limitations

(yeah I know I promised a real post a coupla weeks ago…life-aka work-got in the way…when it rains it pours!)

So I know an assessment about this is long (maybe 3 months?) overdue, but there are those who were wondering my reaction to the new and improved BQ standards.  (I’ll refrain from recapping it as I know it’s been all over the place and besides all you can do to see the deets is click that link!)

In terms of the standards, I know something had to be done so I totally accept they are what they are and honestly, could have been a helluva lot worse.  My only issue with 2012 is the early registration-i.e., September vs. October.  I guess I was sorta hoping for a chance at it with an early October marathon…but I guess this was done to make sure that no fall marathon had an advantage over the other (meaning later fall marathons like Philly previously getting screwed.)  So all in all-my fate for 2012 is out of my hands.  All I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best, that at the end of the day, BQ-2:53 will make it in.

So any work done will be towards 2013 and beyond.  And now, just as the BAA giveth me 5 minutes, they have been taketh away 🙂  And then some.  So the 3:40 that I had been chasing for years is still the carrot, and possibly an extra 5-10 minutes on top of that (will have to see how things net out with the 2012 rolling registration.) 

Now.  My issue is not so much with the standard changes.  But moreso with reactions from others that “it’s so easy, anyone can do it, all you have to do is run faster.”  Or that I need to “just get out there and run a 3:40” like it’s totally second nature.  I feel those kinds of comments are insulting-not just to those who haven’t gotten there after lots of hard work, but those who did get there and it wasn’t “so easy” for them.

Do I want it?  Hells yeah.  Can I?  I don’t know.  As I learned the hard way in 2009-that the human body has limitations.

(Sorry to those who are tired of hearing this story, but obviously I have to repeat it as too many people can’t be bothered to read beyond the front page without judging me…)

So I deemed my fall marathon in 2009 (MCM) to be the one where I’d get my 3:40.  I trained hard.  And it was paying off.  To the point where 3:40 was not only realistic, but setting the bar too low.  I wasn’t gonna go for anything crazy like 3:30, but it was good to know there just may have been a buffer if need be.  Then IT band issues hit during the taper.  My body had had enough and even reduced mileage and physical therapy didn’t nip the problem in the bud.  I did give it a shot on race day, but the ITB gave out during mile 21-to the point where I couldn’t walk, or even bend my leg without being in excruciating pain.

So I recovered and planned to try again last year in Chicago.  But I always felt I had to hold back just a little bit in training in order to prevent an ITB relapse.  Even though I was happy on race day, and a few days after, now…I have mixed feelings about my Chicago result.  I missed the 3:40, though I did earn a PR and an “old lady” (aka 35-39) BQ and finished, injury-free.

And I’m gonna try again this fall.  Like I said-the issue is not that I don’t want it enough.  Believe me I do.  But it’s going to be tricky, trying to improve while having to work with my body’s limitations.  I think 2009 shows that I’m willing to put in the work.  It’s just up to my body to be able to hold up through 4 months of training-and I feel that, more than anything, is really the unknown factor at this point.

That said-I do hope things work out, and I do hope I get there, be it 2012 or 2013.  I actually went up to Boston to spectate this year’s marathon (another post to come on that) and had a great time.  Just something I’d love to be part of…someday!

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it had me in stitches

So…another year, another Flyers Awards Gala.  And unlike what others say, I do not consider this to be like a prom.  Let’s see…the prom, you have pressure to find a date.  And if you don’t have a date you don’t attend the event.  (That was me back in the day.)  This party…not so much!!  Plenty of peeps were there stag.  If anything, I think with all the glamour and fashion that graced the Midtown Loft, that this is more like one of those red-carpet awards shows…Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, MTV Awards, etc. (except thankfully, no Kanye West moments!) than a silly high school dance 😛

runner26, DD and me-triple trouble strikes again! 🙂

So anyway…I arrived “fashionably late” (less than a half hour after the real start time) to find the place already packed…well not a surprise, considering this event actually sold out this year!!  So I mingled with Flyers old and new (and tried to avoid a certain one who I have no idea why he even renewed his team membership-though is a good candidate for the “least likely to take a hint” award) and sipped some Cosmopolitans.  However-I did not partake in the food though in favor of mingling…but partially because I was a little bit wary of the food after the issue with the “Flyer Flu” last year (a crazy amount of Flyers got the flu after last year’s awards gala, and the food was one of the suspects)…but also I didn’t have the patience for the ridiculously long line.  And I did make sure to eat beforehand in anticipation…but as it turned out, that may have been an error on my part…

dancin'!

OK so time for the awards, which pretty much went off without a hitch.  All awards recipients were happy, those who we really had to keep the secret from (because they were involved in one of the awards committees somehow even though they were gonna receive awards) were truly surprised…and the crowning jewel of the evening was Crazy Bandanahead winning Flyer of the Year!!  (see his acceptance speech!)  Congrats Bandana-brain…well-deserved!!  Can’t believe it was only…4 years ago when we first met at the Chelsea Piers track meet…now you’re all grown up!!  my how time flies…

And time for my favorite part of the night…dancing!!  The DJ once again did good with the song selection and of course I had to request “I Gotta Feeling” which we were all just screaming along to while dancing…I think that song just may be the “SexyBack” of the 2010’s! 🙂  So anyways, the final 2 hours of the night flew by and before we knew it, was the “Last Dance”…

…but we had to keep the party going, and talk after-party, right?  So I approached the mike to make the announcement…and stupid me tripped and fell.  I know it was partially because I had too many Cosmos in me…but the floor was also slippery from everyone spilling drinks (apparently I wasn’t the only one who slipped during the course of the evening)…and I didn’t know it til later, but one of the tips of my heels was broken…but anyway, long story short, when I fell I got cut over by my right eyebrow and it wouldn’t stop bleeding…which led to a trip to the ER to get stitched up (thanks to my saviors for being with me…you know who you are 😉  I owe you both big time!)  So definitely not how anyone wanted the night to end…but could have been a lot worse.  (Note to self-in the future, do not be an idiot at open bar events.  And do eat something!  There, I’m putting it here to hold myself accountable.)

With the exception of the “mini-stitches” by my eyebrow, I’m fine now though (I think I had more headaches this week from work than the actual impact)…running did have to take a backseat this week…was a little nervous about running in the dark, or even on the treadmill too (knowing how graceful I am and that I’d likely trip) and just wanted to heal up.  (Still planning on running Sunday morning though, who knows how that is gonna go!!)

But despite the ending-the party was great…everyone involved did a fabulous job, as usual!!  Til next year…

the “green team”

Guess there’s more than one green team in my life, so to say?  Let’s see, there is the “enviromnentally friendly/socially responsible” group which was formerly known as the green team and was the target of lotsa mocking from the office smartazzes, including one mock-founding the “brown team.”  Mind you, with the amount of paper our side of the office uses, we could not be less environmentally friendly if we tried…

(oh and on the topic of work, yep everyone kept their pants on last week, though I think the entire office wore jeans on Friday just because they could 🙂 )

And of course, there is the J-E-T-S, who have stayed alive long after many peeps had written them and their 2009 season off.  Same bar as the previous week to watch the game, same beer consumption, thankfully same results too.  I’m not commenting yet about what could be next week…don’t wanna jinx it!!

Could it be, that the Jets are actually doing better than I am?  Yeah I guess so.  The road to recovery is still friggin slow, and I’m getting more and more sick of having to run solo.  If there is anything I have learned in the last few months, its that if you’re injured, there is no place for you in the NYC running scene…everyone’s doing their double-digit mileage runs and training for marathons while I have to make do with 5 miles max at a time.  May do a short NYRR race in February just so I can feel human again (and because I don’t want to make the mistake I made last year and not get in 9 races.)  But besides that, I’m still not sure where to go from there, I feel like I have no motivation.  And I know what everyone is going to say, and no I do not want to train for and run a spring marathon.  Just not feeling it, and there wouldn’t be enough time anyway.  I know I need to be patient, but as someone who is craving companionship right now, the patience is slowly wearing thin…

And I guess I also have to apologize I don’t have more to write about…unfortunately injury recovery does not lead to exciting blog posts!

it knocks you down

Blame the weather.  Lately just been feeling knocked out, knocked down…thankfully not knocked up 😛  Or maybe it’s a bit of the holiday blues too.  I don’t know.  (And on that note, why does “blue” have to be associated with being sad?  Blue is a pretty color…my favorite color!!  The color of the sky!  The color of this blog!)

Well to catch up a little, I started with my new PT last week…thankfully this one is much more knowledgable than my previous one. (treats/has treated a lot of runners.)  This one pinpointed a lot of hip and core weakness…which is the bulk of what I am going to need to work on for now.  Thankfully, running is not on the banned list for now-but I gotta keep the distances relatively short (e.g., no double-digit runs) and make that the secondary focus.  I even asked if running a half in May would be possible and she actually thought March would be possible (though I still think March is too soon.)  So maybe there is a light at the end of this tunnel…I guess as long as I am a good little girl…

But I think what has me down is the “right now.”  It’s just so damn frustrating not being able to really run.  I mean yeah, I can do a few miles here and there…but I can’t do anything social.  No long runs, fun runs, group runs…and it’s got me feeling a bit lonely.  I even feel bad that I can’t even help out my own team since I don’t know when I’m going to be able to comfortably run the 6-mile loop on a regular basis.  But seriously…does everything social have to revolve around actually running?

Then…I think this weekend’s snowstorm was the last straw.  I’ve said it plenty of times before, I am not a winter person at all.  As much as heat, humidity and I don’t mix, I just find summer, the warmer temps, the longer days to be a saving grace.  Snow days just lost their novelty once I joined the working world and had to deal with “adult” responsibilities like a full-time job.  Can’t play in the snow, I’ll get sick and well, I can’t afford to get sick and miss work.  Not to mention how the subways cease to function when one snowflake falls.  And I don’t even want to hear that Central Park is a “winter wonderland” and that running there in the snow is “magical.”  When you’re really dependent on the reservoir being runnable and every snowstorm seems to knock it out of commission for weeks…you get what I’m saying.  (Not to mention the “resolution” peeps who will crowd the gym come January, meaning I’d be lucky to get any treadmill time.)

Which makes me wonder if it is time to make 2010 my escape from NYC.  I’ve said before I’m really not sure this city can actually be my home…I’ve given it 10-plus years.  And maybe this is something I should have done a long time ago.  I mean, just because this area is where my parents chose to make their home, does that mean the same has to go for me?  I’m not my parents.  I’m not a winter person, the job situation isn’t great here, and the dating scene is even worse.  So maybe a change in scenery and climate is what I need to really find a “home.”  Something to think about in the new year…

same script, different cast

So probably the most strenous workout I got this long weekend was dodging the masses at Penn Station on Thursday morning-I had never seen it be such a zoo!!  I couldn’t even buy my train ticket, the lines were so long-thankfully they weren’t checking on the train out of Penn and I was able to get my tix in Secaucus 🙂  But made it to NJ and ate more than I had any right to with my limited running these days 😛  Oh yeah, and I guess I was able to work some of that off by braving the holiday shopping crowds-made sure to pick up plenty of lumps of coal for those who deserve it 😛

And ok…guess I was able to do a little running.  30 minutes on the dreadmill on Friday, actually felt fine…almost like I didn’t even have a (sh)IT band.  And ran the rez last nite, but the (sh)IT band was talking to me by the end of the run.  Wasn’t screaming, but wasn’t being quiet either.

So saw sports doc #1 today and told him the whole MCM chronicles, the deal with PT, etc.  Did a little more examination and noted there is still a little something going on at the knee, examined my gait…so long story short-plan of action right now is new orthotics (which may set me back but like I said, it’s an investment in my running future-orthotics are essential for me, they saved my running life!  and hey, my parents wanted to know what I want for Hanukkah 😛 ) since the ones I currently have are pretty old, and may not control the pronation in my right leg enough (which is part of whats buggering the (sh)IT band)  And got another prescription for PT…so basically “same script, different cast” refers to that, as now I can switch physical therapists!!  (And when I told the doc where I was going for PT, he did say that they weren’t particularly known to really know runners.  Oh if only I knew it before…)

So unlike my appointment with the other doctor-I at least walked out knowing that there is a plan of action.  And actually, the topic of a cortizone shot did come up but I said only as a last resort (remembering when I got one for plantar fasciitis, and it didn’t work and only made that injury worse!)  The doc commented that it was very unlike most runners, as they just want to get healed and get back on the roads right away.  (Well hasn’t it been established that I’m not like most runners? 😛 )  But what I said was at this point-the marathon is over and long gone, and at this point I’m not really looking for a quick fix as much as a long-term game plan so I can kick this thing for good!!  After all, I do want to try again for 26.2 next fall…and me and a coupla teammates are already discussing a certain one 😉

coulda woulda shoulda

Well to start this off on a positive note-I ran a whopping 7 miles last week.  I used to be able to run that distance on one given day, but who’s counting.  Part of that included 2 loops of the reservoir which surprisingly weren’t as slow as I thought they would be-and I wasn’t pushing the pace, it felt comfortable.  The heart rate was a little bit elevated though, which pretty much illustrates how out of shape I am.  The (sh)IT band didn’t feel too too bad afterwards…could tell something was still there, but thankfully no pain…of course I made sure to stretch well before/after and ice it down afterwards.  So maybe this distance (not every day of course) I should stick with for now.  But I still feel it’s gonna be a long, lonely road ahead…since seemingly everyone and their mother is training for a spring marathon.  But as I said before, at this point I’m just biding my time til November 30th.  In the meantime, you can bet that when I go home to NJ for the holiday weekend, I will be bringing my quadballer, stretching rope and ice pack with me…

So this past weekend, a bunch of my teammates went to Philly to run either the marathon or the half, and as far as I know, all of them ran really well…lotsa PRs or close to it-congrats!  (yeah that includes some fellow bloggers, I’ll let them tell their stories and won’t spoil it 😉 )  And of course, it had me playing the “coulda shoulda woulda” game.  Because as you may remember, when I was trying to choose my fall marathon, Philly was #2 on my list.  Should I have gone with that instead of Marine Corps-knowing that I have run well in Philly for the half and 10-mile distances before?  Maybe I would have had more time for the (sh)IT band to heal or maybe the circumstances would be different where I would not have gotten injured?  Either way-I wasn’t getting to Boston in 2010, it just wasn’t in the cards.  But I really don’t want to end my 2009 racing year on a bad note-I really don’t want my last memory of racing in 2009 to be walking on the 14th Street Bridge in pain.  Even if I recovered in time to do a short race in late December…I don’t think there even are any!  (on a side note, I’m bummed to be missing the Kleinerman 10K-I have done that race every single year since I started running!!  Oh well, guess there’s still the Mini 10K…which also falls into that category.)

And yeah, short…or shorter…races.  I have wondered what my future as a marathoner is, as this is the 2nd time I have been injured during a training cycle (yeah, I had my plantar fasciitis before I started training for NYCM 2005 which I didn’t run anyway…but I guess that still counts.)   Do I really want to be on the DL constantly…no.  I do feel the half-marathon is actually my strongest distance, and I wonder what that 1:37 in the PDR could have been had I really tapered, if my training was more geared towards the half-marathon distance.  Providing I kick this (sh)IT band thing in time (knock on wood) I am targetting a half in early May to hopefully find that out.  But I don’t feel like I’d be content sticking with the half…I feel the half-marathon distance does not get the respect it deserves.  From comments that marathoners are “real runners” as opposed to ones who opt for the half (ahem, Lam) to others that the marathon is the “gold standard” and that training for a half-marathon is “not a lot of work.”  There’s training schedules and tips up the wazoo for running the marathon, but not much out there for a half-marathon (yeah, i’ve been trying to do my research.)  Hell while I’m at it, as I mentioned in this post last year-I feel there are a lot of distances that don’t get enough respect.  I’m just as impressed (hypothetically speaking, of course) with the person who had been working hard to break 18 minutes for 5K and finally did it…as I am with the person who had been working hard to break 4 hours in the marathon and finally did it 😉  It’s the journey, not the destination…or something like that.  (And before anyone says it, yes that thinking can be and I guess should be applied to my training for MCM too 😛 )  Or a Flyer memory that stands out in my mind was a coupla years back when we had a track meet at Chelsea Piers, and one of our girls was dying to run the mile and see how fast she can run it.  And run it well she did, came in under 9 minutes, exceeded her goals and was absolutely thrilled.  Don’t know why, but her reaction to racing the mile really sticks with me.

And what if, for whatever reason, someone *can’t* run long distances because their bodies don’t let them (e.g., being too injury-prone).  Does that mean that their goal distances should not be respected because they have no choice but to race short distances?  Or those who need extra recovery time from the marathon distance and can’t run another marathon a week or 2 later…or heck, can’t even run a half a week or 2 later.  I think I fall into that category-I feel compared to my other teammates, I am unusually slow when it comes to recovery…last year I didn’t race til a month after NYCM and it was relatively short (10K), and I felt that-the race distance and the recovery period-was perfect.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  But I guess…can we not treat the half-marathon like it’s the marathon’s poor stepbrother/stepsister?  (and same with the mile, 5k, 10k, etc…whatever else I missed!)  I’ve done the marathon, I have no desire to one-up that and go any further in terms of distance…and like I said, sometimes I wonder what could be if I moved down in distance and concentrated on that.  Which maybe I will do…once I get this damn BQ monkey off my back!! :(|)  (which is a whole other story in itself…)

the next move is yours

Maybe “the next step is yours” or “the next run is yours” would have been more appropriate but I just felt like using another episode title from The Hills.  I just love how K-Cav got asked on last nite’s epsiode why she doesn’t go after any guys besides Brody and Justin Bobby.  Uh…maybe because they are seemingly the only 2 single guys in LA?  And Heidi and Spencer seriously deserve the title of “Dumb and Dumber”…yeah brilliant plan Heidi-Ho, to “surprise” Spencer by going off the pill and trying to get pregnant to spite him.  They truly deserve each other.  And after last nite’s episode of The City I feel like I need to slap some sense into Whitney, didn’t she learn her lesson in Miami that hanging with Roxy is career suicide?  And am I the only one who’s on Team Erin and thinks someone needs to put Olivia in her place?  And as for the third show on Triple Tuesday, reality-style, Dancing With the Stars…Joanna and Derek (not Jeter or Rose, hehe) wuz robbed!!  Alright, enough reality TV talk for now…

So the recovery progresses.  3 days in a row of yoga and weights…maybe make it 4 tomorrow?  Leg presses, leg curls and the hip adductor (sp?) machine have become a regular part of the routine.  Doing my PT homework daily.  Hope this will all pay off in the long run (ha ha).  And oh yeah-I actually did 15 minutes on the dreadmill on Monday!  This is where I get annoyed at my physical therapist.  So I see her Monday morning and she asks me if doing spinning has still aggrevated the knee…uh you told me not to do it!  I said I wouldn’t try spinning or running until given the OK…I’m trying to be a good little girl here!  And I actually got the OK to try to “run a few miles” but of course I know better than to do a few miles now.  But I really wanted to see where I was at in terms of recovery, so i figure the dreadmill was safe, in case I needed to stop before 15 minutes were up.  And thankfully I didn’t…there was some improvement, but not really 100%…still don’t feel like I’m out of the woods just yet.  But no lingering pain yesterday or today.  So if 15 minutes every coupla days is what’s gonna keep my sanity during this recovery period…I’ll take it.

But really, right now I’m kinda biding my time til November 30th, when I have my follow up appointment with doctor #1 and if he gives me another prescription for more PT, I do intend to switch.  It’s just really frustrating to not really feel like I have a game plan for recovery and for building back up…this is why I’d prefer to see one who is more familiar with runners.  But this is nothing that I haven’t already talked about before!  So we wait…