Friday, October 30, 2009

Puddle of Tears

Really, I am not one to sit on the pity pot.  I run because I love it.  I run because I love how it makes me feel.  I run because it affords me to eat and drink pretty much what I like.  But yesterday, I sat on my pity pot. 

I waited for Ari to get home from work so he could hit the road with me.  I could tell I needed a bit of motivation and pep while I ran.  This should have been the first sign that I probably should have just taken a rest day.  But, by God, I have miles to get done!  So I told myself to suck it up and run.  We put Lilly in here bike carrier and headed out.  Right away I was  I was again, trying to find my pace and my form but it wasn't falling into place.  I was struggling to breathe and relax and all the while I was starting to panic!  Then the internal dialogue really started up.  "Why are you worried? Just run! Don't woss out!"  But I couldn't turn that off and I couldn't find my groove. 

By mile two, at 15:30, I.was.done.  I just started to cry!  Actually, hyperventilate is more like it.  I just started sobbing!  I couldn't move anymore!  I didn't want to run!  And that was making me mad at myself!  Why wouldn't I want to run? I LOVE TO RUN!  But I didn't want to be out there!  And it was just beautiful out!  Not much wind, perfect temps.  I just kept sobbing and Ari kept asking me, "what's wrong, Babe?"  And through my tears and sobs I told him I didn't know.  All I knew was that I didn't want to run.  That I was feeling like a failure.  And even the thought of having to run the two miles back home was daunting.  So I sobbed on Santa Teresa Blvd., a six lane road, with cars wizzing by on their evening commute. 

After about five mins of tears and catching my breath, I decided to try to run home.  By this time though, Lilly was done.  So Ari went ahead of me and got home to let Lills out.  I "jogged" home.  I sat on my pity pot, whipping my tears away as I ran.  Thank God I had sunglasses on, or everyone in my neighborhood would have seen what a mess I was.  Ari was great.  He could tell I wasn't wanting to run and that I just couldn't either.  He didn't push.  He just said let's head home and take Lilly to dogpark and enjoy the weather.  By the time I got home, Ari had everything put away and the car already to go.  I had pretty much stopped crying by this time, but I still felt like crap.

I just don't know what happened.  All week I haven't been feeling it.  Which is so strange considering how well I did last weekend.  I have a race tomorrow, too.  I am meeting up with Aron and Amy and I am really excited.  But now I am nervous.  I haven't been nervous for a race in a long time.  I am afraid that what happened yesterday could be a repeat for tomorrow.

We are all packed.  We are staying the night in Santa Rosa.  I had to pack out bags last night and this morning so that we could leave right after work.  If you hadn't heard, the Bay Bridge here in the Bay Area has been closed for three days and it is putting a damper on traffic.  So what would normally take about 2 hours to get to, will probably take an additional 1.5 hours.  That's okay, I will let Ari drive and I will set back and relax.  We are gonna try to scope out an Indian food restaurant up there and hit the sack early.  We have to be at the busses by 5:30, so another early Saturday.

I have a feeling that everything will fall into place tomorrow.  I just need to let go of some of the pressure I have put on myself.  I have done the work; I know it's in me.  I have a great base of miles and for the most part things have really been falling into place.  Ari did point out one thing yesterday.  I have been really successful in my runs because I have been doing them in the morning.  I have usually always been an afternoon runner.  But lately I have been doing better in the morning.  He pointed out that by the time I hit the road yesterday, I had already been going 12 hours.  I was asking a lot of my body and my head at that hour.  I think I need to suck it up and start running before work - something I have never done before.  Next week will be a trial run.  Maybe not the smartest week to try it with Fresno that following Sunday, but I also know that I can't have another craptastic week of running like I did this week.

Thanks for listening to me as I sit on my pity pot and over think all that I am doing.  I need to let go and let myself do what it knows how to already do.   Big shout-out to all the peeps racing this weekend!  Including Tara, who is doing the NY Marathon!  And Amanda, the RedHead and B.o.B.  who all have a half's for Halloween! Sooo cool!  I will hopefully have my race recap from Saturday up sometime on Sunday.  I am doing nothing on Sunday!  I am hitting up Mass and then heading home for a NAP!  Have an awesome weekend peeps!
Happy Running!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I know that this is not a new topic for any runner.  We are all super careful especially when we have races in the near future.  But, me on the other hand, I have noticed that I may be taking this a little too far to the extreme! Yes, this may be an over-share, but come on, we all have our "quirks!"

Example one:  I am a tax accountant.  *let the jokes begin*  And I touch people's grubby paperwork all day!  God knows what they are doing while they are compiling all their 1099's, W-2's and interest statements!  I can only imagine!  Plus, then I have to shake their hands when they come to my office and let them breathe all over me and my desk!  And it's even worst when I have to go their office!  I get so worried and don't want to touch a thing!  The result of all of this, I wash my hands a million times a day!  No, it's note quite OCD yet.  Okay, maybe it is.  But a girl has to protect herself!  I've spent a ton of money on race fees!

Example two: The bathroom we have at work is shared with the office next door.  It is in a common lobby.  This means that not only do the urchins next door have access to it (it's unisex, too!) but so do all my lovely clients and joe-shmos who come in off the street!  I literally put down two ass-gaskets.   The other weird thing I do, don't laugh, is that I pull the toilet paper off that has been exposed - at least the first 5 sheets.  Then I use the "fresh" ones behind it.  Yes, I know.  A bit over the top.  But you really have to see some of my office mates, and again, the urchins in the next office over to really appreciate this.  I also wash my hands (at least 30 seconds), turn off the faucet with the paper towels and then open the door with the same paper towl so that I don't have to touch a thing!

Example three: I have taken to not touching any public door handles at all costs.  I waited yesterday at Sbux for someone to come in ahead of me so that I didn't have to touch the handles! And if I do, I head to the bathroom and wash my hands and then use the paper towel to open it on my way out.  Okay, okay.  This one is bad! I know! But I am on high alert here people!  I swear I can hear everyone who sniffles, sneezes or coughs within a one mile radius!  I have a big race on the 8th of November, I am hoping to BQ.  And so help me, if I am sick!  Heads will be rolling!

I have been sucking down Emergen-C* like no-one's business and really trying to get to bed extra early.  Last night though, I had to hit the park for a run.  It's been cold and windy here, but I really couldn't do the dreadmill one more day!  I had run on it on Monday and Tuesday because of the wind, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it yesterday.  So I braved the wind and had my hubbs head out with me. 

It was an awful run.  I just couldn't find my groove what-so-ever.  I was cold, it was windy, my stomach was in knots, and everything was just off.  I think I maybe had one mile total of zen running.  The other 5 miles were just a dread.  I should have just stayed in!
6 miles 46:30  7:45/mi 

Monday and Tuesday I hit the treadmill and got some recovery miles in.  It was probably a good thing I stayed in those days, as my legs have just been tired this week.  After Sunday's race I haven't been feeling 100%.  I think it is the combination of all this racing and the cold finally settling in.
Monday 6 miles 48:12  8:01/mi
Tuesday 10 miles 1:18:21  7:51/mi

It was really just get the miles down this week.  I am trying to get one more long run in tonight.  Probably shooting for a 20 miler.  I may start on my dreadmill and then head out.  I don't think I should do any kind of taper for nex week, but we'll see how my legs feel after Saturday.  The race on Saturday has some pretty crazy rolling hills.  I maybe a little chewed up.

All I keep dreaming about is the Fresno marathon.  After yesterday's run I was having serious doubts.  But my hubbs reminded me,  I do really well in race settings.  And I also do really well when I know what the end will look like.  On my training runs, sometimes I can't mentally wrap myself around any of that.  I really need to work on that!

Hope everyone has an awesome Thursday!  I love Thursday's, you can almost taste Friday!
I will leave you a picture of my baby girl Lilly.  Monday was her 5th birthday and we just had to celebrate.  (Yes, all you peeps with kids.  This is what crazy dog people do when they don't have kids yet! Cut us some slack! Enjoy!)

Happy Running peeps!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I did it!  I just signed up for the Fresno Marathon! OMG!  I am excited and nervous all at the same time!  I even booked a room in lovely downtown Fresno!  I'm all in baby!  I have a lot of work to do now!

Another Racing Weekend in the Books!

Why do weekends have to go by sooo fast?  I am always in a funk come Sunday afternoon, remembering how awesome I felt leaving work on Friday afternoon, thinking I had all the time in the world! Then Sunday afternoon comes and I am deflated.  Oh well, I am thankful for my job and my time off, just always wish it was longer!

I had an awesome weekend!  I wasn't able to get everything done that I wanted to, though.  My brother and my nephew decided to come down from Sacramento on Saturday and spend the weekend with us while his wife was away on a girly weekend.  Even though they are really quite close, about an hour and a half away, we don't get to see them too often as my brother travels a ton for work.  His little visit put a kink in my movie plans, so I wasn't able to see Paranormal Activity, but I was happy to spend the Saturday afternoon with everyone.  I got up early Saturday, got my hair cut and my nails done then had lunch with the fam.  That afternoon I ran by the expo to pick up my bib and chip.  This was the most disorganized race expo I have ever been to!  No body knew where anything was and by the time I got there, they were out of dropbags!  Needless to say, I grabbed my bib, chip and got the hell out of there.  I was a bit worried by the expo, hoping that the disorganization wouldn't flow over to race day.  By 5 o'clock, my hubbs and I were hitting up our Indian food restaurant and heading home for an early bed time.

Sunday was just awesome.  I had the Silicon Valley Marathon on my schedule.  When I woke up Sunday I actually wasn't really feeling like racing.  I almost felt burnt out.  I had had a great 8 mile speed session on Friday and Sunday a great 5 miler and when I woke up on Sunday, that 13.1 mile race just sounded exhausting.  But I do love me a race, and my fam was planning on meeting me at the finish so I couldn't let them down.  My bro was excited as seeing me race, as he hasn't had the chance yet!  My hubbs had decided to ride his bike next to me to ensure that I could hydrate and eat properly during this race.  The plan was to race at a 7:45 pace, quite a bit faster than my needed 8:20 for my BQ.  I have been running that pace for the past few weeks with no probs and often dipping into the low 7 min mile range.  I knew I could do it, and with him along side me just made me more confident.

The race started in downtown San Jose and ended up at a high school in Los Gatos.  We had arrived about an hour before the race start so that I could get all my pre-race rituals out of the way.  My dad came along so that he could take the car to the finish and meet us so we could get the bike back.  We were also early enough to see them "attempt" to put up the race banner that blows up and everyone runs under.  Well, they couldn't get it up and decided to forgo that little race item.  Ha!  I could see already that the disorganization was falling over to race day.  They had plenty of portta potties and some pre-race drinks.  And before we knew it I was at the start line.  The start was quite a let down.  They played the national anthem off a boom box and then just counted down from 5 to "Go!"  Yes, you have that right, no gun or anything!  Just a guy who said, go!  This race felt like the 5K I ran last week, only this was supposed to be a big production with 3,000 runners!

They had a full and half marathon for race day.  Of course we all started together.  The half was a one way ticked to the high school and the full looped back the same way to the finish.  I started out very strong.  My first mile was 7:34, and my second mile I hit at 15:30, followed by my 3rd mile at 22:20.  I was going out a bit fast and my hubbs quickly set me back to my pace.  By the third mile it was pretty well strung out with the runners and he had no problem keeping me paced.  Miles 4 and 5 were in the 7:40 range.  Then all of a sudden, I had tummy probs!  I hadn't had these in forever!  I was so mad!  I was trying to run through them, but I knew I couldn't.  I had to stop.  At the mile 6 water station they had a portta potty and I hit it up.  I was soooo mad!  I felt so defeated!  I didn't want to come out and finish, I know crazy!  I was shooting for a 1:40 finish and I knew that just went out the window.  When I came out I felt like I had no energy.  I started running 8 min miles and contemplated telling my hubbs I was done.  Somehow, I kept going.  And within a 1/2 mile my hubbs had me back at a 7:15 pace and I was back in it.  I was trying to do the math in my head to see how I could make those 2 or 3 mins but I was worried.  I couldn't keep that 7:15 pace for that long.

By mile 8, I was back at 7:35's through 10.  I had hit mile 8 at 1:03:03 which was my goal.  Side note, from mile 6 on, it is pretty much up hill.  We hit the Los Gatos Creek trail going south, and anyone who knows this trail knows this is the hardest direction.  I was loosing momentum on the hills, dropping to 8 min miles and trying to get back to 7:30's at the top.  Again, in this course, just because you go up doesn't mean you go down.  The hills were killing my pace.  But my hubbs kept me on track and I was feeling pretty good when we finally hit mile 12.  Mile 12 we had a 1/2 mile climb up then all down hill to the track at the high school.  I was almost all alone at this point, only one other runner with me.  I had managed to pick off the peeps I was originally with before my potty break wich made me feel awesome and give me the final push.  I saw the track, which was the same ending of the Jungle Run I had done back in July and thought that was the end.  But it wasn't!  I had done a 6:30 pace around that track only to find out they had us loop onto the football field grass to finish the last .10!  I was mad! I lost all my stamina on that damn grass!  But I could hear my fam and the cowbells and ran across that finish strong!  My garmin said 13.15 miles, 1:43:30 and my official chip time managed to be 1:43:26!

13.1 miles 1:43:26  7:51/mile pace 
I was 82nd overall, 14th female finisher, and 3rd in my age group!  I won a fuel belt! Ha!

I was actually quite happy with my time considering I had kept up pretty well after that potty break.  I kept thinking about if I hadn't stopped what my time would have been.  I think it was the coffee that morning.  I had a cup while we were waiting around before the start, something I never do - and now will never do AGAIN!  I honestly could have kept going another 13.1 miles.  My legs felt great, I wasn't tired and I knew I could have knocked out at BQ if I had done the full seeing how the back to the finish was all downhill.  Oh well.  It was a great race.  Another side note...there was no water at the finish!  Do you believe that!

It was sooo nice to see my fam at the end!  They were great supporters but no one managed to remember a camera!  After I grabbed a two bananans we got in the car and headed back to down town for my award.  First we stopped at Peet's and all got a cup of coffee and a muffin!  That muffin and coffee tasted sooo good!

The finish line for the full marathon was sad, too.  Very un-organized, too.  I felt bad for the finishers...they just handed out some bottled gatorade, a few bagels and bananas.  Very un-climatic.  We didn't stick around there too long and then headed home. 

At the finish for the Full - taken on my Blackberry phone!

At least we're smiling!

My hubbs did a great job!  He is awesome! He has big plans for me with CIM, and my brother called him yesterday my very own Bella Koroli! (sp?)  You know, that crazy gymnastic coach from the 90's?  Hahaha!  Well, it was funny then! 

By yesterday evening, my running group posted a marathon in Fresno.  Yes, Fresno.  It looks pretty good, it's very FLAT and looks well organized.  It's on Nov. 8.  I think I should do it, but my coach, a.k.a. my hubbs, thinks I should just focus on CIM.  I am worried though.  I am only giving myself one shot at a BQ with CIM.  I think that I may need to give myself two.  Fresno is a BQer, too.  I am going to decide today.  I really want to give it a shot.  If I run like I did Sunday, my second half I would only have to keep like an 8:40 pace and still BQ!  I know I can do it!  And it would take the pressure off CIM.  I have to say though, I was dreaming about that Fresno race all night.  Decisions, decisions.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Sorry this was soo long!  Lots to get in there!  I have an easy 6 mile recovery run on the books.  And next weekend I have the Heldsburg Wine Country Half Marathon.  Very excited about that!  Wine at the finish!
Happy Running!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Busy Weekend!

I have yet, another, race this weekend.  Don't get me wrong, I love racing.  But these early Sunday morning wake-up calls are starting to weight on me.  Plus, I haven't been to Mass in over a month.  Why do they have marathon's on Sunday's?  I have never understood this?  I mean, you push yourself to the limits one day, and then have to go to work the next?  Why don't they do them on Saturday's and give people an extra day of recuperating?  I just don't get it.  Either way, I have the Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon & Half Marathon this Sunday.  The start time is 7 a.m., which I really appreciate, and the good thing is it starts just downtown and is only about a 15 minute drive for us.  I won't be having to wake at 3 a.m. for this one!
It is an out and back for the marathoners and a one way shot to Los Gatos for us halfer's.  I am a bit unhappy about the one way ticket for me, as I think we have to go back to the start, via bus they provide, to gather all of our race goodies.  My hubbs is going to ride his bike along side of me and my dad is going to meet us at the end to load up everything and head back to downtown.  I want my hubbs next to me for this one so that I can really work on pace and form and kick.  Plus, I can have my water when I want it - a big plus when you have your own running sherpa!  It seems like a pretty flat course, with just a few "hills," so that will be good news for my quads, which still after one rest day are quite tight.

Besides the race on Saturday, I am actually going to get my hair cut finally.  I am dying here with it so long and I really need some pampering.  After the hair cut, I am going to run over to the Expo, get my bib and shirt then meet my mamma to get manicures and pedicures.  I haven't had much time to spend with the fam lately.  We have all been very busy so this will be a really nice time to spend with her.  She is one of my biggest fans, one of my BFF's, and I always cherish the time we spend together. 

After the haircut, Expo and nails, the hubbs and I are going to have an early dinner and go and see a movie!  This is monumental people!  We never go see movies!  We always make an excuse and stay home and watch something On Demand instead.  You know that cute pup in the pic from my previous post? Well she is the reason we always stay home.  How can you leave that cute face just to go see some overpriced movie?  It's funny; this is the reason we don't have kids yet.  We don't want to be tied down and not be able to do the things we want to do.  But we usually prefer to stay home and cuddle with our baby girl.  Yes cheesy, I didn't say it wasn't.  But there is an awesome Halloween movie out right now, Paranormal Activity, that I am dying to see!  It is being reviewed as wicked scary, and normally I am not into scary, but this sounds sooo good!  One friend of mine who went to see it said grown men were walking out of the theater saying, "I can't do this anymore!"  I am thrilled.   So far that is the plan, dinner, movie, but I am not holding my breath, that cute little Lilly face may just keep us in and we will again wait for this one to hit On Demand, too!

I didn't do a rest day on Wednesday, I was itching to try out my new shoes.  So instead I decided to give it a shot and run in the new kicks instead.  And they did not disappoint!  They are springy and yet very stable and light.  I really like them.  The shoes were good, but my quads were disappointed in me.  I made it 9 miles.  I had 7 on the books, and tried to make up for the lost miles from Tuesday.  They were a hard 9 miles but I was glad I got out there and enjoyed my new shoes.
9 miles 1:10:50  7:52/mi pace.

Yesterday I actually took my running rest day and worked out that core!  I did an ab video from the On Demand section and it kicked my butt!  I planked, crunched, twisted and did push-ups.  I missed this part of exercising and have decided to make sure that I do 20 mins. of core everyday before I head out for my run.  It may be hard to find that extra time, but I know that it will pay off ten-fold come race day in December.

To all you peeps running and racing this weekend, enjoy it and good luck!  I am soooo glad it's Friday, even if my weekend is just a busy as my week!
Happy Running!

BTW, thank you to all my readers who informed me of the very early start for the walkers in last week's Nike Women's Marathon.  I was not really angry or upset, just more curious and couldn't understand how they could have possibly got that far ahead of me.  Thanks for clearing it up! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Kicks and A Bit Sore

So, when I said I wasn't sore on Monday, I guess I was lying.  On Monday, I took the day off to recuperate and clean some bathrooms.  But I also managed to get in a five mile recovery run - after I wrote my Monday post!  I went out into the drizzle and right away my legs felt like led.  I had no idea the toll those hills took on me!  Every step felt like I had five pound ankle weights on them.  Seriously though, until I walked out the door for that run, my legs had felt great.  I had worn my compression socks for almost 24 hours.  It wasn't my calves that were killing me, it was my quads!  I managed to finish the run at a decent pace and head home to roll, roll, and roll some more.
5 miles 39:30 7:54/mi pace
I was able to keep my pace pretty even and other than my legs feeling like LED, I finished the run and headed home for my date with my bathrooms.

Tuesday when I got home I waited for my hubbs to come home and hit the bike with me.  He hasn't had a chance to ride along side of me for a few weeks and I was really looking forward to it.  He is a great coach for me; he counts off my splits, reminds me of my form and breathing, and of course, in all his wonderful sherpa duties, carries my water!  I love that!  But right away my legs were tired again!  It was so frustrating because I hadn't felt it all day when I was at work, and I even wore heels yesterday.  I had on the schedule 8 miles.  For the first time in I can't even remember how long, I couldn't finish my scheduled miles.  We started our route, had an overpass hill to climb, started picking off my miles, but then I hit mile 3.5 and my right quad just froze up.  I couldn't take a step without it feeling just plain awful.  We were at least 2.5 miles away from home still, too.  So Ari decided he would give the run home a chance and we switched.  This sounded great to me, but I forgot one minor detail.  We had Lilly our puppy in the bike cruiser attached to his bike.  This adds almost 60 pounds!  I was struggling to keep up with him, which is pretty sad considering Ari runs an 9+ min mile.  I lasted about 1 mile on the bike and told him lets switch back.  I wasn't ready to throw the towel in just yet, and we switched back.  Needless to say Ari was happy to switch - he is a biker, not a runner.
Back on the road, my legs were still heavy, but not cramping.  That little brick workout was brutal!  I managed to finish up my run at a really decent pace.  In fact, my last .4 miles I rocked out a 7 min mile pace.  I just wanted to finish.  I was soooo bumed, so defeated.  I hadn't finished what I wanted to start.  The weather was beautiful and I couldn't manage an extra 3 miles.  Needless to say, that when we got home I rolled, rolled, and rolled some more.  I slapped on some biofreeze and we took Lilly to the dogpark for being such a good girl on the back of the bike.
5 miles 38:51  7:46 pace

This is Lilly in her bike cruiser.  Not her favorite place to be but she tolerates it!

I was really bumbed too, when I got home from work and saw that our UPS guy hadn't dropped off my new shoes yet.  I ordered some new kicks from Road Runner Sports with their big shoe sale and was anxious to try them out.  I am a real shoe whore right now.  I now have 5 pairs I am alternating in.  I just love new running shoes and I love switching them up everyday.  I have alway loved, loved shoes.  But it's said now, I am more excited to spend money on new running shoes instead of the lastes cutest new pair for Franco Sartos.  Ah, such the life of the runner.

My new shoes.  Nike Women's Air Max Moto 7- the Lance Armstrong version
I am not a huge fan of Lance, but I loved the yellow and you can't go wrong with your shoes saying LIVESTRONG.

Today I think will be a rest day.  I haven't had one in seven days.  And with my quad still tight and heavy, I think it would be best to cross train a bit.  I think I will hit the bike and work on my core.  I really need to get back to my usual sit-ups and push-ups.  I have neglected them with all my racing lately and I know that they will only help me more when I am tackling CIM for 26.2 miles in December.

Enjoy your Wednesday peeps, it's hump day!
Happy Running! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Confidence Boosters and Race Reports!

Wow! That is all I can say at this moment.  It was a busy, fast weekend where I raced my heart out and enjoyed every second.  I have two race reports and recaps, so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Saturday I ran in my very first 5K ever!  The little town about 10 mins away from us called Campbell had their 2nd Annual Octoberfest 5K.  I had originally signed up for this race months ago because it was one of the few weekends in October where I didn't have a marathon or half marathon scheduled.  Well, that all changed on Wednesday last week when I was offered a bib to run in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in SF this Sunday. I was excited as I have heard many of my bloggy friends lately talking about their own 5K stories. But also nervous because I have never raced two days in a row.  Usually I take it easy the day before a half or a full marathon, if anything I run a light run, not a race.   But since I had already signed up and payed my $20 bucks I figured I just go out and enjoy a fun Saturday morning run.
The race was really well organized with bannanas and Gatorade at the beginning.  It was a small turnout, about 400 - 450 racers, quite small to what I am used to.  The temps were perfect and I met up with a fellow runner in my running group to enjoy it.  My friend Kathy and I were just standing around waiting and talking for the race to begin when all of a sudden they annouced 5 mins till gun time.  So we meandered over to the start and the next thing we know the gun went off!  We looked at each other and said, "see you at the finish!"  There were no timing chips, just the clock.  It was quite crowded with lots of walkers and kids joining the race.  They had us on the Los Gatos Creek tail, which is a two lane running/biking lane - not very wide.  Right away I knew that I wasn't going to be breaking any records today and just took off bobbing and weaving my way through the crowd. 
The path was flat until the one mile mark when we hit a hill and went up for about 30 seconds, the only hill in the race.  By this time I had broken away from the walkers and kids and was pacing with a young kid who looked to be in high school.  He and I ran together the whole race pretty much.  I kept looking down at my watch and seeing 7:45's.  Not a bad pace, and I was holding it well.  It was an out and back and before I knew it we were crossing the finish line.  The clock said 23:45.  I knew I had about a 15-30 second delay with the clock as I did not cross the line right away.  I was one of the first across the line, but was sure that there had to be more who had crossed before me seeing how my time wasn't all that quick. 
My friend Kathy came across in about 27 mins and we just hung out afterwards talking and enjoying the free Starbucks coffee.  About 20 mins later they started to do the awards ceremony.  I was sure I wasn't up for anything but we decided to stick around and congradulate the winners.  When they started to spout off the female winners in the 20-29 age group I was immedietly blown away.  Third place female came in at 25:xx.  Hmmm, I thought to myself, "I was faster than that?"  Second place female, 24:xx.  What?  That couldn't be?  My friend Kathy said, "I think you're first!"  I told her no way!  Not with my time!  Then they said, "And the first place finisher, women 20-29 is Katherine in a time of 23:47!"  OMG! I couldn't believe it!  I started laughing histarically!  Kathy was so excited and pushed me to the front! Hahaha!  I have never won ANYTHING in my life!  Nothing!  And here I was, first place finisher in a tough age group with a medal around my neck!  I was so excited!  Yes, it was a dinky neighborhood race, but I DID come in first!  Along with my cheesy medal, I also got a $25 gift certificate to my favorite sports store, Sports Basement!  I was so stoked!  I had really just gone out there to have a fun run and I ended up winning!  My friend Kathy got third place for her age group of 50-59.  I was really proud of her, too!  She is just getting back to running after injuring her back a year ago.  Great job Kathy!

My fun shirt and medal!
That win really made my day.  It was kind-of funny becuase I told my fam not to come, that it was a quick run and I would be back in just a couple of hours.  They were so disapointed to miss the first race I came in first for!  Haha!  Oh well, maybe next year I can retain my title! :)

That evening, my hubbs and I decided to have a relaxing evening seeing how we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get to SF by 7 for the start of the Nike race.  My new pre-race dinner is actually quite funny.  I had been dealing with bathroom issues for my entire racing life; always having to stop during a race.  I couldn't figure out the right pre-race dinner that didn't upset my tummy.  I tried pasta, pizza, any high carb dinner.  None worked.  So I had come to the conclusion that it didn't matter what I ate, so instead of stressing about it, I would eat what I felt like the night beofore.  About four races ago, I had decided on Indian food for dinner.  My hubbs and I really love Indian food, and in a way it sounded like a good fit.  Gilled tandori chicken, rice and nann.  High carb and protein.  The next day at that race I had no "issues!"  I thought it was a fluke, that I had probably just been being easy on my tummy the whole day before.  But I tried it the night before the next race and same thing!  I didn't have to stop!  So, it has been my "go to" dinner the night before races and it hasn't failed me yet!
So, Saturday night we had our usual Indian food and were into bed by 7 pm.  Yes, very early, but my alarm was set for 3:15 am!  I think I was alseep by 7:30 and when my alarm went off the next morning I felt really rested.  I slept well and I think that is because I knew I wasn't going out the next day to set any records but just to enjoy the run and get my awesome necklace!
I did my usual pre-run routine and we were on the road by 4:30.  We arrived in the city at about 5:30, parked the car a few blocks away from Union Square and walked to the start line village.  The start was sooo well organized!  Lots of potties, pre race food and just a ton of excitement in the air.  We waited around together, soaking up all fun and before I knew it, it was time to get into our corrals.  This is my one complaint about the whole race.  They didn't require people to submit race times from previous races to assign correct corral line ups.  They simply had you pick up a band at the expo with your own pre-determined pace time and then get into that corral.  What a mistake.  I got into the 7-8:59 pace corral - the third corral right behind the VIP corral and the elites.  I thought that this would be okay, but as soon as the gun went off and we started towards the mat, it was evident that there were people in the front corrals that shouldn't be there!  So many slow runners and WALKERS!  It was still quite dark out and I was dodging slow peeps and walkers until at least the 1.5 mile marker!  Usually the race thins out by the 1/2 mile mark but not this time!  It was so frustrating!  People were pushing and running into each other, and I was dodging and expanding more energy than was needed just to get around them.  The race is a large Team in Training race.  People from all over the country come, and they really, really cater to that group.  I think that is why they did not try to corral us better.  What a mistake though. 
**On a side note, some weird things happened during this race also.  I kept running into, sorry this may sound bad, but larger women walking!  I kept running into them at random miles down the race!  At the four mile mark, the eight mile mark, the ten mile mark!  How could this be?  How could they be ahead of me when I was running my tail off!  So weird.  And they were ALL TNT peeps!  The only thing I can think of that could be loggically correct is that they were dropped off at different spots to start!  The nerve!  That was frustrating!  They also like to walk three to four deep and take up the whole lane!  Get over!  They get so mad, too, when you tell them you're on their left or MOVE TO THE RIGHT!  (okay, my rant is over, but that was the worst! Bunch of cheaters!)

The course is a lot like the SF marathon.  We headed out to the Embarcadero and by mile 3, just past Pier 39 we started to climb.  The climbing it felt never stopped from there.  We finally hit the marina, and then right under the Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio.  A beautiful run I always enjoy.  But the hills just kept coming.  I knew I was in for it.  But in a way I really wasn't trying to kill myself.  On the flat parts I would look down at my Garmin and see 7:40-7:50's and then up the hills I was seeing 10:00 min miles! Hahaha!  I wasn't trying to tackle the hills too hard, and that was good because it felt like we would climb a hill, get some flat parts for about a 1/2 mile to a mile and then climb some more.  There wasn't much decent until around mile 10 when we hit the Great Highway and down to mile 11.  The race was flying by for me!  I was so enjoying it.  At the bottom of the hill at mile 11 I was greeted by my hubbs and MIL.  They were such good sports to be out on the beach in the cold and fog!

Me coming in for a hug at mile 11.

From here we went right into Golden Gate park and were greeted with out last few hills.  It felt great to be soooo close to the finish.  You could see it right ahead of you when you were coming down the hill between mile 10 and 11.  From here I just put my head down and ran.  I was ticking off 7:40's again and just wanted to finish.  I didn't feel like I had emptied the tank yet, either, but I was getting cold and was ready to finish.
The finish is really awesome.  The straight away from around the curve to the finish is about .10 miles and when you cross you are greeted right away with your Tiffany neclace and heat shield.  Again, this race was sooo well orgainzed!  I was blown away from my time, too.  I felt I had ran well, but I also knew that I had a lot left in me.
I would post my bib number and stuff for you to look up, but since I was a bandit, and I was running with a bib that was registered to a 50 year old woman, you will just have to take my word for it on my Garmin time.  I was quite close to the overall mileage time, too.
13.14 miles 1:47:52  8:12/mile pace
I am really pleased with this.  For the first time I feel like my BQ is actually within reach.  I have been second guessing myself a lot with my running.  I was thinking for sure that I was going to be a lot slower.  When I was going up the last hill, I even walked for about 10 seconds.  This is a tough course, and I didn't clean the tank out.  I could have kept going.  I finally feel that my hard work is paying off.  I know it's not in the bag yet, and I know that I have a lot of hard work and a lot of time between now and December 6, but I am excited at my progress.  It wasn't a PR for me, but for some reason it almost feels that way.  My PR of 1:36 kicked my ass, I felt awful afterwards, and even with my other PB of 1:44 or so left me feeling tired.  But after the race yesterday and even today, I feel great.  I'm not sore, I am not tired and I am ready to race.  I am excited at the possiblities.

The SF Nike Women's Marathon should be on eveyone's to-do race list.  It was so well organized, great cheer support, awesome gifts and a great, challenging course.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to run it.  I also had the best running sherpa ever!  He shelped all over the city to meet me and cheer me on, I am so greatful to my best friend and hubbs for all his support, thanks Ari!

At the finish together - look at that nipple action! LOL!

At the start line at o'dark thirty!

The crazy start!

At the finish with Ocean Beach in the back.

At the finish with my MIL.

It was a great racing weekend.  I am excited now.  This next Sunday I have the Silicon Valley Marathon, I am doing the Half, and the following weekend I have the Heildsburg Half Marathon on Halloween.  Lots of races left and lots of fun left.  I just signed up for a 10K on Thanksgiving, too.  My first!  I should be able to run a 10K and cook a turkey, right? Hahaha!
Congrats to all the racers this weekend, I am off to read your blogs!  Thanks for reading!
Happy Running!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Running Free

Yesterday I had on the books an easy 5 miler to recover from my crazy 12 on Wednesday.  I was actually not feeling it when I got home and was about to head out the door.  Our four legged baby girl, Lilly, had been a pain in the butt the night before and neither of us got a good night's sleep despite going to bed early.  She got us up a few times to go potty which is unlike her.  So needless to say, we didn't do so hot on Thursday.
And, to make matters worse, the humidity is still sticking around!  The temps had climbed back into the low 80's and the humidity was hovering around 70% in my neck of the woods!  Very unsual crazy weather for us here in NorCal.  I had all these odds stacked against me before I even got out the door!  But I sucked it up and headed out.  When my Garmin finally found a satelite it told me the battery was low, which was odd because I had just taken it off the charger.  But I figured it was lying, and that I had at least 40 mins of battery left, more than enough time to get my run done.  Well, it wasn't, and that damn thing crapped out about 3/4 a mile into my run!  OH.MY.GOD!  How do I run without my Garmin? Should I go back and get my old one, I thought?  How will I know my pace, my time?  Ugh, the thought of going back another 3/4 mile to get my old one was daunting, so I decided to run to a spot equaled a mile and then hit up the high school track.
I got to the track with about 1.25 miles under my belt already and decided to just punch out 12 laps and get home.  Bad mistake.  Running around a track 12 times sucks!  Speed workouts are different, you switch it up!  Running around with the same effor each time was hard!  Plus, I was dodging footballs from the football team's kicker.  For some reason, that poor kid couldn't kick the ball straight to save his life!
I got the miserable miles done and headed home.  I was a wet mess!  And I was tired.  Not knowing how fast I was going, or how far I had really gone, killed me.  But, when I got home, I did the math and i did about 5 miles in 48 mins...not bad considering I almost went insane on that damn track.  I love going out for a run without my Garmin when I don't have any scheduled miles to hit.  Mentally that is the best workout.  This time though, I was a mess.  I should have gone back for my old one.  Lesson learned.
I have a busy weekend ahead of me!  I mentioned that I had an opportunity to buy a bib from someone and run the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday.  Well, I am pleased to say I bought it and I'm in!  The thing is though, I also have a 5K tomorrow that I had sighned up for months ago.  So, as much as I wanted to try and PR tomorrow seeing how it is my first ever 5K, I might take it slow.  Maybe.  I am definetly going to be taking it easy on Sunday, but we'll see how I feel on Saturday morning.
After my 5K I have to race to get my hair cut, and I have some toilets at home that need scrubbing.  After all that, I need to head to bed early.  The race starts at 7am on Sunday and I am a good 50 mins away from the city.  With parking and this being a big race (20K runners) I am going to have to leave the house no later than 4:30, which means I will be up at 3am!  Man!  That is early.  But I am excited to race, I am excited for my neclace and I am excited to hang with my parents.  They are going with me because the hubbs has to work.  It will be fun - race report on Sunday!
Have a great weekend!  Good luck to all the racers this weekend, especially Aron & Tara!
Happy Running! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just a bit of info...

A week or so ago, the lovely Amanda over at Run to the Finish tagged me with an award I don't feel I am quite worthy of just yet.  I only started this blog a week or so ago and as much as I think I am a stellar blogger, you probably haven't had a real chance to get to know me yet! LOL! But I liked the idea of using the little tagging game to give you a bit of info on me.  I haven't had time to finish my post that gives you all the fun and wonderful bits of trivia about me and how I started running just yet.  Hopefully, this will tide you all over until then.  It's nothing special, but it's fun to play and gives you some insight on some things that maybe won't be coming up in my "all about me" post.  Thanks again Amanda for your blog and your support!

In order to accept this award I have to answer the following questions with only 1 word answers...

1. Where is your cell phone? desk                                           
2. Your hair? strawberry-blonde
3. Your mother? supportive
4. Your father? hilarious
5. Your favorite food? mexican
6. Your dream last night? bad
7. Your favorite drink? misto
8. Your dream/goal? Boston
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? running
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. Something you aren't? selfish
15. Muffins? English
16. Whish list item? Porche
17. Where did you grow up? NorCal
18. Last thing you did? eat
19. What are you wearing? polo
20. Your TV? HUGE
21. Your pets? Lilly
22. Your friends? awesome
23. Your life? perfect
24. Your mood? relaxed
25. Missing someone? always
26. Vehicle? Mercedes
27. Something your not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store? Macy's
29. Your faviorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? awhile
32. Your best friend? Ari
33. One place that I go over & over? mom's
34. One person who emails you regularly? mom
35. Favorite place to eat? home

The rules are that I have to pass the award onto 6 other bloggers, but I have seen so many of you do it already!  But, I do have one in mind, my best 'cuz Sarah over at Looking for Serendipity.  Sarah is in the process of writing a zombie romance novel.  She bounces off ideas to all of her readers and gives us little bits of humor and trivia to get us through our day.  Go and check her out, you won't be disapointed!

Running hasn't been that eventful this week.  I got in my 8 miles on Monday.  Nothing exciting.  Just pounding the pavement. 
8 miles 1:06:12  8:16/mile

Tuesday was a great speed session.  I had a nine miler on the schedule with 7 miles at tempo speed, 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down.  And I nailed it!  I have a confession though!  I did it on the treadmill!  It was POURING out when it was time to run, but I made the best of the situation.
Mile 1 8:20
Mile 2 7:47
Mile 3 7:47
Mile 4 7:30
Mile 5 7:30
Mile 6 7:30
Mile 7 7:16
Mile 8 7:47
Mile 9 8:20
I felt great after this!  I got it done!  I love the tempo runs/speed work right now.  It's mixing it up for me.  And I really didn't mind the treadmill, I planted the TV in front of it and watched the news.  It is so funny how a big storm here in the Bay Area makes for such big news stories and totally cripples us all!

Wednesday was a long run.  I had 12 miles on the books.  I had mentioned that we have been hit by a storm this week, and the weather wasn't great again yesterday.  The humidity was awful!  I know, I know, you FL people are stronger than us!  60% humidity was just miserable.  So I hit the treadmill again and nothing exciting.  I actually didn't mind having to run on it again, I am exhausted from this week, but there is just something about finishing those miles that feel ooooo soooo good!
12 miles 1:36:41  8:03/mile

Hope your Thursday is good!  I am sooo busy this weekend but am really looking forward to it.  I have rambled on enough so I will fill you all in on the weekend tomorrow!
Happy Running!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Am I A Bandit?

Quick question for all of you running peeps out there...

I was just contacted by a member of my running group who said he has a friend who can't run on Sunday in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.  This was a race I was thinking about doing, but have always been so turned off by the lottery system that I never even give it a shot.  All finishers get at Tiffany necklace and a really nice Nike Tech shirt - both of which I get to keep.  She will even pick up the race kit and pass it along to me.  The only problem is, of course, that I will have to use a bib that has her name registered with it.  It will be an unofficial time for me.

The unofficial time is not such a big deal for me.  It won't be a race that I am running for some major time goal.  Although, I will say that I ran the SF Half Marathon this year in July and had my second fastest half time ever.  The cool weather and the down hills seem to always agree with me.  But I am worried that I am breaking some rules.  I am not a rule breaker.  Okay, okay, you got me - I am a speeder when I drive!  Why must people sit in the FAST lane and go the speed limit!  Get over!  I've got places to be!  But other than that, I am a girl that sticks to the rules!  It's the type A in me, give a girl a break!

I also know that if I were to get hurt, there could be some consequences - I wouldn't be the person they were expecting.  Maybe wearing my RoadID at the same time would help? (or maybe cause confusion? - thoughts?)

So I guess my question is: it would be cool to get the necklace, cool to run in the race, cool to run another half marathon and cool to mark this off my list of races, but is it worth it?  I really, really want to run it, but am I just being a bandit?  And no, I know what you are thinking - it sounds like she has already made up her mind.  I haven't.  I was hoping you peeps might have some valuable wisdom for me.
So what do you think...should I do it?

BTW...the race logistics for the race are terrible.  That is one of the reasons why I haven't committed to this race in previous years.  Everyone finishes on the Great Highway and then is bussed back to the finish line festivities in Union Square.  Oh and did I mention - you have to pay $10 for the bus ride back? Yeah, those Nike people really have this money making thing down (they have also sucked me in with convincing me Nike shoes, shirts, shorts, skirts, socks are the only ones I need!).  Even the on line page is hard to navigate...not very user friendly.
And here is the line to see all the wonderful Nike information! 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere!

Yes, this is the second post in less than 24 hours, but it's really necessary people!  I gotta win me some of these awesome Hershey Kisses that taste like pumpkin pie! 

I guess they are kind-of hard to find, but the awesome chic over at Shut Up and Run is giving away some.  So go and check out her blog and leave her a nice comment.  She is out on injury and going a bit stir crazy, as you can see from this post.
On other related pumpkin news, I am just smitten with all things pumpkin flavored lately.  I even found some awesome beer at Whole Paycheck Foods that is just splendid.  It doesn't taste like pumpkin, but the afternotes are quite spicey, and when you breathe in you get the warm smell and sensation of pumpkin pie!  Very good.

Very, very tasty.  I have only found it at Whole Foods so far.

This morning I also feasted on a pumpkin bagel from Noah's and that was just as tasty.  As you can see, I love fall and I love all things pumpkin.  I am not a food blogger, but I just had to share with all of you my awesome pumpkin fnds so far.
I'm off to start my day peeps, enjoy your Friday!  And don't forget to go and say hey to my girl at Shut Up and Run!
Happy Running!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

7 Miles of Maroon 5

The boss is out sick today.  And even though we are wicked busy, the road was calling me!  I left just after 1 pm, after I had my lunch and took care of the critical stuff.  I wanted to get out and enjoy the early afternoon weather because next week calls for rain Monday through Wednesday.
Oh yes, it was very carpe diem for me, and run I did!  I don't usually skip out of work, in fact, I felt a little guilty there for a bit.  But soon that all melted away as I sliped on my running shoes and headed out the door.  My ankle/tendon thing is feeling great, and I almost feel like I am trying to make up for 9 lost days. 
I had every intention of just running to see how I felt, no required mileage or pace.  I haven't even looked at my training plan all week, which is very unusal for me.  I always follow it to a "T", never missing a work out.  But I had to let that go this past couple of weeks and let my leg and my body tell me what it was up for.  It's hard to be a smart runner.  Runners are notorious for just running through injury or pain.  For some reason though, with this injury, I finally took a step back and let myself really heal.  Maybe I am becoming a more mature runner, or maybe I am just getting more mature as a person! Gasp!  It's hard to be a smart adult, too!
I had every intention of taking it easy when I went out, but my legs did not want to hold back so I let them go!  I warmed up for about half a mile then took off.  I knew I wanted to do about 7 miles, so I ddi one of my out and back loops with a hill in between.  

First 3.5 miles in 27:50  7:57/mi pace - not bad!
Second 3.5 miles in 28:05  8:01/mi pace - it was windy on the way back - cut a girl some slack!
Total: 7 miles in 55:55  7:59/mi pace

Really, I had no intention of going out that fast, but my legs felt great and I totally could have kept going.  I just didn't want to push it, I am trying to increase my mileage this week slowly so not to over use the tendon too much.  Yesterday I got in 5 miles in 41:22  8:16/mi pace.  That felt awesome too and I worked at holding back.
Today I really felt like my speed is finally matching my effort.  After Tahoe my heart and mind was in the tubes thinking that my BQ was unreachable.  But I finally feel that if I keep with my plan again next week things will again fall in to place.

The proof is in the Garmin!

A very glamours pic of me after 7 miles!

You're probably wondering why my post is called 7 miles of Maroon 5.  Well, I listened to Maroon 5 the whole time.  I always zone out as I listen to them and let my feet take control.  I always find that when I listen to a CD that I know EVERY single word to, I can zone out and sing and not think about what the task at hand is.  Those are the best runs.
My plan for the weekend includes a couple of long-ish runs I think.  I am hoping to do at least a 12 miler in there, and hopefully a 10.  The only problem is I have two dates this weekend!  Wait, that came out wrong!  One is with another couple and the other is with a good girl friend!  I married people! Sheesh!  Friday night I am going to hear my friend's band play.  It doesn't start until 9 pm!  I am alseep by then usually!  I hope I can stay awake!  And Satruday night I have a girly date with one of my best girl friends from college.  Maybe she won't mind calling it an early night? Ha!  At least now the weather will allow us to go out in the morning a bit later.  I don't have to comprimise sleeping in just to beat the heat! I {heart} fall!
To all the peeps racing this weekend, good luck!  Rock it!
And to all the peeps heading out to Chicago, enjoy the ride! 
You're gonna do awesome Redhead!  And keep an eye on her Beth!
Happy running!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm Back Baby!

Just a quick update: I ran a whole 2.5 miles last night pain-free!  Whoo hoo!  That was nine days since my last run in the Lake Tahoe Marathon.  9.LONG.DAYS.  I probably could have gone farther, but I was really just trying to run for 20 mins to see how it would feel.  It felt great! 
2.5 miles in 20:38   8:15/mi pace 
So, today I think will be a quick five miler and then hopefully I can get some longer runs in on Thursday and Friday and then kick out a long run on Sunday.
It is really true: you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.  I love running; no, I adore running.  And when I am out on injury, it really helps me to realize just how important it is to me.  I know my husband will be glad I am back out pounding the miles, I know that when I can't run I am a bear to be around.  Isn't it funny too, when you can't run, how many runners you seem to notice?  I swear, this past week and a half, I have seen more runners than normal.  Maybe it was just due to the beautiful weather.  Or maybe it was because I was so jealous of anyone who got to run.
On another note, work will finally be slowing down for me!  Whoo hoo!  October 15th is next week and that means "crunch" time for me will be over until February!  I can finally get my runs in at decent hours.  I may actually get up and go for some morning runs since I won't be heading in at the ass crack of dawn everyday.  Gasp! A morning run? Yes, I think that is next on my running agenda.  Trying to figure out what all you crazy running peeps do at 5:30 in the morning! :)
Happy running!

P.S. I am working on a post that gives all you inquiring bloggy peeps more info on me.  It will give you insight on how I started running and where I plan to go.  I am trying to widdle it down as it is a wee bit long right now.  Long enough that you may want to grab a cup of coffee and a snack before you start reading long! :) (pics too)
P.S.S. I am no good at this whole crative blog thing.  Can I pay someone to set it up for me so that all I have to do is plug in my post and pics?  I need someone to help with the layout and all that stuff? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So you wanna know who this Katie chic is? Here is my story...yeah, it's a bit long, grab a cup of coffe and enjoy the ride!

It all started over four years ago and one doctor's appointment...

My hubbs and I had moved to a suburb outside of Sacramento, CA. in 2004.  There, we were able to afford to purchase our first home.  We are originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, home of the highest priced homes outside of Manhattan.  We were making okay money, had a couple of jobs, and had been married just over a year.  The move was hard on us both.  The only people we knew there was my older brother and his wife and their son.  They too, had a busy life, and we soon realized we were quite alone up there.  The jobs we found were in our respective fields, but they were not full filling what we really needed.  The people in this new area were, let's just say, not quite as liberal as we were used to in the Bay (think San Francisco liberal- that is what we were used to).  The mindsets of people were different and we found it hard to make any real friends.  On top of that, I had normal working hours for the most part, while my hubbs worked nights and weekends.  We were often alone on our days off and that just added to our overall unhappiness.

Now don't start feeling too sorry for us.  After all, we had made an investment in our future, and we knew that the move was temporary.  We planned on making a little bit of equity, then moving back to the Bay to by a proper house near our friends and family.  Soon though, we both realized we had put some weight on in the years before we had gotten married and then especially after we moved up to Sacramento.  But neither of us really felt the need to do the end of the day, we both came home every night to one another and told each other how crazy in love we were.  The weight crept up, but somehow we were still happy.  Both of us had been fit, active teenagers and young adults.  I had played soccer and golf through high school and my hubbs was a mountain biker.  But you know how it is...when you start dating?  You go out to eat all the time, you go to the movies, and all that extra "energy" that you spent on doing other activities is now spent doing other "activities" like cuddling. :)

Fast forward about a year or so, to September 2005.  We were still in Sacramento and just plugging along knowing it was only a few months before we would high-tail it out of that town.  *Editor's note, boys you may want to gloss over this part.*  I had a doctor's appointment for a "girly" problem.  I showed up at the appointment and did all the regular checking-in process that you go through when you go to the doctor's, i.e. blood pressure, weight.  As a habit, I have always turned around when I got on the scale - not wanting to know my weight. (This is another story, but let's just say, in my younger years I had a bad relationship with the scale - I'll fill you all in someday.)  When the doctor came in finally, she was none too pleased with me.  Right off the bat she told me I was obese!  For my frame and height I was dangerously overweight.  I am almost 5'6", and that day my weight was at almost 210!  I had no idea!  I had no clue that it could be that high!  Yes, my clothes size crept up, but really, I didn't think about it too much because of my fear of my past.  I started to sob right there in her office.  She was no help, no comfort.  She was actually quite mean and cold about it (maybe that was just how I walked away feeling about her - but I also think sometimes I should send her a picture of the "new" me and let her know what she did for me). She told me I should see a nutritionist right away and get on the right track.  But I couldn't hear it.  I didn't want to.  All I wanted was my "girly" medicine so I could run out of there and cry in my car!

When I got to my car I called my husband and told him to meet me at Sears right away!  I was buying a treadmill!  He didn't understand anything through my hysterical crying, all he knew was that he had better high-tail it to Sears.  I bought a treadmill that day and vowed to change my life.  I started right away with cutting all the bad stuff out.  Fast food, booze, candy.  I went right down the list and cut it all.  And I started walking on that treadmill.  A few years prior I had also been a smoker, but had quit.  I didn't realize what the smoking had done to me until I hit start on that treadmill! I could barely walk a half mile!  I had my husband set it up in our living room so I could distract myself with the TV (btw, I always watched food network in those first few months!). 

I went drastic.  I cut my calories down to about 1,000 a day, and kept my fat intake to around 20-25 grams a day.  Yes, not the most healthy, but I was hurting!  My husband joined me, too.  We were both working at the same place.  I was in the business office as an accountant and he was down stairs on the sales floor.  He would come to my desk in the afternoon and we would commiserate on how hungry we both were.  But soon, we saw progress.  Actually, quite quickly.  I hadn't realized how addicted I was to fast food.  I didn't like cooking in the evenings because it was just me.  So I would go for convenience foods like fast foods or frozen pizzas.  Hey don't judge, frozen pizza can be tasty! Ever tried the California Pizza Kitchen ones?

The new diet was working and soon I was also able to walk through an entire half hour show on food network. I lost the first 70 pounds in about 5 months. (Yes a bit fast, but I had been back to the doctor and everything was checking out okay.)  Gradually walking wasn't fun anymore and I added in some running periods.  And yes, I was still on the treadmill.  For some reason, running outside never crossed my mind!  I was doing a run/walk thing for about a three or four months until I finally graduated to running the whole time on the treadmill.  I would again, watch an entire episode of something on foodnetwork before I would let myself get off.

The rest is kind of history.  Being in Sacramento we were quite close to Lake Tahoe.  LT has always been close to my heart as my family has a summer cabin there and that is also the place my hubbs and I had honeymooned.  That spring we were in LT for the last snowboarding session of the season (oh yeah, we took that up, too!).  At the hotel, I saw a flier for the LT marathon that September.  They also offered a ton of other races including a half marathon.  Right then and there I said I was gonna train to run that half marathon.  I had no idea how; in fact, the longest run up to that point might have been three miles and at sea level! Not in the sierra's!

Soon, my running was all I was thinking about along with moving back to the Bay.  We were done with Sacramento.  It had served it's purpose.  We were homesick, even though we had both found a passion for exercise that had begun to distract us from our miserable surroundings.  At this time the market had bottomed out and purchasing a home wasn't the smartest idea.   But we had to get out of there.  We came back to the Bay in June 2006.  My running really took off.  I remember the first time I ran four miles!  I remember the first time I ran 5 miles - and yes, still on the treadmill!  Ha!  But I kept at it.  I "trained" for that half marathon.  I ran 6 days a week, that summer, gradually getting to a minimum of seven miles a day.  Yes, I am type A personality.  When we do something, there is no such thing as half-assed.  Just like getting fat, I went all the way to obese.  With getting thin, I went all the way to skinny.  By that summer and less than a year prior to that fateful doctor's appointment, I had lost 95 pounds!  Of course, people who hadn't seen me in a while didn't recognize me.  I had lost an entire person!  And I was feeling great.

I did two long runs prior to that half marathon, both at 13 miles each.  I had no idea they were called long runs at the time, but I got them in and was ready to race.  I raced my first race almost exactly one year after that doctor's appointment.  I ran that half marathon in 2:09 and change!  In elevation and massive hills/mountains no less!  I finally had felt like a runner.  At that first health and fitness expo, I grabbed all the running clothing I could!  Out went the cheap New Balance shoes, the cotton shirts and socks!  I stepped up and got me some real running clothing!

By then my family had realized I had transformed into a runner.  My husband even lost over 50 pounds.  My diet had finally become more like a runner and less like someone who was trying to loose weight.  It was hard though.  It was hard to let myself eat things that I had given up so long ago and realize that they weren't forbidden anymore.  I could have a glass of wine or desert and not feel like I had let myself down.  Actuall, I had to eat more  if I wanted to be able to run, and that was hard, too.  I had actually gotten a bit too thin there for a while.  I had gotten down to about 105 - 110 for about six or seven months.  Not exactly the healthiest weight for me either (I don't do things half-assed!).  I have since learned that when you are a runner, you can have a healthy attitude towards food, but you can also indulge.

Today I have run countless races, coquered the marathon three times (on my way to #4)  and have kept the weight off for over four years.  I will never go back.  But that is okay, running is awesome.  I love that I can identify myself as a runner and be a part of such an awesome community.

My story is unique.  I went drastic.  I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone.  If I had to do it over, I would have used that dietitian.  I would have done it less drastically.  But I am thankful to my husband and my family because they knew it was in me.
Wheew!  That was long...but I am sure many runners also have a journey that is similar to mine or also just as complicated.  I can only hope that my story, which I have shared a million times, will hopefully inspire someone, someday.  You should never feel stuck with your place in life; you should never compromise yourself for fear of change or failure. 

Me & the Hubbs - This was just a few months before I started
my weight loss. Look at those arms!! Yes, I am about four years younger,
but you get the idea!

My little sis E and I at the end of the Tahoe Half Marathon last year.
As you can see, a big difference!