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

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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…

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Fartsy!

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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!

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Hell No, You Did Not Just Do That: The Tale of an Ignorant Driver

In my 9-10 years of running, I’ve encountered a lot of drivers.

I’ve been honked at…sometimes in a show of encouragement, sometimes in a naughty way, sometimes just because…

I’ve come close to getting hit…

I’ve been whistled at, yelled at and ogled (and seriously, why, men, why?)…

I’ve been stared at, glared at, looked at wistfully by drivers who probably wished they were out running setting the kind of KILLER pace that I run (not!)…

I’ve had drivers put it in reverse to get out of my way and give me the opportunity to run by…

I’ve had drivers be incredibly polite and I’ve had drivers be rude…

But until this week, I’ve never had someone pull up next to me, roll down their window and yell at me.

Let me be clear.  I run in the street.  Asphalt is much softer on the shins and joints than concrete.  I run mostly in my neighborhood on wide streets with a 25-mph speed limit.  Our neighborhood is stuffed to the brim with walkers, runners, cyclists, people with dogs–it’s an adorable little slice of Americana.  We are all over the sidewalks and streets.  We are everywhere.

I am an exceedingly courteous and safe runner.  I run facing traffic so that I can make adjustments for cars (and please tell me if you are a runner that you don’t run with your back to traffic—NEVER do that!).  Though I wear headphones, I keep the tunes turned down enough so that I can stay aware of my surroundings.  When I see a truck coming, I generally hop up onto the grass immediately.  When I see a car approaching, I consider several things:

  1. Do I spy white hair or someone of very short stature (elderly shrinking must be a real bitch!)?
  2. Are hands in a 10 and 2 position (dead giveaway for an elderly driver!)?
  3. Is the car a Buick or an old Cadillac (again, a dead giveaway.)?

If I get a whiff of an over-70 driver, my ass is on the grass unless I see obvious signs that they see me.  Otherwise, I will slide over to the curbline and run right along it so that the approaching car doesn’t have to make a huge adjustment, even tucking my arm in so that they have plenty of room.  This can actually be difficult, because I have huge feet and an over-pronating kickout running style.  Occasionally, my skis feet will whack the curb in such situations.

The point is, I yield for drivers.  I don’t assume that they will move for me.  And if a driver gives me a wide berth so that I don’t have to run right along the edge, I acknowledge it with a thank-you wave and a smile.  I feel like I’ve built up a lot of good driver karma over the years.  I’m like John Lennon in his bed-in.  Peace, baby!

But as I was running Wednesday, karma went out the window with one dumb hag.  It only takes a second, right?

The scene:  I was at the beginning of my run, easing into my pace and jamming to Tangerine by Harry Connick, Jr.  I saw two cars coming my way, with no car coming from the opposite direction.  I moved over to the edge of the curb, tucking in my elbow and getting out of their way.  I really wasn’t paying too much attention–until the first car came to a halt in the middle of the street (forcing the car behind it to come to a sudden stop), and the woman inside rolled down her window and screamed, “You need to use the sidewalk!”

It took me a second to process what was happening, by which point she was already rolling up her window and smugly driving off.  I was ENRAGED, people, ENRAGED!  I wanted to launch myself onto her car like a World War Z zombie, but she was past me.

I did the only thing I could.  I leaned out into the street and gave that sedentary bi$#h the Double Rod Salute until I couldn’t see her car anymore.

I really should thank her, because she kicked my run into high gear.  It’s been awhile since I’ve run off so much rage.  The nerve!  She really got my Native American blood boiling…or maybe that bit of Irish blood on my grandmother’s side.  I don’t get mad that often, but when I do, it’s full-on hate.

Drivers can be so rude.  If you have a good driver story to share (and I’m sure most of you do), I’d love to hear it!

I recovered from my emotional trauma 😦 by golfing yesterday with my sister TiffeeG.  She doesn’t golf, but she came along for the promise of snacks and laughter.  We had great weather and just had a ball together, even though I shot a 120.  I am getting better, though, so I’m trying not to get too discouraged…I even chipped in a shot from over 50 feet away!

Happy golfer…nice weather, day with Sissy, and no one yelling at me!
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Man, what a finish, right?  Yeah, right!

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Stay safe on those streets, fellow runners, and screw the haters!

What I’m running to:  Pumpin’ Blood by NONONO.  I got it free on iTunes–might be free all this week!  Check it out!

Odds and Ends (Mostly Odds)

Greetings!  I feel like I haven’t posted in forever…almost a week!  Here is a hodgepodge of what’s been going on here…

Visitors

My Swiss bestie Pam is in for the summer, and she deigned to leave that hotspot Wichita, KS, for a quick weekend visit.  We talked, I hugged her a lot, we sipped wine and we shopped.

I met Pam shortly after moving to Geneva in 2009.  We met on the street after walking our kids to the first day of international school (which was luckily in our neighborhood.)  I found out that she was American, which in Switzerland confers instant friend status, but once I found out that she lived directly behind me, had arrived on the same day AND also was from the Midwest, I made her my new favorite person and IKEA shopping  (not to mention wine drinking) partner.  We’re talking friendship beads on our shoes and everything.

Fun facts:  Pam is gorgeous, makes incredible cupcakes, will stay at your house until 3am cleaning wineglasses because you are leaving on the 7am train to Paris, and will run a half-marathon with you, but will NOT touch raw meat without gloves on…

ImageHer visit coincided with our one-year repatriation anniversary.  I could go on and on about what it’s like being a repatriate, but I’ll save it for another post.  Your time is valuable!

Target Acquired

I’ve got my weekly mileage back up around 18 miles.  Everything feels great, though my right leg always seems to feel a little jammed up where my thigh runs into my ass/groin/hip.  So for the first 2-3 minutes of every run, I feel like I look a little funny because I’m adjusting for the pain until things loosen up.  I think that I look awkward, then I remember that I’m a vicious overpronator even on my best day, so why worry?

With this as my normal running look, I can’t worry about looking bad…

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I’m going to sign up for the Waddell and Reed half marathon on October 19th here in KC.  It’s time to race again.  After waffling back and forth, I’ve decided to follow Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan (instead of the Advanced.)  I think it starts in the next week or two.  I’m excited to get back to training…I love the religion of following a program closely and the accountability aspect of it.  I hope that I can speed up a little, since my fast-twitch muscle fibers seem to have gone the way of my waistline in the past year (off to some distant land.)  I will boldly set a time goal sometime in the next few weeks and announce it on this blog to try and hold myself to it for training paces and whatnot.

Oh by Golly, I’m Hot Today

Golf…my new obsession!  I had my second lesson with Dave (my golf BFF…GBFF?) on Tuesday night.  He is a man that I love, because he is telling me that I am awesome even though I am not.  We worked on hitting the driver for most of the lesson, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t hitting the snot out of that thing.  I told him that I wanted to hit the shit out of the ball, so we worked on not just taking a swing but really using my body the right way to drive power through the ball.  He told me that I would swing and miss some since I was trying to be aggressive and that that was okay.  It just feels so embarrassing, even though no one is looking!  I got the hang of it though, and it was beyond fun.  I was hitting it straight and was able to hit some draws (new lingo to me), which he said is a powerful shot.

Golf, where have you been all my life?

We also worked on irons, and GBFF said that I was proceeding beyond all expectations and that we could head out on the course for our next lesson so he could teach me more about different shots, rough, etc..  Bring it on!  

Am I good?  No.  I suck.  But I’m doing good for a beginner with just two lessons.

I was aglow after my lesson…

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We played nine holes that same night as a family, and I had two actual bogeys!  I would have even had a par on one Par 3 hole if I’d had any clue how to putt.  I hit a few nice drives right down the middle of the fairways!  HH begrudgingly is allowing me a few more lessons, though he’s mumbling something about never having had a lesson and some nonsense about a money tree in the backyard.  I wasn’t really listening…just basking in the feeling of driving the cart right up the middle to look for my ball.  And BTW, it’s much easier for this blind bat to find her ball when it’s not in the deep rough.  Pearls of wisdom, right?  That’s me.

Dogs are Disgusting

This beast has discovered that drinking out of the toilet is fun and accessible.  I’m horrified.  He is feeling very ashamed here.

Mommy, please don’t take me to the shelter!  I promise to be good!

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Fixations Old and New

Happy Friday afternoon!  I am beyond excited…my Swiss bestie Pam is coming to visit me later today.  She will be here until Sunday, and I probably will sit next to her and hug her inappropriately all weekend long.  I can’t wait to post pics of her visit next week.

Running

As I’ve mentioned lately, my summer running has been pretty poor.  I’ve waited too late in the day to get my runs in, and when I have headed out, I’ve been running too fast for the heat and/or my goals and then shaving off distance as I get tired/overheated/behind schedule for summer activities.

I was determined to run six miles this morning.  I took off around 10:30 (temps in the low 80s), chose a route with some pretty good hills and told myself to take it slow and not to speed up as I went.  I was aiming for a 10:00-10:15 slow easy pace.  My splits were:

  1. 9:49
  2. 9:42
  3. 9:25
  4. 9:35
  5. 9:13
  6. 9:25

Oops.  Major fail.

Still, I did it, and it felt good, so why stop, right?  I was pretty happy with it–my first six-miler in quite a few weeks.  I really want to start paying attention to my weekly mileage again and start refocusing my running.  Enough of this random stuff!  Time to get this program in gear!

Golf

We recently joined the club in our neighborhood, and this means of course that I HAVE to learn how to golf.  I’ve been to the driving range a few times and hacked around on the course with HH and the kids last weekend.  We even found a set of clubs (difficult for me since I’m a leftie) at Dick’s last weekend on the cheap.

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I had my first lesson on Tuesday night, and it was pretty funny.  The pro’s name is Dave, and he started the lesson by asking me my education and work background.  He said he likes to get to know players and their personalities a little.

Masters, Ph.D, stay-at-home mom for over a decade.

Then he asked me if I am a competitive person.  Oh yeah.  You have no idea.

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He asked me what kind of results I’m looking for with my lessons.  Utter club domination, Dave.  What kind of person wants anything else?  Of course, I’m realistic, and I’ve seen some of the amazing female golfers at the club, so I’ll settle for fast and consistent improvement.  Get me there quick already.  I suck bad right now.  Less talk, more action.

Dave seemed satisfied that he had a good read on me, so he finished up by saying I looked like an athlete and asked what I do to stay in shape.

Oh, Dave…now I love you and will pay you money every week.  I’m a sucker for a compliment.

Dave says that I have a distinct advantage by being fit and in shape.

Did I mention that I loved Dave at this point?

I loved him even more after 30 minutes of instruction.  He was high-fiving, fist-pumping, and telling me that I was a natural.  According to Dave, I’m not just going to play golf, I’m going to play GREAT golf.

Dave is very good at the sales and rah-rah aspect of his job, and I promptly signed up for another lesson.  HH is rolling his eyes at my gullibility and grumbling how he’s played golf since his teens and never had a lesson.  I think he’s happy, though, to see me getting into it–it’s something we can do together as a couple and as a family.  I’ve been to the driving range faithfully every day to practice…I am nothing if not obsessive about things, and at the very least, I want to be less embarrassed when I’m out there.  I still swing and miss sometimes, and when that happens I want to die.  DIE!

I also need to work on sighting my ball.  HH had to point it out to me about a thousand times when we were on the course.  He now calls me Mrs. Havencamp.  Very funny.  Of course, if I could just figure out how to stay on the fairways, I wouldn’t have such a hard time finding it, right?

Happy weekend and happy running!