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1 0 Posts in Gear
July 4, 2012

On Change and Challenge

On Change and Challenge

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~ Victor Frankl

I guess that one could say that change is the most predictable thing in life that you can’t prepare for. So why then, are we still surprised when it happens? We call it “unwelcome change” or say “the change was unanticipated” – but isn’t that almost always the case? Change is change. Who am I to judge if it’s good or bad or just different.

For just over a month pain has been hampering my ability to run. Frankly, it has hampered my ability to walk on someday (stairs are the worst), or sit comfortably. So yesterday I took the next step in treatment.

Lumbar epidural steroid injection is a long name for a procedure that involves placing a long needle into the spine and delivering a drug (in this case a ling acting steroid) to the precise spot that seems to be causing the trouble (in this case between my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. The hope is that over the next 3-10 days I get a whole lot of pain and symptom relief and then I can really get back to recovering and doing the things I miss including running.

Of course this also leaves open other possibilities. I might only get a little better. I might get no relief at all. I also have to assume that after this much time even if I had the most perfect outcome I’m still not going to get up in 10 days and start running where I left off. I have had a lot of moments lately of feeling pretty bad about the whole thing – sometimes that’s worse than the physical pain. Funny how the mind works like that.

To get out of that, one thing I do is ask myself: If not this, then what?

Nothing really beats running for fitting into my life. It’s portable, it’s adaptable, it’s efficient. I have come to rely on it in a way because I really can take running with me as easily as my laptop. But I certainly can’t do it right now and I don’t know when I’ll get the thumbs up to run again.

So today I bought a bicycle. Continue reading…

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May 28, 2012

Of Titles and Name Calling

Of Titles and Name Calling

Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.
~ Thomas Paine

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names
~ Chinese Proverb

On Mother’s Day this year  my mom gave me a gift certificate for my favorite running store. The card said “For your new-found passion.” As I was contemplating the cute new running skirt I had just seen in their mailer, I had this thought: My mom thinks of me as a runner.

Almost 43 years ago, and perhaps without even intending to, my mom gave me my first title: Daughter. I still hold that title along with mother, ex-wife, doctor, friend, boss and others. Mostly, I am comfortable with all of them.

Since I started running in June of last year, I have occasionally had someone call me a runner – sometimes seriously, sometimes as a joke. Mostly it has felt awkward and uncomfortable – like a thing I am trying on and I am not sure I am comfortable enough to wear it out in public.

I had a recent conversation about this with another friend who is a doctor. She didn’t understand why I was not comfortable being called a runner after nearly a year. It went like this: Continue reading…

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May 1, 2012

Socks…Again

Socks…Again

One can never have enough socks, said Dumbledore. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a pair. People will insist on giving me books.

~ JK Rowling, Philosopher’s Stone

Who would have know that I would develop a sock fetish when I took up running?

To read about where it all started, you can take a peek here at this entry wherein I write about my wonderful discovery of Balega socks. I love Balega socks.

So some number of months ago I had started to notice that after travel, running was harder for a few days. Sometimes, especially after long flights, mt legs would feel sore, heavy and they would ache when I would run. I asked a few runner about this and one – also a business traveler – dubbed this “jet lag legs”.

Great, a new symptom of jet lag. Some people really don’t suffer much from jet lag. I, on the other had can suffer for days – a week sometimes – which occasionally means I am never sure what time zone I am in and I feel like I am constantly adjusting. Now I learn my legs have to go through the same thing.

I Googled jet lag legs.

And low and behold, I found socks. Continue reading…

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February 22, 2012

Going On The Road, Hoping Not to Freeze

Going On The Road, Hoping Not to Freeze

Starting tomorrow, I am headed to Utah for the annual Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium.  I have been attending this event for the past 10 years, and I always look forward to it.  It is usually held in someplace snowy in mid-February, so the participants (like me) often spend a bit of time enjoying the local recreation.

I tried learning to snowboard for a few years, but this year I intend to go back to skis.

I also intend to try running in the cold. I am telling you all of this because – native beach girl that I am – I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cold. I love to look at snow, I love mountains, I love being in big snowy mountains. I just hate to be cold. When it comes to winter sports, I have done everything from cross-country skiing to winter camping – and as long as I can stay warm I am pretty happy.  But the minute I am really cold, it sort of sucks all the fun out of me.

Being new to running, I have not done much about gear.  Until a few days ago, I was thinking: Treadmill. Then I thought again. This year of running is supposed to be, in part, about having an experience and really learning about running and myself and my tolerances for all sorts of things. I have several upcoming trips to cold mountain-y places (Utah, the Austrian Alps, Lake Louise in Alberta…for work, I swear) so I figure that if I am going to have an experience of cold weather running I am headed to a few very beautiful locations to do just that. Might as well have some picture of snow-covered majestic mountains to contract with all my beach pictures, right…

Then I thought: I am going to be freezing. Continue reading…

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January 31, 2012

Socks…I Had No Idea (for James)

Socks…I Had No Idea

New socks.
Two socks.
Whose socks?
Sue’s socks.

~ Dr Seuss, Fox in Socks

So shortly after I start writing this blog I got a very enthusiastic note from my friend James Zervios. James is the Director of Communications for the Obesity Action Coalition, of which I am a board member. In the time I have known James, he has completely transformed his health and his body, losing over 50 pounds, lowering his blood pressure and more. One thing James has been doing is running.

So anyway, he send me the following note:

I thought of you the other day with your running blog. I finally ran in my new shoes and it made an incredible difference. But, there was something else that I thought was interesting. I bought “running socks” at Fit2Run in Tampa. Let me tell you that they made a big difference. I ran once with them and once with my usual cotton ankle socks. With the cotton socks, I developed blisters on my toes after a 9 mile run. With these, my feet were much more comfortable and no blisters. Anyway, just thought you might find the “sock” debate interesting.

He also sent me a link to the socks – if you are really curious, you can look at them here: Balega Hidden Comfort Sock

When I first started running part of the appeal was the (fantasy?) of the lack of stuff I would need. All you really need to run are the shoes right (and some would even argue against that…)? But here’s what I learned very quickly: You buy the shoes and then you need socks.

This actually happened when I went to buy my second pair of running shoes at the running store:

Guy at store: So what kind of socks do you wear?

Me (in my head): I am supposed to have an answer to that? Do I tell him that mostly I borrow from my 10-year-old’s sock drawer?

Continue reading…

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