Friday, July 8, 2016

Revising My Fitness Goals for the Rest of the Year

Oh 2016, I had such big plans for you! I was going to travel and run all over you. Even though I started off the year with that pesky foot issue, I worked through it and got to the start lines of my 2 bucket listers, the Sarasota Half Marathon in March and the Big Sur Marathon in April. I returned home from California full of hope and ambition! I felt euphoric and fulfilled. I set my sights on a few half marathons for the rest of the year.

Naturally, fate had other plans for me. My son broke his leg and we got a new puppy. I could roll with that, but after a fall on a rock last week, my plantar fasciitis flared badly. It has yet to calm down. As you read this, I'm getting an x-ray and spending the morning with my sports medicine specialist. No matter what the outcome of that visit, it's clear to me that a revision of my goals for the year is in order.

What's a runner to do?


It isn't as if I haven't been in these shoes before. Literally and figuratively. Does it even matter what's wrong with my foot? No matter what the diagnosis, I'm still going to have to take some time off. Again. So I took a look at the goals I set for myself this year and made some alternative goals that will keep me in shape and ready to run once I can hit the road again.



1. Recover from injury. Hip strengthening, particularly the left hip: in the past, I've been told that I have weakness in my left lower kinetic chain. I haven't been focusing much on my left hip lately and I'm certain that some of my issues are due to that. As Dr Jordan Metzel says in this instructive video, I need to wake up in the morning and say: "Thank you kinetic chain!" More specifically, clamshells, supermans, lunges, squats, hamstring curls, and monster walks (with resistance band). 1-2x/week


2. Continue cross training via bike, yoga, CrossFit, and pool running. Yes, I think it's time to invest in a pool pass. When I start running again, I need to continue to incorporate these workouts into my weekly regimen.

3. I still would like to run 2 more half marathons this year. I have Panama City Beach, in December, penciled on the calendar. I have yet to pick a fall half marathon. Ideally, I'd like to run one in late September or October.

4. Continue to work on my strength goals with Becky. This upper body stuff is fun. And as it turns out, it was a wise choice to focus on these goals, since they all involve upper body strength. I'm getting closer to that unassisted handstand/handstand pushup and rope climb. The pull up is going to be a bigger challenge for me. It's all a work in progress.

This week's rope climb. Working on positioning.
5. I might not be able to run right now but I can ride my bike! Venus de Miles on July 23--my 25-mile ride is still on the plan! This non-competitive ride that benefits the Greenhouse Scholars fits nicely in my goals. By the way, since I'm an ambassador, you can sign up and save $10 using the code LONGWAY. Come join my sister and me! If you can't ride, you can always donate to my fundraising page (look under Rivard).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: PF is the devil. With some attention to that side of my body, hopefully, I can get the devil in my foot to go dormant. Having to manage all these other issues in my life made me put my own health on the backburner. Now that things are settling down, it's time to practice self-care again.

Actually what doing anything with PF feels like.
That's the ultimate goal for the rest of 2016.

Do you neglect your own health when life gets overwhelming? Or do you practice self-care? What do you do to prevent injury?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta of Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!

100 comments :

  1. I try really hard to continue to take care of myself, but sometimes there really aren't enough hours in the day. You are getting so strong with your gym workouts!

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    1. I'm glad that I'm working on that stuff--it makes taking time off running a little less difficult.

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  2. Coco said it, there are not enough hours in the day...well maybe it is my energy levels, I start off good in the morning, but I rarely have much left after work and that has been my downfall lately.
    I hope your foot heals up, I know it gets old.
    Your strength is inspiring. Dr. Metzel's work out is a tough one!

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    1. I knew you'd get it. I'm really tired of it and it's time to give that foot injury the attention it needs.

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  3. PF is the devil, and I only had it for a week. Every freaking day I am afraid it will come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I stretch and do hip/flute exercises to keep injury away but injuries find me anyway. I am glad you have other fitness activities you enjoy doing. I hate, hate, hate when I have to take time off BUT I am glad I like to lift because that keeps me sane and fit when I am forced to not run.

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    1. I felt the twinges of PF during my Chicago marathon training, but I was able to keep it quiet. Then after the marathon, it came roaring back. I don't know if it has anything to do with that kinetic chain stuff--maybe I should have been doing these exercises all along. I know I should have. Would I have been able to prevent it? That's a good question.

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  4. Sorry to hear your PF hasn't calmed down. I try to practice self care. Great goals! I need to work on my strength.

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    1. There just hasn't been time for self care the last couple of months. What a challenge!

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  5. I also know I have a weaker left side and I am sure that is related to the current problem with my left foot. I think I have been somewhat in denial about the connection but reading that this is the same for you has inspired me to start working on that stuff again. I have also had to readjust my goals but I feel like its hard to really plan when you don't know how long recovery will take! Better to take it slow though, I guess.

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    1. Looks like we are in this together! Keep me posted on your progress. Glad to know it isn't just me.

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  6. I hope it was helpful for you to do this. Sometimes when you sit down and actually revise your goals, you feel so much better and a little more ok with all the BS that has been handed to you.
    I pretty much always practice "self care" as far as training and getting my workouts in, especially when life gets out of control. It's the only way for me to make sense of it and not completely lose my mind!!
    Good luck with the foot and keep all of these goals in mind!!

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    1. It was actually therapeutic for me to put my thoughts out there. I think I've finally moved on from denial to acceptance. Now onto healing!

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  7. I hope that doctors appointment goes well! We always have such big plans at the first of the year and then...... you gotta take care of yourself- that is #1! It is tough with all the other obligations to do that sometimes but we must do it- I know our bodies will thank us later! :)

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    1. Yes, and thanks to your timely reminder, I'll be heading to the derm next!

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  8. Freaking PF. I know how you feel with the cluster of a year. Oh wait, that is ongoing. I'm just glad that I started my year off with low expectations!

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    1. Seriously. And even tho I ran those races, my preparation was less than optimal. So not how I like to do things.

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  9. Yes, you said it well...PF is the devil (and my experience with it has been heavenly in comparison to what you've had). My current state of heel wonky-ness (I cannot bring myself to call it PF) is still there, but it is very manageable...and I plan to keep it that way by not being a hero with mileage. Hugs to you, Wendy. (cough cough) Des Moines (half) Marathon...October 16 OR Quad Cities is Sept. 25...

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    1. Maybe I can do those? I may be really optimistic thinking about a fall half. Stay tuned.

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  10. I'm sorry Wendy. 😩 But... You are strong! Continue to kick butt in that gym and I'm looking forward to hearing about all the friends you'll meet in the pool! 😉

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    1. At least I feel young when I'm there!

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  11. Oh no :( I'm so sorry that your PF is flaring up again. I hope that it starts to feel better soon!

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    1. That's what I get for trying to rule IG with a cool pose...

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  12. love the rope climb pic! Very cool. We always have to re evaluate our goals. I am doing the Hershey half in October if you want to join me. Chocolate! just saying

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    1. And my favorite chocolate too! So tempting!

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  13. It's always something isn't it? I hate when injuries flare up because of something silly that happened that was non running related such as your slipping on a rock and me wearing ill fitted dress shoes!

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    1. I thought I had it all covered--I wear "comfort" shoes. I didn't count on falling on a rock!

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  14. It is incredibly difficult to stop denying and face reality. I have no words of wisdom; they've all been stated above. Just lending support and sending love across the miles.
    Though we are miles (make that eons) apart in experience as well as in proximity, I empathize with your situation.
    Reassessing our goals is not easy. I deeply miss being part of the running community and am re-thinking my strategy. After I complete my walking half marathon, if I get that far, I may start Cto5K all over again. I'm thinking a goal of two miles. We'll see how I feel come fall.
    Good luck with your doctor visit today. We all await word and hope the news is good.

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    1. No fracture that she can see, just a bad contusion of the heel. Interestingly, she focused on my right foot more, because I've had some swelling in the arch. Her concern is posterior tibialis tendonitis, which is more serious than PF. Kind of a good news vs bad news hthing.

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    2. Being amazingly ignorant when it comes to medical, with my high school Latin I will guess that it is tendonitis on the back side of your tibia? Will this be treated differently than PF? P/T and exercise? I hope that the prognosis is good. Waiting to hear good news.
      Bad contusion. You must have really come down hard to have that occur even in the water. What a year you are having, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hugs.

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    3. It's actually located inside the ankle below the ankle bone, above the arch of the foot. For now, stretching, taping, ibuprofen, and rest.

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  15. Damn PF. I think I've got it toooooo :-(((((((( Just starting to admit it. :-((((((

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    1. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. Clearly I've been denying for a while.

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  16. Bugh. Sorry to hear about your foot and the rock and the PF and all of it. I hate to blame age here but it seems to have a way of making us reshuffle our plans a bit. As hard as it is to let go of goals, there is also opportunity for new adventures. When the winds change you adjust your sails, right? Love the new focus. My hips need help too.

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    1. I'm pretty sure that age isn't helping me much here. At least it's not broken, as far as she can tell.

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  17. Wendy, it sounds like you have a very solid plan and let's hope it helps sooner rather than later. It really is so terribly frustrating that our bodies rebel no matter how hard we try to do the right thing.

    We are dealing with our own drama right now, which I'll probably write about later when I have more info (not running related, I'm sure you can guess what it involves).

    Life is just never easy, it seems, no matter how much we try to do the right thing! And I definitely hope to meet you at PCB!

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    1. So much drama, so little time. Pretty sure yours is of the four legged variety!

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your PF. I've also had kinetic chain issues, and I think I'm finally making progress. I'm doing all those exercises mentioned above, plus many more. I also think I'm ready for new shoes.

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    1. I did pull out a new pair of shoes, so there's that.

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  19. Aw man, I didn't realize your fall was so serious and you'll have to take another break. I hope the X-ray is clear! You've got a great plan moving forward and you'll still be kicking ass as usual!

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    1. Well, you know, I was hoping to downplay it and it would just fade away. Ha.

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  20. that's the great thing about goals - their fluid and can be adjusted at any time. Sorry though that your PF is causing you so much grief. Hopefully your time off and cross training can get it under control!!

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  21. Damn that PF! You've got great goals to keep in strong. Now that I have fially really dedicated time to strength trainig I'm amazed at the difference it is making! Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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    1. The strength training has been a game changer for me! Sure that if I didn't fall on my foot, I'd be ok. I think I just angered it.

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  22. In January, I was diagnosed with a weak left hip too and went to PT for months. I've been diligent with my exercises...but they sometimes aggravate my groin. I swear it's always something. So as I sit here at the beginning of marathon training, my groin is complaining. And I can't have that. Do I back off the PT exercises? I probably will have to. I must say Tri-ing feels easier on the body. Tri it! I sure hope you can still run in December!

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    1. Does kayaking count for a tri? I really don't want to take up swimming!

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  23. Clamshells. I need to be doing those!!! I keep saying I'm going to make up a poster of hip and hamstring exercises and stretches and put it in our running group's clubhouse (OK, it's a garage but we can dream), as a reminder to spend five minutes post-long run doing some good for our bodies. Ima get on that - and I hope your DAMN PF (it really IS the devil) goes away soon.

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    1. So here I sit, on the computer instead of the floor, doing my exercises. I'm so bad...

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  24. I'm horrible with preventative care! I do cross train and lift weights a lot, so I think that helps. But preventative stretches and specific exercises (like the clamshells, I really need to do those)...I never seem to make the time. It's a bad habit for sure!

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    1. I promise to do these, I promise to do these...

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  25. What a great post. So glad you were able to refocus and not get discouraged.

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    1. Oh, I'm discouraged, but I don't want to dwell on it. If I write a positive post, it makes me feel more positive. Funny how that works!

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  26. I'm so sorry - PF is the worst! I had a years ago, got cortisone shots, and have run in Orthodics ever since. I also do tons of hip work to hopefully keep it at bay. Hope this break is just what you need!

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    1. It was getting better and then I had to fall on it. What are the chances?

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  27. Nothing wrong with altering your goals when you realize your body needs to take a step back. I ended up with an overtraining injury after Disney Princess Half a couple years ago and it took me a year to recover. That was not fun. I love that you are focused on what you can continue to achieve!

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    1. I'm enjoying the strength workouts we do and that helps me feel a little less sad about not being able to run!

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  28. Oh gosh. I'm glad you have all this cross-training and rehab all lined up so you can roll with this injury, but it still stinks. I'm sorry you have to go through that pain and the uncertainty about when you can run again.

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    1. It's ok, since I don't have any races on the calendar right now. I'm just glad I got those 2 bucket list races done earlier this year.

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  29. So important to take care of yourself!

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  30. I'm pretty good about self-care. My mom was the opposite, she took care of everyone else, then had breast cancer at 50, we lost her at 58.

    I've been good with cross training for the past year or so and that has really helped with injury prevention. I may be a little too willing to take an extra rest day from time to time, but so far I've never had an injury that has sidelined me for more than a week.

    Glad you're still able to cross train. Hope that foot heals soon!

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    1. That's too bad about your mom. So many women are like that!

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  31. I envy your dedication to your gym workouts. You don't deserve to have any injuries. Life's not fair.

    I have my out of work drama - it's always something. And the heat!! Who can run in this??

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    1. Well, there's that--I don't mind missing out on running in the heat!

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  32. I've been focusing on self care a heck of a lot more lately, and it's really paying off. Not only do I feel better, but I perform better too!

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  33. Oh man! I'm so sorry your PF is back! It sounds like you have a pretty good attitude about it, and I'm glad it's not keeping you from being inactive. You'll still have an awesome year!

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    1. I have my moments of despair, but I just want to feel better! This has been a very frustrating injury.

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  34. Yes, life always seems to derail my plans. I definitely have to get better at balancing everything

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  35. i tend to skip workout when work and other things gets too much..i love working out but sometimes its easier to sleep instead.

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    1. I rarely skip a workout but yesterday I slept in for the first time in a long time. I needed it.

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  36. I hear you about weakness in the kinetic chain - mine is on the right side. As part of my warm-up before a workout at the gym, I do my hip mobility/strength exercises. At any time I feel any discomfort, it's usually on the right side of my body.
    Climbing a rope is a feat! Surely you're own your way to do a few pull-ups. Hope your PF leaves you alone soon now that you have revised your fitness goals.

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    1. I just need to be better about doing my exercises!

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  37. Oh my goodness, I want to figure out how to do a rope climb! I'm so far away from that right now; upper body strength is a big weakness of mine.

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    1. It's a work in progress! And once I get up the rope, I have to be able to come down.

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  38. PF is the worst! I'm pretty terrible at injury prevention. When there's not a problem I slack off on my exercises even though I know it bites me in the butt every time.

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    1. That would be me too! When will we learn?

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    1. You are correct! That's why she has me taking it slow!

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  40. You had a great year Wendy. Lots of great races! Running 2 more Half-Marathon are an awesome goal for 2016. I hope your PF will soon get better.

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    1. This has been going on for about 9 months. I think it's time to go away, don't you?

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  41. I feel your pain...literally and figuratively! I've had PF, not fun! Currently I'm cycling due to knee injury. Thankfully I can still ride and work hard on the bike without hurting the knee. You have a great attitude about everything. I often ignore pain until it's too late. I just try to keep going and hope it'll go away. Can't afford to do that!

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    1. I'll be spending more time on my bike as well. Good thing I like riding!

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  42. I definitely neglect self care when live starts to get overwhelming. Good diet ? out the window ! another drink ? why not ! Planking ? what's that.... Staying focused 100% on my health all the time because a bit obsessive so I try to go with the flow. I think I have traveled for work every week since beginning of April and it has definitely taken a toll.
    I think revising your goals was a smart thing to do... sorry about that darn PF.

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    1. That's right where I'm at. Going with the flow and enjoying life a little bit right now! I think letting go of all the stressors I've had to deal with these past few months will help a lot. Part of that includes stepping back from training for anything.

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  43. Oh no! I know from my best friend how frustrating PF can be. She has tried everything and it has gotten worse and now over a year, probably close to 2, she has lost some muscle in her ankles/feet and is working with a specialist. Just listen to your body and take care of yourself. Trust me I know easier said than done sometimes.

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    1. This thing is working itself into a chronic injury! My sports medicine specialist isn't concerned tho--I just need to give it a rest. Cross Training, here I come!

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  44. It sucks that you're injured but at least you've got a new plan! I've been having some issues with my lower back recently and yoga is the only thing that doesn't make it flare up a lot so that's what I've been sticking to these days. So much for my plans of taking all the group fitness classes lol

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    1. I've got a plan but now I need to get working on it!

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  45. I think it was a smart decision to revise your fitness plans, as hard as it can be! I definitely neglect my own well being when things get tough, but I've gotten better about it over the last two years. Good luck with your recovery!

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  46. ugh im so sorry! how frustrating - you are so diligent about doing all the little things.

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    1. So frustrated! All I want to do is run!

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  47. I can't get over the fact that we're talking about goals for the rest of the year. Really? Is it that time already? Sorry to hear about your injury.

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    1. This is the first time I've had to revise my yearly goals. It's been a tough first half of the year, injury-wise.

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  48. I definitely neglect myself when life gets overwhelming, I think nurses tend to do that a lot. I hope you recover quickly and think that you are doing the right thing by revising your goals!

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    1. Thank you! I agree with you...we nurses don't always stop to take care of ourselves!

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  49. Uggh, I see so many of you struggling with PF! So sorry you are still dealing with it. You do look pretty badass doing those rope climbs!! My goal is an unassisted pullup too, but it's a slow road it seems like.

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    1. The pullup is a huge challenge. I can't even get near the bar.

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