Sunday, May 31, 2009

Learned Something New

It's funny how you run by something all the time and never notice some of the details until you run with someone new. Today I ran with my husband down the west side of the river trail to the old train bridge and up the east side of the river back to the house for 6 miles. I am always teasing my husband that I think he has A.D.D., but it was he who noticed that on the top of the train bridge it reads 1898 on both sides of the entry to the bridge. I told him it had nothing to do with paying attention, but more to do with height. Since he is taller than I am, it was more in his field of vision. Anyhow it is a beautiful bridge and we are very lucky to have the city include it as part of our trail system. I think one day, they will include it into the marathon course. Speaking of marathons, I was thinking of Patty's son this morning as I was running. He is running his first marathon in San Diego and she and her husband are there to cheer him on. He has youth on his side so I'm sure he'll do great.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Older Women are Better?

I found this interesting NY Times article that discusses why women run better and faster in the older age groups. My friends and I have made the same observations. What we've noticed in many of the races that we've participated in is that the first place female is often in her 40's and that the toughest age group actually happens to be in the 45-50 age group. Sure, there are those few young runners that do win the races, but as a whole the older age groups seem to have the most fastest runners. Why is it that women get faster as they age up to a point, while men get slower? I always attributed it to the fact that many women in the younger age groups are busy finishing their education, having babies, or raising young children and therefore generally lacked the time to put into the running. Looking back at my own life, I really don't think I would have had the time or energy to run regularly while I was in my 30's. The article in the Times suggest that the improvement is due to the fact that we tend to take it more "seriously" as we become older. We appreciate the running more because we didn't have the opportunity to compete as young women and feel a new sense of accomplishment. I'm not sure I completely agree with that. Anyhow, read for yourself. And even if you're not in your 40's yet, trust me you'll be there sooner than you realize. At least there's hope and it's not all downhill after your 30's. Maybe there's something to look forward to?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mystery Solved!

On my way to meeting Patty for a run at Heritage, I noticed people just sitting in chairs at every corner of McBean. My initial thought was that these people were canvassing the area and were just waiting to be picked up. The funny thing is, Patty also noticed these people on her way to the park. As we made our way up the bike trail from Heritage to Decoro, over McBean towards Helmers, into Bridgeport and back to Heritage we came upon another man sitting in a folding chair at the corner. Curiosity got the better of us and we had to stop and ask him what he was doing. As it turns out, the city hired all these people to sit at corners and count traffic. He was a very nice man and I'm glad we stopped to chat. Maybe we should do that more often, stop and chat with people we meet along the way. Although it may ruin our already slow pace. I think we ended up running 9.3 avg miles, which isn't too bad considering the hilly route we took and considering that my legs felt like crap from the very beginning. I'm reminded of an interview I recently read of Kara Goucher, pro marathoner and Olympian. She nailed it when she basically said "running is painful". There is really no way around it. So why do we do it? I run to help me keep my weight in check while I continue to enjoy eating the things I like to eat, but most of all, I run for the camaraderie and the stress relief benefits. Why do most people run? Is it to see how far they can push their bodies? Is it to set personal bests? Why do you run?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Run

It is especially nice to be able to run with my friends on a Monday morning! I always have Mondays off of work but my friends do not, so since it was a holiday weekend I got a chance to run with Marathon Mom in the morning today. The weather couldn't have been any better, nice and cool, but not windy. We met at Peet's and decided to run the train bridge route in reverse. The thinking was that we would be able to finish in a blaze of speed on the downhill, and the last half mile would be easy. We forgot however that the trail that runs behind the apartments, and Pavilions is a very rolling trail, and it doesn't so much end on a downhill as a slight uphill. I must say that I felt pretty good until that last half mile when my legs were tired and I struggled with what seemed like a constant uphill grade. We ran 5.2 miles and if I am correct we kept it at around 9.3 pace, but we really felt like we were doing better until the very end. I think the reason was that Marathon Mom usually picks up the pace in the last mile to keep our overall pace down, but it was hard to speed up much today. I also appreciate the sacrifice that our military men and women and their families have made to give me a chance to live free in this country of ours. I miss my own son who is serving his country and has been very fortunate to be out of harms way. I will be saying a prayer for those who are not as fortunate.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tempo Time

This morning we met at Peet's for a shorter "long" run since Patty and I had family commitments that we needed to get to. That meant that we were sort of pressed for time so I decided that we were going to do a tempo run. And as usual, I forgot to mention it to "C" or Patty until we were well on our way, but I think they figured it out by the pace we were keeping. I figured that we could sustain a 9.20-9.30 for an hour so that was the goal I had set when we took off. Tempo runs are supposed to be at a pace you think you can maintain for one hour without killing yourself. We were pretty good at keeping within our goal except that when I checked our time at the last mile mark, I realized we were running short on time so I decided to pickup the pace even more. The slower we ran meant we had less time for coffee and conversely the faster we ran meant we'd have more time to chat over coffee. The last mile was ran at under 9 min pace and we ended up running the 6.2 miles at an average of 9.23 min/mi. pace. Coffee is a great motivator especially when you have a long day ahead of you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Perspectives on Walking

I have to say I'm NOT a walker. I'm just too impatient. If I can get somewhere quicker by running, then I'll run. Today I brought my dog to Central Park to visit other dogs at the park. I decided to take the long way and walked from the basketball courts on the XC trail to the dog park rather than going directly to it through the parking lot. I used to think the first mile of the XC course at CP was the worst part when running and now I'm convinced that it is. Today's walk confirmed it. When running that first mile, it seems to go on forever, but walking it feels like an eternity. In fact, I cheated by jogging that part here and there because I just couldn't stand it anymore. I suppose the walk put the trail into perspective for me. The next time I'm dreading that section while running, I will think back and remember that it's better than walking it. After all that walking, my dog didn't seem too interested in the other dogs in the park and wanted to get the heck out of there. I hope he enjoyed the walk!

P.S. I hope my friends were successful today with their shopping for running shoes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Our Protein

I guess one way to get your protein is by accidentally ingesting bugs as you run. I think that's what happened to Patty and "C" tonight on our run from Cheese Park. From the park we headed down to Heritage Park and back. It was much hotter than Patty predicted it would be and the bugs were out in full force. I tried to warn Patty, but it was too late. I heard the loud crunch of a black beetle with it's rear in the air as I screamed and Patty squished. I suppose it was bug karma because when we headed back, a bug flew up her nose. Then on the other side of me, "C" started gagging as she unwittingly swallowed an unidentified bug. As for me, well I ended up with some type of bug juice smeared on my shirt ( I must have been running so fast, ha ha). I think we all felt pretty good, considering the heat and the bad air quality. It's much easier running in the morning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pleasant Park!

Ok, it is really Central Park, but since we are always saying how much we hate running there, with the dust and the heat. I wanted to say something nice since we had a very unexpectedly pleasant run there today. We waited until later in the evening in hopes that the weather would cool off a bit, and it really paid off today. It was nice to have C back with us, and we broke the news to her about our marathon plans, the thing we all need to do is just take it one run at a time, and we will be running a marathon before we know it! We always stop and stretch in front of the dog park, and tonight we were laughing at the overly frisky dog who's owner kept yelling "no humping"! It was pretty funny to watch, he was just so happy to be out there with all those other dogs. The run itself was short, 3 miles, but we were all surprised how good we felt, and how much the weather had cooled off. It was embarrassing once again when Marathon Mom and I saw a group of kids from the school we work at, and of course we were dressed in matching outfits once again. We are now getting assigned days to wear the pink and white! Today it was Pleasant Park.

The Pink Pact

The three of us (Patty, C, and I) made a pact today that we would only be allowed to wear our pink shorts each on separate days. Today Patty and I showed up again in our "uniforms" of pink shorts and white tank tops. AND to make it much worse, we encountered a whole group of kids from the school we both work at. I wonder what went through their minds when they saw us. We ran later than usual and it was actually quite pleasant by the time we ran at Central Park. It was nice to have C join us again. Normally we hate running at CP, but it's been a while since we were there and the weather cooperated so it wasn't so bad.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Long Road Ahead

Well I think I'm going to live up to my blog name and finally start training for a marathon. It's funny because I've been thinking about it a lot this last week, but was afraid to say anything to my friends in case it might scare them off and Patty was secretly plotting the same thing in her mind and hadn't said anything either. During our long run today ("C" was sleeping in), we both confessed our plans, which actually were quite similar. See, great minds do think (and scheme) alike! I think it was the fact that we were both feeling much better this morning on our run that gave us hope and confidence to even consider the marathon. We ran from Lowes to the Wiley Bridge on the South Fork trail and then headed back via the trail beside the Hart baseball diamonds for an even 8 miles, all under 10 min. pace. We got some good info from a seasoned marathoner at our local Starbucks so I think we're ready to go. Our plans are to run a half marathon in the fall/winter and then a marathon in early spring, possibly L.A., San Diego, or Santa Barbara. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Misery and Pain!

Not much good to say about today's run except, we did it. Marathon Mom was nice enough to meet me near the golf course where my son takes lessons so we could get in another run this week. We started at Meadows park and ran through the paseos until we reached the South Fork Trail. Once we hit the trail we headed toward Magic Mtn. Pkwy until we reached the two mile mark and then we turned back around. It was hot and terribly windy AGAIN, and that seems to really affect my breathing. I felt like I was gasping for breath the whole run, we slowed down the pace and it didn't help much at all. I couldn't wait to be done, and was lucky I brought the water, because my mouth was like the desert for most of the run. The dry mouth gave me an excuse a couple of times to stop and take a drink, but I really just needed to stop running. I feel like a newbie runner and have much sympathy for people who run, race or in my son's case play basketball with asthma. I think mine is pretty mild, but the hot and windy conditions seem to really be a trigger (I did use my inhaler today, it was useless). I am watching "Survivor" however and the really annoying "Soccer Coach" guy is complaining about his asthma, and he is a Dragonslayer. Maybe I can overcome! The pain part was Marathon Mom's sore leg, and I am hoping that if we rest a day and go out early on Sat. we will have something positive to post about next time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our friend C today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Got It Together

We finally got it together and all three of us were able to get together for a run today. I was a little apprehensive about the run because the winds were howling AGAIN and I was nursing a sore leg from my run the previous day. We took off from Cheese Park and ran to Copperhill down to Decoro on the bike path. From there we tried to take a "short" cut through the apartment buildings and ended up in what seemed like a maze. I love it when we go on these unknown adventures. Thankfully there were no fence climbing involved today and we were somewhat shielded from the wind and sun on our way back by running on the street back to the park. The pace was not great, but it was still good to run together. I'm hoping for another good day of running tomorrow with Patty. "C" has the day off for her birthday. Happy Birthday "C"!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Good Thing

It's a good thing we never did go for a run today at 4:15. With husbands out of town, kids birthdays, driver's license tests, and life of a mom in general, we never got a run in together today, which really was for the better. I had a half hour opportunity to go for a quick run around 5:30 today and it was soooo hot, I couldn't have imagined what it would have been like at COC at 4:15. What were we thinking!

This week as I try to juggle the many responsibilities of being a mom, I came upon this study done on the value of our jobs at home. According to, when accounting for all the work that stay-at-home-moms do and compare it to industry standards, moms would make about $122,732 per year if they actually got a paycheck for what they did. While it would be great to have this money, we are richer in other ways. We enrich the lives of our family by doing our "mom" jobs and the payment we receive is love, something you can't put a price tag on. More info about the survey is at the link below. has been doing this survey for the last nine years and I guess our "pay" went up this year even in this economic downturn.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Need Sudoko!

I have heard that doing sudoko everyday will keep your aging brain sharp and keep you from having those "senior moments" that are inevitable at a certain age. Since I am truly hopeless with numbers, unlike many of my family members, and most of my friends, I chose to run. I have heard the same thing about running, so I have been counting on reaping the benefits mentally. I enjoy running so much more than trying to figure out where to put numbers on a grid! Well I am afraid that the running is not doing the trick, I had a morning that would point to that fact, and to the fact that maybe I need to add some brain stimulation into the mix. My #4 son turned 17 today, and in keeping with our family tradition, I had planned a breakfast of his choice before he went to school. I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off at 6am, made sure he was awake and went down to prepare eggs, bacon, and hash browns for him. I was really in the zone, and getting close to having it all done, when I glanced at the clock on my microwave and noticed that it said 5:23! I checked all the clocks downstairs and they said the same thing, no power outage to blame. I ran upstairs and sure enough my clock was off by an hour and I had just noticed. Luckily, son #4 is an early riser, so he took it in stride, but his little brother was pretty funny when he came down and realized that he was up a full hour earlier than usual (he is not a morning person). The good news is that they loved the breakfast, and got to really take their time getting ready for school. The bad new is that I am going to have to do some real brain calisthenics to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A Mother loves right from the start.
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never falter.
Her love is so strong it will never alter.
A Mother gives never ending Love.
She never feels that she has given enough.
For you she will always do her best.
Constantly working, there's no time to rest.
A Mother is there when things go wrong.
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near.
Gently wipes our eyes when we shed a tear.
So on this day shower your Mother with Love.
Gifts and presents are nice but that is not enough.
Give your Mother a day to have some peace of mind.
Be gentle, be good, be helpful, be kind.
Happy Mothers Day.
- Carol Matthews


It was so nice to finally have all three of us (Patty, C, and I) running together. "C" and I decided at League finals that she would do a 5 miler while Patty and I put in 6 since she missed a whole week of running. We took the pace out slow from Peet's and headed into South Fork to the Wiley Bridge. For the most part, I think all of us felt pretty good although Patty was complaining about having sore legs toward the end. The only thing that bothered me was the heat. The nice thing about South Fork is that you do get relief from the sun occasionally with the many trees that line the trail. You just have to pay attention to the detours so that you take the shady route. We only had to backtrack a couple of times. Afterwards we found a nice shady spot outside the coffee spot and enjoyed catching up on everything. It was a good thing we found that table because Patty was ready to start re-arranging furniture outside of Cold Stone. It was a nice way to start our Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'll Drink to That

No running today, and I can't say I am too sorry about that, I still feel like I am recovering from a long week and a lousy Wed. run. I am looking forward to our next, hopefully cooler run and the chance to get together with my friends. Runner's World of course reads our blog and sends me little tips to help with our running. I am attaching a link to an article about hydration, that I found very helpful. I have to say that my friends and I are pretty good about hydration, especially in the hot months when we know from experience that we just have to drink water, not just when we run but all the time. I think what may have happened to me, (I'll speak for myself) is that the warm weather caught me unprepared in the hydration area, and I may not have been properly hydrated. It was unseasonably hot, and I may have let my daily drinking slack off a bit when the days were cooler. I also have the embarrassing "sloshing stomach" as anyone who has run with me knows, and the article addresses this problem as well. As much as we don't like the sticky mess, it looks like we need to make sure and bring the gatorade with us on those longer runs! Hope this helps your running, and mine!,7120,s6-242-302--4814-0,00.html?cm_mmc=nutrition-_-2009_05_07-_-nutrition-_-HYDRATION%3a%20Energize%20Your%20Running

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oh Well!

We tried to run today. Our intentions were good, but it was just not in the cards today. That is how it goes some days when you think you have your day all figured out and then there's a last minute schedule change with you or your kids. That really is the story of our lives as mothers. I guess it's just as well since Patty and I were really beat. After our run yesterday, I took an Epsom salt bath because my legs were so sore and was in bed by 9 p.m. Patty was also complaining about how sore her legs were. She doesn't think it's from our long run on Saturday and blames it on the weather, but I think it was the long run. I still remember how horrible I felt the week after I ran the half marathon and how long it took my legs to come back to me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Twin Day!

Today Marathon Mom and I showed up to run wearing the same outfit. If that wasn't bad enough it was the pink shorts, white top outfit, so it looked like we were wearing a uniform. It isn't like it was the first time we had worn the same thing (all three of us have the shorts) but since it was only the two of us running, (we were missing C), we looked like we had planned it. We started from Heritage Park and headed toward Bridgeport, trying to recreate the pleasant run we had last week on that route. We immediately knew we were in trouble while we were jogging our warm up through the park to the trail, and we couldn't breathe. I knew it was going to be a long 4 miles! The weather was downright hot, and the wind has been blowing like crazy. It all took a toll and though we made it through, (no bragging about our pace today) it was just plain hard. It was one of those runs, where you agree with your partner that if it always felt like that, we would quit. We will try again tomorrow and hopefully do better, but I have to say if it is going to be a bad run, at least I have someone to complain to "Misery Loves Company" To make our lousy run, and embarrassing outfits even worse, we saw two of the kids who go to the school where we both work. They looked a little scared of us with our hair up and our adorable matching outfits, I am sure we will hear about it tomorrow!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hot, Humid, and Hilly

My running friends abandoned me today and so I was left to run with my husband. Patty is a little under the weather, but hopefully she is feeling better by tomorrow and "C" had a very busy weekend and is trying to catch up on her rest. My husband and I ran from home to the Helmer's switchbacks and into Northpark and back. On our way back, we managed to also tackle the water tower trail. The air was hot, humid, and stagnant the whole way and the only reprieve was the occasional sprinkler we came upon. I was prematurely feeling good about my 7 mile run on Saturday because today I had absolutely nothing left in my legs. My legs usually warm up after a while, but not today. Not only did my legs feel dead the whole way, I was having a hard time breathing due to the humidity. I should have sat this one out today just like my friends. I hope my husband doesn't think I run like this all the time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

No Eggs Please

Patty and I did a longer run today. "C" was busy this morning, but we're hoping we can get in a run together tomorrow morning. As Patty and I finished our 7 mile run from Peet's, I looked over at her and asked "Do you want to get an egg sandwich?" and the look on her face reflected what I was feeling. After a long run in the hot, humid air the last thing on your mind are eggs. The thought was just unappealing. I know that's what we're supposed to eat instead of those wonderfully delicious pastries at Peet's, but our stomachs just weren't in the mood. I'm sure the lattes were close enough with all the protein from the milk and we obviously got our carbs from the pastries. Can you tell I'm trying to justify our reasoning? Anyhow, it was a pretty good run. It got better when we turned around at the halfway point so that the breeze was in our face rather than at our backs. We managed a decent pace of 9.3 overall for the seven miles. It was comforting to know that we can go out and run 7 without too much trouble, but then I asked Patty if she felt like she could do 10, the answer was a very strong "no!".