Sunday, May 27, 2007

necessary evils

so with a few good runs under my belt this week, easing back into things has come pretty easy. yea, it's all good again. friday's post work run of 7 miles was especially nice. i explored a new neighborhood and found some long hills for an exceptionally good workout.

yesterday i skipped my short run and attacked the storage unit. we're gearing up for a garage sale next week and can i just tell you I HATE HAVING YARD SALES! i've been putting this off for the longest time. my front porch is a scene straight out of Sanford and Son...much to the dismay of a few neighbors (in fact yesterday some neighbors were walking past our piles of crap and T whispered to me "tell them what we're doing" i suppose as a way to assure them that no were not going into the junk yard business and setting up shop in our front yard.) but, as they say it gets worse before it gets better.

i like getting rid of stuff but i really hate having to sort and price and worse haggle with people. if it were up to me we'd bypass the yard sale all together and it would all end up in a Big 'ol FREE PILE....and sitting next to it would be a guest book so i could send thank you notes!

once something has reached yard sale status i pretty much am over it and have no real need to get top dollar. i mean it's served it's purpose and now i want it the hell out of here. my husband on the other hand.....

i blame it on some kind've genetic birth defect...being the eldest son of depression era parents...his mother was the WORSE when it came to yard sales. she'd argue and get insulted when a potential customer would have the audacity to counter offer on some piece of crap. i remember one sale in particular...i don't even recall the piece of crap being sold but it was the end of the day and i just wanted to be DONE and i agreed too swiftly on a price and i swear to god my mother law called me stupid!

needless to say from that time forward she was banned from participating in future yard sales.

we don't have all that much to unload: a decent set of bunk beds is at the top of the list. all the bags of M's clothes i hauled out of storage would be better off passed along to younger cousins. don't even get me started on the stuffed animals. would you ever buy a stuffed animal at a yard sale?

truth is i don't accumulate all that much stuff. i laugh when i hear about men being designated a tiny corner of the closet for their stuff. HA not around here. t has at least 5x's more articles of clothing than i do (i wear scrubs, work out clothes, and a have few "nice" outfits) he on the other hand still has crap from the 70's. stuff that hasn't seen the light of day in decades. seriously, i have a chest of drawers and an small armour in the laundry room.

i'm married to a pack rat...and it's not limited to just clothes. in the eyes of an artist everything has potential. i can relate here as i tend to hold onto fabric, buttons, ribbons, doodads, and the like for YEARS in the hopes of using it in a project. but unlike T i do get the occasionally urge to purge which keeps things sane around here and the health inspector off my back.

okay, enough of that. i'm adequately caffeinated and have a long run to tend to(10 to 14 miles, depends on how i feel). the cool grey weather isn't exactly urging me to get out there but will make things comfortable temp wise. i'm working tomorrow (got to love that time and a half pay), but i hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.


i'm back from my run now. head and crosswinds added a bit of texture to an otherwise boring run. the grey never burned off and i feel kinda bad for those folks trying to get their BBQ on in the park. it's really just bleh out there. i followed gilman to the bayside trail that goes out to richmond.

i had an interesting experience around mile 9-10. i felt some pain and stiffness starting to settle in around my hips and at the same time that fuzzy feeling i get when the endorphins start to kick in. it was a well timed lift i tell you!

14:05 FLAT miles in 2:48 was about all the pushing i was up for today. after reading NYTROS marathon report. i had to laugh at the part about ass cramps. all this pounding the pavement was working my sciatic nerve and i knew what i was in for when i got first ice bath!

unlike nytro and her 3 bags of ice i opted for one bag in coolish water....hoots and howels ensued as M sat on the toilet laughing HER ass off as her mother writhed in agony for 6 whole minutes.

so now it's all good again. think were going to go see the new Pirates movie later and call it day.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Baby Steps

after 3 days off of running i feel more than a bit apprehensive and can't seem to get out the door. i'm dressed and currently nursing my second cup of coffee. i didn't need to take ibuprofen for the first time this morning and my throat while still sore is feeling better. no aches or pains just a bit sluggish.

yesterday was my first day back to work...ugh. lastnight i pulled off all the patches from the audition board and started to rearrange them. easing back into quilting has been awkward too.

as with my running i have all these expectations for this quilt and i want to pick up where i left off....but that's just not realistic. still as i step back and look at my work i am thrilled by all the possibilities. a quilt is alot like marathon because it's the consistency of the work that creates this amazing thing in the end.

today i will just get out there. no expectations other than to get back into the groove.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

sick days

seems my uber workout on sunday exacerbated whatever bug was brewing. i've been home sick for 2 days. i woke up several times through the night on sunday and on monday morning i felt like i'd been hit by a truck. i was able to get a massage on the spot at a place not far from was pretty good...though her draping techniques left something to be desired (it's customary to cover whatever body part is not being attended to as it is a little hard to relax when your ass is exposed while your upper back is being worked on) and she used mineral oil (eeewww) and then wiped it off with warm towels afterwards...time she could've been spending on my legs... but i felt better afterwards...the 800 miligrams of ibuprofen every 6-8 hours seems to be helping as well. this morning my t-shirt was soaked ...the fever finally broke but my throat still hurts alot and i'm still using the meds.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tired as Hell!

a hectic week wrought havoc on the training schedule. entertaining out of town visitors and chaperoning an overnight field trip to Sacramento. we stayed in a fancy old victorian masion youth hostel. between being on my feet all day touring the capitol and a room assignment on the third floor(many trips up and down, my hips and buttocks were sore that night!) it was hardly a day off., less "real" training, bad food choices all conspired against me and yesterdays long run was probably the toughest physical and mental challenge i've faced yet.

i hit the trail just before 9 am....i've been doing this to simulate race day. my plan was to get to Sibley, see how i felt from there and than decide if proceeding further was an option. the morning cooleness was deceiving. i was dressed lightly on top and wore capri length tights. as i worked my way up the first long gradual hill. my feet felt a little weird on the trail...i hadn't been running on trails since last wednedsday and my feet cringed and balked at the rocky uneven terrain. it took me a while to find my footing.

no sooner do you arrive at the top of curran you briefly cross a flat section than continue climbing out of this section of the park up to the road...again another brief flat section than you start up again. i got about halfway and had to stop. i gued and hydrated than continued to walk up the next long steep section.

there is a distinct difference between walking, hiking and shuffling. i did a mixture of the 3. some sections were flat and cool allowing me to pick it up a bit but the truth is i never had any get up and go the entire run...more like relentless forward motion.

being more familiar with this route i expected to get there faster with less stopping to check the map, more walk breaks seemed to make a difference too, plus i added the curran section (i started from the road last time) and in fact it added only 23 minutes to my time.

this run was about sheer will. i didn't feel great and i knew that the previous weeks choices were coming back to haunt me. i had plenty of fluid and just took my time walking when i felt like it. pushing on when i could muster my legs to move a little quicker.

walking early on was a good move.

there's an especially long steep section, i'd say the last mile before you reach sibley (i was sans garmin, forgot it!). last time i walked most of it. but i was able to maintain a decent shuffle all the way to the top. i lingered at the rest area for about 10 minutes before heading back....going further on would not be an option today. a slow shuffle on hills requires alot more exertion...later i read that the shortened stride and faster cadence while hiking and (shuffling) builds leg strength. walking is about running economy. hiking and shuffling is about strengthening.

so far i was into the run 2 hours....i knew i'd need longer to get back. by now things were really warming up, though not as hot as last time i ran here (though based on the low grade fever i have today...i'm thinking that's why i felt so crummy) but warm enough to cause me to slow down significantly even on the down hills. like i said i just didn't feel great. i alternated hiking with shuffling and gued twice on the 2.5 hour trip back to my car.

tingling and numbness

i've mentioned feelings of numbness and tingling in my arms before. i first thought it was due to under hydration, because my rings and skin often felt tight. over the last few months the sensation has grown more pronounced, that crappy massage therapist suggested it might be thoracic outlet syndrome, i'm not even going symptoms are similar but i'm not in constant pain and if i pay attention to posture and bodymechanics i'm hardly bothered by it. during a restbreak on the field trip i got the brilliant idea to do a cartwheel on the grass. OMG the shock reverberated through my arms and i being the pig headed fool that i am did it again just to be sure that the cartwheel was the trigger. again, PAIN. i was literally shocked and the weird sensation/pain did not subside until well into the next day.

other aches and pains

on the way back from sibley yesterday, i was irritable, hot, tired, and had to play mental games to make it back. i kept telling myself no matter how bad i felt now it was better than being at work. seems i've found a way to put unpleasant work scenarios to good use. i'm an occupational therapist and i spend alot of time in the bathroom with people...i'll spare you...i just focused on the fact that i was outdoors, choosing to take on this challenge and decided that while this run was in major suck mode it was better than the best day on the job. the last downhill stretch seemed to take foreverrrrr and everytime i saw hiker coming towards me i kept thinking "they look pretty fresh, almost there, almost there!"

today i have a sore throat, a fever, a backache and the chills. i called off work and will work on wednesday instead. after i got home yesterday i hit the books and determined that the pain on the top of my right metatarsal is NOT a stress fracture. it's not red or swollen and it never seems to hurt when i'm running just when i walk at non training times, like when i woke up this morning, the pain is around a 4-5 just walking around the house...didn't hurt during yesterday's session at all. i think i'm lacing my shoes too tight. hiking hilly terrain is a great way to stregthen the cartilage and legs. i was wise to incorprate walk breaks early on, it's what got my butt through 14 weary miles in one piece.

so i'm officially in marathon training mode. base training is over. and now the focus is on uping my mileage and gradually introducing speedwork. on saturday i pulled off a 8.3 minute mile on the track a mile from my house. i looked over at a dad pushing a jog stoller and said "boy this sucks!" and he just blanked stared me...whatever...apparently it wasn't obvious that i was running fast. LOL

so what did i learn?

other stress factors and change in routine greatly effected my training this week.
it seems smarter to go longer on the roads, faster on the track and flatter trails and keep hills workouts shorter. i still have half the official race route to learn and need to base intensity on how i feel and how long it takes to recover. maybe it was foolish to work so hard yesterday, maybe it was foolish to count on prior training to get me by but then again.......maybe it wasn't. maybe i learned a few things by experience rather than just by reading about it. i tend to roll that way. the verdict is still out.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

running fast is not natural

a lackluster week of running. my runs have been extra slow and sluggish...the hike on eastbay regional trail on wednesday was the highlight of my week...though none of the mileage was captured on the garmin (approx 6 miles)...making this weeks total 32.20

yesterdays 6 miler was harder than it should've been. the gray overcast weather set the tone. with only 3 on the schedule today i decided i felt like pushing the pace a bit harder. i pulled off 3.14 in for me! the garmin kept stalling and it was hard to sychronize my effort with it...but i'm pretty sure i hit a sub 30 min 5k.........first time in a loooooooooooong time ...sucking wind as i walked it off...fortunately their was no bladder incontinence though i did feel like puking at the end.

so were off to discovery kingdom to get our rides on. hehe, apppears the objective today is to avoid puking!

Friday, May 11, 2007

a work in progress

  i started this quilt 4 years ago! now that M's room is painted i'm motivated to finish. i want to add sashes in between the pinwheels and 9 patches as well as around.
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east bay regional trail

 here are a few pics from a cheapo camera, not too bad. brandy toeing the line with her new was HOT!
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the golden hills
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sibley regional from redwood
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boy is it hot!!
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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sibley or Bust

knowing your strengths and your limits along with a spirit of adventure equals a kick ass training run. from inspiration point in tilden i was determined to find skyline national trail...i've been searching for it ever since i set about learning my marathon course.

with my map i followed seaview until i came to the utility road. last time i followed it for abit and asked a hiker if she knew where skyline was...she wasn't sure and i feared if i continued that i'd not make it back. today i decided not to ask for directions from anyone that wasn't a park employee...i think asking the wrong people for directions does'nt do much for ones confidence. i have plenty of my own uncertainty to overcome why pile on more? the map was dodgy in spots but i'm starting to make sense of the route.

i got as far as last time and kept going and lo and behold skyline was just across the road. this section was pretty much downhill and paralleled grizzly was the grizzly peak century and every so often i'd see riders climbing UP as i cruised downhill....all the while knowing i'd be climbing myself on the way back.

once i crossed grizzly again and went thru a few gates it got pretty flat and shady. it wasn't long before i found the sibley volcanic trail head, yay...only a little over 2 miles to go. this section was the sweetest with lots of coverage, a bridge and a creek. things were all good...briefly i thought "oh, i'm so gonna rock this course" when all of a sudden my flat shaded trail decided that i needed to start climbing again. as i walked i spotted a couple of older guys running towards the way i just came...they looked fresh so i was hopeful that i as getting close to my destination.

i took me 1.34 from inspiration point to sibley...a little over 6.0. total time 3:14:xx 13.02 miles...i walked alot on the way back but made good time on the downhills. i am a good hiker and i was careful not overexert myself on the uphills and i kept well hydrated. my right ankle brushed up against some stinging nettle and it took a pounding as i tend to lead with it on my sideways descents.

i am sooooooo happy to be gearing up for this race. this route is the perfect combination of beauty and beast. every kind of wildflower, hills, heat, creeks, and quaint bridges....that's how i spent my sunday. no complaints whatsoever!

and oh, i never did run across a park employee but i think i'm starting to get a feel for this course. i think i'll just continue dissecting it section by section.

Friday, May 04, 2007


i decided on the drive into work that i wasn't ready to give up on the transitional apartments and that i needed to be less reactive and look for other possible solutions. i thought that maybe we move one of the extra beds into the small OT treatment room...we could rearrange a few things and incorporate the bed in transfer training and bed mobility. this felt alot better than the previous night when i felt so defeated.

i mentioned this to my colleague and my boss...initally they responded to the negative but my colleague actually came around after i made my point about transfer training. my boss approached me a couple of hours later after she and the administrator spoke.

they finally made some decisions regarding the future of the transitional apartments. we'll get one of the two apartments back...that is after the current resident who's not expected to live much longer expires. i know this resident and have worked closely with her for the past month and have witnessed a rapid decline in just the past week...i'm not heartless and i said it was a "bittersweet victory" and my boss replied "but it's still a victory."
no doubt she had had about enough of me at that point.

often i read in running blogs that people do some of their best thinking while running...i seem to think better after a run. i used to have a hard time getting out the door if i was mad and i never liked running past noon. lately some of my better runs have been when i was blowing off steam in the afternoon. go figure. change is good and i see evidence of it at work as well as in myself.

the rain has stopped and the clouds have parted and i cannot wait to get out of town. all this running on concrete lately has me itching to get good and dirty on a long muddy trail.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Will the real me please stand up?

the weather was perfect for a lunch time run...the schedule said 4 but i needed to workout some frustration and the weather really made it easy to crank out close to 8 miles.....i took an extra long of the perks at my job is that i'm not stuck in a 9 to 5 schedule...i have a caseload and it's basically up to me how i manage it.

since changing management the facility where i work has been undergoing several changes some good others not so good. a unique feature in our facility is we have an independent living apartment....or rather we used to.

at one time there were 2 "apartments" where a resident on the final leg of their rehab could demonstrate that they could manage their self-care with less physical assistance....while still in a supported environment. instead of the nurse coming in and providing meds, the pt. would be instructed on what they were taking and given a schedule and would be responsible for seeking the nurse when it was time to medicate, another plus was they had their own bathroom allowing them to leave their belongings in there and not worry about carrying stuff while they managed their walker or wheel chair (w/c), also pts. would complete a daily task list and discuss with therapy any issues they had during the day or night.

the whole idea is to promote greater independence and in some cases illustrate that a person maybe wasn't going to manage well on their own. the program for the most part was well recieved and pts and family members felt more confident in their ability to return home safely.

whew that was long...if your still with me...the program has now been shoved to the wayside essentially to accommodate more beds. one of the apartments is now a private pay room and the other has 2 beds in it making it difficult to maneuver around in especially if the pt. is in a w/c.

the layout of a nursing home has ease and convenience of staff in mind Not that of the patients. have you ever visited someone in a nursing home? notice the inaccessibility issues. bed controls, light switches, faucets and toilets there all usually out of reach. the independent living apartment program has been my baby for the past three years....the facility loved using the concept as a marketing tool and i beleive it was successful program. however since changing hands and needing to have more beds the whole program has been compromised.

i'm the first to admit i'm not particulary low key or pc. if ever i'm in the hot seat it's usually the result of bumping heads with a case manager when i think a pt. warrants more therapy. i'm a patient advocate bottom line. for beter or for worst. the thing is i'm getting tired. tired of fighting no win battles. tired of trying to function in a system that's never going to embrace change. i tell ya, i'm just tired.

i've been feeling like that alot...hence the long run at lunch. the truth is i'm
in need of a change but i don't know what. i don't have a four year degree and my program was so specialized that it doesn't open alot of other doors academically...i'd be starting over and a grade schooler and a mortgage don't exactly scream..."oh yes, quit your shitty job and go back to school!"

i'm just so tired. i think i've come to the age where i've missed my chance. to be anything better or maore than a assistant. the harsh reality is "oh well, this is the way it is, so suck it up." lots of days i do, lots of days in the midst of medicare and hmo dictated services i find something meaningful in my work. i just want my efforts to matter, i hate going through the motions and losing this program that i've worked so hard on has really taken the wind out of my sails. i know i'll be alright in a day or two. adjustments will be made. components of the programm can still be implemented but right now i'm in mourning and i feel more than a little invalidated.