April 23, 2013

This Is Where It Hurts

So much for blog posting every day.  I really am trying.  But girl is BUSY, and I still haven't taken this on as a big part of my "job" yet.  So for now we will just have to suffice with "every day when I can" blogs.  Forgive me in advance, because this blog is a 3-in-1!

The weekend was a blur.  Saturday I busied myself working 3 of my howevermany jobs - up early to get to the Zumba studio after a late night Friday at my show, featuring the ladies of PUR in Indianapolis.  Oh man, they killed it.  Doing an amazing set of acts to the music of "Nine."  Since I'm a huge musical theatre fan, this was right up my alley and the audience loved it!

Then it was a few hours of accounting work for my company, getting the books up to date before heading over to call the 7pm show of Blue Man.  I grabbed a Red Box movie on the way home (Anna Karenina), but what was I thinking?  I was out cold on the couch not even 30 minutes in.

Sunday was the first day of sun that we have seen in over 3 weeks.  And I had the day OFF!!!  Miracle of miracles.  Having seen the weather forecast, I had already made a date with my new tri bike to see how far I could push myself.  The bike makes me very nervous - I don't like riding in traffic and I need to ride in traffic for at least 2.5 miles to get to the trails.  But I had a mission - to return the Red Box movie to the location I got it from (even though I found out after that you can return them to ANY box...doh) and then return home, hopefully in one piece.

After sleeping in until 12:30pm (mmmm...sleep) and watching the rest of the movie that I dosed through the night before (it was ok), I strapped on my fanny pack and my Garmin, filled up and locked in my water bottles, and was out the door with Trillium (my new bike).  

The toughest part about this new bike thing is the pedals and getting my feet into them.  And then getting my feet OUT of them when I want to stop.  I opted for the run-of-the-mill strapped pedals because spending another $400 on tri shoes and clips on top of a $1,700 bike almost made me want to throw up a little in my mouth.  Plus, who's kidding who?  I'm no pro.  Just the idea of getting my feet in and out of regular straps makes me feel like a badass on the streets, so we're gonna stick with mastering that skill for the time being.  And between you, me and my parents who saw me do it, not 30 minutes after the purchase of said bike in the parking lot outside the bike store attempting to do a victory lap, I failed to extract my foot on the first stop and keeled over in the most comical of all moves, knocking into the side of a red Ford Focus.  Oops.  My bike had its first "ding" 30 minutes out of the gate (car was fine).  Hence my nerves about executing a similar move in traffic.

I won't lie - I had a couple of minor heart attacks on Sunday.  Got honked at by an aggressive cabbie.  Decided to take a break at a stop sign and didn't realize the car beside me was trying to turn right and was waiting for me to go.  Almost took out a small child on roller blades who dodged into my lane (good thing those new brakes are still pretty tight).  But all in all, I made it to the Red Box and back, unscathed and flying high from adrenaline and endorphins.  And dudes - Trillium can MOVE.  I wasn't even messing around with the high gears this first trip out and already I was moving a speeds higher than I've ever experienced before once I got to the trails.  She is SO light, and such a huge difference from my Easy Rider "Roxie" who weighs about 30 pounds and makes me sweat not 5 minutes into a ride.  But I will say - the next mission - PADDED PANTS.  My ass is sore.  Very, very sore.  But the pain is worth it.  The glory of the wind in your face trumps the discomfort of the saddle.

Sunday night I ventured into the city to see 'American Idiot' at the Cadillac Palace Theater - Broadway In Chicago.  I loved every bit of it.  I'd be a terrible theater critic because I honestly like almost everything I see.  Unless it's REALLY terrible, I can usually find pretty awesome qualities in everything about live theater, and having worked in it for so many years from a variety of different angles, I really appreciate the hard work that goes into it.  Call me a lemming, but I also derive much of my own enthusiasm and excitement from the crowd around me.  And the audience at Sunday night's show was absolutely over-the-moon for this show.  Music fans are a bit of a different breed from musical theatre fans - and since this is a rock musical based off the songs of Green Day, the people in this audience were there to see a concert.  And that's exactly what they got.  It was a full-blown Green Day concert with a plot.  Gotta love that.  The choreography and effects were particularly outstanding.  I can't get over the undying energy of those actors - to headbang with such ferocity and still hit their notes without being breathy.  Wow.  Great night out.  I'm still getting used to doing things by myself.  But it's nights like this where I go where I want, see what I want, eat what I want and feel what I want that I appreciate being single and totally in control of my own life.  Sometimes I am struck by loneliness and wishing that I had someone to share these awesome experiences with, but then I remember how nice it is to be greedy sometimes and keep all of it for myself.  Sunday was a full day just for me, and I squeezed it for all the good juice it was worth.

If Sunday was a day for me, yesterday was a never-ending day of distractions and working for everyone else.  As are all Mondays.  It never fails that I hot the ground running on Monday mornings and have usually answered about 16 emails before I even get out of bed.  This is a week of deadlines and projects for me and I'm finding it hard to get even my regular job duties done, let alone everything else I have on the schedule for this week. (Shhh, don't tell anyone I'm blog writing in the middle of the day instead of getting other work done - but really, this is also on the "To Do" list now, so something's gotta give.)

Monday and Tuesday at my full-time job are accounting days.  I pull reports, cut checks and spend a lot of hours on Quickbooks.  Add to that the looming end of the month which also means payroll for my own company and a mess of other monthly items that need to be finished before May 1.  As far as Kiss Kiss Cabaret is concerned, this week is the deadline for a new ad campaign that we're launching in May.  Today is the print deadline for our design imagery, so there has been a flurry of emails (77 and counting in one email chain alone) to get that copy finalized and delivered to the printers.  Which lead to the realization that our website needed some updates, and our Dropbox folders of company imagery are a mess, and the Facebook account needs this and Twitter and Tumbler need that...it's a never ending list of things to do.  The good news is, I still love it all when it isn't totally annoying and exhausting!

Yesterday evening was the Run for Boston - a reprieve I had hoped from the day and all of my other responsibilities.  I was running with my good friend Kathy and was super excited to see her.  I haven't seen her since she ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in November, which I was also supposed to run but was nursing a foot injury from the Marathon.  The evening was brilliant; warm and sunny and a perfect breeze off the lake. 
There were so many runners signed up for the event that RAM ended up moving the start to the Lincoln Park Zoo so that we could run on the Lakefront Trail instead of on city streets.  I jogged over from work and found the group and got in line for my $20 t-shirt to benefit the Boston ONE Fund for all the families and people killed and injured last Monday in Boston.  I got one of the last shirts available (they were sold out by 15 minutes after 6pm).  We all gathered as they played the National Anthem, which made me tear up.  Like I've said before - it's a terrible reason to get together, and looking around at the rest of the runners there all in blue and yellow, their hats off to reserve a minute of silence and the flag at half mast, was an emotional trigger for me.  Such a beautiful night after such a horrific event.

After the Run. We're glowing!
Unfortunately, Kathy had the bad luck of a terrible cab driver and so she missed out on the ceremony of the event and the huge cheer that went up as all the runners took off north on the Lake Front Path.  Determined not to run without her, I waited at the start point while we were on the phone trying to find each other in the park.  I finally spotted her awesome pink jacket coming from where the runners were headed and jogged to meet up with her.  A quick hug was exchanged and we were off in hot pursuit of the larger group.  It was totally awesome running with this girl.  She too has lost over 100 pounds and looks just fantastic.  And our paces finally match up!  We're both coming back off long-ish breaks - her from her Half Marathon, me from the full, and we're both training to run the Women's Half Marathon together in June.  Then she goes on to train for the full Chicago Marathon this year while I will head up her support crew!  We didn't totally catch the group, but we did catch up with a few of the run/walkers at the turn-around point.

This is where it hurts...
But my calf was really tight.  I should have stopped at 2.5 miles.  I didn't.  I wanted to push through it and make it to the finish - for Kathy, for Boston, and for my stubborn self.  Wrong choice.  I limped off the finish point to find a tree to stretch.  After a walk back to my office, my leg was still in pain, and it's no better today.  I have been nursing this injury for a week already.  Two weeks ago I strained my left calf muscle - most likely from ramping up my training too quickly with two days of running longer miles and two days of Zumba (read: bouncing on my toes for an hour) in one week.  I knew it hurt, and that I should probably rest it.  So I did.  For a whole week.  I did swim and I did bike and I did do LOW impact Zumba (taking out all of the jumping), but I didn't run and I didn't bounce.  Still no bueno.  I knew it was still sore before my run yesterday, but by the time we were done I was visibly limping and every push off my left foot made it feel like my calf muscle was going to snap away from my Achilles tendon. DAMMIT.  I'm starting to worry at this point that the Marathon may have ruined me - I have done nothing but nurse low grade injuries since I finished that race.  But I have also gained some weight back and haven't been training as much, so I really need to get smarter about this and make a slower training plan.  Too much, too soon and now I'm benched for about a month in the running department.  We'll see.  I'm making appointments with my chiropractor and massage therapist for tomorrow so that I can hopefully nip this pain and recovery in the bud.  I'm also planning to start a pseudo-cleanse diet to try to get my body and weight loss back on track in the next couple of weeks.  It is time.  No more nonsense.

And finally, to end this epic post and my 3 days of crazy, it was my ex-boyfriend's birthday last night.  I really do try to stay friends with the guys I date, because honestly, I date some really great (just not great for me) guys.  So I wanted to go out and get a drink with him and some of the friends that I met through him while we were together.  Not to mention, I had a birthday gift for him that's been under my bed since Christmas that really needed to get out from under my bed...the cats were complaining about a lack of hiding space.  So I ventured out after my run, and meet-up with Kathy, and pulled calf, and knocking back a few Advil to see him at one of our go-to restaurant pubs.  It was nice.  And weird.  The first 5 minutes of greeting everyone was even a bit bizarre.  I'm that girl that broke his heart (and broke mine too in the process) and I haven't seen any of these people since we were together and in some cases not at all this year.  But eventually everyone dropped their guards back down to "friendly socializing status" and I ended up having a pretty good night.  The goodbyes were equally as awkward (do we hug? shake hands? argh...), but I arrived home to a text message from him saying that he loved my birthday gift (I got him a home brew kit), that he was really happy I came out, and that he was glad to see me.  Phew.  So hopefully we can continue on the friend level.  It's hard, and it isn't necessary, but sometimes I feel like I'm short on people in my life who really know me, and he's someone who does.  And isn't that what good friendships are made of?

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