Girls (and Sharks?) on the Sound

Lying in my sick-bed feeling all sorts of phlegmy, I looked out my window to the sprawling Long Island Sound and noticed the faintest splashing blip looking all sorts of familiar.

The blip was daughter A, first-born Sophie, easily recognizable in her red and blue life-preserver, but way far out in the sea. She was kicking her feet behind Macy (age seven) who was kneeling on a paddle board and expertly stroking her way perpendicular to the shore.

To the far right was daughter B, second born Grace (not as fearless as her sister), being pulled in an inner tube by her dad whilst sitting close to Macy’s sister Ruby (age nine).

I resisted the urge to run out to the beach and yell something like this:

“That water is over six feet deep! You are over six feet deep! The weatherman says to stay closer to shore! There are sharks on the Cape! I don’t want you to be eaten! Get out! Get out! Get out!”

It is true that there are Great White Sharks on the Cape this summer and people have been bitten!

Not eaten, no, but still…

There were baby seals all up and down the rocky Maine beaches that were most certainly fleeing from those enormous and mysterious creatures.

But I, as energetic as a baby seal who’d just finished swimming for her life, am too sick to run anywhere. If there really was a shark out there I could only hope that Brian would fight it off, protecting all the little ladies with all his might so that the girls could safely swim to shore.

I could only hope.

Sophie kicked and kicked as Macy expertly guided their board. I was astonished by the ease in which she switched her paddle’s grip from left hand to right.

I watched as Sophie reached and stretched her body throwing one leg up onto the board, then two, before kneeling to ride behind Ms. Macy; the two of them out there like kick ass little women on the ocean, in the sun, free like birds and cool like cucumbers.

Brian pulled a long red cord that maneuvered Grace and Ruby around and around and around in swishy circles and now that they were all in my direct view, it seemed that they were agreeing on a plan to head toward land.

I sat back relieved that they would be home soon and within moments the slap of the front screen door alerted me to their arrival.

In our kitchen stood four brown berried bodies dripping heaps of water onto the floor while digging ferociously into a bag of honey pretzels.

I didn’t mind.

They were happy.

And wet.

And hungry.

So I fed them as many carbohydrates as their bodies could consume and they are again back out there on the Sound giving me a moment to rest and watch and feel thankful.

Thankful for kick ass little girls and for my cold (it really is a horrendous cold) that gave them this experience today.

The view from my bed. That blip in front of the boat would be Sophie and Macy…

Running Noses, Running Pants

Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny and Peach offered to take the girls even though she was feeling rough. I took her up on her offer and am glad I did, because today is cold and rainy and it’s my turn to feel rough. All my recent tiredness was indeed the pre-cursor to a brand new cold virus. I should have known.

Thankfully, I can report that I have no fever or closed up throat, and had I not run yesterday I would have missed week fourteen’s long run and been unable to review the CW-X Pro pant that came in the mail last week.

Everyone knows how I love my Lululemon. It’s not just that there is thought behind the design; the stuff performs. But still, I’ve had trouble with my hips and couldn’t resist the urge to try out a pair of compression pants to (hopefully) reduce the pain.  I will certainly continue to run long distances once the marathon is over, since I am hooked, so I was hoping I could add them to my arsenal of gear goodies.

After a visit to Raleigh Running Outfitters a few weeks ago, where I invested in a pretty pink and painful foam roller, one of the running geniuses (sincerely) confirmed what I had learned through my research regarding compression gear; they are helpful to some and could aid in quicker recovery. CW-X seemed to be the ones to try and the Pro is made to help stabilize the hips and flexors.

I wore them yesterday and had high hopes. I wanted to love them, but I’m on the fence.

The good news is that the do what they are meant to do; they compress!

From the waist through the legs and to the calves they are tight with very little stretch. It took a while to wiggle myself in and get the placement just right to avoid any chaffing. The bands that act like Kinesio tape, used by sports doctors and trainers to help stabilize and protect the muscles, are made from a material that I could only compare to the sails on boats; rough and hard.

I did notice less pain in my hips while on the road, which was my main goal. My legs didn’t feel lighter or springier, but the compression made for less bouncing, which is always a good thing.

There were things I didn’t love, though.

For starters, the compression around my waist was sort of painful. I bought a medium, since my height and weight fell in the section of the size medium graph, but the tightness left a red mark on my skin long after the pants came off. I usually like a higher waisted running pant (it helps me stay focused on form) but the elastic on these dug into me so much that and I had to gradually move them down as the miles continued on. It took about forty five minutes to feel comfortable enough to quit fussing with them and I was seriously debating a pit stop at home to switch them out for my Dash tights. I missed the stretch and snap of my Lululemon’s, the softness of their luxtreme, but like I said, no hip pain was my motivator so in that sense, job well done.

When I got back to pick up the girls, I hung out on Peachie’s porch and watched the crazies running and falling the tall grass, creating huge stains on their knees. I also watched the salt evaporate through my new pants.

I have never noticed any of my running pants do this before and I had no idea I had such sweaty knees. I suppose this could be viewed as a positive, the wicking properties were working, but who wants to walk around with their pants covered in chalky whiteness, remnants of their workout? I don’t know why, but this grossed me out worse than that stripe of wetness that the lower back and rear end gets from a good sweaty workout.

It was time to go.  I collected the kids’ stuff, buckled them in the car and drove home for tubbies all around.

I didn’t have time for a good epsom soak, so I worried that there would be pain today, but I’m happy to say that I’m feeling fine in the lower extremities. Maybe the pants worked after all?

I’ll try them next Saturday as I set out for the tip top of the marathon training mountain; the final twenty miler. I still have hope that they’ll be useful, so I’ll give them another go.

For now and the next day or two, the only running that’s happening is occurring in my sinus cavities.

If only they made compression pants for my nose.

CW-X Pro 3/4 Pant
Weird Salty Knees. They got a little baggy too (and shifted), maybe from the lack of stretch?
The knees of one of my rough and tumble girls.