Achilles, Ailments and Other Activities

So it has been another busy week or two here in our household.  Where to even begin?

The 4th of July ends up making for an incredibly busy week in our home as my dear husband Charles was born on July 3rd!  This leads to a flurry of activity and a convenient day off the next day.  It is also quite special because Charles told me he loved me for the first time during his birthday dinner in 2010.  We have tried various different venues including ‘Ohana and Cape May Cafe but this year’s restaurant of choice wast the Biergarten at Epcot.  This all-you-can-eat German paradise is a whole lot of fun so I was definitely happy to oblige this selection.

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I had a little surprise up my sleeve this year that I wanted to reveal before dinner so I asked Charles to hurry up and race home from work.  We needed to make one stop before heading to dinner.  Little did Charles know, I had checked us into Disney’s Pop Century Resort (complete with a Disney Dining Plan Package for the two of us) to act as a nice little home base for our visit.  So when he arrived home from work, I covered his eyes and we started our “mystery drive” to the hotel.  I threw together a few quick (and I mean very quick) decorations:

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We cashed in our resort refillable mug entitlement for a quick diet coke at the hotel and then headed to dinner.  We had just a brief wait before being seated so we grabbed a photo while we melted in the heat and humidity.

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Dinner was delicious, the music and energy of the Biergarten was so fun as always and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  We found out that our good friends (and neighbors) would be hanging out at Jellyrolls that evening so we planned to head straight over there after dinner.  We got as far as the Italy Pavilion before the skies absolutely opened up and rain came pouring down.  We waited 10 minutes or so before buying an umbrella in the merchandise shop where we sought shelter and booking it through the rain.  Although we stopped once or twice when the rain really picked up, we focused primarily on forging ahead.  After a wonderfully fun evening at Jellyrolls, we headed back to our hotel and fell asleep almost immediately.

One of the highlights of this hotel stay for me was getting to explore a new Walt Disney World running route.  It was definitely outside of the norm to have this as the view from my run:

IMG_4535We slept in a bit so it was BLAZING hot for this run (around 9 am).  I really enjoyed the run and viewed it a great way to explore rather than a workout with any real specific goals.  There is a huge lake between Pop Century and the neighboring Art of Animation Resort which was a great centerpiece for the run (despite having very little shade to protect me from the heat).  There are also really cute signs all around the lake with “fun facts” that made for an interesting read as I ran around.  On the Pop Century side of the lake, the signs represented a timeline of interesting events by year and corresponded to the “decade” they were nearest to.  On the Art of Animation side, the signs had little known facts about the films represented at the resort.  I also have not visited the Art of Animation Resort since the Little Mermaid and Lion King sections of the resort opened so I also used the run as an opportunity to sightsee around this resort.  I can’t remember exactly when during the run I started to feel a sensation in my left achilles tendon but as I neared the 4 mile mark, I definitely started to get concerned about this little nagging feeling in my leg.  Although I craved more running, the heat was definitely getting to me and I wanted to be cautious about my tendon.

Despite my immediate application of ice the moment I got back to the room, I quickly realized that this achilles problem was going to be more significant than I had hoped.  Charles was up and it was time to get ready to go spend the day in Magic Kingdom so I did not have too much time to worry about it.  Just walking around the resort to the bus was already bothering my achilles tendon and while my shoes were not entirely flat, they weren’t the nice big wedges that usually help alleviate achilles discomfort.

We arrived at the park in our holiday best:

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We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant:

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We checked out the Hall of Presidents (a natural choice for Independence Day) and decided to end our Magic Kingdom day with the special pre-parade, just for the holiday.  It was wonderfully patriotic:

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On our way out, we stopped by the new Starbucks location inside the Main Street Bakery to use our last dining plan entitlements and give it a try.  Delish!

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We spent a lovely evening at my mom’s house for 4th of July grilling and a little cake for Charles.  I was definitely good and tired at the end of it all and knew my leg needed a rest too.  While we did not catch any fireworks that night, I stopped by Magic Kingdom again with friends Friday night to continue celebrating our country:

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While I cannot possibly know the origin of my achilles injury, it came just in time to allow me to finish the Runner’s World Run Streak Challenge that I inadvertently started participating in:

RWRUNSTREAKBADGEThis challenge basically requires you to run every day (a total of 39) between Memorial Day and the 4th of July.  About half way through the challenge, I started noticing a much of Instagram posts about the challenge and realized that my last rest day just so happened to be the day before memorial day.  I decided it was fate and jumped on the band wagon.  Although the challenge only required a mile a day, I racked up some seriously great mileage since my shortest run was 3 miles and most of my runs were 5 miles or more.  Wouldn’t you know that my achilles injury occurred during my final run of the challenge?  It’s like my body knew just when “shutting down” wouldn’t matter quite as much.

I decided rest, ice, and elevation were definite requirements.  I allowed 2 rest days just to be safe and ended up trying KT tape for the first time:

IMG_4594I’m not sure what “fixed” my tendon but I was able to run without interference by Sunday.  Of course, virtually the moment my physical challenges were resolved, a new impediment appeared.  I woke up Monday morning feeling really off and with a tickle in my throat.  I cannot get sick!  I had to do something that I absolutely hate – call in sick to work.  It is, however, a really good thing I did though.  I slept about 6 of the 8 hours I would have been at work and I always say that if your body lets you sleep that much, it means you really need it!  I got to bed really early and felt pretty much back to normal on Tuesday.

Well, the saga continues.  I thought I was through it and even got in a great 6 mile run last night.  While I felt fine this morning, we had a fun “team builder” day at work and I started to feel like I was deteriorating as the day went on.  While I really wanted to run tonight, I felt pretty awful when I got home.  Charles insisted that I take the night off (much to my chagrin) and I have been in bed since.  I hope I wake up in the morning after a good night’s sleep feeling refreshed once again!

In other news…

My closet project is just about done!  I am so excited to show you the after pictures but here are just a couple sneak preview photos to whet your appetite:

IMG_4606No closet is complete without a pretty chandelier and I couldn’t resist adding a beautiful medallion to the ceiling.

IMG_4599What used to be the wall at the back of my closet is now the opening between my new laundry room and my new closet!

More to Come!

What did you do for the 4th of July?  Do you have any annual traditions?

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