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Posts from the ‘Disappointments’ Category

Loving my body again: A tale of broken boobs

My daughter will be nine-months old on Thursday. When people meet her, there's generally a consensus about how happy she is, how much she smiles and how good of a disposition she has. I'm lucky that at this point in the mommy game, I'm rarely getting asked the question that I was so frequently at the beginning.

"Are you nursing?"

"That's complicated," was the standard and necessary response.

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Breaking promises to myself (+ Energy Bits winner!)


I always feel like bad news should be accompanied with a photo of a cute dog. I also feel that sometimes you just rip off the Band-Aid.

I didn’t run the Half Moon Bay Half Marathon this past weekend. I was too exhausted from a long Saturday. I had a headache most the night. I didn’t feel good at all most the weekend. I decided to throw in the towel and rest.

I’m glad I did. I’m slated to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon this weekend. And another half marathon the weekend after.

I’m upset, though, that I didn’t get to see a friend cross the finish line of her first-ever marathon. I’m upset that I essentially “went through the motions” and didn’t follow through.

It it not my first DNS, it probably won’t be my last if I continue racing, but it was upsetting nonetheless.

I was excited for more training this week to take me into next weekend, another week of some solid runs to propel me through 13.1.

Instead, I got a flu shot on Monday. And I should have realized that once I got a flu shot, I would suddenly not feel good. I’ve struggled through my classes this week, trying to not stand up too much and sleep as much as possible. I’m glad to say I’m not feeling nearly as sick as I was on Tuesday.

But I am still feeling a little under the weather.

So I’m crossing my fingers I don’t have a repeat of last weekend this weekend.

This running thing is hard lately. The change in my diet has basically meant I don’t have as much energy and I’m trying to “figure out” the whole fitness and nutrition situation. I’m still struggling. More answers soon…hopefully.

I feel like I’m breaking a lot of promises to myself right now. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, particularly after a very successful spring/summer running season, but the fatigue and stomach issues are really bothering me.

I’m having to adjust my fueling and, so far, having mixed success in what works for me. Speaking of fueling (and something that didn’t upset my stomach)…



It’s funny that I talk about energy, because yesterday my Energy Bits giveaway ended! And we have a winner: JILL HARRIMAN!

The wonderful people at Energy Bits will be contacting you about your free sample! I’m excited to have you try out the bits, particularly because it’s an excellent way to get energy naturally.

Plus, Jill can now use my line, if she wants to, when someone asks her what she’s putting in her mouth: “Oh this, it’s algae. You know you want some.”

Yes. I totally went there.

Congratulations Jill!

Beyond the personal fitness mess that is now

More often than not lately I feel like running and I are just having a “time out.”

After a really successful spring racing season that gave me a 12-minute PR in the marathon and a 2:16 finish in the half, I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’ll be switching down to the half marathon at Half Moon Bay in a couple weeks. I have a lot of reasons to do so. One of them, though, is that I’m just not ready to run 26.2. (There are health reasons too, yes.)

After yoga on Tuesday, I felt like I had been hit by a bus for no other reason than it just didn’t go well for me.

I feel like a fitness mess right now. But I also have A LOT to look forward to in the next couple months.


colormeradThe first is that I’m FINALLY going to be participating in a color run this weekend. I’ll be heading to San Jose on Saturday, husband in tow, to run in the Color Me Rad 5K. After not making it to the start line this summer for the one I previously registered for, I’m excited to get to do one. I didn’t get to early packet pickup with my students in production for their first newspaper of the semester this week, so I’m anticipating long lines comes Saturday.

My wave starts at 9:20 a.m. I’m hoping to get there at about 8:15 a.m. or so.

The best part of this run is that it’s a 5K! That means that, in comparison to the other runs my husband has had to wait for me at, this one won’t be nearly as long. I’m excited to run something shorter too.

But I won’t be running for speed. Instead I’m going to focus on taking it all in and having fun.


I’m planning on taking this one slow and steady too. I’ve never run a trail half marathon. I don’t really feel like I have anything to “prove” on the course either. I’m just going to get it done.

I went into my first trail 10K thinking the same thing. I was slow. The next year I ran it much, much faster. I just want to enjoy myself.

Plus, my husband will likely pack the kayak for this one, so I can take a little longer if need be as well.

I’ll admit, though, I’m a little bit more excited about the fact that this half is named for the Internet Honey Badger meme. And the medal is pretty awesome as well.

LET’S GO 510 10K

letsgoI’m REALLY excited to announce that I’ve been chosen as an ambassador for the Let’s Go 510 10K on Oct. 19 in Berkeley.

I love the East Bay. When I was a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley I lived in Oakland for two years. I loved the life and culture of the area. I lived in North Oakland, where there were a bunch of cute shops and restaurants.

I’m already signed up for the Berkeley Half Marathon in November. So when I saw this race, I knew I had to get involved. I sent an email inquiring about the company’s ambassador program. And I was accepted!

I’ll be running the 10K.

This race is partially put on by Brazen Racing, which is one of my favorite racing companies.

The race will take runners through the Berkeley Marina area. It will be nice and cool come October. Even better is the 10 a.m. start of the race. I actually get to sleep in a little before running.


The reason I’m so excited about these races is that they are all a little bit different than the norm for me. A color run. A trail half marathon. A 10K. Two I’ve never done. One I haven’t done in awhile.

I’m hoping by the time the Let’s Go 510 10K comes around, I’ll have rebounded from this funk. That said, I still have two other half marathons to run in that time. But the good news is that I’m excited about running again.

Now if I could only clam down the nagging pain in my hip and the nasty pains in my stomach…

A hard-fought diet battle

Over the past four weeks my stomach has waged a relentless war against me. Everything I eat has made me sick. Every run I went on suffered from it. Every training decision I made was marred by the fact that I couldn’t fuel properly.

And now, as the problems seem to be receding, I’m having to make some difficult decisions about the marathon I’m supposed to be running in less than a month. The likelihood is that now I can’t. I won’t be able to get in my long runs. I don’t have enough energy to do so with a very limited diet either.

I’m losing the war.

When my gallbladder was removed in emergency surgery, I was told, repeatedly, that my diet had to change. I HAD to cut out certain foods and drinks. There was no way around it.

But over a seven-month period, my bad habits creeped back into what was once a very clean diet.

Those bad habits include an very dependent relationship on Diet Coke. And a love of the occasional cupcake. Then there’s a horrible habit of overeating.

Over summer, when I was working from home more, my diet became worse and worse. I was still running 100 miles a month, but I was also eating a lot of burrito bowls. Then I was drinking a lot of diet soda.

In July, I realized that I had packed on some pounds. My time for the Summer Breeze Half Marathon wasn’t bad at 2:19, but I was tired the entire run. It was definitely not my 2:16 half time from June. I was sluggish. But I also just wanted to stop running again, half way through 13.1 and give up.

By mid-August, I was having digestion issues that were causing to me call and cancel my runs with Sam and Jennie. The two had started running early in the morning three days a week. I could, maybe, get my stomach under control one day of the three to run with them.

My diet was all out of sorts.

I reverted to treadmill running where I had control over my situation a little better. By situation I meant that if I had to go to the bathroom immediately, I would be able to quickly. I know that’s TMI, but quick trips to the bathroom have become commonplace.

So two weeks ago, I did something drastic: I severely cut my diet. I removed nearly everything that was making me sick, or that I thought was, and added everything back one by one, slowly.

It meant that for about four days, all I ate was toast with an almond-butter spread from A Loving Spoon.

Seriously, two slices of wheat toast with a little almond butter (which is made locally in Mountain House with all-natural ingredients), was the only thing I could stomach for about three days.

In a week, I lost four pounds.

This past week, I started adding fruits (which were really, really hard on my stomach) back in moderation. Bananas first. Then apples. No peaches yet. My one experience with pineapples this week left me feeling a little queasy, so I won’t be trying that again for another couple weeks.

I’ve had chicken, but red-meat hasn’t been good to me either.

I’m also eating significantly less, cutting my portions by more than half.

So far, my stomach has felt A LOT better. I haven’t had as many issues with rushed bathroom trips (this is a good thing since school started back up and half of the women’s rooms in my building have been torn down). Yesterday, I finally got through a six-mile run without trouble.

It took two weeks. I know my stomach is nowhere near “healed.” I know I did a lot of damage to it with a summer of eating bad stuff.

And these weeks where it hurt more to run than it should have mean that I’m likely going to switch to the half marathon at for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon. I know I could probably slog (slow+jog) through 26.2 miles, but I’m starting to feel like it may not be worth it.

What would my motivation be if I knew I wouldn’t be at my top performing shape? Just to finish another one? To tell people I ran a marathon that weekend? It just doesn’t seem worth it.

Plus, I have two more half marathons the following weekends that I want to run. I don’t want to injure myself on Sept. 29 and NOT be able to run the other races, particularly the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon, which will be my “Grand Slam” Heavy Medal finish (and my last for this year).

Perspective is telling me there will be more marathons. Experience is telling me I’m not ready for this one.


All I know is I’m tired of looking like I did above, struggling, at the end of a race.

So instead of gunning for a PR in the full at Half Moon Bay, I’m going to work on getting through my next couple races while trying to work through these ongoing stomach issues. I feel like it’s going to be a hard-fought battle … which I’m hopefully now getting the upper hand in.

Catching up


When I seem to be “off the grid” it actually means I’m more on the grid than usual. In the past two weeks I’ve spent more time in front of my MacBook than I’d like to admit.

Between classes resuming at the local community college I teach at and a site launch yesterday and today, it’s been one heck of a week. But I haven’t blogged in 10 days, which means I was getting busy before I wanted to admit it to myself.


  • I had a decent 12-mile run last weekend
  • I’ve been maintaining six-mile runs, even if they feel like more effort than usual
  • I went to yoga twice this week and have plans to go on Sunday
  • I had a good first week of school
  • I successfully launched a website with millions of changes
  • I hosted a birthday party for my husband


  • My car overheated (again) and I literally puttered home from my 12-mile run
  • My stomach has been very, very uncooperative with me

Even though the list doesn’t indicated it, the bad kind of outweighed the good, particularly with my persistent stomach issues. I’ve lost four pounds this week because I haven’t been able to eat. Everything upsets my stomach. I’ve missed two morning runs this week because I can’t get my stomach issues under control.

This all goes back to the missing gallbladder. For months I was doing so incredibly well without it. It was a relief to not have to run to the bathroom after every meal (sorry, TMI, but so true).

And now my life is revolving around bathrooms again.

That makes my training, which already seemed to be in a rut, that much harder. I’ve been stuck on the treadmill for the most part the past two weeks. I’ve been going to bed early because I feel so miserable.

Nearly everything I eat has given me problems. It’s not just gluten or dairy, it’s everything.

So between that and my busy schedule, I haven’t had a lot of time to write. I’m hoping things are going to calm down a little bit over the next few weeks (ha, maybe not so much, I’m planning a bridal shower for Sept. 7). But I’m trying to get back on a schedule.

In the process of me not writing, I’ve received several cool new running-related items to try out. Two of them are fueling solutions, which I am hoping will provide some relief to my now Gatorade-intolerant stomach. The third item is my Teespring shirt from the Berkeley Half Marathon which I scored for $13 on sale.

Needless to say, I’m more than a little behind on some posts. Hopefully this is the start of me catching up.


A training rut


I’ve had two false starts this week in my two runs. Needless to say, I’m not doing good with my training.

On Monday, me and both my running buddies all simultaneously felt horrible at the same time. That meant our five-mile run got cut into a two-mile walk. At least we got a nice view, see above photo.

Today, I missed my alarm for the five-mile run completely. I was even awake at 4:45 a.m. But the alarm didn’t go off. Or I didn’t hear it. At 5:40 a.m. I woke up to a text message asking me where I was.

When I recommitted to the run this afternoon, I decided I would push myself to eight miles.

I got two and felt like I was falling apart.

Maybe it’s because it is hot again here. Or because I’ve been busy with website work all day. But I can’t get motivated.

And school goes back into session next Tuesday. We hit the ground running with the first of seven issues for the semester coming out on Sept. 13. I know things are just going to get more and more hectic.

I wonder if yoga is really doing a number on me. I hurt more than I used to. It’s a good hurt, but still a hurt.

Or maybe I need new shoes?

Whatever it is, I need to find answers. I need to get out of this rut.

I just want a good run.

On privacy, protection and online identity

When I started this blog nearly two years ago, I had a grand plan to never reveal my name to anyone. My first post had a generic byline. The “user name” assigned to the main posting account was “… and she runs.”

I’m so original.

A couple months later, I changed it to “T.C.” I don’t think I mentioned anything personal, related to my life or my job, until about six months into the whole blogging thing.

Then I made a critical decision in terms of how much I would reveal on this blog. I decided that if I was going to write about my training, my personal life, my diet, my weight and everything else, I would do it by being completely transparent about who I was.

I’m writing about this because I had a lengthy Facebook discussion earlier this week with several other Sweat Pink ambassadors about this topic.

A lot of questions came up in the exchange.

How much should you reveal? Should you worry about your information getting into another person’s hands? When we publish blog posts, do we realize how people could read between the lines and find us?

For me the answers are a little more black and white than they are to some people.

I wrote my first newspaper column when I was 15. I wrote for newspapers for 10 years, my name, work phone number and email address were out for anyone who had a phone or Internet access to call me to do so. I also spent four years dealing with online trolls in website and social media communities. My husband once made the mistake of listing our home phone number, now disconnected, in the phone book. One of those commentors from the online community I managed actually once called me. At home.

Years before, when I graduated from college, a man approach me asking me if I was “the Tara Cuslidge” who wrote for the newspaper. As much as it was a little concerning, I never felt a need to protect myself. I wrote a column my first year of graduate school where I talked about everything from social topics to personal issues.

Transparency is the pinnacle of good journalism. It’s something I teach my students repeatedly every semester. It’s because of that I don’t hide behind a pseudonym on my blog.

But I’m not against it.

In fact, I specifically didn’t take my husband’s name professionally when I got married to protect him. He had the right to be a private individual even if I chose not to. It wasn’t until a paperwork mistake at the college I work at happened that anyone started using my full, married name on documents that find a way to the public eye. Only since I left my full-time journalism job have I started to retreat to a far less public role.

Would I reveal my name again if given the chance to start over? Probably not. But it’s hard to take it back once it’s out there. The Internet has a unforgiving memory. The cache is deep. I used to tell people who called and wanted stories removed from the website I worked on daily that “even if it goes away here, there’s no guarantee that it will disappear from the Internet.”

In the Facebook conversation, we talked about blurring photos, erasing bib numbers and other ways to protect yourself from online trolls or stalkers. Here are some of the things I took from our conversation:


Do people online know your name? Do they know what event you ran in last weekend? Do they know in what vicinity you live in? It’s easy to do a search online where someone can put together all those details and, in some cases, figure out your last name. If you’ve Googled yourself lately, you know what comes up (even if it’s just your results).

On that note, you should Google yourself. I know it’s cheesy and people feel weird about it, but it’s also a way to know if information that you don’t want online got there. I tell my students, once they start writing, to Google themselves once a month. For them it’s a safeguard against people stealing their content. But it’s a good habit to have.


I mentioned this today even though I’m guilty of it. I once got an email from a “husband of another racer.” It was only a couple months after I started blogging I wrote a race recap from the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. It is so crowded at the race, and always is, that I didn’t think anyone would recognize me. But I’d been blogging about it for a couple weeks. He sent a rather strange, kind of creepy email, about “seeing me” at the finish.

Yikes. And wow. I didn’t respond. It was too weird.

I’m guilty of posting numerous photos on social media sites of me still wearing my race bib. A word of advice: Don’t. It makes it THAT much more easy for someone who wants to find out who you are to do so.

I have noticed my husband doing some self cropping of me when I ask him to take post-race photos of me. He usually tries to only get my face, the medal and the top half of my torso. I never told him to do so, but I’m glad he does.


Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 6.02.22 PM

While a private domain registration is usually a recommended ay to prevent anyone from finding out information about who you are and where you are, you can also update your domain information and exclude the important tidbits.

Mine has my name listed, which is already part of the copyright information at the bottom of each page, but I purposely put in “XXXX” for other information and switched up the information for my address. Anyone can search to find out who owns your domain, which will likely lead them to finding out more information.

Just make sure you change the contact information for all four areas of contact, not just one.

Or just pay the extra dough to have a private registration.


Again, I don’t necessarily follow this guideline. I do, however, protect a lot of information about other people. I don’t call the See Jane Run ladies by their full names. I don’t say a lot about my husband, outside of the fact that he is incredibly awesome. In fact, I’ve gotten used to NOT putting information about him on my blog.

You know where I live? Fine. It’s a city of 80,000. You know where I used to work? Good for you. That one isn’t hard, I was there for a collective 10 years. You looked up my profile? Then you know my students are my biggest fans. Whatever. But I’ve blocked out my direct address in several photos. I’ve chucked photos of my Garmin immediately after I PRed because you can see my information in my RoadID.

I don’t want you showing up on my doorstep, or finding me at a local store. If we run into each other at a race, that’s cool. But please don’t stalk me. I’m not that interesting.


I list the races I’m participating in on my blog. It’s about community. I want people to say “oh hey, I’m running that race too!”

I don’t give details about where I am staying, who I am staying with, what I’m doing before the race or even when I’m going to the expo. Moreover, I don’t talk about the plans for my house when I’m gone. I don’t blog about certain details until after the fact. I’ve been told that my race preparations are all over the place. Some races that people assumed I’d travel for, I haven’t. Some that I should have stayed the night with before, I didn’t.

Notice again the vagueness?


A couple months ago, I posted an image that I had edited a name out of. My friend’s daughter made me an awesome poster at the Mermaid Run in Fremont, but she spelled out her entire name on it. I know my friend well enough to know she wouldn’t want a photo with her little girl’s name on the Internet.

When I color corrected it in Photoshop, the name was barely visible. Perfect.

But I also ask my friends if I can post photos of them. They know I have a blog. They also know if they run with me, they’re usually be part of it.

Let’s face it, photos like this would be kind of odd:


I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t post these photos if I had to blur my best friends out. But I literally ask for permission every time I take a photo now. Or, at least, I imply that it’s going on the blog. “I’m taking this for my blog,” I say. Sam, in particular, will usually tell me if I can’t post something. Jennie is a journalist. She knows the way I write for this blog. She gets it.

By the way, that Chico sweater is kind of a misdirection. I didn’t graduate or attend California State University, Chico. I was going to…but then my undergraduate institution gave me 24,000 reasons not to in the form of a nearly full-ride academic scholarship. The context of which is now you know I was an excellent high school student, graduating tied for something like 13th in my class. You know what? That information is available about me on the Internet as well. Back to the sweat shirt: I was glad when my then boyfriend, now husband decided to go to Chico State. Totally made the $50 sweatshirt he wouldn’t have never bought me worth it.

Also: If you search me on linked it, you likely know what school’s I attended and graduate from. See, there is so much information out there already.


Especially if you want to blur out your friend’s faces or a bib number you don’t want the world to see.


It’s easy to use. But I’m a big fan of finding more creative shots to use instead of making ridiculous Photoshop edits. A lot of bloggers also add watermarks to their photos. Just last month, a blogger’s images of her son were discovered on a blog about a fake child supposedly suffering from cancer. Just know that even if you have a watermark, your images will be taken by uncouth people.

When I worked at a newspaper we couldn’t stop the people taking our content. Sure, we ask them to take the images or video down, but sometimes, even after the warning, people would just come back and do it again. Anyone can do a screen capture. And a lot of people are very skilled with Photoshop and can remove watermarks.

I have images that were shared on Pinterest, which I have a button for. That’s fine. As a blogger, I accept that as a “cost of doing business” per se. But I’ve read that Katie at Runs for Cookies has actually had an advertisement for a weight-loss program use her “before” and “after” images. She was upset, if I recall the post correctly. I would be too.


This is the quickest way for someone to know where you live! It’s also one of the reasons I’ve stuck with DailyMile independently of Garmin Connect. I post my runs to the blog via a DailyMile widget. I don’t sync to Garmin.

  1. You don’t need to know my running routes exactly unless you’re my husband and I don’t come home.
  2. I don’t want someone “following” me on my run.
  3. When I run with friends, I don’t want their homes displayed.

That’s one of the reasons that when my friends and I started running together, we deliberately started our “path” nearly a half mile from one of our homes. The walk provided a good warm up and took us far enough way where people would be left guessing.


Contextual clues are everywhere. No matter how much you try to hide, you are likely going to slip at one point or another. I’ve actually seen this happen to even the most private bloggers. Just last week, I saw a blogger who usually goes by a pseudonym accidentally post a reply to a comment using her full real name.

Another blogger might put your name up on accident as well.

I once wrote a story that a man in the community I worked in didn’t agree with, for whatever reason. My tagline, the area displaying my phone number and email address, was left off the story. So the guy instead turned to the phone book. He called my grandmother. It freaked her out, especially because her address is listed next to her phone number in the phone book.

He called my grandmother. She gave him my work number. He then called me and told me how he called two other people listed in the phone book and found out that I was still a college student. It was “no wonder” I got it wrong. (For the record, the fact he disputed wasn’t wrong.)

In today’s Internet-driven society, there’s a likelihood that if you’ve ever participated in any sort of event, you’re on the Internet somewhere. We can protect ourselves all we want, but the issue remains. If someone wants to find you, they can definitely do so.

So be careful.


You’re a runner when …


I had one of those “you know you’re a runner when” moments yesterday while my husband was stranded on the side of Interstate 80 above Colfax, more than 100 miles from our home in Tracy, an exburb of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nevermind the fact that his 1998 Toyota Camry had likely climb its last hill, I was staring down a major sloped incline and all I could do was think about how instead of running out the door as quick as possible in my running clothes with sandals on, I should have grabbed my Nikes.

Well, I did grab my Nikes.

Just not the right ones.


Those are not my running shoes. And lucky for everyone who reads this blog, my black toenails aren’t showcased in this lovely photo.

My husband waited more than two hours for me to make the journey up to get him. I had to drop my freelance work after solving a particularly messy navigation issue with a more-complex-than-I’d-like CSS hack. I was about to celebrate when I noticed a call on my phone went straight to voicemail.

Then I had a text message from my husband that said: “Call me!”

1) My husband rarely leaves voicemail or calls twice to get me. 2) My husband doesn’t text often. I’m still not quite sure he knows how. He owns an old-school Samsung flip phone. We talk about moving him to a smart phone, which I’ve had for about five years now, but he never seems too motivated to do so. He just usually borrows my iPhone.

It’s with that knowledge that I present his poor, 1998 Camry.

He bought it five years ago. It’s his commuter car. He puts roughly 120 miles on it every work day (he works 9/80s, so he gets three-day weekends every other week from his engineering job in the Bay Area). He’s put 200,000 miles on it since he purchased it from a private owner.

We’ve known for awhile that it likely was on it’s last leg. But it was a good car and measured good gas mileage.


Photo editing note: I blurred the license plate. Because no one needs to see that.

It’s a little heartbreaking. Not a lot, though. He’s more heartbroken that he won’t get to go camping this weekend like he had planned. Instead, I had to bring him and all his camping equipment home, which barely fit in our Jeep. The car is being towed to my parents’ house in Stockton (closer to our AAA 100-mile tow coverage) and we’re going to decide what to do with it.

But it’s not going to hit the freeway again.

We bought our Jeep last fall when my Camaro started giving me problems (ever seen a V6 on fire? I had a moment, or twenty, with that car on the way back from the Bay Area after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon Expotique last year, smoke, losing power, all the things that make a person freak out, on the Altamont of all places).

We ended up getting the Camaro repaired for less than we thought it would be, so we decided to “garage it” and baby it a little more.


Unfortunately for me that means I’m turning over my Jeep keys to my husband for awhile. The Camaro, which gets amazing gas mileage for a 11-year-old sports car, can’t handle the extra miles. It would end up in the same position as the Toyota.

We’re looking for a used commuter car, but not quite in a rush to get one yet. I’ll be driving my Camaro again, which won’t be nearly as much as I was driving it before. My full-time job as a journalist meant that I was racking up mileage on my car every time I did an assignment.

Sure, we got paid for the gas, but the wear and tear on a car isn’t compensated. Now I drive to work and am there all day. I come. I go. That’s about it. I even walk to lunch because it’s pointless getting in my car to go somewhere.

My husband, while sad, did make sure to grab his Chico State license plate frame from the car. To me, that marks the point where you know your vehicle is really gone.

And I’m still regretting not bringing my running shoes to get in hill repeats. For real.

Bowing out before the run

This is as far as my tutu and running gear got on Saturday. It’s where it all continues to sit today. Needless to say, if my tutu, race belt and water bottle didn’t make it out the door, neither did I.

Instead, I went back to sleep after realizing, nearly at the last minute when my friend was on the way to pick me up, that I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go run on Saturday. I didn’t want to. The thought of doing so paralyzed me with fear.

Thanks anxiety. I appreciate it.

Or not. I actually hate your face. If you had a face, I mean. Than I’d hate it.

I won’t get started on “how it all went down” rather I’ll say this: It’s been about three months since my last panic attack. This one was minor in severity to the first one (otherwise known as the “big one” or “the incident”) last October. It wasn’t as quick as the one three months ago either.

Suffice it to say, my morning wasn’t fun. I woke up with a huge knot in my stomach that just wouldn’t go away. And it didn’t until I fell back asleep after my husband handed me some tissue and sent out the obligatory “Tara isn’t coming” text message.

Life. Sucks. Sometimes.

The good news is that people tell me it gets better. The better news is that this is the first time in three months I’ve even had something like this happen. That’s a win. Even if I didn’t feel that way yesterday, it truly is.

Saturday marked the first day anxiety has broken into my running in such a way. My last race was the San Francisco Marathon. And while I had moments of “why am I doing this?” and “I cannot do this today” I made it to the start line. To the midway point. And to the finish.

It was easy to diagnose the “trigger” for Saturday, which had nothing to do with running at all. I know it had nothing to go with running because I was able to hop on the treadmill later in the evening and run eight miles, no problem.

But I was smart to know my limit, to not push myself when uncomfortable. My husband kept trying to persuade me, to push me out the door with my friends, to tell me everything would be OK. I think deep down, though, he knew it was a lost battle from the moment I started to breathe heavy. He did what he could.

And I did what I knew had to be done: I laid myself back down. I bowed out before the run.

I knew the damaged I would do if I kept going. I knew what would happen if I got out the door and on the road, or even to the race. I knew it would be all bad. I knew once I lost my composure, I wouldn’t be able to get it back.

Part of learning to live with anxiety, and specifically without anxiety medication, is that I have to be the one to pull back for myself. I have to set my limits. I did that on Saturday, which meant there was no 5K. I want to be disappointed about missing what looked like a good time, but I’ve run too many races lately (and many since October) to know that I never felt this way before one.

Something was different. Something was wrong.

I listened to that gut instinct which I didn’t listen to last October, which led to that “more damage” down the road. Because my hope is that if it’s been three months since my last panic attack this time, it will be six months in between the next … or maybe they’ll stop all together.

I can cross my fingers and hope. But I can also recognize the signs early enough to stop it from happening all together, lean back, relax, breathe deep and remove myself from a situation, temporarily, before it gets too bad. Even if it means giving up a fun run.

‘I broke my butt’


For the longest time, my left IT band has been really cranky. This weekend, it became full-on mad. Not just mad. It’s pissed off. And it’s letting me know.

I can’t blame it, really. I have run four races in a six-week period. I’m kind of asking for it. But I’m supposed to run the San Francisco Marathon this weekend. The full 26.2. And now, after pushing myself to a 2:16:41 PR in the half marathon (which I still haven’t written about but absolutely need to this week), I may have done more damage than I should have.

When I finished the See Jane Run Half Marathon on Saturday, my leg hurt, but the knot wasn’t horrible. I was limping, slightly, though.

So I decided to rub it out.

And roll it out.


I spent a chunk of Saturday night doing a hard-core rub on my left thigh. Except I may have worked a little too hard to get the knot out. Because now I’m in even more pain than I was on Saturday.

I’m even kind of waiting for a bruise to develop. It hurts that bad.

My running buddies are doing a six-mile jaunt tomorrow at 6 a.m. I sent a text message saying I couldn’t come.

“I broke my butt,” I said.

I can’t even sit in my office chair, so I’ve spent all day working on my freelance assignments on my couch, where I can adjust pillows underneath my thigh. I also made a mid-day trip to my local drug store to get some pain relievers.

Or at least I’m hoping they are pain relievers.


I’ve had one of these patches on for a couple hours now. I’m not feeling any immediate relief.

But I really, really did some damage to my thigh muscles…so should I be feeling better? Probably now. I kind of just feel like I got kicked. It reminds me of a soccer injury from when I was in high school.

A little bit ago, I switched to a gel treatment.


And….that’s not helping much either.

I’m a bit bummed about this. I’ll be more bummed if this isn’t just a temporary bruising and a bit of abuse on my part. I hope it’s not something much more serious.

But I’m taking it a day at a time. San Francisco Marathon packet pickup is this Friday, or at least that’s when I’m going. I just really, really want to run the marathon.

I’m trying to make the best of it with a little champagne that was in my refrigerator in my awesome See Jane Run glass.


The good news is that I have a solid PR in the half. I also have a very recent 12-minute PR in the marathon from April. So even if this weekend doesn’t go as planned, there’s always the next (which is the Half Moon Bay International Marathon).

Still…I’d hate to have the price of the marathon and my chance at the “52 Club” go down just because I got a little too aggressive with the therapy ball.