Monday, April 28, 2008

Vicious Circle

Right now my life is stuck in a vicious circle.
  1. Work is so busy that I can't fit in my work outs, which stresses me out.
  2. Work is so busy that I'm stressed out about getting it all done.
  3. Working out is my stress release....please go to #1 and repeat.

See the problem here? I really need to find some balance. Hopefully getting away for the Pig 1/2 Marathon this weekend will break the cycle.

I can see the bay from my office, and the trail around the bay, and all the lucky people out there getting in their work-outs. It may be hard to believe, but I'm actually longing for a nice long run. Even a bunch of nice long runs. Shoot, even a bunch of short runs would be awesome at this point. I know....I know....just a few months ago I was saying I never wanted to run another 1/2 because it was miserable. Fickle is my middle name. Stressed is now my first name.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Relay recovery, Pig prep

I took Monday and Tuesday as complete rest days to recover from The Relay. Okay, okay, I probably didn't *need* two rest days, as I wasn't really that sore, just exhausted. But with the Flying Pig 1/2 marathon coming up, and my hip having been giving me trouble, I didn't want to push too much over the next week and 1/2.

Wednesday T and I were back to the grindstone, called Elena, to have our legs tortured some more after the long weekend. So, weights and I did a quick spin on the trainer. I also got my new tri-shoes, new cleats, and new pedals. So I'm dying to try them out. I hope I don't fall over.

Thursday we did a nice easy 3 mile run, which Bam thought was *way* too short from the disgusted look she gave me when I told her it was time to turn around. Yes, yes, I do have a vivid imagination when it comes to reading my dog's 'expressions'. Also did a quick swim at night.

Today Elena *made* us do another weight session since we weren't there on Monday. No...really...she forced us to come to the gym. Just wouldn't take no for an answer.

Tomorrow I *should* run a 10 miler as my last long run prior to the Pig. However, with my hip aching I don't want to push it. So, I'm going into a 1/2 marathon having not done a double digit run. Does running 18 miles in 2 days on no sleep = one lousy double digit run? I dunno, but we're gonna find out. If I'm not prepped enough and my brother leaves me to eat his dust, I'm gonna be so sad. Okay, I'll be happy for *him*, but sad for me. It's not all about me after all. Wow, who wrote that sentence. ;-)

Sunday T and I are heading back to Uvas reservoir to tackle The Hill again. We're hoping to kick it's butt this time.....maybe twice. Wish us luck.

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fat Kid #4 Recap

I was at Tina's house at 4:45 on Saturday to start our 2 day adventure, AKA The Relay. 6 Fat Kids loaded up into the van, along with sleeping bags, pillows, gear bags, food and cooler. We arrived in Calistoga with plenty of time to spare for our 7:30 start time. We met up with Van #2 and took an (almost) complete Fat Kid group photo. Fat Kid #12, Allen, is taking the pic.

Fat Kids (L to R): Phil, Rudy, Lael, Linds, Olivia, Sean, Tina, Allan,
Leslie, Kat, and me at the bottom

Fat Kid #1, Kat, took off on time and before long Tina was off, then Phil, then it was my turn. The first run went fine, although it was a little hillier than I expected, having been told it was pretty flat. Yeah, I've mentioned how evidently I think of flat a little differently than most people. There was one discouraging thing...all the people I was running with seemed to be long legged men! I was getting passed and not doing much passing. I did manage to pass one guy in the last few yards...and in a skirt no less. :-) I passed the 'baton' to Linds and then Sean took off like a shot for the last leg of the first set.

Beat a guy....and I'm wearing a skirt...that makes me happy

Come to find out my team was more enamoured with supporting Team Dean (Dean Karnazes) then with supporting Fat Kid #4. I'd have to say they were border-line stalkers, cheering and yelling for him every time he went by. Sean didn't even want to wash his hand after giving Dean a high five. ;-)

Just like last year, it was amazing how quickly the time goes by. Before long we were eating lunch after having passed the 'baton' to Van #2, and then we were at our first rest stop where I tried to nap, however unsuccessfully. A few hours later we were up and getting ready to head out again. The wind was amazingly fierce and it was really chilly. I felt bad for Kat who had to battle some hills along with the wind. Before long it was my turn again. Running through the darkness I tried to keep my pace up, because at this point we were about 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Finally we cycled through all the Van #1 Fat Kids and handed the 'baton' off once again. We headed to our rest stop where we were able to shower and catch a few hours sleep. I think I probably slept about 2-3 hours. YAWN!

We got a call from Van #2 that they had kept us ahead of schedule and we needed to be ready to go by about 6:30. Wow. We met up with them and took off for our last legs.....on our last legs. :-) Kat kicked it, then Tina, then Phil, then me. At some point the team of the long legged guy that I passed in a skirt had gotten in front of us again, but I managed to make it up the hills faster than he did. Okay, okay, so he wasn't looking all that good, but who of us was at that point?!? I'll take my victories where I can. :-) Finally Linds and Sean finished up with a couple of super nasty, hilly routes. And then we were done and handing off the baton for the final time.

Happy to be done, yes sir!

We made it to Santa Cruz to hang out and wait for our fellow Fatties around 12:30 on Sunday afternoon. Grabbed some lunch (sorry about that vegetarian thing Phil!), then hung out on the boardwalk until our fab Van #2 showed up just before 4:00. We finished in 32 hrs 29 min, placed 176/201. Waaaay better than second to last! Way to go Fat Kids 2!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fat Kids...Take 2

Yep, the Fat Kids rocked the relay this year for sure. Neither wind, nor cold, nor dark of night kept the kids from finishing up the relay once again....and about 3 hours faster than last year. Schweeeet. :-)

I'll give a more comprehensive write up when my brain has come out of the fog a bit more. For now I'll just say that 2 vans, 12 fat kids, 36 legs, and 199 miles = big fun with an unhealthy dose of sleep deprivation.

Here are the legs I ran:

Around 9:30 am Saturday, 7.4 miles, average pace 9:12
Difficulty rating: Moderate

This run wasn't too bad, probably because my legs were fresh. Although once again, I think other peoples definition of 'flat' is *very* different than mine.

Around 10:15 pm Saturday, 5.3 miles, average pace 9:16
Difficulty rating: Easy (hahahaha)

Although there was much less elevation change, this run was a little weird because it was so dark and I was running on sidewalks a lot of the way, with potential tripping hazards everywhere. Also, it was past my bedtime. :-)

Around 8:30 am on Sunday, 5.1 miles, average pace 10:06
Difficulty rating: Hard (I'll say!)

Okay, this run just plain sucked. Uphill most of the way, running on about 3 hours of sleep, with some pretty crappy nutrition thrown in for good measure. The best thing about this was my last one of the relay! Unlike last year when I ran four legs, as soon as I finished this sucker up I was DONE! :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Did somebody turn up the heat?

The weekend arrived as promised with tons of sunshine and a furnace full of heat. It was actually a shock to the system to go from 60s to high 80s overnight.

Saturday was super low key. I kept trying to psych myself up to go for a bike ride, but just couldn't make myself do it. So instead I did some spring cleaning, we washed the motorcycles and the car, and I cleaned the back patio, including the eaves and windows. Ah, much better...for a few days at least.

Sunday was my solo 10k. Jeff rode down with me for moral support since he couldn't run. Besides, I told him he should at least get his tee shirt. After all we paid for it. :-) A quick check of said the temp at 9:00 (the 10k start time) was supposed to be 65 degrees. Perfect. I almost put my running capris on, but decided at the last minute to wear my skirt instead. LUCKY for me.

I think it was already about 70-75 before we even got started and the temperature seemed to be rising quickly. I was hoping to really push this run, mainly because it was really flat, and get a new record, but soon realized the heat wouldn't let me do that. The first 3 miles were on target, but after that my energy was sapped. There was absolutely no shade on the course, so the sun just beat down on me the entire time. If I wasn't deliriously dehydrated I might have notice that I was less than a minute from beating my best 10k time and maybe I could have pushed myself a bit more. But then again, I was already getting nauseous at the pace I was pushing, so maybe not.

The run finished up at a local high school, and for a few agonizing minutes towards the end, I thought the race directors were going to be sadistic enough to make us finish up by running a lap around the track. Thankfully I was completely wrong. Official time 57:47 for 6.2 miles. So, not a record, but given the heat I'll take it. I think the temperature was about 85 on the car thermometer when we left. No wonder I wanted to throw up. :-)

At the finish line I grabbed a goodie bag, a bottle of water, and my free Jamba Juice and we headed out to breakfast. Home again, home again to do a bit of work stuff before T lured me out with a swim break at the lake. Even with the wetsuit, the water was a bit chilly at first. We soon warmed up as we realized, once again, how different 'open' water swimming is. And can I just say, the lake was kind of grossing me out. I guess the pool isn't so bad after all. Oh, and the Orca wetsuit is *AWESOME*. I feel just like a killer whale. Uh huh, save those comments if you please. I mean sleek and fast. Okay, okay, and kind of blubbery floaty too. :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feels like slacking off

It seems like I haven't done enough training this week. No, really, I think I've been slacking off since T has been out of commission and not pushing me to get out there.

Monday: Weights and a 5k-ish hilly run
Tuesday: Swim 2000 and spin for 30 minutes
Wednesday: Weights and a 5k-ish speed work run
Thursday: NOTHING (well, except for some major shopping, but I don't think it counts)
Friday: Swim 2100 and.....maybe that's it, don't know what I'll do tonight, if anything

Yep, that's it for the week. Man, I *AM* a slacker this week.

This weekend it's supposed to be amazingly sunny (finally), so I'd like to hit the lake for an 'open' water swim. And try out my new wetsuit. What's that?!?! You didn't know I had a new wetsuit?!?! Well, I do! It was a smokin' $25 deal that T scored me off Craigslist. It's a used Team In Training, full wetsuit, but for $25 how could I go wrong?!? Kudos to T for that find! Such a good training friend. (Reminder to T for wetsuit....) :-)

Sunday it looks like I'm on my own for the 10k. T is out with her knee injury and now Jeff is out with a knee injury too. Hmmm, what's the common denominator here? I think it's me. I hope I don't get my bad mojo on anyone else! I told T that I'll try to run as fast as I can. Then maybe I'll hurt my knee too and can join the fashionable new club they have going.

Seriously tho, Jeff is going in to the doctor on Monday and we hope there's nothing that will keep him from running the Pig in 3 weeks. OH MAN! Only 3 more weeks till Pig. Gotta get my slackin' butt moving!

If you have some spare good karma laying around, send it my way for my solitary 10k this Sunday! Happy Weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A few minutes makes all the difference

Just a thought I had on the way home.

Several things came up towards the end of the day and I ended up leaving work later than usual. As I approached the Marsh Road exit off 101, traffic came to a halt. I was in the carpool lane on my bike and scooted, okay 'shared', between the lanes to make some forward progress. Soon I smelled and could see smoke. Then I see a police officer making a bee line for the left side of the road and all the cars start pushing their way right. I slithered through the traffic and saw 3 cars pulled off the right side of 101 and 2 cars pretty smashed up on the left side of 101. One of them was on fire. If I had left at my usual time I could have been right in the middle of that. And on a bike a smash up like that would have been really bad news.

Now, that's not to say that I *would* have been caught up in it. But I *would* have been in the carpool lane (where the burning car was), and I *probably* (cough, cough) would have been going fast enough to make a quick stop very difficult.

So, all I'm saying made me think about what a difference a few minutes can make.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And then there was one....

Last night I took Bam to Garin for a hilly trail run. Last week we did the little side, this week we did the big side. I'm always a little concerned about the cows out there. Oh, not that Bam will chase them, but that they will chase us. Bam's pretty good when I tell her to 'stay with me' by the cows. Ever since she *really* got chased by one I think she's a little freaked out by them. It was a tough run. I just didn't feel it on the hills and even had to take a break going up one of them. But we made it all the way around and almost down the last hill, when sure enough, an angry cow started to come after us. We must've looked scared enough that it decided it didn't need to go in for the kill because it didn't chase us too long. Hm, maybe it can smell that we're a couple of carnivores. :-) Anyway, a tough run of about 5k in 34 minutes. Yep, slow too.

This morning I went to the pool to get in my first swim of the week. The schedule called for 1800 yards broken down into segments with rest in between. I decided that I didn't need to rest so I'd just do laps. (Schedule?!?! I don't need no stinkin' schedule! :-) Every lane had 2 people already, so I pushed my way in and made the 'fast' lane do circles instead of splitting the lane. The girl was definitely fast, the guy not so much, but he was courteous enough to step aside when he thought he might be in the way. He dropped out fairly soon and then the girl and I split the lane. And then she dropped out and I had the lane all to myself. For my last 12-15 laps I was the only one in the pool! I started to imagine the lifeguard thinking "Is she *ever* going to finish?!?!" :-) Roughly 40 laps (remember, I tend to lose count and repeat), 2000 yds, in about 50 minutes (I think). Tonight I *should* spin for an hour, but I may veg out instead. That remains to be seen.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Kickin' the Cindy

Training has been going along as usual: eat, swim, work, eat, eat, eat, run, eat, sleep, weights, eat, work, eat, eat, eat, bike, eat, sleep, etc. :-)

According to my training calendar I was supposed to run about 5 miles for my Pig training this week. However, last weekend I was supposed to run 7 and only did a 10k and this weekend I was supposed to do 9, but have another 10k. So I squeezed in a 9 mile run Friday night (yes, that *is* my rest day) so I could take all day Sunday off. It did get a little creepy running along the trail as darkness rapidly approached. Some punk kids yelled out "hey baby" and I thought about yelling back "Kid, give me a break. I'm old enough to be your mother", but thought better of it and just ignored them instead. 9.1 miles at about 9:30 pace. Not too shabby.

Saturday was the big Cindy Rella bike ride. 65 whopping miles. Since it was a ride, not a race (yeah, right :-), we could start anywhere between 7 and 9, and we opted for 8. We picked up our numbers, I grabbed a banana and we rolled out, but not before asking where the first pit stop was. Hey, what can I say, we get hungry.

The first section wasn't bad, no hills to speak of. The worst part was that it was a bit chilly and windy. I would have liked less wind and more sun and asked T to order that up, but she just wouldn't do it. Around mile 7 we passed a group of SAG wagons and and ambulance that was loading up a rider. Don't know what happened, but it was a sobering site. We found our way around the route and made it to the first stop at mile 17. Mmmm, food. We grabbed some snacks and hit the road since we were rapidly cooling down from the breeze.

The next section we had ridden on a training ride and remembered one stretch in particular. Cross Road, we remembered, was uphill for about 2 miles. Awful. So when we hit that section I was mentally prepped to die. Surprisingly it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered. Nice surprise there, I guess we *are* getting stronger after all. :-) I really started fading toward the middle/end of this second stretch. I wasn't drinking nearly enough, and I think the ride combined with the 9-miler the night before had me a little wiped. Eventually we made it to the aid station, where lunch awaited. There was a bit of a line, but we grabbed some goodies and chowed down. Then we had to get moving because T noticed that my lips were starting to match my jacket.

The third stretch was an uphill climb into the wind. Nice, eh? We managed it just fine and even snagged a lemon drop from 'the lemon drop man' at the top of the hill. About 5 miles from the rest stop I realized that I was soooooo thirsty. Definitely *not* a good sign. I just don't want to drink when it's cool. But I forced myself to drink about 1/2 my bottle of water so I could refill it at the next aid station. I think T and I would have been satisfied to climb off the bikes for good at the stop, but troopers that we are we just grabbed some snacks and got back on.

We finished up the ride in about 4:45 (not counting lunch and pit stop time). Not too bad, I'd say. So, metric century....done. Do I feel the need to do a century ride (100 miles)? Not any time in the near future, thank you very much. :-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Nike Love

Well, the streak is broken. Because of the 'overwhelming' demand, Nike went to a lottery system this year and I didn't get the lucky draw. Neither did T. Nor my coworker who entered, or T's coworkers who entered. Hmm, the more I scrolled through the list the more it seemed like more people *didn't* make it in than did. Nike claims that 20,000 of the 30,000+ applicants received entry, but I'm not so sure. Now they're pushing everyone to join TNT to gain entry. I don't think I'm ready to do fundraising again, especially for a 1/2 marathon.

The crappiest part of the lottery is that runners who have run in the Nike all 4 prior years were allowed automatic entry. I missed the first year, so I only had 3/4and I get no love for that. Sad.