Respect the Run: Earning the ice bath, taking the walk of shame

Evil Minions Ice Bath

Could also be called ;  Why is the crazy curly haired girl taking ice baths?  or even What kind of loser has to “thice” after only 4 miles?   Why the fuzzle (stole this from him) would I ice bath? To flush out toxins, lessen inflammation and hopefully speed healing.  Apparently my body isn’t as badass yet as I would like.  I shall now apply randomness and logic to this little bit of chaos in order to unlock it.

Running  has been, shall we say, difficult lately.  So difficult in fact that it has really been testing my, there are no bad runs, theory. It all started the weekend of my Birthday when it hurt really badly to run the 10k.  Then this week I bailed on a run in the middle.  I haven’t bailed in the middle of a run in over a year and when I did I think I did the distance either on the elliptical or walked it to completion.   So I suppose if we are going to get all detailed and logical about this, this week I bailed on my first run.

Running well is a combination of a bunch of different parts choosing to work together.  I’m pretty sure all runners try to push themselves to get better and I am no different.  Therefore, whenever  I am running I am trying to find a comfortable pace that I can maintain for the entire distance of the run. I would like that pace to be as fast as possible and as easy as possible. I’d prefer if it continued to drop and I continue to train and though I wouldn’t call myself pace obsessed, some people are very pace obsessed, I have a goal of finishing the 13.1 at under 12:00 minutes per mile.   I want my heart rate,  muscles, and lungs to all be in sync with no complaining.   Heart rate too fast?  Breathing too hard? I have to slow down and let those two catch up.  The worst running condition for me is one where  my breath and heart are in sync, but my muscles just can’t keep up.  The absolute worst is when I find myself in this condition within the first 500 yards.  During this month I have put in 49.7 running miles for a total of 117.5 so far training for this race.  Our short runs are 4 miles two days a week and our longs have been multiple 6’s, a 7.5 and an 8.  These middle miles are killing my thighs.  Sure my calves and hamstrings are sore and tired as well but nothing like what my quads and other front of thigh muscles are going through.  If I’d been less busy over this month I would of written a running post about how 6 miles is my Kryptonite.  I have slogged through 3 sets of difficult 6 mile runs with tight legs that aren’t cooperating. Not only that, but also  my thighs are often tight and unhappy for my 4 mile runs.  So on one hand this has been demoralizing as fuzzle because I don’t really like being consistently at the way back of the pack, it limits my ability to have girl talk b/c everyone is in front of me and it starts to wear on my confidence.   On the other hand I have gotten REALLY good over the last 4 weeks at making myself keep running with tight legs in the hopes they will eventually loosen up and stop hurting long enough to have some good miles before the end.  I have tried to make sure I stretch, and hydrate and foam roll in various timings and combinations all to no avail.  Most runs equaled tight legs and inner mind battle for perseverance.  All of this was starting to catch up to me last week, and after Wednesday’s awful 4 mile run I wanted to cry.  To be fair it is bitch week this week and my stress level has been very high lately so I probably wanted to cry anyway.  But I didn’t cry, I went into the wellness center and busted out my push-up, made rolly love to one of their foam rollers, and stretched.

As I came out into the hallway I saw my favorite Kenyan coach, he isn’t my coach this year but we bonded last year. He runs the advanced group I was invited to no longer participate in (thank GOD) and I only see him now in passing. He is always passing me 🙂 There isn’t a distance I wouldn’t try to run for that Kenyan.  He is the best Lola pusher and he does it with the almost magical quiet way.  He has these dark eyes that bore right into you and he isn’t a big fast talker like me.  I ran into him and he asked me how I was. Ok was my answer but then he just looked at me and didn’t say anything, this is the magical quiet trick, and then started crossing the hallway over to me and I knew I was busted.  So I told him my troubles and we decided I should ice my thighs  before the half way run. Renewed emotionally I went home and “thiced” for the next two days.   If I’d been less stressed this month I’d of written about what kind of loser has to “thice” after a 4 mile run.   Ahem, this one.  But you know what? It worked because last Saturday when Babu and I completed our 7.5 mile half way run, I felt great.

Great enough to take an ice bath!  While thicing I remembered this post from Another Mother Runner. Eureka, I will take an ice bath on Saturday after my run I thought to myself.  I declared my intent to Babu, I  made him purchase me not only a giant Diet Mountain Dew, but also a post run 22 pound bag of ice.  A bag of ice so big it barely fits on the  back floor boards of the Lexus. I didn’t want to fuzzle it up so I Googled a little bit to make sure  I knew the proper steps, Ice Bath ( helped me make some good process decisions.

I put on my favorite Colts Hoodie; the only item of Babu’s clothing  technically mine now because I got it in the Almost Divorce,  I started running a cold bath, and  I had the evil minions on stand by for ice duty.   I  waited for the water to get a couple of inches high and then I lowered myself gently and daintily into the chilling water without only a little smirk and absolutely no cursing.  This is a lie, I screamed crazy uncontrollable things for at least 10 seconds.   I think I even made the evil minions go away until I got into the bath  so I could be alone with this crazy torture the first time through.  Once I was of course demurely settled into my bath position I let them come in and add roughly 10 pounds of the ice a little at a time directly to the water.  I have since had a 2nd and 3rd one of these, they got the coveted ice job again last night.  It’s very cold. I stay in for a minimum of 10 minutes and no longer than 20.  For the record I’ve probably made it a grand total of 17 minutes so far.  I’m getting better at making them colder and being able to tolerate it, but not at staying in longer once I do.  I kind of look forward to them actually.   After Saturday’s run and ice bath my legs felt great.  Even the 4 mile run I had on Monday felt great.   I was suddenly excited about running again instead of feeling like I’m living an ongoing science experiment to  tweak things in the hopes of finally getting a great run in.  Come Wednesday I was anxious for the 8 miles.  I noticed that my hip was bothering me a bit and my legs were pretty tight on Tuesday and Wednesday at work. So much so I have been wearing, gasp, flats and when I walk it looks like a combo penguin waddle, lame limp.  But I stretch before the  run and I’m confident I can make my body go through 8 miles.

It doesn’t work like that, as soon as I start my legs force a reduced pace. My  left hip hurts, my left foot hurts, my thighs hurt.  I can breath,  my heart is fine but my legs simply will not go any faster. I am barely even sweating.   After 1.9 miles of playing let’s see how I feel after we get to X on the route; knowing that we were over 12:30, that I was robbing Babu of having a really great run, and that it actually HURT to run at barely 2 miles in, it was time to bail on this run.  I wasn’t upset, I wanted to make the right decision, so we talked about it.  I need to know I’m not a wussy if I bail on this run, don’t complete the miles and walk back to Y.  I told Babu I wanted to feel like I earned my ice bath. He officially questioned my sanity at that point.  We decided I had plenty of time to get in plenty of miles; we run a 15k next Saturday, and that I needed to be smart not stubborn.  The second I stopped to walk I knew I made the right decision. This felt just as badly as that run 4 weeks ago when I was also sick.  I walked as fast as I could  back and just decided to take in the beautiful and sunny day and weather.  I got to jam out to my tunes and just let my mind wander. I suppose it was a not so shameful walk of shame. Never been on one of those before, swear.   Once I got back I did my push ups and came home for my earned  OH Sweet Baby Jesus Mother Mary and Joseph that’s cold ice-bath.

I also….. went to the chiro, found out I was really jacked up in the pelvis area, got that adjusted. Looked up my stats and discovered this is the most I have ever run to train for something.  117 miles have been put in on this race so  far and most of them have been  running.  There is no injury mandated elliptical training or running buddy mandated interval pacing on this race.  I have run the most and the longest in my life so far.  No wonder the middle miles are killing me.  I’m running 3, 4 milers in a row before I run that 15k, earn my next ice bath, and hopefully at the  roughly 11:30 pace I’ve managed to cultivate from the 12+ I started with a few months ago.

The Dan Andriano Adventure aka How to spend $500 on a $14 ticket

So I’ve written previously about my love affair with Alkaline Trio, Dan Adriano’s voice and songs specifically and how he was coming to Chicago on the 24th of September and I wanted to go.  Originally I was all stoked because I thought it was in the get my boobs out and ride a jaguar bar, alas I was mistaken.. It was simply at Bottom Lounge and the ticket cost all of $14. Dan is touring in support of his Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room  Hurricane solo debut. Which is fabulous because it is all Dan all the time.   And also fabulous because maybe, just maybe, just mayyyybeeeeee he’d play something anything at ALL from This Addiction.   I’ll rip the band aid right off you now and tell you he did NOT in fact play a damn thing off that album.   Sigh… one of these days I will win the lottery and bring those dudes to a local venue and make them play that album for me and a few hundred friends.

Bottom  Lounge is a 4 hour drive away.  Which means that in order to attend this event I have to in order of preference…. a-find an overnight sitter so The Husband and I can both go b-find a friend who can stay overnight and pickup the hotel c- drive up and back with a friend d- drive up and spend the night by myself and get some shopping in e- drive up and back by myself .  I think all of those situations had been in play multiple times before I had finally given up on Friday that I was not going to make it to the show.    Saturday morning I woke up  ready for a weekend of absolutely NOTHING.   The whole weekend lay before me like a beautiful blank canvas of possibility. Oh the projects I could  finish, or start, or plan to start. The book I could lounge and read, the garden I could putter in. The possibilities were endless.   I lounged in bed with The husband snuggling and such until well after 9:30.  I came down after a shower for a yummy breakfast sandwich.  As I stood at the island eating,  reading the  paper  and chatting with the love of my life about missing the concert later he says to me.

“I’ve got an idea but it’s crazy”

Right away I know where this is going, and it’s likely going to be spontaneous, a tad chaotic and expensive.  Now we aren’t made of money, but you don’t need to have much money to sometimes have more money than sense.

“What is it?”

“Why don’t we all go up there and  take the kids someplace and  I’ll stay in the room and watch the kids while you go to the concert”

At this point is is 10:30AM EST, the concert starts at 7:30PM CST and the doors open at 6:30PM CST.  I munch my egg sandwich thoughtfully.

Then we enter into the period known as discussion.  It basically goes like this and lasts another 30-45 minutes because the conversation goes in spurts and we each move about the house doing whatever else is it we need to do on Saturday morning.

“That is bat shit crazy talk”

“Can we make it happen?”

“Let’s try to make it happen”

This is where Mommy gets to play make the magic happen.  Disney doesn’t have a damn thing on me.  I play this game all the time at work, it’s my job. I used to do this all the time pre AD.  The major difference between then and now is now I get help making that magic happen at home. The Husband solved the Nanny, the kid packing and the Lexus oil change, while I handled the budget, the tickets,  the hotel and the dog coverage.

3 hours later we are all in the Lexus (I guess I could just call it the car now since  I sold the Mazda for $1200 I’ve already spent and good bottle of vodka I am likely to never see)  and headed to Chi town.  The plan morphed several times since inception but landed on.

Drive the kids up to Chicago, let them swim in a pool for 30 minutes, ditch them with a Nanny service for the evening while we go to the concert and have a nice evening out.  We arrive at the hotel room at 4:45 CST.  The Nanny comes at 6:00 and we head down to catch a cab to  Bottom Lounge where we are going to eat and watch the show. This was the very first trip our kids have been on with us that was NOT all about something for them.  They have been to both Disneys, the one in Florida multiple times. They have been to water parks and coaster parks and Lego parks.   They have been to Zoo’s and Children’s Museums and  rainy crowded festivals with people in character costumes.   But they have never been told go pack your stuff and the most exciting thing you can hope for is a hotel pool and a nanny.   Turns out this is pretty exciting for them after all. They really got a kick out of seeing the windmill farms and the city skyline and the very very crowded streets.  They thought it was super cool to have Nanny C come and take them to dinner on a little adventure of their own, bring them back to watch a movie in their big hotel bed and fall asleep.   Gas $60  Tickets $38 Hotel $150 Parking $35  Nanny+ dinner for kids $190  Dinner and drinks for Mommy and Daddy…well you get the picture.

Now  I should take a step back here and let you in on a little secret. I can’t deal with too much chaos for too long without needing some way to let all the anxiety is causes me out.   Bat shit crazy spur of the moment ideas almost always end up in me needed to shed some emotions at some point in time, especially if they have lots of moving parts and things to consider and cover, which they always do.   I thrive on the excitement in some ways, I like delivering under pressure, but pressure is a funny thing. It has to be released or it builds too high and causes issues.   This blog has chronicled many ways in which I  shed emotions and hormones, but we haven’t gotten to  one.

Having  a good/spar/spat/fight with your spouse.   All of this stress finally comes to a head  as we enter the cab and discover it is NOT a credit card cab.  YES, I KNOW by city code they are all required by law to take the credit cards. Someone needs to tell them that is all I’m saying.  This is really no issue though b/c the driver tells me it’s less than $10 where we are going.  Great I say and I tell The Husband.  Who informs me he has about $5.  I absolutely lose my shit because I had just asked him upstairs if I needed to bring cash ( I had plenty)  in my jeans and he said no so I brought a $20 bill and that was it.   I was expecting YOU to take care of the cabs I snarl.  Remember our finances still remain separate.

Now let’s step out of the heat of battle for a moment and analyze this.  We have our tickets, the venue takes cards, there is likely the ability to find an ATM and get cash one we get there should we have to. There is plenty of cash in that cab between the two of us that this doesn’t have to be a big deal. Oh but it is…….

It’s a big deal because this is an easy and old stress fight to fall  back on.  This particular flavor of adventure stress is like in the top 5 of Lola and The Husband repeatable go to arguments and spats.   We go through the motions, he escalates , I spit back. He spits I snarl back.   This is the first couple of minutes of the cab ride also so the driver gets to be in on the joy and I’m trying to get my stupid seat belt buckled and the clip is acting like I’m trying to take it’s anal virginity without asking first or lube.  I fling it back towards the door and it makes a really loud clank on the window.   Now there is only  silence in the cab.

“What’s that?”

“Seat belt wouldn’t stick”

“You crack window?”

” Nope not even close, it’s really strong”  is about the best I can muster to move us all along to another subject

Great, now I’ve pissed off another cab driver here.  I’m going to get a rep.

Then a take a moment and start to look around this cab I’m at the cooling off period of my fight in.    It has all the required signs about taking visa etc. the license all that.   But this dude has his groceries in the back seat behind my head and all over the lining in front and above my head at these push pins, with pictures of people and stuff.   Including a couple of hand written signs pinned OVER the regulation stuff that say things like  I don’t REALLY take credit cards and this is an independent cab.

This cab cab looks like the inside of PJ’s probable secret room off/under the garage is what I’m saying.   And I don’t mean in an “I am Batman” way. I start to have a moment of panic, this dude is mad and he’s totally going to take us to an abandoned building and rape and kill us.    And then the universe provides me with a perfect opportunity, another cab cuts us off in traffic.

“He didn’t even signal before he cut you off did he?”

This opens up dialog for all of us to go on about what a noob d-bag the OTHER cab driver is and we safely arrive at our destination without anal raping or murder. The Husband pays the guys with my $20 and we both unspokenly know the fight is over and forgotten.  This is how it works in long term relationships, fights can sometimes just be fights and nothing more.   It’s been a while since we were in a place where a fight can just be a fight, and it feels glorious.

We  check in and get wrist bands, get seated and have amazing yummy dinner.  No kidding the menu here is awesome and I’d like to go back just to try some more things on it.   I settle for the Brie and beer onion burger and tater tots.  The Husband gets Stilton and bacon burger and onion rings.  I’m drinking vanilla vodka and diet cokes, my fall drink. He is hitting the beers.  We eat and go in for the last half or so of Elway, who was awesome. Followed by Dave Hause who was amazingly awesome.  Both new bands for me and both must haves.   I walk in and walk right to to whatever open spot I like in the middle and my body guard/husband follows me.    By the time Dan is on I’m literally feet away from him and the music.  Dan did an amazing job but I made zero new friends because the little chatty d-bags next to me didn’t like it when the tall girl told them to STFU.

Dude had a Finch T on,  so I tried to let it go for a bit, but I made magic happen to get there and I didn’t talk through HIS guy.   The Husband says he didn’t even worry,  my eyes cleared both their heads and I don’t play when I’m pissed.  The made do with texting about what a cuntress I was for the rest of the silence.  Evil grin.

The set was great, I am learning to appreciate the lyrics of a lot of Dan’s songs on a deeper level the more I hear them. And while at a live show I tend to listen  more intently than say in the car while driving or while writing.  I mean it when I say that man’s voice is like salve to my soul. I’m a tiny little bit in love with him in a non creepy way of course.

It was sadly an all ages show and had to end at  ten.  It was also sad because we could of brought the kids and they would of loved it, though it would of been far less enjoyable for the two of us.    MiniMe and The Destroyer have been getting a real music education since Mommy decided listening to her music was better than radio Disney any day. I had to deal as a kid, they can too.  We stuck around for a a a bit and then walked for a bit and then caught a cab back to  Nanny C and the sleeping children.   Yesterday morning we got up and drove home in mostly rain.   I am still catching up but it was all worth it.  Now If I can just figure out how to get him to sing me some things off of  This Addiction…..

Elizabeth Taylor…aka Lizzie

I’ve had the Lexus for almost six months and I finally named her.

Lizzie after I earned the 13.1 sticker

To understand the importance of this you must first understand my relationship with my cars.  I name most of them and love them. I listen to music in them when I’m driving and alone. I LOVE driving.  I have so many memories of wonderful things happening in cars. Things by myself, things with my friends, adventures and ex boyfriends.   I could write stories upon stories alone about things that happened in cars. The first one was Dad’s 1978 Dark Blue Ford Ltd. Also of less note was Mom’s 1980 Ford LTD Station Wagon complete WITH  green paint and dark  brown faux wood trim.   There was the POS Audi I just HAD to have that was nothing but pain in my wallet for the price of vanity in my ego.    There was the lima bean, my Toyota Tercel with no air conditioning.  And then the two big loves of my car life, the Red Honda Civic Ex  with the window tinting 5-speed and sun roof followed by Margaret the Mazda.  Oh there was very brief dalliance with Sophie the Mid 1980 something Fiat Sypder.

But I digress, fodder for another time, back to the Lexus…

Margaret has been in my life for 9 years and she has seen better days.  I was committed to driving her until she died a ptiful oil leaked death when due to some very clever marketing on behalf of Lexus The Husband asks me if I’d like to get a Lexus. Of course I want a Lexus. I’ve always wanted a Lexus. It’s the exact level of classy, sexy, professional but sleek that beckons to me. I’ve wanted a Lexus since the ES series was at 300 and coach leather interiors and two tone paint jobs were the symbol of successful 90’s life statements. The Lexus is my  Big Girl car.  My I am a WOMAN car.  I love this car, I love driving it I love parking it I love seeing it the parking lot I love that The Husband pays for it.  I jokingly call it my I guess if you almost get divorced you get a Lexus car.

I few days ago I was having a particularly great driving day.  It was warm and sunny but not too hot, the skies were blue and the traffic was not too bad. I was relaxed and the i-tunes God’s were delivering repeated perfect songs with perfect lyrics to suit my mood and mind wandering.  Yes, It’s that bad with me and music in cars.   Anyway, my mind was wandering to what to name her. So far Bessie was the front runner but it didn’t quite suit.  I wanted something classy, grown-up, iconic, something strong and powerful, but it still had to evoke fun and a little bit of Bad Gurl.  This could not be your grandma’s Lexus.   I started running through possibilities in my head, Grace Kelly, Princess Grace, Princess Kate. Dang it, nothing fits. And then it hits me out of nowhere.  A phone conversation I had with Mini Boobs.  Elizabeth Taylor had just died, and she was reminded of me.   We talked about Elizabeth Taylor and what a classic she was.  I was genuinely flattered to even be considered in the same company.  She a beauty, a smart business woman, a heck of a romantic life and when she died,  maybe even a tiny bit crazy. But that was ok because Shes’ Elizabeth Taylor bitch, shes’ earned it.  Let her ride out her street cred at the twilight of her years and die a legend.   In honor of Elizabeth Taylor the Lexus shall  be referred to as Lizzie from now on.  And you know what, I just might end up the Grandma who drives a Lexus after all.