The Beast

by Josh Benge

This past weekend, I traveled up to Sioux Falls with a few of my fabulous TRPM teammates to take on the Sioux Falls Half Marathon while they were taking a swing at BQs and PRs in the full edition. After a day of mild shenanigans with the team to take our mind off the race (See the blogs of one Mandy Deen), I headed to the hotel and rested up for the night.   I had what I would consider an ambitious goal, and long story short, it didn’t pan out for me the next day.  That’s not the point of this though.  On the plane home from Sioux Falls post-race, I was re-reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and something struck me (if you know this book, kudos… if you don’t, buy the damn thing or I’ll loan it to you).  In Chapter 19, a reference is made to ultrarunner Lisa Smith-Batchen, one of the most accomplished distance runners of all time.  She speaks of the exhaustion and fatigue of the later parts of races as “The Beast”.  The text from Born to Run is as follows:

Lisa Smith-Batchen, the amazingly sunny and pixie-tailed ultrarunner from Idaho who trained through blizzards to win a six-day race in the Sahara, talks about exhaustion as if it’s a playful pet.  “I love the Beast,” she says.  “I actually look forward to the Beast showing up, because every time he does, I handle him better.  I get him more under control.”  Once the Beast arrives, Lisa knows what she has to deal with and can get down to work.  And isn’t that the reason she’s running through the desert in the first place – to put her training to work?  To have a friendly little tussle with the Beast and show it who’s boss?  You can’t hate the Beast and expect to beat it; the only way to truly conquer something, as every great philosopher and geneticist will tell you, is to love it.
 
I am by no means an ultrarunner or anywhere near the caliber of Lisa, but there is something to be said about the Beast.  If you have raced, you know what the Beast is, and it isn’t necessarily the fatigue or exhaustion.  I think we all have our own Beast(s).  You don’t know your Beast?  It could be the thing that you wrestle with in miles 20 through 26.2 of a Marathon.  Or in every damn bit of a 5K.  Maybe you have several Beasts working on you at once (mind, body, weather, combination)?  Maybe your Beast is a chameleon that can change colors and bite you in the butt when you least expect it.  Don’t know your Beast(s)?  I applaud you, or I challenge you to dig a little deeper to find it. For now, I’ll tell you about the Beasts I met in Sioux Falls.  My mind and my anger.
This wasn’t intended to be much of a progressive race.  That is, unless I was ready and willing to take my pace much lower than intended race pace as I was starting right around my goal pace.  But what could go wrong?  Weather was perfect, course was perfect (mistake number 1: respect the course, don’t assume), and I was confident.  Mile 1 through 5, perfect.  It couldn’t have been better and I was clicking off miles at race pace or slightly under.  I tucked in with a group of Collegiate XC runners from Gillette College in Wyoming and a few locals that were a part of the 605 Running Crew out of Sioux Falls.   I let them lead the way to block the wind and keep the pace as they were right around where I wanted to be (one of the smarter things I did all day).
Then, things went a bit south on me.  Enter mile 6 and enter the Beast called Josh’s mind.  Too much thinking can be a bad thing kids, especially if you aren’t thinking straight. My mind was about to get as crooked as it could.  I wasn’t intending to do a progressive run and the crew I had been latching onto was going to start cranking down significantly.  I had been listening to them discuss this plan and started playing with the idea myself, giving myself a few scenarios.  GREEDY!  Instead of listening to my heart and my race plan, my mind got greedy and way too involved…  here’s a 5 second snapshot what my thought process looked like before things went south….
“You’ve banked a good 40 seconds and are feeling good, so why not go with these guys (Mistake 2: Never bank time, bank energy… Allison Macsas, I could hear you preaching to me) …. you’re past the hard part of the course, why not? (Mistake 3: see mistake number 1 again, always respect the course)… you recovered on those early slow climbs really well… you’ve raced and trained on harder courses (Mistake 4: once again, see 1 and 3, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS respect the damn course)… If you have a bad mile 6, you can always back off the pace above your race goal and recover to make time up later (Mistake 5: now I am thinking way too much and I’ve given myself Plan B if I fuck up mile 6.  There should be no Plan B or out unless I know I am injured)….

Licking my Chops and Being Greedy
So with all of these thoughts looping in my mind throughout mile 6, I started seeing the group pulling away from me.  I then realized that I was on the Sioux Falls equivalent of Austin, Texas’ very own Duval St.  You know? That slow, deceiving climb over about 3 miles? To add to the slow mind misery, I start seeing my time bank fading, my energy going down, legs feeling lead like and worst of all the looping thought process is getting perpetually worse.  This leads to round two of thoughts over a much longer period of time (miles 7 through 8 in the last two miles of my climb)….
“Well so much for a sub-1:30, might as well back the pace off and just PR (Mistake 6: I have COMPLETELY abandoned Plan A and started relying on my watch when I should have said “screw the watch” at this point and stuck with #JFR)…  my legs are feeling tired.  Was it my nutrition?  Was it my hydration?  Did I go out too fast? Why do my legs feel like lead?  How could I be so stupid to put myself in this position?  This is so embarrassing! (Mistake 7: Why are you thinking about the inconsequential at this point, what’s done is done, #JFR)
Those 3 short miles (6 through 8), were nothing more than me over focusing on why my race was going wrong rather than finding a way to embrace the Beast that was my mind. I was convinced I was wasting an opportunity on a race I had flown a 1000 miles for. I was letting the Beast punch me right in the face and I knew it.  I didn’t have to love the Beast at this point, I just needed to find a way to control and tame it.  Racing isn’t fun at times.  In fact it is never really fun, but I had just made it more of a grind than it needed to be.  I’m not going to bore you with the details.  Miles 9 and 10 were no different.  More mind minutia and convincing myself that I had fucked up.
Then, something happened coming down the bike path when mile 10 turned to 11.  I was still convincing myself what a crappy race I was having and how much time I had given up when I got passed by a smiling racer who chirped, “Good Job, only 5K left”.  At the moment, I thought that was the last thing I needed to hear.  It pissed me off beyond belief.  You’re going to pass me and tell me what a good job I am doing?  How dare you?  Retrospectively, however, I wish I could have found her and thanked her after the race, because she had brought out another Beast of mine that I am much more experienced with controlling… anger. Unlike the mind Beast that overtook me mid-race, I embraced my anger Beast and channeled it like it was an old friend.  There was only one thought in my mind that entire last 5K.  Catch her if you can, and anyone else along the way.  Simple thoughts, simple goals, good results in those last 3 miles because I knew my Beast, and used it to my advantage.  My last last 5K just was just over my original intended race pace.  There was no pain, no extra thought, just an end goal.  Did I break 1:30?  Nah.  Did I PR?  Nope.  But I channeled and embraced one of my Beasts.  I’ll call that a win.

Mile 11 Water Stop … From What I Can Remember… I have dropped the mind Beast and Channeled the anger Beast
I still have a lot of work to do to locate my race Beasts and find out what my relationships are with them.  In fact, I don’t have to love them like Lisa Smith-Batchen does. To each their own! I just have to try to understand them, nurture them when I can, and respect them every chance I get.  Love may or may not come in time.  There is no clear answer for any of us trying to take control of the one or many things that haunt us during the race. I think we just need to know that no matter what we do, Beasts are always going to be there.  We just need to find a way to fine tune our relationship with them.

Stage 2: Distraction

A race report from magical and exotic Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Part 2 (catch Part 1 here)

by Mandy Deen

After a terrifying plane ride on the world’s smallest commercial plane (one seat, aisle, 2 seats, 12 rows), I succeeded in arriving in SCENIC Sioux Falls, South Dakota (upon landing the weather was about 60*F outside and everything smelled fresh and clean and delightful. I had to put on my sweater). Being very much earlier than my teammates (overanxious over-achiever!), I had a large amount of time to kill until they arrived and we could go about killing time (driving each other crazy) together. Luckily the Sioux Falls Sheraton had a TV on which there was both a Law and Order marathon and US Open tennis!

As much as tapermadness is a part of gearing up for a race, the last few days, I find, are best spent distracting yourself. There’s nothing you can do about it now, and worrying about hitting the wall, or body parts falling off (always a concern), or cramping, or the amount of pain you might encounter is not going to stop any of those things from happening. I know because I’ve tried. I always try to remind myself that my fear of the pain when I’m sitting in my comfortable hotel room is worse and scarier than the actual pain when it happens on mile 20 (more on that later).

After a surprisingly good meal at the hotel restaurant where the waitress didn’t even know that the marathon was happening or that it started next door, and a long discussion about how much better and nicer my view out my window was (Sioux Falls is flat, green, with lovely wide avenues and picturesque little houses and neighborhoods where everyone is friendlier than a wet dog, dontcha know. It is Everytown, USA), we all retreated to our rooms for an early night of obsessing about race strategy/watching hilarious South Dakota regional commercials.

The next day we got up, made it to packet pick up at the expo which had an adorable small-town/disorganized feel to it (high school basketball gymnasium). I had to help the woman at the Clif table work the iPad credit-card attachment thingy because they don’t take cash, and because I’m a librarian, and also because I didn’t bring any Gu’s from home because all I brought was my carry on and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of security regulations regarding liquids on planes. Btw, fyi, jsyk. Alicia and Anna got sucked into a vendor tent with some kind of miracle pain-relief cream (cures plantar fascitis! migraines! Ebola!!!!!! AND menstrual cramps!!! anyone who HASN’T been using this product their whole lives has been living a life of needless suffering and pain!) made from Emu oils? (?????!!!?) with very enthusiastic sales people who were distributing samples whether you wanted them or not. Everyone immediately started applying it to their problem areas. Later it was brought to the attention of our group that Alicia thought the lady said it provided 45 hours of pain-relief instead of 4-5 hours. Which, when you’re all slightly on edge due to impending race-ness (there was annoying number of people in the hotel/expo wearing their Boston gear. I thought this race was for people who HADN’T qualified for Boston yet!!!! #smugbq-ers), is nothing short of hilarious.

We took a cab into downtown that day, because there was not ONLY an art festival, but also a German Fest (sponsored by Shiner!!!!! what an exotic, specialty beer!!!). After deciding quite quickly that being surrounded by well-meaning but decidedly in-the-way families (there were a lot of toy bows and arrows at the art fest), was not good for anyones nerves. We walked down the length of the main drag, Philips Ave, and took lots of dumb pictures with the local “sculpture walk” sculptures. #art. (I am assuming Allison will insert multiple photos from my Facebook account here.)

(note from Allison: yes I will)

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Due to the local cab service failures, we ended up just walking down to the Falls Park, which was across from the German Fest. I did not realize until I was in the shuttle from the airport to the hotel that there would ACTUALLY be falls at Sioux Falls. But the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. We took lots of pictures of the very pretty falls and got a stranger to take a team picture of us all in front of them (which certain teammates have failed to upload to the internet so far, just saying.) After that we headed over to our selected Italian restaurant (Luciano’s, or, Lucifer’s as we kept calling it) for an early dinner. Due to another local cab service failure, we actually got dropped off on the southern area of the street instead of the northern area of the street we requested. We ended up just re-walking the entire length of the street down to the restaurant which was by the Falls. Funny story, there’s only ONE door to get into the place, and it’s not labeled and it’s very well hidden. Which we took as a sign of it’s exclusiveness and also small-town Sioux Falls-ness.

At this point, everyone was pretty tired and the pre-race crazies were setting in on us all, and we were all noticing how tired we were and we all kept agreeing to stop talking about the race, and then starting up conversations about the race/our race plan/our race fears. But the food was good and the wine and beer was good, and we were all sad we couldn’t take the leftovers back with us. There was nothing left to do, the next thing was the race.

One more cab ride back to the hotel, a final check of email/Facebook for race plans/internet pressure (the entire Rogue internet is watching us all!!!!!!!!!!!!) we all went our separate ways to settle in for a night of trying to sleep. THE ALARM CAME EARLY THE NEXT DAY.

A Taper Madness Flowchart

A race report from magical and exotic Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Part 1

by Mandy Deen

Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 6.23.00 PM

Get it guys? Guys, guys, do you get it? IT”S A TAPIR!!!

But seriously. The flowchart.

Should I go run?

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I don’t HAVE to, tapering is about rest, right? I can’t gain any fitness here.

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Maybe I really should go run, I haven’t been running much at all lately.

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You can’t seem to motivate yourself to run lately, I bet there’s something really wrong with your head. And you don’t want your body to get TOO relaxed before the race.

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No, You need more sleep, everything feels really draggy, and there’s no way you can sustain MGP for 8 miles much less 26.2 if you feel this way in a week!Stay in. Don’t run.

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Holy crap, you’re probably completely losing your ability to motivate yourself to go run, I bet you never have a consistent training program again and in fact stop running all together, but only due to incredible mental weakness. You big weakling!!!!

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…but I mean, I don’t feel too bad about these crazy thoughts and emotions, we all have them during a taper, right? Right?? RIGHT??? Just me?

That’s all for now, Part 2, The Pre-Race, to follow.

The Rogue Map of Austin

by Mandy Deen

We’ve all seen them, the hilarious google maps of a city, with quirky/snarky descriptive names written over neighborhood locations. Things like “Mall Zombies” and “Ex-Frat High-Rises” and other, much less PC things.

So, I had an idea.

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN:

   swaustinrogue(1)

NORTHWEST AUSTIN:

NW

RUN FROM HELL:

rfh

EASTSIDE:

eastside

Im sure I’ve left out a lot, despite being quite scientific about it. But it’s the best I could do.

Cheers!

-Mandy

Ancillary? What happened to #JFR?

by Jeff Knight

“There are no shortcuts. Be patient and look long-term…..Consistency is the secret to improvement and success….”
-Robert de Castella, 1983 World Marathon Champion (c/o: Wikipedia)

At its core, running is pretty easy. As Deek (Rob de Castella, (Rogue in spirit)(amazing mustache)) points out, the key to success is consistency. It ain’t sexy. In fact, its frustratingly simple. It’s truly #JFR.

However, as anyone that has trained seriously for running knows, consistency is easier said then done. You know why. The dreaded “i” word. It starts there and ends with a “y”. Hint: its NOT “inebriate…y”, although that to sometimes interferes with consistency too.

Injury.

Oh yes, that i-word. Injury not only sucks/makes us a crazy person, it breaks consistency.

Now, there are a lot of things accredited to injury prevention. Sleep, hard-days hard and easy-days easy, the super secret potions or tips that you find carefully placed within the shady side-bar ads on less snazzy websites (you know you’ve clicked it!!), diet and hydration… these are all great examples. But one thing that should be considered is strength training; aka ancillary training.

Anyone that’s visited a PT knows that strength training is important. In fact, ancillary training and physical therapy look a lot alike. Some people go as far as calling it prehab (preventative-….hab). In the end though, it’s usually a series of goofy exercises focused upon those pesky little muscles that have no effect on how we look naked. However, those pesky little muscles go a long way in keeping us healthy and running consistently.

What’s the hold up though? Other sports get it. Soccer, football and basketball players, among others. all spend time in a gym. They all do strength and conditioning training.   For some reason though, we runners are reluctant unless it makes us look better naked.

Sure, there is no advantage to being “big” when it comes to running (in fact, it’s a disadvantage) but there is advantage in making our running muscles more capable of handling the demands of running. In fact, recent studies go as far as suggesting that running injuries due to overuse can be cut in HALF with strength training. That’s better injury prevention than those super-cool, high-tech shoes in just the right color (it HAS to be the right color to work).

reebok

Even if we get into the gym, ancillary training can be hard to manage. As I alluded to, ancillary training looks more like PT and less like a crunch, a burpee or something you do in Crossfit (I’m self-aware enough to admit that there is a time and place for vanity training but that’s not what you are doing in ancillary. Seriously, I’m extremely vain.) Ancillary training, doing little to make us look better in our split shorts, is balance, coordination and asymmetrical exercises we’d rather do in the dark….alone…when no one can see us. But, and this is a big BUT, they make running better. Worth it? Yes!   Even considering all the hassle, counter-intuitive nature and sacrificed ab-time? Still YES!  

So here’s the logic. Running specific strength training strengthens muscles we use for running, these muscles are now more resistant to injury, meaning we can train more consistently. That in turn leads to improvement. I.e., ancillary training supports running. Period.

Ancillary -> Consistency (=JFR)-> PRs

Now, the value of running-specific strength training (ancillary training) goes beyond helping you run consistently, as many blogs in the pseudoscience realm of training will tell you. Ancillary training is also likely to improve running economy & late race mechanics, give you a sexy booty, help your gait, make you feel like a 1-year old learning to walk, increase your lactate threshold and help your hill running but, for this blog, lets leave it at consistency.

So really, ancillary training is an inherent part of JFR. It’s also a fantastic option for currently injured runners – get in your rehab, develop additional strength and keep yourself immersed in the community. A win-win!

#runnershigh

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Ready to defeat the “i” word? We’ve got options at both Rogue locations:

DOWNTOWN: Rogue Ancillary meets on Mondays & Wednesdays at 6am. This class is open to runners of ALL levels, and is also a great option for currently injured runners. Try it for FREE August 25 & 27 or September 15 & 17!

CEDAR PARK: Rogue X incorporates a combination of track based workouts mixed with calisthenics and plyometric routines, promoting better form, a faster kick and reduced risk of injury. The next round begins September 3!

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congress brJeff Knight is the head of all things training at Rogue Running, and loves to apply his scientific background to this role. He also coaches Team Rogue el Jefe, a year-round training program designed for experienced, driven runners.

Meet the Coach: Mallory Brooks

At Rogue, we believe that the success of our training programs rests not just upon expertly designed schedules and the huge network of resources and support on offer, but also upon our incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated coaches. These people put heart and soul (and a lot of time!) into helping you reach your full potential, and we thought you might like to learn more about them.

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When and why did you start running?

I was living in Boulder, as a part-time student, full-time rock climber. It was suggested to me that I should experience the Pikes Peak Half Marathon. Knowing nothing about what it would feel like to gain 8,000+ feet of elevation gain in 13 miles, I accepted the insane idea as a solid plan. I distinctly remember telling my mother that I was only slightly confident that I wouldn’t die out there. It was an unparalleled feeling of accomplishment once I hit the summit with a not so record-shattering time of 4 hours and 3 minutes, but I couldn’t help but think, “what would that race have been like if I had trained?” And so began my love of running and racing in the mountains.

Most memorable trail?

For our honeymoon, my significantly faster running companion, Jason, and I set out on a 16 day trek across 200+ miles of the John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We experienced extreme highs, terrifying isolation, and near mental breakdowns from the swarming mosquitoes. All of our ups and downs, as well as a near marmot murder, are well documented in a journal that is still hilarious to go back and read.

Favorite post-run meal?

Beets! I read somewhere that Ryan Hall swears by beets as a recovery food. In Washington, we grow beets the size of a melon and have trails lined with wild raspberries. Also, pomegranate! Oh, and wine! Basically, anything that stains your fingers red.

What do you do when you aren’t running or coaching?

Learn from my 1 year old son, Paxton. His constant curiosity is infectious. There isn’t a trail out there that can tire you out like a full day with him.

What’s the last book you read?

Wild and Born to Run. It should be noted that I still run in shoes.

What is one to-do on your bucket list?

I’d love to make a well calculated attempt at the female unsupported speed record for the Wonderland Trail (93 miles around the base of Mt Rainier). 31 hours. My biggest challenge could very well be staying awake that long.

Favorite quote?

“Because it’s there” George Leigh Mallory, my namesake, on why he wanted to climb Everest

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Mallory will be coaching the Bandera 2015 training group alongside coach Devon Kiernan and would love to have you join! If you aren’t quite sure about trail running, check out her previous post, The Straight & Narrow. Training begins on September 23, 2014.

Lifecycle of an Injury

by Mandy Deen

Sometimes, when I’m out on a weekday run, I will notice a slight niggling issue crop up. I generally try and dismiss it from my mind, because lots of times after hard workouts, or higher mileage weeks, or tripping on the stairs at work in front of people, parts of your legs/body might feel twingy or different. It happens to everyone, and it’s just a part of the process. I generally try to refocus back on the Taylor Swift lyrics I’ve been re-writing/improving in my head for the past 2 miles and ignore it. Unless of course it’s one of the days where this issue keeps niggling and my level of sleep-deprivation anxiety is topped only by the humidity and temperature outside, and then I might have to conduct a series of calculations:

a) Where am I in my training program? Am I in the middle of a mileage ramp? Or is it a down week?

b) where am I in my neighborhood? How humiliating of a last x number of miles back is the walk? Do I still have water in my handheld? And if I short this run is it something I can make up or do I have to tell my coach/teammates about it?

c) what if something is REALLY wrong with me?!!?!? are there people around who will notice if I fall over? WHAT IF ITS A PULMINARY EMBOLISIM?????

By calmly taking stock of the situation I can usually be relied on to do the right thing and…just obsessively worry about it for the rest of my run.

Later I will consult one or two teammates about the issue, and they will either be very calming, and rational and suggest common courses of treatment, or they will confirm that it’s probably a goiter and then tell me to youtube goiters. And then tell me to NEVER YOUTUBE GOITERS. I still haven’t to this day, so you do what you want with this information. Send complaints care of Anna McGarity.

If the problem has not abated when I get up in the morning, I will then probably immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion and fire off a dramatic email to my coach containing everything little detail of this problem that I have thought about thus far and many phrases like: “I have broken myself!!!” and “this is all over, isn’t!?!” and the always applicable “BLERGPOCALYPSE!!!!!” Generally Coach Amy will respond very calmly, asking for further details and then giving a well-informed opinion that I just need to go easy/roll it out/take some ibuprofen.

However, occasionally the niggling issue is discovered to be something of consequence. This has only occurred once or twice in my running history, and each time it was like I had never been sick or injured before. The most significant time involved a diagnosis of a possible labrum tear in my hip and a month or two of physical therapy. There are certain things you realize, and then forget, and then re-realize every time you’re sidelined with injury.

There is NOTHING worse than having to argue with yourself about getting out the door and into a medium long run in 100 degree heat after an 8 hour work day, other than suddenly NOT being allowed to get out the door into a medium length long run in 100 degree heat after an 8 hour work day. Every single runner, cyclist, roller blader, or dog walker out on the sidewalks around 6pm is pretty much openly mocking you, especially because you’ll probably NEVER be able to run again.

Medicine is not an exact science.   I don’t mean this in a “Dr.” Leo Spaceman “we have no way of knowing where the heart is. See, every human is different” way. I mean that after several consultations and realizing how terrible I am at describing pain and symptoms, it is very likely that the medical professionals will simply begin running tests to rule out possible ailments. This also means that for a little while I won’t have a clear idea of exactly what is wrong with me, which as a big-picture type-A person, I will seek to establish a sense of control over the situation my researching the possibilities myself.

As a professional librarian, my access to academic and medical journals is far greater than the little voice in my head that says “you’re only going to scare yourself.” Think WebMD on steroids. Soon I will probably have located a general overview of one of the few conditions I have narrowed my symptoms down to, and I will be reviewing the diagrams of the surgery I probably need, and frantically searching for full-recovery percentages. This predictably will lead to another series of coach emails, and a general sinking feeling that I didn’t realize my last run was really the LAST run of my life while it was happening.

Physical therapy and injury recovery is very likely not a straight line and more like a nebulous cloud of confusing and ambiguous sensations that could seem to be progress but might still be signs of brokeness, depending on how much I’ve over-thought them. Also at a certain point I will have forgotten what normal feels like, which further complicates my understanding of my recovery.

Aquajogging always feels really dumb, and NEVER feels like the workout the internet says it actually is (I’m probably doing it wrong). Also, the little old ladies who run the pool in the early morning always want to share a lane with the aquajogger, and the fancy Ironman triathlete guys never do. And despite my best efforts, my calf muscles will deteriorate at an alarming and depressing rate.

When you’re not running 6 days a week, it is actually hard to remember to shower. This is proven, Mom, not just my inattention to details.

Physical therapy is complicated and my amateur attempts to both understand (I have a Masters of Science in Information Studies! That probably means I can understand REAL science things!) and therefore control my treatment leads to even more emails with my PT who through great personal willpower, restrains her likely exasperation with my clumsy meddling and simple analogies, and responds with enough information to make me quit obsessing, but not enough information that I get even more confused about what’s going on. At least until I start thinking about it again.

Eventually, I know I’ll end up harness jogging on a treadmill. My inherent level of embarrassment in PT (or in anything) always starts out pretty high, like right up there with being made to do step aerobics in middle school athletics during off-season. (THERE’S NOWHERE TO HIDE, EVERYONE CAN SEE.) When it comes time for the harness jogging it is indeed as uncomfortable, bulky and idiotic as it sounds, BUT this is generally the last step before I’m released back onto my own recognizance, which is enough to make it a sought-after experience.

Generally, despite my darkest fears and visions of a run-less future, my body does manages to heal itself, or at least reconstitute itself into a form that allows further training and running. After a few weeks, I will have completely forgotten about how I almost didn’t ever get to run again and resume taking running for granted.

But until then, I have some histrionic emails to send. Thank you.