MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 2, 2010

I Want To Be A Supermodel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:00

Hmmmm I think there’s a movie being filmed in my ‘hood.  The past two days on my early morning runs there have been cameras and trailers and PYRO / BLOWING UP STUFF equipment.  I’ve been wayyyy tempted to stop and say “hey do you guys need a hot blond as an extra?”.  Which last month there was an American Eagle commercial being shot in the town my dad works at and he invited me over (he was working the shoot (he’s a cop and was there for traffic/people control) and I did say that.  I was turned down.  Silly modeling/advertisement people.

You think they’d want to cast a chick that looks like this

Clearly ANTM missed out when they rejected me

But onto the running.  Because I’m clearly more successful as a runner than model.

Or not as on Wednesday I had an “eh” run.  It was lethargic and slow and dragging.  I think that, even if you haven’t been reading this for that long, you know that I go through cycles of not sleeping well.  Apparently this is one of them.

Yes I know that I’m getting up early to run out (0530 takes its toll over the course of several days) and I’m going to bed pretty late.  But I think it’s turning into a this-is-what-my-body-knows things.  Hopefully I can do some catch up this weekend.

And the weather here in New England is very dog-days-of-August, despite this run kicking off September.  It’s not the temperatures so much but the humidity.  Every morning when I get up it’s at least 85% out.  Usually 90+%.  So yeah, it’s very humid out.  I know I can’t really complain because A) I live in New England and this is to be expected and B) many of you deal with humidity on a much more regular basis than me.

But humidity = lots of sweating.  And since I avoid water for some really annoyingly strange reason, dehydration could be a culprit. That and the antibiotics as it’s recommended to drink an addition 1-2 cups of fluid while on them.  Riiiiiiiiiiight.

I guess part of it could also be nutrition.  I definitely eat “the right foods” (aka not fast food all the time despite indulging in the good stuff every day like ice cream 🙂 ) But, especially on clinic days, I’m not likely eating enough.  It’s just really hard to make sure I am because I’m at the clinic for 9-10 hours and I’m constantly doing stuff.  It’s nice to know I’m important around here but it would be nice to be able to eat a meal at work rather than just snack all day.

Anyway.  Enough with the excuses!  The reason I mention it is A) I have the tendancy to look for negatives (or as my amazingly nice friends put it: whine) and B) by writing it out I have an incentive to change it.  I mean, if I don’t you guys will hate on me! hahah 🙂

But here’s the data for Wednesday:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:12
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:46
  • Add-on : 1.1 miles @ 8:15
  • Total: 9.3 miles @ 8:53

So much for wanting to start September off with a bang.  Slow to start, like always, but slower than usual.  I definitely picked it up later in the run and managed to salvage a sub-9 overall average but it wasn’t enough to make me feel really good about the run.

Especially, and I don’t know if others notice this, but each loop and the 1.1 add on felt the same physically.  Even though I was going much faster later.  I don’t really know why that is buttttt it’s nice as well as annoying.  If I’m going fast I want to feel FAST not simply the same as my slower start!

On Thursday I had an earlyish doctor’s appointment so I got up at … yes 0530 again.  I’m really hoping that this weekend lets me sleep in a bit.  As per usual this week my run was a bit on the slower side.  See excuses above for reasons why.

So I’ll just let the data speak for itself

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:08
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:44
  • Add-on: 1.1 miles @ 8:28
  • Total: 9.3 miles @ 8:53

Somehow my average pace worked out to be the exact same despite have two very different experiences on the runs.  Weird. More even pacing here but I really like ending *really* fast.  Still, I can’t really complain about it too much because I like the decreasing pace trend over the run.

Another really humid one out there and I’m really hoping the hurricane that’s suppose to hit New England demolishes it.  Sure I can handle heat but I will hate on humidity freely.

Hopefully it comes and goes before my half this weekend.  But I don’t really watch the news anymore so I really couldn’t tell you.  All I was told was to go to the store on Wednesday to buy essential because if I went on Thursday nothing would be there.  Oh panicky New Englanders.  I highly doubt we’ll get hit that badly.  We never do.  Except for The Perfect Storm.  Which I should go watch again.  Because George Clooney + Mark Whalberg = gloriousness.

As for the doctor’s appointment.  It was half follow up on the toe – half hello-I’m-your-new-patient.  So she checked all my vitals and family history and stuff (yay for having a PCP!).  Then she took a look at my toe.  She declared it on its way to being healed. She also had a bit on insight on why I keep getting them.

The short version: the pounding on my feet from running is making my feet susceptible because of the trauma that any amount of running does to them.  I did tell her how much I run and she didn’t think that was a source. I’m not saying that mileage isn’t a factor (these infections did start just before I started training for my first marathon) but during each infection my mileage has varied.

It’s the running itself that’s the root. And the way my body is responding to it.  Not the best answer (like it doesn’t answer hey, why all of a sudden in the past 18 months?) and I think in combo with my stress-induced theory it works.

But she didn’t tell me to not run.  Rather she referred me to a podiatrist so that I can come up with a plan to make sure I minimize the trauma that it happening to my feet.  Yet another doctor and copay to deal with. I’ll likely have to see someone else too, maybe a sports medicine doctor, but I feel better that *someone* gave me an answer other than “well gee whiz.  I don’t know why you’re getting these infections.”

And then it was off to work.  And my workweek is, for all intents and purposes, over.  Today we had a cook out in the parking lot.  As in: I got here at noon and didn’t do any work because of the lunch cook out because I socialized for a couple hours.  Productive? Not really.  But I’m really thinking I made the right choice with this job.  They might work us hard but they reward us pretty well too. Next month is falafels or breakfast.  Yes be jealous 😛

Whew. Long recap. Oops.  But it’s Thursday.  Meaning that by the time your reading this (slash by the time I post this) it’s going to be late in the day.  And then it’s almost Friday.  So the work week is essentially over.  And what better way to pretend to do work than read about me?!

Seriously.  It’s like I’m doing you a favor by writing so much 😉

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August 30, 2010

WATERFIRE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:00

WITH PICTURES!  Although the quality of said pictures might be a bit rough.  Oops.

Thanks for the get-better messages on that one.  I was lucky enough to TRUST myself and not go to bed on Saturday night thinking I could wait until morning.

And I’m lucky enough that, despite not seeing eye to eye with my mom with pretty much anything, she told me to do what I needed to do and not worry about the cost of the ER.  Because my co-pay is ridiculous and, I’m not going to lie, money is stressful and very tight right now. (Let’s just say that it took me many months to pay off my ER trips last April.)

So off I went and I’m glad I did so. Between 2300 on Saturday and 0200 Sunday morning when I was seen in the ER my toe went from slightly pink to vibrant red, throbbing and spreading.  I shudder to think of what it would have been if I had waited the 8+ hours.  Likely I’d have been on IVs again.

Sorry for those who get squeemish. I just really love this picture. And those that have been taken of the actual infection in my toe / leg from this past April. But I know that some people aren't fascinated with this stuff so I'll keep the really gross ones to myself 🙂

And to answer questions I’ve been getting as to why I keep getting these infections (this is my 5th in 18 months.)  Well I don’t really know and no doctor can give me a good answer.  I think it has to do with times of great stress in my life where ordinary bacteria getting into cuts on my feet (I go barefoot a lot and get blisters on occasion) are allowed to take over because my immune system is all over my stressed life.  Each infection has correlated to an extremely stressful week or two of my life. I do have an appointment with a podiatrist and sports med doctor in the near future just to get other ideas and answers especially because, as the ER doc I saw put it, I can’t keep going on antibiotics every 3-6 months.  That’s not good or healthy.

But for now I’m back on the antibiotics to take every 6 hours for the next 7 days.  And I actually started to feel better after ~24 hours on the stuff.  Wahoo.

[EDIT: Oh snap. This means I can’t drink for the next 10 days!]

Whew.  That was long winded. So I’m going to move on as this is already reading like ToeFest.  Or something like it.

I doubt you want to really read a full recap of my standard Monday morning 2 X 4.1 mile run on the path again.  But I know you guys must like reading something about my running so here’s what went down:

  • 1st loop:  4.1 miles @ 9:18 pace
  • 2nd loop:4.1 miles @ 8:42
  • Total:        8.2 miles @ 9:00

Ugh.  It’s definitely been a LONG time since I’ve seen 9 as the first number in a pace. And it’s definitely the slowest I’ve run since moving. Or since…the early spring? Oh well.

My legs just felt dead and the fact that I got 4 hours of sleep Saturday (hello ER) and then 5.5 hours of sleep Sunday night (hello early wake-up) after 11 hours on Friday night (hello gloriousness) and I’m sure my body was rebounding hard.  Throw in some really awesome runs at the end of last week, including my LR, and, well, to say that a really slow run this morning is a surprise would be a lie.

I also realized at 2000 last night that I was taking part in Shelly’s 10 day streak so I laced up my shoes for 1.1 miles.  Not the biggest deal ever and I really can’t use this as an excuse for a slow run — but I am 😛

I really like how my second loop was wayyy faster than the first.  I suspect it’s because I was trying to stave off being passed.  It was unsuccessful (this guy was flying!) but the passing happened a lot later than I thought it would.  So clearly I picked it up.

Now onto the fun 😀

So on Saturday night, before I made my little trip to the ER, I went to Waterfire.  Which is awesome.  If any of you guys are in Providence on September 11 or October 9th I highly recommending you get your butt there.

In case you were too lazy to click the link I provided Waterfire is:

WaterFire Providence®, the award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence, has been praised by Rhode Island residents and international visitors alike as a powerful work of art and a moving symbol of Providence’s renaissance. WaterFire’s one hundred sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the firetenders passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the paths of Waterplace Park. WaterFire has captured the imagination of over ten million visitors, bringing life to downtown, and revitalizing Rhode Island’s capital city.

See, I can be lazy too and just copy and paste what Waterfire is from the link I provided 🙂

I’ve been to Waterfires in the past, my school isn’t terribly far away from it, but this year was different as this is MY city.  I was able to WALK from my apartment to downtown and then up and down the canal.

And if you’ve been paying attention I did a 13.5 mile LR on Saturday before going out and walking for 2 hours along said canal.

It’s really pretty.  But the first thing my roommate and I found out was that they

…wait for it…

serve alcohol and let you walk around with it.  So we proceeded to let some boys buy us beer and then we literally get drunk on the streets of Providence.  Okay so maybe not wicked drunk or anything but tipsy.  Because when else am I going to be able to buy a beer and carry it around with me while walking downtown?

That’s right. The next Waterfire.  But there’s only two more left this season.  So I need to enjoy it while I can (and luckily I’ll be off antibiotics by then muahaha).

Roomie love

Obviously there were lots of people there to see the sculptures on the water being lit and listen to the many opera singers who were lined up along the water singing to the symphony being played on the loudspeakers.  But there were also other attractions on some of the side streets.

Like the band that was playing swing music and there was an actual raised dance stage.  They also played Sinatra to which me and my roomie had to leave because it was sad that we didn’t have any boys to dance with.

Note to self: find hot boy for next Waterfire. I was wayyyy jealous of everyone who was dancing. And if you know me then you know I don’t dance well at all. There were fathers dancing with daughters, old couples etc and everyone was having a blast.

I know it's a terrible picture but see that old man front and center? He was ADORABLE and a great dancer and I wanted to cut in and dance with him!

Along the canal there were also GONDOLIERS.  I couldn’t get a good picture at all of them (silly fire making flash photography impossible but my hands are too shaky for a non-flash pic) but it was AWESOME.

Next time I will go on one of the boats.  Life goal.

A really bad picture but if you look closely the dark figure at the end of the boat is the gondalier.

We also walked through / below the bridges of the canal, which I don’t have any pictures of because it was so busy and dark.  It was wayyy romantic and couples everywhere though so my roomie and I felt a wee bit out of place.  But we were still feeling good and happy, the whole drinking in the streets thing.

After two hours of walking and drinking we decided to head back to our apartment.   And I attempted to get a picture of one of the massive hills that I run/walk on.  It wasn’t very successful but let me say that when at the top of this hill, you look out onto the city below and all of a sudden you think there’s no more road.  Because the road just drops.

But I don’t think this picture does it justice.

See that little hill in the background? Straight. Up

So apparently Saturday was a very eventful and productive day: 13.5 mile long run, getting some good draft work on my application essays, Waterfire and a trip to the ER where I got only oral antibiotics (yay) and a referral to a primary care physician in the area.

A good exciting day indeed 🙂

August 29, 2010

Another Long Run and Some Shoe Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

(Let’s see if I can keep my knowledge of how to schedule posts.  Today (Sunday) I’m working on my application essays all day — or at least that’s the goal. I’m also trying to recover from the first of these this summer/fall.  Good times. All to be recap-ed later because I *gasp* took pictures!

So I wrote the portion about my LR on Saturday after the run was done and then tried to edit it so I could keep the tone/tenses correct for readers reading today after putting in stuff about my run today.  It may or may not have been a success.  I guess you’ll have to read and see 🙂 )

I slept for 11 hours Saturday night. For real. Like, who am I?!  I guess that I was really sleep deprived this week?!

I also guess that the massive amounts of coffee I drank on Friday didn’t affect my bedtime.  I will say that, while I am completely addicted to caffeine (I get the headaches and withdrawal if  I don’t have it everyday) the amount in the coffee I had might have been too much.  I wasn’t jittery or shaky during the day but it was kind of like an outer body experience until about dinnertime.

Oops. And I didn’t end up having any more caffeine that day.  No diet coke with lime for me.  So sad but I just did not need it. Lesson learned.

The lesson being more sleep is a good thing.  I didn’t exactly wake up feeling all renewed but it was nice to have gotten a large fix of some “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.

Obviously this being a good thing as I planned a long run for Saturday. I really like putting my LR on Saturdays for some reason.  I used to do them on Sundays because I felt that’s when runners did them but when training for my first marathon I got into the habit of running long on Saturdays.  And then during one summer I even did them on Fridays because my weekends were so packed with working 10 hour days.  Just goes to show you how one thing doesn’t fit all.

Anyway back  to the run at hand.

Since I’m still new to the area I’ve been relying on mapmyrun to give me routes.  Or rather I search for routes other people have done in the area and then slightly modify them.  Today I took on of the routes and did it as is.  I did have to tack on about a half mile total to it because the start of the map wasn’t my apartment (how rude!).

I think it’s always slightly risky when trying out new runs in areas that you haven’t been in before.  Hell I think it’s risky even driving in areas that you haven’t been in before because, especially in a city, you just don’t know who lives there, what the roads are like etc.

But I’m a risk taker. Clearly  😛

Courtesy of google images

The fact that my route wasn’t tested out or previewed in a car by me was…okay.  Last weekend I did this (run without seeing all the roads) and it worked out okay.  I made a few minor errors but luckily the area where I was running is a place where I could easily correct: I was in an area where I could “see” the map in my head because it’s on College Hill and the roads are pretty logical.  I wasn’t exactly flying blind today but there was that potential so I was a bit nervous.

But I was really gung-ho about this run because I was going to be able to run through a park/golf course/pretty area with ponds.  Getting to said area might be difficult but the rewards were great.

Plus I got to run in two states (I almost wrote two *different* states but figured “duh they’d be different”.  I can be so blond at times haha) How awesome is that?!

And before I get into my run I want to say “great job” to all those who are doing/have done their 20 milers this week.  I got back from my long run, read about everyone’s 18-20-ers and suddenly what I did felt very short indeed 😉

Not that my run was too shabby.  I ran 13.57 miles (of course in my log book it goes in as 13.5 hah!). This is farthest I’ve run since about mid-June.  I know I did lots of doubles/triples this summer where my miles were way high for a day but for a single run it’s been awhile since I ran this far. I think I’ve done a handful of 11-ers but that’s it. It made me a little nervous but nerves mean you care, right?

Answer: Right.

So I set out in beautiful sunny weather.  Yay 🙂

So I put on my shades to cover up my eyes. But rather than feeling like a star and not stopping my shine I was feeling eh.  And I’ve probably already linked to this song/video but it’s awesome. So deal.

Feeling eh? Well I definitely started out that way.  But I just told myself to relax and my legs would warm up a bit.  I think that my legs feel the same way on all my other runs too but since I left at noon for this run my brain was actually awake and could process the stuff.  But true to form I did warm up and was off.

The way I ended up running my route had me running the more “industrial” part of the run first which I liked.  Not that I liked running through real legit city but rather that I got to run the second part last. This section (aka the first 7 miles) was kind of boring, lots of pavement and no shade.  Granted the temps were outrageous but sunlight shining directly on you makes you hot.

Once I got to the park (and any subsequent pictures are from google as I didn’t bring my camera.  But this is the area I was running in) the place was stunning.  Apparently there’s this bike path that runs about 10 miles or so.  I ended up only running 3 of the miles but I really can’t wait to go back and explore.

Surprisingly I didn’t see  *that* many people out running/walking/biking.  The weather was perfect for this stuff! Granted there were a ton of families in the park area itself and the smell of s’mores and grilling was mighty tempting for stopping.  But with a view like this how could I?!

After passing through the park I got back onto the main roads and headed back to my apartment.  I could definitely tell that my pace had picked up over the course of miles 4-10 and with about 3 left I wanted to see if I could keep up with that.  Obviously I needed have worried because once I lock into a pace I’m there or faster.  So, while I don’ t have data for each mile, I’m really confident that I can say I negative split this one too.

My final stats were: 13.5 miles at 8:27 pace.

It was very very tempting to run until I hit 14 miles.  Without a garmin that would have been tough to guesstimate.  Or hit 2 hours even.  But there really wasn’t any real reason to do that.

Why?

Because, and I realized this during mile 5 of my run today, I’m running a half marathon next week.  Or at least I’m really thinking about it.  I’ve run it a couple times in the past and this year would be running it with Lacey. Of course I’m not registered yet (and won’t until race day) but it’s an opportunity that has presented itself and, barring anything popping up unexpectedly, I’ll likely be doing it.  Exciting.

Also exciting? I’m getting another black toenail.  Okay so maybe not terribly exciting especially as I just got rid of one.  But the aching in this toe has felt suspiciously like my toe infections of the past so I’m glad that it appears to be just a banged up toe.  Of course now I’ve jinxed myself and will likely end up in the hospital again.  Like in the next hour.

As far as today (Sunday) I got out for an “early bird” recovery run (quotes because it was a first thing run.  Not because I was up early ha!).  Nothing serious on that front and I’m surprisingly not too banged up.

Well that was what I had planned to run today. Oh hubris.  Clearly I wrote that sentence on Saturday before my ER trip.

After spending the night in the hospital due to the fact that my toe is, in fact, infected, those plans have changed.  Sunday is now a forced rest day.  I still maintain that I don’t feel banged up but my toe is pulling out the trump card.  Luckily I wasn’t stubborn this time and got to the hospital BEFORE the infection spread from the actual toe so I’m only on oral antibiotics now.  Also kind of a good thing I went because now I have a primary care doctor which I was lacking in this city up until…well technically I still am because I need to call on Monday but I have a name and number!

I’ve also made plans to go to the local running store today just to try and make some running friends and connections in the running world. I want to be in the know in my new city. I may also have to break the bank and purchase new running shoes as these are what I’m currently running in

Note the blood and the fact that the heels do not have the fabric anymore.

Yes that is a hole in the mesh of the toe box

But from the outside they look okay and not too worn. Right?!

I probably should be more embarrassed about posting these pictures than I really am. But really, what can you expect after getting just north of 1700 miles.

But now it’s time to get back to working.  I swear I’m making some progress on my application essays! Slow and steady right?

May 2, 2010

Monthly Recap: April 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:25

April was…an interesting month to say the least.

The foundation for the  month really started on March 28th when I ran the Eastern States 20 Miler.  If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile then this is review but for any new readers that race was awful for me.  I had been dealing with shin splits and there wasn’t a single pain free step that whole race.  I had to take lots of time off that week because I don’t think I could have run on my shins.  I honestly had thought that I had fractured my shin.

Flashforward to the next weekend and I ended up in the hospital for an infection in my toenail.  I had to have a minor procedure and no running for another few days.  By the time I felt okay to run it was ~10 days pre-Boston.  I still wasn’t doing any speedwork and the actual running I was doing was minimal.

Then Boston happened and I ran the race of my life (well so far. Hopefully I improve as the years go on ha!).  I had no pain and ran a PR with a negative split.  Then came recovery for a few days and I got two decent runs in before I was back in the hospital for the staph infection that I needed an IV for.  Aka no running.

Soooooo April was a HUGE nosedive from previous months with intensity and miles.  Which I’m trying to be okay with.  I have two thoughts on it, one is that this sucks.  Hardcore.  I’m so type A that to be forced to back off is mind blowing and slightly terrifying.  Granted things worked out with the marathon (PR baby) but it’s still hard for me to trust that rest works.  The other thought is that rest works.  My body needed this month to be not intense running wise.  And it was a good mental exercise too.

I keep going back and forth between the mindsets with some days easier than others. But such is life I guess.

With that all said, here’s how the weeks broke down with a sentence or so about them.  I was lazy (or too distracted by NOT running) this month to do them as the weeks passed so my memory is kind of shaky.

Week of March 29 – April 4

  • 54.5 miles
  • 8 hours 46 minutes 8 seconds
  • 9:39 pace
  • 3 x core, 1x lift, LOTS of  XT

Well so much for really cutting back post-Eastern States.  Although I suppose that 54<100. At this point I decided to 100% cut out speedwork for the remainder of the cycle up until Boston (and which is why during the weekly breakdown all the average paces are SO SLOW.  No speedwork to pull those paces down).  I also reduced the lifting this week from 3X –> 1X and then after that first week of the month lifting got cut completely. Partly because of taper, partly out of my shins.

Week of April 5 – 11

  • 38.7 miles
  • 6 hours 2 minutes 27 seconds
  • 9:22 pace
  • 5 X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Really ramped up the XT here with the further decrease in miles.  I think I got a little obsessive and worried that my cardio-fitness was going to be lost though because I was constantly thinking that I should go back to the gym to do more!

Week of April 12-19

  • 27.8 miles
  • 4 hours 26 minutes 42 seconds
  • 9:36 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT, One rest day

Took my first 100% rest day in a *very* long time* (like November?)

Week of April 19 – 25

  • 40.7 miles
  • 5 hours 54 minutes 59 seconds
  • 8:43 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Week of Boston! Which is why the average pace is WAY lower than the other weeks ha! I got two 7 milers over this weekend and my legs definitely felt recovered (which makes what happened on Sunday — toe infection — so hard to deal with) although by the end my quads were a little fatigued.

Week of April 26 – May 2

  • 8.1 miles
  • 1 hours 15 minutes 5 seconds
  • 9:16 pace
  • 4X core, 0X lift, Minimal XT

Week of severe toe infection.  So lots of rest here.  As you can see I did sneak out for an 8 miler (on Sunday which isn’t getting counted as April because it was May 2nd) because the toe/leg was not red at all and there was no pain. The run itself was really relaxed and easy.

April:

  • 152.4 miles
  • 23 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds
  • 9:20 pace
  • Lots of core, Little lifting, Lots of XT, One rest day

Overall I’m trying to be happy.  The rest was good for pushing me mentally into getting out of the go-go-go-keep-pushing-no-matter-what attitude despite how hard it was.  But I can’t grow if I don’t challenge what’s comfortable right?

And all the non-running days obviously didn’t hurt me because I rocked Boston (if I do say so myself 😉 ) and not only did I run well but the mentality of Boston was so much fun.  I think that I was able to salvage something from my overtrained state.

This month (May)  I”m going to have to up the lifting soon as I lifted…once (?) this whole month! I kept the core going strong though and totally rocked the XT.  I’m going to try to strike a balance between the (hideously horrible) XT and running.  Although overall I don’t hate XT as much as I did before.  I think I’m getting tolerant of it 😉

Happy Sunday all.  Hope your month of May is starting off right 🙂

to a job that send me a secondary application (yay!) and kicking back with lots of ginger ale.

May 1, 2010

Oh What To Do

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:11

[At the very end of this post is a picture of the actual IV that was in my arm because more than a few people said that they’d be interested.  I personally don’t think it’s really graphic or anything like that but I’m sure that some people will find is too much so I’m giving you fair warning.  Plus I don’t think the quality of the pictures is all that great either soooo it might no even look like anything.]

And no I’m not talking about maybe going out and running.  For once in my life I’m sticking to my guns. Even though it’s the first day of May (how is it May already?!), National Runners Month.

What I really mean is: What to do when it’s 70+* outside and I want to keep wearing that darn jacket?! Haha.  Luckily (?) I’m still feeling a bit nauseous and chilly from my infection and antibiotics so I think I won’t overheat too much 😉

In fact I was feeling so awful yesterday that I SKIPPED my Spanish class on Friday.  Ummm yeah.  I *never* skip classes.  But my head was pounding and I thought I was going to vomit at any given moment.  Dry heavy? Sexy, no? I was even terrified to eat something for fear of actually throwing up (while I doubt anyone like puking the idea sends chills up my spine.

As the day went on I started to feel slightly better.  I was able to go to my last PT session.  I figure that since I haven’t really run at all lately, and my shins were an overuse thing, that I’m done with PT for now.  My therapist did say that she won’t officially discharge me for a few weeks in case something crops up when I do return to running but, like I said, the shin stuff was due to too much running and I won’t be anywhere near that when I do return. And sadly, because of the infection we didn’t do much soft tissue work because of the risk of circulating the infection. Boo.

The rest of my Friday, the start of Spring Weekend, was rather lame.  I ended up laying out in the beautiful weather with friends, writing a cover letter to a job that send me a secondary application (yay!) and kicking back with lots of ginger ale.  So yes, I am a lame-o.  But on the bright side I got a good night of sleep and I feel like I’m catching up on that sleep deprivation that my go-to-the-hospital-every-8-hours schedule created.  Much better use of my time than staying up late at parties, especially since I can’t drink at the moment.

I also got to start watching the show Miami Medical.  SO. GOOD.  Seriously.  It’s like ER but a little sexier.  I am hooked! I love that I can understand a lot of what’s going on medically plus it makes me want to go work in an ER, like, now 🙂  Again I guess my not feeling so hot is good because I don’t think I would have started watching this if I had been feeling better.  I would have been out partying. Oops hahah.

But now it’s Saturday morning and I think I’m feeling a little better.  Like, not better enough to go run around all crazy on campus, but better enough to emerge from my room and and enjoy today’s festivities. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post it’s a beautiful day so it’ll be fun.  No running, duh, and I hate “wasting” good running weather (especially since it was ideal when I got up) but whatever. Trying to stay positive.

Also, thanks again for all your “Get betters” and other caring words! Especially to TMart who told me to keep blogging even if I wasn’t running. But since this is a running blog I’m…well not at a loss of words seeing how this post is still lengthy but rather at a loss of topics.  Anything that you guys want me to write about? I feel so lost with topics without my running!

I am putting together an April recap to keep some type of running related stuff here 😛  Granted April wasn’t exactly the model month for running. I’ve looked over a rough estimate of my miles and they took a total nosedive because of the combo of my shins being so painful at the beginning of the month, to tapering, to this infection.  Oh well, I’ll try to completely that soon. But right now I need to get back outside in the SUN!

Hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend and check out the giveaways from ErikaH, Kim, Tricia

As promised:

April 29, 2010

Graduation Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:43

And no I’m not talking about graduation from college. I mean graduation from the IV.

Cool nettting so the IV doesn't catch on anything. I was going to post a pic of the actual IV but my friend told me that not everyone is fascinated with this stuff!

Yesterday when I hit up the ER the doc (who had seen me before luckily so he had a baseline of how it had been previously) told me that even though we were “fighting and winning the battle” (legit his words and he’s a short little man with fuzzy hair haha) he wanted to give me another 24 hours of the IV.  Annoying but I can’t argue with his logic.  Annoying though because it meant another 1300, 2200 and 0500 (this morning) treatments.

So I got up at 0430 (after going to be after midnight! ugh!) and went to the ER.  As much as it sucked getting up with so little sleep and having the extra 3 treatments, the good thing is that I had a hot nurse to take care of me. And lack of sleep sometimes makes me a bit punchy so there may have been some flirting haha. Too bad that the only time I’d ever see him again is if I get sent to the ER.  Bummer

But I got cleared to stop the IV.  I’m on a 7 day oral form of the IV antibiotic in addition to the other oral I’m on.  And since antibiotics are time sensitive in dosage I had to write out a schedule of when to take the drugs and tape it to the bottles because there are so many that I have to take over the course of 24 hours haha!

I did ask when I could return to running.  My body is really recovered from Boston and I’m itching to go. The short answer is not soon.  The infection was really really bad and the doctor told me to wait until the open wound on my toe (from draining the fluid Monday) is completely healed.  Bahhh.  And double bahhhh because I’m a slow healer in general (always have been). But as the nurse told me “You’re young so why risk messing anything up?”

SO TRUE.  Which is what you guys and people in my “real life” keep reminding me of.  And to be honest, I haven’t forgotten it.  I know that my body is still rebounding from the 16+ weeks of intense high mileage training so this downtime is going to be amazing.  I can almost feel myself  getting stronger in fact.  And I can feel that I’m getting back in touch with my bodies needs.  I totally think that my mind and the goal of Boston took over for awhile and I lost that ability to be tuned into my body.

But it still sucks that I have this pent up energy so I did also ask about other activities and the short answer is: not yet.  There is still some redness in the leg and toe, very faint but it indicates that the infection isn’t 100% gone.  I’m hoping that within the next day or so my leg looks 100% normal because, as much as the rest and “relaxation” (because relaxation just isn’t in my vocabulary with < 6 days of classes left!) I’m getting a little stir crazy.  I’ll be able to do anything non-impact or anything that doesn’t pinch/rub hard my big toe (aka the one that this all started with).

On a different, yet still not running related note: this weekend is SPRING WEEKEND! The weather, which has of late been highs of 40* (we even had frost the other morning!) is going to be upper 70s to low 80s.  Perfect for sitting outside and celebrating spring.  There are live bands, games, face painting, inflatable jumping thingy.  Basically a carnival type thing.  AKA drinking from Thursday night and not stopping until Sunday night.  I know of quite a few people who don’t have a sober moment over those days.

Unfortunately this year I will be unable to participate because I get violently ill when I mix alcohol and antibiotics.  Boo.  Not that I’m a huge drinker anyway but having the *option* to taken away from me is a bummer.  And it’s not as though I can go easy on the stuff and be okay.  Literally one glass of wine is enough to make me very unhappy.

But it’s okay because I’ll still have fun.  Assuming I can finish all the work I have in front of me.  Because, with no more ER trips, I don’t have a set time where the only thing I can really do is homework.  I had been so productive during those trips.  Both on the school work front and fun reading.  I read 4 books over the course of the 4 days I was there.  I know I’m a fast reader but I think the fastest of those books was due more from the waiting time 😉

….Okay so I wrote all that this morning then went and finished my work. Yippee! Off to go enjoy the blustery weather.  The physics club is going to a pub in about 20 minutes because an alum (and one of my good friends) is visiting…so duh on the pub hahah.  Obviously I can’t drink like I said but it’s still going to be a blast 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your Thursdays and the upcoming weekend!

April 27, 2010

Oh Hey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 16:29

Remember me? Guess I fell off the face of the planet for a second with all my work catch-up and life stuff. And warning, it may happen again in the next few weeks so if I go on a hiatus don’t be alarmed.

I really haven’t felt like blogging because, while still on a semi-Boston high, I have only run two 7 milers since the race.  Which I guess is fine. I really wanted to have run more this week but I do have a good reason for that. As well as not being good at responding to comments or emails and commenting on blogs. Or even keeping up with my schoolwork!

AKA I got cellulitis. Again.  I don’t think I was blogging way back when I had it for the first time in January ’09 but it’s the same deal now but just in a different toe and even a different foot. For those of you who aren’t medically attune cellulitis is the inflammation of connective tissue with severe inflammation in the skin.  It’s most commonly in the legs and feet and needs antibiotics to get better.

Apparently I had/have a bad case as my big toe was red on Sunday morning and by Sunday afternoon I had streaking up into my mid-quad.  Yeah, not to good.  So my friends basically kidnapped me to the ER (I was tutoring and wanted to finish my shift. Oh priorities) and I was started on I.V. antibiotics.

That was Sunday night and as I type this right now (Tuesday afternoon) I’ve had 6 rounds of the antibiotics.  The intense pain from the swelling has subsided and the bright red coloring is fading slowly.  Good thing too.  So far I’ve only been an outpatient, if (at my 0530 round) I hadn’t shown signs of getting better, guess who was going to be admitted to the hospital? Yeah.  Me.

But that wasn’t the case and I’m still an outpatient. It was a close call too.  Last night at the ER the doctor wanted to admit me then and there (because the streaking had reached my groin and lymph nodes) and I fought tooth and nail to sleep the night in my own bed.

I have another round of I.V. stuff tonight at 2200 and then again tomorrow at 0600, at which time I get re-evaluated to see if I can take the I.V. that’s currently in my arm out and go on another oral antibiotic.  Yes that’s right, *another*. As in I was prescribed one this morning in addition to the I.V. bags. And antibiotics kill all bacteria if you get my drift…

So if you could send positive vibes my way that’d be great.  I’m running on no sleep (Monday = 0430 wakeup and 0200 Tuesday AM bedtime with a Tuesday wake up at 0500)…well I guess I’m not really running at the moment but you get the idea.

And since this is a running blog, not a bitch and moan about infections blog, I debated whether or not to post this about my ailment.  BUT I obviously did.  Because I want EVERYONE to be really careful about cuts!! And blisters!! This infection started out as a cut on my big toe and I clearly didn’t tend to it well enough (or possibly for long enough because I definitely was attentive when I got it).

But enough about my toe! Since I’m not running at all (or even working out.  Which means MM = going stir crazy) I’m going to talk about Boston some more.  As in this past week, like I think I mentioned over the weekend, so many people have been congratulating me.  Which is still really good (and I’m clearly still wearing the jacket haha).  But the other night at the dining hall my area coordinator stopped me and congratulated me and was saying that at one of the Student Life meetings, the staff was talking about me and how awesome I did.  Way cool 🙂

AND since I’m wearing my jacket EVERYWHERE I’ve been talking about the race to the staff at the ER.  And, because everyone loves compliments, I’ve been basking in the glow of all the congrats and bug eyes when I tell them my time (sure for some of you it might not be impressive but to these guys it was/has been).  And in a it’s-a-small-world moment one of my nurses today actually *saw* me there at the finish line.  Seriously.  She was able to tell me exactly where it was and who I was with.  I guess she was leaving the Sox game at the same time I was hanging out with my family at the end.  I mean, with all the people in the city of Boston (not to mention all the people showing up for Marathon Monday) she was able to remember me.  So weird but cool in a way too.

Alright.  Need to go lay down and relax.  Per doctors orders.  Send some good vibes for that too because I am soooo New England and relax isn’t exactly in my vocabulary.

Giveaways from Jenna and Matt

April 12, 2010

Finally Have My Computer Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:00

And in kind of working condition.  Part of the restore that had to be done means that I don’t have any programs anymore so I need to find a copy of Microsoft Office (definitely NOT re-buying it and hemorrhaging more $$) and re-download a ton of stuff.  But it could be worse.   A lot worse. And my speakers don’t work, I get sound but only when I plug in headphones. Weird.

Anyway in some respects it’s been a good week to lose access to a computer: my homework has been light on the essays and math programing stuff (I’ve got problem sets and workbook stuff) and my running has been well…pretty much non-existent.

I’ve basically given up hope of really running between now and Marathon Monday.  I guess I’m just too worried about all the possible “what-ifs”.  I’m trying to trust myself (and you guys) that I’m not going to be a lazy slob come the 19th of April haha.

This week I only ran 3x.  Sure I did get in upper 20s in terms of mileage (which my plan has the range of 30-50 for Week 2) but none of them were “quality”.  I’ve nixed speedwork for so many weeks (it’s been 4) that I’m a bit afraid that my body doesn’t know what speedwork is anymore.  Completely irrational I know but it’s taper time.  Irrational supposedly defines it.

On Wednesday I wrote that I was going to try to get a run in on Thursday. Totally happened.  Totally rocked.  It felt good and fluid.  Not wicked fast but not slow either.  I was really happy with it and would have LOVED to go further but I was really time crunched.  I hate it when that happens.  Everything just clicked: the weather was sunny and warm (but not too hot) with a slight breeze and my body just felt good.  I really wish I had the opportunity to go more BUT it’s taper time so it’s a blessing in disguise that I couldn’t.

Friday I attempted a run.  Well I guess I completed the run.  It just wasn’t as fun as Thursday.  Nothing bad about it per se but I was so excited and inspired by how easy the day before felt that I think I had too high of expectations.  Which made the “eh” run very disappointing.  I also had PT on Friday and there was more inflammation in my left shin than I would have liked.  So my PT did extra soft tissue work which felt amazing!

Because of the sub-par run and the inflammation I decided to skip running on Saturday.  Kind of sucked because the weather Friday was iffy and Saturday was BEAUTIFUL out.  I hit the gym for a spinning workout.  This Saturday was the first Saturday in a VERY long time that I did not do a long run.  It was sooooooo weird.  Even though the spinning was more intense and speedwork-like I figured it was okay.  I’ve nixed so many speed stuff lately that it felt good to be sweating a ton and feel so powerful.  All the arc trainer leaves me feeling a little wimpy.  Maybe it’s just the stereotype I associate with the girl at my school’s gym who I see on it.  But spinning? Hardcore haha.

I’m actually enjoying the whole spinning (well is it technically still spinning if I’m on the upright bike?) that I think I might keep it in my routine in the future. Not as a weekly thing but every once in awhile thing.  And I’ve only gotten 2 workouts from you guys.  I KNOW that there are some way cool spin instructors here (plus the rest of you cool amazing people).  *HintHint*.  Plus I’m looking for ways to make the arc trainer/elliptical less boring too.  And I also know that some of you guys XT wayyyy more than I’ve done in the past.  I feel so whiny asking for this stuff over and over buttttttt please? Haha 😛

And on Sunday I went for an AWESOME short run.  I kept it short because I was time crunched again but it felt like Thursday’s except it was faster.  Much faster.  But it didn’t feel that way.  I highly suspect that it ‘s due to the fact that I ran in the late afternoon.  I really like running in the mornings but my body responds better in the afternoon. Oh well.  The only downside was that the food I had eaten prior was like a ROCK in my stomach.  I just wanted to vomit the whole time (attractive, no?).  I know it’s not the food I ate because this happens with a wide variety of food.  Bummer. But it was still a great spectacular run.

Just an update on my toe because I think I left you hanging.  It’s getting better.  It’s still a little inflamed and I’m not sure what the deal-io is with that.  I don’t have a fever, the redness is 97.6% gone, I’m doing warm soaks (which feel amazing) and I’m elevating my feet (that is: whenever I find time to sit down) My game plan is to finish my antibiotics (which as SO STRONG.  Seriously.  I don’t want to get into detail but let’s just say that when I go any where I need to make sure I know where the bathroom is) and if there’s still some swelling and stiffness (from the swelling) go into the health center and see what’s up.  If I remember correctly, the last time this happened it took about 10 or so days total for everything to work out and it’s only been 6 so far. So I’m not worried, but I just wish the healing process took faster!

Also: not to let you think I’m all drugged up either: I only took that one percocet that I was forced to at the ER and haven’t taken any ibuprofen post-procedure.  Holler for a high pain tolerance 🙂

Hmmm I had more to “say” but this is getting on the lengthy side and I feel like my sentences are really choppy hah. Hopefully I don’t go on this long of a blogging hiatus anytime soon.  Although I will say that when I got my computer back I totally did not have the urge to fire it up and check my email and other various things.  It’s really nice to not feel tethered to technology.  I’m actually really hoping to not get that strong a sense of attachment back haha 😉

April 7, 2010

Broken. But Spinning is Fun?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:37

And no, this isn’t a downer post. Haha.

Who knew that “just having a virus” (one, mind you, that the Geek Squad said they had seen frequently recently and that it should be easy to remove) would turn into a week-long ordeal.  Gah. Basically I had to sink A LOT of cash-money into this, dipping into and clearing out my emergency fund.  And I still don’t even have the damn thing yet.  Apparently overnight shipping of a part to get here Monday means that the part is still in Mexico today. So I’ve been stressed on that front.

And anyone want to guess how I spent my Saturday night? In the ER. Why? For my infected toe from a blister. UGH.

According to the doctor I had/have (since I’m still on wicked powerful antibiotics now) paronychia.  Which is basically an infection of the nail.  I had something similar a year or so ago with cellulitis in a toe which I let go unchecked and had to be hospitalized but luckily I tracked down a friend Saturday night and she drove me to the ER.  The doctor said I was smart to go in when I did and that there was NO WAY I could have waited until Monday (when I wanted to go to the local medical center).  LeSigh.  So I’m not missing my toenail as well as a good portion of the skin surrounding it.  Yes it was that bad.  My toe was easily 2x it’s normal size. And when the doctor drained it? Lots of fluids in there.

Oh and I’m not longer a narcotics virgin as they forced me to take a percocet before leaving to help me through the night.  And remember: I’m the girl who doesn’t take aspirin for headaches so the experience was interesting to say the least.  “Luckily” this was all at 0200 so I got to sleep it off.

I was on bedrest Sunday per doctor’s orders.  Ergo no running.  No running either on Monday because the toe area was sore from the procedure (plus the doctor told me no running for a few days. Blahhhh) Although the one good note was that the nurse that took care of me was wicked hot.  He’s from the area and actually frequents the local bar on occasion. Hollerrrr, too bad that at the time he was taking care of my disgusting toe haha.

BUT on Tuesday I got to do a spinning workout that I found in some old fitness magazine I had laying around (I’m such a pack-rat when it comes to non-tabloid mags ha).  And I think I’m on the verge of taking back everything bad I’ve said about biking. I chose to not use the spin bike in the gym simply because the magazine used revolutions per minute (RPM) as a guideline and the spin bike doesn’t have any sort of display monitor.  Regardless I’m sure I had a good workout on the upright bike.

I was sweating hardcore and was able to get my heart rate up to 160-170, compared to the 130-150 on the arc trainer and I was happy.  The time passed really fast too because it was a “Hill and Sprint” type workout:

If you look carefully at my notes on the paper, you’ll notice that I did MORE than the original workout entailed and thus the time column is wrong. Oops.  Apparently when it says to do something twice (like with minutes 17-29) I think it means twice more for a total of 3 times.  And then since I knew that I just tacked on 12 extra minutes (for a new total of 52) I figured I’d add 2 more of minutes 30-33 and have a 4 minute warm down.  So much for being able to follow directions hahah. But I felt good the whole time.  Sure it was really hard and challenging but I never felt like I was in over my head.

I’m not sure how my “stats” (60 minutes 16.58 miles) compare to others.  For me I think it was a good workout.  I’m sure that for a more serious spinner or cyclist that my stats are dismal but hey, it’s all relative. Since I don’t know anyone who does regular biking I don’t have anything to compare to and my good feelings and happiness can stay that way 🙂

And I was happy that I didn’t have to be on the damn arc trainer again.  Like today (Wednesday for those of you who read my blogs in the AM after I post).  I did another 2 hour stint on it.  I guess it’s not soooooooo bad.  But I just hate the monotony and after a certain point the way my feet are “pressurized” makes them get all tingly.  I swear I’m developing something on them, not blisters but something. I would have done another spin workout but….my butt was sore. Ouch haha. I’m still looking for good workouts for BOTH the arc and bike so email them to me please? As of right now I have one spin that Lizzy sent me and the one from the magazine and for the arc I rely on “manual” or “hill interval”.  I’m sure you can imagine how boring that can get.

I’m hoping to run tomorrow morning.  The weather here has been insane (today hit 90*) so I’ll try to head out when it’s cool(er).  I’m thinking 10 miles? I guess it depends on how the toe feels (the shins *knockonwood* are pretty much 100%) but I’m optimistic.  I’ve been able to walk around without limping so I don’t think that running will hurt me.

Again, sorry for not commenting that much (actually at all really) but I still have been reading. Just with limited computer time I can’t comment 😦  Hopefully I can get my computer back tomorrow and can start commenting again.  But I’ve “run out” of computer time here and need to take off.  There’s this silly little thing called homework. I will say that the longer I’m without my computer the less anxiety I feel over being without it.  It’s freeing in a way although it totally sucks to be checking my email once a day.  What did the world do before the internet?! Hahah

And here are some giveaways from Marcia, ShutUpandRun, ErikaH, & EatMoveLove

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