation, heat and mountainous terrain, this one should be much easier. Although, I still don’t believe I could have done a few of the hikes we had on the list, so we did ultimately plan alternate activities in place of these hikes. We do plan do do some geocaching, small hikes, and a lot of sight seeing. I have no doubt regardless of what we end up doing that it will be a well deserved break from life and a much needed vacation for my husband. He has had everything on his shoulders for the past few weeks, while I spent every day just trying to recover enough to go on this trip. So whether we hike, have a picnic on green grass, or just enjoy the break doing a whole lot of nothing, I know it will be wonderful.

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As the weather gets a bit nicer everyday and Spring inches closer and closer, I cannot wait to start hitting our local trails again. I need to start working on logging hikes for the 52 HIKE challenge I joined.

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I also can’t wait to dig out our front porch chairs and go back to having fresh sushi while enjoying the sunshine on my face.

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Eventually, we may will dust off those kayaks that did not get any use last summer after my husband sustained his back injury and do some paddling.

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To say I am looking forward to Spring with enthusiasm and excitement would be putting it mildly……the anticipation it almost killing me.

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