Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Little Rain

We were all caught off guard with the rain that fell today.  It was just a drizzle in the early afternoon, but by the time me, Patty, and C were going to run it was more like a steady rain than a drizzle so the running plans were called off.  However, I had not been doing much "real" running since the weekend and really needed to get out there. I ran 3 miles on a treadmill in a stuffy hotel exercise room and I craved the fresh air in my face (rain or not).  I decided to wait until my husband got home to see if I could convince him to brave the elements with me since my friends were not up to it today. We got our opportunity just before 5 p.m. and as we headed out, there was just a light mist in the air.  We ran to Copperhill on the river trail, but decided to run down McBean on the way home due to how late it was and it was getting dark.  Actually we made up our minds early on to run down McBean when we hit Decoro as we were just going up the trail because of the large pack of coyotes we heard howling when the sirens went by.  That was quite chilling.  It certainly made us run faster!  The pace was starting to get to me so I mentioned to my husband that I was going to take it a little slower, feeling bad that I was making him run so slow, but he surprised me by saying, "I was wondering when we were going to slow down".  I was really thankful that I was able to get out.  I hope my friends and I will be able to get together for the Hangover Run on New Year's Day at Vasquez Rocks.  It will be a tough run, but I'm looking forward to a change of scenery.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Longish Run

In my mind I had secretly planned a 10 miler for this weekend’s run to help work off some of the holiday indulgences. But then I got a text from Patty asking if we could meet at Peet’s instead, which meant we would be running 7 miles instead. I had been up on my feet all day yesterday and woke up with a severe sinus headache so the thought of cutting it a little short was welcomed news. I wasn’t sure if Patty got wind of my plans of the 10 miler or if she preferred Peet’s coffee more, but C had a feeling we might be running longer. In any case, we all were happy to change the plans to Peet’s, but we were all caught off guard as to how cold it was going to be this morning. Yesterday was so warm that none of us came in our leggings. In fact, a gentleman was just walking out from Pavillions with a bunch of hot Starbucks coffees and had to “give us credit” for being out in shorts and running. I must say, I have to give us credit too. It stayed cold the whole way to Old Orchard and back on the South Fork. We weren’t counting on the huge crowd at Peet’s, but it all worked out fine in the end when we were able to snag a table, except for the licorice flavored blueberry scone that C got. I think the mood was definitely more relaxed among the three of us now that Christmas is over and we can just concentrate on getting our homes back in order.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Today, I can say "Happy Holidays" and truly mean it! I can see a difference in my friends too, as we met for our run today. It seems like the pressures, of work, training for our marathon and the preparation for the holidays are starting to melt away. I am not saying that any of us are carefree at this point, but I noticed a nice change in the mood. We started at Lowe's today, and one of our favorite friends and her husband were there to join us. C's daughter also came along, and we decided to cross Bouquet and head toward the new housing that is up Newhall Ranch Road. We were planning on doing a short 3 or 4 miles, and 3 was all we had the energy for. The legs were just dead today, too much baking, cleaning, shopping, who knows! We happily cut our run short and headed back for some coffee at Starbucks. It was nice to spend a bit of time talking and sharing holiday plans with my friends, and I am starting to feel that anticipation, and excitement, that makes this time of the year, my favorite. I am blessed that my boys are all healthy, my grandma has taken a turn for the better, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter are in town, and I am almost done with my shopping. I love to exchange presents with the girls, they always know what I want, but I have to say that the good feelings come, from the exercise and most of all from the time spent with friends. May God Bless you all this Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hills Again

Yesterday morning Patty, C, Sea-N-Sun, and I went for a run from Cheese Park and we were all wishing we could have slept in a little later.  It was very cold and it never did quite warm up.  At least it wasn't as windy as it is today.  We decided to run the dirt trail by the power lines and start working the hills back into our training.  It actually didn't feel too bad and none of us stopped on the uphill portion.  We did a loop around the river and ended up with 4.75 miles.  I think our pace was pretty good too.  It's always quicker when Sea-N-Sun is running with us.  We all had tons of things to do for the holidays, but we just couldn't go home without our morning coffee so we stopped and had coffee and donuts for a little while.  It was the calm before the storm of holiday madness. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Good Laugh


This is my husband's version of us after we finished the marathon! We've had way too much GU.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not Alone

On our run from Peet's this morning, it was just C and me.  I guess it's Patty's turn to not feel well.  C and I took an easy 10 min pace and ran to the Wiley Bridge and back.  When we finished we met up with some local women runners who are much faster than us, just getting ready for their run. Chris, who is in our age group but tends to win all the local races in our gender just finished running her second marathon in Sacramento when we were running ours in Santa Barbara.  She was with two other VERY fast ladies.  We chatted a while and it was nice to hear that even these serious and fast runners are still feeling the effects of the marathon.  We were also comparing our marathon "scars" and it turns out that Chris also has a hamstring injury from the marathon just like me.  When I told her I thought it was from the banked roads or the downhill, she replied "no, it's from running 26.2 miles!" (ha ha)  I suppose she is right.  There is something about sharing the camaraderie of other women that makes me feel better about my running.  I realize that no matter how fast or slow we are, we all struggle with the same things.  C and I were laughing at the three ladies as they were ready to run and they were "arguing" which way they wanted to run back and forth like me, Patty, and C do all the time. It's good to know we're not alone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Working Up a Real Sweat

This afternoon Marathon Mom, C, her daughter and I met at Bridgeport School for a much needed run before it got dark. It was a bit windy and cold when we started, but since we are "runners" we quickly warmed up. The guy that passed us on his bike was bundled up "head to toe", I am sure because he wasn't even sweating! Of course C's daughter didn't want to be seen running with three slow older ladies, so she took off in the opposite direction. We ran on the trail toward Lowe's and made the loop behind Hart Baseball fields to hook up with the trail toward McBean, and then back again to Bridgeport School. According to the GPS it was 3.8 miles? total, give or take, and we figure we ran it at about a 9.4 average pace. I have to say, I felt very sluggish to start out, but felt good about half way in and was sure we were really keeping a good pace at the end of the run. I am glad we got a chance to work up a sweat and hopefully burn some of those holiday goodies off, even if we don't feel like we are at our best right now. I am sure it is a combination of the stresses of the season, and the effects of our recent marathon. Thank goodness for my friends who make time, even when it is busy to get out and run with me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Traitor

I felt like a traitor today because I rode my bike as my husband ran.  Our regular readers know that we have a "thing" against cyclist.  He asked if I wanted to run with him and I almost did, but my hamstring hurt more today than it did yesterday so he suggested that I ride my bike alongside him.  Since it is the holidays, I wanted to increase my activity level a little bit to try to keep the pounds from piling on.  I have to say, I think I would have burned more calories vacuuming my house.  We started from our house and "ran" the river trail that we always run near our house.  There is no comparison between running that same route and riding a bike.  Even on the slight upgrade, I never felt like I got my heart rate up.  In fact, I never broke a sweat and I never really did warm up.  I think we went about 4-5 miles.  The whole time I was riding, I kept thinking about all those obnoxious cyclists that are yelling for us to get out of their way.  I don't see what the big deal is.  Maybe they would get a better workout if they actually had to maneuver around us.  Anyhow, I really don't get the cycling thing, if you're looking for a way to excercise, atleast not along these fairly flat paseos.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Run

For tonight's run we anticipated possibly 5 of us running together, but Sea-N-Sun and C were not feeling 100% so it was Patty, Karen, and myself.  Now that our marathon training is over, we have really been looking forward to running with some of our other friends again.  My left hamstring is still bothering me, but feeling a little better so I was happy about the easy pace we were running tonight.  It felt just perfect and the weather was actually quite nice.  These are the runs that I really look forward to. . . no hurries, no worries and no agenda, just run and enjoy the conversation. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Do Not Disturb


Since we began training for the marathon months ago, sleeping in on the weekends was pretty much unheard of.  This weekend was our first post marathon weekend and we actually had plans of NOT sleeping in and doing a run first thing this morning at 7 a.m.  Fortunately for us, the heavy downpour changed all that.  When the alarm went off at 6:15 this morning and I heard the heavy rain outside, I knew none of my friends would be waiting for me for our morning run, so I turned off my alarm and worked very hard to go back to sleep.  It eventually worked and I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep.  Unfortunately for Patty, she told me she was never able to get back to sleep.  Well the good news is that she'll be able to try again tomorrow and hopefully C will be sleeping in too.  I cannot remember the last time we were able to just sleep in and not worry about rushing off to a game or trying to put in a certain amount of miles.  This weather has provided a much needed respite, especially due to the fact that I may have suffered an injury from the marathon that I didn't realize I had.  When the rain slowed for about an hour, my husband and I ran from our home for about 4 miles and again I felt a burning, cramping feeling in my left hamstring, the same as I did on Wednesday when I ran.  I'm hoping it isn't anything serious, but I may be seeing Dr. B soon if it doesn't go away.  At least the rain held off until we were done with our run.  It began to pour again just as we were walking back up our driveway.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Almost Fun Run

For at least a month now, my friends and I have talked about how nice it will be when we can just go out and run for fun again. It seems like such a long time since we went out for a run and didn't have a certain amount of miles to put in, or goal to reach. Since we ran the marathon on Sunday, we were able to go out tonight and just run for fun, or almost fun. This was the first day out for C and I since our "big" run and we both felt pretty good to start. The weather today was warmer than it has been, so we figured that we would warm up before long. We started at Cheesepark and ran the trail toward Decoro for 2 miles and then turned back. The legs felt pretty good until the last half mile, when my knees started to complain a bit. We really felt like we were keeping a good pace and every time I looked at my Garmin, it said we were running around 9.3. We finished up our 4 mile run, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed that we averaged a 9.51. I can't seem to get a feel for how fast we are really going, even when I am looking at my GPS during the run. It was a good run tonight, though it stayed pretty cold, but I wouldn't say it was "fun" quite yet. My legs and knees are still a bit stiff, and sore, but it felt good to get out and work up a sweat, and catch up with C. We missed Marathon Mom today, but we are hoping that the weather will give us a break so we can run together on Sat. just for fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Too Much Too Soon

My friends and I have had conflicting schedules this week and we have not been able to get together for a run yet this week, so I went for a short run with my husband since tomorrow wasn't looking good for me either.  I knew it was going to be cold so I wore long sleeves, leggings, a hat, and gloves for the run, but it was still brutally cold and I felt like I never warmed up.  I know it's important to get back out there after a race to work the lactic acid out of the muscles, but I was not prepared for how painful that was going to be.  I have a knot in my right hamstring that never worked itself out, no matter how often I stopped to stretch it out.  I don't remember getting that from the marathon.  Everything hurt and my legs still felt stiff.  At least walking isn't as painful anymore.  I hope my friends have better luck tomorrow.  I was actually thinking of running the Beast Charity run this weekend.  WHAT was I thinking!  I'm hoping for just a nice easy run on a flat surface now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Marathon Memories

There are many things that I remember from Sunday's Marathon! I hope I can get it all down before my aging memory fades. Most of all I remember the joy I felt to finish something my friends and I had worked so hard for in these past few months. Here are some of the highlights:

  • waiting in line for half and hour to use the porta potty before the start (good thing it was delayed)
  • running past the farm with the huge turkey in the yard
  • seeing all the men pull over and pee (no porta potty wait, but go behind a bush!)
  • turning around to talk to my friends and tripping over the curb
  • noticing that rolling hills, basically means "hilly"
  • being AMAZED at mile 5, 10, 15, and 25 that my knee did not hurt!
  • wondering how that guy was going to run in that blow-up Santa suit the whole time
  • really appreciating how many people were out cheering for us (Team Santa Clarita)
  • wishing I looked like the Barbie Marathon Girl
  • knowing at mile 18 that I was going to be able to finish!
  • being really happy that at mile 18 on I could still keep up a good pace (no matter that it was on the downhill)
  • being totally comfortable with walking up the big hill at mile 23
  • being annoyed at the awkward slant of the street toward the end of the race
  • wishing they had more electrolytes at the water stations
  • wishing there were more potties at the start of the race
  • hitting the wall with a mile and a half to go
  • being so annoyed when everyone kept saying we were almost done and it was all downhill from there (it wasn't all downhill, and I have a Garmin, I know how far it still is)
  • wanting to stop and walk the last half mile
  • running a few yards with son #3 which gave me the energy to finish
  • being so happy to be done, and feeling my knee pain kick in
  • being so proud of my son
  • being so incredibly proud of myself and my friends
I know I told my friends that a marathon was like giving birth, but I also think it is alot like life. You get up some days and it is just lousy, and you hurt, but you still get up again the next day and try again, and sometimes you get to have a moment that lets you know that it is all worth the effort! Hopefully there are many moments for us and all our loved ones! Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Perspective


One of my life goals was to run a marathon, but it really didn’t look too good for me the night before the race. As my friends could testify to, I was in pretty bad shape with the cold. I was rather depressed thinking about all the months of hard work I put into training for the marathon and I really thought it was for nothing. In fact, I had already resigned myself to not finishing and had begun looking ahead to possibly running the Surf City Marathon or the L.A. Marathon just in case. I took everything humanly possible within what’s considered safe to get a good night’s sleep, which never came. As soon as my head hit the pillow, my nose became a water fountain and every spring in the sofa bed was digging into my side. I think I slept a little, but amazingly when my alarm went off at 4 a.m. (yes 4 a.m.), my head was clear and I was surprisingly not tired.

As we started our race in Goleta along with over 3100 other participants, I think we all felt nervous not knowing what to expect. A lot can happen in 26.2 miles. I still felt like I was dragging and didn’t know when my legs would give out, but Patty and C’s pace kept me from falling back too much. They were looking really strong. As the spectators kept cheering, “Go team! Go team Santa Clarita!” I really felt like we were a team. We were feeding off of each other’s strengths. We all managed to stay pretty much together until mile 18, when C dropped back a little. I tried yelling back every once in a while to make sure she was there, but at some point she must have fallen back further and could not hear me. We know better than to try and look back because as Patty almost demonstrated when she ran into the curb, it's not such a good idea. It was mile 18 through 24 that Patty really pushed me. She was really running strong and I tried to not let her get too far ahead of me. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was pulling me along, I don’t think I would have met my time goal. One thing about Patty is that she is like a horse drawn to water when we are near the finish. She seems to sense the end and picks up the pace. This really helped me get through those painful miles. Then it was my turn to pick up the pace from mile 25-26. (This is the way we always seem to finish our runs) I had a feeling with the way Patty was running she would have no problem staying with me. I was shocked to see that we were running 8.35 to 9 min pace in the final miles! I always pictured us crawling at this stage of the marathon. Coming down the hill the last half mile to the ocean, I had so many feelings going through me that I was starting to tear up a bit and completely embarrass myself (I hope the finish line photos don’t show that part). For one thing, I was in a lot of pain in my right quad, which began cramping up about 1.5 miles before. But mostly, the tears were from shear relief that I did it. To go from not knowing the night before if I was even going to run to crossing the finish line in under 5 hours and meeting my goal (4:48:59.8), I was just so relieved that it was finally over. Patty kept telling us that running a marathon is like being pregnant and then finally giving birth. It’s all those months of training and then being in pain all those miles so that when it is finally over, it is such a huge relief that you can’t help but be emotional.

I can’t say enough about how mentally and physically strong my training partners are. It has been quite a journey, one with ups and downs and at times we’ve even tested each other’s patience, but in the end I think we’ve come away learning so much more about each other and appreciating our friendship even more. Did I mention that my other life goal was to climb Mt. Whitney? When do we start training? Go Team M.O.R.E!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

WE DID IT!

Just wanted to let all of our followers know that we all did great and as an added bonus came in under 5 hours (our goal). More details to follow. Thanks for all the wonderful support and the well wishes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wish Us Luck!

Well we leave for Santa Barbara in a few hours and I'm really nervous. Not so much about running the marathon, but about how I'm going to feel due to the fitful sleep I had last night as a result of this cold I'm fighting. In hindsight, I would never plan on running a marathon in the middle of cold/flu season again, bad idea. Oh well, what's done is done and I can only do what I can do and deal with what has been dealt to me at this point. I'm glad it will finally be over by tomorrow afternoon. It has been quite a journey. It's not quite over yet, but I'm glad my friends have been with me along the way.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Barely!

Well C and I got out for a short run tonight, and when we finished we felt like we had kept a pretty decent pace, considering we had no energy, and our legs were dead. Well we did manage to run under a 10 min. pace, but like the title says "just barely". Marathon Mom has caught her hubby's cold, and is trying to stay warm, get some extra rest and not do anything to make it worse. C and I agreed that we would just try to work up a sweat, no more, no less, but it was a real chore. I am glad to say, that I haven't felt sick, but am tired and can't stop from thinking about all the Holiday chores that will not get done this weekend. December is a tough time of the year to add extra activity, and we have looked at eachother more than once and said "what were we thinking?" I am trying to keep myself from thinking about the actual race, and try to just picture myself at the finish, happy and most of all DONE! We are saying our prayers for fresh legs, no wind or rain,! clear heads, dry noses (but not too dry), and most of all an experience that we will look back on fondly

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stay Away!

For all you people with the cold or flu, please stay away from us! We have just a few more days until our marathon and we cannot afford to get sick. I have been fighting something since this weekend, most likely from my husband who has been sick all weekend, and I have been taking everything possible to keep from getting sick. I wasn't sure how wise it was for me to go running this afternoon with Patty, but I thought perhaps the increase in body temp might help fight whatever is trying to get started. C was feeling under the weather too and decided to rest today. Patty and I ran easy from Cheese Park to Decoro and back along the river trail. The temperature was perfect and we kept a decent pace of 9.4 overall. I could tell Patty was feeling really good because I was having trouble keeping up. My legs felt tired tonight, perhaps from my Sunday run on the hills. It's so hard not knowing if you're going to have a good run or not. I wish there was an on/off switch, although I'm sure that switch would always stay on. We plan to run again tomorrow and then take it easy for the rest of the week, until Saturday. We plan on doing a light shake out in Santa Barbara on Saturday just to get our legs moving. We're looking forward to the end.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wind Warning!

I woke up today, and noticed a definite change in the weather! The ground was wet with drizzle and the wind was blowing pretty hard. I convinced C that we should postpone our run, at least until the sun came out, in hopes of some warmer weather to run in. Well, even with the sun out the wind was blowing so hard that our run was less than enjoyable. We started at Peet's and since Marathon Mom was out of town, I brought my Garmin to keep track of our run. However, since I am technilogically challenged, I couldn't get it working properly, all I got was a stop watch, and no tracking of our mileage or pace. We headed out toward the South Fork and decided to just go as far as we felt like going. We figure we made it out about 2 miles before we headed back, straight into the wind. What is usually a nice gradual downhill run back to Peet's, was a true fight against a pretty strong headwind! We were never so glad to see the bridge at McBean and know that our run was over for the day. The goal for this week is just to get out a few times, get the heartrate up, and avoid any type of pain, that may take time to go away. We accomplished that much and had a cup of coffee before heading off to spend time with our families. C is enjoying some time with her daughters, one home for the weekend from college. I went to work preparing a turkey dinner with all the fixings for my boys, because my oldest had to work on Thanksgiving and missed out on the family gathering. It took me the entire day to prepare, and the kitchen literally looked like a bomb went off. It all turned out really good though, and made me appreciate my mother, who for so many years put it all together, with seemingly little effort and no complaining. Thanks Mom, I love you! I also thought of my #2 son who is serving our country in the Phillipines, and had a Thanksgiving dinner that he said contained something that may have been turkey. I am going to send him a box of food this week. Hope you had fun Marathon Mom, looking forward to running this week, and planning our big run which is coming up fast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



What a better way to start Thanksgiving Day than to run the SCR's Turkey Trot this morning with Patty, C and our families. Our families were not too thrilled about getting up early this morning for this annual tradition, but I'm thankful that they obliged us. This year's group was much bigger than previous years, but the more the merrier. I am so thankful to have found two ladies who are committed to running as much as I am. Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and followers.

Thankful For....

I am so thankful that I do not have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I am fortunate to have a sister-in-law who does this for my family every year. Those of you that know me, know that I do not like to cook. So while most of my friends are busy tonight slaving over a stove, I am able to sit leisurely over my computer to post on our blog. Rest up ladies and enjoy the day tomorrow with your family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

12 More Days

Wow I can't believe there's only 12 more days until our big day. I know Patty doesn't want to talk or think about it until after Thanksgiving, but I'm rather excited that the day we have been training for is almost here. After our run, we tried to make some final plans for next weekend, but I think it was too overwhelming with Thanksgiving coming up. The plan is to have the hubbies drive out Sunday morning to meet us and to take us to the start so that we didn't have to hassle with the parking. The problem is that they will probably have to leave Santa Clarita around 4 a.m. I don't think they know that yet.

I just hope we are all feeling okay on race day. It is flu season and I just want all of us to be healthy. It is sometimes discouraging when you have a bad run like tonight where you just feel like you're dragging your feet (and our 10.40 pace is proof that we were!). I never felt like I got into my running groove tonight. I'm hoping that I will feel like myself by Thanksgiving day for the Turkey Trot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

So Long Soledad

Tomorrow is exactly 2 weeks away from our Marathon, and today was our last chance to get int a long run before we start to taper down. We planned to run 15 miles, starting at Peet's, heading to Soledad and taking it as far as we needed till we hit the halfway point. It was cold when we started at 7am so we kept our jackets on and headed toward the Lowe's shopping center. Of course by the time we got to Lowe's we were hot, and we ditched our jackets and gloves in some bushes and started the run up Soledad. Marathon Mom's GPS ran out of battery, so it was up to me to keep track of our mileage, and time our 1 min. walk breaks, Ugh! I think I did a good job, only forgot to look at the mileage, once that I confessed to. When we made our stop at the bowling alley on the way back to refill our bottles, and go to the bathroom, the smell of eggs and bacon was almost too much! It was all we could do not to order breakfast and call it a day. We picked up our jackets from the Lowe's parking lot, swallowed the last of the advil and GU, and set off for the last 2 miles of our run. We decided to keep the pace slow, and not stop at all, just run it like a cooldown. However, it was a little tough to keep our pace over 10 min, as I think we have a set pace that we automatically revert to. It was a good feeling to be done, (just in time), and we all felt good to do about 15.15 miles at a very respectable 10:31 pace!! We were really cheered toward the end of our run, when we realized that we wouldn't have to run down Soledad again (at least for a long time) since we were done with the really long miles. The next long run, is the BIG one, so this week, we are going to try to keep the running fun, like the Turkey Trot, on Thursday, and hopefully today's success will keep us optimistic about the Marathon. Oh, and I convinced the girls, that coffee and pastry would not be enough, so we had a wonderful breakfast at Denny's afterward, it was the perfect end to a very good run!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Central Bark

Today C and I ran without Patty at Central Park, also known as Central Bark. Patty wisely decided to rest her knee tonight since it has been sore lately. At this point, these short runs really are not going to add to our marathon training so Patty really isn't missing much. They are just to keep the joints and muscles moving. We need to focus on staying healthy for the long runs.

After C and I ran the first mile, we stopped and stretched in front of the dog park. Dogs are funny. Why is it that the little guys seem to be the most ferocious? Maybe it's a dog's version of a short man's complex. For the most part though, I really admire how little it takes to make a dog happy. Just take them on walks, give them a dirty tennis ball to fetch and they're happy. After admiring the dog's life, we continued on our way, but instead of turning right on the service road, we turned left and ran along the sidewalks to our regular turn around spot. The park was amazingly quiet without the usual hoards of parents lining the sidewalks watching their kids' practice. We went back the same way we came as we talked about all the TV shows we grew up watching like Partridge Family, Family Affair, Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, Twilight Zone, etc. and all the classic movies. They don't make them like they used to.

I wasn't sure if I was going to run today because I wasn't feeling so swell this morning, but I'm glad I made it. I just wish Patty was feeling better too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank You Ma'am

Okay, it's official that I am a ma'am and not a miss anymore. There goes my youth! After our run and coffee today, I held open the door for a man and his young son by which he thanked me with a "Thank you ma'am!". I could hear the silent chuckle amongst my friends. To that I say, let's see if he can go out and run 10 miles after not eating for 2 days. Really, I'm sure he didn't mean any harm. Amazingly I felt rather good today considering how bad the last 3 days were for me. Today's run had a few interesting events. First off, as soon as we were on the South Fork, a man on a bike came right up on the heels of C and Patty just to make a point that they were in the wrong lane. No warning, nothing! So of course I sarcastically said to him "Thanks for the warning". I could hear him coming, but he didn't really give them a chance to move and was within inches of running over their heels. True we were running three across the trail, but how about some courtesy. As he passed us he pointed a finger to the lane that we all should have been in and of course we returned with a slew of other remarks that I am unable to write about here. I continued as Patty and C stopped to stretch at Magic Mtn. Pkwy. Along the way, C managed to lose one of her gloves and Patty stopped to turned around at the Wiley Bridge. After the halfway point, C and I ran back together and tried to meet up with Patty while looking for C's lost glove. C was concentrating so hard on finding her glove that she almost ate pavement when she caught her shoe on one of the wooden edges. We finally met up with Patty and C's other glove at the Valencia Bridge. Patty took a shorter way to Starbucks via Valencia Blvd. due to her irritated IT band and C and I ran back the same way we came. It turned out to be a great day for a run, although it started out really cold. I am glad I was finally able to go out for a run with my friends and enjoy coffee/tea with them afterwards.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Picture of Health









I am going to try again tonight to post these pictures of us from the Half Marathon last Sunday. My husband is so nice to show up at different points during the race and take pictures of us in all our running glory! I have to say that my friends looked really good this year, but even knowing that he will be there with a camera doesn't seem to help my look any. It is a good thing that the race is over, because it has been a tough week for all of us. Marathon Mom is out with the flu, and has had to miss our last two nights of running. C and I have forced ourselves to go out for the past two days and get a run in, but it hasn't been pretty. Last night we ran the 3 mile course at Central Park, but the pace was slow, and the enthusiasm low. Tonight we started from Cheesepark and ran about 3.5 mile on the trail toward Heritage Park. The energy was even lower tonight, and we stopped and walked a couple of times, complaining the whole time of sore knees and dripping noses. It is not looking good for our scheduled 22 miler this weekend, and to tell you the truth, I am not a bit sad about it. I am crossing my fingers that I won't get the flu, and that if I do, I get it soon. I am sure you can tell by the pictures, what a difference a couple of days, and good health makes. Here's hoping for a full recovery for Marathon Mom, and renewed strength for all of us. Here is a picture of my #3 son, he makes it look so easy!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walking it Out

Tonight I went for a long walk with my husband and dog to work some of the lactic acid out from yesterday's race. I actually felt pretty good today, not any worse than any other day after one of our long runs and even considered going for a run but the time got away from me. I really think the slower pace at the end of race really helped me. I know my friends and I are worried about doubling the distance we ran yesterday and for good reason, but I think if we just keep a consistent and comfortable pace and not let the excitement of the race get to us too much, we should be okay.

I'm actually already thinking beyond the marathon and wondering if my friends and I are going to make it for the annual Beast Charity Run. We've done it the last two years and I really would not want to miss out on it this year, but it's the weekend after our marathon and I'm not sure how our bodies will handle it. I guess we can always walk up the mountain. It's for such a good cause and it's fun seeing the familiar faces on our way up as most of them are already on their way down. Here's a link to the flyer.

http://www.donsdiary.net/misc/Beast%20Flyer%202009%20V2.pdf


Perhaps I'm being too ambitious, but I never thought I'd run a marathon either.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Half Down, Full to Go!


Today was the annual Santa Clarita Marathon Race Day! For the third year in a row, my friends and I decided to to run the Half Marathon. We thought it would be a good training run in preparation for our Full Marathon, next month on the 6th. I have to say that we couldn't have ask for nicer weather, or a more beautiful day to run. We started out with jackets and gloves, but it quickly heated up and we tossed them to the side. The only real downer today, was at mile 3 as we were plugging along, feeling pretty good, and Marathon Mom mentioned the fact that her husband, (who was running the 5K), would already be done running!! Never mind, because we made it through the run today, in better shape than ever before. I am not saying that my time was any better, (it was about 5 min. slower) but I felt so much better during the run and afterwards, that it made up for the slower time. My friend C said, "any day that we feel like we can actually walk afterwards is a good day." My feet, which hurt for a full week after last year's run, felt really good today! I am so glad we have put in some really long miles, because the combo of advil, and only a couple short walk breaks, made it totally manageable. I think I am still feeling those endorphins, because I haven't taken any time to start freaking out about the fact that we will have to run TWO times as far as we did today!!!! The best part of the day, was seeing my friends afterward and the smiles on their faces :) My #3 son came up from San Diego and ran the Half also, he did just as great as he did last year, and having him out there, even if it is far ahead, is a real treat for me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Marathon Expo

This morning we got up early not to go run, but to volunteer at the SCV Marathon Expo and to pick up our race packets. I always enjoy doing this year after year because it's a chance for me to see so many familiar faces, even those you don't always expect to see there. It's also fun walking around to the various booths getting free goodies and I enjoy talking to the "first-timers" as I help them with their registration. Registration seemed a little down this year from previous years, probably due to the economy. It's also nice to see so many families running together.


I think we are so dialed in to the marathon that we really are taking a more relaxed approach to the half marathon tomorrow. Patty and I were talking to someone who is running the SCV marathon and it was comforting to find out that he feels the same way about the marathon training as we do. He is a more "serious" runner and faster than us and hearing him complain about the tedious training and how it just wipes you out for the whole weekend made us feel better because then we're not the only ones that feel that way.


After the Expo we celebrated Patty's birthday a few days early with a plateful of carbs. I'm glad we were able to celebrate it BEFORE the half marathon rather than afterwards because I'm not sure how any of us will be feeling the next day. I hope we all have a good day tomorrow!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Again

We were finally three again in our group last night. C is much better and did really well on our 3 mile run last night considering that she is just recovering from the flu. Our run almost didn't happen because it has been such a hectic week and day, but it was important for all of us to get this one run in together before this weekend's race. Between work, cross country races for our kids, getting our hair done, making dinner in time before soccer practice, we weren't sure if we would make it to our run, and even if we did, how much energy would we have left to run? Time just seems to be slipping by. Even my #2 son remarked to me about how fast this year is going. It will be nice when all this training is done and we can just enjoy the holidays.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary Blog!

I realized that today marks the one year anniversary since we started our blog. I cannot believe that one year has already passed. For me, the blog has been a labor of love. Yes, sometimes it's a pain trying to think of things to write, especially when it's usually just me and Patty reading it, but on the other hand it is a creative outlet for me and sometimes a good distraction for the other duties that call. I'm also hoping that I can go back from time to time and read some of the older posts to see how far, or how little we've come along in our running. Since we started our blog, we've run the Beast Charity Run, the Jingle Bell Jog, the Woman's 5k, one of the C.O.C. Summer Series, and not much else. I guess doing a half marathon and a marathon within less than a month of each other will make up for some of our lack of activity. However, I do hope that this next year will bring more organized race participation for us. I think it gives us a goal to shoot for and keeps us out of our rut. Either way, I'm looking forward to another year of running with my friends.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Remains of the Day

It was quite warm when we started our run from Cheesepark tonight, and as we were running up McBean toward Copperhill, we discovered the remains of what looked to be an animal. The spine was quite long and we thought maybe it was a dog, or a coyote! It was in the middle of the sidewalk, and quite creepy. We decided to run along the far side of the trail to avoid having the sun in our eyes, and once we got going it was really quite a pleasant run. The wind had really died down and every so often we would hit a nice cold pocket, that just felt so good. We were talking about how we have been running so slow, and really not getting our heart rate going lately with all the long runs. Marathon Mom decided to change that tonight, and really picked up the pace on the way back to Copperhill. The conversation is very one sided when she does that, and I really felt the faster pace. I didn't talk much but I did feel really good, my knee didn't hurt at all, and I felt like I had something in the tank, which is a nice change from all the miserable runs we have had lately. We ran a bit over 4 miles, and I think we kept about a 9.26 pace, which really felt good to be able to do. We will keep our miles low this week, because of the Half on Sunday, but tonight it was just about the speed work, and the skeletons!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Countdown 35 days

Just realized that there are only 35 days until our marathon and 7 until the half-marathon. I will be glad when it is all over and we can have a more "normal" life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


Patty and I started our Halloween day with a 10 mile from Lowes. That should be enough to scare anyone! The way we've been feeling all week and the fact that C has been sick with the flu, I was really apprehensive about this run. Partially because I wasn't sure how long we could run without a break since we've gotten so used to the 1 mile run/walk method. By the two mile mark, I had to stop at McD for a bathroom break and by the 3 mile mark, I was feeling rather dead legged so we stopped and had a Gu break. We were able to keep going afterwards until the 5 mile turn around point where we finished off our Gu. Patty and I are big fans of Gu's now. We stopped again at 6.5 miles to refill our water bottles and then ran the rest of the 3.5 miles in. Considering how many times we had to stop today, I'm a little worried about the half marathon next week. I'm still not sure what strategy I'm going to use, to run/walk or try to run most of the way. We are also worried about C for next week and whether she will be feeling strong enough to run the half after having the flu. Patty and I managed just over a 10 min pace for the entire 10 miles, which included our stoppage time.
I hope everyone has a safe Halloween and don't forget to set your clocks back!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Short and Sweet

Tonight's run at Central Park was quick, but I don't really have any complaints. I don't know if there is something going around, or if we are just wiped out from our long weekend run, but it seems like it has been hard to get out and run this week. Our friend C is truly under the weather, and we are hoping she will bounce back in time for our weekend run. We did the old 3 mile course at Central Park and it was really a nice change of pace (I mean running back and forth on the Heritage Trail sure gets old). Our pace was respectable 9.4, (it seemed faster), and since the gale force winds have died down, it was a pleasant run. It is nice to get out of the house, burn off some of the stress of the day, and go home with some Halloween Treats on top of it. I think I will enjoy my candy and try to go to bed early, I am truly hoping that I can avoid our friend's bad luck, and stay healthy till our Half Marathon in a little more than a week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Resistance Training


Tonight's run consisted of resistance training against the wind. Patty and I were without C who was feeling a little under the weather. We ran from Cheese Park down the bike path and back and it felt like we were fighting the wind the whole way. It started out so cold that I was wishing I was wearing long sleeves like Patty. On our way back up the the trail, the wind was blowing so hard that I think we could have walked faster! I think I was pushing so hard against the wind that I started to cramp up in my calves when we were almost done. Really though, I shouldn't complain because yesterday was way worse and I'm really glad we all decided to cancel yesterday. In the end we averaged just over a 10 minute pace which wasn't too bad considering the circumstances. We remembered that CP is good for running in the wind so we're hoping to try that tomorrow. I'm glad I ran tonight, but I'm even more glad that it is now over and I'm in my warm house. We're such wimps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

20 Mile Talk

Today was the day we had to run our 20 mile training run, and in light of last weeks disaster of a 15 miler, we decided it would be good to start at 6am, and try to beat the heat. We started at Peet's, took the Bridgeport Trail, crossed Bouquet and ran down Soledad to Sand Cyn and back. 20 miles is a long way, and lot's of things popped into our minds during that time. Since we are friends, and girls, of course we talk about all those random thoughts, and in case you might think that 20 miles would be really boring, here is a sampling of those thoughts.
  • 6am is really early, 6am is really dark, 6am is really cool (aah!)
  • We've only run 1.8 miles, how are we going to make 20?
  • Thank goodness for clean bathrooms, I have to pee again!
  • Is riding a bike with a harness for your dog, animal abuse?
  • What is with the outfits, that the bikers wear?
  • What is with the bikers, in general?
  • Why don't I have a better running outfit (I just thought this one)
  • GU is good, Advil is great!
  • Would a shot of Patron, halfway through a long run help?
  • We LOVE the grocery store, we LOVE the bowling alley, and really LOVE cold Gatorade!
  • Hey if someone saw us running now, they would never know we've already run 17 miles
  • If someone saw us now they would wonder why our legs are barely moving!
  • My knee hurts
  • Hey my knee doesn't hurt anymore!
  • We really want a steak!
  • Does anyone eat at Chi-Chi's anymore?
  • Does Phydeaux need a playmate?
  • It is nice to have the wind at our backs
  • A 9:27 pace after 18+ miles, is pretty good
  • When is this run going to be over?
  • Wow, the run is over?
Pretty good for three old ladies (sorry Marathon Mom). I guess this may prove we are pretty boring. We did also talk about the usual kids, husbands, jobs, and pets, but as you can see, we had a lot of time to consider other things. We all felt so much better than last week, so we sat in Peet's and had coffee and our Egg McMuffins and basked in our accomplishment. Glad it's over, and so glad it went so well! Did someone mention a 22 miler, I'll pretend I didn't hear it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Steps Forward

Today was a two step forward day. It seems the little rest did a world of good for Patty's knee and the signs are encouraging. During tonight's run, there was a certain stillness and peacefulness in our run. The temp was perfect and we ended up with just enough light to make it through our run. It was a beautiful evening for a run, which we don't seem to get a whole lot of here in SCV. For most of the run we chatted about funny memories of our kids when they were younger. That's the nice thing about running with other moms, we can all relate to each other's stories and none of us are bored hearing about them. We needed this peaceful easy run to bolster our courage and spirit for this weekend's 20 miles. I don't think we've ever started as early as 6 a.m. so hopefully there is enough light out at that time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One Step Backward

Tonight we decided to try and get a short run in, because we weren't going to be able to run tomorrow night. Well for me it wasn't a good idea, my knee had been stiff and sore all day. I am sure it was because of yesterday's 15 miles, but I kept thinking it would warm up and I would feel fine. Right from the beginning my knee was sore, in a way that made me stop running and just walk. My friends walked a bit with me, but I felt so bad keeping them from a run that they could have easily finished! I should have listened to my knee and stayed home, but I don't like to be left out, so I took the chance. I really want to make it through the longer runs, so I may have to take more time to recover from them, lesson learned! Sorry girls for dragging you down, I came home and iced and will rest when I can, and
hopefully be ready for the weekend.

Too Soon

Patty, C and I attempted to do a short run today just to shake out the legs, but I think it was too soon after our miserable run yesterday. We'll try again on Thursday. Hopefully by then everyone will feel like themselves again, just in time for our 20 "miles of trials and trials of miles".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heat Training

The girls and I set off at 8:30 this morning for a 15 mile run. It was a bit later than we would have normally started, but they were nice enough to let me say goodbye to my son, daughter-in-law and grandaughter who have been visiting this week. We started from Peet's and headed toward Copperhill on the Heritage Trail, not a good way to start a run. The couple mile uphill, although gradual, to Copper always seems so hard, and it was especially hard today. We then headed back down McBean and stopped for cold water at the McDonalds. Then we ran to Newhall Ranch and over to Bridgeport Park to hook up with the trail and head toward Lowe's. Right at the start of the Lowe's trail we ran into the faster SCR's who were finishing their 24 miler (we did share their gatorade too), then we ran along Soledad until we got to the Cross Valley Connector overpass. At this point we all felt like we were done, and if we had had a cel phone we would have called for a ride home! On the way back down Soledad, we stopped at the bowling alley, and refilled our water, got ice, and shared the best Gatorade I have ever had. We really lingered there and if we would have had money, I am pretty sure, we would have bowled a couple of games. With 4 1/2 miles to go we headed back down Soledad for one last stop at In-N-Out to load up our bras with ice and fill our water bottles one last time. It truly was hot at this point and I think my friends were cursing me and the late start. I know that this was a hard run for all of us, and I won't post our time or how long it took, but suffice it to say, we had several messages when we got back wondering where we were! I am encouraged however, because my knee made it through, (3 advil during the run) also the run/walk that we do, really helped when it was hurting. I think if we keep the same strategy I will get through the 20 miler which is scheduled for next week:) Luckily for us, our marathon starts much earlier, and should be much cooler than today, so there is hope! I am going to ice the knee, soak in the tub, and rest today, I am sure my friends will do the same.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Air Please!

I don't understand how three miles can be so difficult when a 10 mile run seemed relatively easy just two days ago. Today's run just started out awful for me. My feet and my ankles hurt so much in the beginning that our pace was pretty sad. I'm not sure if it was the cold, the long run over the weekend, or being on my feet all weekend, but Patty was also feeling it in her knee. We started from Cheese Park and went north to Copperhill where we entered the trail. Until we actually got to the trail, it was shear agony. Once we stopped to stretch a bit, things started to feel much better from the waist down; however, the breathing never got easier. Both Patty and I felt like we were laboring for breath the entire time. Perhaps it was the increase in humidity due to the clouds, but it seemed like I just couldn't get enough air in my lungs. I couldn't wait for this run to be over. We managed a decent 9.3 pace considering the extremely slow start. What we realized was that the weather today is probably very similiar to what the weather will be like when we run the marathon or even colder. We will have to start experimenting with layers of clothes to see what works. I'm glad I ran through the pain eventhough I really wanted to stay home and curl up with a blanket. I'm hoping Wednesday will be a better day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Easy Ten

Wow I thought I would NEVER see the day when we considered 10 miles an easy run! But today my friends and I all agreed that is was fairly easy. Patty, C and I met at Lowes with the SCR and Saugus group for our run this morning. It's always nice to see familiar running faces when you're on your run. Patty's knee held up okay and we really didn't need to stop other than our two water stops. Afterwards we were talking with one of our friends and she mentioned that she is preparing for the Surf City Half marathon, which is one I've been wanting to do as a marathon. Again, we got ahead of ourselves and started talking about registering for that one too. I think we need to just wait and see how we feel after the marathon before tackling another one. In the back of my mind I'm keeping Surf City and the L.A. Marathon on the list, but the training involved is so time consuming that I just don't know. I think that is why the half marathons are becoming so popular. The half is definitely doable and the course for Surf City is so easy and beautiful, although probably cold in February. This morning started chilly, but warmed up nicely to a perfect running weather. It should be a beautiful weekend for a birthday party!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Cheerleader

Today C and I were still feeling rather icky after our run from the weekend while Patty was feeling pretty good. She was trying really hard on Sunday and today to bolster our spirits by being the cheerleader in our group by constantly telling us what a great job we are doing. While I really do appreciate her efforts, I just kept thinking about the kids we cheer for when we're at the high school cross country meets. I know how they feel. I kept envisioning the kids in the back that are struggling and how we keep yelling "great job, you're doing great!" and the look on their faces which betray what they are thinking (please be quiet and let me get this agony over with because I am not doing so great). So today while Patty was telling us how great we were doing, I just kept thinking that I am not doing so great and how much I wanted the run to be over with. As sluggish as C and I felt, we managed a 9.4 average pace, which leads to me to believe that we really did want the run to end quickly. It was still very nice of Patty to try and encourage us even if C and I weren't buying it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Half to Full

So not even one day after running our long run of 18.5 miles, what do my friends and I do? We register ourselves for the half marathon, which is less than a month before our full marathon. Either we have completely lost our minds or we are a glutton for pain and punishment. As I sit here with a sore hip, I'm wondering how am I going to run that half? Will I run to get a PR or like we said, treat it like a training run? If I really wanted to treat it like a training run, then why the heck did I pay almost $45 just to jog it? Of course we're going to race it no matter what because my friends and I are super competitive. I just hope we don't do anything stupid and get hurt before the full marathon. So now while I'm staying awake at night thinking about running the full marathon, I'm also thinking about how I'm going to run the half when I should be sleeping. Will I run the entire way or will I try a mixed run/walk strategy similar to the marathon? Will I finally run under 2 hours? Will Patty's knee hold up? I feel the weight of a half and full marathon upon my shoulders. I think I'll have a glass of wine and try not to think about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

No More Sympathy for Me


Not that I don't appreciate the get well wishes, and concern for my knee troubles! However, when a whole post is titled "Poor Patty", I come to realize that I have become quite pathetic to my running friends. Today was a long run day for us girls, and Marathon Mom came up with the brilliant plan to have me join her and C, after they had run 9 miles, and then I could continue with them until they finished 18 or 19 total, giving me around 10 miles. After getting the OK from my doctor, I agreed to the plan, (when will I get the chance to start a run with them already tired from running 9). You can look at the map that Marathon Mom posted, and tell that it was a totally new course for us, and I think I missed the worst of it. I met them at the corner of McBean and The Old Road and enjoyed the slow downhill that took us into the industrial center. My knee felt good until we got to Newhall Ranch Road, and started to head toward Bouquet, I really thought I would have to cut the run short at that point. I think the run/walk strategy we have been following, really helped with the knee pain, and the Motrin that Marathon Mom gave me, because by the last 2 miles the pain had lessened quite a bit. I actually felt like I could have run a mile or so more. I know that my friends felt much worse than me, since they put in a total of 18 1/2 miles, today, but I had to remind them how far they have come since the first 18 miler we ran. After that run we all crawled to our cars, drove home and spent the day in bed. Today we were able to drive to Peet's and enjoy our coffee and pastry, just like we used to do after a long run. This tells me that all the miles are paying off. I am not up to where my friends are yet, but I feel like I am on my way! So don't give me your sympathy, unless of course I start complaining again, which may be after the next long run.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Poor Patty

Things just have not been going well for Patty. First her knee started to act up and now that it is feeling a little better and has been given the okay to run a little longer, she ends up getting sick. Lately it must feel like one step forward and two steps back. The main thing is that she keeps going forward. I hope she is feeling well enough for our weekend run. I know how discouraging it must be with our marathon coming closer and closer. I guess any of us could get sidelined from now until then with the flu or something. In fact, I got my flu shot the other day just in case, but the "swine" flue vaccine isn't available yet and I'm not too thrilled about doing a two dose vaccine. I just hope and pray that we are all healthy and well by Dec. 6th.

C and I ran from Cheese Park a little later than we originally planned because it got hotter today than what we expected. We left the park and headed straight to the trail via the dirt power line road and headed to Heritage Park and back. We were both dragging quite a bit and agreed to run slow, which we did with an average pace of 9.5. The winds had picked up quite a bit since the other day so it was a struggle coming back to the park. Amazingly though, the hill seemed a lot easier and shorter today, probably because of the slower pace. I'm just glad we got it in and it's over. I'm not looking forward to the long run this weekend, but I'm looking forward to having coffee with my friends if they are all healthy. It feels like it's been too long.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dueling Garmins

The cooler weather sure is a nice change from this time last week! Marathon Mom, C and I started out from Cheesepark at 6pm and the temps. were very pleasant. We decided to head to the Albertson's side of the Heritage Trail and run down to Decoro and back. I strapped on my new Garmin and with some help from Marathon Mom got it set so I wouldn't have to push stop and start if we had to wait for a light. Now I just need to remember to press start at the beginning of our run. The nice part about wearing a Garmin when we run is that when I am struggling during a run, and can't seem to catch my breath, I can look at the Garmin and realize it is because we are running faster than usual! I was really pleased to make it through our run without much knee pain, and although I felt like I was struggling, it was because we averaged close to a 9.3 pace. Now C just has to get a GPS and we will be even "cooler" with our matching belts, glasses and funny looking watches! No matter what we look like, I am thankful to be able to run with my friends, they are patient with my limitations, but they also push me to do more than I would ever do on my own. I am hoping the doctor gives me the OK to do a good part of the long run this coming weekend, we will see.

Monday, September 28, 2009

All By Myself

I took it upon myself to go for a run tonight because I am sadly behind in my miles from last week. I did my usual "by myself" route from home to the Helmers switchbacks to Northpark and back. It's been a while since I ran the hills and I sure felt them. Thankfully the weather has finally started to cool and it was actually pleasant at 5:30 p.m. While I do prefer running with my friends way more, there is some calming and reflective qualities to running by myself that I do enjoy. I like being able to "listen" to how my body is feeling and run easy at my own pace. It's also very therapeutic and clears the mind. Some of my runs are like the Nike slogan, "Just Do It" and get it over with, but usually when I run by myself, they are more like the Reebok slogan "Run Easy". I am now looking forward to running with my friends tomorrow night. I feel like it's been ages since we've been able to all run together.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Measly Five

Today the SCR's were running a 10 miler, but since I am following doctor's orders I had planned to only run 5. C and I had decided we would run a flat route, and after getting a late start decided to head out on McBean for 2 1/2 miles and then turn around. I was using the Garmin that I inherited from my brother for the first time, and took some time to get used to stopping and starting it when we hit the big traffic lights, which are definately an issue on that particular route. We easily finished our 5 miles, in a nothing to brag about 9.5 pace, but felt very guilty since we came in at the same time as alot of the SCR's that ran a full 10 miles. It isn't as bad as it sounds since we started almost 30 min. after they did, but really physically it felt like we had just gotten started. I know that I needed to stop at 5, because my knee was starting to hurt, but it is discouraging, knowing how far the others are going and not being able to do the same. I am worried about building my mileage up enough before we have to run the actual marathon, it is daunting to say the least! Oh well, I will check back in with the doctor and make a new plan for this week, that is all I can do. We missed Marathon Mom today, she is busy with soccer, but I have a new respect for her ability to moniter the Garmin and keep us on pace.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Excuses

Our mileage for this week has been rather pathetic, even more so for me because I don't have an injury as a valid excuse. My only excuse is that I have been doing double duty with the hubby being out of town and with two cross country meets and two soccer games since Thursday, that has left very little time for my running. However, as I dragged my youngest out of bed this morning at 5:30 a.m. I was rethinking my plans of going for a quick run before heading out to his race and instead going back to sleep for a few more minutes. He really didn't want to get up and go, but I talked him into it so how could I not go out and run without feeling like a hypocrite. I too dragged myself out of the house as soon as he left and ran from home down McBean to Newhall Ranch to Hillsborough and back. I didn't want to be gone longer than 30 minutes, which forced me to average a 9.15 pace for the 3 mile run. My son and the kids who got up at the crack of dawn, boarded a school bus, and will be running in the heat of the day have inspired me this morning to push a little harder and just do it. Now I'm off to the races!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Small Victories!

My friends and I were going to run last night, but surprisingly they were still feeling the effects of the 18 miles they had run on Sunday (go figure!) and decided they were not up for running two days in a row. I have been resting my knee, and was anxious to get another run in before the weekend, so I convinced the hubby to go out this morning for a short run. I really wanted to make it 4 miles this time, since I got through the 3 miler relatively well. The doctor keeps telling me that I should be able to make it through anything up to 5 miles and I really wanted to test it out. We ran the Heritage Trail to Copperhill and back which is an even 4 miles. I am very excited that I made it through the run with no knee pain!!!! I did feel the telltale tightening in my knee at about the half way point, but it never turned into actual pain. The pain I felt was in my stomach, due to the yogurt that I foolishly ate for breakfast this morning (I know we have discussed the never have yogurt before a run rule) Also the heat was brutal, even at 8:45 in the morning, which I will try and remember next time I complain about getting up early to run. The next hurdle will be 5 miles on Sunday, hopefully I will get through that one also, the progress seems pretty slow, considering a 20 miler is looming, but I will just have to take the victories as they come, even if they are small!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Can Run!

I got the OK from my doctor to try out my knee this week, so I met the girls last night for my first run in a week. We tried to meet at Central Park, but the parking was non-existent, so we headed over to Heritage Park instead. I was afraid that my at-home training regimen of eating and watching TV, would mean that I would struggle to keep up with the girls. We decided to head toward Bridgeport Park in the hope that we would have enough light to make our way back. I have to say that it felt really good to be out running again, and although I was breathing pretty hard, I have to say that I felt fine. My knee didn't start to complain until the 2 1/2 mile mark, and the pain was not as bad as it has been in the past. I will go to the doctor today to check in and let him know how it went, and try to come up with a plan for our longer run this weekend. I am nervous about committing to 10 miles quite yet. I know that my friends are not even counting the 10 as a long run, after their 18 miler this past weekend., Even with all their complaining about the aches and pains, they seemed very pleased with how much better it was than the previous 18 miler. I am just hoping that with a little patience I will be able to stick with them on those long runs!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Naked Shake

I bet that title got your attention. No, C and I were not running down Soledad naked during our long run today. After our almost 18 mile run, we decided to get a Naked protein shake at Starbucks. It was actullay quite good and refreshing. I am going to try to buy these ahead of time and keep them in my cooler when we go on these long runs.

We ran basically the same course as the last time we ran 18 miles, except we started off left on McBean and ran up to Rockwell and down to Valencia from there to connect to Soledad. Once we hit Whites Cyn, we turned up Whites and reconnected with the bike trail until we hit 9 miles. I knew we weren't going to get exactly 18 because we weren't finishing exactly the same way we came, but we didn't care. It started out quite cold this morning and got brutally hot by the time we were on Soledad just past the Saugus Speedway. When we got to the last water stop, the jugs were almost empty and I felt sorry for the people behind us. In fact, one of the veteran runners in our group became so dehydrated that she started seeing stars and had to walk from the Saugus Speedway all the way back. I have to say I was really dreading the pain I always feel after these long runs, but the pain never came. Usually my calves lock up and my feet hurt really badly, but today they felt pretty good. I guess that's why we do these training runs, so our bodies can get used to these long miles and not kill ourselves on race day. The only complaint was that C and I both didn't eat very well and was a little low on energy. The GU seemed to help again.

We missed Patty today. I know she really wants to be out there running with us, but I think she is doing the right thing by listening to Dr. B if she wants to be better in time for the marathon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is That All?

C and I met tonight for what we hoped would at least be a 4 mile run, but it turned out to be 3.15. We ran from Cheese Park to Copperhill down the bike trail to Decoro, to McBean and ran up McBean back to the park. We decided to run up McBean instead of running up the dirt trail because we didn't feel like running any hills, but that was a mistake. I now remember why we stopped running up McBean back to the park. While there aren't necessarily two steep hills to climb like the dirt trail, the climb back up to the park on the street is never ending and the hills on the dirt trail are short. We couldn't remember how far exactly this route was, but we thought we would get around 4 miles. We were sorely disappointed when our mileage came up only to just over 3 miles. Our pace was decent at 9.4 min/mi. overall though. We were running in the high 8 min/mi range on the way down, but I think we slowed down quite a bit running back up McBean. We missed Patty tonight. She is being good and listening to Dr.'s orders.

Although I was hoping to get more miles in tonight, I am really glad I ran because I was really dragging all afternoon. My friends took me out to lunch for an early birthday treat and embarrassed me by making me wear a silly birthday hat while the servers sang to me. What are friends for? Lunch was so good, I think I ate too much and was sleepy all afternoon and didn't feel like running at all. However, after my run I felt like I had so much more energy. C and I were thinking that maybe we were feeling more tired this week because we haven't been running as much. Could be?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Running Safety

I was reading in today's paper that a 16 year old girl was assaulted on the same trail that C and I ran on Saturday. The assault occurred on Sunday afternoon. I usually feel safe there because there are so many people out on that trail, but perhaps on a Sunday afternoon it isn't as crowed. There are some creepy people along that trail, more so than the other trails we run on. I know several 16 year old girls that could have been running on that trail and hopefully it isn't anyone I know. As it starts to get dark earlier it will be even more important for us to get going on our run early and get back before dark. I feel okay running with someone else, but I wouldn't want to run alone for this very reason, especially on the trails because they are more isolated and not always in public view. And it isn't only people predators we need to worry about. Lately running in the early evenings, we often hear coyotes. I've known people who have been chased by packs of coyotes before so we have wild predators to worry about. I keep thinking I'll carry my pepper spray. Maybe it's time I do.

Last night, Patty, C and I ran from Heritage toward Copperhill up to the power lines and back for 3 miles. Even with Patty's sore knee, we kept a decent pace of 9.37 min/mi. I'm worried about this weekend and the long run that is scheduled. Patty will probably skip the run, and I'm just not looking forward to running out to Sierra Hwy and back again. Ugghh.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lonely 9

C and I ran nine miles this morning, just not together. We got our timing and communication all messed up this morning, but the important thing is that we both stuck to the plan and ran our miles, maybe even a little more. We ran from Lowes to the Wiley Bridge, which I'm estimating is a little over 9 miles. I'm not entirely sure because I forgot my GPS in my car. Since we have been doing our run 1 mile/walk 1 min for our marathon training, I was beginning to worry that our bodies would get too used to all the stopping and it would be difficult to run for several miles without stopping. I felt okay and C said she did too, until about the 8th mile. I wanted to try out my new shoes for a longer run today. They felt great and I think I will order another pair while I still get the 20% discount. I just began to feel a little fatigued and it was hot running into the sun. C and I finally met up again at Starbucks and had our coffee and chatted about our children. All I can say is I wish there was a way to skip the whole teen years and go from 12 to 22. We missed Patty, who has been ordered to stay off of running for a whole week by Dr. B. I don't know if she can wait that long. I would be really grouchy after a week of no running, especially if I knew my friends were running without me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Setbacks

The four of us (Patty, Karen, Sea N Sun, and me) met at Heritage for what turned out to be an evening run. We pushed our start time back a half hour hoping that C could make it in time, but she was a no show. We ran up toward Copperhill hoping to get 4 miles in , but decided to stop at the Cheese Park dirt trail because it was starting to get dark and we still had to run back. It was a good thing we didn't decide to go all the way because Patty's knee flared up again on the way back. I keep thinking and hoping that it will just go away. Perhaps when she sees Dr. B, he will work some magic and she will be all better for our 9 mile run this Saturday. So far I have been lucky to not have any injuries which kept me from running, but I can just imagine the frustration especially after working so hard to get to the mileage we are at. By the time we got back to the park, it was rather dark. As the summer comes to an end, I'm starting to worry about how we're going to schedule our runs in, especially after we set our clocks back in October. As it is now, it's hard trying to get everyone together for a run, but once we lose those precious daylight hours, I think it's going to be even harder. I like having so many of my friends running with us.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Came, I Ran, I Limped, I Iced...


Today was the day of our 18 mile long run, and I felt well prepared to get through it, if not with blazing speed, at least with a slow and steady pace! Marathon Mom, C, and I took off with our packs full of new packs of GU, Luna Moons, Sport Beans, and Oyster Crackers. We even ran with another member of the SCR's who is also doing the run/walk program. We headed down McBean, took a right on Valencia, and followed that all the way past Bouquet where it becomes Soledad. We took Soledad to Sierra Hwy, turned right, and passed Costco to turn onto Via Princessa. We turned onto Whites Cyn, and ran downhill to get back onto Soledad, this is when I really started to to feel the pain in my knee. Our route would take us back down Soledad/Valencia, hook us up with the South Fork Trail, and the usual finish off Wiley, Old Orchard and back to Granery Square. When we hit the South Fork, I was having trouble with running, but walking was painful also. I had to send the girls ahead, and finish the last 3 miles, with mostly walking which just dragged out the agony that much longer. I feel like Marathon Mom and C really kept up a good pace, 10 1/2 min. miles over all, and they seemed to do really well with the run/walk strategy. I didn't want to be the one to post today, because I did not have a good experience and am worried that my knee may keep me out of running a bit. I plan on seeing Dr. B as soon as possible, to make sure it is Ok, before I attempt another run longer than today's. Maybe my friends will post something more positive so you all can hear about what they accomplished today, they both were awsome, and should be very proud of making it through 18 miles! Good work Girls!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Running Barefoot


While I don't particularly miss our CoC runs, I do miss our cool downs on the track with no shoes. Running barefoot is nothing new and many coaches advocate running barefoot part of the time to strengthen the muscles in the feet, which they believe will make you a faster runner. I just think it feels good to let the air go through them after running several miles in hot, confining shoes. However, more and more research is moving away from having tons of support in running shoes, which tend to restrict the natural movement of the foot to more lightweight flexible shoes that mimic running barefoot as much as possible. Just look at the Nike Frees and how popular they have become. Some research has even indicated that running barefoot reduces oxygen use by as much as 4% and reduce injuries. In fact, there are some companies selling these "barefoot" shoes for running, but there are others that are just too creepy looking like these on the right. Below is an article about the results of some barefoot running studies.





Yes, I can just see us wearing a pair of these. You think we get a lot of comments about our water belts. I wonder what they would say if they saw us running in matching "barefoot" shoes. Hmmm.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crazy?

Often times when I tell non-runners about how much my friends and I run, they often look at me like I'm crazy and then say "why?". Well today during and after our run, I was asking myself the same thing. What a miserable night to run!!! My legs felt like lead, there was still smoke lingering in the air, it was hotter than hell, and the humidity was so thick that I could probably skip the shower tonight. We all were secretly questioning the wisdom of running 18 miles this Saturday if we feel this badly on a 3 mile run. I am so ready for the cooler weather, but I know we still have several months left of this heat. C was nice enough to bring some granola bars for us to try for our long marathon runs. They tasted very nutritious. I keep meaning to go buy some GU and try different flavors this weekend among the three of us so we can decide which ones are keepers. I don't think the jelly beans are going to be enough and the pretzel experiment didn't quite work the way we anticipated. As much as I dislike them, I think we're going to have to go to GU.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Running, Sort Of

I don't know what it is about running on the treadmill, that somehow is so different than running outside. For some reason, even after running 3 miles, it doesn't feel like I got a good workout. There is no satisfied feeling, like I get after a run (good or bad). C was so nice to invite us over to workout in her gym since the air quality is too bad to run outside. I have to admit, that I really wasn't excited about it, and I even showed up a bit late (sorry girls). We ran 2 miles on the treadmill, and then hopped on the elliptical for another 2 miles. I am ashamed to admit, that I only did 1 on the elliptical, and then went back to the treadmill. For some reason, I can't get comfortable on the elliptical, and it is a bit embarrassing! I finished my last mile on the treadmill, and couldn't wait to hop off and stretch. I sure hope that the cooler weather is coming, as promised, and that the air will clear up by Thurs. (our next planned run). I know I got some exercise which is good, and I feel bad for being such a complainer, but truly can't wait to get back outside! Thanks again C for having us over.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Run for Ice Cream

Well we ended up cancelling our running today due to the smoke in the air. I have to say it was quite bad today. I was coughing just being outside and not even running. Then I began thinking...what if this continues and we can't run for a whole week or so? Then I started to get depressed about it so I ordered myself another pair of running shoes (I returned the last pair) and ate some ice cream. Eating ice cream was probably the worst thing to do since I didn't run and the last thing I need is to be consuming more calories, but it did cheer me up a bit and so did the thought of getting new running shoes (thank goodness for Running Warehouse!). I'm hoping this pair doesn't bother me. I decided on trying the Saucony Fastwitch 3 rather than the Nike Lunarlite racers. They both got good reviews and in fact I met someone in the marathon group running in the lunarlites this weekend. She loved them, but the lunarlites are sooo different than what I usually wear that I would like to try a pair on before buying them. I have to find a good pair of racing shoes for the marathon because it is now official.....Patty, C, and I have registered for the Santa Barbara Inaugural Marathon. What were we thinking?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The View From the Back!

This morning we ran the "Hilly Eight" course with the SCR's from Granary Square. Since I missed this run the last time they did it, and listened to the complaining afterward, I knew I had better show up for this one. The course fit the description perfectly and started off immediately with a long slow uphill, and pretty much stuck with that theme the whole 8 miles. Except for the last mile when we were running down Rockwell and then down Valencia, it was one hill after another! Well hills are not my thing and I have always lagged behind C and Marathon Mom on the hills, and today was no exception. I feel like I have improved my hill running, (I didn't walk, but I sure wanted to), but I haven't come that far because today I felt like a "newbie" just trying to get to the end. Since we will be running "18" miles next weekend, I feel a little guilty complaining at all but here I am doing what I do best. It was good to do that run with my friends, they truly pulled me along today, and both of them seemed to take the hills in stride! Marathon Mom did not bring her GPS, so we don't know for sure, but she felt, and so did I that we kept a faster than normal pace. I am glad that run is over, I just wish that since it was a shorter run, that it would have felt a bit easier!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Girls Night

We had fun last night. It is such a nice change of pace (no pun intended) to get away from the running and just hang out with my running friends. A group of us which included Patty, C, Mary, Sea N Sun, Bonnie, and myself got together for some good old fashion fun at happy hour. When you run together all the time you get so used to seeing each other with our hair up, hats, on, and no make-up that when we actually get together for other reason, we hardly recognize each other. It was really nice to chat for hours and learn that we have a lot more in common with each other than just running. It was a perfect end to a lazy week of running. Due to the smoke from the fires, we've been taking it easy, especially after that 16 mile run last Sunday. I'm hoping the smoke clears for our Sunday hill run. Unfortunately I know what's coming and I am really dreading all 8 miles of it. All I can say is that I'm glad I had fun Friday because I'm sure I'll be paying the price on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bad Air

As I looked out this afternoon, it didn't look good for our air quality. The fires in the mountains were casting a cloud of smoke overhead; however it was quite high and we couldn't smell any smoke. Despite the smoke and the heat, C and I decided to give it a try, each of us secretly hoping the other would cancel. We decided to start from Cheese Park, but ran to Copperhill and down the bike path avoiding the dirt trail altogether there and back. I had on new shoes, which I will be returning. I purchased a pair of Nike Marathoners hoping I could break them in slowly before our race, but I noticed the collar of the shoes were rubbing on the side of my ankles. I must have weird feet or low ankle bones because several brands of shoes do that to me, especially Asics. I've never had a problem with Nike, but these were not comfortable at all and I couldn't imagine running 26 miles in them. Oh well, I guess it's back to finding that perfect marathon shoe. Back to the air quality, both C and my throats were feeling scratchy and rather raw after our run either from the smoke or the hot, dry air. Since tomorrow will be hotter, we're thinking we will forgo the running and swim or try the indoor gym on our own.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It Was Ugly!

My friends were nice enough to join me on a run last night, even though Marathon Mom and I were hurting from our long run this weekend, and C was exhausted from a weekend of moving her daughter into her dorm. I will not be able to join them the rest of the week, because my son has a basketball tournament in Pasadena for the next three nights. The only one who was really ready to run was C, and it showed! We started at Bridgeport Park and ran toward Lowe's crossed under Bouquet and ran the trail toward the newer homes on Newhall Ranch. After we had run for l.5 miles, Marathon Mom asked if we should keep going, I think I had tears in my eyes when I said NO! C did keep running for a half mile or so while we just waited and complained about our aches and pains. On the way back, we had a bit of a head wind which reminded us that fall is coming and the windy weather with it (ugh!) We managed a 3.3 mile run, and speaking for myself it was hard to get through, my legs were just lifeless. I do think that the run did me good, as later I felt like I was actually less sore than I had been, so maybe just getting the blood flowing was a good idea. I know my legs will recover and I am going to take today off and try to run on my own this week. I will be reading to find out how my friends do the rest of the week without me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sweet 16


To be honest, it wasn't quite so sweet and it wasn't quite 16 miles either. It was more like 15.7, but Patty and I ran it at 10.5 pace overall which is pretty darn good considering how many hills were involved. On the 3rd mile we got to talking with another lady who uses the run/walk marathon strategy and she swore by it. Since she runs around our pace and her marathon times have been really good, we thought we'd give it a try with her today. I have to say, it worked really well. We ran 1 mile then walked for 1 minute. It made the miles go by faster and the short walking was just enough, but not too long where your heart rate drops. I felt much better today using this method running close to 16 miles than doing the 3 mile run/10 min walk strategy I did last time with my 14 mile run. This was a harder route too. Patty didn't feel the same way, but I think it was her stomach more than anything. At a certain point though, you feel so tired that you start to get giddy. At least I do. It's a good thing I didn't notice Patty's shirt problem until after we ran, otherwise I would have had trouble laughing and running at the same time. When we finally finished, all Patty and I could do was just sit on a bench in the shade for a while. It was too soon to get up and stretch; however, I finally had to when my calves started to cramp. I'm glad we did it and that's it's over. I think we had 38 people show up this morning for the marathon training. Toward the last 6 miles of our run, it was getting really hot and we were hugging what little bit of shade we could find. Running in Santa Barbara will be nice.