Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Another Musical Mon-... er..., Tuesday

Let's get real. During this little lull in our training while Liv and I both are mentally and physically preparing ourselves for real marathon training to begin, our blogging has been a wee lot bit lackluster (when it's not absent altogether... whoops).

So to you few folks out there who are still bearing with us during this downtime (Hi mom!) in our blogging/training, well first of all, THANK YOU!!!! We'll be back soon - girl scouts honor! And secondly, I'm hoping/assuming you won't hold it against me that I'm dishing out this little Musical Monday on a Tuesday. I mean, c'mon. It's a holiday week - you know you're all getting your days confused anyway and constantly correcting yourself that today is, in fact, Tuesday and not Monday.

Anyway, here's what's putting some pep in my step today after a long weekend of soaking up entirely too much sun.

Happy running!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Mucky Muck

Oh hey, y'all! Remember me? I used to run a little bit and occasionally blog about it. I've been a wee bit mute lately for reasons too boring to elaborate on, so I'd like to reintroduce myself with a lil' recap of the RunAmuck 5K & obstacle course I recently completed with the rest of Team Shake'n Bake (the team name probably makes a bit more sense if you know that 3 out 4 team members' last name is "Baker").

We arrived at the race an hour or so before our start time, and were all immediately taken aback by the scene. One of the first finishers we spoke with showed us the bloody, muddy mixture gushing down her leg as she warned us of sharp rocks scattered throughout the muck. We were all a bit scatterbrained at the start,  and the more we watched people stumbling across the finish line, the more we all were secretly hoping that someone would say, "Or... maybe we don't really have to do this...?"

We headed to the bar to soothe our nerves with a little Bud heavy (okay, Sus and I actually opted for the Light version, but it sounds more true to our team name to claim that we went for the real stuff). While were were sipping our beers, we noticed that a group was lining up at the starting line - so rather than wait another 30 minutes for our scheduled start time, we chugged down our cold ones and lined up to take off (Note: there was absolutely zero organization to this thing, so we weren't too concerned about messing up the "race structure.") 

About 30 seconds into the race, we began running uphill at what seemed like a 75 degree angle... and clearly I began immediately regretting the beer. The obstacles were pretty mild and absurdly random, and the first mud pit was easy breezy. I fulfilled my duty as back of the pack for Team Shake'n Bake and begged my liver to bear with me for just a bit longer until the race was over. I also managed to lose a shoe - twice - in the muddy mixture and ran portions of the race with my shoe only partially on.

The second mud pit was a bit more challenging, and the only way I managed to get through was by rolling on my belly. We sprinted (Okay, as you'll see in the video below, we didn't actually sprint. But it felt like a sprint to this gal who ran a little faster than she had planned in order to keep up with Team Shake'n Bake) to the final mud pit just in time to see our mascot aka Wilson Bobby aka my nephew having a complete meltdown. Poor little guy didn't know what to think of his parents being so close, yet so far, and completely covered from head to toe in mud...

We tried to show him how much fun we were having in the mud, but I'm not sure we were that convincing. We were pretty darn excited about hitting the showers STAT and getting the heck out that place.

You wouldn't know it, but there are jorts underneath all of that mud (which is not exactly recommended for races, fyi).
Was it fun? Certainly! Do I ever want to do it again? Eh... I think I'm good. It was a fun little Saturday activity, but I think I'll go ahead and check this one off my list.

Muckin' Mondays (sigh).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


You would think with this particular type of injury or diagnosis - I would be a little more upbeat about it and thankful that it's something that is typically self-treatable (and I am - there are injuries that are much worse). Of course the number one thing I need to do is the awful four-letter word for any athlete in training - r.e.s.t. Not that I don't cherish every single one of my rest days that are scheduled in training plans, but I'm definitely not looking to take an extended rest period right before full marathon training begins.

The frustrating thing about resting is the question of how long. How long do I have to rest enough to heal or feel better where I can run again? It's clear 4 days isn't enough because that's how many days I took off before my painful experiment yesterday of "am I ready yet."

So now I've already skipped two consecutive weekend long runs to rest and I just feel all of the training and mileage I've built up slipping away. How fast can you lose your base mileage? When I am ready to get back into it - am I going to have to start from scratch, or can I pick up where I left off? These are my questions - and I bet there is no definitive answer. I wish there was some omniscient running god that could tell me my fate.

What's also frustrating is that the marathon training program I'm interested in begins on June 4th, and I've been so looking forward to that because I haven't loved this being in limbo since May/making up my own run plans, gig. I like having specific programs to follow. I need someone to tell me what to do - esp being a newbie. So on June 4th I'm supposed to start with a 10 miler - will I be ready for that? I've run that distance several times before. Or am I going to be behind before it even begins?

Then there are the scariest questions of all running through my mind (pun intended) - what if it never feels better? Will I always be plagued by this? Is my knee just not cut out for running so much, so often, or long distances? I truly hope the answer is, it will feel better and you can do this - because I really like being a runner.

Off to get some ice,


The word of the day is "frustration." In the past few weeks, I've mentioned a little bit about the pain I've been experiencing in my knee. Now I have a diagnosis (although not an official doctor's diagnosis because I'm too immature to take the time to find any sports medicine doctor in the D.C. area when I know the best one in the country lives in my hometown - and am also currently too broke because most of the best specialty doctors are damn expensive and not necessarily covered by my plan. I went the cheap way out - maybe should have considered my increased training requirements before making that insurance decision, damn.)

I have Patellar Tendinitis. Diagnosed first by my local running store guy, then by my gym Pilates class teacher (who thinks the solution is to quit running all together and claims he knows all these people who ran all their lives and now their knees are shot...I don't like his answer). And finally by myself via trusty internet research.
My conclusion went something like this from a self-administered questionnaire (meaning I pretended a real doctor from the Mayo Clinic was asking them while I was answering - thus making the diagnosis more legit)

  • Is the pain usually located in the section of your patellar tendon between your kneecap (patella) and the area where the tendon attaches to your shinbone (tibia)? - Why yes, that's exactly where it is bothering me.
  • Does it occur especially when running or jumping? - Right-o. That and sometimes while pushing the pedals (just the down stroke) in my spinning classes
  • The pain in your knee may initially be present only as you begin physical activity or just after an intense workout? Yes, initially this was the case
  • The pain my increase as you step up the intensity of your activity? Eh - I don't really notice an increase in pain as the intensity is increased...but now instead of it just being at the beginning of the run it lasts the whole dang time - and when I used to wear the strap there wasn't pain, now the strap can't save me.
  • The pain may make going up and down stairs painful? -YES - not so much going up the stairs, but I avoid going down stairs like the plague now.
  • The pain may become a constant ache that can make it difficult to sleep at night? - Thankfully NO. But considering I've ticked off everything else on this list I fear if I don't get this healed it's just a matter of time.
And now let's discuss why I'm flippin' frustrated. A) of all, I'm frustrated because I don't understand how it's gotten worse. I mean it's something I've dealt with a little bit since the end of college, and it makes complete sense why. There is a reason it is also called "jumper's knee" - for all of those years of cheerleading I was stunting, tumbling, jumping and just all around bouncing all over the place. But this particular article points to the cause as overuse (i.e., increased mileage, hills, pace), and this I don't understand. I followed a gradual increase of mileage during our 10 mile race training program and throughout that gradual increase of mileage, I gradually added hills, and it didn't get worse. It wasn't until about 2 weeks after that race when it started really hurting (when I hadn't increased my mileage at all and definitely wasn't overdoing it).

Additionally, some point to weaker quad or hamstring muscles and the extra strain those weak muscles place on the knee as a potential cause. For the past seven months (at a minimum) I have been consistently weight training, mostly twice a week. Over the past three months I've put extra focus on my glute, hamstring, and quadricep muscles to even further try and prevent injury. So B) of all I'm frustrated because I feel as though I've been training correctly, stretching, foam rolling, etc. and don't understand why it's gotten worse.

This little rant on my diagnosis has gotten a bit lengthy - thus, I am going to turn this into a two-part series and tomorrow we're going to discuss the prognosis and how that also has me (you guessed it) frustrated.

Can I even use the term prognosis when talking about an injury and not an illness - doctors out there? Oh well, even if it is not medically correct, it helps the titling of my mini-series. It's clearly riveting and nail-biting I know, you will all be rushing back tomorrow. You are welcome.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hold It Against Me

I know I've been a very bad blogger lately. And truth be told, I've been an even worse runner lately. I have a laundry list of excuses, but rather than bore you to tears on this lovely Friday, I'll just let these Marines do the talking...

I'll be back,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holy Guacamole

Happy Cinco de Mayo folks (as well as a Happy Birthday to my MIL)! Sal + Liv get to cut their work day a little short with a little happy hour complete with salsa y cervezas. Is it 4:30 yet?

In honor of national margarita day, have you tried Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Girl Margarita? She successfully turned your typical 700 calorie margarita into a hundred calorie version. To me it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and I was thrilled when I found out they carried it at my neighborhood wine store. No more beer bloatedness on the beach for me this summer. With the exception of this Mexican restaurant located in Arlington and Alexandria (which has the best margarita in the history of ever), I often find that restaurant margarita's are a touch too sweet or sour and leave a funky taste in my mouth. Not so with Skinny Girl. Reportedly she is coming out with a Skinny Girl Sangria but I can't find it, has anyone come across it or tried it yet?

If they are not carrying Skinny Girl at your local libation store, may I present the recipe for "knock you naked margaritas." With a name like that, how could they be anything but awesome?

1 corona
1 12 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate
1 can 7-up
lime slices for a squeeze and garnish

Pour the limeade into a pitcher. Use the limeade container and fill that baby up with the tequila, yep - all the way to the top. Pour in the tequila, can of 7-up and the Corona and mix together. Serve over ice with a squeeze of lime.

So easy, no? It's my favorite margarita recipe because the beer cuts the sweet and sourness, but if you didn't tell your guests the beer was in there - my guess is they would never know.

Now while that margarita isn't as "diet-friendly," you could lighten it up by using a Corona Light and Diet 7-Up.

!Permitanos el partido! [Editor's note from Sal: as a Spanish  major in college, let the record show that I had nothing to do with that translation]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let's Move

Things have been quiet around here lately. Sal had family in town and then she had to move (sadly we no longer live around the block from each other...the distance between us has increased from 0.2 miles to 0.9 miles - tragic I know) and now she's sick.

I - on the other hand -really have no excuse, except that things have heated up at work again as we try and file our first quarter financial statements. That and I've kinda been 'blah' lately. For the first time since we've started this thing, this past weekend I didn't do a long run - *gasp*! And it's even more frustrating now because I had great plans to extend my mileage to 11.

But my knee has really been bothering me lately. Yesterday I had to cut my run short at 2 miles because even wearing my little strap brace, it was too uncomfortable. Never before have I felt any pain while just walking around, except for the past few days. So I iced it twice yesterday and today it's feeling better. I did yoga and swam this morning to give it a little rest and I'll ice it again today and then try a run tomorrow to see how it feels.

For a little inspiration to buck up and get myself moving after my mental check-out, I am loving this video from the one and only Beyonce in support of FLOTUS's "Let's Move" campaign:

I may or may not be posting up in front of my computer after work to learn the moves myself. I can't resist good music video choreography, it's the cheerleader in me. Plus I have to be ready with my moves for the SPDF if they play this tune. (I'm not going to expand on what that acronym means because if you don't know, it's for the better)

Today one of my fave DC Blogs shared this video of the First Lady putting her moves into action at a DC middle school. One day I will have her arms.

Get moving,