Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, hello 2011

2010 has been filled with lots of laughter and lots of tears. No question, it has been a difficult year but it is awesome to be ending it on the high note of having finished my first half marathon and proving to myself that any goal is attainable if you want it bad enough!

2011 is off to a slow start as I try to determine what events I can manage while being a full time working Mom. I'll start 2011 off with a 5k on Sunday and move onward from there. I'd like to hope that there will be room for another 1/2 Marathon sometime in the new year, but I'm going to test the waters the first few months of the year and try to find a balance of Mom, Wife, career and running.

Looking forward to ringing in the New Year with my husband and friend's while the kiddos have a slumber party with Grandma and Papa. 

Thank you to all that have made 2010 such an inspiring year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New challenges

I think it is safe to say that I have recovered from the 1/2 marathon. Immediately after my return from Las Vegas, I started a new job. Going back to work full-time has been challenging and I'm trying to find a way to balance work-outs and the family and work. So far, that means I've only been able to work out on the weekends. I work in Oakland off of Hegenberger, so it's not the safest neighborhoods and there really is no gym that is close enough to the office to make that work, so I'm just going to keep trying.

Today was my first run since the 1/2. I headed to the gym to just do an easy 2 mile run, it would have been awesome except for the pain in my left leg that finally went around 1.75 miles. I guess I'm still pretty tight. After some strength training I decided to try the Stair Master since I  need to climb 52 flights of stairs in March. I lasted 5 minutes and managed 18 flights, I think I have my work cut out for me.

I am pleased to report that my employer has closed for the two weeks until the end of the year and I can at least get some good workouts in during the next two weeks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Las Vegas Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon

I'm not even sure where to start, what an amazing weekend.

I'll start with race morning. I woke up tired and sore at 5:15am. Even though I hit the expo on Friday and tried to save my legs on Saturday there is just no way to not walk in Vegas. I knew I I should be worried when the bottom of my feet were still sore on Sunday morning but I tried not to think about it too much. I tried to eat, which didn't go over very well so I opted for a banana and water. As I got dressed as I was pretty mellow and when I put my running shoes I was surprised at how good they felt, or maybe my feet were relieved to be in something supportive. At some point I realized that I actually had to leave the room and that is when my heart rate started to pick-up. I was ready, I had everything I needed so that meant I really had to leave the room.

It had been a huge stressor about what to wear race day. Morning temps were going to be in the high 40's low 50's so should I wear short sleeve or long sleeves. I knew a jacket was out of the question, I opted to for short sleeves and would check my jacket at the gear check. As I made my way out of the hotel to the race area, I really became overwhelmed with how large this race was. 29,000 runners and I couldn't even find the gear check area. I did walk by my starting corral but couldn't actually see the start line. Once I found the gear check it was time to give up my jacket which I wasn't too thrilled about. I looked at the time, it was 7:30am and I my corral wouldn't be sent off until at least 7:40am if not later. I knew I had to do it because I was not running with it, so off it came.

After gear check I was able to meet up with Mary Sue and after a stop at the port-a-potties we headed over to our corral. We couldn't even get into our corral it was so full so we lined up outside just like every other corral. Honestly, people could have moved forward and made room for us but they didn't. We watched on the big screen of the Mandalay Bay as the first runners headed out at 7am. It was crazy because it took forever for our corral to move up. Once the line started to move we squeezed in but not before corral 31 jumped in front of us, so all of a sudden we were one corral back. I could have changed my corral at the expo. When I signed up for the race I had no idea how long it would take me to run a 1/2 marathon since I had never run more than 3 miles, so I guessed 3:30. By the time race week came around I was confident that I could get it done in 3 hours, but I didn't want to change because I wanted to start the race with Mary Sue and I figured it would be a good confidence booster to pass people and not be passed. I tried not to worry that I now was starting three corrals back than what I really should have, it's chipped time, so it doesn't matter I kept telling myself. All of a sudden the line really started moving and before I knew it (or 45 minutes later) we were off. I have to say it was cool, a band was playing over the start line and you couldn't help but be excited. As the gun went off and we crossed the start line I felt great and exhilarated.

Shortly after the race started I moved over to run on the left side by the center divide of the road, there seemed to be more room and it was easier to pass people. I'm so glad I did because that is probably the only reason I spotted my friend Kirsten who snapped a photo as I ran by.

Once we got on the strip I noticed that we were running at a very slight downhill which meant on the way back it would be a very slight uphill. I did my best to take advantage of the downhill while I had it. Next came the biggest mental challenge of the course, port-a-potties. Out of sight, out of mind, but when you see them it sends this trigger of "gee, maybe I  need to go".  I was shocked that this early in the course I felt like I had to go, I normally don't have to go until about mile 8. Although normal doesn't include waiting 45 minutes to start my run either. The lines was too long at the first set so when I came to the first aid station with a short line I stopped. It felt horrible to sop so early when I had such a nice momentum going, I mean really I think I was at mile 2. But I went and got it over with and the line wasn't too bad.

feeling good as I head down the strip

Back on the strip and I must say it's pretty awesome to run on the strip when there are no cars and hardly anyone out on the street, with the exception of 29,000 other runners. The strip was almost serene and I thought about all the party crowds that were probably nice and cozy passed out in their hotel rooms. This is what I signed up for, to see the Las Vegas strip and take it all in. We came up to the first band on the course and it was so incredible, you wanted to stay and rock out with them, but sorry guys, I still have a lot of miles to cover. I had been trying to ignore the obvious pressure on my bladder and couldn't believe I had to go again, I evaluated every set of port-a-potties as I approached them and none of them seemed good. I finally stopped and analyzed each line and picked one, which if course turned out to be the wrong line. I'm not even kidding when I say 10 minutes easy. I was so angry that after this I decided there would be no more breaks at all, my mind was playing tricks on me and I didn't really have to go that bad. I knew there was no way I would come in under 3 hours if I made another stop.

As we made our way down the strip we started to detour what I would call the "dive" area of Las Vegas. I actually ran past two young girls doing the walk of the shame! Oh, how I wished I had a camera, how embarrassing to be doing the walk of the shame on the morning that 29,000 runners are going to see you! This was the most scenicly (okay probably not a word) challenged part of the course. It was dirty and kind of sleazy and I was pleased to be running through it instead of leisurely strolling through it. At one point there was a dive bar that was out handing out cups of free beer to runners... thanks but no thanks. By this point my feet hurt bad, I would try to walk but the pace I wanted to keep at even a walk was actually more painful than running. Seeing how this part of the course was fairly unmotivating and the pain I was in I really struggled on this part of the course. I did a lot of walking intervals and cheered on a Duck and Griz fan along the course, hey, I needed to stay entertained.

As we made our through neighborhoods and I could finally see us getting back on the strip I felt a huge sense of relief. I was literally counting down the miles. At this point the pain was pretty bad, I remember thinking if I could have an epidural everything would be awesome, but then I wouldn't be able to run. I thought of lots of things to keep me amused and entertained. I was walking a lot at this point. All through training on a tough day I would tell myself if you walk the entire run it's okay, as long you get the miles in it's okay if you walk the entire time. This is what I told myself when I hit mile 10, if you have to walk the next 3 miles you will! My best motivation is the camera, I don't want to be caught walking in my race photos, so every time I saw a photographer I tried my best to look really strong.

I focused a lot on a story the local news ran that morning. It was a young girl who was competing on her high school cross country team, she collapsed feet from the finish line. If her coach or anyone touched her she would be disqualified, so her coach was standing next to her asking her what she needed if she could make it or not. I watched this young girl slowly get up and her hands and knees as she literally crawled to the finish line was swept up by paramedics. Her determination to get across that finish line sent her team to the state championships. I thought of her in mile 10-12 as the pain radiated through the lower half of my body, if I had to crawl across the finish line I would. While not a flattering photo by any means, I am posting this one, because I think it is the only one that shows the pain in my face.

this says it all
I can't tell you the joy that I felt when I saw the mile 12 sign. Based on my estimations I was pretty sure I would make it in under 3 hours. The question was if I could run the entire last mile, I wasn't sure. But as we got closer the crowds grew and you could feel the excitement of being so close. This is what I trained for as I would near the end of a training run I would imagine the finish line and people cheering me in, it always got me through that last 1/4 mile of my runs. But here it was real, you could feel and hear the excitement. I started running and found a nice even pace that didn't hurt too much. I was passing a lot of people, this is when I realized that most of the walkers didn't actually start in appropriate corrals. As the course met up with the full marathoners the adrenaline kicked in, I couldn't see the finish line yet but we were so close and I was so happy to be running and realizing that I was about to accomplish the largest goal I had ever set for myself. As I rounded the corner I could see the finish line, I picked up the pace even more, this was my moment! I heard them yell at us to throw our arms up in the air as we crossed the line and you can bet I did, I've never been so happy in my entire life! I did it! OMG, I actually did it!

I got teary eyed as I crossed the line and really understood how momentous this occasion was for me. I  never really thought about actually finishing or how it would feel to finish because I was so focused on just getting through one day at a time and one mile at a time. I still get emotional just thinking about it.

Once they gave me that medal, I didn't want to take it off, it was my badge of honor, proof to myself that I really had done it and hadn't imagined all of it! And of course, one must have an honorary photo with a Vegas Showgirl!

And finally I am reunited with Stephanie and Mary Sue, my partners in crime!

Smofit Crew

I almost forgot. My goal was to finish in under 3 hours, which I did! My next goal was to finish in 2:45 which would have been totally possible if I had not stopped for that second potty break! Lesson learned! Official time 2:50:10.

I am so thankful for this experience. I would like to think I will do another 1/2 marathon, but I obviously had the luxury of being unemployed to train for this event. Now that I'm back at work full time we'll have to see if there is any extra time for training. For now, I know I accomplished something that I once thought was impossible.

Many thanks to all of my friends who cheered me on and gave me endless amounts of advice. I was so touched by the never ending facebook posts of support an encouragement, you all helped me achieve this goal!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Training Summary

18 weeks ago I decided that I needed a goal. I wasn't working and I the classes I wanted to take were full, so how I was going to spend the fall? As fate would have it I received a flier in the mail from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation about the Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon in Las Vegas. Hmmm.... that be a goal I could to work towards. It didn't take me very long to decide that yes, that is how I would spend the Fall of 2010, training for a 1/2 marathon.

It's been a long road and not an easy one, but I first half of training sure seemed easy in comparison to the last half.  I have learned so much along the way and I am so thankful for so many great friends who have given me endless amounts of advice and cheered me on along the way. I should be ready, I've followed the plan so I guess I'll go with "I'm ready".

Training Totals:

Run: 195.7 miles
Bike: 236.50 miles

Monday, November 29, 2010

omg, omg, omg

This is what I am trying really hard to not think right now. I have done really well the last few months with taking one day at a time. Being the type A personality that I am I tend to over think, over research and over prepare for things. These past 12 weeks I suddenly had this shift of not stressing or focusing on things in advance. I can't think about the 10 mile run on Sunday until Sunday because today I am focusing my energy on x. This strategy has kept me fairly calm so I'm working hard to maintain this attitude until Sunday when I will run 13.1 miles.

Somewhere out there the rain gods decided to cut me some slack and turned Sunday's 10 mile run into a very cold but beautiful and sunny run. "I have no interest in running more than 3 miles", yep that was me about 4 months ago... I actually said this to the barista at Starbucks while we were discussing Brazen Racing. So, it's hard for me imagine that I actually ran 10 miles yesterday, but I did. The first half felt pretty good and mile 4-5 felt really good. It wasn't until the turn-around point that I started to not enjoy myself quite as much, maybe that's because the way back is an ever so slight uphill until you reach the death climb. I followed my timing and consumed my Gu's at appropriate intervals, my water was nice and icy cold thanks to the 30 degree temps. Around mile 7 I actually started to feel soreness in my legs that I hoped would not continue for the next 3 miles. As I made my way back to the park to stop and use the facilities and refill my water bottles I thought about how this was it, my last big run before the race, so I tried to enjoy it as much as I could. I was doing okay until about mile 9, I knew this would be hard, having run 9 miles last weekend my body really protested that additional mile. to add to the insanity the last 3/4 mile was uphill. I try to never take a walk break int he last mile, but dang I had to take a couple, running up my street is bear. I can't even begin to express the relief I felt as I walked in my house knowing that I was done with my longest training run. 10 miles, who does that? Me, I guess.

Today I am focusing on getting the family situated for my 4 day absence, setting things aside to pack so I don't forget anything really important and lots and lots of laundry. Perhaps I should have kept track of how many loads of laundry I had to do of running clothing throughout the training season.

I'm looking forward to Vegas, my first non-work travel away from the entire family, catching the Ducks vs. the Beavers game and oh yeah, running my first 1/2 marathon with two very good friends.

Week end totals:

Run: 20 miles
Bike: 10.54 miles

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week ten of training

It's difficult to imagine that I have gotten to a place where running 5 miles is considered a short run, I think my body is significantly protesting this idea.

I have a full week in on the new shoes, and while I think they are better than the previous ones, I think when you are running this much, there really is no magic shoe out there that is going to make you feel awesome.

I got all of my workouts in this week, although I mixed up my days a little to accommodate for the fact that my body was in much pain after last weekends 10k race. Needless to say, 5 mile runs midweek is not a great deal of fun. I saw Dr. Bill on Friday and than had to go run my 5 miles, not really how I would have liked to have done it, but some days you just have to roll with the punches. So yesterday ended up being my rest day and I pretty hung out at home all day with the girls and tried to take it easy. We enjoyed a really nice dinner last night by candlelight as we worried we would lose power last night due to the thunder and lightening.

I woke up this morning pleased to find the rain and lightening had passed through. Running in the rain was one thing, but my thought that running in thunder and lightening is probably not a smart idea. I donned all my gear and got ready for my 9 miles. The first 2 miles I had some shin pain (guess I forget to tape this morning) once that worked out it was mostly my lungs and head cold that fought me. I tried to take it easy and walked when I needed to in order to preserve my lungs and not start a coughing fit that once started would surely not dissipate. The fresh cold morning air was actually helping to keep my sinuses clear. It was around mile 5 that things started to go down hill. I had to go to the bathroom, and I was about 2 miles away from one. I worked on walk/run intervals as running seemed to put more pressure on my bladder, but running would get me to the bathrooms quicker. Once I finally made it the park I used the restrooms and filled my water bottles for the last 2 miles of my run. It hurt, at this point, my entire lower half of my body was saying f* you. The pain was bad, but I knew I was close to home. As I turned onto Ivy Drive for the last 1/2 mile of uphill I took a short walk break and than dug deep to just get it done. 1:44 including my stop at the park.

By the time I got to the house I was DONE and in pain. I did some stretching and made my way to an ice bath with my recovery drink. Apparently our fancy whirl-tub bath is not cut out for an ice bath, because I can't get cold water out of the faucet in there, I suppose if you wanted to take a hot bath, it would feel cold, but for an ice bath, it felt warm. My very sweet husband went and filled up a bucket of cold water from the kitchen sink and poured over me and than brought the ice bucket and poured that over me as well while the girls watched. Ice bath's always seem to draw a crowd.

It was a difficult week but it's done and now I have one more difficult week of training before I get to taper for race day. Sunday's always feel like a huge sense of accomplishment after my run is over, so now I get to enjoy the rest of the day.

Week end totals:

Run: 19 miles
Bike: 15.61 miles

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mermaid Run SF

photo courtesy of Melissa
While I am a fan of the Mermaid Run in Mountain View, I have never done the San Francisco run because I hate driving to the city, lame I know. But I couldn't resist since my training plan called for a 10k race on Sunday and so many of my friends would be participating as well.

As you know I went to the Cal/Oregon game the night before and was feeling the pain the next morning in my shins from hiking up all the concrete to Memorial Stadium. I taped up my shins and gathered all of my race day gear and headed to the city.

It was a gorgeous day at Crissy Field. While I had no expectations about this race, since it was my first 10k and I was actually kind of dreading it because it was a 2 loop course, which I felt would be mentally challenging to run past the 5k finish and have to do another a 5k. The nice part about doing the 10k is there were way less people doing the 10k, the 5k runners were sent off 15 minutes before our start so it felt way less crowded when he headed out. I must have started in a good spot for my pace because I didn't feel like I had to pass lots of people and I don't feel like a lot of people passed me either. The first half of the run felt pretty good, the nice part about the course was that I got to see everyone at one point or another along the course, which was fun.

I decided to run with my water pack, I've heard stories about people om long runs and getting screwed at the aid stations so I knew I wanted to carry my own beverage. What I wasn't 100% sure about was whether to use a Gu or not. I packed one and filled my bottles with CytoMax to test whether using that or water would be best for the 1/2. When I approached the first aid station they were totally out of cups filled with water. Someone was trying to fill up a cup but I clearly was not going to stop and wait, this is why I was carrying my own. When we looped back around there was an aid station across from the other one, it was jammed and I decided to not stop again not waiting to lose any momentum. As I approached the 5k finish turn-off I decided now would be a good time to go ahead and consume a Gu, which I'm glad I brought after all. At this point I was still feeling pretty decent and was looking forward to working my way closer to the water where it was cooler. There was no fog to speak of and with the full sun it was starting to get hot. As I approached the aid station again, they had closed down the one on the right side. I was really hoping to get water this time around because the Gu had made my hands sticky and the CytoMax sport drink wasn't helping me in my quest to be less sticky. Luckily, the folks from the aid station on the left were standing in the middle of the trail handing out water, sadly, she gave out her last cup to the woman in front of me, foiled once again! As I reached the turn around point at the Presido I was able to really take in the scenery and enjoy the beautiful view. There was no one directly in front or behind of me. And as the waves crashed ashore I could smell  the sea spray and really enjoyed the view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, it was really a nice moment. As I headed back to the finish I finally got my cup of water and was bale to clean off my stickiness, the cold water tasted so good since my CytoMax was a warm beverage at this point.

With one mile left to go I started to have some toe nail pain and worried once again about the possibility of losing a toe nail. The last mile hurt, but I had run the first 5 miles and there was no way I was going to walk when I was so close to the finish line. As I ran past the folks sitting on the grass I saw Melissa who cheered me in, which was a great feeling and I finally made the right turn into the finish chute. It felt great as I heard them announce my name as I crossed the finish line of my first 10k! I did  it and I ran the entire distance!

It felt amazing to do something I never thought I would do. At the beginning of the year I briefly thought about training to do a 10k and I looked at a training plan, and thought to myself "there is no way I can workout that much" and discarded the idea, so to complete a 10k as a training run for a 1/2 marathon felt really good. My goal was an 1:10 and my official team was 1:10:19, not bad.

The hard part was after I got home and the immense pain from my toe's, feet, knee's groin and lower back. I'm working on some shoe issues to hopefully resolves these issues. It for sure took away from my high of completing a 10k which makes me sad. The important part is that I did it and it didn't feel too terrible while I was doing it, so I know will do another.

Next up *gulp* Vegas!

Week end totals:

Run: 16.20 miles
Bike: 5 miles

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Game Day

You might think this a post about the Mermaid Run, but you'll have to wait for that. Last night the Oregon Ducks were in town playing the Cal Bears. My husband is Oregon Alumni, so for our anniversary I got tickets to the game. We were so excited to go.

I was a little nervous going into Bear territory with all of this green and yellow but my fears were quickly set aside as we got to Orinda BART only to find masses of Oregon fans. We arrived in Berkeley pretty early, so we decided to stroll through the campus as we made our way uphill to Memorial Stadium. I was starting to see the draw of the campus, it is very pretty. It was fun to see all of the Oregon fans and Oregon and Cal fans hanging out together. As we made our way to the stadium we approached Gate 2, we knew we needed to get to Gate 6 so we headed to the other side of the stadium. My thighs were burning from the uphill walk, maybe not a great idea the night before a 10k. We headed up lots and lots of stairs until we finally reached our seats. We were in the end zone along with all of the other Oregon fans. I feel for Cal, they need a new stadium terribly. The seats are so close together and the poor guy in front of me had my knees in his back almost all night, there was just no room at all. Cal has one jumbo-tron television. It sits behind the visiting team section, so we couldn't really see it. Not that it mattered because they never once replayed anything that was good for Oregon, and even the biggest play by Cal wasn't replayed. To make matters worse, you can't get a signal at all on your phone thanks to all of the concrete, this only became a real issue when standing in line 25 minutes during 1/2 time for the gross port-a-potties and the 3rd quarter started and I missed the biggest play of the game. I could hear yelling, but had no idea what was going on and couldn't even get on the web to find out either.

Overall we had a great time, although it didn't feel like a win for us. With Oregon averaging much higher spreads, a game this close was painful. We'll probably lose the number one spot for a game this close, but we're focusing on the next game.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What to do on a rest day

My body has been taking a beating and last week I started seeing my chiropractor to help work out some of the kinks. I've been very impressed with what he has been able to with my lower back, legs, ankles and feet, so much more than what I normally visit him for! To help with today's body work I scheduled a massage for after the chiropractor with my beloved Joseph. Honestly, I have never met someone as talented as him when it comes to massage. After my fabulous massage I followed it up with a pedicure that I won from R Spa, I keep trying to tell Scott that Facebook is good for lots of things, like winning a free pedicure! I was disappointed that there was some sort of schedule mess up and I wasn't able to see Maria, but I still received a very nice pedicure. I have been slightly alarmed all day however ever since she told me a couple of my nails seemed loose or unstable. I realize that there is a good possibility that I may lose a toe nail during training or the 1/2 itself. But I didn't need a reminder of it that will now cause me to think about it every time I walk, run or just even look at my toes. 

It's 4pm and I basically want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep, I'm starting to feel sore from all the body work today and wondering if anyone would mind if I just went to bed now.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rain, Rain

What's a girl to do when it's raining on her long run day? Eight miles on a treadmill sounds more dreadful than eight miles in the rain. Since I am always saying I would rather run in the rain than in the heat I know I have to suck it up and run in the rain.

I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and a runny nose and my shins still feeling like they would like another day of having not to run. I ate a sensible breakfast of cheerios and banana and started getting dressed for the weather.I taped my shin, hoping the extra support would keep it happy and donned my favorite running tights, short sleeve shirt and a running jacket. I downed some airborne in the hopes of convincing my body that it really does not want to get sick and walked outside to check the conditions. Cold and wet, I decided to switch out my short running jacket for the longer one, I figured the more coverage the better. I was anxious to just get out there and get it done.

As I started out I decided to zip my jacket all the way up and use the hood over my baseball cap to try and keep water off of my face and to keep me warm, it was windy and colder than I expected. By the time I was into mile two, I realized this strategy was making me too hot so I took the hood off and unzipped the jacket a little, much better. At this point, I realize it's going to be a lonely and long run, since I appear to be the only crazy person out in the rain on a Sunday morning. As I run past the Ranch House I smell bacon, so very unfair.

As I enter Moraga Commons Park which is completely void of any life I am startled by two deer as they run past me in the rain. We have a lot of wildlife around here and seeing deer is not uncommon. But for some reason  this felt so special. To be so close to them without anyone else around as we ran by each other, it almost felt magical and inspired me to pick up the pace a little. By this point I had already taken one walk break and given the long distance that I had to run today, there would be many intervals of walking and running. Once on the trail I came across a few runners who were friendlier than usual, something about being out in the pouring rain formed a little bond or inside secret, I made sure to say good morning to everyone I saw. At one point I came across a group of runners who were training with their coach riding his bike alongside of them. It felt good to know that I was not the only one training today despite the conditions.

After I crossed Rheem Blvd. around mile three I was by myself and wouldn't see anyone else until after I turned around to make my way back. At one point I actually groaned out loud as what seemed like a sheet of water and wind hit me all at once on the side of the face. I could have held my water bottle under the brim of my hat to catch the water that was pouring off of it. Around mile five I consumed my last Gu since I was near a garbage can. This is normally my favorite part of the run the 1/2 mile back to the park, but I knew I had to conserve energy to make it all the way home, so I tried to pace myself. It was at this point that I realized water was actually pooling in the elbows of my jacket and my shoes were so soaked that the insoles were slipping around and actually bunching up causing support in areas that weren't needed. I think that's when the reality of how hard running in the rain for eight miles really is. I can handle rain, I can handle the water on my face, being cold, but this was ridiculous. I stopped to refill my water bottle at the park and continued on. Again, typically this is a great place for me, I'm in the home stretch with two miles left, but somehow with six miles already in, two miles to go doesn't feel like the home stretch.

As I run along Moraga Way and past the Fire Station the rain seems to lighten a little, it doesn't matter I am already soaked through, so it doesn't seem like a gift of any type. Because I am vain, I realize I must look strong and not walk along Moraga Way, because someone I know might actually see me! As I round the corner onto my street (and out of sight of any major traffic) I slow to a walk, the last 1/2 mile is uphill and at this point I hardly have anything left. So the last portion of my run is made up of run/walk intervals. At one point my stride is so small but determined that I almost feel like I am marching. My Nike + tells me 400 meters to go, again, this does not seem like a gift because I can't even be sure I have 400 left in me, let alone 400 uphill. Only does the run feel like a real gift when I hear "Congratulations, you have reached your goal of 8 miles". After this I still have a quarter of a mile to walk uphill to my house. I finish up my water and have never been so pleased to turn into my driveway. As I put the key in the door, I realize that I am actually too wet to even stretch. I have to take my shoes and jacket and hat off before I can even stretch.

My plan was to come home and take an ice bath, but when I take my running tights off I realize my legs are cold and wet and red, hmmm.... maybe I don't need an ice bath. I opt to put warm dry clothes on and compression socks and used the ice packs for a little bit while I recovered with chocolate milk.

The only real joy of the came after rest and recovery when I brewed a pot of coffee and made eggs and bacon with hash-browns for my second breakfast.

I wonder if today's run would have felt better if it wasn't pouring down rain. I wonder if it's a mental issue, I was pissed that I had to walk so much of the run, did it really feel that bad or was I just beating myself up for the walk breaks. Not that I expect to be able to run the entire race without walking, but I still always feel bad when I walk more than I want to. It's been a mentally challenging week, the appearance of shin splints really messed with my attitude this week and while I did everything I could to heal them prior to today's run I still always wonder if it was enough.

Next up Oregon vs. Cal at Memorial Stadium and the Mermaid 10k! Was it a wise idea to plan a 10k race the day after being at a football game... hmm, probably not.

Week end totals:

Run: 17 miles
Bike: 17.14 miles

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Halloween is one of our favorite holiday's here. It has been a busy fun-filled weekend of activities and parties.

As the girls headed to the gym with Scott to kids club in their second costumes of the weekend, I was getting ready for my long run... 7 miles.

I was surprised to wake up and find it was not raining, cold and foggy but the fog was starting to clear. After freezing on Thursday's run in a short sleeve shirt, I opted for running tights and a long sleeve shirt to stay warm. This was a good idea as I was in the shade the entire run until about the last 1.5 miles.

I'm not sure there was any part of this run that felt good today, except maybe when I was told I had reached 7 miles. Okay, mile two was okay after my legs had warmed up, but miles 3 and beyond were just painful, my legs just pretty much hurt the entire time. I had Gu at the 3 mile mark and the 6 mile mark, so I never really hit a wall, but it was much harder than the 6 mile run I did two weekend ago.

The exciting part is that 7 miles is more than halfway the distance to the 1/2 marathon. While the training has worked well for me, I'm not going to kid myself, the next 5 weeks are going to require a lot of physical and mental strength.

Let's hope I have some leg left for trick-or-treating tonight!

Week end totals:

Run: 16 miles
Bike: 18.99 miles

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grape Stomp 5k

I have been both nervous and excited about this race. Excited to run a short distance in the midst of 1/2 marathon training but also excited because I felt I had something to prove to myself as well. My running has never really been planned, I always aim to run one 5k a month to try and ensure that I stay in shape, but I would at most really only run once a week and mostly on the treadmill. Training for the 1/2 has been my first real training program and has me running 3 days a week and working out 6 days a week. My times this year have all been slower than in years past, I weigh more which I know accounts for longer times as well. So today's 5k was to prove that I could be faster and that I could get it done.

I knew there was a strong chance that I would be running in the rain, that's what I planned for. I had my running tights, running jacket and a hat and even wore my sunglasses to help keep rain off of my face. It's always weird to be up and ready to run while it's still dark out and most are still cozy in their beds. I made my way to Robertson Park in Livermore with plenty of time to get through packet pick-up. Which apparently not everyone else did.

The1/2 started late, so in turn did the 10k and 5k. I decided to make one last run to the bathroom before the start of the 5k. Glad I did, but bummer that everyone for the 5k was already lined up. I tried to make my way through the crowd and managed to get in front of most of the strollers, it was chip timed so I wasn't worried about my start knowing it would be worked out. As the sent us off, it was excruciating. This was a pack of people that didn't want to run until they hit the timing mat, frustrating. The course was pretty narrow considering how many people were running today. To make matters worse, because of the rain there were huge muddy puddles that people were trying to avoid which caused more back-up and stress as I tried to maneuver around people who were walking, etc. Lets just say I used up a ton of energy trying to get around people, I was frustrated to say the least. I saw the 1 mile marker and was shocked that I was only a mile in, I had used a lot of energy in that first mile. Although I knew two more miles could be accomplished, I think it's safe to say I was frustrated.

At the water station I used this opportunity to run past many people. It's only a 5k, I didn't need water and this would help get past a lot of people, which it did. We were approaching a bridge that we were going to run under which meant downhill, flat, uphill. I took advantage of the downhill and blew by lots of people who were not taking advantage. I was strong and steady up the hill until the person in front abruptly halted to walk mid hill. I nearly cussed out load as I nearly collided into her. Once up the hill I could see the turn around, sweet. I still was bitter because my return trip felt much slower than the way out, I had really used a lot of energy the first 1.5 miles. I tried to find a nice pace where I could lower my heart rate a tad, I knew I would need energy for the last 1/2 mile that would be dirt and grass to the finish line. I was beat but I knew had some left in me for the finish line. By this point I was mostly by myself and was no longer battling through the crowds. As I rounded the corner and approached the grass I stepped into high gear and booked it across the finish line, passing the only person in front of me.

Damn, that felt good! Official time was 34:14. Not a PR, but my best time of the year. While frustration was the word of the day and I really felt like I had a 33 minute run in me, I'm pleased with this time. I proved to myself what I needed to today and that was that with all my training I could run faster than I have all year. Even though this training is about endurance and not speed, you better believe I was out to be faster.

Did I mention it didn't rain?! Could have gone with just a long sleeve shirt today since I didn't get rained on, oh well, better to be prepared. It didn't start to rain until about 10am when I left the park. 

Next up my very first ever 10k!

Week end totals

Run: 11:10 miles
Bike: 5.85 miles

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I did it!

I ran 6 miles today! I'm flabbergasted, I'm doing this because I know I can, but I can't help but be amazed that I actually ran 6 miles today, the furthest ever.

We went to a wedding last night and I had 2 glasses of champagne, the first alcohol I have had on 1 month due to being sick and medication. I completed my rounds of meds on Tuesday but wanted to be super safe and wait to have any alcohol as Flagyl and alcohol can result in serious vomiting and pain. I was surprised when we got home and I felt a little nauseous, maybe I should have waited longer.

Needless to say I woke up with a small headache, probably not enough water yesterday, but was ready to fuel and get it done. Breakfast went over like a fart in church (as my husband likes to say). I could only eat half of it as I was really just not hungry. I downed an Expresso Love Gu (in the hopes of simulating morning coffee) and got on my way. It was cold this morning! I'm not complaining, because I love to run in the cold and once I had 1 mile in I was good. I followed my usual path to the Moraga Commons where I would pick up the trail. It actually started sprinkling on me! I though that maybe I should have worn long sleeves, but it didn't do much other than sprinkle. As I hit my turn around mark I knew I could anticipate a slight downhill back to the Commons. I took advantage of that and felt super strong! As I was getting close to the park I decided it would be a good time to consume a gu, so I could throw it away and not try to pack it back home and getting gooey. This was the first attempt at consuming gu while still running. It went pretty well, I consumed a Mandarin Orange Gu and tossed it at the garbage can in the park and downed some water. Wow, that was easy. The stretch of road between the park and Moraga Way is flat and once again I felt really strong. Once I hit Moraga Way I know it's the home stretch with about 1.5 miles to go. I pace myself as the last 1/2 mile of the run will be a slow uphill. I took advantage of the last downhill section on the pedestrian path and pushed forward. The last quarter mile was really tough, I was running so slow that I felt like I was stuck in molasses. I was talking out load to myself, verbal persuasions of "6 miles baby", "push", everything I could think of. Good thing on a cold Sunday morning all of neighbors were cozy in their homes not to hear my pep talks. 6 miles never felt so good, well at least at the end of the 6 miles!

I am super proud of myself and feeling confident that come December 5th, 13.1 miles will feel just as good!

Next up, Livermore's Grape Stomp 5k!

Week end totals:

Run: 14 miles
Bike: 12.76 miles

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1/3 of the way there

Can't believe I just finished week 4 of my training. That means I just ran 5 miles, the furthest yet! In fact Lance Armstrong congratulated me on my furthest run yet, thanks Lance!

This mornings run actually felt much better than I expected. After a Friday night, girls night out of dancing in wedge boots I felt like I was doomed. Fashion and training just don't seem to mix well unless we're talking about my Lululemon work out clothes. I had to put compression socks on last night because not only did my quads hurt but my right foot was trying really hard to cramp up all night. Needless to say the first mile of my run was painful but once my legs warmed up, the rest went pretty well. I even ran up my street, the furthest ever! Overall it felt like a really good strong run.

Off for another build week!

Week end totals:

Run: 12 miles
Bike: 5.72 miles

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 3 comes to an end

I woke up this morning thinking about running 5 miles. Scott looked at me and said "I don't think that's a good idea". I thought really hard about it. My legs were feeling better, the ice bath really helped, but my arms and shoulders and other parts were pretty sore. I remembered last weekend and how it took almost all week to recover from running 2 days in a row. I made the executive decision that I would rest today and that in the end that seemed the best decision for my body. Which means no 5 miles today. Next week is the same schedule to 3.5/3.5/5 miles. I feel confident that I'll be okay with my training to miss today, I pushed my body pretty hard yesterday and I think giving it a chance to recover is a good idea.

From here on out the training schedule has no other hiccups in it, all scheduled races are to plan and are part of my training.

Week end totals:

Run: 7 miles
Bike: 26.50 miles

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jan Lipson Memorial Ride

Lots of firsts for me. Today was my first organized bike ride, not a race thankfully. Today was also the furthest I have ever ridden my bike, and probably the most hills I have ever climbed as well.

The ride was a 25 mile course (this was the short option), I wasn't thinking I would do the entire 25 miles since I have a 5 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, but once we got there I realized the only way to shorten the ride would make it an 8 mile ride, which was kind of too short. So I trudged ahead to some serious pain. First off, props to my amazing husband who is more of a bike rider than myself for traveling at speeds of 3-4 mph with me while I used my very last gear to traverse the hills. At one point I yelled "why does it look like we are going downhill but it feels like we are going uphill!" Clearly delusional at many points along the way and a couple of points where I just wanted to cry. The SAG Wagon was amazing and was always around to tell us how much further and what the next hills were... really? More freaking hills. I do believe there was some cussing coming from me along the way. We for sure in the home stretch with 4 miles to go when I was told there were two more inclines to come. What? I was in brutal pain on the flat parts I didn't think there was anyway I could possibly make it back. My legs were cramping up and there was some frequent muscle spasms taking place. If I had any hope of running tomorrow or even next week, I had to throw my towel in. I officially rode 21 miles today, but the most important part is that I did it with friends and my hubby. Did I mention how excited Scott was for those last 4 miles and basically pushed it as hard as he could? He looks kind of hot going really fast on his bike.

At the top of the mountain, I'm smiling because I thought the next 9 miles would be easy.   

The pain on the drive home was miserable, there was no place that I could put my legs that was comfortable. As soon as I got home I took some Ibuprofen and used ice packs on my legs while Scott went to the store to get me a 20 pound bag of ice for my ice bath. The pain of stepping into the ice was probably worse than  the muscle pain I felt.

I'm not sure our nifty new whirlpool tub with lights was meant to be used as an ice tub
It still remains to be seen if any running is in my future for tomorrow. Currently waiting for my burger on a baguette with grilled corn. I'm sure it will make everything better.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A weekend of running and blisters

The week got off to a rough start with more pain and more blood tests, blah, blah, blah. I mentally told myself that there was no I was not running the Run to Break the Silence for ovarian cancer. I had to walk my 3 miles on Tuesday but worked up to a wog on Thursday and made up for it this weekend.

Saturday was the Run to Break the Silence for ovarian cancer. I promised my girlfriend a year ago that I would do this with her as her Grandmother passed away from Ovarian Cancer and her Mother is a survivor. Also during this time I found out that a friend was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and is currently undergoing chemo and showing cancer who wears the pants in the family! So yesterday I ran for two people who mean a great deal to me.

We arrived in Sacramento and the car said it was 98. We all know how I melt in the heat and run in the morning to avoid any sort of temperature over 75, so I knew it would be interesting.

We had about an hour until the start of the race so we sat on the grass int he shade and conserved energy. But I did brave the heat to go check out the start/finish line.

There were over 1000 registered runners/walkers and probably more that weren't registered. So the two of us that were running made our way to the front so we wouldn't have to try and squirm through walkers and strollers. I must say all of the walkers were really courteous about staying back to let the runners line up. And before I knew it we were off.  I knew it was hot as hot hair burned my throat and lungs, it was a very strange sensation but the bonus to the heat was my muscles needed no warming up everything felt great. As I approached the 1 mile marker frantically searching for the age station that was further down they were calling out times which was way cool! I don't typically check the time on my watch this earlier in but I was 10:49 so I was pleased to be in under 11 minutes. It was after this that it got hard. The water at the aid station was like drinking bath water, I decided the best bet was to just poor it down my shirt. The course was all flat and winded through the tree lined neighborhoods, thankfully providing spots of shade. It was the parts in the sun that were brutal. It seemed like it took forever to hit the 2 mile marker point and the next aid station with more bath water. Probably around the last 1/2 mile there were some sprinklers on watering the grass on the side of the road. This young boy decided to run through it, I thought it was brilliant and ran through it as well! I told him what a smart idea it was and that I had followed him because he seemed kind of embarrassed about it. Kid, it's 98 degrees there is no shame in running through a sprinkler! The best part was the approach to the finish line, I had pretty much nothing left but managed to pass 2 women, that's when I heard them calling names of the runners. Sure enough "Meredith Fox is crossing the finish line!" Oh well, at least they got my first name right. Cheering me on was Eric who had finished about 9 minutes ahead of me, it's always awesome to have someone cheer you in at the end.

And then I had time to go get my camera and get pics of Team Grammie crossing the finish line!

While my run time was slower than I had hoped for, I'd like to add that I did run with beads!!

I can't wait to do it again next year! NOCC is a fantastic organization, every woman should be aware of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, they can mimic so many things, but it is so important to campaign for own health and be aware of the symptoms! 

And because I had a long run scheduled today I HTFU and ran back to back to get my 4 miles in today. Thank you for Monday being a rest day of stretching!@

I almost forgot! I have a lovely blister on the inside of my right heel, I just got new shoes and I'm pissed! I've been wearing this brand and model of shoe for years and now I get a blister! 

Week end totals:

Run: 10.10 miles
Walk: 3 miles

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 1 in the books

It was much harder than I expected, especially given I've already been running this type of mileage. I think in general by body is just not happy and something may be slightly off that is causing all this difficulty. I've been waking up most mornings just not feeling rested and knowing that my body needs to get up and perform. I woke up this morning after a really rough night of sleep and feeling sick to my stomach (guess that means back to the doctor this week) I was not quitting today, I told myself even if I had to walk the entire 4 miles that is what I would be doing. The first mile really sucked, my legs hurt and I have new shoes so while I could tell my legs and knee appreciated it my feet needed that first mile to adjust to the new shoes. I ended up taking several very short walk breaks to drink some water. This seemed to work well and I managed to keep a good pace with the short breaks, although it kills me to have to walk because I didn't need to do this several weeks ago. I'm happy I made it through week 1 of training and while I don't expect it to get easier I do hope that my body catches up to my brain and makes it a little less frustrating next week.

Week end totals:

Run: 10.20 miles
Bike: 14.67 miles

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

answers and week 1

My lab results came back yesterday that once again I tested positive for Group Strep B which in turn caused a bladder infection. Really? This is the third time I have tested positive for it in the past 5 years. It got me thinking after some research this is more than likely what caused my uterine infection and eventually sepsis after the birth of Kylie. They were puzzled at how I developed a uterine infection one month postpartum, they basically guessed that I had an e-coli infection that moved into my uterus. Looking back I think it's more likely that that the Strep B is what started it all. My doctor wanted to induce me to make sure I could get at least one round of antibiotics in before I delivered Kylie. Since My first labor had only been 5 hours she was very worried about me making it to the hospital in time to get those antibiotics. Sure enough, 2.5 hours after breaking my water Miss Kylie arrived. While I did get one dose of antibiotics in and Kylie spent so little time in the birth canal she escaped any harm herself. I didn't think to be concerned about it, because Strep B doesn't typically cause any harm to an adult unless you have a compromised immune system.

I am on antibiotics now and I'm hoping this will cure all of the ickies I have had for the past few weeks. I'll go back and redo my blood work in a couple of weeks to see if the infection is what triggered some other off results.

On to today's workout. Today was my first run of week 1 of training! It sucked! Treadmill running is just not fun for me, especially for 3 miles. I've discovered that I may need to wear my glasses on the treadmill. It's easier for me to focus on something while running on the treadmill to distract me, TV, the theater across the street, people.. whatever. I'm noticing I am having a hard time doing this which is causing me to get dizzy. Guess maybe I should wear my glasses, I wear my sunglasses outside to run, so wearing my glasses on the treadmill should be okay, right? I'll give it a go next week. I had to take a couple of walk breaks, which irritates me, since I didn't have to do that before I got sick! But I keep telling myself it will come back and just cover the miles!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Proceeding Cautiously

It's been a joy ride the past two weeks. After succumbing to the flu for 6 days I thought I was ready to get back on track and got two days of running in last week before being flat on my back for the long weekend. I had a physical scheduled anyway and some of my lab work came back a little off so we reran some labs on Friday and will do some more within the next 30 days to see if my numbers are off due to some little bug that I have or if there is legitimately a problem.

Today I decided would be the day that I got back out there no matter what. I woke up this morning with sore legs ( a strange phenomena since I have not run in 10 days) so I put on my compression socks while I got ready and told my self to just get over it. I have some new toys that I wanted to try out today; one being my RoadID. Yes, I finally ordered one and will put it to good use so that I don't lose my license again. The second new toy is a hydration waste pack. I knew I would need something for my longer runs and when I tried on the hand ones at the store, it just never felt right, so I ordered this:

While I didn't really need it for today's 3 mile run, I wanted to try it out and see how I liked it and since I've been sick I loaded it up with some FRS Energy Drink just in case. I found it to be pretty comfortable on today's painful run. I did however notice that when one bottle has more liquid in it than the other it pulls to one side a little bit, but for the most part it stayed put pretty well. I know some people said the sloshing around of liquid bothered them, I couldn't feel the liquid sloshing around and since I had my tunes playing, I couldn't hear it either. The other bonus is the little pocket. Since my armband had been causing chaffing on my last few runs I decided to skip the armband and keep the i-touch in the pocket, awesome!

As I mentioned the run sucked. I really need my new shoes but since I ordered narrows by accident, it will probably be at least a week before I get them back. My shins protested slightly on my normal zippy, downhill first mile so I took it really slow. I felt pretty decent until the return trip back. Even though it was early and the temperature outside was still nice, it was clear and the sun was beating down on me. I had to slow to a walk at two points just to gain my composure before I could start running again. Once I made the turn onto my street, the long, slow, uphill street I was just toast. But I was not quitting, I probably could have walked faster, but I was not going to walk. I got the 400 meters warning, it seemed forever before I got the 200 meters and the last 100 meters was brutal. But I did it. I ran up probably .40 miles of 1 mile killer street.

Another day, another run survived. Tomorrow I officially start Hal Higdon's 12 week 1/2 marathon training program. I hope the next 12 weeks go more smoothly than the past 2 weeks have. At least I think I have all of the proper tools now to get me there.

I discovered my love of the foam roller so I got my own! Based on a friend's recommendation I got a Trigger Point Performance foam roller. It's small enough that I should be able to take it Vegas and it has all of these different nubby textures on it that are supposed to be great for releasing those tight muscles.

Week end totals:

Run: 3.10 miles
Bike: 5.64 miles

Monday, August 30, 2010


Last week was without a doubt one of the worst weeks of the year. I knew it would be a challenging week for my family as I had an interview for a position I wasn't 100% sure I wanted, Sydney was starting Kindergarten and Scott is handling a major project. What I was not expecting was that Sydney and I would get the stomach flu, she would miss her first 2 days of Kindergarten and my training plan would fly out the window.

Sunday, as we know, was my longest run ever, 4 miles. On Tuesday I was scheduled to run 3 and did it on the treadmill at the gym and it sucked, it hurt but I got it done. I was in a lot of pain on Tuesday and come Wednesday it was ridiculous. Every muscle and bone in my body ached and I seriously thought if it was this bad how in the heck would I make it through the rest of my training. Later in the evening I knew something was wrong when it hurt to touch my skin, and sure enough I had a low grade fever. Part of me was relieved to know that it was not my training that had done this to me but the flu. Although, it really was not a pleasant 5 days.

As my body is trying to recover I'm faced with how to proceed with the week. Today was strength training and stretching which went fine, I even did a quick easy 2 miles on the bike at the gym to remind my legs that I would be expecting some performance from them tomorrow. Ideally, I would like to run 3 miles tomorrow, but I'm going to test it out and see how the body responds, if running all of it seems to be too much I'll at least walk and be sure to get my miles in that way.

Nobody said it was going to be easy, right?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I seem to be a cluster this week

So yesterday I nearly get taken out by an SUV, today I lose my drivers license.

I should be sitting here feeling so great about getting my 4 mile run in today. It's the furthest I have run, ever. As I completed my cool down walk I thought about how if I can do this, the training plan is working and I will be able to run a 1/2 marathon come race day. I felt so great!

Then, I get home and reach into my pocket to grab my key and realize my license is not in the pocket. WTF? I had to unzip the pocket and the key is still there so how is the license gone. I feel around for holes and there are none. Seriously, how do I lose one and not the other. So, now I'm sitting here stressing about not having a license and having to go to the DMV to request a new one. As I think about my run, I think that I may have unzipped and checked the contents of the pocket to make sure everything was still there (why, I don't know, probably to distract me from the run) I'm thinking maybe it fell out then. After recovery and a play date for Sydney I tried driving my route to see if I could find it. No luck, although I wasn't able to drive the sidewalk parts of my run that go up a hill, so I'll try later to go back and walk that area. I am so frustrated with myself, I've been meaning to get a Road ID but just haven't done it yet because I'm spending money on so much right now for training and the 1/2. I wasn't even going to bring it, but than I remembered how I nearly was taken out by a careless driver and decided to bring it.

Oh well, life goes on.

Week end totals:

Run: 9 miles
Bike: 16.63 miles

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Exactly why I don't have a road bike

I love riding my bike, but sharing the road with cars makes me nervous. Even Scott hardly ever rides his road bike anymore, I'm sure it has to do with his work and how many bike versus vehicle's he comes across. Today I had 30 minutes of cross training scheduled. I thought it would be a good idea to get on the bike and map out tomorrow's run. I'm thinking I'll run towards the trail that I use for my bike rides, which I pick up at Moraga Commons Park. I ride down my street and head towards Moraga. I make a left onto Old School Road that is adjacent to Safeway. The street is pretty deserted with no cars parked so I have a good visibility. I check my mileage and as I look up see a woman exiting the Safeway parking lot who has decided not to stop at the driveway nor look as she makes a left hand turn onto Old School Road. I hit the breaks hard to avoid a collision with her, just as I realize I'm going to be okay, by back tire fishtails out from under me and I think oh shit, I'm going down anyway. Thankfully I held it together and was able to stay upright. As the woman in her SUV is waving and mouthing "sorry" at me. Needless to say, I'm obviously pretty shook up by the entire event. I continue riding and hit the trail. Still pissed, I realize I need to focus on what I'm doing and figuring out how far I need to run tomorrow before turning around. I have two options, to run out further and walk the 1 mile back up my street to cool down or turn around earlier and run 1/2 mile up my street leaving a 1/2 mile to cool down. I think I may shoot for the latter, I guess we'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow.

I'm nervous about tomorrow, but I have to stay positive and know that I can do this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 2 in the books

I have completed 2 weeks of training towards my 1/2 marathon program. It feels good, but I know in the weeks to come that it will become more challenging and push my limits more than ever before.

Today I had scheduled a 3 mile run and was lucky to be able to do it on the road versus the gym before Scott left for work. I woke up with a headache and was dreading running my 3 miles today. Knowing that I was on a time limit to get it done, I got dressed and headed out. As soon as I hit the pavement I felt great. The cool morning air was doing wonders for my headache and I felt strong, maybe a little too strong because I ran down my 1 mile street maybe faster than I should have. As I got to the 1 mile mark there was a walker ahead of me so I sprinted to the intersection to make it across the street without having to stop and wait for the light. All that effort in the first part of my run made for pain in the last mile of my run. This is my normal 2 mile route, but I added a little to it to get my 3 miles in today. On the return I veer off of the bike path and onto a pedestrian path because the bike path really narrows. It just feel's safer on the pedestrian path rather than sharing the road with the cars and bikes in this particular area. The only other downside to this, other than the obvious concrete versus pavement is, it's uphill. Typically on my 2 mile run, I get to slow to a cool down walk around the uphill portion. Not today, today I powered through the pain. I felt the pain in my thighs which was good because I knew my muscles were working hard. As I crested to the highest point it felt like I was running in place because I was moving so slow. As soon as I thought I was going to keel over, I hit the downhill portion and finally back to flat. Overall, the run felt good, I even planned the route so that I would have to run up some of my 1 mile street. We all know how much I detest hills, but I also know that hills will make me a stronger runner, so I'm working on it.

Glad that the week is over and that tomorrow I get to work on stretching and strength training. Next week I'll be working on increasing my mileage, wish me luck. I should run 4 miles next Sunday, which will be the most I have ever run! Scary and exciting all at the same time!

Week end totals:

Bike: 15.53 miles
Run: 7 miles

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Electronics malfunction

I guess when you begin to rely on electronics it becomes inevitable that at some point they will malfunction and wreak havoc on your workout. Apparently, today was my day. Scheduled for a two mile run this morning I headed out the front door with my heart rate monitor and my i-touch (recently equipped with the Nike+ipod application. As I started my run I was only about a block away from the house when the Nike+ just stopped working, no music, no nothing. I had to actually stop and reset my workout and begin again. Okay, I should be good. As I start running again, I look down and see my heart rate monitor is no longer receiving a heart rate. Crap! As I try to moisten the sensors on the belt, it still is registering as zero. Oh well, I stop the and restart the monitor and that seems to work. Okay, so all of my stuff is going to be a little off today as I try to run and adjust all of my electronics. Good thing, I already know my route and know where I need to turn around and I know where I can start my cool down walk. As I'm running down my street, I'm thinking that it seems weird that the friendly Nike+ lady has not come on to give my my mileage counter. So I hit the button which gives me an update only to hear that it's not actually receiving a signal from the monitor in my shoe and is only tracking minutes of my workout. Like I said, good thing I already knew my route.

After another frustrating workout with my i-touch I decide to google my shuffling music issue. Oh, seems at some point I accidentally selected the shake to shuffle option in my settings. So every time I run the i-touch thinks I'm shaking it and shuffles to a new song. At least I have that fixed! While I'm messing around, now is probably a good time to update my workout playlist, as mu runs get longer I'm going to need some good motivation!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

That was hard

Sunday's will be my long run day. Scott should have weekends off pretty soon, which will actually allow me to run long days on the road and not at the gym. In my effort to work up Hal Higdon's 12 week 1/2 marathon training program, I'm using his model but my mileage plans until about mid September when I'll start his official plan. Today on my schedule was 3 miles of running. The last time I actually ran 3 miles was at the CPOA Memorial Run in May. Needless to say. today's run hurt and since it was on a treadmill it was boring. And to make matters worse, my I-touch is doing this funky thing where it starts playing a song and skips to another and then another and if I'm really lucky another. I was about ready to take it and throw it across the gym. I guess I  need to look into seeing what the problem is. For the most part, my legs felt good, it was mostly my lungs and heart that were protesting today's run. I had to mentally tell myself (repeatedly) that no one said this would be easy, that I was not a quitter, there is no such thing as can't, and I can do this because I am strong and stubborn. I tried to imagine how good I would feel once I was done and had accomplished my goal for today. Finally, the mileage counter hit 3 miles.

After a cool down and some stretching I hit the restroom. Good lord, I looked like someone left me out in the sun all day yesterday. I get red in the face when I workout, but this was ridiculous. I splashed water on my face and I still looked the same. Really? This is kind of embarrassing, hopefully the further I condition my body the better it will get.

I sit here with my new Lululemon compression socks on. This is my third pair of compression socks, I figured I would need more with all of this running. Every pair I have is slightly different. I have a pair of Sugoi compression socks that I really love, so we'll see how these workout for me.

I survived the week, that's the most important thing. I think for next week, I'll keep the mileage the same for my long run day and then increase the following week. Right now, my body is adjusting to running 3 days a week and working out 6 days a week. I'm working to try and figure out my calorie intake with my increased workouts and hopefully still lose weight, but I seem to be hungry all of the time, so I need to focus on lots of small meals.

Week end Totals:

Run: 6 miles
Bike: 23 miles

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's official

It's official, I just registered for my first 1/2 marathon. I asked Scott if he thought I was crazy, and his response was "yes, but good for you".

I'll blame it on all of my smofit friends who inspire me everyday. And for the opportunity to do something that I would never, ever have thought possible.

So here is to lots of "what they hell was I thinking?", "why the hell am I doing this?" and "whose bright idea was this?" over the next several months.

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Sunday

Cheers to the end of the weekend (remember my hubby works weekends), it felt like a successful week as far as exercise and family activities. I was able to get in some great workouts and keep the kids happy all weekend... maybe I shouldn't jinx myself.

We hit the gym this morning so I could get my 2 mile run in, made an obligatory pit stop at Starbucks (they know my kids by name as well... is that bad?) and then headed to Sydney's new school to meet some girls in her kindergarten class. Sydney was super excited to play on the playground at her new school with some new and old friends and Kylie, as always, loved hanging with the big girls. Let's hope I am as ready to dive into this whole mother of an elementary school child thing.

Week end totals:

Bike: 20.61 miles
Run: 3 miles

Next week should be interesting. Hoping to find sticking to a plan seamless.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hmm, lots to think about

As you know, it's difficult for me to sit idle. I promised myself after I left MADD that I was going to not dive into a bunch of projects, that I was instead going to focus on myself and determine what I really wanted to do with my time. so far this has been going well. I have decided to hold off on returning to my volunteer position at the hospital and have just focused on making myself healthy and happy. I've started by reading again, a lot. I'm like a sponge that just can't get enough. After the spring semester of school and working and raising my family, I wasn't able to read a non-textbook for months. I have more than made up for that fact and am reading everyday and loving every minute of it. I realized how much I miss it and how much it relaxes me. I have also started working on trying to form a workout routine to ensure that I am getting enough exercise every week. With the both kids in school 3 days a week, it has been a huge help. I try to take advantage of the days they are in school to get outside and run or (new this week) ride my bike! It make such a huge difference to break up the monotony of the gym. I than am trying to go to the gym on Saturday's and Sunday's and take the kids. This helps me get in those extra workouts and also keeps the house quiet for Scott so he can try and sleep.

So, I seem to be setting up a nice rhythm and  finding time for myself so that I am more sane than I was in the months of April through June. Of course, since I have found this nice rhythm I am contemplating "what's next". I have some pretty loft goals in mind but I haven't made a decision as of yet. I'm doing my research (since we all know I research everything until I am blue in the face) and will make a decision a soon. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time, I just have to determine if this is right for me and if I can try and stay sane, because afterall, staying sane, is my number one goal.

Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Toronto here we come

So I guess it's girl and boy on the go. After a very stressful week of riots and overtime for my husband we are thrilled to be leaving on Monday for Toronto! We made this trip 3 years ago when I was 7 months pregnant with Kylie and my morning sickness kicked in the morning after we arrived. I still managed to have a wonderful time in a wonderful city in between the episodes of nausea. So I am thrilled to be going back and to not be pregnant!

Once again, we will be staying at the Fairmont Royal York with a view of Lake Ontario. The Fairmont is walking distance of everything and there is so much to explore in Toronto. Tuesday night we have tickets to see Rush at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Last time we saw them at the Air Canada Centre, so we're excited about seeing them in a different venue in their hometown.

Leaving the girls, especially to travel so far is going to be really difficult, but I know we need this time together!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Dad got home around 6am and I woke the girls up around 7am to get ready for their big run. Sydney is an old pro at this, but today would be Kylie's first run. The Moraga 4th of July Run benefits Campolindo High School's track team and the the high school kids lead the little kids around the the course, so it's a lot of fun.

Stretching before the start of the race

warming up

lined up at the start line

Kylie is only 2, but I thought she might be a little sad that Sydney would get a medal and she wouldn't and she loved cheering Sydney on at her last race, so I asked her if she wanted to run as well, and she said yes! It is quite a challenge to run with a 2 year old and still try to get photos of your 5 year old running. So Kylie and I cut the course short to get ahead of Sydney and snap her photo.

Sydney looking strong!

After Sydney went by Kylie and I picked up with the rest of the kids and Kylie ran all the way to the finish line to get her medal!

I am super proud of both of my girls. I decided not to run today because I would have needed our double stroller which does not fit in my car, it was a little sad for me but watching both of my girls do something that I love to do myself was such a great feeling. Sydney wanted to do the 2 mile run, "Mom, we'll run with you!" I had visions of being about 1/4 mile in and having to carry both kids... we opted for breakfast instead.

I've been debating about bringing Sydney to the Jail Break Run this year because I would like to run it without pushing a stroller and the kids run is a 1/2 mile long and poor Syd was beet red after it last year! But she loves running so much, how can I deprive her.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Walk like MADD

This was a first for me, instead of attending an event as a participant, I actually organized the entire event! After walking in MADD's Sacramento walk in October I decided to form a team for the Bay Area Walk. Shortly after I formed my team I was approached to serve as a volunteer on the committee for the walk. Sure, why not I thought. I knew this was the Bay Area's first walk and I thought there would be no better way to assure it went off successfully than to volunteer my time. At some point along the way, MADD lost their Bay Area Executive Director. I of course had concerns about a lack of leadership and the walk going off successfully, but I was committed to the walk and was not going to abandon it. 7 weeks prior to the walk MADD hired me as a temporary employee to ensure the walk went off without a hitch. I;m not sure I really knew what I was getting into. Almost nothing had been done for the walk other than securing the location and the permit for the walk. I had to obtain corporate sponsorship, food donations, recruit teams and plan the logistics for the entire event in 7 weeks. Everyone knows I love a challenge, but wow!

Saturday we walked. And while there were a few behind the scene issues, like our rental company delivering our tables, chairs and tents 45 minutes late, for the most walk, it went off without a hitch. we raised $24,199 and we will continue to collect money until June 30th.

What a learning experience, I have participated in many 5k events over the past 2 years, so thankfully I had those experiences to help guide me. I have received some great feedback from teams and walkers who are excited to walk again next year, so I think that is a good sign.

Some photos from the event.

Team CHP & CHP Wives