Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Suspect List

Cotton: We haven't seen Average Joe's yet. They haven't made it to the court. It could be a psychological ploy, or something worse. 
Pepper: They're definitely not on the court, Cotton. Their absence is noticeable. 

....yeah, I know. I've been a little MIA recently. Sadly no, not a psychological ploy the internet? Ha! Anyway, no. What's up is that when I left for my Monday morning run I knew quickly that something was really wrong. I had shooting pains sort of from the backs of my hips down my legs. I slowed down, waiting for whatever twitch it was to work itself out, but it never did. By the last mile I was walking on and off. Through the rest of Monday and then crazy on Tuesday, my calves tightened and felt like I'd shredded them. WTH. 

Before I move on to the Suspects List, I want to jump to the end: I ran 4 miles today and had only a tiny bit of tightness and similar pain, so I think I'm almost out of the woods. I'm really thankful that it seems to be a temporary setback. 

So what do I think caused this? Here's the Suspects List, in no particular order.

Suspect #1: The pain in my rear

Yes, that old chestnut. And yes, I made my husband take this picture. I didn't even realize the piriformis was angry again until Wednesday when I realized that it was painful, rather than being it's low, dull, 18-month-old pain. Truthfully, I've slacked off the foam roller since Cleveland, so it's back to that. I think this old injury is the center of this week's issue, made worse by both Suspects #2 and #3. 

Suspect #2: Our couch

This couch and our kitchen table were the first pieces of furniture I ever owned. I loved this couch. But, 7 years and a child later, and I love it less. It was always deep, but with time it's gotten Little Shop of Horrors consumptive. And it makes my back hurt. New sofas are on their way! Cannot wait. They are going to be awesome. 

Suspect #3: Bad Yogi
Y'all know I love the yoga. But...admission of truth--I haven't done it since well before Cleveland. Meaning, I haven't been stretching out the piriformis (or anything else) since early May. BAD YOGI. I have a Groupon for a month of unlimited yoga classes, so I'm starting back this week. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Haha, get it? MOJo? Because I live in Missouri and my name is Joanna? And no, you cannot call me Jo. Unless you already do, which probably means you're either from a small town in WV or I met you in the US between 1999 and 2003. And that's a whole other story. Anyway, I seem to have lost some of my running mojo. And I need some help finding it. So, completely without segue, some backstory: 

See, I love coffee. (I swear, this is about running. Stay with me.) In fact, I love it so much I once took a picture of a freshly-filled canister of coffee beans to file away in a "Favorite Things" folder (before Pinterest was cool). 

And yet, most summers I try to wean myself from it. Why? Because it's frackin' hot out, and coffee makes it worse. And, life is usually much less chaotic in the summer, so I actually get enough sleep.* Oh yeah, and I have this bizarre need to prove to myself that I can break the addiction every now and then. #masochism. So, yes, I'm currently in the weaning process. I'm down to about 3/4 of one mug each morning. I hate this process.

As if that weren't enough, did I mention that it's hot out? Because, in the words of my beloved Jamie, it's hot as balls out. The last few days we've had highs around 96, also with crazy humidity. I ran my normal 4-mile loop yesterday morning, starting at 7:45am, and was about to hurl by the time I got home.

Neither of these things--the coffee withdrawal or the heat--is particularly motivating me to run. And because I don't have a training plan right now, I'm a little shy on motivation. But I also don't want to lose my new found speed or fitness from the marathon, so I need to find a way to motivate myself. So, you know me. I like lists. Here's what I'm gonna do.

  1. Steal underwear. Suck it up, admit that I don't have to be a hero, and face the dreadmill until the heat breaks (which is supposed to happen sometime this weekend. But you know what I think of the weather forecasters here). 
  2. Read up on hot weather running tips and be ready when the temps drop back below 90. 
  3. Profit.** Set up a non-plan schedule to maintain fitness. Something like 15-20 miles a week with short Monday and Friday runs, slightly longer on Wednesdays, and "long"ish runs on Saturdays. 
Any thoughts or advice? I know a lot of you have more experience in hot weather running and in non-training cycle running than I do, so please share!

*yes, normally work is slower in the summer. Just not right now. It's head-explodingly crazy right now. And I kinda like it. 

** Please, please tell me someone got that joke. Please. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I have three things to tell you, it's a Thursday, so let's do this!
  1. A big THANK YOU to Jodi over at Run Jodi Run for spotlighting me today. I've had so much fun getting to know her and am thrilled and honored to be part of her blog for the day! Read it here. You might learn a thing or two about me. :)
  2. Yesterday was National Running Day. I ran 4.8 miles and added it to the miles reel. They were hoping to get 500,000 miles and ended up with about 12,000. Er...that's embarrassing! Did you know there's an International Mustard Day (August 5th, don't ask how I know)? Why shouldn't we have a Running Day?!? Mustard versus Running--I'm gonna be really sad if Mustard has more Facebook friends. 
  3. Summer has arrived! That means more frequent water stops while running, more time outside, a still-crazy-but-less-scheduled work life, and a few of my favorite things--painting (aka, finishing decorating) and staring longingly at the empty space where our back-ordered porch furniture belongs blowing bubbles with the kiddo.