Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another "drunk" Nike+

I enjoyed reading a post from Alien On The Run where he thought his Nike+ was drunk. Mine joined the partying today, just in time for the Nike Human Race tomorrow.

I thought I would calibrate it so that I can have some bit of accuracy for the 10K, seeing as my half marathon registered as 12.85 miles *sigh* So I went to the track. I set it to calibrate for a mile. In the past when I try to do 400 meters I run too fast, so I thought that a mile would get my true gait. After that, I ran a mile to see how it did. At a half a mile, it told me that I had run .48 miles. I know that 800 meters isn't quite a half a mile, but I am pretty sure it is more than .48. *SIGH* Let's try this again.

The second time, I used the default 400 meters. Here is when this little gadget that I have had a love/hate relationship with got all loopy. After running 400 meters and ending the calibration, it told me that I hadn't run the distance that it was set for. WTH? Didn't I tell it how far we were running?? This happened two more times. Luckily, all of this was getting me out there and running. So far I had run almost 3 miles at a decent sub-nine minute pace just calibrating this silly machine. I finally had to reset my iPod and try it one more time. This time it worked.

I decided to run one more mile. At the end, good ol' drunk buddy, Nike+ said I had run .97 miles. *yet another sigh* I ran a few more yards to make it an even mile and called it a day. Who cares, right? I have my trusty, teetotalling Garmin now. Believe it or not, I am still a fan of my little Nike+. Do you drop an old friend who isn't quite right? Who has a "drinking" problem? No. It still records all (or at least most) of my runs, records them in a pretty neat format on the website and gives me cool pep talks from people like Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods (why, you may ask, is Tiger Woods talking on a running gadget??). It is just a close approximation, which is all I need most of the time.

The good news is that I came out from under water. Running on the track got me feeling somewhat speedy again (of course, only if you consider 8:50 miles speedy). It was raining and I felt that the rain metaphorically washed away the funk I have been in for the past week or so. I am ready to get back to my regular running. Phew. It's good to be back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running under water

That is how I felt this morning.

Why is it that some days it feels like you are putting out the same amount of effort but running so much slower. That was today. It didn't feel like I was taking it easy on a casual jog, but you wouldn't know it by looking at my pace. I ran at a 10:47 pace and it felt no different than a 9:47 pace on any other day. WTH??

And how can a run that is a minute per mile slower than most of my runs have me end up a sweaty mess? I was also huffing and puffing quite a bit. For the first time during a short run (only 3 miles), I actually considered walking for part of it. I didn't, but I wanted to. I guess I could blame it on humidity, but that excuse is getting old.

Thank goodness that while I was trying to wake up this morning, putting off my run until I was at a point when I had to go or call it a day, I read a post on Runner's Lounge. Tom wrote about the importance of an easy run. So instead of kicking myself for running so slow, I told myself that an easy recovery run is good for my training. I suppose today was a recovery run. It was the first time I had run since the half marathon *blush*.

I have figured out that I really need to sign up for a race. With nothing on the horizon to train for, it is super hard to push myself to get through those sluggish "easy runs." I don't think I will be training for a marathon any time soon. We have so much going on, I doubt I can put in that kind of time right now. I'll probably wait to do one in the spring. I had thought about Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon, but honestly, it seems really hard. I should do it though. It's only a couple of weeks away. Hmmm... decisions, decisions.

******Btw, this is my 100th post!!! I know some people do something special to celebrate their 100th post. I decided to have a mediocre run- LOL. Maybe I should have waited until something really cool happened. But since this is a blog about running, maybe it is appropriate that this post is about a typical, sluggish, run-of-the-mill, everyday three mile run. At least I woke up early and got out there, right??
Thanks for all the support and encouragement over the past 6 months. This blog has turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. The connections I have made with other runners is something I never expected. It is really cool to connect this way...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shout Out to my friend, Janet!!

She is doing her first triathlon!!! I am so excited (and impressed) by her!

She started running shortly after I did. She was going to do the Nike Women's Marathon, but didn't get a lottery spot. Since then she was trying to figure out the right race to train for. In the meantime, she suffered some shin splints and IT band issues, so she hit the pool and bike for cross-training. Voila! A triathlete is born.

She is really nervous because this is her first race of any kind. I wanted to post here to give her a cyber boost (she lives several hours from me) and channel some positive energy from other runners.

I wish I could be there to cheer her on.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Usain Bolt's Celebration...

Terri, I thought of you when I saw this because of one of your posts from this past week. So this is for you *wink*

Friday, August 22, 2008

Slacker...(at least as far as running goes)

So... I haven't run all week *blush* Last Sunday was my peak race; what I was training for. It is hard to get back into the groove and I justified my laziness in the name of "recovery." I have had a case of lethargy and couldn't think of getting out of bed before 6:30.

I did go to Stroller Strides twice for some great cross-training, so I am not a complete slacker this week. Now, I know that a lot of you probably think that Stroller Strides is a stroll through the park with our strollers. Not so. It is a very good workout mixing cardio, resistance training and abs. Monday we burned out our shoulders, biceps and triceps and Thursday we did some hill repeats, a ton of step-ups and squats. We always finish with killer ab workouts.

Speaking of Stroller Strides, tomorrow (yet another runless day) and Sunday I will be attending instructor training so that I can torture unsuspecting mothers in their effort to get back in shape. I figure that I will be getting plenty of workout, so going for a run at o' dark-thirty won't be necessary. I am excited for the training. It is the first step in my goal to have fitness be the industry of my second career. The training goes into details of exercise kinesiology, anatomy and physiology. There is a lot of focus on pre- and post-natal exercise for women. Hopefully, I will also learn things that will help me in my own fitness and running goals.

Now I just need to sign up for another race to get my butt back out on the road.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For you eighties fans....

I thought this was GREAT. I just had to share.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More AFC stuff....

Time- 2:04:37
Pace- 9:31
10K Split- 54:58
Overall Place: 2439/6474
Sex Place: 845/3335
Division Place: 95/412

I feel a little bit better about my time seeing that I am in the top 25% of my age group and pretty close to top 25% for women. I am also well into the top third overall. In the grand scheme of things, even though I didn't make my goal, I did pretty darn well! My husband reminds me that it gives me something to work towards. That's just what I need to get motivated :-)

Here is a picture (snapped with my phone) of Alissa (from Balancing Act) and me. It was really cool meeting her. I felt like I already knew her from reading her blog for these past months.

And a couple pics of my friend, Laura, and I. We didn't mean to wear matching tops. LOL

You can see I am the gadget girl!! I have my hydration pack, my Garmin, my iPod with the Nike+ attachment. Laura carried one of her Gu's in her hand for half the race! Since she came in nearly 5 minutes ahead of me, maybe she's on to something. LOL.

Here are some pictures from the race photographer. They aren't super high quality because I am linking them through the photo site. If I get better quality pics, I'll update. The first one is the 10K mark, I think.

This one was taken moments before I finally found my porta potty. It's a cool backdrop for a picture. Too bad it brings back bad memories. Oh well... it's only a memory now ;-)
And the last one is the finish line. I look pretty happy to finish.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Amerca's Finest City [HOT] Half Marathon

There were definitely GOOD and BAD parts of today's race:

  • Good: I felt ready for the race and my calf felt much better.
  • Bad: It was 72 degrees at 4:40 when I got in my car to meet my friend, Laura.
  • Good: The humidity was not as high as it has been (maybe 60 or 70%??).
  • Bad: The traffic getting into Balboa Park was HORRENDOUS. Laura and I left her house just after 5 a.m. The trip to Balboa Park is usually around 20-25 minutes or so. It took us over twenty minutes to go one mile on the 163 freeway. Poor Laura felt really guilty for not going a back way. Getting down to the park is second nature for both of us and neither of us really gave it much thought. Luckily, Laura's husband is a Navy surgeon and we were able to park at the Naval hospital and run to the buses to take us to the start. We made it on the last group of buses!!!!
  • Good: After nearly missing the start of the race, I was no longer nervous! (once I was seated comfortably on the bus) :-)
  • Bad: Kenny used the Garmin last and it was set for cycling (knowing my mph doesn't help me with my plan.) I managed to figure out how to change it back to running without stopping. Unfortunately, it appears that stops the Garmin, so I lost several minutes (I think about .3 mile)
  • Good: Ahhhhh.... the hills! There is nothing better than starting a race running downhill through shady residential streets.
  • Bad: Harbor Island (right after the 10K point) felt like an INFERNO. You would think that a little spit of land along the San Diego Bay would have a nice breeze, but noooooo... it was the hottest part of the entire race. Mile 8, at the end of Harbor Island, was the first time I stopped and walked through a water stop. I also lost Laura around mile 7.5 or so. She was having a good run and I was slowing down a bit. I don't think it got much higher than 80 degrees, but at times it felt much hotter.
  • Good: The first nine miles or so of the race felt pretty good. I was averaging a really good time. My 10K split was just over 54 minutes (better than my PR for 10K) and my 15K split was almost exactly the same time as my 15K last month (1:24). I had a pace bracelet for 1:55 (they were out of 2 hour bracelets). Up through eight miles, I am pretty sure I was right on target for 1:55 (8:46 pace). Things were going according to plan. The eighth and ninth miles were starting to feel much more labored, but I had a cushion, so I thought.
  • Bad (VERY bad): Between the 15K mark and the 10-mile mark, my body betrayed me again (more venting about this later...) If you read my marathon race report, you know that I had tummy issues that affected my race significantly. Well... it happened again. It was actually worse than the marathon. Along one of my favorite parts of the city, instead of looking at the Star of India and the cruise ships, I was searching desperately for a bathroom. I was saying out loud, "oh no...oh no...oh no." I don't want to go into too much TMI, but I want to express how dire my situation was (well, maybe not dire...but it was not a good situation at the time). I was actually grateful for the pad that I need for every run (a byproduct of giving birth to two almost-ten-pound babies). I was also happy with my wardrobe choice of a running skirt. A black running skirt. As I turned into the city, there was a water stop and the angels sang as I spotted a bank of porta potties across the way. I was so happy to see those icky things. I am pretty sure that I wasted a minute or two with that detour. That, combined with my slower pace, made me realize that my goal would probably not be met.
  • Good: After the porta potty, I felt ten pounds lighter. As we turned along Pacific Highway, it was the first shade since the first part of the race. It felt SO nice. It was like air conditioning!
  • Bad: The rest of the race was mostly uphill. I was REALLY hitting a wall and just wanted to finish.
  • Good: My friend, Linda, came running by me looking like she was just starting out. She was like a little rabbit scooting up 6th street. I looked up her time and she finished in exactly two hours. Way to go, Linda!!
  • Bad: As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't keep up with her. My energy was gone and I couldn't push myself into that higher gear. I am pretty sure she ran the last mile or two in eight minute miles.
  • Good: The perfect song came on just before the 12-mile-mark on the hill. It was my powersong of "Time to Say Goodbye." It was so appropriate! At that moment, I decided to say goodbye to my two hour goal and just try to finish strong. It actually helped me run a little bit stronger once I knew that I was just going to do my best and not to worry about the goal anymore.
  • Good: The last stretch over the bridge and into the park was a blur. I think I had a pretty decent kick (I haven't looked at my splits yet)
  • Bad: I finished several minutes past my goal of two hours. I finished in 2:04 and change.
  • Good: It was my first Half Marathon and it was a PR!!!! I suppose it can't be my last half since I haven't broken the two-hour mark yet. Well.... it will keep me going.
  • Good: 2:04 is eighteen minutes faster than my half marathon split for the marathon.
  • Good: I was able to meet my blogger friend Alissa from Balancing Act. We were able to hang out and chat for a while and get to know each other. She is super nice and it didn't feel weird at all hanging out. Due to some car issues, her husband wasn't able to make it to the race. They were waiting for help so he could come get her. My friend Laura (who is one of Alissa's readers!) and I ended up taking her back to their condo, giving us even more time to get to know each other. I took some pictures on my phone and will try to get them posted soon!! I just love the Internet. What a great way to meet wonderful new people.

Although I think I told myself that I wouldn't do it again.... I am pretty sure that the half marathon is my distance. It is still long enough to feel like I really accomplished something yet not so long that the training overtakes my life.

Next up:
[possible] Balboa 4 Mile Cross Country-- August 30
Nike Human Race 10K -- August 31
[possible] Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon -- September 13

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jacked up calf?????

Man! This sucks. I woke up yesterday with my calf hurting. I thought it was some stiffness from my run. I focused on it while stretching before my Stroller Strides class. During class, we did a little running and it was really bothering me. I stretched it whenever I could. I thought it would loosen up, but it never did.

Last night I tried working it with the Stick and then icing it. Today it still hurts. I skipped my run this morning to give it a break. I iced it a bit this afternoon and now I have it wrapped in an ace bandage for compression.

I hope I didn't overdo it on Sunday. I sure hope it gets better before next Sunday. Is there anything other than the R.I.C.E. that I can do??

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Am I ready for next week???

I think so, but I am not sure.

Laura and I had a great run this morning. But, by the end, I was TOAST. We ran eight miles at just over 9 minutes per mile, but I am not so sure I could keep that pace up for five more miles in order to finish the half marathon in under two hours.

However, we had some pretty good splits today. We ran mile six, which is almost completely uphill, in 8:56 (although my Garmin beeped at me telling me that lap 6 was 9:13; either way is good). We ran mile seven, which has the hardest part of the hill, under 9 minutes too! After that, I was hurting. Laura ran on ahead of me while we ran the last mile. I still did that last mile in 9:06 so I know she was flying.

At around four miles or so, I started feeling weak and a bit sick to my stomach. I ate a Gu (plain flavor for me--those sweet ones just make me gag). It seemed to do the trick. I usually don't need a Gu until mile six or so. I don't think I ate enough last night. We had grilled salmon, rice and broccoli which might not have been enough fuel to get me through a run. But I did have a bowl of oatmeal this morning, so I don't know. Like a lot of you, I still haven't figured out this fuel thing completely.

Next week's race is the first race where I have a plan (in my huge five race career LOL). Since the race ends with a pretty long hill (the same hill we ran today), I am going to try to push it early. This means I should do a warm-up run, which I have never done. I want to run the first couple of miles around 9:00 minutes each. Miles 2, 3 and 4 look to be consistently downhill, so I want to push it to 8:40 or so (yikes). If I am hurting, I will slow a bit during the flat part around the bay to gather my strength before the hills at the end. If I run a smart race, I think I have a chance of finishing in two hours (hopefully just under). I need to average 9:09 to do it. I ran that hill this morning at a pretty fast pace. With a good start, I can slow down to 9:30 up the hill so I can finish strong going into the park.

I think having a plan makes me even more nervous. Shouldn't it give me confidence? The one thing I learned in my marathon was that plans don't always work. You don't plan on needing the porta potty (twice); you don't plan on feeling like crap. Cross your fingers that all goes well....

shout out to Jenn on her half marathon!

One of my blogger buddies, Jenn, is running, strike that-- ran-- the Chicago Distance Classic today. I know you're done by now. I hope you had a great run!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Not running related, but... Oh. My. God. HOW did Dahlhausser and Rogers LOSE to a 23rd seed???? We are a big-time volleyball household and we were glued to the tv. Normally, I am all about the "cinderella story" but not when it means upsetting a US team in the Olympics.

It is going to be an interesting sixteen days.

Btw, did anyone see the opening ceremony? Unbelievable. We were blown away by the printing press boxes going up and down.

Can you tell I am an Olympic-watching FOOL? LOL. Just wait until next week and track and field!

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's been a slow week....literally

I have just felt like I am trudging along this week. Maybe it is the oppressive humidity. Well... it sure seemed oppressive to me. It is probably not nearly as bad as the humidity many of you East of here are facing. When it is getting up towards 90 degrees, 80 per cent humidity just makes me feel slow and sweaty. It was even super muggy down at the beach on Tuesday. I was a sweaty mess.

I barely got out there and ran this week. I ran almost 2.5 miles on Tuesday before my daughter and I were done with the stroller. We were at the beach and she had no desire to stay couped up in that stroller. I wasn't feeling it so much either, so we went walking on the beach and got our feet wet in the ocean.

Wednesday's run was a little better. I ran four miles around my neighborhood. The first mile and a half or so was four loops around my block which includes some decent hills. Then I sprinted (as much as I could) up a very steep hill. Hill repeats-- check. I tried to do a bit of a tempo run for the rest of it, but I just can't seem to go very fast by myself. One of my splits was 9:11, but it is mostly downhill. My average pace for the entire run was 9:30. It's not bad, but definitely not the tempo that I would like to see as I am approaching the half marathon next weekend.

Thursday and Friday, I just couldn't get myself out of bed. On Thursday, I think I had some sort of migraine (odd visual disturbances followed by a headache that lasted all day) and Friday was just being lazy, I'm afraid. So I only ran twice during the week. hmmmff.

Funny story about Wednesday. I wore my oldest and most comfy running shorts. Toward the end of that short run, I surprisingly found myself getting a bit of chafing between my legs. I chalked it up to the icky humidity, but was disappointed that I would start having to use BodyGlide for short runs when I have barely needed it for long ones in the past. When I got home, I realized that my shorts were on BACKWARDS. *blush* Maybe the lack of sleep is getting to me ;-D

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Running Six Word Memoir

A few months back I did a simple six word memoir that was about more than just running. My memoir at that time was "doing the best that I can." It still applies. This week's Take it and Run Thursday topic is to use six words to describe my running. Here are a couple that I came up with (since Amy and Tom didn't pick one, I won't either *wink*):

*Settting an example for my kids.-- I am proud of this one. I love the fact that my children are growing up in a household where getting out and doing something is the norm. Dieting is not seen around here, just healthy eating and exercise. As a mother of a daughter, I hope that I am setting her up for healthy habits in the future (my son, too).

*Competing against myself for constant improvement-- One of the great things about running that I never really "got" when I was much younger is that the only person you really need to compete with is yourself. Of course, the elite athletes are always racing against someone else, but at my level, I can be happy if I improve on my own past performance. When I was in high school, I quit track because I never won a race (or even came close). Now I am running for myself. Would I be thrilled if I ever placed in my age group? Of course. But I doubt that will happen, so I focus on my own goals. Besides... in a race there is always someone who I can win against. LOL

*Getting out there and enjoying nature-- I have recently discovered the joys of trail running. It makes me feel good to really "get out there." I believe that someday I will actually be able to enjoy the scenery instead of watching my feet the entire time. Luckily, where I live, even the paved runs are usually pretty scenic. I am lucky enough to be able to run by several bays and the Pacific Ocean.

*Something that is just for me-- As a mother of two small children, I do a lot every day to keep them happy and healthy. When I run and workout, it is something that is MINE. This is something that I can do on my own and be proud of it. The great thing is that my husband values athletics just as much as I do. He gives me the time I need and supports me. In return, he gets his time for cycling, basketball etc.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Altitude Training Part 4

Yesterday's run was really nice. I was looking forward to it all week and it didn't disappoint. The weather was perfect! It was chilly enough when I started that I needed a long sleeved shirt over my tank top. By the time I finished, I believe it was in the low 80's (warm enough to be glad I was wearing a tank top). I know a lot of runners are dealing with icky heat and humidity right now and I feel fortunate to have spent a week in a wonderful mountain paradise.

Distance: 10.05 miles
Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Pace: 10:10/mile
Elevation: 7174 to 6749 back to 7174 (I love the Garmin!)

I ran from Bear Mountain Ski Resort down to the lake. I ran along the lake for a while and it was really peaceful. There were several people fishing along the shore of the lake. When I ran over to the North Shore Pedal Path, I saw a lot of walkers enjoying the beautiful morning. There weren't a lot of runners, surprisingly. I only passed one other pair of runners during my ten mile run.

If anyone reading this is ever planning on running the Big Bear Marathon, my hat goes off to you!!! I had thought it might be fun, but not only is it on my son's birthday, it is also going to be REALLY HARD. I ran part of the marathon route during my run. Specifically, mile 7.5 to 9.5 or so is the same road as mile 18-20 on the marathon. After eight miles, that hill was hell. I can't even imagine running up that at mile eighteen!

So my altitude training is done. I am back home in San Diego. It is definitely hotter here. I am happy that I was able to wake up and get four runs in while on vacation. I must really be dedicated (or crazy). I remember when vacation meant sleeping in!


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