Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wind Warning!

I woke up today, and noticed a definite change in the weather! The ground was wet with drizzle and the wind was blowing pretty hard. I convinced C that we should postpone our run, at least until the sun came out, in hopes of some warmer weather to run in. Well, even with the sun out the wind was blowing so hard that our run was less than enjoyable. We started at Peet's and since Marathon Mom was out of town, I brought my Garmin to keep track of our run. However, since I am technilogically challenged, I couldn't get it working properly, all I got was a stop watch, and no tracking of our mileage or pace. We headed out toward the South Fork and decided to just go as far as we felt like going. We figure we made it out about 2 miles before we headed back, straight into the wind. What is usually a nice gradual downhill run back to Peet's, was a true fight against a pretty strong headwind! We were never so glad to see the bridge at McBean and know that our run was over for the day. The goal for this week is just to get out a few times, get the heartrate up, and avoid any type of pain, that may take time to go away. We accomplished that much and had a cup of coffee before heading off to spend time with our families. C is enjoying some time with her daughters, one home for the weekend from college. I went to work preparing a turkey dinner with all the fixings for my boys, because my oldest had to work on Thanksgiving and missed out on the family gathering. It took me the entire day to prepare, and the kitchen literally looked like a bomb went off. It all turned out really good though, and made me appreciate my mother, who for so many years put it all together, with seemingly little effort and no complaining. Thanks Mom, I love you! I also thought of my #2 son who is serving our country in the Phillipines, and had a Thanksgiving dinner that he said contained something that may have been turkey. I am going to send him a box of food this week. Hope you had fun Marathon Mom, looking forward to running this week, and planning our big run which is coming up fast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


What a better way to start Thanksgiving Day than to run the SCR's Turkey Trot this morning with Patty, C and our families. Our families were not too thrilled about getting up early this morning for this annual tradition, but I'm thankful that they obliged us. This year's group was much bigger than previous years, but the more the merrier. I am so thankful to have found two ladies who are committed to running as much as I am. Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and followers.

Thankful For....

I am so thankful that I do not have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I am fortunate to have a sister-in-law who does this for my family every year. Those of you that know me, know that I do not like to cook. So while most of my friends are busy tonight slaving over a stove, I am able to sit leisurely over my computer to post on our blog. Rest up ladies and enjoy the day tomorrow with your family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

12 More Days

Wow I can't believe there's only 12 more days until our big day. I know Patty doesn't want to talk or think about it until after Thanksgiving, but I'm rather excited that the day we have been training for is almost here. After our run, we tried to make some final plans for next weekend, but I think it was too overwhelming with Thanksgiving coming up. The plan is to have the hubbies drive out Sunday morning to meet us and to take us to the start so that we didn't have to hassle with the parking. The problem is that they will probably have to leave Santa Clarita around 4 a.m. I don't think they know that yet.

I just hope we are all feeling okay on race day. It is flu season and I just want all of us to be healthy. It is sometimes discouraging when you have a bad run like tonight where you just feel like you're dragging your feet (and our 10.40 pace is proof that we were!). I never felt like I got into my running groove tonight. I'm hoping that I will feel like myself by Thanksgiving day for the Turkey Trot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

So Long Soledad

Tomorrow is exactly 2 weeks away from our Marathon, and today was our last chance to get int a long run before we start to taper down. We planned to run 15 miles, starting at Peet's, heading to Soledad and taking it as far as we needed till we hit the halfway point. It was cold when we started at 7am so we kept our jackets on and headed toward the Lowe's shopping center. Of course by the time we got to Lowe's we were hot, and we ditched our jackets and gloves in some bushes and started the run up Soledad. Marathon Mom's GPS ran out of battery, so it was up to me to keep track of our mileage, and time our 1 min. walk breaks, Ugh! I think I did a good job, only forgot to look at the mileage, once that I confessed to. When we made our stop at the bowling alley on the way back to refill our bottles, and go to the bathroom, the smell of eggs and bacon was almost too much! It was all we could do not to order breakfast and call it a day. We picked up our jackets from the Lowe's parking lot, swallowed the last of the advil and GU, and set off for the last 2 miles of our run. We decided to keep the pace slow, and not stop at all, just run it like a cooldown. However, it was a little tough to keep our pace over 10 min, as I think we have a set pace that we automatically revert to. It was a good feeling to be done, (just in time), and we all felt good to do about 15.15 miles at a very respectable 10:31 pace!! We were really cheered toward the end of our run, when we realized that we wouldn't have to run down Soledad again (at least for a long time) since we were done with the really long miles. The next long run, is the BIG one, so this week, we are going to try to keep the running fun, like the Turkey Trot, on Thursday, and hopefully today's success will keep us optimistic about the Marathon. Oh, and I convinced the girls, that coffee and pastry would not be enough, so we had a wonderful breakfast at Denny's afterward, it was the perfect end to a very good run!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Central Bark

Today C and I ran without Patty at Central Park, also known as Central Bark. Patty wisely decided to rest her knee tonight since it has been sore lately. At this point, these short runs really are not going to add to our marathon training so Patty really isn't missing much. They are just to keep the joints and muscles moving. We need to focus on staying healthy for the long runs.

After C and I ran the first mile, we stopped and stretched in front of the dog park. Dogs are funny. Why is it that the little guys seem to be the most ferocious? Maybe it's a dog's version of a short man's complex. For the most part though, I really admire how little it takes to make a dog happy. Just take them on walks, give them a dirty tennis ball to fetch and they're happy. After admiring the dog's life, we continued on our way, but instead of turning right on the service road, we turned left and ran along the sidewalks to our regular turn around spot. The park was amazingly quiet without the usual hoards of parents lining the sidewalks watching their kids' practice. We went back the same way we came as we talked about all the TV shows we grew up watching like Partridge Family, Family Affair, Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, Twilight Zone, etc. and all the classic movies. They don't make them like they used to.

I wasn't sure if I was going to run today because I wasn't feeling so swell this morning, but I'm glad I made it. I just wish Patty was feeling better too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank You Ma'am

Okay, it's official that I am a ma'am and not a miss anymore. There goes my youth! After our run and coffee today, I held open the door for a man and his young son by which he thanked me with a "Thank you ma'am!". I could hear the silent chuckle amongst my friends. To that I say, let's see if he can go out and run 10 miles after not eating for 2 days. Really, I'm sure he didn't mean any harm. Amazingly I felt rather good today considering how bad the last 3 days were for me. Today's run had a few interesting events. First off, as soon as we were on the South Fork, a man on a bike came right up on the heels of C and Patty just to make a point that they were in the wrong lane. No warning, nothing! So of course I sarcastically said to him "Thanks for the warning". I could hear him coming, but he didn't really give them a chance to move and was within inches of running over their heels. True we were running three across the trail, but how about some courtesy. As he passed us he pointed a finger to the lane that we all should have been in and of course we returned with a slew of other remarks that I am unable to write about here. I continued as Patty and C stopped to stretch at Magic Mtn. Pkwy. Along the way, C managed to lose one of her gloves and Patty stopped to turned around at the Wiley Bridge. After the halfway point, C and I ran back together and tried to meet up with Patty while looking for C's lost glove. C was concentrating so hard on finding her glove that she almost ate pavement when she caught her shoe on one of the wooden edges. We finally met up with Patty and C's other glove at the Valencia Bridge. Patty took a shorter way to Starbucks via Valencia Blvd. due to her irritated IT band and C and I ran back the same way we came. It turned out to be a great day for a run, although it started out really cold. I am glad I was finally able to go out for a run with my friends and enjoy coffee/tea with them afterwards.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Picture of Health

I am going to try again tonight to post these pictures of us from the Half Marathon last Sunday. My husband is so nice to show up at different points during the race and take pictures of us in all our running glory! I have to say that my friends looked really good this year, but even knowing that he will be there with a camera doesn't seem to help my look any. It is a good thing that the race is over, because it has been a tough week for all of us. Marathon Mom is out with the flu, and has had to miss our last two nights of running. C and I have forced ourselves to go out for the past two days and get a run in, but it hasn't been pretty. Last night we ran the 3 mile course at Central Park, but the pace was slow, and the enthusiasm low. Tonight we started from Cheesepark and ran about 3.5 mile on the trail toward Heritage Park. The energy was even lower tonight, and we stopped and walked a couple of times, complaining the whole time of sore knees and dripping noses. It is not looking good for our scheduled 22 miler this weekend, and to tell you the truth, I am not a bit sad about it. I am crossing my fingers that I won't get the flu, and that if I do, I get it soon. I am sure you can tell by the pictures, what a difference a couple of days, and good health makes. Here's hoping for a full recovery for Marathon Mom, and renewed strength for all of us. Here is a picture of my #3 son, he makes it look so easy!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walking it Out

Tonight I went for a long walk with my husband and dog to work some of the lactic acid out from yesterday's race. I actually felt pretty good today, not any worse than any other day after one of our long runs and even considered going for a run but the time got away from me. I really think the slower pace at the end of race really helped me. I know my friends and I are worried about doubling the distance we ran yesterday and for good reason, but I think if we just keep a consistent and comfortable pace and not let the excitement of the race get to us too much, we should be okay.

I'm actually already thinking beyond the marathon and wondering if my friends and I are going to make it for the annual Beast Charity Run. We've done it the last two years and I really would not want to miss out on it this year, but it's the weekend after our marathon and I'm not sure how our bodies will handle it. I guess we can always walk up the mountain. It's for such a good cause and it's fun seeing the familiar faces on our way up as most of them are already on their way down. Here's a link to the flyer.

Perhaps I'm being too ambitious, but I never thought I'd run a marathon either.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Half Down, Full to Go!

Today was the annual Santa Clarita Marathon Race Day! For the third year in a row, my friends and I decided to to run the Half Marathon. We thought it would be a good training run in preparation for our Full Marathon, next month on the 6th. I have to say that we couldn't have ask for nicer weather, or a more beautiful day to run. We started out with jackets and gloves, but it quickly heated up and we tossed them to the side. The only real downer today, was at mile 3 as we were plugging along, feeling pretty good, and Marathon Mom mentioned the fact that her husband, (who was running the 5K), would already be done running!! Never mind, because we made it through the run today, in better shape than ever before. I am not saying that my time was any better, (it was about 5 min. slower) but I felt so much better during the run and afterwards, that it made up for the slower time. My friend C said, "any day that we feel like we can actually walk afterwards is a good day." My feet, which hurt for a full week after last year's run, felt really good today! I am so glad we have put in some really long miles, because the combo of advil, and only a couple short walk breaks, made it totally manageable. I think I am still feeling those endorphins, because I haven't taken any time to start freaking out about the fact that we will have to run TWO times as far as we did today!!!! The best part of the day, was seeing my friends afterward and the smiles on their faces :) My #3 son came up from San Diego and ran the Half also, he did just as great as he did last year, and having him out there, even if it is far ahead, is a real treat for me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Marathon Expo

This morning we got up early not to go run, but to volunteer at the SCV Marathon Expo and to pick up our race packets. I always enjoy doing this year after year because it's a chance for me to see so many familiar faces, even those you don't always expect to see there. It's also fun walking around to the various booths getting free goodies and I enjoy talking to the "first-timers" as I help them with their registration. Registration seemed a little down this year from previous years, probably due to the economy. It's also nice to see so many families running together.

I think we are so dialed in to the marathon that we really are taking a more relaxed approach to the half marathon tomorrow. Patty and I were talking to someone who is running the SCV marathon and it was comforting to find out that he feels the same way about the marathon training as we do. He is a more "serious" runner and faster than us and hearing him complain about the tedious training and how it just wipes you out for the whole weekend made us feel better because then we're not the only ones that feel that way.

After the Expo we celebrated Patty's birthday a few days early with a plateful of carbs. I'm glad we were able to celebrate it BEFORE the half marathon rather than afterwards because I'm not sure how any of us will be feeling the next day. I hope we all have a good day tomorrow!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Again

We were finally three again in our group last night. C is much better and did really well on our 3 mile run last night considering that she is just recovering from the flu. Our run almost didn't happen because it has been such a hectic week and day, but it was important for all of us to get this one run in together before this weekend's race. Between work, cross country races for our kids, getting our hair done, making dinner in time before soccer practice, we weren't sure if we would make it to our run, and even if we did, how much energy would we have left to run? Time just seems to be slipping by. Even my #2 son remarked to me about how fast this year is going. It will be nice when all this training is done and we can just enjoy the holidays.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary Blog!

I realized that today marks the one year anniversary since we started our blog. I cannot believe that one year has already passed. For me, the blog has been a labor of love. Yes, sometimes it's a pain trying to think of things to write, especially when it's usually just me and Patty reading it, but on the other hand it is a creative outlet for me and sometimes a good distraction for the other duties that call. I'm also hoping that I can go back from time to time and read some of the older posts to see how far, or how little we've come along in our running. Since we started our blog, we've run the Beast Charity Run, the Jingle Bell Jog, the Woman's 5k, one of the C.O.C. Summer Series, and not much else. I guess doing a half marathon and a marathon within less than a month of each other will make up for some of our lack of activity. However, I do hope that this next year will bring more organized race participation for us. I think it gives us a goal to shoot for and keeps us out of our rut. Either way, I'm looking forward to another year of running with my friends.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Remains of the Day

It was quite warm when we started our run from Cheesepark tonight, and as we were running up McBean toward Copperhill, we discovered the remains of what looked to be an animal. The spine was quite long and we thought maybe it was a dog, or a coyote! It was in the middle of the sidewalk, and quite creepy. We decided to run along the far side of the trail to avoid having the sun in our eyes, and once we got going it was really quite a pleasant run. The wind had really died down and every so often we would hit a nice cold pocket, that just felt so good. We were talking about how we have been running so slow, and really not getting our heart rate going lately with all the long runs. Marathon Mom decided to change that tonight, and really picked up the pace on the way back to Copperhill. The conversation is very one sided when she does that, and I really felt the faster pace. I didn't talk much but I did feel really good, my knee didn't hurt at all, and I felt like I had something in the tank, which is a nice change from all the miserable runs we have had lately. We ran a bit over 4 miles, and I think we kept about a 9.26 pace, which really felt good to be able to do. We will keep our miles low this week, because of the Half on Sunday, but tonight it was just about the speed work, and the skeletons!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Countdown 35 days

Just realized that there are only 35 days until our marathon and 7 until the half-marathon. I will be glad when it is all over and we can have a more "normal" life.