Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Girls are Running!!

I am really getting excited about all the running we've been able to get in lately! It seems like we had gotten into a bit of a slump, with work, and home stress, and life in general. It seems like our enthusiasm returned after our recent race in Agoura, and prompted us to sign up for two Half Marathons. We decided to keep up with the long weekend miles, in hopes of completing a 14 miler, right before our Ojai to the Ocean Half on June 3rd! So far so good is all I can say, because we just ran 11 miles yesterday, and it felt pretty good. We finished in 1 hr and 55 min, with a couple of water stops, and despite the warmer weather it was a good day. Next week, we do 12, and plan to break out the water belts, so we don't stop quite as much. Of course, the thing that keeps me going during these long runs is the chance to catch up with the girls, and have a good cup of coffee afterwards!! On a side note, I am so proud of my pup, she RAN 3 miles, with me today at Central Park!! I took her, so we could walk, while the hubby ran, but she started out running, and just never slowed down:) She powered up the hills, which I didn't want to run, but had no choice! She even took a long drink out of the drinking fountain (sorry girls) without touching the metal!! Needless to say, she's asleep now, and I may just join her for a bit!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon Here We Come!

I am so excited to be a part of this race!  On this race, I don't plan on getting a PR.  I don't even plan on trying too hard.  I only plan on having fun and taking in as much of the sights as possible while running.  I think there are some races you run to actually race, but then there are others you run just to be part of something spectacular.  With the Nike Womens Marathon &1/2 Marathon, I want to enjoy all the senses the city of San Francisco has to offer.  This will undoubtedly be the largest race I have ever entered and I can only imagine the vibe at the starting line.  The experience will be made even richer because I will be joined by my running friends as we visualize the Tiffany necklaces waiting for us at the finish line.  It isn't often that we can actually wear our finisher medals around rather than have them hang somewhere collecting dust. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Rare Day

Today was one of those rare days when the planets align and the weather is perfect for running.  I was a little worried yesterday about our planned long run for today because it was so windy and cold , but you couldn't have asked for a better day.  To top it off, all three of us (me, Caryn, and Bonnie) were still feeling pretty good after 6.5 miles into our 9 mile run.  My friends and I always talk about how we're always chasing those rare running moments when every one's legs feel good and the conditions are perfect.  That was today.  The only thing missing of course was Patty.  Hopefully she had a nice run with her hubby the day before. Today was an encouraging sign for our upcoming races.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fingers Crossed

Four of us have now officially registered for the random drawing of the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.  What does that mean?  Nothing really unless our group is picked to be one of the lucky 25,000+ participants.  We're keeping our fingers crossed because there's a Tiffany's necklace waiting at the finish line with our names on it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I knew my friends were not too thrilled about running the Ojai to the Ocean Half Marathon, particularly after they learned about the 6 a.m. start time.  Trust me, I wasn't too thrilled either and now that I have registered, I keep thinking "how in the world am I going to get myself to the start line by 6 a.m.?"  It was the completely downhill course that really had me thinking about it and finally resigned myself to register to do it without my friends.  I was okay with running it on my own because my husband said he would come along for the ride if my friends didn't run it with me. 

After completing my registration, I text messaged my friends to let them know what I had done.  I was expecting them to say "ha ha, what have you done? Have fun and we'll be thinking of you" because they really didn't seem too excited about this race at all.  In fact I thought one of them was going to sign up for the Rock N Roll half in San Diego on the same day.  Instead, I first get a text from Caryn saying she just registered, then Patty followed a couple of hours later, then the next day I hear from Marisol who was supposed to do the Rock N Roll.  The only one still unconfirmed is Bonnie.  Now, I'm not sure if I guilted my friends into signing up and not leave me high and dry all alone, but whatever the reasons, I have no shame in saying that I'm glad it worked and am thankful that my friends are real troopers and pretty much game for anything except trespassing with risk of imprisonment.

I figured if we increase our long run 1 mile each week, we should be up to 14 miles 2 weeks before the race, which is perfect timing.  So you see Bonnie, you will have enough time to get ready.  As it turns out, this race will also be a family affair with my older bro running the full marathon along with 9 or more fellow Santa Clarita Runners. I expect it to be a fun day, especially since there will be a beer garden at the finish line.  That should make the husbands happy :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Long and Winding Run

As I was looking for a quote today, the one I eventually posted made me laugh because that pretty much summed up our run today.  When you think about how our conversations go from trespassing to getting arrested, to homeless people, to packs of coyotes, to coyote poop, to bathrooms, to Hunger Games, and finally to oh $#*t! the water fountain isn't working, it's amazing that we even come back sane after our long runs.

It isn't uncommon for us to scale a fence or two or climb a wall to get to our desired destination when running, but today we were thwarted by too many obstacles to make it on our intended route and had to finally settle for a detour. We wanted to run from Peets to the old train bridge because it was supposed to be open at the end of March, but when we got there it was still locked up and men were working on the trail so my wiser friends decided that it wasn't worth getting arrested for so we started to head back.  Then that's where we really started to get into trouble.  We started to venture into the river thinking that there might be a way around the fences and still try to cross the river or at least bypass the fence and get on the bridge.  We made several attempts to cross, but we got a funny feeling as we headed into thicker brush.  The hair on the back of my neck began to stand up as I saw more and more coyote poop and the whistles disguised as birds.  Patty was concerned about homeless people and I was more concerned about coming across a coyote den.  We finally decided to give up and head back to Peets for another bathroom break when we came upon a gentleman with his dog.  He saw us coming out of the river bed and warned us about going in there because they had a real problem with packs of coyotes in that area.

As we left and eventually headed towards the South Fork trail, I started to think what WOULD have happened to us if we came upon a pack of coyotes.  I guess we should have used better judgement.  We thought we were in the clear and finally started into our long run and reached almost the half way point when we stopped for water and the fountain was not working.  Eight miles without water is a long way and of course I jokingly said it's like the Hunger Games.  It felt like people were messing with us and throwing in all kinds of obstacles to see if we would give up on our long run and admit defeat.  In the end, we did finish our long run completing exactly eight miles.  Those were the longest, most complicated 8 miles I have ever run.  On a positive note, the girls and I did almost 20 miles this week, which is a first in a very long time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Carpe Diem

It has been quite a full day.  As a matter of fact, it has been a full week so far already! My friends and I are really taking advantage of spring break and trying to fit in as much running as possible.  We have been so concerned about getting more runs in that we forgot to fit in some relaxing and fun things to do too, not that running isn't fun.  So after our run this morning, we spent a good half hour trying to figure out a good day to go out to lunch and see a movie together.  This is no small feat considering that in addition to trying to fit more running in, we all scheduled a bunch of overdue appointments for various needs.  After going back and forth on when the best day would be, we finally figured out that today was the only day that would work.  We therefore decided to seize the day and go for it.  We all managed to move some appointments around and meet at Salt Creek in short time.  We had a wonderful lunch together.  Unfortunately, we have been running so much that some of us dozed for a portion of the movie, The Hunger Games.  Of course the intervals this morning didn't help either.  Our intervals consisted of two quarter mile at 85%, jog in between, then two 700m at 75-80%, resting in between and a final quarter mile at 85-90%.  With a full belly and a morning of intervals, it's no wonder all of our eyelids were quite heavy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break

Thank goodness for Spring Break!  Spring Break means that my friends and I can all run together in the morning more than once a week and have coffee afterwards.  We developed a plan to run at least 4 times this week and I'm hoping nothing will get in the way of those plans.  Today we ran the course at Central Park with very nice Spring conditions.  I'm hoping that continues for the rest of the week. Tomorrow we are meeting where it's fairly flat so I'm planning on some modified interval training.  We'll see what the legs will hold after a day of skiing, snowshoeing and then running back to back. For my friends who read the blog, you have been forewarned of the intervals tomorrow so come prepared.