Monday, March 30, 2009

Luck of the draw

So it would seem that I've been selected in the random drawing for the Nike Women's Marathon this October.  Not the full....just the half.  The irony is that while last year I was really interested in running it, this year I'm only so-so.  And of *course* this year I get drawn.  Ah well.  I hope they at least have good shirts. :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happiness is

a sunny day, some green grass, and a pine cone to rip to shreds
(practice for in case a squirrel is actually caught one day)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Close encounters of the bovine kind

I left Bam home while I ran at lunch, so as a consolation prize I took her out to Garin today for her walk. She L.O.V.E.S. Garin.  She can romp around off leash, there are all kinds of smells and stuff to explore.  It was a beautiful day...probably close to, if not more than, 70 degrees, clear and sunny.

We saw a bunch of cows pretty much as soon as we arrived. They took their sweet time crossing the bridge we needed to get across but then we were on our way.

About 1/2 way through our walk, we passed another group of cows. Those of you who are regular readers may (or may not) remember that Bam pretty much lost her fascination with the cows when she decided to chase one and it decided to chase her back. So she stays pretty close to me when we go by them.   Imagine my surprise when we passed that group and turned to look back across the bridge we had just crossed to see this:

I'm not sure if they were chasing us because they smelled carnivores, or what.  I mean, I did have steak last night, but it's nothing personal.  You guys are just really tasty.  But obviously they didn't want us coming back that way.  Luckily they had moooooved on (ok, that *was* bad) by the time we came back this way.

All in all a *quite* enjoyable romp in the Garin hills.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Long Run ~ Check!

I was really hoping that my long run today would go well.  Because if it was as bad as the last one, I'd be in serious trouble at the marathon in three weeks.  Well, I may be in trouble anyway, but at least it wouldn't be as serious if I had a good long run under my belt to look back on.

As I've mentioned, my 5+ weeks of illness have left me so happy to be getting out there.  But this morning I procrastinated heading out for my long run.  I was so worried that it would go badly. The forecast had the rain moving in in the early afternoon though, and I didn't want to get stuck in it, so I finally got myself packed up with Gu, Cytomax, water and some tunes and hit the road. 

I headed out from home and down to the Alameda creek trail, the paved side.  I decided at the last minute to change up my route, hoping that would help keep me from getting any *more* bored than I knew I'd already get.  I headed out towards the bay and saw a couple who were walking their bikes. It looked like they may have had some mechanical problems.  I didn't stop to chat, but offered up a "good morning" and hoped they didn't have too far to go.

 I hit a water fountain on the way back to restock my water bottles and then kept moving along.  It was a pretty nice day, except for the overcast skies, and there were quite a few people out.  Lot's of "good mornings" and I heard a few "on your left's" from the courteous cyclists out there (few and far between sadly).  There was a group of cyclists, dad's and kids it looked like, and I was really impressed that the parents had taught the kids to say 'on your left' before they passed.  Nice.  I made sure to thank all the folks who let me know they were there.

I finally made it back to where I could turn to go home, but still had about 1:15 to run.  So I kept on heading down the trail.  I figured 25 minutes to run down the trail, then 25 minutes back, then 25 minutes to get home.  Not bad.  Break it down into smaller segments.  I can do this.  About 5 minutes before I was due to turn back on the trail I saw the same couple walking their bikes.  Wow, that's *far* to walk your bike.  "Still at it eh?", the guy said to me and smiled. "Yep, still at it.  I'll get there eventually.", with a smile back.  "Good for you" he says, which gave me a tiny boost of motivation.  

Then it was time to turn around. Umm......*where* did this headwind come from?!?!  Drats.  I had forgotten that I would probably have some headwinds on the way back.  Stopped at another fountain to fill up and had to do some talking to myself to get moving.  "Ok, less than 45 minutes left. You got this."  "Ok, only about 4 miles, you can do that in your sleep."  "Less than 30 minutes now."  I made the turn to head home and saw I only had about 20 minutes left to run.  I wasn't going to make it all the way home, but I'd get close.  Keep moving, keep moving. The last 30 minutes was pretty tough and when I had to run up and over the BART overpass I was sure I was going to toss my cookies (I didn't).  I made it about 2 blocks from home when my 3:15 was up.  I hit "stop" on the Garmin at just over 17 miles. 

So, not the 18 that I was hoping for but I'll take it.  This run was *so* much better than my last attempt at the long run (when I was sick) that it can't even really be compared.  I didn't want to cry.  Yes, I did want to stop quite often, especially in the last 30 minutes.  And yes, it was painful.  I made myself keep moving though and soon enough it was done.  Just like we'll do at the marathon.  We'll just keep moving and eventually we'll get to the finish line.  And yes, it will hurt.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Jeff got home from fishing just about the same time I was hobbling into the driveway and I sent him out for ice.  Yes, I was about to sit my butt down in a tub of ice water.  I filled the tub with cold water, sat there until Jeff got back, and he dumped the ice in on me.  And there just *has* to be something wrong with the fact that it felt good to sit there and numb up.  :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Off and on

Early this week my brother sent me a text that the Illinois Marathon could be canceled due to lack of volunteer participation. What?!?! It's less than 4 weeks out and they want to cancel?!?!?!

They had some pretty good news coverage of the need for more people though, and the response was awesome. I think they ended up surpassing their goal by about 100 people. Nice. I was thinking they should have drafted a bunch of the U of I students, but I guess it's better to have volunteers than surly draftees. :-)

So tomorrow I will be reattempting my last long run prior to race day, 3 hours 15 minutes maximum run time. If I can hit 18 miles I will be *ecstatic*. More likely it will be shy of that. My brother will be doing his max distance run to date....20 miles! Here's hoping for good weather for both of us. Rob, you'll do awesome, I'm sure!

This week has been *great* exercise-wise. I think I'm just so glad to have the sinus infection cleared up, to be healthy, and to be moving without feeling exhausted all the time. Stay tuned to see if I can maintain this attitude after being on my feet for 3+ hours tomorrow. My bet is....unlikely, but I shall do my best. At the very least I hope I don't want to cry like I did on my last long run. I'll call that a win. :-)

Happy Friday!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Easing back

Well, I'm finally easing back into things while recovering from the damnable sinus infection. Just to be safe, I've also scheduled an appointment with my sinus surgeon/ENT/sleep doc extraordinaire. I'm just not sure I trust the primary care doc's antibiotics. After all my sinus trouble, just my luck I'd have Cipro resistant bacteria. Also, I've read some troubling reports of Cipro side effects such as.....burst tendons. Yeah, sounds like fun eh? So combine that with my troubled foot and I'm a nervous wreck about it.

An easy, easy indoor spin on Friday. Followed by an easy, easy (walk up the worst hills) run with Bam at Garin on Saturday. And an easy, easy, drag the poor tired dog along, run today. See how happy she was at Garin?

Yeah, not so much today. I think today was a "Hey! I'm 70+ people years old, ease up!" kind of day for her. As for me, I gotta say it's good to be moving again. No matter how slowly. Nothing like being sick and tired for 5+ weeks to make you appreciate movement. Cheers folks!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Crash and burn

My training schedule called for a 3 hour run yesterday.  And as anxious as I've been to get some miles in, I headed out into the beautiful sunshine to hit that 3 hour mark.  Despite this ongoing sinus issue.  Despite having lost my appetite and not eaten much on Thursday night or all day Friday.  Anyone who thinks this is going to have a happy ending?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I packed a bunch of gels and Luna moons, planned my route to hit a couple of water fountains en route and headed out with my tunes playing away on my iPod.  T was off on a long bike ride so I was on my own for this torture fest.

The first hour and 1/2 went along smoothly.  I was feeling pretty good.  10 mile mark? Check! And it all went downhill from there.  I started feeling light headed and my legs decided they were done running, thank you very much.  I pushed on until about 2:35 and that was it.  I was toasted.  I gave in to the big 'oh, hell no' my body was giving me and walked the rest of the way home.  So, with less than 5 weeks until marathon day, I'm feeling really under prepped.  Sigh.

Oh, and yep, I'm *still* sick.  Awesome.  Tomorrow morning first thing I'm calling the doctor to see if they've had any cancellations that will get me in there sooner.  Sick and tired of being sick.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mom knows

Sometimes mom really does know best.  I've been dealing with this 'cold' for about 4 weeks.  Which, after my mom pointed it out, was obviously not possible.  A cold doesn't last for 4 weeks.  Man, where has my head been?  Of course.  It started as a cold but is now a lovely sinus infection.  Perfect.  I have a tendency for sinus problems anyway, so I should have realized what was going on.  The cold blocked my sinuses up and then when I couldn't get it unblocked turned into a sinus infection.   So I made an appointment with my primary care doc, but he can't see me for a week.  I *hope* to be better by then.  I've finally got my sinuses open and draining (TMI?) so hopefully I'm moving in the right direction now.  I the pool water getting up there and making things worse?  Hmmmm......

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Time on my feet

Saturday was my long run. I don't have a whole lot to say about it.
  • It was long
  • It could loosely be called a run
  • It lasted 2 hrs 45 minutes
  • I went 14.6 miles
  • That's 11:18 average/mile
  • That's close enough for government work (hey, I used to work for the government so I'm allowed to say that) to my marathon pace
  • T and I (sans pups) avoided the rain, which didn't hit until Sunday
  • Based on the number of gels I consumed, I should need...oh....10 for my marathon...seriously?!?! 10?!?!?
  • Even with all those gels (5 for this run) I still started bonking
  • T was an awesome sherpa, armed with extra Honey Stinger gummies and H20 and she talks to me without expecting me to answer back :-)
  • I reaffirmed that I hate my amphipod, but then realized its only the bigger bottles that I hate because they won't stay snapped into the belt
  • I realized that after running more than 2 hours or so, there are no *minor* annoyances
  • I'm only slightly more than 1/2 way to a marathon.
  • I should like to cry now