Well…F@$%.

If you recall last week I went to the doctor to (once again) complain about my hip pain. My doctor didn’t seem to concerned because I didn’t have pain when he wiggled, poked, and bent my leg in all kinds of ways. I pointed to my spot and told him, “this is exactly where it hurts. It feels like an ice pick is jabbing me right here every time my foot strikes the ground. And if I keep pushing myself to run, the pain begins to radiate out from here and goes all over here” (imagine me pointing to my whole left hip, leg, and lower back….in a very exaggerated fashion.)

He said that due to my age it is not really customary to do an xray because most likely nothing will show. I told him I wanted the xray because in actuality – I have been complaining to him since the Brazen New Years Day race. And, have been dealing with it off and on since then. It hasn’t gotten better, so it was time to do something more than icing, Motrin, and foam rolling.

He gave in, and I had my xray done the following day.

I received a call today from my doctor which I already knew was bad news. Normally if the xray was normal, I’d get an email saying so.

But nope. It wasn’t nornal. They see a “linear lunacy on the xray, which represents a stress fracture of the hip.” But to be certain, I now I have to go in for an MRI tomorrow evening.

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There’s still a small chance that what they are could be something as innocent as xray light streaks – but the doctor is pretty certain it is a fracture. Either way, I will know for sure after tomorrow.

To top it off, I have developed arthritis in my lower back. The doctor said he doesn’t want to tell me to stop running, but advises that non-weightbearing exercises would be a better option to help slow the progression of the arthritis. I’m going to research this, because I have heard differently in the past.

But either way – arthritis already and I’m not even midway through my
30’s?!

SERIOUSLY THOUGH…

WTF?!

Thanks mom and dad for your crappy arthritic genes!!!!

I busted into a box of mike and ikes because that is how I cope most of the time when things suck.

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But then I not only felt bummed about my medical news – I also felt fat and sluggish.

Per week two of my half marathon training plan, today calls stretch and strength…so I did 25 minutes of stretchy yoga and then did 20 minutes of body weight exercises…you know like squats, lunges, push ups, tricep dips, planks, sit ups, Russian twists, and of course burpees. Which totally made me sweaty and made me feel like throwing up.

I’m definitely going to have to completely modify my training plan because my goal is to still be able to run RNR in October. Hopefully.

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Weekend Training Fail

I’m just going to be straight with you.

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The first week of half marathon training has pretty much been a bust. With success on Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty good.

But then Wednesday happened.

I got back on the horse on Thursday with a great run…but by Friday I was just completely exhausted. I had a list of things I needed to get done. Instead I went to bed before 9pm. With intentions of heading to the gym on Saturday, I felt it would be okay to catch up on rest. But I was way more exhausted then I realized and when it came time to wake up for work on Saturday (I worked a 6 day week) I just couldn’t get up on time.

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This delayed my work start time. Which pushed out my work day. Which delayed everything else I had to do.

I’m sure you can guess what got sacrificed…

I was invited to a major league baseball game, so around 4pm we all headed out. The game was sold out because it was a reunion of the 1989 Championship team. Truth be told – 1989 was when I was actually an A’s fan due to influence from all my boy cousins. We’d go to games all the time, collect baseball cards, play the game, and I actually knew the players of the day.  I haven’t been to a game in about 7 years, so it was interesting to go.

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My baseball face...

It was fun. I ate nachos and enjoyed the summer evening. It got cooler as the night went on, but that’s normal for Oakland.
Afterwards the friends I was with wanted to go to a local bar so they could sing karaoke…it was hilarious. Especially because I was sober. (Afterall I had 4 miles to run on Sunday.) Unfortunately the night went on…

and on…

and on.

I didn’t get home until after 2am and exhausted didn’t even begin to describe how I felt at that point.

Needless to say, when my alarm went off at 6am – it was quickly turned off. I had other plans early in the morning to meet up with friends to head out to Fort Mason in SF and I needed the extra 2 hours of sleep in order to make it through the day.

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There was a Renegade Craft fair happening and we were going to check it out today. I’ve never been to an event like this. It was interesting to see all the local, hand made products.

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I found some tea, a print, and chocolate covered salted carmal bacon pieces that are a mazingly delicious.

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After the fair we headed over to PF Chang’s for lunch. They have a gluten free menu!

After that we went to Ikea and shopped for random things for my friends who just moved to a new place.

Getting home after 6, I was just completely done. I literally just fell asleep on the couch for about 2 hours. It’s now 10, and I cannot wait to get back to bed.

My life has shifted in the last few weeks and I realize now that it’s going to take real effort to balance my new life and training.

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Here’s to better success in week two.

Doctors and Training plans : when they collide.

Again…I’m totally lagging on my blogging!

Sorry followers!

I have legitimate excuses reasons which I will get to soon….

So, Lets get to it!

Monday was the start of my latest half marathon training plan. image My fifth half marathon attempt should be fast and flat!

(PS : by fast I mean my kind of fast…and that’s actually pretty SLOW)

So, that’s right folks – 12 painful more weeks of Hal Higdons wise words and then I will be standing in the corrals of San Jose Rock and Roll waiting to run another 13.1 crazy miles … Yay.

In preparation for this venture, I went to my doctor yesterday to have my hip checked again. Because even though it has calmed down since Double Dipsea, the pain still comes back sporadically.

And, it’s annoying.

I know resting is probably the only option, but with my Brazen streaker status and 2 more half’s coming down the line – I don’t really have time for that. 

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Well. There I was without my pants – as the doctor poked, prodded, yanked, pulled, bent and wiggled my leg all around.

It’s not ITBS.

He does not think anything is torn.

He thinks I may have an overuse injury with some scar tissue build up…but he’s not 100% sure.

Basically I walked away without any answers and little hope. X-rays were ordered but by the time I got down stairs the department had already closed. I had a second medical appointment today, so I was able to get the x-rays done, so I should know the results by Monday. He said after x-rays, I may be referred to an orthopedic doctor, so I’m hoping that happens.  Oh. He also said although he doesn’t want to tell me not to exercise – he thinks I need to cut back on training for a while.

Except I can’t.

(That’s exactly what I said to him too!)

So that brings me to this week… Monday and Tuesday I was successful in my half marathon training regimen. Monday was Yoga, and boy could I tell I haven’t done it in a while! I was pretty stiff and my balance was back to terrible. :/ Tuesday I made it out to my Lake to run 2 hilly miles. The training plan said 3, but I figured after running a 10k on Saturday, and feeling strain in my hip on the hills at my park – I decided mid run to cut it a little shorter.

Wednesday I was super exhausted, and ended up falling asleep on the couch after working 12 hours. 

Thursday I had another extremely long day, but after 8pm I made it to the gym and ran 3.3 miles, Thankfully my hip didn’t hurt at all during the run. 

Here we are, on Friday Evening – and I have to be honest… After working, running to another medical appointment, then the mall, and now having to clean my house – I am not in the mood to work out. 

This weekend, I started out with no plans, besides running. Now, It’s completely filled up, and I am kind of in a panic. AAACK, 

 

Brazen Racing and 100 Races.

We all know that Brazen Racing is my absolute favorite race company. I can honestly say, they even beat out Run Disney. I mean, there local, super good at what they do, and they make you feel like family at every run.

Well today we celebrated their 100th race. Spanning over the last 5 years Brazen has grown exponentially, and each year just gets better. Today was their annual 6 and 12 hour endurance race at Point Pinole Reginal Park. They also hosted 2 5/10k races at 10:30 and 4pm.

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We opted for the 10:30am race. I decided to upgrade to the 10k this morning because last week was so crazy that I barely did anything active at all. Even worse, I ate so much food! Good food – but too much of it.

After a quick distance change and a fun morning of hanging out with my sister, cousin, and a gang of really awesome friends I’ve met though running and The Brazen Nation – it was race time.

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Due the the endurance runs, our course was slightly modified in comparison to when I’ve run this course before at Nitro Turkey and Nitro just a few weeks ago. For the 10k, I actually had to do a 2nd loop of the 5k course which I’ve never been a fan of. I don’t like courses like that for a few reasons, but the main one being – I dislike seeing the same things over and over again.

But today, I was there to have fun. I didn’t wake up thinking today was the day for a PR. Nope. I woke up thinking I was gonna run a 10k and then get free BBQ.

Whatever motivates me, right?!

The first loop, I ran with my sister and kept her pace. It was fun, because we really haven’t run together in a long time. It also really helps to make the miles go by faster. When we hit the 10k split, she headed off to the finish line, and I made a hard right back onto the course. I also enjoyed running by myself today. It gave me some time just to take everything in, and to just be thankful for everything I have going on right now. I received encouragement along the way, as well as told others how great they were doing. It was fantastic.

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As soon as I crossed the finish line, we headed over to pick up a plate of the free BBQ brazen brought in to help feed all the hungry runners.

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It was some pretty delicious BBQ.

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I topped it off with an ice cream – it was awesome.

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Today some of the Brazen runners presented race directors Sam and Jasmin with a book. It’s a compilation of 100 personal stories from Brazenites – telling how Brazen has touched our lives. My sister and I both contributed. I feel like we are a part of history. :)

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It was a great day! And I’m looking forward to 100 more races – and even more after that.

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The Brazen Streak Continues!

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Racing the sun…

This week has been a whirlwind! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday night!

It started out with my childhood best friend coming to visit me with her two young daughters in tow. My best friend lives in Hawaii, so I don’t get to see her often. Unfortunately, I was on vacation last week, so I was unable to take time off this week. So, I had to work while they were here. If you remember…I work from home. I woke up at 6am on Monday and worked till 230. They arrived around 4. We went to get ice cream and then played at the park.

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So. Yum.

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The girls also found interesting ways to entertain themselves with all of my “toys.”

I ended up staying up way too late that night because these two monkeys wanted to hang out instead of sleep!

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My alarm went off at 5am the next day, and I accidently turned it off…and over slept by 2 hours! Oops. I started work late and had a hard time staying focused because everyone wanted to hang out – so I had to try and catch up before the end of the day. After work we went to another park for the girls to play. They wore themselves out because by the time we had dinner…they were both asleep.

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Nap time.

Wednesday came around and it was time to say good bye to my BFF. I felt bad that I had to work, but there wasn’t much I could do. After they left I had a ton of things to do. Work, appointments and getting ready for another date!

The guy I’ve been dating asked me to go see one of my FAVORITE singers ever. It was awesome that he had already had tickets for the show! Chris Isaak was playing last night at Wente Vineyards. My night consisted of a wonderful dinner with yummy wine

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and an amazing show! Chris Isaak always puts on the best live shows! He’s so talented and hilarious too. The shows are full of energy and entertainment. We had awesome seats too! So up close!!!

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Mr. Isaak!

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He loves to sparkle.

I had the best time!

This morning…starting work was a little tough because I had a slight hangover due to my enjoyment of all the delicious wine the night before. It literally took me all day to finish my work. It was pretty much torture! Work really gets in the way sometimes…
By the end of the day I was exhausted and feeling guilty because I actually ate a ton of food today. I think I was looking for quick energy.

Or something.

Because of that – I decided today would be a good day to run. I headed outdoors to get some sun and fresh air. I actually had a great run, it was tough, but great. And the view was awesome.

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Good Night sun.

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I should sleep well tonight!

When things change.

I’m having a really shitty not-so-good-day. Just when I thought things were going well, in the blink of the eye – it seems that has all changed. Isn’t that so like, life? 

With a head full of frustrations, I grabbed my shoes and headed out to run.

This run was already off to a bad start considering I didn’t bring anything with me. No Garmin, no IPod, no hat, sunblock or handheld water bottle. I had no clue where I was even headed. I just knew I needed to run to stop the tears flowing from my eyes.

I ended up on a flat path at a Marina not to far from my house. I used my phone and a broken pair of earphones to track my run with Nike+ …and to try to drown out the chaos in my head.  It was super hot and super windy. The trail was crowded.  There’s a one mile loop and another trail that spans 7 miles. I basically just got stuck on the loop. Going around and around trying to sort out my thoughts and run through the bull shit and pain swarming inside right now.

On top of everything that has piled on me this weekend – I found out last night that my high school Track Coach had passed away yesterday. It actually affected me more than I thought it would.

Coach Will Matthews was a great coach, who basically planted the “sport minded seed” into my head. He taught me a lot in my first year of high school competitive sports. Although I was only able to do track for one year, it stayed with me through the years and I still have very fond memories to this day.
In fact I was just telling one of my favorite track stories to a friend on Tuesday.

Todays run was probably one the worst runs I’ve had in a very long time. My mind was all over the place. The weather sucked. Things hurt from head to heart toe. I didn’t want to be there… But I pushed through the 3.28 miles just like Coach would have encouraged me to do.

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So. Today’s run was dedicated to him, and the great life he lived. Inspiring and pushing students to find their potential – and to run/do their best every time.

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RIP Coach.

As for everything else…well I can only pray it will all work out.

Running on Clouds.

Happy Wednesday!

This week, I have been on vacation. I’ve been overly busy – but in good ways.

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On Sunday I went out to Sacramento to visit my best friend who is visiting from Hawaii. We spent the day at the pool, and our night drinking a little too much alcohol and playing card games and dominos. We laughed so much it was completely ridiculous! But it was also the best thing ever. :)

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After sleeping late on Monday and having breakfast, I headed back to the Bay because the 108℉ temps in Sacramento were just a little too much for me to handle.

Yesterday I spent the day at the beach with the Guy that I have dating. I had a wonderful time! :) :)

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Mr. Seal approves.

Today I had an appointment I had to go to, but afterwards I hit the gym. I received my Running Warehouse order the night before, and I couldn’t wait to test out my new Brooks Transcends.

From the moment I put them on, once again I could feel the difference in these shoes. They have a glove like fight, and it feels like your standing on a cloud. My hip is still relatively sore, so I knew if they didn’t work, the pain would increase very quickly.

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Slightly over 3 miles later, I was pleasantly surprised while wearing these heavenly shoes. I actually had no hip pain during my run. Afterwards, I was able to step off the treadmill without pain. The pain that I did have after was the same pain I had before the run, with the exception that it felt less tight. It’s been a few hours and I have since lifted weights, and did other exercises as well as thoroughly cleaned my house. I still feel Okay. I’m going to have to take these shoes for an outdoor run this week, but my initial impression is: I really love these shoes and they are extremely comfortable.

Of course I am not miraculously better, but a more comfortable run is always awesome, and I literally Ran Happy today.

Oops…I did it again.

After Thursday’s post Dipsea treadmill foray, I woke up on Friday…in pain.

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I expected it, but at the same time hoped it wouldn’t be as bad as it was.

I’m becoming more and more frustrated with the pain I’ve been having pretty much all of this year. I’m planning to see my doctor again, but since I’ve already asked for physical therapy and was pretty much shot down, with the words “you’re already doing everything they would tell you to do, it would be a waste of your time…”, I feel less than hopeful. I actually thought of trying to find a doctor that may also be a runner…because then it would be so much easier to explain all these oddities that keep happening.

A while back, I read posts from other runners about the Brooks Transcend. They pretty much raved about the support and the guide rail system. I then googled reviews and read through a bunch of posts from overpeonators across the states that were satisfied. My sister and I went to Sports Authority and tried on these shoes. They felt…different. But with a steep price of 160.00 and a million other shoes in my closet – I put them away.

Today I went to a small “amusement” park with my friend and her kids.

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Walking around the park was torture, and I found myself finding nearby benches with a vengeance.  Throughout the day I became increasingly frustrated, and also bummed out. With another half marathon training plan starting in two weeks…I don’t want to have to deal with the same issues I experienced one month into Dipsea training. I really want to be able to complete a training plan for once. And also would love to run a half marathon in my goal time…and not in pain. 5th times the charm….right? 

So I ordered these today with hopes that it might help. If not, I will just have to send them back. :(

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And maybe take up swimming.

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My First Post Double Dipsea Run.

My blogging has been super lacking lately, in case you haven’t noticed. Mostly because I have been pretty busy and after Double Dipsea, I took a break from any kind of training.

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Mostly because I couldn't move.

As the days passed and my muscles started to feel less sore I started to feel a lot of guilt for doing nothing for so long.

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Technically my next 12 week half marathon training plan for RNR begins on Monday July 14th. (That will be half marathon number #5…Wow.) The
Almost 3 week gap in between plans kind of has me feeling a little lost. I’ve never experienced that before.

It’s awkward.

Ever since Trail Quake I’ve been feeling pretty run down. I’m blaming my sister because she was sick that weekend and was still recovering at Dipsea. I felt bad for her, but certainly did not want to share in her agony…or snot in this case. I’ve been downing Emergen-c like it’s going out of style, but still I feel exhausted and just slightly under the weather. I was supposed to go to class tonight, but about half way through the day I just decided that I didn’t want too. I really wanted to climb into bed early and rest.

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But after working a 10 hour day, I started thinking that maybe a small run was what I needed. Don’t they say you should sweat out your cold or something?! So, I put on my shoes and headed to the gym. I skipped running at my park because my park has hills…and I’m NOT really in  the mood for anything with elevation after Double Dipsea. A nice, flat, cushiony treadmill sounded so much more luxurious!

I had nothing else on my agenda, all I wanted to do was a short run. It was progressive, and ended with me running at 6.5. It didn’t feel so great. I felt hot, and nauseous, sore and tired.

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But I just kept at it. At one point I accidentally hit the emergency stop button….that has to be the most annoying thing ever! I get why it’s there, but still! Ugh.

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Anyway, I completed my run and of course felt better afterwards, even though I was extremely red faced and super sweaty. My hip did relatively okay but I could feel it stiffen on the way home so I spent some time on the  torture device foam roller.

Next week I am on vacation, and altough my week has seemingly filled up with too many things to do, I’m hoping to get in a week of pre-training-plan workouts in. You know…like running just for the fun of it?

Gasp…I’ve kind of forgotten what that feels like.

Double Dipsea

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Well, today was the day.

D Day.

Double Dipsea Day.

Yesterday my sister and I headed out to Mill Valley after work to pick up our race bibs at San Francisco Running Company. As with all Brazen packet pick ups, it was super fast and easy.
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We then got dinner at Outback which was tasty!
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Then headed to REI to stock up on race day essentials.
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Then to Safeway to get things for breakfast and water for our hydration vests. Some how…gummy paraphernalia ended up in my grocery bag.
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Then it was back to the hotel to try to get to bed early, because alarms were set for 3am.
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It took me some time to get to sleep, but once I did – surprisingly, I slept through the night.

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Pre race meditation..

We headed to Stinson Beach at 5am. We chose to do the hiker start, which would be the first to leave at 7am. I had one outfit on, but after about 5 minutes in it, I just did not feel comfortable.
Thankfully, I had 5 extra outfits packed, because I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to wear. So, we headed back to the car and I totally changed outfits. Haha!
I chose to do the hiker start because it allowed an extra hour on the course. With the uncertainty of my hip, I wanted to allow myself as much time as possible. The hiker start is usually a small group, and today was no exception. Although, it was much larger than normal.

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Waiting at the start...

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Waiting...

I was actually pretty calm waiting at the start, but once Race Director Sam quietly set us off (it was too early for amplified sound per park regulations) the reality of the feet ahead of me set in. But there was no time to worry, instead I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. My plan for survival was to walk the ups (there were so many ups…), jog the flats, and run the downs.

Early in the race, I encountered an amputee who was trudging along with the rest of us. It kind of put things into prospective for me, as well as inspired me. I made a deal with myself that I would not complain or allow myself to think negatively during the race today. I admit I wavered a bit towards the end, but I sucked it up!
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The course was BRUTAL. Although at times I felt like I was doing better today then the first time I sampled the course, there were portions that felt 10x harder than I remembered. It was also a little stressful once there was two way traffic as well as when the super fast runners caught up to me. But I navigated it all, and didn’t fall on my ass. Although there was about 10 times the trail tried to trip me.
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I was insanely relieved to see the 13 mile marker today, but at the same time I felt like crying because I was in pain at that point and still had .70 miles to go. But as I said I took a deep breath and remembered the promise I made to myself and just continued on.

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Trail Tan.

I had secretly hoped I could get this done in 4.5 hours. But the insane hill climb at Suicide/Cardiac (those names where given with purpose) at mile 10 slowed me down a lot more than I had anticipated. I completed the race in just over 5 hours. And I’m completely satisfied with that. With 4500 foot ascent, almost 2000 stairs and 13.7 miles – my main goal was to finish with a heartbeat.

My favorite part about today was the insane amount of encouragement from the volunteers as well as all my fellow runners. My favorite was when one of the super fast guys came flying up the trail, he told the lady behind me she was doing great, she said “me? No, you’re doing great!” He responded with, “Its all relative, we are both doing the same trail, and we are both working hard. Don’t compare yourself, just keep going.” He caught up to me and said, “great job, you got this!” and with that he was off like the Flash. Doing this half today, no matter how slow I was compared to the other “more serious trail runners” made me feel awesome. And also like I was like a for-real-trail-runner. This wasn’t a tiny trail race. This was an effin brutal beast!!! Everyone that attempted today has acknowledged that in one form or another.

I came.

I saw.

And I concured.

And I got a turtle medal…that is also a coaster! Ha.

I’m also incredibly sore. But that happens when you switch to beast mode.

I can’t say I will do anything like this again, but I’m sure glad I experienced it today.

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I’m also glad I don’t have to worry about it anymore. My next half is in October…expect it’s completely flat – which makes it seem so easy!

The Brazen Streak Continues!