Sunday, July 24, 2011

Plenty of time to become a Diva

This morning was a good indication that I absolutely have made the right decision to not do a 1/2 in October and instead wait until May to do the Divas Half Marathon in San Francisco. Almost everyone who knows me knows that I have been plagued over the last year with health issues. For the most part I have been able to deal with it and continue my activities but never feeling 100% just starts to take it's toll mentally. As I was sent off to see another specialist I was the lucky winner of getting Fifth Disease. The kids had it first, each about 10 days apart and it showed up for me with the worst possible timing just as I was going to see my urologist for the first time. Thankfully I figured out what I had and was able to separate those symptoms from the other ones. After much poking and prodding and tears of pain we think I have Intersitital Cystits, whee, another fun thing to have! I'm trying some meds and we;re hopeful this will help and I can get back to be a normal person again. In all honesty the IC is pretty bothersome and sometimes painful but it's really the Fifth Disease that really took me out.

So, it's been two weeks since I have run, and my goal had been to give it a shot today. I headed to my favorite 2 mile portion of the trail and thought I would give it a try. I really wasn't feeling it and could tell I wasn't hydrated enough to even attempt 2 miles. So I though, I'll walk the first mile out and run the second mile back in which is slightly downhill and my favorite part. Yeah, not so much. The first indication was my fingers started to swell immediately, now whether this is from the Fifth Disease still in my body or the lack of proper hydration who knows, it was probably a combination of both. I attempted to run for a short period of time only to find that my knees really hurt (this was the first joint that experienced major pain with the fifth disease). Okay, so we're just walking today.

It's obviously going to be baby steps to start running again as I test my body to see what it's capable of. I am super glad I have so much time to train for my next 1/2 and just get healthy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unexpected Surprise

I had been expecting an Age Group Award for Scott n the mail from Run to the Lake, what I wasn't expecting was my own award as well!

It turns out there was a special First Responders Category. Yes, I know, technically I'm not a first responder but they sent coupon codes to Scott's office for the race so I got listed in the first responder category. I was 4th out of 6 in the category and Scott was 1st out of 6. There was only one other woman in the category besides myself so I'm guessing that's why I ended up with a win. So technically I was 1st out 2 in the female category... I'll take that!

I think this last medal will fill up my rack, I may need another!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Run to the Lake - 5k

Run to the Lake benefits Eden Medical Center's Trauma Center. They extended discounts to Law Enforcement and First Responders and they had a kids race, so it seemed like a no-brainer for us to sign up for it. Thankfully, the weather today was much cooler than last week's run. I should start by saying that they advertise this run as Flat and Fast.... um, it's uphill (okay not a huge hill) on the way out, I think it was about 122 feet of ascent on the way out but then mostly downhill or flat on the way back. Luckily for me, I knew this already so I was prepared for it.

I did actually have a plan going into the race (that's a new one!) that I tried my best to execute but didn't turn out exactly the way I had hoped for many reasons. Remember last week when I mentioned I had a nervous stomach, more so than usual... I now know that I can blames this on my family. There are always some nerves on race day, but most of the time I get up while the rest of the family is sleeping and sneak out before they wake up, so I'm just responsible for myself. Imagine this morning, my husband wakes up sore as hell from wrenching on his truck for weeks to try and get it running again, one child who doesn't want to get up and another who is actually eager to get dressed. I felt like leaving them all at home and just going myself. Thanks to our unmotivated runners and Mom having to do everything to get everyone and everything out the door we left 15 minutes later than our goal time. When we finally arrived we have to assemble the double stroller since we have to take it apart to get it into my car. They are already asking people to line up to do warm-up and Scott takes off to use the bathroom leaving me at the car with the kids. Gee, thanks for asking if I have to go! I loudly pronounce that I will just hold it for the entire run to make my point. As we head down the hill, there is hardly a line since everyone is already at the start line and I tell him I'll see him later... like maybe at the end of the race. Anyway, by the time I get down to the start line we are in the back of the line. I look around clearly get the idea that a lot of these people are clearly walking, awesome. When the horn goes off there is absolutely no movement where we are at... none. I give Scott a look and sort of feel sorry for him as I start pushing my way through people who are barely moving so I can cross the start line... good luck with that double stroller I think. Once I finally got a point where I had some breathing room it appeared that I was now at the back of the running pack and I wondered how long it would take Scott to pass me, we were at the .25 mile mark when he finally made his past me. So far, so good, my plan was to maintain a nice easy pace on the way out and take advantage of the downhill on the way back and hopefully maintain a 10 minute mile. Ha, not sure what I was thinking. Mile 1 was actually pretty decent at a 10:48 pace but Mile 2 basically shot my plan to hell with an 11:18 pace. At some point I tired of the slow and slight uphill section. After the water station we got a little downhill portion before the turn-around so I knew I had a little more uphill to navigate before I would have more downhill for the return. I remember thinking at one point that I wasn't even listening to my music, it wasn't inspiring me, this sucked, and why I had I been so worried about changing out some of the tunes last night. I was unfocused and just didn't care, I was getting a side cramp and took several short walk breaks, but it just seemed like it would all be over faster if I ran instead of walking. At the end a lot of people passed me, people I had passed on the out section were passing me coming in. The downhill was nice but than we would reach a flat section and it just seemed like so much work to keep moving forward. It was super nice to see Scott and the girls at the finish line cheering me on, instead of booking it in I ran over to get high-fives and then I sprinted to the finish line.

Glad to be done, I was actually pretty pleased with my time, despite my miserable experience on the course I think there is a trend occurring, I am getting faster, this race was pretty close to my Finish Chelsea's Run time which is my best time in 2 years. I have been disappointed to watch my 5k times getting slower and slower so, it's been really nice to see me increase my speed in these last couple of races.

I guess something went amiss with timing, I'm not entirely sure but they didn't hand out Age Group awards because of it, which is cool because it looks like Scott came in 3rd in his age group! They are actually mailing out awards because of whatever timing issue there was. He came in at 24 minutes, a 7:45 mile.

Trying to get some love from the family!

Coming into the finish

Kylie loving every minute of it

Sydney taking it very seriously

As long as their current reports are correct I finished at 33:39 and came in 18/55 in my AG.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moraga 4th of July Run

Holy crap! I came in 4th in my AG! I remember telling Scott how the age group division for this race is 19-39 and how it kind of sucks to have such a large division. The race benefits the Campolindo High School Track Team, and who knew that there would only be 18 of us in that age division.

I was overly nervous race day morning and had a horribly nervous stomach. I'm normally not this nervous and it was only a two mile run! I think that because of the hot temperatures and because the entire family was running it just caused me to have extra nerves about logistics etc. I know there was no way to get a PR on this course unless I really booked it. Two years ago when I did this race it wasn't chip timed and finish times were not very accurate. I posted a 20:01, although I went back and read my race report and I wrote that I hear them call out 20 minutes as I approached the finish line, so it must have been pretty close. At any rate, I was pretty sure I wouldn't beat that time.

As we lined up all of a sudden the horn went off! What, really??? There was no lead up to it and I clearly was not prepared. This would be my first race with ForeRunner and I had clearly erred in using it. The watch had gone into "Power Save" mode. As I quickly tried to start it I completely forgot that the watch needs time to search for satellites. Argh! Needless to say I didn't get it started until about.06 miles after I crossed the start line. I told myself it was lesson learned and to get over it. I was mostly bummed knowing that there was no timing mat at the start only at the end, so my time would actually be a few seconds faster based on where I was when the gun went off. Oh well!

I felt good on the stretch of road as we headed out, I was maintaining a 9:30 pace, which came as as surprise to me, but I felt okay so I didn't feel the need to slow down. The only issue was that it was HOT, and I mean HOT! As we approached the portion of the course on the trail there is one short uphill section I did my best to charge up it but about halfway through needed to walk, as I got to the top and realized it was back down hill, I started to run again and take advantage of the momentum. I had passed a lot of people on the main stretch of road and as we worked out our pace on the trail I continued to play leap frog with a pair of probably 9 year old girls. Kids are famous for running and than just abruptly walking right in front of you.  I side swiped her twice as I tried each time to run around her. I love to see kids running but I wish that people would educate their kids on race etiquette. Scott had a similar issue when a young girl veered in front of him and slowed to a walk, since he was pushing the double stroller he basically ran into the back of her and she fell to the ground. He felt horrible, stopped to help her up and she seemed okay but she was crying. After the race a couple who knew her said she was fine but that the same thing happened to her last year. Parents really need to educate their kids about how to safe out there, especially if you aren't running with your child. So there was a lot of that basically going on. Some parts of the trail are shaded but some aren't and it was just hot. Since it was only a two mile course there was no aid station but given the hot weather, an aid station would have been really nice. I found myself having to take short walk breaks in the last mile to just bring my heart rate down and because I was having some stomach pain in that last mile. The last quarter mile was in full sun and HOT! Did I mention it was HOT! As I crossed the finish line I grabbed my warm bottle of water and walked back to the car. Later I would see that my heart rate was 186 as I crossed the finish line, and boy I sure felt it as I walked it off. It's probably the first time that I ever felt like I might puke. This is why I don't like running in the heat!

I headed back to the car to get the camera and my coconut water so that I could get back to the end of the course to watch Scott come in. Can I just say bringing my coconut water was the best decision of the day. It was cold and just what my body needed, I really felt so much better after drinking it. I was trying to estimate where we were time ways and when I thought Scott would be coming in. He for sure came in earlier than I had expected.. Scott hasn't run that far since his days at the Academy 10years ago and he certainly wasn't pushing a 6 year old and 3 year old when he did it. I had sent him off with a Gu and told him to take it around the 30 minute mark and advised him to pace himself and run slower than he normally does a 5k. You can imagine my surprise when he crossed the finish line at 43:42 with an 8:44 pace. Seriously, such a show off!

I'm not sure how many strollers were on the 5 mile course, but he was the first one pushing a stroller in!

Many lessons learned, I was 54 seconds shy of placing in my age group. Had I not been flustered at the start, had I not taken those walk breaks, I possibly could have placed. I'm not sure I left much out on the course considering how I felt at the end, but I have to remember to give it everything I have, every time.

Official Time 21:34, 4/18 AG, 168/290 overall.