Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Run, The Rain, and The Texts

After listening to the rain for a half-hour, I sent the first text message at 6:01 am

Alice to Betty: Have u looked outside?
Betty: Yes. I'm good with either - especially if it's worse there. The only good thing would be your blog post. Not sure it's worth it.

Mik to Alice: Not going. rainin' 2 hard

Alice to Betty: Mik's out. I'm good either way. Your call.
Betty: If it's my call - I will sleep in a warm bed. U should know better.
Alice: You got me out there last week and I would have bailed.
Betty: Well then, let's go.
Alice: OK...I'll be there in about 15. I'm awake and dressed
Betty: I'm dressed too. Drive yur ass over here and let's get this rainfest started!

Alice to Mik: Don't be a chicken. Betty and I are going (this text was ignored).

6:32 (in person)
Walter: What are you doing?
Alice: I'm going running.
Walter: Why don't you just go to the gym then go to breakfast?
Alice (as if she's stating the obvious)...well, I'm not dressed for the gym, I'm dressed for running in the rain.
Walter: (shaking head) You're crazy.
Alice: You're really not supporting my healthy lifestyle right now.
Walter: It's raining out. I think I am.
Alice: Well, I'm going running anyway. Wish me luck!
Walter (says nothing, but he's still giving Alice the "you're crazy" look)

Thus the morning began with a drive over to Coronado's Tidelands Park for this week's SDTC long run. Most of the time, I love this run which starts at Tidelands and takes us out to the Silver Strand and back.
Just a sprinkle...
Are you sure?
Oh yeah...I'm sure
We talked about running about 30 minutes out and 30 back. I figured an hour run in the rain was a sufficient effort.
Betty decided to get started running right away, but I wanted to stretch a bit, so I did a super quick warmup and started the run with the rest of the track club. As we left Tideland's Park, the wind was at our back and the rain became more mist-like. Betty had brought some disposable rain ponchos, so at least my body was dry. It was actually quite lovely!

I chatted with Irene's hubby Michael for most of the first mile, then ran the next three miles with Irene talking about jobs and work and kids and stuff, which I was ever so happy about because as I started running, I realized that my Shuffle's battery was dead and I had been in a state of semi-despair because I figured that running in the rain was bad enough, but running in the rain without tunes would be just horrid.

But Irene saved me. In fact, we were so involved in conversation that the first time I looked at my Garmin, we'd been running about 38 minutes. We decided to run around at 45 minutes (about 4 miles) and head back.

But what a difference the way back was! When we turned around, it turned out that were running into the wind, with rain blowing into our eyes and faces. Irene told me that she wanted to slow it down, but my mind-set at that point was to get out of the rain as fast as I could. The strand is a pretty open area, but I figured that by the time I got back to Coronado, the buildings would shield me from the wind, so I picked up my pace and said goodbye to Irene.

The last two miles were around the tennis and yacht clubs and golf course (this is Coronado of course), under the Bridge and back to the park. As I predicted, the wind died down and it even stopped raining, so my last two miles were my fastest! I'd been a little under an 11 minute pace, but really picked it up the last two miles and finished around 1:25.
Woot! Irene finishing up her 8 miles. BTW...Irene has THE BEST running form 
I think Betty was happy to see me and the car key
Happiness is being DONE with a rain-day run!
The previous night Alberta had sent me a text inviting us over for breakfast since she lives in Coronado, so Betty and I headed over to her place for warmth and food.
Waffles (whole wheat, so very healthy)
Our hostess 
Breakfast casserole (it had blue cheese in it, which was surprising and completely yummy!) 
...and mimosas of course!
The rain continues, so I'm really glad that Betty got me out of the house AGAIN. She's such a dedicated runner!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I've lost my 'mill mojo...

So...maybe you've noticed that I haven't run on my treadmill for, oh, say the last 2 1/2 months.

Well, that would be because Walter broke it.

Not really. We're not quite sure how it happened, but right about mid-December we noticed that the deck felt kinda bouncy and rather lopsided. I ran my hand under the belt and I could feel a crack.

Luckily (and a shot out to Pacemaster - Great 'mill, great warranty), was still under warranty, so today the 'mill repair guy came out and replaced the deck, the belt, and the's like new!
Sadly, a month of no 'mill and I've lost my 'mill mojo. I managed about 20 minutes, and then used the "I need to get dinner on the table..." excuse, but really, I just wanted to get off the thing...
The end result... 2 miles, 21 minutes...not pretty.
Good timing though 'cuz it's raining now, and the weatherman says that it will be raining for the next few days, and it should be especially pouring tomorrow morning during the track club's run, which will be at CSU-San Marcos. San Marcos is about 45 minutes north of here...on a good day. To be honest, I'm fine with running in the rain. In fact, Betty and I are going to run at Balboa Park in the am rain or shine.

But driving in the rain in SoCal? That's a whole 'nuther story. The problem is that SoCal people have no idea how do drive in the rain (big hint: SLOW THE F DOWN!). It'll be treacherous enough just getting to Balboa Park.

The rain will throw additional wrenches into other plans we had for tomorrow, including a 5K fun run/walk to benefit The Home of Guiding Hands at 11:00 and a friends birthday party in Point Loma (which is supposed to be mostly an outdoor party).

So, in honor of this weekend's rain, I thought I'd post a couple pix of last weekend's sun. I took these when Walter and I went out for V-Day dinner last Sunday (yeah, I know VDay was on Monday, but Sunday worked better for us.) We went to a restaurant that I regularly run by in PB called Jordn. 
Ahhhh... It will be like this again soon...just probably not this weekend.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another "Where Did the Week Go?" Post

So apparently I'm back to posting updates once a week. It's really nowhere near enough for me (you all may not care either way), but I had REALLY GOOD IDEAS for posts all week, most of them non-running related and I didn't get to write them, and now they're lost.

When do you all find time to write, when you work, and run, and raise families?

Anyway...Opix uploaded some pix from last weekend's SuperRun...which was super fast (the uploading thing). It seems like it takes some other race photo shops FOREVER to upload pix. There were a few that made me smile.

Betty...showing off the number of SuperRuns she's completed (4).

I love EVERYONE when I'm running uphill!. That's Walter behind me in the yellow, looking at his feet.
That's Wilma, who had the whole "with dog" category all to herself

Whatever was on his foot sure was fascinating (see my photo above).
Moving onto this week...

For this weekend's long run, we were back to Hospitality Point. Betty, Walter and I were the only herd representatives because Mik and Kat were in New Ahhhhhleans for the Mardi Gras 1/2 which they ran this morning.
Kat and Mik-post race with the beaded bling... LOVE that Mik wore the green. I'm sure they have many other "bead" stories to share when they return!
Back in SoCal, we were on schedule to do an 1:15 run from hospitality point and back. We were warned that as we ran toward Fiesta Island, however, that we would be crossing paths with another race event, so to be aware, and to be considerate.

We started off and it was COLD! I've been wearing gloves to start most morning runs right now. For some reason, It doesn't bother me if my arms, shoulders, legs, body, whatever is cold, but if my fingers are cold, that's all I can think about it MY FREEKIN' FREEZIN FINGERS. So the gloves have been very helpful.

I ended up starting toward the back of the pack because I had to take care of some #1 business, and by the time I got out of the ladies room, everyone was taking off. No worries. I caught up with Walter and Betty in about a 1/2 mile, then I caught up with Irene's hubby Mike and we chatted for awhile about the joys of running on the riverbed (gotta watch out for all the cyclists and for the's treacherous out there!).

By the time we were heading into Fiesta Island, sure enough a whole back of runners were headed our way. I'm guessing that it was the 10K runners doing the Mermaid Run, which had a 1/2 Marathon, 10K and 5K. Anne has a great race report about this relatively new race in San Diego and it sounds like something I'd definitely want to do in the future. In any event, we let the runners pass...not losing pace in a 10K is much more important than a training run!

Once we were past the island, most of the track club veered to the left and stayed on the walking/running path. Walter and I decided to continue running on the street because given the choice, I'd rather run on asphalt than concrete. Concrete hurts me.

One consequence of running on the street was that the 5K group from the Mermaid run was starting at 8:00. As we headed toward their start, I could hear the announcer making that pre-race-announcer-type small talk (Who's celebrating a birthday today? Who is running their first 5K?) and I wanted to get past their start, so Walter and I picked up our pace, and good thing because as we ran past, I could hear the start.

Running INTO a race start is NOT something I want to cross off my bucket list.

We ran for about 5 more minutes and then turned around to head back, crossing paths with some of the 5K walkers and back of the pack runners. Finally, we were out of the race area, back on the road, then back on the riverbed. About then, Walter took off in what I think will be par for the course for him...a final sprint to the end. This is where he just kicks my ass now...he can really pick up his pace in the last two miles.

My splits weren't too bad yesterday either:

Mile 1 - 10:14
Mile 2 - 10:35
Mile 3 - 10:15
Mile 4 - 10:06
Mile 5 - 10:08
Mile 6 - 10:15
Mile 7 - 10:15

Total - 7 miles - 1:11:57 - 10:15 pace

I'll admit, I'm pretty pleased. When I was running with Irene's Michael, he noted that it seemed like I was running much faster these days, and its true, I have been. This is the first year since the first year I ran with the track club that I've been running without an injury in February. I keep wondering if I could keep a 10:15 pace for 13 miles. It's going to be all about consistency and not getting hurt.

We were among the first back and Noreen, from the track club, who has a stress fracture and hasn't been running,  took this photo of us.
The dude really needs to remember to open his eyes
The morning speaker was a local chiropracter who was doing some table stretching. Irene's (and now our) friend Rich took advantage of it. I probably should have done the same.
Hey Rich...told you it was payback time :-). Rich is being a running maniac right now. He ran a 5K Sand Run on Wednesday AND ran the Coronado Valentines Day 10K this wonder he needed some stretching.
Betty, Irene, and me after the run. The sun had come out, the gloves were off, and it was time to go home.
Hope everyone has a LOVELY day and a LOVELY Valentines Day! Congrats to all the runners who ran races this weekend!

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Anniversaries and PRs

Four years ago, in February 2007, Betty told me that a friend of hers, someone she knew from high school, was going to meet us for the a race we'd decided at the last minute to do. The race was called The Super Run. The friend was someone who'd we'd eventually nickname "Mik."
Mik and Betty - our first breakfast together. All I knew about Mik at this point is that she was super-sweet, friends with Betty, and a MUCH better runner than I was (and still is) because she had chosen to run a 10K that morning, a distance that I had never even considered running at that point!

and our first breakfast at World Famous...with mimosas of course. We had no idea then what this would all lead to. BTW...feel free to notice how I am a significantly larger person in this photo...
The other thing that happened at that morning's Super Run 5K is that I managed to run the entire race with no walk-breaks. I remember thinking as I'd came off of Fiesta Island, having run 2.5 miles, that I could possibly run the whole thing, then I knew that I probably could, then I knew that I definitely could.

I also remember being pretty surprised that even though I'd run the whole thing, it wasn't my fastest 5K...the knowledge of how and why that happened would come much later.

The other thing that happened that morning, is that we met a whole bunch of really nice people with funny shoe tags from the San Diego Track Club. So when we came up with the crazy idea to run a marathon later that summer (because OF COURSE IF YOU'VE RUN 3 MILES, YOU CAN RUN 26.2), we knew which training group we'd join.

The next year, In 2008 we ran the Super Run again that year because (as we found out) SDTC uses it as one of their training runs, only we HAD to run the 10K. At that time, it was the farthest I'd ever run and since it was my first 10K, I set a PR at 1:06:38...that PR has held for the last 3 years, mostly because I don't run many 10Ks. In 2009, I was hurt, so I didn't run the Super Run and last year I skipped it both because I was out of town and because I ran the Surf City 1/2 instead.

In 2008, I also started this blog (which made this January my third year blogoversary...which I sorta forgot about until I started writing this) so that's another anniversary as well.

2008 - Me and Clarence with Crown Point in the background!
2008 - Betty, Mik, Elsie, Alberta, Me and Clarence...and the mimosas.
2009 - I didn't run, but for some reason I was up at the butt-crack of dawn to transport the herd and to lend
So...the Super Run holds a pretty special place in running history for the herd and for me. It's our running anniversary, and it holds a couple of firsts. So I was SUPER excited to run in yesterday's race. I've been running strong. I was pretty sure I'd hit that three year old 10K PR out of the park, but you never know... Everyone in my family has had the flu the last two weeks except me, and I feel like I've been just stubbornly fighting it off myself.

We got to the race site in plenty of time and found our way to the SDTC tent to pick up our bibs, then we did a short warm-up run around the parking lot with Irene, Michael, Rich from the track club. As usual, around this time I lost Walter. I think he was busy talking about the SDSU Aztec Basketball team (23-1) with BBJ. He's not a great believer in warmup runs anyway.

Four years later...
Betty, Elsie and Irene's husband Michael, who was also our photographer. Don't let Betty's sleeveless garb fool you. She was COLD!

The Race Report
Miles 1-3
The start of the race was crowded (as usual) but we had a dedicated lane on SeaWorld Drive, so it wasn't too bad. I did a little bit of weaving in and out, but not too much. I felt pretty good. I probably took off a bit too fast, but as usual, the energy of the crowd and the fact that I hadn't run since Tuesday (long story, busy week, whatever) had me pretty wound up...that and the first two miles are pretty flat, around SeaWorld Drive and then through the SeaWorld parking lot.

I ran the first two miles by myself (mostly trying to keep pace with Irene, who I could see ahead of me), mostly making sure I was relaxed and trying to settle into my pace. At the mile markers, some kids were calling out times and it seemed like I was about 30 second to a minute behind the gun time. By about mile 2, Walter was beside me and BBJ zoomed past like the wind. I skipped the water/aid station at mile 2 and figured I'd just catch it at mile 4. The morning was cool, so I didn't feel the need.

In the third mile, we went up and over two bridges on Ingraham Street before dropping into crown point. We run over these bridges lots during the SDTC training runs, so I'm pretty used to them. For some reason, in Mile 3, they're pretty easy little hills.

Mile 1 - 9:34
Mile 2 - 9:28
Mile 3 - 9:34

Miles 4 - 6.2
Walter and I ran for the next couple of mile together, but I could tell by about the turnaround when he would pull ahead of me, I was working just a little too hard to catch up, so I let him go. I remember the last time I saw him look back to see if I was still there, I just waved and shoo'd him on.

The race is an out and back, so we went back over those bridges (you know the ones that seemed so easy on the way out?) again. Only this time the second bridge always looks incredibly big. This is the same bridge that runners go over in the Rock and Roll Marathon and I remember how extremely big it looked then too (BBJ noted the same thing). By the time I got back to the water station around Mile 4, I was ready for some water and I WISH I'd brought a Gu with me.

Irene's friend Rich, who used to be a personal trainer, chastised me a few weeks ago for not eating breakfast before running. So I've been making a better effort to eat something in the morning, but yesterday that something had been almost three hours short, I could feel myself running out of fuel, which affected my legs and energy level some, but my mental stage even more, so by  mile 5, which was again in the Seaworld parking lot, which is pretty boring, my mind just wandered. One time I looked down at my Garmin and saw 11:15, which is a fine pace for a long slow run for me, but not for a race.

So the last two miles were more of a struggle mentally than physically. By the time I got back on Seaworld Drive, I felt a little better, at least for the change in scenery. I knew I had a PR, but I wanted to see if I could just push it. I really wanted to feel like I'd given it all I know, the place where you get to the puke threshold, but you don't go over. That's what I did.

Mile 4 - 10:00
Mile 5 - 10:30 (boring, stupid parking lot)
Mile 6 - 10:05
Mile .3 - 8:58 (only a bit of weaving in and out added .10 to my total)

Both Garmin and Offical time say 1:01:55! Almost 5 minutes faster than three years ago and a 10K PR for me!

After the race, I did feel like hurling, but I didn't. I got an orange slice, and some water, and some kind of energy/recovery drink that tasted like yuk (but the electrolytes helped) and recovered.
Walter, post race wondering if it's time for breakfast yet...
BBJ - contemplating those hills
Original Heffers, Wilma, me and Betty. Wilma did the 5K
Wilma's walking partner, Stubbs with his chip timer...the official race dog.
After the race we returned to World Famous and Irene and her husband joined us. It was a wonderful morning with friends but I completely forgot to take any photos one we were there. I'm sure you take my word for it that it included mimosas (duh!)

As I left, it occurred to me that I'd never taken a photo of the OUTSIDE of World Famous, which sits right on the Boardwalk of Pacific Beach
The beach...a beautiful morning
I couldn't decide which photo to here's both.
When I got home, I fiddled around with Garmin Connect (is anyone else having problems syncing their 310XT since the upgrade?), but once I got my data uploaded and posted to Daily Mile, I commented that THIS is why I run...a beautiful morning, improving on my own performance, and breakfast with friends...

Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone, and contrats to all who ran at Surf City this morning, including Chris who BQ'd (woot) and Penny and Yaz and I'm sure others who I'm forgetting to mention!