Turns out, last Saturday’s semi-successful five-miler was the high point of the next seven days.

Sunday I managed to run … a mile. Monday I went to core class but didn’t feel well and bailed on the run. Tuesday, I decided to try running a three-mile loop, but halfway in, my leg hurt in more places than I could identify, so I limped home.

And it got worse from there.

That evening, our 14-year old cat, who’s had some health problems the last couple of years, took a sharp downturn.


July 2017

He’s my boy–he sleeps on my bed (sometimes by my side, sometimes hogging my pillow) and he’s always been my buddy. We got him when he was four–no idea why someone surrendered this enormous, friendly ball of fluff to the shelter, but we were the lucky beneficiaries. Although he’s lost a lot of weight since school started, in his prime he was close to 20 pounds of goofy Maine Coon. We have sort of prepared for the inevitable, but until the last few days he was still eating. Now, though, he really didn’t seem to be able to walk on his own. In the past when one of the cats has reached the end, we’ve put up the baby gate and turned part of the kitchen into a feline hospice. And that’s where Rascal went.

Wednesday, we were planning to attend my school’s 50th anniversary celebration, but changed our minds knowing that Rascal didn’t have much longer. I hadn’t slept well, worrying about him alone in the kitchen, and I just wanted to go home.

He’s a stubborn dude, though, and we repeated the scene Thursday and Friday. He hasn’t appeared to be in pain–he just sleeps–so I’ve been sitting with him. Friday night I was sure it would be his last, so I set up my exercise mat, quilt, and pillows and stayed with him. But wow, at age 40-something I really can’t get away with sleeping on the floor. About halfway through the night I moved back to my bed. sleeping only fitfully. When the 6:20 long-run alarm went off, I didn’t even consider getting up to run.

Today’s route happened to pass about a block from my house, so around 7:30 I got up, put on some running clothes, and took the dog. I ran about half a mile to the water stop, where I met up with the friend I ran with last weekend. She was on her way back and had about 3.5 miles to go. So I ran back with her the other way, toward my house, for a grand total of 1.25 miles. In my defense I had the dog–Mr. Sniffer McGee, who must investigate every smell–and my calf hurt a little. The good news is the shin and the hamstring felt okay, so maybe I’m down to just one (improving?) injury? Anyway, I figured that this has been such a stubborn injury, if it’s finally healing I shouldn’t overdo it, so the dog and I ducked back into my neighborhood and home.

I met my friends for coffee–and it turns out only one of the six of us had actually run this morning. Some running friends we are. 😉 But it was fun to spend time with them–especially the three I don’t see very often.

I have no illusions that Rascal will get better, but considering the number of times he’s kept me company over the last ten years, the least I can do is sit with him in the kitchen hospice. Take it easy, buddy.


Wake me when September ends

This week was hit-and-miss.

Last week, B was diagnosed with flu, and the doctor recommended the whole family take Tamiflu. After the third dose, which I was supposed to take the same time every afternoon, I noticed some low-grade queasiness–enough that it kept me home from core class Monday.

Tuesday morning I felt better, but the day went to shit even before daylight. About halfway to work, my car had a malfunction that left me stopped on the shoulder of a very busy highway. Thankfully M was a few minutes behind me and picked me up, then came back later, after traffic died down a bit, to meet the tow truck.


It was a fairly minor problem that was repaired quickly (for $600…) but having to coax a disabled car to the shoulder during rush hour was a stressful way to start the day.

Then, after work, I decided to test out the leg and try my 4.25-mile route. The first two miles felt pretty good, but it was humid and warm. By the third mile I’d slowed down, and the last mile I was hardly running, queasy and miserable. I got out of the shower and collapsed into bed with sharp stomach pains and serious nausea. It was several hours later before the worst of it passed, and at that point I decided to stop taking the Tamiflu.

Thursday I met my running group–the workout started with a 1.75-mile warmup, mile repeats, and then the 1.75 back. My leg started bothering me pretty early on, plus it was 90-something degrees–this endeavor confirmed that my injury has sapped me of whatever fitness I’d built over the summer. I was hot, I had discomfort in at least three separate spots on my leg, and I decided pushing it was a bad idea. I walked one loop (during which my headphones died–sheesh) then headed back, also at a walk. While having a little pity party. Sigh.

Friday I wore a compression sleeve all day, while contemplating my options for Saturday morning, and when I took it off I realized that I could tell the difference–it had been providing noticeable support to the painful area that may or may not be shin splints. So I decided I’d wear a sleeve and attempt a few miles in the morning. My BRFs planned 18 miles–they’re confirmed for a full marathon in early December–but at this point my standards are significantly lower.

I headed out with a friend also working her way back. Two miles in, at the first water stop, I did a little assessment to see how much further I wanted to run. It hurt some, but not as much as Thursday, so I decided to keep going and turn around at 2.5. My friend got ahead for a while during that last half-mile, but I kept plodding along. Once again it was humid and warm, and when I ran into a friend who was returning, he told me the next water stop was at the end of an off-road, hilly trail I could see from where I had stopped. I decided to keep going so I could re-hydrate a bit.

At the water stop I met up with my friend again, and we headed back together. I noticed on the way back that I wasn’t favoring my left leg as much, and it felt like my gait was almost normal. It was a little uncomfortable but not painful–all in all, my 5.5 miles were way more successful than I could have asked for today! I’m sure I would have run more tentatively and walked more had I been alone, so I’m grateful for the company and the push.

Then I went for another sports massage–whew, those things aren’t for sissies.


I’m under no illusions that I can return to July-level training distances or intensity anytime soon, but I’m starting to feel hopeful that it’s improving and I’ll gradually make it back. Maybe when September ends.


An update of sorts

Well. Hi.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I have had something to write about. My left leg–sort of IT band, sort of calf, sort of ankle–has sidelined me. Really this goes back to early August–you can see the progression by looking at my weekly mileage.

July 30 – August 5: 25 miles

August 6 – 12: 17 miles (3.1 of it at the Galveston Sand Crab)

August 13 – 19: 4.25 miles (3.1 at Vern’s on Saturday, which tells you how the rest of the week went)

August 20 – 26: 5 miles (all on Saturday, in the hurricane rain)

August 27 – September 2: 5 miles (one damn mile at a time)


September 10 – 16: 8 miles (5 of which came this morning)

I’ve foam-rolled, I’ve seen a sports massage therapist, I’ve rested it, I’ve exercised it lightly. I’ve applied ice and compression and kinesio tape. And today’s five-miler was no better than the Harvey run two weeks ago–arguably it was worse because this morning’s weather was warm and humid, not rainy and cooler. And for the first time ever the flu has descended upon my house–one of us has a confirmed case and is being treated with Tamiflu while the other two are taking the preventative dosage. Two of us fell asleep before 9pm last night, and nine hours later I almost turned off my alarm and went back to sleep instead of trying to run.

Anyway, I slogged through it. Just before the halfway point, I was a little tempted to rest:

But only a little.

My friends have all decided to run a full marathon in December, so their Saturdays involve 16-18 milers right now. I’m lucky to eke out a gimpy five.

And that’s kind of where I am with my life right now.