Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Get ready for tons of pics.

Wow, how long has it been since I've posted... despite the fact I haven't been running or doing any kind of exercise, it still looks like there isn't nearly enough time to study everything I need. It's kind of frustrating. You give your all, you get bruises on your butt from spending so much time sitting and reading, reading, reading and, when you go to practice, it just seems like everything goes right out of the window. Med school is no joke. Next time you think about cheaping out on your doc, please don't. You were partying and living and enjoying life while he spend more than one decade barely seeing the sun light and living on coffee.

So, last Monday I went to the doc. I confess I was really scared and afraid he was gonna say "kiddo, you can never run again, your bones melted", or something like that. Instead, he examined me for 5min and asked for a MRI. Joy. He did say I apparently don't have any major inflammation, but he still needs to be sure I don't have anything going on with the meniscus or the ligaments. Oh and he also said that, if I plan on keep walking for a couple more years, I shouldn't be doing leg press with 220lbs on it. He agrees with my running couch that, since my knee doesn't hurt anymore, it was probably the stress of the weight training together with the increased of the running... and that I should just stick with running, unless I plan on getting a proper trainer at the gym (yeah, right). So I guess I'm leaving the gym - for good. I had a hard time convincing myself of this one, but I think I came to accept it. I'm looking into some yoga institutes, which it would be great to just run and do yoga - I'm fine with that. For the love of running, I'm willing to do it :)

So let's talk some positive stuff, shall we? Last Sunday, I went to Chinatown (duh!) and there was sort of a chinese festival going on... it was so awesome to just turn on the street and seeing all those stands and colors and dancing out of nowhere! I love, LOVE all Asia-related stuff (their language, food, culture, ancient medicine).

And the best part, my roomie went with me and she was blown away by all the goodies they had!

The market that takes half of my month's worth of money... I'm pretty sure I'm the one keeping that place running. They should like sponsor me or something.

This was a bread made out of... COFFEE. I know, bread + coffee together. That's just too good to be true.

Those ladies were giving a fruit called jaca in portuguese (jackfruit) for people to try it. I find it so funny that no one has ever tasted this fruit before, I thought it was so common lol. Oh those huge oranges I have no idea what they are.

... and what helps me to make it through the week.

My roommate (Damaris) tried sushi for the first time and she loved it. I'm so proud of myself. And does anyone know why I ruin all the pictures? (no, not YOU, Freud). 

It's ridiculous how much I love this place.

Something cool I couldn't really see. 

Kids, don't do that if there're some old ladies around you. They might think you wanna steal the coins that people leave inside the statue's mouth. Who knew I looked like a hobo...

And the weekly goodies...

Flaxseed crackers. Someone wanna to pluke my eyebrows for me? I'm paying.

How people manage their lives without those still amazes me.

Doubled-chia seeds bread. 

As you can see, they ain't out of chia seeds any time soon.

Carob walnut cake that I've managed to eat in one sitting. 

Ok, I'll spare you from the 384034 more pics I have here, you're welcome. 

I need to study. As a matter of fact, I haven't been doing anything else besides study, thinking I need to study, and waking myself up worried I needed to study more. The few hours I spend buying sushi are literally the only hours I've been spending outside the house besides school. I know it sounds sad (and it is), but I don't think it's the main issue. I think my biggest problem is studying my ass off and still not knowing everything I should be. I'm extremely hard on myself when it comes to education and I can't be ok with not being good at what I'm doing. So if I have to sacrifice hours and hours of sleep to help improve my knowledge, you better believe I will. But, see, the issue with med school is exactly this: you'll NEVER know everything. It doesn't matter how many times you read and re-read lower limb anatomy, you still won't be able to say every single muscle with its insertions, its arteries, veins, nerves and glands. I've been trying to be a little easier on myself, but, the harder it gets, the more it drives me into it. Maybe I'm just having a career crisis.

Have you guys ever felt like you were giving your all and not being fairly compensated for your sacrifice?

Which country you dream on going to?
Since I can understand myself as a human being, I dream on going to Egypt. I don't know why, I just do, it has always fascinated me. But I must say that Japan has a BIG place in my heart as well. :) 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Officially bored.

One. Whole. Week. I've made it. One entire week of no workout. Guys, it's killing me. I have spent one week without working out before, but because I was on the beach, or on a trip, or busy out of my mind... but this time, I'm actually stuck at home staring at books with ice on my leg.
I think I have OCD, hyperactivity, something must be seriously wrong... I have one more week to go before the doc's app and I'm already wondering how on Earth I'm gonna make it to 8 more days of this! You may think I'm exaggerating, but I swear I'm not. And my knee still hurts.

First, I thought "oh well, I'll have way more time to dedicate on studying", which was true, but 80% of this time I was actually sitting down, staring at the books and reading the same page 10 times and still didn't had a freaking clue about what I've just read. Man I'm so screwed. My mind keeps going on and on, I keep stopping in the middle to stand up, to look at the window, to clean, to do laundry... I can't concentrate, my legs keep moving, I can't sit still, I get bored out of my mind and then the worse happens... (wait for it): 

I can't stop eating!! I'm eating like I'm running a marathon every weekend! I sit down. I open the book. Ok, you can do this. I get hungry. But I've just had lunch! I get the peanut butter jar.

Finish the rest of it. No excuses now, let's go. I start studying. The terminal branches of the lumbar plexus are obturator and femoral nerves. So ok, the terminal branches of... of what again? I can't concentrate. Crap, it's been 10min and I can't read a freaking damn line! I get pissed. Ugh why are you so dumb, just memorize it already!! I go eat. Take this calories, you not-smarty pants! 

Whole wheat carob and oats cookies.

Deep breath. Damn, still hungry!

Flaxseed cookies.

Now that I have no more food, maybe I can finally study. Back to the books. Damn, I'm so full, it hurts! Still can't concentrate. Maybe I should take a walk to clear my head (of what if you haven't gotten anything in it to begin with?). Go to the bread shop. Come back. With more food.

Ok this one is just usual chocolate, nothing fancy about it. 

Maybe I'll just try a bite. Read a page. So terminal branches are: Ob... what was it again? Try to memorize. Still no freaking clue. Close the books and enjoy my boredom (and the rest of the chocolate, obviously).

This was kind of my whole week. I could spend 8h straight on that. I've had the least productive week of my whole life... 
So, people who don't workout: how do you guys do it? No, seriously, how? 

On the bright side...

Adidas, I love you. Thanks for sponsoring a newbie with a still unknown injury.

... and thanks Laura for helping me to get there! :) <3

I know, they ROCK big time :)  Too bad I still can't review them... one more week, people... one more week and the doctor will give me the good news that my knee is awesome, it was just getting used to the mileage and I can go right back into doing everything I was doing the exact same way :)  (and don't OH HONEY, me k?).

Do you eat out of boredom?
Please, guys, sisterhood here, don't make me feel so bad! If you don't, then lie about it, so I feel less weird.

How to deal with the stress of school AND the inability to workout?
Still figuring this one out...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to get injured.

0) Do your own set of workout routine at the gym and put more and more weight every time you think you ain't feeling your muscles screaming in pain.

If only I knew I was destroying my knee back then.

1) Start jogging like 12min/mile and broadcast yourself to the virtual world as a runner.

Now you feel obligated to run, so you have something to talk about on the blog.

2) One month later, go on vacation to Brazil for the whole summer and do nothing but eat crap and pretend you're trying to run.

3) Leave your brand new expensive snickers on the back of the seat of your stepfather's car, so they can get stolen while you're happily eating at the restaurant.

Don't mention the foot size. I think I've been a 10 since I was 5yo.

Then you cheap out and buy the cheapest snickers available. 1 week later, when there are a whole so big that your small toe hangs out of it, you ignore it and keep running.

Really, Lyvia... really?

4) After the whole summer losing all your endurance, go back to your routine and med school and join a running group filled elite athletes.

5) When your running couch tells you to run 2K in 12min, you run in 9:40min and think you're awesome for that. When he tells you to do 200m in 1min you do in 45sec. With your baby toe hanging out of your snicker.

6) Notice a pain on your knee, but just ignore it and keep trying to run like the other folks on your running group who have been running for over 10 years. When it hurts like there's no tomorrow, you do the smart thing: you just move to the trail. For 5 minutes.

7) After weeks in pain, you sign up for a race and run it while crying in pain. Then you walk the last 1.5K like dr. House and voila! You got yourself an injure.

If it looks like I was in a lot of pain... believe me, it was worse. And, no, I'm not the chubby dude with the backpack and the weird glasses.

Getting an injury is serious business... it's not easy and you have to try really hard to get a big one that it will prevent you from running. And here I am, sharing all this awesome knowledge with you guys. The things I do for our friendship.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Preparing for the worst.

I've just got back from Rosario, a city close to Buenos Aires... as you may know, that was gonna be my first race ever (6K), which I was planning on running in about 29min. Ok, I ran it... sort of. First things first.

The city is amazing... pretty, by a huge river... we were invited by Adidas, so we got a private Adidas booth, with all kind of yummy foods you can imagine. I was talking with athletes that had competed in all sort of kick-ass races. Really elite folks. I've never felt happier. It just felt so right... I don't know if I can say that I belong there, but it just felt right to be there around them. The atmosphere, the stories, the experiences... I can't put it into words how I've learned just by listening to them telling me about their adventures, their expectations, PR's etc. They were mostly running the 6K too... but to win. And they so did. The top 3 girls were all from my group. One guys got the 5th post (funny thing is 3 or 4 guys from my group could have gotten between the top 5, but they got lost in the race when the 6K people needed to do a turn and get separated from the 21K folks, so that messed their times big time). 

So we got there and went to get our shirts... then hotel, get changed and do a light jog around the city... 

Our booth d:

Rosario's big symbol: the Flag's Monument, where they had their flag hoisted for the very first time.

I wasn't feeling anything at all on my knee. I've trained hard on Thursday and rested on Friday. I was so ready. 5min into the jog and I suddenly stopped. I couldn't raise my right let by itself. It just wouldn't go without me screaming in pain. I couldn't even raised like more than 5 inches that it would kill me out of my mind, a pain I've never felt before. I stayed behind the group, sat down and started questioning whether I should run the race or not the day after. I mean, so much training and effort putting into it, it was just so not fair that it would go all on waste like that. I was really freaking out... everybody was telling me not to run it, that it wasn't a big deal of a race anyway... but it was, at least for me. 

Today, I got ready for the race. I was already expecting the worst. When we got there, this view just totally killed me...

C'MON! How was I supposed to miss my first race, by the river and with THIS view? 

Inside the Adidas booth and the countdown.

Trying to live the moment and not think about the pain or anything like that...

Warming up...

...with this freaking view...

...feeling like this.

I kind of jogged 'till almost 5K and then I started walking. Like not normal walking, I couldn't put my right leg on the floor. I cried almost 'till the finished line out of pain, but I finished it. 38min, don't ask me how I've managed this. I have a doc's app on the 23rd, but I can't wait any longer. My running couch won't let me train this week unless I see a doctor. One of the guys from the group said he had hard times with his knee as well last year and had to take almost 1y and a half off from running. I think I died a little when I've heard that. He'll try to schedule an urgent appointment with his doctor, so maybe I can manage to go asap and solve this out for good. I need to know what is going on and I need to know that it isn't anything serious... and I also need to rest and try to be patient. This is in fact one of the biggest lessons that running has being teaching me. Patience. 

"If you build it, they will come", right? :) 

I'm open to all the positive you guys have to offer. I might really need some to keep my sanity this week. It's gonna be tough. 

A HUGE shout out to my pretty friend Laura who got in 2nd, even tough she missed the turn for the 6K for about 200m. She rocks big time and I wanna be like her when I grow up :) 

Have you ever being injured? How did you deal with it?

Trying to stay positive and finding really hard to do so...

chasing endorphin. 

PS. In case you're wondering, and I know you are 'cause I'm a really interesting person and you know my routine like the palm of your hand, I did go to get sushi today :) Even tough I had a huge suitcase, a backpack and a fucked up knee. As soon as we got in Buenos Aires, I hopped in the subway and went to Chinatown... I couldn't eat it there and get a nice picture, first because I wasn't mentally in the mood, second 'cause it was so freaking full that I just wanted get the heck outta there. Third 'cause as soon as I got home as I was starving that I ate it in about 5 bites. :D  Smart. Now I'm hungry again. 

Videos from the "race" (aka House style). 

Crossing the start line :) 

This part was SO cool... the tunnel, the music, the people singing... I wanna to sprint out of my mind and my knee kept reminding me I couldn't... 

When I started walking, House style. Except that I was crying in pain and had no Vicodin. Still trying to find out if I chickened out or if I did the smart thing.

Friday, May 06, 2011

When is it really time to stop?

One of the great things about running is the ability we get to overcome things in all aspects of our lives, not only running related. As we become stronger and faster, we kind of translate that into lots of other stuff, like relationships, school, jobs... we get that extra confidence that we can do this, that, if we try harder, nothing can actually stop us.

So, how do we draw the line between being upfront and just pushing way between our limits?

Last Sunday, I did my long run (almost 13K, focus people, I've been training for 3 weeks, my long runs are really short). When I got back home, I was destroyed. The run itself was amazing... it was pitch dark, around 7ish pm... and it's also fall here, so the wind was out of control. But overall, it was an awesome run and I did it in 15min less than what it was planned. Score. But both my heels and my right knee screamed right back at me. On monday, I took it easy and just did yoga. It felt pretty good and my heels were ok. But not my right knee. Tuesday I was supposed to do 5 sets of 1K. As I started warming up... I just couldn't. I did 1 mile and I stopped. I stretched a little bit. My running couch and the rest of the group were worried because, like my couch said, "for you to have stopped, it must hurt really bad". It hurt like hell. I didn't wanna tell them how bad it was, but inside I was almost crying. I had to hold back the tears several times... I stretched a bit and went for another mile but did on the trail to lessen the impact. It still hurt. I stretched again, trying to smile, but I could barely walk, it was really obvious that something was going on. So I convinced the couch to just let me jog around the trail for about 30, 40min and so I did it. 

Once I got home, it really hit me. I was depressed and started crying like no stop. I was so scared that it could be something really serious, like a stress fracture (knocking on the wood). I put ice on my knee and just sat here, speechless, imagining a life without running. My heart sinked. 

Yesterday, the couch didn't even allow me to do yoga; he told me to just don't put any pressure on my right leg, try to rest it as much as possible and lots of ice. And that's when the conflict starts. How do we know the difference between chickening out or being seriously injured? I'm a newbie, my fellow marathoners, so enlighten me. I chose to be smart, took the couch's advice and stayed home. The whole freaking day. It almost killed not being able to do even a harmless yoga class, but I guess that's the sacrifices we do for running, right? If it means I can run stronger and better, check me in. 

Today, I felt much better. I could still feel my knee, but I felt like I was gonna shut up and run. And I did. I was supposed to do 8 sets of 200m in 1:10min each, and ended up doing at around 41, 43 seconds each. Score. My running couch obviously almost killed me, but I just needed to get that extra energy out of me :) I don't know if I was pushing too hard, if I was trying to prove I'm not a chicken or a whiner, or if I was actually just using all the strength running has given me to go to the next level. What do you experts out there think? 

Sooo let's talk good things. Last Saturday, I went to meet the running group (I know, I don't have a life besides running and school, and I love it) and tchan!, there was a race going on. It was called DogRun and the runners were running with their dogs... 

I would totally run it to get that pink shit. 

Sunday, I didn't do anything during the day 'cause it was raining... BUT... oh yeah, you know I was gonna do this:

Sunday's sushi. I really don't know why I have always the same face in the pictures. I guess trying to hold the sushi and the ipod at the same time on the street with people watching is kind of embarrassing. Like I care.

I also got dessert duh but when I remembered to get a picture of it, that's all I got left...

Do you also think I should eat a little slower?

HEEY! If you had any doubts that I was in a running group (like I would lie about something like that), I finally got my shirttttttt <3 Now it's official haaa :D

Really guys, I'm accepting advices about posing for pictures. Also don't mind all the clothes on the floor, it's part of the decoration of the house. And sorry fellow brazilians if I'm wearing an Argentinian flag... I'm still with you guys for the World Cup d:

The greatest thing about being a running maniac? 

Extra-cheesy omelet with tomato and spinach, and some steamed broccoli, zucchini and eggplant. Probably serves 3 people, but I might have some kenyans possessing me lately and I've got to feed them well. 

How do you guys know when it's time to stop and rest? 

Are you the type that sticks to a tradition or always switch it up?
I LOVE to switch it up. I barely go to the same restaurant twice or order the same thing. Ever. Some things though do manage to stick around... like Sushi Sunday :)  When something turns a tradition in my life, you know it for sure that I love it BIG TIME. 

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