Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll, Run, Click

The Green Girl had a really good time at the Long Beach SparkTeam skate night at Skate Depot on Wednesday.

It's been awhile since I was invited to a birthday skate party so I had no idea the sport of skating had evolved since the 1980's.
Instead of the flimsy, faux leather skates with knotted laces that wouldn't loop through the holes, all the cool kids were sporting designer Stacy Adams roller skates with tiny wheels.

I was fascinated not only by their slick looking dress shoes on wheels but also by the way they could shake, pop, and glide across the skating rink.

I finally decided on the Canon S90 as a replacement for my beloved SD700. It arrived just in time for me to take it with me on my trip up to Northern California for my sister's graduation.

I went for a run this morning around my parent's suburban neighborhood.

I followed the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks down to Congress Springs Park where my niece loves to go up and down the slides.

Even though I grew up in my parent's house, the surrounding area is foreign to me. If I don't stick to the main roads on my runs, I end up getting lost in the maze of perfectly manicured lawns.
I headed back down the transportation corridor towards an overpass overlooking Highway 85.

For as far back as I can remember, Highway 85 was under construction but as soon as I moved away to college, they decided to get their act together.

I was so disappointed that I missed the opening ceremonies. The evening before they opened the freeway up to traffic, several cities along the route hosted a giant street party on the freeway.

In honor of the Highway 85's inauguration, the city of Campbell planted a number of pansies spelling out the city's name on the side of the freeway bed. Motorists slowed to read the message and created a traffic jam. The flowers were gone the next day.

On my way back, I passed the local fire station.

My niece is fascinated by law enforcement professionals so we often visit the station. We've observed them washing the giant fire trucks and playing on their little putting green.

Once, one of the firefighters even invited us inside but my niece wasn't comfortable going in so we politely declined.

I'm really looking forward to spending the extended Memorial Day weekend with my niece.


Sole Runners Trail Run With Rad Runner Girl

Rad Runner Girl joined the Green Girl on her Sole Runners Tuesday night trail run in Palos Verdes.

Rad Runner Girl is going to be doing the City of Laguna Hills Memorial day Half Marathon on Monday. She was anxious to get one last hill run in and she's never trail run before so she decided to come check out the Ocean Trails with us.

The weather was warmer than usual last night and there wasn't much of a breeze.

Rad Runner Girl took off with the faster group and I settled comfortably into the back of the pack.

Even though my beloved camera is on the brink, I still insisted on snapping [mostly blurry] shots along the trail.

The wildflowers have dried up and many of the stalks had turned the color of hay.

I felt a sense of libration on my run yesterday knowing I have finally found the right pair of shoes for my little feet. I love my 1012's.

Since I started running in them, I haven't had any plantar fasciitis flare ups or posterior tibial tendon discomfort. I also noticed my arches are a lot less sore when I do my nightly massages with the Tendon Rescue.

As we headed back down the trails, the clouds cleared and we could see a full moon in the bright blue sky.

I forgot to charge Mr. Green Garmin so he died on our way back.

Tonight is Long Beach SparkTeam skate night at Skate Depot. They offer 'Cheap Sk8' on Wednesdays from 8:00 - 10:30 pm. Skating and rental is only $6.75.

I can't inline skate because it aggravates my plantar fasciitis but I can roller skate.

I'm looking forward to a fun night of skating with the Sparkers.


The Green Girl's Floppy Foot and Camera Woes

Now that the Green Girl has finally worked out the shoe situation and is ready to start ramping up the mileage, she decided to visit her doctor to get her foot checked out this weekend.

He started me off with some transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy and ultrasound on my right foot.

He compared my leg lengths. He lifted my ankles and shook my feet.

He commented that my right foot is much looser than the other and diagnosed me with a 'floppy foot'. He explained floppy feet are very loose-jointed, overly mobile, and have a tendancy to overpronate.

He examined my 1012's and agreed that a stable, supportive shoe is what I need.

He recommended I start doing isometric exercises on a daily basis. These static strength training exercises are performed by contracting a muscle against resistance, without joint movement.

I'm just relieved the isometric exercises can be done in conjunction with the posterior tibial tendonitis exercises.

In other Green Girl news, my beloved Canon SD700IS has seen better days. It struggles to focus and I keep ending up with blurred images. The pictures are also either too dark or so bright that the colors are washed out.

I was trying to hold out for the Canon PowerShot SD4000IS coming out at the end of this month but the initial reviews are not impressive.

Now, I'm seriously considering getting a Canon PowerShot S90.

As long as the camera takes incredible pictures and fits in my hydration belt pocket, I should be a happy Green Girl.


The Green Girl's Sole Runners Saturday

The Green Girl was looking forward to a Sole Runners Saturday after spending last weekend up in the city.

I relished the crisp morning air as I arrived at Marina Vista Park.

Coach Steve always starts the morning off with Sole Runner announcements and updates.

It was exciting to see a number of new faces among the familiar ones.

Today, Coach Steve led group in an hour-long ChiRunning workshop. He started off by giving a little background information on Danny Dreyer, the creator of ChiRunning.

He explained the importance of the ChiRunning 'C' shape as he guided everyone through the steps to achieve the pose. Coach Steve told us the 'Chi' in ChiRunning relates to the flow of T'ai Chi.

The lesson was followed by the ChiRunning body looseners. ChiRunning emphasizes loosening your joints before a run instead of stretching muscles.

I'm actually one of those runners who needs to stretch religiously both before and after my runs so I always get my stretching in during the pre-run announcements.

It was just starting to warm up when we got started with our run.

This was my fifth run in new shoes and I am pleased to say I am extremely happy with them. As much as I had yearned for a shoe with a less supportive sole, I love how the motion control keeps my feet so stable and straight.

The temperature started getting to me and my heart rate went up to 180 so I stopped and walked the last half mile.

After our run, we did our usual post-run yoga.

I had a downward dog epiphany today when I discovered I have been angling my wrists incorrectly. One of the mentors, Matt, showed me how to straighten my arm to reduce the angle presented at my wrists. This changed my entire downward dog experience.

When I got home, I decided it was time my hat and some of my running shirts got a good OxiClean soak. I do this occasionally when I notice my technical clothing retaining odors.

I'll leave them in there overnight and throw them in the wash tomorrow.


The Green Girl's Downtown Long Beach Run

After a grueling kickboxing class last night that included sets of alternating squats and push-ups, the Green Girl decided to hit Downtown Long Beach for a short run.

When compared to the surrounding area, Long Beach has a fairly extensive public transportation system. I find the Long Beach Transit very convenient for navigating the city. Connections to the LA Metro can be made at the Downtown transit station.

I also love that the City of Long Beach has launched Car-Free Fridays this summer to encourage community members to ride a bicycle or use another form of alternative transportation.

It was relatively quiet Downtown so I pretty much had the sidewalks to myself.

I ran past the AMC Pine Square 16 theatres. Businesses have come and gone but a few remain and the AMC is one of them.

I went by one of Long Beach's historical landmarks, the Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) tower.

In 1907, the Farmers & Merchants Bank was established by C.J. Walker and his wife. The bank remained in the Walker family for three generations.

The expansion of the bank with the construction of the Farmers and Merchants office tower took place in 1923.

Architecturally, the building is an example of Italian Renaissance Revival classicism with detailed terra cotta cladding.

The first floor features the teller station counters with the original metal wickets. The bank entrance features red Italian marble entrance with brass-plated double doors. Inside, the floor is made of pink marble and there are marble benches for customers.

After pausing to admire the F&M building, I continued south on Pine St.

On my way back, I went by Gold's Gym.

I was a little bit discouraged when I measured my acidity last night and it was 5.0 pH. I allowed myself to sleep in this morning and I'll take it easy today since I'll be running tomorrow.


The Green Girl Tries The Fresh Diet

The Green Girl decided to give The Fresh Diet a try when she saw a Groupon offer for $29 (retail value $60) for three meals and two snacks.

The Fresh Diet is a daily meal delivery service. The food is delivered to you in a cooler the night before between the hours of 7:00 pm and 5:00 am.

My insulated cooler arrived sometime between 2:00 am and 5:00 am. A plastic cable tie secured the zipper and a reusable ice pack was enclosed.

The Fresh Diet dishes contain a balance of 30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% good fat. According to the labeling on my packages, I was on the 1,200 - 1,400 calorie per day diet. I know from experience that I need at least 1,800 calories a day.

The Fresh Diet Pantry contains the following categories:
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Pork & Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Dairy
  • Nuts & Grains
  • Spices
Within each category, there are foods you can click on to have them added to your 'Dislike Basket'.

Aside from my fish/seafood/shellfish allergy, I am very open-minded when it comes to food. I actually prided myself on being someone who could eat 'anything' until I consulted with a nutritionist a few years ago and was forced to actually list foods I refuse to eat. For the record, I will not eat black licorice, poi, and natto.

Breakfast was a fruit salad containing apples, blueberries, and papayas, and low-fat apricot yogurt.

The apples were crisp and sweet. The blueberries were firm and not sour. I prefer my papayas a little bit less ripe. I wasn't a big fan of the apricot yogurt but I did like how it was on the tart side. I don't like when my yogurt is overly sweetened.

For lunch, I had an Asian chicken salad which consisted of various leafy greens, including raw baby bok choy.

This was the first time I'd ever eaten bok choy uncooked. The ruffage was little bit hard to chew but I'm fairly certain it was more nutritional than a much softer lettuce salad.

Instead of eating my dinner, I saved it for the next day's lunch. 'Dinner' was a chickpea patty with black barley and asparagus.

The chickpea patty was really good. It tasted like chicken even had the same texture. There was a tiny dab of really tasty green salsa on the patty. I actually thought it was just some asparagus skin but then I tasted it. The asparagus was blanched so it still retained its crispness. The black barley was chewy did not appear to have any oil or seasonings.

In addition to the three meals, I also received two snacks - an hors d'oeuvre and a dessert.

My hors d'oeuvre was tomatoes with goat cheese. There was a single slice of red tomato and yellow tomato and a cherry tomato. The goat cheese was a nice touch but it did get a little watery from the tomato juice.

My dessert was a dark chocolate dipped strawberry with ricotta cheese.

The chocolate complemented the firm and sweet strawberry. I wasn't sure if I like or disliked the saltiness of the ricotta cheese with the strawberry.

The convenience of The Fresh Diet is very appealing. I wish I had purchased more than one Groupon for this so I could have sampled more days.

I was surprised they didn't have the nutritional information readily available. I sent them an email but I never received a response.

In all honesty, the price would preclude me from ever considering this on a regular basis but if I had to go out of town for an extended period of time, and assuming they were available in that area, I'd definitely consider using this service.


Sole Runner Summer Kick-Off Party

The Green Girl attended the Sole Runners Summer Season Kick-Off and Running Gear Discount Party last night at Road Runner Sports in Torrance. Sole Runners received a 15% discount that could be combined with Road Runner's VIP member discount.

I enjoyed listening to Coach Steve as he shared his marathon training experiences with the group.

He talked about how he had worked with City of Hope to create their Walk for Hope 5k/10k series and marathon training program.

Coach Steve gave a high level overview of the Sole Runners program and handed out sample marathon and half-marathon training schedules.

There was a Saucony shoe giveaway but unfortunately, my name wasn't pulled. (I was hoping I would win so I could give the pair to my friend, Jeannie.)

After the session, I headed out for a short run with one of the Sole Runners, Michelle. We headed west on Crenshaw towards Country Hills.

This was my third run in my new shoes. So far, they feel really good under my feet and my arches are well supported.

Since I started running in the 1012's on Saturday, all my posterior tibial pain has gone away. I'm really looking forward to taking them out on a longer run this Saturday.

We ran past a Japanese restaurant, Rice Heaven, where they proudly proclaimed 'We make you smile with rice'.

Dusk is my favorite time to run, especially in the warmer months. I feel much more relaxed when I run later in the day. I find comfort in the diffused light and the way it softens the sky.

As the last of the sun's illumination faded, we passed De Portola Park. We ran in darkness for awhile and then headed back to our cars.


Rad Runner Girl's Peaceful Mountain Herbal Giveaway

The Green Girl's good running friend, Rad Runner Girl, is giving away a trio of Peaceful Mountain topical products from their Rescue Line.

To get the details of this exciting giveaway and enter to win, visit Rad Runner Girl's Peaceful Mountain giveaway post.

Peaceful Mountain products contain organic and wild crafted herbs and naturally derived preservatives to naturally assist the body.

I've been using the Tendon Rescue for over a year now for my posterior tibial tendonitis.

The Tendon Rescue gel contains comfrey, arnica, rosemary, aloe, potassium sorbate, originox, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. According to the website, the herbs in Tendon Rescue have traditionally been used to repair damaged tendons, ligaments and soft tissues.

The directions recommend using the product three times daily but I only apply it once a day. I massage the gel on both my feet every night before I go to bed. The gel has a brownish tint but doesn't stain my skin when I rub it in. It smells like a multivitamin tablet.


The Green Girl's Museum Row Run

The Green Girl had some good friends from Japan in town this weekend so she stayed up in the city and played Southern California tourist guide.

On Friday, we visited the Griffith Observatory. It was my first time at the observatory.

I was anxious to take my new shoes out for another run so I headed out first thing Saturday morning. I was also looking forward to running in a new place.

I decided I would run along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles.

I headed into Hancock Park to the Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits with the giant elephants.

I followed some giant footprints down a path.

I ran past the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and dodged a stream of high pressure water that was being used to clean the sidewalk.

I crossed over to the opposite wide of Wilshire Blvd. and headed east. I noticed the only non-24 hour businesses that had any activity this early in the morning were the barbershops and salons. They were putting up signs and getting ready for the day.

I went past Eclectic Salon from Tabatha's Salon Takeover. I recognized the owner, Jacqui Montero, as she was setting up chairs in front of the salon.

I went by the Korean Cultural Center and made one more loop past LACMA before heading back.

We did the whole 'Hollywood' thing on Saturday. Visiting Madame Tussauds' wax museum was definitely one of highlights of the weekend.

We posed with favorite celebrity wax figures. Some of the exhibits featured props to make it look even more realistic. I got to do an action shot with Lance Armstrong.

We did a two hour Movie Star's Homes Tour. We got to take numerous pictures of giant gates, tall fences, and properties lined with bushes and trees. We saw Simon Cowell's gate open.

We even witnessed paparazzi in action - and by action, I mean sitting in their parked car.

And I got to pose with my idol, Buzz Lightyear and his friend, Woody.


The Green Girl's Back In Motion Control Shoes

After Tuesday's trail run, the Green Girl realized the medial support in the New Balance 760's was inadequate for her low arches.

After feeling one too many twinges of posterior tibial tendon pain, I knew I had to take them back. It was one of those cases where you feel fine when you are running but you feel pain after the fact.

I was running out of options at this point. The New Balance 85x high stability shoes combined with my orthotics were over-correcting my overpronation and causing me to oversupinate. The 740/760 stability shoes were not supportive enough. The 1123 motion control shoes offered the appropriate level of support but the sole was bulky and I disliked the high heel counter and flimsy tongue design.

I was feeling a little discouraged when I headed back to my local New Balance store after work today to return my latest purchase.

I was patiently waiting for a salesperson to assist me when I saw a pair of 1012's. Like the 1123's, the 1012 has a straight last. My podiatrist had mentioned shoes with a straight last would be a better fit for me because my Fred Flintstone feet are so straight.

I tried them on and jogged around the store. They felt really good and my gait felt solid and even. My faithful New Balance store allowed me to exchange the muddy 760's for the 1012's - no questions asked.

I was anxious to take my new shoes out for a spin so I headed out shortly after I got home.

Both of my knees are sore - I'm assuming from putting them through what is now four pairs of shoes in just over a week - so I opted to go for an easy run and focused on keeping my feet aligned.

I ran through some small neighborhoods and past shopping center. I ran on the grass around the Long Beach Traffic Circle.

Long Beach locals like to tell a tale of how the engineer who constructed the circle, Werner Ruchti, ultimately died in an automobile accident on the Circle.

From the Circle, I headed northbound on Lakewood Blvd. I ran past the furniture store that falsely advertises its demise a few times a year.

I was pleased that both my arches were feeling good. I wasn't experiencing any of that initial soreness that I felt with the 760's. My plantar fasciitis didn't flare up either.

I ran by the Long Beach National Guard Armory.

I caught glimpses of the sun setting west of Signal Hill as I ran home.

After this evening's good run, I am cautiously optimistic. Before I go to bed, I will do the posterior tibial tendonitis exercises and massage my feet with Peaceful Mountain Tendon Rescue Gel.


Sole Runners Tuesday Night Trail Run

The Green Girl joined the Sole Runners for another Tuesday evening trail run.

This was my second run in the New Balance 760's after a successful trail run on Sunday.

Ever since I was diagnosed with posterior tibial tendonitis, I massage a generous amount of Peaceful Mountain Tendon Rescue Gel on both my feet every night before I go to bed. Since I also suffer from plantar fasciitis, I also take special care to massage and stretch the plantar fascia.

I could definitely feel an increase in soreness in my arches after running in the 760's on Sunday but my arches didn't seem to have the twinges of pain indicative of an injury.

My boss took a few of us out for lunch yesterday and we ended up in a small booth. Since I'm a short Green Girl, my feet couldn't reach the ground and there was limited leg room so I ended up having to tense up my legs for the entire meal. When we stood up to leave, I felt some of that posterior tibial tendonitis pain. I gingerly put my weight on it and slowly walked outside.

I panicked but by the time we got back to the office, my foot felt fine. I thought twice about running after work but decided I'd see how my foot felt by the end of the day.

That pain didn't return so I went for my trail run last night. Thankfully, my foot felt fine for the entire run.

Under an overcast sky, the Sole Runners climbed the ocean trails. Coach Gary stayed behind with the back-of-the-packers. I commented that I'm a strong uphill runner but ever since I injured my foot, I've struggled to run downhill. He suggested I take smaller steps and bend slightly at the waist so I focused on trying to do that on the way back down.

At one point, I felt like I had really gotten this technique down and I had picked up some significant speed but then the rest of the running group flew by me and I realized I wasn't going as fast as I thought I was. Heh.

When I rubbed the Tendon Rescue into my feet last night, I was relieved there wasn't any posterior tibial pain in my right foot. this morning, my foot is feeling good, too.

I've been feeling some intermittent pangs of pain in my knees and I figured that was because I've been experimenting with different shoes but I'll keep an eye on this as well.
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