2013 Year in Review, Part 2

Today is a continuation of yesterday’s post looking back on the year that was 2013. If you didn’t have a chance to read Part 1 yet (overall summary as well as more detailed January-June recaps), you can do that here.


It was time for our trip! I couldn’t believe how months of planning suddenly came together. We had an amazing time, and though my glutes and back did tire by the end of each day, I was able to do EVERYTHING I wanted (thanks in party to having The Stick on hand).

Departing for Europe

Our first stop was Paris. This was my second time in Paris, and the husband’s first. We stayed at a rented flat that is between the Louvre and Opera. The view out our window onto the quintessential Parisian street with a view of the Tuileries Garden Ferris wheel was beautiful:


We spent jam-packed days in Paris soaking in all the sights before it was off to what ended up being our favorite part of the trip: Switzerland! The scenery was gorgeous and the difference in the quiet serenity, compared to the bustling city, was a welcome change.

At the top of Jungfraujoch

At the top of Jungfraujoch

Only three short days later, and we were on to Florence! I was hesitant to book the Cinque Terre hiking tour before leaving because I wasn’t sure how my body would handle all of the climbing, but it ended up being one of our favorite things that we did. It was definitely a work-out (and the heat didn’t help), and at this point my glutes were starting to give out, but I felt fine pushing ahead because I knew we might not have the opportunity to do it again.

Near the end of our sweaty hike. Gelato-here we come!

Near the end of our sweaty hike. Gelato, here we come!

Our favorite food was definitely in Italy. It was easiest for me to find a variety of food to eat as I’m gluten intolerant. I’m also more familiar with Italian foods and they offer a lot of naturally gluten-free items.  I even had a gluten-free pizza and gluten-free carbonara! Plus, endless amounts of gelato was needed to replace calories we burned from walking all day and to escape for the heat, if only momentarily.


Once we explored the Tuscany area for three days, we were on to our last stop: Rome. I had been wanting to go to Rome ever since taking an art history class in college. I couldn’t wait to see Saint Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel. They didn’t disappoint. The light inside could only be described as heavenly.

Holy light

Inside St. Peter’s

I was so relieved that our vacation was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I went back to physical therapy the day after we got back from our trip for a quick check-in. I was feeling so much better that they decide to discharge me with instructions that I could slowly start to ramp up my activity. I was thrilled!


I started to slowly amp up my activity, working in short intervals of jogging with walking. I even ventured around the same lake that was the place of my last run in January.

Lake run

Those intervals of jogging were pure bliss to me. I was so happy and thankful to be able to run again, if only for a few minutes at a time.


I was up to about a half mile of jogging at a time (approximately five minutes) when I started to get some pain in my heels, worse on the right than the left. I knew right away that it was probably plantar fasciitis (PF). I decided to see if Active Release Technique (ART) could help me. After four weeks and four sessions, I wasn’t feeling much better, so I saw a podiatrist.

An x-ray of my left foot showed that I have a flat foot and probable PF. The podiatrist knew I wanted to treat it aggressively, so she gave me a cortisone injection, wrapped it, gave me heel cups, and told me I needed to wear only sneakers and to wear them from the moment my feet hit the ground in the morning until I go to bed at night. I was to follow-up with her in a couple of weeks.

Plantar start

Another month, another cortisone injection, this time in the heel (where the bandaid is).

A co-worker and I had started a running group after work two days a week. I was bummed that I couldn’t join them running, but I still went to help with dynamic warm ups, walking behind them as they ran, and cool-down stretches. The group quickly disbanded as we had less and less interest, mostly due to the increasingly cold days and everyone’s busy fall schedules. We’re hoping to start it back up in the spring and fingers crossed that I’ll be able to run at this point with the group!

Looking for answers about my back.

Looking for answers about my back.

At the recommendation of my physical therapist, I saw a physiatrist to learn if there is anything else I needed to know about the sacralization in my back. He confirmed what my chiropractor said about the pain signals being sent to my glutes and told me it should continue to get better. He asked me what I would do if I didn’t have glute pain and I told him everything and anything possible. He told me that is exactly what I should do from now on; the sacralization shouldn’t affect me going forward, though I may have a flare-up from time to time.


I started physical therapy for my PF after not having any luck with ART or the cortisone injection. My podiatrist told me I had improved since September, but it would take a while to heel (teehee).

My husband ran another half marathon. He beat his March half marathon time by over ten minutes! Though I was a bit sad to be at another race and still not able to run, I was grateful to be in such a better place mentally and physically that I didn’t allow myself to have a personal pity party. No need to fixate on the negative.

Oct half

Don’t let the sleeveless top fool you-it was an incredibly cold, rainy, and windy day.

We did a lot of walking during a long weekend visit to see my brother in Washington, DC. My feet bothered me a lot and ended up setting me back a bit, but it was nothing compared to the government shutdown that was going on at the time.

Everyone respectfully disobeyed these signs.

Everyone respectfully disobeyed signs such as these.

We brought our fathers to see one of our favorite bands of all time, Pearl Jam! We hadn’t seen them in concert since 2005.

Pearl Jam

For Halloween, I went as my gal, Jillian Michaels.

Me as Jillian


I finally start the blog I’ve been wanting to for months and months! I am so excited to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with all of you! I can’t wait to see how this blog develops!

I wanted to try ART again for my elbow and on-again, off-again longtime rotator cuff problem. Interestingly, the ART practitioner thought the two problems were related. I stopped after two treatments because my health insurance flexible spending account (FSA) had been drained thanks to all of the physical therapy. At $50 per 20 minute treatment it’s a bit pricey, so I’d prefer to pay for it tax-free. I’m hoping to start back in the next few weeks so I can get it fixed once and for all!

As you may already know from following my blog, I was discharged from physical therapy for the second time in November. I am forever grateful for all my PT did for me over the past few months.


I’ve started to amp up my running, this time much more slowly than in August. I am beyond happy to finally be on the track to health and being able to run again. Your encouragement has meant a lot to me! The year quickly came to a close with Christmas and my brother-in-law’s thirtieth birthday.

WHH starting a fire on Christmas eve.

Tower of boxes

Wilbur Christmas

New Year’s Eve quickly followed.

Me New Year's

WHH New Year's

And here we are in 2014!

New Year’s Day lunch

I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for all of you. I have a lot planned for this year, which I will share with you for tomorrow’s Friday Favorite.

Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, and ask questions! I would love to hear from you!


Whole Health Dork


3 thoughts on “2013 Year in Review, Part 2

  1. […] June 2013: Cortisone didn’t help, but decide to forego all treatment suggestions at the time as dealing with my glute injury […]

  2. […] was this French and Italian Cuisine Passport during our trip last year? This would have been fabulous to bring instead of having to print out a bunch of gluten […]

  3. […] cars) we decided to seize the opportunity and travel to Europe again! After falling in love with Switzerland the last time around, I knew I wanted to hit up Austria in the future, so that’s on our list […]

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