Friday, February 29, 2008

Life is Good

First of all, thanks SO much for all the well-wishes for Zach! :) He is recovering and feeling better every hour. He was feeling pretty rough all day Wednesday, but by that night he was able to get up and walk around the apartment for a couple minutes, and was able to eat a smoothie I made. Then yesterday he was feeling even better, walked around a few times, ate more smoothies. He's on his own today at home watching movies and reading. Hopefully this weekend he'll be able to get outside for a short walk or something, I know he's starting to get pretty bored.
I did get out for my medium long run yesterday, and it was WARM.
Thursday 12.0 miles/1:49:55/9:10 average pace
The weather has really warmed up here lately, and I am soooo not used to it. It was probably 70 degrees, but it felt like 80+ to my non-acclimated body. I had a bottle of water but ran out with a few miles to go, so I finished feeling pretty dehydrated and my legs were heavy. After lots of water and gatorade and lunch I felt better. I tackled one big hill on the run that is 1/2 mile long and felt good about that.
Friday 5.0 miles/43:34/8:43 average pace
Back to work today, so I got up and was running by 6:30. It was beautiful out- about 50 degrees, clear skies, a little ground fog, and signs of spring everywhere. I felt very strong and ran a bit faster every mile- from 9:11 for the first mile to 8:10 for the last. I tried not to push too hard since I will be running 18 miles tomorrow, and I'm not used to 3 consecutive days of running. But I feel good now, and I will take special care to hydrate and eat well today in preparation. I will also try to get out earlier to beat the heat.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Go Zach Go- share the love

Monday 5.0 miles/38:10/7:38 average pace

I took Zach with me on my run and he succeeded in completely kicking my ass. It was awesome. Our splits were something like: 8:20 "warm up" mile, then 7:32, 7:29, 7:19, 7:17. Whew! I was wheezing pretty good despite using my inhaler and I felt a little like I could puke after I finished, but it was great. Thanks Zach!

So I didn't mention it yet, because it was not 100% sure and it's not a huge deal, but Zach was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia and he is having it surgically repaired tomorrow morning. He is a little nervous but is looking forward to getting it fixed so we can have a fun active summer together. They said he could wait, but we didn't really see the point. I will be taking him in super early tomorrow morning and will take the day off work to care for him. I think it will take a week or so before he can go back to work and a few weeks before he can return to training, which we can deal with.

So if you would like give a little encouragement please leave a comment on this post or on his blog. Don't worry, if there's no comments I will fabricate some for his benefit ("Look Zach, Chris McCormac left you a get well soon comment!") Hey why not? :P

I also told Zach he might have to wear one of these:

So he doesn't chew on his wound. :)

I will try to get in my medium-long run sometime tomorrow but I'm not stressing it.

Go get em' Zach! :)

UPDATE! Wednesday 11:00 am

We are home from the hospital. Zach's surgery went just fine and he's in bed recovering. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers! :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rained out

The rain cancelled our flight and our trip to Phoenix this weekend. Luckily we found this out before we left for the airport and Southwest made it easy to reschedule our trip for later this spring. Still, bummer.

It really started raining Thursday night, so my Friday morning run was a soaker:

Friday 5.0 miles/43:20/8:40 average pace

I got wet but felt great. Once I was warmed up I felt really light and fast! I ran my last mile in 7:51.

Saturday 17.0 miles/2:37:37/8:41 average pace

Luckily the storm waited until the afternoon to arrive so I ran under cloudy skies but stayed dry. I ran along the Alameda Creek Trail in Fremont and listened to some Jack London stories on my iPod. It was about 50 degrees so I ran in shorts, a tank top, and light gloves. The pace felt really easy and I was just cruising along. I had a little headwind on the way back but kept my pace really even the whole time (8:30-8:50). My last mile was 8:05. :)

After my run Saturday, and all day yesterday I did nothing at all. Actually I busted out my "Teach yourself to crochet" kit and took another stab at teaching myself to crochet. It actually went pretty well! I made a few garments for my cat which he loved. ;) (pictures to come) It turned out to be a quiet weekend due to the last-minute change of plans but it was nice.

TOTAL miles for last week: 44

plus 2500 m swim and 1 weight session

Here's my schedule for this week:

Monday: 5 miles Easy

Tuesday: xt

Wednesday: 11 miles (6 miles Tempo)

Thursday: xt

Friday: 5 miles Easy

Saturday: 18 miles Long

Sunday: rest/xt

total scheduled: 39

I might try to do my Tempo run tonight with Zach since it's easier to run fast with him, then I'd just run the 11 on Wednesday as a long run.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lake Chabot and Secret Goals

Monday 10.0 miles/1:33:00/9:20 average pace

I defintely did not do a Tempo paced run as scheduled, but I think I made up for it with this insanely hilly trail run around Lake Chabot.

Now, I don't do a lot of trail running, so I'm sure some of you wouldn't think it was as crazy as I thought it was, but it was quite an adventure. I did not know how far it was around the lake, nor did I know what route to take (there's a few forks in the trail along the way) but with the help of some local hikers I did it! It was actually only 9 miles around so I ran up and down a big hill at the end to make it an even 10. It was so fun! I love the contrast- one minute I'm chugging like the Little Engine that Could up a hill at a slow but steady pace, and the next minute I'm stretching my legs out, soaring down a slight grade. I jumped across a stream, I waited while a horse and rider passed in the other direction, I rolled my ankle more than once, and I saw the most amazing views. I had the solitude of the wilderness, and then just when I needed it I had the company of a fellow trail runner or a mountain biker. What a beautiful day!

Some marginal quality cell-phone pics:

staging area:


view of Lake Chabot:


There is a trail marathon and 50 mile run in October that ends at this lake - the Golden Hills Marathon and the Firetrails 50. So I have the crazy idea of doing the trail marathon and Zach has foolishly agreed to join me. Mwa ha ha!

While I'm making crazy announcements- here's another! I'm planning on doing Barb's Race- a women's only Half Iron triathlon that takes place the same day as Vineman in August.

Of course I have my work cut out for me. Besides the fact that I'm running the Boston Marathon in April, I have a lot of work to do on a bike that I don't yet own. Plus, you know, the swimming. :) It should be interesting.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Wrap up

Friday 5.5 miles/48:50/8:53 average pace

I ran into a runner friend of mine on the trail so I ended up running a little extra on Friday. Nothing else really to report on that run.

Saturday 16.5 miles/2:31:17/9:10 average pace

Well I picked up another extra half mile on this run to bring my weekly TOTAL to 40 miles!

Zach and I left our house and ran 3 miles together on the Iron Horse Trail, then he turned around and headed home. I continued all the way up to Walnut Creek and then met him for breakfast at our favorite Crepes restaurant downtown. I felt really good but didn't run particularly fast. Oh well. There were tons of people out and I enjoyed the people-watching and jammed out to Bruce Springsteen on my iPod. I felt really fresh at the end- not too tired at all.

After breakfast we headed over to Sports Basement where we shopped for a few items including wet suits. We had a 20% off coupon that expires this weekend so we figured we would seize the opportunity. We are now proud owners of Blue Seventy sleeveless wet suits (me: Reaction, Zach: Helix) which we got for a steal of a deal. I can't wait for the temperature to rise so we can go swimming down at the lake. :) I also bought a new pair of shoes since my order from ZBSports is taking its sweet time and won't be here till later this week. That's fine - I'll certainly still use 'em.

Sunday Zach and I both got up for a bike ride. It's been a while since he rode his precious Trek Madone and so he opted to ride alone instead of with the local group and did about 30 miles. I went my own pace on my clunker and did 9 miles in 40 minutes. Later he was telling me about how much fun he had on his ride and now I'm really getting excited for a road bike. Mine is just such a beast in comparison. I wanna go fast!

Well I have today off for President's Day so I am having a leisurely morning and will head out on my run soon. I am supposed to do 10 miles with 5 at Tempo pace but we'll see. I'll definitely get the 10 miles but no promises on the pace. I might go run somewhere fun.

Here's my schedule for the week (Week 4 already!)

Monday: 10 miles (5 LT Pace)
Tuesday: rest/xt
Wednesday: 11 miles Medium Long
Thursday: rest/xt
Friday: 5 miles Easy
Saturday: 17 miles Long
Sunday: rest

Total planned: 43

I will be doing my swimming and strength training again this week since my side/back is finally feeling 100% better. I missed swimming even after one week!

We are going to Phoenix next weekend to visit family so I'll be doing my long run there. I've already contacted the Scottsdale Running Company and sounds like they have a big group doing long training runs on the canal so I'll go run with them. I've done that once before a couple years ago. That will be a fun change of scenery.

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Tuesday 7.0 miles/1:02:31/8:56 average pace

I wasn't feeling too hot on Tuesday.. in fact I was literally feeling cold, as in the chills. I was tired too. I thought I was coming down with something and I really, really did not want to run. My legs felt good but I felt exhausted from the first step and had to take a few breaks to rest. I considered turning around early the entire way out but made it to 3.5 miles and headed home. I stood in the warm shower for a long time and still felt chilly. I made soup and grilled cheese for dinner and couldn't even finish mine. Went to bed early and didn't sleep very well. Also, my lower back on the left side has been bothering me since last Friday- I think I kind of strained it doing a stupid core workout from the On Demand tv channel. Obvious lesson here: if it feels awkward and uncomfortable, stop doing it. Don't do 2 more sets.

Wednesday 11.0 miles/1:40:30/9:08 average pace

I felt a lot better yesterday, pretty sure I'm not getting sick. Also, Zach is much better already. So I got off work a few minutes early and started my run at 10 till 5:00. I ran a mile to the trail where I faced the strongest freaking headwind of my life for 4 miles. I'm not exaggerating, it was incredible.

I took note of the following things so that I could convey how windy it was: I had my head tucked down and my body leaning forward the entire time. A couple times when the wind shifted direction I was blown sideways off the trail. The dirt from the trail was stinging my legs as it blew by me. When I spit it traveled a good 20 feet before landing. Cyclist were flying by me the opposite direction at like 50 MPH. My eyes were tearing up and the tears were streaming off my face, along with some snot since my nose had started running. Finally, my pace improved 30 seconds per mile when I finally turned around, even though I "slowed down" to recover from that intense 4 mile stretch. I have no idea what the wind speed was but on the news this morning they said we had gusts of 60 mph. I'm guessing it was at least 20 or 30 mph sustained winds.

Whew. So I finally turned around and enjoyed the tail wind for a couple miles. But then my route takes me off the trail over a giant hill before heading home. I was so tired. I was so over it. I had to really talk to myself and encourage myself. I was so desperate that I was using my "nice" self-talk (i.e., "come on babe, you can do this!") instead of my usual "drill sergeant" self-talk ("suck it up princess!"). Ugh. I wanted to cry.

But I did it. :) Both runs were very mentally tough. But of course being able to push your body for miles and miles when all you want to do is sit down and cry is as important as any other part of the training. I did it. I'm tough.

Ok I don't know how to put a YouTube video right on my blog but check out this link for a little reminder that you, also, need to HTFU. Shamelessly stolen from 21st Century Mom's blog. Contains bad language.. but if you have a problem with that perhaps you should HTFU.

Also, my back is feeling a lot better today. :)

Happy Valentine's Day my loves!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Long Run and Ski Trip (hopefully with pictures!)

Blogger's been weird and my pictures weren't showing up earlier, hope this works. If not, I'll figure it out (or at least delete those obnoxious blank squares)

Saturday 15.0 miles/2:15:03/9:00 average pace

Wonderful long run at Coyote Hills as planned. It was sunny but cool and there were lots of runners and cyclists out. It was absolutely beautiful and I felt great.

I don't think these pictures capture how green the hills really were! It was lovely. Being at the bay shore is so cool because you get to see all kinds of sea birds. I also saw a bunny.

TOTAL miles for Week 2 of training: 39.

Plus 2000 m swimming and 2 weights sessions.

Sunday morning we drove up to Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe, and it was so fun! We hit the slopes about 11:00 am and did several runs, finishing up about 4:30. The mountain was HUGE, beyond anything I could imagine. Luckily there were plenty of Green Circle runs for me to play on while Zach went off and did a few hard runs. We met up and skiid down to the base together where we had a drink and watched a band play at the little village area. Then we took the shuttle back to our hotel, the Resort at Squaw Creek. We took a quick dip in the hot tub then got dressed up for a delicous dinner. Very fun day. Yesterday we were both feeling very run down so we just took out time getting checked out and drove home. We laid around all day once we got home, I actually was feeling kind of sick and Zach is defintely sick with some throat/chest thing. I'm going to take him to the doctor in a bit, poor guy! Thankfully we were both feeling well for the day of skiing though and it was fantastic.

Here's my schedule for this week:

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 7 miles GA + Strides

Wednesday: 11 miles Medium Long

Thursday: rest/cross training

Friday: 5 miles Easy

Saturday: 16 miles Long

Sunday: rest/cross training

TOTAL scheduled: 39 again.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Twinkly Foggy Friday Five

Friday 5.0 miles/45:40/9:08 average pace

It was one of those super foggy mornings- visibility was zero. It was dark when I started my run but as the world got lighter you still couldn't see shit. I ran through the neighborhood, then hopped on the trail a couple miles into my run and was completely alone. It was nice. The fog was so thick it condensed on my eyelashes which made all the lights sparkle.

15 miles tomorrow, still not sure where I want to run. I am possibly the most indecisive person ever. I need to lock it in or I'll get really anxious tonight. So let's spin the wheel annnnnnnd.... Coyote Hills. Ok!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New shoe time

Wednesday 11.0 miles/1:37:20/8:51 average pace

That's kind of a long way to run after work. Luckily I got off work a few minutes early, and with the ever-later sunset I got most of my run done before dark. My right inside knee was pretty sore all day yesterday, but felt ok on the run. But both my arches were feeling tight/sore off and on during the run. Since I had an abundance of sore spots I decided to take an ice bath when I got home. I made a cup of tea and soaked in ice water for 10 minutes. Brrr. Then I took a hot shower and made a yummy dinner and watched some hockey.

Anyway I added up the mileage on my shoes, suspecting they were done, and I was right. 410 miles including my marathon in December... time for new shoes. I usually don't go over 400 miles on my Mizuno Wave Alchemys. In fact, I only had like 350 on my previous pair so I'll go back to those for the next few days till my new ones arrive. I ordered them from Zanzabar Bazaar online- they have the best price ($76.00) and consistently send out discount codes if you get on the email list. And free shipping. :) No offense, Forward Motion, you have a great shop and a Tri club I'm considering joining (which would actually get me a discount..), but I'd pay like $110 including tax at your store, and that sucks. Yay internet.

In swimming news, I've been out of bed and in the pool crazy early the last two days!

Wednesday 1200 m in 24:45
Thursday 800 m in about 17:00

So I have 4 or 5 miles tomorrow morning then 15 on Saturday, then skiing on Sunday. It's supposed to be awesome up in Tahoe- SO much snow but sunny weather forecast for this weekend. Perfect! :)

LOST is on tonight!!

Finally, wtf is wrong with blogger? I haven't been able to spell check for like a weke. (ha)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Picture Time: KP SF Half Marathon

Before the race: I walked around Ocean Beach to kill the time and got some good pics:

Race time:
(Zach is the tall guy in the white with the fuel belt)
A rainbow came out for the runners:
Here comes Zach, heading to the finish!

Check out his blog for the race report.

Victory is mine!

Saturday 13.0 miles/1:57:59/9:05 average pace

I did it! I whooped that trail's butt. Actually I just ran a lot smarter than last time- I started off at an easy pace for the 5 miles or so of gradual climbing, averaging about 9:30 or so. I was feeling good, so at mile 5 I ate a Clif Shot (Mocha flavor) and then picked it up a little until the turnaround and back up the hill. Still felt good, so I ran strong down the hill for the last 5 miles, averaging 8:20 or so with the last mile at 7:57. Whoo hoo! :) I felt fresh at the end, I actually had to talk myself out of running farther. It was a perfect run. It was cloudy and cool, low 40's, but I was warm enough and managed to avoid the rain that came later in the day. Overall, a great day.

Sunday I went into San Francisco to be one of the only spectators at the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon. Seriously, not a lotta crowd support out there. You better believe I cheered and hollered the whole time though, most loudly the two times I saw Zach. He looked very strong and had a great race- check out his race report. All the runners battled the elements- occasional rain and a brutal headwind out on the coast. But Zach and the others triumphed over the conditions and ran like rock stars. This was the first time I've truly spectated at a race and I loved it. Although I have to say I think I was more nervous before the race than Zach was! ha ha. Oh and the coolest thing happened- one of the runners shouted out "I love your blog!" :O Who was that? You are my favorite person ever. :)

After the race we had breakfast in SF and then headed home to unwind for a bit. We watched some of the superbowl but headed out about 4:30 pm to Yoshi's in Oakland to see Chris Botti perform. The show didn't actually start until 7:00 so we did watch the big game at the bar there - it was exciting. Anyway, we saw him in NYC at Blue Note and really enjoyed it so we went to his Bay Area show. I met him afterward and he signed a copy of his CD which was awesome.

I have lots of pictures from the weekend- I'll download them and post them tomorrow.

OK, TOTAL miles for last week: 35. Plus one swim session and one weights session.

Both Zach and I took yesterday off and did some errands and some fun stuff (like mini-golf, SO fun). I started the day off with an awesome run:

Monday 8.0 miles/1:08:15/8:32 average pace

The schedule called for 8 miles with 4 at Tempo Pace. Well I was not looking forward to that, so I told myself not to worry so much about the pace and just get the miles in. Turned out nature felt like helping me out though- it was VERY windy so my first 4 miles were slow due to the headwind. But when I turned around I used the tailwind and picked up the pace to a "comfortably hard" level. I usually push too hard on Tempo runs and cannot complete the workout non-stop, but yesterday I was smart and controlled and made the whole 4 miles with only the two mandatory street crossing pauses. Sweet! My splits for the last 4 miles were: 7:55, 7:55, 7:45, and 7:27.

Here's the schedule for the rest of the week:

Monday: 8 miles (4 LT) done!
Tuesday: xt
Wednesday: 11 miles Medium Long
Thursday: xt
Friday: 5 Easy
Saturday: 15 Long
Sunday: xt

Sunday we are leaving for Tahoe for a day of skiing/snowboarding (Zach skis (extremely well) and I (try to) snowboard). We'll drive home on Monday. It will be a very beautiful and fun trip, but I'm gonna be awful on the snow since I haven't skied since moving to California from Montana like 6 years ago. Yikes. Look out everyone.

Have a great week everyone! Will post pics soon.

And all you Super Tuesday staters better go VOTE today! We're going at noon.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Five on Friday

Friday 5.0 miles/44:58/9:00 average pace

Got up with Zach this morning and ran on the Iron Horse Trail as the sun came up. It had rained overnight and was really cold. The run felt really easy- my legs are feel super great lately.

Lost was very good last night- they didn't reveal that much but they never do... but there were some interesting moments. Can't wait to see next week's episode!

This morning I weighed myself and although I lost 0 pounds this week I am down 8 pounds total and I'm really happy with that! I will be eating more as I run more, so I don't plan on losing any more weight, and I don't think I really need to either. It's going to be a challenge to keep eating good though- I usually take my mileage as a blank check to eat all kinds of crap and that is not ok. So my new goal is "maintenance" instead of my usual marathon training gain.

So, even though I am feeling really good about marathon training and I'm excited to go back to Boston, I've been thinking a lot the last couple days about the rest of my year and doing some Tris. I have only registered for the one sprint tri in June, but I'm looking at a few more including some longer ones. I'm going to start swimming more and maybe spinning once a week so that after Boston I'm ready to go right into Tri training. I also need to get a new bike, which will hopefully happen in May or so. I can't wait!!

I've got 13 miles tomorrow and I think I'm going to call a re-match with the trail that OWNED ME on week one of my training last fall. That's right, Lafayette-Moraga Trail! It's on.

Ok in taking this metaphor one step too far, I actually read about dueling on wikipedia and it's pretty interesting! ha ha. Pretty applicable here too, I'd say.

"The duel usually developed out of the desire of one party (the challenger) to redress a perceived insult to his honor."