July 29, 2013

Welcoming home the hurt

Right now I have one leg propped up and am contemplating moving to get ready to go to work, and just thinking about the prospect feels painful. This weekend I wore myself completely out. Ever since my return home, and to running, my legs have felt fresh and happy with all running. Until this weekend. I really went all out at an 18-mile trail race this weekend, and it felt great and horrible at the same time.

The race was two 9-mile loops, and it took many minutes of walking at the start of the second loop to decide that I was actually going to finish it. Mentally, I had to restart the race several times over on that second loop. It sort of worked, but the mental jump-starts did nothing for my cramping calves and quads. I'm used to having calf cramps, but this was the first time I've ever experienced quad cramps. I blame it on the fact that I just haven't run that much recently, and my quads weren't ready for the challenge. And guess what is the most sore today. Surprise(!), my quads. It feels almost impossible to make a normal human walking stride.

Full race report to come later, but because my family went out of town this weekend and I had no pressing appointments, I thought it would be a good idea (or just because my running friend asked nicely for help) to sweep the 9-mile course. So after running the first 18 miles, I hiked nine more.

The course-sweeping crew, Michael and Jeremy.

Other than the obvious joy (and quad pain) of being home and back to running, there was also the joy of opening up packages that were waiting for me when I got home from vacation.

This was an Under Armour Fly-By Stretch Mesh Tank that I ordered from Planet Gear, which is another discount gear site that's specifically for ladies (sorry, dudes). After shipping, the cost was around $21, but I had a small credit that made it worth it for me. The fit is slightly loose, and it is definitely see-through-ish. I knew that going into it, so I wasn't surprised. I'm looking for the step just above wearing only a sports bra, so this was a good middle ground. It was pretty comfortable, but for styling and comfort, I still like this Oiselle mesh tank better.

This rain jacket, Zoot Flex-Wind, was waiting for me in a box too from The Clymb, and I liked it better than I thought I would. In the pics online, it looked more lemon yellow, but in person, it is neon yellow, which I loved even more for visibility on the city skreets. My mom would definitely disapprove of this color on me, but since she isn't on the interwebs, I can pull this off for now without her breaking out her color drapes to prove to me that it should be illegal for me to wear this. Also, you may be wondering why I'm buying a cold-weather rain jacket right now. A. It was a pretty good deal -- $40 (Amazon said retail was $150, but I found it for $85 on zoot.com.), and I like to buy stuff when it's cheaper in the off season. B. I have other Zoot gear that I've really liked. C. This spring, I froze for hours and hours after my rain runs were over, and I really want to prevent that in the fall. 

Also, if you're in the market for socks, there are some great deals online right now. Especially this Injinji deal on Groupon. Here is what they would cost you on Amazon. The Groupon deal gets them to your door (free shipping) for about $3.30 a pair. Pretty darn cheap.

And one more if you're a Swiftwick fan, which I also am. If you don't mind a little USA pride on your sock, you can get these Vision Ones for $5. But shipping is $7 (or free over $57), so you have to weigh that. But they cost twice as much for the plain version on Amazon, so depending on how many USA socks you want, it might be a good deal for you.

Moving on from the good deals, we've settled back into home and are now focused on getting the kids out of the house as much as possible and touring our home state.

Snakes and all.

In case you missed it, the sign says, "WATCH FOR SNAKES." And I say, "HOLY CRAP!"

Church parties with owl props (which I loved) and all. 

Check Bella's hands for the owl.

Science museum and bubbles.

And simulated tornadoes. 

And tree-framed sunsets. Sigh, I really love the land in Alabama. My road trip and the millions (rounding up) of hours of driving in the desert and Kansas helped me remember that. 

I'm also really happy to finally be returning to strength training. This move with the bar put the for-real hurt on me! Although Diane (the blond) thought it was easy. She's also doing a 104-mile bike ride this weekend with her husband, so her definition of easy doesn't count anymore.

Along with strength training, I attended my coach's injury prevention seminar last week. My marathon spree in February got used as the do-not-do example during class. Nice to be known for something, even if it's just your high level of ridiculosity (yes, I made that word up). He probably also could have used my Saturday run+course sweeping as another don't-try-this-at-home example. This week's seminar is on sport's psychology, and I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe I can learn how to stop rationalizing crazy behavior. Or maybe I will just learn how to Jedi mind trick the rest of the world into making ridiculosity the new normal. 

Have you ever attended any running seminars or classes? Mostly I just read books about running, but I'm really looking forward to more of these classes.

Looking back, what was your most irresponsible running mistake? I think my biggest mistake with running so far was buying stability running shoes (per the running store's recommendation) without researching what that meant first. Turns out that I needed the opposite of a stability shoe (I underpronate) and had injuries because of wearing them for so long. Rookie mistake. Moral of the story: do your homework before you make a purchase.

How often do you strength train? My goal is twice a week, but I actually average about once a week.


  1. Thanks for the Injinji Groupon tip!!! I will definitely be getting some.

  2. I strength train quite a bit now that I CrossFit... at least 4x a week although it's mixed with cardio or whatever. Most irresponsible? I always make shoe mistakes. I've run races TWICE in new shoes. Dumbbbb. And when I used to be super poor, I put tons of mileage on shoes!

  3. I am in disbelief that you made it through that course THREE times. OUCH!

  4. You've scored some great deals lately on running clothes and gear! There's nothing like spending time away from Alabama to remind you how great it is to live here. I loved our three weeks last summer in New England and California but I've never been so happy to get back home to the heat, humidity, and beautiful trees!

  5. I never strength train... I know I should but it's sooo dull! I do like all your new clothes though.. We always buy ski gear out of season too, so much cheaper!! I went to a trail running seminar once... It wasn't very good even for total newbies but I did end up buying beautiful $150 trail shoes :)

  6. I have a couple of those Under Armour shirts and I LOVE them! No matter how much I sweat in them, I still feel dry. I want to buy more before summer ends. :)


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