Late to the Party, Slow in my Pace

Has everyone seen the viral video of the tortoise chasing down the guy who interrupted his mating mamba?

I feel like that postcoital tortoise could beat me running.

You want a shot at the title?



Yes, it’s an exaggeration, but (as I often want to say to my husband), reality isn’t the point.  The point is how I feel.

And I feel slow.

Coming back from injury is more difficult with advancing years.  In my thirties, the injuries I faced that forced me to take significant time off from running (IT band, plantar fasciitis, tissue trauma in my heel) were easier to fight back from…I regained pace within a few weeks each time.

This time has been different.  Age, fear, and 5-10 pounds of additional fat are holding me back, and I’ve been consistently running about 45 seconds below my previous pace per mile on my easy runs.  I know it’s all relative, and I know there are many people who would still love to run at my pace, and it’s just that I tend to focus on all the people who run faster paces.  But still, it’s frustrating to compete against a previous level of personal ability and consistently come up short.

And that’s not exactly motivating stuff to blog about.

But FINALLY I feel like I’ve broken through the wall, saddlebags and all.

No more crying, finally flying!

Not as slow, ready to go!

(Is it any wonder I don’t have many readers, when I write stupid stuff like that?)

In the past two weeks or so, I am back to running easy runs at about a 9:30-9:40 pace/mile with no problem, and my trusty Garmin is occasionally flashing those dips below the 9:00 mark during easy runs that I have missed like I am missing size small underpants.

Thank you, running gods.

And THANK YOU, Spotify, for finally entering my world.

Here is where I am late to the party.  I didn’t know until last week that if you have Spotify, you can play their playlists offline.  That was news to this old lady, but now I am hooked and listening to Spotify on all my runs! (I am currently on a free 30-day premium trial, and I’m not sure if you can also do this with their free version.)

So I am currently dazzling the neighborhood with speedier paces, fueled by Spotify playlists.  My current old lady favorite running playlists include 90s Slow Jamz and 80s Workout (Retro Hits.)  Check out this option for music if you are tired of your music library, and as Olivia Newton John say, Let’s Get Physical!

So if I wear a high-waisted leotard and tights with this headband, could I be the olive-skinned version of Olivia Newton John?


Better yet, could Oscar?



What Makes a Race Great? (And a Recipe)

I am plagued by another respiratory bug.  For it being such a mild winter here in Kansas City, it has been surprisingly brutal for my family.  We have all been sick for much of the past few months.

Still, I got out and got in a great 4.25-miler on Sunday (my youngest son’s birthday!) during a quiet snowfall.  I timed it right (finished just as the roads were starting to get a bit slick), wore the appropriate amount of clothing (is there anything better than a toasty core and a cool breeze on your face?), and had the roads to myself.  It was a perfect run with less soreness after, which encourages me.  I’m shooting for 5 miles this Sunday, which would be my first 5-miler since last September.  These are baby steps, yes, but I’m so scared of injury and also have been attacked by a vicious strain of laziness.

We’ve been busy volunteering at the rehab center and living life to the fullest…


I mentioned in my last post that I am on the committee for the Trolley Run here in KC.  We meet once a month to talk about race planning, and I’ve written a few blog posts for the race (some really spectacular stuff…look for my upcoming gem of a post where I discuss why beans and booze are bad the night before a race.)

Yes, it’s unpaid, how did you guess? 🙂

SO, here is my question to you, blog readers.  I feel like as a new member of the committee, I haven’t contributed much, and I would like to offer some original suggestions.  This group of people is spectacular, and the race is a well-oiled machine in its 27th year, but I would like to be able to contribute some new ideas as an avid recreational runner (avid if you don’t include the last five months, amiright?).

Thus far, I did suggest a new incentive for signups in the first 48 hours–a drawing for a free ride to the starting line.  I thought that would motivate me a a runner to sign up early, not having to worry about transportation and catching the shuttle bus (runners park at the finish line and shuttle to the start.)  Other than that, though, I haven’t said much, and I would like to help.

So I am asking for your thoughts on what makes a race great.  Obviously we can’t control the weather, and much of the logistics are set in place, but I would love your thoughts on any little things that you find make a race enjoyable.  What do you love and appreciate about a race?  Could you share any great experiences you’ve had during races that we could implement?  What makes a great vibe?  What makes you want to run a race again year after year?

I hope you’ll take the time to share your thoughts and experiences.  It could be something major, or even something small…like maybe you love a kickoff song that sends the first wave out, or a small thing that volunteers do during the race.  I welcome all ideas, suggestions, and recaps of special race moments.  I would like to do my part to help this fabulous race committee!

As a token of my appreciation, I offer this AMAZEBALLS recipe for spaghetti and meatballs.  It appeared in our KC Star Food section many years ago, but I don’t think it’s available online.  Some local Italian sportscaster said it was his grandmother’s famous recipe.  All I know is that it’s easy, spectacular, and one of the few things I can cook to make HH ignore the dust bunnies in the house and not regret marrying me.

Spaghetti Sauce

This freezes well (cool it completely first!) and makes a nice big batch of sauce (about 6 cups.)  I start the sauce and then begin the meatballs once the sauce is simmering for 45 minutes, and they finish cooking at just the right time.  The sauce is fairly spicy, so you might want to decrease the red pepper flakes if you aren’t feelin’ it.

  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2T minced garlic
  • 1t red pepper flakes
  • 1T oregano
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Heat olive oil in a pot over med-high heat, then add minced onion.  Cook until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano.  Stir.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water.  Cover and cook 10 minutes on medium.  Add basil and simmer on low 45 minutes, or until flavors are blended.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (please don’t use Kraft!)
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1.5t salt
  • 1.5t oregano
  • 1.5t basil
  • .5t black pepper
  • .5t garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk

Combine beef and pork in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add to the meat.  Beat eggs with milk and add to meat.  Mix well.  Shape into 1.5-inch balls.  Place an inch apart on shallow baking pan/sheet (I spray mine very lightly with Pam first.)  Bake at 375 degrees F 20 minutes or until done, turning once.  I typically cook mine about 23 minutes, because my colon fears underdone pork.

Toss in with your sauce and treat yo’ self!

Happy running and eating!  I hope you’ll leave your race thoughts and comments!


My Mea Culpa and an 80s Playlist Offering

I promise to be a better blogger.  I really do–especially now that I am running again and all healed up from my stress fractures and my entirely mental defeatist running stagnation of late 2014.  I hope you’ll forgive me…especially you fellow bloggers whom I’ve neglected to read over the past two months.  It’s hard to read about running when you aren’t doing it yourself.  If you were celibate, would you want to read about sex?

Some quick life updates and then I will talk about running and humbly submit a great 80s playlist as a peace offering to my readers….

Christmas came and went, along with bouts of typhoid/flu/virus hell for most of our family.  I spent about three weeks coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker but credit running and strong lungs for seeing me through without an antibiotic.  Take that, respiratory bug!

I have joined the committee for a 4-mile run here in KC called the Trolley Run, and I am thrilled to be part of such a great group and helping with a race for the first time!  This run is in its 27th year and benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI), an AMAZING school that provides services for blind and visually impaired children from infancy through kindergarten.  I believe it is the largest 4-mile run in the country, with over 8,000 runners participating each year.  If you are a local reader or someone looking to visit KC, come run it with me!  We on the committee have been working hard to make sure that this year’s race will be incredible…it’s a flat to downhill course with a fantastic after bash.  What’s not to love, right?  I’ve written a few blog posts for the run (which you can read here and here if you’re interested!),

I am close to opening a cross stitch shop on Etsy and will put info in a sidebar once I have it up and running.  Old lady crafting is a current passion, and I will be able to take custom orders too.  To be fair, I will mostly be offering snarky patterns and song lyrics, so please don’t contact me hoping for an elaborate stitched pattern of a playful kitten and a yarn ball.  Contact me if you want some Kendrick Lamar lyrics stitched up nice and crafty-like.

I turned 42.  Let’s skim over that one.  I tried to look happy about it…and honestly it’s not that bad.  I would rather be the me I am at 42 than the half-formed idiot I was at 22, and I’m knock-on-wood healthy and happy, so complaining about it seems like a waste of time, and wasting time is for suckers.


HH and I played some winter golf this weekend…and wondered why we haven’t moved to Florida yet.

winter golf

This little beast has decided that it’s fun to snack on poop in the back yard…a real homemade all-you-can-eat buffet!  So much for having a fellow princess in the house…


The other dog continues to volunteer with me each week at a local rehabilitation center.  He is clearly the house favorite.

My love for running has returned after a few months off.  I am definitely slower (like running through Jello slow!), but much happier.  I am trying to take it easy to allow my body and especially my weak feet a chance to rest, build back up, and accommodate the extra pounds I’ve put on from not exercising for several months.  I am scheduled to run the Trolley Run in April, which will be my first race (I think) since last 4th of July’s Ward Parkway Four on the Fourth, where I patriotically kicked some ‘Murican ass and barely snagged an AG medal (all the really fast people must have been out buying fireworks that morning.)

And now, I present on one apologetic runner’s knee, a list of some great 80s songs to kick up your run, including some standards and a few new ideas.  I don’t know if my running playlists ever generate any interest, though my blog stats say otherwise, so if you like them, leave a comment, tweet me a pic, or send a shoutout to @TwistedSwisster (bonus respect to anyone who runs in pegged pants or one-shouldered sweatshirts!)

Part One:  Betcha no one runs to Midnight Blue, but you can’t go wrong with that song.  He ain’t got no regrets, and he ain’t losing track, and neither should you.  Your following days are over, baby, now you just gotta follow through!


Part Two:  A bunch of somewhat obvious yet totally bitchin’ running staples, and they’re solid gold just like the dancers.


As always, thanks for reading and HAPPY RUNNING!  You’re simply the best!

My Holiday Gift Guide for Runners and Wackos Like Me

Is is too early to post a gift guide?  I hope not, because I can’t really post anything running-related.  My peroneal tendon has been throbbing like a mother all weekend (like looking at a smoke detector light, only instead of waiting for the blink every few seconds, it’s been like waiting for the throb/shot of pain to shoot from just inside my ankle bone.)

I have an appointment with my podiatrist on Thursday.  I really can’t take much more time off from running.  I am dying inside, and meanwhile, I am growing outside, putting on my winter layer of chub.  Boo.

So, today I bring you my first annual Holiday Gift Guide, with plenty of items for runners and a few odds and ends for the non-runners in your life!  Be warned:  like Sir Mix-a-Lot, this list is long, strong, and down to get the gift buying on!

(That was so lame.)

I sort of had a holiday gift post last year where I discussed my Xmas list items, including Tifosi sunglasses (love them!), Zensah compression  leg sleeves (love them too!) and the Handana (a fail for me…just couldn’t get used to it and felt like Michael Jackson wearing it…He-he!)  I’m ramping it up this year, though, and giving it the official “Gift Guide” title, so it feels like a first, and as the wise and much-loved-by-me Sade says…

it’s never as good as the first time.

Gifts for (Mostly Lady) Runners

Here are some fun items that you can buy for your favorite runner or put the word out for if you pound the pavement…

Lululemon Light as Air Hipster:  I have raved about these before.


If you are going to be out there in the elements, don’t you deserve a brush of silk against your delicate regions?  Your totally tight ass and rock-hard glutes will thank you once they feel the caress of this fabric and realize that you actually spent (or got someone else to spend) $18 on a pair of underwear that doesn’t show panty lines.  True fact:  I wear these sometimes when I am couchathoning, and I think I’m worth it.  Also true fact: they are extremely fragile, so wash them in cold with other Lulu or polyester fabrics and air dry.  Some reviewers have said on the Lulu web pages that theirs didn’t last, but mine have and I believe Lulu would make it right if they fell apart (but maybe keep your receipt?).

Tested tip:  Buy a size up?  Some reviewers said they didn’t cover their butts enough.  I wear a M.  Also comes in a thong, Sisqo style.

Oiselle Lux Armwarmers:  I want a pair of these bad boys.

lux-arm-warmers-fp-f_1They look so cozy and, well, lux.  Any fabric described as “buttery soft” has me at hello.   The heather flame pink color is speaking to me, and I think it wants to replace my old Nike arm sleeves in boring black.  My pink arms will totally look like ladylike flames as I whir down the streets at a solid 9:30.

Oiselle Cable Knit Armwamers:  Yes, I realize I’m repeating, but these look hella comfortable too.  Plus, I like the way she is staring at her own hand like a pubescent teenage boy who just left his first long shower (omg, did I just type that?  Sorry not sorry!)



Maybe it’s because it’s frigid outside with a wind chill of 7 right now, but I think I could wear these all winter.  They would be great for a Netflix binge in a chilly basement if I can’t get back to running soon.  They could keep my arms nice and toasty while I reach for more popcorn.

Athleta Fast Track Half Zip:  I love Athleta, but I never wear their pants.  They always ride down searching for a place of less resistance somewhere below my saddlebags.  Their casual clothing is the bomb, though (just scored my some of their Metro leggings in gray with their Merino wool Soma sweater and it will be totally worth the high price since I plan on wearing the outfit every damn day ’til it drives the kids to school on its own.)

I also dig their jackets and tops, and I am coveting this half zip.  The website describes it as a great base layer, but I don’t normally like half-zips as base layers.  I don’t like to feel a zipper pushed against my skin, so if I’m layering I will usually put something compression or just zipperless as my base with a half-zip over it.

I like the ruching on this jacket…makes me think it would hold down in place and keep drafts out.  Several reviewers just wore it for the NYC marathon (let me pause to dry my tears) and said it was great with the wind.


Speaking of Athleta, they are offering this cute little Strobe Light for $10 online and in stores.  It’s made by Nathan, so you could probably find it in your local running store too (or something similar.)


Wish I could buy a hundred and spell “Watch the f*%k out!” on my chest.

Brooks Nightlife Essential Running Jacket III: I have no idea if this is a good jacket or not.  I include it simply because the picture is irresistible…

220783_305_mf_ZM She loves the nightlife

She’s got to boogie on the disco round


Please don’t talk about love tonight.

iTunes Gift a Song: Did you know that you can give someone an actual song from iTunes?  This applies to my high school sensibilities…I used to love making mix tapes, and I blab all the time about my running playlists!

When you are on iTunes, just click to the right of a song under the purchase price (the down arrow,) and it offers the option to gift the song.  You can send it to the person’s email on the day of purchase or a day of your choice, and you can even customize the appearance of the “card.”

I just sent myself a song to test it and make sure it works.  It’s perfect!  You could send someone a great Christmas song or some kickass running songs as gifts.  Want to know what I just bought myself?

Dim All the Lights by Donna Summer…yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oiselle Big O Yeti: This is my favorite.  Did I ever tell you about the time last year that my sister and I were goofing around in Forever 21 and found some full-body cow snuggies?  We went into the fitting room to try them on (and yes, we bought them) and were howling with laughter.  Hello comfort, goodbye self-esteem!  What made the whole scene funnier was that a few months later my hair stylist asked me if I had been in Forever 21 once laughing in the dressing room…she had been in there and heard me laughing and thought it sounded like me.  How embarrassing…and now I’ve shared it with the internet.

Anyhoo, this full-size Yeti French fleece snuggie is just what you or your loved one need after a long run in frigid temperatures!


Yes, it’s a little pricey at $98, but did you just come in from your run looking like this?



You need a Yeti in your life.  Or maybe a hairy Yeti man to cuddle with.  Whatever’s cheaper.

Vintage Stamped Spoon: This is a perfect stocking stuffer.


It’s just $16 from the Etsy site hyperlinked above.  She offers a few variations too…check her out.

Unusual Gifts for the Crazy People in Your Life (i.e, those who don’t run)

Here are a few items that you aren’t going to find at your local department store…

Celebrity Prayer Candles from Illumidol: I saw this Etsy site in a Buzzfeed article and just had to check it out.  My order of Christmas gifts for my son, nephew and sister came today, and I am pleased with the quality.  My 14-year old nephew and major baller is getting a Kevin Durant candle, and I’m not telling which one I got for my sister because she reads this blog.

Here is my son’s candle (don’t hate me, Catholics!)–Notorious B.I.G.–


I love it when you pray to me, Big Poppa

(I hope I’m not going to hell for that, but then again if I am it’s probably for other things that are way up on the list of sins before that statement!)

In fact, I would probably be headed to hell for buying this little number–

Atheist Stocking from Archie McPhee: I bought this to give at our family’s 2nd Annual Christmas Eve White Elephant gift exchange this year, but I told my sister about it last week and she mumbled something about it not being cool and not wanting her kids to see it.  I thought it was a funny joke, but she says it won’t be a hit gift, which of course is totally unacceptable.  Never fear, though, as I have an atheist friend with a Christmas birthday who shall be excited to unwrap this beauty!


Personalized Dog Stocking: If I wasn’t wasting my money on celebrity prayer candles and atheist stockings, I would be wasting it on these adorable dog stockings.  This Etsy shop offers a ton of different bow colors…I include this pic because I would like to have a dog named Manchego (such a delightful cheese!)


Bottle Koozy:  I really like everything on this gal’s Etsy site.  I have one of her coffee mug cozies that says “Wrong week to quit drinking.”  She offers a ton of mugs, mug cozies and bottle koozys…some clean, some nasty (she’s my kind of gal.)


EOS Lip Balm Ball from Target:  I think I am late to this party, but I just bought one of these (in Summer Fruit) and am a total fangirl.  Big ball balm?  This couldn’t be more fun to apply!  I bought my boys each one in different colors so we all have our own balm ball (that’s just fun to say, but I won’t take it any further.)

Jane Austen action figure:  This last one is a personal fave; in fact, I’ve already bought it for myself, and I know one of my favorite bloggers would want one for her personal collection!

JaneAustenDo I take her out of the box or do I keep her in pristine condition like my mom does her Native American Barbies (I’m serious, my mom really does that and I tease her endlessly.)

I think I have to take her out…complete with her special P&P book.  I can speak Jane all day, mostly as Elizabeth Bennet…

He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal

Till this moment I never knew myself

My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me

and (I wish)…

Go to hell, Lydia, and grow a pair, Jane!

What’s on your Christmas list?  Any good gift ideas you’d like to share?  What song would you gift?




The Lady is a Tramp

Greetings from the tail end of a long weekend in Las Vegas with HH…

Quick post-trip thoughts?  I need structure in my life.  Discipline.  Routine.

Long recap?  What a fun few days…

We arrived on Thursday afternoon.  HH had made reservations at Sinatra (in the Wynn), knowing as he does that I grew up listening to Sinatra and would love the experience.

All Sinatra tunes…and what a meal!


Sadly, much of the weekend revolved around ridiculous portion sizes and poor eating choices (and I won’t talk about the night we spent at the champagne bar drinking cheap Prosecco…it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.)

Poor choice (but at least split with my partner in crime)…


Poorer choice (all for me and with a side of bacon for protein and blood sugar balance)…


I would have taken some pics of me at the poker tables, but they frown on that.  Just picture me with a sour look on my face holding some substandard cards and you’re there…

We also went to see Daniel Tosh at the Mirage on Friday night.  Here I am ready for the show and fully aware that I will soon be laughing out loud while simultaneously cringing at the horror of it all (dude is funny!)…

What a horrible picture.  I think I was going for a wink?


I had intended to attempt a second post-injury run, but two or three days after that first mile run last week, I felt a little pain in the heel and some shooting pain up the outside tendon on my leg (the tendon was where I always felt the pain that eventually turned into a fracture on the front of the tibia, as the tendon eventually pulled on the bone and cracked it.)  So I decided that all the standing and walking in Vegas would probably be enough of a stress and skipped all exercise in favor of more debauchery–though let’s be clear before you get the wrong impression that my prudish form of debauchery includes nothing more than a mild afternoon buzz and a slight Devil-may-care attitude with a face card and a poor kicker during a poker tournament.  In fact, my contacts went wonky on the second day, so I spend most of the weekend outfitted in a prepster J Crew boyfriend jean with a crew neck sweater and my Tiffany specs on…ROCKING the spinster librarian look in contrast to the constant parade of women working an awkward whore look in cheap slut shoes.

Vegas baby!  Since when did it become cool to look like a hooker?  I am confused.

I was thrilled that I had no more pain, even with all the standing and walking, and no, it was not because of the “medicinal effects” of alcohol.  I was really pain free!  Hooray!  I am ready to attempt a few spaced out miles this week and eager to attempt a return to the land of the physically fit, as I pretty much feel like a blob these days.

We did manage a day of golf on a links course over the weekend, and luckily it only took me three shots to get out of this HELLACIOUSLY STEEP bunker.  HH filmed it, because he is an ass, but I shall only show the picture and add that the flag was less than ten feet away but straight up a mountain…

bunkerLVAnd because I feel like I sound like a person with no moral compass (that’s what Vegas does to you), I want to share that my dog Oscar and I (Oscar the running coach) have officially passed the last hurdle and are now a PETS FOR LIFE THERAPY DOG TEAM!!!!!!!!!

This has been a long process in the making, and I couldn’t be more excited and proud of my big brown bear!  We’ve been through two rounds of obedience classes before starting this process and have passed two levels of evaluation for PFL.  Adding that to the work that any responsible dog owner puts in with socializing (I took Oscar everywhere as a puppy, which was hard work but somewhat easier in his first few months since we were still living in Switzerland), and it’s been a journey that I am very proud of!

We passed our final hurdle with our first supervised visit in a local rehab center, where we will now be visiting patients once a week.  Oscar was a bit timid about being petted, but was happy and loved seeing people and taking treats.  The smells, sounds, wheelchairs, etc.–it was lot to take in for a first trip, but he did really well.  Patients were amazed at how gentle he was about taking treats out of their hands without touching their fingers.  He was a good boy and did his full rotation of basic tricks!

My sweet boy…he wore his Halloween seersucker tie for the patients…


Here we are pre visit and all nerves (and you can’t see his special tie!)…


And a post visit pic, proudly wearing his scarf…



Happy running, and thanks for reading!  I am off to attempt post-vacation laundry and a detox yoga video!  Out with the bad, in with the good, right?

One Step, One Mile, One Day

The past seven weeks have humbled me…being injured with two stress fractures and taking the necessary break from running and training for the NYC marathon has been a mental journey as well as a physical one (and by physical I mean healing and trying not to gain twenty pounds while sitting around like a worthless turd.)

I turn the music up

I got my records on

I shut the world outside until the lights come on

Not to get all religious on you (and as a lapsed Catholic, it’s not my thing ever), but I really feel that this reboot in my life came at just the right time…not that God reached out to me or anything (I don’t think that way and don’t believe that a deity would be intervening in my running schedule no matter what!), but rather that I just got lucky.

Did I just type that?  Do I feel lucky that my calcaneus and tibia cracked, knocking me out of my second marathon dream?

I do.

I was burned out and needed the break.  Maybe turning straight to marathon training after wrapping up the Heartland 39.3 Series and missing my time goal in the three races was too much.  Maybe I just got lazy :-).  Maybe I just needed a kick in the ass, because I had lost my focus and drive, and my training miles were empty.

Maybe the streets alight

Maybe the trees are gone

I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song

I did next to nothing these past weeks.  I took advantage of the time to work on other things, which I will share in upcoming posts, but that chance to redirect my energy isn’t the sole reason I sat on my butt (though I can’t deny that it was nice to not be chained to a fitness routine for awhile.)

Nope…I was scared.  I was scared to make things worse, and when I hopped on the Cybex Arc Trainer and felt mild pain after, I panicked and never got back on.

I pedaled on the low bike and couldn’t get my heart rate up (damn you, superior fitness attributable to years of running!) without upping the resistance to the point where I pressed down hard with my heel and felt pain.

I should have kept up, tried other things, attacked the weights.  But I didn’t.  I took the time to enjoy other interests, I tried to watch my calories (no damn easy feat after eating for 30+ mile weeks!), and I waited.

Meanwhile, I saw runners everywhere, and I felt like I’d been kicked out of the cool club.

Would it have been weird to drive by a runner yelling, “I can do that too!”?  Because I wanted to.  So.  Damn.  Much.

I saw the runners, and I missed the experience.  I craved so many of the things that I had so recently been cursing…prepping my playlist, charging my Garmin and Tech Adapt, gearing and fueling and hydrating…running, by myself, feeling the rhythm of my heartbeat and the synchronization of my steps and my breathing.

I found the drive and the love that I had been missing.

I watched the NYC marathon yesterday morning, and then laced up for my first mile since the first week of September (I went on a few long walks last week to test my pain level.)  It was a beautiful fall afternoon.

I ran one easy mile, not looking at my Garmin, just running with good relaxed form, and finished in a comfortable and pain-free 9:44.  I wandered into a Starbucks, treated myself to my usual nonfat-nowhip-justtwopumpsofsyrup-pleasedon’tthinkofmeashighmaintenance latte, and walked the mile home to stay loose and build up a bit more time on my feet.

It’s a slow start back to the me I want to be, and there might be setbacks, but I am ready for the climb and anxious for the ride.


And all the kids they dance

All the kids all night

‘Til Monday morning seems another life

I turn the music up

I’m on a roll this time

And heaven is in sight

Running Memes I’d Like to See

Happy Friday, readers!  I am far too busy watching the Ryder Cup to head to the gym, so you benefit from my laziness.  I’ve spent the last 30 minutes generating running memes I’d like to see.  Enjoy my creations, and if you share them, please link back to me or give me a shout-out!



rmemeyuno rmememurray rmemeobi rmemepicard rmemepulp rmemescumbagsteve rmemesealion rmemestark rmemesuccess rmemeted rmemetimeforthat rmemewonka

chhws rmeme3rdworldkid rmemeclarity rmemeconfessionbear rmemedino rmemedosequis rmemedrevil rmemeeveiltoddler rmemekermit

It Ain’t Easy Being Green…

Two of the three following statements are true…can you spot the fake?

  1. I’ve had Turkish coffee with Bedouins in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan.
  2. I told my eldest son this week that when I die he is allowed to put me in a drive-thru window for the funeral service as long as “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is looping the entire time on a loudspeaker.
  3. I’m doing really well with this whole not-running thing.

It’s been 15 days since I last laced up my Smurf shoes, and I feel like I’ve been through a bad breakup.  I’m over the initial shock of the loss of the NY Marathon, to be sure, but the fact that I can’t run at all has turned me into a raging bitch inside (it’s a short trip.)  It’s maudlin, really.  I keep humming “One Less Bell to Answer” in my head (I’m serious, and yes, knowing this song ages me!)…

I encourage you to check out the video of that song, not only because Marilyn McCoo has an amazing voice but because the second guy from the right has on a can’t-miss outfit!

One less egg to fry, people.

Checking the weather first thing in the morning to plan out my run and clothes for the day…Turning around my favorite running gear in the laundry so I can have my Athleta Presto shorts ready for the next run…Charging my Garmin and Outdoor Tech Adapt…

All out the window.  I wander around the house a bit aimlessly and sing Faith No More to myself…

You want it all but you can’t have it

It’s in your face but you can’t grab it

It’s a pity party, fo ‘sho, not because of the race but just because I can’t get out for any type of run.  It’s like not realizing how hot you thought your boyfriend was until you dump him…and then suddenly he’s the sexiest guy you’ve ever known and you’ve just got to have him back!

The fact that fall is my favorite time of the year to run is that extra kick in the ass…like the ex-boyfriend dropped twenty pounds after our breakup and reclaimed his mojo.

The fact that all I do now is drive by runners is like the ex-boyfriend just hit the scene with a gorgeous new girlfriend…it’s more than I can bear!  Runners in race t-shirts, runners with fuel belts, casual joggers, speed demons…they torment me everywhere I look.  I am very jealous…

I’ve already missed the Plaza 10k, which I LOVED racing in last year, and I will be missing the Kansas City Half Marathon as well next month.  I probably would have skipped the half with the NY training anyway, but missing the 10k hurt a bit, because it’s such a fun flat course.  Waaaaahhhh!

It’s not easy being green…



Meanwhile, I am learning to make friends again with the Cybex Arc Trainer and will probably dump my butt onto a low bike this afternoon.  I love to row, and my gym recently added a Concept 2 rower, but I am afraid it might put too much pressure on the heel.

The pain has diminished substantially, though I do still limp sometimes, especially after golf.  I have set October 15th in my head as the first possible run day, no matter how good my foot feels, so I will try to stick to that date.  I need to use my off time wisely and make it productive…an opportunity to build some strength and work on different types of cardio.

I still wonder if the treadmill is the culprit behind my problems.  The mileage should not have been an issue, I didn’t add speed work or excessive hills to this training cycle, etc.–nothing was different except that I subbed the treadmill for about 30% of my long run miles due to the summer temperatures.  I also played a lot of golf this summer, which I did not do during my training for my first marathon, but I just can’t imagine that causing such problems.

Maybe it just wasn’t my time…no sense in looking back too long on it, right?  I will just remember that, as always, I HATE the treadmill and will not use it in the future!

Here are a few articles on stress fractures that might prove helpful to runners:

I will have to rebound and then put a new race on the calendar so I can have something to look forward to!  My last race was the Ward Parkway Four on the Fourth 4-mile race, which was great because I placed in my age group with a 32:41 (average 8:10 pace.)

While I waited for my age group award (ooh, a sticker and a water bottle…score!), I took some artsy fartsy pictures for you…

See?  Artsy…

IMG_0726 IMG_0727




Happy running, readers, and enjoy every mile!

What I’m Running To:  Nothing (want me to complain again?), but I plan on knocking out an amazing low-impact workout later to “What’s the Difference?” by Dr. Dre this afternoon!

A Lark Became a Dream…

And the dream of running the 2014 NYC marathon died when my bone scan lit up like a Christmas tree.

It looked like I’d gone through an airport body scanner with round bags of drugs shoved into the heel of my shoe and the front of my tibia.  Such was the “uptake” of activity in those bones.

I knew the odds were not ever in my favor when the tech took the initial blood flow pictures (before the injection) and remarked, “Wow!  Look at that.  That’s a very intense area of blood flow going into your heel and tibia.”  She cautioned me that things were not looking promising, then sent me on my radioactive way for a few hours.

The bone pictures didn’t look any better.  Two big bright circles in my heel and at the base of my tibia.  She said it was up to the radiologist and my podiatrist to interpret, but I understood.  Me smart!

I still ran 8 miles that night (last Thursday), keeping to my training plan until I heard from my doctor’s nurse.

Then she called, and she said that the doctor didn’t get a full copy to look at, only the radiologist’s report, but that he/she reported “stress reaction changes” in both areas.  My doctor wanted to see me ASAP.



Of course I asked what that meant and if I should keep to my plan of running 4 miles that afternoon, 8 on Sunday and 17 on Monday.  She said that it was my call, given that my doctor hadn’t seen the actual images herself, but that if I attempted it I would have to stop when I felt any pain.

Well, that meant not running at all.  So I shut things down, and met with my doctor yesterday with a disc copy of the scan.

And the fat lady is singing.

If not fractured, both the heel (calcaneus) and lower tibia are stressed to the point of fracture.  Since I came in relatively early with the pain, the bone scan is only showing early stages.  Later scans or x-rays would show the line of the break better as it heals.  Of course, that made me feel like maybe I would be a quitter to stop…like a better person/runner would keep going.

But I know that’s not true.  I am making a choice to stop, but that choice doesn’t categorize me as weak or uncommitted.  I know I could continue, and I could live with the pain.  I just don’t want to make that mistake.  The peak of my training is still ahead–it’s not like I’m even into the taper phase yet.

I don’t define myself by one race, and I will not run myself into the ground/a boot/a cast/no exercise for 3-4 months.  I risk fracturing both bones clear through by continuing, and if I do that, I will be sidelined from running far longer than if I rest now and let my body heal.

So I am done and out for this year’s NYC marathon, and I am resting my foot and leg for at least 4 weeks.  I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I will add another post in the next few days with some great links I’ve found and want to share along with more of a description of how this injury feels compared to plantar fasciitis–in other words, how I knew this injury was different.  Maybe the info could be helpful to other runners…

But for now, I’m sulking a bit.  This isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of my life, and I am keeping it in perspective, but I am allowing myself a day or two to be pissy, because this SHOULD NOT have happened.

I have been a runner for over a decade.  I log regular weeks of 20+miles, and I build mileage properly.  I can’t help but wonder what caused this injury, because it shouldn’t have happened, and though I know random injuries do arise, I have my blaming eyes squarely set on the one thing I’ve done differently during this training cycle compared to previous race training (one marathon, and too many half marathons and other races to count)…


Looks like I picked the…


Happy running, peeps!  Enjoy your ability to get out there today…now that I can’t run, all I do is see runners (isn’t that the way?)!  I will be here at home, gorging myself on Game of Thrones books and cross stitching (almost done with my niece’s birthday present…a Paris scene)!




“Breaking” News*

*Alternate titles:

Fibia/Tibia, I’ve Got a Bone to Pick with You

“Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby”

I Crack Under Pressure (I Knew That last Chipotle Run Was a Bad Idea!)

Tibia or Not Tibia:  That is the Question

“Breaking Up is Never Easy, I Know, But I (Might) Have to Go”

“Crack that Whip, Give the Marathon a Slip”

“Pressure Pushing Down on Me, Pressing Down on, Well, Me”

“But One Step Further and my Tibia/Fibia Will Break”

And my favorite…

You have to learn to pace yourself


You’re just like everybody else


You’ve only had to run so far

So good

But you will come to a place

Where the only thing you feel

Are loaded guns in your face

And you’ll have to deal with


I’m in trouble, folks, but the good news is that there are plenty of song lyrics to help me laugh through the potentially bad news.

I went to my podiatrist yesterday, my dear doctor of 7 years now.  I made the appointment last week because I knew my foot pain had changed and that I had added another wrinkle to my plantar fasciitis.  I’ll give a little detail for runners (or non-runners!) who read this post looking for more PF info.

I’ve had plantar fasciitis since 2007, when the party kicked off in my right foot after running my first half marathon.  After physical therapy, two cortisone shots, a boot for a month, no exercise for 6 months, and multiple therapy sessions with my wine glass, we kicked it into submission with custom-molded orthotics.

I never walk without my comfy shoes on.  I step out of bed and right into them.  I ice.  I stretch.  I have a great prescription cream that has numbing agents and anti-inflammatories in it that I put on 2-4x/day to keep the beast at bay.

Still, I run, though, and I run with high arches and the dorkiest overpronating running style that you have ever seen.  Mechanics are not on my side, and I now have a moderately severe bout with it in my left foot.

How do you know it’s PF?  It hurts when you step out of bed, deep in your heel, sometimes like a stabbing pain, other times like a throbbing sensation (“throb” is a word that I despise, but it is the best descriptor here.)  It gets better after you move around for a bit, because the fascia loosens up.  The strain is in the arch, but you feel the pain in your heel where the fascia connects.  I’ve got a lovely hook-shaped bone spur in my heel where bone has grown in response to the inflammation.  That hurts too, btw.

When you run, you typically feel good, again because the fascia gets nice and loose; but after the run it tightens up again and becomes inflamed.  That’s why after runs, I’m a veritable hobbling cripple for the rest of the day.  Usually I’m better by the next morning though and rip-roarin’ ready to go tear the shit up again…yee haw!

That’s PF in a nutshell for me, but in the past few weeks, things have changed.  I now hurt during runs, not just after.  Every step is “owwwww!”  I feel pain in a different spot on the bottom of my foot, and I’ve had pain for weeks extending up the outside of my foot and into my leg past the ankle bone.

Here is an extremely precise and detailed photo I’ve created to express the situation, along with Oscar’s ass and a rope toy (for artistic composition):


Now I’m no rocket scientist, but I knew I was taking it to the limit, Eagles-style, so I made the appointment.  I was thinking that I was irritating some tendons by walking on it differently/compensating for the pain.

In a surprise move (well, a surprise to me at the time, but not to you because I love to foreshadow,) she thinks I might have a stress fracture of the fibia or tibia.

I had a couple options.  She said she could do nothing, because if she pursued a diagnosis, she would more than likely have to tell me to stop running.  I love her and appreciated her thinking.  She knows me well and knows that I want to run this marathon.  She said I could just press on without a diagnosis and perhaps with some physical therapy and cross-training as much as I can…BUT I haven’t even reached peak miles yet, and this strategy would mean that I would be putting my leg at risk.  In other words, if it isn’t already cracked, I would be doing my best to crack it with every continued run, and if/when it cracks, I would then be unable to do anything and would have to completely immobilize it (I assume in a boot.)

Now, the 30s me would have probably taken that route, but I am now a reasonable and mature 41-year old who has already conquered the dream of running a marathon and who has a burgeoning golf hobby.  I told Dr. Monty that I chose Door #2…a bone scan.

The bone scan will apparently show much more than an X-ray, and I am hoping to hear from the scheduler this morning.  My doctor hopes that I can get it done by the end of the week so that she can read the results by Tuesday.  In the meantime, I’m to keep status quo barring any further developments in pain.  Luckily, my next long run is a cutback to 13.1 miles, so I will be “running in place” distance-wise until I get some news.  Hopefully, nothing is broken yet, and though I will be disappointed if I can’t run the NYC marathon, I have a good perspective and know that it’s not the end of the world.  I appreciate any good vibes you can send and of course any jokes you can make at my expense!

As always, happy running, and here’s to strong tibias/fibias for all!!!!!!!  I’m out the door to “crack” out another 4 miles!