Monday, February 3, 2014

New Month, New Year, New Chapter

First, a huge shout-out to Jen, through whom I ran Kaiser Permanente Half vicariously this weekend. In spite of wind, cold temps, & icy rain, she not only ran a PR but smashed two hours for the first time. (Unfortunately, I suck at spectating & never managed to spot her. But hey, solidarity!!) CONGRATULATIONS JEN!!!

It was no CIM '12, but there was definitely cold and wind and rain
aplenty to contend with. (I do agree with Jen that after CIM '12, there's
just not a race day forecast out there that could possibly shake me.)

The iconic "Kaiser Permanente" windmill! (At least that's how I always think of it.)

I don't know any of those people. The only real point of this picture is to prove I was there.

Kaiser Permanente '10 was the first half marathon that I ran in the Bay Area; as I was walking along the last mile or so of the course, it occurred to me that I actually don't remember the end of the race. I remember cursing the Great Highway & wanting to shoot myself around mile 11, but I actually don't remember running past the windmill or finishing. At all. Weird.

Friends, it is a new month. This month is noteworthy for a few reasons.

1) It is the month of my birth. While I don't go in for too much craziness on the celebration side, it does always kind of feel a little like second New Year's to me. A fresh start & all that. (Plus it's a palindrome birthday so yay?)

2) It is Strong Beer Month, which includes SF Beer Week.

If you live in the Bay Area & enjoy beer, clear an afternoon sometime this week & peruse the schedule. Yes, it will take some time, but your life will be richer for it.

3) It is the month in which I return to running.

I can only hope that these three carefully selected "gifs" have adequately expressed to you my excitement about this.

I mentioned last week how after the bone scan the sports medicine doctor said that my recovery would be symptom-driven & I could do anything that didn't hurt AND that I could probably try running again in another six weeks, which are two completely & totally different sets of instructions.

On Friday I brought it up with my PT, & he agreed that 11 weeks was excessive (apparently he commonly starts putting patients on the AlterG at 50% bodyweight four weeks after they're diagnosed) and that going by my symptoms was fine. He said he suspected the doctor was just being extra-careful given than I'm not a regular patient of his and he'd only seen me twice.

After establishing that my running on the AlterG hadn't caused any pain or soreness in the couple of days after, he declared that it was fine for me to start running on soft surfaces (treadmill, track, dirt, etc.--basically anything besides pavement) in two minute increments & see how that felt.

For the second time in two weeks, I could have wept with joy.

For now, I get 4 x (2:00 run / 2:00 walk) every other day. If that goes well & I don't have any pain (during or after), I can increase the length & number of intervals little by little each week. If I do have some pain, I have to back off to every third day.

New Month, New Year, New Goals:

I've got some bigger ones in the back of my head, but for now I'm trying to stay focused on the small victories & just getting my leg healthy again. On Feb. 23 I'll turn 33, so here are some very very NOT arbitrary, scientifically determined goals for that day:

  • A+ Goal: Run for 33 minutes on my 33rd birthday.
  • A Goal: Run 3.3 miles on my 33rd birthday
  • B Goal: Run for 23 minutes on 2/23
  • C Goal: Run 2.3 miles on 2/23

I think this time round I won't jinx myself by inviting the world to "bring it."

* * *

Grand Total: 62.4 miles

    * 34.4 easy (bike)
    * 5.2 speed (bike)
    * 8 tempo (bike)
    * 13.4 elliptical
    * 1.4 honest-to-god RUNNING!!!


a.m. strength work / p.m. bike, 13.1 easy.

I really try very hard not to judge what other people are not doing at the gym, but really??? ADMIT IT, YOU JUST MADE THAT THING WITH THE BALL UP.

I have also noticed that often I am the only woman in the gym wearing shorts instead of tights (so like the only one out of maybe 30). Or sometimes there will be *one* other girl. Personally, I can't wear tights in the gym unless I'm going to yoga because I leave puddles of sweat on everything I touch as it is. It's got me wondering if there's some underlying reason for it, or if by some freak of nature they all just happen to have the same preference & I just happen to have the opposite one. (FWIW that does seem to be the case quite a lot, which I've sort of accepted.)


Bike - 3.5 warm up, 4 x (5:00 @ 5K effort / 3:00 easy), 5.35 cool down = 14 speed.


a.m. strength work / afternoon 6.5 elliptical / p.m. karate + light strength.


a.m. 6.9 elliptical / p.m. 9.5 bike

Just like last week, my legs felt worn out Thursday morning, but once again I had my fastest elliptical session ever.


1.4 run / walk; Bike - 1.5 warm up, 6 @ marathon effort, 2 @ LT effort, 1.5 cool down = 11 tempo.

I did my running on the treadmill, going at an easy 8:30-8:40 pace for two minutes, then waking quickly for two minutes, wash/rinse/repeat four times. It was mostly okay (I was glad see that I haven't backslidden too much & that pace still feels easy, at least for two minutes at a time), but I did have a little soreness in the outside of my leg toward the end and after I got home and also some sensitivity with pressure. Which was just as well, given that I don't have access to a treadmill on the weekends, so I wasn't able to do anymore running until Monday anyway.

I've pretty much given up on swimming on the weekend. It might happen in the future, but right now those two rest days are working pretty well for me, given that I'm not actually training for anything (and oh yeah trying to grow back a bone).


  1. First, thanks so much for the shout-out! I'm so touched. :) Your pictures make it look much colder than I remember it being... though I do think it was much tougher being a spectator than a runner on Sunday, because at least I was moving. I also have no recall of the last 1/2 mile or of that windmill, except for going up a steep little hill and wondering, "where the f*** is that finish line??"

    Second, congrats and good luck as you return to running!!

    Third, I'm also a shorts in the gym person. I have a few theories why other ladies prefer tights: they haven't shaven, they're cold, they don't overheat (or work at high enough intensity to generate heat/sweat), they think tights are cuter than shorts, because it's what everyone else is wearing, or they're ashamed of their legs. I think most runners tend not to give a shit and prefer to be less hot and more comfortable. My 2 cents.

    1. Runner problems:

      Happy almost-birthday! Hope it's a great one that involves running for > 2.3 minutes.

      And I agree about the shorts.
      - haven't shaven: don't care
      - cold: if I run this is not a problem (at least not until I hit yoga class and freeze)
      - cuter than shorts: I wear whatever's clean and comfortable
      - ashamed of legs: the last time I was silly enough to be ashamed of my legs was 1998, thank goodness middle school doesn't last forever

    2. Lol. My PT: "I can always tell when we're about 6 weeks out from a local marathon because we get swamped in here. Everybody's like, 'So I can still run the marathon, right?' "

      Ah, true, a lot of that makes sense about the capris / tights. I'm surprised people would have more body issues with shorts than tights -- I don't wear shorts specifically to be modest, but I kind of feel like I get stared at less than I would if I was wearing tights. And, if I only wore shorts when I'd shaved my legs....hoo boy. That would be quite a rarity indeed.

  2. It's so exciting that you're able to start running again. Even if it is just slow and short to start off with, it's the start of something big!

  3. Happy birthday and happy running!
    And capris: they all wear them. Forget tights. Everyone is in capris. And I'm in shorts. What's up with that?

    1. Ah, right. That is probably the proper name for what they're wearing because for the most part they come to just below the knees. (I kind of just call anything long & spandex-ey "tights.")

  4. You must be so happy to be able to run again, pretty soon you'll be running regularly.

  5. I'd not wear capris in a gym, it gets so warm it has to be shorts, surely. Although yes, the leg hair malarky is a pain! Cracking Kaiser photos - it looks miserable!!!