Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sandra's "interesting" (according to TZ) Life update

It has been a long time since I generated a blog entry. So much has happened and is about to happen. I think i will attempt to organize this blog by life roles: health, school life, personal life...I know had you on the edge of your seat doesn't it.

Well my running has significantly decreased. I successfully completed the 3 marathons I signed up for: Athens, Greece, Route 66 in Tulsa, and Disney. None of the marathons went the way I anticipated, but I did indeed finish all 3 within the time limit I was given, so I guess that is a success. I decided after Disney that I am going to cut back to half marathons for a while. Since I made that decision I have decided that I will take part in my Oklahoma City Marathon Relay team (I'm doing a 10K leg), I will hopefully be up to doing the Edinburgh Scotland half marathon at the end of May and then I think I'm hanging up my "event" running shoes for a bit. During the month of February, I was put in an immobility boot for my left Achilles tendon. An MRI showed that I had 3 micro-tears in it as well as some fluid build up. So this was the start of my decreased running. I have been back at pounding the pavement for about 2 weeks, I still have quite a bit of soreness and discomfort in my left Achilles so I am having to keep my distances relatively short and slow. In some ways it's frustrating, because running has helped me deal with a lot of stress in the last couple of years (wait til the school live part), but in others i was relieved because I really don't feel like I am achieving the running goals I would like. When I was told to wear an immobility boot, I was given the okay to swim and bike. So I rejoined my gym membership at TU to ride the stationary bike (yeah it's too cold to bike outside). I mentioned to Sue, a great OT who has helped me grow so much as a speech path, that I could bike and should train for the Oklahoma Freewheel. She became excited and said that she has always wanted to do the Freewheel, so we decided to start training with the Tulsa Bicycle Club on March 14th. I, of course did not go out today because of the slush on the roads..not a die hard biker yet. Sue and I are riding bikes on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. At least that is the plan. Biking really is so much easier than running. So my overall physical health is getting by. I made a big decision on March 1st regarding my physical health. I have battled being overweight pretty much since hitting 13 years old. I work with several people who had done the HCG diet and had great success. I have debated it for a long time, but you really get to take in very few calories (500) a day. I was extremely worried about being able to keep up my running regime and doing this diet. Well, once I found myself in the immobility boot, I decided it was a sign and time to try to do something about my weight. So on March 1st, I got my first of 6 HCG/B-Compex infusions. I am 3 weeks in and have lost 21 pounds. Running is extremely fatiguing and getting more than 4 miles in is quite a task, but I am pleased with the weight loss. I have 3 more infusions to get and am hoping to lose a total of at least 30 pounds before it is said and done.

I am very excited that my life as a student will soon be over hopefully. I am scheduled to defend my dissertation on Wednesday, April 7 at 9AM. I really am in disbelief that the date is only 2 1/2 weeks away. I have sent my final draft of my dissertation to my mentor for one last review before sending it out to my other 4 dissertation committee members. My actual defense is marked out for 3 hours (I hear it's usually more like an hour and a half, but you never know). It is something that is open to the public. At this point in time, I am not too nervous about my presentation part. I think I am a decent presenter. I am a little nervous about the questions my committee members might ask. One thing I really hate, and really unnerves me is to feel stupid. I will do the best I can do and that is all I can do. It has taken me 6 years to reach this point. I have been a college student for 12 ridiculous is that. The little known fact about me though is that as a college sophomore I was put on academic probation and actually released from my admission at the university. I have had to work very hard to get to where I am today. Many people think I have just coasted through my education, and every day has been a battle. I think one of my character strengths of perseverance will be demonstrated if I can pass this final test and become Dr. I am not one for labels so my students will still call me Sandra, but knowing that I have accomplished such a difficult feat, makes me feel proud.


My mental health has been a little unstable I guess you could say since the whole Greece marathon. I have several character flaws but some that pop up repeatedly. I have a very hard time processing things, especially big life events. Running my first marathon, and traveling overseas for the first time in 15 years, I think count as big life events. I guess I am still trying to figure out what happened to some of the "friendships" that existed before going there, but yet seemed to really get cracked while being there. I have been feeling quite a bit of heartache, but know that dealing with things you cannot change will help me to grow as a person. I have also had some excitement with finally having some time to do some improvements on the home I bought back in November. I have been able to paint my kitchen a bright blue and my living room a warm tan. I hope to be able to paint my hallway, bedroom and bathroom soon as well. It has helped me to feel like a true home owner a positive way. It also made for something great to do in this fun spring snow storm we have had this weekend. St. Patrick's day was a horrible day for me though. It's supposed to be a day of luck for the Irish and I am 1/2 Irish, but I guess the 1/2 English side took over. My dog Balto wound up gone after I left the house for 2 hours for a bike ride. I am 98% certain someone took him from my back yard. He is such a timid dog and cowers if someone yells or jumps at him. He is the 2nd dog to magically "diappear" out of my back yard, the first being Bobby and Susan's dog Kiwi after I left for Greece. It has made me completely paranoid about my dog Boca. The only comfort I have is that Boca will run from anyone who chases him, including me...and if he makes it in the house he will be safe. It is so terrible to have to live in fear of a dognapper. I honestly don't know how anyone deals with a kidnapping of their child. So it was a traumatic event for me, again I don't process things well all the time. I am very sad about his disappearance but I am smart enough to know that someone probably took him to sell him because they are desperate for money. The only thing that gives me any peace is that if someone pays money for him, then they will provide him a good home.

I am getting through each day one day at a time. I am trying to live and learn and move forward. It is extremely mentally difficult for me, but all I can do is try...