Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jail Break Run

What a great way to spend a Sunday morning. We headed out to the Santa Rita Jail and the Alameda County Sheriff's Training Facility. As we stood at the start line listening to instructions I got a little worried as I heard a lot of turn left, turn right, see where my hand is pointing. Um, no I can't see where you are pointing. Then I heard "there are deputies and flour marking the course", ok I should be ok. And then we were off.

Having the jogging stroller I had stayed in the back as i had only seen about 3 other strollers at this particular event and I didn't want to be in anyone's way. Of course as we took off and were all bunched up, I found it difficult to navigate the stroller and not give anyone a flat tire. We made our way through the gates and made our first left turn to run the path above the jail. I felt surprisingly good considering it was already warm at 8am. Sydney was her usual chatterbox, wanting to know why people had slowed to a walk. I told her they were resting and that it's ok to walk if you are tired. We made another left and turned down to run the path in front of the jail. We passed the 1 mile marker and I tried not to think about the fact that I still had 2.2 miles to go. At this point we were running into the sun and it was beating down on my face. I ran another quarter mile and prepped Sydney for the fact that I was going to walk for a little bit, she seemed ok with that. Once we got running back again we were approaching the split for the 5k/10k routes. We took a right and headed down to the next street where we approached the water station. Sydney was horrified that people were littering and throwing their water cups int he street. I explained that this was the only time that it was ok, because the volunteers would help clean up the cups. As we ran by a Deputy, he commented that getting a ride looked nice, I told him we were about to switch soon and Sydney was going to push me, Syd thought that was pretty funny. I was still feeling good, I was keeping up conversation with Sydney and to the Deputies along the course. We made a left to run down Arnold, at which point there would be a turn around. This was really the only part of the course where we experienced traffic that was being monitored by the deputies. I ran down to the turnaround, which was really tight and challenging with a stroller. Once I passed the turnaround and headed back up Arnold, I slowed to a walk again. I walked for just a brief time ans then started running to catch up to the runner in front of me. We were approaching the intersection and I figured it would be easier for the Deputy and traffic if we crossed it together. As the deputy halted traffic for us he said "you guys have the right of way", I smiled and said "thank you", to which Sydney belted out a huge "THANK YOU!" the Deputy seemed pretty pleased that he got such a huge thank you and said "you're welcome!". I pushed up the street and took another short walking break. I was pretty sure we were getting close, but wasn't really sure. I started up running again through what looked like a mile marker, but it was covered. I then saw what must have been the lead 10k runner being escorted by a motor officer. He looked strong, but i really had no idea where he was on his course. at this point I had slowed to a walk and I saw more volunteers at the corner where we would turn left. I knew the final part would be uphill and even though they were saying "you're almost there", I didn't believe them. Then I rounded the corner and saw the finish sign, so I started sprinting and yelled back "I had to see it to believe it!" There was a family cheering us on and laughing, I think Sydney must have looked super excited to cross the finish line. Then I heard "Here comes the first 10k runner!", i heard the sound of the motor officer behind me and laughed, wow the first 10k runner is coming in right behind me. At this point the clock was right under 35 minutes. I was thinking that the time had to be wrong, could that really be right? While I am caught up in all of my thoughts I see at the last minute the photographer and try to break out a smile for the camera. We pass through the chute which drastically narrows and I can barely fit the stroller through it and am trying not to run into the girl in front of me who is barely even walking after crossing the finish line. I wanted to yell "Come on, Move it!" but I bit my tongue. As we struggled through the cones, and I commented that the chute wasn't wide enough for us a nice Deputy moved the last cone so we could get through. And then we were done!

It was a great race and while pushing Sydney was hard work, she also distracted me and made the time go by fast. Sydney ran a 1/2 mile after the 5k and totally rocked it. I am super proud of my little girl. Official time 35:22

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taking the next leap

I've been sitting here all morning doing lots of Internet research on what I want to do next, I know I need to keep up on a training program of some sort to keep me motivated and interested in running and exercise in general. I found this really cool super-sprint tri that sounds like something I could maybe do, but I also don't want to be naive in the fact that no matter what the distance putting it all together is a challenge, and I suck at swimming! Oh and I have a mountain bike and not a road bike, oh and that super-sprint tri is in 4 weeks. Ok, back to reality.

I think the next logical step for me is increase my running distances. So thanks to Kirsten who sent me Hal Higdon's 10k plan, who apparently received it from Molly (bunch of pushers I tell ya!), I will be embarking on a 10k training program. This seems to be the most logical step, with the plan I can incorporate swimming and biking on my non-running days and maybe once I tackle this feat, than I can focus on a super-sprint tri.

Don't get too excited, I haven't signed up for a 10k yet. I'm going to continue with my schedule of 5k's (assuming I can still find appropriate child care) and once I have completed training than will search out that perfect first 10k race.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Today was the Moraga 4th of July Run. This was my first time doing the run that supports Campolindo High School's Track Team. We arrived just before 8am so that I could get Sydney signed up for the kids run. Scott had done much briefing the night before about racing and no pushing and being a good sport, so Sydney was ready to go. She lines up and patiently waited her turn, and then they were off! My parents were a little further down the course and than I swooped over the end of the course to watch her finish. As I saw her running towards me I was s impressed with how focused she was, I took a few photos and jumped in to run the last stretch with her. She said to me "Mommy, I'm really tired" but I told her to keep running as she was almost to the finish line! She was so pleased to get a medal for running "with all of her friends". I was so proud of her, that was a pretty long for her and I'm certain the longest stretch she has probably ever run, she did awesome!

Next up was Mommy's race. We got lined up and waited. It was nice to be in the crowd, because it was warm standing amongst all of the other runners. I found a nice spot on the inside line and waited for the gun. Bang, and we were off! I was glad I had kept to the outside, because my parents and the girl were there on the sidewalk shortly after we took off, I gave a big wave and smile as they cheered me on. We ran down Moraga Road headed towards Canyon. They had one lane of traffic closed for us and one lane open to vehicles. As we were running a young boy appeared to be looking for whoever he was running with, spun around and out of the cones into the lane of vehicle traffic and nearly was hit by a car, I think we all gasped at the same time, scary. While I love that there were so many young children running this race, it was clear that there should have been some briefing about running and staying on the course. As we approached Camino Pablo, the 5 milers split off to run up Camino Pablo and we continued on heading towards the bike trail. There was a slight incline at the start of the bike trail, but I powered up it. all I kept thinking was of Sydney and how she powered through her race, so I wasn't going to stop and walk. At about the 1 mile mark I started to get a side cramp, so I focused on my breathing and told myself that I only had 10 more minutes of running. Focus on my pace and breathing and just keep going. I hadn't been on this part of the trail in years, I think Scott and I rode our bikes on it once, so I kept trying to figure out where we were and how much further we had to go. As we came out of the bike trail and made a left I knew we were hitting school street and the end was near. They had traffic stopped at the intersection so we could easily run past. As I ran up School Street and towards Safeway, I could see my parents and the girls. I waived and than heard my Mom say "There she is!". They cheered me on and Sydney yelled "Mommy, go get your gold medal!" I practiced my best Molly smile and hope they got a nice photo out of it. From here, I knew I was close, but I couldn't actually see the finish line, which was a bummer, because I didn't know i I should start sprinting or conserve. By the time I saw the line, I picked up my pace but there wasn't much time left and it was single file through the finish line, so I could have passed the woman in front of me, but instead just tailgated her in. I was quite shocked to hear him yell 20 minutes as we passed through, really? I just ran a 10 minute pace? That's my best pace ever!

Feeling really great post race and super pleased with my results. So pleased I think I'm going to go ahead and sign up for the Jail Break Run in 2 weeks. Although, that race may indeed be a kid haul, unless grandparents decided to come out and watch again!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm doing this for fun, right?

This is what I keep telling myself. It's okay to run/walk the Moraga 4th of July Run, this is also what I keep telling myself.

Kylie and I went out for a run this morning since we hit the gym yesterday. We did the 1 mile loop only once. I did my usual warm up walk up the hill, hit the flat portion and started running, pushed up the small hill and continued to the flat portion. Than came the downhill, I have started to realize that I'm not taking advantage of the downhill portion, so I'm working on taking greater strides to try and gain momentum and time. As we came down the giant hill, we pushed forward and rounded the corner to the entire uphill portion of the way home. Usually when on my own I do this loop twice and I can make it uphill two blocks before I walk the rest and start my run again at the flat portion. Today we made it up one block before we started walking. And by the time I hit the driveway I was dripping in sweat and my lung capacity was pretty diminished, so we called it a day. It felt much warmer this morning than I think it really was. And than I kept reminding myself that I would be running on Saturday at 8:30am and not 9:30am and maybe that will make a difference???

I'm still trying to decide what to do about the Jail Break Run, I'd really like to do it, but if I do, it may be another kid haul, and I'm not sure I'm up for a 5k kid haul in August... but we shall see. S working on weekends is really cramping my racing style!