Weekend Recap + An Injury Update

TL;DR version:  Foster puppy adopted.  Ran two miles.  Hip/leg still hurts but not as bad.  Not ready to commit self to psych ward just yet.

As I briefly mentioned last week, my little foster pup Penny was adopted.  After having her for three months, she finally had a wonderful adoption application.  (Many, many thanks to Kara for that!)  Friday morning started off bright and early for Penny and I as her adopter lives clear on the other end of Tennessee–a 6-hour drive from here.

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Snoozing in the passenger’s seat just a few minutes from our destination, clueless that her life was about to change forever!

The family that she went to has another hound that they had rescued just a few months ago, two rescue cats, and three kiddos (the oldest is four!), so lonely is something this little girl will never be!  Of course I teared up when I left (and then ugly cried in the truck lol I’ve become so attached to this one), but seeing how happy she is in the pictures her new mom has posted to FB and texted me, I know she is right where she is supposed to be!

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Once I cleared away the snot and tears, I realized how famished I was.  It was after 4pm and I hadn’t had anything but a Larabar all day.  I used the Happy Cow app to find a veg-friendly place.  The closest one was a place called Cootie Brown’s.  The name cracked me up, and it was 2 miles away, so I drove straight there and had a delicious grilled veggie sandwich.

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I also used my dining-alone time to find a hotel.  I had told the rescue and the adopters that I would spend the night just in case anything went wrong and Penny needed to come back with me–plus I have a friend in Bristol that I haven’t seen in years, so that was a HUGE bonus and incentive to stay the night!  But I was on my own for that evening because Rebecca couldn’t meet me till the next day.  I had noticed road signs on my drive there that said “Asheville” so I knew I was only about an hour away.  I have always wanted to see the Biltmore Estates, so I came VERY close to driving on to Asheville to get a hotel so I could get up and go tour the Estates the next morning, but I ended up talking myself out of it.  It was supposed to rain the next morning, and the web site said that one should allow 6-8 hours to tour the entire grounds.  I was supposed to meet Beck at noon, so I nixed those plans (which turned out to be a good thing because it rained its ASS off the next morning).

The most reasonable hotel I found was a Red Roof Inn just a couple of miles from where I was sitting eating my dinner.  It was only $60 but it had mixed reviews.  I figured I’d give it a drive-by and check it out before I booked.  The grounds and lobby were super well-kept and the front desk dude was super polite (and spoke English!) so I took it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the room!  And I didn’t know that Red Roof Inns were pet friendly, so I’ll definitely keep them in mind from now on when I need to travel with pups in tow.

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Small but squeaky clean with a comfortable bed and pillows.  For $60.  Can’t beat that.  And the location was great.  It was within walking distance to a little strip mall with a Target, Books A Million, Pier 1, and TJ Maxx.  A little retail therapy was just what the doctor ordered after my emotional day.  haha

I came back to the room, called the hubs, turned on the tube, and was out like a light before 9:00.  I slept longer and harder than I can remember sleeping in a looooong time.  Funny how you can do that when you don’t have a snoring/tossing/turning husband sharing your space or a cat pawing at your head or demanding breakfast.  I slept until 6:30 and only woke up then because I was having a horrible dream about one of my dogs.  Leftover feels from the previous day, I’m sure.  I lounged around for a little while then got up and headed to my friendly neighborhood Starbucks.

Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!
Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!

As fate would have it, the Starbucks was directly across the street from a mall, so wiih still a couple of hours to kill before meeting Beck I headed to the mall for a little continued retail therapy.  The universe must have known I needed to do a little shopping before our NYC trip coming up!  I came away from the whole trip with three super cute outfits, a cardigan that I can wear over two of them if it’s cool, and a pair of sandals on the cheap.

I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit.  It's acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?
I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit. It’s acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?

Then it was time to meet Beck!  And like a terrible blogger, we didn’t take a single picture.  But we enjoyed a fabulous couple of hours over a delicious meal and fell right back into place where we left off the last time we saw each other about 12 years ago.  Yes, we’ve sort of kept in touch through FB, but there’s just nothing like face-to-face girl time.  We ended our visit with hugs and promises not to let it be another decade before we see each other, and I began the long drove home.

Sunday… I have no idea where Sunday went.  It started out normal.  I got up, made my coffee, and had some breakfast before 8.  I sat around and caught up on blogs, paid bills, etc., till D left to go to work sometime around 9:30ish.  Then I decided I wanted to start “unfucking my habitat.”  haha  I started with my closet.  Somehow it was around 10 when I went into my closet and much, much later when I came out, but the whole “unfucking” deserves its own post.

I grabbed Bella and Harley and took them to the park for a walk…which took forever.  There were SO. MANY. SMELLS.  haha

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Then when we got home I decided it was time to try out my leg.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve tried to run, at which time I was able to run 800 x 3 with walking and stretching in between, and by the end of the last one I was limping.  Since then I’ve had fairly marked improvement (although still not as much as I or my orthopedist would like).  I’ve changed physical therapists at his recommendation, to see what someone else can offer.  My pain level without anti-inflammatories is now where it was with them just a few weeks ago, but OMG can I just get healed already?!?!  It’s been over two months!!!  Anyway, I set out at a very slow pace with no plans other than stopping when it hurt too badly.  I was actually fairly pleased.  I ran one mile, walked a quarter-mile, stretched, ran another mile, and walked the quarter-mile home.  It was hard to get started again at the start of that second mile, but then it loosened up a bit and I was able to continue.  It was very uncomfortable by the end, but not anywhere near the level of pain I had at the end of my last attempted run.  I stretched and rolled the ever-loving shit out of it, but as I went about my evening I felt it getting more painful.  I popped my first anti-inflammatory in several days, and as I sit here now, the pain is almost back to where it was pre-run.  So although the improvement is not coming as swiftly as I’d like it to come… it’s coming.  Thank God.  Just in time, too.  I’ve been inching closer and closer toward a dark place with every day I don’t run.  Today, even though it wasn’t pain-free, I felt more like myself than I have in quite some time.

Baby steps.

10 Virtues Instilled and Strengthened by Pets

Most people that have kids like to say things like, “My kids made me realize what’s important in life, ” and, “My children make me want to be a better person.”  Well, I’ve VERY INTENTIONALLY never had kids, but I think the same thing can be said about pets.  Every single day, they help me exercise one virtue or another in some way.

Patience – “I know you’re waiting for me to pee so you can go to work, but I have to finish these snow angels first.”

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Wonder – Seeing a puppy experience things for the first time.

3-15-2015 - Penny 3

Sacrifice – “Oh you wanted to get a new bedroom suite?  Sorry, I just tore my meniscus.  Six months after I tore my ACL.”

11-28-2012 - Bella after ACL surgery

Forgiveness – We forgave them.  And then we bought crates while the couch was being reupholstered.  Lesson learned.

05-05-2010 - Dogs' destruction

Respect – I had to pee like a race horse when I took this picture, but he just looked so comfortable!  I couldn’t bring myself to disturb him.

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Compassion – This old girl just doesn’t get around like she used to and requires some special accommodations and extra TLC and spoiling.

7-1-2014 - C.C. on her 15th birthday 4

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Whimsy – Don’t mind us.  Just taking some doggy kissy selfies.

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Selflessness – “I know you’d like to go to happy hour after work rather than coming straight home every day, but remember we’re here waiting for you.”

3-10-2015 - Harley, Penny & Bella

1-31-2014 - C.C. 2

Service – “Psssst.  Wake up.  I’m hungry.”

6-9-2012 - Harley

Humility – Fostering is hard.  Let me rephrase that.  Letting go of a foster is hard.  Some more than others.  I’ve had this baby for three months, and her adoption was just finalized.  She will be going home tomorrow.  You love them like your own from the day you bring them into your family and then you just have to hand them over and recognize your place in their lives was only temporary–the bridge between what has been and what will be.  I’m trying to cram a lifetime of snuggles and kisses into the next few hours before I take her to her new family.  I know she’ll forget me quickly, but I will love her forever.

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My Running Favorites…Back When I WAS a Runner

Even though I’m not running right now, Holly at HoHo Runs tagged me to answer a few running related questions.  What a sadist.  “Oh, you’re still not running?  Let’s talk about the things you miss the most.”  Haha!

1 – Location:  Treadmill, road or trail?   Road.  Hands down  Always.  Road.  I’ve learned recently that the only thing worse than running on a treadmill is walking on a treadmill.  But honestly I can’t say anything bad about trail running because I’ve never done it.  I don’t have any near me.  I’d like to try it sometime.  Hey, look at that!  Another good reason to move to Colorado!

2 – Time:  Morning, noon, or evening?  Evening.  Most of my runs are done around 5:00, after I get off of work.  I’ve tried a few times to get up early and run before work to make up for a missed workout or something, and those runs always feel TERRIBLE!  Yes, I run in the mornings on the weekends, but that’s different because it doesn’t require an alarm clock.  I just run when I get up.

3 – Weather:  Sunshine, mild, hot?  None of the above!  I like it cold and overcast!  I’m not a warm weather girl at all!  But only when it comes to running–any other time I’m a sun-worshiper.

4 – Fuel:  Before, during, after?  I don’t give much thought to fueling for runs under 10 miles other than taking my Fuelbelt filled with Nuun if it’s hot out.  Runs over 10 miles get a Clif bar before, a gel or two (depending on how long I’m running) during, and a protein shake after for recovery.

5 – Accessories:  Music, watch, more?  Music.  Always music.  I HAVE to have music.  I positively cannot stand to listen to myself breathe.  And I’m a total data whore, so I always wear my Garmin too.  Always.

6 – Rewards:  Food, wine, or….?  Yes please!  All the things!  I definitely enjoy being able to fill that calorie deficit created by a long run with a little extra grub and vino.  🙂

7 – Type of run:  Long, tempo, intervals, easy, hills, progression?  I have two favorites here at completely opposite ends of the spectrum.  I love a nice easy run, but intervals are right up there with that for me.  I love that lungs burning, chest exploding, heart pounding feeling from a kick-ass intervals workout.

I think I was supposed to tag 7 people, but …. yeah, I just don’t do that.  Just tell me your running favorites in the comments!  It doesn’t have to just be these 7 things.  Tell me your favorite ANYTHING running related.  Come on.  Let me live vicariously through you.

Photo dump! Colorado Edition

We went to Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago for a little family vacation with my husband’s sister, her husband, and their daughter.  Their son lives there, and we all went out to visit him.  They’ve been trying to get us out there for a couple of years since he relocated there, but the timing has just never been right.  It all worked out this year, and I kinda hate myself for not going sooner!  I loved absolutely everything about it.  But rather than bore you with details, I’ll dazzle you with photos!

PIKE’S PEAK – We couldn’t get all the way to the top of Pike’s Peak the day we went.  From the bottom it’s like 19 or so miles to the top, but they had it blocked off at around mile 16 because they had just gotten a heavy snow and didn’t have it plowed.

3-30-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at Pike's Peak

3-30-2015 - Pike's Peak Panorama 2

3-30-2015 - Pike's Peak Scenery 7

3-30-2015 - Pike's Peak Scenery 15

3-30-2015 - Pike's Peak Scenery 17

3-30-2015 - Pike's Peak Scenery 19

GARDEN OF THE GODS – I’d like to go back and spend more time here and hike more of their beautiful trails.

3-31-2015 - Garden of the Gods - Dewayne & Pam 2

3-31-2015 - Garden of the Gods - Dewayne & Pam 5

3-31-2015 - Garden of the Gods Scenery 11

3-31-2015 - Pike's Peak as seen from Garden of the Gods

MOUNT CUTLER – We all (dogs included (not ours–our nephew and his girlfriend’s) drove to Mount Cutler to do another short hike.  It was short, but it was challenging because of my hip.  Going up was fine but coming back down the steep parts really hurt.  But the view was totally worth it!

4-1-2015 - Mount Cutler - Ellie & Isis

4-1-2015 - Mount Cutler - Marty 3

4-1-2015 - Mount Cutler panorama

COLORADO WOLF AND WILDLIFE CENTER – This was hands-down one of my favorite things we did while we were there.  This is an amazing facility offering refuge and sanctuary to these beautiful creatures.  It was very educational about the fur industry and the impact of wolf hunting and how it’s harming our ecosystem.  It was amazing to be standing so close to these animals.  And when they all started howling?  OMG.  Goosebumps.

4-2-2015 - Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center 5

4-2-2015 - Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center 16

4-2-2015 - Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center 17

THE MANITOU INCLINE – This “trail” is known for being one of the most extreme and difficult trails in Colorado.  It’s slightly less than a mile long, but in that mile you gain 2,000 feet.  It was brutal, but it was amazing.  It starts off at a fairly low grade, as you can see in the first picture from the bottom looking up.  But once you get about halfway, the incline grade increases dramatically–up to 60% at times.  We hiked up the incline but rather than go back the way we came, we hiked down a section of the Barr Trail.  This is a must-do for anyone visiting the area looking for a challenge!

4-3-2015 - Manitou Incline

4-3-2015 - Pam, Taylor & Justin at the top of The Incline
Me, my niece, and my nephew–the only one of our crew who were willing to tackle this hike!
4-3-2015 - The town as seen from The Incline
View from the top.
4-3-2015 - View from the top
View from close to the top, just after starting the descent down Barr Trail.

Weekend Recap

Holy shit, y’all, where has this weekend gone?!  I seriously feel like I just left the office and here I am winding down in PJs at 9:30 on Sunday night!  It’s been a pretty hectic two days, but it’s all of my own doing.  I was too much of a “yes” woman for this weekend!

A friend and co-worker asked if I would work for him Saturday so he could take off to go to his boy’s baseball tournament in Nashville.  YES #1

Another friend asked if I could dog-sit for her while she went to Knoxville for the weekend.  YES #2  I paid for that one.  lol  Gnash hadn’t been here 10 minutes before he discovered a mudhole in our back yard and proceeded to be a bad influence on my dogs and show them how much fun it is to wallow in mudholes.

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Last week a lady involved in dog rescue pulled a bloodhound from our local shelter after she’d secured him a spot with a bloodhound-specific rescue.  He had to get to his trainer on Sunday so she could work with him for a while on some issues before sending him to that rescue.  I was asked to transport him to his trainer on Sunday.  YES #4.  And sort of related to that one, a couple of weeks ago I moved a nursing momma dog and her 12 puppies to a foster about an hour and a half from here because their elderly owner needed help with the puppies but they were too young to be separated from momma.  He has surrendered the puppies to rescue, and now they are weaned and momma was ready to come home.  Soooooo I was asked if I could come get her and take her back to her owner.  YES #5

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Sweet pretty momma…who will never be a momma again! The rescue her puppies were surrendered to will be paying for her spay as soon as her milk dries up. Sometimes rescue can be as much about helping the owner as helping the dogs.

And Sunday afternoon after I finished hauling dogs all over West TN, D and I did this!

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No more mud hole!  We had been saying for a while that we needed to do something like this because it got really trampled down this winter and has been getting really muddy when it rains, but the dogs’ Friday afternoon shenanigans lit a fire under our asses.  haha  And all the dogs were a big help, as they always are with yard projects…

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I hope everyone’s weekend was as beautiful as ours!  We all soaked it up because it’s supposed to rain for the next seven days!  Thank goodness we got our stones down before THAT!