Monday, December 31, 2012

Las Vegas 2012

Training for a marathon is tough enough without the added pressure of all the Christmas stuff that needs to be done. Training, trying to shop, mail packages, wrap gifts, & plan our annual Christmas party, really took a toll on my body.
 The day after Christmas, I woke up with a severe sore throat. I think everything has finally caught up to me. I took some ibuprofen, waited for the rain to stop, and went for a 5 mile run. My husband says, "being sick is always in your mind". We were heading for Las Vegas for a few days with some friends. There was no time to be sick.
The first day of the trip, I still had a sore throat, but not as bad as the first day. My nose was running and I was beginning to sneeze. We stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacation Hotel  .
 It doesn't have a casino in the hotel and the suites include a full kitchen.  It also is a smokeless hotel which was refreshing to come back to after spending the nights in smokey casinos. The valet parking is very affordable and it's only a few dollar more than regular parking. The service is amazing and the amenities are high end. It's a home away from home. We loved this hotel and can't wait to return.
The first night we ate Mesa Grill in Caesar's Palace  . I ordered the Fire Roasted Veal Chop and my husband ordered the Cascabel Chile Crusted Rabbit. The veal chop was decent and probably the biggest veal chop I've seen! My husband's rabbit was dry and the crusted coating made it taste worse. One of our friends had the Grilled Chicken. It too was dry. The restaurant is pricey and the decor is modern. The drinks were good, the service mediocre, & because the food was displeasing, we will not be returning.
My husband didn't want me running on the strip no matter what time of day it was. The second day, I did do a 5 mile run on a treadmill. The fresh towels and easy sanity wipes to clean of the machine was plentiful. I am glad I came down early to complete my run, because out of the 6 or so treadmills available, there were people waiting for an unoccupied treadmill by the time I finished.  I was feeling pretty good. My sore throat had gone but I still had a stuffy nose.  I have already made up my mind, I wasn't doing a long run and would consider the weekend a wash.
That night we went to Old Las Vegas on Fremont. This place was crazy and fantastic! We gambled a lot at a place called the Golden Gate . We loved this place because the atmosphere was welcoming with good gambling and a party atmosphere!  The cocktails are plentiful just as much as the bottle water when you wanted it. Hehehe, I have no idea what kind of cranberry cocktail they use, but it turned our mouths red like we had been drinking cherry kool aide! Our friend is photo bombing our shots! Later that night, we ate late that night at a place in the Four Queens Casino called Magnolia Veranda  . My hubby and I had a thin crust pepperoni pizza. The food is cafe style. It helped us all after a night of drinking and gambling. My husband has eyes like an eagle!  From inside the restaurant, then looking through a smokey casino, he spied a large girl dressed in a pirate costume wearing a smile and tassels on her nipples on the street. She was taking photos with tourist. Sorry, I didn't pose with her or get her picture. She was charging $20 per picture.
By the Saturday, a cough had set in and I officially had to admit, I had a cold. DayQuil helped minimize my symptoms. We ate brunch at the Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant . Afterwards we all took a naps, showered, and went back to Old Las Vegas.  For dinner, we ate at Binions Steakhouse  It was delicious. The service was amazing, friendly, and seemed to know what I needed before I did! The atmosphere was warm and inviting. I ordered the rib eye. The chefs know how to cook a steak here! Thanks you Binion's for the best food night of our trip!

We came home Sunday and my husband began to complain of a sore throat. I still have a cough and will try to run a few miles tomorrow. Las Vegas was a blast! We had such a great time with our friends and can't wait to go back soon!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Temecula Turkey Trot 2012

My son just turn 13 years old and is now eligable to participate in races!  I entered him into the Temecula Turkey Trot, held at Cougar Winery. It's become an annual local race. The last time I did the 5k and walked with some friends of mine who were figting horrible colds. This time my son was running the 5k and I was doing the 10k .
The morning was cold but in California, as soon as the sun comes out, it gets warmer. The 10k starts first and it's a late start. The organizers wait for everyone to register before starting the race. My son will start 5k afterwards. Some friends of ours will be walking their dog in the 5k race.
The 10k is hilly, but nothing too bad. The roads are a different story. The grading on the dirt roads is bumping and uneven. It's hard to go fast in these segments and there's no flat surfaces to escape onto. My friends witnessed my son almost falling because he took his eyes off for a second to say hello to them on his way back to the finish line. If you're one of the first racers, then there was water avaiable, but heading back, there was no water available for racers or their dogs. It's about 80 degress. I heard a lot of people complaining.
My son said it was easy. He was video taping as he ran on the flatter sections and had a great time!  Everyone had the same start time.  He finished the 5k : 0.24:32 minutes, placed 4th in his age group, and 22 out of 397overall. I ran 10k 1:03:00, placed 6th in my age group, and 118 out of 201 overall.  Review of the photos show only one of me with two other guys I don't know and one of my son at the finish line. Aftewards there's a wine tasting hosted by Cougar Winery. It was a wonderful race for my son's first race. He was excited and got great experience. Thanks for a beautiful day!

Marathon Recovery November 2012

The day after Malibu International Marathon, I went for a walk with my labs, Dallas & Cowboy. I was sore but no injuries. My princesses lead a rough life.
The following week I took it easy, by running only a total of 4 miles. The weekend of November 17th, I got up to go running, began stretching and heard a ripping sound! It was my Saucony Triumph 9's. The shoes were ready to be replaced about 3 weeks before Malibu, but I wasn't going to swap shoes that close to the race.
After researching running shoes, I brought the subject up to my hubby. He's response, "Why are you changing the style of shoe when it works for you? I told him about wanting a shoe that lasted longer. He said, "Babe, I don't think you should switch." My running pal, Ann agreed with my hubby.
I went to the Road Runner in San Diego. I wanted to get a shoe that had an enforced seam along the bottom where the mesh attaches to the sole. Not listening to my hubby, I found the Brooks Ghost 5. It's a heavier shoes than my Saucony. I do get the customs inserts with my running shoes to avoid a foot problem I've had in the past.  The Brooks Ghost 5 is suppose to have more cushion. The laces are rounded and not flat.
My first run with the Brooks Ghost 5, I noticed the weight change right away. I ran slower to test them out. My feet didn't feel like they were quite inside the shoe. I wear a size 6 and always go up a half a size because of my past experience with runner's toe. With the Brooks, I had to go up to a size 7 because the toe area was smaller. Running around in the store and running outside isn't the same. There's always occasional cramping of  various muscles when I run but it goes away pretty quick. I began to experience muscle cramping in my right calf heading into the 3rd mile. It didn't go away and I stopped, stretched (for the first time in my running history). I found if I ran on the right insole of my foot the calf pain was a little less. Most of my training during the winter is at night after I get home. When I got home, I found my right shoe laces had come undone and the left shoe laces were beginning to come undone. Two days later, I double tied my shoes, removed the inserts to see if this helped the fit, and headed out.
My second run, with the Brooks shoes, I went slower. At mile 5,  my left thigh began to burn. I want to mention, I have trained carefully for my first marathon by training the required miles needed to complete a marathon and not sustain injury. I couldn't figure out why I was getting muscle strains. My only explanation was the Brooks shoes.
I woke up the next day with a right calf, left thigh, and left knee strains in one week of running in the Brooks shoes. The Brooks shoes were going back to the store!
These are the new Saucony Triumph 10's. They are light and also state they put more padding the heel. In these shoes, I wear a 6.5. My inserts are trimmed fit the new shoes. The Road Runner staff never asks why I'm returning my Brooks shoes. I wanted to tell them about my experience but the subject isn't brought up. The staff there has probably heard a thousand stories like mine.
The Sauconys shoe is amazing! There's no more pain and it's like old times again. I hate, Hate, HATE to admit it, but my husband and Ann were right! I'm back on track and training for the Carlsbad Marathon 2013 in January!  See y'all there!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Malibu International Marathon 2012

Malibu Marathon 2012, was my first full marathon.  For any non runner, who is considering training for a marathon, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train. Your training schedule should have at 3 weeks of give to allow for anything unexpected. I would also suggest running not only an 18 mile long run, but a 20 mile long run too. I felt these critical long runs made all the difference with my completion.

Two weeks before Malibu, my running buddy Ann and I had completed a 20 mile long run. The following week was a wash & recovery with short runs. Heading into the final week before the marathon, I ran a only one 4 and 3 miler. Loading up on carbohydrates after following and consuming a diet that suites your training was harder than what I thought it would have been. The first 2 days, my stomach wouldn't cooperate. I didn't have any appetite and found myself loosing weight.  Finally on the 3rd day, my stomach felt better and I began to carb load. I'm laughing as I write this because you wouldn't think it would that difficulty to eat the right carbohydrates, but it was! Finding time to eat, get what you need was crazy and a good lesson.

Malibu International Marathon was on Veterans Day and my daughter's birthday!  The Saturday before, my running buddy Ann and I headed out to pick up our bibs and go to the expo.  The trip took us 2 & 1/2 hours to reach Malibu. The bib pick up location had changed and we ended up at the Malibu Inn aka biker bar.
There were magic marker signs pointed out directions of how to navigate this expo. At first I didn't see the yellow sign above the white one posting about FREE BEER!
The expo... it consist of table, with a large thermos of Accelerade, the electrolytes to be used during the marathon. It was help yourself :)~  The other table it was the unofficial Malibu Marathon gear. Sorry I keep giggling because it was very California and laid back. No frills and no fuss. It was relaxing. The staff was friendly. The parking to get into the inn was a little challenging, but if your training has taught you anything, you just adapt to the situation.
After picking up our gear, we decided to drive the course backwards. We had read about the large and long hills starting at mile 18. It was a little scary seeing what you were about to tackle in less than 24 hours. In the host city, Camarillo, for the starting line of  the marathon, we found a wonderful Italian restaurant Occtavio's . Thank you for the great service and delicious pasta!

We left in a carbohydrate coma and went to check into our hotel in Agoura. . The Sheraton hotel hosted this event providing buses to the start line and shuttle services from the finish line. The rest of the night we camped out in our hotel room guzzling Gatorade, eating BBQ chips, and delicious cold pasta salad made by our good friend Debbie's mommy :)~
We woke up around 4:45am to begin our prepping, eating (yes again), and packing. Down in the lobby by 5:15am, the school bus is already waiting. We choose not to wear any long sleeve shirt to discard later because eventually it will warm up once the sun came out. The school bus windows didn't close and made the ride incredibly cold. The bus took us directly to Camarillo Airport to begin the race.
The music was playing and there about 8 porta potties with long lines. The full marathon was at a different location than the half marathon. One of the directors of the marathon rode on the bus with us. He said there were about 900 full marathon runners signed up. If I had to guess, there was a little over 500 that actually started. It was small. There are always characters when running a race. I always wonder the stories behind them. The guy by the porta potties had a wrestling mask that tied in the back with matching spandex pants. Likely Nacho Libre's cousin :) !It was also the first time I saw men wearing dresses.
 The race was to start at 0700 am but 8 minutes after, the announcer states there will be a 30 minute delay to wait for more runners. It's 45 degrees and we're shivering. In hind sight, this was good, because I wasn't a bundle of nerves and not visiting the porta pottie every 10 minutes!
The race started after one of the runners volunteered to sing the national anthem, at 0738am. The first 8 miles are through flat farm land. The sun is shining and we're no longer freezing.
Around mile 8 or 9 you begin to run along the Pacific Coast Hwy. We run into the wind and but not bad.
At Point Mugu, it opens up with rolling hills and winding highways. The course is marked off with orange cones. It isn't crowded. The water stations at this point are about every 2.5 miles. I stop at every one of these. There were little Dixie cups of water. The Accelerade is offered at some of the stations. It's thick but goes down easier than GU. We have Gatorade blocks with us. Our pace from the start is no more than 10:45 to 10:30 minute pace. Occasionally we jump up to 10:00 pace but know about the hills the last 8 miles for the race.  Ann has a Garmin that works great and keeps us on track.
These are only rolling hills and not bad at all. The training I did for this marathon helped me out tremendously. At the half way is wonderful beautiful. We have to keep checking ourselves and hold off on our pace.
Beautiful all the way through miles 13 through 18. We saw dolphins!Then the hills begin.
We're getting tired at mile 20. Our cheerful banter becomes talk of what is hurting us at that moment. At mile 21, Ann tells me go keep going. She is coping with foot pain. Pushing on, I continue to stop at every water station. There are two families I have seen starting from miles 12 and on. Who ever they are supporting was running somewhere around Ann and I. We become friendly and they cheer us on! After I left Ann, I was so grateful to see them as the miles seemed to stretch forever. Who ever you are in the dark grey SUV with the small kids and the older couple passing out 'hi-fives' and candy in a red bowl, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have no words of wisdom to get anyone through the last 5 miles of a marathon. As a non runner, it meant lots of hours and hours of running so many miles, I stopped keeping track of them prior to even running a marathon. Without Ann's Garmin to keep track of my pace, I just tried to keep my wits about me. Sometimes I cursed out loud, but I believe my memory muscles took over for me. I definitely wanted to give up. In a small way, finishing didn't matter any more. I wanted to stop. Steep hills plagued my legs and slowed me down. Coming down hill was no relief because you could see the next hill which appeared to be steeper. At one point, there was a sign that pointed an arrow showing finish line to half marathon and an arrow up for full marathon. There was still another 4 miles to go. I kept no more than 11:50 minute pace if I had to guess. I swore the 5:15 pacer group probably already passed me. Coming down a hill at mile 24, I could see the tents on the beach. These tents looked like it was at least another 4 miles away. It was only suppose to be the last mile. At this point I begin to thank my family and God for supporting me. The end was close.  As I headed up the last hill, came over the top, I could see the cones lined up at the bottom of the hill turning runners to the right. I didn't believe it. As I got closer, I thought, "oh this is one of those marathons where you have another 0.9 miles to the finish line". Turning right into the beach parking lot and then a quick left, there it was , the finish line!  There were two men ahead of me. I can't really tell you what happened to me, but I started to sprint! Where the world did that come from? I saw the time on the clock reading 4:58:something as I crossed over. I had to bend over and pant. Someone put a medal around my neck as I stood up as another volunteer handed me a water bottle and beach towel. One a table at the end of the corral were fruit snack cups! OMG I was starving! Fruit cups and no spoon!  I turned around to see an elderly man we ran with during the first 10 miles.  He hugged me and congratulated me. I turned back towards to the finish like to see if Ann had come through. As I made my back, I could see Ann coming down the stretch. She crossed saying she couldn't feel her hands and I reponded, "I don't think I want to do another one"!  We worked our way out over by the beach brakers and stood around reflecting.
Thank you to Malibu Marathon team. It definately allows me to compare my next marathon to those hills. Yes, I've already signed up to do the Carlsbad Full Marathon in 2013.
Thank you to the gals who gave us a ride back to our hotel after the race. We couldn't find the shuttle buses. One of the girls placed 2nd in the 50 year olds age group and ran it in 4:08 (I was told was slow for her) and her friend came in 7th in the same age group. We were glad you found your car and can't thank you enough for helping out complete strangers. I am sorry I forgot your names.
I got up today and went for a walk with my doggies and I do feel sore, but if needed, I could run. I will do my recovery week and if my body allows it, will begin training again.
My official time was 4:56:48
overall #467 out 658 runners
Age group #28 out of 45

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Final Weeks Until Malibu International Marathon 2012

Heading into the last 3 weeks of training and I'm feeling pretty good. No real injuries and only an occasional sore muscle.  Night time comes fast. My running pal got me this to carry along with me during my night runs. My husband says, "Works until you spray yourself". 
The miles have increased, leaving little time for strength training between my runs. At night before I go to be bed, I'll do squats and push ups. It's as good as it gets.
The weather is colder now making it much easier to run. Hehehehe, I never thought I would say that! My new shoes I bought at the beginning of July have torn along the seams. I don't think Saucony makes a long lasting shoe. Tomorrow, I'll go to the Road Runner store to look at Asics.
I occationally look at my watch to check my pace. I run at whatever feels good.  I'm more worried about finishing the the marathon then obtaining a personal best. I want to relax and try to take in as much of the experience as I can!
My recent Running Times magazine came in yesterday. There's a good article called "Marathon Day". The article review prerace, race morning, & warm up strategies. Funny enough it suggest how to set your goal marathon pace. It stresses to stay positive and fighting back the temptation to start out fast that could negatively effect your over all race. The article came a  perfect time.
Tomorrow's long run of 18 miles, I'll be running my comfortable pace through my hills and the last few miles think drum up this article to test some of the suggestions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Burger Brains.

Training for a half marathon is tough. Training for a full marathon is NUTS!  Last weekend was the furthest I've ever ran, without stopping.  I am not boosting because my pace began to drop after the last few miles, but the run was worth every minute because it is a difficult, quality running course.  I want to  be as prepare for my first marathon and don't believe what I read when the descriptions of the marathon say rolling hills.
This last weekend's long run was 14.5 miles. The last 1/2 mile is for my mind. It gets a little burger brained and I start second guessing my miles and ALWAYS rethink my route.
I started at 0510am. It gets hot here as soon as the sun comes up and I wanted to get an early start.  As I run, the first 5 miles let my body work out all the muscle kinks.  It's dark outside, but the street lamps are on.  I begin the second set of 5 miles and I work on Patty's version of Fartlek'in. This helps kill time as I keep my mind off the sweat stinging my eyes and how I hate running with the hydration belt. The hydration belt is essential at this point of my training.  I've been getting my body use to drinking water and consuming gross energy gel.  No offense, but energy gel tastes like flavored semen. Yuck!  Heading into the last 4.5 miles, my brain is like hamburger aka burger brain. The Ipod music is annoying me. My mind begins to tell my body, you're nuts for thinking you can run this far and you can stop all this, join a gym or do Cross Fitness. Towards the end of my miles, I begin thinking about the various books and articles I have read.  Hahaha why didn't I think of this earlier?  Bye bye burger brain.  I begin think about the various chapters in books, articles about other runners struggles, accomplishments, and yes, even posts by other bloggers.  Saved just in time! I'm at a point of crazy miles and longer training hours on the road. I now need to find the time to read more!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Camp Pendleton Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon 2012

Camp Pendleton Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon was amazing. It was my first time running this half. The race started at about 0840 in the morning. Military personal were in the 1st wave and civilians were in the 3rd wave. I have no idea what was the 2nd wave. It didn't matter, it was already hot.  My running pal, Ann ran this race with me and she drove. We arrived at the Las Pulgas (area 43) at 0630 to register for the race. The temperature was 69 and had little humidity.  Registration could have been done online, but we choose to register the same day.  It was very easy and extremely well organized event. The volunteers were some civilians but mostly Marines. As we waited for the race to begin, two Marines asked Ann what kind of watch she was wearing.  Ann wears a Garmin that is many years old. She has been running marathons & halves for over 10 years!  We joked later saying these guys probably thought the watch was a laptop! There were plenty of porta potties, very cool wash stations, and bleaches for runners and families to sit in.  The Marine Corps thought of everything! 
The race is time chipped. I did wear my snazzy Timex watch and hit it as I crossed over the timing pad start to finish. At about 0840ish when the civilians started their race.  I would guess the temperature was about 78 degrees.  There was no wind.  The course was paved for about 3/4 of a mile, then turned into dirt/gravel road taking you though base around the barracks.  The race started with a couple of small hills then at the 2 mile marker, we began to climb up a hill.  According to Ann's Garmin this hill went up for almost a full mile. This was Heartbreak Ridge and I did walk for about half of this hill. I tried to trudge up it off and on, but mostly I walked. I found this picture from another blog site showing the climb up Heartbreak Ridge. Yes it's hard!
The camera guy took my picture coming back up the other side. Can't wait to see me walking again! At the top there was a water/g-raid station! Yippee! These stations were about every one to two miles and strategically place the stations were you would need it the most. Love that! Thank you Marines!  Coming down Heartbreak Ridge was hard! It was shorter than the other side, but steep.  The hills continued to run up and down through the miles.  The turn around was roughly the 6.5 mile area. The Marines cheered you on at every station. Heading back towards Heartbreak Ridge, was crazy HOT!  During miles 7, 8, and 9 there was no wind and no shade.  It gave me time to think about how extremely hot I was :)
Oddly the run back seemed easier. Maybe because I was having some symptoms of heat exhaustion!  I alternated water and g-raid at each aid station. Sometimes I dumped water over my head to cool off. Going back up Heartbreak Ridge was shorter distance up.  I had to walk again but not as long.  Once you get up & over Heartbreak Ridge, it was all down hill and faster.  If I had to guess, I would say the temperature was in the high 80's. The last 3 mile were easy.  I round the final 1/4 mile and found myself all alone heading into the last corral.  Awkward! All eyes on me and my sweaty, dirty self! The crowd cheered as I came through.  As I pasted over the finish timer, I was handed a yellow plastic strip and moved onto another group of Marines asking me for the strip at the bottom of my bib.  They had to help me because my fingers were all swollen and I had no dexterity. 
I pass some Marines on my way back.  I have been training over a year to run half marathons and soon a full marathon.  These guys just wake up, go out, and do it!  Marines are hard core!
After race offered more g-raid, water, bananas, & oranges. No frills here. They did have vendors set up for beer, dip-n-dots, and others you could purchase drink and food.  
My Timex read I finished the race in 2:29:31, but the time chip race results read:
Place Overall:  836 out of roughly 1166
Gun Time: 2:30:01
Chip Time: 2:30:01
Place in Age Division: 21 out of 37.

It's weird to see the Gun Time the same as my Chip Time. I was in the back of the wave 3.  My running pal, Ann, didn't even get posted. She was in the same age group as me. Guess there were are a few kinks to work out.  I would run this race again if the start time was going to be earlier in the morning. The race was so well organized & friendly volunteers. Thank you very much for allowing me to participate :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Breast Chafing With Running. Ouch!

Training for a marathon, as the miles increase, my body begins to change too. Two weeks ago, after a 13 mile long run, I found chafing under both breast & along my front chest where the lining of my high impact Champion 360 sports bra was rubbing.  It was a surprise.  A year ago, I experienced the severe chafing when I first began running. I started using anti chafing Body Glide. This didn't work.  During this time I tested the Victoria Secret sport bra, Old Navy sports bra, Under Armour sports bra, before coming across the Champion 360. It stopped the chafing up until now.   I began researching for a new bra.
Once again, I have lost inches around my chest.  My first Internet search, I found the Enell . The reviews told me, the bra does take time getting use to, but does compress the breast to keep them from moving.  The Enell isn't pretty, but sounds like it would do what it promised.
The next bras, I researched, were by Moving Comfort: .  The Juno and the Fiona both promised to minimize bounce and decrease the chance of chafing.  I found the Road Runner Store carries this brand of bras and headed into the store. 
First I tried on the Juno. I had found this blog site showing a woman putting on the Juno: . Let me tell you, it took a lot of dexterity to get into this bra. I couldn't get into the bra the way this woman had gotten into it. I did put it over my head but undid the straps. Once in the bra, it fit very snug and had no bounce. The back of the bra has large crisscross bands and a regular bra closing. I like the crisscross design because the weight isn't distributed over my shoulders. The straps are a super-stead-fast Velcro and adjust easily in front. The Juno has no plastic parts or pieces. The fabric was soft and thick.
I thought since the Juno fit all my criteria, I wasn't going to try on the Fiona, but I drove the distance to the store, I thought I might as well see the comparison. The Fiona made fun of the Juno as far as getting into the bra. Unlike the Juno, the Fiona looks like a regular bra with the claps in the the back. The claps has the same super-stead-fast Velcro it has on the straps to insure it stays in place.  It has all the same elements and fitting snug but does have a little bounce. By adjusting the straps, again in the front,  stopped the most bounce.  The bra's material, like the Juno, is very soft, but really thick.  The banding around the chest is wide.  The Juno & the Fiona have the wicking material and are pleasant to look at with various colors to choose from.
I choose the Fiona bra because it was easier to get into. I took the Fiona for a few short runs and there was no bounce but because the material is so thick, it felt hot! I ran in the Fiona during the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon.  It caused chafing on the outer edges of my breast on both sides near my armpits.  Man this hurts!
 My step daughter ran the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon 2012. She swears by Vaseline. I read a blog that said to first use deodorant followed by an application of Vaseline. Desperate, I gave it a go and found it worked! I retried my Champion 360 running bras with this deodorant/Vaseline combination and found it worked again! Gosh I'm so happy. I also found the product New Skin to apply onto the chafing areas in transition of healing. It burns like the old school "monkey blood" use to, but the blowing on the boo boo made the stinging go away quicker. I plan on using the Fiona for winter short runs. Chafing can really make you want to toss in the towel. Try not to get discourage and try different bras to see what works best for you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Running in Kansas 2012

Running in Kansas, while on vacation, would be easy because of the flat landscape. Right? I was wrong.  The roads surrounding my parent's place are dirt roads and uneven.  I manage to find hard surfaces somewhere in the middle of the road but I had to keep tracking it down and moving across the road like I'd been drinking!  I gave up powering through the dirt and sandy areas.
I saw a doe my first morning, crossing the road and headed into a pasture. The weather was around 92 degrees both of the mornings I ran with a little hot humid wind. Unlike California, if it was hot during the day in Kansas, it would be hot at night then into the morning.
I did 4 miles one morning and only completed 3 miles the second time because I had suffered a severe back sprain. Silly, but I thought I would run the pain out of my back. Hahaha wrong again!
My parent's place is amazing, beautiful, and peaceful.  Although soft dirt roads aren't ideal for me to run on, the views make up for it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just Push Play

Week upon week of steady quality runs & cross training, I come home today with a schedule day of P90x Core Synergistics.  Instead, I sit down with a bag of tortilla chips and salsa.  At this point, I figured I earned it, right? I have a zillion excuses of why I needed to feast on these chips and blow off my workout: stressful day at work, wild fire near by, & I need a break.  It lasted about 5 minutes. I put the away the food and reached for some juice to help with my craving.
I realized it wasn't about the chips & salsa, it was about missing a work out.  I have less than 15 weeks left until my first marathon. Over the weekend I was preaching to my husband about how important it stay focus on my workouts (yes, I believe he was listening to me), so I can finish this 26.2 mile run. Reading tons of blogs and talking to post marathon runners, proper productive training is the key to success. I do a lot a hills now and make hill workouts as part of my short runs too. Since my back owie, strength training has pushed everything else out of my mind.  It definitely keeps me occupied during those miles.

So as Tony Horton says, "just push play & do you best"!
Two of my favorite cross & strength training videos.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New uses for KT Tape

Way before my recent half marathon trail run, my shoes began to fall apart. My customized inserts were flat, the soles were like bald tires, and the mesh lining down by the soles were tearing away from the shoe.  My step daughter ran with KT Tape (Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape) during her first marathon. She swears this really helped to prevent sore muscles.  I bought KT tape a long time ago because I used it to prevent the chafing I was  having with my sports bra.  After a lot of trial and expense I found the right sports bra for me.  I no longer needed KT tape. 
One morning before my long run, I kept thinking about the gravel road I was about to run on and how the little pebbles were going to get into my shoes. I know, why not get new shoes? The SoCal Half Marathon Trail run. It's dirty and would make a mess of my new shoes.  I promised myself I would get new shoes after that race.  As I put my socks on, I look over on the shelf in my closet and saw the KT tape.  Problem solved! For the next 10 minutes I sat there applying the KT tape inside my shoe along the sides. It worked better than I expected. The KT tape adhered, connected the mesh, and gave me some borrowed time (see above. The blue inside the mesh is the KT tape).
Funny thing about a promise, there isn't a real time frame attached to it. After the trail run,  KT shoes went to  Kansas and ran on dirt roads.  The tape held up! After my recent back sprain, I started running again with my KT shoes. Last night, as I hit 4 miles, I felt my left little toe pop out of my shoe.  My gig was up.  Time to retire this amazing loved shoes.  Such good times. You will be missed, but have been happily replaced by your new baby sister,  Saucony Powergrid Triumph 9!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Injury 2012

About four weeks ago, I suffered a severe lower back sprain. I have no idea how it happened. One morning I awoke and the pain began.
The sprain may indicate I wasn't strengthing my back muscles.
There are seventy-seven back muscles in three layers.  I believe by skipping my core workouts weaken my back muscles. After two weeks, I was able to do some yoga. Now into the fourth week,  I have almost recovered and have begun to run. Please don't skip your strength training. It's a very hard price to pay.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Morning Skinny

There are a lot of people who started running to loose weight. I am one of them. I came across an article, in Running Times by Rachel Toor, talking about the issues of weight and running. Rachel Toor describes reading a biography, Seabiscuit, where carrying an extra pound or two can handicap  a 3,000 pound horse.
The article is interesting and lightly discusses how income can effect our diets. It goes on to discuss how difficult it can be to approach teenagers about weight affecting their performance.  Oddly, after my son's basketball shoot out yesterday, I heard a coach talking to his team about this subject.  The coach was asking his players to loose 5 pounds.  He stressed this would help with this agility and make them faster.
Everyone has heard you are what you eat. I know when I eat like crap, I run like crap.  Weight loss, for me, did make it easier on my knees and back.  In my home, we all eat the same foods. It isn't called dieting, it's just what is for dinner.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SoCal Women's Wine 5k & Half Marathon Trail Race 2012

I think it's safe to say, no matter how well you train and plan for the unexpected, things don't always go as planned.
The SoCal Women's Half Marathon was the most challenging and toughest race I've ever ran! This was my first trail run.  There was no expo and no timer chip. You simply pick up your bib at a small running shoe store. The bib was generic and without logos or your name on it. Talk about being spoiled with the big races! I had my daughter decorate it for me :)
June 23rd, 2012, I woke up and did my usual prep and drove to Vail Lake Resort in Temecula.  There I met my running pal Ann.  We were told we had to check in and found a small table where they said we didn't need to check in if we already had our bibs. Ann and I chatted with a nice lady while waiting in line at the porta potties. We laughed about the facebook site for the race who joked about the differences between road runners and trail runners.  Here's their take:
• Road runners show up in snazzy matching outfits and Nike track suits. Trail runners have been mistaken for homeless people.

• If you go down in a road race, the road runners will jump over you and let volunteers know at the next aid stat
ion; trail runners will stop, pull out their meds, first aid-kit, emergency beacon, give you CPR and carry you to the next aid station.

• Road runners check for flat fast courses; trail runners look at elevation charts and the scenery.
We also shared the same point of view about the planners were probably were not women or they would have had more than 5 porta-potties available!
 There were many new things I've not seen in other races, like a outdoor wash station equiped with real soap dispensers and water, waist belts that could can hold two 20 oz g-raids, and ankle shoe covers!

The race started out with a guy giving a speech about the trail. He informed us there's no porta potties on race course and how it's not very well marked so you may get off course. Women laughed at this, but little did they know.  It was hard to hear what he was saying because women and MEN were talking.  Yes there were men running it with their wives or girlfriends.  There was no National Anthem, just an on your mark, get set go! There were no corrals, so off went approximately 233 women a little after 0700.
It's approximately 65 degrees and the sun is coming up fast. The Vail Lake Resort is a camp site. It's very pretty as we run through the camp ground with the smell of coffee brewing in the air.  This paved road is half of a mile before we quickly turn left and head down a tree covered dirt road.  Dirt is flying up and I dodge a low lying tree branch.  I say a smart ass comment, "no wonder the girl needed both bottles of g-raid, to get the dirt out of her mouth".  I will stick my foot in my mouth and eat my words later. 
The faster runners are pulling ahead. There isn't any room pass, so Ann and I slow down.  At almost mile marker 1 the coarse veers to the left and we head up into climbing rolling hills. These are mountain bike trails.  It's tough going.  The single tracks change to double tracks then back to single tracks quickly. There isn't any elbow room. Women are very polite. There's no shoving. Women are stopping at tops of hills waiting for their friend or group to catch up. Quickly, I realize, as a  road runner, will not have PR today because I have to walk up some of the killer steep hills. The terrarin was brutal.  Everything was jagged with tons of pointed rocks and cravasses.
At  mile 3, into and area of the resort used for paintball, a race volunteer tells the women passing by, we missed our turn before the 1 mile marker which would run towards the lake.  He said our race will only be  a 10 mile race!
Wow right?! I was shock, but keep running.  As I ran, I begin mull over how unfair to cut us short.  At mile 4 & 5 I was thinking, 'why complete this run if I am not going to be doing 13.1'?  I can't tell you how disappointed we were about this news. The aide stations volunteers were super friendly and worked very hard passing out very cold wonderful water and electrolytes.  Ann & I stopped and hydrated at almost every station. At times I wish I was carring two bottles of g-raid. The scenary was pretty boring. We spent a lot of time getting through miles 4 and 5, climbing up hills and trying not to falling down them.  Several times we commented about almost rolling our ankles. It has become a race of survival !
Heading into mile 6 takes us directly up onto a ridge over looking the resort . Most would say this was beautiful, but I am scared of heights and hate this area. I take off through here trying not to look out at any direction. The shrubs are over grown and my arms and legs are scratched.  Coming out of mile 6  there a wicked down hill. Part way down, no joke, I begin to say prayers, a few hail marys and and our father, hoping to get down safely!  Mile 7 and 8 we head back through the paint ball course and back through jagged rocks.  At mile 9 a couple of guys were telling the runners to  head towards the lake to get in the last 4 miles.
It was bitter sweet. 
Miles 9, 10, 11, 12 terrain was similar to road races with long rolling hills. I made really good time in here.  The heat was getting to me as I hit another aid station at end of mile 10 up a HILL! Ann knew one of the volunteers and began to chew him out of suggesting the race.  She had worn the wrong socks and was suffering from blisters. Head back towards the finsih line, I thought this was my favorite part of the course.  As I got back onto the paved road and camper woman wearing an all white jump suit is walking in front of me smoking a ciggy. It seems as though she is walking faster than I am jogging!  As I come up to a turn, I asked the man standing there which way to I go? He points and the woman with the ciggy turns around and says, "oh you don't want to follow me. I am going to the crapper"!
I turn into the final stretch.  I am a lone until a woman goes blazing by me sprinting to the finish line. There really isn't a crowd. I think they were campers.  Someone said "good job".  A guy with a clip board was jotting down your time as you ran through a roped area.  One of the volunteers says "Congratulations Best Mom" and placed a medal around my neck. Another one handed me a dixie cup wine glass.  The volunteers were amazing and I appreciated their hard work.  Inside the dixie cup wine glass was a pink ticket for wine.
Time: 2:43:34
Pace time: 12:30
Place: 118 over all

This trail race kicked my butt bad! I'll need to do heavy thinking before I'll sign up for another one.