Tag Archives: run

Snack Bar Duty

1 May

I have found a small, itty, bitty, teeny, weeny positive to my new, limited time on the trails…More of my friends want to run with me now!  I guess I used to be intimidating, but now that I am a slowly recovering peg leg, they flock to me.  Well, not really flock, but maybe two have trickled in.  This is fun.  A new batch of buddies to share the trails with.  Last week we did about 75 minutes of trails.  We laughed, we paused for texts for NCL and phone calls from realtors about escrow and we sweated and enjoyed a gorgeous morning.  We plan to do it again.  I guess this reinforces the notion that I can get it all done in an hour (see previous post), but it also shows me how many more amigas I can share this with if I am doing an hour or so instead of 2.5 hours.  I guess I have more sane than insane friends (but, J and K, you are the dearest insane friends ever!!!).

I worked the snack bar this evening for Princelightningbolt’s track meet.  Some brilliant filmmaker needs to do a documentary on high school sports’ snack bars.  Seriously.  What are the differences in menu, volunteers and overall success for various sports.  Why?  I was the chef for pasta bowls, quesadillas and anything involving chili and cheese.  While this sounds disgusting under normal circumstances, when you have spent 5-7 hours at a track meet, outside in heat and cold and God knows what, this food sounds and tastes delicious.  And if you can volunteer with a crew of cool people, this can be fun and hilarious…what is not to laugh at with rubber gloves, quesadilla makers (yep, these trump my George Foreman Grill), hot dog machines and green container parmesan cheese?  Can you make a meal of that?  Oh, ya, canned chicken, too.

For chili nachos and chili dogs we offer two kinds of cheese to chose from…shredded or smooth nacho cheese. When the lines were long and the people in line impatient, we somehow resorted to shouting, “Does he want shredded or liquid cheese on his nachos?’  Liquid cheese?  Nasty.  Who would choose that option?  Lots of people, apparently.  I gobbed spoonfuls of nacho cheese onto canned chili nachos, hot dogs and who knows what over the course of a few hours.  I think Michelle Obama may need to have a talk with these folks.

Getting it Done in an Hour on the Trails

9 Apr

Peg Leg LOVES to run.  You all know that by now.  But for me, it means a lot to reiterate it nowadays.  In the past week or so,  I have run one hour plus with both my running pals on different trails and different days.  I am content…kind of.  To catch up with my weekly trail pal was awesome…slow…but awesome.  We covered everything from sweet (ahem, annoying) husbands to seven year old birthday parties to college tours for Juniors in high school to varicose veins…all in one hour and ten minutes.  Did I mention we were warned by another runner about a bobcat?  I had a blast.  My foot was sore and tired and not happy afterward, but a few days later my other run pal was in town from Nor Cal and we hit the trails.  We hashed out work, kids, vacation, MAJOR extended family troubles and eyelashes…all in an hour.

Runners are efficient.  We cut to the chase.  When running, you don’t have to face the person next to you, so probing questions, amidst heaving breathing and high heart rates, are easier, they flow, we don’t concern ourselves with edicate and proper manners.  Put your head down, push the pace and ask, “Who the hell does your husband think he is dealing with?”  This is par for the course on the trails.

These conversations refresh and renew the spirit.  The spirit of the runner and the spirit of the woman.  I am sad these refreshing, renewing runs will be only one hour now, but I am grateful for how much we can cram in.  I am bossy and I can get it done.  Run Happy.

Are You Gonna Be OK?

25 Mar

When I first started on this Peg Leg journey, my biggest fear was that I would never run again.  This was a visceral fear that I literally felt in my core.  Terrifying.  Running has been my rock and my constant since I was fourteen years old.  I depended on running when I felt happy, sad, scared, stressed, you name it.  I wanted to run.  Long hours on the dirt, away from complications, niceties and falsities, left me feeling refreshed and renewed no matter how badly I had felt when I headed out to the door.  Nothing else has ever made me feel so clean, safe, confident.  Just the thought of losing this companion brought tears to my eyes (dramatic, I know, but true…and I am not much of a crier).

In fact, running is what I have thought about most before and after surgery.  However, just as I was surprised by how I kind of luxuriated in being a nuisance (see past post), I have been surprised by how I have learned that I will be OK no matter what happens with my foot.  Shocking, even.  I do feel this, though. And I am sure some of these thoughts have been preemptory to prepare my psyche in case that is what the doc says.  Train the brain and the truth will be less painful.  I have done this now for months, so today, I felt ready.

I picked up my new orthotics and all seems good with my foot.  I have run a couple days each week for about 30-45 minutes and only been sore.  I have come to enjoy the gym more and all the cardio equipment has to offer.  I am even doing a daily 100 push ups (yes, big boy style) and weights.  After a few minutes I asked the doc about hills and running.  He tried to be encouraging, but basically, running is the worst thing I can do for my foot.  Running highly increases the chances for a joint replacement in the near future.  F**K!

But, I pulled up my big girl pants and felt OK.  I know I will be OK.  I can do things.  I may not be able to rely on my runs for all the things I once did, but I can do baby runs without hills and I can do many other activities.  It is empowering to know I will be OK.  I might even be stronger than I thought…I’ll keep you posted on that one…

Maiden Voyage

27 Feb

Although the doc said Peg Leg could “lightly jog” as of last Saturday, I have been too nervous.  Nervous it will hurt, nervous I will be too out of shape to enjoy it, nervous I will hurt something else, nervous I won’t understand what “lightly jogging” is once I get outside, nervous running might not seem like the same joyous therapy it has been for two decades.  Instead, I have been hiding in the gym.  The cardio has been great, I have been reading a ton and it has felt wonderful.  But, the gym is not like the trails with the fresh air, dirt beneath my feet and solitude to clear my head.

Today was gorgeous.  The blue skies, warm sunshine and light breeze.  I keep telling myself I am going to have to try this light jog at some point, but I have not felt like it at all.  But after carpool, errands, putting groceries away and planning dinner, I had that urge to get outside and enjoy the last bit of sunshine.  I slipped into my running shorts and headed out.  I was so nervous at first.  Eeek, what if something goes wrong?  Where is that screw and what is it doing?  But, I felt OK.  Not spry, speedy or in race shape, but good.  I felt solid.  I ran for 30 minutes slowly.  The toe that had been excrutiatingly painful for the past two and half years did not hurt!

I cried when I got to the trails.  Embarrassing, but understandable.  When asked what I am grateful for (besides my family and friends) I always immediately answer, “I am grateful I can run.”  I truly feel that way.  I know there are many who can’t and for a little while I couldn’t.  For me, running serves many purposes in my life.  Running makes me feel clean, clear, accomplished, sane and it makes the problems in my life, and the problems of the world seem a little bit more manageable.  Everyone needs something like this.  I hope you know what yours is and you nurture it.

Foot Surgery is Like Pregnancy

28 Jan

Ah, you sneer, “Foot surgery is NOTHING like pregnancy!”  I understand your initial defensiveness.  I have been pregnant two times and I thought it compared to nothing else in this world.  However, now that I am a Peg Leg, I have found a glaring similarity.  Random people I encounter with my Peg Leg, and some close friends as well, want to share with me every injury or trauma they have had involving anything from their leg south.  These thrilling topics include injuries to all of these and more: fibia, tibia, a torn calf muscle, hamstring, mcl, acl, plantar fasciitis and plantar warts (gross!).

This is where I am taken back to the feelings I had being pregnant.  My huge belly seemed to be a welcome sign for complete strangers to share with me the horrors of pregnancy, delivery, babies and motherhood.  My Peg Leg elicits similarly negative stories about feet and legs. I get it, people want to relate.  But, remember,  I am now only up to 20 minutes of standing time per hour.  These stories generally use up all my minutes, the buzzer goes off, I have accomplished nothing and I have to go sit down.  So far, I have missed my daughter dancing, had to leave the grocery store without actually buying anything and ditched out at World Market when I had a bitchin 49% off coupon.  I am depressed just typing this.

How do you stop someone mid-sentence when they are sharing their traumatic plantar wart story with you? Honestly, I would prefer to limp past everyone and go about my business.  I don’t want to talk about my Peg Leg.  I don’t want to explain my confusing surgery nor how long I will be a Peg Leg.  Not interesting to me in the least. And while I feel empathy for you, I don’t really want to live through your traumatic foot or leg experience when I am still in the throws of my own.

Talk to me about the beach, sunsets, dinners out at nice restaurants, long bike rides, runs in the mountains.  Share with me about living the life I used to live and I miss so much.  Share with me all day long and I will live vicariously through you, but keep your inquiring minds and your broken bones, ligaments and cartilage to yourself…Unless I am on my 40 minutes of sitting and I have a chair.  Then, I am bound to be bored to death and happy to have some free entertainment.

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Peg Leg Jenn

25 Jan

Peg Leg Jenn

A friend of mine told me to start a blog while I recoup from foot surgery.  I guess because I am antsy and she knows that my doctor-mandated only 15 minutes of standing per hour will drive me to the brink of insanity.  She is trying to keep me busy and out of her hair.  I baulked at first.  “No one would want to read about me.  I’m boring.”  She assured me, “My sister has a blog and some days like 100 stalkers follow her!”  That clenched the deal.  What could be more rewarding than 100 stalkers???Image

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