Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Caution: Runner NOT Running

As the support crew for a runner, you know the inherent hazards of the sport. The chafing, the dehydration, and the ~ahem~ bathroom issues that many runners experience on occasion are all things that the support crew experiences second hand. Never is a situation more perilous, however, than when one is the support crew for the injured runner. Here are some important rules adopted from Chez Moi with the intention of promoting safety.

Be as Prepared as a Scout preparing for an Academy Award.  The first thing to realize when talking with the injured runner is that they are dying to tell you about their badassery. They cannot wait to explain how they injured their (xyz) running (xyz) distance on (xyz) date. Furthermore, be prepared to provide an appropriate response or wince when they go into great detail about how they ran 4 miles on a broken foot, or had fluid drained via a 6' needle, or my personal favorite - share how the bones crunched against each other for a few days. We've discussed this before, runners are weird. And gross. And weird.

The Importance of Math.  The injured runner is a delicate creature, vulnerable and prone to wild mood swings rivaling that of a 15 year old girl. The injured runner frequently believes at any given time that he or she is speaking in a sane rational voice about his or her return to running, when in fact, they are talking like a drunk frat boy on a Saturday night. Like a marathoner at the end of a race, the non-running runner cannot perform simple math. Gibberish about Couch to 5K plans and how well Physical Therapy is going can quickly dissolve into Fall Marathon plans. Oh the non-running runner is laughable with their plans to add miles in increments of 10% when the current base mileage rests solidly on a big fat ZERO.  Last I checked, 10% of 0 is 0.

the family holiday photo of 2015

The Approach.  When approaching an injured runner, it’s important to move in slow non-threatening steps, preferably while wearing sensible flats. Running shoes are a no go, as are heels or dress shoes. The injured runner needs no reminding that they are injured, and assuredly, they know exactly what kind of Brooks you have laced onto your feet. If they, like me, have a broken foot and are relegated to a boot, the dress shoes are just a further reminder of how “non-cute” their Christmas wardrobe has been thus far this year.

On Staying Grounded.  The Non-Running Runner who has been sentenced to a month or more of “Spinning Easy on a Spin Bike” is particularly prone to illusions of grandeur regarding their bike fitness. Suddenly they are planning Century rides and contemplating two-day charity events. This is typically experienced by the budding cyclist before their workout du jour, as at the conclusion of a 30 minute spin, they are usually more grounded in reality. In this case, “reality” is comparable to a deep dark hole in the ground where running doesn’t live.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell. One of the trickiest questions posed by the non-running runner is in regards to someone else's running plans. If asked what your race plans are for 2016, it's imperative to change the subject quickly and subtly. Equally dangerous is asking the injured runner when their MD says they can run again. Remember, dates are numbers, numbers are like math, and the non runner has limited math ability at this time.

Finally, Beware the Cookie. Never ever take the last cookie from a non-running runner, unless you have a death wish or are pregnant.

~ savor the boot ~

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winter Break

Whoops, I suck at the blog.

Ok suck is a strong word.

I am lapsed writer. Quick recap...

Ran 19 miles of the marathon, quit, got an X-ray, went back to work, contemplated amputating my foot during my shift... And got a second opinion on Thursday of that week.

She started with an ultrasound.
That hurt like a ... Lot.
And then she turned her screen toward me and said something neither of us was really expecting.

"See how this bone isn't connected?"

So, that happened.
And a boot.
How super fun is that? Especially  at Christmas!

It'll be healed soon (she says in a super optimistic voice).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Richmond marathon recap 2015

An update on the race is called for I suppose.

It was a perfect day. I was Calm and relaxed. Met Karasmatic at the Y to catch a ride down to the race at an ungodly hour. We had breakfast with all the coaches. I saw ShanZ, hugged Coach Black, and said "Hi" to some of my favorite people.

Hit the capital for a snapshot, the porta-potty lines, took a few pics, checked bags... Hit line again... And I stepped into the corral. I crossed the start line with the back of the 2nd wave.

Running a lot of miles alone this season made me think I would want people to run with on race day, but that wasn't it. I like running alone, apparently. I started and ran 1-5 a few meters behind Coach BikingV. Her pace group felt fast to me. So I ran between a 900 - 908 avg for the first 5 miles.

Walked and drank at every water stop. Salt at 2. Gu at 4.

My fastest mile was 7 - oops I ran an 841. It's a lot of down hill. I corrected and relaxed.

My strategy was "Run the mile you're in". So I didn't worry about anything except the moment. I tried to stay focused. Each mile marker was a reminder to relax and run that mile. I took a cup of something at every stop, alternating Powerade & water. I had a handheld too, with straight water. I drank early and often.

9:11 - 8
8:57 - 9 - gu + h2o
9:05 - 10
9:12 - 11
9:06 - 12
9:13 - 13 - salt, gu, h2o
9:12 - 14
9:23 - 15
 I walked a few steps at the end of this mile to adjust a GU that was rubbing through my pocket.  I wasn't worried about it. The PR was in play and I had a shot at the ├╝ber goal. I was conservative. I figured if I failed because I followed my plan, at least I knew I had not gone out too hard.

I started running again, hit the bridge running about a 9even, and I looked up to admire the beautiful city. I saw the bridge seam/grate in front of me, looked down as I stepped and shrieked in pain as my foot made contact with the "teeth".  I hopped and stumbled to a walk. Runners near me turned to ask if I was ok as they ran by, but I waved them on. In the first few minutes I thought- it's going to feel better in a minute. Keep walking. You will have to run a fast finish. It's ok.
And I started hopping and jogging through the pain. I can get there.

Coaches stepped in and out of the picture to help distract and encourage me. But nothing could get through the pain. I was nauseous. Every step hurt. I could run on the inside of my foot but that was going to jack the rest of my body...

On Main St I saw two women spectators and asked one if she could text my love to wait for me at mile 20. If he was there I'd have the choice to get off the course or walk. If he wasn't there, I had fewer choices...

I contemplated walking it in, but two things were certain by mile 18:
It hurt to bear any weight.
I needed an X-ray.

I saw DeNiece and BigDog at mile 19.15 and collapsed into his arms. They bundled me in their clothes and carried me to a side parking lot...

The day was long and short at the same time. I'm so proud of the runners who competed yesterday. It was a beautiful day.

My X-ray revealed its not broken- yay!
It's a bad sprain- boo.
Crutches and no weight bearing for a few days. Rest and ice. NSAIDs. No running until it's 100%.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Marathon Takes Dedication '15

Tomorrow is Nov 14. 
holy f*ck.  Tomorrow is Nov 14?

It is the day I have been waiting for FOR SIX MONTHS. I can't believe it took so long to get here, and yet, I cant believe it's tomorrow already.

Runners are athletes, and athletes are slave to rituals. So today I'll drink Lime NUUN and cranberry all day, I'll have tomato soup for lunch (generic brand, loaded with sodium) and I'll take a nap... Ok, so I already did that.
And tonight I'll eat dinner from the restaurant I always eat at the night before the race. I'll order the same boring meal and I'll pick at it until I feel full enough. I'll lay out my clothes and go to bed.

I am a slave.

That said, I've never run a marathon without a dedication before, and I'm not going to start now.

I used to rattle off my dedication mile by mile, but that limits me to "about" 26.2 people, so I'm not doing that this time.

I dedicate this marathon to My Wives

T - because you're always here with wisdom, soothing words, and the gentle reminder of BadAssery. #AndAllthethingsUnsaid.
DeNiece - thanks for pushing me on these mid week runs for month after month. I would be a different runner without you beside me. #DamnYouMiriam
Ann - who's never run even a step with me.
SpeeDee - whether we run together or not, no matter where our feet take us, I love knowing you are out there on the same roads I run.
Giulia - just cos I love you babe.

I dedicate this marathon to The Support Crew

Gentlemen British- I don't even have words. If I could pick one I would choose "wholehearted", and hope that conveys all the gratitude I feel.
3R, TheProfessor, and the other GOTR -you guys are with me when I run, whether you know it or not. After all, my mantra to keep running when sh*t gets real is "Tom's tire. Beer."
Shanz - it's the little things in life. I sure am glad our paths crossed.
The rest of The Support Crew who encourage me, read my blog, send messages, inspire me, share your success and your failure, whether near or far, in "Chicago", WA, DC, MD, CA, FL, or three streets away - I love you - Thank You.

I dedicate this marathon to My Coaches.... Ah my lovely wonderful beautiful sexy coaches... I could never do any of this without you.

Karasmatic - the most beautiful coach ever, Thank you for hanging with me for nearly every Sportbackers MTT mile.... You made those miles fly! Thank you for pushing me, making me laugh, and inspiring me to believe in myself. I've never had as much fun at MTT as I did this year. #waiting #TPfromHeaven #Chafing. 
You are a rockstar.
Burch - mmm... Maybe just a simple "Thanks" for reminding me of why I do this the way I do. #TX
Coach Black - you're kinda like the Jedi Master... Or the Sith Lord, you choose. I hear your voice in my head when the miles get tough. And it sucks, but I run anyway. #YouPeople
Q - always on the side lines, and always appreciated. And no matter how much time passes- I love that we still finish each others sentences.
Harry Potter - Gah. Where to start? Maybe we have to go back to last December when you smacked me in the forehead for shelving my own dreams for someone else. Yes. That. Thank You. The handprint lasted all season, and I love you for it.

I dedicate this marathon to My Kids.. 
The three of you together are an unstoppable team with three different strengths combined. You always remind me that our combined efforts are better than our individual endeavors. 
B'nut- thanks for imagining I'm "The Best".
Gfly- thanks for reminding me that "there is no charge for awesomeness".
Charlie Foxtrot- thanks for tucking me in at night when I'm tired and cranky. 

And finally, I dedicate this marathon to The Big Dog... to you I am beyond grateful. I appreciate you, and all that you do for me. I love you. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

40 days till RVA

With 40 days till the marathon we are in the big miles and the marathon is starting to permeate my thoughts both day and night.

Now start the marathon dreams - last nights dream didn't allow for me to get to the start on time, although my typical dream is "I'll never get to the finish".  Perhaps this is progress?

Perhaps not.

I'm still neurotic.

~happy running~

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lost and Found 16+ miles

So, that happened.

At less than 100 days till the Richmond Marathon I thought maybe an update would be warranted.  The last time I posted I casually announced that I (foolishly) signed up for a marathon.

Since then I’ve run, slacked off, run, gotten sick, gone on vacation, run some more.  And now I’m back.
Well, back running that is.... as a writer I’m sadly lacking much writing time these days. I have plenty to write, but I’m not making the time.

You know what I thought on my run today?

Training to run a marathon is just like riding a bike ~ it’ll all just come back to you.

Oh, except that riding a bike is fun and training to run a marathon is a lot like running 800 miles in a season that is unbearably warm in most states, and definitely dangerously hot in Virginia.
And let’s be brutally honest: that doesn’t sound fun at all.

Seriously though, I had the following internal monologue today on my run... actually my running companion du jour would likely point out that it wasn’t an internal monologue so much as a loud vocal diatribe against The Run, but let’s not bicker about the details.

“I hate running.”
“Running sucks.”
“Why am I out here?”

We were totally NOT lost. I knew exactly where we were.
I just wasn't 100% sure how to get to where we were going.
At least once a mile I hated running. For a minute. But I had to push through the suck and you know what?
At least ONCE a mile I loved running.

I knocked back 12 miles with a moving average of about 930, which was my plan, and then we really kicked it for the last 4 and ran just around a 9. Mile 16 was an 8:40...

Now, the actual average was slower than all that, because our coaches are all really uptight and don’t want us running through intersections and dodging cars but whatever. So yeah, we stopped to drink and we stopped for cars, and at one point we stopped because I knew that we were off course and I needed to get us turned back in the right direction. Turning L to turn R only works in Disney movies.

But today didn’t suck, even when it did because Runurse & I completely kicked ass for 16 16.5 miles. And maybe that’s because I was kinda cavalier about it. I didn't plan. I didn't worry. I didn’t over think it. 

I just did it like a NIKE commercial.

~ savor the run ~

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Aging Up

My birthday came and went. I celebrated 29 again, for those who wonder. This is getting a bit awkward given that my 15 year old is, in fact, 15. I’m not a person who gets morose about aging up a year, I am a beautiful woman in many respects, and so far I am aging as I expect. My mother is a beautiful woman, this gives me hope for my future. I do think about aging, as I think about health, as I think many badass mother runners must. But I don't fear "getting old".

Perhaps that's because I'm young still. Or perhaps it's because I trust my body?

Maybe it’s time to age up? 29 is a ridiculously fast BQ time, and not that I’m attempting a BQ any time soon, it’s still crazy to compare myself to those folks. Maybe I should just embrace my 39th year as a 39 year old.

This is, as many of you know, The Year of The GBA 5K.

Which is why it’s only logical that I have signed up to run a marathon this fall.

Ummm... yeah. Well. #thathappened.

It’s my last year in my 30’s. I started running in my 30’s. And besides. The marathon and I always have unfinished business. Even when we don’t. There’s always room for discussion and improvement. Even when I meet my goals.

I want to run.

For some reason, I allow myself sometimes to get sucked into other people’s goals to the exclusion of mine. This year, I signed up to run this race alone. And by Alone I mean Alone with 1000 of my BFFs at Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. 

But truly, I am not training with my usual posse. The gang has all gone looking for their own goals. That isn’t to say there won’t be miles run together, but when the fall arrives, it’ll be me on the line.

I think this is good for me. The best races are the ones I remember that I have to run alone.

The marathon training team “group” starts running next week, and I’m looking forward to another year with my favorite coaches and runners. I’m going back to my origins, and rejoining the Green Team. I’ve missed my coaches, and wonder why I allowed myself to get so distracted last year. 

I try not to dwell on that.

I sat tonight with my friends ~  some who run and some who don’t  ~ and we discussed our fall plans, and I mused aloud that I had lost my fecking mind, and prolly I don’t even want to run a marathon in November.

Of course, they laughed at me, claiming I was talking nonsense, even as I shrugged off the moment with “don’t listen to “her”, that must be the wine talking. When I’m sober I feel certain that the marathon is something I love.”

Someone remind me of that in October.

But I seriously do love this sport. Even when I’m loving on my bike, I’m a runner at heart.

And so another birthday has come and gone, and it was a great birthday, celebrated with new friends and young friends and “old friends” who aren’t old. And even though another year has come and gone and my 30’s are 364 days from being a memory, I’m ready to enjoy and savor every single one of the 364 days.

Besides, nothing reminds me of my youth and vitality more than signing up to run 26.2. It’s like my “New Year” all over again.  I can’t picture a life without 20 mile training runs and the juicy hamburgers I celebrate the miles with after. OH! And the beer.

Can’t forget the beer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Winning at Life and being a Galactic Badass

A Mother Runner’s Guide to Winning at Life and being a Galactic Badass


Sh*t I just came up with on the fly.

I was chatting with another working mom the other day and she asked my opinion on training for a fall marathon.  She has twin babies, a job, a husband, and all the responsibilities that go with the above.  Oh, and most importantly, before kids she was a badass mother runner of marathons.

So what did I tell her?

You grew a human being out of two cells; you can f*cking do anything you want in life. Including train for and run a marathon while being the proud owner of babies, a job, a husband, and all that rot. Avoid putting limits on what you can do. The example you will set for your children when you do this is extraordinary. I speak from experience. My kids are a trio of galactic badasses.

When you start drinking alone before the sun comes up, people worry; this will also apply to running. Get used to it. If you’re going to do a fall marathon and juggle life, it’s going to take some pre-dawn running.

Respect the distance. You didn't grow the baby in three weeks. Your fitness isn't going to return in three weeks. Savor the work you put in, and on the days that suck, on the days where if feels like you will never get there from here, look at that hard work and see how far you've come.

Your stroller is a rolling sag wagon. Use this fact to bribe or beg your friends to run with you. You can carry the water, gu, babies, snacks, TV, kitchen sink, and extra body glide. The best way to run with a BOB is to have buddies who have no strollers of their own who are wiling to share your load. Consider it a public service to your friends. Their training will be greatly improved by the resistance. It’s like running on hills... all the fecking time. Amiright?  With additional help pushing, the over all pace of the group will be faster, and everyone will be happier, including the babies.

Face it; you’re not the only one. Moms run. They train. There is a community of support out there.  Find your people. Maybe you need physical runners to join you – great – find a running club and join a group run. Perhaps you thrive in an online community of thousands of women who support each other. Perfect, find the Another Mother Runner Facebook group. Just whatever you do, find your people.

You will never be good enough. You will always work harder than you ever worked before babies, because you will always be striving for better and more. Maybe this is because you have these babies that you want to instill your values into, or maybe this is just because mothers are all pretty badass, but whatever it is, your standards for yourself will be different from now on. Goals that seemed impossible before will be broken, and rewritten to reflect new “unreachable” goals. You’ll realize that it never gets easier, you just get faster.  Or stronger. Or more.

~savor the run~