Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Bike

I wanted to post about my long run yesterday (since I was still giggling about my constant negotiations with myself about continuing to run...I really do have those conversations with myself...)

But I also wanted to post this weekend about the bike ride I did on Friday, I FINALLY got out the really cool Avenir gel cycling gloves I WON from Nikemom about a month ago and went for a 10 mile bike ride around Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.

Aren't they pretty? They were really comfy and worked great! LOVE 'EM. Thanks again NikeMom!!!

So...maybe the bike helmet look isn't too bad after all...

Now I know that for many of you a 10 mile bike ride is a SPRINT, but you should also know that this is what I ride on.

And the tires look like this...

Really? These are not tires intended for long-distance bike travel, are they?

Before I went on the ride, I went by my local bike shop because DramaGirl's bike needed a new derailleur (or something like that), and I love this bike shop because its really close to my house, and the peeps who work there don't look at me like I'm an idiot when I ask what are probably really stupid questions about biking...because seriously, I know NADA.

But this is what I do know...riding this bike is HARD WORK. Maybe harder than it needs to be.

So, here's my thinking. I can put some better or at least more appropriate tires on my bike for less than $100 (tires, tubes, installation). Sounds reasonable to me.

Also, I can put on the groovy pedals which attach themselves to cycling shoes (which scare me a little because I'll inevitably fall off my bike at some point), but which I also believe will give me a better overall and pedals will cost somewhere around $100 as well (more or less). big question is, do I spend about $200 retrofitting my existing bike (when I told the bike guy that I thought I'd had the bike about five years, he did shake his head a little when he told me the bike was a 1999 or 2000 model...geez how time flies) so that I can use it for some cross training and a potential ride around Lake Tahoe this summer or do I?????

Well...there is no "other" other than do nothing...It's not like I can afford a new bike right now really, it's a non-question. It's retrofit or nothing.

I vote for new tires and pedals.

Also, the bike-guy told me that with new tires, I'd see an immidiate 20% increase in speed, and with the new pedal/shoe combo, I'd get a better whole leg workout. (Really? 20%? My average speed on Friday's ride was 10.5 mph...does that mean I'll average about 12mph now...wheeeeeeee!)

Disclaimer: in all was pretty windy on Fiesta Island, which undoubtedly slowed me down...but in the interest of full disclosure, lots of biking peeps FLEW past me with their fancy pedals and smooth tires...GAH!

So...why the focus on the bike? It's something that I've been thinking about for awhile. A heap of running injuries will do that to a person. I figure with a good bike ride once or twice a week, I can get some cardio in without running in a lower impact way.

Oh, and it opens a whole new door of gear that I can buy and obsess about biking sorts, new shirts, new gear...wheeeeeeeee! I like gear. We know that.

Here's me doing an RBR...biking and self-photoing at the same time without falling off the bike...I'm gonna be soooooo good at this :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I DIdn't Mean to do THAT...

Ran 13.5 miles with the SDTC this morning...really about 1.5 miles farther than I should have gone...but can ya blame me?

Quite a diversion...

I had planned on running no more than 12 miles...which already would have been 3 miles farther than I'd run since I got hurt back in January...and that would have been the REALLY SMART thing to do, but this morning's training run is one of my favorites. Running along the boardwalk, through Pacific Beach, into La Jolla, then up to Wind and Sea Beach, I felt great!

Also I was running with Irene for about the first 6 miles or so...which was lovely and we talked lots about shoes, and husbands, and injuries, and other peeps, and how we WEREN'T LIKELY TO RUN THE WHOLE 14 MILES, and the time and distance just flew. At about mile 5.5, we saw Elsie, who had cleverly already turned around and was headed back (She ran about 11 miles girl) and I rhetorically asked Irene, "so...I guess we're going the whole way today?"

Yup, we were. (BTW, I absolutely do not blame Irene. I'm a big girl...and even though I knew 14 miles was a bit too far, I have a tendency to lie to myself about my capabilities...remember the bruised hip that came as a result of running Carlsbad?)

This was the last time I saw Irene...the water station at Mile 7...after that, she was LONG GONE! Oh, and I really need to find a new way to deal with the extra layers ...the shirt tied around the upper waist? Stylish, no?

I did have several conversations and made many deals with my body parts to keep them going this morning...Look at how accommodating I was:

Miles 1-7
Me: Thank you to all parts for cooperating this morning. I promise you all a mimosa, a good breakfast, and plenty of ice and rest this afternoon!
Body parts: No problem (but secretly, they are planning their various revolts).

Mile 8
Hamstring: I think I'll tighten up now. Maybe she'll stop and stretch me for a bit.
Me: OK, fine. I have no problem stopping. We can stretch some more.

Mile 9
Bladder: So, you think you can drink all that Vitalyte and get away with it? How 'bout we stop for a little.
Me: No problem. There's a restroom at Law Street; we can stop there

Mile 10
Heel: You just thought I was all better...WTF is up with this extra mileage? Are we about done yet?
Me: If you hang in there a little bit longer, I'd appreciate it. I have a huge chunk of ice in my car that I'll rub you down with (stop giggling...I did and I did).

Mile 11:
Boobs: We hurt. You call this a sports bra?
Me: My boobs hurt? I barely even have boobs. Why are you hurting?

Mile 12:
Heel: Seriously dude...are we done yet?
Me: Mimosa! Mimosa! Mimosa!

Mile 13:
Me: Maybe if we are all really lucky, Elsie will be waiting by the car and I won't have to run all the way to the point!

Proof that there is a kind and loving God?

Elsie was waiting by the cars, which were parked about 1/4 mile from the end of Hospitality Point...which is why I ran 13.5 miles today, and not the full 14...and I'm COMPLETELY OK with that.

My time: I don't even want to talk about was sllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwww. For some reason, I turned off the auto-lap on my Garmin, so it's only giving me the total time, and not the mile splits (darn). I would guess that the first 10 miles were not too bad (maybe around an 11:30 pace). The last three...NOT. SO. MUCH.

Our Reward?

Breakfast at a place called The Tractor Room

Elise and I were really brave and ordered their signature cocktail...which was made with rose water, gin, and Prosecco (an Italian Sparkling wine) and who-knows-what else. Yes, I drank gin this morning...I haven't drunk gin since college, and there are reasons for that...Luckily consumption of one gin-enfused bevvie didn't cause me to dance on any tables...a good sign. And yes, those are rose petals floating in our bevvies. They were very pretty.

Also...and my runner friend Ari will love this. My pre-long run meal last night included spicy chicken wings, fried zucchini, jalapeno poppers and two beers (Coors Light...Sorry Al. I know you may never read my blog again knowing this). Yeah...I didn't mean to do THAT either.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Pretty much says it all...

Why does the "not selected" part make me feel like I'm 13 again and the popular kids are all going to a really good party and I'm not invited...GAH!

Long Beach sounds lovely in October, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nike-related bidness

Nike Sunglasses
I called Nike about my broken sunglasses.  The nice Nike-girl referred me to their sunglass repair shop, who says they will look at my broken glasses if I send them the glasses with a check for $10.00 (shipping and handling). 

They'll take a look at them? WTF does that mean? I'm holding out hope that I'll get a replacement pair, or they'll patch mine together with duct-tape.... At least the girl who answered the phone didn't just laugh in my face when I said the glasses just snapped in two. That's a good sign, right?

Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon
Melanie posted that she has been charged for the Nike Women's 1/2 or Full Marathon on her credit, I spent Sunday and yesterday (and this morning) checking my account online...but no charge so far ((sigh))... So, I'm not optimistic about our getting in this year (((heavy sigh))). 

BUT, while I'm sad if the herd doesn't get to go to SF, I do have plan B - The Long Beach 1/2 Marathon, which is the preceding week.

I know, I know, Long Beach is definitely NOT SF, but the LB 1/2 has some positives:
  1. It's a really flat. 
  2. It's much less expensive - $60 at this point vs. $100 for Nike.
  3. It's closer (and thus MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE than traveling to SF).
  4. My bro-in-law asked me to run it with him last year and I didn't because I couldn't see running two 1/2 marathons in two consecutive weeks.
  5. It's one of the races in the "California Dreaming" racing series, which includes the Surf City 1/2 Marathon in Huntington Beach, and the San Francisco 1/2 Marathon...thus, if I convince the herd to run all three, I STILL GET TO GO TO SF!
Isn't that nice how THAT works out?

Non-Nike Related Bidness
I'm headed to the SDTC workout tonight. The PF flared up this weekend after Saturday's long run... probably because I sat around and grazed and graded papers all day Sunday and didn't do enough icing or stretching or moving. Having a 10" stack of student papers to grade results in a Pavlovian-type eating response like you wouldn't believe! Grade a paper; eat a snack; grade another paper; eat another snack...that pretty much sums up my Sunday... I tried to run on the dreadmill last night, which seems to have exacerbated the tenderness in my heel, but I'm going to ice, stretch, and try to run tonight anyway, cuz that's just how I roll...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

On the Riverbed

In my last post, I wrote about running on the San Diego riverbed, which may have made it sound all scenic and lovely.... and while there were some high points to the SDTC Marathon Pace Run on the San Diego riverbed yesterday, there are three things that I need to clarify.
  1. The San Diego riverbed isn't really a riverbed. It's just an inlet that at various points of high or low tide has varying amounts of water in it, so sometimes it looks like a river; other times it looks like a swamp. And while there may be some fresh water that flows from inland somewhere (Elsie will have to weigh in on that one; she's the local biologist...or maybe Betty knows; she knows all about geography and was born and raised here), for the most part, it's not all that pretty, and to be honest, in a really low tide, it sorta stinks.
  2. Along side the riverbed is a pretty rutted out bike path, which is where we run. I've been on this path A LOT in the last two years. It's the path we take as we leave Hospitality Point and head into Ocean Beach or Point Loma (and back to Hospitality Point). It is an asphalt path, which is nicer to run on than concrete, but it is in some pretty serious need of repaving, which makes it challenging. However, given the train-wreck that is currently calling itself San Diego's local government, that's probably not going to happen any time soon.
  3. On the marathon pace run, which we did yesterday, we run two miles inland on the "bike path" and two miles back...back and forth, back and forth, for two hours.
All that being's what I LOOOOOOVED about yesterday's Marathon Pace Run at Hospitality Point.
Elsie and I, in the crowd, at the start of the run...Irene was there, took this photo, and sent it to me. I love that she took a picture where I don't look like a complete dork while running.
  • The weather...nice, cool, slight ocean breeze, no sun...perfect running weather.
  • The distance....I was supposed to run 2 hours, but I decided to run 1:30 (8 miles) instead. I had decided this well ahead of time. In truth, at the end of the 8 miles, I felt like I could have kept running, but since I've been battling the cold, the PF, and some other nagging injuries, I decided to cut it short. Odd how running 8 miles is cutting it short for me now.
  • Since I fueled up on Sudafed Extreme Cold Formula, the head cold didn't bother me during the run as I feared it would. In fact, I think running helped me get rid of the cold faster (or maybe it was the Airborne...I still believe after all).
  • (Well, except for the runny nose, but isn't that why long sleeves were invented?)
  • Since it was an out and back, out and back, out and back run, I got to see all my fast running friends (like BBJ and Kat) who I never otherwise see during runs.
BBJ who is running sans iPod because it is lent and the Pope told him to... He commented in my last post that running w/o tunes is doable.

Kat, who ran with a bloody nose and scared people...but was fine, really.
Minor annoyances
  • None really (WHAT? NO ANNOYANCES?) Geez Alice. WTF is up with that? No was a lovely run.
  • OK...I know it's called a "bike path" but do people on bikes really need to ride 35 mph on this short section of the path when there are clearly a few hundred walkers and runners on it? I saw this one guy on a bike, who was clearly going way too fast, almost take out a runner.
And also, there's this.... I've sadly blown through YET ANOTHER PAIR OF SUNGLASSES. I should have a whole label on this blog just for all my sunglass stories, and about my inability to keep a single pair of running sunglasses intact for any length of time.


As I was headed into Mile 4 yesterday, even though there was no sun, I decided to put my sunglasses on. But, when I put them on there was some condensation from my sweaty head on the lenses, so I decided to use my shirt tail to clean them off and in doing so...


they f-in snapped in two
(well, three if you count the nose bridge).

I can't believe it. This is, at least, the third pair of sunglasses I've gone through this year...and I LOVED this pair. They didn't slip down my nose, and despite being sorta big, they didn't fog up when I ran...GAH!

I've called Nike, and there's another 800 number that I've got to call on Monday that is their sunglass division...And while they've got a year warranty on them, and I should be able to wipe lenses without them snapping in half, To be honest, I'm not hopeful.

((sigh)) was a nice run. No breakfast afterward. I didn't want to push it. Went home. Took a mega-nap. Went out for a nice dinner with Walter last night (we don't do enough of that...)

Also...can't wait to hear about Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon this week...can't wait. can't wait. can't wait...

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Turn...or What I Believe

Since EVERYONE in my family, AND (it seems) EVERYONE in the internets has had some kind of cold or flu bug, and since I HAAAATE feeling left out, I thought I'd join the party and went out and got myself a cold of my own...GAH!

At first, I wasn't sure if I had the cold or the flu, so I scanned the internets for that oh-so-effective self-diagnosis. WebMD told me that it wasn't quite like a cold (no runny nose, sneezing, and such, just a really sore throat, headaches, and general tiredness) nor was it quite like the flu (no fever or dry cough or overall achiness). Then the sneezing and runny nose started this morning, so welcome COLD! Which is good; I can run with a cold (I think), but running with the flu? I don't think that's recommended.

And even though I know about the placebo effect, I've been sucking down this stuff like wine, water, OK, wine, because, dammit, I believe that it'll make the cold go away faster, and I believe if I'd started taking the stuff earlier, I wouldn't be sick at all...and since I believe it, it works for me.

I also believe the running gods are messing with me, or trying to tell me something. Being sick right now completely sucks because I was just starting to get back into the running groove again. I actually ran two days in a row earlier this week (something I haven't been able to do since January). On Monday, I did 3.5 pretty painful miles on the dreadmill. Then on Tuesday, Elsie, Santiago and I were at the SDTC workout and we did a 12/2/12/2/12/die tempo run (12 minutes at threshold, 2 minute recovery, repeat 2 more times, then collapse) and believe it or not, at the end of the run, all body parts felt GREAT! Including the warm-up, we ran 4.2 miles.

BTW. I haven't felt GREAT after a run since I hurt my hip in January, and I definetely haven't felt even OK after a run since the PF thing flared up about a month ago.

And I wasn't even particularly taking it easy during the run. I had a sub-10 minute mile (2nd interval when I ran almost 5 lane 7 mind you...) AND I even passed up speedy Elsie at one point, but that was only because she was running and trying to take off her shirt at the same time, which was completely comical BTW, especially when she almost elbowed some guy in the face...but he was running too close to her anyway...It get's pretty crowded with, oh I don't know a few 100 people running around in circles on the one track. Anyway, the shirt removal completely slowed her down, so I caught up with her.

So, back to the running gods messing with me, first the hip injury, then the PF, then (of course) the mom-thing, oh and now a cold...

Do you think that running gods are trying to tell me to NOT run for a couple hours, back and forth, on the San Diego riverbed with the track club tomorrow morning?

Yeah, like I've listened to those running gods before....

Since it's NikeMom's Foto Friday, and I haven't played along in awhile, AND because I completely laughed at the those of you who labeled yourself a "salt lick" AND because I have this cow thing going, I found this.

And this

And also, something that is COMPLETELY UNRELATED, but because I know that several of you are math or science teachers, I came across this on someone's blog (I'd credit the blog where I found it, so please claim it if its yours, but I can't for the life of me remember where...anyway, I thought it was funny...of course, I'm not a math teacher but I do enjoy sushi... OMFG!)

Finally...thank you all so much for your positive karma and comments about my mom. My dad reads my blog and even though I know he thinks it's kinda odd that I have all these "friends" all over the country that I've never met in person, I do think he's touched by all your kindness. I know I am.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


First...thanks for all your comments and support for my decision to drink wine instead of run on Tuesday (100% in support of that decision... I should run for office or something. I think I could win on the "drink wine" platform) and second thanks for your encouragement. I did go back to Road Runner Sports and whined, complained, asked about whether or not shoes with less than 30 miles on them should be breaking down like my New Balance 1224's were.

It won't surprise anyone that none of the shoe-guys made disparaging comments about the shoes, nor would they even support my assertion that the shoe had started to prematurely wear, but because they are Road Runner Sports and they have this 60 day bring-the-shoe-back-if-you-don't-like-it guarantee, I got me some new kicks...
TA DA... my new Saucony Hurricanes!!!

And I couldn't be more thrilled that I'm back in some Saucony Hurricanes. In all honesty, I didn't ever LOVE running in New Balance (either the 1223s and of course the 1224s). Usually, I felt like I was running on planks. They were stiff (which is good for some things, yes, but not a running shoe, at least not for me), and hard (same thinking applies). Unfortunately, I've got these blessed wide feet and typically narrow woman's heels, and the NBs were the only shoes that fit.

Previous to the 1223's I did run in some Saucony Hurricanes (9s I think, which I LOVED!), but I think I screwed up one day when the 10s came out because I am a TOTAL SPAZ when it comes to shopping sometimes and accidentally bought a "B" width shoe, which almost destroyed my foot on a 16 mile run, and then somehow I got talked into the 1223s.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to be back in the Hurricanes. They are a much softer shoe, and although they are a bit narrower than the New Balance shoes were, I figure I'll just wear thinner socks. I can already tell the difference in my heel as I'm running, and I've only run in them twice, once on Thursday on the dreadmill (3.5 miles) and once here in Vegas this morning (6.2 miles).

Although, I'm scanning RRS's website right now (for links and such) and I think I may have paid too much for them because again...I can be such a SPAZ when I shop. I'll have to check my receipt when I get home...GAH!

Speaking of are five things I learned this morning about running in Vegas.
  • It's dry here...I was smart and ran with a water bottle, which I almost do, and which I'd drained by 5 good thing I had it with me. I swear I've drank at least 2 gallons of water today.
  • I don't sweat here...or at least if I do, it evaporates before it hits my shirt. When I run in San Diego, by 6 miles, I've got a pretty good sweat-ring going, but here, this am? Nada...
  • It's hot here...or at least it was this morning, probably waiting until almost 10am was a bit of an error.
  • The blocks are REALLY LONG here...I ran on a block was 1 1/4 miles.
  • It's not AT ALL flat here... at least not where my parents live. The long, wide, streets are deceiving. They look rather flat, but let me tell you (and Garmin concurs), it's while it was no Torrey Pines run this morning; it wasn't Coronado either.
See? Here's me AFTER 6.2 MILES...not a drop, dripping, anywhere. Usually, you can see the sweat running down my face, or off my nose in these shots. Not today.

So, I've got a question about the lack of sweat and, if I were ever to run, say, like a 1/2 Marathon, in December, in Vegas, what would the recommended fluid during a race (or before or after) be? Both my parents were ADAMANT that athletes in Vegas should drink water, and not a sports drink, because since they're not sweating, they're not losing salt, and there have been incidents where athletes in Vegas got pretty sick because they were ingesting too much salt and not sweating it out (since, I guess, nobody sweats here...) I countered, that I thought I did sweat, but it evaporated pretty quickly.

Any hot, arid, climate runners out there know the answer to this dilemma? Are my parents right (again?) I drank lots of water this morning both before, during, and after my run (and ever since, quite frankly), and I didn't have any Gu during the run (it was only 6 miles after all), but I'm just wondering, you know, for future reference. What do desert athletes do?

So, what else have I done in Vegas...AKA SIN CITY.

Basically, I've cooked...I mean in the kitchen...specifically, I've cooked a lot of soup. Last night, I made some Matzoh Ball Soup, which we (mostly my dad and I) ate and I froze the rest for later. Today I made some Black Bean Chili and some Minestrone. Most of it is in the freezer for my parents to eat when they want.

Oh yeah, and I've eaten almost my body weight in these things.
They're called Taralli. It's an Italian pretzel-like breadstick that my aunt makes...and I LOVE THEM.

My aunt made a bunch (or I guess, a friend of hers did) and she sent them to my mom, and of course, I've been snacking on them for two days now. It's like Italian crack. They have a touch of fennel in them and I CAN'T STOP MYSELF...HELP!

As for my mom, it's been a pretty tough weekend. Basically, she's been off the pain meds since Wednesday, which means that she's been going through some withdrawal. I mean, she'd been on some pretty serious pain meds since the hospital (almost five weeks ago), so the coming off of the meds has been pretty brutal for her. And since my mom barely even drinks wine (I know, where did I come from?), she doesn't even have hangovers...and from what I've seen, pain-med withdrawal looks like one hella-shus hangover, times about 1000....

Cancer sucks...BTW...I don't think I've mentioned that yet.

Anyway, it wasn't what I was expecting this weekend, but I'm glad I'm cook, and to futz around...and to eat breadsticks...and to worry (a lot) about things over which I have no control (not my strong suit).

I think I'll have another breadstick now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Lame...

To: Alice
From: Mona
9:50 am
Subject: One more thing..

I have a meeting at school tonight at 6 and have time for wine this afternoon if you want to get together :)

Text Message
To: Betty and Elsie
From: Alice
4:00 pm

Heel hurts. No track workout tonight. Drinking wine w/Mona instead.

So...I didn't run today. I did, however, run about 3.5 miles last night on the dreadmill...which probably explains the PF flairup...GAH! (Really...the heel did hurt today and wine seemed a reasonable alternative to running. After all, I needed to REST MY HEEL/ACHILLES/TENDON/CALF/WHATEVER for Pete's sake...). Plus, it was good to see Edith, who I barely see any more, who joined Mona and me for Wine...then Betty...who met us later.

We have a new game: What was the sound-track to your last third date?

Mona says hers was "Roxy Music." Oh and BTW. She married the guy

My last third date was soooooo long ago, I can't even remember.

I have no elegant transition here, so I'll just say something inelegant like...Back to running news... Yesterday, after the dreadmill run, I noticed some extreme wear on my almost brand new New Balance Boat Shoes 1224's that I've owned for only about a month...this can't be right, can it?

This is the heel of my shoes. Doesn't it look like the outside of both heels is completely collapsing?

Just for comparison. Here's what the heels look like on a new pair (from the NB website)


Also, here are the bottoms of my shoes (cuz I know ya'all really want to check out the bottom of my shoes, so I'll oblige)

I don't know if you can see it or not, but the tread on the outside heel is completely wearing down...

I really noticed over the weekend at Sue Kren, and then again on the dreadmill on Monday, that it felt like I was running on the outsides of my feet (OK...duh, of course I always run on the outside of my feet. I mean who runs on the inside. I mean the outer edge...and you knew that). Anyway, I bought the shoes on January 29. I barely ran in February, and since I never posted my February running totals, it seem relevant to do so now.

Garmin - 23.62
Dread - 14.7
Total = 38.32

In other words....I ran less than 30 miles in February, and I'm pretty sure that new running shoes shouldn't break down like this in less than 30 miles.

Is it just me who thinks that?

Back to RoadRunner Sports, and thank goodness for that 60 day guarantee. GAH!

Any shoe recommends for an overpronator with PF issues?

So, since I have no track-club running stories to share, I'll go ahead and update the SueKren results. Turns out my finish time was 1:47:13 (11:12) and not 1:50-ish, so I'm happy with that AND I've got some race photos to share as well.

Serious Santiago, who hasn't learned yet that it's appropriate to mug shamelessly for any camera.

Betty, who I think was too far away from the camera-guy to wave shamelessly. But she was thinking about it...or she was thinking about whether I would split an omlette and pancakes with her at breakfast.

Mik, giving the subtle thumbs-up.

Elsie does look REALLY HAPPY doesn't she :-)

I love how everyone else looks as if they're running with some semblance of decorum, and me? I'm the complete dork who's waving frantically at the camera...((rolls eyes at self))...

Anyway. I'll be off to Vegas this weekend to see mom and hopefully run some.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Elsie, Betty, Mik, Santiago and I ran the Sue Kren 15K yesterday (although I beg to differ with the 15K notion...but more about that later). I also got to see Anne and Irene (yay for meeting up with fellow-bloggers!), both of whom have really excellent race reports already posted.

It was a beautiful morning for a (low '50's) but sunny....a little wind on the front side of Fiesta Island, which helped my then foggy sunglasses to clear.

Here's a really lousy outline of the me, we didn't walk on water or anything, there is a man-made peninsula called Fiesta Island in the middle of the bay.

I ran about 9.5 miles last weekend at the Silver Strand, so I thought this 9.3 mile jaunt wouldn't be that big of a deal. It's a pretty flat course, around Fiesta Island, then onto the path at East Mission Bay. The path has a lot of rolling hills, so it's a lot tougher than it looks. Last year, when I wasn't nursing the PF, or a (now) tender Achilles Tendon, or an achy hip, (whine, whine, whine), I ran it in 1:41:56 (10:56). This year, I finished in 1:50-ish (official times haven't been posted yet...) also, I'm waiting for a disclaimer that this year's race was longer than 15K. Garmin indicted that I ran 9.56 miles. Now I know that it's completely normal to run farther than the official race length, and even though I try to run the tangents, and the inside corners as much as possible, I think 1/4 mile more than the offical race length is a BIT MUCH. Also, I heard from Irene that others with Garmins and GPS devices were saying that they thought they had run farther too.

All things being equal, it was really just a training run with the SDTC, so it doesn't matter, really, how far it was...and I can do the math (well...the Garmin does the math now) and I know that last year, I was running about a 11 minute mile pace during this race, and this year I ran at about an 11:30 pace, so I know I was sloooooooower.

Here's the run-down (hahahahah)

Before race highlights - I played HefferVan driver and picked up both Betty at her house about about 5:50 and Elsie (who lives in the center of town, and nowhere near a freeway on-ramp or exit) at about 6:10. Elsie promised good stories about her 3rd date, so I was COMPLETELY WILLING to drive the extra way to get her (actually, I'd get her anyway). We were supposed to be at the race site by 6:15, but since I was picking up Elsie at 6:10, we were a tad late. That being said, we did get juicy details of the third date.

When we got to the race, I dropped off the girls so they could get their race bibs (oh, and thanks for getting mine for me BTW) and parked the I was jogging back to the race (my warmup) I ran into the SDTC group warming up..NICE TIMING.

After the warm-up and stretching (turns out I probably didn't stretch enough)...GAH! I stood in line to use the RR, but decided to just forgo it because the line was too long and I thought I'd miss the start of the race (which I would have had I waited...GAH!)

The Sue Kren 15K is a pretty small field race, mostly track club members, but also some community peeps who wanna run 9.3 miles on a Saturday morning. It's all pretty low key. For example, there's no start gun. We basically just lined up and I'm sure someone yelled "go." But I didn't hear it. Of course I was talking to Irene, Anne, and everyone else around me at the time (gosh, I feel so popular at these things now!) so that's not surprising.

Miles 1 & 2 - After that low-key start, the first two miles of the race felt great, but I pretty much knew I'd started off waaaaay to fast. I'm a slow starter. I have NO PROBLEM running the first mile of 9 or 10 at a 12 minute mile pace...but since I wanted to hear more of Elise's Date 3 stories, I kept up. But for the first two miles, my breathing was out-of-sync with my running; I wasn't out of breath, really, but I wasn't breathing easily either. However, Elsie's stories made it worth it.

Also, still had to pee...GAH!

Mile 1 - 10:43
Mile 2 - 10:38

Miles 3 & 4 - The east side of Fiesta Island was windless and humid, so I took off my outer layer long sleeve shirt, and wiped the inside of my sunglasses which were literally dripping with sweat (GAH!). I really never like running on Fiesta Island for this reason. I knew the wind would pick up in the west side, which would clear the glasses, but running into wind is akin to running up a hill. That being said, the bay was BEAUTIFUL. I wish I'd brought the iPhone or a camera.

At about Mile 3, Elise pulled away. I figured she had many things to think about...all of which made her run really FAST... ahhh young love...she's got a new dude in her life so she's HIGHLY MOTIVATED and focused on the fruit*

Also, WTF was the first water station? Last year, I would check these things out ahead of time IN DETAIL. I thought it'd be around mile 2...turns out it was past mile 3 (probably at the 5K mark). I stretched there for a few seconds and I probably should have stretched for longer, but I felt pretty good and started running again when I saw Betty.

Still had to pee and while there were porta-potties, literally, every 100 yards or so, I didn't stop. MEH!

Mile 3 - 10:53
Mile 4 - 11:37 (see...I stretched for probably about 30 seconds, as this includes the water station, which I always walk through as I am utterly unable to run and drink at the same time)

Mile 5
- I started thinking about how last year, I would notice silly little things on my long runs, and I'd somehow remember them to blog about them later, and how this year, I haven't done as much of that since I'm so focused on my various aches and I tried, for awhile, to pay attention to what was going on around me, looking for funny things (you know, like broken bongs, or used condoms, both of which I might expect to see on the utility road on Fiesta Island). Unfortunately, I didn't see anything of note, just two headbands, and I feel sad about this, first, because I ALWAYS lose headbands when I run, and it pisses me off, and second, because there's really nothing funny I can say about headbands. Had I known at the time, I might have looked for fruit.*

Coming off the island after Mile 5, I still felt pretty good. I sorta dreaded getting off the asphalt utility road to the walking path as it is concrete and running on concrete just KILLS me right now.

I did wave to the photographer, so hopefully there'll be some really nice pix of all of us, but they hadn't been posted yet.

Also, the walking/running path on East Mission Bay is just a sidewalk. It's not as narrow as your typical neighborhood sidewalk, but it's pretty narrow at points. There were also a fair number of morning walkers on the path (it is a walkers path after all) AND we ran by a couple of children's playgrounds (can you stay strollers? and not the running kind), and (thank goodness) there was another water stop...In other words, it got sort of congested.

Mile 5 - 11:02

Miles 6, 7 & 8 - The last 1/3 of this race is an out and back, which means that around the 6th mile or so, we passed the finish line, then kept going for another couple of miles out, then back to the finish line. As we passed the finish, we started to see the runners who were headed back...which is always a little depressing to me. Also, around the finish, the race organizers wanted those who were going out to move to the left (in this country, don't we travel on the right side of the road?), which makes sense, since runners are exiting to the grass on the right, but then at some point, you need to move back to the right, or you're gonna run right into someone who is walking with a stroller...a little confusing. I wonder if this race isn't getting a little too large for the path...hmmmm...

Around mile 6, I got to see Santiago...who was running very well.

By about mile 7 or so, I couldn't hold it any longer...I had to pee, so I stopped, which didn't take much time off, per se, but in stopping, EVERYTHING GOT TIGHT, which was bad. I stretched a little more, but I could tell that my IT band, my achilles, and my calf were going to give me heck later on.

But the biggest issue is that there was some other track group with a bunch of REALLY LITTLE KIDS running a 1-mile route, with a turn around right in front of the next water stop. I nearly ran over a several of them who just flipped a U-Turn right in front of me. GAH!

Finally, a little past 7 miles, we reached the turn-around and headed back to the finish.

Mile 6 - 11:28
Mile 7 - 13:25 (see the potty, stretch stop really slowed me)
Mile 8 - 11:25

Mile 9 and then some - So, I was checkin' the Garmin along the way, and I could see that since about Mile 4, there had been about 1/10, and then by Mile 6, 2/10 difference between the Garmin and the mile markers. In other words, at Mile 4, Garmin said 4.10...and I thought, "OK, maybe I started it too soon at the start (but .10 of a mile? REALLY?)." But then, by mile 8, Garmin said 8.2 somethin' ...and I started thinking either I'm doing a shiz job of running the tangents or there's something amiss here. Then by Mile 9, G says 9.3-ish and I thought to myself, "SWEET GEEZ-US!" I've still got 3/10 of a mile to go, and not 1/10... WTF?

In all honesty, I was about done at that point anyway. Maybe I started too fast. Maybe I didn't stretch enough. Maybe running only one other day this week (on Tuesday with the track club) was taking it's toll, but I was DONE. So much so that I actually walked for a few seconds AFTER the 9 mile marker...until some kind guy from the track club looked at me and said (really nicely), come on, you can do it. You're almost there!

So I did, but it wasn't much fun...until I got to the end and saw Irene and Anne. That just rocked!

Mile 9 - 11:58
Mile 9.56 - 12:51 (which might be a little off because I always forget to stop my timer at the finish line...not that I knew where the finish line was...I kept running all the way into the shoot. I think Anne told me I could stop running and hand her the bib-tag).

Finish time - 1:50:29 (unofficial...they still haven't posted official results on the website)

Post-run Highlights - Rusty the PT was doing a talk about, well, PT stuff. He'd told me the day before (Friday) when I went to see him that he was going to hand me the microphone so that I could tell eveyone what I do during a long run (stop and stretch occassionally, although I would have been a piss-poor, good model yesterday) to deal with my PF, but he was running out of time (thank goodness). However, he did spot me and "voluntold" me to be a tendon in a human version of muscle, bones, and tendons. (I was a tendon...I think).

Then Elsie, Betty and I went to World Famous for breakfast and mimosas...which is when we decided that for all future references to Date Three activities would be referred to as "fruit."

I have no idea why. It was Elsie's idea. At first Betty and I were doubtful about the usefulness or appropriateness of the reference (Fruit? Really? Fruit? That won't work...). But the seed had been planted (both literally and figuratively apparently), thus we managed to spend the rest of breakfast and the subsequent drive home afterward coming up with all sorts of double-entrendres for fruit, all of which will make my next trip to the grocery store highly entertaining.

Just wait until the next time you are in the produce ailse and you see melons, or kiwi, or kumquats, or canned fruit cocktail in light'll giggle too.

And to think...last year at Sue Kren, all I learned about was where to put the Glide...

*Fruit = Sex

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lazy Bullets for an Overbusy Blogger

OMFG...what a I'm takin' the lazy, busy, blogger's way out, and doin' a quick bullet list of the last week's highlights (buckle-up we go...). When did I last write? Last Monday? OH DEAR LORD...where did the week go?
  • Worked out with the track club last Tuesday night...GODAWFULFUCKINGPFPAIN on Wednesday AM....GAH! Not as bad as last week though, so that's good, right?
  • Voting is from now on, Scotty will be known as Santiago on this blog. Welcome Santiago!...How BBJ, the humble, sweater-vest-pocket-protector-wearing, math teacher, ever pulled off the Hemmingway reference is just beyond me...I am humbled and I bow to you sir...although quite frankly, I've never been a Hemmingway fan, as I see absoletely no need for short sentences or references to bulls for that matter...
Reelin' 'em in...with achilles issues...and turned 30 this past weekend..., so Happy Birthday and Welcome to SANTIAGO
  • Turbo turned 11 on Wednesday, so it was B-day week in our house. We attempted to prop up the GODAWFUL ecomony by giving too many gifts (well...I did anyway).
  • I went to PT on Thursday. Rusty the PT is a GOD! He massaged and stretched my calf, achilles, and foot tendons until they were pliable, so I have been able to stretch my PF and KNOCK ME OVER WITH A FEATHER! It has started to feel SO MUCH BETTER (ICE, ICE, BABY...and massage, and knew?)
  • As I was lying face first on the table getting my foot/calf/achilles worked on so that I could stretch it, Rusty the PT mentioned to me he IS seeing lots of butts and ITB injuries in the "upper area" this year, as opposed to past years, when he saw ITB issues primarily affect runners' in their knees. He assured me that he treats all butts equally.
  • Because the PF and the hip felt so INCREDIBLY AWESOME, I managed to run 9.5 miles on Saturday...really slowly, but for the most part, I ran with almost no pain...HOORAY! Because I was clearly at THE BACK OF THE PACK, there were no SDTC pix of me or the herd...well there were pix of Mik, who's the speedy speedster of the herd.
Speedster Mik ran close to 14 miles on Saturday in about 2 hours...WOW
  • We took Turbo and three of his friends to Legoland yesterday...
  • POP Quiz...What is more exhausting? Running 9.5 miles or chasing 11-year-old-boys around a theme park all day? ( far...I'm EXHAUSTED today!)
Boys, at the end of the day...I did not look like I had all that much energy...

Cute photo of Me and Walter...clearly taken earlier in the day.
  • Had to laugh at myself at my capri pants and tennis shoe ensemble...a look that I've NEVER really gotten into...then again, it's part of my shoe-vo-lution.
Nothin' says HAWT-TER than capri jeans and cross-trainers...YOWZA!
  • Speaking of shoe-vo-lution, I do have to comment that for the first time in the history of this blog, three DUDES commented on my last post. Do you think it was the reference to the CFM shoes...or just that it was a post about shoes that improved my Y-chromosome blog traffic?
  • Registration for the lottery to register for the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon opens this Wednesday, so we're rallying the herd to register as a group, and hopefully we'll get in. If not, then it'll be the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon in October for us...
  • Elsie had her second date. We had to inform her about the Three Date Rule since she hasn't been on a date in a REALLY LONG TIME. (So happy to be helpful...and see Elsie, it's in Wikipedia. I did NOT make this up!)
  • Just got home from the Monthly Dinner Club with the herd, friends, and spouses where we tried to figure out who has the BEST driver's license photo. What is it about DL pix that makes people look like convicts?

  • Sue Kren 15K is this Saturday...piece of cake, right?
  • On a serious is still recovering from surgery. There's talk of chemo or radiation or maybe even no more treatment in the future. We'll see. I'm going to Vegas next weekend to see her. I really need to book a flight tonight before the fares increase...GAH! that was the week in bullets. I've got about 200+ unread posts in my RSS reader, which I'll try to get to in the next few days...between classes and grading papers (that time of year)...

Have a great week everyone!