Thursday, July 30, 2009

Glad It's Over

Well we did it. We came, we raced, and we finished the C.O.C. summer series. I can't really say I'm happy I did it, just happy it is over and done with and I can say I ran one this year. However, no matter how miserable I feel during the race, it is a great gathering place to see old friends you've met throughout the years of running. It is a great community event and it's fun having all my friends suffer with me, especially since it was their idea to run it in the first place. I know I didn't break any of my own records, but I think C did and perhaps Patty did too? Patty's husband broke 25 minutes and met his personal goal. Sea-N-Sun came and ran her first summer series with us. She did great and just zipped up those evil hills. Just with a little more miles of conditioning and she is going to leave us all in the dust. The weather was perfect, it was the most coolest night of the summer series I can remember. I especially enjoyed the after-run dinner and beer with friends.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running on Empty!

The title of this post sums up the feeling on our run this morning, but is also a shout out to one of my favorite singers Jackson Browne. My hubby said he is going to be in concert locally in a couple of weeks and we may be able to go, now that made me smile! Nothing about our run made me smile today, I started out with rubbery legs and an upset stomach and I feel the same way 4 hours later. I am sure yesterday's outlet shopping wih the girls may have had something to do with the sore feet, and rubbery legs, but it was worth it to spend the day with my friends. I knew I was in trouble when I chose fashion over function and wore strappy flip-flops with no support (I was scolded by Marathon Mom), I paid the price last night and even tried soaking them in a foot bath, but it didn't help much. Marathon Mom, C, and I grumbled through a slow-paced 3 miler this morning, and amazingly enough made plans to run the COC cross country race tomorrow night (I think that is why I am queasy!), and then run our 6 miler on Fri. moring, since we are busy with our kids on the weekend! I especially am famous for dragging along during a run, all the while making grand plans for even more difficult runs in the near future. I think the term "glutton for punishment" comes to mind. I am going to try to do as little as possible today, and maybe even eat right, so I will be ready for tomorrow night. Maybe I will even get out the 8 tracks and listen to a little Jackson Browne (don't pretend you all don't know who he is) I will post a review of TWILIGHT in the near future as I did finish reading it, I just need to find the right words.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Dirty Dozen

I don't think Marathon Mom and I were fully prepared for how uncomfortable our run today turned out to be! Our friend C couldn't make it, and maybe we just needed her to push us along (guilt trip!) or maybe it was the route we ran. I had a vague memory of a run that the hubby and I did years ago that took us to Decoro and sure enough that was the route we ran today. I had forgotten the part where we ran uphill toward Rockwell, which was a hard way to start a long run, after turning on Rockwell, we ran to Valencia, turned right and headed to McBean, and then took a left and ran toward Decoro. The Decoro hill isn't so steep, as much as it just goes on forever, we decided to walk a bit of it so we would have something left in our legs at the end of the run, (it didn't help). We took Decoro to Seco, Seco, to Bouquet (quick stop for water at Jack-in-the-Box) and then to Valencia, Valencia, to Magic Mtn. and the Magic Mtn, to the South Fork Trail. Once we hit the South Fork trail, I think both of us were done running, the sun was out in force and the legs had nothing left. We even stopped and walked a bit on the trail knowing we weren't far from being done. We came out the trail on Wiley, and headed to Old Orchard which is not our favorite because of the lack of sidewalks and the slight uphill climb, we were so happy to get back to McBean and turn toward Granery Square. We were just behind the very last guy and we figured that our Jack-in-the-Box stop was the reason why, but we found out that several of the runners didn't do the last two miles on the South Fork and just continued up Valencia to McBean, I have to say we were tempted, but we finished all 12. The one thing that went through both our minds on our run today was if it is this hard to do 12, how in the world will we get through 26.2? Hopefully we will have a selective memory, kind of like childbirth and will be able to get out and do it again in a couple of weeks! Map to follow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The 19th Wife

Well I finished reading The 19th Wife. Would I recommend it? For most people, I would say yes. I'm not particularly interested in the history of the LDS or the Mormon church, but the story is more than just about religion and polygamy. I think on a deeper level, it deals with the question of why people willingly follow a cult or a leader and continue to ignore the little voice that tells them that something is wrong. It's not too different from the question of why so many Germans supported Hitler in the extermination of Jews or any other genocide that has gone unchecked for a number of years. What is it that cause masses of people to commit or support atrocities against each other? It was an interesting look into the world of polygamy and the reasons for the willing participation of the plural wives. I think the author did a good job of intertwining the fictional and documentary parts of the book and bringing it all together in the end. I would say that the book was educationally entertaining.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Need for Speed

Right now I'm on a mission to bring our pace down. I think my running friends have finally caught on to me. The way I look at it, if we're running long and slow on the weekends and running short during the week, why not bring up the heartrate and work on some speed on those short runs. Today, we (Patty, C, Mary, Karen F. and I) ran from C.P. up Bouquet to Plum Canyon and back. Overall we ran a 9.2 min/mile pace; however, we were running rather fast on the way back averaging 8 min/mile pace. The problem is the uphill. That just seems to increase the overall pace. It is a steady climb all the way to Plum Canyon and the way back is really nice with a steady downhill. The route is pretty much all in the shade too, which makes for a comfortable run. During the week, we will need to make sure we're not running too many miles, otherwise we may end up with injuries once we start our REALLY long runs. I really don't see a problem with keeping our runs to 3-4 miles as long as we work on the heartrate and the speed. OK, get ready for race pace on Friday. Until then, I'm as soooo looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Short and Sweet

Today's run was short and somewhat sweet. We ran a short 3 miles up McBean in the shade from Peet's and back at a tempo pace. I wanted to push the pace to see what we were still capable of. During the last mile back, we were keeping up a brisk low 8 to high 7 min/mile pace. I was beginning to worry that these long, slow runs were making us into long, slow runners. Now that we are running the longer runs on the weekends, I thought it would be a good idea to work on some speed during the week when we keep our mileage low just to keep the heart rate up. The sweet part of the run was actually the post run coffee and pastries. Now that we all have our mornings back, it will be nice to run earlier in the mornings before the day heats up too much.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Running in Circles

C and I could not let Marathon Mom run 11 miles by herself this morning, so we all met at Central Park to get our long run out of the way for the week. The high school kids had practice at 7am so we figured we would run 3 loops and then add 2 miles through the park onto that. I have a new respect for the kids when they practice at Central Park and seem to just be endlessly running in circles, it is brutal! Add to that the heat and humidity and it made for a really tough run. My husband showed up later to run a loop himself (he likes to wait till it's nice and hot out) and he made the comment on how long we were out there running. It did take us a long time, because we stopped regularly for water, which we sweated out right away, bathroom breaks (broke my own rule), and chats with the kids coach. It was the heat that killed us today,( my legs felt pretty good), and the monotony of doing the same thing over, and over, again. Marathon Mom had to leave us after about 8 1/2 miles because her son was done running and they are on there way out of town for a nice beach weekend. C, her daughter and I tried to get the last 2 1/2 miles in the best we could, we started out on the course through the dirt once again, but when we passed the dog park, we just couldn't face heading up the service road to the dirt hill, and turned to the left instead, we ran toward the grass soccer fields and straight to the sprinklers, we hit as many as we could and ran the grass perimeter twice. C's daughter said that once around was half a mile, so I am sure we came pretty close to our goal. It was a tough run, but I know we are all glad to be done for the weekend! Next run will be Tues. we will meet at the McDonald's on Decoro and McBean, and I think we decided on 6:30, we were overcome with thoughts of the heat when we made our plans.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finally Friday!

I think all three of us (Patty, Karen, and I) were very glad it was finally Friday. As we started our run from VHS, we all seemed to be feeling pretty good and energetic. Since the bathrooms were closed at the school, we decided to head towards Cheese Park and get a water/bathroom break there. This was Karen's first time on that trail so I wasn't sure how she would handle the hills with her knees, but she surprised us all by tackling those hills out and back like she had been doing them all along! I think it's amazing how we all have different strengths and weaknesses. I don't think hills are my strengths, but Patty is positive that they are her weaknesses. Generally those with shorter legs do better on the uphill and those with longs legs tend to do better down hill. I think I just do better on the flats. I will not be able to run with the girls again this weekend so I'm hoping that I will be good and run long on my own tomorrow. Eleven miles is not fun even with a bunch of friends so running on my own will be torture.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Hump Day

Hmm, I know what you're thinking, no not THAT kind of hump, but the middle of the week kind! On the hump day of the week, we tackled the many humps, bumps, and hills at the C.O.C. course tonight. Patty, C, C's daughter, and I ran a warm up lap first and stretched before heading onto the trail. This seems to make a world of difference for me to be able to warm up and stretch before starting right into a climb. Patty and I started with our water belts on the warm up lap, but we quickly got rid of them before going up on the course because they just felt oppressive in the humidity. That was a huge mistake! We were so thirsty and cotton mouth by our first lap on the course. Thankfully C had carried her water with her and was generous to share. We all agreed that the freeway right next to the course really makes it difficult to breath, but for some reason it was a little easier the second time around. I am happy to report that last week's horrible run on the same course was just a phase and this time was much better for me. As before, we ran two quicker laps around the track and then ran two cool down laps without our shoes. It feels so good to take off your shoes after running. We finished just in time before they locked the gates on us. C's daughter wasn't so lucky. She had to take the long way out, but that's okay she's young, she can handle it. While we were waiting for C's daughter, some guy drove up and rolled down his window in front of us like he was going to ask us a question. Instead he pointed a flash light in our eyes. Of course we all stared at him like "deer in the headlights" just waiting. Thankfully it was just one of the hubbies trying to pull a prank on us. It worked.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Another Moaning Monday!

I have to say that we are developing a pattern, we run Sunday morning and we moan all through our run Monday night! Tonight Marathon Mom, C, her daughter, K from work and I met at Heritage and ran toward Bridgeport. The moaning started right of the bat, and pretty much continued the whole way! The thing about the run is that it wasn't really that bad, oh yeah, our legs hurt a bit from our 10 miler yesterday, but other than that it was a nice night for a run. The weather seemed like it was starting to cool off, and the run around the lake in Bridgeport is truly a beautiful run. I have to be honest and say that I seriously considered flaking out on my friends all afternoon, and had to stop myself from texting them and saying I wasn't feeling well. The funny thing about it is that at some point during our run, every single one of us expressed the same thing! The power of peer pressure can be a good thing at times. I didn't want to run tonight, I was in a bad mood, had a bad headache and just was not feeling it, but with the help of my friends, I made it through a 3 mile run and I know I am the better for it. Thanks girls

Sunday, July 12, 2009

10 Again

For Patty and C it was another 10 miler. They weren't too happy to find out that they only needed to do 9 miles last week. Oops! We met with our marathon group out of Granary Square again and headed north to Copperhill. At our water stop, we asked the trainer where we turn around and when he described it at first, Patty's jaw just fell and the look on her face was shock. I guess she misunderstood and thought it was a different, much harder route. The hardest part was just before the turn around when we made a right at Copperhill and ran uphill for about a mile with a 122 foot elevation gain. I guess it's good practice for mile 23 of our marathon where there is a significant incline of 150 feet. It was actually quite pleasant and 90% of the time we were in the shade. We even stopped in at McD's for a bathroom break and some fresh ice water for our bottles. The only annoying thing about this route is all the lights that we have to stop at. It's really hard to get going at mile 8 or 9 when you have to stop and wait for a light. I wonder if it wouldn't have been better if we just ran cross the bridge at Bridgeport and got onto the bike trail so that we wouldn't have to stop so much at the lights? It probably wouldn't have been as shadier. All in all, we all did great, especiall C's daughter who ran with the "faster" group. Afterwards we all enjoyed our coffee and our protein loaded breakfast sandwiches. Couldn't get any better than that.

On a side note, Patty's brother asked that we post our maps of the longer runs. Today we weren't given any, but I'm so glad I figured out how to transfer the image from my Garmin software to the blog. I just hope I can still remember how I did it for next time :0

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Non Book Club

After our run on Friday, Patty and I were discussing ways to make this "book club" work for everyone. We realized that we really don't want it to be like a regular book club where we all read the same book, since we have such different tastes. What we thought would be better is getting together and sharing the books we have already read, sort of like our own library. Then as we're reading them or when we're done, we can comment on them to let others know what we liked and didn't like about the book. It will sort of be more of a book review than a book club. Since we are also sharing many of the same books, it will be easy for the rest of us to chime in and comment on them too.

So to get this thing started. . . .I am reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. It's basically based on the true story of Brigham Young's 19th wife and a fictional character involved in a polygamist society. I'm still in the early stages of the book. It starts slowly, but I'm getting more into it. After reading Twilight, it's hard to switch gears into a more "serious" book with MUCH smaller print. The only thing I do not like about the book is how it jumps around so much. It goes back and forth from the true story to the fictional story to letters and stories written by other people. I'm not enjoying the fictional part of the story as much as the true story of Brigham Young's wife. Parts of it do have me hooked so I'll keep reading it and see what happens.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Running with the Kids

This morning Marathon Mom and I met our friend K from work at Central Park for a 7am run. The high school kids are out in force, and so are the moms. While we ran I thought back to the days when we had to drive them to practice and figured while we were there we might as well get our exercise also. How lucky it was for me that I found other moms that felt the same way about running that I did, and were willing to get up early to run with me! The nice part is the friendships that have formed in the process. I don't have to drive my son to practice anymore, but Marathon Mom does, and I really enjoyed being there today to see all of them running, the older kids and the new faces too, what a difference a year makes in a kid in his teens. We had a very pleasant run, cool enough weather, and managed to get in 4.25 miles. We are mentally preparing for another 10 miler this Sunday so I am going to be lazy today, and maybe tomorrow, eat right and look forward to suffering with my friends in a couple of days!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hello Hills!

Tonight Marathon Mom and her hubby met me at COC to see how we fared on the hills. We stuck to the dirt and were dragging right off the bat. We told her hubby to just run ahead, unless he was going to chat with us, we didn't want to hold him back. The first time around was very hard, I felt like I couldn't breathe, and Marathon Mom's legs were feeling tired. I am sure she overdid it on her "vacation" with all the running and hiking in the altitude. We agreed that if we could have used my legs tonight and her easy breathing, we would have been just fine. The second time around she got a cramp and let me go on ahead on "killer hill". Even with a cramp she caught up and passed me, aah, I should have taken advantage sooner, while I had the chance. I think we both had visions of the cross-country races that will begin tomorrow night and how hard they are. Marathon Mom claims she doesn't want to run any of them, and I feel like we should run at least one. The one thing about our run tonight is that the weather was very pleasant, and if it is the same tomorrow night, I will be sad we didn't just get it over with. It seems to me that every time you run the hills on that course, there is another hill that wasn't there last time. I enjoyed our run, she may beg to differ, but the weather and being able to cool down on the track was a nice change and I think we should do it more often, maybe even on a Thurs. night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Running with Gum

Running with gum is like running with scissors, somewhat hazardous. Lately I've been chewing gum during our runs to help keep my mouth from going too dry since we've been running without the water belts on the shorter runs. Yesterday, as I was running, talking, and chewing gum I accidentally bit down so hard on one of my teeth that it is still loose! I guess chewing gum requires that you do not try to multitask. See N Sun was telling us how she bit her tongue accidentally the day before by talking, eating, and player with her son, again multitasking. I wonder if anyone has ever choked on their gum while running? At every race, the goody bags are usually filled with various products for dry mouth (biotene), such as dry mouth gum, gel, toothpaste, mouthwash. I wonder if they help runners and that's why they market them at all of the races? Usually at the end of a race, my mouth is so dry that I think that is what starts the gag reflex (sorry for graphics). I think it's time I tried one of these dry mouth products.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Popular Trail

Patty, C, See N Sun, and I met at the South Fork parking lot and ran for a short 3.1 miles. I knew beforehand that tonight's run wasn't going to be a lot of miles so I also ran 3.5 miles this morning to double up and make up for some of the miles I missed last week. I doubt that the little bit of running I did at Mammoth had anything to do with it and it certainly didn't qualify as "altitude training" , but I actually felt like I had a lot of energy left for the second run of today. That bit of energy really came in handy because our younger See N Sun can sure push the pace. It was nice to let the legs go a bit and pick up the pace on the way back. We've been letting the pace slide a bit lately so today's 9.17 was a welcome change. As we were running along a straight stretch of the trail, we noticed that there were so many people out walking, running, or cycling. I guess the heat doesn't deter too many people. However, even with all those people out and about, Patty's hubby still decided to run in the opposite direction and avoid us all together, even if it meant running straight into the sun.

As for our book "club" idea, we've decided that we'll all read the same book and when we've all finished reading it, we can discuss it. Since a few of us have copies of "Twilight", I think that's what we've chosen as our first book. It's an easy summer read, nothing too complicated. I suggested a running book, but no one seemed interested. Perhaps we'll all take turns choosing a book. We'll have to improvise as we go along and see what works.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Terrible Ten!

With Marathon Mom out of town for the 4th, C and I decided to run the 10 miles of our marathon training today, instead of tomorrow morning with the SCR's. We weren't too confident we would feel like getting up early if we happened to be out late tonight watching fireworks.. We got up early and met at Lowe's at 6:30 this morning to do the Lowe's 10, out to the Wiley Bridge and back. We agreed before we started that we weren't going to try and set any records with our pace and we also agreed beforehand that we would stop and take in some water at the beginning of the South Fork trail. I think we both worried that we would struggle, because our little 3 miler yesterday seemed hard and left me exhausted for the entire day. We were really looking forward to the return trip (downhill, usually feels faster) but at one point on the S. Fork we admitted to eachother that it just seemed to be taking forever. At our second water stop our bodies started to complain and stiffen up, it was pretty hard to get going again. To rub salt in our wounds a huge (20) group of bikers came racing up behind us as we were starting to go under the bridge. It was hard not to yell back @!#& when they told us to "watch out" and we literally had to jump out of their way. The bikers
at the back of the pack gave a weak "thanks" but it did nothing to make us feel better. What is it with bikers? The true test came as we re- entered the Heritage Trail and every step was painful. We made it though, and as we rounded the last corner and headed toward Bouquet and Starbucks, we both agreed we were very proud of ourselves for finishing! It wasn't the same without Marathon Mom to pull us along, but the runs will get longer and we will really need her then. Without her GPS we estimated that we ran for about 1 hr. and 40 min. give or take, and since there is no one to prove us wrong, we are going to stick with that story. Hope the "Freedom Mile" was fun, as for me I am going to celebrate the rest of the 4th from my couch!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Greetings From Mammoth

I'm posting today at Mammoth Mountain, elevation 7750. As we headed farther and farther away from the city, I remembered how blue the sky actually is. That is one of the things I really love about this place, a chance to see the bluest of skies. I wanted to take advantage of this clean mountain air so I went for a run (more like a jog) for 3 miles. One of the challenges of running at this altitude aside from the lack of oxygen, is how thirsty you get right away. A half mile into my run I was wishing I had my water belt. I started to run down the bike path to the skate park, but it was starting to get dark and it was more densely wooded. After just finishing the 3rd sequel to the Twilight books, visions of bears, werewolves, coyotes, and vampires entered my mind. So I decided to run up hill on Main Street. It was tough going out because there was a strong headwind (its always windy at Mammoth) and I was running uphill. I think my pace was around 12 min/mile going out, but once I turned back it got a little easier. Still my pace was nothing to brag about. So I'm wondering. . . . since I ran at almost 6 times the elevation of Santa Clarita, can I multiply my 3 miles x 6 to equal about 18 miles?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Mad Run

I showed up to my run kind of mad and in a sour mood. It's a good thing only Patty showed up because I wouldn't have wanted to subject ALL of my friends to my grumblings. Patty should have known by my mood that it was going to be a fast pace. We all run faster when we're mad and I probably picked a bad day to be mad because Patty was feeling a bit tired today. Our pace has been creeping up a bit lately so I'm glad we did run a little faster today (9.32 min/mi.) even in this miserable, humid weather. We got a scare coming down the dirt road from Cheese Park as a security guard came up behind us in his car rather fast. I guess he realized we weren't quite a threat after all and decided to let us pass. Our plan was to run down to Decoro and cross the bridge and run up the other side where it is shadier, but it really wasn't so bad on the sunnier side so we decided to run to Heritage and back. It's on days like this that I'm thankful I have friends to run with and I'm sure my family is also VERY thankful.

I wore what I hope to be our "uniform" or colors. I found a pair of shorts that are similar to the colors of our blog on the top of the page, which I wore with a pink top. Unfortunately C wasn't able to see the "uniform", but I really did like the color combination. Patty did too, but she needs to try the shorts. It's all about the fit.