Sunday, July 31, 2011

San Fran Marathon, What a Beast!!

She is truly a beast!
She is relentless, aggressive, and determined to break you!!
She mocks you with long, slight inclines that leave you thinking, "hey, this isn't so bad!" Then, she gives you what you, in your tired haze, think is a "gift' in a long downhill. Now she knows she has you in her trap and it's time to go for the kill. You turn a corner and see unending uphill. You doubt yourself, you question your sanity, you wonder if you will make it to the end. She laughs, you can just sense it. You hear her laugh, and muster all you have to keep going.
Repeat this cycle over and over, for 26.2 miles.
She can sense your determination and ups her antics. She decided to switch Electrolyte drinks this year, knowing that most people train w/Gatorade, she offers you some sort of milky white drink. You drink, because to make it to the end, you have to. She laughs again, knowing it's only a matter of time now. And then it hits you. Stomach cramps. She laughs again, knowing what happens after the cramps. You give a little to her, letting her laugh as you run for the porta potties. This just angers you, and makes you more determined. What she doesn't know is that you came to her party knowing how she likes to play. You know how brutal she can be. What she doesn't know is that no matter what, no matter how dirty she decides to play, you will keep going. That is all you have to do for her to lose, and you to win. Just keep going.
Not only do you keep going, you have fun. You know you have the upper hand because you faced her w/o nerves or fear this go round. You know you can keep going, and you make the choice to enjoy every second of her tricks, adapt, re-evaluate goals as necessary, and keep going.
And we did.
I am learning that part of running long events is being adaptable. No race is the same twice. You have to be willing to roll with the hand you have on that day. Today, we ran a great race. For 23 miles, it was one of the best run marathons we have done. We held back early. We ran smart. We stayed on pace to come in under 5 hours right up till the last 3 miles. I kept looking at my watch saying "if I had any energy left at all, we could still pull this off", but I didn't have anything left, other than stomach cramps. Lets just say those new, powerful thrust inducing compression shorts were jet propelled from mile 16 on. I apologize to all runners behind me. There was a lot of just cranking up the music and letting the body do what it needed to do, then looking at the husband like "dude, really, that's gross". He was in his zone and didn't know I was implicating him.
So with 3 miles left, we adapted, re-evaluated goals, silently. We both new meeting our time goal was out the window, beating last years time was out the window. A win for today was finishing. We fought hard for it, believe me. The best part is....we got the same medal and foil blanket as every person that finished ahead of us. The same medal and foil blanket we would have gotten if we came in at 4 hours and change.
We ran smart, gave 110%, and we finished.
That's a score of 2 Latham's, 0 San Fran Beast.
That is the final score, there will not be another repeat. We like a beating, but we aren't stupid!
Brian needs the computer right now to order Chinese food, and that seems much more important to me right now than uploading that will have to wait till tomorrow.
If you were out there running today, we hope you had a great run!

My Calves Rock!

Made it through the night w/no calf cramps!!!!!!!

I have no excuses now...go hard or go hard, then go home??!!

It's 3 a.m., I'm pounding coffee and eating.

So excited and so ready!

Lets do this.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Runner Tracking Info

For those interested.....
to track a runner text RUN to 99731
You can download the San Fran Marathon Map My Fitness app, which will show you the entire course map including the bands, cheer stations, landmarks, and restaurants.
You need to enter in your runners bib #.

It will track runners as they cross the start, timing mats along the course, and the finish.

For those interested in tracking Brian and/or I (we stay together) our bib #'s are
Brian - 8959
Beth - 8960

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kodaks from the Expo

I am thinking I have a memory of this poster.......
Above is from today.....Below is a year ago Sunday.

Expo was great, not as crowded as last year, way less booths and people. We missed the photo booth, but made up for it by letting the kids play beer pong, Sports Basement style. Nice race shirts, nice goodie bag. We used our gift card and got Brian a nice SF Marathon sweatshirt.
Good times!!

Expo Day!!!!

I really can't believe how close we are.
Really?? It's been a year already??

I did the traditional pre marathon adding up of the training miles and was surprised. We put in 389 this go round.

For Long Beach International we put in 372
For Two Cities we put in 360
For Napa Valley we put in 415
For San Fran last year we put in 402

And here I did a post on how we trained less for this one than any other one. It really feels like we didn't put in that many miles. All previous training periods felt so much longer, harder, and more painful. I am really shocked we did 389.........and then I remember the difference. We normally train for 12 weeks. This time we trained for 16 weeks. So take that 389 and spread it out over 4 more weeks and there you have it...a not so difficult training go round!

Anyhow, we are heading into the Expo later today. Going to make an afternoon of it and hear some of the speakers, including Operation Jack's Sam. If you know me you know there is no such thing as enough race hype. I love it all, the booths, the free stuff, the loud music, the photo booth, the speakers, waiting in line for our shirts, bibs, goodie bags.....I love every second of it!!
Brian and I both have gift cards to spend....since we "referred" each other, we got a reward to spend on San Fran merchandise. Shouldn't be difficult. : )

Woo Hoo, let the race weekend begin!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Last Run....

This one is for my mom, by request.
The new shoes picture.


3 days 12 hours......see that ticker over there??
Heading out for our last pre-marathon run.
Last test of gear and a new play list.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Operation Jack

The thing that continues to amaze me is that for every marathon run, there are thousands of stories. Some truly do just run because they like to run, and it is as simple as that. But for thousands, there is a reason, a purpose, an inspiration, a story. Most of us run for a reason, and often as I am running, especially a marathon, I look around and wonder "what's their reason?"
I look at people and wonder what their story is, why are they out here doing this??

I have come across this site a few times over the past 3 years, and again today our paths crossed. I clicked a link on the San Fran Marathon page, and found one runners "why" for running San Fran.
If you have a minute, give it a read. It is worth it.

Operation Jack's Page


Behold.....the ultimate containment unit
Under Armour
Other stores carry it, but only Elite had my size in stock.
After wearing the same pair of compression shorts for the past 3 years, I would like to introduce you to my new friend.

oh man, so many jokes could be made about that tag..but I will refrain.

Other stores carry Under Armour, and compression shorts. I had been to Sports Basement and Sports Authority and tried on probably 20 pairs. None felt better or had more compression than my old pair...until I went to Elite and tried on these bad boys.
I love them! I had not seen them anywhere before. I have seen X technology in longer running tights, but not in a compression short.
Ran in them (actually I ran in my full marathon outfit for a test run) and could rave for days about my new found stability of my "pelvis and groin" and improved "stronger motion and more explosive propulsion".
: )

Above are some shots of the shopping bag your things go in. It is really nice, re-usable, and could convince you to turn pro and line up at the front of the race in nothing but your new sports bra and compression shorts.

Below is a picture of the entrance from the parking garage.

And here is a blurry picture from the outside of the store from the corner on California Blvd. This is just the top section of building, I managed to not get the whole entrance.
Alright, so I am so not a shopping snob. Downtown WC is one of those places I have to be in the right mindset to spend time there. I have to feel good, wear my "good clothes", and be having a good day to feel ok with walking around shopping down there. We had driven by here a few times and judging by the name and local, I figured it was just another snobby, overpriced athletic store to move into WC. Up to now, I have been totally content with Sports Basement and Sports Authority. Between the two, I can find what I am looking for.
Elite intrigued me, though. I googled to figure out what this whole Elite thing was about, and they made some claims that if true, would be really nice. Like carrying brands not found in other stores, and having a wider variety. And, they carry Ironman Brand. Supposedly employees have to go through training on the specific brands, and sports, and shoes....and it's preferred that they are sports enthusiasts themselves. So....we headed in.
WOW!! WE went in through the parking garage entrance and we were met by an employee at the door. She explained the layout of the store, how things were grouped. I asked about the Ironman section (yes, a little obsessed) and she took me right over....and then left me alone. I love that she didn't hover. The store itself is immaculate. The displays, racks, fitting rooms, bathrooms...everything is super clean and well organized and just really nice.
As for brands...they do indeed carry all those more "elite" brands that you see in magazines, but not in store. They have all the running brand shoes that Sports Basement has, BUT...they have all the clothes, too. Saucony, Brooks, Skirt Sports, Prana, Columbia, and so so many more. As for Nike...not a shoe fan, but I am a running skirt fan. It is hard to find Nike skirts in stores, but Elite had one of every single skirt I have ever seen online in the store, including tennis skirts. Also running dresses, which I have seen online, but again, never in a store. They also have the normal brands you see in store, like Adidas, Under Armour, and others, but more of it than you will see other places, a wider variety of gear.
Most surprising to me was the prices. I was expecting things to be way overpriced, and truthfully, after being in the store and realizing how great it is, I wouldn't have minded paying a few dollars more. Prices were the same as everywhere else! I payed the same for my bra, and actually the compression shorts were less than what I expected to pay. Considering a lot of the merchandise is made up of things you would normally have to buy on line and ship, they could actually be charging higher prices, but they are not.
On top of shoes and clothing, they had a small section of fuel, watches, glasses, and other sports accessories, which I didn't look at. And , although my focus was mainly on running things, they had a wide variety of sports represented - golf, tennis, soccer, and triathlon products were all there too. I mentioned above the bathrooms and fitting rooms, both were very clean, and large.

So overall, Elite is a WINNER!!! Five stars. Love it.
If you are from here and haven't' been in yet, go.
If you are going to be in the area, go.
Even if you have no plans on buying anything, it is an experience just to check it out.
SA Elite
Downtown Walnut Creek

1675 Olympic Blvd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Driving Directions

9:00 AM – 9:00 PM Mon-Sat
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM Sun

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Arggh People.....

As much as I want to blog about SAElite today, I have been dealing with other more important issues that have sapped all my reserved brainage and I have nothing left for you today.......maybe tomorrow. I am done thinking and typing for today. Instead, I leave you with this picture. If you are looking at it wondering," hhmm...I wonder if she posted that for me?".....Then yes, it probably was just for you. This is the Lululemon truck parked at the shop in Walnut Creek. It always makes me think, and this quote...well, I just love it, especially today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

And Date Night Went a Little Like This......

We started with coffee, because when one hasn't been sleeping, it's a smart thing to do
: )

We had a sitter from 4 to 9, but hit traffic going into the city and got here at 6. SB was our priority, and this one is our favorite one. It takes up 3 stories, you see 2, 1 is in the basement.
We ended up with new shoes, fuel, and a top I will start off wearing and then tie around the waist. Brian got a new pair of marathon shorts that have pockets across the back, but on this new pair some of the pockets on the side zip.
He also got a new pair of trail shoes that he's had an eye on.

I did some of these exercises, notice the flusher handle behind her head??

I will openly admit I am a cheap date, food and eating out is not really enjoyable to me. I can't really justify it and prefer to spend money on tangible things that aren't gone in 30 minutes. That, and any money I would have justified spending on dinner is now invested in Sports Basement stock.

These are my new Mizunos. Mizunos have always been my favorite. They revamped the shoes I ran in for years, and the new design did not agree with my feet, so I was very happy to find this new variety that fit perfectly.
I ran in them today and will get them properly broken in this week, and ready for their first real workout on Sunday!

We still had a few things to get that we didn't' find at SB, so Saturday we went to a new store in Walnut Creek, SA Elite. As in Sports Authority Elite.
A new favorite.
I will post pictures and a more thorough description tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marathon Date Night

Tonight is the night! Our second annual "San Fran Marathon Date Night". It'll start where all great date nights start, Sports Basement on Bryant. We will get the small, yummy, special things that make dates memorable....Gu, Sports Beans, Builder Bars. We will pick out special "unmentionables" socks and the best thing sports bras!! It will be amazing : )

Then, we will drive the course.....just in case we have forgotten the grade up to Golden Gate Bridge, or the interesting shops on Haight St, or how unexciting the industrial area in the last 3 miles is. We will be amazed at how "every day" things look today, while imagining how amazing it will be to once again run with thousands over the GG bridge and through GG Park.

Dinner...well, I am very high maintenance when it comes to dinner. Only the best for me......which, for me, has always meant making memories. One of my favorite memories from last years date night was take out Chinese from Safeway and the best carrot cake with an inch of cream cheese frosting on top from the Safeway bakery....which we will eat again this year, in the car, while driving the course.

I have looked forward to this date night for a whole year, and a second chance at running this marathon for a whole year, too. If I weren't so excited I may be terribly upset that I wrenched my back working out and have been IBP'ing and icing for 2 days...but it will be fine by next weekend. And if not, the beauty of last years experience is that I know I can run through some pretty rough stuff, and will be fine.

To the hubby - I love you! Last years San Fran was a bit symbolic of the year that came to follow it. You have been an amazing rock this past year, taking the lead, you have gotten, and continue to get, our family through some "pretty rough stuff". This years race will be 'special' for it's own set of reasons, but one thing remains (ok, more than one) the same. We will get through it together, rely on each other, and undoubtedly have a good laugh on the other side of it.
I love you and can't wait for our special date tonight!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Few From the 20

And we're off!!

About 1 mile in we pass this school. Pleasant Hill's Relay for Life was going on. We pulled off for a second to listen, watch, and take a few pictures. I'm thinking this was a very small Relay from my limited knowledge. All 4 of our local towns had/are having their own this year.

On our 18 miler I took my camera thinking if I took one pic every 10 minutes I would have one every mile and it would make things go by quicker. So for our 20 I thought the same thing...but ditched the camera after the first few there are no pics from the middle of the run.

These next ones are the last .5 mile of the 20. You usually see us running alongside the trail in the gravel, sometimes with cows in the open space behind us. Today they had cut the path in the open space. It is usually overgrown single track. We have collected a few snake skins from this section, and I am not comfortable running it due to the snakes. But, since they cut it back nice and open and clear, the girls and I headed up and ran the trail.

So at the end of the 20, I mistakenly chose to leave the nice, flat, gravel...and run on ankle breaking, tractor track, uphill, downhill trail.

The girls loved it!

Came back through the cow gate to the paved trail and down a steep hill to the road where the car is. It is funny how tired I was before going up on the trail, but just being on a new section and having to watch my footing completely made me forget how tired I was.

It was a good reminder for me of how much of dealing with fatigue is mental. I definitely need to work on distracting myself more and not allowing myself to focus on being tired or hurting....and remember that 99% of the time, I can (we can) always go further.

As much as I have quoted the quote on the bottom of our training schedule, we probably all have it memorized by now, but it's on the training schedule for a reason. I need reminded repeatedly!

"If you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."-Patton

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Need Sleep....

I am sooo behind on sleep it's not funny anymore!!
As far as training goes...all that is left for me to do is eat well, and sleep more....and I cant sleep.

In the past, I have dealt with insomnia off and on. It is predictable as to when it will strike if it's going to strike at all. Lets just say there are usually 2 nights a month that I don't sleep well, meaning I get maybe 3 hours of sleep. I know when they are coming, and it's only 2 nights, no biggie.

Tonight will be night 5. I thought after our long run I would sleep for sure, but was worse that night because my legs got a case of the twitchies and jumped around all night.

I have tried different pillows, cooling the room down, different blankets, pillows over my head, cutting back to only having a cup of coffee in the morning, not throughout the day/evening.....I've tried having a drink (the adult kind), which normally makes me sleepy......nothing has worked.

What's that?? "Stress" you say?? No. Not that we don't have any. I have always been an 'it is what it is and stressing out about things wont change anything' person. And, if you know me, if I was awake because I was stressed, I would get up and clean something : )

I don't really know how to explain the feeling, but it's like my body is exhausted, eyes baggy and droopy, but my mind is wide awake. Like feeling the most awake I have ever the same time I feel the most tired I have been. The more I think about it and try to figure it out, the more awake I am.

So today brought about a different plan of attack. Instead of dragging myself through another day exhausted....I decided to give myself a smack down and see if that doesn't get me some zzz's tonight.

Laundry, dishes, Jillian workout, lunch time run with Brian that included some fast and furious fartleks, and some Insanity Max Cardio. That's about 3 hours of intense sweat....and I am hoping that 3 hours will result in at least 5 of sleep...please!!
Heading out to cap off my smack down with some weed pulling.
Any sleep suggestions??

Monday, July 18, 2011

2011 District Convention

Here are a few of the hundreds taken......

There are hundreds, really, hundreds more HERE.