Saturday, February 28, 2009

Picture Perfect Day!

Today was a beautiful day for a run. We even had Picture Lady join us for the first time. She did great and hopefully she'll join us again. I'll have to remember to keep bringing those red ribbon markers. Starting at the trailhead from Peete's Coffee, Heidi ran/walked for 4 miles and C ran about 4.5 miles and had to turn back due to a leg cramp. Hopefully it's just from dehydration because it was warm out there. Patty and I went past the Wiley Bridge for six miles. When we were running back, we were talking about how much of what we do as runners is mental. Both of us agreed that running is probably 95% mental as you train yourself to ignore the pain or discomfort that you feel. We all go through so many cycles of different things bothering us, some bad enough to ground us for a while and some of which we ignore and run through. Today, Patty and I worked through the discomfort and ran a 9.18 pace for 6 miles. We even kicked it in a bit and ran the last mile at about 8.12 pace. It's very rewarding to see our overall time come down as we continue to add miles.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Got Milk? Chocolate That Is

I've been hearing about this miracle cure for some time and quite frankly the first time I heard of it, due to the source, I thought it was a bunch of hype. However, lately I've been coming across more and more articles about the benefits of drinking a glass of chocolate milk within 15 minutes of a run to help speed recovery. It supposedly has the perfect ratio of nutrients to help rebuild muscle tissue and put back the carbs needed to fuel your next run. The only problem is that I would have to choose between my usual vanilla latte or a glass of chocolate milk. Do you think a mocha counts?

Here is a link to Runner's World on the benefits of chocolate milk.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

These Dogs Are Tired!

I have always thought that was a silly expression, that older people used and I didn't quite understand. My husband used to say it a lot after a long day at work, or play, and I thought of it as something I would never say out loud. I must admit that tonight after running with C, I am home and my legs are achy and I caught myself thinking that "these dogs are tired". I am referring of course to my feet but I had a vision of two basset hound type dogs laying down with their tongues hanging out. It was a great day for a run, nice and warm and not too breezy, we put in close to 4 miles and I am ashamed to say that I was probably holding C back a bit. This has been a high mileage week for me and as much as I hate to admit it my legs are tired. I even had a bit of an argument with K today about how I needed another day of running during the week, well be careful what you wish for. I know we are all planning on taking tomorrow off, so we can gear up for the longer run on Sat, I hope I am up for it. I am off to pop some Advil and watch "America's Best Dance Crew" with my kids (you don't know what you are missing) and maybe I'll ice these "dogs".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Short But Not So Sweet

Being pressed for time, Patty and I ran our hilly route on the paseos. We both agreed that if we're going to bother getting all dressed and drive somewhere to run, we should at least make an honest effort at a decent workout. The thing about hills is that it really gets your heart rate up in no time and it probably does us more good than a long slower run where we're barely breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, neither of our stomachs were feeling all too well. When I was young, nothing bothered my stomach, but now all it takes is a granola bar with too much fiber and a war wages in my stomach. I've also noticed that I really cannot consume anything 3 hours before running or it just wants to come back up. We both made it back safely and actually felt like we worked very hard. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day for our tummies.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dead Legs

I guess we were patting ourselves too soon for running 7+ miles this weekend with no problems. While we were all pleasantly surprised that our legs were not sore after our long run this weekend, what we didn't expect was how tired we would still be on our run today. There's this stuff that our legs are supposed to store for fuel called glycogen, but I think we sort of depleted our supply from this weekend. Our legs were heavy and slow today and the humid, muggy air didn't help much either. We took a slight detour from our normal route from Chesebrough and ended up running a little more than our usual Monday mileage. I think change is good, especially if it means more miles!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Goal

My goal is to be able to run 10 miles every weekend with no problems. It doesn't matter how many miles I get in during the week, I just want to be able to go out there and run 10 and not feel as though it's the end of the world. Being able to run 7 this weekend and not feel sore the next day tells me that this isn't totally unrealistic. The only problem is time. I would have to commit at least 1 1/2 hours each weekend morning to do this. I think 10 miles is a good training distance because it's a good base for either a 1/2 marathon or a 10K. I think the 10K is an ideal race distance for my friends and me. I had my eye on the Great Race 10K next month in Agoura, but it happens to be on the same day as our kids' track meets. No matter how much I want to do that race, I would still rather watch my kids run instead. So....I'm hoping my friends will be on board and make it their goal too. And for our friends not running that far, we can do a stagger start and still meet up at the end for coffee.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

Today's run was just that, long and winding. All total we put in 7 miles, and managed to keep a very respectable pace (under 9:30, I believe). I know that we ran the first 3.5 miles at a 9:16 pace and that is very exciting for me, even if it was all on the downhill. We were joined this morning by C's two 19 year old daughters and our friend Mary. The girls ran on ahead, but I think just having them to follow made us run faster, and farther, because we ran an extra half mile to check on the one that was farthest to make sure she wasn't waiting for us on the train bridge. We started out from Albertsons on Copperhill and followed the trail to the train bridge, and then headed back the same way. When we were on our way to dinner last night there was much discussion about where we should run this morning be cause of the Amgen bike race that was coming through town, and because we didn't want the younger girls to get lost if we ran one of our more complicated routes. The fifteen minute discussion in the car gave my husband such a headache that he told me that is why he runs alone. Well, I beg to differ, because that fifteen minute discussion led to a very enjoyable run this morning that worked out in the best way for all of us. I will admit to being sore this afternoon, and I am sure even more so tomorrow, but am looking forward to our next run, Monday 4:30 @ Chesebrough Park.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Night Out

It was such a welcome change to go out with my friends and enjoy a glass, or two, or three of wine and some conversation. While we do actually talk when running, it's not the same as when we can sit down and converse without struggling for air. During the week we are usually so busy just trying to get our runs in and then running home to make dinner or shuttle our kids to the next practice, that it leaves little time to find out what's happening in each other's lives. We will certainly have to do this more often and invite others to join us. We are also thankful for the men in our lives for driving us back and forth so we don't have to. (If there are typos or other errors, I'm going to blame it on the wine.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Water Tower

Today was a harder than usual workout. We wanted to make up for our lack of running these last few weeks so we ran the hilly paseos of Valencia. We met at our usual Chesebrough Park and headed into the paseos towards Helmers Elementary. Immediately we started on an incline, which is even harder when your legs aren't quite warmed up yet. Once we got onto the paseos, the trail evened up a bit and was more of a rolling hill workout. As we headed down behind Helmers, we decided to tackle the water tower road. I have attempted this road many times in the past and have never made it to the top without stopping. I am happy to report that I finally made it! And my friends were not too far behind me. Unfortunately once we got that over with, we still had to work our way back up the switch backs behind Helmers. All in all, it was a good run and I'm really happy that we were able to run two days in a row. Although I'm sure I'll hear about how sore they are tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day

I am thinking of that song by U2 and after the past couple of weeks, today seemed truly to be a "beautiful day". The rain has stopped for a couple of days, the sun was out and the constant chill in my bones seems to have finally gone away. K, C, and I were determined to get out for a run this afternoon and the weather and the kids finally cooperated. It was cool when we started and we questioned the shorts we wore with our long sleeves, but before long we were peeling off the jackets and complaining about how hot we were. We ran from Chesebrough Park and did the longer loop that starts on the trail closer to the Albertsons side, took that to Decoro and then headed back on the Heritage Pk. side of the trail, finishing off with our two good sized hills. I am happy to say though I lagged behind, I didn't stop on the hills, it's the second time now, so I know I will get better. We had to about a quarter of a mile, around the park and school, but we ran 4 miles and managed a 9:37? pace, even with the hills. I have to say after the last couple of days, I am happy for that and for the great weather, and am hoping for only good things to come for my friends and their families!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Pouring!

There's the old saying, "When it rains, it pours" and that couldn't be truer for some of us these last couple of days. We worry about not getting enough done around the house, not getting our runs in with our friends, not eating what we should, but in the end what we worry about the most is our kids. Whether it be a new school, a trip to the emergency room, or a bout with the flu, everything else seems insignificant when it comes to the well-being of our children. It is the part of being moms that ultimately tie us together, through stressful, sad, and joyous times.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


No the title isn't a typo. That's what I think a treadmill should be called. I know some of you rely on those mechanical things to get your workout when the weather is bad, but I have to be rather desperate to get on one. I have one and I swear the miles feel so much longer when I use them, even when I'm watching TV. Of course there's the whole coordination problem that I have too. Remember, I'm the one that slipped and fell off of a curb while trying to run in place. Can you imagine me on a moving belt? Let's just say I've had my fair share of close calls. Then there's the whole nauseating feeling I get when I'm done running on the treadmill. It's the same sensation I get when I just step off of a boat. With the threat of rain AGAIN, if our Monday morning run is canceled, I will have to resort to the dread-mill. This time maybe I should wear a helmet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Run

What better way to spend Valentine's morning than running in the freezing fog with my friend K! I am ashamed to admit that while I was getting ready to meet her, I was secretly wishing that she would call and cancel, because it was just too cold. It was cold when we started and pretty foggy, but there was no wind to speak of and I think that really made a difference. We started out going uphill for a bit which was a hard way to start a run, but then the inevitable downhill really felt good, in a way that I haven't felt for a long time. I know that it doesn't count to feel good going downhill, but I am going to take it, since I have really struggled through the last few runs. It wasn't all great and even though I made it up the hills at the end of the run for the first time, I was gently reminded by K, that I am not so much out of shape as just naturally slow (yes I think you said that). Well now I have something to work on. We managed to get in around 3.75 miles today, which considering yesterdays 5, is quite an accomplishment. Another storm system is supposed to be rolling in on Monday, so I am hoping it will wait until after our planned run that morning, I know it will be cold too, but I won't use it as an excuse as long as someone is out there with me. It has been wonderful celebrating this day with my family, I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day, and Happy Running!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Where Next?

My friends and I have talked about posting when and where we are going to run next so that others have the option of joining us if they can without the need for last minute phone calls. The reason we haven't done it is because we are so indecisive and things change at the last minute so often that we would hate to have someone at the wrong place at the wrong time in case we change our mind, especially when we don't know if the weather is going to hold. Right now, we have tentative plans to meet tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. from Chesebrough, but that could change if it's raining. When in doubt, call first.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's Best

I'm sure as mothers you've all heard it before when trying to make an important decision for your child, "Do what you think is best". And I'm sure all of you have been there thinking "I really don't know what's best". As mothers we all hope that we are automatically programmed to know what's best and most of the time our gut tells us what is the right thing to do. But there are those few times when we are at a complete loss. That's when I am so grateful for my friends. Sometimes they just listen, sometimes they cry, and sometimes they give sound advice without the emotionality. What would I do without my friends?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not Much MORE!

It looks like our running group hasn't been doing any running lately and that is not entirely true. It was a very stressful week for one of us (to say the least), and the weather has been less than desireable for running. Last Sat. we managed to find sunny skies and ventured out for about 4 miles, it was a really nice morning, and it was nice to be out of the house, sharing a cup of coffee and a run with the girls. I tried to take the initiative yesterday and convinced K we should run even in the cold and the extreme wind, but I chickened out when I realized it was in the 30's and even colder when you factored in the wind. I know that our friends C and M went out today, but unfortunately I was shuttling kids around and couldn't get there in time. I know this sounds like an awful lot of excuses for not running but I feel like as long as I try again tomorrow there is hope for me. I know the skies will clear up eventually, and I know that the stress will lessen with time, and I also know that my friends will be waiting to join me on a run. Here's to sunny skies tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From Their Perspective

This was sent to me by a friend.

WHY GOD MADE MOMS Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2 She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's. 4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Speed Work or Hills?

This was the question K asked me when we were discussing our run today and what we wanted to accomplish. Usually on Monday's we don't put in long mileage, because we are coming off of a longer weekend run. I had to smile though when she asked the question, because I wasn't quite sure what to say to that one, (neither one, came to mind). I had my first physical therapy session today, and the one thing the therapist told me about running was to stay off of the hills, so the obvious choice was speed work. Let me just say that "speed work" for ladies of our age, (to be fair K is younger by about 5 yrs) is kind of comical. After a short warm up, we were instructed to run a half mile at an pace out of our comfort zone, this was negotiated down from a mile at an uncomfortable pace. The comments from the girls were an indication of our enthusiasm for "speed work" for instance I heard "just about any pace is out of my comfort zone", "after a half mile, then what, we die", and classic was when K asked M why she was holding back, she said "I was afraid we were going to do repeats". It did feel good when we finished the half mile, and caught our breath, and realized we ran a pretty good pace, but it really makes you appreciate the work our kids put in on a day when they go out and run 10x800, or 8x300, or even worse "mile repeats". I hope they appreciate what their bodies can do, and enjoy their youth while they can. As for me, I made it through the "speed workout" and I feel pretty good!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Steelers or Cardinals

Well we're off to another party, my second this weekend and that is why I have to run. What would life be like without good friends, good food, good beer, and a good football game? We'd all be skinny and miserable. While I'm not much of a football fan, it will be fun to partake in this annual American tradition. It's a good thing we're running tomorrow to work off all the food I will be enjoying this weekend! As for who I'm rooting for? The underdog of course.