Finding myself in a continual state of undress

Blah blah blah I’ve been running and working out regularly again. w00t

Blah blah running vacation to the Grand Tetons (I’ll get to that in a later post, because it needs talking about)

Blah blah haven’t blogged in 5ever (I was afraid to jinx it)

Can’t get to all of that because I need to talk about nakedness. Specifically nakedness at work.

You see. If you are a person with a full time office job. And are physically active. You spend a ridiculous amount of time naked or half naked in the bathroom, conference room, or weird sort of back cube area of your office.

For realz, a typical week I’m been down to my skivies or less at least 3 of 5 days.

Monday: Cross train – nakey time at the gym. Office is spared

Tuesday: Run, post work. Strip off everything except the bottoms. Rebuild in athletic wear

Wednesday: Cross train – gym again

Thursday – Lunch yoga. I am incredibly fortunate that my office offers free yoga. And that I can go. And sometimes in the nice weather it’s even outside. And it’s not the most intense class but I like to wear dresses and those aren’t good for yoga. Also. Sweat. So again, down to the bottoms and built back up, though this time with less socks and shoes changed. Yay bare feet!

Friday: Run – again, near complete wardrobe change.

And then there are days like today. A run before work or a run to work that ends in a shower. We have a shower in the office (again, I’m really fortunate). But there’s something just a little extra special to be standing soaking wet in a towel in the bathroom your company shares with 5 other companies. And by special, this morning as I was getting dressed trying not to give a peep show through the crack between the curtain and the door opening (sidebar: have we really not learned how to oversize these curtains? For serious. It’s like a law of the universe that a changing room/shower curtain is never as wide as the opening. Let’s not even ever dream of it being wider!). I was standing there drying off and I listened to not one, not two, but THREE women come in and then have that stand off of “I need to do number 2 and I cant do it with you. Here” (damn, that almost rhymed). At this point I was dressed but had wet hair and no make up. I did the make up fast (yay sheer laziness minimalist stylez) and then realized I had no hair mousse so skedadled upstairs to beg from co-workers and dry my hair in that bathroom. Sho nuf, I walked into my office to drop of my bags and find something for my hair and I got met with not one, but two crises. It wasn’t even 8:15! So I dealt with those and then got to dry my hair. I wonder if those women are still in a stand off down there?

All of this is really to point out that at this point, I don’t really care that I’m naked. Changing enough times in a gym locker room or squeezing in a quick change in the parking lot of a public park (what? like you’ve never done that. Sure) will knock most modesty right out of you. It’s already so much work to change. Why would I spend more time and effort trying to find a private place?! Really, It’s more annoying than anything. Because I already got dressed once. And now I have to undress and twist myself into more weird supportive undergarments and a whole different pair of socks and then my earrings get caught on my gym shirt and the necklace I take off ends up in a knot in the pocket of my gym bag. Plus I have to carry that extra bag everywhere. Lame

Yes, I do now own some cuter workout clothes but if they can be worn in the office, they’re really not meant for a full on workout. And if they can stand the heat of a tough workout, it’s probably not something I can  pop into the board room in.

And I think the danger now is that I’m so comfortable in gym locker rooms sometimes I forget I’m not in an actual locker room. I mean, I’m not changing at my desk. We’re not giving out this show for completely free. But sometimes I run back to my desk after I change. And then I get caught checking an email. That needs some attention. And a half hour later, I’m sitting at my desk hip deep in a huge disaster of a document in a sports bra and t-shirt. And there’s been an occasion or two when I only had half my yoga clothes that I’ve just gone into a little alcove and done a quick change. I’m still paying enough attention that there haven’t been any close calls. But you know that’s coming, right? It’s gotta be inevitable at this point.

Maybe I just should just start wearing sports bras under my dresses and go running in those.

I’m so mad at my knee.

I’m pissed. And not in a “Liz sometimes yells a lot but she’s not really yelling, she’s just processing out loud” kind of way. But in an “I’m mad and there’s nothing I can do about it so I’ll have to get over it but I can’t do that yet so I’m just going to be cranky af” kind of way. And I’m going to vent here, in the hopes of sparing all the people I will come in contact with today. You choose to read this. They did not choose to run into velociraptor-Liz.

My knee still hurts.

Yes, it’s only been 6 weeks, but I was making progress. I ran last Tuesday and had no pain after. My muscles were sore; sore like a good workout sore. And on Wednesday I breezed into PT on cloud nine because 24 hours later it felt fine. We did my one month evaluation and I scored everything so much lower than my initial visit. And my range of motion was more equal between both legs. And I could stand on my bum knee with my eyes closed for a full 45 seconds (up from 26!). The Physical Therapist congratulated me on so much progress in a month and said “you see, this is what happens when you do all your exercises at home and work hard at your appointments”. We did a few new exercises and beat the shit out of my hip flexors and I left there feeling awesome.

3 hours later I was standing at the Paradise Rock Club to see a favorite band of mine, the MisterWives, play. The crowd was insane! Everyone was screaming so loudly and rocking out and you could tell the bad was absolutely stunned to receive that kind of reaction in Boston. It’s a concert I won’t ever forget. And then I was on the T on the way home and the knee pain shot out almost as bad as when I first went to PT. Almost as bad. Not as bad. Still. I had quite the limp on Thursday. And my plan to go run went out the window. It still hurt on Friday. And even a little today. I’ve done my exercises. I’ve foam rolled. I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to. And still, 3 hours of standing did me in.

How am I going to run 13.1 miles in 7.5 weeks?!

Trial run; An Actual Run

I ran. I went running. I got up on a Tuesday morning so I could run.
I went to PT on Monday and we did some exercises. That woman loves to just beat my quads and hamstings and glutes to death like it’s her favorite thing. It’s a little bit my favorite thing, too. Because it’s hard. And it’s physical. And it’s not me sitting on a couch waiting for the pain to stop. The harder I work, the less pain I have. And isn’t that point? So I push for one more until my muscles shake with effort and sweat is pouring into my eyes.
Last week we added some plyometrics. It was that first ridiculously nice day in Boston after the time change. All the runners were out, taking advantage of 55 degrees and full sun at 5 pm. Seeing all those runners I couldn’t help but ask “so when can I run”. And she said the magic words “very soon”. You can bet I stuck to my PT exercises all week.
Monday we did some warm ups and there was zero pain. She put me on the treadmill to walk. And I thought “this is so good. Walking is before running. I’ll walk today and then I’ll get to run on Wednesday!” And then she had me bump my speed up to a run!! It was for only about 2 minutes. Just long enough to evaluate my form and point out a few things in my stride. Then we worked a little more, doing this sliding lunge thing that is hard and uses so many muscles but is so good. And then she asked if I thought I’d have time to run that week. I said yes so fast, you’d have thought she offered me a million dollars.
After flying to Detroit Monday night for a quick 12 hour family thing, I was in the hotel bed at 2:30. And got up at 5 so I could run. It felt crazy, but what was 45 minutes more on a 2 hour nap. And I was going to get to run!
I ran 1 minute and walked 4. The running was great, the walking boring. But it was just me, a fancy treadmill in a sad airport hotel, and the pitch black that is 5 am in Detroit. Doesn’t matter. It was a run.

This is Your IT Band on PT

There hasn’t been any sweat in my life in 5 weeks. This cat understands me, on a deep deep level.

He just. He gets it. Just like me, there’s no running. There’s no participating in all the physical activities that make him feel great. There’s no chasing mice. Ok. Maybe that last one isn’t like me. But his sad little nod and bandaged leg is on point.

Another week of RICE on my left knee after that last post, it was feeling better. I was pumped. I thought for sure a couple more days I’d be golden. And then I kneeled on it. And the heat of a thousand suns exploded inside it and for 24 hours I couldn’t move it. Which made packing and hauling a week’s worth of stuff down from Jennie’s 3rd floor apartment after dogsitting super, super fun. That finally pushed me over the edge; call the doctor. To be fair, I wanted to do it sooner. But I kept being away from my phone when it hurt and forgetful when it wasn’t hurting. This time, it hurt all day, real bad. And I remembered. I went to see my primary care, she poked around, and sent me to PT.

I asked around and settled on Joint Ventures in Boston after a few strong recommendations. And those recs were spot on. My PT is awesome. That’s not to say that I don’t have terrible, mean, awful words in my head when I’m in the torture therapy room. But she’s great at answering my questions. And explaining why my IT Band is such an asshole and can’t kept its ish in line. And working out that, though the excruciating pain is on the inside of my knee, my overall gait is whack and its both my MCL and my IT Band at fault. Couple of jackasses I’ve got there in my left leg.

PT it gets such a bad rep and I don’t really understand why. I mean, I do. Because it hurts like a mother. But I think it feels fantastic to have a person tell you to move part of your body a certain way, say, a leg lift, and then point out where you’re supposed to feel the movement, what you’re doing wrong when you’re feeling it in the wrong place, and how to fix your mistakes. When the right muscle groups fire and move my body in the way I want it to, I feel so strong and badass. Bodies are awesome. Until they punk out and stop working the right way. And that’s why I’m at PT. Plus! My physical therapist thinks I’ll be able to run in PT in two weeks. And then transition back to running on my own. And that is just the best news ever. I miss running so much (see cat above). And the Tetons are faaaaaaast approaching.

Except, well. There’s that pain thing. Despite my initial pain being on the inside of my knee, along my MCL, the PT assessed that my IT Band was way, way worse. And after my initial visit and some deep tissue message (owie) on Thursday I returned on Monday for the first of my “regularly scheduled” visits. And she said “I want to get right back into that deep tissue message”. And I remembered how much it hurt last time, but how much better my knee was feeling. So I stripped off my leggings, laid on the table, and tried to find my happy place. And then this time it was a million trillion times worse. And I can’t even hate the PT, because I could already feel so much of the icky stuff broken up at the end of the session, I know it will feel better when the initial soreness is gone, and my PT was just the kindest while she was attempting to knife murder my IT Band. Still. Possibly the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. And I have another appointment today and I’m terrified. Because it looks like someone slid for the game winning run right into my left knee – cleats first.

This is your my IT Band

This is your my IT Band on PT

(Let’s please ignore the blinding paleness of my legs in early March)

I’m really, really straight up scared. While I was getting dressed, I could already feel my stomach clenching. If she goes back for it today. I might actually cry. Except I think it hurts so much my body isn’t capable of crying. It’s too busy remembering to breathe. And not punch anyone. Do your IT band exercises kids!! The alternative is way worse!

Send ice cream (Damn it Liz, you’re trying to eat healthier).


Screw it. Send ice cream too. I can balance the pint on my knee while I eat, yes?

Knees are stupid

My whole left leg is a pile of straight up hurtness right now. I’m so mad. I’ve mentioned a little twinge in my knee a couple times. I’d rest it a couple days, the pain would leave, I’d run, and the next day the pain would come back, but not as bad. I’d rest it for longer, pain would leave, I’d run, no pain for a couple of days, and then I’d be walking home and bam! Pain. I haven’t run in a week. And the run I had last week was really feeling pretty good. My body felt like it had adjusted to a change in diet. I ran, I stretched, I foam rolled. And then the pain was back two days later. Thursday night I was walking through my apartment picking it up and the knee just seized and felt like it was on fire, though it didn’t swell and wasn’t hot to the touch. I rested it and then went to a weight lifting class with my Mom on Sunday. I tried squats, I did three and my knee said:


So I skipped the squats.

Sideline for a minute. This class. It’s a body builder that put a home gym in the basement of his house. It sounds a little dodgy, but he was really good at showing me the ropes (though a lot of the movements I’d done before) and set up some nice circuits. It was certainly a good workout. And I’d love to continue with a lot of the work we did. Except. It was a lot of shoveling muscles. And muscles needed to take off shoveling clothes. And Boston got 17 inches of snow on Monday. My arms were less than pleased.

Back to the “I’m-injured-and-just-want-to-go-to-GymIt” whining. I shoveled on Monday, the knee was feeling better. I rested it. I haven’t done anything other than walk. And then Monday night it totally seized again and today it’s killing me.

I’m going to foam roll tonight. And not yoga tomorrow (I think it’s bothering me today because my hamstring is tight). And give it a few more days. And if that doesn’t work, looks like I’ll get yet another doctors appointment.

I just want to run. I just want to train. I want to go beat the ever living daylights out of some workouts. And instead I’m hobbling around.




After all that pushing a little bit more last week, I woke up with a sore knee on Friday. I could tell it was 100% because of a tight calf that I forgot to foam roll. I skipped my Friday run and then headed to CT with a bunch of friends. Saturday morning at 8:25am I was still snuggled all warm in bed when Jennie came in, already dressed saying “we’re going running.” I think my response was “Now?!?!”. But without thinking about it, I got right up, put on layer upon layer and met the runners at the front door. Andy took a selfie of us. But maybe that thing should never see the light of day. It was damn cold. But pretty.

IMG_4595Really pretty. And then the long run was done for the weekend and I could gorge myself on friends, babies, beer, and excellent meals. My favorite things.

Then I came home and shopped and cooked for 3 hours to start the Whole30 on Tuesday. I won’t go into the whole thing, and I don’t really want to turn this into a Whole30 blog except how it pertains to fitness and running. But I’ll get into a little bit. There were a lot of factors leading me to try this and one of them was better running. The other was co-workers doing it at the same time. And overall just a fresh approach to eating after the sugar fueled holiday season. I waited to start until after last weekend because I knew the food would be good (I was definitely right).

The Whole30 cuts out diary, grains, legumes (except things in pods like green beans and pea pods), and added sugar. Oh. And no processed stuff. It’s basically what Michael Pollan says “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. Something I dreamed about but had yet to have any success at achieving. At least with Whole30 there’s a little guidance.

So far I’ve eaten egg muffins for breakfast (eggs mixed with roasted vegetables and cooked chicken baked in a muffin tin).


I don’t have any actual pictures because I’m always too hungry at breakfast to take a second and snap a pic. Whatevs. MS Paint never dies. Dinner and lunch has been the best chili I’ve ever made (thanks Le Cruset!)

IMG_4692Look at that mess on the stove! That’s how you know it’s good. And last night I made turkey burgers with a tahini sauce

IMG_4698I’m not terribly hungry. A little here and there. Nothing drastic. I will say; it’s been freeing to not be counting calories or Weight Watchers points though it’s a lot more planning and cooking. A lot. And I would knock over an unsuspecting toddler if he was standing between mean and a cupcake right now. But overall? Not too bad. My workout last night, though? Dead legs all around. Dead, I tell you.

I didn’t run Tuesday because I tweaked the same knee that was bothering me on Friday and I wanted to give it a nice good long rest. It worked and yesterday it was back to normal. I took that happy knee and climbed onto the stationary bike. The same bike as last Wednesday. The same workout as last Wednesday. And yet? So so so hard. I’m told it will get better. After a couple of weeks. WEEKS! Oy. Let’s not even talk about power core. I mean, yeah. My v-ups continue to improve. And I’m wracking up 1 minute planks left right and center. But it took my 45 minutes to get through 3 sets of 3 exercises. So much dead.

Still. 2.5 days down. 27.5 to go. Let’s just see what happens.

That 5% Push

I’ve got a draft of the Rock ‘n Roll half recap going. And maybe I’ll get to it. But I fell off this because I was sidelined. Sort of. You see, right around the time of my first 6 miler in 10 months, I noticed I was having trouble breathing while running. And walking up stairs and hills. I’ve been to see a doctor and we’ve eliminated some big things, but I’m still less than ideal. However. The Grand Teton Half Marathon in June isn’t going to run itself. I’ve decided I can just get used to this new normal while my doctors and I are working this all out.

I’ve laid out my training between now and June 20th. I’ve decided what I want to add or remove. I’ve chosen the diet I want to adopt. I have set my sights on this race. Because look at this thing.

Seriously. Shut up. That’s what I’m going to be looking at. For 6+ miles. For 4 or 5 days. I’m going to hike this (not to the top, you crazy???). I’m going to stand there with my runner friends from all over these United States and bask in the beauty of this. For this east coast girl, mountains like that are just surreal. And I can’t wait to see them.

Which is how I find myself sitting at my desk wondering how I’m going to get up and go to this next meeting. My legs are 100% Grade A jelly. On Monday I had this great bike workout at the gym and then hit my first ever 1 minute plank! I celebrated that with a run home on Tuesday (it was in the teens and still felt great. If you run in cold weather and don’t have a Buff, get into it. Fast). Last night I ellipticalled my little heart out and power core Wednesday’d – I got in all 36 v-ups!!! (Yeah, v-ups. Who’s your bitch now? Me. I totally am. You are still terrible. Please don’t hurt me.) Today is a rest day and we have yoga at work. But it’s not Bikram. Or power flow. Or anything particularly hard. It’s really just a focus on your body and make some specific movements type of class. Except today. The burn, ohhhh the burn. My quads reminded me of every little thing I did to them this week. And it feels amazeballs.

Despite the exhaustion, and overall inability to move right now, I know my body feels like this because I pushed this week. I didn’t get off the bike 12 minutes early because I was bored. I put on the Golden Globes monologue and distracted myself. I didn’t collapse 15 seconds into my plank. I heard my yoga instructor’s voice in my head to breathe into the tight spaces. I didn’t stop running and get on the bus. I didn’t give up on the last 2 v-ups in each set. At each moment of every work out, I pushed just an extra 5%. And that feels so so so so so good. I’m writing this now so that in 7 weeks when the novelty has worn off and there’s a random warm day when it’s reasonable to sit at a bar with the windows open instead of running, I’ll remember this moment and lace up my shoes. And then run to the bar.

Hearts and foam rollers!