Monday, February 12, 2007

Diagnosis: Runner's Knee

So it turns out my grouchy knee is actually a case of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome aka Runner's Knee. It's also coupled with a bit of tendonitis and inflammation of the ligaments around the knee. Blech.

At least nothings broken.

I've been perscribed 6-8 weeks of good ol' PT.

My doctor asked me if I've ever had PT before. I had to keep myself from laughing. In the last 4 years or so I have had PT to treat the following injuries:

- Lower-back: Irritated vertebrae facet joint - I'm not responsible for this one. I fell down a flight of stairs!
- Left Hamstring: Tear - related to the facet joint. The irritation caused the muscles on my left side to tighten, making them more prone to injury.
- Right Hip: Tight hip capsule - I haven't the slightest idea what caused this injury.
- Left Ankle: Hyperlaxity of the joint - This is a chronic injury that was caused by a bad ski injury back when I was 7.

Me thinks my body is trying to tell me something. Oh well...

My PT should be over by the end of March which means I will hopefully be back in fighting shape and ready to train for the NYC Tri and the NYC Marathon. I offically registered and got my guaranteed spot today at 12:05pm.

Expect lots of grumpy posts about my various training horrors over the coming year.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


First Name: Bo
Last Name: Xxxzzz
Date of birth: Some Month/Some Day/19Some Year
NYRR#: #####

Congratulations Bo! You are eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2007, which takes place on Sunday, November 4. You will be able to take advantage of this opportunity starting at noon on February 12 when the 2007 marathon application becomes available.

The ING New York City Marathon is never the same race twice. Every year we find ways to improve the event, with new race souvenirs and enhanced services for runners. Of course, the famed five-borough course and spectators provide thrills each year. This event is esteemed around the world. Having guaranteed entry is an enviable position.

Complete information about registration will be available on February 12 at

Contact XX if you have any questions, and be sure to include your name and date of birth in your correspondence. We look forward to presenting you with a finisher medal after your 26.2 miles in November! Until then, best of luck and happy training!

The tyranny of breastfeeding

Yes, breast feeding is better for baby. Yes, there are multiple benefits. Yes, more breast feeding is better than less. Yes, I try to live all holistic and stuff...


I've had it up to here with the tyranny of breast feeding. I'm disturbed by the recent trend of government health campaigns encouraging breast feeding...or rather...I'm truly pissed by the completely biased and ill focused nature of these campaigns. The campaigns focus exclusively on shaming and bullying mothers to the complete exclusion of trying to change the social conditions that often prevent women from breast feeding for 6 months.

The campaigns may increase maternal guilt but they don't provide any viable solutions for mothers to utilize. I don't see any legislation being introduced that would guarantee mothers 6 paid months of maternity leave. I don't see any programs that encourage corporations to adopt workable flexibility policies or legitimate career pathing that won't punish women from taking maternity leave or having a family! Or maybe some true tax incentives that make having a child more affordable - thus eliminating the need for both parents to work two high-pressure/high-income careers.

If you want women to nurse for 6 months provide us with the social support structure that will allow us the time and emotional space necessary to breastfeed our babies!

Monday, February 05, 2007

2007 ING NYC Marathon

When is it too early to think about marathon training? Simple answer: It’s never too early.

I probably started thinking about the 2007 NYC Marathon back in April 06 – about a week after I finished Paris. Well, actually it was about 30 sec. after I crossed the finish line…

Self: “Hey, that wasn’t so bad. I can TOOOTALLY do NY.”

And then I promptly threw up the apple I ate too quickly after finishing.

Thus the process began.

I probably didn’t really think about the marathon in earnest until I was back in NY. New York, much like London, is a game of chance, for the most part. Enter the lottery and hope you’re lucky. That is of course, unless you live in NYC. We New Yorkers have a little loophole called the New York Roadrunners club. Join the club, run 9 sanctioned races and voila instant entry in the next years marathon. However, this plan requires a little planning.

I ran my 9th race in Dec. A painful 10K run/walked on an injured knee. I’m typically not such a procrastinator but my ankle problems last summer all but eliminated my ability to run any races throughout the months of May, June, and July. Furthermore, while I know it wasn’t good form to run on an injured knee, had I not run the 10K I would have had to run a 10 miles race the following. The 10K was the lesser of the two evils.

Since then, I’ve been trying to give my knee a break. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much success healing the darn thing. It still feels tweaked and torqued, grouchy and unloved. I finally relented this afternoon and made an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. Hopefully, it is something that can be healed with some PT and rest. Surgery would not be fun.

Assuming that all goes well with the doc, here’s my athletic schedule for the next 8-9 months:

Jan – present: Taking private swim lessons to strengthen my technique and stroke.
March 2007: Start training for NYC Tri in earnest
April 2007: Swim, bike, run, repeat
May 2007: Swim, bike, run, repeat
June 2007: Try to find a body of open water (not the Hudson) where I can practice open water swims.
July 2007: Compete in the NYC Triathlon…my first Olympic length Tri. Don’t die.
August 2007: Start training for the NYC Marathon in earnest. Hopefully, I’ll have a boost from the NYC Tri training. Run the NYC Half-Marathon.
Sept. 2007: Run first 18 mile & 20 mile runs. Maybe participate in the Danskin Tri again.
Oct. 2007: Run 2nd 20 miler (maybe make it a 22 mile run). Attempt to run this distance at an 8:30 pace.
Nov. 4 2007: Run the NYC Marathon. Published goal time (sub 4:30). Unpublished goal time (sub 4:15). Don’t die.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ewwww, Don't Eat That!

One of the most fascinating things I've observed about the individuals who choose to live and eat in a natural, whole, and conscientious way is the level of sheer smugness and sense of superiority they exude when discussing their choices and way of life (This of course excludes my two girls El and Allergic Girl.) It seems to me that many so called “conscientious eaters” somehow equate green eating with being a better, superior person. I have heard many a vegan and veg tsk-tsk when someone orders a meat-centric meal and have read countless blogs blasting individuals who choose to purchase packaged, shelf-stable groceries. A recent post by a fairly well known blogger describes a favorite grocery game she plays with her fiancĂ©e. The couple walk around their neighborhood grocery store and point out all the processed foods in the baskets of fellow shoppers and then snicker and whisper “Ewwww” to each other. Should this sort of food superiority be acceptable because the person wielding the judgement eats a supposedly healthier diet than you or I? How different is this game than the wayward glances and snide comments made by the popular girls in high school.

Is it an ingrained component of the human condition to degrade someone else in order to feel better about oneself? Is this the only path to self-actualization?

As a reformed vegan and a current holistic health counselor, I’m the first to admit that I’m one of those people who try to shop on the outsides of the grocery store, the place where they keep all the perishable, whole foods; fruits, vegetables, fresh meats. I believe that we should all eat more foods that we can actually recognize and we should eat smaller portions. However, does this make me a better person? Hell no. Does it give me the right to look in someone else’s basket, calculate the nutritional deficit and shudder? No. A person is no better or worse because of what they eat. I have met many an organic chomping, animal avoiding, vegan who spit venom and spite everytime they open their mouths.

In my opinion, the biggest flaw with the current model for changing American dietary habits is that it is based on shame and judgement.

“How can you eat that? It has trans-fats! You really feed your kid French fries and burgers for lunch? You really should eat more leafy greens and cut back on red meat.”

All these statements are voiced to invoke a sense of unworthiness, shame, embarrassment. They do nothing but make people more neurotic and shift their attention onto the wrong thing. It’s not really about what you can’t eat or shouldn’t eat. Shame accomplishes nothing but demoralization of the soul.

The dialogue about nutrition needs to move beyond just the food and focus on the individual and their life. It needs to move from “ewwww, don’t eat that!” to “Tell me what you did today? And why?” I’m a staunch believer that how we eat is a result of how functional (or dysfunctional) the rest of our life is. The healthier we can make the rest of our life, the more we are apt to want to put healthier food into our bodies. Make people feel good about themselves and chances are they will want to put healthier food into their body and eat in a healthier manner.

I realize this essay has kind moved from one topic to another. That’s okay. I think it’s all kinda related.

I leave you with wisdom from En Vogue:
“Free your mind and the rest will follow.”

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Heinous Miscarriage of Justice...

Stories like this are so upsetting. ESPN and the NY Times have covered the story of Grenarlow Wilson, a high school honors student, star football player, and homecoming king from Georgia, who in 2005, at the age of 17, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. For what you may ask? For having consensual oral sex with another minor. That's right, Wilson had oral sex with a 15 year old girl at a New Year's Eve party (the sex was initated by the girl) and due to an antiquated Georgia law that makes it a felony for teenagers less than three years apart to engage in oral sex (even though it's only a misdemeanor for these same teenagers to engage in vaginal intercourse) Wilson has now served two years of a 10 year sentance and will have to file as a sex offender once he is released. The law has since been r evised but the new law can't be retroactively applied to Wilson.

You can find out more and sign the petition here.

Please blog this if you do such things. People need to know. Outrage must be expressed.