Thursday, June 30, 2011
It seems like one of the predictable parts of our training cycle is that at around the 18 mile long run point is when training really does become a test, when it starts to become difficult. Physically, and mentally. This is where I have the advantage of telling myself that I have done this before, and I know I can do it, I know I am capable of completing this process of pushing the body and getting it where it needs to be to complete 26.2 miles.
Training isn't just about putting in miles. It's about feeling the fatigue and the twinges of pain, and still going. That is the hard part.
So, even though my legs are tired, and I am feeling a few of my old, predictable aches and pains.....I need to get up off my butt and go meet my husband for our lunch time running date.
Monday, June 27, 2011
#1 - Complete an Ironman
#2 - Complete an Ultra
Three years ago I didn't know much about either of these sort of events. After being around the running community and endurance sports for a minute now, it seems almost inevitable that at some point I will be crossing both of these off my list. Both are years off in the distance, but I can feel the pull already, like a magnet slowly pulling me towards a goal.
I have read several books on both subject, my favorites being Running Through the Wall, and 17 Hours to Glory. This by no means makes me an expert, more of just an informed idiot who reads things and thinks "someday, when the kids are grown, I could train hard enough to do that." Well, when it comes to ultra's, Western States 100 is the big Kahuna. Sort of like Ironman is to triathlon.
Western States took place here in CA over the weekend. It so happens that .....try to follow me here as it gets a bit confusing...the husband of a sister in Palo Alto (named Diane, you've seen her comments here on the blog)...who we met after commenting on each others blogs about our mutual love for Brazen Racing....still with me??......ok, so the husband, Mr. NTL, would be working the aid station at mile 43 of W.S. AND, after a few months of figuring out dates, it so happened that this weekend we were going to be in Palo Alto, Mrs. NTL's congregation, for Brian to give the talk, and some wonderful hospitality by Mr. and Mrs. NTL! While I was excited for our running and theocratic lives to finally intersect, I was also looking forward to hearing about Mr.'s experience, and he did not disappoint! I can't thank him enough for staying awake and hosting hospitality at their home. Not only that, but he is a mean bbq'r, and managed a ton of meat, and a wide variety, mixing his own sauce, and somehow knew to cook it exactly the way I like it, which Brian will tell you, is hard to do! Diane managed to run a 10k before meeting, get to meeting, and then host a house full of people afterwards. These two are just the neatest couple and I can't thank them enough for their effort this weekend.
So back to Mr. NTL....not only is he a great bbq'r, he's an equally great blogger. He races with his camera, so of course he took lots of pictures from this weekend, and does a great job re-capping his experience, and the details of what all goes into an aid station of a 100 mile race.
Thanks Again, Mr. and Mrs!!
It is not that often we are treated to hospitality and see this on the fridge
Monday - my legs and house are thrashed!!
I had the best 8 mile run, we're talking total runners high, legs of steel, light as a feather, fast, floating on air run....followed by the next run...13 miles of a "I really need a potty NOW!!" run......both runs with in 12 hours of each other.
Lots to blog about, but my house is in dire need of some lovin.
Can't even do any push ups until I vacuum, nothing worse than a face full of crumbs!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
What brought all that on you may be wondering?? I came across a quote this morning. I am stealing this quote off of 280 to 26.2's blog...who stole it from another blog...who stole it from the Nike ad it is originally from. Again, I say, not a Nike fan, but I am a fan of motivating quotes.
You pretended the snooze button didn’t exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate their pancakes you had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you. You ran 5Ks, 10Ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior. You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer’s tan. You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be man about it. You decided to be woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your interval odometer. For 25 years, you ran. And we ran with you. How much farther will we go? As far as you will.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I love feeling sore muscles!!
I woke up Tuesday morning, and in that not quite awake stage...I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my body. It hurt. Not bad pain, just an overall stiff, soreness.
After a few seconds of "what in the world is going on"...I realized I was just sore from my Jillian workout on Monday. Then I remembered why my right quad was much sorer than my left...that was because I ran laps in our circular pool with Bubba on my back and pulling Sophie on her boogie board.
Then I just laughed, because it has been a while since I felt sore, and because I was going into a run and workout already sore, and I love doing that. It was 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. An early start to a doubled up day. We headed out for another early morning run, then came home and got right into my Jillian workout. It felt great! I have said before I love running on slightly sore legs and abs, it helps me engage the muscles I want to use because I can already feel them. And Jillians workouts are never a peice of cake, but doing one already sore just makes me push that much harder...and make really ugly faces while I'm doing it. I got numerous "mom, you ok?" moments yesterday from the kids.
The great thing is that after 2 days of beatings and running....I am tired today, but not sore. Wednesdays are always my off day unless there is a conflict that requires rescheduling a run, otherwise I'm off. Today I am off. Heading out to take the kids to the dollar movie - Despicable Me, then....nothing...because I am off!
Shout out to Em who did an amazing job on her talk last night. Extemporanious Speaking...really?? She did great though, she always does, but especially last night!
Monday, June 20, 2011
When I started mixing in Insanity workouts w/my Jillian workouts,(you can find links to both on the left side of the blog) I was introduced to a whole new variety of push-up goodness!! While both workouts have push ups, both are done totally differently with different goals. In Jillians, they are slow, concentrated movements, while in Insanity they are done much faster in a plyometric style. I love both. I started off wanting to find a video of my current favorite push up, as i knew it would be hard to describe. It's like a hybrid of a burpee, frog push-up, and squatting push up. I couldn't' find a video of just the push up alone, but did find this little gem. It's Shaun T, Mr. Insanity himself, on The Dr's performing the push-up I am currently loving! It is not the traveling push-ups, although I love them too. It's after that. He does it here w/o much push-up action, but in the workout video, when you dive down into the push-up position, you do one before you jump back up. Watch for it......it's from 1:50 - 1:59
Did you see it?? Keep in mind that this is The Man himself, using perfect form and speed. They don't' look that good when I do them!! But they are challenging, as challenging for my arms/shoulder/chest as they are for my abs/hammies/glutes. Love em.
Yes the workouts are that hard, and that fast paced. They are short though, only around 45 minutes each. There are so many moves in each one, it really flies by. It also makes me sweat like nothing else I've done.
Anyhow, give them a try, see how many you can do and where you feel them the most!
Just keep a bottle of water within reach!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
53 degrees when we started, 64 when we finished, it's 1 pm now, when we would have been starting....it's 91 degrees.
Nice end to a 36 mile week. Muscles feel good, knees a bit sore, nothing a little salad eating wont fix.
Run done. Meeting done. Time to relax in the pool, grill veggies, roast dinner in the fire pit w/kids, and wrap the day up with some smores. ( I will enjoy my salad, fire-side)
There is something to be said for getting your run on at 5 a.m. : )
Saturday, June 18, 2011
we are still training and running and working out. Things have been crazy since school got out, having all three kids home everyday takes a few weeks of adjusting. Weather has switched to summer...runs have switched to late evening...pool is up, a way bigger pool than last year, not the blow up kind but the build the metal frame kind....garden is growing.
San Fran marathon is getting very close. Partly wishing we were doing the half, but I know I would regret it. We have 3 long runs left, the weekends look like this starting with todays run - 16, 13, 18, 13, 20, taper, 26.2. We have enough weeks that we could do multiple 20+ mile long runs, but we really dont' want to push our legs too hard. We have trained that way before, and trained how we currently have it set up before, and prefer going into San Fran on fresh legs rather then beat up legs. Our main focus for the next 6 weeks will be leaning out and getting some weight off. My joints do a lot better about 7 lbs under where I am now. I know, 7 lbs....but it really does make a huge difference when talking about running 26.2. My knees and hips appreciate a leaner me. So that is my main focus. Eating lean, lots of chicken, fish, and veggies. Not worried about getting the runs in as that is non optional, skipping one just isn't an option.
That's it for now, I promise a decent post w/pictures soon.......
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Hopefully this is the first of many races for you!
Here you can clearly see the beast of a runner Angela is. She gives me weekly beatings. She is the friend I talk about who convinced me to try running while I protested that "I am not a runner". When she puts her mind to completing a race, or hitting a certain time goal, she blows it out of the water every time!
You gutted out a great time for this half!
Look at her go! Here we have Jina giving her 5k a smack down! Jina has been running through some difficult back pain. She could have easily made her Dr happy and walked this one, but no. She went for it!
Great Job Jina!!
Well, Darci, I don't know you well, in fact I just met you the morning of this race, but look at the determination on your face!! You are in the zone, and getting it done!!
Way to push, Leah!
Look at her go! Just like her mom, she's heading back towards the finish and still managing to get both feet off the ground at the same time and log some serious air time, with a smile! There were only 4 gals in the bay area 18 and younger brave enough to come out and run this half. Not only was she one of them, this was her second year running it, and she came in 2cd in her division! She blew by me early on in this race looking strong and like she had a few years of running experience under her belt.(which she does) She stayed focused, even through some rough cramps, and finished strong.
Congrats to you Pat!!
Tina was back for more See Jane again this year! Head up, shoulders down, looking happy and strong. While her circumstances didn't allow for the half marathon this year, I am super proud she came out again and gave the 5k a smack down. Way to go Tina, Congrats!
Sophie L.Well Sophie was back again this year to go full throttle on the mile run. Looks like she is giving it her all and has her game face on. Looks like a nice, short yet fast turn over. Nothing but great races in her future!
Who's that white shirted blur coming at us here?? It's Emma pushing herself to the limit. Talk about full throttle, petal to the metal, all or nothing, go hard or go home....that is Emma. Race day is game day and she has only one mode...attack. She did great!
Well, who is this? It's me. While I am female and do the female critiquing of myself, I have also learned the hard way how damaging being negative can be. While I may look in the mirror, or pictures, and see the flaws, I choose to focus on the positives. So, and this is hard for me, here we go.
I am tired here, but running strong. Forehead is wrinkled, but that means I am focused and determined to get this race done. Despite a challenging race schedule, I went full steam into this race with a lofty goal on legs that were in need of rest. I worked hard to see that collar bone, and have done thousands of squats and lunges to earn that thigh. What does that last sentence have to do with running strong, nothing, but it was what I thought when I saw this picture.
Congrats to all of us! I am looking forward to next year!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
In the above picture, we are heading out along the beach, maybe mile 2. I have no idea where Pat and Angela are other than that they are behind me. Oh, looky there, Ang was just barely behind me. She's in black up on the pathway.
I think my knee looks totally disgusting in the top picture and my calf looks thick.
Above, coming back, about mile 11.5 or 12, see the camera and try to look like I am really running. The lady behind me , you can just barely see her, we were both pooped and seemed to keep stopping to walk about the same times. Bugs me that my top tied around me is crooked, I kept trying to adjust it as it hides my self conscience area, but it won't stay put...
my form and stride are totally wonky in above picture, my foot is turned way out and I need to drop my shoulders...and color my roots.
above pic..why are both my arms in front at the same time?? Was I running, or did my arms get confused or what?? My neck looks too thick, head looks too small...Wonky top still bugs me...
above, tired but near the finish, knee still freaks me out, looks strange to me, sports beans are about to bounce out, should have tossed them after the last aid station, they rubbed a nice raw spot...the tired, head tilted to the side and back look bugs me, I do that when I'm super tired....
Ok, so these two pictures really bother me. In the top one I totally look like the Athena runner that I am (female over 150lbs)...my chest is shifted one way and my booty the other, looks like I am dance-running. The bottom one shows something you may/may not know about me.....
If you look above my right (your left) leg, under my purple top you will see "it".....the "I lost 120 lbs and have loose hangy stuff" bulge....well, I do, and it's there...usually nicely hidden under that purple top that you always see tied around my waist while running. Notice you don't see it on the other side, just the side where the top is wonky?? Nice, huh??? I can't do anything about it other than wear 3 layers of spandex and hide it under a tied on top....It doesn't usually bother me, but this picture got to me a bit. Ever wonder why I never actually wear the purple top, I just tie it around my waist?? Now you know : )
these two, top and bottom, made me laugh. Top one I'm in the upward part of my stride and the "ladies" are catching air, bottom picture is on the bottom part of my stride and the ladies....well about to bottom out....and again with the tummy area bulge.....this bottom pic is probably my least fav from this run
and finally, the finish...trying to decide on which mat to stop my watch....running right in front of Angela who had finished 2 minutes before........
and this one I know I made it in under 2:15, happy and exhausted...what's happening with crazy legs behind me in the pink shorts?? Is that a cramp, a happy dance, or a really bad stride?? Well, she finished, so that's all that matters!
So, there ya go, See Jane Half Marathon from start to finish. While I do, and will probably always, rip my pictures apart after every race, you know what?? I am out there doing it. Yeah, I try to hide my trouble spots, wear cute running clothes, do my make up before I run...but once I'm running, it all goes out the window. During a race is when I can let it all hang out, not care about what I look like, or what's moving and shaking, or that I have weird bony knees and a thick neck. It's my time to go have a one on one battle with my mind and body, see how far I can push both. I could care less what I look like while it' s going on. And I take comfort in the fact that most runners feel the same way. They are having their own personal battles on race day too, and they don't really care what you look like either while you are running. I personally like to look back at the photos I didn't know were being taken that really capture how tired I was, or how much pain I was feeling, or how hard I was pushing to keep going. These may not always be the most flattering, but they capture what the day was all about.
Tomorrow, it's your turn. You are all such modest ladies, so I will take it upon myself to brag about you all a bit and post your amazing See Jane moments!
(every one's pictures are awesome, but I know how the female mind works and I know a few of you have probably critiqued yourself to death in these pictures, (myself included)but again, I say own it and be proud! You guys kicked booty.)
If anyone I know happened to run her first solo 5k today, and just happended to have a great race, and just maybe PR'd....Congrats to you and your great run!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Today was the big party day, Em and Soph's class had lunch together, then what has become the annual water balloon fight ensued. Tomorrow, no party, just the good bye's and a few tears (they already started this afternoon). Both girls have really had a perfect year, and amazing teachers. Equally amazing is the office staff that has worked hard to keep our family at the school after our unexpected move mid year. Thanks to their hard work, Bubba will be joining the Woodside family next year as a kindergartner! Hard to believe that the time has arrived already. And as if I needed to create things to be emotional about, it hit me today that tomorrow morning will be our last morning together, just the two of us. The last morning it's just me and him, with his sisters at school. He has kept me thoroughly entertained the past 4.75 years, and my mornings will not be nearly as fun with out him here at home with me. But, he is ready, and excited to be a "big boy" and start school.
So, tomorrow morning Bubba and I will do our last "moma and me" run, doing our slow 8 miles, stopping for a treat at Chevron, watching the ducks, playing at the park.....I plan on soaking in every second and making it last as long as possible!!
Monday, June 6, 2011
We do not normally double up events back to back like that. We know that we lack self control during most races and are always all out, so racing back to back days is not a genius move for us. If we could show restraint and go easy the first day, then day 2 would be ok...but we don't. But, See Jane was already on the calender when a very good deal on the City Solve race popped up that was too good to pass up. So that is how this weekend came to be.
Saturday we headed into the city to Thirsty Bear Brewery where the race would start and finish. We met up w/friends Angela and Derrick, and also saw our friends Matt and Sabrina. They were decked out in gladiator gear/Egyptian princess. Costumes are always an option at these sort of races, but we went with our running clothes. We had prearranged to figure out our clues w/Angela and Derrick at the business center of a hotel. Once we got to a hotel that let us into their business center, this worked out great, but it took about the first 45 minutes to get the clue sheet, get to a hotel and figure things out and map out our course. Once that was done, we ran a nearly flawless race. It was well mapped out, we didn't miss anything that was required, didn't have the wrong spot for any clue. We would end up running 7 miles, stretching nearly all the way across the city. We ran some tiring, tough sections, lots of up hill, and at a much faster pace than normal. It's funny how at the time, when you are weaving in and out of people and trying to avoid any slippery metal spots or slippery bricks, you are just focused on that and going fast, but not really aware of how hard you are running. Don't get me wrong, we were wiped and Angela and I knew that we would be paying for it the next day during our half. So that was about it, we finished up back at the brewery. Results are not posted yet, so I have no idea how we did other than we finished in somewhere around the 3:45 point and there was a 4:30 time limit. Afterwards we headed to Bucca's for some salad, fried food, and pasta, which tasted great!
Sunday we were up early and headed to Alameda for the See Jane Run half marathon and kids race. There were maybe 10 sisters who would be there this year, doing either the 5k or the half. I think there were 6 of us doing the half. Pat, Angela and I started off together. I had my music going and just focused forward and ran. I wanted to stay in the 9 minute mile range for a few miles and settle down into a 10 for the rest of the run. Doing that I should have been able to stay under my goal of 2:15. By the end of mile one my legs were dead. I immediately knew they were shot from Saturday, and this was going to be a long and possibly painful run. I tried to keep telling myself I wasn't in pain, just tired. There is a difference between having tired legs, and sore legs, and I tried hard to tell myself my legs were just tired. If I keep pushing them, they will get me to my goal, they aren't hurting, just tired, so just keep them moving. (they were actually hurting pretty bad, but the mind is a powerful thing!)Somewhere along the run, maybe mile 5, Angela and Pat were again next to me. Around then Pat pulled ahead, and Ang and I were together. We were both wiped. I was wanting to take a walk break, but she said she wanted to get to mile 7 and then see if she needed to walk. When we did eventually try to walk, it hurt much worse then running, so we picked it up. Somewhere around mile 8-9 I fell. I caught myself with both hands and saved my legs any scrapes, but it hurt. We were on a narrower trail and I was afraid of getting run over before I even hit the ground, but Ang got me up and water to rinse off and moving again quickly. Between being tired, sore, falling, bleeding hands...I started to loose it. The tears started, my chest got tight, I tried to run and breath and the wheezing started. Ang kept me focused, calmed down, and moving.
Despite all the drama, I stayed about 3 minutes ahead of the pace I had to maintain to hit goal until mile 11.5. I kept telling Ang when the time comes and you kick, please just go and don't worry about leaving me. She replied that I know her, and she would, but that she had no kick in her today....but I know her running well and she always kicks no matter how beat she is. I stopped to loosen my timing chip ankle strap as it was digging into my ankle, and when I looked up she was out of range for me to catch her. This was a good thing to me because like I say, I know her and she always has enough left in the tank to finish stronger than she thinks she will, and she did. She finished about 2 minutes ahead of me. I slowed down quite a bit the last 1.5 miles, even walked at times, but it's all I had left. I pushed as hard as I could, for as long as I could.
I came in at 2:14:46....14 seconds under my goal! Ang and I were 103 and 108 in our age divisions(out of about 300), and both in the 500's overall out of 1500 runners.
I was done in time to see Dawn, Micaela and Sarah finish their halfs, and see my kids do their run. Congrats to Micaela for taking 2cd in her age division, and to Sarah on completing her first half marathon!!
Needless to say, my legs have seen happier days! They are shot. I slept the afternoon away yesterday and haven't been too productive today. While I can't afford to take much time off from training, we have rearranged runs this week so the legs have some recovery time before our 16 miler this weekend. No exercise today, will workout tomorrow, and hopefully be up for a run on Wednesday.
So overall, lots of fun, memories, fatigue and pain! A well rounded weekend : )
Sunday, June 5, 2011
No recap right now, just wanted to say how grateful I am to Angela for being there during this run when I needed someone to be there the most.
We ended up together for the middle miles of this run, both of us feeling yesterdays race and the toll it took on our legs.
I did something today that has never happened during a road race, only during trail runs....I fell. I wasn't lifting my feet high enough, on a narrower paved trail section of this run. I was instantly afraid I was going to get run over. She was there with water to let me rinse my bloody hand, there to let me cry while keeping me moving, and there to calm me down so I could breath. She also knew when to go ahead and pull away and finish strong, letting me finish at my own pace without feeling like I was slowing her down. She makes not only a great friend, but a great running partner!
We both pushed hard and left everything out there.
Thank you, Angela, for keeping me going!
Today is our big day! Time to put on our game faces and rain gear!!
For a lot of you, last year was mentally a challenge as it was your first race ever.
I am guessing this year is proving to be just as much of a challenge knowing it's going to be a cold, wet day.
We can do this! Remember it's temporary.....the cold, the wet, the pain....but the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish and hear that beeping timing chip, that is yours to keep forever!
So, lets do this!!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Gonna be a wet run today. There's a 4.5 hour time limit, but man....I don't want to be out in this junk that long!!
As for tomorrows half marathon.....round 2 of this storm hits tomorrow morning. Gonna be a wet run tomorrow. Last running of this half = 2hr 3 min. Last half I ran = 2 hr 26 min. Tomorrow's time? Gonna go all out.
Have a great weekend.
Enjoy the weather where you are.
Hopefully you are not in CA.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Last weekend was great! Due to the holiday and furlough days, the kids had a 5 day weekend, and Brian had a 3 day weekend.
It started off with our Circuit Assembly, which of course was wonderful.
Monday we all slept in. A long run was due, but between being tired and our less than stellar weather, we were dragging our feet a bit. We agreed on one of our favorite runs and headed into the city towards Golden Gate Park. We were expecting cold weather, but much to our surprise we had very comfortable, partly sunny skies. We started at Ocean Beach, at the Beach Chalet and Windmill. The first half of this run is uphill. If you are familiar with the San Fran Marathon course, you are aware of the climb through Golden Gate park. We've run through here often and know what we are in for, but it always is a bit of a surprise after a few miles of how challenging it can be. We settled in for the climb and made our way to the polo field for a few laps. The girls had a blast on their bikes and took off to see how fast they could go on the track. It is banked on the corners, and there were some hard core cyclists out getting in their mileage on the track, so the girls had fun trying to keep up with the big dogs. Out the other side of the field, we ran down the middle of several streets that are closed to traffic. We ran by the museums, through the Rhododendron Garden, and eventually out the other end of GG park at Haight Street. Then the loop back begins, and the down hill! We swing through the Conservatory of Flowers, down the middle of more closed streets, and then up hill to Stow Lake and around it and the island in the middle. Eventually we made it back to the beach, and the kids flew kites and played in the sand for a bit. It is always such a great, challenging run! While it us uphill the first half, and down hill the second, each little off shoot we take is a maze of hills itself. There is so much to see and it's never the same twice in that park. You are always guaranteed to see something random, San-Fran-ish, hear neat music, see extreme Frisbee taking place in the woods, see bison, small model racing boats on the lakes, waterfalls, flowers, and tons and tons of people who are also out with their families running or biking. You have your choice of parks to stop and let the kids play at. We picked this one at the last minute (we usually don't stop at a park during this run, but felt like it today) and the girls had a blast riding down this hill. Here are a few pictures....