Sunday, April 27, 2008

Picture time: Boston, Petra, NEW BIKE

Here is the full set of photos from Boston (link) but I think these pretty much say it all. These are my top 10 favorite pictures in chronological order:

Finally, here is the video message I sent to Maritza...

If that doesn't work, click HERE for the link.

So, I returned home on Wednesday night and then had the pleasure of spending Thursday morning with my good friend Maritza and our new friend Petra! She's just as sweet as can be and we had a great time together. The three of us ran/walked around the Lafayette Reservoir while I gave a rambling review of my Boston experience. It was cool to get to share it with them so soon after the race. :) Then we went to breakfast and I gave the other girls a chance to talk for a few minutes ;) Petra is a wonderful and interesting person- I wish she lived closer!!


Finally, last but most certainly not least...


It is so freaking sweet. I have only been on it for a quick test ride and then the fitting so tomorrow will be the first real ride. The clip-ins will take some major getting used to but man I'm gonna be able to go so fast! I rode 19 miles today on my old bike (aka "the beast") by riding up to Danville and meeting Maritza for lunch. That's the last long ride I'll do on that thing, I'll just use it for commuting now. I've got a lot of work to do to prepare for the Half Ironman race in August and will start my training this week. I think we're joining a masters swim class next week so my butt is going to be pretty quickly whipped into triathlon shape. Bring it!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008 Boston Marathon Race Report

2008 Boston Marathon
April 21, 2008

This year’s Boston Marathon was my 6th marathon and my second time in Boston. Last year I ran during a huge Nor’easter which was some of the worst weather they had in years, but this year’s conditions were ideal. It was clear and warm, but not hot, which made for not only good running but excellent sightseeing too. We arrived in Boston on Saturday night and headed to our hotel – the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston. It is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the U.S. and a good example of how freaking old everything in Boston is! It is amazing the history the city contains in such a small amount of space. The marathon is run on Patriot’s Day, a state holiday commemorating the battles at Lexington and Concord in 1775 which were the first battles of the American Revolution. This was the 112th running of the Boston Marathon and I was honored to be a part of it.

Sunday we got up and made it to Boylston St. just in time to see the finish of the Women’s Olympic Trials race. I saw Deena Castor finish in first place and watched her celebrate her victory with the other top women and the crowd. It was inspiring. I saw Joan Benoit Samuelson finish her race in less than 2 hours and 50 minutes, a women’s 50+ record. We headed over to the expo where I picked up my race number, t-shirt (a nice long sleeve tech women’s fit shirt) and bought a whole lotta gear and souvenirs. We dropped our bags off at the hotel and continued onto the Fanuiel Hall Marketplace where I had some more gear to pick up from the Bill Rodgers Running Store. There I met John Ellis, a friend and running coach of SteveRunner of the Phedippidations podcast. He was really nice and gave me great advice on race strategy (which I apparently chose to ignore). We had a big pasta lunch at Bertucci’s and my best friend Deana met us. She flew in from Portland Oregon to cheer me on and see the sights. I decided I’d spent enough time on my feet so I went to the hotel to rest and get my race stuff ready while they walked around. We met for dinner at a pub where unfortunately they weren’t showing the San Jose Sharks playoff game, but that’s ok because they ended up losing anyway, forcing a game 7 back in San Jose on Tuesday night. We walked Deana to the T stop (she was staying with a friend at Harvard) and then turned in for the night.


I slept pretty well and woke up easily at 6:00 am. While I got dressed, Zach went down to the “marathon lounge” in the lobby which was a pathetic array of yogurt and coffee (do they know what a marathon is??) and got me some milk for my oatmeal. I ate my 2 packets of instant oatmeal with a handful of raisins and drank a little water. We walked the two blocks to Boston Common where the busses would be picking up runners and driving us the thousand miles (or so it seemed) to Hopkinton. I got a last good luck hug and kiss and lined up. I met a few guys from Philly and a girl from San Francisco, Amy, who would become my friend for the next 3 hours. We sat together on the bus and the ride seemed to take forever. As we finally approached the Hopkinton exit, the traffic was backed up and guys were getting off their busses to pee on the side of the road and then running to catch up to their bus. It was very entertaining! One guy got off our bus and we all cheered when he made it back safely. We finally unloaded at Athlete’s Village around 9:00 I think, which was ok because it was warm and comfortable and left less time to sit around getting antsy. After using the porto potty I took my new friend Amy to meet up with a bunch of people from the RunningTimes and Runango web forums. There we found Blazer (Cathy), SeoulRunner (Cindy), Sparky Runner, Stace76 (Robyn), Steve in CT, High Hopes, Rio, and a few others that I am forgetting. It was cool to finally meet these people and we chatted while we waited for the race to start. I couldn’t stop thinking about how different it was from last year’s wet, muddy, gloom fest. I ate a Quaker Oatmeal Bar and a banana and then headed over for one last porto potty stop. Good thing I left when I did because the line was slow and I barely made it in time to shed my outer layers, turn in my sweats bag, and hurry over toward the corrals. The fog had cleared and the sun was shining by this point.

Last year, due to the rain, I waited until the very last second to line up and was forced to start at the very back of the pack, which lead to a very slow first couple of miles. This year I wanted to be right up at the head of Wave 2 where I should be with a bib number in the 14000’s. It wasn’t looking good as the minutes counted down and I was still a ways away. Then, where you turn right to get to the corrals, a bunch of people were cutting the corner and zig-zagging through the crowds and buildings to bypass the other corrals. I followed them and found myself right up front. I squeezed back through the gate right into Corral 14 literally when the gun went off!

Race Goals and Strategy

My “A” goal was to re-qualify with a time of 3:40 or better. I knew this was optimistic and would be hard, but it was within the realm of possibility so why not go for it. I wore a pace band showing my required splits for that finishing time. That’s about an 8:23 average pace. My “B” goal was to get as close to 3:40 as possible (low 3:40’s I guess) and my “C” goal was to beat my time from last year (3:55:18) which was my slowest marathon ever. So “Course Record” and “don’t run the slowest marathon of your life” were the same goal. I also had the goal of having fun and enjoying the experience, which was not going to be a challenge! I knew I would slow on the hills and possibly fade toward the end, so I knew I should run a slight positive split to account for that. But I wanted to run strong on the hills, and I figured I could hold it together to make my goal.

The Race

The solid advice I received from John Ellis, as well as every other source I’d ever consulted on running ever, suggested I don’t go out too fast. So guess what I did? Ya.
At first the dives down a few nice hills, but there are some uphills too, which were not easy. There were woods and some houses at first, then some small towns, but not a ton of people cheering yet (compared to what was to come). The sea of runners in front of me was a beautiful sight. When I went over the timing mat at the 5k mark, I thought of the coworkers, friends, family- everyone who was tracking me online and I got a little choked up. I thought “make ‘em proud.” I thought this every 5k as I crossed a mat.

Mile 1: 8:25 (crowds)
Mile 2: 8:07
Mile 3: 8:03
Mile 4: 8:00
Mile 5: 8:17

I was feeling good. I knew I should slow down, but honestly I was glad to see I was banking some time. I know, I know. We started going through the towns of Framingham and Natick and the crowds were increasing. There were a few bands, some early bar-goers, and people were already handing out water and oranges. I gave high five to about a hundred kids already. I was feeling strong and still running fast, but not as fast. It was feeling warm but very comfortable. I had carried my own water bottle in my hand (in addition to the one in my fuel belt) and I’d finished that by mile 7 or so. I also ate Sharkies (gummies) at mile 6. I knew that since it was warm I would need a lot of water so I started taking it from the water stops and from random spectators.

Mile 6: 8:12
Mile 7: 8:14
Mile 8: 8:19
Mile 9: 8:14
Mile 10: 8:20

I admit that by mile 10 I was already starting to feel tired. Not like, lie down and die tired, but I was feeling it. Luckily, the crowds were loud and the runners around me were looking strong, so I didn’t dwell on it. In the next few miles I started to eat into my “time bank” just a little and that bothered me. I’d hoped to save that for the hills and the end. But I wasn’t thinking too far ahead, I just focused on getting to Wellesley, the half way mark, and then I’d think about the hills. I continued to drink water which was kind of interesting- I’ve never been a water stop person; I’m usually very self sufficient with my own water bottles. At CIM Zach would find me several times throughout the race and bring me a new water bottle. I perfected my running-while-drinking on the spot. I ate more Sharkies at mile 12.

Mile 11: 8:26
Mile 12: 8:12
Mile 13: 8:29 (First Half 1:48:15- 8:16 average pace)
Mile 14: 8:34
Mile 15: 8:35

Wellesley was loud and exciting like last year. I alternated high-fiving the girls and screaming “Yaaaaah! You guys rock! Thank you!!!” with running a few feet away catching my breath and calming down. You can waste a lot of energy going crazy with the crowd! I wanted to enjoy it but I didn’t want it to cost me my race. The crowds continued to grow as I continued to tire, which sort of offset each other. I was still running (no walk breaks yet) and feeling good. I slowed down a little but not drastically, and I figured if I stayed strong I could still come in under 3:40. I also remembered that technically I can re-qualify with a time of 3:40:59, which means I had an additional “secret minute bank.” I hoped that would be enough, but I was not sure. We turned the corner onto Commonwealth in Newton and I prepared myself to run like hell up the hills. The first one appears right away and it’s a killer- the gradual climb over that highway. It’s never ending. There’s a break in between every hill, with some downhills and a ton of encouraging people, but then another hill would come along and challenge your willpower.

Mile 16: 8:25
Mile 17: (8:55)
Mile 18: (8:55) average
Mile 19: 8:48
Mile 20: (9:18) average

I had slowed down through the hills but not too bad. I had completely spent my banked time, including my secret minute, but I wasn’t far behind. I still had Heartbreak Hill ahead of me, but I was kind of confused. Last year I knew right where to expect the hills but this year I had lost track. When I was on Heartbreak I wasn’t sure until I heard someone yell “Last hill!” I actually felt ok, despite running a much slower pace on the inclines. There were a lot of people walking and I encouraged them as I passed. I kept drinking water at every stop and whenever I wanted it. Also I took a handful of ice cubes from one guy and put them down the back of my shirt. It wasn’t that hot but it still felt good. I took a cold sponge from another person and squeezed it on my back as well. I even ran through a sprinkler but that was mostly because I didn’t have the energy to avoid it. I was feeling the usual fatigue and soreness in my legs but actually didn’t feel that bad. I was watching my pace band and after the top of Heartbreak Hill I was technically still within seconds of being on pace (accounting for my secret minute) and honestly, that kind of killed me. I hated thinking “well, if you can maintain 8:23 pace you could still make it” because I wanted to just slow down. I tried speeding up a little but my legs let me know right away that that was NOT happening. Tiny cramps warned me of the full body spasm that was waiting for me at that 8:23 pace. So I backed off and just kept running. When the next mile put me almost a minute over goal pace I was relieved. I could let it go. Plan B it is. I had a bit of a side cramp but I just ignored it. What are ya gonna do. The crowds were incredible. I wish I had more words to describe it… I felt that they were cheering from the bottoms of their hearts for us. To me, they meant every word of it. We CAN do it! We ARE awesome. We ARE doing a great job. And praise the Lord, we ARE almost there.

Mile 21: (9:18) average
Mile 22: 8:45
Mile 23: 9:14
Mile 24: 9:00
Mile 25: 9:16
Mile 26.2: 10:30 (8:45 pace)

As I turned onto Boylston Street I just soaked it up. I moved over to the left where Deana and Zach would be and I spotted them easily. Deana had sort of climbed a light pole and they were screaming and pointing and waving. I screamed and pointed and waved back and that whole section of people exploded. It was awesome. I had a huge smile as I ran toward the finish line and I threw my arms up as I ran across. I crossed the line without having walked a step since Hopkinton.

Finish time: 3:44:56 (8:35 average pace)

Second Half 1:56:41 (8:54 average pace)

Placed 10,648/22,375 Overall
2,925/9,112 Females

As soon as I crossed my heart filled up with happiness. I started crying. I looked over to the woman next to me and congratulated her, and she put her arm around me and we embraced in the spirit of the moment. I got my cell phone out of my fuel belt pocket and sent a video message to Maritza. I got my silver blanket even though I was really warm, and moved forward with the crowd. Those next few minutes were like a dream, where we were all draped in the silver victory capes, staggering forward with the sun shining hard down on us. I was a little out of it and everything was just a little blurry, and I was sort of crying. I memorized the sight and the way it made me feel. This is what it’s all about. This is what I live for.

I called my mom a minute later as I continued to move forward (I swear it is another mile to the finisher medal station!) and she was crying also and I told her “I did it!” and I told her it was beautiful out and how happy I was. Finally, I got to the station where they take your timing chip off your shoe and the girl was so nice, asking me how it was (my response: smile/cry “It was amazing!” smile/cry). She placed the medal around my neck and gave me a hug. I tell you, the volunteers at Boston are saints, every one of them. I called Zach and they came and found me – I couldn’t exit the runner’s area but I got some big hugs across the barrier. Deana got teary when she saw me all teary, man it was so emotional. I got my new 2008 Boston Marathon Jacket and donned it with pride. I then made my way over to the baggage busses and then exited the barricaded area and was released into the city.

We wandered down Newbury St (you could hardly move on Boylston) and then cut over to Boylston and went into the Pour House for some celebration brews and food. I spent the next few hours there drinking and eating and accepting awed congratulations from drunk college kids. I even participated in an arm-wrestling contest (I lost, but I put up a good fight against the possible professional arm-wrestler). I spent the rest of the day with my wonderful husband and best friend and loved every second of it. We were in town for another two days, returning late last night (Wednesday) so we took in all the sights and enjoyed the warm spring weather. Tuesday night in our hotel we watched our Sharks destroy Calgary on home ice in the crucial 7th game of the series and we ate the Boston Cream Pie that was invented at our hotel. This whole experiences ranks right up there with the best in my life and I can’t wait to go back.


Photo album here. I will post some pics directly on the next post but this is the whole set. Well, not even, but it's a larger set than I'll post on my blog.

Marathon Photo Link here (if it doesn't take you directly to my pics, choose 2008 Boston Marathon, last name Barnes, bib# 14709.) Apparantly I didn't see all the cameras, hense the long face in some.

Thanks so much you guys for all your encouragement and support. Like I said, I thought of you all as I crossed those timing mats and it means the world to me that you logged on and tracked me online. A huge part of what drives me and keeps me running is my friends and I do consider all of you friends. You are the best. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

boston goals and thoughts

First, my last two pre-race workouts:

Friday 4.2 miles/39:22/9:22 average pace

This morning Maritza drove down to my house and along with Zach we went off for a nice run on the Iron Horse Trail. It was a beautiful morning and we had the whole trail practically to ourselves. There were a ton of those little bugs though- I got one in my eye and Maritza swallowed one. :D It was wonderful to run with her though- it's been a while. She always gives me the best pre-race encouragement and she even brought me a good-luck care package! She's the bestest! :)

Yesterday morning I went to the pool with Zach and swam 1000 m. I didn't have my watch but I know I swam slowly, I just took it easy and was day dreaming/thinking/planning about Boston. It was very relaxing.

Last night Zach and I did a ton of laundry and all the chores around the house in preparation for being gone (nothing worse than coming home to a dirty house) All we have left to do is pack and yes, I have detailed lists ready to go. And yes, I made those lists about a month ago.

The weather is looking very good for Marathon Monday- has cloudy skies, high of 58 degrees, slight breeze, and a 20% chance of rain. Perfect! I don't even mind the drizzle. As long as we don't have the torrential rain and wind of last year, or a super hot day, I will be happy. But this is looking, as Zach said, like PR weather. :O

So, do I think I will set a PR at Boston? Ha ha, no. Unlikely. But I do think I will do well and I KNOW I will have a blast no matter what. Here are my goals from my "A" Optimistic everything-goes-perfect goal to "C" wheels-fall-off-just-finish-with-dignity goal.

A: 3:40 - BQ (technically 3:40:59 is qualifying time)

B: um, close to that as possible

C: 3:55:00 or better - my time last year was 3:55:18 and was my slowest marathon ever. So I'd like to beat that time, setting a "Course Record" which in this case is the same as "don't run the slowest marathon of my life"

Secret Dream Goal: 3:36:47 or better - PR

No Matter What Goal: HAVE FUN, give high fives, smile like an idiot the whole time, enjoy the experience.

You can track me online at I am Bib # 14709. I will post as soon as I can after the race- possibly from Boston, if not I will have my race report up by Friday (we get home Wednesday night).

Go Sharks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Zach!

Happy Happy Birthday to Zach. He was born 29 years ago today and I'm so glad he was. :) I've celebrated many birthdays with him since we've been together- I remember when he turned 19.

Well this is the oldest pic I have on my computer- it's from April 2002, so he had just turned 23- this was taken on Mt. Jumbo in Missoula, Montana. And just because these pics are cool there's one of me too:

Yes, I am sure glad he was born. He's the best that that could have ever happened to me. I love you babe!!!!

Ok enough mushy stuff- back to training:

Monday 6.0 miles/49:24/8:14 average pace

I was supposed to run easy on Monday but I was just feeling it, so I ran fast. Zach kept up with me pretty much (hehe) even on a big hill and a couple smaller ones. We ran the last mile in 7:35 and it did not even feel hard! We were talking the whole time.

Tuesday bike 14.0 miles/1:02:36/13.8 MPH

Zach encouraged me to ride with him on the roads instead of just sticking to the trail (or the couch, as I would have preferred). It was pretty scary, I have only rode on the roads a couple of times but I know I need to get used to it. There were bike lanes for most of it and the drivers were courteous when there were no bike lanes. The first part was very windy and a little hilly, but the second part was flat/downhill and fast. We hit 22 MPH at one point! I think I will fly when I get a new racing bike... riding the "beast" (hybrid bike) is like swinging with two bats. It was a very tough ride but I'm glad I did it. I know it will get less scary the more experience I get, like all things.

Wednesday 7.0 miles/1:02:53/8:59 average pace

Hmm, in almost the exact same amount of time about 12 hours later I covered exactly half the distance. Interesting! The birthday boy was doing a brick workout (his first Tri of the season is only 2 1/2 weeks away) so I got up as he was finishing his bike ride on the trainer and we headed out together. We ran 2 miles together, then he turned back to the house and I finished my run. I listened to Steve Runner's 2008 State of the Course which is an annual preview of the Boston Marathon course and festivities. Of course it got me really excited.

Tonight we'll be having some drinks with friends after work then having dinner. Zach already got a nice present from our San Jose Sharks last night- they scored the game winning goal with only 7 seconds to go. :) Series is now tied 2-2 (vs. Calgary Flames (boooo)).

Next post will be Boston goals and thoughts. And probably more San Jose Sharks coverage. :P

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hot and Dry in Phoenix

Friday 6.0 miles/54:03/9:01 average pace

Immediately upon arrival in Phoenix on Thursday morning, I was warm and toasty and my nasal passages and throat were bone freaking dry. April in Arizona is lovely- probably the best time of year to visit! But coming from the moist, cool Bay Area was rough on my little membranes. I had a wonderful time though, I just had to remember to drink water every 30 seconds.
Friday morning I ran at the Reach 11 Recreation Area which I found out about on Arizona Phil's blog. Besides the aforementioned heat/dryness it was great.

Later that day I made a somewhat-spontaneous decision to chop all my hair off! It was getting to be a pain in the ass, it got so snarly when I ran, I had to braid it before bed, etc.. plus I was getting bored of it.

before (sorry, weird self-portrait)

bye-bye hair!


I love it! It will take some getting used to as far as styling it, and it makes for a pretty short little ponytail, but it's fun. I'm ready for summer :)

Friday night Zach arrived, and I surprised him at the airport with my new hairstyle and a taco pizza. He was a happy man. We were staying at my friend's house so we spent the evening visiting and catching up and then crashed into bed. We were going to get up early and drive to Scottsdale to run with the Scottsdale Running Company, but alas we did not rise in time. So at 7:45 we drove to Central Parkway in Phoenix and found a nice shaded stretch to run along.

Saturday 12.0 miles/1:47:35/8:58 average pace

Zach ran 8 miles with me, then I did 4 more on my own. I ran a few miles along the canal as well which was nice. There were tons of runners out enjoying the day. The Ironman was taking place the next day and I was thinking of those triathletes as the temperatures rose throughout the day. I hope they all had a good race! Maybe someday I'll be there. The rest of our trip was really nice- we spent some more time with our friends and a day with Zach's aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents who live there. It was so nice to see everyone.
TOTAL miles for the week: 32
Plus just 750 m swim. Lame.
Here's my schedule for this week- ONE WEEK TO BOSTON
Monday: 6 miles easy
Tuesday: xt
Wednesday: 7 miles (2 miles at Goal Pace)
Thursday: xt
Friday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Track meet!

I did my last interval workout until Boston tonight and coincidentally ran by a high school track where there was a meet going on. I saw glimpses of a 200 meter race, and heard the start of the 3200. I caught a high jump too. We were hoping to see a pole vaulter since that is what Zach used to do in high school but no luck. Anyway, it was good motivation for my speedwork! I felt like a track star myself..

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:06:08/8:16 average pace

This was the toughest interval workout by a LOT. Here's how it went:

2 miles warm up in 17:43 (8:52 average pace)

3 x 1 mile at 5k pace:


Whoo hoo! I didn't do timed recoveries, just took a walking break (about a minute) between each mile. I had a side cramp after the first mile, but it went away. Then I had a shoulder cramp after the second one, but that went away too. The miles were tough but having Zach running with* me really helped. (*by "with" I mean next to me for the first half mile, then a foot or two ahead, and finally finishing 10-20 seconds ahead! He did great.)

He was done at that point but I continued on with 3 more miles for a cool down and ran by the track meet again. I did those three in 27:12 (9:04 average pace)

Well the last hard workout is in the books! All I have from now until Marathon Monday is easy/General Aerobic stuff. My "long" run is only 12 miles this weekend. I'm off to Phoenix in the morning so better go get packed. I just had to post this before I went!! :) Have a great weekend guys.

boston boston boston boston

Monday 6.0 miles/51:55/8:39 average pace

I ran after work with Zach on the Iron Horse Trail. Thankfully, not as many bugs. The run was fun and felt easy. We were talking the whole time (which is a good indicator of a comfortable effort) including the last mile which took 8:11.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I did nothing. It was nice! Actually I couldn't really swim, bike, or do weights because Monday I went to the doctor for a physical and got my every-10-years (there's got to be a word for that but I'm not looking it up... Tennual?) Tetanus shot. Ouch! My shoulder was so sore I could hardly lift my arm. I also got blood drawn and all that. I already got my results online (isn't that cool) and everything looks good! I figured, but it's good to know for sure. Also, turns out I have a deviated septum.

You'd think I would have realized all those times I stuck my finger in my nose that it was uneven! hehe. I did notice, I just assumed it was normal. Anyway, I don't have any of the problems that can come with it (snoring, sleep apnea, sinus infections) but I"m going to blame it on the following things: I need a nose plug when I swim, I breathe loud, and I spit a lot (actually the doctor confirmed this, something about my sinuses not draining down my nose properly). Sorry, this was a really gross and boring topic. :D Moving on!

Oh, first: I did go swimming this morning. 750 m (250 kicking, 500 crawl). My shoulder was kinda sore but not too bad.


I can't stop thinking about BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm soooooo excited and a little nervous. The trip itself is going to be awesome of course. We're staying right downtown so we'll get to see all kinds of cool historic stuff. Plus there are so many good restaurants and bars to visit. Also, my best friend since 5th grade is flying out from Portland to cheer me on! YAY!!! She's never seen me run or really been to a big marathon I think, so this will be really cool for her. She is staying with a friend but will hang out with us the night before and then after the race.

The race itself will be incredible too- I think I'll be able to absorb a little more of it this time since it's my second time. Last year it was just so overwhelming! I can't wait to see the girls at Wellesely and the guys at Boston College, and the crowds all along the way. The other runners all have so much energy and enthusiasm it's unreal. Then after conquering the hills of Newton and cruising into Boston, making that turn onto Boylston... Aaaaaah! I'm so excited.

I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself about a certain finishing time, but I am a little nervous/anxious just as always before a big race. I feel that I"m in great shape to run a BQ time (3:40) or maybe even PR (3:36:47) but (BIG BUT) it's Boston... it's a tough course. Those hills, they are doozies. I'm allright but hills are not my strength. Who knows what kind of time I can run. I'd like to BQ ("Re-Q")- that's my "A" goal. But I don't want to psyche myself out. I want to be happy with whatever I can do that day. For the next week and a half (EEEE!) I am going to think positive.

I've also started checking the extended forecast but I know that's really pointless. The weather can change in an instant. I don't even really care- last year was fine and it was the worst storm possible! We'll just get what we get I suppose. I'll be ready for anything!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Last Long Run and weekend pictures

Saturday 17.5 miles/2:36:28/8:57 average pace

I drove over to the Peninsula and ran on the Sawyer Camp Trail on the Crystal Springs Reservoir. I had 16 miles on the schedule but I kept running to the end of the trail since I'd never done that, and was curious how far it was (I knew it wasn't too much farther) - plus I was hoping there would be a water fountain but no luck.

The run went really well! I made a point to completely ignore my watch and run by feel. The course is pretty hilly so I focused on running strong up the hills and thinking about the hills at Boston. I practically ran the entire distance which was cool- I only stopped once to take a picture of a deer (see below, other pics were taken while running) and once to refill my water. Other than that I only took like 2-second breaks to adjust my sock or something. So between running without breaks and running big hills, I felt really good about it. I was happy at the end of the run to see my average pace was still sub-9:00!
I drank a ton of gatorade/water (I mix them 50/50 - my stomach handles it better than straight Gatorade) when I finished because I was a bit dehydrated. There's only one water fountain on the whole course that works and it's at about mile 3/14... so too early to do any good and then too late to prevent dehydration! There was a gas station across the street at the turnaround, I could have purchased a bottle of water with my emergency $. Next time I will. It was pretty cool outside- upper 50's- so I was ok. Any hotter and the water would have been a bigger issue.

Upper Reservoir from top of dam- mile 5:


Upper Reservoir on the way back:

Lower Reservoir on the way back:

After the run, I picked up Zach and we went for sandwiches. On the way home he somehow convinced me to go swimming. So we grabbed our stuff and headed up to the pool. I went straight from my sweaty run clothes into my swimsuit (with of course a quick shower). I did 1000 m easy, in about 21:00. I did the middle 500 m with my pull buoy. I practiced my flips because it's my goal to learn to flip turn.

TOTAL miles for the week: 35.5

PLUS 21 miles Bike!

AND 1500 m swim.

That's about my most well-rounded week in quite some time. Nice!!

Sunday we went for a little hike in the Sunol Regional Wilderness and I took a few pictures of the wildflowers in bloom:

It was a really relaxing weekend overall- besides the run, swim, and hike, we bbq'd, watched hockey at the sports bar, I read, Zach made a strawberry pie, and I slept about 11 hours each night. This coming weekend we're going to Phoenix and then next weekend it's Boston! Here's my schedule for Taper Week 2 (Boston Marathon is 2 weeks from today):

Monday: 7 miles GA (+ Strides)

Tuesday: xt

Wednesday: 8 miles (3 miles VO2 Intervals)

Thursday (leave for phx): off

Friday (phx): 5 miles Easy

Saturday (phx): 12 miles Long (probably with Scottsdale Running Group)

Sunday (fly home from Phx): rest/xt

Total miles scheduled: 32

Friday, April 04, 2008


Thursday after work I did another bike ride: 9.0 miles/36:57/14.6 MPH

I rode up the Iron Horse and back which is always pretty windy in the afternoons. I noted that the first 4.5 miles took me 21:10 which is 12.8 MPH average, but the return trip only took 15:47 which is 17.5 MPH! It's amazing how much the wind affects you on the bike. It wasn't THAT windy - I wouldn't have even noticed it if I were running.

There were also a lot of bugs. The trail goes along a canal and there are tons of those tiny little bugs. I rode through several swarms and could feel them pelting my face and arms. Several landed in my mouth- ew! I was surprised that when I got home and looked in the mirror I didn't have a bug beard. In fact, there weren't any stuck to me. Oh not so fast biker girl! When I unzipped my jersey there were a dozen or so in my cleavage. :O Some were still alive and flew out. Ya. That is your mental image for today. You're welcome! Please share your bug stories, I can't be the only one with bugs in weird places.. can I???

Anyway, after I de-bugged I did some strength training for a while. I used my 12 lb dumbbells and did some curls, shoulder presses, rows, and tricep extensions (one dumbbell held with both hands). I also did a bunch of crunches and leg raises and stuff.

Finally some running:

Friday 10.0 miles/1:25:56/8:36 average pace

I was up and out the door shortly after 6:00 a.m. and was surprised to see the sky was already light! I ran on the trail and listened to a couple podcasts about Boston history. I was sort of supposed to do a goal pace run but I just wasn't really feeling it. I put in a solid effort though and felt great, so I'm ok with that. It's not like I tried and couldn't hit my pace, I just didn't feel like trying! haha.

I ran into a runner friend Mark Ramierez on the trail and we ran several miles together. I always seem to see him before a race and he is always so encouraging. He has run multiple sub-3 marathons even after age 50, so I really respect his opinion. He told me I looked really fit and strong and after running together a while he said I "sound great" with good breathing and a good rhythm. He always boosts my confidence! He has all kinds of great running sayings too like "without the drills you get no thrills!" and "if you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always got" and so forth. He just peppers them in conversation, it's hilarious. He also says "Make it a great day!" when we part ways which is also great. Oh, and he knows EVERYONE we pass on the trail and gives me a little synopsis "Hi Lynn!" "She ran CIM last year too." He's awesome.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Taper Week 1: XT and Intervals

Monday I did not run out of "taper paranoia." I had the tiniest soreness after my 20 miler and my life flashed before my eyes! Well, actually, I imagined my previous soreness/injury cycle repeating itself and that worried me a lot. Luckily, this was nothing like that at all, but I took the day off anyway. I've been feeling great again all week even after my intervals. Better safe than sorry, right?!

So here's Monday's cross training:

12.0 miles bike/49:01/14.7 MPH

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Cycling is so fun. Have I mentioned how excited I am to get a road bike? We are going to start looking right after Boston since I have to start training for that half ironman triathlon right away (it's in August). :O

Tuesday: Swim 500 m crawl. I feel guilty that I haven't been swimming any more than 500 at a time, but it is better than nothing. Speaking of half ironman training, I can't wait to get out in the open water in my wetsuit for longer swims. Man this is going to be a fun summer!!

Finally, some running:

Wednesday 8.0/1:08:24/8:33 average pace

The schedule called for 2 miles worth of intervals. I did something different this time because the 4 x 800 was getting a little boring and I realized I could REALLY use some hill training (ya, it's to late to make a big difference but what the hell). Here is how my workout went:

2 miles warm up in 18:06 (9:03 average)

4 x 400m HILL repeats.. 100 feet of elevation gain over the quarter mile. It was very hard! I ran my fastest, but of course the hill slowed me down:

1:54, 2:00, 2:04, 1:56 (1:59 average- 7:58 pace)

I did quarter mile recovery jogs to get back down the hill.

Then, since I had a mile of interval work left (and I wasn't about to run up that hill 4 more times!) I did:

2 x 800m.. flat loop around a park (the kids probably thought I was crazy) It was hard but I hammered 'em out:

3:22, 3:22 (6:44 pace)

Then 2.5 miles of cool down in 22:45 (9:06 pace)

Whew! I got home and drank some gatorade and promptly dunked my legs in my old buddy the ice bucket (preventative measure):

No soreness emerged today, so that is great news. I have two more big runs left this week which I am ready for- 10 miles tomorrow, possibly at Goal Pace (which is ... who knows.. 8:15-8:25 ish?), Then my last long run- 16 miles which I"m going to do on a nice hilly course.
Was just emailing with my buddy Steve from the Phedippidations podcast (hehe, is that like blogger name dropping?) and he's preparing for his Boston by running most of the course this coming weekend. He's putting out a few podcasts on various Boston topics so check out his show on his website or on iTunes!
Also, HUGE Congrats to my friend Sarah for her big PR and Boston Qualifying marathon at National last weekend. Check out her race report- it's awesome. She's awesome!