Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The marathon is out. It's a Total Bummer. Everything was going just dandy and then out of the blue on a nice recovery run I felt a sharp twinge in my left knee on the inside. I did all the normal things to try to get it to calm down - ice, stretch, foam roll, drink water, but no avail. My long run the next day was cut a mile short (looking back it should have been cut 6 miles short) and I walked home. Humbling.

I rested for a week doing elliptical and not running at all. Then Friday, one week post injury, I tried running again. I made it two miles and had to stop because I felt my knee would lock in the extended position.

I think it's tendinosis but, I am scheduled to see and Orthopaetic next week to confirm there is nothing wrong with the joint itself.

I'm actually ok with it all. It stinks for sure. But it would stink more if toughed out the marathon and ended up in a cast or boot for the next 12 weeks. I know what a marathon can do to you and it's not pretty even when you are healthy. So going in already beaten is just not a good idea at all. I would rather be back on my feet in a few weeks and run all winter to make my big comeback than run one day this fall and be out for who knows how long.

So instead of wallowing in not running my marathon day I'm taking a continuing ed class. It's an all day class on "reflexology for stress." Reflexology is basically foot massage in its most simple sense. But the study of reflexology is about channeling Qi (energy) in the body to corresponding meridians (energy paths) to achieve optimal health. I think it's all very interesting, and I love to have my feet worked on. (Probably because they hurt from all my running.) But I'm not a "woo-woo" massage therapist by trade, so selling me on the whole "science" of reflexology is going to be tough. But what I do know is that it feels good. And that, most often is the best healer there is.

I imagine that taking my class and having time to deepen my knowledge base will be (almost) as satisfying as running a marathon. At least in theory. I do know I'l be getting some really good foot massages throughout the day so there is that!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


With Camille in kindergarten and Daphne on the verge of walking, change is big around here. Emotions are running wild. Camille is over tired from all the new things she's learning and loads of new rules. Daphne is frustrated she can't move like us or talk like us. My 5 year old whines about how she guessed the wrong number of groceries in the bag and my 11 month old whines she lost her balance for the hundredth time. There is no quiet. Sometimes I wish the day was over by 11 a.m.

Time seems to be slipping away. Days are somewhat like this: Up at 4:45-5 with Daphne, drink coffee, eat, start my run 6:15-6:30, get home by 8:00, stretch (or at least think of it while the girlies hang on my sweaty legs), shower, run errands, help Camille with her homework, eat lunch, walk to school, walk home, put Daphne down, frantically clean/straighten the house, check e-mail, make list of things I should do tomorrow, head back to school, run another errand, make dinner, play with girls, do baths, make "an adult dinner," eat, pass out after reading 3 pages of the book I've been reading for four months.

At least I have my runs. There is some quiet there. I have my music and my thoughts. The music is just background, or maybe the thoughts are, but regardless, in tandem they are cleansing.

Last week Barry was traveled to Portland. He left early Tuesday and came home late Friday. After a rough week of squeezing treadmill runs in at the gym, play-dates and a sick baby (why does that always happen when one parent is gone?) I was so looking forward to my 20 mile run. I didn't want company. I just wanted to run and have the quiet. No rush, no treadmill, no daycare. Just me, my music, and my breathing.

The run turned out to be pretty good. I was nervous heading out, not quite sure how my ankle would cooperate. It's still giving me some trouble, especially at the Achilles. At best it's a seven on a scale of one to ten, ten being just fantastic. The ligaments seem to be back to normal but the soft tissue surrounding them is still tender and I've developed a Ganglion cyst right at the base of my ankle. I guess this is from overuse. But 6 miles into my run Saturday I didn't notice a thing. I downloaded a This American Life and just ran; clicking of 9s for the first 12 and then surprised myself with 8:30s for the last eight. I hope for a run this good on marathon day.

The marathon is still on. The closer it gets the more committed I am. If I don't make it I would be dissapointed. I dread that feeling of marathon day when you're not running your marathon. Talk about a bummer.

Camille makes signs for me that she stacks on my pillow so I see them before I go to sleep. This weekend I had one in my car and when I got back to it after my first 12 miles, I had a moment looking at that picture she painted. She's so wise. So confident in whatever she does. I need that from her and looking at the picture gave that.

"How many more sleeps until the race, Mommy?" She doesn't know how hard all this is. Balancing my training, the house, my practice, her schedule, Daphne's schedule, trying to remember to be a good wife. She just wants to go watch me run. I wish this was all as innocent as she thinks. To her, it's just a day I'm going to be running and she is going to watch. No big deal. Mommy's doing a run where we get to stay in a hotel and swim in the pool.

I should take that as a lesson. The marathon IS just a run where she gets to watch. We all get to go, stay in a hotel, go out to eat. And just like any other weekend day I go for a run.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Her Way

I'm almost afraid to say it. So maybe I won't. But then what's really the point of all this? So let's just say I have been following a running plan for two weeks. No more than that and who is counting, anyway? Last week I did a long run, albeit in soup, of 15 (and some )miles with my running pal Christine. I seriously don't know how I would have done that run without her. I got home, after two hours seven minutes of running, talking, laughing, and whining, and wrung out my skirt. Then I wrung out my top. And then I headed straight for the ice bath and it was one of the most refreshing things I have ever done. Who knew? (I've never ice bathed before. Way too cold for me.)

This week we're enjoying much clearer, crisper air which makes my morning runs Grand. Fall is on it's way teasing us runners with these crisp mornings. I know humid hot days are still coming, but at least for now we can enjoy this taste.

This week also marks the kids going back to school. Camille headed off to her first day of kindergarten yesterday and thankfully, loved it. Not that I had any doubts, but kindergarten is different than pre-school and we've been prepping her for this all summer. More rules, less play, more learning. She's already told us that you have to "raise your hand before you talk. Just in school though. At home you can talk when no one else is talking." Also that recess is her favorite part of school.

As of last week, she was placed in morning kindergarten. This meant I would have to leave to drop her off at school by 8:35. Now let's consider; I run early and my husband and I have a "rule" that I need to be home from my run, workout, whatever by 8 am. So this 8:35 business was a little daunting for me as well as for Camille who is the only one in our family who inherited the ability to sleep in. The girl can sleep until 10 am. And she's FIVE.

Anyway, I just figured I would need to leave the house to run or whatever about 15-20 minutes earlier so that I wouldn't be as rushed to get out the door. Not that I need to be all glammed out for drop-off, but a shower and dry hair would be nice. Add getting the baby dressed and installed in the stroller equals not much time. So as Camille's world was soon to be turned upside-down, so was my running schedule.

How can I possibly leave 15-20 minutes earlier? I already get up at 5:00 with the baby.

Then. Chaos strikes at the elementary school. They needed to cancel one morning class because of low kindergarten enrollment at our school and combine four classes into three. So 16 morning kids were moved to afternoon kindergarten. Da- da - da. You can imagine the uproar from parents. No one wants afternoon. I sure didn't.

But all of Camille's friends from pre-school, thus all of my mom friends, got moved to afternoon. We were feeling pretty left out. So I got to thinking... this afternoon business might not be all that bad. Not only will Camille have more friends already in the afternoon, I'll have more mom friends, quiet time while Daphne naps in the afternoon, and most importantly, my running schedule remains the same! What was I thinking with the morning?

So I requested she move to afternoon. I called up the principal and told him we'd gladly move to afternoon, if that works, and I know how many parents need morning for various reasons and don't, really. (And yes, it's kinda cool to know I'm on his list of favorite parents.) He was thrilled to have us move and I was relieved it worked out. For Camille. And for me.

And as you know, it's always about me and always about running.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here we go

Two months after my last entry, I've again been inspired. To run and to write.

The running will last. We'll have to see about the writing. I'm usually inspired to write but time runs away from me as I try to catch my 10 month old before she grabs my coffee, spills the recycling, or eats Comet.

I've decided to run a marathon. I know, I know, those of you who know me well remember how I profusely stated I would not run a marathon until Daphne was at least 18 months old. I really do believe it takes at least that long to get the body back together after a pregnancy. Especially for me, miss loosey goosey 2 hour labors.

I decided to run one while we were visiting Portland. I ran with some old pals, one of whom was in her first week of marathon training. She was so excited to be starting the structure and building up the miles, recovering, suffering, being elated after a good run. All that. And then, finally marathon day arrives and she gets to show off all that work. "What a lucky gal," I thought. I got jealous. I wanted a marathon too.

So I found one for fall, 10 weeks off. Just long enough to train for the distance but not long enough to raise expectations of running a PR. Barry was on board, sort of. He said he was just waiting for this to happen.

Just as soon as I decided this, injury struck. Right ankle. I iced, ellipticalled, rested. Then I remembered I had this injury the first marathon I ran and what fixed it was Graston. So I called up my Graston guy and got in there to fix it. Sure enough, after 2 treatments I am pretty good to go.

So officially, this is my first week of training. I have 38 miles this week. I end the week with a 15-16 mile run (depending on if my running friend wants to push on) and during the week I have an 8 with tempo, a 5 recovery, and a 10 general. The tempo today was good - 1 mile warm-up (I know, but I get antsy) 5 mile tempo (avg 7:32) and a 2 mile recovery. Way fast for my 9:00 marathon goal pace. Next time I'll be better. Probably won't be that hard to slow down since I won't be fresh like I am now.

Oh, I guess I should add, I'm running the Grand Rapids Marathon in Grand Rapids, MI on October 17.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh Lordy

It's been way, way too long.

Let's see... what has been happening...

Little miss is 8.5 months old. She's crawling, pulling up, speaking lots of babble, and getting into absolutely everything. Camille "graduated" from pre-school. She has a new BFF and they speak daily across the fence. She is starting morning kindergarten in the fall. And she has a very, very loose tooth.

I've completed 8 weeks of physical therapy for low back pain. I'm starting to run on a fairly normal basis with some amount of confidence. Two years ago there's no way I would have done PT over seeing a chiropractor. But after the amount of pain I was in, something different had to be done. And seriously, I think this was one of the best things I have ever done for my body. I'm so much stronger and so much more aware of how my core is working.

I can't believe how busy I am. I used to think that with determination, you could get everything done. And I actually used to be able to get everything done. But now, with the baby's nap schedule (some days lack thereof nap schedule) and Camille's schedule, I just don't get it all done. I make sure to get in my run, get to the grocery store, clean (sort of), do a reading/letter exercise with Camille, and work. But accomplishing much else is challenging. Most days I'm ok with letting the weeds take over the yard. Or the flowers going dry in their pots. Or simply giving up on planting anything at all. Or needing to paint the bathroom and our bedroom. But other days this drives me crazy.

Calmly I try to remind myself that I take care of everything that needs to be taken care of. Everything else can wait a couple of years. I'm not one to do things half way, so when I have time, I'l head into these projects full on rather than half way.

Here's Camille's dance recital from this past weekend. The footage isn't the best, but I think you can get the idea of how cute they were.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter baby

The baby doll is 6 months old. Time is seriously going by so fast. It's hard to believe that this little monkey has been a part of our everyday lives for half a year already.
Today we went to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter dinner and the girls got some baskets filled with fun stuff. Camille got a cute little bunny - perfect to help fill her pretend animal shelter - and a new bathing suit. Daphne got some new bath toys, perfect for her since she needs to take a bath almost twice a day since she's so messy after eating solid food.

Six months also brings good news for me. I officially fit into all my old pre-pregnancy jeans. I still have 3 more pounds to loose before I'm at my pre-preg weight, but I really think that it's all in my boobs! My mirror may tell lies though - one woman this morning told me I was "hippy". So that may be, but I really think she needs to take another look. I'd say I have strong thighs and am really quite curvy. And whatever lady! I had a beautiful baby 6 months ago. My hips are there for a reason.

15 miles today. The longest I've run since January 2009. Take that hip lady.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Speed Workout #2

We're having Indian Winter here in fabulous Chicago. Or so I hope. After last week's taste of spring this week is colder than normal. The temps are even too cold for me in the morning to head out for a run. Which isn't saying all that much since generally, I don't run outdoors when it's below 30 degrees. To most runners around here that's not that cold. But to me, having sprouted my running roots in Portland, OR, that is damn cold for a run and it leaves my hamstrings like guitar strings.

Friday morning I headed to the gym to run on the DTM. On Tuesday I did a speed workout on the DTM and my plan was to do the same workout again today. I don't think at this point in the year I can do any run on the DTM without it being a speed workout. I need intervals to help pass the time.

On task was 2x [1200, 800, 400] with 400 rest between each. The 1200 and 800 were to be done at my 10k pace and the 400 at 5k pace. I set the DTM at 7:20 for the 1200, and increased to 7:10s by last .25 mile. Remarkably, this felt fairly easy. For the 800, I set it to 7:13 to start and finished up at 7:00. Again, not all that bad. For the 400, I started at 6:58, finishing up at 6:45s. The second set was a little better and still not super tough. I do fear doing this workout outside, sort of. But, becausue I set the DTM at 1% incline, I think I should be right on pace with these. My best interval of the day was my second 800, which I did at 6:40 pace. This puts me practically back to pre-pregnancy fitness. Or at least makes me think that by mid-summer I'll be able to run some of the paces I was running two summers ago.

Saturdays long run took me to the Arboretum to run with my friend Christine and her two running pals. They are training for Boston, which is in just 3 weeks, and were running their last 20 miler. I got to bail after 12.5 miles. Thankfully!

30.5 miles for the week, including two speedy days. Ya-hoo!