It's been nice getting back to my old routine the past couple of days, with the kids back in school! Yesterday, I had intervals on the schedule-- 7 x 400 at 5K race pace, with 400 jogs. (So basically, that means I would run a quarter-mile hard, at the same pace I would race a 5K, and then jog for a quarter mile; and repeat for a total of 7 times.)
I always dread intervals, but I always feel so great when I get them done! It's a tough workout, definitely. I have no idea what my current 5K pace is, because I haven't raced a 5K in about 14 months. But I guessed about 7:45, and since this was on the treadmill, I chose to do them at 7:30 pace (the treadmill feels easier to me than outside).
I jogged a quarter mile to warm up, and then started the intervals. The pace wasn't grueling, like a one-mile pace would feel, but it was tough enough to be a good, hard workout. I just switched between 6.0 and 8.0 on the treadmill each quarter mile until I completed 7 intervals.
Since I did speed work yesterday, I decided to run at a recovery pace today. A "recovery" pace is the slowest pace to run, usually don't the day after a hard workout. I never really take advantage of doing recovery runs, but I should. I usually just end up doing "easy pace" runs. So today, I decided I was going to do the recovery run.
My recovery pace range is 9:51-10:35/mi. I decided to aim for the slow end, at 10:35. I set the treadmill at 5.7 (a 10:31 pace). It felt so nice and relaxing to run at that pace! My heart rate stayed in the 120's, which is just barely above where it's at when I walk. I remember when I was trying so hard to get under a 12:00/mi pace... and now 10:30 is my recovery pace. It's interesting how much our bodies adapt to consistent training.
Anyway, after my run, I did strength training for about 20 minutes, and then showered and got ready to go visit Mark. I picked up a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's for him, and got there a little after noon. When I got to his room, I saw that my parents were there for a visit, too! Mark was in a VERY good mood--extremely talkative, happy, and his old self. After his chemo treatment yesterday, I expected him to be very tired and not feeling well, but that wasn't the case at all.
I'm really glad my parents and I happened to be there at that particular time, because a woman came in and introduced herself as an occupational therapist who works with people with special needs/mental disabilities, above and beyond the regular OT who has been working with Mark. She did a short evaluation of him, physically and mentally, and we told her his goal was to go home--both for his pizza party, and permanently.
She told us that she'd be happy to teach us how to transport him in a car, and get him ready to be able to go to his pizza party. She was very nice, and Mark loved "proving" to her that he's ready ;)
My parents left, and then shortly after that, another OT came in (the one who has been working with Mark), and she that she and the other OT were going to do everything they could to get Mark ready to go to his party. She also said that she's pretty sure Mark could be ready to go home in a couple of weeks! She offered to teach us how to get him in and out of the car, and then she would follow us to his group home, and from there, she could evaluate the home situation to see how Mark would be getting around. She'll ask him to get in bed, get out of bed, get in and out of the shower, walk to the bathroom, etc. That way, they'll know what needs to work on in therapy to get him ready to go home.
Mark and I were both SO excited when she was telling us all this. I had started to give up hope of Mark ever going home, but I explained to her the situation (he has to be walking--no wheelchair), and she said she honestly thinks he'll do just fine. She said he's gotten much better since he started therapy there.
When I got home, my dad told me that he finally got a hold of someone from the group home about Mark's party, and we set the date for this Saturday! Mark told me today that he wants pizza, pop, cake, apple pie, and chips at the party. There are 18 men that live there, plus the workers and my family attending, so it should be a pretty big party. The OT told me that the party is all Mark has talked about for a few weeks now. I'm so excited for it to happen!
Anyone have an idea of what to have written on his cake? My first thought was, "Fuck cancer"--hahaha, but that's not really appropriate in these circumstances. Any suggestions??