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August 22, 2004

waiting and seeing

I can't wait until this blog isn't all about an injury.

So-so short run yesterday, then a half-hour with a sometime-running-partner who's a massage therapist. We've been trying to schedule this for 2 weeks but couldn't get together until this weekend. She worked on my leg and foot but good. As she worked she let me know what she found (knots, fibrous tissue, etc). I find that kind of information really interesting and would rather listen to the therapist talk than the cloying Enya-type music some therapists consider "relaxing."

So did it help? Dunno, but today I ran 17 with the club (in fact, with the massage therapist), and for the first 13 miles I felt good good good. Then I kinda started to run out of gas, but just slowed down as much as I needed to and got it done. I'm a little sore now. Tomorrow will be a very easy day, with another half-hour massage session in the late afternoon. There are definite benefits to having a job. When I wasn't working I'd never have gone for massage therapy unless my leg was unusable.

Cured? Worse? Better? No comment.

On an entirely different subject (thank god), I was blown away by the womens' Olympic marathon today. Just blown away.

Posted by joe positive at 5:05 PM | Comments (2)

August 20, 2004

things we do in desperation

Yesterday I had my head adjusted.

No, really.

After a good running day and then a medium-good running day, I tried 12 yesterday morning and just dragged through it. As the day wore on, my leg got more and more tight and the PF in the other foot grew more and more tender. Luckily I'd made an appointment with a serious sports-massage therapist for late in the afternoon.

I didn't know it when I made the appointment, but the therapist practices a kind of therapy that involves manipulation of the cranium. The theory is that one of the cranial bones mirrors the pelvis, and adjusting the head bone will get the pelvic bones adjusted too. He spent a good 10 minutes gently sqeezing my head. It wasn't scary, but I wondered whether this treatment would benefit from the power of suggestion, meaning if I truly believed, I would be healed. I neither believed nor disbelieved, just lay there and wondered what I was supposed to be thinking while he squeezed my head.

After that he spent the rest of the hour on more traditional sports massage, like the kind that hurts so much you forget to breathe. I felt a lot looser by the end of the hour, and was looking forward to running 8 or 9 in the morning.

Enter the morning...started off a little sore, then 1/2-mile into the run on a dark tree lane I turned my ankle (the bad one) on a stupid piece of wood lurking in the street. Almost started crying right then and there, not from pain (it didn't hurt any more than my leg hurt already) but at the unfairness of all of it, everything. I hurled the stupid piece of wood into someone's yard and started off again, but it was just a slow depressing slog.

Sometime around mid-morning I got up from my desk for a drink of water. 50 feet down the hall I realized my leg didn't hurt at all. There was no pain for hours, then only a little tightness, so I decided to try a short easy run this evening. Again, no dice; I hurt a bit but mainly had no get-up-and-go. Once I stopped my leg felt like it was on fire. And now, hours later, it's settled down again.

I don't see a pattern yet, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.

Posted by joe positive at 8:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

too early to tell

I haven't written the past couple of days because I just didn't have anything good to say; everything would've been a whine. Today things are looking a little brighter.

I think...I'm not 100% sure but I really do kind of think, maybe...that my leg is finally getting better. Sunday I ran 15. Monday I ran a glacial 4 and then went for a massage in the evening. Yesterday I ran 7+ (slow) in the morning, then hit the gym in the afternoon only to learn that the treadmill there makes things worse. This morning I ran 9.5 and - for the first time in a while - my legs really wanted to "go." I wasn't breaking any speed records, but the cool thing it that I felt like pushing a little.

I'm not declaring a cure yet because the injury gods would hear and punish me. I continue to wait and see.

About treadmills: I just can't do well on those things unless I'm feeling 100% well and strong. Otherwise, I'm toast. I'm really clumsy for one thing, and the staff at the gym go around chirping "HI! HoW'S yOUr WorKOUt gOinG TODAYYYYY?" which startles me every time, and I'm always afraid I'll fall. I just can't relax, and that throws off my form, and any weakness I happen to have at the moment gets the worst of it.

Posted by joe positive at 6:38 AM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2004

but on the bright side

Yesterday's hurricane made a right turn at the last moment and completely missed us! Not good for lots of people in South Florida and the center of the state of course, but a big relief for us.

Posted by joe positive at 6:55 PM | Comments (0)


This morning I got up late and started out for an aimless, freeform run. My log said 8 miles, but I'd rearranged the schedule so much to accommodate the sore leg that I thought I'd try for and easy 10. I didn't even get close. After a mile my leg had warmed up just a little. After 3 miles I stopped home to stretch, which helped just a little. After a couple more miles trotting around at warmup pace, I asked myself what the point was and didn't have an answer, so I bailed.

After a decent interval I wrote a long whiny email to my coach complaining that the leg just wasn't getting any better and everything was just no damned good. He came up with 5 different options for the coming week, ranging from complete rest (boo!) to a kinda complicated plan where I did the equivalent of 75% of my scheduled mileage as crosstraining (elliptical, stairmaster, arctrainer, etc) and then run the rest (not great, but better than nothing). I'm going to try the xtraining option, but I might also cut the total mileage by 20% too, because the thought of 82 miles on gym machines makes me grind my teeth.

It all sounds so rational and sensible, and it's only for a week, but inside me is a spoiled brat girl throwing a huge tantrum. I'm 9 weeks out from Chicago. This should not be happening right now.

Posted by joe positive at 6:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004


Because of the impending hurricane I'm working from home today. Running-wise this meant I could sleep in a little and get a leisurely 9.5 in without having to worry about getting presentable immediately afterward. So I just puttered around the neighborhood thinking about stuff:

Toward the end of the run, some police cars came around ordering the riverfront folks to evacuate. We're slightly uphill, up the street, and across the street from this little river, so we're staying put for the time being. There's no place for us to go, anyway. The latest pictures show the storm might hit a little south of here, which would be better for us (though worse for those south of us). Maybe the thing will shoot off into the Gulf and spin itself out.

Posted by joe positive at 10:16 AM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2004

I almost forgot to mention

I saw a meteor while I was running this morning.

Posted by joe positive at 9:18 PM | Comments (2)

no race after all, for all the wrong reasons

I signed up for a 5K tomorrow night, so today's run was not only a test of my leg but a pre-race ritual - 6.5 miles easy, with 10x100m strides. I wish I could say that my leg didn't hurt at all. It was bearable but it still hurt, and the strides were slower than I'm capable of. I could tell that yesterday's rest helped, but I wasn't completely over the injury yet, and I resigned myself to the possibility of a mediocre race tomorrow.

A few hours later the hurricane warnings went up and the race (and a whole lot of other stuff) was officially cancelled. The storm is supposed to hit us tomorrow afternoon. I've seen so many storms not hit us that it's kind of hard to take this one seriously, but the media seems to think it's the real deal this time. When I was younger I used to think hurricanes were cool, but now that I'm a grouchy old homeowner I'm not so wild about them. I hate to say I wish this one would hit somewhere else, but I do.

Posted by joe positive at 7:58 PM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2004

drama becomes self-pity

Despite my efforts to be sensible about taking care of my sore leg, yesterday's track workout was a big depressing black spot. I hurt walking from my car to the track, I hurt changing my clothes, I hurt warming up a mile and a half before starting the speedwork, I hurt walking off the track to change into my flats.

Smells like self-pity, doesn't it? Coach allowed me to do a lightweight version of the planned workout: 3x400 with 200 rest, 1x800 with 400 rest, 3x400/200 again. Strangely enough, running faster hurt less than jogging, walking, standing or even sitting, but it still hurt. During each item I could tell I was holding back some, afraid I'd blow out and not be able to finish. I ran the 400s a couple seconds slower than goal and the 800 a second faster than goal, and I was in a pretty rotten mood by the end. The cooldown was really painful.

Coach and I hemmed and hawed about what to do, and I decided to take the next day (today) completely off from everything - no running, no elliptical or bike or stairmaster or anything. I haven't taken a day completely off since January. At best, it'll help this thing to heal, and at worst, it won't have any effect at all. We'll see tomorrow morning when I try running again.

Posted by joe positive at 9:01 PM | Comments (2)

August 9, 2004

a little bit of drama

After yesterday's lovely run, I knew I had to pay.

My right leg has been sore going on two weeks now. I don't know how I hurt it, but I do know it's the peroneus longus muscle and it gets mucho tight. This morning I set out for an easy 6 but halfway down the street I knew I'd never make it. Despite my pre-run ministrations (ace bandage wrap, capsaicin muscle rub) it took 3 miles to warm up about halfway. I quit after 4.5 miles.

This afternoon I was supposed to run whatever would give me 10 for the day, but my coach suggested doing equivalent mileage on various machines at the gym. So I did 3 miles (about all I could stand) on the elliptical trainer, then got on a stairmaster for the first time ever. I did 1.5 miles on the regular kind and a mile on the kind with stairs. I wasn't quite sure what to do, but I think I'm going to regret whatever I did.

The leg feels better now that it did this morning, so I'm planning on a very easy run tomorrow morning and a lighter-than-usual track workout in the afternoon. Of course this is only if my leg doesn't fall clean off by morning.

Posted by joe positive at 8:32 PM | Comments (2)

August 8, 2004

OK, let's try this again

Way back a million years ago last week when I started posting to this blog, I thought it might be nice to post twice a day. Immediately my life got very busy (new job), and now a million years and a few days have passed without a new entry. Hopefully things will level out from now on.

Running for the past few days: pretty pedestrian (no pun intended). My sore right leg is less sore than last week, but still sore anyway. I kept the intensity low so I could run all the planned mileage, and finally went over 80 miles, yay!

Running today: 21 on the schedule, 22.45 was what I ended up with. Sundays our running club gets together for long runs. I used to loathe the idea of getting up so early (we meet about 30 minutes' drive from my house), but now I look forward to it. It's a chance to run with a bunch of people going more-or-less my pace; sometimes they pull me along when I'm not feeling so great, and sometimes it's the other way around. Today was cloudy, 80F before dawn, 119% humidity, sprinkly, misty, and my sore leg was stiff when I got up at 3:15, so I was all set for a miserable slog. Dunno how, but I ended up having the best long-run in 4 or 5 months.

Posted by joe positive at 2:59 PM | Comments (1)

August 4, 2004

might as well get into the habit

Since I usually run twice a day, I'm going to try to update this twice a day as well.

As it happens, I run long on Sundays and do a track workout on Tuesdays, so by the time Wednesday rolls around, my hard work is done for the week and there's no drama to write about unless I have a race or an injury. This week I have neither, so there will be a lot of entries like "6 easy" or "7 easy." I'll try to make it as interesting as I can :-)

On that note: this morning I slept in until 5 (whoo hoo), then was out the door by 5:30 for, um, 6 easy around the neighborhood. According to the GPS it was actually 6.21, but who's counting? Last week I had a slight injury (rt peroneus longus), but it's much better this week, and with every run I feel more and more back-to-normal. Makes even easy putter-around-the-neighborhood runs seem like more fun.

Posted by joe positive at 6:56 AM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2004

holy moley, it's a running blog

How I got here: I started running about 2-1/2 years ago. Through running I found, and through I found out about Alison's blog on When Alison recently asked for volunteer bloggers for the site, I decided to give it a shot. Thanks, Alison, for setting this up.

A little about me: I am not an elite runner, though I love running and am serious about training. I'm female, masters, married, no kids. I live in Florida and train with a local running club that has some very good runners in its ranks (alas, I am not one of them). I'm currently training for my second marathon (Chicago) and running around 80 miles a week.

I came into running as a non-athlete and ex-chainsmoker, and it never ceases to amaze me that I'm running at all, and I'm not completely horrible at it. With this blog I hope to show (someone, anyone, no one) what it's like to train when you're just an average joe.

Posted by joe positive at 8:21 PM | Comments (0)