True Confession Thursday: Tricks or Treats

While I’ve been on the road to recovery with my SI joint, some days I have felt super….

This is Chocolate's very own creation and design - from crayons to fabric, we made it happen - Super Black Man.

This is Chocolate’s very own creation and design – from crayons to fabric, we made it happen – Super Black Man.

And others, things are a little evil.

Evil minion, party of 2 (other child not pictured)

Evil minion, party of 2 (other child not pictured)

This week, things have been a little more evil than amazing, so I have kept the mileage low and slow and I scratched my weekend race plans.  This could be because of my back, or the fact that the 3 boys have been practicing their spooky tricks out on me – hiding in closets, turning the entire contents of the bathroom upside down, and perhaps the scariest of all – having the day after Halloween off from school! (Seriously, actually so excited about this!)

Initially I was going to do the Renegade Race Series Dino Dash 10k on Sunday, but since I knew I was going to binge on candy all weekend things were still a little off, a 10k race didn’t seem like a bright idea.  10k’s are always just brutal on my body and I know I won’t be able to just jog the thing.  So I opted to control the controllables on this one – myself.

Medal_OnlyInstead, the boys and I are taking it to the streets to do the 5k.  We’ve talked to some other families in the area to see if they will join us – so who knows what will happen. All I know is it will be an upROARious morning as it’s a 5k targeted towards elementary age school kids.  Plus this year they have finisher’s medals which is all I’ve heard about since the boys found out.

I think it’s brilliant timing – let the kids get all hopped up on candy & Halloween parties all weekend and then let them crash and burn with a 5k by Sunday before sending them back to school Monday morning.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Advertisements

The Hills Are Alive

After my last post on Thursday, I decided I have some awesome running friends.  Despite the fact I talked about peeing all over myself like a small child, I got an email from a few running friends asking to hit some local trails.

Now I frequently tell my family I’m going to go “get lost” in the trails for a while, and by this I mean run a little then come back.  But early Friday morning, we took my advice a bit too literally.  Skinny Runner, Sarah and I snuck out for what was supposed to be a quick 5 miles in the local “mountains”….until we got lost and ran about 8.5…

Photo shamelessly stolen from Sarah

Photo shamelessly stolen from Sarah

This is probably my fault since there’s a legendary story about my Grandma going out for a walk outside her house in the mountains one morning and ending up hitch hiking home when she realized she was 10 miles away…I hear this lost in the mountain things is genetic.

I’m usually one to like running alone- the quiet, the solitude and the pressure to not have to worry about my pace (these ladies are fast).   Despite being lost, the miles easily flew by as we discussed important things like who’s dad has had the best hunting season, the best place to pee in the bushes and family stuff.

As Ferris Bueller once wisely said, “Life moves pretty fast”, and sometimes I just want to move my feet faster.  While doing this alone can be cathartic, there’s something about running with friends.  I left the run totally refreshed and honestly, wanting to go run another few miles…which is not something I can say lately.  Each run has felt like I’m fighting my body and looking for twinges, tickles and fearing I’m running too fast/too far in my recover efforts and to just let it all go and run was so freeing.

After that run, I just wanted to go run 15 miles in the mountains over the weekend.  Instead I spent the rest of the weekend not running and cross-training instead to let my little injury laiden hips/legs recover from Friday’s crazy fun hill run like a good little recovery patient.

photo(7)

Saturday’s short-lived workout…

This took SO much fine muscle control in your legs.  You basically have this 40 pound snowboard type thing booted to your feet and have to keep it stable.  My hip flexors were killing me. Follow that up by a day of moving my cousin into a second story condo.  The theme of this weekend was all about creative workouts.

As far as recovery goes….just how does one recover from a funky SI joint that’s caused lots of problems for a long time.  The short story:  slowly.

The long story:
-Lots of strengthening exercises in my hips/back/glutes.  I spent a good chunk of time doing all sorts of variations of leg lifts, bridges, and side planks.
-Still taking the runs easy – either shorter and faster or longer and slower.  I’ve been running about 1-2 minutes per mile slower if I’m running over 4 miles.  I’m still keeping my mileage about 20 miles a week tops.
-I’m still in a very serious relationship with my foam roller, lacrosse ball and a little stability ball where I balance my SI joint to get it back in alignment.

What’s your most creative workout lately?
Have you ever had to patiently recover from an injury and live to tell the tale?

True Confession Thursday: I See London, I See France

I got my hands on some runderpants.  

Somewhere in the misery of running uphill in the double digits of the Boston Marathon, I started laughing…and I’m not talking about a mild chuckle, I’m talking about a full on guffaw.  Probably because I saw this (or because of delirium…but that’s a whole other story):

If you’ve spent any time here at Striding Mom, you know that i kinda sorta joke tell the truth about me peeing in my pants when running.  I actually searched it on my blog and there were nearly 15 posts about this, so clearly I talk about it more than your average runner.

Yes, I know this peeing business is mostly normal, but my situation is a little worse than the average bear’s.

So when I received an email about the Dear Kate Believe I Am underwear and was asked to tell my story about how “I Am Strong” I knew it was probably time to channel my inner Lucy, because I have some “splaining to do”.

The duds, and they're certainly dapper!

The duds, and they’re certainly dapper!

The Back Story:

42.5 weeks - which is literally cruel and unusual punishment.

42.5 weeks – which is literally cruel and unusual punishment.  Oh and I apparently looked 12 when I was pregnant.  Not, in my 20’s.

I found out I was pregnant about 9 months after I ran my first half marathon and finally started really running again (beyond a quick 2 mile jog here and there).  I spent a lot of time during my pregnancy running on the treadmill ( I know, I know, hormones made me do crazy things) and even hitting up the streets when possible.  After childbirth I thought something felt “funny” but as a first-time mom I had no idea what normal really was.

So when a few days passed and I was literally peeing my pants every time I stood up, walked, or basically moved- and then the severe pain started- I knew something was up.

Long story short – days upon days in the ER, hospital (including a moment where I was literally feet in the stirrups and breastfeeding and the ER resident “forgot the door open” exposing my severely harshed lady bits to all the unsuspecting passerby’s), literally pulling a liter of blood out of my bladder, infection after infection, reactions to drugs that literally made me crazy, hives and so many more fun adventures, I ended up with a catheter for about 6 weeks and was pretty much completely incontinent.

Like, I had to re-potty train myself….in my 20’s.

#superawesome

No one put that nugget in the new mom manual that I never received.

End of race exhaustion?  No, just my Nuun running down my legs....

End of race exhaustion? No, just my disgust at the Nuun running down my legs….

I spent a year consistently peeing myself and when the “impact” of the elliptical was tough to navigate, running was fully out of the question.  About a year later, I found myself preggers again and had to have a c-section after 3 physicians warned me I’d likely be fully incontinent going through the whole traditional childbirth thing again.  As I left the hospital, my doc reminded me that a 3rd kid would basically render me taking stock in Depends, so I always kept that li’l nugget fearfully tucked into the back of my mind.

6 weeks after a c-section I went out for a jog and came home like my then 2-year old who was potty training….meaning I pretty much peed about 3 feet from the front door through whimpers and wines.  As a mother of 2, I was having as many accidents as the kids were.

It was about 7 years of turning down the dial on my hobby, but with persistence, a series of docs, more Kegels than any human being should ever do, sheer determination and rebuilding a lot of muscles, I’ve finally been able to stop running with shirts tied around my waist…most of the time.  Yes, there are still moments where out of nowhere I just completely pee myself during a race, and yes I go to the port-a-potty about 19 times before a race and pee at least 3 times before I leave my house to make sure every.single.drop has been left behind.

And because of these lapses, I honestly am SO digging the Believe I Am runderpants.  If you want to read the details about how they work you can check it out here, but basically it has lots o’ special liners that help keep you fresh if you spring a leak.

The fab folks at Dear Kate connected me with a few pairs of their new duds. They arrived in this cute little box and came with one pink “partially lined” and one black “fully lined” pair of bikini cut panties.  As a boxer brief/boy short kinda gal, this was close to me wearing a thong…but I digress…

IMG_4833

Oh and the cutest little poem as well!

IMG_4831

Some women run in them sans shorts, but let’s face it, my self-esteem just isn’t cut out for PDU’s (public displays of underwear), so I have been testing them under my running shorts and capris.

The DL:

-They do the trick.  I didn’t have a full-on pee sesh in any of the days I was wearing them (where were they when I was running Long Beach a few weeks ago?  Oh that’s right, in the  dirty laundry), but they did save me from any sneezes, coughs or minor “incidents” that happen.

-Runder my shorts.  I totally dug them under the shorts, they didn’t feel like I had anything on like I usually wear, and they kept me feeling a little fresher post-run when I didn’t get to change in 2.2.  They also stayed put inside my running shorts not creeping, in, out or thereabout.

-Runder my capris.  I *heart* wearing my running capris to just bum around in pretty much every day.   But I always face the great “underwear debate”.  This is clearly public knowledge because the other day Vanilla walked up to me and asked, “Are you free ballin’ it in those pants Mom?”  Uhhhh…okay…maybe.

Because yes, usually I do wear my capris sans underwear, but it’s not always my most favorite thing (remember Lululemon?).  I wore them under my capris for both day-to-day  and also for a 4.5 mile run the other day.  Outlook: Good.  I did have to do one creeper grab to fix a mini-wedgie about 1 mile in, but from that point on they stayed completely put.  My only complaint was some serious VPL.

When push comes to shove, I am totally digging my runderwear and am ready to give them a shot on a long run here in the near future.

What’s been one of your greater running challenges?

Are you a card carrying member of the SPC (Spontaneous Pee Club)?

True Confession Thursday: Random Running Musings

So it’s Thursday so I usually tell you super exciting and intimate details about my life such as…random things the kids said and if I snuck an extra dessert (“Mom, are you free balling it?” and why yes I did).  But back to running and fun stuff like that….

On Sunday.  So the best thing about finishing a race, is finishing the race.  After running with Angel and Margot, I learned about their running club ‘Beat by a Girl’.  If you’re in the OC, it’s definitely worth checking this group out – they seem like a great bunch of ladies and accommodate runners of all shapes, sizes, spaces and paces…

From the Beat by a Girl website

From the Beat by a Girl website

More On Sunday. Somehow I missed these two cutie patooties and their fabulous sign.  Aren’t they adorable (and clearly very resourceful)?

IMG_4952

LB Expo.  So totally random, but on Friday at the Expo I was frantically trying to rally the kids walking back to the car from the Expo and this woman came up to me asking for directions.  I thought she looked like OctoMom and shrugged it off.  On Sunday I saw her again and then did some looking and realized that it was, in fact, OctoMom.  So there was my pseudo-celebrity sighting for the month.

Janky Knee/Hips.  So the knee went from pretty much fine on Sunday post-race to being a little crabbier by Tuesday.  Maybe it’s like me…it gets crabbier the less it runs.  After rest days Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday’s 2 hour flight seemed to REALLY fire it up, so I just considered drinking a glass of red wine with a chocolate cookie a workout and called it a day.

In order to remind me to rest for a few days, Vanilla made this fabulous sign and stuck it on my desk.  Apparently it was to remind me rest days are important.  He’s so sweet.

IMG_4957So Cold.  I’m in Denver for work and had the great idea to go for a quick high altitude run this morning.  Um…yeah, no.  The 3 in front of the temperature (as in 33), frost on the windows and my severe lack of appropriate clothing, I just took a quick spin on the elliptical and called it a much warmer day!  It might almost be Halloween, but I’m a SoCalWeenie.

What’s the best sign anyone’s made for you?

Do your kids ever keep you in check?

Long Beach Half Marathon Race Recap

13.1 Miles 
1:49:42
Stellar Strides

Before I get down to business with the Long Beach Half Marathon recap, let me do some housekeeping and announce the winner of the ProCompression Giveaway

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 12.57.46 PM.png

Taylor Woods – you didn’t leave your email address so be sure to email me in the next few days so I can get you hooked up with your ProCompression socks!

IMG_4937

The pre-race sunrises at Long Beach are always the best….

As I mentioned, this weekend’s race goal was to change the pace:  as in pace my neighbor Angel and her friend Margot to their goal for their first half marathon.

In the first race excitement, Angel was promptly at my door at 4:55, while I had been out of bed for all of 5 minutes and was trying to quietly change in the hallway and brew my coffee without waking up the rest of the fam.  After a pleasantly uneventful ride and parking, we did the tour de port-a-potties and got ourselves into the corral with a “comfortable for the first time” amount of time before the race started.

As usual the race was pretty seamless (that said, the full marathon got started 30 minutes late):  smooth start, well-stocked and placed stations and lots of signage letting you know where to go.  I was sure to sport my kid-proclaimed and selected “laser lemon” ProCompressions and a pair of matching aviators….

IMG_4939

The ladies wanted to run a 1:50 and I made a solemn promise to get them there, no matter what it took.  While I love a good race day, I think enough years have made me jaded…a little crabby and annoyed.   Watching the first-time jitters, excitement and thrill was so. much. fun.

I knew the ladies wanted to wear their headphones and music and I had my headphones in, but left them off so I could listen for heavy breathing, dragging footsteps and could just watch how they were feeling to make sure we were sipping water bottles and walking in the finisher’s corral 1 hour and 51 minutes after the race started.

The first 5 miles of the Long Beach half course FLY…then 6-9.5 miles get a little tough on a straight shot on a beach bike path.  Until mile 7, Margot and Angel were killing it: they looked great, sounded great and seemed to be feeling good.  Around mile 7, it got a little tough for one of them.  And then they switched it up (the other struggling a bit more) and I had to get pretty annoying repeatedly saying things like:

“Dig deep.”
“You didn’t run 10 miles fast to quit now.”
“Just move your hands and your legs will follow.”
“Think about whatever it takes to make it through the last 5k, posting 1:4-something, something on Facebook or think about red wine…whatever it takes.”
“Stop looking at your watch, let me get you there and you just worry about running.”

What did I know:  That I was annoying them and they kinda wanted to kill me.

What else did I know:  If I wasn’t annoying them I wasn’t doing my job.

A good pacer will take you to your wall and then push you right through it….and any insecurities I had about being obnoxious had to go out the window to do that, which wasn’t easy for me.

The following conversation may or may not have taken place around mile 11:
I’m running in front of you for a bit, you just need to stay with me….[about 90 seconds pass and I turn around and look at them] Does it help you at all to know I’m peeing in my pants right now?

So that happened – It’s been a while since I’ve flat out peed myself during a race in a few years, but apparently my post-first born bladder issues came back….super fun.

Blurry phone pic?  Blame my sweat....Myself (and the blanket to cover my pee shorts), Angel and her friend (not Margot, she was recovering with her hubs elsewhere)

Blurry phone pic? Blame my sweat….Myself (and the blanket to cover my pee shorts), Angel and her friend (not Margot, she was recovering with her hubs elsewhere)

The last half mile was balls to the wall pushing it and a literal sprint to the finish.  I wasn’t tracking our splits very well (just watching my pace bracelet to ensure we were on track), but the last 2 miles were FAST.  These fabulous ladies definitely negative split the race and I was so impressed by their effort and results.

At mile 3, I knew they were going to nail this goal based on how strong they looked, and when we passed through the finisher’s chute at the 1:49 mark, I turned to see two of the biggest smiles (then panic and exhaustion) and that outweighed any PR I’ve had.

While I spent most of the race trying to in tune with their needs, I had a few concerns of my own going into the race:

  • My Knee.  I went out of the gate a little tight (not painful, just tight), but by mile 1.5 it had loosened up and felt great.  Around mile 9, when the wheels were coming off for everyone on course, my knee got a little painful (beyond tight) and as I was thinking about how to manage it, if I would be able to finish, etc, and just as quickly as it started, the pain disappeared with a slightly lengthened stride.
  • My Endurance.  Uhhh…..Errr…I haven’t run more than 13 miles since APRIL, and hadn’t run more than 10 miles since 4 weeks ago, so I wasn’t exactly confident in my fitness level.  I might have a little soreness the next few days, but my family said they’ve never seen me that relaxed and refreshed looking at the end of a race.  I never felt fatigued or tired the entire race….just a little sore at points.

A huge thanks to ProCompression for giving me the opportunity to change my pace a bit and run the Long Beach Half Marathon – it was an amazing race and still ranks up there as one of my faves.

Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

Have you ever paced someone before?  What was your experience like?

Change of Pace: A PRO Compression Giveaway

5 Miles
Shrewd Strides

This little chunk of medal made me wake up way too early.

This little chunk of medal made me wake up way too early.

I usually hit the roads/trails early in the morning when to squeeze in mileage.  This means I often find people just like me out there:   Garmin glancing, head to toe spandex donning, caffeine imbibing, crazy Weekend Warriors.  We’ll never win a gold medal or compete in the Olympics, but we’re crazy enough to get up at 5am and try like we’re almost sorta, kinda not really going to ever but denial is more than a river, going to.

While I love my fellow Weekend Warriors, I took a change of pace and runched the other day only to find a whole different world:  opera singers practicing in the acoustically perfect road underpasses, tantruming toddlers, exhausted moms moseying around the park, incoming inspiration for the work project I had been stuck on for 30 minutes, mid-day dog walkers, and the pace was so nice and slow in the best kind of way possible.

Thanks to PRO Compression, I have the opportunity to run the Long Beach Half Marathon this weekend, and due to my janky leg, I’m planning on taking it nice and slow.  I’m going to do some pacing, watch people finish their first half marathon and just celebrate being a runner instead of pushing for a PR or focusing on speed.

I’ve written about my love for PRO Compression before (for no other reason than my love for them), but today I’ll tell you the other ways change the pace when I use these squeeze-tastic socks.

-They are my lucky Chicago Bears socks for post-long run recovery during NFL season.

Bear Down Chicago Bears!

Bear Down Chicago Bears!

-Even on shorter runs early in the AM or on a foggy day I wear my neon green pair(s…yes, I have multiple of this color) to help keep distracted drivers from, you know, crushing me with their cars.

Can you find the runner?  You betcha!  Please don't hit me!!

Can you find the runner? You betcha! Please don’t hit me!!

-The boys are known to bust a pair out for a gnarly pair of thigh highs long bike rides.

IMG_4442

The exciting part of this all is PRO Compression has given me a pair of socks to raffle off to one lucky reader.  (On a side note I”m having technical difficulties with Rafflecopter, so we’re going old school on this one).  To enter you can receive an entry for doing each of the following.  Be sure to post a comment for each item you do:

  • Visit the PRO Compression website and leave a comment telling me which pair of socks you would get if you won.
  • Follow PRO Compression on Twitter
  • Tweet about the contest
  • Follow PRO Compression on Facebook

I will do close the drawing at noon PST on Saturday, October 12.

If you’re as unlucky as I am and don’t find yourself the winner of the socks, be sure to use the code BLG13 for 40% off + FREE SHIPPING.  #score

ready…SET…go?

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.31.58 AM.pngSet….set….set.  There’s a lot of setting going on in this neck of the woods.

Set Back.  Yes I ran a whopping 9 miles last week.  Which is approximately 9 more than the week before.  Not exactly the kind of mileage you want leading up to one of my favorite races (ahem Long Beach, yes I’m talking about you).

Set the Back.  Working to get the SI joint back to where it’s supposed to be – like as in straight.  How have I been doing this?   Lots of hip strengthening exercises (pelvic lifts, side planks, etc.), foam rolling every part of my lower extremities, and laying on a Little Tykes ball.  Yes, you read that right.

Say hello to my best friends....

Say hello to my best friends….

Taking that little 6 inch, semi-firm ball and placing it right on my sacrum and laying on it for about 3 minute intervals a few times a day has been working wonders to straighten things out.

Set the Pace.  Long Beach has been a race that’s always been kind to me.  Two years ago I shaved 5 minutes off my PR there, and last year nearly PR’ed despite not really less than ideal circumstances.  Something about Long Beach makes me float over the flat street and beach paths to a quick race pace.  But this year I can’t afford to do this without ruining all that I’ve put into my injury recovery. In order to keep things from getting to quick, I talked to my neighbor who is running her first half marathon and I am going to run/pace her and a friend through their first race.

Set the Table.  We really try to make an effort for family dinners during the week- catching up with one another, recapping our days, connecting.  Despite these best efforts, weekdays can be brutal and dinner can sometimes not be as fulfilling and connecting as this mama would like,  so I love using the weekend to set the proverbial family table and connect, have fun and relax a bit.  With school back in session, we need this more than ever.

2013-10-05What sets do you have going on right now?