Injured runner: I’m having a hard time swimming

Things OK to do while on the mend:

  • Walking
  • Elliptical-ing
  • Biking/spinning
  • Core and strength training
  • Swimming

Things not OK to do well on the mend:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Bearing weight on my knee (so like, table top/cat/cow position in yoga would all be a big fat no!)

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of consistently doing all but the swimming on my first list. I stopped going to yoga altogether after I talked to my doctor about a month ago to get specifics on what I can and cannot do while I let my stress fracture heal. I know I can still go to yoga but that I wouldn’t be able to do all the moves everyone else is. (So far, I haven’t gotten the courage to go back).


So, why is swimming so hard? I’ve done it before.

But, my doctor had also told me to avoid breast stroke when I swim — too much kicking of the leg/knee out that could cause aggravation to the injury. Um, as a runner where swimming is not my forte, breast stroke was my saving grace! Now that I have to do the crawl the entire time, swimming is way more stressful and tiring and time consuming.

Right now, I only have the lung capacity to do two laps (so out-and-back twice) of the crawl. After two laps I am winded. I am gasping for air and my heart is beating pretty quickly. I hate having to pause/take a break, especially if there are other swimmers in the lane — it just messes up with the whole flow!

So, what do I do? Just keep going to the pool and get better? The last two times I went to the pool, I spent a majority of my time using the kick board. I wouldn’t mind doing backstroke either, but this takes skill if you have to share the lane with others …

It’s also hard to get better at swimming when I only go once a week. But, the lap swim schedule and my work schedule and how crowded the pool gets on Saturdays leaves me with just Sunday swim days.

Maybe I’ll try aqua jogging. That doesn’t take being in the lap lane. I keep running into my old high school cross country coach at the pool and he’s been telling me to aqua jog instead of doing mindless laps back and forth if I hate it so much.

Maybe I don’t need to get any better at swimming. Maybe I’ll just stay in the slow lane and kick board the entire time.

But, it would be nice for my workout to not take an hour plus …


Happy Father’s Day: the flashback edition

Here’s a flashback to November, when my dad and I converted to iPhones together.

We're pretty excited to take our first selfie

We’re pretty excited to take our first selfie

Hate to say it, but dumping my flip-phone for a smartphone wasn’t even on my radar at the time. But my dad was upgrading so, I decided to upgrade too.

Dads always know best.

And, for a list I wrote in 2011 of “what my dad has taught me,” enlighten yourself here.

The list can never get outdated because everything always holds true — even his comment about stating your name when calling on the phone. He still does this even when I am calling his cell phone!

Happy Father’s Day (to my dad and all the other dads and dad-like folks out there!)

PSA: Put sunscreen on everywhere

I don’t usually like to instill my opinions on others (with exception to that time I wrote that everyone should vote because that’s what a good citizen does) but today I have one more public service announcement:

Put sunscreen on everywhere.

I don’t care if you are dark-skinned and “never burn.” At one point, I was like that. (Or, so I thought).

Always remember your face (duh) but don’t forget the shoulders and the backs of your ears and even the part in your hair (if you’re one that wears your hair the same way or have a natural part).

I was in California for less than 24 hours.

And, I got burned.

Because I was negligent to apply sunscreen everywhere.

I forgot my feet.

And now they are swollen and red and hurt oh so badly.

For the first time in my 26 years of life, I have had to apply aloe vera.

Sure, I’ve burned before, but never this badly.

But I guess sitting in the San Clemente sun for four hours on the beach will do it to you. I really should have been a better sun screen user. It did reach a high of 90 degrees that day …

I’ve learned my lesson. I will put sunscreen on everywhere.

And, I will never have to use aloe vera ever again.

And, my feet will thank me.

Because, right now, they wish they could go barefoot everywhere …


But, burns and all, it was worth celebrating Annie and Gabe. Congrats to the newlyweds!


2013: Getting faster, getting injured and crushing PRs

I got faster this year.

Or, I just pushed myself beyond my “pain threshold limit” of years past.

I PR’d in the 5K, half marathon and marathon distances.

I PR’d my marathon time in May (4:07:40 – a SIXTEEN minute PR) and then beat that PR in October (4:05:26).

I PR’d my half marathon time in August when I was beginning to have my IT band pain.

I PR’d my 5K time in September (22:34). This was a PR that took TEN YEARS to achieve. I am finally faster than my high school self.

Yes, I am bragging.

I had no PRs last year.

I worked hard for these times. I am not a “naturally fast” runner. My body isn’t a “runner’s body.” Running doesn’t run in my family (ha ha, yep, went there).

Sure, compared to others, my times are average or maybe even considered “slow.”

But, to me, I am fast.

And, I am only going to get faster next year.

I have taken the necessary time off since October and have been going to physical therapy for my knee/IT band problems. I’ve been doing my stretches and exercises daily to strengthen my core and back and glutes so that my injury does not become a recurring problem.

I have solved my anemia issue. (I actually went to the doctor this year for a regular check up — something I hadn’t done since high school). I try my hardest to sleep 8 hours a night. I don’t excessively drink or eat sweets. I treat my mind and body well.

Physical therapy will end (hopefully) within the first or second week of the New Year.

And, I’m excited.

I’m ready to train my hardest and set some more PRs next year.

It’s not easy. Nothing worth attaining is ever easy.

Good-bye 2013, thanks for being nice to me race-wise. You may have been hard on my knees but I won’t hold it against you.

2014, BRING IT ON.

Year End’s resolutions

We’re all encouraged (or pressured by others) to make New Year’s resolutions.

Every New Year’s Eve we think of something that will better ourselves … The classic, “I will go on a diet” or “I’m going to go to the gym” to more thoughtful ones like starting to volunteer at an organization you support.

I don’t remember what I was thinking about at the end of last year.

It probably had something to do with focusing on my running. At the time, I was on a “running streak” where I ran at least 20 minutes a day for as many days in a row as I could. I accomplished 39 days until sickness had me down (literally). And by sickness, I mean a common cold, nothing serious.

The nice thing about resolutions is that they can be as big or small as you want them to be. No one even has to know about them if you don’t want them to.

But, instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions, why not Year End’s resolutions, too?

In what way do you want to finish off the year? How do you want to feel when the clock strikes midnight?

I made a decision in November to take the stairs every day at work rather than the elevator. This may seem like a small feat for some but my office is on the 8th floor and eight flights of stairs at 7 in the morning isn’t fun. By the time I get to the top, I am perspiring because I get too lazy to take off my down-jacket because I don’t want to carry it along with my lunch and work-out clothes bag. (OK, OK, I’ll stop complaining).

Maybe when January rolls around I’ll be like, “Pshhh, eight flights of stairs! Bahh. That’s nothing!” And speed-walk up them faster than the two minutes it takes me to drag my feet up it now.

Maybe my Year End’s resolution isn’t something big that is “making me a better person,” but it’s making me less lazy.

Every morning when I walk through the doors of the building and see people walking into an elevator, I want to join them. But, then I remember that I don’t like elevator small talk. And, I get impatient when I have to stop at every floor on my way up to the 8th. Plus, I have that resolution.

Can choosing to take the stairs actually be a resolution? I mean, maybe it’s more of a goal.

But, the whole point is that the 2013 is quickly coming to a close. Do you want to be getting into that work elevator that will probably break down (again) or do you want to be using your own two feet by taking the stairs — and coincidentally run into former colleagues who you actually enjoy talking to?

It’s up to you. Enjoy 2013 while it’s still here.

Every day I’m recovery running

I ran the inside of Green Lake Sunday afternoon.

It wasn’t so crowded as usual (my main reason for never running the inner loop). The Seattle Marathon took place that morning so a majority of my fellow city runners woke up when it was dark and cranked out 13.1 to 26.2 miles.

I just did about 4 miles (when adding the 2.8-mile loop plus the distance to and from the lake from my house).

And I was sure proud of it.

It was knee pain-free! I haven’t run around the lake in for-e-ver. OK, OK, it’s been like two months but in running time that seems like forever.

My physical therapist has been telling me that running is fine but I should be doing it at recovery run pace and distance. That means short and sweet — and slow(er).

I think it’s paying off.

I don’t want to dive head-first back into training. I am, after all, still continuing PT (for an undetermined amount of time).

At least, I don’t feel broken.

I’m hopeful.

And, I will do everything once I am “fully better” to prevent from getting injured again.

This means, adequate stretching and (core) exercises are going to become part of my running routine. Or, I mean, part of my post-run routine. Stretching and doing core while running seems a little too extreme for me.

Now, where’d I put that foam roller …

That time I waited 2 hrs for a phone on Black Friday

I've now owned 2 iPhones in my lifetime/ 7 days.

I’ve now owned 2 iPhones in my lifetime/ 7 days.

I had one of those, “Why am I doing this?” moments yesterday.

I was at an electronics store (Best Buy to be specific) on Black Friday.

And, the absurd thing of it all is I wasn’t even there at the crack of dawn to get the 50 percent off iPhone 5c or super-great-door-buster-deal on an HD flat-screen TV or whatever the promotions were. I was there to exchange my iPhone 5 at 8 p.m.

I made the mistake of thinking the store would be “normal” a few hours before its closing time. And, since my dad and I had originally gone to the store and purchased our new smartphones together, he was with me for the exchange. (An hour into waiting he was like, “See, Kristin, we should have just left and come back early in the morning!)

We ended up waiting longer to see a customer service representative than I did for any ride at Disneyland earlier this month. We waited for just a little over two hours. (Yes, I could have watched a full-length feature film in that time or raced a half-marathon with time to spare in that time!)

Why was I needing to exchange my phone when it was only six days old? It was acting “glitchy” all day Friday. It was “pressing buttons” when I wasn’t even holding the phone. (Examples: While talking on speaker phone, multiple buttons “were pushed” and the beep sound kept going off every time this happened! The phone called one of my contacts when I didn’t touch the screen at all. When I was in the middle of texting, random letters would appear and I couldn’t delete them!) It was basically acting possessed. I wasn’t going to deal with it. I was going to get a new phone.

I just did it on the wrong day.

I waited in line and my dad periodically went off to go look at other products around the store. Every time someone knew came to the line and asked me how long I had been waiting, they couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it either. (“Why am I here again?”)

On top of it all, I wasn’t even sure if the store had the iPhone 5 (regular one) in stock! The phone lines were backed up and I couldn’t get to a real person when I tried calling Best Buy before we went to the store. I guess the employees were just busy assisting all these people who were waiting in the super-long line!

When it was finally our turn, it felt like we had won the lottery. (I know, dramatic, right?) When we told the guy what we were here for he quickly responded and walked over to the cabinet to get a new phone. He was rummaging moving boxes around, checking each shelf for an iPhone 5.

My palms were starting to perspire. Did I just wait in that line — and make my dad wait in that line — for more than 2 hours for nothing? They can’t be sold out of the phone! This one is not a Black Friday deal!

The man seemed to have found the right phone and came back to the counter. It was the last iPhone 5 in stock. It was in white (the same color as my original) but had the last one been black I wouldn’t have cared. I was tired. I was exhausted. I had not gotten “real sleep” since the night of the 27th, which was the night before Thanksgiving. Besides a few car ride naps, my cousin and I hadn’t slept! We had been out shopping — but not really buying much since the deals were not that great — from midnight to 10 that morning! That’s insane, right?? Next year I am sleeping! (You can quote me!) I was even dozing in and out while watching the Apple Cup later in the day! That’s how tired I was!

So, after all of that, I was here at Best Buy.

Because I had backed up everything on my iPhone to the cloud, we didn’t have to stay longer than necessary at the store. I could just transfer my apps, contacts, photos, etc. when I got home, the employee said.

But, we did have to wait for the phone to turn on. He wanted to make sure that it was a working new phone. That took what felt like an eternity.

“I’ve been working the past seven Black Fridays and this has been the worst Black Friday,” the man said as he waited for my phone to charge up even a little bit to turn it on. At this point, it was 10:30 p.m. and the store had closed at 10 p.m. There were two other guys helping other customers with three more customers waiting in the phone line.

When the guy helping us added that he worked until 1:30 in the morning that day and had to be at work at 7 a.m. to closing (which was now past but he was obviously still there) and then had to be at work again at 7 a.m. the next day, all I could think was “Dear, god, why???? Why do have a day of shopping that just makes everyone tired???”

Finally the “eternity” passed and the phone turned on! My dad quickly called my number and the phone rang. (His name did not appear since nothing new was loaded but at least we knew it was working!) 

This morning when I was syncing my new phone to my computer to restore the “old phone” settings (everything that was on my first iPhone,) I had feelings of “Ahhhh, technology!” combined with “Ughhh, technology! (I hate you, if this was my flip-phone, I would be having no problems!)”

But, if this was my flip-phone, I wouldn’t be able to FaceTime, Snapchat and tell Siri what to do.

Anyway, the take-home message here is that Black Friday is called Black Friday for a reason. And, if you can avoid an electronics store on this one day of the year, I would advise you to do so.

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.