Sunday, June 30, 2013

Race Report: Electric Run

Charity: Ainsley's Angels (They went along with us.)

Finish Time: 0:49:35

Mister knew I needed this.

About a week ago, I mused that, even though my running is not quite there yet, I should probably do one of the virtual runs I have signed up for. You know, just to get a race in this month. I mentioned that the original plan was to do the Electric Run, but ...

Mister said, Why not? One way or the other, I'd be doing a bunch of walking rather than running. But if the goal is to finish ... well, why not have the experience?

Sweat is my glitter.
Of course, it ended up being one of the hottest days of the year (107*). Some days I'm made of a whole lot of Stupid.

With Robin. Because JLA.
I suited up with some modifications--neon pink shirt, neon bracelets and tiara (custom from Groovy Baby Action Gear, natch--as I said, I had been planning to do this one for some time). The most inspired addition, if I do say myself, was pinning several glow stick loops to my waist to make a Lasso of Truth.* Several people took pictures of and with me, which is always gratifying to my cosplayer heart.** Yeah, this is a little like a rave for all ages, and NOT wearing some kind of costume makes you look pretty lame.

IMAG1804There was a lot of waiting around at the beginning. Rather than having designated wave times, everyone was herded into a single chute and let out a little at a time. Of the whole evening, this was the worst part of the event. It was VERY hot, and a lot of people were packed into a small space. As the DJ threw stuff out, people were not paying attention to the space around them. And, as they let groups go, I found myself toward the beginning of the pack; I had concern about being run over, so I worked my way over to the side. Conclusion: if you have crowd-aversion (which I sometimes do), I'd stay toward the back. It's not like it's a timed event.

IMAG1808Once we got going, it was really fun. Like a Disneyland ride, the route wound in and around itself  to make things appear "new." It was clearly marked with volunteers along the way to make sure everyone was staying on course. Only a couple places made me worried--at the beginning, where there were a bunch of plastic sports drink bottles on the road that couldn't be seen, and one part with a big curb that was dimly lit. The light elements were pretty, and the music was great to move to (although I hated how things slowed down for picture takers). There were twice as many hydration stations as other 5Ks I've done, which was super smart and very appreciated.

IMAG1810As for me, I did just fine. The standing at the beginning was tough after a while, but once I got moving, I felt better. I ran at the beginning and the end, and I walked the bulk of the route, just taking it in, as was a majority of the other participants. I confess that at one point, the last six weeks of recovery--as well as my doctor's comment from a visit this past week on how truly gangrenous my gallbladder had been--all hit me. I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and scream, "I'M ALIVE, YOU MUTHA-FATHAS!" Instead, I mouthed the words to the samples of The Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" that was playing and kept moving.

And Mister, while being supportive of my brand of insanity, is not insane himself. He and Miss hung out in a nearby Starbucks during the race, collected me at the end, and had a iced non-fat chai waiting for me in the car.

Sweet dreams are made of these, and truly, who am I to disagree.

* For some reason, I get asked about this accessory nearly every single race. It looked so good and got such a good response, that I'm wondering about a permanent addition at some point. Mister thinks an LED rope.
** I also had a couple young men get really flirty with me, which is a standard female cosplay thing at cons but I was not expecting it. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being a Cougar.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Morning Walk OR Almost There

IMAG1741I'm trying to get some consistency back to my walking (as my doctor had suggested). I managed to get out three times this week.

Today the goal was to get back to at least three miles. It took me just short of an hour, but I stopped a lot just to look around. I watched a hawk circle higher and higher. At the pocket park, battalions of dragonflies were  hunting mosquitoes. The creek had some of the most amazing orange flowers, and the frogs were singing--or yelling (I couldn't tell which). All these reminders that summer is officially here.

I dawdled to let Luna sniff a bit as well. I noticed that Luna's tail is a great indicator of her emotional state by the way the tip curls and straightens. She is much more cautious around strange people and dogs than our Bella (who's everyone's friend, true to her Lab nature). She also got spooked pretty badly by a garbage truck.

All this to say that I really want to get back to completing 5Ks--at any pace. My heart wants to run, but I will take anything I can at this point.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Morning Walk OR When the Pupil Is Ready, She Will Learn

Something has clicked these past few days that have taken me from merely concentrating on managing pain to being completely annoyed with the whole situation. I just want to get back to my Real Life.

I declare this a Good Sign.

I am determined to get back to at least walking consistently. Not only have I been feeling flabby, I have noticed that exercise better regulates my moods, my digestion, my cycle, my sleep ... I feel "off" in ways beyond the pain.

Do not be fooled by the look
of innocence on this Dotty Nog.
Luna-pup has also been a terror without the exercise. At this writing, she has eaten off a My Little Pony face, torn the head off a vintage Winnie the Pooh, and taken a chunk out of a sock that I was knitting. At least this is what I have found ... Since my lifting restriction is done as of tomorrow, I thought I'd give walking Luna a try this morning. I hadn't before because I was afraid she would be over-eager, pull, and cause further internal injury with me. Instead, she was amazingly responsive to my commands and a great companion.

I also headed out without being plugged in. Part of it was the fact that I couldn't readily find my headphones. However, I've been thinking about the problem I had my last race in keeping pace without music. It's that old adage in play--nothing new on race day. As painful as it can be, I've been trying to do my walks without music or NPR--just my breath and the sounds around me for at least a half hour. All the call and response of the birds this morning (not to mention catching a glimpse of a hawk bringing home breakfast) makes me wonder what I've been missing. Music has its place, but maybe this is what I should be doing for a while.

As far as my pacing, my walking is pretty close to what it used to be. A couple times, I made an attempt at a shuffly sort of run; my arms and breath were the right pace, but I didn't lift my feet very high to avoid jarring too much. It was veeeeerrrry slow, but I was very surprised at how long I could keep it up. Yes, I got hit with the Obvious Stick when I finally realized that this should probably be my pace for at least the beginning--the running with my head--so I have enough gas to run with my heart at the end of a race. You know, that thing that People I Respect have been telling me for some time now.

Just one more thing I'm learning after this whole ridiculous ordeal ... right along with the fact that the Universe can operate just fine without me and that I am far more loved and cared for than I know.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Giveaway: We Are All Wonder Women Print

Do you ever wish you took your own advice?

Be patient. These things take time. There's a good chance of a set back if you push too hard. These are the things I would tell someone in my situation. These are the things I am trying to tell myself, and I'm not a very good listener.

Lots more ups and downs in my recovery. One minute I'm driving/back at work/moving at close to my former pace. The next minute I'm bent in half and eyes glassy with pain.While I'm trying to work out my energy levels, my FMLA paperwork, and if I can simply be upright for a certain amount of time, part of my brain is pointing out what I would be telling someone else in the same situation--WILL YOU PLEASE JUST STOP?!

The message I've gotten from loving friends again and again is: We know that you are Wonder Woman. You have nothing to prove.

Which, when you think of it, has always been the point of all this--sometimes being heroic is one foot in front of the other. And sometimes it's being courageous enough to stop behaviors that are unhealthy.

Which brings me to this: Saturday is my runnerversary. In other words, according to Runkeeper, it's when I started running consistently. I doubt very much that I will be able to run by that point. Right now, my WW moments are when I force myself to face my limits and ask for help.

What about you? What makes you heroic? And wouldn't it be nice to have some sort of reminder that heroism is not always big actions but small decisions every day? Like, maybe, a poster by a couple of sisters that has gone viral?

Here you go:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now go do something amazing--even if that means telling yourself to rest.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gall of It All OR I'm Not Dead Yet

I must have sounded pretty bad in my last post because I've gotten a bunch of calls and messages lately. Not complaining at all--I really appreciate the support. When one is recovering, one tends to only be in the moment.

That being said, I feel like I'm finally getting better. I've been using OTC pain killers during the day and prescription at night with tolerable success. Mornings are good, but it does tend to progress during the day. Forgive me for the metaphor, as I have been playing a lot of Elder Sign on my phone, but my monsters tend to come out the closer I get to midnight.

Last time I walked, I did two miles at what is beginning to resemble my usual pace (although, I've noticed that I'm pretty worn out the day after). I've also made some attempts at driving again. I'm figuring out my diet  as well--what I can handle, how much, what I can't.

In other words, it looks like I'm coming back to Normal Life.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not scared about going back to work. I'm really unsure about my endurance levels, and I know that I'm going to have to be honest about my limits--mostly to myself--and communicate them clearly. Not my strong suit, but I'm going to have to learn. I figure this is the price I pay for getting back to my running self.

In the meantime, I've signed myself up for a couple of really nerdy virtual runs--The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Fun Run/Walk and the Jedi Challenge Virtual Run--both of which have wicked cool medals. I'm intending on making these some of my first runs, and I would love some folks to join me.

I've also been writing scripts for a monthly vlog feature where I will discuss topics specific to running in costume--the whys, the hows, and toss in a few tutorials. I guess that's what happens when one has some down time to watch the YouTubes.

As they say, dying is easy; living is hard. I've got too many plans yet.