Friday, January 22, 2010

Time to get Screwed

My shoes, that is.

Had a nice run at Lebanon Hills late this afternoon - had hoped to finish up work earlier but ended up starting out around 4pm so ran the last few miles in the dark but it wasn't so bad as the trails there are well packed. Not as good condition as last week but that's to be expected with the weather... and the ice showers due tonight won't help much! But hopefully we get some fresh snow soon. Thanks to Maria for the screw advice - picked up 3/8in screws this morning - there were 14 per pack so I put them all in - probably overkill but no point in keeping spares as they'd be lost in some box in the basement... I don't have anything resembling a toolbox. Though Pam is working on me.

I have a few random things to talk about...

First off, these blog issues are a pain in the ass - now I can't post a comment on anyone's blog! Thomas - it was great to read your blog - I had planned to run Connemara as my sister is getting married the following weekend but then my brother decided to get baby christened the weekend after that and don't think I can stretch the trip to 2 full weeks. Though it probably wouldn't surprise anyone if I ditched the christening in favour of a 39.3 mile run! But anyway, I was beginning to wonder the wisdom of that far on the roads a month out from a 100K trail race in California that I've sort of set as my "goal race" for the spring. I'm moving away from roads as much as possible. So I'm on the lookout for a 50 mile trail race in the US that weekend instead - much more sensible! Also, Thomas - in case you are reading this... our paths have crossed... Dublin 2004 was my first marathon and then I did Connemara in 06! Good luck with the training - sounds like you have some nice hilly training routes. One of my fav training runs ever was in the summer of 2007 around Slea Head. A beautiful part of the country.

A black bear giving birth is pretty damn cool - check out Kel's blog for the link and some more info on black bears - the sound of the baby cub is just amazing!

Days off? Some say they are necessary for recovery etc. I don't know. As you can tell from my side bar activities I tend to work out every day and usually twice a day. Call me an addict but I just can't stand doing nothing and if I wasn't working out I'd be working - and there's no thanks for that! Anyway, yesterday I ended up not doing anything as I felt like sleeping in and then in the evening I was late for my Acupuncture apt so didn't get out of that on time and missed yoga. And this morning I felt soooo tight at yoga. Went to the chiro then for my weekly adjustment and he was asking how much I'd been running as I was tight all over. I told him not enough clearly. I'd say he doesn't know what to make of me but he's good at what he does and I think this preventative measure is good for me. Then, mid-shoulder adjustment he asks when I'm going to find the time to get married and have kids. I said I didn't know, that maybe it wasn't part of my plan - not meaning I was doing any life planning (hardly) but rather meaning God's grand plan for me except I wasn't really feeling all that philosophical as I was really thinking f**k off and mind your own business. But anyway, the adjustment felt good. And running this afternoon felt great - and then I went to yoga again (I know, I know) and felt so loose compared to this morning. So there you go, scientific evidence that days off are completely detrimental to one's training. Or at least to my training.

Acupuncture - I've had chronic shoulder pain for a few years now - the sort of pain that goes from nagging background aches to preventing you from sleeping - mostly the former until recently. So I've never really done much about it. Well, I saw a chiro for a few months back in 07 but when she asked me after about 3 months how I was doing and I said my shoulder was still pretty bad at times and she said oh I didn't know you had shoulder issues... yeah, you know how that one ended. Put me off the profession for a wee bit but then a friend recommended Dr. Pete and I think he knows his stuff and is helping me stay out of trouble. Even since doing my lower back in during TCM 2005 I've had right sciatic issues where my right leg pulls up and "gets shorter" and if I don't get adjustments to correct it or better still prevent it happening I end up feeling pretty rough and very off kilter. I know I should probably be doing all sorts of strengthening exercises that would ultimately negate the need for regular adjustments but that just sounds like too much work altogether. Anyway, back to acupuncture - the first apt on Monday was pretty non-eventful, the needles are so tiny I hardly felt them, then the half hour chilling out with them all over my shoulder, neck, and back was very relaxing. But last night when he put one in somewhere on the left side of my back serious pain radiated out from my right shoulder (the dodgy one)... I guess we'll see if that was a sign of a good release! I'll go for a few weeks and see if there's any improvement. I know the recent surge in pain and discomfort is mostly from work, pretty busy lately... being right-handed and constantly on my laptop or phone, using the mouse, texting etc - it all adds up.

Speaking of things all adding up... it must be pure misery in Haiti these days. I can't imagine. I was reading Stones Into Schools recently (excellent book) and Greg Mortenson describes the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan - the impact is just devastating for places that are so under resourced to begin with. He focused a lot of the "places at the end of the road" as that is where they build their schools and are of course the last places where help reaches. I expect it's the same in Haiti. All the talk is about Port au Prince which was certainly hit hard but I'm sure there are so many other areas that are still without proper aid. Anyway, hopefully my lack of interest in biking helps someone there - I have an indoor bike trainer for years that I have used about 3 times so when a friend of Shelley's was interested I thought that was a good way to provide a donation - not to mention that asking for $200 and saying it was going to the Red Cross helped avoid any bargaining :) It was a bargain anyway as they are almost $400 new and mine wasn't far off new. There's been a lot of talk about what charities to support etc but I figured they as good as any when it comes to the larger organizations and I already support Médecins Sans Frontières (who I think do some of the best work in sub-Saharan Africa) - though I think if I took the time to research there are probably some smaller local organizations who may do a better job in putting more of the money directly to use on the ground. Another way to help for anyone interested: Feed My Starving Children has 4 local centers where you can pack food - they have a neat sign up schedule on the website.

Now, it's bedtime. Frozen Half in the morning. Kami and I and hopefully a few others are meeting at 7:30AM so we can get in 7 before the race which starts at 9AM for a nice 20 miler... just hope those ice showers decide to miss St. Paul!


Thomas said...

Helen, thanks for the shoutout. If you ever fancy running around Slea Head again and don't mind the road too much, the Dingle marathon (and this year the Ultra) are along that route. The weather last year was blazing on the day, which wasn't ideal for running but provided some absolutely incredible views.

You never know, you might make it to Connemara after all.

SteveQ said...

Just saw you hit the 10 mile mark in 89 minutes - nice to have that "I ran a 7 ,ile warm-up" as an excuse!

Chris said...

How did the screw shoes workout? I just made a pair last night and will be giving them a try today.

Christopher Swenke said...

I tried out the screw trick last winter and it worked pretty well. If your not careful on the screw placement it they can bite you a bit when you take a sharp or awkward step.

I wimped out on the Securian race for I couldn't get out my driveway for my morning warm-up jog. So the treadmill won the battle that day. Hopefully the ice doesn't win today - 2 days on the treadmill is 2 more than I can take.

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