Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time Off

Last week, I had a great time with my family. After tackling one little valgus knee replacement and one big 8-mile run, Erich and I left to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Virginia. Following a late dinner with Mom and Dad on Tuesday night, we relaxed and caught up on recent news before heading to bed. Wednesday brought with it rain, hard work, and a Southern Yankee. After coffee and oatmeal, E and I started working on an outdoor project he and Dad initiated back in the spring while Mom went to pick up Sarah from the airport. The day passed quickly, and I could hardly believe how great it felt to take a hot bath before heading to my grandparents' house for a bowl of homemade soup. We shared a great visit and helped to make Mamar's classic Marcia Cauble salad, a staple of any holiday meal, before getting some much-needed rest.

Early on Thanksgiving morning, Mom and I spent some time together, baking and listening to Christmas music. Sometimes it feels a little bit like a fairy tale to me! Dad and Sarah joined Mom, Bing Crosby, and me just before I went to Mamar's house to help her with last-minute cooking and cleaning before everyone arrived at noon. Mamar will always have coffee and a cinnamon roll, you know, just to 'tide you over' until the ginormous feast! Thankfully, my homemade mac 'n cheese experiment turned out better than my practice round. And slowly but surely, the rest of the family trickled in, Pop blessed the food, and it was time to eat. And watch football. And eat. And watch football. You get the idea. But this year, Dad, Erich, and I broke up the usual routine by taking a walk around the old homeplace. We went back to the old pond, speculated about animal prints in the mud, and explored a huge fallen tree. Nearly all of the cotton had been picked, but the remaining bolls were such a pretty contrast with the rest of the earthy tones in the late afternoon. I'm really glad we took that walk.

On Friday, we lounged around, then worked hard and finished the threshold/siding/deck project between snacks and updates on the Alabama/Auburn football game. Of course, no trip home to Virginia is complete without a cheese steak hoagie from Pino's Pizza. And for dessert, we decided to celebrate the completion of our project by roasting marshmallows in the chimnea on the deck. Best S'mores I've had in a while...

Following a fun road trip back to North Carolina, I went for my long run on Saturday afternoon before heading to Mama G's for Round 2 of Thanksgiving. Interestingly, I was shot with a Nerf gun by some neighborhood delinquents while running...but I smoked through the rest of my run, empowered by the lecture I gave them in their driveway. Kids these days...

It was wonderful to be back and relax over dinner and drinks with Erich's part of our family later that night. But halfway through the beating I took during a game of cards, I noticed my left leg pain. I've had this nagging, deep, pinpoint ache in my left leg for the past few weeks. And while I've had shin splints before, this feels very different. I took Aleve that night and rested instead of going for my 3-mile run on Sunday. But Monday night, after a 2-mile easy run, it was still very much there. And standing in the OR through 4 knee replacements, 1 hip replacement, and 1 bipolar hemiarthroplasty yesterday, it just didn't feel right.

So what to do? Today was supposed to be a 9-mile run. Nothing short of not running made any sense, so I caught up on CME and drank Russian tea and listened to the pouring rain outside, secretly thankful I wasn't out in it. It's an interesting point - the race at Disney World is only 5 weeks away, not the best time for left mid-tibia pain or burnout. BUT. They always say it's all about the journey. And I guess if I did every single run in my training plan cheerfully and painlessly, it would all probably be really boring. Plus, crossing the finish line wouldn't be nearly so sweet. So we'll see how this goes. I've never been so faithful in my training before now...and I've certainly never been 'injured' enough to require time off. Stay tuned...

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