Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rub Some Snow On It (also, any blog suggestions?)

In this week's News of the Lame, my stress fracture started hurting again Tuesday morning. Like, three-weeks-ago, kind-of-limping-again hurting. I was going to try to get a little treadmill time that day, but as soon as the pain started I obviously nixed that plan. I tried to stay off of it as much as possible, but the pain never entirely went away until Saturday. It had never hurt during or immediately after my little interval runs, and it hadn't hurt on Monday, so I was kind of at a loss as to the reason.

Fortunately, I had an appointment with my PT on Friday, & his opinion was that it was just muscle pain from my Sunday run, since bone pain would have been immediate, not two days later. His theory has always been that the stress fracture was caused by muscle issues to begin with, probably partly by tight muscles putting torsional forces on the bone and partly by those same tight muscles becoming so tight after a certain amount of exertion that they basically stop working, which means they don't absorb force, which means more force is redirected to the bone.

So, I am likely not aggravating the healing bone by running, but I probably am re-aggravating the underlying cause. In theory the way to stop the cycle is just to grind the scar tissue out of that part of my calf muscle and continue stretching it as often as possible. Which kind of sucks, because ten minutes with the lacrosse ball & my leg is sore for two days. I am allowed to run on it even if it's a little sore, though he did caution me to pay close attention to what kind of pain it is and how bad is, and to err on the cautious side of running less often if I'm not sure.

He also reminded me that there are lot of other fun ways to be active & sporty in the world, so I took his advice & went up to Tahoe (ie, where they have winter) with Don over the long weekend to get some skiing in, which was AWESOME considering that I haven't been on skis since our trip to Breckenridge last March.

Kirkwood ski area in South Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood is awesome because in spite of being a fantastic mountain for just about all levels, it never gets crowded because it's so far away from all the bigger more touristy resorts. On Sunday, I never waited more than a minute in a lift line, & on Monday I don't think we ever waited more than maybe three minutes (which the staff were calling "really crowded").

Top of Buckboard run at the end of the day

Back side of Kirkwood at sunrise

Don at the top of Buckboard

Up on the summit somewhere

It's pretty amazing what hurling your body down a few black diamonds will do for your morale.

A brief cry for help: Lately, my favorite blogs keep doing one of the following:

  • Dropping off the face of the earth
  • Basically dropping off the face of the earth (ie, every post begins with some sort of apology for not blogging in six months)
  • Turning into a litany of sponsored posts / giveaways (FUN FACT: the more sponsored / ambassador'd / brand name dropping / giveaway posts a blogger does, the more likely I am to delete them from my feed. I know people have their reasons for doing that stuff & there are plenty of people who enjoy reading about it; I'm just not one of them. It makes me feel like I am spending my precious precious free time reading ads, which is lame.)

Recently I went through my NetVibes & deleted every blog that hadn't had a new post with actual content in like 6 months (with a couple of exceptions), and BOY is it slim pickins.

So my question is, what are you reading these days that is interesting, funny, informative, well-written, updates more than once month, easy on the giveaway/sponsored stuff, and doesn't have a scary diet vibe about it? Five out of seven & I'll give it a shot! (In the right margin I have a list of the blogs I usually read semi-regularly for your perusal.)

(This is also the part where it is completely appropriate to be like, "Hey, I have a blog and it is AWESOME!" and I will probably be like "NEAT, I will check it out!")

* * *

Grand Total: 65.85 miles

    * 31.2 easy (bike)
    * 8 speed (bike)
    * 11.25 tempo (bike)
    * 14.5 elliptical


Afternoon bike, 13.8 easy / evening karate.


Bike - 3.4 warm up, 4 x (5:00 @ 5K effort / 2:00 easy), 2.4 cool down = 14.4 speed.

Tuesday was not the greatest day for a few reasons. First, that was when my leg starting hurting again. Second, I was up too late on Monday night, so when my alarm went off at 5:45 the next morning, my reaction was a swift and decisive "Oh heeeellllll no." I don't feel bad about trading 45 minutes on the elliptical for an extra hour of sleep. (Though that also meant I got to drive to work in commuter traffic, which is utter balls. That, I did kind of regret.)


a.m. strength work / afternoon 7.5 elliptical / p.m. karate.

THE GOOD: Fastest forty-five minutes of easy elliptical ever? I will take it! Sick new bo kata to start learning at karate? Hell yes!

THE BAD: Leg pain. Thankfully it didn't hurt on the elliptical, but pretty much every normal walking step I took on Wednesday still had some amount of pain right in the outside upper left calf. It felt more like muscle pain than bone, but since I couldn't tell for sure, I didn't risk the treadmill.

Happily, we spent most of karate destroying pads with boxing gloves, which pretty much involves just standing in one spot and not moving around a lot. Working on bo kata did involve some walking / stepping, but when you're just first learning the sequence, it's pretty chill, and that was only about twenty minutes anyway.


a.m. bike, 10 easy / p.m. 7 elliptical

Ugh. Straight out of bed, the leg was still not happy. Pain after many hours of rest usually indicates soft tissue and not bone, but then again when the stress fracture was at its worst around Christmas, it just hurt insanely bad at all times, so I skipped the treadmill again, just to be safe.


Bike - 2.5 warm up, 32:00 @ marathon effort, 16:00 @ LT effort = 14.25 tempo = 14.25

PT in the morning, so no strength work. The bike could have been a longer workout, but I had friends to make Valentine's Day cocktails for, & you know where my priorities lie.

Cinnamon-infused bourbon, ginger liqueur, pomegranate juice / molasses, grenadine, blood oranges, Aphrodite bitters, & Thai chili bitters -- all clutch Valentine's Day cocktail ingredients.

Homemade grenadine = de rigeur.

Gin, Amaro Montenegro, Aperol, lemon juice,
grenadine, & egg white, with cinnamon for garnish.

Saturday: Rest / drive to Tahoe.

Sunday: Ski like a mad woman. (Okay, maybe like a mildly disturbed woman. Still. Skiing. Which has REALLY been needing to happen this year.)


  1. I hope you've checked out Salty Running (saltyrunning.com) - it's basically a group blog with none of the sponsored post things, and lots of different personalities. And Holly at Run With Holly (http://runwithholly.com/blog/) is a personal friend and provides lots of entertaining, useful info.

    I admit: I'm a little scared of downhill skiing, because I learned to downhill ski as a grown person with a fully developed sense of gravity and fear. Somewhere in the past 10 years I discovered I kind of enjoyed it, as long as no one is forcing me to keep up with them. (Kind of like running.) Anyway, Tahoe looks gorgeous!

    1. You know, I've read some things on Salty Running but it's never occurred to me I could actually follow them like any other blog. I should give that a try.

      I actually only skied once as a non-adult (a high school spring break trip on which I was sick & barely remember it) & didn't do it again until I was like 27, and there were definitely a lot of very healthy adult fears to conquer. Six years later, though, & it's one of my absolute favorite things. :)

    2. Oh, PS! I forgot to mention Run Write Hike - lives in Colorado, I'm hoping she'll write about hikes for me to dream about.
      And I second Arkansas Runner Mom and Health on the Run.

      Sadly, Predawn Runner and Logic of Long Distance seem to have stopped posting - come back!

  2. Here are some that I think fit the bill:

    Arkansas Runner Mom. I give her 6 thousand votes.
    Small Town Runner.
    50 after 40.
    Well, I'm TRYING to run.

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  4. I'm with you re the sponsored posts. I don't want to read ads. Especially for products which aren't available in Australia.

  5. I've had the same problem with my blogs leaving and it's sad! I love blogs! I tend to leave things in my Feedly just in case they might post again some day.

    So what I've been reading recently is a combo of running bloggers and triathlon bloggers (...if you're into that sort of thing, ha). Some I like that aren't on your list, in alphabetical order because that's how they are in my reader: Adjusted Reality (http://adjustedreality.com/blog/), Eat Run Read (http://www.eatrunread.com/), Fit and Feminist (http://fitandfeminist.wordpress.com/), Lindsay Runs (http://www.lindsayruns.com/), Health on the Run (http://www.healthontherun.net/), Meals for Miles (http://www.mealsformilesblog.com/), Run This Amazing Day (http://www.runthisamazingday.com/), Sweet Sweat (http://sweetsweatlife.com/), Walking About LA (http://peripateticla.blogspot.com/)

    I want those cocktails.

  6. OH - and I enjoy http://www.runningstarfish.com even though it seems like I wouldn't. It's a lot of Oiselle, but I tend to give her a pass cause she actually works there, and I think about her Hi Other Sarah post all the time.

  7. EVERYONE was at Kirkwood on Monday. (I mean, not me, because I didn't grow up skiing because I lived in Chicago and that shit was for rich people, so I only go like every now and then. But, Steve went with his mom and they ran into two other friends of ours. Ridiculous.)

    Do you read RoseRunner? She's a Bay Area runner and I think you'd like her sarcastic vibe. Triathlon, my favorites are Beth Walsh's (California Training), Rachel Ross' (Run Like a Mother), and Jocelyn Wong's (Infinity and Beyond). And, obviously, I make it into your NetVibes -- though I am going to add NetVibes???

    1. Oh wow. That was supposed to say "Obviously, I HOPE I make it into your NetVibes..."

    2. Hah....You are totally in my NetVibes. :) (That's the main way I keep up with blogs I read regularly.)

      I love RoseRunner. I even know her in real life! Will definitely check out the others - thanks for the reccs!

  8. Bummer about the leg, I was only wondering how you were doing this morning! Hope it keeps on mending nicely. And cracking shots of Tahoe, it looks fantastic up there, at last! I'm trying to decide whether or not to squeeze in a ski weekend, the Dude is dying to ski again.

    The only blog that springs to mind is Yo Momma Runs. She does a fair amount of giveaways but handles them really nicely actually. She also runs for Oiselle, but doesn't schill for them. So two black marks on your list...but she's a fantastic runner, she seems lovely and I really love her blog! Def worth checking out. And I second Fit n Feminist, she is fantastic!

    1. No worries, it's gotten better this week! I've been running on the treadmill some & just continuing to grind it out on the lacrosse ball.

      Hey, five out of seven! I don't mind the occasional giveaway of something that seems actually useful--there are just some who now seem to be giving away crap like every other week instead of writing normal blog posts, & that gets kind of old.

      Thanks for the recc!

  9. My blog reading list has changed drastically in the last few months. I used to read mostly 'big' blogs (that's all I knew from doing online searches) like Shut up and run, Hungry runner girl, Stuft mama, NYC running mama.
    Lately though I'm enjoying a lot of small blogs, mainly because same as you, I couldn't stand the feeling that I was reading some bull sponsored post. I want to read real stuff, even if the blog is not as professionally looking/written, as the bigger blogs. Besides more than one picture of food/selfies a post tend to get on my nerves.
    Some of the smaller blogs I like (maybe they are not that small, I don't really check followers): Single-tracked mind, Run and jump, Stamped with a heart, Training a runner, Tripping the Kenyans.

    1. I agree, I actually like reading smaller blogs because I feel like I actually get to know the person some through comments. There are bigger ones I still enjoy reading (I love Shut Up + Run!), but I don't usually comment because I figure if a post gets like 50 comments, they're not as likely to read & respond to mine.

      Thanks for the reccs!

  10. (I'm totally poaching blogs from the comments to add to my own reader.)

    Two recs for you:
    This dude (I don't normally read dude blogs, but this is my exception): http://www.logicoflongdistance.com/.
    And Running with Scissors: http://stephjeffries.wordpress.com/

    1. Go for it!! :)

      My reader could probably use some dude blogs. There are a few I read, but they are definitely WAAAY outnumbered by the ladies. Thanks for the reccs!

  11. This one is hit-and-miss, but once in a while it's interesting: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/
    And do you already read Jayme Marty's blog? Olympic Trials runner, Impala racer, master's winner, marathon winner, and she's a scientist whose analytical posts are like yours. http://runawayfastjaymee.blogspot.com/

    1. Agree, I often enjoy the NY Times Well Blog, especially Gina Kolata's work. I just wish they had an RSS feed because I don't read it unless I specifically remember to (which is rare) or I stumble across a link to something specific. I'll definitely check out Jayme Marty!

  12. Ah, I love Kirkwood and am SO jealous of your photos of your ski weekend!!! Hope your leg is feeling better.

    I recommend all of the blogs on my blogroll. The ones that fit most of your criteria (and that I assume you don't already read, since we have some overlap):

    Dan's Marathon
    Blisters, Cramp, & Heaves - he doesn't post often but the posts are substantial
    Semi-Rad -- not a running blog, but more of a philosophical take on being an active/outdoorsy person

    1. Heh, slowly but surely. :) Thanks for the reccs - I'll check them out!