Thursday, September 30, 2010

three things thursday

1. After 2 pretty solid swims, I'm feeling a bit less blah.  Or, still blah, but my arms/chest/back are pleasantly exhausted so I have other things to bitch about.  I've been cycling - slowly - on the recumbent bike at the gym for 10 minutes a day, and today I stepped it up to 15 minutes for a whopping 3.25 miles.  Watch out, I'm a wild woman.  Tomorrow I might shoot for 20.  In general, my IT band feels mostly okay, but every once in a while it will seize and I'll get a hot flash of pain.  Ouch.  But the good news is, when I wake up in the morning, I am walking without a limp.  As I go through my day it deteriorates, but I'm calling every baby step progress.  Looking ahead to my next appointment on Tuesday, I am certain that there's no freaking way he'll clear me for running - and I actually don't want to be cleared, because just the thought of taking a jogging step makes me hurt in my dark places - but I'm hoping he'll be pleased with my progress.  And my short skirt.

2. I don't know when or how it happened exactly, but work has exploded.  We've been talking occasionally for a while about when we are going to hire some more folks for my team, and I'm hoping that this is imminent.  It's been ridiculous on top of insane for the past 3 weeks.  Don't they understand that I need time for blogs and watching TV shows online?  Seriously.

3. My puppy is going to turn 1 this month and we're seriously thinking about having a puppy party for him.  We've got a big backyard and I can make some puppy cuppycakes.  It will probably end up more fun than my own birthday, which we are NOT TALKING ABOUT until you accept the fact that I am turning 29.  Again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

wordless wednesday

Guardian of the Healing Mama.  No one shall pass.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the blahs

I have a pretty serious case of the blahs.

I'm 100% sure that it's because of where I am in recovery and it will pass once I can do more than 10 minutes on the spin bike at a barely-moving pace and don't have to swim (or make an attempt to get to the pool) every day.  But for now, the blahs.  I've been absolutely maximizing the lifting that I am able to do, but I haven't had a really good hard long sweat since before surgery.  

Last night I moped around, procrastinating going swimming.  Put my suit on then flopped on the bed.  Whined whined whined the whole time we were driving there.  And then, in the locker room, when I pulled my swim cap on, it exploded off my head.  And I leapt at the chance to let the universe tell me that I shouldn't get in the pool.  So we sat in the hot tub - recovering leg propped up on the side - and chatted for 10-15 minutes, then went to Sports Authority to buy a new cap and went home.  

I actually don't even mind swimming that much anymore, in some ways I really enjoy it, but I always have that moment, standing dry on the side of the pool, where my brain goes, "NO.  WATER IS COLD AND BAD.  GO FIND YOUR JAMMIES AND A COOKIE."  And usually I just slide into the pool and ignore it, and by the time I'm done with the first 100 yards I am starting to get warm and I'm happy I'm moving.  Last night that just wasn't in the cards for me.  

I spent some time this weekend with Mr. Smooth, and doing some reading about how to make my swimming better, since it's all I can do right now, but I miss the swim/bike/run attempt rotation that I've had going on all summer.   I need the variety.

I tried to write about it yesterday, but when I'm blah, it's hard to make the words happen.  Internet, I feel blah.  What should I do?

Monday, September 27, 2010

giveaway monday

How else to start a rainy Monday than with a giveaway?

The awesome folks at Clif were kind enough to send me a box full of amazing to test and giveaway to you guys!  The very interesting product for me was the Shot Roks, which I had never tried.  Basically it's a little plastic package of chewy balls.  The entire package has 20g of protein in them, yikes!  These samples arrived right around the same time I was trying to pack my diet with more protein.  I found that the way I enjoyed them the most was as a mid-morning or pre-workout snack.  I would have 3-5 of the chewy balls (I'm going to snort every time I write chewy balls, just so you know) while working or driving.  They were pretty tasty!  I don't think I ever would have tried these on my own but now I love them.  The peanut butter flavor is, of course, my favorite.

I also love love love the Shot Bloks.  They have become an important part of my bike nutrition - on long rides, I eat once an hour, and it's almost always a package of Shot Bloks and something else, like a few pretzels or part of a banana.  I've come to love the margarita and tropical punch flavors.  YUM!

The third product to test out was a pile of Clif Bars.  My usual morning m.o. is to wake up, eat a granola bar, and head out on the bike.  These were great for my pre-morning breakfast, as they had a huge pile of carbs & protein both.  I wasn't such a fan of the blueberry flavor, but crunchy peanut butter....mmmm....I didn't get sent any Luna Bars to sample, but Clif makes them as well, and the chocolate raspberry flavor is ridiculous.  

And I've got a box of each to give away to you guys!  Here's what you have to do to enter:

1. Talk to me about something you've done lately to pay it forward.  Here's why.  After my surgery last week, I got so much support from this community.  Cards in the mail, emails, texts, visits to cheer me up, the works.  Nobody had to do that.  Nobody had to take the 10 minutes out of their day to write me a card and drop it in the mail.  Hell, I almost miss paying my water bill every time because I'm too lazy to go find a damn stamp.  It was incredible and gave me so many bright spots in the first week of my recovery.  I'm going to make sure that I keep finding ways to pay that forward, but I want to hear more stories about how awesome you guys are!  

2. Extra entry if you include a link to this from a blog post.  Leave a comment and tell me where to find it.

3. Extra entry if you tweet about this on twitter (please include @thisamazingday so I see it).

4. Extra entry if a new follower shows up and tells me that you sent them.  Figure out that puzzle.

In any one of those 4 comments, tell me which you would prefer - Shot Roks, Shot Bloks, or Clif Bars.  The first winner will get their preference, the second theirs, etc - as much as is possible!

Friday, September 24, 2010

random friday facts

1. I don't like carrying a purse.

2. I only buy cheap sunglasses.  Actually, I only buy cheap almost-everything in the clothing area.

3. I am a serial return-er.  I was overjoyed to learn that the poet is as well.

4. I am the opposite of a packrat.  I am horrified by Hoarders.

5. I am throwing away (or, more likely, donating) every single pair of my running shoes.  They are dripping in bad juju.

6. I like to be cold when I sleep.  Otherwise, I hate to be cold.

7. I have really bad road rage.  No, it's definitely worse than yours.

8. I hate running errands.

9. My favorite kind of hot tea is raspberry.

10. I really miss my bike.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

three IT band things thursday

1. I went to the ortho on Tuesday for my first post-op.  The "what can I do?" conversation was hilarious.  

Dr. P: I'll see you in 2 weeks.  No exercise.
Me: *face falls*
Dr. P: Well, you can swim.  With a pull buoy.  But not a lot.  And that's it, nothing else.
Me: Aquajog?  Cycling?
Dr. P: No.  Well.  I guess you can lift weights.  Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, all fine.  But no cycling.
Me: Okay.
Dr. P: You know what - you can swim without the pull buoy.  That's fine.
Me: Well, maybe at first with it.
Dr. P: No, it's fine, just swim.
Me: Okay.  Sounds good.
Dr. P: Well, actually, I guess you can cycle.  If you wake up and it feels good.
Me: But it feels good now!
Dr. P: When you can walk without a limp.  Then you can cycle.  But only indoors.
Me: That makes sense.  I've had a few crashes this year.
Dr. P: I guess you can go outside.  But be careful.  We'll talk about running in 2 weeks.

I wonder if I had sat there for another 10 minutes if we would have gotten all the way to "Go ahead, try some running."

He gave me a compression bandage as I still have the steri-strips on holding the wound closed.  It felt okay until Tuesday night, when, at 4am, my quad cramped HARD from the compression.  The cramp caused everything around it to seize up - IT band included - which means I woke up the house shrieking.  And because of my stitches, I couldn't even massage (i.e. pound on) my leg to try and loosen the cramp.  I just had to wait it out.  Ouch.  Which means I didn't get much more sleep and felt weak and worn-out most of the day.

2. However, I did my full upper-body lifting circuit yesterday, and only have to leave out one exercise (low back row - squats are NOT happening).  It felt great to sweat again, but whew, was I tired!  This morning I went to the gym and did a very modified legs circuit, but was surprised at how much I was able to do without pain and minor discomfort.  I think I'm going to attempt a swim tonight and see how it goes.  I'm definitely still limping hard, but I'm hoping maybe early next week to try a gentle cycle.  We'll see.  

3. Back to the ortho visit.  His parting shot?  "Start signing up for things."  It's like he can read my mind.  I'm going to keep a close eye on the Jingle All The Way 10K in case a "we're almost sold out" warning goes up.  The Turkey Trot I've always signed up for on the day of, so I'm not worried about it selling out.  Like some of my oft-injured, cautious friends, I'm hesitant to pull the trigger on a race until I'm right on top of it.

Happy Thursday, everyone!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

thoughts from an idle state

Okay, NO ONE is surprised that I'm thinking about races already.  Disclaimer: I plan on taking things incredibly slow, despite the fact that I am itching to run, so you don't have to beat me over the head with "TAKE IT EASY" comments.  I will be the Queen of TakeItEasyVille.

But I've still spent a lot of the weekend doing mental math.  Try to follow along......
If I can start run/walking in another 2-3 weeks, I could probably run/walk a Thanksgiving 5K.  That'd be about 6-7 weeks of PT and working up to the BIG MEAN 3.1.  Emphasis on run/WALK.  And if I can run/WALK a Thanksgiving 5K, I could probably run/WALK the Jingle All The Way 10K 2.5 weeks later, which is one of my FAVORITE DC races.  And if I can run/WALK a 10K, I could probably - slowly - run the 4-miler that I do every year on New Year's Eve.  Does that sound ridiculous?  

If all that goes well, then I'd be hoping for a late spring/early summer half.  Which would probably give me the base I need to plant my butt firmly in training for a fall marathon.  If not, definitely a spring marathon, but I'd rather puke my brains out training all summer in the heat and then suddenly, magically improve when the temps go down than the other way around.  

And as for cycling, I'm hoping to be a part of a relay the first weekend in December of an Olympic-distance tri.  I don't anticipate 25ish miles being a problem at all by then - I think I'll see a much more rapid ramp back up to cycling than to running.  Dr. P mentioned something last week about there being a possibility of being able to ride in the Oct 9 century I had planned - although not the 100-miler - which I'm going to ask him about today.  

Other thoughts that are floating around...
It's very interesting to eat (and think about eating) when all I do is sit on my tush all day.  Suddenly, I don't need to fuel for 2ish hours a day of exercise.  So that takes out one breakfast (the pre- or post-workout breakfast) and cuts down on the lunch and it SHOULD take out the ice cream.  Ahem.  I've been craving lots of fruits and veggies, which I hope is a combination of needing water and vitamins.  I haven't been craving a lot of carbs (other than ice cream), so I'm trying not to stuff myself with the sugar that I don't need right now, and focus on the vitamins and proteins that my body needs to heal.  I've also started taking my multi-vitamin again (hangs head in shame).  

I remember very clearly from the last surgery that I gained a lot of weight immediately post-surgery, so I weighed myself the day before surgery and won't do it again for a few weeks.  I generally don't weigh myself very often - less than once a week, sometimes every two weeks - and I do it more of a check that I'm fueling appropriately than anything else at this point, since I am no longer attempting to lose (or gain) weight.  I've been feeling very bloated since surgery, which I think it all the swelling from surgery plus no exercise.  The pain killers that I've been taken have the unfortunate side effect of making my body want to hang onto all the food I put in it (was that PC enough?) so I'm sure that is contributing to the bloating.  I've stepped back to only taking the painkillers at night the last two days, and I'm hoping that things will start to go back to normal.  Soon.

As for my body, my right quad (and body in general) is cranky from a very serious lack of use.  I've been trying to gently stretch the major muscles of my legs every day.  If nothing else, I'm hoping to get back in the gym to do upper-body work this week, just to get some motion into me.  My right IT band above the surgery site is very sore and swollen, although not tight, and feels like it would just love a masseuse to dig around in there and wash out some of that soreness.  My knee itself feels very unstable - which makes sense, I just had one of my major stabilizers chopped into a Z then stretched - and will buckle if I try and walk quickly, or turn on that leg without thinking.  Bending the knee has gotten easier, and I've been able to take the stairs quite a few times, and once like a normal human instead of step-drag-step-drag.  

Fingers crossed that I get the go-ahead from Dr. P to bike and/or swim and/or aquajog!

Monday, September 20, 2010

surgery report

Knowing that I was going to spend most of the following day puking, I had a giant burrito the night before surgery.  Yum.

We showed up at the hospital around 7am.  I got checked in and then waited for the nurse to take me back.  

We went through all the fun pre-op stuff, including letting Dr. P write on my leg (swoon!) and stabbing me with needles.  Ugh.  The poet tried to covertly take a bunch of pictures of Dr. P to tape on my mirror show you guys.
I'm ready!  I'm a little scared.
 He's actually doing a crossword puzzle.
 He wears Crocs.  FLAWED.
This one he actually posed for.  

Once he was done, they wrapped me up like a little surgery burrito and whooshed me away.
This is actually the same size as the burrito I ate the night before.

Once they got me into the OR, I was HORRIFIED to discover that Katy Perry was playing over the speakers.  The studly Dr. P listens to teeny bopper music?  I asked the nurse if it was his music and they laughed hysterically.  Whew.  Turns out he likes country.  I guess that's okay.  

I didn't get really scared until they moved me over to the table and I caught a glimpse of the scalpels.  EEKS.  But soon enough I drifted off to dreamland, where I had a very nice dream about cycling somewhere gorgeous until I woke up in recovery.  I heard Dr. P talking to the poet and groggily asked him for a high-five.  I spent quite a bit of time in recovery, first because I was pretty woozy and couldn't sit up, and then because I got really nauseous and was dry-heaving for a few hours.  They gave me magical no-puking drug #1, which didn't do anything, but magical no-puking drug #2 seemed to take the edge off.  Around 1:00 they dumped me in the back seat of the poet's car and we headed home.  I dry-heaved some more in the car but managed to keep my burrito down (DAMMIT).  I slept a solid 5-6 hours when I got home, but when I woke up I felt decent enough to eat a real dinner and read a little before conking out again.

Since then, I've been doing pretty well.  I have dim memories of what recovery was like after the first surgery, and as far as I can recall, it was MUCH worse than this.  Friday night I was able to sit on the couch for a few hours and hang out with some awesome girls, although when I got up off the couch to go to bed, pain shot through my leg.  I spent most of Saturday in bed with the bottle of Percocet & a stopwatch, but again was feeling good enough to come out and eat dinner on the couch.  Sunday morning I showered and had another great visitor, but after that I was so worn out that I fell asleep for 5+ hours.  I haven't used the crutches since Thursday, and while I'm moving pretty slowly, I'm moving!  I've been craving veggies and fruit like crazy, so I'm hoping that my body is using it for some pretty deep healing right now.

I see Dr. P tomorrow for my first post-op appointment, and he'll take the bandages off and let me know what I'm cleared to do.  I'm hoping that gentle swimming and slow stationary biking gets the okay, as I feel slodgy and slow from laying in bed for 4 days.  

A huge thanks to everyone for all your texts, tweets, emails, etc this weekend - you guys are such a great support system and I can't wait to get back out there!

And a big special awesome high-five to everyone that ran Philly yesterday - I love reading all the race reports and am so glad to hear that everyone had such a great time!

Friday, September 17, 2010

best of....

So, today's post is that of a completely lame slacker high on Percocet.  I'll have a surgery report on Monday, but the short version is: it went really well and I'm in far less pain than I anticipated.  I'm also sleeping like a freakin' champ!

For some of my newer readers, I've linked some posts that are either on subjects close to my heart or have a ridiculously high level of snark.  With a special treat at the end for the jokers that already know me.  

In the style of one of my favorite TV shows of all time...
The one where I talk about my giant ass for the first time
The one where I talk about my tattoo
The one where I talk about why I run
The one with all the cute puppy pics
The one where I run the run that takes down my IT band
The one with the trainer
The one that started random friday facts
The one where we shave the puppy
The one where I cook and eat tofu
The one with little Katie
The one where I do a triathlon
The one where I PR
The one with more pictures of my dog
The one where I realize I'm spoiled
The one where I'm tricked into riding 106.5 miles
The one where I talk about how to get this life
The one where I decide to have surgery

And the brilliant Amy suggested in the comments earlier this week that my photo montage be put to music.  The poet rocks at this and jumped all over the chance for special treat #2. I think I was actually supposed to post it yesterday, oops.

See you guys next week!  Thanks for all the positive karma you've been sending my way - I think it's working!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

three things thursday

I wrote this post yesterday, so hopefully you're reading it just as I'm counting backwards from 10...9...

1. I decided to go for one last run yesterday morning.  I wanted to have one more really painful run, to remember why I'm going through with this.  My IT band faithfully began yanking on my knee at the 1-mile mark, and was pretty darn painful by the time I hit the stop button.  It's been hurting all day, and is tender to touch.  I won't forget.  

Total: 2.62M/24:00/avg. pace 9:09 

Like I said to many of you yesterday, by this time next year I will move that decimal point.  SO HELP ME GOD.

2. I had planned on a long ride Wednesday morning in lieu of the century I'd be missing, but I decided (cough slept in cough) to let Tuesday night's ride be my last.  It was gorgeous.  I rode up to Haines Point, plugged in my happiest breeziest tunes, and just let the miles unroll.  I didn't care about miles or pace or power, I just rode until I had to leave.

Total: 26M/1:35/avg. pace 16.4mph
 This may or may not be a "while riding" self-portrait.
It was an amazing night.

I rode down to the waterfront, where Kirstin was easily convinced to abandon our plans to keep riding and instead drink margaritas while the sun went down across the river.  Summer, I am sad to see you go.  

3. Lauren wrote a pretty hilarious puke and rally race report.  Go check it out in lieu of my usual crankiness.  There are some delicious food pics!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

wordless wednesday: what triumph looks like

And I will get there again.
5K, Oct 2008
 pre-Turkey Trot, 2008
 Jingle All The Way 10K, 2008
 Fairfax Four, 2008
 massage therapy, 2009
 training run, 2009
 11M trick training run, 2009
 5K, 2009
 Training run, 2009
 Fairfax Four, 2009
 Undie Run, 2010
 LTRYW 5K, 2010
 LTRYW 5K, 2010
 First 4M post stress-fracture, 2010

 4 Courts 4, 2010
 training run, 2010
 First 7+M training run, 2010
 Sprint Tri, 2010
 108ยบ 5K, 2010
5K PR, 2010
And finally, 2 days post-IT band surgery in 2006.  
Kicking it in the ass.

See you guys on the flip side.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

surgery has been scheduled

or, How The Universe Confirms That My Decisions Are The Right Ones

Finally got in touch with the surgery scheduler this morning.  She had open: the day before my birthday, the poet's birthday, or, oops, hey, we had a cancellation this Thursday, can you do it then?  In two days?

Me: FUCK YEAH.  Sign me up.  Let's get this show on the road.

I expect tons of emails and tweets and half gallons of ice cream healthy snacks coming my way while I recover.  I guess I'm going to have to tell my PT.  Eeks.

And, the support I got from everyone yesterday was phenomenal and I can't tell you guys how much it means to me.  Thank you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

self-pity and loathing, your table is ready

There's a lot of happy crap I'd love to talk about this morning.

I'd love to tell you about my solid Saturday long ride, and how I ate right and rode fairly well, even though my legs were wiped from stuffing a week's worth of riding in 4 days.

I'd love to tell you about taking G to the pool and tossing him in the deep end and how fun it was, or great night we had, cooking out with friends and generally enjoying life, or even how the poet decided that night that instead of pacing Lauren in the second half of her 13.1, to run the entire thing with her and did amazingly well for not training at all or ever running even close to that distance ever in his life.  I'd even love to tell you about walk/running the last 2 miles of that race with them, telling loud stories about boyfriends that dumped me when I got my wisdom teeth out or boyfriends with huge dicks (everyone in a quarter-mile radius enjoyed that one) or boyfriends that did other ridiculous things to distract Lauren from the deadly puke & rally spiral. 

But I can't.

I've spent the past 8 months doing a pretty decent job distracting myself from the fact that I can't run.  Cycling, lifting, swimming, pool running, and just generally ignoring the giant dark place in my heart where running used to be because if I look directly at it, it will suck me under.  But lately, this has gotten more and more difficult.  I have a TON of friends who are rocking the fucking hell out of their fall marathon training, and I am so thrilled for them, but secretly, inside, I am burning with jealousy every time I hear about an amazing track workout or a 18-miler that went just right or any other huge milestone that they managed to climb on top of, plant a flag of awesome in and roar with triumph and beat their chest with joy at tearing up the miles.  And that's NOT WHO I AM.  Yesterday the poet ran a 13.1 on basically no training plan and he did amazing and I was so proud of him but I couldn't stop crying because walk/running the last 2 miles of it brought what I'm missing into very sharp focus.  I came home from brunch and canceled my pool running plans and got in bed with a half gallon of ice cream and a puppy and cried and felt sorry for myself for a few hours.  I. Am. Done. I'm in the darkness and I can't get out.  

And after a few hours I felt well enough to text two awesome girls who came and joined me in the pool after all and let me vent and cry and just generally be incredibly self-absorbed and I felt better.  And then I came home and drank beer and ate more ice cream and talked to another awesome lady who let me go through it all again and talked me back off the fucking ledge and then I felt better some more.  And this morning I called my ortho and left a message on his PA's voicemail saying.  My name is Katie and I am calling to schedule IT band release surgery on my right leg.  Please call me back.  As soon as you can. 

Because I can't take it anymore.  I am not strong enough.

Friday, September 10, 2010

random friday facts

Instead of just spouting random gibberish, I'm going to answer some of the questions from my giveaway post.  I love this idea and will freely admit to stealing it.

1. ...before you got into running, etc., what was your athletic background?  Did you play any sports in high school/college?
In middle school and high school, I flirted with a lot of sports but never really stuck with anything.  I did a season of softball, a season of track, a season of tennis, but never really excelled at any of it.  I was in the marching band for four years - and I dare you to tell me it's not a sport - which meant running my ass off all over a football field for 4 months of the year.  I also did a lot of hiking, canoeing, etc with my family.  I became a runner in college - although I don't really know why - and ran with an intramural team, and I also played occasional fraternity (intramural) soccer and basketball.  I loved playing soccer and played most games throughout the fall (I was NOT very good) but basketball I could've lived without, and many nights ended up running the track instead of playing in the game.  Despite all the running I did in college, I only ran one race the entire 4 years (a 5K) - I think I more enjoyed running for the stress relief and the ability to drink more beer on Saturday nights.

2. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Turkey Hill Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, HANDS FREAKIN DOWN.

3. I want to know how you met the boy.
Well, we met through work several years ago, and were friends for a while, and then I got divorced and it kind of morphed into what it is.  Our first official date was at a Macaroni Grill after wandering around Silver Spring trying to find a decent restaurant, although we generally say "an italian restaurant" because it doesn't sound quite so lame.

4. What brand of running shoes are you wearing right now?  Are you brand loyal or do you just go to the running store and pick a new kind each time?
This is interesting, especially because last night at pool running, we were talking about judging people based on their shoes (not really, in jest) and I was afraid to say what I wore.  In college, I ran in New Balance - I think the 709 or 711 or something like that.  After my IT band surgery I started running in the Brooks Adrenaline, which I ran in for several iterations.  I went to a running store in the fall of 2008 for a gait analysis and, despite my prejudices, started running in the Asics Gel-3000.  They went on sale online and I bought 4 pairs at some point that winter.  Then I got a stress fracture in my foot and blamed the shoes, although I think now it was the combination of the shoe + the stiff insert I was wearing that was over-correcting my pronation issues.  So this past spring I went to a few running stores to have my gait analyzed, and every single store recommended the Asics 2150 (a slightly less stabilizing version of the 3000) but I was scared to get back in the Asics, so I ended up with the New Balance 760, which is essentially the great-great-great-great-grandchild of the shoe I wore all through college.  However, I forgot that the box across the arch is a bit narrow in New Balance shoes and rubs my bunion until I get a neat callus, which isn't really a problem, but then I started having IT band problems and of course wanted to blame the shoe (It has to be the shoe, right?  My body can't be defective.).  I went back to the Asics Gel-3000 and that's mostly what I run in now (having 2 pairs still in my closet), but I do some running in the New Balance 760 (also now having 2 pairs in my closet).  I want to buy a pair of the 2150's but I am doing so little running these days that I can't justify spending the money, especially when I have 4 pairs of running shoes that aren't ready to be retired yet.  It's also interesting to me how my feet recognize the feel of the shoes - when I tried on the 2150's, I thought, "wow, these feels like my Asics" and when I started running in the New Balance's again, my feet remembered the feel of them from college.  So, no, I am not brand loyal and will try anything, but I will definitely judge you if you are wearing all-white or all-black running shoes.

5. What's the longest you've gone without showering during the work week - come on, be honest!!!
I'm going to say 4 days?  For example, shower Monday morning, shower Thursday night.  But only if Monday is a rest day and I don't do anything particularly disgusting.  I will never sleep with a crusty ride glide crotch.  And I always take a hot shower when I get home from swimming.  I know, I'm gross.

6. What is your greatest fear in the world?
Something bad happening to me while I am asleep.  For example, someone breaking into my house, which also goes along with my general fear of being alone in the dark.  I've read so many horror stories in the papers about girls being raped and/or murdered in their beds and it's absolutely the worst thing I could think of happening.  I'm also really afraid of death - mostly because it's the unknown.  I know what I believe in, but I'm still afraid of it.  And I used to be afraid of needles a little, but not anymore.

7. Where are you going for vacation?
Well, we just spent a long weekend in Miami, and we're trying to plan our October vacation.  Based on timeshare availability, it's looking like Lake Tahoe or the eastern coast of Mexico.

8. How many pairs of shoes have you gone through in your running career?
Huge, overlarge number.  I generally start rotating in new shoes around the 175-200 mile mark, as I get injured so often that I really don't need one more thing trying to fuck me up.  I would guess 20-30 pairs at least.

9. What are you most looking forward to doing in Miami?
Well, obviously I already went, but I would've said laying on the beach anyway....however, on the way there we came up with the idea of parasailing, which was fantastic and I'm so glad we did it!

10. What's your best eagle-sighting story?
Brian Westbrook waved at me at a home game.  I was screaming his name and he turned around from the bench and waved.  *swoon*

11. (@ultrarunnergirl) Am I your favorite Twitter friend?

12. What is your job?
I am the CTO (chief technology officer, similar to a CIO) of a law firm which is going about the amazing business of changing the world.  And yes, I work from home, and yes, it IS the most amazing thing ever.  (See: shower question).

13. When did you decide to take your IT band trouble to a doc?  What had you tried before going?  What have you found works the best/most consistently?
The first time around (L leg), I was in PT on and off for over 4 years, and the last time for 6 solid months before my PT - who was amazing - sent me to the magical mystery man, Dr. P.  I had tried: electro stim, deep massage, steroids, rest, ice, advil, prescription muscle relaxers, cortisone shots, orthodics, PT out the ass, virgin sacrifice at moonrise, throwing eggs at the IT band, 3000 one-legged squats per day, and crying in the ortho office, none of which did a goddamned thing.  There are things that make it less bad but nothing healed it completely, and I'm (spoiler alert) already planning when to schedule the surgery on the next one this fall.  THAT SAID.  Tons of people have this problem, and tons of people have recovered from it and gone on to be amazing runners, and I would NEVER recommend surgery.  Get a really good PT who works with runners and bust your ass doing everything he says.  I've been trying my damnedest to avoid surgery on the R IT band, but because I suffered through this for years on the L side only to end up in surgery, and because the R IT band is actually attached to the same hips and glutes and spine as the L side, I've known for months that I might end up going under the knife.  It's the last thing I want to do but I am not going to waste years of running like I did last time.  And I have a great ortho who I would totally run away to Mexico with if he asked that will do the surgery well and I trust him.

14. What kind of bike do you have?  Did you invest a lot in it?  And do you think it's worth it to spend more than $200 to bike (currently) about 20-30 miles/week?
I have a Specialized Dolce Sport Compact.  I think it cost $849, but I don't recall if that's before or after the discount I got on it.  And for me, it's perfect.  In a few years I might need a better bike, but I've been riding 80-150 miles per week on it all summer and have no complaints (other than how slow it goes up hills, stupid bike).  As far as worth, I think that's a very personal question - if I was only riding 20-30 miles per week, I would still have purchased the same bike, because it's exactly what I wanted and I think it's sexy.  But you might be happy on a hybrid bike instead of a road bike, which will save you some money.  I'd say go try some things out and let your crotch and legs decide.

15. What would you do for a Klondike bar?
I would walk to the freezer.

16. Why do you like Eagles?
Because I'm a sucker for punishment.

You guys, I love this game.  Let's play again sometime.  Happy Friday!