Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maxi Dress???

This is sort of off topic for this blog, but now that Spring is here I've been seeing more and more of these "maxi" dresses. First of all, why do they call them "maxi" dresses? Couldn't they just call them for what they are, long dresses? The word "maxi" reminds me of something else. The first time I saw these dresses on someone was after our run at Peete's. It actually looked quite good on this girl, but she was a "girl" in the sense that she was very young (early 20's), tall, and slender none of which fit my physical description. I'm not sure if it would work on the average woman of our age who is about 5'3" to 5'4". As it is, I'm not really a dressy type of person. I'm more of a t-shirt and shorts type. Who knows, maybe I'll be tempted to try one on for the summer if I see someone of my age and height wearing one and it still looks good.

Runner's World is Reading My Mind!

Is it a coincidence that following our run on Sat. and the aforementioned "cherry tart" I ate, I came home to an article in my inbox about "post-run eating? " Well maybe, but yesterday after our hill run, I came home to check my e-mail, and what was in it but an article on"conquering hills." Kind of spooky don't you think? I am a long time reader of "Runner's World" magazine, and when I ordered the magazine for my daughter-in-law for Christmas, I entered my e-mail address to receive little tips and race notices. Well little did I know how helpful they would be as this week has shown. My husband unbeknownst to me, has let my subscription lapse and I will have to re-subscribe, because I realize that I miss sitting down and getting inspired by their articles, and the endless information they give on running faster and better. Here is the link for the article on hills, at first I didn't think I needed it because I don't choose to run races that are hilly, but then I remembered the dreaded "killer" hill on the COC course that I have yet to run all the way up during one of the summer races. Maybe this will help!


Monday, March 30, 2009

4.25 miles of Hills

It was just Patty and me on our run today. I had a route mapped out beforehand in my mind and I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I figured we would get through it one way or another. We started at our usual Cheese Park and headed into the bike path towards Decoro. This was the only flat or downgrade part of the run. Once we reached Decoro, we left the bike path and headed up the paseos toward Helmers. Mind you, this is all up hill towards Helmers. Once we got to Helmers, I was feeling pretty lousy. My legs were tired from the beginning and I was hot because I made the unwise decision to wear long sleeves. I was cold all day and thought it would continue that way. I should know better. Patty seemed up to the challenge of climbing that *#%! water tower hill and I didn't want to disappoint her so I climbed it with her. I say "climb" because running doesn't quite describe the way we're moving on the way up. This was Patty's first time making it to the top without stopping! Once we walked down, we still had the switchbacks to run up. I think I wanted to stop more than I care to admit during this run. I really felt lousy the whole way, but I didn't whine and complain about it until the very end. I was shocked to see that our overall pace was 9.34, even with the water tower because I felt like I was crawling today.

Lately we've been working on bringing our overall pace down. There is a study that suggests that there is an optimal pace for each person. On average for men it's 7.13 min/mi. and for woman 9.08 min./mi. The study is quite interesting. Here's the link.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cherry Tart, Not So Smart!

Everyone, who knows me, knows that I loved my baked goodies, I love to bake them and I love to eat them. It should come as no surprise that one of the things I look forward to the most when we run is the coffee and pastries after our run! Now I am no dummy, I realize that the baked goods are not calorie free, and my ever expanding muffin top is there to prove it, but I read this article about post-run fuel that drove home the fact that what we eat, especially after the longer runs will really make a difference in our next run. I even read something earlier this week on how important it is to eat something in the fifteen minutes after a run, they were appalled with the people who would wait to eat until after they showered (I am guilty). Here is the link to the article, maybe you will find it useful in making better choices than I do. I will miss my Cherry Tarts! http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-301--13072-0,00..html?cm_mmc=nutrition-_-2009_03_26-_-nutrition-_-DIET%3a%20Recovery%20Meal

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hangover Run?

We missed the real Hangover Run on New Year's Day at Vasquez Rocks so the ladies and I decided to have our own version of it today. And to make it truly a hangover run, we made sure there was alcohol involved the night before. Six of us gathered at Wine 661 last night and enjoyed sharing a glass or two or three of wine, some appetizers, and good conversation together for a ladies night out. We really had a fantastic time and vow to do it again. Hopefully our friends that missed this round (k.o.) can make it next time. Unfortunately we had such a good time, that C, Patty, and I arrived for our run this morning with a slight headache. We actually modified our original plan to try to get 7 miles in and instead ran just over 5 miles from Peete's Coffee. We even managed to push the pace a little for the last 2 miles giving me, Patty, and C an overall pace of 9.14; 9.26; and 9.48 respectively. Our headaches never really got worse with the running, but mine never really went away. That's when the coffee afterwards is really good!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MORE Volunteers

You can say that when we're not out running, we're out watching our kids running. Today was our kids' first league track meet and it was very exciting to be at the finish line helping out and cheering for all the kids. As runners, we appreciate how hard all of these kids work. We take nothing for granted. No matter where they finished today, we are very proud of our kids and the fact that they go out there day in and day out and push their own personal limits. I was able to take a few photos of the meet before my MORE friends discovered me on the other side of the fence dodging my duties. You can view the photos by clicking on the link to my photo gallery on the right side of the page.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blazing Speed?

The "blazing" refers to the weather, it seems we always pick the hottest day of the week to do our "speed" workout. It was warm today, but that wasn't the worst part, it was the headwind that was blowing on our second mile which of course was slightly uphill and more than a minute slower than our first mile. We sent my son on ahead because he was going to run the longer route, and he doesn't want to wait around for us to discuss our days, go to the bathroom, etc. etc. It does take us a while to get going! We decided to do the first mile at a controlled 8:30 minute mile and try to maintain that the whole time, instead of going out as fast as possible to start and dying out at about the half way point. This worked really well on the first mile and we maintained a comfortable 8:30 minute pace the whole mile (I started to fade just in the last few feet). Once we turned around however and started back it was a different story, we were running into a very strong wind, and literally felt like a wind tunnel going under the Decoro bridge! "Marathon Mom maintained a good 20 to 30 second lead on us the whole time, so I was truly hoping that she had just decided to speed the pace up a bit on the second mile. No such luck! She informed us that we were having a hard time keeping a 9:40 pace for that mile, but that our average for the 2 miles was around 8:45 which is really, all things considered, very respectable and makes me feel pretty good. I was dreading having to post something after our speed workout because I know it is always negative, but I have to say that today was a "good" run day, and with a little less wind resistance, maybe next time will be even better! My son may want to wait a bit before he runs off next time, because he was already finishing up as we were just getting started, he did get plenty of time for a cool down though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time for Tempo?

I think we're due for some speed again. Need I say more?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Feelin' Good

Patty, C and I had a nice run today. I'm not saying it was easy considering that we did hills and the water tower, but we all felt good afterwards. I was actually surprised that my legs weren't sore since all I heard from my husband today was how sore he was after running with me yesterday. Running the paseos kept us shielded from the wind. Too bad Patty's son didn't join us and decided to run the bike trail, but I couldn't blame him. I'm not so sure I would want to run with a bunch of moms either if I was a college kid; however, I think our way was much better! Unfortunately, he probably had to wait around in the wind until we returned. The price one has to pay for being young and fast.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Uncomfortable Run

I knew it wasn't going to be good, but I managed to get myself and my husband out of the house for a run. We ran 5 miles at Central Park at what seemed like a snail's pace into the wind. Running into the wind, our average pace was over 10 min., which explains our overall pace of 9.43. It literally felt like I was running in place when trying to run uphill into the wind. On top of the wind, everything felt uncomfortable on me. I kept having to readjust my Garmin and my water belt constantly! And my clothes felt like they were pinching me everywhere. My husband was very thrilled with himself at the 5 miles since he normally only runs between 2.5-3.0 miles at a time.

I was really looking forward to sipping coffee with my friends and getting things off my chest that have been keeping me up at night, but the rain had other ideas. I guess I'll have to save it up for our wine night.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time Change

For those of you interested in running with us, there has been a change in start time. We will now be running at 4:00 p.m. instead of 4:15, still from Cheese Park. Cheese Park is Chesebrough Park next to Northpark Elem. See you there!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Hot!

We all agreed that it is way too hot for this time of year. We ran a modified tempo run from Cheese Park today and even with the heat, we could see how we've improved. The first mile for me was faster than expected at 7.34/mi pace and Patty and C not were far behind at 8.30 pace. The second mile back was more miserable. Toward the end of the second mile our legs were feeling like jello and at times I was struggling to keep under a 9/mi pace. Overall, I was able to maintain an average pace of 8.0/mile pace for two miles and Patty and C came in around 9.0/mi. pace. Not bad on a hot day for a couple of old gals. I really think if we were running in the morning when it's cooler, the times would come down quite a bit. It's nice to see our pace improving, but it's also a wake up call for me. Most races are 3 miles and if my legs were feeling like jello at the end of 2 miles, I can't imagine what they would feel like at the end of mile 3 in a race. You'd probably have to peel me off the pavement! Our next run will be an easy run on Friday at 4:15 at the same place, just to shake out the legs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hills or Tempo?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The last time we ran, we talked about doing hills the next time we run together on Wednesday, but now I'm thinking we may want to do a tempo run instead. We've been working hard at getting our pace down and it would be interesting to see how fast we can run 3 miles. I'm open to either hills or tempo, but I thought we should plan on one or the other before we get there. One of the benefits of reading this blog is knowing what's coming next and possibly having a say in what we do beforehand.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheese Park

Patty decided she didn't like the name Cheeseburger Park either, so she has decided that we should call Chesebrough Park now Cheese Park. It's much shorter and easier to say. Therefore, we ran from Cheese Park today for a 4 mile loop at 9.27 pace. Patty was a little dead leg from running back to back for several days and C was still a little under the weather so considering those circumstances the pace was respectable. We are trying to set up another wine date for possibly Friday, March 27th. We will post details later, but we hope all our friends can join us (that includes you, K.O.). Our next run will also be from Cheese Park on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

All in a Day's Work

We started out from Peete's this morning at 7:30 without our friend "C" who was home sick. "Picture Lady took her place and what started out as a struggle turned into a really nice Saturday run. It was cold to start with, but I think it is because it was technically still 6:30 when we started (I know we will appreciate "daylight savings time" when it warms up a bit but not yet) K and I put in at least 6 miles, and I think a little more but I am not the one with the GPS, I do know that we averaged about a 9:17 pace which makes me very happy, especially after the hard time I had earlier in the week. "Picture Lady" ran/walked for 5 miles and kept up a very nice pace which seemed to really make her happy. It was nice to have her company and we crossed paths for a bit around the 2 - 2 1/2 mile mark. I don't know if we are just getting more comfortable with eachother but there was a lot of burping and spitting going on, you'd have thought we were a bunch of teenage boys. Never mind how we got it done, the point is that we did, and we got to sit and have a cup of coffee together, and then head off to watch our kids play basketball and soccer. My son's team won their first and last game of the season and I was so glad to get to see it all. Even though the day is little more than half over, I am feeling quite content to have accomplished so much already! Next run is Monday afternoon 4:45 at Cheesburger Park (Chesebrough just does not roll off the tongue!) I am hoping "C" is feeling better by then and that she reads this post so she will know that we missed her today.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday's Run

We are planning on running from Peete's at 7:30 a.m. I am hoping to go out at least 6 miles or maybe more, depending on how I'm feeling in the morning. Some of my friends will probably turn around sooner and beat me to the coffee afterwards. I hope the weather is just as nice as today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just Say It

Patty and I ran today from Chesebrough down the bike trail toward Heritage Park and back for about 3 miles at 9.23 pace. I thought it was a decent pace considering the strong headwind and the fact that we had to run the hilly portion of the trail twice. On our way out we were talking about how negative thoughts could really affect how your run turns out, so we kept our conversation light and mainly discussed work. The funny thing is, I think we both felt like cr*p the whole way, but neither one of us wanted to say it first, until we were done. Then we let loose about how awful we felt the whole way. I think neither one of us wanted to ruin it for the other while we were running. No matter how crummy I felt today, I'm glad I was finally able to get together with my friend and run. Don't forget to wear your pink tomorrow in support of our teachers!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It Wasn't Pretty!

C and I made it out for a run together this afternoon, and even though "it wasn't pretty" we were glad to have made it through. It seems like so much time had gone by since we ran together, and we spent the whole 4 miles, just catching up on eachother's lives. We both agree that we are due for new shoes, it seems we all bought new ones right about the same time. I don't know if it was the shoes or not, but I was surprised at how fatigued my legs felt. I expected them to be nice and springy since I had not run Monday, and boy was I disappointed. Hopefully we will be able to run again tomorrow with K, and there will be something left in these "old" legs. Regardless of whether it was a great run or not, it was nice to be out in some nice weather, with a good friend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Triathlon Training

The professional triathlete was back again today at the Storm practice. M, C, and I ran with a group of kids to Copperhill and back from Valencia High as part of our run. That was the easy part. When we got back, the triathlete had us all working on our core muscles. He basically had us doing 45 second intervals of different abdominal, triceps, back, and push up exercises, which he repeated several times. Mind you, the kids and obviously the men have never been pregnant so their abdominal muscles are more intact. The exercises were very tough and I was feeling it, especially the arms since they were still sore from yesterday's swim. I understand the importance of a strong core for running, but I still hate doing them. Wednesday is supposed to be a track workout, so M and I are hoping we can get away and just run on our own. I'm looking forward to Thursday when we can all hook up again for a run. It's been too too long!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How Far Did We Go?

It was another beautiful day and there were no excuses for not running, it was warm but not too warm, slight breeze but no wind, and nice and sunny. The husband and I decided to try the "train bridge" run because I had described it to him, but he didn't know exactly where it went. We started at Heritage Park instead of Peete's because we weren't going to have coffee afterwards so there was reason to begin there. Just after we crossed the bridge there is a gate now and that was locked so we had to hop over the fence (I don't think they want us back there). Other than that it was a really nice run, my legs are feeling good, and I felt like we kept a pretty good pace, I even unconciously started speeding up for the last half mile, because that is what K always does and I guess my body is just used to it. I kept a good pace until the last 10th of a mile when I just felt like I was done, that is the usual for me also. So far this week I have shown the husband 3 of our regular routes so maybe he will have some new places to go on his regular runs. I have really missed running with my friends though and hope that this week will work a little better with all of our schedules. My husband has been very patient with me and impressed with our various routes, and much improved pace, this he mentioned several times (he also scolded me for running down the middle of the "Heritage Trail" at the end of our run today). Oh well girls, I need to run with you now, I think I have worn him out. I would appreciate a feature on our blog with our favorite routes and what the mileage is for those times we aren't together, either that or I will have to invest in a Garmin.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Running Form

Today was absolutely gorgeous! We couldn't have asked for better running weather. I was joined by M and C at the kids' track practice today. We had a special speaker from the Newton Running Shoe Company come by and speak to the kids about running form. He is a professional triathlete sponsored by Newton. If you get a chance, you should visit their website and listen to why they created their shoes the way they did. I've had my Newtons for about 6 months and I really like them and will buy another pair soon, but in pink. Anyhow, while each athlete was getting their gait analyzed, C and I ran around the track to get more miles in. Then we left the track and headed to Heritage and back. In the end, we ran about 5 miles with a lot of stop and go. The best part of the day was when the Newton guy gave away free Newton socks and hats to kids who answered questions from the clinic correctly. I asked my son to listen carefully and try to win me a pink Newton hat. Thank goodness he is smart because I got my pink hat and now I just need to order my pink shoes!

Here's a link to the Newton Running video:


Friday, March 6, 2009


This week has not been a good week for running, whether it be by myself or with my friends. It looks like this weekend is not going to be much better. It seems that with the start of our kids' track season, our own running has taken a back seat. We had plans to scope out Mentryville on Sunday, but it looks like that may not happen. The only running I've been doing is with little kids and a husband and that has made me a bit grumpy, not to mention the fact that I stood out in the cold until 7:15 last night timing the high school meet. I'm really hoping that next week will be better.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Running with the Husband

Since I am off of work for the rest of this week, I enlisted my husband to run with me this morning. I had written it on the calendar, because I knew early in the week, that my friends and I would not be able to get together today. It didn't look good when I woke up to the sound of pouring rain, (i questioned letting my brand new 16 yr. old driver take himself to school in it) I figured that a run was out of the question, but around 9:30 the husband and I noticed the rain had almost completely let up, since there was some blue poking through in the distance we figured it was just a matter of time until the skies were sunny so we headed out. I wanted to show him our route from Chesebrough Park because it is very close to my house and I thought he might like it. When we got to the park though, it was just pouring and we decided to head back home, no sooner did we drive half a mile and the rain slowed down to a sprinkle again, so we turned back. We ran in a light rain for about a third of the run, a pretty good headwind for the next third, and sunny skies for the last third. I have to say that I am very glad that we decided to go out despite the weather, because today I felt the best I have in a long time. My best guess is that we ran around a 9:20 pace and it felt good the whole time. Whether it was the coolness of the air, or the stepped up hill and speed work we've been doing, or maybe just the company of my husband, it doesn't matter, because now I will go out for my usual run and hope that I feel as good as I did today!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I've been meaning to read this book. I never did find out from my friend if it was any good. In any case, I'm always reminded of the book every time we run in the rain. Not knowing how the weather was going to hold out later, I decided to run with Patty in the morning and take advantage of the day off from work. When we started, there were just intermittent drops here and there. We knew ahead of time that we were going to make it short and run only about 3 miles so I thought it would be a good chance to see how fast we could run 3 miles almost at race pace. (You can never really simulate race pace unless you're actually in a race). With the last bit of hills and all, we ran 3 miles in 9.05/mile pace. I was hoping we could get under 9, but I think we started too slow. Maybe that could be a goal for us, to run the same circuit in under 9 minute pace. As we were ready to head on home, the rain really began to fall. . . . . .just in time!