Statistically Speaking….

Or not, as I don’t really know enough about stats to do any calculations, but here is a numbers based review of the biggest thing I just did:

10,359 miles by plane
733 miles by bus
176 miles by rental car
10 miles (or so) of subway rides
25 miles (or so) by cab
150 miles (give or take a few dozens) walked (in museums, surface streets, through subway stations and airport terminals)
19 days
6 countries (though 2 don’t really count)
1100+ photos and videos

Continue reading

Deadlines Approaching

It’s hard to blog when I have so many deadlines approaching. I can’t blog about biking, since I am not riding much (weather, workload). No one wants to hear about the things my students write (well, maybe you do, but I won’t share them in a public forum.) And I’ve been working on comps prep, which is interesting to me, but doesn’t leave me much interest in writing here, mostly because by the end of the night, I’ve run out of words. (I wrote 2700 words yesterday. I have to do that 8 times. I’ve got 6 of them done.) I could show you or tell you about the books I have from the library (77 books, plus 3 from interlibrary loan) and all the things I am reading, but again, too tired and running out of words. So, instead, I made this silly picture of our big dog:

Boyfriend has been playing a lot of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 lately, so I decided we should try to make a picture of the dogs in his headphones. Maddie is the only one who would sit still long enough to take a photo.  Continue reading

Doing With Intention

I have to share a story with you. One of my very best friends, since FOREVER, started running a little over a year ago. She is someone you never would have thought of as an athlete. Most of her previous fitness had come from dancing in clubs in NYC while working for the music industry. Punk rock and parties were more her thing. But, at a certain point, something inside her called for more. She ended up going back to school to get a masters degree in social work, and the big heart that we all knew she had was dedicated to a life making life better for other people. She is a very selfless person, very generous and giving, and to know her is to love her. She lived in the East Village in 2001, and was on site providing crisis management support after the World Trade Center came down. Her birthday is September 12, but rather than celebrating, (who could?) she was passing out water, meeting with first responders, and providing emotional support.

Fast forward to now. She’s a director of volunteer services for a hospice organization, and a loving mother and wife, who is a strong advocate for maintaining the role of the self in all women do – be a mom, but be yourself first, so you can be a strong, powerful role model for your children. Teach your girls to be strong, and your boys to be respectful. She is amazing. This whole “be present in yourself” approach she has to life is one of the reasons she started running. She wanted to be fit and healthy for her children, and be a good role model for healthy lifestyle choices for the two rambunctious boys that could easily get overwhelmed with negative messages in today’s screen based world. She tells a story of her oldest son finding a picture of her, before she started running.

He said “Mommy, you look so different here!” and my heart dropped. What would he say? What would he observe about the image of me, heavier, less active? “Well, it’s different because this was before you got so fit!” My heart breathed a sigh of relief. I had conveyed the proper message – running for fitness, and eating for health. Not weight loss or body image.

Within a year, my friend went from being a non-athlete to running 5k races, to doing a 1/2 marathon at Disneyworld, to doing more and more 1/2 marathons. The idea struck her – why not, having been a New Yorker for so long, throw her name in the hat for the NYC Marathon? And on her first try, she was picked from the lottery to run – her first marathon ever would be the NYC marathon.

She spent the last 6 months in training, including the taper over the last two weeks. She’s been *itching* to run. But then, tragedy struck, as we well know. Hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast from Cuba and Haiti all the way north to Connecticut, Massachusetts  and New Jersey, and yes, New York. The NYC Marathon was scheduled to leave from Staten Island and wind its way through the five boroughs of the city tomorrow morning, yet today they are still pulling dead bodies from flooded houses. It’s a heartbreaking scene of devastation and misery. The city debated continuing the marathon, saying it would be an act of “healing” for the city – but not this soon. Smarter people took charge and made the decision to cancel.

My friend Carolyn was glad for this. She saw the devastation, and knew that it would not be the ideal first marathon she had dreamed of running. The cancellation came yesterday afternoon – less than 48 hours before the run was scheduled. Carolyn decided to run anyway, in her current hometown of Danbury, CT. A few friends started saying they’d donate to relief efforts in her name if she did it, and suddenly, an idea was born.

Carolyn, 5k into her 26.2 miles to direct donations to hurricane relief.

In less than 12 hours, we built a facebook page for her run, at https://www.facebook.com/CarolynRunsForNyc, with links to organizations helping with the relief effort. We are encouraging people to “cheer” Carolyn on by donating directly to a relief organization in her name. You can follow the page for updates, or follow me as I post her updates on Twitter, using the hashtags #run4nyc and #carolynruns.

Carolyn is on the road right now, doing her solo marathon through the Danbury region. I think she put it best when she said, before her run:

Ok – I’m heading out shortly….Please know…this is not about a cheering section for me…this is a cheering section for the relief efforts, and those who are working tirelessly to rebuild their homes and their lives.

At a time when there is so much sniping and political game playing, this intentional use of a personal milestone to direct attention to the needs of others is amazing, selfless and reflective of the Carolyn that I have known and loved forever. If you are in the Danbury area, give her a shout out if you see her run by. Everyone should swing by the facebook page and pledge a donation, and go to any organization that is helping with the relief efforts, and donate now.

This is not a post about bikes

It’s only peripherally about books, and not about *anything* blue.

Holy crap, I’m in love.

Last Friday, it was SO COLD in Boulder that my coach decided we’d cancel our training ride. Normally, that’s not done, but because we were doing skill drills rather than steady exertion, we wouldn’t be able to keep ourselves warm. With the right gear, you can ride into the winter without incident. Continue reading

Review: Suuthe Skin Repair & Brave Soldier Antiseptic Healing Ointment

The most visible part of my accident was the damage to my face. Road rash is never pretty, and bikers get to experience a lot of it over time. I’ve scraped knees, bruised hips, ripped gloves, and banged elbows in the various bike crashes I’ve had, but nothing as bad as when I went over my handlebars and landed on my face on the cement bike path – a very dirty cement bike path. Denver is high desert country, so we don’t get rain to regularly wash the streets clean. The area where I crashed was quite busy, not just with bikers, but a lot of unsavory elements of society like to hang out below grade, next to the creek. There is no telling just what was on that surface, and then embedded in my skin.

At the hospital, they soaked pads in something to soothe the pain and draw out the blood in order to use the body’s anti-bacterial properties to work for itself, which resulted in me going home with a really nasty bloody and scabbed over face. It also hurt like hell. Like most people, I actually do care a bit about my appearance (I’ll admit to even wearing tinted sunscreen, waterproof eyeliner, and mascara on rides to look a wee bit better in ride photos) and so this scrape had me scared. Combined with the eight stitched into my lip, I was certain I would be scarred for life, and I was pretty upset. They told me at the hospital that keeping it moist was the best way to avoid scarring while the scab sloughed off. Our first instinct was to go for the neosporin, but I’ll tell you – neosporin may claim to have pain relieving properties, but that’s a lie. It’s also disgusting looking, because the creamy white version dries out, turns yellow, and makes you look like patient zero of the zombie apocalypse. Neosporin wasn’t doing the trick, so we tried some alternatives, which I’m reviewing here. Continue reading

Excellent Things

I Love My Orthopedic Surgeon

Went to the Ortho today. He’s a straight shooter, no BS kind of guy. Prognosis: start physical therapy next week, 2x weekly for 6 weeks. Develop range of motion, plus strengthening of trapezius. Can drive/bike/sports/other activity as determined by comfort level and pain medication, avoid activities while impaired, but be cognizant of own levels to increase activity while slowly decreasing pain management. Pain management is right on track for where it should be, and don’t feel bad about medicating for muscle pain, because the muscular damage can take longer to heal than the bone. Also, don’t let the PT people cause pain. Be own advocate for advancement within comfort levels. Continue reading

Inside the ER – Denver Health, I’ve got half a mind to file a formal complaint

You know how people always say that crime shows give people a false sense of what police work is like? Well hospital shows do that too. I don’t know what was going on outside my room at Denver Health, but I’m pretty sure there weren’t any romances developing, or anything else that happens on those shows. To be honest, I don’t watch them. Never watched ER, never watched House, never watched Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, even though I’ve worked in law enforcement, and know that whatever goes on with the CSI people, that never happened in our crime lab. It was usually a lot more mundane and boring, with a lot less technology.

So rather than what DOESN’T happen, what *did* happen on my trip to the ER? Continue reading