Baby Steps

I can begin walking today. The rules: nothing more than a half mile or so. SLOWLY. Must be flat. Short strides.

Today after work I took li’l Miss Beep for a short walk around our apartment complex (there are like a bajillion buildings and it’s fairly flat).

I guess this is what baby steps are all about.

Related: my new swimsuit, goggles and swim cap arrived today. I’m like Missy Franklin’s 13-years-older, overweight twin.

For those of you wondering, this is what my swimming gear entails:

I’ll head to the pool after work tomorrow!

Race Report: Madison Mini Marathon Race Recap

Note: While I’m still sad I wasn’t able to run the Madison Mini Marathon last weekend, I am happy to tell you I still have a race recap to share! Remember when I gave away a race entry? Well, the winner, Keegan Korthauer, agreed to share HER race recap! And guess what?! SHE PR’D! #likeaboss.

Here’s Keegan, rocking her 2010 Madison Mini shirt and enjoying a beer post-race.

Amy of Losing It Without Losing Me graciously provided me with a free entry to this race!  I have participated in this race since 2010.  In 2010 I ran the half, and it was my second ever race, first of that distance.  I came back in 2011 to try out the 5K, and this year ran the half again.  I was worried about the weather for this event, given the extreme heat we’ve been having here in WI this summer (and having had the Madison Marathon cancelled on me in late May), but it turned out to be the most perfect running weather.  Low 50s at the start, sunny and a very light breeze.  I arrived at Memorial Union around 6:30am for the 7am start, jogged ½ a mile, and lined up at the porta-johns.  There was actually a huge line, and there was some question of whether I’d have time to go or not.  Luckily everyone sensed the urgency and the line sped up!  I had just enough time to speed-walk up to my corral.  The corrals were big enough that we weren’t packed in like sardines (this was an issue for me in the 2010 race).

The gun went off at 7am on the dot and we headed straight for the Capitol square and alongside the lovely farmer’s market.  I got to high-five Bucky and hear the UW pep band.  There was no bottle-necking or snags of people to get around at the beginning so I was able to pace myself appropriately from the very start.  The route then continued down State Street (the main drag of town) where there was great crowd support. A sign that said “I’m proud of you, perfect stranger” made me smile!

After meandering around the south end of the UW campus, we ventured into the Vilas neighborhood toward the Arboretum.  This provided a few very scenic miles, though lacking in crowd support. It was actually a little chilly (though refreshing!) since it was more shaded.  Some rolling hills were involved, but nothing too noteworthy.  I made an effort to speed up on the down-hills to make up for the slower pace on the up-hills and keep the overall pace consistent.

Here’s Keegan running the Haunted Hustle.

After exiting the Arboretum, we made our way back on to neighborhood streets toward campus.  I saw a ‘Call me maybe’ themed sign which made me laugh.  When we passed the ten mile marker, I noted that I had just PR’d in the 10 mile by almost a minute and realized it was a legitimate possibility for a PR in the half.   I skipped a few aid stations here, as there were more than enough.  I had just been taking a few sips of Gatorade here and there but wasn’t really thirsty since it wasn’t hot out.

Heading toward Picnic Point on the shore of Lake Mendota, I started feeling pretty fatigued and unsure I could keep up my pace.  Around then, thankfully, I spotted the 1:45 pace group, which gave me a boost of confidence, and I just tried to keep them in my line of sight as much as possible.  It also helped that the last 1.5 miles or so are on Lakeshore path, which is part of my regular running route and I knew it was all flat until right before the finish chute.  Unfortunately I knew there was also a little hill right before the finish chute which was very rough.  I did my best to sprint it in, but I don’t think I really sped up!  I must have looked spent after crossing the line, since a volunteer asked if I needed help.  I was fine after a few deep breaths, and ran over to my friend who was a volunteer medal distributor and gave her a big, sweaty hug!

I quickly grabbed all my swag – water, banana, chips, cookies, beer, etc. and rounded up my cheer section.  We chatted on the terrace overlooking the lake before setting out on a walk around the farmer’s market.  That made for a nice cool-down!  My official time was 1:45:50, which was a PR by just over 2 minutes.   They also recorded some splits which confirmed that this was the most evenly-paced race I’ve ever done: 5 Mile – 40:06 (8:02 pace), 10 Mile – 1:20:54 (8:06 pace), and last 5K – 24:56 (8:03 pace).

Keegan is a running machine!

Thank you, Keegan, for sharing your race report! And, congrats on your new, shiny PR!


And the award for most pissed off, in pain race photo goes to…

Did not start. Times three.

It was in the second half of a horrible half marathon last month that I began to wonder if something was wrong.

Horrible pain in the center of my left ankle, shooting up my leg.



Mental anguish.

And now, more mental anguish.

Today one of my fears became reality.

  • I won’t be running the Lakefront Marathon.
  • I won’t be running the Madison Mini Marathon.
  • I won’t be running the Brewers Mini Marathon.

This was supposed to be my year. No injuries. Smart training. Life goals accomplished. Complete a marathon before I turn 30 in November. Run four half marathons plus Ragnar as training runs for the marathon.

First, I slipped on the ice and threw out my back. Then I nursed a strained quad muscle. And just as that injury was healed, my ankle decided to be a little bitch.

The day after the Chicago Rock N Roll Half Marathon, I went to see my doctor. I wasn’t having the normal post race pain. I was afraid it was serious. Perhaps a stress fracture. X-rays showed inflammation and the start of arthritis. Lovely, but something I could deal with. Doctor’s orders were to rest (i.e. NO RUNNING for two weeks), ice, brace, etc. As much as it killed me, I obliged.

I’ve been going stir crazy. Besides a few short walks with my dog I haven’t done ANYTHING since that race. Two weeks later, the pain is still there. Nothing had changed. Dr. H. referred me to an orthopedic specialist this week. I saw Dr. B. late this afternoon. After an exam and closer look at my x-rays from two weeks ago, Dr. B. concluded that inflammation, tendonitis and a tiny bone spur were to blame for the pain. Besides the tendonitis on the front of my ankle, the inflammation and bone spur are in the middle of my ankle. Like the exact middle/inside of my ankle. That’s why it doesn’t matter how I move or walk on it, it hurts. He also explained that repeated pressure (i.e. running) and inclines would continue to aggravate my ankle.

Dr. B. said the good news is, it isn’t serious. The bad news is, the recovery will take months.

  • Absolutely no running.
  • No walking, beyond normal, daily stuff until the pain is gone. Then, only short walks with short strides on flat surfaces, working up to walking longer distances on flat surfaces.
  • Ice daily.
  • Major anti-inflammatory meds for the next 3-4 weeks (or longer).
  • Continue to wear a brace daily.
  • Wear athletic shoes for the next 3 weeks (which means I’ll be rocking the dresses and running shoes look at work).
  • Stretching 3-4 times a day.

Yeah. It fucking sucks.

Dr. B. told me I could bike, as long as I use the heel of my left foot on the pedal.

I’m so lost right now. I’m heartbroken.

I’m going to have a pity party for a few days, including eating all the feelings. Yes. Even yours.

Then, I’m going to force myself to live with the cards I’ve been dealt. I’ll bike. I’ll swim. I’ll do upper body strength training.

But first, fuck you ankle.

I’ll be so stylish at work in my dresses and running shoes.

Get off my lawn

Just had my first official “get off my lawn” old lady moment.

There is a family who lives in my building. There are a lot of kids up there. I don’t even know how many. A variety of ages. There might be a couple of families. The kids are nice. They like miss Beep.

I am not, however, their personal doorman.

Since I’m guessing the adults have the apartment keys, when they are gone, if the kids leave and the door hasn’t been propped open, they ring doorbells until someone answers. I’ve stopped answering when my doorbell rings, unless I’m expecting someone.

Tonight, the ringing was ridiculous. I jumped (ok, hobbled) out of bed, opened my door and yelled at a kid, “You guys seriously need to stop ringing my bell.” Then I slammed my door.

No joke, within 5 minutes the door was ringing every thirty seconds. Meanwhile, Beep is going batshit crazy. I storm back up the stairs and there is no one there. The doorbell is ringing. The apartment where the kids live? Someone is standing at their door. I can hear all the doorbells in my building dinging. I slammed the bells outside, went back to my apartment and shut the door.

Maybe there’s a problem with our doorbell system? All I know is, I’m calling the manager in the morning.