Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Roll with it

I just experienced my second significant earthquake since we moved to the Bay Area in 1995, although I'm sure there have been others in the middle of the night, and little ones that I didn't notice. They're calling it 'moderate' with initial reports putting it at a 5.6 magnitude.

We didn't have anything fall off the shelves or anything, but there was a definite rolling motion and almost a rumbling, although I may have been imagining that part. It really is a bit unsettling and a very strange feeling. Jeff is still at work and I think they got rolled even more than we did here. He called to see if we were okay and said he almost got sea sick. Now that's some rockin' and rollin'.

Oh, and that thing about animals being able to 'sense' it coming? Yeah, not mine. She barely reacted at all until it was all over and then she just went outside to sniff around. That's my girl....just roll with it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Starting Sucks...Or Am I Just Lazy?

I haven't quite figured out why it is that starting a run is so difficult for me. I feel good once I get out there and especially once I'm finished. I think while some people get runner's high I get finisher's high.

Anyway, I did a run at work on Tuesday which went okay. Then last night I got home from work with a plan to take Bam for a run. I started to talk myself out of it before I even got there. The excuses abounded..."I left work later than expected", "It's going to be dark before we get back", "Bam looks pretty tired (riiiiight)", "My Nano isn't charged". I quickly pulled on my running gear and out the door I went before my body started listening to my brain. We went to the trails at Garin and did the 'big' hill side, which Bam loves because she can be completely off leash.

It was good once I got out and moving. I saw some deer (besides Bam :-) and a flock(?) of wild turkey. And luckily no cows. They scare me, especially after the horror stories I've heard about them kicking and pinning dogs. I make Bam stick like glue to me around the cows.

I would have felt like a slug if I hadn't gone. And Bam obviously loves it, so I should feel guilty if I deprive her of a good romp. But the getting out there and getting started is just so tough for me, especially lately. Am I lazy? I don't *think* I am, but it's hard to say. You see I'm not that objective.

Maybe I just need a vacation. That's coming very soon. But then I worry about gaining weight and losing ground with all the effort I've been putting in. I don't know, maybe I need therapy instead of a vacation. :-D

Photo Shoot

Here are a couple of shots from the Nike 1/2 last Sunday courtesy of T. Yes, I am a *wee* bit proud of that PR. And you can't see the Tiffany charm very well, but it's better than last year. It has 2 running ladies on it...Me and T.....she's the one in front. :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Done baby....done

Today was my last big race of the season, The Nike Women's Marathon, well the 1/2 Marathon anyway.

We met at T's at 5:15 to head into the city and it was EARLY, and dark and cold. We found a place to park and headed to the start line, hitting the porta-potties on the way. It was already a mad house with people everywhere. We hit the 'VIP Nike+' Tent to grab some water and check out the goods. It was a peaceful tented area where we could stretch and hang out. The guys had to wait outside tho, so we grabbed our goodies and went out to wait out the remaining time until the start at 7:00. T's early morning coffee had her running to the porta-potty again and then we decided to head down to our corral.

The announcer informed us that there were 23,000 participants, runners and walkers. 5k more than last year. Dang. The total raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an impressive 18.5 million. Sure wish they were making more progress on a cure, but that's another story.

Soon enough the starting gun goes off and an amazing mix of 'get pumped' music started playing. Funny tho...we weren't going anywhere. And go nowhere we did for about 15 minutes. I'm not sure what the hold up was, but eventually we were on our way. Well, sort of. The crush of people continued almost unabated for the entire course. And hello, but walkers should have been waaaaaaay behind us by pace time. Hello again, please have some course etiquette and don't walk 6 people across, blocking most of the course! Especially in the narrow-downed sections where people are trying to maintain a pace and find a rhythm. Sheesh. Okay, I know that some of them were probably doing their first race, but you can't imagine how frustrating it is to have to bob and weave, put on the brakes, zig-zag, you name it, to get through the madness. It seemed like they allowed 5k more people and made the course even narrower in spots. Serious chaos. Hopefully next year they'll institute a waved started. But with 23k people, I don't know if that's a realistic expectation.

I really tried to stick to my pace early on instead of pushing too fast, too early like I usually do. For the first 5 miles, I really felt like I could have pushed it quite a bit faster, but I didn't let myself. I remembered those freakin' hills would be coming up soon enough and tried to hold back. Mile 6 came, with the 1 mile up hill through the Presidio and I was still feeling pretty good. The next two hills, which came shortly there after however, really wiped my legs out. Damn, that was a tough stretch. By mile 10 I was really feeling tired. I kept telling myself "You will NOT walk", "You do NOT need to walk, you're almost there." I was hoping to pick it up for the last 5k, and push like it was ONLY a 5k I was running, but my legs were having none of that. I started thinking "Just make it to the turn off" and once I did, I was still wiped. About 1/2 a mile from the finish I had to put my headphones on and play my Nike+ Power Song just to push myself to the finish. I was hoping to push it enough to hit a 2:15, but didn't quite make it. Still a very respectable PR of 2:16:48. And I actually felt like I wasn't too tight afterwards. I will admit to being completely thrilled that I wasn't doing the full. I couldn't even imagine having to pass up the turn off and head off for 13.1 more miles. Ugh, being poked by a sharp stick would be more enjoyable. Maybe even a dull stick. It was an awesome end to a very long training season and season chock-full of events. Next year we shoot for 2:10, right T? ;-)

We scored our Tiffany necklaces, a couple of jamba juices, and our very, very PINK t-shirts. We were about ready to head to breakfast when we passed by the Powder Room. Hey, looks like some free stuff in there! Back we went to check it out. What, wait in line?!?! Okay, okay. Man was it worth it. We got to freshen up and then scored an armload of Luna Lip Balm and Lip Gloss, and Neutrogena hand cream, lip gloss, concealer, cleanser, etc. Excellent score! Definitely a good end to the running/tri season. Now I have enough lip balm for 7 faces as Jeff noted. :-)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Next to last

Next to last event of the year, that is. Today was a little 5k in Palo Alto, the Running of the Bulls! Tina found this one on-line and it sounded like a kick so we gave it a go.

The bulls and cows are actually 'pro' runners, some ex-olympians, some college track stars, in other words FAST folks. The average, every day Joes and Janes get to start the race and the bovines are released every few minutes to run them down, just like in Pamplona. Supposedly for each bull or cow you beat, you get an extra raffle ticket. Schweet.

My pre-race time goal was 29 minutes. I wanted a sub 30 5k, and this was my chance. Forget 'fun' run, this was my next to last race of the year and I wanted a PR. The race director gave us the go ahead and we all took off. A little more than half a mile in I hear "MOOOOOOO MOOOOOOO". Dang! A bull passed us up that quickly. It's not looking good for that raffle. Soon enough another bull runs by pushing a calf in a stroller. Hmmm, that calf looks a little wind blown. I think that's one fast bull! It didn't take long for the cows to go flying by either. Who needs raffle tickets anyway?!? ;-)

It was a nice flat course mostly through the shady Palo Alto streets, but pushing my speed really wiped me out. Finishing time: 27:15. Woohoo!

We hung out waiting for the raffle and ate some of the awesome post-race food. While we were waiting we watched the kiddie races, starting with the one-year old age group all the way up to 11-12 year olds. Too cute, well the little ones anyway. ;-) They had no idea what they were running for, but they were out there running. Good job kids! Next up was the Black cow social.....root beer floats for everyone! Uh, how about that raffle?!?! Turns out the raffle was a scam! WHAT?!?! Okay, maybe not a scam, maybe just a 'misprint.' Aw well, it was still a really fun little local race.

Last race of the year in two weeks.....the Nike 1/2!