Sunday, June 22, 2014

Watching the USA-Portugal Game in Grant Park was FUN

A few days ago CB and I needed a new FB profile pic.
Today he was bummed he would not be allowed to accompany me to Grant park to watch the USA- Portugal game.
I got to Grant Park a little before 4 to meet Emily.
There were LOADS AND LOADS OF PEOPLE. (I saw the capacity was reached at 10,000 people!)
I met up with Emily and we walked towards the screen like moths to a flame.
We found a nice place to put the chairs she brought, about a 1/3 of the way from the screen.

The screen was great quality and we could see it clearly when we stood.
Having fun before the game with Emily!
A little after we got to Grant Park we found out it had reached capacity and was closed. Our plan was to watch the 1st half at GP and then go home to watch the rest. We were pretty much trapped...

{Video} "I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!" repeat... and repeat...
YAY time to watch soccer!

5 minutes in we were silent due to the Portugal goal. F&CK!!!
Some fog started rolling in off Lake Michigan.
Every time C. Ronaldo was shown on the screen, he was booed LOUDLY by the crowd.

Every time the USA kicked a shot and missed, someone near us would start smoking pot. This happened a lot.
Soon it was half time and we were happy to have chairs to sit on to rest our legs. THANK YOU EMMERS!

And the fog continued rolling in.
Then we just waited and held our breath for USA to hold onto their lead as more fog rolled in.
And more fog rolled in and made all the buildings disappear.

And someone in the crowd said "This is very ominous." And I {said to myself} STFU BRO!

With 5 seconds until the end of the game it became tied, and everyone was in disbelief. WOMP.
And as we departed Grant Park with our heads hung low, we all agreed it was a well played game for the USA.

I had a blast watching the game with Emily, but was bummed her husband wasn't able to join us.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

When the Cankle Howled

I feel like American "culture" is lacking in many ways. One of the things that rubs me the wrong way is our "fast food culture" of thought. It permeates nearly every aspect of our lives- we can get meals fast (duh), there are gizmos to help us do X faster, and pills & "miracles" to lose weight fast among 1000's of other "do this quicker" schemes. We are always looking for the quick (lazy half-assed) way because that's what is being shoved down our throats every place we turn.
CB doesn't want to hear me talk about this anymore.

This week post Monday's PT session- and once my ankle cooled down from the Graston, I was feeling good. For the first time in 6 weeks, my Cankle wasn't full of hate in the morning.

I was looking forward to my 3rd PT session Friday afternoon. I was prepared to ask the PT if I could start running again. I was dreaming about participating in some of my favorite fall races. After some "side steps" and "monsters" I climbed up onto the table. 10 seconds into the Graston, I winced in pain as the tool touched something very tender on my Cankle. And that was the end of Graston for the day. The PT massaged my Cankle and I finished the rest of my exercises.
My face when the cankle howled.

I did end up getting the "return to running" program from the PT but am hesitant to even start that. I want to do the right thing with my ankle which involves letting it heal, and doing all my PT prescribed exercises religiously at home. Talking about long term here.

I was so bummed sitting on the table after the graston incident. I went from incredibly encouraged that this Cankle shit was almost behind me to stewing in anger that I had to reconsider everything and abandon the pipe dreams I had created again. I knew this process would take a while- last time I got the tendonitis it took 6+ months for me not to feel it anymore. I didn't seek treatment for it back then. But this time I got sucked into the "fast food culture" that after 3 PT sessions, my Cankle was nearly healed and I could start easing back into my pre Cankle activities because it was feeling happy again.

My takeaway from this Friday's meltdown is that I need to be patient and not rush this and not get sucked into our lazy ass American mentality of "we can totes rush this process MOAR SHORTCUT FASTER QUICK."


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Having loads of fun, no running involved.

Graston + PT + Hips

2 PT sessions in, I'm feeling super encouraged that I've made a good decision to commit to 2 sessions a week.

The discomfort in my ankle is nearly gone, but no surprise there since I refuse to run on it until it's better and until I have some solid time behind me with PT. Because if I were to just run on it now, it would likely come back because the main issue hasn't been fixed yet. And that would just be f&cking dumb.

not running = walks with the pup & imitating sculptures

My outer hips are pretty weak which are likely contributing (along with janky biomechanics) my knees to turn in excessively while running, causing extra stress on my ankle. My PT said not to run for another week, so maybe this weekend I'll be able to test out a few easy miles, but I'm ok waiting more to ensure I put myself in the best position for recovery.
I had graston done for the first time yesterday. At first I was intimidated by a large heavy metal instrument being rubbed on my tender ankle, but the actual movements didn't hurt at all. After 10 minutes there was a noticeable red patch on one small segment of my ankle- which the PT said was the inflamed area. Ever since, it's been a little cranky which was to be expected.

I started swimming on Saturday. I managed 900 yards with breaks between every 50 yard lap. I can't freaking breathe. Sunday's 1000 yards went slightly better but I need to learn how to breathe. I had wanted to do a triathlon later this summer, but am now entirely convinced an open water swim could possibly kill me. I'm currently looking into swim lessons.

Running thoughts:

I've been struggling with pulling back from running and running goals. I love running more than cycling and swimming but my long term health is more important than any PR or BQ. I was still thinking (delusional) I had enough time to train and squeak out a BQ in September, but the rational side of me says STOP. And I am. And it's difficult. And I know I'll be putting myself in the best possible position for success whenever that happens in the future.
I don't understand why he is cheering for the Netherlands...

World Cup!

I've been enjoying watching many of the games and seeing some major upsets which will enable Brasil or the USA to go far and *hopefully* win the cup.


L and I went out to Grant park last night for the first of 3 viewing parties US soccer is sponsoring. We got there literally 3 minutes before the game started and were in the middle of the crowd when Dempsey scored the first goal 32 seconds in.

It was amazing watching the crowd erupt into celebration!


We left after the first half to check out a new bar that opened near us but ended up at another place for dinner and to watch the rest of the game due to the crowds.

I might return to grant park Sunday to watch USA v Portugal with some friends because even though it was hot, it was ridiculously fun.
Im seriously bummed I can't watch the Brasil v Mexico game at 2pm today. Maybe I'll get "sick" today at 1pm??? Hehe

I have to say not having a training plan looming over my head like a big dark cloud is so incredibly wonderful because I can go enjoy activities without feeling "guilty" for bailing on a run or workout. I'm almost spending more time working out now than before and enjoying life a hell of a lot more.

Vai Brasil!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

A step in the right direction

I've been so frustrated with this cankle issue. 5 weeks ago it came out of nowhere just like it did 2 weeks before the 2012 Fox Valley Marathon. The main difference between this time and last time is i've pretty much stopped running since it happened, save for the first week when I was in NYC and HAD to run in Central Park. The result (not surprising): It has significantly improved and I feel very little discomfort in my cankle.

But it's still present.

I'm giving it all the TLC I possibly can to ensure it goes away fast. It is killing me that I cannot go run right now- specially with the great weather we've been having. I'm so bummed about this cankle thing. Some days I feel the way CB looks below- and I'm all "I MIGHT BE ABLE TO START RUNNING AGAIN" and then the next day the cankle is cranky and then I feel so bummed about the situation because it has been 5 weeks and while it's better, I don't feel comfortable running on it again. I'd hate to aggravate it more and set myself back.
I went to Athletico for an injury screening about my cankle. I hit some sort of breaking point this week and made the appointment not because of the cankle, but because i'm sick of this continual cycle of injuries i'm in. I love running, I love getting faster and improving and I feel like each time I take 2 steps forward, I end up taking 1.85 steps back.

My legs were poked, twisted, and tested for strength and movement. Surprisingly, my hips are strong, have little to no imbalance issues on my legs, and have good range of motion- although the right (problem child) leg has a little less range of movement than the left probably due to the tendon issue.

The likely diagnosis was tendinitis of the peroneal tendons. I was told they seem tight, although I still have decent range of motion. My right hip is also more forward than my left I've got some exercises to do to help fix the hip issue. The calf also could be the root of my issues. But it's so difficult to know for sure.

I never considered PT or ART before, but lately i've been thinking how what I have done in the past (nothing) hasn't changed the fact my right lower leg consistently has issues. This past week I was debating whether or not I would give up going after any serious running goals so I could (eventually) continue to just run and simply enjoy it. Consistency over time is the only real way to have big gains- being injured just doesn't fit into the improve at running equation. I came to the conclusion that doing something should yield better results than my usual "do nothing" and I need to give that "something" a try.
My next steps are to get a referral from my doctor, get a gait analysis and start some PT on whatever is wonky. In the meantime, I'm going to continue cycling and start swimming laps in the very near future.

I'm excited to set this all in motion and hopefully fix my janky right leg.

I hope this will be a step in the right direction.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Original 5k

On Saturday I ran FleetFeet's brand spankin new event, "The Original 5k." The theme was the 1970's running boom. Pre, The Complete Book of Running, tube socks, splitterz (split shorts), painters caps, were  the essence of this no frills well organized race.

The race was at Montrose, and I decided to cycle the 9 miles up there since it would have taken me longer to take the public trans. I was really excited to take my sweet 15 year old Specialized hybrid on its longest journey to date.

The weather was perfect. Sunny with a cool breeze. I knew it would be a great day to wear my splitterz.

Team New Balance

The last time I wore my splitterz was in 1998. Somehow after moving 20 times in the past 16 years they remained in my running shorts box. I couldn't bear to part with them. The elastic was shot (no surprise) but the drawstring worked perfect.
FF Cheer Team

The 4 "heritage" shoe companies (New Balance, Nike, Asics, and Brooks) were present showing off their latest models. There was also a team competition between the 4 shoe brands. I was lucky enough to land a spot on Team New Balance through being a FF cheer ambassador as well as a comped entry into the race*.
All smiles before running my longest in weeks.

The ankle was feeling better this week so I decided a 5k would be a good way to "test" it out since Thursday's one mile run didnt allow it to fully warm up.

First mile: Yay I'm running. This is so fun! (Looks down at garmin after half a mile and sees 7:00 pace) CRAP must slow down Im not trying to PR this race.... Split: 7:30

Second mile: yay I'm still running relatively ankle pain free. I really should slow down a bit so my ankle doesn't explode. Split: 7:35

Third mile: slowing down to be smart. Don't care if people pass me. I'm having an absolute blast. This is so fun! Split: 7:53

The last tenth I was just enjoying myself... perhaps a little too much...

Time: 23:53
Respect the races, yo. Tuck in your shirt.

Immediately after crossing the finish, I got some ice for my ankle, because it was tender.

I was so happy to run again.

I started a bit further back than I normally would, and didnt experience any course crowding even with Montrose's narrow paths. There was one water station filled with smiling volunteers- one of which said "take some water, It's good for your soul." It was hard to resist getting some of that water.
Post race there was a raffle and I enjoyed spending time with some of my FF Cheer friends while drinking a Miller Highlife.
The day was about celebrating running and friends. And FleetFeet, as always didnt disappoint.
Post Race FF Cheer Team

I cycled back home and against my better judgement, didn't put my leggings back on- thinking i'd be ok with the splitters. I proceeded to chafe a quarter sized area of my leg. You know it's bad when even neosporin stings wickedly bad on contact. The whole ride home I just couldn't stop thinking how my legs felt so trashed from the 9 mile journey up and the 5K. 

It was a fab day to enjoy with friends and I was thankful to have this opportunity through FleetFeet*.

*As always, Everything written here is my own opinion blah blah