Monday, February 23, 2009

Shoe-vo-lution

Once upon a time, I wore really sexy-HAWT, CFM shoes...it was my claim to fame that I could wear 4", spike-heel, ho-shoes anywhere, and I did.

My first "real" job out of college was at a (now defunct) little "hotel" called The Torrey Pines Inn. It was a little shithole, overpriced motel, that was ideally situated on the gorgeous Torrey Pines Golf Course, so the owner could charge an arm and a leg for a really awful, run-down room, with a completely gorgeous view. Now there's a 5-star beautiful (but probably still overpriced...I mean, I know I can't afford to stay) hotel there, but the first place was really awful.

I was the General Manager's "administrative assistant" (glorified secretary). He was an ass, but I had to take the job because I discovered that getting a job in journalism wasn't going to be easy, and I had bills to pay. The property covered about 5 acres, and I walked them all.

In shoes like this:


Did I mention that I eventually became the Director of Catering there...so I'd lift and carry banquet trays and walk them down long hallways in these shoes...yeah, I was fearless then.

Then I started teaching, and red stilettos seemed, somehow inappropriate for teaching high school, so I adjusted to shoes like this:

or this:

or occasionally, when I was feeling "kicky" this:

In the past few years, I've noticed how my foot no longer really fits into the shoes above...or at least they don't for very long. Maybe this was due to pregnancy (I've read that the extra lbs can also add to the "footage,") or maybe it's just the number of MILES I've run, which has added to the WIDTH (I wear wide shoes now. I NEVER wore wide shoes when I was younger.)

So, for the past couple of years, my shoe collection has evolved to include shoes that mostly look like this:

or this:


Do you see a trend here?

It's the heels, people...the heels!

The truth is, I'm short, or at least my legs are...and the extra 3" gives me a longer, leaner look...and let's face it, if I'm going to go eye-to-eye or toe-to-toe with some belligerent 15 year old, I'd just as soon have some height...

So, that my recent shoe purchases look something more like this:

is really rather jarring... I mean they're cute and all...and LORD KNOWS they are comfortable...sorta like wearing slippers to work, but they're not sexy-HAWT (I don't care what you say).

But, that's about all I can wear right now. I can barely even manage something like this:

I have a pair of these Born mules and I *heart* them completely because they're so comfortable, and yet they give me a little bit of lift, but can I wear them now with the PF and the bum hip?

NOOOOOOOOOOO

So, I'm making the best of it, and I am a lot more comfortable as I trudge around campus, but I miss my pumps and my high heels...and those extra inches...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Best Laid Plans

I WON, I WON, I WON! Remember how about two posts ago I gave a shout out to NikeMom, who was doing a really cool Geared for Women Biking Glove giveaway? Well, knock me over with a feather if I didn't win...

I'm so thrilled...so now this means, I guess, that I have to start training for that big bike ride at Lake Tahoe this summer that Betty's trying to talk me into...(oooohhhhh...it's a sign, a sign, I tell ya). Thanks NikeMom! (and if you haven't checked her blog today...she's showing off some new bike shoes that she purchased....which makes me wonder if my new adventure into biking might be just an excuse reason to purchase new gear and gadgets. And as you all know, nobody *hearts* gadgets more than I do.

Speaking of new shoes, these are what I've been kickin' around in lately...

My "granola" shoes... They're flat, and comfy, and that's about all I can wear now. Stylish, aren't they?

So. Today. Maybe. I overdid it. A little...

Of course I did...but just a little...(she says optimistically...she's always naively optimistic when it comes to her running injuries...and isn't it just a little obnoxious when writers write about themselves in the third person?)

This morning's SDTC run was supposed to be a 1 hour 45 minute jaunt around the neighborhoods of San Marcos (which is just BFE to me...freekin' farther north than Escondido...of course, it's no farther than Carlsbad, or Oceanside, and I gladly drive to those two places to run, but both those places have THE OCEAN and San Marcos, alas, does not, but I digress....)

BBJ, Elsie, Mik and Kat and I ran through the hills this morning (and there were hills BTW). Betty's sister came into town unexpectedly last nght, so even though she left a VERY ENTHUSIASTIC comment in the last post about running today, she is a good sister and stayed behind. Since her house is the carpool pickup spot, she did get up early to say good morning.

BBJ takes off...full speed so that he could make it back for parent conferences. Something I don't miss about teaching h.s.

Mik and Kat get ready to leave with the speedy-group

MY PLAN was to run for no more than ONE HOUR. I figured I'd get to the first water station (which is usually about 1.5 to 2 miles into a run), then I'd turn around, run back and wait for the rest of the herd to finish. Unfortunately my plans were THWARTED (I do love that word) when Coach Paul informed us that the first water station (actually, the ONLY water station) would be about 3 miles up the road.

Still...I figured this was not too big a deal. 3 miles out and back is 6 miles... which would have taken me about an hour...maybe more with stretch breaks, but still doable..... 

Turned out that the first water station was 3.6 miles out... which meant that I also ended up running 3.6 miles BACK...on my lousy heel and bum hip... 7 miles (7.24 actually) at a breakneck time of  1:32:26 (12:45 pace). 

Of course, I didn't have to run all the way to the water station, but I knew that this was my big chance to FINALLY meet Anne from Run DMZ in person....we've been running the same paths for awhile now, and have probably run with each other for all we know, but haven't connected...until today.

Elsie, Anne, and me... All smiles!

I loved how Anne mentioned that she's wanted to ask people before if they are part of "the herd" but worried that if they were not, they might take it the wrong way...hee hee hee.

Actually, I think it's awesome that Anne is among the SDTC volunteers who give up their Saturday mornings to hand out energy bevvies and water to thirsty runners. It's one of the many reasons I really enjoy the track club...the people are just awesome.

I did do the smart girl thing, and I walked and stopped to stretch several times. Also the path was either asphalt or dirt trail, both of which were soft running surfaces. When I had to run on the concrete sidewalk? OW! (why is that?)

But really, the first 5.5 miles felt WONDERFUL...I wish it could have worked out that I stopped running then, but it didn't.... I did walk a fair amount of the last 1.5 miles, but I suspect I'll be paying for the extra milege for a couple of days now in my foot (hip feels fine, PF...not so much. LOTS of ice this afternoon. I actually brought ice with me and gave myself a nice little ice massage out of the back of my car...ahhhhhhh. I'm really starting to enjoy those things. Ice to the heel of the foot? Heaven!). 

Tonight I'm getting together with the rest of the herd for dinner, then I'm hoping to convince them to go to The Waterfront to listen to a really cool bluesy rock band...I'm sure it'll be tough convincing them.

PS...Don't forget to vote in the "Name Scotty" poll...I'll announce Scottie's new name in the next post.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Different Views

Wanna know what I've been doing all week? Editing something that reads like this...

The JSR 168-compatiable portlets can provide management, data, mapping and analysis services. For non-portlet applications, multiple data services, Web mapping tools, and spatial analysis, services will be implemented by a hybrid combination of ESRI™ Web GIS solutions, GeoServer, and Google® Maps. Google Maps APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will be used to display maps for GIS learning modules.

Yeah...I have no idea what it means either, but I did know that a comma was needed after the word analysis in the second sentence. One of the other grant writers and I went around in circles for awhile about whether or not it's "Web mapping" or "web mapping" (I said not capitalized). And yes, this is what English/grammar peeps like me do for fun. So, if you've been reading this blog awhile, and you've noticed that there are typos, misspells, and general grammar errors, in this blog semi-regularly, now you know that I could edit more closely if I wanted to, but most of my blogs are just too damn long, and so I don't...but I could if I wanted to.

In any event, I've been editing this grant proposal about improving geography instruction in high schools for the better part of this week. Betty (once again) and Elsie got me involved in this project, but ff you have any questions about geography and using GIS or GPS to teach it, ask Betty, she's the genius. I just edit.

So I've now increased about a gazillion-fold what I previously knew about Geographic Interface Systems and Geographic Positioning Systems (BTW...this is the technology that makes our beloved Garmins and things like MapMyRun and shiz like that work, so it is important dammit), but this is what I REALLY learned this week.

I'm way out of practice with that sort of "academic writing." I did TONS of it when I was writing the dissertation, but since my main publication writing these days is this blog, and since, apparently, the National Science Foundations doesn't really give moo-la for grants that include words like "shiz" and "WTF" and "abo-effing-lutely" whether they're capitalized or not, I volunteered to act as the main copy editor for this grant...which is fine with me since one whole parts of the grant which I wrote was whole-sale deleted and replaced by one of the other grant writers (no ego worries for me, the part she replaced it with WAS way better than mine). But, I'm a day-um fine editor and can spot a comma splice a mile away.

So, that's what I've been doing these past two days, and since I have no clever transition to anything running related here, I'll go directly to...

I have a freezer burn on my thigh! (yeah, see? That kind of shiz would NEVAH FLY in an NSF grant...)

Really...same thigh that had the enormous bruise, now has freezer burn because I left the bag of peas on it too long after I ran on Monday. My skin actually FROZE solid, and then had to thaw. Now it's red, and it hurts like a mother... almost worse than the original bruise. (No photos this time, I promised BBJ that I wouldn't).

WTF am I doing to myself...GAH!!!!!

The good news is that the thigh muscle seems to be healing nicely. So much so that even after I ran on Monday on the dreadmill, I went to Tuesday night's track workout with the SDTC and ran with Betty, BBJ and our newly named "Hook" or "Hookman" or "The Hook."

To explain...This is Scotty (photo courtesy of SDTC)


An early photo of Scotty, running with the track club, caught him in this "stretching" pose...


When asked about it, Scotty remarked that that was how he "reeled 'em in." (Again, I don't make up this shiz people...I just report)

Betty and I had an "awwwww did he REALLY JUST SAY THAT TO US? moment." Thus, he is now "The Hook" or "Hook" or "Hookman." I know the obvious choice would be "Hooker" but we actually already know a guy who goes by that moniker, so it's taken. In any event, I thought I would leave it to the Internet. What should we call Scotty? Vote in the poll at the right to help us decide.

Other injury reports - The PF

Went to Rusty the PT yesterday to discuss strategies to deal with the PF cuz let me tell you, after running on Monday (dreadmill) and Tuesday (track workout), by Wednesday (which was, admittedly, a 15 hour work day for me) I could barely walk!

Not. Good. At. All.

Here's why I *heart* Rusty the PT.
  • When I asked him if I had to stop running to deal with the PF, he said "no" and added, "if you have a doctor who tells you to stop running, you should find another doctor."
  • He gave me a set of stretching excercises to do, and I've noticed the result of it already (nothing you haven't seen before, but like the training schedule for the SDTC, because it's written down for me, I'm likely to follow it. Really, all I'm doing three to four times a day is ice-massaging my foot, massaging with a tennis ball, and doing some calf and achilles stretches, you know, the kind where you lean against a wall, and off a step...easy, right?)
  • He cut out a "whale tail" out of some foam for me to put in my shoes, which takes pressure off the heel of my foot. It looks like this.

  • I got to tell him about a different "definition" of "whale tail" (the effect that happens when a girls G-string or Thong becomes exposed as she walks, bends over or squats). that I learned from my students, which looks like this...
Finally, I wanted to post this picture for Foto Friday, just cuz I thought it was really cool, and it was posted on the SDTC website a couple of weeks ago,on one of the runs I missed.
That's BBJ (in black) with Mik and Kat in front of him (in light blue) in the pack running a couple weeks ago. I just liked the panorama view...cool.


I'll be walk/run/walk tomorrow morning with the track club...Hooray! Now I've gotta go ice/massage/stretch my foot and hip to get ready for it.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting All Caught Up

I have four random and unrelated things that I need to get caught up on in today's post.

1. Jess's Interview
2. FF5K
3. I need...
4. A really cool giveaway link

The Interview
A few weeks ago, a sorta backwards tag thing-y was circulating around the Internets where instead of randomly being tagged, you asked to be tagged and so I asked Jess to send me some interview questions, which she wrote just for 'lil ole me!

Well, it took me almost three weeks to get to answering her really excellent interview questions, but here they are (Thanks Jess, they are really good questions, which made me think...LOTS).

1. If you could accomplish only one thing in the rest of your life, what would it be?

I'd like to write a book. To be honest, I sorta already wrote one if you count the dissertation (250ish pages...In the my doc program, we used to joke about how finishing a dissertation was like childbirth; it took about 9 months to create, was painful, occasionally made us lose sleep, then afterward, we really didn't remember ANY the pain, but had proudly given birth to a finished "work").

But seriously, I'd like to write a book that someone else would actually want to read. I'm not sure what I'd write about, sometimes I think this blog has some good fodder. I'm sure it'd be non-fiction. I'm not that good at making shiz up....although I do occasionally exaggerate (but just for the humor value).

2. In terms of running, what's your favorite race experience?

I know Jess asked for one experience, but I narrowed it to two. I had a really good race at the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon back in October. Being in San Francisco with Elsie, Alberta, and Edith and 20,000 (mostly) women runners was a really good time, lots of laughs, endless shopping at the Nike store, and I even got a PR in the race.

But even though I completely messed up my hip and foot at Carlsbad last month, I had a really great race experience there too. I ran with Betty the whole race; something we hadn't done since our first 1/2 marathon two years ago. We laughed, joked, and talked almost the whole time. And I got to run with fellow blogger Penny and got to meet Yas, so that was a really excellent day as well.

3. If you were to select a food that best describes your character, what would it be and why?

That's a tough one. I think I'd choose something like Gumbo...it's a deceptively complicated dish to make, and it isn't all that it appears to be. When you first look at a gumbo, it looks like just another stew. It's brown with what appear to be some really overcooked vegetables. But it's not like that AT ALL. It's spicy and rich (when it's made right). I suppose I'm a bit like that...I have a spicy part, and while I'm not rich money-wise, I do have a life rich with people, family, friends, and experiences -- the really important things. Like a good gumbo, which takes a pretty long time to cook, I also think it takes a while to get to know me. At first people tend to think one thing about me...maybe that I'm a bit bossy and arrogant (and I sort of am), but when they get to know me, I think (hope) they find out that I'm a really loyal friend and that they can always count on me.

4. What's the best part about living in Southern California?

Oh, the weather, by far, is the BEST part. I just got back from the cold weather, and while it's nice to visit the snow, and I do LOVE to ski, I would never want to live in a cold climate again. Just the effort to get dressed to take the trash out is enough to keep me away. So, even though it's cold today (by SoCal standards) and it is POURING rain, it's nowhere near the 18 degree weather I was in over the weekend. That, and I know that by the weekend, it'll be sunny and warm again.

5. If you could teach your children only one lesson in life, what would it be?

I want to (and try to) teach my children that life is all about choices and decisions that they have to take responsibility for. Hopefully, most of their decisions will be good ones, but occasionally they'll make bad ones. The best thing they can do is take responsibility for bad decisions. I try to help them see that sometimes they will find themselves in situations that they did not choose, because that happens. In that case, the thing they will have control over is how they deal with it. They can make the best of it, or they can make the worst, that is their choice. They will also meet people who are also making good and bad decisions, and while they probably won't be able to change the decisions that other people make, they will be able decide and choose how they are going to respond to them. Sometimes people will treat them poorly (yes, as they are both in the teen/tween years, this happens plenty these days), all they can do is decide how they are going to respond to being treated badly.

It's such a tough question...and probably if I'd answered this question when they were younger, I'd have answered it quite differently, but like I said, as they are becoming teenagers, the whole choice/decision/take responsibility for yourself is HUGE!

So...if you'd like to play along:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

FF5K

I walked/ran/walked for an hour this morning (20/20/20) on the dreadmill and now I'm sitting here, finishing up writing this blog, bag of ice on hip, rolling foot on frozen water bottle. Day-um! I'm a good multi-tasker. In that hour, I managed to rack up 4.25 miles at a rip-roarin' 4.4 pace... and although it's a couple of days late, I'm counting 3.1 miles of it as part of the Freakishly Flexible 5K in honor of Non-runner Nancy. If you haven't followed Nancy's trevails, it seems that she has some super, duper, extra flexible tendons which are causing her great grief and may result in the end of her running career...something which I hope doesn't happen. In support of Nancy, USJogger at JogAmericaBlog hosted a virtual 5K race that took place at some point over the week/weekend...so today counts for me. I hit 3.1 on the dreadmill at about 41 minutes (I was back to walking at this point).

Injury report
Hip felt pretty good through the whole walk/run/walk thing. A little tight when I finished. The PF...we'll, let's just say it's not gone, but running with my foot taped really seems to help a TON. As I was running today, I was pondering how my running goals have certainly changed in the last month...and have gone from running a 2:15 1/2 marathon, to just being able to run for 30 minutes without pain or further injuring myself.

Which brings me to my current dilemma...whether or not to register for and run the La Jolla 1/2 Marathon, which is on April 26. One of my running goals this year was to complete the triple crown (Carlsbad 1/2, La Jolla 1/2, AFC 1/2). La Jolla is the second leg, and is arguable the most difficult of the three races. It's 69 days away...and it sells out, so if I'm going to run it, I need to register ASAP.

I need...
Marcy posted a funny tag that I just had to participate in...Here's how it works: Google "[your first name] needs" and share the first 10 results. Then pass it on.

Since we know that Google knows all (at least this is what many of my students think when they're doing research), Google tells us this is what I need (man, this is better than a magic 8 ball!):
  1. "war" stories
  2. cash for a new designer purse
  3. a good strong drink
  4. to update my needs
  5. to step away from the computer
  6. a teddy bear
  7. an advocacy office
  8. professional help
  9. input
  10. parameters
OK...that's pretty funny, almost all of them seem to be somewhat accurate...sad...but accurate

Giveaway Link
FINALLY...if you're looking for a great free stuff giveaway, look no further than today's post by NikeMom at Adventure Seeker. She's giving away some really cool biking gloves in her GEARED for WOMEN Giveaway.
Now, I'm not a biker, but I'm thinking of getting started because Betty has this crazy idea that we should bike around Lake Tahoe this summer. I think it's nuts. I've driven that road plenty of times in my life, and I can't imagine biking it (although I know people do). I certainly don't have the kind of road bike I would need for such a trip.

BUT...last time Betty had a crazy idea like this, I ended up running a marathon, so I'll keep you posted. If I win the gloves, I'll take it as a sign. :-)

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Nice Respite...

What a WEEK! I can't believe that I haven't written in a week...but then again, considering my week, Maybe I can believe it.

Monday - Taught all day (classes at 8am, 10am & 2pm), grade papers, plan lesson for the rest of the week, try to write a draft of a grant proposal, procrastinate because of inability to focus on it and preference for reading blogs.
Tuesday - Taught in morning, meetings all day, some last minute shopping for weekend ski trip, post all online assignments for hybrid online/class I teach at SDSU, plan lessons for rest of week, pretend to write grant, but suck at it due to aforementioned inability to focus.
Wednesday - Taught all day, pack for weekend ski trip, plan lesson, continue to pretend to write grant, mostly unable, but jot down a few ideas anyway.
Thursday - Taught class, leave for ski trip immediately following, spend 4 of the 7 hour car ride from San Diego to Mammoth Lakes writing proposal. Prayed for Internet access somewhere so that I can email it to other proposal writers.

Notice how running is NOT AT ALL MENTIONED in this week's outline. This is due to the fact that:

1. I had no FREEKIN' TIME.
2. The PF was rediculously painful, so being too busy to even shiz, was a good excuse to not run (all hell, I shoulda mentioned that in the Runner's Lounge this past week.) Last time I ran was my 16/16/16 walk/run/walk on Sunday...afterward? OUCH...so taking the week off was probably also a wise choice, only I can't chalk it up to wisdom.

For the PF, I did discover, through the magic of YouTube, a way to tape the PF...this has been a miracle!



Back to Mammoth...we've had this weekend ski trip to Mammoth planned since about August, so despite all the drama, and my insane guilt about going on a ski vacation at this point in my life, I'm here anyway for a ski weekend with the family and with BBJ and Wilma.

We got here pretty late on Thursday night (BBJ and Wilma got up at 3:00 and were here by 9:30...AMAZING).

Friday was COLD, but we skied anyway. How cold was it you say?

Colder than San Diego cold, that's for sure...

Yes, we leave sunny SoCal to enjoy this...can you guess which one is me and which one is Walter?

Wilma and me. I think the high temp was about 18ยบ. It did dump more than foot of snow on Friday...can you say FRESH POWDER!?!

Just awesome skiing/boarding conditions yesterday. We learned about the necessity of hand-warmers (just what makes those things work anyway?), face masks, hot chocolate breaks, and how an outdoor gas fire can really warm your buns, even though you don't know it until you walk away.

My feet got so cold that at lunch, I actually took off my boots (while we rent skis, I have my own boots, and they are GREAT boots, but it was so completely cold that my feed got cold anyway), and when I did, my toes started to HURT from thawing out...not a good thing BTW.

Yeah, I know some of you are questioning our sanity in that we decided to vacation in this kind of weather as I know that many of you are just sick of it. I can only say that I didn't plan for the weather, and for the most part I choose to ski in sunny-warm weather, but since moving to SoCal, that's not always been an easy thing to choose.

In any event, after de-freezing my toes, did I ski again? Of course I did. I skied in fresh powder for the first time in maybe 20 years (could still do it...) and I was eternally grateful for all the running/training that I've done this past year because even though I haven't run much recently, and although my legs felt the burn (skiing in fresh powder will do that for ya), I never once felt as if I didn't have control...skiers will know what I mean by this...that last run of the day when you just know that your legs are only slighty responding to whatever neural transmissions are being sent their way...anyway that didn't happen to me yesterday!

Today, we decided to go to June Lake (which is about 12 miles north of Mammoth). It's a much smaller resort, and much less crowded place and what a difference a day makes.

That's frozen June Lake...taken from the car window...not bad, huh?

Sunny. Beautiful. Still Cold.

Wilma, DramaGirl, and Turbo...You can't help but notice that snowboarders roll around in the snow A LOT.

Happiness is taking your boots off after a good day of snowboarding!

Me...cold, but happy...I LOVE skiing...really. If I could ski everyday, I would. Skiing is my first sport-love, then came running.

I don't know why I don't have any pix of BBJ, but he gets enough face time on this blog anyway...oh, and yeah, we didn't do a long run this morning either. I did think of the crew in SoCal and wondered about their long run this morning. I hope it went well.

We're still deciding whether or not we want to stay and ski another day or head back to SoCal tomorrow. There's another storm coming, but there seems to be some disagreement about whether or not it will actually result in snow tomorrow. In any event, it stands to be pretty cold again tomorrow...maybe time to head back so that we don't have to bust out the chains.

Injury Report: Hip feels GREAT! PF, not too bothersome. I will be running when I get back to SoCal.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So much to say...

First of all, thanks to all of you who left encouragement, sympathy, warnings, and advice for me about my PF. I am icing it, exercising it (with the frozen water bottle, thanks Carly), trying to rest it as Anne recommended (more on that in a bit), and have definitely consumed wine as several of you recommended, in an effort to recover it as quickly as possible...

I did run one time in Vegas (well walked 12 min, ran 12 min, walked 12 minutes).

It certainly looks different there.
View from the 'rent's neighborhood. The sky was just AMAZING on Friday.

Didn't notice the hip AT ALL on the run. I think that Irene is right, that maybe I can only focus on one pain at a time. And the PF? Well, the foot felt OK during the run...I mean, felt it the moment I switched from walking to running, but it wasn't horrible. Before I even started running, however, I noticed that I could feel the pressure on my heel and thought it might be the extra, stability insole that I use, so I tried switching out the SuperFeet insole in my right shoe with an old RRS cushion insole that I used to run in but now use in my everyday walkin' shoes. That seemed to help immensely and gave my heel some extra cushion. But like I said, it's an old insole, so I think I'll go get some new ones today.

I'm going to try to walk 14/run 14/walk 14 on the dreadmill in a little bit (probably sometime after I hit "publish").

As for this weekend's long-run post, guest-bloggers Betty and Elsie, who ran with the herd at Saturday's SDTC long run from Solana Beach to Del Mar are filling in. Betty provided the narrative, and Elsie sent me some photos from breakfast and provided some extra narrative.

Betty's Report
  • We met at Betty's in the pouring rain, Mik, Kat, Elsie, BBJ and Betty.
  • Drove to Solana Beach and parked at the train station to save $8 - it was worth it!
  • Had a great run in the sunshine and beautiful morning weather although all the girls in our group had trash bags on in expectation of a downpour.
Mik, Elsie, BBJ, and Sis...baggin' it

Betty - ready for the rain run!
  • We ran out for 80-100 minutes with all of us doing from 7.5 miles to just over 10 miles.
  • Saw Scotty there, also nursing his injuries.
  • Beautiful run with a rainbow in the sky - we went to eat at a historic place in Del Mar (Elsie knows the name eds note: it's Americana) and they had a real bottle of champagne. We ate outside with some heaters that weren't really needed - watched BBJ show off his parallel parking skills, and ate great food! Had cheesy grits also.
  • Drove home to a downpour in La Mesa!
  • Other Highlights -
  • Elsie has her first date tomorrow since 1969!
  • BBJ needs to decide about where to host next month's Dinner Club
  • lots of good conversation wondering how you were doing and/or if you were going to be able to ski next weekend! (Alice's 2nd note: I'm supposed to go skiing at Mammoth this coming weekend. We've had this vacation booked for MONTHS...sharing a condo with BBJ and Wilma...can't wait!!!!)
Elsie's Report

We wanted you to see the new restaurant we tried in Del Mar - we sat outside (yes it was sprinkling) and you can see that Mik is cold before they turned on the heaters.


Clearly a different reaction to the morning weather than Betty's report

We had a complicated payment schedule with 3 cards, cash, etc. BBJ was supposed to pay $10, but got charged $45 - as usual, we owe him.
BBJ...hangin' with the herd.

He put up with our chatter and ran "super fast" all the way to Del Mar beach & back in 1:30 - we laughed a lot, and toasted you (see the mimosas??) and the impressive bottle of high quality champagne??

Wow...is it real champagne? Must be because they were in Del Mar...

Kat...wondering how she ended up with this group...

I do *heart* my herd ((hugs)) to all of them.

Update on Mom
I am back in San Diego now after spending two days in Vegas with mom and dad. In all honesty, I think I got the easy shift. My sisters both saw the worst of it...when she came out of the surgery, the pain she was in...partially because she is a stubborn bird and refused to use the pain medication until she was in so much pain she couldn't stand it any more, but by then, one shot of the meds wouldn't suffice... and partially because the surgeon removed part of her EFF-ING LUNG FOR GOD'S SAKE and that is just an amazingly brutal surgery...so...because she was in pain, and not taking enough pain medication (on a self-monitorng morphine drip...the kind where you push the little button when you need more meds...), she couldn't sleep...even though all the nurses and the doctors and we were all telling her to just PUSH THE DAMN BUTTON MOM!

BTW...if I ever have to have a major surgery, I'll won't be like that...I'll be pushin' that pain med button as if I were a Jeopardy champion.

In any event, by the time I arrived in Vegas on Thursday, mom was still pretty weak, but I think she'd finally figured out that pain meds = sleep and sleep = good, so I got to report all the good news.

Also...the human body and it's ability to heal is just an amazing thing. By the time I left on Saturday--only five days after surgery--mom was walking, had moved into a new room, was no longer in ICU, was sitting up, eating, passing gas (a very major deal and I'm sure she's just thrilled that I'm letting the Internet know about it). We know there are going to be rough times ahead. Chemo is a very real probability. But the worst part of the surgery recovery seems to be over, and Tammy, you were right, it was a good time to be there.

One funny thing that happened is that my sisters taught my dad how to send a text message. I'm not sure it'll ever be a primary form of communication for him, but I was pretty surprised last night when I actually received a text message from my father about mom being moved to the Rehab Unit (which is an even lower level of care...which sounds like a bad thing, but is actually a really good thing because it means that she doesn't NEED the extra care)...and will be there for a couple of days before being allowed to go home.

Dad's text message...Amazing on many different levels. Luv that he's using some txt msg shorthand!

I've said it before, mom is just the strongest person I know...all 4'11", 90 pounds of her (and I may be overstating her weight right now). Watching her walk up and down the hallway made me see, perhaps, where in the gene-pool my stamina and desire to complete a marathon came from. I think that hallway was my mom's marathon...at least it was on Saturday.

Also...good nurses are probably paid no where near enough.

So...got about a bazillion things to do today...get stuff ready for Mammoth, get some food in this house (but not too much)...some laundry...some schoolwork...oh yeah, work on a grant proposal that's due next week. Please know, I've been reading all your blogs, mostly through my iPhone RRS reader, which made it really difficult to comment. You've all been a god-send and I'm going to try to do some catching up later today.

Thanks again for all your comments and support, especially for my mom. It really means a lot to me (and to her and my dad...). You all are great peeps and I *heart* you all to and want to give you all one big Internet ((hug))!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good Shiz/Bad Shiz

I am busier than shizzle right now... so here's a quick little update, with the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Also, so that you know...I'm writing as fast as I can, so this post will be deplete of my usual attention to transitions and other clever maneuvers that at least make it appear that my stream of conscious ramblings are somehow a coherent idea.

I've got no time for such efforts today.

The Good Shiz
I RAN YESTERDAY!!!!!!!! (well, kinda-in-a-way-sorta-running). The PT recommended that I wait to start running at least a week...then to start slow by walking 10 minutes, jog (WTF is a jog?) 10 minutes, walk 10 minutes. So that's what I did on the dreadmill. While I believe that running on the dreadmill is pretty boring, walking on the day-um thing...beyond boring. But I endured, in the name of recovery. I'm supposed to run only three times a week, and every time I run, I can up the time by 2 minutes 12/12/12, 14/14/14, 16/16/16...you get it. 

When I get to 20/20/20, I can start decreasing the walk time and increasing the run time to 18/24/18, 16/28/16, 14/32/14, and so on until I am up to an hour of continuous running. 

At that rate it'll be about a month until I'm back at it with the track club.

So HOORAY. I RAN!!!!!! No pain in the hip before, during, or (maybe most importantly) after the run (do you think I could use a few more ellipses or parenthesis in this blessed post?). I swear, I walked around like a giddy kid for the rest of the evening.

The Bad Shiz - Part I
Maybe as a result of the Carlsbad 1/2, or of favoring my right leg these past weeks, or non-activity, or who knows what...I've got some relatively painful Plantar Fasciitis action going in my right foot now! GAH! 

Sweet Geez-US it hurts. Clarence dealt with this last year and it caused her to stop running, which of course freaks me out a great deal. As if the hip issue weren't enough. To tell you the truth, the foot pain trumps the hip pain by a long shot. It hurts so bad today that between every class I've been hobbling back to my office to put my foot on the bag of peas I have stored in my mini-fridge...which gives me some relief...now I've got to trek about 1/2 mile to my car...GAH!

So, while the run last night caused me no pain in my left hip, my right foot is ON FIRE right now.

What is it that is causing me to just fall apart (sob, sob, sob)...

The BS - Part II
So...mom had her surgery on Monday (another reason why I'm not stalking you all as I usually do) and the surgeon removed part of her lung. I wasn't there for it, but my two sisters were. I feel beyond guilty about this, but the rational part of me says that it is the right decision to go to Vegas this coming weekend and hang out with mom and dad then, rather than be one more person sitting around waiting for my mom to come out of surgery. My sisters did an excellent job of keeping me in the loop. But I still feel bad about not being there. I'm flying to Vegas tomorrow, after my last class ends.

Oh...and since I should be more focused on my mom, and not me and my guilt, I should include that mom came through the surgery very nicely. That being said, it appears that removing part of a lung is the easy part. Breathing again afterward is a much more difficult task. But she's a trooper and I know she's going to be OK. Again, I am glad I decided to go there this weekend. My goal is (of course) to provide comic relief and some encouragement to both the 'rents.

The Ugggg - LEEEE
I have some other bee-otching and moaning I could do about how busy I am at school and about how I have these two or three other projects that I work on and how when other people who also work on these projects were having babies or dealing with sick relatives, that I was there for them, and I picked up the slack, and took care of tasks when I knew they didn't have the time, or even the inclination to take care of them, cuz that's just how I roll...I try to take care of things, and of people, and how it would be REALLY NICE if that sort of attitude were turned in my direction right now.  But apparently, I don't work with people who think that way. (sigh)

So I've got to go now and take care of some more shiz, because even though I won't be around this weekend, apparently I am still the only one who can order AV equipment for a teacher workshop...or print up certificates of completion, or deliver materials.

Yeah...I know that last part didn't make much sense AT ALL, but it made me feel better to vent a little...thanks, as always for letting me vent.

Now, if only I could walk...What's the best cure for PF? I've been icing and massaging and stretching it like a mad-woman (not to the point of bruising, I promise)