I ran.

photo (6)So…last night I ran. I ran for the first time in nearly 14 months. I wasn’t planning to run. It just happened.

I ran.

I am camping with my family and just before dinner last night I decided to walk down to the bathroom.

I ran.

After a few steps, I felt magic in my legs. My quads were loose and stretched. I felt my muscles come to life. They yearned to run. I figured, what the heck? Might as well try running the couple hundred feet to the bathrooms.

I ran.

When I got to the bathroom moments later, I felt my legs had come to life. I quickly took care of business and decided I would take the long way back to my campsite.

I ran.

Muscle memory kicked in. One foot in front of the other. I felt alive.

I ran.

My lungs burned. But I kept going, with a ridiculous smile on my face.

I ran.

I was determined not to stop to catch my breath. I refused to walk.

I ran.

It wasn’t far. It wasn’t fast. But that didn’t matter.

I ran.

Inspiration

You guys. I can’t tell you how much in AWE I am of my dear friend, Jamie Johnston. YOU GUYS SHE LOST A PERSON. A FRICKIN PERSON. 186 down, 14 to go. Plus, she’s running her first ever half marathon this Sunday. She is my hero. She is also going to smoke it (13+ mi training runs done in sub-2 hr fashion).

Jamie (left - today; right - 2 years ago)
Jamie (left – today; right – 2 years ago) Photo Credit

Jamie (HYMEEEEE), I’m proud to call you my friend, my Alpha Gam sister and an inspiration to someone like me who has struggled with my weight my entire adult life. Once my ol’ ankle is healed, I will be back in action. And I promise you. One day, WE WILL RUN A RACE TOGETHER.

Remember last year when I was trying to convince you to do a 10k with me? LOOK AT YOU NOW. Friends, send some good juju to Cleveland! Wish I could be there to cheer you on, Jamie.


If my sister wasn’t graduating from college Sunday, I would SO BE THERE.

XOXOX

♥ Amy

PS. Check out this article about Jamie’s story!

PPS. Head over to Jamie’s blog and give her some encouragement/advice for her first race!

PPPS. Check out this TV news story! SQUEE

The S word

So it’s been awhile. I turned 30. There were holidays. A wedding. Craziness at work.

Notice what’s missing?

Yeah.

Working out.

www.footsurgeryatlas.com

My foot/ankle situation hasn’t gotten better. In fact, it’s gotten worse.

On February 22, I will be having a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction surgery. It is as crazy as it sounds. If you are crazy like me, you will already have googled what this is. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a link to a step-by-step photo gallery of the surgery. Oh, and here’s video.

“Surgery involves making an incision on the side of the ankle to allow the surgeon to clearly see the torn tendons/ligaments and perform surgical repair. ” (Source: Ortho Foot and Ankle Center)

Basically, the surgery involves cutting ligaments in half, overlapping them, and sewing them back together. My surgeon is also going in to clean out the ankle joint and will remove the spurs.

I have three weeks to get my affairs in order – prep everything at work so that my coworkers can cover for me for however long I’m out of work and figure out what I need to bring to my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying during recovery.

I know I’m going to go crazy during recovery. I will need things to keep me busy. I figure I’ll sleep quite a bit the first few days, but after that, I will probably do a lot of knitting, crocheting, iPad gaming, documentary watching and reading. (So if you’re interested in one of my hats, place your orders soon!)

And, if you’re in the MKE area, please feel free to come visit. I will go stir crazy. And I’ve heard I’m fun when I’m on painkillers.

 

The marathon that wasn’t

I has a sad.

Remember when I said I wasn’t running the Lakefront Marathon (or Madison Mini or Brewers Mini) anymore?

Well, back in August I didn’t realize just how hard this weekend would be for me. I thought that, after two months of knowing the marathon wasn’t going to happen, that I would be over it by now. But this wave of emotion took me by surprise. I mean, I knew this weekend would be bittersweet for me, but I’ve missed races before due to injury and figured I would have a twinge of pain, but would be able to get through it without much thought.

So much energy and hope was focused on training for and running this race. I know it would have been hard. I know it would have been painful. I know it would have taken me FOREVER to finish. And I do realize it would have been even harder if my training stopped later than it did. I am lucky that I was taken out of training before the major marathon build-ups began (more than 13.1 miles). That fact doesn’t make this weekend any easier though.

Today was the race expo – one of my favorite things about big races. I love looking at all the gear, trying samples of different products, and experiencing all the excitement from having all those runners in one room. Everyone is happy – nervous – excited.

I experienced none of that.

In all, my first marathon race expo lasted less than 5 minutes. Here’s how it went:

  • Park car
  • Limp to MSOE’s Kern Center (expo location)
  • Get race packet
  • Limp to car
  • Cry
  • Head home

Throw in a teary call to my mom and you have my first marathon experience.

I’m not supposed to be on my feet for extended periods of time. Doctor’s orders are for me to be sitting or elevating my foot whenever possible. I may be off crutches, but I’m still not out of the woods. My doctor said right now it is critical I not do anything that could send me backwards again. Both he, my mom and a couple of close friends have told me NOT to head out to cheer for the race tomorrow (for my physical and mental well-being).

But some of my dearest friends are racing tomorrow. I want to be out there to support them. I want to show them all the love they’ve shown me.  I want to be out along the course to cheer for my friends who are racing for PRs. I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to do so. I hope they’ll understand if I don’t make it out. I’m trying to mend a broken heart, and a fucked up ankle.

Peaceful Warrior

Sweet baby Paxton ended his battle with cancer Monday morning. I cannot begin to understand or imagine the pain this family is going through. What I do know is that this family needs to feel our love right now more than ever. Even if you don’t know John or Danna or their families, please help them honor this sweet, peaceful little boy.

Please join us Saturday for a tribute to our Peaceful Warrior. Paxton has touched so many hearts in his short life. On, Saturday, we will pay tribute to this sweet baby boy.

Many of you have prayed, offered words of encouragement, contributed to his medical care fund, shared his story here and elsewhere, even though you may have never met the Andrews family. They would like to meet all of you. They would like to thank you. They want to be strangers no more.

Let’s surround this family with love on Saturday, and show Paxton that even in his short time here with us, that he was loved by his entire community, his own Army of Love.

I hope to see your beautiful faces on Saturday.

Arrangements for a tribute service have been made. It will be held Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Alverno College Rotunda and Conference Center. Visitors are asked to use the main entrance on 43rd Street in Milwaukee, and park in the ramp. Visitation will be held from 12 to 3 p.m., and a memorial service from 3-4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Paxton’s Angel Network (https://www.wepay.com/donations/paxton-s-angel-network). While our angel has joined the choir in heaven, the aftermath of his battle still remains, and there are other families who continue to fight cancer. Once the medical bills have been taken care of, Paxton’s parents will listen for the quiet whispers of his heart, and do his will for charity here on earth, in honor of Paxton’s quiet strength.

Rest now, little angel.

Team Paxton

Stuff

I’ve been on a weird emotional roller coaster lately. And not in a good way.

I’m still adjusting to the changes in my diet and how they are affecting my overall being – physically and emotionally.

Then there’s some other things that have happened that make me go, “Hmmpf. I don’t get it. I don’t know what I did, but apparently I fscked up or something. It would have been nice to know. So, you know, I can make sure I don’t mess up again.”

Oh well. I’ll have a good cry about it later. And then snuggle with Beep.

 

Good fortune

When I got home tonight, I found a 1-800-flowers box. I was confused, but opened it up. Inside I found this giant chinese takeout box.

Inside that box was this:

 

A giant fucking fortune cookie.

I opened the cookie and inside was this fortune:

Good luck on Saturday! I believe in you! Thank you so much for always being so supportive and encouraging. Sending positive thoughts, glitter and ponies…xoxo Tracey

I have the best friends ever. And no, you can’t have them.

 

Breaking the code

There are some things that go without saying.

  • Never ask a woman what she weighs (unless you’re a doctor, trainer or health professional)
  • Never ask a woman “of a certain age” what that age is
  • Never ask a woman if it’s that time of the month
  • Never ask a woman if she’s gained weight

Apparently, this needs to get added to the list:

  • Never ask a woman when she’s due

On Saturday, I had to swing by Target to pick up a few things before heading to an fair where I was selling some of my art. I quickly grabbed what I needed and headed to the checkout line (you know, after grabbing a venti soy latte from the Target Starbucks).

When I got to the checkout lane and placed my items on the conveyor belt, the cashier (who, mind you, I would estimate to be at least 50 lbs. heavier than me) asked me when I was due.

“I’m sorry, what?” I replied.

“When are you due?” she asked again.

Cue the stabby hate.

I looked at her, with a don’t-mess-with-me-bitch-or-I-will-cut-you look on my face. “I’m not pregnant,” I said, shaking my head as I swiped my debit card. Her eyes got wide and she clasped her hands over her mouth in horror.

The look on her face? Priceless.

The look on my face? Bitchy.

That look was enough to make her feel like shit for an entire century.

I don’t think this whole incident would have made me feel as bad as it did if it weren’t for the next thing she said.

“If it makes you feel any better, I get asked that question all the time,” she said.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

I ran to my car and started crying. And then I got mad that this made me so upset. I have been working SO hard to lose weight. In the past three weeks nearly a dozen people have asked me if I’ve lost weight, saying I look a lot thinner, especially in my waist. Truth is, I haven’t really lost weight recently… the weight has just redistributed itself. I have a more defined waist (and I think my chest is smaller), but it seems as though it all went to my gut. So I’ve been a bit self conscious about my lower abdomen, especially when I stand next to pregnant friends.

I just wish I could have gone back and told her off.

“Bitch, you just broke the fat girl code. We kicked you off the island. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.”

Ragnar Chicago Relay: Recapping Leg #25

This shall forever be known as the leg where Amy almost died.

I ran this leg on about 20 minutes of sleep. Yeah you read that right. 20.minutes.of.sleep. I was able to rest but only got about 20 minutes of actual sleep.

For the record, I do not recommend running 4 miles on 20 minutes of sleep when you have already ran 9 miles in the past 18 hours.

I did absolutely everything wrong prior to this run. I didn’t hydrate properly. I didn’t eat much. By 2am, we were exhausted and the thought of eating anything made me want to throw up. I knew I’d be relying on muscle memory and mental strength to pull this run off.

I got the slap bracelet from Marty and headed off in the misty fog for my final 4 miles through the City of Racine. The roads were quiet (it was 5 a.m. on a Saturday, after all) and I only encountered a handful of other Ragnar runners during this leg of the race. Most of the runners who did pass me looked about as good as I felt, which isn’t saying much. I saw (and did) much more walking on this leg of the race than any other. We were all running on empty. My legs felt like cement blocks. I had to will my legs to move. I walked more during this leg than the previous two legs combined, but I was still able to beat my pace goal for the race (and my recent half mary PR pace).

The course took us past the zoo and along the lakefront. I can’t tell you want a relief it was to see Lake Michigan! Yay! I’m almost done! I’m going to die! Wooot!

I couldn’t even tell you half the things I thought about during this run. I don’t remember. It was an out of body experience.

When I finished and passed off the bracelet to Matt J. I stopped dead in my tracks and bent over to catch my breath and stretch my hamstrings. Jordan H. put out his hand to give me a high five and I think I said something like, “I’m sorry, I can’t touch you right now.”

I couldn’t move. I needed to build up the mental strength to walk to the van. Tracey G. and Rochelle told me I looked so pale that they were afraid I was going to pass out or throw up.

I walked down the hill towards the van and made my dad take a picture of me. I have yet to see this photo, but I can assure you that it won’t be pretty. But it will probably be a favorite of all my race photos.

I got to the van and fell face first into the first row of seats (we had a 15-passenger van for the 6 of us plus driver). I passed out in that seat for at least an hour. I don’t really remember much. I know I told Tracey G. that I wasn’t able to move to send her off on her next leg and I also missed her passing things off to Anthony M Van H. for his last leg. At some point, the team stopped at McDonalds for some breakfast and I was able to talk long enough to ask my dad for a Sausage McMuffin with egg. He gave it to me and I ate it from my face in the seat position. I’m completely serious. I only turned my face far enough to eat the sandwich and only used my right had to open the package and feed myself. I was that exhausted.

The food helped revive me from my runner’s coma and I came to enough to wrap a blanket around me and cheer on Anthony M Van H. when he finished his final leg and passed things off to Jordan H. I was back to (almost) normal to see Rochelle off and meet up with the rest of our team at the final major exchange in Zion, Illinois.

Start Time: 5:10 am
Goal pace: 16min/mile
Splits: 15:17, 16:35, 15:47, 12:46 (.85mi 15:05 pace)
Average pace: 15:42
Total time: 1:00:23
Finish time: 6:10 am

Total distance: 12.82mi
Total time: 3:13:06
Average pace: 15:03
Goal pace: 16:00

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

Note #2: This post will be updated with photos as soon as I can steal them from my dad!