Words and Worlds of New York

My friend Ellen got a mention in the Wall Street Journal today. The article, while in many respects is a great intro to her language project, Words and Worlds of New York, also demonstrates that when you agree to be profiled, you never really know how you’re going to be portrayed to the world. I guess this is why I’m pretty careful when I write about people I don’t know that well, or at all. And why I’m so careful about to whom I grant interviews myself (Ha ha. Yeah. As if.).

Suffice it to say that Ellen does not aspire to be portrayed by Julia Roberts in a film. I could protest other points in the piece, but if you meet her one day you’ll be able to instantly recognize which ones were also sole products of the reporter’s fevered imagination.

Because the Wall Street Journal is stuck in the 19th century, they apparently do not include URL links in their web articles. I find this almost impossible to fathom. In fact, I still don’t believe it. My interpretation? They don’t want to “lose” readers by sending them somewhere else (note to WSJ: you can open a new browser window; code is “target=new”), so instead they irritate those readers by neglecting to provide them with information they probably want (“Sounds like a great project! I wonder what it’s called and where the hell I can go see it.”)

Anyway, I grumble.

Here’s the article: 13 Tongues, Three Years

Here’s the blog link: Words and Worlds of New York

Google search oddities

Today, a hit received for:

“butter sculpture julie threlkeld”

Okay, now my secret’s out: I’ve been quietly honing my skills as a sculptress of dairy products.

A Hallowe’en run

Sunday October 31st will mark 12 weeks since my injury occurred. I am a lot better now. No pain in the glute/hip/hamstring. I still have issues with my right adductor, but I’ve been applying Voltaren (gel) for the last couple of days and it’s clearing up nicely. This morning I could put on below-the-waist clothing items (Matt, this is for you: undergarments!) without having to sit down or lean against something for the first time in close to a month.

Tomorrow it’s going to be 50F at daybreak. Now that I have no pain, it’s so tempting to go out and try a run. But I won’t. I’ll wait until Hallowe’en and even then I won’t try it outside, much as I’d love to commemorate the holiday with a run in Sleepy Hollow. Running someplace nice is too much of a letdown if it doesn’t work out. No, the plan is to try a few laps at my gym’s indoor track — a 12 laps to the mile paperclip featuring 90 degree turns. It’s a horrible place to run anyway, so if I can’t run there, so what. I’ll try maybe half  a mile, tops. Just to see.

Then, if that works, I’ll try again — again, inside. I’m not going to run outside until I’m sure I can actually run for more than 10-15 minutes without pain or an altered stride.

I’m dreaming of doing a pain-free two mile run to just beyond Crestwood Station and back. That’s all I want now. It’s what I think about every day while I’m in that stupid pool. Just give me two miles by mid-November. I’m really not asking for so much.

The Nokia Outdoor Series Blogger Debacle

Sorry for the noun train.

In this story, I think there are two big lessons to be learned:

  1. Bloggers, be careful who you volunteer to help out with your time and energy.
  2. Corporations, be careful who you hire to represent your brand.

Thanks, Graham, for sending this one along.

Google search oddities

Today I got a hit on: “threlkeld pools”

Wow. No. Please. No.

The other oddity is that in the past two days I’ve gotten several hundred hits, whereas Houston Hopefuls, which got a mention in Running Times, has seen barely a nudge in traffic. Hmm.

Congratulations, Jaymee.

For those who may have missed it, inaugural Houston Hopeful Jaymee Marty just qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials this morning in Chicago.

Many of us among her virtual fan base sat glued to our monitors this morning, frantically hitting “Refresh” every 19-20 minutes to get her 5K splits. She faked us out with some slight slowing in the last few miles. What a drama queen. Final time: 2:45:09.

Having followed Jaymee’s blog for a couple of years, and been the beneficiary of more than one helpful and encouraging comment and email, I am over the moon today with her accomplishment. I hope she savored the moment at the finish line, as this was an achievement both hard won and well deserved.

Joe has posted the anxiety-ridden blow by blow from the Facebook peanut gallery who were tracking Jaymee’s splits.

Training: Sept 19-Oct 9

As I type this, I am sitting in a chair with a block of synthetic ice wrapped around my right upper hamstring and groin. I’ve tried to avoid my naughty bits, but to effectively ice your groin (more specifically, adductor) muscles, you need to let things slide a little geographically, as it were.

You know, and I’m not saying this sarcastically, for once — the past few months have been amazing. I’ve met some kind and generous people, both in person and virtually (although I hope to eventually bridge those digital divides with many of them). Many have been a great source of information and support. I don’t know that I could have accepted my current predicament without them.

I’m now convinced that I have a stress fracture of the femoral neck. So, here’s something fun: when I was interviewing the elites at the Fifth Avenue Mile event late last month, I got the opportunity to talk with Shannon Rowbury. Another reporter was asking her about injuries and she mentioned the femoral neck stress fracture that hobbled her after high school. I asked her the what the symptoms (and progression) were and they were dead on.

Several of you mentioned this likelihood as well — and don’t think I forgot about that exciting reader contest. If in a month I can actually run without pain, I’m going to declare that diagnosis sound (and, I hope, myself cured) and I will randomly distribute the virtual loot accordingly to one lucky amateur diagnostician, as promised.

Being the biggest amateur diagnostician of all, I have concluded that all of those incredible muscle knots were, aside from being red herrings, a reaction to the fracture. Or maybe they’d always been there and I’d never noticed them because I never had a proper massage or bothered to try rolling them out.

The update on those is that they are all gone. Not only that, but I have loosened up my IT band (and broken up scar tissue that ran along the top part) to the extent that I can roll happily and pain-free, where in the past such activity made me shriek in agony. I can only hope that once I’m actually running again, all of this loosening up will mean a bigger stride — and that means faster running.

But back to my current stay in injury purgatory. I did a lot of walking/standing around Sept 22-26, in conjunction with the Fifth Ave Mile event (interviewing and then volunteering) and also for a new freelance project. I felt all that walking afterwards — the deep, gluteal pain was back and I was a little mad at myself for having pushed things. I took a couple days off (and used the car more), which helped. Then early this month I made a quick trip out to Arizona, so obviously didn’t do anything trainingwise during those days. Then got back and work was crazy again. I was tired from the travel and sleep disruption anyway, so I took off the Tuesday I got back without much guilt.

Now I’m back and can honestly say that I’m working my ass off again. I am averaging 2 to 2.5 hours of gymwork a day. I have rarely gone twice a day, but I may start doing so on days that aren’t as busy with work, so I can break things up a little more and enable some recovery.

It’s not only physically difficult to, say, do an hour of spinning, then stretching/rolling, then weights, then pool running. It’s also quite hard mentally. If I don’t get it over with in the morning, then I literally have to drag myself to the gym in the afternoon. By which time I’m in a terrible mood and seething with a mixture of resentment and despair.

How have other runners dealt with long term injury? I wonder about this. On one hand, I think that doing the alternate training helps because at least I feel like I’m doing something and I get to maintain the chemically-based mood enhancers that I have come to depend on getting from hard exercise. (You think I’m depressed now? You should see me without exercise.) But on the other hand, the whole rigarmarole is a daily reminder of the fact that I can’t run.

I got up this morning at about 7:00 and it was 52F out, sunny and dry. It was the kind of day that I would have loved to have run the 14 miles up to White Plains and back. I know I’m whining. I know it’s unattractive. I can’t help it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers