Monday, March 23, 2015

Running is unhealthy

For me.

Right now.

Don't get your panties in a wad, I'm usually one to force through the pain, but I either have: 

Don't worry; I've pinned all my research for you in this one convenient place

I did experiemce sciatica during my twyn pregnancy so this third one is sounding about right, right now. Also, some kind of bunion-like thing has appeared on the side of my left foot. Sexy. Reminds me of the time I wore crop tops in college and no one told me that I shouldn't, even though I definitely should not have. Gross.
The good news is that I think my daughter knows how to dress.
No, I haven't sought outside help yet. I did try a spin class. I waited a week, then I tried gentle yoga.

Nope and nope.

I don't know if this is entirely related, but this is all making me a mess again.

Well, it's probably related.

I want to strike mom from my title. I don't want to give up kids, mind you, but I want to stop writing about mom things;  looking like a mom; acting like a mom; and I definitely don't want to be like every other "mother runner" and work towards a huge mom goal race like Ironman.
[Although I have really really investigated within myself if I want to complete an Ironman, which would include the thought "would I want to still do this if I couldn't share it with anyone, and I just had this knowledge for myself, within myself?" and the answer is a resounding YES. So I do know that I do genuinely want to complete the race for my own person accomplishment-within-me-self-ego-SELF.]
I guess for starters, this is precipitated- no that's not the right word- this was spurned by a phone interview I had last week where the interviewer was very kind, but also very blunt. My "mommy gap" is looking bleak. I have been busy, as you are well aware if you follow this blog, but none of it looks good in print.

The good news is that the twyns do. This is at the Radnor Art Show, the first showcase of their works :)

But *I* don't look good in print. I don't look that hot in person these days, either, especially with a hip injury keeping me couch-bound, but I certainly do not look good in a social-media-centric-job-world that grew up in the last 6 years since I've been out. I kind of wanted to not only go back to my former types of positions in higher ed (admissions), but I also wanted to expand upon one part of my resume, development and fundraising, and I don't know if it's going to be possible to reinvent myself at this stage in my life. And that thought had never occurred to me. I always thought you could reinvent yourself at any age. I love leafing through stories of people starting careers at 50-60-70; winning Ironman races in their age group; starting foundations when a passion emerges later in life, etc. etc.

Since I've been home with the twyns I have been trying on a lot of different hats. I'm always passionate about these things, but nothing fits for very long.  I once had a very close friend tell me that I probably can't do one thing at once, and that's my 'one thing.' That was very kind of her to say.

I'm frustrated.

By myself. My lack of focus. How I look to others. My inconsistency. Where I am going.

Where I am running to. 

So I've stopped running.

The project that has been consuming my time as of late, which started in 2013, is very exciting, but also a big fat tease, because I get to compose music again and be a part of the theatre world but again, be reminded that it is a huge world where many create and few are heard through the masses.
The good news is that the boy likes it.

It is called LET US NOW PRAISE SUSAN SONTAG. But I do really like it. I think it is sounding really, really, amazing. Sibyl is having me publish the music with the script, so I'm working on editing and making the score look right for musicians I may someday never meet but who would want to play my stuff. So I want to share the details with you, in case you are in the NYC area April 28 - May 16th. Click on the picture for details:

 Abrons Arts Center
465 Grand Street
NY, NY 10002

Also, the writer, Sibyl Kempson, is launching a much-awaited theatre company of her own (she is kind of a big deal), and will host readings on April 6th at the Martin Segal Center to promote it and her campaign to fund it. Click the pic for the facebook page.

See/share IndieGoGo campaign here. I would really love it if you could share it, and/or the Facebook page.

Also, Thanks.


And if you know what I'm supposed to be doing right now, let me know.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Tour of the training cave

Oh my goodness, where to begin. 

I know you are frustrated, like me, when you are benched for a whole week. I don't even know if I'm going to make it to tomorrow, but I wanted to give myself a full week off. We actually went to the Franklin Institute with the whole fam on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to posting about that, but my hips did not like the walking and standing around. 

I'm super. frustrated. 

So yesterday I started thinking of another kind of solution. Lose weight? New shoes? Take some kind of supplement? Before I start calling doctors. I took Ibuprofen before I took the twyns to a birthday party, and two hours later, nada. Zilch. Didn't feel a damn bit of relief. I didn't know it was a drop-off party, so I searched around the area for a store that would magically remove twenty pounds from my body and the inflammatory fire I was feeling in my hip joints. 

Poof! GNC appeared before my very eyes. 

I bought a Glucosamine product called "TriFlex" [ummm, it had Tri in the title?] a one-day cleanse, and a nighttime herbal supplement that is supposed to shed pounds in my sleep. 

I never said I was patient. Or rational. 

I have also signed up for a spin class at a new joint near me, for tomorrow. So I will not start running off the bat. Back to basics. Back to me. Back to tri-training. Back to what I know works for me.

I thought I could get away with not losing weight before this season started, but I'm guessing that's my number one problem right now. Oh, also, that I've only been running. 

And THEN....I cleaned and spruced up the cave I have been living in for the last month, and I have to say it looks darn purty & welcoming. 

I finally applied the vinyl decals I bought last month, and set up my old hybrid bike on a trainer! 

I borrowed this idea directly from the ETSY shop I purchased these from. This one was easy! 
This one - not so much! Although I have to say if I had left it like this, that would be pretty funny.
I think the key to the vinyl decal is to keep cutting the overlay as you go, so that you can focus on one section at a time. 
Voila! I had this custom made. This is the last thing my husband says to me before any race. :) 

Below it: my sad little weight training area. A 12 pound medicine ball and two 5-pound weights.
Um....gonna need more weights!! 
To the side is the 'unfinished' area of our basement which turned out to the best place to hang my husband's birthday present. Imma use this more than him, watch! Also in this pic: yoga mats! And the "test" section the decal shop gave me. I kinda like it above the light switch, makes me feel like I'm in some sort of generator and that switch could make the whole place BLOW!
Of course I had to vacuum up all the sawdust first! I hung the gloves on little girly star hooks ;) 
My view from the dreadmill. I honestly try to watch TV but I don't know how you ladies do it. I need my music.
The more detailed view. Had to clean up the toy area that has been bothering me for weeks. Let's see how long that lasts...
While I was cleaning I dug up some old photos I didn't know I had. What a trip!

I'll add this to my "that time I was possessed" blog story about the little doll I made ...

I told you it was true!!
And this goes under the category of "when I was famous"... [*cough* Christian Borle, Francis Jue, John ClancyTim Cain and us two little non-eq's from Just So...]
Photographic Evidence I was the only girl in the cast these dudes could hang out with and
yes I was dating my sweet forgiving husband at the time!

Ok so if that little foray down the rabbit hole didn't inspire me and these hips to move I don't know what will! Happy Monday!

What's your training cave like?? 
Do you have to kick toys out of the way to get to it too?

Friday, March 6, 2015

BENCHED #marathontraining

Monday's run was sunny but splashy! I was ok with that. 

So I mentioned last week that I was experiencing some hip pain, and it has unfortunately gotten worse. I have spaced out a few of my runs to include more rest days, and I gave up at least one 4 mile run this week, but it is not getting better. The pain has spread to the other hip now. 

Spring "Mountain" last Saturday

Granted, I included a day of skiing post 10-mile run last week, and pre 7-mile run this week, but that should be nothing new to my body at this point. 

Granted, I also drove up and back to Sarah Lawrence College on Friday to see a workshop production of the musical I'm working on. You know, the one for which I went to Duke to write the music, and New Dramatists this January to see the first reading. Friday's trip may have been tiring (although entirely inspirational and I went home and immediately wrote two new pieces within 48 hours.) 

But oh I was so so SO happy to be outside for those two runs! I thought ditching the treadmill was the answer! 

So what's the deal?

My hips are inflamed. They are like, on fire. It might be bursitis, or tendonitis. My thighs feel like they weigh about 100 pounds each. Plus, I have a cold. Wah, me.

I'm reading a lot about 'over-training', and while my mileage and workouts are nowhere near the level of some most endurance athletes or marathon newbies, it still may be too much for me. Especially since running is my weakest skill. 

This is why I tri!

I know I did much better training for the Broad Street Run and even my first half-marathon by incorporating a few long-ish runs into my normal triathlon training, and that treated my body much better than the steady diet of running, running, and more running my body has been experiencing this past month. 

I signed up for masters swimming this year, promising myself that this would be a great winter activity to cross-train and I would, for sure, meet some triathlon friends who would steer me in the direction of a great bike group or tri coach,  but I have still been too intimidated to show up (or maybe too sleepy, as they meet most mornings at 5:30 or 6.) 

I know how my body trains at this point.

I know I'm super intimidated by the 140.6 that looms in front of me. 

I know I wanted to have a 26.2 under my belt before I began the serious summer of training I have planned. 

I'm going to let my ego go at this point, rest these hips, and start again in a few days. Tuesday will be a full week off for me. Let's talk then.

In the meantime, Happy Snow Day number...4? I've lost count.  Who hasn't?

Radnor got about 10 inches yesterday. The most snowfall in a single snowstorm all winter! In March!

In March!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Skiing Vermont #skifamily

Let's talk about Stratton.

As ski season starts to melt around us (wishful thinking?), let me post about our second annual ski trip to Stratton, Vermont a few weeks ago!

Once again, on the drive up, we stopped at Dinosaur BBQ in Troy, NY, and it did not disappoint.

My father-in-law is really getting to know these ski critters most people call granchildren.

He and his wife have been traveling up to Stratton a lot this year and know all the ins and outs to show us how it's done.

So, Stratton is this adorable little small town that they have built a ski mountain around.

Just kidding, it's a manufactured little village-of-a-town that accommodates the needs of the skiers on Southern Vermont's highest peak. Think of it as Disney's version of Switzerland. I love capitalism.

So much has changed this year, and I can finally say I actually skied Vermont this year. Last year I was just rocking the magic carpet, falling down the tiniest green slope, and hitting the spa when my rental boots began screaming.

This year we have invested a lot of time and money in this hobby. An investment in our future, as we see it, because my husband and his father have enjoyed this past time for over three decades together.

This investment, among other things, included a real 'ski jacket' for me so that this Florida girl didn't mind 0 degree weather! As long as it meant fresh powder brah...
Upper Wanderer
My husband said I was lucky to experience conditions he hadn't ever seen on the East Coast in his lifetime. They took me across the mountain to the other, less populated, side, "Sun Bowl", and we found a windy trail that led us through some trees as the snow fell gently around us. It was truly magical (even if I did fall and get some snow on my Goggles.)

The twyns were enjoying the Ski School and moved up the ranks to Wolves this year! That is two steps up from where they left last year, and one step down from attempting the Black Diamond level trails! They took to the whole thing really remarkably. As a mom who is still prone to wiping their noses and stuffing their mouths with snack after snack to stave off meltdowns, I just couldn't believe I didn't get a call every five minutes to come help my whiny little brats cope with someone forcing them down a cold wet hill of ice and snow strapped to an uncomfortable apparatus of uncontrollable plastic.

This is definitely a "whole family" hobby I could get used to.

Plus, it had the added benefit of kicking my a$$ into gear for marathon training! A series of what feels like 90 second squats as you are careening down a hill is certainly going to get your muscles in action.
The Meadows, overlooking Bromley Mountain in the background
Let me flash back to say we started off the trip with some good ol' fashioned tubing. My husband and his father were shocked to see the "Sun Bowl" side of the mountain fully developed with a full parking lot and all kinds of snow sports activities that didn't involve skiing. This is also the side of the mountain where the Ice Castles were.
Tubing fools
The tubing was some serious fun! The handlers will sometimes give you a nice extra push so they can bet which one of their customers is going to hit the barrier at the other end of the chute. Don't worry, it is all snowy and cushy...well, not really, but it is a lot of fun. Also you get to 'ride' up the tubing-specific 'lift' they have created so that you don't have to carry your tube back up the hill. I would say for the hour-time-slot, we got at least 12 rides in? Maybe my son got in a little more! It began to snow a little as we were leaving and in the lights, it was a little bit magical and a really fabulous welcome to our time there. 

Our view from the Manchester View
We stayed at the Manchester View and it was about a 25 minute drive to Stratton Mountain. The views were beautiful and the twyns loved playing with the "crystals" , as they called them, instead of their usual name, icicles. 

It was very convenient for me to watch them from inside the room. 

They set up the firewood and starter for you each night so that you can enjoy it without much effort as soon as you return from a day of swishing, swooping, and flopping, on the slopes. 

very necessary
The added bonus to this hotel was that my father-in-law's doggy could join us, meet Teddy:

We ate at three very nice, local restaurants: 

Mulligan's Pub. Great Clam chowda & burgers. Very family friendly.
Raven's Den. Finer fare (I had delicious mussels) and a lovely roaring fire.
I really enjoyed the simpler, "Meadows" trails and a few blue-square trails like "Black Bear." By the last day, the twyns didn't want to stay in the ski school for the whole day, so we took them out and enjoyed the afternoon together. I honestly could not. keep. up!! My father-in-law and I had become quite compatible with our ski styles and needs for rest (as I am still beginning, and he is just cruising.) Once the twyns joined us, there was no more rest. I watched them ski down to the next little plateau and thought, "For sure, they will stop and wait for mommy, as they were taught to wait for their coaches the last two days." Nope! Shoop! went baby B and Shoop! went baby A on down the next slope without pause or care in the world. My father-in-law found the boy only because he had fallen and was trying to get back up. I caught up to the girl only because she did not have poles to shush herself on one of the flatter sections towards the end of the trail.

With all they accomplished, we hit Bob's Diner (one of my father-in-law's and wife's faves) and received shiny new Stratton ski pins from their grandfather!

Well, it was just a great, fabulous, second annual trip! I stress annual as I hope we will be back next year! 

Thanks for reading! Hope you are hitting the slopes today!

If not, what are you hitting? The books? The pavement? The foam roller? Do tell! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hip pain on the treadmill and what may help #marathontraining

[By the way, I'm not a medical professional]

So since I started marathon training this year, I have been more religiously:

a) running
b) running on the treadmill, and
c) reading Tuesdays on the Run posts via linkup with MCM Mama Runs [like, ALL of them, so never be afraid to linkup]

The latest posts, combined with an upping of mileage on the treadmill, have got me wanting to return to the running blogger community what I have so often received: a little research on an issue I've been having of late:


Last week I believe I ran the most I have ever in any week on a treadmill (25 miles.) Shocking, I know, considering the length of races I have competed...but if you follow my blog you will know: I've not been a Winter Weather worker-outer! I hibernate and quilt!

But with my marathon looming [because my Ironman is looming], I could not let Winter Weather stave off my mileage. I had to put the miles on the dreadmill.

And thusly:


My right hip started to 'pop' in and out a little after my half-marathon training run last Friday. I took the kids grocery shopping after they came home from school and it began to produce heat and progressively start to hurt worse as we walked around the store. I was couched on Saturday. I began to research what to do.

Whenever I encounter any pain in my training, I start with R.I.C.E., which stands for:
  • REST
  • ICE
I spent a large portion of the day on the couch with these four elements in effect. The compression part was a little difficult with the fact that it was a pain in the joint area, and ibuprofen wasn't really cutting it. I needed something else. 

I started to research online and found this article in Livestrong about possible causes. It explains that: 
  • when we run on the treadmill, we may change our gait and cause pain
  • walking quickly on the treadmill can be unnatural and cause pain
These statements both hit home for me because my pacing is usually all over the place, especially since I took a month [or two] off, and psyching myself out of the half-marathon distance on Friday, I started off on the treadmill with some quick walking instead of running.

I started to research more and found this great YouTube video with hip stretches related, particularly, to triathletes and treadmills [the interwebs has everything]. It explains that:
  • you can watch yourself in a mirror or ask a friend to diagnose hip imbalance in gait
  • you can self-diagnose tightness in the hip with a certain position
  • you can stretch your hip to help self-correct

In many aerobics classes, this would be called the "pretzel stretch", and I know it very well! I have taken to performing this stretch in the car, watching TV on the couch, sitting at lunch with the mommies. It has helped me immensely in the last few days. I was able to run 3 miles on the treadmill the next day with only a small amount of pain left. And strangely, although I had originally gone down to the basement to walk my 3 miles for the day given my situation, I found that running was easier on my hip than walking. On top of that, running at a faster pace rather than my slow, half-marathon pace was becoming more normal and I needed to maintain that pace so that I wasn't altering my gait on the 'mill. Hmph. 

The next day I was struggling. Not with hip pain, but with the fact that I needed to run 7 miles, still a goodly amount for me in my training level, and it was not happening outside as I had hoped, as it was 8 degrees outside. 


I have now surprised myself with running in 30 degree weather, and skiing in 0 degree weather, but I'm still not on board with running in the single digits. Not.

I got all geared up, felt little to no hip pain, and stepped onto the machine. 

I got about 30 seconds in, and stepped off. 

I could NOT motivate. I felt guilty all day long, and I assumed I was doomed to stray from the training schedule, like I always do, and prepare for suckage on marathon day. 

I also assumed I could not face that machine not one more mile not one more day. 

So I ended up taking the day off. 

The next day I faced the beast once more, and found my hip in even better shape. No pain whatsoever. Perhaps the extra day was necessary, and my body knew it. And I ran at a pretty good pace (for me), and I completed it without much cursing. 

Lessons learned:




Hope this carries me through the next few weeks before we all get outside! I know March on the local trail must be all "Howdy's" and "Hey there's" after this Winter!!

Any lessons learned for you on the dreadmill, or in marathon training? IN LIFE?? Do tell! 

I promise to post about the 'updates' in my training cave I've been working on. 
[how else can I avoid running on the treadmill unless I feather the nest around the treadmill?]

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