Monday, February 27, 2012

Run #2


That's why there's training.

I finished a 5k this morning in 33:26. A few months ago I would have LOVED that time. But just yesterday I bragged to the 25-year-old that a good time would be less than 33 minutes. Ok, ok. Just typing that seems like I'm making a big deal out of 26 seconds. I guess it was more about how I felt during the run.

I had fresh new music playing. The weather was perfect. I started out fast. Too fast. I was picturing race day where there are all those people lined up and the adrenaline kicks in. It took about a mile to realize I was going too fast. Which also means that I also ran too far. I'm still recovering, and running a 5k in a good time might not be a reasonable thing to ask for every day.

So today's run was a good training run. I learned that I should start out slower, maybe do shorter faster runs, and just take my time.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

... like Donkey Kong

In case the 7 of you who regularly read this blog were worried that I was going to go all woo-woo soft on you... I just challenged the manager of the Massage Envy clinic I work in to a race. He's going to run the St. Paddy's Day 5k in Deer Park with me. And I'm going to beat him. 

"But Anna, should you be racing right now?"

"Um, Anna? You're running?"

"Anna, seriously?! You better beat him!"

Yeah, that's more like it. I need a challenge. Actually I need a reason to make running fun again. It's been too somber lately. All this talk of cancer and breathing and grounding and meditating and balance. Sometimes it's good to throw in a friendly ass-kicking once in a while to remember why "shut up and put your shoes on" came into being. 

The manager is 25, and a guy. I'm 33, and... well, me. It's actually going to be a fair fight. We'll see how it goes!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Run #1

Today was the first run post-Healing Touch treatment. It started fine, and then 2 minutes into it I realized I was listening to one of my favorite songs:

You wouldn't remember because you didn't hear me 
But I called you 
You couldn't hear me because you didn't know me
Yet I called you
Called you love, called you love before I knew you
Called you love in the time 
When I called this moment the future

So then I was crying. Like, actually crying while running. Not really sad crying, just happy releasing crying. I always thought about singing this song to Sawyer. Today I thought about the song being sung to me from the world. Like maybe I was called here on purpose. 

Have you ever heard the phrase, "an old soul"? People use it all the time to describe people who may have been reincarnated a few times before this life and have lots of innate experience. They are usually describing grounded, centered, calm, wise people. I have always admired it when people are called old souls. 

Today I made an important discovery. That's so totally not me. I really feel like I'm just figuring all of this out for the first time. It's like I'm a spiritual Alzheimer's patient. How can I go through 5 levels of Healing Touch, years of therapy, cancer, a marathon, parenthood, and STILL be surprised that "it's all about the journey"??

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm the Case Study


Do you even listen to yourself when you talk?!

List of things I have told people to do in the last 12 months that I DO NOT DO myself....

- get a massage at least twice a month while training for an event
- get a massage at least once a month when not training for an event
- use yoga weekly to balance out right and left sides
- make sure to eat regularly during the day, especially protein
- eat a large breakfast every day
- stretch your neck often during the day
- focus on your breathing, breath from your diaphragm
- be happy with the little progress you make each day
- don't worry about the time, just getting out there means you're doing great!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Overheard: Toddler Teacher

TT: (seeing Turkey Trot t-shirt) Oh, did you run the 5k or the half?

Me: The half.

TT: Huh. I run 5k's. I just don't see the point in doing any more than that.

Me: Well, for starters, you can eat like a half a pizza after you run 13 miles!!!!

TT: Ew. Why would you want to do that?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Step, Step, Repeat

I'm still getting my head around this vocal chord disorder thing. It hasn't gone away, and it's persistence is starting to wear me down. The good news is: I've started running again. I've been running exactly one mile every day. It takes me longer to get dressed to run this mile than to actually run the mile. The better news is: I've been running that mile consistently in 10 minutes or less.

The 10 Minute Mile is a huge deal for me. In 8th grade I remember overhearing that an A in gym would mean a 10 Minute Mile. Also, that it was easy for most students. I "overheard" it because I was sitting on the sidelines after pretending (for, like, the 8th year in a row) that I had twisted my ankle coming down the stairs on the way to gym class. Nothing major, just enough to produce a few tears but insist that I could make it through the rest of the day without ANYONE calling my mom.

[It was a pattern that would continue for the next 2 years in high school before I discovered "honors gym" where I would never be required to run at all. Ever.]

Monday, February 6, 2012



Didn't run today either.

In energy medicine, the throat is the seat of creative expression. How you tell the world who you are lives here. A lot of things need to be functioning properly in order for the 5th chakra (the throat chakra) to be healthy. First of all you have to be confident enough to know who you are. Then you have to figure out how to express that 'self'.

I have an excellent reason to stop running. I could move on to something else. I don't have to be a runner anymore. I could be.... a weight lifter. A swimmer. A yoga master. I could stop running and just take more rests during the day. I could tweak my diet to keep my weight down and just do a minimum of working out.

I have three follow-up medical appointments this month and a few more alternative medicine appointments too. I honestly can't imagine my life now without running, and races, and medals, and t-shirts. I know running is what I want to do, but is it who I want to be??

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Did Not Run Today

It's only been four days and I'm already cranky-pants about it. I won't run tomorrow either. A friend at work sat me down to ask me all sorts of advice about running. It made me frustrated. 

One medical article gets really personal and states: "Current literature emphasizes the treatment of psychological and emotional stressors..."  "...Indeed, some form of psychological dysfunction may be involved in PVCD. It has been suggested that athletes with a history of clinical depression... are at risk for PVCD. More commonly, athletic individuals with PVCD are identified as high achievers who strive for external validation and are likely to avoid situations involving confrontation. Further, these individuals' perceptions of third-party (i.e., parents', coaches') expectations may be exaggerated, and they are likely to feel alienated from their teammates."

So there's that. Thank you medical science for calling me a high achiever and an athlete. Of course, I recently decided to integrate Healing Touch into running and BAM! I get diagnosed with something that is clearly better treated without western medical science. I'm doing casual research both into the medical implications of this diagnosis and the Healing Touch 5th chakra influences. According to a user-generated website the fifth chakra relates to how honestly one expresses himself/herself. If you know me, you know I'm pretty adept at expressing myself. I mean, I'm writing a blog right now, right?? 

I know I have a lot of work to do. I have to settle with not counting up the miles for a while. And that's ok. I can do that. Breath in, breath out.

Friday, February 3, 2012

No, Seriously. Stop Running.

An ER visit Wednesday led to a 2-night stay for yours truly at Loyola. Thanks to the most amazing medical care I've ever received, or could ever imagine receiving, I'm finally home with a really interesting diagnosis:

Paradoxical Vocal-Chord Dysfunction

It mimics asthma in a lot of ways. So what I've experienced for the last 15 years as exercise induced asthma is actually my vocal chords closing whenever my heart rate gets too high. Plan of action? Stop running. Then start running slowly. Very slowly. Like, run a mile. Then wait a day, then run 1.5 miles. It's almost a 'couch to 5k' program.

Heck, maybe it'll be good to hit the reset button. It's the best feeling in the world to be laying my own bed right now, so that's what I'm going to focus on for a while.