Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our Weekend Thus Far

The weekend started, for me, with coming home from work Friday evening to eat the Chickpeas and Broccoli dish Davan made for dinner.  Have I mentioned that we're doing a meal plan these days for our weekday dinners?

Monday:  Salad and Gnocchi or Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Tuesday:  Crockpot Soup
Wednesday:  Schezwan Broccoli over brown rice
Thursday:  YOYO  (You're on your own.)
Friday:  Davan cooks

We do go off schedule sometimes.  Sometimes I cook something for lunch when I have more time and we'll have leftovers for dinner.  Pretty much, though, this is the plan.  Davan has a goal of cooking from different countries most Fridays, but the Chickpeas and Broccoli is her standby, which is great because we all like it.

With the weekend started and no word yet about the MRI, I'm in waiting mode still about my hip.

For Anthony and Davan, though, the weekend started earlier because it was Anthony's Friday off and he and Davan went to the Oregon History Museum together.  They'd recently learned that it's free to Multnomah County residents, so they went to check it out.  Aside from some school groups full of kids who really didn't seem to want to be there aside from it being a day away from school, they had a good time.  They did not, though, take any pictures.  Sigh.

Davan also made a pizzoki for dessert, so a fine evening was had by all.  ;)

Saturday morning was just a hang out sort of morning.  We had smoothies for breakfast, supplemented by monster cereal for Anthony and a bagel each for Davan and I.  Over breakfast, Davan and I played Forbidden Island.  That gave me an idea.

I suggested to Davan that we challenge ourselves to play every game we own in one week.  She was on board with that and, after she did a library run, we got down to business. 

Yes, Davan was glaring at me in that picture.  I don't actually remember what remark I made to cause it, but, never-the-less, there it is.

At least, Davan and I got to work.  Anthony who is okay with some games, but doesn't enjoy them like we do said he'd play some, but for most of yesterday's play, just hung out with us while we played.

Ranger was happy that we played in her room so she could lounge on her bed and still be with us.

After a while, there was some slacking off of the game playing because Davan, the ingrate, wanted to read the books she'd gotten from the library.  Can you imagine?

We did reconvene over lunch, though, and Anthony joined us for a 3 or more person game.

Then Davan took yet another book break.  No endurance, I tell you.

I spent some of our break time reading myself and some doing some research.  The leaking joint fluid in the ankle the my doctor put me in a boot for?  Everything I read said the most important thing is not doing weight bearing activities.  A walking boot doesn't do anything to keep the weight off of it.  I'm a little concerned because I'm spending a lot of time on my feet at work and the ankle doesn't seem to be getting any better.  I don't really know what to do with that right now, but it's adding to my stress about the whole thing.

In the afternoon we went to the Kennedy School to watch Brave.  I'd heard really good things about it and what a great movie it was, so we decided we wanted to see it in a theater.  We hadn't seen a movie at the Kennedy School before.  It was fun.  They have couches!  Check it out.

Brave, in my opinion, was fine.  It had it's moments and it was entertaining, but I can't get behind the "Oh, it's so good!" movement.  It was a Disney movie.  They aren't bad, but it was pretty much just another one of the same ilk.

We stayed after the movie for dinner at the pub.  I'd thought to bring along a game to play while we were waiting for our food.

I actually carry around a deck of cards for this sort of purpose in my messenger bag that I use like a purse, but added a few options to work on the challenge.

McMinamins is a local chain here in Oregon (and I think a few in Washington).  They're great in that they take historic buildings, keep them up and re-purpose them.  They have bars, restaurants, theaters, lodging, spas, music venues - many have combinations of several of those things.  They all have a similar menu.  We hadn't eaten at one in a long time.  Sadly, we found the options for Davan and I to be pretty limited, so we'll probably not eat there for a long time again.  Still, it was a nice outing.  I'd wanted to do a soak in between the movie and dinner, but Anthony's not a soak sort of guy and Davan, who'd been all for it on Friday, didn't feel like a soak on Saturday, so we skipped that part.  After we were there, though, Davan said, "I feel like a soak now, Mom.  Next time, just be firm with me that I have to."  Yeah, 'cause that'll go well.

In honor of it being Halloween week, we watched a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode when we got home.  We're Buffy fans and it's fun to watch our favorites again from time to time, but Davan and Anthony have a much higher tolerance for re watching things than I do.  So, I was only up for one episode.  Then it was reading and bed.

Yesterday we played:  Forbidden Island, Backgammon, Secret Door, Zeus on the Loose, Imaginiff and Set.  We've got a long way to go, my friends.  So far, we haven't found any that we want to get rid of.  We've talked about that being a side benefit of doing the challenge - cleaning out our game supply.  So far, though, they're keepers.

Oh, also yesterday evening, in the course of drying Ranger off after a rainy walk, we stumbled on a Halloween costume for her. 

A babushka!  Isn't she sweet?

Ranger doesn't love it, though.  It was hard to get a good picture between the glares:

Looking away at the shame of it all:

And shaking it off.

We skipped our Sunday morning pancake breakfast in order to prepare food for and save our appetites for brunch with the Zig Zag families.  We made an apple coffee cake and home fries with smokey almond gravy for our offerings.  A nice time was had by all eating yummy food and poking friends.  Well, Anthony and I didn't actually do any poking, but we had some nice conversations.  We also did a skit building exercise where the parents all worked together on a short piece and the Zig Zags all worked together on a short piece, then performed them for each other.  Good fun.

Davan is now off at rehearsal and Anthony, who was so busy at work this week that he thought he would have to work on his Friday off, went into work for the afternoon while Davan is gone.  I'd considered swimming this afternoon, but have been feeling a little off, so opted to stay home and chill instead.  I'm working on telling myself that a prolonged rest from major working out is really probably okay to do just now.  I'll have time again to be fit.

We haven't gotten any games in today between cooking, brunching and rehearsal.  We'll have to use our mornings well this week.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Newest Game

On the 6th of October, the day prior to the marathon, also known on my various medical forms as "date of injury," we went out shopping in search of monster cereals for Anthony.

These childhood favorites of his were on his mind for some reason and, even though he hasn't eaten them in more than 15 years at a minimum (I have a vague memory of eating them when we were in our early 20s, but Anthony thinks it may have been more like 25 years), he had a need to find them this Halloween season.  I'd already looked at Fred Meyer's, the grocery store I walk to regularly.  He'd looked at Safeway while our for a walk with Ranger.  Both were a bust.

He was motivated enough that he did an internet search and discovered that they could be found at Walmart.  Now, it's been years sense our last Walmart shopping excursion, but we all piled in the car and went with Anthony on his quest.  Davan came only because it was while she was still looking for room decorating items.  I went only because Anthony asked for my company.  I'm not a big fan of shopping, much less at Walmart. 

As far as cereal and room decorating, Walmart was a bust.  However, we did find something in the clearance isle of the toy department. 

It was all of 5 bucks.  That actually made me think two or three times because, well, it must not be that great of a game if no one has bought it even though it's about the hugely popular Hunger Games.  And I do try hard not to bring more clutter into the home.  Still, $5.  We decided that even if it turned out to be a not-very-good game, it could well be worth the $5 of figuring out how to play and playing it once or twice.

We were then busy for the rest of the day.  After all, we still hadn't found the monster cereal.  Not to mention there was dinner with friends to go to.  The next day, being the "date of injury" was likewise, pretty busy.  Time went by that no one thought about The Hunger Games:  Training Days sitting up on the top of the game storage area.  It was out of sight and we were busy with Travels Through Africa.

Last week, though, we found ourselves at the game closet, looking for something to play over dessert one night and remembered our new game.  So we broke it out.  And we're having a blast with it.

All three of us have played several times, but Davan and I have played pretty much at least once daily for a week plus now.

The pets have been, of course, joining us when we play on the floor.

Don't get me wrong, it's not the best game ever.  Still, it's engaging and fun.  Well worth 5 bucks if you're a Hunger Games fan.

Injury Update

The actual status of my injuries has not yet changed and I don't have any new answers.  My foot/ankle seems the same.  I'm not booting it all the time after having had a conversation with a physical therapist that I trust.  She said that mobilization is detrimental to healing unless you have a fracture.  She recommends careful movement and walking without limping.  For now, I'm wearing the boot at work and when I go to Poekoelan to train to both protect it and to remind myself and others to not overdo it, but not wearing it otherwise.

I had my MRI on Wednesday day.  I can't say that I loved the experience.  They also injected die to be able to see if anything is going on with ligaments or tendons in addition to checking for a stress fracture.  That was my first not loving it piece.  Then I got wheeled down hospital corridors on a stretcher, which was kind of wild - laying down and moving along.  That was new to me.  Then the MRI itself.  I don't think of myself as claustrophobic and I'm not a large person, so I didn't expect that I'd have trouble with the MRI, but I found it really unpleasant.  I had to keep my eyes closed and think about other things.  If I opened them and found myself looking at the tunnel, I felt really uncomfortable.  I was quite glad when it was over.

I should find out the results today.  I was told 1-2 business days, but that might also be for the doctor and then take more turn around time.  I hope I find out today or I'll have the whole weekend to wait.  Of course, unless there are crutches involved, nothing would really change for the weekend, so it probably doesn't really matter.  Still, I just want to know.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Far Reaching Geography

Davan's obsession with geography continues.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I think the best way to learn a subject is to become obsessed with it.  Still, just at the moment, anything remotely geography related has Davan swooning, which is both cute and, well, maybe a little bit eye rolling inducing.

Davan has given herself a challenge to write a report on every country in the world.  She's done several already and is just devoting a page to each.  On one side is the written report and on the other is a drawing of the country.

Here are two of her reports, showing alternate sides.

She's keeping all her reports in this shoe box, with a list of all the countries for which she's completed the reports.

So far, she's done:  Indonesia, Finland, Eritrea, Bahrain, Latvia, Cuba, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Sweden, Iceland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Denmark.  As you can see, there is no particular order aside from an interest or availability of books.

Along the way, she's added rules.  She's decided that her facts have to come from books.  The main thing is that she felt like watching a program about a country and then writing about it wasn't enough.

Just from this project, she's covered an amazing range of "subjects" from geography to politics to culture studies to writing to art.  What's been interesting to me, though, is the difference in our conversations these days.  Davan has always been able to carry on a conversation about nearly any topic with her dad and I, being a good critical thinker and all, but this morning, over Snickers Pancakes, our conversation drifted from bike riding to Denmark to politics in general and Davan was able to contribute facts that were new to me, like just how much the average Denmark citizen pays in taxes.  All I knew was that it was high. 

I love being surprised like that.  It's not like it's the first time she's known something I don't, but I've expected it in areas such as linguistics or, you know, technical terms for aerial arts, but politics is a new one.  It's fun.

Dress Up

We got a box in the mail on Thursday.  I was gone when the box was discovered, but came home to find this going on:

And my personal favorite:

Thanks, Oma, who went through a phase of acquiring Indian type garb, but found that much of it didn't work for her.  Fun was had and I think Davan will be wearing the top one for her Halloween costume.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's a Matter of Time

(I'd meant for this to be short, but seem to have poured out all the details.  I'll forgive you if you don't read it.  No worries.)

It's not that I haven't had time to blog this week.  I really have.  It's just that I haven't been happy about what's going on, so I haven't wanted to write about it.

Here's the thing - I have injuries as a result of doing the marathon.  I feel stupid because I totally did it to myself with the not training enough thing.  I also feel frustrated, as it took me a week to realize a couple of things weren't getting better with time and then even more time to make doctors' appointments and then even more time before all the diagnostic efforts will be done.  Sigh.

I also feel a bit like a drama queen.  And I really hate having to involve medical people when it's my belief that things generally get better with time.  I've mentioned that here before.  After having gone to the ER or gone into to see my doctor, so maybe I'm only talking the talk and not walking the walk.  This being the third time I've involved medical people in my health in the last year and mostly getting back "we can't find anything."

Actually, though, as a bit of an aside, it turns out that there probably was something when I went in to see the doctor in March.  I never did blog about it because I was embarrassed to have gone in for a false alarm.  It was an abdominal pain issue, again, but in a different location that time.  It had been getting progressively worse for weeks.  I finally went in and had some blood work done.  I was also scheduled for an ultrasound.  However, within days after the appointment, I was feeling better - the pain wasn't totally gone, but it wasn't bad anymore, so I cancelled the ultrasound.  Then I got a letter saying my lab results had been normal.  Okay, then, hypochondriac at work again.

Only, guess what?  I just figured out how to get the system whereby I can check on my medical records for the clinic I go to.  I thought, "Hey, I'll go see what those lab results were," as I was, at least, interested in how my anemia was going now that I'm taking iron supplements regularly.  Turns out my results weren't so normal after all.  I had six different flags, mostly just out of normal range, but one was rather far off.  And two of those flags were indicating I was still anemic.  Anyway, I started looking at what all those numbers meant online and ended up deciding that I wanted to know why I hadn't been contacted.  I sent a message to my provider.  She apologized and said she didn't know how that had gotten past her and she'd like to recheck me, particularly in regards to the one way out of whack number.  So, maybe I'm not such a hypochondriac after all.  While I don't want there to be something wrong with me, getting something wrong fixed and being validated for not being a total wuss who runs to the doctor for every little thing?  Well, that's kind of nice.

Anyway, back to my current woes.  I have two points of concern.  One is my left foot and the other is my right hip.  Last week, I worked all week and, while I took it fairly easy, I mostly tried to just ignore things, figuring it would all get better with time.  Thursday, though, I demonstrated a bit and then went to class myself in the evening.  Friday was a long day on my feet because it was a day camp day at work.  By Friday evening, I could barely walk due to the pain in my foot.

The family plan, then, was for me to rest all weekend, figuring that should pretty much take care of things.  However, the lack of improvement by Sunday had me doing the dreaded self diagnosis through internet searching.  I was wondering if my foot was a stress fracture, so I looked up information about stress fractures in runners.

I found out that what was going on in my foot was not a typical stress fracture if it was one, but it might be.  However, that same informational video put out by an orthopedic sports doctor, talked about watching for stress fractures in the hip of a runner.  When she described those symptoms I became concerned because it fit my hip pretty well.  The hip has been bothering me off and on for months, but I just kept working through it and, usually, it would subside.  Post run, it's been hurting pretty consistently, though.

Monday morning found me trying to make a doctor's appointment.  The first place I called could fit me in next week at the end of the week in their Vancouver office.  I tried my usual clinic, but they said I'd have to see my primary person first before I could see their sports medicine ortho type.  I decided to keep looking.  The next place had a foot ortho person and a hip ortho person (different people), but also a sports med doc who could evaluate both and pass me on to the others if necessary.  I made an appointment for Thursday morning there, but felt iffy about it and wasn't excited about waiting until Thursday.

By this time, I was in tears trying to deal with all this and being concerned about my health and being concerned about if I even should be going in or just waiting it out.  Anthony called my usual clinic back and made an appointment with my regular practitioner for me.  She could see me Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, I went to work, where I hobbled about on my injured foot.  I nearly got sent home.  The next day I was asked not to come back until I had a diagnosis on my foot.

Tuesday morning, I saw my practitioner.  She didn't know what was going on, said she wasn't a specialist in this, ordered xrays and referred me to their sports person who only is at that clinic on Fridays.  I went to get xrays and then was sent home, knowing nothing, even if I'd be able to get in on Friday.  I decided to keep my Thursday appointment at least until I knew about Friday.

I hadn't gotten the call about Friday nor even the results of my xrays as of my appointment time on Thursday, so I went.  I'm really glad I did.  I really liked the doctor I saw, who is the sports medicine person at that orthopedic clinic.  She really listened and was knowledgeable about the sorts of injuries people who go too long without adequate training can get.  I had xrays done right then and she read them in the office right after, then did an exam of the foot and hip. 

I'm happy to say that the foot isn't a stress fracture, but it is injured enough to require a boot for a couple of weeks.  Apparently, some of the joint fluid leaked, causing pain and inflammation.  A couple of weeks in a neutral position with no impact above walking should heal it up.

The hip is still an unknown, though.  The xray did not show a fracture, but xrays are unreliable when it comes to stress fractures.  The doctor was concerned enough to order an MRI for my hip.  I'll be doing that on Wednesday.  There will be dies involved, as well, which will help to show if there is anything going on with the ligaments and tendons in the event there isn't a stress fracture.  I'll be really embarrassed if nothing shows up, I have to say.

For now, I can walk as long as I don't limp, which I seem to be able to do if I take it slow and easy.  For both the foot and hip, there is no high impact, no extra stress, no twisting. 

Even though the hip is still an unknown, I'm being allowed to return to work now that my foot is in a boot.  I'm glad about that.  Mostly I like my job and miss going.

So, that's my life this week.  Sad, but true.  I'll try for a better post soon.  One with pictures.  One that is a bit more upbeat.  One that involves Davan. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Davan's Project

Over the last couple of weeks, Davan has been working on redecorating her room.  It started with her asking me if I'd be interested in going to IKEA with her.  She said if not, she'd be fine with riding Trimet up there (a bus/MAX train combination trip).  I was up for it, though, so up we went to roam about a bit.  We ended up spending a lot less them there than anticipated, but we had a good discussion about what she was wanting to do and that, more than anything, helped with ideas and planning.

She came out of IKEA having verbalized that she really wanted a travel/geographical theme to her room.  She wasn't going to change anything but the decorations on the walls.  She was working with a pretty strict budget because she was financing this endeavor and is currently saving all the money she can to fund future trips to Switzerland (we're paying for her flight when she goes in February, but she wants to go more often than we feel we can afford). 

We'd come up with the idea of using an old map as picture frames.  She'd known already that her corner piece would be a world map.  She was debating, though, between a few different things to round it all out.  One was buying four or so cheap analogue clocks from IKEA and setting them to different time zones.  Another was getting posters of various cities from around the world. 

She knew, though, that she was going to use the map idea and wanted different pictures for her wall.  So, her first investment was making ten prints of pictures.

She planned out use of the whole map, cut out frames, then mounted them all on cardboard for a sturdier look.

Next was her biggest splurge, which was buying a large, up-to-date world map for her wall.  She looked around for this in a few different places.  She really liked a huge canvas one from IKEA, but, at $150, that was out of her budget.  Plus, she decided she wanted one that was laminated so she could write on it with a dry erase marker.

We went to Powell's last weekend and she picked up this beauty.  She was very excited to get it up, finally, yesterday.

She decided that, rather than buying clocks, she'd use supplies we had on hand and make distance signs.  She'd originally thought she'd mount them on a post with arrows, but ended up deciding to put them on the wall in the direction of the city.

She used a white gel pen on black foam board for the signs.  She only had enough material for ten signs, which made it difficult for her to decide how to scale back from the 24 cities she'd researched distance on.  Some were no-brainers, though.

Here she is, this morning, preparing to mount her last city sign.

This wall has a picture of her Tadku (my step dad) and Ranger as well as the distances to Montreal and Paris.

Here we have the distance to Colorado Springs along with a picture of Anthony and Ranger.

This is the Do Jump wall...where she wanted to also put the distance to Do Jump, but decided to stick to more distant points, so the sign is to Beijing.

This corner experienced a bit of change in that Davan put up some of the fabric that had been curtains on the sides of her large drawing as a cover to hide the mess of wires for the stereo and lamp.

This distance sign was one of the obvious choices.

There are more pictures and distances, but that gives you a general idea.

Davan is really happy with how her room turned out, feeling that it's a better reflection of her and her current interests.  I'm happy she was able to come up with a room that makes her happy from planning to completion pretty much all on her own.  I wouldn't be too surprised, though, if more city distance signs were to make an appearance before too long.


We've Had Company!

My parents arrived for a visit on Tuesday and left again on Saturday. 

Though the visit was on the short side, we really enjoyed seeing them.

We did a lot of eating out at favorite local restaurants that they no longer get to frequent, as they are living in Colorado.  One night we brought Hot Lips Pizza home to eat.  Yum.

We played Travels Through Africa a couple of times.  We checked out the plans for the house they're building in Colorado Springs. 

We spent a lot of time chatting and just being together.

Mom and Dennis also got their storage unit cleaned out.  Some items went to Goodwill, some to the dump, some here to our place (wood that Anthony will use for shelves), and some home to Colorado with them.  As is usual, in my ever so humble opinion, what was stored was probably not worth the trouble and cost to store it, particularly as several things that Dennis expected to be there weren't and there were some additions that did not belong to him.  The relator had taken care of getting the last of his stored things at the house here into the storage unit and didn't know that most of the things that were important to Dennis were not there while other junk had been added.  Ah well.  As this was the impetus for their visit, I guess I can't complain about it. 

They also spent an evening visiting with some friends from the area.  Sadly, though, the other event for the week was me getting a minor case of the stomach flu that's been going around work.  While I never even threw up, but just got stomach cramps and felt shaky for a little over a day, I managed to pass it to Mom who threw up much of Thursday night, the onset of which meant they had to leave their friends' house early.  Luckily, though, it was short lived for her and she was able to be up and around and even eat pretty normally on Friday, although it was a tired and weak day for her.

We sadly saw them off on Saturday morning.  They weren't able to stay for the weekend, needing to get back to Colorado to work on keeping things moving for the new house.  We had a really nice visit, though, as is normal and are looking forward to next time (probably Christmas).

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Little Visitor

We've had company every Tuesday morning for about a month now.  Davan's two Zig Zag directors (a married couple) have two little ones - a four year old and a seven month old.  On Tuesday mornings, Mr. Director is at work while Mrs. Director has a kids' class at Do Jump to teach.  The four year old takes the class, but she needs someone to watch the seven month old.  It's our pleasure to get in a little baby time.

This morning, he fell asleep while Davan was wearing him.

He then proceeded to sleep until it was time to take him back to his mama.  So, we wrapped him and Davan up in one of Anthony's coats.

Doesn't she look far too happy to holding a baby?  Luckily, I have no doubt she'll wait to have her own little one until the time is right.  Which will be many years in the future yet.  She'll make a good mama, no?

Sometimes I also watch this little guy on Sundays when Davan has rehearsal, but then she doesn't get to share in the baby love, so it's nice to have this Tuesday morning time.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I Am So Very Happy

I'm so very happy right now to not be walking, or worse, running.  Remember that whole signing up for a marathon thing?  And then doing a half marathon and realizing I was not cut out to be a distance runner?  And then pretty much stopping my training?  And then still doing the marathon I'd signed up for over a half a year ago?  Yeah.  That was today.

My alarm was set for 5am, but I woke up at 4:25 and by 4:30 realized there was no real chance of me going back to sleep, so I got up.

In addition to putting on the clothes I'd laid out last night (for 45 degree early morning temps with 65 and sunny for the finish temps - what to wear?!), I added these little fashion items to my ensemble.

Then I left the house and walked to the bus stop.  In case I was in doubt about the fact that I was really up in the middle of the night rather than in the early morning, I saw a couple of racoons scooping out the side yard as I walked across our parking area.  Additionally, even though I can count on our near by busy streets being, well, busy pretty much any time I might venture out (say walking home around 2am from some event at Poekoelan), I saw all of one car pass by on my way to the bus stop. 

I arrived in downtown Portland way too early.  I spent my time wandering around the starting/staging area, sitting and people watching, using the port-a-potties and then lining up in my "corral" with the other cattle waiting for slaughter.

I had this totally unfounded, it turned out, opinion that I'd do okay.  When I'd registered 8 months ago, I'd given my projected finishing time as 5 hours.  I knew I wasn't going to get that at all.  I'd been fluctuating between thinking I'd take 6 and 7 hours to finish.  I figured about 6.5 would be pretty realistic.  Turns out, that wasn't unfounded at all, just the idea that I wouldn't be dying most of the time and finish a crippled old woman was unfounded.

If I'd done the event at a pace that would have left me tired, possibly sore, but more or less intact, it probably would have been closer to 7.5-8 hours.  However, I had pride.  And when everyone else started running, so did I.  My pride stayed with me and I added to it the idea that I could make the 6 hour goal when I ran slowly but successfully for over 10 miles.  Keep in mind that, while I do walk a lot, work out in a majorly sweaty way at Poekoelan three times a week and run three times a week, I don't really run more than 6 miles at a time these days.  Thus, 10 was a big bump up.

Things started to hurt.  I kept running anyway.  I ran 15 miles, aside from a couple of potty breaks and walking while drinking at the aid stations.  By then, I was in a good deal of pain, but figured it'd go away if I started walking.  So, I started walking.  It was worse.  What the hell had I done to myself?  I alternated between a slow, shuffling hugely painful jog and an even more excruciatingly painful walk for the next couple miles.  I cried a bit.  I told myself that if Anthony and Davan showed up, I'd go home with them, but they weren't likely to show up, as I'd been very clear that they didn't need to and Davan had Seeds of Hope rehearsal today.  What in the world was I thinking?

Then came the St. John's Bridge.  With it's ridiculously long and steep on ramp.  Mind you, on a normal day, it might not have seemed so daunting, but there it is.  I had no choice but to walk it.  And, maybe because of the incline (I don't know), it was only really painful to walk.  This was an improvement and I began to feel hope.  Also, although you only pass mile 17 on the St. John's Bridge, it still felt like it was the home stretch.

I gritted my teeth, told myself I really didn't want to have to go through all this again to be able to say I've done a marathon and, besides, I didn't really have a choice, as my family was stupidly following my instructions and abandoning me, and kept walking.

And then, guess what? 

My family showed up after all just after mile 18. 

 They were such a sight for sore eyes and Ranger was so happy to see me.  It was a nice little moral boost.  They walked with me for a little under a mile and lied to me about how I was looking good. 

I whined a lot and asked Anthony in what I'm sure was a seriously pathetic tone if he'd come pick me up at the end after all.  It was projected to be a mess at the finish and we'd decided I'd just bus home, but I wasn't feeling like I could handle it.  Anthony, of course, said yes, and then they left me again.  Sigh.

I went from my earlier 12 minute miles to 17+ minute miles, then, eventually, down to 16 minute miles after I took some kind unknown children up on their offer of drugs.  I think it was Tylenol.  They had a big container and were offering them out to all comers.  I'd blithely passed them by at mile 14 and had been regretting that pretty much ever since.  Then, suddenly, there they were, like marathon angels, offering up drugs again at mile 21.  I refuse to feel bad about taking drugs from strangers.

Pretty much the last 10 miles was done purely on determination.  The pain was big, even post drugs. 

I finally made it to the end.  And there was Anthony, snapping pictures.

The time in the picture, as you may be able to see, says 6:39.33, but, as our corral didn't actually start until around 7:20, my official time will be closer to 6:20.  My Garmin, which I paused for my three bathroom breaks, is better yet at 6:15.  We'll go with that time, shall we?

I finished, then slowed right the heck down to a crippled old lady's shuffle.

I only look like I'm moving in this one.  Really, I'm so happy to be done walking, I could cry.

I eventually made it though the maze of the finisher's lane collecting my medal, snacks, a finisher's shirt, drinks, a rose and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting and found my husband and dog.  Ranger was really happy to share my snacks.

We started to head toward to car only to have me remember that I needed to pick up my dropped off clothing, requiring an extra couple of blocks of shuffling along.  Eventually, Anthony left me at a bus stop and went to get the car.  I wasn't moving very well.

Getting home, I had the stairs to face.  Luckily, my arms, while sore, are doing okay and my right knee is okay in comparison to my left knee (I'm hoping that knee comes around quickly, but right now, is more painful than I'd like to admit), and I was able to haul myself up with heavy usage of the hand rails.

Anthony kindly unpacked my bag while I hit the shower, after going back and forth for a bit on the relative merits of shower vs bath - standing vs having to get down there and then back up again, not to mention the whole rinsing of the sweat is nicer than sitting in it aspect.

Anthony also kindly did his best amateur job of giving me a massage.  He's a keeper, that one.

My plans for the rest of the day include not going anywhere and eating vegan pizza.  And, of course, rejoicing in the fact that I am no longer walking, much less running.  Whew.