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.

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.



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!

4 miles

I ran 4 miles tonight. That’a the longest in quite a long while (8ish months?) I’ve been struggling to get past 2.5 so I was sort of shaking in my boots. Plus my back is cranky. Just before I was to hit a mile I thought maybe I’ll walk a couple minutes every mile. And I did. And it was suddenly way more feasible, and less deathy and even some fun. Now that I’m up to 4 miles and am running more than 25 minutes my brain starts to wander a little more. This is where it went tonight.

7:21 Damnit. My water bottle was open when I lay it on the ground to stretch. Now it’s mostly empty
7:23 run start
7:24 Crap, these capris have stretched too much. I hope they don’t fall down
7:26 Yep, and there goes my underwear with the pants
7:28 Ooh. Right. There’s a water fountain fills bottle
7:31 The Hood blimp!! And the Prue! And the sunset! I love it here!
7:36 stopped at a cross walk Are my elbows sweating?! My elbows are sweating! That can happen?!
7:40 running along the Harvard side of the Charles Oh there’s some community advisors doing group exercises
7:42: Wow it’s really nice out here tonight. This weather is excellent.
7:51: I can’t believe I’m far enough into training I have to start thinking about GUs
7:55: Oooooh I deeply regret the amount of cheese I’ve eaten in the last three days
7:58: crossing the Harvard pedestrian bridge Um. I think I’m going to stop here for a minute. Yup. I am. leaning over to touch my toes Oh yes. That’s amazing. Let’s do this for a minute
8:00: I dumped water from my water bottle AGAIN? Learn to close that thing, will you?!
8:02: Another community advisor group.
8:04: And another.
8:07: This is the worst. I hate it.
8:08: 3 miles. I’m really running. This is the best!
8:11: It’s kind of dark out here. I guess I have to start paying attention to sunsets again. DO NOT LIKE
8:18: Done. 4 miles! Woooooo!
photo8:19: Oooof. Let’s sit down for a minute

This is post run, but critical
8:45: Where’s dinner?

This is post dinner and waiting for laundry to dry
10:21: Can I sleep now please?

Hearts and moar summer please

I blinked and I’m a month closer to a half marathon

Apparently I decided July was the month of doing ALL THE SUMMER THINGS. And also ALL the work. All of it.

July has been:

Outdoor movies – The Postman Always Rings Twice with KP


A night up in Salem meant a crucial shoe decision that, of course, had to be texted to friends. I ended up with the nude flats, but should have gone for the red.



Beach time – this day I got a run in. It was a hard run that had come after a 10 day stretch of really terrible runs. And it’s possible I teared up a little at the end of this successful morning.


Pat Benatar – I didn’t know I had a life goal to sing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” at Pat Benatar at a Pat Benatar concert. But I did. And now I can cross it off my list. I hope we’re all still this badass in our 60s!






Fourth of July snacks and drinks on one of the best decks in America. This weekend was also full of cards, a run, boats, beach time, and good friends!


A quick work trip to Minneapolis – I got up before our business meeting and went for a run. This is from the stone arch bridge over the Mississippi River. I’m pretty sure runseeing (sightseeing by running) is turning into one of my favorite things. And it’s good I did because this trip yielded a multi-day hangover. Whoops.


More outdoor movies – this time with snacks and on the Charles


More beach!


Red Sox! – This was a good one. This picture is from maybe 9:30ish and I was still toasty in a tank top. Yeaaahhhh July.


Some time in Vermont helping out a team compete in the Harpoon BBQ Fest. That coffee was the best damn coffee of the summer. I’m spoiled forever.


There were also chicken hats but maybe the world doesn’t need to see that.

More Red Sox – they lost this one and now the season is just getting ugly. It was actually painful to watch parts of this game.



And still through all of that I’ve kept running. My cross training workouts are maybe closer to 50% commitment but I’m still getting the mileage and time in. And I know if doesn’t really count as cross training because my heart rate doesn’t stay elevated, but damn I’m doing a lot of stuff and that has to count for at least something. I can’t believe July is over. That means I’m another month closer to this half marathon. I’m still a little nervous, but a lot excited. In terms of running, I’m further than I’ve been in a long, long time. When I started to think about what the next few weeks will look like – running more at once than I ever have (without walking) – I get a little sick to my stomach. So instead I just think about the next run, the next work out, the next lace up. Because look at the shiny new shoes I get to lace up!


Of course I have plans tonight and got up early enough to run but then thought I’d have to leave early so I wanted to come in early so I packed a bag to bring clothes for tomorrow to work so I can run to work in the morning. I mean, for realz, this is my life. I’m having so so so much fun but damn if it doesn’t include a lot of planning. And a LOT of bags.

Hearts and maybe a nap?



A 25 minute brain reboot

I’m currently sitting on my living room floor eating and drinking this


I just can’t even tell you about this week. A lot of my job and reading and writing and so far this week looks like it’s 19 hours of meetings. Which means when I am at my desk, everyone and their mother stops by with a question. Don’t get me wrong. I like being busy. And my co-workers are asking important things. But man does my brain hurt. Seriously. I ended the day sitting on the floor in my cube because it seemed easier.

I was at work until 7:30 tonight. Which really isn’t that late for me, I don’t get in until 9 or 9:30 most days. But the time is important for two reasons. 1) the sun is starting to set earlier again and I had a run planned and 2) the power went out and with it being nearly night and also my desk is in a sort if basement thing it got dark. And I was alone. And I’m afraid of the dark. Still.

It came back on after 10 or 12 minutes and I was fine. But when I realized my gym bag was in the car I decided I didn’t want to come back into the office and could just change in the car at the park.

I did. And then I ran with no phone or music along the Charles under a beautiful sunset.


And my brain found some peace.

Plus I ran for 25 minutes no stopping. This is only the second time I’ve run more than 7 minutes in more than a year and the last time was two weeks ago when I made Jennie (with a head cold) run with me so I wouldn’t chicken out. I’m really quite excited about this. Maybe this half marathon isn’t such a terrible idea.

I want to write more but I have no more words and my third viewing of the Newsroom and my Hell or High Watermelon are calling my name. And soothing my soul.

Hearts and good mind clearing runs!

Summer funtimes scars

Scars. We all have them, both physical and emotional. People have written about them, sung about them, lectured on them. Scars show a map of where our journey has been. There are certainly scars and marks that are traumatic or bring up bad memories. But I love the marks that are all over my body right now. Because they are a testament to the fact that it is nice out and it’s almost summer and I’m having fun.
I’ve got a scratch across my right shin from some sort of thorny twig thing from a run on a new route that turned into a hot mess. Three nails on my right hand were sacrificed to the packing of Krystal’s kitchen. Which made me feel less guilty about cutting my run short. Because boxes of dishes and pans are no joke! I’ve got a huge scratch across my left lower shin from walking into my beach chair on my way to “cross train” by building a sandcastle for a two year old to stomp – yes, technically I yoga’d later for actual cross training. I can’t be lying to get that green square! But it’s fun to pretend for a minute that sand castle building would be enough. I added a new mark last night when I had to sneak off into the woods for a pit stop on the side of Memorial Drive during a 2.3 mile run. Isn’t running just so glamorous? I’ve got mosquito bites on every part of my skin that has been exposed since the snow melted. The itching reminds me that I was out running, eating ice cream, walking around Boston, and running. So many running bug bites. So. Many.

But my favorite marks? My feet. The bottoms of my feet are gross town, USA. I’ve got runner friends losing toe nails left and right. It happened to me before. I expect it to happen again. And though we runners sometimes complain about the distinct awfulness of the look of our feet/lower legs (oh the sock tan lines) there’s always a hint a pride in there too. Because each of those lost toenails or blister or weird skin spot is a record of the miles I’ve put in the books. The mental fight I had to overcome to get through the hard parts. The triumph for finishing a tough workout. So when I look at my feet it just looks like sweet sweet victory.

Anybody else got a good scar or mark from running or summer fun?

Hearts and more marks!

PS Short and sweet this week, but can’t leave out the chart update. Because damn is that thing a good motivator. That and watching my friends’ charts fill up too!



Something is different with this 2014 training cycle

I’m only two and a half weeks in, but it feels different this time. Maybe its because I’ve made improvements in other parts of my life? When I first launched my training in November of 2012 I was working in a job that I was growing to hate. I loved the work and a lot of the people I was doing it with, but the culture of that place wasn’t for me. As the holidays passed I slid deeper into my hole, going directly from engineering to either my part time job or home to TV and bed. I stopped seeing friends. I stopped going out. I stopped running. I took a week’s vacation Christmas to New Year’s and just sat in bed watching bad TV. Which made me start to evaluate if this job was worth it. By January 2nd I had updated my resume. 8 weeks later, I had a new job. I was lucky and found a new job that was great. I started running again. I started cooking again. I started seeing friends again. And I signed up for that half marathon. (It should be noted that taking this job is what put me in Jennie’s neighborhood and got me meeting her to run and convinced me to sign up for that race)

Maybe it’s because I feel less alone this time? It’s not just me in my living room trying to figure this out. I’m not making those tentative first connections with my online running group/family/tribe. And it’s certainly not running alone. 18 months after I first signed up, and a year after I really started training for a race, I regularly meet Jennie for cross training or running, I have a co-worker whom I’m beginning to regularly run with, and I’ve got runner friends all over the US and the world who will find a way to reach through the internet and kick my ass if I don’t get out there. Plus. A bunch of us are now training for the same race. And we’re actually going to meet. In person!!! If I slack off and they don’t I’m going to feel angry at myself for not keeping up. I want to keep up. I want this to be fun. Real bad.

Maybe the motivation is different this time? I’m only two weeks in and maybe I felt like this last year. If I did, I really don’t remember. Probably a little? But this time is different. Last year I wanted to finish strong. Then when I hurt my back and was waylaid for 5 weeks, I just wanted to finish. Looking back now I see the mistakes I made in my training. I’m not crying over spilled milk – I’m trying to learn. Because this year I want to finish strong. Actually strong. So I can hang with my runner friends after and not feel like a giant cloud of pity party.

Maybe it’s my fitness level? I can’t say that I maintained any sort of fitness from last year; I didn’t really end up with much fitness there near the end. And I certainly got a little squishier over the winter. But parts of this feel a little easier. Not so easy that I want to amp it up and add weights. For now I like that my workouts feel right. They’re challenging, I sweat my face off (well, make up), and I push myself as far as I should. The result of which is that at the end of the workout, I feel like a machine. Which makes every thing else in the day feel awesome. Even when I’ve forgotten shampoo and then 12 hours later spill beer onto my pants down to my underwear at a Sox game – hypothetically, of course.

Whatever it is, something feels different. Good different. But different.

Because for maybe the second time ever I didn’t try to get out of a Saturday run. I got up, tried some new pre running food (some success, some failure), and just went running. And a funny thing happened. While I waiting for my breakfast to digest I actually did some chores around the house. I took care of some emails. And I was just plain productive on a Saturday before 10 am. After the run it was time for a quick shower and then off to Boston Calling music festival day 2. And there’s only one way to do that.

Nuun and diet coke.

Not pictured? The banana and string cheese I inhaled.

Hearts and confusing questions

PS training update: a full week of green!!