Thursday Things

1. Runner’s World published an interesting article yesterday that suggests high levels of stress may make you more prone to injury. So maybe that’s why I’ve been in PT forever! In all seriousness, though, I’ve been stressed to high heaven more often than not this year, and I do wonder if that’s in some way contributed to my permanently-injured state.

2. Speaking of running, the Chicago Women’s Half is this weekend, and they announced some pretty major-and-not-in-a-good-way course changes…yesterday. Yikes. Can’t say I’m thrilled to have dropped $85 to run basically where I would have run for free this weekend anyway, but I guess that’s what happens when you try to host a race on downtown city streets. You’ve got to be pretty privileged and powerful (read: $$$$$) to do that (see: the Bank of America), so while I can’t say I’m wildly surprised, I can say I’m pretty disappointed. Whatever. It is what it is. Honestly, I’m more annoyed that they’re only holding packet pick-up in the South Loop. Blech.

4. Speaking of this weekend (killing it in the segue department today!), good heavens! It’s already Labor Day! I don’t have too many plans, other than the Chicago Women’s Half and dinner with my CARA group. And laundry. Definitely need to do laundry. Oh, and possibly meeting up with a friend from high school/college?

5. SPEAKING of friends from high school/college (sorry — I couldn’t help myself), the Internet makes me feel weird about the fact that I don’t keep in touch with my friends from that time in my life. I mean, I don’t actively work to keep my old friends out of my life, and if something comes up that makes it convenient for us to hang out, by all means! I’m more than happy to catch up with someone who endured me through my teenage years. But I’m pretty proud of myself if I manage to write on anyone’s Facebook wall for their birthday these days, never mind actually making any sort of legitimate effort to stay in touch. And…I don’t really feel bad about it. Actually, I only feel bad about it when I read about other people who do make an effort to stay in touch with their old friends. Then I’m all, “Is this something I’m supposed to be doing? Am I a bad person for not having the same best friend I had when I was 8?” It’s not like I’ve had any major–or even minor, to be honest–fallings out with any of my friends I grew up with. It’s more that I live in Chicago and they, well, don’t. (Also I’m single, and they’re, well, not, but one can only rant about the culture of young marriage in West Michigan so many times on one’s blog, so I’ll let that be ;) ). I just moved on with my life, you know? We grew apart as our lives took us in different directions, and my friends now are people who make sense based on what I now do with my life (running friends, dance friends, blogging friends, general residing-in-Chicago friends, etc.). And isn’t that normal? Elementary/middle/high school bonded my friends from that period and me, but now I’m not in elementary/middle/high school, and I have different interests, different goals, different hobbies, etc. BUT THE INTERNET! The stupid, stupid Internet makes me feel like I’m a bad person for moving on with my life. Darn you, Internet!

6. And because a blog post without a picture is like a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it:

splitpeasoup

You’re welcome. #themoreyouknow

Labor Day Weekend plans?
Do you keep in touch with friends from your childhood?

 

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Chicago Marathon Training Week 11

Sunday, August 17: Pilates.
On Sunday, I made my way to Harmony in Lincoln Park for my first ever Pilates class! One of my CARA group leaders organized a class as a fundraiser for the Kidney Cancer Association, and I definitely wanted to support her efforts. Goodness gracious, team. Pilates is no joke! I had a vague awareness of what Pilates entailed and figured I’d be all right (“I can handle our one minute plank at the end of our long runs no problem!”) but boy oh boy was I wrong. That business is tough! I definitely understand how incorporating it into your normal training routine can have a major positive impact on your running (and how my group leader has never been injured in five years. I don’t think you can regularly practice Pilates and have muscles imbalance/weakness, based on my experience Sunday).

I also started coughing on Sunday, which concerned me. I’ve had plenty of colds over the past two years or so, but never had they lead to coughing.

Monday, August 18: Personal Training + Physical Therapy.
Or perhaps we should call it MANday, since that’s what I sounded like (<–terrible joke).

My mucus-ified lungs and I dragged ourselves to the gym for personal training, where, mercifully, my trainer had already planned to return to supersets instead of circuits or tri-sets. Thank goodness. Don’t be fooled, though: I still worked hard. The split-squat/lat pull down superset in particular did me in. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy lat pull downs.

My knee was sore after personal training, so my PT primarily focused on that–i.e.: no foot scraping. Hooray! He just bruised my IT band instead, as it was feeling “bandy.” Whatever. Anything to avoid foot scraping.

Tuesday, August 19: Yoga.
Since I was still coughing up a lung on Tuesday, I skipped my run and did a light 30-minute yoga practice instead.

yogamat

This whole illness irked me, because on the whole, my body felt fine. I wasn’t generally achy, sore, tired, etc. I was just snotty and my chest hurt from all the coughing I’d done. But I know the rule is if you have symptoms below the neck (which includes coughing), you shouldn’t exercise. Personally, I think that 15 miler last Saturday wore my immune system down too much and is why my cold got so much worse, so I figured it’d be in my best interest to take it super, super easy and hope for as quick of a recovery as possible.

Wednesday, August 20: Yoga + Physical Therapy.
After Internet-and-past-life-experience-diagnosing myself with bronchitis on Tuesday, I e-mailed CARA to see what I should do about training with this whole cough thing. I got my reply on Wednesday and was told to “definitely take it easy this week, but if you are able to get out for a few miles on Saturday, that might be helpful (maybe 6 miles). Definitely don’t do 16.”

Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So I busted out the yoga mat once again, dialed up a detox/flexibility practice on Pocket Yoga (an excellent app, if you’re in the market. And it’s free!), and did my best to chill. In high school, I came down nasty respiratory junk usually once a year or so, and I know from that time that laying low was usually the best recipe for healing. When I’d take two days off school to get better, I was usually fine within a few days. When I soldiered on, I’d stay sick for weeks. That’s pretty high on my list of Things I Don’t Want During Marathon Season, so we’ll just call this Super Crazy Unplanned Cutback Week and roll with it.

I also spent some quality time with my BFF PT and absolutely played the, “I’m sick” card as hard as I could. Oh MAN was I whiny. He can handle it :P My knee had actually been surprisingly sore all day, given my lack of running, but he kindly left my IT band alone after decorating it with bruises on Monday (“Those are from me, aren’t they?” YES. YES THEY ARE. I’m not grimacing over here because this is so comfortable!). I also barely had to do any exercises since I was sick :D Instead he did e-stim on the bottom of my foot, which surprisingly was better than getting it on my quad a few weeks back.

Also, maybe funny story: on Wednesday night I had a dream that I had gotten a letter from my health insurance telling me that I was running out of PT appointments. I was thisclose to digging out my benefits book at 2 a.m. to check to see if I actually did only get a certain number per year (that was the case with my old insurance), but instead decided it could wait until, you know, not 2 a.m. (According to the person I talked to on the phone Thursday morning, I’m not limited to x number of appointments, so no need to panic.).

Thursday, August 21: Guesses? Anyone?

Yoga. Of course.

For having practiced yoga exactly zero times since my CorePower membership expired at the beginning of June, I’d say I more than made up for lost time this week. Although let’s be honest: I would’ve struggled to convince myself to go outside for a run on Thursday anyway.

rainedon

Eesh. Travel sized umbrellas: great for storing in your work bag, questionable at best about keeping you dry in a downpour.

Friday, August 22: Rest.

Saturday, August 23: 7.91 miles in 1:24:26 for a 10:40 pace.
Unnecessary information: my new apartment came with a new-to-me toaster, and I’m still trying to figure out its quirks and intricacies. 4.5 didn’t get my toast toasty enough, so I turned it up to 5.

burnttoast

Alas.

Anyway. Saturday was miserable in the weather department. All the summer we missed seemed to unleash itself Saturday morning, and it was hot and humid. Never did I imagine I’d be so happy to have been specifically told not to run 16 miles even though my schedule called for it. Despite not *needing* to run with my group, I chose to get up early on Saturday and run with my group anyway, because I <3 them. While telling some of my friends about my bronchitis/cold woes, one of the girls mentioned that she only planned to run eight miles that day instead of 16, and if I wanted to join her I was more than welcome. I figured eight was close enough to six, so I stuck with her when we ditched the group.

Man oh man was this run tough. I was drenched with sweat by the end of the first mile, and by mile six I knew I was done. I absolutely could not hold a 10:30 pace any longer (my last two miles were 10:57 and 11:28), so I can only imagine how much of a death march eight more miles would have been had I run 16. Also my toes went numb >:( Stupid toes. I thought those days were behind me!

All things considered, I’m surprisingly okay with how light last week ended up being. I think missing a build week has the potential to be more mentally challenging than endurance-building challenging, but with how messed up my entire marathon season has been, I think maybe this wasn’t the worst thing to ever have happen. I took six full days 100% off any sort of cardio exercise. I think the last time that happened was the week after the Chicago Marathon last year. Even with all my injuries I insisted on doing something for the sake of training, and I imagine my body probably needed a bit of a break. I’m feeling much, much better now and hopefully will be able to log some solid runs this week.

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Thursday Things

1. So I moved last week.

moving1

I knew for quite some time that I wouldn’t be renewing the lease on my old apartment for a variety of reasons (general atmosphere, horrifyingly awful management to the tune of lost lease renewals, lost rent checks, etc., spontaneously combusting ovens, etc.). Though I didn’t mind living with my previous roommates, I was ready to move on, so earlier this year I spent about a month religiously checking Craigslist, e-mailing strangers, and generally being disheartened about my state of affairs/life in general, as the process continued to sap my will to exist. I visited 12 different apartments and had eleven different groups of people tell me they didn’t want to live with me. This may or may not have led to me sending my mother an e-mail sometime in mid-June with the subject line, “Everything is terrible.” and asking both her and my closest friends what was so wrong with me that no one wanted to live with me. It was not the brightest period in my life, to say the least.

But! At long last I found people who didn’t find me repulsive and offered me a space in their apartment. And here we are.

2. Various tales from my apartment hunting experience:

- At the very first apartment I viewed (which I loved, by the way), I asked about the roommate finding process and how they planned to handle it. I was told that after seeing everyone, the current roommates would evaluate and invite select potential tenets back to hang out with the group to see if her personality would mesh with that of the current residents. I.e.: I was, unknowingly, rushing a sorority. I did not get a bid :(
– This same apartment had canvas printed photos of the current roommates. When showing me the photos, one of the girls said, “We got these taken when we thought we would all get along.” All rightie then.
– When I went to view another apartment a few weeks later, the person moving out showed me around the place. His current roommate (who would have been my future roommate) refused to come out of her room to meet me and instead insisted on meeting somewhere else for coffee later in the week to get to know each other…despite the fact that I was standing outsider her door at that moment. When she e-mailed me to set up a coffee date, I told her I had already found a place to live. That was a lie.
– At least two separate apartments assured me that even though they only had window units, “It never really gets that hot in here.” They told this to me as I sweated profusely in their living rooms while exerting no energy whatsoever.
– I viewed one apartment at the very upper end of my budget that had one bedroom (the other tenant would sleep in the alcove off the living room), no dishwasher, no central air, no laundry in the building, and was located approximately 20 feet from the El tracks. I did not elect to live in this apartment. I did, oddly enough, become friends with the girl who would’ve been moving into the alcove, and we’ve actually hung out a couple of times.

Craigslist is weird.

3. My parents came to help me move, but I hired movers anyway because it just seemed like a simpler idea.

movers

HOLY. SMOKES. I’ve been ruined for life. I’ll never be able to move via UHaul ever again. These movers took everything out of my old apartment in 40 minutes and had it all unloaded at my new apartment less than an hour later. In. Sane. Had we gone the UHaul route, I’m sure we would’ve still been loading the truck at that time. If you ever need movers, I absolutely cannot say enough about The Professionals.

The only downside of movers is that while they move your things, they then go about their merry way while you’re left to figure out where on earth to put all your things when you’ve downsized from three closets to one.

moving2

This is why I needed a mental health day last Tuesday.

Have you ever used movers?
Moving horror and/or success stories? Let’s empathize!

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