Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Not as easy as it looks

Go Team! The East Bay Rocks, as you can see from our shirts! :-) The little cutie in front with the tan skirt is Vanessa, one of our honorees.

Yep, I'm looking pretty tired. And we haven't even started running yet.

Okay, I've perked up a bit. But this picture is VERRRRY early in the run. I haven't even sweat through my hat yet.

Still smiling?!?!? What is wrong with this girl?? Oh, yeah, she's a camera hound.

The girls that started together stayed together! Finally crossing the finish line!

We sooooo ran like girls! We rock! And we earned those smiles and the Tiffany bling and the Nike Finisher shirts!!!

One side note: while all the bling is icing on the cake, there is an incredible amount of satisfaction derived from seeing all the folks out on the course with "Honoree" shirts. They are soooo thankful to all the runners and walkers for supporting LLS. One family was along side the course and the little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old, had an "Honoree" t-shirt that looked more like a dress. The mom said "1-1/2 years in remission! And it's thanks to all of you! Thank you!"

THAT is why we run.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nike stats

A few numbers from the 2006 Nike Women's Marathon:

3:10 the winner's finishing time

15000: the approx. number of women entered

150: the approx. number of men entered (although I think the paper got this wrong, because the results show about 700 men entered)

7800: the approx. number of finishers for the 1/2 marathon

4000: the approx. number of finishers for the full marathon

And most importantly:

$16 Million: the amount of money raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ran like girls

That's right ladies and gentlemen, Tina and I finished all 26.2 miles of the 2006 Nike Women's Marathon. It wasn't fast or pretty or easy, but we did it. And we have the bling to prove it. :-)

It was quite a bit warmer than last year, which isn't really a good thing where running is concerned. The run itself is draining enough without adding sun and heat on top of it.

We started our run at about 7:08. Yes, it took us about 8 minutes to reach the start line once the 'official' time started. The guys saw us into the corral and then took off for some breakfast. Lucky lucky.

The first few miles were pretty crowded, lots of weaving around people, slowing down, speeding up, etc. By the time we hit the big hill at mile 6, it had thinned out a little. We ran right up that hill. Hill, what hill? We were slightly ahead of pace for the first half where we spotted some porta-potties that weren't busy and made a pit stop. Still doing pretty well. Then we hit the 2 miles worth of gradual uphill that winds through Golden Gate Park. That sapped our energy a bit.

We saw the guys again at mile 15 and I grabbed some M&Ms. Little known fact: M&Ms may not melt in your hand, but they will melt in a sweaty pocket. The candy coating was soon trickling down my leg. Ewwwww.

Somehow the guys made it out to mile 19.5, just as we were starting around the lake. We begged for rides home to no avail. Our pleas fell on deaf ears. I felt pretty good for the next couple of miles, but then I lost it. I wanted to cry and just stop running. I think they call it ....... THE WALL. I tried some Gu, I tried Sport Beans, I tried anything I could think of. In the end I had to keep telling myself to just get it over with. Soon it would be over, soon it would be over. We spotted the guys again just after the lake and they could tell we weren't doing so great, but tried to encourage us.

In the end, we just did the damn thing, as Coach Al would say.

How did my hip hold up you ask? Well, a bad sign was that it started aching around mile 2. Yes, mile 2. It was tolerable if I kept moving, but stopping to grab the water at the aid stations it really ached. Oh, and the downhills were torture. Just bad. Did I mention that I have a sinus infection too? Yeah, not the best run, but WE DID IT!

26.2 miles in 5:40. 2 minutes faster than last year, even with the health issues. :-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Easy street

As I've mentioned many times, we're in the home stretch to the big day. So we're just supposed to do easy runs this week. Good thing what with being sick and gimpy.

Tina and I headed out to Shinn pond to squeeze in a short easy run before dark. Of course we brought the pooches, Teva and Bam, to stretch their legs too. Right away Teva started limping and we thought it would be the shortest run on record, but she seemed to be okay so we trudged on. My hip felt good through the run, the dogs mostly behaved, I wasn't snorting up too much gunk. Bam's stubborn streak was in full bloom, but other than that she was pretty good. Teva met the dog park gang and was a little intimidated, but then seemed to get along okay.

Lots of dog related stopping and starting on the run: 3.12 miles in about 40 min.

The trouble hit me later in the evening. I went to get out of the truck and noticed how achy my hip was. From a short easy run. I don't know what's going to happen on Sunday. I think I need to pound some NSAIDs and apply some heat. Hopefully I won't have to crawl across the finish line. But I will if I have to. Believe it. I'm getting that little blue box. :-)

Nike ruminations

We're now in the single digits for the Nike countdown. Points to ponder:

1) Still sick, dammit. Got 6 more days to keep pushing the Vit C.

2) To run with music or without music? I think Tina's gonna' kick ass and I'll end up running alone, so I'm leaning towards music.

3) Will my hip recover in the next 6 days, or will I be "limp-along" for the marathon?

4) I will cross the stupid finish line, but will I make my 5:30 target? Or since I'm under the weather and wounded should I forget about the time?

5) Why am I doing this again?

Okay, enough! Got to start the positive talk and get pumped up. It's hard when I feel crappy tho. Send all good vibes to Kris prior to Oct 22. Thx.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Schlepping the bag

Definition of schlep (courtesy of Urban :
1) A long and tiresome walk.
2) To carry, bring or otherwise transmit something which is difficult to move.

I think both definitions fit what I did today. Okay, so I don't carry the golf bag so much as push it around. But hey, it's up and down hills, so it's still a challenge. And the walk is definitely long if not tiresome. I wanted to wear my Garmin to see just how long, but the stupid battery is dead. I guess it's good to find that out today rather than next Sunday for Nike.

I caddied for JD today at Eagle Ridge, which is a challenging walk. We cheated a bit by hitching a ride up some of the bigger hills with his playing partners. It was a beautiful sunny day for the most part. Cooled off a bit as the sun was setting and about that time I was ready to get out of there. JD was struggling a bit with the clubs but did pull off an awesome bomb of a drive to win the longest drive competition and a spectacular tee shot on a par 3 led to a closest to the pin win also. Ahhh, pay the caddy. :-)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Last run/Kickin' ass

Today was our last coach's run. It was at the San Leandro marina and was supposed to be mapped out at 4-6 miles. We were also going to pick up our info packets for the marathon and get the spiel from Coach and Mama Lisa about what to do/not do/expect at the event.

Tina and I are both sick but we toughed it out and showed up for our last TNT organized run. We arrived sporting our new sweatshirts from our Cafe Press store to do some shameless self-promotion. Great idea! Several people mentioned how nice they were and that they would order stuff. We'll see if it pans out.

So I think Coach is trying to instill in us that it's too late to worry about training now and that anything we do or don't do in this last week is going to have no impact on our marathon. The course he mapped out was only a 5k (3.1 miles) instead of the scheduled 4-6.

Tina must have eaten her wheaties because she set a blistering pace. It was all I could do to keep up, while snorting and spitting my entire sinus cavity off the side of the road. (Eww, that may be a bit graphic. Maybe I should rate this post a pg-13.) Just over a 5k in barely over 30 minutes. According to T, a 9.4 min/mile pace.

We didn't end up hanging out for the talks since we had both heard them before but instead headed home for a hot shower and a nap.

I also had a women's self defense course today. It was pretty cool. They taught a method called Krav Maga. It's a fighting style used by the Israeli defense force. We learned some basic moves for blocking and some basic kicks and punches. They offer a free one week trial of the courses and I think I'll check it out after the marathon is behind me. It was a great workout and I'm sure it wasn't as intense as the actual classes. Worth checking out for a free week, I think. When I left I felt like I could kick some serious ass. However as soon as I got home Jeff injected some reality into that theory. I mean the moves are easy enough to do against another woman (in class) who's not really threatening you, but against a strong guy who's also not really threatening you let alone a strong guy who is....hmmmm, more classes are definitely in order.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Just in time for the marathon......sick again, or still sick. really pisses me off. Couldn't wait until after the run?!?!?!

So I haven't done anything since Tuesday. I'm going to bomb the marathon. I've got a bad feeling......

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Run deer run!

The gang (Tina, Bam, Teva and I) hit Garin park last night to conquer the big hill again. As we drove in we noticed the sign said 'Park closes/Gates locked 7PM.' Uh oh, it's going to be a close call if we make it out in time. Park and jump out, get the dogs hooked up and we're off.

We made it about 2/3 of the way to the top of the hill when the dogs spied some deer and started after them. Luckily they didn't chase them all the way across the fields and listened fairly well as we were both yelling at them. And even luckier, there were no injuries and we didn't have to carry dogs out of the park.

We saw the sun sink below the hills and decided we should turn around at the top of the hill. At least that way we'd have more light and it should be an easier trip back so we can make better time. We got to the car about 10 after 7 and luckily we weren't locked in. Must be a bit of a grace period. It was DARK tho and I can see why they close the park at 7.

3.26 miles in about 44 minutes. Lots of hills, remember?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Gym time

Since I did a bunch of cardio yesterday, I just warmed up for 10 minutes then hit the weights. I did a bunch of legs, arms and abs. Kind of an all over workout. Nothing too exciting.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rockin' and rollin'

As I alluded to yesterday, Tina and I ran the 1/2 marathon today. It sounded like it would be fun. 20 bands along the route and lots of cheer squads, etc. Another inaugural 1/2 under our belts. The guys and a couple of pups along to watch. Fun right? Well, it turned out to be more of an adventure than fun.

I guess I did a little too much relaxing yesterday and not enough planning because I barely remembered my race chip and forgot my bib number. We didn't really have time to go back and get it, but I wasn't sure I could run with out it. We navigated our way around the traffic and found a parking spot. Once we got to the race area I headed to the 'Solutions' booth to find out how to get a new number. Just when I got to the front of the line, the generator that was running the electronics died. Out of gas. Okay, they're sending a guy over to fill it up and restart it. See, they needed the power to initialize my new chip. Each chip is evidently assigned to a bib number and since I needed a new bib, I also needed a new chip. Okay, so we're waiting and waiting. It's now about 15 min to race time. People are getting antsy. Finally the guy shows up with the gas, pours it in and....oh, wait that's not a diesel generator. Great. Generator ruined. They did come up with a work around solution, but it was getting really close to race time. I high tailed it back to where I had left the gang and just made it.

Neither Tina nor I had a great run. I think there's a reason we're only supposed to do 7 miles a week after the 20-miler. The body needs some serious recovery time. It was also a bit warmer than we've gotten used to running in lately. Anyway, we dragged ourselves to the finish line in 2:29. If we had been feeling good I think we could have easily beat the Disney time.

A couple of notes. While it's cool that they had a bunch of bands, you could really only hear them for a couple of minutes at the most, so it wasn't as motivating as I thought. As we were going past, oh mile 5.5 or so, we saw the 12 mile mark on the other side of the road and the elite runners were starting to come in. Man, those guys (and gals) were moving. The guy in first place, a Kenyan, looked like it was no effort at all. Amazing to watch. Turns out he ran the second fastest time on American soil, 1 hour 22 seconds.

The best part of the run was when it was over. :-) We grabbed some chow and headed home for a big long nap. Hooray for naps!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Slow down Saturday

Today would be a run day, 7 miles, but somehow Tina talked me into doing the inaugural Rock n' Roll San Jose 1/2 marathon tomorrow.

So I had a lazy day just doing stuff around the house. I took Bam out to Garin park for a romp, but we only did about 3 miles at a slow crawl. Well, I was slow. She was running back and forth, back and forth. After the run she got a bath and her ears cleaned out. I guess those things cancel out the goodwill I earned for taking her for a romp. All in all a pretty lazy day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lazy posting

What did I do today??
See Wednesdays post and pretend that it says Friday instead of Wednesday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy B'Day Mum!

A big shout out to my ma'!

Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday dear MOM...
Happy Birthday to you....

....and many more!!!!

(Hey...I don't have to pay royalties on that do I?)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hit the gym

Well, since I was a slacker last night (okay, I was sick...still a slacker) I hit the gym this morning at 5:45. I did 3 miles on the treadmill in about 29 minutes then cooled down a couple of minutes and spent my last 6-7 minutes walking with the incline set at 15 (all the way up). I did some walking facing forwards and some facing backwards. Yes, I got some weird looks, but I read it's really good for the hamstrings. And I read it in Shape magazine so it's got to be true.

After getting off the treadmill, I did 40 minutes of weights and abs. No, not 40 minutes of each! Sheesh. :-)

Felt good to get back into the gym and move some iron (as the boys say). Jeff's been working out with our trainer again and amazingly they have been doing some exercises that have really helped his back. Three cheers for the trainer! Go Mike! Go Mike! Go Mike!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Knocked out

I must have picked up the bug that's been going around at work. Running 19+ miles with it in my system probably didn't help either. In any case, now I'm sick. I hate being sick! Jeff says 'better now than in a couple of weeks (for the Nike)' which I guess is true. Still, I hate skipping workouts at this point even tho I tell myself it's better to rest up and get feeling better than to push and prolong the illness. Sigh. I think my body is trying to tell me to rest a bit. You'd think that it would have figured out by now that I don't listen. ha ha ha ha

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Turned around

Tina and I arrived in San Francisco bright and early, well before the start time, for our 20 mile run. Unfortunately we arrived bright and early in the wrong location, so after walking around for a bit and following some other lost folks, we figured out we were supposed to be one block up from our current location. We high tailed it over there, but the 6:45 am group was already gone. So we ended up starting out a little later than expected.

We headed up a big, big hill past the Cliff house then we followed the very small course markings to a trail, where we stopped to stretch. Unfortunately by the time we were done stretching, everyone else had taken off and we didn't see any course markings. Great, which way should we go? Luckily some San Francisco team runners came by and said 'if a turn isn't marked..go straight.' So we did, but then the same runners said they remembered something about a certain trail, so we headed down some stairs and along a different trail. Still no course markings. We came out onto a larger trail and they started heading left when I saw a tiny arrow pointing right. So we all went right and up some more hills. We finally hit a water stop and they told us to run to the stop sign and then turn. Okay, we ran there, but turn which way?? Here there were some course markings, but they were in chalk and today's were supposed to be in flour. The San Francisco runners told me that the chalk markings were from last week's run. Okay, great.

We managed to find our way back onto the trail and headed back down past the Cliff House and back into Golden Gate park. The route into Golden Gate Park was manned with someone who told us 'go out to your mile marker or the museum and turn around.' Okay, they didn't mention that you have to run on a certain side to see the mile markers. So along with many other folks, we were running on the wrong side of the road and only realized it when we saw a water stop across the street and were told to go to the crosswalk and cross. Here we found out that the turn around was for 12 miles. Wait, if we have 12 miles and still have 10 more after that to get down the Great Highway and around the Lake, that's 22 miles! Sheesh, this course was so poorly planned.

Anyway we made it out of the park and started to head out the Great Highway. Out the highway and up towards the lake. We hit the water stop at about 15 miles and were told that they were turning everyone around. Coach didn't want anyone on their feet for more than 4 hours. Guess we're just too slow for a full 20 miler. Well, we would hit at least 19 by the time we made it back to the finish line. So we grabbed some snacks and headed back the way we came.

On the way back we saw coach and he asked how we were doing. "Bad," I said. He wouldn't even give me a ride back to the finish line! :-)

With about 3 miles left to go, my ankle really started to hurt. I'm not sure what's going on, but maybe I need new shoes again. Tina was booking, but came back to drag me to the finish line...again. Thanks T!

Total time and distance: 4 hrs, 19.4 miles.