Monday, November 27, 2006

Fun New Feature

As you may have noticed, we're trying to incorporate a calendar into the blog. We're going to list upcoming races that members of Back of Man, I'm a Scientist, will be, or hope to be, running.

If you want an event posted in the calendar, for now you have to email me or Danielle.

Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm going to try really really really hard not to wuss out

But I still wouldn't put any money on me... It is amazing how much more likely I am to do something if I can con someone else into doing it with me!

So I just found out about a duathlon happening in Ames on December 9th:
(The proceeds go to buying bikes for kids in Youth and Shelter Services in Ames for Christmas, hence the line at the bottom.)

I just started running again. I only ran a mile and the hamstring nagged. I am working on icing and stretching a lot more now. Last year with my calf, my calf still hurt when I started running again, but it went away. I am sorta hoping the same will happen with the hammy. Or maybe a month off wasn't long enough, especially when it wasn't a rest month, but rather a "do everything else but run" month. Hrmm.

But anyways, this duathlon is a 2 mile run/25-35 mile bike/2 mile run. So the running isn't the scary part for me, the bike is.

Now, I have totally been doing a lot of cycling lately. I go to two spinning classes per week and I usually ride the stationary bike a couple times per week too.

But I have totally been slacking on that "actually ride my bike on the road" thing. And I have never ridden more than 30 miles before. AND all the riding is on gravel roads, so that means that I will probably ride my hybrid AND that I actually have to change the tire on it now.

Oh but the fun part? The run segments are "about" 2 miles. Because the run part is sort of like a scavenger hunt. You have to get to two places in the park (which is a county preservation area so it is not some manicured lawn kinda place, but a place with woods and trails and water) in any manner you so choose (on foot).

You can't actually preregister for this, so I have up until the date of the event to totally wuss out.

Oh yeah, and if I ever saw a runner running like the guy in the logo, I totally would think something was seriously wrong...

Just Du It?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ice, Ice Baby

So while Danielle is off swimming in the landlocked state of Iowa, I just went ice skating outdoors in a state with no winter. That's right: they put up an ice rink in downtown San José, around a circle of palm trees. Cute.

I ice skate about once a year (UIUC's ice rink has a few open-ice days during the winter), and I'm not exactly very good at it. This time I managed to start out without hitting anything and after my first few laps I was feeling pretty good. I was getting confident, trying out ways to stop, start, spin around a bit. Then after a half hour or so I got in a groove and was starting to listen to the music... "Going the Distance" by Cake (I think that's by Cake) was playing and I was thinking that Kyle Zars did a project about this song when we were in Junior High and my project was about... *CRASH!* Right on my ass, jammed my ankle into the wall, just between two staff members that were probably talking about how dumb we all looked.

So I got myself up, slinked over to the exit, stretched out for a while. And the ankle started feeling better! So I got back on the ice. I had paid $14 for admission and I was going to get my money's worth, damn it! The ankle felt great the rest of the night, and through my bike ride home (San José is not so bad when it's late at night and there are no cars on the road... it's not exactly the most scenic place, but at least it's peaceful). Stretched more, ankle still feeling great.

Suddenly as I went on the Intertubes to check e-mail, order some plane tickets and check webcomics the ankle started hurting. Really badly. But, hey, at least it will distract from the three simultaneous hamstring injuries I have going... *fume*.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Building a better Lisa

After holding out as long as I could against running indoors, this is the week I made the shift back to the gym. (Which, by the way, I like to pronouce ghyme.)

It's not even that cold outside, but I've been ordered to lay off the running for a while and do the elliptical instead. Which... come on...that thing? for sissies.

But it's all part of Lisa's Winter Recuperation Plan. After stumbling awkwardly but heroically across the finish line of the Toronto half last month, my perennially painful trio of hip/knee/ankle was screaming so loud that I limped around for 3 days. Little did I know that there is a very excellent sports medicine clinic at U of T. For all the horror stories I've heard about physical therapy, so far, it's not that bad.

Drew, my physical therapist, is a cute youth-group-leader-type who smells nice and wears kahki shorts and pokes and prods my legs and hips and asks me whether muscles that I've never heard of feel "tight" or "tender." I usually don't know what to answer. What the heck does tenderness even mean?

Wait, that didn't come out right. Anyways, Drew concludes that my left leg is slightly longer than my right leg, and that's why everything got fucky when I started revving up the mileage this summer. Drew has a plan to get me back running like a regular person, despite my gimpyness. Drew pretty much rules.

I'm also doing pilates while I can't run, and i have high hopes of getting so toned and core-strengthened that I'll be whole new runner when I get back.

So yeah...coming soon, Lisa 2.0.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Does anyone else ever get so annoyed with their pant leg getting caught on their water bottle holder on their bike that they ride through campus occasionally letting out strings of expletives? I even have a little velcro thing for my right leg so it doesn't get caught in the chain. But that stupid left pant leg and the water bottle holder. Argh!!!I swear one of these days I am going to get off my bike and throw it.

My name is Danielle. I am 29 years old and I still throw temper tantrums.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Reason #42 to hate swimming: Indecent exposure

So I finally got my butt in the pool today. I actually don't mind swimming once I am in the pool. Today, I was given several outs once I jumped in. First my contact fell out. But I pressed on and swam with blurry vision.

Then, disaster.

A little background info. I'm "pear-shaped," so to speak. That means that bathing suits (and dresses for that matter) never quite fit me right. They are inevitably loose up top. After I accidentally put my bathing suit in the wash and ruined it, I had to buy a new one. I looked all over for the same one to no avail. So I bought one on sale from Speedo. It mostly fit well, but still a little loose up top.

Today I wore it for the first time. I warmed up. I did some drills. Then I was merrily doing 200s (well actually 184s since the pool is only 23 yds).

And totally inadvertently exposed myself to the 16 year old boy in the lane next to me.

My hope is that since he didn't have goggles on that he didn't notice.

Now Slacker Danielle would have said "That's it! I'm out of here!" But I took off my swim cap and took out one of my pony tail holders and used it to tie around the straps in the back to make them tighter and finished out the 1500 yds I had intended to do.

She flashes a minor and still finishes up her workout. I call that dedication. Now if only I would get in the stupid pool more than once every two weeks.

In more excitement, we got a freak snowstorm today. Of course I left my bike outside. I'm not gonna lie. I can't wait for a more substantial dumping so I can whip out the cross-country skis and snowshoes. Best cross-training ever!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Turkey Trots Anyone?

So this afternoon at work I started a test on my cluster that takes about 2 hours to complete. Rather than watching text scroll down the screen during the test, I decided to look around at racing calendars in my area. I came across a Thanksgiving morning 5 miler that is about 10 minutes from my apartment, so I signed up (and it starts at 10 a.m., not the ass-crack of dawn, so hooray for that!).

Anyone else running a race on Turkey Day?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh how the pool eludes me!

Why is it that I just can't seem to get in the pool?

It's not the prancing around in a bathing suit - I am so over that. Plus, there is maybe three other people in the pool tops when I go.

It's not a fear of the water. I have been swimming as long as I can remember.

It's not that I don't know how. I was on a swim team for five years as a youth. I can actually do all the strokes (even a really sad butterfly), although I am sure there is a lot lacking in my technique.

I have decided I am going to blame it all on Lindsay and Brooke (because accepting responsibility for my own lack of motivation is totally not my style). See, those five years on a swim team were at the country club that my dad belonged to because of work. Although I eventually did go to a local Catholic school for 7th-12th grades, my sister and I were public school kids when we first started swimming there. The other kids there went to fancy schmancy private schools (I'm talking their parents were probably shelling out like 20k a year for such schools). And their moms had them on swim leagues all year round.

I was just a summer swimmer. The worst part about that was that instead of having practices where your lane was dictated by your speed, it was dictated by your age. So I spent the better part of five years getting lapped by Lindsay and Brooke and girls with similar country club names (okay really they are just country club names in my head because those were the first girls I knew with those names :-)).

So I think I have been scarred by the lap pool.

It just seems wrong. I study water. I study the way it moves. My research involves playing on lakes and rivers. I am even a Scorpio, which is a water sign.

And yet, getting my ass into that water requires a force of will that is beyond me most weeks. Sigh.

PS I still really miss running and it's been two and a half weeks and the hamstring still aches!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Subverting the forward-running hegemony!

(Alternate title for this post is "OMG AL IS A CAMWHORE".)

They got tons of pictures of me at the half-marathon, especially pictures of me running backwards across the finish line.


I definitely don't look so good in the Cannery Row-area shots. In fact, I look like I'm stumbling and about to fall on my face.

Early in the race I waved at one of the photographers, but 'e must've either missed me or decided that I looked like a dumbass.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I miss running :-(

So I came back to my office at 9pm so that I could work on my journal article (that is part of the "Before I turn 30 goals") and here I am writing a blog post instead. Sigh. The procrastination is strong with this one.

Okay, it has only been 10 days that I have been in my self-imposed exile from running. But it's been so sad. There are all sorts of fun races going on this time of year, that I have had to skip the last couple of years because I always seem to be injured about now. The worst is that the hamstring is not debilitating, it just nags. But it has been nagging for 6 months now, so I need to stop and let it heal if I want to train for another marathon in May. Boo, hamstring!

So now the cross training begins in earnest. It has been all about the bike so far - two spinning classes a week plus two days a week on the bikes at the gym. I should really be riding my real bike outside while the weather is still okay, but the parents didn't come through on a new bike seat for my birthday, so the thought of taking her out for a long ride is just not fun. (The parents got me a really nice quilt instead, which I do love, but unfortunately it is a little too bulky to put on my bike seat for cushioning). That and my tailbone is *still* sore. I can't talk to the doctor again until I actually follow their advice of icing my ass routinely for an entire weekend. My massage therapist suggested putting a bag of frozen peas down there. I am not sure I have a bag that I would like to sacrifice as "butt peas."

Random way to end this: On Saturday night at a Halloween party, I spent five minutes talking with someone from my running group before either of us realized that we already knew each other. Sometimes the transition between "person in running clothes" to "person in real clothes" makes recognition difficult out in the real world. Add the next step of "person in costume" and it was just hopeless. And neither of us had our faces covered up. Nor were either of us drunk.

Immediately prior to this conversation, someone standing next to him asked me to spread my wings (I was a bat) and I lifted my arms to do so and dumped most of my drink on my head. I am glad someone I knew was around to have that moment immortalized.