she's crafty.

Just to recap, I was basically told to sit out of everything fun or even remotely athletic. This includes the half marathon on the horizon, a bunch of 5k races, regular summer/fall fun events (think swimming, biking, shopping)...oh... and yes, the marathon I've been training for since January.
"hang out with the dog" is included in all of these approved activities - Marley loves injured owners.

With a whole lot of sitting on the couch in my future, I did what anyone would do - logged onto my Pinterest account and decided to pull out my box of craft supplies. While I was housebound not only did I catch up on reality television shows that have been taking space on my DVR since the Olympics, but I also discovered Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell are on daily (thanks, MTV2!).

Weekends were pretty much empty - enter: crafting. I have dappled in scrap-booking before, I've struggled through taken a knitting class and I'm no stranger to making holiday ornaments. Thanks to Pinterest, my crafty side has been re-inspired. I even bought this gem:

try making a crappy craft with a zebra print glue gun - impossible.

Craft 1: Fun wreath for the bathroom for under $10
Supplies: wreath ($3); rosettes ($4); bronze glitter blast spray paint ($4) - you'll only use a bit of spray paint, but save it because you'll find things around the house you'll want to glitter blast.
you'll also need your trusty zebra glue gun and
scissors to get the rosettes out of the damn package

  1. Glitter blast the wreath until it's bronzed and glittery and fabulous
  2. Once the paint dries, take the wreath inside and fire up your zebra glue gun
  3. Fight with the packaging to free the silk rosettes
  4. Arrange rosette and place a dab of glue on the back of each rosette, press into place 
The whole thing can be done sitting down (for those with mobility issues) and it takes about 15 minutes.


    More crafting to come. Stay tuned.


    no more marathon.

    [okay okay okay - I know I said I was trying to work on being a consistent poster... still working on it.]

    Post DNF failure, I took a little run break for a few days to assess the situation. The assessment turned out to be something felt really strange, I was walking pretty ridiculously and I decided to make an appointment with an othopeadist (because I'm 97).

    I had my appointment thinking I'd leave with a tendonitis diagnosis, sit out for a week and be on the road again in no time. Following the exam and a series of x-rays, the doctor ordered an MRI of my leg for the next day and told me to put no weight on it as he thought it could be tendonitis, but x-rays indicated a "stress overuse injury".

    Me: "When you say no weight, what do you mean?"
    Doc: "You can't use your leg."
    Me: "I have a spinning class otnight, can I go to that?"
    Doc: "No, I think you use both your legs in spinning."
    Me: "I'm registered or a 5k this weekend, can I do that?"
    Doc: "No, that would mean using your leg."
    Me: "If I do a training walk instead of run, can I get mileage in this week?"
    Doc: "Nope. You just can't use your leg. You can only use your right leg and keep your left leg elevated while you use crutches. You can not put any pressure on your left leg. No exercise, no walking, no standing, no stretching it, no pressure."
    Me: concentrating to figure out how serious he was... "Okay."
    Doc: "If you use your leg and do more damage, you'll be sitting out for longer. You can aquajog if you want to exercise."

    Fine.I went home mad and dug up the family crutches that have supported many family members through injury and sat on the couch.

    crutch pool with the pup.
    Sidenote: Crutches suck. They hurt and you can't carry anything when you're using them. You also can't use a purse, you have to trade your Michael Kors tote for a Northface day pack in order to go to work with all of your supplies. Don't get hurt badly enough to require crutches ever. 

    MRI day was here and I crutched myself into the exam room. Sat for 30 minutes while this crazy jackhammer tube took all the pictures the doctor needed and planned to leave immediately. Well, the radiologist stopped me on my way out the door and asked what I planned to do with my leg, starring at it unwrapped sporting a flip-flop. I must have looked confused because he elequently stated, "you're going to have to do something with it - that's fractured across. Have you been running a lot?" Stunned, I explained that I've been training for an October marathon, so yes. He laughed outloud (literally lol'ed) and exclaimed "Well there goes that marathon!!" gleefully.

    I cried the entire way back to my office and talked myself out of what he said because clearly he had to be an alarmist. Two hours later my doctor called to schedule a cast fitting for the next day.

    But if anything was going to lift my spirits,  it is certainly this little gem that I picked up at the orthopedist the next day.

    Meet my newest accessory - Black Beauty.
    So along with that lovely new shoe came the news that I would be on crutches for at least three more weeks. After intently examining my MRI results, I came to the conclusion that my ankle looked like a kid drew their rendition of an earthquake straight across the bone. Now that I had evidence, I actually believed what they were telling me so I composed myself enough to ask how long it would take to heel. Eight weeks. I should be ready to walk normally on October 8th - the day after the race I've been training for since January.


    the dnf that wasn't.

    In the middle of a busy week of summer and in the middle of my training, I needed to kick it up a notch and make sure I was actually sticking to "the plan". Following my 15+miler the previous week I was supposed to scale back a few miles with a goal of 13. I thought there was no better way to assure that I'd actually get my butt on the road (and not revisit the epic brunch of the previous weekend) than to sign up for a half marathon. A quick 13.1 around a lake in the morning would get my long run checked off my list early Saturday, leaving the rest of the weekend to play. I ran a 10K on the same course last year, so in addition to logging a long run and working on my half marathon time, I knew I'd be getting a good hill workout too - bonus.

    The race started and it was muggy and drizzling, not exactly ideal, but the rain let up and it was no longer humid, just super hot. Luckily the route was well equipped with water stations and I had my fantastic fanny pack fuel belt for sips in between stations.

    I was cruising to take about 20 minutes off my PR from my previous half. Around mile 7, I stopped for a water break, took a sip and then started to run again. Well... tried to start running again. Instantly I felt electricity from my leg shooting up towards my torso. I took it as a sign, slowed to a walk and stretched a bit as I kept moving forward.

    I was losing my (solidly in the middle) "spot" and other runners were beginning to pass me, so I ended my walk break and started to run. It wasn't so much of a run as a hop with one leg and drag the other. Not wanting to risk the marathon to injury, I knew it was time to quit and was okay with having "DNF" listed next to my name in the results. Luckily I was coming up on a water station, so I could stop and ask for a medic.

    check this out for next year, Race Director

    ...Nope. The water station was there, but when I asked a volunteer for a medic or a car to take me to the finish I found out that there wasn't one. A medic or a car. [Sidebar: who the hell hosts a HALF MARATHON with no medic?? You shouldn't even have a 5K with no medic, but a half??]. After I asked to quit and realized I couldn't (short of taking a ride from a stranger on a quiet mountainous road around a lake), I wanted the race to be done as quickly as possible. So I got really good at the hop and drag method of moving my body forward with short interludes for walk breaks and pausing completely to unclench my jaw and wipe tears from my eyes.

    As I was running/walking/wincing I was trying to diagnose myself. My ankle hurt and clearly wasn't working. I couldn't point my toes and extend my foot forward, nor could I flex my foot comfortably. Everything under the tendons on the outside of my ankle hurt. Every step felt like I was hitting bone on bone. I thought a sprain, but there wasn't any swelling and periodically the electric shock of pain would radiate from my ankle, something that didn't happen when I had previously sprained my ankle (doing yoga).

    Before I knew it I had propelled myself to the water stop that marked mile 11. I stopped, began practicing what has to be equivalent to Lamaze breathing techniques and looked behind me. With 2 miles to go, if I kept up the 13-ish minute per mile pace I wouldn't finish last. So that was my last walk break and the final 2 miles were a countdown to the finish line with "it's going to be pretty embarrassing to see your name last on the results page - so move it" playing on repeat in my head.

    Upon seeing my (smarter) runBFF at the finish line (she opted for the 10K), she instantly knew something was up based on my time alone. I told her the deal and she instantly ran to get a medic (I already told her there wasn't one on the course, but we thought they MUST have one at the finish) and some ice. Coming back alone and empty handed it was clear there was no medic and no ice. [Another sidebar: okay... no medic, ridiculous alone, but no medic and no ICE at the finish line???].  After a 15 minute wild goose chase for ice, I finally put some on my ankle and took my shoe off to wait for the swelling to begin. But it never did. It hurt, it was hot to the touch and I couldn't bear weight on it.

    my finisher medal, because I wasn't allowed a DNF
    Meandering back to the car to pop some ibprofin, people asked what happened (because who the hell would walk like that if they weren't hurt). I reported I had probably just rolled my ankle on gravel or something (not that I remember doing it) but wasn't sure as no one (qualified) was available to assess my injury. My fellow runners were also surprised to learn of the lack of medical care (take note for next year, fellow runners!) or even a first aid kit.

    Oh! And the best part - I did not finish last (6th to last, but not last) and was only 3 minutes over my previous half marathon time. Win!


    mezamashii run project

    I'll be finding my brilliant run in these puppies.
    The fabulous folks at Mizuno are sponsoring the Mezamashii Run Project  on a quest for "the brilliant run" (mezamashii is  a Japanese word for "brilliant"), something I can totally get behind. To help thousands of runners achieve their goals, Mizuno is sending free sneaks to those selected. As a bonus, you get a code to give to a worthy runner. My selected worthy runner better be planning to start finding the brilliant run with me really soon...in our matching sneakers.

    my very first pair post 5k
    As a new lover of Mizuno, you can imagine my excitement when I found a little code in my inbox entitling me to a free pair of sneakers (any pair of my choosing).  Upon receiving the code I already knew what I want. A while ago I ran in the Wave Inspire 8's at the Mizuno trail fun run. Once I checked out the color selection these obnoxious lovely "opal and lime punch" numbers were calling my name.

    Prior to being selected to join the Mezamashii Run Project, I snagged a fabulous deal on runningwarehouse.com and got the 2010 model of the Wave Alchemy for about $60. Not too shabby.

    I went from zero to three (pairs) in less than six months. I think I've found the brand.


    i'm an awful blogger.

    Since late July, a  lot has been going on. I realize I'm not a good blogger, mostly because I've been lacking in the "posting fun and original new content" department. I'll work on that.

    After a bit of a blah period in my marathon training, I dragged myself to a group speed session and put on my happy face. I clocked a sub 8:45 minute mile as my warm up and negative splits followed during the sprint portions of the 6 mile run. I'm glad I went because it put me back in a positive mindset and I couldn't wait to lace up my kicks and hit the road for my next run.

    15.15 miles at a 10:06min/mile pace
    High on my speed work success, on August 4th, 2012 I ran my longest run ever. Clocking in at 15.15 miles was fantastic. Logging that mileage and ending feeling good was a highlight of the summer. Long run Sunday got switched to long run Saturday that week so I could partake in an important summer ritual on Sunday - brunch! I knew there was no way I'd be dragging my tired butt out of bed at 5am on Sunday to run long before I hit a gourmet brunch buffet at 11am with my family. I did what any savvy runner would do - ran long on Saturday and didn't feel guilty about drinking mimosas and visiting the buffet upwards of five times the following morning. It worked; I didn't feel a twinge of guilt as I ate 3+ desserts.

    Some more fun news from that week - I got selected to be a part of the Mezamashii Run Project! More on this later...

    Following my brunch carb binge I was preparing myself for an impromptu half marathon I'd finally decided to commit to 1 week before race day. My training plan called for a drop in mileage following the 15 miler of the previous Saturday, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to get a solid long run in, find a half marathon baseline and work on fueling during a race. Sounds like a solid plan, right? ...and then, my epic training fail of 2012.