Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do you know what's worse than 7 miles on a treadmill?

No... really.... do you know of anything that's worse than that? Because let me tell you.. it's pretty brutal. The only thing that made it somewhat bearable was the eye-candy on the treadmill to my right (that'd be my husband, thank you very much).

I really, really wanted to run outside today, but there were several impeding factors. The first was the dang snow. Philly Runners message board indicated that The Drives are still not in great condition and I'm haunted by visions of a woman I saw about a month or so ago, making her way around the icy drives with two bloody, banged-up knees. A cautionary tale. Secondly, I'm still on blister patrol. Thankfully and finally, the huge blister on the inside of my big toe subsided (or popped, I'm not sure which) sometime last night, but I'm still worried about aggravating it too much. So I was worried about heading out for an 8.5 mile loop with the possibility that I'd be plagued by blister woes again. So, another treadmill run it was.

I didn't feel like losing my parking space and heading out to the gym, so I joined Seebo and trekked down to the USP gym. We jogged (pronounced YAWG-ed.... the 'j' is silent) the half mile there. Just a tease of running outside; enough to make me loathe the treddy all the more. It also helped that I had some new music on the Precious, courtesy of Seebo as well.

Now I'm tired. I ate a big, salty lunch... so now I'm thirsty and tired.

I just took some pictures of my left foot. Wanna see? Warning..... it's gross. Nah... I'm not going to post them. If you really want to see them, then you can leave a note in the comment section (and then I really wonder about what kind of person you are).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Toe Woes

***** Disclaimer*****
The contents of this post may offend some and will likely disgust most. Proceed at your own risk. Thank you.

No, I'm not going to talk about blood blisters again, but I am going to talk about regular ole blisters. You know, the normal kind filled with that clear, watery liquid. For some reason, they've been showing up in between my great and second toes on my left foot. Gross. I know. It began when I started wearing my new shoes (also the blood blisters which, thankfully, have subsided), so naturally I attributed them to the new shoes (even though they are the same make and size as the ones I had previously). Now I'm thinking maybe there is more to it. I blame my bunions. My left foot bunion, to be specific.

For those of you not in 'the know' on all things bunion, they get progressively worse over time. What this means is that the big toe leans further and further towards the second toe. And this is what I think is happening here. My left bunion is worse than my right and I wonder if in it's lovely progression, it's pressing into the second toe enough at this point to cause some friction and hence, a blister, when I run.

At this point, this is just a working theory. Not sure how I'm going to test this hypothesis. I'm kind of hoping it just resolves itself. Or maybe it's back to the podiatrist for me. Which is a problem because the guy I like is out of network and by out of network I mean not at all covered by my crappy insurance (Keystone Health Plan East).

Anyway... besides being a blister sister, my running is going pretty well. I'm excited to run my tenth consecutive Broad Street this year! I'm not setting any lofty goals at this point ... other than I'd like to run it under 90 minutes which is very doable for me right now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

le sang - part deux

I don't know what it is about blood blisters that inspire me to blog... but here I am again... with another blood blister and blogging. It's roughly in the same place as last time, on my left foot, on the inner edge, sub bunion (mmmmm). I'm blaming this one on my new shoes which, even though they are the same brand, model, and size as my last ones... seem to be a bit bigger and wider in the toe box.

Anyway. I had quite a bit of pain after I popped the last one (again... mmmmm), so I sought advice via the internet, of course. Apparently, you're not supposed to pop blood blisters due to the risk of infection. I'm pretty sure that's what happened last time. So, I'm leaving this one be. I also developed a regular blister on the underside of my foot between my big toe and second toe. Weird - that's never happened before. I blame my mother for my cursed feet.

Still, I had a pretty good run today, considering it was a treadmill run. It was just too damn snowy, oh yeah... and windy. I hate wind. Have I mentioned that? I've been trying to make peace with the wind, but today I just wasn't feeling it. So off to LA Fitness I went.

If conditions had been more favorable, I would have ran the drives so I set out to run 8.5, just as if I were on the drives. At this point, I know every inch of the drives so well that I can pretty much visualize where I'd be, based on what the treadmill distance gauge measures. I like that.

Felt like an easy 8.5 miles, surprisingly. But like automatic car unlocker-doohickies and ATM deposits, I just don't trust treadmills. I wonder how accurate they are. According to the treddy, I was running sub 8:30 miles for all but the first two miles. I'm hoping that it was accurate, that I really can sustain that pace and feel pretty dang comfortable - except, of course, for the two blisters developing along the way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My first blood blister since returning to running. Popped it. Not sure I should have. Painful. There's a strange sense of pride I'm experiencing along with the pain. I'm feeling like I might actually be "back" to running. Back to the mundane aches and pains of routine runs.

This is a good thing.

At the end of my run today, as I was cooling down a bit, I regained some of my old perspective that running is hard. The other day I read some quote about running that summed it up nicely. Of course now I can't remember the exact quote or even where I read it, but it was something to the effect that the act of running is easy, and that it doesn't take much... no fancy equipment... but that being consistent with running and putting effort into each training run is hard. I'm totally not doing the quote any justice. But I was reminded of that quote today as I pushed through my run. It wasn't a particularly heroic run... not super fast or super long... but I was aware of the effort I was putting forth. And then when it's over, it's over and in another day or two, it'll be like it never happened and I'll be pushing through another run.

It doesn't sound like fun, does it? Funny because this is what I've been craving since being injured back in mid-September.... to be "back" to running... and now that I finally am, I'm remembering that most of the time it is decidedly NOT fun. But I'm still excited to be back!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A fresh start

There's something appealing about beginning anew. Usually one associates such things with the springtime, but why not the fall? I had about forgotten this blog, but a former reader (one of the six or seven) reminded me of it this weekend and now, well, here I am. I'm not sure the timing is so great since my running is practically nonexistent these days. I did something (stress fracture? metatarsalgia?) to my right foot during the second leg of the Reach the Beach relay run in New Hampshire in mid-September. Since then, I've been trying to give it the rest it needs, though the two weeks I spent traipsing all over the cobble-stoned streets of Italy was not exactly rest.

Since returning from Italy two weeks ago, I've attempted to run a handful of times. The first was a disaster. I ran for less than a mile and probably should have ran even less than that as my foot was hurting quite a bit. I waited a week and then tried again with better results - some pain, but less. The difficulty now is keeping ahold of the reins and not jumping right back into running as usual.

I miss it, but I also realize that the nostalgia obscures the realities, the things about it I don't like. But, of course, I'll return... I always do.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Broad Street

Today I ran my 8th consecutive Broad Street Run. It feels good to be able to write that. While there has never really been anything too spectacular about my running, I am proud to say that I am consistent.

Over the eight years I've run this race, I've watched it more than triple in size to just over 23,000 finishers. That's a lot of runner butts chugging from North Philly to the Naval Yard.

Seebo couldn't join in the fun today as he had to attend to his godfatherly duties. Amy and I made arrangements to go down together to the race. This was Amy's second Broad Street and while she loves the race... she is much much less enthusiastic about the subway ride to the start. I think it's fair to say that Amy has an abnormal aversion to subways, particularly crowded ones. The reason for that, I'm not sure... you'd have to ask her. But for anyone, being crammed like a sardine into a subway with thousands of other runners for a solid 30+ minutes can be a less than pleasant experience.

Given the enormous number of registered runners, it seemed like the organizers really stepped up their efforts to make things go smoothly. They had shuttle buses from the parking lot to the subway station to help move people along. Amy and I tried to board one of the buses only to be turned away just as the people in front of us boarded. "All full", the driver said, "Take the next one." Grrr. So we headed to the next bus and were the first ones on. Amy, being the smart cookie that she is, grabbed the front seat. Yeah, I know, the cool kids ride on the back of the bus, but those in the front get out first... and, turns out, get to commander the bus. Sort of. I'll get to that.

As we sat and waited for the bus to fill with runners, the bus driver casually mentioned that instead of taking us to the subway station, that she might be able just to take us up to the start. Amy's eyes went wide with excitement. Could it be that she would be able to escape the subway?!?!? I'm not sure how many Our Fathers and Hail Marys Amy said while we waited for the driver to get confirmation/permission.

I've known Amy a long time. We've done a lot, been through a lot together. But I have never seen Amy as excited and overcome with pure joy as when the bus driver confirmed that she would, in fact, be driving us to the race start. I didn't know it was that deep, but apparently for Amy, it was.

Our excitement was quickly tempered when we soon realized that our bus driver had no clue where she was going. She had followed another bus onto 76W, but lost him soon afterwards and was not sure how to get where we needed to go. Amy sprung into action and along with me and our fellow front seat compatriots, navigated the bus successfully to the north end of Broad Street.

Pre-race was typical... throngs of people, long porto-potty lines. The race was started in waves this year, according to color-coded corrals. I think this worked beautifully as there was not nearly as much bobbing and weaving around other runners those first few miles. Kudos to race organizers for addressing this issue.

As usual the energy during the race was amazing. This is the reason I run this race every year. Everyone is upbeat and joking and just having fun - despite the skies looking like they'd open up any second. I love the transition of spectators too - from the unsuspecting North Philly residents leaning out of their windows, to the Temple students cheering on their friends, to the City Hall mob of supporters. It's easy to let the momentum of the crowd just pull you down Broad Street.

And that's kind of how it felt for me. I had fairly low expectations going into this race. I am not in the same running shape I've been in the last few years and was content to run something around a 1:30. Of course, I went out a bit fast... first mile was something like 8:47. But I felt good and really just felt pulled along at a nice clip by the energy of the crowds... runners and spectators alike. Subsequent miles came in about the same.

Around mile three, I started to think that sub 1:30 was a distinct possibility. Every mile that came in under 9 minutes was like a little extra cash in the bank I could borrow against later, if need be. And I know what it's like to run out of steam around mile seven. It's certainly happened to me before. But not today. Things just seemed to go well. I felt good... the rain was holding at a light drizzle... and my legs felt reasonably good. I crossed the finish line at 1:27:32.... can't complain about that.

Soon after I finished, the skies opened and down came the rain, in sheets. The hardest part of this race was waiting to meet up with Amy afterwards and walking back to the car. That was a long walk. But eventually, I was dry, warm, and with a belly full of food. Now I'm just waiting for my chocolate chip banana bread to come out of the oven. Mmmmm.

Looking forward to next year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Like a NKOTB

...Hangin' Tough, that is. Oh yeah, I went there.

So, I'm still running. I'm trying to reflect back on the week. That seems like a long time ago, but now that I think back on it, Tuesday's run was worthless. Literally. I had some very uncomfortable tightness in my anterior tibialis and didn't make it for more than two miles. No biggie. (I'm doing my best to not just say that, but to really mean it). Thursday was better. Ran 4 1/4 on the treddy and didn't hate every single step. Saturday I made it out to Tinicum and did the figure eight loops. The mud on the Interesting Part of the trail slowed me down a bit, but I was totally fine with that... one, it gave me an excuse to be slow and two, I took a minute after emerging onto the connector trail to find a stick and rediscover the tread on my shoes. The remainder of the run was nice. I made a conscious effort to try to be in the moment and enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, and the exercise. Too often I find myself wishing my runs away... just waiting for them to end. That's no way to be.

Still a long way from where I was and where I want to be, but at least I'm hanging tough.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


That's basically how I've been feeling about my blogging and, to a lesser extent, my running. But I'm going to try to stick with it (blogging and running) and see what happens.

Did the Art Museum loop yesterday all by my lonesome... ran it last weekend with Stacey and it was much more fun. The run itself was okay - weather was good and I felt decent. My splits were okay (9:07, 9:05; 8:53, 8:53; 8:40; 8:44; 8:46; 8:46). I don't want to be a speed whore, but it's hard not to be, especially with the company I keep. I don't know that I'll ever regain the speed I had a year ago and, really, I'm not sure how much I care about it. Of course I care, but not to the point where I'm willing to put in the work necessary to get there.

I think the hardest part for me right now is that I'm a lonely runner. I am fine running by myself during the week, but I miss having someone to chat to and commiserate with during those long runs.

So, that's where I am for now. Still running, but with less enthusiasm than I'd like. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beat the Clock

First and foremost.... Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No presents, no religious pretense.... just good food and lots of it. I was lucky enough this year to be invited to Steve's family friend's home for the holiday. Of course I couldn't show up empty handed, so I offered to make and bring a pecan pie - my momma's recipe.

The pie takes about 50-55 minutes to bake, giving me the perfect window to fit in a run. Of course, this then puts a bit of pressure on me to make sure I get back in time to ensure the pie isn't overcooked. My usual West Philly loop takes me about 45 - 47 minutes, giving me adequate cushion in case I didn't have a good run.

Luckily, I felt good throughout the run and made it back in just under 45 minutes, allowing for a nice cool down walk around the block before heading back into the kitchen to retrieve my perfectly cooked pecan pie.

South Street Bridge sign was up announcing its closure on or around December 8th - that's gonna suck.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gym Rat


I went looking for a picture of a hamster wheel and found this video, which is kind of silly and stupid, but made me laugh, so I'm sharing it for what it's worth.

All of that is a rather lengthy intro to what will be a brief post about my runs this week. As you may have already guessed, I did all three runs on the treadmill. I ran four miles on Tuesday, four and a half on Thursday, and a grueling nine and a quarter treddy-miles on Saturday. As much as I hate the treadmill, I hate the wind even more, so I suffered for the 9+ miles and called it a week.