musings on running, life, and everything in between

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It’s been a bit, right? There are some things going on in life that are taking a lot of energy out of me. It leaves little room or desire to write about running. Part of this might be combined with the fact that I turned my ankle two weekends ago on the trail.

I was about 4 miles into an 8-11 mile run with some friends at Bull Frog in Palos. Ironically, I had stopped to re-tie a shoe tighter because it felt like it wasn’t support enough. As I got up to start running, I hit a big rock in the path and turned my ankle. I wasn’t in horrible pain, but I felt a momentary flash of panic. Ok, maybe not momentary. Just panic. The worst part was that we were just before the turnaround point. And this is trail. Which means, short of getting back to a road and waiting for someone else to run back and get the car, I’d have to run back. It wasn’t great, but I found I could bear weight on it without screaming in pain. So I ran back 3 miles–Kelly was able to configure a slightly shorter route back. Gorgeous picture of the lake from the BEGINNING of the run. Sigh.

I saw Craig that day and had him work on it. He actually didn’t think it was too bad, and I babied the heck out of it, wrapping it tight and wearing an ankle brace. I think that all helped. I can run on it, but 50k on it is a different thing…The amount of mental self-abuse I’ve been doing is outrageous. I just checked the cutoff time, though, and I’ll have almost 10 hours to finish the 50k. Hopefully I won’t need all that.

It just continues to remind me, on multiple levels, that our weaknesses–physical and otherwise–need constant monitoring and intervention. I had stopped doing my one-legged squats while brushing teeth awhile back, filled with false confidence in my ankles. And this is what happened. It reminds me of the same character defects I have, my willfulness, anger, etc. also need to constantly be worked on as well. They never really go away, just wait for an opportune moment. Seems exhausting thinking about it. But that is how we become stronger.

And one thing I’ve learned over the years is when I get stuck in self-pity, get outside yourself and go do something for someone else. So I did. A slew of my girls were running the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha, including Jenny’s first comeback race after over a year of injury. It didn’t occur to me, until really late in the game, that it would be great to go cheer for them. I found out two other friends–Jen H and Doreen–who also came to Boston were heading up, so I hitched a ride.

Andrea, Emily, Michelle, Jenny, Michelle

I am SO glad I went. The course was windy as HECK. It ran alongside the lakefront, which sounds great, until the wind picks up sand and scours you with it. The temperature was perfect, and it was somewhat cloudy at moments, but the wind was probably upwards of 30mph at times. The course was also really desolate. There were almost no spectators, and even the most “crowded” sections had just over a dozen. And they were QUIET. There was almost no cheering. So this made the 3 of us cheer even louder and act even nuttier. Two women even came up to us after the race to thank us for cheering. It was also weird because there were parts of the course that weren’t really closed off so people were driving ON BOTH SIDES of the road. Someone even pulled a boat down the middle of the course. I think based on the crowd support (or lack thereof) and the weird course stuff, I would not run this marathon. Jenny did say, though, that it was well run and the aid stations were great.

The girls had a really hard time, but the Michelle’s stuck together for most of it. Although Michelle R (left) pulled a Jen and finished about 20 second ahead of Michelle N. Ha.


Despite all these brutal conditions, most of them finished ahead of my Boston time. Sigh. It was awesome, though, to go root for someone and not just be on the receiving end. I swear my “cheering high” carried me all day through rooting for my oldest’s tball game. Haha.

Andrea, Jenny, Emily


Alright, that’s all for now. I’m gearing up for the 50k. It feels really weird because I’ve essentially been in a 6 week taper now. I’ve been actually weightlifting to try and do some less impact stuff that should help me with the hills and such.

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

We have a winner for the Dear Kate underwear giveaway! Deanna D! I’ll be contacting you via email soon. Thanks everyone for participating in my first giveaway. I hope to have more in the future.

I did my long run yesterday morning instead of today, because it was easier with the vacation plans. I had 15 on the books, but because of various time issues and straight up tiredness, I ended up only doing 14. My legs have been tired and super tight this week. I need to get on my foam roller some more. I had wanted to do a yoga class Thursday for my cross training/strength day. However, it was also my first day of teaching summer school so the schedule just wouldn’t accommodate an hourlong class. I ended up doing a short Jillian Michaels cardio kickboxing workout instead. Good cardio workout, but hardly great for lengthening and stretching muscles.

I got a chance to try out my compression tights from Ragnar. As a captain, I got  free pair of Pro Compression socks. Since I only own Pro Compression socks, I was pretty excited about getting another pair. I wasn’t in love with the color, as it seems like it would be hot, but they were perfect for the overcast, low 60s morning. I also realized that they are more slimming in a darker color. Haha. Hey, a girl with radish legs has got to do what she can 🙂 I have a pair in white with red and blue trim (like old school traditional knee high socks, that make my calves look like giant tree trunks). I usually wear them under stuff.

I was glad to have some extra support. My right leg is all wonky. The inside of the ankle is tight the first couple of mile, and then I have super tight points in my right foot. I haven’t had plantar fasciitis before, but I might need to do see Dr. Google about it. It makes me nervous, and I’m doing the typical runner thing of treating it by ignoring it.

And because I’m obsessed with form, I went to look at my oldest pair of running shoes to see what was going on. Considering these are Newtons and there’s a pretty visible tread on the heel, I think it confirms that I’m a heel striker. Sigh. However, it indicates some imbalance that there’s a noticeable difference in the wear between left and right. I seem to be striking more on my left side, so I’ve been focusing on trying to do more mid foot on that side.
I also noticed that the tread on the right toe-off section shows more wear on the right side, so I’m not just landing differently, I’m also pushing off differently. (First pic is the right foot and second is left)
I’ve been reading a lot about how imbalances on one side often manifest in injuries on the other side, because you are over-compensating on that side, I’ll have to examine it a bit more. Anyhow, weekend plans call, so I’ll follow up with my results from Dr. Google Monday. Hope everyone has a good run, and a safe holiday weekend. Feel free to chime in with any ideas for diagnoses, experiences, etc.