Monday, April 25, 2011

Warm for your form.

Following a long run, I've noticed that I've switched from a more all over soreness in my legs to just soreness in my quads.  Being the inquisitive CilleyGirl that I am, I decided to find out why.

Based on my research, I believe I may be leaning too far backwards during my runs.  I was sure I was leaning too far forwards -- gravity being what it is and my gigantic breasts being as they are -- but then I found this article here.

Under the Posture heading, the articles suggests you stand in place and lean to get a feeling of how you only feel balanced when your posture is straight.  Duh, I know, but then it says to walk forwards, leaning slightly forwards as you do so.  When I did that, it was the first time I've walked without quad pain in two days.

Interestingly enough, this all seems to stem from the girls.  I always put my shoulders back and relaxed when this gets the boobies up and out there.  Mainly so I don't slouch and they eventually droop to my knees.  (Plus there's just no camouflaging them so I might as well get them out there for all to see.)  That is all well and fine, but what I realized this morning is that in doing so I'm actually also arching my back.  Which is not all well and fine.  In fact, when I do it to a slightly greater extreme, it immediately aggravages a chronic sore spot in my mid-back.  Which explains that. 

If I relax my shoulders and tuck in my core, I get a less dramatic "Hey!  Ta-tas!" effect and more of a "Hey!  I have fantastic breasts" look.  And my back doesn't hurt. 

Overall, I think I lean with the right amount of angle, I'm just overdoing it with my upper back which pulls the rest out of alignment and in turn makes my quads work much too hard.  I've also had some knee pain or strain in that area during my long runs that I've never had before; I think this is the source of that problem as well.  I know I tend to swayback when I get tired, which bothers my low back.  I think working on form will help correct all of these issues.  One mental cue I use that I will continue to incorporate into this is what I call "running flippy."  To get an idea of what I mean, hold your hands out flat in front of you, palms down.  Now lift the fingers of one hand, flexing back through the wrist towards your arm.  Do that with the other hand as you flip your other hand back down flat.  It's kind of like the forwards moonwalk.  It's not precisely the action my feet are taking but it feels that way, and it makes me have crisper steps without raising my knees too much or dragging my feet.  It also gets me into a good one-two one-two rhythm that makes a pace feel easier to hold.

Hydration will also help.  I drank more water on Saturday than I have for just about any long run and felt a lot better physically after the run.  Still had a post-run headache but not as intense as I usually do.  Plus I think running up and down the stairs to the bathroom every 30 minutes the afternoon after my run helped with post-run stiffness.

Anyone ever figure out something about their stride was totally off?  Share!

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter!

This was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. 

On Saturday, the sun and warmer temperatures made a long-awaited appearance in Portland.  Because Sunday was Easter, Jules and I made plans to do our long run on Saturday instead.  The plan was to run at least ten with an eye towards twelve; I was secretly hoping to sneak in the 14 miles that was on my training schedule. 

We ended up doing 10.63 miles.  I think we could've done more except we were getting much too warm and I had kinda sorta forgotten to eat anything beforehand.  It was one of the best runs I've had ever.  I think the change in blood pressure meds really made the difference.  Friday, it was as though a light was turned on inside of me.  Suddenly I wanted to cook dinner, and cook something healthy; I ended up making baked tilapia and brussel sprouts with bacon with a pint of fresh sliced strawberries for desssert.  When I was still a little hungry about an hour later, I had a banana rather than the brownies still sitting in my kitchen.  I was excited that I was going to run tomorrow, and I woke up early on Saturday still excited. 

We ran the Fanno Creek trail from the Denney trailhead in Beaverton down to the Tigard library and back.  I wished we'd started earlier in the day because we were both feeling so great.  Thankfully we ran through a park with a working drinking fountain so that we could re-fill our water bottles; I must have drank at least 80 oz on that run.  I burned through the 50 SPF I was wearing and through my white tech tee.  Jules and I have decided; next long run we start early!

Sunday I planned to bake up hamzilla.  I looked up recipes for mashed sweet potatoes and for a cucumber salad; I had to make a trip to the pharmacy so I decided I might as well pick up what I would need to make these recipes as well instead of just doing the usual.  Around 1:00 p.m. I checked my phone for the first time and had a message from my friend S who moved to Bend last fall; she and her husband were on their way up to Portland for a few days and did I want to do dinner?  I called back and we quickly made plans for them to come over here with another friend and I'd cook Easter dinner.  It was great!  I so rarely get to cook for anyone but myself.  We added in some roasted garlic bread for those among us who eat grains (I did have one piece) and then for dessert we had brownies (the rest are out in the trash, yay!) and fresh sliced strawberries.  Yum!

My blood pressure had been great.  I've been taking it at night, usually after hanging out on the couch for a couple of hours.  A few nights, it was so low I was tapping my wrist saying "Is this thing on?"  i mean, 111/55 is EXTREMELY low for me.  Tonight I took it shortly after company left, to see how it was after normal activity, and it was still good, 131/71.  The headaches have almost stopped.  It's been easier to wake up in the mornings and I've had much more energy.   Work will pick back up again in a couple of weeks, so I am hopeful I'll still feel this good when it does.

I hope you all had a hoppy easter!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And.... I jinxed it.

Well, no run for me this evening.  I should've known not to post my plans, being all virtuous and that.  First, the clouds immediately rolled in.  It's sunny again now and about 49 degrees but Aunt Flo just came to visit.  Well, not so much as came to visit as slapped me upside the head and then began kicking me in the stomach.  So now I have cramps and the beginning of a migraine.

I also forgot to mention in my earlier catsup post that I saw my doctor the day before I left for vacation to go over last fall's blood pressure med changes/statin drug added in stuff.  My triglycerides are back down to normal, below the "oh my god" number they were last fall so the statin is working in that respect.  My bad cholester is good (heh) but my good cholester is low.  And my blood sugar is still inching its way up each year (105 now, I think she said, below 100 is what you want).  Consequences of metabolic syndrome, says my doc, since given the (relatively) healthy way I eat and the (relatively) high amount of exercise I'm getting I should have great stats.  But I don't. 

We talked about how draggy I've been, particularly at the beginning of runs, and she decided perhaps a beta blocker (which slows your heart rate) wasn't the best thing for me anymore.  Long story short (too late!), I'm in the process of weaning off the beta blocker and adding in more lisinopril.  Which has meant return of the dreaded thump-thump-thump headaches.  Before my blood pressure was stabilized beyond a certain point, on a daily basis I could feel the blood pulsing in my head.  It sucks.  Particularly when you are trying to sleep and you have thump-thump-thump at your temples.  On top of that, the increased lisinopril has resulted in a somewhat constant feeling of I'm going to yak.  I almost got to get up close and personal with my grandmother's commode is what I'm saying.  Thankfully, she is an excellent housekeeper.

So I had that going on all during my vacation:  not eating enough, not sleeping enough, inhaling carcinogens for hours at a time -- I believe the French coined the term "malaise" expressly for this kind of thing.

Oh, and my jaw spontaneously went out of whack so I've been clenching my teeth too much and sometimes it hurts when I chew. 

And now I want chocolate.  Bleargh.

Fuck it, I'm going to bed.

the CilleyGirl

Everybody's still here!

Here I thought I'd been gone so long that nobody would still be hanging around, but not only did you all stick around -- there's even one more of you!

Where to start?  When last we left our intrepid, big breasted CilleyGirl, she had just run a 5K race.....  I don't know why, but that race did me in.  Headache for the rest of the day, sore calf, no Sunday long run.  My training has been off kilter this go-round.  Last year I didn't have the work schedule that I've had this year.  It has slowed down for about another week then it will be go-go-go again until I don't know when.  2015, I think.

I just go back from five days in southeastern Idaho visiting my grandparents and my dad.  I'm glad I got to go.  My grandpa turned 80 earlier this year, he has had Alzheimer's for about four or five years now.  Thankfully he didn't seem any worse than when I saw him about three years ago (I think it was three.  Two?  Eh.); the meds are doing a good job of slowing the progression of the disease.  He actually seemed more stable physically in some ways, so that was good.  My grandma turns 80 in June, she's as she ever was.  When she, my dad, and I are in the same room together you can tell we're all related.  *grin*  Dad, however, who is hmmm 62 now I believe continues to deteriorate physically.  He has peripheral artery disease -- you see commercials about it a lot these days -- so of course he still smokes a zillion cigarettes a day.  Because when you have a disease that causes your arteries and veins to shrink in your limbs, you should continue a habit that also causes your arteries and veins to shrink in your limbs.  Long story short, he gets a lot of pain in his legs. 

Which made my recent bout of persistent calf pain a little nerve wracking, I'll tell you.

But anyhow.  Good flights there and back, a snazzy new Ford Escape to drive around in while I was there (they live 90 miles outside of Boise, the closest major airport), trip down to Jackpot, Nevada, to lose some money and wreck my lungs even further.  Difficult to explain to my grandma that I don't eat grains anymore and no, they're not always good for you.  I didn't eat much at grandma's house, particularly after I got so sick from the granola cereal I had on the first morning I was there.  Good incentive to go crawling back to paleo, begging it to give me another chance.  I got a run in, but a tremendous sidewind cut it short.

So that's what I'm working on now.  Food that is good for me and running.  Vancouver is a shockingly 58 or so days away and this is when the long long runs begin.  Last year I was worried more that I wouldn't have the mental fitness to complete the marathon; this year it's more the physical fitness I'm worried about.  I thought I'd lost the mental mojo but it's been coming back to me.  I really really really want to finish Vancouver in under six hours.  Sounds simple to a lot of runners, I know, but I'm never going to be fast.  I'm built for distance, not for speed.  A 100 mile race does not sound impossible to me.  A seven minute mile does. 

I hope everyone is doing well, and congrats to all those that ran Boston!  I watched the race and it helped to perk up my motivation a bit.  Most of it is still MIA but I am looking!  I am slowly catching up on blogs so it may be a while before I start commenting on them again.  Six miles on the schedule for after work and I am hoping that this weather lasts so that I can run it outside instead of on the tiny, stuffy indoor track at the gym.  Six miles = 72 laps on that sucker.  Yark!

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Burst 5K Recap

Today I ran the Spring Burst 5K that is put on by Reason to Run.  I really enjoy their races and they have great shirts.  And this year I finally got one that fit over my enormous breasts!  Of course, it's kind of like a dress for the rest of me, but yay for small victories.

This race is in Cook Park in Tigard and I've always considered Cook Park my running nemesis.  Today I felt like I almost conquered that.  Not entirely -- I could've done better -- but I was > < this close today.  It was still mostly a mental battle.

We had beautiful weather for this run although it was still chilly.  That's always been part of my problem with this park; Fanno Creek runs through it and there are a lot of marshy spots so it's always damp (even in summer, it's very muggy in the wooded areas) and worse when it's chilly.  This always triggers my asthma, and as I found out the hard way my inhaler was nearly empty.  While I was plenty warm, my breathing was very ragged for the first half mile (through the marshes) and then in the top part of the second mile (through the marshy wooded area). 

I also had a lovely wardrobe malfunction by way of my pants.  I wore my running tights and unlike the other two times I've worn these pants the front kept sliding down under my belly chub.  Which (a) makes you feel like your guts are going to spill out and (b) makes you feel like your big fat guts are going to spill out.  I spent a good part of the first mile yanking my pants back up.  This is where it came in handy that getting a big shirt to fit my breasts into meant that it came down really low past my hips so I didn't flash anybody. 

After the first mile I finally got my pants where they wouldn't fall down anymore.  After the second mile I got mostly back into a groove, and then I reached the point where I was just going to run.  I ended up kicking the last .1 mile at a ten minute mile pace.  My A goal for this race was under 40 minutes; my B goal was under 42 minutes and my C goal was under 45.  My Garmin time was 0:42:28 and while I want to check the chip time (it took a while to get to the mat) I think it's still within five or ten seconds (I think the chip time would be a little lower). 

This is my third year running the Spring Burst 5K; 2009 was Reason to Run's first year and this was their inaugural race.  Here's how I've done over the years:

2009:  0:45:18.  I'd been running sporadically for only three months at this time.

2010:  0:41:09.  I was almost three months into marathon training when I did this race last year.  It didn't feel like I did this well though; it's why I want to check my chip time for this year. 

2011:  0:42:28.  I felt a lot better than last year mentally but I wasn't in the physical shape I was then.  This is the first week all year I've run this much:  I ran Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and then today.  21.1 miles over those four runs. 

I'm really sleepy.

I had some calf twinges today, I'll pay particular attention to that in my run tomorrow.  Jules and I both raced today -- Jules did a 10K, yay for her! -- so we're aiming for only eight tomorrow as I had an 11 mile run on my training schedule.  The calf was still tight later today so I RICEd it and it feels a little better.  I'll roll it out before I go to bed.  Which should be soon, I thought about napping all day today but just couldn't manage to doze off.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Putting my breast foot forward

I've been thinking about my blog and I've been thinking about my boobs.  When I last changed things up (with the blog, not my boobs), I had wanted to focus on getting my sexy back.  The plan was to pursue things that would work towards that.  But lately I realized that that hasn't been my focus, and that I'm okay with that.  I already think I'm pretty damn sexy. 

I did realize that I want smaller breasts.  Well, not realize that right this minute.  After about age 12, I've pretty much always wanted smaller breasts.  While there are many parts of me I want to get smaller through running and a healthy diet, to be honest if someone told me that I could instantly perfect any part of my body (excepting the face), I would choose the girls.  Because I've been able to lose weight everywhere but my breasts.  And they're really freaking damn big.

Plus, it's fun to talk about boobs.  And haven't you always been curious as to how a top heavy woman can also be a runner?  Yeah, me too.  I can explain why most sports bras don't work.  Why the uniboob is a bad thing.  Why women's sizes in tech tees are just a bad idea overall.

So I've made the change. 

I hope you enjoy it.  Plus, boobs.

the CilleyGirl (and the Girls)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Battling with the bulge

After a relatively healthy weekend of plenty of sleep, a ten mile run, and looking at lots of pictures of healthy vegetables and fruits, I'm ready to get back into my serious paleo eating.

Except that there is this little voice in my head (or maybe it's in my tummy) that keeps whispering for apple pie and eggs benedict.  Just once, then it's out of our system.  The whisper, she is seductive.

It's also been going on for at least a week.  What's up with that?

I'm thinking I may need to have a couple of cheat meals to satisfy these cravings.  Otherwise they feel like they have the potential to transform into a "hey, eating an entire large five-meat stuffed pizza in one sitting sounds like a good idea!" kind of a thing.  Ever have those kind of cravings?  Where you ruthlessly stuff them down until they explode into something wildly different from the original, somewhat innocent craving?  "Oh, if only I'd had that M&M, instead of the entire chocolate mousse pie!"

So after the gym tonight I may be getting a slice of pie and some hollandaise sauce.  Along with fresh raspberries, some halibut, brussels sprouts, and bacon.  Nom nom nom nom nom!!

Before I forget, I want to send out good vibes to my long time friend Sandy who is having heart surgery this week, and also to another long time friend Tiffany who is in Paris for her first marathon.  Bonne chance mon amie! 

the CilleyGirl

Monday, April 4, 2011

I got my boobs on, I keep 'em on all night long

Ever see that show Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime?  Yeah, not me either, really.  I did catch part of one episode though where the main character -- beautiful model wannabe dies but comes back in the body of a plus-sized lawyer -- had a dream sequence to this song by Hello Stranger called "Big Boots."  Great song, if you Google it you can find it all over for a free download, but when I first heard it I thought it was "Big Boobs."  Which with the lyrics doesn't make much sense:

I got my boobs on,
I keep 'em on all night long.

I'm blanking on the rest because The Byrds are on the radio.  The lyrics are more fun my way.

Which brings me to the rest of the story.  When I turned 40 last fall, I got a generous gift card to Nordstrom's from the office.  Nordstrom's is typically out of my price range, but when I either have money to burn or a generous gift card I'll go there to shop for bras.  I'm sure in other highfalutin stores in big cities like New York and L.A. there are regular department stores where you can find fancy bras for the big boob'd among us.  Here, Nordstrom's is pretty much it if you are larger than a D cup and you want more than the basic industrial strength foundation garment in anything other than white or beige.  Again, though, pricey.  Those with the small ta-tas can spend $5 on a bra and it works.  Heck, it's not like a lot of them actually need bras.  For those who need feats of engineering prowess to keep the girls in line, a decent bra is always at least $50.  For one bra.  And then you have to retire it out of sheer exhaustion within months.

But I digress.

I've mentioned before that in last year's marathon training, I didn't lose a single inch off my chest.  My bras fit better since things got toned up, but there was zero change in size.  Now I'm training (sort of, but that's another story) for TWO marathons.  And? 

The damn things got BIGGER.


While I've lost some of last year's fitness and become a tad squishier, I haven't exactly gained any weight overall.  I've definitely been five or ten pounds heavier than I am right now, without a corresponding breast change.  How in the heck did my boobs get bigger now?  I even got a second opinion on the matter; I had the salesgirl do an official fitting.  She confirmed; the band size hasn't changed but I've gone up a cup size. 

Did you know that DDD was even a size?  Nordstrom's even goes up to the Js and Ks.  First time I was having difficulty finding bras that were small enough for me. 

I swear, one of these days I'm just going to tip over from the effects of gravity.  (Should you see me on the ground, please pause my Garmin.) 

Had a great run on Sunday with Jules.  We did part of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, which is a beautiful 21-mile trail that runs between -- can you guess? -- Banks and Vernonia.  Takes about 30 minute to get there from Julie's, maybe 45 minutes from my place.  I like to start from the Buxton trailhead, because there is a bathroom there.  Heading towards Vernonia from there, it's all a gradual uphill.  My Garmin said it was an overall 800 foot elevation gain, which we did over the first five miles.  Standing in one spot, you wouldn't really notice the uphill versus downhill but when you're running you do notice it.  The five miles coming back, though, you feel like you're flying.  It's a great route for training.

And it didn't rain!

After the run, we went for lunch at a Greek cafe in Vernonia, the Blue House Cafe.  This place is OMG good, and worth the drive out there.  It was the second time ever Julie had had Greek food so we went all out -- the meditteranean sampler plate with hummus, pomegranate sauce, roasted red pepper dip and baba ganoush, some dolmathes which exploded with flavor and bits of dolmathes down your chin, and a gyro platter.  Even the coffee was great.  I still haven't tried their beer (they brew their own) or their desserts.  I really wanted some of those desserts by the evening.  A reason to go back!!

the CilleyGirl