blk: (running)
In a moment of questionable decision-making, I ran the Great Race (10k) on Sunday.

I love this race; it's a favorite of mine, despite the crowds and the lack of corrals and other issues. It's got a place in my heart, and it's convenient and cheap, and well, I just want to keep running it. So I signed up back in Jan every year. This year, it was early enough that I figured my knee and toe problems would have plenty of time to get worked out.

Well, 3 specialist visits and quite a bit of money later, my toe issues have improved from "regularly minorly painful and specifically irritated by running (among other things)" to "occasionally minorly annoying, and mostly ok if I treat it carefully and wear insoles." So, while it's not as fixed as I would have wanted, the expensive orthotic insoles do seem to be helping. My current theory is that it's inter-metatarsal bursitis, which fits with the "bone and foot structure is fine" observations of the doctors and mostly fits the pain symptoms I do have, but is also a "be nice to it and hope it gradually improves" injury, which I hate because it means I expect this is basically something I just need to learn to live with.

My knee, on the other hand, I'm pretty sure is "just" a flare-up of that old patellofemoral pain, i.e. a form of "runner's knee," i.e. my kneecap doesn't track properly under load, and there are definitely exercises I can do to help it (once I figure out what they are). And proper foot alignment helps a lot.

These stupid joint problems meant that I didn't run at all for 9 months, waiting for pain to go away; and when it did, there wasn't time to get back my mileage. So I didn't plan to run. But then I failed to give away my registration, and [livejournal.com profile] xuth picked up my race bib and a shirt that actually fits me (this is the first year they have women's-cut race shirts) and he was going to run it anyways, and I decided if nothing else, I could walk it just fine, so.....

I taped1 things up and made a goal to finish in between 1:15 and 1:30. Basically, no faster than a slow jog, and no slower than a fast walk. I ended up running slowly for the first 4 miles whereupon I hit a big downhill and my knee complained really loudly. I ran/walked the rest of the way, coming in at 1:24:29, which is my slowest race pace ever, but considering conditions, marks success. My knee hurt a lot at the end, but no more than in the past, and was more or less fine as soon as I stopped running.

Of course, the rest of my body took the brunt of that whole unprepared for running thing, and every other muscle in my legs has been SUPER sore since then. Stairs and desk job do not make things easier at all. However, none of that is anything more than overworked muscle, that will be fine within a few days.

The important part is that my toe never felt any worse than mildly annoying, which I consider not only success for this race, but a sign that I can (slowly) start running again regularly (combined with appropriate knee exercises). So that's my new plan. Er, as soon as I finish recovering.


1 I totally thought that the kinesiology taping fad was a total crock, and then my google searches brought me to something called McConnell taping for PFPS, and it actually WORKS. By "works" I mean it greatly reduces pain when I go about my normal activities. It obviously doesn't fix the underlying issue, and various online sites seem to disagree about exactly WHY it works, but some of my dubiousness has been turned into curiosity. And it turns out that if I don't care about pretty colors or brand names, and only use it occasionally, it's quite cheap and easy to acquire.
blk: (running2)
I almost didn't run the Filthy Four race this year. I was wavering about whether I would go out all the way up to the point where I was lying in bed at o'dark-thirty and would need to get up in 10 minutes if I was going. It was super cold (18F at 7am), my toe's been bothering me lately, I haven't done nearly enough running recently and was underprepared, I still haven't gotten any of my friends to join me, and, well, hills suck. And the bed was warm and cozy.

I finally decided that if I didn't go, I'd regret not even trying, and if I did go and things got to be too much, I could always stop part way and come home. So I went, and I did it. This year there were more overall runners (31, up from 24) and more women (5, up from 3), and once again I firmly secured my last place but got one point per hill because I ran them all, dammit. Overall I don't think I created any new injuries which is great, although my knees were pretty unhappy with the downhills and are still quite tender.

I am glad I ran, and I'm glad it's done, and I realized afterwards that this was pretty much the last big thing I was working for this year. It's quite freeing to be done. I also realized that I need to fail more often. Or give myself the chance to fail. To quit. To try something that's too much and not be able to do it and just deal with it. Because I'm much more likely to not try at all. It's much safer and less scary that way. Which is not the person I want to be.
blk: (running)
This weekend was my 5th time running the Great Race, and my best time yet.

I'd been doing a great job of running all summer, but then on my camping trips in Aug/Sep my foot started hurting again, so I didn't do any running for the month leading up to the race, in an attempt to not injure myself further. I've been running strong this year, though, and got my 5k PR down to just under 24 minutes, so I decided I would aim for a 50 minute 10k. This was made significantly easier by my lovely new GPS watch as well as the Great Race having marked pace groups for the first time, so I didn't spend the first 2 miles trying to dodge slower runners.

I started off just ahead of the first 8:00 min / mile pacer. Thanks to my watch I was able to keep an even pace just under 8:00 for the first few miles, not letting myself go "all out" on the downhills but taking those times to breathe and recover a little, while stretching on the uphills. As expected, the mi 4 hill (110ft in .8mi) slowed me a bit, and the 8:00 pacer edged past me just at the crest of the hill. But I was still on target, and just had to keep up my race pace through the end, which I did, to finish at 49:41. Yeah!

Post-race, I walked around a bit, had two oranges, two cups of water, a cup of gatorade, a quarter bagel, and an E'n'P smiley cookie. Then while walking around with Xuth and Rachel, my stomach started hurting. I think I'm blaming the gatorade. We eventually bused back to Squirrel Hill and walked home. After getting home, I was going to go shower, then decided that while I was already gross and sweaty, I should mow the lawn, THEN shower. Or really, mow the weeds, since that's most of what was growing. Once outside, I decided to do just a wee bit of weeding out the strawberry patch before mowing. That turned into both gardens getting cleared out. THEN I mowed, then I showered. Ahhhh. Yay, being productive.

Later on in the evening my muscles all started to stiffen, and my hips were sore, so I went to bed early. Today my calves are sore, my thighs are sore, and my back is sore. Oof. Standing up after sitting is painful. Going downstairs is difficult. My foot is also pretty tender, which I kinda expected, so going on a no-running diet for at least two weeks, possibly more.
blk: (running)
If I ran races more often I probably wouldn't be doing race reports after so many of them, but I only do a few, and they keep being interesting to me, so I'm writing.

I ran in the Run Around the Square 5k last weekend, and the most interesting part was that it was the first race I've done with my new toy, the Garmin ForeRunner 225, which is the first ever GPS watch I've owned (thanks, Katy!). I have ALL the data! Data is fun.

First off, it told me I ran a great race (not The Great Race, that's next month) without needing to wait for posted results. My total time was 24:40, which is a 5k PR for me if I define the P as standing for "Pittsburgh" (my best 5k was on a super flat, straight course, which Pittsburgh does not have). It also told me that I got a new 1mi PR which I wasn't expecting. It took me over 2 years to "officially" beat my last 1mi PR, since all I had to go on was total race times (and I rarely race anything less than a 5k), but now the Garmin tracks my mile splits as well.

The course was mostly flat for the first mile, went up 260 feet in the next mile+1/3, and went most of the way back down in the last 3/4 mile. The first mile had my best pace, the second was slower with a few noticeable dips, and the last 3/4 I sprinted and sped up my average pace from 8:44 down to 7:57. Woo!

My heart rate averaged 184bpm with a max of 195, and although I was pushing reasonably hard, at no point did I feel like I was doing too much. I've suspected for years that my heart rate runs high (various age-based equation estimates give me "max" ranges between 183 and 174, but I can hit 170 while barely breaking a sweat), and I had been intending to look into stress testing for a while. These numbers feel like they represent my experiences better.

After the race there was wandering around collecting food and drink and goodies and looking for other people I knew (didn't see many). Stayed around to see if I placed in my age group (didn't, but got 7/90), then biked home. Nothing hurt, which is a major win. Or at least, nothing hurt that wasn't the expected lingering muscle soreness the next day that I consider normal and not actually an injury.

Nice race, I should do it again.
blk: (running)
It turns out I'm really awesome at running when I have a goal, even more so when I have 15 of them. Also, flat terrain and a slow pace makes me feel like I can run forever (well, at least for the first 90 minutes or so).


me pre-race, pic via City of Play

This morning was the City Spree put on by City of Play (formerly Obscure Games) in Pittsburgh, and part of the first Open Streets Pgh, where they're trying to shut down a bunch of road and attract non-vehicular traffic. The whole event today was pretty successful and nice and I really hope it moves towards something even bigger in future years. I'd waffled a lot about whether I was going or not, mostly due to fickle weather forecasts and not knowing anybody else running and not really wanting to get up early, so I didn't get myself signed up in advance. But this morning an insider tipped me that I could still register on site, so I got up stupid early, ate, and showed up downtown to find the right people and give them money.

The "race" is about hitting a minimum number of checkpoints of your choice within a time limit (6/1hr vs 13/2hrs) Runners were given a google map with 23 checkpoints. We registered a phone with a texting service before the race, then at each checkpoint, texted in a code word to mark that we'd gotten there. Points at each checkpoint slowly degraded with number of runners visited.

As with the last time I ran this, I figured the strategy lay primarily in visiting as many high-value checkpoints as possible in the total time, and that I could probably expect to be able to run about 10 miles. I mentally worked on my traveling salesman techniques in the 15 minutes before race time, and figured a pretty good route that would get 13 med-to-high value checkpoints, and then some additional low value ones if I had extra time at the end. I started off running a little fast with a couple who were heading my way, but we diverged after the third checkpoint, and I slowed myself down a little to a comfortable jog. Flat terrain is awesome. I didn't start feeling real discomfort until about 90 minutes in, and then the promise of finish line helped keep me going. Each checkpoint I slowed to a walk, texted the code, made sure it registered, took a drink, and kept running. My walk breaks got longer towards the end. I collected high-fives from police officers who were helping with the street closures, waved to several friends, and generally enjoyed myself. I neglected sunscreen, having been anticipating an overcast morning and possible rain, but it ended up partly cloudy and lovely. Fortunately, I only got a tiny bit of burn on the back of my arms.

I hit my required 13 checkpoints at 1:40 in, at about 1.3 miles from the finish. I decided I could easily get another two points that were mostly on the way, but the second one slowed me more than I expected, and I ended up sprinting the last half mile. I grabbed one more checkpoint on the way, slowing for just a few seconds, and reached the finish line (and texted the final code) with 20 seconds to spare! If you know my cell phone number you can look at the points I hit and approximate route here.

Nothing was hurting too bad at that point, but I decided to sit and take my shoe off, and as soon as I did so I noticed my toes were pretty tender, and any movement at all was pretty painful. So I just kept sitting down, even when they called my name out as the top female 10k (haha) finisher. Yay! It turns out I even won by 45 points, which means the last two checkpoints hadn't even been necessary. A half hour of sitting, several cookies, and a bunch of water later, my foot pain had decreased a lot, and now it's feeling mostly fine. I guess I'll see how it feels in the next few days.
blk: (running)
I celebrated the end of the longest night by doing something ridiculous, difficult and exhausting - running the Filthy Four again.

The day dawned... oh wait, no, this was all pre-dawn. My day started cold but dry, and stayed just below freezing the entire time. Fortunately, I've spent the last month+ learning how to run in cold, and I managed to layer appropriately so that I was a comfortable temp the entire time. Well, except for my hands towards the end, because I don't have good running gloves that don't get my fingers cold when I sweat. But it wasn't awful.

I found the group easily, and once again I didn't know anybody except the organizer, as I had sadly failed to convince any of my friends to run it with me (despite trying!). There were more runners overall, including more women runners, but a worse ratio (1:8 down from 1:7). The more runners overall meant a larger differential between the fastest and the slowest of the group, which tended to cluster in a large pelaton up front and a very few trailing behind. Over the first 3 miles to the first hill I ended up falling somewhere between the two, which is an extremely unfortunate place to be when it's dark out (even with streetlights) and very difficult to make out people just a block away. After the second hill and a few times of almost losing the group and getting stressed about it I fell back to jog with the rear guard. We arrived several minutes later for the last hill but at least I had people to run with and didn't worry about getting lost.

My goals were to 1) finish, 2) without injuring myself. Well, I successfully made it up all the hills, albeit (relatively) slowly and painfully. My suspect foot was feeling pretty tender by the end, so I walked home carefully after the requisite group photo (fb), but it didn't bother me at all for the rest of the day, so I guess it's OK. The rest of my legs (muscles and joints) were pretty sore, but I think mostly in normal ways. Still hurting today, but in pretty manageable levels. Afterwards I had the best shower to warm up, and caught another hourish of lovely sleep so that the shortest day didn't inadvertently turn into my longest day (of being awake), as I had more things planned later.

But now I can stop my focus training and take a nice lovely break... ahhh, who am I kidding, I'll probably be back out on the trail by next week at the latest.

and i'm feeling good )
blk: (running)
I've been doing a whole lot of not running since spring. And while I kind of enjoyed taking a break after pushing so hard at the half in May, I've been starting to miss it. But I hadn't quite decided on it yet. Then I saw the Filthy Four event for this solstice was posted and suddenly my mind was made up. I WANT to do that run this year! I did it last year and it was awful, miserably damp, painful, and gray, and I felt SO GOOD at having finished it. Plus it's a really nice personal way for me to celebrate the end of the longest night.

In order to run a race in December, I need to run now, which means I needed to somehow get over my aversion to winter running. I really dislike running in cold, dark, wet, and slippery. OK, the dark, wet and slippery are still going to be a challenge, but I can at least do something about the cold. I found some nice cold weather running tights from the target clearance rack, dug out some thicker running socks, experimented with top layer fleeces and gloves, acquired a fleece Buff for my face, and played with some earbands and hats for my ears. I think I have everything covered well except for my hands. After playing with a few of my existing options, I think what I really want is a convertible glove/mitten system (so the top layer is still attached to me when I take it off). Mittens because I really need the extra warmth when I start out, and probably fingerless gloves, because when I finally do warm up and start sweating I want to be able to vent my fingers without exposing everything.

But for the most part, I now have a setup that seems to work. I've been doing short distances - 1-2 miles - almost every day for a little while under the current theory I have that frequent-but-short occasions for feet-ground-impact experiences are what I need most of to build up stronger foot bones/muscles. I've never before been an everyday runner, but I'm going slow and being careful and most importantly it's feeling -good-. I hadn't realized how much I missed the quiet and exertion and feelings of movement. I'm ready to do more, but holding myself back. But I just added in a steep hill to my route this weekend and that also went pretty well.

Anybody have suggestions on how to deal with the dark, wet, and slippery parts of winter? Bleh.
blk: (ow)
Last April I became intimately familiar with what a metatarsal stress fracture felt like while training too hard for my half-marathon. I had a very painful couple days, then a very annoying two weeks in an orthotic foot-boot, then ran my race successfully, without re-injuring my right foot. Unfortunately, my left foot started twinging in a familiar way right after the race.

My left foot felt fine a day later, but I was happy to be done with running for a bit, and my knee wasn't terribly happy, so I decided to give everything a good long break. After the initial soreness wore off, everything felt fine.... except my foot would occasionally give me a really minor twinge every once in a while. A twinge that a year ago I would have shrugged off and ignored, but that now I'm pretty sure is another minor fracture. Well, OK, no running. It didn't hurt at all when I bike or climb or walk or stand or sit or... well, anything. I'd go for 3, 5, even 7 or 8 days without noticing anything at all, then out of nowhere (when walking) I'd get that twinge again. I kept thinking that if I could just be real gentle and go two weeks without feeling that, I'd be on the way to healing. I limited my long walks. I switched out of my sandals into more supportive shoes. I wore my stiff-soled bike shoes around at work instead of my flexible work shoes. I'd go days at a time - just long enough to think that my effort was successful and I'd beaten injury - and the twinge would be back. This went on for months, because I am stupid and stubborn like that.

Finally, I had a good week in August, and then a vacation to Seattle where I didn't do any biking or running AND the walking I did used had nice comfy hiking shoes and I did a lot of relaxing. Foot was just slightly sore at times but no pain! I did a very short test run around the CMU track when I got back, and nothing hurt! Yay! Today, we got back from another camping trip and I really needed to get out and move, so I did an easy 5k through Frick. Oh goodness it felt SO good to be out. Got home, put my foot up, waited, and....

OW. Helloooooo metatarsal painful flair-up. Definitely the same place, and not at all ignorable. Siiiiigh.

Sooooo I'm finally convinced my attempts at "being gentle" didn't work. What's left? Last time I had pain, my PCP said "stay off it for a couple weeks", and the ortho poked my foot, gave me expensive xrays and told me to wear a boot for two weeks. Well, I don't need expensive xrays to poke my foot and wear a boot, so I guess that's what I have to do. Except I haaaaate this idea and I'm stupidly still trying to find reasons why I don't have to, because wearing a boot full-time means a) I can't bike to work, but even more so b) everybody will see it and ask me what happened and talk about my foot and AAAAAGHGHH I cannot properly express how much I really really don't want that right now. I don't want that so much I'd almost rather just not run anymore. But I know that's stupid and I probably won't feel that way next week. Argh.

Last time at the foot doc's, he suggested I could still bike if it didn't bother me. So I think I will try to keep biking, but boot around in the evenings and at home for a couple weeks. I can probably tolerate that.
blk: (running)
My nitty gritty race report (part 2) of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon from Sunday, which I ran while dressed as Supergirl.

Running can be boring. Running with friends is kinda fun. Running races is pretty fun. Running races among thousands of other runners, with thousands of spectators, all cheering you on, is a lot of fun. Running races with thousands of other people around while dressed in fun ways to stand out, look interesting, and be entertaining in some way is just awesome. In past races I've just worn bright stripey socks and put in colorful braids. This time I decided to go as a costumed character.

In picking out who I wanted to dress up as, I pondered a lot of possibilities. I wanted a (preferably female) character whose basic costume 1) was easily recognizeable at a glance to the average spectator, 2) was suitable for running and sweating in (no skimpy lingerie, no leather, no facemask or headgear, no big dresses or accessories), and 3) was one that I, with my meager and beginner sewing skills, could re-create reasonably authentically on my own (if I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it as right as possible).

With those requirements, the list of reasonable possibilities that I came up with was rather depressingly small. Supergirl hit everything pretty well (specifically, the 1984 Helen Slater movie version), so I went with that.

the making of

Materials (cost is rough estimate):
- bright blue long-sleeved compression shirt ($10, target)
- red circle mini skirt ($5, ebay)
- red running mini shorts ($5, ebay)
- plain red knee-high athletic socks ($10, amazon)
- red and yellow tech "performance" fabric and matching thread ($20, jo-ann)
- white bracelet watch ($1, ebay)

Steps:
- google everything to death, figure out what to buy and what to create
- attach yellow belt/border to red skirt
- attach shaped yellow border (with red fabric to even it out) to socks1
- create front 'S' shield from yellow and red fabrics and glue
- attach shield to shirt
- cut and shape cape (I made a small one, so it wouldn't get in the way of running, and also made it detachable, in case of jet engines)
- cut and sew yellow 'S' shield to cape
- attach cape to shirt

I used a basic google image search for the general look, and got some inspiration from this tutorial. I did all the sewing, with Xuth playing the very important role of Expert Advisor and taught me a lot of things. I tried to do test versions of almost all the parts, and still ended up spending seemingly just as many hours with a seam ripper undoing mistakes and things that didn't work. But I learned a lot more, and the finished product was something I was pretty happy with.

the running of


proof of questionable legality

The practicality of the outfit was fantastic. I was perfectly comfortable for the entire race - The socks and shorts wicked well, the shirt was not too warm or too cold, and I barely even noticed the cape or the skirt while running. I had attached the cape to the shirt with stick-on velcro in case of jet engines or if it ended up interfering with running, but neither were a problem. In the future I may just go ahead and sew it directly on. The tech fabric made all the parts that touched me similarly comfortable. Of course, by race end I had sweated through everything fairly well, so it was also important to be all machine-washable. We'll see how it holds up after that happens. The "Kryptonian bracelet" aka cheap white silicone watch was a silly addition that was lightweight and not annoying and helped me greatly in letting me keep approximate track of my race time.

The reaction from other people was awesome. Other runners were very positive and polite, with several "I like your costume!" comments and one mid-race fist bump. The spectators, however, mostly went wild. For the first half I ran near the side and occasionally would hold up my hand offering high fives, and got about a zillion of them. I got so many "Go Supergirl!"s2 I lost count. I also got several even more enthusiastic reactions, like "OMG IT'S SUPERGIRL!!!!" and one "Supergirl, you just made my day!" Amusingly, most of my best reactions were from adults rather than from kids.

One memorable moment happened on the short Alexander St downhill just after mile 7, turning left onto Main St, where the majority of the runners were hugging the inside corner, but all the spectators were on the right side, with a wide space between. Right at the corner I saw a group of teens who were clearly performing something, but at the moment were all just standing at the sideline, so instead of curving in with the rest of the pack, I charged straight down towards them and stretched out my hand at the bottom. About halfway down the hill a nearby announcer interrupted his chattering and yelled "It's Supergirl!" and the teens all started jumping and cheering and about 50 hands reached out for my highest density of high-fives in the entire race.

By midway through the race I was pretty tired3, and the last several miles I was really pushing myself hard, which left no more energy for enthusiastic high-fiving and posing and such, which was sad. At some point it would definitely be fun to race without a new PR goal, ideally with other costumed people. I spotted a variety of other runners in fun attire, but sadly nobody else in full costume (I know some existed; I suspect many were behind me). And I unfortunately was feeling worn out enough at the finish line that I didn't think to stop and intentionally get some pictures of me. And despite the dozens of cameras I'm sure I saw pointed at me, I haven't been able to find any other public photo evidence. Fortunately, the costume is totally re-wearable so I'm sure I will have other opportunities.

other pictures )

1 I actually fully expected to be able to buy approximately lookalike socks, but amazingly, these didn't seem to exist at all (costume-marketed socks all had 'S' shield, and most with little capes). Mine aren't perfect (especially since I was optimizing for running) but they turned out decent. They were also by far the most fiddly part of the thing, and took me a couple days of trial and error before getting something that worked.

2 also several "Superwoman!" calls (fine), a couple "Wonder Woman!"s (not exactly) and a few "Superman!"s (well, I suppose just because -I've- never seen him in a miniskirt doesn't make it impossible).

3 That left picture is me breathing really hard, not making ducklips, I swear.
blk: (running)
My nitty gritty race report (part 1) of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon from yesterday, which I finished in 2:00:50, while dressed in costume (costume details are next post).

the race

The preface to the race seemed like it was going well in March, but then April happened. I suspect training a little too enthusiastically was a likely contributor to my fracture, which then kept me from running for most of the 5 weeks immediately leading up to the race. Not the best circumstances.

On race day I woke up slightly late, which wasn't a problem as I had budgeted plenty of time, although I did opt to skip breakfast as I was too jittery. But I didn't count on being turned around as I approached my intended bike parking spot, and having to go the long way around, nor did I count on the slight change in start location. This meant that I got stuck further back in the start mob than I wanted, nowhere in sight of the 2:00/4:00 pacers I had really hoped to follow. By the time my section moved to the start, I was only near the 4:45 pace group, and surrounded by people running 10-11 minute miles, when I wanted to be doing 9s. So the first two miles were spent alternating dodging other runners, getting stuck behind slow clumps, and hopping up on the sidewalk to sprint ahead. Amazingly, I kept to my intended pace on average, but I'm sure I expended way more energy than I should have in the process. It took me until I caught up to the 4:15 group before I realized that if I ever actually caught the 4:00 group, I'd be ridiculously ahead of my time by the finish, and that probably wasn't reasonable. So once the pack evened out I just held my pace and did the rest of the race alone.

The 10k mark went by and I was still doing reasonable well and a minute or so ahead of my goal, although definitely tired. I had also managed to give about a zillion high fives, which was great. At 8 miles I was still on target, but shortly thereafter I started majorly lagging, similar to last year. I lost about 3 minutes in the next 2-2.5 miles, which made me fairly sure I was not going to make my goal. But, well, what could I do but keep running? On the theory that it might simply be calories, I grabbed a half powerbar and a few cups of gatorade at the next few stops, which tasted pretty good (except for the icky aftertaste, as I suspect they used the splenda-enhanced versions), so it may or may not have helped.

Mile 11 was the bottom of the last bridge, with the big hill to go, but I did this one last year and knew it was there. I decided just to attack it, and I did, either with the renewed caloric energy or perhaps with just sheer stubbornness. The top of the hill around mile 12 came and I just hurt. My feet hurt and my knees hurt and my hips hurt but a glance at my clock and I realized I actually was reasonably close to the 2 hour mark after all, with mostly downhill to go, so I pushed on as hard as I could, damn all the hurting things. I think I hit 2:00 right around mile 13, and the finish shortly thereafter.

Afterwards, everything from my waist down hurt. A lot. I zombie-hobbled down the finish stretch into the park, grabbing water and some carbs along the way. I checked my final time, ate more food, and got one of the most needed massages of my life, which helped mostly everything but my right knee. Changed into dry clothes and attempted to bike back home, but after about 3 blocks I realized that my knee was not going to be at all happy with that, so I just slowly rode the flat trail and hitched a ride with Xuth at the end. At home was a shower and a very delightful nap and then a very rewarding beer.

It feels SO GOOD to not be running right now.

+/-

+ Totally a PR! I beat last year's time by almost 10 minutes. Detailed results from Xacte.
- didn't beat my 2:00 goal. Although all things considered, I'm also not terribly surprised (or disappointed)
+ Right foot (the fractured one) didn't bother me at all!
- Might have injured the left. Fortunately it's mostly stopped bothering me a day later.
+ Left knee didn't bother me at all, and neither really got swollen!
- Right knee had a big flare up of the PFPS from 1.5 years ago. At least this time I know what it is and how to treat it. I'm putting myself on a strict no running, only gentle biking, and lots of yoga/stretches body diet for the next week.
+ Nothing else actually injured, afaict! Every other muscle in my body is sore, but it's just regular soreness.
- OMG sore. Everything hurts. Going down stairs really sucks. Fortunately, massage and yoga and alcohol have been helping a lot.
+ Ran with a SUPER AWESOME costume that I MADE MYSELF and got lots of positive attention for it.
- Forgot to get any pictures of myself at the finish line and race photos are stupid expensive. (I do have some photo evidence, though. next post!)

for next year

- Figure out how to run more and more regularly over winter so I don't try to go from 0-20 MPW as soon as spring thaw hits. Also probably get slightly more padded shoes.
- Figure out how much and when to eat things on runs >10miles so I don't run out of everything. Probably includes eating breakfast.
- Take care of my knee and strengthen up all those muscles and hips. Also remember to check my form when I'm exhausted.
- Find the pacers pre-race! Or at least be at the start or end of the corral, not the middle. Approach the start line from a side street, as the masses in the main road completely blocked forward progress.
- Totally doing the costume thing again.
blk: (running)
The first big sign I had that something was wrong came Tuesday morning, when I got out of bed and stepped down and there was significant pain in my right foot. Some gentle poking revealed tender spots on top, but also places that were fine, and with a little care and practice, I was walking almost without noticing it. I mentioned it to my regular doctor (who I was seeing for something unrelated), and she poked it, said "stay off it for a couple weeks" and nothing else. I could wear my bike shoes with the stiff soles to walk better, so I went on in to work. More poking and internet research suggested a metatarsal stress fracture. I guessed third. I had my usual running planned (the first since Saturday), but by afternoon I decided that was not a good idea.

Overnight I woke up a few times from pain, and Wednesday it was worse. Again it felt better with the stiff bike shoes on, so I just wore those all day and tried to minimize walking, but it still hurt a lot in the wrong positions. I fixed up a foot pillow to sleep with, which helped.

The worsening alarmed me a lot, so Thursday morning I called a recommended podiatrist, stayed home from work, and did nothing but sit almost all day. By mid afternoon, it was feeling significantly improved, and by morning down to slight pain if I stepped wrong, which I've had before. I went to see the podiatrist anyways, and got X-rays.

The doctor came in after looking at my X-rays, took one look at my foot, pressed -there- and I went OW and he went "yep." Diagnosis: 4th metatarsal fracture (I was one off). A small one, I think, as I couldn't recognize it on the X-ray even after he pointed it out.

Things of note:
- On timing: He said that fractures like this generally take longer than a week to show up on X-ray. So while I had been assuming this was something that happened at the race last Saturday, it seems likely it was something earlier (like track speedwork the previous Tuesday maybe), and JASR just aggravated it, being the second hard run within a week. Then possibly biking further aggravated it, given that I biked Mon/Tue/Wed, and it got worse Tue/Wed.

- On cause: Obvious contributing factors we talked about included: 0. A specific injury (unlikely as I don't remember any), 1. Ramping up my running too quickly (likely), 2. Shoes that are too old / too minimalist (maybe), or 3. Having poor bone density (maybe). He said if I get any more, anywhere, I should get a bone density screening. Hrm. I'm fairly certain I've already had at least one in the past.

- On fixes: 1. Increasing my mileage more slowly. I thought I told myself last year: no more springtime goals. Argh. 2. New shoes. This is tough because although minimal runners do seem to be at higher risk for stress fractures, I'm positive that minimal shoes have helped my form a lot, and I love the light weight. Maybe I should look for something in the middle. 3. More calcium / Vitamin D supplements. It occurs to me that since I found out I was mildly lactose intolerant, I've cut down a lot on my dairy, which makes my stomach much happier, but might have other unintended effects, like getting less calcium?

- On activity: He prescribed a boot for walking for 2 weeks, then a slow return to activities assuming new X-rays look clean. So mostly running and biking and (maybe) climbing is out, and I'll try to stay away from long or arduous walks. Of course. Only the primary activities of my life.

On the bright side, as much as this comes at a bad time (is there ever a good time?), I'm doing OK with it. I don't have much on the calendar for the next two weeks that I can't get to by walking slowly or taking the bus. Carnival is next weekend, but most of my planned activities involve walking, standing, or sitting, all of which I can do. I will have to skip the Random Distance Run, sadly. [livejournal.com profile] xuth and I have a vacation to go hiking in MD planned for the days right after I (hopefully) get the boot off. I think that can still happen, as long as I'm careful. Doctor thinks the upcoming Half should still be doable, assuming I don't aggravate anything. Not sure if my goal time is achievable, but I guess just running will still be good. And I can still swim/yoga/lift while I'm waiting.

Guess it's time to dig out my somewhat-neglected ToDo list of Things I can do that don't need feet. Plus, bonus time to catch up on some reading. Silver linings and all.
blk: (running)

I've been spending a lot of time running recently in training for the upcoming Pittsburgh half-marathon (in 6 weeks). While my speedwork is good, I've been feeling dubious about my stamina, as my solo "long run" is only up to about 8 slower miles, despite various training blogs claiming that's right on schedule. So on somewhat of a whim (with encouragement from [livejournal.com profile] chrisamaphone) I signed up for the Just A Short Run (JASR) race, 8.1 mile version, since that's about the distance I'd planned to go this weekend anyways. For bonus points, see if I can do it at my planned race pace (about 9 min/mile).

The day start auspiciously, with chilly rain forecasted, calves still sore from speedwork earlier in the week, getting a bit lost finding the registration table and almost being late to the start line, and losing my car keys just before the race. But we made the start line (and I found the right pacer) with plenty of seconds to spare, the rain held off entirely until post-race, keys did not remain lost (and I successfully returned keys another runner almost lost), legs felt fine once i was warmed up, and the race ended up going splendidly. Also I got some pretty swank new running shorts and socks out of it.

I started off with the pacer, then pulled slightly ahead on the first big downhill. I tried to slow myself down a little, but figured as long as I was feeling good I could just keep going. I remembered to breathe on the uphills and float on the downhills and generally could tell I was running strong. I probably could have even gone a little further had I not opted to go all out for the last half mile, but overall I finished at 1:10:33, under my goal with minutes to spare. Overall 99/516, 7/81 in my age/gender division.

I'm feeling a whole lot more confident about the half now!

My legs sure are tired now, though.

blk: (sudopie)
This weekend... [livejournal.com profile] xuth and I threw a pizza ("pi") party. Last week I noticed that everybody else posted pictures of pi parties that looked to feature several store-bought pies. My pie parties are definitely better in that regard. I may have become a slight pie snob.

Xuth had been talking for years about wanting to do a pizza party, with memories of other parties where people just came and cooked pizza all day. We tried once last year but it didn't work like he wanted, I suspect mostly due to lack of expectation communication to party guests. So I tried another, thanks to prompting from my kid to have a Pi Party. This time I put in with plenty of advance warning and communication (sigh, FB does make these things easier), and it was a huge success! And far bigger than I'd expected! By my count, we had 30 people and 21 pizzas (as well as two traditional pies and a caesar salad). There was the Xuth basic pizza, several veggie pizza, several tortilla quick pizzas, a GF pesto pizza, a cauliflower crust pizza, and many more. The oven was on and filled with baking pizza for the better part of 4 hours, and only ended up with an accidentally burned crust/cheese and smoking up the house once! Almost all of the pizza got consumed yesterday, and the rest was finished up less than 24 hours later.

I think the only downside to such a great party is that 30 people is really quite a lot for this house. It helped to have the kids go downstairs to be rowdy for a time, but with the kitchen being actively used, there were no real quiet spaces. We are usually able to spread outside by the usual pie party, which is my only other regularly bigger party. But people seemed to enjoy themselves, and I had a great time, and I had one guest specifically compliment the party as running particularly smoothly in terms of no chaos in the kitchen. And later on it quieted down to a couple game tables. So overall, yay. Pretty sure this will happen again.

This week... has been filled with the ups and downs of Pittsburgh spring. On the upsides, we started pulling out all that stockpiled daylight, so now it is bright and sunny when I come home from work, and still quite light at dinner time, and starting to dim into evening at a somewhat more proper time. On top of that, we've had several days of delightfully warm sun and high temps, so pretty much all the snow is gone, and I went out in short sleeves one day. Of course, this being Pittsburgh, we also had two days of snow and temperature dips into the single digits, and this morning it mostly hovered just at or below freezing all day, but it looks like the next week will be perfectly decent. I'm greatly looking forward to all the additional outdoor stuff I'll be able to do soon.

This month... I've spent a lot of time working on getting in better shape and running a lot more, in prep for the Pittsburgh half marathon in, eep, 7 weeks. I think I'm in much better shape this year at this time than I was last year, but I'm still coming out of winter hibernation, and man are my legs feeling it. I'm back to having sore legs wake me up at night a couple times a week. Not to mention finding time to do serious running several days a week turns out to be fairly hard when I have a full time job and kids and hobbies and I like being social. Fortunately, there exist plans which say it's ok to only be running 3 or 4 days a week, instead of 5 or 6. Not sure how I'm doing on my time goals, though.

My goal for this year is 2 hours. Last year I made it in 2:10, so I feel like shaving less than a minute off per mile should be doable with work. However, in googling for training ideas, I noticed that there were multiple blogs and sites that touted a 2 hour goal as being for a "beginner," which confuses me. While I realize that the winners will be much faster than that, 2 hours is still a faster than average finish time (for both genders). Looking at last year's pgh half (which seems like a reasonably typical one) less than a third of the 16,000+ runners finished in 2 hours of less. If 2 is for a "beginner," what do you call everybody else? I admit to being a little irked by this. But I'm still trying for it. If all goes well, with a spiffy costume, to boot.
blk: (running)
This morning I ran a faux mini-triathlon, my first tri ever. It was part of the "spring fitness challenge" put on by the CMU athletics dept, and I figured I'd try it out as it was convenient and (almost) free. It involved a 5k run, an hour spinning group exercise class, and a 500 yd swim in the pool. The faux part is mostly because the events were out of order (due to timing constraints), spinning is not cycling, and transition times were not counted (there were large breaks between "events"). There only ended up being about 5 participants, so there wasn't much in terms of competition.

The run event was actually the 5k "Campus Challenge" race put on by the Steel City Road Runners. Some 50+ crazy people showed up in the park at 8am. Fortunately, it was sunny and significantly less cold than previous days have been, but it was still well below freezing for the entire race, which I'm pretty sure makes it the coldest temps I've so far ever run in. Since it was the first event, and I would have recovery time, and I didn't care much about my times for the other two pieces, I decided to run all out.

I started off at a good speed, not too fast this time (unlike my last 5k), and was content with people passing me early on. Then we hit the first hill, and I was able to keep my pace, and started passing several of them back. I paced comfortably with a couple other women for the next several km, successfully breathed through a minor stitch, and was doing pretty well until we came across a section of trail which apparently never sees sun, as it was still completely covered with ice, and I had to slow down for several minutes to avoid slipping. I gave a slight push at the end with the last energy I had when I saw the clock, but didn't manage to beat my PR (4 seconds slow!). If it hadn't been for the ice I probably would have beaten it. Total time 25:16.

Most of the rest of the runners were done after that, and the SCRR nutritionist had prepared breakfast burritos. I didn't want to eat much, so as not to have a full stomach, but figured a little was OK, as I hadn't had breakfast. They were DELICIOUS, and when I went over to Nick to express that opinion, he enthusiastically offered for me to take some home, as he'd made too much, and when I didn't say no, went over and started packing up a foil container of the stuff. And that is why I have a gallon of yummy breakfast burrito filling in my freezer now, which will probably last me the rest of the month.

The cycle event was not actually cycling, but spinning, which I had never done before. Yes, it's called indoor cycling, but it's really not (hello, flywheel). It was.... interesting. The vastly different cadences which most people seemed to be doing went against my instinct for actual bicycling, and the activity of just spinning my legs to music and not going anywhere was really pretty boring (although it was definitely a workout). Not something I would elect to do again.

The swim event was just 20 laps down 25 yard lanes of the pool. I started off fine, but by the second lap my body went "hey, you're exhausted" and decided to give up, so then I just swam to finish and not to swallow too much water. Final time for that was 11:30. Unfortunately the hot tub was closed down for the weekend, so then it was just shower and leave. I headed off to do errands/shopping, as we needed supplies for french toast tomorrow (and I don't plan to leave the house tomorrow). Finally got home mid-afternoon and did pretty much nothing but stare at a wall or nap on the couch. I feel pretty good physically but definitely will have sore legs tomorrow.

My final thoughts after doing that are mostly.... that I don't think I want to do a triathlon anymore. I enjoyed what I did today for the sake of the experience, but I don't think I'd get anything more out of a real one. I don't enjoy swimming that much and am not good at it for any significant distance, and I think I would enjoy open water swimming even less (and don't even talk to me about kayaking). I do like bicycling, but race-cycling is an entirely different thing from what I do for fun/transportation. I would also need to acquire (or borrow) a different bike, which really doesn't excite me at all. I do enjoy running, and I'm getting pretty good at it, and there are more than enough running events to keep me as saturated in them as I want to be, so I think sticking to just the one sport is a better idea for me.
blk: (axial)
This morning I celebrated the end of the longest night by running up a bunch of hills.

I hadn't planned on doing anything for the solstice (aside from enjoying some sleeping in) until a few days ago, when by chance I saw something called the Filthy Four on the FB. It appeared to be a race fun run bunch of people who decided to get together and make an event modeled after the Dirty Dozen, but on foot. As my luck would have it, the course started and ended in Squirrel Hill, the weather didn't look like it would be awful, and I've been wanting more running lately, so I decided I actually was that kind of crazy and decided to join.

I got up at stupid early o' clock and dressed, then took off a couple pieces of clothing once I stepped outside and realized was was near 60° F. It turned out to be very easy to find the rest of the group at the starting corner (even though I didn't know anybody there except the organizer), as nobody else was outside at that hour, in the dark, much less a group of people in running attire. We ended up with a total of 14 runners, including two women, which I was rather happy at, as I got someone to run with who was slightly more my speed.

The "race" had a total of four designated big hills (although the overall course had plenty more small ones). Three of them were short (1/3 mile or less), and only one had a grade of >30% (not the long one, thankfully). I impressed myself by actually making it up (running) all of them, although there was definitely at least one point where I wasn't sure I was physically able to keep making forward (upward) progress. I was far behind the rest of the guys during the hill sections, but by fierce competition mutual agreement the other woman and I ended up mostly running together, tying on final points so we could claim mutual victory.

The longest night eventually gave way to the grayest dawn, which barely lightened the sky through the clouds and mist, and the only indication of sunrise was an increase in ambient light just enough to see the path through the park. Unfortunately the last mile also brought chilly rain, so after a blurry group picture, snack and awards break after the final hill, I hurried home. Total distance was just over 8 miles, with about 1000 ft of climbing (almost all of that concentrated in about 1.7 miles). Then the rest of my day involved sitting in the car for 8 hours because of a family Thing, and now my legs are super tired and sore and ouchy and probably going to hurt a whole lot tomorrow but I feel good about the run, and have a slightly renewed motivation for running more hills (once the weather gets warmer/drier).
blk: (running)
This morning I decided to go do the Run Shadyside 5k again. I did it last year but was pacing with the older jboy then, so this year I wanted to see how I could do on my own.

I woke up early to make sure the weather wouldn't be icky, got ready, threw stuff onto my bike, and made my way down to Walnut Ave where there are NO BIKE RACKS (grr), locked to a sign, changed into running gear, and found the registration table, oh, about 10 minutes before race start. No problems there, except that they were out of adult sized shirts (I got the very last Small). But the shirts this year were normal cotton mens tees (which I don't wear anymore), and I had noticed the kid who picked up his packed right before me was not looking terribly happy about the Youth sized shirt he was given. I offered to trade his Youth Med shirt for my Adult Small, which he accepted happily, and I gave mine back.

I then had a few minutes to spare before start. I found a couple friends, said hi and chatted a bit, before we all got herded to the start line. There was a big crowd for a small area, so I stepped into a space close to the front, thinking that there were a lot of kids running, and I didn't want to be behind too many of them. Start whistle, and we were off!

1k: The first few blocks had congestion problems, but I managed to dodge people pretty well, and it smoothed out quickly. Feeling pretty good! Hrm, this pace seems awfully fast, huh? Well, probably not, as tons of people are passing me up. Maybe I'm just not warmed up enough.

2k: Definitely started the race too fast. I can feel myself involuntarily slowing way down, as my legs simply refuse to keep up that pace. Runners still streaming by me left and right, at seemingly high speeds. I try to find a running groove but it feels like it's outpacing me.

3k: It's no use. I'm barely keeping up with myself, much less anybody else. Breath is ragged. The pelaton must be a million miles ahead of me. I'll probably be lucky to break 30 minutes, the way I feel. Still being passed, but crowd is thinner. I feel like a turtle stampeding through molasses.

4k: Legs weigh a ton. Lifting each one up is a herculean task. I'm amazed I'm still moving, much less running. Wait, I think I just got a second wind! No, that was just a brief downhill. I try for some smaller goals. Like that guy. Just keep up with that guy-- oops, he just took off. OK, that woman. She's more my pace; I can match-- ack, no, she's pulling away. Fine, that kid. Surely his short legs can't-- nope. Sigh.

4.9k: The finish line is just ahead, I know, after I *wheeze* go up *gasp* this last hill. I eke out another 0.000001 mph faster when it levels out, and "sprint" the last block to where I can finally see the clock. What is it? How bad did I do?

5k: Clock says 25:10. Oh. Well. Hrm. I guess I wasn't doing awful. That just completely blew away my 5k PR by about 4 minutes. Erm. Yay? Right. Yay!

After I can breathe again, I find and congratulate various other friends. Orange juice tastes fantastic. Ate a couple pancakes. Decided to pass on the beer (at 8:30am??). Eventually rode my exhausted butt home up all the hills in the world and took the best shower ever. Knees still not hurting, even though I paid almost no attention to my form, so I think that means I've mentally integrated the changes pretty successfully. Also realized I should keep an actual race log if I'm gonna keep doing this shit so I can keep better track of getting better. Lesson for next year: Start further back from the start line.
blk: (running)
I just ran 10k faster than I ever thought I could!

Goal time was hard to decide, since of the last three years of Great Races, I had an injured knee for one, was slighty sick on another, and ran last year as a three legged race. So the best time I had to compare to was actually my first ever race, 4 years ago, where I ran it in just under 59 minutes. But I -know- I've improved since then! My Pittsburgh Half this spring as well as many of my recent practice runs have been close to exactly 10 min/mile. Since the GR is heavily downhill, I was sure I could do better than 10 min/mile, but how much? Charlie's suggestion of my best Pretty Good time * 2 - :30 yielded 57:40, and that pace was similar to what I had done recently in Seattle where I ran on a nice flat trail. So I decided that 57:30 (9:15/mile) would be a satisfactory finish and 56 (9:00/mile) would be awesome.

What did I end up with? 53:13. OMG HOLY CRAP HOW CAN THAT EVEN HAPPEN I DON'T EVEN

And the even more awesome thing about all that is that my knees didn't hurt AT ALL afterwards. Not swollen. Not tender. Not even going up or down stairs. SO MUCH SUCCESS. The only part in the race that twinged them was the big downhill on the parkway entrance, but slowing down and stepping carefully took care of it.

My hamstrings are sore but in mostly good ways. After coming home I had a lovely shower and a dozing nap until I forced some more calories in me. Tonight I should sleep well.

Some things I've learned this season:

  • Minimal shoes are good. I'm liking this "minimalist" shoe trend, as it's really fun to run where I can't feel any weight on my feet. I have no desire to do barefoot or toed shoes, as I want some kind of cushion, but the minimal shoes I've tried have all been really comfortable for me. I currently run in Nike Free Runs, and love how lightweight they are. I don't love the tremendous amount of debris and rocks that get caught in the tread, so when I replace them I will go with a different brand. I tried on some Altra Intuitions at the GR Expo and those might be my next ones.
  • Hills are good. I didn't do much specific training this year, sticking almost exclusively to "work on good running form when tired" and "run hard." This translated to a bunch of shorter runs (all under 10k) on various routes through Frick, trying for at least one good steep hill per run to properly wear me out. For the Race, I took it one hill at a time, rested on the downhills, and was able to keep up pace the whole way.
  • Good running form is good. I figured something out a couple months ago about my running form that I think may be the Big Change that I've been looking for for the past year. My hips have somewhat of a tendency to rotate in when I step, instead of staying mostly stable and instead swinging my legs more. This has the effect that my steps are closer to along the same line instead of in two parallel lines and I think that is enough to put just a tiny amount of pressure per step on my knees as I would have to push them minutely outward to stay aligned while I was stepping inward. The more I play with this the more I'm positive this misalignment is what particularly killed my knee while running three-legged last year.

    Changing up this part of my form so that my legs swing more while my core stays more solid has the effect that my leg naturally is more aligned from foot to knee, meaning no tiny adjustments need to be made just to keep my feet under me. Additionally, I discovered that this means that I can pretty effectively "rest" my legs while the slant is easy, while still keeping them moving.

    Once I worked out the physics of it, it seems like a completely obvious thing, and indeed, now I can look at a variety of running advice columns and see hints of this mentioned in them. But I haven't found anything that specifically addresses it the way I understand it, and the trainers who have watched me run (admittedly only very briefly) never mentioned it. I don't know if this issue is actually uncommon, or that it is usually more minor, or just that it took me time to really incorporate how it specifically applied to me, but it took almost a year after really "looking at form" for me to figure out that this was something going on with me. I do know it's more likely with women, and i theorize it's related to past weight gain and also weak hip flexors, as it feels very similar to the "pregnancy waddle" that happens with some women's gait later in term (including mine).

    Regardless, I think continuing to make this a priority will let me branch out into actually doing specific speed or distance training if that's something I decide I want in the coming year. I'm excited.
blk: (elfcycle)
Wow that was a busy and tiring weekend. I'm so glad to be back at work where I can sit and relax for the day.

Saturday was yard sales and yard work )

Sunday was City Spree! )

After dinner we watched The Hobbit since it was free Redbox day, which was... disappointing, I guess. It was really pretty and nothing was bad, but it just didn't feel as gripping or as energetic as the LotR movies did. [Athough the amount of falling long distances onto solid rock without seemingly getting hurt that several characters repeatedly did was kind of off-putting. Yes I KNOW it's fantasy but certain science should still work!] But it was a nice way to end a good weekend.

Today I'm stiff and sore in a few places, but mostly different places than I was stiff and sore a couple weeks ago, interestingly. Sitting and not having to move around or go up/down and stairs is feeling rather nice right now. This week focus goes to kids and school and visiting parents and planning for camping next weekend.
blk: (running)
Today was my first ever half marathon race. It went great!

training )

race )

post-race )

The results page still doesn't have my official time, but they do give my clock start time as being 0:20:20, which means my final time is probably something close to 2:10 (Edit: adjusted this time since I can't read web pages). I'm happy with that. I think I'd like to do this again, but with more careful training put in, with a goal of finishing without my knees being unhappy, which I think is totally doable with time. Getting under 2 hours would be pretty cool, too.

Next up: what's next!
blk: (pie)
So Carnival happened.

Overall a pretty relaxing and good weekend locally. There was some overshadowing of the stuff in Boston, which had me checking updates regularly while I was at my computer, but once away I was able to just focus on people and good stuff.

Thursday was the last of the gorgeous weather of the week. Friday started off nice but then morphed into chilly and wet. I arrived on campus Friday morning from Oakland, heading up Schenley behind the library, right behind a car speeding along... right smack into the barrier in the middle of the bridge closing the streets to traffic. He slammed his brakes at the last second as he apparently woke from his reverie, and the bridge guard and I could only shake our heads and laugh. I watched a round of Buggy, which was trying to get in as many rolls as possible before rain, before heading into work, where our new director had brought us donuts. Later on I took a break from work to go wander around Mobot, where I found almost nobody I recognized. Weird. I wandered off to lunch with [livejournal.com profile] chamois and baby, then ran into some younger ex-KGBers on the way back to office.

Work closed down around mid-afternoon, just in time for me to head over to the track for the SCS Random Distance Run, where it was annoyingly chilly and rainy, but I once again met my goal of not placing last! I managed just over 12 minutes for 6 laps (1.5 miles), which I'm pretty sure is my fastest time for a full mile ever, even though my hands were numb from the chilly damp, which sucked. We headed over to the TG for a bit, which might have been a mistake, as biking home after running hard and drinking a beer was quite difficult, but I still made it. Later in the evening I finally found our houseguests for the weekend and we played some games and went out to dinner and had a very silly time.

Saturday we hit campus to wander around a midway for a short bit, then the SCS reception for lunch, then KGB just long enough to note that it still existed, then the CSLBBQ for food and people and lots of Tichu, then home to collapse.

pie )

Great weekend. Let's do it again next year!

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