"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."
~ Anonymous (taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Planet Ynnep rocked the hell out of the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. Check it out: Planet Ynnep Running
Willie ran a SUB Four, Baby! And boy, did he. Check it out: See Willie Run
Back to the Devil's 20 Miler
It was not and official race/run but I think it is an apropos name for today's long run. I had my 20 mile run scheduled today. I started at 7:30 am because I knew it was going to be warm today. In retrospect, I should have started around 5:30 am. The first 8 miles were ok, heat-wise, but it was quickly downhill from there. Unfortunately, that was figuratively, not literally. Picture: The Billy Goat Trail up the dam that I had to run up at mile 9.25
The problem with my beloved bike trail is that while relatively flat it has long stretches that have no shade cover. Last weekend I was running in ear warmers and gloves this weekend I am sweating my ass off (again figuratively, unfortunately NOT literally). Picture: pretty view of Lake Vasona in the park
My run buddy was kind enough to come out for the last 8 miles and help by riding ahead and filling up my water bottles. I drank 6-8oz bottles of water and one of Gatorade. Picture: Run buddy hamming it up with my water. God Bless her!
I am pretty proud of myself for running 20 miles on my own. I realized when I met Andrea and Shelley that y'all haven't seen me without my hat. They both said, "OMG you have hair!" I actually have quite a lot of it, lol! Picture: this morning at 6:30 (pre-run, obviously) plus a picture from San Diego Zoo this Christmas.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I had a two and a half hour ride on my training calendar today and after yesterday's fiasco I was concerned I might die, but I survived and rode 31 miles with hubby. Go me.
It was cold and windy. I don't know what is up with my beautiful California weather.
Well, it was beautiful, just cold and windy.
We Californians are such whiners. When it is sunny and warm I will bitching that it is too hot.
The BEST lightweight running/cycling jacket EVER! This is seriously the best purchase I have made this season! I love it because it is breathable, feather light, blocks the wind, and of course, its bright PINK!
I would have absolutely died without it on for:
1. Napa Valley Marathon start
2. My freezing, nightmarish bike ride with the mean girls.
3. Yesterday's sub-arctic temperatures and gale force winds at Skyline Ridge.
4. Today's 31 mile bike ride.
I bring it with me for any run or ride, just in case. It does not take up any room, it does not weigh anything, and I LOVE IT.
Novara Stowable Women's Bike Jacket from REI
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Race Report: Skyline Ridge Trail 1/2 Marathon, April 19, 2008
Alternative title: Holy shit! That was hard
I would like to start this race report with the observation that whomever measured the total climb at 1600 feet should seriously consider rehab for their OBVIOUS crack problem.
My Garmin reported the total climb at 3253'. Yep.
Here is the elevation chart.
You can now imagine how happy I was at various stages of this race. Here is a picture from Mile # 12.5, climb # 2,751 to illustrate the joy. Picture: Very unhappy me
Other aspects of this race that added to my enjoyment today:
1. it was freezing cold and the wind was whipping harder than I have EVER run in. One little tiny thing that was running ahead of me, seriously, almost got blown off the trail. I ran in my long sleeve shirt, windbreaker, gloves and ear warmers for the entire race.
2. the first 3 miles I had stomach issues that made me MISERABLE. I have never been so close to bailing on a race before. At mile 2 I had decided to bail out and do the 10K. At mile 3.1 I would have bailed sooner than 10K if I could have, but I was already at the turnaround, so I had to go back 3.1 miles anyway.
I felt better at mile 6 and decided, fuck it, DFL > DNF ("dead fucking last" is greater than "did not finish".) I am going for it. I had to chant that in my head to keep from turning around or going to the road to hitch a ride to my car, for the next 7 miles.
3. I was an IDIOT and did not fill up my water bottles at the aid station at mile 10 (the aide station was supposed to be at mile 9.5 at the top of a steep as f%$* hill. An extra 0.5 mile at that point was SUPER awesome) therefore I ran out of water at mile 11. Rock on.
4. the woman that came in 1 second ahead of me DID NOT go all the way up to the turnaround! It was an out and back on a single track trail. I passed her and NEVER saw her again until I caught her at the end. Does she think I am an idiot? Then as her friend was telling her that she (the friend) didn't make the whole course then she (the bitch that pretended to do the entire race) says, "I know! She (meaning me) and I were neck and neck the whole time." Really? By "neck and neck" you must mean I slogged out the last brutal mile and half climb to the turnaround and you bailed and walked back, then I caught you again.
5. they ran out of small shirts (even though I ordered one), but when you finish that late you have to take what you can get. Since I thought they were going to have packed up and left by time I got in and I wouldn't get a shirt at all, I guess it was ok.
Alright, stop bitching now tell us some good stuff.
1. It WAS as beautiful as billed. Pictures: They are not great, but considering how miserable I was, it was hard to get the concept of 'pretty'.
2. I passed these two youngsters at mile 12.7, much to their chagrin. They were actively trying to stay ahead of the crazy old lady in the pink jacket. Picture the last time they were ahead of me.
2. I finished. I finished in 3:08:04 (MUCH better than I thought considering). I wasn't DFL, but I was pretty damn close.
3. I earned 22 WW activity points (that is more than the 21 I get for the entire day.)
Friday, April 18, 2008
Now Ms. Calyx tagged me, so here are the rules and my 6 word meme.
Tracy, Shelley, Andrea, um... Calyx already tagged everyone I know. I would love to see what Jane and Shirleyperly did with this but since I don't really know them I just blog stalk them. I feel a little weird... Let's see if I am brave enough to tell them they are tagged (good money, says 'no')
Back to the regular wrap up
TWT: Training While Tired
I am so tired I can barely sit down without practically (or actually) falling asleep. I did all of my training calendar this week, but I did not do my extra run on Thursday and I missed a bike ride because of the 10K in Sacramento on Sunday. I was so tired and I thought I needed to rest for the half marathon trail run that I am doing tomorrow. I did go to swim class on Thursday, but it was not an impressive performance. We did about 600 yards of kick drills which I SUCK AT. I am not being self-deprecating, I am being honest. I don't know what I am doing wrong. Overall my swim feels like it is getting a little better, but I can not do the f-ing kick drills.
Work is insane, but I think the calorie reduction is affecting me too. I know I will get used to it. I have been down this road more than a few times. But it is hard to get everything done when the "batteries" are so low.
The "Let's Get Some Weight Off Stacey's Arse before the San Diego Marathon" Project
Weight Watchers Week 1 went pretty well. I was on point everyday except today. Hubby and I went to Thai food and I ate an extra 7 points today. I did earn 38 activity points this week that I did not swap out, so all in all a pretty good week. Weigh in is tomorrow so we will see how it goes.
I am running the Skyline Ridge 1/2 Marathon Trail Run tomorrow. It is supposed to be beautiful. I will be sure to snap some photos!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
One word: AWESOME!
Today I not only got to do a 10K run on a beautiful day in a picturesque park, I got to meet two of my online buddies AND participate in a new runner's first ever 6.2 mile run! Simply awesome day!
(I am sure there is a collection somewhere to buy me a thesaurus. I use the word 'awesome' entirely too much)
Shelley and I had decided to do a 10K together a couple of months ago and then we talked our other friend Andrea N into flying in from Boston (they don't call her Travel Girl for nothing!) to do it with us. Andrea is new to running and recently completed her first ever race, which was a
5 miler on April 6th. This was her first 10K and the first time she has ever run more than 5 miles! Shelley has been running for years and me, well, you know how I feel about running! Pictures: RBR bag and run schwag. Banner at the front of Sacramento Zoo. This run was a benefit for the zoo.
We met for the first time at the Zoo and screamed like little girls! It was a little surreal to just meet, but to feel like we already knew each other. We decided to run together, since, really, that is why we had all come to Sacramento. I wanted to get to spend some time chatting (chatty runner, remember?) and getting to know each other better. I am pleased to report that Shelley and Andrea are every bit as wonderful and gorgeous as you would imagine. Andrea flew in on Friday and Shelley played tour guide and hostess with the most-est until our race on Sunday. Commitments with Blackie the Wonder Dog kept me from joining them, but it sounds like they had a fantastic time. I was fortunate enough to be able to join them for the race and it was a real pleasure to spend the day with them. Picture: Obligatory pre-race ham shot.
The day was bright, sunny, and gorgeous. The course was two 5K loops of a tree-lined street through the park. The trees offered shade, so you got a nice cool running environment. The road looped around a man made duck pond that made a pretty backdrop for our run. Pictures: Shelley on the run! Andrea and Stacey hamming it up!
Before we knew it we were done! To be honest I was a little sad to see it was over. I was having a great time! But, it was worth that sadness to see this: Picture: Andrea finishes her first 10K!She was a total rock star running all 6.2 miles. She walked a tiny bit during water breaks, but that was it. It was her farthest continuous run EVER!
We took a quick post-race picture then Shelley was kind enough to treat us to a SCREAMIN' breakfast a Marie Callendar's! My breakfast was definitely NOT Jenny Craig approved, but such is my pattern lately. Picture: Post race ham shot. A little hot, a little tired but very happy with ourselves!
Thank you ladies for a great run and a fun Sunday. Until next time..
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Isn't it amazing that when you are running a race and you don't feel so red hot, and you start saying things like "I just need to finish. I don't care about time", then you realize that you are within shootin' range of a new PR and all of a sudden you have new found energy and it is an awesome race? Yeah, that happened to me today.
Race Report: Santa Cruz 1/2 Marathon Santa Cruz, CA
I got there 45 minutes before they even started packet pick up to make sure I could get good parking and knew where I was supposed to go. I am ALWAYS super early to these things. I hate feeling rushed. I sit in my car and drink my pre-race coffee, listen to music and take random pictures out of my car window. Picture: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It is an amusement park where you can find every degenerate that lives in Santa Cruz, or possibly even the entire state, hanging out at any given time.
When I went to get my race number, I ran into my friend Tak who used to teach at my school. He is REALLY fast at these things, but has always been SUPER supportive of me and my run buddy (he is actually very close friends with my run buddy) about the whole running, triathlon thing. Very cool to see him. Picture: Random shot in the car. I was putting the camera way and it took a picture. I thought it looked kind of cool.
The race started promptly at 7 am and we ran along the coastline for about four miles before turning inland. It was pretty, but already warm at 7 am. Not a good sign. Picture: Sun rising over the pier.
The race was much hillier (is that a word? hill laden, hill endowed? Whatever, there were a lot of fucking hills) than I had expected. Garmin says I did 1120 ft. of climb and that makes me feel a lot better about how shitty my legs felt. My quads were tight the entire time and my hamstrings about 90% of the time. I didn't stretch well after my Thursday run (since I was late to get back to school) and they never felt quite right all day yesterday.
Lesson learned. Do not do hill workout and then immediately jump into your car and go stand on concrete giving a lecture for an hour and a half. I know, I am full of "insider tricks" to running. Picture: Pretty farm on inland trail portion.
The 7 mile return trip was with full sun in your face the entire time and it was HOT. I was sweating more than I thought and I think I had some electrolyte issues. I ate my Gu's on schedule and had the Cliff Shot blocks (not until mile 10.5, stupid!), but I should have planned better for electrolyte replacement.
When I hit mile 12 it finally dawned on me that I could actually get a PR on this run (not really my goal since this was a training run and I am running a 10K tomorrow, but hell, I will take 'em when I can get 'em.) With this in mind I bumped up the speed a little and went for it. I finished in 2:19:42 (10:40 min/mile pace. Whoa), 3 minutes faster than Buzz 1/2 Marathon, my previous PR. Woo hoo!
After the race I stood in line for 20 minutes at what I thought was the t-shirt line, turns out it was for food. Damn, so I got out of that line and went to find my shirt. This is when I ran into Tak again. He placed 9th overall and won his age group (see, I told you he was really fast) Picture: Me and Tak after the race. Tak on the winner's podium with his prize. It was a very pretty sand globe thing-a-ma-job.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(Let me preface this with the fact that this person has the IQ of a bag of hair, so my re-telling this story is a bit mean, but it is my blog and I'll bitch if I want to)
Me: I did my first marathon in March.
Bag of Hair boy: What was your time?
Me: I am slow, 5:20
Bag of hair boy: Whoa! ~insert Bevis and Butthead laugh here~ that IS slow.
Me thinks: thanks asshole.
Me says (trying to save face): Yeah, I am slow but I love to run. I am doing a half marathon and 10 k this weekend and am training for San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.
Bag of Hair Boy: My boss does lots of marathons, but he is really skinny.
*Looks of horror from the other swimmers witnessing this*
This takes place on the pool deck and I am standing there in my swim suit, feeling VERY awesome right about then. I think it shows AMAZING personal growth on my part that he still has all of his original teeth and the pool is not missing a kick board.
Me says: How is your swim coming? You know they have a pretty steep cut off at Half Ironman's for the swim portion.
He swims like a stone. I am faster than him for Christ sake. Childish, I know, but I had to get a shot in somewhere. Although, I honestly think he was too dense to know he had said anything offensive to me OR that I was giving him a shot. Whatever, it made me feel better.
I wanted to get a run in before I had to go to school to do a lecture for AP Biology (yes, I made them come in during spring break for two lectures. I am evil. Muh wah ah ah!)
I got up early and went to my pet sitting job, Blackie Picture: Blackie, 15 yo, blind cocker spaniel that I ADORE! Here he is taking time to smell the daisies! This was the best picture of him I could get, he is a fast little sucker for a 15 year old, blind dog
Then I went to the Rancho trail to do a 4 mile trail run, so that I could get some hill work in. I
wasn't up for hill repeats, but I did want to push it a little. I have two runs this weekend, the Santa Cruz 1/2 marathon on Saturday and then the Sacramento Zoo Zoom 10K on Sunday. I ran a different trail today that was much tamer than the trails I have run here before. It is nice that I can get a four mile trail run that is not crazy on the elevation gain. It was challenging, but not a quad fryer. Picture: Pretty trail head. It came out fuzzy, sorry.
Well, it was a great run but I misjudged my time and at the end I had to push it so I would get back to my car in time to get to school for lecture. I was hauling ass at the end and when I hit the 4 mile mark I slowed to a walk and stopped my watch.
An old man that was walking on the trail and watched me panting as I came in says, "whoa, did you win?" and laughs. With a devilish grin I said, " I beat you." He looked a little surprised and then said, "Atta girl" and winked at me.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Ok, I get MAJOR points for going to swim practice last night. It was cold, windy and, as you can tell for yesterday's post, I was NOT in a good mood. Swimming in an outdoor pool sounded like a little slice of Hell, but I sucked it up and went anyway.
It wasn't so bad.
The pool was heated so once in the water it wasn't so bad as long as you kept swimming, and believe me we did that. We did 2260 yards of drills (now, to you real triathletes, that doesn't sound like too much, but to this hater-of-all-things-swimming it was a lot!) and we swam pretty much for an hour and fifteen minutes straight. The girls (Note: I did not say mean this time. Things are improving) were much nicer. Some of them are too good to talk to the slow, fat girl of the group, but I have a few that have accepted me. Even one of the hardcore gals is nice to me. We will take it as a win. I would have loved to gotten a training partner(s) out of this, and I don't think that is going to happen, but at least it is tolerable and I am learning a lot.
Unfortunately, the one swimmer from last time that was slower than me was not there last night and several of the other girls from the slow lane weren't there either, so I was BY FAR the slowest swimmer (except for one injured girl. I would count her, but she did just have shoulder surgery, and that would make me an asshole, so I guess I can't)
I do have a couple of questions:
1. If fat is supposed to make you buoyant, why can't I keep my ass up in the water?! Not fair. If I am going to walk around with this more than ample booty I should AT LEAST have the "pull buoy" effect when swimming!
2. How can I use these legs to run 26.2 miles, but can not for the life of me get ANY forward motion when using a kickboard for kick drills? I list to the right like a sinking ship, run into the lane line, and am panting like a dog, while everyone passes me (even the girl that had surgery) and tells me to pull my hips up (see #1).
For those of you that mave motion sickness issues while swimming or just truly HATE getting water in your ears. Here are my reviews of ear plugs. I have tried several!
1. TYR ear plugs: HATE them. May as well try to stuff rocks in your ears. Worthless.
2. Mack's Ear Seals earplugs: Don't completely block water, but ok. The leash holding them together makes it easier not to lose, but is a pain in the ass during a race. They got pulled out several times as I was swum over by nine trillion people. (Yes, I started in the back of the swim wave. It was subsequent waves that got me)
3. Mack's Pillow Soft earplugs: Are NOT pillow soft. See TYR review.
4. Doc Blocksurf problock earlpugs w/ leash: Pretty good seal. It says you are supposed to be able to hear with them (not true, about the same as any other ear plug) the plastic, clear leash is a MAJOR pain to deal with. Too expensive and the sizing is very confusing.
5. Putty Buddies ear plugs: Made for kids, soft and fit in ear without pain. A little sticky like playdough, but completely seal out water and you can hear about as well as any other ear plug. These are the ones I am going to stick with for now. You get them through Amazon.com (putty buddies).
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The eating is out of control. My exercise is going great, but I can't seem to get the eating under control and my weight is skyrocketing. I was wearing these jeans yesterday that seriously threatened the circulation to my lower half. It was like being wrapped in denim Saran Wrap for the entire day. I feel disgusting and I don't want to feel this way.
On one hand I am very proud of myself for the training I have been doing. It makes me feel happy and good about myself. I am more fit than I have EVER been in my entire life. Hell, I am more fit than I ever conceived possible in my entire life, but I keep "rewarding" myself with food that is REALLY bad. The sneak eating is in full addiction mode and the portions are WAY out of control. It is not just what I am eating (and believe me, that is bad enough for me to gain weight) but it is also HOW MUCH I am eating.
Bad stuff and huge amounts of it = jeans no fit anymore.
I am debating on whether just to go back to Jenny Craig or maybe try Weight Watchers. I am beginning to doubt I can ever learn how to eat like a normal person. Why do I always have to get to THIS point? Why can't I just make a few unhealthy choices, realize that is not the direction I want to go in and reign it back in?
I am getting the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Africa this summer with my family and I don't want to go feeling like this. I have to pack those lightweight, khaki, travel type pants that never fit me right anyway, and if my weight is like this (or really, if I stay this course it will be much worse) I will be uncomfortable the whole time.
Poor, poor pitiful me.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Today I broke my long ride up into two rides. I got up early and rode 12.5 miles (almost an hour, the return trip was faster then the trip out, so I got back a little early and I didn't feel like making up the difference riding around the neighborhood for nine minutes, like an idiot.) Then later, after my meeting, I went out with my husband for a 2 hour ride where we did 25.5 miles.
Total biking mileage for the day: 38 miles
Morning ride: Uneventful and a little dull, but I do notice that I am getting more comfortable on the bike. That is a good thing. People have often wondered, "if you hate the swim and don't like the bike, why exactly do you do triathlons?" Completely legitimate question. One for which I have no answer.
Afternoon ride: The reason I did two rides was because my husband, who in years past has done 100s of century rides and two double centuries, says he has hung up his long distance riding hat and only wants to do shorter rides. Well, shorter rides where he rides like his ass is on fire, which is why, until now, I have NEVER wanted to ride with him. Picture: Me and hubby heading out for our ride. Note my head/ear warmer. Windy and cold!
Anyhoo, he said he didn't want to go over an hour and a half. Yeah, right. He rode (at the aforementioned 'ass on fire' pace) for 2 hours until mercifully we were close enough to home for me to cry uncle. Sheesh! You would think I would have figured him out by now.
While we rode at this ridiculous pace the Nordic God of Wind, blew in our faces the ENTIRE time. I am not sure how this is even possible on a looped course. Shouldn't it be at your back or at the very least your side at SOME point? Christ! I must have pissed off someone in the Wind God family somehow.
But I survived and completed another long bike ride. Go me.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Today on the trail for my long run I was struck by the number of women on the trail. We outnumbered the men by at least 5 to 1. It was quite awesome. There were women running solo, women running and walking in pairs, women biking alone and with their children, walking their dogs, it was quite a cool thing to be a part of.
Side note: Last week on my long run I thought I saw Willie on the trail. Obviously this couldn't be true. No way would he be in sunny California and not tell me or Southbay Girl. Well, today I had another phantom Willie sighting. I think it was the same Willie-look-alike guy. Either Willie has a twin or he is lying about being in Oklahoma. Hmm, I will have to scrutinize his pictures more carefully.
Anyhoo, back to Girl Power Day on the trail. To be honest it may always be this way, but I am usually so focused on the dogs that I don't notice the people so much (I am a dog watcher. Dogs on the trail, at the park, and on the beach make me exceedingly happy)
The run itself was great. It was one of those runs, that reminds you why we do this (and blog about it incessantly) the weather was PERFECT. I got my 57 degrees and sunny! I ran 10 miles in 1:51:01 (11:06 min/mi) and it was beautiful.
Weekly Training Summary:
Run: 20 miles
Bike: 42.3 miles
Swim: 2700 yards
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I am feeling a little hardcore with two, double workout days this week. I am feeling a little hardcore, but a WHOLE LOT tired.
I don't have class on Thursday nights, but I do monitor the after school homework center on Thursday afternoons, so I have to do some creative scheduling to get both workouts in. I am not sure if I will be able to keep this up, but we will see.
Run: I left school at lunch ran 6 miles (1:05:33, 10:54 min/mi pace) on the bike trail and made it back in time for Homework Center. Boo yah! It was a nice run. My legs felt pretty good. Probably because I took an unscheduled rest day on Wednesday. I have a tight schedule on Wednesdays and I was just bone tired and bailed on the 50 minute bike ride that was scheduled.
Swim: About 1500 yards at my pre-masters swim class. He began class by saying, "Tonight we are doing a real workout. I hope you brought water!" Yikes. I kept up pretty well. The drills are exhausting to me and my shoulders are pretty tired today.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Thank you Thank you!
Thank you all for your kind words for my birthday. I don't usually broadcast it in non-recovery arenas, but since this is essentially my diary, and it is pretty cool to me, I figured, why not?
My birthday always makes me reflect on my life and all that I am grateful for and I am very grateful for all my new virtual friends. You have helped and inspired me more than you know in this quest for fitness, balance, and healthier lifestyle. Thank you for being a part of my journey.
I was thinking about the "Marathon in All 50 States" thing that Shirleyperly is doing. I thought I could do a modified goal and do a "Marathon in all my friend's hometowns" type thing. I guess, it could be alternately titled, "RBR's Blog Stalker Fantasy Tour" Tracy already knows my stalker tendencies! lol!
Side note: Hmm... I put the 'lol' so it wouldn't seem so creepy, but I think it actually heightened the creep factor. Sorry about that.
Anyhoo... just thoughts rambling about in my head. I would love to meet you all of you in person. Watch out! RBR may be coming to a marathon near you! Hey, I think that makes Southbay Girl first! San Diego in June baby! (Alright, technically you are not in San Diego, but us Northern Californians think of everything below Santa Barbara as one big city called "So Cal" anyway. )
Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Because I have decided I need two rest days (Monday and Friday) and I need to get three run days in to train for the marathon I need to double up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will run at lunch and then go to my swim class on those nights.
Yesterday was my first Tuesday doing this. I did it last Thursday, but Thursdays are an easier day for me schedule-wise.
Summary of workouts: I am pooped.
Ok, really here is the breakdown:
Run: Total distance was 4 miles with 5 X hill repeats. The dam trail I wanted to run up was closed, so I had to go up a freaking billy goat trail. That GREATLY reduced the distance I was able to cover on the hill repeats. I was supposed to do 2 min climbs, but I could only handle 1:15. I did 5 of them, but I guess I am going to have to work on that or find a hill to climb that doesn't require a fucking ax pick to get up it!
Swim Class: Total swim time 1 hour. We did various drills for a total yardage 1200. I went, so we count that as a win. I had my earplugs this time and I was able to complete the whole class without getting sick. Yay! It went pretty well. I still hate swimming and I don't think I am any better yet, but I have only had two swim classes. I like the instructor and I fit in with the class, so I guess I will keep going.