Book Review of Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of Barefoot Summer from Book Sneeze for this review.  I was not required to write a positive review, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

If you are on the lookout for a great fun summer read, Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter is an absolutely perfect choice! This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting down. The characters are both likable and lovable. Denise's scenery descriptions in which the book takes place are vivid and imaginable.
They had me wishing I had a sailboat of my own that I could take out and relax to the waves as the breeze blew through my hair.

Madison lost her twin brother Michael several years back. She is still trying to overcome the memories that haunt her. Filling her life with a busy schedule and a job at a veterinary clinic. She comes to the decision that to rid the nightmares she must fulfill her lost twins dreams for him. Entering the sailboat Regatta race and winning it for her brother. Madison only has a few problems, she's never sailed a boat before, her brothers boat isn't even in working condition and she hasn't a clue on exactly where to start fixing it. To top it off, she can't even swim.

Deciding that her best option is to win an auction bid of a local sail mate who's auctioning off the partnership and training for a local charity cause. The only problem, she gets pawned off and her training instructor becomes a man with a bad reputation and the one man in town she can't stand to be around, Beckett O'Reilly. With no other options and a need to fulfill her brothers dream she decides Beckett is her only choice.

As friendships begin and a budding romance emerges the nightly nightmares increase, she feels she's never been closer to overcoming her problems and never so far away at the same time. Beckett who is turning out to be nothing of what she thought, has a  dark secret of his own that he has been hiding from her, one directly related to her past. Will his secrets destroy everything they have been building? Or will love find a way to overcome the past? Well you will just have to read Barefoot Summer to find out!

This is one of those books, your just going to want to go lay out under a shade tree by a lake or river and relax and enjoy.  If your anything like me, you'll find yourself smiling throughout and turning the pages as fast as your eyes can read.  I highly recommend Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter to any reader who enjoys a clean fun romance.

Long Time, No Write

I took a few weeks off blogging, which I realized I missed more than I would have thought! Working 2 jobs caught up to me, and I seem to barely be able to keep awake these days. (Literally, I feel like I let my body get too run down and my Epstein Barr is trying to make a return:) So I took a little time off for some well needed rest as well as a little vacationing in places that didn't include internet access.

Not sure if it helped much, but for a while if I am not working, I will just be sleeping to get over this again and feel like myself!

But I am back to blogging now and plan to continue to keep up my blog regularly again. I do have some really good news to share. My injury is really on the mend (for real this time, I think:).

I have been working on a daily physical therapy program, one that I designed myself based off of what I have learned from doctors, and tips from other runners and specialists. Each day for a couple of months now I have increased the PT and pushed my ankle/foot more and more at a slow and steady gradual pace. I still have a bit more to go, but the injuries are showing dramatic signs of improvement. I am now running a couple of miles a day without trouble. I have even been able to go hiking several times (carefully). The other day, I even did a little mountain climbing only about 50 feet which a month ago would have made me feel like my ankle was getting torn apart.

Oddly the only thing I cannot really do without pain is swim. I know funny, but you don't realize how much your foot and ankle move in the water as you kick:) But thankfully, the therapy is working and each day I feel better and better and I no longer feel constant pain when working out and walking on the injured foot. YAY!!!! Even better, I believe in about one more week I can start slowly building up the mileage again and getting back in shape and maybe in a few months I can start building back up into marathons again. Pretty excited about this!!!

I still have to take it easy, but since this injury has pained me for 7 months now, I am just super thrilled that I may be able to heal on my own and avoid any surgery!!!

Well that is my good news, and I look forward to being back with you all in my blogging world again! Happy Monday All!!!

Western Roundup Giveaway Hop

I am excited to be a part of this Western Roundup giveaway hop hosted by MK McClintock Blog as I always love a great western read!

I am giving away your choice of one of the books listed below.  (Winner will receive a paperback copy mailed to them.)


The River Once Flowed - By Jennie Hansen
Dusty Britches - By Marcia Lynn McClure


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Runners Spotlight - Let Me Introduce Carolyn

Every runner has a great story, that pushes them and drives them to do what they do.  I find it fascinating to learn about others, and in return it also inspires and motivates.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  So Runners Spotlights are a weekly series I do every Thursday.

This week I'd like to introduce Carolyn.
I asked Carolyn several questions, to help tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Carolyn Blogs at CCMcAfee Perspective

Looks like you run everything from 5k to Marathon and even Triathlons.  Do you have a favorite distance?

I like a good challenge challenge and each distance and discipline has it's own.  I like each of them!  I wasn't sure if I'd be a one timer on the marathon distance, but it's safe to say now I'm not!

Because I am from Utah, I want to ask this question.  Do you find a difference that training at a higher altitude gives you, versus a lower altitude?

Well where I live I'm at a lower altitude, but the air is thick and humid, which has it's own issues for breath.  In UT I'm at higher altitude, but the air feels clear and easy to breathe.  They both have their challenges, but I haven't felt enough of a difference to really care much.  
Last year my first run in UT I did feel so out of breath, and attributed it to the altitude, then I looked at my watch and saw I was running much faster.  I don't think the altitude hinders me.  Now the hills, that's a change for me!  I live in flat lands!

What states have you run races in?  Have you run in any other countries?

I have run races in UT, ID, and NY.  I've not raced in other countries, but while on vacation recently I ran barefoot on the white beach of the DR... loved all 5 miles of it!

If you could run any race in the entire world, which one would you pick and why?

I'm not like other runners in this aspect.  I enjoy the training and the competitive push racing gives me, but I don't have desires to travel around racing.  It's more about the run for me.  I like to be  near home, near family, in my bed.  Maybe as I race more and more I'll desire different courses, but really I'm good with a few races a year, all close to home!  There are so many things to fit into my life, that is good for me!

Because I think you're such an experienced runner, I'd like to ask you to share your advice to someone who is thinking of starting to run, or just getting started themselves.

My first bit of advice to any new runner is to invest in some good shoes.  I am also a dancer and the understanding of body awareness and alignment transfers over to running.  Your body will hurt if you don't take care of your fee.  Go to a running store, learn about your own alignment and bone structure and go from there.
My next bit of advice is to be consistent.  To get your body used to running... you have to run!  You don't have to run a marathon, or even three miles the first time out, but you do have to consistently run to grow in this discipline.  It's try for anything... practice!  As you become consistent you can increase frequency and your body gets stronger and adapts along the way.  
It's amazing!

Additionally, do you have any training tips or suggestions for intermediate runners who are looking to take it up a level?

I spent a lot of time at an intermediate level, not that I think I'm an all-star or anything.  But I have increased in my performance level from a number of years ago.  I was in new mom mode and at the time I was running about 3 miles 3 or 4 times/wk.  I'd do 6 miles occasionally.  After baby #3 I really kicked it up a notch.  It started with increasing my frequency.  I stayed at 3 miles but went up to 5 times/wk.  That change alone started affecting my body and then my strength as a runner.  As I got stronger I increased my miles.  As my miles increased I pushed my speed.  I could get more miles in, in the same amount of time...  consistency and frequency.
The key to getting faster, as any elite runner will tell you, is speed and hill work.  You don't realize what your body is capable of until you kick it up a notch, then, when you don't die... you see!
I had a neighbor, who runs a few times a week to try bumping up her speed just a few times during her 3 mile run.  Not even a sprint, just pick up the pace a little until you get to a certain mailbox.  She didn't feel she over-exerted at all and finished 2 minutes faster than usual.  
See?  As you get stronger the faster pace feels easier.  And, the great thing... no matter how fast you get, you can always try to get better and faster!

We all know as runners we get asked crazy questions from time to time.  What is the craziest question you have been asked?  What is your answer for that or "odd" why do you run questions?

I don't get asked questions!  I think people know I'm a runner!  When I photograph people, they think I'm a photographer, when I teach dance, they think I'm a dancer.  I think some of my close friends don't realize how into running I am!  I don't talk about it a ton, it's just something I do!

From your blog, you look like a woman with MANY talents.  Fashion, Scrap booking, Blogging, Photography, Crafting, etc...  Can you tell us how you plan your time to fit everything in, as well as your training and family life?

Prioritize!  There is definitely a challenge in finding balance, there always is.  I put the things I need to get done first then get to the rest as I can.  I like to be busy, so for the most part I'm happy jumping making lunch to editing a photo or two, to picking up toys.  AND I go to bed late sometimes!  I don't stop during the day and I really only feel justified in 'down time' after everyone is sleeping!  That makes for a late night sometimes!

Do you have a favorite of all hobbies?  or do they all have an equally special place in your life?

I love all of my hobbies!  Photography remains pretty constant, since I do that for money.. and the others tend to go in waves.  I'll spend time making hair things for a while, then be cleaning and decide I need to redecorate.  I'll put my hair stuff away and then get out paper crafts, then jewelry.  I bounce around, it goes in waves!

Because I love your fashion:)  Tell us how you got into it.  Besides daily fashion, do you also like to run in style?

I actually did a blog post about my style evolution.  it's pretty funny!
As for running in style?  Hmmm, maybe not so much!  I should evolve in this area... thing of the possibilities!  I have a bunch of stuff but mostly stick to biker shorts to avoid the chafe!  Black seems to be what is available!  As for tops, I do have a plethora of choices, but I don't go crazy in this realm.  I spend my good money on shoes!

You are a gifted photographer!  Have you ever taken the camera out on a training run?  Or wish you could take one?  What are your favorite types of photo's you like to take?

Well, thank you!  I've not taken my big camera out, too much of a risk for both my camera and myself!  I did buy a little point and shoot to keep with me for the times I'm not lugging my big camera around.  I was a little nervous about running with it, but took it out for the Buffalo Half.  it was interesting keeping pace and taking photos!  I love having them though.  It helped me recap my race so vividly.

In your photography field, you just did a "Project: I am beautiful"  I read about why and what you did and I found it inspiring!  The photo's were beautifully done, and I loved that they were women of all kinds.
We all know runners come in all shapes and sizes/ speeds and distances.  Some know they are runners no matter what, but some feel like they may have to look a certain way to think of themselves as a runner.  Do you have any type of inspiration you can share with us for (any) runner that you discovered or found while you worked on this project that may help remind us we are all beautiful?

Well, I clearly feel that beauty is a belief, a truth.  That is what that project was all about.  Into the realm of running I feel the same.  Whether you do or don't run, doesn't determine your beauty, what you believe about yourself does.  
I do think there is a joy, that brightens our spirits, that comes from taking care of our bodies, from practicing self mastery and discipline.  I think that joy helps us believe the truth about ourselves.
I've thought about this a lot lately.  You know, I don't call myself 'a runner'.  I still feel funny saying that.  Just as I do saying I'm a dancer, or a photographer.  I'm not an Olympian or on a professional company, but does that define what I am or am not?
I have only done one triathlon, but I've grown to love all three disciplines.  Am I or am I not a triathlete because I've only raced on?  Oh the silly labels!
Truth is I'm just me... I'm neither a runner or a dancer or a photographer.
I'm me and these are thing that I love doing.
We give so much credit to running sometimes, but running is just a movement.  It has no impact on you unless you choose to do it, to engage in it.  That choice is really hard some days.  But, when you make that choice you benefit from it.  YOU get the credit for choosing to run.  Do you need a label of 'runner'?

Tell us about your blog, what do you blog about?  What can readers expect if they follow your blog?

As stated before I have many hobbies!  My friends tell me they have a love/hate relationship with my blog.  I AM involved in many things and I enjoy many things, so I want to share as much as I can, with hopes of inspiring and connecting.  I keep a schedule with hopes of drawing different types of audiences.  Sunday-faith, Monday-running, Tuesday-CCMcAfee Photography and CCMakesStuff business, Wednesday-fashion and style, Thursday-home, crafts, decor, projects etc., Friday=my family stuff, and Saturday- guests and giveaways.  There is something for everyone I hope!  There are weeks I don't post every day, but I stay true to this schedule.  Be sure to stop by!

Visit Carolyn's Blog

Take a minute and Visit Carolyn's Facebook Pages

You can also check her out on Pinterest

Thank you Carolyn for taking the time to let me spotlight you!  I enjoyed learning more about you and all the journey's and activities you are into!  Also want to wish you Good Luck next week on your Deseret News Marathon in Utah!  I know a few people running it this year, and since I am unable to run I have plans to be out cheering along the way.  So when you come off the mountain into the valley, know I will be sending some cheers your way too:)  

Finally a gel I actually like - Giveaway Included -

I was excited for the opportunity to try out Huma Gel.  I really liked trying these, my favorite was the Strawberry.  But to be honest I really enjoyed the Apple Cinnamon too!!!  They both make my highly recommended list!

To give you a little background on me and gels in the past, I can sum it up pretty short.  About 8 years ago I was running in a marathon and a volunteer handed me a gel.  It was one of those times I actually was hungry in the race so I took it.  I was stupid and didn't look and notice it was chocolate in the first place. (I hate chocolate) and it was gooey and stuck in my throat.  By the time I got to the water to wash it down, all I felt like doing was throwing it up, it just didn't sit well with me.  Well lets just say, since then I have completely avoided any gels, assuming they would all be the same.

Huma Gel definitely isn't the same as the one I tried years ago.  In fact, it wasn't gooey it was actually really easy to swallow.  The flavors were actually quite good and I have to say immediately after taking it I thought to myself, I would use this again.  (That for me says a lot!)
The best part, I had absolutely no stomach issues after.  For anyone who has tried gels, this alone says a lot!

A few little facts about these fabulous little gels.
These Huma Gels have Chia Seeds in them.  Chia seeds are stocked full of Omega 3's.  Which is if great because I am coming off a long injury and I take Omega 3's because they have been shown to help promote healing.  So this ingredient was highly popular on my list of likes!  They also have 9 Essential Amino Acids and Soluble Fiber.

Additionally, the ingredients are simple.  Let me show you the nutrition facts:
(Let me just say, check out the ingredients, you'll notice everything in them are things we have actually heard of, not to mention healthy too!)

 Strawberry Huma Gel

Apple Cinnamon Huma Gel

Pretty great, right?  So how do you use Huma Gels?  It's pretty simple, for up to 2 hours of exercise you take it about 35 minutes before starting.  For 2 or more hours you take it about 15 minutes before starting.  All you have to do is make sure you drink a glass of water with it, they recommend 8-10oz.

Huma Gels are a great and healthy way to get the extra sugars needed to replace what is lost and give you the nutrients you need to help you in your fitness goals!
Which is why I am hosting a Giveaway, to give you a chance to win your own Huma Gel packs to try out and see for yourself how great they are.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Additionally, take a minute and check out this fun new video they just put out as part of their Crowd Funding Indigogo Campaign.

Want to learn more?  You can visit their website HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seeking Motivation

So have you ever gone through one of those slumps, that just keeps on going?  You can envision exactly what you need to do, and even what you want to do, but yet you just can't seem to get yourself to do it?
Well, that is me right now.
I think a lot of it has stemmed from this lingering injury now 6 months and counting.  I sort of got a little depressed about not being able to run or do any physical exercise that requires movement of the feet (which can I say is just about all cardio.)
Then there came the Pepsi, I used to just have a 1 or 2 a week, and it turned into one a day.  Then I can't believe I will admit this some days it turned into 2 a day.  Then yesterday, I found myself on my 3rd can and that is when I realized that this extra 10 pounds I have put on over the past month is likely purely from sugar. Which is obviously not going to help me get out of this slump.

So what do I do?  I decided to share it with my blogging friends and use it as a way to stop my bad habits and get my butt out doing something more.  By making my recent bad habits public.

This past week I did go out for a day of hiking, and I've had a wedding which is pretty active.  So I haven't been completely inactive, but yet still feel like I am in a slump!
I did lay off running last week because I have been trying this last resort with these high dosage anti-inflammatory and I didn't want to accidentally injury myself while the pills were masking the pain and I figured the hiking was pushing it enough for the week.
However, next week I can change all of this, I hope!

So besides getting out and logging a few miles each day.  I'm in obvious need of working on my core to shed some additional pounds I have recently added.  I'm not one who ever got into the popular Yoga craze, but I used to really enjoy Pilate's.  So I am going to try to add 20 minutes of that 3 days next week.
Additionally, and this is the tough one, I am going to try my hardest to not drink any Pepsi for the entire week.
I know it's not much, but I really need to do something to get myself out of this funk!  I think I will spend a little more time blog surfing and going off others for a bit of motivation this next week as well.

With that said, I drove out to San Diego last weekend for my cousins wedding.  As a wedding gift I gave her part of her wedding decorations.
The room turned out so pretty and even though I didn't use my company and do all of the decorations this time.  The ceiling canopy was hired out by a local San Diego company, but all the linens in the picture were my contribution.  So I decided that I am going to show the pictures, because like I always say beautiful linens can be the perfect finishing touch for an event!!!

So tell me, what types of things do you do to motivate you and help you get out of slumps?

Runners Spotlight - Let Me Introduce Phaedra

Every runner has a great story, that pushes them and drives them to do what they do.  I find it fascinating to learn about others, and in return it also inspires and motivates.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  So Runners Spotlights are a weekly series I do every Thursday.

This week I'd like to introduce Phaedra.
I asked Phaedra several questions, to help tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Phaedra Blogs at Blisters and Black Toenails

Tell us a bit about why you started running. 

I started running to lose weight. I led a pretty active life until I hit University then my activity level dropped a fair bit. After University I had become completely sedentary and subsequently put on weight. Running seemed like the easiest, least intimidating thing to do. Put your shoes on and head out the door. I like the simplicity of it.

You run mostly distance races, but I see even triathlons and Ironman have made your race list, do you have a favorite race distance? 

I’d say the half marathon distance would be my favourite. It’s long enough that you have to pace yourself but it’s short enough that I know I can push myself hard without worrying about blowing up.

What motivates you to want to run long distances? 

The “me” time. I love nothing more than lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement for a couple of hours with a selection of good tunes.

Do you have a favorite race? Tell us about it. 

After doing it for a second time this year, I’d have to say Boston. The spectators make that race.

If you could run ANY race/distance in the entire world what/where would it be? 

The Marathon du Medoc in France.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for someone who may want to attempt an Ironman one day? 

Make sure you have the support system to train for it. It’s like having a part time job and if your partner / family aren’t supportive, it will make the journey that much more difficult.

Your also a pretty fast runner, I see your attempting to PR a 1:30 or faster half marathon. What is your favorite type of speed work training that you do? 

I do two speed sessions a week. One tempo workout and then usually an interval / hill workout of some sort. I love them both for different reasons but I think the tempo runs win out.

Do you have a must have running accessory? 

My Garmin 910xt

Noticed on your bucket list you have a Ragnar race on it (Probably because I love running Ragnar, so I am curious to know.) There are so many to choose from, so when you get your team together, which Ragnar race are you going to pick? 

If I could manage to coax a team to
travel somewhere I’d like to do the SoCal one but since Ragnar just announced a relay here in Southern Ontario, it will probably be that one, ha ha.

Since I am a marathon runner from the US who’d like to run one in Canada one day, can you tell us what is the best Marathon and or races of must do’s in Canada is? 

Well, believe it or not, I’ve only run 4 different marathons / half marathons in Canada. If you want something flat and fast, I’d recommend the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. If you want something a bit more scenic, I’d recommend The Vancouver Marathon.

I noticed you’re into soccer, what are your favorite non running hobbies, sports? 

Swimming and craft beer sampling. Not at the same time of course. :)

A saw on your blog you’re a “dreamer”, because this fits my own personality. I’m curious to know a few of your dreams, what plans do you hope your future holds in running or even off the road? 

I’m working on getting my coaching certification so it would be my dream to be able to coach people full time.

Being from the area in Canada that you are, you must live and run in some beautiful country and sometimes probably some really cold weather. What’s your favorite type of weather to run, cold/hot, what are your favorite types of courses flat/hills? 

My favourite weather is usually in early fall when the air is a bit cool and crisp but the sun is still warm. Days like that make me happy. I prefer running on flat courses. Hills kill me. Maybe because I don’t do enough hill training, ha ha.

When you are trying to decide what blogs to follow, what are you looking for in a blog? What types of things keep you wanting to come back and read more? 

I love blogs that are funny and that share the good and the bad. I really enjoy reading about other people’s training as well as their subsequent race experiences. It offers up all sorts of inspiration. And of course, if you’ve got recipes on your blog, I’m in. I love to eat and I’m always looking for new recipes.

Tell us about your blog, what types of things do you post about? What can a visitor expect when they follow your blog? 

I post a lot about my training and my goals. I post race recaps as well as the occasional recipe along with gear reviews. You will also occasionally find a creative piece or two (I like to write short stories) along with a lot of instagram pics.


YOU CAN FOLLOW PHAEDRA TODAY VIA Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest or Instagram

I want to thank Phaedra for being Spotlighted!  Phaedra I wish you the best of luck in getting your coaching certification!  I have a feeling you'll be great at it!  Good luck with your future races and training, and wishing you lots of enjoyable  "Me" time!


Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park

Took a small break in blogging!  I l traveled to California for my cousins wedding, and a little vacationing on the side.  
One of my favorite things to do aside from running is exploring and hiking.  I won't say I hiked endless miles this last week, but I did get a little hiking in.

I'd like to share some of my photo's.  I was out in the middle of the day, so the photo's are not the best quality:)  As those who know me know I prefer sunrise and sunset photos the best:)  But hey, it all still works:)

These were taken in Joshua Tree National Park.  The desert and the heat has never really been something that has bothered me, I have always acclimated very  quickly to new places.  It was only about a 100 degree's out on this particular day, so it wasn't too bad especially since I am good at keeping hydrated.

I will say, if my foot wasn't injured I would have been standing on top of that
little boulder mountain for a picture:)  

This is Skull Rock


Maybe because I am from Utah and I have lived and hiked around deserts my entire life, but I find there is so much beauty in the desert if you look.  This National Park has beautiful large cactus and large bouldering rock formations and beautiful vista views.

The beginning of one of the trails, hiked around for a beautiful view on the other side

This is the view from Key's View - You can look out and see the Mountains of Mexico
in the far distance, as well as Palm Springs in the valley below.

Don't you love how big these cactus tree's grow.
The tallest in the park is about 40 feet tall.
Again if the foot wasn't injured I'd of been on top of this one too for a picture:)

Okay, so if you look really really hard, you can see me up on top of one of the boulders.
The picture doesn't make them look very big, but take my 5 foot size and compare it to the rock
next to me and you get the idea, they are bigger than they look:)
I am like a kid and I can't resist climbing a big rock:)  I had to be extra careful with my injured ankle
so I sort of climbed these with one foot and my hands.  But it works.  The only difficult part
was climbing with my hands on the very hot rocks:)  But all was good and fun!

You can call me weird, but I so appreciate the beauty of the desert
and I loved this photo for some reason!

One of the hikes to an old mill and dried up lake:)

I had a great time.  We had driven from Utah, so headed down through Las Vegas (hitting 122 degree's at the hottest), we stayed near Las Vegas for 1 night.
Then the next morning (4th of July) drove through the Mojave Desert in California and into Joshua Tree National Park.
When we were done at the park, we headed down to San Diego and then Oceanside Beach.  Put my toes in the sand, and sat and listened to the waves roll in as we watched the Fireworks shoot off from the Oceanside Pier - and had surround sound as the fireworks in Coronado went off behind us.  Then right after we walked around the corner of the beach to watch the Fireworks at Sea World (amazing show, by the way).

A Lesson Learned *Again*

One of my biggest rules about picking doctors, they MUST be a runner!  I unknowingly went and broke that rule today.  So I apologize for my little rant below, all I can say is I can't help it!

Monday morning I had an appointment with a Specialist that my PC Doctor sent me too.  My PC (a distance runner) knows that I only see doctors that are runners, so I didn't question his recommendation and I booked the appointment and waited several weeks to get in.
I wasn't sure on what to expect, but I was hopeful.  Instead of dragging it out, let me just say it.  It was NOT a good experience!!!

The Podiatry Specialist said he believes the original diagnosis was correct, the Tendinitis in the Achilles.  However, he also believes I also strained or pulled 2 of my other tendons that run up the side of the leg as well as the Achilles.  I agree with him, only because when you push on the tendons I feel pain.  He wanted to do an MRI to be sure, I of course declined.  I am not going to spend thousands of dollars just to be told what I already know.

Mainly the reason I decided to make and keep this Doctor Appointment was because I would love to be able to take a step with my left leg and have no pain.  I also wanted to make sure that my gradual return to running is okay if I measure it by listening to my body and the injury.
I believe the injury(s) are on the healing end, and would have been healed by now if only I could get the inflammation down.  But no matter how many times a day I ice it, and the daily Naproxin, it hasn't gone down yet.  If I can get the inflammation down, I know the injury will heal quick!  (gut feeling!)

In short he kept telling me I am already doing everything correct, that should aid in my recovery.  Blah blah blah  story of my life and every doctor visit over the past 5 months.
All I wanted was the shot with some steroids (cortisone) and heavy anti-inflammatory (the only thing I haven't tried).  Which he wasn't interested in giving without an MRI.  

Now one thing I wasn't expecting, was the guy to say.  "Maybe it's time you start looking into a different sport."  WHAT?  
Well, he lost my interest right then and I could of cared less about his opinion on anything after that.  He's not a runner, and obviously isn't interested in helping a runner get back to running.  He suggested I take up something less stressful on my joints like biking or swimming....  I would have liked to give him some suggestions on where he could go, but I managed to keep my manners in check:)

He finally agreed with me, that I need to get the inflammation down.  So rather than the shot, he prescribed me a heavy anti-inflammatory pill that I take for 5 days, and it will stay in my system for quite a while.
So this was really the only thing of benefit that I took from the appointment.

He also suggested heel inserts, which I have been meaning to get anyway so I did accept the ones he gave.  He also suggested I purchase orthotics, just one that have a tad more support to keep the ankle more secure.  Since this was something I have done in years past, I could see the benefit for.  So I did go ahead and purchase this.
He also recommended I go back to wearing a walking boot... ARGGG I only wore one for almost 3 months straight..  Thinking I must have used the wrong one, he suggested I purchase a new one...  (Don't ask me why I did this, but I did.. Funny thing, its almost exactly like the one I was in before....)
He also suggested I lay off running for a considerable amount of time. (I ignored him on that one!)

Do you see a pattern, Specialist was just into selling me stuff.  Not helping me heal, he wanted to sell me stuff and of course set up follow-up appointments (which let me say will be cancelled!)

So basically I just went to a Specialist and spent hundreds of dollars, to be told exactly what I already knew.   As well as that I am already doing everything right, and he said he is not sure why with everything I have done and how aggressive I have been with the healing of this injury that I am not healed???  Yes, and he's the one with the medical license and not me???  Go figure!
Honestly, I have gotten better FREE advice from You Tube video's on Runners World about my injury than this guy who cost a small fortune.

Well I am hopeful about the stronger anti-inflammatory, that I start taking in the morning.  As for the rest of my recovery.  You can call me an idiot if you'd like, but I have decided I am done with Doctors for now.  Most everything that I have done that has actually helped me, has been stuff I have researched on my own anyway.

So, I am going to take the anti-inflammatory for the next 5 days.  I am also going to not run this week while I take them.  (I am smart enough to know that they will only be masking the pain of the injury.)
I want to give them time to do their thing and help the healing.  Then see what happens next week.  At which time, I may gradually begin running again (low mileage, very very slow build up.. Using any pain as my guide to back off.)
Additionally, I will continue to slowly stretch the tendon's out, and strengthen them and do all I can to help getting the blood flow needed to them to heal!

It's a bit discouraging, but I don't see I have any other options left.  I know I probably sound crazy tossing doctors out for now.  But I have been to so many doctors in my life, so many physical therapy appointments (years worth from way too many car accidents in my younger years).  Then you add my own medical training to the mix.  Lets just say, a girl can pick up on things. I know my body better than anyone else, and so I believe I am my own best option at this point.
Guess we'll see what happens.  Best case scenario, eventually things will heal and I can slowly get back into running again.  Worst case scenario, things get worse and I have to back off running even longer to let things heal.  Either way, eventually it WILL heal, and eventually I WILL get to run again pain free!

One thing, I am now looking to get into a different line of work in the coming weeks/months.  My 2nd job (which caused the injury) is obviously keeping things from healing each day to go and do it.
Might even go back to something I told myself I never would and get back into Marketing and Advertising... (Still gotta talk myself into that one a bit more though!)
So the smartest option is to quit that job and find something new that won't be as strenuous.  My wedding company can be quite strenuous, but I'm not quitting that one (I love it) but that is the best part about being the boss, I can just hire more help and do less lifting and so on at the events!

So for now, I am moving on with my week:)  Getting everything finished and packed up tomorrow to take the long hot drive from Salt Lake to San Diego to decorate for a wedding I am doing there this weekend.  I am looking forward to a hotel near the beach, and watching Fireworks across the bay for the 4th of July!