Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Just keep swimming

old-slide-puzzle

I’ve had trouble writing lately. Not with the writing, but with the focus. I’ve been scattered, disorganized, distracted, flitting from one thing to another, suddenly forced to stomp out the flames of something I’ve forgotten or ignored until it became an issue.

I’m very lucky – and aware enough of that luck to be grateful – that BFOS has not been life-changing for me. It has changed my life in that I was unable do something that I enjoy, that defines me, directs me, focuses me. But it has not changed the way I can live day-to-day, to clean my house, go to the grocery, be with friends.

It is, however, a constant presence. I live in awareness of my body, not focused outside of my body. I expect neither of you walk around Kroger thinking, “I have an arm. I have an arm. I have an arm.” Since last fall there is always a knowledge, an awareness of my leg, and I do not like it. I get into the car and shift in the seat until I can get comfortable. I literally feel my right leg every time I take a step. It’s narcissistic except I don’t love it.

And – I had not realized that until today.

In a continuing effort to solve this stupid puzzle, to get the numbers in sequence, I saw a neuro last week. I’d put it off for weeks because I’m tired of this merry-go-round, but I finally made an appointment. Considered to be one of the best in the mid-south, Dr. Neuro walked in and sat down, took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes. “I cannot see anything wrong with your back,” he stated. “I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can offer to help you, that disc is perfectly healthy.” He punched around my hamstring, trying to find some trigger point that does not exist (I’d have already gotten the Finder’s Fee for that if it existed, as many times as I’ve uselessly prodded, rubbed, rolled, tennis-balled that damn leg). He was wonderfully nice, thoughtful and painstaking, but what can you do when a healthy person doesn’t need you?

Next on my list was chiropractor and then some deep tissue massage, because as much as I want to just quit trying, I’m too damn stubborn. Meanwhile one of my BRFF’s, “Becky” started having some back issues and had gone to a new chiro. She called, singing, “You have got to go see this guy!”

Friday I got in to see Dr. Chiro who also poked all around in my hamstring to find the Phantom Source. Nothing. He started manipulating my leg and hit the hot spot. The doc explained that we have a small muscle, the semimembranosus, which runs along the hamstring on the outside of the leg from the hip. This muscle is innervated by the tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve. He believes I have a mixture of irritation of that branch of the sciatic, along with Meralgia paresthetica, which is the ten dollar name for numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column, along with piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve.

In other words, as we’ve always known, I have a lot of damn nerve. Also, apparently, I’m impressed with multi-syllabic words.

He did some pressure point therapy on the outside of my thigh and hip which had me grateful for having learned proper breathing techniques during Lamaze classes and sent me home with a set of stretches.

This morning I realized that I actually don’t “feel” my right leg any more than my left, which is when I realized I had been for the past few months. It does actually feel better and so I hold out hope.

Meanwhile I will
nemo-1-1
even though it’s a truly ugly thing.

Having bailed on two classes I resumed swimming hell last Tuesday. First, we warm up. Then, we do some drills. Things like swimming with one arm extended permanently in front and stroking with only one arm, or an exercise called the “Dolphin Kick”. WTH. If I wanted to swim with dolphins it would not be at a YMCA in the mid-south. Look around: No dolphins in the Mississippi River.

I have lost a lot of conditioning, as evidenced by the skyrocketing heart rate in 10 seconds flat, and I have firmly proven that you can inhale enough water to lower the level of a swimming pool. This does not, unfortunately, have any beneficial effect on your sinuses or asthma, although you will be well hydrated. It occurred to me that perhaps I could walk down the lane, extending my arm and pretending to swim, but apparently you can also see through water. I call bullshit. Don’t those little kids pee in the pool enough to make it opaque??

Oh, and guess what? There’s a deep end. What kind of special idiot put a deep end in a swimming pool? You cannot walk on the deep end. Well, you could. If you had one of those diving suits like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Only then the ginormous octopus legs would surround you and drown you. Which I’m watching for, carefully. You never know.

Next she giddily announces we are going to do 5 – 100’s, then 5 – 75’s, then 5 – 50’s with a 10 second recovery between each set. This is like me going to Italy and thinking the first day I’m going to know what the waiter just said to me. Point to the picture on the menu and hope that’s what you get. I looked at Becky. “swim to the end, 25 yards, back, 50, back to the end, 75, back here, 100”.

gonna pee

NOW the kid finally pees. Cue maniacal laughter. Dammit, I’m gonna do this. I swim 25, hold the side of the pool, gasp for 30 seconds, swim back. Slow going but I’m gonna kill this sucker. I’m gonna kill it, and I’m gonna get stronger. I’m Wonder Woman. I’m Swimming With the Fishies Woman. I get to the shallow end, gasping.

I see her blurry face hovering above me. I lift my foggy goggles. “How many 100’s have you done?” she asks.

“HUNDREDS? I’m doing TWENTY-FIVES!”

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BSOD

While I would not be the first to admit it, because I am very happy wallowing in my own misery, there is something worse than BFOS, and that is the BSOD.

BSOD

Which, unfortunately, I woke to last week.

They do a have a few things in common, the most obvious being they are both a huge pain in the a$$ followed by the 2nd most obvious, you are jumping on a merry-go-round right here and now in a vain attempt to find any solution.

My current vain attempt to find resolution on the Falling Off Butt is a trip to a Neurologist which will happen Tuesday. I don’t want to but have been mercilessly nagged by friends and family for weeks to please make an appointment which I finally, grudgingly did. If he comes within 20 feet of me with a steroid he’d better never plan on having children.

Being my own IT department at Chez Terrilee’s Running Club Secretary’s Top Secret Laboratory, I quickly triaged the situation.  Upstairs at one end of the house:  The dead or dying laptop.  Downstairs at the other end of the house:  The still useful desktop.

Here’s a thought:  bring the laptop downstairs and try fixing it there, next to the working computer.

But, no, that never, in six hours of running back and forth, occurred to me. First I’d google the most recent error message on the desktop and run upstairs to implement that fix. Then I’d run downstairs to google the next step, run up the stairs, run down the stairs, six hours. The next day I could not figure out why my knees hurt so much. Finally it occurred to me I’d done six hours of a stair workout…in Uggs.

Anyway, eventually I came to the realization that nothing was going to help so I held a pillow firmly over the screen until it quit kicking. Resolutely, sadly, I closed the lid on my laptop for the final time and stuck it in the Closet Of Death. We all have one, the closet where you stick everything you no longer need but have no idea what to do with. I thought I heard a faint whirrrrrr and sigh as I dropped it on top of that ugly quilt someone gave the twins when they were babies. They probably quilted it while watching Top Gun. You can’t really say too much good about color combos of the 80’s, not that I wasn’t extremely grateful for the quilt at the time. Now I just do everything beige. Light Beige, Medium Beige, Beige Beige. It’s boring, but I won’t look at pictures 20 years from now and say, what the h@ll was I thinking? Because everything will be beige including me, and I won’t be able to see anything. The pictures won’t paint a very colorful history of our family, little beige squares stuck in a photo album, but there will also be no evidence of my poor taste, evolving hairstyles and expanding waist.

There’s something else that might be worse than BFOS, and that is the BPOD:

BPOD

Swim class, or as I like to think of it, Torture, is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Last week I spent Thursday putting the laptop out of my misery, and this past Tuesday I spent eagerly awaiting the highly touted ice and snow storm. I was less eager than usual because I had not taken time to buy several loaves of white balloon bread, 13 gallons of milk and some firewood being sold by the side of the road out the back of an old red pickup truck to use in our gas fireplace. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The cats glared at me accusingly. “What kind of mom are you?,” I could see them thinking. Meanwhile, the television screamed.

“RIGHT HERE, ONLY ON THE BEST STATION IN TOWN, NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY, THE LATEST UPDATE ON SNOWMAGEDDON 2013!”

“BOB! TELL US THE LATEST NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WEATHER UPDATE ABOUT ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!”

“WELL, BILL, AS YOU KNOW, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR WEATHER UPDATES WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!!! STEVE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US?”

“WELL, BILL & BOB, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR TRAFFIC WEATHER UPDATES, WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!! IN FACT, SEVERAL CARS HAVE ALREADY WRECKED ON THE FLY-OVER IN JOYFUL ANTICIPATION OF ICE AND SNOW!!”

“WOW, BILL & BOB & STEVE” SOLEMNLY INTONED NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY ANCHOR SALLY SUE, “WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO GETTING OUT ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND WEATHER UPDATES ABOUT SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-MAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEDON 2013!!!”

I tried to turn off the TV but apparently at the hint of ICE AND SNOW the television becomes sentient and immediately stations itself on NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY. You can beg and plead but you are not going to see anything other than large words superimposed over photos of last year’s SNOWMAGGENDON 2012 while Bob joyfully exclaims the worst that could possibly happen, so I kept watching, anticipating, ready for the power outage so I could try to rewarm my coffee over my dad’s old Zippo lighter, but nothing happened. No snow. No ice. No power outage. It was like being five and getting clothes for your birthday. And while I watched and anticipated, swim class passed me by. Darn.

Things are going swimmingly, thanks. And you?

Where have ya’ll been??   Sucked into a black hole?

Oh, wait, that’s me that’s been in a black hole.

First the Munker got sick.  For a day or two I thought it was really cute that she kept sleeping on top of the heating vents, funny little kitty, curled up on the vents in the winter.  Then I came downstairs one morning and realized she was still in the same spot and same position she’d been in the night before.  Mo and Murphy were right there with her, where they’d been the night before – never moved.  Stayed with her all night.  And of course it’s New Year’s Eve day (does that seem right?  eve day?)  They got her in but it took almost three hours.  Temp 104.6, probably viral, and she’s pissed about being at the vet’s.  I mean Pissed.  Like, all over the carrier.  Later she said this sh*t’s for the birds and so she did.  All over the carrier.  I started wishing I had a cold just so I couldn’t smell anything.

This is what I decided for 2013:  Since running is still not really working for me,  I would try to do some type of exercise every day.  Not many people make this type of resolution, but I’m just like that.  Cutting edge.  Most people resolve to eat more sweet potato fries.  A few decide to be radical (mostly New Yorkers) and pledge to drink at least one 32 ounce soft drink per day.  Not me.  After I got done giving the vet most of our retirement account I went home and loaded up my shining new Jillian’s 30-Day Shred (LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS!) video.  I figured, since I haven’t been working out a lot, I would start with Level 1.  It wasn’t too bad until the next day when I needed brush my teeth and my arm only reached my neck.  I don’t have teeth in my neck.

I did the Level 1 workout and checked my Garmin.  Wearing my HR monitor the Garmin said I’d burned 238 calories in 28 minutes.  Doing the math I figured I’m only going to have to do Level 1 for six hours a day to LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS.  So, I hopped up on the hubster’s trainer for 30 minutes.  Now I only have to do the shred video for 5 more hours.  Today.

You’ll both be surprised to learn that I did not, in fact, do the video for five more hours.  No.  I played some Spider Solitaire, which I think the Russians or North Koreans have invented to keep us U Ess of Aye citizens distracted while they plan to invade our golden shores and take over AIG, that Golden Boy of All Things Right About the American System.  Also, I think that damn game is rigged.  I mean, how can you have a win percentage of 23%?  That’s un-American.  Win percentages should always be 100%.

Now, suddenly, it’s January 18th and so far I’m up to December 31st on my awesome blog that you have both been distraught to read.  My life is a whirl of inactivity and boredom that I cover up with many fascinating stories.  There are so many to choose from.

Here’s a Teaser:  My crazy friend “Becky” talked me into taking a swim class.

Oh, wait, it’s not really a swim class.  It’s really a Master’s Swim.

Master’s swim does not include clutching the side of the pool at the end of each 25 yards and gasping for breath.

No, yes.  For me, it does.

swimming cat

Happy New Year. Because stating that is not at all pedantic.

Actually, if you think about it, it’s not really a new ‘year’ or anything else.  Time is man-made, it’s something we’ve created to anchor ourselves.  Probably a few majillion years ago whenever the first women roamed the earth they had the “bright sunshine warm” time and the “grey cold” time and the “oh sh*t a baby is coming out of me” time.  And when that happened it wasn’t like she could tell the medicine woman that her contractions were three minutes apart – she didn’t have minutes.  She also didn’t have epidurals so you know that sucked.

However, here we are, anchored in space and time with many gadgets that tell us just how much time we didn’t use wisely, and how much time we spent looking at some really cute boots on sale at Zappos, and how much time we spent trying to decide whether to buy the boots at Zappos even though we don’t need them because we only have two feet and we can only wear one pair of boots at a time and we already have three pair of boots.  Which, by the way, “pair”, while being two, is singular.  (also, hubs, if you ever happen to read my blog, I did.  not.  buy any boots)

This is what I thought was a really great idea a month ago:  put a bunch of lights on the bushes outside.  I was driven to do this because the awesome retired man across the street – seriously – is in annual competition for the local Griswold Award.  He’s got the most incredibly fantastic random assortment of Christmas yard art you’ve ever seen.  There are light up ducks and singing Mr. & Mrs. Santa, and light globes made of clear plastic cups glued in a circle with a light shoved through the bottom of each cup.  He has a light up countdown calendar to Christmas on the wall next to the front door.  There are inflatables that he inflates and deflates every evening, snowflake shaped lights in the grass, icicle lights hanging randomly from the trees.  I cannot believe I am lucky enough to live across the street from this.  It’s SO COOL.  Whenever the B’ster comes over we go across the street and he runs around looking at everything.  One night we put the leash on Murph and took him, too.  We walked across the street, looked at lights and went back home.  Murphy looked at us. What the hell?  That was a walk?  Are you idiots?

Apparently, yes, because yesterday in the steely grey afternoon at a damp 31 degrees I was outside unstringing the stupid lights while my fingertips (in gloves) turned white, laboriously wrapping them awkwardly around wooden thingies the hubs made to laboriously wrap lights around.  Meanwhile Mr. Awesome was across the street undecorating his house.  I did not want to ask if he won the award because the first year we lived here he came in second and seemed rather disgusted about it.  No need rubbing salt in the wound if that happened again.  This is what he had:  A little round rolling up thingie.  He stuck the end of a string of lights in it.  Then he wound the handle and the lights wound their own selves up.  What the hell am I doing, wrapping the damn things around a piece of wood?

Also, is it ever not going to be 31 degrees and grey outside?  July is going to be pretty weird.

GUESS WHAT?  I ran 5-1/2 miles New Years Day!  Afterward there was a potluck and Tom brought the best chili.  It’s Weight Watchers, too.  Here’s the recipe:

Brown 2 lbs of hamburger, ground turkey or a mixture of hamburger/sausage along with one package of Taco seasoning

Put it in a crockpot with one can of each:

Whole Kernel Corn

Pinto Beans

Black Beans

Refried Beans

Diced Tomatoes

Rotel Tomatoes

Stir in one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix

YUM!  (You should know that if you eat the chili by scooping each bite up with a large Frito, the Weight Watcher’s thing is largely negated.)

Anyway, getting back to our laboring foremother who did not worry about decorating bushes with lights, which are something she wouldn’t know about, with not having any electricity and stuff, and who was probably wearing some boots she’d made out of leather she’d tanned after chewing up a bunch of herbs or something and spitting them on the hide of the auroch and rubbing them in for about 10 hours (although she had no time so was it really ten hours?  or … not?) to soften the hide and then sewing them together with some ivory sewing needles an enterprising male (perhaps the progenitor of the “oh sh*t the baby is coming”?  I think maybe so.) had hewn (cool word, hewn.  “How are all ya’ll hewin’?” they say in the South.  Which means, “is everyone healthy?  and, if not, can you spare the surgical details?”)  (Dammit.  I’m … lying …)

ANYWAY back to our foremother who is laboring to bring forth the child which could possibly be your many-times-removed grandparent all because some enterprising male managed to make a sewing needle out of a cactus sticker, wooing her with promises of auroch hides to spit upon:  a New Year probably meant about as much as a crockpot.  “Right, then, I’ll just stick this auroch leg in the crockpot and we’ll have us some nice dinner tonight, right after I pop out this little baby thing that I have no idea where it came from because that was 9 months ago and we don’t have months and don’t know what sperm are.” (sperm, while being many, is singular)

“And, also, Happy New Year” she pronounced.

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