Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veteran’s Day Weekend – 12.91 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.”

Much love and many thanks to all who serve now and forever! I have the uppermost respect, not only for those in the Military but also for those who protect our safety and freedom. Some of my favorite people have served this Country with dedication and pride. I love ‘em. Love ‘em all.

My brother is a Marine. I love Marines!!! Semper Fi!! My pretty cousin Tammi was regular Army and she’s still in the Reserves. I’m so proud of them, I could burst!!

I celebrated by running 5.27 miles on Saturday morning with my running partner, Andree. Then on Sunday morning, I ran 4.14 miles with a running club called Race Pace.

Saturday’s run was perfect. It was as bitingly cold as it gets in Southern California in November, so I wore long sleeves and running gloves. By the end, I was sweaty and a little overheated. But the day was brilliant and the company was great. Andree and I hadn’t run together in about 3 weeks. I’ve had two races and one hair appointment. Just regular life getting in the way. So I was thrilled to get this run in.

We went at a pretty decent pace. It was the first time in quite a while that I felt like my old self. I wasn’t working through any injuries and I hadn’t run since Thursday so I wasn’t fatigued either. Toward the end, I went to pass three ladies who were walking on the sidewalk. I said “Excuse me ladies” and they moved over. As I was passing, one of them tripped me, of course, and I almost ate it completely. I threw out my leg to keep myself upright and I felt that little twinge in my left knee that made me wonder if I might have been better off if I had just let myself go down.

But I didn’t and I kept running. After that, I took it a little easier and Andree finished about 2 minutes ahead of me. Damn.

While we were stretching and talking, the ladies passed us and I asked them if they were OK. I didn’t want to completely kill my pace, so after I almost brained myself on the sidewalk, I didn’t say another word to them. I just kept on running. Another runner would understand, but normal people might have thought it was rude and I was always taught to respect my elders.

They were sweet and apologetic and asked me if I was OK. I told them I was but you never know about those kinds of things until the next day. So I finished my post-workout stretch and went home.

On Sunday, I was up bright and early again to meet Race Pace for the first time! Lisa discovered them and wanted me to join with her. I was excited about this and more than a little terrified.

A running club puts me in a whole other league of runner. As long as I’m out there doing my thing on my own, all I have to do is keep up with myself. Even with a running partner, it’s not so bad. Andree is slightly better than me so she pushes me, but a team is likely to kick my ass and make me feel like a loser. But I went for it anyway…

And that’s exactly what happened. I got my ass kicked and left there feeling like a COMPLETE loser! It was supposed to be a 6 mile run. The leader asked me what my average pace was and I told her I that I ran a 12-minute mile and was proud of it! She said she would be cool with that and would loop us as the run went on.

So we started out at about a 10:30 mile pace and I didn’t do my normal 4 minutes on, 1 minute off pace because I was with a team and didn’t know the course. This ran well for about 2 miles. Then we started to climb a hill. That’s when the whole thing just went to crap!

I have ZERO tolerance for hills. I know some people love them, but I hate them. I hate ‘em like pineapples on pizza.

The rest of the run was pure unmitigated torture. It was a 200 ft climb for a mile and a half. My pace slowed to 11:49 min/mi. The rest of the team hit a turn, at which point, Lisa and I completely loss site of them and ended up near our cars.

Chris was expecting friends over at about 9am, who were visiting from out of town and wanted to meet me if they could. I saw an opportunity to make that appointment, and consequently stop this torture, so I hopped in my car and headed home with only 4.19 miles on my Runkeeper.

Lisa stayed to see if she could find out what happened to the team. It really was strange. We never felt like they got that far ahead of us but at the 4 mile mark, they seemed to just vanish.

Turned out they ran the loop again and cut through a neighborhood and we just missed them.

When I got home Chris asked me how it went. I said, “I didn’t like it. It was cold. It was miserable. It was hilly. It was too early. The pace was too fast and I because I was with a group, I didn’t get to do my normal 4 and 1 intervals. I hated every minute of it and in the end the team ran off and left us! What’s the point of driving all the way out to Moorpark to run by myself?! I could run by myself at home! I left there feeling like a GIANT Loser!!! I *HATED* it!”

He said, “Sorry, Babe. So you’re not going to go back?”

I said, “Wait! What?! Haven’t you been listening?! Of *COURSE* I’m going to back!!”

Again, another runner would understand, but like most normal people, Chris didn’t get it.

Yes, I hated it. Yes, I was miserable. Yes, I left there feeling like a GIANT loser. But none of those are reasons to quit. I’d quit if they were racists, bullies or democrats maybe (kidding), but if “It’s just too hard!” was a reason to quit, I never would have started running in the first place.

Here’s how I see it: Typically when I’m running more than 4 miles, I run 4 minutes on and 1 minute off, usually at a 12+ minute pace, on a flat surface. However, this time I ran a rather hilly 4.19 miles and even though it thoroughly SUCKED, I ended up with an 11:49 min pace. That’s improvement on the first day! Not to mention that the first 2 miles were at around a 10:30 min pace, which is something I *never* do!

I don’t expect to keep up with the elite runners in this group, but it could have been worse… And this lady is no quitter!!

Oh! One more run: November 8th, 2012 – 3.50 Mile Run
Lisa and I ran the track at the college. It was the first run since the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Running with Lisa is always cool.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 3rd, 2012 – Dirty Girl Mud Run (5k)

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 the one of the greatest days of my life!!! This was the Ventura County Dirty Girl Mud Run. It's just for women and it's in support of breast cancer research. It was a BLAST!!!!

Hear this now: I will NEVER do another organized race by myself AGAIN!!!

The races that I've done alone pale in comparison to the ones I’ve done with friends. Usually, I’m at the Start Line all by myself and generally speaking, that’s fine. Runners are awesome and I don’t usually have any trouble striking up a conversation if I’m feeling envious of their team shirts and tutus.

I was invited to participate in this race by my good friend Shea. We’ve been friends for years and why we don’t hang out more often is absolutely beyond me. She is so cool!

She was doing the race with some of the girls in her dojo. Most of them are upper level Tae Kwon Do students and some of them are 3rd degree Masters. It was a highly accomplished group. Shea, herself, is black belt.

Their team is called the Muddy Dragons and they are all Tough Mudders. Yikes!

The course was all trail and all muddy!!!

We got down in it and it was amazing!!

It was unlike any experience I’ve ever had. Not because of the mud run, I’ve done several of those. I’m no stranger to having muddy sand lodged in my girlie bits.

The part that knocked me off my feet was the shower Tent!

The shower at the end was insane! It was like the last days of Caligula in there!

Naked ladies packed into a dark tent, rubbing their bodies with water running. I will never get those images out of my head!!

I am very comfortable with my body and generally have no problem with nakedness. One of the main reasons I love my house is because the master suite has large mirrors in it. Watching me walk toward myself after a shower… I’m not gonna lie, it’s one of my favorite things. It’s like warm, melted chocolate flowing over hills and valleys. Mmmmm Mmmm….


My point is, I am *far* from prudish and even I was on edge!! Boobs were just EVERYWHERE and there wasn’t a single attempt at modesty!!! And it wasn't like they were doing their business, packing up and leaving. They were taking their time and sticking around to chat.... COMPLETELY NAKED!!! It was CRAZY!!

I can think of a few people who would have spent the $65 just to be in the shower tent! I felt dirtier after the shower than I did at any point during the race.

All of it was great. Really. It sounds like I was appalled. Not at all. Just stunned. It was a lot to take all at once because basically, you just turn a corner and BAM!!! A room full of naked women!!

All different shapes and sizes and all beautiful. It really was a great race.

This is the cool T-shirt and necklace that all registrants got. I will wear it with immense pride.

And here we are at the end. This was a best group of girls! They were so inclusive and wonderful and I can’t wait until we can get together again! GO DRAGONS!!