Saturday, September 21, 2013

Die Bug

The title is not german for "the bug."  It is all english.  Die, bug.

The past week has been full of running and running friends!

Kicked off last weekend with an engagement party for one brunette running friend, celebrated by 4 brunette running friends.

Aron, Jessica, yours truly, Jojo.  Just four girls and we're havin a good time, havin a good time
Tuesday I aimed for a 6-mile tempo, but it turned into a 3x2 mile tempo because I stopped after mile 2 and mile 4 for about 30 seconds to stretch out my locked calf/knee.  6:26; 6:28; 6:35; 6:37; 6:37; 6:29.  Good job, I still can't run 3 miles hard without something hurting.

Wednesday: get lunch with cute runner friend.  This was a splendid way to interrupt a day at the desk.

Thursday I was creative and made up a track workout.  I would be such a brilliant coach, slap together different track distance repeats at random.  The workout: 1600-800-400-400-400-400-800-1600.  1/2 lap to a full lap jog recovery in between.

My general goal was under 6:10 for the 1600s, under 3:00 for the 800s, under 1:24 for the 400s.  I STILL SUCK AT 400s.  Gah.  And unlike what I said in my last post about sucking and not caring, during this run I cared.  Frustration for everybody! 400s, you used to be my friend!


1600: 6:03
800: 2:53
400's: 1:24, 1:24, 1:25, 1:27 (what the douche?!) (ok looks like laps 1, 2, and 4 were 0.26 miles instead of 0.25 because I am not a skilled lap-button presser.  Minus one second each, deal, not as frustrated.)
800: 2:56
1600: 6:01.

Shorter repeats like this are great for me because I can get in some speed without it aggravating my leg-lock.  Anything over a mile of speed is still not cooperating with my body.

This run met a really rude finale.  While jogging home from the track in a slow trance, an insect latched onto my leg near the upper inner calf area where the calf meets my knee, and mid-stride, stung me with it's disgusting terrible poison.  It was sharp and in a startle I swatted it before getting a good look at the sucker, but I saw that it was huge and mostly black (no yellow).  Hornet? Wasp? Pouncing spider? Scorpion? Sword bearing monster ant?

I had a mile left to jog home while my leg started numbing, tingling, stinging, and generally spazzing out.

The leg continued to swell over the next 24 hours and it feels now (2 days later) like someone punched my calf muscle and karate chopped my inner knee.  and then sprinkled the itchiest hottest sauce ever on it.  Running has not been particularly comfortable with the swollen itchfest, but I'm surviving.

You know how babies have cute chubby legs and there is no knee to be found, just a marshmallow leg with some dimples where the knee should be? That's how my leg looks.

I hate bugs so much.  I will kill them all.  No one gets spared, no glass jars in my house for kind bug survival support, diiieeee alll of you die.

Friday: Meet with Flight of the Conchords and Dave Chappelle for a comedy fest at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

While I was creeping along in my car for over an hour to move one mile to park at the amphitheater, I was  staring at the crowds of bodies flooding into the theater (it has a capacity of 22,500 people). I kept thinking about the Boston marathon, and how there are TWICE that many people, which made my brain hurt.  This is incredibly nerve-wracking to me.  45,000 PEOPLE!? how can that be managed? how will I get anywhere? How? do? I survive that many people? I'm scared.  I know this will be an unforgettable experience but I already want to crawl under the comfort of a 3,000 person race.

The comedy show was wonderful.  The benadryl I was popping to prevent the swelling and itching on my leg caused me to sleep through Flight of the Conchords' set, which reminds me that FUCK YOU INSECT.

Saturday: Met with some of the bay area's finest runners (and Page, a part-time bay area pal) for a trail run in Walnut Creek at a time that mine eyes haveth never seen on a Saturday morning (8:00 a.m.).

Those clouds weren't bluffing; it started pouring for the last 3 miles of the run
After a long hard weekend run (and I consider 15 trail miles a long hard run), I am usually wiped, in a good way, and somewhat useless for the rest of the day.  Today, I felt peppy all day, and I suspect that the reason is because....I carried water during the run.  I hydrated very well.  Maybe water fountain stops aren't enough and I should always be carrying water on long runs?

Total miles for the week so far through Saturday = 70.  I'll likely run 14-20 tomorrow for a solid 85 for the week.  Obviously I have now cursed myself and will probably run 0 miles tomorrow.

Total miles of the week in which I was cursing a very specific insect and hoping for bad omens and terrible futures for all of that insect's family and friends = 30. 


  1. >> I hydrated very well. Maybe water fountain stops aren't enough and I should always be carrying water on long runs?

    Drink to thirst. If you need water, bring it. If you're not terribly thirsty, then water fountains are enough. Drinking to replace sweat-loss is all marketing by Gatorade's advertising department.

    Of course, maybe you should just do whatever your Fit-fluential blogger peers recommend for hydration so that the universe remains in alignment.

    1. I'm guessing they recommend Nuun?

      I'm not familiar with Gatorade advertising, but on a hot run, nothing will stop me from wandering into a 7-11 and getting a sports drink or a slurpee. I shake with anticipation. Sugar and cold water now!

  2. On hydration - you could always experiment a bit. Feel better on long runs where you carry water? Keep doing it. (I pretty much always carry my own water on long runs because I don't really plan my long runs till I'm running, and I'm so slow I even do it during races in case the support stations run out. No joke. Also, carrying a bottle of water helps me save at least $2 on random sugary beverages per long run.)

    Your white-lady brunette running friends are such a refreshing change from all the blonde running bloggers! ;) (I joke but it strikes me that the demographics of US recreational running - or at least runnerblogging - seem somewhat...ethnically imbalanced.)

    1. About the running demographic, that is pretty true! Maybe it's more of a socioeconomic thing. It seems that more affluent people participate in running as a recreational sport (no shit, some races like RnR are ridiculously expensive).

    2. I may have to finally get a handheld water bottle...during the trail run yesterday I just carried a Dasani plastic water bottle. Not too uncomfortable, but not lovely either.

      FYI - the race in running thing has been sometimes discussed -- see:
      and I briefly attempted to talk about it in my early running days.
      I would say white women are more predominant in the blog and amateur racing world than some other demographics, but that does no apply to who actually RUNS. When I hit the norcal streets to run, there is no shortage of black, latino, asian, indian, young, old, male runners etc.

      Lastly, at least one of those brunettes is half latina, I don't know the ethnicity of the rest. I can pull out my jewish card if that helps diversify ;)

    3. I agree - I suspect the actual population of RUNNERS is pretty representative of overall demographics (based on my enormous, purely anecdotal sample size of 'having run in five New England states and New York City'), the mystery is just the running bloggers.

      In Singapore - everyone runs. (Something like a third of the population laced up their shoes and went for a run of at least a kilometre in the last year.) And barely anybody blogs. We're all too busy taking pictures of our food :)

  3. We must have a similar sense of humour - I initially read the title as German for 'the bug' as well, owing to the lack of comma (I suppose). I really chuckled when I read your opening line as a result!

    I concur that all bugs should die. Not a very vegan thing of me to say, and I will never kill them, but if something should wipe several of the little buggers out then I can't say I'd be sorry. I've been stung by wasps twice when running, and I agree that it hurts a ridiculous amount for such a tiny sting (or set of stings, as the second case turned out to be for me). Rats, snakes, etc. I'm fine with...bugs? No.

    Sorry the leg-lock is still causing so much trouble - you seem to still be putting in some great workouts to me, even though you're having to work round the problems with your leg.

  4. Um, watch that leg - although certainly you're out of the woods now. Just be careful there's no necrotizing in the deeper flesh.

  5. Uh, you need to figure out what sort of demon bug sucked out part of your soul (you know he must have if your injury is this bad). I hope your legs are insured, just in case.

  6. I went to Shoreline too and missed almost two hours because of the traffic. I would say that Boston is significantly better organized -- almost like they know 40,000 people are coming and plan accordingly. Shoreline was a shitshow.

    1. Did you love the show!? Tell me all about Flight of the Conchords, since I slept through it and all...

  7. The bug definitely sounds like a wasp or yellowjacket -- even if you couldn't see yellow, it could still be in the same family. Your symptoms are identical to mine when I got stung by similar insects.

    The picture of the trail - where is that?

    BTW, you can add me to your ethnic blogger friend collection. ;)

    1. Where on your body did you get stung? Getting stung where you knee is supposed to bend was rough, man.

      Cheers to not being anotherrrrrr white running blogger!

    2. I've gotten stung twice. The first time (around Lake Merritt; a very funny story in retrospect I'll have to tell you in person), I got stung on my ear, my hip, and my finger. The ear was the absolute worse -- I thought my head might explode, it was so painful. The 2nd time (a couple of months ago in Redwood Regional), I got stung on my arm. It hurt for a short while, but then got really itchy and swollen for several days. I'd say getting stung on the knee is *definitely* worse than non-bendy parts, but probably not as bad as the ear.

  8. Brown hair and white runner too. My Mexican/Native American half doesn't really represent except when I curse in Spanish out on a run. ;)

    I was squirming in my chair reading about that bug. seriously. ouch. I'm amazed you managed to go on the trail run with such swelling of the leg. hope you're feeling better. that trail run looks like fun.

    I just did my first 15 miles on Saturday too. Glad I beat the rain. It came down like the wrath of Thor. I always carry water or Nuun mix with me. I just worry about over hydrating since I noticed my stomach was making sloshing noises the last two miles on Saturday o_O;

  9. Side note: I know exactly where you guys are for lunch and happen to be a very big plan of that random restaurant. Nice choice!

    And glad the hydrating helped and was so happy to see you! Thanks for coming out at that crazy time on a Saturday morning!

    1. That is the closest place to my office to fill up on food. I can see those seats from my office window! It's no pho though.

  10. Okay, so I have the brown ponytail which is a prerequisite for all Bay Area running bloggers apparently...but when does their speed rub off on me?

    Love the storm-rolling-in photo...we were hiking Mission Peak when the rain started. We gave up, went home, and came back the next day to finish it off. What a rainstorm!

    1. Mission Peak is fun. Do you ever run there?

      I can add you to my bay area brown ponytail runner friend list

  11. You are running Boston?! Yaaay! I barely got in (made the cutoff by 17 seconds, eeeesh), but I am excited. I live in Boston so if you have any questions hit me up! And come on my tour of the freedom trail ;) I'll tell you all the revolutionary war stories I know!

  12. The last photo in this post is breathtaking!! So beautiful!!


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