Monday, July 31, 2006

New gig

Today was my first day at my new job. I think I'm going to like it, although the commute leaves something to be desired. The people here are amazingly friendly and I think the projects will be interesting. One project is an AML study. I'm looking forward to working on that one. And some studies are planned for CLL as well. Right now I'm the only programmer, so I'll be pretty busy once I get going. I know it takes some time to get into the swing of things, but I hope it won't take too long. I don't do so well with not having much to do. I'd rather be really busy...sure makes the days go by faster.

I've been taking my motorcycle to work, but think I'll try the train next week. I'll still have to ride over the bridge, but it's only about 15 miles from home instead of the ~30 to work. I just need to get the schedule set so I can get everything done in a day that needs to be done. Work, walking the Bams, and any training duties that need to be performed before relaxing for the evening. Once marathon training is over (2-1/2 months from now, but who's counting) my schedule will free up a bit. I'm sure Jeff will be glad of that. ;-)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Messing with the schedule...again

Tina and I couldn't coordinate our schedules to run tomorrow, so instead of resting today we both decided to do our Saturday long run today instead, although at different times. Tina had a route all mapped out and gave me directions over the phone. And I'm off. Down our usual trail at Coytote Hills, up a big, big hill, out the trail towards the bay. All the way to the bay and turn around. Back to the trail and towards the truck. Here is where something went wrong. I made a left when I should have gone straight, I think. Getting pretty tired about now and running out of time too. I need to be somewhere at 7:30 and it's 6:15 now. Hurry, hurry. I finally find the right trail and get back to the truck after 9.8 miles and 1 hour 47 minutes. Whew, just enough time to get home, shower and head out. Not a bad run time, but exhausting! I am beat. Tomorrow.....REST! Woohoo!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

No wimps!

There was no 'official' track workout tonight due to the Cause for Celebration in San Francisco. TNT'ers were invited to attend a sort of pep rally for the cause. Free food and drinks! Not for us hard core folks, no sir. The three of us (Tina, Bam and I) took off for Coyote Hills. We ran 1.5 miles in at about a 10 minute/mile pace until we got to the base of the hill. It's not a really steep hill, but it's .3 miles long. Up and down we went. Then up backwards and down. (This is supposed to work a different muscle group, and man were my quads burning!) Then 1/2 way up and back down. At this point I think Bam was confused about what the heck we were doing. I'm sure she was thinking, "Uh, we've already been by here several times. I'd like to sniff something else!" We did one more steep but shorter hill just for good measure and made our way back to the car. All in all we did 5 miles in about 1:10. But remember, that includes those hills! No wimps here!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sometimes it's good not to see

Tina and I met up at the Newark community center for our swimming session. It was really crowded tonight for some reason. There were 6-7 people in our lane, including one woman who seemed to be doing synchronized herself. Strange. Also, the pool was pretty nasty tonight. Tina's goggles tend to fog up and this is one time where I'd like to have traded her. I didn't really want to see the multitude of things that were swirling around the pool. We managed 32 laps in 32 minutes, including rest periods and waiting for people to get out of the way periods. Then we hit the weight room for a bit more exercise. I forgot my tennis shoes, so I was wearing flip flops. A big no-no in a weight room. I was duly scolded and promised to bring proper attire next time. Note to self: make sure to bring proper attire.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Neither darkness, nor pesticide spraying, nor blooming migraine...

..shall keep the intrepid runners from running.

'We' (Tina) decided to run this morning to beat the heat. Bam and I were at Tina's house at 5:30 despite the thumping in my head that warned of an approaching migraine. One of us was rearing to go..and it wasn't me....or Tina. We drove over to Coyote Hills, which since it was still dark was closed. There was also a sign posted that the trail was closed due to spraying and wouldn't be opening until 2 pm. Luckily we saw the park ranger and asked him about running the trail. He told us which section we should run on to avoid being pesticided and gave us 'permission' to enter the park despite the posted warnings.

We parked outside the gates and took off on our run. Tina had quickly replotted our route so we could avoid the dreaded spraying. Suspiciously we were going to have to hit some hills...which I think was her plan all along. We were troopers though and did a whole 6 miles in about 1:15. Go Team!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tired buns

Jeff and I had tickets today for the Moto GP motorcycle races at Laguna Seca Raceway. We had already decided to ride 2-up on Jeff's bike, since we were both unsure if I was ready to tackle a long, traffic filled ride on Highway 17. So, we packed up and headed out. Can I just was so HOT! We really should have left earlier. Hindsight, yada yada. Traffic wasn't too bad until we hit Santa Cruz. I think everyone in the Bay area was heading for the beach. We sat and sat in traffic, which is way worse on a bike than in a car. It took us about 2.5 hours for what should have been a 1.5 hour drive, at the most.

We eventually arrived at the raceway after a twisty little road that was reserved for race attendees on bikes only. Cool. Next time (if there is a next time), I'm riding my own bike. The coolest thing was pulling into the motorcycle parking area and seeing just a sea of bikes parked all up and down the hills. Wow. There must have been a few thousand bikes. Every make and model you could imagine, and some you probably couldn't. The parking area was all dried grass and Jeff and I thought about what would happen if a hot exhaust pipe sparked a grass fire. All those bikes up in flames. Not good.

We headed to our seats to check out the race. Have I mentioned how HOT is was today?? It was so hot that the Coca-Cola bottling company was giving away bottles of water instead of selling them! We were rooting for Rossi to win, and he was making his move, until....with 3 laps to go his bike started smoking. Bummer. It's amazing how these riders just lay the bikes almost completely over in the turns. Jeff thought he'd like a chance to get on a bike with the track all to himself and see what it's like. Might be fun....but not on my bike!

Enough of the heat, time to head home. Once again sitting in a staggering amount of traffic and sitting and waiting and sitting, etc. We didn't take 17 home, opting instead for the more boring, but somewhat more efficient 101. At least we were moving, but heading through Gilroy it was again, HOT, and the smell of garlic was heavy in the air.

Let's far today we've sat on a motorcycle seat for 2.5 hours, a bleacher seat for several hours and now we're back on the motorcycle seat for a couple hour ride home. Yes that all adds up to very tired buns. I'm not sure if I would have been better off on my own bike or not. I thought the back seat on Jeff's bike was way more comfortable than my own seat, but now I'm not so sure. I do remember reading a review of his bike and the writer complaining about the 'washboard' seat. Seems to be a pretty accurate review from my perspective. Corbin seats are looking better all the time!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Heat + Hills = Exhaustion

Okay, so I guess we all know what Tina thought of the run today!

We finally attended our first 'official' TNT run and this was a serious kick ass run! Many, many hills spread over 10.1 miles and I think it was already close to 80 degrees when we started at 7:30 this morning. I was hoping to cover the 10 miles in 2 hours. That would be a steady 5 mph, 12 min mile pace. Perfect to judge the marathon pace I'd like to set. Okay, that plan was working for the first half of the run where the hills weren't quite so steep. The second half was a joke as far as my pace went. The hills were much steeper and some of them were very, very long. After one particularly gruesome hill, I hit a flat and thought I could breathe a bit. Nope, turn the corner and the hill continued. I have to admit to walking some of these hills. The combined heat and exertion of trying to run them all was leaving me light headed. I finished in about 2:10, and I'm not going to complain about it.

I ended up getting a little ahead of Tina, so once I reached the finish line and realized I wasn't going to keel over, I walked out about a 1/4 mile to run her in. I hid out in the shade of a tree and when I saw her coming I jogged over and we finished up. Did I get appreciation for this effort?!? No, I get "You could have at least brought the car!" Hahahahaha! :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fast or of each

Tina got our workout instructions and we met up at the high school track. One other TNT'er showed up, a mentor, who gave us a mini-lecture about attending the 'official' TNT training/runs, making a commitment, yada yada. Sorry, but driving 2 hours round trip for 30-45 minutes of training doesn't seem like an effective use of my time. Now that we're up into double digit mileage tho, we've agreed that it would probably be good to attend the supported runs. It's nice to have someone waiting with water, gatorade and gummy bears every couple of miles.

Anywhoo, we did our 1/2 mile warm up. And man did we warm up! It's been in the upper 80's here, which is quite warm for us. Running at 6:30PM leaves me sweating and wheezing. After the warm up and stretching, we were to do one 'hard' lap and one 'easy' lap. I wanted to do my hard lap in under 10 minutes and my easy lap at marathon pace. My hard lap came in at just over 9 minutes. My marathon lap was around 11 minutes. One more walking cool down lap and we were out of there! 2.5 miles total.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tri, tri again

Tina and I hit the Newark community center pool again last night. We tried to do 4 laps without stopping to rest, instead of resting after 2 laps, and we were mostly successful. We had done about 8 laps when I noticed one of the guys swimming in our lane had a Team in Training swim cap. As he stopped for a breather, I asked him if he was training for a tri. Yep, he's training for the Pacific Grove Wildflower Tri. Funny thing is, another guy swims up and joins the conversation. He's done several tri's, and some of them with TNT too! Wow, TNT'ers are everywhere!! Go Team!

We spent a bit of time chatting about tri's in general, telling them about our marathon training, and even got some good swim stroke tips. I think the training, although tough, would be more interesting. If you get bored with running, go swim or bike. Now if we get bored with running...too bad, got to keep going! Both guys said that they didn't really swim before joining the team, so maybe Tina and I aren't as far away from a Tri as we thought. Maybe Wildflower next year, eh Tina? We agreed that we'd probably want to try out a sprint distance first. That's 'only' a 1/2 mile swim. We did a total of 40 laps tonight, or just over 1/2 a mile. This was despite an obsessed guy with paddle-hands who tried to run us slower folks over, and a water aerobics wench who I caught splashing lap swimmers while they were trying to breathe!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Crack of dawn

Tina can't run tonight, so she conned me into getting up at the crack of dawn to do our buddy run. Man, I am such a good running buddy.

She picked me up about 5:50AM and we drove a couple of blocks over to Shinn Pond. This is where I usually walk Bam and she can be off leash, so we took her along for a morning run. I think she was the only one awake. At first I thought it was going to be pretty cool, but it quickly warmed up and I was sweating like a pig, as usual. Bam was happy as a clam and ran hiter and yon. Tina had no residual effects from Saturday's run, and I did okay. I was starting to get side cramps towards the end of the run. Not sure what that was about.

I did notice that the people seemed friendlier than those we see running in the early evening. Everyone says 'hello' and one guy was WAY too cheerful for so early in the day. He must have had his coffee before his run.

Anyway, we did a smidge over 4 miles in about 47 minutes. This includes a couple of puppy pit stops and clean up....just in case you needed to know.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New washer, new dryer

My washing machine died yesterday, so we did some online research for a new one. They have a pretty nice one at Costco and Jeff's boss said they have the same one and it works really well. I compared the Costco price to the Sears price and it is $500 cheaper at Costco. Since it comes with an endorsement, we just picked that one up instead of running all over the place trying to find the best machine for the best deal. And we might as well have the matching dryer, eh? Wouldn't want a mismatched set, after all. So now we (read Jeff) just need to hook everything up and I'll perform the first test with the new machinery. I'm already liking the 'whitest whites' setting even tho I'm not really sure what it is. Just sounds good, don't you think?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


What would make one drive to a golf course where it is over 100 degrees and tee off at 12:30?

No, really, I'm asking...what would make someone do that?!?! I'd have to say insanity. But then I guess that would make me also insane for agreeing to go along and play slave...or caddy if you prefer.

A nice broiling afternoon spent pushing a bag of golf clubs up hills, down hills, across the grass. Wow, I was wiped out by the time we finished. It's probably about a 10 mile walk, add in the heat and sun and hills and I was ready for bed. I had thoughts of taking Bam for a quick run, but quashed that idea. She got her usual walk around Shinn pond instead. Not too exciting, but she doesn't seem to mind.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Run

Tonight Tina and I decided to head out toward Coytote Creek and do the 'new' section that we did before and then the loop for a total of somewhere around 8 miles. I didn't bring Bam, although she gave me the biggest puppy dog eyes you've ever seen. I felt so bad about leaving her at home, but I think more than 6-6.5 is too much for her.

So we arrived and headed out on the trail. And before long, Tina wasn't feeling so good. We couldn't figure out if it was what she ate, or just being tired, or dehydrated, or what, but she was very nauseous. So we slowed down the pace...yes, it's possible to go even slower than we usually do. I volunteered to head back early, but she was very determined to finish the run. She reminded me that coach always says 'No Wimps!' Ah, but I reminded her that coach also says 'Don't let ego overrule good judgement.' Anyway, we did the whole darn thing for a total of 7.7 miles in about 1:37.

A very strange coincidence, but that's just about the pace we'll need to finish the marathon in 5:30 (my goal). As I figure it, 5:30 is 330 minutes.

330 minutes/26.2 miles=12:595 min/mile.

And look at this: 97 min/7.7 miles=12.597 min/mile.

That's cool because at that pace I felt that I could go for a while. I thought I was really going to have to start pushing my pace to make a 5:30 marathon, but now I'm thinking we will be able to handle it. Hip, hip, hurrah! See Tina, I told you we could do it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Track workout

Tina led our track workout this week and we actually had one other TNT'er join us tonight. The schedule was to do 19, 21 or 23 minutes of running then 6 sprints. Sprints= cones set up at each end of the straight on the track, you sprint between the cones then recover on the turns. Tina actually bought cones for us! How 'geeky runner cool' is that? So I did about 22 minutes, 2 miles, then my 6 sprints for another .75 miles. A .25 mile cool down (walking) and I get 3 miles total. I cheated and didn't do a warm up since I showed up a little late, so I don't get to add anything for that. I did the 2.75 miles in about 30 minutes, not bad. Tina's getting good at leading the track workout! She should be a mentor next season!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hills, hills, hills

Tina, Bam and I hit Garin park last night for our run. 'We' decided to do the tougher of the two loops. Okay, really I was the one who made the choice. Our original plan was to do both loops, but that's really overtraining, as it is about 6 miles and would have taken more than an hour. The training schedule says 'No more than 45 minutes.' Of course, we haven't been complying with that to date, but that's not the point. We were both a bit tired and not motivated, so instead of doing both loops we decided to only do one. And since we were only doing one, I chose the harder of the two. About 1/2 way up the first big hill I was really sorry I had picked this one! I forgot how horrible and long the first hill is. Some not so bad hills and then one more big bad hill a little more than 1/2 way through the run. Wow, that is a tough one. But we made it! Go Team! With a couple of misdirected attempts at forging a new trail, we ran about 4 miles in about 55 minutes. Slow, yes, but as I said those hills are tough.....except for Bam. She probably ran 8 miles in about 55 minutes. Show off.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yesterday and Today

On Monday Tina and I hit the pool for some lap swimming. Yeah, we're messing with the schedule this week. We managed to do 18 laps (36 lengths) which is supposed to be 1/2 a mile. Woohoo! We made it! Still resting pretty frequently, but shorter and shorter rests than before. I even did the last 4 lengths without stopping in between! Major accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

Today I hit the gym to do my weights. 30 min on the elliptical, then weights and abs. Then home to walk the monster dog!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Caddy or be the judge

I used to play golf with Jeff and boy did we play a lot. Too much I guess, because I have no interest in playing. None, zip, nada, zilch, null, zero. But to spend a little time with Jeff, I've agreed to caddy for him on occasion. Before I left on my week long trip to Illinois, I agreed to caddy the Sunday after I got back, which was today.

He was meeting up with a couple of guys from Apple, who I've met and are nice guys, at a course close to us called Callippe. I've never played there and Jeff just went for the first time last week. It was a nice day when we started, around 8:45. We thought they would fill the foursome with someone else, but it was just us. So our tee time came and off we went. The first couple of holes were great. Tooling along and then wham the heat started up! The little thermometer on the golf bag said it was about 100 degrees. The first 9 was very walker friendly. Not so the back 9 which was all uphill. Impossible you say?? Well, it sure felt that way.

A professional caddy gets at least 10% of the players earnings for doing the job. The job includes checking yardages, cleaning the clubs and the ball, and mostly carrying the clubs. In my case I push the clubs because we have a cart, but I tell you what, pushing it up those hills is tiring! Since Jeff isn't making money as a golfer (yet), 10% of nothing is nothing. I do get the benefit of the exercise tho, so that's something.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Long run through the swarm

Since I'll be traveling on Saturday, I decided to do my long run (6-8 miles this week) today. I'd usually be doing track, so I'm missing that workout, but I feel it's more important to get the miles in at this point.

I did the same route as before, 5 mile loop with 2 plus miles round trip to get to the loop. I actually caught the loop I missed last time, and guess what?!? It was a nice uphill section. Fun! At least it was cooler today and not so humid. I actually felt pretty good when I finished. About 7.4 miles in 1:35.

I should have received hazard pay for this run because the Japanese beetles were everywhere!! I think they've eaten all the foliage around and are looking for their next meal. I got beaned several times by the little buggers. Makes it hard to comfortably breathe through the mouth as I didn't want to suck one in. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Unfair fight

Rob and I decided to take Spencer outside to play today. It's not as warm as the last couple of days, so it should be nice. We did a bit of coloring with chalk and a bit of hide and go seek, or hide and go boo as Spencer plays it. She's on a kick where she pretends to be a scary ghost and of course all the adults are scared! Then she just giggles and giggles. Too cute.

Time to get down to some serious playing. Break out the squirt guns. One for each of us! I get purple! Only somehow Spencer ended up with all the guns and wouldn't let them out of her little mitts. It was quite an unfair fight! I had to laugh when she told me "Aunt Kris, come here, I help you", and squirted me as soon as I got close. Turkey!

Perfect day for an unfair squirt gun fight.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

An Independence Day run

Yesterday was a day off from running and we took Spencer to see her first movie, Cars. It was cute, but I thought a bit long for a kid's movie. She got a little squirmy about half way through (too much dialogue, not enough action), but some candy to the rescue and she was good for the rest of the show. I think her opinion would be...too much yakin', not enough action! :-) She did say she wanted to see the car show again, so when it comes out on video, I'm sure she'll be getting a copy. All in all she did awesome for her first movie!

Today, we went to the mall and played in the little play area they have. Whew, after chasing Spencer around, I don't know that I'll need to run! She has absolutely no fear. There is a 'big big bear' that she likes to climb, unassisted, of course! It's over 6 feet tall and made of some sort of rubber/plastic so her little fingers and toes grip the surface quite well. She climbs all the way up and sits on his head. Then she waits for either Rob or Susie to catch her as she slides off the back of the bear's head. She must have done this routine at least a dozen times. She's an amazing bundle of energy. Too bad we can't bottle some of that! After a good time running wild, we headed home for lunch and a nap. Okay, a nap for Spencer, but a run for me.

I ate some lunch with Spencer and then waited until she was down for her nap (about an hour) before I took off running. I did the same route, but instead of doing the whole trail, I turned around at the 1.5 mile point. It was slightly cooler today, but still unbelievably humid. I like the trail, it's got a few uphill sections (some quite long) and some of it is shaded. It's a lot better than road running, as I've mentioned before, just due to the change in scenery and such. So, 3 miles on trail, 2 plus miles round trip, for a total of just over 5 miles in about 57 minutes. Not too bad. Maybe I'm getting used to this humidity thing....hahahahaha! I think it really helped to eat something and carry gatorade instead of water. Three cheers for electrolytes!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First day running in the sauna...I mean Illinois

I'm in Illinois visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and my 2-1/2 year old niece. I don't get to see them very often, so when I visit I want to spend at least 4-5 days. I'm here for a week this time. Yippee!

I started out thinking that I'd get up early, before Spencer, and run. Yeah, that doesn't work out so well with a little one who gets up between 6:30 and 7:00. Okay, I'll run during her nap, no problem. So nap time comes and I get changed and head out for the long run. This won't be too bad....except for the 90 degree heat and 90 percent humidity!

I'm not really sure where to head, but decide to chance running down a 2 lane black top road past the high school. Nice choice. A little over a mile from my brother's house I cross over a freeway and right there on the side of the road is a little park with a running/biking trail. Cool! I check it out and see that there is a 5 mile trail! Perfect, 5 miles of trail, roughly 2 miles round trip to get there and I'm at my 7 miles. Easier said than done! Ugh, it is so incredibly humid I can't believe it. My GPS conked out for a little stretch and I think I missed one of the loops on the trail. I'm figuring I did a bit under 7 miles. Total time 1:25. This was a really hard run for me. I think it's due to many errors which added up to a crappy run: traveling the day before, leaving me dehydrated to start with; getting up pretty early; not eating lunch before running; not carrying enough water. Add in the heat and humidity and it's no wonder I was struggling and feeling like I had heat stroke. This experience has made me very glad I am not training for the Maui marathon. Of course, if I was this weather would be perfect training!