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About 3 months ago I came home to find that the gardeners had completely and totally pruned back my rose still flowering rose bushes.

<sad face>

It was around that same time that I really started scaling back my running and trying to get my SI joint in place, get my hammy shaped up, etc.  I felt like a loser on the Bachelor because I wasn’t getting in any good, long runs nor the final rose.

But alas, the other day hope started springing anew.

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Ironically I found this on my way home from my first “long for me” run in a while.

Can't find a better place to long run...

Can’t find a better place to long run…the bottom of that hill gives you about 2 miles of flat sandy shore

My goal:  10 slow miles

Given that I’m still recovering I chose, a nice flat (only 265 feet of incline over 10 miles) and soft surfaced place to run.  I did a majority of the running on packed sand which meant a lot of laps up and down the beach (about 4 loops) hugging the full moon induced exceptionally high tide while dodging the leisurely beach strollers.

Hammy pain – nil
Exhaustion – nil

Despite feeling like I could run for 14 miles, after 8.5 miles I just started feeling a little tight in the legs, so I decided to call it a day and not push it too far

The Results:  9 miles with a nice leisurely 2 mile stroll on the beach- 1 mile in the icy cold Pacific whirlpool to recover.

IMG_5848In the ol’ recovery log, the speed at short distances had been picking up nicely (not 100% recovered, but about 80%) and to get a long run in under my belt made me feel pretty relieved, and quite frankly, a little more human.  I’ve had my eye on getting a half in the last weekend in March, so we shall see how that progresses.

Does it feel like spring is 6 weeks or 6 months away for you?

What’s your favorite place to run these days?

True Confession Thursday: Random Running Musings

So it’s Thursday so I usually tell you super exciting and intimate details about my life such as…random things the kids said and if I snuck an extra dessert (“Mom, are you free balling it?” and why yes I did).  But back to running and fun stuff like that….

On Sunday.  So the best thing about finishing a race, is finishing the race.  After running with Angel and Margot, I learned about their running club ‘Beat by a Girl’.  If you’re in the OC, it’s definitely worth checking this group out – they seem like a great bunch of ladies and accommodate runners of all shapes, sizes, spaces and paces…

From the Beat by a Girl website

From the Beat by a Girl website

More On Sunday. Somehow I missed these two cutie patooties and their fabulous sign.  Aren’t they adorable (and clearly very resourceful)?

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LB Expo.  So totally random, but on Friday at the Expo I was frantically trying to rally the kids walking back to the car from the Expo and this woman came up to me asking for directions.  I thought she looked like OctoMom and shrugged it off.  On Sunday I saw her again and then did some looking and realized that it was, in fact, OctoMom.  So there was my pseudo-celebrity sighting for the month.

Janky Knee/Hips.  So the knee went from pretty much fine on Sunday post-race to being a little crabbier by Tuesday.  Maybe it’s like me…it gets crabbier the less it runs.  After rest days Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday’s 2 hour flight seemed to REALLY fire it up, so I just considered drinking a glass of red wine with a chocolate cookie a workout and called it a day.

In order to remind me to rest for a few days, Vanilla made this fabulous sign and stuck it on my desk.  Apparently it was to remind me rest days are important.  He’s so sweet.

IMG_4957So Cold.  I’m in Denver for work and had the great idea to go for a quick high altitude run this morning.  Um…yeah, no.  The 3 in front of the temperature (as in 33), frost on the windows and my severe lack of appropriate clothing, I just took a quick spin on the elliptical and called it a much warmer day!  It might almost be Halloween, but I’m a SoCalWeenie.

What’s the best sign anyone’s made for you?

Do your kids ever keep you in check?

Hips Don’t Lie

Today is day 9 of not running.

Actually, it’s been 7 days since I’ve figured out how to do any cardio pain free…so stretching, rolling, and PT exercises are about all I can do.

Despite getting my endorphins on being a huge stress release and being completely devoid of it lately…I’d say I am handling everything really well.

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So what’s the scoop on the hiatus from running?   My knee was kind of poppy a few weeks back and I kept running on it because it felt fine running.  But eventually it didn’t feel fine running.  In fact, it eventually didn’t feel fine any time.

To be completely honest everything has been OFF the last year since April 2012’s marathon training cycle.  I haven’t been able to put my finger on it all, but things just don’t feel right.  I’ve tried to be cautious and not really push it, but it just feels like one little thing after another.  I went to the doc who sent me to my fave Physical Therapy group and I’m finally, FINALLY, FINALLY working on the root cause of all of this.

My hips.

originalOver the last year there’s been a lot of wiggles and niggles and I’ve always “spot treated” each one but never taking the time to really correct the root of it all – my crooked hips.

Why?  Because it takes a lot of time and effort and requires some time off running which I really didn’t want to do.  But it’s time.

I’m trying to have a positive attitude about it and realize that by taking the time to get this right will be good for the future.  I mean really good.  Like, really start taking the time to train.  Like really start putting together a real training plan.  Like really start doing speed work instead of fearing it.  Like you know, set an actual goal and achieve it, which honestly I have not really done since like….errr…uhhh….umm….18 months ago with my BQ.  I’ve hit some smaller goals (like PR’ing) but not setting a really stretch-worthy goal and shooting for it.

And while this is very exciting and inspiring, the truth is, on a lot of days I mostly feel like this.

A lot of rhythmic rage here...

A lot of rhythmic rage here…

So I’m doing my best to put on my happy face and enjoy this for what it is – time to heal.  I find myself grateful I wasn’t in any crazy good shape or anything so it’s not like I’m losing spectacular fitness, just some mediocre, fear-laiden efforts.

Lions, Bulldozers & Bears Oh My!

Weekly Recap
Sunday – Rest
Monday – 3 mile run
Tuesday – 3.5 mile run/walk
Wednesday – 45 minutes bike sprints, 1/2 mile swim
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 45 minute bike sprints
Saturday – 8 Glorious High Altitude Miles

I’ve been trying to placate that little niggle in my hammy – the doctor’s consensus – my pelvis is a little off and it’s probably all stemming from my BIG injury about 15 months ago and leading to these little tweaks since then.  I’m really really working on stabilizing it, doing my exercises, stretching, rolling, etc.

But when your pelvis goes whack, it’s really hard to get it back.

In an effort to focus on the positives, I took a little 24 hour “life breather” on Friday and did what that crazy Girl Scout bear did, and went over the mountain.

Happily hydrating & relaxing to prep for a 7,000 mile run

Happily hydrating & relaxing to prep for a sea level to 7,000 feet adventure

I spent Friday getting some R&R and serious hydration since elevation and I have a sordid history which usually involves it forcing me head first into a toilet.   I also decided it was  time to try and take the ol’ tires out for a spin on Saturday morning and see how my niggle would handle some mileage & terrain.

As we grabbed lunch, I saw this, which meant that I knew this mountain run was just meant to be.

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I also found this amazing tshirt but my friends and family informed me that this was not meant to be.

Rastafarian Lion tie die shirt.  #bestthingever

Rastafarian Lion tie die shirt. #bestthingever PS You can’t take me anywhere…remember the snowman sweater?

So Saturday morning I set out  to give my body the best test…trail running at 7,000 feet with about 12 hours acclimation.  #idontdosmarthings

I took this bad boy stead and slow.  8 miles, about 1,500 feet elevation gain & views galore.  I was in heaven and my leg felt pretty good after as well.  I hopped off a few trails because I was afraid of bears and mountain lions and ended up on another trail that was being renovated (it was a rugged terrain trail for Jeeps or something crazy like that) and was face to face with bulldozers which were much scarier.

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I probably could have gone another 4-5 miles (I love you endorphins), but alas, we had a boat rental that was waiting and I didn’t want to be left ashore.  And remember, recovery is just as important as the run, so I was sure to get some serious chilling of the legs in the icy cold lake.

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No fish or animals were harmed in the recovery process….just an almost lost swimsuit top.

All in all, I’m still taking it easy on my legs and going to stick with far more cross training than running for the time being, but I think the outlook is looking better.  This is especially important since the iTryathlon is on Saturday.  And if not for my leg, my mind’s refreshed and cleared as we get into the “busy season” of life these next few weeks…

What’s the best run/workout you’ve had lately?

Do you have chances to “mini-charge”?  Not a full vacation, but a little getaway?

True Confession Thursday: Short Shorts & Magic Mike

Today’s story is a sad one of janky legs, tweaky toes and my longing for some air on my legs.

In all the chaos about Boston – the excitement leading up to the race and the tragedy after, I never really mentioned my Friday morning before the race.

FADE INTO FIND GIRL SITTING IN AIRPORT SOBBING INTO CELL PHONE.  Passengers walk by giving strange looks.

GIRL:  But mom, [sobbing hysterically] you don’t understand I can’t even walk on it.  My ankle’s so swollen and it’s been 4 days.  I’ve spent so much time getting ready for this and now…I’m just…[wiping snot from nose]…I’m just going to have to quit.  [Resume dramatic crying]

End Scene.

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Oh and there was a lot of this….lacrosse ball rolling in the airport

Yep, that was me in the airport carrying on like a 5 year old who just found out that my mom put the dollar under my pillow instead of the tooth fairy the night before.  Long story short, I twisted my ankle on a rogue roller blade that was laying at the base of the stairs (perfect place for it) and spent Tuesday-Saturday with it swollen, burning and hard to even walk on.

IMG_3273I then rested all my hope on one man….Magic Mike Michael Melander.  Located right off of Boylston across from Copley Park, I begged pleaded cried desperately emailed him asking if he and his Active Release Tecnnique could do something to help my poor leg.

Bless him for rearranging his Red Sox game plans to accommodate seeing me.

Honestly, I don’t know what was wrong.  It was painful and Mike worked his magic for over an hour…and I ran a few miles after to keep it loose.

By Monday – the last thing on my mind as I toed the line was my ankle.

Thank you Magic Mike for getting my ankle in pecking order in order to tackle the 26.2 (or 26.almost6).  The unfortunate part is that at some point in the race my pes anserine bursa is a little pissed of….So bye bye short shorts and hello bike shorts.

2013-04-25While I miss the breeze on my knees and my hatred for the gym and spinning on a bike like a hamster has been rekindled, I know I just need to give it a few more days and I should be good to go.

Until then, I’ll just jealously stare at my Rogas and excessively mileaged out shoes.

What’s your favorite non-running cross-training?

Have you ever tried Active Release?
It’s my fave…I could not recommend it highly enough :)

F is for Friday

I ran .8 miles this week.  That’s it.

Okay, then .86 then the pain in my high ankle was so bad and burning so profoundly I stopped, walked home and then tried to not panic.  It’s the same ankle I have consistently rolled, twisted and sprained over the last year.  It hates me.  I’m starting to resent it and would hate it back, but I kind of need it so at least it has that going for itself.

Not exactly the taper I had in mind.  Then again, I did sprint across the airport TWICE.  But was in raging pain both times trying to curse and cry at the misfortune.

Clearly the most direct route to Boston, right?

Clearly the most direct route to Boston, right?

After a warm embrace from the midwest #humidity (Hello Kentucky, it’s nice to see you) and a few days of work, I’m heading to Boston, filled with panic and fear…I went from wondering if I’d run the 26.2 miles (let’s face it 26.4, I’m a terrible hypotenizer)  well to wondering if I will be able to run them at all.

I’ve iced, I’ve stretched, I’ve ibuprofened and no relief.  I’m seeing an ART practitioner when I get to Boston to have thinks looked out, but right now I’m mostly embracing my inner Bon Jovi and “Livin on a Prayer”.  I’m hoping for some relief, some magical stretch or even some tape that will lock this bad boy into place so I can do what I’ve set out to do.

Today I head into the clouds again, and make the final two legs of the journey to Boston.  I’m hoping to land and find some good news when I get there.

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Flying over the storms on Wednesday

Jumping for Joy

Stride-Free Still :( 

Well kids, somedays you can just accept defeat…and others…well

You jump for joy.

Tink Finish 2013Why yes, that is my elbow pit sweat making a mark in my grey shirt.  Good wardrobe choice – almost as bad as Jennifer Lawrence at the SAG awards.

Remarkably this was post-flu, 1:35-1:36 minutes of actual running finish line shenanigans.  And I gotta say, my basketball and ballet days still serve me well, because I gots mad hopz yo.

But today I’m jumping for joy for another reason.  I went to get an ART session for this newly diagnosed plantar fasciitis for my footsie and as the doc was working he said, the diagnosis just felt a little off.  He kept feeling all sorts of tendons in my calf, because after all, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone’s connected to the tendons in your calf.

And wouldn’t you know when he started messing with my tibialis posterior, I was yelping and hollering like Honey Boo Boo’s family in front of a tub of margarine and ketchup.

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So it turns out that this is just some mad tendonitis from an aggravated calf that was probably pissed off by my pretty walk in flip flops 1 day after a race while sick.

Yes, this was stupid on my part.  What can I say?  I gave the genius genes to the babes.

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Fact: Plastic rimmed glasses make you smarter!

What’s your most training post-race stunt?

Do you have a signature finish line move?
I’m thinking the Mary Poppins hop is going to the top of my list.