on the long run has moved!

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My blog can be found at www.erinchrist.com  

p.s. Sorry if this is someone’s real life car.  I borrowed from the internet 🙂

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A Year-End Review!

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A lot that can happen in year.  Some things perhaps more significant than others, but regardless all important in one way or the other.  So here is my rundown of the recent trip around the sun.

1. Living in the south.
2. Running outside in January & February in shorts and a t-shirt.
3. Seeing alligators in the wild.
4. Being vegan for 5 months.
5. Getting seriously back into triathlon.
6. 4am workouts
7. Brand ambassador for the best running clothes company ever, Oiselle!!
8. Sponsorship / brand ambassador for GU and Rudy Project.
9. Comeback triathlon raced on my 30th birthday.
10. Half marathon PR.
11. Eagleman 70.3 in Cambridge, MD.
12. Air show and time in the DC area.
13. Terrie Hill’s visit
14. Cancer
15. Seeing CCU volleyball play and amazing season.
16. Fishing in late October
17. 10k race PR.
18. Perfecting the art of cooking poached eggs (so delicious)
19. Cooking a vegan chili at a chili cook off in meat and potatoes country Indiana!
20. Eric Church Concert
21. Daily walks with the Abby dog this fall.

Favorite songs I’ve listened to this year (no particular order)
1. Welcome Home – Radical Face
2. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
3. Stubborn Love – the Lumineers
4. Oh Hey – the Lumineers
5. Love Wouldn’t Die – Trevor Hall
6. Some Nights – Fun
7. Springsteen – Eric Church
8. Drunk on You – Luke Bryan
9. Shake It Out – Florence & the Machine
10. Never Let Me Go – Florence & the Machine
11. Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
12. How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep – Bombay Bicycle Club
13. Diamond In the Rough – hitRECord
14. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? – She & Him
15. I’m Gettin’ Stoned – Eric Church
16. Wrapped In Piano Stings – Radical Face
17. Old Pine – Ben Howard
18. The Lime Tree – Trevor Hall
19. Gold On The Ceiling – Black Keys
20. Home – Phillip Phillips

Favorite 2012 Movies (no particular order)
1. Hunger Games
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. Looper
4. Avengers
5. Trouble With The Curve
6. Argo
7. Skyfall
8. Lincoln
9. (still need to see but I will venture to guess that they would make the list.  Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, The Impossible)

Books I’ve enjoyed this year:
1. Hunger Games series
2. Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.
3. No Easy Day by Mark Owen
4 The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
5. The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Wirrow

Favorite New Websites:
1. Today’s Letters
2. hitRECord.org
3. Pinterest

Looking forward to……

1. Training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene
2. Representing Oiselle while racing
3. Trip to Idaho
4. Fining a new job
5. New movies coming out in 2013
6. Discovering more amazing music
7. Whatever else comes along.

2013…….. 3…2…1….GO!

Thanksgiving Week

Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning I ran the Valparaiso Turkey Trot.  It was a pretty decent size race with over 3000 people running the 5 and 10k that morning.  The race went exceptionally well.  I decided to run the 10k to change it up from the 5k races I have been doing lately.  Thanksgiving morning was shaping up to be perfect weather for running, 45 degrees, sunny, and light winds.  I had a time goal of 52 minutes, which would give me a new PR.  The race went by pretty fast, and even with the hilly course I was holding a pace that would put me under 52 minutes.  The last half of the course was a lot of short steep hills with the last mile being a long straight away up hill.  Not really the best course for someone who hasn’t run on anything but flat roads for a long time, but I was doing pretty well.   I got really close to finishing under 51 minutes, but the last hill put me just over with a finish time of 51:10.  I was pretty happy with that.

Moose Chili Cook Off

On Sunday my mom and I competed it the Moose Lodge Chili Cook Off.  We lucked out on the weather with sunny day and wasn’t too cold since we were cooking outside.  We had our tent set up by 7:30 and the cooking started by 8.  Our chili was not going to take the full 3.5 hours to cook so we made a delicious breakfast on the grill before getting down to business.  Our chili cooking went smoothly and was highlighted with competitive trash talking between some of the competing teams.  We were for sure the underdogs of the competition since we went out on a limb and made a vegetarian chili.  Despite not placing very well everyone who tried our chili thought it was pretty darn good so I guess that is what matters.

 

Kick the tires and light the fires

This is the last full week of living in Myrtle Beach, and it has been full of packing.  I kind of feel like (and I am going to be a bit more of a nerd here than normal) that scene in the last Harry Potter movie where they get stuck in the vault and everything they touch multiplies a dozen times until they are literally drowning in cups, coins, and other gold items.  This packing experience has been a lot like that scene.  Every time I pack a box it seems like the unpacked stuff has multiplied x10.  That or I am just easily distracted, and the time it took me to pack said box is longer than I realize so it just feels like I accomplished a lot.  Bottom line…. packing for a move is ZERO fun.  I’ve moved about 9 times in the last 10 or 11 years, and I can honestly say it does not get any better the more you do it.  I should probably just stay put at some point.

Also this week I had my last check-ups with my surgeon and oncologist.  Everything looks good so far and everything should be good to go for surgery part 2 in December.  I just have to have regular check-ups every few months.  Last month I finished all of the tissue expander injections.  The whole process was pretty uneventful.  It’s still weird, but not as uncomfortable as before they were filled.  The nerve sensation in the upper part of my right arm is starting to come back a little which is fun.  It’s like a random little lightning storm in my arm from time to time.  But other than that, life is pretty much usual business.

Can’t think of a witty title….

On Tuesday this past week I had the first saline injection into the tissue expanders.  The entire process is kind of cool.  The expander has a special port where the fluid is injected into, but since everything is under your skin they use a magnet to locate the position of the port.  After marking out the location of the port they inject the saline with a needle that looks like it could take down a horse!  Well, I guess the needle isn’t that big, but the barrel attached to the needle is probably the biggest I have seen being used by someone other than a large animal vet.  Anyways, the entire process went pretty quick and I couldn’t really feel anything besides the needle going in.  I will do this once a week for the next 4 weeks, and then wait about 3 months with the expanders filled before the next surgery.  The idea is that increasing the fluid gradually will allow the tissues to stretch properly and reduce the risk of tissue damage or tissue death that could be caused by bypassing this process.  In general the expanders still have the general uncomfortableness about them, and sometimes I can feel the fluid move if I bend down too fast or when I first start running.  It’s weird, but it’s not that bad.

Enough with the boring stuff…..

Last weekend I drove up to Virginia to hang out with my brother.  We watched boy movies, road bikes, and ate Chipotle!!!  By the way the Expendables 2 movie has the best Chuck Norris line ever!  It was great, except for my brother kicking my butt on the bike.  The bike trails in Virginia just outside of D.C. are pretty cool, and better than I expected.  But I guess in an area with that many people and traffic there has to be a trail system to keep the bikes and cars separate.  Made me wish Myrtle Beach had a similar system, but I guess most people come here for the beach and not to ride bikes.

Last but not least, I received my welcome kit from Oiselle this week!  It was like Christmas showed up in the mail!

Tried out some of it on the run this morning.  It was super comfy.  Can’t wait till the next 5K on Sept 8th to bust out the race kit!

The new normal and fun news!

This week is one of the first weeks that I have not had any doctors appointments.  Kind of weird.  I have been getting back into workouts or some sort of consistent workouts.  I’m not cleared to swim yet since public pools and the ocean carry too many germs so I am limited to the bike and the treadmill.  I have mostly stayed on the trainer with the bike since some of the meds I had to be on made me a little dizzy.  I am learning to tolerate the treadmill.  Again I find myself limited by the medications which have caused my resting heart rate that pre-surgery was a comfortable 50 bpm to now have jumped to 80 or more.  It is frustrating trying to run on the treadmill with a constant eye on the heart rate monitor to make sure my heart rate is not red lining when I am running just under 12 minute per mile pace.  I’ve run 3 times now on the treadmill and it is getting easier to tolerate the uncomfortably slow pace because I know the meds will be gone soon and things will come back to normal.  But honestly if this is some of the worst parts of this new life I will accept it graciously and keep moving forward.

While watching some of the past weeks Olympic events I started following some of my favorite athletes via twitter.  One tweet particularly stood out by David Boudia USA gold medalist diver and fellow Purdue Boilermaker.  He tweeted a photo of this quote that has basically summed up life since 5-29.  We know suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character & character produces HOPE. Romans 5:3-4  I’m not normally a strong believer in all the bits of the bible, but sometimes they get some things right.

On a more fun note.  I have been accepted to be one of the newest Oiselle runners.  Oiselle is a women’s running apparel company with super cute and comfy clothes.  I can’t wait to get back into race shape and help represent this awesome brand.  More to come on this new avenue as things unfold.

Adios drain tubes!

It was a big day.  The last of the 4 chest drain tubes was removed this afternoon.  I was bummed last week when they only took 3 out and I still had to deal with the one, but only having 1 drain was way better than 4.  I wish I would have taken a better picture of them so you all can get the full effect of what these things are all about, but borrowing an image from the internet this is essentially it.  The tube is sutured into the side of your chest and then placed so it catches fluid from deep inside and also more superficial.  The whole system works essentially on suction.  You open the valve at the top to empty it and then roll it up to push all the air out of the bulb before placing the plug back in.  Then it just magically fills up again.  🙂

Maneuvering around with them is a bit of commitment.  Most of the time they fit into my hoodie pouch and that worked fairly well.  But since it was super hot while the drains were in I couldn’t wear a sweatshirt outside and had to rely on a pouch aka “fanny pack”.  It felt like I looked super stupid but it really was the easiest way to carry 4 of these drains around comfortably.  Showering was also an interesting event.  Luckily though an old triathlon race number belt worked brilliantly, and I was able to easily attach them to it.  I also started to get back on the bike this week inside though on the trainer and I found that the drain fit perfectly into my back pocket.  Again the self photo I took of this was pretty bad, but the whole idea was kind of funny.

Now it is more waiting.  In about two weeks we start filling the tissue expanders and that will take 4-5 weeks to complete that process.  I guess in a way we are done with the demolition phase and now onto the rebuild.  In the mean time though the goal is to get my shoulder range of motion back, and get back into a better run and bike shape.