Monday, February 28, 2011

Race Instructions Like No Other

You know I like to share race day instructions when they are a few of the highlights from the Big Sur Mud Run's race day instructions that arrived today!
The course is an approximate 5 mile loop
course. Click HERE to view course map. It is partially
on the road and partially on trails and includes sand,
hills, water, obstacles, drill sergeants and four mud pits.
You will get wet and you will get muddy. There will be
outdoor showers outside the stadium after you finish the
race. Be sure to bring towels & a change of clothing.

• Be sure to bring a trash bag for muddy clothes
• Leave your jewelry at home, and wallets and cell
phones in your car. Don’t wear Ipods! We are not
responsible for lost or damaged property
• Medical support will be available on the course and
at the finish
• Encourage those around you and offer help if
needed. This is a FUN RUN!
• Be sure your shoes are tied don’t want
them sucked off your feet in a mud pit

AID STATIONS: There is an aid station with porta potties
on the course and there are refreshments at the
finish. There is one beer station on the course. If your bib
does not show your age, you may not partake. Team
captains are responsible for their team members. We
reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

Sounds enjoyable, no?? Did I mention there are enough crazies out there that this race sold out?? We will be among 250 teams of 5, plus 1250 individual runners.
I was not nervous about this race until today.......I have not kept up with my 'covered in mud running through sand uphill' training. Better get on that.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beautiful -

Beautiful morning, wonderful meeting, beautiful sun, wonderfully warm 58 degrees.....
Perfect set up for a beautiful 8 miles.
Maybe pictures later...can't promise they will be beautiful.
I LOVE sun!!

Post run....
jogger stroller had a full blown blow out at mile 5, walked to mile 6.5, stopped at the park, kids played, Brian kept running and retrieved the car and picked us up. I still Love the sun, but getting a bit tired of some random thing messing up runs lately!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Week of Legs On Regis and Kelly

I'm a day late on finding out about this...haven't been keeping up with my Regis and Kelly shows : )
You know how I love this guy, seeing him at expos is always a highlight. Seeing his legs while they are running....amazing. Tune in next week for a peek!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Breaking News....

Updated Race List Day!!!
Check it out on the left......

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fresh, and Fartleking Pain Free

Just a quicky......

I ran last night! I ran, in the sun, around the reservoir....with no pain!

I should be telling you that I went for a nice, slow, easy 3 miler. I should be saying that I played it safe, took it easy, just took the foot our for a slow test run.

I didn't. It felt so great to be out there running, I just couldn't help but have fun. I fartlek'd my way around the res. Slow the first 100 ft, realized there was not even a hint of pain...picked it up down and around the first corner and maintained a steady pace up the hill. There are certain hills at the res that I always allow myself to do more of a walk/trot up, but last night I just wanted to keep pushing hard up every hill. When the slim strip of gravel would appear next to the paved trail, I was on it. I loved that there were a few sections where the water run off has rutted out the gravel and created small little ditches. I was having my own little trail run within my actual run, pushing as fast as possible on the downhills and keeping my feet fast and light to maneuver through the ditches. I would slow at the bottom and tops of the hills to wait for my running partner, Emma. She is good for a 30 minute lap, but I was giving her a run for her money for sure.

One of the fun things for me as a mom is to see her get so excited when she is able to push harder than she thought she could. We were passed by a dude right at the top of the hardest hill. We had stayed in front of him all the way up, but when we slowed at the top for Em to recover a bit, he passed us. This is a hard hill, and she honestly did push hard running up it, and was spent. We were trotting along, and I leaned down and whispered to her to "go get him". She looked up and smiled and went after him. We stayed right on his heels, he knew we were there and was doing the over the shoulder "what are you doing?" look. She gets this look a lot when she does trail runs and is used to the "what is this kid doing right behind me" look. I told Emma if we stayed on him until the "short cut" we could take him. If you run the res you know the short cut, it's just passed the top of the hard hill. The paved trail turns left and then bends back around to the right and heads downhill, there's some picnic tables at the top.....or you can just not go left or right and go straight and fly up and over the hill and down the dirt trail and come out back down on the paved trail. The kids are slightly afraid of the dirt downhill as it can be slippery, but without missing a beat, when "the dude" made the left turn on the trail, she surged passed him going off road, up and over the hill, running as fast as she could down the dirt. We came out about 50 ft in front of him....but he now knew he was in a race! We held the lead for quite a ways, but he took us again on one of the last hills, and we didn't see him again.

I kept waiting for a hint of pain, a twinge, tweak, anything....but nothing. I had been pain free for 3 days, and waited 2 more days before attempting a run. I am so glad I waited. Running with uber fresh legs, and no pain of any kind.....doesn't happen very often. I am heading out at noon for a 5 miler with Brian. Hoping for another pain free run, full of fartleks!

Monday, February 21, 2011


As you already know, Feb started off with our half down in Huntington Beach. You don't know that I came out of that with an issue in my right foot. I haven't mentioned it because I have a team commitment next month, and I don't' want to freak anyone out. I have babied it for 2 weeks, stayed off it as much as possible(as far as running goes), iced, IBP'd, elevated,...and this is the biggie...have only done 2 5 milers. It is much much better, and I am nearly pain free. It kills me to not be getting runs in, I want to get out there so bad. But I am focused on the long term ramifications of running on it too soon, and am making myself hold off a few more days.
So what have we been doing?? Well.....

I have been hanging out w/these monkeys

I have been working to get some shoulder definition......
so that when I drop my curling iron onto said shoulder crease it just
sits there, perfectly balanced, instead of falling off and onto the floor.

I have been working in the kids classrooms, as usual.

Went to an awesome Science Fair where I was way proud of both my girls.

Getting my sweat on with my Insanity workouts

Picked up my girls from school on V-Day Party days (one was on Friday, one on Tuesday). I ran while they rode their bikes from the school to Jamba Juice, and then back after the parties were over. These trips made up the 2 runs of 5 miles each that I mentioned above.

I went for a great hike with my kids and my friend, Anna, in Shell Ridge. It started off with a little drizzle, and this amazing rainbow.

We had an entertaining family study night. The kids acted out the story we covered the week involved a talking donkey.

Bubba telling us about the red rope hanging out the window.

We have had a few service breaks....

We went up to Mt. Diablo to find some snow. It's always a treat when the snow is 5 minutes away instead of a 5 hour drive away.

After playing in the snow, we spent a few minutes flipping things over to see what critters we could find. The first rock I flipped I found this scorpion. I expected it to be slow, but it was very feisty and didn't like me poking it and moving it around with a stick.

Last, but not least, Emma made us wonderful pancakes this morning for breakfast.

There have been some other things going on too....not necessarily kodak moments though. Brian had a talk out yesterday about an hour away. We were up and out by 8:40, got to the hall at 9:40 and found a totally full parking lot...somethings not right! Spanish cong had their meeting at 9:30...a bro said the next meeting was at 12. We waited....and waited...12:30 someone shows up and lets us know the meeting was at 1. Funny thing is I usually don't go w/Brian when he has talks out, but he was giving a new outline and I wanted to be supportive, so we all went. Arg..
We have also been working on being more hospitable and having people over. We have had some great fun the past 2 months having different friends over for dinner. Last night we had a fun round of pitch black, all the lights out, hide and seek with our family and a couple in the hall. A few nights ago another couple brought over their Wii and everyone had fun with that. are caught up, and off we go for our hike!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

INSANITY is in the House!

So I don't really like to talk about specific programs. Everyone's workouts are very personal and there are tons out there that work, tons that don't, and admittedly tons out there just like this one.

I have done my online Jillian Michael's workouts for the past few years. They are great. I have raved about them here before. I still love them and definitely get a great workout from them. While there is always room to mix it up with more reps, or heavier weights....after almost 2 years on level 3 w/no new can get a bit stale. I still love it, and it will still be a part of my routine, but I am very happy to add Insanity to my workouts!

I mentioned it last month. I saw it on TV, wanted it, refused to spend the money. Thankfully, a sis in our hall who is a fitness machine had the disks. I started last week and have done 4 of the 10 workouts so far. I have to say I was surprised at the intensity. I have not sweat so hard so fast in a long time. The moves are not complicated moves, or moves that take insane strength, but it is intense, non stop, back to back exercises. On most of the Plyometric moves it does help to have some ab strength already to stay controlled and really keep them engaged...things like high knee jumps. There are quite a few cardio moves that definitely require strength. Yesterdays workout had a session of drills...think old school football drills. Today's had a circuit of jumping squats that went straight down into push ups, then jumping right back into jumping squats, dropping right into push ups...over and over and over again. Good, old school stuff that gets the job done.

It is structured, as the video explains, the opposite of Jillian's workouts. Jillian's workouts usually consist of 5 circuits made up of 5 exercises each. 3 exercises are strength, 2 are cardio. Insanity is heavy cardio. Even the more strength based exercises are done working from a slow, controlled state, slowly increasing the pace to as quickly as possible w/o sacrificing form. So everything moves very quickly. After each circuit is complete, there is a 30 second water break. There are also stretching sessions in the workouts, which is new for me. They are shorter workouts than what I am used to, around 40 minutes on average. Jillian's take me about 1hr 20 minutes to 40 minutes seemed really short, but I can tell I am getting a good workout in during that 40 minutes.

I am not doing 60 back to back days with a goal of dropping body fat, or getting ripped, or leaning out, like the people in the video say. I will do these workouts as a normal part of my routine, along with my Jillian workouts, just to kick things up a notch. I have some fun things coming up, and I would like to just amp things up, pick up the pace a bit as far as my fitness is concerned.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Nerd Genes Run Deep


The science fair was last night. Soph and Em both did elective projects this year. They aren't required to participate until 4th grade, but both girls had been wanting to do a project, so we went for it.

Emma's was on the best wing design for lift, and Sophie's was on how paleontologists do excavations. Both were wonderful, and after seeing all the projects last night, I was very proud of both girls.

There are 2 winners chosen from both 4th and 5th grade, and one from 3rd grade.....Emma was that one! She greeted me after school with a gold medal around her neck, and the info that next Friday we will be setting up her project at the District Science Fair, where we will spend a few hours next Saturday morning while she explains her project.

I am very proud of both girls, they both put in a lot of time and energy and their projects looked wonderful! I have pictures to prove this fact, but they are in my camera still : )

Oh, and those genes.....all Brian's.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Surf City in Pictures

300 more here

and Fun it Was - Surf City Race Recap

It's hard to know where to start when recapping a 4 day weekend, but I am going to start with our awesome hotel. We stayed at the Desert Palms in Anaheim. It is right up against CA Adventure on Katella. We had a 2 room suite w/bunk beds for the kids. It was great, cheap, clean, nicer than we normally get. It had a great workout room, free hot buffet breakfast, coffee shop, pool that changed colors at night (the kids loved this), and we watched the Disney fireworks from the hotel each night. The bed was comfy, too, which is a bonus!
Moving on to the expo on Saturday. It was just as large, and even more well organized than 2 years ago. It's right on the beach in a huge white tent that you can see for miles before you get to it. No problems with picking up our race stuff, and although there were tons of people, there were no lines to wait in at all. The goody bags are really nice reusable bags that have the course, runners, and Huntington Beach themed things on them. The shirts are great also. I walked right up and got my series jacket w/no issues and no line. If you remember back to San Fran expo, Brian waited over 30 minutes to get his jacket, so this was really nice! I hit my favorite booth, Running Divas, and walked away with a cute skirt. The kids spun some give-away wheels and had fun. Overall, this is one of the largest expos we have been to and it is set up very well for traffic flow.
On to race day. Sunday we were up at 4:30, on the way to the race at 6. Our wave was set to go off at 7:53, and we were about 30 minutes from the parking lots. If you remember back to Brian running this half as his first half ever 2 years ago.....there was a mad dash from a parking lot 2 miles away from the start to make his wave. We did not want to repeat that.....but we came pretty darn close! The parking lots are spread down PCH, so if the first one is full, you are funneled down to the next....and on and on until you find a spot. We ended up at least 2 miles down PCH from the start at about 7:30. After a hustle to attempt to make our wave, we relaxed and went with the flow. It's not a big deal to start in a later wave, it just messes up your gun time and makes it look really long, but not a big deal.
When we did make the start area, there was a wave (2 waves after the one we should have been in) about to go, so we just jumped into it, at the very very back. This is not the greatest set up. It means we are starting with people who run a slower pace than we do (waves are according to your predicted finish times, so this group was set up to go slower than our wave) and be at the back where we have to maneuver through a crowd. More of an issue for Brian as he was racing this run, not so much a problem for me as I was running, not racing : )
We crossed the start together, then with a pat on the butt and a "have a great run hun" I gave him the green light to leave me behind and go to it....and he did! I am so proud of him! His first running of this half 2 yrs ago was a 2:23 run. He killed it and finished in 1:51!! I can't recap his race as I was not with him, so I will leave that to him.
As for my run, it was everything I wanted it to be. I pretty much stuck with the same group of people I started with. They would lose me at the aid stations, but I would catch back up to the same group. I had fun, took lots of pictures and videos, listened in on some fun conversations, had a few strange moments, but it was a good, fun run. I had no idea what pace I was running as I had no watch on. I could tell I was not pushing as hard as I did at my See Jane half, so I knew my time would be long, but at the same time, I was feeling pretty spent, which I expected.
I stopped and got fluid in at every station, chatted w/the volunteers, got lots of high fives including one from a panda bear, chatted for a half mile with a runner I overheard telling her friend that she was from Walla Walla.
Most of this course is on PCH along the ocean. While I was running out, away from town, I kept an eye on the runners that were on the other side running back into town, figuring I would see Brian at some point. I saw him coming, got my high five ready, stuck my hand out and said " Love you babe, you're doing great"......and the guy in front of Brian high fives me and says thanks! : ) Oops! I jumped the gun, but I did get a high five from Brian and he had a laugh with the guy over it, who apologized to him and said he thought it was awfully nice of me to be that friendly : )
I kept seeing young men in orange shirts that were flying by me giving it their all. I came up on one about the same time my legs were feeling the burn...he was walking on PCH along the ocean. So I pulled up next to him and asked if I could walk with him for a minute. He did that shy, teenage boy, embarrassed, looking at his feet thing and said "sure". So I asked what the deal was and he told me they are a running club, from age 12 to 16. They are from local OC JR highs and a few high school boys, they do 3 runs a week, short, medium, and a long run on the weekends. This half was a training run for the LA Marathon, which is a tough course. Super nice kid, after a while of talking I told him to have a good run and took off. We were heading back towards town, running along the ocean, and I came up on another runner walking and patted him on the back and asked him to take a picture, which he was more than happy to do.
Nearly the whole time we are running back towards town, the full marathoners are running on a beach path to our right, heading back away from town again. I will admit it was a little difficult to see them over there and be thinking about how fleeting fitness is. It was just a few short months ago we were running marathon #4, and now I am feeling wiped at mile 10! I tried to ignore them though, and just keep my head in the race I was running, content to trot along and enjoy myself. I had one earphone in and found myself lost in my favorite Pink and Fergie songs more than once, trotting along to the beat, looking around, smiling, and taking pictures. This run does not lack crowd support, and there were people everywhere shouting out encouragement. I love a run where you have surfers dodging runners to cross the street, and beach music playing.
The last 3 miles dragged a bit, but the last 3 of every race do for me. When we hit mile 12, there was the predictable surge of runners who think "last mile, time to kick in"....I was looking around thinking what are you guys doing?? A mile is really far out to kick, and I caught back up to many of those runners w/in the next half mile. When I could see the finish line, I did a quick check and asked myself "Self, do you have anything left to kick with? "....and then I answered myself with "lets see...nope. Ok, well, I'll just take a video instead."
The weirdest part of this run for me came during that last half mile. There were tons of people lining the finish, and as I would pass, almost everyone would smile and yell out something about the Steelers. I was questioning my sanity at this point, wondering what in the world was happening. I am not a football fan, but there is a family connection to the Steelers that has always been present in my life. I am having this weird experience thinking I am putting out some sort of weird Steelers vibe...why is everyone looking at me and yelling "Go Steelers"????
After crossing the finish line, I look up and standing next to me is a Steeler....well, a wanna be Steeler, who must have been running right behind me that last half mile. Nice guy, let me take a picture with him. I can't believe he ran that whole thing in full football gear!
In the fenced off finishers shoot, I got my medal, foil blanket, drinks, bananas, a bag of food that they were handing out to all the runners (it had Fig newtons, fruit, bars, granola, and pretzels). Brian was waiting at the end of the shoot, and from there we met up w/Simone and the kids. The kids had great runs and were excited to tell us about how hard they ran and show us their medals. From there I went back into the expo tent to get my CA Dreamin Series medal, again, no line at all. Brian checked out the results, he finished in 1:51, and me at 2:20.
This is a great course, and a very well run, organized event. It is worth the trip from the Bay Area, or from any where else! As you can see from our times, whatever your goals are, you can definitely achieve them on this course, whether it be a PR attempt, or a fun, entertaining run.
I will follow this post shortly with a post just of pictures, and as always, there will be a full set of pictures on our photo site, link to the left.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts on the Surf City Half

If you've been around this blog for any amount of time, you probably have picked up that I have little tolerance for excuses. Either do or don't. And if you choose 'don't' I really don't care to hear your list of reasons why. Whatever choices we make, we should own them.

So, I am totally owning that I did not train at all for this half. I have not done any runs longer then 8 miles since the Fresno Marathon in November. I totally own that. I could have chose to push things out of the way and get my runs in. I chose not to. My choice. Choices come with consequences.

There will be no PR attempt. There will be no time expectations, there may not even be a watch worn. There will probably be some walking. All you half marathoners that I was cursing in my head for walking while I was running the Fresno apologies.

So what will there be? I will complete my California Dreamin Race Series. I will get a huge metal in the shape of CA. I will get an awesome series jacket. There will be 3 kids who will again get to feel the high of finishing a race and getting the coolest surf board metal. There will be sun. There will be beach. There will be new tan lines made. There will be tons of pictures taken. There will be time spent pool side, ocean side, wandering the shops in Huntington Beach. There will be great Mexican food eaten Sunday night. We will watch the Disney fireworks from our hotel, we may explore a little park called Knotts Berry Farm : )

Memories will be made. Relaxation will happen. Good times all around. No regrets. My choice.