Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hills and Mozzies

Tina, Bam, Teva (Tina's newest addition to her K9 family) and I hit Coyote Hills for our 'track' workout. We're still nursing our respective injuries...well, Tina and I are anyway. So we parked inside the gates instead of parking outside like we do when we want to tack on additional mileage. We warmed up by getting to 'The hill' and then did 3 sets of up and down the big hill. By the time we did the last hill the sun had started to set and we were being devoured by mosquitoes. We hot footed it out of the park, into the truck and home. Too late, we were already bitten up and Tina's sure we're going to get West Nile. Maybe it's time to use some bug spray. I wonder if it's sweat-proof.

About 3.25 miles in 42 mins. It's the hill's fault.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Slackin' off but supporting the team

I was going to leave work early tonight and head to the pool to swim and be home by 6:30. My PDL softball team (that I've only subbed on this season) made the playoffs. Yes, a miracle of sorts. It's probably because I haven't been playing. :-)

Well, things didn't really go according to plan and I left work a bit late. So I blew off my swim and went to support the team instead. Jeff, Bam and I went out and did our best to cheer PDL on to a win. It was an admirable effort, but not meant to be. Still...nice job PDL on a great season!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quick jaunt

Bam and I did our usual run from home, to Shinn pond (stop for a few treats), out to Mission Blvd and beyond, to the turn around point, then back past Shinn pond (stop for a few treats) and back home. 5.02 miles in 52:30.

Now, I'm starting to wonder about this shin of mine. It was a little achy during the 16-miler on Saturday, but nothing too bad. And afterwards it didn't really ache at all. Tonight, tho it was giving me all kinds of grief. Aching while I ran, aching after I ran, still aching. What's up with that?!??! Not sure what to do about it, but keep on truckin' and hope it gets better. Sigh.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Taking it easy...until the 16-miler

Ah, it's over. Now I can smile.

Since my shin has been acting up, I took Thursday off of track, Friday is usually a rest day, so I had two rest days in a row. Wow, what did I do with all that extra time? Don't know, but it went by pretty quickly.

Today Tina and I headed up to the Berkeley marina for our 16-mile run. I've been having shin issues and Tina went to a wedding last night and got some huge blisters on her toes. Ouch, I don't know how she managed to run on those feet! We started out slowly to see how we were going to hold up to our various injuries. We decided that if we had to cut it short, we would just go as far as we could and that's that.

I was also trying out my new hydration belt, an Amphipod RunLite belt. It only came with 2-8oz bottles, so I'll have to pick up a couple more, but overall it worked pretty well. Pretty comfortable and with the different bottles I can carry both Gatorade Rain and water. I think it's a keeper.

Oh, yeah, so anyway, we made it to the 6 mile mark pretty comfortably, then the 7 mile mark and finally the 8 mile turn around. The next couple of miles back weren't too bad, but about 10 miles in I started feeling exhausted and HUNGRY! A few pretzels at each water stop just wasn't enough. Guess I really need to try the heavy duty Gu or Shot Blocks again. They probably provide more concentrated calories than the pretzels. The salty food sure does taste good though. With about 3-1/2 miles left, I really started feeling achy. I just wanted to see that finish line. One more water stop at about 2 miles and it was into the home stretch. The last two miles are the longest miles you can imagine! I thought I'd never see that finish line! I finally made it and quickly grabbed some food and drink. Whew, only 3 more 'long' runs to go. An 18-miler, a 20-miler and the big one---the Nike 26.2. The end is in sight.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Yum, pool water tastes good.... :-P

Tina, good sport that she is, met me at the pool this morning at 6:00 since I can't make it tonight. In fact, she was already there when I arrived and they hadn't even unlocked the door yet. Now that's dedication.

Some nice things about swimming early: the pool seems cleaner, although it seems to have more chlorine too; all four lanes are open for lap swimming; the water, for some reason, didn't seem as cold; and we had a lane all to ourselves for most of the time. We managed a quick 30 laps before Tina had to split. I paddled out a quick 10 more before heading to the showers and off to work.

A couple of random items of note:

1) I'm tired a lot of the time now. Perhaps doing too much? Don't know, but I also feel like I need to keep up with the schedule. How do people do this all the time?

2) My shin is achy. Again, doing too much or too fast? Again, don't know.

3) I'm hungry all the time. Some folks are amazed that I'm not losing weight, but they should see the amount of food I eat. That's a bonus for sure. :-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Not quite as fast

Bam and I went for our buddy run this evening. Tina's taking a rest from running. Looks like I spoke too soon when I said no one was injured on our smokin' Saturday run. Her foot has been bothering her and since we have another big run this Saturday, she's resting up.

We headed out from home and did an Alameda Creek trail run. Tonight we went out by Shinn Pond and out towards Mission Blvd to the end of the trail and back. I started feeling some aches in my shin so I didn't push for 10 min miles tonight. I think Bam is glad. :-)

We did have to make a pit stop at the Shinn Pond park area. Bam spotted this couple who always hand out treats to the dogs. They bring an enormous bag and it's just too funny to see the dogs all sitting in a circle around them. So a few treats later we were on our way again and made it home just as the sun was setting. 5.03 miles in a little over 52 mins.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy B'Day to Me....

Maybe not the greatest way to start a birthday....Tina and I were on the trail by 6:45 this morning in order for me to complete our 14-miler before my birthday surprise from Jeff. I have to be 'home and ready to go' by 11:30.

Tina had map duty this time, as I was an abysmal failure at that last time. We started out with a long, flat, boring stretch along the Alameda Creek trail all the way out to the bay and back to a turning point. That part was about 6.5 miles. Then we went around Coyote Hills and up the Meadowlark trail, where we hit the big hill. Then down and around and back out to the flat trail for the home stretch.

Matt, Tina's husband, was our 'support' and manned the water stop. He had pretzel sticks (yum!) and gatorade for us at 6.5 miles and about 11.75 miles and at the end. Kudos to Matt for being our water-guy! And kudos to Tina for managing her longest run to date! Nice job! We had a good run. Neither of us got sick...seems the pretzels are a keeper as a snack for both of us. Nice dose of both carbs and salt. Neither of us got injured....although we both have some achy joints. And we kept a pace that will easily have us finishing the Nike in under 5:30....we managed about 11.40/mile for the 14 miles. Woohoo! We gave ourselves a nice, loud "Go Team!" as we finished up and got some strange looks.

I made it home in plenty of time to shower up, and get ready for my surprise...a spa package at Watercourse Way! Yippeee! Some time in the steam room followed by a massage with hot stones. Ahhh, I felt like a well cooked noodle by the time I was finished. Wow, that was way better than an ice bath. A fattening birthday dinner and then I crashed early.....another year older.....but still young at heart.

Friday, August 18, 2006

General achiness

Went to track last night. Well, our version of track anyway. Tina had called Coach for the workout and we were to do 1/2 mile warm up, 1 hard, 1 easy mile. Then of course a cool down. We decided we only needed 1/4 mile warm up and then did our stretching and started our 1 hard mile. My shin was still achy so I tried not to push too hard. Tina was cruising! We did our 1 easy mile and then hit the road. Come to find out we were supposed to do 1 hard lap followed by one easy one, for a total of 2 miles. Aw man, Maybe that wouldn't have seemed quite so bad.

So today not only is my shin achy, but my whole leg aches. Feels like pain in the joints or in the bone. Completely unlike muscle aches. Ugh, I hope I'm better by tomorrow for the 14-miler. I think the order for the evening is ibuprofen and rest. We're supposed to hit the trail at 6:30 tomorrow, so if I'm not back by noon, send out the search dogs. No...seriously. :-P

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Short swim

Just a quick 30 laps tonight, but in a record 25ish minutes. Not too shabby. I'm feeling some achiness in my shin since my run last night. Okay, so it actually started during my run last night, but I decided to push through it. I hope I haven't done any lasting damage.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hoofin' it

I didn't feel like running and my buddy must be busy this evening 'cuz she didn't email me about running. Oh, maybe she was waiting for me to email her. Oops. Anywho, Bam and I took off from home and headed out toward Shinn Pond, out to Isherwood and back home. A short run, only 4.75 miles, but I made up for it by getting it over with in 48 minutes. Yep, we were cruisin'. Another Tuesday run bites the dust and Bam and I are pooped again. Time to start carb loading for the 14 miler this Saturday. Yum.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mapping skills needed

I took over mapping out our 7-9 mile run for this evening. I pulled up a map of Garin Regional Park and plotted out a beautiful, brand new, never before run by Tina, Kristi or Bam, route of 9 miles. I even sent it to Tina for pre-run approval.

So, for those of you who don't know, there are these little, tiny numbers on a trail map that indicate elevation changes. Come to find out those little numbers are pretty important. Note to self...remember to check those little numbers. Anyway, I was very prepared as the three of us headed out for our run. I had a copy of the map, a general idea about where we needed to turn, and I even had an 'escape' route mapped in case we were too tired to do 9, but instead wanted to do closer to 7 miles.

We start out with no problems, fairly flat, nice scenery, not too hot. We even forged a couple of very small streams. Look at us go! Then we turn a corner and there's some uphill sections, not a problem. Then turn onto the South Fork trail and we hit some hills! Um, yeah, this is where those little numbers come in handy. Looks like the first loop I mapped out had a 935 foot elevation change. Okay, I take responsibility for that one.

At one point Bam was running around some trees, just after we had gone through a gate. All of a sudden Tina and I hear this growly, snarly sound. Like idiots, we both stop and look. Duuhhhh. I called Bam over and we all took off running! Tina and I convinced each other that it was the gate making noise and not a mountain lion. Right, no mountain lions out here. Even tho there were deer, which I'm sure mountain lions would like to eat...nope, pretty sure there aren't any mountain lions.

Turns out to be a good thing I brought the map. When we got to the point where we were supposed to turn onto the next loop we could see that the elevation change was 1100+ feet. Ooops. Okay, we're going to go up part way and take that little shortcut trail on the map. So part way was still 600+ feet and the little shortcut was a 'storm damaged' trail. Interesting to say the least. We kept on truckin' and made it 7 miles in an astonishingly slow 1:57 (hey, remember all those HUGE hills I mentioned?!!?) and out of the park by dark. So, Tina says I get an A+ for bringing the map, and an A for scenery, but an F for checking the elevation. Looks like my mapping privileges have been revoked.

But let's look at the bright side! The hills on the Nike run should be no problem after this puppy!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Short track

No, the track hasn't gotten any's still .25 miles. :-) What was shorter this week was our workout. The official workout was to choose either 3 miles at marathon pace, or 1 hard mile, one recovery mile. But, since we were both feeling a bit blah about our workout we decided to make up our own track drill. We did sprints. So, 1/4 mile warm up, 8 sets of sprints for a total of 1 mile and 1/2 mile cool down. A grand total of 18 minutes running. Like I said...short.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Water logged

Despite my lethargy, which was threatening to have me spend the evening on the couch, I met Tina at the pool for a few laps. I was determined to get in there, get my laps done, and get out. Wow, I really am getting burnt out.

Anyway, Tina was a few laps ahead of me by the time I made it to the pool, so I had some catching up to do. Then paddle-hand guy joined our lane and I think we were getting in his way. We made it to 30 laps and then pushed to get 6 more in so that we would make our 1/2 mile. I got in paddle-hand's way once and Tina said he made a noise of disgust. Sheesh. For our last 4 laps we did paddle hands too, just for variety.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, but I may push myself to do my 9-miler and have a free weekend. Okay, I mean another free weekend. Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Too tired

I took Bam out for a run tonight. I was hoping to make 6 miles, but believe it or not the girl ran out of steam on me. I think she's still trying to recover from her busy weekend at the beach.

We started out at the house and headed down the Alameda Creek trail. Just a quick out and back 5 miler, in about 54 minutes. I tried to do some sprints on the way back to the house, but I was literally having to drag Bam along. Seriously, the leash was taut....behind me, not in front as usual. I gave up after about 3 sets.

That's one tired girl I've got.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beach time

We spent the weekend in Monterey, well just outside Monterey if you want to be technical. Jeff wanted to fish and Bam and I love to hang out on the beach. Especially the beach in Carmel. Carmel is an amazingly dog friendly town. Quite a few of the stores have dog water bowls in front and cookies for 4 legged children. There's also a great 'pet boutique' called Diggity Dog. They have awesome treats and all sorts of great dog stuff. 'We' like to stop in there. Usually the sales folks have free samples for dogs with sad puppy dog eyes. Bam works that one pretty well.

So we got up Saturday morning all set to hang out at the beach while Jeff did the fishing thing. We drive out to the beach, close to Moss Landing, and pull into the parking lot. Uh, what's that big sign with a the picture of a dog and a red line through it? No dogs allowed?!? Come to find out all the state beaches are 'no dog' beaches. Sheesh!! Horses are allowed but dogs aren't ?!?!? What is up with that?

Well, we dropped Jeff off and drove about 20 minutes down to Carmel which as I said has an awesome and dog friendly beach. Bam and I hung out there for a few hours then went and picked up the intrepid fisherman. When we got there to pick him up, a ranger came by and we asked him about dog beaches by Moss Landing. Turns out there's only one, and that's because it's a county beach. So we drove over and hung out there for a few more hours. A few dogs, not too many, but not a bad beach.

Sunday home. All in all a great weekend, and one tired pup!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Running by moonlight

One thing I need to mention. I'm getting burnt out. I think I'm doing more cross training and weight training than I did last time, which I'm sure in the long run will be good for me, but it's exhausting. Almost every night there's something to do. And still 2-1/2 months of training left. I cherish the 'rest' days so I can just walk Bams and then do nothing! Okay, okay, enough whining.

I decided to do my long run tonight since I'll be out of town this weekend and then I won't have to worry about it. Tina agreed to come with me, that way she can go do her volunteer work at the Marine Mammal Center and see the cutie Stellar sea lions.

We needed a 12 mile route and Tina plotted an 11.85 mile course through Coyote Hills. Close enough. Unfortunately, I couldn't start until 6:30 and we'd be pushing the darkness, but we decided to trudge on anyway. I warned her that she should bring her head lamp, but she didn't. Boy was I right on that one.

We were cruising right along at a decent pace for 10.5 miles. Yes, there were some hills, and some boring, long straight stretches, but all in all we were kicking butt. Well, about this time it started getting dark and it was more difficult to see which trail was which. At this point we need to leave the main road and do a loop around the marsh to get our required mileage. "Let's do the long way." Tina says. Um, okay. Well, I don't know if the map was wrong, or if we went the wrong way, but we ended up at a dead end. Crap. It's pretty dark by now and we decide to just turn around and head back to the main road. We finally make our way back to the road and decide to walk the rest of the way to the car. Okay, one more little issue. We were supposed to end up by the gate, but we ended up further back. So after running ourselves into exhaustion, we now have a 1 mile walk back to the car. Total run time...2:33. Total mileage....12.12. Add in another mile of walking and we were 2 tired puppies. We made it to the car about 9:30. Yes, 3 hours later. Whose idea was this again?? All in all the run was really tough, but we made good time. Especially since we were totally lost for a brief period.

I was so tired, I went home, showered, took 2 Tylenol PM caplets and went to bed without dinner. Hmm, this feels suspiciously like being punished.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Flipper Man

Tina and I hit the pool tonight for our cross training workout. We arranged to meet at 7:00, a little later than last week, in an effort to miss the crowd. Also that gives me time to get the Bams walked.

So we head into the pool area and it doesn't look too crowded. Well, the number of people might have been less than last week, but it's tough to choose which lane we should swim in. The slow lane has several REALLY slow people in it. In fact, one woman is snorkeling. I'm not sure if she was looking for tropical fish, or what, but she was barely moving. The fast lane has only 3 people in it, and one of them is slower than we are, so we opt for the fast lane. What we really need is a 'medium' lane, but that's not an option.

The other folks in the fast lane are a young lady we've seen there before who has beautiful form, barely makes a splash. Then there's flipper man. This guy is swimming like someone from Atlantis. He about ran Tina over several times. He even asked the lifeguard to make the slow guy change lanes. Whew, a little intense. He said he usually swims about 6000 meters, but today he's only doing 2000.

Well, we managed to do 40 laps in about 40 minutes, so there.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hills in reverse

Tina and I are getting bored with running the same old routes. Unfortunately we don't know of any different ones in the area. So, tonight we hit Garin regional park, along with Bam. She isn't too picky about where we run, just happy to be out on the open road. :-) Tina made the decision to run the big hill loop tonight, so it's all her fault.

We decided to run the loop in reverse, just for variety. Drats! We still have to go up the big hill at the beginning. Then we hit a nice little downhill section. Then we went up, up, up. Not too steep, but a really long hill! Funny, but I don't remember it being so downhill in the reverse direction. Selective memory?!? When we came to the T intersection at the top of the hill, I tried to tell Tina that we should go left. No, no, she thinks we need to go up to the top of the nasty hill! Okay, in her defense, I'm usually the directionally challenged one. So we went up the hill and found ourselves on a trail we don't usually run. No sweat, we could see that it looped back towards the parking area. It did shorten the run a bit tho...good thing we parked farther away to add some distance. A total of 3.6 miles in 50 minutes. Slow, yes, but it was the hills' fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.