Thursday, September 30, 2010

Training Update

We have 37 days left until Two Cities Marathon!! It seems like each round of training goes by faster and faster. I think too, that as we tweak things and make adjustments, it has become more enjoyable each time as well.
Some things that remain consistent each time are that we train for11 - 12 weeks, and put in around 375- 410 miles during that time. Brian rides his bike 5 days a week, and I do strength/plyometric circuit training 4 days a week Those things are the foundation for our training, and necessary as cross training.
Some differences each training period are the types of miles we put in. Sometimes our week day runs have consisted of 3 runs that are 5 miles each, and follow that with an 18 - 24 miler on the weekends. Sometimes we did a 6-8-6 during the week made up of hills and then ran long and flat on the weekend. We have tried to keep mixing things up until we found something that we felt at our prime with. It's a delicate balance between getting solid, quality runs in with out burning out and feeling tired during every run. Which brings me to our current training program.
We are currently in week 7 of training. While training for San Fran Marathon I had found that basically I was dragging myself through our runs. There were a few reasons for this...coming off a hip flexor strain early in training, not being able to get new shoes when I needed them caused all sorts of joint havoc, and pushing through these things w/o wanting to let up on training at all was probably the icing on the cake. I had dropped down to doing only 3 cross training workouts a week hoping to have more energy for runs. So, going into this marathon, I didn't' want to repeat any of that. A new plan of attack seemed in order. I decided to try a few different things. First though I want to be clear that none of this is original, I didn't' just come up with this randomly as an experiment and decide to try it out. Brian and I both research everything to death, so these are training methods that are out there and have been used forever, just not by us.
For the past 4 weeks I have done an every other week method. Meaning that one week is my high mileage week/low to no workout week, depending on fatigue level. I have been accomplishing that by running for 3-4 miles on the treadmill before going to meet Brian for our 5 mile lunch run (we run from his office on his lunch break). Doesn't sound like much, it only takes about 30 minutes, 3 times a week, but it ads up quick. So, 3 days a week I run, then drive to the office and run again. The difference is that normally I would be working out for 1.5 hrs, then driving to the office and running. I think everyone who visits here knows I do the Jillian Michael's on line program. Her workouts are tough, and full of squats, lunges, and every jumping/weighted variation of those you can find. By the time we were running i was spent. Even doing workouts in the evening and running the next day, I was dragging, consistently, even w/dropping 1 workout a week. I have found having a high mileage week w/no workouts ( I will clarify the 'no workouts' part in a minute) has been amazing for my running. I have so much more energy during our runs, our pace has improved, aches, pains, twinges are non existent right now. I put in a 48 mile week w/no pain, and that is unheard of for me. This week, which is a high mileage week, will be 4 runs of 8 miles, followed by a 13-15 miler Sunday morning.
I follow the high mileage week with an average mileage week with 4 workouts. Average right now is around 30 miles, usually 3 runs of 5 miles and a long run on the weekend, which would be a normal training week usually. These weeks are harder than the high mileage weeks, and I am more fatigued in my runs. That said, I will not ever totally give up my workouts!! I could talk for days about how much I have come to love these beatings, and the ability to get through them, but I will spare you. Oh, and to clarify the 'no workout' always, I have been doing some basic core work and upper body work during those weeks, keeping it under an hour, and no lower body work at all.
Our long runs have also gotten switched up, too. Again, nothing new here, lots of people train this way splitting up the long run. That is what we have been doing, mostly for heat reasons. We have been in triple digits for a while now, so not the best for putting in a long run. We have been splitting them into 2 days, 8 miles one day, 13 the next, or 8 miles one day, 14 the next. Usually one Sat night, the next one Sunday morning ( a luxury of having afternoon meetings). Our long runs should be at 16 miles at this week of training, but we have been putting in about 20 miles per weekend, give or take. We also have had to focus on running for a time period, rather than a distance with this heat. For instance last weekend, instead of being focused on doing an 18 mile run, we had to switch it up and change the goal to running for 3 hours in the heat and staying upright, not worry about how far we got. Training in this sort of heat, especially with kids out there with us, requires adaptability and practicality.
So that is the new approach, one long running week, followed by an average week w/workouts, rotating back and forth from week to week, and splitting our long runs up. Seems to be just the change I needed for now.
We also threw a few races into the training period this time to mix it up and keep things fun. We have 5 weeks to go so hopefully things will continue as well as they have been going so far! WE have a fun run planned this weekend with the Behren's family and Pat and Karen, so we are looking forward to the company! Oh, and the heat is coming down, should be in the 80's this weekend.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Few Komen Moments

We had an amazing morning at Komen for the Cure, San Fran, 2010. There were so many highlights, so many touching capture the true feeling of the morning in pictures or words would be impossible.
I spent some time on Saturday talking with the girls about cancer. They know what cancer is as their Grandmother has dealt with breast cancer for the past few years. As far as knowing how many women's lives will be touched by breast cancer (and mens for that matter), what the treatments are like, why they would be seeing some ladies without hair, what the signs on peoples backs were all about, that breast cancer has a 98% survival rate....those sorts of things we hadn't talked about before. They had a lot of questions about my friend Nancy while making signs for her. How did I know her, where does she live, why is her hair different in every picture, how does she decide which wig to wear everyday.....typical 8 and 6 year old questions. We talked about these things so that they would understand more about what the event was about, and so that they wouldn't be shocked to see all different types of women, all at different stages in their journey's with cancer. I wanted them to know that every name on someones back was a person, a person who has dealt with cancer, and that all the people running and walking had been touched by those peoples journeys, strength and courage.
One of the moment of the morning that I think effected me the most was the parade of survivors. They started with bringing on stage the women who had been diagnosed under the age of 40, then those who had been in remission for under 1 year, then 5 years, 10, 20, and 30 years. Some had survived breast cancer more than once. Some were much younger then me. Then they played Melissa Ethridge's I Run For Life. This song and I have a history as I had heard it for the first time the day after Komen For the Cure last year. I cannot hear this song without crying, so you can imagine what happened in this setting, looking up at all these amazing women, who were also crying.
When I walked back over to find our kids who were playing at the Pottery barn tent, I found them playing in the little kitchen area. They were playing with a little girl, maybe 2, who's shirt said 'My mom is a 2x Breast Cancer survivor'.
Then there was a speaker on stage who was speaking about how it could be any of us, at any point in our life, when we least expect it. This again, got the water works going. While the kids knew we were there as a way of showing support for my friend, they did not know that earlier this month I had my own scare. It was a normal day, we had done our long run, came home, I was about to get in the shower and that is when I found it. Not that it was hiding, it is actually quite large and visible from the outside. Brian came in the room to tell me about something on TV and although I was looking at him, I didn't respond to what he had said, and he knew something was wrong. We have wonderful Dr's here, and I was in the office by 2 the next day, and having a mammogram and ultrasound w/in 5 days of finding it. In what may have been the longest 5 days in history, you have a lot of time to think about things, what could possibly be lying ahead of you, how you will chose to handle it. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has heard anything other than "your scans are clear, I see nothing that looks cancerous or suspicious" after finding a lump and having it looked at. That is what I heard that day, and in the letter I received at home the next week.
This run will always have a special place in my heart. As I said, there were many moments that stand out, here are a few, and the rest, plus a video of the Survivors Ceremony are on our photo site.

And this -

Saturday, September 25, 2010


8:54...we just waddled in from finishing up our long run. It was so stinking was cold all summer and now that it is officially fall we are in the triple digits??? HUH??? We waited until the last possible minute to get going, waiting for the temps to fall, but we started at 97 degrees at 5 pm. Our goal changed from getting 18 miles done, to staying upright and running for 3 hours. 3 hours is a decent time for an 18 miler for us, 2:45 w/o the kiddos who require more stops, but 3 hours with them is decent for us. However, with the heat, and running late in the day (which I hate) 18 miles probably would have taken longer, so we went with running for 3 hours instead. By the time we were heading back the sun had set and the temp finally felt like it had dropped. After a few miles, it was getting pretty dark, but we were prepared this time with flash lights. Soph and Bubba lit the way for us, which they thought was pretty neat. I am not a huge fan of running in the dark as I am prone to falling while running anyway, so I don't need the dark helping to make that happen. I managed not to fall : ) and we made it back to the car safely, tired, worn out, knees hurting.....but we got it done.
Earlier today we went in service this morning, then surprised the kids with a trip to the movies! This is a huge treat, we rarely all 5 go to the movies, its just too expensive. Brian's boss sent him home with a load of loot in gift cards - Jamba Juice, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbuck's, Wendy's, Target, and 10 movie tickets. Target went to anniversary gifts for the kids, which would not have happened otherwise, and Jamba Juice got dinner on the way home tonight. The rest will be put to good use tomorrow as that is the day we are celebrating our anniversary.......Starting with Komen For the Cure 5k in the morning. The kids and I spent time this afternoon making our 'Nancy' posters, which they are super excited about. One child drew her with a pink Subway sandwich in hand, the other glued a runners body onto her head, Bubba just wanted lots of sparkles : ) Then we will head down to Crissy Field for a picnic and flying kites. I'm sure there will be Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery thrown in there, too!
We are looking forward to the big event in the morning!!! I now need to go paint one last set of little nails pink!

Friday, September 24, 2010

PJ Day

It was pj today at the kids school, and this afternoon I had a few pictures in my inbox! I love both girls teachers, as do my girls! Emma's class is "Big Buddies" to Sophie's class, so Em and Soph get to spend time together every other Friday. Looks like they had fun!!
Thank you, Mrs. Holmes and Miss Robinett for sharing these with us : )

And now....we kick off our 13th wedding anniversary weekend!! The kids opened their presents tonight....I now have a mini Mr. Incredible running round the house. We have lots of fun planned for them, funny how anniversaries shift from being about us to being about our kids. Should be a fun weekend! It will start with service and an 18 miler tomorrow in 90 degree heat, woo hoo, good times!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Running With My Mini-Me's - New WC 5k Pics

Emma in the above pic is in a pink skirt
She is standing on the 'Y' in photography

In the above 3 Emma and I are coming around
the corner to the finish line
Above, Sophie is in black, behind #13, and below
she is coming into the finish line

One of the Worst 'Mom Jobs'

Ugh, I hate vaccine day!! Even more than my kids!! My little man was so sweet this morning telling me that "it only hurts a little, there's just a little pinch and then I get a lollipop!" He is such a brave little guy. Of course though, when he sees the needle come out, the fear sets in. It doesn't help that they lay him down on the table and tell me to lay across him and hold him down. That's the part I hate. This is nothing new, they've done it that way since we have gone there, 8 years, give or take. For a few years, Brian became the designated vaccine parent. There was an incident when Emma was 4. I did my job of holding down her upper body, but she kicked the nurse with her free leg, the one that wasn't getting the shot.....she then had me and 2 nurses holding her down. That was the last time I took them in for a few years.
Bubba is such a sweet little guy that I have no fear of him kicking anyone, I just feel bad holding him down. He got 4 separate shots today, 2 in each thigh. He didn't even cry, there was some nervous faces, and he held a crunch the whole time so he could see what was going on down there, but he never attempted to move his arms, which I was holding down against his chest. Once the nurse was done and putting the band aids on he said "thank you" to her....did I already say how sweet he is???
As far as the appointment itself, he is all good. He is 3 inches taller than his sisters were at 4, and a few lbs more, too. Dr. said he looks like he's getting too much sun there such a thing?? Just kidding, yeah, I know, I have some of the tannest kids around and need to invest in sunblock. Doesn't help that his hair is basically white, so if he has any color at all it looks like he is super dark. That said, yes, he gets too much sun : )
On the way out he did get his lollipop, a toy out of the treasure chest in the office, and then we went to Target where he picked out a pink fake rose for Sophie, and some of those party blower things that unravel when you blow them an have sparkly stuff hanging off them. He is currently running around the house blowing them and saying "Surprise!"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Rest of the Weekend

Well, as I mentioned, once it started, it just kept rolling through at record speed.
Saturday we had scheduled a 16 miler, got up early and got to it. Unfortunately, Emma's bike had a flat, we were out of tubes, and the stores that carry them didn't open until 9. So we headed to the store to pick up the veggies and fruit to make platters for the congregation picnic that was at 1. We weren't asked to bring dessert this year : )
By the time we got the tube, changed it and got started, we were down to only having time for 8 miles. No worries, we decide to do 8 today, 13 tomorrow, and call the 21 miles in 2 days = to 16 in 1 day. Add this 21 miles to the week and I was down for 48 miles total, which is a record week for me. I am trying a new approach to training this go round and will post on that later
Then home, make platters, get everyone changed and out the door by noon to drive to the picnic. As usual, our family spent most of the time in the pool. I am amazed at what great little swimmers I have as I have never felt comfortable in the water myself. Brian played a bit of volleyball, we all ate, including the goodies, then headed out around 4:30. We were hurrying to get home again, change again, and get out the door to head to downtown WC for the yearly Walnut Festival Parade. This was our first year going, and the kids loved it! It was super long, though. It started at 6, and we left about 8:30 and it was still going on. It was made up mostly of the local high school bands, cheerleaders, flag girls?? - not sure what to actually call them, and a lot of dance groups, day cares, local businesses, ect.....just a lot of local, small town fun! I learned that there is a huge difference between regular band, and rally band. I am a rally band girl. Looked like a lot of fun!! From there, we hit Target for some groceries, then home to bed. Sunday we were up early again, ready to get our 13 miler done. By this run, my legs were starting to feel tired, sore, and about done for the week. Nothing hurt that shouldn't hurt, just normal fatigue, which I had been expecting earlier in the week, so I was happy to only be feeling it now. So we got the run done, headed to meeting. Em had a date with Uncle David to go to the skate boarding park, and Brian was supposed to have elder duties to tend to after meeting, but that was cancelled, so we came home down one kid. Said kid came home feeling pretty proud of herself that she spent the day with her uncle at the skate park. He took her for yogurt afterwards, and I am afraid to imagine what monster cup of yogurt she must have created. I asked how much it was and she said $11....I can feed all 3 kids there for $ whatever she did, it was huge! Then dinner and bed.
Great crazy busy weekend.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Weekend Started w/a Date Night For 1.....

Yep. I about talked myself out of it numerous times during the day on Friday. See, Brian had 4 tickets to the Giants game Friday night. He got them at work, and 4 is up from the 2 he usually gets, so pressing for 1 more wasn't an option. Having only one car, I usually stay at home when this sort of thing happens, which is rare. I decided that I wouldn't sit at home this time. I would have a fun night out, alone....doing...???? I hate doing anything alone. The thought of going out to eat alone freaks me out. Walking down the street alone, scary. I know, right?? Keep in mind it wasn't very long ago that I was close to 300 lbs. Everywhere I went I felt huge, ugly, nothing fit right, nothing felt right, everywhere I went I felt like people were staring at me, laughing or making jokes. Eating out I always felt like I was under a microscope, with people watching what I ate trying to figure out how I could have possibly gotten this way.
It's been a few years now, and while things have changed on the outside, there are certain things I am finding that my mind is taking longer to adjust to. I have always said that losing the weight is mostly mental work, the physical changes are a small part of the bigger picture. So, keeping all that in mind....the thought of going out alone for the evening in down town Walnut Creek, the land of the pretty people, was a bit anxiety inducing.
Dressed in new boots, jeggings, and black sweater, standing on Locust St where the hubby dropped me off, I decided to head to my comfort spot......the 'Endurance' section at Barnes and Noble. My plan is to get a new book, get a salad and coffee at the Starbucks inside the book store, and read. After browsing through a few marathon related books, running books, and triathlon books, I found what I was after. 17 Hours to Glory, amazing book. I get it, get a coffee although they don't have any actual food, not a problem, not hungry. I go out on the upstairs patio and settle in with this book. I can't begin to say how amazing this book is. It is personal recaps of peoples IronMan experiences, from the early 80's to now. Stories of amazing athletes who's bodies gave out feet from the finish who crawled across. Stories of fathers who swam 2.5 miles in the ocean, pulling a disabled son through the water, riding a double bike w/him 112 miles, and pushing him in a wheel chair 26.2 I sat outside reading and trying not to cry for 2 hours, drinking coffee, and taking in the hustle and bustle going on down on the street.
Then I walked down to the theater and decided on a 7:30 movie that would put me getting out about the time Brian and the kids are back from the game. It was rated pg-13, had no sex, violence, or magic....but I still won't say what it was, that would break my personal rule of not saying what movie I saw because no matter what, someone will be offended. I will say it was great, I loved it. I laughed all the way through it, and I think the main character may have been me in my teen years.
So that's it, that was my night out by myself. I have to say it was really nice. I think the thought of going out alone was much more anxiety inducing than the actual act of being out alone for the evening. I think the fact that I did it, was relaxed, and enjoyed myself was an eye opener for me as to how much my life has changed. I enjoyed browsing through the books, sitting outside and taking everything in, walking down the street even felt pretty darn good. I bought a movie ticket for 1 w/o feeling like a loser..... I was able to live in the moment and enjoy it v.s. going through the motions of having a night out while actually being worried the whole time about what everyone was thinking about me.
So there is a glimps into how the weekend started.....once it started it rolled through w/o stopping...but more on that later!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Komen Kids For The Cure

The girls were able to register in a special kids division for Komen For the Cure next Sunday. They get special bibs, and special shirts designed by Pottery Barn Kids. I registered them Friday and they had a special delivery in the mail Saturday. They are so excited for this run as they know it is special and not just another run.

The Last 1 of 48 Miles

There's no better way to wrap up an epic week of runs than with this as my support crew!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smiles from the Week

I thought I would share a few quotes from yesterday that made me smile. I should add that these happen everyday, and I am seriously thinking of carrying a journal with me to jot them down as they happen.

#1 - I stand out in front of the kids school everyday at 2:45, under the big tree. The girls come from 2 different angles, one runs to me from the left, one from the right. Emma, not running, walking with an attitude, frown, and holding one hand very deliberately out to the side walks up. Me - " was your day?" Em -" Don't touch me, Julius peed on me. " An instant wave of disgust mixed with rage washed over me in about .5 seconds, ready to hunt down Julius and his parental unit for a discussion on their obvious lack of parenting as an 8 year old should know better. She then explained to me that Julius is the class pet and is a toad.

#2 - We are sitting at the table eating dinner. Myles, who just turned 4, is a big talker, not a big eater. He was eating though, while he launched into a very excited discussion on green bikinis. "I love green bikinis, green bikinis are so good, I love them." Thanks to Katy Perry's California Girls, the line "bikinis on top" is sung frequently in our house, and it's probably safe to say he is a bit obsessed right now with bikinis. It all made sense when he held up a piece of green zucchini and shoved it in his mouth, while at the same time saying "mmmm, green bikini is my favorite".

#3 - Brian and I were running the last 1/4 mile back to his office on his lunch break. This section has several road crossing where we have to wait at lights. We fartlek it, sprinting these shorter sections all out as fast and hard as we can at the end of 5 miles. Sprinting, like when we stop at the light I am bent over catching my breath, pouring sweat, and looking for a bush to puke in. We were standing in front of the Embassy Suites waiting to cross the street and a hotel worker carrying a bag of garbage walks up while yelling out "Bay to Breakers, you going to do it?" If Sodom and Gomorrah sponsored a race, it would be Bay to Breakers, it's less race, and more naked, drunk people and some floats and costumes going for a 7 mile stroll. Brian and I glance at each other and I say "no, that's a bit to crazy for us". This pretty short, round man says "yeah, I did it for the 75th anniversary, gonna do it again this year for the 100th. Yeah, man, I ran a mile and a half this morning, whew, tough man. How far did you go today?" Brian says we did 8 yesterday and 5 today (it was actually 11 yesterday and 8 today, but who's counting?) Guy says "I see you run by here all the time, well, every Tuesday. Your doing a good job, keep it up." We say thanks, smile at each other, and sprint away as the hand turns white and it's safe to cross. One of the things I love about running....the people. All shapes, sizes, endurance, abilities, ages, goals....with one thing in common, running.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walnut Festival 5K + a PS

Last nights prep work.....

Below, Em and I heading back to town, while Soph makes her way out to the turn around point.....................
This morning was the big event! Everyone was excited and ready to run. Sophie, Bubba, and Brian stayed together. Sophie set the pace and Bub and Brian tried to keep up with her 6 year old wicked fast turn over : ) Brian says she ran the majority of it, took water at both aid stations, and had a blast! She finished in 47 minutes (ignore the clock time in the picks, that's the gun time, not actual time) Bubba was ready to run, but once it started, the crowd scared him and he jumped in the stroller. Brian said when he told him he could see the finish line, he jumped out and took off.
Emma and I ran together. Her previous 5k was 36 minutes. While we don't put much emphasis on times, just crossing the finish, she is at the age where she likes to have a goal to beat. She started with a 30 minute goal. As the race went on, I talked her into a 35 minute goal, explaining that runners don't usually shave minutes off of 5k times, usually we are happy with shaving seconds off our time. She sprinted to a 33 minute finish! She ran 98% of it, maybe took 10 strides walking the entire 3 miles. Everyone was happy at the finish, and ready for the next one!
Just a few more things....I had to post quick yesterday as we were getting ready for meeting.
So Em and I ran together. As always, I let her set her pace, but also knew she had lofty goals of 30 minutes, so I tried to keep her moving at the same time. 30 minutes would have been pretty amazing. My first 5k was 27 minutes, and I thought I was going to die. So, sometimes its hard as the parent to encourage, but also persuade your daughter to a more reachable goal. You cant' just say "no way are you going to hit 30 minutes", and truth be told, I think she can do it, but I also am responsible for keeping it a fun run, not pushing her too hard (she already pushes herself beyond what an 8 year old should) and making sure she still wants to be a runner when she finishes. I started off just watching my clock to see what she was moving at, see how she was feeling, if she was going to take a walking break or not(if she walked at all, 30 wasn't an option)...trying to gauge if she was near a 10 minute mile pace or not (hard to do when miles arent marked), if she was, I could go ahead and push her and see if she could hit 30. If she was going to come close at all at her comfortable pace, then I would be willing to push her a bit to make it happen. Of course, she is oblivious to the fact all this thinking is going on, she's just running and having fun, as it should be. Once there was a walking break, and a stall at the aid station while she waited to be handed a cup instead of grabbing it and going....I officially switched over to mentally trying to figure out how to suggest a 35 minute goal. So we talked a bit about runners being happy with even a few seconds faster for a PR. I reminded her she ran a 36 minute 5k last time, maybe it would be a good idea to aim for 1 minute faster each 5k she does. Her reply...."there's not really going to be beer, right?" I guess we had passed a sign that said "free beer ahead".....then another sign that said "just kidding". I forget that she can read sometimes. Shortly after that she was grossed out by a road kill squirrel, then we were turned around and headed back to town. She was happy with a 35 minute goal, and would ask for her time every few minutes. She flew through the aid station the second time, swiping a cup like a pro.....then quickly came to a dead stop to take a drink. I think we will rehears aid station etiquette pre race next time : ) She is used to trail running aid stations, where you stop and eat a meal practically at each one. This was her first road race w/an aid station, and the rules are a little different. A few quick turns, and we both started our sprint to the finish line. I pulled back to get a shot of her crossing the finish from behind. She crossed at 33 minutes, and was thrilled. We were corralled down a narrow finishing shoot where they tore off the bottom of our bibs. Somehow this is a timed event, although there were no timing devices on us, so I am not sure how that works out, but they were very careful to keep all our bib tags in order. We went out the end of the shoot, grabbed some free stuff, water, water bottles, pins, chap stick, pencils....whatever was free that we saw...then headed back to see Brian, Soph, and Bubba come across the finish. Bubba I think was doing some window shopping as he was way off course, running up on the side walk looking in the windows, probably watching his reflection. Sophie was trucking right along, with a huge smile!
I am so proud of Sophie for running the majority of her race. She wasn't' sure if she was ready for a grown up run, but she was very ready, and did great! She is built like a little brick, short and solid. She has a naturally short, fast turn over that is pretty amazing. Em looks a bit like a deer, or colt when she runs, lots of knees and elbows everywhere. Soph is more sturdy, sure footed, and fast for 6. It will be fun to watch her over the next few years. I hope this is the first of many fun runs for her. She is looking forward to doing a trail run next month with Brazen Racing. She knows there is a large medal involved, and has heard about candy at the aid stations ; ) Before that, though, we have the Komen for the Cure in 2 weekends!
This was a comeback year for this race as it has been on hiatus for a few years. We hope it is here to stay! It was well organized, well marked, plenty of post run food, freebies, water.....the volunteers were super friendly. There was plenty of free parking in any of the down town garages. It was a great event.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Family of Runners....or Free Shirt Lovers??

Either way, we are ready to run this weekend! The kids were super excited to get their shirts and numbers...always an exciting thing to do. Bubba isn't official, so I picked small for my shirt, and gave it to him, and will let him wear one of my old race numbers on race day so he feels official. He's good for a half mile run, maybe a mile, but then he'll be in the jogger! Just need our timing chips, which we will get Sunday pre race. Soph slept in her shirt last night, and both girls wore them to school today. I am not sure if Sophie is more excited about the shirt, or the race....but as long as she's excited I am happy!

Pretty Lady

On our long run last weekend, we stopped at Whole Foods for the kids to take a potty break. Its conveniently located right on the Iron Horse Trail. While they were inside, I spotted this beauty along a small wooden wall between the trail and store. We have lots of Black Widows here and it is very common to see them. We have them in our landscaping rocks in our back yard. The kids know to stay clear, and always come and get us when they spot one. She is by far the largest Black Widow I have seen, though, and quite photogenic as well. One of the things I love about our runs, you never know what you will see along the way!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sophie's First 5k-The Walnut Festival 5k

Soph's first 5k is this weekend! It will be a family affair with all of us running the 5k. Brian will have Bub in the jogger, but hopefully Bubba will run parts of it. Soph can definitely cover the 3.1 miles, but I think we are probably looking at between 45-60 minutes?? She's handled much longer hikes, but we'll see how she does with a run/walk combo. She has a super cute new running skirt, so that should give her a boost! Not to mention the sparkly nail polish that is like spinach and 'helps you run faster'.
The plan is for Brian, Soph, and Bub to stick together, while Emma takes it at her own pace with me. Em's last 5k was around 35 minutes, give or take, including a face we will see what she does this time. Hopefully no face plant.
We are going to our fav store, Sports Basement, tomorrow night for a packet pick up party! Plus, 20 % off anything in the store for registered runners, woo hoo!
It's not too late to register if anyone's looking for a hometown 5k this weekend. You don't get many opportunities to run down the middle of Main Street!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Differences Within 13 Miles

So our legs have had 2 days off, feeling fresh and ready to run. We got up at 6 and were on the trail by 7:06, heading out to get 13 miles done before meeting. It's been quite a while since we have done a early morning run and I had forgotten how much I like it over later in the day running. It was nice and cool out. I wore my long sleeve Napa Valley Marathon shirt for the first time ever, but it only lasted a few miles before it came off. Brian proudly wore his San Fran marathon shirt, he says it's a badge of honor, and I agree. We see this shirt out on the trail more than any other marathon shirt (although Big Sur is a close second), and now I understand why those who have earned one wear them so much.
We both felt pretty good the entire run. Calf seems to be better as it isn't' hurting at all. This was the longest run I have done w/o my Zensah's, and I didn't' feel any pain, and am not sore now at all.
One of the things we noticed this run was that there is a definite difference in dispositions of runners in Walnut Creek v.s. Alamo. We start in WC, and everyone you pass will at least make eye contact, and usually return your "hey" or "hi" or "good morning". If they don't, you can usually see that they have both earplugs in and just didn't hear you. Alamo, not so friendly this morning. Seems the switch over happens near the freeway underpass....from there on out you don't exist. We passed several running groups....the first was a pretty hardcore looking bunch, probably just in their zone and too focused to bother using any extra energy to muster a smile your direction. This is interesting though, because even at the end of my most exhausting 26.2 miles, I was able to get out a "thank you" to the lady who said "good job Elizabeth". The next group...well lets call them the "Housewives of Alamo Running Group". All the gear looked pretty new, nicely matched, fuel belts full of pretty colored beverages. I looked up, smiled and waved. Talk about a frigid wind blowing by.....maybe my friendliness gave me away as not being from their end of town....maybe the fact I was pouring sweat was repulsive,......maybe they mistook the patches of dried, crusty sweated out salt in my hair for bird poop. Whatever it was, something made me clearly beneath their acknowledging my existence. Whatever, its all good because I get to turn around and run away from this end of town and head back to the land of "hey", "Hi", and "Good morning's". I even got a high five from a little guy on his bike waiting for his mom and dad to catch up to him. For the most part, the running community is amazing. We all love the same thing, we don't care what you look like, what your wearing, or how you smell. We are just happy to have the company and camaraderie. Shoot, the fact your out there, too, means we aren't crazy for being out here ourselves!
Anyway, it was a good run! Got done in time for the kids to play at the park a bit, get home, have coffee, lunch, and get to meeting early enough to snag the back row. : )
*to our friends in Alamo, love ya! If we ever see each other out on the trail, I know you would shatter the stereotype and say Hi.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Sweaty Mess....

The beautiful reward at the end!!

Stinkin Sweaty Mess Impending

Is getting a free sweat shirt in 60 something days enough to push me out the door in five minutes to do an 8 mile run in 95 degree heat??........
Gonna go lace up.
Will post a pic when we get done....see if I tell you this now, it means I have to do it. I will use accountability in any form, even if only to myself on my blog. : )
Later gator.