« March 2008 | Main | May 2008 »

April 27, 2008

slowest 10k in four and a half years

first, the tally to which I am so addicted:

M: 3mi (8:50), 30min bike (6.44mi)
T: 4mi (7:51) a little brisker plus 5x strides last mile
W: 5mi (8:51), 1:01:20 bike (12.63mi)
R: 6mi (8:29)
F: 5mi (8:35). Worked at tri expo doing massage after my "regular" workday.
Sa: 4mi (8:13) incl 5x strides last mile. Worked at tri expo doing massage.
Su: 10.23mi incl 10k tri relay (43:58), 30min bike (6.77mi)

total: 37.2 miles running, 25.8 miles bike

Very paltry.

This week's highlight was the tri relay, and believe me I thought about it every single run this week. I had absolutely no idea what to shoot for, since the past six weeks have been a jumble of bike/walk/nothing/bikebikebike plus the gradual return to running that started two weeks ago. No speedwork except for a few pickups, very reduced mileage and god-knows-how-much of a loss of aerobic fitness = yikes, I dunno. I decided I'd be happy if one mile - didn't matter which one - could be under 6:45.

This tri relay is a lot of fun but a logistical nightmare. The event has something like 5000 participants, and keeping everything rolling smoothly takes the discipline of a war machine. And I think tri people tend to be a tad anal, too. Friday and Saturday I worked at the massage tent, which meant a lot of hours on my feet in the sun, but on the other hand I did get to park in the staff area and only had to drag my table about 200m to where I needed to be. Raceday morning was a different story, and I was lucky to find a parking spot a mile from the festivities, to which I hauled all my shit and...waited. And waited. And waited. This year, the event had over 30 waves, and we relay people started dead fuckin' last, behind the novices, behind Team N Training, behind everybody. So I waited and drank water and waited and watched our swimmer come in and drank some more water and waited and warmed up about 20min and drank and applied sunscreen and changed shoes and headed for the transition area where I waited for the bike guy to come in and hand off the chip. All the while wondering what the hell I would see on the Garmin, and how it would feel, and how long I'd be able to last.

By the time I got going, it was 11AM and 77F, without a cloud in the sky. The start is always tricky because there are so many people in the way - volunteers and dazed relay bike people blocking the exit from transition, purple people (Go Team!) entering the run course and immediately slowing down to high-five their buddies, spectators that get onto the course somehow and wreak havoc. I looked at my watch and saw 5:50 lap (mile) pace, and spent the next 1400m putting on the brakes, ending up with 6:32, yikes. I decided on 6:45 for the second mile but only managed 6:53 and felt it; I was getting hot and just couldn't push like I could 6 weeks ago. So I decided 7min pace would be ok, heh. From then on it was just weave and pass, weave and pass, uh-oh I'm slowing down, weave and pass some more. I passed a lot of people, mostly tired age-groupers and TnT people, but also many of the relay people who started before me (this pleased me mightily). I really started to tank halfway through the 5th mile, but by 6 got close to a woman running my pace or maybe a bit faster and we kicked it the last .2. I didn't catch her, but I was glad for the push. Official time was 43:58, which is slower than any 10k I've run since late 2003.

6 weeks ago I ran 12k as a hard training run at 6:39 pace. 3 weeks ago I couldn't run at all. Last Saturday I was not even running 10k at a time. Today I ran 10k at 7:05 pace and that was really all I could manage. But my hip didn't really bother me all day; I felt a twinge late this afternoon, but advil shut it right down. So I guess the next thing to do is get that base back. And make a decision about Akron.

Posted by joe positive at 5:25 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 24, 2008

good news/bad news

good news: Tuesday my little 4-miler turned into an impromptu "speed" thingy, I mean workout. High 7s felt good so I did that. Mid 7s felt good, so I did that. During the last mile I did 5 (countem 5!) 20-second strides, each followed by a minute's jog.

bad news: by late morning I was sore and lurching around the massage table trying to favor my leg in a graceful way. By 3pm I wanted my 5pm advil.

good news: after a nap Tuesday afternoon (and no biking), I felt much better and ran a nice recovery (8:50) 5 miles Wednesday morning, followed by an easy hour on the bike.

bad news: someone at work's been sick all week, and by Wednesday afternoon I ached all over (including the hip) and was sure I had what she has.

good news: after lounging about all evening, I woke up this morning and did not need advil at all, oh no, not at all. But I took some anyway because I thought I might need it later. Went out for 6 miles, which felt wonderful at 8:29 pace. I could have gone longer or faster but I did not.

bad news: I had a hole in the middle of my day, during which I'd planned to come home and ride the bike for an hour. But the hole filled up, so I ended up staying at work the whole day. But the hole also happened to fill up with people who canceled at the last minute or just plain didn't show up, so I ended up sitting around at work and not getting to ride either.

good news: by 4:15pm I started thinking maybe I should take some advil, because I had 2 massages left and would hate to be lurching around the table trying to favor my leg in a graceful way. And then I realized I didn't need any advil at all, oh no.

And now I'm home after a 10-hour day (large chunks of which were spent doing nothing), getting ready to go to bed soon so I can start another day tomorrow, and my hip feels like nothing was ever wrong with it, not for the past 5 weeks or anything, oh no, not at all.

Posted by joe positive at 8:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 20, 2008

training week ending OT Marathon Trials Day, 2008

M: 4mi gallowalking (2.58mi running), 6.76mi bike
T: 4mi gallowalking (3.43mi running)
W: AM 5mi gallowalking incl 2x2mi running. 5.33mi bike. PM 9.75mi bike
R: 5mi gallowalking (4.5mi running), 6.47mi bike
F: 5mi running (8:43)
Sa: AM 6mi running (8:26), 10.72mi bike. PM 10.85mi bike
Su: 8mi running (8:31), 11mi bike

total: 37mi running (I'm including the early-week gallowalking), 60.9mi bike

My hip continues to improve bit by minuscule bit. I'm no longer expecting any miraculously pain free run to happen anytime soon. More likely, I will realize, 3 days or a week or 2 months from now, that my hip doesn't really hurt anymore.

I watched the womens' Trials online this morning, and what struck me more than anything else was the picture of Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet standing together on the finish line, welcoming Blake Russell to the team. Sentimental fool, tha's me.

Posted by joe positive at 6:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2008


This morning I ran 6 miles at 8:26 avg pace. I walked about 50' down the street to notify my hip of my intentions, then ran a very slow mile, then 4 around 8:15, then something faster than 8. It felt much better than yesterday; during the middle miles I had flashes of that gee-I-could-go-forever feeling. If I keep alternating bad days and good days like this, I should feel ok next Sunday at the tri.

After I got done running I went out for about 50 minutes on the bike. As I passed someone's yard sale I spied a road bike, and stopped to check it out. It was only $25, but the frame was a little too big. The yard sale guy let me ride it up and down the street, and yee haw let me tell you, you just get on this thing and exhale, and suddenly you're going 10mph. Very, very tempting (especially for $25), but it was just too big for me.

In other news, yesterday's mail brought the same letter that Salty got earlier this week. Like Salty, geez am I ever flattered. Unlike Salty, I don't have pregnancy as a reason to decline the offer, and in fact I'm thinking seriously about accepting. I had planned to spend the summer rebuilding and xtraining like a maniac, shooting for Phoenix in January, but the invitation appeals to, um, well, my, um, yup, vanity. It makes me feel like a real runner at a moment when (because of this injury) I don't feel like a runner at all. And I don't get invited to run many races, and at my age I don't expect this to happen much more, if at all.

Posted by joe positive at 10:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

sometimes I think should just admit to insanity

This week has seen a nice improvement in my hip, probably thanks to my relay-teammate the chiropractor. He's seen me 4 times, done various treatments and therapies, and has taken care to re-assess me each time. And I've been able to increase my mileage bit by bit, from running minutes at a time to miles at a time. It doesn't feel great, but it's manageable, and a bit better every day.

Today's task was a 5-mile run. Usually I run in the morning before work, but today I had to go see the chiropractor very early and then rush straight to work. The chiro did a different treatment today, and sometime during my workday I realized my hip felt lots better, hmmmm. I started to think I might have a good run this afternoon, and then immediately I started to be afraid I'd have a terrible run in spite of feeling better, so here's what I did:

didn't get around to drinking enough water;

assumed (and maintained) an awkward, twisting position while giving a massage;

ate a medium-sized lunch, and

went out to run too soon afterward, in

77F sunny dry weather,

in shoes I'm not fond of.

And of course my hip hurt while running, and I had either a stitch or some ab soreness from the &^%#%^#( core exercises the chiro makes me do, and for the first couple miles I felt like I was running in sand, and I worried that my gait was off (it probably is, a little). And then sometime after 3 miles....you probably expect me to say that I grew wings at this point and enjoyed the mother of all runner's highs. Not at all; I just finally warmed up enough that the hip was very bearable (but my gait was still off) and my cadence got reasonable and the stitch faded a bit, and I was able to run a decent pace the last two miles, with the same level of discomfort that got me low 9s/high 8s the first few miles.

So I deliberately sabotaged today's run and still it wasn't too awful.

So let's see what tomorrow's better-prepared-for run will bring.

Posted by joe positive at 5:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2008

two up, one back

Yesterday morning I thought I'd be really sore from all the biking and little bits of running this weekend. Instead, I felt pretty good all day, even better than I did the entire weekend. I gallowalked 4 miles, running a bit over 2.5 of it. Didn't feel great, but definitely manageable. Later the terrifically busy day surprised me with a free half-hour, so I squeezed in 6.75 miles on the bike. Yee haw.

This morning I awoke to - tada! - no pain. Well, maybe 98% no-pain. I was thrilled, because the first few steps out of bed are usually the worst, and here I was scrambling around making coffee with nary a trace of a limp. I had an early-early appointment with my teammate the chiro, but after that I'd be able to manage a gallowalk before work and oh boy, was I ever ready. I knew it would be fabulous.

Well, it wasn't. The first few steps of every running segment hurt - not horribly, but enough to discourage me. I felt better as I warmed up, and in fact felt better running than walking, but it was not what I expected, and that depressed me. I ended up running 3.45 miles of the 4, and I've been a little sore ever since. Gave myself the rest of the day off - no riding, walking, nothing. I'm tired. It will be better tomorrow. Yes.

Posted by joe positive at 5:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 13, 2008

baby steps

Totals for the week:

7.6 miles walk/run
34 minutes pool running (incl 2 sets of [5x90s hard/30s easy])
118.9 miles bike.

Yes, I did a little gallowalking this weekend. Saturday's jaunt included about 1.25mi of actual running, and today I did 2 miles. It doesn't feel great, but it's manageable so far. Because I haven't run in so long, my legs are freshFreshFRESH and I cruised through my 3- and 4-minute running segments pretty fast for a gimp. Just for grins, today I stuck a heel lift in the shoe of my short leg. I don't know if it actually helped, but it didn't hurt.

I also took a baby step over to the dark side and bought some clipless pedals and dorky bike shoes. Yes, I am evil, but wow! what a difference it makes. I really get a better aerobic workout because I'm able to go faster. On the other hand, it's more like running, which may aggravate my injury, whatever it is. On the other hand, it's more like running.

4 miles gallowalking this morning, plus 27 miles on the bike. Almost like a real Sunday.

Oh lord, please don't let me hurt too much tomorrow.

Posted by joe positive at 5:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2008


Dreams these past three nights:

1) My dead friend and I were back together. [I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but long ago, in a galaxy far away, we were a couple and lived together for five years. After we broke up, we took turns wanting to get back together. My last turn happened well after his.] Anyway, in this dream, I was me, as old as I am now, but unmarried and living somewhere else. And he was manic, as he so often is in my dreams. We were somewhere, at a bar or something, talking about the future, and I knew we were back together and could not believe my good fortune, but at the same time I knew he was manic and about to run off the rails. And I thought "well, no matter what he does this time, we're back together. So just let him do whatever he wants, and don't piss him off."

2) My ex-husband (yes, I have one) had become a professor at a college somewhere for a year, and I ran into him accidentally and we had a nice chat. Since in real life he is an engineer (I think), I thought academia was sort of a monastic choice for him.

3) A sports-massage therapist whom I admire, and with whom I share office space, had set up some sort of post-sports massage event, and money was involved. Someone (I don't know who, just a dream person) gave me a whole bunch of money and then later told me he'd "found" it, but it was clear he'd stolen it from money earmarked for the massage therapist. Later, the therapist figured out that some money was missing, and asked me if I knew anything about it. Even though the dream person had stolen the money, I felt horribly guilty. I mean, sick with guilt. I denied knowing anything about the money, but I knew the therapist would eventually find out.

Posted by joe positive at 8:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What's goin ahn


The week has been unusually busy. At work I covered for someone who's out on vacation, which made for some pretty long days. And I'm still not running, and xtraining takes a lot more time! I refuse to bike in the dark, so mornings I ride as long as I can after sunup, and then evenings I ride until sundown. I think when all is said and done I'll have over 100 miles of bike this week.

I think I may have mentioned I'm on a tri relay team that meets up once a year to do this big local triathlon (actually it's a medium-sized national tri, too). Last week, I emailed the team warning them I was injured and may not be able to run this year. The swimmer on the team is a chiropractor, and he offered to examine/xray/assess me to see if there was anything he could help. I saw him this week, and he found no fractures on the xray (of course, they never show up there) but did find some interesting anomalies: short R leg, high/rotated L hip, spine lists a good bit to the left, tight hip flexors (duh), weak extensors on left, L SI joint doesn't function very well. Btw, just about everyone has a short leg, but usually about a quarter-inch, not a whole inch like mine.

So anyway he adjusted me and prescribed interferential therapy, which is very interesting if you are into kinesiology at all. And he wants me to come 3x/week, and he insists on treating me for free until raceday, which is 2 weeks from Sunday. So I'll give it a go.

Meanwhile, my hip wobbles between 80-92% painfree and seems to have reached a plateau. I haven't run - well, I ran a few steps from the front of the house to the back - but I will give it a shot tomorrow. I fully expect some more soreness, but if it's not much worse than it is right now, I can live with that. The race is only 10k, after all.

Posted by joe positive at 6:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 6, 2008

how the week was won

no running this week, unless you count the gallowalking on Monday:

M: AM 5mi gallowalking (bad idea); PM 3mi walk (worse idea)
T: 3.1mi walk; sore
W: 3.25mi walk, trying to go way fast (bad idea); sore
R: nothing
F: 30min bike (6mi)
Sa: AM 1hr bike (12.5mi); PM 30min bike (6.5mi)
Su: 2hr bike (26.4mi)

total: 5mi gallowalking, 9.6mi walking, 51.4mi bike

I still haven't had that First Day of the 3 Days Without Pain. Not yet.

My hip/leg continue to improve, but only by millimeters. Every morning it hurts a tiny bit less to take those first steps out of bed. Every afternoon I wait just a bit later to pop some advil. It's so frustrating: certain things make it worse, but not doing those things doesn't take the pain totally away. Yesterday I felt fine while bikeriding but battled a limp every time I had to walk more than a few steps. Finally I just gave up the battle and started limping like a champ, figuring since I can't stay off the hip for real, I may as well spare it as much as possible. And yet the pain continues to fade. By millimeters.

But out of all this comes something totally unexpected: I'm starting to like the bike! Or at least not hate it. This morning's ride was the best yet. For the first time, I felt kind of in control of the bike, able to pedal through turns and stuff. And my legs felt pretty good during the ride and afterward. I think maybe I can tolerate this period of non-running and recovery, however long it turns out to be. But I am not going over to the dark side.

I've got a screwy work schedule this coming week, but the sun's up early enough that I can ride before work. And Wednesday or Friday I'll probably start pool running. And if I ever start blogging that I'm starting to like pool running, please take me out back and shoot me.

Posted by joe positive at 3:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 2, 2008

uncertain as to an appropriate title

Feel free to shower me with ridicule, but I'm a fan of C. S. Lewis - not the childrens' fantasy stuff, but the grownup xtian-semi-allegorical stuff like Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength. In one of those, the protagonist is faced with some moral dilemma, resolves to do the Right Thing (though it would be far more comfortable not to), and is promptly smacked in the face by circumstance. He's stunned and dismayed that the oceaen didn't part and life didn't suddenly become easier just because he made the Right Decision. He thought he might get some reward for that, but all he ended up with was the certainty that he was going to do the right thing, and it was still going to be damn hard.

I thought of that today: my hip and leg hurt more despite 3 days of not-running; my office rent went up, and I have no clients; the chiro's office has been dead this week; my husband's hours have been cut; money flies out the door but only seeps very slowly back in. And did I mention, my hip and leg hurt more? I think I may have mentioned it.

No moneyfaeries flew down from the sky to visit me. But luckily, one of the therapists at work had some time to work on me, and wow! she hurt me but it was for the best, because when I got up from the table all I could feel was soreness where she'd worked. The nagging ubiquitous crappy ache was gone, at least for a while. Let's see for how long.

As always when I get a good or helpful massage, I'm awed. I know exactly what she did, but how did she know to do it? There's so much to learn. I hope it doesn't take me too long.

Posted by joe positive at 5:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 1, 2008

over and out

So I did the Big Workout on Sunday, but it turned out to be a bad idea overall.

2 days later I'm still too sore to run, and often sore walking if I've been sitting a while. I still don't know exactly what's wrong, but it seems like a hip flexor (psoas) problem.

Cleveland is out. In order to even get to the starting line, I'd have to complete all the remaining Big Workouts (and there are a bunch of them) between now and then. And if each Big Workout knocks me out for 2 or 3 days afterward, well, that's just...silly.

I told Tinman what I'd decided (rather, that I'd decided he was right a couple weeks ago). He thinks I should stop all weightbearing/legspinning training for now, get some PT, and then we'll start again in the summer. This I will not do; I will not subject my 44-year-old metabolism to such a screeching halt, and finances being what they are, I will have to forgo the PT. I figure I can find some psoas rehab exercises online anyway.

Later this month there's a huge triathlon, and for several years I've run the 10k as part of a mixed masters relay team. I may still try to do St Anthony's if I'm able, since I committed to do it. But right now I want to see reduced pain for at least 3 days, then see what xtraining I can do, then add back running as I can. Oh, and not get fat.

ok, reduced-pain Day 1 will be Tomorrow, yeehaw!

Posted by joe positive at 4:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack