Friday, August 29, 2014
The unseasonably pleasant weather has also meant that for those of us logging long runs ahead of Fall marathons, we don't necessarily have to wake up before dawn to beat the heat. Which is awesome, since much as I am a morning person, something about being obligated to be running by 7am on a Saturday really pisses me off. It's a Saturday. At 7am, I want to be having a diner breakfast and reading the newspaper. F*%k That!
Anyway, you'd think that, since I just spent a paragraph talking about how we don't have to get up early to run, that's not what I've chosen to complain about today. But you'd be wrong. Because this morning, I was up at 4am to do my long run before work. Weather may allow for sleeping in, but my annual weekend in the Adirondacks with my high school girlfriends calls for maximum time spent together drinking beers and eating bologna sandwiches on a boat, and minimal "sorry, I have to go running for 3 hours now, even though you live halfway across the country. I'll see you when I'm in town for the marathon, though!" And so, I decided to get my long run done this morning, before work.
That's my alarm clock. As you can see, it was set to go off at 4:00am. That part, I didn't even mind so much (I strategically cued up a little Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" which I think is probably what they should teach Navy SEALS to sing in their heads when they're undergoing sleep deprivation training, because that jam really perks you right up!). But what makes me furious is the other number you see. 20:26. That's 8:26pm for those of you not fluent in 24 hour time. That's what time I had to go to bed last night to prepare for the 4am wake up followed by 23 miles of running.
I am a 30 year old, unmarried woman with disposable incoming living in the greatest city in the world, the City That Never Sleeps, and I willingly went to bed at 8:26pm last night. F*%k That!
Have a great Labor Day weekend, kids!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
/Googles "running, French braid," sees I'm definitely not the first person to discover this...
In other news, after the aforementioned track workout this morning, I went into Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee, as I do many mornings. I have a bit of a history with this place; one morning recently, I went in after my run and the woman behind the counter said to me "oh it's raining already?" I was confused, and then realized she was asking because my shirt was completely soaked through with sweat. Yeah, it's raining, but just under my boobs and on my stomach...
Anyway, this morning I was being helped my the same woman, and was similarly sweat-soaked, when she said to me "you run a lot." People say that to me from time to time. Never before has someone said it in this tone. It was as if the "you disgusting beast" was audible at the end of the sentence. I stammered something about it being really humid out today, paid for my coffee, and beat a hasty retreat. But I ask you: am I a disgusting beast for going into Dunkin Donuts in my sweaty running clothes? I'm not sitting and staying awhile. But do I need to at least put on a dry shirt before I interact with humans? Even though I have a classy French braid?
Number of Miles Run Last Week: 51. By Saturday afternoon, I'd run 64 miles in a seven-day span. That's a lot. The strawberry milkshake derailed my running plans on Sunday, but I regret nothing.
Number of Beers Consumed Last Week: Believe it or not, just 2, despite the fact that I went out every night last week. I guess I've been hitting the vino lately. I'm sorry.
Types of Beers Consumed Last Week: Bud Light. The old standby.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
While we were hanging out, TG asked someone to take our picture, because he's ALWAYS taking pictures and putting them on social media and it's so annoying (just kidding; it's me who does that). Lo and behold, the girl he asked was Pamela, and she and her husband Monojeet recognized me from this here blog! TG was not especially impressed that I am FAMOUS on the INTERNET, but I was too busy being impressed with myself to notice.
A couple minutes before the 11am start time, the announcer encouraged us to head to the starting area and self-seed. TG and I hung in the back third of the pack, not entirely sure what we were up against with respect to the allegedly hilly course. Right on time, we took off.
The race: The first half-mile or so took us around the cricket fields on the gravel track. Not quite singletrack but not nearly a full six lanes, the track was about wide enough to handle the estimated 300-ish runners, baring a few instances I had to step to the outside grass to pass. TG and I started out together, and I thought to myself "these people are crazy if they think this is hilly."
Soon enough, though, we made a right off the track and into the woods, where TG and I separated. The shade from the thick trees overhead was a welcome change at 11am in August. The hills were not.
|That's me in the orange, hurdling over a water bar trying not to eat it. Photo|
We took those cups directly to the kegs, which were provided by SingleCut and Gun Hill Brewing. The beer was plentiful, the lines moved quickly, and best of all, the intoxicants were free. We enjoyed a couple beers standing in the sunshine (me in my new t-shirt!) talking to Pamela and Monojeet, who were super fun and nice and also like beer and marathons, which is a deciding factor when I'm evaluating potential friendships. You're in, guys.
While we imbibed, the DJ starting playing, and a few people hit the dance floor before the awards ceremony kicked off. Much as I would have liked to stay long enough to consume enough beers to make me consider hitting the dance floor myself, I had a 4pm appointment in Chelsea, so TG and I took off for our voyage home. The pics look awesome, though, so I'll make a note that for their next race, I should probably block off the whole day.
In conclusion: VERT Race Series' Trail Master Killah was a challenging but really fun course. The number of runners was just about perfect considering the width of the trails in Van Cortlandt, and despite the subway snag, getting up there is so easy I might even return under my own volition. The t-shirt is solid, and the post-race party was among the best, and certainly the most boozy, I've attended. Sounds like you missed out on a solid time, eh?
Friday, August 15, 2014
My hip: I went to see Dr. Metzl on Monday, August 4th. He had me stand on one foot and hop, lie down and press my extended leg against his hand, and summarily dismissed all my concerns of labral tears as being an issue of weakness. "Here's your problem, as a Walsh," he began, which could really go in any number of ways. "Irish people have lower bone density." I actually already knew this, because my dentist told me when I was feeling self conscious about having 700 cavities. It's not the Diet Coke, it's my heritage! In any event, in order to help my bones carry me for long distances, I have to make sure the muscles surrounding those bones are strong too, so they can take on some of the load (the load being myself). In this case, the muscles around my hip (butt, hammy, adductors or abductors, I can never remember which is which) are trying to take on that load (again, me), but aren't strong enough to do that, putting the burden back on the old bones. Having already experienced one stress fracture, I'm not too keen to repeat the process with my hip, so I've been a squatting, lunging, lateral leg lifting machine. I also (finally) attended one of Dr. Metzl's IronStrength workouts, which he'd "prescribed" for me back when my foot was broken, but of course I didn't go because I know better than a trained medical professional and also I don't particularly like the prospect of having to make friends in fitness classes. The good news is, IronStrength was awesome, I didn't have to make friends or interact with anyone (but I did!), and I was crazy sore afterwards. We did about 30 minutes of hill repeats, including skipping, which was alarmingly difficult, and then 30 minutes of plyometrics, which was laughably impossible for me. The next workout is August 27th and you should come!
Training: After my accidental return to running, things have been going well. My weekly mileage in hovering around 50, my long run is up to 18 miles, and I had a solid GMP workout (8 miles with 6 @ 7:30) this week. The next couple of weeks really start to bulk up, mileage wise, but I'm feeling pretty comfortable with that, provided the hip continues to hold up.
Racing: Tomorrow, I'm headed to the Bronx for my first foray into Van Cordlandt Park and the VERT Race Series Trail Master Killah 5k. It doesn't start until 11am, so even if you're hungover, you can still make it. Plus, there's beer there, and a little hair of the dog never hurt anyone.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I'd be remiss if I didn't share a link to the Norris Cancer Center at USC, where Maddy was treated. Her case of metastatic melanoma was a particularly tricky one, as she'd grown resistant to the BRAF immunotherapy she had been receiving. USC Norris is using Maddy's cancer cells today to help develop treatments for those like her who develop this resistance, and you can support that research by making a donation in her name here. It seems like a cruel irony that Maddy isn't still with us, but her cancer cells are, but since they are, I hope Dr. Wong's lab at USC Norris can make good use of them.
|Maddy was my friend even though I wear my running clothes everywhere.|
P.S. Maddy was diligent about protecting her skin, but now seems like as good a time as any to point out that everyone should wear sunscreen, everyday, and go to the dermatologist for regular screenings.
Friday, August 8, 2014
I found out almost as soon as I sat down at my desk on Wednesday morning, and promptly got up and left for the day. When I got home, though, I realized I didn't want to be in my apartment either. I didn't know what else to do, so I went for a run.
I don't remember what happened after that. My Garmin says I ran for about 13 miles, down the East River and back up the West Side Highway, but that only sounds vaguely familiar. Grief is a weird thing I guess.
Anyway, it feels dumb and shallow to be like "I said I wasn't going to run last week but then my friend died and I didn't know how to process emotions without running, so instead of not running, I've been doing it nonstop," but that's the truth.
|With Maddy and her husband Ryan and friend Megan after the Surf City Marathon, 2010|
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
To recap (and this is as much for me to take to the doctor as it is to bring you up to speed): the first week in June, my hip locked up in a 90 degree angle for a few seconds (which seemed like hours) and it did not feel awesome. I took 8 days off from running, and then was able to run a half marathon without pain the last weekend in June. Pretty much since then, though, while I have seldom experienced overt pain, there is a periodic pinching in my left hip joint, both while running and while walking. Twisting motions reliably produce this sensation. This has increased in frequency over the past several weeks, though there seems to be no connection between speed or distance and the pinching.
To combat it, I've been doing squats and reverse lunges, as well as some cross training (SoulCycle and yoga). It is unclear what if any effect this has had, though I better be getting a nice ass out of this.
Symptoms seem consistent with hip impingement or acetabular labrum tear. Both are manageable with PT and rest (according to the internet), and while I'm extraordinarily bullheaded when it comes to these kinds of things, I'd rather bail on Chicago, or have a fun, easy run in a city I love, than grind my hip cartilage to a pulp in the name of racing Chicago, only to wind up with arthritis as a 31 year old.
I'll be reaching out to my old pal Dr. Jordan Metzl today to see if he can see me in the coming days. To that end, this might be the last weekly mileage wrap up you'll see for awhile...
Number of Miles Run Last Week: 21. I was traveling for work again last week, and these miles were a mix of treadmill and Charles River runs. I bailed on a long run last week, because by Saturday, it was pretty clear that my hip was not getting any better. Neither was my hangover, but there's more on that below...
Number of Beers Consumed Last Week: Just 4. Oh god but I had a tequila shot on Saturday night (yes, on a business trip...) and it was horrible. I was hungover until Sunday night from that. Never again.
Types of Beers Consumed Last Week: Lagunitas IPA, Shipyard IPA, and something else whose name escapes me.
Any experience with hip impingement or acetabular tear? Any recommendations for how to heal this shit ASAP and still enjoy the Chicago Marathon, 10 weeks from now?