Archive for April, 2009

8:15 AM: “The Bus is Leaving”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The bus being my spouse’s Red Toyota Tundra. Saint that he is, HE takes the kids to preschool (Livy Lou) and class (some subset of the big kids on a given day), but it takes BOTH of us to get our progeny IN the truck on time.

According to poet Gary Snyder in The Practice of the Wild: Essays, “It is as hard to get the children herded into the carpool and down the road to the bus as it it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on a cold morning.”

No kidding. THIS morning included carrying a distraught and wailing Olivia down the stairs (she thought it was Saturday and didn’t “plan” to go to school) for breakfast, participating in two wardrobe changes and a debate about where the bow on her socks is supposed to be (front or back of the ankle), and enduring a screaming fit during hair-brushing. In between rounds with Olivia, I argued with Reiley about her attire (a size XL men’s t-shirt from her dad’s closet and MY cotton-free running socks…and yes, she changed into one of her own t-shirts and left my socks!). To top off the morning, waking the resident grumpy teenager – Quentin – fell to me. Yeah!

Parker was the only bright spot this morning. He was up first, ate the breakfast his dad prepared for him without complaint, dressed and brushed his teeth, made his own lunch (!), took out the recycling the FIRST time I asked, and beat his dad to the truck. Gotta LOVE him.

Worlds Apart

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Last week, it was over 100 degrees in Riverside, my ankle and foot still ached so much that I dreaded getting out of bed in the morning, and I was scheduled to run 16 miles. So I drove nearly an hour to Huntington Beach, where it was only 77 degrees; started late in the day, when my “foot” tends to be warmer and less likely to ache; and ran just under six miles. (I didn’t quite make the eight miles I was shooting for because I had to slow way down because the bike/pedestrian trail was SO CROWDED as I got within a couple of blocks of the pier, and ran short of time :( .)

This week, it’s only 66 degrees in Riverside, the skies are blue, and the sweet scent of orange blossoms fills the air. I ran 10.1 entirely PAIN FREE miles this morning, thanks to regular massage, ultrasound treatments, and chiropractic adjustments; a more or less flat route, and new shoes – Womens New Balance 767 Running Shoe and Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ . (While the New Balance hugs my ankle like no other running shoe I’ve ever tried, it’s not as cushioned under the ball of my foot as I’d like, and requires a Bean Pod if I want to use my Nike+ sensor.)

My Hairdresser is M.I.A.

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Okay, I made the most horrible mistake last week…I went to a new hairdresser!

My usual hairdresser who I have been going to for over three years is about 30 minutes East of my home, in Peyton, CO.  She works out of her house and has the cutest little Shitzu named Max greet you. Deanna has always cut my hair perfectly and she even figured out how to give me layers without me having to maintain it using a curling iron or a blow dryer. (I just realized that I don’t own a curling iron).

Deanna is a talker, but she always keeps me amused during the hour-long cut.  Every time I visit, she is doing something new in her life.  Last summer, she was selling off everything- a treadmill she never used, a motor cycle, dresser..etc.  This past fal,l she had just installed her stripper pole since she was started a new venture in her cleaned out garage- teaching pole dancing!  Okay, Deanna is about 45-47 years old…

As you can tell, I really do enjoy visiting Deanna, but things have been a bit rocky these past few weeks, and so I thought that – just this once – I’d try a hairdresser a bit closer to home…so I called Beauty Brands.  Wrong decision.

First of all, the lady who did my eye brows was crazy. I know most of them are, but she was a creepy nut job. Then there was the hairdresser herself. After waiting a little while she finished her cigarette break with her friends outside, she greeted me with one of those ”hanging handshakes.”  Ugh, I thought of leaving at that very moment, but I just wasn’t in the mood to cancel, and I really thought it couldn’t be that bad. After all, I only needed a trim.

Well, it could be that bad. I wanted layers with the first one at my chin, and long layers in the back. I got layers all right. The first layer was at my collar bone, but there were no layers in the back except for a chunk of hair she missed. I can’t even wear my hair down!

Of course I called and complained, and I’m getting my money back so I can visit my dear Deanna and get the whole mess straightened out.  A good hair cut and great conversation is worth every penny.

So I phoned Deanna to set up an appointment, and to my horror, her number has been disconnected!

Feeling Better, Running Longer Every Day

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

In addition to spraining my ankle, I managed to pull or tear my plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that runs from the heal to the toes and supports the arch of the foot – hence, the added and intense pain on the bottom of my foot, running up to the outside of ankle during my last long run on Saturday.

On Monday, I returned to the chiropractor. Dr. Gaukler’s remedy included ultrasound as well as deep tissue massage. Although I experienced immediate relief from my ankle and foot pain, I was nowhere near pain-free. I waited a full 24 hours before running again to be sure that the pain was reliably abating, duly icing my ankle and foot at the end of the day, and gently stretching it in the morning when it’s characteristically worse.

My four-mile run on Tuesday went well. I could feel a slight, sharp pain in my ankle and a little tension in the bottom of my foot, but there was NO CHANGE AT ALL during the course of my run. So I ran six miles on Thursday, at the end of the day, when my ankle and foot hurt least. In fact, I was walking normally and hadn’t taken any ibuprofen! It was great, perfect. Literally no pain.

Both yesterday and today, I’ve woken up with a little bit of pain in my ankle – a sharp “bite” almost when I initially get out of bed or whenever I point my toes (I’m no ballerina, just stretch a lot). The bottom of my foot and arch have felt tight and sore, but not too bad once I’ve stretched a bit and started moving around.

I’m supposed to run 16 miles today, but I’m shooting for a solid and painless eight or nine. There’s a good chance that my torn plantar fascia may be due to wild increases in mileage, perhaps on top of running hills, so I’m not pushing it. Assuming all goes well, I’m looking for an alternative training program that doesn’t rely on two or three short runs and one increasingly long run each week. Suggestions welcome :)

About that Ankle

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

“About that ankle?” asked my loving spouse when he saw me limping after my 8.1 mile “legs” of of the Buckhorn Exchange Relay last Sunday.

My ankle started hurting about five miles into my run, but the pain nearly disappeared within a few minutes of taking 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. It didn’t really bother me again until I put my (”flat” hiking) boots on later in the afternoon. My left boot was tight and it hurt to walk properly; yet I could avoid most of what pain there was by shifting my weight onto my toes.

By Tuesday, my ankle honestly felt fine. I ran about four miles – easy – on Wednesday without incident, so I ran eight per my training schedule on Friday. Near the end of that run, I could feel my ankle beginning to throb, but it wasn’t too bad and I didn’t have to limp at all when I stopped. Just in case, I did ice and elevate my ankle as soon as I came in.

Naturally, I assumed my ankle was healing – yeah! Unfortunately, my celebration may prove to have been premature. I ran 16.5 miles earlier today, taking care to walk – quickly and carefully – whenever the paved trail gave way to the natural unevenenss of rocks and roots. About eight miles into it, the bottom of my foot started to ache and I could feel my left shoe growing tighter. It didn’t really feel painful, though. By mile ten, the pain had moved “up” to include my ankle. I slowed to a walk, but that didn’t help AT ALL, so I opted to keep running. By the end of my run, the pain had actually abated some, though my forefoot and toes were numb – perhaps due to the tight shoe?

That is no longer the case. I’ve iced my ankle repeatedly, kept it elevated as much as possible, and maintained a steady stream of ibuprofen in my system all afternoon/evening, but nothing seems to bring lasting relief. Even keeping my weight OFF my ankle and ON my toes, I’m in a lot of pain. Yeah, uh oh…

Running for Craig

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Our brother Craig died in a motorcycle accident on March 29th, just a week before he’d planned to compete in his first race: the Platte River Half Marathon in Littleton, Colorado. Craig had only been running three weeks when he registered for his first marathon – Nike's San Francisco Marathon – and the “Denver” half marathon was supposed to be his first long training run.

What could we do but run it for him?

By 6:30 AM on race day, which promised to hit 35 degrees, tops, Jeanna, Terri, and I were bundled up and on our way north from Colorado Springs to Littleton. On the way, we decided to “share” Craig’s race by running the Buckhorn Exchange Relay; by the time the race started, we’d planned a “pick ‘em up” relay. Terri would run the first leg (5 miles), then “pick up” me for the second leg (another 5 miles), before meeting up with Jeanna to run the final leg (3.1 miles) together. By the time the race started, my son Quentin had convinced us that HE too could run the last leg – in street clothes, accompanied by Terri’s dog, Sam.

While this was nothing for Terri, who’s been training in “arctic” temperatures for months, Jeanna and I had our doubts. Bottom line, it was COLD! And at almost a mile in elevation, there just wasn’t as much oxygen as we are accustomed to in California.

Although even Terri had to keep her gloves on and Jeanna’s ankles ached in borrowed running shoes, we ALL made it. Our time was far from record-making, but terrifically healing. Craig may not have been proud of us, exactly, but I’m sure we made him laugh.

Here’s to you, Craig! We never would have done it without you.