Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is it REALLY almost November?????

You wouldn't know it by the weather around here. I am a HUGE fan of sunshine, sunny weather and summer. I never, in a million years, would ever think that I would long for cool, crisp days. But enough is enough. It was close to 90 degrees today and over 80 down at the bay where I went running today. I didn't finish my run until noon and that sun was beating down. I had a headache all afternoon. I think I might try those Endurolytes that so many of you praise (specifically, Terri and Alissa ). Alissa says that it helped her post-run headaches. Eventually this summer weather will go away and I won't need to worry about it as much....right??

I am trying some training ideas from Brain Training for Runners. Today I was going to do a twelve mile "progression run." After reviewing our to-do list and getting a later start than I had wanted, I adjusted it to eight miles. I just couldn't justify a two hour run. The book said to "start @ recovery pace; gradually increase pace every other mile. Run last mile @ half-marathon pace." I did my own variation of this. My main goal was to run a negative split on the last mile. I did it, but it felt like an all-out sprint when it should have felt a bit better. I still have a lot of work to do.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1- 9:31 (feeling good to start and having a hard time keeping the pace down below 10, which should be my recovery pace)
Mile 2- 9:26
Mile 3- 9:42 (consciously slowed down because I wanted to run the 4th mile at a faster pace. Is it too early to have a Gu?)
Mile 4- 9:07 (I felt pretty good about this mile because I had to run over two pretty steep bridges over the bay. I rewarded myself with a Gu after I was done. Does it make me a running wimp when I need calories during an 8 mile run?)
Mile 5- 9:56 (the fast mile started taking its toll. I was also starting to feel the heat. Why did I think it was a good idea to start running at 10:30???)
Mile 6- 9:50 (when is that Gu going to kick in?)
Mile 7- 9:32 (how many times am I going to look at that silly Garmin? One of these days I am going to trip because of my obsession with the Garmin)
Mile 8- 8:59 (woo hoo! As I began that last mile, I saw two older women walking. I am pretty sure by their attire that they were training for the 3-Day Walk. That is something I want to do someday. I thought to myself, "if two women in their 60's could walk 60 miles, I can certainly push myself this last mile." I ran that last mile for the women (and men) walking in a couple of weeks to raise money to fight breast cancer. I felt glad to be wearing pink :-) I was hoping that I could have done closer to 8:45, but it was my desired half-marathon pace and it was a negative split.)

Total Distance- 8.07 miles
Time- 1:16:44
Pace- 9:31

Lately, I have only been running on the weekend. Life has just been so busy. If I am going to do a half marathon in six weeks or so, I need to run during the week. It is just SO hard when it is dark in the morning. I think I am going to have to break down and get a gym membership so I can run on the treadmill at 5:30. Yikes.

Next week I am going to run my first 5K. Isn't it funny? I have run just about all the other distances-- marathon, half-marathon, 15K, 10K. I am not looking for a stellar time because it is not really a runner's race. It is the Race for the Cure and when I walked it a few years ago, I didn't even know that people ran it. Wow, how things have changed.

Happy running everyone! A special shout to everyone running the Marine Corp tomorrow. That is one race I would love to be part of. Good luck to MCM Mama in her first marathon!!

an interesting online game

Jody is a huge advocate for eliminating poverty. She has a few links on her blog that are pretty interesting. There is a link where you can donate water AND have some fun. Sometimes it is mind boggling how LITTLE I know about world geography!

Give it a try!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Terri tagged me so of course I'll play along....

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve answered the questions on your blog.

10 Years Ago (1998):
  1. I was living in Topeka, KS
  2. I still enjoyed my job there, working with some GREAT people
  3. I had just discovered working out again and I had time to go to the gym almost every day
  4. I was single with no prospects
  5. My idea of fun was driving to Kansas City for a day of shopping with my friends

5 Things on Today’s “To Do” List (this was Sunday's when I started this post... I am too lazy to write today's *wink*):

  1. Go to Home Depot to get supplies to install new hard wood floor....go to other Home Depot to get said supplies that were out of stock at the first store
  2. Rip out old (disgusting) carpet and pad (my dear hubby did most of this while I was on the 2nd Home Depot trip)
  3. Prep living room/dining room with moisture barrier and sound deadening foam to go under wood
  4. Install half of living room/dining room floor
  5. Make dinner (this one was all me... cedar plank salmon, gorgonzola gnocci and green beans. Yummy!)

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:

  1. Have my husband quit his job so we could start our own business (after a much-deserved break)
  2. Move to a more family-friendly neighborhood in a better school district (preferably on a cul-de-sac with a bunch of kids my kids' ages)
  3. Put aside money so that the kids can go to whatever college they want
  4. Take a fantastic family trip. If I became a multi millionaire, I would take all my friends and family along!
  5. Buy a new car (probably a hybrid SUV. I really love my SUV, but hate the impact it has on the world)

5 Places I have lived:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Reno, Nevada
  3. St. Louis, Missouri
  4. Topeka, Kansas
  5. Palm Springs, California

5 Jobs I have had:

  1. Cocktail Waitress
  2. Blackjack Dealer
  3. Casino Shift Manager
  4. Director of Table Games
  5. Assistant General Manager

Now I’m tagging (I apologize if you've already been tagged...just ignore me in that case):

Penny, Laura, , Kristin, Isshino,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another shout out

AKA Alice is running the half in San Francisco this weekend. I have enjoyed reading about her exploits in San Diego as she and her friends train for the race. I hope they have a FABULOUS time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good luck, Alissa!!!!

I am sending a shout-out to Alissa who is running the Nike Women's Marathon this weekend. I am jealous, because it sounds like such a great event. Alissa, you have done all the go have fun!

I can't wait to read all about it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have a lot of work to do...

I think my eight mile run two weeks ago was a fluke. Today's twelve mile run was pretty hard. If I am going to run the Half Marathon in Las Vegas, I need to get serious about my training. Running once a week isn't going to cut it.

My run today wasn't abysmal, but it was harder than my recent runs. I really tried to push myself and was pretty sluggish. My first mile was the only one that seemed to feel right. There are a few reasons, I believe, for this:
  • We went to the SDSU football game and the incredible KGB Sky Show afterwards. A few beers while tailgating and a late night are more than I am used to.
  • Getting to bed late doesn't stop a two-year-old from getting up before 7 a.m. Her tummy is hungry and she wants "bweakfast."
  • Fewer hours of sleep meant a slower start in the morning. We all decided to go down to the bay (making it even slower), so I didn't start my run until after 11. I am so used to running fresh and while it is still cool. It was definitely starting to heat up during my run.
  • Along with the heat was very dry air.
  • I have been too lazy to get up during the week to run.

Distance: 12.22 miles
Time: 1:58
Pace: 9:43

Unlike Laura (from Absolut(ly) Fit), alcohol and running don't mix well for me. Even a few beers at a football game make me feel pretty sluggish and dehydrated the next day. To be fair, I am old enough to be Laura's mother (as much as it pains me to admit). Who knows how I would have done after a late night of revelry when I was in my early twenties.

Today, I was thirsty within the first mile of my run. I brought about 18 ounces of liquid in my hydration belt and it wasn't enough. I had to stop and fill up a bottle around mile 8. The Santa Anas are here and it was super dry today. I think it added to the thirst factor. It also gave me my first taste of chafing in a long while. It seems confusing that I chafe more in dry weather. I think what happens is that I sweat and then it dries and I am not sweating enough to keep it lubricated (sorry if this is TMI) and the salt crystals rub.

Even though the run was sluggish and hard, I really enjoyed it. I ran my favorite Mission Bay loop. My husband rode his bike with the kids in the trailer for a couple of miles with me and then took the kids to a great playground there at the bay. The run starts in the Mission Bay park, which is filled with families, walkers (there are tons of women training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk coming up) and other runners. I continue past Sea World. I cross over to go around another part of the bay, down to the jetty and then up the boardwalk along Mission Beach. The mood on the boardwalk is different than the park. There are fewer little kids and dogs. People are doing a lot of hanging out and there is more of a "vacation" vibe. The last part of the run goes through a residential area. While I do a lot of people watching at the beach, through the neighborhoods of Pacific Beach, I pretty much just zoned out to my music.

So starting this week, I am officially training for a half marathon again. I just need to get my butt in gear to get my mid-week runs in. I definitely need to do some speedwork if I want to break two hours on the flat Vegas course.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Signs and motivation

This week's Take It and Run Thursday topic is signs you love to see while running a race.

During my marathon, there were a two specific places where I remember the signs and how much they helped me. One of them came between miles 18 and 19. I had just hit the porta potty and I had lost all my rhythm. I was hurting and wondering if I would make it to the end. There was a woman on the side of the road holding a sign that said PAIN IS TEMPORARY. That made me remember a quote from Lance Armstrong on my Nike training mix that said "pain is temporary, quitting is forever." I looked at the woman holding the sign and thanked her. It really was all I needed to push through the next couple of miles.

The other sign(s) that stand out from that race were the most important of all. At mile 14, my biggest fans were along the course with a flag with loving words written on both sides. That flag was everything to me. The thoughts behind the flag and the people who made it were one of the biggest reasons I was running the marathon in the first place.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Life lessons learned from running...

I have been running most of my life. However, it has only been in the last six months or so that I have actually considered myself a runner.

As a kid, my dad took us to AAU all-comers track meets. He was a big-time track star growing up and I know he would have loved to have one of his kids follow in his footsteps. In a scrap book in my mom's attic there are a TON of "participant" ribbons, maybe a few second and third place ribbons and one or two blue, first place ones. Those times I placed, it is very possible I was the only one in my event. I was never very good.

In junior high, I did cross country and track. Once again, I was never very good. In fact, I hated it. I never won a race and never felt like I would improve enough to win a race (or come close to placing). I never worked hard enough to win a race. I quit. The high school track coach tried to talk me into joining because I could run hurdles. The state hurdling champ was graduating from our high school that year. I didn't want to run in her shadow because I knew I wouldn't be very good. I joined the speech team instead.

Twenty-seven years later it isn't about winning or losing. It is about getting out there and getting strong. It is about competing against myself. It is about having some "me" time. You know... I don't even know how slow I ran a mile when I ran cross country. I only know that it wasn't any fun- no one talked to me (and if you know me, you KNOW that is torture for me), I hurt by the end and I was often bringing up the rear. Now I often have fun, I talk to whomever I am running with (and sometimes perfect strangers) and it usually doesn't hurt.

Basically, here is what I have learned about running that I wish I knew at 13...

  • It really can be fun
  • Races aren't always about winning (actually, in my case they are never about winning)
  • Slow runs can be some of the most enjoyable
  • It actually takes work and commitment to improve at something


  • I wouldn't always have the metabolism of a hummingbird and exercise is my friend *wink* (had I known that one, I might have avoided some heartache after the "freshman 15" and the "30-something pudge")

This post was inspired by last week's Take It and Run Thursday on Runners Lounge.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Shout Out to Terri!!!!

Terri (Middle-of-the-Pack-Girl) is running her first marathon this weekend. I am so excited for her. I remember that feeling. Nervous. Excited. Terrified. Anxious. Happy the training is over. Sad the training is over.

No matter how the race goes, remember how hard you have worked. You are getting to the starting line healthy. There is no question whether or not you will finish.

Here are a couple things to remember to do:
  • Have fun
  • Say Hi and Thank You to the volunteeers
  • Chat with at least one stranger
  • Pass people in the last mile
  • Smile for the photographers

I'll be holding my breath until you post your race report.
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!


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