Friday Five – Free Friday Randomness!

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is “free Friday”. This translates to “post whatever you want”. After a busy week at work, my brain can’t come up with any interesting ways to set up 5s, so welcome to Random Things in My Brain/Life Friday! You’ll get to watch my associative (think link hopping) mind work in a stream-of-consciousness post, kind of a shorter, typed version of the Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcasts (squirrel!).

(side note: I’d love to hear your thoughts on the blog – see this post and leave me comments or tweet/email me – much appreciated!)

I’m so glad I bought a home e-stim machine. I’ve been using it a lot the last two weeks on my R VMO (pre-run, during conference calls, in the evening). My chiro is on vacation next week – for one of my harder training weeks, boo – so I’ve gotten extra sticky pads and checked my battery supply. (and scheduled both trigger point AND sports massages)

Speaking of massages, I’m starting to schedule them more frequently than I used to. Not sure if it’s harder training, being a smidge older, life/physical stuff or what, but I seem to need them more. Or maybe I just want them more often. It’s hard to know. I really WANT a deep, relaxing massage where I walk out saying “ahhhh” and things magically don’t hurt…but I always wind up asking for and getting one that’s more focused on my current areas of concern, meaning the massage hurts more and the next couple days are kind of ouch-y. This means giving up some of my porch time on the weekend to make sure I get them on Sat or Sun instead of say Thursday, which can affect my Sat LR. My old MT, who moved to Lake Tahoe, is going to be back in town in a couple of weeks, working out of a studio down the block and I have one massage left in the package I bought. She’s a very nice young woman and it’ll be good to see her again.

I’m in week 6 of Coach Jay‘s strength routine. Loving the Scorpion, really not having luck with the Hurdle exercise, so I must need it. Not sure what I’ll do when I get through week 8. Maybe go back to 5 and repeat. Also looking at other exercises: Greg McMillan has some core workout videos I have access to since I’m a PRO ($ but not bad) member of his site, and there are lots of others around. Jay Dicharry‘s book has some good ones, and I just ordered Pete Magill‘s new book (enjoy his Running Times Masters columns and heard him on Runner Academy podcast this morning, convinced me to buy the book). There are so many great options, it’s a matter of what I need, what fits together, what I have time to do and what I will do. (also on my list to read – Smilin’ Hal Koerner’s new book on ultrarunning, though I believe it’s trail focused and I’m road focused)

Speaking of McMillan, I’m seriously considering his Boston training camp in Phoenix – but it’s over Valentine’s Day, so TBD. I’m also thinking of his Boston VIP experience. (Any readers done one of his camps?)

Speaking of books, I’m loving Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers and I didn’t think I would. Can’t believe I haven’t read it before as I love her columns. I really need a posse of female running friends like she has. That makes me think of doing some of the local Pacers store fun runs to try to find some! They don’t start till 5:30am though and they conflict with my XT days and my recovery run day…and as you know, I hate variation from my plan. They do send out their routes ahead of time (except Mondays, as the email always arrives Monday evening) so I can se distance and how many hills there are. I did one run with them last year that was fun, and I’ll have to make myself get out and do it again. It’s only blocks from my house. But it won’t be tomorrow as I’m going to try to drag myself to the pool as soon as they open. (ugh)

I’ve probably got 20 books out from the library: mystery, fiction and nonfiction. On my “owned” to be read pile, I have a stack of paperbacks, some hardcovers and a LOT of stuff on my Kindle (the limited unlimited as well as purchases). But I’m in a phase where I seem to want something exactly like what I’ve most recently enjoyed in any given genre, which is causing me to buy up series one book at a time and hunt around. Somehow I feel guilty getting more when I haven’t read what I’ve got – but it’s kind of like having a taste for something particular, nothing else will satisfy.

At some point when I have/make time (probably not till post-Boston), I think I may want to volunteer with Girls on the Run or at Pacers races or other events. For non-running volunteering, I might consider something related to reading/literacy. There may be a program through my employer. There’s also a neat organization called One Brick (that I found out about through this book) that has one-time volunteer opportunities so you can match an open window in your schedule if you can’t make a multi-week commitment. They have multiple chapters around the country (see the Chapters menu item). The challenge I have is that most of the opportunities are Saturday mornings, aka my inviolate long run time. I’ll figure that out later.

This is sort of like one of those coffee date posts – if one of us was drinking hot water with chemical-laden fake coffee syrup instead. (hey, it’s what I can have!)

I’m really loving these socks right now. I’m sleeping in them every night and I wake up with (actual, visible) ankles and decent feeling calves – and I can wear the toe separator so my bunion doesn’t get too aggravated. (many of the compression socks are so tight they put too much pressure on the bunion, which is not helpful)

I’m crossing my fingers for the Brooks Ariel 14s, release date Sept. 1 (according to them on twitter today). I love the wider toe box – and lighter weight – of the Adrenaline 13s, but in the 14s, they moved the trim to where it would blister my little toe (same way they screwed up the last Ariels, which caused me to go into Adrenalines). The Ariels are also more motion control, but I’m wondering now if that will be a good thing given the strengthening I’ve done since I last wore them. Could be overkill. On the other hand, I wonder if then I could get rid of my custom orthotics for running at least, which would allow me to put off longer finding someone new to do gait analysis or visiting my old chiro. Of course, I hate that I’ll have to be addressing shoe changes in the next 10 months with so many races. No more variables or risks!! I need to see how many pair of Adrenalines I have left – I think I might have enough to get through the end of the year. I AM tempted to order the Adrenaline 14s again just to make sure they won’t work (maybe I got a bad pair, though other folks have had problems) and maybe a pair of the men’s too. Perhaps I’ll order them all at once.

All my unread blogs at the moment are ultra blogs – think I’ll save them for Saturday during breakfast. This weekend’s porch reading will probably be finishing my July/August Marathon & Beyond and reading August UltraRunning. Plus Magill’s book if it shows up in time. Trigger point massage Sunday afternoon will cut down on porch time though, as will food prep for Monday work.

Work has been busy this week, interview stuff on top of a busier-than-normal phase with the various teams I support. While I haven’t heard back on MY application for my supervisor’s job (our crack HR staff at work…the stories I could tell, if I could tell you) I have had the chance to do in-person and phone interviews for the position at my level. I’m hopeful about one candidate in particular but the hoops and delays from trying to do this while people are on travel or August vacation are quite irksome. And we have to get this done by Labor Day, or we could lose the billet. That would mean 3 of us doing 4 people’s work for the foreseeable future, which none of us want (it took them a year to get me to replace someone who retired, and I heard how fun that wasn’t).

I need to find some bright yellow flowers that are heat/drought-tolerant (though we water daily) to put in my Boston blue planters. Ideas?

I need to get airline tickets for Baystate. Got an email from them saying the conference center where I got my reservation (5min walk from line!) is already sold out. I’m feeling not ready for Baystate. (I don’t mean ready to toe the line, I mean how training seems to be going) Not sure if I’m where I was at this point in Shamrock training or not. With so much going on in “life” (work, family, stress, body weirdnesses) I can’t really tell how I feel as well as I’d like. Just trying to trust the training process and the plan (based on McMillan, as I did for Shamrock). OTOH, being my own coach, I always wonder….

I need to get on the ball with the Richmond marathon folks and use my deferral from last year to register. Part of me wants to wait to see how I come out of Baystate (as I won’t do Richmond if I’m not recovering well) but I think there’s too much risk of a sell-out. (already have hotel) A couple pals are running the race – Christine who was so awesome to me at Shamrock, and Casey newly from RVA who runs for Team Massey against cancer – hoping we can all meet up whether or not we run together.

Need to check the dates for registration for Across the Years and start looking at hotels and airfare.

Less than 2 months till I can register for Boston!

Think I’m out of steam….So, after one more shameless plug to tell me your thoughts on the blog – see this post and leave me comments or tweet/email me – I’ll leave you to your Friday and wish you a terrific weekend. If you’re racing, hope it’s a great race! If you’re running, have a wonderful run. If you can’t run, you have my sympathies and I’ll think of you during my run, sending good, healing vibes your way.