Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Fun the second

(what follows is a long, kinda crappy and very disjointed post, hastily written in bunches at different times.  at least I'm caught up to the present.  sorry for my absence, and lazy posting!)

One of the most uncharacteristic things that has happened in the past coupla weeks is that I picked up a running partner!  Whoda thunk?   Stephanie started working in the ER in Marin a couple few weeks ago.  Somehow she heard that I was a runner, and we decided to get together.  She was a little worried "because I'm slow" . . . ha!  Come to find out, our paces are about exactly the same (very slow), and she's a little kooky, too, and somehow we've managed to have a fine time in a number of runs together.

She's only been running for a couple of months, but this chick likes to go out and run 7 or 8 miles AFTER a busy shift in the ER, so you can guess what kinda stuff she's made of.  As an interesting point, she has previously run with other, faster friends, and always felt really stressed and overworked with group runs because she was always pushing it, trying to keep up.  She tells me that she likes running with me because then it's OK to run slow, and so much nicer.  Like somehow I've "given permission" to be a slow runner.  A convert!

Last weekend we got ready in the hospital parking lot after a night of work, and trotted off onto the sidewalk to begin our little run.  We'd run together a couple two times together at this point, and whilst here at Back of the Pack we are all well aware of what a klutz I am, falling down at the least provocation, I thought maybe I should introduce Stephanie to the fact that, sometime soon, I was probably gonna bite it.  We were in our first 1/4 mile, right in FRONT of the hospital, and I tell the story of how it has taken me most of 7 years to teach Tom (the ultimate gentleman) NOT to freak out and rush to my aid if gravity should happen to assert itself in my presence, as I will mostly just brush myself off and continue on, no need for panic.  Right as I'm relating this information, there's a hummock in the sidewalk that I catch wrong and Whoosh! down I go, hard on my left knee and hands and elbows.  Fucking pavement!  I lay there with my water bottles scattered, my knee bleeding and my hands all skinned up going Ow! Ow! Ow! and Stephanie stands there, hands on hips, and deadpans "Oh, falls like this?"  LOVE her!
Alas, she is a traveller and thus a temporary worker and thus only around for another couple of weeks.  I'm already sad about that.  However, we have a standing date in her remaining time here to run Saturday and Monday mornings directly after work, and she is all the motivation I need to get out there.  Otherwise, as we all know, I just go to bed.  I do believe she is the first person I have comfortably run with.  Us slowpokes have a hard time!

Moving along, last week Tom and I and the Tandem spent a couple days touring around Napa Valley.  This was supposed to be an overnight trip, but we had such a good time riding around and eating delicious food (not much wine, for some reason) we extended for another night.  So Napa is just beautiful, endless rolling hills and grape vines and verdant, growing things and the bike is a great way to see it.  In two days, we saw something like 75 miles from the tandem, and enjoyed it all.  I saw a lot of this:

from the road, and some nice bike trails, too.

I did manage to run on my last morning there.  I only managed 5 or 6 miles, because the elevation was steep and technical and I was spent and lazy.

On Saturday, I fulfilled a long time desire and went running at night! in the dark!  A friend from my running group invited me and 6 other folks for a 10pm, full moon run around Donner Lake.  I think I've mentioned on here that I have this unrequited desire to run in the dark, but always get tired or chicken out.  This was a great opportunity

My training schedule calls for back-to-back long runs, so 10 hours later (Sunday?) I headed out with Tom and Debbie (on their mt bikes) for a 10 miler over in Tahoe City.  The purpose of these back-to-backers is apparently to familiarize myself with running through fatigue and, lemme tell you, I most certainly learned a lesson today.   This run was excruciating.  

Yet another journey through trails unknown, this time I had the artistic guidance of Tom and Debbie, who left me these goodies at every questionable trail intersection (kt = my initials):

I know, awesome, right?  These things were the highlight of the run.   

The scenery wasn't bad, either:
I dunno if it was the late night run the night before, the back to back runs, the relatively few hours in between,  or the sad fact that I once again skipped a real breakfast, but this one was hard.  The first 2 miles were slow and painful, there was a bitch of a climb followed by a long, slow uphill, thunder and lightning and rain, o my!, a couple of fine miles and then I nearly bonked in the last 2.  Uh, I certainly enjoyed parts of the run, but I was glad glad glad to be done.  10.5 miles in 2:30 and I was so done.  Everything screamed Go directly to couch! and I listened, and here I remain, hours later.


Ultimately, what I've been doing since I last posted can all be boiled down to one thing: injuring myself. Right now, I am feeling bruised, battered and beaten.  As I sit here (ok, be honest, as I lie here, today's run took its toll!), I can see -- and feel! -- concrete evidence of all of the below "mishaps"

From . . .

some unknown incident, Abrasion to Left Shin

walking -- hard! in the dark! -- into the business edge of a boat trailer, Divot missing from Right Shin

the fall way back when, healing well but still Scarred and funny looking Right Knee

the fall detailed above, Scraped Up Ugly Left Knee, Skinned Right Elbow (on the inside, no less), tender Abrasions to both Palms

getting caught between a 40 lb round of unsplit firewood and a very hard object, ooogy Subungual Hematoma to Right Index Finger (and it still fucking hurts, over a week out)

Saturday's extreme tubing adventure (another on our continued effort to tube the entire Truckee river, saturday found us in the wildest section yet -- gnarly!), Bruised and wicked Tender Right Upper Arm, generalized Right Arm Pain, and some kind of weird Hand Injury that announces itself when I try to move my thumb in a specific way.  Last, but quite far from least, this painful and sure-to-evolve-into-something-much-more-colorful (alas, presented in this highly unflattering shot, sorry!) Bruise, Swelling and Ouch! to Left Thigh:

(now, a few days later, this is VIVID!)
Tom came up with the idea that I could do an advent calendar cataloging these owies, just click on the knee and you get a Scrape! but my blogging skills are sadly lacking.  All together, none of these things is even remotely concerning, but happening all at once I think I look like a skinned-up 8 year old, and feel like an arthritic 60 year old.  Hence, this afternoon's couch-bound blog post!

To end with something a little nicer than my leg, here's a shot of the lovely Napa Valley:


Lisa said...

Totally jealous that you found a running partner.

Wow, you really are a clutz aren't you? Remind me to start the Nike Women's Half in front of you and not behind you :) Every time I fall I seem to break a bone.

Hope all your war wounds heal quickly.

funderson said...

It is HARD to find a good slow poke running partner! I wish she'd stay around for you, she sounds great. LOVE the trail markers.

Iron Mike said...

You're gonna lose your running partner unless you find a creative way to keep her in town. Good luck.

Glad you enjoy pain so much. You're very fortunate to have all those little injuries to satisfy your craving.

And I love those creative trail markers. I wonder what the next guy thought?