Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

March 2015
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Pus, snot, friction, and some running

LizaLiza

So where were we?

Time has done a fine job disappearing on me.  For example, there are only 27 days left until Marathon des Sables.  What the heck?!  I can guarantee that my training for MdS has not been inspiring.  I’d share the details, but I don’t want my parents to start worrying about my safety in the desert.  Truth be told, I’ve been in a bit of a funk since Rocky.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 12.20.14 PM

I’m not entirely sure why.  And this blog post, the first back from the Land of Grump and Chaos, isn’t the place to start work through it all.  Introspection would merely ensure it’d never get written.  Amusing stories of incompetence for you instead.

I taught a Wilderness First Responder Recert class at the University of Arkansas the weekend before last, and I was such a wreck when I got back, I made an appointment to get bloodwork done.  I felt like I’d been run over by a truck.  I could barely stay awake until 7:45.  I’d to crawl into bed after I put Asa down with my huge To Do list clutched in my hand.

Anemia?  Low thyroid hormones?  That cool adrenal fatigue issue?

And then I got my period.  For the first time in two years.

Yup, two years of built up hormones were weighing me down.  I should have known when I told Eliot to buy me a bag of tortilla chips on his way home from work earlier that week.  I exchanged the chip bag for the baby when he walked through the door and headed to our bedroom.  I closed the door and ate 7/8ths of the bag.  (I ate the remaining eighth the next day when  I’d had a chance to rehydrate.)

Anyway, Eliot ran the 25k at Nueces that weekend, and I stayed home with the kids.  My plan to volunteer at an aid station and then run after Eliot finished fell apart with rain and temperatures in the low 30s on race day.  I could have managed to keep Asa in good humor in that kind of weather, but Ruby’s not quite ready for that kind of volunteerism.  Or rather, I’m not ready to juggle a bundled and fussy baby, and a 7 year-old while trying to fill water bottle and make PB&Js for five hours.

So anyhoo, Eliot drove our car out to Camp Eagle Friday night, and I puttered about the house with the kids.  Did I mention the Pink Eye?  Yeah, we had a household of pus-eyed kids for about two weeks.  Asa got it and then Ruby got it.  (There’s nothing like wrestling medicated eyedrops into a baby’s eyes when you’re feeling fatigued.  Really invigorating.)  And then Asa got it again. Pus and more pus.

So when Saturday morning rolled around and the Surprise happened,  I felt both relieved (Cancel the physician and psychiatrist appointments!) and really irritated.

You have got to be kidding me.

Needless to say, there were no supplies in the house after two years.  None.  And our car was hours away in Rocksprings, Texas.  Looking back, I definitely could have bundled the kids up, grabbed an umbrella, and walked with them to the CVS.  Or I could have been creative with Ruby’s diapers and some scissors.  But the hormones made that kind of sensible thinking impossible.    I channeled my inner 7th-grade girl and managed until Eliot got home five hours later.

Anyway, with that all behind me, I was able to move forward with life and serious MdS training.   And a bit of blogging.

IMG_1424Here I am on the treadmill on Friday.  I’ll add puffy pants to the ensemble today. Puffy layers on the treadmill is just as good as Bikram yoga for heat acclimatization as far as I’m concerned.  I’m certainly just as hot, and this way I’m not surrounded by Lululemon clad flexible people.  (Nothing against any flexible Lululemon-wearing readers of this blog.  I’m just more a puffy-pants girl when it comes down to it.)

There was a sale on colorful Post-it notes, so I have a nice MdS countdown calendar on the counter — with all sorts of daily activities on it like weight-vest wearing, and hip stretching, and, of course, a bit of running.

OK, that’ll have to do for the first post back.  I’m heading up to a ranch outside of Kerrville tonight to teach a first aid course to a group of folks working as trail builders.  Do I actually have time to do such a thing?  Absolutely not.  Am I going to wear the weight vest during the class like a dork?  You know it.  No puffy pants though.  That’s still just for family and blog friends.

IMG_1060

Gratuitous hammock picture.

PS.  Friction and snot will have to wait until tomorrow.

Comments 11
  • Andrea Ormerod
    Posted on

    Andrea Ormerod Andrea Ormerod

    Reply Author

    Oh Liza – you make me laugh so much and then my mouth just drops open in awe. Holy smokes. Holy cow. I feel so bad complaining about my treadmill race. You are awesome. A parka. I could not even run in that in these Maritime temps. So sorry about the pink eye and Aunt Flo – MdS will be a holiday.


  • Gene Taylor
    Posted on

    Gene Taylor Gene Taylor

    Reply Author

    Liza,
    Thanks for posting. You certainly are going thru one of “those” stretches of runaway life. Please believe it will get much better and that MDS will be more fun than you think. Remember, you have years of heat training that many others could never duplicte.
    Good to have you back,
    GT


    • Liza
      Posted on

      Liza Liza

      Reply Author

      Thanks Gene! It’s good to be back. 🙂


  • Olga King
    Posted on

    Olga King Olga King

    Reply Author

    I agree, you got thee heat training, and technically there will be more hiking and suffering than running anyway, so just go and see for yourself. Because (I think) without trying this kind of event, you can never know how to prepare for it in the future. As far as the funk, and pus, and bloody 7 graders…yeah. I feel for you. Try further weighing down, down the road. Glad you posted, I was about to come for search and rescue.


    • Liza
      Posted on

      Liza Liza

      Reply Author

      I should have waited Olga, and ensured a visit from you. 😉


  • Alex2
    Posted on

    Alex2 Alex2

    Reply Author

    Liza:

    You have a huge Rockhopper family,when ever you are in a bind, message the group and someone will come help, that is what a family does. I am not too far from you and could always lend a hand with the kids should you need a break, or if you need anything. I am sure you would do the same for anyone in the group. Get in some good training and you will rock the Marathon De Sabes. As Elizabeth Says” Si Se Puede”(Yes, You Can!!)


    • Liza
      Posted on

      Liza Liza

      Reply Author

      Thanks Alex! I really appreciate it. 🙂 Hope to run with you again before too long.


  • Sarah Lavender Smith
    Posted on

    Sarah Lavender Smith Sarah Lavender Smith

    Reply Author

    I loved this post and will share it on my page. I’m so glad someone else articulates the crazies and fluctuations that sometimes derail my life and weigh me down. I don’t have little kids and diapers to deal with anymore—teens are a different kind of challenge–but I do have an incorrigible dog that derails my productivity and training by bringing his own poop from outside the house to the inside to play with and eat. Best of luck to you with your MdS training. It will be like a round-the-world months-long journey–the hardest part is getting everything ready to go and leaving your regular life. Once you start, and all you have to worry about is getting from point A to B, you will do great!


    • Liza
      Posted on

      Liza Liza

      Reply Author

      Thanks so much, Sarah!! I really appreciate your comment. I agree about just getting there and getting to Point B.
      Funny Point A to B story: Last year at Leadville, the mayor spoke at the race briefing and said something like, “Remember, all you have to do is get from Point A to Point B.” And we were all thinking, “And then back to Point A.” 🙂


  • Marcy
    Posted on

    Marcy Marcy

    Reply Author

    Hi Liza! I started using a Diva cup a couple years ago, and it has made running and racing so much easier to manage. No supplies needed 🙂