4 months, 1 shoe

vince

For 4 months one shoe (right) has been on my foot and the other (left) has been in a box. Btw, the heel of the shoe above is falling off now at the very bottom layer.

I kinda knew I wanted to do a comparison post when I first bought these shoes. Ideally, I’d wear the one during boot time and then be able to wear both afterwards. That’s…. not so much something I want anymore.

I bought these shoes because of the platform on them. The shoe I wore allowed me to be evenly balanced while wearing the medical boot. I still hobbled about a bit, but at least I felt more stable being on the same walking plane.

To give an idea of just how much I relied on this shoe, here’s a breakdown of every day, including weekends:

  • Wake up, get dressed and put on shoe and boot.
  • Wear both all day at work with the exception of times I had to take off both and put on my non-slip shoes for going out on the shop floor. I tried wearing the boot once on the shop floor and terrified myself. I seriously thought I was going to fall and break both my legs.
  • Change into workout clothes on M, W, F and put back on shoe and boot to exercise in – I would take it off for doing push ups because the pointy toe end wasn’t very stable for that.
  • During evenings I’d put my feet up on the sofa or a pouf and only take off the shoe.
  • The only other time the shoe was off was during showers or at night when I’d wear a different brace to sleep in.
  • Weekends: wake up, dressed (sort of) and put on shoe and boot.
  • Again, only time I take it off when either lounging, showering or sleeping.

I lived in this shoe constantly.

Pros of this shoe:

  • It made me feel stable and more balanced.
  • It works well with the majority of my wardrobe.
  • It is easy to take on and off in a second, which is what I wanted.

Cons of this shoe:

  • The break-in period was awful. I’m not used to wearing shoes that pinch my toes together because I’d been wearing so many barefoot styled shoes beforehand. I feel as if I’ve cramped my toes together completely during these 4 months.
  • Wearing thick socks to keep my ankles warm was painful until the shoes stretched out a bit. This also goes along with the break-in period. Not good.
  • After the beginning of the second month a squeak developed in the forefoot area of the shoe and no matter what I’ve done it will not go away. The boot already sounds awful – like someone running around in a diaper due to the padding for my leg and all the velcro straps moving around. Adding a squeak to it on the other shoe has made wearing both boot and shoe highly annoying for me every. single. day. I made a joke with a coworker I’m the walking Squeaky Diaper and we laughed, but I think part of my anger and grumpiness is due to this damn squeak in the shoe.
  • It’s not great to wear in cold weather and has zero traction, just like the boot. I’m basically in ice skates during inclement weather. Big, cumbersome, annoying ice skates.
  • It’s also not warm at all, which is why I had to wear thick socks, but that just made the shoe more uncomfortable until I managed to stretch out the shoe, dealing with a lot of annoying pain in the process.
  • Expensive – I definitely got my money’s worth out of wearing the one shoe constantly, but I still feel a bit bitter about paying as much as I did for them and only wearing one out of the pair.

As I’m starting the tapering off period (FINALLY!) I don’t have much longer in this shoe and I’ve learned a few things from it.

  • I only like the look of platform shoes. I can’t wear them. I felt like I was tripping all over myself until I got used to it and it just wasn’t me. I know I’m not that tall, but I still need to be closer to the ground. I still trip over myself from time to time and it’s not the boot, it’s literally because of the shoe itself.
  • I hate break-in periods on shoes. This was a big reminder of why I’ve switched to barefoot style shoes or shoes that I know I won’t be fighting for a few months to feel “right” wearing. No one should have to deal with that when wearing shoes and it amazes me how women put up with it for the sake of fashion/style/their ego/prettiness/looking like that girl/ etc…. Hell, men do it too. ANYONE wearing shoes that are uncomfortable – just stop it! You’re not helping yourself look awesome if you’re in pain!
  • I will burn any shoe that squeaks! Ok, so that’s a rage response, but still, if any of my regular shoes squeak when I go back to wearing them, they are OUT!

In the end, I will not be wearing the other shoe even though it is brand new because I don’t want to look at this pair of shoes ever again once I’m done with this one. I don’t think Vince shoes are for me or maybe I need to look at their more casual ones that might have bigger toe boxes. But they all have a lift right? Hmm… nope. Never mind. No Vince shoes.

 

Black textures

monday

Monday: Everlane sweater, Brass Clothing pants, Shoe: Vince.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop wearing blue and black together. Remember the old saying that navy and black don’t go together? Well, screw that. That combination is my favorite. Anyway, wearing a new Everlane sweater since my red lux one got a big hole in it. This one feels a bit more substantial and I like the tight crop neck on it. The sweater is cropped a bit, but I like it that way. The sleeves do feel a bit long, even for a small.

tuesday

Tuesday: striped linen long sleeve tee – Yesstyle, Uniqlo pant, Land’s End cardigan. Oh hey, it’s my old favorite cardigan again that doesn’t really go with anything but I wear it with everything regardless.

wednesday

Wednesday: Everlane sweater; Yohji skirt/pant, (Girlfriend Collective workout leggings on underneath). This was my favorite and most comfortable outfit of the week. It’s hard to tell in the photos but I really liked the texture combination of the washed out black cotton sweater with the black velvet with linen trims. The suede on the Vince shoe for another texture plus. Wearing my workout leggings on the days I need to workout really helps kick my butt into doing so when I get home.

In general, I wear a lot of black in the winter months, so I think I need to change up the textures more so I don’t look like a black hole.

I didn’t take photos for Thursday (Thanksgiving) or Friday. I wore the same outfit both days and it was just jeans and a sweater. We had the hub’s immediate family over for the holiday so it was very casual and small.

Yesterday we put up our xmas lights outside. This might be the last year we do the roof line lights because the hubs is much more afraid of being on the roof than he realizes. I always have to play the psych doctor and positive-talk him through the whole thing and then give him gentle, explicit directions on how to get down.

I’m trying to up my exercise days now that I’m wearing the boot and I can’t do my barbell squats or dead lifts or weighted lunges. Ugh. I kinda failed this week, but I’ll just blame the holiday (yeah I know it’s really my own fault) and get back to it next week.

I also caved in and got Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. I can’t resist the Animal Crossing games. Pocket Camp is really cute and the graphics are amazing compared to the 3DS games. I prefer playing it on my iPad though instead of my tiny phone screen.

pocket camp

Here is my ID if anyone else plays it and wants to add more friends.

 

 

The time in between

Over the past month my birthday has come and gone, as has my second wedding anniversary to the husband. It’s been a mixed bag of fun, stressful, and strange lately.

The good: I have a new job. I start in a week, so I get another week of blissful nothingness on my calendar. No phone screenings, no interviews, no obsessively checking job listings anymore.

interview
Interview outfit: sweater and pants – Everlane. Shoes – Chinese Laundry. These are the only heeled shoes I have and I wore them at my wedding and any other formal event I need them for.

The bad (but not really bad): A month after I was laid off my husband’s company went *poof* and ended.  Basically, someone died or is near death and the family took control of the assets, said “hell no” to the company and now 40+ people lost their jobs, my husband included.

Married. Mortgage. Unemployed. That was our status for a solid 3 weeks together. Then I got a job offer and now the husband has two companies tripping over themselves to hire him, so we’re waiting to see what the offers are. Depending on what happens this week, we both might start our new jobs on the same day, which I find rather funny.

We’ve had great weather for being unemployed. It’s been like a little vacation, or what retirement would be like, but without the stress. The husband said he’d have to find more hobbies because he’s been going stir-crazy. We’ve gone hiking at parks, visited a zoo, had brunch in the middle of the week when it’s quiet and not too crowded and done things we’ve been wanting to do but never had the time for before.

I’ve also spent a ridiculous amount of time playing a new 3DS game the hubs gave me for my birthday. I get very OCD and this game sucked me in. I don’t even want to think about what the hour count would be (if there was one) for my sitting on the sofa playing this game, but I’m sure I’d be somewhat ashamed of it (or not because it’s just silly fun).

birthday
Lavender colored roses for my birthday. I’m not a fan of red roses. I prefer purple, orange or white. I’ve been lounging a lot on that sofa lately.

We’ve worked on indoor and outdoor projects – mostly spearheaded by me since I see this time as an opportunity to do work we normally would put off. We worked in the yard and I’ve devised a plan for dealing with the huge flower bed that serves as a weed pit right now in the backyard. I transplanted some ground cover ivy from a patch behind the garage. The idea is to let it spread throughout the flower bed area and crowd out the weeds. I also painted the powder room a medium grey and now I want to repaint the whole house in that color because it looks so cozy. We’ll be repainting the upstairs bathroom this week because it really needs it.

Some of our friends know we’re unemployed now and it’s been funny hearing their reactions. “Knew that racket couldn’t last forever… ” in reference to my ridiculous non-job where I was laid off. “What the hell, guys!” – regarding both of us being unemployed, “How did you manage that!” “You’re doing it all wrong. You need to spend more time doing nothing and then look for a job when you absolutely have to.” Most people found it incredible how I was paid so long for doing next to nothing. I know I had it easy too. It was literally a 3 year paid vacation. Now that I’ve got a real job lined up I’m hoping I’m up for the challenge and ready to get my brain functioning again. The hubs has been getting verbal jabs from all over. He’s never been unemployed since he was 14. This is a first for him and our friends keep telling him to take more time off.

The weather is supposed to get cold and rainy this week, so this mini vacation may come to a welcome ending point. Being cooped up in the house together without too much to do might drive us both insane. I’ll be fine, on the sofa playing my game. The problem is he’ll have cabin fever and then constantly come interrupt my game play because he needs attention – so both of us will end up annoyed.

anniversary
Checking out a new park on our anniversary. Shirt – Everlane. Pants – Brass Clothing. Shoes – Lems Nine2five.

Weights and tears

When I started this blog, I was wearing a boot on my left foot for Achilles Tendinitis. It was the second time this year I’d worn the boot.

Last summer I was running a lot and then noticed – I don’t remember exactly when – a pain in my ankle. Like all stubborn runners I thought: I’ll just run through it and take it easy tomorrow. I did this for the following 3 months, realizing that no matter how much “down time” I gave myself  my ankle wasn’t getting better. Some days I could run just fine and not have any issues. Some days it would start out hurting, but then I’d push through it and be fine at the end of my run. Some days I’d have an excellent pain-free start of the run only to have to stop short due to the pain deciding to stab my leg and threaten to cripple me. So I stopped running around Thanksgiving. I “took it easy” and only did my usual weight training every other day.

In January of this year I went on a couple long walks to test the water with my ankle. I’d looked it up and thought: yep, I have tendinitis, but I’m mostly ok. I don’t hurt too much and if I don’t walk much it’s no biggie. Plus, I don’t get too much pain at all with weight training. I could tell after one walk my ankle still wasn’t happy. I finally went to a specialist around March and he said: yep, you have tendinitis, but it’s actually healing since you’ve been off it a bit. He gave me a script for steroids to help with the inflammation (there was a noticeable, small bump on the back of my ankle) and then another script for the boot. He said to wear it for three weeks, wean off it on 4th and I’d be totally fine. Why, he himself had had the exact same thing happen to him! I had a total of 3 visits to him over the course of treatment and the last one he said I was ok. Only walk 1 mile for a bit and no weights for another couple weeks.

One month later I attempted to run, which I was allowed to do – on a flat surface – and only managed a half mile before my ankle fell apart again. Bump back, ALL the pain back.

I didn’t put the boot back on until June after a trip to Scotland. I didn’t want to be hobbling about doing touristy stuff. I didn’t go back to the doctor because I thought he was full of shit, but also maybe I did something wrong with the rehab as well. I wore the boot for 6 solid weeks and very slowly weaned off it this time.  It felt great. There was no bump. I started taking little walks in the neighborhood. Nothing long and not at a fast pace. No pain. I was so incredibly happy and hopeful. I missed talking my long walks, but what I longed for the most was my runs. I’d gotten up to 7 miles before stopping last Thanksgiving.

Then this past Saturday I went to a friend’s house for a BBQ and we all walked into town for a car show. We walked very slowly among the crowds, but it was a lot of walking. Sunday morning I felt fine, but then crossing my legs while sitting at the dining room table I felt a stab of pain. By midday I had a bump again on my ankle. I iced my leg twice that day, but the bump didn’t go away. It was still there Monday and all the old pains started coming back. I’d read enough about Achilles Tendinitis to know that in some cases, it can turn into a chronic condition. I may not have a tear bad enough for surgery, but the usual lighter treatments like what I’d been doing may not ever entirely work. There is the option of surgery in case there’s lots of scar tissue or if bursitis sets in….. I did the worst thing possible by reading so much about it online and collapsed into a blob of angry tears on Monday.

I love running. I ran cross-country in high school as a means of getting out of the house when I was younger. I took it for granted then. Years later I picked it up again and realized it was the only “sport” of sorts that I like  – competing against myself and trying to get better. I love having runner highs. It’s addicting, but in a good way. Running also helps me sleep and regulates my mood swings by relieving stress. I zone out when I run – sometimes to the extent of not even remembering the run itself when I’m done. It’s my way of meditating. It also helped me lose 20 pounds when I made more of an effort to get into shape. I weight lift also, which has greatly helped me and I love feeling stronger and don’t mind the sort of muscle pains one feels when lifting. They’re growing pains – growing to be stronger. But no matter how much I lift, I always look forward to my runs.

Now, due to my own stubborn stupidity I may not be able to run again. I might’ve given myself this chronic condition due to how long I refused to accept it for what it was last autumn and should’ve stopped much sooner. That realization made me so utterly miserable I couldn’t do much of anything other than hold back tears all day Monday until I got home. My husband let me cry on him and said I should take it easy and not despair just yet. We did a lot of walking on Saturday so maybe my ankle was being cranky about it and I just needed to rest again. I was comforted by his kindness in being optimistic for me, but part of me knew I may need to face the reality of not being able to run again – let alone taking my long 4-5 mile walks in the neighborhood, or hikes in my favorite parks.

The bump went down a lot on Tuesday and Wednesday and today it’s sorta back, but that might be due to the shoes I’m wearing, which are new and the heel is digging a bit into my ankle, but it’s looking like that on both ankles. My calf has felt tight, so I did some stretching yesterday and did some light weight training (body weight mostly) because I can’t give up all exercise. Even when I had the boot on I was still doing exercising – mostly upper body and core – but hardly doing anything at all for legs.

I’ll hold my breath for now about it and give it some time. I don’t want to call it a chronic condition just yet. More like – I’m afraid to accept it right now.

workout
Reflection in mirror hanging on the back of the basement door to the workout room. I use to to check my posture for dead lifts and squats.
weights (1)
Husband had a shit winter/spring too health-wise and he’s gradually getting his weights back up. 
dumbbells
Rusty old dumbbell set from the in-laws. 
barbell
We have two barbells, a few dumbbells, a weight bench, a rowing machine, a treadmill, and lots of mismatched weights from relatives and Craigslist finds.

 

Half tucked

cardiganoutfit

Rolling up the jeans and half tucking in the shirt made me feel a little more put together even though I felt craptastic today. I was perfectly comfortable and thought I looked a little better.

Shirt: Banana Republic – old. Jeans: Grana – no longer available. Shoes: MaddenGirl from DSW. Necklace: Swarovski -gift. Cardigan: Banana Republic – old.

Last night I looked through some photography books I bought a long time ago. They were from people who I’d followed on Flickr and admired their work. I used to take a lot of photos and kinda miss it. When I got back into anime and started reading manga photography was pushed to the back burner. I used to take hundreds of photos a month of everything around me and even published my own book of photos about breakfast when taking breakfast photos was a huge thing then. It still is, but it’s now all on Instagram. It’s amazing how phone cameras changed the photography world, for better and worse.

I took some photos around the house today. I was never a professional by any means so the disconnect between what I think I’m shooting and what ends up on the screen is still rather great.

plants
Plants I bought yesterday.
crumbs
Our crumbly dining room table.

The photography books I looked through were about a journey two photographers took in mainland China. The people in the photos had very simple lives with no technology and barely any electricity. It made me think of how odd it was that my life was just as simple, but it felt hurried and rushed – like I’m always waiting for the next Big Thing to happen even though there isn’t anything. I have every convenience around me, but I take it for granted and even resent it at times. But it’s not the fault of the technology – it’s me. I’m the one who’s bored and needs to make better use of my time.

So I’m going to try to take some more photos. Maybe I’ll even do a series to give myself a project of sorts.