Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This Endzone Dance, Too, Must End

The plan was to ride out of here with a little mystery intact. Instead, I am signing off 3.5 days after the big day, following an overly verbose last hurrah. Hey, I gotta be me.

Most of the soreness is gone now, save a sharp pain in my right shin. I'll ignore it for a while, and go to a doctor if it really gets in the way.

I am still carrying around my medal in my purse. I think I will be ready to leave it at home sometime next week. I'm not promising anything.

Everybody asks if the Marine Corps Marathon will be my last. I doubt it. I would love to run the New York Marathon some day, and maybe finish in slightly better shape than I did this time. More than getting a better time, I would love to feel more prepared and less close to death at the end.

This year was the first time ever that I have missed Halloween (if you don't count my silly devil horns in the race), and hopefully that won't happen ever, ever again. It was worth it this time, but, I mean, c'mon.

I would recommend Team in Training to anyone who thinks that marathons are for superhumans. I didn't take advantage of a lot of the services and training, but the program still got me to the finish line.

The support is irreplaceable, it's nice to have people to run with and it is especially nice to have other people making all of the decisions in your training. But the best thing about TNT is the fundraising.

A lot of people don't use the program because they don't want to ask friends and family for money. I was in this camp.

In fact, it's the best part. Here's what I did: First, I sent an email to family and family friends. Those people feel obligated -- they will warm up the coffers. Then, I had one event -- a happy hour at a bar. My invitations to that event were the first notification to my friends that I was running a marathon or raising money. That way, I didn't have to send a letter just asking for money -- noooo, it was a letter asking for the pleasure of your company! That is way more comfortable for all involved. I made the donation minimum low ($5) and I sold running CDs.

Maybe most profitable, I kept this blog. The fundraising was the best part because it got all of you so invested. It put some needed pressure on me, and it got many of you, who I might see once a year or less, back into my life. It has been a pleasure get to know you and have you get to know me.

It also pulled me out of bed on countless Saturday mornings for my long runs, and it kept my spirits up for doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment, and physical therapy session after physical therapy session.

It dragged me through those punishing last 3 miles of the marathon, knowing that folks were sitting in front of computers and checking their cell phones to keep up with me. That, my friends, is motivation.

So, thanks for everything, guys. If anyone goes through a program like this in the future, please put me on the warming-up-the-coffers list. I would love to donate, and I would love to help create a fundraising plan. My advice is to get many people to donate small amounts. You may never have a chance to gather so much support behind you again.

What a great, great ride this has been.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Attempt at Being Zany at Mile 23

Preeeeetty, eh? I do have that glow of suffering around me, after all.

Thanks to Sarah for sending it ...

Prologue, or Look Before You Leap!

There are about a million reasons why taking the day off of work yesterday was a good idea. Nobody tells you about one of the most important -- the sudden, semi-temporary loss of irony.

Finishing the marathon was exciting and uplifting and metaphorical and, basically, all of the stuff of Hallmark cards. During the race, when you are emotionally unstable and begging for inspiration, you find yourself experiencing the world without the snide edginess that is such valuable currency in real world.

I was running next to those guys with the American and Marine flags, and I found myself thinking "why yes! God bless America, indeed!"

I would have typically appreciated the flags, but my state had me looking at everything with fresh eyes, seeking out meaning like a college freshman in a poetry class.

You start thinking through cliches and song lyrics, one after another, and reproving them in your mind like mathematical formulas. (People who need people are the best people in the world! We should reach for the stars!)

If Philippides had run 30 miles instead of 26.2, who knows what could have happened. All of the art in my apartment might be replaced by posters of kittens dangling from tree branches with the words "hang in there!" across the bottom.

And I love that. It takes a lot to shake up your perspective. I may have returned from the brink of cross stitching the news that home is sweet onto a tea towel, but I like that I took a little break from sarcasm. Sometimes you need a reminder that we just aren't all that special -- there are a lot of universals, and when it gets down to it, that's a comfort.

Alrighty, this is feeling a little touchy-feely for me, so I'm going to have to cut out of here before I have to make use of a defense mechanism.

Physically, I am much better, but still very much in the walking funny stage. Stair and chairs remain worthy enemies. But guess what? I ran a marathon!

Monday, October 30, 2006

26.2 Miles of Blog

Nobody is required to read all of this. I accidentally murdered my internal editor somewhere between mile 23 and mile 25. I will never test you on the below novel.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning -- about 4 hours after I finally fell asleep. I was in bed looong before that, but it's hard to get comfortable when your body thinks it's been put through a meat grinder.

I'm not going to lie -- this current situation is not pretty. Every muscle hurts. In fact, I can't tell the difference between muscles, tendons, bones and even skin. There is a generalized pain that reminds me of what it's like to have a high fever. When my lungs expand, like, for breathing, muscles in my back hurt. My sinuses hurt. I'm sunburned. Lowering myself onto a toilet seat is an activity preceded by the gathering of courage; getting back up tests the construction of my towel rack.

If you are lucky, you will get to go through this one day, too, if you haven't already.

Race Day.

So, I started out in high spirits. I showed up to the start more than an hour earlier than necessary. I was excited, but there was definitely a healthy dose of "we better do this before I change my mind."

The Team in Training coaches were fantastic from the start. They answered questions and promised to find us on the route. That would matter a lot in a few hours.

The start cannon for my wave (the slowbies) was delayed by a medical emergency that took place within the first half mile. Ominous.

The hardest part of the first 13 miles was forcing myself to take the walk breaks. After every 4 minutes of running, I had to remind myself that the one-minute walk breaks were non-negotiable, even if I wasn't tired. I skipped two or three, but was pretty loyal to them overall.

Fifteen miles flew by. The crowd was fun and loud and silly. Chatting among my fellow runners was easy and noncommittal. Two guys who ran near me throughout the race carried giant American and Marine flags. Batman and Captain America were also close by.

I saw all my friends between the 10 and 15 mile markers. Some ran with me for a bit, but most just cheered and some sipped cocktails. (I ran up to Katy, Ryan and Sarah and said "do you have anything to drink?" Katy said,"Yes!" and moved toward her backpack. Then she looked sad. "Oh, I only have mimosas." I waited for the water stop.)

The route then headed to Haines Point, which was the beginning of the end for me. Not in a good way.

Emergency vehicles were blaring past us, and marines with fake cheer directed us around flurry of activity to our right. I looked back to see a man lying on the ground. I couldn't see the paddles, but I saw his chest jump as they tried to bring him back. We all ran quietly for a while. I learned when I got home that the man died.

Haines Point was very flat, boring and windy. I could feel the shin splints in both legs, blisters were accumulating on my toes and I was beginning to feel fatigue. Now, I was living for the walk breaks. I made a deal with myself not to mess with my 4:1 ratio until I hit the 14th Street Bridge, which begins at mile 20.

I don't think it ever occurred to me to quit moving, but my mind was spinning, trying to come up with a way to make the pain less. I tried leaning forward, shuffling my feet, swinging my arms more, looking down, and about a dozen other brands of running voodoo. I tried every mental trick that I had studied, but I couldn't focus well enough to get through a mantra.

At mile 19, Coach John appeared. He asked how I was, and I realized I was about to sob, so I closed my mouth. He got the point, and talked to me like a was a retarded monkey on the brink of suicide, which was the exact appropriate way to deal with me. He described the rest of the route, told me how much I had already done, told me how soon it would be over. He said "if it was easy, everybody would do it," then he was off to help other struggling TNTers.

With Coach John gone, I had to get my breathing back in check. Turns out crying, or trying not to cry, constricts your lungs. I worried that I was close to hyperventilating. Focusing on that -- breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out -- got me through another couple of miles.

On the bridge I had an internal debate about whether I had promised myself to stick with 4:1 to the bridge or through the bridge.

I compromised. When I was nearly over it, I skipped a whole 4 minute run. It was the one and only time I did that.

The next six miles were excruciating. My new system was that I would begin running every time my watch told me the four minutes was beginning again, and kept running until I couldn't anymore (that could take a minute and a half, or could take the full four minutes). The ratio went out the window, but the new system ensured that I didn't give up on running.

Around mile 22, I caught up to a guy who had a music player that was loud enough for those around him to hear. We ran together briefly and chatted a little, and then I pushed ahead.

A mile and a half before the finish, I just felt tapped out. I couldn't begin to think about how great it would be to cross the finish line -- that just seemed too remote, too far in the future. I didn't know if I could get back up to a run.

That's when music guy ran up next to me. "C'mon, we're going to finish this together," he said. This guy, John, totally saved me. This was his fourth marathon, and he had that suicidal-retarded-monkey way of talking me through it. He talked away, chatting about what it will be like to cross that finish line.

When I saw the finish line, I stopped thinking about the running and thought instead about not crying. If I had started, I don't know if I would have stopped. John and I crossed over, and cute marines placed medals around our necks.

My marine asked how I was, and I told him I was trying not to cry. He said "Oh, everybody's crying. Cry!" That made me laugh.

I had finished! For 5 hours and 39 minutes, I fought for that moment. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. As I write this, it's still overwhelming. To reach that point, where you think you have nothing more, and then dig just slightly deeper -- I think that's what keeps making my chest tighten when I think of the race. Or maybe it's just the searing muscle pain.

If you have ever considered a marathon, I would love to be the one to peer pressure you into it. Nobody ever regrets running a marathon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Best Feeling Ever ...

... accompanied by the worst feeling ever. I'm in a lot of pain, but I have never been so proud. Thanks for being there with me!

I will properly update this later (tomorrow?). I think my last two posts didn't work for some reason, so I'm going to work on that for a second.

Let's Do This Thing

It's 5:30 a.m.

I fell asleep visualizing the race. What it will feel like to go up hills, to fight winds, to ache, to see friends in the crowd, to hear strangers cheer for me, to cross the finish line. I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm clock.

I. Am. So. Ready.

I'll check y'all later. Gimme a call this afternoon, and ask me if it felt the way I pictured it.

If you don't know how to check up on me, look here.

In the words of Clint, from the best movie to ever come out of Austin:

"I only came here to do two things, kick some ass and drink some beer. We're almost out of beer."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Walking the Plank ...

The anxiety level is at about a seven, judging from last night's dreams. When I woke up, I was just happy that I 1) hadn't, in fact, lost one running shoe, 2) did not accidentally drive my car onto a running path and then hit a turn and flip it over, and 3) I am not suddenly re-embroiled in a break up that took place four years ago. After all that, a marathon doesn't sound half bad.

It's about 2 p.m. now, roughly 24 hours from what should be my final stretch.

I really am excited. Yesterday, I told the lone senator who was on Capitol Hill that I was running the marathon. He said "oh, gosh, why would anyone want to do that?"

When he was walking away, though, he turned around and said "next time I see you, you'll be a marathoner!"

Yeah, that's true.

Last night, it stormed, which was nice because if I can't go out, nobody else should get to, either. I cuddled up with an afghan (blanket, not immigrant) and watched a good-but-disturbing movie about wayward preteens.

This morning, I had a very solemn ceremony for the ironing of D-A-P-H-N-E onto my race shirt (it's pale pink for those of you who will be looking for me). Then, I put on my whole outfit, which felt vaguely Miss. Havishamish, but I needed to do that so I could pin my number in the right place. I have no excuse for trying on the devil horns that I intend to wear tomorrow, except ... am I made of stone?

That's right, my whole Halloween costume consists of these silly horns. It's a significant departure from previous years, obviously. In fact, when I thought I wasn't going to run the race, I busied myself in the creation of my trademark Halloween brilliance. I would have to say this was my greatest sacrifice for the marathon.

I was going to be Evil Spinach -- impressed? Topical, elaborate, creepy, conceptual -- it had all the necessary elements. Next year, it won't make sense anymore, and who wants a year-old costume anyway? Maybe I'll come up with some other leafy green costume.

Well, this is it for now. If I am super on the ball in the morning, I might check in here before I head out, but I don't want to promise anything.

I think this is going to be good. Thanks for sticking with me this far. I'll make us proud tomorrow.


Now it's about 2:30. Maybe at this time tomorrow, I'll be a marathoner.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Holy Crap It's Three Days Away


That is basically what is on my brain ticker right now. It looks much like this:

"Election's coming up ... hmmm, good Post story on frogs today ... THREE DAYS ... ohhh cute shoes ... feet ... TWENTY SIX POINT TWO MILES ... frogs are pretty cute ... would I be more morally conflicted working at a health insurance company or a horse slaughtering facility? ... man, I sure like coffee ... oh my gosh, three more days ..."

Sorry, that ran longer than I intended, but what are blogs for if not self-indulgent self explanation?

A good friend who ran a marathon a few years ago lent me a great book on all the mental aspects of running. It's all about relaxing and thinking positive yadda yadda.

It's big on creating little affirmations to repeat as you run, and the authors encourage you to come up with your own. There are several rules to this like, keep it positive and short, but what is most awesome is that they RHYME! I love rhyming.

They give examples like "Relax, relax, to achieve the max!" and "I am in control and ready to roll."

So, as instructed by the book, I am trying to come up with my own. I encourage you to post some, too.

"Think less of the hurting, and more of opportunities for flirting."

"If running for you doesn't feel right, try running for reasons like revenge -- and spite!"

"Run fast to live, and to outpace the guy with a shiv."

Actually, this game is a lot for fun without the rhyming:

"It's easy to run fast when you are being chased by rabid wolves."

"I don't have to win, but I do have to beat that guy."

"Quitters never win, and walkers never get to wear bikinis."

"If their stories are inspiring, they better be behind you."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

So, You Want To Be a Stalker

I bet marathons are like Christmas for stalkers. They're like tears in the rain.

That's right, stalkers, hide those binoculars no more! Pull that telephoto lens out of your trunk, and set up the ol' tripod! Proudly, proudly wear a t-shirt adorned with your target's countenance! No technology is too intrusive! No declarations of adoration too public!

Yeah, so on that note, here's the low-down on how to watch me from afar. Or near. Just don't cut me into little pieces.

The whole Marine Corps Marathon website is pretty incredible, but I will give you the highlights.

Here are the tips for anyone who wants to cheer on the sidelines.

Here is a super-fun and totally terrifying (if you are me) map of the course. Click on the triangle next to "MCM Course" and then put checks in boxes to see where stuff happens on the course. This can answer gnawing questions like, where will Daphne drink Gatorade? Where will Daphne see her time so far? Where will Daphne eat Clif Shots? Yes, it is indeed a fascinating window into the marathon experience.

Combine that with this elevation map for some sense of the level of pain I am suffering at any given moment. (See those little bumps at Miles 5, 13 and 19? Turns out they are not little.)

Oh, but that's just the beginning.

Here is where you can get email and cell phone updates on where exactly I am. Seriously. Just put in your email address and make up a password. Then, put in my last name (email me if you don't know it, and I will consider the likelihood that you will chop me into little pieces.) If you have trouble, just let me know.

If you are on site, you can actually track my every move as explained here.

I really hope to see as many of you people as possible on race day. If you can't make it, that's cool. I mean, we had a good run, right? I'm sure we will both make new friends.

Keep in mind that I will be slowwwww. On a 4:1, run/walk ratio, you can expect me to do between an 11 and 12-minute mile for the first half. As for the last 13 miles, who the hell knows? I'll probably just go as fast as my little hands can claw at the ground.

Monday, October 23, 2006

This One's For You, Mom

My friends finished the Chicago marathon yesterday, and somehow that took me from "high on optimistic anticipation" to "spiraling through waves of abject terror." That is, I'm a little nervous now.

So, that is one explanation for the distinctly not-me decision I made this weekend: I made an acupuncture appointment.

Now, acupuncture actually falls in the category of stuff I like to use as fodder for making fun of Mom, but, apparently, some things are more important than that (nobody was more surprised than me).

Basically, if enough people told me that wearing a Little Bo Peep costume and sleeping in trees would get me through the Marine Corps Marathon, I would be like "do you guys know where I can find a petticoat?"

Hence, at 6pm today, send me some good thoughts. Because I will be a nervous little pincushion about then.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

See, This is How I Will Drive Us All Batty

Now the forecast looks perrrrfect: 43-54 and no rain! That will change about 1,000 times this week, so I will try to drop it now.

If you were wondering ...

The forecast for Oct. 29 is rain. Seven more days ...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drop What You Are Doing, And Obsess Like Me

Just so you know, tomorrow is when I start to cross the line into craaazy. That's because tomorrow is when the "10-day forecast" will actually cover Marathon Day.

Weather is pretty much all I think about now. We must pray for brisk. Cold, even. Just not warm. Please, please, not warm.

The Coolest Number Ever

So, here it is: 25864. That's me. That's so me.

It's my bib number. It's also the zip code for Layland, West Virginia, Population: 518.

Last year, this kick ass number was proudly worn by Thomas Cleaver, who was 57 years old. That would make him 58 now, assuming his heart held out.

No, it doesn't hurt my feelings that there is no chance on earth that I will beat or even approach the time of my distinguished predecessor. Hey, we're all on the same team here. Plus, I picture him as a crazy fitness guy who has exercise machines in his house and weighs all of his food.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Forgot the Best Part

In the novel I posted yesterday, I somehow failed to recount the actual tipping point, whereby I realized that I must find a way to run the marathon.

My good friends Angela and Steve are set to run the Chicago Marathon this weekend. They have been incredibly supportive of my efforts, constantly checking in on my injuries and basically giving me an outlet so that all my other friends don't start avoiding me so they won't have to talk about that damn marathon business again.

So, since they wouldn't have their friends cheering for them in Chi-town, I decided to whip up a care package for them. On Thursday, I sat down to create before-the-marathon and after-the-marathon CDs, and immediately found myself in the Bell Jar.

The idea was for the music to get them excited about their marathon, but it was actually getting me excited about my marathon. Which, of course, was immediately followed by an intense desire to stick my head in the oven, since I was operating under the idea that I was going to be sidelined.

I started thinking, what am I going to do on Oct. 29? Will I cheer on the race route? Will I sulk at home? I couldn't bear it.

That's when I started cooking up the plan to create a last test for myself on Saturday, and the rest, as they say, is recorded in my previous blog entry. Hooray! Thanks Ang and Steve!


Monday, October 16, 2006

Who put the ON in Marathon?

ME! Thats right, kids. In one week and five days, I am going to somehow traverse 26.2 miles.

I know you are totally like, Where the hell have you been? I heard the rumors. I know you guys crossed out the "Daphne Runs Marathon" notation on your calendars.

It's ok, I'm not mad. I was right there with you until about Friday, when I suddenly realized that I am farrrr too bad ass to not follow through with this.

A summary:

So, the injuries were piling up. We finally got my left leg working properly, and then my right leg was all "not so fast." I couldn't run at all. I was doing all these exercises and going to PT every week, but running just hurt. So I waited and waited until I finally just gave up. On Oct. 3, I announced to a few people that I wasn't going to be ready in time.

I started trying to decide whether I could be ready in time for the White Rock Marathon on December 10, but I was scared to sign up. I couldn't stand the idea of dropping out of two of these things. It was awful, and I was fairly depressed.

On Oct. 6, I was bumming out my friend Charlotte about it while we rocked out to an 80s cover band specializing in metal/glam rock. Just so you have the full picture, I was a wearing a Poison T-shirt and guitar earrings. H-O-T. She mentioned that she was thinking of running the Army 10 Miler that Sunday on the Galloway system, with a ratio of 4 minutes running, one minute walking.

I was signed up for the 10 Miler, and I figured, now I don't have to be careful anymore, since I'm not doing the marathon, right? I mean, hey, what am I saving myself for? So I said I'd do it, too.

Anyway, I was shocked to find how much easier the 4:1 business was. We sailed through the race. My leg did hurt toward the end, but never very severely. It was like that one minute of lighter impact seemed to keep it in check.

So, on Friday (the 13th), I decided to give it one last shot. If I could run at least 15 miles on the Galloway system Saturday morning, I would run the marathon. Friday night, I skipped what sounded like a real fun party. I was serious.

I mapped out a 16.44 trail and hit the road at about 10:30 (original plan was to take of at 7:30, but am I made of stone?). I would like to note that this route is further than I am usually willing to drive.

Friend: "Hey, Daphne, I hear there's a hot new restaurant in Silver Spring -- wanna go?"
Me: "Nah, too far."

Anyway, the first 10 miles were total cake. The weather was perfect and I was in a fantastic mood, even though I was mostly going uphill. By about mile 14, I was totally overjoyed, because I realized the I was totally up for the marathon. Also, I had the sense that the downhill portion was near. Little did I know that I was hopelessly, pathetically lost.

So, I did not, in fact run 16.44 miles. I ran 18.67 miles. Actually, I stopped running all together for about that last mile, because I was desperately trying to find my way again. Eventually I found the metro. Who the hell ever heard of "Wheaton?"

I had a party to attend that night, so I needed to be able to, like, walk. So, I had myself an ice bath. That experience gave me what I believe is a small sense of what it is like to be a cat. (Dear childhood cats, I am so sorry about the baths. I didn't know. Love, Daphne.)

Anyway, it worked, and I was totally ambulatory for the whole night. The next morning was laughable. I felt like I needed to borrow one of those rolly-boards from the Vietnam vets downtown, but how was I going to get downtown? Anyway, ibuprofen, stretching, and about 7 hours of reality TV fixed me right up.

So, there it is. In one week and six days I can (and will) call myself a marathoner. I will be slow, but I will finish. If you can come out to cheer me on, please do. More info on that to come.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Not Getting Any Easier

ChiRunning was a bust. It shouldn't have been. The class was interesting, albeit a little close to how I imagine a meeting called "So, you want to be a Scientologist," but I'll get to that in a minute. The more important thing is that I basically flunked out.

My right leg was killing me. It still kind of is. Walking hurts. I have been icing as much as possible, and I am spending some extra time at the physical therapist tomorrow to regroup. I'm just not thinking about the future right now. I want to run. Now. The weather is perfect, and I am totally grounded.

I was really frustrated Saturday night, and feeling really discouraged, when my friend Laura gave me the full pep talk treatment. That really did help. She ran a marathon a few years ago after a pretty major injury. What's hilarious is that a few hours later, I was talking to some guy (Jason? Joe? Matt?) and we got onto the topic of the marathon. I mentioned that I was having a problem with my leg, and he was like "Yeah, it doesn't look good. I'm pretty sure you're not going to run it."

Who says that? It was just weird enough to be about the funniest thing I heard all year. Oh, that dream you have of overcoming that huge challenge? Nope, I can't see that working out. My advice: give up. It would have been some pretty effective psychology if he wasn't just sort of accidentally being a jackass.

But the incident did kind of reinforce that I am still so running that marathon. Maybe at the end, I'll be all clever and cute and say something like "that was for you, Jason or Joe or Matt."

Oh, ChiRunning -- the best part was that Larry, the instructor, kept citing the guy who wrote the book in this strange, adoring way.

There was a lot of "Danny says it is best to imagine the dotted line in the road pulling you forward from the chest," or "Danny says to drink this Kool-aid."

Ok, he didn't really talk about Kool-aid. The thing is, a whole lot of what Larry was teaching made sense. The idea is basically to make the trunk of your body rigid and stable, and then lean forward to allow gravity to help draw you forward. But "Danny" doesn't appear to have any training whatsoever in sports medicine or any physiological discipline. His resume is entirely made up of his own physical feats. It's just a little dubious.

So, I am totally down with giving some of the techniques a shot, but if you catch me running around repeating "Danny says," immediately stage the intervention. Please don't wait until the ATF gets involved. Thanks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I've Been Keeping Something From You

So, I promised some good cheer today, and I do like to keep my promises. That particular promise will be kept right after I do this thing:

So, I wanted to tell you, and I almost did a couple of times. At first, I was just too sad. Then, as I went through the seven stages of grief (spending a particularly long time on "anger"), I started to worry that it would bring you down too much. But I think I have really come to terms with it, and I think I can now help you get through it, too.

On Sept. 6, the world became a slightly uglier place. Some monster, some total sociopath, launched a vicious attack in the dead of night on my totally unarmed, brand new (7-year-old) car. When I came out on the morning of Sept. 7, her back window lay at a grotesque angle against the headrests of the back seat. She didn't understand why she was being punished; she knew not why she wasn't protected in the warm arms of a garage.

Anyway, she is going to be all fixed up on Monday. The surgery was traumatic (and shockingly expensive), but the results should be impressive. She will be all that she once was, albeit a little more jaded, a little less innocent.

Ok, back to happy fun time!!

Oh, crap, I have no more time. Happy fun time will commence tomorrow, when I report back on chirunning.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You're not going to believe this, but ...

My right leg hurts. I guess that's not unusual, because you can tend to overcompensate with your stronger leg, but it's getting sort of hard to ignore. And these beautiful Minton tiles on the floor of the Capitol Building are not exactly soothing.

Yesterday, I was scheduled to run 6 miles. It's finally getting cooler outside, so I was really pretty jazzed about running. I ate a bunch of ibuprofen and ran nearly seven. I was feeling pretty awesome.

This morning, it hurt. I have spent all day trying to analyze the hurt. What I have come up with is that it doesn't quite feel like shin splints. It feels lower down and completely in the back of the leg.

I was scheduled to run three miles today, but I'm going to bag that and ice and eat more ibuprofin.

So, let's not think about that anymore. I also have a cold or the like. So I'm just one big ball of fun!

In happier news, my lovely momma has paid for me to do a running workshop Saturday morning. It seems a little new age-y for my tastes, but it can't hurt, right? Anyway, it's something new, and that's pretty much what I am in the market for.

In sadder news, I'm sure you've heard about Ann Richards. We like to keep our banter running-related here at Daphneruns, but I just gotta tip my hat to a really cool lady.

Come on back tomorrow, I will post some links and generally make good cheer.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Will Totally Make It Up To You

Ok, now that was just inexcusable. I can't believe how I have neglected you. It was irresponsible and selfish, and I swear it won't happen again. Seriously. Look, I'm sorry, Ok? What else do you want? God, I can't talk to you when you are like this. Let's just talk about something else, ok?

First of all, I have some updates for you. Remember when I told you about the website where you could map all of your runs and save them and basically have your own map-a-licious website? Well, we totally got in on the ground floor of that one. Now, it's gotten all famous and the whole website has improved quite a bit.

Also, remember my lifelong quest for some sort of apparatus to keep my hair out of my face while I run like the wind? Well, I think TNT friend Kate was the one to recommend Goody's StayPut line of hair stuff. I finally got my ass to a Target and found them, and they are easily the best hair holder-backers I've found so far. I know, you're excited. I can tell.

Anyway, onward ...

So, some of you may have suspected that my blogging habits indicated my training was going down the tubes. Not true! Training is going great. Here's what I did Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Wednesday -- and tonight I will probably do about three miles on the treadmill.

Tomorrow morning is exciting, because I am back to nine miles! I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

10 Years is a Long Time

The ticket has officially been purchased.

August 30, 2006, I spent nearly $400 so that I might have the opportunity to judge and be judged at the 10-year R.L. Turner High School Reunion. Oh, yes, let the judging begin.

Sounds fun, huh? I don't really know what to expect, but I think it will be a good story at the very least. I think I will measure up ok, but it's comforting to know that I have this marathon training gig in my back pocket. I am not afraid to use it.

Speaking of that, I ran four miles yesterday in the searing heat, and that went well. I'm going to try to run three miles today. Then, tomorrow I get to run seven miles -- hooray!

I am as optimistic as ever. I also checked on my back up plan, which is to run the White Rock Marathon in Dallas on December 10. That means I will have over a month in additional time if I suffer anymore setbacks.

I was going to sign up, just so registration wouldn't fill up, but it doesn't look like it's necessary.

I am going to run a marathon, and it is going to be this year. I am going to run a marathon, and it is going to be this year.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Sun is Shining, But Today Still Sucks.

It is SO HOT outside right now. Ew.

So, things are not exactly going a planned today, but I will try not to allow that to affect our relationship.

The best thing that happened today is that I was in the Great Gray Mass Called Virginia this morning, when I suddenly spied a Trader Joes! Oh, how I love TJs. Anyway, I thought that it couldn't get better than that, but there was more. When I was checking out (with a basket of random and unrelated items, which no person could ever pretend were on a list together), and the TD employee and I were having a big "me too!" conversation about how chocolate is good, she pointed out this product.

I am drinking it right now. I want to go on the road just to promote this wonderful, wonderful invention.

Anyway, that's as good as it gets. Otherwise, I have little sunshine to offer you.

That said, I can offer you some limited sunshine left over from Saturday. That's when I ran 6 miles! The leg was fine. The endurance was a slightly different story, but that I can handle. Oh, and I'm up to 19 minutes on the stairmaster. Once again, if that doesn't impress you, well, let's not be friends anymore.

I plan to run tonight.

Peace out.

I will be more fun tomorrow. Promise.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I am trying not to get my hopes up, but I think I may have arranged for FOUR Cowboys-Redskins tickets at Fedex Field on Nov. 5. Now, if that isn't the best post marathon present ever, I don't know what is. Some of you may recall the last time I went to this game. If not, let me refresh your memory:

I am planning to try for a similar look this year (except for maybe the addition of a wheelchair, depending on how this damn race goes one week prior).

The seats are about as high up as you can get, although I believe they are actually slightly closer than we were in 2004. Since the website for Fedex Field allows you to see the view from every section, I have verified that I will be able to fully witness all the asskicking that the Cowboys will undoubtedly inflict on those sad little Redskins.

Oh, and I rocked that Stairmaster today. And if you don't think 15 minutes is an accomplishment on that thing, you obviously are no longer allowed to read this blog. Or, maybe you are this guy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stairway to Nothin.

Do you remember the Stairmaster? I means the ones that look like small escalators to nowhere? Well, about a half-dozen of them reside at my gym, where I have happily ignored them for months. They look like relics from a less enlightened time to me, like anyone on them should be talking on a cell phone the size of my head and reading a book called "Pasta: a dieter's best friend."

But, no, my physical therapist has informed me, those monstrous machines are still quite relevant. And they would be helpful in solving my "glute problem," actually.

(The aforementioned problem, as well as I can ascertain, is that I have a weak ass. That's unfortunate for many reasons, including but not limited to its negative effects on my running gait.)

So, today, I set out to do 15 minutes on one of those instruments of evil. It turned out to be a miserable 12 minutes. Tomorrow, I will do the full 15 -- promise. Those things better be extra effective, because I can tell you that they extra suck.

So, the run on Saturday morning went well. I did five miles while everybody else did eight miles. Turning around earlier than the group, I learned, makes you feel fast. It also puts pressure on you to be fast, because it would hurt a lot if a bunch of people passed me.

Anyway, I ran again last night (four miles), but my leg was really bothering me, so I walked some, too. I am trying not to worry about it, though, because the PT session was particularly torturous yesterday. Maybe the leg was just saying "enough!" for one day.

Oh, and from the department of awesome news: My sister Christi and her gentleman friend Aaron are coming up for the marathon! Soooo, I better run it, huh?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Well, Can't Be Out Partyin ...

... so I might as well be in bloggin. Me, and about 18 million dorky high school kids.

Which reminds me. Anyone who has come with three or four yards of me lately knows that my high school reunion is coming up next month. Which made it all the more interesting to visit it a high school track yesterday. Don't judge -- I had a good reason to be there.

Work is a little slow these days (quick, find wood. Knock on it.), so I pretty much get to pretend I am a high level editor or an unpaid intern and come and go as I please. Thus, when I got two emails at roughly the same time -- one from my physical therapist cancelling our appointment and another announcing a speed training session that night -- I got thee to the track (actually, I got thee home to change and make a sandwich, but I was at the track within hours).

My physical therapist did not give me permission to do the speed drills, but she said I could run 3 to 4 miles at a normal pace. I was anxious to bust out my new runnin legs.

I have no prior track running experience, so I was anticipating some treadmill-grade boredom, but I was so wrong! The track was like a little ant hill of activity. Varying sizes of little boys were tottering around in huge football pads, track teams were doing drills, locals were were running and walking, the marching band was somewhere within earshot and the cheerleading squad was practicing. I learned a cheer:

F! F-I!
F-I-R-S-T and ten!
It's first! And ten! Yeah, it's first and ten!

Note: I don't want to be critical, because it was a fine cheer, and the young ladies performed it very well, but is that cheering? Should they not be somehow encouraging victory, rather than simply making observations about the yardage of the play? But I digress.

The whole thing was very entertaining. But it was also very weird to look at all those kids and think it's been more than ten years since I was in this funny little temporary civilization called high school.

I decided that 18-year-old Me would probably like 28-year-old Me. Young Me might be disappointed that I don't live in New York City in a revamped loft filled with controversial art, but she would overall be on board with the current state of affairs.

So far this week, I've run 6.5 miles. In seven hours, I will run five more. So I better go to bed. Happy Friday.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Letter for the Benefit of Humanity

I'm restless. I want to do speed training. Doesn't that sound fun? It involves running fast around a track twice, and then running normal for one. If I got to play like all the other kids, I would do that five times this evening. I'm really tempted. In all likelihood, I will instead be on the stupid elliptical for an hour. Oh, well, at least I get to watch TV.

Oh, before I forget, there's something I need to do.

Dear Lady Who Wears Perfume at the Gym,

I hate you. I know that seems extreme. I didn't hate you when you first stepped onto the elliptical machine next to me. In fact, you sort of amused me then.

I tried to imagine if you would seem so absurd if you were wearing streetclothes and walking down the street, or a ball gown at the Oscars.

Yes, I decided. The only way you would not seem completely ridiculous is if you were basically in one of those bubbles that they make for people with no immune systems. Because maybe, just maybe, your Defcon 5 perfume reek would be muted to a semi-appropriate level. I'm not totally sure, but it's possible. I'm trying to offer solutions here.

But really, someone needs to stage an intervention. It should probably be someone close to you, so you will understand that the criticism is coming from a place of love. If it is someone who hates you, like me, for instance, you might feel defensive. You may have difficulty taking away the right message when I am rifling through your gym back and locking all the toiletries in a vault and then eating the key.

Look, we potentially have to spend more than an hour together. And I think we can agree that neither of us are having the best time during that period. I'm the first to admit that I can be prone to grouchiness after 45 minutes of fake-running.

So, let's do this the easy way, ok? You arrange for your crappy perfume to be disposed of at Yucca Mountain or similar, and I will not cut the brakes on your car.

Gosh, I feel better. I guess what they say about expressing your feeling is all true.



Monday, August 14, 2006

Dirt Flirts Are Tougher Than They Look

I heard once than women forget how much childbirth hurts. They don't
look back on it as a walk in the park, but if they were able to fully
recall the intensity of the pain, most of them would be like "yeah, I
think the one will be enough."

That little factoid came to me after the Mud Run Saturday. I was lying
on the sand with my feet up, eating a bagel and drinking a beer. Right
after I heard myself say "we should totally do this again next year!"
I had a sudden flashback to about one hour before.

This race was misnamed. There was no mud. Only sand. Probably about 4
miles of running on sand. Initially, my team thought the sand would
only last for about the first mile, so I powered through,
congratulating myself with every step. We were wrong.

Almost the whole race was in deep, soft sand. There were parts that
look like scenes from Star Wars, except with no Ewoks and tons of steep
hills. The obstacles that we were so concerned about turned out to be
welcome breaks from the sand. Kristin and Grace were big champs, but I
slowed them down when I couldn't run anymore on the sand. Walking didn't feel much better.

We crossed a waist-deep river early on, so our shoes were little, gritty lakes.

An article in Runner's World says that running in sand burns 1.6 times more calories per mile than running on a hard surface. My preparation was one 3 mile run in more than three weeks.

But then we finished! It was an incredible feeling. We were 15th out
of 19
– a huge accomplishment in my book. You don't want to see the
rest of these competitors in a dark alley. Seriously.

Not only do I want to do it again next year, I want to do it right. We
were actually disqualified this year, because two team members bagged
at the last minute. With a full team, some sense of what to expect and
matching t-shirts, we will be unstoppable.

During the race, I couldn't really tell how my leg felt. I was hurting
all over. Trying to pinpoint pain was not possible. But I iced it like
crazy for the rest of that day, and it hasn't hurt since. I may have
been compensating with my right leg, because that one is actually
still sore.

The upshot of all of this? I'll see you on Oct. 29. I'll be the one
kicking all that ass.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Doing The Swim. To Outkast.

Everybody was totally jealous of me at the pool today. And not just because I have the uncanny ability to move down the lane but still look like I'm drowning. In fact, it was because they were trying to figure out what the hell was on my head. They were saying Could it be? But no, there are no headphones in swimming ...

Oh, but yes.

My mom got me this technological marvel in honor of my birthday, and I've eagerly anticipating it's arrival for a week. It showed up today, and I got myself to the pool. It definitely made the swimming experience about 43 percent less boring.

Here's what I learned:
1. You have to make sure you push the headphones jack all the way in. I didn't do this correctly for the first lap, and I freaked out and thought I already broke it. This brings me to my second issue.
2. The stakes are high. I was sure I was going to break the damn thing somehow or another. One false move and you are basically not allowed to play anymore. This is the reason I probably would have never bought this for myself.
3. Swimming music needs to be purely high intensity. With running music, you can have an occasional Journey song for variety, but Journey is not welcome under water. I recommend 82 percent hip hop on swimming mixes.

We are T-minus two days from the mud run. I'm stressed. My physical therapist seems to thing that 5-mile run could tell us a lot about whether I will be able to train up to the marathon in time. That's pressure.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Twenty Eight Years of Rawk

Sorry this is so late in the day, but I have basically been slowed down by the overflow of total awesomeness that has occured over the last 72 hours.

First, I had a wonderful birthday. Absolutely perfect. I decided not to go to the group run in the morning, because I needed to get on the road early to purchase my new raison d'etre:

Isn't she pretty! She is a 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio. This is basically what she looks like, except with black interior. Some of my more aged readers may remember her grandmother, the Cabriolet. She is also related to the Golf.

More from the department of good news: Our first roadtrip together will be this Friday, when we go to Virginia beach to compete in the highly anticipated mud run!

Annnnd, I will not be limping behind a walker with tennis balls on the bottom of it or anything, either. I just got back from the doc's office. And there were a lot of words used that I don't understand, but here's the information I gathered up: The lining of my my muscles is inflamed. That's pretty much it. Aparently, that's called shin splints.

So, I have to be careful and listen to my body yadda yadda, but I am cleared to run and ready to rock. He said I have to add distance really slowly, about 10 percent at a time. Whatev. Also, I have to continue icing my leg like it's my job (might as well do something like it's my job right?). Once Doc said I could do the race, his words were drowned out by the roar of finish line crowd at the mud run.

Yesterday, I ran THREE MILES on the treadmill.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy, Happy Friday

So, today I am working from home, so I don’t have much time to blog and stuff. Yeah.

Are you guys excited about tomorrow!!! Yep, it’s true. It’s time to celebrate the TWENTY-EIGHTH anniversary of my birth.

I have a bad habit of taking half the fun out of my birthday by rounding up for the last three months of the previous year. So I won’t get the full charge out of saying “I’m 28” for the first time. I guess I’ll find some other source of joy.

About the running. So, I have the 5-mile mud run in one week. I haven’t run in approximately 1,000 years. I extracted permission from my physical therapist to try to run three of the eight mile training run tomorrow. But, if it hurts or something, I’m kind of worried that it will bum me out on my birthday. So maybe I’ll do it on Sunday. But I want to be with the group. So, I don’t know.

Also, since I may not update this beforehand, I should mention that I have a doc appointment Monday. He’s going to tell me what the MRI says. He may order a bone scan, but I hope not. Tired of being a gimp.

I want to give up some good time-wasting links (it’s the new Friday tradition), but all this work has tuckered me out. I might check back in a little bit.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Today's word of the day is "Radiology Report." Apparently, after an MRI is performed, the radiologist takes a look and writes a letter to the doctor who prescribed the test. And when an eager patient calls up her doctor's office, they will just fax that baby right over.

If "Radiology Report" were not the word of the day, it might have been "Wimp" or "Yellow Belly" or possibly a more vulgar synonym.

Yep, those squiggly lines ain't no thing, according to the report. In fact, the worst news in the letter is "mild prominence of previously vascularity within the calf." Ohhhhhh.

Obviously, I don't know what that means. But I do know that I AM RUNNING A MARATHON!!! My confidence had just started to slip, which is why your blogger had not been as attentive this week (well, there is also that whole work thing), we are rocking and rolling now.

I have a PT appointment Friday morning, and I am going to lobby to try to jog a smidge this weekend. Tom Petty is now playing in a constant loop in my head, and I'd like to see someone try to argue against that.

Well I wont back down, no I wont back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I wont back down

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Is that a Crack or a Vein?

I am totally swamped, so I am just going to give a quick update, and then come back later to fill in the funny and the clever.

I got an MRI Monday, and I have several recommendations for improving that particular system. I will expand on that later. Anyway, the MRI experience sucked, they gave me the films, my leg looks broken and I don't have another doctor's appointment until MONDAY. Seriously.

I really wish I didn't have a habit of breaking every digital camera I buy, because I would love to show you just how scary are these pictures of my insides. Actually, through the miracle of crappy cell phone cameras, I can present this:

You can't see it that well, but there is a squiggley line down the middle of what appears to be my tibia. But what the hell do I know? If there are any professional MRI readers out there, now's the time to show me what you got.

Ok, back to work. That means you.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I Want to Run

Maybe this whole injury thing will be like when you keep a bull in a pen and mess with him a bunch, and then you let him out into the rink with Luke Perry, and, holy crap, nobody can stay on that bull for 8 seconds. In fact, Luke is just so good that he does stay on for 8 seconds, but then he dies.

My point, obviously, is that I am beginning to really miss running, and I am hoping that my enthusiasm and agitation will lead to an easy time catching up once I get the green light from the doc to run again. (In my very apt metaphor, I am the bull.)

So, this week is going fine. My PT appointment this morning was a full-on torture session. Stacy looks all cute and sweet until she starts pressing her thumbs into your shin splints and making you do exercises with your weakest muscles.

Still, the session of pain gives me some hope that I am going to be back on my feet soon. Stacy’s on board with me doing the Mud Run on Aug. 12, so we still like her.

This Saturday will be the first training run where I don’t even attempt to run. I am manning the water route instead, because who wants to be sleeping at 6:30 in the morning? Nah, I volunteered because I don’t want to fall out of the crew. I am still training for a marathon, after all. I should be dragging my ass out of bed like everybody else.

So, you guys know my policy on Friday work, right? I’m against it. Here’s what I have done so far instead:

1. Googled to learn fitness benefits of swimming. Learned that swimmers often gain weight because swimming makes people ravenously hungry. Sounds vaguely familiar (see last post). But I’m not going to think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow.
2. Used a paper clip to fix a fashion faux pas. I am very proud of this. I am wearing a nice black sleeveless top with a white bra (look, it is hard enough for me to get to the gym by 7 a.m., but I am also supposed to pack matching clothes? Be reasonable.) So, I was getting increasingly self-conscious and it was really driving me nuts until I had a huge epiphany and paper clipped the straps together in the back. Now, it’s as if I am wearing one of those fancy criss-cross bras, and the straps are pulled in enough that you can’t see them at all! Seriously, take that Macgyver.
3. Discovered another website that stores up running routes. I know, you are thinking, how many of those do you need? Well, pipe down, because this one allows me to have my own webpage! Sooo, now I have to load it up with every route I can conjure. This is so fun. If you want me to prepare a route for you, just let me know. Any city, I swear. Try me.

In other news, guess what next Saturday is? My BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another Day, Another Doctor’s Visit

I have a cold. And it’s about 1,000 degrees outside. I hate that.

Anyway, Dr. McFeely had little news to report on my bum leg today. He scheduled me for an MRI on Monday. They asked me if I was claustrophobic or had any metal in my body, and I briefly thought about how on House, one of the best shows ever, a guy with tattoos had horrifying pain in an MRI. I was going to mention the tattoo on my foot, but then I remembered that only prison tats have metal in them. Good thing I had those tears removed.

I should go swimming tonight, and I actually really want to, but I can barely breath on land. I might die under water.

The other thing I want to do is EAT. Does everybody have hungry-hungry days, or just me? In a perfect world, I would have a burger and fries and chicken wings and a banana split with a scoop of chocolate fudge brownie, a scoop of coffee and maybe a scoop of cookies ‘n; cream or peanut butter. I don’t know if I can hold out. I might go buy some fries soon.

Physical therapy is going fine. Stacy taught me some exercises that should strengthen my quadriceps and some little muscle in my calf that sounds like “Solaris,” which I think was a really bad movie. But I didn’t see it, so I’m open to the possibility that the movie was ok.

My concern at this point is that I won’t be ready to run in time for the Mud Run. This simply CAN’T happen, because I will simply DIE if I cannot compete as part of the Dirt Flirts.

That’s right, we have a name. Katy, Kristin, Grace, Caitlin and I are Dirt Flirts. I don’t really know what that means, but Caitlin pointed out that we are listed right before the Dirty Bastards, and that suits me just fine.

So, now I’m in short term goal mode. I will compete as a Dirt Flirt. I will be the Dirt Flirtiest ever.

Mmmmmm, fries.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Takes More Than A Bum Leg To Keep Me Down

I am running a marathon. And it will be this year.

That has become my mantra. I repeat it when I swim, with each poorly formed stroke. I silently repeated it when my alarm clock went off at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, and as I dragged myself out for an eight-mile run, which should have been easy after last week’s 12-miler.

It’s incredibly frustrating to have your body get in the way of your goals. Before now, my experience with that feeling was pretty much limited to times when I got too sleepy to keep partying when my friends were going strong. I certainly got a taste of it when I broke my leg a few years ago, but I knew that was so temporary. I needed a mantra because, in it’s absence, another phrase sneaks into my head:

Plenty of people just can’t run a marathon. They aren’t equipped. Their bodies’ resist, balk, refuse.

I started the run Saturday full of optimism. I had rested for a week, except for the swimming. My mother had sent me some information about avoiding shin splints by relaxing your legs below the knee. That didn’t work. Instead, I tried to send “work hard!” vibes to my upper legs and my butt. I don’t think that worked, either.

After a little over a mile, I was in too much pain to continue. I walked about four more miles. Then, I went home a laid a bag of frozen peas over my shin. Sunday morning, I was limping.

I am running a marathon. I am running a marathon.

This week, I have two PT appointments and appointment with my orthopedic doc, who will give me an MRI to make sure there is not more damage than just inflammation.

Coach Rich told me that swimming will keep my heart and lungs even more fit than running would. If we can get me back in fighting form over the next two weeks, I will be fine.

It will be this year.

Friday, July 21, 2006

If Today Weren't Friday, I Might Just Quit My Job

I'm just kidding, sort of.

Anyway, my hip (or, as some might say, gluteal tendonitis) still hurts a little. I mean, really, that I can just sort of feel it all the time -- I wouldn't call it pain, per se. So, tomorrow I get to try to run 8 miles. If I feel pain beyond a "2" on a 1-10 scale, I have to stop. Blech

If I do have to stop, then I am facing an MRI next week, and I will probably have to take another two weeks off of running. All of this really, really sucks, but I am running this marathon, come hell or high water. Seriously, the humiliation factor is too high, and I've really got my heart set on it.

But enough about that. I believe I promised to share my extensive gossip website expertise. First, I'd like to address what I look for in a gossip website.

1. Up-to-date celebrity news. Accuracy is a nice bonus, but a handful of unsubstantiated rumors never hurt anybody. Much. Whatever.

2. Snarkiness. Interestingly, I've found that men truly excel at good old mean spirited attacks, which is why my list of sites is well-balanced genderwise.

3. Funny pictures. This is important, because it means a site has to be willing to risk lawsuits to post copywrited material. My favorite site have no fear, and I respect that.

4. Crude language. I don't know why, but it helps.

Alright, so now I will pass on the important stuff. Use it well.

1. The Superficial
This is what would happen if guys would just admit they love celebrity gossip. This website sets a new standard in snarkiness. If you are ever wondering if you are a bad person, read this website. You will feel like an angel. Not only is the writer really mean, he is also fairly sleazy. Excellent, right? And, ladies, I believe he may be single.

2. Go Fug Yourself
It is true that this site is designed to attack celebrity fashions, but it is really so much more. I am not big into fashion (I'm hoping nobody just thought obviously), but this is one of my favorite diversions. It is hilarious. Oh, and don't be afraid to utilize the categories on the left side. Allow me to recommend the selection of Britney Spears.

3. Pop Candy
This one is a great all purpose timewaster. It's fantastic for those days when I simply can't find the time to spend all day surfing the web. Whitney, who I fancy to be just like me, does it for me and posts all the worthwhile stuff. I am on board with her tastes in most things, so she sometimes helps be find a new author or band I need to love. This is a kinder, gentler blog.

4. What Would Tyler Durdin Do?
Named after the character in "Fight Club," this website rivals The Superficial in level of evil, but also in level of funny. So go there. You won't be sorry.

Oh, I really do have to work now. Dang, because I have news to report re: the mud run. Well, next time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Peas Will Save Us All

I skipped a training run for the second time yesterday. Instead, I swam for 25 minutes, which is a really long time for me. There is so much to keep track of when you are swimming: fingers together, arms flailing (well, that’s how I do it), legs kicking (except sometimes when I forget to kick), head turning, stay in your lane, cast magic spell on goggles to stay free of water. It’s hard.

I wonder if this would be just another thing to keep track of (maybe only if I know the words to the song) or a welcome distraction from my exhaustion. Does anybody have one? I am nervous that I would use it wrong and destroy my iPod. The stakes may be too high.

So, my trainer rocks. Stacy is exactly my age and is from Irving, Texas, which is just about a dozen miles from my hometown. Speaking of my hometown - and I can’t tell you how much excitement this has caused in my life – it turns out it is one of the 100 BEST places to live! Number 19, baby. It doesn’t get better than that (we declined on 1-18. Those numbers are so pretentious. Is that the kind of place you want to live? I think not.

Anyway, Stacy took Doc’s molestations to a new level. These are not jobs for shy people. She pushed and poked and bended me all around, and basically said that:

1) I’m a big pronator
2) Poor rehab after I broke my leg has made it so that my brain doesn’t communicate well with my foot. She showed me this by telling me to move my foot in a bunch of different ways, and there were a couple that took me several tries. So it was like this:

Brain: Do this.
Foot: Hmm? How’s that?
Brain: No, do this.
Foot: I’m sorry, I was on the phone. What was that?
Brain: FOOT, I mean it.
Foot: Fine, there, I did it.

But my right foot is more like this:

Brain: Do thi—
Foot: Done!

Anyway, so all this poor communication and pronating and, incidentally, “weak glutes” (WTF?) means that I am using my muscles and other guts inefficiently, so some little ones are getting way more work than they can handle, while the big ones are sitting around surfing the web and playing sudoku.

Stacy says I gotta get strong and teach some guts to move more properly. I said ok. She said I might be able to do my run on Saturday, which is really exciting, but it was a definite maybe, nothing more. Until then, I’m going to be a little guppy, swimming my little guppy heart out. Tomorrow, I have another appointment with Stacy.

She also said I should be taking Aleve or Advil when I run (I’d been taking Tylenol), because they actually reduce inflammation rather than just mask pain. Lastly, she prescribed a few stretches to do a lot and some frozen peas to ice my leg where ever it hurts.

When I lived in Hawaii, we use to feed frozen peas to the fish when we were snorkeling. They have since banned frozen peas because the fish got really aggressive and started goosing people in demand of more peas. Who knew that peas were so multi-functional?

Monday, July 17, 2006

On a lighter note ...

I hate to leave you on such a sour note today, so allow me to redeem myself.

Gentlemen, are y'all aware of the feel-coppage opportunities available to orthopedic doctors? Somehow I hadn't noticed this before, but some of that doctoring is a little ... close. Halfway through, I was thinking he should have bought me dinner beforehand.

First of all, I'm glad I thought to shave this morning, or I would have been very self-conscious. He pushed on my calf muscle in lots of places. Then he had me lie on the table, and he pushed my knees up to my chest one at a time. Then, he kneeled down in front of me and pushed on either side of my hips, sort of crawling downward from my waist.

My brain was doing something like this:

"Oh, jeez, can he tell I'm wearing granny panties? How embarrassing. Wait, he's not thinking about my panties. Or is he?"

When he said "I'd like to see you back here in 10 days," I was like "Ha, I bet you would." I'm just kidding. I was really like: note to self, no granny panties on July 26.

Daphne and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I have a hell of a roller coaster for you today. It goes something like this:

The long run Saturday was the second-most-miserable in my life because it was hotter than hell and twice as humid, but then it got kind of awesome because I had this huge realization that I am seriously going to run a marathon, so I was really happy, and then I realized I had just run further than ever, ever, which was also awesome, and then I tried a really easy run Sunday, which hurt a lot, and now I just got back from the doctor, who said I have shin splints (duh) and gluteal tendonitis (huh?) in my left leg, which obviously sucked.

I’m bummed (hence the extreme liberties taken with grammar above). Tomorrow I start physical therapy. I go back to the doc in 10 days. If I’m not better by then, he will do an MRI to see if I have a stress fracture. I so totally don’t have a stress fracture.

I am well aware that this isn’t a huge deal, but he said to “try not to run” for “a week or two.” I’m just a smidge paranoid, because I’m sort of convinced that if I take said week or two off, I will be losing whatever capability I have to run long distances, and I will be starting over when the rest of my group is running 14 miles at a time.

Oh, and that tendonitis stuff is apparently caused by the fact that I am running funny because of my stupid shin splints (by the way, I checked, and it’s always plural. Like pants). And all of this likely goes back to the fact that I broke my leg a few years ago, which means my left leg is still a little weaker than my super-buff right leg.

When we have a little time, I’ll tell you the tale about the time I broke my leg on roller skates in the dead of winter. No, I wasn’t 5. I believe I was 25.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Let's be honest, we are not going to get any work done today. It's cool, I understand that you busted your ass all week and mamma needs a little me time. Power to the people, baby. Now let's talk about what you are going to do for the next 6 hours.

Favorite running related websites:
I don't understand how running existed before this website. If I am going get all sweaty and tired and not cute on purpose, then I want to know exactly how far I am going. Plus, if you don't know how far you went, it gets a lot harder to brag about it. There is nothing more demoralizing than someone saying "Oh, I've run that trail, but I'm pretty sure it's two miles, not five."

USA Track and Field
This site is great if you are running in a new city, or you are new to running in your city. You can search for routes near you and then not run them. Oops, that's just me.

Marathon Times
I am totally going to beat David Lee Roth. I will strive to meet the Boston Marathon qualifying time for the 70 to 74 age bracket, and it would be nice to beat Majority Leader Bill Frist and former Vice President Al Gore. I have little hope of outrunning Diddy. Anyway, this is an awesome list. Who knew that Billy Baldwin was such a speedster?

Bike Washington, Running DC
These are some decent mapped out local trails.

She Finds
Have you ever noticed that buying workout clothes feels a little workout-ee? I mean, like you are doing something good for you. There is no shopping guilt. You are merely facilitating your healthy, active lifestyle!

Race Calendar
Awesome excuse for a trip somewhere cool.

Other very important websites:
Local Goodies, and More Local Goodies

Local Media Gossip, and National Media Gossip

Dark, Awesome "Comic Strips" and Funny Drawings

Next Friday, I will share my celebrity gossip website expertise. I can't give away all my secrets at once.

Oh, and about the running: I have an appointment with the leg doc Monday and my physical therapist Tuesday. Yesterday was the first day so far that I haven't stuck exactly to the training schedule. Instead of running three miles as prescribed, I did three miles on the elliptical, which should be significantly less stress on my leg. It still hurt afterward, but not as much, so I just iced it. Today, I'll swim, drink a bunch of water, eat some carbs and hope hope hope I can run 12 miles tomorrow morning. We will see ...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's a mud, mud world

It's hurts to lift my coffee cup.

On August 12, I am joining forces with four girlfriends to do the mud run. I could not be more excited about this. It's a five mile race through mud and obstacles, and my team has to finish together. I foresee a perfect combination of team bonding and physical exertion. I picture it as a movie montage set to Pat Benetar's "All Fired Up" or Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

Consultations with the team have produced the following goal: Don't. Be. Last.

Which brings me to the coffee cup. Teammate Kristin noted that our crew, while well fortified in running ability and fashion sense, appears to be lacking in upper body strength. But we have enough time to fix that, she said.

So, Monday, before the previously mentioned Butt, Thighs and Abs class (which I flunked), I meandered into the weights area of the gym for the first time and did three sets on every single arm and back-related machine in the room. When will the pain stop?

But there is a bigger issue. We can't actually sign up until we have a name. Please, please come up with a clever name? Here are my crappy ideas so far:

1. Mud-Lovely
2. Mud Sisters
3. Mud Studs

Obviously, none of those are acceptable. My favorite name from last year is "Mud, Sweat and Beers." Why can't I be that clever? So, help a girl out here. Pretty please.

On an unrelated note, I am highly stressed about Saturday's 12-mile run. The shin splints are getting worse, but my doctor and physical therapist appointments are not until next week. My plan is to stop running until Saturday, but swim every day until then. Um, except for today. I woke up late, ok? I'm tired.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How Did Daphne Get So Cool?

This has nothing to do with running or fundraising, but this seems like a good time to bring to light my life-long struggle with having cool parents. I know some of you had a tough lot, with highwater-wearing parents who said things like "You go to school to learn, not for a fashion show."

But I just want to note that it isn't all rock concerts and impeccable style for us, spawn of coolness, either. How do you think it felt for friends to come over in high school and say "hey, I didn't know you had this (cool) CD!" and I had to be all "I don't. It's my dad's."

Anyway, so I bring this up because I can't resist sharing Dad's most recent correspondence. This is what happened after I got him slang flash cards for Father's Day:


Thank you for the Slang 2 flashcards you gave me for father's day.

I used my new skills to salt the game of the scrubs at work. Meanwhile, the locs in the hood want to draw my vapors.

Another newb from Lockheed Martin was trying to gank my ish. When she made her faded proposal it was obvious the bee-yotch was jocking my idea. I said "snap, that's some dank statistical analysis of the program risk, but check out my mad flow." After I schooled her with my new ninja vocabulary she knew that she was acting a foo, mos def.

When I went home, my IPOD was bumpin while I was riding my pimped out fatboy through the hood with Logan on the back. She was so gully when we kicked down a dank house warming gift to my boos Glenn and Laura. Later I said" Yo G lets just kick it tonight and play that crazy Tomb Raider video game." She said "Fo shizzle". Logan went back home this week with Amie knowing that I am the coolest uncle ever.

Hit me later,


Monday, July 10, 2006

That Fur Ain't Mine

So, I really need to clear something up. It has come to my attention that several readers thought that these pictures were taken by me. As much as I love to take credit for others' work, I don't know what it says about me that you guys thought these were my legs.

Hey, I'll be honest. I wouldn't sign up for random leg inspections in mid-winter. I might be less inclined to purchase a new batch of razors when it's 20 degrees outside and I would sooner wear a sombrero than a miniskirt. But it's JULY, and those legs look like they belong to a pygmy gorilla.

I guess I'm just asking for a little faith, folks. Thanks.

In other news, I have a shin splint issue with my left (and very smooth and soft) leg (also having an issue with the question of whether "shin splints" is always plural. Please advise). Coach Rich was comfortingly blase about the whole thing, saying that my leg would probably strengthen and resolve the problem itself.
Just to be safe, I called to make an appointment with the physical therapy people at my gym. My insurance will cover it, so why not?

Saturday's run was only six miles -- from here on out, we will increase distance every other week. So, this coming Saturday will be 12 miles. When I have time to think about that, I think it will stress me out. Yesterday, I was accompanied by Laura, Kristin and Kerry to the Crescent trail for a 4-miler in million-degree heat. I love that trail, because it is semi shaded, flat, it has parking and you can buy drinks there.

This morning I dragged my ass into the gym for a "Butt, thighs and abs class," but I dragged my unaerobicized ass right back out of there as soon as it occurred to me that there were no locks on the doors. I was worried that I would feel bad about that decision later, but I gotta say, I'm still pretty happy about it. That was a cruel, horrible class that should be reserved for really bad people, not lil ol' me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Friends Are Pro-Cancer Research

Ok, today’s post is daunting, because I don’t really know how to do justice to last night. The fundraiser was a huge and total success, and here are some points of evidence:

1. You guys seriously gave me $409.80. That is 200 Twinkies! It’s, like, 10 tanks of gas! It’s three months of cable! And it’s several gobs of cancer research! You rock so much. We should definitely stay friends.

2. I have received several emails today referencing headaches and fatigue - symptoms that seem to be somehow linked to all of the unbridled fun had last night.

3. All the CDs are gone! I demand feedback. Immediately.
4. I happen to know that that, last night, gossip was spread, fires were fanned, resolutions were devised and a fence was breached. Beat that.

5. Beers were served by the bucket. I can’t believe that I haven’t mentioned before how much I love beers in buckets.

6. One guy - let’s just call him S.H. - left his credit card behind. That is always, always a sign of a good night. (S.H., the number at the Zoo Bar is 232-4225)

By the way, I have decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon over the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. I need you fools cheering me on to finish this thing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Breaking the Law For Cancer

I went to bed last night thinking "that was the longest weekend ever," and I woke up this morning thinking "yeah, not so much going to make it to work today." So, hooray for July 5! I plan to celebrate by doing laundry, grocery shopping and finishing the very first edition of the Best Running Mix In History. I'm wild, y'all.

So, the CD: you guys, this is perhaps my best work. To not make it available to the public would be a crime. Almost as much of a crime as selling copywrited materials. The songs are short, keeping the attention span of even the most severe ADD case. There are songs for which you know all the words, songs you've never heard in your life and songs about how fame won't change us.

Anyway, I will be giving these CD away with a minimum donation of $5. I will have some available at the happy hour tomorrow, but I can also mail them out to anyone who's in need. I am a firm believer in the idea that workout mixes are most effective when you don't know what's coming. So, I can't really allow you to examine the playlist. But, if you decide you want one and you simply can't abide, say, hip hop or chick bands or monster ballads or whatever, I can easily customize your CD. But, before you make such a demand, think to yourself: Dare I mess with genius?

Meanwhile, dear readers, I will leave you will one of my favorite mix resources.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Now I Can Set New Standards in Laziness -- Guilt Free

Bon matin bebes!

Ok, it’s 11 am on Saturday. What have you accomplished? Because I just ran 10 MILES! Inevitably, somebody is saying, “well, I saved a child from a burning building, reconciled with my estranged father and gave myself a pedicure.” If this is you, I really don’t think this is the blog for you.

Anyway, my little captive audience, it was a great run! Sometimes a “good run” just means that you wouldn’t run off a bridge to stop the misery. Today, a good run means that I never really considered walking.

Here are the two downers:
1) Whatever genetic mutation resulted in my “big” toe being shadowed by my second toe has finally caught up to me. Both of my show-stealing second toes seem to be developing calluses of sort on their tips. Too much information, eh? Well, saddle up bebes, because this trail ride is just leaving the stable.

2) I lost my ring. I was about halfway through the run, and it started annoying me (I know this is hard to picture, but I actually get far more neurotic when I’m running). I took it off, and I thought I put in my little key pocket, but who knows? When I’m that tired, I don’t think so well. For all I know, I threw it at a biker.

Ah well, I’m tough. I can handle some discomfort in my mutant toes and a slightly less accessorized life. Toughie.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Am I Lying? Maybe.

So, here’s the thing about having a blog when you are training for a marathon. From time to time, you don’t really feel like training for a marathon. Let’s say it’s been raining for about a century and your favorite TV show ever is down to 14 really awesome competitors, and people keep expecting you to show up to work and stay there ALL DAY … you get the idea. Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling more like training for an eating contest. (I would also be up for a hula hoopin contest, if anyone’s interested. But be warned, I’m good.)

Oh, so my point was that all of my awesome friends and family now see me and think “oh, that’s Daphne. She’s training for a marathon,” and then they ask me about it. Ultimately, this is how those clever trainers keep us from backing out. They are geniuses, because I would basically rather go out with one of those guys who sleeps outside the Uptown Theater the night before a hobbit movie even though they can buy tickets online than have to say “Oh, the marathon? Yeah, that was too hard, so I quit.”

Bottom line: if I quit, I plan to lie about it.

It's true, everything I say from here on out is totally in doubt. But here's the update, if you can believe it: Saturday's run is 10 miles! I'm kind of looking forward to this, because there are a lot of people in the program for whom this will be their first venture into the double digits. I think that will make it really fun. I hope it's not raining at that point, but I'm basically resigned to an underwater life now.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

For those of you who want to look like me

Nothing like a couple of 2 hour commutes in a row to get you rethinking your career goals. I’m now on the lookout for a job that can be done from, say, my living room. Or the Starbucks up the street. Or in a city with some sort of drainage function. Anyway, I will complete my bitching with this slide show of the road I typically take to work.

Whew, ok, I think that’s passed. As promised, here are some of my running must haves. This is like “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” except for non-billionaires who run a lot (not that Oprah doesn’t run. In fact, she did a marathon before we did. Rock on, Oprah.)

These are my favorite shorts, which I bought last weekend. They are super soft, and they sit slightly lower than other running shorts, but not jailbait low or anything. I want more of them.

Here is the water belt that I love and the water belt that I hate. There are several reasons for hating the latter belt, not the least of which is that you have to drink from this abomination like a weird baby bottle. Ew. Huge bonus on the new belt is a little pocket that can hold my ipod, which I prefer over strapping it to my arm.

I think the best tops are Under Armour, but they are expensive. I don’t know how much y’all want to talk about my underthings and whatnot, but let’s just leave it at that I am somewhat of a Champion girl, although not always.

Lately, I am on the prowl for stuff to hold back my bangs (was this a problem in the 80s?). I used to clip in about 7,000 little barrettes, but my pride got the best of me. Now I use a head band like girls in private school wear, but that’s probably not a permanent solution. Suggestions encouraged.

Oh, one more thing, I liked the idea of wristbands that one can use to mop one’s brow and such, but I hated how big and sort of confining they are. But then I found out about bicep bands! I don't really know how or why these things are actually supposed to be used, but they make a much smaller and looser wrist band. Also, I felt kind of hard core buying them, because I think they are football-related. Hot.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Today could certainly rock more

So, this is shaping up to be one freaking doozy of a crappy-ass day. I won’t get into it now, but Mayor Williams, if you are reading this, here’s the thing: RAIN SHOULD NOT SHUT DOWN A CITY. I don’t even know if it should shut down a shuttle launch, but it definitely, definitely should not bring the capital of the free world to a grinding halt. Ok? Thanks.

I had a great weekend! Huge props to Mom, who was visiting me and ran six of the nine miles in my training run Saturday. Which reminds me, I ran nine miles this weekend! Also, I replaced my horrible water belt with a really comfortable one. I’m not going to say I chose the new belt because it was cuter, but it certainly didn’t hurt. Now that I am wearing workout clothes about 20 percent of my waking life, I simply do not think it’s too much to ask that it, well, accentuate the positive.

Ok, so I have more to say, but I have to, like, work. I hope to add some stuff tonight, like some links that might be useful and an extension of the very light treatment given above of running fashion. Till then.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's a zoo out there

First of all, did you guys ever notice that the song "Eye of the Tiger" adds significance to anything you are doing? Because it is on my ipod running mix (and everybody else's on earth), sometimes it will come on when I'm driving or grocery shopping or whatever.

So, you'll be minding your own business, unloading the dishwasher with headphones on, and you hear that dramatic "DUN. DUN-DUN-DUN." Suddenly you are sorting forks and knives with purpose! You are still putting away dishes, but it's more like you are putting away dishes HARD CORE! Anyway, I digress.

Great news! I was about to write that I was really bummed that I failed to complete the 4-mile training run scheduled for yesterday, but I just mapped it and guess what? I was wrong! I did run 4 miles! It was really miserable and ickly hot, but according to my calculations, I gave up right where I was supposed to give up! Which, obviously, isn't really giving up at all!

That said, Saturday's run is nine freakin miles. Blech.

In other news, I am holding my first fundraiser on July 6. I think I will send out this invitation tomorrow. I am also trying to think of some stuff to raffle off. Charlotte brilliantly suggested that I sell my personal running mix CDs for $5 donations.

Still no decision on which race to run. I'll be in touch.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Major Decision

I don't know if all of y'all are aware of what a BIG DEAL Halloween is to me. It might be easiest to show how seriously serious I am about the date with pictures:

2003 -- This picture was taken before the costume was finished. If you had seen me out that night, you would have been treated to a massive knife in my chest, with lots of blood. That went over big.


2004 -- Champagne. It's hard to see all the brilliance of the costume here. I have a cork on a necklace, and my boa has small champagne flutes hanging from it. There's also an abundance of glitter and celebratory remnants in my hair.


2005 -- Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe. See? Now you love Halloween, too.


I tell you this to help you understand what a major, major sacrifice it was for me to agree to do the Marine Corps Marathon, which is on the Sunday before Halloween. All the events I will want to attend would be the night before my favorite night of the year, and I would miss it all. Or so I thought.

The Nike Women's Marathon is the week before, in San Francisco. So, I will share with you my internal struggle deciding which race to run. Anti-MCM arguments are orange, pro-MCM arguments are green.

Marine Corps vs. Nike Women's

1. MCM will ruin Halloween, 2006. It is has been noted that "it's only one year." Well, how about I take your raison d'etre away for one year, eh? That's right, no Trekky convention 2006 for you. How does it feel?
2. NWM is really, really hilly. I am excited to be running a marathon, but I'm not sure making it harder is a good idea. To me, hills sound like a very bad thing.
3. I would have a much bigger cheering section here in DC. The idea of having people I know all along the route sounds really motivating. What could be more motivating than the prospect of humiliation?

4. San Francisco would be really fun. I've heard that it is a totally different experience to travel with the program. We'd be a crew. It would be special and heartwarming, yadda yadda.

5. Nike Women's requires far more fundraising -- another $1,600, to be exact, because TNT covers all of your expenses, like flying there and sleeping indoors and stuff. I think I could do it, but I don't love the idea of it hanging over my head. (To preserve the NWM option, I have boosted my fundraising goal on the other page. I can bring it back down if I decide to go with the Marine Corps Option)
6. Nike Women's is likely to be chilly – I like the sound of that.
7. Ok, I’m not going to lie. The fact that you get a
Tiffany necklace at the finish is, well, let’s call it icing on the cake. And sometimes, it kinda seems like the whole cake. It’s just so dang cute! Am I made of stone?

Anyway, I think I have to decide by June 30. Maybe I'll flip a coin. Feel free to weigh in on this in the comments section.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Daphne, 1; Treadmill, 0

This has not been a great, great workout week. I have stuck with the training schedule, but my cross-training on off-days has been less-than-stellar/ non-existent. This is mostly due to my refusal to wake up until it is late enough that I get to spend my first hour stubbing toes and repeating the same expletive until I get to my car. Also, I am adjusting my schedule to accommodate the fact that the best, best, best show on earth is back for its second season.

That said, I finally got around to conquering this monstrous treadmill routine, so I am currently feeling totally invincible. Maybe that is why I just ate a bunch of jelly beans and yogurt covered pretzels about three minutes ago (by the way, could yogurt covered pretzels possibly taste better? And that obviously leads me to wonder, has anyone invented any sort of yogurt-covered pretzel ice cream treat yet? Because that might actually taste better than yogurt covered pretzels.)

Anyway, tomorrow's training run has changed from a 7 miler to a timed run, which means how far you run depends on how fast you are, but nobody has mentioned how much time is actually involved. So I don't know how far I'm running, but I do know that we will end up on the site of the Team in Training picnic. I am obviously real happy about this development, because when is a better time to make new friends than right after running a bunch of miles? Basically, never! This will give me an opportunity to show off the fact that, after I exert myself, my face stays bright red for about a year. It's pretty.

I sound all negative, but I actually am looking forward to meeting all the people. It's funny how, as an adult, rarely you walk into a room where you don't know anybody. Anyway, meet me back here in a few a days so we can make fun of them.