Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shopping for a New Car?

As Caryn, Patty, and I went for our long run on Saturday along the South Fork Trail, we unexpectedly also went car shopping.  The morning started out nice with the sun shining and most of us feeling pretty good, except for me.  I could tell that I was fighting some form of a cold or sinus infection and almost called in the night before to say I wouldn't make it.  That should have been an omen for me.  As we started running, my stomach became more and more upset, but I didn't say anything to my friends.  Then when we stopped at the water fountain off of Magic Mtn. Pkwy, Patty suddenly announces that she has the same problem.  Well we decide to try our luck and run to the end of the trail at Wiley and back.  Thankfully the Honda dealer is open early on Saturdays so we made a brief stop and used their facilities.  I think the three of us looked rather pathetic since it was rather hot out and we were dripping with sweat.  Both Patty and I are frequent customers there with past purchases and repairs so we didn't feel too badly about coming in without buying anything, but the look on the salesman's face was rather funny.  It was somewhere between shock and annoyance.  I wonder what he would have done if we decided to sit and sample the coffee and donuts too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Central Bark

Lately, we've been running at Central Park quite often.  We like the new trails and the hilly terrain because it gives us a little more intense cardio workout.  However, every time we run there, someone mentions that they smell poop.  So far none of us have stepped in any, but it sure does smell like it from time to time, especially when running next to the dog park.  I love dogs.  In fact, I have one, but one of my biggest pet peeves (no pun intended) is when people don't pick up after their dogs.  And it isn't just at Central Park.  I see it all over the paseos of Valencia and along the river trails.  Sometimes going for a run is like running through a mine field.  Okay, enough with this topic.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holidays are Here!

I cannot believe it is already December.  I really want time to move slowly because I know that once January is here, I will be hitting the books again in full swing and I will have very little time to run with my friends again.  I am really enjoying the little break I am having from school now that I am back to my regular running schedule with my friends.  It always seems like once Thanksgiving has passed, then Christmas is right around the corner.

After our run today at Central Park (our new favorite trail) Patty mentioned doing a cookie exchange party and instead we decided on a happy hour cocktail party.  Yes it's nice to trade many different types of cookies, but that would mean that I would have to actually bake cookies to exchange, which would send me into stress mode and it would also probably mean that I would eat all those different types of cookies to make sure they were all okay.  No, I think a cocktail party is much safer for my waistline.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fabulous at 50!

We celebrated Patty's 50th birthday with a surprise get together at Caryn's house.  It was really hard trying to coordinate everything without tipping her off, but I think she really did think we were going out for happy hour at New Moon since she was the only one that got really dressed.  Well if you can look that good at 50 and be surrounded by good friends, then I guess getting older isn't so bad.  It was so nice to gather around the table with a great bunch of ladies and eat, drink, and be merry without finals, projects, or anything to worry about.

The party was a nice way to kick off our week off from work for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The extra days have given me some extra days to run, which I really missed.  I'm looking forward to the annual Turkey Trot where we will once again gather with a bunch of friends to eat, drink, and be merry again, but at least we'll run first this time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sleep, Run, Sleep

I have been savoring the luxury of being able to sleep in these past two days.  I tried to get up early on Saturday to go for a run, but my body just couldn't get out of bed.  Besides, the first Saturday without having to go to class should be spent sleeping in. Then I had plans of getting up early and finally getting in a long run, but again I just couldn't get up early enough.  I think my body is starting to decompress from all the stress of my classes and it has just started shutting down.  It's that fight or flight instinct.  I did manage to get out of bed by 9:30 and did go for a run, but not as long as I had hoped because it had gotten too hot already.  I managed a nice leisurely pace with my husband up and around both sides of the river trail from Decoro to Copperhill from our home, but it was really windy on the west side going up towards Copperhill.  Then coming down the trail on the east side the wind was at our back and the sun was up higher, which left no more shade and plenty of heat.  I am glad I finally got a run in, but I am going back to sleep now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Almost Back to Normal

Things are finally starting to settle down a bit.  I have two more classes remaining and then I will be free from homework for a month or so.  It has been such a hectic and exciting week with two of my friends turning 50.  It makes me feel old (jk).  Patty, in honor of her birthday, actually had a senior moment when it came to her half-marathon, but I won't mention anymore about that now.  With my classes winding down, I have been able to run a few more times this week and finally got to try out the new course at Central Park.  It looks rather daunting, but I have to say it really isn't as bad as it looks.  It has become one of my favorites trails to run on now.  I am just glad to be running more again.  I am exhausted by the end of the day and really don't feel like going out for a run, but knowing that someone is waiting for me keeps me motivated.  The amazing thing about exercise is that you really do have more energy afterwards.  I really don't know how that works, but it does.  I hope I can stay motivated to run on my own since both of my running buddies will be out of town for the rest of this week.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I am jealous because my friend Patty will be running the half-marathon without me this year.  I would love to run it, but I have not been training and don't think I will have the energy with school and everything.  This will be the first time in the last 3-4 years that I have not run the race.  I guess that means it's added pressure for Patty since she will be running it for me and C, if C decides not to run it either. 

This morning Patty and I ran from Peets to just before the Wiley Bridge for about a six mile run, but fell short due to a race that was going on.  We realized as we ran past the cones and the water station that there was a race going on and we were heading straight into the runners.  I think our miles probably ended up being 5.5 miles, but I felt like we ran it at a good pace.  Either that or I was talking too much and that's why I had a hard time breathing.  Good news is that my feet didn't hurt a bit.  I hope Patty does really well next weekend because all of our reputations are at stake (jk).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hello Blog!

Our poor blog has been neglected lately.  It's not that we haven't been running, it's just that I've been too busy to run and write about.  I'm in the midst of taking 16 units while working and trying to do all my mom duties, but I am still running-just not as much.  For now I have to take what I can get.  It has been a real luxury to have this week off from work to get ahead on some homework and be able to run in the morning a couple of times.  My friends and I got together to celebrate another birthday and boy was that fun!  It is nice to get together with a bunch of gals you like and just be silly.  It was a nice break from all the studying I have been doing lately.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Depressing News

I was reading the news on the internet today and there was an article on the many ways we can ruin our skin and guess what is #3 on the list?  Yup, running.  I always thought exercise, including running, increased oxygen flow to the skin which in essence made it look healthier. Although, I do have to admit that I have noticed that women who run a lot, and I do mean a lot, tend to look wrinklier.  Their face has a very weathered look to it, but I always thought it was from increased sun and wind exposure.  So what is a girl to do?  Should we buy into the saying "beauty is only skin deep"? and focus on keeping our hearts healthy?  I guess I will continue to focus on the healthy aspects of running and let nature or gravity take it's course.  That doesn't mean I won't fight the process and start investing in some better anti-wrinkle cream either.  

3. Running (or any high-impact exercise): "While such exercise may benefit our hearts, it can cause the fat pads to slide south, and collagen and elastin to break down. If you enjoy running, try walking," explains Dr. Gross. OMG — remember on Ally McBeal when Jane Krakowski's character invented the face bra for jogging? It was for this!
Related: Celebrity Skincare Trends: 1994-Today

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Tonight my friends surprised me with a larger than expected birthday celebration!  I have been under so much stress lately with school, work, family, and health issues with in-laws that it was such a welcome break from the day to day worries to enjoy an evening out with some of the best ladies.

As I reflected back on the evening, I was thinking about friendship and how it evolves as a person ages.  As you age, the people you choose to have in your life mean so much more, you become pickier.  When you're young, it's more important to have many friends, being popular, the things you have in common are more frivolous, etc.  As you become older and more self-aware of who you are, friends become more about quality rather than quantity.  You cut away the excess and you're left with what's really important.  I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends in my life.  That's the best birthday present ever!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School

Tomorrow I officially start back to school for myself.  I remember when I graduated from college thinking I never have to crack open another book in my life if I don't want to and how liberating that felt.  I will be taking on a full load of classes (16 units), along with working over 17 hours per week and raising a family.  Needless to say I will be stressed to the max.  That's why when I saw today's quote, it really hit home because as we finished our run tonight, we stood around talking about our favorite desserts.  I suppose most people, when feeling really stressed turn to exercise, friends, or eating, but my friends and I tend to use all three support systems.  Unfortunately with my class schedule, I will be doing less exercising with friends, which I hope won't mean that I will be eating more to help relieve the added stress.  As we stood around talking about our favorite desserts this evening, I was surprised at how different our tastes were in desserts.  It's amazing that we all agree on what to order on Saturday mornings with our coffee.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Couldn't Last

A few months ago, Patty and I decided that we would follow our fellow SCRs example and just order coffee after our long runs on the weekends.  We decided this after we noticed that we were the only ones ordering bakery treats along with our coffee while the other more "fit" (skinnier) runners were just enjoying coffee.  We were doing pretty good for awhile.  That is until today.  After our "long" run, we sat around and enjoyed our wonderful coffee, in addition to our blueberry scone, low-fat turkey bacon egg sandwich, and blueberry oat bar.  I knew our resolution to hold out on the treats wouldn't and couldn't last long.  As Patty, Caryn, and I sat around our table, I looked at Patty and asked "How did we end up with all this food again?"  Oh well, I'm much happier with my treats and I think my friends are too.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Soup Weather

Who would have ever thought that we would be getting this chilly weather in the beginning of September?  Could it be Global Warming?  Whatever the cause, it was awfully cold today for our run.  We really had to keep ourselves from complaining though because the alternative is a lot worse.  I'm sure it will be baking again real soon since it is September, the hottest month of the year in So. Cal.  The cold weather seemed to accentuate all of our aches and pains.  I did manage to break a sweat, but I never really felt hot and immediately after we were done, we were all in a hurry to stretch and go back to the warm comfort of our homes.  Patty mentioned that she had soup ready for dinner, which sounded so good that I ended up serving soup with our dinner too!  Soup in September, imagine that.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor of Love

I suppose running is a labor of love for me to some extent.  Running is really hard work, so why do I continue to do it?  It's like all else that we labor for, the rewards that come from all our hard work.  It was nice to get an extra run in during the morning rather than at night, although I wish I could have had another day of sleeping in.  I also took my son and his teammates to their cross country practice and from how quiet it was in the car this morning, they were also wishing for another day to sleep in.  That's one thing you really miss when you become a runner-sleeping in!

As Patty and I ran from Central up to Haskell towards Copperhill, I was actually surprised that it was as far as it was.  We said we were going to run at least 40 minutes each time we get together, but we were so close to Copperhill when we had reached our half way time of 20 min., we decided to run a little longer to Copperhill before turning back.  It turned out to be 4.7 miles round trip, which took us about 45 minutes.  On the way back, some man walking decided to give Patty "pointers" on how to run.  That always cracks me up when walkers take it upon themselves to give us running tips.  If they know so much about running, why aren't they running themselves.  The guy looked like he hadn't run a day in his life.  Oh well, it was quite amusing and worth a good laugh.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Good Idea

Patty had a great idea for our run today.  She suggested that we run from Lowes and head up behind Helmers from the bridge at Bridgeport and then across McBean  at Decoro and onto the bike path towards Heritage and back to Bridgeport over the bridge at Panera, and then back to Lowes.  We weren't sure about the mileage but it worked out perfectly at 6.5 miles and  the best part was that most of those miles were in the shade and we had several opportunities for water (and bathroom) stops.  After the run we sat and had coffee at Starbucks and I have to say that I do like sitting there more than at Peet's because we usually run into more people that we know.  I like chatting with our fellow SCR friends afterwards, but today we ran into one of our favorite teachers from Emblem and had a chance to catch up with her.  It was so nice to see her again and it made us realize how much we miss our little school.  We never run into anyone at Peet's, which I guess could be a good thing too if we're all sweaty and gross.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Still Talking

It's a tough call, trying to decide if it's better to run in the heat or run in the dark when it's a little cooler.  Me, Patty, and Caryn opted for the darkness and started later on our run to try and escape the heat.  We were good and stuck to our goal of running 40 minutes nonstop for the second time in a row.  I honestly don't notice the difference between the 3 mile runs and the 4 milers, other than it is usually getting pretty dark by the time we are finishing.  And of course we still stand around and talk for at least another half hour. You would think that we would be all talked out by the time we are done, but women are just different that way.  Men don't talk at all, before, during, or after and think it's strange that we talk so much.  I'm glad my friends put up with me when I'm having a bad day/week and listen to me rant, rave, and swear. We don't solve all of our problems on our runs, but it feels good to let it all out.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Did It

Well we stuck to our goal of running at least 40 minutes when we run so that we can ultimately increase our overall mileage.  Unfortunately, we didn't reduce our after run talk time to accommodate the longer run so we got home even later!  Oh well....

Monday, August 30, 2010

How Do We Do That?

After our "long" run this past Saturday Patty, Caryn, and I were discussing how we can increase our overall mileage for the week.  With the way all of our feet have been acting up, none of us want to increase our miles too much in any one day and we're not sure if our feet are up to 10 miles yet, but we all have a desire to increase our overall mileage.  But with busy lives and schedules, how do we do that?  We've all come to the conclusion that it's not worth meeting for a run just to run 3 miles so we have decided to try to run at least for 40 minutes at a time or around 4 miles.  Perhaps that will do the trick and then maybe we could even go for 50 minutes during the week.  It's not like we don't have the time because even on our 3 mile runs, we still stick around and chat for another 1/2 hour.  Maybe we should use that extra 1/2 hour for the running instead of the chatting :-/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not so Happy Run

Perhaps we indulged ourselves a little too much last night at New Moon because on today's run we were all suffering.  It was incredibly hot and humid, which certainly didn't help the situation.  I actually thought we might get to run all the way to Newhall Ranch Road from Albertsons because I am somewhat curious how far that is, but we only managed to get to Decoro and we all willingly  agreed to turn back.  My stomach was feeling terrible either from last night's drinks or from the heat and I was practically sprinting back so I can get home.  Caryn was just plain tired from being on her feet all day in the heat, and Patty always seems to have trouble with her breathing when it's too humid.  Seeing how humid it was this afternoon and all the thunderclouds in the distance, I was actually hoping we might even get rained on tonight, but no such luck. At least we got a very enthusiastic "hi" out of Patty's husband tonight.  I think he only did it because Patty was with us, otherwise he would have just ignored us like he usually does.  At least my foot is feeling better :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

An Hour of Happiness

Just to show where our priorities are, instead of running Wednesday night, we (as in me, C, and Patty) have planned to go out for happy hour.  Hopefully the stars and schedules will align so that we can all go and spend some quality time amongst friends and take some weight off our shoulders.  A fellow SCR asked on our Saturday run how my running has been going and I honestly couldn't think of anything else to say other than "it's been sucking!"  I think I kind of took him by surprise, but it really has been sucking.  With all of our foot issues, our running has sucked and there is just no other way to explain it.  My heel doesn't hurt as much as before, but now the arch and ankle of the same foot feels really stiff and sore.  Patty ran on her newly shot up with cortisone foot.  She seemed to do well on it, although she said it feels weird.  We almost got 4 miles in tonight, but we were running out of light so we had to take a shorter way back, or at least that's the excuse we will give.  I'm not even going to mention the pace.  Maybe I should just swim from now on?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Forty Fifty Feet

It must have something to do with being in your forties or fifties that bring on the foot problems.  What are the odds that me, C, and Patty would all be suffering from some type of foot ailment at the same time?  It has been discouraging seeing our mileage drop so significantly and having to put any kinds of race plans on hold, but I'm hoping this downward spiral is short lived and we'll all be on the mend soon.

I ran this morning with C and my husband along with the SCR group out of Lowes.  We kept it conservative and ran 6 miles at about a 10 min/mi pace.  It felt a lot faster going out and I have a feeling we ran under 10 min pace, but I didn't want to wear my GPS so I'm only guessing.  My foot felt okay and continued to feel okay after the run, but the real test will be tomorrow morning when I get out of bed.  After our run at Starbucks, a fellow runner introduced herself to me and asked how my running has been going.  She remembered seeing me and my friends running all the time last year while we were training for the marathon.  I hadn't realized we were so recognizable until I ran into the man at mammoth and he said the same thing to me.  I guess we were out quite a bit on those loonnnggggg runs!  C and I were commenting on how far off that seems now and how it feels incomprehensible how we managed to train all those miles.  Thank goodness those miles are behind us now.  I only hope that this little bump in the road will be over soon and we'll all be back to our old selves again and maybe even better!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Missing My Blog

I know Patty and I agreed to take a break from our blog for a while, but honestly I kind of miss writing on it.  We don't have to write about our every run, but I like being able to record our thoughts and what we did.  I don't care if no one reads it, although I suspect there are silent lurkers out there.  It is more for me so I can look back at what we have accomplished over the years, through all the ups and downs.  Perhaps no one else cares that my friends and I got in a run today or where we ran or what we talked about, but I care enough about it to record it somewhere so we can look back from time to time.

It felt so good to get out and get in an early morning run with my friends.  The fog was still lingering along the river as the sun began to poke through.  I almost felt like I was back in Humboldt, except for the significant lack of Redwood trees.

C, Patty, and I are all feeling like our feet are letting us down and we are slowly all falling apart.  I think we all go through cycles and this is a low point for us now, as far as physically and mentally.  We all have so much on our plates that running seems like a luxury now.  I suppose it is a luxury in the sense that I can still run whereas not everyone can.  I am glad that I am still considered to be in the group called "runners".  It's much better than being in the group of "couch potatoes".  So I may not write as often, but I will continue to check in once in a while and record my small and occasional running accomplishment from time to time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blog Break!

Marathon Mom and I met this morning for a short run up McBean. I needed to get back home by 8am and Marathon Mom wanted to try out her new shoes, and her sore foot. She has been resting her foot since our race last Thurs. night in the hopes that the inflamation would be improved. I had run with the husband on Sunday morning, and yesterday Marathon Mom and I swam a few laps. Our run was uneventful, and short 2 1/2 miles all together, not really much to say about it.

After the run, I told Marathon Mom that I wanted a break from the blogging, and would post the news today. It seems like lately with our foot problems, we aren't running as much, and also it seems like we are just blogging to each other. We aren't giving up the running, but we do talk when we run, and I feel like I am just quickly writing something to fill up space these days, and it is quite uninspired. I am hoping that I can increase my miles soon, I still need to figure out what is bothering my right foot, and get an OK from the doctor. I would really be upset if we weren't in shape to run the S.Clarita Half Marathon this November, but we will have to see about that. Maybe when the summer is officially over, we will all be back on the same schedule and we will have much more to say, but for now I am announcing a Blog Break!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

New Shoes!

I got new shoes today!  Thankfully the one pictured isn't the only one I got today. After this morning's swim, I decided to run over to Dick's and buy a new pair of running shoes with the hopes of curing my plantar fasciitis/ heel spur that I have developed in my right foot.  However, had I known that the doctor was going to give me one of these lovely boots instead, I probably would have held off on the running shoes.  I have been bothered by plantar fasciitis for about a month now and the pain was getting worse, not better and I was getting sick of hearing all kinds of unsolicited advice from all the runners I know on how to cure it.  So....I finally relented and went to the doctor.  Well, x-rays were ordered and I have a referral to a podiatrist, but in the meantime, the doctor recommended doing more stretches, particularly before going to bed (I hadn't thought of that one).  She wrote a prescription for a night splint for me because her office didn't have one and since I was going to the Kaiser hospital in the valley for my mother-in-law, I decided to pick it up there.  Well it turns out they don't carry the night splint anymore.  However, the nurse at the orthopedist's dept. felt sorry for me thinking that I came all the way down to Panorama City for nothing so he gave me this boot, which he said will basically do the same thing-keep me from flexing my foot forward at night.  And of course he had his own advice regarding how to get rid of my plantar fasciitis-stop running until it goes away.  Well gee, that's why I put off going to the doctor for my condition because in the end, I knew that was exactly what they were going to tell me to do.  Anyhow, I will make an honest effort of not running for an entire week to get the inflammation down and hopefully try running next week.  It looks like I'll be doing a lot more swimming and perhaps even a bike ride or two this week.  Heck, I mind as well train for a triathlon at this point!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Uh Excuse Me?

Okay, this is the second week in a row when someone has cut in front of me in the finish chute at the COC Summer Series.  Last week it was some woman and I made sure she didn't take my card by letting her know.  This week it was some big burley guy and several people told him he needed to stay in finish order.  I turned around and told him "there's no glory in cheating an old woman".  His excuse was that he didn't want to stop, which I didn't, I was just walking slowly since it is the finish chute.  Anyhow, I was just so glad that it was over and that I finally broke 27 minutes.  I made sure Patty was a witness to my GPS in case they messed up the times again.  I think both Patty and I felt a lot better today, perhaps from resting the couple of days before the race and not doing intervals.  I think we both felt like we kept a more even controlled pace, but both of us felt that we could have done better if there weren't so many darn people tonight.  Normally my card # is in the mid 200's, tonight my # was 419.  I think Patty said there were 3 times more people tonight than before and I definitely felt it.  Both of us got stuck behind two big guys, one being coached by the other.  I came across them on the second hill and had a hard time going around them because they were walking up the hill side by side, VERY annoying.  Why can't they walk single file?  This was my last race for the season and it felt good to finally be done.  I think Patty might have one or two more races left in her.  Her son, who is going off to college this year, came and ran the race and did quite well considering he hasn't been training with a team.  He cheered for me as I came into the stadium, but Patty got the royal treatment and had him running in with her.  Isn't that sweet?  I had a little kid yelling me encouragement around the final curve and he was telling me to keep going I'm almost there.  He was so cute and sweet and his words of encouragement brought a smile to my face as I finished.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Up and Running

After four days of no running, I finally met Patty for a "short" run at Heritage this morning.  She was trying out her new orthotics and I was trying out my foot.  I have to say that all the swimming and no running had my legs feeling a little bit wobbly.  I was telling her that in the old days, it was not recommended for runners to swim right before a running event because swimming separates the muscle fibers.  That's how it feels after swimming so much and then running.  The legs feel less stable, like jello or like spaghetti as Patty pointed out.  As of now we are planning on running this Thursday in the summer series and so no swimming for us tomorrow.  However, it would be almost two days of no running if we don't do anything tomorrow and one thing I learned from my son's racing days is that it's important to run a little bit the day before the race to keep them from stiffening up.  So we are planning on doing just a short, shady run tomorrow morning just to shake the cobwebs out of our legs.  As for the orthotics, they didn't seem to bother Patty too much and as for my foot, it only hurts when I stop so we'll have to see.  During our run I was telling Patty about an interesting study I read about regarding injuries and running shoes and their correlation.  Here's an excerpt from the article:

Over the course of three large studies, the most recent of which was published last month in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, the researchers found almost no correlation at all between wearing the proper running shoes and avoiding injury. Injury rates were high among all the runners, but they were highest among the soldiers who had received shoes designed specifically for their foot types. If anything, wearing the “right” shoes for their particular foot shape had increased trainees’ chances of being hurt.

More recently, a study published online in late June in The British Journal of Sports Medicine produced results similar to those in the military experiments, this time using experienced distance runners as subjects. For the study, 81 women were classified according to their foot postures, a more comprehensive measure of foot type than arch shape. About half of the runners received shoes designated by the shoe companies as appropriate for their particular foot stance (underpronators were given cushiony shoes, overpronators motion-control shoes and so on). The rest received shoes at random. All of the women started a 13-week, half-marathon training program. By the end, about a third had missed training days because of pain, with a majority of the hurt runners wearing shoes specifically designed for their foot postures. (It’s worth noting that across the board, motion-control shoes were the most injurious for the runners. Many overpronators, who, in theory, should have benefited from motion-control shoes, complained of pain and missed training days after wearing them, as did a number of the runners with normal feet and every single underpronating runner assigned to the motion-control shoes.)

Link to the rest of the article:
Running Shoe Research

This article kind of re-affirms my belief that there is such a thing as too much support.  Anything that restricts the natural motion of the foot can't be all that good.  What I find interesting is that we tend to naturally purchase shoes that feel right for us and should only use these "recommendations" as an afterthought.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swimming and Shopping

Today Marathon Mom and I had made plans to go to the Camarillo Outlets for some retail therapy. Unfortunately, I was feeling a bit guilty going shopping for myself while my youngest's closet is virtually empty, since we cleaned it out for our upcoming garage sale (darn growth spurt). I reluctantly cancelled the outlet trip, but we decided that we would meet for lunch and a quick look around Macy's. I tried on swimsuits again and found another age appropriate tankini, that actually looked kind of cute, so I put it on hold to "think" about it, since I just bought one the other day that I liked. Marathon Mom is a much better shopper than I am, she doesn't get tempted by overpriced purses, and clothes, and makes decisions quickly about what she is going to buy. However, I saved her son from a frilly shirt that she was determined to get him, and pointed her in the direction of a much more manly one that I liked. We ate at the "Stone Oven" in the food court, and it was so good, it made me wish they had a drive through so I could eat their bread more often. In fact I liked everything, salad, pasta salad and sandwich, I am still full, I ate so much. Like I said Marathon Mom is a good shopper and took off on her own to stock up on school supplies and buy her kids some more school clothes. I will be doing it all at the last minute, or even after the school year starts, I am a procrastinator!

Before we met for shopping though we swam, and I really felt like I got a workout today. We swam 40 laps? By the end of our swim, my arms were so tired, that I realized that was the reason I was running out of breath, because I had stopped moving my arms, so I couldn't wait to breathe on my third stroke. I think we are making progress, Marathon Mom figured out that we need to swim over 60 laps to equal a 4 mile run. I am not there yet, but I think I am on the way!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


marathon mom

Thanks to our friend Marisol, who didn't run the race, we have these lovely pictures of us coming into the track.  It's funny how you never look the way you picture yourself running.  But then again, maybe that's a good thing because

sometimes the way I picture myself running can be pretty ridiculous.  I for one look like I'm ready to trip over the railing, which is probably pretty accurate since I am dead tired at this point.  I see the lady that Patty was really bugged about who beat her.  I think she was more bugged about the fact that it was someone in that "pee" club outfit that beat her rather than the woman's poor posture (sorry no offense to the lady).  As for C, well she just looks like she is counting the steps until she can be done and looks to be concentrating really hard.  Yeah, it wasn't pretty, but we got out there and did it again.  I was also reflecting on the fact that I saw so many of my friends' kids out there cheering for me as I was coming in and the fact that THEIR moms weren't running.  I was also thinking that they could be thinking "gee I'm glad my mom isn't out here doing this" or "gee, I wish my mom was out here running".  Whenever the subject comes up with my boys, they always seem to be proud that their mom is out there giving it a go.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Good Laugh

This morning I met Patty for a swim and was really glad I could get off my feet.  Last night's race really did my foot in to the point where I couldn't even stand on it, let alone walk on it.  Unfortunately, I had to tell Patty that I need to stay off of it for the next two days, which means no long runs with my friends this weekend.  The pain has gotten worse, not better and the only thing that might help at this point is rest.  What I mean by rest is no running, but I can still swim.  Patty and I are really improving in our swimming techniques.  Today I swam 40 laps, most of it without a snorkel.  Only 6 of those laps were with snorkel and I'm really getting the hang of one breath to every 3 strokes.  Both of us are swimming more relaxed now too, which is also probably helping with the breathing.  I was done before Patty so I sat and watched her to do a couple of cool down laps on her back.  She must have had her eyes closed the whole time because she started out in lane 2 and ended up in lane 5.  I was yelling her name and laughing at the same time to get her attention because I didn't want her to crash into the side of the pool.  Thankfully she opened her eyes just in time to correct herself. She reminded me of one of those wind up toys you put in the bath and watch it swim in circles.  Too funny!

Afterwards we soaked up the sun for a little while and commented on how we are both dreading the start of school and having to give up these early morning swims.  At the beginning of the summer, we were kind of dreading getting back into the pool, but now I wish we would have started earlier.  Who knows, maybe if I can push my start time at work to a little later, I can still sneak in a swim or two before work.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Race Report

With the promise of cooler temps, and a new strategy for a better time, Marathon Mom, C and I showed up to run the third in the COC Summer Series. Marisol brought her 5 yr. old daughter and 3 yr. old son to run the Kiddie K, which they run right before the main event. They were so cute, her daughter was fearless and adorable with her hair up in ribbons. Her son reminded me of mine when they were that age, he got scared about halfway around and started crying. I would have given anything at that point to just do a lap around the track and be done with it.

The plan was to take the first mile at a 9 min. pace and then have something to give on the second mile (all the hills are in the second mile). This is a strategy that all the SCR's use, and they all can beat me with no problem! I really don't run all that much faster than a 9 min. pace anyway, but I kept with Marathon Mom till we crossed the first mile, I knew I was in trouble when they called out 9:21 for our first mile time. After that I really lost momentum, and by the time I got to "Killer Hill", I had a side ache, and nothing in the legs. It was super humid and the sweat just poured off of me, I truly wanted to stop. I had to walk the first two hills, and had to force myself to get going again at the top. I knew my pace was pretty slow, no matter what I did, I just couldn't speed up. When I got to the track, I wanted to sprint and tried to convince myself that we were just doing intervals, but my legs would not cooperate. I added over a minute to my last race finish time, but I have to say I felt worse all the way around. I have many excuses for why I did so poorly, but I really think it was just not my night. As I was trying to get up those hills tonight, I thought I would be just fine, if I never had to run up them again. We will see, Marisol still hasn't run a race, but I may just come out and cheer for her!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Intervals of Swimming

Last night the girls and I showed up to run intervals with the SCRs.  It could have been cooler, but compared to last week, I'll take it.  It was a rather large group that showed up ready for the torture.  Our workout included:

3 sets of
400m-200m jog-600m-200m jog-200m
1 lap recovery
4x200 parlaufs (relay)
2 laps cool down

Most of us skipped the 1 lap recovery and opted to recover by our waters.  The interesting thing about intervals is that while you're doing them, you keep thinking there is just no way you can do another set, but then sooner than you know it, you're on the the final leg of the last set.  It really makes the workout go super fast, especially since the guy in charge gives us no breaks.  By the time I was done, I felt like I was on a merry-go-round from running in circles so much.  Then the relay or parlaufs started.  Patty had asked me to be her partner and I was really happy with that because I didn't want to pair up with anyone super fast (not that Patty isn't fast) so I can have more time to rest in between.  Then one of the women members who happens to be much faster than me asked to partner up and Patty gladly gave up her spot with me to run with C.  I barely had time to walk across the field to take up my leg of the relay when she got done with hers.  Again, the good part was that it was over quickly.  I'm always glad when I get through them, but my foot sure paid the price afterwards.

Patty and I made plans to meet up and swim at my lap pool the following morning, which was a nice change of pace and very soothing on our sore feet.  We set the timer for 30 minutes and pretty much swam nonstop until the buzzer went off and then proceeded to do a couple of more laps afterwards as a cool down.  Patty showed up in her nice new swimming suit and I think it really helped because she said this was the best she's ever done.  Both of us are still having trouble with the kickboard and working on our abs.  At least our freestyle is improving and that's all we need to keep us motivated.  We just need to see improvement.  The same goes for our interval workouts.  I totally see a difference in my fitness level after just one month of intervals.  I think this was my 4th straight interval workout.  Our next run is the COC summer series.  I do plan on taking it slow and trying a different strategy because the last one didn't work for me at all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Facing Facebook

I was secretly sent out on a mission this morning by two mutual friends of Patty and mine to convince her that it is finally time to get on Facebook.  I understand her apprehension because I'm still new at it too and even started a FB page a few months ago and then quickly deleted it because I didn't think I liked it.  But I did give it another try a few days ago and it's really starting to grow on me.  So this morning as Patty and I met for our run at Central Park, I proceeded to tell her that we've been talking about her and even posted pictures of her on our pages so that she will be curious enough to finally get going on FB.  By the time we left Central Park and ran up to Haskell Cyn to Copperhill, I think I had her firmly convinced.  I didn't think we were going to run that far today with the heat and all, but the route we took was actually quite pleasant and shady.  The hill to Copperhill wasn't as steep as I remember it either.  The pace wasn't wonderful, but we had to stop for some rather slow lights.  It was much easier coming back with the downhill and it seemed like we were back at the park in no time.  When we got back, Patty asked me to email her from FB because it is easier to sign on that way.  I guess today's run was a productive one.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Girl Power!

We met early this morning to try and beat the heat, but we lost! Marathon Mom, Marisol, C and I set out at 6:45 from Lowe's to see how close to 10 miles we could run. I spent a wonderful day at the beach yesterday, and enjoyed the cooler weather a little too much, getting a bad sunburn. The combination of being worn out from the sun, and the fact that I skipped my morning coffee, made me feel like my legs were just empty this morning. I was dragging before we hit the S. Fork trail, and had to stop and walk a bit before we got to the M. Mountain Pkwy underpass. I had already decided that I would turn around after the water fountain, but so had the rest of the group. We managed to get in 6.5 miles, and I don't even want to guess what the pace was. Since Marisol was with us, I feel like the pace going out was a little quicker than usual, but Marathon Mom was the only one who seemed to have anything left on the way back.

We sat inside a cool Starbucks and had our coffee (I was shaking by then), and talked a bit to other SCR's who seemed to be just as affected by the heat. When we started out this morning there was a girl who was new to the SCR's and she thought we were the whole group. We tried to politely tell her that we were SCR's, but didn't run with them because we were so slow, we liked to start before them. I think we were all feeling a little guilty for not inviting her to join us, but then at the S. Fork Trail, we saw her fly by, leading the whole group of SCR's, men and all! Another girl on a bike was so impressed by our little group of women, running and chatting that she shouted "Girl Power" to us as she passed by. I don't know how much "power" I had today, (I am trying to forget the actual run), but I did enjoy all the new chatter we had, because of the extra friends!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm No Mermaid

Well I am definitely no mermaid and certainly can't come close to swimming like one either.  Today I was all by myself at the pool and swam a total of 30 laps.  I swam the first 12 freestyle with no snorkel and practiced my breathing.  I worked on taking air in on one side only and breathing out while looking down and it seemed to work.  I think I have the hang of it.  I then swam another 14 laps with my snorkel and tried to get a good cardio workout by increasing my speed.  Then for the last 4 laps, I used a newly purchased kickboard to work on my abs and core.  I've heard that swimming like a mermaid helps build those key abdominal muscles.  Well, having the kickboard in front of me kicking my legs together like a mermaid got me absolutely nowhere, literally.  It was like I was just swimming in place.  Either I'm doing it all wrong or I have absolutely no strength in this area.  I did eventually figure out that if I put my head down rather than keeping it up the whole time, this helps propel me forward a little better, but it was still rather slow.  I will keep at it since it can't get any worse.  Who knows maybe if I keep trying, I'll eventually grow fins.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too Hot!

After this morning's run at the COC XC course, there is no way in the world I could have run the race tonight.  It was already so hot this morning, I can't imagine what tonight is going to be like.  I really hope people run wisely and adjust to the heat and not over do it.  Patty and I met this morning and ran the entire summer series course along with an additional mile loop on the dirt to make it a total of 4 miles.  We started off through the campus just like the race and continued the exact first two miles of the race, but instead of heading back into the stadium, we went back out toward Killer Hill again.  The first time we ran up Killer Hill, we were met with killer cobwebs.  The whole time we were running up the hill, I could see cobwebs streaming off of Patty and onto me. It was really creepy.  My legs felt tired from all the swimming the day before and I seriously didn't think I had it in me to do another loop on Killer Hill, but amazingly, I always feel better the second time around on the hill.  Plus by then, all the cobwebs were gone.  We finally finished and sat next to our cars to cool off and left interesting impressions of our rears on the curb as we compared who had a bigger bottom.  We'll let our readers try to guess who won.

We compared today's workout to yesterday's and what a stark contrast they were.  After our run today, we felt gross, exhausted, and hot.  Yesterday after our swim, we felt so energized and relaxed.  The only thing missing was a nice cup of coffee to greet me after my swim.  I hope Patty finds a suit soon so we can swim more often because this running in the heat is pretty miserable.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Looking Good While Swimming

I don't know if it is possible at this stage of my life to look good while swimming. I mean my bathing suit is inappropriate, and ill fitting, I wear goggles and a clip in my hair, and I flop around like a bird taking a bath! I won't say anything about my friend wearing the nose clips and snorkel, but at least her head is mostly in the water. Today's swim seemed easier, I was able to swim a couple of laps without feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest, and Marathon Mom and I were able to swim consistantly for pretty close to 30 min. That is progress!

There was another woman swimming who started before us, and finished after us, and she must have been a former olympian she was swimming so smoothly. We studied her for a bit, and I realized that I have been breathing all wrong, and will try to adjust next time, so I am not spitting water like a whale, when I breathe out. There was also a rather large and hairy man, sporting a pretty small speedo who showed up with his flippers to get some exercise. I later regretted chuckling at him, because when I went to Big 5 later to try on bathing suits, I realized that I looked just the same squeezed into the too tight suits that were on sale this week :(. Since I had spent my entire day driving around in 100+ weather, I gave up on the suit for today, and will try again when I am not so sweaty, and maybe when they get my size.

I did enjoy starting my day with a swim, and if I could just get my gear together would like to make it a regular habit. My goggles worked great, thanks to the hubby!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Tortures

As if going to the dentist first thing this morning to get two cavities filled and get deep scaling done on my teeth weren't bad enough, I subjected myself to more punishment by running intervals tonight with the SCRs.  Patty was at her son's game and couldn't make it and my husband had to take my oldest son to practice so I was left to go it alone, until I decided to drag my youngest son with me.  He opted to get extra sleep this morning and skipped practice with his team in exchange for running intervals with me tonight.

As we got there, Phil (the guy who is charge of intervals) told us he was going to go "easy" tonight due to the heat and the smoke in the air.  Well his version of "easy" is everyone else's torture.  Our workout consisted of:

1 - warm up lap
2 - 300 m,  jog 100 no rest in between sets
2 - 800 m
6 - 400 m random relay ( just line up and take the next baton that comes in)
4 - 100 m strides to sprint barefoot
2 - cool down laps

I'm glad to say I finished the entire workout, although I seriously wanted to skip some of those random relays.    Even though we haven't been to intervals in a while, I feel like we haven't been doing too bad.  When Patty and I do the intervals, we're never in the back of the pack like we used to be and I haven't felt like I was holding up the workout like I used to in the past.  Either we're getting better or everyone else is slowing down.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Talking Tummy

This morning Patty and I met at Central Park and ran a tempo run, well. . . . sort of.  We have been talking about getting away from stopping so much on our runs and at least go 3 miles without stopping.  I devised a plan for us to run along the fence and return to the entrance of the XC course to stretch before we start our 3 miles.  As soon as we finished our warm up and stretched, we immediately ran a brisk pace and didn't let up for the entire time.  For the 3 miles we ran at tempo, we ran a 9.29 pace, which is about right although I'd like to see it more around 9.2 or less; however since it is Central Park where there are hills and a lot of sand, I suppose I will cut us a break.

Funny thing about this run is that immediately when we started on the course I kept hearing water sloshing around.  I was holding a water bottle, but I'm familiar with the sound my bottle makes and this sound was much louder.  I looked over at Patty and asked her if it was her stomach and sure enough it was.  I guess she couldn't resist the coffee this morning, even though she did say should would try to cut it out before her runs.  Oh well, aside from the sloshing noise there were no ill effects from the coffee this morning so I guess it worked out fine.

It felt good to be able to run quickly and start our busy day.  Patty had to go for a foot massage and pick up her orthotics today and couldn't stay late.  Hopefully the orthotics will help with the foot pain.  I had a full day of gardening and laundry waiting for me.   My arms have been so sore from all the digging and lifting, I feel like I've been at a martial arts competition.  I can't wait for when I'm finally done.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

10 Miles = Sore Feet

Marathon Mom and I met at 6:45 today for our long run. It seems like it has been a while since we ran 10 miles, and I felt it today. We started from Lowe's and did the usual route with the SCR's, to the Wiley Bridge and back. We have been talking trying to run without all the water stops, and stretch breaks, because it just seems to drag our run out longer. I did the best I could, since I haven't been carrying water, and we stopped only once on the way back from the bridge. Unfortunately I had to run to McDonald's and use the bathroom, because there was no way I was going to make it back to Lowe's. Marathon Mom kept going and promised she would run really slow, but I never managed to catch her again. The last 2 miles were really hard, my legs were just out of juice, and my foot started to burn, where it has been hurting lately. I was sooooo tempted to cut my run short and run across the Lowe's parking lot, but I didn't, so I made the 10 miles, but I was barely moving at the end. I am going to spend today icing my feet, and won't complain when I have to go back for my foot therapy (rub) on Monday.

To make matters worse, my so called friend, was standing with a group of SCR's telling them why I made a pit stop, so they all chimed in with advice on how to avoid potty stops on a run. I guess I will try giving up my cup of coffee before these morning runs and see if that helps. At least I didn't duck into a bush and do my business, like the lady at the race Thurs. I will never be that dedicated a runner!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

That Sucked!

Tonight was the first race of the COC Summer Series and I had high hopes that I would do well because of the cooler temps.  Everything was perfect, smaller crowd, nice cool temps, you couldn't have asked for better conditions because for those who have run the Summer Series, it can really suck.

The first mile wasn't too bad for me.  I didn't feel like I was fighting through a bunch of squirly kids, just a couple of big guys blocking the path.  I came through the first mile in my usual 8.3 pace and I think Patty wasnt' too far behind.  It was the second mile that really took it out of me.  I must have ran it too fast because I developed a side stitch and had to stop and walk the entire uphill and came through the second mile rather slow at 19 minutes.  I was walking for quite a while when Patty came along and convinced me to keep going.  If she hadn't, I think I would still be up there.  Once I finally started running again, I was able to run through the cramp and finish in 26.41 and I think Patty had a huge PR of 27:20?  I think intervals are paying off for her.

The weird thing is that I was so focused on finishing the darn race that I never saw the lady wearing the Moms in Motion shirt pop out of the bushes after going pee.  I guess Patty caught the whole thing!  I'm actually glad I didn't see that otherwise it really would have distracted me.  Now we're never joining that club!  Seriously, if it's that bad, wouldn't you just stop and go into the bathroom?  There's 6 more races left for goodness sake.  That has to be one of the weirdest things to happen during a race, but then again perhaps we are being unfair to our own gender since we see guys peeing along race routes all the time.

So now that my first race really sucked, I guess it could only get better from here right?  I know I said I probably won't do another one after this first one, but since it was so terrible, I feel I have to redeem myself.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Can you imagine a more gorgeous place to run?  I guess that's why I'm willing to run a race with virtually no oxygen with a bunch of strangers on the Fourth of July in the middle of the day and have cotton mouth the entire time I'm running.  I almost didn't run the race because the day before my foot was hurting me so much that my husband and Picture Lady were trying to convince me not to run, but I knew that I would really regret it if I didn't.

When I showed up at the start on race day and was waiting for the restrooms, I was talking to a man and his family.  He was worried that everyone looked really fast and the race looked really fast too and I told him not to worry because it really is low key.  I mean, come on, how serious can you take a race when you have a clown, Uncle Sam, a man with a fly fishing reel, and a bunch of dogs in the same race?  He then asked me if I enter a lot of races because I look really familiar.  I told him not really, but people always say I look familiar and I told him I didn't live around Mammoth, but was from the Santa Clarita Valley.  He then said, "that's why you look so familiar! I live in Valencia and I see you and your friends running all the time!"  As it turns out, his son goes to Bridgeport Elementary.  Such a small world.

The race finally started with Deena Kaster as the MC.  Gosh she is really skinny!  I really struggled getting out and had to work through the little kids and the golden retriever that wouldn't behave and was jumping around in front of me because it's owner couldn't control the leash.  As the crowd began to thin, I was feeling pretty decent, but knew not to get too confident at this elevation.  And then that's when it hits, exactly the same place as last time, the 1/2 mile mark.  There's suddenly no air.  You keep gasping and breathing, but it does no good.  You literally feel like a fish out of water and it is the strangest feeling.  You are going through the motions of breathing, but it feels like no air is coming into your lungs.  Finally after I got over the last uphill part, I could feel my legs and lungs coming back to me and had my sights on the finish.  I was determined not to let the old man in the green running outfit beat me (you can see him in the video) or the guy with the fly fishing equipment and I was finally able to beat the old lady that got me last time.  I think I came in around 8:06 and would have liked to get under 8, but I had too slow of a start and couldn't make up the time.  My husband videoed the last part of my race.

I can't wait to hear how Marisol's race went this weekend and if Patty decided to enter the race too.  I'm sure I'll hear all about it soon.  Next year, I would love all my friends to join me up at Mammoth to celebrate Independence Day and to run the Freedom Mile of course.  I think I have Picture Lady convinced to run it next year.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Running in Circles

Marathon Mom, Marisol, and I met at Peet's this morning for a run before we started our busy days, or for them, busy weekends. I had a doctor's appt. to get to, so we decided not to try and make it a long run. Marisol wanted to run the Train Bridge loop, instead of an out and back, so we headed out toward the bridge hoping that the workers would let us cross. We got lucky, because there was no one working today, probably already started on their holiday weekend. We made it to Newhall Ranch Road, crossed to the other side of the trail and headed back towards Peet's. It really was a pleasant run for me, legs felt fine, and feet weren't hurting. We didn't set any records 3.7 miles at a 9.5 pace, but it was nice to have a little more in the legs compared to yesterday's run.

We got to sit outside at Peet's and chat for a few minutes, before Marathon Mom left to get her weekend in Mammoth started, Marisol went home to a house full of visiting relatives, and I went home to rush off to the foot doctor. Well the doctor never showed up, who knew there were surgical foot emergencies! I was kind of frustrated to have to wait till next week, since it was the most exciting thing I had planned :(.

Marathon Mom is going to run the Freedom Mile race in Mammoth, and Marisol and her family are going to race the Independence Day 5K at Newhall Park. My husband and I are still discussing whether we want to go out and run the ID 5K, or not, I will let you know. Have a Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sleepy Legs

On this morning's run from Central Park, Patty's and my legs were still asleep.  Mine were feeling very heavy from the lack of sleep and long drive in the car the day before.  I think Patty was still feeling the intervals from Tuesday night.  We were already sick of the Central Park scenery and decided to head out on Bouquet towards Plum for a shadier 4 mile run.  I have to say for me, my legs really didn't wake up until we started coming back going slightly downhill.  Patty said she felt a little better once we left the park.  There are just some days when you can't will your legs to go. Both of us have been experiencing some foot pain and Patty's hip is starting to bother her too.  Perhaps we should both get new shoes and just stop complaining about it. I sense a possible shopping trip coming up!

I think it was the summer heat that kept both of us up last night.  We lost our nice fog layer and it never really cooled off last night.  There was no breeze and it felt very humid and muggy.  With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, I'm glad I'll be in Mammoth.  I will be running in the Freedom Mile while Marisol and possibly Patty will be running the 4th of July 5k here in Santa Clarita.  I think I'll be in the better race.  I would much prefer running at 8000 ft elevation for only one mile at cooler temps than running here at Santa Clarita at 8 a.m.for 3.1 miles in the heat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Swim and A Run

I was really mad when my alarm went off this morning at 6am, because I remembered that I had agreed to meet Marathon Mom for a swim. It was nice and cool out, June gloomy for sure. Despite the foggy weather, the pool was pretty warm and it didn't take long for us to get used to the water and start our workout. The plan was to swim laps for 30 min. and it was clear in the first two laps that I am not the swimmer that I used to be. I really never had much upper body strength and I can tell that I have lost what I may have once had. It felt like I was just kicking my legs and flailing my arms, and of course going really slow. A younger woman got in the pool at one point and started swimming laps so effortlessly, that I was kind of embarrassed. She seemed to be able to hold her breath for quite a while, and I wanted to ask her for swimming lessons. It was a nice start to the day, we will see if my arms and shoulders are sore tomorrow.

Tonight we convinced our husbands to joining us at COC for intervals with the SCR's. The track was crowded with football players, and the SCR group was mostly men, faster men. We ran 400's, 600's and 1000's (ugh!), and finished up with a couple of 200's. All in all it totaled 4 miles, and my legs were like jello by the time we were done! The more we do the intervals, the easier it gets, so I am glad we went, and I think the husbands felt good too! Now if we could have just gotten out for a bike ride, we would be on our way to training for the Ironman

Monday, June 28, 2010

Masters Team?

This morning Patty and I met at Central Park for a very foggy, early morning run.  My son had XC practice so it worked well that we met there.  We ran the course fairly quickly because Patty had a very full day ahead of her. We finished with an overall pace of 9.14, which is pretty good at that park considering most of it is a sand pit.  As we ran around the course we were greeted with various groups of high school runners getting ready for their season, some more organized and disciplined than others.  I have to say my son's school is not so organized or disciplined.

Since Patty had to leave to start her busy day, I decided to continue running slowly by myself while waiting for my son to finish his workout, but then I "ran" into my friend who happens to coach the girls of the opposing high school.  I decided to join her and her group of girls for another 1.5 miles around the park.  They were finishing a 40 minute run at what felt like a 10 min pace, something I could manage.  As we were running and catching up with each other's lives, she asked me if my friends and I would be interested in joining her and her friends to compete at Nationals for the Womens Masters division.  I guess the finals are in February.  She mentioned the 40-49 group, but I know there is a 50+ group for our older friends.  She said they are still looking for more women for their team and mentioned some of the ladies already on the team and they are all fast, so I'm not sure why she is asking if me and my friends would be interested.  It sounds like fun and something to focus on, but I told her I couldn't commit because of my upcoming school schedule.  She did say I could still train with them and do whatever I can.  Hmmm, sounds tempting, but I will certainly have to think about it.  I did have a lot of fun running with the girls though.  They give off a lot of energy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Run Worth Getting Up For!

I wasn't sure I should be running this morning, and getting up early to do it, was
really tough. I met Marathon Mom at Peet's, bright and early at 6:30. After last Thurs. nights run, my foot had been hurting, in the spot where I stepped on the rock, over a year and half ago. I have been worrying that I am pushing my luck running on it, so I did make a doctor's appt. for this coming Monday. Marathon Mom wasn't too excited about running either, she was tired and not feeling well, and has also been suffering with sore feet. The up side was that it was nice and cool at 6:30 in the morning. We started from Peet's and headed toward
South Fork, and took that to the gate at Wiley. We have done this before and it is right around 7 miles total, there and back. I have to say, that my foot felt pretty good on the run, and is not nearly as sore as it was on Thurs, in fact it doesn't hurt at all today! The run was nice, we didn't take the GPS and were able to run comfortably and talk the whole way. I think we needed a run with no pressure, to just feel like ourselves again. Marathon Mom was also pretty relieved that her feet felt better today, since she had gotten some new inserts.

I am going to enjoy the rest of my Sat. watch some World Cup Soccer and maybe do a little computer shopping with my son. Marathon Mom is watching soccer in San Diego, before she drops her son off for soccer camp. If I could just get excused from Jury Duty, I could start to feel like I am on summer vacation!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Onions, Poop, Smog, and Mulch

The C.O.C. cross country course is a plethora of smells.  When it's hot out (and it was hot out tonight) COC always has an unusual mix of odor.  Tonight as C, Patty, Marisol, and I ran the dirt course, I was first overcome by the stale smell of mulch.  Then as we went further along, Patty kept saying she smelled poop (there were a lot of dog poop on the trail).  Then there's the good old onion smell, which smells like B.O.  Every year as I run the summer series, I always get a nice whiff of the onions and it just makes me want to gag.  Then as you crest the top of Killer Hill, there's the smell of smog, which makes me start wheezing. I guess we have either weak stomaches or strong noses because a fellow SCR lady had no problem with the odor and was running the course 6 times at a very fast pace.  We managed 2 circuits at a very slow pace.  Patty was feeling out of sorts from a day at jury duty, C was at a new job, Marisol has been home alone with the kids for the whole week, and me. . . .well I've been busy sitting all day scrapbooking.  Nevertheless, we ran the course pretty hard by our standards and managed a 10.24 pace for 3.4 miles and at the end none of us had poop on our shoes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dork with a Snork

I must have looked a little odd to the other lady swimming in our lap pool this morning.  At 7:30 this morning I showed up with my goggles, ear plugs, nose plugs, and a snorkel.  After running intervals last night with the SCRs, I knew I wasn't going to be running today, but I wanted to get some extra cardio in by swimming.  I was also inspired by another lady at the track last night who mentioned that she was going to skip running the next day and swim instead.  She looked like she was in pretty good shape, so I thought I should follow her example.  If it works for her, it's gotta work for me, right?

I was able to drag my 15 year old out of bed to come with me since he has done nothing but sleep in until noon and needs to get ready for cross country training.  He sat in the jacuzzi for the first part and then eventually swam a few laps.  I was pleasantly surprised how well the snorkel works.  It saves me from straining my neck and I'm able to continue swimming longer without stopping.  I feel like I'm still breathing hard and getting my heart rate up, but it's not a constant struggle for air.  I like this swimming in the early morning thing.  This way, no one sees me with all my gear and I'm able to swim nonstop for about half an hour, just in time to see the last few moments of the U.S. World Cup game and the amazing goal at the end

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Good Old Stand In

I have to give my husband credit, whenever my friends bail on me at the last minute he usually comes through and runs with me. Tonight, he wasn't too enthusiastic about going to do intervals with the SCRs, but he came anyways.  I told him there were a lot of slow ladies there last time, which boosted his confidence.  I didn't mention that my friends and I were the slow ladies.  Anyhow, it was a much faster group tonight, less ladies, more men.  Our workout consisted of the following:

4x400 regroup each one faster than the last
2X800 jog 200 after each set
400 recovery jog
4x400 regroup each one faster than the last
2 laps cool down
4 miles total

I did everything except for the last full 800.  I modified it and ran a 400 instead, but ran an extra lap of cool down. Our coach kept reminding us to keep hydrating and take the first few sets slower and not go out so hard.  When someone asked how fast to run the 800, I liked what he said, "just above walking pace".  Now that's my kind of pace.  I'm glad I wasn't last.  There were still some others behind me, but even if I was last, I'm starting to feel okay with that as long as they aren't waiting too long for me.  I like doing the intervals with the SCRs because I know that if I was running by myself, there is no way I would work this hard.  My husband was even glad he came and said he will join me again next week. Hopefully my friends will too.  It was so hot and humid that we both ran out of water by the end of the workout.  Got to remember the Gatorade.  As soon as we got home, we quenched our thirst with a nice cold beer.  There's nothing like a cold beer after a really hot run.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer is Here!

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer, when we have the longest daylight hours in one day.  Remarkably it has been quite cool, cool enough for us to run at night rather than in the mornings.  I'm sure by the end of July and into August, we're going to be feeling the heat, but tonight's run was actually quite pleasant.  We met at Cheese Park and ran down the east side of the river trail to Decoro and then back up the west side of the trail hoping to find more shade.  Well there really wasn't a whole lot of shade because the sun was higher up at this time of the year, but it really wasn't too bad.  I missed the breeze more than the shade.  I've been trying to push the pace more and I noticed we were running under 9 minute miles for the last mile and about 9.2-9.3 at other times, but our overall pace was still 9.4.  We must start really slow and the first hilly part must throw our pace off.

Everyone seemed a little dead legged with the busy weekend and day behind us.  Hopefully we will find some more energy tomorrow because it's interval time with the SCRs.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all our fathers out there!  Our running has been on hiatus the last few days and I was itching to go for a run today, but since it was Father's Day, I decided to give my hubby a break and let him sit on the couch and watch the World Cup Soccer instead.  This year must be the ultimate Father's day for my husband, World Cup soccer and Father's day falling on the same day.

I left my house rather early and headed for the switchbacks behind Helmers into Northpark.  I ran to the second bridge like we usually do, but instead of coming back the same way, I decided to run down Grandview back to my house.  I just didn't feel like coming back the same way.  Even though I haven't done any running for the last 3 days, my heels were hurting like crazy again.  I'm not sure if it's being on my feet or if it's the new sandals I've been wearing.  I found out that Patty ran this morning also (with her husband) and her feet are hurting her too.  The pain usually goes away after the first mile, but today it persisted.  I am starting to get worried, but I'm not in panic mode yet.  I think I need to start looking for new running shoes.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recovery Run?

As we (me, Patty, C, and Marisol) were running this morning from Peet's I was wondering why we were running so fast if it was supposed to be a recovery run after 3 hard days of running.  It must be because this was Marisol's first day of running in about a week.  Actually, the truth is we were not as sore as we thought we would be after doing intervals last night.  I'm not sure what that means. . . .either the workout wasn't all that hard or we're just in better shape.  I didn't turn off my GPS while we were stretching so I'm estimating that we ran around a 9.3 pace overall because every time I checked our pace it was always somewhere between 9.2 and 9.35, which is kind of where our tempo pace should be for now.  I did try to push the pace a little because I figured that if we weren't feeling all that bad, why not push the tempo.

Afterwards we were able to sit and enjoy our coffee while discussing the merits of a college education and of going back to school at our age.  As parents, we all want to encourage our kids to do their best and get the best education possible, but I also remember being at the end of high school and college and just feeling done and never wanting to ever open another book again.  I have to say that going back to school as an adult makes you appreciate it more because you know you are going to school because you want to, not because you have to.  Hopefully one day all our kids will appreciate their education too and how much we encouraged and pushed them to do their best.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SCR's Watch Out We're Back

I have to give Marathon Mom credit, she really pushes us to try things that are out of our comfort zone. For the past couple of months she has mentioned that we should join the SCR's for intervals on Tuesday nights. As far as C and I are concerned, we would probably prefer a root canal without anethesia. Somehow running 400's, 600's and 200's as fast as possible, coming in last and then doing it all again, is not the way we want to spend our Tues. nights. We showed up with the understanding that we would see who was there running and then decide. It doesn't seem like we discussed it after that, because the intervals were starting and we jumped right in. The group was missing the faster group that are usually there and consisted of mostly women. The women were faster than I was, except for the one, very friendly woman who said she was having trouble because she had In-n-Out for lunch. Well I say keep eating the In-n-Out, because if there is one person behind me then I don't feel so bad! We all agreed that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. I just need to go easy on the water, right before I get there, as it caused me some stomach distress in the middle of one of the 600's, but other than that I felt like it was a good workout.

I have run for three straight days now, and my feet are feeling it tonight. I am not sure when I will be able to run again after tomorrow morning, so I am going to just do it, and enjoy a little break. I was glad to find out that my friends have the same distrust of dentists that I do. I hate to blame all these things on age, because I know we are only going to get older, but it sure seems like one thing after another. I just wish I didn't feel like we had to send every dentist's kids to private schools, cause that is what it feels like. Thanks Marathon Mom for the push!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The First Day

Today was officially the first day me and Patty had off from work for the rest of the summer and as I woke to the alarm clock this morning, I was wondering to myself  "why in the world are we getting up so early when we don't have to?"  There are just some days when you wake up before the alarm and then there are those days you just want to go back to sleep and today, I just wanted to stay in bed.  I think I was just exhausted from a busy weekend.  However, as Patty, C and I were finishing off our final stretch at Central Park, I was thinking how glad I was that we were done before it got any hotter.  The thought of being out so early when we don't have to go to work isn't something I am looking forward to, but I know that if we want to stay out of the heat, I'm just going to have to suck it up.  We are also planning on running a couple of times in the evening too, that way Marisol can join us since her kids are off for the summer too.  I think we may have even convinced her to bring her kids in the jogger so she can still run with us in the morning.

As I mentioned earlier, I woke up feeling like I needed more sleep and continued to feel that way all day and wasn't really looking forward to an end of the year get together with some friends from work tonight, but I'm glad I went.  It turned out to be fun and the martini wasn't bad either.  I guess if you get a great group of women together and  you mix some alcohol with them, you're bound to have a good time, no matter how tired you are.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Early Eight

This morning we met early (6:30) in order to beat the heat, but mostly because Marathon Mom has a busy day ahead. C and her daughter (just back from college) were waiting for us, and ready to go. We decided to go out 4 miles from Lowe's and turn around. C's daughter stayed with us for the first half mile and then got bored and took off. She passed by us once but was feeling good so kept going to get 10 miles in. It was a very uneventful run, nice to just run and talk which we haven't done in a while. We all have different plans for the summer, C seems to have found a job, Marathon Mom is going to enjoy her time off and spend her time keeping track of her 2 boys, while I am going to prepare myself and my son for going away to college in August. My youngest has been going to basketball camp at Valencia, and will start a summer math program next week, so it seems like there has been no downtime yet! Hopefully we can get in a beach trip, somewhere in between all the activity, and our running schedule!

We managed our 8 miles at a nice 9:45 pace, and I have to say that the earlier start really helped me. It was humid, but oh so much cooler. I just LOVE June gloom!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We ARE Fast!

Well sort of, considering what pace we normally run.  Tonight Patty and I did our interval training again and this time I actually used the lap timing on my GPS to give us a better idea of what pace we are actually running during the intervals.  We started out from Heritage and ran the following:

1/4 mi jog
1/4 mi @ 8.23
1/4 mi jog
1/2 mi @ 8.50
1/4 jog
3/4 mi @ 8.28
1/4 mi jog
1/4 mi @ 7.26
1/2 mi cool down

We both felt pretty good tonight and was happy with what we accomplished.  This was an eye opener for both of us as far as how lazy we have been on our runs lately.  We're hoping that the intervals will help with the tempo runs, the true training for races.  I would eventually like to see us maintain a tempo pace for 3 miles.

The other thing we wanted to do is have some kind of marker along the trail for when we do these intervals.  It helps to know how much further you have to go.  We thought about putting ribbons or flags up at every 1/4 mile or even spray painting the trail (shhhhh!).  We decided that we will use the existing Storm markers which are every 1/2 mile and just do 1/2 mile and mile intervals.  Then after all that, we realized it would be much easier to just do the intervals on the track with the SCRs.  Oh well at least we can use the Storm markers just in case.  Tonight was a good run on some very tired legs.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Taco Night

Marathon Mom and I decided it was time to move our afternoon runs, to 6pm because of the heat. This really threw off our dinner making plans, so we were lucky enough to convince our husbands to pitch in and get tacos started while we were running! It seems to take a few times to adjust to a new schedule, so I am sure it won't be long until, we will be doing both making dinner, and running.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to handle the "tempo" run that we had planned for today. My knee has been hurting, and a weekend of partying and running around cheering for my son, didn't help. We started a Bridgeport School, and headed toward the water pipe on the other side of Bouquet. We ran 3 miles, and the idea was to do a mile and half at a comfortable pace, and then a mile and a half at tempo pace, which is comfortably fast. We did the whole 3 miles, at 9:50 pace, but the second mile and half was at 9:15. It is funny because there were times during the slower half that I struggled and had trouble breathing, and times during our faster half, that I really felt comfortable, and was able to talk. I did notice that we were done faster than we usually are, and all in all, I felt good during the run, my knee hurt a bit at first, but then went away as we ran. Both of us are having problems with our feet, and are trying to decide if we need new inserts, or just new shoes. I am thinking I will start with the cheaper option and see if that works.

I had a great time at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon yesterday, cheering for my #3 son! He finished in 4 hours, which was about 30 min. slower than he wanted, but 15 min. faster than last year. He said he cramped up again after the halfway point and had to stop and walk. I know how disappointing this is to him, but he was in good spirits, and seemed glad to have us and his Grandma there cheering and chasing him. My mother-in-law, who lives in San Diego, wants me and my friends to run next year. I am not sure if I am up for running a full, or even a half marathon, and then waiting in line with the other 30,000 runners to get shuttled back to my car. I was sooo tired, but I couldn't complain because my MIL who is 78, cheered for every runner, and never said anything about being tired. She thinks it would be exciting for us! We will have to see about that.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Swimming Solo

I finally got the nerve to go swimming early this morning.  I was feeling rather sore and stiff from yesterday's run and the thought of being immersed in water actually sounded quite good.  I got there around 7:30 a.m. and there wasn't a soul around and the fog was just skimming off of the top of the pool.  I dragged my husband with me because it was a little creepy being there all by myself.  I stepped into the water and was pleasantly surprised at how warm it was and had no problem going under.  I actually wish it was a little cooler.  As I swam from one lap to the next, taking a break in between, I noticed how much harder I was breathing in comparison to our 10 mile run the day before.  When we do the long runs, I don't really feel my heart rate go up, just pain and exhaustion in the feet and legs.  Swimming gets my heart rate up immediately and has me breathing pretty hard. I managed to swim 8 laps in around half an hour and I was done.  As long as the weather holds up and I have company, I plan on doing this again.  Next time, I am going to try bringing my goggles and snorkel.  This way I can continue swimming without coming up for air and straining my neck.  I remember watching the high school swimmers do this during their training so it must do some good, not sure what though.

Today, Patty's son was running his 2nd Rock n Roll Marathon down in San Diego. I believe this is his 3rd marathon?  She will have to tell us all about it when she gets back.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

10 for 10

Today we (me, Patty, and C) did our usual long run of 10 miles and we started a little earlier at 6:50 a.m. since some of us had a busy day ahead.  Well it wasn't early enough because it was sooooo hot out there already by this morning.  I think 6:30 would have been a better start time.  Even on these long runs I try to have a goal and so I wanted to shoot for an average of 10 min pace for the entire 10 miles, which we did today but it was really hard.

Because we started earlier than the SCR group we were well ahead of them and the big group didn't actually catch us until we were almost on the South Fork Trail.  It felt like we were being swallowed by a stampede.  I am just so glad we didn't cut it short and actually finished the entire 10 miles in a decent time.  What's good is that we finished around the same time as the rest of them, so I didn't feel like we were the last ones in.

Our next run will be a tempo run of about 4 miles from Bridgeport.  Here's some info I got on Runner's World for tempo runs:

RACE Add 20 to 30 seconds per mile to a recent 5-K pace; 15 to 20 seconds to your 10-K pace. Faster runners should add the higher value (resulting in a slower tempo pace) because they often race at an anaerobic level; slower runners should use the lower number to ensure they're running fast enough.
So that means for me and Patty, we should be running around a 9.24-9.30 pace for about 35 minutes. I think we will start with a mile warm up and then try to hold that pace for the next 3 miles. Seems easy enough until we actually try to do it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Intervals Training

After our last run together, I decided we really needed a distraction and to set some goals every time we go out there and run.  Part of the problem with our runs is that we just go out there and run without any focus or plan.  I decided to change all that.  I think that every time we run, the goal should be either intervals, distance, hills or recovery.  It's really that simple.  Today we worked on intervals, we being me and Patty.  We met at Heritage where we would have a fairly flat and straight course.  Our plan was the following:

1/2 mile warm up jog
1/2 mile at 9 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/4 mile at 8.5 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/2 mile at 9 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/4 mile at 8.5 min pace
1/4+ mile jog and cool down

At the end of our last 1/4 at 8.5 pace, our average was 9.09 which included the 1/4 mile jogs in between so Patty and I think we actually ran under our targeted goals.  Breaking it down this way really made it easier to run faster because we knew that it was only for a short time. Next time we said we would use the lap function on my GPS so we can get a more accurate rate for our intervals.    The only thing we wish the GPS would do is announce the pace every once in a while so I don't have to keep looking at it.  The goal is to eventually extend the distance that we can run at 9 min pace or 8.5 min pace. Interestingly Patty thought the 1/2 miles at 9 min pace were easier than the shorter intervals at a faster pace, whereas, I felt the opposite.  I feel better with the shorter and faster intervals.  Hopefully if we keep this up, we'll meet somewhere in the middle.