Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Better Safe Than Sorry!

A good rule of thumb:  If you notice something strange/new/different about your body (like a mole, freckle, bump, etc) and it doesn't go away on it's own within 2 weeks, get it checked out by a doctor.

I have been adhering to this strategy for a while now and haven't had reason to get anything checked out by a doctor until last week.  A few weeks ago I noticed a small, very dark spot that looked like a freckle with uneven edges on one of my girl parts down there.  I assumed that maybe it was some sort of burst capillary from running or being active.  But it didnt go away after 2 weeks so I had to do the part of the above rule of thumb that I hate to do - go to the doctor.  I especially didnt want to go because who enjoys a trip to the OBGYN?  But better safe than sorry so I made an appointment.

After checking height, weight, BP, doing a finger prick for iron levels, and peeing into a cup for a urinalysis I got to get into the comfortable position with the stirrups and have the doc take a look-see.   It was nice to hear that she didnt think the spot looked suspicious or concerning.  She said my options were to continue to watch it for changes or to do a biopsy right then and there.  Again, as one to be safe rather than sorry I opted for the biopsy.

I immediately starting questioning my decision as I was laying there with my most sensitive areas exposed and the doc started throwing around words like "scissors" and phrases like "do we have anything sharper?"  The first step was to numb the area and holy shit this was so painful!  She used a needle to inject lidocaine into the tissue where the biopsy was to be taken, similar to how they will numb your gums before filling a cavity.  However this was so much more painful than a cavity!!!  They (the MD & RN) said to relax but I was pretty much gritting my teeth and white-knuckling the sides of the exam table until they were done with the anesthetic.  Next she took a round punch biopsy from the area.  This actually didnt hurt at all because it was completely numb.

That was it. She said I didn't need stitches, it would heal on its own, I could run later that evening if I wanted, but may want to abstain from sexual activities for the next 3 days.  So I went back to work (had this lovely procedure done on my lunch break) and thought I was good to go.

About 1-2 hours later it started getting uncomfortable down there.  Then it went from discomfort to pain to OMG I feel nauseous, dizzy, & sick and I need to lay down on the floor in my office!  The lidocaine was wearing off and it was really really hurting!  Probably should have expected that one!  I took a couple Aleve and all I could do was lay on the floor in my office for the next 30 min trying not to move or throw up until the pills kicked in. Thank God my boss was out!!!

About 45 min later I was feeling a little better, still had pain but was able to manage for the rest of the day,  I had to cancel my planned run with a friend though which really bummed me out! The following day I did a short n easy 2.5 mi test drive, and then a full 15 on the next day.  I won't say I didn't notice it, but I got the miles in!

So its been a week since the biopsy and things are pretty much back to normal, both in terms of healing and my running.  Additionally the biopsy was negative so of course I'm psyched about that! :) My point is not that I went through all that unnecessarily. My point is if you have something that concerns you get it checked out; its always better to know than to wonder.  And, if they are going to do a biopsy, especially on a super sensitive area with millions of nerve endings, ask for a topical numbing gel prior to the local anesthetic!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

16 miles at 6 am

Ah, Saturday...a glorious day for sleeping in.  Not so for the runners of the world.  Honestly, why runners feel the need to get up at the crack of dawn, even on the weekends, to run is beyond me.  But if you want to run with other runners, then you'd better get your a$$ out of bed!

Saturday morning I met a small group of people for a long run.  We met at 6 am and it was not even close to being light outside.  The only good thing about this is that it's a legitimate excuse to geek out in my headlamp.  The four of us ran 6 miles at a decent clip and I was kinda feeling it b/c the humidity was literally 98%.  We circled back to the parking lot after the first 6 and met up with a larger group of runners for the final 10.  As the miles wore on, the group thinned out and some people peeled off as they felt fit (or should I say unfit).  By the final 5 miles or so there were only 4 of us left.  I felt like I was in a pretty elite pack, especially considering one was a former olympic marathon trialist and another was in training for NYC with a seed time of 2 hrs 34 min.  The plan from the get-go was to do a progression run, starting out at around 8 min miles and dropping to 7ish by the end.  We stuck true to plan and finished out the last mile in 7:02.  Average for the entire run was about 7:30. 

Can't remember the last time I ran that far that fast.  Actually I can't remember the last time I ran that far period.  In my previous training my longest long run usually topped out at about 15 miles so it's quite possible that I haven't run 16 miles in one stretch since the last time I was marathon training.  But, it felt good and I feel pretty excited that I have a decent running fitness base right now. 

My current plan is to run a half marathon on Thanksgiving to get a base time and then to start training under a coach for an early season half or full marathon (still haven't decided yet; there are merits to both).  In the meantime, I have been trying to run 5-6 days per week with one long run on the weekends and one speed/tempo day during the weeks.  I'm traveling for the next 10 days so we'll see how well I can keep that up...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Free Movie Friday!

Something happened to me today that's never happened before...I won something on the radio!  Cool!  No, I didn't have to answer any trivia questions or battle someone else in a game, I just had to be caller #14 and I was!  Ha, I just realized that it's kind of funny b/c 14's always been sort of a lucky number for me.  Interesting.  Anyhow I won 2 tickets to the movies to see the new Tom Hanks movie, "Captain Phillips." I was pretty excited about it and tried to convey that while on air b/c I hate it when people win things on the radio and they show no enthusiasm whatsoever.  It was cool too b/c after I got off the phone w/ them they played a couple more songs then I heard myself on the radio!  Too funny.  I wonder if anyone that I know heard me and recognized it was me!?  So, looking foward to a free movie night in the near future :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Is Here

It's getting colder now and I don't like it.  I've had to start wearing long sleeved shirts on my runs which means tights are not that far around the corner.  I've also noticed fewer runners out and about now that the seasons are changing.  Where have you all gone my fair weather friends?  As much as I don't like running in the cold, I know I'll suck it up and do it.  And while running into a brisk headwind coming off the water last week this poem came into my mind...

Summer is gone
Days forlorn
Sink into the fall
Embrace the long haul

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The original version of this song by Awolnation is hard to beat, but this remix is pretty dope:

I liked this song from the very first time I heard it, but have always wondered what the lyrics mean:
This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my ADD baby
This is how an angel dies
I blame it on my own sick pride
Blame it on my ADD baby
Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!
Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself
Blame it on my ADD baby
Maybe I'm a different breed
Maybe I'm not listening
So blame it on my ADD baby

Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!
La la la la la, la la la la la, oh! 
La la la la la, la la la la la, oh!
La la la la, la la la la
Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!  Sail!
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me
Sail with me
I've heard these lyrics explained in a few different ways including 1) someone is struggling to fit into society who, for whatever reason, is somewhat of an outcast; this song is a tongue-in-cheek way of telling the norm and everyone who follows it to go screw themselves, 2) more literally in that someone is struggling with ADD or other mental issue and may be having real issues with it but also may choose to skirt responsibility and blame everything on the disease; they may try to laugh off their problems without facing them head on, 3) someone struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction who is in a dark place and kind of ok with it; they are content to sail away on the next high, and 4) the destruction of a relationship in which the person realizes they have contributed to the demise of the relationship and perhaps even the other person but they can't and/or won't try to fix things even though ultimately they still want to be with that person. 
I'm still not sure which interpretation I think is the most accurate or if there is another interpretation out there which offers a better explanation.  I'm certainly interested to hear what other people think!  However, regardless of the writer's intended meaning, the song is simply excellent!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Race Back: Triple Lakes Trail Race

Yesterday I raced for the first time in quite a while and it went....well.  Surprisingly well.  Especially for being a half marathon, on technical trail, & full of hills!  Before the race started I scoped out the competition and picked out a few women who I thought could be in it to win it.  I lined up at the start right behind them and figured I'd take it out at their pace and see how long I could hang on. 

There was just under a mile of paved road before the single-track trails started and one woman got off to a pretty swift start.  So I followed her b/c I thought, "Hmm, this could be the race right here."  My Garmin is still broken so I really have no idea how fast we were going.  We got onto the trails and I stayed behind her, probably about 30 sec back.  However, after a while I felt like I was going a little too hard and decided to back off around 2.5 miles and settled into my own pace b/c I was getting a side cramp - not a good thing that early in the race (or ever really). 

At 3.5 miles the trail broke onto more pavement for about a quarter mile and I could see that I really hadn't lost much ground.  This was encouraging and as we got back onto the trails I noticed I was gaining on her.  Of course this was exciting!  It took me until about mile 8 to fully close the gap and I ran right behind her for a mile or so.  Then the trail broke into a wider grassy section and she motioned for me to go ahead of her.  I really didn't want to b/c I was tired and content to just run at her pace.  I wanted to stick behind her for a while then race the last 1-2 miles.  However, she wasn't having any of that, so I made the pass with about 4 miles to go.  I kept an honest pace for the next mile and we passed 1 guy and caught another who tagged onto us.  My legs were hurting but I could tell she was breathing harder than I was so I was pretty sure I could pull out the victory. 

We got to an aid station before starting the last trail section and I took a swig of water.  I had planned on eating a gel every 30 minutes but my stomach wasn't up for it.  I am not used to working at such a high intensity and I felt like I was going to vom from miles 11-13.  Anyhow, after the aid station, the woman behind me slowed and the guy and I put a bit of a gap on her.  I let the guy take a turn leading, though his draft smelled terrible, and finally when I noticed that the other woman was creeping back up, I re-passed him. 

By mile 12 I was very fatigued!  I must have hit a root or something b/c I took a pretty hard fall.  The guy behind me was like "Whoa!  Are you ok???"  I got up as quickly as I could b/c I didn't want to concede any time to 2nd place.  Thankfully I only had some superficial scrapes on my knee & elbow. 

Now, before the race started, the race director informed us that the half marathon was a little long, more like 13.5 miles rather than 13.1.  I got to mile 13 in 1 hr 28 minutes and was so thankful to know that at absolute max I probably only had 4 more minutes of running!  However 4 minutes went by and the trail kept going.  I was like, "OK, 2 more minutes max."  Two minutes later, no end in sight...  Finally, a full 11 minutes later I reached the finish line!!!!  Craziness!  I felt completely beat and the volunteers at the finish said "You don't look very good."  Gee thanks.  Actually, the volunteers were very helpful - they cleaned up all my cuts and filled my hands with pretzels, bananas, water, & soda, which was all much appreciated!

All in all, I was happy with this race considering my state of fitness and level of training leading into it.  I had fun, got to run a race I've always wanted to do, and even came away with the win and a respectable time.  It definitely motivates me to train more and I'm already trying to decide what race I'm going to do next.  It's gonna be another 1/2 marathon for sure, probably November time frame.  I kind of like the idea of running a race on Thanksgiving morning so I can spend the rest of the day feeling completely justified in pigging out!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I have a new addiction to Fireballs.  Haha, yes the hard, red, spicy-yet-sweet candies!  Well maybe it's not so new.  I've always enjoyed eating Fireballs and would purchase them on road trips.  I'd eat one or two and put the rest of the bag in the glove compartment or center console and forget about it.  Then the next time I happened upon the bag I'd be insanely happy about it!  Kind of like finding money in the back pocket of a pair of jeans you haven't worn in a while.  Anyhow, now that I do a considerable amount of driving for my job, I've started purchasing bags of the little red balls regularly and keeping them stocked in driver's side door. 

One day recently I asked myself why I liked them so much and came up with a few answers:

1.  Every time you eat one it's a challenge to see if you can keep it in your mouth the entire time.

2.  Once you get past the firey portion, there's the sweet portion.  At this point it becomes a question of how long do you have to wait before you can bite down on it with your teeth and break it in half.  This is a bit more precarious than #1 because it's inevitable that you will try to bite the ball too early and thus there is an omnipresent risk that you will break a tooth.

3.  They last a long time and only have ~20 calories per ball.

4.  They leave you with a nice, pleasant, cinnamony breath.

Moral of this story - buy a bag of Fireballs.  You'll enjoy them.