Monday, April 30, 2012


My mood after the news

Last week I got some not so good news about my foot. I handled it well in the doctor's office, but I could feel the dark clouds swarming toward me as the day progressed. After too much time spent in my head, I completely broke, and the rest of the day was a blur of tears and fatigue. People have offered advice, condolences and have tossed out a few, "bummer" comments. What else can they do? I get the feeling any runner would probably be thinking, "I'm glad it's not my foot!" My response was to isolate and remove myself from anything running related. I can't take reading about people bitching about how "slow" they are running at under 7-minute pace and complaining that they "only" ran 10 miles etc. Now, I'm sure this could be seen as selfish on my part. It's not a death sentence. Still, I feel like I've lost a part of myself, and yes, it is my issue. Fuck it though. I'm going to be immature about this for a little while. It SUCKS!

I don't feel like writing very coherently, but I also wanted to vent. It turns out that the joint above where I had the surgery is also out of alignment. The result is more instability along the 1st Metatarsal and into the big toe. This is why I keep straining the muscle that runs underneath my big toe. It's working too hard to try to stabilize my foot. The doc suggested that we try to do the best we can with tape and inserts. I guess my foot has always been a little bit weird, but in the end it just means more pain and not being able to fully use my foot the way I want. I can "run", if you want to call it that. I just can't run normally, and wow the rest of my body hurts because of it.

Am I happy I can get outside and move? That's like asking an artist if he's happy three of his fingers were cut off but he can still hold a paint brush and make stabbing gestures at the canvas. I'll go with sure. I'm thrilled. You just have to realize that throwing globs of paint in the general direction of a work in progress is not the same as actually painting.

Serious trainin

I started a separate post, addressing a few ideas I left out of one of my other posts, but I think I will include it here.

One of the things I can't seem to stress enough when it comes to what makes a great athlete is addressing the person as a whole. So often in running forums and articles about runners, the focus is on mileage and hard running. However, it's impossible to apply what works for one to another. Instead of getting into debates about how much mileage is the best for runners, we need to start moving away from that kind of mentality and instead look at all aspects of a runner. Of course running well is a product of good training, but it's much deeper than that.

What am I getting at?

Here's what I mean. Racing to one's full potential requires some suffering. You can't get around the fact that running hard is going to hurt at times. The end result is that this kind of suffering affects a person not just physically but on many levels -- emotionally and some will even say spiritually as well. So, in order to "make" a good runner, one has to consider all aspects of the athlete, not just the training part. This is why most coaches fail. Well, that and they tend to be attached to outcome. One absolutely has to address how running hard affects a person emotionally. Obviously a runner who can handle more training will likely do better, but it's not just physically handling the work load that will get a runner to the top of his sport. It's important to look at everything from how to handle stress before a race to how to deal with injury and down time.

Years ago when I started doing some racing again (before the foot thing) I was emotionally exhausted. I can be a little overemotional at times. My coach told me that it was the first time he had to consider someone so affected by emotions. I could be physically ready to go but too emotionally drained to get my body to respond. Before you go thinking this is all bad, keep in mind that this side of me was also what got me to run well in high school and college. Anger is an energy, is it not? It's just that My ever changing mood might be a bit extreme. Before I continue Going nowhere slow (ly), I will add that a coach who can avoid attachments and look at the well-being of his athletes has what it takes to be a great coach. Trying to push an emotionally drained athlete is about as effective as making an athlete do intervals on overly exhausted legs. It doesn't work well.

Uggh. I'm in a mood lately. Sigh. Distracted.

Enjoy this while I attempt to get my shit together:

Oh! I almost forgot to add that the author of She Was Once a Runner has finished her book, and it is now available for purchase. *I can't actually buy it, because I don't have one of those reading devices, but I'd love to eventually read the finished product. Some of you may remember that I did an interview with her on my blog. 

* Correction! I just bought it, because Smashwords actually has an HTML format for sale too. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

EDC National Lobby Day 4/24/12

BYBA's group of advocates with the Eating Disorders Coalition. 

I'm posting this a bit late, but 4/24/12 was EDC National Lobby Day. A group from Boulder Youth Body Alliance traveled to DC to lobby for the FREED ACT. The FREED ACT is described by the Eating Dicorders Coalition as "The "Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act", the first bill in the history of Congress to address eating disorders research, treatment and education and prevention. The FREED Act was first introduced in the 111th Congress by Congressman Patrick Kennedy in the House and by Senators Harkin, Franken and Klobuchar in the Senate. This Congressional Session (the 112th), the FREED Act was reintroduced in the House by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, and in the Senate by Senator Tom Harkin from Iowa, and Senators Al Franken, and Amy Klobuchar, both from Minnesota. The FREED Act is a "stand alone bill" (ie: not attached to any other piece of legislation) and it has bi-partisan support (ie: both Republicans and Democrats support the FREED Act)"

It's fantastic to know that there are people in the world focused on trying to make positive changes. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Keeping with the band theme...

Thom Yorke

Which band member are you?

There's a saying about how all the ladies know about the drummer. I have no idea what it means. I've asked countless drummers and people in general about it, and nobody can give me a reasonable answer. See, all band members are cool, simply for being in a band, right? What is it about the drummer that makes him or her stand out? It could be that it's all a joke, as the one who told me about it was, in fact, a drummer. However, there are many intriguing qualities in the one who holds the beat, no doubt. I'm more attracted to lead singers, and I would imagine many people are. The lead singer gets to strut around in the spotlight and has to have the ability to put it on the line. Many people I know are more drawn to those who plays bass, and yes, there are plenty of people into drummers too. I love getting into grand generalizations with things like this, knowing that there are plenty of lead singers who don't fit the general stereotype. Phil Collins, unfortunately, comes to mind. Of course with a band like Maroon 5 (shhh don't tell anyone I actually like a few of their songs!) anyone can look at Adam Lavine and see he's a great piece of eye candy, but he's not the only good looking guy in the band. He is the one who gets the most attention and press and obviously stands out from the rest though. There's something about taking the lead that adds to his attractiveness. Would I be as desperately drawn to Thom Yorke if he weren't the lead singer of my favorite band? I doubt it. Sure he's attractive, but it's also his talent and courage that make me swoon.

Yesterday I met with Bobby McGee, and he was talking about those select few who can run well. They have that little extra something. Nearly all runners are thought of as slightly nutty by the general population. We don't fit the standard athletic model, especially when it comes to guys. Running isn't a sport that requires a tremendous amount of bulking up like a football player. To make it as an elite runner takes more than consistency, good training and a certain physique. You have to have passion. I've discussed this before, but without that driving "juice", which is limited, one will never run to the best of his ability. That's the difference between someone who can have a long and relatively successful career and someone who rises to the top, makes a big statement but isn't able to sustain it long term. That's the difference between an elite runner and everyone else. Unfortunately, this "juice" that Bobby mentions usually doesn't last more than about eight years or so. Those who have run at a top level, know what he means. I suppose it's this way with anything, and of course there are exceptions. Without passion and an inner drive, I doubt an artist, musician or writer could be all that successful. I only know one guy who can make typing daring and seductive, and he's a natural born writer. Anyone can see "it" in a writer once the content is on the pages though. Either the author is a great writer, or he's not. Like with running, there are plenty of people who write, but only a select few who really have what it takes to stand out among the rest. There aren't many Hemingways, but there are plenty of people who self publish a story or five. Obviously I don't put myself in any world class writing group, but I had a taste of it as a mountain runner.

My running juice is gone, and I know this. It doesn't mean that I have to give up running or even racing; I just know that I don't have that little something extra anymore. Whatever that magical sauce was, I used it up at a very young age. I did have approximately six years of being at the top, so to speak, but once that reservoir gone it's gone. I will occasionally get glimpses of it again, and It's not like that fire inside ever completely dies. The desire is still often there, it's more that I can't keep hanging on when my body and the universe have pushed and pulled me in a different direction. Though I "retired" kicking and screaming, I've now accepted that being among the average runners is OK. Hell, at this point, I'm lucky (and grateful) I can even hobble a few miles outdoors!

Ryan Hall- plenty of juice in this one

Unfortunately, my computer is still sick, so I have to borrow the one I'm using now. This means I don't have the time I need to create a more well thought out blog post. So, I will cut this one short and save the rest of my thoughts for another time. Hooray that I got two blog posts in a week though! Go me. Jeez, I still don't know how people create several blog posts each day. Whewww. They must have some serious blogging juice in them or something.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sing it!

I'm just getting used to the new blogger format. Humm. Not sure if I like it, but like with the facebook changes, there's not a whole lot one can do but accept it.

In an effort to post more than once a week this week, I'm cheating by putting up another video.

There are times I wish I could sing. I guess everyone has moments of wishing they were a rock star, Prima ballerina or professional origami maker.   ?  Anyway, if I could sing like this lady, I would be pretty stoked:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rocking the boat

I read a book once that left an image relating to whether or not one should rock the boat in my head. Picture a sandy beach with not a single foot print or a field of untrodden snow. Do you dare?

When I was running well I did dare....sometimes. I was more often one to jump in with both feet, charge out the door to face the world and make a scene if the situation called for it, only not too much. Women can never be too much. It's frowned upon. Instead, we learn to present ourselves the way we think others want to see us, tone down our wild side and weaken our stronger selves. I can't say it better, so I will use a quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson 
Often my fears are around inadequacy though, especially now.

The other day I was talking to an artist about whether or not he feels that his art is a way for him to express what's inside or a way to uncover something inside that he didn't know was there. Either way, it's important to get out of your own way in order to tap into your creative side, whatever it's trying to convey to the world. It's funny that self-censorship can either make something better or limit it so much that it is no longer interesting.

Obviously I'm in one of those moods that is calling for me to throw a mess of words onto the screen without any structure or deep thought tonight. I'm just wondering if happiness can create anything of interest. Of course it can, but aren't people are drawn to misfortune and struggles? I know there are those people, especially in Boulder, who refuse to be surrounded by negativity, as if that's really possible, but again, in big general terms, most people like to take a peak at a train wreck. If one looks at musicians, writers, actors and artists, it's often those who can tap into the dark side who give birth to a masterpiece. Yes, there are exceptions. The band The Red Hot Chili Peppers comes to mind. Anthony Kiedis produced good music both on and off drugs, but he had some bad experiences from which to draw At any given moment, he can revisit his drugged out days. It's interesting that he was quoted as saying, "It’s easy to be a junkie, but it's not easy to be one of the best guitarists or songwriters of all time."  Often those who get past heartbreak, drugs and a crippled mind don't go on to do additional great things. They find it more of a challenge to just be normal. However, there are those who can survive adversity and move into a new way of living successfully.

I can't say that my running was ever truly great. It did push me to levels that seemed impossible to reach. Once I took it too far and injured both my body and my spirit, it took tremendous effort to learn how to let my dreams die. Unfortunately, I was fueled by sickness, so, unlike those who were able to find balance and live more normally while finding success, I was stuck in a nightmare that generated an accomplished athlete.

In my manuscript, I might have brushed over some of the more terrible times in my life. I now think that people are drawn to either extraordinary tragedy or terrific happiness (or the fantasy of such happiness). I'm wondering if I should go more deeply into the darker aspects of the eating disorder. I figured there were so many diaries published about anorexics and what they eat and how much they exercise, but maybe people want more of that. I can understand, because it gives an idea of what the illness is all about. Still, my goal was to present something different.

Well, this is going nowhere slow (ly).

I guess I was trying to get at the fact that since I have been happier lately, I haven't been as willing to poke around in that dark side of the eating disorder. When I started the book, I had a bad case of anemia, and it was a little easier to open up old wounds while already feeling down. I might need to do so again, but it take a fair amount of energy and willingness to unwrap something you thought was finished. There's a reason I stay away from gyms, avoid runners who talk about how slow they are running at 6 whatever pace and bypass those who talk about diets too much. I would say that my actions are cured, but my mind can still be affected by others. In other words, I can easily get into a sick anorexic mindset, but I no longer take action. Still, that mindset is not healthy, and it's a drag to struggle with those negative thoughts no matter how they resurface. I hate to use the word triggers, but I suppose it's kind of true that anyone can be triggered by something in the environment. I guess it's no different for an alcoholic to stay away from bars. We do what we need and can in order to keep on an even keel.

On a somewhat related note, though I realize I'm a bit all over the place, I'm wondering how many people who have lived with quite a lot of stress in life get worried when happiness lands in their lap.

By the way, I just read about a horribly disturbing trend recently. Apparently, brides to be are using feeding tubes to lose weight. I'd like to slap some sense into any doctor who would agree to be a part of this.

In other news, I'm still not really running normally, but I think my foot is improving? It's hard to tell sometimes. At least I can get outside a bit though. The limp is still quite pronounced, but there is a bit less pain. I see the doc in a little over a week.

Well, lately I'm rocking no boats. I've noticed that even in my workouts I'm aiming for average. Bill Hicks would be disappointed. In my case, it's a combination of not having the energy, lacking the courage and possibly needing something different that I can't quite put my finger on yet. I know it's OK to strive for the middle ground now and then. I just hope I can pull out of that kind of thinking in at least one aspect of my life soon.

The truth is that I have a bit of writer's block, so please excuse the choppy scribbling here. Some days I simply need to put a few words together. It's a bit like going for an easy run after some time away from the sport. Get the toes wet before really jumping into anything more formal.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


My sister used to joke that I was the Eeyore of the family, always falling apart. I've had some good stretches of smooth sailing, but there's no doubt that this seems to be my theme song lately:

I wasn't always so unfortunate when it comes to illness and injury. Despite being a little accident prone as a kid, I was pretty damn healthy. Most people know I've had a string of little mishaps in the last year or so though. Last week, I was really thinking I had turned the corner with everything. I was feeling better and doing more. I even had a really fun social outing with some of my favorite people on the planet last night. We went to a nice dinner.Then things suddenly didn't go so well. After a quick trip to the ER in the wee hours, it was decided that I had some bizarre allergic reaction, probably to soap or detergent. I'm guessing it was the soap, as that is the only thing out of the ordinary that I used yesterday. I'm all doped up on a curious little concoction of pharmaceutical drugs that is probably standard in these kinds of cases. It makes me feel like I have the flu though. And I can't seem to sleep enough. Wow.

I feel pretty defeated, but at least I don't look like an over inflated Macy's Day parade balloon anymore, and the hives are not as itchy and swollen. Jeez though. Apparently I have some crappy karma, eh?

Hopefully I will report back next week with some better news. I've got PT tomorrow, so I will have to figure out a way to stay awake on these drugs. I don't dare stop them, because the symptoms of whatever is going on are too terrible.

In all the craziness, I forgot to get a chocolate bunny rabbit. At least I can probably find one at half the price tomorrow, which is good, because that's probably all I can afford with my ever increasing debt to the hospital.

Now everybody sing with me!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chrissie Wellington

Chrissie Wellington

Here is the link to a good article on Chrissie Wellington, the women's world record holder in the Ironman.  Her world record time is 32 minutes faster than the previous record that stood for 14 years. At one point, Chrissie struggled with an eating disorder. Her new book, "A Life Without Limits", details her battle with both anorexia and bulimia. She overcame other hurdles in her life as well in order to become one of the most accomplished female triathletes the world has known.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I feel like spent grain, so I'm taking the day off today. My brain is tired. Usually every four weeks or so, I feel the need to take an extra day off, but now and then I need a real blow off day, one of those sit around and eat bon bons while watching bad TV in my PJ's kind of days.

Maybe a nap will help.

With so much limping and being in the foot brace so much, I've become lopsided.

Lately, I miss my cigarette smoking, not super lean yoga instructor. I don't fit in with the "I'm so flexible in my body but rigid in my mind" crowd. Many of the yoga people around here have a snotty air about them. Obviously I'm speaking in big generalizations that don't apply to EVERYONE. One person in this crowd really offended me when he brought up karma when a lady I know mentioned that her husband has cancer, implying that his BBBBAAADDD karma had something to do with him being sick. Even if this yoga goer actually thinks this, who says that to a woman who is frantic at the thought of her husband having to fight the illness? It's absurd to think that karma is the way of the world anyway. Try explaining that to a child starving in some poverty stricken country. "Sorry kid, you got bad karma. No soup for you." The world doesn't operate that way. I'm not saying humans shouldn't strive to do good, be kind and attempt to better themselves. I'm just saying anyone who spouts some bullshit about karma to someone struggling with cancer deserves a good kick in the shins. I'm sure anyone who has lost a loved one because of cancer will do the honors.

I started this blog over a week ago, and ended up with the flu before I could finish. I have no idea where I was going with it, because my brain was in such a big fog at the time. Apparently, I have some anger toward the self-righteous though. Speaking of self-righteous people, I'm reminded of the standard structure of a thread in nearly any forum, except cooking forums. For some reason, everyone seems to be super happy and polite in cooking forums, though I'm sure there are a few angry chefs out there. The common course of a thread in pretty much any other forum starts with a serious, interesting or controversial topic. After the introductory topic is presented, a few people make some good points, some self-righteous character is unable to present his thoughts without going for a low blow, a fight erupts and the thread gets derailed, the fight either fizzles out or someone locks the thread and if the thread isn't locked at this point, a few random posters come in with jokes and silly comments to finish it. After seeing this play out over and over and over, it's hard to want to participate in the whole forum scene. I guess a certain level of anonymity allows people to behave in crummy ways, and, unfortunately, sitting behind a computer screen almost encourages this kind of childish behavior, which is sad, because there are obviously bright people who can have a good debate without hurling insults. The problem is that the comments of these people generally get lost when the focus turns on the group tossing around put-downs. I suppose the comedy at the end is entertaining, though is seems out of place after at least one person has ended up with hurt feelings. I'm content with no longer getting involved. I have realized that I'm just not a forum person. I'll stick to the blogging world.

Heh- I suppose me ripping on people isn't exactly the epitome of someone gathering good karma points, is it?

I have a lot of anger lately though. I don't know if it's because I feel so mistreated by people or because I'm frustrated dealing with too much stress -my mom's operation, getting sick, car issues, work struggles and my FOOT-gah! Whatever the cause, I'm OK with lashing out a little bit here in my blog. People generally know that I'm not in the habit of bashing anyone without good reason, and even then I'm somewhat reluctant unless it's really bothering me. Sometimes it's hard to take the high road. When something continues to eat at me, I will occasionally go to the middle of the road, though I try to avoid falling onto the highway to hell by going for those super low blows, which I almost did just now by giving an example of what someone recently did in a forum. [[CENSORED]]  :o

When did everyone start saying, "at the end of the day" ? It has become the new "whatever".

Well, my foot is finally getting a little bit better. I started PT, and WOW I needed that. I can't believe how much scar tissue needed to be addressed. No wonder I pulled a muscle after starting back. I'm still in the brace for a few weeks, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have to admit that it is HARD to read everyone's race reports and training logs right now. I don't even feel like a runner at this point. Everyone keeps saying it will come back, but I was struggling to run anywhere even close to a seven-minute mile last summer. Now I'm WAY behind even that. Sigh. Plus, I seem to have lost endurance. I think I was more hardcore on the bike last time. This time I had too many set-backs and other things going on to attack workouts like an animal. I have to focus on the fact that the x-rays showed that the surgery took. Yes, that means that I stayed off it enough and didn't over do it. Imagine that!


Only I'm still way out of shape, and it's hard to face struggling this hard to reach a certain level of mediocrity.  :(

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I honestly have no idea how and why people post multiple times a day in their blogs.

Obviously I'm in a bit of a blogging funk right now, so rather than post a bunch of blah blah, I'm posting another video for your enjoyment. I will be back.