Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mental Work

OK...so here's the deal.

We started riding with a local cycling training group (run through the local Trek bike store) two weeks ago...and by "we," I mean Betty, Mik, Wilma, Clarence, yours truly, and hopefully soon, Elsie. In these two weeks, we've learned lots about what it means to ride in a pace line (yes, much easier to go the distance, if you know what I mean, by doing this). We've also learned loads about using the various hand and voice signals cycler's use in large packs in order to keep from a) running into one another and b) running into something or someone else.

And mostly we've learned that, honestly, cycling in a large group has been mentally exhausting. 

I'd have to look back a few years at some earlier blogs to see if I complained about being ├╝ber concerned about whatever-the-heck-every-other-runner-around-me-was-doing when I started running, and trust me, if there was something to whine about, I suspect I did.

But I don't really remember complaining about THAT particular thing (THAT = having to think). But it is a concern of mine now. When I ride, I really have to pay attention to EVERYTHING!

This is different than running. When I run, I can pretty much zone out every now and then. When I run, for the most part, I am rarely concerned that a partial zone-out is going to result in my becoming road-splatter (Full Disclosure: Yes, I have been known to trip over sidewalks and end up being road-splatter while running.) 

And yes, one must be somewhat aware of his/her surroundings while running, if for no other reason than to avoid being run over by a car...or by a zoned out cyclist, but still...there is a certain amount of zone-i-ness that can occur while running, especially if running on a sidewalk or walking/running path.

HOWEVER THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH I CAN ZONE OUT WHILE RIDING. PERIOD. 

It'd be just plain dangerous.

And thus, riding = exhausting.

Or at least so far.

Yesterday we rode about 30 miles with the Trek Training Group. Mik, Betty, and I rode with the B-3 Group (Ave 14 to 15 mph). I have no idea what any of this means, but I know that I was pretty much in the middle of the group, did pretty well on the flatter parts of the ride, fell back when going up hills, and tipped over once while still clipped in when there were too many people going too slow up a too steep entry to a bike path (really...my bad. I should have just waited). 

Tipping over feels like such a rookie mistake.

Overall, riding 30 miles felt pretty good. It was nice to ride with a group where I felt like I was pushing myself. Usually on a bike, I kinda feel like I'm just cruising.

Then this morning, Mik and I met up for an hour run (6.5 miles, 1.04, 9:55 pace). My legs felt a bit heavy, but overall, a nice run at Lake BP.

Balancing running and riding into a weekly routine is going to be a definite challenge. The Trek training program meets every Saturday at 8am and is supposed to end with the San Diego Century on May 19. The Rockin & Running training program meets every Saturday at 7am, and it ends with the Rock and Roll Marathon on June 3. We weren't planning on doing the RnR again, but we have been looking at a sweet little half on June 3 on Ojai. We haven't decided on the San Diego Century yet.

The Trek group offers a weekly training plan that says I should ride 10 miles on Tuesday, 20 on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, 5 on Friday, and 35 on Saturday.

The RnR training program says I should be running 50 - 60 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 2 x 20 minute intervals at my threshold pace on Tuesday, then 9 miles on Saturday.

So...do we rotate (RnR one day, then Trek)? Overall, do we rotate weekend long runs/rides and do our favorite runs/rides and then make up runs/rides on Sundays? 

Bwahahahahahahahaha... I so don't have time for all that. Anyone have any advice for me on how to balance this? 

I know in the absence of an actual training goal, it probably really doesn't matter, does it?

BTW...it's been a nutty two weeks, but I did want to mention that the young guy turned 14 today! Happy Birthday Turbo!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Randomness Over 9(ish) Miles

Yep, it's been going around...the flu, head colds, and the 11 random things tag... I was due.


Maggie @ Run Happy (who is too darn adorable and a newly-wed to boot!) tagged me with the ubiquitous 11 random things meme, and since I haven't had much in the way of blah-blah-blah blog fodder recently, I'm in.


For those of you who are not in the loop, here are the rules
The Random Eleven Rules
  1. Post these rules
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
  4. Tag 11 people (can't be the person who tagged you)
  5. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
  6. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them (Tag! You're it!)
11 Random Things About Me
Since I ran about 9ish miles this morning, I had some time to think about lots of random things, so what follows are a compendium of randomness from this morning.
Lisa was wearing a fabulous pink tutu!
  1. I love it when I accidentally run into other bloggers. This morning I saw Lisa during my run. She was running in a Half Marathon at Mission Bay and I was on about Mile 6 of my long run. That we happened to be at the same place, at the same time, was truly random. I had just left a SDTC water station, and was making sure I avoided runners who were in the race  and as I looked over my left shoulder, there was Lisa...She looked fabulous, so I took a picture! 
  2. I make a regular habit of doing accidentally embarrassing things. So...you all know how the herd wears some super-brite-neon-dayglo-lime-green on race days. This is how we find each other. What you may not know is that I also have a lime green iPod Shuffle, and a lime green iPhone case. In my last post, I wrote about how Irene's hubbs Michael and I were joking about whether or not my underwear matched. What I didn't write about is that this whole line of conversation was started by a guy from the track club who I know, but you know, I really don't know. He looked at all the green and, trying to be funny, he said something like, "Oh look at all the green, do your underwear match?" I paused, because what I WANTED to say was "I don't wear underwear" because isn't that what you all do in these situations? Double-down? But since I didn't know the other guy that well, in a moment of mature filtering, I didn't say THAT to him. Fast forward to this week, and I'm running and I pass a guy who I THINK is the same guy from last week and he's wearing a super-brite-neon-dayglo-yellow shirt, so (OF COURSE), I ask him if his underwear match...turns out it wasn't the guy from last week...uh yeah...duh.
  3. So, no, I don't wear underwear under my compression shorts when I run.
  4. One of the great things about running around East Mission Bay is that there are plenty of restrooms if one is needed. I didn't need one this morning, but the strangest place I ever peed during a long ride was behing a bush, a bush that we eventually renamed as "Cindi's Bush." I know, not that interesting, but it is random.
  5. I've sorta gotten used to using porta-pottys
  6. I'm always surprised by the random stuff I see when I run. Recently I seem to notice a lot of ponytail holders. I'm always tempted to pick these up because I never seem to be able to find one at home when I need one.
  7. Still...to this day, I think the most random object I've ever seen on a race was the broken bong in Ocean Beach. I've never seen one since.
  8. My favorite breakfast is a bagel thin, whipped cream cheese, and an egg while. I make a sandwich out of it. YUM!
  9. I don't really like the competition shows, but I am currently intrigued by The Voice
  10. The last TV show I watched was the "Encore" performance of SMASH, but I only watched it a second time because Saturday night TV is dreadful.
  11. Tomorrow we were planning to go skiing for the first time this season...then Turbo was hanging out with his crew today, and now his hand is all swollen...maybe just a sprain? srain? fracture? We'll see in the am, but until then, no skiing for us. Ah Boys!
11 Questions from Maggie

1. What’s your favorite TV show? 
I am eagerly awaiting the return of Mad Men, but until then, my default fave show is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

2. If you could have lunch with an actor/actress of any era, who would it be and why?
That's a tough one. I always think that Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn would have been fun to chat with for a bit. I think they'd both be heffers.

3. If you could tightrope walk across anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Tightrope? Yikes! I guess across the Grand Canyon because I think there are things you'd see from that perspective that are unlike anything other than that, but how scary!

4. What do you do for a living?
I teach adults to read and write at a community college. Then in my spare time, I do professional development with high school teachers, so that fewer adults end up in my courses.

5. Do you crave sweet or salty foods?
Yes

6. Can you remember your last dream?  What was it?
I'm not sure, but I think it had something to do with being behind on several projects.

7. How big is your bed?
California King

8. What was the last thing you ate?
Risotto (I made it with shrimp and wild mushrooms)

9. Who was your last phone call or text from?
Cali

10. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To be two places at once.

11. What are three things you can't live without?
Running, The Herd, My family (and you all thought I'd say wine...or mimosas)

My 11 Random Questions
These are the questions I asked myself to come up with my randoms, so I'm subjecting the following people to my randomness.
  1. Who was the last person you randomly ran into at a race or during a long run?
  2. What was the last embarrassing thing you did?
  3. Do you wear underwear when you run? why or why not?
  4. Where is the strangest place you've ended up having to pee during a long run, ride, or race.
  5. Which color porta potty do you prefer?
  6. What was the last random object you saw on your last run?
  7. What was the most random object you've ever seen on a long run?
  8. What is your favorite breakfast?
  9. The Voice or American Idol?
  10. What was the last TV show you watched?
  11. What are you doing tomorrow?
So Now I'm tagging:
  1. Keith
  2. Irene
  3. Petra
  4. Diana
  5. Lily
  6. Carly
  7. Al
  8. Michelle
  9. Lisa
  10. Jill
  11. Glenn

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh yeah...I forgot to post a race report

Saturday was the SuperRun 10K - The fifth anniversary of the running-heffer crew (Betty, Elsie, Mik, me). Five years ago, we ran together for the first time (well...not together exactly), and we haven't stopped since.

You just never now what a morning run will lead to...

One thing that five years of running led to on Saturday morning? A sub-hour 10K

Let me repeat that for myself - A SUB-EFFING-HOUR 10K.

Let's be honest here...it's really not something that I ever thought I would do
Does this look like someone who would run a sub-1-hour 10K? Yeah...I don't think so either.

Amazingly...opix still has photos on it's website from 2008! Oh, If only there were photos from 2007. On the other hand, maybe I don't wanna know...
Jump forward to Saturday 2012... It was just one of those days when everything worked.
  • We got to the race early enough to get good parking on the riverbed, but not so early that we had to wait in the cold for too long.
  • The race started at South Shores Park, where there are actual, real, flushing, toilets, and the line for the real-actual toilets was not ridiculously longer than the porta-potty line, so I got to use an ACTUAL, REAL, FLUSHING, GD, TOILET!
  • We all were healthy - meaning no injuries for the herd.
  • I got to make jokes with Irene's hubby about whether or not my underwear matched my shirt, iPod shuffle and iPhone case (all are lime green).... I'll let you guess about the rest....
The sun was out, but it was a little chilly, so we huddled before the race

With Irene and Laura, waiting for the start.
Before the race, Betty asked me what time I was shooting for. I shrugged... coming in under an hour in a 10K would be tough for me. It would mean running consecutive sub-10 minute miles for more than 6 miles, which isn't something I'd done before. We agreed that if I came in at 1:01, it'd be a pretty good race. I'd set my previous 10K PR last year (in 2011) at 1:01:55, so I figured knocking about a minute off of that would be pretty good. Turns out, I'd knock of almost two minutes.

Miles 1-3 - What was I THINKING?
I thought I'd start off taking it easy and work for negative splits...we'll THAT didn't happen. We took off, and there was a fair amount of weaving in and out, trying to get around slower people. For the most part, in this race, it's not too much of a problem since about 3/4 of the field are SDTC members, but I still weaved a bit (which is why my Garmin says I ran 6.31 miles and not 6.2). Also, I was running behind Walter and his friend Bob, trying to keep pace with them. Garmin buzzed at Mile 1, and I was pretty surprised to see 9:15 (I never notice seconds...).

"Uh, yeah," I thought to myself, "I won't be running negative splits I guess. Just better try to keep somewhere near this pace"

One of the best things about the SuperRun is that it is, if nothing else, scenic. Running around the bay, over a few overpasses which offers some really nice vistas of Mission Bay and Crown Point. The sun was out, but it wasn't hot. Beautiful.

The worst part of the run is through the Seaworld parking lot. I mean, let's face it. It's a parking lot. But in the beginning of the race (miles 1 and 2) it doesn't matter so much because you're running easy and entertained by my music, and the crowds, and the 2nd mile just flys by.

So, how was I doing on the way out?

Mile 1 - 9:15:87
Mile 2 - 9:15:28
Mile 3 - 9:01:57

Uh, yeah...I'm surprised too! Especially about that third mile where we run over a couple of overpasses - they're not big hills, I suspect I made up some time on the downhill side, as well as a pretty sweet downhill stretch into the Crown Point parking lot where we turned around and headed back.

Around the 2nd mile, I'd caught up with Walter (Bob had run on without him), and we ran a few feet away from each other for most of the rest of the race.

Mile 2 ish...I am nowhere near interested in smiling at the camera guy - I had a overpass to get over 
At the turnaround, I high-fived and smiled when I saw Irene and her hubs Michael (who yelled out "GO HEFFERS!" which he always does, and every, single, time. It makes me smile when I wonder what people think of that, especially when I fist-pump and cheer back "GO MICHAEL!!!!"

Miles 4-6 - GAH - The Seaworld Parking Lot
After the turnaround, I decided that it was way too warm to be wearing the long sleeve neon-lime-green shirt, so I took it off and tied it around my waist.

Much better.

Of course, after Mile 3, I also started to feel the effects of running about as fast as I could for three miles. Also, remember that hill I just ran down? Time to go back up it. All of those things added up to some heavy feeling legs and, of course, that desire to just walk a bit. But I was determined, so I powered up the hill and tried my best to either stay ahead of Walter or just behind him (yes, I am THAT competitive that I'll use my husband that way. He knows).

The good news was that after the 4th mile, the overpasses were behind me.

The bad news was that the last two miles were back through the Seaworld parking lot and up Seaworld Drive. Being no longer fresh and energetic and distracted by people and my music, the mile through the parking lot is just boring, and painful, and since I run with only one earbud in (so that I can hear the world around me), full of complaining people.

But things still worked!

  • A track club runner runner told me I was looking good (thank you!), which gave me that extra boost!
  • I could see Mik in the distance ahead of me. So that you know, at five miles I NEVER have Mik in my sights - although this is also a double edged sword because I find myself thinking, "oh, I wish I were up there with Mik because I WOULD BE THAT MUCH CLOSER TO BE DONE!"

So of course, these were my slowest miles, but still...I managed to keep it under 10 minutes.

I'm still not quite sure how I did this.

Mile 4 - 9:35:47
Mile 5 - 9:39:37
Mile 6 - 9:34:33
Mile (in this case) 6:31 - 2:44 (8:54 pace....thank you very much)

In other words, the exact opposite of negative splits. I'm beginning to think that negative splits are highly over-rated.

What I do know is that when I came around the last corner and could finally see the clock time, it was just turning from 58 minutes to 59. I knew I was about 30 seconds behind the clock time, and I was determined to not see it get to 1:00:xx before I crossed the finish, so I sprinted.

Final - 59:00 - 9:20 pace (official)

((YES))

I have to say; there have been several races in the past couple of years where I've set PRs, but still haven't been satisfied, thinking that I could have/should have run a smarter race, a better race, a different race.

Not this time. I am completely happy with how I ran the whole race.
Don't I look happy? I stole this from the SDTC FB site (thanks Doreen!), and Yes, that's Walter in the background...glowing in the green.
Time to celebrate! So off to The High Dive we went!
LOL...all of us trying to take photos of the bevvies 
More photos by Irene 
Sadness that there was no more coffee
Happy campers (this was right after I yelled at Walter to drink some juice or something because as we were driving to The High Dive, his calf muscle cramped up. He's not a big believer in a recovery beverage ((rolls eyes)). 
Michael wanted to make sure he knew his pace

Yep. Completely Satisfied (thanks Elsie for sending me this) 
Happy Anniversary to my Herd. Thanks for making the last five years so much fun. Here's to many, many, many more. I love you all!