October Catch Up

Happy Fall! Thought I would write a post to catch you up on random life happenings.

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  1. Work- I started my job and I’ve been at it for 5 weeks now! I went from having endless amounts of free time, getting lots of sleep, and exercising all of the time to just about the exact opposite…but I’m okay with that. I see clients in the office for prenatal visits (mostly) about 1-3 days per week and then am on call for about 36 hours per week. The call hours can be slow or they can be crazy busy- just depends on the babies who decide they need to be born that day. As a new midwife, I feel like l carry a lot of stress around with me and am constantly double and triple checking myself to make sure that I don’t miss anything. It is definitely a hard transition into the provider role, without a preceptor always reassuring me. All in all, I do think I have one of the coolest jobs in the world.img_3423 (Midwifery school friends at a wedding last weekend)
  2.  Running- After a week hiatus from running last week because of a nasty cold and crazy work schedule, I’m back at it. I’m still hoping that I can run a half marathon at the end of November. It will definitely not be a PR race but I haven’t ran a race in 2 years so I just want to get out there again. The fall running weather has been lovely and it feels good to be increasing my mileage. I also joined the Oiselle Volee! Anne makes it sound like such a fun group of women runners so I decided to give it a try. I’ve been looking for a way to connect with other female runners in the Chicago area so I’m hoping that this helps. Plus, it’s a further excuse to buy fun running clothes 😉
  3. Arlo- Arlo has been doing pretty well adjusting to life with a working mom again. Fortunately, we have a lady in the building who has a dog walking business and I can text her spur of the moment if needed and she can take Arlo out. Since moving to Chicago, the “little” guy has gained a bit of weight so we are now working on getting him back to a healthier size. He didn’t have the best running summer so hopefully with the fall weather, he can get back into running shape and shed a few pounds. Arlo has taken to LOVING ropes…and by loving I mean destroying. I bought four ropes from Amazon and he destroyed them in a week. So yesterday, I bought him a fancy rope at a local dog shop that was supposed to be more tightly twisted….he destroyed it in a day. Any rope recommendations?img_3424
  4. Chicago- It’s crazy that we have lived here for almost 5 months! It is great living so close to water again and I feel lucky that I can run by the lake whenever I want. If Chicago didn’t have the lake, I don’t think I could take it. City living definitely has its ups (so much to do, easy access to everything) and downs (traffic, city smells, noise, lack of green space). I still can’t say definitively if it’s for me or not. Our condo has come a long way since you’ve seen it last. Come visit!
  5. Rob- He is doing well. He works a lot some months and then has some easier weeks (ie. works 50 hours per week vs 80). Overall, I think he enjoys what he is doing.

XO

Mary

Wrists, Hearts, and Psychosocial Care in the ICU

Hello all!

I wanted to write a post last month but then I developed a very unfortunate case of tendonitis in my wrists. Did you know that tendonitis really hurts? I always thought of tendonitis and carpal tunnel as just annoyances that hurt when you used the affected area. Not true. My right wrist was throbbing even with lots of ibuprofen. Obviously not a terrible medical event, but it made typing and working at the daycare really difficult considering picking up infants 20.000 times a day is what gave me tendonitis in the first place. I also stopped doing a lot of yoga because of it which was sad. Now I’m working on rebuilding some wrist strength and getting back into my yoga practice.

 

Having my yoga is actually pretty important right now because it is a big part of my self care during my internship. I started this week in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and it is… intense. I expressed interest in high acuity environments during my interviews and I definitely got what I asked for. Did you know that in pediatrics the patient’s chest is left open after surgery to accommodate for swelling? They are sedated and medically paralyzed while their hearts beat under only a thin clear bandage. A lot of the patients on the unit are sedated and a lot are infants, so it is a very different environment than my very play-based experience last semester. I’ll be learning a lot about sibling support, validating and encouraging parents who are unable to hold their newborn, and bereavement support.I’m super excited for the opportunity and can’t wait to become more integrated into the unit.

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Glacier NP Trip

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I’m back with another trip! I’ve been so lucky this summer to go to some pretty amazing places- definitely a perk of not working. My parents planned a trip to Glacier National Park and they had a hotel room with and extra bed at one of their stops and they invited me to tag along. Fortunately, I was able to use United miles and get a direct flight from Chicago to Kalispell, MT (perk of big city living). I had four full days to spend in Glacier with my parents who had driven out from Michigan. We spent most of our time based out of St. Mary on the east side of Glacier NP. The park is HUGE and I definitely did not even come close to seeing even half of it. My dad was stoked to go on a national park trip again; they haven’t been to a NP in over 10 years. He had all of our hikes pretty much planned out and he wanted to cover some major miles. After our Machu Picchu trip, I caught the hiking bug so I was excited for these hikes too!

Day 1 Hiking: Iceberg Lake Hike out of Many Glacier

We hiked up to this lake with a ranger and some other hikers which was nice in terms of scaring any grizzly bears away but I really prefer hiking solo so that I can go at my own (quicker) pace. This hike was about 10 miles but the elevation gain was not substantial. In general, Glacier NP only gets up to around 8000 feet which is minimal compared to Peru and even the Rockies in Colorado.  We carried backpacks each day with lunches, rain gear, some warmer layers, and plenty of h20.

After we finished this hike, we heard that there were 2 moose in a lake about 0.5 mile away so we decided to walk over to check it out. We found them!

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Day 2: Hike to Ptarmigan Tunnel out of Many Glacier (approx 10 miles)

Half of this hike was on the trail that we used on the first day before cutting off and leading us on a steep climb up to Ptarmigan Tunnel. Apparently we just missed seeing a grizzly bear on this trail. Unfortunately, we got to the top and it was all fogged in so we weren’t able to see anything! The tunnel was cool to see and I’m not sure how anyone engineered/constructed it.

After this hike, we decided to do a 3 mile hike to Red Rocks which was an easy trail with a pretty lake for viewing. We also tried to spot our moose friends again but they weren’t to be found.

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Day 3: Highline Trail out of Logan Pass (approx 13 miles)

This hike was the most beautiful of all the hikes we did. The wildflowers, the mountains, the animals, this trail had it all. We started this hike with a ranger but the pace was too slow so we ended up breaking off from the group. Our original intention was to hike the 6.5 miles to the chalet and then hike 4 miles from the chalet to the road and then take a bus back to our car. However, this whole time my dad had been having really bad foot/heel pain from ill fitting hiking boots which was exacerbated when going downhill. The four miles to finish the hike were all downhill and he just didn’t think he could walk downhill for that long. So, we decided to go back the way we came (hence why we did 13 miles instead of 9). The hike was gorgeous but I will be honest, I was pooped by mile 11. My mom and I had beer and goldfish in the car and that’s all I thought about during those last few miles. This hike had a few good climbs but overall was not too difficult. We were able to get a great view of a mountain goat on the hike back which was cool!

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During this hike, my left achilles tendon also started aching. At first I thought it was just rubbing on my hiking boot wrong but then I realized it more of an “internal” problem. I’m not sure if the hiking made my already tight calves even tighter or if hiking all of these miles so close together was too much for me. Since our trip, my achilles hasn’t quite been normal and gets especially achey when running. 😦

Day 4: 6 mile lake hike from Logan Pass

We decide to switch out our hikes for our last day. All of us had something aching (achilles for me) so we ended up doing a fairly easy 6 mile hike instead of another 10 miler. On this hike, we saw a mountain goat, mountain sheep in the distance, and a cute little marmot. When we got down to the lake, the fog once again rolled in which created an erie feel. After this hike, we drove to west Glacier and walked around Apgar Village, saw Lake McDonald, and then went and checked into our hotel in Whitefish. Whitefish is a super cute town and has a ski hill that I wouldn’t mind checking out in the winter. I flew out back to Chicago the next day.

Overall, this was a super fun trip and I would definitely go back. There is so much more to see! My parents are super frugal so we ate most of our meals in the hotel room (hello packaged tuna and easy mac) but this definitely kept the cost of the trip down. I think I spent $20 the entire time…all on coffee (note- I don’t drink instant coffee if there is an alternative lol). It was also nice to take a trip where the only clothes I packed were hiking clothes and I left my make-up at home. I of course got my hiking fix too.

xo

Mary

Oiselle #birdcamp

Not to be confused with actual birds.

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Oiselle is a women’s running and apparel company, owned by women, made for women, sponsoring elite female athletes. The name is a play on words of oiseau (French for bird) and elle (French female pronoun), so there’s a lot of bird-related jokes and branding.

So, Bird Camp, where all the lady runners come to play.

Continue reading Oiselle #birdcamp

Peru!

Hi!

Long time, no blog! I have so much to tell you so I’m going to try and get back to posting more regularly and plan on writing some catch up blogs. I’ll start with our trip to Peru from May 2016. Rob and I started talking about where we wanted to vacation in May last summer because we knew we would have a few weeks to go on an awesome trip post graduate school. I’ve never traveled abroad so Rob was kind enough to let me pick the destination (he has been to several places in Europe and Australia). I instantly chose Peru. For some non-specific reason, I have been wanting to hike the Incan trail to Machu Picchu since taking several Spanish classes in college. We started planning our trip last fall and this winter and settled on a 10 day journey to Peru, including a 4 day/ 3 night hike on the Incan trail to Machu Picchu. I’m going to try and give you a brief overview of our itinerary and share some of my fabulous Iphone pics 🙂

First stop: Cusco, Peru

Fortunately, Peru is on Central time so there was no jet lag to deal with. However, we did have to factor in the altitude. In Cusco, we were hanging out around 8,000 feet and on the Incan trail, you hike to upwards of 11,000 feet. Because of this, all of the guide books recommend spending a few days in acclimatizing in Peru before starting the Incan trail hike (or any of the other hikes). I also got a prescription from my primary care provider for Diamox which is an altitude sickness drug that I took prophylactically during our trip (it does make your hands, feet, and parts of your face go numb…). We could definitely feel the altitude! Climbing up stairs and walking up hills in Cusco was so much more breathtaking (literally and figuratively). While getting “adjusted” to the altitude in Cusco, we explored some historic sites and also took a day trip to the Sacred Valley from Cusco. Cusco was the capital of the Incan empire. Side note- I have never seen so many stray dogs in my life! They are all over Peru and generally just ignore humans. It took all of my energy not to try and play with/pet them.

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Overlooking Cusco
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Rob enjoying the first of many Pisco Sours (a popular Peruvian drink)
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Plaza De Armas in the center of Cusco
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These llama/Alpaca are all over! This was our hotel’s
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This large statue of Jesus sits high on a hill looking over Cusco

Second stop: 4 day/ 3 night Incan trail backpacking trip with Alpaca Expeditions

After a few days in Cusco, we embarked on our Incan trail hike with our tour group. Our group consisted of 3 nurses from Washington, a group of 6 friends from Canada, and us. We were all similar in age which made hiking with them so much fun! We also had a fabulous guide and assistant guide, chaskis (porters), a chef, and a sous chef. This was definitely glamping. All we had to carry each day was a day pack with things we would need while hiking with plenty of water. The chaskis carried the rest and they are AMAZING. This hike would have been so much more tough and dare I say not doable for us if we had to carry everything. It was plenty challenging as it was. While the concept of having all of these support people is a little strange, it’s really how everyone does this hike. There are lots of tour groups in Peru that lead hikes on this trail and a few others and they all work similarly. What made the trail specifically challenging was that there are no switchbacks. You are either going straight up (usually rock stairs) or straight down them. At some points, I felt like I had to stop every couple of stairs to catch my breath. However, despite these “challenges” it was so worth it! (I could see how people really struggle and don’t enjoy the trip if they aren’t athletic natured and minded to begin with though.) This hike was definitely the highlight of our trip. We were able to see parts of the Andes that you would not be able to see without hiking and were also able to visit some magnificent Incan ruins that are along the trail. While a fair number of people hike the trail daily, we never felt crowded and there were some days where we didn’t see many other people besides those who were with us. Because we were able to see some large Incan ruins without having hoards of other tourists around, we felt like Machu Picchu, while spectacular was also a bit of a let down. On the last day, we woke up at 3am to get to Machu Picchu for sunrise and it was incredible. But once we got down to the site at around 7:30am, there were already tons of tourists who had come in via bus. Machu Picchu was quite noisy and crowded- something we hadn’t experienced for the past 3 days on the trail. We also really bonded with our group by the end of the trek and were sad to separate! And…I could go on and on. Here are some pictures which can’t quite capture the beauty that was the Andes….

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First day done! Thank goodness for Peruvian women who came to the site with cervezas!
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Example of the stairs that we climbed…and climbed
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Some of the tents at camp
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Machu Picchu

Stop 3: Lake Titicaca, Peru

After our hike, we flew from Cusco to Juliaca and then took a cab to Lake Titicaca, about an hour away from the airport. This is the highest fresh water lake in the world and is at about 11,000 feet. While the lake was beautiful, we didn’t enjoy this part of the trip as much. We went out on a boat tour one day and met some local people who are still maintaining ancient cultures. We also visited a floating island made of reeds where some communities still dwell. This felt very touristy to us and also just didn’t settle quite right. While these communities do make money from tourists who purchase their goods, I don’t like the idea of going to watch how “other” people live their lives. We were able to visit some pre-Incan ruins on our way back to the airport and that was probably the best part. I wouldn’t recommend taking time to visit Lake Titicaca if you ever find yourself in Peru.

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Floating Reed Island

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We had so many airport/flight disasters on the way back from Peru but I will just stick to the happy memories. This trip was so fun and I would definitely recommend going to Cusco and hiking the Incan trail. I’ve also heard that the Salcantay trail is fantastic too. I’ve definitely got the hiking bug now and would love to do more similar trips. It’s wonderful to see beautiful places and be physically challenged at the same time!

XO

Mary

Spring Adventures

I said I would try some new adventures while I’m not running, so here’s a sample of the shenanigans in the Osgood household and beyond:

I read a lot of books.

I cooked some food (BREAD!  KitchenAid mixer is a life changer). This was from our first CSA this week; so far I do not like kale, but we sautéed the swiss chard, bok choy, and garlic scapes:

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I signed up for a pottery class, first time back on the wheel since high school. My first few pieces were rough but my muscle memory started coming back after a few weeks.

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I went to Chicago to see The Rocket Summer – again, this is the second time I’ve seen him at the Subterranean in Wicker Park.

Along with two classmates, I hosted an education and advocacy event on campus as part of our SW 822 class.  It was awesome.

This sounds like I’ve been busy, and I have, but I also know that sometimes I have to sit my butt down and let my body rest and heal, so I’ve also been doing a lot of this.

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Crazy cat lady life.

One last picture from Memorial Weekend in Traverse City – Eben ran the half at Bayshore (I sold my half bib to a friend), and after we did some wine tasting. I wish we could have stayed longer here at Sutton Ciders, they had the BEST view.

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After I get more pictures off my phone I’ll write a post about our camping trip last weekend. We have a lot of weekends up north or at Lake Michigan for other trips, so I am excited for this summer!

The End of Year 3

Most people end and start a new year on New Years. As a teacher, we mark our years by the school calendar. I can’t believe that I have finished up year 3! It has gone by so fast! Older teachers always say that you hit the five year mark before you blink and all of the sudden it’ll be twelve years and so on. This year was my best year yet! I loved my job and the people I worked with after a rough second year. I’ll be returning to the same school in the fall and I’m excited to continue on with my students.

This summer I am teaching summer school for six weeks and nannying three days/week in the afternoons. Summer school is only half days and we have every Friday off. The reason I’m working so hard over the summer is that…I bought a mountain bike!

When Matt first convinced me to mountain bike last fall, I hated it! I was so out of shape from my foot surgery making it hard to keep up. He convinced me to give it another try and I demoed a bike in April in Fruita (western CO). I absolutely loved it! The trails were flowy and fun. Also, I am in much better shape now and was able to keep up.

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After this trip, I knew I wanted to have a bike to bring along on camping trips. I didn’t want to be left behind at the trailhead! I rode another demo bike in Fort Collins a few weeks later and once again loved it. It makes me feel free and more daring than I typically would be! Matt and I started looking and found a used bike and I bought it. Hopefully I will have a lot of fun adventures on this bike in the future!

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We are off to New Mexico this weekend in the camper van with friends! I am hoping to get in a few rides on my new bike along with some hikes. Who knew I would have a new hobby??! IMG_1674

…and another injury…

Well, I guess I will just come out and say it…I’m not able to run the Flying Pig Marathon. Marathon training has been a battle for me since February when I developed right quad pain which resolved and I returned to my training plan. However, because I missed a month of training, my training plan had to become more aggressive, but my coach still thought it was doable if I continued to feel well. I felt so determined to run this marathon…it has been something I’ve been working towards since recovering from a stress fracture last summer. I continued to build my miles but new aches kept coming. My plantar fasciitis flared up in my left foot which made it feel like I was running on a ball but, with lots of epson salt soaks and running my foot over a spiky ball, that let up. I was crossing my fingers that I was in the clear (middle of March). Then, my right knee got really sore after my 14 mile run…and then that didn’t let up for a few weeks. At this point (around March 20th), my running coach really encouraged me to cut back on my running, train for a later marathon, or run the half instead of the full at Flying Pig. I decided that I wanted to keep pushing forward. I then did my 16 mile run in Chicago. It was okay, not great, and then I could barely walk up the steps afterwards because my right knee was so sore. With some ice and ibuprofen, I was able to tame the knee symptoms and gradually my right knee started to feel better. Unfortunately, at the same time, I was starting to notice that not only was my right calf really tight, it was also starting to hurt a lot more, especially when I started running. Throughout training, I’ve been getting massages and I was hoping that another massage could just cure this problem. While the massage definitely helped, it didn’t solve the problem but I was able to make it through my 18mi run 2 weeks ago. I had some calf discomfort at the beginning but that let up over the course of the run. After that run on Saturday, I needed to do a 4mi run on Sunday. I went out on that run and had to call it quits because my calf just felt like it was shattering as I ran. On Monday, I went out for a 9mi run but after 5 miles, I just couldn’t handle the pain….and from there my running decreased and decreased….and my calf pain got worse and worse, even hurting at rest. After last week’s miserable runs, I knew I was not up for the 20 miler. I couldn’t walk down the steps without pain. Rob and I are also backpacking the Incan trail in May (for a total of 4 full days of hiking) and I started to get worried that if I kept pushing, I wouldn’t be able to do the hike….so here I’ve ended up.

I don’t think I have a stress fracture because I don’t have point tenderness and I don’t think I have shin splints because the pain is solely in the right calf (typically shin splints are bilateral). I’m not sure if I just severely pulled a muscle or perhaps I have exertional compartment syndrome. Regardless, I don’t think any new shoes or multiple massages are going to fix the problem.

I’m definitely disappointed because this has been something I’ve been working towards for months. I’ve been running at least a 10 mile long weekend run every weekend (minus February) since the beginning of December. Running a marathon is on my bucket list, but so is climbing Machu Picchu.

I also think that I need to reassess why running a marathon is on my bucket list. Perhaps, my body just can’t tolerate the training….clearly, I’m having a hard time accepting that…(which is evidenced by the fact that my sports med doc has told me this numerous times…yet I still keep training…and am now too embarrassed to go and see him for this injury).

Anyway, sorry for the long, drawn out post. I also feel lucky that while I can’t run a marathon, I can still do other things (ie yoga). And I also know that this is minor in comparison to the struggles other people face.

I might still do the half….

Thanks for listening to me.

xo

Mary

Not back in the game yet

Last  month, I wore a holter monitor for 21 days.  I affectionately referred to it as my robot heart.  Whenever I felt a particular symptom, I pushed a button on the monitor and scrolled through the lists to log the symptom and what activity I was doing when it occurred.  It looked like an awkward pager with four electrodes, so I got really creative at outfits worn to hide it.  I wore one of my running vests as an extra layer at work, it has lots of pockets so I was able to hide the monitor in an inner pocket.  I wore thick scarves to cover the stickies on the top of my chest.  At the end of the three weeks, you just stick in its prepaid box and mail it back to the company.

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Freeeedoooooom

 

Last week I had a cardiologist appointment to follow up on the holter monitor and the latest echos.  Both good and bad news: -my ejection fraction (this is the amount of blood or oxygenated blood or something that your heart pushes through) was measuring between 55-60%, which is almost at the 60% she wants to see (that’s normal) and higher than the 50-53% it was in the hospital (that’s too low). -the damage and thin heart wall in the lower area of my heart caused by the myocarditis is getting better. -they also discovered a have a very slight type of heart murmur, a mitral valve prolapse, which is when one of the flaps in a chamber of the heart doesn’t quite close all the way, but it’s so slight that there’s nothing to be done for it, just something to watch.

So while that sounds good, and is finally signs of healing that we’ve been looking for, the fact is that it took almost five months for that to happen.  So when the doctor said she’ll see me in four months and I have to maintain the same level of rest, I was very disappointed (“disappointed” is an understatement but I’m trying to keep it together here).  She said “I know it’s hard, you’re pulling at my heartstrings” and emphasized that I have to give it time to heal now or I won’t be able to get over it when I’m older, and risk a lot more complications.

I can walk up to three miles as long as I feel ok, and I can bike very easy (like, easy bike commute to church and around the neighborhood) up to three miles.  No running.  No swimming.  No triathlons.  No summer races.

I am not trying to be a whineypants, but I’ve been sort of avoiding thinking about it for the last few months, and I think I need to let myself do a little bit of grieving for the goals and the activities I had planned.  Even if I am able to start doing more in four months, I won’t just be able to hop back into full-blown marathon training, so any hopes of chasing a BQ or age group points in triathlons are going to be on hold kind of indefinitely at this point.

This is getting long so I am going to wrap it up after a few more thoughts.  This is a post I am going to share with a lot of running/triathlete friends so they know where I’ve gone.  I’m making an effort to unfollow some groups and people on social media, temporarily, because it does sting to see my friends literally running into the sunset while I am stuck on the couch, and also because I need to make more of an effort to fill my time with other activities to help me heal instead of just pass the time until I can run again.  I am still inspired by other runners, especially Master’s runners, who have been able to look back and say “that was a season I was not able to run, and I’m ok with that”.  Hopefully I will be on the other side of this someday, too.