Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Memorable Run

It was fitting on this Memorial Weekend that we began our first 10K race in front of the Veteran's Administration in Brentwood. I'm sure they plan it this way to remind people how lucky we are as a nation and to remind us of those who gave their lives for this country.

Today's race included me, Patty, Marisol, and Dawn.  I have to say we were all kind of not sure "how" to run this one since none of us had ever run a 10K before.  I planned on running a comfortable pace until the very last 2-3 miles of the race and then push the pace to a low 8 min mile pace, but it didn't turn out exactly like that.  It was extremely hot today and there was virtually no shade on the route, which was basically out and back twice on San Vicente from the Veterans Administration. I made the mistake of not bringing my water bottle with me and had to rely on the water stations on the course, which in my opinion was not enough.  I should know by now that I tend to need more water during races than most people, even in a 5K (3 mile) race.  Marisol shot out of the start line and was never seen again until the turn around when she was on her way back.  Patty and I stayed together for much of the way until the second loop.  I pulled away from her for awhile, but then the lack of water and the heat started to get me and I slowed down quite a bit during the 4-5 mile.  Patty caught me around the 5 mile mark and she was looking pretty good.  I finally got some water around the 5.5 mile mark and walked a bit.  I really wanted to press the pace before this, but just couldn't do it without some water and I could feel my legs cramping which meant I was dehydrated.  After my water break, I gave whatever energy I had into finishing strong and not letting the lady with the baby jogger beat me.  Somehow the lady with the baby jogger got Patty, but we finished pretty close together.
Our chip times are below with our age rank, overall time, and pace:
Marisol: #22 -  54:42.8 - 8.49
Me: #23 - 56:44.0 - 9.09
Patty: #7 - 57:00.0 - 9.12 Wow!!!! 7th in age group!
Dawn: #34 - 1:105.3 - 10:34

The link to the full results are below:
Brentwood 10K results

Awesome job ladies, particularly to Dawn who had never even run as far as 6 miles before today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Aftermath

Well I truly enjoyed my son's graduation day yesterday, it was full from morning till we fell into bed at night! The downside of all that celebrating, is the fact that I had to get up and go to work this morning, and then meet my friends for a run in the afternoon. I tried to come up with a valid excuse for not running with C and Marathon Mom, but couldn't think of something that didn't sound made up. Not that I would ever make up an excuse. We started out from Bridgeport and did our new loop that goes toward Helmers, past Heritage Park, and back toward Bridgeport. I felt like I had run a race just yesterday, I didn't have any energy in my legs at all. I knew it was bad when we were heading back toward Bridgeport and Marathon Mom picked up the pace. That is a clear indication that our pace is really slow and she is trying to pick it up enough to make it less embarrassing. I wouldn't mind so much having an off day, but the thought of running a 10K this weekend really has me freaked out! Today we ran just under 4 miles and it was all I could to finish, how am I going to go another 2 miles? I am really achy everywhere, and I am hoping that it is just the exhaustion dragging me down. I am going to try to get caught up on sleep, and hope for the best.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


At tonight's high school graduation I captured this photo of Patty's son which I thought really expressed the joy of this day.  As I sat there watching so many of these kids I've known for years, some as far back as first grade and even since birth as in the case with my nephew, I had a whole mix of feelings.  I tried to remember what I was feeling on the day of my high school graduation.  It was probably a mix of happiness, relief, excitement, and sadness.  Interestingly enough those were the same emotions I was feeling as I watched the graduation of these young people.  This is Patty's 4th high school graduation and she's even been through several college graduations.  I wonder... does it get any easier watching your babies grow up so fast.  I know next year is my turn, but I'm not ready for it yet.  They really do grow up too fast and leave too soon.  I suppose the only thing you can do as a mother is to wish them the best and support them in whatever direction they may go.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Mixed Up Day

I think I was a little out of sorts today.  I woke up at 2 a.m. with a terrible headache and had trouble going back to sleep.  By the time my alarm went off this morning, I still had the headache.  It was one of those headaches that feel like a hangover, except I didn't have the benefit of drinking anything the night before.  Somehow I was able to get myself ready for work with my head still in a fog.  I almost put my shirt on inside out, but managed to fix that before I stepped out the door, or at least I thought so.  At work, Patty, myself and another teacher were discussing the different parenting styles between men and women.  It seems like almost a universal rule that women worry more about their children's upbringing than men.  Men seem to always think that it will all work out in the end and that we are over exaggerating everything.  Finally as I'm about to step out of the room, Patty notices that my shirt is on inside out!  I wish someone would have noticed sooner before I had walked all around school the entire morning.  Or perhaps someone did already notice, but didn't have the heart to tell me.  Not sure which is worse.

When I got home, I changed out of my work clothes and put on a t-shirt and sweats.  I decided to go the home improvement store and buy some plants with the hopes that the gardening will help clear my head.  As I got home, I noticed that the seam of my t-shirt was on the outside.  I had worn my shirt inside-out again!  My husband has been home sick all day in bed, which I think has messed up my routine in a way that has gotten me a little scatter brained.  I hope tomorrow he is feeling better so I can start wearing my clothes correctly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

We're In

We gathered today at Central Park for a post-race cool down run, except I didn't race so it was just a run for me.  We started out rather fast and I think the race from the day before was starting to show on my friends so we decided that if we were going to run 4 miles instead of 3,  we were going to have to slow the pace down a bit.

I think my friends and I are on a roll because we have now signed up for another race, the Brentwood 10K.  That's 3 races in a period of one month!  That must be a record.  Although technically it's only going to be race number 2 for me.  I think the energy of our younger friend is starting to wear off on the rest of us.  I am looking forward to running my first 10K, especially since I missed the Womens 5K.  We talked about strategy during our run today.  We do this all the time, talk about how we're going to run a race and then when we get there all the planning seems to go right out the window.  I don't really have a time I want to aim for since I've never done a 10K before.  Since it's about 6.2 miles I hope I can at least come in under one hour.  I think that's a good place to start for the first one.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Women's 5K

Today was the Women's 5K to benefit the Santa Clarita Food Pantry. I was determined to run this race for two reasons 1. the low entry fee $15, and 2. the socks that they were giving away for pre-registering. Sea and Sun and C joined me this morning, and we huddled together in the chilly, windy weather, wondering what we were doing there. Our friend Marathon Mom is out of town with her boys, but texted me early, so I wouldn't forget to pick up her packet and free socks.

Once we got started, we were happy for the cooler weather, and the wind hadn't kicked up too much yet either. I personally still don't know how to run a proper 5K. I managed to run the first mile in 8:45, and a similar second mile, but the last mile was pathetic (uphill) and I dragged through it in about a 10 min pace. My time was 27:23, which seems to be right around my usual pace, Sea and Sun came in at 25:38, and C came in at 28:38. Sea and Sun just missed getting a medal, and I think C may have been close in her age range also, since she moved up a bracket. I didn't notice until afterward, but the range for me was 40 - 49 year olds, so I didn't feel so bad about being 15th. There are just so many great runners in my age bracket, the second place finisher is in my group!

It was a nice event, fun, all of us got a raffle prize, but the wind picked up quite a bit, and it got really cold. Looking forward to finding another race to run, maybe I will try to train a bit and get a better time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hot Flashes

My friends and I are all in that certain age group when the dreaded hot flashes begin to occur.  What's makes matters worse is that when it's already hot out and you're running, it's like a double whammy.  Today I was lucky to get the day off from work and was able to go for a run with Patty this morning from Peets.  We took our chances and ran first toward the old train bridge where a bunch of men were still working on who knows what, but we just casually ran right past them as if we belonged there and they just waved at us like we owned the place.  As soon as we turned and headed north on the river trail toward Decoro, it got extremely hot and there really wasn't any shade to speak of.  I used the excuse of Patty having a race on Sunday to keep the pace slow. As we turned on Decoro and made our back way toward Peets, there were welcomed moments of shade.  Overall we managed a 10 min/pace.

When we got back to Peets, it was so hot and stuffy in there and I really couldn't tell if it was from the running, from the hot flashes, or just because it was hot and stuffy in there.  Either way, there was no way we were going to sit inside and we were lucky enough to find a nice shady spot outside where the breeze just felt wonderful.  It felt so nice to just sit that our food we bought just sat there for a while untouched because we just needed to cool down.  It was a nice way to wind down the long, hot run before we start our busy weekend.  Good luck to all my friends running Sunday at the Women's 5K race and I hope it's cooler!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hard Work

I have run for the last two days, and I am finally getting around to posting about the running. Yesterday, I met Sea and Sun, and C at Cheesepark and we ran on the Albertson's side of the trail. The hardest part for me was remembering to turn the GPS on at the right time. Sea and Sun was trying to calibrate her watch, and I wasn't much help with the mileage. We ran the trail at a pace just under 10 min. and that was tough, but we picked it up in the last half mile and ended our 4.25 miles at around a 9.35 pace. The weather has been very unpredictable, the heat has really been hard to deal with, but since it had been cloudy and rainy all day, I thought it would be cool, cold even. No such luck, it got pretty hot, but we did it!

Today I met Marathon Mom at Bridgeport and we ran the route that we came up with last week, toward Helmers but instead of the switchbacks, we took the paseo toward McBean, through Heritage Park, and back to Bridgeport. Luckily today there was no GPS, and we dragged the whole way. It was HOT again, and there was just nothing in the legs. We just missed a snake, and I am sure that I saw a rat scurry into the bushes while we stretched (ugh). We both agreed that when the run is so hard to get through, we get twice as much benifit, because we seem to work harder to just keep running! Maybe it is just hard listening to me gripe about how stressed I am about all that is going on in my life right now. I have been accused of being "grumpy" lately and I am sure that is true. I know that my mood will change, and I hope the running will improve, but for today, this is all I have to say.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Official

It's official, this is going to our new look for a while.  After having great discussion about the new look, Patty and I agree that this is the best look so far.  If only the dots came in shades of pink......

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Look

I was playing around with the site today and I'm not sure if I like it just yet.  I need feedback and some ideas.  Let me know what you think.

Happy 50th Birthday Run!

We met this morning for a long run of 10 miles.  I have to say I felt much better today than I did last week when I did exactly the same run.  It might have something to do with the fact that our younger friend didn't join me, Patty, and C today and so the pace was slightly slower.  Nevertheless, we still managed a respectable pace and finished the 10 miles in about 1 hour 45 minutes.  It was starting to get really hot out there too.  I am so glad that we have been keeping up these long runs.  I feel my body getting more and more accustomed to them.  In fact as I was coming in the last mile, I thought about how easily we will be able to transition into a half-marathon anytime.  Next week the girls will be running the Womens 5k without me out on the same trail to benefit our local food pantry.  I wish I could join them (not really), but I'm glad I'll be getting the socks!

Afterwards we celebrated the big 50 for C's birthday by having a rare treat of actually sitting down and eating breakfast at a local restaurant.  It was nice to sit and chat afterwards since we all have been on that mom treadmill and needed some girl time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Mom Treadmill

Lately it has felt like I've been on a non-stop treadmill of just running around getting things done around the house, for the kids, work, school, etc.  Patty and I ran today for a quick run because we were off to a track banquet for our kids and we decided to run on the "shadier" side of the river trail.  Well. . . we discovered that at 4:30 in the afternoon there is no shade on the "shadier" side.  Even with the heat, we decided to try to run a faster pace since we were running only 3 miles.  We managed a 9.19 pace, which wasn't too bad considering the heat and the fact that we haven't been doing any tempo runs for a while.  After the run, it was off to home to shower and get ready for the banquet and also to check on the food we had to bring to the banquet.  I really wanted to take a nap before the banquet and never really had a chance to since I had to go out and buy gifts for the coaches for the banquet. It is almost 10 p.m. and I just got home from the banquet.  Somehow Patty managed to sneak away at 9:15 p.m. due an "emergency".  Something about a fruit pizza that was burning.  Well I'm off to bed now so I can do it all over again tomorrow.  No wonder why we wake up so grumpy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Up and Running

I was finally able to get out for a run with Marathon Mom today. I was sick over the weekend and then celebrating #4 son's 18th birthday, so I have missed a couple of runs with my friends. We started from Bridgeport, and had agreed to a new route that would keep us off the hills but in the shade. I have to say that I like the route very much, but at the beginning I felt like I would never make it all the way. We headed toward Helmers, but instead of heading into the switchbacks, we crossed Grandview and took the paseos on that side toward Heritage Park. We stayed on the street to get more shade until we got to the park and then took the trail into Bridgeport and back to the school. We ran 3.8 miles, and our pace was right around 10 min a mile. It really felt like we were dragging today, and I have to admit, I am feeling it now. I don't think I have totally gotten rid of the sore throat thing that I had over Mother's Day, that is the excuse I am going with. I am glad that I was able to get out though, and hopefully will be feeling a little perkier by Sat. for our long run. I move pretty fast when I am avoiding lizards though, I think the snakes have spooked me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Windiest 3 miles Ever!

I knew it was going to be windy today, but no one mentioned hurricane force winds!  C and I chose to meet at Central Park since it's usually a safe bet when it's windy; however, today it was an awful idea.  I should have known better as huge clouds of dust were being thrown around as I drove up.  We, including C's daughter, started out on the cross country trail by the basketball courts and after running about 100 yards, a strong gust of wind kicked up the dirt on the trail and proceeded to sandblast our legs.  At that point, we decided to turn around and get off of the dirt trail and run around the middle of the park.  We bypassed the first mile of dirt and followed the dirt road along the fence to the 3 mile turnaround point and then did a loop around the grass areas to add in the extra mile that we lost by not running the first part of the course.  As we ran by the dog park, the dogs were hidden in a dust storm while our legs were being shaved by sand.  Talk about dermabrasion!  I have to say it was truly a miserable run.  I can honestly say that in all the years I have been running, I have never ran in worse wind, ever!  I was pushing so hard against the wind that by mile 2, my calves were aching.  I am so glad that is over.  I would have gladly gotten back into the car and went home if I was by myself.  It's a shame Patty had to miss all that for her son's birthday.  Happy Birthday Andrew.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Long One

This morning we had set out to run our long run of 10 miles.  Patty was not feeling well so she skipped this one.  It was me, Sea N Sun, and C along with a big group of SCRs that started out this morning from Lowes.  It started out a bit chilly, but then warmed up nicely.  I was feeling pretty good and I could tell we were keeping a pretty good pace.  C turned back at 4 miles for a total of 8 miles because its been a while since she ran a long run.  Sea N Sun has never gone 10 miles before so she was a bit apprehensive, but she did great.  In fact, I was starting to lose some steam about 1 mile left to go and so badly wanted to walk, but she just kept saying "its just a little bit more".  We finished our run in exactly 1 hr 40 minutes, which means we ran under 10 min/miles because we stopped for water and then we turned at Old Orchard and chatted with a fellow SCR for a while.  No wonder I was so tired!  It's nice to have young ones around once in a while to challenge the pace a little. It's also nice to see our weekly mileage creeping back up again.

I'm glad I got this long one in before we all go off and celebrate Mother's Day with our families.  I hope Patty is feeling better to enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Aches

Today was a day full of aches and pains for me.  I ran with Sea N Sun and Patty from Bridgeport to Helmers, to Northpark and back.  We didn't think it was going to be that hot, but it was hot even with the shade on the paseos.  My legs were still feeling the effects of my weekend runs, especially the calves.  To make matters worse, my stomach was upset the whole time and I wanted to vomit.  Not sure if the nausea was from the heat or from drinking too much water because of the heat.  Then when I came home I couldn't stop sneezing and went into a full allergy attack, which resulted in a serious headache that has not gone away. So basically what I'm trying to say is that today's run basically sucked.  I did however enjoy the company.  I'm hoping tomorrow's run will be better since we are not starting until 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oh Deer!

Some of the best things are never planned.  My son's games were cancelled for this weekend, which left me with extra time to run.  My husband wanted to run with me somewhere we don't normally run and so he suggested East Canyon.  East Canyon is just past the entrance to Towsley, which we have been to many times and it connects to O'Melveny Park in Granada Hills.  I've heard that East Canyon is actually prettier and better to run than Towsley or Mentryville so I was willing to try it.  Just as we parked the car and walked into the parking lot, a deer ran across the meadow to greet us.  We started a little later so it was already warm, but there were plenty of shade along the way.  The first mile on the trail is a gradual climb so we were able to run without stopping for the first mile, but then the trail got a little steeper and we had to run/walk the next mile.  It is really pretty and green there right now and the trail is much better and wider than Towsley.  Due to the recent rains, there were tons of wildflowers out too.  I would say the second half of the trail was about as steep as the Beast, but with less chances to recover.  At times the trail leveled off a bit, but it was only for maybe 25-50 feet and then you were back to climbing again, which was a little tough on the calves and the lower back.  There were plenty of people out hiking and some mountain bikers.  I would definitely do it again and I think my friends would like it too.  The only downside is that there are no bathrooms so we would need to make sure we stopped before getting to the trail.  All in all it was a beautiful run and a great way to start the weekend.