Tomorrow's the Hot Chocolate 15K, the first "long" race I'll be running since the marathon. I'm a little nervous, for a couple of reasons. First, the longest I've run since the marathon has been just over 6 miles. Second, it's a strange distance, not quite a long race, not quite a short one, and I'm not exactly sure how to pace myself. Third, it's going to be COLD, and while I loves me the cold, it's going to be really cold (that reminds me of something, I'll get to it in a second.) And lastly, my danged pain-in-the-ass tendonitis has been acting up again. I ran the loop a few days ago, it was achy for the first mile, went away, then came back with a vengeance at mile 5. Grrr. I was really hoping that running less miles and less days would help heal this up. Guess not. I should call CPW and get another evaluation, but I'm afraid. The doctor suggested last time I was there that it might be partially sciatica, just like what I had a few years ago that ultimately led to back surgery.
Ten seconds of history: Two years ago I started getting shooting pains down my left leg. I thought it was a pulled hamstring, and tried to ignore it, but it got to a point where it felt that there was a knife constantly sticking into my leg. Turned out to be a herniated disk pressing on the nerve (or "disc," depending on your spelling druthers) and there ya have it. I never felt it in my lower back at all, it was only in my leg, which is why it took so long for me to figure out what it really was.
Tangent: I've turned "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" on. Wow. I thought "Rock of Love" was bad. This is just...jeez. She's pole-dancing at a fire house.
Anyways, you can see how I might be leery of seeing a doctor and being told it's another bad disk. Similar to the dentist: you get a tooth problem, you know you need to go to a dentist, but you know it's going to suck so you put it off, and the problem gets worse, etc. etc. I know I shouldn't self-diagnose, and I don't discount what the doctor said, but I'm pretty sure it's the plain old tendonitis he diagnosed, for the major reason that it hurts at the source. With the disk, my leg hurt like hell, but I couldn't feel any "pain spot" on the leg itself. With this, I can push on certain parts of my butt and it hurts. I went to my amazing chiropractor today and got a good adjustment and it did help a little. Tonight I'll do a big stretch and use some Icy Hot, which helped in the weeks leading up to the marathon.
Rest assured, though, I will take care of it. I'll be heading to Florida in a few weeks, to do two shows for the Caldwell Theater Company, and I will once again enlist the services of the WORLD'S BEST PHYSICAL THERAPIST, bar none, and that is Miri Ingwer. After my surgery, I went to a great PT place here in NYC, PhysioArts, that specializes in rehabbing people in the performing arts. They recommended Miri when I went down to Florida a few months after the surgery. Within six weeks, I was pain-free. She just opened a new space on Federal Highway in Boca Raton, and her phone # is 561-241-4411. Let me tell you, she is worth a special trip to Florida.
Oh, now Tila is giving someone's grandmother a lap dance. I must go wash my brain.
Back. What was I talking about? Oh, yes, the Hot Chocolate 15K. The other thing that's going to be weird is that since the marathon my "base pace," or what I naturally fall into when I run, has dropped to around a 9:00 mile. No complaints. But until I've gotten a few more races under my belt with this new pace it'll be strange figuring out how to, and when to, push the pace.
After the race I've got a bridal shower, then after THAT we're having a Fred's Team potluck dinner. It's going to be a busy, but great day.
Oops, almost forgot, the thing I was going to tell you about related to the cold, which is that thanks to cold weather, I joined Fred's Team! Let me explain. After surgery and rehab, my first races back were two 4 milers up at Van Cortlandt Park, which were part of a National Cross-Country Championship meet. Day 1, it was about 17 degrees out. Nearly everybody who was there hid in the baggage tent trying desperately to stay warm. After the race, I was on line waiting to get my bag (it took a while because people were changing in the tent) and in front of me is a guy in shorts. SHORTS. Turned out to be David Slutsky. I had to say something, and we got to talking, eventually travelling back downtown together. I mentioned that I was going to run my first NYC marathon that year, and he said "Oh, you should run with our Team." The rest, as they say, is history. Thank you, David, for wearing shorts in 17 degree weather.
Final tangent: My roommate Laura and I were at Bed, Bath and Beyond picking up gifts for the abovementioned shower. While waiting on the Customer Service line for the gift wrap, we watched a compilation DVD of a bunch of relaxation DVDs they were selling. So we see a few seconds of "Tropical Fish," "Sandy Beach," "Starry Night," and then they show "Bridge of Dreams," a bridge full of cars.
Laura looks at this and says , "How is a bridge full of traffic relaxing? It reminds me of going to the airport. This is making me tense!" So we started riffing on subjects for what will be our new line of NON-relaxing DVDs, with titles like "Traffic Jam," "Flight Delay," "Long Lines at the Store," and "Construction." So if anyone would like to contribute to our new venture, submit your non-relaxing ideas here!!
Next time: results from the Hot Chocolate 15K, and my adventures with the Nike+!