"...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)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday Morning Run in HAWAII!!

In typical RBR style, I made a new friend on our flight to the island. we'll call him "Lester."

Here are Lester and I at take off

This was only the beginning of our encounter. By the end of the flight, in his quest for comfort in the microscopic airplane seat behind me, the 6'5" 350 pound Lester had been all over my seat. I am pretty sure in some countries we are currently considered married.

This is first time I have been to Hawaii since I started running. I remember seeing tourists running and I used to think they were idiots. Why on earth would you exercise on vacation?

I get it now.

On Sunday, I ran 9 miles. I ran from Kahana to Kapalua and back. It was an amazing run, but it started off pretty shitty. (Picture: Picture I took at the Maui Plantation Botanical Garden of a pink hibiscus!)

I had found a route online that was about 5.5 miles, but when I started running my ankles and shins were screaming so I wasn't sure I would go that far. I had to run along a narrow highway that alternated between a tiny, slanted, muddy shoulder and no shoulder at all. The cars were trying to be courteous, but there just wasn't much room.

I don't know what this pain in my shins and ankle is, but it usually goes away after 2 miles or so and Sunday was no exception. It does, however, make for a very loooong first two miles.

Once in Kapalua I was feeling pretty great. The views were gorgeous and there were intermittent showers that cooled you down without being oppressive.

So pretty it could make you cry. I wonder if they need a biology teacher on Maui?

The Kahana preschool

Beautiful tree along a back road road

It was then that I decided to go for 7 miles,

then I got a little lost.

Shocking. I know.

So nine miles later I was back at the hotel.

The elevation profile for my run.

Gorgeous run! It took me 4 days to write this post because I was having too much damn fun in Hawaii.

I am now working on my 2008 Wrap up post which, honestly, I have been so excited to write since this has been a big year for me.

Happy New Year to you all!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A California winter Christmas morning run

Alternative title: Hey, hail hurts!

I set out for a quick run this morning before heading to my parents for Christmas. The morning was cold and drizzling, but decent running weather. I decided to go to a open space preserve and wildlife sanctuary near my pet sitting job.

Blackie the wonder dog!

He is a 15 year old, blind cocker spaniel that I have been pet sitting on Xmas and when his owners go on vacations, for most of his life. Here he is very unhappy about, but damn cute in, reindeer antlers!

The run started off amazing! I was one of two runners on the trail and the birds were out in force. I must admit I am a sucker for waterfowl. My favorite being the cantankerous coot!

There are hundreds upon hundreds of coots at this preserve.

You start out around a small, man made lake (above). This area is usually crawling with people and it was a little surreal to be out here alone.

Snowy Egrets fishing on the shore of the lake

And then the trail heads out to the marsh and slough. It was so beautiful.

There are certainly worse ways to start a Xmas morning!
Sorry for the
scary, no makeup shot.

A pair of stilts wading on the mud flats

A pair of Canada Geese. Christmas goose anyone? I am kidding, I am kidding!

Today I was treated to several rare white pelican sightings. In all I saw 8 of the huge birds!

Pair of white pelicans on the slough. God, I sure wished my hubby and
his fancy camera were here! A point and shoot is not the right camera for this!

I was only going 5 miles today, so I turned around to head back in and I saw this

Uh oh. Looks like a storm is a comin'. Wonder if I can beat it back?

The answer to that would be a resounding 'No!'

Within minutes the wind was whipping and the deluge started. It was crazy! Then HAIL! I will tell you, hail hurts like hell when it is hurled at you by 30+ mile an hour winds.

It was crazy like this for about a mile and half and then as quickly as it started it stopped. By then I was back at my car, but the evidence of the brief storm was present.

They did not look like this when I left for the run

Nor did this!

Great way to start Christmas! The rest of the day was pretty typical holiday fare: I ate too much, laughed too loud, and was 'knodding out' tired on the drive home.

Now I am getting ready to leave for Hawaii! My dog is at her grandparents house for the week, alternately being spoiled rotten by my parents and tortured by their new puppy.

Daisy the English bulldog puppy!

She had to be crated during present exchange. She was WAY to excited about wrapping paper, bows, and the "new" dog in the house, my poor 11 year old Lucy. X-mas is her birthday by the way! I can't believe it has been almost 10 years since we got her.

Lucy says, "Happy Holidays! Now take this damn jingle bell collar off!"

I hope you all had a great day with family and friends! My next post will be from HAWAII!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

How an 8 mile run turns into a 16 mile run

No, it is not 'New Math', or a crazy Garmin glitch, it is my trademark, unbelievably poor sense of direction and yesterday's very UNcharacteristic lack of planning.

First off, for credit sake and to appease my new bike and swim monitor Izzac (I have appointed him to keep me honest about the bike and swim portion of my training which are unarguably my weakest triathlon events and subsequently, the easiest workouts for me to bail on)

Saturday: Long Ride - 25 mile bike ride in the wind and cold on Highway 1 (yes, with cars and trucks and other scary stuff that I hate)

Total bike mileage for the week: 40 miles
Total swim yardage: 3000 yds

On to the run:

On Sunday I had planned an 8 mile long run. A group of us decided to run together in Santa Cruz. Everyone had different run distances in mind. Two gals were going to run for 1:20 (Our coach assigns workout times instead of distances. My low grade OCD won't allow for uneven run distances, so I pick a mile number that somewhat fits my schedule), I wanted to do 8, and the other gal was doing 14.

Picture: Julia called this the gateway to Narnia. It was a beautiful trail up a hill to where the old health club where the Lost Boys was filmed and then a pretty redwood trail.

We head out and I start to think (great time to get that ball rolling, huh?) hmmm... how exactly am I going to do 8 if I don't know where I am or how to get back to the start?

The other gals turn back at about 3.5 miles. Which is less than I want to do, so I think, that's ok, I will just run 10 miles of the 14 miles with her.

Hello RBR! 8 miles or 10 miles
, you still do not know how to get back!

Elevation for today's run

But this does not occur to me until about 30 minutes later. So I am now in it for the full 14. Whatever. We ran up through UC Santa Cruz campus which was quite lovely and had quite a bit of climb in it. Then we ran past pastures of cows. I love to run or even drive by cows. They make me happy. Back in the day, my hubby and I used to spend hours driving in the country looking at cows. What can I say? I am a cheap date. Picture: Me and the cows of the UC Santa Cruz campus.

At some point we saw a trail that headed toward the ocean. She says, "I think this trail meets up with a public park called Wilder ranch, and we can get back this way for a total of about 13-14 miles. It would allow us get off the road a bit." Sounds good to me! Off we go.

Well, after we climbed two fences, belly crawled under a barbed wire fence, and ran past the NO TRESPASSING signs I became a smidge worried that we were lost.

Then suddenly we are running amongst a herd of cows. Not running next to the pasture of cows and saying "aww, so cute!" like before. We are running IN WITH the cows!!

At this point, all I can think is, " Dear God, please tell me that: 1. there is no bull in this field that will charge and crush us until we are dead, and 2. Please say the rancher that owns this land doesn't blow our fucking heads off with a shotgun!"

I grew up in the country, this is NOT ok. You DO NOT just run through a rancher's pasture without permission. We got to the road and climbed another fence to get out and immediately met up with the rancher. God, I was mortified. I apologized profusely and the woman was very nice, but very clear that she was not happy. The fact that she did not have us arrested or blow our heads off with a shot gun is a testament to her good nature. No pictures of these cows. I was a little concerned about watching out for an enraged, hormone laden bovine that was ready to pound me into a cow patty.

After that, the run was pretty uneventful. We had been running for 11 miles at that point and my friend estimated that we had about 5 more to go (4.62 to be exact). It started to rain and it was cold, but not too bad. We ran along the ocean so the views were distracting. It was a fun run because of all the varying terrain: road running past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, tromping along a soft redwood trail, climb through the UC Santa Cruz campus bike trails, unauthorized trek though cattle ranch, and cliff side bike trail along the Pacific Ocean. Truly a beautiful run...

... just a tad longer than I had planned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let the record reflect...

I swam not ONE, but TWO times this week!

And I rode my bike

in the cold

I had to buy tights and everything!

I am willing to entertain the idea that I may have a problem with the LOL cats...

I know, those of you back east that are being pummeled by snow and ice storms, are saying "Quit your bitching you California wussy!" And you would be 100% justified in saying so. I am a bona fide California weather wussy.

Too hot (above 85), I whine. Too cold (below 50) , I whine. Too cloudy (not full, beautiful sun), I whine. You get the picture.

I also, however, paid a RIDICULOUS sum to purchase my 900 sq. ft. house that is located precariously close to The Pink Poodle strip club, so there are pros and cons to everything.


IT IS FRIDAY!!! Not just any Friday mind you, the Friday before the Holiday break!!! I am not sure who was watching the clock more, me or the kids, but ...


Well, not exactly "no" cherubs, I have a AP lab tomorrow (only 2.5 hours) and two AP lectures on Monday and Tuesday ( 2 hours each. I am a smidge evil), but then I am completely CHERUB FREE!

On another note:

I finally did something about the microscopic font on my blog. I don't know if I am just getting old, but it was too darn hard to read.

Friday, December 12, 2008

November Totals and 2009 Plans

I am late posting my totals, but they are at least better than the pitiful October totals.

Just to remember the shame...

October 2008
Run: 79.5 miles
Bike: 32 miles
Swim: 0 yards

Now these are better, but still not great...

November 2008
Run: 85.3 miles
Bike: 168.0 miles
Swim: 0 yards (ummm....yeah.)

I have been a busy little planner bee with respect to the coming months, and I decided to do something crazy like run race plans by my coach (I kind of forgot to tell her about CIM. Oops! She was like, "You are running a marathon on Sunday?!" And probably not in a good way)

Race/Training Plans Spring 2009, aka "Holy shit! I am doing an Ironman in 6 months" And because I am a total geek I am going to list who I get to race with! (There are links to the race websites over to the right --->under my 2009 schedule if any sound fun to you!)

March 1: Napa Valley Marathon
Back to the the scene of the crime!! The marathon that made me love marathons!
Fellow Napanian Racers: Julia (from Bizz Johnson) Claire (from training run with Badass Helen), I heard rumors that Julianne is considering it as well!

March 14: Solvang Century 100 mile Ride
Fellow Solvangite Riders: LA Run Buddy and Izzac (Formulaic) and his lovely bride, Kelly

April 4: Cinderella Classic Challenge 100 mile Ride This is an all women's ride that is local and has a training group to help you get ready for it. I am kind of excited (cautiously so, after my first ride with the cycle touring club and the tri club) Hopefully I will finally find some people to ride with!
Fellow Fairy Princesses: none, hoping to convince Run Buddy

April 19: Rage 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon Scary, is about all I have to say.
Fellow Ragers: STEF!!! so excited! And hopefully LA Run Buddy!!

April 26: Big Sur International Marathon I have always held this as a marathon that only hardcore people do. I don't know if that is true, but I never felt like it was for people like me. I am pretty excited to do it.
Fellow Big Suronians: New Mexico Cindy!! (she is taking a blog hiatus, so now she is New Mexico Cindy since I can't link :o) ) I keep trying to woo Willie into it, but he is being stubborn! Something about me choosing IMCdA over Redman. Boy, he can hold a grudge! ;o)

May 31: Auburn Olympic Distance Triathlon The half is billed as the "World's Toughest Half" and my coach agrees. I am opting for the olympic distance since this is 3 weeks out from CdA.
Fellow Auburnites: Julia and Claire

June 21: Ironman Coeur d'Alene Christ. I don't know if I am ready to even think about this as reality yet.
Fellow Ironmaniacs: IRON JANE!! and Izzac (Forumalic) except in linking to his blog I read THIS which is SO MUCH COOLER!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Race Report: California International Marathon - December 7, 2008

Today I ran my last marathon of the season. All I can say is...


Yep, again. After a string of lack luster performances, I have PR'd the last three races I have done. A 1/2 marathon, a 10k, and now a marathon. Hell yeah!

Time: 5:00:23

Yeah, yeah. So close to my goal of sub-5.

I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in miles 23-25. No regrets though. I did my best and got a 20 minute PR over Napa.

The day before

I met up with Julianne and her hubby at the Expo. Super cool. She is just as bubbly and friendly as her blog. She was going for a sub-4 marathon and she rocked it! We took pictures, but mine didn't come out very good. I will steal hers when she posts it :o)

I went up by myself to this one, but I have an old friend who is in law school in Sacramento and we met up for a pre race dinner.

Cool to see an old buddy!

The Pre-race

It started with a sleepless night and the horror of waking up to realize that my dirt cheap hotel room did not include a coffee maker.

Are you fucking kidding me?! No coffee maker?!

I am certain that approximately 33% of my total blood volume at any given time of day is made up of coffee. How the hell am I supposed to function without coffee? I ended up reheating the 1/2 a cup of leftovers from yesterday's thermos of coffee.


Whatever. At least it it kept me from a B & E charge for knocking over a Starbuck's at 3:30 am.

I hopped on the early bus to the start and then proceeded to wander around the start by myself for and hour and half freezing my ass off and feeling somewhat like a big loser. I did capture a picture of the Vaseline Angels. One guy went up to the Angels took some vaseline and proceeded to lube up the family jewels.

Right. There.

He didn't even step three feet way. God, I wish I had caught a picture of that Angel's face. It was like, " I did NOT sign up for this shit!"

Come on that shit is funny!

The Vaseline Angels of the California International Marathon.
I know at least one set of balls that was grateful they were there

The Race

The start was foggy and cold. The middle was foggy and cold. And the end was, you guessed it, foggy and cold.

There are tiny horses somewhere in that fog. No, the horses weren't actually tiny,
it is just a shitty picture.

Half way mark and a balloon arch. Pretty cool!

The runners were really friendly and talkative. There was a large group of us that ran at steady paces and we were together for many miles. This was both good and bad.

Here is an example of the bad:

In our unofficial pace group, there was one gal that was doing her first marathon with her husband. Now, some of you may think that sounds like a sweet and romantic picture. I adore my hubby, but it sounds like a little slice of hell to me and this guy validated my position by running about 10-15 feet in front of his wife and continually barking "Come on babe, keep the pace!"

What was mildly irritating at Mile 4, had me trying to figure out what I had on me that I could use to kill the mother fucker by Mile 12. (FYI: I decided I would use my car key to open his carotid artery. Yeah, I had a lot of time to think about this. Sorry for the scary window into the fragmented psyche that is RBR)

Yeah, so I decided I needed to get away from them, so I picked up the pace a little. Maybe I should thank Mr. Control Freak for the PR.

I was feeling pretty good at the half, but the asphalt was getting to me. I was ecstatic to see that I was at 2:29 at the half.

There were so many locals that came out to cheer and support the race. This race had the best crowd of any I have been at so far. There were several homespun aid stations with local businesses handing out oranges and water.

It took everything in my will power to not pick up this sweatshirt. I kept thinking about running into its owner like at the Bizz Johnson Marathon, except this time it wouldn't be about being cold it would have been because I wanted it and that seemed wrong and loser-ish.

Nothing says Christmas like a pit bull in a Santa hat!

Here is about Mile 22 where Mr. Control Freak and his betrothed passed me. Yep, there was lots of internal swearing. I didn't have it left in me to catch them. Should have killed the bastard when I had a chance.

I would love to tell you that marathon number 5 was effortless. It wasn't. The big lesson I learned is that while trail running makes any type of hill in a road marathon seem like a joke (lots of whining on the course over the very small rollers), it does NOT prepare you for the pounding of a road marathon. I am definitely comfortable with the distance, but my feet, knees, and hips were complaining by 11 miles in and killing me by 21 miles.

The course is really fast and better than I expected. I expected pancake flat and it is not. It is really rolling. Very easy ups and long gentle downs. It is a really a fast course. If you are looking to PR or qualify for Boston I recommend this course.

This smile belies the mile and a half walk back to my car AFTER the marathon. I was told it was 4 blocks. That lying son of a bitch better hope I don't see him again. Certainly not if I have my car keys.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Off to Sacto!

I don't know why we Californians insist on giving nicknames to our cities, but 'Sacto' is Sacramento our state's capital and the site of the CIM - California International Marathon that I will be running tomorrow. (BTW 'San Fran' is San Francisco, no one who actually lives in the state calls it 'Frisco')

I am very excited to go and meet Julianne and TinaGirl! Unfortunately, we won't be running together. They would have to tie two of their legs together and do a three legged race if they wanted to keep pace with me since they are Fasty McFastertons, but I will get to enjoy their company at the expo!

I can't believe that this is my fifth marathon this year. Just five years ago a marathon (or really, even a 10K) seemed like impossibility. I could not fathom running for 26.2 miles. Even now typing it I think, "You? Fat ass, lazy ass you are going to run 26.2 miles?! Yeah right."

Old tapes die hard I guess.

I don't know if the dirt cheap hotel room I got will have internet, but I hope to catch up with you all this weekend! This week has been like all the others I have been whining about lately so I will spare you the diatribe.

This is a seriously boring ass post. I am feeling a little *blah*. I will end with a self-portrait LOL cat (me, lying my ass off )

Ooh, one last thing, I did pick a new race for 2009. My first 50 miler, The Firetrails 50 in October 2009! I really wanted to do Rocky Raccoon 50 miler with IronJane in Texas, but since my swimming and biking SUCK and I have a little triathlon thing in June I better not.

Any peeps that want to get in on the action?!