Monday, September 29, 2008

ooo shiny medal

The latest is the one with the green/white ribbon. Ooooo shiny...

Not so bad, actually

The title refers to this weekend's runs, NOT the picture. It's pretty bad:

But, the NOCC 5k felt good and was a nice, flat course, so I came in 3rd female 30-39. Here's the Brak Pak contingent at the end (I hadn't gotten my shiny medal yet - I love shiny medals).

Sunday's 18 miles also went pretty well. I'm not saying they were fun, but I managed to run them all without pain shooting down my left leg. I think Friday's massage helped a lot. Unfortunately, after running 18, I got home and couldn't quite keep my eyes open for the dumb Packers game that we should have won.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Running into the weekend

Ah, almost the weekend. After work, I'm getting a massage to try to loosen my hip/piriformis area before the weekend. Tomorrow is the NOCC/Pureology Break the Silence on ovarian cancer 5k. Whew, what a name. A group from the Brak Pak is running for one couple's mom/mother-in-law, who is still in the hospital recovering from surgical complications secondary to ovarian cancer. I'll be taking it slow - I really shouldn't be trying any 'speed work' (not too much emphasis on 'speed') with a pissed off piriformis.

Then, I WILL clean the house and mow, because Sunday involves 18 miles of running followed by watching football while prone with a bag o' peas on my bum.

I hope your weekend's a little more exciting than all that!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reality bites

Nope, not going to stop training. It's not that kind of pain that means STOP, but now that the shot has worn off (but[t] for the painful butt-shot bruise - that's just not fair), running the 2 mile zoo run tonight was tough. The shooting pain down the leg hasn't returned, but it was "pinging" down my leg for the first 1/2 mile. {I apologize for all these highly technical medical terms - docs just love it when I describe it like that - okay, only docs that run, bike, or swim.}

I tried to sleep for a bit and kept waking up with stabbing hip/buttock pain. Tomorrow, I suck it up and call the orthodoc. And hope, hope that he doesn't want to stick me with sharp needles.

Regardless, up next: 8 miles tomorrow night, 5k Saturday, 18 miles Sunday. I'm going to find me a tube of the cream Teecycle Tim recommended and ice/warm my bum...

Confessions of a big wussy

I dread - no - FEAR medical treatment. Ironically, I now spend my days reading and writing about medical procedures, from surgeries to invasive procedures, including spinal taps and epidural steroid injections (ESIs). And it didn't bother me much until I got the referral to the orthodoc today. I started researching advanced treatment for piriformis syndrome for folks who won't just rest - and one treatment is ESI. I almost passed out just reading the procedure protocol. X-rays guiding a long, sharp needle into my back? WHAT?????....sorry, almost passed out again.

Seriously, I experience physical symptoms from my fear of medical treatment. I have barfed on optometrists (as an adult), passed out in waiting rooms (before even going in), been asked to leave when trying to donate blood (after fainting for the umpteenth time), passed out after a shot (after I'd left the office - just THINKING about the shot), and on and on. I'm a big, big wussy.

So, I'm postponing calling the orthopedist until the pain overwhelms the fear. I'm pretty sure that will be around mile 15 of Sunday's 18 mile run. Such a wussy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well, I was right. It's piriformis syndrome and it's a pain in the butt. The doc said less running (not happening), ice, heat, motrin. She offered an anti-inflammatory shot in the butt, and I balked. I generally elect not to get stabbed with sharp things. But when I told her that tomorrow's run is 17 miles, she said "get the shot." So, I feel better for now - no stabbing pain, just achy - but this will only last a couple of days. The orthopedist will likely only be able to do the same - steroid shots and that nasty look they give when they say "and lay off the running." *sigh*

Friday, September 19, 2008

Zoo Relay Pics

Lucky you - no action shots, but here I am in my crooked visor at the start of the Zoo Relay last Friday. (I'm holding Maria's bib and hoping I don't have to run 2 legs - I didn't.)
And afterward, some post-race festivities...

(Maria forgot her Brak Pak shirt). Slow running, good times, and a sore hip...

Thanks to Yvonne for the pics.

Biting the bullet

Well, I'm heading to the doc on Saturday for a likely MRI of my left hip and referral to PT (and that nasty look all docs give you when they say "and no running," knowing full well that you aren't listening). I've been dreading it all week. But then, I've also been hopping around and trying to run through bad nerve-impinging pain. Two more months and I can rest a bit. Until then, it's 17 miles on Sunday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Almost Famous

A t-shirt that I once bought as part of a package at a silent auction at the San Antonio Zoo - and subsequently sent to a guy named Tim - became the 100th shirt sold on! Yep, it's right here. I think that makes me almost famous in the "wear global, think local" movement that he made up. I like it.

More Meteorologic Mysteries

Brak Pak Chiks ran the 24th "Animal" Zoo Relay on Friday night - no finishing medals or ugly race pics yet, though. This is normally a HUGE race - hundreds of teams x 4 runners; however, it was somewhat smaller this year, most likely due to the ominous hurricane weather predictions - and the 100 degree weather. The kids' zoo race on Saturday (where I volunteer) was even canceled. So, I planned a leisurely Saturday putzing around the house and reading, since I clearly would not be able to mow in hurricane weather. And, on Saturday, I got 10 rain drops. Really. I still used it as an excuse not to mow, though.

Sunday brought another 6-8 rain drops and a step-down 12 mile run. On the last (down)hill, my hip really went haywire, shooting pain down my leg, so there is a trip to the massage therapist and (maybe) doctor in my near future. Dumb hip/sciatic/whatever.

The hurricane did bring in something nice, though: weather in the 80s all week! I don't care if my hip hurts - weather like this is such a nice running break!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It's strange. I got a call from the dealership congratulating me on two years of owning the pod (Yaris hatchback). And I started thinking. I seem to make major decisions or have major changes this time of year. Eight years ago, I was redeploying from Sarajevo and starting to leave the Army. Four years ago, I was passing the bar exam. Two years ago, I was buying the pod (big deal when I hadn't bought a car in 10 years). One year ago, I bought my first house and changed jobs - likely forever.

Maybe it's a bit of the military tarnish on me - you get used to PCSing (moving) and changing jobs at a certain time at a certain interval. I don't know. My other "big change" period is in Spring (March-May), when I've married, moved, divorced, changed jobs, separated from the military, deployed, and many other crazy things.

Or maybe it's just that those are the marathon seasons - Spring and Fall - and I didn't know that these crazy 26.2 mile runs were eventually going to control my path. At least marathons are, in many ways, easier events than some of those!

- Even though tonight's 4 miles hurt (HURT!), and Rock N Roll San Antonio's still months away, I'm thinking about running the Marine Corps Marathon next October - if I can get in. I remembered how much I like DC in June and my buddies Candide & Jeff (below) are moving there soon - so if we could control the wine consumption the night before the run and my hip heals, I could do it...

Hurricane craziness

I'm not sure where folks here THINK we are on the map, but it's to the left of the red. I'm not saying we're not in for some ugly weather Saturday, but fighting over generators at Lowe's and hoarding water?! Just wait til they see me running 11-12 miles in 100 mph winds and rain - it sure beats hailstones, but that was an ill-advised run.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Friday's Race - Zoo Relay

Next up, Friday's Zoo Relay, a 4 x 2 mile relay. The Brak Pak Chiks are down one, though. My buddy, Carolyn, had to go on CAT detail (or kitten detail, as I like to call it) and is stuck somewhere near the coast. We kid each other because we used to be on different sides of litigation in these types of cases, but she has the unfortunate tasks right now of crawling on roofs and dealing with unhappy and desperate folks.

Fortunately for me, the only unhappy and desperate folks I surround myself with these days are ex-boyfriends (kinda not really). We picked up a Brak Pak sub and will run Friday night - happy and un-desperate - barring an early visit by Hurricane Ike.

Tomorrow night - plain ol' zoo run and 5-7 miles on Thursday.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ants and aches

This morning, I woke up to immensely itchy feet. It started last night when I went out back to throw a ball around with the dogs. I felt a little tickle on my feet, which is the precursor for ALL ANTS BITING AT ONCE. Ouch. I ran into the kiddie/doggie pool, earning an empathetic look from Gwen the pitoodle, and those little suckers kept on biting even as they drowned.

So, after my mass ant killing, I was itching and itching this morning. And then, as I contorted to itch some more, I realized - I could move my hip without stabbing pain! I guess I'll be making massage part of my training routine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yet another nemesis

Yes, I have more nemeses than Batman. And this one isn't even a person.

When I first arrived in San Antonio, I wondered why there was a football stadium on the East side of the city, when there was no professional football team?! It turns out that there has been quite the drama surrounding this facility, involving an esteemed county judge, San Antonio resident/former Vikings owner 'Red' McCombs, the New Orleans Saints, and many, many other plotlines. Little did I know when I first drove into town, however, that the Alamodome would become my nemesis.

Last year, I was training for the Dallas marathon with folks who were training for the New York marathon; so our mileage, at times, differed. The way I added mileage on long runs was to 'run the dome,' since once around the dome (the long way) is 1 mile. Man, I was sick of that Dome.

This year, we're training for the same marathon, so I haven't had to run Dome-laps, but Saturday's 15 miles included the lap 'round the Dome. And my hip was hurting and I was nauseous. And I still don't like that nemesis Dome.

So, a day after the 15-miler and I'm off to get a massage in the hope that it alleviates the hip pain and helps me to avoid the MRI and PT that are probably needed. For now, I'm blaming it on the Alamodome.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meteorologic Mystery

I'm not sure how it works, but when hurricanes make landfall in the Gulf, it gets HOT here. So, last night was just a 5 mile run in the 100 degree heat. Good thing summer became "officially" over with the Labor Day weekend. Riiiight. Here are some additional ugly race pics of the water stop at the top of one of the hills from the Labor Day Whine Run.
I'm back there in the red shirt with white lettering - s-l-o-w-l-y making it up the hill.
And taking my sweet time through the water stop (#423)...And the truth of the matter (below):

But the pain subsides when you relax in the vineyard afterward...

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics. Tonight: 2 mile zoo run (I'm thinking slowish)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ain't Nothin' Gonna Hold Me Back

It didn't matter that I suffered 'intestinal distress' all last week, nor did it matter that my hip was still killing me. It didn't matter that my body went on strike and slept in (late!) on Saturday, meaning that I had to run 14 miles on Sunday. I still made it to the Labor Day Whine Run in the hill country to take some nice, ugly race pics. This is one I like to call the "sleepy chicken."
Yeah, with the long run on Sunday, generally cruddy feeling, and hills, I decided to take this race nice and easy. The race involved 5 miles of hills and, this year, nearly 800 runners/walkers. Even though I thought the route was easier than past years' routes, I still finished a pathetic 5 minutes over last year's time. Pathetic is pretty much how this one looks, too, but a little less chicken-like:

I recovered over a glass (or two) of wine at the vineyard, however, and went home to crash on the couch. Tonight - 7 or 8 miles, I'm sure.

[Katrina - looks like you got me by 8 places in the evil age group!]