Monday, June 28, 2010

Anniversary Weekend

It's been quite the weekend and now Walter and I are waiting in Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport for our quick flight back to San Diego, so I have time to do a quick come the bullets.

* Walter and I have been in Scottsdale for the last couple of days, celebrating our anniversary! 18 years... I told Walter that I was going to stop writing about what a fabulous husband/father/Sherpa he is until he makes a comment on the blog, but suffice it to say that I love this guy and am ever so happy that he decided to spend the rest of his life with me....but I swear, that's the last you'll hear of that...I promise...
* Phoenix is effing HOT. I have no idea how you runners who live in the desert do it. I managed to get a four mile treadmill run in yesterday morning, and it was almost too hot for that.
* Yes I know that it's weird that we left the "perfect" weather of San Diego to bake in the AZ desert. It usually works the it her way around.
* I have lots of pixs of the fabulous things we've seen here this weekend, but getting them on my iPad without a computer is a little bit of a hassle, so it will have to wait. Until then.

Here's to the next 18 years and beyond that (see how much this guy loves me...he even bought and wore some stylin' shades...just for me!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The other 'mill

Really? It's been almost a week since my last post?'d think I was still in school or something like that.

Well...ya know how how I have this little, itsy-bitsy tendency to overbook myself? That would be this week. I have two rather large projects that need to be finished before Friday, but before I get started on THAT treadmill, I'll talk about the other 'mill called my life.

  • DramaGirl "promoted" on Friday morning. She gave a very nice speech, which made Walter and I very proud. The rest of the day involved food, and driving her and her friends from place to place so that they could change clothes because one of her friend's parents had rented a friggen' HUMMER LIMO to take them around town for a few hours. (geez...the life huh? Go ahead and make disparaging comments about it, I know I have!)
DramaGirl and Friend at Breakfast... We went to a place called Hash House a Go Go...which serves OBSCENELY large portions. 
    LOL at the "O'Hare of the Dog" menu item and No, the girls were NOT allowed to order it.
  • Saturday night,  a bunch of "the dads" (Walter, two of his brothers and his dad) and the family went to a Padres game to watch them lose. Actually, the loss was quite a surprise to me. I don't go to that many games, but EVERY SINGLE GAME I've been to in the last four or five years, they've won. Which is saying something since they've pretty much sucked for the last few years...
You know who...
G-pa and Bro-in-law (for several reasons which I shall not divulge here, I call bro-in-law "El Diablo.")
  • The patio is onto landscaping. We "broke it in" on Father's day and invited one of Walter's brothers, who requested that I make Gumbo. 
1/2 way through a double-recipe. It might not look that great in a photo, but trust me, it's a HUGE HIT whenever I make it.
Now that's more like it...Turbo serving s'mores to his dad!
  • Running - Since last Tuesday, I've logged 13 miles including 6 miles with Walter and the SDTC on Saturday.
  • One of the coaches at the track club workout gave some exceedingly good advice about form and breathing. His idea was to lead with your core (basically, he told us to put our hand on our center...then pull our shirts. This is what we should be thinking about when we run. It conserves energy. I'll admit, that typically I am kinda a bouncy when I run and this is a humongous waste of energy, so I focused on pushing myself forward. I credit his advice to my 10:25 pace!
  • It is, amazingly, only 4 more long runs until the SF 1/2 Marathon on July 25!
  • I registered for the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon today...the third race in the California Dreamin' series.
  • Some of you may be asking...where is the REST of the Herd? Well...Elsie is in Greece. Betty is busy with summer registration. Mik teaches in a year round school, so I imagine she is still teaching. I'm sure we'll meet up soon!
OK...back to work now!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Money Pit (and other topics)

I started a post two nights ago...but it's been one of those weeks, and I was pretty surly about work, and the house, and life. But I finally came to grips with reality and realized that I really have nothing to be surly about, so I deleted the post. It was really was really, really, REALLY too whiney...even for me.

So...this week has been all about the money pit (aka our house), DramaGirl (aka -soon to be middle school promoted*), work, and a little bit of running thrown in for good measure.

The Money Pit
On the house front...10 years ago, we bought a "fixer" and we've been "fixing" it ever since. It's our  very own money pit. Most of this is my fault because I have a GOD DAMN VISION for this house and come hill or high water, I will see my VISION come to pass. Walter, would live in a shed and be happy (so long as there was a little black and white TV that he could watch sports on... You may think I'm exaggerating, but you'd be wrong.)

Anyway, after several years of whining and nagging and suggesting and plotting, I finally got Walter to agree to put in a pool about 4 summers ago. LOVE the pool. But, I've been looking at a hill of dirt behind a retaining wall for about 4 years thinking it would make a LOVELY upper patio. Finally, this week, we poured the pad.
Pouring concrete...amazingly difficult work. The concrete is brown, so it's not just dirt your're seeing. now there's another concrete pad above the pool. So what's the big deal? And No, that box of Corona is not a landscape feature.... I get it. I'm talking about the view,  not the Corona... It's just filled with random crap...I swear.
So...much of the week included me dealing with the contractor and the cement guy.

The other part of this week has been all about DramaGirl, who is "promoting" from 8th grade to high school. We went to the high school registration this morning. She'll be going to the high school where i used to teach, so I have relatively few worries. After school today, I took her and two of her friends to a nail place to get pedicures and manicures...they're such chicks!

DramaGirl and friends getting pedicures...
I don't wanna write about work because it's BORING...but I will write about running! I managed to get in THREE WHOLE RUNS THIS WEEK. (Can I hear a WOOT! WOOT!)
  • Monday - Walter and I ran around our very hilly neighborhood. MEH! I have some hill work to do to get ready for San Francisco next month. We KNOW that won't be a flat course. (3.03 miles, 34 minutes)
  • Tuesday - I went to the SDTC track club workout. Walter was meeting with a client in Ontario***, so he had to miss it. Too bad. It was a tough-ass workout! 2 mile tempo run followed by a set of 8 x 100 strides (with calestentics) and another set of 8 x 100 sprints, followed by more sit-ups, planks, and other evil core exercises. OMG it was tough (and it was the first workout of the alleged "easy recovery workout" for those who'd run the marathon. I'm wondering if I should be scared...very scared.
  • Wednesday - My back ached...could it have been all the dropping to the ground and sitting up/plank/pushup action I was into the night before (Don't get all excited G, I'm still talking about the track club workout).
  • Thursday - Three mile treadmill run. Used to love the 'mill. Now I can barely tolerate it. My whole goal, once I get on the 'mill is to see how quickly I can pound out three miles. Today it took me 32 minutes.
Tomorrow, Walter and I are going to do some strength training and Saturday, our second run with the track club's 1/2 Mad Group. Oh yeah...and there's this little "promotion" exercise in the morning.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and Happy Father's day to all the dads out there!

* They don't call 8th grade "graduation" here. They call it "promotion" instead. So tomorrow morning, there's going to be a "promotion" ceremony. I'm  pretty much OK with the nomenclature. I mean after all, it's 8th grade. But to be honest, all the hoopla certainly makes it FEEL like a graduation**. 

** Also if we call someone who is graduating a graduate, do we call someone who is promoting a promoate?

***There's an Ontario in California too. I am sure it is nowhere near as lovely as the one north of the border. The Ontario in SoCal is mostly known for what might be the most enormous strip mall EVAH. When driving from the south, you're also grateful when you get to Ontario because that means you're past  Norco, which is the most toxic smelling place EVAH due to the methane emitting from all the COWS!****

**** Heffers do NOT emit methane. Not like this anyway. I'm just sayin'

Monday, June 14, 2010

Running with Walter

I've been asking Walter to start running with me for quite awhile now, but he's had other things to do (manage a little league team, start a new business, be MY sherpa, be a great father, take care of his ailing parents and his special needs sister...just to name a few) and didn't want to commit time to it. But do to my continued support nagging he finally consented to join the San Diego Track Club's 1/2 Mad summer training group and to train for a 1/2 marathon with me.

So, on Saturday morning, Walter and I went to the first workout. It was held at Road Runner Sports (which then opened early for us to do some before-hours shopping, which is key on a weekend when the place is otherwise, a zoo). RRS is not the most scenic place to run. Basically, it's in the middle of an industrial park, and usually, I skip this run, but since it was Walter's first training run, we went.

Me and Walter before our run...he looks thrilled, doesn't he?
Although it was a pretty non-scenic run, the run itself for me worked pretty well. It was my first "real" run post the RnR 1/2, so it took about the first 1/4 mile for me to feel my legs, but after that I felt pretty good and strong. Below is our RSS route. I did NOT run through buildings, but forgot to turn on my Garmin after the warmup, so add about 1/3 of a mile to the total (and maybe three minutes).

But here's the thing...even though this was Walter's first run in I-don't-know-how-long...and even though I have been "training" and allegedly "getting faster" he kept up with me the whole way.

I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, I'm very proud of him for getting out there and running...and to be honest, as we were driving up there, I was even a little nervous because I REALLY want him to like running (with me) and like running with the track club (and me), and even though track club peeps are among the coolest and nicest of people, I was still nervous. It felt almost like I was setting him up on a blind date...only one that I was going to be there for...but was That kind of nervous.

On the other hand, while I know that one day, Walter will run faster than I do, I figured I had a few months of really showing him how it's done...I suspect that "few months" is going to be in reality--"weeks." ((sigh))

In any event, all my worry was for naught. Walter already knew people in the club (turns out one of the main organizers and volunteers is a neighbor of ours. Shows you what a neighborly person I am...) and then he and another runner, who he didn't know, knew a whole slew of people because they'd both been involved in the local little league. So he got along just fine.

This morning we ran again around the 'hood. Again...he kept up with me the whole time. I suspect that in no time at all, I'll be trying to keep up with him

Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Reflections on RnR, my PR, and other stuff

I've had some time to think about Sunday's Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon and what worked and what didn't.

Spreckles Organ Pavilion - Look at those HUGE PIPES!
    The Laurel Street Bridge - When it was built in 1916 for the
    World's Fair,there was a pond where the freeway is now
  • Walter - He drove us there, volunteered at an aid station (in part so that he could pick us up after the race to avoid the predictable post-race Cluster-F) and then once we got home and were in our post-race mental stupors, he made and served us breakfast.
  • Logging Miles - I trained enough to make running this 1/2 marathon doable and not painful. After the last two 1/2 marathons, I was due for a success on this one.
  • Setting a PR - Let me make this clear, I am THRILLED with my PR! I was more disappointed in myself that I walked for a bit in Miles 11 and 12, not in the time. There are lots of reasons for this (see FAIL! below), most of which were under my control...That being said, I'm still pretty pleased with my 2:27:47 finish.
  • The course - There are lots of complaints about the course, but I for one love running in my adopted hometown of San Diego. Running through Balboa Park was a blast, especially when we ran past Spreckles Organ Pavilion.  I was especially amused by one woman who was trying to be the local-expert and and course tour-guide. As we ran past the Organ, someone asked our local-expert-tour-guide if it was "THE SPRECKLES Organ Pavillion," and confidently she responded "OH NO, that's in Chula Vista." About then we ran past the a sign with the name on it...and she had to admit "oh, I guess it is Spreckles..." DOH and LOL...  Also,  I liked the run up the 163. I mean the city closes a pretty major highway and we get to run on it. We ran under the spectacular Laurel Street Bridge (which I run OVER pretty frequently). Yeah, there were parts of the course that were just "MEH" but overall, as I ran over the bridge onto Seaworld Drive and could, for a moment or two, see the marathoners head onto Fiesta Island, and see Mission Bay, and felt the ocean breeze, I mean, how could you NOT love this course.
  • No injuries - This is HUGE! Getting to the race without injury, then getting through the race with no injury. 
  • Running with the Herd - What else can I say. Elsie and Mik made made my day, and I'd probably STILL be sitting on Seaworld Drive, or in the parking lot, had Kat (the young one) not been there to pull me up. The only thing missing from the day was Betty. But she promises to not miss any more events.
Betty was with us in spirit, if not in person and Yes, she is sitting on my lap. Is there a problem with that? You are also completely impressed with my mad Photoshop skillz right now, aren't you?
    • The yellow shirts - while comfortable and all heffer-logo-ed, the yellow shirts are not bright enough and just do not have the visual impact of the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts. I lost Elsie a couple of times in the crowd when she was ahead of me and Penny told me later that we weren't that easy to spot (unlike times when we all wear the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts, which are truly 'effing beacons). I suspect the neon-day-glo-glow-in-the-dark-lime-green shirts will be back in the near future.
    • Dehydration - So...maybe wine on Friday night wasn't such a good idea after all? I will never know if the wine consumption was part of what affected me in the last few miles or not, but I'm willing to give it, and myself, partial responsibility.
    • A complete lack of strength training - According to my copious record keeping through The Daily Mile, the last time I lifted weights, or did P90X, or any sort of strength workout was March 31...yep, over two months ago. I suspect this was an error since I've been feeling some tightness in my Plantar Fascia Tendon (Not the dreaded P Fascitiis, yet, but I can feel the tendon, which is not a good thing at all). This I know. No strength = get hurt. I must avoid that equation, so back to squats and lunges for me.
    • No training run over 11 miles - I think that in the future, I want to do at least one, if not two long runs that are at least 12 miles. I also don't know how much of my wanting to stop and walk at mile 11 or 12 was just mental, or dehydration, or not enough quad and glute and core strength or what, but I also think that I'm not used to running more than 10 miles right now. I've done it before, just not recently and that part of the problem I have after mile 10 is mental. 
    So...the San Francisco 1/2 Marathon is in six weeks. I've never run 1/2 marathons this close to one another, so we will see how the training goes. I need to strike that balance between getting some good miles in and not overdoing it and get injured. I ran yesterday (2 miles, 22 minutes...MEH!) and did some lunge matrices and one legged squats off a riser, and so now I can barely standup after sitting, which tells me that I REALLY needed to do the strength work.

    Tomorrow is the first meeting of the SDTC's 1/2 Mad Program. It's much more laid back and low key than the rockin' and runnin' group. Walter and I will be out there.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    RnR 1/2 Race Report (Geez. You'd Think She Ran A Full...)

    Let's see if I can do a full RnR race report in one post, because unlike Irene who so graciously saved you all hours of time, I am not nearly so inclined, and as my good friend SuperHero will attest, once I have the microphone, there may be no stopping me.

    But before I begin, one short explanation. In last night's this morning's post I remarked that I was unhappy with my PR 2:27 finish...and that wasn't entirely accurate. I am very happy with the PR, what I am disappointed in, is myself, because I know I could have done better.

    But don't we all do that? Just wait, when I get to that part, you'll me.

    So, settle in and get a cup of coffee. I, for one, will be here awhile.

    The Expo 
    Mik, Kat, Elsie and I went to the Expo on Friday to avoid the crowds (ha ha ha), although from other reports I think we did avoid the ridiculous crowd attending the Expo on Saturday and endured only the regular crowd attending the Expo on Sunday...not much to report. Mik bought socks. We lost each other a few times, but found each other at the MGD64 stand.

    Me, Mik, Elsie and Kat going into the Expo
    Elise, indicated her opinion about writing in her birthday as her predicted finish time...10 hours to finish a 1/2? She was decidedly faster than that. We did a corral change and ended up in corral 20 (predicted 2:20 finish).
    This just cracked me up...the fitting rooms for the RnR-gear section was a PortaPotty...I do have to wonder if that discouraged people from trying on clothes
    Our friend Elizabeth, who was the 4:30 pacer. We waved at her like idiots for several minutes before she noticed us...
    On what may have been my first error of the weekend, that night I went to a retirement dinner/party for the principal of the High School where I used to teach. I'll admit, that I probably SHOULDN'T have had that last glass of wine (or two), but it was two nights before the what would the harm be?

    On Saturday, I ran some errands, hung around the house, texted and tweeted with Penny about when she was getting into town...then Saturday night I went to Turbo and Walter's Little League Team Party...Carb loaded on some pizza and beer (only 1 1/2 beers...I really did behave myself).

    Good carb loading?
    All my race clothes...all laid out and ready for me to jump into them. 4am would come early enough...
    The next morning, I woke at 3:30...I don't even know why I set my alarm on race mornings. It's not like I sleep very well anyway. Had some coffee and some toast, got dressed and had plenty of time since I was (for once) so darn organized. BBJ and another friend showed up at 4:45, then with Walter driving, we took off to Mik's house for the rest of the herd, which included Mik, Kat, Edith, and Elsie. All 8 of us packed into my Pilot and we were off.

    First, a word to local peeps and props to Walter. I didn't really know that Walter was planning on dropping us off on the east side of Balboa Park by the Natural History Museum, but this was GENIUS!  There was almost NOBODY on Park Avenue. In fact, I worried that we had the wrong park, or the wrong place, or maybe the walk across the bridge was farther than I thought it was (maybe 1/4 wasn't). For non-local peeps who ran the race...while dark, this picture should look familiar because we ran right through here. Unlike lots of peeps who had loads of morning traffic woes when trying to get to the west side of the park, we had absolutely none. It was awesome!

    Nothing like front door service!
    We walked and jogged a little through the park and across the bridge where I ran into Glenn (who cleverly took a picture, but I was still in "what should I do now" mode and missed that photo op. It was my first, but not my only missed photo opportunity of the day). Glenn told me that they were already out of water! I had finished a bottle in the car, so I wasn't too worried about it, but I could tell there were just a ton of people in the park. I'm guessing that next year Coach Paul will have us do the warm up at 5:00 and not 5:30...just wait. When it happens, I called it first!

    Track club - stretching 
    Irene and I are not quite awake, but ready to run. Irene gets best outfit award! Awesomely cute running skirt!
    Our before shot! One should note that we are wearing tank-tops and it is 5:30. It was already THAT warm.
    From the stretch and warmup, we went to check in our excess gear and get into a porta potty line. By this time it was a little before 6am. I figured that we had 20 minutes to the official start, and even a little beyond that when corral 20 would start.

    I was wrong.

    I expect the PP lines to be long in a big race like this, but THIS was INSANE. When we got in line, Elizabeth (remember the 4:30 timer) was with us and after 10 minutes was just GOING NUTS because the line hadn't moved at all, and she didn't want to leave the people who were counting on her without their pacer...seriously, she was just genuinely concerned, and because she is such a sweet, considerate person, she didn't want to go to the front of the line. Finally, Elsie and I convinced her that it was just the right thing to do.

    Elsie and I in the Porta Potty lines...This photo is time stamped 6:19...the race had started and we had been in line for about 20 minutes...I think we were in line for about 15 to 20 more after this...
    FINALLY...we took care of our business (and I could do a WHOLE GD post about the lack of porta potties before the race, the time it took, the lack of TP, what people do when the PP they are in line for does NOT have TP, but they know the one next to it does, and so they hold up THAT whole line until the person in the PP with TP get's out so they can grab a handful of TP for themselves AND their friend in line behind them and how THAT slows down not one, but two or even three WHOLE GD lines...) 

    On the other hand, major props to Elsie for carrying "personal wipes" and for giving me one.

    We were in the PP line for almost 40 minutes.

    Anyway, by the time we got OUT of the PP lines, it was about 6:35 and we walked as far toward the start as we could and melded in with the Corral 25 peeps...and we were off....

    Miles 1-5 - Balboa Park
    First, a word about the wave start. For me, it worked out really well. I know there are some complaining about people being in the wrong corral and that was certainly true. I mean, there were people walking from the start in Corral 25 (2:30 1/2 Mary and 5 hr full pace). WTF? But I think this is an even bigger problem in the lower number corrals. Somehow slower people want to start farther up so that they'll finish earlier perhaps? I don't know. On a day like Sunday, starting in an earlier corral would have certainly helped with the sun, and lord knows I coulda used an extra 30 minutes of overcast...but still...

    That being said, it was a great start. I did very little jogging in and out of people. I always felt like I had plenty of room to run my pace, even when we headed into Balboa Park and there were lots of turns, and while I did have to slow down, it wasn't ridiculously slow...just a little slower, and to be honest, for me that worked. I wanted to run a slow, easy, pace for the first four or five miles anyway.

    The first miles were easy. It was humid, but still overcast. We ran around and through the park. Bands played. People cheered. I was sweating (a lot more than I thought I I would later figure out). Elsie and I stuck together and I was completely enjoying myself. Coach Paul was there with his bullhorn telling everyone that they make a difference. Elsie and I shouted "WE LOVE YOU PAUL!" 
    This is one of only two pictures I took during the race. We are on the 163 exit ramp getting on the freeway. Below us were the marathoners, coming out of downtown. 
    Miles 5-11 - The 163 and Friars
    So we entered the freeway. Some people don't like this stretch of the race because it is an uphill climb for about two miles, but I actually enjoy this part of the run. It was amazingly neat to see the marathoners come out of downtown, and I'd read enough of the race directions to know that I was supposed to stay to the left and marathoners had the right. As we merged, however, I could see that this was going to be somewhat problematic later in the day.

    As it was, our group (roughly 10:30 and 11 mm pace) were running with people who were aiming for a sub 4 hour marathon (quite frankly, I don't even know how fast that is, but I know it's faster than me). But here's the first part of the problem. One of the challenges of running on the freeway is that there's a fair amount of cant in the road, and for some, the goal is to stay to the side where it is more level. Luckily for the 1/2 marathoners, this was the left side of the road, but I could see that there were some faster runners who were also trying to run there and were dodging in and out of us. I can't blame them, running on a road with a 30 degree cant for 2 miles is painful and I didn't mind (I mean, I wasn't the one doing the dodging)

    But, from what I heard later from BBJ was that by the time he got to the 163, the 1/2 marathoners on the road included a lot of walkers who DID NOT stay on the left side, they veered onto the right side...which was the marathoners side and even more curious, the side of the road with the most cant.  Frustrating, to say the least.

    On the other hand, it was never very clearly labeled that the left side was for 1/2 marathoners and the right for marathon until we got to the exit. The race organizers may want to rethink that for next time (that and the porta potties).

    Anyway, back to my and Elsie's story. While I was making my way up the 163, I caught up with Elsie, who had been anywhere from 10 to 40 feet in front of me and we ran together although we didn't talk much. This is when I knew Elsie wasn't having much fun because she ALWAYS chats when we run. By the way, I learned that Elsie swears. She told me she hated the f-ing freeway...which floored me because, unlike me and Betty, both of whom have been known to drop the occasional F-bomb, Elsie does not swear.

    Gotta love the Marines manning an aide station. Like they don't do enough for us already!

    After about two miles, the freeway crested and we headed back down into Mission Valley. I think it was about this time that I noticed three things:

    1. About an hour into the race, I took my first GU. It was like if my body was just craving whatever was in that thing. I'd never really had that kind of experience with 'effing GU before and figured that I was probably under-fueled. Uh-Oh...
    2. I wasn't really sweating anymore either.  I decided that at the remaining water stations, I'd drink both water and the CytoMax (which I find to be pretty syrupy and sweet anyway). I also noticed that my fingers were feeling kinda swollen...probably another sign of pending dehydration (lots of salt in my system, but not enough fluids?). Not a good thing.
    3. The sun was breaking through as we got off the freeway. Not. A. Good. Thing. At. All.

    So, we exited the freeway and headed down Friars Road. Despite the emerging sun, I was still enjoying the run. The sun was at my back and not my face, so it was quite tolerable and there were lots of peeps cheering. I especially loved one guy who had a sign that said "Hello complete stranger! I am proud of you for running today!" I thought that was funny.

    Elsie, unfortunately, was not having as much fun. Her friend Jean, dropped in to run a few miles with her, and to my surprise, I pulled away from them.

    As I ran along I kept looking for Penny, Velcro and a balloon. We'd exchanged text messages and emails the previous day and she said she'd be on Friars. About Mile 10, I saw Penny, Velcro and Yas...we yelled at each other and I considered running across a bunch of (faster than me) marathoners to give her a sweaty (oh yeah, maybe not since I wasn't sweating anymore), but in a moment of unusual mental clarity, I decided that was NOT a good idea. So I waved and hooted and thanked my lucky stars for the mental boost seeing Penny and Yas gave me.

    Miles 11-13 - The Heat..OMFG...The Heat
    So...ya wanna know how well I was running for 10.5 miles? Go ahead....look at this.

    First 10 miles are a thing of beauty...Even that 11:20 at Mile 6 is understandably at the steepest part of the freeway. 
    I don't know what else to say about that except to say that the heat, the humidity, a lack of fluids, and perhaps even a mental wall got the best of me. The 12th mile was, to say the least, brutal. I really had to do some serious talking to myself to keep going. Seeing Irene somewhere in the middle of mile 11 gave me a lift. She was a few minutes in front of me and I sooooo wanted to just leap over the meridian and run with her...but in my second moment of fuzzy mental clarity, I knew that would be wrong.

    Worst of all, I was fine (or relatively fine) and then I was not. I'd walk, I'd get all dizzy and I knew that was not a good thing.

    Somehow, I got to the next water station (somewhere around 11 miles, I think...I know that we were turning a corner) and there were two women in gold capes and I said to myself that I was NOT going to get beat by gold capes (I'm sure they are very nice people...but you do what you do to get through a race..) and I put my head down to run.

    I was partially hoping that I'd see Walter, DramaGirl, and Turbo, who were volunteering at the SDTC water station, which although not on the 1/2 marathon route, was near it and I told them I'd be nearby around 8:45 to 9:00...but they were providing aid to VERY needy marathoners.
    Anne sent me this photo of DG and her friend at the water station. DG later told me that she really "sincerely" was glad she volunteered. That's high praise for DG!
    By that time, I was a little disappointed in myself already because I know I had a 2:25 finish in my grasp, but like that, it was gone. I do know that I can do it one day. It just wasn't Sunday.

    So...2:27:47...I'm happy with it and I'll take it, but I know that I can do 2:25 (and maybe even 2:20) one day. I just know it. It is my next goal!

    Me, Elsie, and Mik after the race
    Much of the after-race is a blurr to me today. I finished. Someone handed me a medal. Another goddess handed me an ice-cold cloth. I got some water. Elsie finished a little bit behind me and we made our way through the food lines (Breadsticks...YUM and fruit cups...even YUMMIER!) and then to the SDTC tent where I got some chocolate milk, found Mik and Kat, and we decided to get the heck out of there.

    I'll probably have some more to say about the finish area in a future post, but I think both Glenn and Irene have excellent recaps about what a Cluster-F it was, which is too bad. I don't know all the ins and outs of race organization, but there has to be a place that a San Diego RnR marathon can end that doesn't make it so difficult for runners to get out of there. BBJ told us that after running for 5 hours, it took him another hour to get on a Shuttle, then even longer to get on the Trolley to get home...NOT GOOD.

    We had previously planned to walk to the Marathon Mile 25 aid station to meet up with Walter, but we got out to the road and decided to stop and wait.
    It seemed like as good a place as any to stop.
    Since Walter, DG, and Turbo had volunteered, they'd parked nearby and so we got out of there pretty easily...which was a godsend.

    We piled into the car and headed home for BREAKFAST AND MIMOSAS!

    Finally, in my major photo taking FAIL of the day, I neglected to take any photos at breakfast, which was at my house. We had mimosas, pancakes, eggs...Walter (TBHE*) cooked for us and Penny joined us. I can't believe I didn't take a group shot (EPIC FAIL!), but I will leave you with this**...
    Penny's excellent signage...I was so flattered. I've never had a sign at a race before!
    * The Best Husband EVER!!!

    ** I'll have some reflections about the event, what I learned, and some other highlights in the next couple of days, but I figure this is LONG ENOUGH FOR ONE POST...EVEN WITH ALL THE PIX!

    Rockin' and Rollin' in San Diego...the short story

    I'll post a full race report later today (I meant to post this last night but STOOPID BLOGGER was having back-end issues...whatever that means... and as runners, I'm sure we are all thinking of OUR OCCASIONAL BACK-END issues and know that it's not any fun. at. all...), but briefly...we ran; we laughed; we saw friends; we were VERY hot; we finished; and of course, we had mimosas!

    Alice - 2:27:47 (a PB for me...still not happy. I'll explain why...)
    Elsie - 2:29:59 (that's sub 2:30 to me! Way to hang in there Elsie!)
    Mik - 1:59:18 (Sub 2 hour finish! You are amazing!)
    Kat - 2:05:27 (Another PB!)
    Edith - 2:05:08 (Another PB!)
    Stoney - 1:42:21 (And another PB...I will never again harass you for dogging the core workouts!)
    BBJ - 4:54:15 (Marathoner...breaks the five hour barrier!)

    Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday. I can't wait to see all your reports!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    New Traditions...

    More taper madness...!
    Walter and I atop Cowles Mtn
    1. Tight calves...On Monday (yes, it was Monday. It was a holiday, so that's how I know it was Monday and not Tuesday...whatever)...anyway, on Monday, Walter, Turbo and I went for a hike up Cowles Mountain. It wasn't a fast hike (although I will admit to jogging on one flat portion of it, and a little of the not-so-steep downhill portions), but the hike uphill was pretty steep and when followed by Tuesday night's track workout, my calves have been SCREAMING at me ever since, so I haven't run this week since Tuesday. I'm thinking of doing a short (2 or 3 mile) run tomorrow morning, just to loosen up a bit. That's OK, right?
    2. Pretty much everyone is talking about the weather this weekend. Why? Because after several months of cool, albeit sometimes downright cold, SoCal weather, warmer temps decided to start this week. It's not HOT, but it is warmer than it's been lately and also, it looks to be pretty humid. The National Weather Service says we should see patchy fog before 11am on Sunday and a high of 72, which doesn't sound so bad, but it may also be pretty humid, which isn't so much fun. The RnR organizers have been sending out suggestions for running in the heat for the last day or so. I am trying to NOT get worried about this.

    3. Betty and I cross the 10K mat at AFC 200 
      Which brings me to the whole wardrobe announcement. As I've so FREQUENTLY AND PROBABLY TIRESOMELY NOTED, Betty and I ran our first 1/2 Marathon (The AFC 1/2 Marathon) in 2007. So that our husbands could find us, we decided to purchase these day-glo, neon, lime green Race Ready shirts. In fact, we bought them at the race expo, breaking the number one rule of running, which is to NEVER wear something in a race for the first time. In any event, since then they have come in decidedly handy in locating each other. They've helped other people find us (on numerous occasions), and one time, they helped land us on local television. I've worn that shirt in 27 races. But let's face it, the shirt itself is not particularly flattering, so I've been thinking for awhile about replacing it. In fact, I looked high and low for a neon-lime green women's running shirt that was a little more fitted and flattering. Apparently, however, neon-day-glo-lime-green is not the IN color right now. but hopefully I've come up with something equally as noticable...a bright yellow shirt with a homemade logo that says "Heffers...we run for Mimosas" and then our names on the back.*

    4. Finally, this afternoon the RnR website posted this little bit'o'coolness. Competitor and Garmin have posted course previews on the Rock 'n' Roll Website.  I know some people like the "surprise" of not knowing where they are running ahead of time. Not me. I like to know EVERYTHING. So, the 1/2 Mary looks like a pretty good run. I think it's going to be pretty crowded, especially around miles 4 and 5 as we head back into Balboa Park. Also, at mile 11 there's an out and back and then some kind of silly loop around the block in Bay Park (we'll be near Irene's house I think) that looks to be frustrating (I never like running AWAY from a finish line in the 11th mile), but overall I'd rather know about it in advance, than be surprised by it on race day. Also, if you look at the video, I especially like the part where the cars are backing up the freeway.

    I don't know if I'll be posting again before the race. I probably will on Saturday because I have all this nervous energy.
    * I created the "logo" in a program called PrintShop on my Mac and I used free clipart from Microsoft's online clipart collection for the dancing cows and the mimosa.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    We are all tapering over here...

    Is one of the symptoms of tapering being a little absentminded? If so, then we have a slew of it over here...whether it is due to tapering or not.

    Exhibit 1 - Alice doesn't know what day it is...
    It was the third time I'd realized it too. I'd realize it was Tuesday and not Monday, then I'd forget, then I'd make some plan for what I thought would be the next day...or two days away...then tune back into the standard time continuum and realize that it was, in fact, still TUESDAY and not MONDAY and I'd just made plans for THAT AFTERNOON or THE NEXT MORNING! GAH!
    Exhibit 2 - Elsie is going to crawl a 1/2 marathon
    Yep...that 10:01:51 is Elsie's 1/2 marathon predicted time...She thought she was filling in her birthday. We think she'll beat her predicted time. (Truth be told, she did this months ago, but just realized it this week).
    Exhibit 3 - Betty doesn't know her gender
    After my constant haranguing and reminding, Betty finally registered for the SF 1/2 Marathon a "Male" ordering a "Women's" T-Shirt...It is San Francisco, so perhaps this happens regularly.*
    So...Taper week is in full force. I went to the SDTC final workout last night, we ran a 400, an 800s and then were supposed to do a mile at our "race pace" to see how easy it would be. I failed miserably on this account. My race goal is to maintain an 11:04 pace, which would give me a 2:25 finish (and a PR!). I think this is entirely doable and maybe even (in a perfect world) I could speed up in the last three miles and come in somewhere under 2:25. However, last night, my slowest mile was 10:30ish, and the other two (including the 'effing 1/2 mile warmup) were around 10:00...which would be fine if I were only running three miles, but I am not. I will be running 13.1 and I  know I cannot keep that pace for 13, it would be foolish of me to try. Truth is, I was TRYING to slow down...just couldn't sustain it.

    Now on race day, starting the race slowly won't be a problem. With 40,000 runners, it'll be slow for the first two or even three miles. In fact, it will probably be pretty slow until we get on the 163 (the freeway), but this will also be my biggest challenge. I'll be about 5 miles into the race by then, and I'll have been going pretty slow due to the crowds, and I'll be likely to be feeling so spry that I'll decide to speed up...I need to fight this urge because I know 10 minute miles with 8 to go...again, not a good thing if I'm to finish strong.

    Yes, I am in full taper-fret mode about this. Can you tell? To a certain extent, I wish I were still teaching because I'd have something other than THE RACE ON SUNDAY to focus on, not that I don't have other work to focus on, because I do, but I can't really focus on it because all of my energy is focused on THE RACE ON SUNDAY.'s only a 1/2 marathon girl**. Get a hold of yourself.

    * props to me and my mad Photoshop skilz for blocking out private info and inserting pseudonyms...

    ** Speaking of 1/2 Marathons, I registered both myself and Walter for the SDTCs 1/2 Mad summer 1/2 marathon training program. That guy is gonna run a 1/2 mary with me whether he wants to or not! Maybe I'll even be able to convince him to write a guest blog. He's actually very funny!