Friday, September 30, 2011

In Da Club

It's all fun and games until someone gets strep throat.


I had plans to bust out some serious mileage with hills this week, but it didn't happen.  Last Sunday I felt rather ill to my stomach, but I thought it was something completely unrelated to strep throat.  I though it was just bad timing or something I ate.  By Wednesday I had a sore throat that burned.  I had major plans to bust out 12 mile run on Thursday, but that didn't happen. I went  to the doctor instead.  Since my doctor had a full schedule, I was seen by another doctor who I had never seen before.  I was surprised to be seen by Doctor Tall, Dark and Handsome.  Bonus points that he was actually a nice guy.  I wondered what kind of workouts  Doctor TD&H did while he looked at my throat.  He was rather cut.  ANY WAY,  The doc said it's pretty obvious that I have strep, but he took a throat culture for protocol.  I get to take 10 days of antibiotics.  I questioned my training for  my half marathon, and he just said to take it easy.  Just great. I sort of need to get in an 11 or 12 miler before Nike, which is looming in about 2 weeks.  I wasn't planning shoot for any PRs  while in San Francisco, but I did want to run the entire race and not even think about running up some of those hills.    If there is any consolation is that I'm getting this infection over and done with now and I won't have to deal with it while in San Francisco on my big girl's weekend. 

RU had their annual fundraiser for MS.  There was a silent auction and a drawing for prizes.  Hubs won a chemical peel from a dermatologists office, which was given to me It remains to be seen if I'll use that, but at least one of us won something.  Last year they also raised money to get the PTs to ride a mechanical bull.  This year it was the battle of Bryan and Brian.  They had a beauty contest complete with talent segment, sort of a bathing suit part which was actually ballet garb, and a evening gown competition.

Bryan raising money for charity...  

Brian also raising money for charity...

Brian, me, Bryan.  
Is it a guy thing or what, when dressing in drag they HAVE to grab their tatas?  

Song from Tuesday, September 20, 2011:
Bad Sneakers - Steely Dan - Miss Rachel


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bad Sneakers

Running & Stuff

On the running agenda I have the Nike Women's Half Marathon in just a few weeks.  I've been getting in some hills, including THE HILL in my neighborhood and the hill over at Torrey Pines State Park.  I'm pretty confident that the hills on the race course won't be an issue, even the one at about the 10k point, but now I just need to get in the miles in addition to the hills, especially when I've already run a bunch of miles.

I'm also going through finding just the right shoes again.  My favs, the Pearl Izumi Cruise, are no longer being made and I've scoured the internet for more in my size, but to no avail.  I'm currently wearing Nike Air Pegasus 28, but even after putting about 50 miles on those, I'm not quite in love with them.  My feet ache in all the wrong places, even when I'm not running. I think they'll be OK for really short runs or for working out. 

I'm beyond the point of returning the Nikes. I went ahead and ordered  Mizunos Wave Prophecy. I originally tried them on the same day I tried the Nikes, in a half size smaller and half size larger than I needed, but the size I needed was not available at the time, and was on back order for several weeks. The weird thing is that the size smaller and size larger fit perfect in the arch, where I need it, it's just the toe box was too small and too big in the other sizes. In retrospect, I should have ordered the Mizunos, but I was hoping the Nikes would suffice, even though they felt good in the store. Shopping doesn't float my boat and I intensely dislike returning anything.

My very first pair of real running shoes were Mizuno Wave Riders, and it was a happy union, until the next version changed, then it was all about the Asics Gel Nimbus... Until those changed, then it was all about the Pearl Izumi Cruise, then that version went away. I'm hoping to have another happy union of feet and shoes.

Another person who I (sort of) know is down with a similar kind of femur fracture to what I had, except that her fracture did not break all the way through.  She is a runner and  triathlete. My PT, Bryan, gave her my number so that I could talk to her about what I went through with my entire ordeal, about I went through physically and emotionally.  She was agonizing over being out of commission from running or from any sport for about a year or more if she opted not to have surgery, or have the surgery and begin physical therapy and be back training with in months.  She had several conversations with her doctors and Bryan.  I ended up chatting with her for about an hour last weekend, and I believe she was scheduled for the surgery today.  I have every confidence that she'll recover well and zoom through PT.  It boggles my mind how this injury appears so uncommon, but it's actually quite common in endurance athletes. Perhaps I have the propensity to over react when someone mentions that they have groin/hip pain, but It comes from a place of concern.  I just don't want ANYONE to go through what I went through. 

School has been back in session and the kiddo is now a second grader. He loves being in second grade.  Of course, I had him pose for the obligatory first day of school picture:

Just for kicks, I had do dig up his first day of preschool photo from 2007:

Song from Saturday, September 17, 2011:
My Girl - The Temptations


Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Girl

The last time I was here I said I was going to give my book review, but, I swear, I didn't think I'd take so long to read the book. Life happens.

I was eager to read the Run Like A Girl by Mina Samuels because it's an accumulation of inspiring stories about women in sports, but mostly running. There were several points in the book that I did not want to forget, and I ended up tabbing a few pages...

OK, so I tabbed more than a few pages, so sue me.  I did go through a few sets of tabs, especially to refer back to some of the finer points that resonated with me.

I found my head nodding over "shrink and pink."  Shrink and pink is where clothing and gear companies take a man's designed item, such as a t shirt, size it down and change the color to pink, with no consideration to a women's body, sizing or need.  You would kind of think that, by now, shrink and pink would no longer be an issue, but it is.  The last two half marathons I ran in gave out men's sized/fitted t shirts to everyone. Bonus points that they were tech shirts, points lost because both of my XS men's t shirts from those two races have no consideration for my curves and fit me rather large, even though those are both XS.  In both of those races the women outnumbered the men. "Shrink and pink" is so 10, (20 ,30+) years ago, but still an issue. 

Samuels points out that when women get together we rarely start a conversation with a list of our accomplishments, but with the tendency to bond though belittling ourselves, and dialing into the internal radio "KFKD," and, yes, it's exactly as it sounds. K- f**ked.  This got me thinking to a conversation I had with a couple of ladies from the track club, how the first things that we all talked about were our crappy run times, aches, pains, and other mishaps of the running week.  After a short while one lady piped in "hey, next time we get together let's talk about how wonderful we all are!"  Everyone laughed, but she had a point.  We needed to celebrate each other and focus on the good things, that we showed up for the run that day, that we ran, that we're together, that we are strong and awesome, etc...  It's time to turn off "KFKD" and tune in to "KGrrrT."

The book is chock full of stories of women who have overcome struggles in their own lives which lead them into sports, mostly running, and how their lives evolved from being involved in a sport.  What I took from this book was an over-all sense of empowerment from participating in a sport.   As a girl growing up in the 1960s  and early 1970s, sports were not encouraged unless the choices were dance, tennis or volleyball, and maybe basketball.  There's nothing wrong with any of those activities, but that's all there was and I wasn't adept at any of those.  I was rarely encouraged to find empowerment in sports, or anywhere else, for that matter.* There was no sense of empowerment from running because that was a considered boys sport, at least in my parent's eyes.  There was no girls track team in middle school or in the early years of high school.**   I often longed for that sense of empowerment in those younger years, but I'm glad that I can feel empowered from running now.  It's never too late.

Title IX is brought up a few times in this book, which is the education amendement, passed in 1972 stating:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."
—United States Code Section 20, [1]
I'm not sure why, but there is a reference to Roe v. Wade in this book.  I'm not sure the context of which it  was meant, as I re-read that particular paragraph a few times over to figure it out, but I just couldn't wrap my head around the reference.  I'm not sure what Roe v. Wade has to do with running, and I felt the reference was rather unnecessary.

When I began reading this book I was excited to delve into the individual stories, but as I read I became rather complacent,  making the book a bit slow to read.  It's not that the stories weren't interesting, in fact they were interesting and very relevant,*** it's just that I felt certain points were made time and time again.  I became bored.  I'd read a page here and there, but would often put it down to take care of other business.  There was no desire to get back to the book until I realized I has been over a a month since I received the book and figured would finish reading it.  I began plodding through, just to give the book a fair shake.  I found a new eagerness to read this book once I made it to the last couple of chapters, and my interests were once again piqued.

Mina Samuels discusses the importance of friendships and bonds through sports, and how, as adults, we still needs play dates.  This chapter resonated with me.  I never really thought about running in the terms of "play dates,"  but she has a point.  Running can be a very social activity, and people can accept that you have no make-up on, you're sweating from every pore on your body, probably smelly, and, well, gross. Running friends are rather accepting of each other.  We help to hold each other accountable, or to be our cheerleaders. Yes, there is something to be said about having solo runs, where you can clear your head, but it's nice to have someone who knows about your training,  someone who you can talk about running with out the blank stares back and that that common bond of running that evolves into long term friendships.

I would recommend this book to an eager, new runner or any one who needs to rekindle the spark to get off of their butt and start doing something to put their body in motion.

If you don't mind, I have a play date to attend to.

Gotta run.

Song from Thursday, August 25, 2011
Take it all - Adele


*My parents were of the realm of "Leave it to Beaver" and I was supposed to grow up to be June Cleaver.

**FYI, I  graduated from high school in 1977, and the small Catholic school I attended was still playing catch up with girls in sports.  They finally had a girl's track team in my Senior year, but I had no transportation to or from practice, even though I did try out for the team.  My parents weren't quite caught up with Title IX.

***There were many inspiring stories of women who were top notch athletes, beginners, women who overcame disease, abuse, adversity, discrimination, struggles with weight, self-esteem  issues, finding love, separation, divorce, death,  losing, winning, and so on...