Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 47: The continuing saga of a socky foot.

I did my six mile run after work last night.  It went pretty well, particularly after I figured out that when your feet are larger in the evenings (as they are), you need to LOOSEN YOUR STUPID SHOELACES.  Or your feet will go numb and your legs will cramp, yadda yadda yadda. 

I really did not want to go run, so I decided I would set my iPod for three miles and see how it went from there.  Funny that three miles now seems like such a breeze.  At three miles, I decided I might as well run four.  Somewhere between three and four miles, I hit the perfect stride.  That stride where you can just keep going and going.  And going. 

Which is what I did, as at the end of mile four I figured I might as well run five, and by the end of mile five I only had one more mile to go and it would be silly to stop then.  Plus I had that great stride going.

An interesting thing I learned about the great stride is that when your mind doesn't have to constantly coach or cheer your body along, that's when little tiny circles at the gym get really, really boring.  I'm running along, thinking "I could do this forever!"  And immediately another voice popped up in my head:  "But we aren't going to do this forever, are we?  Aren't we done yet?  Please?  Stop?  Stop now?  How about now?  How about now?"

You get the picture.

In retrospect, I pretty much hit the same stride during last Sunday's long run, but since it was a beautiful day on a beautiful trail my brain had something else to occupy its time.  Unlike last night, when I had to start thinking up things to distract myself:  Hot guys, kissing, kissing hot guys, last time I'd kissed a guy, that guy down there is kinda cute, is he wearing a wedding ring, going out on Friday night, maybe I'd get to kiss a guy there.....  Fairly random junk.

But on to the socky foot part of the story.  It's not my dog's socky foot this time, although if you need a CBS update knock on her big, wooden head it seems that she's finally stopped licking it.  And I still haven't found the scrunchie I was using to anchor her socky foot.  It's a little disturbing, that.  Anyhow, I crawled into bed shortly after getting home from the gym, and was just absolutely freezing.  I had the heat cranked, I had a snuggly dog, nice down comforter, and still freezing.  I finally got out the warm socks -- I hate to sleep in socks -- and that did the trick.  I woke up at some point in the night, realizing that I was now only wearing one sock.  Sleepily wondering where the other sock was, I drifted back off.  CBS woke me up a little later to go outside, when I rediscovered I still had only one sock on.  Which I again rediscovered five minutes later when I came back upstairs to get back into bed and realized I'm walking around with only one sock on and not noticing.  It was a six mile run, you know?  At the end of the saga, I pulled off the die hard sock, found its errant brother up near my pillow (?), and went back to sleep.

And did not make my four mile run this morning.  I have a good case going of the sniffles :(  Thankfully, alcohol kills germs, so I should be certain to drink plenty alcohol tonight at the birthday party to which I am going. 

I got nothing more exciting than that (as exciting as all that was).

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 45: Plat maps are evil but eye candy is good.

I am so sick of plat maps.  If you have never seen a plat map, count yourself lucky.  If you have seen a plat map, well then you probably can't see this post because the plat map has driven you BLIND. 

But thankfully I don't have to trace a legal description on a survey.  That will seriously make your head explode.


Today is a rest day, which I really need because last night's run was again ragged with a capital RUH.  I'd been feeling like I had a slight strain in my left calf muscle, and apparently I actually did.  Which translated during my run into some serious shin pain in that leg.  I haven't had anything resembling shin splints in, gosh, close to six months?  Since I got my latest pair of sneaks.  Hmm, maybe it's time to consider a new pair. 

Actually, my whole lower body was one big cramp for most of the run.  I've realized that typically when I first start out I tend to run almost stiff legged.  A lot of books say that your stride shouldn't be much more than an animated shuffle.  Well, mine during those times is more like Frankenstein's animated shuffle.  Another thing I've noticed and been playing with is that it is often easier for me to run with a more open stride.  This is also faster for me.  However, I can't sustain it for long until I'm warmed up and loose.  I am trying to keep my stride open.  It makes me feel like a real runner. 

I've also realized (lots of realizations lately) that I'd rather work on being a runner than on losing weight.  Does that make sense?  Kind of a chicken and the egg thing, I think.  If I focus on losing weight, then I have to restrict my calories *and* exercise.  I wouldn't be able to keep up this training schedule on restricted calories, plus I've put on a ton of muscle since I've started running.  But if I work on being a runner -- keep working on the stride thing, the improved cardio fitness, etc. -- then once I'm out of marathon training it should start to positively impact weight loss.  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Just stuff I've been noodling on during my runs....

.... When there aren't HOT FIREFIGHTERS around to ogle.  I was off work early yesterday for the dentist, and I went straight to the gym from there.  Where I found a gym full of hot Portland firefighters.  Sadly, not really playing basketball (as in, in the prime ogling area of the gym) but scattered throughout the gym.  Still, it was nice.  And many of them were in a much better vantage point to notice how fabulous my ass looks in spandex.  Or how close I was to needing mouth to mouth resuscitation.  Either one works for me.

Oh, and getting back to the actual running news, I logged my four miles.  On massively cramping legs, but that's okay.  There is some stretching and a hot bath in lavender bath salts (thanks Ms. Gazelle!  Happy birthday!) in my near future.  I'm guessing the aches are my body's way of pointing out how many miles I ran last week.  Although, as I ran I was thinking about how if that is the highest level of pain I have during the marathon that that would be okay.  And during the marathon, I probably won't be running four miles solid at any given time, what with water stations and so forth.  Even walking for ten or fifteen seconds helped last night. 

Break time over.  Back to plat maps! 

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 44 and figuring out which week this is

Today is definitely Day 44 in my training.  I also learned last night that this is Week 7, not Week 8, and I edited the last post accordingly.  Yes, the days to start to blur together after a while, particularly when I am busy busy at work.  Like now.  My affinity for the human race is at an all-time low right now.  I feel like one of those wind-up toys.  Wind me up, stand me up, point me in the right direction and off I run.  Wind me up, sit me down, put papers in front of me and off I um, produce.  It's extra special fun when my boss is losing his mind.  Like now.*

As an example of how mixed up I am right now -- other than confusing my weeks, that is -- last night I was checking my training schedule, checking a few things in the Whitsett book, reading Runner's World, getting out my running gear for this morning, and going to bed early since I was running this morning.  And then I forgot to set my alarm back for a gym day.  So I'll be going this evening, after a trip to the dentist.  Hopefully I'll have some hot firefighter eye candy again.

I did get some fabulous news last night, which I just confirmed this morning:
Congratulations! You were chosen as the winner in the Red Lizard Five Miler entry contest. Hooray!
How cool is that?  This is from the RunOregon blog, which I read faithfully.  Funny thing, I've always wondered if anyone actually won these contests, because while I see (and enter) the contests all the time I've never seen the winners' names posted.  They must post them in the actual newspaper, I guess.   But now I know!  Doubly cool because I ran it last year and liked it (except for the pouring rain), but wasn't going to do it this year because I'm saving all my extra cash (such that it is) for the marathon weekend.  Now I'll be running this race on March 7.   Yay me!

Gotta get back to the daily grind!   Happy Tuesday!!

the CilleyGirl

* Don't worry.  I never say anything here about my boss that I wouldn't say to him directly.  Or already have said.  I'm a stream of consciousness kind of gal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 6 recap; setting up for Week 7 and being almost halfway there!

I was sore from yesterday's long run so I didn't get a chance to post my weekly recap.  Let's see now how I did for Week 6, shall we?

Mon/Day 36 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  As always, a rest day is a tough challenge but one I keep managing to meet.  And does that sentence even make any sense? 

Tue/Day 37 - 4 miles.  SUCCESS!  Logged 4.01 miles.  Had the extra-added bonus of watching hot firefighters play basketball while I did it too.

Wed/Day 38 - Weights.  NOPE!  As I've mentioned before, I'm going to have to cut the cross-training day from my schedule.  I just can not do four mornings at the gym in a row.  I could probably do three, but not four.  I need the extra sleep too much.

Thu/Day 39 - 5 miles.  SUCCESS!  I logged 5.01 miles and did it in just under an hour too.

Fri/Day 40 - 4 miles.  SUCCESS!  Logged 4 miles even and had the hot firefighter eye candy again.  Yummy!

Sat/Day 41 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  I had to work so it wasn't as resty as I would have liked, but there was no running or other exercise involved.  Except for full-contact dog bathing.

Sun/Day 42 - 11 miles.  SUCCESS!  I originally posted this would be 12 miles, but it was only 11 per the training schedule.  I logged 11 miles and it took me only five minutes longer to run it than the 10 miles I did last week. 

Total miles for the week:  24.03.  Holy crap!!

It was a challenge to get the runs in this week; I ended up running in the evenings two out of three of the week days.  While I'm glad I did the runs, the problem is that my carrot to get myself into the gym in the evenings to make up a run involves big, greasy hamburgers and french fries.  It is healthier for me to lose out on a little bit of sleep and go run in the mornings.  I'm definitely feeling the bad burger decisions in my tummy.  Saturday, just the idea of Burger King made me a little nauseous.  I'm going to keep that in mind this week. 

Speaking of the tummy, kind of a challenging long run yesterday.  The first mile was all about whether there was sufficient ground cover on either side of the trail in case my tummy did reach critical mass.  Thankfully it dialed back for the next couple of miles, but running a short steep downhill set everything off again and it was a close call getting to the facilities at the next trail head.  I'm so happy there were facilities though -- I was definitely eyeing every tree, shrub, and stand of tall grass by that point.  The run got much better after that.  I'm working on being mindful of hydration and fuel and I did pretty good yesterday.  I was dragging through the last mile, however; if I had been going farther it would have been time to Gu.  Since it was the last mile, I didn't but I was definitely feeling it. 

The Whitsett book said I should be feeling a lot fewer aches and pains by now as my body has become more acclimated to this running thing, and in fact it has.  I'm still a little stiff and sore today but nothing like in weeks past.  And I am very happy about that.  In the past, when I had that horrible hip pain I would have dialed things back or quit running all together until it felt better.  This time, I kept going right on through it -- although by now I need stock in Advil -- and it has finally worked itself out.  I feel a long stronger, both mentally and physically, as a consequence. 

So, this week is Week 7.  That means after this week I will be nearly halfway through my training!  It also means that the marathon will be only a couple of months away.  Yikes!

Mon/Day 43 - Rest.
Tue/Day 44 - 4 miles.
Wed/Day 45 - Rest.
Thu/Day 46 - 6 miles.
Fri/Day 47 - 4 miles.
Sat/Day 48 - Rest.
Sun/Day 49 - 12 miles.

The six miles on Thursday should be interesting.  I'll have to get up so early it won't even be o'dark thirty.  It will just be o'dark. 

Here's hoping we all have a wonderful week!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, February 19, 2010

I think it's Day 40... I do know it's Friday!!

Swamped beyond belief at work right now, so just a quick check in.  I ran my five miles yesterday morning, only took about three minutes at o'dark thirty to convince myself to go.  Yay me!  The run was a little ragged again and I think it is an issue with my pre-run fueling.  My usual is a 100-calorie granola bar.  In the past, that's been good for me but I think as my "short" runs are no longer so short and the weekly mileage is adding up that that is no longer adequate fuel for me.  So now I need to figure out an alternative that works both in terms of fuel and tummy.  I'm going to try Gu or Clif Shot Bloks for a few days, then try a Clif bar for a few days as well.  The main issue with pre-run fuel is that for almost all runs we're talking a pre-run time of 30 minutes max.  On average, it is about 15 minutes before I run.  I've also been extra thirsty on runs the past couple of weeks as well.  Again, ideally I'd hydrate an hour or so before as the experts suggest, but I just don't have that kind of lead time. 

The hip is slowly getting better.  I'm hoping that means it is getting stronger and that that was the problem all along, rather than I'm getting a stress fracture in my hip or some such nightmare. 

Okay, back to work.  Almost forgot -- I goofed on what I thought my training plan was for the week, my Sunday long run is only (ha!  "only"!!) 11 miles rather than the 12 I thought it was.  So now I'm all mentally prepared for next week as well, yes?

Have a wonderful weekend, my cilley fwends.  I'm doing full contact dog bathing tomorrow and maybe putting in some hours at work so I may not be around until late Sunday.  Then again, if I'm at work then I should have plenty of time for blogging!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 37 redux: Stupid motivation.

As you might have seen from the dailymile widget over there on the side, I went to the gym last night to do the four miles I had skipped that morning.  Stupid motivation. 

The run felt fairly ragged, although I wasn't all that much slower than normal.  It may have been from the extra-added bonus/reward I got from the run:  watching a group of hot Portland firefighters playing basketball.  I may have unconsciously slowed down each time I passed the basketball courts.  Yummy!  (Also cracked me up that over the span of about 15 minutes three fire engines went past the gym with all their lights on.  Guys kept on playing though.  I wanted to stop and ask them if perhaps they might need to be elsewhere?)

Then again, it was probably more to the screaming pain in my lower body I felt throughout most of the run.   The hip was actually okay for a change but my low back continued to be very stiff and my legs were just one big cramp.  Then, the leg cramps started to fade and my low back began to loosen up -- I'd been hoping the run would help my back to move around a bit and unlock.  What I hadn't been hoping was that it would unlock in the worse possible position; right against a nerve.  Ouch!  Every step on my left leg felt like I was being stabbed with a knife, which then radiated down my leg.  After a very short time of that, I had to pull over and sit down to try to get it to slip back into place.  Thankfully, it did, and everything feels so much better today.  First time I've been able to sit (nearly) pain-free in more than a week. 

All of this should have boded well to make my weights workout this morning.  But it didn't.  No matter how lovely it was to watch the pretty pretty firefighters, I was starving so Burger King it was.  Eating that late (nearly 9:00 p.m. by the time I finished) left me with an extremely grumbly tummy around two in the morning and it's still not entirely happy with me.  So, no weights for me.

Checking my work schedule, it's time to start coming in on the weekend again for a few hours so I'm thinking I may end up chucking the weights all together from my training.  It's been the hardest day for me to make, and mentally that is wearing on me.  If I have to work six days a week for several weeks, I will need that extra sleep, particularly as the mileage really starts to climb. 

It is beautiful here today in Cilleyland.  It's a tad chilly, but sunny with blue skies.  I hope the weather holds for Sunday's long run! 

the CilleyGirl.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


What do you think, should Coke change its slogan?  Aww, probably not.  I rarely drink real Coke because it's just too much sugar and caffeine for me and I get really hyper.  BAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! hyper.  It's probably time for my lunch.

But first, to check in.  I need your help, my cilley readers.  I skipped the gym this morning, after making a goal to make all of my workouts this week.  I've realized that I need to work on my visualizations, reasons I can draw on at o'dark thirty that will get my bum out of bed and to the gym. 

I may actually need to make a vision board.

I do not believe I have ever made a vision board before.  Not voluntarily, that is -- i.e., for a class assignment.  I know many people swear by them, but they've always to me seemed rather mock-worthy.  But I think I need it.  I need something RIGHT THERE to get me to where I want to be.  I'd rather have Carlos the Hot Pool Boy in bed with me instead.  Then again, that probably wouldn't get me to the gym.  It would get my heart rate going and there would be some sweating, but I would not be running.  Unless sex has changed since I last had it.


Anyhow, I need ideas as to what I should put on my vision board.  This would be a good spot for Carlos the Hot Pool Boy.  Because I have decided that as I approach my 40th birthday this fall that I will be embracing my cougardom.  So I want to run and lift weights and in general get very hot in order to snag me a gorgeous cub. 

Here's what I have so far:
  • Carlos the Hot Pool Boy, with various variations on the theme.
  • Various hot women, preferably of a certain age, in whose image I will be sculpting myself.
  • Strong women running.
  • Strong women finishing a marathon.
  • Various inspiring phrases.  I really have no idea on this last one.
What would you add?  What keeps you motivated?  How do you get up and out of the house to work out?  Is a vision board a good idea or a lame one?  I need help here.  Multiple alarm clocks just aren't doing it for me.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 6 recap

Let's see where were ended up for Week 6, shall we?

Mon/Day 29 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  Always a challenge to rest, but I rose up and met it head on.

Tue/Day 30 - 3 miles.  SUCCESS!  Logged 3.01 miles.

Wed/Day 31 - Weights.  FAIL!  This is turning out to be the most difficult day for me to make it to the gym.  I guess the weights seem less important than either running or sleep.  My goal for Week 7 is to do this workout.

Thu/Day 32 - 5 miles.  SUCCESS!  Mentally this was a challenge.  It wasn't the distance, but rather doing it before work.  I was worried I would end up running late (no pun intended), or that if I woke up late I wouldn't do the workout at all.  But I did get up extra early and I logged 5.0 miles.  Almost finished in under an hour. 

Fri/Day 33 - 3 miles and weights.  FAIL!  I had been having a major allergy attack for several days courtesy of the new HVAC system installed in the office.  Friday was the worst, and I decided I needed a little extra rest instead. 

Sat/Day 34 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  Friday's rest continued to Saturday.  After a mostly poor night of sleep, I ran some errands including picking up my race packet for Sunday, loading up on Gu, and getting a new Nathan fuel belt with a larger pocket than my current one. 

Sun/Day 35 - 10 miles.  SUCCESS!  I logged ten miles exactly, and let me tell you, ten miles is LONG.  My goal for the 8K race was to finish in under an hour.  I'm not sure if I really did or not; my iPod told me I had done 8K before I got to the finish line.  I didn't check the iPod time when Chip said 8K, but I did cross the finish line at around 1:08, about 0.54 miles later.  So, I just don't know.  But, I did beat the woman with the cane and I am VERY proud of that. 

Total mileage for the week:  18.01. 

It was a good turnout for the race.  While it was raining, it was not 20 degrees like last year.  It was around 50 degrees this time.  I walked a lot, and I'm not sure why.  The mental aspect, I guess.  (I did run more once I spotted lady with the cane!).  Some people did the Valentine's theme, and it was fun to run past the hotels and restaurants with people in them for Valentine's Day.  Like we were all, LOSERS!  All inside and dry with food and liquor and your honeys.  Pathetic!  ;)  The weirdest thing in this race was a woman who was pushing a jogging stroller with her son inside.  I'm bad with kids' ages but I'm guessing he was between one and two, closer to two.  Anyhow, she kept up a conversation with the kid -- a one-sided conversation, completely hers along -- for the entire freakin 8K.  Now, I had on headphones so I'm not positive what the whole conversation was about, but the parts I heard were less "when we get home, you'll have your binky" and more "the situation in Iraq is really becoming untenable, Billy."  Seriously.  She chattered at this kid before the race and after the race, too.  I hope he was wearing headphones too.

Anyhow, on to Week 7.  I can't believe it is Week 7!  Almost halfway through the training.  Yikes!!

Week 7:
Mon/Day 36 - Rest.
Tue/Day 37 - 4 miles.
Wed/Day 38 - Weights.
Thu/Day 39 - 5 miles.
Fri/Day 40 - 4 miles.
Sat/Day 41 - Rest.
Sun/Day 42 - 12 miles.

I'm doing this from memory, but I know the weekly ones are correct.  It's the long run that might be only 11 miles, but I'm pretty sure it's 12.  I don't even know where to go to run six  miles in one direction, except maybe along the freeway!

As mentioned above, my goal this week is to not miss any training days.  Because I am bumping up Friday's run to four miles, my plan is to do a complete weights circuit on Wednesday instead of breaking it up between upper body on Wednesday and lower body on Friday.  Sounds like I will be going to bed shortly after 8:00 p.m. all week.  Good thing I can catch the Olympics on the 'net!

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 35: Beating a woman with a cane!

I'm pretty wiped after today's long runs totalling ten miles, so this will be short for now and hopefully longer tomorrow.  But I just had to share -- I beat the woman with the cane!  Remember last year, that race I had that sucked so bad I was beaten by this woman with a cane?  She was at the 8K this morning!  And I kicked her caney ass!!  Muwahahahahahahaha!!

I also got my first running blister today, between my first and second toes, how weird is that?.  I'm guessing it was a combo of damp socks and the distance.  Guess it's time to get some body glide!  Funny, I had been pondering that just yesterday as I picked up some more Gu.

I'm going to go get horizontal and watch the Olympics, but first, a poem:
I never thought that I would see
Something as lovely as a tree.
Especially if I were a dog
And I really, really had to pee.
the CilleyGirl

Friday, February 12, 2010

A little actual running content for the day (if you insist).

Or perhaps I just want a place to whine ;)

Skipped my three miler this morning because when the alarm went off at o'dark thirty I was feeling pretty ragged.  We had our HVAC system at the office revamped this week, and since they turned it all back on two days ago it's been blowing out all sort of dust and dirt and mildew and mold and probably mouse droppings for all we know.  So now I probably have the hantavirus.  Or just a pretty good allergy flare up.  For the past couple of days I needed to use my inhaler in the evenings (usually I only need it before running in the cold) and have been coughing.  This morning my nose was all red and puffy and my eyes were itchy and sticky.  I looked like a zombie W.C. Fields (pinkeye!!).  I also sneezed all over the inside of my refrigerator.  Luckily I'm the only one at home exposed to my germs. 

Tomorrow I'm planning to make up the weights workouts I missed this week, and hopefully throw in my three miler as well.  Then Sunday it's the 8K race plus five more miles somewhere.  The Sunday long run is stressing me out just a tad.  Not the ten miles of it all, but trying to get the extra five miles in.  It is supposed to rain this weekend.  Maybe I'll just head to the gym after my race and do the last five miles indoors and dry. 

That may just be a plan.  In the interim, I think pizza for dinner followed by a NyQuil night seems called for.  Never let them tell you that clean air is overrated!

the CilleyGirl

Day 33: The Olympics are here!

But first, let me give a warm welcome to the new Cilley followers.  Welcome!  If you have blogs I will go check them out.  If you don't, what's wrong with you?  Having a blog where you can blather on about anything to a captive audience and they just have to take it?  They're there for YOUR amusement?  It's awesome!  Like a hot dog!* 

Seriously, welcome :)

So, the Olympics start tonight and I am very excited.  I LOVE the Olympics, and I even have a touching story as to why that is.  I always thought the Olympics were awesome (like a hot dog), but I only watched the figure skating in the winter games and the gymnastics in the summer games and that was it. 

And then came the Summer Olympics of 1996. 

Let me set the scene.  I had just graduated from law school, and I was sitting for my first bar exam.  (Not the kind with alcoholic beverages.  Those would come later.  Not that I wouldn't ace that kind of bar exam.)  There was also an extended heat wave in Seattle.  And I was losing my mind.

Because after a zillion years and a zillion dollars in school throughout your entire life, it all comes down to this one two and a half day exam.  If you pass, you've fulfilled your dream and will go on to great things, probably in a short Ally McBeal kind of skirt.  If you fail, your life is over.  Might as well slit your wrists with a number two pencil and a scantron sheet right then and there.  Not that you know whether you've passed or failed for several MONTHS, but stick with me.

So, all of this amazing pressure that my entire life has come down to this and whether I've studied enough and maybe that week off during the bar review to spend a week in California really wasn't a good idea just like my mother warned me.  I'm staying in a hotel maybe two blocks or so away from the testing center, so I don't have to worry about traffic or anything.  But that means that to get to the testing center I have to walk outside.  Where there's a heat wave.  Which maybe wouldn't be so bad except that inside the testing center there is air conditioning.  And it's roughly minus five degrees fahrenheit in there.  One or the other could be dealt with, but going between the two sucked.  I think half of us came down with the flu from the wild and frequent temperature changes. 

On to the first testing day.  Let me explain how the Washington bar exam works.  Unlike many other states where the bulk of it is multiple choice on scantron sheets, Washington's exam -- at least in 1996 -- is all essay.  ALL essay.  All TWO AND A HALF FREAKIN' DAYS is essay.  And, it gets better.  You are being tested on the law.  ALL of the law.  As in, roughly 30 different topics of the law, plus a half day of ethics.  You have to know it all, because there is no rhyme or reason to what topics will show up on the exam.  You might think there should be, but there is not.  I'm guessing they draw topics out of a hat, quite frankly.

Now, also realize that you don't actually get to study all 30 different topics in law school.  You can not take a class on each of them; with the required courses, and only three years in which to do it, it is impossible.  Well, maybe you could, but at roughly a trillion dollars per credit unless you're a Rockefeller in good with the family you couldn't afford to.  What you end up doing is taking a bar review course, with all the possible topics crammed into six weeks.  But again, realize that some areas of law are really freakin huge.  You're going back hundreds of years and you may have noticed we are a litigious society so also over hundreds of cases. 

This may be why I can't remember shit these days.  My brain is full.

Anyhow, day one of the exam.  One four hour session in the morning, one four hour session in the afternoon.  No computers then, by the way.  Well, there may have been a typewriter room, but for most of us it is all written by hand.  My hand does not fall off, but I do still have permanent nerve damage (I kid you not) in the tip of the middle finger of my right hand. 

I get back to the hotel, convinced I've failed and my life is ruined and that I'm coming down with the flu and that I need to cram even more for the second day of the exam.  But first, I must eat.  I order room service and turn on the TV. 

And there are the Olympics.  It's the final night of the women's gymnastics team competition.  The U.S. has a shot at gold.  If you weren't living under a rock at the time, you might remember Kerri Strug.  She's the little gal where it all comes down to her and her two final vaults.  On her first vault, she lands wrong and injures her ankle.  Can barely put any weight on it.  Yet she goes and does her second vault, pounding down towards it on both feet (she is small but mighty) and does her vault and sticks the landing ON ONE FOOT.  Crowd goes wild, Bela goes wild, carries Kerri off and the women take the team gold for the first time EVER.

Suddenly, it hits me.  Me, and my little test, all of it.  I am ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN INSIGNIFICANT in the grand scheme of things.  Here are people who have likely worked literally their entire lives for this one moment.  If something goes wrong, or even if it all goes right and they still do not take the gold, or any medal at all, their next chance will not come for four years, if at all.  Remember all those games counties have boycotted?  For those athletes, no chance whatsoever. 

I realize that if I don't know this crap by now, I just won't know it.  And if I do not pass, I can take the exam again in a few months.  So, I sit back and I watch the rest of the Olympics.  And I watch the Olympic coverage every night since then when I can.  I check in on the website to see how everyone is doing, read their stories, check out the medal count.  If they work their whole lives for this one moment, the least I can do is watch them do it.  To thank them for putting things into perspective for me.  It's a perspective I still rely on to this day.  So tune in tonight, even if you just watch the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations.  See if it doesn't make all your problems seem manageable.  See if you can't medal in your own life.  Who better to do it?

By the way, I passed the exam. 

the CilleyGirl

*Eddie Izzard reference.  He's awesome like a hot dog!  Like socks!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 32: The saga of Freaky Toe and Socky Foot

Pretty much all of you should know that I live with two dogs.  They are both concerned about stalkers, so to protect their anonymity their internet names are Schmart Dog and Cute but Stupid, or CBS for short.  This is CBS:

This was near the end of a very wet hike.  I was taking pictures and looked down to find CBS looking back up at me:  "Can we go home NOW?"

CBS will be 15 years old in June.  Anyone who has never met my dog thinks I am mean for describing her as Cute but Stupid.  Then they meet her.  And they understand.  It's not totally her fault.  English setters as a breed just are not that bright.  They are loving and loyal and wholly, entirely devoted to their people.  But not that bright.  CBS was also abused by her former owner; she has some resulting damage to her throat (choke chain, I'm guessing) so she may also have a smidge of brain damage.  Plus now she's getting senile. 

But she's damn cute. 

Anyhow, I rescued CBS when she was almost seven, and as long as I have had her she has had this Freaky Toe.  It is the pinky toe on one of her back legs and it kind of looks like her toenail got run over at some point in her life.  It's flat and it's wide and it's this odd brownish-grayish color with ridges.  Did you ever see that episode of House where it turned out this woman had developed scurvy from dieting, which House diagnosed when he saw her nasty looking ridged brownish-grayish fingernails?    It kinda looks like that. 

Like most dogs, CBS does not like her nails trimmed.  In her younger days, we used to go hiking a lot and consequently she got bathed a lot during which time I trimmed her nails.  We rarely go hiking together anymore because (a) she's going blind, deaf and senile on top of already not being that bright so she loses me easily and (b) Schmart Dog has a bad hip so she can't go more than a half a mile now.  Because of this, baths are less frequent and so are nail trimmings. 

And apparently Freaky Toe got a little long.  I came home the other night to find blood all over the living room.  Big drops of bright, red blood.  My first reaction was, this better not have come out of anybody's butt.  Because, as you know, bright red blood and bums do not bode well for any species.  So, I checked under tails and no blood.  Then I started checking paws.  I thought it was Schmart Dog as she hangs outside in the yard more frequently (CBS likes her creature comforts) and I had recently trimmed her nails (she twitches and her nails are black, making it more likely that I'll hit the quick) but it wasn't. 

It was then I realized that it must be Freaky Toe.

And it was.  A few years ago, Freaky Toe started to fall out of its pinky toe home.  I don't know how, I don't know why, but it suddenly got exponentially longer and then it partially broke deep down in the quick and there was blood and a vet trip to remove the nail and a vet bill.  Not fun for any of us. 

I had thought that that was the end of Freaky Toe, seeing as how the vet had removed it (the nail, not the toe), but like a foot zombie Freaky Toe was reborn.  And on we went, without incident, until last week. 

I got CBS to let me look at the nail.  Thankfully, it didn't seem to have snapped like last time.  Most likely, she had caught it on the carpet and it started to bleed.  Ironically, I had just tried to trim Freaky Toe a few days before and she wouldn't let me.  That'll learn you, I told her.  I tried then to trim it but it was too sore.  I figured it needed to heal a bit and it would be fine.  But first, I needed to protect it from incessant licking; last time, she licked it so much she licked away all the hair and had a big sore on the rest of her foot.

And so, the return of Socky Foot. 

Yes, that is a crew sock held onto my dog's leg by an old scrunchie.  My life is nothing if not entertaining. 

Socky Foot requires a lot of maintenance.  Mostly it's me yelling "Quit licking your Socky Foot!"  "Leave your Socky Foot alone!" and "Come here and let me get your Socky Foot off before you go outside."  I also have to change Socky Foot on a regular basis, both to put a little antibiotic ointment on it and because it gets all wet and yucky from her licking it when I'm not around.  That is when we assume the position:

Also accompanied by me yelling "Give me your Socky Foot!"  "Hold still while I fix your Socky Foot!" 

Thankfully, Freaky Toe seems to be healing nicely.  After about a day I was able to trim it down some, and then in another day I was able to get it even shorter.  (This is also why no pictures of Freaky Toe.  I know, you're sad you missed it.)  If I can keep her from licking the damn thing, we should be Socky Foot free by the weekend.

Thus concludes the saga of Freaky Toe and Socky Foot.  Please remember to tip your waitress and try the veal!

Getting back to your regular programming, I had my five mile run this morning.  For running 60 times around a tiny little circle, it went pretty well.  I had hoped to finish in under an hour and I missed it by two minutes and change.  I did stop several times for water so that probably did it.  Under an hour is also my goal for this weekend's 8K run. 

When dowloading the Freaky Toe and Socky Foot pictorial, I also downloaded the pics I took on Sunday's long run.  So I will close with those.  Note there are bridges EVERYWHERE!!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 31: Bending over and taking it

"I don't know... they're just coming to me!"

Quick, name that movie!*

Today's topic is bending over.  I have a long history of back problems, about as far back as I can remember.  At one point, not sure when but somewhere between 6th and 9th grades I would guess, I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  And, if you grew up in my generation, you, like me, would promptly freak out at that.  Because we've all read Judy Blume, which means we've all read Deenie.  Remember Deenie?  Deenie was a pretty young thing, on the cusp of popularity at her school.  So, like you do when you are a pretty young thing on the cusp of popularity, Deenie tries out for cheerleading.  But gasp! Deenie is rejected.  And why, you might ask?  Deenie certainly asked.  I will tell you (and Deenie) why -- and here's the part that always struck me as odd and funny -- Deenie is double gasp! crooked!  Not crooked like she runs a craps game in the girl's bathroom between periods.  Oh no.  Deenie is crooked as in lopsided.  Noticeably lopsided.  Her skirt hem is uneven, y'all.  Noticeably uneven. 

So concerned phone calls are made all around, or maybe a concerned note was sent home, but the upside is that Deenie goes to the doctor.  Where she is given the horrible, awful news that triple gasp! Deenie has scoliosis.  Well, actually Deenie says Huh?  Because Judy Blume was all about public service announcements in her books.  Taking the totally frightening yet perfectly natural -- scoliosis, masturbation, getting your period, losing your virginity**, not getting your period, wet dreams, etc. -- and making it real for the kids.  So in a Judy Blume book, it's not that you get your period and that's all cool and natural, but that you get it in front of the entire state while wearing white pants and gushing blood like Old Faithful.  Meaning that the triple gasp! part in Deenie is not that Deenie has scoliosis but that she has to WEAR A BODY BRACE.  For like FOUR YEARS.  AT SCHOOL AND EVERYTHING. 

And this is what sent millions of young girls running to their mirrors to check out their posture.  In addition to the scoliosis screenings we were already receiving in PE class. 

Anyhow, I was diagnosed in one of those screenings, thankfully no body brace just stretching exercises, but with that plus years of carrying heavy book bags on one shoulder and a few car accidents to boot, yadda yadda yadda, I have back problems.  Which culminated in a lovely little instability around my L5 vertebrae when I was in my senior year in college.  I had just gotten back from vacation where I'd gone horseback riding.  Three days later, I'm hanging around my apartment -- sitting down, mind you -- when suddenly I can no longer stand up without excruating pain.  Seems my L5 decided it liked the view from a 45 degree angle from the rest of my spine much better.  Major ouchies. 

It did this for several years, rather randomly too.  Luckily it has mostly stopped doing that.  But the upshot is that I've learned through the major ouchies that my bending from the waist does not always equal good things.  I squat down to pick things up or else brace one arm on my thigh so that it is my legs doing the work, not my L5.  This is a correlation to always lift with your legs. 

Anyhow, I seem to have reached the point where my back and ab muscles are strong enough so that bending down this way is now rather awkward.  But I still have that fear that if I bend from the waist I can look forward to lying flat on my back in pain for the next three days. 

So, what is my point?  I guess I don't really have one.  My back is sore from slinging file boxes around all day yesterday, and I bend down a lot.  It made me think of Deenie.  I'll try to do better tomorrow.  Perhaps I will share the saga of Freaky Toe and Socky Foot.  It has been germinating for a few days now and is almost ripe for the telling.

And on that note...

the CilleyGirl

*Ghostbusters.  With the blonde chick who isn't really psychic?

** So, remember Forever?  The book we all snuck home and hid from our parents and highlighted all the sex parts?  Just me?  Okay then.  Anyhow, what I remember most from this book is how the girl had sex for the first time on this shag carpet with a scratchy blanket.  So instead of the message that you should wait until the time is right for you and not have sex because everyone is doing it, but if/when you do be sure to use protection otherwise you might go through a pregnancy scare or an actual pregnancy, I got the message that when you do it you should be somewhere comfortable.  Yeah, I was an interesting kid.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 30: Boobs on the ground!

Thankfully, I never have this problem.  I believe in taking very good care of the girls.  So the boobies, they don't tap me on the knee when I am running.  This is why I wear steel-belted brassieres.  From Maidenform's new Radial line. 
Boobs on the ground

Boobs on the ground
Runnin' like a fool with your boobs on the ground

With the age comin' on ya
Skin all loose-like
Boobs hit the ground
Call yourself a young cat
Runnin' like a fool
Headin' downtown with your boobs on the ground

Get 'em up, hey!
Get your boobs off the ground
Runnin' like a fool
Ain't no fun in runnin' with your boobs on the ground.

Get 'em up, hey!
Get your boobs off the ground
Runnin' like a fool with your pants on the ground

Aw, just kidding. 

I was thinking about the bounce issue recently, thinking about how not only is bounce reduced by my running bra but I also run at the gym in fairly form-fitting tech tees.  As you may know, I have the breastage of at least a size large shirt but the rest of me is a medium.  It's a fine line between shirts where you can see my heartbeat and shirts where I look 50 lbs heavier.  I realized that it's thanks to bellydancing class that I became comfortable in snugger workout gear.  I used to always work out in a baggy shirt, but in bellydance you need to be able to see your hips and waist so you need to wear something form fitting.  After just a couple of classes I got very comfortable doing that.  I even did a couple of races (in public!!  with spectators!!) wearing a tank top.  A snug tank top.  That's huge change for me. 

There's this woman who is often walking while I am running and she is always in this huge sweatshirt.  And it's hot up there.  Really, really hot on that track.  I always want to tell her to fly and be free and let the girls breathe.  Oh well.  I also see a lot of women running outdoors with the spandex running tights and then shorts over those.  Why?  If you're wearing the shorts for the extra pockets, that's cool.  But otherwise?  Just giggle while you jiggle.  Before, I was always pulling my baggy shirt out of the way, or pulling up my sweats.  With my workout clothes now, I can concentrate on just my body. 

I really had no point with all of that, other than to do the boobs on the ground! song.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

My bum is feeling MUCH better today.  I took Alisa's advice and got together some piriformis stretching exercises that I did last night before a couple of rounds of the heating pad and that seems to have made a HUGE difference.  (Thanks Alisa!)  I do still have some hip pain, though -- it's in the front side of the hip bone, about where the elastic from your undies would be, and about just that wide too.  I got some stretches for that area as well, which have helped.  The first half mile this morning was agony, and then suddenly my hip felt fine.  I'm going to keep up with both sets of stretches as a preventative measure.  I've also been trying to move around a little more at work to keep the hip flexible.  So far, so good!

I've set a goal with my Nike+ to run under an 11:30 average mile five times by a certain date.  I don't actually remember the date, because I set this goal after meeting another goal that I had no idea I'd made in the first place.  I went to download my Nike+ one day and it congratulates me on meeting this goal, something about running one more day a week for five times than I had been previously.  I have no idea quite how that got set as a goal in the first place.  It's kind of creepy when your tech starts doing things like that.  As though we're just a bit, baud and a byte away from Skynet taking over.  Anyhow, I wasn't quite there this morning but I will keep working on it.

And keep my boobs off the ground!

the CilleyGirl

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 29: A distinct pain in my ass.

That isn't griping about anybody or anything around me.  No, that would literally be a distinct pain in my ass, thanks to a tight right hip flexor.  I remembered some time in the middle of the night (as I tried to sleep on my right side and started whimpering from the pain) that I had meant to get out the heating pad and do a few rounds of heat and ice.  I definitely need to do it tonight.  It's funny (not in that amusing sort of way, but go with me here) that it's the hip itself that hurts when I'm walking but my bum when I'm sitting.  I need to do a refresher on the anatomy of the ass. 

I'm starting off Week mumble mumble -- what is this, Week 5?  Yes, Week 5 -- all bright eyed and bushy tailed (and ass achy, but we've already covered that).  As in, I am doing absolutely nothing exercise related on my rest day.  It's tough, I know, I'm feeling the burn, but it has to be done.  Actually, it is such a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest that if you told me that I could take the rest of the day off if I went out instead and ran I would totally do it.  I wouldn't run tomorrow, but I would totally do it.  It is supposed to be nice at least through Wednesday. 

I didn't really get a chance to say much about yesterday's long run.  Eight miles is the farthest I have gone to date.  It went pretty well, except for my hip.  The pain wasn't enough to make me stop for good, but I did stop several times to stretch out my hip, and it was enough to think "Boy, this would really be annoying if it felt this way for 26.2 miles."  I already know I'll be packing some advil in the marathon and now I'm pretty sure I'll have tucked away an emergency vicodin.  It's not like I'm planning to drive that day or anything.  It hurts because the muscle is excessive tight.  What better remedy than a muscle relaxer?  If I were running on a broken bone, that would be totally different.  For example, I wouldn't be running, period.  I'd be sitting at home, chasing vicodin with vodka or something.  Or maybe tequila, I'm not a big vodka kind of a person. 

Anyhow, back to the run.  I've noticed -- and maybe you have too -- that I'm much much slower on the long runs.  At first, I told myself, "Self, the runs are longer.  You get more tired, it's natural that you'd be slower."  Which sounds all logical, right?  Except that I was even running the shorter distances of my long run slowly.  As in, you'd think I'd be running the first three or four miles at a decent pace.  But I wasn't.  I think I've finally figured out why that is:  Most of my long run routes have been in straight lines.  And apparently, seeing that distance stretch out endlessly in front of me, my tiny little bwain feels overwhelmed by it all and I slow down. 

Stupid, tiny little bwain.

So, I am happy to report that yesterday I ran a lot more than I have been, and nearly got under a 13 minute per mile average pace.  I would have ran a lot, lot more except for my hip flexor.  (Stupid, tiny little hip flexor.)  But even then, I would run a mile and then stop and stretch then walk for a minute or two before beginning to run again.  (I also stopped to take a few pictures of the river, which I need to download -- I probably could have been under 13 minutes if not for that.)  Later in the run, I would walk at the mile in order to do a shot blok and sip some water.  I may have not been fueling properly for these long runs.  Yesterday, my legs started to get really tired so I decided to do a shot blok ahead of schedule.  It seemed to help, so after another mile I did another one.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Maybe I need to do some more research on this. 

Hmmm.  On the weigh in issue, I did not heifer back up into the 189s but I was slightly higher than the day before.  Still, I'll take the overall loss for the week.  By the way, out of curiosity I weighed a glass of water this weekend -- the cup in the bathroom with which I, you know, drink water.  I don't usually weigh myself every day but I wanted to see how I fluctuated overal several days.  Since this wasn't routine, I would remember to do it at the last minute, and usually right after I'd had a glass of water.  I'm sure that those people who do not have tiny little bwains will realize right away that two cups of water weighs one pound.  You know, two cups, a cup is 8 oz, a pound is 16 oz, insert "D'oh!" here.   What can I say, it takes me a while to get intelligent in the mornings.  Anyhow, I'm trying to remember to be 100% pure CilleyGirl before stepping on the scale, with no artificial fillers or colorings or anything.  Yep, me and Foster Farms chickens.

As a side note, Foster Farms is a client of mine.  If you ever want to get turned off of eating chicken, try reading a list of their equipment.  Just reading the list.  No need to see it in action or anything.  Because, what the hell is a "paw puller"?  Do chickens have paws?  And it gets worse from there. 

But I still loves me some chicken.  I'm really not terribly squeamish. 

And on that note (or side note, as the case may be), I will leave you to your chicken dreams.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 28: I'm back!

Hello everyone!  Hope you have been having a wonderful week.  Mine was odd, although it ended well with Friday's brew crew and Saturday's trip out to the Portland Wine & Cheese Festival.  Now I'm ready to get back into it all.

First, I must say that Roger Daltrey still has one of the finest asses in rock and roll.  It's right up there with Springsteen.

Next, here is the Week 4 recap:

Mon/Day 22 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  I did absolutely nothing running related.

Tue/Day 23 - 3 miles.  SUCCESS!  Logged 3.02 miles.

Wed/Day 24 - Weights.  FAIL!  I skipped the gym. 

Thu/Day 25 - 5 miles.  FAIL!  I skipped the gym and didn't make it to work either.

Fri/Day 26 - 3 miles and weights.  FAIL!  Didn't go to the gym again. 

Sat/Day 27 - Rest.  SUCCESS!  I'm getting back into the training schedule. 

Sun/Day 28 - 8 miles.  SUCCESS!  Logged 8.03 miles.  Almost averaged under 13 minute miles.

Total mileage for the week:  11.05 miles.  Oops.

I think everything just got to me this past week.  Not doing much more other than training, work, and gym.  My dogs are sad that I'm not spending time with them.  I'm sad I'm barely home in the evenings before it's already time to go to bed.  Also sad that the scale still wasn't moving. 

But then I read the Week 4 chapter in the Whitsett book, which cautioned against setting any other goal than completing your first marathon.  In other words, you don't want to complete your marathon but still consider that you've failed if you didn't also make a weight goal.   And I talked with The Gazelle, who pointed out that marathon training will in fact be my entire life, but only until the marathon.  It all helped me to get my head back on straight.

Oh, and I'm sure since I skipped three workouts, that's why I lost nearly four pounds during Week 4.  Seriously, I started on Monday at 189.6 and yesterday I weighed 185.8.  It may have been more than a year since I was under 186.  It's like meeting men, only happens when you stop paying attention.  Of course I'll probably weigh 190 tomorrow morning!

So, on the schedule for Week 5:

Mon/Day 29 - Rest.

Tue/Day 30 - 3 miles.
Wed/Day 31 - Weights.
Thu/Day 32 - 5 miles.
Fri/Day 33 - 3 miles and weights.
Sat/Day 34 - Rest.
Sun/Day 35 - 10 miles.

A big mileage week!  Sunday I'm doing the Fanconi Anemia 8K, so I need to figure out how to add another five miles onto it.  Yes, I realize the logical thing would be to run the course twice, but I won't exactly be finishing first and they'll be closing the course down not terribly long after I finish.  I might just run back and forth along the waterfront until I hit ten miles.  If anyone knows how far it is between the Steel or Broadway bridges and the Hawthorne, leave me a comment eh?

Okey dokey, I am off to watch some more commercials.  Wish they'd quit interrupting them so frequently with this football game though. 

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More free stuff!

Tall Mom is having a giveaway for Recovery Socks here.  Check them out, check her out, and enter for your chance to win!

Tricia is hosting a giveaway for Oiselle Running Apparel here.  Visit them, visit her, visit your way into an entry!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

People giving away free running stuff!

I'm hoping to win some myself, because I am broke at the moment, so please go check out the giveaways here for Nathan and here for running skirts. 

the CilleyGirl

Days 22 and 23: My humps.

I have lost that bloggy feeling of late.  Over the past several days I have felt the need to pull inward, to regroup, to nest if you will.  Perhaps I have been around too many people and it is catching up to me.  That happens some times.  I start to feel drained and then I need to hunker down and recharge my mental batteries.  I also feel as though I am about to get over a hump in my training.  On one side is cutting back, slowing down, maybe even giving up.  On the other side is doing more, getting faster, a successful marathon.  I feel as though I could go either way, and the decisive factor in all of that is me.  So I need to gird my loins (?), gather my strength, stay away from shiny things, and take the step that I want to take.  (That would be on the not quitting side of things, in case you were wondering.) 

All of this has left me feeling less than creative and in danger of falling into a funk if I write here simply to write here.  Because I know it will all end up blue and sad and whiny.  And I don't want to do that.   It's boring.  So, until I get my whimsy back I may be a bit sporadic.  Never fret; I feel as though this transition will be coming very soon.  This weekend I'll spend some time with my friend S, plus on Friday I get to go do the best part about running:  spend time with running pals drinking beer.  Yay!

Anyone else feeling a bit off lately?  Maybe Mercury is in retrograde or something.

the CilleyGirl