Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Little Rain

We were all caught off guard with the rain that fell today.  It was just a drizzle in the early afternoon, but by the time me, Patty, and C were going to run it was more like a steady rain than a drizzle so the running plans were called off.  However, I had not been doing much "real" running since the weekend and really needed to get out there. I ran 3 miles on a treadmill in a stuffy hotel exercise room and I craved the fresh air in my face (rain or not).  I decided to wait until my husband got home to see if I could convince him to brave the elements with me since my friends were not up to it today. We got our opportunity just before 5 p.m. and as we headed out, there was just a light mist in the air.  We ran to Copperhill on the river trail, but decided to run down McBean on the way home due to how late it was and it was getting dark.  Actually we made up our minds early on to run down McBean when we hit Decoro as we were just going up the trail because of the large pack of coyotes we heard howling when the sirens went by.  That was quite chilling.  It certainly made us run faster!  The pace was starting to get to me so I mentioned to my husband that I was going to take it a little slower, feeling bad that I was making him run so slow, but he surprised me by saying, "I was wondering when we were going to slow down".  I was really thankful that I was able to get out.  I hope my friends and I will be able to get together for the Hangover Run on New Year's Day at Vasquez Rocks.  It will be a tough run, but I'm looking forward to a change of scenery.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Longish Run

In my mind I had secretly planned a 10 miler for this weekend’s run to help work off some of the holiday indulgences. But then I got a text from Patty asking if we could meet at Peet’s instead, which meant we would be running 7 miles instead. I had been up on my feet all day yesterday and woke up with a severe sinus headache so the thought of cutting it a little short was welcomed news. I wasn’t sure if Patty got wind of my plans of the 10 miler or if she preferred Peet’s coffee more, but C had a feeling we might be running longer. In any case, we all were happy to change the plans to Peet’s, but we were all caught off guard as to how cold it was going to be this morning. Yesterday was so warm that none of us came in our leggings. In fact, a gentleman was just walking out from Pavillions with a bunch of hot Starbucks coffees and had to “give us credit” for being out in shorts and running. I must say, I have to give us credit too. It stayed cold the whole way to Old Orchard and back on the South Fork. We weren’t counting on the huge crowd at Peet’s, but it all worked out fine in the end when we were able to snag a table, except for the licorice flavored blueberry scone that C got. I think the mood was definitely more relaxed among the three of us now that Christmas is over and we can just concentrate on getting our homes back in order.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Today, I can say "Happy Holidays" and truly mean it! I can see a difference in my friends too, as we met for our run today. It seems like the pressures, of work, training for our marathon and the preparation for the holidays are starting to melt away. I am not saying that any of us are carefree at this point, but I noticed a nice change in the mood. We started at Lowe's today, and one of our favorite friends and her husband were there to join us. C's daughter also came along, and we decided to cross Bouquet and head toward the new housing that is up Newhall Ranch Road. We were planning on doing a short 3 or 4 miles, and 3 was all we had the energy for. The legs were just dead today, too much baking, cleaning, shopping, who knows! We happily cut our run short and headed back for some coffee at Starbucks. It was nice to spend a bit of time talking and sharing holiday plans with my friends, and I am starting to feel that anticipation, and excitement, that makes this time of the year, my favorite. I am blessed that my boys are all healthy, my grandma has taken a turn for the better, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter are in town, and I am almost done with my shopping. I love to exchange presents with the girls, they always know what I want, but I have to say that the good feelings come, from the exercise and most of all from the time spent with friends. May God Bless you all this Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hills Again

Yesterday morning Patty, C, Sea-N-Sun, and I went for a run from Cheese Park and we were all wishing we could have slept in a little later.  It was very cold and it never did quite warm up.  At least it wasn't as windy as it is today.  We decided to run the dirt trail by the power lines and start working the hills back into our training.  It actually didn't feel too bad and none of us stopped on the uphill portion.  We did a loop around the river and ended up with 4.75 miles.  I think our pace was pretty good too.  It's always quicker when Sea-N-Sun is running with us.  We all had tons of things to do for the holidays, but we just couldn't go home without our morning coffee so we stopped and had coffee and donuts for a little while.  It was the calm before the storm of holiday madness. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Good Laugh

This is my husband's version of us after we finished the marathon! We've had way too much GU.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not Alone

On our run from Peet's this morning, it was just C and me.  I guess it's Patty's turn to not feel well.  C and I took an easy 10 min pace and ran to the Wiley Bridge and back.  When we finished we met up with some local women runners who are much faster than us, just getting ready for their run. Chris, who is in our age group but tends to win all the local races in our gender just finished running her second marathon in Sacramento when we were running ours in Santa Barbara.  She was with two other VERY fast ladies.  We chatted a while and it was nice to hear that even these serious and fast runners are still feeling the effects of the marathon.  We were also comparing our marathon "scars" and it turns out that Chris also has a hamstring injury from the marathon just like me.  When I told her I thought it was from the banked roads or the downhill, she replied "no, it's from running 26.2 miles!" (ha ha)  I suppose she is right.  There is something about sharing the camaraderie of other women that makes me feel better about my running.  I realize that no matter how fast or slow we are, we all struggle with the same things.  C and I were laughing at the three ladies as they were ready to run and they were "arguing" which way they wanted to run back and forth like me, Patty, and C do all the time. It's good to know we're not alone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Working Up a Real Sweat

This afternoon Marathon Mom, C, her daughter and I met at Bridgeport School for a much needed run before it got dark. It was a bit windy and cold when we started, but since we are "runners" we quickly warmed up. The guy that passed us on his bike was bundled up "head to toe", I am sure because he wasn't even sweating! Of course C's daughter didn't want to be seen running with three slow older ladies, so she took off in the opposite direction. We ran on the trail toward Lowe's and made the loop behind Hart Baseball fields to hook up with the trail toward McBean, and then back again to Bridgeport School. According to the GPS it was 3.8 miles? total, give or take, and we figure we ran it at about a 9.4 average pace. I have to say, I felt very sluggish to start out, but felt good about half way in and was sure we were really keeping a good pace at the end of the run. I am glad we got a chance to work up a sweat and hopefully burn some of those holiday goodies off, even if we don't feel like we are at our best right now. I am sure it is a combination of the stresses of the season, and the effects of our recent marathon. Thank goodness for my friends who make time, even when it is busy to get out and run with me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I felt like a traitor today because I rode my bike as my husband ran.  Our regular readers know that we have a "thing" against cyclist.  He asked if I wanted to run with him and I almost did, but my hamstring hurt more today than it did yesterday so he suggested that I ride my bike alongside him.  Since it is the holidays, I wanted to increase my activity level a little bit to try to keep the pounds from piling on.  I have to say, I think I would have burned more calories vacuuming my house.  We started from our house and "ran" the river trail that we always run near our house.  There is no comparison between running that same route and riding a bike.  Even on the slight upgrade, I never felt like I got my heart rate up.  In fact, I never broke a sweat and I never really did warm up.  I think we went about 4-5 miles.  The whole time I was riding, I kept thinking about all those obnoxious cyclists that are yelling for us to get out of their way.  I don't see what the big deal is.  Maybe they would get a better workout if they actually had to maneuver around us.  Anyhow, I really don't get the cycling thing, if you're looking for a way to excercise, atleast not along these fairly flat paseos.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Run

For tonight's run we anticipated possibly 5 of us running together, but Sea-N-Sun and C were not feeling 100% so it was Patty, Karen, and myself.  Now that our marathon training is over, we have really been looking forward to running with some of our other friends again.  My left hamstring is still bothering me, but feeling a little better so I was happy about the easy pace we were running tonight.  It felt just perfect and the weather was actually quite nice.  These are the runs that I really look forward to. . . no hurries, no worries and no agenda, just run and enjoy the conversation. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Do Not Disturb

Since we began training for the marathon months ago, sleeping in on the weekends was pretty much unheard of.  This weekend was our first post marathon weekend and we actually had plans of NOT sleeping in and doing a run first thing this morning at 7 a.m.  Fortunately for us, the heavy downpour changed all that.  When the alarm went off at 6:15 this morning and I heard the heavy rain outside, I knew none of my friends would be waiting for me for our morning run, so I turned off my alarm and worked very hard to go back to sleep.  It eventually worked and I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep.  Unfortunately for Patty, she told me she was never able to get back to sleep.  Well the good news is that she'll be able to try again tomorrow and hopefully C will be sleeping in too.  I cannot remember the last time we were able to just sleep in and not worry about rushing off to a game or trying to put in a certain amount of miles.  This weather has provided a much needed respite, especially due to the fact that I may have suffered an injury from the marathon that I didn't realize I had.  When the rain slowed for about an hour, my husband and I ran from our home for about 4 miles and again I felt a burning, cramping feeling in my left hamstring, the same as I did on Wednesday when I ran.  I'm hoping it isn't anything serious, but I may be seeing Dr. B soon if it doesn't go away.  At least the rain held off until we were done with our run.  It began to pour again just as we were walking back up our driveway.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Almost Fun Run

For at least a month now, my friends and I have talked about how nice it will be when we can just go out and run for fun again. It seems like such a long time since we went out for a run and didn't have a certain amount of miles to put in, or goal to reach. Since we ran the marathon on Sunday, we were able to go out tonight and just run for fun, or almost fun. This was the first day out for C and I since our "big" run and we both felt pretty good to start. The weather today was warmer than it has been, so we figured that we would warm up before long. We started at Cheesepark and ran the trail toward Decoro for 2 miles and then turned back. The legs felt pretty good until the last half mile, when my knees started to complain a bit. We really felt like we were keeping a good pace and every time I looked at my Garmin, it said we were running around 9.3. We finished up our 4 mile run, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed that we averaged a 9.51. I can't seem to get a feel for how fast we are really going, even when I am looking at my GPS during the run. It was a good run tonight, though it stayed pretty cold, but I wouldn't say it was "fun" quite yet. My legs and knees are still a bit stiff, and sore, but it felt good to get out and work up a sweat, and catch up with C. We missed Marathon Mom today, but we are hoping that the weather will give us a break so we can run together on Sat. just for fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Too Much Too Soon

My friends and I have had conflicting schedules this week and we have not been able to get together for a run yet this week, so I went for a short run with my husband since tomorrow wasn't looking good for me either.  I knew it was going to be cold so I wore long sleeves, leggings, a hat, and gloves for the run, but it was still brutally cold and I felt like I never warmed up.  I know it's important to get back out there after a race to work the lactic acid out of the muscles, but I was not prepared for how painful that was going to be.  I have a knot in my right hamstring that never worked itself out, no matter how often I stopped to stretch it out.  I don't remember getting that from the marathon.  Everything hurt and my legs still felt stiff.  At least walking isn't as painful anymore.  I hope my friends have better luck tomorrow.  I was actually thinking of running the Beast Charity run this weekend.  WHAT was I thinking!  I'm hoping for just a nice easy run on a flat surface now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Marathon Memories

There are many things that I remember from Sunday's Marathon! I hope I can get it all down before my aging memory fades. Most of all I remember the joy I felt to finish something my friends and I had worked so hard for in these past few months. Here are some of the highlights:

  • waiting in line for half and hour to use the porta potty before the start (good thing it was delayed)
  • running past the farm with the huge turkey in the yard
  • seeing all the men pull over and pee (no porta potty wait, but go behind a bush!)
  • turning around to talk to my friends and tripping over the curb
  • noticing that rolling hills, basically means "hilly"
  • being AMAZED at mile 5, 10, 15, and 25 that my knee did not hurt!
  • wondering how that guy was going to run in that blow-up Santa suit the whole time
  • really appreciating how many people were out cheering for us (Team Santa Clarita)
  • wishing I looked like the Barbie Marathon Girl
  • knowing at mile 18 that I was going to be able to finish!
  • being really happy that at mile 18 on I could still keep up a good pace (no matter that it was on the downhill)
  • being totally comfortable with walking up the big hill at mile 23
  • being annoyed at the awkward slant of the street toward the end of the race
  • wishing they had more electrolytes at the water stations
  • wishing there were more potties at the start of the race
  • hitting the wall with a mile and a half to go
  • being so annoyed when everyone kept saying we were almost done and it was all downhill from there (it wasn't all downhill, and I have a Garmin, I know how far it still is)
  • wanting to stop and walk the last half mile
  • running a few yards with son #3 which gave me the energy to finish
  • being so happy to be done, and feeling my knee pain kick in
  • being so proud of my son
  • being so incredibly proud of myself and my friends
I know I told my friends that a marathon was like giving birth, but I also think it is alot like life. You get up some days and it is just lousy, and you hurt, but you still get up again the next day and try again, and sometimes you get to have a moment that lets you know that it is all worth the effort! Hopefully there are many moments for us and all our loved ones! Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Perspective

One of my life goals was to run a marathon, but it really didn’t look too good for me the night before the race. As my friends could testify to, I was in pretty bad shape with the cold. I was rather depressed thinking about all the months of hard work I put into training for the marathon and I really thought it was for nothing. In fact, I had already resigned myself to not finishing and had begun looking ahead to possibly running the Surf City Marathon or the L.A. Marathon just in case. I took everything humanly possible within what’s considered safe to get a good night’s sleep, which never came. As soon as my head hit the pillow, my nose became a water fountain and every spring in the sofa bed was digging into my side. I think I slept a little, but amazingly when my alarm went off at 4 a.m. (yes 4 a.m.), my head was clear and I was surprisingly not tired.

As we started our race in Goleta along with over 3100 other participants, I think we all felt nervous not knowing what to expect. A lot can happen in 26.2 miles. I still felt like I was dragging and didn’t know when my legs would give out, but Patty and C’s pace kept me from falling back too much. They were looking really strong. As the spectators kept cheering, “Go team! Go team Santa Clarita!” I really felt like we were a team. We were feeding off of each other’s strengths. We all managed to stay pretty much together until mile 18, when C dropped back a little. I tried yelling back every once in a while to make sure she was there, but at some point she must have fallen back further and could not hear me. We know better than to try and look back because as Patty almost demonstrated when she ran into the curb, it's not such a good idea. It was mile 18 through 24 that Patty really pushed me. She was really running strong and I tried to not let her get too far ahead of me. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was pulling me along, I don’t think I would have met my time goal. One thing about Patty is that she is like a horse drawn to water when we are near the finish. She seems to sense the end and picks up the pace. This really helped me get through those painful miles. Then it was my turn to pick up the pace from mile 25-26. (This is the way we always seem to finish our runs) I had a feeling with the way Patty was running she would have no problem staying with me. I was shocked to see that we were running 8.35 to 9 min pace in the final miles! I always pictured us crawling at this stage of the marathon. Coming down the hill the last half mile to the ocean, I had so many feelings going through me that I was starting to tear up a bit and completely embarrass myself (I hope the finish line photos don’t show that part). For one thing, I was in a lot of pain in my right quad, which began cramping up about 1.5 miles before. But mostly, the tears were from shear relief that I did it. To go from not knowing the night before if I was even going to run to crossing the finish line in under 5 hours and meeting my goal (4:48:59.8), I was just so relieved that it was finally over. Patty kept telling us that running a marathon is like being pregnant and then finally giving birth. It’s all those months of training and then being in pain all those miles so that when it is finally over, it is such a huge relief that you can’t help but be emotional.

I can’t say enough about how mentally and physically strong my training partners are. It has been quite a journey, one with ups and downs and at times we’ve even tested each other’s patience, but in the end I think we’ve come away learning so much more about each other and appreciating our friendship even more. Did I mention that my other life goal was to climb Mt. Whitney? When do we start training? Go Team M.O.R.E!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Just wanted to let all of our followers know that we all did great and as an added bonus came in under 5 hours (our goal). More details to follow. Thanks for all the wonderful support and the well wishes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wish Us Luck!

Well we leave for Santa Barbara in a few hours and I'm really nervous. Not so much about running the marathon, but about how I'm going to feel due to the fitful sleep I had last night as a result of this cold I'm fighting. In hindsight, I would never plan on running a marathon in the middle of cold/flu season again, bad idea. Oh well, what's done is done and I can only do what I can do and deal with what has been dealt to me at this point. I'm glad it will finally be over by tomorrow afternoon. It has been quite a journey. It's not quite over yet, but I'm glad my friends have been with me along the way.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Barely!

Well C and I got out for a short run tonight, and when we finished we felt like we had kept a pretty decent pace, considering we had no energy, and our legs were dead. Well we did manage to run under a 10 min. pace, but like the title says "just barely". Marathon Mom has caught her hubby's cold, and is trying to stay warm, get some extra rest and not do anything to make it worse. C and I agreed that we would just try to work up a sweat, no more, no less, but it was a real chore. I am glad to say, that I haven't felt sick, but am tired and can't stop from thinking about all the Holiday chores that will not get done this weekend. December is a tough time of the year to add extra activity, and we have looked at eachother more than once and said "what were we thinking?" I am trying to keep myself from thinking about the actual race, and try to just picture myself at the finish, happy and most of all DONE! We are saying our prayers for fresh legs, no wind or rain,! clear heads, dry noses (but not too dry), and most of all an experience that we will look back on fondly

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stay Away!

For all you people with the cold or flu, please stay away from us! We have just a few more days until our marathon and we cannot afford to get sick. I have been fighting something since this weekend, most likely from my husband who has been sick all weekend, and I have been taking everything possible to keep from getting sick. I wasn't sure how wise it was for me to go running this afternoon with Patty, but I thought perhaps the increase in body temp might help fight whatever is trying to get started. C was feeling under the weather too and decided to rest today. Patty and I ran easy from Cheese Park to Decoro and back along the river trail. The temperature was perfect and we kept a decent pace of 9.4 overall. I could tell Patty was feeling really good because I was having trouble keeping up. My legs felt tired tonight, perhaps from my Sunday run on the hills. It's so hard not knowing if you're going to have a good run or not. I wish there was an on/off switch, although I'm sure that switch would always stay on. We plan to run again tomorrow and then take it easy for the rest of the week, until Saturday. We plan on doing a light shake out in Santa Barbara on Saturday just to get our legs moving. We're looking forward to the end.