Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Product Review: Tide Plus Febreze Sport

We all spend a small fortune on our running and exercise clothes.  It's a whole other wardrobe we spend time and money on.  You have to look good working out, right?  But I was finding that my traditional Tide liquid detergent just wasn't getting out the "stink" every wash.  I have read reviews for other specialty sports clothes detergents, like Win, and even spoke to a few of you that have used them.  The reviews were mixed, and with a hefty price tag I wasn't thrilled to spend upwards of $15 on a single bottle of detergent that produced maybe 20-30 loads. 

I take extra care of my running clothes.  I buy good quality clothing that I want to last a really long time.  I don't know if some of you know this, but fabric softeners lessen the effectiveness of the wicking material in sports clothes.  I do not add my usual fabric softener to my running/exercise clothes wash and I also hang them to dry.  It's a huge hassle but I know that it really does extend the life of my clothing.  So with that being said, my clothes were still not coming out smelling all that great.  I would be running just a few miles in a new shirt or shorts and could smell the old "stank" right away.  So annoying!  And if I could smell it, I bet those around me could, too!  Oh the horror!

Tide has come up with a new detergent especially for running/exercise clothes called Tide plus Febreze Sport Liquid Laundry Detergent.  I am already a faithful user of the liquid Tide and I thought that maybe this would help me eliminate the dreaded stink.  I had a hard time finding it after I first saw the ad on TV.  Oh yes, all my marketing friends, I am your best customer.  I am that person who responds well to all the marketing on TV and print ads.  I searched the grocery stores, I even searched Target for a few weeks but couldn't find it.  Finally I was in Sac visiting my family and decided to try their Target.  They had it and it had a $2 coupon!  Sold!

The very first load came out of the washer smelling awesome.  As I was hanging our clothes up the whole room smelled better.  But the real test would come when I went out for my first run.  On that first run I couldn't smell a thing!  Actually, I smelled pretty darn good!  It also allowed the fabric to keep on wicking away the sweat!  I've been using the new detergent now for about a month and I am more than thrilled with it.  My clothes smell great, not overly perfumey, but definitely smelling better.  So, if you are looking for an affordable and effective way to keep your running clothes smelling good and lasting longer, I would totally recommend trying out the new Tide.  Target sells the 60 load bottle for $11.99 and all of the ones I have seen have a $2 coupon attached to it.  It may seem like a hefty price tag for detergent, but it really is worth the money if it can extend the life of our running clothes and you don't smell like a sweaty, gross mess!
**I was not compensated at all by Tide or Procter & Gambel for my review of Tide Plus Febreze.  I bought the product with my own money and wanted to share my own experience with all of you.

Hope this review is helpful for all of you!
Happy Running and Happy Tuesday peeps!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Update & Tall Mom Virtual Race for the Cure Report

I've said it before and I'll say it again...weekends go by way toooo fast!  How did it get to be Monday again?  Oh well, only 18 more days of tax season and only 3 weeks to Boston!  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Running went so-so this weekend.  I didn't get in as much as I wanted and for once I am at peace with that.  I feel I may be burning the candle at both ends with work and running, and unfortunately, work pays the bills and it often wins *sigh*  Friday went I got home from work I wanted to hit the road and get some easy miles in.  It has been beautiful here all week and I have been soaking up the sun!  I already have the runners tan on my legs from my shorts, on my ankles from my socks, my sports bra on my chest, and of course, the garmin tan!  Haha!  And it's only March!  Summer/Spring is here and I'm already spraying on sunscreen!  If you don't know this about me, I hate to wear a shirt while I run.  I know, big shocker, but even though my abs aren't quite as ripped as I would like, I am a sweaty runner and usually by mile 2 the shirt is off.  This is quite apparent as I run through the streets of my neighborhood and every other car has a cat call or a honk!  :)

With the awesome weather, I managed to bang out 10 easy miles and enjoyed every second of it.
10 miles 1:18:19  7:50/mi pace.
Saturday I had to work most of the day and I all I really wanted to do was participate in the Tall Mom's Virtual Race for the Cure.  But leaving work at 2pm on a warm day did not seem like the ideal time to run a 10K.  But, it's a race and who am I to turn down an opportunity to race?  So, I lubed up in layers of Body Glide and grabbed my hand held and hit the road for my solo shot at the 10K.  The 10K is not my favorite distance at all.  It's long enough to make you feel like you're gonna pass out or puke, but just short enough to make you feel like your efforts are well worth it.  I started up with a warm up mile then hit my 3 mile out and back.  I wanted to save my legs a little bit for Sunday's long run that I had scheduled (more of that in a second) but I also wanted to put a decent effort in.  Mile one I came in at 7:38 and thought that was a little slow, and picked up the pace.  Mile 2, 7:18 - just a bit too fast.  And that is how my race went.  I was hop-skipping between paces of going a little too fast or a little too slow.  By the time I was at mile 5 I was all over the place with my paces and just attempted to salvage the run.  I averaged 7:36 for the whole race, although I know that isn't all that accurate since my fastest was 7:18 and one was at 7:50!  A cool down mile rounded out my Saturday with 8.2 miles and my legs felt awesome.
6.2 miles 47:07  7:36/mi pace 
8.2 miles 1:04:22  7:51/mi pace  Not my best showing for a 10K but I really wanted to save my legs for Sunday.  Thanks Mel for a great race!  I love the virtual runs and the whole time I was thinking about my other bloggy buddies out there racing for the cure, just like me :)

So, yeah, about Sunday.  Saturday night my hubbs and I stayed in and made a fun dinner together.  But the dinner also included some adult beverages.  One turned into two, and the next thing I new I was a bit tipsy and crying to Ari, "I can't be dehydrated for tomorrow's big run!"  LOL!  Well, we enjoyed ourselves and I'm not a bit disappointed.  Sometimes even during marathon training you have to let your hair down and with the way work has been going, well those drinks were just the therapy I needed!

The plan was to get up early, get the miles done before Mass, then have a relaxing Sunday afternoon together.  I didn't set my alarm because my body wakes up every.single.day at 5.  Well, not on Sunday!  I woke up at 7:30 and knew I couldn't get 16 miles done before 11:30 Mass.  So I figured I would just head out after Mass and deal with the weather.  Well, when you go to 11:30 Mass, that is right during the lunch hour.  And when we were done (it was extra long thanks to Palm Sunday)  I was starved!  So lunch had so come first.  But after lunch all my motivation had drained and I decided to take a rest day.  I gave myself a zillion excuses: my knee has been wonky, it's hot out, I had a big week of miles even with out this run, one run won't make or break me...you get the point.  So I plowed through laundry and chalked it up as a rest day.  Around 4:30 we decided to head out and see if we could find a new suitcase for Boston and while we were leaving the neighborhood I see Sarah coming down the road and she is looking tired!  I was surprised to see her, too!  I thought she had already done her long run for the weekend but there she was!  She was hot and drained.  So I stopped next to her and asked if she wanted some help getting in those last 3 miles.  She did so I jumped out of the car, we ran to my house (in my flip-flops) and I threw on some running clothes.  We got her home to finish up her longest run ever - 13 miles!  Whoo hoo!  I am so proud of her!  It was hot and humid yesterday but my girl finished strong!  Great job Sarah! 

After we left Sarah I was about 3 miles from home.  So, I ran home and added some miles on and salvaged the day with 8 miles.  Not too shabby - not the 16 I wanted/needed but it wasn't a total bust after all.  I ended the week pretty strong, too considering I didn't really get a "long run" in - 44.2 miles.  Some runs really were difficult for me, while others I breezed through.  I think that this is good prep mentally for Boston.  It's a crap shoot on race day - you can do everything you're supposed to do, train right, eat right, sleep enough, but anything can happen and you have to be able to rally and salvage the hand you're dealt.

I have one more long 20+ miler next week then I am going to cut it back.  I don't do 2 week tapers, I only do one.  So, just 2 more intense weeks for me until Boston!  I can't wait!  Well, actually, I could - if I just had one more month! LOL!  Shoulda, woulda, coulda - can't look back now.  I just wish Boston was somewhere tropical, like Hawaii then I would be even more excited.  You think they could move the Boston marathon from Boston to say, Maui next year?  That would be awesome since I am really in need of a vacation here:

I'm off to read all the race reports and long run stories!  Sounds like a lot of you kicked some ass this weekend! 
Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Checking In!

I realized that on Tuesday I forgot to check in with all of you and see how the core challenge was going!  Silly me!  There is so much going on right now for me that sometimes I feel like I don't know which direction I am going!  But rest assured, each day time when I am doing my own core workout that I am thinking about all of you and sending strong core vibes your way!!  Remember, the challenge winner will be the person who has completed the most days of 50+ crunches in the 30 day time frame.  If there is a tie, I will draw a random name from the top finishers!  Also remember that the person who donates the most to our Relay will also be receiving a fun running prize!  So if you have slacked off a bit like me :) don't worry you can still win with a few bucks out of your pocket!

So, drop me a line in the comment section and let me know how you are doing!  If you are feeling like you are coming up short, I can give you some pointers or tips and also let you in on the core workout that my hubbs has created for me and is kicking my ass!

Yesterday I had a medium long run on my training schedule.  The plan was for 12 but I wanted to see if I could hit 13-15 since I didn't really do a long run over last weekend.  I was excited again to get out and run since the weather has been so nice!  I even left work a little early to get home and meet up with the hubbs after his own sweat session at the gym.  My stomach though all afternoon was not happy.  I just felt really full from lunch and could not shake the "off" feeling I was having.  Some of you battle poop issues when you run, I battle the "I feel like I am going to puke at any second" issue.  Most times I can battle through it, or at other times I fall victim to it :(  Yesterday when I headed out it was already in the low 70's but I figured I would just run slower and see how I felt.

I like to do a big out and back with a lollipop loop at the mid-way point to get my longer run in.  But by the time I hit the 3 mile mark, my stomach was done!  I threw up my whole lunch and all my fluids right on the busy street I run down!  I had stopped just for a second to check my shoe and well, my stomach took the opportunity to revolt!  This portion of the run I was still by myself, Ari wasn't going to meet me until the 6 mile back point so there I was, all alone, throwing up on the side of the road!  Ugh!!!!!  I rinsed my mouth out with a near by sprinkler and turned around and headed home.  I felt like garbage the whole 3 miles home.  Just drained.  I was planning on getting some fluids down and then trying to head out again, but my legs started cramping when I stopped so I just called it day.

I was disappointed but not to the point where I felt like I failed.  These things happen.  I can just switch my runs around to make up the miles.  I am going to attempt to try the run again today, as the temps are cooler and I am going to eat a more mild lunch.  The whole time I ran home, I was remembering how I had that same thing happen at Shamrock but was able to rally cap it back into the race and finish strong.  I guess since I didn't have an awesome medal or my family waiting for me at a finish that I lost my nerve to finish! LOL!  Needless to say, I'm leaving it in yesterday and am going to give it another shot today.  It also means that I will be moving my long run to Sunday which will be a challenge for my schedule - oh well, marathon training is all about being flexible! 

25 days to Boston, and one month to Big Sur!  The countdown has really started!  The Boston organizers thought it would be "cute" to send out a reminder email yesterday to let us all know it was 26 days to Boston.  Yeah, like I needed a reminder! LOL! 

Check in with me and let me know how you're doing!  Just over two weeks until the end of the challenge!
Happy Thursday and Happy Running peeps!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leave it at the Last Hole

As runners, we talk about how running is not just a physical sport but it is also quite mental, too.  Where are our heads are at before we step out for a run can determine how a run goes.  Whether we are jazzed about the run, or we are dreading it, how we are viewing it in our minds before we hit the road can make or break any run.

Last week was not the best running week ever for me.  We all have those weeks where nothing seems to come easy with our running.  For the first time in months, the temps in the Bay Area climbed into the 70's and all of a sudden my running had a new element added that required me to overcome.  Heat and wind are two of the worst weather elements for a runner.  I could run in rain and cold all day, but as soon as you have the sun beating down your neck or a headwind you must run into, your running mojo can take a dive if you're not prepared.  I wasn't prepared last week.  Between my job and everything else going on, I just wanted an easy week to run and get it all out.  But the heat really threw me for a loop and I just wasn't ready.  As a result, I had one of the most difficult weeks of running for the year to date.  I couldn't figure it out: the week before I battled dreadful cold and still nailed all of my runs, but last week I struggled with even the low mileage.

So I decided to leave it all in last week and embrace this week with the thoughts that yes, spring/summer is upon us and I better be prepared.  Being able to not focus on one bad week gives you the ability to move on and embrace why we run in the first place and not make it the chore that it was last week.  My mileage was not great - I struggled to hit 42 miles.  It was probably a good thing though, with less than a month left until Boston, I was probably due a cut back week before I have two more intense weeks before taper.  I am going to embrace that low mileage and relish in the fact that I made it and I learned a lot.

Sunday I got to meet up with my cousin Sarah and her sister Katie for Sarah's first 12 mile run - her longest run ever to date by 2 miles!  We both had busy Sunday mornings so we weren't able to hit the trail until well after 1 pm when the temps had already climbed into the low 70's.  Probably not the smartest time of day to go out, but it was all we had.  The conversation was great, the trail was beautiful, but the heat just drained us.  For the first time ever, I completely finished my handheld water bottle.  I never do that - I'm not a drinker or a sipper (something I need to work on).  Each mile after the 6 mark was harder.  But we held strong and actually kept a pretty even pace for the whole run.  I am so proud of Sarah for pushing through.  It was a lot of miles to tackle in the first place for someone who has just taken up running less than 6 months ago, and then to add the heat to the picture, well, she did just great.  Even a veteran runner like me was plagued by the heat and it just goes to show you, sometimes no matter how many miles you have ran, one run can change a lot.  We finished strong and we got the miles in!  I am so proud of you Sarah!  And thanks Katie for being our biking sherpa - that was sooooo appreciated!
12 miles  2:01:44  10:09/mi pace.

So with the mindset of my former golfer self, I decided to leave last week at the last hole.  Er, I mean leave it in last week and embrace the next two weeks head on.  After my prison sentance work yesterday, I headed home to some more warm temps and wind!  But I was stoked to get out there and run fast.  My hubbs had wanted to go to the gym, but he was torn about me being out on the road by myself.  On Saturday on my way home from work, I witness an older man get hit by a car on his bike on the very road I run on everyday.  It really shook me up.  He was going against traffic and was side swipped pretty bad.  But you can't let fear hold you back and I wanted to run.  So Ari decided to hit the road with me for a run of his own for my first two miles then jump on the bike with me for the last five.  He did great!  He kept an 8:35/mi pace with me in the heat and wind!  I am so proud of him.  He always says he is not a runner, but he always runs a few miles on the dreadmill and now yesterday, he actually hit the road.  It was a good warm up for me, but running so slow the last two days really was mentally hard for me.  It changes your gate and everything and I could feel it.  So when he jumped on the bike with me to finish my legs were wicked speedy!  And the second half of the five miles was all straight into the wind.  But my legs felt light and free and I ran great.  The miles ticked by quick and I remembered why I love to run.  It was a run that felt effortless and I embraced it, forgetting what the hell of last week was.
2 miles 17:10  8:35/mi pace
5 miles 37:28  7:29/mi pace
total 7 miles 54:38  7:48/mi pace

These were times I would have killed for this time last year, and for the first time they felt effortless.  I have to remember this run.  I am really proud of this run and know I couldn't have done it with out my best running sherpa next to me.  He is chatty cathy on the bike next to me and I loved hearing him yesterday just talk while I ran.  I am really trying hard not to think too much about Boston and Big Sur because if I do all the negative thoughts come straight to the surface and self doubt sets in.  I am scared beyond belief about Boston and even more terrified about Big Sur.  But all I can do is keep plugging away and hope that I will have a day like yesterday come April 19th.  It's funny, most of my running dreams before a big race are filled with fear and failure.  And I don't usually have them this far out from race day.  But the other night I had a dream that I was running a half marathon and I won the women's division.  I was shocked myself.  I just need to stay positive and that is going to be difficult in the next few weeks.

7 hot sweaty miles together - thanks Ari :)

I have a step up in mileage this week and I am going to tackle every run head on.  Less than 4 weeks to Boston and I am getting ready.  It's amazing what a week will do :)

Happy Running and Happy Tuesday peeps!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I first need to say that I stole borrowed this idea from the wonderful B.o.B. today since I am out of ideas for the week - thanks girly!

I am always attempting to be the glass is half full person, and 99% of the time I am cheery-chipper Katie.  But tax season, marathon training, and allergy season are all weighing me down this week so I thought I needed to remind myself just how lucky I am!

  • I am thankful for my prison sentence job.  It is crazy hectic right now and I know many people who are out of work right now who would kill to be able to go to work each day.  I really enjoy the work I do, it's my boss and co-workers that are brining me down.  But I do not have the power to change them, only myself so I am going to look on the bright side, only 28 days left in tax season and only 32 days to Boston!
  • I am grateful for my legs.  This week has been very trying on my legs and my head.  They are like lead this week!  It can only mean one thing: I left it all out there on Sunday and that is something to be proud of :)  I have never had such tired legs after a half marathon.  I attribute this to the fact that I had probably really drained myself of nutrients and tore my legs up good.  Each run this week has been trying, they are heavy and just don't want to turn over.  Plus, it has been wicked hot by the time I get home to get a run in.  72 degrees each day and I am melting!  How did spring get here so fast?  Needless to say, I am so grateful I have my health to be able to go out and run - no matter how draining or tiring it's been!
  • I am grateful for Sunday's.  I will be working 6 days a week until the end of tax season.  Sunday is my long run day and my day to relax.  Hahaha, I just put long run and relax in the same sentence!  But it's the truth...its a mental health day that is so needed during this season.  I can catch up on the growing piles of laundry, actually get to the grocery store for my poor husband and relax and watch all the Project Runway shows on my DVR.  Yes, Sundays are fantastic :)
I let my legs rest on Monday, but I hit the road on Tuesday and felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck!  Long days at work, coupled by the warm weather and everything in bloom are making me drained even before I hit the road.  I will say though, I get a lot of attention right now as I run the streets of my neighborhood in my sports bras and shorts!  You would think people have never seen a chic in a sports bra before! 
6 miles  49:06  8:11/mi pace  I had to stop at a ton of stoplights and I even took a breather at one point since I was melting. 
Wednesday was the same.exact.run.  I ran the same 6 mile loop and hit almost every single stop light imaginable.  Oh, and my time was nearly the same! :)
6 miles  49:04  8:11/mi pace  I had 8 on the books but couldn't bring myself to keep going when I passed my house for the one mile out and back to finish.  I was mentally drained on this one.  I am really freaking out about Big Sur this week.  My legs are toast and I only ran a half marathon!  I have visions that Big Sur will be one nice long 26.2 mile walk along the coast of California. 

Thanks to all of you who have signed up for the core challenge!  We have a lot of participants and I am using all of you as motivation to get my own a$$ in gear when I get home from a run! 

And thanks to all of you who have donated to our Relay fundraising.  We are almost more than halfway to our goal - but this is two busses of over achievers and we would really like to pass the $600 goal!  If you haven't been able to donate yet, head on over there and let me know you did!  There is a special giveaway for the person who donates the most!  Thanks again!

Happy Thursday and Happy Running peeps!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick Question

I had forgotten to mention this in my race report yesterday but it was something that actually frightened me a bit.  When I finished the race I felt fine right away.  My legs I think just needed a quick break (or not).  My stomach was okay again and I didn't have any cramping.  I think that this happens to a lot of us, once you stop running your body stops revolting!

But I noticed something unusual or odd when we got back to the car.  My fingers and hands were severely swollen.  They were tight and tingly and my fingers looked like sausages!  Actually, they looked more like they belonged to Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor!

I have had slight hand swelling after a marathon, but never even after a long run or a half marathon.  I couldn't get my wedding rings off until the next morning which is weird too, since they are a bit big right now and often are turning.  Has anyone ever experienced this?  Do you think it was due to my lack of nutrition and hydration?  I was covered in salt when I finished and I knew right away I had done a bad job at hydrating - but I couldn't drink on the course with my stomach all crazy.

The sensation was weird and a bit scary.  My SIL Suz who is a RN thought maybe something was going on vascular, but she checked my pulse and my blood pressure and everything was in my normal range.  My hands were just swollen like crazy!  Have any of you experienced this?  Do you think it was the lack of salt and nutrition?

My quads were a bit sore yesterday after a long day at work sitting at my desk.  I could feel them when I went down the stairs!  So I took the day off (I hadn't had a rest day since the Monday before) and just stretched, did my core work and called it a day.  Tonight I am going to head out and pick back up in my training schedule.  I feel a lot more confident after Sunday's race. 

I am happy to report that many more of you have stopped being pansies stepped up to the core challenge and are on board! We have a good running going and I know you won't be disappointed!  Here are the new challengers!  Whoo hoo!  Stop by their blogs and give them a swift kick in the a$$ some encouragement!
Jill at Run with Jill
Tara at Colorado Runner
Tonia at Racing With Babes
Amanda at Run To The Finish
Jameson at Crush Til it Hurts
TAO at Fenavo!
Indi at Learning to Run & Running to Learn
Sarah at I am a Runner

If I missed you or you would still like to join, drop me a line at katiea801@yahoo.com and I will add you!  Keep up the good works peeps and don't forget to encourage one another!

Happy Tuesday and Happy Running peeps!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Race Report: Shamrockin' Half Marathon

I really went into this race with little to no expectations.  I had been battling my cold all week and on Friday and Saturday I developed this cough that was keeping me up allllll night.  It was awful, I was working on no sleep and on top of it, I had to work on Saturday.  I was feeling more tired than anything, but I had this cough that was really persistent and I was/am literally coughing every min of the day. 

When I got off work, we packed the car and headed up to Sac to get my race bib and then head over to my brothers to stay with them.  I was exhausted.  We had planned on going out to dinner that evening but I had no energy so we had a quiet night at home.  I decided that I would try every cold/cough medicine on the planet at the same time to get rid of the damn cough.  My doctor had prescribed me a pill but it wasn't doing the trick.  Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but I tried Robitusin, Benadryl and the doctor prescribed cough medicine all at once.  I downed them with a gin and tonic and went to bed at around 9 pm, which was really 10 pm! Way later than I usually get to bed for a race.  Surprisingly I slept like a baby and didn't wake up at all coughing.  LOL! :) When I woke up on race day, I felt okay, not fab, but knew I could finish the race.

First off, the race logistics for this race is just awesome.  It starts at Ralley field, home of the Sac River Cats.  Parking was super easy.  They had warned everyone to get there early and so we got to the stadium at around 6:30.  Our car was saying 42 out and it was a bit windy.  So we decided to stay in the car as long as possible because of my cold.  I texted Aron that I was there and she was hitting up the potties and then heading back to her car, too.  I figured we would meet up at the start line.  We left the car around 7:15.  I really didn't have to use the rest room so we hung around near the start line.  I did about a 15 min warm up job, just under the 2 miles I needed and then ditched my sweatshirt and heat blanket and lined up near the front between the 1:40 and 1:50 pace groups.  I was shooting to keep 8:00 min miles but I really had no expectations.  I wasn't feeling all that fab and just wanted to get the miles in.
The start line

Waiting for the start - I look happy, don't I?

At the start line I kept looking for Aron and never found her.  She said she was wearing her bright blue hat but that day everyone had on a bright blue hat!  So when the race started I hoped I would just see her out there.  I had Ari on the bike next to me and that was a big help.  I was nervous for the first time for a race when it started so knowing he was close was a big confidence booster.  The first mile was uneventful and I came in right at 7:59.  I felt really good and told myself to just hold it here.  My second mile was even better, I came to mile 2 at 15:38.  A bit fast but I was feeling really good and figured if I could hold onto this I would be fine.  Just before mile three I finally saw Aron!  She was looking good and strong.  We checked in with each other and kept cruising.  This was also before the first little "hill."  It went smoothly and I picked up the pace on mile three thinking the whole time I am not going to feel this great the whole race!  I was though, my legs were turning over, I wasn't coughing, the weather was perfect with my arm warmers and I just went with it. This was also an out and back spot and I saw Tara at this point lookin' strong! I hit mile 4 at 30:38 and knew I was really rockin' it and finally had embraced how great it was to be racing.
I had just looked at my watch at mile 4 and saw my time - I was really excited and finally thought that I would make a decent time and feel really good. Don't you just love that face! LOL!

Every time I looked at my Garmin, I was in the 7:40 range.  I have really been working all my runs in the 7:50 range and many miles in the 7:40 range and it was finally paying off.  With the great weather and the really cool course, I was nailing times I had no idea would come to me when just the night before I was feeling like crap.  I guess my training was paying off even when I wasn't at my peak.

The course is really windy and you head through some really great parts of Sac.  In the beginning you pass the state capital, you cross over twice the Tower Bridge and then you also head into Old Sacramento which is really cute.  Around mile five we hit Old Sac and there were lots of spectators.
Running through Old Sac
Old Sacramento

Again, I was just cruising.  Mile five and the first half of six were un-eventful.  Around 6.55, the half way mark we charged up a little hill and all of a sudden my stomach went crazy!  Like RIGHT AWAY!  I had to use the bathroom and I felt sick!  I was freaking out because I saw no porta potties and was so afraid I would have to pull off into the bushes!  But at the same time I didn't want to loose time!  Finally at 7.10 there was a bank of potties and I ran in!  I got super sick!  Like I was throwing up and going potty!  It was awful.  When I came out Ari said Aron had just passed me and that I hadn't lost too much time - about 1:45.  I felt better right away.  I tried at this point to take a Gu and I just couldn't get it down.  I was gagging.  So I threw it back to Ari and hoped for the best.  I found Aron again and she had this surprised look on her face like where did you come from?  LOL!  We checked in with one another again and we were off.  I hit mile 8 at 1:02 and change - right on target.  Mile 9 we entered a gated community and it was my fastest miles in 7:18.  It was great.  That bathroom stop, as BAD as it was, helped me gain my speed back and then some.  I was cruising along during mile 10 and hit mile 11 on the out and back portion.  I was feeling okay and kept checking in with myself.  But I knew that something was up.  My legs weren't turning over again that easily anymore and I knew it was because I had no nutrition in me.  I had got little gatorade or water down over the course of the race and when I would think about it I would gag!

By mile 11.5 I felt like someone had taken my batteries out and I had shut down.  I was struggling.  All of a sudden, Aron comes up behind me and taps my arm and pulls me with her.  I needed that sooooo bad!  (thanks Aron) and I began to run with her.  At mile 12 there was a little uphill that just wore me out, but I had Aron with me and just stayed with her.  She was running at a good clip and I knew we were on track for a decent time.  Before the bathroom stop, I had a sub 1:40 in the bank no problem, after mile 11.5 when everything changed I was just hoping to finish.  I stuck with Aron the rest of the race.  At around mile 12.75 she took off with about 10 seconds on me.  I tried to chase her down and stick with her but I knew she was in PR territory so I let her go and just held on to my clip.  At the mile 13 marker you could see the finish inside Ralley field and I took off.  I ran as fast as I could!  I saw Aron cross and I finished right behind her! 
Garmin: 13.05 miles 1:42:56  7:51/mile pace
Official Stats: 13.1 miles
1:42:47  7:51/mile pace
366 overall,  29/989 age group.

When we crossed Aron and I gave each other a big hug!  She did awesome and she saved my butt out there. I had ran a great race but she did pull me through at mile 11.5.  I felt great after I crossed the finish line.  I wasn't drained.  But I think the lack of nutrition really did a number on me, along with throwing up everything I had in me including my breakfast.  My tank was empty.  I ran a great race, and I know now that my training is paying off.  I had no expectations and I ran by feel instead of the pressure of the clock - all a runner could ask for.
Best running sherpa ever!

This was a great course.  For the first time I paid attention to what I was running past and through because I wasn't a slave to my Garmin.  The course turns a lot which you would think would be crappy, but it was always changing and it made for it to feel like it was going by fast.  I learned a lot out there, too.  a) don't take every cold medicine known to man the night before a race - I think that is what caught up with me at mile 7. b) don't be a slave to the Garmin and enjoy your race surroundings.  I really just tried to soak it all in and not pay attention to my legs.  I just ran and enjoyed it.

My fam came out to cheer me on, I was so happy!  We didn't stick around long as I was getting cold easily.  The race temps were great, low 50's but after we stopped running it was cold!  We headed to my favorite breakfast spot in Sac, Tower Cafe to fuel up since I still had around 5 left for the day to try and get in.
My big Bro Michael and nephew William at breakfast
My SIL Suz and Michael
Ari, aka running sherpa and me
Best support crew ever!

I fueled up on French Toast and fruit and we headed back to Elk Grove.  I wanted to let my tummy settle a bit and then I hit the road for another 5 SLOW miles.  They weren't too painful, but my stomach was full.  I finished the day with 19.95 miles, just short of my 20 - I'll take it.

I didn't ice bath or anything since my legs felt fine.  They weren't really sore or tired, so I put on my recovery socks and called it a day.  Today in fact, I feel great and am looking forward to going home after work for a quick recovery run.

I finished the week strong, even though I fought this cold.  It's getting better, the cough isn't every 60 seconds and aside from the lack of sleep due to the time change, I feel pretty darn good for hitting 50 miles this week.

I have to have another big shout out to Aron for waking me up and pulling me at mile 11 - THANKS GIRLY!  You knew just what I needed!  Congrats on the PR, too!  Tara, Layla and Page also did rockin' times, congrats girls!  I'm off to catch up on everybody's weekend of races!

Happy Monday and Happy Running!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Update

TGIF peeps!  Even though I have to work tomorrow, it's still a Saturday and I don't have to work the whole day, so I am going to stay positive and still be excited it's Friday because I have another fun weekend ahead!! 

So, looks like some of you whimps aren't up for a little core challenge?  I've only heard from a few of my faithful readers who are ready to get their core in shape for spring running!  Come on peeps, there is a great prize for the person with the most days of core crunches/sit-ups and who doesn't like to win something for doing something good for themselves?  If you would like to still participate, drop me an email and let me know you're in.  The rules are for the most days completing 50+ crunches/sit-ups in 30 days, so you have plenty of time to still jump on board!  Also, don't forget about my Relay donation page, there is a special gift for the person who donates the most.  For every $1 you get an entry.  So whatever you can spare will get you in!  Thanks!
So far, this is the list of peeps who are on board for the challenge.  If I missed your name or you would like to join, drop me a line at katiea801@yahoo.com and I will add you :)
Heather at Junk Miles
April at Mommy's Fit for the King
Sarah at Looking for Serendipity
L.B. at Muddy Runner
Jill at Finishing is Winning
Marcia at Running off at the Mouth
Sam at Operation Jack
Morgan at Caution: Redhead Running

Only 8 of you?  I've got more readers than that!  Put yourself up to the challenge and no matter what you WILL be a winner!  Remember also, if you post a link to the challenge on your blog, you can get an extra entry - just drop me a line when you do!

Sunday I have a half marathon on the books.  I am running the Shamrock Half Marathon in Sacramento and I am really looking forward to this.  I even bought a cute green sports bra to wear!  After all, I'm 100% Irish and need to celebrate besides drinking beer :)  I am still fighting off my cold, and that was all too apparent last night when I was running and coughing.  And even though everyone I talked to who ran this last year and said it's a great course for a PR, I don't think that will be my plan for Sunday.  I am in no shape to set a PR, my PR for a half is 1:36, I don't think my lungs will hold on for that!  So, I am going to run a conservative race, keeping it at around 8:00 miles which is my full marathon pace.  I also have to add some miles for the day as I have 20 on the books.  I am planning do to 2 before to get my legs warmed up, run the 13.1, then finish off after with another 7.  I think this will be a good training day with the race and finishing with some heavier miles. 

After work tomorrow we are going to head up to Sacramento and stay with my Bro and my SIL Suz.  He has already scoped out a great Indian food restaurant for us that I am wicked excited about!  My miles this week haven't been crazy, but I am hungry alllllll the time!!!  So food is a big priority on my list right now! :)

On to the running.  
Monday, I did 7 miles on the dreadmill to get a speed work out in.
7 miles  53:28  7:38/mi pace.  I started out the run at 8:00 miles then worked it down, finishing my last mile at 6:52.  It was a hard run, but it felt good to be running fast.
Tuesday I set out and it was getting windy and cold.  For a split second I thought I probably shouldn't be running in this weather with my cold but dropped that idea like a bad habit.  Wrong idea.  I headed out and right away my lungs were burning and I was coughing!  I lasted two miles before I yelled mercy and called Ari to pick my sorry, sick butt up.
Wednesday I decided to hit the treadmill at home again because I had to go back to work in the evening to keep working.
7 miles  55:41  7:57/mi pace.  This was a great run - I think mentally because I got a break from work and just got to run!
Yesterday I went home at a decent time with the thought that I would be heading back to work.  I decided to do my run outside and it felt great.  It's funny all the things that you smell more when you have a cold.  The bus fumes and cigarette smoke I smelled waiting at stop lights would get me coughing and choking!  Usually I don't even notice it!
8 miles 1:03:21  7:55/pace  I wanted to do more but my lungs were not having it!  As it was, when I stopped, I coughed and choked for a good 10 mins!  My body is feeling better but my lungs are still a wreck!  Needless to say, I never made it back to work-  I was wiped!

Not a huge mileage week but I'm getting the runs in and they have been pretty consistent in pace.  That is all I ask for right now.  I am trying to really stay in the 7:55-8:00 mile range to train myself what it feels like.  Each time it is more and more comfortable.

Lots of races this weekend!  Aron, Tara & Page are all running Shamrock with me!  Whoo hoo!  I see some PR's in their futures :)  Sam has marathon number 13 for the year for Operation Jack, good luck buddy!  And the Redhead is pacing her friend to a PR - rock it!  L.B. has a little 5K, too - you're gonna smoke Danny!  And to all the peeps who are racing that I may have missed, good luck!  And to all of you rockin' the long run - run strong!
Happy Friday and Happy Running Peeps!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Relay and Giveaway!!

As many of you are aware, I have a crazy, crazy racing schedule coming up here in April, starting on the 11th.  Some of you may think it's a bit over zealous, but there is only a couple of races like Boston and Big Sur where I am going to try to go full throttle and see what my legs can do.  Right after Big Sur I have the wonderful opportunity to be apart of The Relay - California's Longest Party!  It's a 200 mile relay that starts in Calistoga near the Napa Valley and runs to Davenport, a little town right outside of Santa Cruz.  It covers all the scenic routes of beautiful California and I am so excited to be apart of it.  Along the way, our run will be benefiting Organs 'R' Us, an organization that sponsors organ donation and highlights the importance of the relationship between donor and recipient.  It's a wonderful organization that I am proud to help out.

On our team has some fellow bloggy peeps: Aron, Tara, Kristin, Maritza & Julianne.  Along with some hubby's and some brave dudes, we will be tackling this journey together for 200 miles.  Collectively we have to raise $600, but we are all crazy and would love to rise more.

This is where you all come in.  I have been wanting to do a giveaway/challenge for awhile.  I am REALLY bad at doing core work but at the same time I know how important it is to all of us.  So I thought what a great way to combine the two.  I am super competitive and if I know there is pride or a prize on the line, I go all out!  I know that money can be tight, so for all of you that want to participate without feeling like you have to give there is a way for you, too!  For the next 30 days, starting March 10 and ending April 9th, the challenge will be to do 75 crunches/sit-ups or any other core exercise each day.  I know I can bust out 50 no problem, the other 25 and any more is just icing on the cake.  This will be on the honor system as I am just not computer savvy enough to set up one of those cool Google reader spreadsheets :)  At the end of the 30 days, the person who has done the most days of core workout will win an entry into the giveaway.  If there is a tie, random number generator will be used.

For all you peeps who don't want to do the core workout, there is still away to participate and help out our cause for Organs 'R' Us.  One entry for $1 donated.  If you give $5, you get five entries and so on.  You can also gain an entry by mentioning my giveaway on your blog.  One entry for each time you mention it, just drop me a comment or email and I will add you to the drawing for the core challenge winner.  I will draw the winner April 11th of both challenges.

And what's the prize you may ask?  One box of your favorite Gu or energy gel you use during a race.  I personally LOVE using Gu, but whatever your fav is will be yours.  A whole box can practically last me an entire training cycle and then through the race.  There is also a chance for a runner up prize for the person who donates the most.   This will be a running "mystery" prize that will NOT disappoint.

So if you would like to participate in the core challenge, drop me a comment or email katiea801@yahoo.com and you will be entered.  Keep track of your core workouts and at the end I will be asking for totals.  If you click on our page to donate, leave me an email or comment with your amount and I will add your donation/entry to the drawing.  The page is set up to benefit the whole team so I cannot stipulate that your entry went to my part of the total - just let me know you donated.  You can also click the Relay box on the right to be directed to our giving page.

Thank you to all of you who donate and who take part in the challenge or even just mention this on your blog.  I am excited to take part in the Relay but I am even more excited to help out such a great cause.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birthday Wishes

This is a running blog, I know that, but I couldn't pass up wishing my best running sherpa, partner in life and BFF a Happy Birthday here!  Today is Ari's birthday and I want him to know just how lucky I am to have him!  Happy Birthday honey bunny!

I know that every wife thinks this, but I know I am the luckiest girl on the planet. 
Happy Birthday Ari!
I had another busy weekend even though I am still fighting off this wretched cold.  I feel like garbage especially in the mornings and the evenings.  I am trying not to focus on how it is keeping me from running but it is getting hard.  I have only 6 weeks to Boston, and a busy racing schedule coming up.  I know I am not loosing fitness but I am not getting the miles in like I want.  I am trying to be patient, let it run its course and in the mean time only pushing myself to what is comfortable.

Friday I came home from work and my legs were dying to run.  I was feeling meh, so I thought I would head out for a quick run.  I hadn't run since Monday and I wasn't sure how I would do.  I just headed out the front door and started running with no real plan.  Surprisingly my legs were fresh and wanted to move!  I didn't look at my Garmin much, only to see what my miles were.  I did one of my shorter routes and ended up with a pretty speedy 5.5 mile run.  It felt so good to be out there and my cold didn't seem any worse than it was before.
5.5 miles  43:37  7:56/mi pace
They were good miles, and I was surprised at my overall pace.  I think more than anything it was due to really fresh legs.  I went to bed early that night since I had a fun bloggy group meet-up in the morning!

The wonderful Aron had organized a local bloggy meet-up and run for Saturday and I was more than excited to join them.  I am so done with my running routes right now that it was not only nice to run with other people but to scope out some other running trails.  The meet-up was about 40 mins away for me which wasn't too bad at all!  And in fact, I would totally drive there on the weekends to get my long runs in just to mix it up!  I got to meet some really awesome chics including Tara, Maritza, Page, Kerry and Holly!  All the girls were just as nice in person as they are on their blogs!  I took off with Page and Tara as they were going to be doing the longer runs of the day at 20 and 10 respectively.  I was going to keep it low, around 6, and just turn around at 3.  But in my daze of leaving the house in the morning with my cold I had forgotten my Garmin!  Ugh!  Tara, Page and I were just running and chatting and I finally asked Page how many miles we had gone and she said 3.5!  LOL!  So, Tara was going to turn around at 5 and I just decided to stick it out with her.  I was not disappointed.  The conversation was great, the pace really comfortable and I made a new friend!  Thanks Tara for letting me run with you!

Tara didn't have her Garmin either but knew the trail like the back of her hand.  We turned around at 5 and headed back to finish out the 10.  My legs felt great and again I think it was from the fact that I had run just 12.5 miles for the week.  I think we finished the run in about 1:40 or 1:45 which was awesome.  We met the girls back for coffee and had a blast catching up with everyone.  Thanks again Aron for a great meet-up, I hope we can do it again!

When I got home I took a super long nap!  My cold has been asking me to just rest, rest and rest some more.  We got to bed pretty early as I had a long run I wanted to do on Sunday before we headed to Sacramento to see my Bro!

I got up Sunday feeling like garbage again.  Mornings are the worst when you have a cold!  I didn't want to run, and if I was sticking to my "schedule" I had 20 on the books with 22 in parenthesis if I was feeling it.  I was not.  I told myself to shoot for 16 and see what I could pull out.  I still have a few weeks for a couple of longer runs so I was trying not to freak.  We headed out and the weather was awesome!  I started out in shorts and a tech t-shirt and by mile 8 I was down to my sports bra!  My legs weren't tired at all, but my body was holding me back.  I knew 20 was out of the question so I tried to push for 18.  Sadly, I had to listen to myself and I turned around and finished the run with 17. 
17 miles 2:28:11  8:43/mi pace.  
I am so disappointed in this run but I know I need to keep a level head about it.  I had some faster miles in there in the 7:50 range but the last few miles I was dragging and had just ran out of gas.  I got the miles done and finished the week with 39.5 with just four days of running.  I'll take it. 

After the run we headed up to Sacramento where I finally got to see my big Bro and wrap my arms around him!  I was so overwhelmed with seeing him that we were all crying!  We all realized how short and precious life is this past week.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are lucky people.  The weather in Sac was just as beautiful and we all just hung out and enjoyed celebrating Ari. 

I am still feeling like garbage and I have a crazy work week ahead of me.  I'm going to just put my head down and plow through the mounds of work I have.  I will also be trying to get back on schedule for the week with running and cross training.  I have the Shamrock Half Marathon to look forward to on Sunday, too! 

I also wanted to let you know that I am running in the Relay in May and we are raising money for Organs 'R' Us.  Any amount you could give would be awesome.  Our team is super excited to run and race and to raise money for a really great cause. 

Congrats to all the racers this weekend, especially Tonia who had a huge PR!  Whoo hoo!
Happy Running and Happy Monday peeps!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sigh of Relief

First off, I just want to say thank you to all of you who left me such kind and warm messages regarding my Bro.  I am happy to report that he landed safe and sound in Sacramento yesterday and we are all finally breathing a sigh of relief.  These past 6 days have been the most trying times for my family, but we held together strong and it has really given us a renewed sense of how lucky we all are.  Thank you again to all of you.  It was really therapeutic to put out there to all of you the trials we were facing and the thoughts and fears that were swarming around in my head.  I know this is a running blog, but sometimes life isn't always rainbows, sun shine and running.

In other news, I am sick!  Like, really, really sick.  I think I caught this cold/throat/nasty thing from one of my clients.  Sometimes during tax season it can feel like I am working at 7-11.  You get all kinds in here - that is one thing about taxes, it doesn't escape any of us.  And as often I wash my hands and wipe down my desk a zillion times, I am bound to get hit with something.  You would think my immune system would be awesome with how healthy I am, but alas I got hit!  I went to the doctor yesterday and she doesn't think it's strep throat, but I am still waiting on the lab result.  I did find out though, that my blood pressure was excellent (108/50) and my pulse is awesome, too! (61 bpm) - not bad!  I just feel like crud though and am back in the office today.  The worse part of this crud is that I have a killer sore throat.  It was so bad yesterday I was crying every time I swallowed!  I stayed home yesterday from work and doing that during tax season, missing just one day, is a death sentence.  I came into my office and desk today with it piled high with stuff!  So I am going to plug away and see how long I can last.  It's funny, Monday night, the night before I cam down with this monster, I had one of my best speed workouts in a while!  Go figure!

Oh, and I signed up yesterday and was accepted for the Boston 5K the day before the marathon.  This cheered me up a bit.  I am going to totally "jog" it, like 9-10 min pace just to get the kinks out of my legs.  I don't even care if I come in last place!  It will be fun, as it goes by tons of Boston landmarks and you get a medal!  Whoo hoo!

I also had this really fun giveaway/challenge all set up and ready to post yesterday but I think I will wait tomorrow because it is no fun creating a challenge you can't even participate in!  So look for that to come in the next few days. 

Thank you again to all of you for your support and kind thoughts these past few days, it meant the world to me to know all of you were thinking/praying/sending good thoughts our way - I think it paid off :)
I am off to try to catch up on some blogs, to think I didn't even have the energy to do that yesterday!
Happy Thursday and Happy Running peeps!
**And go and check out the awesome giveaway on Marcia's blog - just don't enter, I really need those kettleballs!

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Shock

My weekend started out with so much potential.  Friday I got off work and hit the treadmill for an awesome speed workout.  I did 2 miles warm up and then 400's and 800's ending with six miles with a mile average of 7:01 and a total of eight miles for the run.  I felt great.  My knees warmed up after the first two miles and didn't hurt the entire time.  I also got a call from my auntie telling us we had finally secured tickets to go and see my cousin Joan Jett in Tahoe on Saturday night (yes, she is my cousin, but that is for another post).  We had been trying all week to get them but wasn't sure if it would go through since the show was sold out.  But she called and had four tickets waiting for us.  We were really excited. 

After an early dinner with my parents, my hubbs and I went to bed early as we had an early wakeup call of 4 am to get up to Tahoe and snowboard with our friends and family.  At about 11:30 I got a call from my mom.  I was woken up apparently by the fifth time of her calling.  She told me to put on CNN and that my brother had been in a terrible earthquake while in Santiago.  I panicked, and started crying even before she could tell me he was okay at the moment.  We live in earthquake country.  It is no laughing matter.  And no matter how hard you try to be prepared, there is always fear.  As I am sure many of you have heard, Chile has been hit by an 8.8 earthquake.  My brother is in Santiago for business.  She said he made it out of the building okay but that she only talked to him for a few seconds.  Apparently he tried calling his wife, my sister-in-law but couldn't get through.  He had also tried calling me but I didn't hear my phone.  He finally got through to my mom and only had about 30 seconds to tell her he was okay.  After my mom let me know what was going on she went back to trying to call Suzie.  She finally got through and of course we were all so upset.  CNN immediately had images of the situation on TV.  It was bad.  I was crying, I was scared and felt so helpless.  While my mom tried Suzie I kept trying my brother's international phone but to no avail.  It would connect then go dead.  I tried probably 50 times with no luck.  We sat up all night watching the news and trying to get through.

Suzie and I stayed on the phone together all night talking and watching the news while my mom and Ari kept trying my brother's phone.  All the images coming from the TV where awful.  The whole country looked like it had crumbled.  In the 30 second conversation my mom had had with my brother he told her that he was woken up violently in his hotel room to the shaking and his TV falling off the dresser and everything crashing in his room.  He had attempted to put his pants and shoes on but his arm was asleep and just had to flee the 14 flights down the hotel stairwell and get out.  He came out to the street with about 12 other people and sat across the street in the park with about 500 other people.  He thought it was the end he told her.  He is a big, strong guy.  Very rational, but my mom said he told her all of this through tears and fear.  He wasn't able to grab a thing, not his phone, his passport or his shoes or pants.  Thankfully, it's the end of summer there so he wasn't in danger of being cold.  He had to hang up as he had to give back the phone to the person he had browed it from.

This was the only news we got from him until 8:30 am the next morning our time (1:30 Chile time) when my phone finally got through to him.  I was the first to talk to him.  He said the hotel he was staying at had taken good care of them.  They had brought him almost right away a robe and slippers and had already fed them breakfast and lunch.  He was lucky to be staying where he was.  He was at the Hyatt in Santiago, a brand new 5 star hotel that is built on casters.  His hotel only had minor damages and was standing just fine.  Apparently everything had come down inside but they had managed to have the building standing okay.  He told us he had been in contact with the embassy and they were trying to figure out a way to get them out.  I sobbed on the phone with him as he told me he thought it was the end.  How he thought of his family and all of us.  He was crying too, but so happy to hear one of our voices.  His plan was to stay at the hotel and wait it out.  He was kind of in a bubble though.  His hotel is in a brand new part of Santiago that is built to withstand these kinds of quakes.  He had no real idea yet of the damage in the rest of the country.  He did know though, that the main highway to the airport had buckled and that the airport was closed for at least 24 hours.

After I got off the phone with him, Suzie got through to him and so did my mom.  I had been up all night watching the TV and talking on the phone.  It was awful.  I was exhausted and we had no idea what we were up against.  I sent Ari out for a big cup of coffee and bagel for me and went back to watching the TV in bed.  I think I watched that TV non-stop for at least 14 hours that night and day.  He was able to keep calling us back and giving us updates on his situation.  The plan was for him to stay put at the hotel.  Many people were trying to flee to Mendoza in Argentina but the roads were bad and it wasn't a sure thing.  He said he was going to sleep outside next to the pool that night and wait for the embassy to get back to him. 

We had immediately called off our trip to Tahoe in the middle of the night.  There was no way we were going to frolic in the snow while my bro was in harm's way.  He was able to go back in the building and shower and get his things but he was going to camp outside next to the pool from now on.  It was so hard to hear the fear in his voice.  All day Saturday we stayed by the phone and TV.  The images on CNN were awful, and the only thing keeping us sane was the fact that he said he gone out to the street and said there was no damage near him.  He was in a really good spot and the hotel was taking really good care of him.  He was so lucky to be staying where he was.  The only problem now was how to get him home.  Delta canceled all flights out of Santiago until Tuesday and he was now confirmed on a flight for Wednesday.  72 hours of waiting?  WTF?  So we braced to sit and wait it out with him.  Suzie was a wreck but she was holding it together well as was my mom and dad.

Saturday night he slept outside and we all kept glued to the TV and phone.  But he woke us up again on Sunday morning saying that while he went in for 20 mins to take a shower another huge after shock came and he had to flee again.  We were living it all over.  That aftershock though put things into motion though.  The company he was working for contacted him and his colleagues yesterday with a plan to get them out of there.  They were sending a private plane to Mendoza in Argentina on Tuesday morning and that they were to get on there.  The only problem is, he had to get in a van, cross the Andes and then into Mendoza that is swamped with people who have fled Chile.  But it is his best option, because they are saying the airport in Santiago is still closed until further notice.  So yesterday afternoon he called us with all of his plans.  He is getting on a bus this morning, driving over the Andes, crossing into Argentina, where he is boarding a private jet to Brazil, where they will drop off a passenger in Sao Paolo, then on to Equador for refueling, then to Raleigh, NC where he will then get on a plane home to California.  As we speak, he is arriving in Argentina hopefully where he will spend the night there then board the plane tomorrow morning home.  He was able to call Suzie this morning when he got on the bus but won't be able to call again until he gets into Argentina.  More waiting.

As you can imagine my weekend didn't go as planed.  I spent the day vegging out in front of the TV and waiting for FB updates and phone calls from my bro and Suzie.  I didn't get to do my long run as I just had no desire or energy to do anything like that.  After we heard of the plan to get him home, he told us all to relax for a while.  It was hard though, because he kept posting on FB about all the awful aftershocks he was feeling.  Ari decided we needed a change of scenery so we headed over to Santa Cruz where I ran about four miles and took Lilly to the beach.  It was a nice distraction.  My legs felt like lead, but I think that was more due to the fact that my heart is heavy.

I have a very close relationship with my brother.  He is one of my best friends and I am so lucky in the sibling department.  We are lucky people.  We say it time and time again.  I had no idea my weekend would look like this.  My brother survived an 8.8 earthquake, we are all healthy and happy, no one in our family is at war and we all have roofs over our heads.  We are lucky people.  I drove into work this morning with a new set of eyes.  We are really blessed.  Not just by material things but by how rich our lives are with one another.  My heart goes out to all the people in Chile who have been hurt by the quake.  None of them were lucky enough to be staying at a 5 star hotel that was built so well.

I am still on pins and needles and will be until we hear he is safe in Argentina and then safe on American soil in NC.  Life is so precious and short, I hate that it sometimes takes catastrophic events like this to remind us.

I'm at work today, I don't know how much good I will be.  But I can't sit at home and watch the TV anymore and I know that he will be okay.  We are all planning to head to Sacramento on Wednesday to wrap our arms around him.  Argentina in the south where he is heading isn't in the best situation as far as security goes right now.  There is some turmoil there and safety might be an issue.  But he will be staying at another nice Hyatt there until he boards the plane Tuesday morning.

Since this is a running blog, I ended the week with a miserable 36 miles.  No long run.  That's okay, it was a hard weekend and my heart was somewhere else.  I was going to do a recovery run today but I might add some miles on and start the week off right.  February was a good month for running, I haven't added up the miles, but I think they are high.  I may not PR in Boston, but I think I'll survive.

I haven't read any blogs yet, so I hope you all had awesome races and long runs.  I'll leave you all with a few pics of our trip to the beach yesterday - it was beautiful.  65 and not a cloud in the sky.  I live in the most awesome place: 4 hours to the snow and Tahoe and 40 mins to the beach and Santa Cruz!  This is why my property taxes are so high!

Sorry this was so long, but as you can tell by the title, I am still in shock and worried.  Thanks for reading as always and I will keep you all updated on his safe return.  Happy Monday peeps and Happy Running.