terrible timing

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spent the afternoon researching food bloggers for work and then realized: Crap, I haven't blogged in ages.

Instead, I have been seeing my fix-me specialists, trying to figure out how to get rid of the psoas/rectus femoris issue that has been plaguing me for the past week. The chiropractor said my hips are crooked. The massage therapist said I need to strengthen my hamstrings and my glutes. The Pilates teacher said I should seriously re-think my plans for San Francisco.

I haven't run since Sunday, and that day was a mere six-miler. (Granted, it was a fast one -- quite possibly my fastest six miles ever. The photo above was taken when I was waiting post-run for everyone else to finish. True, they were all running farther. But still. It was nice to be first for once.) The pain isn't too bad when I've been moving around -- in fact, it lessens with activity. But going from sitting to standing (or -- even worse -- attempting to get out of bed and stand) is pretty damn excruciating.

I feel old. And kind of sad. Just as I was finally getting faster, finally starting to regularly see a pace in the high- to mid-8s, this happens.

And let's not forget that race day is three days away. SF, will you forever be the race I associate with injury?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I read this as 5 x 400, followed by one 600. And I thought: Man, track is going to be super-easy today!

Oh, how I was mistaken.

Today's workout was five sets of both a 400 and a 600. And by the second set, I kind of wanted to die.


Because my stupid left hip started acting up. (Sorry -- couldn't resist the pun with the silly Shakira video.) It's been sore on and off for the past few weeks, and after the extremely hilly 12-miler I did on Saturday (I chose the hilliest route I could think of to prepare for San Francisco), it was bothering me more than normal. My hip is so tight that it's pulling on my rectus femoris, and basically my upper quad and lower abdominal area pretty much hate me right now.

Anyway, I still gutted out the workout. Clearly, this was not the smartest decision, but it did result in my fastest 400 ever (1:40), and I was fairly consistent with my 600s (2:45, pretty consecutively). Also, I am now officially no longer the last person in the track group. Hooray for me, right?

That said, I am seeing my chiropractor Thursday, my Pilates teacher Friday and my massage therapist Monday. The hip needs a little professional help.

take to the sky

Monday, July 18, 2011

I've been in a helicopter exactly three times in my life. (Thankfully, none of those times involved being airlifted out of Annadel.)

The first time was back in my journalism days, when I covered Camp Roberts. The National Guard was doing a training exercise, and I took a military helicopter out to the "battleground." Pretty cool to fly with the door open and see the golden rolling hills unfold beneath me. (What was not cool: Later, I had to pee by penlight in a port-a-potty. And then I dropped my reporter's notebook on the floor of said port-a-potty and had to make the awful decision: Do I abandon it and lose all info, or do I touch germs? I went with germs. Shudder.)

The second time was in Tasmania. Happily, no port-a-potties were involved. Instead, there were views of white sand and ocean. And a tricky landing between some powerlines. That pilot had mad skills. (On a side note, every time I think of Tasmania, I think of pie. And then I become hungry.)

And the third time? This past Friday. I took a wine writer out for an aerial tour of the vineyards. Sonoma County is so pretty.

We also flew over Annadel.

From the air, the trails looked like ribbons.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clearly, volunteering at Vineman today was rough.

Not only did Layla beat me silly with this Gatorade stirrer, but I was forced to watch elite athletes in spandex do amazing things, all while I drank Irish coffee. (The last part was my idea -- I figured if I was going to volunteer for hours, I might as well maximize my time.)

I was at the aid station at the bike/run transition. I said the word "water" more times than I ever imagined possible. And there were a few moments when I thought my arm was going to get ripped off by a very forceful water-grabber. But it was fun. And I liked being able to help out.

doughnut power

Monday, July 11, 2011

As you can see, I finally made it to Dynamo Donuts. (Crossing another one off of the list!)

The fried dough haven served as the starting point for Jessa's birthday scavenger hunt last Saturday.

I was immediately overwhelmed as soon as I walked in the door. The doughnut menu was just so awesome -- caramel de sel, banana de leche, candied orange blossom! I couldn't choose just one doughnut, so I got two: Passionfruit milk chocolate and lemon pistachio. (Confession: I actually dropped the passionfruit doughnut on the ground on my way out to the patio. But instead of crying, I picked it up and ate it anyway. Mmmm. Dirt.)

The verdict? Sweet. Very sweet. So sweet I kind of had an insane sugar rush afterward. But perhaps the sugar rush helped because my team created this ridiculous video ...

... and went on to win the scavenger hunt.

running thoughts

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I love how you meet random people at races and end up running with them. I met this dude during the last mile or so of Kenwood, and we pushed each other to the finish. There's nothing like gasping words of encouragement to a total stranger and then sharing a high-five when you cross the line.

Similarly awesome: Seeing people you met at previous races. Case in point: Maniacal Laughter Guy (whose real name is Chi, in case you're wondering). He was at Kenwood too -- and wearing his maniacal headphones, which meant he was probably also listening to his maniacal podcast. Yes!


Most of the time when I'm running, I'm thinking about food. (Duh. Why else do I run in the first place?) I think about what kind of eggs I'd like for breakfast (usually poached, unless I'm cooking, and then I'll go with custard-style scrambled with Asiago and truffle salt). I also think about salty things, like fries and Kettle Chips and hash browns. And then there's ramen. Which has eggs and is salty. Dear ramen: Why are you so perfect?

If I'm not thinking about food, I do body scans. Head to toe. How is my alignment? Are my shoulders relaxed? Am I using my arms? Is my right foot turned out? Am I aiming forward and not bouncing up and down?


Lately, I've been worried that I've become dependent on running with other people. Other than the 3 x 1600 I did last Friday (this was pre-cake-baking and also contributed to why I stayed up so late because I had to wait until the weather cooled down before I could run), I've run either with my group, with a friend or with Todd.

I seem to push myself more when I'm with others. (Confession: It's possible I would've wimped out on my sub-2 attempt if Matt hadn't been there.) Also, it's harder to flake on a workout when someone else is involved.


I don't listen to music while running because I want to hear cars and evil assailants if they approach. That said, I do hype myself up with music on the way to a race. Yesterday, it was all about Joan Jett. And of course, "Super Bass." What can I say? I'm obsessed.


Monday, July 04, 2011

I've gotten a total of maybe 14 hours of sleep over the past three nights combined. (I'll explain.) But somehow I still managed to cut almost four minutes off of my Kenwood Footrace time this morning -- finished in 58:16, compared to last year's 1:02:07. Not too shabby, especially considering the heat (it was one of those drink-one-cup-pour-one-cup-over-my-head situations at the aid stations) and the hills (my downfall last year -- I started too fast and died on the second hill -- by the end, it was all I could do to keep from walking).

But enough about running. You're probably wondering why the hell I'm a sleepless zombie.

Reason 1: The cake.

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

When I saw this video, I thought this beet cake would be nothing short of perfect for Todd's birthday party (both of us love beets so much that we actually have "Eat your beets" engraved in our wedding rings -- it's a Tom Robbins reference), which we hosted Saturday. Unfortunately, my baking experience wasn't as lovely as the one in the film. The weather on Friday was pretty much an inferno, so I had to wait until the evening to avoid adding sweat to the cake's ingredient list.

As a result, I was baking until 2 a.m. And then woke up at 6 a.m. the following morning to continue the party preparations. (The menu included two salads, marinated portobello mushrooms, veggie burgers made from scratch and watermelon cocktails. I love cooking vegetarian meals, but prepping all those vegetables takes a long-ass time.)

Reason 2: The party.

Note to self: When you make the decision to introduce vodka to what is normally a described as a "raw food smoothie high in vitamins," you have chosen a very special road.

Perhaps one that can only lead to even more drastic decisions.

Reason 3: The hotness.

OK, so maybe that's not really how I define "hot." I'm talking weather here. I spent yesterday in the city with Christina (we toured the SF Armory, hence the photo of bondage gear); you know temperatures have hit new heights when you can spend the entire day in San Francisco without a sweater.
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