Tag Archives: knee pain

Nervously awaiting Sunday

cpd-1137-janetExpounding on the expo: Janet (pictured above) and I had our usual great time at the Chevron Houston Marathon expo yesterday. Of course, as usual, we parked on the wrong side of the massive George R. Brown Convention Center and had a looong walk to get into the expo. Janet put her usual sunny spin on the situation, declaring it was good for us to stretch our legs. We quickly picked up our race numbers, official t-shirts, and large bag (to be used for what we need before and after the race), and then it was time to shop! First, we both got a free chair massage, really loosening up the neck and shoulders. But we really needed the chair massage on our way out, because our bags got very heavy by the time we were done. We scored a bunch of free swag (like bouncy balls, travel toothbrushes, rice samples, and a towel), and we really didn’t spend a lot of money. For a change, I didn’t buy the cheapie sunglasses (I’d already bought three pairs at previously expos). My big quest? To buy a new running jacket with two pockets for less than about $20.

One big draw of the expo always is the cheapie clothes. So I figured finding the jacket would be a cinch. But, of course, it wasn’t. There were tons of socks, shorts, tops, shoes, and Gu. But very few cheap jackets. What the heck? In fact, there was only one vendor who met the bill—the running jackets were $19.99. I tried on a bunch of them and finally found one that fit and had two pockets (they were vertical instead of horizontal, but I was ready to settle). 

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Janet snapped a pic of me trying on jackets. Unfortunately, she was sitting down so that shooting up gave me a lovely double chin. Thanks, Janet! If I become president of the United States, you will NOT be shooting my official portrait!!

Despite the expo excitement, I still managed to get most things done on Friday’s list. To wit:

• I decided to wait until today to get a few groceries, especially a couple bagels for tomorrow (I usually eat a banana and a bagel for my prerace meal).

• I discovered that the photos hadn’t been uploaded to Smugmug. I found the backup DVDs and will have that as a get ’er done next week.

• I hooked up the Seagate external hard drive and copied the iTunes songs to the boys’ iMac internal hard drive, which will be backed up via Time Machine. I copied some short videos of #2 son to the Seagate for a redundant backup.

• I opted out of the short jog, because we walked so much at the expo (and to and from the car). I jogged two miles this morning with absolutely, positively NO knee pain! Airrosti worked for me, apparently. Wish it could do something for my stamina, though. I really feel out of shape; I’m sure I’ll be cursing my two-week nonrunning taper by mile four.

I’ll be listing my race goals before I leave for the GRB tomorrow morning. By the way, the weather forecast is for rain around 6 a.m. (while I’m driving to the race), a low of 55 degrees and a high of 69 degrees. Looks like a warm race!

Packet pickup

houston-marathon-logoThe Friday before the Chevron Houston Marathon/Half-Marathon has always been exciting for me . . . it’s when I get to pick up my packet, walk through the expo (which is pretty extensive), and possibly see runners I haven’t seen for a year. My “normal” world is as a stay-at-home mom in a small city about a marathon southwest of Houston. Most of my friends in this world aren’t runners or aren’t runners who enter races, let alone THE biggest race in Houston. Marathon Weekend is a world that my bestest friends aren’t privvy to. They know nothing about the excitement of the expo, the warmth of the Saturday night pasta dinner with long-time running friends, the nervousness of the George R. Brown Convention Center where we gather before (and after) the race, and the nervous energy of the starting line. They don’t obsess about the weather and keep checking justweather.com every day for 10 days before the event. It’s a different world . . . my special world that started before kids and hopefully will endure long after the kids have flown the coop. It’s a world that I always look forward to, no matter how abysmally I’ve trained and how worried I might be about my right knee.

This is the fifth-straight year that I’m driving to the expo with my friend Janet. Her daughter and my #2 son were in third and fourth grade together, and she’s one of the few serious local runners I know. She started out running the half-marathon and now runs the marathon. She’s waaaaay faster than me (but, then again, who isn’t these days?). She’s also had some leg pain, but, hopefully, she’ll be 100% when the cannon booms (and it is REALLY loud!) at 7:10 a.m. Sunday in downtown Houston. She told me that going with me to the expo has been her good luck charm; I’m glad to oblige!

Speaking of the right knee, I went for my second Airrosti treatment yesterday, and Dr. Satan . . . er, Dr. Kelly really put the hurt into it. I even had a little bruise! But the pain went away quickly, and my knee feels really good. When I ran yesterday, there was no pain, and my knee felt stiff from lack of use. I’m going to jog a little this afternoon to see if the stiffness is going away. I haven’t really run in 11 days . . . not the best kind of taper to do before running 13.1 miles!!

How did I do on yesterday’s get ’er dones? Made it to the treatment, shopped for a few too many groceries (it’s never a good idea to buy more than the number of reusable bags that you’ve brought), finally shred the junk mail, and hooked up the external My Book drive to my iMac and SO FAR Time Machine works. I couldn’t excavate in the master bedroom, because the Mister stayed home due to feeling poorly, and he was in the bedroom most of the day sleeping it off. I also quizzed both boys for their finals (hope they do better on their actual exams than they did last night!).

Both boys enjoyed early dismissal. #1 son had his best friend Chase over; they did stuff on the computer and (Super Mario) brawled on the Wii. #2 son had his National History Day partners over before going out to play football with more friends; the project is looking pretty woeful right now. Good thing that #1 son and I are pretty good in PowerPoint and can help them if/when they get their act together. I’ve told #2 son that I expect the PowerPoint to be done by Monday night (it’s due Wednesday). I don’t want any stress when we’re watching “The Biggest Loser” Tuesday!

As for today’s get ’er dones, I’m going to keep things light and easy in anticipation of Sunday.

• Go to the marathon expo with confirmation card in hand. I don’t buy very much there, but I will look for a vented running jacket with two pockets (the one I’ve used for years only has one pocket, and that drives me crazy at times).

• Shop at Walmart for a few incidentals (take in enough reusable bags; I hate getting all those plastic bags!).

• Check to see if I’ve done backups of old family photos to my Smugmug account; if I haven’t done them previously, then do them now!

• Try to hook up the Powerbook external hard drive to the boys’ iMac and copy their iTunes music to the iMac hard drive. That way Time Machine can back up their music, and I’ll have the redundancy I’m looking for without making 100 CDs!

• Short jog

Finally hooked up!

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That pesky, old DVD player (actually DVD/VCR) finally is hooked up to the new TV! I’m just glad I keep plenty of extra cables around. I like to glance at the manual and then try to wing it, glancing once again at the manual when the winging doesn’t quite work. It finally did, though, so the Mister could watch “Burn After Reading” last night (his review: “It was terrible; typical Coen brothers”; I figured it would be, so I opted not to watch it, even though George Clooney is my second husband).

I was pretty successful with yesterday’s get ’er dones, I’m happy to say. Got the proofreading done and turned in on time, picked up the prescription, instituted Kitchen Wednesday (got caught up on the newspapers and went through the mail, which I still have to shred), had lunch with my pal Lana at my favorite Thai restaurant, got in a very short walk/run (the knee feels pretty good, thank goodness), the stupid foam roller just about made me cry (hate that thing!), set up guitar lessons for the #1 son (4 p.m. Fridays), self-cleaned the oven (a stinky process, but the oven didn’t smell bad while cooking last night’s dinner), and reminded #2 son about getting together with his history partners (should happen today).

The boys and I watched “American Idol” and “Lost” reruns (we’re big fans of both shows; can’t wait until next Wednesday for the penultimate season of “Lost” to begin!), then I quizzed #1 son for his Webmastering final and tried to quiz #2 for his English final, but he wasn’t very cooperative.

Today is an early-release day from school . . . #1 son will be home by noon, while #2 son is done by 1 p.m. That means no lunches to make . . . yay! Neither boy buys lunch at school, so that’s a lot of lunches to make during a school year. The early release definitely will impinge on my getting things done, unfortunately (and tomorrow also is an early-release day). But I’m going to try my best to be productive. Here’s today’s get ’er done menu:

• 9:30 a.m. Airrosti treatment (with my knee feeling so much better, I’m hoping it won’t be too painful)

• stop at Kroger’s for a few groceries

• shred junk mail

• hook up external hard drive to my iMac and try to get Time Machine to work again. I was able to get it to work for a few days, but then it kept getting errors. I need to troubleshoot it and get it to work! Time Machine proved invaluable when the hard drive on the boys’ iMac crashed during Hurricane Ike. It had to be replaced (fortunately, the iMac was still under warranty). It was so easy to restore the data from Time Machine, which had backed up the iMac a mere half-hour before the internal hard drive crashed.

• try to continue with the master bedroom excavation . . . don’t avoid it!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

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Brrrrr! It’s 29 degrees this morning, which made me NOT want to get up early and run so I could test out my knee. But I will try to get in a short run later as one of my daily get ’er dones.

The massage did loosen up my IT bands, thankfully, but did nothing for my knee. The Airrsoti session was interesting—painful but not as bad as labor pain. Dr. Scott Kelly thinks that I have patellar tendonitis (an overuse injury) and feels confident that with another treatment on Thursday plus wearing the magic Kerri Walsh tape [Kinesio tape] and stretching with the hated foam roller (oh, the pain!), I’ll be able to run the half-marathon Sunday. By the way, I discovered that it’s very hard to take a photo of one’s own knee!

I’ve found that all this knee business is a big distraction to the get ’er done schedule. I usually feel pretty antsy the week before the half-marathon anyway; worrying about my knee just heightens the tension.

Speaking of the schedule, how did I do yesterday?

• No problem doing the laundry and filling the pool.

• Massage and treatment checked off the list.

• Hooked up the Seagate external drive to the Powerbook and copied the iTunes library to it. I had forgotten that the Powerbook reads DVDs but doesn’t burn them (bad purchasing decision; I could’ve bought a PB with a DVD burner but wanted to save money). To back up the library (13 gigs!) takes a lot of CDs! I first tried plugging the Seagate’s firewire cable into the firewire/usb hub that we use, but it wouldn’t show up on the desktop. I then plugged it directly into the PB’s firewire port and success! Whew! Had me worried that it wouldn’t work with the PB.

• I didn’t contact the guitar teacher nor did I hook up the DVD player to the new HDTV. However, I did spend extra time with the clothes putting them away (the Mister hates putting his clothes away . . . it’s one of our monthly marital spats, because I think a 58-year-old should put his own clothes in his dresser), and I did spend time with the #2 son quizzing him on his U.S. History (he really struggled with it). The Mister quizzed the #1 son on his chemistry and sports marketing for his finals. We almost seemed like a happy homeschooling family!

On to today’s menu:

• Finish proofreading our homeowners’ association’s newsletter (volunteer work) and drop off the corrected proofs by 10 a.m.

• Pick up the Mister’s prescription at the local CVS.

• Contact that guitar teacher.

• Hook up that darned dvd player!

• Inaugurate Kitchen Wednesday, whereby I go through the mail I’ve been ignoring, get the shredding done, and try to deal with paperwork (I’m horrible at this).

• Self-clean the oven. I don’t use the oven a lot, but it stinks up the house when I do use it (like I did last night). I think I’ve only used the self-cleaning feature once in the 12 years we’ve lived in the house. I already have the manual out ready to go!

• Go to lunch with a couple friends (very important for my sanity).

• Short run.

• Stretch with the dreaded, hated, abominable foam roller.

• Remind #2 son to get together with his National History Day buds so that they actually have a project to turn in.

Hoping for some knee answers today

airrosti2-logoFirst things first . . . as for yesterday’s get ’er dones, I failed to go to Best Buy (no biggie) and to hook up the dvd. Everything else turned out a-okay. I baked the potatoes using a recipe at http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/PotatoBaking.htm; the Mister and I liked them more than son #2 (but he prefers mashed potatoes); #1 son ate the usual white rice and barbeque sauce delicacy. I enjoyed the middle school PTO meeting (nice group of gals and a short meeting . . . a great mix!). The doctor’s appointment gave me absolutely no answers, but it was only a prerequisite for today’s Airrosti appointment. I dislike seeing orthopedic doctors who don’t run; they think the answer to every ache and pain is not to run. They don’t understand that runners NEED to run, especially when they’ve paid $65 to enter a half-marathon! Obviously, I wouldn’t run with a fracture, severe sprain, or illness, but I know that I can at least walk for a fair distance, so the half-marathon still is doable. We’ll see what the Airrosti folks say today.

By the way, #2 son lambasted me about not using Arial Black (ugh! that’s not readable for a three-page paper!) and not single-spacing his science project paper (I used 12-point Arial on 18-point leading). Of course, he didn’t bring home his scrawled instructions, so I could double-check that I did NOT see any details about spacing or the Arial Black. I contend it said to use 12-point Arial. Geesh! The only middle school grade that counts for high school is Spanish, anyway. If he gets a B on the project, so be it. I did finally convince #1 son and the Mister to quiz #2 son on his Spanish, since both of them have taken it. Even though #2 insisted he didn’t need their help, he later admitted that he thought it was a good thing. But we didn’t get to the U.S. History; he should have some time during school to study that review today. We’ll go over it after school. He also has his math final.

Today’s get ’er done menu:

• 9:30 a.m. massage (hurts so good!). This could help my knee, and I know it will help my chronically sore illiotibial bands.

• One load of laundry; put water in pool.

• Hook up dvd to bedroom TV.

• Hook up external drive to the old Powerbook and back up the boys’ extensive iTunes library (we’ve done periodic backups onto dvds; I’d like more redundancy).

• Call a recommended guitar teacher, so that #1 son can start lessons. Expect that the lessons will end after a month, just like the drum and art lessons, but feel assured that he will get something out of them.

• 1:30 p.m. Airrosti appointment (http://www.airrosti.com/). Practice not cringing beforehand.

• Continue excavation of master bedroom; consider bringing in a forklift (it’s a daunting task!).

I did get rid of one big box in the bedroom . . . I freecycled an unopened Epson Stylus printer from 2004! I’m sure the ink has long since dried up, but it should work. My “trash” is someone else’s “treasure.”

A fresh start to the week

Whew! Made it through Friday and the weekend with most of my sanity intact. My biggest problem has been that my right knee hurts, and the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon that I always run is Sunday. Yikes! I’m seeing a doctor today and trying Airrosti tomorrow (it’s supposed to hurt, unfortunately, but that’s okay if it helps). I’m willing to walk the half if I have to, but running is so much faster, even for a slowpoke like me.

Besides the knee, the weekend’s big stress was son #2 procrastinating with his science project that he needed me to type up (wonder where he got that procrastination gene from). Graphic design is one of my (few) talents . . . I can make almost anything the boys have to do for school look good. #2 was supposed to work on the project over the two-week winter break, but apparently two weeks were NOT enough time. As an eighth-grader, he needs to learn to set his priorities and get his work done early. But he prefers sleeping late and playing disc golf. I’ve been spoiled by his older brother, who has always gotten his work done with plenty of time to spare (really since he was in first grade!).

#2 was busy Saturday with disc golf, although he did do some typing in the evening, but that put the onus for finishing the project (due today) on yesterday. I had to produce a table and a graph, which aren’t hard but are time-consuming. And, of course, my Epson inkjet printer just had to act up, refusing to print out page one of the three pages (I used the HP laser printer for that page). Long story short, I finally finished it at around 12:30 a.m., and now I’m sleep-deprived once again. But I won’t be able to take a nap this afternoon due to my doctor’s appointment. Woe is me!

Here’s today’s get ’er done menu:
• Drive through at post office to mail a return
• Stop at Target and Best Buy
• 1 p.m. middle-school PTO meeting
• 2:30 p.m. doctor’s appointment
• bake potatoes for part of dinner
• help #2 son study for his Spanish final (even though I took four years of French in high school and #1 son took two years of Spanish but claims he doesn’t remember any of it) and start to go over his U.S. History review
• be thankful that I only have to help #1 son study for his Music History final later in the week
• if there’s time, hook up the dvd player to the new HD TV and cable box

Need I note that #2 son’s National History Day project is due January 21st, and he’s really not sure exactly what he and his two partners are doing?!? Oy!! And he wonders why I have so many gray hairs??