29 June 2011

2999, 3000, 3001

Tonight I logged miles 2999, 3000, 3001.

I'm just getting started.

25 June 2011

Movin' on Up!

Yesterday I met a climber. We talked climbing.

Today I booked a rock climbing lesson in Yosemite.

Just what I need another expensive hobby!

(Running is expensive! Shoes wear out! So do socks! And you can't buy just any old socks. The correct sock is actually more important than you can imagine. I've learned this the hard way. I'm on my second GPS watch. And the running apparel! The apparel! The good stuff is pricey. Race entry fees. Hotels for the night before a race. Gu and other fuel on the run. Sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen. Tools to tackle injury--reusable icepacks, KT tape, compression sleeves, seeing the doc!)

But active hobbies save you money in health care and therapy down the road!

21 June 2011

Out with the Injury; In with the Heat

This makes a running parent so proud: my son sleeping in his 3K race shirt. We are thinking of training for a 5K in November. He is definitely in for the 3K having run two before, but someone the concept of 5K terrifies him.

I can relate. At one point running continuously for five minutes terrified me. But I'll help get him over his fears.

I let my little athlete sleep in while I went out cautiously and gingerly hoping to run without aggravating the calf strain that I labored so diligently to vanquish. I took off consciously thinking to myself to take it


I'm technically scheduled for intervals today, but I thought that would be a sure shot back to ruined calves. So, for once in my running life, I am being wise. So wise that I am doing doubles cutting my workout in half so as not to load too much onto my calves at one time. I have no idea if there is any science behind this, but it feels like the right thing to do.

This morning the temp was 70º when I started and 73º by the time that I finished. To any non-running members of my reading audience (I wonder if I have an audience at all), this doesn't sound bad. It is. It is about 20º warmer than I like it. I happily and comfortably wear shorts and a tank when it is in the 50s. I don't know if I am normal. I occasionally see other runners out in tons of layers, long pants, sweatshirts, etc when I am out in a tank and shorts. I may be the abnormal one, but then again--watch any race and see how people dress.

The high today is supposed to be 104º. I'm going to speculate that if I wait for the sun to go down, I may have "comfortable" temps in the 90s to run in tonight.

The good news is that this morning's run was without surprise or worry. I iced my calves afterward. Looking forward to battling the heat tonight. It is better than not running at all.

20 June 2011

Injury: Tackled? Perhaps. I hope so.

How to Tackle Grade 1 Calf Strains*:

First you must be a master at Google search phrases to land on a diagnosis. Patience is key here, but since you need to rest anyway you can rest your injury while embarking on a diagnosis.

Then you have to ice as much as safely possible. Make sure that you have something in between the ice pack and the skin. See photo above where I use the ugliest of soccer socks for this purpose. Failure to put something between the ice and the skin could result in frostnip and ice burn. That is scary to see. You'll think you killed your skin. Literally. (Don't ask me how I know this. ::whistles innocently::)

You should also compress those calves. This is my first foray into compression, and I have to say that I am in LOVE. My husband hit up our lame little Big 5 looking for something for my calves and brought home two McDavid Calf Compression Sleeves. Made of neoprene, this bad boys are TOUGH to get on. Truth be told, I developed a bit of a complex because I sized in at a medium sleeve and it was super tough to get on. I'm a woman; what the hell size does a man wear for crying out loud?!?! Even though I got stuck in the whole pathetic "my-calves-are-huge-too-huge-I'm-not dainty" refrain for a bit, my mind quieted because those things WORK. I work them for three hour stretches at a time, and I could tell a difference.

(Now I must interrupt here, and write a few words about the differences between correlation and causation. They aren't the same. Did the compression cure me? Maybe. Did time cure me? Maybe. Did icing and rest cure me? Maybe. Was it the whole combo? Most likely. But I can't help but look at those compression sleeves with a sense of wonder. Squeezy squeezy helps. I think. I hope. I think I want a pair for running. A purple pair. I can't run in neoprene.)

Look ahead to the future. I can't wear the compression sleeves to work. I can't ice at work. So I thought I would try KT tape (which I purchased in BRIGHT PINK**) on the left calf. The one that hurts more. My right one is nearly back in business. Most right strides I can hardly notice there was a problem, but I still am limping with my left strides.

Using the website's videos, my husband who probably never realized that a vow to be there in sickness and health meant that he would have to learn how to handle injury like a physical therapist, taped my calf last night to help me through the walking that I cannot avoid today. We used a ball point pen to mark on my calf the site of the pain. He taped around it in the way that the video suggested. Tape is still on after a night of sleeping. No rolling at all. We'll see how well it helps today.

I think the pink tape suits me. I hope so. I have to go out in public.

Last. Writing about the injury seems to have helped. Yay, for superstition.

*My own diagnosis. I *do* have a degree in American Literature and Culture for heaven's sake.

**After realizing how large my calves must be, I opted for pink to soften or feminize the calf. Yes.

18 June 2011


Good news: There is nothing wrong with my hip. Posting about it served the magical purpose of making it go away.

So in that spirit, I am going to post about another new injury, which I fear is for real, but I am going to hope that by writing about it, it will go away.

Bad news: Both of my calves seems to be out of commission and it is my own fault.

Monday night after a nice three mile run in the morning and being told that there was nothing wrong with my hip from my doctor, I decided to take my Bikilas, which are minimalist footwear meant to mimic barefoot running, out for about a mile to work on strengthening my calves and helping my form. A mile is nothing to me. This was not the first time I had run in the Bikilas. I have walked around in them for full days even marching around Disneyland with them. I had run a quarter mile and a half mile in them. I felt ready for a full mile.

I knew from friends that running in them works out your calf muscles in ways that you are used to if normally shod. So I ignored the pain that I experienced during the run figuring it was just sore muscle.

I think that I ran too high on the balls of my feet and didn't drop my heel enough. I think it must have caused what I am dealing with now.

My calves were tight and in pain that very night. Tuesday morning brought more stiffness and slight pain. Like severe muscle soreness. I'm used to sore muscles. When my doctor asked me on Monday if I was experiencing pain, I said that I always do. This is not too much of an exaggeration. I experience migraine at least 10 times a year, regular headaches more frequently, my muscles are often sore, I battle blisters. I accept pain as a part of living.

The more I walked the more the pain decreased. After periods of inactivity, it would stiffen up again.

Wednesday night I decided to give running a shot. I had to stretch out my calves a bit, but I found the heat to be more of an obstacle than the calves. Still felt the same pattern of stiffness and pain decreasing with movement and increasing with periods of inactivity. I ran Thursday night. It was better than Wednesday.

Last night something went wrong. About 1.5 miles into a run, I felt a spasm of pain in my right calf which stopped my running. I tried to stretch it out and tried to run, but my gait was affected and I had a slight limp. Stretched again. The limp disappeared and I ran slowly the half mile home to my house.

Last night my calves were much more tender to the touch. It was worse than the initial injury. Then I got on the internet and scared myself silly to the point that I asking my husband to squeeze my calf while I am lying on my stomach to see if my foot would move. A foot that moves mean that my Achilles tendon is still intact. It moved. Thank god! I'm wondering if I tore a muscle. I am wondering how I can rest when both calves hurt.

I am dedicating this weekend to rest, ice, and reading in the hopes that the pain will subside. If I doesn't subside. I am going straight to the runner PA at my doctor's office for help.

I'm really hoping that I can be back in business in a week. I'm nearly considering prayer which is so selfish and lame of me.

I'm wondering if my whole training for SF is ruined. After the hip, the stomach flu, and this, I am wondering why I should bother even if I heal in time.

09 June 2011

Sturm und drang

My right hip is not behaving properly.

This concerns me more than a little bit.

It started hurting yesterday. Just a slight twinge of discomfort. Then today when I got out of the car to walk, I noticed that my right hip popped with every stride.

Now I am overly concerned with every movement, every twinge of discomfort, every pop and tweak. My mind is powerful. I am imaginative. Clearly, I believe my running "career" is over.

I need to get off the internet before I diagnose myself with something crazy. Fortunately, I'm already headed to the doc on Monday. Let's hope that the pain disappears soon.

And my training was actually going quite well. Figures.

Edited 10 June 2011 @ 9:34 am. The hip isn't snapping this morning, but I still sense the slight discomfort. Wondering if my mind is playing tricks on me. Somedays I hate my powerful brain.

05 June 2011

Wanted: Muscular Mute Male

I wish that I could hire someone. Preferably male. Preferably muscular. Preferably mute. He would be my running partner. We wouldn’t have to chit chat because he is mute. His excessive muscles would slow him down to my training paces. His XY chromosomes would act as a deterrent to men like the one that I passed on my run today.

I haven’t been able to get my Garmin to “talk” to my computer today yet. I’m not willing to fight technology today. But I’m willing to bet that the graph for the run will show increased speed right around the 2.25 mile mark. I struggled to slow my pace down after the encounter.

I should be happy that after logging over 2,950 miles (the majority outside in my hometown) that I rarely have to deal with encounters. Men (I wish I could say it were always boys, but it often isn’t) in cars, while irritating and juvenile, are not frightening. They are unlikely to stop and comment to my face. The anonymity of the car protects them. Men walking on the street are far more frightening. One could probably easily overtake me if they wanted. Luckily, I was on a well-traveled thoroughfare when this happened.

Why do men believe that it is appropriate to tell a stranger that she is beautiful? I’ve been trying to think of a way to convey in the written word what he communicated through the tone of his voice. It was not a complimentary tone; it was this tone of what I can only describe as hunger that scared me into a tempo speed on my long run. I felt objectified and this scared me. He continued to talk after me but I turned up my music, so I wouldn’t have to hear what he was compelled to tell me. He started, it seemed, to tell me what he would like to do with me. I ran and focused on listening to Peter Sagal and Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me. I figured I couldn’t be attacked while NPR is playing. Right? Peter Sagal could be my patron saint of running. His voice could form a protective bubble around me.

So, if you know of a muscular, mute male in need of a job. Send him this way.

02 June 2011

Things My Son Wrote: NRR

End of the school year means an avalanche of papers come home with the child.

It is at times like these when I wished that John Lithgow or Christopher Walken were somehow close, personal family friends who could do a recording of my son's journal in audiobook form.

Reader, I wish that you could read the whole thing from cover to cover. My son's development of his persona is clearly on display in these pages.

Here is a sampling of some of the jewels. I edited the spelling because it was easier to spell it correctly than to accurately type the misspellings.

    My big sister thinks school is a joke but I don't think that because sometimes school is fun and I am just lucky because the first recess we bug the kindergarteners.

      Hello hello finally well hi...I am dead I am just kidding.

        I am a frace (?) caterpillar in the grass awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww just kidding.

          Turkey time in November. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chop the turkey!!

            Dorky Dora you pick your boogers when you work so you must drink 55 sodas and do not stop until you are done! That is because I am EVIL, EVIL, EVIL! But can I have a donut. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

              Sick (followed the drawing of a peace sign). Today I saw writing on a pole (followed by a drawing of the pole with writing on it) and it said bad words. Me, Nathan, and Thomas saw the bad words on the pole when we were playing hide and seek.

                Yaaaaaaaaaa I rock!

                  Sick huh huh don't you think.

                    What is |x|=? it equals !. Ya. I know times.

                      It is February. (That constituted the entire entry.)

                        Holy cheese puffs!

                          It was so funny I laughed to death.

                            Today I saw a puddle half of a classroom. I wish I was in a pool right now. Holy tortilla rolls! I stink!

                              I hate school!!! I love Legos!!! There is a big difference you know. Legos are fun and school is boring.

                                Well Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules is in theaters now and I'm stuck in school with a bunch of crazy kids. (Followed by drawing of crazy kids.)

                                  I am a big fat chatterbox.

                                    Today is April Fool's Day. I am the best faker on the block. I am making fake blood. It is so funny anyways I can fake cry, fake barf, and a lot more. I pranked someone today.

                                      I love kickball.