Dry Martini: A day without worry is like a day without sunshine

While woman-ing the AMR booth at Wineglass this weekend, I got to talking with Alana, who a) you’ll hear on this week’s podcast and b) drove down from Rochester to unfold and refold t-shirts with me, which is why the AMR booth is the most glamorous booth to be in.

(An aside: the Expo was extra-super awesome thanks to all of the mother runners who came out to fondle merch and chat about running and babies and bladders. Sales were second-day heavy, which made it wonderfully chaotic, and all of my helpers — Lisa, Alana, Brenda, and Katrina — kicked butt. Thanks to all y’all!)

BAMRs in the Booth.

Alana, who will be running her first marathon in Toronto next weekend, confessed that she is currently hyper-paranoid about germs and injury. “Me, too!” I said, because I am turning into a champion worrier about the slightest sniffle or minor ache. The idea that all of these long runs that consumed my weekends could be wasted because I caught a stomach bug from one of my children keeps me up at night. I’ve invested so much time at this point that the very idea that I could be taken out by turing an ankle because I’ve tripped over an acorn makes me want to hurl, which then makes me wonder if I want to hurl because I’m getting sick … etc and so on.

Adding to the worry is the outside of my right foot. Somewhere towards the end of my 18-miler two weekends ago, there was one spot on my hoof that started to talk to me a little bit. Not scream. Not whine. Just a casual conversation in slightly elevated tones that caught my attention. It was the only sour aspect of the run itself, which was more or less long, then longer still, then endless, then done.

My foot was still muttering at me the next morning but, frankly, it was hard to hear over the screaming of my legs, especially when I had to shuffle Tin-Man-like to the bathroom. As the morning went on, though, my gams loosened up and felt OK. But the foot; the foot did not.

I gave it a second day of rest because it seemed like what a sensible grown-up would do. Then ran on it the next day, which hurt a little but wasn’t debilitating. Then my acupuncturist friend worked some magic on it and my incredibly tight calves. I believe she mentioned the phrase “plantar fascitis” but I couldn’t be certain because I’d jammed my fingers in my ears the moment she got the “pl-" out.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not the dread PF because of where on my foot it hurts. But that just could be denial speaking.

It hurts where the red arrow is pointing. But not all of the time and not too much. And, FYI, this is not my foot.

Regardless, I ran the Wineglass Half without any foot-related incidents. It did get a little whiney around mile 11, just like the rest of me. And it doesn’t feel great when my feet hit the floor after sitting for too long, just like my calves and my hips and pretty much the rest of me.

My hope is that it will go away. If it doesn’t do that, I would be OK with it getting worse, because then it would be worth seeing a doctor over. Right now, we’re in a gray area. I’ll just worry about it incessantly because that’s what I do now.

As for the half itself — it was a nice run. It turns out that the trick to no longer being daunted by 13.1 miles is to train for a marathon. Coach’s plan was to run the first five at an easy pace, the next five at a 12:00 pace, then the last three at 11:20. Which is more or less what I did, with the exception of when I tried to fire it up at the end. My body merely shrugged and gave a damp little fizzle because all of the Expo-ing left my legs a little worse for wear. Ah, well.

I know Sarah Bowen Shea was nowhere near the race because I found a penny during mile 11.

Also during the half, at about mile three, my brain decided it would be a great time to obsess about how long 26 miles it and how I was only at mile three of this race and that, in just a few weeks, I’ll still have 23 miles to go and wow what was I thinking and crap this was a bad plan and I am a complete knob for thinking a marathon was a great idea. You know. As one does.

Eventually, I pulled my mental socks up and got on with running. Not sure I have some great trick to pass on, other than waiting for my inner complainer to simply run out of gas. Which she did, once she noticed I wasn’t giving her as much attention as she wanted.

Since this whole post is turning out to be about my obsessions — well, the running related ones anyway — let me mention Alicia Keys.

I’m a fan of The Voice, mostly because of a thing I have for Adam Levine, even though I know in real life I would squash him.

This season has Alicia Keys, whose generosity and spirit and all-around grooviness comes through every time she speaks. When she tells a contestant that she sees them, I truly believe she does. Alicia Keys, it turns out, ran the NYC marathon last year, which makes her a total Badass Mother Runner.


While I’d love it if she could give me a big hug at the finish line and tell me that I’m amazing, it’s enough to know that she’s run the same course, too, and in about the same time as I will. And, of course, I’m now scouring her catalog for songs to add to my playlist. “Girl on Fire” is a gimme.  What (and who, because it doesn’t need to be all Alicia all the time) else should I add?

26 responses to “Dry Martini: A day without worry is like a day without sunshine

  1. I know you will rock the NYC Marathon.
    For Alicia Keys, I’d recommend Superwoman and Empire State of Mind -both the JayZ version and her solo version.
    I also love Let the Groove Get in – Justin Timberlake, assorted Fall Out Boys songs and assorted Maroon5 (Wake Up Call, Lucky Strike, Animals – don’t use Harder to Breathe – the beat is great but the lyrics mess with my head!

  2. Hi Adrienne, I love your AMR posts and now see that I will also be able to read your knitting tales on Mason Dixon Knits. This is going to make my morning blog round a bit more amusing. Can’t wait to see what you write about your yarn tales.

  3. Great post. I also obsess about germs, sickness, injury, etc. when marathon time comes near. But, you know what? I was actually relieved when 2012 NYC was cnx. I could drive from central NY, and my hotel was open. But, I didn’t feel right about it. So, not running happened. And, I was fine. And, you WILL run. And, I had music tucked up with me in 2013, but didn’t use it once. I should have around the fourth bridge, but I didn’t. You won’t get caught up in miles. It’s such an amazing race. I remember thinking I was actually an idiot for fearing pee would drip on me from the upper level of Verazzano. Seriously, who pees in the first mile anyway? I was awed and surprised by the hills in Brooklyn, but equally as awed at how cool parts of it were. Queensboro/59th is weirdly quiet, and I was just trying to get away from a guy who I was near for several miles blowing snot rockets. Upper first ave got lonely, but I swear Bronx and Harlem were great. Raw, crazy…A chorus of construction equipment playing their horns, a big sign that read “F(*& the Wall!” You’ll forget about the distance by the time you enter the park, run Central park South, and head back in. I hope you took the Poncho option. (also, best advice I had from a pace group leader was to not throw anything away I might want when the shadows descend. After a 10:55 start and daylight savings, was glad I saved my gloves, long sleeve, and arm sleeves made of tube socks). I can’t wait to read your race report. Thoughts to you for keeping that foot happy.

  4. Hi Adrienne, I always enjoy your posts, but especially since our running trajectories have been very similar over the last few years: you ran your first half at the same time I did, and now we are both attempting a fall marathon (I’m running Toronto next week). And wouldn’t you know it, I’m having trouble with my ankle/foot. I know it shouldn’t, but somehow it makes me feel better knowing that someone else is in the same boat. Thank you for your insights and humour (I’m Canadian), and good luck with your race! I’ll be awaiting your race recap. 🙂

  5. I have that pain sometimes too – usually I can stretch it out by turning my out and down – hopefully that will work for you! Here’s the beginnings of my list for my upcoming half – you are one BAMR and you will rock it!!!
    Fire – P!nk
    Sunshine in my pocket – Justin Timberlake
    Cake by the Ocean – DNCE
    Rumor Has It – Adele
    Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

  6. Funny thing about running with music in the NYC marathon is that you will barely hear it. It wasn’t until around mile 11ish when you are in Brooklyn with the large Jewish population (Sunday is a workday for them) that I could even hear my music. The crowds there are thin in comparison to the rest of the race. The next time was about 4 miles later on the 59th Strret bridge when I could hear it again. No spectators are allowed on the bridges. My 11 mile song was ‘all about that bass’ by Megan Trainor. When I hear it now it puts me back to NYC and the race. By the way, good luck BAMR. You will do great!!!

  7. Oh, good luck with your foot. I am also a worrier and I felt the same way before I ran the Philly marathon. I would definitely recommend The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” for your playlist. I think it has a great beat and such perfect lyrics -“I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night” that are so fitting for thinking about celebrating your terrific accomplishment of completing the marathon. Happy running and best of luck!

  8. I have that pain! It’s peroneal (not perineal) tendon/muscle junk. Specifically for me it is peroneus brevis. ART and dry needling f that has helped a ton. Your acupuncturist might have something for it too. Not to mention massage!!!

  9. I’ve had pain in that exact spot twice too. The first time I was shocked to find out it stemmed from my lower back! My physio fixed me up in no time. The
    He next time was years later and it was actually a bone out of place. The cuboid bone to be exact. My awesome physio popped it back in place. Too bad I waited months to see her to find out the problem.

  10. I am normally a oldies girl – lots of Queen and Beatles but I just added Shakira’s “Try Anything” from Zootopia. I think it is a fitting sentiment whenever we push our boundaries.

  11. I think you should add Empire State of Mind with Jay Z and Alicia Keys. The rap is just OK but her part is PERFECT for the race. “In New York – Concrete jungle where dreams are made of – There’s nothing you can’t do – Now you’re in New York – These streets will make you feel brand new – Big lights will inspire you
    Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York”. My favorite memory from the NYC marathon was running over the bridge at mile 13 with manhattan on my left across the river while Frank Sinatra sang “New York, New York” in my ears. It was perfect serendipity for me but it was so good I suggest you force to happen for yourself!

  12. I’ve been having similar pain in my right foot after running a marathon Saturday to train for my marathon. (DON’T TELL THE LADIES IN MY AMR CHALLENGE GROUP.) I have diagnosed myself with perineal tendonitis. I’m wrapping to an extent, using arnica and wearing compression. The most help came from ice baths.

  13. Some of my running playlist musts are: I will Survive, Eminem Not Afraid and Lose Yourself, Journey Don’t Stop Believing, I’m Shipping Up To Boston by Dropkick Murphy’s as Boston is on my bucket list, No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys and I replace Brooklyn with Finish Line.

    And of course Fight Song by Rachel Platton but that makes me all teary eyed and emotional during a race and then I make weird breathing sounds.

  14. I love “Wings” by little me- “mamma told me not to waste my life, she said spread your wings my little butterfly. Don’t let what they say keep you up at night, cause they can’t contain you- wings were made to fly” Al to a good beat. Have a great race!

  15. Do you need new shoes? A week out from Chicago, my trusty shoes have given up and were causing calf pain. I’m going to be running in older versions. Missy Elliott (Get Yur Freak On) always helps me.

  16. I feel ya. My foot is niggling in nearly the same area; not cool.
    Your play list needs (NEEDS) Lay Down the Law, by the Switches. If you can listen to this song and not want to move, there’s something wrong with you. 😉 And just to prove it’s totally awesome, it turns out it’s on Kara Gouchers play list. Boom.

  17. I’ve had pain on and off in the same spot for years (I especially identify with the soreness when you put your foot down). I finally went to a doctor about it and was diagnosed with perineal tendinitis and am now doing PT. I waited way too long to get it checked out. I’m sure you’ll be completely fine for the race, but if it keeps bothering you there is treatment!

  18. I just added Confident by Demi Lavato and This is What You Came For by Calvin Harris to my marathon play list.
    The germ thing is a real fear. I’m 3- days out from my next marathon (and yes I’m trying to say that without gagging) and I’m doing cold medicine like it’s vodka shot as I felt flu-ish on Tuesday. Also doing, vitamin C, Zinc and Emergen-C. Oh and I went into the Dopey Challenge last January pumped up on meds thanks to a sinus infection. Yeah that was “fun.”
    Should you see a podiatrist about your foot? Better to catch an issue early than to have a really big problem. Hope it feels better!

  19. “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys is another good one. Not quite as upbeat as “Girl on Fire” but great lyrics! So excited for you!! You totallllllly have got this!! I had pain in that same spot last year and it turned out to be tendonitis. If you can get a RX for Ketoprofen cream, it helps a TON. It is basically a cream form of ibuprofen that you can apply where it hurts instead of having it go through your bloodstream. Good luck keeping your worries in check!!

  20. May I also recommend that you time your music better than I did. I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon listening to “Call Me Maybe.” I could have done better than Carly Rae Jepsen for the win.

  21. I have listened to Alicia Keys “Brand New Me” for years while running. I also like to mix my music up, so I would also add Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy” to the play list, and follow it up with some Keith Urban. Any of his stuff is good while running. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Almost Home.” “I Don’t Like it, I Love It” by Flo Rida.

  22. I am also training for NYC and was sidelined for 3 weeks with plantar fascitis. I would suggest reading Sarah’s post regarding it, ice on a frozen water bottle (I am doing that right now in fact) don’t walk barefoot ever, and look up the stretches you can do. I hope it doesn’t cause an issue!
    My favorite marathon songs are usually old school rocks songs (AC/DC, ZZ Top, etc.) I also like some inspirational songs (weirdly Miley Cyrus’ The Climb) except I get teary at certain points unexpectedly, and that could set me off at the wrong time. Good luck!

  23. LOL, totally agree w/ how marathon training changes your perception of long runs. Last week I ran 12 before work and didn’t think anything of it.
    I have had pain on the outside of my (R) foot for the last few years. It turned out to be a calcium deposit, which I also have on my heel. I find that wearing compression socks really helps, even the shorties. And KT tape for the PF. I use the roller on my feet every day as well.

  24. “American Sweetheart ” by Elle King is a great, badass song. An older but gooder one is T”The Story” by Brandi Carlisle– u can think about your story and how this Race is a part of it. Plus “middle of the Road” by the pretenders and “Dog Days” by Florence and the Machine are just fun. Lastly, for some Halloween camp — “Dead Man’s Party” by Oi go Boingo, because you’ll b dead at the end of the marathon!

  25. Anything from Bruce Springsteen is a must! Also “Move B#%{&” by Ludacris. When I listen to it I’m the b—- I am referring to. I also asked my family to tell me what their favorite upbeat or motivating song was and mixed them in. When those songs came on, I thought (and prayed) for the people who recommended them. It was a great distraction and an interesting mix. When I ran Chicago in 2014 one song on the list was “My Kind of Town” and it was very motivating. Best of luck! You’ve got this!

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