Monday, March 24, 2014

Half Training Week 5

I feel like this is "Ferris Beuller's Day Off"..... Week 5?.... Week 5?.... Week 5?

I started week 5 almost a month ago, and sustained what I thought was a serious injury and was forced to take a break.  I was about half way through the week, heading into my long run.  I was supposed to run 7 miles, and when I finished up with mile 5, I suddenly had excruciating pain in my left foot.  There are pains that you can work through.... and there are pains that you can't and this was one that I just had to limp home and stop.  It was incredibly frustrating!  A couple days later, I tried to work out again and it wasn't happening.  Thinking that I was dealing with more plantar fascists, I decided I needed to take a 2 week break to rest it.

After 2 weeks, we had a freak snow/ice storm and were without power for 5 days.  And also displaced from our home during those days.  (((sigh)))  I did manage to do a quick 2 mile run one of those days in my in-laws neighborhood, but there was still some slight pain, and I can't deny that after 2 1/2 weeks off, it was TOUGH!

Then the next week got away from me.  If I'm really honest, when you take a substantial break, it is just SO SO hard to get back at it.  Your routine is off, and you just dread that first day back.  It's a mental thing I know, but it's hard to get back on track.

But here I am!  I'm back in the saddle, and I'm getting closer and closer to that half marathon date and I have got to get my butt in gear!  I did visit a local shoe store this week and have them measure my feet and watch my stride in an effort to find the solution to my foot pain.  You see, I had a bit of an epiphany.  Last Summer when I was doing P90x and also doing quite a bit of running, I didn't have any foot troubles.  It wasn't until this past Fall that issues started to arise-- for the most part I blamed it on over training.  I was running more, and doing some serious plyo type exercises with Turbo Fire. BUT, back to the epiphany, I also bought some new shoes in August.  The shoes I bought were a much cheaper version of Nike's than my previous ones, and they were very different in style.  After visiting the shoe store, I walked away with my mind totally blown!  Not only was I wearing shoes that didn't offer enough support for some over pronation issues that I have, but they were even the wrong size!!!  I had no idea!  So here's the Saucony's I got-- I'm hoping these will mean an end to foot pain.  They're my very first pair of Saucony, but they seem to fit well, and they have the proper support that my foot shape/size and my stride needs.  Can't wait to try them out, break them in, and verify this theory about my foot pain.

So here's the breakdown of this past week (really a little over a week):

Friday March 21:  Turbo Fire, Fire 40 Class and Stretch 10
Saturday March 22:  2 mile run with the boys in the jogger stroller
Sunday March 23: Ran 3.25 miles
Monday March 24: P90x Plyometrics
Tuesday March 25: Rest
Wednesday March 26: Ran 4 3/4 miles, Turbo Fire Abs 10 and Stretch 10
Thursday March 27: Rest.... Mandatory rest.... Looks like my theory about the pain being solely from the shoes, might be a tad off.  I have a few things to try in hopes of coping and healing and I'm gonna see where it takes me.  Very, very discouraging though! 
Friday March 28: more rest....
Saturday March 29: more rest.... 
Sunday March 30: and more rest.... :(

Thursday, March 20, 2014

So Long Microwave

So our microwave died last week-- I guess it had been on it's last leg for a while, but we never knew it. Our house is old, so I always assumed our issues with the microwave were more of an electrical problem as opposed to something being wrong with the actual microwave.  Weird things like every time we've ever popped popcorn, it would suddenly black out after and not come back on for a few minutes.  The first time it happened, we thought it was a fuse or something we needed to flip the breaker for, but we quickly learned that it had nothing to do with the breaker and that it just took time.  Usually about 5 minutes or so and it would blink back on, and it only happened when we used the popcorn setting. Anyway, one day last week I was reheating my food for lunch and after 2 minutes of heating it went out…. And didn't come back on.  

The original plan was to simply replace it, but after some searching, I discovered that the over the stove microwaves aren't cheap…. And that got me thinking, is the microwave really even necessary?  

After some thinking, and some conversation with people I know who don't even own microwaves, I knew we could go without, and that we could save some money in the long run.  The only dilemma we found was that once we removed the microwave, we realized that our "back splash" put in by the previous homeowners, didn't go beyond the height of what the microwave was.  Luckily though, thanks to some re-organization I did in the attic after putting away our Christmas decorations in January, I remembered that there was a large piece of countertop in the attic and that we could just remove the old piece and put up a new piece that was a larger size.  It was definitely easier said than done, especially since we don't exactly own the proper tools or supplies to cut countertop, but we got the job done and got the new piece up. 

Once the new piece of backsplash was up, we had to install our new oven hood.  (PS the duck tape was only there while our contact cement dried into place.  It came down once all was dry and sturdy.)  Daniel tried to sell me on the stainless steel model, but for now I think black is the safest option.  For one, the black was cheaper, but also, all of our appliances are black, so though the stainless would match the cooktop of our oven, until other items in the kitchen are stainless, I just felt like it would stick out funny.  

I don't think I realized how HUGE the microwave was until it was removed.  The stove definitely feels  less claustrophobic.  A lot more cooking space!

And then since I know you all are thinking, "what do you do without without a microwave,"  "how do you reheat your food?", or "how do you melt butter or pop popcorn?"…. Well to answer that, we got a toaster oven.  The toaster oven can pretty much do about anything you would use your microwave for. And what it can't do, our stove can do.  We can totally survive without a microwave!

…. And it's a really pretty red toaster oven at that!

I think this is the 1st "real" home improvement project (if you can even call it that) we've done since we bought our house a year and a half ago.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing?  I mean, our house was pretty much move in ready.  Would we like to change some paint colors?  Sure!  In a perfect world, would we have some pretty mosaic glass tile as the back splash or all stainless steel appliances and granite countertops?  Absolutely!  But for now, what we've got is working for us, and our focus is more on each other and our kids.  There's always home improvements that can be done, and there will always be little items on our wish list that we'll get to eventually.

And for anyone curious on if we saved money by not replacing the microwave-- absolutely!  The microwave/hood fan combos that I was looking at were in the range of $200-$250.  We bought the hood fan and the toaster oven, along with the supplies necessary to install and fix the backsplash all for $100.  Boom!