Sunday, November 17, 2013

Forgotten post...

Alice checks in: Several months ago (let's be honest was last freekin' MARCH), I wrote this race report for the SD Half Marathon... It was an epic race. Still one of the best half marathons I've ever run. Seriously. No complaints. Not even a one.

Still, for some reason, I never posted a race report. I seem to remember I was waiting for something...waiting for pictures...waiting for inspiration... waiting for? Oh heck, March was MONTHS ago. I have  no idea what I was waiting for.

This evening, I took a look at my sad blog and realized this report was still waiting here, so here it is. 

You know how you run some races, and everything is great EXCEPT for the gear check in..and you get squashed in a mass of humanity who are also trying to check their gear, and so you start the race on sorta a sour note and that sorta becomes the tenor of the whole run?


You get to the race fine, BUT there are way too many walkers who have crashed your corral and you no sooner start running when you can't get around a solid line of them, 6 abreast, who are strolling along having a fine time chatting about... (let's be honest, you don't give an 'eff what they are chatting about. You just want them to get out of your way), and that seems to be the theme of the entire run... you expend all your energy zigging and zagging around walkers?


You finish running a race, and the post-race area is a complete cluster-eff, and all you want to do is get your medal, and then get the heck out of there, BUT even that is difficult because the gear pickup area is mess and it takes 45 minutes to get your bag, so the race ends on sorta a sour note?


The pre and post race events are well run and organized, but you just had a crappy run because you really didn't train enough, and you probably had no business being out there, but you paid for the race, so GAWD-DAMMIT, YOU'RE GOING TO GET YOUR MONIES WORTH!, so the whole race is just sorta painful?

The San Diego Half Marathon was none of those things. In fact, it was perfect.


First of all, it was organized. From start to finish. You could tell that the race was put organized by people who actually run. (Sometimes you wonder, don't you?)

There were little things. The location was stellar. Starting a race near Petco in downtown San Diego meant that there were plenty of ways to get to the start. Lot's of roads in. Lots of roads out. Trolley options. Loads of parking (free on street. Plenty of lots)...and best of all. Because it is downtown San Diego, and near a major league ballpark, and the convention center, there are tons of services, which includes (and we all know how important this is) LARGE CONVENTION HOTELS WITH REAL RESTROOMS!
SUHWEEET-I posted this on FB and tagged Mik, Betty, & Tak in the stalls...they weren't really in there, but I thought it would be funny to show up on their FB pages... I'm a good friend.
We visited two hotel restrooms before the race. This one was at the Hilton. We walked across the most expensive (albiet cool) pedestrian bridge in the world to get to it.
Pausing for a photo. That's Petco Park in the background. Did I mention it was a gorgeous morning? Pay no attention to  Mik. She's always cold. No body fat. It's a problem.
After our various tours of the hotel restrooms, we decided to line up for the race. We settled on Corral 8 (I was slated to start in 7, Mik in 3, Betty and Tak (that's Kat backwards. It's her new hefferblog name) in 10 or 11.

Mike was particularly nervous all morning. She'd hurt her knee about three weeks prior to this race while skiing, and hadn't been able to run. She swore up and down that she was going to run slow... yeah, fat chance of that!
Finding Irene in the crowd (actually, she found us) 
Pre-race excitement! 
The crew in corral 8
Doreen, from the track club, spotted us and took this shot. 
The Omni Hotel (yes, we pee'd there) is across the street from the ballpark. The start was under the overpass.
And we were off... What a great start! Lots of room to run. No crowding. No like of walkers in front of me.

The ONLY unfortunately thing, is that my bladder finally woke up and decided it was full. You'd think two potty stops before a race would be enough, but no... not so much. ((sigh))

Anyway, I did not take care of THAT issue for a few more miles, so I ran.

I ended up thinking of this race as the sorta opposite route of every other San Diego coastal/Balboa Park run I've ever done. Instead of running around the harbor toward downtown (like we do in the AFC 1/2), we ran away from it. Instead of running toward the naval base (now liberty station) from the north (like we did in the old marathon course) we ran through it from the south. I did have flashbacks to when I was completing my one and only marathon as we ran up Barrett.

And despite having run these streets, around the harbor, the airport, more times than I can even count, the route still had some new. For example, I'd never run underneath Nimitz and into Liberty station, where we could COMPLETELY enjoy running for a bit on a dirt path (so kind on the legs). I'd never even run through Liberty station.

AND the aid stations. Sure there was water, or some kind of electrolyte beverage at every other one, but the SIGNAGE!!! Every water stop or aid station sign identified not only the mileage, but also how far it was to the NEXT water stop, aid station, restroom(!).

Like I said, this race was clearly organized by people who actually run.

Speaking of restrooms, around Mile 4, I just couldn't hold it any longer...also it was getting warm, so I stopped at a porta potty (my only porta potty use of the day!). I lost about 3 minute there...darn, but oh so worth it. I'd been running near Irene until then, but after the potty stop, I never saw her again.

Despite the potty stop, my splits for the first 9 miles were pretty good. My Garmin is set to pause when I stop, so it doesn't show the delay in the third mile for the the potty stop, but you can clearly see where I slowed.

Avg Pace

Care to guess where the hill was?

Yep, at mile 9, we took a left and ran up Washington Street. For those of you who have flown into San know how you come into the city over a hill? Yeah, to get out of downtown, you have to go up one of them. Actually, Washington isn't the worst hill to go up. It coulda been worse.

My goal was to run as much of the hill as I could and walk for less than 1/4 mile of it. I also wanted to save my legs, because the last three miles took us back down hill, into downtown San Diego, so instead of running UP 6th Avenue (memories of AFC), we ran down it.

Now I generally prefer running down a hill than running up it, but I could definitely feel that my legs were taking a pounding as I tried to cruise down the hill. In fact, those were some of my slower miles. I kept telling myself, mostly, to just stay in control. I didn't want to accidentally trip over a crack in the road and become road pizza.

At least once I got back onto 5th avenue, I could feel the crowd that had gathered along 5th avenue. Most were, no doubt, cheering for family or friends, but I always pretend they are cheering for me (don't you?)

So this is where I stopped. So perhaps I was right, I was waiting for race photos or after race photos. 

I did finish the race with a personal best (official) time of 2:17. Clearly my Garmin (below) said something a little bit different.

We ate and then danced to the post-race band, The English Beat, my favorite. Unbelievable that after running 13.1 miles, we had it in us to dance, but we did.

It was an epic day!

This is what I thought my time was, but the Garmin must have paused at the potty stop 
Irene and I rocked out to The Beat
Afterwards, I gushed at the lead singer for The Beat and Betty, Mik and I took a picture with him.
And the band gave us their set list... We were such groupies!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Boot Camp Month - Week 1

I'm toward the end of week 1 of boot camp and this is what I've done so far

June Workouts
June 1 - 7 mile run/10:06 pace
June 2 - 3.5 mile run/11:00 pace (hills) and 90 minute CorePower Yoga 2 at CorePower
June 4 - Bootcamp at SWEAT
June 6 - Bootcamp at SWEAT & Run at Lake BP 3 miles
June 7 - 2 hour ride (later today w/Mik, Betty, and Seven. The crew rides AGAIN!)

June Weight
June 1  - 163.5
June 7 - 166

Here's what I've learned so far:
  1. I am sore. Adding in the bootcamp element is a completely necessary part of bootcamp month. I haven't done any weight/resistance training since I stopped working out with Kelly a couple months ago. I'm glad I'm doing it again.
  2. Doing yoga for the last two months is saving my ASS as far as the bootcamp workouts go. Nobody is more surprised that I like Hot or Corepower Yoga more than I am. You no doubt remember back to all my bitching and whining about haaaaaaaaaaating the heeeeeeeeet. I don't complain like that ONLY on the blog. I'm a real joy to be around in the heat in person as well.
  3. I did not do nearly enough cardio this week. Not enough cardio = not enough calories burned.
  4. Also related to #3 above - substituting crackers and chips for wine will NOT result in weight loss. I'd be better off consuming 100 "empty" calories drinking wine than consuming 500 "empty" calories by polishing off a bag of Cheez-its. 
So that's it for now. Now for a two hour ride... I haven't been on my bike in months. This should be interesting!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Boot Camp Month

Oh, hello there blog-o-world! How are ya?

Is there a blog world any more? See...not only have I been a very, very, very bad blog-writer, I haven't even been a good blog reader lately. ((bows head in shame)).

In truth, I've composed MANY, MANY, mental blog entries in the last several months. Blogs in which I ponder the whether or not hot yoga will prepare me for running in the hot and humid SoCal summer, blogs in which I make witty commentary about being married to the same dude for 21 years, blogs in which I comment on the nutty things that regularly happen when one teaches at a two-year college, blogs in which I boast about the accomplishments of both my amazing kids, followed by additional blogs in which I question my ability to successfully parent two teenagers. 

I have an almost finished blog that I REALLY WROTE about the San Diego Half Marathon last March. For some reason, I never published it. I'm not sure why. It's not a bad race report. It certainly was a fabulous event... I'm sure I'll finish it and post it eventually. 

Here's one pre-race photo of Me, Betty, Mik and Tak (Kat's hefferblog name)
But lamenting on the myriad of reasons why I haven't written recently is NOT the reason I am writing today.

The real reason is that I'm making a BIG change in my life for the month of June. June is BOOT CAMP MONTH!

Here are the rules of BOOT CAMP MONTH
  • Workout at least twice a day five days a week, and at least once a day on the other two days.
  • Alternate between hot yoga, running, boot camp, spin class, or cycling.
  • Eat well
  • No alcohol
  • Be accountable
You read it right. A whole friggen month* with no mimosas, no margaritas, NO WINE. The whole focus will be to be on getting into the most kick-ass shape of my soon-to-be-51-year-old life.
I know... Scary


Well...I've been thinking about it for awhile. It started with my last doctor's visit last August (yes... it took me almost a year to do this. Don't judge.) Apparently when I turned 50, I became more interesting to my actual doctor, so for the first time in my 7 or 8 year relationship with this particular doctor's office, I had an appointment with THE doctor and not the physician's assistant (truth be told, I prefer the assistant).

There were a number of things that I didn't enjoy about that visit, most of them having to do with the doctor's manner. She was rather rude, abrupt, and made some judgements about me that I thought were unfair given that she'd only known me for, oh I don't know, about 10 minutes.

In short, she told me that I should lose some weight. I told her that I could run a half marathon (and wondered if she could) and that I really didn't focus on the scale.

Then she asked me about my eating and drinking habits. You know, the kinds of questions that doctors are supposed to ask, and when I honestly answered revealing how much and how often I drink, she said something like.

"You are consuming a lot of empty calories. You know if you stopped drinking, you'd probably lose 10 or 15 pounds without really trying, since you are so active. (and I swear to effing-god, she said that last part with a fair amount of if she didn't really believe that I ran 10-15 miles a week and at that point, I was training for a century, so I was also logging about 50 miles a week on a bike...grrrrrrrrr)

Needless to say, I'll be finding a new doctor, but her comment sorta stuck with me.

If I stopped drinking, I'd drop 10-15 pounds.

Then this happened.
Mik got me interested in CorePower Yoga, and suddenly I became addicted to it. I've been trying to go at least twice a week.

And this happened.
Elsie goes here...and it was such a good deal, so I bought it. Then Elsie broke her ankle, so we didn't go. The Groupon expires in July, so I need to start using the sessions I paid for. I HATE not using a Groupon.
But the final straw was this
I was going to personal trainer (Kelly)  last fall, but that became too costly to continue. Then Kelly started her own personal training business and is doing a June Boot Camp.
I figure the fitness-gods were conspiring, so June is officially BOOT CAMP month. I have a whole calendar worked out that includes Kelly's Boot Camp on Tuesday and Thursday. Spin classes on Monday and Wednesday. Yoga at least 3 days a week. Running at least 3 days a week. Weekend rides AND I'm taking up THE doctor on her challenge... No alcohol. Let's just say that I am testing her hypothesis.

And I decided to add some accountability by posting regularly about my workouts AND my weight.

June Workouts
June 1 - 7 mile run/10:06 pace
June 2 - 3.5 mile run/11:00 pace (hills) and Yoga

June Weight
June 1  - 163.5**

* full disclosure. It's not really a full month. BOOT camp month starts today and goes to June 27, which is my and Walter's 21st anniversary. 

**Kelly took measurements, but I didn't write them down. I'll get them from her on Tuesday and post them as well.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Sooooo.... I'm not running on a Saturday morning...

"WHAT?!?" you say?

Yep, I am NOT running on a Saturday morning. Long story short is that I am supposed to run a 5K a little later this morning, and Mik went skiing this weekend, and Betty is in NYC, and Elsie destroyed her ankle by missing a step, so Mik and I opted to run late yesterday afternoon instead on the Mission Beach Boardwalk.

Now I'm not sure I'll be doing the 5K, but more on that later...

Doing a long run late in the afternoon is not typical for me, or probably for any runner for that matter. We runners are typically early morning peeps. The races start (well most of them anyway) early in the am. Our long runs begin early on. In fact, yesterday's 8 miler was probably the first time I've EVER run for that long late in the day (We started running at 4:30)

It wasn't a stellar run. In fact it was down right difficult, probably because I was running with speedy Mik and even though I KNOW she was plodding along to run at my pace, for me it FELT more like a race pace. Looking back at my Garmin stats now though, I can see that it wasn't. Maybe it was just the time of day...

Also, it was DRY. The weather page doesn't really indicate that there was low humidity, but it FELT dry. We stopped at nearly every drinking fountain along the way. Of course, I did an absolutely crappy job of hydrating all day BEFORE the run, which could have been part of the problem.

On the plus side. It was beautiful out...
On my way to Mission Beach
And it was almost the perfect temperature.

We ran on the boardwalk and it was CROWDED... apparently we were not the only ones who thought that seeing the sunset was a good idea. Since it's a four day weekend, at least two frat houses appeared to have rented places on the beach and were in early bash-mode. In the more crowded areas (in front of Lahaina's or Kona's...locals, you know the places), we would pick up the pace just to get through the crowd more quickly.

Mik and I ran along, chatted about everything and anything (although after awhile, it was mostly Mik chatting and me grunting along). We ran up the coast, then ran toward Bird Rock. On the way back, we ran down a street with no outlet, and ended up run/walking a beach trail along the was lovely.
No complaints...
Although, as I said before, we both were hella thirsty, and my tummy? Along the way, it started to know the feeling. I almost stopped at one of the SEVERAL restrooms on the boardwalk, but I thought that I could make it back to the start.

And I was close to making it all the close. About 1/4 mile from our start point, my intestines started to tighten (you know the feeling), and I had to IMMEDIATELY!

I told Mik I was going to walk for a bit (she must have though I was CRAZY... I mean, we were less than a 1/4 mile from our start), so I slowed, hoping that I could walk it off, or at least make it to the lifeguard tower...but it became quickly, and clearly evident that THAT wasn't going to happen, so I started to panic, which, by the way, is NOT the best thing to do when you have tummy issues.

There were plenty of people out on their patios, cocktailing, waiting for the sunset. The first patio I spotted had three young guys (about in their 20's), but yes, even in my moments of most dire need, I am a diva and when I looked at them, their youth, the empty beer cans lying about, I made an immediate and stereotypical assumption that their bathroom would probably be really bad, so I decided to ask the next available people.

Luckily, a few patio's down, there were what appeared to be a couple, about my age or a little older, and what I am guessing was their adult age son...and let me tell you, but this time, I was DESPERATE, and I as I tried to think about what I could say that would be compelling enough to persuade strangers to let me use their facility, I could only come up with.

"Excuse me, but can I ask you a question... Do you run?"

Yeah... They really didn't look like runners, but hell, neither do I.

You can imagine the surprised looks on their faces. "uh no?"

So lord only knows what I said next, but I think it was something like... "wellwhenyourunsometimesyouhavetogoandnowisoneofthosetimesformeandifIdon'tgonowit'sgonnagetuglyreallyfast (short breath) canIpleaseuseyourbathroom?" ((wild-eyed look of desperation)).

I think one of the men was going to say no, and had started to point down the boardwalk to the public restrooms, but the woman, bless her soul, must have seen the look of panic in my eyes, and said the words of my salvation "sure dear, inside and to the left."

There are good people in the world.

As I left, I thanked them again, and again. I'm sure I left them with a good story to tell their friends (remember the time when that crazy woman needed to use our bathroom...what a nut!)

So, I was dehydrated, for sure. All last night I felt queasy (I still feel it somewhat this morning). I drank water all night and barely peed. None of these are good signs. You'd think after seven years of running, I'd know better.

Of course, now I'm considering running a 5K. It's an odd little race. The start is at 11:00. It's a local, small run. I'm signed up for it and have my bib and timer. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 14, 2013

So long to one of the herd...

We lost a supporting cast member of the Hefferblog this week.

This frequent, if unmentioned, Hefferblog guest never received a pseudonym. We simply called her "The Pilot.

The earliest photo I could find of the Pilot - January 2004
The Pilot has made numerous appearances in this blog. Most of the photos feature it's backside.
Daisy, Lucinda, Mona and I tailgating before a Journey concert October 2011 

Mik, making sure that all the luggage was secure. Getting to the airport to go to Tahoe - January 2010 
In the last few years, the Pilot became the "go to" car for cycling events because we could fit four bikes in the back and still have seating for four people.
From last April's Gran Fondo 
Many of the backside photos of the Pilot, also include Betty's backside since she would usually take over loading duties. This was from the Gran Fondo April 2012
Other appearances featured the inside of the Pilot.
DramaGirl and Millie, our designated drivers in Napa during the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon - July 2011 
Betty really never liked being in the second row, but was willing to bear it anyway, like for this short ride to the bay - September 2009
Clarence and a couple of bikes - June 2009
But the Pilot did more than cart around heffers and their bikes. The primary purpose of bringing the Pilot into our lives back in 2003 was to cart kids around.
At least 7 of these kids got to Turbo's 8th birthday party at a San Diego Gull's Hockey Game  - February 2006
Ski trip to Mammoth with the cousins - March 2008
Same kids, same trip, two years later - December 2010
Birthday parties - Drama Girl and Friends - September 2009
Turbo - Excited after a day of Skiing at Big Bear - February 2008
DramaGirl and Turbo, on the roof of the Pilot at Snow Valley - January 2009
I don't care if you eat in the car! - November 2012

Certainly, the Pilot has gotten us to early morning races
Walter driving a whole herd, and a few other friends, to the Rock and Roll Marathon - June 2008
And also dropping us off at the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon - June 2010
Many have slept in the Pilot
DramaGirl - napping after an unknown event - April 2007
Mik and Alberta, snoozing after Surf City Half  -  February 2010
 And mostly, we (my family, my friends) have had many, many, many adventures in the Pilot
DramaGirl was oh-so-thrilled to wear the cummerbund and be our designated photographer  -  Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon weekend - July 2011 
On our way to see a show DramaGirls, friends, and moms (Ally and AJ I think) -  September 2007
Unloading Skis and Snow (we like to call it Dirt) Valley - January 2009
Parking too close to the Pilot... June 2010
Using the back seat to change into dry clothes after running in the rain - December 2008 
Riding bikes with DramaGirl and Turbo - April 2009 
On the Vegas Strip - April 2009 
Passing time as we drove to the Grand Canyon - July 2010
One of the last heffer-adventures during my 50th b-day celebration. I don't know it but I'll be going to see REO speedwagon at Rincon with the WHOLE HERD!!! August 2012
And of course, I braved teaching Cori how to drive in the Pilot (although we quickly learned that a teenager really doesn't need a car that seats 8 people... June 2011
Recently, the Pilot started having some mechanical problems, with almost 120,000 miles on it, that's not too surprising. The night of REO Speedwagon, we had to call AAA to charge a way-dead battery, about a week ago, our mechanic told us we needed to replace the engine mount. We wondered if the $700-$1000 repairs would start to become more frequent occurrences, so we decided to trade it in on a newer car...maybe one with some more "modern" features.

So, as we cleared out the back of the Pilot, looked under the seats, dug through the nooks and crannies to make sure that we weren't leaving anything of value behind, I admit, I got a little teary. I mean, I was ready to trade it in for a newer model, but still...that darn car held a whole LOT of good memories...
Emptying out the backside - one last time
Walter with our girl. He looks pretty broken up about it, doesn't he?
Note, we took all the last shots from the Pilot's good side, hiding the dented bumper on the driver's side, dented thanks to DramaGirl's new driving experiences....
So long old friend. It was really one good ride!