Friday, March 30, 2012

And the Finger...

Way back on March 13, I took a tumble while running (photos of the sidewalk clutter that made me trip are here).  Initially, there was pain everywhere and some minor blood and and some major bruising (I went down while wearing my weight vest).  By the next day though, it was fairly clear that the only real issue, if any, was going to be my right index finger.

I'd been carrying an empty handheld water bottle when I fell, and while the plastic crushed a little, it also bent several of my fingers backward a bit, and the index finger the most severely. 

I thought about going to a doctor, but the fear of ending up heavily bandaged and missing my race made me abstain.

On Bella's advice, I decided to try taping it to immobilize it for a few days to see if that helped. 

Now it's been over two weeks, including several days of immobilization, and it still hurts and is a little swollen, so I decided to call my ortho. 

I completely trust him to treat me well and at the same time to recognize the fitness goals I have and help me find alternate ways to achieve them, even if the alternatives suck (for example, when we were worried I was getting the beginning of a stress fracture in my ankle, now known to have just been a weird bruise or strain from something at boot camp and fully resolved, he wanted me to run bleachers to keep up my fitness without that same straining motion; and bleachers suck; but I admit they suck because they're hard).  Even for just a finger injury, I figured he'd be able to ensure the treatment of it meant minimal disruption for my life. 

Anyway, now that I'm back in town, I finally called my ortho.  And learned that he doesn't do hands, and there is only one hand guy there on staff and he won't be seeing new patients until May.  The receptionist just confirmed what I suspected -- if I want to know for sure if it's broken, I can go to an urgent care place and get x-rays, but all they're likely going to do is put it in a splint to immobilize it and it will take about 6 weeks to heal.  Basically exactly what Bella had already told me to do. 

So more of the same.  It makes typing (and therefore working), considerably more difficult.  But it's still a very minor injury for what could have been a very major fall.  I'm surprised the resounding shockwaves from the fall didn't cause any foundational damage to the surrounding buildings.  Haha.  I went down hard.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Internal Smile

When I flew from El Paso to Dallas to Philly on Monday, I just happened to be seated on the flight to Philly across the aisle from a running friend.  I told him all about the race, including that I'd performed so much better than I'd imagined under any conceivable scenario.  He'd run the local RNR race on Sunday morning, and was able to give me updates on how all our other friends who aren't on FB did (for all the friends who are on FB, I'd already seen their posts and times).  It was fun to swap stories for an hour.  He actually looked through all my pictures with me, and I was overflowing with emotion when I told him about the experiences.

Then we each did some work for a while, then I decided to doze a little.  And it happened. 

Then I had an incredibly unsuccessful time in Philly, didn't resolve the case as I'd hoped I would, and had to come home last night.  Again, I worked on the plane, read part of a book, and then decided to doze a little.  And it happened again.

It is a little grin that's seemingly permanently affixed to my face right now. 

Every time I think about the weekend and the race, I bust out into a huge grin. 

When I just try to relax and sleep or something, I notice I'm smiling.  And I can't help it.

I just feel so great!  Proud and excited about the race results, but even more excited to tell all my running friends all these great survivor stories that I heard. 

I feel like I'm floating a little, and the grin just won't fade!  My lower back is still a bleeding and oozing painful mess.  I joked to my husband that it will be my "Bataan tramp stamp" if it ends up scarring, as I think it may -- too hard to keep it covered with anti-scarring stuff because the waist of any clothes bunch up against it and rub off the bandages, at least as well as I can bandage it myself.  Quads and Achilles are both still a bit sore, but nothing remarkable.

I'm planning a fun 10 days without hubby.  Law school roommate visit, two planned meals with other friends to tell them about the race, some yoga, some packing, then flying home to see my little brothers for Easter, before going to work in Indy for a couple days.  I definitely miss him, but I'm finding fun ways to fill my time, and I'm sure there will be some relaxing solo nights too. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wasted Time

I'm feeling frustrated while using the free wifi in the Philadelphia airport. This trip was a complete waste of time, and because I'm here, I haven't seen my husband since Friday morning, and he is now en route to Italy.

I had to come for a settlement conference for work, but we busted -- no deal. Our numbers and the plaintiff's got closer together, but still so far apart it just wasn't going to happen. The midpoint of our numbers was way more than the case is worth for us, and he just doesn't get it. It was unlikely he'd come down to the midpoint, even if I were to have been willing to pay that, and there was just no way he'd come down to what I see as the upper end of our risk. So it was a colossal waste of time.

Oh well, it's what I get paid to do. I just would have felt better if it had gotten resolved. Now unless we can wrap this up with counsel negotiating directly, I'm going to have to come back out here for a trial. Ugh!

My legs are recovering pretty well. My quads scream in pain very briefly any time I stand up or sit down, but it's very brief and it's gone within a couple steps. I can even walk down stairs like a fairly normal person. My left Achilles is probably the most pain on my legs -- it's pretty tight if I flex or point my toe. Might try to ice it tonight when I finally get home to our empty house. My back is a disaster. Still bleeding some, but it seems to be diminishing, but it's a mess. I can't imagine this won't leave a scar. But that's all that's left of the marathon's marks on my body. Not too bad actually!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Holy Moly!

Quick post to say I finished, and not only finished, but finished WAY faster than I expected.  Official division results aren't up yet, but I am thinking I placed.  Crazy.

The weekend was so emotional and informational, the marathon was the least of it.  I met so many Bataan survivors and it meant so much to me to be there.  For these guys, who were ignored and in some ways made to feel ashamed for being part of the largest US surrender ever, told to just put it behind them and move on when they came home, they are now able to tell their stories and see that so many of really are interested and do care.

The guys are all in their 90s now and won't be around forever.  I'm glad I got a chance to hear about it all first-hand. 

The marathon was an ordeal, but I say that lightly.  Obviously, it wasn't really an ordeal like the real death march.  I hadn't lost 25% of my body weight before the race, I wasn't severely malnourished, subsisting on half rations for a month, I didn't have malaria, dyssentery or anything else.  And most importantly, if I wanted to stop to rest, there was no danger someone would shoot me or bayonet me (to save bullets).  These men said that no book or movie has adequately depicted the horror of those days, and they're glad for that.  It boggles my mind, because I've read so much about this period of time, and the books make it sound awful -- hard to imagine it really was that and more.

So the marathon was very hilly, very sandy, and very hot.  There was one really big, miles-long, incline, that I walked primarily.  I'd say about 20 miles were on something other than pavement -- either packed dirt, or loose gravel/sand, or very deep sand.  I'll do a full review later, but honestly, I think the best training would have been running on a beach. 

There weren't many civilian women with packs, so I'm glad I took on the extra challenge.

My back is not.  I chafed like crazy, to the point where I actually ended up a step beyond chafing -- a very large open wound.  Ugh. 

I stopped with medics once around mile 13 to get vaseline in hopes of preventing it from getting worse, and then went to medical after I finished and they were shocked I'd kept going.  It was a large open wound.  Ugh again. 

But again, I don't feel like I can complain in light of what this marathon was honoring.  What a neat way to guarantee I will never forget what happened on Bataan in 1942.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

T-1 and inspiration

I'm not big on posting quotes, but I came across this on FB and thought it was worth sharing, particularly today, as I try to trust my training and ignite excitement about tomorrow. 

So here it is, the importance of training.  My blogging buddy Bella just posted this week about having hit 95 straight days of logging meals and being active.  It's all those little choices, those routine days, that get you ready for the big one. 

Without further ado, one of the only and longest quotes to ever post on this blog:

This is how it works: training is doing your homework. It's not exciting. More often than not it's tedious. There is certainly no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time, and incrementally through no specific session, your body changes. Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It becomes a habit.

Workouts too become like this. Intervals, tempos, strides, hills. You go to the track, to the bottom of a hill, and your body finds the effort. You do your homework. That's training. Repetition--building deep habits, building a runner's body and a runner's mind. You do your homework, not obsessively, just regularly. Over time you grow to realize that the most important workout that you will do is the easy hour run. That's the run that makes everything else possible. You live like a clock.

After weeks of this, you will have a month of it. After months of it, you will have a year of it.

Then, after you have done this for maybe three or four years, you will wake up one morning in a hotel room at about 4:30am and do the things you have always done. You eat some instant oatmeal. Drink some Gatorade. Put on your shorts, socks, shoes, your watch. This time, though, instead of heading out alone for a solitary hour, you will head towards a big crowd of people. A few of them will be like you: they will have a lean, hungry look around their eyes, wooden legs. You will nod in their direction. Most of the rest will be distracted, talking among their friends, smiling like they are at the mall, unaware of the great and magical event that is about to take place.

You'll find your way to a tiny little space of solitude and wait anxiously, feeling the tang of adrenaline in your legs. You'll stand there and take a deep breath, like it's your last. An anthem will play. A gun will sound.

Then you will run.

- Jeff Edmonds (
I didn't check the source on that, but thought it was worth sharing. 

Tomorrow that gun will sound. 

Here's hoping for a moving, challenging, and enjoyable 26.2 tomorrow. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

T-2 is Travel Time

I love when I'm prepared for travel.  When I'm all packed and ready way in advance of time to leave for the aiport, and then when I get to the airport and am in no particular hurry.

Funny thing is, I haven't traveled since the beginning of the month and today is eerily reminiscent of that day...  I'm at home now, lollygagging, as I was then, car loaded, ready to head to the airport.

But a few weeks ago, I headed to the airport and then realized in the line for security that I had no photo ID.  Ugh.  It was particularly wonderful because that was my first time traveling with my boss, and I had to call his cell phone and advise him I was heading back home and there was a chance I wouldn't make it back in time for the flight.

But this time at least I know that won't go wrong.  I've probably checked five times. 

So anyway, leaving for the airport in about 15 minutes now.  Flying to El Paso, working on the plane.  Getting a rental car and driving to my hotel, which is in Las Cruces.  Finding a grocery store on the way so I can load up on staples for the hotel room and a case or so of water.  Then lunch in Las Cruces and a fun afternoon of working and going to the "expo" (not so much an expo with this race as it just bib pick-up, but they do screen a movie about the real death march, so that will be interesting). 

I'm getting really excited now, though getting a bit more nervous also, and still very peeved about the weather forecast (which has actually gotten worse since yesterday; they are now predicting we'll break the record by 5 degrees, getting up to 86; oh it will be toasty!). 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

T-3 and the weather woes

I think I seriously have the absolute worst luck when it comes to marathon day weather.  I ran Chicago in 2007, the year they cancelled the marathon a few hours after it started.  This past year, I ran the marathon in San Antonio -- average low that day, 51, and average high, 73.  But lucky me, I had a low of 60 and a high of 85.  I also ran New York and Marine Corps on "exceptionally warm" days, and one other San Antonio, and one Dallas White Rock.  It was fairly warm the year I ran St. George too.  I've had very few marathons with good weather.  Boston of course, which was near ideal, Tulsa, San Antonio once, White Rock once. 

So maybe since Boston was my last race and the weather was good, my bad weather streak has drawn to a close.  Right??


I just checked the weather for the marathon on Sunday -- current forecast is to hit a record high by 4 degrees. 

That means yet another marathon on a day where the high is 85. 

Dear lord. 

And unfortunately this marathon, even if I won it, would take well over 5 hours. 

And let's be honest, my running has improved a lot from where it was when I started, but I'm not out there winning marathons.  Realistically, I'm hoping it will take me less than 9 hours, but I have no expectations beyond that.

I'm trying to brace myself now for 9 hours of complete misery. 

I have to make myself think about the big picture here.  This race commemorates what happened in Bataan in April 1942.  Those men were starving, thirsty and sick as they were marched 60 miles that week -- they were frequently killed if they attempted to drink from the standing water found in ditches or if they attempted to carry a comrade who was struggling.  They had no choice, I do. 

9 hours with some of it at 85 degrees, all while carrying an extra 35-40 pounds and combatting dust in my eyes and sand in my shoes is really nothing. 

But oh how I wish the forecast said the high would be 55 and the day would be overcast... 

On this note, it's time to go refill my water bottle.  T-3 means the focus on hydration is underway!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

T-4 but looking forward

I posted a few weeks ago about my frustration regarding my fall marathon.  There seem to be very few details available online, and the marathon is now less than 7 months away. 

I even posted yesterday about the fact that we're planning to buy plane tickets in less than 2 months.  Hubby has to put in his vacation request in less than one month. 

But all of that turns on the date of the marathon.  I'd been working off of this little countdown calendar on the upper right portion of the Beijing Marathon's website.  For the longest time, it was blank.  Then a few weeks ago, it popped up with 224 days and some hours/minutes. 

I used an online date calendar, and determined that the countdown calendar was counting down until Oct. 14, so that's when I've been assuming the marathon will be.  Over the following weeks, the little numbers were counting down the days, counting down the days.  I'm still checking the website pretty often, because I'd like to see the actual date published somewhere, and it would also be nice to know when I can register. 

And I feel like I need that date desperately to request vacation and buy plane tickets.  We're essentially planning the entire visit in China around a planned marathon in Beijing the first Sunday we're there.  Hard to do much planning without a concrete date.  And the little countdown just didn't feel very concrete. 

I've been a little extra-nervous because one unofficial website says that the 2012 date is Oct. 21, so I have very little confidence in relying on the countdown on the official website in light of conflicting information. 

Today, as usual, I checked the website.  And now the countdown calendar is all blanked out again and not counting down.

This is so frustrating.  I know, I know, one marathon at a time.  I should be completely focused on Sunday right now, but I think I'm sufficiently nervous and relaxed at the same time that my mind is already looking forward.  I'm nervous because there's just no way that I'm well-prepared for a mountain, or for sand, or for running a majority of it with the pack.  But I'm relaxed because I know I'm not going to PR, there's nothing more I can do to prepare, and even if I end up walking the entire event (which I'm confident I can do), it will still be an incredible experience.

And I'm not planning to PR in Beijing either.  I want to see the city and soak up the experience of my first foreign marathon.  And I'm nervous about the air quality and the crowds further hampering a PR attempt.

I registered for the San Antonio marathon this fall as well, but unless the weather happens to be fabulous, that will be another easy run.  I've pretty much decided that I'm never running San Antonio as my goal race again. 

So 2012 isn't going to be a marathon PR year.  I knew that at the outset.  No big deal. 

But I'd like to at least move forward on my Beijing plan!  I know variety is the spice of life, but sometimes I wish a vast majority of the world planned ahead as much as I do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

T-5 days but not thinking legs

Instead of having my mind on my legs, it's dead set on my finger. It's officially been a week and about 2.5 hours since I fell, and my right index finger is still painful. I finally took a couple pictures of where I fell and will add them below -- it's that big roll of wire just sitting on the right side of the sidewalk that tripped me. Lovely planning Dallas, lovely.

I've decided I'm going to the doctor after the marathon next week if it still hurts. I'm kind of worried it's broken, but I still think a broken finger would hurt a lot more than mine does.

I still can't bend my finger completely to make a fist, and it is kind of a throbbing pain that sometimes wakes me up at night.

I'd think if it were just jammed or sprained, it would be mostly better now, a week later. I'm going to go ahead and call my ortho today to see if he works on fingers (so far I've only been there for waist-down running related issues, but I'd assume he'd do fingers too), and to make an appointment for sometime next week. I can always cancel it if it does get better.

My appointment won't be until at least two weeks after I fell because I've realized my travel schedule is going to be busy the next few weeks.

So I leave on Friday morning for the marathon. Hang out, work, rest, etc. Race on Sunday.

Monday I fly to Philly for work. Settlement conference on Tuesday, hopefully fly back to Dallas Tuesday night, but if I miss it, then fly back Wed. morning.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, hubby will leave for Italy.

Wed. my law school roommate will be in town through Friday, so spend lots of time getting caught back up at work, but also hanging out with her.

I might actually get to have a lovely and relaxing weekend with minimal workouts and maximum sleep. Usually even if I don't have to get up early to run or workout, hubby wakes up fairly early, and that eventually wakes me up. I can't wait for the uninterrupted sleep!

Then I think on the following Thursday, I'm going to fly up to Chicago to see my brothers for Easter weekend. Hubby will get back to Dallas on Saturday or Sunday, but I won't be here. I'll stay in Chicago until Monday morning, then head (probably by car) to Indy, and will be at a mediation there on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday.

Then I'll finally make it back to Dallas, to first see hubby after more than 2 weeks apart (the longest we'll have ever gone), and to get ready to host dinner party number 3 of the year, the anniversary of our rehearsal dinner for our Dallas friends who were there in Italy with us for our rehearsal dinner three years ago.

And then maybe life will settle into sanity.

I am considering taking a track class a couple nights a week so my running can get back up to not-carrying-35-extra-pounds speed. I might run a half marathon with some of my training group here in town. And then it will be May already. Time to book plane tickets to the Hood to Coast relay in August, and to China in October!

I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!

Monday, March 19, 2012

FMM: Online Dating

If you’ve taken part in Friend Making Mondays, then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Online Dating

Have you ever tried online dating? No, but I think I looked at profiles once on Match, just never registered, created a profile or contacted anyone.  Couldn't say when that happened.  Probably around 2001?  Something like that. 

If you’ve done it, what did you like about it? What did you dislike?  N/a

If you haven’t done it, would you? If you have done it, would you do it again? Why or why not?  Obviously since I'm married, no.  But if say I were suddenly single, I don't think I would, but of course it's too hard to say.  I've been out of the game for a while (I was actually dating someone else and had been for years when I met my husband; hubby and I were friends for a long time before we started dating), so maybe it's better, more common, easier, whatever now. 

What precautions would you take before going out with someone that you met online?  I'd probably want a criminal background check and I'd probably be more comfortable meeting up with a bunch of friends for the first meeting. 

Do you have a favorite dating site? If so, what is it?  N/a

What questions would you ask before agreeing to a date?  I had a long checklist that I'd made for the dream guy during years of dating frustration (filled with must-have characteristics (like single, employed, kind, veggie-friendly), and bonus points (like someone who would catch and release bugs in the house instead of killing them; someone who likes to dance at weddings)), so I think I'd want to establish some of those things, but in reality, I think it's easier to find out if there's chemistry and mutual attraction with an in-person meeting, so I'd rather cut to the chase and know sooner rather than later. 

How long would you correspond with someone online before meeting them? Probably not long, I'd think a few emails then maybe I'd invite them to a friend's party or a race, or something like that, where I'd know a lot of people.

In your opinion, what are the pros to meeting someone online?  It's maybe easier to find out if your "must-haves" are there without the confusion of a personality.  I also think someone dating online may be more interested and ready for a relationship, as opposed to a guy who you meet through friends or an activity who may be single, but isn't interested in getting into a relationship. 

In your opinion, what are the cons of online dating?  You can invest a lot of time without realizing there isn't a mutual attraction, and it might be too easy to filter out the right person because they don't seem right on paper.  Like if I'd been dating online before I met my husband, I probably would have set 10 years older than me as my outer parameter.  But surprise, we're 11 years apart.  So maybe what I'd think were my requirements would end up filtering out the right person. 

Share a funny or embarrassing online dating experience with us if you have one. N/a

Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to post your answers then go back and link up in the comments at! Happy Monday friends!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Major Day of Fun

St. Paddy's Day was great.  For someone not Irish, in a city without much Irish tradition, somehow St. Pat's is always fun here. 

Actually, St. Pat's 2009 was one of my favorite days of my life -- a 5k PR, an invitation to join a running team, my bridal shower, and my bachelorette party. 

I've pretty much accepted that no St. Pat's is ever going to be quite so good! 

But yesterday was tons o' fun.  I ran the same 5k, with hubby and step-son also running, though we all ran our own races.  I met up with a friend who'd paced me during my second 10k race wearing my weight vest.

Yesterday I decided to do the 5k without weights.  Just as a little treat, but also for practical considerations -- the race is so crowded I worried about falling. 

So my friend and I decided to run at a brisk pace, but still a minute per mile slower than I'd actually race a 5k.  But that pace is still a lot faster than I pretty much ever run these days, given I'm usually 35 pounds heavier.

And given my random calf pain for the last couple days, and other taper phantom pains, I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it.

We separated a bit right after we crossed the starting line, but we linked back up after about a quarter mile.  I felt like we were running too hard, and I checked our pace pretty frequently on my garmin, and we were never far off base.  We hit mile marker 1 just 15 seconds too fast.  I figured we'd be closer to on pace in mile 2, since it has a big (haha, big for Dallas) hill.  We separated on the downhill before the up (I got out in front), and then my friend passed me on the up (he trains on hills a lot).  We linked back up not too far past the end of the hill and hit mile marker 2.  I was shocked and appalled to see we were 23 seconds too fast on that one.  During mile 3, we started to spread out a little, I was in front, but we were still kind of talking to each other.  There was this little kid who was probably about 8 that was really flying, so I kind of wanted to try to catch him.  I hit mile marker 3 dead steady with mile 2, 23 seconds ahead of schedule. 

So the race was almost a minute faster than I wanted in the end.  Oops.

I'm kind of peeved with myself about that.  No good reason to be running too fast just a week before the marathon.  Risk of injury too high, no possible gain (not like I was getting a 5k PR or anything).  It just felt so lovely to be running without the vest! 

Well, I guess I won't know until next week, but it felt like no harm done on my legs.  I wasn't sore or anything today and my calf seems fine. 

After the race, we hung out in the finish area for an hour or two, just talking to friends and drinking beer. 

Then we headed over on foot to a tailgate party to watch the St. Pat's parade.  The parade is about an hour long but has never impressed me -- I think Mardi Gras sets my parade standards high.  That, or I just get my parade quota that weekend and am done for the year.  So I kind of hung back, just drinking and talking to friends.

From the parade, we went to two separate running friends' house parties.  I drank way too much, beer and jello shots.  Ugh.  I feel like the fact that I don't drink often makes me even more susceptible to going over the top on special days like St. Pat's.

The day was insanely fun.  Good times sitting on patios, talking and laughing with friends.  We finally got home around 5 and I promptly fell asleep on the couch until about 7, then managed to stay up until 9, then back to bed.

I woke up this morning on time, surprisingly, and feeling okay -- could have been better, but not feeling anywhere near as badly as I deserved after yesterday, and set out for my last 10 mile run. 

So as soon as I pull myself off the couch, I'm going to spend the afternoon reading for book club tonight and packing for the marathon! 

The weather doesn't look good for race day -- low of 48, high of 81.  Ugh.  But it is what it is.  Wasn't like I was going to PR anyway...

But what a lovely weekend I must say! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

T-9 but ignoring

The 10-day weather forecast is finally available online but I didn't even check it today. Crazy busy with work.

I decided to skip boot camp today since tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the entire year, and one of my favorite 5k races.

And I'm having phantom taper pains that are scaring me. Specifically my left Achilles has been tight for over a day now. I'm trying to remind myself that this always happens, and it's nothing, but I guess that's part of tapering -- you freak out anyways.

But today I was working from home and we decided to go downtown for lunch at the food trucks. It was insanely delicious.

I went to one called Nammi Food Truck, which is Vietnamese food. I got a tofu bahn-mi, which was a kind of a sandwich. I wish I'd taken a picture, but at least I tried to get a shot of the trucks and some new downtown construction.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

T-10 Days

The marathon countdown is on!  I won't be able to check the extended forecast for race-day weather until tomorrow, but right now for Friday for Alamogordo, it says 44-75, and Saturday 45-76. 

In the 10 day forecast, right now, the worst day shown is this coming Saturday -- a low of 51, a high of 80.  Ugh.  The best day of running weather is probably Tuesday -- a low of 35 and a high of 56. 

Generally for a race, absolute ideal for me would be low 40s at the start, low to mid-50s at the finish, and overcast.  And in New Mexico, given the sandstorm issues, ideally no wind.  There are only two days noted in the 10 day forecast as being windy -- let's hope it stays that way...

I did my last hill run this morning.  My left calf is a little tight but otherwise feeling good.  And I think I'm becoming more and more certain that my finger is just jammed or sprained, and not broken.  I'm just so ready to be done.  I'm starting to really hate my weight vest. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Non-technical Explanation

I'm basically recovered from the tumble yesterday, except for my right index finger.  I decided to go to boot camp this morning (just because I'm bruised, I still need to get some activity in, and the plan tonight is just a few easy social run miles).  Mild problems on only a few things -- holding a kettlebell, and then doing burpees and push-ups (the only things we had to do using our wrists, palms on the ground).  My palm is kind of oozing (disgusting, I know) and it seeped through the bandage a little, but didn't really hurt too much.  But my right index finger is really swollen and fairly painful.  We were doing a bunch of short runs between sets of exercises.  I skipped one short run and talked to the trainer.

Not that he's a medical doctor or anything, but he's a former Olympian and that makes me just assume he knows a bit about injuries.  He looked at it, the swelling, tapped it in a few places, etc.  His non-technical explanation:  he thinks I "jammed" my finger.

So same recommendation as what I'd guessed for a sprain -- ice it. 

I considered trying to tape or immobilize it, but it's kind of important that I can type for my job.  I suppose I could dictate stuff but wow, my secretary would hate me. 

So I think I've survived the fall.  Bruises, scrapes, and a jammed finger.  If I'm ready for work early today, I'm going to drive by the scene and take a picture to share. 

11 days to marathon now!  At camp this morning there were several "toys."  Most days we do body weight exercises and occasionally use dumbells.  Today, we worked through stations:

jump rope
ankle straps that we used to shuffle, then burpees
run with 50 pound sandbag
run pulling tire, then backward run pulling tire
20 pound weighted vest hill runs and jump squats
little 12 inch hurdle jumps followed by star jumps
duck walk with a bar followed by shoulder presses
resistance band curls and shoulder presses

I think I'm missing the second thing we did, but I'm drawing a blank.

Anyway, the three exercises with weight (carrying the sandbag, pulling the tire, and wearing the weight vest), felt great for me.  The weight vest was almost a joke -- so much lighter than what I'm used to!  That was actually a bit of a mental boost, which is nice -- and needed. 

When I recently went through the class to become a certified running coach, one of the things we learned was about how an athlete's mental training should occur throughout a training cycle, not just during the taper phase, which is what most marathoners tend to do.  It's kind of too late for me to do that with this marathon.  And even if it weren't too late, I feel like it would be tough for this one.  Sure, I'm proud of myself for doing all this running while carrying weight, but in reality, I can't train for the mountain or the sand, and I haven't done many long runs with the weight, and even less time with the pack.  So I'm going into the race not as prepared as others will be, but I do think it should be enough for me to get the job done.  The job here, of course, being my goal of just finishing.  But it was nice to feel good today at boot camp, like the weight was easy and no big shock to my body.  I might be more prepared than I think I am.  Or not.  Guess we'll know in 11 days!! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taking a Tumble

After months of worrying it would happen, this morning at mile 4.8 of a 5 mile run, it finally happened. 

I wiped out.  While running in my weight vest.

My shoe caught on some construction wire left out on the street and I went down hard.

Wearing a weight vest makes me even heavier, and I fall even harder.

I think my right wrist took the brunt of it.  It hurts to drive and to type.  I'm mildly worried it's broken -- if it swells and isn't better by tomorrow morning, I guess I'll go for an x-ray.  I can't tell if it's the wrist or the fingers.  I can't actually close my fist.  I think my fingers bent backward a bit. 

My right hand is cut up.  My right bicep is bruising and still dirty (didn't wash it, no broken skin).  My face is scraped but only bleeding a little.  My knees are just dirty, no broken skin.  My right hip and right breast are probably bruising, those are places right where the weights crushed into me.

Ugh.  I'm so mad at myself.  Why wasn't I watching my step during that disaster area?

The ironic thing is now all 3 of my major running falls have occured within a one-block radius.  This time I was just past the intersection where I fell and sprained each ankle once, first in 2007 (left), then in 2009 (right).  Now I was on the same block, just a bit away from the intersection and I probably sprained my wrist and/or fingers.  Guess that means I need to really start guarding my left wrist in that area of town -- it's bound to be next! 

Anyway, I'm glad it wasn't worse.  I'm so glad my legs and feet survived.  I'm glad none of my teeth got knocked out.  I'm glad I was almost done running anyway.  I'm glad nothing is immediately evident to be broken.

Ugh.  Just kicking myself.  Going to be trying to remember the "could have been worse" all day.  Dreading do the real cleaning and bandaging of my hand.  Hoping the pain in the wrist/finger area goes away...

And it seems the longer it's off ice, the easier it gets to move.  Not pain-free, but not terrible.

Monday, March 12, 2012

FMM: Bookworms

It's early, but it already feels like the best Monday.  I'm hurting, almost everywhere, but I am officially in marathon taper mode now!  I got in a solid 7 miles on the trails (wearing the pack) on Saturday (and it rained right before I got out of my car to start the run, then held off until less than 3 minutes after I got back in my car, when it started pouring; I felt insanely lucky to have avoided it!).  And then on Sunday I got in just over 18 miles (wearing the vest).  It was tough, my traps are actually still in major pain, and I can't believe I'm going to taper for a marathon based on a long run of only 18 miles, but it is what it is.  This marathon will be unlike any other.  If I could be 3 hours slower than my PR, I think I'd be in the top 5 women.  And there's just no way for me in Dallas to prepare for a mountain or a mile of running in the sand.  But all that doesn't matter, now it's just a couple weeks of dialing it down a bit and starting to do some major packing planning (since I found out I will fly straight from the marathon to the east coast for work). 

But anyway, there's a fun topic for Friend Making Monday this week -- books!  Reading more (and documenting what I'm reading) was one of my 2012 resolutions, and I think I've been doing pretty well so far. 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bookworms (Revisited)

How often do you read for pleasure?  Most evenings before I go to bed, and occasionally on a weekend if I'm not otherwise occupied. 

Are you currently reading a book? If so, which one?  I'm reading two on a near-daily basis right now.  Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 by Max Hastings(nonfiction, Pacific Theater toward the end of the war) (if you've read Armageddon, Hastings's book about the last year of the war in Germany, you'll know the style and you'll have high expectations for Retribution, and thus far, Retribution measures up!).  And I'm also reading Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill (fiction, slow-going, picked for my book club, but enjoyable, an interesting way of showing how all these random paths many generations ago lead to this little girl being born). 

Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers? If so, which ones?  I subscribe to Vegetarian Times (a Christmas gift from Adam and his new bride, lots of good recipes), and Texas Running (blah).  Former reader of Time and Runners' World, but I couldn't keep up.

Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader? I'm a traditional book person.  I feel like I make the most progress on a book when I'm traveling, frequently during the time that all electronic devices must be switched off! 

How often do you go to the bookstore?  Not very, but I think that will change toward the end of the year -- my office is moving and I'll be within steps of a Barnes & Noble.

Do you read at the gym? No, I'm an outdoor exerciser so the gym is rare for me to begin with, but when I'm there, I focus on the workout.  Most of what I do (treadmill, weight machines) wouldn't be conducive to reading.
Have you ever been a member of a book club? Yes, filled with lawyers and spouses of lawyers; our 10 year anniversary will be in June 2013, which is crazy -- so many changes since then, marriages, divorces, job changes, babies, moves, but we're still going strong. 

Do you wear glasses when you read?  No.  I wear contacts almost every day, but when I read before bed, I've usually taken them out.
Has anyone read the Hunger Games? If so, would you recommend it?  Yes, and I guess.  It was a book club choice, so I didn't choose to read it.  I generally prefer non-fiction, I love feeling like I'm learning, and sometimes I just don't see the point of reading fiction, particularly something kind of average, like Hunger Games, but at the same time, it was a page-turner, not a major time suck, and geared toward a very low intellectual level, so that made it easy.  So if you're looking for something mindless and fun, go for it.  But if you want something that will leave a real impression and leave you better for it, I'd say pick something good and non-fiction.  Retribution would be fun!
What is your favorite thing about reading?  Learning about history from different perspectives!  It can be fun to get lost in a story, whether fiction or non-fiction. 

Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to go to and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pack Running

Back in Dallas now, and woke up this morning to light rain.  I've been very reluctant to get my weighted vest wet.  I don't know how it will handle the water.  I worry I might end up with some moisture in the individual weight packs, and I wouldn't want anything to get moldy or smelly (make that "smellier"). 

On Saturday for the long walk, I'd practiced wearing my pack the entire 27 miles.  It made my shoulders and lower back very sore, but at least I proved to myself that I'll be able to handle it.

Tuesday morning I had an early flight for work, and hubby runs solo very early Tuesday mornings, so I decided to run with him instead of with my group (since a group run wouldn't let me catch my flight on time).  I woke up at 3:xx (does it even matter if the first number is a 3?) and we were running by just after 4.  I had decided to go with the pack instead of the vest.  I figured it was a good idea as I'm getting closer and closer to the race.  And the good thing was, I figured if I really had trouble running with it, he'd be there and I know he's strong enough to carry it for me. 

I actually ran an entire half marathon with it back in January, but I feel like I'm out of practice. 

Well, with the rain this morning, I decided it was a good morning to do another run with the pack.  Today I was going with my group, and it was the first time I'd done that.  I was slower than with my vest, but one of my running buddies is having some foot issues, so it didn't seem to bother them that we went a bit slower. 

Maybe I'll toughen up my shoulders some.  And my lower back can turn into one big single callous and then maybe it won't chafe?  I need to figure out a solution.  Even wearing pants with no zipper or tag in the back waistband, and wearing tons of body glide, I still end up with major chafing pain where the bottom of the pack hits my lower back. 

Just a few more weeks I have to keep telling myself... 

I'm actually contemplating signing up for a speed running class as soon as the marathon is over in hopes of regaining some of the speed I've lost this year.  Just an idea right now.  It would be lots of track running, which I actually enjoy, I just know it will be frustrating to acknowledge how slow my current starting point is.  It might be a fun way to try to build up some quick speed when I'm finally done with the weight. 

Just an idea.  I'm not signing up for anything until the race is over and I see if my feet and legs actually survive. 

Oh, and did I say that I found out I will be flying straight from the marathon to the east coast for work?  That will be fun... maybe I should pack my crutches.  Haha.  That really is going to be an ugly day of travel. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Energy Reform

In Texas in the summer, it usually seems like they ask people several times to use programmable thermostats to avoid running the AC at peak demand times in the afternoon to cool an empty house. 
Wouldn't it help more if the pitch was to get all offices and businesses to raise their temperatures by a couple degrees? 

It is insane that it's so warm out (68 right now according to my phone), and I am shivering and freezing while wearing a heavy long sleeve top and sitting in my office. 

I found out that our office location is likely changing sometime later this year (woo-hoo, my commute will drop from 5 miles to about 4!) but somehow I don't think we'll get individual thermostats for our offices, though that would be on my wish list.  I guess if I had to prioritize though, I'd still vote for a locker room/shower facility -- that is a bikeable or runnable commute. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

FMM: Workout Playlist

Monday morning.  Going to be traveling for work some this week.  Time for Friend Making Monday.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: What’s On Your Workout Playlist?

This isn't a great question for me since I work out with music less than once a month I'd say.  My usual workouts are bootcamp (no music, I'm listening to instructions), and running (no music, I'm talking with friends), and lately walking (again, no music, I'm not alone).  And even when I run solo, I'm a safety girl, so no music (I wrote about a runner here on the trail right by my house who was listening to music and hit and killed on a path closed to vehicular traffic by a person on a bicycle). 

So bottom line is, I have a list, but it's old and very rarely used.  I probably made it about 4 or 5 years ago.  But once in a while, if I'm stuck on a treadmill, I'll bust it out.  Don't judge.  A few of them are the right number of beats per minute for my cadence, so maybe I can use that as an excuse?

Yeah! by Usher
Wannabe by Spice Girls
Without Me by Eminem
Step by Step by New Kids
Sing for the Moment by Eminem
Run It! by Chris Brown
Rock Superstar by Cypress Hill
Ride Wit Me by Nelly
Say My Name by Destiny's Child
The Real Slim Shady by Eminem (I swear, I have no idea why there are 3 by him so far)
Ready to Run by Dixie Chicks
One Million Miles by The Flood (no way anyone knows this group)
OPP by Naughty by Nature
No Scrubs by TLC
Luv Me, Luv Me by Shaggy
The Long Run by The Eagles
La Gasolina by Daddy Yankee (great for running!)
It's Goonna Be Me by N'Sync
It Wasn't Me by Shaggy
If You're Gone by Matchbox 20
I do! by Toya
I Try by Macy Gray
Hit Em Up Style by Blu Cantrell
Here Comes the Hotstepper by Imi Kamoze
Hangin' Tough by New Kids
Gin & Juice by Snoop
Get in My Car by 50 Cent
Fantastic Voyage by Coolio
Everybody (Backstreet's Back) by Backstreet Boys
Drop It Like It's Hot by Snoop
Don't Cha by Pussycat Dolls
Disco Inferno by 50 Cent
Cleanin' Out My Closet by Eminem
Candy Shop by 50 Cent
California Love by 2Pac
Bye Bye Bye by N'Sync
Butterfly by Crazy Town
Build You Up by 50 Cent
Any Way You Want It by Journey
Angel by Shaggy
Always on Time by Ja Rule

Well, that's amusing.  Apparently Eminem and 50 Cent are the most frequently appearing artists in the mix, neither of whom I listen to with any regularity.  Oh well, it is what it is.  I'm not a super-musical person. 

I used to have an awesome marathon mix (started with Sunrise by Norah Jones), but the list I happened to pull up for this exercise was just called Running, so there you have it. 

Now it’s your turn to share your list. Don’t forget to go back to to link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

27 miles of training

So yesterday I finished my very last long training walk. I did 27 slow miles with friends. My goal was just to be on my feet for 9 hours (though it ended up being longer than that because I was hurting and took lots of breaks). I had decided long ago that my training for this marathon, since I needed to prepare for 8-9 hours on my feet, would be accomplished by walking, rather than running. Running for 8-9 hours would mean a crazy number of miles.

I was a little worried the day was going to be a wreck when my very first friend wasn't at our designated meet point on time. I texted her a couple times and was trying to figure out what to do when she called to say she'd completely forgotten and was so sorry. So I decided I'd drive to the start point and start solo.

At 6 a.m.

In the dark.

I called hubby to let him know this was the new plan and he wanted me to wait until it was light out or I had company, but since I already was going to be walking until 3:00, and I was awake and at the lake, I didn't want to.

So I started off solo and in less than 3 minutes had another text from that same friend saying she could pull on clothes real quick and be there to meet me in about 10 minutes. I told her that would be awesome if she didn't mind. So I kept walking and within 15 minutes of my start, I was walking with a friend.

And then the trend continued. I counted each "shift" as lasting one hour. I planned some friends would do singles and some would do doubles. Some people had joined me for a shift on one of my other training walks, some came out to keep me company for the first time. One friend had 6 miles of running on her schedule that day, so she ran 3 on her own, then met me to walk a double, and was planning to run the remaining 3 to her car after she passed me off to another friend, but she said that walking with friends was so much more fun than running alone, so she ended up walking a triple shift -- 9 miles and an entire loop around the lake.

One of the suprises of the day was that I walked with the wife of one of my best running friends for the first time. It was the first time we'd had a lengthy conversation alone. Before we'd always been in a crowd, and almost always with her husband, so I didn't feel like I knew her very well. But when she heard I was walking, and she extracted a promise from me that there really wouldn't be any running, she said she'd join me.

The funny thing was, talking to her, I could see why I like running with her husband so much. He's an awesome, sweet and fun guy. And talking to her, I can see that they're a great match -- she was so interesting and friendly and we really had a great conversation. The three miles we walked together were over before either of us realized it. Another high point of our talk was that I realized she is really excited about a possible trip to Germany next year. I'd asked him a few months ago if he'd want to run Berlin in 2013 when I do (not run together since he's a lot faster than I am, but run the same race the same day). He'd said he'd check with his wife and think about it. She told me that she's been researching the race and sending him all kinds of info to convince him he should do it. That would be a lot of fun.

But by the time I got to about mile 23, I was starting to really struggle. My shoulders were hurting from the pack, and I was having tons of pre-blister foot pain. I actually stopped at mile 25 because of some really sharp pain in my right foot (the one I'd attempted to protect with moleskin). I stopped and took off my shoe and sock and it was clear a blister had formed and popped. Ugh. But when I started walking again, it was actually a bit less painful. And while I'm still hurting a bit today, I don't think it's even close to as sore as I was last time.

So now I'm officially tapering. I'm going to try to do a bit more time with the pack, but no more long walks. I will try to do one more long run with the vest next weekend, and that will be it.

Anyway, I decided to celebrate yesterday's feat with the most unhealthy meal ever. There is this restaurant here, Snuffer's, that is famous for their cheese fries. I eat there now maybe once every 2-3 years. But that was my planned reward for finishing my final training walk. I went and ate more than half a large order of cheese fries. I was a bit disappointed I couldn't finish, but I think it's safe to say I replenished the 2700 calories I burned on my walk!

Haha, thank goodness this isn't someplace I eat often! Neither my stomach nor my waist could handle it...

A few photos from the day (and note, in the pic of the cheese fries, that is the closest hubby's hand ever got to that plate -- he didn't eat a single one.  I don't understand how  they're not appealing to him...) (and the dark photo is a very distant view of downtown Dallas from my starting point):

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Kicks

This feels like it has been a long week for me. I love my job, but this week it has felt like I have been slammed, going non-stop, from the second I sit down at my desk, until pretty much hours after I intended to get up and go home.

I think it hasn't really been that bad, but it's felt tough because I've felt under the weather. I got what my husband had but either I got on antibiotics early enough or for some other reason it didn't hit me as hard as it hit him. I've felt kind of bad, but okay to work through it. Just so tired from being up much of the night with coughing and congestion. Anyway, that undoubtedly made the week at work seem longer and more difficult than it really was.

Plus sick hubby at home half made me want to be there with him, especially when it was official that I was getting the same bug (before then, I pretty much wanted to be as far away as possible in hopes of not catching it).

But it's finally Friday. I've been able to work out as usual this week, despite the cold/virus thing.

And to get me to speed through boot camp today, new kicks!

Kind of crazy for me. I have worn the exact same shoe for many years now. When I started running, I was heavier than I am now and I think that caused my feet to pronate more. So I'd been fitted at a running store for shoes, and they put me in a stability shoe. But within a few years, running (plus boot camp and actually becoming more of a healthy vegetarian instead of someone who ate chips for dinner because they were vegetarian technically) helped me lose some weight or inches, and my running form apparently changed to. So I gave up my stability Saucony shoe and moved to Brooks Glycerin.

I once tried something new from my Brooks Glycerin. I thought I was ready for a change, and I got fitted for a pair of Nikes. I wore them once and ended up with a blister almost the size of the palm of my hand on the bottom of one of my feet after my first run in the Nikes. Thankfully our running store lets you return shoes that you tried wearing but didn't work out for you! And then I was back into the Brooks.

But today I'm integrating my brand new Adidas Supernova Glides. Sweet!

Here's hoping for no blisters but a bit of variety -- I don't see moving from Brooks permanently at any point in the future, this will just be a new pair to put in the mix.