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…

DISNEY MUPPETS

source

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:

http://www.drpribut.com/sports/stress_fracture.html

http://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/runners-guide-to-stress-fractures/

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

Fartsy!

IMG_0729

 

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.

chibi_grim_reaper_by_tarasf-d6bkvkq

source

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)…

THE FUCKING DREADMILL.

Looks like I picked the…

wrongweek

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)!

LaurenParis

 

 

“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

PRESSURE

You’re just like everybody else

PRESSURE

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

PRESSURE

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):

fibia

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!

 

 

Spitting the Bit: The Summer of My Discontent

It’s been so long…I’ve neglected to post and basically abandoned the blogosphere for months, including following the blogs of so many readers. I apologize and hope all has been well and that everyone is smashing PRs. I just needed a break.

Though writing is easy for me in general (if not quality assured), writing about running can at times be a bit tedious. There are only so many ways to describe a Wednesday morning run, right? Plus, by the time I write about my run and then read the blogs of thirty other people describing their morning run, then go out for another run myself, the world can end up looking pretty small.

What’s more, writing burnout has coincided with running burnout.  No surprise, huh?  I have been mentally and physically fried.

iStock_000000251800XSmall-201x300

source

I talk about how running is a gift, and though I’m snarky as hell, I hope that my overall message is a positive one.  I love to run.  I appreciate the gift of good health and am grateful for each day that I am able to lace up my bright Smurf shoes with the custom orthotics and head out the door to kick some ass.

Still, the summer running has done a number on my attitude and my running times, and so I haven’t wanted to write much because it would have been 90% bitching, and who wants to read that?  I’ll try to condense my whining in this post yet keep it real as I describe what I’ve been up to this summer (assuming anyone will still take the time to read…and if you do, bless you!)

I’ll start with the running and then move on to some personal summer bits and bobs in the next post for those of you who love all of this very special flower and not just my running petals.

NYC Marathon Training

(Quick summary:  FML.)

If you’ll recall, I got into the NYC Marathon on the lottery drawing.  I did not expect to make it, but when I did, I (like many others) freaked out with excitement.  If I can make it there, well, you know…I can make it anywhere!

Here’s the problem.  I am a complete lazy bitch princess when it comes to summer running.  I fucking hate it.  What’s more, it doesn’t like me one bit either.

I typically run spring races for longer distances and take most of the summer off to rest my body and just do maintenance running.  It gives me a mental and physical reset.  I have run one marathon (Spring 2013), and I chose it specifically for those winter training months (Viva la Winter Running!)

Unfortunately, the NYC Marathon doesn’t set its calendar based on my training whims, and so I’m stuck with summer training for the first time ever (I will run fall half marathons, but those are much easier to train for.)

Now, I’m all full of admiration for those of you who knock out the lengthy summer runs with nary a complaint, especially you Texas folk, as I lived in Houston for 12 years and still remember the weather.  Some of you get up at 4 or 5 am to power through long miles and then go to church, work, etc.–

but as for me on a Sunday morning?  I love my king-size bed and the chance to sleep in.  So does HH (Handsome Hubby for new readers), and I hate to wake him up.

I’ve been getting up far too late (no one to blame but myself) and heading out the door too late in the morning to escape the heat.  In fact, the one morning I did get up at 6am and get out the door, I came in dying around Mile 9 only to have HH ask me if I’d checked the forecast and noticed that cooler weather was going to blow in around noon that day.

Such has been my luck, and boy have I paid the price.

I now know my sweat patterns and can time their appearance down to the half mile (do you know yours?).  The first running river of sweat always trails off the inside of my right elbow starting at the end of Mile 1, followed by the river trailing down the front of my tank followed by buckets of sweat dripping into my eyes and burning my corneas from Mile 2.5 on.  I have tried bringing a towel (tucked into the band of my SpiBelt) to wipe or at least hopefully redirect the flow, but by Mile 6-7 the towel smells so bad I can’t bear to bring it to my face.

I read once that more experienced runners might in fact sweat more (source), and I think that’s true.  I didn’t used to be a heavy sweater, but in the decade-plus that I’ve been a runner, I have turned into a SWEAT MONSTER.  I don’t just glow with sweat, I open a faucet somewhere in my pores and MAKE IT RAIN!

Just don’t come near me.  It’s gross, and what’s more, I’m flicking beads of it off my ponytail.  Be warned if you are running behind me.

All this sweat distracts me and makes it hard to relax and just get into the zone–not that I could anyway because my heart rate is elevated and I feel like I’m running through a sweat-flavored milkshake.  Humidity and I are not friends, and it makes 10 miles seem like an ultra.  Suck it up, right?  I know…but I’m just being honest.

To complicate matters, my plantar fasciitis in my left foot is as bad as it’s ever been, to the point where I am hobbled after runs and can barely limp for most of the day after a run.  Given that I run 5 days a week, this means that I am walking around like an invalid the majority of the time, which means that if I am not running, I am gimped out.  Fun stuff!

I think this is mostly due to to the plan I am using this time around.  I am a Hal Higdon devotee, and for my first marathon I used his Novice 1 plan.  This time I decided to step it up to the Intermediate 2 plan.

That lasted a few weeks until I recognized that I was cutting too many corners for other obligations/laziness/time issues/injury and leaving off too many miles.  So I dropped down to Intermediate 1, which has the same basic problem as Intermediate 2–a required medium-length run the day before the long run.  Hal says the medium length run the day before will ensure that you are tired so that you run the long run at an appropriate pace.  I say that Hal, you are the damn devil, and why not just trust me?  To quote Tommy Boy,

“I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it!”

For example, on Sunday I ran 7 miles at goal pace, which ended up around 9:30/mile, followed by 14 yesterday (I’ve adjusted the schedule so that my long runs are on Monday, and I will adjust back a few weeks before the Sunday marathon.)  It was just too much for my foot (the total for the week was 36, which isn’t so bad.)  Usually my PF only hurts in the morning and after runs, never during, since running loosens up the fascia.  Right now, though, it’s intense pain through the whole run, plus I’ve got pain shooting up both sides of my ankle, which I think is tendon pain from not landing on the foot right and from limping around when not running trying not to put weight on it.  I am icing tons and applying my special compound cream, but the pain and inflammation is winning.  I made an appointment with my podiatrist for next week.  She loves seeing injured runners limp in and insist that backing off miles is not an option.

If it were any other marathon, I would bail right now, but I can’t.  It’s New York!

So I hang by a thread, bitch and moan a lot, rub my cream, ask my kids to fetch me stuff, and run with a bad attitude, because I am running with pain, mentally am not in my happy place and further have nothing to prove, which was a huge motivation for my when training for my first marathon.  I wanted to show myself that I could do it, I was raising money for my sister’s disease, and in a strange way I think I felt like I was running those miles as an apology..a penance for being healthy while she suffered.  I had mental motivation and strength out the wazoo.

This time I feel like I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else but plenty of things I ‘d rather be doing other than spending quite so many painful hours on the hot asphalt, and I am struggling to find the desire to run the training miles, which is is the REAL marathon as most of us would agree–not the race itself with the support of family, friends and strangers and the medal and perhaps the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter bragfest, but the lonely miles, 20-40-60+ each week, known only to you and spent in your own way, one minute, one mile and one sweat drop/river at a time.

I am not giving up, just searching for some healing in my foot and some mental motivation.  It’s been a fantastic summer, just not where running is concerned.

What I’m running to: I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith, Pusher Love Girl by Justin Timberlake

Coming in my next post…what I’ve been up to this summer and a description of Penis Thumb!

bandage

 

 

 

 

 

Product Ho: Spending My Money So You Don’t Have To

Running is an incredibly simple thing.  Put on some shoes (or hell, skip ’em and be trendy) and head out the door.  Carry your body weight.  Step forward with one foot and push your back foot off the ground before the front foot hits.  Continue this pattern until you are tired.

That’s all you really have to do to run, right?  That’s the beauty of it.  But we complicate things.  We add our preferences for clothes and gear in an attempt to enhance the experience and/or make it more enjoyable (and beginning runners might read that statement and ask, “Now when does it become enjoyable?”).

As my darling HH could tell you, I have mastered the concept of muddying the run waters with accessories.  My moisture-wicking gear, laid out end to polyester end, could reach further than Hands Across America.

haa_elders

source

I have drawers, bins, and hidey holes filled with running accessories.  You name it, I’ve tried it, with the exception of the CamelBak backpack, because I just can’t bring myself to do that.   Some have been big successes, and others have been donated or pushed to the back of the closet.

So what works for me and what doesn’t, and can I save you some money?  Here is a lowdown of what I take with me on my runs…which as I strapped on and geared up before my 10-miler on Sunday, is a ridiculous amount of stuff.

Let’s start with the essentials…clothes.

Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank

This is BY FAR my favorite running top.  It’s tight but not compression.  It doesn’t have a built-in bra, because I hate those things.  It’s long, so it doesn’t ride up and stays under running belts or waist leashes.  I love that feature because I am long-waisted, so most running tops (especially Nike) are way too short on me.  It’s pricey ($42), but lasts FOREVAH.  I have these in three colors, including the hot pink that I wore in my last half marathon (including the fun pic from my last post where I look like an angry giant Photoshopped in amongst tiny happy people thanks to the gal next to me.)

TWTC14AidStation

Athleta Presto Shorts

Well, we are in summer, when I fervently wish I had the bod to run in just a bra and some ridiculously cute runderwear, but alas, I am aware of my physical limitations and don’t want to scare people.  I would love to wear the cute basic running shorts I see in all the stores (for their ass-covering ability), and I have a few pairs, but they always move around on my inner thighs and rub me wrong, so I always return to the staple–compression shorts.  Yes, I would rather show off my assfold than chafe in the inner thigh.  Let someone else suffer.

Lately I have worn the Athleta Presto Short with the 7″ inseam (they also offer 10″, 4″ and 2″, I believe, like penis sizes…pick what you prefer, but the 2″ might be a little short!)  If I remember right, Run Far Girl mentioned these in a previous post because she wore them in her last marathon and wrote that she love the three-pocket feature.  I left a comment saying that I needed a pair–then realized I already owned them.  Yes, that is how much gear I have.  It might be a sickness.

athleta

Feetures Socks

Runners are picky about their socks, and I am no different.  I wear custom orthotics in my running shoes due to my ever-present plantar fasciitis, so I am extra particular, as the orthotics raise my feet up a little in my shoes.  I want no-show socks, but many brands slip below the shoe and cause the back of my heel to blister.

That’s why I love Feetures No Show socks (in Ultra Light for summer.)  They have a tab on the heel that prevents heel blisters and rises up just the right amount behind the shoe.  Me likey.  You would likey too.

Now for the accessories…the accoutrement!

Garmin Forerunner 220

After ten+ years of running, I finally broke and got my first Garmin this year.  She’s a hot little number, even if she constantly pisses me off by telling me I’m running slower than I think I should be.  She’s a heartbreaker, she is, but I love her anyway and bring her on every run.

Waist Leash

When I bring Oscar the running coach (though in this heat he’s more Oscar the 60-pound anchor that I drag along behind me), I wear a waist leash, as I’ve discussed before.  I don’t know the brand, but I love it because I can adjust the length and control him with my body weight (my arm is not strong enough when he sees a squirrel!)

SPIbelt

In the winter, I love my Armpocket, which works great for twig arms like mine, but summer means tan lines, and so I’ve switched to my SPIbelt.  This sucker doesn’t move, I swear.  Just strap it on and it stays in place.  It’s remarkably expansive too.  They come in different sizes, colors, prints, etc., and just now as I browsed the site I saw a new offering…the SPIleash!  Hot diggity dog…I need this!  I am usually wearing the SPIbelt plus the waist leash when I bring Oscar, and it’s a bit of a mess…much like me!

Sweaty Bands

I have a big head.  No, really…it’s literally large (see above photo.)  I have trouble finding headbands that will stay in place, and I’ve spent more of HH’s money than I care to admit looking for one that will hold my hair back and not move.  Sweaty Bands are the answer for me, but only in the super thin 3/8″ version shown in the link.  They don’t move, and they hand wash well.  I have them in the pink and white stripe and in a couple of blingy colors, which really isn’t my style but does look sassy.

Lululemon’s Bangbuster headbands work well, too, but they make me look like I’m undergoing chemo.  Why do they look adorable on other women but not on me?

Garminmemedal

Yurbuds Focus for Women

I’ve blathered on endlessly about my search for the perfect earbuds, so I’ll keep it short (read my previous post for a detailed bitch session on earphones.)  These are the best, even when you’re sweating copious amounts into your ear canal.  Warning, though—the behind the ear piece itself detaches, and I’ve lost one despite my best efforts to keep all the pieces together between runs.  Luckily, the bud still stays in place even without the earpiece.  Lucky me!

Outdoor Tech Adapt (Bluetooth Audio Adapter)

I’ve talked about this too, but it’s worth a mention.  I got it on sale for $20, and I love it.  It does glitch out occasionally, but the combined price of the Yurbuds ($30) and this ($20) is still less than I would pay for behind the ear Yurbuds with mic control.  Warning—if you attach the Tech Adapt to your SPIbelt and then lean over to tie your shoes, your muffin top will block the Bluetooth signal and you will lose your music momentarily! 😉

Ultimate Direction Handy 20

I have a Nathan Fuel Belt with 2 bottles, but I’ve always hated that thing.  It bruised me after my marathon last year, it leaked all the time, leaving me with Gatorade-drenched legs, and I never thought it was easy to drink from.  I recently bought the Ultimate Direction Handheld 20 oz. water bottle and haven’t looked back.  It is so easy to drink from—just pull the valve open with your teeth and bite on it a little to drink or squeeze the bottle for a burst.  The pocket holds keys, gel, whatever, and it’s comfortable to hold.  Winner winner.

Tifosi sunglasses

Love these things.  They keep the wind from drying out my contacts and camouflage the look of pain oozing out my eyeballs.  Plus, they make you look hardcore.  Bonus.

Nuun

All the electrolytes without the sugary carbs?  No Gatorade belching?  Sold!

Honey Stingers Energy Chews

Because gels make me sick.  Even looking at a gel packet makes me sick.  From both ends.

What have I spent money on that doesn’t get my MaybeMarathoner seal of approval?  The Nathan belt, any Nike top (too short!) or any top with a built-in bra (not comfortable!), many Athleta capris (hate to bag on them since I love their stuff but most of their capris slide down in the waist looking for a path of least resistance!), Gatorade (causes inhuman amounts of burping and also induces nausea), most race t-shirts (they say they wick, but they don’t breathe and are often too short!), Bic Bands headbands, and the Yurbuds Inspire Series (slip out once you sweat).

I should note that these are solely my opinions, and since I am a tiny lowly blog, I am not sponsored by anyone (though to quote Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone, “I ain’t cheap, but I can be had!”, sponsors!)

What works for you?  I’ve listed the obvious, but do you wear/bring anything that you can’t live without?

 

 

The Going Ups and the Coming Downs

Anybody know that song by Gladys Knight and the Pips?  It’s one of my favorites.  

Here in MaybeMarathoner world, the temps are rising, the base miles are building, and the speed is slowing in inverse proportion to the humidity (and not that anyone cares, but my hair is looking like total frizzy shit.)

Ooh, just when my hopes run high
And I think I’ve got it made
Hey, hey, along comes a rainy day
To rain on my parade, hey, hey, hey

There have been some good times, like last night when we went to a friend’s house for dinner and played a short game of Cards Against Humanity.  I am proud to call myself the winner.  It isn’t hard to win when you get genius cards, like when the black card was a Pick Two (where you use two cards from your hand) and the prompt was something along the lines of, “(Blank) leads to (Blank).”

I was fortunate enough to have “an erection lasting longer than four hours” AND “lockjaw” in my hand.

#WINNING!

They contemplated awarding me an extra point just for being so damn good.

There have been some bad times, too, and I’m not going to go all Tears of a Clown on you, because everything’s fine, but I’ve had a few good stress-relieving runs this week that I’ve sorely needed.  One was a tempo workout on the treadmill, which was actually hellish.  Why is a certain pace so easy to maintain on the road but then so torturously fast on the treadmill?  I hate you, conveyor belt from hell, and I am on the fence about whether tempo runs and I really do go together.

One minute you’re warm and lovin’
The next your hearts grown cold
The way you keep me guessin’
Is killin’ my soul

The kids are out of school, summer is here, and I leave you with one pic, shared by that last half marathon I ran a few weeks ago.  This popped up on Facebook, and I laughed my ass off.  This pic was apparently taken at Aid Station 4, and I stick out like a sore thumb for several reasons.

Image

Bitch that I am, my first thought seeing this pic was anger that that many people were still close to me and trying to steal my rightful place in line (yes, I think that way.  Don’t you?)  Screw you, people–you can’t have it!

Second, the bright pink tank and my placement in the photo, I feel, make me stand out.  I look at my a-cups in this photo and cackle.  My sister has already asked me to pick up one of that kind of bra for her and said that it looks like I’ve had a boob job.  I have not.  If you are interested, I am wearing the medium support Lululemon yoga bra, and yes it had slight removable cups in it to prevent bullet nips, but DAMN!

Third, and best of all, THE. LOOK. ON. MY. FACE.  I should hold a Caption Me contest.  The munchkin gal next to me looks so happy to be running and receiving water, and I look like I always do in race pics.  Confused, mentally challenged, like I thought I was running a 5k and wandered into an ultra marathon…WTF?

Did I smell cow manure?  Was I already trying to scope out a finish line?  Looking for hills up ahead?  Picking a suffering runner to chase down?  One of these days, as the good Lahd is my witness, I will take a good race pic (which of course I would trade in a heartbeat for a sub 1:50 half marathon, as I do have my priorities in line.)

Do you have a good caption for this photo?  Is the heat and humidity taking a toll on your speed?  Do share!  Happy running!

 

Thoughts on Yoga

Everyone touts yoga as a perfect complement to running.

ImageThe stretching and flexibility gains in your core, quads, hamstrings and hip flexors can only help your running, right?  Where running brings out the inner freak in many of us (what’s my last split? Trample the weak, hurdle the dead! Outta the way, bitches!), yoga brings balance and peace.

Image

“In this rare hand-tinted portrait from the Kutte Ka Studio in Agra (c. 1900), we see Swami Chote in Kukkutasana pose. This swami known for his diminutive size (chote means tiny in Hindi) and amazing flexibility became a sensation throughout India at the turn of the 19th century.”

Yoga Dog photos by Dan Borris, found here with hysterical captions!

So I have now attended a few yoga classes, as I bridge the gap between the Heartland 39.3 series and the official beginning of training for the NYC Marathon…the running wedgie, if you will, where I crank up my base miles and turn my thighs into Flo Jo lookalikes (minus the muscle.  They just look big and flabby.)  These are just easy yoga classes offered up at the club we belong to…nothing too heavy, no bikram or hot yoga (ew!), just the basics.  Frankly, the basics are difficult enough.

Here are my initial thoughts on yoga, recognizing that I’m not an inner peace kind of gal.  I like to think I’m laid back, but in a tightly wound sort of way.  That’s probably why running appeals to me…I can zone out on slow runs, but in a focused manner (that probably doesn’t make much sense.)  So yoga is a stretch for me (get it…a stretch?  Damn, I am funny!)  

1:  The Happy Baby Pose.  This feels ridiculous, especially when she tells us to roll around.  I’m paying money to roll around on the floor like an asshole?  Then you tell me it’s also called the Wind Pose and that many people fart here?  If I smell gas, I want a refund.  That old guy next to me looks like he’s primed and ready.  Point your happy baby some other direction, mister.

A word of advice?  Don’t look around during this pose.  You don’t want to see everyone’s junk.  Eyes on the ceiling.

Image

source

2: The Downward Facing Dog.  Ok, I get it after a few sessions.  This is a base go-to move, and it feels amazing.  Still, I can’t help but think of all the raunchy jokes I can make here.  My mind races in this pose.

Image

source

I feel like Fifty Cent every time I get into position…

Face down, ass up!

and I’m pretty sure that singing Just a Lil Bit is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

Get it cracking in the club when you hear this shit!

3: The Vinyasa Flow/Sequence/Whatever.  I love this.  Start in the DFD, get out to the plank position, lower with elbows tucked, push up into Cobra, back down, and back up into DFD.  I really like repeated exercises of this, but it is work for my twig arms to support my body weight (these a-cups really add some heft.)  My friend calls this the Fuck You Pose.  You can probably see why we get along.

4: The Block.  Block?  I don’t need no stinkin’ block!  I’m better than that!  I can reach my foot/the floor/my ass without any help.

A few seconds later…where’s the damn block?  I have all the flexibility of a fence post.

5: Warrior III Pose.  Yep, it’s a fight, alright.  Me against the floor.  Floor wins.

Image

source

6.  Child’s Pose.  The name for this resting pose is a joke.  I’ve had two children.  Children don’t rest, and apparently, neither do my hips, because they will not lay down in this position.  Maybe it’s my muffin top getting in the way.  Damn kids.

Image

source

7.  The Tree Pose.

 Image

source

I can’t find the article now, but I read something about thinking of your inner thigh and the sole of the other foot as two pieces of bread, and that you’re making a serious panini.  I can hold this pose, but it’s like I’m a tree during a hurricane.  I wobble like a weeble, and I want to fall down.

The answer, my friend

Is blowing in the wind

8.  The Eagle Pose.  We had a new instructor the other day…British Charlotte.  She had the voice of someone who was on downers, and the attitude of Satan’s minion, as she introduced us to the Eagle Pose.  Any pose that takes four different steps to even get into puts me one step closer to a sprained ankle.

Image

source

How do you breath between your shoulder blades?  Do tell.

I loved it when we got into the position (somewhat) and then she told us to lower our asses and sit on that leg.  If I could have unwrapped myself, and if she had been a little closer, I might have backslapped her.

9.  The Attitude.  Ok, so I like yoga so far.  I admit it.  I just don’t like the attitude, the soft voices, the comments to breathe into our tightness (WTF?) and to let our thoughts go without thinking of them (in the corpse pose.)  It just makes me want to laugh.  And when we finish in the corpse pose (I’m great at that pose), the one instructor comes by and scares the bejesus out of me by suddenly rubbing my temples and pulling my hair out of my headband so I’m left looking like a Chinese Crested dog.

Image

source

Still, I will be back, because I am somewhat hooked.  What do you think of yoga?  I would love to hear any thoughts!

I will leave you with a link to a great article on drunken yoga poses…

because this is funny!

Image

source

Namaste, bitches!