Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Keep moving forward

Oh remember that plan to bike during my off time, yeah that didn’t really go as planned. I did dance at rehearsal and that for me is staying active.

I got my professional inserts the other afternoon and I have been prescribed five days of “powerwalking” before I can run on them. I looked at him and said “what if I have a race in say 18 days …is that doable?” He looked at me and smiled and said yes but that I might have some hotspots on my feet and to bring some duct tape. I will also be tea soaking the feet I think to try and build up some toughness. 

I want to run. I’ve got too much angst building up inside and I just need to zone out, to focus on one thing to distract me from another. 

I’m trying not to compartmentalize and trying to just be in the moment and not worry about everything that is filtering around me. I want to keep fighting for my dreams but my current life around me keeps getting easier and easier and more stable.  It’s a problem that most people dream of. I’ve even dreamed of it.

I read a quote this morning. If you're torn between staying and going, go. If you were meant to stay, you wouldn't be thinking about going.” - Cecily Morgan

I want to run. Not run towards, not run away from. Just run. 

As The Boilermaker approaches some things have fallen into place. Friends have helped me secure a hotel room closer to Utica so I won’t be waking up at 4am to drive there. I’ll get to check out the race expo on Saturday. My running Yoda will be in close proximity. I’ll see my soul friend for the first time in almost five years (has it really been that long?) My champ for the past 5 months will be there cheering & smiling and my brother will be there dealing with my stress & short temper. 

While The Boilermaker isn’t the end of my season, it’s a testament and while it will be a bitter-sweet day, I’m starting to process through it all and try to keep moving forward.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Right now I’ve got “I believe I can fly” stuck in my head. My office mate has "The Charles in Charge" theme song in his head (mostly because I got it stuck in his head). Lately since I can’t really run, I’ve been dreaming about the Boilermaker. I like to think its fancy visualization techniques but really I’ve never seen one bit of the race course so I’m just imagining what the finish line will look like. 

That’s the coolest part for me though. That I’m visualizing crossing the finish line. It’s not pretty but it’s a finish. 

In my head while I'm dreaming I’m singing “if I can dream it, then I can do it. WOO!”

Its lame, I know this but it makes me smile.

So thanks R. Kelly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The edge of improbable

Sunday I took a trip with a friend to go watch one of her friends run the Lake Placid Half Marathon.  While it was a good day for running it was a cold and sometimes wet day for spectators. This was the first time since all of my running where I went to go watch a race. The crowd of runner’s looked smaller than the crowds of 4,000 – 9,000 runners I’ve been seeing at my races. I had run a 5K the day before so my leg was stiff but I was jumpy, I wanted to be running in the race. That is just crazy to me. 

My friend asked some questions about running while we walked to the start line. It was neat that I could answer some of them. A few people have been asking me some running questions. Most are about blisters, or how often I run, or why I got started. It was a nice day trip, I had a good time, but I was exhausted from the previous night and exhausted after driving us back home. I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep but it’s been on the edge of improbable. 

Today was physical therapy. Since the podiatrist said no running or impact exercises my therapist had to change our game plan. She watched me on the bike and on the elliptical machines to make sure I had correct placement and just told me to do a few stretches. She also wants me to get in the pool these next two weeks. So I’m going to have to either jump in my friend’s pool or buy a few guest passes for the YMCA.

My goal is to jump on the bike tonight but I’m hanging on by a thread. I’ve had over 60 ounces of caffeinated beverages today just to keep me awake at work. It’s crazy and I don’t like it but I’ve lost a lot of time today and I’ve forgotten things like the fact that I had already eaten breakfast at home but I picked up breakfast after therapy. I ate two breakfast sandwiches after just eating a bowl of cereal an hour or two before. Usually I also don’t have more coffee or soda than one 16 ounce cup in the morning. But within one hour of finishing 20 oz, I was getting another 20oz, and then I got another 20oz two hours later. 

I should be wired, jumpy, and fidgety but I’m not. I’m lethargic.  I don’t know if something is wrong. I’m keeping track of it along with my medicine just to see if it is that. I’m hoping it’s just that I’m tired, that my body is tired. This week is light on rehearsals so it’s an early to bed and late to rise type of week and I’m ok with that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My personal Pride

This weekend I ran the Pride 5K in Washington Park with one of my greatest ally’s.  I don’t usually participate in Albany’s Pride events. I understand but don’t personally love being gay as a common commonality. It’s the same reason I don’t go to the St. Patrick’s Day parades. I’m Irish but it’s not a need for all Irish people to be in one place. The other reason I don’t like going is how Pride is associated with alcohol for a lot of my gay friends. So the fact that I could run a race with one of my closest friends (and the first person I ever came out to) was a good way to celebrate Pride. 

Saturday was rainy, hella rainy. I woke up and met my friend at her place and her boyfriend drove us to the race start. We got our numbers, took our race photos and stretched. We knew we’d run walk it, I knew my leg was tight and my foot might go numb. A bunch of people didn’t show up because of the rain but I was ok with that. It was nice running a race with 90 people compared to crowds of 9,000, 4,000, or 15,000. I started out in the back, I knew I was looking at least 47 minutes and I was ok with that. 

The rain tapered off and was misting when we started. My drunk cloud throwing up a rainbow was my Pride shirt for the day. It was cool and offered a nice day for running.  When we were approaching finishing our first mile I looked at my tracker. It was 13 minutes. I was running a 13 minute mile. I reached the end of the first lap just as the winner was crossing the finish line. The police car “woop woop” made me run a little faster. But we started our second loop and had to walk a bit of it. I was ok with that and so was my friend. We challenged ourselves with little distances to run and then we’d walk. 

When we got to the top of the hill where the finish approach was I tapped my application for my power song (yes I know I am corny) and I paced my running down the hill. I looked at my clock it was 39 minutes. I ran down the hill and into the chute. The clock said 41:33. That was a new personal record. It was even faster than my Turkey Trot run which was 44:57. 

I was elated with that time. It was a nice boost to have going into these next few weeks where I can’t run. So I’ll bike to keep my endurance up and stress off my leg, and there will be more dance rehearsals too. It’s going to be crazy but I think it will be good.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hollie called the Doctor and the Doctor said

Last night the heat of the night and my anxiety from a really important interview had me all a mess. I had told myself a reward for finishing the Friehofer would be a massage. So I called up Back in Balance in Latham and scheduled an hour long appointment.  It was awesome. Not only did she work out my back a little, she focused on all the spots I asked on my left leg. Afterwards she showed me how to use a foam roller and she even gave me pointers about running The Boilermaker. She said walk the first mile, stop at the water stations, and go slow. 

This morning I went to the podiatrist, he is one that was recommended through running coaches so I was happy to go to his office in Schenectady. I told him about all my issues we’ve found through physical therapy. He asked me to stand, to move a few ways, then he marked my heels and placed my feet in the position they should be. He said, that’s why you feel pain – your feet are way off. You need special orthopedics for everyday wear (which includes my running). 

I acknowledged that my medical insurance doesn’t cover it but that I was willing to make the investment. If I want to keep going in my health journey, I’ve got to make it less painful & damaging. So he set my feet in plaster and in three weeks I should have my new fancy orthopedics. 

However, there is a catch. I can’t run for those three weeks. He said don’t stress your leg. Don’t do anything that will damage your leg. He said water, biking, or elliptical but no impact. So I’m running Saturday and then I’ll be biking to keep up my endurance. If anyone out there has any tips on how to train for a race without running, well I’d love you to send those things my way.  

The doctor also said that I should feel better with the new inserts in 4-5 days. I’ll have them for less than 10 days before the boilermaker if it takes the full 3 weeks. So keep your fingers crossed for only two weeks, so I get a little more time on them before the big race.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mind your pints & quarts

I’m currently drinking a quart of chocolate milk. I also ate a banana. Later, I’ve got 32oz of Gatorade.

Why? Because dance rehearsal kicked my butt and I sweated out so much that my muscles were twitching last night in my sleep. It’s awesome. Since it’s hot, I’m also not a fan of actually eating solid food. I’m weird, yes I know this. 

I’m also anxious. I have a really important, possibly life changing appointment late tonight. So I’m nervous. I’m prepared, took notes, have questions ready, and dressed nice. I’m just a little shaky. 

Because of dance last night my leg is stiff. I wore the flippy’s again to work and I’m trying to stretch my foot & shin while at my desk. I also iced everything last night. I’m hoping the podiatrist can give me some answers. After tomorrow’s appointment I’ll make the decision on running the Pride 5K. If I don’t, then I’ve got to pick back up on running Monday – heat or no heat. 

My mind is all over the place, so is my heart. I’m trying to just get on my “I’m awesome” pants so I can show my loveable, capable self. 

So kids, keep your fingers crossed for me and I promise I’ll be less vague in the future