Monday, November 28, 2011

November 16th thru 26th – 19.42 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.”

It has been pretty crazy lately and I am still working with a new schedule. I need to be more focused about it, really. It seems that my attitude of “Just make sure you keep running” is not settling well in my anal retentive mind, which needs rules and order.

There is no rhyme or reason to my schedule lately, it’s just: Get it in where ever you can and don’t hurt yourself!

Within all of that, there was Thanksgiving. The whole fam rented a large house on the coast and that’s where we spent the weekend. Here is a pic of us right before we were headed back home. It was a great time. So nice to have all the little ones together. I love it when we all wake up together in the same house and it’s nice to have so much support, so whenever I wanted to go out for a run, I didn’t have to worry about who would watch the kids.

I was able to get two good runs in while we were away. They were easy runs but quite hilly. The weather was perfect on the coast and the rain that threatened never came. It was great. However, they were short runs. While I was able to get two good runs in, I still had to be sure not to exhaust myself because I couldn’t completely check out.

So much good company and so much good food!

A FaceBook friend suggested I try Zico brand Coconut water when I mentioned I had a pretty bad cramp in my foot after a run. He said it was high in potassium and promoted rapid hydration. It can be had at Target and of course, online.

I tried the pineapple flavor as well as the mango. Neither were great but the mango was better. I used them as a recovery drink and they seemed to be really good for that. Not a cramp in site. Relatively low calorie and I could taste the sodium. I ordered a case of the Passion Fruit on Amazon. It shipped today. Looking forward to getting it.

On the 15th, I received a copy of “Triathlon Training in Four Weeks” in the mail! I was the winner of a drawing on “Sole Sisters”. YIPPEE!!!

Because I honestly believe that the ocean is alive and trying to kill you, “Doing a Triathlon” hasn’t made it on my Bucket List, but I’ve never won an online give-away so I was thrilled to pieces over that!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeding the stereotype that Black (wo)Men Don’t Swim, I’m a fairly strong swimmer. I can swim a mile in 30 minutes, which is reasonably competitive but the ocean is a scary place, Man! You won’t catch me in there trying to swim a mile away from shore! That’s just crazy talk! If I can find a Tri that’s in a pool, I’ll sign up!

On the 18th, I had the honor and privilege of taking Lloyd out to lunch for his birthday! That was cool. He’s my running mentor. He’s amazing and one of the very few people with whom I can geek out about running for an hour and be eager for more. Good guy. Great guy!

That is pretty much all that’s been going on lately. Busy busy busy but extremely satisfying.

Now, on to the run!
November 16th – 3.04 Mile Run
November 19th – 5.82 Mile Run
November 21st - 3.93 Mile Run
November 24th – 3.29 Mile Run – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
November 26th – 3.34 Mile Run

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Long Run (Review)

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 combines two of my favorite pastimes: Reading and Running.... Not necessarily in that order.

This book popped up as a Kindle owners Deal-of-the-Day a few days ago. However, as of this entry, it is still listed on Amazon at $1.99. I figured, at that price, even if it sucked, at least I may learn something.

First of all, it’s hard to mess up books on running for me. I am always interested in how people “interact” with their running:

1) Are they one of those freaks of nature who run because they love it?
2) Are they running to lose or maintain their weight?
3) Are they running because they have a drive to compete?
4) Are they running to replace one addiction for another?
5) Are they running to relieve stress?
6) Are they running to cope with a failure or a loss?
7) Are they running to combat insomnia?
8) Are they running to stave off health issues?
9) Why? Why, why why?

I am always curious to know why people run. I have read many books on the subject. Often these books are frustrating to me, but still I devour them every chance I get. I’ll explain my frustration in a minute. First, I’ll give a brief review of the book.

First of all, I recommend it. It is a really quick read and I think you’ll be morbidly fascinated by it like when you pass an accident on the freeway.

This is the story of Mishka Shubaly’s headlong descent into a destructive pit of his own creation. Long story short, he is a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser who pulls himself up by his own boot straps and finds his salvation in running.

He starts running, by accident really, and discovers that without any coaching or previous training, that he is a natural at it.

The book is quick and irreverent and really a pleasure to read. So if you have a Kindle or an iPhone (or iPad) with a Kindle App, check it out. You’ll likely finish it in one sitting.

The reason these stories frustrate me is because, here you have a man who goes out of his way to make a pretty aggressive effort to destroy himself with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity.

When he finally decides to pull his life together and gets checked out by a doctor, not only have his heart, liver and kidneys escaped unscathed, but there is nary an STD in site! Not even a cold sore! Then he stumbles into running and totally rocks at it!!!!

Then you have myself: The tea-toting, Conservative Christian, pastor’s daughter, wife & Mom, who eats right (for the most part), takes my supplements regularly, goes to work every day and home every night, pays my bills on time, prays everyday, and rarely sets a toe out of line. I go out of my way to become a student of the history, anatomy and chemistry of running .... And I *struggle* to be merely mediocre at it!!!

It wouldn’t be nearly as frustrating if these types of books were rare, but I find them all over the place!!! “Sole Sisters” is an entire collection of stories about women who are passionate about running. Many of them just woke up one day, decided they were going to run, trained for a marathon and then just won it! Or at least placed high in their age group!!! What?!

I know envy is one of the Seven Deadliest but I am *so* jealous of runners with natural talent! My brother is another one. He does a 7-minute mile with no training at all. Same with my brother-in-law. I know many people who can run until their legs fall off…. Then keep crawling at a faster pace than me.

Yes, it’s frustrating! But here’s to all of you naturally talented runners < salute! >

You are my heroes! And rest assured that I can’t be the only one out there who wishes she were like you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

October 31st thru November 12th – 13.27 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.”

It’s been a rough couple weeks for fitness. I am still trying to get myself acclimated to the new schedule. I am training a friend who wants to work running into her workouts and we tend to meet at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. The weather has not been cooperating, either. It has been rainy and rather windy lately.

A rainy run is not a bad run. In fact running in the rain kinda makes me feel like a hardcore badass. However, I am stumped by 30 mph winds. That much wind is enough to ruin the run for me.

When you’re dealing with inclement weather in SoCal, there really is no reason to push yourself to get out in it because the reality is, we get 360 sunny days a year. It’s not like Denver or Seattle where if you can’t operate in the rain, you’d better relocate.

With our literal SEVEN DAYS of winter, it really is OK if you opt not to run on cold, rainy, windy days.

So that’s what’s been going on for me lately: Trying to adjust to a new schedule and allowing life and bad weather… or just weather… to get in the way.

There were a few days when I couldn’t take it and I just *had* to get out there, so I did get rained on one day, but again, running in the rain makes me feel like a hardcore bad ass, so it was awesome.

Also, I have managed to introduce weight training into my schedule. Well, this is just the worst. I really don’t like weight training but Lorenza came over after my run last weekend and her voice was completely gone.

I felt so badly for her, sounding like a Mexican Macy Gray, I told her we could skip the hill work and I dragged out the kettle bells and showed her how to use them. We had a brief 30-minute weight training session in my garage with the kettle bells, hand weights and medicine ball.

Of course, Lorenza thought it was great and wants to do it regularly now. Jeez! It was certainly NOT my desire to start weight training again but I must admit that I had been thinking about it and this seemed a fine opportunity.

Besides, I have figured out what I’m going to wear to the company Christmas party. It is an evening event and the only requirement that I have for myself is that I be fabulous. I can do fabulous in my sleep but having rock-solid, Michelle Obama arms won’t hurt. So the weight training may not be so bad.

Now.... On to the run...

October 31st – 3.21 Miles
November 6th – 3.87 Miles
November 7th – 2.08 Miles
November 12th – 4.11 Miles
November 12th – 30 Mins Weight Training

The 6th and the 12th were actually runs. The others were power-walks with Lorenza where we worked in a few speed intervals.

The pic is just me and my Jayda at the BGC Annual Family Dinner. Another beautiful part of life that gets in the way of the run.

Here I am on Halloween, very happy that my Official 2012 Michael Jackson Wall Calendar has arrived. There’s nothing like racking up miles with Michael Jackson blaring on my iPod. I can almost hear him say “Chum On!” when I mark it on my calendar.