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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow day in NOLA

Schools here took Wednesday and Thursday off as snow days. Grocery stores were packed. Bridges closed. Officials panicked.
I sat on my behind at work and did nothing. It was just me and my Shih Tzu.
I bought this mug on clearance at Walgreens for $1.99. I think it's hilarious. No, I don't have a Shih Tzu. 

We got a little rain, and somewhere north of us a snowflake fell. The funniest part of SNOLA 2014 was that people prepped for it like they do a hurricane - stocking up on jugs of water, batteries, and canned foods. The forecast for Sunday is 70F. You don't need to stock up, people.
Rush hour on Claiborne Ave...empty!
The best part of SNOLA? Totally empty streets. I got to work in 8 minutes. It usually takes me 25.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How's the old leg?

So glad you asked! It's as impenetrably odd as always.
Whoever heard of such a thing? A leg that never totally heals.
Here's the short and sweet:
- Two doctors and one chiropractor have insisted I'm totally healthy
- X-rays at least are finally normal (I actually have them, I just have to figure out how to take a picture so I can post it).*
- Still have occasional ill-defined pain, either a cold ache in the back of my leg or a hot burn in the front, both mid-thigh.
- Rest doesn't make the pain change from baseline at all
- Sometimes, running makes the pain worse; sometimes, running makes the pain better; but if I have a little pain, it always vanishes once I'm warmed up.
- Squats and lunges always trigger pain later in the day
- I actually went to another chiropractor, despite a terrible experience last time, and this time was much impressed
(More LRC pics...all I have for ya this post!)

So what am I doing? 
1. Basically, back to running, just nothing excessive. I'm doing 40 - 45 MPW, almost my normal level, but I haven't done anything intense just in case (actually, I did do one intense speed session, and it was a mistake: I didn't hurt, but boy was I out of shape). I did some slow races (see photographic heel-striking proof to the right).  I never wake up in pain or feel pain while I run, and I don't think about the injury all the time. But I have good days and bad days. Last Tuesday was a rest day, and my leg kind of ached all day. I went home and did some hip strengthening and stretching, and it improved a lot.
2. So I continue to pay attention to stretching and strengthening. My theory is that muscles are tugging at their insertions, and the bone aches. I have to be careful to avoid that scenario, since it could lead to a stress fracture.
One thing that every healthcare professional has said and agreed upon is that my (very mild) scoliosis plays a part in rotating the hip and putting torsional stress on key muscles. This tells me which muscles to take extra care with: all the adductors, the psoas, the glutes.
3. The other thing I have to keep in mind is that I do have osteitis pubis, the injury that started this all, and it is a chronic condition. While it is self-limiting, I could conceivably alter my running to protect the area, and I need to NOT do that to prevent injury.

So that's where I am now. I've been officially cleared to run since September, but I gave myself a few more months off and started back in November. It has now been nearly three months and, while I have lost ALL THE SPEED, I am just glad to be able to run. Will I ever be 100% healthy, or have a 100% diagnosis? Maybe not, but I'm in a manageable place and I'm happy about it.

*Newish to the blog? I had a stress fracture of the femur that was obvious on MRI and xray. Latest x-rays show the calcification around the sight to be resorbing finally.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Avery Island

Last weekend we drove over to New Iberia and visited Avery Island, where Tabasco sauce is made. Besides the fields, factory, and salt mines used in Tabasco production, the island (which is actually a salt dome) is home to the Jungle Gardens, a bird and wildlife preserve. E.A. McIlheny created it to showcase his collection of exotic botanicals and create a habitat for the snowy egret, then endangered. His aviary, and indeed the entire gardens. abound with wildlife.
You can take a 5-mile driving tour with stops at points to get out and explore, but we walked the trail. I definitely recommend walking: we brought binoculars and did a lot of bird-watching that we couldn't have enjoyed from a car. I wouldn't do it with kids, though: it's too far to walk.

Spanish Moss

Bayou Petit Anse

There is a 900 year old Buddha in a pagoda in one of the gardens.

The camellia garden

Snowy egret, the bird the aviary was built to save

Heron in the cypress knees

This is a stop worth driving out to New Iberia (I'd probably try to combine it with some other Cajun country activity if I were traveling). If you go, bring bird-watching binoculars and a camera.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Some race left in my legs

Back in 2012, I ran that super hot Boston Marathon and could only slowly cover the course in 3:24ish. Later that week, I inexplicably ran ten miles at some pace near 6:40. I never run that fast. At the time, my 10k PR was a slower pace than that. There was no reason at all to run ten miles at 6:40! But I think that when your body is ready to race, and then you hold back, you end up with extra energy and speed to spend.
LRC's picture from last week: non-racing effort! 

That happened to me this weekend, following my pacing half last Sunday. I got up a little late for my Saturday run, and started out at what felt like a moderately easy pace. A few miles in, I saw a mile pop up with a "6" - but I felt good, and I kept running by feel. I kept an eye on my mile splits, but I missed about half of the beeps because I was listening to music, and the park is filled with loud flocks of migrating birds right now (ah, the south!).
But I clicked down to my average pace halfway through and it was like 7:10 or something. FAST for me right now. And when I got home, still feeling fresh as a daisy, I'd run 15 miles at 7:03 pace, and it felt like I was doing 8:03. 

Now, before I go reading too much into that time, this was what I'd call an "assisted" run: I had music, which I rarely ever use when I run, a Garmin, and I took a gel. I wouldn't normally take gel for a 15-mile run, but since I'm still building up, I didn't know what my body would be used to, and thought I'd take it to be on the safe side. Plus, I got up late, and I don't eat before I run, so I was worried about a fast bonk. I know the gel gave me a big speed boost, because look at my splits: 7:19, 7:14, 7:29, 7:10, 6:58, 7:03, 6:50, 6:59, 6:54, 6:59, 7:09, 7:00, 6:53, 6:57, 6:59

But still...I do have this half marathon this weekend. Originally I wasn't going to run Rock N Roll at all, opting for Louisiana instead. But now, I'm feeling good, oddly faster than I should be (uh, I haven't been wearing a Garmin for any of my runs, but I've been running a lot of short and easy!) and I already have a bib. Sounds like it's time for an emergency race plan!

Ever feel like you have built-up energy in your legs? When I do, I go ahead and get it out on my long run. If I don't, our track group meets on Monday nights and I might do something stupid there  :)  I've been back at the track for two weeks now, by the way!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What are you wearing this weekend?

I think I'll revive this weekend post.

For Friday night dinner, I wore:
This is why my husband's not a fashion photographer and I'm not a model. And I bet you're sick of looking at my linoleum. And my floor furnace. And my running shoe box under my desk, secretly my candy stash.

Tank and sweater with collar necklace.
Poufy skirt
Two-tone heels

This is pretty much what I do when Louisiana pulls a fast one on me and I walk out to 34 degree weather (I don't know what's up with the weather this year - we've have two freezes in one year! I live in the Gulf of Mexico!).
I put on my usual warm weather staples for dinner - tank and skirt with big necklace - then put my only long-sleeved cardigan on top and tights underneath! I didn't freeze to death, so - semi-success. Not total success because the high-waisted, full skirt paired with the loose cardigan made my top half look like a box with twig legs sticking out. But at do like camel and robin's egg blue together, so at least the color scheme pleased me.

What are you wearing this weekend?

Friday, January 24, 2014

I've joined the entire rest of the world

My bosses must be clueless, because they love me.

When will they realize that I'm just a dedicated free-loader? But anyway. They really do love me. They bought me an iphone 5s. Wasn't that sweet?
It is ten thousand times better than my piece of crap Samsung Android.

So - iphone users out there - what are the indispensable iphone apps?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Louisiana Marathon 2014: Lots of changes, still a great race

This was my third time attending the Louisiana marathon, and this year the finish fest wasn't the free-for-all of beer and food it's been in the past. In prior years, the fest featured up to 21 local brews and multiple food vendors, dishing up food on demand. The result? No food left for the marathoners! The half racers ate all the food!

This year, runners got a wrist band attached to their bibs, with ten punches on it. You got ten servings of beer and/or food. Non-runners could buy a band for $20, or $10 for a smaller band with just 5 punches (the finish fest sold out of bands - the number was limited to ensure that there was enough food).
I used all ten of my punches, and it was plenty of food for David and I both, augmented with king cake, of course. I brought a homemade king cake to the fest for the other runners in my group.

The beer was only Michelob Ultra this year. They were the corporate sponsors of the half, so of course they were the exclusive beer, but I did miss the sampling we've had in past years. Next year I'd probably bring my own beer, not that I drink a ton, but it would leave my punches free for food. And I could get better beer than Michelob Ultra.
Crowds at the finish

Why YOU should run the Louisiana Marathon:
- Flat, fast course
- Always beautiful weather
- A race director and staff who are runners themselves
- Deep discounts on registration throughout the year (check Facebook)
- Local cuisine
- Nice T-shirt
- Option for pasta dinner ticket purchase: I haven't done this, but they have pretty A-list speakers (It was Bill Rodgers this year!)
- Starts on time. Awards on time. Bands and music are on time.
- Easy ample parking or places to stay near the start
- There is a full, half, 5k, and kids race option (5k and kids on Saturday)
- If you run with Varsity, free tent with bag/cooler drop and stretches at the finish!
Getting a stretch from personal trainer Erich Tanner from FutureFitness in Baton Rouge - thanks Erich!
Things I don't love / things to remember:
- Packet pickup Friday and Saturday only for Sunday race
- The second half of the full course is full sun and gets hot!
- There is never any water in the finish fest, only at the actual finish line: so remember to grab a few extra bottles.
- Michelob Ultra. Also, the cups for beer were tiny, like 10 ounces.
- Not a complaint, but make sure you register with a host hotel early, as they booked early this year.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Louisiana half marathon pacing duties

I can't say it enough - the Louisiana Marathon is a top-notch race. I love the beautiful course, the always-perfect weather (sunny and 60's today), the gourmet food (alligator chili anyone? How about ceviche on toast, pulled pork on white beans, frog leg and goat cheese pies, or one of the entrees in the vegan corner?), the friendly and helpful staff, and the runner-oriented attention to detail. In all the races I've run, this is the only one that always has enough port-a-potties and never runs out of paper. I arrived with less than 15 minutes to the gun, and there were no lines for bathrooms - and there were several thousand runners. The director just said he's willing to pay more to make sure the race starts on time and everyone is happy!
It's 5:15 am - driving. I have my throw-back 2012 Louisiana marathon jacket and my "Runner powered by coffee" cup! 

Once I got into the right corral, I spent a few panicked moments hunting for my friend Jenni, only to realize she was on a warm-up. As soon as I found her, the national anthem started, and in minutes we were off. I've never paced a race before, and I found it surprisingly difficult. It's actually harder to rein your pace in and keep it there than to race! And I had to be mindful of Jenni and her goals and needs. I tried to be helpful - grabbed extra water, threw her gu packets out for her, called mile splits.
The starting line, complete with lovely sunrise and migrating birds.

Before the race started, we only had a few seconds to talk, and I asked Jenni if she was going to listen to music, should we talk or be quiet, and if she wanted to hold a steady pace or negative or positive split. But I didn't ask an important question: what if you're behind pace? Should I keep at goal pace? Slow down with you? Remind you? Urge you on?
Unfortunately, I found myself in that situation: she was running smoothly and easily, talking to a lot of people, but after the first 2 or 3 miles was about 5 seconds off pace. I didn't know what to do, but finally I did tell her, "You need to pick this next mile up, we're off pace. Our last mile was 8:05 and our average halfway though this mile is 8:07." She did, but I don't know if I offended her. I didn't want to - I tried to think what I'd want in that situation, but anyway, I felt awkward and rude.

Then all of the sudden it was mile 10, and we'd be separating at mile 11. Another runner was joining her at mile 13 to the finish. I shared my last-minute marathon advice: if you hit the wall, you half to override your body. Your mind needs to tell your legs, "Keep going. There's energy stores in your muscles, and you'll only release them by squeezing your muscles. Keep moving!". Then I turned off, hit the gas, and passed a hundred people (most of whom I know, none of whom would finish with me, meanies) and finished with 1:42:30ish.

I'll probably talk more about the finish fest later, because it's such a wonderful event, but after hanging out for awhile, I headed back to meet Jenni at mile 24: right before the big bridge at the finish. I ran with her and her other pacer until the finish. She had slowed just a tad at that point, and ran 3:33. It wasn't her goal, but it was a BQ! And she really sprinted it in for the last 0.2, which is so fun to watch.

Have you ever paced? What are you supposed to discuss with the racer beforehand? What questions did you ask?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pacing, not racing

The verdict is in:
Louisiana half is happening.
I'll be pacing one of our running group members. She's running the full, shooting for a 3:30. Since the course has been redesigned since the last time I ran this race, I can run with her for 11 miles before turning off for the half finish. If anyone else in our group happens to be doing a half in 1:45, I can pace them, too.

This puts me at 13 miles at a reasonable 8 minute pace - at or near what I've been running for my weekly "long" runs (a couple of ten milers, one twelve miler). Really, I've been under 8min/mi, since I have a bad habit of running close to the same pace for all of my runs, so I'm not worried about letting my friend down. I also doubt she needs a pacer, honestly, since she's a pretty experienced runner, but maybe I can help prevent a too-fast start...although I already agreed to run whatever she felt comfortable with, just to remind her of our pace every so often.

I think this is a good compromise. I get to enjoy a really fun race with a beautiful course, take part in the insanely good after-party, and join Varsity Sports for this event (almost our entire group is running). But I won't be tempted to overexert myself past my fitness, because I'll have the pressure of someone relying on me for a steady pace, and I won't run some silly too-hard, too-slow race that will only leave me disappointed in my capabilities and prone to injury.

I think that honestly my friend might be pacing me!

But anyway. I'm excited to be at this race. It's one of my favorites, and to this day I think it is my strongest marathon, if not my PR. It's just an overall wonderful race, so if you are one of those "50 states" types, you better do it: The generic Rock 'n Roll New Orleans experience is nothing close to the Louisiana Marathon.

And because I have nothing better to illustrate this post with, allow me to show swag:
Front of shirt and race bag - notice the zippered pocket in the bag! 

And this is the back of the shirt. They're gender-specific with a nice long tail. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I still have this race on Sunday.

I still haven't decided about the Louisiana Marathon on Sunday. 
I eliminated the full option - obviously. Can't do that.
But to run or not to run the half?
Things I'm thinking about, thanks to your suggestions:

1. Pain tolerance: I do not feel a lot of pain. This is not a good thing for a runner.
2. Packet pick-up: A friend volunteered to get it for me. Hmmm.
3. Staying slow: I don't think I have a choice right now. I'm really pretty slow and my endurance sucks. I think I will have to stay slow.
4. Pacing: I don't know if I'm even reliable to pace anyone! Unless it was like, 1:45 or something. No faster. I have put a call out on facebook to see if anyone is looking for a pacer.
5. Racing: Just so you know - this would not be my first race back. That would be the 5 mile Turkey Day race back on Thanksgiving. I wouldn't want my first race back to be any kind of distance race.
6. Recovery: I've been back for about 3 months now.

A couple of detractors think I'll race it, then immediately feel awful. Like when have I done that before?! Oh yeah, RnR NOLA and Crescent City Classic last year. So like, twice in the last year. Heh. Perhaps they have a point.

Raina recommended volunteering: that's what I did last year when I was freshly injured! And it was a great substitute: same race-day excitement, none of the actual work.

I'll decide tomorrow I suppose. I'm leaning toward running since I have packet pick-up taken care of. In the meantime, I'm still running, and rolling, and stretching, and doing myrtles. I got over 40 miles last week, which is more my usual volume, and felt fine-but-not-fine. No pain, but always a little "off" - like something could go wrong in the blink of an eye. I'm trying to prevent that by strength, strength, strength!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I have this race on Sunday.

I've been injured for so long that I might miss the Louisiana Marathon for the second year in a row! Last year, the director was kind enough to give me a deferral when I thought I had a torn hamstring*. But I don't want to ask him to defer it again - I think I'm already pushing it. So the race is coming up Sunday, and I need to decide what to do:

1. Run the full marathon, which I'm registered for. HAHAHA. I could barely finish ten miles on Saturday. That's a no.
2. Drop to the half, which I think I can do, but probably can't do well. I have not added any speed in yet, and I'm feeling quite slow all over. Maybe pace a member of my group who wants to do something reasonable, like break 2 hours?
3. Skip the whole race. It's in Baton Rouge, it's early in the morning, and there's no race day packet pick up. It's an ordeal for an event I won't really do well in.

As far as injury risk if I run it, I know better than to do the full at this point. I don't think I'm at risk if I do the half: I'm up to 12 miles since the injury, and I'm not running fast at all, so that won't contribute. But just so you all are aware, I'm still not 100%, nor do I think I'll ever be. I feel like my left leg is always going to be a problem, especially the adductor, so there is some risk of injury with every single run. That's just a nice depressing thought I like to keep in the back of my mind to ruin every run, race or no.

Pretend you're me. What would you do Sunday?

*Newer readers: Five months later an x-ray revealed a femur stress fracture. Either way, couldn't have run the race!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Who Dat :(

So, the Saints lost. As expected. It was still a disappointment, even though we all knew Seattle had our number. They're just a better team this year.
We watched the game with David's parents in Bay St. Louis, after making a detour to Gulf Shores to go outlet shopping. David, who refuses to reveal his weight loss secret, had to buy new dress shirts, since his neck size went down a half-inch. Since David ran his marathon last year, he has not been doing much running or exercise of any type, and his diet hasn't changed. But he's getting thinner and thinner. He went from not really chubby, just a little paunch, to quite lean. I can only assume he's using Sensa.
Meanwhile, I spent $14 at the Gap outlet, since clearance was an extra 30% off. Please note the amazing deal I got on a pair of black straight leg jeans (that's before the 30%!).
Original price $69.99...yes, I peeled up the tags to see. 

I also got a shirt and a dress that was $2.97 after all discounts.
Cute enough for $3.

I think they need to start paying those kids in India a little more, geez.

The playoff games took up the whole Saturday, with the exception of a very terrible run in the morning. I should have done 12 or 13, but I barely made it home with ten. It was hot and humid - 75 degrees, a 50 degree jump from Tuesday - and I was inexplicably sore. I have no idea why: Friday was a rest day so my muscles should have been fine.

I might have been a little dehydrated. I know I was Friday, since I was hung-over all day. Thursday night Varsity Sports met at Phillip's bar, and I had a glass of wine after. The bar owners augmented it with two shots, and I immediately got drunk. What the heck?! Perhaps it was because I was hungry (hadn't had dinner yet and it was 7pm), but as soon as I touched the shot I was downright dizzy. And I woke up with a booming headache the next day! Maybe I'm turning into a lightweight! So I don't know, some of that blah-feeling could have spread all the way into Saturday, worsened by the heat and humidity. All I know is, I cut that thing short at ten miles and honestly would have done even less if my route had allowed it.

How was your weekend? Did your team win?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cocktails with celery bitters

This week I used two of our Christmas gifts - the glasses David bought me and the bitters I bought him - for a few cocktails to drink while watching Top Gear.
My shoes are drying out by the heater after my rainy run!

Celery gin cocktail:
3 ounces gin
2 ounces Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 ounce June Ugni Blanc liquor
5 dashes celery bitters
Adorable antique juice glasses - they're only 4" tall

Divide into two cocktail glasses; add an ice cube to each (that's only because I felt like the drink was a little strong, and I like to let my ice melt into it a little).
Delicious. Not too sweet, not too celery.
I copied this recipe from a similar one here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Obligatory "I went running in the cold" post

Yep, it got cold here, too. So cold, in fact, that our pipes froze. I probably haven't mentioned that our floor furnace has been refusing to turn on all winter, and we've been huddling around our space heaters whenever the weather gets nippy. I don't want to ask the landlords to fix it, because they've been going through some pretty serious health problems lately (they actually both have recent cancer diagnoses, which thankfully seem to be responding very well to treatment).
The problem with no furnace is that when you come home from work in 28 degree weather, the pipes are all frozen. It's my fault - I didn't leave the faucets running. But when I left for work the forecast was for temps to drop below freezing well after 6:30 pm, so I thought I'd be ok. Anyway, I spent an hour holding a hair dryer against the wall, and succeeded in thawing the pipes before they burst. We also succeeded in lighting the furnace using a match and the manual ignition switch, so now we're warm and cozy!

But back to running. I got all suited up for the cold:
Warmest tights
"Hotter than hell marathon" shirt - I KNOW, hilarious!
Saints sweatshirt
Hell froze over, what!

I headed out and immediately overheated. I ditched the sweatshirt on the neighbor's bushes ten feet from my door.

My dark, cold run was incredibly fun: not only did I experience the joy and wonder of icicles on the fountain (I mean, it's been years since I've seen icicles), but since Monday was Epiphany, it was the start of Carnival, and the Phunny Phorty Phellows (a Mardi Gras krewe) kicked the season off with a streetcar parade complete with brass band. So I ran alongside costumes and lights and music until I got to the park. This city is a crazy place!

Next morning, I'd learned my lesson, and skipped the sweatshirt. I was just fine in 25F weather ("feels like 15", they say).
Pretty sure that's the lamest - and warmest - cold weather running story from any blog this week. Ha! At least most of my hot weather running stories are pretty hard-core!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Everything I never want to read about on a blog

1. Your smoothie recipe. Not appetizing. Newsflash: smoothies don't photograph well. And I don't need your recipe. If you need a recipe for a smoothie, you have oatmeal for brains (But carbs! Horror!).
2. How you used to think you were fat, but now you think you're just right, except you have insecurities about your thighs, and then there are people who tell you you're too muscular, but you know it just means you're STRONG SUPERWOMAN, but you worry about wearing shorts in public, and training for a marathon made you fat, and you don't like the term petite, and you embrace your thick quadriceps, and you cried because a stranger said you had cankles. Snore.
3. Any "recipe" created with protein powder. Barf. Protein powder is not a substitute for any real food, and that includes flour.
4. Your relationship with food. Who the heck has a "relationship" with food? You eat, or you die. Food nourishes you, and hopefully it tastes good, too. Not complicated.
5. All about your fake allergy/intolerance/disease. Truly lactose intolerant? Then show me the lab work, honey. Or just tell the truth: "I quit eating dairy because I get stomachaches when I run" is a perfectly acceptable statement. And while "I don't eat gluten because I need rigid rules to prevent me from overeating desserts" isn't perfectly acceptable, at least it's true.
6. Your review of the same. exact. crap. that every other blogger is also giving away this week (or better yet! That most are giving away but you are keeping and just reviewing!)
7. The Dramatic Failed Race. You didn't make your goal. I'm sorry. However, the time it takes you to run a marathon says nothing about who you are as a person. Move on.
8. The Dramatic Successful Race. I'm way more tolerant of this post, because I like to celebrate runners' successes with them - and these posts aren't filled with the same kind of nauseating self-flagellation as the Dramatic Failed Race posts are. But tell me details of the race, not how beating your goal made you a better mother or saved your marriage or solved world hunger. It didn't.
9. The Dramatic Failed Long Run. Seriously? No one cares. Long runs are supposed to feel bad. And if you're beating yourself up over a long run that sucked, you really need to reevaluate your priorities. Go volunteer at a shelter or something, just stop crying over the fact that you got tired at mile 9. Please.
10 The "I've-been-relying-on-X-brand-for-a-long-time" sponsorship reveal post crap. Mmmhmm. Sure. You never mentioned this sports drink in your life, and suddenly it's your "go-to long run nutrition"?
11. Your "healthy re-make" recipe. Guess what? Egg whites, nut butter, and some squash does not = pancakes. Nope.
12. How much you over-indulged this weekend on woo-hoo! Half a beer! Woo-hoo! Ate a gluten-free black bean brownie with a teaspoon of Arctic Zero!

I don't want to read any of that tripe. And that, my friends, is why I have a teeny tiny blog.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Go congratulate her.

I've been waiting for one of my favorite bloggers, Tia of Arkansas Running Mom, to run a sub-3 marathon.
I stole your picture, hope that's ok.

Last weekend, she did it! 
Read her recap here and give her a well-deserved congrats!
Tia - you are a super runner and I'm happy for you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Double digits in freezing rain

I've inched my way back to double-digit runs!
This time it took me a good 8 weeks to go from 0 miles to 10. Last time I was injured, this July, I think I hit 10 miles 4 or 5 weeks in? Not sure. All I know is, I'm taking things a lot more slowly now!

I tried out the socks I got for Christmas for this run, but I can't tell you anything about them: my feet were soaked in minutes. It had rained all night, steady, cold rain, and it just didn't stop. The whole run was in the rain, attempting and failing to dodge puddles, ducking from street splashes. I only saw three other runners! Usually St. Charles Ave and Audubon Park are full of runners, especially on a weekend, but I had the park to myself. Good thing, since I intelligently selected a white shirt and light blue shorts. I was pretty much running in soaked, clinging, sheer polyester. Ugh.
Back home and soaked through (see the rain drops on my neck?!)

By the time I got home, I was soaked, even my hair under my hat. But ten (slow, wet) miles were done!

Happy New Year!

Forgotten Christmas gift update: David, searching usual hiding places to discover the gift he forgot to give me, found a pair of earbuds he also forgot to give me. But no mug.