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Owning it

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The economy is a mess so most of us can relate to your job situation. Wall painting sounds like a good stress buster.

My mother was the same - a valiant fighter. She left me in 96. I still miss her.

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PALMTREEGIRL1 9/16/2010 2:01PM

    I remember sending one of my sisters a birthday card that said "We've become our mother". So true. You, like her, are a fighter - keep your dukes up!

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TUFFYBIRD 9/15/2010 5:57PM

    I do exactly the same thing when I'm stressed out ... can't sit still anyway, and getting involved in something distracts me.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time this week; I hope you feel better soon.

emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 9/15/2010 4:21PM

    emoticonMy thoughts are with you my friend. So sad. emoticon

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DEE797 9/15/2010 1:30PM

    I am sorry you have hit a rough patch. Do hope your knees are on the mend. Painting is one way to get your mind off of things. We do eventually become our Mothers or so they say. You definitely have her drive and determination. emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/15/2010 1:09PM

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a tough week. I hope the leg is on the mend so that you can leave your worries on the pavement soon.
emoticon emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 9/15/2010 12:24PM

    Hang in there. It's tough out there for sure.

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JLITT62 9/15/2010 9:44AM

    I sure wish I channeled my stress as well as you do!

It's always tough to lose a client. And with your responsibilities, I can understand the worry. But I have no doubt you will get thru this. I wish I had half your drive!

They do say we become our mothers . . . yet I don't see that in myself. I'll have to ask DH!

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DESERT_BIRD 9/15/2010 9:26AM

    I am so sorry you are going through rough times.


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DAWNDMOORE40 9/15/2010 8:51AM

    emoticonHang in there! Just take things one day at a time and it will all work out! Remember you have emoticonthat do care about you and we are here if you need us! emoticon emoticon

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VIRGINIAGRETA 9/15/2010 8:50AM

    You (and your mother!) were right... painting is therapeutic! Hope the new coat of paint will make you feel refreshed and lighten your spirit.

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A bad start to a new year

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/14/2010 7:50AM

    Man! You were hit with the proverbial frying pan! I know that you will rise to every challenge and come out on top - you go girl - kick life in the butt!

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    I totally feel for you. Enough is enough. I'm sending hugs too. This week has to be better!! emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 9/12/2010 4:02PM


Big, big emoticon

That is just no way to ring in the new year.

Crying is good. It means you're not stuffing your feelings inside. Have a good cry, then go get those boxing gloves on! Wish I could give you one of those hugs in person.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/12/2010 2:14PM

    I had this happen to me and it was caused by a tight IT Band on my short leg side. The pain shows up on the side of the knee because that's where muscles attaches and the tendon is being stretched at the joint. But the cause is really higher up, in the muscle. Try foam rolling the IT band and the quad and see if that helps. Also the inside of the upper leg.
emoticon emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 9/12/2010 1:42PM

    Oh, for crying out loud! When it rains it pours, right?!

Well, I will offer that your experience is being taken to heart... I am being so over-the-top cognizant of every twinge I feel in my knee... my hip... my back... my ankle... and I promise to stop when I feel something wrong... I swear I won't try to "run" through ANYthing...

Now... about this New Year trying to kick your butt... I am over here in Mooville warning it for you...

You better watch it, 5771... D. is tougher than she looks and she is COMING for you!!

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38BABYGIRL 9/12/2010 12:35PM

    I am right beside you in the challenges department. Can't help the tears either... and I keep going... even when I don't want to. Hang in there and Happy New Year!

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LIBBYFITZ 9/12/2010 11:39AM

    emoticonYou will get through it. sorry to hear about all your news. hope things improve. emoticon

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DEE797 9/12/2010 11:15AM

    You are a very strong woman. emoticon to you and your daughter during this difficult time. I do hope all works out with her congregation and your company. Glad you were able to get some advice for your knees. emoticon

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I'm running away

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/4/2010 10:40AM

    I've felt very blessed to still have my mother and still miss my dad 20 years later. Keep up the running - you'll get where you're supposed to be eventually!

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    Though you may be running away for something you are definitely running toward good health.

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    Though you may be running away for something you are definitely running toward good health.

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ILOVEROSES 9/1/2010 9:27PM

    An interesting blog and wishing you Shana Tova. emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 9/1/2010 7:19PM

    as long as you run...that's the key
we have all sorts or anniversaries and birthdays in the month of Sept. so I can relate

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TUFFYBIRD 9/1/2010 5:36PM

    Your insights into your emotions and their outcomes are wonderful. I think you've made so many strides forward that you can't possibly be running away from; the experience has been way too positive for that!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/1/2010 5:36PM

    I think you are running towards yourself.

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LIBBYFITZ 9/1/2010 5:03PM

    An interesting and thought provoking blog. I think our parents came from a generation where you "just got on with it!".
I know when I told my father our son's symptoms that finally had him diagnosed with ADHD with out the hyperactivity, my father's reaction was to say"but that is what I do!" Duh, he still didn't get it! Then when I TRIED to talk to him about my mental health issues and the symptoms of depression, his reaction "I don't get depressed I just get angry!" Duh. No questions or discussion on feelings.

So now I live in another country, and since the earthquake happened and I suvived it , when I went home last time ,he was actually trying to tell me about his life in Europe during the war and he had tears in his eyes. Wow!


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TANYAHDG 9/1/2010 4:14PM

    Whichever the case may be it is good to acknowledge your emotions. I feel it is a healthy part of healing. I pray for your strength at this time and for your to continue your successful journey of health and discovery.


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JLITT62 9/1/2010 4:02PM

    An interesting blog, to be sure. And I've no doubt you'll eventually figure it out -- and tackle whatever it might be. You are such a strong woman, and so inspiring!

BTW, my "long" run of 4 1/2 miles WAS done with walking intervals. And a slow pace. And it was still hard for me! I am still in awe of you. Oh yeah, and inside too (because that way I have a real idea of how far I've run & at what pace).

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/1/2010 4:01PM

    WOW, you must have been inside my head this morning. I've not been blogging regularly, but was going to start again today. My recent losses of loved ones have tidal-waved me and my eating has become a slippery slope that became a mountain. My head knows all the right things to do and ways to think, but my heart is winning. I long to run away and live in a cave - at least for a little while. Thanks for expressing these thoughts. It's helpful to know that others are going through similar. Best wishes to both of us.

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EJHESS1 9/1/2010 4:01PM

    Maybe you at not running away but running too?

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Yup, another run!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It seems the most memorable thing in my life at the moment is the weekly long run. Thatís all I seem to blog about. Itís definitely the highlight of my week in that it defines how I schedule my time and what Iím able to do the rest of the week.

After the 20+ miler last week, I went to Austin to teach a dance workshop. It was not bad planning on my part, just circumstance: other schedules were changed. I did get an hour's nap on the way (no, I wasn't driving), so I was at least able to keep my eyes open during the remainder of the day. The brain was somewhat dead, and I was anything but graceful. The brain-dead thing is what I minded most, that feeling of just being stupid, of having something in my head that I just canít access. There is no doubt in my mind now about what happens to me when I donít get enough sleep. When we don't sleep enough, we are dull.

During the week that followed, my body was constantly exhausted. I would fall into bed at night, and reset my alarm to get that extra 30 minutes that I usually donít take. I slept at least seven hours every night the following week, and didnít even hear the alarm a couple of times. Absolutely unknown for me to do this, you understand.

So on to this weekís long run, a not-so-long 6-7 mile run with hills. Hills in Houston? OK, Iíll be honest, we use a parking garage.

My greatest fear is not hearing that alarm. emoticonThe evening before the 20 miler, I set two alarms. Iím surprised I even slept: there have been weeks when Iíve awakened every hour, dreading that Iíd somehow oversleep. Well, this week it happened. The alarm went off, I was oblivious. emoticon At 5:10 I awoke and realized I needed to be at Memorial Park at 5:30. Being compulsive, I had everything just lying there ready to be put on, and I tore out the door furiously texting the group leader that Iíd slept through my alarm, and that I would catch up with them somewhere along the way. She called me 15 minutes later to ask where I was, at which time I was five minutes away. She asked the group if they wanted to wait, and they opted to do so. If ever I deserved a speeding ticket, it was Saturday morning. But I got there safely and we took off. Iíd had no breakfast, no coffee, hadnít taken my meds, and I was stiff.

Mercifully the weather had cooled down somewhat, it was 78 degrees, a good 10 degrees cooler than the previous week. Since the group waited for me, I vowed to behave and I studiously avoided the front-runners in the group who took off ahead. It pained me to hang back, but it was the least I could do. I was very grateful I hadnít tried to run alone, as I would surely have gotten lost and missed a few turns. I probably wouldnít have found the right parking garage! I did give in to the challenge issued to run the ramps twice, but at least half the group responded, so I didnít feel too guilty.

On the way back we went through an upscale shopping development, and since several runners needed a bathroom break, they headed off to Starbucks while the rest of us mulled about. The cupcake store was closed, but the staff was in early icing all the beautiful cupcakes and we pressed our noses to the glass. Since Iíve never had a cupcake that tasted as good as it looked, this wasnít too painful for me.

And then we headed back to the barn, or at least Memorial Park, where a local running group was setting up a picnic with food, music and massages. Regretfully I had to be home as I was expecting some contractors to do some long-delayed home maintenance. Leaving behind a potential massage was much more painful than walking away from a cupcake!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are definitely a runner. It sounded great. I hope you catch up on sleep soon and get your energy back.

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JESPAH 9/1/2010 8:42AM

    Oh, you are totally a runner.

And I love the cupcake attitude. I have a similar cheesecake attitude. My mother's cheesecake, circa 1979, was/is the best ever. Nothing can possibly compare, so I don't even try. Of course this does not stop me from having other stuff, but it does put the brakes on cheesecake. :)

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PALMTREEGIRL1 8/31/2010 7:29AM

    M A S S A G E ! ! ! ! !

You continue to be my hero!

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DEE797 8/30/2010 7:01PM

    Glad you were able to get there and that the group waited for you. YOU GO GIRL! I would have chosen the cupcake over the massage, but then I've never had a massage before. LOL!

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LIBBYFITZ 8/30/2010 4:46PM

    Well done on the run! You must have been exhausted! Sleeping through the alarm, so nice of the group to wait for you.
emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/30/2010 4:01PM

    Yup, you're a runner.

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JLITT62 8/30/2010 3:54PM

    LOL at being sadder at the missed massage than cupcake. I make some truly awesome cupcakes . . .

Good job on getting there pretty much on time -- and I am not surprised that your group waited for you.

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Another long run

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another milestone reached: 20+ miles. I say 20+ because we missed a turn, went out of our way, and by the end of the run(s), my Garmin said 20.47 miles.

I have to say Iíve approached this run with a great deal of trepidation. It was scheduled for the previous week, but the powers-that-be flip-flopped the dates in order to accommodate the groupís need for multiple SAG wagons. So I had an extra week of Ďrestí which to me meant another week to lose whatever conditioning I had. Iím trying to have faith in the process, but as a newbie thatís difficult to do. Panic sets in quite rapidly.

Our long runs are generally organized in smaller increments: this was to be a 10 miler, and then a 7 miler, followed by a 3 miler, and was scheduled to start at 3 am to beat the heat. Well, relatively speaking, that is. One of our group members advised us he was going to do the 3 miler at the outset, and leave at 2:15 am. Ten of us decided to follow suit, in order to avoid doing that last leg of it when the sun was up and blazing.

So there we were at 2:15 am, leaving the Randallís parking lot. That 3-mile run was relatively uneventful, but a little bit faster than Iíd hoped. It takes my body several miles to wake up, and I felt I was pushing it during the first two, leaving me wondering how I was going to make it to 20 miles. We did get back to the parking lot about 7 minutes earlier than expected. The larger group then headed out for the 10 mile run, with the admonition to keep it slow.

Being new to this, Iím easily swept along. There are a couple of faster runners who usually head our group, and Iím usually up front with them, in part because Iíve been swept up, and in part because I detest being stuck behind people. As the group stretches out during the run, we cluster in several smaller groups, trying not to be separated too much. The official leaders of the group generally run in the middle or back, and are constantly calling for us to slow down. And rightfully so: we're training as a group, and we need to be mindful of conditions and abilities.

I was having a difficult time with the 10 mile run, not that it was hard, but it seemed endless, and I knew that there was yet another 7 mile run to do. The problem with returning to the same starting point is the psychological difficulty of having to leave again. While I struggled mentally, I was still at the front of the pack. And when I got back, I was branded a trouble maker for going too fast. Keep in mind that the desired pace according to our leaders was a 16 minute mile, due to the extreme heat alert. On the one hand it's funny that I'm going too fast, but on the other, I know I need to pay attention.

With 13 miles done, we headed back out. I had changed socks and shoes because my feet were drenched. So yes, thereís a benefit to being back at the original starting point. Once again I was at the front, but very aware of the need to keep the two other front-runners from distancing us too much from the rest. We were mindful of the others, taking two walk breaks in order to allow the others to catch up, but once we were within 3 miles of the end, the lagging group decided to walk the rest and we were free to do our thing.

All in all, it went well. Iím constantly amazed by my bodyís ability to keep going. Aerobically I could probably do 50 miles at the pace we run, but my legs and hips just arenít there yet. So I finish each long run feeling fine in one sense, but with very sore legs and hips. I know Iím getting stronger because my right hip doesnít start hurting as early in the game, and responds to Ibuprofen readily. I remember having trouble getting in and out of my car after the first few long runs because my right hip was so sore and stiff. I would get into my car to go home and when I arrived Iíd wonder if Iíd be able to get out!

Iím also having fewer problems with blisters, although I did raise one this past week. Iím sure changing socks and shoes helped, but I hadnít developed any problems after 13 miles so Iím hopeful that my body is acclimating to all of this.

And now two weeks of Ďeasyí long runs, and then itís on to 23 miles!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEINAHG0757 8/26/2010 2:14PM

    Woo-hoo! Good job on your runs. It's hard to stay with a group sometimes - you just want to take out at your own comfortable pace. 2:15am... emoticon - that is the middle of the night!

Stay strong!


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LILHLFPINT 8/26/2010 2:53AM

    (wow! you are doing amazing - i am so proud of you!)

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PALMTREEGIRL1 8/25/2010 9:22AM

    I'm remembering your conversations back in January!!! Great job!!!

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JLITT62 8/24/2010 8:02AM

    For a newbie you are awesome & inspiring. Quite frankly, just the fact that you're out there at 2 am is amazing! Even I am not that crazy. Wish I could send you some of our present weather, it's almost perfect running weather (and I definitely enjoyed it at the more sane hour of 5:30 am this morning).

I have absolutely no doubt you will run an awesome marathon! And that you would leave me in the dust. I keep trying to push myself but I remain slow.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/24/2010 12:07AM

    It definitely takes the musles, tendons & ligaments much longer to adapt than the aerobic system. Have you every tried an ice bath after a long run? That really does help the legs recover more quickly.

Comment edited on: 8/24/2010 12:07:43 AM

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MONARCHCT 8/23/2010 8:55PM


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    emoticon emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 8/23/2010 3:52PM

    emoticonOMG I am in shock. Great job ... bad girl though for going too fast!

You must be training for a marathon?

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ANMRUNNER 8/23/2010 12:43PM

    Wow I am amazed at so many things. Running at 2:15a.m., running 20+ miles, returning to "home" THREE times only to have to go back out..wow! You are so dedicated--you rock!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 8/23/2010 12:37PM

    even being UP for a run at that time is amazing!!

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DEE797 8/23/2010 12:34PM

    emoticonDee, what an emoticon accomplishment! YOU GO GIRL!

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PGHLIONESS 8/23/2010 12:26PM

    WOW...that is wonderful!

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TUFFYBIRD 8/23/2010 11:31AM

    What an awesome outing Dee ... congratulations!

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LIBBYFITZ 8/23/2010 11:20AM


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MISSWINGS1 8/23/2010 10:44AM

    I'm amazed that you can run that far. My knees would kill me.

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