Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me! and other thoughts

First and foremost, the latest editions to the Fred's Team Honor Roll:




my amazing roomie and bestest friend LAURA QUINN


NOLA STUDIOS and the incomparable TUCKER HEWES

making the grand total to date:



I am honored to have so many people donate so generously to the Aubrey Fund on my behalf. Please know that I am not taking that commitment lightly. If you can dig deep into your pocket, I can dig deep into my soul and my energy reserves. And I am. Read on...

Last time I posted was the day before the 15-miler. On my Buckeye Outdoor training log for the 23rd, which may still be on the sidebar (if it's not, you can check it out by clicking on the "View My Entire Training Log" link at the bottom of the sidebar scroll. Or not. Reading a training log is as much fun as, um, reading a running blog let's move on quickly...) So anyways, I wake up Sunday morning, go to the bathroom, eat my pre-long run success meal of a bagel with honey and a banana, go to the bathroom, get my gear ready, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom. Can you see a pattern here, ladies? Ladies will "get it" because ladies will get it. Give up? Keep reading...

So I head out to the meeting point at the Fred Lebow statue (where else?) at the Engineer's Gate. We're doing 15, 3 5-mile loops, an informal run because it's the day after Yom Kippur and also there was the Queens half-marathon that day. PS: I am bad, and didn't fast. Plus, I had dinner Saturday night at Peking Duck House. Then again, it was Chinese food...but I digress. The informality of the run meant we could kind of mess with the route a little. I wanted to end the run at 58th Street, so I decided to do a 6-5-4, so I could get off at my house. One full loop, one five mile of the upper loop, cutting off at 72nd, and then do the upper loop, but instead of cutting off at 72nd Street just keep going south to Columbus Circle.

The run begins, and all is well until about mile 3. Then I notice that every step sends a knife through my bladder, that immediate stinging pain that feels like you have to pee NOW. It's like (step) ow, gotta pee (step) ow, gotta pee.

I'm talking about a bladder infection, people. TMI, I know, but lemme tell you a fun fact or two about bladder infections. First off, women get them more than men because our urethra is much shorter, giving bacteria and other bad news a much easier way to get in. And while there are a myriad of disgusting ways to get a bladder infection, one of the more amusing ways involves a lot of bouncing up and down. Sex. Or in my case, running. That irritates the bladder and the urethra, and when you combine that with sweaty shorts or underwear, and whatever bacteria lingers after a run -- or a roll in the hay -- well, there ya go. For those lucky few who never experienced one, one of the more annoying symptoms is what I described above -- the never-ending feeling that you have to go to the bathroom, even though you really don't. And when you DO go, it doesn't provide any relief. You feel like you have to go again almost immediately.

No fun in general. Less fun when you have to run 15 miles. This has happened to me before, when I've done a long run with a bladder infection, but at least that time there were a lot of restrooms around (it was a race day, so portapotties abounded.) On Sunday, only the Loeb boathouse toilets were available, and there was only TP in one of the 4 stalls. Somehow I was able to keep my pace up until the end, when the annoyance of my bladder wore me out.

I was hoping that it was a mere bladder irritation, as the moment I stopped running, it stopped hurting. So I spent the rest of the day drinking water and cranberry juice until I became a regular fountain. No fever, nothing hurt -- when you've got an infection, you can actually feel your kidneys, it's pretty freaky.

What was more irritating than the irritation is that ever since the first infection I have been so careful about staying clean that I went to the extreme of changing my underwear right out in the open after the 16 miler in the Park a couple of weeks ago. Unashamedly dropped my drawers, covered only by my jacket. How could this happen again? So I decided it didn't.

Monday the fountain continued. Didn't help that it was the first day of school, and I was leaving class literally every 15 minutes. Again, no fever, nothing hurt -- why am I telling you all this? Who wants to know about my bathroom habits? And why am I even sharing them?

Brief intermission. You know what commercial I hate? Marie's dressing. The one where the woman daydreams about salad for dinner with Marie's bleu cheese, then her husband calls her wondering when she'll be home for dinner, and when she says after she picks up some salad dressing, he goes into his own little bleu-cheese reverie, this one about hot wings and the ball game. This commercial disturbs me on so many levels, but here are the three biggest ones. First off, the husband is sitting at home literally feet from the kitchen and he can't make dinner? Secondly, both the husband and wife's idea of a perfect evening don't involve their mate. How sad is that, the wife prefers a salad to her husband. Lastly, if you have the "pleasure" of watching this commercial, look in the background behind the husband. It's their son, staring forlornly into an open refrigerator. Why are neither of these people paying attention to this poor boy? There he is, wasting away in front of them while they indulge their selfish cheese-fueled fantasies.

Okay, Tuesday was my big old BIRTHDAY. Amazing how many times I can turn 29! How did I celebrate? With a trip to the doctor's office. If I can't get a simple toothache without it turning into a wisdom tooth extraction, why should I expect to have a simple irritation? So I gave up and called Dr. Thornton. Yes, that's her on the Honor Roll. How many people go to the doctor and walk OUT with a check? But that's because she's a great doctor, and a cool person.

Medicine in hand, I went to the evening workout. Nine repeats of Cat Hill, three sets of 3. First set easy, second medium, third set -- first repeat hard, second medium, third slow. Tonight was a big team night on the Hill, lots of running clubs there; it was a big assembly-line up and down the Hill. Kind of like the Zipper ride at the amusement park, only you don't spin upside down. I went to it with new vigor, remembering what I read in Psychology Today about learning to embrace the challenge, to love the uphill better than the downhill. I decided that for my birthday present, I wanted for my fast repeat to get up Cat Hill in less than 2 minutes. Normally I'm just over 2 minutes on my moderate-hard ones. So when it was time for that repeat, I put "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights" on the iPod (thank you, Meat Loaf!!!!) and charged up that hill like the proverbial bat out of hell (pun intended.) Three-quarters of the way up it really started getting hard to keep the pace, but as hard as I tried to convince myself to slow down, I refused to listen. I literally said, "You can do it!" and pushed even harder.

1 minute 43 seconds.

Happy birthday to me!!

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