Saturday, October 29, 2016

from bunion boot --> long distance runner = THE RETURN OF THE #MRG! :D

so once upon a time, I RAN SIX MILES, PAIN-FREE, in LESS THAN AN HOUR (just barely, but still!!) POST-BUNIONECTOMY.

& here's the proof, thanks to my trusty garmin:

if you were following the #mrg over the summer, you might recall that i had a bunionectomy and was in a "cast" for a few weeks, & then moved onto my lovely BB-2 (big black bunion boot, aka bb-squared) for another few weeks. #howispentmysummervacation, in a nutshell, = not walking for a lot of the time on my left foot. (ps if you want the full surgery/bunion story recap, you can see my recap post here.)

i got pretty used to clunking around in this little guy, especially once i was allowed to start driving again (#BESTDAYEVER). i was also given a handicap parking tag that lasts me through december, better believe i have been taking (for better or worse) full advantage of that as i've been healing.

but lo & behold, way back in early july, i had my personal independence day - about six weeks post-surgery. my pretty little yellow pin was taken out (needed it there due to the hammer toe i had/arthroplasty that was done to fix it during the bunionectomy surgery), and i was as shocked as you are to see just how long that little pin was!

i snapped a few shots of my new hardware (two little screws permanently in my big toe, for life)

& on july 7th, 2016, my official independence (from being unable to walk) day became official! 

i was only "allowed" to fast-walk for the next month or so, so i don't think i got in my first real "run" until i made it back out to utah in late august. but needless to say: after that first run, i was STOKED. considering the fact that i had spent months being unable to run more than 2ish miles without pain in my foot...and now i could run THREE with ZERO pain!??! #unreal #SOhappy!!!

the proof is in the garmin!
(editor's note: my first run was just 1.5 miles, as pictured above. the second run i think was the one where i ran 3 miles...pictured below :):

my lungs hurt, my legs hurt, & i remembered how difficult it is running with utah's altitude (#MOUNTAINS) - - but I DID IT. with ZERO pain! after that run, three could easily have been my new favorite number.

since that glorious first run back, i was happy to log more & more miles. even as much as FIVE. FIVE. WHOLE. MILES. with ZERO PAIN. it am pretty sure that it had been YEARS since i had been able to do that (since i never ran more than maybe a mile during exercise time on my mission)!!! #notracknoproblem

more and more bliss-filled miles just kept on becoming a part of my life. just me & my running shoes & the open road ahead of me. 3 miles. treadmill miles. more & more & more RUNNING miles. pain-FREE. i can't say that enough. what a huge difference that surgery made!!!

& then the beauty of an early-morning run came back into my life...HOW i have MISSED those! ah! cold-weather running gear (aka just adding in a long-sleeved tech t-shirt for now, but still) is my favorite. (:

"lettuce run. go bananas." ;)

MORE cold-weather running. love love love love running as it gets cooler outside! 

& i love my complex's little fitness center/treadmill to keep me in shape when i wait until much too late at night to get in my run for the day ;)

& just to prove to any remaining doubters about my rekindled love for running - i actually went running WITH SOMEONE ELSE. that is like, the biggest rarity in the world. (i don't like running with other people because our paces are generally different - aka i don't want to run slowly or push myself too hard to match their pace) actually come to think of it, it's probably just more proof of the fact that i really, really like this hanging out with my squid (aka sydney aka bff from the mtc!), enough to join forces for an afternoon run, at least. (;

& a few days following that lovely run, came along this little gem that i started off this little post commemorating -- my first SIX-miler, in who knows HOW long, totally & completely PAIN-FREE.

bah. i know i keep saying it but honestly, this still boggles my mind. the entire reason i love love love running so much is because it is one thing that i feel like my body was made for - that i can keep doing forever & ever. i love long distance running because i can go for miles & miles and just be perfectly content, listening to music or a church talk/podcast or looking at the beautiful scenery all around me & just thinking about life in general. the fact that i wasn't able to run long-distance (with or without pain) pretty much from august 2013-august 2016 has been difficult. but in all honesty, i'm so so grateful for:

1. the mission i served (100% worth sacrificing a year & a half of long-distance running), &
2. the learning & growing time that i had (struggling through the pain, getting surgery, learning a TON about patience, & going through the entire recovery process).

i've learned a TON about myself, developed a whole new love for my parents (thank you again SO. MUCH. for paying for the surgery & taking care of me & loving me & so so much more), and i have an entirely new appreciation for my body and the incredible blessing that it is to have two feet, two legs, & the ability to run again, for miles & miles (& miles & miles & miles...:).

ah. so there you have it. it is now late october & although the half marathon i initially wanted to be ready to run (today - the provo halloween half) didn't happen (due to a few minor setbacks that i might get into in a later post)...the good news is that the #MRG is now officially back in action - - (hopefully!) for good. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

#summertime - a throwback recap in 40 photos :)

sooooo once upon a time...i decided that i really miss blogging & everything that it does for me (de-stress, opportunity for reflection/to tell everyone all the details about my life/talk about whatever i want to to whoever wants to listen/etc. ;)

SO. HERE WE GO. first post since july just has to be a summer recap, amirite? at least for the time following my last post (which i think was 4th of july).

basically my summer was amazing. i loved being home & (as much as i didn't love all the bedrest/heavy footed-ness as a result of my big surgery) i loved all the family time we got in between late april-august.

the younger sibs repping OH (can i get an -IO?):

the pittsburgh-born sibs:

can i just brag about how amazing my mama is for two seconds? k, SHE'S AMAZING. came with me to most of my podiatrist appointments/checkups/available to talk me whenever, about whatever. i don't know exactly how i got so lucky but hey, i'm not complaining. ;)

also, in the daddy department, i am beyond blessed! seriously, i got beyond lucky when it came to my family...even when everything can be crashing down in my life (which thankfully, that hasn't happened...knock on wood hahaha), i know they've got my back through thick & thin! and they're beautiful and hilarious and well, i could go on. they're just awesome. :) especially with a daddy who has a love for classic films at the ohio theatre like i do!

okay, on to the specific highlights. here we go!

big summer highlight = seeing koo koo kangaroo LIVE with the fam. aka the band my family (mostly the littles) is obsessed with. and if you're curious what they're all about, go to their website or just watch the video here (which was my first "taste" of the koo koo kangaroo craziness). okay to be honest, it was their real music video of that song (not the dance along), but i think it's a little less terrifying than what my first real experience was ;) hahah. they are so fun though!

my first nephew (little d) turned 6! he's growing up so so fast. we had tons of fun this summer going on little dates together to get ice cream & go to the park & just hang out. love this kiddo!

more ohio theatre movie nights with daddy!

dk's somehow 18 - WHA!? i still don't understand how my baby brother could possibly be an adult now (he's not yet...right? right?!), but it's real, ladies & gentlemen. he's such a cutie & will always be my baby brother.

sib dates are among my favorites. this needs to be a new tradition. <3

also, fhe (aka family home evening) as a family! which is always great when you get to make little cutouts of your family and write what you love about them #spreadthelove :)

daddy's work had a watermelon competition (smashing/throwing/etc.) on national watermelon day or something, so i took little a (niece) with me to visit him & we had a blast (and ate some of the salvaged watermelon after ;)

SHE IS THE CUTEST. like, literally the cutest human being on the face of the planet. i dare you to find someone cuter. #notpossible

can i also take a moment to talk about what a fun age she's at!??! we went out on a date one night & then we both pulled our hair up into buns (re: i pulled our hair up into buns) & sat outside by a sewage pond & took selfies. she is such a goofy little mini-me (even though we look nothing alike...hahaha) and i kind of love it when people ask if she is my daughter (which happens frequently when i take her out like this). she brings out the best in me (;

ALSO, THAT SASS. i. can't. even. she rocks those sunglasses far better than me.

more time with this boy. ah. my heart! i miss these kiddos something fierce. why does ohio have to be 1,000+ miles away from utah!? #lame

bff liana came to town early august! we partied it up & went to cedar point with two of her friends from utah (SO MUCH FUN & literally the best group ever to go with!),

saw a movie at the ohio theatre with my fam,

& did other fun things like talk, catch up, tour my hometown of dublin, & do other things like almost buy zenon costumes at the thrift store. case in point:


and us at the thrift store:

see the resemblance?! ;)

more fhe fun with two of my favorite boys (& not pictured, mama & daddy, too!):

and walks around the block with my two favorite twins (little d + little a's little brothers)!:

watching the olympics most nights (aka during swimming, women's gymnastics, & some track & field events) with mama = a HUGE summer highlight! especially watching katie ledecky absolutely kill it by like, a full pool length at one point (!?). homegirl is amazing.

anna coming to town = always a great time!

also, cosi dates with my favorite little younger brother:

eventually, the time came to head back out west...which is always complete with a stop in champaign, illinois to check out our favorite resident news reporter/anchor/chef extraordinaire, anna carrera (aka my sister, in case you didn't know ;) derick's pretty awesome too, for a meteorologist... (;

carrera girls forever <3

i wish i had written about this trek out west (ohio --> utah) much earlier so i could recall all the awesome details, but rest assured it was yet another fabulous cross-country trip with my daddy! we took a different route this time (through colorful colorado!) & saw some breathtaking sights. case in point: see the below panoramic photo outside the "original" hard rock cafe in colorado:

i love love love cross-country trips with my daddy...i think this is our third time going out west (and we've made the return trip twice). it's crazy to think that i don't know the next time/if i'll ever be headed back east with my car...weird!


after hours of jamming along to our favorite artists (see: paul mccartney, billy joel, & etc.), talking about everything from boys to life improvement, & reviewing & discussing different elements of the 7 habits of highly effective people, we finally made it to utah!

quality time with daddy + beautiful scenery = just what i need sometimes.

we made a pit stop at the vernal temple, where daddy had never been before. it's just as beautiful as i remember it from way back when micae & i went to visit many, many moons ago. <--- #oldblogthrowback

after lots of twists & turns in the (dark) road that last little bit from vernal --> provo, we did finally make it to my new apartment! & i'm happy to report that from ohio --> utah, daddy & i saw 40 of the 51 state license plates (counting washington d.c, obviously)!

sigh. summer 2016 was an adventure, but an awesome one, for sure. :) thanks again x daddy for trekking out west with me one more time! here's to many more memories (& blogging about them somewhat regularly? ;) for the semester ahead. :)
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