Land of the Cheesesteak

Hello hello mis amigos. I am writing a quick “tide over” post before I head off to the airport. I am going to PHILADELPHIA to see my dad! He moved there in December.. and I haven’t been out to see him there yet. I have actually never even been to Philadelphia before! Been to Pennsylvania, but not the city of brotherly love. 🙂 (Is that the right phrase.. or am I completely making that up?)

Quick running update:

I am currently alternating between coffee, Powerade, and water. I did my third 20+ miler of this “season” (haha.. I never know what to refer to it as! This Twin-Cities-training? This period? Season works for me), and it felt fine. I ran it way slower than I did my last 20 miler because that is just the pace of the group I was with, and their company is worth way more to me than proving I can run sub 8s for a long training run. I ran into this situation two years ago when I was training for Med City – running with a group that is slower than my pace – but I seemed to do just fine when I ran a 3:19, so hopefully that trend will carry through!

My upcoming schedule for running/racing looks a little like this:

  • September 5th – St. Croix Valley Triathlon
  • September 12th – the Capitol Run – 20+ mile training run
  • September 20th – October 4th – Taper time
  • October 4th – Twin Cities Marathon!
  • October (3oth or 23rd?) – Monster Dash Half Marathon
  • November XX – Turkey Trot 5K
  • January XX – Winter Carnival Frozen Half Marathon
  • April XX – Boston 2010

I don’t know what other little races will pop in there.. but I usually do a few 5Ks just for fun (like the Turkey Trot! I think there’s a Jingle Bell 5K too…) so we’ll see. I also need to look at my budget because I’ve spent more this year on races than I have on the past. I don’t know that I’ve necessarily raced more,  but they have definitely been more expensive races. Especially with triathlons – that is not a cheep sport! Luckily, I’ve found ways to cut costs here and there (carpooling, sharing hotels, discounted bike shoes, etc.) but that is a whole ‘nother future post! 🙂

I promise – my Ragnar Post will be published soon! I made a photobook of the whole event.. so I’ve been putting a lot of time into that instead of writing up the dang recap! I leave you with photo of me n’ Rilo – my mom and I were getting a little carried away with sports mode on her camera 🙂 I’m bringin’ the McMac along to Philly, so maybe I’ll get a post up while I’m there! Otherwise, catch you when I get back!

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-E

home is…

Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.

-Robert Frost

Hahah I love that quote. Not that I forced my mom to take me in or anything.. yikes! But it’s true – there is no turning family away. Not here.

I am currently blogging to you from the futon up in our office, watching this 6 year old kid on Ellen who knows basically everything about the solar system and knows more already than half the people I know. Except he just got on the floor and did something called the “swimming tuna”. I’m tellin you – he’s gonna get all the ladies.

 It’s almost time for a refill of my big ol’ scrabble mug of coffee.. Dunn Bros coffee.. ohh I love being home! 

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There is a lot to do today! I promise a full catch-up later on: running, school, next year’s decision, the whole deal. For now though, it’s time to go refill this cup and relax a little. My flight, which was supposed to leave out of Logan at 6:05 last night, didn’t leave until 9:50 due to the SNOW STORM in Minneapolis. The plane we were picking us up was coming from Minneapolis so we had to wait for it to wait to be de-iced along with all the other planes. Finally though, it took off, got to Boston three hours later, and by 2:00 this morning, I was home. And of course I was up by 8:00… but it’s ok. I’m HOME!

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My attempt at taking a photo out the airplane window with my crappy cell phone. PS  I forgot my camera in Boston.. smart! Cell phone will have to suffice for the week to come.

Caio!
-E

say shhhhh.. minneapolis minneapolis minneapolis

Hmm.. guessing most everyone will NOT know the title reference. Man, you’re missin out!

Dear blog friends, compadres, homefries, homeskillets, buddies, amigos, and all the rest,

I have not forgotten you. No, no… it is once again my ever-so favorite time of the semester. Midterms. The joy of back-to-back tests, the sleepless nights, the post-it notes covering everything in sight, the highlighter marks permanently staining my hands.. what could be better? (Read: kill me now.)

I know what could be better… MINNEAPOLIS.. and three days and 2 hours from now I will be on a plane headed home sweet home. Please excuse my absence until further notice. And by further notice hopefully I mean FRIDAY. 

Goodbye, bonne nuit, hasta luego. 

-E

P.S. Running is going GREAT! I’m up to 4 miles.. which means when I’m home.. I can RUN THE LAKE!!

post surgery – week two, plus a merry new years eve..!

Good morning my lovely bloggies! I’m currently looking out the office window (at home home, still in Minneapolis) at the sparkling snow covered roof above our porch glistening in the sun. I think it’s a little too cold for the birdies to be out and about (they built a nest into the point of the roof), but I don’t blame em’ – it’s still -10° right now, minus the wind chill! Cozying up in warm clothes.. sitting by a fireplace.. maybe a game of Scrabble? S.L.A.P.!  

(Just a taste.. I promise there are pictures at the end of this novel!)

My G-Pa's killer homemade bird feeder. And cutie birdies!

My G-Pa's killer homemade bird feeder. And cutie birdies!

Well, here I am one day past the two week mark from surgery. I don’t have a day-by-day recap for you, since during the second week there were much less of the “milestone” moments. I guess to sum it up, I am still feeling good, not fantastic-amazing-go-run-a-marathon good, but good. I mean, I did have hip surgery just two week ago, so I think I should still be a little sore every now and then, right? I’m trying to get in to see Dr. Troung before I go back to Boston, but tomorrow is New Years day, and then it’s like the weekend.. and I fly back Sunday!?! Grrr. a) I want him to snip the strings.. he said I could do it at home on my own but I’d be much more comfortable in the hands of a trained doctor. b) I want him to see it and make sure everything looks just like it should. c) I need to talk to him about PT and if I need to go see one out in Boston.. and if I need new exercises to get increased mobility (like sideways movement vs. up and down, front and back..).

I know this isn’t part of “week two”, but I got to SWIM on Monday!!! And it was fabulous. I love the pool at my Lifetime SO much. It’s a saltwater pool and it’s not too cold but not nasty warm either. Perfect. Juuust perfect. So Monday was the first day I swam and yeah it felt great, but it still felt sort of tight. I only swam for half the time that I usually do, and all super easy – no need to pull/tear/strain anything on the first day. Then the 2nd day (yesterday, Tuesday) I pool ran for half and swam for half and tried to really focus on stretching out and staying loose with each stroke – it felt amazing!! Leaving Lifetime is going to be R.O.U.G.H. 

So there’s my 2nd week wrap-up for ya. But speaking of leaving Lifetime, I guess I should open this up to everyone and maybe get some feedback – you guys are all so amazing with sharing experiences and “oh.. I did that too!!” that sometimes it feels like were all at some big slumber party. Oh, memories of middle school. 😉 Anyway, here’s the deal:

As I think I mentioned before, I am applying to be an RA for next year. Not only is there the obvious benefit (or in my  case, necessity) of free room and board (which at my school is an astoundingly ridic. amount), but I would also be put in a leadership position where I can use my creativity and help other people, something I love. 😀 Aright, great. There are some 500+ RA applicants each year, and only about 150 spots. I know I am an Honors student and have a good “resume”, but that doesn’t guarantee Jack. And to be honest, without some extra source of financial aid next year, staying at NU isn’t a guarantee. Less than that actually.. it’s a probable definite no (or maybe I should say probable definite not-a-good-idea, knowing that I’m the one going to be paying too). 

[Warning.. sorry – this is turning into a Monster post!!]

No one is forcing me too, in fact it was sort of my idea, but I am applying to some other schools for next year. Sort of as a back up plan. Sort of. (And I guess I should say school (singular) because the 2nd school I applied to.. I really don’t want to go there. But hey – free app.. why not?) This school is an excellent private school here in MN, and I would not at all feel like it was a “back up” if I ended up going there. In fact, academically, they are a lot more selective than NU. I’m trying not to count my chickens before they hatch – I mean, I haven’t even been accepted there yet. The app. deadline is not for another couple of months, and I wouldn’t find out till I’m already done with the semester out in Boston. But.. by then I will know whether or not I have the RA position.. I’ll be able to weigh my financial aid at each school.. I’ll be able to make some good and fair comparisons. 

You’ve heard me rave time and time again about how much I LOVE Boston and LOVE Northeastern and LOVE LOVE LOVE etc. I know. But being home now for winter break, the FIRST time I’ve been home since I moved… well if you went to school anywhere far from home you know what I’m talking about! Seeing my family and spending time with my mom and my dad and seeing my sister (who is actually now moving to D.C… another story) and being at the lakes and seeing my old running team and AHH. I love Minneapolis! (You’ve also heard me say that one too, to be fair.) Part of me WANTS to transfer (what.. again?) and be close to home. I think my best bit of advice for anyone just starting their college career, or just about to, is that there is no ONE right college, at least IMO. I do love Northeastern. But I think I would equally love “the school” here. (And just to clear things up – no, I’m not headed back to the U. At least not yet.) 😉

Anyways, that’s my dilemma as of yet. If you read through this entire thing – wow.. major props

I’m headed out with another DF (haha.. I will never not laugh typing that) to Lifetime for a “spa day” followed by lunch at Panera if we have time. I gave her a gift card there as part of the gift, but she might end up doin’ that one with the BF or another friend. I have movie plans for tonight, and a pretty low key new years – just the way I like it. 🙂 Hope everyone has an amazing last day of 2008, but if not, hey.. it’s just the last day of the month.. like the last day of any other month. There’s always tomorrow. 😉

(and as I promised, pictures from Christmas!)

The all star grandparents <3

The all star grandparents ❤

 

Ry, mom, and me.

Ry, mom, and me.

Playing with g-ma's manger. My grandpops BUILT that manger. Mad skills..

Playing with g-ma's manger. My grandpops BUILT that manger. Mad skills..

 

)

Working on a secret gift that won't be given until NEXT Christmas 🙂

 

Two of the cuzzos.. champin some Jason Mraz

Two of the cuzzos.. champin some Jason Mraz

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Back in Minneapolis.. our Christmas tree at HOME 😀

 

B-T-Dubs.. does anyone need to buy their kid a saxophone!? Hahah - you will find this ad on craigslist.

B-T-Dubs.. does anyone need to buy their kid a saxophone!? Hahah - you will find this ad on craigslist.

Lovves,
-E

loving time at home..!

Hope no one is asking “Where’d she go?” In traditional Sperly style.. I had to take a bit of a break, but rest assured, I’m still here! This last week has been very busy with my sister and her boyfriend here, Christmas up at my Grandma’s house, my “mini-christmas”es with friends, some Lifetime action, and loooots of sleep! Amen on that last one! 😉

Like I said, my sister and her boy friend came here to spend Christmas with us and the family. This was the first time either my mom or I met her boyfriend, and we both love him! He is the most optimistic, up-beat, and happy person you’d ever meet. He is from Singapore, but ethnically Chinese, graduated from UMich with his M.A. in Public Health, super smart, super funny, super interesting. We like him! Obviously who my sister choses to be with is her choice, but we (read: my mom, all my family, my friends) can see that my sister is SO happy with him, and if she’s out  there reading.. I just want her to know, he gets my thumbs up. 

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We typically go up to Albany to my Grandparents house on Christmas eve, but both my sister and I wanted more time at home this year, so we decided to drive up on Christmas day. My mom and I went to church on Christmas eve, and it was STANDING ROOM ONLY. We didn’t mind too much, and I actually hopped up on a heater so I didn’t have to stand on my hip the whole time. (The hip is doing very well btw! Week two update to come soon!) There was this ADORABLE  baby next to us being held by her dad.. I can’t wait to be a mom!!

We drove up early on Christmas morning so we could help my grandma set table and get all the food ready for the rest of our family coming. It was a pretty small group this year – only 17 in all. We were missing three cousins, one aunt, one uncle, and a few “extra” people that usually come. It was still a blast, and the greatest part was just being able to sit and talk and catch up with my family.  I haven’t seen most of them since July.. and I won’t see them again until the spring semester is over and I’m back in MN. 😦 Ahh I have so many great pictures from Christmas, but they’re on my mom’s camera and she’s out and has it with her right now. I promise I’ll put some up later!

There are only a few of my old high school friends that I still keep in touch with.. and to be honest, I love it that way. One of my favorite things about college is you don’t really have those “obligatory” friends anymore. You know – “I have to invite her because she’s friends with Liz and …” or someone who’s on the team but you were never close with. Haha, I know, I’m a terrible person. :/ Anyways, the friends that I have kept in touch with are solid quality friends – people I know I can count on at any time, even from half way across the country. These are the only friends that I do gift exchanges with over the holiday season. (Plus, lets be honest.. I def. do not have $$ to give to EVERYONE. Sorry!) With one of my friends, I made this adorable little “spa day” basket + a Panera gift card. We’re going to the gym and making a whole day out of it – work out a little, sauna, hot tub, freshly shaved legs – all the girly stuff.. followed by lunch at Panera (of course)! She gave me a gorrgeous photo of her because I don’t have ANY out in Boston (except some in a collage), a homemade tye-dye shirt, and this year’s Cities 97 Sampler!! My other great friend and I usually just write each other a letter, and that’s sort of what we did this year. It always means so much to read, and they’re infused with photos and jokes.. plus I gave her a coffee outting on me. LOL.. it ensures we’ll make another date while I’m home on break! My dad and I also do a “mini-Christmas”, and we did that last Monday! Twas fabulous. 😀

Since I can’t put up any photos from this Christmas, I’ll leave you with one from one day over my never ending x-mas break last year. It was an official snow day, and my mom took this of me in our back alley as we were walking down to Dunn Bros Coffee shop. Props to them for even staying open.. there was soo much snow! 

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And in the photo – my favorite bag ever. If I ever lose that thing, I’d be devastated. It was the first “nice” bag I ever got, and by nice, I mean.. like over $25. It’s just Fossil.. and I love it. I’m definitely one of those girls who can’t even fathom spending $$$ on a Coach bag or something. It’s a purse! Hahah.. what a goof. Anyways, I’ll be back tomorrow with a full “Week TWO” update. I GET TO SWIM TOMORROW!!

percutaneous pinning

I realized I better post this sooner rather than later – I don’t want anyone thinking something went wrong!

Because it didn’t.. my surgeon said everything went just like they planned. I actually have a very strong femur and very strong bones.. it just happens to be that the femoral neck, while strong, is not normal. They did biopsy the area that they are thinking is FD, but until the biopsy results come back, it is just the working diagnosis. 

I asked my mom to help with photos, and she definitely had no problem with that! My mom takes more pictures than anyone I know. LOL – I’m sure you’ve seen someone retake the SAME photo about 30 times to get it just right.. well, she’s one of those someones. I’ll take you from start to finish in Sperly style.. 😀

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Packing up my overnight bag. For once, I didn’t forget anything major! Btw.. you guys like the haircut? This isn’t the greatest photo of it.. but I LOVE having short hair again!

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Please ignore the rather large smudge taking over the table. As you can see.. my mom and I came prepared. I actually didn’t bring that much.. most of what’s filling my bag is my pillow and teddy. (Yes.. I am in college. And I sleep with a Teddy bear.) We left the house at 5:00 am because we had to be there by 6:00, hence the face on my face. 

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Oh the joy of the self timer. Haha I think we took 10 of these. This is pre-op, after I got my IV in and everything. I’ve had blood drawn plenty of times, and have never been told my veins were too small. Wellll judging by the multiple attempts to get an IV in me, I guess I’ll agree.. my veins are small! The guy gave up on trying to get it in my hand, and just put it in my forearm.

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Talking to my dad and sister right before I went in to surgery. They were driving back from Michigan, and roads were TERRIBLE. My sister graduated the night before from U of Michigan.. and now she’s home!

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Post-op.. after I had moved from the recovery room up to the 8th floor. Room 828.. which I didn’t leave for a solid 24 hours! I was so curious about what was out there, since my mom kept coming and going and I could hear other people or their machines beeping away.. I did eventually get to leave thank goodness 😉

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Uuuugh gross picture. But I was in the hospital, so what  can you do. I said I’d blog from there since I’d have so much free time, but honestly, I just slept.. a LOT. Plus the wireless was really shotty there so I couldn’t even connect the majority of the time. Sorry!

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Hahah I am such a coffee snob. I couldn’t have any coffee before surgery obviously, so this was the first coffee I had, a WHOLE DAY later. The coffee they brought on the tray wasn’t even like Folger’s.. it was below Folger’s. (No offense to any Folger’s drinkers.. but that’s what working in a coffee shop does to you!) There was a little Starbucks cart down in the cafe (or so I’m told.. I never got to venture that far) so when my mom went to go get coffee (yes, she’s a coffee snob too), I asked if she would get me one. And get me one she did – it was BIG! I guess I’m just used to splitting it up into two mugs.. but that size looked so big! After this I definitely was in a much better mood.. 😀

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And here is me, in my better post-coffee mood. It was also nice to be able to put a real shirt on, and underwear (gasp!!). I’m thinking I also had Vicodin a little before this.. because believe me, that smile was not permanent. 

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Going over the PT exercises that I have to do. This lady was super nice, and she said I did so well with getting up and getting around that I didn’t have to stay for my 2nd PT appointment. Cleared!

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Crutches? Hmm.. where have I seen those before?

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Finally! Venturing out of room 828! All of about 30 feet down the hall and back, but still, seeing the “outside” was fabulous. No prob. with the crutches.. I’ve been a master at those for a good minute. 😉

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Practicing stairs.. unfortunately we have a whole lot more stairs in our house than these two little dinky ones, but I’ve been managing them alright. These PT rooms remind me of the play rooms in my mom’s school for the little kids – I used to LOVE going to work with her just to play in there!

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Before checking out, remember to have your IV removed! And that face is not a yawn, it’s an “oh shit that tape hurts!” Also in that photo are my meds.. I am currently taking Vistaril and Norco (Vicodin), alternating every two hours. The morphine that they had in my IV gave me a KILLER headache, so bad that it made me nauseous, and then they had to give me a nausea medication which just made it worse.. lol it was bad. 

So, like I said, the surgeons said the procedure was very successful. I have three pins screwed through my femoral neck, and those should be good and strong for a long time to come. They had to cut through some of the muscles along the outside of my hip, which they sewed (is that the right word?) back together just fine, but it has made my entire left side of my thigh sore and bruised feeling. I am managing the pain OK by staying on top of my medications, but yesterday and today definitely hurt. The doctor said these would be the worst two days, and then it will get better from here. I’m counting on that because even with medication, it definitely hurts right now.

I can’t take a shower till FRIDAY (uugh) but my mom washed my hair in the sink for me this morning, and finally I feel CLEAN! 🙂 I am just taking things day by day, knowing that it will get better and easier. Don’t laugh.. but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to ride one of those power carts at the grocery store and Target and stuff. My mom and I are going to CostCo tonight to fulfill my dream. Hopefully I will never again have a legitimate reason to use one, and least not any time soon! 

Annnnd, my sister and her BF and my dad are back! Even though my dad’s not staying here it’s just really good to see him and give him a hug. I’m taking advantage of all this down time – I got some good xmas stuff done yesterday (no details.. family reads!) and am getting more done today. But for now my friends, I feel like I should sign off. The Vistaril makes me super drowzy, and I guess it’s hitting hard. I legit keep closing my eyes like every 3 sentences. 

Thank you everyone for all your support. I am so glad I didn’t delete this blog all the 100 times I have come so close! Thannnk you x 1,000,000!

E

from miles above…

[written night of December 11, 2008. posting morning of December 12, 2008, about 15 minutes before I leave to my appointment]

There will never be more free time than while waiting for a plane, which is exactly what I was doing, oh, about two hours ago. Yes my friends, I am midair, on my way HOME. 🙂

My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 pm, was first delayed to 6:50, then to 7:00, then 7:05, and finally, 7:11. All because of a little light drizzle. Either way, I’m on the plane now a few thousand feet above the ground, I’ll get there when I get there so no more complaining from me! I should be really grateful – the rest of my NU buds are stuck at school for another WEEK! Hahhaha.. suckers! 😉 Kidding. But let’s not kid – it was amazing that all of my finals were the week before finals week. I had my last critique in architecture (EVER) on Wednesday night, and after that, I checked out. SO EXCITED to be going home!

An update on the hip: I went in on Tuesday afternoon to see Dr. Millis at Children’s, and we retook the same x-rays I hade done on Oct. 30th to see if there have been any improvements. The fracture is still not healed, but it does look like it’s improving. Dr. Millis also said he doesn’t feel like surgery is “necessary” at this point. He also seemed very adamant on the fact that he does not want to be the one to make the final decision. Fair.. I guess. I’d really like to take that notion and run with it though.. run very, very far.

So, tomorrow at 11:00 am I will be back at the University of Minnesota, although this time I’m no student – I’m a patient. Dr. Clohisy, the chief of the Orthopedic Surgery department will be giving a second opinion, and “we” will be making a decision on how to proceed from there.  Here’s where I feel there could be some discrepancy in opinions:

  1. Dr. Millis is a specialist in hips… one of the best in fact. My fracture is scary to him, and to all other orthopedic doctors, as it should be. He wants to do what is the best to heal that fracture, and prevent it from breaking all the way through. He also wants me to have the freedom to be a runner again. He understands how important it is to me, and will do whatever it takes to make that a possibility.
  2. Dr. Clohisy.. well, I haven’t met him yet. We have talked over the phone, though only briefly. Dr. Clohisy is a specialist in bone tumors, which, when it comes down to it, is what fibrous dysplasia is. The fracture is also scary to him, but he is going at it with the fibrous dysplasia in mind. I do not know yet what FD will mean for my future, and the shitty thing is, no one does. Every case is different, nothing is guaranteed, and you can only take it day by day. Type A me + that mentality = a rough time.

I am hoping and praying with all my might that surgery is NOT necessary. I would like to try using the bone growth stimulator first, as well as exploring what other options are out there. In my opinion, surgery should be a last resort. Ahhh this waiting game is killing me!! In one second I say what I just said – surgery being a last resort. Then in the next second my mind goes – “Well, maybe you should just do it. What if it makes you stronger in the long run.” And then, as the cycle continues, it goes to “What if the surgery makes it so you can never run again!?”, and then “What if I can never run again if I DON’T have surgery!?”

You see how tiring this gets.

And speaking of tiring, that = me. I’m gonna try and get some rest for the last little bit of my flight, and hopefully I post this before I leave for my appointment tomorrow morning, or this will have been a waste.

Thanks for all the support you guys have been giving me over these last couple of months (and ALWAYS). It really means a lot to know that other people care, or are at least interested. Love yall. 😀 (p.s. sorry.. obvi no time to upload any photos right now. I have some fun ones for later though.)

E