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luna de miel

Oh right, blogging!

Let me spit some material out because I'm about to ditch the internet for a pritttttty long time to jet off on a honeymoon to Peru.  (I'll probably post amazing braggy pictures on Facebook and Twitter, so not a complete ditch.)

Honeymoon.  It now appears as though my honeymoon "recap" will be up before our wedding "recap" because our photographer is holding our photos hostage.

Seriously, help? Our photographer was Tom Tomkinson.  He was lovely in person.  Our contract said we would get our photos in 4-6 weeks.  It will be 10 weeks this next weekend.  At the 6 week mark, I said, "dude?"  And he replied "soooo busy, sooo sorry, just a few more weeks."  At the 8 week mark, I said "DUDE?" and left a voicemail with "BRO!?"

He hasn't replied.  That was 10 days ago.  He possibly fled the country with our photos after realizing how valuable they are.  This face is worth millions.



Mr. Tomkinson lives in Berkeley, and the world is small, so if any of y'all know the fellow please kick him in the butt for me and tell him we want our photos.  Or if anyone knows that he is a scammer, that would be valuable to hear so I can start stalking his home.  It would be really nice to wrap that expensive part of our wedding up before we leave the country for a long period of time.

Speaking of photographs.  We gained ownership of a "nice" camera, which means you finally can look at beautiful food on my blog! That's why you read blogs right? Supply and demand.  I assume everybody is obsessed with looking at photos of food since those blogs are the ones that make $$$.



Please gaze longingly at the glistening kielbasa, the al dente lemon pepper pasta, the sticky remote, the weathered couch.

The guy I live with made chicken pot pie from scratch and he was excited about making it.  Who does that?  You want the recipe? I warn it is real-people food.  Butter and white flour.  If you can handle that, message me.

Okay now let's backpedal a second and discuss the honeymoon some more.

We will be exploring Lima, Iquitos (amazon), Puno (Lake Titicaca), Cusco, Machu Picchu, my mind cannot contain the excitement.  Rain or shine, we are spending more than half of our nights in a tent or hut.  This is no spa retreat honeymoon.  I'm practicing my mosquito fighting skills for the amazon and asking my lung capacity to expand in preparation for the high elevation.

Besides all this gloating, it is important for me to share that I will be taking a much needed break from running during this long vacation.  I'm specifically being vague as to the start and end date of our trip so you don't break into my apartment and steal our valuables, which consists of laundry and ikea furniture.

It will be a long break from running.  Probably the longest break I have taken since I started running regularly at age 17. I know it is crazy I have never taken more than 2-ish weeks off running, but I've never had a serious running injury that forced me to completely stop running for very long.

Or maybe I do have a serious injury?  I have continued to meet with a doctor for ART and evaluation of my leg-locked left leg (the "LLLL") over the past few weeks, and then I stopped.  I kept getting different stories each visit (your fast-twitch fibers aren't working.  Your pelvis is in the wrong place.  You need to foam roll a lot.  Do plyometrics.  Balance more.)  But these quick 20 minute appointments left a lot to be learned.  Like -- WHAT THE **** IS CAUSING MY LEG TO LOCK UP WHEN I TRY TO RUN FAST?

I need answers.  I wasn't getting any.  I was getting some release, in the form of intense pain during the ART, and some general chatter about all the fascia and tightness in my leg.  But those are the result of something wrong not the thing that is wrong itself. The tightness comes right back the second I try to run.  Something bigger is wrong.  Like my pelvis is out of place.  Like my leg permanently adapted around some long neglected injury.  Are either of those a thing? How do you fix it?

Long story short: I'm taking a long-ass break from running, and upon my return, I will scope out a new physical therapy situation.

Looking to the future--I will be returning from the honeymoon looking square into the eyes of a half-marathon that I am signed up for, and CIM.  I will very likely run neither.  I am sad to say I just don't see a month+ long taper being the way to run CIM.  Maybe I'll run 20 miles for the atmosphere and then drop out and cheer everyone else on.

*******

I ran the Livermore Grape Stomp half-marathon 2 weekends ago.  I jumped in because I had a coupon for placing in a different race last year, and this was the only race I could use it on before it expired.

I took it easy enough since I showed up with just a pinch of motivation. It was the right race to run "for fun" because ummm.....everybody (at least near the front of the group) got lost.  Multiple times.

The race was severely lacking in vital volunteers.  There were a number of forks in the road without volunteers, and the lead runners kept picking the wrong way.  Whoops, turn around.  The race directors did try to notify which fork to take by putting up cones and arrows, but still it was confusing as hell.  There was one cone that said "Stay Left!", but what it SHOULD have said was, "Sharp hairpin turn around this cone!"  Those are very different.

I ended up running over 13.5 miles (in 1:32:27) because of the unknown course, and according to the race website results placed first for women.  That is just as confusing as everything else about the race since I swear I saw another woman ahead of me.  Regardless, I won ANOTHER coupon, so I will probably be racing this one next year.

I wasn't running late for once, so I slowly picked up my bib and schwag before the start
I warmed up for about a mile by running back and forth between the finish line and the "13 mile" mark, and consistently the distance between the two one-way was 0.22 miles.  I'll never understand why so many races don't set up the last 0.1 miles as, ya know, 0.1 miles.

Umm....GUYS.  WHY is there a confederate flag behind me???  
Finish line.  Bizarre race.  That photo can officially never be used again.

(p.s. can somebody tell me when the flowers disappeared from my blog? I somehow failed to notice them disappear, but that grandma wallpaper is gone.  Gone I say! I'll pay anyone in race coupons for you to help make my blog look pretty, flowers or otherwise.)

I'd Rather Be Running

A's Game

Best friday night ever.  I had two of my very favorite people on each side of me.

this face is, "mom, you are taking this picture way too close"

Juuust about the last row seats

Our hometown Oakland A's front and center.  3 minutes of doing the Bernie lean.  A couple magical moments, including a homerun by Cespedes and an amazing throw to home plate blocking the Tigers from a run.  But the A's lost, so that was lame.

It was also just nice to spend some time with the Gentleman, who I don't see much of these days.  He has had....one day off of work since our wedding.  His job is on my hit list.  I hope his employer searches him by his full name, Mr. Gentleman RoseRunner, and learns all about it! I don't care!

Speaking of the Gentleman, he pointed out that 7th inning stretch and the singing of "take me out to the ballgame" is legitimately one of the top happiest things in the world.  Thousands of adults singing a secular song together, about a simple past time   It really is amazing when you think about it.  Enjoy that shit next time you're at a ball game.

Babies

I'm building a stack of IOU's to give to my niece and nephew when they finally get high school jobs so they can pay me back for all the gas $$$ I spend driving to Napa to see them.  My niece is definitely in a place of "put that baby down and play with ME."  So I did.

Put that baby down

And play with me

She knows all the moves

the fetal position? Real original, baby.
She has me wrapped around her finger.  She hit me in the face and her scraggly fingernail left a bloody scratch, so I brought her to the bathroom to show her how I had to clean the scratch and ask her to say sorry.  She gave me a puppy-dog face for 3 minutes straight, in silence.  So instead, I gave her a hug for scratching me in the face.  Well played, kiddo.

ART & Plyometrics

Last friday morning, I headed back to sir doctor for another round of ART and a discussion of how it felt to run after our last session.  He had an intern shadowing him, and I think he wanted to show off for the intern, because he TORE me UP.  Oh jeebus.  I was feeling very bruised the following few days, but I promise that's not my excuse for the brief race recap below.

My plan is to stay steady with a doctor--although it will be interrupted soon by a long honeymoon--until my left leg starts to feel some real semblance of better.  I've reconciled with the fact that this may cost a pretty penny.

San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Based on my confidence-boosting tempo run, I thought I was right on target by going out with a few 6:30 miles.  It turns out that I am still in 1:30 half marathon shape, and that the tempo run was just a nice fluke.  Or whatever made me feel so light and fast and peppy that morning, was not present on Sunday morning.

1:29:50 official time.  I walked through the last two water stops instead of stopping to stretch out my left leg, because coming to a full halt reallllly throws you off.  Walking gave my leg a little relief.  I did have some left leg issues during the race, but the "locking" sensation was not as severe as it can be.

That may be all in my head. Wishful thinking that the ART last week is helping.  I am trying to stay hopeful, so this feeling of being completely "stuck" in my running doesn't bring me way down.  Hopeful that with some more ART, plyometrics, and loving care, I'll keep progressing and moving forward.  Get back to my 1:26 PR and then some!

Dennis, me, Jessica.  They both had amazing races
The race did frustrate me.  My corral notice pointed out that back in February when I signed up for this race, I optimistically put down my expected finish time as 1:25.

But I have to remember that it mostly frustrated me because that perfect pre-race tempo run gave me a false sense of hope.  Prior to that run, I believed I was on track for a personal worst after a lazy summer (speed work wise).  This was not a personal worst, so I'm trying to remind myself there's not much more I could have hoped for.  I certainly didn't earn a great race.

Blog Heading

For this blog's 2.5 year existence, there has never been a "catchphrase" under the title.  Just plain RoseRunner.  Or Rose Runner.  I have no idea if it is one word or two, but based on the blog search traffic, the greater majority thinks it is 2 words.  Sounds good to me.



 Then I added a catchphrase.

"I'd rather be running."

I was thinking about the first day of my real property law course in 2007.  The professor was sweet--too sweet, because we ended up ill-prepared for the bar exam on the subject of real property--and she asked us to write down 3 things about us on an index card.

I don't remember the other two items I wrote, but I remember one was, "no matter what I'm doing, I'd rather be running."  Turns out, the professor was also a former runner and she pulled me aside to talk about our respective pre-class endorphin fixes.

Of course, I can think of a few things I'd rather be doing than running at times, and if I just finished a 20-miler and am lying on the couch, you can bet I wouldn't "rather be running."  But I think the point is made.  It's my free-time filler of choice.

Now that term is mine, you may never use it, unless you would like to pay $25 for a shirt that I will be selling with that tagline?

Ha.  I'm too lazy to make shirts.  I graciously allow you to use those words.  Free country! Thanks Obama!

Is your team in the playoffs right now? I need the A's to win Thursday night's game.  Go Athletics! Your team is named after people who are athletic!

Did you catch ShittyBlogger's last post? She didn't get as much love as her first guest post, and is now suffering from extreme self esteem issues.  

The Return of ShittyBlogger

Hi babykins, it's me! Your amazeballs internet role model!

I can't believe I haven't posted since 13 HOURS AGO! A lot has happened since then.

I woke up this morning bright and early, because I had a big day ahead of me!

On tap was three meals, two snacks, a cute outfit to pick out, blog photos to take, and a workout!

The excitement for me was palpable.  I just love these days so much.  They can get really hectic! After breakfast, there is always these 12 minutes where I'm scrambling because I can't remember if the next step in my day is a workout or lunch.  It's confusing, but I am committed to this lifestyle.  It is SO, so important to me that I do whatever I have to so that I can look like a sorority girl as long as possible.

To "break the fast" so to speak, I made myself a bowl of dry oatmeal.  I'm on a raw diet for really questionable reasons that have to do with enjoying eating restrictions.  It gives me a great excuse to be disordered when I am out with friends.

Here is a picture of my morning meal in all its glory!



Wait, let's get another angle.



A few more.






Whoa.  That photo was too close.  Zooming out.

I just love the bowls that I use for all my meals.  Here is a picture that I accidentally took in context with other items, so you can tell the size of the bowl.  They are perfect size for me.



After I took pictures of my food for 30 minutes, I took a bite of it.  Then it was time to go, go, go! I had a hot date with the GYM!

It was an intense workout.  I did crossfit bodypump P90x burpee mountain climbers, with 8 rest intervals for selfies in the gym mirror.

Just to prove that I'm not lying, here is a pic of how much I sweat!



When I got home, I was so sweaty and so busy! I had 13 blog comments to moderate, and a smoothie to make.  Smoothies, guys.  There's nothing like a green mustache to say--"hey, here's a really gross picture of me with a green mustache."

The glass jar is there to say "I'm cute and artistic!" and the black blobs are there to remind you "my diet is nasty!"

Also, a little known healthy blogger fact: protein powder makes you fart.  all day.  Thank goodness blogs don't come in smell-o-vision, guyssss! (what I mean by that is that I fart a lot because of the protein powder, and if you had to smell me all day instead of just read about me, it would not be pretty).

Back to the smoothie.  It tasted just like ice cream! I would know.  I had ice cream once 11 years ago back before I realized how much my existence is centered around staying thin and pretty.  I'm fairly certain this smoothie tastes exactly like that ice cream!

Around 1:18 p.m., I suddenly I got an attack of the shoppies (that's what I call it when I'm bored and have nothing to do and think, dude, I have to shop NOW!).

My favorite thing about shopping is the mirrors.



Hawt.

I bought exactly what my closet needs -- my 118th pair of skinny jeans!  It's hard for me not to obsess over something with the word "skinny" in it.  It's osmosis.  The jeans will make you skinny.

After 3 hours of posing in the dressing room and taking pictures, I NEEDED a snack.



Thank goodness. I always keep a handful of Splenda packets in my purse and in the car for emergency snacks.  You never know when the urge to eat will hit! Especially for someone like me who has forgotten what a hunger cue is.  My new trademarked tip for you is that you keep a healthy snack in your purse so you don't get HANGRY and do something crazy like eat a snickers bar!!!! aaaaaccckkk! Can you imagine? a snickers bar?

I felt much better after my snack.

Well shit, this day has been busy.  It is now 4:27 p.m. and I am hyperventilating because I have to figure out what to do about dinner.  I can't fucking find my camera (I might have left it in the dressing room after the 300 selfies?) so I'm about to starve to death.  Shoot, darn, drats.  How am I supposed to eat something if it isn't photographed.

I'm so scared right now.

Help.

The Best Tempo That Ever Was

No better place to start than with last week's mileage recap:

Monday:        0
Tuesday:       11.9
Wednesday:  12.3
Thursday:      12
Friday:          11.8
Saturday:       4
Sunday:        19.3
total:            71. something

This week started out with lead-legs.  I attempted a track workout of 400s and 800s on Tuesday, but after two 400 repeats where I struggled to hit 1:26, I decided it wasn't my day and moved along.

Wednesday was 3x2 miles at 7:00ish pace, with a mile relaxed in between each.  Just for funsies, and because I still couldn't get my legs to run anything faster than 7:00 minute miles.

Thursday was relaxed.

And then Friday, I ran The Best Tempo That Ever Was.

In the history of every amazing tempo run that has been documented on this blog, I have always, without fail, had to stop the tempo between the 2nd and 4th mile to stretch out my leg lock.  When the leg starts dying, I give it a quick hamstring stretch and piriformis release and then I'm off, feeling fine, for about another 1-2 miles.  repeat.

On this 6 mile tempo, I got the urge at mile 3.  STOP.  STRETCH ME NOW.  I can't bend right.  Please stretch me?

But I ignored it.  And I got through 6 miles straight, at a pace that came out of fuckin' nowhere for me, and I didn't stop.  Not once.  A real tempo.  All mine.

6:22; 6:20; 6:14; 6:13; 6:19; 6:19

Delicious.  I could stare at that workout recap all night.

I didn't even feel like I worked for it.  None of that flushed dizzy tingle that sticks with you after a hard workout.  Did it even happen? What? Why can't I feel this good every run? How can I replicate this at a race?

The last 1/2 mile my leg was "locking up" badly and pleading for a stretch, but I got through it, and then stretched, and then felt like my normal self.  Whatever is wrong with my leg, it doesn't like speed, but is also very temporary.

I ran this at the track. Tempo cheating in some respects.  It's so easy to fly around that soft flat thing.  Outside lane = a little under 21 laps.

May sound dizzying to you, but I really enjoy it.  I am far too self-conscious to run tempos out in the wide open where people stare and yell "BITCH!" or "booty!" at me for running by quickly.  Both have happened.  Another example: whenever the Gentleman and I used to run sprint repeats around the lake, errrrrybody had something to say.  "Don't let her beat you!" or "Go get him!"  Sooooo the track is my preferred safe place to run fast without the looks or the commentary.

Speaking of leg-lock, I had a sports therapy appointment today.  The doctor prodded at me, made me sweat with pain, put my leg to the test, and declared a huge knot in my butt (on the leg-lock side) which he released, and that my fast-twitch muscles aren't working. This makes other "wrong" muscles engage when I run fast, and then they fatigue quickly, hence, leg-lock.  Perhaps leg-lock is more appropriately called, "leg that weakens because it is using the wrong muscles to run fast."  This does explain why I can run 20 slow miles (slow twitch fibers) without a grimace, but 2 miles at a fast pace always makes my leg die.  Perhaps this white girl needs to look into ultras and give up on speed.  Hm.

He did say words that were magic to my ears: it's nothing permanent.  Whatever it is can be fixed.

Prescription: plyometrics and balancing exercises.  Then re-visit the doctor to discuss.  I do a lot of balancing exercises.  Plyometric recommendations are welcome! Get my fast-twitch fibers going please!

Saturday: 4 easy miles with the Gentleman so I could get on the road to meet my 2-day old nephew! My sister popped out another future BFF for me.



He's pretty boring right now compared to my 2 year old niece who I tricked into running towards me with a hug every time she sees me.  It's THE. BEST.

She was sick :(  

Sunday: Guess I DID like my last run through crowded San Francisco, because I found my way back to the City! I sliced through Golden Gate park after getting off BART, ran into blog-reader-and-lawyer Jen (which was fabulous.  We both stopped at the same water fountain; I thought she was giving me a side-eye and was like "promise I won't steal all the water!"; then she introduced herself and all was right in the world.)

It was fun but 19 City miles are tiring, all those hills! I also fell into stride with a parade of pink ladies walking for The Cure, so was followed by pink tutus and boom-boxes blaring J-Lo for much of the miles.  Seems like a neat event.

In just a fortnight I will be running my first race in over 3 months! (Not actually a fortnight -- more like 5 days -- but you know what sounds cooler? Fortnight.)

I was not excited for this race (the San Jose RnR half marathon) a week ago.  Feeling slower than usual, and knowing that I would experience the same old issues with racing and my left leg, I was dreading a new personal worst.

But, now with that very confidence-boosting tempo run and the magical words of a doctor (and the torture he put me through), I'm excited.

It would have to be a PERFECT day for a PR--like, 50 degrees, feel as peppy as I did during that tempo.  Of course, the forecast is 83 degrees.  I'm entirely sick of it.  My last three races (Napa marathon, Oakland half, See Jane Run half) were all on relatively hot days.  I disintegrate trying to race in the heat.  These 3 races are part of why I lost the spark to race recently.

Still looking forward to Sunday...I have to remember to enjoy it since apparently I only do this once every 4 months now.

So much more to talk about.  On the bench I have my favorite new place to run in Oakland; a wedding recap; another round of ShittyBlogger; my evolving stand-up station at work; top 100 photos of Miley Cyrus's tongue; and as discussed on twitter, a post about tabby cats.  See you soon!