Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, Monday, Monday

See? Told you I was running out of blog post titles!
I got in the car this morning and saw this on my odometer! 26662 - perfect omen to start another heavy week of marathon training!

What a busy weekend!  Thank you again for all the kind comments on my auntie.  She passed away peacefully early Thursday morning.  We all thought we would be heading down to LA for a funeral, but my uncle ended up honoring her request for no funeral and instead will have a small memorial at the end of next month when they scatter her ashes.  Although it made my life a bit easier to not have to fly down there on such short notice, I feel terrible for not being able to see him and console him.  She was a pretty awesome lady and will be very missed.

My running this weekend went exactly as planned.  It was a cut back week for me and I enjoyed the fewer miles.  Friday I still took off from work and tackled cleaning my house before heading out for a quick 8 miles.  Does anyone else suffer from this?  When deep into marathon training, any run less than 8 miles feels like I haven't run at all.  Those 5 milers and 6 miler recovery runs just don't feel like I've done much when you're tackling 18+ miles on your long run.  Hmmm....guess it comes with the territory.  The weather cooled off a ton this week and we were again greeted with fall like temps - my fav!  So that quick 8 miler was just that - refreshing, cool and speedy.

Saturday I woke up to the best running conditions you can ask for.  Perfect for just a sports bra and shorts but cool and comfortable the whole time.  I ran 14 miles as my long run this week and it felt so weird to stop at 14!  Oh, but it was a great welcome.  I managed to hold 8:19's the whole run and my knees decided to cooperate!  After an ice bath and a quick nap, I got ready to go and see Dave Matthews Band! with a friend from high school.  I was yawning the whole time while we waited for them to take the stage.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to stay awake!  But the show didn't disappoint and I even stayed up past 2am!  I don't think I've been up that late since the Relay! Ha!

That's Dave!  We were 15 rows back - I could almost touch him!

Sunday morning came way to early but I finally got my butt out for a nice 6 mile recovery run to end the week with 51.5 miles.  And actually, I think that figure is almost right - it's more of a guesstimate since I went to SF on Thursday to get my run on and when I got there my Garmin was dead!  I had charged it the night before and even cleared the history but it was dead - wouldn't even turn on.  So I did the 2.5 mile out and back stretch I know twice and then a little more to make it around 11 miles for the day.  When I got home that evening I attempted to put it on the charger again and turn it on.  But it was still dead even on the charger. So I googled dead Garmin and had to do a soft reset.  Has this happened to anyone else?  I've never, never (knock on wood) had issues with my Garmin, I don't even think I've had a case of the Garmin gremlins!  It's back to working now, but I did have a small freak out and my husband may or may have not had to talk me out of attempting to get to Sports Basement at 8pm at night for a new one ;)

Today is my second to last day at work!  Couldn't be more excited AND nervous all at the same time.  I'm excited to see where this new business venture takes me but still have some worries.  I'm sure once things get rolling this will all be cured.  So wish me luck today and tomorrow - should be interesting to say the least!

I'm off to catch up with all of you! 
Happy Monday and Happy Running!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3 Things Thursday

Because I love to number things, here we go!

1.  Yesterday was a much needed rest day!  Again, it felt sooo good to go home and do nothing.  Well, nothing is relative - I managed laundry and cooking dinner, but you get the point, NO RUNNING!  I like taking this mid-week rest day as it gives me the rest I need to tackle my med-long run on Thursday and then go into the weekend feeling a bit more rested than if I kept going.  I changed my schedule a few weeks back and I'm loving it!

2.  If you haven't been keeping track - it's been HOTTTTTTT here in the Bay Area!  Like triple digits hot!  Monday I had every intention of getting my run done on the treadmill at home, but when I hit start I just couldn't imagine slogging out 6 miles on that thing!  So off I hopped and went for a run outside.  Yeah, probably not my smartest move as it was 92+ when I started at 5:30.  But the heat was more bearable (believe it or not) than running on that stupid machine.  6 miles done and I was a sweaty beast!  I actually was able to maintain a 8:23 average the whole time and only stopped once to stretch!  Tuesday I went to the gym for my track workout.  It was 108 when I went in!!!  I really had no idea how it was going to go, but did I get part of the workout in with 6x800's (had 8 to do with one 1600 in the middle) with a great cool down.  8 miles in 1:00:03!  Nice!  I nailed it and it felt so good.  The second I stepped out of the Y though, it was still HOT!  Thankfully we have a cool down coming today - I don't think I can do much more of this!

3.  Today the hubbs and I are going to head into SF for a run.  I have my med-long run to do and with his new found appreciation of running (he's lost 5 pounds in the last couple of weeks with running!) he has no prob driving all over the Bay with me to change it up.  I would love to get 14 in, but we'll see how long he lasts ;)  Afterwards we are going to treat ourselves to a fun dinner in the city - a perfect Thursday in my opinion.

I may be MIA after today in the blog world for a few days.  Looks like I will be heading down to LA in the next couple of days.  I have an auntie about to pass away.  It kind-of puts a damper on when I will be leaving work now - but family first.  I was planning on Tuesday being my last day but I don't think I will be there.  I will probably have to push it out a couple of days - oh well.

Have a great Thursday!  Happy Running peeps!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Of Long Runs and Lazy Weekends...

I think the only thing that got me out of bed and to work this morning was that I can finally start my count down!  7 work days left!  Whoo hoo!  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!  I'm going to be the Little Engine that could this week!

This weekend wasn't filled with too many exciting things - I really just focused on getting my runs in and recovering well.  It was a heavy running week for me and by last night my legs were not happy.  Actually, my knees weren't happy but they aren't as bas as they have been thank goodness.

Friday I took off work to get some things done for my new business.  In between everything I did manage an 8 miler that went so-so.  My legs were heavy from the Sunset Run that I did the night before where I ran 12 COLD miles up in San Francisco.  At the charity run I got to meet up with some awesome friends and bloggy peeps for 5 easy miles together.  I did 7 tempo miles before they arrived and then did joined them for the rest - thanks Kristen and Julianne!

At the base of the Golden Gate - see how cold it was! I was wearing a jacket - AND RUNNING!

Saturday it was cool in the Bay!  Just when we're starting to enjoy the Fall like temps, this week is going to heat up  close to 100 - boo!  I took advantage of the cool temps though and enjoyed 10 miles.  I drove to a cute area in San Jose called Willow Glen to get the miles done.  I really needed a change of pace and scenery!  And...this is where I did my MCM Mamma - Mamma Goes Masters Virtual Race!  Race report to follow!  Since the race was to be 8.25 miles and I had 10 to do, I did a nice 1.75 mile warm up and then hit the gas and ran a speedy 8.25 miles in some fun scenery.  Willow Glen is very charming and always busting with people out and about.  And with a race to run this was the perfect place to get it done!

After my run I went home and relaxed!  It felt good to do nothing!  Well, nothing is relative since I did have a pile of laundry to tackle, grocery shopping to get done and general errands - but with no place to be and no one to have to be accountable to it felt good to having nothing on my plate!

Sunday I woke up a little later than I would have liked.  I need to work on getting up earlier to get these dang long runs in.  Even though it wasn't by any means warm out, when you're finishing a long run at 11 am it still feels as if you're running in the heat.  I had 18 miles on schedule and the first 5 were a slog fest.  I contemplated quitting about a zillion times.  My legs just didn't want to move.  At mile 5 I stopped, stretched, ate some peanut butter and jelly and then with the help of the hubbs, psyched myself up enough to finish.  The plan was to run 10 of the miles at marathon pace, which for me right now is 8:00 miles.  I am gunning for a low 3:30 at Long Beach but I'm not sure if that is going to happen after this run.  Yes, I already had 43 miles on my legs for the week and asking them to run fast for 18 was probably not smart.  After mile 5, here are my mile splits - not bad, but not great:
6- 7:51 (whoa, slow it down speedy!)
7- 8:01 (perfect)
8- 8:00 (exactly!)
9- 8:06 (I think I'm in over my head!)
10- 8:05
11- 8:01
12- 8:11 (yeah, I'm crazy to think I can hold this for 26.2!)
13 - 8:10
14- 8:13
15- 8:02 (gotta make this one strong!)
I was still in the range I would need to be for my goal time but those last couple of miles at goal pace were brutal.  With just three miles to go I stopped and refueled and tried to gather myself.  Every self doubt I have been having came to light for me.  Today I'm still worried that I might be out of my league.  I finished the last 3 miles with a good cool down and went home to ice bath and drown my doubts in carbs.
18 miles total
8 - 1:07:19 - 8:25/mi pace
10 - 1:21:40 - 8:07/mi pace
I know it doesn't look as bad as it could on paper.  But they were a hard 18 miles and now I am rethinking my plans for October.  Not sure what the plan is just yet, but I think letting go of some pressure will help me get to the finish line a little easier.
I finished the week with 61.5 miles - I haven't done that many miles in a long time and I think it's only the 3rd or 4th time I have ever broke the 60 mile mark.  Thankfully, this is a cut back week!  Whoo hoo!  My long run is only 14!  And I'm throwing in an extra rest day - yes!

I'm not too sure what my plan will be with Long Beach.  I even contimplated cutting down to the half.  I have a full in Tahoe at the end of September that should be fun and although it is a challenging course, the first half is relatively flat and I'm going to use it as a gage for Long Beach.  I would love to BQ again, but I'm not willing to do it if it makes me burnt out or hate my running.  I have less than 60 days left until the big race day - not that long but just long enough to figure out what I really want out of that race.

Looks like you all had a busy weekend!  I'm off to catch up with you all!
Happy Monday and Happy Running!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3 Things Thursday

I don't know about you, but I have the hardest time coming up with blog post titles!  If it's not an automatic given like a race report, I toil over what to title it every.single.time.  Thankfully, Thursday rolls around at least once a week and I get a break from having to think! LOL!  Now, on to the good stuff...

1.  Thank you again to all of you for your KIND words of support while I make this transition from working to self-employed.  It's scary, exciting and a whole other list of emotions that could really make me go crazy!  But your continued support means the world to me, so thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  My boss has attempted to scramble and try to keep me still.  I'm flattered, but it's a little to late.  He offered me a few months off until tax time and then more money. nice as that sounds, I need to attempt to make a go at it.  And although he has no clue I'm going out on my own, it does feel like a small safety net.  Who knows, I could fall flat on my face.  It's good to know I "potentially" still have a place to go back to work. 

2.  My knees are still a problem.  But they are not nearly as bad as they have been.  Meet my new best friend:
Yes, that is a rolling pin.  I know many of you use the Stick to self massage your aching, tired muscles, but I just couldn't justify spending $20 on a plastic stick.  I had this rolling pin laying around since we got married.  I don't bake so don't worry, I won't roll out my glutes then offer to bake you a pie.  It works just as well and in my opinion is even better since it was, well - free :)  I am rolling out my quads and my calves and it seems to really help with the soreness in my knees.  I think that my quads were tight and were pulling on my knees.  So every night I have a little torture session.  My hubbs loves to assist in this ;)  It hurts so good!  If you are looking for a self torture massage stick, look no further than your kitchen - I bet you have one lying around, too.

3.  Yesterday I took a rest day.  It had been 9 days since my last.  Wow, that sounds like a confession I would tell my priest!  But it felt soooo good to go home and do nothing but a little core work and play with the pooch.  Today though is back to business.  I'm heading into San Francisco for a charity run and am going to add on some miles to the scheduled 5 mile run.  I have 12-14 I need to get done and San Francisco's cool temps are calling my name!  Best part, I get to run with two awesome chica's - Julianne and Kristen!  Can't wait to see you ladies!

It's almost Friday!  Enjoy your day!
Happy Thursday and Happy Running peeps!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Survived

Thank you to everyone who left me a kind comment yesterday giving me just the support I needed!  It didn't go as planned, but nothing ever does!  Our receptionist decided to quit, too.  Only, she just left a note with her key and basically said peace out!  No explanation, no reasons - just that she quit.  It wasn't a surprise to me as she was a pretty emotional wreck, but my boss was shocked.  Didn't I feel like a big jerk though when I had to go in and tell him my news!

He took it fairly well, asking me several times in light of both of us quiting, "is it me?  Is it something I have done?"  Hahahahaha!  If only I had the nerve to tell him, but I'm not that mean.  He tried in vain to offer me more money, give me time off, etc., but I stood firm and let him know that I was done.  Now, I have a little over two weeks to get my desk cleaned up for him and then I'm out of here!  I felt horrible I had to drop my bomb on him when the receptionist did what she did, I even had contemplated waiting until today, but I did it and just like many of you said the weight was off my shoulders immediately.

Thank you again for all your support.  It meant a ton to me.  When I got off work I went home for an awesome 8.2 mile run followed by a big gin and tonic ;)  Just what I needed. 

I promise, tomorrow this blog will resume back to it's normal running scene :)  Until then...
Happy Tuesday and Happy Running peeps!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Mash Up

I really hate to do this to all of you, but hell it's my blog, but today is the day I'm putting in my notice and I'm a bundle of nerves.  I don't think I've ever been this nervous when giving notice, then again I've never worked in such an environment before.  I've gone over every possibility of my boss' reaction with my hubbs and family and it really just comes down to what I want and need and I can't let him affect me.  I'm moving on to bigger and better things and I need to channel that when I head into his office this afternoon.  I've decided that I'm not going to tell him that I'm going out on my own, just that I'm ready for change right now and I will eventually figure it out.  Which is really not a lie - I'm ready for change and I know the opportunities will present themselves when I'm ready.

So, enough with the stressful post!  On to the weekend round up!  Friday when I left work I really, really, really needed a run.  I was already anticipating what today would look like and I had a really stressful day of actual work.  When I got home the temps were actually decent enough so I set out with no particular goal in mind.  8 miles later and I felt like a new person.  I was able to sweat out a lot of anxiety and clear my head.  Man, how does the rest of the world operate without running therapy?
8 miles 1:05:42 - 8:13/mi pace - After my warm up mile I put my head down and did some mile repeats all coming in around the 7:45/mi pace.  My legs were turning over surprisingly well considering I had just done a long run the day before and I was exhausted.  Amazing what stress can do for your running!!

Saturday, after cleaning house, I headed out a little too late (again).  It was almost 11:00 by the time I got out there and it was warm.  Actually, it could have been a lot worse.  We have had the coolest summer on record in decades here in the Bay Area.  I don't think the temp ever really got above 82 all weekend - such a nice change from what the spring had originally brought.  I wanted to do 10 and packed up a small handheld with Nuun.  By mile 7 or so I was out of water and so thirsty!  I resorted to stopping at some one's front yard and using their hose to fill my water bottle and cool me down!  I'm sure their neighbors thought I was crazy!  So add that to the list of crap you wouldn't normally do if you weren't running: drinking from water hoses from houses you don't know!
10 miles 1:23:01 - 8:18/mi pace  I love to run the 10 mile distance. It makes you feel like you've worked for the day but doesn't leave you spent for hours after.  Which is a good thing since I just signed up for a 10 mile race in Sacramento on 9/12!  I decided to do this race instead of a trail race that day because they have a free kids 1/2 mile race that I want my nephew to do with me.  Should be fun!  If any of you Bay Area peeps are looking for a fun race, come and join me!

My knees are still not happy with me.  The rolling seems to help and I need to stay on top of that.  And icing seems to really do the trick, too.  They are angry and annoying the first mile or so of every run then warm up.  It isn't until I stop running and do my cool down that they start screaming.  I promise, if they don't start to improve soon I will go to the doctor.  I'm just afraid I'm going to get one of those doctor's that tell you to quit running because it's bad for the knees!  I think it's just tight quads so I'll keep up with the rolling and stretching.

Sunday I got up and I had a stiff neck!  Ugh!  I must have slept weird because it was painful (actually still is!).  I had wanted to do 12-14 for the day and just thought I would get out there and see how it would go.  I actually used that stupid Nike mantra, "Just Do It!" to get my butt out there.  About 1/2 mile into my run I saw my cousin Sarah out there running, too!  I crossed the street and joined her!  I love impromptu running dates!  We got all caught up on everything going on in our lives for about 3.5 miles.  She was doing 8 for the day in prep for the Rock N Roll San Jose Half in Oct (I'm going to bandit pace her!).  She was looking good!  But it was getting warm.  So I left her at about 4 miles and headed inside to finish my run.  I did another 8.25 on the mill and called it a day!
4 miles 38:10 - 9:32/mi pace
8.25 miles 1:09:34 - 8:26/mi pace 

I finished the week with 53.25 miles.  And earlier in the week I had passed the 1,000 mile mark for the year!  Whoo hoo!  I think I might actually reach 1,500!  It was a pretty decent week as far as runs go.  I definitely feel like I ran 53 miles for the week, though.  I really like to stay in the 45 range but with the longer runs over the weekend I packed on the miles.  Probably a good thing since Long Beach is just 60 days away!!!

Thanks again for listening to me complain about work!  I swear, it will all get better come 8/31!!!  I promise!  Until then, you may get some posts that contain more complaining than I like :(  What's that saying, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?"  I think that will be my mantra over the next two weeks!

I'm off to catch up with all of you!  Thanks again to all of you who keep coming back, I don't say it enough but your words of support and encouragement mean the world to me :)
Happy Running and Happy Monday peeps!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! & A Friday Update

Yes, I am way behind on announcing my SCAPE winner giveaway - but life has thrown me for a loop this week with training and getting my new business off the ground.  But enough with excuses!  And the winner is:  # 3 Katie at Run This Amazing Day!  When asked the question, what do you do to keep your skin protected? She answered in typical Katie fashion, "I protect my skin by letting a puppy lick me!!"  Nice! And as much as I'm a dog lover, this might be a little over my head :)  Congrats Katie, leave me a comment and I will get your SCAPE products out to you!!!

In other news, work has been a bear.  I'm drained and defeated and can't wait until I'm out on my own and doing business the way I want it to be done.  I decided to take some time off this week as my boss was out of town, and I had a fabulous time with the hubbs.  We were going to go up to Tahoe but work threw a wrench in that for me and we stuck around town enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having.

Wednesday I got in a so-so run.  I think my legs were still recovering from the hard trail race I had ran on Sunday.  They were so lead like that I couldn't believe I was still out there attempting to get a decent run in.  Oh well, got the miles in and called it a day.
7 miles 1:00:33 - 8:39/mi pace

I still hadn't gotten in my long run from last weekend so with a day off I decided yesterday I would tackle it.  We went over to the east bay to get some change of scenery and make it a little less mentally draining.  We went to the Iron Horse Trail and the temps were perfect.  The one awesome thing about this trail is that it is wide and the scenery is just beautiful.  The one bad thing about it, depending on which direction you start it, the way back is a steady incline.  I was an idiot and started at the downhill section which meant for part of the run on the way back I was going uphill.  Mind you, it's not a hill, just a steady incline, but when you already have 6 miles on your legs and you have 10 more ahead of you - you feel it!  I may or may not have had a mental break down, cry fest at mile 12 when I looped back to the start and still had 4 miles ahead of me.  My legs were done and I just didn't want to finish.  But being the good sherpa that he is, the hubbs knocked some sense into me and had me finish strong those last 4 miles :)
16 miles 2:14:06 - 8:23/mi pace

When we got home, my hubbs who is slowly taking up running, wanted to go out for a run.  He asked me to join him and off we went for another 2 miles.  They were slow miles but probably a good way to really cool down after the 16 miles I had ran and the hour long drive we had home.  He is doing great, his kick is good, his form is good, and as much as he keeps telling himself he is NOT a runner, I have a feeling this might stick.  I'm hoping he enters a DU at the end of September - I would love to cheer him on in a race!
2 miles 19:07 - 9:34/mi pace 

When we finished I was toast!  I quickly iced bathed, put some compression socks on and called it a day.  18 miles in one day sure is draining.  I felt bad I didn't even have any energy to help with dinner!   But I'm glad I got it done and I think on Sunday I will cut back the miles of my long run and shoot for 12-14.  We'll see how they feel by then :)

So many changes right now for me, so many un-knowns and it's taking it's toll.  I wish I could fast-forward time to 8/31 and be out of this job.  I'm dreading turning in my notice on Monday.  I need to work on it though, it's eating up a lot of my thoughts and keeping me from being able to be productive with other things.  Although I am leaving on a good note, things haven't been very good at my office and I'm thinking of a zillion million thoughts of how it's going to go.  I just want to get it over.  I have a feeling I won't be sleeping much on Sunday. :(

It's FRIDAY!  And I couldn't be more happy about that!!  I'm off to catch up with all of you.  Man, missing a day of blogging sure puts you behind!  You have all been busy!  Good luck to any of you racing this weekend!
Happy Friday and Happy Running peeps!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend Round-Up: QuickSilver 10K Trail Race Report

Wow!  Where do I start?  I had yet another fabulous weekend of running, racing and enjoying the company of some really awesome peeps!  My weekend started out early on Friday when I bailed out early from work around noon and headed home for a quick 7 miles.  It was HOT, it was WINDY and my legs could tell it had been a while since my rest day.  But it did feel soooo good to run when you have nothing on your plate for the afternoon.  I took it easy because I was planning on getting my long run done the next day. 
7 miles 1:00:46 - 8:41/mi pace

That afternoon the hubbs informed me he wouldn't be able to ride along side of me for my long run.  Ugh!  18 miles is hard to do by yourself, and I wanted to try out some new fuel options.  I didn't feel comfortable doing it on my own in case the stomach decided to hate me so I tried with no avail to find someone else to ride with me.  What?  You don't want to ride a bike next to a miserable runner for 3 hours?  Come on?  What better way to spend your Saturday morning?!  With no available volunteers I decided to do it on my own and just suck it up.

Saturday it was WINDY and cool again.  The temps were fall like but the wind was a bear.  My only thought was, thank god it's not hot!  I set out on my usual loop and by mile 3 my stomach hated me.  What I feared most came to fruition and I decided to call my daddy to come pick me up and bring my butt home.  I felt a little defeated.  I knew there was no way I could go back out on the road with my stomach in that condition.  So, I salvaged the day and hopped on the dreadmill and banged out 6 more.  I thought I would just add on 12 after the trail race the next day and get on with it. 
9 miles  - 1:16:21 - 8:29/mi pace*
*I wore my compressions socks the whole time for this run.  I do believe it really helped me keep my legs fresh for Sunday.  This was the first time I have ever done this and I think it's something I meet keep in my arsenal for ways to keep my legs fresh!

Sunday I was wicked excited to race!  I was meeting up with Ron, Stacey, Ron's sweet wife Meryll and daughter Cassidy for the Quicksilver 10K Trail Race in Almaden - just a stone's throw from my house.  Ron and I have been twitter buds and met up at the SF Race Expo when I first told him about this race.  In typical PunkRockTriGuy fashion, he was on board for any race!  The race group that puts these races is on is just wonderful.  They are a group of athletes that just love to race and they offer lots of different races throughout the year at affordable prices.  The 10K was just $25 and it included a cool schwag bag, a cool pair of socks and some good food at the end.  Plus, the support of the whole race crew is unmatched.  Stacey and I have ran their races before and I was excited to have Ron experience it, too.

I had decided I wanted to try and race this one.  Usually I'm game to hang out and race with my girl Stacey, but the field entry for these races is small, with only 50 peeps at each distance so the chances of some cool AG bling is always on the table.  I got to the race with plenty of time.  Man, it was cold and breezy here in the bay.  Not that I'm complaining, but we all kept saying it felt like October weather, not the beginning of August weather.  Lilly and the hubbs decided to join us, too and we all hung out in the parking lot before the race.  Soon enough, Ron, his fam and Stacey all arrived and the good times started.
Stacey, Ron and moi

I think more than once all of us contemplated screwing the race and going to breakfast instead, but hell we were already out there and there was some bling on the table waiting for all of us.  the 21K peeps were up first and soon after it was time for all of us to line up.  For a second Stacey attempted to try to ring Ron and I in to "tour" the course with her as she likes to call her race style but that didn't last long when we all got eyes of the competition standing around us :)  We were out for blood and soon the gun went off. 

The elevation of this course looks easy.  But let me tell you, it's a bitch.  The first mile is all.up.hill.  And not just any hill - like steep, must walk, still takes your breath away hill.  It is relentless.  And although I had maybe ran half way up the first quarter mile the field spread out thin right away.  Attempting to run/walk was futile and I just decided to hike up it as fast as I could because there was a great down hill waiting for you right at the top of mile 1.  When I hit the down hill it was game on!  I picked up my feet and took off only to be greeted by yet another big hill that forced me to walk up it around 1.75.  Ugh!  The elevation chart had not showed this!  I was already spent and wishing I had chosen the 5K!  

At mile two, there was a nice dead, dried up fox that scared the bejezuschicked my first dude in this mile, too.  For the rest of the race, until mile 4 he would be within about .2 miles of me.  That made me feel a little better as there were mountain lion signs and we were pretty much out there on our own.  The first four miles are all on a fire trail, winding up and around the mountain.  The views were just breath taking and I kept reminding myself just how lucky I was to be out there.  I was pushing hard on the flat sections and the down hills and attempting to conserve energy on the uphills and walk/jog up those.  By mile 4 we hit the single track and a patch of prickly plants that tore your legs up for a good 1/2 mile.  Thankfully, I had worn my recovery socks again and they really helped.  I saw many peeps at the end who had their legs all scraped up from those plants!
Some views of the trail courtesy of Ron :)

When we hit the single track I was pretty much on my own.  It was a lot of down hill, with some little uphills and all in the shade :)  I can't believe I had never been out to this park - I have lived in this area my whole life and it's only about 10 minutes away!  There were many sections that had large rocks you had to climb over, some fun bridges going over a small stream and some beautiful single tracks that just made the first four miles all worth it.  I passed a few peeps doing the 21K in this part but again, for the most part I was on my own.  That was until mile 5.6 when I came across a runner who was down.  He was moaning and pretty badly scuffed up.  He had fallen and went head over heals before landing pretty hard.  I stopped and asked him if he had called anyone or if he needed anything.  He could barely talk but told me they had help on the way and to continue on.  I hated to leave him but with in a few seconds the photographer was coming up the hill and reassured me help was on the way.  I took off to finish my race noting the mileage he was at and pushed forward.  Poor guy, I could hear him moaning and crying for a good 1/2 mile after I left him.

At mile 6.5 I came out to the final stretch on the fire road and an EMT was attempting to get into him.  I felt awful for him because I left him a good 10-12 minutes behind me and she still wasn't even on the steep single tracks yet.  I ran fast down the fire trail and headed home to the finish!
6.75 miles - 1:08:48 - 10:15/mi pace
2nd female overall and 2nd in my AG 30-39
My mile splits were all over the place for this one but by mile 3.5 they were pretty consistent in the 9:30 range - not too shabby for such a difficult course.  The second I crossed I told them exactly where the dude that fell was and they said more help was on the way.  The second thing I did when I finished was think, "oh man, that was a hard course, Ron and Stacey are going to hate me!"  LOL!  It was hard, not for the faint of heart!  Within a few minutes of me crossing, Meryll and Cassidy finished the 5K and had the funniest faces on!  They said the 5K was brutal, too!  Hahaha!  We all waited together and within about 10 minutes Ron came across! 

Then...the waiting began.  We kept on waiting for Stacey to come but she was not coming across.  They even did all the awards ceremonies for all distances and still no Stacey.  I was getting a bit worried because I figured with the difficulty of the course she should have been in around 1:45-1:50.  But by 2 hours she still wasn't in.  Just then they asked over the loud speaker if any big guys could go up the trail to help bring down the injured runner.  My little do-gooder Ari ran up right away and volunteered.  While we waited now for Ari and Stacey - Ron, the fam and I had a little fun :)
Ron getting his 3rd place AG win!  Whoo hoo!
Cassidy (in green) getting her 2nd place AG win!
Love the podium!
After all of our shenanigans in the parking lot waiting on Stacey and praying she was okay, she comes running through the shoot with another chic looking fresh as a daisy!  WTF?  Are you okay?  Turns out Stacey and the other chic were little do-gooders too, and they had stopped to help the EMT drag all her gear and back board back up the hill and onto the trail :)  Wow!  She told us Ari and the guys were attempting to bring him down but he was being a little grumpy.  Turns out, he probably tore his quad muscle - no wonder he was in pain!

For all of Stacey's efforts, she was out there for over 2 and a half hours!  She was totally on pace to come in WAY earlier.  When she finished, the race organizers came over and presented her and the other chic a nice medal and free entry into any race of their choosing!  How nice!
Stacey lookin' way too good for being out on that trail for 2 1/2 hours!

She is too cute!

When it was all said and done, we all had a blast out there.  It was a fun but challenging course and I got to hang with some of the coolest runners I know :)  Ron is just as hardcore as you would imagine - don't let the hair fool you.  And Stacey, yeah, well that bitch earned her wings on Saturday - so proud of you girlie.

Next up, we have another trail race in September we are all running - more shenanigans to follow :)  Thanks Stacey and Ron for a great Sunday of racing - I'm truly lucky to call you both my friend.

Both Ron and Stacey hightailed it out there as it was almost noon and Ari hadn't quite made it back down the mountain yet.  Turns out they couldn't carry the poor guy for very long before he would want to be put down and rest.  My hubbs earned his angel wings that day, too.  By the time we got home there was no way I was adding 12 more miles to the day so we called it a day and spent the rest of it relaxing - perfect.
I finished up the week with 46.75 miles.  I'll take it.  I am going to attempt a long run either today or Tuesday - gonna see how my legs feel.
Thanks again to Ron for all the awesome photos - my camera decided to crap out yesterday.  And thank you for all the awesome PunkRockRacking gear - I feel so hardcore in it :)  It's what the cool kids wear.

I'm off to catch up with every one's busy weekends!  I will announce the winner of my Scape giveaway tomorrow!
Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

3 Things Thursday

Taking a cue from the Redhead and my girl Katie, I decided to go with a 3 Things Thursday post.  Well that, and I'm out of title ideas! :)

1.  Running is like a relationship.  Some days are easier than others.  I always used to tell my un-married friends that marriage takes a lot of work, but when you're with the right person it doesn't feel like "work."  I think that running holds that bit of truth, too.  Monday my run was awful.  Lasted 4 miserable miles on the treadmill for a recovery run before calling it quits.  Tuesday was more of the same, only 7 HOT WINDY miles outside with my knees screaming at me.  I scraped the speedwork and hoped just getting the miles in would help.  Yesterday though, the knees were angry but manageable and I lasted 9 decent miles with an average 7:56/mi pace.  I ran to the gym, 3 miles, ran 3 miles on the dreadmill and did a bazillion crunches and weights, then ran 3 miles home.  Yes, I was spent.  And it was a difficult HOT WINDY run again, but this time, it didn't feel like the previous two days.  Go figure.  Some days you win some, some days you don't.  I guess that's why we all keep coming back - those days where the "work" just feels so right.  I can happily say, my relationship with running is a lot like a marriage.

2.  I have a long run and a 10K trail race this weekend.  I'm more nervous about my 18 mile long run than the race.  I NEED to get my bootie up early and get it done so I don't have a complete 3 hour suffer fest like last Sunday.  I am going to make Friday a rest day and then bring it on Saturday!  I have high hopes...right now.  Sunday is a 10K trail race with some bloggy-local buddies of mine!  PunkRockRunner and Stacey are joining me and I'm hoping to really race this one.  It's the same organization who put on the 10K I won my AG in the beginning of the summer and the one I ran with Stacey just a few weeks ago.  They cap the entry at just 50 peeps a distance so it's easy if you really run it to walk away with some extra bling.  I need some bling right now - actually, my ego could really use it :)

3.  Finally, on a more personal note, I'm starting my own tax accounting firm next month!  Wow, I can't believe I wrote that out.  it's been a long time coming and I haven't actually put my notice in at the firm I'm at yet - so mum's the word with my boss :)  But I'm super excited to get out on my own.  I will have a schedule that is my own, I will have the ability to take on clients that interest me and I want to help, and above all, I will be my own boss.  I'm nervous as hell, so excited I could wet my pants, and can't wait to make it official.  So, in a shameless plug, if you or anyone you know needs help with taxes, personal and small business, bookkeeping or some financial advice, go on over and check out my new web page, Marathon Accounting & Taxes and drop me a line.  You like the name, no?  I'm so original :)  I've had this in the works for so long I can't believe it's almost official.  My dream is to be able to balance the company and a family at the same time.  Actually, my dream job would be able to own a Fleet Feet where I get to combine my love for business and running all in one - maybe some day :)

Thanks for listening to my shameless business plug - this was a huge step for me.  Have a wonderful Thursday peeps and Happy Running!

P.S. Check out this awesome giveaway on my new friend DC Rainmaker is having.  Just please, please don't enter - I want to win!

Monday, August 2, 2010


How did it get to be Monday already!?  And August for that matter?  Sheesh!  I guess time flies when you're having fun! :)

As predicted, my weekend was spent running and relaxing - my favorite.  Friday when I got off work, I headed out for a quick run - or so I thought.  I have been trying to make myself get to the gym lately to keep up with my core workouts and weights, both of which have been severely neglected in the month of July.  My gym is exactly 3 miles away from my house, so I decided to run there, do a few weights and then head home.  Right away though, in those first few steps my knees, both of the them!, were aching and had some pain.  I figured it would take a mile or so for them to warm up and then feel better so I kept plugging along.  Well, not so much.  Those three miles were awful, I was straight into the wind, it was HOT out and all I wanted to do was quit.  So I started bargaining with myself.  I decided that I would make it to the gym, do a couple of miles on the dreadmill then call my mom for a ride home. 

After a couple of miles on the dreadmill and a few hundred crunches I went to call my mom and no answer!  WTF?  She's always home!  I called her cell - no answer.  Called my sis - no answer.  And Ari was still stuck at work.  So, I sucked it up and had to run home.  The worst three miles of my life.  Thankfully the wind was at my back and I did manage to negative split! but really, I think that was due to the fact that I just wanted to get home!  By the time I got home I.was.done.  I actually tweeted that it was easily one of the worst runs I have ever had, easily in the top 5 worst, and continued to ask myself why the hell I do this!
8 miles - 1:05:30 - 8:11/mi pace

Saturday I wanted to run about 6 miles to meet my monthly goal of 170 but I knew that with my long run on Sunday that was probably not a good idea.  I forced myself to take a rest day in hopes that the day off would help me for the 16-18 I had on the books for the next day.  I was bummed I missed my monthly goal but was more worried about finishing on Sunday.

Sunday I woke up late!  Argh!  I wanted to get out early but I slept through my alarm!  I guess I was tired :(  By the time I got my butt out the door to tackle my long run, it was 10 am and I had no sherpa to go with me.  I had no real plan in my head of where to run but I was shooting for 18 and just headed out the door.  I went towards Almaden and hit up  a trail.  It was hot!  Why did I wait so long! knees were killing me.  Many times I thought of scraping the run, just turning around and heading home.  But for some reason, my crazy running brain kept putting one foot in front of the other.  The route I picked was also hilly...what was I thinking?  I passed a ton of peeps out walking and enjoying the sun and all I could think of was that I wish I was at home!  When I reached mile 8 I decided to turn around, no need to beat myself up more for a couple extra miles.  I had wanted to experiment with PB&J sammy's for my long run too, but with no sherpa with me, I had no idea of how to carry them.  My iFitness belt already had my phone and there was really no other place.  So I went with Sport Beans instead of Gu.  I did have to make a pit stop in the bushes at my turn around but other than that, my stomach tolerated the sport beans and thankfully I didn't have to deal with stomach issues on top of my screaming knees!

The whole way home I was envisioning me just sitting on the couch relaxing - it was my motivation to get home!  Those last couple of miles were just dreadful and I was doubting myself like crazy.  I honestly yesterday doubted I could ever run a marathon again, let alone BQ again.  I really wanted to run it at goal pace to see how my training is doing, but alas I finished with an overall pace of 8:22/mi - two seconds over what I would need for a BQ. 
16 miles  - 2:13:51 - 8:22/mi pace
Yes, it was a hilly route.  Yes, it was HOT.  Yes, I probably didn't fuel right.  Yes, it's probably not smart to try and run all your long run miles at goal pace.  And, yes, my knees are in bad shape.  But I'm sure we can all relate when a run goes bad, so does our thoughts.

I don't feel too terrible for not hitting the 18, or even hitting my goal of 170 for the month.  There will be more runs and months to hit my goals.  What I do worry about is my race in October, but I'm sure that is just more left over worries from how terrible the run went.  I do know, I have to figure out my knees.  I have a feeling it's my tight quads pulling on them, so I need to roll out more, stretch more and give myself an extra day of rest this week - all doable.
The aftermath of my run - double ice packs!

I'm signed up for a trail 10K race this weekend that has me excited, and I WILL tackle my long run on Saturday before the sun comes up.  I have learned my lesson, I have the sun burn to prove it!  And even with the rough start of July for me, I finished up with 163.4 miles for the month - not too shabby.  I went back and looked at what I have done for the year and I'm totally on pace to hit 1500 miles, maybe even more!  That made me happy :)

Just realized I rambled on and on about how terrible my runs were.  I hate that.  I run because it really does make me feel good.  I run because I love to eat.  I run because it makes me a better "me."  I'm so grateful that I have the legs and heart to do it, others aren't so fortunate and I need to suck it up and see the blessing that it is.  There are far too many other things in my life and this world to get worked up about - my running shouldn't be one.  Sometimes though, it just feels good to get it out.  But being able to move on is an art form in itself.

Sounds like you all had a great weekend of racing and running!  Especially TMB, Katie and Tara!  Way to rock it girlies!  I'm off to read all about them :)

Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps :)