Climbing Out of a Black Hole

I try to keep things 100% real here, but it’s hard when things get tough. I mean, the title of my blog has “happy” in it. If I’m not happy, what am I? But this is my blog after all, so here goes:

When I started this fitness journey back in 2004, I was more than 100 lbs heavier & suffered from crippling anxiety, OCD, and depression. My hands would crack and bleed from over-washing and some days I couldn’t even leave my dorm. With 5 years of exercise, therapy, medication, and a healthier diet, I managed to find my way out of that hole. And even though I managed to wean off the OCD medicine (and haven’t had an episode in years), I will occasionally fall back into that hole.

Which is where I’m at right now.

For the past three weeks or so, I’ve been in an emotionally bad place. The best way I can describe it is like I’ve been watching a movie of my life. Some days it takes a huge effort just to get out of bed. A few days, I slept 18+ hours and have had no motivation to do anything. One day my husband had to physically pull me out of the car to take a walk at the park, and all I wanted to do was cry the whole two miles. At holiday gatherings I found myself fighting back tears while watching everyone else laugh. I’d put on a happy face to go for a run or to a movie, and then fall right back into staring at the TV or a blank wall, trying not to cry.

Some more well-adjusted folks might read that and think “What a head case!” Hell, I even think that sometimes – I’ve had a perfectly happy holiday season, I have family and friends that love me, a great job, a roof over my head… what the hell could I possibly be so depressed about? And when I think that, I get even more upset, and it spirals from there. Those of you who’ve experienced depression or anxiety know what I’m talking about, and it sucks.

What brought it on? Is it just the Holiday Blues? The lack of structure being off from work for so long? The unhealthy food and abundance of wine? All three? Who knows. And it’s hard to even put into words exactly what goes through my head when I’m in the middle of it. But I’m lucky: my friends and family have all been nothing but supportive. And to be honest, today is one of my first good days. Coming back to work, monitoring my diet, and forcing myself to be physically active are all helping, but it takes time. I’m pretty sure I’m bouncing back slowly, but there’s always a fear that it’ll creep back up and paralyze me again.

I don’t have a specific purpose for writing this post, to be honest. Part of me needed to write it to clear my head, but it’s also for anyone who has gone through – or is going through – something similar. If you’re in the middle of it, know you’re not alone, no matter how lonely you might feel. The sun will come out. It always does. And don’t be ashamed to talk about it or seek help. Negative thoughts spread like wildfire and sometimes all you need to do to break the cycle is talk to someone else, even if it hurts.

I also hope that anyone lucky enough to have never experienced depression or anxiety realizes it’s not trivial. With physical illness, you experience symptoms that others can see; runny nose, broken bones. But with mental illness, the symptoms are hidden. So be kind to others. Even if they’re smiling and seem happy on the outside, you never know what kind of battle they’re fighting on the inside.

Ode to the Fitness Buddy

I don’t know about you, but with no major races on the horizon until at least March, I’m feeling kind of lost when it comes to my running. Without a big goal race to aim for or a plan to follow, I kind of turn into a sassy cranky pants just looking for some kind of structure to my life that’ll help me avoid gaining weight through the holidays and keep me sane when the Christmas madness takes hold.

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Exhibit A: my life.

Luckily, I’ve managed to set a pattern of sorts now thanks to my fitness friend, Kevin. Kevin has been my friend and frequent running buddy for a while now, but recently he’s joined my gym and kicked me into gear in a big way without even realizing it.

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Hooray for structure!

Kevin is usually the one to text me at 9PM on a Friday with “Are you running tomorrow?” What he doesn’t realize is that I’m usually eyeballs-deep in a glass of red wine and when I see his texts I usually say, out loud, to no one, “Well, I wasn’t planning on running in 12 hours but I guess I am now.” And then I finish the glass and put the cake down because no one wants to see me sweating red velvet and Robert Mondavi.

Now that he’s also a member of the same gym, he’s taken to texting me with random thoughts such as “Just throwing it out there. In addition to running. I want to work on abs, arms, and legs. Abs every day.”

And just like that, I’ve got a strength training schedule in my life!

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Exhibit B: this past Saturday’s workout

When I’m in the throes of training, I sometimes lose sight of how fun it is to workout with someone else, so I’m grateful for his reminders. And he’s not the only one!

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My sister in law (who ran the Turkey Trot with me last week!) has been excellent at suggesting we do fun runs and races lately, which I totally need in my life if I don’t want to end up waking up surrounded by empty Godiva chocolate boxes wondering what happened to the past 48 hours.

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And my cousin Heather who ran the Trenton 10K with me is another motivator: she’s got races lined up for pretty much every weekend now through the end of 2017, and I only wish I had her dedication!

How about you: do you have a fitness pal to keep you motivated? How has sweating with someone else helped you on your journey?

My New Favorite Go-To Snacks

As if you couldn’t tell by my Instagram pics, Tweets, and the variety of posts I’ve written on the subject: I freakin’ love food.

But now that the weather is getting warmer and I’m forced to shed my winter running layers to exercise outdoors comfortably, those extra few pounds wobbling around my middle have got to go. To get rid of them though, I’ve got to fight my number one problem: night-time snacking.

spI swear there’s like a magnet in my body that draws me into the kitchen every night. And no matter how healthfully I’ve eaten all day, I sabotage myself by binging on whatever junk food we have lying around the house. My mind tricks me into thinking I’m hungry, but I don’t crave things that would actually satisfy that hunger like a banana or roasted chickpeas. No, I’d rather go for the Pirate Booty or the Chewy Chips Ahoy.

Frankly, it’s a problem I’ve battled on and off for years, and I’m slowly getting better. But while I don’t always win the battle, I’ve learned a few things about my body that I’ve turned into ammunition against the nighttime snack attack:

1. Eating sugar makes me crave more sugar. Other people may be different but this is 100% the case for me. As soon as I finish a Hershey’s Kiss, I want another one. And another and another until I wake up from a chocolate-induced coma, covered in little foil wrappers with a sugar crash headache. Not pretty. To fight the sugar-begets-sugar Monster, I rely on some not-so-sugary treats that feel like real indulgences. Lately, this means stocking up on my newest favorite Chobani Flip flavor: Chocolate Haze Craze.

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The Greek yogurt has extra protein to fill me up, and the chocolate chips/hazelnuts that you stir into it tastes seriously so much like Nutella you may find yourself licking the container (not like that’s ever happened to me…) It’s the perfect “dinner is over, this is my dessert” signal to my brain, and not SO sweet that I find myself craving more chocolate after I’m done.

2. I need to snack a little more throughout the day to stay satisfied. This means bringing more healthy choices in to the office with me, which means I need to do some prep work ahead of time. To make it easier on myself, I’ve been digging Wasa crisps – delicious, crunchy little flatbreads – with some good old Laughing Cow cheese.

cheeseBesides the yummy crispy/creamy combo, I think the fact that I’m adding stuff together to make a snack kind of tricks my stomach into thinking it’s getting a meal, which helps!

3. My tastesbuds equate super-flavor = super-satisfying, so I’ve branched out and experimented with flavors that I’m not really used to. For years I’ve shunned spicy things because I felt like it dulled my tastebuds and burned too much, but my Naturebox delivery this month included a bag of Jalapeno Cashews that I chomped RIGHT through in a week or two. Who knew?! I also love me some Blue Diamond Salt & Vinegar Almonds.

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I make it a point to always have a jar of these bad boys around: in the office, at home, hell, even in the car! See that little “Intense Taste!” sign on the package? It’s not kidding! After savoring a small handful one at a time, my mouth is coated in that familiar boardwalk-fries flavor and the craving to eat all the things has subsided thanks to the extra protein in the almonds. That’s a win-win to me!

So now that I’ve shared my favorite snacks, it’s time to share yours! Tell me: what are you snacking on? How do you fight the hungry monster?

Weight Loss & Running Fearless

When I signed on to be a Skirt Sports Ambassador, I was thrilled – they’re all about encouraging women to move and embrace their bodies, no matter their size, age, or ability. Their message of fearlessness and acceptance is one that I wholeheartedly stand behind. Too often the snark and body-shaming in the periphery of the fitness community will  and spread those negative vibes. And as an Ambassador for their brand, I’m so lucky to be another voice for positive change. Given my own journey through the past 10+ years, I’m especially honored to help spread the message of being yourself and going after your fitness goals without fear.

When I first started running, I took it up as I started losing weight back in 2004, and had to start slowly – I weighed more than 270+ lbs and I couldn’t go more than a quarter mile before quitting.

before1I was uncomfortable in my own skin and frankly, felt trapped. I was just about to turn 21, I was in college and building an awesome new path in life for myself, but I didn’t feel “skinny enough” to do the things that other people around me were doing. Dating, going out to clubs and bars – I didn’t want to put myself out there because I was afraid of what others would think of me. I took every whisper, every look, every dating rejection as a result of my weight and my appearance, so I put up a wall.

Every day I would put on a show of over-confidence to mask the self-loathing going on under the surface, and each night I would retreat back into my own world, lock the door, and dream of the real me. I saw myself a hundred pounds lighter, living my dream life: successfully managing a full professional and personal schedule all with the confidence I knew I had inside.

Finally, a few days before my 21st birthday in July, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a crushing blow; my mother is my whole world. After breaking down in the hallway of our house when she said the words, my immediate reaction (later that day) was to go down to the park to run myself into oblivion. I had never run more than a mile before that day, but I needed to numb the pain and couldn’t think of anything else to do. So I ran. And I didn’t care about what anyone thought of me that day.

When I look back on it, I realize it was a desperate need to do something – anything – to take care of myself. The C-word has a way of putting all of your life choices into perspective, even if it’s not you but your immediate family. I now technically had “a family history” of cancer. And the only weapon I had against that was taking better care of myself. So after burning myself out in the park that day doing I don’t even remember how many miles (I lost count after 5), I started to pay closer attention to my choices: what I ate, how I moved, how I spent my free time. And wouldn’t you know it: by eating sensibly and moving more, I lost between 30-40 lbs in that first 6 months.

There’s a lot more to my fitness story after that – I went on to lose a total of more than 100 lbs in the next 5 years, AND my mother beat cancer and has been officially cancer-free since 2005! – but the point of it is this: you can’t live your life in fear. Fear of becoming sick, fear of losing your loved ones, fear of what others will think of you – none of it helps you, unless it motivates you to do something.

I spent most of my teen and adult life hiding from what I could become, and once I conquered that fear and did something about it, I finally found the courage I needed to change. I became an athlete; a runner; I became the me I always knew I was!

IMG_4183 (2)How about you: what’s holding you back from your dream? What do you plan to do to conquer it? Share in the comments and let’s lift each other up!

Check Out My Weight Loss Story on PopSugar

A few days before the United NYC Half, someone from the NYRR press relations team reached out to me about an interview with PopSugar.com. I was so stoked – I really like their fun tips & tricks articles, and always wanted to be featured on their Weight Loss page! So I immediately responded, sent over some photos, and then race weekend madness quickly took over my life and – if you can believe it – I forgot about the whole thing! That is until last night, when I was cleaning through my inbox and found the original inquiry. I hadn’t gotten a final decision on if or when they’d share my story, but figured a quick browse through their site wouldn’t hurt.

So imagine my surprise when I scrolled down and found MYSELF, smiling back at me!

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I was floored! It’s an awesome little piece that details my diet and workout plan a little more, so if you’re interested in the details like that, feel free to check it out on their page and leave some love in the comments there!

Guest Post: Fitness & Feta

Hey everyone! I know I already blew up your feed earlier today with my race recap – and it’s so long that I’m sure some of you are still reading it 😉 – but I’m too excited not to share this with you: the always lovely and super-motivational Athena of Fitness & Feta invited me to do a guest post on her blog, and it’s now live!

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If you’re looking for inspired workout tips, great recipes, and general fitness-related fun, you’re going to love Fitness and Feta. Seriously, even the titles of her “Awk Spot” posts make me giggle like a kitten on helium. So do yourself a favor: check out my post, take a look at the rest of her blog, show her some love, and be sure to tell her I sent you! 🙂

Jess Eats Happy: Protein Brownies

How could I let another week go by without giving you a new recipe from the Jess Eats Happy Cookbook? In honor of the Super Bowl and all the excess and eating it entails, I’m here with an indulgent but super party-friendly and sneakily healthy dessert recipe for my famous (infamous?) Protein Brownies.

Also known as Black Bean Brownies, these babies have been my go-to treat when the urge to bake (and eat raw brownie batter) knocks on my door. With just two ingredients – seriously – I’m betting that these will become your new favorite too. But here’s a tip: don’t tell anyone how you made them. Just say they’re brownies. Because once you say “beans” and “brownies” in the same sentence, about 85% of the people in the room will not want to eat them on principle alone.

But then again that may work out to your advantage, cause you’re gonna want to eat them all yourself. I guarantee it.

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Protein Brownies

Ingredients:
1 box of brownie mix any flavor (13×9 pan size)
1 can black beans (15.5 oz)

Directions:
1. Strain and rinse beans, put beans back in can and re-fill can with water to top.
2. Pour can of beans and water into blender/food processor (I use the magic bullet) and purée til liquefied.
3. Combine box of brownie mix and puréed beans in a bowl and mix with a spoon til lumps are gone. It’ll take a while. Consider this your arm workout for the day.
4. Bake according to box, checking towards the end. It might take a few minutes longer than it says on the box, but start checking it at the posted time and keep sticking a toothpick in the center – when it comes out clean, it’s brownie time!

And that’s it! I promise you will not be able to taste any beans whatsoever. Just chocolatey goodness. After they cool, I slice them smaller than normal brownie size. They’re more dense than normal brownies; more like fudge really, so a little square will fill you up more than you’d think.

The best part about this recipe is the lack of eggs and oil, meaning you can eat all the batter you want without having to worry about salmonella! So go ahead, lick the bowl (and the spoon and your fingers…) and enjoy!

The Girl Who Cried Marathon – Part 2

OK so when we last left off I was fresh off a great 6 mile run and feeling good and pain free. Hooray!

However. You know how they say that running is like 30% physical and 70% mental (or something, I don’t math good)? Well, I started psyching myself out basically as soon as I got out of the shower that night. Even though I had a great 6 miles, the end was rough. How was I going to build up to 26.2 – with confidence – in a little more than a month, with time for a taper too? I wasn’t. Or maybe I could. I don’t know. Where’s my xanax?

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Friday I rested and aimed for 12 miles over the weekend. Saturday morning I woke up and got prepped for the long run; fueled up, strapped on my hydration vest, and stood at the door stretching out, but I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t mentally in the game. In fact, I was paralyzed with fear, indecision, anxiety, and frustration. I couldn’t fail at another long run, it’d break me. After my failed 10 miler the week before, I had built up “the long run” so much in my broken, anxiety-riddled mind.. so much that I worked myself up into a full-on panic attack there with my hand on the doorknob, unable to open the door and run. My husband found me there and talked me down. “Head out there with no expectations. Just run. If you go for 1 mile or 10, call it a win.” It helped – so I walked out the door and into the soupiest, hottest, most humid day New Jersey has experienced since last summer.

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It was about 97 degrees with 98% humidity, and there was no relief to be found out on the pavement. I struggled physically for a mile or so, then walked, and realized it was time to face the fear that’s been on the edges of my brain for a while now: I may have to drop down to the half marathon this October.

I had thought it before but was too scared to really explore it. “Failure” was not an option. But “Compromise” had to be considered. What would the real cons be? Honestly, it was the fear of having to become “The Girl Who Cried Marathon.”

My best friend up in Cape Cod said she was going to come all the way down to cheer me on. My local friends always ask how training is going, and say they can’t wait to celebrate. So many of my internet friends here and on Instagram have all said how excited they are to follow my journey to the finish line… What a let down it would be to tell them that I wasn’t going to run it. What a fool I’d look like.

That’s when it finally dawned on me: I was more concerned with what my friends and family (and internet friends!) would think of me than I was with my own health and sanity. I was prepared to just push through and barely make it – and possibly injure myself – just because I didn’t want to look like a fool.

That was my wake-up call: if I’m only running the marathon for other people, I am truly doing it for the wrong reasons. When I signed up, I wanted to prove to myself I could finish happy and healthy, but a slew of injuries this summer (runner’s knee in both knees, calf strains, etc) have seriously derailed my training and turned running into a painful chore. And to be honest? Before that 6 miler, I hadn’t really enjoyed a run in a LONG while.

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#sorrynotsorry #truthbomb

So maybe dropping down is the right thing to do. The last thing I need to do is go out there unprepared (mentally or physically) and DNF, or worse, injure myself again. In the end, it comes down to what’s right for me. Not for anyone else. Because honestly? No one else really truly cares if I have to drop down to the half. Why in the hell would it matter to them? In classic overthinker fashion, I convinced myself that everyone else would view me as a failure, when in fact it was ALL ME doing the “you’re a failure” finger pointing, at myself.

(If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a classic overthinker. Whether I’m choosing chicken or fish at a wedding or buying a car: I will obsess over every little detail of a decision until I can’t keep my eyes open, and then I’ll keep obsessing until 3 am in bed, and eventually I’ll worry myself into a state of paralysis. It’s really the one thing I’m actually good at.)

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Yay for succeeding at something!

So as I walked back home, I pulled the trigger and messaged the handful of friends that said they were coming down to cheer me on, and their responses were so unbelievably sweet and supportive that I wondered why I had waited this long to say anything in the first place. When I got home I told my husband and it was like a weight had lifted. I cried in relief – even though I hadn’t officially changed my registration, I found such comfort in getting to the bottom of the issues that have been plaguing me for the past month. It really is true: Running is cheaper than therapy!

As of right now, I’m not sure if I’m officially dropping. I’ve got until 10 days before the race to decide, and I’m going to really focus on my training now that I’ve gotten my gait right and my knees are healing. I’ve done a few really good hour + runs, and banged out a great 10 miler today, so we’ll see what the future holds. I could possibly still pull the full out of thin air, but I’m not going to be disappointed if I have to drop when the time comes.

What matters is that I keep running happy – which I plan on doing for a VERY long time 🙂 And PS – We’ll be back to our usual running/training related posts tomorrow. In the meantime, how is your training going? Does anyone else out there struggle with doubt? How about my fellow overthinkers out there? Share your story!

The Girl Who Cried Marathon – Part 1

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m back! And it has been a week or two, let me tell you. After getting all jazzed up for my long run with my last post, I made the bold choice of going for a 6 miler that Thursday night.

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The first three miles were filled with pace-destroying calf pain, a totally new issue. I’d had calf strain issues due to overcompensation on that leg in a few recent runs, but nothing like this. I couldn’t go more than 50 yards without walking because of this intense burning sensation from my ankles to my knees. It subsided around mile 3 and was replaced with major chafing for the last 3 miles. BUT I finished 6 in [relatively] good time, then rested Friday and set out Saturday for my long run. And it was bad.

I was motoring through mile 6 when the wheels fell off the wagon. My knees locked up, my calves coiled into tight springs, and I felt a shooting pain grow from the outside of my right foot straight through my right calf up to the knee. I walked in circles, stretched it, even sat on a curb to rest, but it wasn’t having any of that. When I tried to run one last block, my right knee gave out and I had to call my husband to come pick me up.

Talk about a shame spiral while I waited? In 15 minutes, I went from “You can’t even finish a 13 mile training run” to “You can’t finish anything you start, even your marriage is just you trying to pretend to be an adult.”

photoMy inner voice can be a real douchebag sometimes.

So I punished my body all of the next day working in the yard, rested on Monday, then tried running again on Tuesday and found that I was ok after 2 miles. Not 100%, but OK. Wednesday I took off from running and told myself to focus on really pushing for a full night of cross training. So I surprised the hell out of myself with a double workout at the gym.

photo 1 And I felt great!

I started with a nice slow stretch, then did 4 miles in 50 minutes on the elliptical. After some more stretching I finished with 25 solid minutes in the pool. Lap after lap, I build my confidence up, stretched out those sore muscles, loosened everything up and generally played mermaid.Then that night I spent some time researching the possible causes of my injuries. I watched videos on common running problems, read up on knee issues, and picked up a few things that I couldn’t wait to try out on Thursday. I was tired by the time my run rolled around after work, so I told myself to go by feel with my new knowledge.

And 6 absolutely pain free miles later I was smiling from ear to ear 🙂

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That is one happy runner.

Throughout the run, I focused on 3 little things that added up for a huge difference:

  1. Shortening my stride. Overstriding is a common running issue that creates knee/calf issues, and as it turns out, I was doing it. A LOT.
  2. Paying closer attention to my pace. I stopped doing that a while ago because I just wanted to get faster but I only ended up going too fast and burning myself out early.
  3. NOT paying attention to my overall time. In my rush to get faster, I was too focused on what my overall time should be, and getting discouraged when the number wasn’t what I expected.

By the end of 6 miles, I felt great! Tired and spent, but good. A few aches in my calf, a tight back… I certainly couldn’t have done it all over again back to back to make 12, though. So while I was thrilled to have figured out what was causing some of my major issues I still had some lingering doubts, mostly about how I was going to build up my endurance to:

  • do what I just did 3 more times in a row
  • PLUS 2.2 more miles for a full 26.2 miles…
  • in just 6 weeks.

In my next post, we’ll look at that list in greater detail… and you’ll finally learn what the title of this post is all about!

“Coxsackie” is Really a Thing??

Hey gang! WOW. It has been one hell of a week. Where do I begin? Let’s start with where I last left you – after my fantastic swim on Monday night.

Tuesday morning we had a blood drive at work and I donated double the red blood cells. So they hooked me up to the machine, drew my blood three times, spun and separated it, then pumped it back in three times, along with saline to help replenish my fluids. A half hour later, I had made friends with everyone in the blood mobile (what up blood people!!), I downed a cranberry juice and a pack of raisins and went on my merry way. The nice man even made me a bow for my bandage because I was such a good girl:

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Not pictured: my smug, self-satisfied smile.

That evening, I started feeling a little off – nauseous, headache-y, exhausted, achy, etc. After dinner, when I tried to tell my husband that I couldn’t hold my head up any longer but actually said the words, “I can’t get my head open now”, he smartly realized it was time for me to call it a day and go to bed at 8PM.

After 13 hours of sleep (!!), I attempted work on Wednesday but still had to leave work at noon because I felt so cruddy. I slept for another 6 hours that afternoon before bed, and Thursday I woke up feeling better. I was on my feet rushing around for my company’s 25th anniversary party from 8AM through 7PM, but I felt good! UNTIL I walked out of the building and my throat felt like it was closing up and my head threatened to burst open with pain. What the ever loving hell?? I got home, walked in the door in tears from the pain, collapsed on the couch (still in my dress, jewelry, and party shoes!) and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up with a 102 degree fever and the chills, I popped some motrin and passed back out.

Fast forward to Friday, when the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong, my fever was up to 102 again, and I was ready to go to the ER. My throat was so swollen and painful that I couldn’t manage anything beyond water, my appetite was GONE, and my body felt like I got hit by a bus. That night the fever broke, but that just meant I was entering phase 3 of this wacky illness: the blisters.

photo 3AKA the part where you want to cut your hands and feet off

Those of you with children (or who read the title of my post) are probably well aware of where this is headed, but I spent all day Saturday Googling “fever + body aches + blisters” and diagnosed myself with everything from scarlet fever to ebola. Until I stumbled across “hand, foot, and mouth disease“. It’s also known as coxsackie, which I’d heard of and laughed at before – laughed at it, that is, until I caught it.

Because let me tell you: This shit is NO JOKE. The pain, itching, and discomfort of my hands and throat had me in tears at least 3 times a day, making sleep (and eating solid foods) a distant memory. I had read a handful of stories where this lasted from 7-10 days or more in some people, and I just couldn’t imagine dealing with it for the rest of the week. I cried myself to sleep that night and woke up Sunday morning to find my throat feeling mildly better while I still wished my hands would magically fall off. I went to bed that night praying that it’d be better the next day and woke up to find my wish granted. Finally!! I could use my hands without wanting to tear the skin off them! I could swallow a smoothie instead of room-temperature broth! Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, because my feet finally started to swell and sting. Eh, I could live with that if everything else got better.

I worked from home and felt progressively better throughout the day, finally asking hubby to “take me for a walk” like an invalid down the waterfront park for some fresh air after dinner. I limped for 2 full miles to beat the stir craziness, and my feet paid for it later with screaming blisters that I had to soak in a hot Epsom salt bath. But it was worth it!

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That’s the face of freedom right there.

So now we’re up to speed on my week! I came in to work today feeling pretty good, my throat and hands have held up beautifully (although they both look all scarred and terrible and are good at keeping my enemies at bay), and my foot blisters are starting to calm down. I think I’ll be at 100% tomorrow, which is great considering I thought I was looking at having this for my birthday later this week.

The one thing to note is that we discovered that this was all hubby’s fault. See, he brought it home from the school he works in and had a mild version last weekend, which I then picked up from him. We didn’t know that his fever and smattering of non-painful blisters on his hands were a related thing, and so that’s how I ended up catching it. Sharing is caring!

So I’m sorry I don’t have any running updates for you, but at least this was an interesting story with some funny science-y words thrown in for good measure? 🙂 Have you ever heard of coxsackie? Or even worse, have you ever had it? Any other random weird illnesses for me to be terrified of? Tell me in the comments!