November 26, 2013

Baby steps...


My new physical therapist has determined that my glutes don't know what the fuck they are doing. Or rather, they don't know how to do anything. Nice when they're an integral part of AMBULATION. Little bitches just been going along for the ride for years, apparently...

Re-learning how to walk has been interesting. My BFF, The Cane, has helped. The cane allows me to normalize my gait without fearing the excruciating pain I experience when not using the cane. No pain = win in this case. All of my hip stabilizers and trunk stabilizers are essentially on lockdown and don't work the way they're supposed to. Spasming continuously is no way to go through life, son. With the cane, the soft tissue work the PT and the massage therapist do has a chance to stay relaxed. This, in turn, allows the muscles that are SUPPOSED to be working to engage. Like the glutes.

Right now my right piriformis is like a piece of rebar. My QL and psoas (including iliopsoas) are clenched. And my obturator internus is more tightly strung than a piano wire. The soft tissue work is super painful, but when it's done....aaaaahhhhhhh...that's a sigh of relief and pleasure.

Once everything gets used to not clenching down, we will need to start strengthening the weak stuff. Like the glutes.

We've started this process in baby step form already. After being used to pretty heavy-duty workouts, this is so very humbling ....and kind of boring. I keep reminding myself that I'm going create the strongest ass I possibly can. I'm going to support my hips with the strongest and most functional system I can create with this body of mine. And that it's going to start with baby steps...

If you follow me on Instagram, which you SHOULD,
you've already seen these pictures. 
Once everyone in the world is following me on IG,
then and only then can I stop double-posting because
I really don't want anyone to miss out on this 
IMPORTANT STUFF!!!!
Like today you've already missed what happened at the grocery store.
You need to know this stuff, guys.

The Tiger Tackle
First exercise: drape body over something so ass is sticking up in the air.
This prevents using quads or hamstrings, thereby isolating the glutes.
Squeeze glutes, focusing on gluteus medius.
Hold for 5 count.
Relax.
Repeat 10 times or until failure, whichever comes first.

Tiger Embrace
Second exercise: Hug tiger while side-lying and prop top leg on its body.
With back to wall, hips only slightly bent, top leg bent at 90ยบ angle...
place sole of top foot against wall and, isolating gluteus medius,
push into the wall.
Hold for 5 count.
Relax.
Repeat 10 times or until failure, whichever comes first.

Sounds simple enough, I know. But I get leg-shake from this.

Despite many professional views to the contrary, I've decided I'm going to run again someday. And it will be pretty and gazelle-like and pain-free. I'm resilient and I'm strong and I'm not stupid so it'll probably only be for short distances and without performance-aiding drugs. Even though current trends indicate that the only distance worth blogging about is the marathon, I won't be shutting down the blog. I aim to change that bias. 

I am extremely bummed that I won't get to defend my turkey trot title (yes, last year I was first female at a local race) but perhaps I'll get the opportunity to reclaim it next year :)

Notice how I'm not even going to do the self-deprecating thing and say how small the race was, yada, yada, yada... I'm going to own my win and be grateful I had that moment and savor the fuck out of it :)

Happy Thanksgiving, all of you Americans. Put the focus on the feeling of gratitude. 

Do you usually eat until you feel sick at Thanksgiving?

Will you be having a traditional Thanksgiving?

Who are you least looking forward to seeing at your get together? Most looking forward to seeing?

Does happiness or dysfunction usually reign at your family gatherings?

Have you ever done PT? Did you do your exercises religiously or sporadically or not at all?


November 18, 2013

Some questions answered and finding solutions

Copying the opening format from another blog...

Conversation with me and my husband:

me:  I only have a sec...I'm on my way to the new PT.

him:  Oh, right...the vagina lady...let me know what she does and if it works 'cuz, ya know...I'm happy to try being the vagina man.

CAN'T HE TAKE ANYTHING SERIOUSLY????


I know you all are DYING to know what my problem is and what it has to do with vaginas. Right?


Here's the thing...I haven't talked much about my "affliction" on this blog because, quite frankly, it could so easily become a big, fat, whine-fest the likes of which the blogworld has never seen. You hear people whine and bitch talk about their ailments/injuries/chronic diseases all the time on blogs, but all of them go through some period of healing or feeling okay or feeling kind of good or experiencing something akin to a happy running place before too long. I know, I know...several weeks or months can really feel eternal. Trust me, I know.

I really hate whining...even when it comes from me.

After almost 13 years of weird, intermittent-in-its-severity-but-constant-in-its-presence pain, I was finally diagnosed in February with severe osteoarthritis in one hip. The other one is totally fine...completely healthy. The diseased (that's what they call it) hip has no evidence of cartilage and is chock full o' bone spurs. I'm seeing a pelvic pain specialist because the hip is part of the pelvis (anatomy lesson for those of you who did NOT know that). The idea is to stave off a hip replacement.

I've tried prolotherapy (which totally helped, especially the first few treatments, but I still cannot run...I'd say without severe pain but the truth is I CANNOT RUN...not even away from a mugger or to save my kids from abduction...in fact, I cannot walk without pain). I guess some people get lucky or pray the right way or maybe kabocha really is magical...in which case, I'm totally fucked.

Last week I decided to explore something new, and the vagina lady changed my life. She showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. She gave me hope beyond all other hopes. In other words, she totally made my fucking day.

At roughly 4 p.m. PST on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, I walked four lengths of her office hallway WITHOUT PAIN OR LIMPING. I cried. Blubbered, actually. And my crying made HER cry.

I can't remember the last time I didn't feel any pain. Seriously cannot remember. It must have been last century.

The plan for now is stepped up PT with the vagina lady, my chiropractor, my massage therapist and my new best friend:

A CANE can be a running accessory...RIGHT????

Right along with my Garmin...
and my ProCompression socks...
and my twice-worn Hokas...
and my #sparklyskirt
For the record, I resisted the cane like I resisted the minivan. But now that I've had it for two days, I'm kind of digging it. It no longer takes me forever to walk to the car or the kitchen or to wherever one of the kids is torturing another. I can really haul ass with my mutherfucking cane. And it's great for breaking up fights.

Did you ever need a cane or crutches? Did your triceps get a killer workout?
– my triceps on the cane side are on FIRE.

Do you suffer from chronic something?

Does it piss you off when I post about something serious?

Do you want to try a pair of size 8.5 women's Hokas? 

Do you own anything sparkly? Do you ever wear it running?

Do you know any magic prayers that might cure me in miraculous fashion?

Can you guess the last time I used my Garmin on a run?


November 10, 2013

Meaningless shit that goes through my mind while perusing social media...Part 1

Some people I only really follow on Instagram and others mostly on Twitter. I get some on FB. There are only a few blogs I read with much regularity. If you want me to read yours (hahahhahahahahaha!) please leave a link in the comments and I will definitely check it out. But most people I see via social media, whether regularly or occasionally, seem to generate the SAME thoughts and feelings EVERY time I see what they're sharing. Here are some examples...


Instagrammies...

nycrunningmama: ooooo, another nice Garmin photo. is it the same one as last time? mmmm, sweaty post-workout cleavage selfie...but is the Mr. getting any of that?

hannahviolin: that is the fucking hugest cat I've seen since ours died.

sharsti: where did they get this name? if I have another girl, "sharsti" is on the list. (surprisingly and seriously, it "goes" with my other girls' names)


Tweeters...

team runner for life: why in the fuck do I follow you? you only tweet inane pseudoinspirational faux-pithy sayings or links to sexualized female athletes and Kate Upton's boobs...which isn't necessarily a bad thing...but what are you...16? WHY DO I FOLLOW YOU?  because i  like kate's boobs, too  :/

pavement runner: i wonder if you'd like one of my special throw pillows. i get the idea you'd like to be a male janae. At least I think you're male...

arsenio billingham: (mental picture of crazy chick running while pushing a jogging stroller filled with abortions-in-a-jar and hydrating from a bottle of vodka)


Multiple venues...

kris lawrence: do you even know how fast you are? how do you remain so beautifully humble?

blonde ponytail: I MISS THE NASTY JESS...the one the public doesn't get to see. Please... just once... show us your tits and stop it with the Reebok and GNC.

teamarcia: KOMBUCHA!  and Chris Korn.

nurse on the run: shortest shorts of the short shorts.


FB...

the fit fork: did you go today? would it be annoying if I were to click "like" on everything you post...especially if it's about beef? I also want to "favorite" all your tweets just to get your attention. Not really sure why...


Primarily on the blog...

coachdion: does your wife miss you?

melissa: GUNS! and feminine hygiene products...

stuftmama (I have to admit being slightly obsessed with this one): how in the fuck do you get all this free shit? how do you survive eating just SHIT and exercising ALL THE FUCKING TIME???? how can your hip be all fixed and pain-free (I think I'm very envious of this one)? do you know what "whelp" even means? do you really LIKE the food you photo for your blog? what else do you really eat? are you fucking with us by only posting pictures of food that looks like actual human excrement?

marie: SPARKLE, MUTHERFUCKER!

hungry runner girl: can we just hang out and be #IRLBFF's? I promise no swearing if you say "yes" :)


************************

And today's question:
...because I don't want to die.






November 7, 2013

The Most Overdue Race Report in the History of Race Reports

Did you know doing a race report on a race you ran a long time ago is a thing now!

I am so excited about this because I haven't run a race in 11+ months and am not likely to run one for another ....oooohhhh, i don't know.... six months? a year, maybe? I've always wanted to do a MILF Runner Race Report and now I get to!!!!! (I pinky promise I'll tell you more on that race-preventing situation soon)

*#goodblogger tip #37: keep a line of intrigue going so people keep 
coming back hoping you'll tell them what's up*

This latest development in blogging makes long-ago races legitimately reportable. Race reports are always set in the past anyway...what's a couple of days...years...decades?

Whelp (I can say that, right? It hasn't been trademarked yet?). Let's go. Starting with a little backstory...

Of course this is about a marathon because the only distance worth blogging about is at least 26.2 miles long. I had signed up to run the California International Marathon with Team in Training. It was to be my first. (Don't all non-runners do their first marathon with TNT?)

The training was fun. I did the miles, went on the group runs, bailed on the track workouts because I didn't see the point of them. (Why are we running WAY faster than we will in the race for comparatively tiny bursts? Stupid)

When the schedule got up to 13-ish miles, we all did a half. I was totally confused by this...I saw it as a long run on the schedule and finished in 1:46:something. When we got to 18 miles on the schedule, they promoted a sort of local 30K. I went and ran an avg pace 9:20 or something like that. It was fucking cold and windy and exposed and on a sharply-canted rural road (reminding me of college).

Was I supposed to "race" these? I had no fucking idea what I was doing.

Why?

BECAUSE THERE WERE NO BLOGS TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT.

Fuck. What a disadvantage. The internet makes EVERYthing better.

The other thing that really pisses me off...we never once did froyo. EVER. All those group runs and team races and shit... NEVER froyo. Such a rip-off.

Also...no digital cameras = minimal documentation. So you pretty much have to take my word for all of this. But I'm probably the most trustworthy person in #runningmommybloggyland. Except maybe Catey. Or Janae. But I'm not Mormon and I swear a lot so people think I'm of questionable character. (Don't get me wrong...some of my #bloggingbesties are Mormon. And I don't swear in front of kids... if I can help it)

Despite all those pre-internet, pre-blogging, pre-froyo stumbling blocks, I made it to race day healthy and ready to run.

I drove myself the hour plus up to the expo in my boyfriend's ancient Toyota pickup with a 5-speed manual transmission. (Remember this...alone...stick shift...hour drive...marathon...it's important later)

Expos were not ginormous #bloggymeetups back then, and there was very little in the way of #freeshit. I got my bib and went to my hotel where I was rooming solo, LUCKILY FOR ANYONE ELSE WITH A 5 A.M. WAKE UP CALL because, of course, there was a fucking bachelor party in the hotel. And of course it was next door to my room.

When the pre-dawn call came, I searched for my clothes because there were no blogs to tell me to lay my clothes out the night before. I wore my snazzy TNT-issue "tech" tank, my two Champion-brand running bras, a pair of Hind shorts, double-layer socks cotton socks on my hands and either Nike Skylons or Saucony whatevers on my feet. (I know people want to know this shit). I struggled to pin my bib to my shorts (I really don't like the way race bibs look when pinned to my boobs) because there were no blogs telling me to do the pinning the night before onto the clothes they told me to lay out.  I strapped on my trusty Timex (Garmins had not been invented). I packed one Gu (they were new and weird so this was living on the edge) and used no BodyGlide (Vaseline in those days...which I forgot to bring). I ate a PowerBar (they had been invented), took a couple swigs of water from the faucet and headed across the highway in the dark to the buses. I did know enough to have throwaway clothes to wear until the start. It was brisk, but I always heat up quickly.

The bus ride just reminded me how far 26+ miles was....really fucking far, people. But it was warm and cozy and people were friendly.

We arrived at the start line. There were some portapotties with pretty long lines and a lot of people milling around. I found my TNT group leader (or whatever he was called) and asked him how long this should take...meaning the marathon.

He said "as long as it takes...just don't go out too fast." Words of wisdom.

But my neophyte-runner self didn't really know what that meant. And CIM is all downhill. Everyone knows that. Shit. Piece of cake.

The race started and half a mile in I started to cry. It was so emotional. I was running a marathon! I blubbered all the way to the first mile marker and looked at my Timex...7:30. And I felt great! And I stopped crying and got serious. I had no time goal..."as long as it takes." The pace felt free and easy. For a while.

At about the 10...
on fucking FIRE.
Tiny photo because that's what they sent out
in pre-internet days.
The weather was marathon-perfect. I don't remember the temps, but I remember feeling comfortable the whole distance...in terms of the weather. Dry and cool, maybe some light breezes. The one thing I forgot (aside from the don't go out too fast thing) was that I'm prone to pitstops. After about 30 minutes, like clockwork, I need to go. So at the 4, I took a potty break. Quick and easy. Then back on the course and on pace.

Around the time in the above picture, I saw my boyfriend and really thought I was hot shit. I hit the 10 right about 75 minutes. I AM A FUCKING ROCKSTAR! I screamed in my brain...believing it. Foolishly.

Fueling. Riiiiight....

So I had that Gu in my sockmitten. I had taken water at a few aid stations and slathered a little race-provided Vaseline on my inner thighs, but calories...

Close to the half I decided to try this vanilla Gu. I gagged down about half of it and at the halfway mark, I was still feeling good and holding my FUCKING ROCKSTAR pace. Then all of a sudden I wasn't.

My gut cramped up so badly I began to have that desperate, caged-animal feeling. You know it. You've been there.

Where's the portapotty? Where the FUCK is the portapotty? 
OMGWHEREISTHEFUCKINGPORTAPOTTY!!?? 
but of course I didn't say oh em gee because that hadn't been invented yet.

Then I saw the Shell station. But they had a "NO RUNNERS" sign on the door.

But in their parking lot was the bright green kiosk I'd been searching for. Nirvana. For 7 minutes. Rarely does one empty out in such fashion when not in the middle of a marathon or suffering from food-poisoning or Montezuma's revenge. Suffice it to say, vanilla Gu and I are not friends and, 18 years later, still haven't kissed and made up.

And so began the descent into hell.

For the next two miles I struggled to keep up with the runners around me. Looking at my watch at the mile markers was far removed from my semi-conscious, severely depleted mind. As long as it takes.

Around the 18 I started that gut-wrenching, scrambling, searching for my home away from home again. Only 5 minutes this time. Yes, I timed it.

Not knowing that "walk breaks" were a thing, I was running the whole way. Is there any other way to run a marathon?

I remember a bridge. 20 miles. Seething hatred of every living thing. Absolute disgust at the human race for inventing this thing called "marathon." Where is the fucking END?

With two miles-ish to go I saw my boyfriend again. After the way I treated him at that moment, it is truly amazing that he married me (and is still married to me).

GO, BABE! You look GREAT! You're almost there!!!! obviously he's not a runner.

Fuck you I'm almost there. Here...take my fucking sockmittens. And this shitty Gu mess.

I was delirious by this point. Shortly after that loving exchange, I could see the capitol building but needed to go around the bitch to get to the finish. Fuuuuuuuckkkkkk....

And then this 60-year old lady passed me in the chute.

And it was over.

3:49:20

What a difference 16 miles makes.
And see the 60-year old lady dusting me?


My boyfriend somehow found me and drove me over to the hotel where I tried to take an ice bath and tried to dress myself. And then I got to drive myself home in that little pickup truck...with the manual transmission.

I swore off running for 6 months. No lie. And then in June, I got the TNT card in the mail...

Come train for a marathon with us!

Of course I had to try it again.

The California International Marathon is a great event. I give it a 2 thumbs up. If you're going to run a marathon, this is a GREAT one. Just don't go out to fast. 

Have you ever learned a lesson the hard way?
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