Break on Through

Pandora still has a knack for setting the mood for the day. It's a rainy Friday and blues and the Doors have me cranking through the work day.

Finally feeling a little more like myself so this one seems appropriate given my delayed posting for the week as I curled up on the couch earlier when I should have been posting the weekly video :)

Week 3 of recovery

AKA awwe crap C'Bus is coming up too fast!

Last week started out pretty promising, the foot felt great on all easy lunch runs. Unfortunately it was sore racing Saturday, but despite that I got in a long run Sunday and it, for whatever reason, just stopped hurting later that afternoon and hasn't made much of a peep since. My calves however were big old knots that my ART guy mercilessly turned to jello Monday AM. And then my body decided to go to war with me, it started Wednesday night and I managed to keep things mostly at bay through Sunday (sheer willpower I guess). I have spent most of the last 4 days curled up in the fetal position. Lying on the floor at work wondering if I will be capable of driving myself home is not exactly how I pictured this week that should have been some decent training! Uggh.

But this is a summary of last week!

I got in 6 runs, 4 pain free!

1 swim and 1 yoga class.

I overslept Wednesday AM being out late at the Foo Fighters concert and never managed to squeeze in a bike or spin. :(

Despite physically feeling like absolute crap I am still feeling upbeat and looking forward to having fun October 16th in whatever capacity I can!


I absolutely adore the city of Cleveland, but when it comes to Ohio marathons my heart belongs to Columbus and Akron. This was the 6th year in a row (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006) that I have participated in the Akron marathon as either a relay runner or pacer and as always a good time was had by all. Our usual crew was not ready to roll out when we made up the team this year. CV has been dealing with PF and Solar is having a baby so we had to look to some of our other fun running girlfriends to step in! When we signed up I was healthy so I offered to take 2 legs meaning we only had to fill in 2 spots as Daisy was on board as usual (despite just having done a Ironman a few weeks ago!). We got speedy Salty on board and our buddy EH (my doppelganger) who isn't afraid to tackle Sand Run (short but brutally steep!) to fill in. I usually anchor or take Sand Run but having paced the full I have run the first 9.2 miles of the course before.

Clearly not having run anything faster than 6:50s since the Indy half I was pretty unsure how my 9.2 would go. The doc told me to go to town and test the foot, but sadly I am afraid going to town was going to be slower than I would desire. Also I haven't run more than 7-8 miles since Indy so I wasn't sure how I would feel running 9.2 hard. To tell the whole story of my relay legs that morning would contain a whole lot of TMI so we won't go there but let's just say many systems were not go Saturday morning.

I jogged about a minute to the start line and found my lunch run buddies who were planning to go out around 7 minute pace for the half. I did a quick lunge warm up and decided to head out with them and ease in the first few miles before picking up the pace. I didn't trust myself to start at the front as I knew competitive E would take over and I'd be suffering rather than having fun late in the race.

First mile felt great right around 7 minute pace but I was having other issues so I pulled away from my buddies in search of the first set of POPs. It has been a long time since I have had to do that in a race but I am glad my teammates had made it clear that I did not need to feel any pressure to perform as the stop was needed and while I lost 30ish seconds there I am sure I gained a minute in comfort. I was going watch free for the day. I had it on to track total run time for the day but no garmin and no pacing. I picked up the pace to chase down everyone that had just passed me and basically kept working my way up through the field for the next 7 miles.

I was working hard so I was glad to catch some marathoners and half marathoners along the way. With about 2 miles to go I could tell I was closing in on one relay female and thought maybe I could catch up to my friends who were gunning for around 2:50 marathons. A timely band amped me up on one of the many small rollers and I stepped up the effort and eventually passed the relay female and came within 10 seconds of catching the first female relay (who I thought was a half or full runner as she did not have the relay bib on her back) when I finally handed off to Daisy a bit shy of catching my marathon buddies. I had to walk it off for awhile. I was pretty spent and my foot was a bit angry (but much better than Indy, progress!). I tried to rally and run it in with my buddies when they came along but systems were now in shut down mode and I settled for walking via a short cut back to the finish!

Found some SS buddies and we cheered/hooted/hollered as our SS mens relay came in and local super star BM won the marathon then it wasn't too long before I saw Salty speeding in to nab us 3rd place for the female relays and 9th relay team overall! Not too shabby for being one female shy, one gimpy runner, one recovering ironman, and one workaholic. Salty was our saving grace :) Of note all of our leg times were in the top 5 times for each leg amongst female teams. Very proud of my ladies! Wish I could have been 100% and running fast enough to give us a run at first, but we hold on to our tradition of podium placement still and of course we partied like rock stars as always post event! So glad my body let me get out and put in a hard effort. I really did not want my last race in my 20s to be a suffer fest and despite all my issues Saturday it felt so good to run hard and feel the pains of racing again and actually enjoy them!

Glowstick Dancing Cowbell Girl

I've got the Moves like Elaine (from Seinfeld!) (Sort of like Jagger, but much less suave)

Last weekend a few of my buddy's and a total of around 200 people were running in circles around Edgewater for 24 hours. Yep that's right 24 hours of running a .9ish mile paved loop on the shores of Lake Erie! Sound nuts? Yep I agree! But I am all about supporting my nutso friends with my energetic cheering ways!

After a long day of cleaning and accompanying Salty on her 12 mile run (8 on my bike and 4 running with her to wrap it up) I took a quick power nap then it was off to Edgewater to cheer in the dark. I arrived to find some local friends at the Vertical Runner tent rocking out. I came wielding glow stick flashlights and we proceeded to cheer/dance/rave those runners on from 12:30 to the 9 am finish. I got many comments that I should be running the event with all of my energy. But I am rather certain I had more fun dancing and cheering than I would running around in circles all night :)

The last hour was rather exciting as local super star Connie Gardner came within a mile of breaking the national record and we spread out all around the course to encourage her. I grabbed a cowbell and proceeded to make as much noise cheering the last 30 minutes as possible. My ears are still ringing!

Not sure what those runners thought of us, some of the crews weren't too happy as they tried to cat nap through the night, but I know if I was running around in the dark I would want people to be making some noise! If you are in Cleveland next year for the weekend of the event and want to witness something a little different I recommend it! We had a blast!

Indy Womens Half

What's that? Yeah I did run a race before I took this crazy PF hiatus. Rather I finished a race. Let's just say it was not my best effort, not my day, a big ol' train wreck pretty much. I wouldn't even write about it except for I think I need to own up to what this race was for me in order to do better in the future when I am dealt this sort of hand again.

For whatever reason this year I have found my self at the start line of two all womens races and both times my effort has just come up short. But Elizabeth you might say, at Boston you were on antibiotics and dealing with hamstring issues, or at Indy you were worried about your foot and your 4 failed tempos. Whatever, those things may have played into my less than stellar results, but I think there was definitely something else going on for both of these races. I didn't feel fantastic at Perfect 10 and my foot felt just as crappy after that as it did after Indy, but I managed to pull it together that day. What was the difference in Indy?

I think the difference for whatever silly reason is more mental than physical. Both at Boston and at Indy I thought I was fully prepared to tow the line with women better than me, equal to me, and slower than me and put together my best race. But both times I went out a bit kamikaze style and wanted to quit long before the finish line. I ignored my racing instincts and forced it and then lacked the mental tenacity to deal with it when it got too hard.

At Indy I wanted to quit by mile 4. At Boston I lost my pack by the 10km. And let me tell you running by yourself just isn't as much fun! At least not for me!

I knew for both of these races that many women would run away from me at the start and for some reason at both races I still went out too fast and had a hard time committing to the faster pace once I was in over my head. To my credit at Boston I held it together and had a good time despite my body throwing in the towel much too early. But at Indy I really was ready to quit from mile 2 on. I started a bit aggressively, but nothing crazy, about the same pace as my first mile at Perfect 10, but my body was just working too hard and I let the pack of 4 I was with go and told myself to just settle in and work to keep it between 6 and 6:10. Well the next mile was something like 6:24 and I was working. UGGH. I got caught by about 2 runners from mile 2-4 but just let them go. Trying to settle into some sort of groove.

Mile 4ish a runner (LM) I knew caught me with another girl and encouraged me to go with them but I was juiced and couldn't respond. I started contemplating my options, jog it in, quit and turn around. My foot was sore, I felt like crap, it was hot, basically just a big hot negative mess. Around mile 5 two gals from Michigan caught me, I knew they were planning to run goal marathon for the race and I had contemplated starting with them, but now I had dug a hole and I couldn't get my legs to respond and go with them. Uggh.

Mile 6 I was getting ready to pull out. I had just saw another runner drop and I knew I would see NCs parents soon. I could stop and cheer with them and save it for another day. Then my guardian angel from Florida caught me and forced me to rally and join her. I wasn't comfortable but the pace was doable and I managed to get my head back in the game and stick with her. I admonished myself for wanting to give up so early in a long race, and I thought maybe my legs could actually rally from my poorly paced start and come around. We hit a roller and I fell back a little. My friend from Florida encouraged me saying I could not drop back until we caught my running friend from Ohio. We had watched as the gals from Michigan slowly reeled her in and she said we could do the same. So I focused ahead and upped the effort. Perhaps a bit too much as it turned out in the end. But the next few miles actually felt pretty strong and we did eventually catch up to LM and a gal from Utah who I had run the first mile with.

I felt the need to return the favor as LM had offered me encouragement earlier as well as the other gals and I let her know we were coming and to latch on to us. She did a great job and picked it up to go with me. We stayed together for the next mile or so and I just couldn't keep it up.

The last three miles were pretty much a bi-polar death march. From admonishing myself and deciding I would run a half the next weekend to prove to myself I was better than this, to trying to convince myself to run like an elite and step it up, to worrying about my foot and thinking I was over-trained, to berating myself the last half mile as I reached for the American flags they were handing out only to miss and decide that even Uncle Sam thought I sucked. Yeah pretty much the most negative I have ever felt in any race in my life. Who was this negative person, this person who gave up so early, this person that just fell apart? Well it certainly wasn't me, at least not the me I usually am and not the me I want to be.

I found myself holding back tears at the finish line and trying to celebrate in everyone elses success while being utterly dissapointed in myself. I got over myself with a cool down with LM, but unfortunately now to add insult to injury my foot was irate. I spent the rest of the day limping around downtown Indy wondering how much damage I had done and what to do about training and recovery from this.

Both Boston and Indy were so much fun before and after the race. I loved meeting all these amazing women and getting to know them! I wouldn't trade it for the world. But the truth is clearly this sort of stage is not where I currently run my best efforts. For whatever reason I am too stubborn to run my own race and keep my head in the game at this level for the long distances. I should know better, and hopefully I will learn from this and it will make me a better racer in the future!

PF Club

(No relation to Fight Club)

Plantar Fasciitis Blows! It seems like you mention PF to any runner and either they've had it, they have it, or their friends have it and they have been dealing with it for far too many months for my taste. I saw an ART guy at Rev3 last weekend and he mentioned PF is like a club. I told him that is not a club I want to be a part of :) Unfortunately I seem to have joined the club and I am joining the ranks of those that will try anything to get rid of their heel and arch pain!

Of my friends that currently are treating, dealing, or dealt with PF solutions offered up included rest, ART, Shockwave therapy, stretching, massage, laser therapy, ice massage, golf ball rolling, night splints, toe exercises, heel supports, orthotics...the list goes on and I am trying most of these things minus orthotics or heel supports, I feel like they might cause a compensation injury so I want to avoid them at all costs. I'm also holding off on the shockwave therapy as a last resort if my foot doesn't respond to ART. It is pricey and painful (not that ART isn't, but I like that with ART I have someone actually digging around in there and finding all the junk, not just pointing a laser at my heel) and the quick fix sounds too good to be true to me, after all I have been slowly making the foot worse since May, unlike other injuries I have given myself over night, it seems it might take some time to fix something you have been damaging for awhile.

So I took 8 days off running, the most I have taken off in ages it seems. I wanted three pain free mornings before I'd run again. Wanted to get rid of the constant inflammation. The timing on this for my body was good because I was clearly just running out of steam mentally and physically and getting burned out. The foot was a good excuse to get some much needed recovery from hard training.

I also went out and bought a night splint to prevent me from pointing my toes at night and inflaming the foot first thing in the morning.

I got in for some free ART on the foot at REV3 and the next morning was my first pain free morning which was followed by a not pain free morning (ironman spectating involves being on your feet) then 2 pain free mornings which I called good enough even though the whole days weren't pain free as the ART guy seemed to think I could do some easy running without making things worse. He said I basically had a lot of adhesion/scar tissue in my foot that needed to be worked out, and until they are I will have problems with it. Basically my heel feels like a rock and it is supposed to feel malleable!

I'm getting ART twice a week until the foot is pain free every day. My second ART appt and first with my local guru was painful but followed by two blissfully pain free runs. This is a good sign that my foot will eventually heal! YAY! This Mondays ART session was also followed up with a pain free run. We'll see if I can get a second one today.

All of my ART days were followed up with long nights on my feet at social outings which I think is counter productive for the foot, but this morning rolling it on the golf ball seemed to negate the damage done bouncing around at the Foo Fighters concert last night. So I will continue the self massage!

I have an awesome ice cup thingy my buddy Lloyd gave me when I gave myself tendonitis playing Dance Central, and I have been using that to ice/massage the foot after runs. I think now that it is a chronic issue the ice doesn't really help at other times as it actually keeps blood flow from getting to the foot, but that is one thing (ice vs heat) I have never gotten a really good handle on. I just know if the foot is inflamed from the run the ice makes it feel better (aka numb!).

I borrowed my aunt and uncles $1600 laser and have been "treating" my foot for 10 minutes a day. I feel nothing while I am doing it and I have no idea if it is voodoo, but if it helps awesome, if it doesn't I'm out ten minutes a day. The theory is it helps direct blood flow to the heel which doesn't get much blood flow, more blood flow = faster healing.

While brushing my teeth every day I am doing toe raises and what I am calling foot crunches where I use my toes to try and grip the ground in the hopes of strengthening my foot.

I broke out the foot spa and I am going to try and get in epsom salt baths for the feet as often as possible, the warm water seems to loosen it up.

I'm yoga-ing and stretching my calves so that once the foot is healed hopefully I don't mess it up again.

Any magic PF cures you folks have that I should be trying? Clearly I am willing to try just about anything to quit this darn club!

Times Like These

Kudos to whoever took this vid last night. We weren't quite this close so none of my pics or video came out great. But we had a F***ing blast! Rise Against was great and the Foo Fighters were nothing short of amazing! So glad we went! review of the show!

Road to Recovery Week 1&2

Well I think this road to mental and physical recovery may be one of those two steps forward one steps back kind :) I'm getting treatment for the foot and I have had some pain free runs and pain free days, but I have also had setback days. So here is a quick rundown of the last two weeks. Gory details on the running log. The ART really seems to be helping the foot, the cheering and social shenanigans do not :( But they are mentally refreshing!

Week 1:
Run: 1 easy trail run Monday during which I decided it was time to rest and fix the body
Swim: 2 swims totaling 5100 meters
Bike: 1 ride 30 miles
Yoga: 1* 75 minute class
Massage: 1* 75 minute full body massage
ART: 1 free ART treatment on the foot at CP
Time on feet: CP Ironman Cheering

Week 2:
Run: 5 easy runs (one a little up tempo for 27 minutes)
Swim: 2 swims totaling 3200 meters
Bike: 2 easy bike rides and one spin class
Yoga: 1* 60 minute yoga class
Strength: Started doing a lunge warm up before runs and the Myrtle cool down after
ART: 1 ART session on the foot
Time on Feet:
Ingenuity Fest Friday Night
NC 24 Hour Cheering
Clean Fest 2011 at the house (AKA Make way the in laws are coming to town this weekend!)

I'm making it my goal from now on to get in a minimum of the following cross training and mental/physical recovery regardless of race goals:

1 swim a week
1 bike/spin a week
1 yoga class a week
1 full recovery day every 2 weeks (one run free day)
1 long trail run on the weekends
1 massage every month (2 a month during heavy training)
ART sessions whenever an injury crops up, not after months of dealing with it!

So Many Posts so Little Time

I have so much to say here and no time to say it! Posts are brewing in my head but I have no time to spit them out :)

Busy at work and busy at home getting the house ready for a week long visit from the in-laws next week! And wouldn't you know it cross training takes up quite a bit of time too!

But I don't want anyone out there to worry about me so here is a quickie!

I am feeling happier than I have in a long time!
Cross training has been great for me mentally and physically!
I ran this week and it was glorious! (albeit slow!)
I am getting ART on my foot and it really seems to be responding!
I am closer and closer to 100% healthy each day!

Oh and have I mentioned fall is my favorite season? I am so glad I can get in some easy runs as I was worried I would miss out on all the fall fun this year!

Thanks for all the positive vibes! They are very much appreciated!

Here We Are

It's Wednesday and that means it is tunes time!

Once again Pandora comes through to save the day with this gem of a song. And had to laugh at the video as this morning I went to my first spinning class in forever where they had videos of some European roads scrolling so it looked like you were riding them. I guess it is a cycling and green screen kind of day :)

Megaphone Swimsuit Girl

Well there is nothing like spectating a super endurance event to get over yourself and let your hair down. This past weekend my buddy Daisy was due to race her second full distance triathlon at Cedar Point. We had such a blast cheering for her and the other triathletes last year I just could not miss out this year! Though our cheering numbers were down we brought our "A" game to the event this year with the addition of a megaphone and some sweet funny signs that Daisy printed up for us as well as bringing our bikes so we could get all around on the run course.

The crowd favorites seemed to be "Fuck Yeah, You Rock!", "Run like they are chasing you", "PR OR ER!", "Bet you can't wait to get off that bike" (for late in the bike), "Bet you wish you had that bike back" (for late in the run), amongst some other less PC signs like "If triathlon was easy it would be your mom", "Is your junk numb yet?", "Swim like you are going to drown", "We do triathletes, not triathlons", "Free nipple massages at the finish" (for those boys who chafed).

We started the day watching Daisy traipse through the muck to get in the water, and then to the start. Then we loaded up the truck and headed to the swim exit. Cheers as swimmers exited included, "nice guns", "awesome smile", "nice tats" amongst others, and we made sure to ring that cowbell proudly. Daisy was out of the water in a jiffy and we headed to mile 30/60 of the bike in Milan (after a quick starbucks stop for some much needed caffeine and fuel!).

We cranked the tunes and propped ourselves up with our signs, our cowbell, and our megaphone. It started to get warm and our cheers of encouragement traversed over into jokes about it being hot out there, or was it just the triathletes. We had quite a few men with mustaches out there and tried to single them out with some racier cheering. For the second time around we began making sure our men in spandex were appreciated. Lots of "Are you available" and "What's your number" cheers from Terlop on the megaphone were given out. Cheering or borderline harassment, you be the judge ;)

One gentleman who had seen our is your junk numb yet sign apparently wanted to make sure we remembered he had been through once and let us know that it was numb, he gave us quite a show on his second time through!

It was getting so hot the shirt had to come off, so we gave a few of the guys a "show". Unfortunately I had forgotten my swimsuit. It is a good thing I have no shame as I cheered in my running skirt, CEP socks, and Sports Bra for those cyclists to continue to "Kick Ass." The church crowd was not sure what to make of us!

Daisy was like clockwork and it wasn't long before she cruised through for the second time. We decided to wait and cheer for another 30 minutes before heading to mile 90 of the bike. We missed the lead pros, but we got to give some love to those speedy cyclists in the middle of nowhere. Terlop is a bike expert so she made sure to let those riders know which bikes she loved. The cheer for mile 90 seemed to be "You are the wind beneath my wings" or other such cheesy nonsense. And unlike last year we were all still sober at this point knowing we still planned to ride ourselves, so there was no drunk dancing in the street this year, but we tried to make up for it with our signs and megaphone spirit!

Once Daisy came through and we had hollered her ears off it was time to head to Sandusky so the boys could get some beers and we could get some food before hopping on our bikes! We found our bar with the patio on the run course and I planted myself and the megaphone so I could cheer as I waited for my food. Our buddy BH was the bike pacer for the lead male pro and he ensured me I could be heard for 4 city blocks from the bar. I would say the megaphone was already a huge success! We promised the lead pro a beer after the finish and cheered him and BH on their way.

Apparently I paint quite a picture with fork in one hand scarfing down my steak salad and megaphone in the other making sure no runner is left without cheers. I take spectating seriously.

Daisy came through and we were all excited. That queued up Terlop and I to finally get our lazy butts on our bikes and at least get in some sort of exercise! But we didn't want the triathletes to miss us too much so we stayed mostly on the run course cruising pretty easy and cheering all that we saw. After about 18 miles and seeing Daisy at mile 19 we knew we had about an hour before her finish and that we should probably up the intensity as Terlop was supposed to have some sort of workout. I don't know much about cycling but I know Terlop is pretty good, but she was riding a cyclocross bike with knobby tires so I told her to just do whatever she needed and I would play along. She apparently was worried about dropping me and didn't want to push too hard. Oh Gauntlet thrown, bring it Terlop ;) So I told her to just go hammer and not to worry about me.

We headed away from the run course so we could push without run traffic. It felt so good to hammer. It was windy but for my first time back on the road bike since Sweet Corn in 2008 (The year of the Beast), it felt pretty homey. We cruised along for 10 miles around 20 mph (humbling note Daisy averaged faster than this for 112 miles and I am pretty sure she wasn't hammering, lol), worried about making it back in time to see Daisy. Turns out we needn't have worried (my math skills are poor) and we arrived in time to get in a cool down while cheering on runners and spotting Daisy with a little over a mile to go and letting her know this was going to be a nail biter as she was currently 3rd amateur, right behind 2nd, and 4th was coming up on her quick. Those poor girls were leaving nothing out there!

We got back to the finish and let our crew know Daisy was on her way. We all cheered like the crazy crew we are for her as she came in just behind Pro athlete Nicole van Buerden (who was looking great in her Lunar Flys despite a rough day on the run course). Daisy managed to rally enough to catch 2nd but was overtaken by the lady in 4th and "settled" for 3rd amateur and 10th overall! Not quite the run she was hoping for so I was feeling for her, but very proud of her for doing so great so soon after her bike accident! I could tell every time we saw her on the run she was struggling, so I am truly impressed with her perseverance out there with her body trying to shut it down.

We watched Daisy hobble around a bit before it was time for Terlop to hit the road home and time for us to hit the showers! Unfortunately for me the hot sweaty cheering and bike ride had left my outfit quite rank! I even managed to out stink our superstar ironman Daisy. I think the boys were very torn about letting her take her ice bath before making me shower! But ice bath and shower we all did. Then my new Fiesta and I played chauffeur to go pick up Daisy's bike and bags, and then we made the trek to the Dairy Queen drive thru for some much deserved burgers (and a nutter butter blizzard for me!).

We got back to the rev3 finish line and with no delay my presence was requested at the finish line as there was a club spirit challenge to be won. I'm not one to brag, but we had an unfair advantage with me on the team, add my new friend the megaphone and it was really a no brainer. CTC was going to win this challenge hands down! I danced and cheered with tri buddy Eric as I scarfed down my blizzard and burger. We stopped for a messy hair pic with Big Sexy Chris MacDonald (what a cutie!) before getting back to work and heading to the stands to dance and cheer some more. I still hadn't really figured out what this contest was all about but all of a sudden I see a guy with a mic waving around a free swimsuit and my free scwhag loving instincts kick in and I get on the megaphone demanding to know what I have to do to get that swimsuit. My lucky day, apparently I just need to be loud and obnoxious to get that swimsuit! Also lucky for me it is my size so I proceed to suit up and continue our dance and cheer party!

Eventually I found my bravery was waning and I did throw on my jeans over that suit (Erics legs were putting mine to shame once again!). (Apparently it was on long enough for me to get donned "Megaphone Swimsuit Girl" on facebook post race by complete strangers though) After all at this point I was still adult beverage free. Daisy and her awesome hubby helped remedy that and we let the beer soak in a bit and chase my PF sore feet blues away. Amazing what some fun tunes, a few cold ones, and the adrenaline of watching all these amazing athletes can do for a sore foot!

A few of the male pros including the winner and Big Sexy were in the finishers chute donning their glow sticks and cheering on finishers while passing out freebies to the spectators. I used the power of the megaphone to help direct some freebies my friends ways. Though I had to heckle the winner a bit about his lack of tossing skills which resulted in a few direct aims at my head. But all was forgiven when we hooked him up with a few brews (as promised during the race!). Eventually a few of the women pros joined the post race finisher chute party and we really had a good time chatting with them and dancing around while cheering in the finishers.

To my surprise Simply Stu was on the staff and we had some fun heckling going on amongst the pros and the cheerers to try and determine this club spirit award! Eventually as the clock was winding down everyone was invited into the finishers chute, which made for some really fun finishes! Flags and Glow Stick tunnels as runners carrying the flag streamed in mixed in with craziness between each runners finish were the highlight. Stu and I even donned swim caps and "swam" our way up and down the chute a few times for fun. All this mixed in with dancing with my CTC buddies made for a really fun night. Alas as all parties do ours eventually did have to end. But the final results were in after the last finisher and CTC indeed did win the most spirited club award (as if there was any doubt!). We loaded all the CTC gear up and it was back to Hotel Breakers for a much needed sleep!

*Pictures to be added in when I get a chance to upload!

Fix You

I've been so very blessed so far in life. Though I am loud, selfish, defiant, obnoxious, competitive, vulgar, easily influenced, vain, combative, spoiled, and controlling (amongst my many flaws we could list), I am surrounded by this wonderful support network. I am truly loved by so many wonderful people. People who would go far lengths to ensure that I am happy despite my many flaws.

I was discussing my foot plight and the fact that in both elite women's races I did this year I failed to perform to my personal standards. During this discussion my friend and I came to the conclusion that those I surround myself with only want to see me happy. They believe, because I have told them thus, that in order to be happy I want to run an OTQ. They believe, because running an OTQ requires it, that I want to run in these exclusive fields. And when I came up with this goal I really thought this was true. I saw these women at the trials and found them to be so inspiring. I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

I haven't quite made it there, but I have made it to a level where I have been introduced to this world, and I think the truth, for me, might be that it isn't really what I expected, or what I now desire. But how do you look all these loved ones in the face and tell them that they've been supporting you for you only to "give up" when you are knocking on your goals door?

I've always put pressure on myself to excel. In high school I made it my goal to excel in cross country, in band, and in classes. I had this habit of feeling like those around me expected me to do these things, but the truth is I put those goals out there, and my loved ones rallied around me to cheer me on to reaching them.

I've been doing the same thing with my running career the past few years. I set this goal, and along the way somehow my perception became that those that love me expect me to perform, that they expect me to shine, that they expect certain times or results of me. But that isn't the truth (and if it is, those aren't the people that really love me). The truth is these people have rallied around me and want to see me achieve these things because I have given them the impression that this is my hearts true desire.

After Boston and Cleveland I was such an emotional mess, I called my mom in tears ready to hire a shrink. I was struggling with workouts and my body, and I was ready to throw in the towel. I found myself on the track pleading with my coach for a break in tears. Perhaps this should have been a sign, but I slowly started to feel better, and I convinced myself that I could push through and up until the past 4 weeks I was slowly making my way back to my previous fitness, though it was forced. When you are feeling good you put the negative and the doubts aside, I was able to tune out my foot as long as the workouts or the races were there, in focused pursuit of one thing.

Through this slew of illness, injuries, stress, and over-training my loved ones have done everything they can to help "fix" me. But the truth is I have to want to be fixed. And right now I am not sure that I do*. Maybe this injury was a blessing in disguise, one that will let me step back and look at what I really want. In the meantime I am so grateful for all my loved ones, whether they be family, friends, or my virtual network.

Yes I have shed some serious tears the past few days, and yes I am heart broken not to be running, and yes I am devastated that I just can't seem to get the timing right this year for a breakthrough run.

But I believe what I am finding is that I can and will be happy regardless of perhaps missing out on this one goal for now. That through no one's error but my own I put myself in a position where I was forced to sit down and look at what I have been doing to myself. And I don't like what I see. Look for more posts on how I am going to put the happy back into my running (once I am up and running!) and how I am going to balance all my loves and interests so that when my next obstacle comes up I won't be so devastated!

And to all those loved ones thank you so much for supporting me through my ups and downs. I promise I am going to come through this down and be happier in the long term because of it.

*I reserve the right to totally have an about face anytime on these goals. Maybe we should add bi-polar to the flaws above.

Finding My Inner Self

Got back to yoga last night for the first time in FOREVER! I've always found run fitness to be superior to swim or cycling fitness, as when I neglect swimming or cycling but I am running I seem to come back to those sports right where I left off. Well the same does not apply for yoga. My run fitness left me sweating with the masses last night. And this morning my arms feel pretty worked from all the planks and chaturangas. Clearly my body has been missing out on some much needed work in other areas, and my mind hasn't been that clear in a long time.

I tend to live inside my head. I worry, fret, assume, and over think pretty much everything. So you can imagine I love a yoga class where I have nothing to focus on but my breathing and listening to my body. (And this is where we ask, well then why the heck haven't you been making time for this all along?)

Last nights class the instructor asked us to think about ourselves and if there was something in us that was holding us back, something that wasn't allowing us to do what we pleased. The obvious answer would be my foot right now :) But I think there are some other things in there too. I certainly didn't figure it out last night in one 75 minute class, and I am sure a sports psychologist would need quite a few sessions to figure out all my neurosis, but I do think I need to take this time off to really think about what it is I want, and why within the past nine months I have found my body breaking down more than I'd like, and found myself an emotional mess a few too many times. I need to remember that everything I do should be done for me, and that as long as I am doing what makes me happy that is all that matters, no matter what that is.

Mad World

I don't know why but I have always loved this song (the only redeeming thing from Donnie Darko for me).

Sad and beautiful. Don't worry I'm not on the edge of a cliff over here, but a melancholy tune feels appropriate on this rainy fall evening.


Well my body is crying uncle. Rough race in Indy on Saturday and my foot is in pretty bad shape. I've put so much effort into priming my body for an OTQ attempt, but in the process I have also dug myself into a bit of a hole physically and emotionally. So now it is time to dig myself out. Sometimes the best decision is the hardest one to make. I know this is the best decision for my body right now, but my heart just aches because of it. I love running and racing and I have come so far the past few years, it is hard to see goals slip through your fingers. But I am sure I will walk away from this a stronger woman once I can get beyond the pain.

I'm going to cross train and focus on massage, yoga, relaxtation, and start working on rebuilding my mental prowess while my body heals. Not sure how long it will take to heal, my body has been pretty kind to me in that department in the past so I am still holding out hopes for a miracle this fall, but making peace with the possible reality of a long recovery. I'm going to stop running until I can wake up every morning pain free. Posting here may be sporadic for awhile, but maybe I will find an enthusiasm for yoga, swimming, and cycling again and have something positive to share! We'll see!