Thursday, September 29, 2016

A day In This Life- The Pain On my Neck

I have been putting off doing the Day In the Life post for a while, so here goes my Monday.

4:45 am – A sharp pain on my neck woke me up, I was sure it was time to be up, so turned to check my watch for the time. After realizing it wasn’t time to crawl out of bed, I tried to go back to sleep, and tried to find a comfortable spot for my neck with no luck.

5:55 am- I slowly crawled out of bed, the pain on my neck sharper than before. I went to check on my Love Nugget and turn off the AC. Roger insists on keeping the AC turned on, because he gets hot at night. It was about 55 degrees outside, so I turned off the AC and got in the shower. I’m going to start telling him to sleep outside, if he refuses to turn the AC off.

We got ready for school and work, Love Nugget ate half of his breakfast, multigrain waffles and greek strawberry yogurt.

7:02 am- We left for work and school. There was a chance I would be arriving to work ON TIME!! Or close enough.

7:10 am-School drop off can go either really good, or become a disaster, it seems lately my love nugget has not been in the mood for being up so early. Today it went well, we adverted the morning meltdown with a vanilla muffin and warm milk.

7:32 am! I was almost on time for work! I will go ahead and count 7:32 as a victory, given how all of last week I was at least 10 minutes late every day! . Ma, look at me, I’m almost on time for work!!

The first part of my morning is almost always a blur, I know I got up and did a bunch of things, but my recollection of them is not very clear by 8:00 am.

8:00 am- I ate my breakfast at my desk. My oatmeal and my greek yogurt. And like Karen, I was starting to think of Lunch.

A couple of weeks ago, my co-worker broke our coffee pot. We are the only ones who use the coffee pot, I bring in the coffee and the filters, but I don’t mind sharing the coffee with him. He is not going to buy a new coffee pot, and neither is the company, so it falls on me to buy another coffee maker. But it wasn’t in my budget this last paycheck, so I brought in my baby coffee maker from home and we made 3 batches of coffee. I might just keep this one here and buy myself a new coffee pot.


The pain in my neck was awful all day long, I went to the bathroom around 11:00 am and stretched my neck, trying to bring some sort of pain relief to my aching neck. But it only got worse.
By 1:00 pm the pain on my neck was starting to make me feel nauseous. I fantasized about putting a warm compress on my neck and feeling the pain relief, but this was not an option.

At 1:15, I was starting to feel grumpy from not eating, so headed to lunch. I went to the Philly Cheesesteak place, because I felt that after being in pain all morning, I deserved a hot gooey cheesesteak! It was delicious!


While at work I was listening to the Fresh Air Interviews of Christopher Eccleston and Samantha Bee. Both were too short. I could listen to Christopher Eccleston talk for a long time. I think I need to watch that season of Doctor Who again. He is awesome. I also finished my audiobook.

I left work at 5:00 and headed home in the cloudy and gray day. I was in so much pain, I wanted to go to bed, lie down, have somebody bring me warm food and let me sleep. But I was picking up my son and making dinner, so I told myself to ignore the pain and keep moving along.

We got home close to 6:00 because traffic on 83 was backed up. I got to making dinner right away; I was going to make Chicken soup and rice, because the day was cold and gray. I changed my clothes and put on a warm hoodie, and asked Roger to turn off the AC! Or that he could go hang out outside.

I put the chicken with seasonings in the pot to cook in the stove, and then realized we were out of cilantro, carrots and long grain rice. So I quickly drove to Karns to pick those items up, or dinner would not be tasty.

My son worked in his homework while I cooked and drove to Karns. He stayed home with Roger. While I was in Karns he sent me a text message asking if he could watch Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, I said yes, because he had already finished his homework, but only for 15 minutes.

I returned and ended up making noodles to go with the chicken. It all turned out delicious!My son refused to touch the noodles… but ate the chicken. The pain on my neck was driving me mad, so I didn’t fight it and just let him eat his chicken.

I know this is a very long day in the life, but trust me, this is how my days are… long !

My son got in the shower by 7:20 and surprisingly was out by 7:40. I washed some dishes and put away some laundry while he was showering. I also packed his lunch, because my goal was to be in bed by 9:00 pm.

I won a Hat from Nuun on Twitter a few weeks ago, and my son totally rocks this hat so hard!!
After Love Nugget talked to his Dad, we got to the second part of his homework, his reading. He read me Diary of A Wimpy Kid for 15 minutes, then I read him for 15 minutes. It’s our deal, he reads to me and I read to him.

I went to finish packing lunches and cleaning the kitchen. There were more dishes in the sink than I remembered, but I don’t like going to be with dishes in the sink, so I got to washing. Then I got distracted when I remembered the trash needed to be taken out. So out I went again.

By now it was 9:15 and my neck and shoulders were killing me slowly with pain. I told myself to finish the dishes and go to bed. I turned put on music on my phone and put on my headphones. I finished packing lunch, washed the dishes, laid out my son’s clothes for the next day, checked my son’s book pack for glasses, books, reading logs, packed my lunch and signed the 4 papers my son’s teacher sent home for my signature.

I very much appreciate my kid’s teacher, but having to sign everything my son does feels a bit excessive. I have so sing his reading log, his agenda, his math homework and his behavior chart. The agenda is basically saying that he has to do math and reading homework. If I don’t send it signed, she sends it back with a giant red circle around the missing signature. It’s like I’m back on second grade, and I am on the bad behavior list.

OMG!! I’m exhausted reliving my day!

It was 10:25 pm when I finally headed to bed. Roger was still watching the Debate, so after I turned off the lights I left him the nightlight on, so he could still change and not have to get ready for bed in the dark.

Only he wasn’t having a good night, and couldn’t find whatever he was looking for in the dark and turned on the light around 10:49 pm. I know because it woke me up. I wanted to strangle him, but something tells me, those are normal feelings for being woken up after 15 minutes of sleep.

I finally fell asleep again at 11:00. And Guess What?? the next day, I forgot that lunch I packed the night before!

So, that was my day! Mondays are always crazy busy at work and at home.

How long is your day?
Do you have to sign everything the teachers sends home? 
When was the last time you had a Philly Cheesesteak? 
Are you hungry for lunch before you finish your breakfast? 
Any Neck pain relief ideas? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Visiting Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park has been on our list of places to visit for at least 2 years now. We made the drive out there last Saturday.

The directions on the iPhone said for us to make a right on this tree covered area... there was no place to make a turn, just trees and mountain. We kept driving along the road and decided to find the park entrance on our own. This is the second time the Maps on the iPhone drops us off in some random location, when looking for a state park.

We saw a small parking lot that had a camera sign next to it, so we parked the car and went to look. And we found this amazing overlook.


The pictures don't do the view justice! It was beautiful!

We kept driving down the road, and came to the Ohiopyle town. There were canoe rentals, bike rentals, white water boating tours. I have not been to a park with a town in the middle of it, so this was a nice experience. We had pizza for lunch, then we headed out to check out the falls and do a bit of hiking.

This is the first thing we see when we park the car:

And this is the view from the park office

And the view of the closest viewing point. At this space, a girl wearing only shorty shorts and a sports bra, asked us move because we were on her picture shot. I refused to move, and she rolled her eyes at me and stood there until I moved to get her picture. I wanted to punch her.... I was in a weird mood that day.

We picked to see the Cucumber falls, because they were the closest to us. I mapped out our route on the map, but Roger saw a sign on the road and wanted to follow that instead. We had to walk up a road hill, in which cars were speeding by. It was scary. I chose to walk behind the road fence, because the walking space on the road was not big enough and I wasn't in the mood to risk my life.

The Cucumber falls were very dry and there were a lot of kids taking weird pictures. I think it was bring your College Graduate to the Park day... This kids didn't look older than my brothers.

We took the plan trail, Meadow Trail, back to the car. It was marked as an easy trail, but it was not an easy hike. There were climbs, lots of rocks, and small trails. But I enjoyed the hike very much.


We walked along The Youghiogheny River and took some more pictures.


We hiked into the Natural water slides, this was pretty cool. The slides were smooth rocks, from which water ran through, there were a few people on the slide. It looked scary to me.


After our hike, we went for ice cream.

It was a very short trip, but it was a great adventure! We plan to go back soon to hike longer and check out the other two water falls, the walking bridge and the other overviews. We also talked about going there to do some boating next summer.

Ohiopyle, the town, reminded me a lot Jim Thorpe, which then made me miss Jim Thorpe. Ohiopyle is going on my top 5 State Parks in Pa.

What is your favorite state park?
What is in your Have to see park on your list?
What do you consider an easy hiking trail?
Have you ever done boating on rapids?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Races

It seems that lately I'm on full denial about everything until it happens. I was on full denial about summer coming to an end, until it was officially done last week. The other week I sat down and reviewed plans for my fall races, and hope to add a few more.

Registered For

Hershey Half Marathon- I'll be back for the second year. I'm excited to run this course with more experience. Roger will be running with me, and he is planning to beat his Half PR.

Hero Run 5K- This is my 3rd year running this race. My speed has suffered a lot this past training round, but I am excited for this 5K. Still thinking of costumes for the race.

Thinking about

SMT Turkey Trot 5K- This is a huge race in New Cumberland, I loved it the first year and I'm excited to run it again this year.

Girls on The Run 5K- I love the Girls on The Run races! and my cheesesteak guy always asks if I'm going to run it, because his daughter runs it. I can't risk losing out on cheesesteaks!

Gettysburg Half- Roger is going to freak when I tell him I'm thinking about this one.

Firebolt 5K - Not sure about signing up for this one yet... not sure what is holding me back. I think my son has a soccer game that day.

In other non running related news, I'm considering giving up Zumba. I went to the YMCA a couple of weeks ago for their Zumba class, but I didn't like it. I left feeling sad and empty... I know that is quite dramatic for a zumba class, but I shouldn't have to force it. I'm going to give it at least 2 more tries and make a decision by next month.

Oh my god! I think I bored myself talking abut my running plans... I hope you stayed more awake than me to read this! Thank you, if you did!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekly Wrap - Hershey Half Training 9.24.16

Good Morning Sunshines! how are you today?

This was a slow week, but some running and errands still got done.

Thank you  Holly and Tricia for hosting the Weekly Wrap post! Linking up with these super awesome ladies today.

Thursday: Weights and 4 miles
Friday: Weights and 4 miles Progression (I put myself on repeat)
Saturday: 2 mile hike at Ohiopyle State Park
Sunday: 11 mile long run

After 2 weekends of races, I didn't know what to do with myself while not on taper mode, it was like I forgot how to be on training mode. I also didn't know what to do with no race on my weekend... but I managed to find something to do.

On Friday I headed to TJ Maxx and was just looking around while I found shoes for work! I know this doesn't sound very exciting, but it was!! I have been looking for plain black shoes for work for the last year! My old comfy shoes at work are on their very last leg, like barely holding together.

On Saturday, after my son's soccer game, we finally headed out to Ohiopyle State Park. This park has been on our list of places to visit for over 2 years, and we were sad that it took us this long to get there! It was amazing! We did a very short hike, and took lots of pictures.

View from Ohiopyle

Youghiogheny River

Last week I signed up for my first ever Virtual race. Last year I found the Hogwarts Running Club, and have been wanting to do a virtual race with them, but kept missing the sign ups. I signed up for the Plataform 9 3/4 K (6.058 miles), but I didn't have any 6 mile runs until next month, so I switched it to a 9 3/4 Miles, because I had a long run scheduled for Sunday. The Race benefits Carry The Future, an agency helping Refugee families with Children.

Sunday after I picked up my son, we had a little scare. We were vacuuming my car, when a bee stung my son! He started yelling that it hurt, and it stung, but the vacuum was so loud that I didn't hear when he said he got stung by a bee. I kept asking what was wrong, and he kept saying it hurt. Then it clicked, I had seen a bee a minute before. I quickly (but not calmly), put him in the car and drove us to the nearest pharmacy. I kept asking him if he could breath, and he kept yelling that it hurt! I got him some Benadryl, an ice pack, After Bite medicine, and a donut. The donut is a Mexican superstition, that if you have a sudden scare, you need to eat something sweet. He was ok, and now we know, he is not allergic to bees! <-- this incident made me age 3 years!

Are you allergic to bees?
How comfy are your work shoes? Or do you wear your stylish shoes to work?
Tell me about your Virtual races!
Do you deal with emergencies calmly?


Friday, September 23, 2016

Five Friday - Fall Edition

Fall is here! Like any warm blooded human, I enjoy the first days of fall, the leaves changing colors, but because I'm still human, there are thing I'm not looking forward to about fall. So, today I offer you a mix of things that fall are bringing my way, and how I feel about them.

1. I am excited for all the Fall festivals we will be attending! There is The National Apple Harvest Festival next weekend where we will over indulge on apple everything! We will do our yearly visit to the Corn Maze and this year for the first time, we are going to the Harry Potter Festival in Philadelphia. I'm still debating whether or not to dress up. If I dress up, I want to be Narcissa Malfoy or  Snape.... because Narcissa's fashion is always on point ! and Snape because he is one of my favorite characters.

We will be loading up on apple pancake syrups

Apple pancakes are delicious
2.  Fall Races and Fall Running- I'm excited for the races, I have mixed feelings on the weather. I am signed up for 2 races right now, and considering 3 more.

Hershey Half Last year

3. I'm excited for Halloween ! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I love taking my son around the neighborhood trick or treating!

4. I am not happy about the days getting shorter. I just don't like not having the sun around as long.

So less sun is no fun, but the colors of the sunset are pretty amazing!
5. I am more than excited and ready to add hot foods to our dinner lists- Chicken soup, chicken potpie, enchiladas! But I will miss the pasta salads.

What are you excited for this fall?
What are you Not excited for this fall?
Is there any fall festivals you will be attending?
Should I dress up for Harry Potter festival? Which character should I dress as? Narcissa or Snape?
What fall races are you running?
What warm foods are your favorites in the fall?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Amazing Gift From My Mom

I want to start by saying that both my parents are very generous and caring people. They both travel to Mexico often, and most of the time by bus. When they return they have stories of how they helped somebody along the road, my Mom always gives up a sweater or jacket to a person without one, my Dad buys food for people who can't afford it or who he sees struggling to order something. This are just how my parents are, wonderful, caring and generous people.

A couple of weeks ago, after my BIH 5K, my Mom handed me a Guatemalan bill on a frame and told me this was my birthday present. She said that I could cash it in and get about $11 for it. I said thank you, and I wish I could tell you that I asked how she came upon Guatemalan money, but I didn't. I was tired and trying to get ready for bed, prepared and worried for the Half Marathon. So the picture frame was left on their coffee table after she handed it to me.

The next day, I was packing to return home, and I asked where my Guatemalan money was, and my mom had moved it to a safe place, to keep my niece from hurting herself with the frame. My mom asked me in a quiet voice, if I wanted the bill, that she knew it wasn't a good gift, and reminded me that I could cash it for dollars. Then she told me the story of how she came upon the Guatemalan Money.

A Guatemalan Woman and her child were traveling on the same bus as my Mom and Dad. As they were waiting for their bus, the woman approached my Mom and Dad and asked them if they could change her Guatemalan money for dollars, explaining that she and her child had not been able to get anybody to change them the money and had nothing else, and they had not eaten in 2 days! My Mom said that she took the money from her and gave her a $20, knowing her Money was only worth about $11. I don't know where they were at this point, but my Mom says that there were no restaurants or stores nearby that had any food. But My Mom gave the woman and her child some of the food she had, oranges, cookies, and peanuts. At the next bus stop they bought her and her son something to eat and drink. And told her to save the $20 for their next stop.

Then it hit me, My Mom gave me an amazing gift! She gave that woman and her child food! and by giving me the bill, she gave them food and drink on my behalf! I had tears on my eyes when she was telling me the story, and hugged her and thanked her for this amazing gift.

This story hit me specially hard, because I cannot imagine my son going without food or drink for 2 days. And I'm blessed to have such wonderfully caring parents who will split their food with perfect strangers, take off the sweater off their backs for a child or woman, and help a mom feed her child.

And to think that while I was there, worried about how to run a race for fun, a race that I paid more then $20 for, there are other humans out there who don't have money to eat. It makes me feel like an awful human.

Thanks Mom!

What great non-gifts Gifts have your parents given you?
What are your parents like?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Philly Rock 'n Roll Half- Race Recap

Philly Rock ‘n Roll Half
Race Date: September 18, 2016
Weather: Cloudy, 76% humidity, 76 at start of the race, little windy.
Race Website:

Goodies: Shirt, small free samples in the race bag and snacks at the end of the race.
Long Race Recap coming up- and this is the abbreviated version,
without the fight on leaving at 5:30 am and who forgot what ... 
but summary at the end. Feel free to look at the pictures and
read the summary,
I won't judge.  
Bib Pick up
Bib Pick up was in Philadelphia on Saturday and Friday. We headed out there on Saturday, after soccer.  Rock ‘n’ Roll races are so large, that they only allow bib pick up during the Expo days. I asked and pleaded for DC, this is how I learned this.
This was the second time I’ve taken my son to a running expo, and he LOVED it! He carried my sister’s bag and told everybody he came across that he would be running the Half Marathon, and that it was his first. All of that caused those people to give me a very concerned look, at first I explained that he wasn’t really running it, but he was telling so many people that I gave up and ignored the looks.
He got a lot of different freebies at the booths, a cooling pack and a pair of flip flops, coloring pages, a cowbell, free samples of energy bars, pins, stickers, a water bottle, candy, and his absolute favorite, an inflatable electric guitar.
Heading to Philly
We left O-Town later than planned… everybody was to blame a little for this, so nobody complained. Again we got breakfast at McDonalds, because it was the only thing opened.
Sister #3 dropped us off about .75 miles from the start line, and went to park the car. I was so grateful that she was there to do this without us having to panic and rush to find a parking deck.
The bathroom lines were long, but more manageable than DC. They were pretty rank by the time we got there, so that called for lots of hand sanitizer and water.
The Race
Everybody was in different corrals. Roger put himself down to finish under 2 hours, which put him in corral 11. I set my time for 2:03 ( which I set in June) and corral 15, and Nina (aka) Sister #2 put her goal time at 4 hours, and was down at corral 22.

The Race started on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for anybody who is not from Philly, this is the street that has all the country flags along the street. When Sister #3 was looking for me and Nina, we were texting each other what flag we were under. So I was completely blown away that the flag at the start line was Mexico!

I wore my Mexican Themed skirt for the race, in honor of Mexican Independence Day few days before
I have walked a lot of Philadelphia many times before. There is an immigration office there, as well as the Mexican Consulate, and we have visited for many other reasons. I visited with 3 different uncles, two who sadly passed away and one who was in a terrible accident many years ago, so the memories of walking this streets with my uncles many years ago, brought tears to my eyes. Then I told myself to dedicate this run to them, because they no longer can run. My uncle Martin, may he rest in peace, used to call the William Penn Statue "La Mona" (The Doll), and to this day we still call it La Mona.... like Mr. William Penn "La Mona"

A Shot of La Mona the day before the race

running by City Hall
Most of the race was flat, but my goal was to finish it in 2:10, 11 minutes slower than my last Best Time in a Half Marathon, but 7 minutes faster than my BIH Half the weekend before.
One of my favorite things about Rock 'n' Roll races is that there is so many people and such amazing energy all around! Also the bands along the route are absolutely amazing, for the 5 seconds I get to hear them.
I had to stop and pee at mile 2, and I was in such a rush, that I didn't lock the portable toilet, so a man opened the door as I was getting ready to jump out. Oooops!!
I loved the entire course,  even when it felt like Kelly drive was never going to end. But it was so cool to run next to the river and the mountain, this was a part of Philadelphia I had not seen before.
I passed Roger at mile 6. My shorts keep riding up my butt, and it felt like I spent mile 6-9 picking a wedgie. This caused my shorts to chafe my leg.
Everybody around me was drenched in sweat, some men were even losing their shorts because they were heavy with sweat, and I saw a couple hairy butts.
Between mile 9 and 13, I saw two collapsed runners. I always feel bad for not stopping to help, but both were surrounded by so many people, that I didn't want to be on the way and kept moving.
I crossed the finish line at 2:04 something, according to my watch.
I went to get water and chugged it really fast, doing this gave me stomach cramps. I stumbled around the finisher area not knowing what to do with myself. Roger and Nina were still out in the course and I wanted to be there at the finish line, but I also wanted to take off my wet clothes. I walked around the finisher area and grabbed whatever snacks they handed me.

Roger finally crossed the finished line about 20 minute later, and Nina 6 minutes after. They were both proud and excited to have completed their race.

After we all found each other, we stretched for a bit and started to walk back to the car. I reluctantly collected my Eastern Odyssey medal. (RnR allowed runners who couldn't make it to VB to complete the 13.1 miles on their own to still qualify for Eastern Oddyssey)
Post Race 
Once we got to the car we changed out of wet clothes and headed to my parents house.  And guess what I forgot to pack? My underwear! and accidentally threw my clean and dry sports bra with my wet clothes and couldn't find it.... this is a problem because 90% of my clothes are black, and things often get clumped together. So I was only wearing 1 layer of clothes all the way back home.
Everybody napped on the drive back, except for me, because I was the DD... does anybody else do this? have a Designated driver post race? It seems to always be me.
I am eternally grateful for my mom's post race food! She is amazing! I love her!

On the drive back I started to feel the pain of the chaffing from my heart monitor... it all hurt so bad! It wasn't until I was home inspecting my wounds that I realized how awful the chafing on my boobs was..... we didn't have time to shower at my parents, so we had to wait and shower at home. My boob on the right got it worse and has a huge cut under it. I had put body glide, but sweated so much that it didn't help, I should have put a lot more. I'm not wearing my heart monitor until my boobs are healed.

A look at our recovery stations at home

My water and Nuun... The Fiji is Roger's, I don't like Fiji water

The Gu and Gatorade are Roger's

* Bib pick up was far, but easy.
* My son got lots of freebies at the Expo
* My sister was amazing for dropping us off close to the race and finding a place to park.
* The day was cloudy, but humid. It didn't feel hot until we stared running.
* The start line was under the Mexican Flag
* I dedicated this Half Marathon to my Uncles
* The course was mostly flat and a beautiful
* Everybody was really sweaty, so sweaty they were losing their shorts.
* I saw hairy butts
* Kelly Drive is beautiful, long, but beautiful
* I saw two collapsed runners on the course
* I finished before my expected time
* Tacos for recovery are the best
* I was the post race DD
* My boobs were terribly chaffed from my Heart monitor

This will go down and one of my favorite races, and I'm contemplating doing it again!

Do you have a post Race DD?
Do you dedicate races to family?
Have you seen Hairy butts at races?
What do you do when you see collapsed runners on a race?