January 07, 2014


Now, I know that none of you are aware of how cold it's been all over the country the past couple of days (I mean, it's not like it's all over the news and social media or anything), but it's been a little chilly here in Michigan. I'm not going to lie, it was hard getting out of bed this morning...

The kids' school was canceled yesterday, and I got a phone call this afternoon saying that school is canceled tomorrow as well. The roads are absolutely terrible! They've even closed down a lot of them, including parts of the expressway. They're all thick with ice.

Today is Eli's eighth birthday, and I feel awful that we didn't get to go out. But the city even requested that people stay off the roads so that they can work on clearing them. I told Eli I'd cook him anything he wanted for dinner, as long as we had the groceries for it. You know what he asked for? Turkey bacon. Hahaha, so I cooked a whole package of turkey bacon, and he ate about half of it. We also made his very favorite special dessert: sloppy brownies. I sucked on a mint while making them, so that I wouldn't eat the cookie dough, or lick the spoons or anything, and it worked well. As soon as the roads are safe (I really hope by tomorrow evening), we're going to take Eli out to dinner for his birthday.

Today was supposed to be a three-mile tempo run, but that sounded boring (three miles at a fast pace on the treadmill--no way was I running outside today!), so I changed up my plan. I decided to do a four-mile "pyramid" run. Here's what it looked like:

The pace graph shows why it's called a "pyramid":

I always run with an incline of 1%, to make it feel more like running outside, but adding a little more incline makes a big difference in my heart rate! For the middle couple of miles, my heart rate got into Zone 4, which is the goal for a tempo run. Doing this run, instead of the tempo, made the time go by so much faster! I was only focused on each quarter-mile, because I got to press a button to change the speed or incline. It was a good workout, and much more fun than a tempo!

My legs are SO sore today. I've been playing the Wii Fit U quite a bit lately, not only because of the challenge I'm participating in, but to try and stay active while it's so cold outside. We've actually been playing it as a family in the evenings sometimes, too. Anyway, I set up a new strength training routine on it yesterday, because I was getting kind of bored with the one I've been doing, and I included just legs and abs work.

Holy cow, it was totally obvious I haven't done lunges in a long time, because my legs felt like Jello today! I never would have guessed I'd get such a good workout from the Wii, but my soreness proves otherwise. I worked on my arms today, so I expect they'll be super sore tomorrow; but tomorrow is a rest day, and I definitely need it ;)

I feel bad that I haven't gone to see Mark in a few days. I'm a nervous driver as it is, and with the roads being so bad, I just haven't wanted to go anywhere. Jerry is off work tomorrow, so if the roads are decent, we'll go up to visit Mark and we'll take Eli out for his birthday.

My dad visited Mark today. He said that Mark's hair is falling out now, because of the radiation. The past couple of times that my dad has visited, the nursing home has had Bingo games going for the patients and their visitors. So my dad took Mark down to play Bingo, and he won (they get some sort of "credits" to spend a prize if they win). Mark is definitely using his hand more, so I think that means the radiation on his brain is working. It's not a cure for his cancer, but it will make him more comfortable. Before the radiation, his hand was so numb that he couldn't use it at all.

I think he only has a couple of radiation treatments left. I have no idea what's going to happen after that. His nephew hasn't visited him at the nursing home, and the course of treatment (or, hopefully, hospice) is up to him. I just hope that he sees how much my family cares about Mark! It would be great if Mark could finally go "home".


  1. A pyramid workout. I may have to try that soon! Today I did sprints at a pace way outside of my comfort zone. I am thinking that I may wake up with Jello legs tomorrow! Ek!

    Also, I've been reading all your updates about Mark and I've been praying for him. I hope he gets to go "home" too! Hugs to him.

  2. It is so cold!! I am in Southwestern Ontario and we are feeling your pain...thank goodness for the treadmill!! Stay cozy warm and safe, and just think--you don't have to pack school lunches for the boys tomorrow (does that help at all?)

    Thinking of Mark and your family, cancer is brutal, the disease and the rollercoaster of emotion that comes with it....we are dealing with the same thing in our family. I truly feel for you. All the best...Becky

  3. I'm so nervous. I'm flying from Tokyo to Orlando for the Goofy Challenge tomorrow and we have a layover in Denver. I really hope there's no problem with our flights! I keep hearing about flights getting canceled!! Unfortunately for my marathon though it will be 80 and humid! :( Eli's birthday makes me wonder- what if someone needed to go to the hospital? What if someone was having a baby?! Ahhh this weather is madness!

  4. Frozen Lake Michigan was in our newspapers in the Netherlands:
    Over here it is still warmer than usual for this time of year (+10 degrees C).

  5. Hey Katie! Natalie S. here (couldn't get my husband's account logged out).
    I just feel so badly about how absent Mark's nephew has been. It must be so frustrating. I just wanted to say that you might want to look into calling social services or speaking with the social worker at the facility he is at. If someone isn't advocating for Mark, then it can be changed so your family can manage his care. I'm sure it'd be a decent amount of stress to manage that, but it sounds like it'd be worth it to your family and to Mark. Sending thoughts and prayers for you all!

  6. Happy Birthday to your little guy! Too funny about the turkey bacon!

    That sucks that the person in charge of Mark isn't really active in his life. My FIL was in a care home for a little bit after he had his hip replaced and the place was horrible! The guy in the room with him was pretty much abandoned in there.

  7. I'm going to have to try this workout! I hate running on the treadmill because it can get boring but this looks like it will keep me going!



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