26 Can Do Better

Wow. Twenty-five is over, huh?

Happy birthday to me!

I would like cupcakes, Champagne, widespread acceptance of the Oxford comma, and a puppy. Preferably a French bulldog named Bennington, who rounds out our brood with his I-may-be-small-but-I’m-sassy disposition.

Yes. (source)

To date, this has been, by far, the most bizarre year of my long and wise existence. It started out so well, with a smashingly successful 25th birthday. First marathon in five years completed! Champagne and cake consumed in excess! That necklace that I told John I wanted, exactly where to get it, and gave him a coupon for, in my possession! As a freshly-pressed 25 year old, I was operating at well over 100%.

Operating at 100%? Yes. Mastering the midfoot strike? Definitely not.

The barrage of doctor’s appointments in September was definitely a low-point in my quest for year-long awesomeness. So was passing out after my arthrogram. (Heh. What can I say? I hate needles. Especially long ones that are projected onto giant radiology screens so that I can watch them inject dye into something that is like two inches from my vagina). I would also say that projectile vomiting into a freezer bag, held by my husband, after a morning of arthroscopic hip surgery, was pretty low on the list of “Awesome Things Done During My Awesome 25th Year.” (Disgusting photo below. I’d say maybe a 2 on a scale of baby polar bears frolicking to that guy in Miami whose face was eaten off).

Hey, look! My body doesn’t like stitches, so now I have a hole inside of my incision. The big 2-5, you do not disappoint!

But it would have been selfish of me to monopolize the annual quota of medical problems, so my parents, being the good sports that they are, joined in on the fun. My mom went with an emergency appendectomy the week before Christmas (well-played, Ma), while my dad chose a mystery GI-illness, that caused him to pass out and break his nose. Going on this information alone, I’d say that my mom wins, but take into consideration that my dad’s ailment was initially misdiagnosed as a heart attack, and it’s pretty much a photo finish!

NBD, just going to visit my dad…who is quarantined.

By March I had accepted the fact that 25 was not going to be the carefree, glory year I had hoped for. In fact, all I wanted to do was make it to 26 without spending another minute in a hospital, and with all major appendages affixed to my body.

I. can’t. even. with you and your minor tail surgery that had you acting like you were lobotomized.

Thankfully, it seems, I’ve done just that. The fam is healthy, I have all of my limbs (the shepherd, on the other hand, lost a sizable chunk of her tail, but it seems all of the benign, meant-to-be-there parts are still intact), and I’m so fucking ready to take on a year that is faster, stronger, and not rife with major injuries.

So here’s to the big 2-6.

Shots mean PR’s are a sure-thing. Or at least that I’ll be hungover in the morning. Samesies.

Return of the Track

When John and I moved last July, we were excited about a lot of things. Ridding ourselves of a drug-addicted, chronically drunk, upstairs neighbor who blasted a mix of techno and Enya at all hours of the day and night was certainly at the top of the list…

Neighbor boy and I were basically besties, obvi.

…but we had several  other amenities to look forward to, including a bigger floor plan, a small backyard for the dogs, and a running path just over a mile from our front door. Needless to say, when we discovered a track just off said running path, we were elated, and subsequently committed to living here as long as we can stand the neighborhood’s penchant for gossip and the total lack of air flow in our bedroom.

This track is by no means a state-of-the-art facility. It’s, shall we say, well-used, heavily-worn, one step from decrepit. And I’m sure the neighborhood kids’ use of it as a velodrome isn’t really helping. Whatever. It’s a public track and it’s functional. Not something that’s easy to come by in Chicago.

I was just getting into track workouts when I injured my hip last summer, and, obviously, sprinting and taking tight turns were on the list of “Things You Shouldn’t Do With Five Freshly-Placed Anchors in Your Hip,” so the disheveled track and I? We haven’t seen much of each other in the past nine months.

But today…

I have a severe lack of track photos, so this will have to suffice for the time being. (source)

…we met again! At 6:30am, no less (super-huge-self-back-pats going on over here). I did a simple 10 x 400m-really it was 7 x 400m before I finally gave in and sprinted home so I could go to the bathroom.

Aside from it’s general state of decay, a huge downside to this track it’s total lack of nearby, public bathrooms. Don’t get me wrong, there are bathrooms. They’re just never unlocked. The homeless men in the park also hate that these washrooms are never accessible, which is why they urinate on the locked doors in protest. Fight the power, dudes. Fight. The. Power.

Anyway, I finished out the last 3 x 400m around our apartment, after my pit stop. (I hate the term “pit stop,” by the way. It sounds so ambiguous and coy. As if none of us is mature enough to acknowledge that running occasionally causes people to poop. There. Said it.)

It was a good workout to start back on. Challenging, but manageable. Splits for those of you who care about that stuff (goal was to stay under 2:00, or sub 8:00/mile pace):

  1. 1:57
  2. 1:54
  3. 1:54
  4. 1:54
  5. 1:51
  6. 1:49
  7. 1:49
  8. 1:53
  9. 1:56
  10. 1:54

Track Tuesdays are back! Now I just have to decide about that Santa Rosa Marathon. More on that later…

Asics, You’re Doin’ It Right, Girl!

Everyone stop.

There’s something very important that we need to talk about.

OMFG, those. And, OMFG my floors. Someone call Pergo. Thank God this place is a rental.

But back to the shoes, or as I so-aptly titled the JPEG, “shoooooz,” because when you’ve spent years running in total white girl kicks, these babies are more than just a pair of “shoes.”

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge proponent of the idea that you can’t choose running shoes based-on color. Why do you have chronic shin splints?  Oh, because you shove your pancake-flat, hippo-wide feet into electric blue Nike’s that aren’t made for running? I don’t feel bad for you. By which I mean, I don’t feel bad for me, because that’s a personal anecdote. But that’s why these particular shoes are so exciting! They are my standard, tried-and true Asics Gel Kayanos just in a ridiculous color scheme. Finally.

If I could find the designer at Asics responsible for these, I would kiss them and perhaps offer to have their children. I would also tell them something along the lines of: Stay gold, Ponyboy, because, Jesus…you’ve come a long way.

Gel Kayano 16’s. Like a dagger to the retina. Never forget the lowly valleys from which you came.

Don’t ever change. Unless change means wilder colors. In which case, by all means…