Archive for the ‘Rest Day’ Category

How to Run

A Camelbak? Really? Must you?

WEATHER: 82 and breezy and dry allllll day. :)




MOOD: Pooped.


First things first: a couple bits of bloggy housekeeping –

1) New page!  The getsuperfreakingpumped page will inspire you by suggesting a weekly running jam that will totally blow your freaking mind and send you out the door with happiness, style, and good viiiibes, bro.

2) A reminder — Ask a Runner! is where you can ask all those questions you have always wanted to ask about running but have been too afraid that I’d berate you.  Which I will, let’s be honest.

Speaking of things you don’t know, let’s talk form, kids.  Yesterday morning, as well as Monday, I saw these women out running…women who looked even more pained and inconvenienced than your average runner.  And while I normally would wonder why, I could immediately tell what the problem was — they were running with their knees pointed DIRECTLY AT EACH OTHER.  Not even joking.  This seems to be a thing among the female set especially — what, is being pigeon-toed and knock-kneed and splay-heeled something they taught you at finishing school, right between doily-starching and man-pleasuring?  Because I’m telling you right now, Florence — I don’t care if your hips are 4 feet wide and child-bearin’…there’s no excuse for running like that.

Same goes for all you people with the floppy wrists, chins jutted forward, loud sole-slapping noises, arched backs, and nodding heads like a bunch of those ponies they got on those beer commercials on the teevee.  Really.  You’re making the rest of us hurt.  My joints ache just watching you.  Put it away.  Put it all away and don’t run again.

Or you could perhaps learn.  You look smart.  OK, yes.  I have faith in you.  Let’s have a quick rundown of:


Step 1: Admission.

As with all 12-step programs, the 12 Steps of Running Form begin with admitting that you have a problem.  So slip a running shoe on your right hand and raise it and repeat after me: “I admit that I am powerless over my poor form and that my life has become unmanageable as a result.  I will never again clench my jaw, overstride, or wear Nikes, because those things are for losers.”

Step 2: Seeking a Higher Power.

Congrats.  You’re here.  ONWARD!

Step 3: Jog in place.

OK, here’s where the practical steps start, so take a deep breath and sort of jog in place.  Good.  OK, pick your feet up a little more, and….nice.

Step 4: Move forward.

So you’re not doing so bad at that, so maybe let’s move forward a bit.  Don’t strike your heel, land on the midfoot, don’t swing your hands in front of you…nice.  Wow.  You picked that up quick.  See how easy it is?  Great.  So let’s go to…


OK, so I know I picked on the ladies earlier, but honestly, guys?  I see you all all over this goddamn town, and there’s a large contingent of you out on your leisurely morning jogs, only it’s nowhere near leisurely or even pleasant-looking, since you’re all taking AS. BIG. OF. STEPS. AS. POSSIBLE.  Just this stupid boiiiiing! boiiiiiiing! boiiiiiiing! thing, and I know, you’re tall, you think you’re going fast, so you might as well just hunker down into every step and really just kick it allll out there, but really with every step it is as if you’re trying to tell the world, “IhaveahugeWAAAAAANG!  IhaveahugeWAAAAAANG!” and honestly, the rest of us are not impressed.  You’re inviting injury.  I hope you get it.  You tool.

Step 6: Take off that silly water apparatus.

Yeah, I know, it’s none of my business.  You wearing that water belt or that Camelbak is not hurting me, and to be honest I’m just being a big big insufferable snob by telling you what to do, yeah, I know, but.  Sweetie.  That’s why God made water fountains.  And Team in Training tables on Saturday mornings along Rock Creek Parkway for you to steal Gatorade cups from.  What — are they going to CHASE YOU DOWN?  Please.  Not if you’re not bounding like a freakshow or knee-knocking like a jerkface, they won’t.

Step 7: While you’re at it…

You know, that fuel belt was weighing you down an awful lot, and come to think of it, so are all those silly clothes you’re wearing.  Maybe we should all just run naked.  As Nature intended.  Yeah.  That might be better.  You go first.  Don’t worry.  I won’t look.  <covers eyes>


Hey!  Where ya’ goin’?  HEY!  Why are your shorts on?

Step 9: Baby, baby, lemme splain…

OK, so I didn’t look MUCH.

Step 10: Let’s start over.

OK.  We can do this.  We can do it more intuitively and empathically, how about that?  I’ll put on some Tori Amos, we’ll let our hair down, sit in a circle and talk about how our running form FEELS, eh?  Maybe toss a few warm fuzzies around…OK.  I’ll coach you through this.  Go.  If your running were an animal, what would it be?


A panda?  Now you’re just f**king with me.  Hahahahahahahahaha that’s just great.  Ohhh.  <wipes tear>  Ohhhh.  Awesome.

Step 12: We do not push our coach.  We do not-

Ow!  Hey!  Quit it!

**Next week: Removing a PowerGel that an angry runner has lodged up your nose.**


I mean...why ask why? (Image from




WHERE TO: Anywhere I feel like!

MOOD: See this post’s title.


Today a lovely and close friend from college, who I will call Doris, called me.

“I’M LOSING MY MIND, DJ!” was the thesis of the call.  You see, Doris has runner’s knee, and has moved to Crazytown as a result.  The conversation made me strangely emotional, as I recalled my months on the DL.

Apparently, Doris’ husband (who is also — kickass! — training for the NYC marathon) essentially told her, “Calm down.  It’ll get better.”  And while, yes, the runner with a nagging but low-pain injury needs to take a chill pill and also develop a meaningful and close relationship with a physical therapist, STAT, telling them to “calm down” is about the equivalent of telling someone with ebola who is also bleeding out the eye sockets, “Walk it off, champ.  It’s just a sprain.”

Dramatic?  Yes.  Overstatement?  Probably.  But fiddle-dee-dee.  Bite your tongue.  To tell the Serious Runner not to run is like…well… <violin chorus cue> telling the sea to stop roaring like a restless lion.  Like telling the clouds to stop their inexorable dance across the heavens.  <oboes and timpani chime in> Like telling a daisy not to bloom its beautiful face toward the sky.  Like telling that little brat from across the street to stop trying to pee on your bicycle tires as you ride by.  <sopranos> Like telling a foul-mouthed blogger to stop using the word “boner” so much.

Some forces, friends, can’t be stopped.

So when Doris told me her worries and frustrations, I felt for her.

She said, “I see all these people with PERFECTLY GOOD KNEES not taking advantage of it!”

“I know!” I chimed in, rolling about on my bed at 11 AM.

“Like, do you know how GOOD YOU HAVE IT?”

“Dude!  Like, get up off your ass already,” I added, rolling over to my computer, consulting Bing image searches to compare the merits of shirtless-Prince-of-Persia-Jake-Gyllenhaal-covered-in-a-fine-layer-of-Arabian-Sand-grit versus shirtless-Gladiator-Russell-Crowe-covered-in-a-fine-layer-of-Coliseum-dirt-grit (revisionist history is SEXY, bitches!), and also whether I could survive on the sawdusty dregs from Friday’s trail mix left in the baggie in my work-backpack next to my bed, or whether the strenuous trek down two flights of stairs would be necessary so that I could score a few spoonfuls of Quik (shut your godawful mouth, haters; I don’t judge you for those nudie Carol Channing pics I found in your den).

See, even in light of Doris’ withdrawal, I was suffering myself from a mild case of burnout.  You know you need a day off when, even not-training for anything, you’re running enough that your plantar fasciitis is acting up and the word “fartlek” is no longer funny and your soul hurts when you see the giant mobs of Team in Training people out on the trails because YOUR running isn’t fighting disease or helping people or dutifully clogging the trails around Bethesda for the rest of the world (hey.  Just saying.).

Ever since my convalescence, I had been attempting to do every run with a good old can-do gung-ho grateful-for-my-health KAPOW! sort of spirit, but Jaysus.  Sometimes it feels so optimistic and perky and spunky that I want to punch myself in the face and do a self-administered swirly. So (sorry, Doris), I did the unthinkable — I took TWO STRAIGHT DAYS OFF.

I know.  Easy, tiger.  Soon I’ll start organizing my sock drawer by size and not color WHOOOOOOA I JUST BLEW MY FREAKING MIIIIIND.

Anyway.  Tomorrow is another long run.  Back on the horse, back to the sweaty drippy fun.  Mmmmm…..


Oh, and in other news, the Paki has a blog.  In which she tackles the big life questions, about God and love and war and conflict and pain and joy and loss and suffering and…oh, no, my mistake.  It’s about her love of reading about throbbing, painful erections.  ENJOY!

Ohhhhhhhh I’ve Made a Huge Mistake.

Oh sweet merciful crap, I'm a dumbass.

Well, shit.

It struck me last night at about 3 AM, as I for the 9 billionth time re-wedged my 5’8″ frame into the 3’8″ of makeshift sleeping space of the two seats allotted to me on my 10-hour overnight train voyage from DC to Boston while the mucous-factory-Asian-woman across the aisle spread her pathogens generously throughout the car with her window-rattling coughs and snorts and the wiry men throughout the car prepped for THEIR Boston-Marathon experience by alternately snoring as loudly as possible and calling their sweethearts to blather about how fast THEY would run the race and how prepared THEY were, what with their 4 weekly 20-milers they’ve all been doing since the 4th grade and the powerglide they’ve been applying and also eating, just to prevent chafing inside AND out, because they are hardcore and …

<cue freakout in 3…2…>

…anyway, it really did strike me that this might be a terrible idea.  I’ve been injured and I’m not even really sure that that run the other weekend was quite 19 miles.  It might have been more like 17 or 18.  And I feel fat.  And I feel like I’ve forgotten how to marathon.  And I feel slow and lazy.  And honestly kind of pimply.

So there is the very real chance that I might blow this.  Which leads me to my new philosophy:

You can’t blow it if you’re not really trying.

Yeah.  That’s right.  I’m going to drag my (awesome) corral-10 ass back to the rear of Wave 1 and dilly-dally for 26 miles and have a FREAKING AMAZING TIME DOING IT.  I will make running friends.  I will wave at the Citgo sign.  I will kiss a Wellesley girl.  I will proposition a BU frat boy.  I will lick the face of a Gatorade-distribution volunteer.  I will pee on Fenway.  I will dance on Sam Adams’ grave, because that sumbitch punched my grandma once.  And it will not take me one second shorter than four hours, I promise you that.


Yeah, still nervous.

My Bad, Universe.

Look! I brought you flowers AND the plague!


WEATHER: Overcast, constantly threatening rain without actually doing it.  Man the fuck up, nature.

WHERE TO: My bed, where I watched a terrible formulaic awesome episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

MOOD: Remorseful.


Today I succeeded in getting snippy or downright outwardly-bitchtastic with just about everyone I know, either over e-mail or face to face.  Better people than I would call this a “lack of self-control” or “personality deficiency.”  I personally choose to call it “how I deal with shit.”  Sleep-deprived, overworked, friend sleeping over for all of next week, new housemate moving in this weekend, two all-day school commitments next week, plus work.

<le sigh.  Clearly I’m not living the good life.>

Thus, I came home from work and collapsed on the bed and watched the most mindless crap I could think of.  I did not come home and run, and I most certainly did not come home and do schoolwork.  Which is where I now turn my attention.

So anyway.  If I had any contact with you today,* I am truly sorry about the vibes.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, call me and I’ll flame you mercilessly for a few minutes.  Then you can be part of the club.


*Exception: gorgeous, distinguished-looking young man in the cafe this morning.  I was not mean to you; I held the door for you and made a valiant attempt to not give you the creeptastic eye.  Yes, you, guy with the two canes.  Even hobbled by some-congenital-defect-or-another, you looked divine.  Annnnd I now have a new stalker hangout.

…and there was much rejoicing.

20 hops!  On the left foot!  Which is the foot just below the (formerly?) injured knee!  And no pain!  Success, dear readers!  Let’s go get BLASTED!


WEATHER: Over 50!

MILES: HOW MANY?  11 on the elliptical.  Which I equate to…oh, 8 miles running, as calculated by the “because-I-flippin’-say-so” calculator.



WHERE TO: The gym at work.  A little 2-foot by 3-foot space therein.

MOOD: Hopeful


I’ve been icing the knee so much that I have a couple spots of mild frostbite popping up.  I know, I know, the ice pack says “do not apply directly to skin,” but it just won’t WORK AS WELL, DAMMIT, if I do it the WUSSY way.  Plus, this gives me an added feel-all-better benefit…you know that old joke where the guy goes to the doctor…

GUY: Doctor, my finger is broken.

DOCTOR: <stomps on Guy’s foot, shattering several bones>

GUY: <through tears of anguish> Why did you do that?

DOCTOR: Your finger doesn’t hurt anymore, does it?

Well, I am both the psychopathic doctor and hapless patient in this scenario, in the sense that the frostbite rubbing against my pants all day makes me wonder if it’s actually the joint that hurts or if it’s just the skin.  Which is strangely comforting, because if I can’t tell, the injury couldn’t be that bad.

Anyway, the knee feels strangely not-that-bad right now and didn’t even twinge on the walk home from work, even when I jogged across a couple of streets to avoid homicidal DC drivers.  Hoowah!  Hope!

Oh, and UPDATE!: The Bear ran her half-marathon on Sunday in 3:12, after which, I understand, she ate many bagels and then screamed, crumbs of bread spewing from her mouth, “RAAAWWWWR!  I AM A GOLDEN GOD!  I AM A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL!”

Good job, The Bear.


WEATHER: 35-ish, rainy, miserable.

MILES: HOW MANY?  Zero.  That’s how flippin’ many.



WHERE TO: <growl>

MOOD: Hateful


“Dooooooosh!” was the noise I heard this morning as a truck plowed through a mud puddle and coated me in whatever nastiness lurks in DC potholes.  Getting-splashed-by-a-passing-car is one of those iconic “girl-in-the-big-city” images that is much less madcap and carefree and comedic than it appears on TV sitcom credits and much more homicide-inspiring, really.

Of course, my kickass knee injury didn’t help the situation, and I continued wandering to church, now in a coat heavy with chock-full-of-TB-and-scabies puddle water in addition to the dull ache in my left knee.  The mere fact that I went and sat through an hour-and-a-half church service even while wet and dirty and tired and hurt I think entitles me to one free healing-zap from Jesus’ magic finger.  Please direct it at my left patella, yo.

But I did go buy some ibuprofen, a knee elastic compression thingy, and super-ultimate-feel-better-juice (a.k.a. Diet Coke) after church and call the-most-comforting-person-ever (a.k.a. Mom), who pointed out that at least this is happening now and not in March or April.  True enough.  And I can probably withstand training on an elliptical machine for a few days.  Also true.  So.  The old Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation-Thesis-work-Cry rotation might be what I’m up to for a few days.  <grrrr.>

(Also in that Midwestern-it-could-always-be-worse vein, and also in an I-hope-this-doesn’t-sound-too-sanctimonious vein, my housemate (who is a do-gooder and knows a lot about these things) says that these people are awesome.  Donate money to Haiti.  OK.)


WEATHER: <shrugs>





MOOD: Sleepy.




John Wants You To Go Running

WEATHER: 30ish at (non-)running time.




MOOD: Oh, HELL no.


I did not run today.  I woke up, got out of bed, peed, put in my contacts, looked down at my legs, asked the girls how they felt about running today, and they said, “Meh.  Fuckit.”

So I went back to bed, thinking I could just do it after work.

And then at work, I realized that maybe it was time to get some real rest, not just some “easy 5-mile jog” rest, given my recent stressful nights of sleep, interrupted by aforementioned dreams of Braceface and also, most recently, of John Krasinski taunting me.

I was reminded that I might need more sleep by Mississippi, the woman who sits next to me at work.

Mississippi is a lovely woman and one of my favorite coworkers — she’s about my same age, very funny, and exchanges ridiculous/awesome country music videos from the ’90s with me during boring stretches.

She also sneezed loudly at one point today, which is hardly worth mentioning except it sent my high-strung, non-properly-rested ass falling off the chair.  Add to that that I had to watch “Hannity” today at work (yes, HAD to.  This is part of the job description, I shit you not.) and around 2:30 I was frustrated, exhausted, twitchy, and angry, and thus bungee-cording myself down to the chair and swallowing handfuls of Quaaludes.  Mmmmm, delicious downers.

So I blamed my lack of sleep/sudden uptick in mileage for my lack of patience.  “No running today!” I yelled at my thighs in a downer-ridden, bungee-corded stupor.  “We’ll get SO MUCH OTHER STUFF accomplished!”

And we sure did.  In the 40 minutes that would have been my 5-mile jog, I did the following:

- Ate peanut butter with a spoon.

- Took advantage of “only housemate home” time by peeing with the door open.

- Took advantage of “only housemate home” time by monopolizing the bathroom for 15 minutes of intensive facial-blemish-inspection.

- Ate leftovers intended for tomorrow’s lunch.

- Watched some old YouTube favorites.

- Peed with the door open again.  For good measure.

- Passed out.  Was it while watching “Heroes,” you ask?  Yes, it was while watching “Heroes.”  I refuse to be judged for this.

Day 1 — SUCCESS!

WEATHER: 40 degrees F.





MOOD: Defiant.

TYPE OF RUN: Lying supine on floor, kneading stomach to facilitate digestion of excessive cookie dough consumption.


I did not run today.  I consider this a mark of pride, or at least I can rationalize as such.  I mean, there are all these fools out there who made big fat new year’s’ resolutions to run more, and so they went out running today.  They might go running tomorrow, depending on how much they’re doing the I-haven’t-run-since-the-Clinton-administration waddle.  They will roll over in bed on Sunday morning and say something about how it’s the Sabbath and Jesus/God/Yahweh/Allah/Earth Mother/Buddha/<secular humanist deity/Christopher Hitchens> doesn’t run on Sundays, right?  Right.  And so it will go.  But those people?  They are running today.

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