Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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that shoulder i’ve written so much about

When I looked forward to 2016 one of the three things I planned to focus on during the year was to continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty. The immediate action I was going to take was to print out my rehab schedule (up until now I’ve used a version on my phone). With previous success in mind, after I completed each session I planned to cross off the workout.

This past July Evelina and I started up my shoulder-rehab workout routine together, which was awesome. I strongly recommend having a workout buddy, it’s a huge motivator for me. Something fun we can do together. Plus, when I crossed off the workout it was like getting my own version of a gold star. Everybody likes getting a gold star, that’s just known fact.

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It’s not my personal workout routine, so you only get to see a snippet – but check out that BIG OL’ X!

Instead of following only this workout/rehab routine we added some yoga and running, and not just as recovery. Every other day we did a lift and every other day we ran/did yoga. This was a great balance, especially considering we had missed the past 26 weeks of workouts.

What’s so great about all of these workouts is they can be done outside. Yoga under a tree or a run around the neighborhood, what could be better? Also, with the help of our local outdoor gym, we can even lift outside.

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My shoulder is feeling good these days, and I’m excited to say that after a year and a half of recovery and rehab it’s finally feeling like my shoulder again.

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å-loppet number three

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2016 marks my third go at Å-varvet. 2015 I was unable to run because of a shoulder injury. This year though, I was so there!

The woman who won this year, Tigist Jabore, ran the quarter marathon in 35:34. I’m going to tell you right now, my time was nowhere near that. I’m also going to tell you right now I did not train for the race this year.

Bear with me. (If there had been maybe I would have run faster.)

I had actually not really planned to run. I hadn’t been able to train since the birth of my wonderful and amazing baby, you know the one. So I was thinking I’d skip this year, and go big next year. Then at the last minute I found out that my place of employment would be footing the bill (a whopping $50, so we’re not talking ridiculous sums here) for all those who wanted to run or walk. GREAT! I shouted. Alone in the break room. I signed myself up then and there.

Mind you, this was a week and a half before race day. Do you think I went out and got a jump start on my training? Nope. Come race day, I just went for it. So did Ryan. As you recall he was here visiting, and thought: WHY NOT?! He ran bandit, because what else would he do? It was the natural course of things.

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I’m not extremely familiar with running road races, so I was super excited to see that you can log on to the race’s website and see all previous times!

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As was to be expected I ran considerably slower than my previous times, and those most observant of my readers will already have noticed the downward trend that is my finishing times. Not to worry, I will complete number 13 on my 30 before 30 list! Training for 2017 commences now.

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why i wasn’t running

This weekend was the Eskilstuna quarter marathon. It has gone by different names, so for now I’ll call it å-varvet, since that’s what it was called at one point in time. If not currently. I’m not feeling up to checking. Feel free to do so and let me know.

This weekend I did not join the over 2,300 people running the quarter marathon because of my shoulder injury. (Yes, I looked up that number, and yes, this year it was called å-loppet, so that’s all cleared up.) Unfortunately I have yet to be cleared to run. As you may recall from my Ode to Elizabeth I have injured my shoulder playing hockey, and it has taken a while to heal up. Either it has taken a while or I’m incredibly inpatient. The physical therapist I met with last Thursday would have me believing the latter. He really emphasized the fact that this type of shoulder injury will take time to heal.

Time heals all wounds.

Blah-de-blah-blah. Sure, whatever. I’m ready to be healed now. I know I can’t be the only person to think this, but when ever I’m injured. Or have a paper cut or something. All I can do is focus on the injury. Imagining the sweet good ol’ days pre-stubbed toe, for example. I wallow in the fact that when I’m whole and healthy I never appreciate it. I mean really appreciate it. I squander away my days it pain-free ignorance of how good I have it. Then I scrape my knee or accidentally slice open my thumb while trying to be a good wife and cook dinner for once, and I’m once again wallowing in self-pity land, reminiscing on how good I had it just yesterday before I sliced through half my thumb nail.

What I’m getting at is I really wanted to run on Saturday. The medals had a purple ribbon this year. Purple guys! But I couldn’t because it hurts to run. And according to my physio I’m not allowed to do anything that hurts me. Clearly I’m paying these medical professionals appropriately for some great counseling here.

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Guess I’ll have to wait for next year until my two medals can become three, and I can attempt to check off number 13 on my 30 before 30 list. Knock on wood.

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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
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Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

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Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

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You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

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Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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a resolutions update

Guys, did you know 2014 is shortly coming to a close? We’ve got less than two months to go here. I learned this from listening to the radio. That’s the kind of good reporting going on here in Sweden.

Well, when I heard the news I realized that there’s not much time left to check off all the resolutions on my list of resolutions! Now, the marathon didn’t happen this May as planned. My hip just was not up to it, as you may recall from this post. That leaves lasagna, painting, reading and handstand push ups.

As you know I’m well on my way to getting the perfect lasagna recipe. Despite the pastelon attempt, I feel as though I’m right around the corner to finding the perfect combination.

I have made progress on my handstands. Check it out!

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This is as far as I’ve gotten though. So it’ll be a while before I’m up on my hands, and a little while longer before I’m doing push ups in that position.

Reading has gone well! My book of the months for January, February, March, and May of this year complete my fourth resolution.

Last but certainly not least is my painting. Which hasn’t gone much farther than how it was looking this summer. So I’ll have to focus on this one before year’s end.

To sum it up, I’ll be cooking up a storm and painting the town red between now and New Year’s Eve.

Wish me luck!

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six. get fit

I am counting this goal as completed, although, like my last post, I think there is still some work to be done.

Since moving to Sweden, and starting this blog, I’ve lost approximately 5 kilos, and kept it off. There was a point in time where I was even lighter, but that has turned out to, thus far, not be sustainable. But, the number on the scale isn’t really what I’m after. I’m after a look. And not the body builder, 11% body fat, look. But, a leaner look none the less.

I’ve previously mentioned my little tricks and tips for fat loss. If you click that link I want to express again that I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or certified in any way to give nutrition advice. These guys at PN are. Seriously, check out their site if this is a topic you’re interested in.

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As I told my friend Katie in the comments section of my 25 before 25 list, I am the judge of the completeness of this goal, and the judge has spoken.

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four. run a marathon

This is another item on my list that I, unfortunately, haven’t completed.

The incompletion of this item was a really difficult decision for me to make, but in the end I believe the right one. I signed up for the Stockholm Marathon, which occurred yesterday. I really enjoyed the training at first. My brother was here visiting, and it had been so long since I had run regularly, it was great getting into it again. Then, April and May rolled around. About mid April I started to get really busy. Guys, I’m saying R.E.A.L.L.Y. busy. I’m of the opinion that there’s exactly enough time for the important things in life. But, what it came down to for me, was that it was much more important for me to be happy than for me to complete my training.

A combination of international travel, getting a couple poorly timed colds, over use injuries in my ankles and hip, more intensive studying, and the busiest time of the year at work just made it unenjoyable to train on top of all that. What it really came down to in the end, as I wavered between resting until marathon day and trying to get in a few more runs, was the fact that my hip just wasn’t up to it. I couldn’t physically run for more than two hours. This made attempting to do so very unenjoyable. I took a long hard look at what I was prioritizing, and decided not to prioritize running. I needed to let my body heal and let my mind rest before I embarked on this task again.

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A part of me wanted to try it out. Especially come race weekend. Just go and see how it goes. But I know myself too well for that. If I had gone, and gotten my number, excitedly awaiting the start with thousands of other runners, I wouldn’t have been able to stop. Even if my body was telling me to. Even if my hip hurt more than I imagined possible, I would have continued. That would have been a poor choice, inevitably resulting in more severe injury.

I love running. Like really love it. I think it’s one of the best forms of exercise, and we as humans have been doing it for a long, long, looooong time. I still hope to complete a marathon during my time here on earth, I just had to make the difficult choice of not completing that goal before my 25th birthday. (30 before 30, anyone??)

To be honest, I’m satisfied with the choice I’ve made. upset that I lost that entry fee, and didn’t reach my personal goal. But satisfied none the less.

Onwards and upwards.

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