Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Fluid Summer

Belt or no belt? That is the question we often ask eachother when we're ready to go out on a run. By belt, I mean our water belts. Lately we've been leaving our water belts behind for the shorter runs (4 miles or less). There's so much myth and confusion about water, as to how much to drink, how often to drink, when to drink that it gets sort of confusing. I think one reason for the confusion is that it really depends on the individuals metabolism and how much someone perspires. Everyone is different and we each have a different "sweat rate". I found this interesting article that discusses how you can gauge how much water you should be drinking based upon your perspiration level and your weight loss through water during the day. It's a different way to approach this hydration or dehydration issue.


Making sure we get plenty of fluid is especially important these summer months. The guy who runs the marathon training program suggested we start taking in more fluids starting Wednesday for preparation for our long runs on Sunday. I usually don't think that far in advance, but I do try to drink a lot the night before and I try to avoid alcohol. My friends know I've been putting a little slice of lime in with my water bottle, which helps quench the thirst a little better and gets rid of that sticky feeling in the mouth after you've been running a while.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Into the Wild?

Tonight, Marathon Mom, C, Mary and I started from Heritage Park and headed toward Bridgeport for a run around the lake. Marathon Mom and C were a bit sore from their hilly 8 miles yesterday, and I was just in a funk because I had a weird day a school. Mary was the only one with a little spring in her step, she really seemed like her old self on our run today, kinda bouncy. We had barely started our run when I heard what sounded like a large animal running toward me, through the bushes in the riverbed that borders the trail. I screamed and stopped short in front of Mary, and truly expected to be attacked and eaten by a large wild animal. As convinced as I was, the other girls were less so, and they jokingly referred to my "wild animal" several times on our run. I am happy to say that we made it back to the park safe and sound, and though our pace was slow, we put in our 3 miles, which always feels good. The weather is heating up and it seems like we are just drained by the time we start these late evening runs. I am thankful that my friends are willing to wait until later to run with me since I am working, I am just not sure if they would protect me from any "wild animals"!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hills from Hell!

When I looked at the marathon schedule it said 8 miles and I thought I could handle that. I vaguely remember the word "hilly" next to the 8 miles, but we train on hills all the time and didn't think it would be THAT bad. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out, their 8 mile loop is the hardest run on the schedule, which they informed me of AFTER the run. I dragged my husband with me in case "C" couldn't make it this morning, but she came and ran with me while my husband basically ditched me the first mile. From Granary Square, we basically started right into the hills of the Summit up Arroyo Park Dr and winding back down to McBean and back up Valencia to Rockwell/Tournament. Once we made it up to McBean and Tournament, we were to run down to Singing Hills where we were to run across the shopping center parking lot and onto Tournament for the first loop, and then we were to do that AGAIN. The good part of this section was 1. it was almost half way over 2. the water stop was there 3. after the last loop it was basically downhill from there back down Rockwell to Valencia to McBean. It felt like the COC summer series x 3. I have to give us credit though. C and I paced ourselves carefully and didn't go out too fast. The people who ran out too fast, we ended up catching on the hills when they had to start walking and we just kept up our steady pace. We never walked and we never stopped except for the water stops. I have to say that running on new routes makes the miles go by faster and it is better when you really don't know what's coming. It's really nice that the guy that runs the training runs gives you a map of where you're going. That way you can decide if you just want to go home before you even get started! As usual I'm glad I ran and did it, but I'm sure C and I will be paying for it tomorrow. My husband did great and even though he really didn't want to come with me this morning, he too was glad he did it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family Running!

I was moping around a bit tonight because I am going to have miss the long run with my friends tomorrow morning. My hubby and #3 son came to the rescue and agreed to go out for a run with me, even though the hubby had already put in 4 miles this morning. My son was more than happy to bring his new Garmin to keep track of our mileage, and set out ahead of us with a piece of chalk to mark the miles. I planned that the hubby and I would run 5 miles, (I didn't want to wear him out), and the son was plannning on putting in about 7 or 8 miles. We started at Heritage Park and ran toward Pavilions to meet up with the trail there, and head out to the South Fork. The first 2 1/2 miles was pure torture, sun in the eyes, no breeze and dead legs. I was really looking forward to turning around when we reached our mark. Of course the husband, being a bit on the competitive side kept going after we saw our son and we made it to the 3 1/2 mile marker before we turned around. Once we got to the South Fork, our run turned from torture to pleasant and my legs had renewed bounce. Most of the way back we kept a good pace, there was a nice breeze and the downhill really made a difference. I will be a mile behind my friends this week, but I am so happy that I was able to get out with my family and make it through another run. My feet are a bit sore, and I feel like going to bed, but I will be sleeping in a bit while my friends are out running their 8 miles in the morning. You go Girls! BTW we ran our 7 miles at a 9.16 pace (confirmed by the son, he's a math major so I'll take it)

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Summer!

We started our run at 8am from Lowe's this morning. Marathon Mom, M our friend from work, and I headed out toward the Southfork trail with the intention of running a 5 mile out and back. We decided to skip the underpass and stayed on Bouquet and Valencia until we got to the trail that runs behind the baseball fields. It was nice and cool when we started out, but it was starting to heat up by the time we were done (any later would be impossible). Our friends C and Mary had met a bit later and ran into them going out when we were on our way back. We managed to get the 5 miles we were hoping for and keep a 9.2 pace on top of that. Our friend M is younger and a former high school runner, so when she runs with us, the pace is always a bit faster. I have to say that I can feel the pace and struggle a bit more to catch my breath, but I felt good today, up until the last mile or so. Mary and C joined us at Starbucks for some coffee and conversation before we all ran off to get something done at home. We spent a lot of time discussing books and have decided that Fridays will be our book swap day. I will be looking through mine to see what books I have that everyone might enjoy. The problem is that I am getting to the point that I don't remember that much from a book after I have read it, maybe I should just find a good one and read it over and over again!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No Clubs to Join

As I dropped off my youngest son at cross country practice tonight, there were a bunch of women at the track for their club workout. I don't want to mention the name of the club, but it's a national chain mom oriented club geared toward motion, such as running or triathlons. When you join and pay your $75 annual fee, you get a cute pink shirt with flowers on it. There were quite a lot of women there, probably close to 40-50 of them. At first when I heard about this club, I was interested in finding out what they were all about. But then as I watched these ladies with their workout, I realized this isn't at all what I would be interested in. I like our group much more. We are not a club, there are no fees, no membership form, and there really isn't a planned workout. We are an informal group of friends that get together to run and socialize. I think both are equally important to most of us that run together. I didn't see a whole lot of socialization going on with this group, just timed running. I would like to one day get a "uniform" for our little group. We've been talking about it for some time and I know Patty was working on some little logo for a while. Who knows maybe we'll start a trend of our own, but on a M.O.R.E. personal level.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Skirt

Well I was brave today and finally wore my new running skirt, which my husband called a running "dress" when he saw me. I figured today would be a good day to give it a try since I knew it was only going to be me and Patty on the run from Heritage Park to Copperhill. We don't usually see a whole lot of people on that trail so it was a perfect opportunity for me to try it on and get Patty's opinion on it. She said she liked it, but I'm not sure if she would be totally honest with me if it looked stupid on me. The skirt does eliminate that bunching and riding up of your shorts, but one thing I noticed right away was that it is much hotter than a regular pair of running shorts. Unlike the running shorts, which are made of a much lighter fabric, the skirt is made up of two layers of that stretchy fabric, one for the skirt and one for the shorts underneath. It wasn't so bad that I won't wear them again, in fact I might buy another pair. The bottom line is that they are comfortable. The ones I bought don't have a draw string so it doesn't quite feel tight enough around the waist, but they never fell down so I guess they fit okay. They certainly didn't hamper my run today. Patty and I kept a brisk pace of 9.3 and talked the whole way there and back. I felt like we worked hard, but didn't kill ourselves either. Both of our legs were feeling pretty tired in the beginning, but they loosened up on the way back. I'm just glad we got it out of the way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

800 Miles Per Year

The other day I was loading my Garmin into my computer and an idea came to me. I wanted to see how much I ran in one year. It looks like my friends and I are averaging around 800 miles per year. I'm sure this year that average will increase as we train for a marathon. For some reason it feels like we run more than that, I don't know why. Not that 800 miles is small potatoes. I also noticed that our average pace is now hovering around the low 9 minute/mile pace whereas a year ago, our pace was always over 10 minutes. Based upon these mileage totals, I suppose we should be buying somewhere between 2-3 pairs of running shoes per year, depending on the shoes we buy. One more year of running and we will have run almost the same distance as from one coast to the other. It's amazing what the human body can accomplish!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good Start to a New Week!

I met Marathon Mom, and our work friends M and K tonight at Central Park for an evening run. We were trying to beat the heat so we started at 7pm which was just perfect. It was an easy 3 miler, and we kept the pace at around 9.4. The time seemed to pass very quickly with all of us chatting pretty much the whole time. It amazes me when I mention to my kids, husband and any man in general, that we spend our runs talking, and they all say that they would "hate" to have to talk to someone while they were running. I must say, that I look forward to our runs, and our talks, it just makes it all seem a little bit easier, the running and life in general! We missed our friend C who has a new job that starts very early in the morning, she was too tired (understandably) to run with us tonight. Hopefully she will get used to the new hours and will join us again on Wed, for our COC run.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

We gathered early on Father's Day to run with the SCR marathon training group. It was a smaller than usual crowd, but still about 15-20 people. The planned route was 13 miles, but there were various short cuts for those wanting to do less. Me, Patty, and C ended up doing about 7.8 miles and Karen and her daughter ran about 5 miles. The biggest adaptation we had to make was getting used to running in the streets without any sidewalks. I guess that's why it's good that we start so early in the morning because there aren't a lot of cars out that early on a Sunday morning. Still we tried to stick as close to the curb as possible which created aches and pains in places we're not used to due to the slant of the street. And when we felt it just wasn't safe running on the street, we ran on the grass (not fun). I think we've been spoiled so far. Why are there so few sidewalks in the older part of Valencia? I think we were all hoping to go a little further today, but next time we'll plan our route a little better. Trying to stay off of the streets and on the paseos probably cut our distance down a bit. Even so, it was a high mileage week, more than we've done together in a long time. In the end, we enjoyed the run and will be back out with the group again hopefully next week. We hope all the fathers in our lives enjoy their special day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fun Run

We had a fun run today from Peet's coffee this morning. It looks like Friday is the one day that we can all try to reconnect and run together. Patty, C, and I were joined by Sea N Sun and Karen, both from the school Patty and I work at. We ran an easy 4 miles since the heat was already bearing down on us. It wasn't too bad once we got to the South Fork Trail because of all the shade from the trees. I guess we should just get used to it because summer isn't even officially here yet. We are all planning on running with the marathon group this Sunday. I'm looking forward to it, except the 6:30 a.m. part! At least it won't be as hot that early. It's nice seeing our running group grow, it makes the runs a little less boring and keeps the conversations interesting. Later while we were at Peet's enjoying our coffee, Mary and her daughter joined us. They went toward the train bridge and saw that it was closed so . . . in typical Mary fashion, went through the riverbed that me, Patty, and C were too chicken to cross a few days before.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Congratulations Grads!

This morning on our run, it occurred to me that we all had children graduate this year. Marathon Mom saw her second son leave middle school, C watched twin daughters graduate from high school, our friend Mary watched her daughter move on from middle school, and I watched my third son graduate from college. A couple of the graduates joined us on our run today, and I have to say, I really like the energy we get from having a bigger group of people. Also having the younger ones with us, keeps our pace pretty respectable even if we don't keep up with them the whole way. We started to run our loop behind the car dealers and the baseball field, but were turned away at the trail entrance on Valencia, because of a Police Olympic bike time trial. We had been out for 2 miles so we just turned around and headed back to Bridgeport Park where we started from. We all agreed that we don't like that loop anyway, and the mess under the freeway overpass just confirmed that feeling. We finished our 4 miles in 9.2 pace, which made all the inconvenience seem like it was not so bad after all. Getting back to the graduations, I have been thinking about how hard it was to leave my son in San Diego, a new college grad with his whole life ahead of him, and no real idea of what he is going to do. When I left him 4 yrs. ago I knew that even though he was away, he was going to school, it was hard to leave him then, and just as hard the other day. Who knows maybe he will come home again, and that is good too. I am not sure what he learned in his classes these past 4 yrs, a lot I hope, but I do know some things he learned while he was away from home. He learned to iron, cook (quiche, cookies), rent an apartment, wait for the cable guy (over and over), take the bus & train, find a job, pick out a tie, find the casino, grocery shop, buy fruit, wash clothes, buy cards and gifts for his family, and many more things that don't come to mind right now. I am amazed at how our babies grow up so fast, and it makes my eyes water when I think about how proud I am, and I know my friends feel the same way about their graduates! I have to say I am very proud of the fact that mine seems to have learned to like running!

Monday, June 15, 2009

More the Mary-er

This morning we were joined by our friend Mary. We haven't seen in her in a while and it was nice to have her join us once again. Me, Patty, C, and Mary struck out from Cheese Park on the paseos toward Helmers and down toward the bridge crossing McBean. From there we entered the river trail back up towards Cheese Park. The entire loop was 4.0 miles and we ran it under 10 minute miles, which is respectable considering the hilly terrain. I did panic a bit when we were almost back at the park and saw construction workers along our dirt trail by the power lines. I was afraid that this road was also closed and we would have to turn and go back another way like we did the other day. It seems we all had a rather busy weekend so it was good to be able to get this run in.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Exercise and Aging

I was looking back at some old photos of me, my husband, and some of our friends and that got me thinking about the aging process. Why is it that some people age well and some not so well? I'm sure many of you have come across old friends and acquaintances that you haven't seen in a few years and thought "wow, they really don't look so good" or "wow, they look great!". I'm sure a lot of it is just good genes, but I think it also has to do with how active people are in their daily lives. I've always felt that it's the increased blood flow and oxygen to your cells, which helps keep you looking younger. According a recent study, exercise actually changes the makeup of your cells and increases the life of those cells. Below is the link to that article.


And if you want to know your fitness age, take this test from the MORE Magazine website. Based on simple fitness tests that you do, it tells you how old you are in fitness years.


Friday, June 12, 2009

An Unexpected Detour

There is nothing more deflating than running all the way somewhere and thinking you are almost done when you see the road is closed and you have to turn and go back the other way. That is what happened to me, Patty and C on our run today. We started out from Peet's and ran up the east side of the river trail to Copperhill to the other side of the river and down toward the train bridge. C was feeling really good so she stuck it out with us and decided to go longer. When we got to the train bridge at mile 7, the entrance was completely fenced off and men with a huge crane were trying to lift a heavy piece of metal drum into some round well. We tried several times to get their attention to see if they would allow us to go around and pass, but they completely ignored us even with Patty just in her sports bra and her top off. Finally C was able to get one of their attention (I suggested that we flash them and then maybe they would look our way), but they still wouldn't let us pass. So. . . . we had to turn around and go back the way we came from. We even debated on trying to cross the riverbed, but it looked too thick and creepy down there. Sure there were road closed signs, but they had been there for the last 3 weeks and we were still able to cross. As it turns out, it really wasn't that much further going back another way, perhaps 1/4 mile more than had we actually crossed the train bridge. All in all, we all did fine and are now ready for two days off and Patty can enjoy her son's graduation!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Bit of Sun Please

When I got ready to go run this morning, there was a little bit of blue sky showing and I felt encouraged that we may see some sunshine today. Unfortunately as we got further into our run at Central Park, the clouds thickened and the sun was nowhere to be seen. I now know I could not live in the Pacific Northwest. Today we had a larger than normal group, which consisted of myself, Patty, C, C's two daughters, and "See N Sun". It felt like we were running faster than our usual pace, and we attributed it to the younger runners in our group today. Central Park is okay to run at if you're wanting a shorter run, but what it really lacks is a coffee shop. I'm looking forward to tomorrow at Peet's.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Running

This morning was our first official run of Summer Vacation! We are all off for the summer break, or in my case, until Summer School starts. Marathon Mom, C, and I ,met our teacher friend "M" at Lowe's this morning to kick of our summer running. We all look forward to the summer and to being able to run in the cool of the morning, instead of the heat of the afternoon. This morning was especially cool, as June gloom is in full swing and seems to be lasting for the entire day. As far as running goes, there is not much we can complain about, except maybe that it is a bit humid. We all started off with jackets, but soon peeled them off and had to run with them around our waists for the rest of the run, (lesson of the day, don't wear a jacket unless there is frost on the ground!). I could tell when we started that our pace was a bit faster than usual, and I am sure it has to do with our new friend, who is not only younger than we are, but as I have mentioned before, used to run competitively in High School. Marathon Mom kept that pace going and we managed 4.25 miles at a very respectable 9:15 pace. I felt like I was just trying to keep up today but the legs were pretty fresh, even after a short 3 miler with C last night. The best part was getting to sit at Starbucks afterward and chat, catch up, and plan our next run. I hope my friends won't get so comfortable with these morning runs that they won't occasionally run in the afternoon with me when I am working!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Family Affair

Today I dragged my husband and son out on the trail with me. I'm sure they can't wait for Patty to get back from her trip so I would leave them alone. My husband ran with me while our younger son rode his bike. We ran to the San Francisquito River trail from our house and down to the old train bridge and back up the east side of the river trail toward Copperhill, back to our house for just over 8 miles. I have to say I'm not crazy about this route because it its torturous to have to run by Peet's Coffee and not stop for a cup. My legs were a bit tired today so I could have used the caffeine. As we finished, I commented to my husband about this run being the furthest that he's run in a long time. He surprised me by telling me that it was the longest run since high school! I guess you learn something new even after almost 21 years of marriage.

Friday, June 5, 2009


When I was younger, I often wondered why graduation ceremonies were often called commencement ceremonies, but now the term seems to fit. When one chapter ends in your life, another one begins, and as one door closes, another opens. As someone who works in the education field, it has been an extremely stressful week with people coming and going, teachers losing their jobs, and others being transferred. It is sad to see some of my new friends leave, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know them. As today's quote states, we all graduate everyday. My youngest son graduated from junior high this week and will begin high school in the fall. How did he grow up so fast?

On my first official day off for the summer, I had plans to go running in the morning with "C", but she was not feeling well and had to cancel. I hope to get another run in by this Sunday since Patty texted me from Palm Springs saying she got to run this morning :(

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy National Running Day!

Even though today is National Running Day, I almost didn't run. It's been one of those weeks when you forget what day it is and your normal schedule is all out of wack. My friends and I had plans to run in the afternoon, but then I had to cancel on them thinking that I had to take my son somewhere at 4:30. As soon as I dropped him off at 4:30 and drove around the corner, I realized that his appointment time was actually 6:30! I called to let him know, but they had an earlier time open for him and it actually worked out okay. Uugghhh!

I was feeling really tired, but I dragged myself and my husband on a run from home to our hilly paseo route for 3.25 miles. Boy was I dragging! I'm glad I did go out because I ran into someone I work with who also happened to be running. I've been trying to talk her into joining us and training for the marathon with us. Just like me, she hears her biological clock ticking and feels that she better do it soon 'cause we're not getting any younger.

On a funny note, my husband was so happy with himself for running "9" miles so far this week. Unfortunately I had to break it to him that we start all over on Monday so the 6 miles we ran on Sunday doesn't count toward this week's total.

I hope you were all able to go out for a run today on National Running Day, no matter how short. Patty sent me this link to Deena Kastor's perspectives on running that I really enjoyed. I found it inspirational and hope you do too.


Monday, June 1, 2009

M.O.R.E. Monday

I know it's not a very original or particularly catchy title but it's all I've got. I met Marathon Mom, and C at Cheesepark for a 4 miler to Heritage Park and back. The weather was mild, but humid and it made my mouth feel like the desert. I haven't run since last Thurs. so I wasn't sore, I did spend the day yesterday, walking all over San Diego, but since my 77 yr. old mother-in-law did also, I don't feel I can in any way complain. Marathon Mom ran 6 miles with her hubby, and he was so inspired by running with her that he is thinking about blogging about it. I have a similar effect on my hubby! Since Marathon Mom did not share with us the pace we kept, I have to assume that it was nothing to brag about, so I won't. All I will say is, that it was nice to be home running with my friends, and even though I am looking forward to the coming weekend with my non-running friends I want to get in as much time with the M.O.R.E. girls as I can before I go. We are going to try it again on Wed. Do you think they will take the weekend off while I am gone? I would like to think they would in solidarity, but I know better.