Sunday, January 25, 2015

Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay

time - 2:42:50
average team pace of 6:13
placed 2nd in our division (mixed) out of 33
placed 12th overall out of 81 teams

let's assess the body... shall we?

starting at the bottom:  my left calf is unusually sore, both quads are sore, right hamstring is also unusually sore, most abdominals (top and bottom) are sore, upper and lower back muscles are sore.  right now as i lay here in bed at 6:41am that's the assessment.

later i will roll out the calf and the hammy.  those are the most worrisome to me.  i was going to run today and i still might.  i just might do it on the dreadmill so that i can completely control the environment.

why is my body so sore you might ask?  well... yesterday i had the pleasure of running my very FIRST EVER indoor marathon relay race!  i will admit that i agreed to do it on a whim... much like when i agreed to run ragnar last year.  my friend josh over at there's always someone faster hit me up on facebook and said his team needed a 4th.  i was hesitant at first because i know how i feel about running at the pettit and the idea of running a marathon relay at the pettit didn't sound all that fun.  the pettit is milwaukee's own nationally recognized indoor ice rink.  we have a track there that is 433 meters in size so it's about 3.6 laps to a mile.  i ran there quite a bit last winter when the weather prevented me from running outside.  it is not my favorite.  so i thought about it a little bit and then figured... what the hell... why not?  so i joined the team.

the very next day i saw my physical therapist and he asked me to stop running for a week.  i've been having this hip thing ever since that chiropractor at north face laid his hands on me and i want to get in front of it for my 2015 running season.  i've been having some pain (minimal) when i run, but my fear is that it will ramp up with my increased mileage so i thought i should figure it out before that happens.  you know...  be proactive and stuff.  so i see this new physical therapist and right after i commit to run this relay he asks me to stop running.  of course is said no.  so my pt does some magical mumbo jumbo with his hands and i went on my way.  i ran the whole next week to the tune of 30ish miles.  the following week (last week) i didn't run at all.  so the 5 days leading up to the relay i didn't run not one mile.  i did, however, have a lovely visit with dr. roberts where he dry needled my hip in two different trigger points that are giving me trouble.  um... let's just say that while dry needling is helping... it absolutely blows.  it is very very uncomfortable.  it isn't painful exactly... but it's something that i have to consciously breath through in order to manage.  it's tough.

when race day came i was still feeling quite anxious about it.  i have some odd social anxiety and since i didn't know the people i was running with i felt a little weird about that too.  i mean... i know josh from the internets, but i had never met him in person.  the other two men i had only had brief conversations with on facebook.  i am a huge fan of fake it till you make it tho' and i persevered.

i arrived at the pettit's very full parking lot just before noon.  the race was to start at 1pm.  got my car parked and went inside.  i looked around and called josh but didn't get an answer so i figured i'd just keep looking and that's when i saw my friend sree.  it was awesome to see a friendly face!  he introduced me to his team and we chatted for a bit.  he gave me some pointers and that's when i spotted josh and ryan walking towards me out of the crowd.  i waved and when they reached me we shook hands very formal like.

we stood around for awhile and tried to figure out what our game plan would be.  where we should post up our things and so on... we also got more tips from sree.  he's full of tips.  we decided to just drop our stuff where we were as we were standing on the rubber mats and that would be warmer than the concrete.  the pettit center is regulated at near 50 degrees (felt so much colder) because it's an ice skating rink.  most people standing around are wearing their winter coats, hats, and gloves.  it's cold in there!  so we posted up and that's when jerry showed up.  our team was complete.  we watched the finish of the half marathon that was currently going on and then it was time to warm up.  i was really cold.  i ran about 4 laps as a warm up and then we planned our strategy.  we decided we would run 2 laps and then switch and if that wasn't working out we'd change up our strategy.  we figured that the 2 laps would work tho' because we could sprint the whole time and our downtime from running would be minimal.  the hope was that we'd not have enough time to get cold.  i was up first.

all the first runners started milling towards the starting line.  as i was heading there i noticed that there were a lot of people going the wrong way past me but who am i to tell someone they're going the wrong way?  so i just kept going and lamented the fact that i couldn't wear headphones.  the good part about that is i was only running 2 laps so there'd be no time for music anyhow...  i got my garmin set and waited to be told to go.

the starting line looked nothing like this.  in fact... it was really crowded and i was concerned that i was going to be slower because of it.  when you're in a sprinting situation that's the last thing you want... to be held up even for a fraction of a second.  i was relieved when the gun went off and everyone moved rather quickly and spread out.  the track is only 3 lanes wide so its not like there's a whole lot of room to move when there's a cluster.  the starting line looked more like this herd of cattle with less dust, horns, and hooves.  

to be honest... i was pretty focused and i ended up going out too fast.  everyone was so focused that very few people were talking to each other.  there were some runners that were practically walking so i'm not sure what the strategy was there except maybe to finish?  i ran my first lap in 1:38 and when i hit my garmin to count the next lap i TURNED IT OFF! ugh... so i have no idea what my second lap was.  after that i didn't bother with the garmin because i decided that running that fast was going to be challenge enough.  i didn't want to throw trying to manage my garmin in the mix as well.  i'm a little disappointed that i didn't just start my garmin up again at my next laps.  i have no idea what i was running and i'd really love to know.  i'm weird like that.

i had no idea how hard it would be to run as fast as you can 11 times.  it was really really challenging.  my right hamstring started seizing up about 1/2 way through.  i think because it was so cold in there and i couldn't keep my muscles warm.  i kept trying to stretch and keep warm but i never really warmed up.  there was around 6-7 minutes of down time between each of my runs, but after my warm up i never really got warm again.  after the first few laps i felt like i was getting slower and slower.  my legs felt heavier and it felt like it was harder to push through.  we stayed pretty consistently at 12-13th place the whole race tho' and ended up finishing 2nd in our division.

we had a very cohesive team dynamic and it felt very natural.  those guys are great!  our team was because ryan put it together and we were running for the business.  we had matching shirts and everything!  it was awesome.  we communicated well and executed our plan perfectly.  if i had to do it again i would love to do it with these guys!  everyone brought their A-game and worked their asses off.  100% was left on the track as it should be.  i couldn't have asked for a better team.  it was so much fun.  i didn't think it would be fun and i'm really happy to report that the time flew by quickly.  i even saw a bunch of other people that i knew which made it all the more special.  i saw sun from who's team won in their division!  congratulations sun!  great job out there.  you looked amazing and strong.  as i mentioned earlier i saw sree.  i also saw my friends jeni, denny, natalie, miranda, and shawn.  i'm not sure if i'm forgetting anyone... there were so many people there!  i'm definitely walking away with a great experience under my belt.  would i do it again?  i'm not sure.  as of right now... probably not.  i really don't like being cold.  i loathe it... and i can't figure out how to stay warm with the strategy that we used.  i suppose if i wore more clothing but that might pose a problem while running.  i don't know.  i guess i'll leave it at maybe.  maybe i'd do it again... under the right circumstances.  it was a lot of fun and the time flew by.  it was really really challenging but i am always up for a challenge.  i enjoy seeing what my body can do.

it's really cool to see everyone's varying perspectives on the same race.  while we were all in it together our experiences were a little bit different.  

the very first lap

this is what my face looked like for pretty
much the whole race... painful.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

movies movies movies - no running

i keep all my ticket stubs all year because i just do.  here's all the movies i saw in 2014:

the lego movie - 2/9
this is one of the best movies i've seen.  it was so positive and fun.  observe:

robocop - 2/14
this one was ok.  wasn't the best movie i've seen but not the worst either.  i go to movies for entertainment and as long as it was entertaining and held my attention then i am happy.

mr. peabody - 3/14
i have a kid and this is a kid's movie.  again... it was ok.  not my first choice but my son wanted to see it so we went and saw it.  it held my attention for the most part and had a couple of cute characters so that was good.  wouldn't watch it again tho'.

divergent - 3/22
this one i really liked.  i like these sci-fi type furturistic movies that touch on weird societal dynamics.  it interests me so i liked this one and i'm looking forward to the next one.

the other woman - 5/4
this movie was hilarious.  i love cameron diaz so it was a no brainer to see this movie.  whatsherface can't really act to save her life but i suppose that's why she's a model with big boobs.

yup... that's her.

neighbors - 5/13
two words: zac efron. *sigh*... i feel like a dirty 'ol lady for the drool i just wiped off my computer.  so gross that i am capable of finding a not even 30 something attractive.  ugh... he's 27 to be exact.  ick... but so not.

moving on...

xmen - days of future past - 5/27
good movie.  held my attention.  but there's no zac efron in it so there's that.

blended - 6/10
got terrible reviews but i love drew berrymore and adam sandler.  they're great together and funny.  this movie was predictably funny, but entertained me which is what i've already said i look for in my movies... so yay for blended.  terry crews was hilarious.  *please note* jimmy fallon has nothing to do with the movie.  i just think this is funny and thought you should see it.

how to train your dragon 2 - 6/17
again... i have a son.  this is a good movie tho' and so was the first one.

edge of tomorrow - 6/24
good brain bender and some good comedy in it too.

tammy - 7/8
not as good as i thought it was going to be.  not even rental worthy... watch it if you have nothing else to do and it happens to come on cable.

dawn of the planet of the apes - 7/15
i liked the first one and i liked this one too.  i'm drawn to movies that depict our civilization after it's collapsed.  i'm waiting for that day to arrive.  i think i'll rule under those circumstances!  not rule as in be in charge... rule as in do well for myself and successfully navigate our new societal norms.

purge - anarchy - 7/22
saw this with my eldest son.  we're the only ones who like theses kinds of movies.  i thought it was really good.  i find it interesting to no end that someone somewhere thinks this stuff up.

the giver - 8/25
the book was much better.  i wasn't all that impressed with the movie.  i loved the book and expected more from the movie.  it's not a bad movie, but like most movies that came from books... when you read the book first i think you have higher hopes for the movie.

maze runner - 9/19
this was great.  very reminiscent of lord of the flies.  good story.  good character development.  came from a book but since i didn't read the book i had no expectations and i went to see this because my son wanted to see it.

the judge - 10/19
now this... this is my kind of movie.  great actors, great dialog, great story, and tugs at your heartstrings.  i love robert downy jr. - love him.  i've loved him since weird science.  he's amazing.  this movie was so good.  see it if you can.

st. vincent - 10/24
this is another that i thought would be better.  i really really like melissa mccarthy.  it's too bad that tammy and this movie were so disappointing.  she had some great moments in both films but over all... they weren't worth seeing.  bill murray is pretty good in this but again... this film never got off the ground for me.  i expected it to be better with this cast.  i'm not sure what exactly i didn't like about it but i didn't find it emotionally engaging.

big hero 6 - 11/8
who cries when a cartoon character dies?  apparently i do.  this movie was great!  if you have kids you should see it.  there are really great "lessons" in it, and i loved every minute of the film.  it was moving and sweet.

dumb and dumber to - 11/14
everything that was funny was in the trailer.

mockingjay - 11/23
i read all the books.  the movies are totally worth it.

hobbit - the battle of the five armies - 12/23
typical.  3 hours of battling.  it is exactly what you'd expect if you saw one... you've seen them all.  not a bad movie... not my favorite either.

wild - 12/28
read the book.  loved the movie.  can't wait to hike this trail myself some day.

gambler - 12/31
marky mark is awesome.  this movie was awesome.  i love dialog movies.  the cinematography of this film was remarkable.  the acting was spot on.  the dialog was the best part.  mark wahlberg did such a phenomenal job carrying this film.  worth noting are the following actors:  michael k. williams, john goodman, jessica lange, brie larson... WHAT?!?  amazing! beautifully done.

and that's a wrap...  go see a movie now.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

all the thoughts

so last september i developed some weird pain in my left hip after northface.  i'm pretty sure it is because i took advantage of a free chiropractic adjustment from a dude at the northface race.  i can't be certain about that but since that's when all of this began... well, i'm going with that diagnosis.

i didn't do anything about it until finally the week before my marathon (because i procrastinate and believe in miracles) i went to my real chiropractor and all but demanded he fix me.  he's basically a unicorn and therefore magical.

i saw him the tuesday and thursday before my sunday marathon and whatever he did got me through my marathon without any limping.  i was in a great deal of pain but no limping so i considered it a win.

after my marathon my season was basically over.  just one more measly 5K to do in november and i was finished racing for 2014.

i dialed back my milage after the marathon to around 25 miles (give or take) a week and have been at that since november.  now that my training season is about to begin and i've bumped up my mileage a little bit my hip is bothering me so i thought i'd be proactive and get a physical therapist on board.

i started a new job at the end of november and turns out there's a PT who works in our office.  he's pretty great from what i hear so i thought i'd give him a shot.  i saw him for the first time last thursday and he didn't even have his hands on me for 3 seconds before he said the same stuff my chiropractor said.  my hips are out of alignment.  turns out that my hyper flexibility is the bane of my running existence.  so he realigned my hips and did some deep tissue massage on the muscle that is all jacked in my left hip.  we discussed some exercises to strengthen the stabilizer muscles that hold the hips in place and that was that.  i've been doing those exercises and anticipate that he will be able to help me.  he intends to do some dry needling on me this coming week to really get deep into the muscle that is all bunched up since i cannot seem to stretch it out on my own and he was unable to really rub the knot out manually.  i hope that it works.  i just want to run and run successfully while meeting the goals i've set for myself.  i will try whatever in order to get this to happen.

the pain in my hip is pretty minimal but my fear is that it will increase as my mileage increases and i just want to avoid that whole mess.  be proactive and all that jazz.

i'm planning on training smart and steady.  running my miles easy and building up so that my races are easy too.  since the weather is cold and my work schedule is going to make sure that i spend some time on the dreadmill i've also decided to use those runs as my fartlek speed workouts.  i plan to get my speed up so that i can absolutely meet my BQ at lakefront.

on december 29th i cut my topamax dose in half.  at first this was causing me to experience some minor headaches pretty frequently but once my body adjusted i've been fine.  i'm hoping that this dosage change will positively effect my gut issues.  hopefully negate them.  we'll see.  i'm noticing that i'm not needing to go to the bathroom in the same way on my long runs so i think it may have worked in the way i anticipated.  if i could stop taking the medication altogether i would.  i'm just afraid to do so because migraines are no joke.  if i can keep them at bay with 25mg instead of 50mg... then i'm going to try and do that.  considering my prescription is for 100mg daily i've cut that medication a whole lot.  i see my doc (a new new one) in march and will discuss at that time.

so far my running is going well and i'm happy about that.  my goals for 2015 are attainable yet still tough.  my biggest race is the 50K and then second to that is the marathon.  i have pretty lofty finish times for both.  we'll see.  if my training keeps going so well i think i can meet my goals.