My hip has continued to bother me, but the pain has inexplicably migrated from the right hip to the left hip. The Emerald City Quarter Marathon in early September went just terribly. I started out OK, but about mile two, started having excruciating pain. At one point I could barely keep an 18-minute mile pace, and thought for sure I was going to have flag down the medical team and drop out. Laurie and Dina, who were pacing the 16-minute mile group, caught up to me around 3 1/2 miles, and they were lifesavers! I managed to keep up with them until the last mile, when suddenly I felt better and "sprinted" for the finish (hey, when you're doing 16-18 minute miles, anything is a sprint!).
I was really worried at this point about how the New Albany Walking Classic would go the following week, so I rested and hoped for the best. Seemed to work! I completed the 1/2 marathon in 3:00:42, just two and a half minutes slower than I ran it in April!
Since then, though, I've been able to do almost nothing in preparation for the Columbus Half Marathon in just over a week. I've had to cut a few of my long runs very short because of hip pain, and the ones I have been able to do have shown me just how much cardiovascular training I've lost. It doesn't help that I've also managed to gain a lot of weight since April - a combination of higher stress and less exercise than I'm used to. A PR is simply out of the question at this point - I'm just hoping to make it to the finish line.
Then it's time to get busy. I need to lose 50 pounds - the 30 I've gained, as well as the extra 20 I was already carrying around. So, I'm following Amy's lead and joining Weight Watchers (my health plan actually covers part of the program fee - how cool is that?!?). I also need to pretty much start over in terms of building my cardiovascular base. I jumped in full speed with the race walking - I didn't build up the muscle strength and endurance the way I probably should have, which may be why I haven't been able to overcome my injuries. On the cardiovascular side of things, after talking with Mandy and sharing our running frustrations, I decided to join her in the No Boundaries program this fall, before tackling MIT again in January. No Boundaries is for absolute beginners, but we talked to Jeff and he is willing to put together an advanced schedule for us. The more I think about it, the more excited I'm getting. I'll be able to slow down and work on the basics, build a base, and come back strong in January to the higher mileages.
In other news, most of you already know I decided in favor of getting kittens. My plan was to adopt Siamese (or Siamese-mix) brothers from a rescue. I should know better than to trust in plans. It all started out well - I located a pair of beautiful seal point Siamese brothers that had been abandoned in a trailer park. They were very small and needed to get big enough for first shots and FHIV tests. Fine, I wasn't in a hurry. Then I came across a Siamese kitten who had been dumped in the overnight drop off box of a high-kill dog pound. They had no clue what to do with a kitten and were up-front about needing to get him out of there ASAP. I couldn't take him - I had already committed to a pair of kittens. I wanted to think that surely someone would step up before this beautiful kitten got put down, but my conscious just wouldn't let me walk away. I figured I'd call some of the local no-kill shelters, and see if they would take him, but then my parents said that they would be interested! (they had just lost one of their two Siamese to cancer about 6 weeks earlier). So, I drove up to Mansfield to check this little guy out. He was so cute! He came right to the front of his cage, talked to me, wanted to be held, etc. Except for having quite the flea infestation, he looked and acted healthy as could be, so I took him! The dog pound was so happy to find someone to take him that they didn't charge me anything. That evening, as I was making plans to take the kitten to my parents in Rochester, the foster (and head of the rescue) of the two kittens I was supposed to adopt called me to tell me that one of the two kittens had died!! (he was the runt of the litter and not growing like his brother, so although it wasn't expected, it wasn't completely out of the blue, either. He had actually died several days earlier and she waited to tell me. I should have realized then this was a bad situation, but i didn't!!). So, instant change of plans. I decided to keep Rocket (named for Rocket J. Squirrel of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. It was originally "Rocky," but he's such a hyperactive little thing, even for a kitten - he's definitely a "Rocket") and take the surviving kitten. The foster told me he'd be ready for me to bring home later that week. That's when the game-playing started. For the next three weeks, she promised me this kitten on nearly a daily basis, but always came up with some reason why I couldn't have him that day, along with promises that I could definitely have him in a day or two. After three weeks of this (and three weeks of a hyperactive kitten who desperately needed a playmate NOW), I told her to forget it and went elsewhere. Riff-Raff isn't a rescue, I got him from a breeder, but would you believe I paid less for him that this woman wanted for her rescued kitten??? Yeah, me neither. The sad part is that two months later, this same kitten is still listed as adoption pending (she relisted him and three days later changed his status to "pending"), which means she might be doing what she did to me to another potential adopter, and the one who suffers the most is this poor little kitten who is now at least 6 months old.
Even though it didn't work out as planned, I think I got the perfect kittens. Rocket, as far as we can tell, was probably born in early to mid-April, so he's just about 6 months old now. He's a chocolate point, but most likely has some non-Siamese in there somewhere. I love the raccoon stripes on his tail, so he gets called "Rocky Raccoon" quite a bit as well as "Rocket."
|Rocket - July 2011 (ca. 3 months)|
|Rocket - October 2011 (ca. 6 months)|
Riff-Raff, a seal point, was born on June 11, 2011 and I brought him home on August 3, when he was just under 8 weeks old. He came from a litter of 5 boys and 1 girl. I had my choice from 4 of the boys, and picked the biggest, boldest kitten of the bunch, figuring he'd be the one best able to cope with Rocket! Perfect choice! Riff-Raff is fearless - right from day one he kept up with Rocket, even though Rocket was twice his size! I knew they'd be alright when Rocket chased Riff-Raff under the bed, and a few seconds later they came out the other side, with Riff-Raff chasing Rocket! Now, if it wasn't for the size difference (which is getting less and less), you'd never know they weren't actual littermates! He's also a little snuggle-bug - he always wants to be on someone's lap. He completely charmed my mom when she was here in early September!
|Riff-Raff - August 2011 (8 weeks)|
|Riff-Raff - October 2011 (4 months)|
Mickey, aka Mr. Growly Pants, isn't doing as well as I'd hoped with his new nephews, but he is getting better. As I've been writing this, Riff-Raff has been asleep in the cat tree, one of his favorite places. Mickey has been know to get up there and growl at the kittens if they try to join him, but this is the first time I've seen him get into the tree while one of the kittens was already there. He did his best to get Riff-Raff to leave, but no dice! Mickey finally just turned around, curled up, and is sleeping in the tree with Riff-Raff!!!
|If I glare at you long enough, will you move???|
|Fine. We'll share, but I DON'T have to like it.|
Oh, and my fear of kittens and curtains? Yeah.
|They just fell down on their own - honest!!|