Monday, June 27, 2011

June 24th & 26th, 2011 - 3.42 & 6.10 Mile Runs

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Both of these runs were nice and relaxing. I was feeling pretty good but I wanted to just clock some maintenance runs because I know how important it is to fully recover after a race. Especially a Half. My goal is to get to a point where I am doing 10-mile runs every weekend. Once that becomes the norm, maybe I’ll be able to do a Half with no down time. As it is, I gave myself 5 full days of rest before I attempted another run.

June 24th, 2011 – 3.42 Mile Run
I’d been feeling pretty good. The only issues I seemed to have were the toes on my right foot. Just my right foot… Which I thought was strange. I had clipped my toenails but I bought new, high- endurance running socks for the race.

Now, I know that you are not supposed to use new gear on a major race but I figured socks couldn’t really be classified as “gear”.

I know! I can hear myself saying it and it sounds stupid to me too! Of *course* socks are gear!!!! Pretty important gear at that! Anything touching your feel, legs, head or arms is pretty important gear on a major run!

Well, lesson learned and I had the blisters to prove it. For a while I thought I might lose my big toenail, but I think that danger has passed.

One of the reasons I took so long in getting back on the pavement was because I could not comfortably wear closed-toed shoes (or even socks) for 5 days.

As soon as I could take any pressure on them, I was lacing up my Brooks just to get a few miles in.

I wasn’t expecting much from this run. I just wanted to see if I could run comfortably for any distance.

Turned out, my legs didn’t feel nearly as heavy as I thought they would and my muscles weren’t as tight.

Almost a mile into the run, I saw this sign. I scribbled out the phone numbers because I thought it prudent and I thought the sign was funny.

Many thoughts ran through my mind: How does one go about getting goats in the city and once you have them, what could transpire to make one lose them? Not only that, what would one do, if on a run, he or she came across said goats? Why, call the number of course! I think it’s funny that they describe the goats, as if they might be confused with any other goats.

Anyway, I hope they find their goats.

June 25th, 2011 – No Running Today
In Loving Memory of The King of Pop. RIP, King Michael.

June 26th, 2011 – 6.10 Mile Run
Interestingly, I didn’t want to do this run but I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do. When I explained this to Chris, he said, ‘Why don’t you just relax”….. Well, that didn’t sound like something I would do.

So I laced up the Brooks again and headed out for an easy run up the hill to check out a trail I’d been meaning to explore for quite awhile.

This trail is in a *really* nice neighborhood at the top of a hill where the lawns are well manicured and the streets and sidewalks are wide and arranged with open-air exercise in mind and they have trails all throughout the development.

Fortunately, they are all owned and maintained by the City so the public have access to them too. I can’t afford to live up there but I can afford to live near enough to run up and take advantage for the beautiful scenery.

I knew this was going to be a rough run because (1) it was hilly. Everything after mile 1 was hilly; and (2) I am not at all confident about running trails. There were times when I could open up and put on a little more speed, but I didn’t because I can sprain my ankle on a shadow. So precarious footing makes me *really* cautious.

Also, not knowing exactly where I was going puts me on edge a little too.

But I had plenty of daylight and I began to see immediately that at no point was the neighborhood out of sight. If anything happened, I probably could make enough noise to attract the attention of a resident. So I cranked up the gospel music and moved as quickly as I dared.

It was a nice run and a pretty decent workout. I was going pretty slowly but I sprinted up every incline and took as much time as I wanted to recover.

It was great to stop and just look around this beautiful area on this glorious day! And wonder what it might be like to live up here in one of these grandiose mansions.

At about the 3 mile mark, I came across this sign.

Ah, well….. How many times have we longed for something, only to find that it’s contaminated with sewage?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 18th – City Impact Beachfront Half Marathon

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I am glad to have this race under my belt. It was a small event and I was able to finish it in 2:37, according to my watch. That’s the time I’m stickin' with. The official time will be different but I didn’t trust it.

The organizers offered 2 start times. Runners with an expected finish time of more than 2:30, started at 7am and every one else got to start at 8am. So they didn’t start the clock when we started. They didn’t start it until the gun fired for the faster runners. They took our numbers and told us they would just "add an hour" to our times. I felt like their margin for error was going to be pretty high, so I was very careful with my own time piece.

How demoralizing would it be to get passed at some point by someone who started AN HOUR after I did!!!!

It happened though…… many times. But by then, I was just focused on trying to finish.

I was upset with my finish, but I shouldn’t have been. My training consisted of working to do a 12 minute pace for 10 miles. I managed to maintain an 11:57 mile pace for 13.1 miles. If I wanted to do to it faster, I should have trained to do it faster.

Since I did what I trained to do, I’m calling it a win. Also, my main goal was to PR, which I did. Anything faster than 2:45 was going to be a PR for me. Eight minutes off my best time is nothing to sneeze at, but do wish I’d done better. I wanted to finish in 2:30. But I'm still calling it a win, so the bib goes up on the cork board with all the other races I'm proud of.

It was an out and back route and it was relatively flat. We were right on the beach almost the entire time and the weather was gloomy and perfect for a half marathon. It really was a great time. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

I made the mistake of running in brand new socks and I have the blisters to prove it. Youch!!! I wanted good quality, high endurance socks that were moisture wicking and wouldn’t have holes by the end. They stood up to the task but left me raw and sore.

I stopped off to see Cindy McTeer at Bella Cosas in Camarillo, so I could add a sailboat charm to my bracelet. Every Half Marathon gets a charm.

They didn’t do finisher’s medals for this race. Every finisher got a finisher’s metal bottle. I’m not sure that I’ll ever use it, but there it is.

This is me, back at home with a tired and achy smile. The chaos doesn’t stop just cuz I decided to run 13.1 miles this morning, so I’ve got chores to do and kids to bathe.

Besides, it’s Father’s day weekend. Chris needs to be spoiled and pampered.

Happy Father’s Day to all the super hero Dad’s out there!!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14th, 2011 – 3.44 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was a good tempo run. I stayed in the 10:?? min/mi range (excluding traffic light stops), which is around my 5k Race Day pace (in a flat, road race).

This was challenging for me but extremely satisfying. If I can work up to maintaining that pace for a full 13.1 miles, that would be the dream.

As it is, I was proud to keep it going for nearly 3.5 miles.

The ultimate goal is to still be doing this when I’m 75 so I need to keep that in mind while I’m pounding the pavement. I’d rather cross the finish line last then have to go see the doctor the next day.

While I do want to be careful, I also want to be sure to continuously challenge myself.
That’s what this run was about. It felt good.

I feel like I earned my rest tonight…. And maybe a chocolate chip cookie or two.


Monday, June 13, 2011

June 11th, 2011 – 10.05 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I started out this run with the sole purpose of covering 10 miles. It didn’t matter how long it took. I just wanted to be able to cover the distance because I hadn’t done it in quite some time.

I have the Half next weekend and I just need to get through it because I feel like I haven’t trained for it all. So this run was very important. Of course, I would like to PR, but at this point am just determined to finish it.

In order to PR, I have to finish in less than 2:45. I have been frustrated lately because I have been following a couple of people who had decided to train for a Half for various reasons: weight loss, better fitness, some life milestone, a sense of accomplishment, etc. They are very like me, not super-athletes, not stick thin, busy mothers and wives making time to train whenever they can. And they have managed to finish this distance in under 2:30, one was 2:33, but I’d gladly take that too.

So I looked back on my past blog entries to see if I could see where I went wrong.

With the Wounded Warrior Half, I finished in 2:45. After looking at the blog entry, I saw that I stopped at every mile to take a snap shot of every mile marker. I took pix of the funnier military signs and the cute Navy kids (well, they were grown, but they were 20-something).

It could be argued that this was an opportunity wasted. This took place on a Naval Airport Base so it was a flat course and if I was going to PR, this would have been the venue to do so. However…. It was my very first Half Marathon, so any finishing time would have been a PR. Also, I wanted to be very present for this race, so I am glad to have it well documented. But all the unnecessary stops really cut into my time. I can avoid that this time.

Also, for that race I had only trained for 10 miles. I had only covered the full distance once in my training. This remains an issue. Sure have several months of steady training under my belt now, but I have only covered 10 miles once in my training and have not covered the full distance. This being the week of, it’s likely that I will be tapering and not covering the full distance during training at all. So I fully expect to hit the mall. If I can stave it off until mile 10, as opposed to mile 7 or 9, I will consider myself a success.

The Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon was even worse as far as time goes. After looking at my blog entry for that race, I realized, I’d forgotten my watch in the car, so I couldn’t time my intervals. I had trained all year with 4 and 1 intervals but had no way of tracking it for the race. This was a major time killer. I finished in 2:50.

Also, I was scheduled to be on the ABC hit game show, WipeOut the next day. That was just a scheduling fluke. I had auditioned for the show, never dreaming that I’d be selected, but I was and we were set to shoot the day after the Half.

All the goals I had been nurturing all year were (no pun intended), wiped out. I just wanted to finish without hurting myself so I could be on the show the next day….. and then hurt myself. Which is exactly how it went.

Finally, miles 8 and 9 were almost completely uphill, so I ended up walking almost a mile, which sliced into my time. Having hills, so close to the end of the race was cruel and unusual…well maybe not unusual, but cruel.

Well, I have studied the course of the race this weekend and found it to be flatter than the routes I have been training on. This is good. I will *NOT* forget my watch, even if I have to sleep in it the night before! I have no bone-crushing game shows to appear on the next day and while Ventura is beautiful in spring, the nostalgia of my first Half is passed, so I won’t be stopping to take pix during the race.

With that in mind, even though I have only trained up to the 10 miles, I feel like I am up to posting a PR on this race. Anything under 2:45 would be fine with me and if I can add another medal to my collection, I will consider myself a success.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

May 31st thru June 7th – 20.73 Miles Total

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I am logging 5 activities with this entry. I have fallen behind on my blogging and I want to bring myself up to date.

May 31st, 2011 – 4.83 Mile Run
This run was a labor of love. I really didn’t want to do it. I had done a 5.51 mile run two days before and I really could have talked myself into skipping it.

As usual, I was glad I went through with it. This was a hilly workout out. I took it very easily because I have been having some AT issues.

When I got home, I sat on the floor and stretched, which is one of my least favorite things to do. But you gotta do it. It’s much more pleasant if you can distract yourself with a good article!

June 1st, 2011 – 3.15 Mile Run
If I’m being honest with myself, here was another run I really didn’t want to do. But it’s the first day of the month. And I can always hear my step-mother telling me “The way you start somethin’ is the way it’s gonna be!”

So that means: No matter what and no matter how far, if you want to have a decent month, you get your butt up and get that run in on the first day of the month!!! Runners can be as superstitious as boxers and baseball players.

Being a woman of Faith, I don’t claim to believe in superstition, but one bad experience with ShotBloks made me a lifelong Sports Beans fan; I never fail to pray during a run; My run is always “off” if I forget to wear a sweatband on my right wrist; I never feel completely safe without my pepper spray and I *ALWAYS* try to get a run in on the first day of the month!!

I took Jordan with me this time and did the trail I did with Lloyd a few days earlier. I let Jordan set the pace so it was pretty slow but that was OK with me because I was still a little fatigued from my last two runs.

It was a beautiful day and we saw enough bunnies to make it worthwhile. A very pleasant way to start the month with my boy!

June 5th, 2011 – 1.62 Mile Run
My brother and I drove up to Visalia to be at my Dad’s Retirement Dinner! It was such a great time. We presented him with a pocket watch and we both gave speeches. It was like old times. We laughed and enjoyed our time together.

We rented a room and got up the next morning for a brief run. Runs with my bro are always brief because he’s like chocolate lightning! He is so fast! I can’t keep up with the guy! He’s amazes me. He’s good without even trying.

June 6th, 2011 – 5.86 Mile Run
Now I have to really start focusing on adding distance to my runs. I have to be ready for a half marathon in 12 days.

I decided to combine two of my routes. I was hoping for an even 6 but I was just shy. This run had some hill work but it wasn’t too bad.

I am still having some AT issues after mile 5. I’m starting to get concerned about it. I’m not sure if it’s form, overtraining or my new shoes. The pain goes away almost immediately and with a few seconds of stretching the next morning is completely gone. It doesn’t impede my wearing dress shoes and going barefoot doesn’t seem to exacerbate it. I am considering trying my old Asics just to see if I can isolate the problem to the new shoes.

That would be a tragedy, as they are the most expensive running shoes I’ve ever owned, but it would confirm quite few articles I’ve read about fancy running shoes. *sigh*

But here’s a new piece of equipment that gets full marks!!!! I got to try out my new handheld fuel belt. It’s a 10oz bottle, which makes it great for short runs. The hot pink strap makes it just perfect for me. So far, I am loving this little guy!

June 7th, 2011 – 5.27 Mile Run
This was another attempt at getting some mileage in. I mapped this route and the entire loop is 10 miles. I decided to run the first 2.6 or so miles and head back home because I knew I would lose my daylight. Once I hit the 2 mile mark, it got pretty hilly. I was excited to do about a half mile of hills, then head back down. It's a good start.

This run was OK. I started to feel that familiar twinge in my right AT right at about mile 5. I stretched it out at a traffic light but it’s really starting to worry me.

Another product Review! Here are my new running glasses! I never realized that eyewear mattered. My regular shades always fogged up before I even reached the one mile mark. I figured all glasses did this but apparently not! There are sunglasses made for sports!!! Imagine that.

Sports sunglasses are much lighter, they wrap around to cover your peripheral vision and they allow more air to circulate between your face and the frames so they don’t fog up! These claim to be unbreakable but that really does remain to be seen. I’ve only had them for about a week and I’ve only run in them three times.

So far, I’m really happy with them. My son says I look like a super hero in them (Rainbow Girl – I’m not sure what her powers are, but I’ll take it).