Thursday, January 31, 2008

Such a slacker... kind of.

So I've been slacking in my blog writing, but with good reason, and now I have to play quick and random catch-up.

I haven't been allowed to run so I've been feeling pretty worthless. I went back to Dr. Bakman and got the okay to run, so now I can at least post about that. I have NO idea how I'm going be ready for the LA marathon, but I'm going to try. Hopefully my knee problem is "cured", but we'll see :)

In other news, I have actually been super busy. I'm taking 3 classes this semester towards my Master's degree in Special Ed. while finishing my research and beginning to write my thesis. I registered to begin my Master's degree in Administration in March.

I'm excited about going on a day trip to Mexico in March with Corazon de Vida.
It's an organization that helps orphaned children in Mexico, and part of that includes day trips every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. I'm going down there to visit the El Faro orphanage, and I can't wait! I think it's going to be a very rewarding experience :)

My 1st triathlon is in April, and I just got new tires for my el cheapo bike. I went on a bike ride and then tried to run a little, but my legs felt like jell-o, so I think I'm going to have to work on the bike-run brick.

I'm pretty much signed up for the Shadow of the Giants 50K in May, which would be my 1st ultra. Hopefully I'll be both "cured" and "in shape" for it because I'd really like to do well.

I'm psyched about Greece in November. We've picked dates, now we have to buy plane tickets and get some plans together with a marathon travel company. I can't even explain how excited I am!!!!!

BUT right now I'm sick. I feel like crap. I took a 1/2 day on Tuesday and came home and slept. Even if I was allowed to run, I haven't really done anything all week. I'm pretty sure I'm going to run on Saturday or Sunday (if the weather doesn't totally suck again) and I'm a little nervous, but we'll see.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Why I am involved with Team in Training

I had my fundraiser at Rubio's last night and it went well. I raised about $50, which isn't a large amount, but it's 50 more dollars than I had before!
Anyway, Eric and I went down there and had dinner right before the fundraiser ended at 8. I was getting ready to take the tip jar when a woman and her daughter came in to participate in the fundraiser and buy dinner. We got to talking about why I was involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team in Training and she asked me if I had any family members or anyone affected by Leukemia. I told her that luckily, no. She went on to tell me that her daughter was a survivor and thanked me. We wrapped up the convo and I was a little choked up as I walked out... it's the same as when I ran the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon and people held up signs saying "Thank you TNT", "I'm a survivor", and "You saved my life". It's amazing to see the money that I raise really does help people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

NO running for 2 WEEKS!

Went to Dr. Bakman yesterday. He poked around my knee a little and decided that it is still irritated underneath the kneecap and I need to let it heal. So I'm not allowed to run for 2 weeks. I'm allowed to ellipticalize and bike to my heart's content, but that's a problem considering we're still in the "new years resolution" time frame at the gym and my bike has a flat tire. I'm kind of bummed, but I think I'll just work really hard on stretching and strengthening my hip so that my knee is good to go on marathon day. Dr. Bakman said that it is better to have healthy tissue and less conditioning than more conditioning but damaged tissue. I guess he's right. At least I'm still allowed to run LA, and it's not totally hopeless!

In other news, Eric and I signed up for the Newport Beach triathlon in April. I'm superpsyched for my first tri... I just need to do a little research because I have no idea how they work except you swim some, bike some, and run some!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Random fist pound with a stranger

I'll get to the title in a minute, first it's important to note the condition of my knee. And by condition I mean sucking. The sucking of my knee. I did 6 miles today (I was supposed to do 15, then 8, then downgraded to a super easy 6). I probably could've done the 8, but I felt a twang or two so I decided to take it easy. I'm pretty bummed that I apparently really irritated it at the 1/2 last weekend, but I'm hoping if I take it kind of easy for now I'll still be okay.
After running, I had to take a CPR class. Fun. Then I went to Snail's Pace to pick up some new sneakers, so that was kind of exciting. I figured I should get a new pair before I start putting in some really long runs on my old shoes.
I decided that I have been missing the yoga in my life so I went down to Costa Mesa for some yoga. In the parking lot, I'm waiting to turn left and this guy turns and stops next to me. He asks me if I take yoga and if I like it because he's had ADD for 6 years and he wants something to calm him down. Now granted it's not THAT strange since I was in the parking lot in front of the yoga studio, BUT the parking lot is a huge shopping center and the yoga studio is above a bank that I could've been going to, and I certainly don't have my yoga mat sticking out the window. Anyway... I explained that I do really like yoga, but I get bored sometimes and it took me awhile to be able to calm my mind down to do it for an hour and a half. Then I told him that I'm a runner so yoga is good for stretching. His reply? "You're much more hardcore than I am" and stuck his fist out the window. I returned the pound and strange fist pound guy and his dog drove off. It was a little weird. I was slightly concerned that he might show up in my yoga class, but I figured he wouldn't since his dog was in the car. Maybe he just spotted me as a "metro" hippie and assumed I practiced yoga... Maybe I just give off the "vibe"...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And the verdict is...

...Runner's Knee! It was totally expected, so it wasn't a shocker. Dr. Bakman confirmed that my hips are tight (the main reason for my beginning yoga practice) and decided that my really tight right hip is most likely the reason behind my knee issues. He almost made me cry by jabbing my hip, but it was partially tears of joy because I am getting closer to solving this long-lasting knee problem!!! I'm taped up with the kinesiotaping method, some style from Japan, and I'm going to go for a run tomorrow to see how it feels. Then I go back to Dr. Bakman on Friday to be sure that it's my hip and figure out where to go from here. I just want to be able to run fast and far. I finally figured out my shoulder issue, and I'm good to go for climbing, so running is next! Hopefully I'll be pain free VERY soon :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Goin' to the doctor

I decided to go visit Dr. Bakman in HB about my knees. They are feeling better today, almost painless, but there is still some pain that shouldn't be there. And when I try and stretch in certain ways, I get a pain twang. So I've heard great things about Dr. Bakman, and he gives a free sports evaluation to Team in Training athletes, so I'm going tomorrow afternoon. The only unfortunate part is that I recently switched from a POS to a HMO (since I didn't use the PPO part) so if I want/need to go back to Dr. Bakman, I might have to pay an arm and a leg. If he's as good as I hear he is, it might be worth it! I'm almost 100% sure that I'm experiencing the infamous "Runner's Knee" but so far no one else has been able to rehab it... my guess is that it's mainly from tight hip flexors, especially considering that's pretty much the only area on me that has been sore from the 1/2...
Cross your fingers for me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Quickest Race Recap Ever

So I finished the OC 1/2 marathon about 2 hours ago, and yes I'm blogging about it. Eric is in the shower and I'm waiting to go eat something so I figured why not. LUCKILY there was NO rain! Yay for that 20%. It rained for like 15 minutes and then sprinkled some on the shuttle ride back which made me very glad I was not running the full marathon today. The race started off as all races do - very anti-climactic - as we walked to the start and then had to zig zag through the thousands of people to settle on our pace. As a result, we ended up running almost an extra 1/2 mile. Boo. The first few miles were uneventful and went by pretty quickly. At 7 miles we were just a little over an hour, so I figured we would be on our way to breaking 2 hours for Eric's first 1/2. I knew that I was going to hit a wall around mile 10 (of course I was with that attitude I guess!) so I tried to make up for the inevitable sucking by flying down the hills and trying to stay consistent uphills. Eric stayed pretty strong throughout the whole race, trying to go a little faster than he should have in the beginning, so I had to rein him in a couple times. Overall, he did great and I'm so proud of him :) The only low point of the race was during mile 12. We stopped for our walk break and I seriously thought I was going to throw up. Not like that fast 5K knot in your stomach kind of feeling, like I really thought my pre-race oatmeal was coming up. But it didn't, and we pushed on. Finally we reached the 13 mile marker and could see the finish line. I picked it up the best I could and then Eric took off chasing down some kids since I was "no competition" in the sprint contest.
Official time - 1:57:23 (for 13.58 miles, meaning if we hadn't have zig zagged and been crazy people, we probably would've finished closer to 1:52, since our average pace was 8:39, including a 1 minute walk break after each 9 minutes of walking.) This is 1 minute slower than my PR, but my PR is 1:56:25, and a 8:44 pace. So technically I broke my PR today, but not "officially". :( At least Eric set a PR and his first 1/2 was under 2 hours :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wicked - GO SEE IT (and potential 1/2 marathon weather update)

Eric and I went last night to the Pantages Theater last night to see Wicked and it was amazing!!! It is on Hollywood Blvd., so Eric got to see the stars for the first time ever...covered in a river of water because of the deluge coming out of the sky. I won't ruin anything, I'll just say the play is much more optimistic than the book, and some things are a little different. All in all, it was pretty awesome. This was my first official musical (I saw CATS off Broadway when I was a kid so that doesn't really count because I don't even really remember it) and Eric thinks it is up there with Les Mis (his favorite musical), so it was pretty good. The only drama was when this guy was taking pictures and the usher told him to check it downstairs and he refused and was being a real douche about it. Then the 2nd Act started and he gave up the camera. I hope they deleted all the pictures on it... not just the theater ones either!
And we lost Eric's wallet after he paid the parking lot attendant. After a search of the car when we were halfway home, we decided to turn around check the parking lot. Luckily, it was still sitting in the parking lot, waterlogged. So our night was not ruined after all!!!

1/2 Marathon Weather Update -
was 60% chance of rain, now 80% chance :( But it hasn't rained yet today so maybe it will rain late tomorrow, too. Go 20%!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

etsy.com and potential 1/2 marathon weather

I rarely watch the Rachel Ray show in the morning, but one morning a couple weeks ago I flipped it on and there was a small part of the show in which she talked about this website, etsy.com. Turns out, it's pretty cool. It's a marketplace for handmade items. I found loloandlily's shop, and asked the owner, Karen, if she would be able to make me a purplish scarflette (not to wear in Anaheim, mind you, but when we go climbing). She came up with this, which is totally awesome and I'm so happy with it -

Sadly, there will be no outdoor climbing this weekend because it's supposed to rain everywhere, and we can't go up to Bishop because Sunday is the 1/2 marathon. Rain everywhere this weekend + 1/2 marathon on Sunday = the suck. I should consider myself lucky that there is *only* a 60% chance of rain that day, and that I haven't had to run in ran in any other race in my life (except maybe a couple in high school). Eric and I are going to hit up Goodwill for some pre-race rain gear that we can shed once the race starts. At least now we kind of have an excuse if we don't break 2 hours ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ahh my back!

So I slipped on the kitty litter gravel at the Buttermilks on Sunday and landed squarely on my butt and my wrists. Luckily, didn't hurt my wrists or my shoulders, and I continued on to send a project, but a couple hours later my lower back started to get sore. It continued to get worse and still hurt when I woke up Monday morning. I realized it was not from my climbing, but from my fall (duh) which is okay, because I probably just jammed my back a little, but it sucks because I have the OC 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Granted this is a taper week, but technically I'm using the 1/2 as a training run towards the LA Marathon, so I shouldn't really be tapering anyway. I decided to take today off (except for a quick shopping stint) from physical activity to rest my back. I'm hoping it feels better tomorrow so I can do a couple short runs before the race...