Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm running again!

So maybe it's not on land and perhaps I don't need shoes to do it but at least my body is going through the running motions.  In water.  Have you aqua-jogged?  Was it during an injury or part of cross training or were you looking for a way to test your boredom coping capabilities? 

Not-me aquajogging
I have been strapping on the aquabelt about 4 times so far.  I have worked my way up to near an hour and a half of aqua running and have also started freestyle swimming without kicking.  I initially added that because I needed to break up the monotony of running in water.  The equivalent expression, "A watched pot never boils," with aquajogging is, "A watched string of flags never gets closer." 

The most exciting sessions I have are when the water aerobics class gets their groove on so I have been trying to plan my running around that schedule.  I taught water aerobics at the Y and loved it and loved the mostly-seniors who participated. What an entertaining group of people! 

I had my follow up doctor's appointment last week and discovered that I really do have a fractured metatarsal even though the written report by the radiologist stated I didn't. It was very odd. The xray clearly shows the break.  The doctor will see me again in 3 weeks to see how it's progressing. I still cannot do any impact exercises and will continue pursuing my water exercises. I am going to add in weight machines this week since I can do those without using impact on my foot.

Here is an interesting article on aqua jogging.  The latest research on the effectiveness of aqua jogging and 3 scientifically supported tips to help you get the most out of your deep water running

A friend mentioned an alter-g treadmill as another option during my rehab.  I will look into it, however, I don't know if it will be acceptable as there may be some impact.  Have you used one of these rare machines?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I know your secret!

If you are reading this, I know your nasty, little secret. You hide it, lie about it, cover it up, try to keep yourself from succumbing to its powers, and blame others. Admit it! You. Are. A. Farter!

Now, now, it's okay. I won't tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.  Can I tell you something, though?  As much as you break wind accidentally, cut the cheese in enclosed spaces, produce silent but deadly clouds of gas, you are not fooling anyone.

Even Google is shy about it. I searched facts about gas and facts about farts. Every suggested search item produced something completely irrelevant to what I want to know. Every person on this planet lets loose and yet no one wants to discuss the inevitable moments when our bodies betray us in the most awkward places and times.  Shocking, right?  Apparently this phenomenon only happens to certain people, like, I don't know, EVERYONE!  Look around today and remember that they have or will have flatulence today.  And it's normal. Okay?  Totally normal.  My best guess is that we are ashamed to admit we have an ANUS.  Okay, there, I wrote it.  Get over it.

As a runner, I feel it is my duty to inform all the non-runners that we are crude and rude on the run. Topics surrounding bodily functions on the run are often accompanied by a show and tell session. Our modesty is wiped away with each step (and wipe in public...truth).  Have you ever seen the line to the porta potties at a race?  We are not ashamed to hold a roll of toilet paper in public or squat down in the middle of the trail with our lookout runner-friend 2 feet away.  Warming up before a race is just another way to test our stomachs and jar all of the gas out before we immerse ourselves into the race crowd out of courtesy for other runners. It doesn't always work, though, and many a "horn" is heard at the sound of the gun.

For whatever reason, farting (you are cringing because I wrote that, right?) in a race isn't nearly as embarrassing as, say, in the elevator.

My most embarrassing gas escape happened during an overnight party at the high school for my volleyball team.  It was in the middle of the night, lack of sleep, hopped up on caffeine and pizza and we were goofing in the gym. I jumped up to spike the ball and when I came down, well, it was not my finest moment.  It's how I shut the game down.

What is your most embarrassing fart moment?

Flatulence pads - reusable!   In case you ever need a "muffler"...
Did you know there are products available to filter your farts?  Seriously!  Fart filtering cushion!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not Running Life

January 10, 2013

Obviously this won't be a race report, unless you want to hear about how I was in a race to the bathroom with my kitty, me on crutches and wearing a boot, and kitty hyped up and doing circles around me since she knew I would be doing the magic trick of opening a can of food for her. Note to my former writing students: that was a run on sentence.

Nearly 2 weeks have passed since "the Incident" and everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking, dressing myself, etc., have all taken on a new level of importance. My chopsticks, er...crutches, have been used in ways not intended. My left leg is thankfully strong and getting stronger. I recommend not carrying liquid in an open container while moving about your house, heaven forbid, should you be in this predicament.

My family is super helpful but can't always be there when I need help. Some ways I've worked around this is pushing a laundry basket around with one crutch, hopping, and pushing it more until I arrive at the designated spot. I've also kept a backpack near my chair and carry things around in it. A cat-pack is in progress and I'll let you know if I am successful using my four cats to carry things around the house for me.

Exercising has been more challenging with this injury than the one I had 2 years ago.  With Injury #1, I had more ability to use my leg as long as I didn't point my toes. There's not much I can do with a broken metatarsal since any pressure is painful and not advised at this point.  I've used free weights, done some ab/core work but have found myself slacking. I did an hour of Just Dance last night which was awesome! Perhaps if you saw me, awkward might better describe it, but for me, AWESOME. It annoyed me to not be able to move my legs and get my cardio up but I did sweat a little.

Today I am contemplating aqua jogging. You've seen them in the pool, those pretend runners.  Well now that will be me. Don't judge me, tell me I'm in your way or kick my foot as you go by. I will be working my tail off to get some cardio training. And when you jump out of the pool, think of me hopping my way up the pool stairs and crawling out on my hands and knees. Have a heart. I will definitely be wearing shorts!

I've been keeping track of my food intake since my injury and I will freely admit that when I'm healthy and running, I eat a lot. A LOT. It's been a challenge to cut down on portion sizes because my gut didn't get the memo that I'm not running.

On another note, I have started taking Christmas decorations down today. Normally it's done by January 2nd but I've been a little sidetracked. And I heard it's not even a crime until March 1st. So technically I'm ahead of the game!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yukon Do It! Marathon December 31, 2012

This is the third year running of the Yukon Do It! Marathon. I had the idea for this in 2010 and Tony Seabolt implemented my idea and I handed over the race to him the following year.  Here's the first year's report in 3 parts:  Pre-race  Race Day - part one  Race Day - part two.

I couldn't stay home and sulk while my friends were out there running. This would have been the third race in Quadzilla.  Other than my injury, my body was in good shape.  I wanted to get out there and cheer on my friends and take part in some small way. It still feels like my baby and I'll always want to participate or help in some way.

My daughter, Crystal, agreed to drive me to Manchester where the half and full marathoners would be running. She brought her computer and set out to get some editing done while I rang bells, took pictures, and way-to-go'd as many runners as I could. Bill Barmore, an ever-present helper or runner at races, let me hang out at his aid station.  Steve Walters was also there taking pictures. He coordinated the Quadzilla and when I told him he could let someone else buy my sweatshirt, he told me he already did. Gah.  Of course!
Pedro, 1st Female Marathon winner, Pedro

Lori Moriarity, 2nd female, 1st masters.  
Amanda Hoskins led in 2nd place for most of the race
Hi Beverly!
Erik and Sharon Butler

 Crystal and I drove to the finish and I found some friends to congratulate and saw Lori and Amanda finish with seconds apart.

The weather was overcast and cold, but not biting cold like it was last year.

I packed myself back to the car with Nancy tagging along so we could give her a ride home.  Nancy is an inspiration that everyone should hear about and perhaps someday she will share her journey with us here.

My next race report will hopefully be in March. Oh, how I wish it was sooner.  In the meantime, I will still be blogging and finding joy on my journey.

Sharon and post-race

Quadzilla - Day One

December 29, 2012
Quadzilla - Four marathons/Four Days,

Day one of Quadzilla was Loop the Lake Marathon. We started in front of The Balanced Athlete in Renton and followed this route: Loop The Lake Marathon Course.

Race start: 9:00 a.m.  I left my house at 7:25 and was parking by 8:30 a.m.  I have never been this close to Boeing which is crazy considering I've lived in this area my entire life! I found the parking garage easily enough and made my way to the store, packed with runners ready to tackle either a half or full marathon.  The half-marathoners would be running the same loop but would have a partner and each one would run the first or second half of the course.

Accidental photo that looks kinda cool
Mary Hanna and I had a chance to catch up while waiting for the bathroom. After a short briefing about the course, we squeezed out of the doors and were let loose along the streets of Renton. Our goal was to follow the flour markings and hopefully we would end up across the Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Bellevue and back down to Renton.

My camel pack was filled with water, Gu, salt tablets, and my iphone, set up with a playlist. I had forgotten my headphones so I had music playing, hopefully not too loud, and also used the Nike Run app to track my miles and also wore my new Garmin 310XT.  I set out without any big goals other than to finish and with any luck, in 4 hours or less.  This was the first of four marathons so that wasn’t my top priority.  

I apologize to everyone around me who had to listen to "Dirty Little Secret" or any of the other songs that may be annoying. I downloaded a playlist from Rock My Run (This one) and This one which I like better.  FREE.  I have been getting free credits from this website since I ran the Rock and Roll marathon. Pretty sweet deal!

We followed flour markers as we made our way around Lake Washington. I ran mostly on sidewalks but there was a bike lane for much of it and opted to stay in it as much as possible. Cement sidewalks are much less forgiving on your body.  I found myself running alone for most of the race, either behind or in front of others, not have the joy of sharing miles together with friends.  

Running across Lake Washington
I passed a group of runners at one of the aid stations that I had been trailing for miles.  I had plenty of water and nutrition to keep me going with stopping other than to grab a Gu.  The sky was overcast but dry, a mini-miracle in Washington State during winter.  My knit cap stayed glued to my head even though I was warm enough.  I have Gumby hair; it tends to stay in the shape of whatever is placed on it.

Everything was feeling good for the run. Easy, comfortable and my concern over having not run over 11 miles at a time since the Seattle Marathon was abated.  Finally we arrived at Seward Park and after circumnavigating it, I passed a big group of runners at another aid station.  I had no racing intentions other than to finish in 4 hours, hardly a winning time for a marathon. 

I noticed the sidewalk along Lake Washington cantered toward the water and also had numerous tree roots poking through the pavement. I ran close to the road as much as possible but had an ongoing stream of bikes and runners to contend with. The bridge was a welcome sight and I found the flour markings and proceeded up a hill, hesitant as I climbed a lot of stairs, not knowing if I followed the right path. Thankfully I did and crossed the very noisy bridge with constant streams of traffic.

Finally across the bridge, I followed the bike path and found myself unsure at times if I missed a flour marking but would be greeted with one just when my doubts were escalating. Not long after crossing the bridge, the top of my right foot started hurting unexpectedly. It was a pain that started small, like a bruise that was getting irritated by constant pressure. I thought about stopping to relace my shoes but they didn't feel tight. This was around mile 18.

Over the next 6 miles, I was intentionally changing the way I was running to take the pressure off my foot. This was a sure sign but I rolled right through it because I have this:

I shifted my weight to alleviate the bruised feeling and would get more relief occasionally but overall, the pain would not go away.  It wasn't excruciating but annoying. And then, I felt more pain when going uphill. And then I started wishing the finish line would hurry up and get there. My body felt fine and all I started thinking about was my foot. My foot, the world revolved around my foot. I caught up to some runners ahead of me during the ignorance phase of the pain. I was on pace for 4 hours and was sure I could get there just in time. Until.

Until is like the cliffhanger of all stories. It does not always end well. 

As mile 24 approached, I was consumed with foot thoughts. Where does it hurt, what bones, tendons, muscles are there? Did I wear the right shoes? Should I stop and look at it? A "snap" brought me out of my thoughts and back to reality. I can't say if I heard it, felt it or both. I knew it wasn't good but needed to keep moving, going completely flat-footed and shuffled along the trail. I came out of the trail and couldn't figure out where to go. A few runners passed me and I followed them toward the finish. Almost to the finish, cringing and anxious to be done, I saw my reflection in a store window and thought my stride looked off-kilter but not bad to the untrained eye. I was hiding my pain quite well.

The Balanced Athlete finally appeared and I checked myself in at the store. I recorded my time as 4:04:18 but see on my Garmin it was really 4:01:07. I would easily have made my goal without a hurting foot. Nancy Szoke and Sharon Hendricks both greeted me in the store, a blessing to me to have such wonderful friends. 

I made a quick exit and after settling myself into my car, I called home and told Jeff I was going to Urgent Care. He and my daughter met me there, a 40 minute drive from the finish. I carefully made my way to the desk, checked in, and was escorted within minutes to a room. St. Anthony's Emergency Room was so efficient and caring. Well, except when the nurse said, "Wow, that is a big foot," when asking my shoe size to be fitted for a wrap-around shoe to wear home. Yes, thank you. All the bigger to stomp your little foot.

Dr. McCrum - this name makes me laugh - gave me the news that my 2nd metatarsal on my right foot had an oblique fracture and anther one that went horizontally through the bone. I asked to see the xray and the oblique fracture looks like peeling bark. The other break "luckily" is aligned and will heal easier than if it had separated.  Dr. McCrum was a collegiate runner and shared his empathy for my plight. He recognized the look in my eyes and warned me to take time to heal. I was so thankful to have a doctor understand that not running is akin to not breathing. He suggested aquajogging to help keep endurance but suggested waiting until the pain had lessened.  The sentence: 6-8 weeks without running.  Overuse, plain and simple. Ironic considering the past month my miles have been reduced easily by a third.

Quadzilla will have to wait for another time. Now, I am concentrating on upper body, core, any leg exercises I can do without standing, and nutrition.

Have you been injured? Did you cross-train during your down time?

Just found out I can't run for 6-8 weeks
Guess which foot is injured?
My life now
Jeff's only happy I won't ask him to run with me for a couple months
Brooks Pure Flow and a not so pretty shoe on my BIG foot.

What, am I going to do nothing for 6-8 weeks?
Kitty is loving my lap