Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

QUADRICEPS AFLAME: Part 4 of 7.


"My heart says 'no,' but my loins say, 'Bring it AAAAWWWWWNNNN!'"

WEATHER: Sweet God, it is hot.

MILES: 0.

MILES THIS WEEK: 41.

WHERE TO: NOWHERE!

MOOD: Sweet God, I’m feeling hot.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

A note to readers: Yes, there are several of you out there, but there are two of you in particular who made an attempt to raise me proper.  We all see how that turned out.  But out of deference to those two parental figures, whose opinions I care about greatly, I have painstakingly edited the below scene to make it more befitting of the way a lady should write.

So.

Continue reading

The Running Cookbook


Say hi to your mother for him, OK?

WEATHER: Would you believe “humid”?

MILES: 0.

MILES THIS WEEK: 11.

WHERE TO: Nope.

MOOD: Irritable.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

People are always asking me how I stay so healthy, given that I’m usually tempted to snarf down a few cans of frosting after particularly taxing workouts.  I usually respond by pointing and saying, “Hey, what’s that????” and while these questioners are distracted, I fly away on a purple velociraptor to CandyLand, because these people who ask me these things are not real, but are instead made-up so that I have an excuse to write my latest post. In said post, dear readers, I give you information for which you did not even ask, because I’m magnanimous, biznitches.

So.  How do I stay healthy?  READ ON, hot stuff!

…..

THE RUNNERS’ COOKBOOK

A compendium of favorite recipes to make you energetic, happy, healthy, and only a little gassy.

Good-Morning Melange — A delicious way to start your running day.

Ingredients:

1 banana

2 T. peanut butter

Peanut Butter Puffins, to taste

1/4 c. Pepto Bismol

1 quart water

Directions:

1. Wake up at 5:30 AM.

2. Slice banana into bowl.

3. Add peanut butter, sprinkle with Puffins.

4. Gently fold together and eat, alternating with vigorous swigs of Pepto, only occasionally sloshng it into your hair.

5. Chug water, drop to knees, vow to never ever ever drink a beverage called the “Slippery Hoo-hah” ever again, let alone five of them, you twit.

6. Run.

——————————

Mile-Nineteen Special — An excellent mid-run or mid-race energizing snack, for those days when you don’t have a nifty little gel to suckle.

Ingredients:

1 cup honey

1 cup sugar

1 jar natural peanut butter

Other trail-mix-y type things, like raisins, sunflower seeds, pencil-sharpening shavings, nail clippings, chocolate chips

A whole bunch of cereal

Baggie

1/2 c. boob sweat

Exactly zero running gels

…..

Directions:

Note: Must be prepared prior to run.

1. Realize you have no gels for tomorrow’s run.

2. Boil honey and sugar for 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and combine all ingredients.

4. Oh come ON, I didn’t mean add the goddamn Baggie, OR the boob sweat for that matter.  Bonehead.

5. Press mixture into 9″ x 13″ pan.  Allow to cool and firm overnight.

6. Cut bar, put into baggie, stow in sports bra.

7. At mile 19, by the water fountain by the national zoo, pull baggie from between boobs.  Shake off boob sweat, open baggie, chow down while monopolizing water fountain and grossing out happy well-meaning tourists.

8. Shake out legs while stoned kids on nearby sunny meadow hill say, “Dude, she just pulled food out of her BOOBS.” (This actually happened.)

—————————–

Saturday-Morning SuperProteinRecoveryFest – Get your protein post-run AND bond with your housemates!

Ingredients:

1 block tofu

1/4 c. spicy mustard

1 wastebasket

…..

Directions:

1. Come home from long run, take shower (see Post-Race Delight).

2. Open tofu, cut into uniform 1″ x 1″ cubes.

3. Arrange on plate, put large dollop of mustard on edge.

4. Dip tofu cubes in mustard and consume heartily while watching reruns of “Designing Women.”

5. Have following exchange with roommate:

“What is that?”

“<mouth full> Tofu!”

“…and…my God…mustard?”

“Mm-hm! <snarf snarf snarf>”

6. Hand wastebasket to roommate, now retching heavily.  Feel the delicious muscle-recovery goodness wash over your body.  Ohhhhhhhhh girl.

——————————-

Mile-Twenty-Eight Special — You’re more than halfway through that ultra.  You can do it.

Ingredients:

1 Twizzler

1 cup neon blue Powerade

Mark Wahlberg

…..

Directions:

1. Shake head out of delirious haze long enough to snatch Twizzler and Powerade from spectators.

2. Bite off both ends of Twizzler.  Things are neither looking nor feeling too good.  The wheels are coming off, my friend.

3. Accept congratulations from Mark Wahlberg, running next to you for a while now, on the awesome race you’re running.

4. Use Twizzler as a straw to suck up the sweet, sweet Powerade.

5. Reflect on the beauty of life.

—————————————

Mile-Thirty-Five Surprise — For those times on the course when you’re feeling “not-so-fresh.”

Ingredients:

Orange wedges (several dozen)

Running singlet

Fist

…..

Directions:

1. Snatch orange wedges from race volunteers, remove shirt, use it as a crude basket in which to carry as many orange wedges as you can grab.

2. Suck the sweet juice out of the oranges, riiiiight down to the nasty rind, then throw the suckers at Mark Wahlberg’s face, because he has gotten mean in the last few miles.

3. That purple raptor of his is looking testy as well.  Give it a roundhouse to the jaw while you’re at it.

4. Suck down more orange goodness.  You need your strength, Spartacus.

————————————

Mile-45 Desperation Cocktail — For when you should know better, yes, but you’re a badass, dammit.

Ingredients:

2 cups sweat, squeezed from ponytail

1 leftover Powerade Dixie cup

1 saline IV

…..

Directions:

1. Now you’ve done it.  You are 3 miles from an aid station in either direction and you can FEEL the moisture draining from your body.  Even your eyeballs feel dry.  Even your toenail-beds feel parched.

2. Lose will to go on…with racing, with life. Drop to knees in the middle of the trail, raise fists and wail, Baz-Luhrmann-movie-style: “ULTRAMARATHONNNNN!”

3. A dramatic thunderstorm begins.

4. Just kidding.  There’s no water out here.  But you do have that cup and all that sweat in your hair…

<let’s skip ahead a bit>

7. Wake up in med tent with foul, salty taste in mouth.  Sit up stock-straight, point and yell, “What’s that?”  As race med volunteer turns, remove IV from wrist, remove needle, suck as much as you can from tube before scampering away because YOU ARE A CHAMPION OH MY GOD THIS IS GREAT AND YOU DON’T AT ALL WANT TO DIE BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA.

————————————

Post-Race Delight

Ingredients:

2 cans Diet Coke (12 oz.), very well chilled

1 little complimentary bar of hotel soap

1 hotel shower

…..

Directions:

1. Go back to hotel post-race, remove clothing, get into shower as usual.

2. Wash body.

3. When soap hits chafed areas, squeeze eyes shut as the throbbing pain travels in big slamming waves through your body.  Chase pain with a slug of Diet Coke.

4. Drink another DC, while you’re at it.  You deserve it.  You beat that raptor by like at least 3 hours.

5. (Optional) Perform rest of shower as usual, i.e. while singing Reba McEntire’s greatest hits.

Well Done, Readers!


MILES: 6

WEATHER: Chilly — 55ish.

WHERE TO: Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan

MOOD: Exhausted.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Well, kids, Boston and the day after were two of the BIGGEST-READERSHIP DAYS EVER here on therunninglog.  Thank you for validating my potentially disastrous decision to run my body into the ground.  I have a friend — I will call him “Frenchy” — who has on several occasions stated his attitude towards marathoning as follows:

“…or I could just sit here and smack my head against a brick wall for 4 hours.”

Fair point, Frenchy.  And after my run AND Crampy McPainypants ride THAT NIGHT back to DC in coach on Amtrak, I sort of felt the same way.  But with one key difference: I felt like a SUPERHERO who had smacked her head against a brick wall.  For 3 hours and 39 minutes.

Anyway, I now find myself neck-deep in finals (TEN MORE DAYS OF WORK, KIDS!) and in near-panic territory.  The sleep-or-running dilemma, which I have heard is not a tough conundrum for many people to deal with, pesters me every morning at around 6 AM. And so it was this morning, but I powered through.  But only barely, and I now am sucking down Ricolas and praying that the scratch in the back of my throat doesn’t morph into a giant phlegm demon.  Blaaaaaargh.

You know, I could write something way more funny and exciting but I’m exhausted and I got shit to do, kids.  We talk later.

Love and kisses,

DJ

Calming Down…


Let the Annual Foodgasm Commence!

OK, team.  Auntie DJ is sorry she got all superpissed about…well, everything last week.  I’ve gone to my corner, come back a new woman, blah blah…

The crazy has been coming back to a certain degree.  Remember my tarot card post?  That was riiiight when this whole injury started nagging away.  A part of me has wondered if perhaps the tarot cards brought this on — that the unholy demon that has attached itself to my left patella and has been humping away at it for a month and a half was brought home from Barnes and Noble in that one fateful seafoam green box.  So when I came home from school in my usual exhausted heap the other night, that little part of me reached for the cards and held them dramatically above the kitchen garbage can, ready to send them the way of coffee grounds and Red Bull cans I’ve slammajammed at 3 AM during paper-writing-fests.

But hey.  Let’s all calm down for a second, because we know which “part of me” is talking here.  It’s the part of me that went to Bible camp and came away convinced that Ouija boards (manufactured by Satan himself) (oops…no, I was mistaken…Parker Brothers) would condemn me to a life of damnation and sadness and that perfectly nice gay people would one day be dragged into the fiery pit to assume their places alongside murderers, single mothers, genociders, and Buddhists.

So I did not throw away the cards.  I decided to take a deep Goddamn breath, close my eyes, count to ten, sing a few calming choruses of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” and take stock of life.

The truth is that I’ve learned a few extremely valuable lessons in this time off from running.  Yes, this is where the oboe starts playing and we all get didactic-ified.  So sit down, sack up, and deal with it, pussy.

1) If I stop running, I will not cease to exist.

…not that I thought I would actually wink out of existence upon not doing my morning fartleks (but then, who knows?  I had never tried it.).  But it sort of was my “thing.”  It was how people (people who don’t know me terribly well, mind you, but still) introduced me at parties.  And somehow — though I am a smart, fantastically interesting person — I let it become my definition.  Which is scary, because we’ve all met that guy who can ONLY TALK ABOUT WEIGHT-LIFTING, and eventually we just want to punch ourselves in the teeth just hearing him talk about Romanian dead-lifts and squat-thrusts and Muscle Man 9000 Creatine Powder.  I fear that I was becoming VO2-max-and-shin-splints girl.  Perhaps I was.  And then it disappeared for <shudder, hands to mouth> SIX WHOLE WEEKS.  And I only barely held on to my sanity.  Which leads me to:

2) I need to take a freaking chill pill.

Yeah.  Know who’s in friggin’ grad school?  Me.  Know who needs to graduate and find a job?  Me.  Know who let running, a running injury, and then freaking the shit out about a running injury get in the way of a crapload of schoolwork?  This kid.

3) If I stop running, I will not become morbidly obese.

Militant feminist though I may be, the patriarchy’s obsession with having a kickin’ bod is still residing comfortably in my head.  And to be perfectly, brutally honest, it took me two or three weeks of doing a crapload of elliptical and subsisting on dust and sparkling water to understand that I wouldn’t be muffin-top-ing all up in everyone’s face if I didn’t get to jog every morning.  Sad?  Perhaps.  But we’ve learned our lesson.  As I type this, in fact, I am currently chomping down a handful of nature’s most perfect food, Cadbury Mini-Eggs (Slogan: “Ruining your life deliciously — every spring since you were 5.”).

4) Yoga is really kind of fun.

And here I thought I’d hate it.  But it allows me to be strong, flexible, and oh yeah make lots of fun observations about the yoga culture.  For example:

5) Most men only go to yoga when dragged by their girlfriends.

OK.  I hate gender-based generalizations.  I really do.  And I wish I could say differently, but this appears true in 99 cases out of 100.  Trust me, ladies, next time you’re hoisting your thigh over your shoulder to the strains of Thievery Corporation, take a glance over at Kevin.  He hates every second of this.  He’s red and shaking not because of a good workout but because his scrotum is stretched so thin it’s transparent.  Know what?  Next week, when Heated Bikram 1-2 rolls around, let ol’ Kevin stay home and drink bourbon and scratch his hairy ass (How do I know it’s hairy?  He was doing 20 gazillion downward dogs in front of me in those silly shorts you made him wear, OK, Brenda?) and sniff your undies for a few hours.  You’ll both be happier.

6) Physical therapy works…eventually.

How do I know?  Because…

HOLY FUCKING GOD I RAN EIGHT MILES TODAY WITH MINIMAL PAIN AND I FELT LIKE A REAL PERSON AGAIN!  I mean, OK, yes, I could be a person without running, but I was also a person who was forgetting what Georgetown or the Mall looked like or what it feels like to blow past some 50-year-old buzz-cut tool who refuses to let a girl of all things pass him.

And then?  You guys?  I came home?  And walked down some stairs?  And felt almost NO CLICKING!  How did this happen?  WHO CARES, BITCHEZ?  TOUCH MY KNEE AND BELIEVE, YE WHO DOUBT ME!

Interestingly, a very good friend and fellow marathoner, who I will call The Mountie, has been nursing runner’s knee for I think even a little longer than me, and she also started magically getting better this week.  It’s, like, a CONNECTION, man.  Like we just KNOW in our bones that it’s HEALING TIME, right?  Far out, yo…

Anyway.  I salute you, Mountie.  We are kicking this.  Tasty-style.  I’d invite Mountie to do a victory dance with me, but she’d put me to shame.  So I’ll just sit here in the corner and sing a triumphant rendition of the Indiana Jones theme song while she busts a move.  Are you all watching?  Goddamn right you are.  This is what VICTORY looks and sounds like in the Republic of DJ — off-key and hilarious, yet strangely sexual.

Yes, I’m aroused, too.  It’s OK.  Embrace it.

Underdeveloped Butt


This is apparently what I'm going for now. BRING ON THE CREAM-BASED SOUPS!

So I’ve received some saddy-pants texts and e-mails asking where the blog-posting has gone.  Well, I’ll tell you where — it has gone to the land of shadows and sadness and Mordor and doom and poop and awfulness.

See, here this was going to be a HILARIOUS post about physical therapy, and how apparently one of my key problems is that my butt is underdeveloped.  Yeah, that’s right.  The nice therapist lady pushed and pulled on my leg, then had me push and pull against her, and when we got to the butt exercises, she said, “OK, go!”

“Um, I AM going,” I said.

“Huh.  Your butt is weak.”

I’d giggle if I didn’t want to cry.

So excuse me if today’s post isn’t all clowns and helicopter hats, because I am PISSED.  What was the first thing I did when I got out of bed this morning?  Well, aside from getting rid of my morning boner (???) and hopping into the shower, I cried as I put on my makeup.  Yes.  Cried.  True story.

Because MOTHERFUCK, people.  I can’t run Boston, which is bad enough, but what if I just can’t run a marathon EVER AGAIN?  Like, I had been going jogging for a few days but then it started to hurt and this physical therapist lady, lovely as she is, doesn’t appear to be able to do a goddamn thing for me, or even to know exactly why my knee is fucked up, or how to fix it, or IF she can fix it.

Motherfuck.

And I love you readers, I really do, and ordinarily I would tell you to publicize the blog and send it to alllll your friends and up my hit count so some awesome media organization can discover me and sweep me off to a land of creativity and employment and job security.  But today I’m so angry I could just spit.

So I promise better posts after today.  But until then…

YOU WILL READ THIS POST AND YOU WILL LIKE IT BECAUSE IT’S ALL I CAN DO AT THIS POINT TO EVEN WRITE ANYTHING, PERIOD, GODDAMMIT.  I AM GETTING A MASTER’S THAT I DON’T REALLY WANT, IT TURNS OUT; I AM NOT SLEEPING; I AM WRITING THE WORST THESIS EVER WHICH IS APPARENTLY TWICE AS LONG AS ANY OTHER SCHOOL REQUIRES; I HAVE A TRULY MINDBLOWING CASE OF JAWLINE ACNE; I HAVE NO ROMANTIC PROSPECTS; I UNCLOGGED THE BATHROOM DRAIN LAST NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT AND IT SMELLED LIKE ASS.  AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS RUN AND RELIEVE ALL THE STRESS AND MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY AND THE UNICORNS COME BACK AND I CAN’T DO IT AND I JUST WANT TO DIE THE END LOVE AND KISSES, DJ.

<throws puppy>

Hope!


WEATHER: Mid-30s, rainy and gross.

MILES: Not since high school have 3 measly miles felt so good and non-measly.

WHERE TO: Logan Circle and surrounding area

MOOD: Cautiously optimistic, once again.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The hole lets the happy in.

God bless the good people at Ace bandages.   My God, I feel fab.  Not fully rehabilitated, mind you, but at least somewhat human.

Random Internet Strangers are the BEST.


WEATHER: Over 40!  Sunny!

MILES: YOU GUYS!  2.5 MILES!  YOU GUYS!

WHERE TO: A magical land of KICKASS!

MOOD: OMG!  You guys!  Guess what!  You guys!

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

YOU GUYS.  Today I ran 2.5 miles.  Without pain!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….

Why did I decide to run?  Runner’s World forums, that’s why.  I went on and asked the good fellow-injured runners about whether my doctor was a dumbass or not for telling me to run on a clicking knee.  As it turns out, other people have gotten this advice before.

Upon reflection, maybe I’m the dumbass.  Seasoned medical advice?  No, thank you.  Advice from a bunch of other yahoos who are probably also 50 kinds of pervy?  Helllls yes!  So.  I tied on my running shoes and out the door I went.

Now, let’s not freak the hell out with joy yet, because I came home and iced and — graawwwrrr — there was indeed some hurt.  But LESS, kids!  And — strangely — it has migrated from the outer corner of my kneecap to the inner edge.

Huh.

I’m just gonna take this as a sign of progress (right?  RIGHT???).  I think I have to, because I’m starting to lose touch with reality in a very small but very real way.  My brain has been living in my left knee for the last month; every time I sit or stand or go down stairs or go up stairs, all I can do is tune every sense to this one stupid joint and think, “Is it popping?  Yes?  No?  Whoa!  Wait!  Stop!  Did we feel something there?  No?”

People wouldn’t know it to look at me, but at any given moment, I’m internally either celebrating a successful stand-up or mourning the teeniest imagined twinge from hopping off of a curb.  So today I tried a new experiment — I spent an hour today running errands and imagining that my right knee was the hurt one, and just focused on that.  And suddenly I realized that I could totally mentally fabricate these little aches and stings — IS MY RIGHT KNEE POPPING OUT?  HOLY FUCK!  SIT DOWN!

Which is encouraging — maybe I’m more healed than I thought! — or upsetting — maybe I’m a running-injury-hypochondriac! — depending on how you look at it.

Anyhow, at least we know that recovery is possible, but it will be slow.  <sigh>

In other news, I ran into S. at Starbuck’s the other day.  He was little help.

“My knee does that too!  I run on it!  Don’t worry about it!  Let’s go for an 18-miler!”

Needless to say, I walked home drinking a Grande Pike’s Place Roast seasoned with bitter tears.  Screw you, S.  You’ve been running all of what — 2 years?  Bah.  You’ll get yours.  <sniffle>  You really <choke, sob> will.  OH GOD COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND MASSAGE MY LEG YOU STUPID HANDSOME EDUCATED SOMEWHAT FUNNY LAWYER-Y PERSON. <tantrum on floor>

It strikes me now that I end up crying in like half of these posts.  So here is a picture to up today’s happy quotient by like a BAZILLION.  Hoo-wah!

He's totally defeating Gannon. WITHOUT Game Genie.

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