Thursday, July 31, 2008


This "injury," or more accurately nuisance, has kept me out of my running shoes for over a week now. The neuroma between my second and third toe makes my third toe completely numb and toeing off extremely painful. So that I don't totally loose aerobic fitness and grow out of all my clothes, I've been riding my bike. It somehow feels exactly the same as it did when I was any good, but I'm sure I'm moving along much more slowly. I've removed any measurement devices from my bike so I have no idea how fast I'm going or how many watts I'm putting out. Ignorance is bliss, right? And, this ignorance makes me feel like I'm still a superstar on the bike. I got back from my ride yesterday (which I mapped out and learned was only 16 miles after thinking I was so cool and rode about 20 in an hour) and told Barry that my foot needs to feel better soon or else I might have to start racing my bike again because riding feels so darn good. 

But riding these past several days has reminded me how being out on the bike allows for a lot of introspection. The world passes by much more quickly than while running so there's not as much time to focus on the surroundings. I can think, focus on my workout, focus on pushing myself harder, focus on how I'm feeling. This is all really good stuff when you're and athlete in training. And I realized that I don't feel this when I'm running. At all. It's a bigger world when I'm running. I'm going slower thus making me feel less alone. Maybe this is why I'm not a very good runner. It hurts so bad I can't, or don't want to, focus on how I'm feeling. I just want to be. I just want to get it over with and be done. I'm not saying I don't love running. I do. To me, putting on my shoes, clicking on my iPod shuffle and heading out for a 2 hour run is complete solitude. I create my own world within the one around me. 

I realize I may sound contradictory here. But somehow, running creates more solitude for me even though it doesn't allow me to focus as hard on my workout. Cycling brings me in and somehow makes me feel more alone. Maybe it's because I don't have my iPod on. Who knows. And most cyclists would totally disagree I'm sure as cycling is a team sport. So this could go on and on, and a topic for another posting. But where I'm going with all this is that riding made me realize how alone I've been feeling lately. Not sappy, feel bad for me alone, but in all honesty, I do a lot of things alone. And, really, this is ok with me.

Camille and I were at the park the other day. We chose the park at the Lake because it's most shaded. And it's hot! It so happened that the Glen Ellyn New Comers Mom's Group also choose that park that day for their weekly meeting place. I met a woman our first week here who encouraged me to join this group. I thought about it, but decided against it because I really dislike being forced to meet people. I don't like walking into a room not knowing anyone and putting myself out there. It freaks me out. And I have friends and family here who I really enjoy and don't feel the need to meet forced friends with kids. 

So all these moms were setting up their snacks and juice boxes for all their kids. They all knew each other and all the kids knew each other. It looked nice. Camille and I headed over to the sandbox and took our shoes off and plopped down. While Camille was digging out and re-filling her "garbage dump" I was watching all the moms and their kids. Most of them had about 3 kids ranging in ages of 1 to 5. The kids were playing and the moms were chatting, occasionally freaking out not knowing where one of their kids were. And it was this that made me realize that I always know where Camille is. She's the only one I have, the only one I will have, so I really focus on her. She doesn't have a sibling to play with at the park so she depends on me. It's a lot of work for me at times, and tiring (thus why we frequently set play-dates at the park). And looking around I realized I was the only mom there with just one child. I'm sure they're out there, but just not at that park that day. 

Sometimes I see all these moms with 3 or more kids and think how fun (in a way) it must be to have so many different little personalities around. All these little people discovering and looking up to them for more knowledge and guidance. And then I start to think that yes, perhaps we should have another child. It would be good for us, good for Camille. She'd have a sibling and although still two kids is more work than one, some of the work would be taken care of in terms of playing. I wouldn't have to sit and play Groovy Girls or Play-doh day after day. And then I wonder if those moms look at Camille and I and wonder where my other kids are (because really, this is Glen Ellyn and everyone seems to have 2.8 kids) or do they think, wow, that woman has just one kid. How strange. How unfulfilling. 

Then I come back. And remember that we love our life. We love that we have a brilliant, healthy little girl with a vocabulary of a 7 year old. We love that we can play with her a lot and teach her things about the world. We love that we will be able to give her most everything she needs and not have to make as many sacrifices to do so. And we love that vacations will be able to include a little friend for Camille if we so desire, and likely, those two won't be fighting. We chose to have just the one because that's the life we choose to have. We both need that quiet of running or riding our bikes. That solitude and alone time. And that to us, makes us feel more fulfilled than ever. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week One, Injury One

Today marks the end of week one of marathon training. It started out nicely - I ran a 10K in Chicago and PR'ed in the first 5K and since it was so bloody hot I took it easy for the second 5k. Then on Monday, the official "start" of marathon training, I ran 7 miles and my left foot's neuroma started yelling. Oy. The week continued and by yesterday's long run, it was useless to try to run. I managed 1.5 miles before limping through my stride. 

I'm experienced with neuromas and know that the only way to calm it down is to not run and to visit the doctor. So intstead of running my 13 miles, I went for a bike ride. I was lucky enough to have Barry back home from his week long trip to California and he and Camille were heading out for some quality Tour de France watching. 

Oh the bike ride was glorious! It felt like I never left the sport. My pedaling was light and quick (granted I was in a little gear) and the hills seemed like small bumps in the road. Compared to hills in Oregon they were little bumps! The bike may be put to more use this week until I can get to the doctor and have this neuroma taken care of. It would be dreamy if this marathon actually goes well. And the fact that I'm getting hurt EARLY rather than in the last 6 weeks is a good sign. haha. Oh marathons. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Found That Rock

No, I'm not a bike racer anymore. But somehow I still manage to get road-rash on a regular basis. Yesterday on my 12 mile run, my running buddy, Christine, and I were chatting away, lalala, in our 11th mile. "Wouldn't some cookies be wonderful right now? You know I made some chocolate chip cookies this past weekend and put some cinnamon in them. I learned that from my favorite grocery store in Portland where they made these 7 grain cookies..." and wham-o. I was airborne and then next thing I was sliding on the limestone Prairie Path. I managed to hit the only rock embedded into the path which then launched me off my feet.

My hand, knee, shin, and ankle were all banged up. Rats! Bloody and adrenaline filled, Christine and I ran finished up the run. I kept running so that the pain didn't set in. Once I got home I played it cool so Camille wouldn't see the damage. Barry couldn't believe how bloody I was. My new socks! It really looked much worse than it was, as always. After cleaning it up with hydrogen peroxide and soap and water it was just a deep abrasion on the knee and some scratches down the shin. 

After showering and putting some New-Skin on my wounds, Camille noticed my knee. "What happened Mommy?" Do you have a boo-boo? Did you fall down? Did you fall down while you were running? Did the other girl say oh no? Did the other girl fall down too? Did she give you a hug? Mommy, does your boo-boo hurt? Do you need a Band-Aid? (I discovered we only have Dora Band-Aids) Here, here's my doggy to make you feel better. Mommy do you have a boo-boo?"

And on and on. 

This weekend Barry and Camille are heading out to Iowa to visit Barry's mom. She's over the moon that we're back here and can make these last minute trips out to visit. Camille is looking forward to the trip out there and seeing her Vivienne Grandma. I'm missing the trip this time because I have a 10K race downtown.  It's been planned since before we left Portland. I feel bad that I can't go but I think we'll all be ok. Really. I'm going to get Camille's room painted and curtain rods hung. Then I have some appointments and then, well, I don't know. How often do I get to say that? I imagine I'll get a little lonely though. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Starting Fresh

Welcome to our new blog! This will take place of our old .mac account. My goal is that this space will be easier to update so we can write more often. And, you'll notice I said "we" so this space also allows Barry to post - if he so desires. I imagine his posts will likely be more insightful than mine since he often has a lot more to say than I do. 

We're settling in well here. Our daily routine is starting to gel and running routes are becoming established. I have yet to get all my shopping spots found, or my haircut place selected but that will come soon. Oh my hair is becoming a mess! 

I start work August 1st. I didn't mean to get a job, but it just sort of fell into my lap. It's at a chiropractors office in Glen Ellyn that focuses on athletes. Pretty much my dream job - lots of runners, cyclists, triathletes. I'll be doing office work - front desk, scheduling, billing, inventory, etc. part of the time there and then in addition, I'll be renting space within the office to run my own massage practice. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, confident about this all. There's a lot to think about as I've always worked for someone else while I've been a massage therapist. It's a new venture for me in all regards but I think I'll be ok. More on all this later. 

Marathon training starts officially next week. EEk. My goal is to be more relaxed about the training and just let the running come. More on this as well. 

Camille amazes me everyday. She's becoming such a little person. There's not much I do that she doesn't immediately copy so it's a good thing I'm pretty straight in most regards. She says the most amazing things. Like the other day we were driving back from Downers Grove, ready to get on 355. I told her she may want to roll her window up because we were getting on the highway. She said, "Where's the highway? Is that up on a hill?"  Fantastic.