Look: it should be obvious that I’m not one for sentiment. Or what you humans call “emotion.” I’m just not. I’m a robot person, wired to feel anger and annoyance with a pinch of guilt because well… (half) my people are Jewish. (Sorry, have to make some attempt at humor here.)
Due to a combination of those, I’m feeling compelled to write this post.
The last time I posted I was whining about how I couldn’t run Boston this year. I spent this past weekend feeling very bitter about the shitty shape I’m in. And part of the reason why I was so bent out of shape is that I really realized early on that I wasn’t recovering and what is more – I lacked the drive to push towards that. When the reality of missing Boston this year hit me… I was frustrated because frankly, I’ve put on a lot of weight and gotten pretty out of shape with only minimal strength gains. I was grumpy all Monday morning. I was avoiding media coverage.
And then the fucking texts started coming in. People wanted to know if I was there.
Followed by a “are you seeing this???” text. I figured out that something had to have been going on at Boston so I jumped on facebook and grabbed the first link which showed the live feed.
I saw what was left of the finish line and sat there in shock for a full minute before I started checking to see if everyone I knew was out of the blast area. While most were long gone, I realized pretty quickly that Shelby would have been right there. I followed her on FB and confirmed she was okay to a few people but fuck, that was scary. (Read her post if you haven’t yet.)
The friend I’ve stayed with the past few years didn’t go into work. And its a good thing as she works in Copley.
Another friend <strike> (I won’t mention names right now – its not my story to tell) </strike> was on Boylston between the explosions. She’s physically fine. Friends she was with are physically fine, though I know she knows someone who is not. What she told me about the scene was horrifying.
ETA: Read Lauren’s story here.
Remember that guilt part of my brain?
I immediately started wondering where everyone would have been had I been there. Everyone I know was fine, but if I’d been there…would they all have been in the places they were? Who would I have tried to meet? Fuck, SHOULD I have been there so I understand?
I mean…does this sound stupid? Selfish? I honestly don’t know. But every time I’ve had some sort of close call I find myself thinking less about what actually happened and what could have happened.
When push comes to shove, I was in my cube at work. But I wanted to be in Boston. This past weekend it kept bugging me. I wanted to be in Boston and was frustrated with myself for not being that motivated early in.
Yet I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel glad I wasn’t there to witness it. (Hence the guilt.)
It was – in large part – my own fucking laziness kept me at home and away from the horrific scene (which in all fairness, I realize I may very well have missed entirely.)
It kept me from dealing with some legitimately scary shit.
And most importantly, it meant that everyone I knew there was exactly where they were and not any closer to the damage.
For some reason, this ain’t exactly comforting.
Boston will be back. It may not be the same, but the race will be there. At this point I worry for the people that were there to suffer the trauma, whether physical or mental. They might never be the same either.
Rather than whine, let me give you a summary in GIFs. Okay, so maybe that is whining in gif form.
How I felt when I was initially diagnosed and the doc told me I’d be able to build back in a couple weeks:
How I felt once all traces of knee pain were gone and my posture felt better:
How I felt the first time I was able to run more than 6 miles without pain:
How I felt about my chances of running Boston this year after the first time I attempted to run 10+ miles and couldn’t make it that far:
How I felt after I finally hit 14 miles at the end of February:
How I felt once I started telling people I was going to bow out and got replies like ”JUST JOG IT”:
How I felt reading all your “I LUV RUNNING” and “MOST MILES EVER” posts after I realized there was probably no way I’d be able to start this year:
What I did once I realized I could focus on getting fatter and drunker for the time being:
So now when I try to run I feel like:
So how do I feel every time I get an email from the BAA or see a reference to what is going on in Boston this weekend?
Given this gif tastic post, you want to take a stab at how closely I’ll be following the race to see how you and everyone else do/does?
Let me help you:
So, I didn’t run ATB today. And I’m not running Boston.
If you can’t stand me, go ahead – enjoy the schadenfraude. I’d be hypocritical if I told you not to.
Let’s get to the why:
The twisted pelvis was easy enough to fix. Once that was back in place? I could run again.
The issue came when I tried to increase mileage. I can run up to about 7, maybe 10 miles without feeling really week in the groin area. And glutes. And really, anything. And I guess this makes sense.
The problem is that I’m aligned…but the years of neglect, bad form, and being too fat have caught up to me. My muscles can’t bounce back like they used to, especially not after 20+ years of wonky form. So now when I run…I am really aware of the fact that the muscles around my hips are more or less worthless and I can feel the chain reaction of things buckling due to weakness.
The bottom line is I am going to have to rebuild my core from scratch. My hip flexors are still shot. My adductors are pretty much worthless while the abductors aren’t a hell of a lot better. Add the weak glutes/back/core into the equation and…well, you get the picture.
I COULD have pushed through and run but at this point? I’ll be lucky to rebuilt within the next few months.
Now that I’ve said this:
Favorite hip exercises/strength training routines? I’m all ears.
For now I guess I’m the Angry, gimpy, runner. I should write some other shit but does anyone give a fuck at this point? I know I don’t.
If you’ve been paying attention to my blog, you know I do this and have done this for years. Ignore, read, use it when you’re placing your bets at an Oscar party. But here is who *I*, amateur Oscar “pundit” thing will win.
One thing to keep in mind:
It never fails to amuse me if people ask me if I’ve seen all the movies. Well, no. I haven’t. I’m not a real movie critic. I don’t get screeners. I just pay attention to movie news and who wins what awards as well as what people in the know are saying about the academy itself. Think of it as the Nate Silver approach which accounts for a lot when the Oscar race is so early. Upsets become harder to predict simply because the people that vote have less time to decide and are more likely to do what everyone else is doing. Got it? Good.
Here we go:
When nominations came out, Lincoln looked like a statistical lock based on early precedent. Since then, Argo has won all the significant awards that signal Oscar: PGA, DGA, WGA, yadda, yadda, yadda.
That said, be surprised if Argo doesn’t become the first movie since Driving Miss Daisy to win best pic without a director’s nomination.
Will Win: Argo
Could still possibly in theory still win: Lincoln…but it won’t. Same for Zero Dark Thirty (TOO CONTROVERSIAL) and Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein won’t be able to pull a Shakespere in Love, making this the first movie since Sunset Boulevard to have all four acting nominations but NOT win best picture.)
So, when Speilberg takes this one but not best picture I think Ben Affleck – snubbed here – will hold up his Oscar and say “Hey Spielberg, how do you like ‘dem apples!”
Will Win: Steven Spielberg – because it’s been awhile and Lincoln won’t win best picture. A relatively “rare” split.
Could Win: Ang Lee. I actually think this race seems like a toss up but I don’t know if everyone voting actually SAW Life of Pi. Plus, he’s won fairly recently. The only other possibility seems to be David O. Russell and I get the impression nobody likes him. (We KNOW Lily Tomlin isn’t voting for him. Google those two.)
Caution: Take a look at the Nate Silver article I linked to. This is a category that is too unstable for anything to really be considered a “shock,” at least from my perspective.
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix is one of the few actors working today that can convince you he’s right there in the room with you, wacking off creepily, humping windows, contorting his posture and everything else to create a horrifying lead character.
Unfortunately for him, Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the actors that has this ability and he played an important historical figure in a movie that was a bit more suited to traditional academy tastes.
Will Win: Do you have to even ask?
Best Actress: You know how I mentioned that having the Oscar race early decreases the odds of an upset? This category is a perfect example as once a Jennifer Lawrence win seemed telegraphed, more and more people started pointing out that Emmanuelle Riva has a real shot at becoming the oldest winner yet. I am assuming, perhaps cynically, that there was not enough time for her to gain momentum here. Lawrence is a safer bet, but Riva could be an upset. (If the Oscars were still in late March? I might even put my money on Riva.)
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence.
Could Win: Emmanuelle Riva. I’m not seeing Jessica Chastain as a factor.
This is a tough, tough, call made up of former Oscar winners. I’m not noticing a lot of consensus among critics either. So let’s play the elimination game:
Robert DeNiro – Sentimental favorite? Sure. But he hasn’t won anything for this role yet. Odds are low.
Alan Arkin – Won fairly recently in an “upset” that frankly, I called. Like DeNiro, I am pretty sure he hasn’t won anything for this role – at least not outside of a critics award and critics don’t vote.
Christoph Waltz – He won Supporting Actor just two years ago. He barely snuck in here over co-stars.
Philip Seymour Hoffman – A contender? In theory. But most of the support for The Master has been in critics awards and as I sad above…critics don’t vote.
That leaves us with Tommy Lee Jones. Grumpy at the Golden Globes? Sure. But I think he’s gotta be the winner.
Will Win: Jones.
Could Win: In theory, anyone else. But I’m going to go with Arkin because, well…I was right before.
Get ready for more of Anne Hathaway’s faux modesty.
Will Win: Yeah, you know this one.
In theory, the race is between Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty and Quentin Tarantino for Django. But something is telling me Michael Haneke could take it for Amour. There seems to be support for this film among voters and at the very least, its less controversial than the other two.
Will Win: What the hell - Michael Haneke for Amour.
Could Win: Mark Boal. Or Tarantino, I suppose. But given that the Academy thought Forest Gump was a better picture than Pulp Fiction? I don’t want to give them that much credit.
The race is between Tony Kushner’s Lincoln and Chris Terrio’s Argo. Momentum is on Terrio’s side.
Will Win: Chris Terrio
Could Win: Tony Kushner.
Now if you excuse me, I have Oscar drinking to prepare for.
Good night, and good luck. (Oh shit, that was 2006.)
I’ll admit it:
I haven’t been paying much attention to blogville for awhile now. Part of it is the fact that I’ve got a metric shit ton of work to do (not all of us can be iced coffee sipping, cross-fitting, body pumping, expensive yoga pants wearing housewives).
Part of it is I’m sick of this shit.
Yet I persist.
That said, one thing I’ve noticed is that many of you have an enthusiasm for cross-training I just don’t. You drop 50 bucks to take a spin class that you call “Soul Cycle” (which is really code for “trendy trust fund babies wear expensive clothes and pay too much to work out”) and talk about how its life changing.
I get on one of those infernal indoor bikes and want to die from breathing in hot gym air and give up immediately.
You people pay 50 bucks for yoga classes and talk about how it “HEELS YOUR SOUL” or something equally lame.
If I attempt yoga I’ll either fall over from being bored or because, well, I suck at it. (Also: yoga is for hippies and rich people that make money off hippies and I’m neither so…yeah.)
That said, my inability to put down significant mileage isn’t making me to go the gym much more often. When I do I tend to putz around on some cardio machine I can tolerate (oddly enough? The stairmaster) before doing core shit and maybe going to the pool where I attempt some form of pool running. Unlike you waifish fast kids…I can’t do that shit without belt. I don’t know if it is because I am fat (I thought fat floats? I sure as hell don’t), a poor swimmer, or just uncoordinated. But I can’t manage it without belt. So its a fairly pointless exercise in futility that leaves me smelling of chlorine, sweat, and shame. This ends up taking up a couple hours of my time that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve accomplished much of anything.
And again, unlike you housewives and trust fund brats…I can’t afford to dedicate hours to working out on a daily basis since I have actual work to do. Which is why I’ve made an attempt to run daily since my hips are relatively stable right now.
That said, I’m a bit dismayed to report that I am not bouncing back as easily as I’d like.
It turns out that running with your hips in the wrong place for years leaves you with some weird muscle imbalances and I’m having a hard time putting on miles without some nagging pains. Nothing horrible – just adaptation pains. But it’s enough to keep me from pushing too soon…and this isn’t a bad thing!
You’d think this would be enough to get me doing more non-running stuff, right?
Well, it’s not.
If I can’t run…I can’t get myself motivated to do much of anything else. It seems pointless.
I KNOW I need to add more. Many of you called it after my last post. And trust me, its not that I’m not aware of it.
I just cannot figure out how to make it:
1. Tolerable: I do not do well with any sort of cardiovascular indoor exercise. For the most part, I keep my bare bones cheap gym membership so I can lift weights. You put me on some indoor equipment? I struggle to breathe. This shit is why my indoor track PRs were wayyyy off what I could do inside. I had a handful of asthma attacks* in high school and all but 1 or 2 were indoors.
(As an aside, the actual diagnosis of exercise induced asthma has been disputed by two other doctors, one of which labeled it as “respiratory distress syndrome” – which i think is really the same thing while another suggested it was all tied to allergies. I’ve ignored it for years either way, but that’s a story for another day.)
2. Fit into my schedule: I am generally more comfortable working out at night. I CAN force myself to do this early, but the time it takes to get to the gym in the morning? Not really worth it. Its more productive if I get up at 5-5:30 to do an extra hour of work before I go into the office and people distract me.
And don’t suggest getting to work earlier. Even if I get in at 7, its no guarantee I get out before 7-8 PM as my company has a start-up feel to it and I generally feel guilty leaving before 6, even if I’ve been there for more than 8 hours. And no, I am not paid enough to deal with this.
3. Hard enough to give me any real benefit: Thanks to “1″ and “2″, I’m often rushed when I am at the gym. This isn’t helped by the fact that some of those heavy cardio cross-training options like spin don’t work so well since it doesn’t help my IT bands. And you know how I described my inability to run in the pool without a belt? I sink if I try. So am I really getting ANY benefit?
I know, I know. First world problems all around.
But the bottom line is that I’m actually TRYING to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I know far too many people who had some of these weird on/off issues with knees and hips in their 30s that are now unable to run in their 40s and I DON’T want that to happen to me because like I keep saying: RUNNING IS ALL I CAN HANDLE. Other forms of exercise make me stabby.
I can tolerate more miles now than I could a couple weeks ago and nothing is sliding out of place. These are good things.
But right now I’m thinking the odds of lining up at Boston this year? 50/50 at best and I am OKAY with this. That said, I want to at least try to keep my streak alive.
But how can I do this if I’m currently barely hitting 30 MPW and not doing anything to make up for the missing miles?
Fellow cross training haters? I’m listening.
10 weeks til Boston, 7 weeks til Around the Bay.
And my “long” run?
I’m not quite sure if I’m fucked beyond belief, but here is the run down:
If you missed my update to my last post, I took my sorry, crooked ass to a chiropractor who 1. does ART 2. has a CCSP 3. runs marathons. While I was mostly concerned with the pain and swelling my in my right leg, I pointed out that I felt like I’d gotten to the point where I was walking crooked and a LMT pointed out there was a good inch or so difference between my legs lengthwise. He confirmed the difference and pointed out two things I’ve noticed for years: my right hip flexor doesn’t really do what its supposed to (I believe his words were “its shot”), and my left has a better range of motion, though there is something weird about it too.
Pretty simple explanation: pelvic subluxation (not uncommon, especially for women) and hips in the wrong place, which in turn led to the IT/knee flare up. If you were paying attention, Jeri totally called it.
The interesting thing is I’ve had random hip pains for YEARS, particularly near the “shot” hip flexor. To the point where I’d just gotten used to random stabbing throughout the day.
Apparently, that’s not normal?
I’ve been slowly running more. Emphasize on slowly. The first week I had five sessions of ART with some adjustments, and ran on the “off” days. The second week I had three more sessions, but could build mileage. My hips are now stable enough to build mileage and I’m doing some painful core exercises he assigned to keep it from slipping much again.
He thinks I’ve got the experience to run Boston, but he’s also recommending REALLY slowly working back up to where I should be so as not to knock everything out of place. Because shit, was I fucking twisted.
Today I ran 6 miles on hips that are sitting normally and holy FUCK what a world of difference. My center of gravity has shifted just enough to make it a bit easier to move than it has been over the past couple years.
Curious, I dug out an old picture (on the left) and a recent one (Thanksgiving) to see what my posture looked like:
Do you see the difference in how everything is titlted? I don’t know that the left is particularly healthy either, but I’m at about the same place stridewise and it really looks like there is a fuller range of motion in 2006. Not to mention the fact that I look taller.
Also, this picture reminds me I ought to lose about 15 pounds which ain’t gonna happen when I’m struggling to run 20 miles per week.
But that’s neither here nor there.
The goal for next week is to get up to 8-10 on the weekend without my hips slipping out of position. I’m fine with 6 at this point, which is progress.
My concern is I just don’t have a lot of time to get up to 26.2 again.
Right around Christmas I noticed some pain in my right knee. It was weird and random. Sharp and annoying.
Then it went away.
Between Christmas and New Year a bruise appeared. I probably hit it on something.
I go to my usual New Year’s Day
race shuffle and try and warm up. I realize very quickly that things are not good. The roads are slick and the pain is just….well, pain. I consult with a friend who tells me I can DNF and he’ll drive me back after 3 miles. For better or worse I finish and am crippled for the rest of the day.
I wait till the bruise goes away.
I run again…no pain! Til the next day. The outside of my right knee is tender yet again around the ligament. I putz around and then I do the next winter race because
I’m an idiot it was in the 40s!
No pain while running, but afterward? A friend with medical training notices my knee cap isn’t in the right place. Another friend observes that something was off with my form, which is pretty knock kneed to begin with. He points out something looked weird with my hips.
Mother of vodka, here is the evidence:
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT???
If you look closely, you can see that my left hip is pointing in a different direction than the right – and not in a normal way. Look how how badly I’m heel striking. If you take that “crooked hip” thing into consideration…is it a surprise that everything is fucked up?
LMT friend checked me out later in the day. She pointed out that in addition to my right knee being out of place, my left hip is a full inch above my right and she suspects its not usually the case based on how out of wack everything is.
Do I call this an injury? Or is it just years of bad form catching up with me at a shitty time?
I have an ART appointment this afternoon. Guess we’ll find out whether I can actually attempt to run something faster than a 3:18 this spring. Either way, you’ll find me at the bar later.
Diagnosis: I’m messed up.
Okay, fine – that’s not exactly it.
But the gist is my hips are not in the right place and need to be put back, among other things. And its probably been this way for years as I’ve always been able to extend the left hip easily and the right? Just doesn’t…extend. (Think of a leg circle like you do in pilates: I can make a full circle with my left leg, but have to bend my leg to do it on my right. ) Apparently my right hip flexor is more or less shot…but it can be fixed.
Exciting stuff, huh?
Meanwhile, you’ll still find me at the bar.