« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

September 30, 2008

anyway, monday

today's bike: 25.17 miles in 100 minutes at the "miss [firstname]" Y:

90min (23.17mi) on the stationary bike, goal = 90-100 rpm, 113-131 hr

10min (2mi) on the recumbent, 30min cooldown goal quickly scrapped because I didn't like the way the machine felt.

Second day in a row sans advil and hell no, I'm no hero.

Posted by joe positive at 12:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

how can this be?

Somebody jumped from the center span of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge yesterday and survived. She landed 100' from a Coast Guard boat who picked her up and took her to a nearby marina, where she was treated for cuts and back pain.

Cuts and back pain? How can someone jump from a 200' bridge into water and get away with cuts and back pain? I don't begrudge this person her survival, but why couldn't everyone get away from that bridge with cuts and back pain?

Posted by joe positive at 6:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2008

oh, and today's xtrraining

(at a different Y than usual):

50min on a spin bike, no idea of rpm or "distance", 5min wu, then 45min getting all spinny to whatever song was on the mp3 player.

30min on a stationary bike, goal was 90-100rpm, 113-131 heart rate. The bike had one of those bars you hang onto and it tells your heart rate. I don't know how accurate those things are.

All this came after a 4-hour band practice, all standing, with some stomping on a tambourine to keep time. I was actually tired by the end of practice, so I'm counting it as a tiny bit of xtraining, or something.

Posted by joe positive at 7:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

my friends, let's get down to brass tacks

Random stuff not worthy of solo blog entries.

There have been lots of recent hits - mostly from Europe - to this blog from people using "Duncan Larkin" as search criteria. Guys, yeah you European guys especially: Duncan doesn't live here, and I'm not privy to any more of his secrets than you are. But if you want to find him, his blog is here.

After three days as a YMCA member, I'm a gym snob. Around here if you join the Y you can go to any Y, and not all Ys are created equal. To me a good Y has: spin bikes with computers that show rpm and time, and you can use them when there's not a spin class going on, and the room has fans or AC or something so you don't make such a big puddle of sweat on the floor; stationary bikes with seats that don't point downhill, and with toeclippy things on the pedals, and not cheek by jowl with some other machine so you fling sweat onto the person next to you, who flings his or her sweat onto you.

Oh, and the adjustable parts of the machines have to be adjustable, so you can adjust them if you need to.

And the people working there should not call you "Miss [firstname]" once they find out your first name, which they inevitably do. I don't know where that came from, whether it's a Southern thing (though Florida's not really the South) or a church thing or an "urban" (PC Eupemism Alert!) thing, but it makes me feel old.

I'm increasingly dismayed by changes I attribute to getting old.
I started wearing reading glasses a couple of years ago, but since I read all the time I wear the glasses everywhere, and so now I've become dependent on them. When I don't wear them I just don't see well, especially in less-than-bright light. To add insult to injury, the glasses are no longer strong enough.

I've had extensive dental work over the past few years, and it's affected my speech and facial structure and ability to swallow, and I'm very self-conscious about eating and speaking in public. And don't even get me started about band practice, or playing shows. And the fact that I could be the drummer's mom doesn't help any.

In "Lowlands," Chris Knox sings We can't do what we could; it fills us with self-loathing. I could list more stuff that seems to be malfunctioning, or grinding to a halt, but this entry's beginning to sound like a bitch, and who needs that? I didn't spend the years from 20-45 dreading what might be when I was middle-aged, so I guess I don't need to spend the next 20 years worrying about what it will be like when I'm old.


Posted by joe positive at 6:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


no night pain last night, yay!

Though I did take my once-daily dose of advil pretty close to bedtime. I've been trying to cut back the advil lately in order to get a more accurate idea of how my leg's doing. The exception is when I'm working; if I have to be on my feet more than about 75 minutes at a time, I get to take advil whenever I like.

Later I have band practice, and after that I'll go to the Y and cycle for a while. Meanwhile I'm sitting here full of pep and nothing to do about it.

Posted by joe positive at 9:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2008


After a few days of improvement, my leg is sore again, at 7 in the morning, before I've even done anything useful with myself (the Y doesn't open until 8). Why? There are so many variables. Spinning with too much resistance yesterday; standing (albeit in the boot) for a couple hours during band practice; involuntarily tapping my booted foot to keep time. Or maybe something I did the day before yesterday, or before that even. Who knows? I question the cause of every little bit of relief as well as every new setback. My clients constantly ask "what causes this" about their muscle pain and dysfunction, and my answer is, usually, "everything you ever did in your entire life," meaning probably not any one thing but a combination of lots of things, plus biomechanical stuff, plus inexplicable misfortune. Yet here I am, demanding to know the cause of everything, in the hope of controlling it somehow.

I'd planned to attend a week-long sports-massage certification workshop this coming week, already cleared the time off with the chiro's office and everything, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts. 37 hours of standing, walking, carrying heavy stuff, sitting, driving with no control over the schedule may not be good for the leg, even if I wear the walking boot 24/7. Throughout this whole debacle I've not been able (rather, not felt entitled) to take time off work to rest my leg and see if that helps. Maybe, just maybe, if I had a week in which I didn't have to stand up for long periods at a time, and in which I could sit down any time I wanted, I could finally turn the corner with this thing.

Posted by joe positive at 7:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2008

there's only one way to rock

I went to a spin class for the very first time this morning. I know it sounds kind of silly, and I felt a little silly. But I wanted to watch other people use spin bikes to make sure I was wasn't doing anything bad wrong, and also I wanted to see what a group workout was like.

It was ok, except 1) the standing-in-the-pedals thing turned out not to be a good idea and 2) the high-resistance thing turned out to be really not a good idea and 3) the music was very, very lame. Sammy Hagar, Bon Jovi (I think), someone gender-indeterminate covering "I Want to Know What Love Is," Madonna, some kind of Devil-Went-Down-To-JawJa thing. I started daydreaming about corporate musical America and how samey rawk music has been mixed and how rigid the song structures have been, even over all these decades: 2 verse-choruses, maybe a bridge, a lead, a 3rd verse-chorus or maybe just a chorus, then out, either fade or short stop after repeating some phrase 3 times. The stereo system was awesome. I have never listened to Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" with everything right in my face like it was this morning. I have heard many rock aficionados speak reverently about Mick Fleetwood and John MacVie and how they were the best rhythm section in the world, but I don't get it. I got caught up in the groupness of everything, and the first time the instructor had us stand in the pedals, up I went. It didn't hurt my leg but I decided not to do it anymore, at least not today. I did, however, crank the resistance way up when everyone else did, and now I'm sitting here thinking "low-resistance, DU-UH" and smacking myself on the forehead. Last night was the first time in a while with no night pain (well, almost no night pain), and now I may have blown it.

Anyway, I did 20 miles in an hour. I wonder what that would feel like on a real bike.

Posted by joe positive at 1:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2008

record low

temps, that is. Betcha thought I was going to whine some more, didntcha? Well I'm not.

This morning it dipped below 70F for the first time since April or May. What's more remarkable is that I can't remember the last time this happened in September. Usually we stretch our patience out through the first week in October, then begin intense prayer until the first cold front arrives, usually toward the end of the month. Last year 'round this time, I was primed and ready for a really good marathon, and even went under 19:30 for 5k, and we had a heat wave. This year... oh well. I'm not whining.

The YMCA's been running a membership special this month, so I joined this morning. They have spin bikes there! And recumbents, which I don't like as much, and regular stationary bikes too. All provide a pretty safe way for me to get a good cardio workout without worrying about traffic or putting pressure on my leg. This morning I took a spin on all 3 kinds of bike:

recumbent: 15min wu, 80-90rpm
spin: 30min, 12.5mi, 90-100rpm
stationary: 20min cd, 90rpm, practically no tension

total 19.5mi, 1:05

I'm not 100% sure how the spin bike should be adjusted, so I may go to a spin class tomorrow because someone there is bound to know.

Posted by joe positive at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

just like falling off a bike

Back in the walking boot for a spell. At first it felt awful, worse than just walking on the leg at all, but it became less and less of a bother as I remembered how to deal with it. As long as I keep my hip laterally rotated, I can stand, walk (the dog, even), sit, even give a half-decent massage without harm to myself or others.

In the pool this morning: 7min wu, 8x[5min h/1min e], 10x[45h/15e], 5min cd. 70min, which I'll call 7.75mi.

Posted by joe positive at 5:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

and today

I asked my boss to re-xray my leg, just to see if it looked any different than it did a month ago. The film looked like every picture I've ever seen of a fibular stress fracture. I'm not a doctor, and neither is my boss (he's a chiropractor), but we agreed that this xray left very little doubt.

this afternoon in the pool: 6min wu, 2x[5x[2:30h/30e], 2min betw sets, 3min cd (40min, ~4.5m). A little bonky-feeling because I didn't eat enough (but went to the pool too soon after eating it), also somewhat depressed. I didn't do the hard stuff as hard as I was supposed to.

I think I can continue pool-running without a problem, but I wonder about biking. I've read some online articles that say tensionless stationary biking is ok for busted fibulas, but I could probably find some online articles that say anything I want them to.

Posted by joe positive at 4:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2008


I started some ramble about whether or not I should join a gym, but it never went anywhere, so I'll just get to the point.

AM: in the pool: 47 minutes, which I will call 5 miles. 7min wu, 2x[8x90s hard/30s easy], 2min easy between sets, 6min cd. My little speakers were having battery trouble, which would've been a dealbreaker if I hadn't finally got them working.

PM: 45min mtb. This weekend I re-read Scott Douglas' chapter in Run Strong on xtraining through injury, so I was inspired to try some actual work during the ride. 5min wu, then very hard on the long straight sides of my loop, recovery on the shorter sides. This came out to about 45s very hard/1min recovery. I did 3 sets of 3, with about 4:30 between sets. 11.25 miles in all, but at times I got to 20mph, whoohoo.

Posted by joe positive at 5:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2008


Sometimes, if you whine enough, some good things happen and then you kind of feel like an idiot for whining.

Proof that there must be (or there might be) a flying spaghetti monster out there =

- Yesterday I went on a group ride for the first time, with a neighborhood bike club. We went a bit over 21 miles. At first I was afraid of crashing and/or making some bike-etiquette mistake, but everyone was very nice and gave me a lot of space until it became clear I was not going to be a menace to the peloton. I was the only fat-tire person in the entire crew, but I kept up with the roadies just fine.

- Someone managed to convince me, during the course of a long chat, that I just need to be more patient, that I will recover, that my life as a runner (how pompous that sounds! but I truly have such a tiny life that running is a huge part of who I am) isn't necessarily over, if only I will just be more patient. Oh, and I should not try to run until I have no pain whatsoever, duh. (note: this does not mean I will stop whining forever, just for a while. Maybe a short while.)

- This morning, before the above-mentioned long chat, I walked about a mile, then jogged 5 minutes, then walked 2.5 minutes, then did this again two more times until I could no longer deny that it hurt too much to continue, so I quit jogging and walked home.

- Later this morning I took the bike to the scrubby park with the paved loop and rode 27 miles. Towards the middle of the last loop, a roadie came up on me and said he'd been trying to catch me for 3 miles, and he said I was doing great for being on a mountain bike and I should try a road bike sometime. He went on ahead, but I caught him back two miles later. Granted he was probably 15 years older than I, but it was a nice little pat on my ego.


on the flip side: last night my velvet-underground-cover-band played a gig truly from hell, complete with a wiseguy doorman, a snarky dried-up knowitall of a soundman who mixed us like Starship, a ditzy show organizer wearing a dress made out of a hundred neckties, and a crowd who couldn't have cared less. We arrived on time, did as we were told, followed every rule, then were asked to wait a bit to go on. Ok, that happens a lot, no problem at all. 3 songs into the set, ditzy organizer came up to the stage and flashed 4 fingers at us. 4 fingers? What, 4 songs, 4 minutes, what do you mean? She could not make herself clear. Finally she managed to convey (to us, not the crowd) that the Guy whose CD release party this was was On His Way and we needed to be not playing when He made His Entrance into the Club. Great, but minutes and minutes passed and nothing happened, and He did not show any Evidence of His Impending Entrance. We were all focused on stage right, where ditzy organizer kept flashing hand signals at us but refused to come onstage and tell the crowd what was going on. Finally I went up to the mic and said "sorry, we've been asked not to play for some reason, that's why it looks like we're just standing here with dead air and our backs to you." Ditzy organizer decided we could go on and play something short, then lost her train of thought altogether so we plowed ahead with the set, including a very intentionally ugly version of Sister Ray and a Candy Says that sounded like we'd all died. The crowd clapped politely, as their parents must have taught them. I think if we'd been 20 years younger, they would have liked us, but we just looked like dried-up 40-somethings, halfway in drag, making a lot of noise. At 11pm sharp, the soundman reminded us of the very strict schedule which allowed for only one more numbah, so I suggested I'm Set Free as a big Fuck You to clubs, musicians, artists, artistes, wannabes, and fabulosos everywhere.

Posted by joe positive at 4:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

more of the same

This past week I started running again. I'm not sure I should have, but after 5 weeks of not-running I just had to try.

I led up to this with a week of gallowalking. Then Sunday I ran 6.5 miles very slowly; my leg felt tight and weird every step, but I could live with it. Monday, on Dror's suggestion, I ran 5 miles a little faster, and Tuesday I did the same, and running began to feel a little more normal.

Wednesday I went to track and Dror had me run 4x800; I have to state that he had no time goal whatsoever for this, but I did 'em pretty much by feel and ended up running about the same 800 times I ran before the injury. By the 4th item my leg was sore and weak, but that was ok because I had a whole day and a half to recover (Dror cut me back to every-other-day running for the rest of the week). I rested the remainder of the day, and just rode the bike a little Thursday morning. I was fairly sore Thursday but had a 10-hour day (on my feet) to get through, so I was glad when the day was over.

Friday morning we had temps below 75F for the first time in months, and I really wanted to have fun with the 5 miles allotted to me, but...my leg felt like crushed crap. In fact, both legs (calves) were sore, probably because I'd worn flats at track. I trudged through 5 miles, made a big effort not to limp at all, got back home and crawled into bed and slept two hours. Moped around for an hour, then crwaled back into bed and slept a couple more. Woke up with a throbbing leg, which was quickly dispatched with advil.

The rest of the day was just foul - I didn't want to cook, eat, clean up, anything. Midway through dinner-prep I discovered we were out of rice and I nearly chucked the whole mess of half-cooked food into the garbage. I was asleep on the couch before 9pm. For a Friday night with no early run scheduled the next day, that's just ridiculous.

I've been trying not to get really down about this, but it's so hard on my own. I wish, I wish I could go to a doctor like normal people and be told "THIS is what you've got and THIS is what you need to do to get over it; you CAN do this but DON'T do that." Right now I'm running when I feel like it, working long days because I don't have anything valid (like a doctor's note) that says I shouldn't, doing household chores that may or may not involve standing and walking. I laid off running 5 weeks and now I want results. I want my old life back.

Posted by joe positive at 6:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2008

start again

no advil yesterday pm. No pain this morning before waking, no discomfort until about 45min after waking. I think the act of putting on running shoes makes my leg go sore. No advil this am.

thoroughly confused by what I want to do and what Dror wants me to do, I decided to run, not gallowalk. And I decided to warm up a mile, then go a little faster than "easy" for 3 miles, then cool down a mile. Could only get mid-8s at best. Felt my leg every step, felt every wobble in the road surface, tensed at every car and dogwalker. Still don't feel like I have my legs under me. Now my leg feels like the anterior and lateral muscles are glued together and need a great big stretch. I wonder if this is the best thing for me. I am almost 45 god-damn years old.

8:46, 8:40, 8:35

Posted by joe positive at 8:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2008


When I was little, we used to say that if you crossed the fingers on both hands you'd jinx it, "it" being whatever you were trying coax to happen by crossing your fingers in the first place.

This afternoon we attended a birthday party for my ex-running coach, who turned 70 yesterday. He and I are not on unfriendly terms, just haven't really kept up with each other since April or May. I was surprised to be invited to the party, but looking forward to seeing a bunch of people I hadn't seen in ages. It turned out to be a disaster. There were close to 100 people there. Most them have known each other for years and years and years, and I have felt (or imagined myself to be) very much a newcomer for the whole 7 years I was in this club. Today was no exception, or maybe I just wasn't primed for a party, but all I could see was scores of fit healthy people having a good time together, discussing their training or their upcoming races or recent races or all of it. And here I was with my little wallflower self and my measly 6.5 miles for the week and no racing plans to speak of. I grabbed a beer, found a very outgoing friend and listened to him talk for about twenty minutes, and then we left.

I came home to an email from my current coach suggesting I resume training by running less, but faster! Lord have mercy, that's what got me into this mess in the first place! Damn it, I want to be one of those people looking forward to a marathon, not looking backward because that's all there is.

Posted by joe positive at 7:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I am crossing my fingers

There have been a few times this week I thought this leg would never get any better. After 4 weeks not running, and a week of walking (and feeling pretty close to normal), I was thoroughly amazed at how sore gallowalking seemed to make it. It ached, it throbbed, it tingled, it woke me up just before the alarm went off. But we seem to have reached an agreement: I won't work it too hard, and it won't hurt too much. And here are some numbers:

M: AM mtb 18.14mi (75min), PM mtb 7mi (30min)

T: AM walk/run 5.46mi (1hr), PM mtb 10mi (41min)

W: walk 4.75mi (71min)

R: walk/run 5.39mi (1hr)

F: walk/run 7.45mi (90min)

Sa: walk/run 6.76mi (71min), mtb 7.44mi (30min). New commuter tires, zoom!

Su: run 6.5mi (1hr)


42.6mi mtb
25.1mi walk/run
6.5mi run
4.8mi walk

Several of the gallowalks started out as just plain walking, but (d)evolved into walk-a-little, jog-a-little. Today's run was interesting: I felt the leg, but barely, and the main complaint was weakness, not pain. You'd think after all the xtraining I'd be ready to race. But no.

I've written my coach about all this, along with a big "what now?" I kinda wanted to continue alternating running with gallowalking for another week, but he (and my leg) may have other ideas.

Posted by joe positive at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 9, 2008

slackin, flaggin

I've been slackin' on poolin' and bikin'. My boundless enthusiasm has been flaggin'.

Last week I did 35.5 miles in the pool and a measly 63 miles on the mountain bike. I walked 7.2 miles and gallowalked 8.1 miles. Yep, I moved on my own two legs at a pace that occasionally had both feet off the ground at the same time. I wish I could say that I flew like a white-winged dove, but the truth is my leg felt weird every step, and was mildly-to-moderately sore afterward.

I'd originally planned to add the walk-running on top of my usual 2-3 hours per day of pool-running and biking, but it's not happening. My motivation's gone somewhere, I don't know where. I thought all the xtraining would help me come back all strong and fit, but here I am sore and tired, so to hell with it. I've got stuff to do.

Posted by joe positive at 5:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 1, 2008

I want my leg back.

This morning my husband and I drove with our bikes to a nice Florida-scrubby park with miles of paved car-free path. I rode 19 miles averaging 16.5 mph, and this included heading some brisk Gustav breezes, as well as a bit of sitting up and waiting for my husband to catch up with me. I pedaled and pedaled my own private time trial, passing skaters and other mtb-ers and even a few road bikers, and trying to hang with every road biker who passed me. On the last loop I listened and pedaled to music on the mp3 player (shame on me), and probably looked and sounded like a madwoman as I called out (too loudly, because of the headphones) on your left, thank you! After just under 1:10 I had a nice little heartrate going, and was dripping sweat. But






was not

running, and

cannot run, and don't know





run again.

'Nuff said. Really.

Posted by joe positive at 3:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

more forward and backward

Here's how my xtraining week went:

M: AM 8mi pool - 7min wu, 2 x[8x90h/30e], 2min betw sets, 2min rest, 21:45 hard, 5min cd, 1:08 total. PM mtb 15mi (1:01)

T: AM 14.33mi mtb (1hr). PM 5mi pool - 5min wu, 9x[2:30h/30e], 7min w/o belt, 39min total

W: AM 9mi pool - 7min wu, 8x[5min h/1min e], 10x[45h/15e], 7min w/o belt, 5min cd, 1:17 total. PM 15.2mi mtb (1hr)

R: AM 14mi mtb (57:30). long workday, no PM workout

F: AM 7mi pool - 5min wu, 1h/1e, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, 5/1, 4/1, 3/1,2/1, 1/1, 8min w/o belt, 5min cd, 58min total. PM 18mi mtb (1:13)

Sa: AM 13.5mi pool, 1:55 total, did not go as hard as I thought I would. PM 10min mtb (41:48)

Su: AM 20mi mtb (1:17:31), 40min walk (2.56mi)

total: 42.5mi pool running, 106.6mi mtb, 2.56mi walking

Yeah, yesterday was my big day: I walked for 40 minutes. No limping, no pain on the bone, but the lower leg felt very tight, like it needed a bigger stretch than I could give it. I wore running shoes for the first time in 3 weeks and they felt so cushy, and I wanted so badly to run a little bit but I did not. Later my leg felt a little bit more sore than usual, and last night I woke up with pain for the first time in a while. This morning I'm sore just sitting here drinking coffee.

Why? Was it just the aftereffect of 40 minutes' walking? The 3-hour band practice yesterday afternoon? (I do that every week, so probably not.) Muscles complaining after disuse? Is it just plain not healed yet, even after 3 weeks of relative non-weightbearing? What? I've gone back through my training log and this blog to see at what point the other stress fracture became pain-free, but it must not have been important enough for me to mention, dammit. This is so frustrating: I'm doing all the right things (I think) and being absolutely patient and it is still not going away. Without a real medical diagnosis or treatment I'm just flailing around, churning up the water.

Posted by joe positive at 7:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack