Monday, November 29, 2010

Food Consumed, Problems and a Mystery Solved!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Turkey Day. Like most, my weekend included football (lots of it, and a HUGE win for my Alma mater, Nevada, against the previously undefeated Boise State...Go Pack!), food, and family.

Like last year, the family rented a house in Palm Desert so that we could hang out together. Unlike last year, when we cooked Turkey in our swimsuits, this year was quite a bit cooler. In fact, one night it was almost freezing.

Here are some photos from the weekend!

Food Consumed
DramaGirl and Turbo and their cousins. They started sharing what they were thankful for at the kid's table without even being prompted to do so! How cool is that (everyone? Awwwwwwww....)
A fine plate of food. BTW..that cranberry sauce? I made it. I'd never made cranberry sauce from scratch before. I couldn't believe how easy it was and YUM!
Sis...knowing this photo would inevitably be on the blog, posed with her plate o'food
Problem Solved
When we returned on Saturday, there was some fixing to do. One of the things I'd been meaning to deal with for quite a while was my closet. This was my shoe rack.
Walter commented that my shoe rack was like false move and the whole thing could come crashing down
DramaGirl with a hammer and...
VOILA! A shoe rack that doesn't seem to be falling over!
And that night? Yet another football game!
And Finally..a Mystery Solved
For the last several weeks, I have been complaining about foot pain...again. It's been the strangest thing. Unlike my bout with Plantar Faciitis*, wherein the pain was in my heel, and would increase in intensity as I ran to the point where I would have to stop, or my stress fracture last winter, wherein I couldn't even pretend to start running due to the pain in my upper foot, this current general achiness was localized to the area underneath the ankle bone and next to/inside the Achilles tendon. I couldn't figure it out. I would start feeling some pain when I would start running, but as soon as I'd logged about a 1/2 mile, the pain would subside and by 1 mile, it would disappear entirely until about an hour after I STOPPED running, and then I would feel it again.

I'd also been noticing that my shoes didn't seem to fit as well (HUGE HINT HERE...ONE THAT I UTTERLY FAILED TO PICK UP ON!)

Several of you surmised that that it was tendinitis of some sort and wisely counseled me to take it easy (which I have been doing!)

But it never felt like tendon pain. I could stretch with no problem and, in truth felt pretty flexible. To be honest, it felt more like a bruise.

So tonight, I actually took the time to check out my shoe at the area that was bugging me and I discovered this...

The culprit...I can't draw arrows here, but that little bulge is showing how that area is really about a 1/2 inch thicker** than it is at the other words, the heel on this shoe is starting to collapse and was rubbing against my foot and after a few miles OUCH!
I'm still not completely sure why, after a mile or so, my foot would stop hurting other than to guess that my foot would sorta work it's way into the shoe, but not so much that it still wasn't putting pressure on my heel.

In any event, I found an old pair of running shoes tonight and ran in those instead and much less pain, and so until I am confronted with other evidence, I'm calling this mystery solved! (Oh yeah...3 miles/10:12 pace)

Well, it's a busy time of year. I'm off to get caught up on some blog reading and commenting. Hope you all had a fabulous Turkey holiday. Our 25 days of Chrismukkah starts on Wednesday...please tell me the semester will be over soon so that I can get caught up on everyone's blogs!
* If you are new here...the link is to an April post, one of the first times I'd written about PF last year...I'd continue writing about it until well into July...GAH!

** For all of you who are giggling because I used the words "buldge" and "thicker" in the same sentence, be happy that I didn't also use the word "base" (as in base of the heel) to describe where the shoe is deformed. Shame shame...and you know who you are :-))

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Geez...not THAT again

Yep, it's my foot.


Damnit, Janet...

After a very light week of not-really-running because we had HARRY POTTER PREMIERE SHOW plans* and because the lil' sis in the OC needed some tech support for a new computer she recently purchased, and because I am here to serve and all, and because I went to the OC to assist my lil'sis, which lead to not getting to run on Saturday, which was fine since it poured rain all day anyway, and  EVEN MIK, who is a complete DIE HARD ATHLETE decided to run on Friday afternoon and not Saturday, and who avoided the rain, despite ALL OF THIS, I finally got onto a dreadmill on Sunday and what happens? (Damn Faulkner would be PROUD!)

All I know now is that my achilles tendon is relatively swollen and I don't like what THAT means.






So, I guess the somewhat good news is that, at least, I don't have a 1/2 Mary looming on the near horizon, so I guess I have some time to ease off and recover.

But still...WTF is up with the feet?


So, in the interest of posting something on this blog, yet having no heffer-stories or running tales to regale with, I'm left with this bullet-post of quickies of other sampling (that's what SHE said) of other shiz in my life...

  • I logged an unimpressive 7 miles last week.
  • Walter and I (and DramaGirl and Turbo) waited several hours to to see the premiere show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight on Thursday. This effort pretty much EXHAUSTED ME for the remainder of the weekend.
The Line for HP. We were actually near the front of it. 
Several electronic devices (and plenty of sugar and caffeine) were required to stay awake to the START of the midnight show
Me and DramaGirl...I'm thinking I look the most tired
  • The SoCal sky, after a rainstorm is beautiful.
I think I see a Snoopy dog and a flower in those clouds.

  • In a rainstorm, I can cross the San Diego river in my SUV. Yes, Virginia, there is a San Diego River, and yes, it rises every time it rains.

After I saw a Honda Civic cross the river at Fashion Valley, I figured I could do it in my Honda Pilot...
  • I walked into my office this morning, only to discover that someone else had been in there over the weekend and had walked away with my keyboard and mouse, which left my computer functionless.
  • I have LOADS of shopping to do for the Turkeyfest on Thursday and haven't started THAT yet
  • Christumkkah starts in 8 days and I've done NOTHING for that holiday yet either.
  • We went to a Himalayan restaurant for my BILs bday last night. This was dessert. Milk Balls. They were delicious.
OK. I admit it, I took the first bite.
I will, no doubt, be posting sporadically for the next few weeks until the semester is over and until the first part of Hanukkah has passed. For fun, you could play in the family, "how many Latkes will she fry" contest. Pick a number between 100 and 200... I think you'll be close.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New and Not New - Soft Sand and My Butt Hurts

When I first started this blog, every run was a new adventure. Every new ache or pain or failure or success opened up a whole new world of things that I'd never experienced before. Every race was a first time...and we all know what that say the least, first times are memorable.

There haven't been many firsts recently...maybe you've noticed. 

This morning started off being, really, no different. Mik, Betty, Kat, Elsie and I got together (yes! all of the same place, at the same time!) to run at Mission Beach, a place that we've run, oh I don't know, a gazillion times. I'd done some speedwork on the treadmill and some squats and lunges on Friday (3.5 miles/10:09 pace thank you very  much), so my legs were a little spent. Even worse, the last couple of times I've run, my plantar fasciia tendon has bend bugging me again, so I thought for this morning's run, I'd take it easy and I really wanted to avoid running on concrete, the hardest of hard surfaces.

The problem is that the boardwalk on both the beach and bay side of Mission Bay is concrete, so this morning, I decided to run on the sand for a couple of miles instead.

Oooohhhhh something NEW!

The tide was going out, but for some reason there wasn't much hard sand to run on, so I spent most of the time hurdling kelp and trying to stay somewhere near the surf, no so near that my shoes got wet, but not so far away as to be running in the dryer, really soft mushy sand.

Running in wet soft sand must be a really, really good workout because my legs are just trashed tonight. Moving from a sitting to a standing (or vice versa) position is excrutiatingI'm not sure it helped the PF tendon at all and I may not be able to stand or sit tomorrow.

All for the sake of newness, which I'm thinking now is highly overrated.
Had I not been running on the sand...I would have missed this. Proof that red beer cups are quite versatile
Of course, some things never change. Post run mimosas and pancakes at Elsie's
On another note, it's been a completely beautiful weekend here in So Cal. On Thursday, Walter, Turbo and I went to Wind and Sea beach. It was pretty funny. I have run to Wind and Sea on numerous occasions, but usually on back streets, so I made Walter drive the back streets of North Pacific Beach and Bird Rock to get there. It was a round about way to get there, but well worth it.
Walter and Turbo out on a rock, trying to stay dry.
Gosh my little boy is getting big. Those are surfers in the background
Turbo, climbing up one of the cliffs
That's my boy!

My other boy
Ah shoot...somebody's gotta live here....Nothing new there

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shelter Island 5K Race Report - Summer in November


First of all, I really despise daylight savings time. Like right now, it's not even 6pm and its pitch black outside....

But this morning, I LOVED it because I got an extra hour of sleep before this morning's Shelter Island 5K. It was very, very, necessary.

We woke up this morning to a beautiful summer day, only wait a's November, right? didn't feel EXACTLY like summer, because there was still a bit of chill in the air, but it was rather warm. As we drove toward the coast, Mik, Walter, and I could see the fog bank hovering and wondered if it was still hovering over Shelter Island (which is near the airport, which is on San Diego Bay, which is near...oh heck, here's a map)
So...the map gives away the punch line. I broke the 30 minute barrier, by about five second better than my previous PB at Carlsbad last March. Not bad for very little speed training at all and on top of a 20 mile bike ride yesterday.

But Shelter Island is never really about the race. I mean, as far as 5Ks go, it's a fabulous little run, about 1500 participants (This year it was the same morning as the Komen Race for the Cure 5K, which is a very, very, very important cause, but which attracts about 15,000 runners/walkers), very low key. For a gear check, everyone throws their bags in the back of a hotel van. The route flat, and fast, and is one we are very familiar with.

Shelter Island is really all about running with friends and, of course, breakfast. The race ends at Humphrey's By the Bay, a local restaurant/resort renown for it's Sunday Buffet, and while the after race spread is not of the same caliber as their usual Sunday buffet, it's better than any other post-race breakfast I know of, and it includes unlimited mimosas...

Really, we took COMPLETE advantage of that aspect of the race this morning.

But, before we got to that, we had to run...

First of all, there was no fog on the was completely sunny. We had complete SUCCESS in finding the perfect parking spot about 1/2 mile from the start and about a 1/4 mile from the finish (it's a point to point run), so we did a little warm up run to get to the start. I spotted Irene & her husband Michael as we were waiting in the porta-potty line. We still had time to stretch, then we made our way to the start.

I checked my messages to see if Glenn was around anywhere. I sorta suspected that he wasn't going to make it when he was tweeting from his bro's wedding reception the night before. Apparently, he was being a dancing machine and his fancy shoes were killing his feet (my advice? "take 'em off!!!" ...if people can barefoot run, they can certainly barefoot dance, right?) In any event, a brother's wedding takes precedence over a 5K, even one that has a full breakfast buffet, any time. We missed ya Glenn!
Walter, Me and Mik - At the Start
I "borrowed" this picture from Irene cuz, well, she's in it. We found the long sleeve neon-day-glo-lime-green shirts at the Long Beach Expo. They're Brooks line. It's nice to have the long sleeve shirt, but I didn't have it on for long because it was getting pretty warm.
So after the morning hug-fest, we made our way to the start. There are a fair number of walkers in this race, so we maneuvered to somewhere near the start, mostly to avoid people walking their dogs, running with strollers (although one guy with a stroller just FLEW past me at the 2.5 miles). Within about three minutes, it was time to run.

Walter's plan was to keep up with Mik and then race past her at the end to grab a table. didn't quite work out that way, but the two of them TOOK OFF and left me in their dust! (which was OK...I completely told Walter to run his own race. I wanted to see how well he could/would run, and we all know how we hate to feel as if we are holding someone back, even if we don't mind it ourselves if we choose it). Mik said that she passed the 1 mile mark heard 8 minutes and figured it was wrong. I knew it wasn't because I ran the first mile in 9:10. Now let's be honest here, there's probably no way I could have ever kept that pace, but the first mile was easy and I felt great. I had Irene in my sites (in fact, I think I was even ahead of her at some point) and was running freely (lord, I hope so, it was only a mile...geez!)

As we headed into Shelter Island, the sun was in our faces, and that always makes it a little harder. Then we took one more right turn onto "The Island"* which includes a little down and back loop. As I neared the mile 2 marker, I saw Mik headed toward the finish. She told me later that she was working pretty hard, but she didn't look it, she was flying. A little behind her was Walter, who also looked great! A few weeks ago in a LB1/2 training run, we ran onto Shelter Island, er, I did. Walter decided to not run the entire island that day. He admitted today that that was an error, since he really didn't know how far it was to the turnaround.

I ran past the Mile 2 mark at 18:50, which told me that I'd slowed down quite a bit. (9:40 mile 2). I had a moment of delusion that I could run the third mile like I ran the first and be somewhere around 28 minutes (yes, I was delusional), but that passed pretty quickly, especially when I looked down at my Garmin at one point and say 10:30 (YIKES! That will NEVER work).

That 10:30 threw me a bit, so I just tried to keep my head down and relax my shoulders and lean forward and do all of the things I know I should do, but my legs were starting to feel pretty heavy after the turn around. I used the "pulley strategy" which means I tried to spot someone ahead of me who I thought I could pass (NOT the 8 year old boy who bounced past me, hurdling pylons along the way...Grrrr), and just visualized that each one had a pulley on his/her back that was just pulling me in, and it worked. I got to 2.7 miles and suddenly, I had a burst of energy and sprinted toward the finish.

Here are our finish times.

  • Mik - 24:47 (a PB... The herd's running goddess)
  • Walter - 26:23 (a PB...hey when every race is your first run, they're all PBs, right? But I love that Walter gave it is all)
  • Alice - 29:53 (a PB by 1 whole second and 2:30 off of last year's effort!)

We all admitted to each other later that at the end, we wanted to puke. I know I did, which pretty much means I gave it all I had, so I gotta be happy with that.

Besides that, I needed breakfast.

By the time I sauntered in, Mik and Irene's friend Rich already had a table for us and Walter was sitting there (pretty sweaty).  The neon-day-glo-lime-green shirts make our group REALLY EASY to spot, AND someone had already gotten me a mimosa (gotta love that service!), although at that point, I was still in need of water.

I think photos tell the story of the rest of the morning. We ate. We drank. We laughed. We were impressed by the age group winners who run amazingly fast (the 60-64 male division runner ran the 5K in freekin' impressive is THAT?). We stayed to the very end.
Irene and Michael
Me and Mik
Walter and Mik
By the end of the event, they were giving away Champagne in larger cups. We decided that size does matter.
So...Shelter Island is probably the last race of the year for me. There's a small possibility that we'll end up doing a 5K around the holidays (The Holiday Bowl 5K is one likely candidate), but there's nothing else on the calendar right now. 

It's been a heckuva year running-wise for me. I'm sure I'll blog about it at some point, but somehow today's 5K and mimosa fest was a great way to end the year. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mik's New Ride

I last rode my bike in August*. After that I became pretty focused on getting myself (and Walter) ready for Long Beach, so I put the bike away.

Luckily, Mik bought a new road bike last week, which only means that she's gonna kick my ass even more than she used to on her hybrid bike, but I'm a glutton for punishment, so we took the bikes out for an easy ride this morning. We were hoping that Clarence was going to be able to join us for her first post-childbirth-ride, but it turned out that she had too many other family plans and she is still at the place in her life where Abby's feedings and naps rule the schedule.

I mean, seriously, wouldn't you skip a ride for this? ADORABLE!!!
Ah yes...I remember those days all too well, the ones where my entire life was dictated by naps and feedings...but on further reflection, I realize that my life is still somewhat ruled by my kids' schedules, only now it's all about driving them to where ever they need/want to be.

We wanted an easy ride since Mik is still getting used to road-bike position and I haven't been on a bike since August, so we decided to go to Tideland's Park in Coronado and ride up and down the strand.**
Funny side note, when we got to Tidelands, the track club was there too. I swear, I AM NOT stalking them. I got to say hello to Anne, who was manning the aid station. Anne is a rockstar for all the volunteering work she does both at races and for weekend runs. I'm definitely looking forward to running regularly with my SDTC friends come January.

There's not really much to say about the ride itself. Mik got to play around with the Shimano gear shifting and discovered that her handlebars probably need some adjustments (she seems like she's leaning too far forward to break, and is putting too much pressure on her hands). We kept up a pretty good pace, and as usual, I can keep up with Mik for awhile, but by the end of the ride, she just pulled away from me.

Mik and her new ride...SUHWEEEET!
Some other road highlights and observations...
  • The bike/runners path on the Silver Strand is two-typical bike lanes, meaning it is not particularly wide, but not so narrow either. There is plenty of room for both runners and riders, but all do need to be considerate and cautious and look for one another. For the most part, everyone abides by the written (and unwritten) rules of the road.
  • We watched a runner almost get taken out by another cyclist because she (the runner) decided to do a u-turn and ran right in front of a cyclist who was about to overtake her, but who wasn't expecting her to flip a U right in front of him. Isn't the rule to ALWAYS make sure that you have clearance before you move into another lane? I never even start walking on a path unless I know for sure that nobody behind me is going to run up my ass...To me that's being both considerate AND safe. GAH!
  • The foot of San Diego Bay was REALLY SMELLY this morning. I mean it's always sort of smelly where, as Elsie in biology-teacher-mode would explain, "the some-multi-syllabic-bacteria are doing-something-very-scientific-sounding causing rot and decay." In other words, It's a circle of life kind of thing...and this morning it was a MORE SMELLY THAN USUAL circle of life kind of thing.
  • Large sweaty men should NEVER wear white bike shorts...especially when wearing a cycling jersey with some kind of spiraling pattern on the back that appears to be pointing straight down...'nuff said. My comment to Mik was "that guy is clearly single because no wife would let her husband out of the house in that."
  • Props to the cyclist who was out there this morning, tearing it up, who had one leg! Awesome!
  • Do you ever ride/run along and check out all the swag that others are wearing that you also own? This morning, I saw peeps in SDTC t-shirts, SDRnR shirt, and one wearing a Long Beach 1/2 Swag Bag. 
  • It was a truly beautiful morning for riding. After our batshit crazy weather here this week (high 90s on Wednesday, 100º on Thursday, it cooled off to about 80º yesterday), it was clear, and humid this morning. A clear sign that the winds have changed back to the offshore kind from the nasty Santa Ana winds that ruled this week. I did think it was about that time of year where I make everyone feel bad for me, having to live in this place, by posting some photos of the bay this morning. Sadly, I was trying to catch up with Mik, so I didn't stop to take any photos other than this one, which I took when we decided to turn around at 10 miles and head back.
Mik and I at the foot of San Diego Bay...just past the really smelly part, which is probably why we are smiling!
Hopefully, I saved some legs for tomorrow morning when Mik, Walter, Kat, and I are running in the Shelter Island 5K...the best 5K (IMHO) in San Diego County. Flat, fast, and ends with a full champagne buffet breakfast. We're going to see how fast Walter can run 3 miles so that he gets us a table! I'll get to see Irene & her husband, and hopefully Glenn there! Yay!

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend, and good luck to all the racers out there including Meg and BS who are in NYC this weekend and who, from her latest report, appear to be staying in a reasonable place this time, and not in a crack-shack (and I'm not talking about the kind of crack that I saw this morning from the dude in the white cycling shorts...I'm scared by this, I swear)...Anyway, good luck Meg!
* On the off chance that you actually look back at my August post, please not that it is AUGUST and we are all bundled up as if it is a winter day (the blue faces are a camera trick and NOT as a result of the cold, but it was COOL that AUGUST morning), whereas today it is NOVEMBER, and I wished I had worn my cycling tank-top because it was a wee-bit-warm!

** We really did try to get others to ride with us this morning, and run with us tomorrow, but Betty and Alberta are in Cancun (pity, huh?) for a friend's wedding and Elsie is with The Statue since she's going to some conference in Washington DC this week.