Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Mile

I’ve been good about staying out of my heels and wrapping my leg, but when I got back from my tax accountant (looking better than I thought!) and convincing Milena at Verizon to replace my malfunctioning phone for free (yes!), I figured it would be a good idea to take a shot at the treadmills in our new (totally-amazing-22nd-floor-in-the-heart-of-midtown-and-katie's-first-high-rise-ever!) apartment building.

I haven’t been in a gym in, gosh, probably over a year. I was never, ever a fan of gyms. Something about everyone looking around at each other, or having to actually look like I know what I’m going to do next, or wondering if I can stretch as limberly as the 40-year old woman next to me, or confused as to whether or not I should look at myself in the mirror when I’m ‘pumping’ my 15 lb irons or just down at the weights in front of me… so many weird idiosyncrasies that I found myself facing and entirely too stressful overall.  But back in Urbania  you had to belong to a gym, unless you wanted to hit the hilly, pavement surrounded by inner city congestion and pollen-producing trees in the summer or exercise through the cold, snowy winters. What’s funny is that when I mounted the treadmill tonight and could see myself in the mirror, I was pleasantly surprised. It was kind of cool to see myself up there, looking fit and athletic (thank you, Nike gear...). *happy sigh*. (Oh, and the gym was completely deserted. Anxieties alleviated.)

It was my first attempt at real exercise in one week. I only planned to walk out my crinks, but the leg felt fine and I hustled up to 5.8mph and steadily and carefully jogged one mile! I ran a mile tonight!! A full mile at 5.8mph on the treadmill! This is progress! I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but if I listen to music as I run, I can’t ‘listen’ to my body. I have a tough time deciphering between pain that I should run through and pain that is screaming, “STOP STOP STOP”. I get so pumped up with my music that I pretty much think I’m Hercules. That’s likely what got me into trouble with this leg in the first place. I shouldn’t have done all 8 miles one week ago. I might’ve heard: ‘Katie. This is your leg speaking. Slow down.’ But Benny Benassi was screaming… KEEP GOING! YEAH, YOU’RE A ROCK STAR! GET IT, GIRLLLL!   *thump thump thump thump.’ Well, tonight I ran with only one ear bud in to be… how shall I say this? …one with my leg? Weird, I know. But it worked! I stopped at a mile and I feel good.

Unless I experience a miraculous recovery within the next 10 days, I’ve decided not to run the 13.1 on March 6th. It’s not worth it. This injury is much more serious than I imagined it to be one week ago. Plantarflexion is out of the question. As Kat Munoz wisely advised me yesterday over a bottle of wine on the balcony in christening the new apartment, “It’s only your first year of training. You’re bound to get your worst injuries now, while you figure out what you can and can’t handle. I had a friend who recently ran on an injury and she came out of the race on a stretcher and ended up in the operating room.” Yikes. Point taken.

So as inwardly disappointed as I feel, I’ll continue to get excited about little victories like running a mile on the treadmill and lifting 25 lbs on the leg press machine. I can start with 5K’s and work back up. There’s always another race just around the corner; whenever I round that corner.

And for now, there’s the rest of my White Zin, a hot shower, and some more boxes to unpack!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stupid Nerve Damage

It's ironic that my last post was about smiling - because I was definitely not smiling for the last two days :(

See that body part, hiding my fibularis longus, superficial peroneal nerve, anterior tibialis, or whatever the heck is underneath there that's causing this miserable, pain-inducing, run-preventing calf and foot pain? I have no idea what I did to it, but I think it's a combination of the kick I took two weeks ago in soccer and the stumble I made in those gorgeous 4", red high heels on Valentine's Day earlier this week. If I run my hand down the exterior lateral part of my calf - exactly what you see - all I feel is bruising and pain. But there's no swelling or inflammation! The muscles are tight, my leg alternates between numbness and tingling, and it hurts to bear weight on it for more than a few minutes. Mom says it's tendon or nerve damage and to rest rest rest.  So there I sat at work yesterday with a 12" Thermacare heat patch on my leg, underneath an ACE bandage and meticulously counting out 600mg of Motrin every 8 hrs.  I'm out of my running shoes for a few more days. I've been able to keep up with stretching, abs and arms, but this ill-timed injury is doing nothing for helping me reach my 1:37 half marathon time in 2 weeks. Boy am I frustratedddddd. ARGH!

What am I going to do? Wrap up my leg and head down to Virginia Key for a beach bbq. The view from my bedroom says it's looking like a gorgeous way to start this (immobile!) weekend.

Have a wonderful President's Day weekend!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do I Make You Smile?

I couldn't help but test this question on my run tonight. It was my standard 8 miles [If you have any interest in checking out my route, I've mapped it for you here!] and I was in a good mood and began considering the social psychology of other runners.

South Beach is a very public place to run. And I find myself quite naturally shifting eyes towards oncoming runners and giving them a toothy smile as we cross paths. Maybe it's awkward for them or maybe they appreciate the friendly fellow-runner motivation and acknowledgment. Tonight, I made a point to smile at as many oncoming pedestrians and runners as I could.

Here are my stats on successful smile-returns:

90% Lone men or men in pairs (Goooo figure, right!)
70% Older man as part of a couple
40% Groups of drunks
25% Older women in the company of other women
10% Girls who were running
0% Girls power walking or walking

There were definitely people who just stared. As if they'd never seen a smile before. I didn't include them. They seemed very confused. I wish the girls smiled more. I hope I wasn't creeping them out. I probably was.  Well anyway, while I can appreciate everyone who smiled back at me, I'm going to have to commend those who weren't returning the effort of flexing those 17 facial muscles. Maybe they weren't psyched to be out on the boardwalk exercising, but they were. Good for them!

I also have an apparel review for you tonight: Nike's Livestrong Women's Capri's.
Two thumbs up!

(Only 6 more days in this apartment, then onto Midtown!)

These are so lightweight; the waist band fits snug without digging into my skin. There's also a convenient key-holder pocket on the top part of the waist band in the rear. As you can see, they land just below my knee, but I didn't experience any tugging on the material while running. I would recommend them to anyone, for cooler weather running!

I'll spare you the details of locking myself out of my own house for two hours on the return. Just always make sure that you have the CORRECT house key when you depart!

A small request, as you start your Wednesday: Find someone who might need a little pick-me-up and give them a smile. Nothinig over-the-top, extravagant and borderline obnoxious... maybe just lift the corners of your mouth and with kind eyes. Valentine's Day is over ~ but keep the love coming. After all, what do you have to lose! 


Sunday, February 13, 2011


I wanted to squeeze a good run in before the Art Walk tonight, but there were a few interruptions. The first two startled me so badly that I had to pause for a "be still my heart" moment:

1. Homeless man sleeping in the shadows of the board walk
2. Cat fell from palm tree branches directly in front of my face
3. Fireworks show on the beach!

4. Heather's phone call about meeting up at Art Walk. I generally never ever ever pick up my phone during my runs, but we had plans to meet up. In fact, after I got the call, I realized I was completely out of time and turned around and sprinted hard back home, to make up for the shortened overall distance.

Friends back home would probably slap me for saying this, but it's getting chilly down in South Florida. I was running in 55 degree weather. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. My wonderful roommate, Natalie, advised me to wear some extra clothes; advice which I confidently ignored saying I would get hot quickly. Well... it was cold. The chest, legs and arms get heated the fastest, but all of my appendages were co-co-cold. People at the Art Walk were decked out in New York style black leggings and heavy jackets. I guess it really is winter!  Hopefully I won't catch the flu tomorrow after paddle boarding (my first attempt!) in winter water.

Gene Harris' "At Last" is putting me to sleep. Gorgeous version here. I would highly recommend adding it to the soundtrack of your Valentine's Day evening!

Eyelids are so so heavy...


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Run Fun!

So so so much fun tonight at Run Club! The Photo Hunt was awesome.

We were broken off into our pace groups and the pacer held a list of things that we had to locate and get the entire group behind for a photo. For example: tourist wearing Nike gear, the Apple Genius' from the Apple Store on Lincoln, an exotic car (surprisingly hard to find tonight! I was hoping for a Cobra or a Phantom. We could only find a Bentley. COME ON South Beach, haha), the bunny statues at The W, the Infinite Pool at Delano, things like that. We were all crazy people running around, mostly scaring the tourists and staff of all targeted venues. You should've seen the staff at Delano, and the horror on their faces to see 30 sweaty bodies running through their gorgeous lobby restaurant. Haha! Pictures will be up soon enough.

I was worried about how much exercise was actually going to be involved in this evening's shennanigans since we would stop every several hundred yards for a new photo. Well, when you're hiking up to the top floor of a parking garage, or sprinting down Alton Rd because you only have "2 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" to get back to home base, it's amazing what muscles you can discover that you thought you never had...

And of course, wonderful Shake Shack discounted beer and (phenomenal!) burgers for the runners, post-race. I hope the SS staff knew what they were in for tonight. 150+ runners walking in the front door is a lot of mouths to feed. They were on point. Emilio and I were easily one of the last runners to grab some Shackmeister Ale's (yes, Shackmeisters) and that guy behind the counter was still smiling and joking with us.

I hope they put in some more of these interactive runs, though it'll be nice to hit our solid 3.5 on the beach again next week. One million thanks to Frankie and his team (props to our pacer, Sadie!) for organizing an awesome evening: Way to shaaaake shake shake it up!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting Back on Top

What a great run tonight! Probably just a little shy of four miles, but that's perfect for getting back into the swing of things. I had a great pace and I don't feel sore anywhere. Well, except my right gluteus maximus... which is actually an exciting injury because it means my brand-new post-running lunges are doing exactly what they're supposed to!

Yep... <--- THAT glut. Haha.

Tonight was all about listening to my body. I wasn't blogging back in October when this addiction to running birthed itself, but you've got to understand that I didn't start out anywhere even CLOSE to the pace that I have now. I would run 4 miles so slowly that I was almost walking. Alejandro could tell you about it. I feel so bad that he had to run next to me; I was sooooo slow! But it was all part of building up. I knew that injury or not meeting certain run times would instantly cause frustration and contribute exactly ZERO to the chance of building endurance. You've got to get into a pace, you've got to get into a zone. Tonight I was listening to all my muscles so I didn't further harm anything that was still recovering from Sunday. Total success; systems are g-o!

Alright, be aware that tonight I'm setting a goal! I need to clock 1:37:00 at the Miami Beach 13.1 on March 6th. If I do that... I will automatically qualify for the New York City marathon this fall. Wouldn't that be crazy! It would also put me in direct alignment with achieving my ultimate goal:  clocking a 1:20:00 on the half marathon... but that's months and months away. So here I go: running faster and harder, and even running 13.1 or more miles before the actual race. The daunting part is that this all needs to be done in less than one month (yikes!). Girlfriend, you got it. Be unstoppable!

My mom was in town this weekend. On Sunday, we went biking in the Everglades. It took Erin, mom and I about 30 minutes to go only one mile - we took pictures of every single turtle, alligator, bird and fish that we saw. An old couple was walking the bike path and kept passing us. It was a little embarassing. Finally, after the mid-point lookout tower, we biked like MAD people back to the lodge. Nothing like 15 miles on a beach cruiser to stretch those quads out.  Good times.
This little guy came up out of the water to play with my bike. He looked so docile! I wanted to just jump on his back. Then I recalled Discovery Channel's 'Migrations' series and alligators (or were they ...crocodiles?) mauling the wildebeest calf's and decided to lay low.

PS - Thanks Erin for holding my bike while Fluffy here sniffed out my tire!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Days Off

Oh, goodness. I do NOT like not running. My quads and calves are still twisted up like a pretzel and tight with knots all over. I can feel them twinge with every step, but am doing my best to just put it out of my mind and keep the standing and walking to a minimum.  I must have pulled some baby tendons pretty badly! I can't believe I'm going to take a week off after running this silly 13.1. My inner RunMoo misses the boardwalk so(!) much.

I had a decent soccer game last night; we came back and ended up tying the game 7-7. I was in pain as soon as I stopped running, but didn't feel anything when I was playing. It probably wasn't smart to go play, but come on... who's going to resist a mid-week, co-ed, 6v6, rooftop, turf, soccer game? I met some cool new people. A lot of them have re-located here form the northeast.  It felt like a piece of home when I was talking to them. That's the ideal situation: all of my wonderful friends living down here in this gorgeous tropical city with me. Win-win!

So, no review yet for those Nike Compression Shorts. Hopefully next week! Mom's coming into town tomorrow night. I think we're going to hit the 15 mile bike at Shark Valley on Saturday. That probably isn't smart either. Hopefully nothing an ice bath and some Motrin can't fix.

Yay, it's Friday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Miami Beach Half Marathon: SUCCESS!


That's an 8:22 mile and almost 14 minutes better than the Palm Beaches Marathon! 

Aaaand this is me lamely taking a picture in my Scion's window since my camera phone's finish line photos are lost forever. Thank. You. Verizon.

I barely reached the start line before the gun went off because parking was more of a nightmare than I had imagined, so I probably could have stretched out a little more than I did, but here's my starting point (one minute and thirty seconds behind the guys at the gun). Sooooo exciting!

 My muscles were tight from the start, but I just kept saying, "It's a 13 mile jog, it's a 13 mile jog...", turned up my Cascada mix and trotted right over Rte. 395 with 16,965 (Seriously! That's what the race stats say!) other runners. It was a gorgeous morning with temperature's heading into the 70's as the sun rose over South Beach for our first few miles. Those streets were my training ground and it just felt really good to run by all the hotels and restaurants with the staff outside cheering us on. I whipped out my cell phone once we got to Alton Rd. and woke my friend Nick up. He scooted his butt out to Ocean Drive and high-fived me on Mile 5! When we turned onto Washington Avenue, we trapped a prostitute on the corner since she couldn't cross through the mob. I legitimately felt sorry for her. I wonder how long she had to wait there...

I stayed in front of the 3:40:00 pace group (if you stick with them for the entire marathon, you would qualify for the Boston marathon) and as we crept up towards the last few miles, I pushed into the 1:50 half marathon pace group. One of the coolest things ever (seriously, my eyes even got a little wet) was running through the 'tunnel' of fans after we crossed the Venetian Causeway.  I didn't know a single person in the crowd, but they were so close to us and there were so many fans, just cheering and jumping and blowing things and who knows what else.  It really hit me, feeling part of something so big. I couldn't help but smile smile smile.

I got confused by the wrong half circle of balloons and sprinted through a faulty finish line (that almost killed it for me when I realized that we were still... running...ughhhh) but swung around that last corner, through the grandstand and past the finish line directly in front of the American Airlines arena!!

My friend Erin was working at the medical tent so I chugged my first bottled water and went over to say hi. Bad idea to stop walking! My left achilles was so sore that I started limping. I tried to 'man up' and 'walk it off', but I ended up just walking ... straight to my car. Since they pushed the finish line several blocks up and away from the parking lot, it was a looooong, slooooow walk back to the car. I was glad to leave immediately. I know you're supposed to want to see your friends and hang out and talk and just feel good about life in general... but after this one and even the last one, all I could think about was a shower and a long late morning nap with my bedroom windows open. (My body is not now nor will it ever be accustomed to waking up at 4:30am...)

And that's just what I did. I took a 20 minute shower and slept for 4 hours!

Then I caught up with Nick and grabbed a lazy Sunday afternoon bite with him then we planted ourselves at Starbucks in the heart of South Beach and chatted about life.

We took Chloe to the dog park, shopped on Lincoln Road, then grabbed dinner and brewsky's at Yardhouse.

Now THAT'S a Sunday! I'm staying off the pavement for another two days but plan to be back on the boardwalk for Thursday night's Run Club. Can't wait to be back in my Lunarglides. Next up is Miami Beach 13.1 on March 6th! I'll check back in on Thursday to let you know how I feel about my brand new Nike compression shorts that just came in!!

And as always, thank you for all of your support!