Monday, July 27, 2015

A week of adventures

   The past few days have been pretty eventful. I started out not feeling so well last week. My chest and upper back pain returned the beginning of June and has lingered through the month. Last time I met with my doctor, he recommended I get my heart checked out, so I had a "stress test" at the hospital on Wednesday. It actually wasn't so bad. The guy in charge was really nice and we talked about running most the time, so it wasn't super "stressful."

I'm a robot! Me at my treadmill stress test. 

     They plugged me into the EKG and blood pressure cuff and I went on a treadmill while attached to all of these wires. The doctor pushed me pretty hard. He had me going at 5mph at a 30% incline (it was the incline that made it intense) and got my heart rate up to about 186.

     Turns out my heart is healthy! It was what I expected, but it is also reassuring to know for sure. They gave me a CD with all the information (basically my heart beat) recorded during the test. I'll probably write about it later!.. but the week got more interesting from there. 

     Thursday morning before work, Craig and I decided to go for a run at a local mountain. It was super intense! I had run it before over a year ago. As you can see in the graph below, there was 600 feet in elevation gain in just the first mile. It was a pretty run though, and Craig said he enjoyed it more than running on the road because it kept his mind busy trying to avoid tripping over rocks and stuff (I nearly tripped at least 3 times on the way up!).

Mountain run! My pace was slow, but it was a really hard run.  I'm still sore and it's been five days since.
We did it yay! Me and Craig post run.

      That night, I was not feeling well at all. I'll spare the details mainly because the picture below sums it up. That's a heated blanket I'm wrapped up in... and it's summer.

Not feeling too happy Thursday night
    Friday morning, I was feeling a little better. I had ordered a surprise Garmin watch for Craig online a few days back, and that morning I found out that it was back ordered, and basically they ended up canceling my order! I called everywhere in town and no one sold the right kind of watch I wanted to get him. Finally, I found a store that was selling exactly what I wanted to get him! I was super happy, but the store was an hour and a half drive away. I had the store hold the watch and waited for Craig to get home.

    Little did I know Craig had a surprise for me too! He walked in with a big bouquet of flowers :) He had felt bad that I was feeling ill the day before, so he went to Safeway and picked out all of my favorite things. 

     Planning his surprise was already making me feel better by distracting me. This definitely made happy! Then I told him my plan, and we decided to go drive over and pick out his watch that night!

All my favorite things: chai tea, fizzy water, sour patch kids, sorbet and flowers! 

Quick dessert before the car ride: sour patch kids swimming in sorbet 

          We had a fun time talking and listening to music in the car, and the time flew by. When we got to the store, they had the watch I wanted to get him- the garmin forerunner15! It's the same one that I run with to track my distance when I run. I really wanted to get it for him because he's been enjoying running more and more recently. And cause he's been so great this past year with me feeling sick. And cause I love him a super ton.
Garmin FR15
     Anyways, so we bought the watch, and still had time in the day to hit up Target and Trader Joe's. In the town we are from, really the only stores are Safeway and Walmart (and we don't go to Walmart), so getting to go shopping for different foods (especially at Trader Joes!) is a treat.

     For the sake of time, I'll skip Saturday and move right along to Sunday morning. Through the weekend, my quads where still super sore from the mountain run on Thursday. I didn't let this stop me from running though. On Sunday, I woke up at 6 am to go for a long run on the nearby trail. Because it was so early it was almost too cold outside!.. It was awesome.
     Craig's watch came with a heart rate monitor and I brought that along with, so now all my running chart will have heart rate data. I did not look at my pace or distance the entire run, but instead tried to keep my heart rate at about 150 the first half and 160 the second half.

My splits, including heart rate information.

    The first half of the run, it was a bit of an effort to run because of my sore legs. Also, there was a pretty bad headwind on the way back, so needless to say I was exhausted by the end. 

Need water... Soooo thirsty. 
     I made it home by 8:00, and Craig had already made french toast for breakfast! I slathered mine with peanut butter and drank a cup of coffee to prepare for the day ahead.
    That afternoon, we drove to Palouse Falls with a few of Craig's friends. It was a fun car ride over, because one of Craig's friends had just returned from a week long conference and had tons of entertaining stories to tell (let's just say his stories are so funny that really he should be the one with a blog, not me haha).
    There were actually a lot of people at the national park. I think Palouse Falls is one of the more famous sites in Washington. I had never been, though, and neither had Craig.

Graffiti along the cliffs.

 The cliffs were steep and had beautifully etched layers.
     The descent was a bit rough on my legs. Walking downhill especially hurt my quads and knees a bit. And by the end of the hike there was a rope to hold onto because it was so steep! But I made it.
Craig and I at the bottom of the ravine, Palouse falls in the background
    The whole area was extremely beautiful and it was definitely worth the hike even though I was tired.

    It had taken us an hour or so to hike the bottom, so I anticipated a long journey upward. This wasn't the case though, because there was a short cut up through what I was told was a "chimney." 
Our hike ended by climbing up this strange crack. It was pretty narrow and verticle, so it was a bit like rock climbing.

          Anyways, the past few days have been so happy and busy that somewhere along the way I stopped feeling chest and back pain. Hopefully it's gone for good! I think August is gonna be a fun month.