eric, elephants, and (running in) england

Given my forever love for running, one of the first questions people ask about my boyfriend, Eric, is if he is a runner.  Strike that, they first ask how we met, THEN they ask if he runs.  Of all the questions that someone could ask about a significant other, it’s quite high up on the list.  I’ve always had an affinity for dating runners since it’s such a large part of my life, and Eric is the first serious boyfriend (whatever that means?) that hasn’t been a runner.  YIKES.  However, it’s been almost two years, so I suppose it’s working out, ha.

One day I’ll write a post about the benefits of dating a non-runner (holding my sweatpants so I don’t have to throw them away, texting my mom to tell her I’m still alive, etc. etc.), but that’s not what this post is about.

Eric is not a runner, and I’ve never actually tried to make him one.  However, awhile ago he promised he would run a 5k.  I did not prompt this, I did not ask for this – it was actually his idea!  Then we got into a mess of him preparing to move here, moving here, then OMG WINTER IS COLD.  I hardly wanted to run in it let alone a guy who doesn’t own pants worthy of running in 20 degree weather.  He still kept saying he’d run a 5k…some day.

In the meantime, I was scrolling through Instagram and some elephants caught my eye.  (This is relevant, stick with me!)  I follow the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust account to get my daily fill of cuteness, as they generally post daily baby elephant pictures.  If that doesn’t give you a boost, I don’t know what will.  However, this elephant picture stopped me in my Instagram-scrolling tracks:


People in elephant costumes?  Running?  WHAT IS THIS?  TELL ME MORE.  I clicked through and found out that the DSWT does a fundraising 5k/10k in order to raise money for their elephant orphanage in Nairobi.  I actually visited the orphanage when I was in Africa in 2012…but apparently I’m the worst blogger ever and never finished blogging about my trip.  This is sad since the baby elephants were definitely worthy of their own post, and that’s right when I stopped!  Fail.  (Here’s a post about patrol week with the elephant voluntourism part of my trip…lots of elephant pictures!)  Just so you don’t totally miss out, here are some pictures:

Elephants on parade!

How could you not love them??

Gatsby saying hi.

The gist of the DSWT is to save elephants that have been orphaned as a result of poaching, raise the elephants, and release them back out into the wild.  This takes years because elephants are dependent on their mother’s milk for so long.  (DSWT has a special formula they make.  The elephants hold their own bottles once they’re old enough.  It’s adorable.)  They’ve had wildly amazing success, and it definitely aids in the dwindling elephant population.  And baby elephants are sooooooo cute.

Basically, it’s a great cause.  Especially if you love elephants, which you may assume I do since I carry around a stuffed elephants wherever I go.

So back on track here.  I researched the 5k/10k that appears to be run while wearing an elephant costume and was a little disheartened when I found out that it’s only in England.  It’s called the Enormous Elephant Run and is indeed run while wearing an elephant costume.  After polling Facebook about the ridiculousness of buying a plane ticket to London to run a 5k, I decided it wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve ever had.  After some plans I had hoped for fell through, I decided even more so that it would be a go.  (Especially after I learned you get to keep the elephant costume.  Um, done deal?)

Full circle back to Eric – obviously he wasn’t going to miss out on a travel opportunity (and I wouldn’t miss out on a travel buddy).  Before deciding to go, we joked about his first 5k being run in an elephant costume………..and yet here we are!  So yes, in June, Eric and I are flying to London for a long, long weekend in London.   And we will be running a 5k in an elephant costume.  (I pondered the 10k, but we weren’t so sure Eric would get up to that level so quick, and given my current injured state, a 5k might be a better idea for both of us.)  The downside is that the 5k isn’t timed, which might be for the better, but it also means that I can’t set an elephant costume PR.

Of course, this is a fundraising event, and I hate asking people for money.  (I was bad at selling Girl Scout cookies, if you that gives you any idea…)  However, although we paid an entry fee, they would like us to raise 200 pounds each (give me enough Girl Scout cookies and it might happen, har har…).  So, if you feel so moved to donate to save the baby elephants, you can do so at my Enormous Elephant Run fundraising page.  Any gift is welcome and much appreciated, and Gatsby certainly thanks you even more.

Annnnd back to Eric.  We headed over to the local Jack Rabbit running store so he could get fitted for shoes.  I tried to hold back my opinion and just ask him what he thought felt best.  He ran in a bunch of different brands, and he ended up picking the Brooks Adrenaline.  Be still, my beating heart!  My first love in running shoes.  Eric sure knows how to pick them.  ;)

ericrunning Giving it a go on the treadmill.

image He’s already mastered the Garmin/shoe picture…

Eric downloaded the Couch to 5k app, which he’s modifying a bit since we’re on a time crunch…and he may not have run too much while on vacation.  Oops.  I do admit I’m seriously jealous on the couple times he’s headed out to run while I’m…not running.  Role reversal at its finest.  I don’t know if this running thing will stick – Eric always talks about his knees hurting, so we’ll see how that goes – but this will certainly make for an interesting first race.  :)

Have you ever run in costume before?  I need tips.  Also, any tips on things to do/see/eat while in London – last time I was there was nearly ten years ago, yikes!

i’ve still got pain.

In my six and a half years of blogging (…yikes?), I’ve realized that the best thing to say when you don’t have much to say is nothing at all.  (This also goes for when you have nothing nice to say, but I like to think I have mostly nice things to say.  Moving on.)  Two weeks ago, I wrote about how my training has been derailed mostly by injury and a little bit by a cold.

Well, the cold is gone (hooray!), but the injury is not.  Sigh.  I admittedly pushed through a bit when I shouldn’t have, but I finally wizened up and stopped running.  The problem is that I really, really, really, REALLY just love to run, and not running is so hard.  About a week and a half ago, Eric and I headed to DC for his friend’s wedding – you better believe I had no intention of passing up running in DC!  Eric gave me the side eye when I started packing my running clothes.  “You’re not actually going to run, are you?”  To which I replied, “I always have to be prepared to run!”  …right?  Right.

I did a solo run around some of the monument upon arrival to DC on Friday.  It wasn’t my best run, it wasn’t my worst run.  I could definitely feel some pain in my hip.  I probably should have stopped running, but Eric’s friends were organizing a run for Saturday morning, and I couldn’t miss out on that!  Everyone bailed except one guy, so we did another run around the monuments – my hip/groin definitely didn’t want to be out there, so I cut out after three miles.

dc Good morning, DC!!

And, well, that was the last time I ran.  My groin was starting to hurt just walking around, and I hobbled up and down stairs…that can’t be a good thing.  So I made an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, which was last Thursday.  She moved my leg all around, made sure I didn’t have a hernia, watched me walk, and watched me jump and do one leg squats.  Then she said, “Hmmm, well that’s interesting.”  AKA not what I wanted to hear.  She thought it was odd that I don’t have pain when you move my leg around (such as when laying on an exam table), but have pain when putting weight on the leg.  To me, it would seem like this would be some sort of muscle issue related to stabilization or something, but what do I know.  All I really wanted was maybe a prescription for physical therapy, but she ordered x-rays (which were negative, not surprising to any of us) and then an MRI…which I’m still waiting to hear the results of.

xrays Fun x-ray gown – matched the rest of my outfit!

Also not surprisingly, the doctor told me to stop trying to run…and to take spin class and do pilates.  Apparently my left butt is weak, per her quick assessment, and Pilates will help stabilize the hips…unstable hips could be the cause of pain in the groin.  So I’ve been doing Pilates in my living room (those classes aren’t cheap around here, and I ironically cancelled my gym membership just before getting injured).  Luckily it is finally getting nice in these parts of town, so I’ll hopefully be able to take my bike out shortly.  But otherwise, I don’t know if I have any cardiovascular fitness left other than what I get from walking to/from work and walking around work all day.  Oops.

I did find it interesting that she asked when my race was, and didn’t TOTALLY rule out running it.  She did say, “Well, it is a marathon, so that might be a reach.  If it was a half I think we could get you back and ready for it.”  Of course, I don’t actually know what the problem is, but that’s fine.  We’ll see.

The pain has definitely been much better over the past few days.  I don’t notice any pain when I’m walking, and I can go up and down stairs without needing to turn sideways.  (#thisisthirty)  Yesterday, I was all, “I FEEL BETTER I WANT TO RUN” which Eric nicely told me not to – a few more days can only help, and trying to run too early can only hurt.  Spring is finally here in NYC and not running is SO HARD.  I just want to frolic through Central Park while yelling, “This is what we waited all winter for!” but alas, I cannot.

Hopefully soon, though.  Stupid groin pain.

Just to soften the blow a bit, I’m heading up to Boston for the weekend to see Amy and cheer for everyone running!  Today marks the second anniversary of the bombing, and I’ll admit I got a little teary eyed rereading the events and thoughts from that day.  If I can’t run, I might as well cheer for everyone else!  (But of course, I would love to get in a run along the Charles…)

Are you running Boston?  Are you cheering?  Let’s turn my frown upside down and give me your bib number so we can cheer for you!  And maybe tell me your favorite Pilates and spin places in NYC…

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