Showing posts from September, 2011

the search is over

The shot you are looking for is at 2:00.  You're welcome.

three things thursday

1. Well, I'm 9 days out from my A race, so what am I doing?  Why, I'm sitting in a physical therapist's office crying again, that's what.  My bruised foot has returned to normal but my cranky lat has exploded into a stiff neck crunchy shoulder back spasming mess.  I skipped last Friday's swim.  Saturday it was all pretty cranky but Sunday it actually started to feel better.  Monday morning I woke up and could move, so I went ahead with the swim on my schedule, although I kept the intensity very low throughout.  The rest of Monday, my lats and shoulders felt tired and sore - the way they usually do after a long swim - but nothing hurt.  Tuesday I saw my PT, and he moved lots of things around, and Tuesday night everything just exploded.  The original issue was that I had a rib out of alignment which was making my lat spasm, but now my ribs are all back where they belong and the spasm hasn't ended.  The pain is traveling up from my lat into my upper back and neck,…

wordless wednesday

I might never be fast, but I'm so happy to be able to run.
Or (possibly) to be able to punch someone in the face while running.

on stretching and foam rolling

I used to be a devoted stretcher.  Before, sometimes during, and after all of my runs, I would stretch all my leg muscles.  When my IT band issues started popping up in 2002, I learned how to stretch those and added it to my rep.  In late 2006, a PT introduced me to a foam roller.  I pretty much only think something is working if it REALLY REALLY HURTS, so I happily bought one and rolled those suckers out daily.  I shook my little angry finger at people who told me they ran all the time without stretching.
Fast-forward to 2011.  I've now met quite a few doctors who have informed me that I'm hypermobile.  Hypermobility essentially means what it sounds like - my joints have a lot of motion around them.  No one PT actually suggested that I stop stretching so much, but one did tell me to maybe focus on foam rolling instead of stretching.  The difference, to me, is that with stretching, you are lengthening the muscles and with foam-rolling, you're just hunting for knots and usin…

Waterman's Half: course preview

I decided last week to do Waterman's Half instead of Poconos 70.3, and with that, planned to go down over the weekend and check out the course.  Fortunately, Lauren had already done a course recon, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  

I headed down early Sunday morning.  The state park is about 50 minutes from my house, and I pulled up to the gate only to realize that I had left my wallet sitting on the dresser.  Fortunately, the poet was willing to drive my way with it (my hero!), so after an hour of banging my head on the steering wheel and cursing my poor packing skills, I was back at the front gate with my $3 to head in.  I unpacked and headed out...only to get 15 feet out of the parking lot and realize I had forgotten to put on any ride glide (a mistake I make fairly often).  I looped back, threw a handful of goo in my shorts, and finally - FINALLY - headed out.

The first stretch of the course is on the side of a small highway.  Traffic was sparse, but the cars that…

random friday facts

1. I think I would have really enjoyed being a doctor because of the triage.

2. I really like Sudoku.  I do not like crossword puzzles.

3. One of my favorite things to do is read in bed with something crunchy to eat.

4. Whenever I decide to make a big purchase, I have a last-minute freak-out about spending the money.  

5. I'm having a hard time focusing on anything except how crackly and angry my back feels today.

6. I bake a lot of things, but don't eat very much of what I bake.  That's the poet's job.

7. When I was an undergrad, I started out doing technical support on the Mac side and was incredibly bored.  We got 1-2 calls per day, if any, and fought over them.  I switched to supporting the PC side and was never bored again.

8. I started wearing glasses when I was 5.  My eye doctor switched me to contacts in the third grade because of how quickly my eyesight was disintegrating.

9. I've been working from home for over 2 years now and I still really, really love it.  I f…

three things thursday

1. All right, so even running a half marathon as a training run is a pretty rude thing to do to your body.  Mine has been pretty cranky this week.  During my swim on Monday, my back tightened up quite a bit on one side and later in the day kind of went bizonkers.  I saw my PT on Tuesday and he made it feel about 100% better, but then I had a swim on my schedule for Wednesday, which I had to shut down about 1/3 of the way through because everything locked up and got tight again.  I spent most of yesterday rotating on and off the heating pad and it's better again today, but my Friday swim might get the hand tomorrow.

The other very scary repercussion of the half is my bruised foot.  When I saw my PT, he did the "does it hurt when I do this?  push here?  here?" test and said that he was pretty sure it wasn't a stress fracture, just a bone bruise, but of course logic took a major hit yesterday and I spent the day convincing myself that my foot bones had all collapsed and …

wordless wednesday

I mean, it's what you're here for, right?  Free ass shots?

the bike quest

(Super duper boring yammering about bikes.  Runners, you've been warned).

After I signed up for CdA, I made a giant list of all the things I would need, but I knew that the single biggest purchase would be a triathlon/TT bike.  I have a sweet road bike and I absolutely love it, but after lots of thinking and researching, I decided to start saving my pennies for a TT bike.  I don't think everyone has to have a TT bike to complete an Ironman, it's just what I decided is right for me.  So I started looking at bikes.  We're at the end of the triathlon season right now, which makes it a weird time to look for a bike.  Most 2011 models are sold out, and there aren't a lot of 2012 models showing up in stores yet.  I started by stalking everyone who went to dealer camp and saw the previews of what was coming in 2012.  Spoiler: lots of REAL shiny bikes.  I wanted to bring them all home with me and snuggle them under my pillow.

I headed out to Bonzai - the first of many, many …

Philadephia Half Marathon: race report

When I signed up for this race back in..............April?, I had hoped that it would be my next shot at the sub-1:50 I was gunning for at the National Half (in case you're new here, debilitating back injury 2 weeks out, very very cranky about it).  But then it took me much longer to get my butt straightened out than I had hoped, and that plus a few other minor twinges had me deciding in late July that this would simply be a training run for the 70.3 that came two weeks later.  When I started working with a coach, he laid waste to my race schedule, but (very reluctantly) allowed me to keep this race, with the provision that I run it exactly as he laid out - i.e. a very slow training run.  Early last week, I got an extremely detailed race plan for the race, but it essentially boiled down to walking 30 seconds at every mile marker.  I had to hold it way back until mile 6, and then I was allowed to slightly increase my effort until mile 10, where, if I was feeling VERY strong, I was …

random friday facts: autumn edition

1. I do not like pumpkin.  Although I had pumpkin ravioli once that was excellent.

2. Halloween costumes that I remember from being a kid: a witch, a clown, Frankenstein.

3. My toes got cold on my ride yesterday.  It's shoe-cover weather!

4. The fall-themed scented candles are some of my favorites.

5. I've been drinking porter all summer, but now some of the great ones are starting to dribble into the beer cave.  Hello, pumpkin porter, my lover, won't you come and lay down by my side?

6. This time last year I had a total meltdown and scheduled surgery.  A year later, I'm about to run a half marathon, my favorite distance, in my city, in perfect weather.  I'm not racing it and I don't care.  I feel blessed to have the strength and ability to cover the distance.

7. The red delicious apples used to be my favorite, but the honey crisp apples are making a strong play.

8. I really want to take the puppies hiking somewhere.

9. I love having windows open during the day, but I …

three things thursday

1. Yes, yes, the very exciting news was that we removed the puppy gates.  We have crate-trained both of our dogs, so most of the time while we are not here, Molly is crated, but when we're home, they are now allowed to go everywhere!  Terrifying.

2. I keep forgetting that I'm running the Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend.  It is the lone survivor of my race schedule massacre, and I'm really looking forward to it.  That said, I'm using it as a training run so I'm not setting a time goal.  I'll be practicing the walk/run schedule I plan to use at Poconos to stay out of the death marching pain cave.  I'm not expecting to PR because I have to keep it on the easy side, but I'm also not counting it out completely.  Most of CAR is heading up to run this race as well, and I'm excited to spend some time with my teammates, especially cheering for them as they fade away into the distance.  Hopefully they will hang around for an hour or so at the finish li…

wordless wednesday

Very exciting news in our house this week.  Can you guess?
Here's another hint.
It has to do with this girl....

two puppy tuesday

This edition: when they were small.  (Side note: I know it's been all ass and puppy around here lately.  Someone invite me to do something interesting so I have other shit to talk about.)

Graham came home at the incredibly young age of 7 weeks.
The first thing he did when we brought him home was pee on the Christmas tree skirt.  His bladder wasn't done forming, so we had to take him outside every 5 minutes.  
I had made a big list of names before we picked him up, and none were right.  When we were driving home with him, I said, "oh, you smell just like a box of graham crackers!" and the poet said, "Graham?"
About a week after we brought him home, a huge blizzard hit DC.  He was not a fan.
My parents lost our dog the day before Christmas, so we brought Graham up to try and make them feel a bit better over Christmas.
He was a good helper.

Another snow storm hit DC, but this time he was ready for it.
He tried as hard as he could to find out where the grass went.
When …

progress is

A few weeks ago, I did my long run as a few laps of a local 5K course that the poet and a good friend were running.  Before you flame me for banditing, I attempted to complete my laps before the race began (and was registered anyway, although I let the poet run with my chip).  I didn't quite make it, and the photographer grabbed some pictures of me.  I ate my breakfast several hours before running (mistake) and didn't carry any fuel with me (mistake), so I look pretty miserable.  However, I had no idea these photos were being taken, and I was at least an hour into a long, slow run.  Perfect for analysis.

First, the bad stuff.  One of these photos revealed a heel-strike.  
It's still not as bad as it used to be, but I had thought it was gone.  My knee is slightly bent, which is okay, but my foot is also crossing the midline just a bit.  The next click of that stride looks like this:
Ouch.  Knees aren't quite knocking, but that's the magical hip collapse.  I have no ide…