Monday, April 26, 2010

Shoulda, Shoulda, Shoulda

I've got quite a list going right now...
  • I should be running right now, but I'm not
  • I should be grading papers, but I'm not
  • I should be doing a better job of watching my diet...
  • I should be making meals for the week...
  • I should be working on a grant...
  • I should be writing a report...
  • I should be planning better lessons...
  • I should be paying more attention to my kids...
  • I should be spending more time with Walter...
  • I should be catching up on what the blogs are saying...
  • I should be folding laundry...
  • I should be hanging up my clothes...
On Sunday, instead of doing all those things I should have done, Walter and I went to hear a friend of his who is in a band play at McP's pub in Coronado...good decision, don't you think?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

O-town, Sunset Cliffs, and SkyMall Review

I went to Oakland again on Friday, which in and of itself is not that interesting. The significant thing about this trip is that I decided to fly up the night before the meeting so that I wouldn't have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn two mornings in a row.

The research group in which I participate put me up at a place called The Executive Inn in Oakland. It's a sorta 70's kind of place, popcorn ceilings, small rooms, older furnishings, but I can tell they are trying to update it. It was WAY better than the last place I stayed in Oakland!

Two things that made me forgive any and all other lodging shortcomings?
  • Comfortable bed with nice sheets
  • Awesome towels
Really, to me, nothing is worse than thin sheets and postage stamp size, industrial towels...

OK...there ARE way worse things, but good sheets and towels make me much more forgiving... Also, this morning, I woke up to this:

Pretty, right? I did not run on the path because it seemed pretty isolated, and I really had no idea where I was, nor did I know where the path went, and I just didn't have time to investigate, so I just went to the "fitness room" which consisted of one treadmill and one step machine.
Me after a pretty pathetic 20 minute run, but it was better than nothing AND it put me over 20 miles for the week.
So, I was in meetings all day, so I didn't get to see any more of Oakland.

On the way home, my conference BFF and I again had a glass of wine (or two) at the airport and I introduced her to the iPhone Ap "Words With Friends", which is both a HUMONGOUS TIME SUCK and WAY TOO MUCH FUN. Essentially, you play scrabble...Check this out!

Yes! 80 points for FLUSH and OH. If you want to play me, you see my user name.
Once on the plane, I ordered another glass of wine, and browsed through the SkyMall.

For those who are new here, I have been known to review the fine merchandise available in the SkyMall...so many fascinating items that you didn't know you needed or wanted, and yet somebody must need and/or want them because somebody makes them.

This spring, there seem to be three main types of products available...

Self Improvement and Fitness
Or you could combine the two...I mean who doesn't need a fit face?
Does this product make me look like a total ass?
Foot issues
Although truth be told, had I seen this product last spring, I might have bought them. Lord knows I spent plenty of money on other products to cure my PF (who knew that squats and lunges would be the thing that would really do the trick.
I swear, there were three other prodects like this, that put some sort of spring device in a shoe, so that people can regain that bounce in their step? I hear sex works too...
Exercise
I don't even know what to say about this...other than it's the only one like it, do it must be worthwhile.
Pet Products (clearly people with pets have disposable income!)
I'm mostly wondering how long the photographer had to stand around waiting for this shot...
I don't have pets, but would this even work? and if so, does it need to be labeled? wouldn't any old rock do?
The important thing about the two glasses of wine in the airport, and the one on the plane (and, I'll admit, another when I got home) is that it made the SkyMall incredibly funny. However, I really paid for my over-consumption this morning when the alarm when off at 5:00am, and I dutifully got up (even though I REALLY didn't want to) because I was running with Betty.

This morning's SDTC run was almost the same run that Betty and I did on Monday...only farther. We started at Hospitality Point, ran through Ocean Beach to the end of Sunset Cliffs and back. The marathon trainers with the club ran between 18 and 20 miles on this run. BBJ was there. Some of the 1/2 marathon group ran 12 miles. By the time I got to the second water station (about 4.5 miles in), I decided that a 9 mile out and back was sufficient for this morning.


Yes, I was a wuss.

How did it ever happen that I consider a 9 mile run, sorta wussy?

Anyway, despite the somewhat queasy feeling I had at the beginning of the run, and that my legs felt like lead through most of the run, and that by the end of the run, I was REALLY HAPPY that I decided to run ONLY 9 miles, it was still a beautiful morning.
Higher tide this morning than Monday afternoon.
This is the window of a little shop called "The Black." It's been in San Diego forever. I guess I was running just WAY TOO FAST when I took this shot because you can't see all of the smoking devices available. Doesn't every beach city have a head shop?
Running along Sunset Cliffs
More pier...and an even higher tide
After the run, Betty and I decided to drive back out to La Mesa and visit Centifoni's. Last time we were there, we were really impressed with the fresh squeezed OJ in the mimosas...
Fresh squeezed OJ and a fruit display!
This is what we got this time....Apparently there is a $1.00 version.
Oh...the run stats (just in case you missed the Daily Mile sidebar...or the link to Garmin Connect...and you're just dying to know how incredibly quickly I ran the 9 miles.

1:44:57/11:33 pace

A shout out goes to BBJ who ran 20 miles this morning in 3:15 (woot, woot!). You are going to have a great RnR marathon this year...I just know it!

Also another big congrats to Al, who ran the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon this morning.

Oh...and in one last tidbit, the herd (and various friends), sadly, did NOT get into the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon again this year...((sigh and ah well))...

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend. Good luck to all who are racing in the am.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Therapy

This evening Betty and I decide to go for a Monday run... I think we both needed it. Betty is in charge of state testing at the high school, and me? I was a complete bonehead at work today and utterly spaced going to a meeting that I actually wanted to go to...

To be honest, this forgetting thing has been happening to me more and more often recently. I feel like I'm in a fog. I'm constantly forgetting things. I'm cranky (lots more than usual).

In short (and at the risk of alienating any of my male readers), I think I'm headed for "The Change" and I can't say that I'm thrilled about what appear to be some of the symptoms. GAH!

So...the run today was especially therapeutic. We started at Hospitality Point (which is where many SDTC runs start...perhaps you've seen something close to this, only at 7am and not at 5pm.
HP at sunset from the OB jetty side...beautiful, huh?
Despite running into the wind for awhile, it really was a nice run. We kept a surprisingly good pace despite having to walk over some deep sand to get to the beach at the end of the jetty, and having to walk through the sand to get to the hard-packed sand at the water. The tide was in a bit, but overall, it was a pretty low tide, so beach running was possible.
The walk to the water...I know some people do deep sand running, but I would not be among them.
Sunset Cliffs from the pier
The pier from the beach. You'd think I'd have a slower pace today considering that I stopped frequently to take photos. Sometimes pace doesn't really  matter.
Yeah...it's me. Betty was ahead of me at this point. She was setting a pretty wicked pace and it took me awhile to catch her.
Since I just figured out how to embed info from Garmin Connect, I'll probably bore you to tears with this kind of thing for awhile, but here's the route we took. Obviously, we ran on the pier, not into the ocean and back.

Many shoutouts and congrats to everyone who ran some little race in Boston this morning. Can't wait to read all your reports!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In Which Heffers Don New Hats

We entered Elsie's home this morning before our long run together to discover this...
Mik brought over heffer-hats!
But the wearing of cow paraphernalia and the drinking of mimosas would have to wait, because we all had to run.

Mik and Kat decided to run down to Seaport Village and back (very ambitious of them), Betty, Elsie and I decided to head over to Balboa Park.


Balboa Park is always a fabulous and interesting place to run...lots of diversions along the way. This morning the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was having a run/walk, so there were about a thousand people milling about the north end of the park waiting for the event to start. Apparently their event was supposed to start at 8:30, which gave us a good goal...get out of the park before all 1000 of the runners/walkers were on the paths.

We ran a couple loops of the main roads, then as we were headed back over the Laurel Street Bridge, one of the people who was directing traffic joked that we'd better get going because there were a bunch of walkers coming our way.

You can't see 'em, but there are about 1000 people behind Betty and me
Betty told me that as I was headed out of the park, some of their runners must have thought I was leading their run and started following me. I only noticed this because when I was at the top of this pedestrian bridge I could hear a couple of people saying "were we supposed to come this way." Then one woman looked at me and seemed pretty surprised that I didn't have a race bib on...

Pretty...yep there were some confused runners when I stopped to take a photo....I think some thought I was leading the parade...
Ah well...race organization...gotta love it!

Anyway, after last weeks "sprint," we took it easy this morning. Here are my stats: 7:37 miles/1:27/11:44 pace

Like I said...a really easy run, besides we had to get back to La Casita for mimosas and heffer-hats

Aren't the hats fabulous...we are trying to figure out in which race they should make their debut...it'd have to be short race, because in addition to being HAWT, the hats are HOT. 
Moooooooooooooo (of course)

Kat...our photographer :-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Little Bit of Everything

Oh yeah...Heffers are global

Well...not global really, but you can find heffers are all over the country. Yesterday Bessie was in town from Virginia. An event of such magnitude required a Heffer Happy Hour to meet and reminisce about such things as the great KFC mashed potato debacle of 1997.

Good Times...

Elsie, Madge, Alice, Momma, Bessie (all the way from Virginia!), and Betty
It's been another one of those weeks with not much working out, but a lot of working. Additional complications this week included:
  • A sick MacBook Pro - Said computer is currently (hopefully) being fixed by a genius at the Apple Store who is installing a new something techy-sounding (new IO board) so the blessed thing will turn on. When it wouldn't turn on on Tuesday night, I did go into near panic mode since MY WHOLE EFFING LIFE IS ON THAT COMPUTER!!! (yes, it is backed it up, but still... and YES this is related to the whole "bottle-of-water-exploded-in-my-briefcase-in-the-worst-trip-to-SF-EVAH" episode).*
  • A dying desktop computer - So, I'm working (or pretending to work and blogging) on our iMac. Turbo has been complaining for months that there's something wrong with this computer, but since I rarely use it, I've just ignored those complaints. But I'd have to agree with him, there is definitely something wrong with the screen because everyone once in awhile I get something that looks like this...
This is from Meg Runs. See the verticle lines going down the page? This is NOT what her actual blog looks like unless you were looking at it on my compter. Check it out, and while you're there send her some love since she's running Boston this weekend.
Again, this is NOT the result of my mad blogging skillz... Apple Genius says it means the computer needs a new logic board, which is hella expensive to fix **
  • A sick boy - Turbo has a 24-hour stomach flu. He seems fine today and just downed a grilled cheese and a banana, which his fabulous mother served to him as he lay reading in bed...ahh the joys of being a sick kid).
On the workout front...
  • A single treadmill workout  - On Tuesday night instead of going to the SDTC workout, I opted to come home and use the 'mill instead. I did 6 x 1/2 mile repeats with 1/4 mile recovery "laps" with a 1/2 mile warm up and 1/4 mile cool down. Question...does anyone know if a 1/2 mile is longer or shorter than 800 meters. Yes I am a metrically lazy and I don't want to bother figuring it out. All together I ran 5 miles in about 52 minutes. I  ran negative splits in the 1/2 mile repeat and my last repeat was at a 9:15 pace.
  • A San Diego RnR Goal - So, now that I've proven that I can be a speedy-gonzalez-type-runner, I'm now trying not to setting ridiculous goals for myself, like finishing a 1/2 marathon in 2:20 (10:41 pace).
All I know is if I'm going to do THAT, I'll need to get in more than 2 runs a week...GAH!

Tomorrow morning, SDTC is again going to Oceanside and that's nearly an hour drive from here, so the herd will be doing about two hours in and around Balboa Park. I'm sure I'll have photos of mimosas from Elsie's La Casita.

_________________________
* Fixing the water-damaged MacBook? $500


** Since I was in the Apple Store, I also picked up a new iMac as well...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Carlsbad 5000 Anniversary Race Report

Five years ago, Betty, Elsie and I ran in our first 5K race together, the Carlsbad 5000*.

Yes...I am using this photo AGAIN. Whatever... It's our anniversary!
For me, it wasn't a stellar run. In fact, I walked at several points. I hadn't trained a lick. I remember thinking that 3 miles was a pretty long way to run. I also remember thinking my finish time of 36:36 wasn't too shabby.

Me walking...and no matter what Betty may say, I swear I am adjusting my iPod and not checking myself out. This is how little I knew about running.  I'd cleverly stuck my iPod inside my bra, which made it difficult to operate, and it got pretty sticky and uncomfortable. (shakes head and rolls eyes at self)
I was hooked...not so much on running, but on racing, two entirely different things BTW.
  • I LOVED the race expo, especially the vendors giving away free swag.
  • I LOVED all the people.
  • I LOVED the camaraderie.
  • I LOVED that there were spectators cheering on a (then) 42 year old woman they didn't know.
  • I LOVED the feeling I had at the end of the race, as if I'd accomplished something.
  • I LOVED having mimosas and breakfast with the herd afterward.
I loved all these thing so much that in 2006 I entered seven (7) more local 5K races. At one point Walter suggested (kindly) that I limit my races to one a month. In all of those races in 2006, I'd walk some, then run some, then walk, then run.

The following year, I ran the Carlsbad 5000 a second time. This time I ran the whole race and finished in 33:12, knocking an entire 3:24 off my previous time and setting a PR for myself.

Something else changed that year. I started running, not just doing races. I actually started training. I ran a 1/2 Marathon with Betty that year and the rest is history (and mostly documented in this blog BTW).

I hadn't been back to the Carlsbad 5000 since that second year. But as this was our (Betty's, Elsie's & my) Fifth Running Anniversary, we decided to do celebrate by returning.

I had a goal in mind this morning as well, to set a PR and to come in under 30 minutes.

The Carlsbad 5000 is an extraordinarily well run event with races spread out throughout the day. The Master's Men ran at 7:05. Our division, Master's Women started at 8am. We got to Carlsbad around 7am, in plenty of time to park, pick up our bibs and chips, see Irene,** visit the porta potties (no lines, lots of TP), warm up, stretch, meet parents of ex-students, return to the car to get rid of excess clothing, warm up some more, visit the porta-potties a second time (longer lines, less TP, not a good sign for the later races), and stretch some more before the start of the race.

We ran into Irene right after the start of the Masters Mens (or is it Mens Masters?) Division. Her husband Michael was running in it today and set a PR as well! Here is Irene taking a picture of us with her "big-ass camera."  

Pretty multi-colored shoe tags
See...no lines at the porta potties. This was at the end of the race, but it was like this all day. Like I said, a VERY well run event!
Before the race
We originally lined up at the 10 minute mile sign, then as everyone moved forward, we ended up between the 7 and 8 minute mile groups... There were still walkers in front of us. Everyone at once now...GAHHHHHHH!!!!.
Moving up and ready to run1
And we were off...about a minute after the gun time. For the first mile or so, there was a lot of jockeying for position and it was super crowded. I tried to maneuver my way through the crowd using the Edith theory of racing...pick a person in front of you and try to get by them. Still at about 3/10 of a mile in, there were people in front of me walking (GAH!) About 4/10 of a mile into the race, we turn onto Carlsbad Blvd and head south along the ocean.

Now one of the best things about running in Carlsbad is the view. It is spectacular and I've seen it on many occasions as the track club regularly runs in this area. In fact, the club had run down Carlsbad Blvd. the previous day for the train run (which I skipped). But to be honest, this morning, I barely even looked at the ocean, I was more focused on not running into the people ahead of me. At one point, a woman who was ahead of me on but to the left darted right in front of me to high five a little girl who was on the right side of the road.

I sure hope it was her kid. I'd be pretty pissed if I knew she was darting across a crowded field like that to high five just any little kid...GAH!

At the Mile 1 mark, I looked at my Garmin and I think it read 9:15**, which was madness that I was running that fast while trying to dodge people. I think starting with (mostly) faster runners paid off, but I felt pretty good.

Mile 1.3 (ish) was a  U-turn and then we headed back north on Carlsbad Blvd. There was a slight incline (to make up for the slight decline) and I slowed a little, but whenever I looked at my Garmin I was under a 10mm pace or a little over. About then, I saw Betty and she gave me a smile and a thumbs up. She looked great! I didn't see Elsie, but figured she was somewhere nearby.

I didn't stop at the water station at 1.5 miles because I didn't really needs water, plus I knew that slowing and drinking would cost me a PR (and it probably would have).

As I passed the Mile 2 mark and looked at G and it read 18:30!

OMFG (I thought to myself) as I tried to do some elementary math and breathe at the same time. My calculations suggested that if could I run the 3rd mile in 10 minutes, I would have a PR!

Around then, I could see out of the corner of my eye, the neon-dayglo-lime-green shirt belonging to Elsie. I don't think we said anything to each other...or maybe we solved all the world's problems, but we paced each other until the second U-Turn, then Elsie took off ahead of me.

The second U-Turn was kinda evil because there's a slight incline again, but I tried to remember all the things I know to do, use my arms, relax my shoulders, adjust my posture, try to lean forward a bit. I switched a couple songs on my Shuffle and suddenly, we were back in downtown Carlsbad.

We crossed Grand, which was the street we started on, and I actually thought I had to run another two blocks to get to the finish, but everyone was turning on the next block which was Carlsbad Village Drive (clearly, I was beginning to suffer from some oxygen debt) and the beautiful downhill finish. I could see the finish line in the distance. To be honest, I didn't have much left, but I gave it one last push and crossed the finish line.

So...there you go...

It's a Sub-30 minute finish for Alice...WOOT WOOT!
Elsie at the finish line (more thanks to Irene)
Me...about 8 seconds later (more Irene thanks)
Sweaty-happy heffers
After the race (and after consuming some large quantities of water) we went through the expo to get our gear and swag and to check out the vendors. Irene had told me that Brett, my PT from Rehab United was there.

In addition to being an truly excellent PT, Brett's a great guy. He ran in the Masters Men race that morning as well. We chatted for awhile about running and cycling and maybe doing some tri-training this summer. He wanted pictures taken so that he could get back in the blog.

I'm not being nearly as dorky as this picture looks. I was asking the guy who was taking the photo if he'd taken the picture yet. Seriously, is it normal to miss going to physical therapy? I do.


Then we headed off to Del Mar to one of our favorite breakfast places, The Americana Restaurant where we had mimosas and a fabulous breakfast with Irene and Michael!

Two bottles of champagne later...we were thoroughly celebrated.
I had no idea five years ago when I did the first race at Carlsbad what it would lead to. I was decidedly NOT a runner then. In fact, I was barely mobile.  That first run led to a marathon, eight half-marathons, and lots of other races, long runs, adventures, road trips, new friends, cycling, lots of breakfasts, mimosas, the Hefferblog and all the friends and people I've met (in person and virtually) through this blog.

I didn't know about any of this five years ago, so it was an excellent thing to celebrate this morning, and with a PR to boot!

So...to The Herd, to all my running friends, to all of you who read my blog (including my family) and who've managed to get to the end of this ridiculously long race report, I'd like to quote Coach Paul who frequently makes us turn to the person next to us and say, "Thank you for making a difference in my life!"
_______________________________
* Yes, this is a ridiculously long race report for a 5K. You'd think we'd run a freakin' marathon or something...Whatever...as RBR would say, "My blog, my rules."

** Aka - Our personal race photographer today. Thanks so much for all the photos Irene!


*** I had turned off the auto-lap feature on Tuesday night at track practice because we were doing 800s and I wanted to mark my laps manually and I forgot to reset it, so I am having to somewhat guess and remember my splits, but I think I'm close.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just Checkin' in...

I don't even know why I am doing this post, other than to say, "Hi" and that I, once again, have NOT dropped off the face of the earth, just having another one of those busy, busy, busy weeks. To Recap
  • Monday - Back at work after Spring Break...too soon. I wasn't ready for it to be over. I don't know why. I was so incredibly hormonal at the end of the week I was near impossible to live with (trust me on this one). In any event, there was a residual emotional-hangover come Monday. The best thing about Monday is that I went to dinner with some friends. 
  • Tuesday - On Tuesday I did something that I have never done before in 20 years being in education...first of all I figured out on Tuesday that I've been teaching for 20 years, which made me feel incredibly OOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDD, but for whatever reason, on Tuesday I just couldn't teach. I don't know why. I had loads of papers to grade (so what? I'm an English teacher. I ALWAYS have papers to grade). So I called in sick. I swear. I've NEVER done that before. I usually just suck it up and go teach, but on Tuesday, I just couldn't do it. So I stayed home with my kids (who are STILL on Spring Break) and graded papers and then that night Betty and I went to the SDTC track workout and I ran my ass off (5 x 800 repeats...negative splits again...my only running this week, so don't be too impressed).
  • More on Tuesday - I do have to make one thing I have to share about the track club workout. There was a guy who was promoting some kind of anti-chafing-spray-on-Glide-type product, and as we were stretching, he invited whoever wanted to try it out to come up to the center of the circle to spray some on. Now this was pretty funny for a few reasons...first of all, Elsie told Betty that she'd pay her a dollar if she'd go and get some for her "problem area" (which for Betty ...well, let's just say it's on the bra-line), and I think she might have raised her shirt to get some, except there were a couple of guys who were spraying it down their pants... REALLY? There they were,  in the middle of the few hundred people or so who show up for the track workout, with their hands down their pants. Even funnier,  we only discovered later that the anti-chafing-Glide-type produce was a spray later on, so for most of the track workout, we were all kinda EWWWWWWWWWWWWW, thinking these guys (and a few girls) had all shared Glide...Not that I have a problem sharing Glide, but once you've rubbed it near your privates, I really don't want it back. I'm just sayin'
  • Wednesday - back to work, but refreshed. Agreed to write an i3 grant for the high school where I used to teach, so I'll probably be completely overworked for the next few weeks.
  • Thursday - My sister (the one who owns the OC clothing store, Olivia's Boutique for which there is now a permanent link on the sidebar) came to visit with her truckload of clothes, so we had a shopping happy hour, which I called "Pants and Pinot." It was really quite cool. We drank wine. We shopped. Most of the herd showed up. Irene  showed up and took home some pretty sweet jeans that had her name on them (literally)! I of course took NO photos, so I borrowed this on from her FB page. As a bonus, Alberta came and bought Gold! (There's a link under Olivia's Closet to Alberta (real name Jaime) and her contact info if you ever want to have a gold party...also very cool and a nice way to make some extra cash, and who doesn't like THAT).
I mean, wouldn't you buy jeans if your name was already sewn into them? I would.
  • Friday - Woke up with a slight headache due to the wine consumption. My biggest effort of the day was getting some new tires on my car, and when I needed to pick the car up, I had to ride my bike to the tire shop. Don't be too impressed, it's only about a 12 minute bike ride. Tonight Turbo is FINALLY having his birthday party sleepover, so there is a room full of 11 and 12 year old boys in the next room...and I can still hear them. It's 12:45 and they're not showing any signs of sleeping yet.  I just stopped what I THINK was a game of hide and go seek... Good thing I'm pretending to work on this grant and I'm still awake, or I'd probably be pretty irritated by now. I wonder how long they'll stay up?
  • Saturday - Going to DramaGirls HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION...OMFG...I'm sure I'll have another hormonal meltdown at some point tomorrow because my baby girl is going to HIGH SCHOOL. I have no idea how that can be, because I'm pretty sure, I took this picture just last week.
Yeah...that was the 4 year old version of an adolescent hissy fit. I was forewarned!
    I'll have a good post on Sunday because Elsie, Betty and I are running in the Carlsbad 5000. I haven't run this race since I started doing the Saturday long runs with the SDTC, but tomorrow,  the club is doing the Train Run (which is mostly fun, until you get to Leucadia), but it's also 16 miles and since I'm not running a marathon this June, I see no reason to run 16 miles.

    Anyway, I made a big deal out of running the Carlsbad 5000 because it's Elsie, Betty and my five year anniversary. That's right, five years ago, the three of us had this crazy idea that we'd pay $25 to go for a little jog on a Sunday morning with a few thousand other people and then go to breakfast afterward.

    We had NO IDEA at the time what we were starting.
    Betty, me, and Elsie...in the days before the  neon-dayglo-lime green race shirt was mandatory heffer race-day wear. My time that day was 36:36. My goals is to be under 30 minutes this Sunday.

    BTW - It's now 1:15 and they're still awake.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    It took me three years to enjoy this run...

    One of the highlighted runs of the Rockin' and Runnin' SDTC training program is the Low Tide Run. On paper, it looks like it would be a lovely run. I mean who wouldn't want to run up an isolated, beautiful, and infrequently visited part of the Southern California coast?

    The run starts at La Jolla Shores, which is a lovely stretch of beach, and heads up the sand, but before getting to the "isolated" part of the beach, we have to make our way over some rocks. Now I don't mind rock climbing, but it's typically not my preferred way to start an 11 mile run.

    Anyway, in the past two attempts at this run, I've pretty much thoroughly bitched and complained about said rocks, as well as the hill into Torrey Pines State Park, and I've also moaned about the nasty run downhill back into La Jolla. Two years ago, we had to endure 80+ degree heat by 8am on this run, and last year, albeit much cooler, there was the rain and a rotting beached whale to run by.

    This year? The rocks were still there, as were the hills (no extreme heat, rain, or dead whales), yet for some reason, it was not the most difficult run EVAH!

    I guess it took me three years to figure out how to NOT kill myself on this run and to just enjoy the scenery.

    Running up the beach at 6:45 this morning.
    This was the view from (almost) the top of Torrey Pines
     Notice how far above the ocean I still am...and I'd already run down a considerable hill at this point. I'm thinking my quads will be reminding me of that tomorrow.

    So...my running stats for the morning...I ran 10.81 miles at an 11:49 average pace. I forgot to reset my Garmin to record mile splits, so I have no idea when I was faster and slower for sure, but I didn't break any land speed records, that's for sure.

    I know I ran pretty slowly the first five miles, which were on the beach. While the sand was hard-packed, it certainly didn't make for speedy running. Also, we seemed to be running into the wind.

    I also walked up the hill into Torrey Pines State Park, which is between a 6% and 11% grade. Really, I could have walked faster than I could have run it. I ran up it once last year, but I'd been doing some hill training before that AND I was training for the La Jolla 1/2, so I was ready for it. This year, that was not the case, and again. I'm not interested in hurting myself right now.

    I do have to make one comment about the hill and it's nastyness. Not only is it steep, but it's also a curvy, windy road, so when you get to what you hope will be the top of a hill, you look around the corner ONLY TO SEE MORE EFFING HILL. Even crueler is that by the time you get to what you think is the top of the hill, you're still headed up ONLY a 4% incline, but by that time, the 4% seems almost flat.

    It's a nasty hill. Those of you running the La Jolla 1/2 Marathon this year, be warned and do your hill training. You'll thank me for it later.

    On the flats and the rolling hill section (North Torrey Pines Road), we were supposed to run two miles at our "marathon pace" so I tried to keep it about 11:15...not that THAT's my marathon pace, but it's the pace I'd like to keep for the 1/2 marathon. Like I said, I have no splits, so I can only go by the times I looked at my Garmin, and I seemed to be around there.

    After we finished our run, a few of us decided to chill our sore legs in the ocean water.

    Better than ice...ocean water therapy (Ocean temp is currently about 59ยบ). I'm pretty sure that Betty is saying something like "Get me the EFF outta here!" That's Elsie's friend Jean in the pink hat.
    There are worse places in the world to be
    After run mimosas...I'll bet you thought we were NEVER going to do that AGAIN! According to The Hefferblog, the last mimosa-fest was MARCH EFFING 6th...Almost a whole month ago! FOR SHAME HERD, FOR SHAME!
    If there ever was a group looking like they needed a mimosa, it was us this morning!
    Bonus points to whoever can decipher this...It was Elsie's description of a concept she used to teach her biology students, and NO those are not breasts.
    Happy Easter to those of you who are going to indulge in brunch and entirely too much chocolate, jelly beans, and peeps in the AM.

    I cannot believe my Spring Break is almost over. Back to school on Monday (and that stack of papers...still needs to be graded...GAH!)