That Sh*t Cray

16 Aug

So, a few things that are “cray” to report here.

First and foremost, and having nothing to do with running… man, customer service really sucks these days.  My mom came to visit me last weekend and her flight was scheduled for Friday night.  Delta canceled her flight and rebooked her on a flight the following morning.  They gave no reason for canceling said flight.

We had a wonderful weekend.  Fast forward to Sunday

Delta canceled her flight AGAIN!  Again, no given reason.  And they rebooked her on a flight the following morning with a layover in freaking Atlanta!!!!  Horrible.  Their consolation when she complained?  Awarding her some Skymiles.  A lot of good that is going to do her… since she does not plan to fly Delta again.  Airlines are the worst.

Another lovely anecdote is probably going to make me come off like a snotty little word I am not going to say here.  But here goes.  In April, I bought a dress at a store I shamefully frequent, Juicy Couture.  I am not going to link to it here, because I refuse to send any traffic their way.  Besides, you’re all familiar with Juicy Couture.  You know… velour track suits in candy colors with JUICY across the ass?  Yeah, I don’t wear that sh*t.  But call me what you will, I do (did) love their dresses.  *hangs head in shame*  I’d also like to insert that while I do love clothes, (particularly dresses) I am a reverse snob when it comes to running clothes.  Free race tees and clearance rack running shorts from TJ Maxx all the way, baby.  I do not own a single thing Lululemon, nor do I plan to.  Just thought I’d make a flimsy attempt at convincing you I’m not entirely materialistic and shallow…

…followed by some truly obnoxious pictures to break up this huge block of text

This is one of my favorite dresses. It’s by (stupid) Juicy.

Look, I also have it in green! Isn’t that exciting?

Just for fun, here’s proof I have it in yellow, too.

Anyhow, I went to put on the dress I bought in April this past weekend.  I hadn’t worn it yet and the tags were still on.  And the damn zipper broke!  This little anecdote is getting really long, so I’ll try and summarize.  It was pretty expensive, and when I attempted to return it to Juicy, they refused to take it back, repeatedly citing their ridiculous 90 day return policy, EVEN THOUGH I had clearly never worn it, EVEN THOUGH it was clearly defective, EVEN THOUGH I am a loyal customer and begged and pleaded.  Suffice it to say:

Mmmkay, now with that out of the way.  Here’s an exciting update on my marathon training:

Tues Aug 7:  8 miles w/ 3 x mi @ 7:50/7:40/7:20 (last one was brutal)

Weds Aug 8:  4 miles easy

Thurs Aug 9:  45 min Flywheel

Fri Aug 10:  45 min Flywheel

Sat Aug 11:  12 miles easy (close to 10:00, due to lengthy water stops and running into T on my way back home– he was on his way out for an 18-miler!)

Sun Aug 12:  full rest

Mon Aug 13: 45 min Flywheel

Tues Aug 14:  6.25 mi w/4 hill pick-ups and the rest very slow.  This was at running class and it was truly miserable.  I kept thinking it was the 3 H’s:  Horrible, Humid, and Hard to breathe.  Ugh.

Weds Aug 15:  45 min Flywheel

Today:  so, this is more sh*t that is cray– I got up at 3:45 this morning and ran 18 miles before work!!!  I did this only because I am going out of town with friends this weekend and didn’t want an 18-miler on my plate.  It actually went pretty well!  I don’t have my splits in front of me, but I kept the middle 7 (or 8?) miles at under a 9:00 pace, which is a big enough challenge for me these days.  I averaged 9:15 and that included water and traffic light stops.  My course went as follows:  from my apartment, over the Q’boro Bridge, to the Engineer’s Gate, 2 of the 4-mile inner loops of Central Park, and back over the Bridge and home.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a disgustingly sweaty beast with visions of Gatorade bottles dancing in my head as I finished up my run.  I’d also be lying if I said a construction worker didn’t helpfully exclaim “sweaty!” (as though I didn’t realize it) when I ran by him.  Thanks, bro!

Ran by the store this morning on Madison Ave. on my way to the park. Flipped it off, ’cause I’m mature.

The view as I crossed the Bridge back into Queens. Blurry, ’cause I was going up the hill and knew if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to start again.

To wrap it all up, 2 more things (sh*ts?) that are cray.  CRAZY AWESOME.

1)

2)

!!!!!???? How will it ennnddd??? DO NOT ANSWER THAT.

Happy running!

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A Very East Coast Summer (+ some running)

7 Aug

It’s been a hell of a summer and while I do realize  it’s not over yet, I haven’t written anything of substance for quite some time, (or ever?) so I thought I’d do a little catching up.  Anyhow.  I will actually be in NYC for the entirety of this coming weekend, and it will be the first time in 7 weeks.  In summary:

w/e of June 22:

In Buffalo for my friend Sari’s wedding. We opted to spend time at the classiest of establishments (pictured) between the ceremony and reception. We also missed our flight the next morning and spent the following day at the Buffalo airport. #fun

w/e of June 29th:

Emily and Shawn’s wedding in Maine. It was beautiful. Their dog is adorable. Maine rules.

4th of July:

Quick overnight trip to Fire Island, one of my favorite places EVER.  This picture sucks and does it no justice.

w/e of July 6th:  Utica for Boilermaker

w/e of July 13th:

Weekend in NJ for Kim’s surprise 30th bday party.

w/e of July 20th:

Weekend in Burlington with Molly — visiting Cookie, hiking, hitting up breweries!

w/e of July 27th:

Fri night in Boston with friend Molly; Sat and Sun in New Hampshire with college besties Cookie, (above) Emmy, and Jen.  Failed to take a single pic.  Oops.

w/e of Aug 3:

Todd and Diane’s wedding on LI. (pictured: tomfoolery in the photobooth)

Annnd… this weekend, I will at last be home.  And my mom (aka Jenny B) will be visiting!  Yippee!!!!  She rules.

Now, since this is sorta kinda some semblance of a running blog, here’s the latest…

I am signed up for the Air Force Marathon in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.  It’s on September 15th.  That’s in less than 6 weeks, folks.  I began carefully training for it 2 weeks ago, using Hal Higdon’s “senior marathon training program.”  My reason for doing this is that I want to do extremely low mileage in my cautious return to running.  I know that a wiser person would forgo the marathon and do the half, or better yet, remain a spectator (T is also running this marathon, and it will be his first!)  But I never claimed to be wise and I am, in fact, extremely stubborn.  I also stayed away from running for a solid 7 months, which included maybe 8 exceptions of fewer than 5 miles.  So I feel I’ve done my time.  Damn it.

If you don’t feel like clicking the link, this particular program peaks at a paltry 30 mpw and includes only 3 days of running per week; literally all are prescribed “easy paces.”  Thus far, my training has looked like this:

M July 23:  45 min Flywheel

T July 24:  ~8 miles w/ 3 x mi  @ ~7:40 pace (the rest of the miles VERY SLOW)

W July 25:  full rest day

Th July 26:  45 min Flywheel

F July 27: 3.5 miles (unsure of pace; Garmin was being b*tch)

S July 28:  full rest day

Su July 29:  12 miles @ 9-9:30 pace(? again, Garmin sux)

M July 30:  45 min Flywheel

T July 31:  ~ 7 miles w/ 3 x mi hill repeats @ ~8:00 pace (dying.  so hot) and the rest very slow

W Aug 1:  full rest day

Th Aug 2:  full rest day

Fri Aug 3:  5 miles painfully slow (again, dying.  so hot.)

Sat Aug 4:  45 min Flywheel

Sun Aug 5:  14 miles in pouring rain, which felt like heaven compared to the disgusting heat/humidity of days prior.  Unsure of pace — 9:40ish?

Annnnd… that brings us to today.  It’s NYRR running class day, so we’ll see what sort of torture the coaches have in store.  It’s been a humbling experience trying to get back into running after being out for so long.  First of all, I have to run with the slowest pace group in my class, which doesn’t bug me too much until I think of where I could be if I hadn’t had to take such a long break.  Oh well.

As for my foot, well, today it’s a bit hurt-y, which makes me sad.  But it’s been holding up well (knock on wood) and I’ve been good about stretching and icing it.  There is no denying it is soooooo much better than it was.  But are all signs of PF completely gone?  Absolutely not.  Sigh.  I’m starting to wonder if this is something I should just get used to.  It’s completely manageable– just a bit of a “creaky” feeling in the arch of my foot, which is a lot better than the “stabby” feeling from before.  (I’m really good with adjectives.)  If I were to quantify the pain, I would say I was a 1.5 – 2 on this scale.

I saw this on the wall at my most recent podiatrist visit.

So.  The plan for now is do Dayton.  I have absolutely no specific time aspirations as of now.  But I hope to do it decently,  my injury and low-mileage training program in mind.  I am also signed up for NYCM.  But that’s another story for another day….

Happy running!  So (cautiously) glad to be back!

As long as I’m not running too much, I shall strive to land on the Flywheel leaderboard every now and then….

17 Jul

I’m obnoxious, but c’mon… when you’re injured, it’s the little victories that feel so good.

Remaining Optimistic and Yet Realistic

12 Jul

On Sunday, I ran one of my favorite races, the Boilermaker.

I ran it last year for the first time, and had a blast.  T’s best friend, Steve, is from Utica, so we stayed with his parents and were spoiled rotten for a weekend.  (Holla to Mrs. G’s brownies!)

Us last year at the post-race party

Well, we did we the exact same thing this year:  Friday after work T, Steve, his wife Danielle, and I hopped in a rental car and drove the 4.5-ish hours to Utica.  Upon arrival at the G’s home, we proceeded to pig out on the aforementioned brownies and “tomato pie“, (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried this Utica special.  It’s delicious!) and guzzle a bunch of Saranac.

Saturday involved T, Steve, and Steve’s brothers playing golf while Danielle and I sipped wine on the patio at the club overlooking the green.  (That may be the most obnoxious and WASPy thing I’ve ever typed.)  Then we headed back to the G’s, where Mrs. G had prepared a feast of pasta that we housed before turning in relatively early.

I may be a fool, but I didn’t have nearly as much trepidation for this race as I should have.  In the 5 weeks that preceded it, I ran one 4.5 miler.  This was in prep for a freaking 15K that is hilly as f**k.  Not very smart.  The one smart thing I *did* do was pay a visit to my PT, Aaron, on Thursday.  I had him massage and stretch me out in advance of the race.  My feelings when I woke up Sunday morning didn’t get much deeper than, “Yippee, I get to run today!!!  I’m really out of shape.  This should be funny!”

Honestly, my one wish was that my foot wouldn’t hurt.  I knew that I was going to feel tired and out of shape, but I could deal with that.  What would be a crushing blow would be having the PF come back flaring like the little b*tch that it is.

As Danielle and I hung out in our corral waiting for the gun, I thought about how much I’ve changed as a runner.  For years, I would be waiting in corrals thinking, “La la la, I’m going for a run!  NBD!”  It wasn’t until my 7th marathon, the 2010 Flying Pig, that I ran my slowest marathon and I asked myself why I wasn’t trying to get any better.  Since then, I’ve become more and more aware of my pace, and intent upon improving.  My running has become a bit more purposeful, as I’ve incorporated things like speed work and tempo runs.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to the hobby jogger I was before.  I should clarify, in no way am I kidding myself.  I am certainly still a hobby jogger.  I fully realize I am a very mediocre runner.  There is no delusion going on here.  What I mean is that I don’t see myself ever again being the lackadaisical racer that I was.  There are good and bad sides to that, I guess.

That finish time was 4:41:55. Yeesh. I made, like, 3 bathroom stops, too.  Love how I still look all victorious and sh*t.

Sooo…back to the Boilermaker:  the gun went off and off we went.  I pressed START on my Garmin and the f*cker did not respond.  Looks like I’ll be buying another one of those bad boys.  I’m actually glad it wasn’t working, however, (not glad I have to buy a new one) because it kept me from obsessing over my splits, which I know I would have done.  I just ran.  What a novel concept.

I lost Danielle around mile 3 and watched her fade into the distance, up the first hill, at the golf course.  I was all by my lonesome now– just me and 14,000 sweaty companions.

I struggled up the hill a bit and was bummed when I completely lost sight of Danielle.  I kind of gunned it down the other side, all the while internally chastising myself, “Slow the f**k down, you dumba**.  You’re going to regret this.”  Then, the course flattened out a bit and I just continued to put one foot in front of the other.

Oh, hai. Apparently I ran most of this race with my eyes closed. This is pretty much the only picture in which I have them open.

The whole time I was running, I was delighted to be doing so.  I checked the clock each time I hit a mile marker and as the miles ticked by, I dared to hope I could come in under 1:20:00.  I couldn’t remember what my time was last year, but I knew it was just under that.  The clocks seemed to indicate that this was a possibility, which was just insane to me.  But I didn’t question it.

The second and worst hill came along and I attacked it feeling tired and energized all at once.  When I got to the top, I made the turn and looked around intently for Amanda, who is the girlfriend of one of Steve’s brothers.  I thought I remembered her saying she would be there.  There was a huge crowd there (and really, all along the entire course– love this race!) but I didn’t see her.  I kept looking and looking and slowly realized that I was actually still climbing a hill.  I had forgotten that this was the hill that goes on and on and on.  So Amanda provided a welcome distraction for a while, even though I didn’t see her!

On the downhill, I once again gunned it and cursed internally at myself.  As the course flattened out and I came upon mile 8, I knew I would see the G’s soon.  Sure, enough, I heard Mr. G’s enthusiastic hollers before I even saw them!  I gave them a tired smile and wave and knew I was in the home stretch.  I tried to kick (ha!) and made my way down the gentle slope to the finish, feeling very glad that the end of the course goes that way.  The hills had pretty much taken everything out of me.

T calls this one “I’m every woman!”

Look at that smug smirk. It says something like, “F you, plantar fasciitis!”

I ambled along through the finish area, sweaty and happy and feeling pretty awesome, all-in-all.  The gang had made a plan for a meeting place that turned out to be a not-so-distinct spot, so I kind of wandered around ’til I miraculously found Danielle.  Thanks to a few people running with phones, (including me) Danielle, Steve, T, Steve’s bros, and I were eventually able to convene and drink many, many, MANY Saranac brews, which were going down oh-so-smooth.  YUM.  As my buzz kicked in, I thought I couldn’t possibly be happier than I was in that moment.  I had run a  race I was pleased with, after months of no running, and everything including my FOOT felt good.

I had to cut T out of this one of me and Danielle because he was photo bombing, per usual.

Smushy face. T, by the way, KILLED his time from last year! I am so proud!!!!!

My time, it turns out, was 1:18:53, (8:28 min/miles) so I *did* come in under 1:20!  Not only that, but holy crap– I beat my time from last year.  By, like, 9 seconds, but STILL!  For me, this is a very pleasant surprise.  I guess all the Flywheelin’ has kept me in decent cardio shape.  Either that, or I was so jazzed to be running again, or my watch was dead and I wasn’t obsessing over my splits, or I knew the course this year, or it wasn’t quite so blistering hot this year.  Whatever the reason, I was completely giddy (ok, and also drunk) all day on Sunday.  Monday I was also on Cloud 9 and my foot felt good, though my quads were aching– which is only natural, considering those hills and the fact that I am out of running shape.

Tuesday, yesterday, and today my foot feels a bit stiff.  I nixed the plan to hit up my running class on Tuesday (session #8 of 10, for which I have paid and haven’t attended once– GRRR) and instead went to Flywheel Tues and Wednesday.  Although now that I was able to run a long-ish race with no pain and all I want to do is run run run run run and start training for fall marathons… I am DETERMINED to be smart about it.

I am staying optimistic, and yet realistic.  Just like my headline suggests.

And that’s all I have to say for now. 🙂

Irrelevant Grammar Snobbery

28 Jun

Some day I’ll blog about running again.  Some sweet day…

‘Til then, please enjoy this completely irrelevant observation.  I just bought these li’l bike shorts for spinning and this is what is printed on the inside back:

Doesn’t Nike employ copywriters for their marketing campaigns? Fewer plastic bottles, Nike! FEWER!!!!

I’m a massive geek…

PRP Take 2: Something’s Afoot

15 May

I hope you like that little play on words there.  I’m pretty pleased with myself for that one.

Anyhow, ho hum, I went and got my foot stabbed again yesterday.  Good times.  The entire experience was and is very different from last time, which of course I’m hoping means that the outcome will be different (read BETTER) than last time.  The outcome last time, you remember, was… er… no outcome.

So why did I decide to do it again?  I was aware from the get-go that the injections commonly happen in multiples, though I obviously really hoped that wouldn’t be the case for me.  However, when I went to see my doc about 5 weeks post-injection, he showed me on the ultrasound where my plantar fascia objectively looked better (re-inflamed, as opposed to degenerated) and thus thought I could benefit from a second injection.  Listen, I’m still not sold on this procedure being a “cure,” but given that I’ve tried pretty much everything else one is supposed to try for plantar fasciitis, I figured I did the first damn injection, I may as well carry on with the second.  (Again, with the hefty price tag of $630 and the added angst and stress– delightful!)

Anyway… like I said, this time was different.  First of all, instead of taking the day off, I went to work and left around 4:30 for my 5:00 appointment.  T met me at my office and we subway-ed it to the point of no return doctor’s office.  I thought I would feel less anxious this time around, seeing as how I knew what was going to happen this time.  But that was not the case.

This was evidenced when I nearly keeled over as the PA was drawing my blood.  No, I definitely didn’t turn ash-white, sweat profusely, and feel like I was going to faint/vomit, to the point where the PA had to withdraw the needle and T had to grab the trash can.  Not at all!

Taken directly after that little incident took place. When I saw the picture, I exclaimed, “why didn’t you tell me there was mascara all over my face?” to which T responded, “I was too busy GRABBING THE TRASHCAN FOR YOU.” Touche.

Good Lord.  That was humiliating.  I’ve always had a phobia of needles, but that has never happened before.  I had to drink some water and lie down a bit before the PA returned for a second try, which worked much better.

Then, I went and got the needle jabbed in my foot a bunch of times.  I don’t really know what the hell was going on down there because I was supine on the exam table and there was no way in hell I was going to let myself get even a glimpse of that sh*t.  But like last time, it was mildly painful and uncomfortable.

The doc stuck some Band-Aids on me, we each said thank you and we hoped never to see one another again, and then T and I were on our way to a place where I feel safe and happy.

Mmmm… beer…

I noticed right away that I wasn’t getting around nearly as easily as I had been the last time– my foot felt a lot more tender, and I was limping.  It felt good to sit down to this:

Bread. Olive Oil. Meat. CHEESE. Yes.

Oh and yeah, also this:

Victory Summer Love is DELICIOUS! Also, yes, I changed out of my “comfy injection clothes” and back into my work clothes. Said comfy injection clothes were soaked in sweat.

And it’s a good thing this guy was there!

Not only was he awesomely supportive in my time of need, but he was also crucial in getting me home because I LITERALLY COULD NOT WALK when I went to get up from the table.  My foot was so tender, I could hardly put any weight on it at all.  Some man gave us a weird look as I hobbled out, clinging to T, and asked if I needed a paramedic.

Anyhow, it took me more than twice as long as it normally does to get to the subway this morning, and I haven’t been able to walk normally at all yet.  My foot still feels very stiff and tender and it’s currently throbbing, so I have it propped up on my CPU.  This is a major difference from last time, since I basically felt pretty much normal immediately last time.  So, needless to say, I’m hoping this is a great sign that it’s working its magic!

Here’s hoping next time I write, it’s some good news.  I mean, IT’S ABOUT TIME, for real!

 

 

Spotted: Crazy, Fugly Runnergirl On A Murderous Rampage in Central Park

3 May

… or just me plodding through the park with a combination of happiness to be running and frustration that a 4 miler could feel so damn difficult.

Anyhow.

I ran a 4 mile race in Central Park 2 Sundays ago.  I finished in just under 32 minutes, which was, meh, whatever.  Seeing as how I hadn’t run in over 3 months, my expectations were pretty damn low.  I was kind of pleasantly surprised at first, but then found myself pretty depressed because in all honesty, I should be able to run a 4 miler at better than an 8 min/mile pace, for Pete’s sake.  My PR marathon pace is really not THAT much slower than that.  Ugh.

I should also mention that hours after the 4 miler (during which, by the way, I didn’t really experience any foot pain) I found myself in IMMENSE pain, to the point where I could hardly walk.  That brought that particular weekend to a lovely conclusion, as I bawled about the fact after months of forgoing running, attempting to embrace spinning, buying all kinds of foam rollers and trigger point doohickeys and various shoe inserts, Physical Therapy, different doctor visits, scary injections, and other crapola, one 4 mile run put me right back where I was before I did all of that.  I just felt such a crushing emotional blow, like everything I had done — all the angst and stress and money– was a complete waste.  I spent the remainder of that Sunday holed up on my sectional couch eating food I’d ordered off of Seamless web and  and watching “Veep” and “Girls” on HBO.  (I did, however, manage to wait to watch Mad Men, since T was working and that’s our show.  And can I just say that MM has been effing awesome this season?!?!?)

Anyhow.  Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I did yet another 4 miler this past Sunday.  My time was better, (not that it really matters) and my foot hurt a lot less in the aftermath.  No idea why.  I also thought I’d share the photo described in the title of this post, because it’s too amazing not to.  Friends’ reactions have included the following.

Kim: OMG I can’t lie.  It’s bad.  HAHAHAHAHA.

Molly:  You are so beautiful.  But, uh, not in that pic.

Well, see for yourself, friends.

YEEEARRRGGGGH I WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN!!

In other news, though I am far from embracing spinning, it turns out I’m decent at it.  All I had to do was decide to put my name up on the “torque board” and suddenly I started spinning my little heart out.  I start getting crazy competitive and trying to “win” as often as I can.  So I found myself on the Flywheel website a few days ago, idly clicking here and there, and I discovered that they list the top 10 men and women for each week at each studio and that I had landed in the top 10 women at the UES studio not once, but twice!  WHAT?

Take a wild guess which one is me

If you’re ever in a Flywheel class and you see “SweatyKT” on the torque board, come find me and say hi!  You’ll know it’s  me, ’cause I’ll be the sweatiest person in the class, men included.

And now for a quick foot update.  I saw the doc who did the injection this past Monday.  He looked at a sonogram of my foot and showed me where objectively it was looking better.  He is puzzled, however, as to why it is still hurting.  He also said that it’s a good sign that I’m even able to run 4 miles, but I’m finding it difficult to look at it that way since I’d like to be running a hell of a lot more than that, and without crazy-intense pain in the aftermath.  Anyhow… he had me go get an MRI to see if maybe there was some kind of issue on top of my PF that is causing this trouble.  He acknowledged that I’ve done pretty much everything I should be doing for my foot.  I got the MRI done yesterday and now I am waiting for the results…

Yesterday I had my final insurance-covered PT session and from here on out, if I want to go, it’s $100 a pop.  My PT also said that he is completely bamboozled as to why my foot is still hurting, given that I’ve done pretty much everything.  I guess it’s some consolation to have everyone in agreement that I’m doing everything I can(?)

I’ve started seriously considering accepting that my running days are over and attempting to find a new …. No!  F*ck it!  I’m not giving up!!!!  (That’s as far as I usually get with that thought.)

If anyone has any stories of glorious recovery from injuries to share, that would be swell.  Sweaty Emily‘s recovery from her broken foot is nothing short of legendary, but as my PT informed me– muscle and bone injuries are a lot easier to recover from than tendon injuries.  Sweet.  However, I want to reiterate that coming back from an injury by running a 3:08 marathon is just… wow.  I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d broken my foot instead of getting freaking plantar fasciitis.

But life goes on, I’ll be running again… some day soon(????PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) and at least I have horrifically, fantastically terrible photos of myself to keep me smiling…