playing it by ear

I sat out my cross-training yesterday to really rest my knee. I kept it wrapped up and iced it when I could. It’s definitely a new sort issue for me. It was so strange. It would feel fine for an hour or so and then suddenly it would twinge up again. My best description of the pain is that feeling you get when you put just a little too much pressure on a bruise. Not like when you bash it into the coffee table for the 53rd time in 2 days, but when you stop just short of the tears-in-the-eyes pressure to a bruise. Today? TOTALLY NORMAL. I could feel it a bit this morning when I was curled into the big green chair to read some stories with Sweet Little Monster. Based on the way I was trying to sit when it hurt, I can tell it’s from doing a side lunge (or 12) incorrectly. I’m still planning on doing my cross-training tomorrow, but I’ll be paying extra attention to my form.

I had a speed workout on the schedule for today and I am so glad I decided against taking it to the track! It’s been one of those days where it’s raining, then it’s so sunny you’re temporarily blinded and back and forth with no predictability. At least here. Apparently it’s a matter of blocks. I was debating if I should wear a hat and retrospectively the answer was yes. About a mile in it started raining, and not the usual PNW drizzle.

Like all my neighbors who have lived in Western Washington for at least a decade I’m a non-certified hydrology expert, specializing in precipitation (actually, I might be certified since I come from a long line of PNWerners). This started off with fat little drops that got bigger and faster until it was literally blowing in sideways care of the stiff little wind that picked up out of nowhere. It was coming down so hard that I couldn’t see anything, thanks in part to that lovely breeze being a headwind. I had to wring water out of my shirt twice and it really made no difference.The lake/pond I was passing looked like it had whitecaps and I could barely see the cars across the street when I made it to the end of the pond trail.

It was glorious!

I plan to continue to baby my knee, but I’m not in enough pain to actually sit out a run. I did have it wrapped and maybe that helped. I think being conscious of every step the last 36 hours has helped as well. I’ll do some more RICE tonight and try to behave tomorrow.



Horrible. No good. Very bad run. Actually, it wasn’t so awful, but something is wrong with my knee. Not in the usual aches and pains sort of way. It was about 1.75 miles in this morning and something popped. I didn’t hear it (thanks to Sublime being all x-rated in my eardrums and stuff) but I certainly felt it. I’ve had it wrapped all day and I’m icing it. From my position, I can see three possible causes:

  • Doing side lunges incorrectly
  • I tied my shoes differently today and it didn’t feel right
  • Karmic retribution for ordering a bike helmet yesterday

Logically, the first one is most likely the culprit. I had to go to pee and Jillian wouldn’t let me pause the dvd so I was not paying as much attention to my form as I should have. I’m superstitious so the second and third options are also viable in my mind. I don’t think it had anything to do with the path, but I am obviously no expert. I wasn’t able to get rid of it by stretching or walking. Changing my gate and pace did nothing to help. Just when I was ready to head home the pain vanished. And just when I exhaled my (preëmptive) sigh of relief, it started throbbing again. That continued for the rest of the run. Retrospectively, I should have gone straight home. But I am stubborn with a tendency towards being a hypochondriac. I really wanted to test it (in a gentle way) and see if I could run it out. I need to give myself time to analyze my pain to be able to judge if it’s actually something that is serious. The pain never got worse, so at least there’s that. Not that it tells me anything, really. It’s a little achy but as  soon as I start walking it eases up.

It’s frustrating since the point of me sticking to a training plan was to avoid injuries. This is a new one since the pain has always been on the outside of the joint and now it’s the inside. I’m just going to keep RICE-ing it and avoid medical websites since I’ll end up self-diagnosing something bizarre.  If it doesn’t feel better in the morning, I’ll think of something . I’ll be thinking healing, positive, sane thoughts while choking down a meal with the in-laws. God help me but I’m going to need wine.

But my helmet got here today and it’s beautiful! It’s all aubergine and lovely. Oh, happiness!

Weekend Update

So I totally slacked yesterday and ended up taking two full rest days in a row. And I don’t feel guilty about it. Well, maybe a little. Which brings me up to this morning and the St. Paddy’s Day Dash. I’m just going to break it down list-style since that’s how I am.

The good:

  • all four of my alarms went off this morning (daylight savings confuses the hell out of me/ I wasn’t sure if my phone would adjust itself in a timely fashion)
  • I managed breakfast and coffee AND a shower and still left on time
  • beautiful weather
  • the new route is AWESOME!
  • I remembered my ID so I could hang out with Hubs in the beer garden and not drink beer at 9:30 in the morning (I never drink beer and this was no exception. I propose that Jameson sponsor next year!)
  • I kept up with Hubs (he’s 8-9 inches taller and it’s all leg so this is a big feat for me!)
  • I led a train of cars to the most awesome parking spot and received a salute and 3 thumbs-up in thanks ( they all followed me from the freeway. I felt like Mrs. Mallard from Make Way for Ducklings)
  • My tutu was SWEET!

The bad:

  • traffic was sucky because of road construction on I-90 and the exit off I-5 to Queen Anne was backed up almost a mile (typical, actually)
  • I forgot my gloves so my fingers were frozen for the first mile
  • My camera battery was dead so Hubs is going to take a picture of me in my outfit tomorrow so I can post it
  • Daylight Savings Time (Hi. Farmers get up with the sun, regardless of what the clock says, so why do the rest of us have to suffer?!?!?!)

The ugly:

  • Someone broke into my car (Hubs’ car too!) last night (he/they didn’t get anything since neither of us keep any valuables in the car. But still. That’s a hell of a way to wake up)

That last bit was sort of dominating my thoughts on the drive into town. In all honesty, I’m not that upset about it. Sure, someone violated my possession but I’d rather it happen to my car than myself. Nothing was taken, and at least they had the courtesy to get in the car without breaking anything. I have a 4-year-old, so it’s not like my car’s interior was in pristine condition anyway. This is the type of thing that would have ruined my day (if not my week) before I started running. I have a short fuse and assholes tend to make it run out faster. I thought about it a bit (and now I’m wasting everyone’s time blogging about it) but I’m not upset at all. No one was hurt, nothing was taken and life goes on.

Back to the race recap, such as it is. It was cold but sunny. Beautiful. There were over 15,000 participants (I think the race is a bigger draw than the St. Patrick’s Day parade) which made it a lot warmer than the actual temp (about 40F). The route was changed last year, but this was my first time on it. I loved the old route, but the new one is pretty cool, too. It’s an out and back loop with the first half being up a gradual hill and then back down in the second half. I’m a shortie so I didn’t even see a mile marker until the 3rd mile. That’s when Hubs took off, but he never got too far ahead. I finished exactly 30 seconds after he did, which is awesome!! For some reason, everyone slowed down at the last turn (with about 2 city blocks to go to the finish). It was bizarre. Next year we decided to run in the green wave (timed, awards) because there were A LOT of walkers in the red wave (timed, no awards) so it was hard to keep a steady pace.  After the trip to the beer garden we headed out for breakfast (my second). We went to a spot in the industrial district south of the stadiums. I had my usual post-race 2 eggs (sunny side up), hashbrowns, toast and this place had Morning Star Farms breakfast patties to round it out. Hubs got an omelet with brisket in it and Swiss cheese. Dunno about that one. Brisket’s just not my thing.

Best of all was the morning I got to spend with Hubs sans Sweet Little Monster. We do get the occasional night out, but it was really nice to run together and then get a meal out. Clearly, it’s been a while. Hubs has even mentioned going running together (possibly at THE BOG) multiple times today. Ah, Cloud 9!

5 in the rain

It’s March in the beautiful PNW, which means Mother Nature is at her bipolar finest. I had actually forgotten how refreshing a run in the rain could be. There was a nice strong headwind at the start of my run, but it disappeared soon after. I took a new route (for the most part) and it was nice. Not too hilly, but no chance of being flat. It was supposed to be an easy run, but I have a hard time keeping a ‘conversational’ pace while running solo. I tried. Really, I did. Time to find a running partner or three. I’m getting so excited for the race on Sunday! Tomorrow is packet pick up and costume gathering time. 😀

I joined some new challenges at Nike+ but like usual it’s not registering my most recent run yet. Maybe this is Steve Jobs’ way of trying to get me to buy a new iPod? In terrifying news about my running capris, it appears UPS has misplaced them. Somewhere between here and Illinois. Note to self- just pay for shipping next time, Cheap-o. I really wasn’t expecting them to be here by Sunday, so I’m not too bummed out. Hopefully they will show up tomorrow while I’m out running errands.

The lovely (I’m quite sure!) Seattle Runner Girl had a recent post that has me thinking. The gist of it is, do something that scares you. Personally, I’m taking this in a baby steps sort of way. I will not be jumping out of or off of anything, sorry to disappoint. The thing is, I’ve experienced so many scary things life changing events in the last 9 or so months that I don’t know what I have left. Actually, I’m left with a litany of irrational fears. (Exaggerate? Moi? Never!) So today or maybe tomorrow I’m going to face one of those fears head on.

I’m going to eat a banana.

Go ahead and laugh. It’s okay. I would laugh, too. I’m not exactly afraid of bananas. It’s more like the smell/texture makes me dry heave if I think about it too long. I don’t even drink smoothies because they always have bananas in them and then they smell and I can’t get past the banana smell! Banana flavored Runts however… but I digress. I even have a plan of action. Cut it in rounds and cut them in half. That way they can’t turn into banana paste in my mouth. *deep breath* I don’t plan on eating more than half since the bananas Hubs got are basically the size of my forearm. It’s like they all have a case of elephantiasis or one of those brain tumors on the pituitary gland that make people grow to enormous size. Ugh. But, much like my classes this coming quarter, I will reserve judgment (and even thinking about it) until it’s already started. Wish me luck!

family event

I did another speed work out today. I still can’t tell if I’m doing it right. I guess that’s just something I’ll have to find out with time. I do find myself going faster than I think I should during my “slow” stretches. I took Sweet Little Monster with me today. He rode his motorcycle (as he calls it) and kept up really well. We did a little over 3 miles. I’m so proud of him! And myself of course. He really needs a nap today so now I’m guaranteed to be able to get him down. Genius mama moment! Anyway, not much to report. It was a very boring run. We went to the local park and just did laps around the soccer fields. Hubs was there practicing his kicks (his team made the playoffs and they have a big game tonight) and as back up in case SLM decided he didn’t want to stay with me. I hope to never do an entire run on that track again. So boring!

I’m now at the point where I can appreciate the importance of stretching. And on that note, it’s breakfast time!

all better

Yesterday’s bad mood is long gone! It was just a laid back cross training day. I’ve decided that I really don’t like push-ups, but I’ll stick out this challenge. I really prefer getting my exercise in midday, but I just didn’t get to it until late. I feel so powerful right now! Well, my arms sort of feel more like jello, but that’s not the point. 😉 My capris are on their way. Just in time for me to have to bust out my lined dead-of-winter pants, courtesy of the snow flurries I witnessed this afternoon. Oh, March. Just this once could you please make up your mind?

We spent the day checking out possible housing. I made Hubs laugh because I was (apparently) judging neighborhoods based solely on my ability to run in that area. A girl has to have priorities, right?

I also had a minor epiphany. I think a lot of my gloomy mood yesterday was based on the fact that I’m a little tired of every run being a hill work out. The fact is, I live in a hilly place. I’m just outside the foothills to some major mountains. Hills happen. I plan on running most of my races in this general geographic region, so why shouldn’t I be running hills? I’m so ready to do tomorrow’s fartlek!

I’m losing my train of thought and my show has started. Good night, loves!

yesterday and today

Belated posting due to a need to snuggle with Hubs on the couch while watching a movie so awful that I will never repeat it’s title and enjoying a grown-up drink (or two).

I started my day off yesterday with what was supposed to be an easy conversational paced run. I’m not sure I can do that without someone else. Regardless of my seeming inability to not run at least at a moderate pace, I felt really good. I was planning on running the trails again, but the parks department people haven’t finished with the new cedar. The smell was overpowering, and they were using micro sized steam rollers to squash the chips down so it was deafening even over my music. Hopefully they will be finished and the smell will have dissipated by Tuesday since I plan to avoid the trails until then. I did the rest of my run on the streets and the gravel green belt trails. It was so pretty! The weather is just unbelievably nice. It was chilly, but I actually wore shorts. First time ever! They didn’t fit as well as I was hoping, but after reflecting for a minute I realized it’s most likely because they were purchased roughly 10 lbs ago. The curse of always being between sizes, I guess. I’ve needed to make the switch to shorts (as I still haven’t buckled in to buy a pair of capris) because I’ve overheated fairly quickly on my recent runs. I’ve also started my post-run showers with cold water ( in lieu of an ice bath) and I think it’s making a difference. And as a bonus, I’m not cranking the hot all the way up like I usually do. The water heater in our house is perfectly sized to provide ample hot water to a single Smurf, so this really is a good thing. As for today. I haven’t taken a rest day this week but I’m not sure that I want to do it. I think I’ll do yard work and call it a half-rest day. I’m feeling really good, so the idea of taking a rest day makes me feel a little lazy/guilty. We’ll see how lazy/guilty I feel after an hour of pushing the mower around sloping front and back yards. 😉 Maybe I’ll just sneak in a mile this afternoon. For serious purposes only. My Nike+ sensor is a little off and if I’m going to use it I really ought to calibrate it.

Usually I turn my Nike+ on as soon as I’m out the door, and include my warm up and cool down in the total workout. No real benefit either way, but yesterday I wanted to see what my real running pace was, sans the slower paced bookends. It made a HUGE difference in my pace! I knew it would make a difference, but I’m riding high on the time difference. It’s almost 1:30 faster than my official pace at the VD5K. Awesome! I’m really looking forward to my race next Sunday. Hubs and I are picking up our packets on Friday and then we’re going to hit the costume store. I’ll definitely post a picture of my ensemble. And in the don’t-hold-your-breath column of life, Hubs has mentioned that he might be willing to go on my longer, conversational paced runs with me. The poor dear. He’s 8-9 inches taller than I am and I think it’s all leg. He’ll probably have to speed walk instead. The company would be nice, though.