Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wardrobe Malfunctions

Skirt Sports, Nicole DeBoom's company, is really on my shit list after today.

I get it, she's an athlete and thinks that every woman should have washboard abs of steel, but that ain't me babe. I have abs that resemble the Michelin man or the Pillsbury Doughboy. So after years of being told by her reps that I should buy this skirt or that and me tossing them into the back of the rotation pile - often left untouched - today one of her skirts came up. The very skirt I was assured would fit a woman of "my size."

Here's what happened on my mile run this morning, the waist band kept slipping down and down and down until it was under my belly. I spent the whole mile yanking the skirt up, tucking my shirt in, yanking up the skirt again... and again... and again.

I compare this to's product and it's night and day. They get that women like me who want to run in a skirt shouldn't be humiliated at the same time and actually design the waist band to *gasp* sit on the waist! What a concept, a running skirt that fits.

In spite of the wardrobe malfunction, I shaved another 30 seconds off my mile to 14:30 before jumping in the pool and doing my PT exercises and a few laps. The peacefulness of the pool combined with the sun and the smell of the new mown grass and buzz of lawn mowers on the athletic fields help to erase the anger I initially felt.

I'm feeling stronger and I'm ready to take on the world... after I drop a couple of running skirts off at the goodwill box.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Everybody join in!

OK, the aqua jogging experiment became a lot more fun the other day when some of the older women in the pool decided to join me. I find myself a mentor of sorts because everyday I hit the pool, do my warm ups and then run in the pool for 20-30 minutes before cool down and some PT exercises.

Who knew?

Yesterday I did run a mile and shaved a minute off my time on Tuesday. The problem was I had a crazy schedule so I didn't have time to ice or elevate my ankle until much, much later in the day and by then I was limping a bit. Again, in one of those "that's weird" moments, walking was difficult but dancing along to music was not. Whatever works I guess.

Today things feel much better and I'll go back to the brace for a couple of days until things feel happy again. It was my own damn fault for not taking care of things properly at this stage of the game. I'll head back to the pool in the disgusting heat this afternoon and promise I'll do things right today.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting Ready to Run

Today I ran in the pool for a half hour. I like the odd scissor like motion running in the pool entails, but it's been over a week of my ankle feeling like it's fine. I've been doing my ankle exercises and such so tomorrow we'll take the puppy out for test.

The road the pool is on is a 1 mile loop. Tomorrow morning I'll go for a one mile test run and then dive into the pool for some recovery. If it goes well, then I'll try again Thursday. So think of me tomorrow morning and wish me good luck.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The times they are a changing

Swimming has been a good thing over the past week. I'm not as apologetic about aqua running these days and my ankle survived a full day of the Warped Tour's Mansfield stop.

But the changes will be to my blog itself. I may migrate the whole thing over to google sites, as google owns blogspot these days. I want web pages where I can add recipes and combine my neglected "What Pikas Eat" blog with this one. So expect to see changes here soon.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Something new...

I started swimming again last week. The season opened at the pool and I picked up a tag so I could start doing laps during adult swim.

Then I tweaked my ankle a bit running on Monday. I'm not surprised, but it is what it is and I don't want to lose any conditioning. So yesterday I tried running in the pool with little success. It was awkward and difficult. My inner loser rejoiced at my flailing attempts to push through the chest high water and maintain posture.

But the competitive DNF piece of me reared it's head and beat up the inner loser. I hit Marshalls this morning to pick up an aqua belt (on clearance, so it was half the price of the other day... SCORE!) and strapped it on. While it was still awkward, I managed to push back and forth through the water for half an hour. A couple of the old ladies that show up for adult swim told me about using aqua belts in the past when they were rehabbing from broken bones.
As I pushed through the water today, I realized that when I'm out running again without the resistance, the results should be pretty exciting.

Today the ankle feels stronger, I think my body is liking the no-impact work outs. Tomorrow I'm trying a twice a day: running in the water for the early morning adult swim and then going back at lunch time for some laps. I have a month-long pass for a local gym so I think I'll head over there Friday and start using the elliptical to continue to strengthen my ankle in a non-stressful way.

It feels good. There's something deep inside that is waking up. It won't be long before I'm back on the road stronger and faster than ever before.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Today: Hingham 4th of July Road Race
Distance: 4.47 miles
Finish: 1:08:??

Yes I am enough of a nerd to think, "Hey, it's July fourth, I bet HBO w
ill be showing the complete John Adams
miniseries today. Let me see if 1776 is being shown too...." And yes, I am right on both counts. I was also right that I probably should have thought twice about doing a 4 mile race the day after running 4 miles.

I love this race. It's a mostly gradual down hill slope from the start at the Hingham Middle School to the finish under the big flag flying over Hingham Center. It's a friendly race. The annual parade rolls down the street a few hours later and people line the street. Often families set up unofficial water stops and stand with hoses for runners to run through. People play music, set out flags and cheer, cheer, cheer.

One of the sights along the way is a home owner who covers the front of his Colonial every year with the US flag. It's an amazing and inspirational sight shortly after the half way point as you make the turn from Main Street towards Hingham Center.

What isn't visible in the photo is the white chimney with black stripe rimming the top. In Revolutionary times, this was to show the home owners were Tories.

The first two miles went well. After a slow start (20 seconds before we even moved) I did a run 2/walk 2 pattern. I covered the first mile and half easily when my ankle began to bark at me.
I slowed down a bit from the 13 minute pace I was maintaining but quickly realized that running the rest of the race really wasn't in the cards for me today. I am not a DNF kinda gal, so I walked on.

I had the chance to observe the number of families around me. People with younger children being coached through by parents and family members. My favorite was a young girl running with an older brother. She was struggling so he started teasing her as only a brother could. He encouraged her, he scolded her and then, when she started whining a bit, he said, "Hey, you can run or I can throw this water in your face..." that triggered the "if you do, I'll tell mom!" threat. In the end, she ran and he didn't dose her but it was a wonderful set of moments to watch.

The most difficult part of walking was not the act of walking, it was hearing the Nike+ voice in my ear that kept calling the average pace. It continued to creep up until, just as I passed the four mile mark at the 1 hour point and it declared my 15 minute/mile pace.

After four and a quarter miles, the flag over the finish was clearly visible. I decided to jog to the finish, ankle willing. I was for a bit and I headed down the last stretch of road. I crossed at 1:08 and change.

In the end, I felt strong. In spite of the twinges in my ankle that required a bit of icing and rest. Tomorrow I will swim. A non-weight bearing exercise should further help things along and I'll test things out with a short run on Thursday.

Until then, I'll retreat into American history nerd mode watching patriotic miniseries and finally diving into "Plain, Honest Men: the Making of the American Constitution."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Alway Wear Sunscreen

w5 +(r2+w2 *12)+w5 = 4 miles

I lost a week of running for a simply stupid reason: I didn't wear sunscreen for an outdoor festival last Saturday because it looked like it was going to rain the whole day. The result was a painful sunburn and the discomfort of any weight on my shoulders. This meant no running bras were going to do and so running didn't happen for a week.

It reminds me of a quote Jimmy Buffett had about the international date line: "Damn, I do detest losing a day for no good reason at all. Back in my wilder periods I used to lose lots of days, sometimes weeks, but that was because of my own lack of discipline. Just to cross some imaginary line on the globe and be told that it is now Friday when a minute ago it was Thursday just doesn't seem fair, even if you eventually get it back."

I lost a week of running for no good reason. I went to CVS the other day and stocked up on spray on sport quality sunscreen so that it doesn't happen again.

But I'll take todays run. It was a bit more than I was probably ready for, but it felt good to get out and run.