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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting to know you

My niece got to meet her baby brother for the first time yesterday. She was staying with family while the baby was born, and picked up a cold, so her first meeting was delayed so she wouldn't get the baby sick.

I don't think she knows quite what to make of the situation yet.
Also, I am dying they are so cute.

A couple of other life updates over here...
- I am sick. I got a cold last week, and it's still lingering. Being sick certainly aided the "slow running progression" thing.
- I am exhausted. On Monday both of my techs called in. One had to take her child to the doctor; the other got a flat tire and, while she waited for roadside assistance, a bird pooped on her shoulder. Rough Monday. Add to that 9 conference calls (two at 8 am, and I open at 9, ugh), two flu shot clinics with 200 shots apiece, training two new people, and a few work emergencies, and I am tired out!
- I am fat. Slowly getting back into running = less activity than before, if you can believe it, and it's not helping the weight gain thing.
- I am slow. Running is hard. It still hurts later in the day sometimes. I have ups and downs, great days and terrible days. But it's hard and I'm slow.

And sort of off-topic, I bought some more Coeur shorts because I really liked the ones they sent me. Let me tell you, this is how marketing works! Let someone try something, and get them hooked! I got these:

And another pair of the Fleet Foxes design, because I am enamored of the little foxes. So now I have two of the exact same shorts. I'm pretty boring.
I must confess that one of the reason I like these is the stretch in the fabric, so I can wear them while I (hopefully) get back into shape!
Have you made any new run purchases lately? Anything fun I should know about?

Monday, September 22, 2014

My favorite ten mile loop

I was going to name this post, "First double digits back!" until I realized I already wrote that post. Injury-prone, much?

Go ahead and rip me a new one in the comments. I deserve it. I did a stupid thing on Saturday and ran 10 miles.
No, I didn't mean to go eight, but got caught up in the beautiful weather, blah blah.
I didn't plan on seven but oops, got lost (in my own neighborhood...).
I didn't think the group was going eight but somehow we went ten. 

I actually left the house with the evil intent to run ten miles. I missed running long on Saturday, I missed feeling tired after running, I missed my old ten-mile loop, and I missed running without taking walking breaks. Walking breaks were officially lifted Thursday, but I'm pretty sure my doctor did NOT intend for me to do ten miles. So just in case, I made sure I didn't ask him.

My ten mile loop is broken into sections. From my house, I run up to St. Charles Avenue, then head toward Carrollton Avenue.
1. Carollton:
I run past Palmer park on Carrollton. It has a 1/3 mile walking loop.
Boring neighborhoods along streetcar line. Pretty, but never my favorite part of this loop. I turn around at Claiborne right before Carrollton turns into fast food places and ghetto. I head back up the way I came.
2. The levee:
This tiny ridge of dirt is all that's keeping the Mississippi out of my living room.
I cross St Charles and get on the levee (construction at this point is FINALLY finished: the levee has been under construction for two years). I love this part of my run: it's very flat and fast once the path is shielded from wind off the river by office buildings, and I always remember winning The Wall 30k and this being that very last section! That was a crazy race (I woke up with some serious GI issues and there was a windy storm) and moments of fighting that wind always pop back into my head here. Thinking about winning a race is never a negative, though, bad stomach and weather aside!
3. The Fly:
I always run along the river, rather than up on the road.
I follow the levee up onto The Fly, the local name for Audubon Riverside park, and always stop for water at the fountain. The fountain is 4.5 miles into my run, and on hot summer mornings water is extremely appreciated at this point.
4. The Fly connects back to Audubon park:
The tree on the right fell down this spring in a storm and I actually cried.

I run through Audubon and exit back onto St. Charles. If it's hot out, I stop at the fountain right before I leave the park at mile 6.5.
5. St. Charles:
Running on the tracks 
I sometimes switch to the streetcar tracks here, and run up to Napoleon, turn around, and head home. I follow St. Charles all the way to my street. Right in front of my door makes exactly ten miles.

I loved getting back on my old loop, even if my left quad decided to spasm for two hours after, and I spent Saturday a little stiff. The only thing missing was my post-long-run club soda, a delicious tradition. And now I am back to following rules. I just broke this one, tiny one so don't be too mad.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


My new nephew, John Richard Thacker III!
He looks a lot like his dad for now.

His big sister Alanna won't turn one year old for another week - for now, my brother has two babies under the age of one. Wow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Me and my appliances are on the injured list

My husband gave me a cold for my birthday.
He also gave me a purse: my new this-better-last-at-least-ten-years purse (I usually buy cheap throw-away bags, but I got sick of straps fraying and zippers breaking and asked for the Fossil Sidney shopper, which seems like a nice, sturdy, classic, casual bag for not too exorbitant a price).
Going to work with everything I own in this bag

And then the very next day he brought me these lovely flowers, for no reason at all, except he said he appreciated me! He's such a sweetheart.

I haven't been running, because I'm sick. So much for that. My appliances took the cue and decided they'd all be sick, too.
My coffee pot timer stopped working, and we replaced it, bravely choosing a new coffee pot (I'm a picky coffee drinker). Consumer Reports' second-best choice is only $32, a Mr. Coffee BVMCSJX33GT, but it makes a pretty nice strong cup. And of course I sold the old one for $10 on Craigslist, with full disclosure of its timer flaw (everything else worked). So if you are looking for a good coffee pot without spending $100, check out the Mr. Coffee laskdjflasdjflskdjf (I couldn't type that model number again, geez).
The same weekend, my washer died. Our washer predates our marriage, since I wouldn't marry David until he bought a washer, but it's only 7 years old, so this surprised me. It stopped spinning or draining and probably the clutch is out. I can't believe it's mechanically failing at only 7 years old, given our light usage, but at least David's cousin is a GE repairman and can come fix it soon.

Today I have a big meeting with some big bosses. I almost had to attend with no coffee, and I AM attending wearing the dregs of my wardrobe. Luckily I still had a semi-professional dress in the closet. Good thing I wasn't reduced to rewearing the dirties, right?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Taking my hip for a run

I've been back "running" for a week now, which means four runs I think. I'm still walking and jogging, although my doctor said I could go for up to 2 miles before taking a walk break (he'll increase that after 2 weeks if I have improved). I'm still taking days off. Once, I didn't. I ran Saturday, and for some reason I ran Sunday, too. Then I spent the whole afternoon sitting on the floor, watching the Saints game at a birthday party. Sunday night and Monday my hip was tight, sore, and painful. I learned that lesson! And I also remembered my doctor's constant reminder: "There will be good days and bad days".

The only good thing about this hip surgery is that your body definitely knows its limitations. I KNEW I had to take Monday off from any activity, and Tuesday I woke up feeling fine. So I'm just going day by day for now, and advancing very, very slowly.

Running feels weird, a little bit. My hip flexors remain very tight, and I think my extension is limited a little. I'm trying to work on this, because the last thing I want to do is run with my gait off and develop an injury. But even though I feel like I can stretch my hip flexor out, it tightens right back up. By the end of the run, it's sore, and it hurts to extend back sharply.
It is also a weird feeling to have your bone move in your socket differently than you are used to. My femoral head was reshaped, and there is a significant change in how my leg moves in the joint, magnified while running. Before the surgery, for years I felt a sort of catch in my hip as I ran. I remember it was more noticeable on the left, but was present on both sides. It felt like the femoral head moved in the socket in two steps, clu-clunk, instead of one smooth rotation. Now, I don't feel that on the left, but it's mildly present on the right (please don't let me need surgery on the right, please please please please please). Also weird? The times when my leg feels loose or out of socket. These moments are becoming rarer and rarer, but if they happen while I'm running I stop immediately.

I don't, however, feel any pain while running, besides some general pelvic pain and fatigue. This feels like the old osteitis pubis pain. Dr. Van Sice said I probably didn't have osteitis pubis, and it could have been the labral tear that whole time, but a later MRI revealed signs of the condition, and I think it's still there (annoying). I keep hesitating to take that first run step, an old habit from pain on impact. If I am in pain, it comes later in the day: soreness, stiffness, or a tugging tightness. I've learned to stretch well and end every run with a walk to keep the tightness at bay.

And now I feel 100 years old after that description.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Flu clinic time again

Here I am, stuck in a tiny room at Delgado community college, giving vaccines for four hours. It's cold. I'm hungry. The bathroom is in another building. But at least the employees are getting vaccinated!

Did you get your flu shot yet?