Beth Runs!

After sitting on my butt all winter, knitting and watching Craig Ferguson into the wee hours, it's time to get up, get out, and move!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My New Toy...

Can you hear the tick, tick, tick of the metronome keeping my feet on pace? Can you see my right foot turning out? Can you almost feel the cold morning air???

Yes, I'm being all geeky and obsessed with my new camera phone. But if I weren't, I wouldn't be me.

After this run on Friday, I went to see Matt Sheehy, who graduated me to calling in once in a while if I need further assistance. He pronounced me vastly improved and sent me on my way.

Now, tonight, my shin hurts again. Could it be the long walk I took in the city in hard, uncushioned shoes right after I saw him?

Run/Walking 6 miles tomorrow. Well, today. It's 4:05 a.m. on Sunday morning. Don't think I'll make it to the Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders 10K that I was considering doing. This is not 4:05 a.m. on the just waking up early and ready to go side of the day. It's 4:05 a.m. on the haven't been to bed yet and it's just getting later and later side. And I've been so obsessed with my new computer that I haven't cross-trained all week.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


When I started this blog, I expected it to be full of ecstatic effusions on my new-found joy of running, deep existential realizations, meditations on the wonders of the body and on the natural world as I race by. I did not expect this blog to be full of medical terms and technical issues and boring details of workout plans. I mean, of course I knew there would be some of that. But I also thought I'd transcend the mundane details at some point and get to profundity a lot sooner.


I've learned not to come to a meditation retreat with expectations of anything but experiencing the moment, whether the moment is serene or blissful or agonizing or just plain boring as hell. I thought I was approaching running in the same way.


So far running has been: physical pain, wishing I could stop, wanting to throw up, and being really, really glad when each run is over. There's a lesson in this, but I don't yet know what it is. Anyway, here's to plugging along. A new plan and a new medical term:

Medial tibial stress syndrome, a.k.a. shin splits

I went to see Matt Sheehy again last Friday. Took him my X-ray from Maryland Kaiser. He ran his thumb along my inside shin and said, "You have shin splints, here (Ouch!) and here (Ouch!) and right here (Ouch! Ouch!)" He could feel these little knots in the tendon and knew exactly where the pain would be before I winced. He showed me how to massage my leg, told me to do it every morning along with ice, and recommended running only 3 times this week, again no more than 2 miles.

Matt also evaluated my running and told me I was improving a lot. Still need to work on keeping the right leg straight. The key to ending all this bloody suffering, according to Matt, will be to straighten up this damned leg. I thought I WAS keeping it straight!

A New Running Plan

Once again, I'm revising my plan. I think that in order to complete the 1/2 marathon on October 22, I'm going to have to give in and walk some of it. It's the only way I'll get in all the training without ruining my leg. So, I'm modifying John Bingham's Run/Walk plan from Marathoning for Mortals. Instead of running continuously, I'll do intervals of running and walking, which is actually what I had planned on doing from the very beginning before the trainers at 24-Hour Fitness filled my head with delusions of Super Heroic grandeur.

Thursday, after figuring out how to set the interval timer on my new Timex Ironman Triathlon watch, I did intervals of 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking for 45 minutes. It was nice to follow my old route out to Berkeley campus and back. The walking intervals were a relief but also a let down. My ego had gotten so inflated. Each time I stopped to walk, I'd glance around, embarrassed and humiliated, to see who was watching.

If this running thing is teaching me nothing else, it's that I'm not nearly as enlightened as I thought I was! It's kind of cool, in a way. Like being hit over the head repeatedly with a blunt instrument could be cool, in a way.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Soft Tissue

Link to Official SF Marathon Photos Here.

Writing from Ellen's computer in Bowie, Maryland. Spent the last 4 days at my parents' house in Beltsville and have used my dad's treadmill twice to get in my runs. The temp here is 80 degrees at 4 a.m. and into the hundreds during the day with sauna-like humidity. A couple of days ago we took a very slow walk around Greenbelt Lake in the afternoon. But running outside in this weather is out of the question.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with my right shin very sore. This is the same shin pain I've been writing about. So I made an appointment at Kaiser Urgent Care and went in for X-rays yesterday evening. Fortunately, there is no fracture, stress or otherwise. It's some kind of soft tissue injury. (What does that mean???)

The doctor advised me not to run for 6 weeks! Okay, that's not an option. Especially since nothing is broken or cracked. I'll continue my 1-2 mile baby runs until I see Matt Sheehy on the 11th and see what he says. In the meantime, I guess Advil will be my friend and running partner.

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