Monday, April 30, 2012

Jillian's Body Revolution - Week 5

I figure it has been way too long without a post that  fits the "Planks" part o the here you go-
I mentioned 6 weeks ago (I am in week 5, took the week after Diablo as a rest week) that I started Jillian's Body Revolution program. I think the post was something about not really having a desire to workout, but that I was just going to make myself do it and hope my mind would follow and the desire to do it would come back....ring a bell???

Well, it took all of half a week for the desire to arrive!! It was a good reminder that I do really, really love to workout!  I did not realize how much I missed it as a daily part of my life (well, 5 days o week at least).

My thoughts on the program -

I will admit that I am not normally a fan of a 30 minute workout.  It just doesn't feel long enough to me. I feel like I'm just getting going and then it's over.  The first 2 weeks I did feel this way.  I also felt like it honestly wasn't much of a workout. The "cardio" was all low impact.  Coming off of doing Insanity, this felt pretty lame.  However, you can modify everything, as in add weight, alter the cardio to more challenging exercises, whatever you need to do to make it feel challenging, you can do it, so I wasn't bothered too much, plus I knew following weeks would get harder.

So for the first phase (there are 3 phases total) you do workouts #1 and 2 for two weeks, then workouts 3 and 4 for 2 weeks.  There is also one cardio workout that you are supposed to do one day a week, however I added it to 3 workouts each week to get a longer total workout time in. There are 4 circuits in each workout, some you go through twice, some 3 times. There are 1 minute cardio intervals in between the circuits. You work the front of the body in workout, back of the body in the next workout.  That system stays the same through the entire program. As I mentioned the first two weeks were very basic, easy workouts.  Weeks 3 and 4 definitely were more difficult/intense, but very doable w/o needing breaks or stopping to rest or anything (not nearly as intense as Insanity).

I started Phase 2 this week.  Same set up, you so workouts # 5 and 6 for 2 weeks, then #'s 7 and 8 for 2 weeks before moving on to Phase 3.  So far, workouts 5 and 6 are much more intense than previous workouts.  I did #6 today and was pouring sweat for the first time w/this workout program.   There are a lot of complex, combination moves.  I am seeing variations of push ups that I have not seen anywhere before (I love me some push ups and thought I had seen them all : ) as well as sit up variations ( weighted lat pull over/sit ups??? hard to do), stork rows (one legged bent wide rows), chop lunges (lunges holding a heavy weight swinging it like you are chopping wood, twisting as you lunge)...that's just a few of the things in workout 5 and 6.  Fun stuff !!
Did I mention planks?? Lots and lots of plank variations. Even push ups with side planks at the top.

So there you go, that is what I have been doing for the past  5 weeks.  I really enjoy the program so far, I suspect the next jump in difficulty level is going to be brutal, but knowing it's going to get harder makes you not want to miss any of the current level workouts because you know they are setting you up to be able to get through whatever is coming next.

I will do another update when I move on to Phase 3, which will be week 9 of the program.
I did not link to the program, however there is a permanent link to it on the left side o the blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Too, Too Divalicious!

Lots of "looping and pulling through" the netting onto the ribbon.

It took about an hour from start to finish.

It's just netting tied on a long ribbon, it ties in the front.

She loves it!!
I think it would break all sorts of unwritten rules to run a Diva Run in anything other than a tutu!  I had a good idea of how to make these, but watched a few YouTube videos just to make sure I was thinking along the right lines.  It is super easy, just cutting netting into 27 inch strips and tying them on a long ribbon, which ties closed in the front.  The ribbon was in the dollar bin at the craft store, and the netting was $2.99 for a spool, and I used 3 spools on each, so it's really much cheaper then buying one, and you can make it the length you want, as full or flat as you want, and the color you want.  Can't beat that!! My little Diva's can't wait until next Saturday!

Question :

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Diablo 50k Recap (longest post ever!)

I hope you are all not thinking that we are disappointed with this race.
You were thinking that, weren't you??

Since we have never DNF'd, and we've been looking forward to this race for ...well, 5 months would make sense that we would be bummed by the day's events.

The thing is, dnf'ing is part of racing.  It happens. Even if you only enter events/distances that you have done a bazillion times, eventually the day will come. Unimaginable, I know, but it will.  Brian and I have always known this fact.  We also know that we like to take risks (in a relatively controlled environment) when it comes to testing the limits of what we can do.  We have always said that when the day comes, and we need to pull the plug, there will be no question that it is the right thing to do.  Not because something is hard, or uncomfortable, or we're just tired....but when there is no other choice but to be done for the day, we will know and be ok with it.  In a heat induced haze of dizziness, a heart beating out of my chest, burning skin, 1/3 bottle of water left with 1.7 miles to go to the half way point, I had that moment.  I knew I had to call it.

We're off! B is in black just over my shoulder.
                 We got to the parking lot right on time, got on the first bus that headed to the start of the 50k.  There was a lot of excitement in the air, and a few familiar faces.  We ended up sitting right in front of Catra Corbett, who is just amazing.  The ride to the start was beautiful as we got a glimpse of the kind of terrain we would be seeing during the day.  Once we arrived, we hit the potties, visited with other runners, and refilled our water bottles.  It was already warm at 8 a.m.  After Sam warning us to respect the course and the heat, we were off.

Sam, RD, half of Brazen
The first few miles are small rollers and flat, but lots of sun.  I was just watching us get closer to the hills were were heading towards, waiting to come around a corner and see the climb.  Not quite how it worked, but eventually we did start the first climb. I knew this was the longest climb of the course and we were patient making our way up it, but definitely wanted it to end.  It kept going and going and going and I kept telling myself "you knew this was long and steep and would take a long time, keep moving".  We caught up to a runner who was also doing his first 50k....actually....his first race ever of any kind.  Said his boss talked him into it. While I did not think that to be a brilliant choice, we talked to him and tried to encourage him/distract him so that he would keep moving. It seemed to be a last minute thing for him, he did not know the course or how far the race was. Scary, but thankfully he ended up dropping at the first station. (in his case, this was the best thing he could have done) Towards the top for me it was take a few steps, bend over with hands on knees....take a few more steps...etc.  I would have loved some shade.  Just some relief from the hot air, not so much on my skin, but breathing it felt like breathing in stale hot air while being under a blanket.  There was no breeze at all.

At the top we were able to pick it up and run again w/o much of a problem.  I was surprised that my legs felt so good and i had energy to pick up and run because coming up the hill I was so drained.  I badly wanted to pour water over my head, but I was also afraid of running out.  We kept running and made it to the 8 mile aid station in about 2.5 hours?? We refilled our bottles (we managed fluids well and both had about one sip left in each bottle when we got to the aid station), made good use of the bucket w/sponges dousing ourselves, stuffed my top with ice, drank, grabbed watermelon and 7up, and headed out.  About a mile before the aid station we passed Ernie (you'll see him below), and Alva was at the station when we arrived and left.  She looked ok and was just taking a minute to cool down.
I knew coming out of the station we started the 2cd of the 4 major climbs.  We ran the flats and hiked the hills.  This section was nearly completely exposed, and in no time the heat had drained me again. I wish I could describe the feeling, it's not tired muscles, just like moving  through stagnant hot air. We were climbing for a while, but eventually just taking a step forward was hard.  I was dizzy off and on, light headed almost the whole way up, and my heart just would not slow down.  As slowly as I was moving, it should have slowed down from what it was at our running pace.  Going into this race, Brian's major concern was my heart.  It does fine while running, long distances are no problem.  But anytime we run over 80-85 degrees, it goes through waves of loosing it's rhythm. (Its hard to describe what this feels like, but you know when it happens- random pattern, some really hard beats, some super soft, and sometimes a few seconds of nothing) Usually I stop running, cool down, it evens out with in a few seconds, and then we keep going.  (please dont' lecture me, I know)  Well, that was not happening, it kept rhythm, just super fast.

We were eating - half a cliff bar, salt pill every hour, FRS energy chews, and sour patch kids- and drinking - this was more tricky since we had 7 miles to go between stations for this section and no mile markers anywhere, it was a guessing game as to how far was left.  I drank what I needed to on the climb and figured I could make due w/less on the downhill/flats.  We had studied the course map for months and knew basically where we were based on the climb/downhills.

So somewhere near mile 14 I  knew that I needed to be done. It did not feel safe anymore, in fact there were quite a few times I was scared.  It was just the heat.  Everything that was happening was heat related.  We have ran further and  hiked harder hills before....but not in that heat. 
Me and Mrs. NTL at finish

There was no doubt we would make the cut off, we had around a mile left and about 45 minutes. It was downhill and flat, a few rollers but not major hills.  I started asking Brian if he would continue if I dropped at the next station (mile 15.6).  He said as long as he knew I was safe, he would keep going.  I told him with out a doubt I needed to be done.  I knew coming out of the 15.6 station there was another steep exposed hill, and there was just no way i was going to be able to climb it.  Once I told him I was done I slowed way down, walked everything, even the downhill/flat sections.  I told him a few times that if he was going to continue he needed to pick it up and get going, but after talking it out, he was done.   He said he was done, too, that he didnt' want to be stupid and end up getting into trouble.  He said he needed to be smart, was starting his new job on Tuesday, and didn't want to do anything to get in the way of that ( I assumed he meant a hospital stay but didnt' want to ask).

So that was it for our racing day.  We called it, slowed down, and walked it in.  I begged him to let me sit in a pond since we no longer were concerned about the cut off, but he was convinced there were leaches.  A runner came up from behind us, she was going to try and make the cut off but was out of water.  I told her we were done for the day and gave her my water bottle, and told her to go for it!!
the copter that came in for 13.1 runner.

We were at the bottom of a hill and heard a runner behind us at the top of the hill yelling down at us that a female runner #140 was down with heart trouble and needed medical. We knew who was behind us, there were only 2 females back there, and we were pretty sure we knew 140. We took a second swap water bottles around and the runner then yelled again to "RUN", so Brian took off running for the aid station.  I mean running, running, like a Kenyan, running.

I was alone for the first time on this run.  Every now and again I would hear something large in the bushes behind me. I was still overly warm, light headed, and not going to run.  If there was something, it was going to have a nice lunch.  I kept hearing it, and didnt' really care, i mean I was nervous, but not much I could do.  Eventually a horse came out of nowhere and I knew I was not going to be lunch.  About then the medical truck came up the trail, so I knew Brian had made it to the station. Eventually I did too, and found Brian wet, red, and sitting in a chair.  He had a headache and needed to get cooled down.

There were 3 runners there, 2 had made the cut off but dropped anyhow, the the runner who I sent our water bottle with, she ended up missing the cut off by a few minutes.  So then we just sat and waited for the runners left out on the course to make it in, and for medical to bring in runner 140.  She ended up being ok, she also has heart issues and the heat got to her.    A highlight for me was getting to ride back to the finish with Ernie.  We see him at nearly every Brazen race we have done and also at a Coastal run or two, and on NTL's blog.  I introduced myself before the race, and we shared a ride when our day was done.  Such a neat, happy guy. i think he said he just turned 65?? His story is really amazing, he's lost over 300 lbs, had a few reconstruction surgeries, has lost half his foot, is diabetic....and just so full of joy and zest for life!  He really is amazing, and I really enjoyed getting a chance to chat with him.
Jasmin, RD, other half of Brazen
Back at the finish, we were greeted right away by Jasmin who made sure we had our goodies and said nice things and tried to take the sting out of the day a bit.   We visited and chatted, and broke the news to NTL who greeted me with a "what the he#$??", a smile and a hug....we will get it done next year!!  Mrs. NTL rounded up medals for Brian and I and a few others which we had engraved with 'First DNF'.  It was not the day we planned, but a first and to be remembered!!  We watched the 50kers come in, including a bro from our hall, and then we called it a day.

As always, thank you to Brazen for having created an environment where people like us can venture into longer distances without fear of failure or judgement!!  Brazen celebrates every runner, from the youngest 5ker, to the elite 50kers, to those of us who have a less than ideal day.
Outback Steakhouse man
This race, as every Brazen race is, was very well organized.  Everything was top notch, quality, orderly, on time - from packet pick up, to parking, to potties, to really nice tour buses to the start, to the food, shirt, medal, engraving, bag check, aid stations, volunteers......there was not a glitch anywhere in the system.
50k finishers, and NTL w/Hoover in the back.

Thanks as well to Save Mount Diablo for all they do, and all they did on race day.  To the radio guys...thank you!! Thank you for the ride back to the finish area.   I don't know who to thank for having partnered with Outback Steakhouse for the finish area food, but thank you, too!!

 I leave you with this - we saw the movie Chimpanzee last night.  One of the film makers said "there are easier jobs to have, but they are not nearly as fun".......
There are easier, less challenging hobbies Brian and I could have, but we would not have nearly as much fun!

Here's to many years of adventures and future dnf's to come!!

(Pictures - some are mine, some are from Brazen, and some are from NTL's site)

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Picture From the Trail

Just before the first aid station at mile 8.2

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No Matter What, Today was Epic!

85-90 degrees, mostly zero shade, 15.6 miles, a few thousand feet (around 4 thousand, dont have official elevation stats yet) of climbing .  No shame in that!!  At least we did not have the medi vac called out for us as some of the 13.1 runners did : )  It was a rough, rough day out there.  Congrats to all those who did finish!!
Full post to come.

It's The Morning of....

Our first Ultra!!!  A day I'm sure we will remember forever, no matter how it plays out!!

If our past running history is any indication of how things will go....we will be saying "never again will I do that!" tonight, and by Monday we will be hunting down our next 50k : )

Time to getter done!!
Here's to getting Sam and Jasmin that 100% zero DNF rate they are after this year!
Slow and steady, all day long!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strange Things are Happening....

Seriously??? Are these shirts really OURS???  Never in a million years would I have dreamed WE would ever attempt a 50k.  Never. Ever.
Yet, today WE found ourselves going to Forward Motion to pick up OUR 50k race packets, OUR 50k bibs, and OUR 50k shirts. So surreal!!
Did we really get an email of last minute 50k instructions?  Did I just read down the list of 50k entrants and see OUR names?? (on the same entrant list as Mark Tanaka??WHAT??)
Was The Beast just at my house planning out which aid station to be at, and what to have in our "needs" bag at that station??(Does that mean WE have a "crew"??) Do WE really have a pacer (thank you, Mr. Beast)??  

There are a number of people going out of their way to spend a beautiful Saturday making sure we get through this thing and across the finish line. You have no idea how much it means to us!! To know there will be friends at the finish of this thing....priceless.  I'm sure we will be drawing on that knowledge at various points during the day to keep us motivated and moving towards that finish! There have been a few of you out there who have taken the time to give me input and answer questions over the past few months, no matter how silly and "newbie" they may have been.  Without being able to shoot an email and tap into that knowledge, we would not have had the nerve to register for this thing.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best. Day. Ever.

Well, it turns out that IT was the ONE!!!

He got the call at the meeting for service this morning.  Funny how things work.
(it was pretty neat to have everyone there while he got the call, we were all holding our breath while he went outside to take the call, and celebrated the good news!)

If I could hand pick a job for my adorably nerdy husband, this would be it.

Combined science, libraries, publishing, and analyzing data...wallah, you have PLos.

Public Library of Science, located  here
Could not be more perfect. Back to riding his bike to BART, working in the city, right off Embarcadero, which is runner heaven in the city.  I am so excited for him!!! This was the one he really, really wanted of the ones that have been in the works, it was first choice by far!!  He is back to the grind next Tuesday!

You know what this means??  It means we will get to see how much faster we will run this weekend w/o the weight of the world on our shoulders!  I am so looking forward to a great day out on the trail, being happy,excited, sunburned, and non-stressed!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Runs Like These Are Why I Run

Got Runners??

I hope the kids remember these amazing Sunday mornings when they are older!

The sky was really that blue, and the mustard was really that yellow!

Looking back down the road, this road dead ends at the fence of our back yard.

I took this one because of the poppies in the middle of the trail, but it also shows my favorite perspective while running. I love spending miles situated right about here, listening to them talking about random things.
Got "Technical"??

I need to start an "I am a trail runner" album for the girls. I love theses shots.

I took the jogger and Sophie and we headed back towards home while Em and Brian headed out another mile, but not before my favorite section.....I think these cows have the sweetest pasture in all of CA. Talk about happy cows, I would happily pitch a tent in that field, it's so green and the sky is so blue!! This herd had a ton of calves this year, and they all gave us some tude while we ran by.
He was totally giving us the stink eye! I was thinking about jumping in his trough though.

This calf is a Crossfit junkie, you can just tell by that cocky stance and those muscles. He was throwing a log end over end up that hill behind him right before I took this picture. Seriously.

Meeting of the minds.

They are "overly rested" and in for a shock to their system in 6 days!
Today though, they had a great run with the family!!