Monday, July 26, 2010

Prehistoric Feet :o(

I'm hanging out last night havin' some pizza at M's and I had my feet up on the couch by him.  And he looks at my toes and says:

"Your feet are prehistoric.  Like, absolutely prehistoric.  Like literally straight from the f*cking stone ages.  Like someone literally just excavated them out of a cave, straight from the stone ages, and here there are! I mean wtf?  Wtf?"

Great.  Every girl wants to have cute feet or at least doesn't want to be mocked for hideous feet... I know my feet have never been attractive (they're wide) but I don't have overlapping or strange toes or anything else like that... the issue is mostly that running has basically destroyed them.  I have some pretty hardcore end-of-toe callouses, which is what caused the "prehistoric" comment.  The ends of my toes are white and rough, but if I shave the callouses down it hurts to run, so they're functional and I keep them.  And yeah, I'm currently missing 1.5 toenails, but it's not that noticeable.  And yeah, right now I could use a bit of foot maintenance--I usually keep my nails polished in some color or another to distract from the black or missing nails (I paint the spot where the nail should be) and right now I have mostly chipped off polish.  But whatever, I've been busy.

Wish I could wear these feet around as a badge of running honor, but I guess others don't see it that way.

Exhibit A (don't lose your lunch):

... yeah I guess I'll go fix my nail polish now :'(  I like running but sometimes wish I could still keep some semblance of feminine feet.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon

Apparently I've been getting a ton of hits through Google from people looking for race reviews of the Spirit of Columbus half marathon.  Yet none of these searches seem to be going directly to my race report about how much this race sucked.  Please go over there and read it if that's the info you're looking for.  If you want to run it,  just be prepared and take your own water....and know you might have to pee in a ditch or behind a tree... and know that everything the race directors promise may or may not be supplied by them...

Friends don't let friends run races directed by Run Wild Racing, seriously.

Things that are awesome

Things that are awesome!  (none of them running things... but bear with me...)
1) Tomatillo Salsa.  I have this thing for green salsa... an obsession really. When I used to be a server at a mexican restaurant, they had a secret stash of green salsa that was hidden in a fridge in the bar--people could get it for free only upon request, and no one really knew it existed.  Except for me.  And I ate it EVERY DAY for three months.  No joke.  When I go to the store now, I still always end up buying jars of green salsa, but haven't found a brand that I'm totally in love with yet.  I've considered making my own but have been timid about dealing with tomatillos... until my brother texted me this photo of his homemade tomatillo salsa.  That was the last straw... and I knew I had to do this, so I made it today.  Don't be afraid of using tomatillos!  It wasn't that bad at all.  They are kind of weirdly sticky under the paper skin, but you can rinse them and then I just cored them like a tomato.
What you do:
10 tomatillos (get the biggest ones you can, peel back the paper a little to make sure they aren't icky in there)
1 very small red onion, or 1/3 of a normal red onion
1 habanero, de-seeded
lime juice (lots and lots)
garlic (2 cloves or so)
cilantro (lots and lots)
cumin (maybe 1/2 a tsp or more)
salt to taste.  sugar to taste if you've gone too wild with the lime juice.
De-paperize the tomatillos; put em in a food processor and chop em up.  then chop the other stuff; mix together; eat!  Yummy yum.  I'm going to take the leftovers and mix it with avocado chunks for a tomatillo guacamole.

2) Cold-Pressed coffee from Caribou Coffee.  I've tried making my own cold-pressed coffee but it just isn't as good as theirs.  This is my favorite summer treat...but it's dangerous because it goes down really easy like an iced tea or something and then you realize you're wired out of your mind.  And somehow it makes me FAR more wired than regular coffee.  And if I drink it in the car, 9 times out of 10 it's empty by the time I get home and then I'm REALLY wired.  Seriously though, try it.

3) Nectarines.  Yes, they really are more awesome than peaches and yes, they are delicious.  Thank you summertime!

4) Raw "Cottage Cheeze" made with macadamia nuts. This photo is shamelessly stolen from the blog where I found this amazing recipe, Addicted to Veggies.  (I would've taken my own but mine wasn't as pretty, and maybe the beautifulness of this photo will make you go check out that blog, because it's probably the best raw foods blog I've ever seen!)  I've eaten like 100lbs of this stuff on cucumbers, on crackers, on fruit, mixed with other salads, on everything.  It's so so good.  The recipe is over here.

5) Andy Schleck and his Tour de France heroism.  (isn't he adorable?? total cyclist crush..)  As some of you know, I'm completely addicted to watching pro cycling, and this addiction really becomes extreme in July when the Tour de France is on.  This year Andy Schleck came really really close to beating Alberto Contador (who I really dislike for a variety of reasons).  In an unfortunate turn of events that people are referring to as "chaingate," Andy's chain popped off on an important mountain climb--Contador kept attacking and ended up taking the yellow jersey, gaining 39 sec on Schleck in the overall standings.  While there are no official rules about attacking during a mechanical problem, it's frowned upon by many and Contador was booed on the podium (he later issued an apology on Youtube).  Andy Schleck, though, was an unbelievably good sport from the next day forward, and he almost took the jersey back in today's time trial stage, where Contador was a huge favorite for the win.  Andy was ahead at the first checkpoint and he's historically really bad at time trials.  His ride today though was absolutely insane--I have no idea where all of his energy came from. He rode so well, and Contador is an impressive time trialist--everyone assumed Andy wouldn't even have a chance.  Contador ended up winning the tour with an overall 39 sec advantage--ironically the exact amount of time Schleck had lost to him due to Chaingate.

The tour this year was full of a lot of other antics including a ton of crashes in the 2nd stage, a cobblestone stage, a fistfight after a stage, Robbie McEwen crashing after a stage was over, a headbutting incident that ended up with Mark Renshaw getting disqualified, Andy's brother Frank crashing out of the tour, and more.  But as far as I'm concerned, Andy Schleck is the true hero, even though he lost the tour to Contador.

This commercial the two did together is pretty much awesome and good-spirited.

Also, Team Saxo Bank was totally awesome this year more generally... I love Jens Voigt (he's hilarious!), and he had another epic crash but kept riding anyway (so badass)... and Fabian Cancellara is super cute and really amazing at time trials, and then Andy and Frank of course.  Ahh...for as much as I love watching cycling and love pro cyclists, one would think I'd like biking myself... but I have this overwhelming cowardice about riding in traffic.

Now back to your regularly scheduled running posts :)
Yikes, long blogging hiatus eh?  I had  to take a little time off for the foot, and then I've been traveling--North Carolina followed by Indiana followed by Chicago followed by Indiana, before coming back to Columbus.  My running schedule is just as messed up as my sleep schedule... hoping I can get back in the swing of things now.  Going to try to get out for my scheduled 9 miler tomorrow morning before it hits 94 degrees here--but after this messed up sporadic and inconsistent running, I'm hoping I can complete it.  :\

I'll be blogging normally again now I promise :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

My New Favorite Oatmeal..

I recently discovered Kath Eats Real Food.  See that link at the top of her page there--tribute to oatmeal?  This is pretty much the best oatmeal I've ever had.  The method of oatmeal preparation she demonstrates in the Instructional Video on that page is totally awesome.  The basic steps:

  • Combine oats, water, and soy/almond/whatever milk in a proportion like 1/2 c. oats, 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. milk to start; add more water if you're using a tougher kind of oat.  I use steel-cut oats, so I usually start with those amounts and then add more water toward the end if the oats aren't done.  This amount makes one large serving, for if you're hungry like I always am.
  • Bring to a simmer; add a banana cut into chunks and raise heat a little.  Stir regularly.  The banana will melt and it will start to smell awesome.  Usually after about 7-10 minutes I have to add more water, since steel cut oats take like 15 mins to cook fully.  If you have instant or rolled oats I think the whole process would only take 5 minutes.
  • When it's done, add a splash of vanilla extract and any other good stuff you want to.  Protein powder, dried fruit, almonds, nut butter, cinnamon, etc.  It totally tastes like delicious banana bread and it's really nice in texture... not all grainy like oatmeal usually is, thanks to the banana.  
Thought I'd share since this is quickly becoming a favorite breakfast (and occasional dinner).  It could probably be a good post-run thing too since it has a banana for potassium and you could probably get a pretty good 4:1 carb/protein balance if you add nuts and things.  Tasty tasty stuff.

made it through this morning's run!

Thanks for the well-wishes, guys.  I took Saturday and Sunday off of running, and iced my foot a bunch.  I also started taking a calcium-magnesium supplement because I read that magnesium can help with tendonitis (if it's even that... but it seems like it is).  Saturday I walked a ton at this 4th of July thing where we parked really far away and my foot hurt more than it ever has... by the time we got back to the car I was a crying mess, both from the pain and because I thought my marathon dreams were over, and because I apparently start to go a little insane with depressive feelings if I miss too many runs.

But I'm trying to be optimistic now.  I ran 3.5 this morning, with some pain, but not excruciating pain like I had from mere *walking* on Saturday.  I'm worried about the 11 miles I'm scheduled for on Saturday, but I will lower that mileage if I have to once I see how the rest of the week's runs go.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to do 5.  The foot pain is weirdly ghostlike... it kind of moves around, sometimes on the top of my foot, sometimes under my ankle bone on the outside, sometimes under the ball of my foot, depending on how my foot falls.  I wore my old shoes (with the old arch supports) this morning because they have a snugger fit than my Pearl Izumis do, and I wanted something snug and supportive.  And I loosened the laces across the top/midfoot to take the pressure off.  It worked out pretty well.

I'm dying to run the Columbus marathon this fall because I'm hoping I will actually have some crowd support, since I have a running group now (well, if I ever get myself going to the runs again) and because Sam will be there and there's a small chance some of my other friends might decide to care that I'm doing a marathon (they usually don't care about my runs, so this is probably overly hopeful of me).  But I'd really like it if I had people cheering for me along the course or even running a couple of the last miles with me in case this turns out to be my worst nightmare.  There's even a chance that one or more people in my pace group might be doing the Columbus marathon so I could even have someone to run with the whole way.

BUT I also realized that I could run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon instead on Nov 7 if I lose a couple weeks' training that I can't make up.  And if that doesn't work out, I will find a race somewhere warmer in the month of December.  Neither of those are ideal solutions but it does make me feel better to know that if something goes horribly wrong I don't have to wait until next year to fulfill my marathon goals.  This is going to happen this year.  I think Columbus is still achievable though, as long as this week goes ok.

I have some travel coming up that might make things interesting, but I plan to stay on the run schedule as long as my foot can handle it.  I'll be in Chicago in mid-July and there's a chance I might even spend a few days in North Carolina first which could involve (!!!!!!) beach running! My favorite!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My body hates me...

.... and I'm sort of starting to hate it in return.

My foot's been killing me all week so I skipped a couple runs.  2 days ago I was limping, and yesterday it wasn't that bad so I thought this was progress.  I went out to (optimistically) do 5 tonight but after about half a mile I turned back.  Yes, the foot hurts.  It felt sort of ok while walking, but running was another story.  I have no doubt that I could have fought through it to do my 5 miles, if it weren't for this raging headache I developed just as I was getting ready for my run.  I thought maybe I just needed some water, so I had some and took my hand bottle with me, but as soon as I was running the headache got so much worse I was almost seeing spots.  This is possibly among the worst headaches I've ever had.  I basically never take drugs, but there may be some ibuprophen in my future tonight.  (or however you spell it).  It's possibly the result of eating garbage for food today; my lunch was dill pickle relish on crackers because I am out of groceries and clean dishes and didn't want to stand or go out and walk around a store a whole bunch because I was trying to conserve my foot for this run.

Also I still am not totally willing to blame vibram running for this.  It's possibly the cause, but my foot feels 1000x worse while in a shoe or flip flop than it does while I'm just walking around my apartment barefoot.  Also I feel like I could've done this stupid run if my feet weren't pounding the ground so hard.  I feel like an elephant in shoes now.  That part is the fault of the vibrams.

So I walked home feeling sorry for myself and now I will go get takeout and eat it while feeling sorry for myself and possibly taking a bath.  And then I will lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  Meanwhile, the dishes still won't get done and unless I stop for groceries tonight, that problem still isn't solved either.

End week 3 of marathon training, with a big fat fail.
I'm so frustrated.  My head is going to explode.
I wish I had the energy to have a positive attitude about all of this right now, but I don't.  I feel like a fat lazy slug and I can't stand missing runs.  And I have a marathon to be training for, dammit.  :(