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The Post-Race Bagel. Oh, how I’ll miss thee

A little less than a month ago, I went drastic with my diet. I cut out breads, grains, legumes and dairy products. I’m taking the Paleo challenge, and though I was really pissed at having to do without pizza and peanut butter, I’ve managed to keep my head afloat. I am allowed bacon, after all.

The biggest challenge I faced came yesterday as I was running in the LA Marathon. First off, my routine pre-race breakfast included a slice of bread (not allowed) with peanut butter (not allowed) and banana (allowed). I switched it up and ended up noshing on banana and a handful of almonds. Not nearly as filling. I need my carbs. I swore my stomach was growling before I even began running.

Secondly, and more importantly, my favorite part about running in races is finishing. I love not running so much that I’m all smiles at the finish line (even when previous photogs have caught me giving them the evil eye). What’s not to love? You get a mylar blanket, medal and bombarded with food and drink. There’s water and Gatorade. More bananas and fruit cups and energy bars… and my personal favorite — BAGELS! God, how I love post-race bagels. I’d always walk out of the finisher’s area, arms overflowing with goodies and bagel in mouth.

Yesterday, after I finished my leg of the charity relay, I got slightly depressed at all the stuff I couldn’t eat. No granola bars or pretzels or Gold fish or bagels (sniff sniff).

Ok Paleo-ists, I’m open to some race eating insights because stupid bananas don’t seem so cool now.

PHOTOS (from top): Gorgeous day for a run in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 18. Mother Nature apparently likes runners since it didn’t rain at all during the race (though was still nippy during bits of it); All those bagels for all those runners who don’t know how good they have it.

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Hills are cramping my style

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was recapping my horrendous Pasadena run and, simultaneously, vowing to do a better job of preparing for future races.

It actually wasn’t that long ago. Like two weeks ago.

So how’s it possible that I’m already woefully behind in training for another race? I have 12 days left before LA Marathon (1/2).

Now, I’m behind in mileage and waging uphill battles both literally and figuratively. And only in my world does a 10-mile recovery run turn into 6.5 miles of crap, cramps and cursing. Damn hills. I’m going to call it: Hills are overrated. Who needs them?

Week 4 Update: Funky divas in 3D

During my last update, I had nothing to report. This one is much more positive. I ran my 7 miles. I picked a hilly route around my house and attacked it with my new shoes and new soundtrack.

I was feeling some ’90s R&B girl power. Who better than my chicas from En Vogue? Luckily, “The Very Best of…” was just long enough to get me through the distance. That and it gave me the extra kick I needed around mile 6. Made me channel my inner funky diva.

I know “Free your mind” talks about prejudice. But damnit if it isn’t also good advice on a run: Free your mind, the rest will follow.

Ooh, also occurred this week: I signed up for the LA Marathon as part of a two-person relay team. More on that later…

PHOTO:  The album cover that’s becoming my new running soundtrack.

What resolve!

I made the deadline. My own internal, meaningless deadline.

To make sure I was serious about my New Year’s resolutions, I vowed to write them out by the end of the first week of January. First, it was Dec. 31. But laziness impeded that. Then, it was Jan. 1, then the end of the weekend and finally, the end of the first week.

Writing them out and posting them, holds me accountable. It also helps provide a reference because, unfortunately, my resolutions don’t read like deep life-changing goals. More like a To-Do list or some weekend errands.

REvisiting 2010

I roundly failed at each and every one of my resolutions from last year. Which means? I’m trying them again. To recap: I resolve to read 30 new books, run 500 miles, eat kosher (for more than one day in a row), do a pull-up. It won’t be easy. I’ve already started off on a bad foot/ankle. Haven’t run more than a couple yards to beat the bathroom crowd at HP7Pt1 in mid-November. Even that was ill-advised. But things are looking up. I’ve started PT and hope to be back to the back-of-the-pack by February.

But for everything else, I’m looking good. I have a shiny, new Kindle for the reading. I’m cutting down on cheese, which will undoubtedly, help me in my attempts to have a few back-to-back-to-back kosher meals. I’m focusing more on upper-body strength (thanks to a weak ankle) so I’ll be able to conquer that elusive pull-up, my own personal Windmill.

My Before-30 List

The crux of this blog. I need to get cracking on the list of things I wanted to do. I, sadly, can’t run The LA Marathon this year, but maybe once I’m all healed I’ll be able to run a marathon in Los Angeles. Lame. This is what I absolutely will do this year: watch AFI’s 100 best movies, find my red lipstick, play the accordion, ride a horse, visit two world wonders, continue my Arabic studies, shoot a gun, go rock-climbing, run in Central Park and see a Broadway play on Broadway, win at chess, take a dance class, take a martial arts class, take a cooking lesson, relax at a spa… ahhh!

And there’s still more…

Year of the Great Purge

In terms of resolutions, this one will truly require my constant attention. I am up-chucking everything!! Clothes I haven’t worn in the last year. Jewelry that I haven’t sported since I was a freshman at UCLA, which is really not that long ago ;). Shoes that don’t fit or don’t get rocked! Shit in storage that’s been sitting in storage FOR-EV-ER. I’m also going to tame that impulse I have to buy meaningless knick-knacks and tchotchkies. Get stripped down to the basics.

Once upon a time, I lived “comfortably” with two other roommates in a cell dorm known as Rieber Hall. I only had some storage under my bed and a small-ass armoire to put my shit in, on and around. “Comfortable” may be too strong. The point is, I managed. How’s it possible that my larger bedroom with a closet, a nine-drawer dresser, a four-drawer dresser, a bookshelf and a jewelry stand is not enough?! My place always looks like a disaster zone and attempts to organize it are full-day affairs! That’s ridiculous! RI-DIC-U-LOUS!!

On the fifth day of Sprain-mas, my ankle gave to me…

Human psyche is a funny thing. What you never had any interest in suddenly turns into an obsession when someone tells you you can’t do it or have it.

Running.

Yeah, I’ve done it. But never really enjoyed it. It was more a chore.

With a debilitating injury, I am officially giving up on my resolution. I won’t be running 500 miles in 2010. Pushing it after I heal, is against doc’s orders.

But to prove that I’m not completely benched. I’m signing up for LA marathon this week.

What’s the deal? What happened?

Well, I blame human psyche again. A few days after my birthday (after I had wrapped my head around getting older and accepted it with grace), I’m reminded not to be so foolish.

I am not unbreakable. Damn. I totally thought I was Bruce Willis in that little seen M. Night Shyamalan film. I never get sick, either. (We’ll see if that holds this winter. It’ll be my first working at the university and, frankly, college freshmen are more germed than any kindergarten class.)

These are the issues I must now deal with as I move closer to mummification. The ones that came in earnest when I became a “runner.”

A knee injury, like a dormant volcano, came roaring back to life after 10 years.

Severe shin splints slowed my mile pace by three minutes. I could’ve walked faster!

And for the last few months, my heel has hurt so much that I’m pretty sure I had a collapsed arch. My Doc in her sage wisdom told me to stick an insert in my shoe and man up. I did just that. I ran the Los Angeles half in that condition a few weeks ago.

But, alas, my biggest embarrassment came last week. On Black Wednesday. While I was working out. At the end of my workout. One last set of suicides and then stretch.

BAM!

KA-POW!

KER-PLOP!

Sprained ankle.

One second I’m upright and the next I’m laying on my back with my foot in the air in agony as my ankle swells to the size of a tennis ball.

My right ankle. The foot that controls the gas and break pedals.

After what seemed like an eternity. I slowly got myself up. Got ready, showered, changed and started my commute to work. That’s when the limp came. On the first day of Sprain-mas, my ankle gave to me a hobble all over the office. Wrapped and elevated. And loads of ice.

On the second day of Sprain-mas, my ankle gave to me… a cane.

On the third day of Sprain-mas, my ankle gave to me… a false sense of hope. I felt I was better and tried to manuever without the cane. Bad idea. Decided to go to the gym. Worse idea. By day’s end, the damn thing was throbbing and burning.

On the fourth day of Sprain-mas, my ankle gave to me… a trip to the E.R. Still swollen, tender and bruised, it was time for the experts to weigh in. I had to make sure the damn thing wasn’t fractured.

Again I drove myself. Parked a mile away and walked into the ER. I’m nothing if not consistently stubborn.

I tell the triage nurse the whole story. He takes my vitals and says, “damn, you are an athlete. Look at that heart rate.” Niiice.

I get wheeled to the x-ray room. WHEELED! And wheeled back down to a waiting room. After a while of playing Angry Birds on my phone, the doctor comes in.

“Your x-rays are beautiful,” he said.

That meant no fracture. But I do have a pretty serious sprain. I got a nice gel bootie, told to stay off of it for a week and follow-up with my physician. After which, I hobbled to my car in the parking lot, climbed in and drove home.

A week! That’s a long time without running. Yes, I’ve gone longer, but that was when I was able-bodied. Now that I’m not. I’m itching to use my NEW shoes, my NEW ipod and feel the cool breeze. Damn psyche!!

PHOTO: This is what I get from my trip to the emergency room. That and a stern warning to stay off the ankle.