Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Eugene -- Full or Half?  (really quick)

So I've just committed to going to Eugene next April.  I was initially just thinking I should/would run the half and mostly because I had myself convinced I wouldn't run another marathon so soon after CIM and that I'd probably just run that again next year.  I want to work on stamina and speed and things like that.

But....I got to thinking.  Traveling for a half seems silly since there are about a million right around me.  And the girls I'm going with are running the full so I might feel left out (heh) (of course they might appreciate the built in cheering section).  I was planning on keeping my miles high(ish) (for me anyway) over the course of the next few months (working on that ever elusive speedy for me half) and I wouldn't have to start really long runs until late Feb/early March so I'd still get a bit of a break in having my Saturdays consumed by 20 milers. I also seem to have recovered nicely from CIM -- last week I ran 3 miles on Friday and 4 on Saturday -- all very easy miles and other than a little stiffness on Friday, I was fine.  Then I ran 4 miles again this morning and was totally fine and felt wonderful.

So what to do, what to do?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

CIM -- the real race report

So lets just start at the beginning and I'll keep it as brief as I can.

I showed up in Sacramento around 1:20pm Saturday and went straight to the hotel.  I was staying with Terzah so I just needed to grab a key at the desk and go up to the room. She was at the pacer's meeting at the expo so I just dropped my stuff and went over there to get my bib and goodies.  The expo was okay -- not very big but I managed to get a CIM half zip and noticed they didn't have much stuff to purchase which was too bad, I was in a spending mood given this was my first. I also signed up for the Oakland Running Festival Half (in March).  So all in all -- was a good hour trip.

By the time I got back to the room, Terzah was back and we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting, chatting and more chatting.  Mostly consoling ourselves to the weather.  Oh yeah, we also ate the pasta dinner buffet at the hotel and watched The 40 Year Old Virgin on tv.  And maybe chatted some more.  Lights were out at 9pm.

I'd set four alarms to make sure we were up at 4am but naturally not one of them was needed.  There were some party goers making their way back to the room around 2am and thus both of us only dozed from then on.  We made it downstairs around 5, caught a bus to the start and that is when the real fun began.

From Sacramento Bee 

(For more pictures go to the Sacramento Bee slide show) It is hard to tell from this picture, but the rain is horizontal and these are runners huddled under a gas station canopy in an attempt to stay dry.  After a requisite potty stop, we made our way into the convenience store directly behind the gas station that was filled with people attempting to stay dry.  It was pretty useless because we were already soaked from the walk to the porta potties and then to the store but it gave us a chance to apply more vaseline to our feet and stay out of the worst of it for 10 minutes.  Before we knew it, it was time to line up. I knew I needed at least one more potty visit but it was so miserable out I just figured I'd deal with that problem later.  I really didn't have a strategy -- I was super tense, and just wanted to start.  But in an effort to stay in a group, I lined up with the 4:10 group and huddled in.

The start was pretty uneventful -- National Anthem, wheelchair start and then I think there a 'ready, set, go' and that was it.  A woman standing next to me looked over and asked if it started and I said yeah, I think it did and sure enough we started moving a few seconds after that.

I just couldn't settle in. I just couldn't.  The combined stress of this being my first one and the horrible weather and there was nothing relaxed about me.  I kept telling myself to relax -- but I just couldn't and I think honestly that, combined with any effects of the weather (while it wasn't cold, thank god, it was chilly and the dampness just settled in) and my legs really weren't interested in running.  The highlights:

Mile 6 -- oh right, running into a strong headwinds is hard
Mile 7 -- shins?  really?  hurting?  you never hurt! stupid shins
Mile 9 -- will somebody please yell Marco so I can yell Polo.  I think that might be funny
right before mile 10 -- oh good, a lake because running through rivers wasn't fun enough

(what was funny, every time we'd come across a particularly deep puddle there was a collective moan from everyone as they hit it -- we were obviously already soaked but somehow hitting the puddles was just insulting)

Mile 10 -- cute little town, lovely spectators, thank god for crowded relay stops, oh and a long winding river to navigate, nice.
Mile 11 -- damnit, I do have to pee --
Mile 15 -- knee?  no way.  How long is it possible to limp run?  Oh this can't be good.  Don't limp run -- just run and deal.
Mile 19 -- is the rain gone?  do I take off poncho (which early on was stuck to me providing an insulation layer). Nope, don't have energy.
Mile 20 -- Maybe I should cry.  I'm tired.  My legs hurt so bad.  I've never done this before.  I want to go home.  I've still got more than an hour at this pace.  What the hell was I thinking.  Oh, f#@% it, I don't even have the energy to cry.  Just run. AND STOP LIMPING!!!!!!
Mile 22 -- okay, so I'm totally doing this again.  Next year.  I hate my life right now but this really is a great race.  Okay legs, just keep moving.
Mile 23 -- I want to stop, I won't stop, I can walk, I won't walk, if I walk I'll never get done, keep the pace below 11min/miles, I want to stop, I won't stop.....
Mile 24 -- I should have put my music on -- I want music.  But that would require me to reach into my bra, grab the headphones, put them into my ears and press play on my shuffle.  Nope, too much work. I want to stop, I won't stop...
Mile 25.5 -- Damn, how frigging long does it take to run mile 25 anyway.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.......

The next thing I know is someone is shouting 'women on the left/men on the right'.  I hadn't realized there was a segregated finish but at that time all I could think of was thank god my turn into the first finishers chute was saving me probably 1.5 seconds. I didn't care about my time at this point, I just wanted to finish sooner.

Then it was over.  What is the biggest shame is all I felt was relief but not the good kind of a relief knowing it was a job well done.  I didn't feel any sense of accomplishment or even any kind of pride.  I was just so happy to be out of hell.  That kind of made me sad (later) because I remember the awesome feeling of finishing my first half marathon. At that time, I was more tired than I knew possible but I felt really good about the run.  I wanted that feeling again so bad but all I felt on Sunday was that I managed to survive and thank god it was over.

The requisite splits:

Avg Pace

Clearly given the day, I started out too fast.  But at the time I really didn't feel it.  But I just fell apart in the second half.

But enough of the fuss -- there was good as well and now that it is 2 days in the past, it finally dawned on me I RAN A MARATHON!!!  Wow!  How cool is that.  The other good plus things I've learned:

1.  Saturday night slumber party with Terzah -- we were definitely well matched roommates and I look forward to the opportunity to do another race with her. She went from blogger friend to real friend.  And that's pretty cool.

2.  I totally get why people love that course.  The rolling hills were nothing (I was prepared) and the course had very few turns.  The volunteers were most fantastic and even in the horrid weather, there were quite a few spectators out.  The finish was beautiful -- right at the base of the capital with a huge beautiful decorated Christmas tree.

3. Vaseline.  Who knew?  Beats Body Glide all to pieces and I don't even have one blister.  Thanks Paul.

4.  Running shoes empty out of water pretty quickly.

5.  It is possible to run 21 miles with a rain poncho on.  Eventually it just sticks to you and no amount of wind can move it.

6. It was NOT freezing.

7.  I believed miles 20 to 26 were going to be hard.  Now I UNDERSTAND.

8.  Beer and burger's are just as good after a marathon as a half marathon.

9.  A space blanket works well as a cover up while one completely strips on the steps of the capital building.

10.  Terzah was right, nothing beats a post marathon shower.  Nothing.

11.  I have fantastic friends both in and out of the blog world.

Did I have fun?  Not really.  Am I glad I did it?  You betcha.

I'm a marathoner!!  And that's all that really counts.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


I thought I was going to do an official post yet today -- in fact, kept rewriting it in my head on the drive home from Sacramento -- but I just don't have it in me.  I'm exhausted.  Beyond exhausted actually.  I need to find some more food and go to bed.

I'll do an official post tomorrow -- but let me just say that was hard. Extremely hard.  Pouring (and I mean pouring) rain and wind for 3.5 hours complete with street flooding, huge puddles and mini lakes just didn't make for the best conditions.  My ending time was 4:30:44 -- a little slower than I would have liked but all things considered, including a 3+ min potty stop I'm happy.

And the best part is -- I'm a Marathoner!!. And now I've got a time to beat.  ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A marathon on Sunday? Really?

Well look at me, I'm doing a post.  Not that there's anyone around to read but what the heck.  It is about 5 days out from MY FIRST MARATHON so I thought I'd get a few thoughts down since I didn't manage to even provide weekly updates.  My not so profound thoughts:

  • Training for a marathon is hard.  I'm tired.  
  • It sucks to get sick and then have to travel internationally during training.  It totally messed up any semblance of a routine I had.
  • 18 miles hurts.  A lot.  20 hurts even more.  Not sure about anything else but I suppose I'll find out soon.  
  • It sounds fairly bad ass to casually tell people -- oh, yeah, I ran 20  miles today.  I mean, for runners it isn't anything but for the masses, it is something.  
  • Thank god one of my training runs was in the pouring swirling rain.  That may come in handy.  

Over all I'm kind of meh with my training.  With all the drama of the spring (#stupidstressfracture) and early summer (#stupidback) I really didn't get the solid base that I had when I started down this path last January.  I thought I could manage it that is where the being tired came into play.  I'm almost positive that is why I got sick in October -- probably a bit exhaustion related.  I managed to get the miles in under the plan, but late October I gave up most speed work.  Flat out no energy.  So here I sit at a cross between 'oh I should have waited' and 'lets get this done so I've got a baseline established and then can work to improve'.  HA.  Fickle I am.  

Anyway, on the positive side -- I did get the miles in.  Other than the sick week and then my three days off while I was in Japan, I logged mile after mile after mile. That just HAS to account for something, doesn't it?  The other positive thing is that all my long runs were done with rolling hills.  I had a friend tell me a route that mimics CIM for part of it so you betcha all my long runs were done there.  

In fun running news, I did run a Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving morning   It was a nice confidence booster -- yeah, yeah, only a 10k but I did get a PR (50:57) and came in 7/303 in my age group.  So I can run.  Lets just hope I can run 26.2 miles.  

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

CIM Week 3

Lets see if I can get this done quickly -- not much to report.  I had a terribly sleeping week last week and it showed.  I did all the runs and made all the times but it was NOT easy.  A very uninteresting presentation:

                  Planned:                           Actual:

8/28 Tues 15 to 20 minute Warm-Up + Fartlek Workout: 6 to 8 times 2 minutes at 5k to 8k (8.09 to 8.27) effort with 1 minute recovery jog (10.55) + 15 to 20 minute Cool-down 19 min warm up --  8:22/8:28/7:58/8:09/8:05/8:14/7:41(??)/8:05 then 16.5 min cool down.  Was very tired at end -- but then realize I'd forgotten to take inhaler when I couldn't speak to Alana when I got home.  Good run all in all -- foot sore but not intolerable (not sore when I got up).   6.15 miles/ 58.33/ 9.31
8/29 Wed 35 to 50 minute Easy Run 9:40 to 10:10 5 miles in 50 minutes.  Woke at 3am and never got back to sleep -- felt terrible when I left but felt much better when I got home.  Avg HR was 150 (whoo hooo).   5.01 miles/ 49.30/ 9:53
8/30 Thu 45 to 60 minute Easy Run  9:40 to 10:10    
8/31 Fri OFF First run in Brooks Pure Flow -- legs felt very heavy -- 10:11 pace -- and worked very hard for that pace.   6.23 miles/ 63:33/10:11
9/1 Sat Long, Steady Run: 90 to 105 minutes 9:40 to 10:40 We kept the pace fairly steady -- didn't stop at all -- good confidence booster.  Feet were okay -- Flows are okay, just okay. 12 miles/1:56:14 (116mins)/ 9:41
9/2 Sun 30 to 45 minute Recovery Run 10:40 to 11:10

Was tired -- had trouble keeping HR down 4 miles/ 40:45/ 10:08
Not too much else to report -- you can see the general theme was tired.  Oh so tired.

Other than that -- I've managed to purchase and try out some Brooks Pure Flows.  I've run 3 times in them (including today) and still not sure.  They feel like bricks though they aren't that much heavier than the Free Run's I've been in. But there is so much shoe.  However, my silly right foot does like the cushion.  But it didn't feel all that much better at the end of the 12 miler than my feet usually do at the end of a half in Frees.

So who knows -- will keep at them for a bit since they definitely help with the right foot and the pain that never goes away.

Happy Running!

Monday, August 27, 2012

CIM -- Weeks 1 and 2

I really want to do weekly recaps of this training cycle -- mostly for my own benefit because I'm not entirely certain I'm going to make it through (pessimistic much?) and I want to document what the heck is going on so if something happens, I can possibly figure out why.  But lord my days are busy busy busy (good busy) and then I'm tired.  But onward....

CIM Week One:

This was a complete and absolute confidence buster week and honestly my confidence isn't all that high right now so I really didn't need it at all.  I'm really not feeling in as good of shape as I was when I started to train for Eugene -- so every slight thing has me rethinking my decision to actually attempt this marathon.  But I'm committed and luckily week 2 got better.  Here goes week 1:

Monday, Aug 13
Planned:  5 miles at Rancho -- mile warm up, mile up hill as fast as possible, same down and repeat.
Reality:  First mile, fine.  Second mile very difficult (HOT).  Third mile and my foot went all wonky.  It was like something was in my shoe.  Slowed it down a bit and at the bottom of the hill checked it out and realized nothing was in my shoe.  It was all in my foot.  No paid just so weird.  I made it half way through mile 4 and it got worse and worse so I turned around and joggled back down the hill.  Ended up with 4 miles -- no real speed work and a complete panic.

When I got home, I put a compression band on it and it loved that!  Still thinking maybe some tape will help.

Tuesday, Aug 14
Planned:  Rest
Reality:  Rest

Wednesday, Aug 15
Planned:  35 to 50 minute easy run
Reality:  More rest.  Went to chiropractor to have him look at the foot.  It hadn't been bad at all -- not really sore.  So he crunched my foot around and did some really painful stuff and sent me on my way.  All seemed well.

Thursday, Aug 16
Planned: 45 to 60 minute easy run
Reality:   61 minutes and 6 miles -- but boy was it a slog fest.  I thought that after two rest days I'd feel great but not so much.  I've noticed when the chiropractor puts me on his cox table (and he loves to), it ruins my back for a few runs afterwards (and by ruins, I mean it hurts and I've got to stop to stretch quite a bit).  Anyway, I made it but was NOT feeling good.

Friday, Aug 17
Planned:  Rest initially -- then thought I should at least run a bit
Reality:  Rest -- just couldn't move

Saturday, Aug 18
Planned:  90 to 105 minute long steady run
Reality:  90 mins for 7.59 miles.  Was tough.  Foot started feeling wonky right away.  That same feeling from earlier in the week where it felt like something was moving inside my foot.  But I just kept on running this time.  It only was a smidgen sore, mostly weird feeling so I just ran.  We ended up doing a bit of walking too -- as my friend and I needed some chat time and I was crazed with foot wonky.  Didn't feel all that great after that run either.

Sunday, Aug 19
Planned:  30 to 45 min recover run
Reality:  I had to run more -- just had to.  So I ended up with a 72 min run for 7.51 miles.  From dailymile:   Foot was so weird -- thinking weird is the new normal -- but it wasn't hurting so I went with it. After being very stiff all the rest of the day, seems to be better. So maybe all will be okay.  Was a recover day but I just had to run anyway -- help with confidence.

Weird is the new normal - -motto of the day.  Though later in the day I was almost completely find -- no soreness nor weirdness.

I ended the week with a depressing 25 miles -- depressing because not one of them felt particularly good.

CIM Week Two

Theme for the week:  So Much Better.  Amazing how it can change but thankfully it does.

Monday, Aug 20
Planned:  Rest
Reality:  Rest

Tuesday, Aug 21
Planned:  50 to 60 minute Pace Booster -- run 20 mins in the middle at steady state pace (8.42 to 8.57)
Reality:  58 mins (6.32 miles):  20 mins at 10 m/m, 20 mins at 8:35 m/m, 18 miles at 9:15.  Felt fantastic!  Not foot weirdness but a little foot tiredness later in the day.

Wednesday, Aug 22
Planned:  35 to 50 minutes at 9:40 to 10:10
Reality:  49 minutes (5 miles) at 9:45 pace.  Run was a ton of work.  Probably still a bit worn out from Tuesday

Thursday, Aug 23
Planned:  45 to 60 minutes at 9:40 to 10:10
Reality:  61 minutes for 6.23 miles.  Nice and easy --  not foot weirdness and felt great.

Friday, Aug 24
Planned:  Rest
Reality:  Glorious Rest

Saturday, Aug 25
Planned:  90 to 105 min long steady run
Reality:  115 for 12 miles!!!  First double digit run since last Feb and stupid stress fracture.  A bit longer than on the schedule but I've got a half in a few weeks and needed the confidence booster.  Foot definitely didn't like mile 6 -- it was uphill on a very cambered trail.  By the time I got to the top I'd thought for sure I'd done it.  But once I started back, all was fine.  Foot was tired at the end but okay. But as the day wore on, it got a bit sore so after my couple of errands, I just planted myself on the sofa and called it required rest!

Sunday, Aug 26
Planned:  30 to 45 Recover Run
Reality:  40 mins for 4 miles.  Probably didn't keep this one as slow as I should have.  I tried but every time I looked down, I was going faster.  I think I'll set it to beep when I get over a specific heart rate next time and see if that works.

All in all a much better week however I'm still concerned with my foot.  Most days I wake up and it hurts like crazy but after walking around a bit, it seems fine.  The runs usually make it tired but not sore enough to quite while running.  Sometimes it feels great while running and other times weird.  But the morning pain is consistent so I'm wondering if it is a bit of PF.  But that doesn't explain why it sometimes feels like it is moving on the inside.

I think I might try a podiatrist next.  Someone's got to be able to tell me what is going on.

At least week two ended in a much better place than week one.  Still questioning my sanity in doing this right now without any kind of consistency in what my foot feels like but what the heck.  It is a done deal now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here we go again....

Alrighty then -- thought I'd join back up with the blogging world after my months plus absence.  No real reason for my disappearance other than I've been pretty busy with work and really didn't have all that much to say.  Each post would have been something like 'went for a run, am exhausted, building back up sucks' so I spared myself the writing and anyone else the reading.

But -- let me tell you, last week my body was all welcome to the 30 mile range -- and by that I mean after 3 weeks at 30ish miles I FINALLY didn't feel like I wanted to die.  Or sleep.  All. the. time.

So this is what I've been up to since I was last around these parts:

6/25 to 7/1 -- 22 miles
7/2 to 7/8 -- 26 miles
7/9 to 7/15 -- 27 miles
7/16 to 7/22 -- 9 miles (didn't mean to take the week off but silly life)
7/23 to 7/29 -- 31 miles
7/31 to 8/5 -- 30 miles
8/6 to 8/12 -- 33 miles

Pretty decent and relatively sensible mileage build up not withstanding my 9 mile week (it was supposed to be a 20ish miler -- oh well).  But let me tell you, it kicked my ass.  In the whole scheme of running  this isn't all that much mileage but being old and exhausted, it felt like I was running 100 mile weeks (not that I'd know what that felt like or anything).  And I was starting to panic because I really wanted to have comfortable 30 mile weeks to start CIM training.  Thankfully about last Wednesday it all settled in -- I started sleeping better, feeling better and my body seems to have adjusted.

WHEW -- because today is day 1 of the CIM training schedule.

Yikes.  The only thing I'm thinking about now is getting to the starting line -- funny how that now is the main goal.  After the Foot Ordeal of 2012, I no longer take starting a race for granted.  However, I'm sure as it gets closer I'll allow myself to actually think about finishing.

In other news, I've also been doing all my core exercises -- roughly 20 mins a day for 5 or 6 days a week.  I've been pretty consistent amazingly enough and I am finally starting to see the difference it is making.  I've still got lingering aches and pains -- but I think will all the adjustment my back has been through, that is to be expected.

So that's it for now -- I'm sure I'll be posting more and at least once a week so I've got record of this training.  I'm super excited and very nervous.  I think once I get past the 5 week mark (when I got the stress fracture back in the winter) I'll feel better.  Like I made it through the magic point.  It is also a bit scary as I'm running a half that week -- same as I did last Feb.  So once that is over and the week is past, hopefully the nervousness will fade until the end.

So here we go again...

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Attempt #2

All signed up.  Second attempt at first marathon:

Getting it all wrapped up before the end of the world. Don't want to leave any loose ends.

I was very happy with last week's runs.

 I ran 22 miles total and felt great and pain free in all parts.  The week ended with a 7 mile run at Rancho San Antonio park and it was just wonderful.  I should hit 25 miles this week and 5 of it already happened last night again out at Rancho -- we have this mile hill that we run up as fast as we can, then back down and repeat.  So I guess it is mile hill repeats -- a workout that I'm still feeling in my legs -- definitely need hill training.  But this is a great work out to get in shape so I'm working it in once a week.

All fun and games.

PS.  I just realized the header I pulled from the website didn't list the name -- but in case there was a question it is CIM.  They need an easy logo to steal.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Update Post

Goodness, been awhile since I've been around these parts.  Actually I've been keeping up with the reading of blogs, I've just not had a chance to write something of my own.

Lets see....where was I?

Ah yes, the 16 year old's birthday weekend.  It went fantastically.  She proclaimed it The Best Weekend Ever so that was good.  The quick rundown (and very pictureless which is sad really since we were in San Francisco on one of the most beautiful weekends imaginable):  Walt Disney Family Museum (recommend), high tea at The Fairmont (recommend), wander around the Fairmont looking into all the ballrooms to see how they are decorated for the evening (recommend), follow wedding party around and blatantly stare as they are getting their pictures made (recommend), walk through Chinatown and buy mug with dragon on it (did I mention I'm a dragon and it is the year of the dragon??), go to Union Square and discover that unbeknownst to either one of you, you are both shoppers (recommend) and then proceed to spend money (don't recommend) on lots of goodies and then get back to hotel at 9:30 and fall instantly in bed.

That was day one.  Day two:  Eat breakfast at cute cafe (recommend), go back to Union Square and realize that you a aren't shoppers after all (thank goodness) however, play around Crate and Barrel sitting on EVERY couch in the store to see which one is the best (recommend), go pick up car and drive (don't recommend) to the Haight but find it is overwhelmed with music festival and the music sounds a bit scary (from the drive by) and there are a million people and no parking so decide to go see the Golden Gate bridge, realize that the worst weekend in SF is a warm weekend (don't ever recommend driving in SF on a nice weekend) so finally get to bridge, cross it and then come back and drive through Sea Cliff which is where the fancy schmancy houses are (recommend), get to the coast  to come home that way and realize part of Hwy 1 is closed (really?) and then finally get home.


Then last weekend was spent in Phoenix (yes hot) at a friends fancy schmancy house (yes, really) and just having a plain ole good time.

Work's been crazy busy but the in between has been fun.

Oh yeah -- this is supposedly a running blog.  Well lets talk about that then.

Shortly before the SF weekend the chiropractor told me to just relax.  It seemed that my back was hurting worse than before but I was trying to ramp miles and he was basically adjusting me all over the place and it wasn't pleasant.  In fact, it was quite painful.  Apparently when he told me I could still run, he didn't realize I would.  HA!  So he said to just take it easy and make no run over 2 miles.  Well, with two busy weekends away (no running either one) and a crazy work schedule, I just took the running down to a bare minimum and sort of chilled.  And who knew, he was right.  It seems all his crazy talk about fixing me is coming true and it is nothing short of amazing (for me anyway).  The thing is I've never talked about much is that I've had constant low grade back pain since forever.  It was just something I accepted -- but it was getting worse last fall and early winter and then when I started back after the foot fiasco it was very very bad.  But I figured I'd just have to live with it -- but I don't think I do.  So between his Cox table, ART, regular adjustments and me doing some actual core work, I actually feel a ton better.  Like amazingly better.  Not perfect, but different and better. So it would seem entirely pain free might be doable.

Cool.  So.....

I'm a little nervous but I'm going to sign up this week for CIM -- it's official.  Attempt #2 at Marathon #1.  I even have gone so far as to resurrect the McMillan plan I purchased for Eugene and plug in dates to see when I start.  The plan is time based (except for long runs) vs miles based so it seems to make sense to use it.  I paid for it after all.  So that begins on 8/13 and my goal until then is to build back up the miles base.

I'm sort of scared to commit.  The ONLY goal (and I mean it) is to make it to the start line -- nothing like a 5 month drama of foot/back issues to put a little perspective on things.  I'm erring on the side of caution in all situations (I promise) and start line is my primary focus.  I'll worry about finishing after I get going.  ;)

So there we have it -- all caught up.  This week will be around 20 miles -- so you can see, I've got a bit of work to do.

And just because -- here's a picture of my newly minted 16 year old.  If I could just convey how sweet she is...she is such a doll.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Diagnosis and fun 16th Birthday weekend plans

It is quite exciting -- I now know what is wrong with me.  Well, what is wrong that relates to my back anyway -- no telling about anything else.  From the doc's write up (italics are my comments):

"Right inferior pelvic unleveling 8mm.  Right short leg 4mm.  No sacral unleveling (whew as everything else is unlevel(.  15 degree scoliosis to the right, apex at L2.  Lovett negative spinous rotation (I've not idea what this is and a quick google search tells me I need a more time to figure this one out).  Weight bearing line normal.  Disc spaces appear adequate exept mild loss of disc height at L3 and L4.  Facetal arthrosis is mild at L5-S1.  Bone density commensurate with patient's age."

So there we go.  Apparently we are going to fix me -- how exciting is that.  I always assumed that the scoliosis wasn't fixable as no one has ever mentioned fixing it before but apparently it is and that's what we are doing.  So I have to visit the chiropractor a million times in June (maybe really only 10 but when I was scheduling the visits it felt like a million) and then he'll give me some exercises to do to maintain whatever he does.  

I guess it is time to stop paying lip service to core work and actually do it regularly.  At least at this point I'll have some specific exercises to do that relate to the problems -- most that my right side is weaker because of the scoliosis.  

All this being said, damn, it hurts like hell right now.  Ever visit he says he is he is relieving pain but the funny thing is, I wasn't in pain.  I had had had some pain -- but I went to him for my foot.  Now I'm not complaining because before foot injury, my back would just kill me after a run.  And when I was starting back a few weeks ago, I'd have some runs where my back hurt.  But now it hurts crazy like and I'm not sure it is supposed to - he did some adjustments on Wed, I ran like a superstar for 4 miles on Thursday.  I went back on Friday and now yesterday and today's runs were misery.  This is baffling -- but possibly with all the movement going on in my lower back it has to hurt to get better?  I've no idea but it is the ultimate irony -- my foot is finally ready to go and now I can't make it past 4.5 miles because of my back.

If it isn't one thing...

If only I wasn't so attached to this running thing....

Anyway, in much more fun news, my little one turns 16 next Sunday.  I thought she was just born but apparently it was 16 years ago -- unbelievable if you ask me.  But get this -- she doesn't want a party with friends, she wants a weekend in SF with her mom.  How freaking cool is that.  So I've sort of planned out her birthday weekend:

Sat the 9th:

Head to city in morning. 
Walt Disney Museum 
Afternoon tea at The Fairmont

We are staying near Union Square (actually closer to China town in this small hotel I've stayed at before and like) so we'll wonder there and eat somewhere.  But she's excited to stay in nice hotel so I imagine we'll go back to room fairly early to soak up room.  

Sunday the 10th:

Breakfast somewhere -- need to figure that out
There are no shows that I want to see playing so I'm thinking of Beach Blanket Babylon.  It is a fun musical revue that I think she'll get a kick out of.  She can't go to the Sat night one (adult content) so the matinee will be fun.  But not really sure and open for suggestions on a Sunday afternoon outing.  
Then back home for birthday dinner with her dad and brother.  

We'll have fun no matter what -- she's pretty darned easy going.  And how sweet that this is what she wanted.  

All righty -- must go make dinner.  

Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm here.  I'm here.  I did disappear a bit and I do appreciate you guys checking on me.  I'd like to say I was just busy, which I was, but really I could have made time. I was just a bit discouraged about my stupid foot and didn't feel like talking about it.

But alas -- there's been some good news so I'm here to share.

Catching up -- we last left off where I thought I was back in the game.  A bit premature but there's my optimism for you.  I thought I was being very smart and careful but I still managed to overdo and then couldn't hardly even walk on my foot for about 4 days.  Silly me.  About that time (just a couple weeks ago), my body decided to stop sleeping again (I'd been doing fairly well) so I wasn't coping and took the week off of everything and just felt sorry for myself. Not particularly productive but there you go.  And actually, I did start back at the running bit towards the end of the week.  

So, back to the foot.  In the midst of not running (much) nor sleeping and feeling sorry for myself, I had several people suggest I go to a chiropractor and I finally agreed if only because when I was able to even go out for a small run, my lower back started killing me within about a half a mile.  I knew I was compensating and could even hear how uneven my gait was but couldn't correct it.  Also, I wasn't and still am not convinced my continuing foot pain is all a result of the stress fracture because of where some of the pain located.  And finally, I had already considered looking into a chiropractor (or PT or someone) because I was having lower back trouble after most run back in the winter.

I've learned a ton:

1.  Metatarsal stress fractures, especially the ones on the 5th metatarsal can take a long time to heal.  Apparently circulation plays a key role in healing these types of injuries and the foot typically has less circulation.

2.  The fracture site can be laser-ed to speed circulation and healing.

3.  A chiropractor can do this.

4.  Wow.

It gets better (or more enlightening anyway).

I have scoliosis.

Which I knew.  I've known since I was in 6th grade and they did that bend over test and then I'm told fairly regularly by different doctors.  I assumed it didn't matter -- but this guy was shocked I knew.  Does it matter?  Apparently.

And of course it matters, right?  I think I'm mostly fairly intelligent but sometimes I even surprise myself by how unaware of my body I can be.  I never ever ever even looked up scoliosis online and read about it nor even considered how it would impact running.  Honestly I don't think there was any impact at the 20 to 25 miles per week range but definitely when I started increasing the miles, the irregular curve in my spine started causing trouble.  I've now done some reading online and well DUH. So many of my minor aches and pains are caused by this condition.

All this is really actually quite good news.

The doc (are chiropractors doctors?) proved to me a bunch of different ways how uneven I am -- and how my right side is much weaker than my left.  He even made me get on the floor, with my legs bent perpendicular and resting on my elbow and had me lift my hip -- I can hardly do it on my right side but on my left it is easy (so I have a new exercise to do daily).  He also did some adjusting which I immediately noticed later that day when I went running completely back pain free!   And finally, he did some laser therapy on my foot.

I go back on Wednesday and he tells me he's going to have an entire write up of my condition and a plan.  His approach is to give his clients the tools to manage themselves and then be there for support or when things go wrong.  I suspect I'll have a bunch of exercises I can do to strengthen my right side and then a few visits with him to get this foot thing under control.

All in all quite positive.  I have to think now that this might have been the underlying cause of the stress fracture so I'm pleased to have figured it out now before it happened again with another miles ramp up.  Feeling a little silly I never had considered that scoliosis might matter but I'll get over that part.

In actual running news, I did 15 miles this week in 5, 3 mile runs.  I've dubbed myself the Queen of the Three Mile run and am going to go with that for awhile.  It seems to be a good balance and I can do it every day without any additional foot pain.  This and one spin will be the routine for at least another couple of weeks.

There we have it!  Happy Memorial Day!