On May 22, I logged 18.1 sunny, sweaty, glorious, amazing, endorphins-spilling-over, to-die-for kinda miles in a single run. That was 143 days (or 4 months, 20 days) ago. It was part of my preparation for running 26.2 miles on Oct. 12 — today.
Instead of eating a carb-heavy dinner, hitting the hay early, and waking up at 4:30 am, today I stayed home, cleaned, and went out to eat Vietnamese food.
After that 18-miler, the muscles in my hip were spent. Before they were completely recovered, I pushed myself to run 14 miles in the following week. It was not good. I over-trained (too many miles too fast), and a sharp pain in my glute made its ornery presence known each time my foot hit the ground.
I went to see the orthopedic doctor and I visited physical therapists. I stretched, I massaged, I found tight spots and pinpointed trigger points. I did everything by the book to try to overcome my injury — but somewhere in the back of my mind was this nagging fear that I was going to have to sit out the marathon.
At first, I thought it was my gluteus medius. Then, the culprit seemed more likely to be my piriformis, a little sausage-like (hehe) muscle that sits below the stack of all three glutes. After that, my tensor fascia latae; then the catch-all ‘flexor’ muscles, and then back to the TFL.
People who know me might be well aware, when it comes to running, I am married to it. No, I am not fast, and I am far from amazing or objectively good. But come hell, high water, I will go out there and run. I love running, and nothing can stop me.
Nothing — except for an injury.
I have tried to put under wraps how I truly have felt and continue to feel about being injured. No point in crying unless I really had to miss out on the marathon. In July, I reasoned, the marathon was still three months away; there is still hope.
All three months now have gone, and hope ran out. I missed my marathon.
So now I am ready to say: I am frustrated, defeated, sad, and even indignant and maybe a little resentful. I feel every negative emotion. I have become insanely jealous of even casual joggers — their hip muscles can operate on full power and they don’t even appreciate it.
Running is my life. It is the keystone that keeps my body in balance physically and emotionally. When I’m running, I know how often I need to refuel, I am hyper-aware of my hydration, and three to four times a week, I get a massive endorphin refill.
Now, all that is gone.
The hip is a very complicated part of the body. It is the fulcrum. It affects how you walk, run, and hold your body. Over seven major muscles attach to the hip, and every time I think I’ve narrowed it down, I am almost scared to say so because I could be wrong again, and I’d have to go back to Square One.
I desperately want to be able to say with ease that my goal is the cross the finish line next year. But I don’t honestly know if I can. I will try my hardest, but it’s hard to say 26.2 is realistic in 12 months.
During the last ‘real’ run, I ran alongside a hard-to-find inlet fed that was by the ocean. I counted 11 species of birds feeding, grooming, and nesting. Pelicans threw themselves head-first into the water to fish. Snowy egrets, with their long stilt-legs, towered over little scuttling coots on the banks. Along my path grew bunches of white-and-yellow wild flowers that had really burst into life in the warming weather.
I have not been able to see that landscape since 143 days ago.
At the start of this injury, I thought that this could either be the worst thing that’s happened to running or the best thing. Right now, it’s the worst thing, but if I could get back out there, to run the 10+ miles to get to the birds, the wild lands, and the water, then all this would have been worth it.
I got my eye on the little secret route, and I’m gonna run it, dammit.
Whoa, giffalicious in your dashboard! I made some gifs for this post about marketing buzzwords.
I’ve kind of outgrown Photoshp in terms of gif-making, so it was back to Flash after a six-year break from keyframes and tweens.
Being able to control motion was just what I needed… But, uh, the color definitely needs work. My sense of color isn’t that bad, but Flash’s stubborn gif-saving ways kind of embarrassing.
I did this infographic about banking waaaaaayy back in March/April.
I had to put it here in slices. It was too long for Tumblr! Wanna see the full thing? Go here.
If you said “from the sky,” then congratulations! You are hilarious. But it’s a lot more interesting than that. The pungent perfume that accompanies rainstorms carries special chemical signatures, some born from lightning, some from deep within the soil.
And beyond just being pleasant and nostalgic, those smells are actually useful to some living things, such as telling plants when it’s time to grow, guiding camels across the desert, and even signaling some fish when it’s time to get “romantic”.
Take a big whiff, because there’s a science storm a-comin’!
I LOVE the smell of petrichor!
“They are taking control of the water supply. They are breaking dams, and flooding crops, and destroying the food supply of an entire country. They are forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes. It seems that there is a hand behind all of this. They are very calculating. They are making their moves very carefully to destroy the human soul. They want to rob an entire people of food and water and homes, as if to wipe them from the pages of history. And when they take the homes from these people, the children have no place to play. The children have no place to be young. No physical space, and no emotional space. They have no place to be a child, so their only frame of reference is war and fighting. And when that’s all they know, how can they grow up to be doctors and teachers? All they can possibly know is the desire for revenge and hatred for their enemies. I wish people would understand that Iraq is filled with intelligent, civilized people. This was the cradle of civilization in the Ancient World. Even the Garden of Eden was here. These aren’t dust covered, nameless refugees being forced from their homes. The refugee camps are filled with architects, and musicians, and teachers.”
Crows can recognize human faces and will even hold grudges against people they don’t like.
HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE GOING TO JUST SIT AROUND AND TAKE THIS?!
"Hey, don’t like it, you can eat me." - A Crow
Once, a crow swooped down and feinted an attack when I was running. I got too close to a fresh-out-of-the-nest chick (not on purpose, the sidewalk took me right up to the chick playing in the sprinklers). After I ran past, I heard a loud squawk, felt something brush the back of my head, and saw an adult crow flying away.
I do not expect to be forgiven.