Monthly Archives: December 2012

Pity Parrrrtay!

You are cordially invited Kashi’s Pity Party 2012. This one is shaping up to be a real monster, the likes of which have not been seen since 2007 (don’t ask).

You know when something is on your mind you suddenly notice it everywhere? That has been my experience as of late – I feel like everything I  see or hear running related mentions injuries (oh, and side rant here – to anyone who is thinking “yup, see, this is why people should not run, they always get injured and it’s just not good for you!” let me just reply to you in my calmest tone through gritted teeth – this is exactly the 2nd time I have been injured in my 21 YEARS of running and even this would have been avoided  had I not run the race. At last check, my resting heart rate was 55, my blood pressure in the neighborhood of 108/68, my cholesterol 161, my bone density good and iron levels on par with a man’s. The only time I have been hospitalized was with appendicitis. So yeah, sometimes when you use the machine called your body, it gets jacked up and requires rest but I don’t see how any of this translates into how running is bad for me. Thank you and good night! :: end rant :: ).  I don’t believe in long-dead relatives sending me messages (partly because I don’t believe in an afterlife, but more so because if there happens to be one I hope it is comprised of better things to do than dealing with dopey mortals and their lame problems), but if I did, I would be certain someone was trying to tell me something:

1. Secrets to a Lifetime of Running – article in the November issue of Runners World that discusses some of the keys to longevity. From the section under injuries:

“There is only one method almost guaranteed to work: Stop running. This has been the hardest lesson I’ve had to absorb in 50 years, and the one I wish I had learned better many decades ago. When your feet, ankles, calf muscles, shins, knees, quads, hamstrings, or hips hurt, stop running. Now. Not the day after tomorrow, next week, or next month. Get real. Take time off immediately. Here’s why: The vast majority of of injured runners have soft-tissue problems–that is, sore muscles, strained tendons, joint inflammation, and the like. These are not broken bones or ACL tears. You don’t need a splint or a surgeon. You just need to give your body time to repair itself.”

2. Episode 152 of Marathon Talk where they chat with Andrew Lemoncello who recently had a disastrous race that ended with a DNF and he manages to have an “ahh, well, nothing I can do but be positive and work towards healing, even though I am a professional runner and have a baby on the way and no real medical insurance to cover any of these costs” attitude which I found slightly jarring as it is so far from my own current state of mind and I have a lot less at stake.

3. A recent NY Times magazine article in which they profile a teenage girl who can’t sense pain – pressure yes, but pain, no. This has led to no end of trouble for the poor lass as she’s quite susceptible to burning herself and all other manner of unintended self-harm because she can’t receive the pain messages that protect most of us from hurting ourselves. “Pain is a gift” the article boldly states – literally, in bold print in large font size in the middle of the page, as if shouting out to me to be grateful for the fact that I can tell that something is wrong and can prevent further damage.

But here’s the problem (and why this pity party is going to be epic) – I know that resting is the answer, but the tears I am shedding on a daily basis are not making that particular pill any easier to swallow.  I don’t care that I should be positive and look on the bright side (“hey, it’s just soft tissue, it will heal!You can still swim and be active in the meantime! And, oh, hey, no one’s dead and your bills are paid and you have a roof over your head and you did not get your arm stuck under a boulder and have to cut it off with a dull blade so this is not even an actual problem!”). I don’t care that pain is a gift and furthermore, if this is someone’s idea of a gift, please take me off that Secret Santa list. I don’t care that there are, oh, 8 bajillion problems that people deal with that are way worse and harder than this one. None of that “put it in perspective” stuff is working with me right now. The only thing I am currently capable of is wallowing.

One day soon, I hope to be able to see this for what it is – a small bump in the road. But right now it feels like Mt. Everest. It’s insane to me how hard not running is – I literally feel like I’m coming apart at the seams. The worst part is that the best way I know how to deal with stress is to run and just when I need it the most, it is not an option.

They say attitude is everything and mine sucks. So where do I go from here?

PS While looking for a graphic for a “pity party” I came across a guy’s blog who has terminal cancer. And now I feel like even more of a douche.

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Today’s run is brought to you by the letter “D”. Disappointed. Deflated. Dejected. Dastardly. Some might say Dramatic (as in my reaction, not some super exciting event that took place during the run). I’ve been resting, rolling, heating, went to an ART session (have another booked for tomorrow), did a proper warm-up for this run and still… still my quad nags at me. I was on cloud 9 for the first .50 mile of this run as I felt fantastic and SO HAPPY to be running. But by .82,  that familiar tightness showed up in my right quad. I ran for a minute or so more and when it was clear it was not going away, so I started walking (no pain with walking). I walked for a bit, then tried running again and nope, not any better (I like how runners do this – “hmm, let’s see it’s been about 3 minutes. That ought to be enough rest to see some real improvement!”) . This is when I started crying and got a little dramatic. I knew this is what I was risking when I ran the marathon, but it’s still a bitch to pay the piper. My ART guy, Scottie O (man, one thing this blog does not need is more Scotts to keep track of! But I love each of them, so they all are gonna stay. And this one is a great ART therapist, highly recommend him!) does not think that whatever is tweaked out is a major injury, so that is a plus. But it is enough that running is not in the cards today. Ah well, it was still a gorgeous day, and I saw these things through my tears:

I even did a Lunge Matrix before starting! It made me remember that lunges make me weak in the knees, but in that good way that you say “ohh, I did something!”

Ironically, my run ended at this cemetery. Not funny. Too soon, running gods, too soon.

Giant, pretty Christmas balls. I likes!

Yup, that’s a sink under a tree. Not from the hurricane, just part of their landscaping. It definitely beats gnomes and those weird oracle balls that people are fond of, but I am not sure I get it. I sorta wanted to knock on their door and inquire – maybe one day I will work up the nerve to.

What did you see on your run today?

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Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Report – Tiff’s Story

You know Tiff as one of the Cape Island Runners who trained for her first half. She’s has shown up in the blog over the past few months here, here and here.  Like the others, I asked her to send me some race highlights and lessons learned for a quickie update about her day. She sent me the following, which I LOVED and thought to myself “this deserves it’s own entry!”. It is always great fun for me to read about the race from someone else’s perspective, especially someone new to the sport, and I bet you’ll enjoy it too!
In Tiff’s Words:
It all started when I was half drunk, at Sushi Ukai (ed note: sooo good! a favorite for our local bird crew).
Me: “I think I want to run a half marathon.”
Kashi: “Run Philly with us! We’re all doing Philly- it’s in 11 weeks, it’s a 10 week training plan.” And on and on and on she went about it. If you know Kashi, you know what I mean.
What did I say to her? “Yes!” And that was that.
The  next day I was perfectly aware of what I had said, though I somewhat questioned my level of sanity at the time of my agreement. I had been running about 3 miles, several times a week, for the last two months or so. I used to run cross country and track in middle school, and my freshman year in high school, but hadn’t run since.
The first several weeks of training were great- and I always had Scott or Kashi to accompany me on my long runs. I ran my first race in 10 years- the 5 mile Cape May Beach Front Run- with my friend Diane (ed note: we miss you Diane! Hope to see you back in action this spring!) , and with Scott as our coach, running backwards and barefoot and trying to entertain us through our suffering.
Two weeks before the race, while 6 miles in to a 12 mile run, my knees started giving me trouble. I pushed through it until mile 10 and decided my body would truly appreciate it if I would stop. I limped around for the next day or two. The third day, I ran about 3 miles, no problem. All better, I thought! I was wrong…
Scott and I set out on an 8 mile run around Cape May City. About 4 miles in, we kicked up our pace from 10:30 miles to 10:00 miles. Mile five came along, and my knee started feeling a little tight again. I paused for a minute, bringing each of my knees, one after another, towards my chest for a gentle stretch. As soon as I put my foot down, I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t run, let alone walk. Scott left me and ran home and sent Sam to go pick me up.
I went to see a sports therapist and it turned out I was having problems with my ITB, and was instructed not to run until the race, a week away. He promised me- *promised* that I would be okay for the race as long as I was foam rolling (the most painful thing I have ever intentionally done to myself in all of my life thus far), and stretching has he had shown me.

Race day. First half marathon. First time ever running more than 11 miles. Deep breath. Okay. 4:45 am.  I get dressed in about three layers (Note to self: Do not forget BodyGlide!!! Check.), stick my GU Chomps in my bra, attempt to eat a hearty breakfast (the only thing I could manage to force down was a banana and half a Clif bar), go pee, walk 10 minutes to my friend’s car on South Street, get dropped off at the Sofitel Hotel to meet Kashi, Glen, Scott and Sherry, go pee, retie my shoes, walk as a group to the race area, eat a bit of dry cereal that Kashi had brought along, check my bag, convince myself there is no possible way I really have to pee, stretch, stare in awe at the most people I’ve ever seen in one place in my life, retie my shoes again, thank myself for putting my hair up with two hair ties instead of one in case heaven forbid one would break, convince myself once again that I don’t have to pee, try to find my corral, attempt to find a pace group (I’m glad I failed at finding it, because in hindsight, running with a pace group sounds like a pretty miserable existence for someone new to running), chat it up with some folks from Tom’s River whose homes did not get destroyed. The gun goes off (well, apparently, though I never heard it). 22:30 later, we are crossing the start line.
Half a mile in, my knee is already giving me grief, albeit very subtle. I immediately gave up my time goal, and just aimed to finish. A mile and a half in, I opened my Chomps- or should I say attempted to open them, because instead, they went flying across the pavement, my nerves still on edge. I turned around and bent down, barely avoiding a near-miss collision with a man behind me. I explained it was my first real race; he sympathized.  My first few miles were 11 minutes+.  I was able to convince myself that my knee pain was only in my head.
Mile 3, I met up with a group of guys laughing and talking and having a good old time, and conveniently keeping the same pace as I. Turns out they were Stone Harbor police. I was making small talk with them, and the very next thing I knew, I was all paws on the floor. Yep, no clue what I tripped on, and pretty sure it was nothing, but I did think one of the guys was pretty cute, so I’ll blame it on that. Dan, if you ever stumble across this, THANKS. I hardly missed a beat and was up and running in one or two graceful steps, quick enough to continue my conversation with Dan. We even had an insightful conversation about divorce. I ran with the cops until mile 8, when I left them in the dust.
Mile 9 was a tough one with the (relatively) hilly terrain- but mile 10- when I hit mile 10- I was shocked at what I discovered! I did the math and as it turned out, although I had abandoned it long ago, it wasn’t out of the question for me to finish within my original time goal of 2:20! Let’s do this! I was rejuvenated. Well, for the next two miles at least.
Mile 12 on was rough. My ITB was giving me lots of grief, and I was terrified it was going to freeze up as it had in my training run, leaving me incapacitated. I pushed through, and tried to think positive. Another half mile, and I knew I had it. Maybe it was a slight case of delirium, but I seemed to feel another adrenaline rush coming on. I was completely in disbelief and all I could think was the fact that I had never run this far before! This was the farthest I’d run in my entire LIFE! The crowds grew and I knew the finish was near. I rounded a bend and saw the finish clock. 2:41:00 minus 22:30….minus….minus….I could barely do the math, I was so in the zone, but sometime between seeing the finish line and approaching the finish line I realized that I was about to meet my time goal.
I finished my first half marathon, though afterwards nearly unable to walk, with a time of 2:19:41, and I cannot wait to complete another!
Congrats, Tiff, and here’s to many more!!

What was your first half-marathon like?
Will you do another?

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