Monday, September 27, 2010
It was nothing but odds and ends, but still......Very frustrating.
So, just the highlights:
Saturday's long run was OK, because it wasn't too long. 7 miles with hills (parking garage ramps.) No ITB problems, but the right knee a little swollen.
Saturday afternoon the movers delivered my mom's furniture - no advance warning beyond a phone call 1 1/2 hour ahead of arrival. Fortunately my bank had a branch open until 3pm so I was able to scramble to have the cash required to retrieve my delivery. "Movers" turned out to be one scrawny kid, so I did a lot of helping.
Sunday was spent unpacking the boxes. I'm happy to report that all the Meissen china arrived in one piece. These pieces had been purchased by my parents from escaping refugees in Shanghai in the late 1940s, and have now landed in Houston after stays in Paris, Geneva, Chevy Chase, Frankfurt, Bangkok, and Mayville NY. I wonder where their next stay will be, although I know that my eldest daughter will be the next recipient. I wonder where their original owners are, and wish I could tell them or their families that their treasures have been treasured by my family.
Have you ever taken those quizzes to find out what your decorating style is? I could never successfully do those because I liked so many different things. But I was never comfortable with my surroundings as an adult. Now that my parents' items have landed in my house, I've discovered that my style is antique Chinese eclectic. My house finally feels like home, and not only because these are the items I grew up with. I realized that I didn't select any of the European antiques, and let my brothers go after those. No, I'm at home with the Chinese antiques. I should take pictures.....
Today's my middle daughter's 25th birthday, so I invited her to have dinner last night. When she was unable to decide on what kind of food she wanted, we headed for Whole Foods where each member of the family selected items she wanted to eat. This was particularly helpful to the youngest who is a vegetarian. So we came home and had quite a feast! Some of the selections: a huge salad, macaroni and cheese (for the birthday girl), Italian salami, stinky French cheeses, four types of olives, and a rustic baguette. It wasn't nice of me, but I sent all the leftovers home with my daughter. Actually, her friends will take care of eating all of that, and it won't land on her hips either.
And last but not least, I finally went to the podiatrist today. I picked one that I knew to be a runner (I had known him socially 30+ years ago), and had to laugh when I saw the pictures in the exam room. His wall was plastered with pictures from race finishes. The hallway was plastered with pictures of him with various politicians. Well, at least I know his political leanings now.
So, it turns out that, just as I suspected, my right leg is slightly shorter than the left. But that's not the problem. My feet are very asymmetrical, and my gait is full of idiosyncrasies. My right foot wobbles all over the place, and my left tries to compensate. My weight is balanced on the outside of the right food, and the inside of the left foot. Who knew I was such a mess? Fortunately this can be easily rectified with orthotics, and I was told I could continue running with temporary orthotics. Let's hope they'll do the trick this Saturday when I have a 26 miler scheduled. I have to wait 3 weeks for the other orthotics.
That just about wraps up this session of odds and ends.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I tend to be a generalist. That has stood me in good stead as far as work is concerned, I suppose, as I've been able to adapt to various types of positions and companies within the insurance industry.
But dabbling isn't working for me in training for a marathon! I thought that signing up for another session of Power in Motion this fall would give me a different type of experience which would help me build strength and fitness. If nothing else, I like running with others so thought this would be a good option.
It's like Couch to 5K, but there are options for those of us who are already running. After the time trials two weeks ago I found myself having moved up several categories since last spring. What harm can come of running, right?
The first week was easy, we were running 4/1s. Last week, we moved on to 6/1s, but the group took it at quite a pace, much faster than I'm accustomed to and much faster than is appropriate given the heat and humidity. I was huffing and puffing at the end but thought it would only help me get fit.
So during the week when I'm doing short runs, I'm following the PIM program, not Galloway. This morning I headed out for this week's long run since I missed the group run yesterday. I started out with the 6/1s for 3 repeats, then switched to 2/1s. By mile 6, the left knee starts to hurt again. I immediately switch to 1/1s since I was able to do this the last time this happened. No go.
So I switched to 30/30 seconds, and this worked better. Now I don't actually run so much as I shuffle. My feet don't come up off the ground much. It just feels more economical that way. But the knee was hurting. So I started lifting the knees a bit more and somehow this relieved the pain while I was running. In fact, I didn't feel pain. So I finished the last mile this way, which was exhausting but relatively pain-free.
I walked another half mile to cool down, and during that time decided that deviating from Galloway was contributing to the pain. So I'm going to stop that other training program and just focus on what I've been doing successfully up until now. I'm going to continue experimenting with lifting my knees more.
Interestingly, that last mile was my fastest pace of the run.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Yes, I'm depressed.
The loss of that client really hit me; it's like a bad divorce, one in which you haven't worked through the issues, have no idea why things ended.
Yes, I'm worried about my job, because I feel that I don't have enough to do, don't contribute enough. Times are tough, and now this makes them tougher. I hate not being busy, not keeping my mind occupied.
I'd like to go out and run it off, but my knees hurt, so I'm taking it easy this week. I laugh when I realize that a year ago it would never have occurred to me to go out to run in order to deal with stress, pain, whatever.
This past weekend I started painting the bathroom - my daughter had wanted it deep red, but finally got tired of it. So I started with a coat of primer, which is almost done. I realized afterwards that I had done what my mother used to do: when stressed out, she painted walls or scrubbed floors. When a family friend of ours was found murdered in Prague when I was a teenager, she and I repainted several rooms over the course of the weekend, as we waited for more news about what might have happened. There's just some magic about doing something productive while you suffer and wait.
Her birthday is on Friday. This time last year (as long as I'm wallowing) I went up to see her in the hospital. I just ran across a picture of her sitting outside in a wheelchair, oxygen tank at her side, looking gaunt. A living skeleton at that point. I didn't let myself see that at the time, all I saw was the fierce spirit struggling to get better. She never gave up.
I guess I'm my mother's daughter.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Jewish New Year found me in bed with a fever and chills. With a normally low body temperature, the slightest elevation in temp really affects me. I got up and went to work several times this week only to head back home after a few hours. By Friday, though, I was able to make it the entire day.
Midway through the morning, I got a call from my eldest who was on her way to services (she's a rabbi.) What started out as a social call quickly turned to tears as she recounted the tribulations she's encountering with regard to the senior rabbi position at her congregation. She's applied for it, a vast majority of congregants are very supportive, but there are underlying political moves and changes afoot unknown to most of the congregation. She's in a tough situation, and unfortunately she's got her mother's disposition: an unwillingness to be confrontational. I did the best I could but it was the blind leading the blind.
Not an hour later, I got a call from my largest client, informing me we were fired. A new CEO, an old relationship, and we're out the door. That one was out of left field, totally unexpected. I'm stunned and speechless.
Which brings me to Saturday's long run. You didn't think you'd get by without something to do with running, did you?
I got to the meeting place in plenty of time to start the 23-miler at 2:15 AM. We headed out first for a 3 mile run, then back to base. Then a 10 mile run, and back to base. I was feeling fine, and having no difficulty. We headed out for the last 10 miles and I got to the first SAG. We started up again, and when we got to what was mile 16 my left knee suddenly started hurting. The group leader told me to go back to the SAG and I would get a ride back. I declined. Foolish in retrospect but here's the thing: I had had no control over what was happening to me and my family, and here was something I thought I could control. I really thought I could tough it out
I did - went on for another 5.5 miles but took a shortcut that would get me back to my car. I normally do 1/1s, but found I could run about 50 seconds and then the pain would make me go back to a walk. So that's what I did. I shouldn't have.
I know everyone has a bad run now and again, and that was my first really bad one. I get that, and I can accept that.
What upsets me is not knowing what happened. I still don't understand what caused the sudden pain, so I'm not sure what to do to fix it. Because of the strain, the other knee started hurting as well, but not as much. The pain is on the outside of the knee, but doesn't extend above or below.
One of the other runners was running behind me for a bit, and when the pain started she helped me stretch. She's a podiatrist and commented that my gait seemed fine and the shoes I have seem to be what I need. She recommended the exercises from the October Runners' World issue, so I'll try that. I decided strength training was probably a good idea, so took myself off to the gym this morning.
So, four days into a new year, and I'm being confronted with challenges right and left. I don't know whether to burst in tears or find a way to fight back. OK, the truth is that I'll do both. I always do. I can't help the tears, but I never quit fighting.
It can only get better!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
No, really. I think that's what I'm doing.
I decided to go back and reread some of my blogs - is there a way to get a list of one's own blogs? I've figured out how to see a list of my friends' blogs, but not my own. In any event, I landed by happenstance on the day my mother died. I read a few blogs earlier, a few blogs later, and noticed how full of emotion I was.
I've always been about feelings. My parents would get irritated by the crocodile tears. Not that all my feelings were bad, but what I remember is the criticism of course. I always talked about my feelings, which seemed to be OK. What I didn't notice is that my parents didn't talk about feelings. I've wondered before where the heck I came from! When my dad was in his early 80s and commented about all his friends and family dying, I asked him how he felt being the survivor. He was baffled: how should I be feeling, he asked?
My mother was not one to express positive emotions. She must have told us as kids that she loved us, but she stopped before we were teens. She didn't resume again until my youngest brother died when I was in my early 40s. And even then, she was one to offer her cheek for a kiss, all the while having an expression of distaste on her face. A complex woman, difficult to live with, and yet harder to live without; I do miss her.
Running away? Yes, I started running after she died. Partly as a reaction to her state of ill health and partly, I think, to give myself some space. But I filled the space with music while I ran, so I was never really alone with my thoughts. I'm not sure what I'm running away from, but at least I'm doing something constructive while I'm doing it.
September 1st already! My mother's birthday is in September, as was my youngest brother's. And Rosh HaShana is right around the corner, time for another beginning. I tend to get melodramatic at this time of year, without any conscious thought that it is that time of year. It always catches me by surprise. Maybe it's the changing seasons, although there are no signs of that here yet.
But it came to me this morning that I'm running away from something. Or maybe towards something, I just don't know.
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