Monday, January 24, 2011


I ran (well, ran/walked) for 45"! on a treadmill! before PT today, and then went right up for my appointment.  PT Joe says . . . I am recovering very, very well!  I ran mostly pain-free, with just a little achey-ness in the joint and a touch behind the knee, but none of that ouchy! oh shit! ITB pain.  The ache represents lingering inflammation and is to be expected.  Considering I skied (downhill) for a couple hours this morning, then the run on top of it, Joe says I am doing wonderfully well.  He then proceeded to rub and ice and rub the knee some more for like half an hour.  Oh, how I love PT . . .

He's given me a become-a-runner-again schedule, one that I am totally psyched about: run/walk intervals of 3" x 45" three times a week for two weeks (being really sure to ice afterwards, and stretch the quads in the middle), and if I remain mostly pain free, then drop the walking.  Then see him again.

So what this really means is, if all goes well, by mid-February I should be running/no walking and then can get back to base-building or milage building or whatever I want, don't look back, oboy I might be a running runner again in just a couple of weeks!  WHOPPEE!

(I sooooo feel like I have really dodged a bullet here, I read of other folks that struggle for months and months with the same injury, and here I am looking at getting back in real action in just a couple more weeks.  I know I shouldn't be counting my chickens yet, but I really feel like I am over the hump with this and I'm just very, very pleased.)

100 Pushups . . . omy, this makes me laugh . . .

. . . at myself, for sure.  I've never really been able to do a pushup (a chinup is waaay out of the question).  I'm not sure why, because I have these huuuge broad shoulders that once (ok, 20 years ago) could row a little boat a long long way.  I guess the issue lays with my arms, which are puny and a little on the flabby side, and with my determination, which is sadly lacking.  I get down to the ground ok, and then when I start to push UP, I make it about 2 inches and then whooosh! my form collapses and I'm kissing the floor.  This is a basic truth.

"Waaah!  I can't do a pushup!  Pushups are haaaaard!  Pushups are for dudes, or really fit people, not normal(questionable) people like me.  You'd have to be craaaazy to want to do pushups.  Only obsessive people do that.  There's something wrong with them."

This is pretty much the way I feel about pushups.  Swap "pushups" for "running" and that could've been a direct quote from me say, five years ago.  Now I can run a marathon, and even further.

So when I read this post by Cyndi, I thought SUUURE! why not! sheesh, I had to start running one day didn't I, why can't I start this? and thought about it and downloaded the app for it and planned on starting it and then, in true ME fashion, promptly pushed it from my mind and forgot all about it.

And then.  Cyndi called me on it, said she had already completed Week 1 and how was I doing?  Um, whoops, I was kinda hoping YOU forgot about it, too.

But I do well when called on my behavior, and today I manned up and started the program.  Well, I did the initial test, which is to see how many "good form" pushups you're capable of.  Me?  A big fat "0".  So, it's "girlie" pushups for me, those ones with your knees bent and ankles crossed -- this supposedly takes up 50% of the weight.  In the initial test I did 5 of these with good form, count 'em, 5!  According to the program, this gives me a ranking of "1".   I suppose I should be happy to rank 1 in anything . . . (yeah, there's 7.  7 isn't worse than 1.)  At least I can do the knee-type; there is a modification that has you standing next to a wall and pushing off that, if you can't do any other type.  So I'm not that bad.

I figure I'll do the full 6 week course, doing the knee pushups the whole way, and then perhaps I'll gain enough strength to do "real" pushups -- then I'll repeat it again, the "proper" way.

I'll try to stay honest!

Anyone want to join us?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011, Let's Do This!

So today I've been putting some thought into what 2011 might look like, race-wise.  It's a little hard to do this, to even think about me running, since I haven't really run since December.  I know, however, that this will soon be changing AND I know that, unless I have some damn goals, I'll just languish around, running little runs whenever I feel like it and not a bit more, and I'll end up fat and out of shape by May. Taking into consideration the fact that I probably won't be running without some kind of limits  until March, here's what I've come up with.  

March 5  Great Ski Race
This oughta be real interesting.  A 30K XC ski race that's a local classic.  Hopefully I can ski by then, otherwise DFL here I come. 
April 2 Pardee Party
This is a 25K bicycle road "race" that's really just an excuse to get back in touch -- after the winter season -- with Tom's mt. bike peeps and have a party and listen to live music and sleep in the truck and get on with Spring.  Tom and I will be on the tandem.
April 16 Cycle for Sight
See above paragraph, but maybe we'll do the 50K.
June 4-5 Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Adventure Relay
My "A" race, so far.  I'll be on a team of 10 women, and will have 3 legs of the 178 mile route.  Everyone says this is just the best thing ever, and I'm really looking forward to trying a new race experience.  I know ONE woman on the team.  

So what follows is just speculation.  I really have no idea yet, "after June" is just so far off.  I've picked these races based solely on location; they're all pretty damn close to home.  I've decided that anything over the 13.1 distance should be on trails (I've kinda had it with roads, and they with me).  I know I want to do 2 50Ks this year -- I want to get nice and comfy with that distance.  I know I fill in the calendar as time draws closer.  I can't race whenever I want, 'cause I work every other weekend.  I am COMPLETELY open to suggestion, if any of you know of any other "can't be missed" races that are in the west, please leave a comment.  And, here's a question, are there ANY (trail) 50Ks that don't have huge (>4,000ft) elevation gains?  I'm still just a little hung up about hills, I know I have to (and will) get over it, but still.  Anyone?

April 30: Parkway Half Marathon, Sacramento-ish
This is on a bicycle path, and reasonably (I assume) flat.  I might, just might, try to PR this distance (2:21 or something).  A girl's gotta dream . . . 
July 23: Golden Gate Trail Run (5k, Half, 30k, Full Mary, 50K), Marin Headlands
Who knows which distance?  Probably the 50K.  Advantage: I could train on some of these trails.  Disadvantage: Lots of elevation gain, over 5,000 feet.  Get OVER this, you-wanna-call-yourself-an-ultrarunner, Bootchez!  
Sometime in October: Goblin Valley 50K, Green River, Utah
Funderson suggested this.  I can't find a date, so I don't know about the work-conflict thing.  If it falls on an off-weekend, I'm almost certainly up for it.  If it doesn't -- as I'm afraid of, based on last year's date -- I might still do it.  I'm already taking time off for the relay race, so what's another week?  And it would be fun to actually do a race WITH someone.  
October 1: Gold Country 34M/21M/25K/8 Mile Run, Auburn
Very close to home, all of those distances, what's not to love?
October 15: Rock'n River 50 Mile & Trail Marathon, Auburn
Definitely the marathon distance (50 miles = so far off!).  Might be a can't miss date, if the Utah thing doesn't pan out.  Difficult, on lots of Western States trails, would be a challenge!
Nov 12: Folsom Trail Runs 50K/25K/7M
Again, a few distances to choose from, close to home.  
Probably some kind of Death Valley/Ridgecrest/Southern California thing in December
Because I always do something like that in December.  This year, I might just stage my OWN little race . . . 

That's it.  Subject to change.  Open to suggestion.  Ready to kick ass.  Prepared for DFL.  

Gettin' my ski on!

So my running has been limited to little flurries of 3 minutes running followed by 3 minutes walking.  Repeat.  Do this every now and then.  This does not a blog post make, even considering I'm trying to ice (hah!) and stretch (Hah! Hah!) around the run.  And do 1/2 hour of PT every other day.  Suffice is to say, Yay ME! I can run for 3 whole minutes and it's easy!  There was a time, not so long ago, where running for 3 minutes (in a row!) was beyond my scope, so I'm being happy with 3 minutes.  Plus, my knee has NOT hurt at all, I have not had to brace it to get through my 12 hour shifts, it does not "feel funny".  More things to be pleased about, if an uninteresting procession of events.  

So, not much on the running front.  I'm a lazy ol' gal, prone to bed suck, couch potato-ness, and spending lots of time watching reality TV, web surfing and reading mindless novels.  Have I been passing the winter doing all of the above?  Yes!!  Is that all I've been doing?  Surprisingly (hey, I have a medical condition!!) , the answer is NO!!


Because I live here:
That, in the distance, is Lake Tahoe, and there is just sooo much stuff to do around here.  Downhill skiing I take for granted, and don't even blog about because, Tahoe, duh! and I can actually muster up some little skill at the task, so I can't even really make fun of myself.  Well, I suppose I could, but SOMETHING's got to remain sacred, and I guess for this blog it's the downhill.  Unless I do something ridiculously ridiculous, and really it's only a matter of time for that, but as a day-to-day thing, just assume I ski often.  I do.  (Tonight Tom and I are almost certainly going night-skiing, which I haven't done since I was learning how to ski, back in New England, back 15 years ago and OMG I'm getting old!)

Then there's yoga.  I'm kinda failing a little at my 2-classes-a-week minimum! goal, having a number of 1-class weeks.  Assume I try to go as often as possible.  Assume I fail.  Assume, when I DO go, I'm the one falling over.  Still.  My PT guy laughs at me, very nicely and very appropriately,  but laughs at me and my inability to stand on one leg.  I also find this quite humorous.

So, my latest and greatest obsession these days is skate skiing.  I'm starting to get up to 10-15 mile weeks, which probably isn't all that different than what I would be running at this time of year.  This milage WILL be increasing.  I know you all wanted a video of my attempts and I was all set to comply, but you know what?  This is so weird for me to say, but I'm actually starting to get the hang of it and I think the window for laughing at my ineptness might have closed!  For reals!  I mean, I'm still a waaay beginner and my technique has much MUCH room for improvement, but the hilarity of watching me fall from a standing, not-moving position for no apparent reason might just have to be saved for every-day life (yes, it happens, I also fall UP the stairs -- and into boxes - I'm looking at YOU, funderson!) ) instead of with skis on my feet.  I'm no gazelle (as IF), but I'm learning the glide balance glide balance glide don't forget the arms! thing, and feel as though I'm making huge improvements every time I go out. Eventually, time-wise, I can even picture myself making it into the below-average rankings (as opposed to, Did she come skiing today? Have YOU seen her?).  I'm even going to do the Great Ski Race in March, which is a notorious 30K (and lots of elevation change) race from Tahoe City to just about my back yard.  30K seems a long, loong way for me right now, but I figure Hey! It's like 2 months away and that's an eternity and why not?  I'm sure I'll have PLENTY of reasons why not when the race is a week away, but for now I'm all, I'm signing up, why not you? and being all ballsy and badass about something I'm just learning how to do.  Humble pie will be a dish served later.

I did get a taste of it yesterday, though, as Tom and Debbie and I did 10 freaking miles yesterday! And our "moving time"? 1:33:52, which is a 9:33 pace and that's waaay faster than I can ever run, so I'm feeling like a rockstar!  I'm sure if I compared times with other skateskiers I'd probably feel more like a high school band member than a rockstar, but I'll be the one to chose the comparison, thankyouverymch, and a 9:33 pace!  Wow!

The humble part?  It was wicked hard, and required lots of rest stops, especially at the tops of the little hills mountains we climbed.  And at every hut we came across.

Here's me and Debbie, who's also just learning, and OMG she's at my pace! which is something that never ever happens and makes me feel righteous!  I think, in this photo, that's a boob grab that's happening, and well, that's all there is about that.

Here's Tom (and Debbie, very fondly referred to as his other girlfriend), who's also just learning, and could wipe both me and Deb off the fking map with the speeds he's already putting down.  Studly bastard.  Hate!!

ps Have I told you what an awesome boyfriend I have?  Last night he pampered me to the nth degree, and this morning took me out for breakfast.  For no special reason.  Love!!!

PPS.  Yeti!  I did not know you read this thing!  HI!  When are you coming back??  I have a plate of golumpki with your name on it (tho by now you might actually be tired of golumpki, in which case, Burgers! Meatloaf!  Some kind of tasteless American food!  Frozen lettuce!  Whatever you want!)!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm back!

I am SO trying to be a good dooby and smart when it comes to my weak knee.   And!  I am sitting here typing this with an ice wrap to the darn thing, post-run! (sanctioned by PT) . . . a run during which I actually stretched! and kept to a limited time and alternation of run and walk.

Icing something!  I never ice.  Stretching?  Stretching is for yoga, and with the exception of a nod towards some sort of calf-stretchy-thing when I had shin splints a couple years ago, stretching and running are mutually exclusive (for me).  And my alternation between running and walking is usually dictated by my pressing need to pee*, take a picture, inspect my footprint or see something shiny, not by dictated time intervals.  So I really am trying to Do The Right Thing.

And today that took me out for 30 minutes of movement, running 3 minutes walking 3 minutes, to the tune of 1.92 miles.  My first run in over a month.  Plus, yesterday I ran .6 miles! on a treadmill!  OMG!

Right now, just being able to run this exciting milage (2.5 miles! Superstar!) pain free is a relief.  Hopefully in a week or two I can drop the walking all together.  Funny enough, it turns out that I'm having this IT band issue not because the band is tight (my right one, in fact, is tighter than the affected left), but because when fatigued, my left knee turns inward and increases the tension on it, thus: irritation.  So says PT Joe.  Therefor, he says, I've just got to strengthen certain muscles and pay lots more attention to my alignement and this issue should essentially go away over time.  So there's that.

For now, I've just run very short distances very pain free.  For now, this is totally fine.

*I ran this little run through my neighborhood.  Begging me, the nearly constant trailrunner, to ask: where do you fking pee?  Yeah, I know it was only 30 minutes, but still.  This remains a mystery to me.  Yes, I peed in a snow bank, two tenths of a mile from my home.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's her Burfday: a Virtual Race Report

Back when my knee was (thought to be) solid and dependable, I signed up for a virtual race in celebration of Pam's 31st birthday -- a 5K, naturally.  Well, my intentions were good but my body was weak, and running was certainly NOT in the cards.  Now, I've bailed on plenty of races, real and virtual, without ever telling anyone, and for much less valid reasons than an injury (It's hot, it's cold, it's too far to drive, I'm hungry, it's early, it's late, all = I am lazy).  Tell me I should run, and I'm all The couch is soooo comfy! and I'll find a million and one reasons not to go.  Tell me I CANNOT run, though, and out comes the determined bitch and suddenly running and fitness is the most important thing in my life and nothing will stop me, lest of all rules.  Billed as a running race, obviously a participant should actually run it, yes?  Well, sorry Pam, but I didn't run it and I'm making up my own rules.  I skied the damn thing, and think I should earn equal billing with the other runners, and no "handicap" or anything for them or me, even though we're using different methods of locomotion.  Look, we all know I suck as a runner, and guess what?  Surprise!  I suck even more as a skate-skier!  

I've gone skate skiing (it's cross country skiing, but like they do in the olympics, with skinny skinny little skis, super fast and balanced and using that skating motion on flat, smooth packed snow) a total of 3 stumbling, bumbling times.  I can downhill ski pretty damn well, but this? doesn't have anything to do with downhill.  People who've mastered it just glide around like angels, hardly expending any energy, yet eating up the miles and elevation and all that; there was recently a 10K skate ski race in the area, and I think the winner did it in something like 24 minutes?  So, yeah, it's fast and a skier shouldn't be compared to a runner ever.


I don't think I've mastered the skill quite yet.  Sure, I slide and glide, but generally in the wrong direction.  I fall.  I slip backwards.  I trip over myself.  I can't seem to climb any kind of hill with anything other than short, choppy stepping motions.  I ski over my poles, then drop them.  I stumble.  I laugh at myself and my inability to move forward while everyone around me is seemingly floating by.  (Actually, minus the poles, this is exactly how I run, too!)

My best ever 5K (running) was 30:38, and I nearly lost a lung throwing down that time.   One of these days, I'll get that under 30:00, and then I'll never try to run "fast" again.  I thought maybe on skis, skate skis, maybe I could get under 30?  After all, in that local race of a few days ago, the last, DFL skier had a time of 27 something in the 5K, so maybe?

So I went out on Saturday and did my 5K (I actually went a few more miles afterwards).  

OK, race report stuff.  Let's say, a summary.  

Slide slide slide, gasp gasp oops! fall down! Slip slide stomp trip slide slide slide.  Oooooh, downhill! Remember your inhaler!  Still, gasp some more, slide slide, slippy trippy ooooooh! downhill!  Slip, step step step, done.

So here it is, my official time in this new super fast sport:

Heee!  I have a long way to go.

Happy Birthday, Pam!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Return to movement

It's been, oh, just about a month since the Death Valley marathon.  That was the last time that I really ran.  True, I've been on a couple of short forays, all ending quite abruptly due to knee pain, but for the most part I have done NOTHING since the race.  3 runs, 3(?) yoga classes, a couple of downhill skis, a few cross country skis, that's what's been going on here for the past 30 or so days.  Not much of nothing.  Definitely spurred by the IT issue, this has been a much-enjoyed month-long ol' hiatus.  Now, if I were SUAR, I'd surely be spending my time here on the injured list making quality choices, staying fit and hanging out with old ladies, but.  Dedicated I am not.  I'm a lazy, lazy runner and I've spent my time avoiding choices, getting fat and hanging out with the remote control.  I try for these 30-day physical naps once a year, every year.  Not because I read about it in a magazine or heard about it from a fellow runner, but because it just seems like a good idea.  And, oh yeah, I'm lazy! and relish any opportunity to lay down.

And, yet.  Scratch me deep and I bleed runner, and I hereby announce the cessation of the hiatus.  I've sat on my ass long enough and it's time to get up and get moving.  My muscles are calling me, hey! get busy! and I'm going to have to get busy, here.

Oh, yeah, that whole knee thing.  To be honest, I just figured I'd give myself a couple of weeks, some rest and a foam roller and just solve this thing bingbangboom! and I'd be all better faster than you can say "oh, that shit never happens to me!" and I'd one day soon just throw on my running togs and get out there and magically run, say, 5 pain free miles.

How's that plan working out for me?

Not so good.  Even though I haven't run a lick for 3 weeks, I can feel that it's just . . . not right.  Still, it hasn't bothered  me at all in that time, no pain or anything, so I'm being optimistic.  Until a few days ago, anyhow.  Last week, working the 4th night shift in a row (I'm an ER nurse, on my feet for 12 hours a pop), it started to hurt and hasn't really stopped (albeit in a very minor way) since.  Regression.  I tapped yet another ER doc friend, this time for a prescription for physical therapy.  Which starts on Monday.  I wave the white flag.

So I'm holding off on any kind of running until I see the therapist.  Meanwhile, I will be active in other ways (really, I have to.  I haven't been running like a runner, but I sure have been eating like a runner!).  I'm definitely committing to some regular yoga (2 classes a week, ok?), and will be spending the lion's share of this weekend on some cross country skis.  Ever cross country ski before?  Do you understand how klutzy I am?  Hilarity, no doubt, shall ensue.

I was going to go slide around the snow this afternoon, but Tom and I pulled roof duty instead.  What, you might ask, is "roof duty"?

Around here, it means roping up and climbing our very high and very pitched roof to chop down the frigging ice dams (overhanging the eaves by a foot or more, and a foot or so deep) with a big ax.  Don't break the windows!

(Thanks everyone for your tips about the photo links.  Thanks especially to Iron Mike for giving me the heads up that it was all Blogpress' doing, and I'm innocent, INNOCENT I tell you!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Problem

My linkage problem is not what I thought it was.  All of the Picasa album photos are fine; it's the ones I (maybe uploaded directly? took with my phone? I'm not quite sure what the commonality is) DON'T have in my album that are broken.  Where had they been living?  I dunno.  Why did they go away?  This I dunno either, though I'm pretty damn sure I did SOMETHING to screw it all up.  That's my way!

In any case, now I have to laboriously go through, post by post, my entire blog, find missing pictures, (if I can even remember what the damn thing was), look for it in my hard drive or, most likely, my phone, then re-upload it.  Huge pain in the ass, and I'm sure I still don't have all of the photos, maybe 90%?  It all needs some reconstruction.  Aaahh!

Thanks for the tips, everyone.  I'm sure this was NOT Blogger's fault, just mine.  My whole damn computer has had to be revamped, software and storage-wise, again NOT because of anything that IT did, but rather because of my own damn foolishness and propensity to happily click on buttons just for fun.  In the end, I've ended up with my computer very neatly organized (I didn't actually lose any files) and running like a top.

What happened with the blog, I don't know.  I've been moving and deleting and retiring lots of files, and can only imagine I've screwed up somehow with the blog pix (though I thought they were all online, so . . . I just don't now).  So I guess the re-linking of pictures, where possible, will be an ongoing project for me.  Happily, it's not all of the pictures, just some.  Like I said, pain in the ass, I won't bore you with any more details.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled lack of posting . . . !

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ouch! My blog is busted!

What follows is purely technical. Feel free to move along.

One of the
reasons for the dearth of posts lately is, as a direct result of my own really, really silly actions, I nearly killed my trusty MacBook pro. happily, it survived my attempts at annihilation, but has needed a lot of tender loving memory repair. It's back to normal now, with no lingering effects.

So I thought. Today I noticed many of my blog photos have lost their links. Normally, shennaninigans on my computer shouldn't affect my blog, but I do remember reinstalling Picassa, or somehow or another renaming my Picasa web albums, or some such nonsense. I think because of this, I have somehow disrupted Blogger's link to my uploaded photos and >pppopphhhfffft< failure on my old links. All the photos are still there online, but ...

Do any of you clever peeps have a clue what I'm talking about (I barely do myself!)? Can anyone offer me some guidance on how to re-establish a link? Am I raving?

Meanwhile, suddenly (and almost certainly coincidentally) I am suddenly unable to post from my computer, due to some seeming glitch within the Blogger post editor?


Year End

OK, I guess it's obligatory, the whole year-end post, cute pictures and witty captions, wry musings on what transpired in 2010, followed by thoughtfully optimistic goals and hopes for the 2011, all wrapped up in a timely, sentimental bow of self awareness, self improvement and deeper understanding of oneself, others and the surrounding environment.

Bootchez style?

A week late and a post (or 3) short.

In 2010 I ran 798 slow, klutzy miles.
In 2011, I might run 1,000 of them.

Thanks for stopping by!