December 31, 2017

Closing Out 2017

I spent Christmas eve and Christmas day at a hospital, supporting family, grateful for medical care and the impressive things that can be done to save and prolong lives.  It was the first time I've ever celebrated Christmas where I wasn't at a family home-hosted celebration.  Sure, there has been the occasional celebratory Christmas eve or Christmas day meal at a restaurant, but it's always been tagged on to a gathering of either my family or E's family (and often friends as well), with the general celebration based in someone's decorated home with presents.

Christmas Eve Seafood Dinner
Mom and I left the hospital for two meals -- Christmas eve at an oyster bar and Christmas day at a Sushi restaurant.  At both places, I was so thankful for the servers, chefs, bartenders and other service professionals who worked on the holiday, most of whom wore Christmas-themed clothing and played Christmas music.  I saw many single people, sitting at bars, enjoying a holiday meal alone.  And I was so, so grateful for the people who made their and our evening out possible, as well as the great fortune I've had to be able to celebrate the holidays in a family member's home as their guest.  I teared up when I dialed in to watch the unwrapping festivities with E's family -- I very much wanted to be there. Somehow, I'd never realized just how lucky I've been to have experienced joyous Christmas present unwrapping with family every year of my life.  Acknowledging that I'd taken this amazing gift for granted was very humbling.

[Edit: E reminded me that we spent Christmas eve in Sydney and Christmas day in Wellington in 2014.  So, we have spent one Christmas away from other friends and family, I've just never done so before this year in the United States.]

Octopus Ceviche Starter for Christmas Dinner
On the running front, I am tentatively hopeful that I'll be able to continue to improve and actually complete the Kaiser half marathon.

This week's mileage totaled 20.5, almost all of it running, and definitely the highest quality week since I'd admitted my leg was injured (and probably the highest quality week for a couple of weeks before the admission as well).

Christmas day, I did a solo chilly hour along the dike of the Mississippi river, 20 easy minutes out and 40 minutes strides/walk intervals followed by stretching, rolling, and glute work.

Tuesday, I rested, and Wednesday I ran a 5K in the ATL hills @ 11:53 average pace.  Afterward, I dropped in 4 60-second strides by effort (some on hills) @ 9:34; 8:27; 9:25; 10:28 per mile pace with walking recovery.  This was, essentially, the first real "workout" I'd done in 3 weeks and I managed to roll and stretch my leg afterwards until it felt pretty good.

I took Thursday as a rest day, and headed out Friday with hopes of a nice slow 5 miler.  Unfortunately, my leg was not on board.  I did 2.55 miles @ 12:16, but then the tightness in the side and back of my leg made me think it would be best to stop to stretch out my glute and hamstring.  From there, I did some intermittent run/jogging to close out the day with a total of 5.2 miles, although probably only 3.5 or so was actually running.  Upon return to the house, I aggressively rolled and stretched and hoped for the best.

Piedmont Park is a great place for flat strength intervals
Saturday AM, my leg surprised me by feeling much better, so I decided to go forward with the planned for (very short) workout.  I did side lunges and glute bridges to warm up, then walked to Piedmont Park, and ran a mile @ 9:44.  The original goal had been 10:30, but E came along and pulled me at a faster than planned pace.  I walked the 5 minutes to recover and started up again for a second mile, but it was not to be.  After 0.25 miles of starting at 9:44 and eventually slowing to 10:11/mile average pace, I walked a bit to recover and closed out the last 0.75 miles @ 10:34.  Looks like the original plan of 2 mile intervals at 10:30 pace was the right call... BUT, I fit in some 8:45 pace strides on the way home from the park and my leg held up afterwards, so this, too, was a success.

Sunday's plan was pace agnostic -- just 3 miles to get me over 20 for the week.  I rolled and did side lunges and glute bridges beforehand and headed out with my father in law for his favorite loop, warning him that I wanted to take it very easy.  We finished 1m30s faster than the last time we'd run it together a couple of weeks ago, and better yet, my leg was barely annoyed with me.  Three 11:30 pain free miles on a perfectly chilly day including 244 ft of elevation gain and loss?  It's a great way to close out the year.

Happy New Year's Eve, y'all.  Stay safe and I'll see you in 2018!

December 26, 2017

Cozumel & Playa del Carmen (Diving and Serious Lazy Leg)

Arriving at the Ferry Terminal in Cozumel
What the heck kind of ship is that off in the distance?
How many smokestacks can one boat have?
We headed out for a test shore dive on our first full day in Cozumel -- E's cold had cleared up so we rented gear and jumped straight in to the super strong currents off of Cozumel.  We kicked against them, swam out a bit to confirm E could equalize his ears down at 20 feet (the deepest dip we could find off the shore) and then floated back without effort to our dive resort's dock.  We then ill-advisedly kept floating past it to take in a few more views, which meant a serious up-current swim to close out the dive.  In full on lazy mode, I counted the scissor kicking under the water as good hip flexor extension and stability work for my leg for the day.  I also counted the 2 miles we walked round trip to dinner, cursing our lack of foresight with respect to insect repellant, hats, and sunscreens the whole time.  For the Sabbatical year, we had a big pile of stuff we never removed from the luggage, and so, we never thought about needing to pack it.  Now, starting with empty luggage for the first time in a while, we were unprepared for some basic travel needs.

Bonus points to anyone who can name this hilarious
Classic Mexican Movie
The themes are cock-fighting, big hats, love, and betrayal.
For the shore dive, the water was as clear as promised (very!) and the number of fish right there in front of our faces immediately after shore entry was impressive and surprising.  The rest of the day was perfectly indulgent: nachos, and reading under umbrellas in front of the ocean while sipping on drinks followed by an early onsite dinner. We woke early the next day, did a 2 tank drift dive over the reefs, studied for our Nitrox certification, and went to bed early after a stereotypical Cozumel dinner at La Choza.

Gorgeous full room nativity scene at La Choza.
The next day we took our Nitrox test (passed!) and did a 2 tank afternoon enriched air dive in the currents over the gorgeous reef enjoying views of puffer fish, lion fish, moray eels, many colorful tropical fish I can't identify, as well as a trigger fish, a sea turtle (!!!), and a gigantic eagle ray (majestic span of at least 6 feet).  We didn't even exit the dive shop 'til after 7 PM, so we availed ourselves of the onsite restaurant and bar and were in bed by 10 PM.

Christmas lighted ship parade from our dive resort window every night.
Thursday, a non-diving day, I headed out for my first run since Cancun, but the heat and humidity of Cozumel coupled with my left leg/butt/hip meant that I took it easy and just did 3 miles of run/walking followed by strengthening, stretching & stabilization.  Then, we took the ferry to Playa Del Carmen, which had changed immensely since we'd last been there 10+ years ago.  We settled into the Hyatt (yay, points!) for 2 final nights of luxury before heading back.

That afternoon's activities involved eating a delicious selection of skewers and going to one of 3 dive centers within 1 block of the hotel to book a cenote dive for our last full day.  We showed up Friday morning to learn we'd be diving at Dreamgate Cenote.  It was a wonderfully unique and beautiful experience -- as promised, the stalactites and stalagmites were gorgeous, and the fresh water was impossibly clear.  The one downside was that at 24C, even with a full wetsuit and a half wetsuit on top of it, after 45 minutes my fingers and toes were numb and I was shaking when we exited the water.  The difference between 24C and 27C in water is impressive!

One of many amazing views on Dreamgate cenote dive
Saturday AM we woke to fit in yet another joint weight session.  I started with 2 miles of TM intervals at 1% incline, doing the "faster" stuff in the mid to low 9s with walking recovery, and then E and I cobbled together a hodge podge circuit of leg press, incline hanging rows, tricep overhead freeweight extensions, chest press, free weight cross jabs, medicine ball squat/(jumps), medicine ball standing twists, partner leg throw-downs, side foot ab crunch taps, and (of course) the obligatory glute bridges/pulses.

Crazy jetpack powered ridiculousness
(watched from the PDC beach from afar, in awe)

E had camarones flambeado for his final meal
this Mexico Trip--deliciousness and a show
all in one
We arrived back in the US on Saturday night, but Sunday AM, I found myself headed back out to the airport for a surprise change of Holiday plans, so the hoped for long run did not materialize.  Instead I spent the day flying and supporting various family members, where my presence was very appreciated. 

And there you have it.  A gloriously perfect and decadent week of Caribbean Mexican diving, food, drink, and also lots of sleep.  Even less actual running or other workouts than planned, but I'm relaxed, and relatively pain free.  So, I'd say my "lay off the hurt left leg and take it easy 'til it heals" plan is going swimmingly... Here's to hoping that I can start to increase mileage and train next week...

December 21, 2017

Rest, Relaxation & Recovery

Monday, I walked to the ART therapist and back and enjoyed/suffered through the manipulation, massage, stretching, and releases.  My leg was definitely in much better shape after last week.  So, we discussed how I'd stay on this strengthening, stretching, rolling, and very light running plan for another couple of weeks and then see if I could start to increase the mileage.

The first run of the week was an easy 3 miles @ 11:11/mile pace on Wednesday so that I wouldn't feel like a complete sloth due to a day of flying to the east coast.  Thursday, I did half an hour of strengthening, stretching, and rolling and then ran 3 miles with my father in law on his favorite hilly loop @ 11:59/mile.  My leg let me know that it was not thrilled with two runs in 2 days on the last mile, but it held up and didn't hurt too much afterwards, so I took it as a good sign.

Friday was a full rest travel day unless you count lazily walking around the all inclusive resort from bar to dolphin show to bar to restaurant to bar before an early bedtime.  I love using hotel points for all inclusive resorts -- the good ones (great locations, views, facilities, staff, good restaurants with menu ordering, mid-range name brand alcohol included, availability without too much advance reservation planning, etc.) are pricey enough that I find it hard to justify paying real money for them.  But points?  Sign. Me. Up.

I'd hoped we could fit in a dive at La Musa, the underwater museum, but E had a cold and it was raining, windy, and overcast for most of Saturday.  (As a new diver, I'm slowly learning that there are even more variables out of your control when planning diving vacations as compared to other travel -- you have to book your lodging and location in advance and just hope that you don't have congestion or poor weather or poor seas.  Note: If you do have unexpected sickness and weather, it really softens the blow if you're at an amazing all inclusive resort.)

Instead of diving, we took advantage of the gigantic onsite gym and did a mile of elliptical warmup followed by an hour of weightlifting, which is the first time we've ever done this activity together.  It could have been ugly, but it actually went quite well.  We alternated the various recommended leg weight exercises from my ART therapist with upper body and core work.  Thankfully, we kept the weights low, so neither of us were particularly sore the next day, but I had forgotten about how weightlifting makes me SUPER HUNGRY.  Thank goodness I could find calories galore around every corner.  The rest of the day was spent on lounge chairs under palapas in front of the Caribbean Sea, reading between dips in the ocean and, of course, lots of drinks and food (teppanyaki lobster for dinner!).

Sunday, I hit up the gym for 3X5 minute 1% treadmill ladders from 6mph up to 6.4mph interspersed with walking recovery and the assigned strength/mobility for my leg.  It was the first time I've run "fast" without pain in a couple of months, so that was good.

It's been interesting to experience how we travel now, vs. how we traveled before the Sabbatical.  First, we didn't really do any true lazy beach vacations on our year of travel.  Here, experiencing this awesomeness, we're both wondering why we didn't.  Lazy beach vacations are wonderful!

This is a short enough trip that I pre-booked all of the hotel nights fairly far in advance.  But I didn't book any of the transportation between the hotels.  Upon arrival, we got off the plane and navigated the hordes at the CUN airport, briefly evaluated the transfer options, walked up to the Super Shuttle desk and ordered a pre-paid private transfer from the airport to the hotel and return transit from our last hotel to the airport. 

The private transfer simply meant that a Super Shuttle employee filled out some paperwork, then grabbed a taxi from the front of the line, directed them to us, and paid them directly with some sort of voucher so we didn't have to wait in line or haggle over the price.  The only downside was that on the way to the cab, the Super Shuttle employee turned our receipt over and started pretending to need to know our ages and other personal information about us -- ahhh, the scam/hustle is strong in this culture, but so is politeness, so a quick explanation that I didn't want to answer any more questions shut that down.  I had been fairly certain we could manage the details by the seat of our pants without too much trouble for much less than advance booking would cost, buy you never can be sure, so I was thankful that it worked out. 

The rates at our resort for transit to Cozumel were $60 per person and up.  I was fairly certain we could do better, but that was our back up plan in case we needed it.  Sunday AM, after my workout and before we fit in our last all inclusive lunch, I did a little online research and found that we could take an ADO bus from downtown Cancun to Playa Del Carmen for something like $4 each and walk to the ferry to Cozumel which is $8 each.  So, we hopped in a cab ($13) to the bus station, waited in line to buy bus tickets (note -- typical Latin America, the online purchasing system had less availability and didn't work as well as the humans at the station), bought tickets for a bus departing in 15 minutes, tossed our big bag in the luggage compartment, boarded the perfectly comfortable air conditioned bus, half-watched the Spanish dubbed version of Mirror Mirror en route, arrived in Playa, retrieved the luggage, bought ferry tickets for a ferry boarding in 20 minutes, took the ferry to Cozumel, grabbed a cab ($6), and arrived at our dive resort just in time for 2-for-1 happy hour (less than $2 per margarita?  We'll take 4, please).  After 2 days of all inclusive splurging, we were more than happy to be in a lower budget option where we had to pay for all we chose to consume.

4 months of Spanish immersion and 3 months of Latin American culture immersion have made the day-of travel processes in touristy Mexico relatively unconfusing - which was definitely not the case before last year.  There is so much less information online here than we expect in the US.  Historically, that would have made me apprehensive and I would have booked online more than a day in advance or even gone to the station to confirm the schedule and buy tickets the day before.  Now, I have a general sense in Latin American cultures that it'll all work out, one way or another, even in the absence of detailed Internet information, which is one nice benefit that I hope to continue to enjoy in the future.

Finally, I thought last week was low mileage, but this week showed me that I just wasn't trying hard enough.  The grand total in my spreadsheet is 10.8 miles with only 7 of them running.  Here's to hoping the downtime coupled with all the other stuff is pointing me in the right healing direction and to better diving luck in Cozumel!

December 10, 2017

A Glorious Weekend

Last week was an exercise in patience and working on healing my left leg.  Conveniently, the low mileage, high rolling goal meant that I could take Friday completely off my feet, which was good, since I was scheduled for an all-day conference in SF.  (Note, one benefit of the beasties is that I could fit one in my purse and slyly slide it under my leg and roll out the tightness that built up while seated at the conference table all day.)

My favorite piece from the Klimt exhibit:
An unfinished portrait of a woman.
While at the conference, E emailed me about two big errors I'd made.  First, I'd booked our flights to Mexico to last for 5 weeks, instead of the 1 week trip we'd planned (wrong return month!).  Yikes.  Thankfully, there was still availability on the return flights and I just had to suck it up and pay the change fee, which hurt, but given that the flights I was buying were *less* than the flights we'd originally booked, meant that we didn't even have to pay the full change fee.

Second, I'd somehow made Friday's reservations for dinner at Pabu Boston instead of San Francisco.  Booking at the SF location the day of was not an option, so we took the opportunity to return to Ozumo for moriawase with o-toro for dessert instead.  Date night heaven!

The Baby.  
I found this piece super creepy.
Saturday AM, I went to the hotel gym and gamefully did 2 X (2 miles in 8 min cycling at decent resistance) interspersed with all of my assigned glute activation stretching/glute bridges, lateral lunges (5 lbs), 10 lb medicine ball pony squats, captain's chair leg lifts/scissor kicks, and a few other random core stuff plus stretching.  E left for a run while I was doing all of this and I was very jealous -- I love to run along the embarcadero, but I also want to get better.  So, discipline.

Cliff House Selfie
We were able to get reservations for lunch at Sutro's before our scheduled entrance to the Klimt Exhibit, and they seated us at a window table.  Date weekend win, yet again - lunch was delicious and it was a perfectly clear day to enjoy the views.

The Klimt Exhibit was interspersed with Rodin.
They met once, in the early 1900s.

Saturday was SantaCon in San Francisco.  On our drive out to Ocean Beach, we saw some of the partiers getting started around noon.  On our drive back to the embarcadero around 4 PM, we saw several Santas who were stumblingly headed home for the day, as well as many hearty souls gearing up for a full evening of revelry.  Per the usual for this time of year, we headed out to the annual holiday party of one of my former employers who is gracious enough to invite us every year.  We always look forward to the food, white elephant fun, and seeing old friends, and as always, it was a blast.

The Virgin.
Sunday AM, we slept in and then I headed out to meet up with friend who recently moved to SOMA.  She was one of my local running buddies before they moved, so it was awesome to join her for a nice slow relatively pain-free 3 miles along the embarcadero before cleaning up and enjoying a catch-up couples brunch of ceviche, octopus, grilled veggies and cocktails at La Mar.

Happy Holidays!  We don't decorate for Christmas.
But we do travel to SF for a holiday weekend 
every year, which is an awesomely 
enjoyable tradition.
At 13.09 miles in my log, this is the lowest mileage week I've done in a very long time.  But, my leg is feeling more stable, stronger, and less likely to have a muscle freak out with each passing day.  My original goal had been to increase my fitness until running the Kaiser half marathon in February.  At this point, I'm happy to just maintain my current fitness and heal.  If I am able to finish the Kaiser half at all, I'll be very grateful, regardless of how long it takes me.

December 6, 2017

Leg Update

My ART session on Monday was amazing.  I felt so much better after leaving the therapist's office.

I'm definitely kicking myself for not trying to get some professional help with this bum leg earlier.  I discussed my issues with the therapist and he had several suggestions as well as observations.

As I'd self-diagnosed, I had serious soreness in my glute and at the site of my hamstring insertion.  After confirming this, he went to work and evaluated what else might be going on and how he might be able to help.

The first thing he noted was that my outer left quad (vastus lateralus) was quite tight.  Because it hadn't been sore (and the back of my leg had been), I hadn't noticed this.  We talked about actively stretching my quads and how tight quads and hip flexors are a classic cause of glute malfunction, which can cause hamstrings to compensate, and viola... Interestingly, he didn't say, "this is definitely what's going on with you," but rather, he just spoke in generalized terms about things that can happen to people and how that *might* be what was going on with me.

This whole conversation was happening while he was stretching, manipulating and releasing my leg, which felt wonderful.

Also, much to my surprise, he didn't say, "You definitely should not run."  Instead, he acknowledged that there were some serious differences in the textures of my hamstrings and glutes (e.g. left is much worse off than right), but said that whether I can run, and how much, and how hard, really depends on how I respond to treatment and how I feel and what my goals are.

We discussed the Kaiser half, and he didn't flinch when I told him that in a perfect world, I'd like to try to recover with lots of yoga and slowly work my way up to 30 miles a week, starting to return to long runs in the next 3 or so weeks.  I know it's not guaranteed that I'll be able to do so, and I'm definitely ready to downgrade to the Kaiser 5K if necessary, but I liked his general openness to the idea that it could be possible.

He convinced me to order some new torture devices to up my rolling game and recommended some ART-like movements I could do on my own once I get a good pressure release location with the knobs on the Beasties.

Beasties, by Rumble Roller.
He also spent at least 10 minutes working on my SI joint and having me go through ranges of motion while he worked on getting me to release.  I have had sciatica in the past (always on my left leg), but I hadn't had any symptoms during this leg issue, so it hadn't occurred to me that my SI joint may be implicated as well.

Essentially, he said that my entire upper left leg seemed to be a bit grumpy and that it's really quite hard to start picking apart the original cause of something when there are that many factors at play.  The goal is to just get all of the various parts to calm down and work nicely with each other as much as possible.  So that's what I'm trying to do.

Oh, and I realized my shoes were old.
Note the aggressive wear on the left heel...
Yeah, my gait is *not* very even.
New shoes are en route.
I felt so good after the session that I made plans to head out for an easy 30 minute run the next day.  However, upon waking, I decided to chill out and see how my leg felt after just some walking and stretching and rolling.  Realistically, it felt like I should keep myself low-key and *ease* back into things in the face of feeling better. Today, I joined the track group, did all of the drills, but just jogged the warmup lap, the cooldown lap, and interspersed a few jogged 400s with his recommended lateral lunges, runner lunges, and glute bridges between them.  I also did a nice long pigeon pose at the end.  My leg feels okay, like it is getting better. 

I've got one more ART session next Monday, and then, hopefully, I can keep up the rolling and lunges and manage to slowly increase the distance and speed without maiming myself until January when I can go back for more ART.

Wish me luck.

Update 2:  Holy crap.  50ish total lateral lunges with no weights, simply touching a line on the outside of each lunging leg in sets of 10 between jogging at the track on Wed, resulted in seriously sore medial hamstrings on Thursday (but I was able to do a nice easy 3 mile run without too much pain).  Friday, now and it's even worse -- every walking step reminds me of those lunges and that I'm sore.  Obviously, my ART therapist's recommendation was well-informed.  It's clear that I have some serious weakness in the muscles that support this motion (I can do 50 front or back lunges with 5 lb weights on each side and not have much soreness at all). 

December 3, 2017

The Slow Road Back

Instead of packing and unpacking and scrambling to figure out laundry, logistics, food, transport, etc., we've been living a very easy home-bound home-cooked healthy life for the last 4 months.  Sure, there have been drive-away overnights for work or family, but nothing that's really thrown any sort of wrench into our plans.  And certainly nothing requiring a flight.

One of many slough views from the Capitol Corridor Amtrak 
between San Jose and Sacramento.
It's been gloriously easy and relaxing.

E has been taking advantage and dropping minutes off his 5K PR every time we run one.  He's been working out regularly, alternating calisthenics and running, and coupled with our healthy home-cooked meal regimen, he has lost 12-13 pounds.  I, on the other hand, despite eating roughly the same diet, and working out probably twice as much time, have only lost 6-7 pounds and haven't come close to setting any PRs on anything... Ah, testosterone.  Such an unfair performance enhancing chemical...

The gorgeous Sacramento train station with its mural
celebrating Sacramento and the Big 4 and the role of Railroads in 
California's history. 

Anyways, I wanted to record what my slow road back to fitness has looked like since we got back from our Sabbatical, in terms of races.

Peachtree 10K 12:30/mile pace (hot & humid)
Wharf 2 Wharf 11:30/mile pace (cool & humid)
Race to the end of Summer 10K 11:21/mile pace (warm and humid)
Rock 'n Roll San Jose 10K 10:47 pace (cool & dry)
Crissy Field Park Run October 5K 10:22/mile pace
Crissy Field Park Run November 5K 9:55/mile pace
Turkey Trot 10K 11:08/mile pace (2m40s walking due to cramps)

Vacaville (literally, cow-town) from the train, as advertised.
Unfortunately, I have been suffering from a pulled glute/hamstring.  I really aggravated it at the November Crissy Field Park Run, and it definitely slowed me down on the Turkey Trot.  Since Thanksgiving, I've been doing nothing but easy slow runs (I jogged in the 13 min/mile range while watching my friends run fast at track club last week) and lots of rolling and stretching.

Wholesome Murals in Sac-town.
This left me the night before our CIM relay with 7.2 miles to go and no idea of what would be possible.  The CIM relay had a couple of things going for it -- my section looked like it had a net elevation drop of about 175 feet over 7.2 miles (garmin says 286 ft of loss and 101 of elevation gain).  I am a better downhill runner than flat or uphill runner.  Also, it looked like it would be 45F for the whole race, which is right in my sweet spot -- I can run in a t-shirt and shorts at this temperature and let my very hot operating temperature keep me pleasantly functional and warm.  Cardiovascularly, I was feeling fit.  But, in hindsight, my leg had been bothering me and getting worse on hard efforts since at least SJRNR if not before.

Brother-in-law drove me to the sunrise start
(we saw an awesome super moon, but no pics)

My goal was to keep it below 10:47/mile, which I thought I should be able to do so long as my leg held up.  Of course, I had sweetheart visions of coming in sub 10:30/mile or even having a miracle day where my leg didn't hurt and I could keep it below 10:00/mile.

@RunSRA knows how to put on a race --
check out that line of porta-potties at the start!

Folks -- I can now confirm that my left leg is officially messed up.  I had been in denial and was excited to wake on Sunday and test it out.  After getting dressed, it felt better than it had in at least a month, possibly 2.  I did some mild stretching and then made my way to the start.  Mile 1 was a nice easy downhill of reigning it in at 10:12, but I could already feel it starting to tighten.  And that's what it continued to do over the rest of the course.  I finished my relay leg at an average 10:47/mile for a Garmin distance of 7.3 miles (vs. the 7.2 if I'd hit the tangents).  But it hurt.  And 7.3 miles shouldn't hurt.

At the start, look to the left,
pace groups for every 5-10 minute finishing time.  Impressive.
Back at her house after my leg, my sister was shocked to see that I couldn't even get my fingers to within 2 inches of my toes when I tried to do some straight leg stretching towards my left foot after the race -- nothing like family who know how historically flexible you've been to remind you just how bad off you are.  I also had some nasty chafing on my right bicep under my t-shirt sleeve cut-off that stung like hell in the shower, likely from pumping my opposite arm across my chest/bodyline to try to compensate for my lame left leg.

Sometimes, our tortoise flips herself.
She struggles for a while but can't right herself.
In the wild she would die.
We flip her back over.
But, seriously.
We are all doing better than our tortoise at life.
I'm bummed about my leg.  But, reality is a thing.  So, I'm going to accept that if I want to actually heal and be able to run any faster, I need to maintain my cardio while also taking time to do some massage, yoga, time off running, and possibly PT to fix my left leg.  I even found an ART specialist to see me tomorrow, so that should be painful, but good...

In the spirit of this, I thought about early registering for the Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon (thanks Jen for the discount).  This is because I suspect my plans for the Kaiser Half have a strong possibility of needing to be scrapped to fix my leg, and I'm thinking the smart play is to try to heal up and convert down to the 5K.  But, I decided I'm better off playing it by feel.  I do hope to complete an early spring half marathon.  Just not sure where.  So wish me luck.