i started feeling some pain on the right side of my abdomen tuesday night. i threw up, had some tea and felt better but the pain came back the next morning. it grew more and more intense as the day progressed. it was so bad after lunch that i couldn’t move. Jose thought it was appendicitis. my mother thought it was gallstones. and i thought i was going to lose my mind. i finally decided i should go to the emergency room but my boss was in a meeting. when he came back, i tried to tell him i had to go to the hospital, but i had waited too long and the feared panic attack didn’t let me explain myself. as i stood by my desk trying to figure out what i needed to do, he said “let’s go. i’ll drive you.” i felt winonna ryder’s pain in reality bites – “isn’t there a statute of limitations for embarrasing incidents ?” as i remembered the last time i went to the ER. i was cycling with my boss and fell off my bike. he drove me to the ER (sound familiar ?) and was in the room when the triage nurse asked for the onset of my last menstrual cycle to which i had to respond truthfully “six months ago” and then explain “no i am not pregnant” – i’m just a freak of nature. agh ! statute of limitations ? what statute ?
i arrived at the ER around 4pm. i was the only patient there – woohoo ! so i was taken to my “curtain room” rather quickly. i was by myself for a few hours – getting poked with nenedles, watching TV and chatting with the nice nurses. i was told i’d need a cat scan. so i had to drink some nasty potion. my nurse mixed it with yummy OJ and lots of ice so it wasn’t so bad. my boss came back around 5pm. yay ! i wasn’t alone anymore. but hating hospitals myself and knowing that’s the last place anyone who isn’t sick wants to be, i urged him to go home. Jose got there shortly after that and started calling everyone with the news – boys ! soon Laura and J got there to keep me company while Jose went out for a bite. the radiologist finally came to get me. he started making fun of my funky monkey socks. he didn’t believe i was a computer programmer. he thought i had too much “personality” and asked if i was really a nurse or a teacher. around 10pm my doctor finally came back and said “there’s nothing wrong with you so we are sending you home.” i feared that. what a waste of time ! at least i know there’s nothing wrong with me.
1. don’t leg press until legs become numb
ok, so those of you who read my blog know that this is one lesson i haven’t quite learned despite many painful episodes. it will probably take a few more to finally convince me but until that day, i will have to pay the price for last week’s workout. i hurt my left hip flexor and haven’t been able to run since last thursday. i was supposed to do my long run (only 5 miles) on saturday, but the pain was unbearable. i ran about 50 feet and WALKED back to my apartment. i tried running again on saturday, but the pain was still very intense. same today. i made it a point to get to the gym only seconds before the spinning class started. this way i was not tempted to lift any weights. i don’t know when i will be able to run again, but i will keep saying to myself “don’t over-do it” until i can.
2. not all car batteries are created equal
after 2.5 years of (ab)use, the battery in my jetta finally died. it was a sad moment. not because of the battery but because it was almost 2am and my car wouldn’t start. fortunately i was with Jose, the car geek, who diagnosed the problem right away. on sunday we went out hunting for batteries. he insisted that i consider getting an optima battery. a what ? apparently this is the preferred battery for performance vehicles. my 2.0 stock jetta is in no way, shape or form a performance anything, but an extra $20 is well worth my (and Jose’s) peace of mind. my car may die someday, but the optima will live on.. YES !
3. eat before 3 hour bike ride in 90 degree weather
duh ? yes. i went for a ride on sunday. i usually try to get out before 7am to beat the heat but i was out partying saturday night (and my battery died) so i didn’t go to bed until well after 2am. i was in a hurry to leave in the morning and didn’t have any protein bars in my apt, so i headed out with nothing but a GU and some gatorade in my belly. i have low blood sugar which means that when i have too much sugar (and no protein), my energy level goes WAYYY up and then plummets to the point where i can faint or worse, go into a coma. fortunately i have never experienced the later, but i have fainted many a time.
i ran into 2 of my cycling buddies on the road and we decided to ride together. one of the girls dropped out at mile 28. the other girl and i came to a stop. as she started to say something, i felt my body go weak and suddenly i was kissing the pavement. as soon as i was back on my feet i fell to the oposite side – right on my friend. at this point i got up, put my bike aside and said “i need to eat something.” luckily she is vegan too and had a cliff bar on her. it hit the spot and i was able to ride for another 14 miles. woohoohoo !!
my cat is what most would consider “overweight” although the vet states otherwise. she is a hefty 10.5 lbs furball and loves to eat ! for the past 2 years, i have been trying to come up with creative ideas to keep her in shape. i started by feeding her once a day which didn’t work very well at first. one night she actually dragged her porcelain food dish from the kitchen floor all the way to my bed where i was “trying” to sleep. a few weeks ago, i bought her “vegan” cat food. yes, somebody actually makes that stuff. as you probably guessed, she’s not happy with the new menu. she has actually boycotted the food. a friend of mine mocked that the “real” diet was feeding her something so bad that she simply wouldn’t eat. ha ha – i think.
it poured in south florida last night. i had to run from my car to my apartment and was literally drenched. i took off my clothes as soon as i walked in and dropped them in a pile by the front door. when i woke up this morning, i fed my cat who was anxiously waiting, maybe hoping the cat food fairies had magically switched her vegan food overnight. i put a scoop of the vegan food in her bowl which she ignored AGAIN. as i walked back to my room, i picked up the pile of (still very wet) clothes. suddenly, a tiny lizard which i must have brought in jumped off the clothes and onto the floor. as soon as my cat saw what had happened, she pounced on the lizard and devoured it in a split second. i stood amazed as kissy fit looked up at me as if saying “meat GOOD.” i think she’s trying to tell me something.
i skipped my run yesterday because i overslept. so i ran this morning. last time i ran i used my old aasics which have a lot of cushioning. today i decided to try running in my mizunos – the shoes my physical therapist recommended and the same ones i used the day i originally fractured my foot. although the mizunos are better for my unstable ankles and pronation, they provide very little support/cushion which is bad because i have very high arches.
i felt no pain on monday. i was happy but felt is was “too good to be true.” maybe i jinxed myself because today i felt a lot of discomfort after the first mile. it wasn’t excruciating pain, but enough to worry me. i felt better after i had completely warmed up but the pain came back after i cooled down. climbing the stairs to my office was painful and it hurts to walk.
yes. i am scared. i feared not being able to run again. maybe this is all psychological, but i prefer to blame the mizunos. i had a theory that it was the mizuno’s lack of support that led to my fracture in the first place. that is why i wanted to try running in them again. alright, i am convinced ! i will run in my old aasics one more time this saturday and then go straight to running wild for a new pair of aasics. mizunos are great shoes, but they don’t seem to be right for me.
well, i finally did it. i ran this morning.
i was looking forward to this day since i fractured my foot about 10 weeks ago. the last few weeks were especially difficult. being close to the marathon i was supposed to run (June 5) was very depressing. looking back on it now, i wish i would have volunteered or at least witnessed part of the race, but it was too painful at the time.
my friends have been very supportive – making sure i get the proper rest and don’t overdue it so that i could heal quickly and come back stronger.
despite my optimistic nature, i recently started preparing myself for failure. i told myself over and over again that if today’s run was not a success, i would just focus on cycling and swimming which i seriously need to improve. i had even planned a trip to the sports authority after work to pick up a training suit and goggles.
but deep down i knew how disappointed i would be if my run didn’t go as i had so often fantasized my comeback. part of it has to do with the reason why i run. i know many runners and i know how different their reasons for running are. some do it strictly for fitness – to stay in shape or maintain a certain weight. others (the competitive types) do it to measure their fitness. and then there are those who like to test their personal limits, pushing their bodies harder/further each time.
i’ve always been extremely hyperactive. thoughts spin around in my mind like a scratched cd, driving me crazy. i started running when i was in 3rd grade to cancel out all the noise in my head. i thought that by moving, those thoughts would perspire out of my body. it also gave me a sense of freedom. it was just me and the road and i could go anywhere. it was my drug – just another way to escape reality.
i mentioned this to my boss over lunch today and alluded to the following from Lance Armstrong’s book, It’s Not About the Bike: “Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it’s absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a six-hour ride at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for a while you have a kind of hall pass, and you don’t have to brood on your problems you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue are absolute. There is an unthinking simplicity in something so hard, which is why there’s probably some truth to the idea that all world-class athletes are actually running away from something. Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. ‘Pleasure?’ I said. ‘I don’t understand the question.’ I didn’t do it for pleasure. I did it for pain.’”
that is how i feel about running. it’s hard and it’s cleansing and it makes me forget about my problems – at least for a while. my boss said it was almost like “self mutilation” and i guess in a way it is. running until you break your feet can and is probably considered self mutilation by some.
my run today was a huge success. i ran a total of 3.7 miles. my pace was not great. i felt like i was going to lose a lung. but i made it. injury-free. i still went to the sports authority after work. i got my swim gear. not running for 10 weeks has taught me more about myself than all of my years of painful running.
June 17, 2003
1:30pm arrived at airport, departure time 2:40pm
2:14pm cleared security
2:20pm flight delayed
2:57pm all airport traffic interrupted due to lightning
3:05pm flight delayed again
3:51pm status on monitor said “now boarding” – ha ha
4:07pm flight delayed AGAIN
5:16pm guess what ?
5:35pm flight ahead of us gets canceled
5:55pm they finally bus us to the plane
6:13pm flight canceled – everyone off the plane
7:30pm had dinner at local mexican restaurant
we were told that there would be an extra flight available the next morning which i knew was BS especially since the girl at the service counter who said it refused to give anyone her name. aha ! a clue ! my friend and i tried to have a nice weekend anyway. it was his birthday after all. we had a nice dinner saturday night at a local seafood restaurant which resembled what we might have found in marsh harbour except for the giant killer mosquitoes. we then went for a long bike ride on sunday – a 40-mile torture fest thru north broward. the grand finale was a trip to the beach which ended with the worst sand storm i have ever experienced. overall we had a fun and adventurous weekend.
there is a starbucks steps from my apt where i normally get my grande sugar-free vanilla soy latte most mornings. the baristas there know me by name and they know my drink. despite my elite, almost-celebrity status, i sometimes cheat on my preferred starbucks location. like when i skip dinner the night before, grab a vegan muffin in the morning and, for the sake of time, shamefully walk over to the starbucks next to wild oats. going to this starbucks is a gamble i take (and lose) every time. the pointy faced girl who works the morning shift fux up my drink 10 times out of 10. i’m not talking about regular syrup instead of sugar-free, tall instead of grande or cappuccino instead of latte. i’m talking straight from the pasture, disgusting, gut churning, fatty whole milk instead of soy. my kryptonite. a substance that can turn my stomach upside down and inside out in a matter of seconds with a single drop.
i should know by now to walk over to my starbucks and then drive to wild oats for the muffin… or better yet, not skip dinner ! but who am i kidding ? i never learn a lesson. not until it has knocked me down, kicked me around and ran me over. twice. she did it again today. after waiting 10 minutes for my drink, the little starbucks flake finally realized she had screwed up, apologized, re-made my drink and handed me a free drink coupon. as i walked out, i vouched to never return to that mad house.
i was talking to jose on my way to work this morning. i asked him to hold on as i came to a red light and noticed an older man in the car to my right signaling me to roll down my window. i thought he was a lost tourist in need of directions. so i kindly rolled down my window and greeted him with a friendly smile.
man: “on your way to work ?”
man: “where do you work ?”
me: “weston” – i thought this was a weird question, but then again, what in my life isn’t ?
man: “where in weston do you work ?”
me: ok… that was enough weirdness for one morning – “why do you need to know where i work ?”
man: “i know weston pretty well and i thought i might recognize your company”
me: having crossed the weird-psychotic line, i looked at him… puzzled, confused
man: “do you work in a factory or a law firm ?”
me: “a law firm” – i lied
man: “that’s what i thought !”
i stepped on the gas and flew past him. jose and i were speechless for a while.
so it is our second day in san diego. we went to starbucks (DUH). my brother got a haircut. we then drove across the street for breakfast at IHOP. if you have ever been to california, then you are aware of the fact that parking is a luxury. we didn’t find any spots in the IHOP parking lot so i took one of the spots at the taco hell next door. i parked next to a cute chevy aveo. as i locked my rental car and started walking towards IHOP a mean looking older man inside taco hell opened a small window and gave me a dirty look. the thought of him having my car towed ran through my head and just as quickly ran out. this is how my mind works. my brother and i had breakfast. as we walked back to the car, i heard my brother say “where’s the car ?” i didn’t know where it was, but i knew it had been towed.
when bad things happen, i try not to dwell on them and just try to fix the problem as quickly as possible so that i can move on with my life. so i dialed the phone number on the towing sign i had failed to see when i parked the car and sure enough, that’s where my car was. in the meantime, the owners of the cute aveo were standing where their car should have been looking majorly confused. my brother approached them and told them it had been towed. they were from sweden and weren’t familiar with the “towing” concept. i explained it to them and they thought it was a ANOTHER stupid american custom. i called for a cab to drive us to the towing lot where ($227 later) we finally got our vehicles back ! my $14/day rental deal doesn’t seem like a deal anymore.
aveo owners – peter, joel and freddrick
marathon weekend finally arrived. i made travel arrangements months ago for myself and my brother. my brother has never been outside the state of florida and is somewhat terrified of flying so i wanted to make sure the trip was as stress free as possible for him.
our flight would leave fort lauderdale international at 8am. we got there with time to spare, especially since our flight had already been delayed an hour. during the security screening process, i managed to lose my brother’s boarding passes which made him freak out a little. luckily a TSA officer found them and brought them to the counter. at this time, i heard rumors that our flight had been canceled. later i found out that the flight was delayed indefinitely. the plane had some kind of mechanical problem.
i finally decided to make different arrangements. the man behind the ticket counter was exceptionally kind. unfortunately, only flights to LA were available at this point. we had two choices: wait for the next available flight out of Fort Lauderdale at 3:40 or take the 1:25 out of Miami. we jumped in a taxi and headed for MIA. we arrived on time, had lunch and headed for security screening again. this time my brother had been selected for thorough screening – JOY ! after about 20 minutes, we finally arrived at our gate only to find out we had standby tickets and weren’t actually “confirmed” on the flight. UGH ! what else could go wrong ? before i could lose my cool which i had miraculously maintained throughout the day, the lady behind the counter did something that got us on the flight !
we finally arrived in san diego around 6pm. we had a nice dinner. my brother is finally sleeping – he had such a rough day. i am ready to call it a night as well. tomorrow will be another adventurous day.