Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gait Analysis.

Hey guys!  I feel like I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after a fun and busy Christmas weekend.

There are still huge piles of toys still in their boxes and a half-eaten pan of baklava on the kitchen counter, but hopefully after today our house will look a little bit less like a disaster area.

Last Monday, I went to see a physical therapist (who turned out not to be a gigolo after all), and he gave me tons of good information on my stress fracture and nailed down the contributing factors.  There are enough of them to warrant a full post on the subject tomorrow - so come back if you want to know how to  give yourself a femoral stress fracture of your very own.

After testing my strength and flexibility, measuring my legs, and doing some adjustments, he had me hop on the treadmill to videotape my stride.

I ran for a few minutes as he taped different angles... it was weird.  I couldn't relax and felt like I was swerving all over the treadmill because I was hyper-conscious that this guy was videotaping me from the waist down while I stumbled along in compression shorts.  Even worse, I had to hike my shirt up over my butt so he could better see my butt cheeks flopping around check my hips.

Anyway, I had to come back on Wednesday as there's a different guy in the office who is better at gait analysis.  We sat down in front of a big TV, and I got to watch my ass bounce up and down in HD at 1/10th normal speed.  It was like watching a train wreck, I couldn't look away.  He told me about a dozen things that were off - my knees come too close together when I run, I have too much upward motion, my knees are too straight when my foot hits the ground, my right hip is higher than my left... blah blah blah.

The fix?  Nothing.  It's like that Brian Regan joke where the eye doctor tells him he has one eye slightly higher than the other.  "It doesn't affect your vision or anything, I just thought you'd want to be self conscious for the rest of your life."

Do yourself a favor and watch this clip (and it's totally clean!  A first for my blog):

Yeah, he said my gait is good enough, but if I want, I can come in twice a week and run on a treadmill with a metronome while he charges me a million dollars an hour.  As nice as that sounds, I think I'll pass.

Have you ever had a gait analysis?

Do you feel self-conscious when people watch you run?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week in Review/ Plan for the Week

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  We had a great weekend.

I'm going to try something new - on Mondays I'm going to recap my training from the previous week, and lay out my plan for the new week.

It might be really boring to those not super interested in the details of my training, but I'd like to start incorporating a little more goal setting into the fitness part of my life.  

And, I'll be asking you what your favorite workout was from the week before, so we can share ideas and inspiration and maybe even get a little motivation from each other.  Okay?  Okay.

Week in Review: 12/19-12/25

This week started out really well.... until Wednesday.  My 1.5 miles on the TM caused some aching in my femur, so I basically took the rest of the week off.  
        • Monday:  Physical Therapy + walked .25, ran 1.25, walked .25
        • Tuesday: Wall sits, squats.
        • Wednesday:  Walked .25, ran 1.5, walked .25
        • Thursday: Rest
        • Friday:   Rest
        • Saturday:   Rest
        • Sunday: Walked/ran 3.1 (almost all walking), Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown.
Total Mileage: 9 miles
Total Workouts: 4
Favorite workout:  
I don't have many to choose from this week, but the yoga DVD was a challenging change of pace for me.  I think all of the balance exercises could translate into fewer running injuries (or is this my wishful thinking...?)  :)

Plan for the Week: 12/26-1/1

        • Monday:  Rest
        • Tuesday: .25 walk, 1.5 m, .25 walk
        • Wednesday: Cycle, swim, or row
        • Thursday.25 walk, 1.5 m, .25 walk
        • Friday:     Cycle, swim, or row
        • Saturday:   Rest
        • Sunday:   .5 walk, 1.6 m, .5 walk (Virtual 5k)
Most important goal for the week is to rest the femur if I'm feeling that aching again.

What was your favorite workout last week?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Swimming Can Suck It.

Well, the honeymoon is over.  All of those rosy thoughts that I shared earlier in the week about training for a triathlon?  Gone.

Kim early this week:  

"Ooh.. a triathlon!  How positively divine!  Where do I sign up?"

Kim now:

 "F**k this."

Why did I think I liked swimming?  I must have been drunk.  And remember how much my bits hurt with that one stupid spin class?

Yeah, I had a bad swim yesterday.  I felt so uncoordinated and whatever the opposite of hydrodynamic is.  So I'll give it another go today or tomorrow, but it really left me questioning my motivation.

Why do I want to do a triathlon?

Is it so I can have a body like this? 

Duh.  They just photoshopped her head onto my body.  Errr...

Is it so I can have bragging rights?

Kind of.

 Is it so I can get an awesome tattoo like this?

OK, maybe not, but it's pretty sweet.

Is it because maybe, just maybe, that I'm terrified that if I put all of my eggs in one basket (running) the next time I get injured I'll have to have myself committed?



To make me feel better, tell me something funny that happened to you this week.  See any funny websites/movies/mannequins?  Let me know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Longer Days and Even Longer Nights

Happy Winter Solstice!  Hooray for being done with the days getting shorter... I am looking forward to the extra moments of sun we'll be getting every day from tomorrow on (until June, that is).

I'm pretty sure my kids have been trying to turn me into an alcoholic.  

They have been having a harder time going to sleep and have really started to fight the bedtime thing.  By the time they are finally asleep, I am so ready for a beer I can actually here them calling my name from the fridge.

So when I saw this book mentioned on Fit in Heels' facebook page, I went to YouTube, and found this gem:

Go the F**k to Sleep
 narrated by Samuel L. Jackson

Ok, ok, I wouldn't really read it to my kids, but it made me laugh this morning!

Got a nice little 1.5 mile run in this morning as well as some rowing and swimming - femur is still feeling strong!

What's on your workout agenda for the day?

Are you offended by this book or do you find it as funny as I do?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ménage à Trois of Sports ... Indoors?

Seriously, if I was marketing a triathlon, I would totally christen my event the Ménage à Trois of Sports.  If you steal that, and get rich, you're frickin welcome you stealer.

My two big fears about triathlons are the open water swimming and the biking.  I am not thrilled with the idea of someone swimming over the top of me and then having to swim through the pee they left in their wake.

 I'm also not thrilled with the idea of having to ride my 15 year old Schwinn mountain bike with a bunch of other people, trying not to careen wildly off a cliff, and riding through the pee-mist trailing behind all of the experienced triathletes.

For the record you dirty triathletes - I had NO IDEA you actually peed while riding the bike.  This opens up completely new pee horizons for me to explore, and I couldn't be more thrilled/disgusted/intrigued.

Yesterday, several of you mentioned indoor triathlons.... which is EXACTLY what I am thinking.

I'm gonna catch you!
I found out that several rec centers in Wisconsin put on indoor triathlons, and  I am pumped!  They all vary slightly in format and distance, but most of them are as follows:

10 minute swim
10 minute transition
20 minute spin bike
5 minute transition
15 minute treadmill run

This sounds like way less pressure than a traditional tri - semi-familiar equipment, no rushed transitions, lap swimming, no weather/waves to contend with.

Have you ever done an indoor triathlon?

It sounds pretty freaking fun, doesn't it?

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'll Never Know if I Don't Tri...


Oh yeah.. these tri/try jokes are going to get old in a hurry.

I think I'll only do triathlons and relays from now on because I can "tri" to have a "relay" good time!  ha.  I kill myself.

Anyway!   The thought of a triathlon first floated its way into my noggin during one of my first swimming lessons.

It just seems like the natural progression of things:

  • Runner gets injured
  • Runner must become less obsessed with running to curb desire to fling oneself off of high building.
  • Runner becomes more obsessed with "cross-training"
  • "Cross-training" becomes actual training.  
  • Runner can run again, continues multi-sport training.
  • Triathlon.

I'd like to interrupt this delightfully bullet-pointed list to point out that if this were the true natural progression of things, this spring I would surely be competing in a pentathlon where participants would swim for a while, spin for awhile, get roughed up by a ferocious female boot camp instructor, drink two vodka tonics, and run a 5k.

That would be an interesting statistic:  how many runners do their first triathlons as a direct result of injury.  I think it's probably 37%.*

So, I'm going to draw on the experience of all of you experienced triathletes, as well as all of the runners and anyone else who has an opinion ....

Have you ever done a triathlon?

If not, why not, and would you ever consider it?

If so, tell me in three words why I should tri!

* 64% of all statistics are made up.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Oh yeah baby.

With my neck muscles still sore from the most violent vomiting I've ever had (you're welcome for that visual), I rocked out a mile at a blistering 9:30 min/mile pace.  It was glorious.
This picture is totally not from today, but I wanted to convey my triumph
 without photo proof  that I haven't showered today.  Or brushed my hair.   Oops.

It was the first full mile I've run since August 13th.  And it feels good.

On Monday I have an appointment with some dude to do a gait analysis.

The problem is that I was so pissed at my doctor's office last time I talked to them that I didn't even pay attention to what the dude's name is, exactly where his office is, or even what his specialty is.  Is he a physical therapist?  A sports medicine doc?  A gigolo?  I have no idea.

My appointment is at 7:00am, so I'll be wandering around the hospital bright and early knocking on doors and tugging on candy stripers' aprons hoping someone can help me find my appointment.

I am very excited to get an evaluation and start to address some of the bio-mechanical issues behind the stress fracture so I never, ever have to go through this junk again.

I also have some exciting news about something I may dive into... I'll be posting about it starting Monday!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Injury Recovery Program

Hey, good morning everyone.

As always, I super appreciate all of the kind comments on my injury post yesterday.... so THANK YOU!

When I was looking for a training program to help me ease back into running after 3.5 months off, the one that I found was Pfitzinger's stress fracture recovery program.

It turned out to be way, way too aggressive.  Two runs in and I was feeling twinges in my femur, so I took another two weeks off and started my own plan, with the guidance of the super sweet Morgan (who is RUNNING again!!!)

I wanted to detail my plan so if it works, people can look at it as an option for a recovery program, and if it doesn't I'll be able to see my mistakes in black and white.

So!  I waited until I was completely without pain for about 8 weeks - I could hop on my injured leg and could walk briskly for 90 minutes without pain.

I've been running three days a week.

Week 1 - .25 mile walk .25 jog .25 walk.25 jog .25 walk and then add .25 jog if no pain.
Week 2 -    .25 walk, .5 jog, .25 walk, .5 jog, .25 walk .5 jog, .25 walk
Week 3 -   .25 walk, 1 m, .25 walk
Week 4 -    .25 walk, 1.5 m, .25 walk
Week 5 -  .25 walk, 2 m, .25 walk
Week 6 -  .25 walk, 2.5 m, .25 walk
Week 7 - .25 walk, 3 m, .25 walk
Week 8 - .25 walk, 4 miles, .25 walk
Week 9 - .25 walk, 5 miles, .25 walk

It seems like painfully slow progress, but I'm happy with any little bit of running I can do.

I'm also committing to myself to foam roll after every run, and incorporate quality cross training like swimming, spinning, rowing, and yoga to help my body become more well-rounded.

Yesterday, I finished week 2 pain-free, so tomorrow I get to run ONE MILE without stopping!!!

***If I don't ever update my blog again, I'd appreciate if someone could come find me.  I'll be fighting my husband and children for puking rights at the "cleaner" toilet in my house.  Bring Gatorade, Immodium, Pedialyte.  All four of us are pukey sick, and it's pretty much the worst thing ever.***

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Injury Timeline: Don't Try This at Home

Hey guys!

Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments of support on my return to running... it's been slow, but wonderful!

As runners, most of us have faced injuries that take threaten our training... and our sanity.  I have had a lot of injuries in the past year, and in the crystal clarity that is hindsight, I see that I certainly could have done things differently.

December 2010:  Started running again after a few month break that was nursing still-only-sleeping-three-hours twins.  I started slowly, less than a mile the first run, and ran three days a week for a month or two before I was up to three miles, three times a week.

Foam rolling with help.
January 2011:  I got the ol' shin splints. No stranger to shin splints, I got new shoes, iced, rested, taped, massaged, Sticked, foam rolled, drank beer.  (The last one is critical for recovery... the alcohol... it... ahhhh.. relaxes the inter...connectal......)

February, March 2011:   Cut my running down to one or two days a week due to shin splits... basically just suffering through one long run a week.
Oshkosh Half - the rufflebums
got me through!

April 2011: Hobbled through the Oshkosh Half Marathon.  Finally went to see a sports medicine doctor, who took X-rays, and told me she didn't know what was wrong, but I needed to rest.

May 2011:  Saw a physical therapist.  Diagnosed me with Posterior Tibial Tendinitis, and mandated 6 weeks off running.  Ultrasound therapy, stretches, strengthening with the PT twice a week.

June 2011:  Running again!  Very little to no pain on most runs.  YAHOO!!!

July 2011:  Still running, up to 15 miles/week.  At the end of July, experienced a terrible run with tremendous quad pain.  Took two weeks off... and...

Hey dumbass, you broke your leg!
August 2011:  Ran the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  Went to my primary care doctor, was referred for a bone scan, and found multiple healing tibial stress fractures and a fresh femoral stress fracture.

September, October, November 2011:  Heavy drinking.  Lots of crying.  No running.

I don't think I'll ever know if running through all of those "minor" issues at the beginning of the year caused my stress fractures, but I do know I made three HUGE mistakes.

What being stupid does
to your legs.
#1) Training for half marathon with shin splints.  Not smart.  I should have not run Oshkosh and thrown all my hard-earned money at a physical therapist right away.  

#2) Training for a half marathon with shin splints/tendinitis/stress fractures in six weeks with virtually no running base.

#3)  Running a half marathon when I suspected I had a femoral stress fracture.  Super not smart.  

So there you have it.  I'm an idiot.  So that's why I'm being extra smart about my recovery... with a few idiot moves thrown in... but overall I'm being very cautious.

 I'm going to detail my plan here tomorrow, and hopefully these posts will help someone out there not be such an idiot.

But if you do choose to be an idiot and run through an injury, I'll buy you a beer and we can ice/stretch/foam roll and drown our sorrows together.  :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Businessmen

My boys are now almost two, and they are in this awesome phase where they are busy, all of the time. 

Their aimless, wildly energetic running around has turned into very purposeful, wildly energetic running around.

They always seem like they are on their way to do something important.  Sometimes I feel like I should put little business suits on them and give them briefcases and then they can be like the hurried businessmen dashing about  in New York city... except my little businessmen crap their pants and cry several times a day whereas most of those Wall street guys probably do not.

So the other night, I sat down and watched them and really tried to imagine what they were thinking while they were hurrying about...

Hey, where's my brother?
There's my brother!
I'd better tackle him to say hi!
Hey, a kitty!
Hey, kitty!
He's running away!
I'd better tackle to him to say hi!
I bet he wants me to lick his face!
I'm hungry!
I love buttons.
A lightswitch!
This is hilarious!
What's that under the couch?
I can't reach it!
I reached it.
This is sticky.
This doesn't taste good.
I'll just keep it in my mouth for awhile.
I want cheese!
String cheese!!
More cheese.
More cheese.
I hate this highchair.
Get me DOWN!
I hate everything!
I'd better tackle him to say hi!
Where's my brother?
Is he hiding?
Not in the cabinet.
He's not in my diaper..
AHHH!! There he is!!!
Hey, he is naked!
I could be naked!
Hey, there's my weiner!
I frickin love my weiner.
Hey, I should pee on the carpet right now!



Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Monday to me... and a winner.

As I was clearing off the boys' trays after breakfast this morning, I heard the unmistakable sound of something being dropped on the hardwood floor.  Not one big thing... more like the rain-like sound of a a million little things.

Here kitty kitty.

Somehow my little devils had gotten the cat food container out of the closet, opened it up, and spilled it.  

There was a lot of cat food.

Luckily, my obese kitty Gilligan is completely deaf and was unaware of this ruckus, or he would have waddled over and gorged himself... probably until he exploded.  I guess at 15 years old, it wouldn't have been the worst way for him to go... but for now he lives to see another day.


Thank you everyone who entered to win the necklace from White Lilie Designs.  Rafflecopter and picked the winner....

Congratulations Elizabeth!!

Today, I'm very excited for run #6 of my grand comeback - wish me luck!  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Urine Luck... it's Things I Hate Thursdays!

Oh yeah, I just did that.  Seriously, as I was writing the post yesterday I realized just how much I talk about peeing on my blog.... peeing and swimming, babies peeing on screen doors, radioactive pee, getting peed on in the shower at the Y.

Perhaps I should rename my blog.  Peeing in the Twin Lane.... catchy, huh?


This is not actually a urine themed TIHT.  I know guys.   Wipe away those tears of disappointment and soldier on.

There's nothing I hate about my husband.  He's wonderful.  There are, however, a few things my husband does that I don't really care for... and only one thing I really, really hate.

My sweet husband, in an apparent attempt to either make laundry easier or cause midday vomiting for his wife, does this:

When he takes off his socks, he pairs them, and then leaves them on the ground.  I think he just wants his socks to stay buddies and not lose each other through the crazy laundry journey, and I appreciate his intent.

However, what actually happens is I pick up the socks, and inspect them for visible signs of dirtiness.  Usually, they look fairly clean, and I'm not going to create extra laundry by washing perfectly clean socks.  I'm also not going to put dirty socks back in his drawer, so I give them the ol' sniff.

Apparently, one of my shortcomings that was coincidentally first noticed when doing the poop-check-butt-sniff on my babies, is that I can't just take a little sniff of something.  It's all or nothing.

And when I take a huge whiff of worn-all-day dress socks and I'm expecting them to smell like sunshine and laundry soap, it pretty much ruins my day.

What's getting under your skin on this beautiful Thursday?  

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a beautiful, customized running necklace!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Swimming - The Pee Dilemma

Hey, good morning!

Had a great swim last night.  It was the first time I felt like I could swim using the front crawl indefinitely.  OK, maybe not quite indefinitely, but I wasn't gasping and sputtering and generally flailing about after two or three laps like I normally am

Also - I realized that my relative sufficiency in the side stroke is entirely dependant on the holding of a full, opened beer just above the water level.  Apparently, using two arms really throws off my stroke.

The stroke gets even better while drinking.  (That's what she said.)

After my swim, I headed to the showers.  I realized I really had to pee, so I about-faced and made a quick stop at the crappers instead.

So there I am, soaking wet, needing to pee.  In a one piece suit.  Let me tell you what I don't want to do.  I don't want to wrestle the straps off of my shoulders, pull my suit down, pee, try to get that wet spandex back up over my boobs, jump up and down repeatedly in the process, and then walk the 10 feet back to the shower and do it all again.

This conundrum brought me to a solution I was shocked to have never thought of before.  Could I just move the little crotch panel over a few inches, and do my business?   Is that gross?  Or genius?  Because that's what I did.  Worked like a charm.

Now, I realize I am definitely outing myself as one of two things.  Either I'm an idiot who in all of my years on this planet has never thought of this super simple solution to what has to be one of the major issues of lady swimmers everywhere, OR I am just a disgusting, lazy woman with no semblance of personal hygiene standards.

Either way - I do just want to throw these little things out there before the masses judge me.  Numero uno - I've never worn a one piece bathing suit before.  Numero dos - I always swim in a lake, and you can bet I'll be peeing in there like my life depended on it.

How do you pee in a one piece?  If you think I'm disgusting, for this issue or any other - now is the time folks.

Also, how do you count laps when you're swimming?  That arithmetic is harder than trying to figure out splits at mile 11 of a half marathon.

C'mon, you love peeing in lakes, right?  Major discussion at my cottage last summer about this very issue.  In fact, when the question was asked as we floated in a circle in the lake, easily half of my friends raised their hands that they were peeing.  Right then.  These are my kind of people.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Long Road

This stress fracture recovery has been one of the more challenging things in my life, and I'm happy to report I have some great news to share.

I ran.  Twice.

On Thursday morning, I realized that a lot of my recent anger was the lack of control I had over my return to running plan.  My doctor had seemingly pulled a date out of thin air - December 5th - to start running again.  I can't see how four days could make a damn bit of difference, and the disregard of authority for authority's sake pleased me (as usual).

I decided Pfitzinger's plan was a bit too aggressive, so with the help of a fellow stress fracture sufferer, I modified it a bit.

The run was great!  I walked .25 miles, ran .25 miles, walked .25 miles, ran .25 miles, and walked .25 miles. No pain, no aching.

Two days later, on Saturday, I did the exact same thing but added on an extra set of .25 run, .25 walk.  No pain!

Today, I plan to add on another .25 running, and then hold that mileage steady for a couple of runs before I increase it.

We'll see how it goes, and I know I have a long road of recovery ahead of me, but I'm happy to finally be on it.  :)

There's a race I do every year in March sponsored by the Point Brewery because my dad was a huge Point-o-phile (just go with my made up word, ok?), and I will do it this year even if I have to walk it.  Of course, I want to run it (hopefully with my non-runner brother like last year).

Me and my brother at the Point Bock run 2010

This goal is helping me stay focused on the long term, and not just go downstairs and run on my treadmill til I keel over.  :)

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gender Equality in Bathroom Advertising

Ha - so last night, I was with my friend Matt at a local watering hole throwing back a few brewskis, and he came back from the bathroom laughing about a sign above the urinal. Naturally, I sent him back in to the loo to snag a picture with his fancy phone, and this is what he came out with:

Yes, that's an ad for "All Things Jerky", and the tagline is "Exotic Meat... That's what she said."


Super hilarious. 

But then I started thinking... you know what?  Women's bathrooms never have awesome ads like this. Where's women's lib when we need it?  All of the ads I see are for engagement rings and divorce lawyers and diet pills.  

A beer and half later, nature called and I headed to the ladies' room.  Much to my surprise and delight, I  saw an equally awesome ad for the same company on the stall door.

I don't have a "fancy" or "fully-functional" camera phone, so it doesn't take  as "nice" of pictures.
That's right.  "All Things Jerky - Try My Nuts".  Apparently the jerky is not the only thing that woos the masses...  they're also famous for their deep fried peanuts.  Welcome to Wisconsin ladies and gentlemen.

And what do I like more than the excessive use of "air quotes"?  Nothing.  But gender equality in bathroom signs is a close second.  

Happy Friday.  Oh yeah - I ran yesterday.  Shhh.. don't tell my doctor.  :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running Necklace Giveaway!

Super excited to bring you a giveaway from an awesome company - White Lilie Designs.

This company is great.  Here's a description from their Etsy site:

Drawing elegance and strength from natural beauty, White Lilie Designs
creates original jewelry that is handmade in Burlington, Vermont.
Combining varied textures and colors with original wire wrapping
techniques, each piece is a unique creation. Individual elements are
carefully hand-selected and delicately balanced with sterling silver and
gold filled beads and clasps to create an organic look.

I've been working with Becca, who is super sweet and extra accommodating to special orders.  You guys are going to be excited when you see the necklace she sent me:

Runners Necklace, Half Marathon, Personalized Quote Running, Marathon Necklace, Running Pendant, Marathon Congratulations
Just like this, with a purple Swarovski crystal instead of the red.  Gorgeous.

A stunning and simple 16 inch sterling silver 1.0 mm ball chain from Italy with three
sterling silver charms attached. All are sterling silver : one a beautiful delicate oblong
shape that reads, "Enjoy The Journey" The other charm is a 11 mm circle pendant with the hand stamped, 13.1 to honor the half marathoner, also you can choose a Swarovski crystal color of your choice!! Someone completed a marathon instead? We can change it!

It was sent in a box which contained this fancy schmancy gift bag:

  Yay!  Pretty bag = less wrapping presents!

To get an idea of the length:

When will I learn to not lean my head towards the camera?  It's giant enough already.

Becca has offered one of these beautiful sterling silver necklaces to a lucky winner.  The coolest part?  You get to customize your own color, and choose 13.1 or 26.2 on the charm.

This would be the PERFECT gift for someone that completed their first half or full marathon this year, or who is going to tackle it in 2012.... go check out her store and finish out your Christmas shopping!

And then, enter the giveaway!  Open for entries until midnight on December 9th.

If you haven't entered a giveaway using Rafflecopter, don't worry!  It's super easy to use - just click each item for instructions, then do whatever it says, and click I Did This!  That's it!

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