Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Patty and I started our Halloween day with a 10 mile from Lowes. That should be enough to scare anyone! The way we've been feeling all week and the fact that C has been sick with the flu, I was really apprehensive about this run. Partially because I wasn't sure how long we could run without a break since we've gotten so used to the 1 mile run/walk method. By the two mile mark, I had to stop at McD for a bathroom break and by the 3 mile mark, I was feeling rather dead legged so we stopped and had a Gu break. We were able to keep going afterwards until the 5 mile turn around point where we finished off our Gu. Patty and I are big fans of Gu's now. We stopped again at 6.5 miles to refill our water bottles and then ran the rest of the 3.5 miles in. Considering how many times we had to stop today, I'm a little worried about the half marathon next week. I'm still not sure what strategy I'm going to use, to run/walk or try to run most of the way. We are also worried about C for next week and whether she will be feeling strong enough to run the half after having the flu. Patty and I managed just over a 10 min pace for the entire 10 miles, which included our stoppage time.
I hope everyone has a safe Halloween and don't forget to set your clocks back!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Short and Sweet

Tonight's run at Central Park was quick, but I don't really have any complaints. I don't know if there is something going around, or if we are just wiped out from our long weekend run, but it seems like it has been hard to get out and run this week. Our friend C is truly under the weather, and we are hoping she will bounce back in time for our weekend run. We did the old 3 mile course at Central Park and it was really a nice change of pace (I mean running back and forth on the Heritage Trail sure gets old). Our pace was respectable 9.4, (it seemed faster), and since the gale force winds have died down, it was a pleasant run. It is nice to get out of the house, burn off some of the stress of the day, and go home with some Halloween Treats on top of it. I think I will enjoy my candy and try to go to bed early, I am truly hoping that I can avoid our friend's bad luck, and stay healthy till our Half Marathon in a little more than a week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Resistance Training

Tonight's run consisted of resistance training against the wind. Patty and I were without C who was feeling a little under the weather. We ran from Cheese Park down the bike path and back and it felt like we were fighting the wind the whole way. It started out so cold that I was wishing I was wearing long sleeves like Patty. On our way back up the the trail, the wind was blowing so hard that I think we could have walked faster! I think I was pushing so hard against the wind that I started to cramp up in my calves when we were almost done. Really though, I shouldn't complain because yesterday was way worse and I'm really glad we all decided to cancel yesterday. In the end we averaged just over a 10 minute pace which wasn't too bad considering the circumstances. We remembered that CP is good for running in the wind so we're hoping to try that tomorrow. I'm glad I ran tonight, but I'm even more glad that it is now over and I'm in my warm house. We're such wimps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

20 Mile Talk

Today was the day we had to run our 20 mile training run, and in light of last weeks disaster of a 15 miler, we decided it would be good to start at 6am, and try to beat the heat. We started at Peet's, took the Bridgeport Trail, crossed Bouquet and ran down Soledad to Sand Cyn and back. 20 miles is a long way, and lot's of things popped into our minds during that time. Since we are friends, and girls, of course we talk about all those random thoughts, and in case you might think that 20 miles would be really boring, here is a sampling of those thoughts.
  • 6am is really early, 6am is really dark, 6am is really cool (aah!)
  • We've only run 1.8 miles, how are we going to make 20?
  • Thank goodness for clean bathrooms, I have to pee again!
  • Is riding a bike with a harness for your dog, animal abuse?
  • What is with the outfits, that the bikers wear?
  • What is with the bikers, in general?
  • Why don't I have a better running outfit (I just thought this one)
  • GU is good, Advil is great!
  • Would a shot of Patron, halfway through a long run help?
  • We LOVE the grocery store, we LOVE the bowling alley, and really LOVE cold Gatorade!
  • Hey if someone saw us running now, they would never know we've already run 17 miles
  • If someone saw us now they would wonder why our legs are barely moving!
  • My knee hurts
  • Hey my knee doesn't hurt anymore!
  • We really want a steak!
  • Does anyone eat at Chi-Chi's anymore?
  • Does Phydeaux need a playmate?
  • It is nice to have the wind at our backs
  • A 9:27 pace after 18+ miles, is pretty good
  • When is this run going to be over?
  • Wow, the run is over?
Pretty good for three old ladies (sorry Marathon Mom). I guess this may prove we are pretty boring. We did also talk about the usual kids, husbands, jobs, and pets, but as you can see, we had a lot of time to consider other things. We all felt so much better than last week, so we sat in Peet's and had coffee and our Egg McMuffins and basked in our accomplishment. Glad it's over, and so glad it went so well! Did someone mention a 22 miler, I'll pretend I didn't hear it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Steps Forward

Today was a two step forward day. It seems the little rest did a world of good for Patty's knee and the signs are encouraging. During tonight's run, there was a certain stillness and peacefulness in our run. The temp was perfect and we ended up with just enough light to make it through our run. It was a beautiful evening for a run, which we don't seem to get a whole lot of here in SCV. For most of the run we chatted about funny memories of our kids when they were younger. That's the nice thing about running with other moms, we can all relate to each other's stories and none of us are bored hearing about them. We needed this peaceful easy run to bolster our courage and spirit for this weekend's 20 miles. I don't think we've ever started as early as 6 a.m. so hopefully there is enough light out at that time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One Step Backward

Tonight we decided to try and get a short run in, because we weren't going to be able to run tomorrow night. Well for me it wasn't a good idea, my knee had been stiff and sore all day. I am sure it was because of yesterday's 15 miles, but I kept thinking it would warm up and I would feel fine. Right from the beginning my knee was sore, in a way that made me stop running and just walk. My friends walked a bit with me, but I felt so bad keeping them from a run that they could have easily finished! I should have listened to my knee and stayed home, but I don't like to be left out, so I took the chance. I really want to make it through the longer runs, so I may have to take more time to recover from them, lesson learned! Sorry girls for dragging you down, I came home and iced and will rest when I can, and
hopefully be ready for the weekend.

Too Soon

Patty, C and I attempted to do a short run today just to shake out the legs, but I think it was too soon after our miserable run yesterday. We'll try again on Thursday. Hopefully by then everyone will feel like themselves again, just in time for our 20 "miles of trials and trials of miles".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heat Training

The girls and I set off at 8:30 this morning for a 15 mile run. It was a bit later than we would have normally started, but they were nice enough to let me say goodbye to my son, daughter-in-law and grandaughter who have been visiting this week. We started from Peet's and headed toward Copperhill on the Heritage Trail, not a good way to start a run. The couple mile uphill, although gradual, to Copper always seems so hard, and it was especially hard today. We then headed back down McBean and stopped for cold water at the McDonalds. Then we ran to Newhall Ranch and over to Bridgeport Park to hook up with the trail and head toward Lowe's. Right at the start of the Lowe's trail we ran into the faster SCR's who were finishing their 24 miler (we did share their gatorade too), then we ran along Soledad until we got to the Cross Valley Connector overpass. At this point we all felt like we were done, and if we had had a cel phone we would have called for a ride home! On the way back down Soledad, we stopped at the bowling alley, and refilled our water, got ice, and shared the best Gatorade I have ever had. We really lingered there and if we would have had money, I am pretty sure, we would have bowled a couple of games. With 4 1/2 miles to go we headed back down Soledad for one last stop at In-N-Out to load up our bras with ice and fill our water bottles one last time. It truly was hot at this point and I think my friends were cursing me and the late start. I know that this was a hard run for all of us, and I won't post our time or how long it took, but suffice it to say, we had several messages when we got back wondering where we were! I am encouraged however, because my knee made it through, (3 advil during the run) also the run/walk that we do, really helped when it was hurting. I think if we keep the same strategy I will get through the 20 miler which is scheduled for next week:) Luckily for us, our marathon starts much earlier, and should be much cooler than today, so there is hope! I am going to ice the knee, soak in the tub, and rest today, I am sure my friends will do the same.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Air Please!

I don't understand how three miles can be so difficult when a 10 mile run seemed relatively easy just two days ago. Today's run just started out awful for me. My feet and my ankles hurt so much in the beginning that our pace was pretty sad. I'm not sure if it was the cold, the long run over the weekend, or being on my feet all weekend, but Patty was also feeling it in her knee. We started from Cheese Park and went north to Copperhill where we entered the trail. Until we actually got to the trail, it was shear agony. Once we stopped to stretch a bit, things started to feel much better from the waist down; however, the breathing never got easier. Both Patty and I felt like we were laboring for breath the entire time. Perhaps it was the increase in humidity due to the clouds, but it seemed like I just couldn't get enough air in my lungs. I couldn't wait for this run to be over. We managed a decent 9.3 pace considering the extremely slow start. What we realized was that the weather today is probably very similiar to what the weather will be like when we run the marathon or even colder. We will have to start experimenting with layers of clothes to see what works. I'm glad I ran through the pain eventhough I really wanted to stay home and curl up with a blanket. I'm hoping Wednesday will be a better day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Easy Ten

Wow I thought I would NEVER see the day when we considered 10 miles an easy run! But today my friends and I all agreed that is was fairly easy. Patty, C and I met at Lowes with the SCR and Saugus group for our run this morning. It's always nice to see familiar running faces when you're on your run. Patty's knee held up okay and we really didn't need to stop other than our two water stops. Afterwards we were talking with one of our friends and she mentioned that she is preparing for the Surf City Half marathon, which is one I've been wanting to do as a marathon. Again, we got ahead of ourselves and started talking about registering for that one too. I think we need to just wait and see how we feel after the marathon before tackling another one. In the back of my mind I'm keeping Surf City and the L.A. Marathon on the list, but the training involved is so time consuming that I just don't know. I think that is why the half marathons are becoming so popular. The half is definitely doable and the course for Surf City is so easy and beautiful, although probably cold in February. This morning started chilly, but warmed up nicely to a perfect running weather. It should be a beautiful weekend for a birthday party!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Cheerleader

Today C and I were still feeling rather icky after our run from the weekend while Patty was feeling pretty good. She was trying really hard on Sunday and today to bolster our spirits by being the cheerleader in our group by constantly telling us what a great job we are doing. While I really do appreciate her efforts, I just kept thinking about the kids we cheer for when we're at the high school cross country meets. I know how they feel. I kept envisioning the kids in the back that are struggling and how we keep yelling "great job, you're doing great!" and the look on their faces which betray what they are thinking (please be quiet and let me get this agony over with because I am not doing so great). So today while Patty was telling us how great we were doing, I just kept thinking that I am not doing so great and how much I wanted the run to be over with. As sluggish as C and I felt, we managed a 9.4 average pace, which leads to me to believe that we really did want the run to end quickly. It was still very nice of Patty to try and encourage us even if C and I weren't buying it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Half to Full

So not even one day after running our long run of 18.5 miles, what do my friends and I do? We register ourselves for the half marathon, which is less than a month before our full marathon. Either we have completely lost our minds or we are a glutton for pain and punishment. As I sit here with a sore hip, I'm wondering how am I going to run that half? Will I run to get a PR or like we said, treat it like a training run? If I really wanted to treat it like a training run, then why the heck did I pay almost $45 just to jog it? Of course we're going to race it no matter what because my friends and I are super competitive. I just hope we don't do anything stupid and get hurt before the full marathon. So now while I'm staying awake at night thinking about running the full marathon, I'm also thinking about how I'm going to run the half when I should be sleeping. Will I run the entire way or will I try a mixed run/walk strategy similar to the marathon? Will I finally run under 2 hours? Will Patty's knee hold up? I feel the weight of a half and full marathon upon my shoulders. I think I'll have a glass of wine and try not to think about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

No More Sympathy for Me

Not that I don't appreciate the get well wishes, and concern for my knee troubles! However, when a whole post is titled "Poor Patty", I come to realize that I have become quite pathetic to my running friends. Today was a long run day for us girls, and Marathon Mom came up with the brilliant plan to have me join her and C, after they had run 9 miles, and then I could continue with them until they finished 18 or 19 total, giving me around 10 miles. After getting the OK from my doctor, I agreed to the plan, (when will I get the chance to start a run with them already tired from running 9). You can look at the map that Marathon Mom posted, and tell that it was a totally new course for us, and I think I missed the worst of it. I met them at the corner of McBean and The Old Road and enjoyed the slow downhill that took us into the industrial center. My knee felt good until we got to Newhall Ranch Road, and started to head toward Bouquet, I really thought I would have to cut the run short at that point. I think the run/walk strategy we have been following, really helped with the knee pain, and the Motrin that Marathon Mom gave me, because by the last 2 miles the pain had lessened quite a bit. I actually felt like I could have run a mile or so more. I know that my friends felt much worse than me, since they put in a total of 18 1/2 miles, today, but I had to remind them how far they have come since the first 18 miler we ran. After that run we all crawled to our cars, drove home and spent the day in bed. Today we were able to drive to Peet's and enjoy our coffee and pastry, just like we used to do after a long run. This tells me that all the miles are paying off. I am not up to where my friends are yet, but I feel like I am on my way! So don't give me your sympathy, unless of course I start complaining again, which may be after the next long run.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Poor Patty

Things just have not been going well for Patty. First her knee started to act up and now that it is feeling a little better and has been given the okay to run a little longer, she ends up getting sick. Lately it must feel like one step forward and two steps back. The main thing is that she keeps going forward. I hope she is feeling well enough for our weekend run. I know how discouraging it must be with our marathon coming closer and closer. I guess any of us could get sidelined from now until then with the flu or something. In fact, I got my flu shot the other day just in case, but the "swine" flue vaccine isn't available yet and I'm not too thrilled about doing a two dose vaccine. I just hope and pray that we are all healthy and well by Dec. 6th.

C and I ran from Cheese Park a little later than we originally planned because it got hotter today than what we expected. We left the park and headed straight to the trail via the dirt power line road and headed to Heritage Park and back. We were both dragging quite a bit and agreed to run slow, which we did with an average pace of 9.5. The winds had picked up quite a bit since the other day so it was a struggle coming back to the park. Amazingly though, the hill seemed a lot easier and shorter today, probably because of the slower pace. I'm just glad we got it in and it's over. I'm not looking forward to the long run this weekend, but I'm looking forward to having coffee with my friends if they are all healthy. It feels like it's been too long.