Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Planning is Overrated


I am still on somewhat of a *high* from the run on Sunday – actually, no..... it’s not really a high…just like more of a new confidence level.

For the first time ever, I am not totally worried about my ability – or lack thereof – to finish Big Sur. I am confident that I will finish. It will be slow and steady – but I will finish…and with a smile on my face to boot! :)

The only thing stressing me out at this point is the issue of WHEN I will actually get to Monterey. Hubby and I had a great weekend planned – flying out Friday afternoon, Hubby golfing on Saturday, Pokey running on Sunday and then just enjoying the bay area until we came home on Monday.

So much for plans. Once my son’s football team made the playoffs, all plans are off. His team has potential to make it to the Conference Championship…and when do you suppose his game will be? Yep, Saturday November 10. We are supposed to leave on Friday the 9th.

The ONLY good news is that I found a flight to Monterey that leaves at 2:30 that Saturday afternoon, so we might still be able to make the game and get to Monterey at a decent time. It would kill Hubby’s golf plans for that day, but there’s not much we can do about it really.

I won’t know for sure until this Saturday if it is going to be an issue or not. If they win – then they move on. If they lose – we leave for Monterey on Friday night as planned.


I planned this trip 6 months ago…who knew there would be such schedule conflicts?

Darn kids ;)

It actually gets even better than that….but I won’t bore you all with the details (as I did poor Lisa on our run last weekend) just yet until it materializes. Let’s just say that a football trip to Orlando may be in my future, during a critical week that I am supposed to be in North Carolina for business. The juggling is never-ending.

On a quick side note – Micheline and her gang came to AZ this past weekend for Chet to run the Javelina Jundred. I had no idea until this morning that Angie was up at the race too, or else I would have tracked her down on Friday night when I was there!

Major KUDOS to everyone that finished this race – the heat was BRUTAL! Chet and one of his other buddies finished the entire 100 miles; his other buddy dropped down and completed the 100K. I know Micheline will post a report on her blog sometime soon.

We met for an early dinner on Sunday afternoon so the guys could try and recover and refuel. We tried this place for the first time and it was DELICIOUS! And the company was fantastic too, especially for a group of guys that had been awake for over 36 hours and had just finished running 100 miles in 97 degree weather! YIKES.

This week is uneventful for me, running wise. I am hoping for a couple short runs during the week, and a long-ish run of 6 or so miles on Saturday. Then a couple of short runs during the following week also, and then............

Well, you know.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I didn't run 8 miles today

I didn’t run the 10 miles I had hoped for either.

Nope, nope, nope.

But instead….

I ran 10.45 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rub your weary eyes there, blogging buddies – it’s not a typo! Today was my longest run EVER. I moved my Pokey behind for 10.45 miles – checked and double checked both by Map My Run and Google Maps. Naaah, I’m not a skeptic! ;)

Even without our fearless, inspirational leader, Lisa and I knocked down a fantastic 8 miles together. We did a lot of talking & walking and hit the target we had set out for today. And as any fantastic running buddy and route planner would do, Lisa somehow managed to leave me exactly 1.5 miles from home. So even if I had wanted to quit, it was the only way home. Lisa had helped drag me 80% of the way – and the rest was up to me.

I said goodbye to Lisa so that she and the Java Family could head off the church. The next couple miles weren’t easy – with no iPod, I was left trapped in my own head again….along with no running buddy to keep me motivated. It took some pretty serious and tough self talk to get me thru the remainder of the run – and I padded it with a bit extra to make sure I hit the 10 mile mark. There was no way I was coming up short today.

Other than being tired and hot at the end, everything felt good. No hip flexors screaming at me, no calf muscle spasms/cramps, no numb feet – it was just about as good as it gets for me.

So the elusive 10 mile mental – and physical – barrier is gone. And the realization that this morning I was only about 2 ½ miles away from Big Sur hit me.

2 weeks and 2 ½ miles.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who stole all my time?

And my training too, for that matter!

According to my calendar, which I'm sure must be horribly incorrect - Big Sur is 17 days from today.

[where is the scared - @#!&%**&$ face to insert here?]

So my mind is flooding with questions now.....the biggest being about my next long run.

Due to time constraints (and a football playoff game on Saturday morning), I am not going to be able to run the 10 miles I had planned on :(

Can I / Should I run it next Saturday - November 3?

The race is on Sunday, November 11.

Since I know nothing about tapering....nor really have a need for true tapering since I haven't been really *training*.......what is the longest I should run a week beforehand?

I had REALLY wanted to try and knock down a 10-miler. It may not have had a ton of physical benefits, but mentally it would do WONDERS.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some Potentially Smelly Speedwork - Pokey Style

Last night was long-run-recovery-run-night, and I decided to mix things up a bit.

People use the term LSR quite a bit – the Long Slow Run. And it made me wonder - what happens when ALL your runs are slow?

I only have 2 types of runs in my running repertoire – LSR and SSR. Yep – Long Slow Runs and Short Slow Runs. So it was time for a change.

My legs weren’t doing too badly after Saturday’s run. I had been really sore on Sunday, but most of it had passed by yesterday.

So I headed out after dinner – weather was great and I knew I needed a run. The first un-pokey-characteristic action of the night: I left my iPod at home. [insert shocked face here] Those who have known me long enough know that I would rather DIE than run without my iPod. When I am alone, I have only done that one other time that I can think of...and I hated it. I hate being trapped alone with myself in my head. I have relied on the music to occupy my mind and keep me focused on ANYTHING other than running.

Well last night I needed a focus-shift. I NEEDED to focus on running. I needed to be trapped in my head for a period of time so I could focus on nothing else BUT my running.

So I did.

And my goal for last night was SPEEDWORK.

Now, some may chuckle. Keep in mind that my speedwork is a slow jog for some of the experience runners.

No biggie. It WAS speedwork – it was just done Pokey Style. :P

I had no watch, no Garmin tracking my speed or distance – just my shoes, the road and me – running segments at a brisk pace that I would not have been able to keep up for any real duration. I would run a segment of unknown distance (i.e. “from here to the stoplight”) and then take a walk break. Then another segment. Some faster, some slower than others – but all of them at a pace substantially faster than my normal waddling.

When I first started out, my lungs started burning. Anyone remember that feeling? It took my thoughts back to my first few runs ever – the burning in my chest, the cramping in my side. UGH. I am glad those days are over. I am not sure if last night’s burning was a result of the much cooler air, or the tougher pace. Probably a combo of both. It only bothered me for the first couple segments and then I was fine.

I had planned to run one my normal routes – a 1.5 mile out and back route from my house. It’s easy, brainless, and keeps me on major streets – which I like to do when it’s dark. I only had one, small, teeny, tiny, MAJOR problem:

Yes, a SKUNK.

I heard some rustling in the grass during one of my walk breaks and I look to my left to see Mr. le Peu about 12-15 feet off my sidewalk, tailed poised right at me. I have no idea how far a skunk’s spraying range is, but I wasn’t going to stick around and find out. See, and you all thought I was doing any real speedwork! But can bet your sweet selves that I high-tailed it out of skunk zone and made a serious detour as to not have to run past the same spot again on the way home! Had I been running with Pat, we most likely would have had to stop and take a picture, but since I was solo I got the heck out. I would have hated to arrive at my office today and explain to the new hire that I just recruited about my new perfume. It was just way too close for my comfort.

Mr. Stink helped me get some extra mileage in, however, and I completed my run at 4.02 miles. I came home happy, feeling energized, please with my run, and most of all – smelling like a rose. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

CAUTION! Whining Ahead

Those looking for warm & fuzzy running vibes need not continue. This post contains no such thing!

Contrary to Pat’s kind words, I had a lousy run on Saturday morning.

The only thing good…..no, GREAT….was the company. Pat and I ran 6.3 miles together, some with Jerry – who is working on recovering from an IT band/knee problem. He would make another great addition to the TRC (Tumbleweed Running Club) if he can put up with us again! ;)
The weather was also good - 57 degrees on my car thermometer on my way to Tumbleweed. A perfect morning.

So the company was great and the weather was good….the run, not so much.

I knew instantly when I woke up that it was going to be a tough one. I was tired from the night before (some extended family drama had kept me up until almost 1am), and I was also having some *girlie* issues (I’m sure Pat is glad he didn’t know that at the time!) It made me laugh actually, since the first time that Charlie’s Angels ever ran together, we discussed how bad it would be for the sole male to run with females with *issues.* Sorry Pat, hope I wasn’t too bad! I was also still recovering from a cold, so the sniffling and snorting along the way also didn’t help.

It was a tough run for me. I felt better during and after our 8 miler a few weeks ago than I did yesterday, and then today. I felt exhausted during the entire run, and today I am beyond sore. Kinda ridiculous for a relatively short run.

Like I said, Pat and I did the 6ish miles together; Pat continued on to knock down another 6 miles (WTG!), and as I was walking to my car, I was disappointed with myself for not hitting the 8 mile target I had planned. So I decided to push myself around the loop at Tumbleweed for a bit more. I think the loop is just about a mile, and somehow I managed to shuffle around it. To say I even jogged would be an extreme exaggeration – it was a shuffle. But I was moving. Shuffled a little, walked a little…..and I made it back to my car with just over 7 miles under my belt for the morning. Not a big success, but not a total failure either.

Want to know what I learned from this excursion?

1) Aunt Flo is NOT a good running buddy. Leave her at home when you can.

2) 4 hours is not enough sleep in preparation for a long run.

3) My hip flexors need work – they were giving me the pain during the run.

4) Don’t take an extended vacation between long runs. It can make the difference between a good 8 miler and a lousy 6 miler. Skipping shorter runs during the week doesn’t help much either.

*End of Whine*

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Who decided on a long run at 6am today?

I am WIPED OUT. And I haven't even started yet. I hope Pat did some weight lifting this week so he can carry me. :P

8 miles or bust.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is it weird?

That I have NO inkling of desire to run a full marathon?

I am truly in awe of those who do – yet I can’t muster the desire in my own brain.

I am tackling my first HM in a few weeks, with the RNR Half in January….and then I could see myself picking a couple more HM’s in 2008 and work on improving my PR’s. Nowhere in that plan does the thought of a full marathon enter my mind.

It’s like when I was in college – when a business student graduates with an accounting degree, it’s assumed….almost expected….that the graduate go on to be a public accountant, or even specifically a CPA. It was just the norm. However, I always knew that was not the career path I wanted, and that I wanted to only work in private industry. And here I am.

Running seems similar to me. Fresh out of the box, a newbie runner learns to conquer the 5K……then the 10K……then the HM…….and then the BIG DOG: the Marathon. It’s the natural progression.

I have been pondering this a lot lately – especially with reading so many inspiring stories of marathon successes.

So what is wrong with me?

Lazy? Complacent? Insecure?

I haven’t figured it out yet. When I do, I guess I will let you all know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to the Grind

So today it is back to the swing of real life – work, kids, football practice….the only thing missing is school, which starts back up tomorrow. Ahhhhhhhh…….no more vacation for the weary. If only I could be independently wealthy and lay on the beach in Mexico every day, where the only worry was about making sure we had applied enough sunscreen and what we were going to eat for dinner. :)

But sadly, I am a working stiff….so here I am. Back in the office today after a week and a half. My brain, however, is still on the beach. :P

So I lied a little bit in my last post……THIS is actually where I could be found last week…..see my icky feet? Sorry, that was pre-pedicure at the spa.

Mexico was just amazing. The beaches, the resort, the pina coladas……..we just really had a blast. The kids had a great time and it was truly just a relaxing vacation. A large contrast from our typical family vacations which usually include the chaos of an overly expensive theme park crowded with thousands of cranky kids and their respective cranky parents. No one was cranky this week though – how can you be cranky here?

Our resort - the Mayan Palace.

And how could a morning run like this ever be anything but fantastic?

I got smart during the second time I ran and actually took my cell phone with me. I didn’t take it the first day (which actually had better scenery) since it didn’t work anyway! I forgot the value of a camera on a good beach run.

Morning is low tide in the Sea of Cortez, so in some of these pics you can see just how far out the tide really is. In some places, you could walk for over 100 yards to reach the water. I tried to stay on the hardest surfaces possible, which was this…

Some spots were hard to run on because the ridges were SO hard….so it was feast or famine – deal with the hard packed sand with ridges, or brave the mushy stuff that gave the old legs a good workout. I did a bit of both.

My original goal was to avoid the tide pools and keep my feet dry….but there were just so many amazing sea critters and shells to be explored in the tide pools, that I ended up tromping right through them. I am STILL working all the sand out of my shoes!

I only ended up running two mornings last week – Monday and Wednesday. After that, all the sun, pina coladas and ungodly amounts of Mexican food consumption caught up to be and I became lazy. Oh, and combined with the fact that I got a wicked head cold on about Thursday….so that’s a decent excuse right?

The runs weren’t the most rigorous I’ve ever had – probably just over 2 miles each – with a lot of breaks for exploring. Oh well, I could have just stayed in bed right? I figured any run was better than nothing.

Here’s just a little bit of the Mexico experience for you….

The cutest boys on the beach... :P

The finest in beach architecture: :
And its creators:

D and his best friend R in the back of the beach quad:

Hubby driving the boys...

Me and Hubby.....who couldn't manage to have dinner overlooking that sunset every night?

All my boys at the famous JJ's Cantina....just another dive-bar in Mexico as far as I was concerned!

And the boys again...right before we left :(

In the course of a week, my kids got to see a live octopus, collect more shells than one can even imagine (especially the large conch shells), ride a quad-type beach pilot vehicle (picture above), swim and dig in the sand until their hearts content, and just have an overall great time. I hated to come back. If you ever get the chance to go to Rocky Point, DO IT! It is a great place.

The only downside of the trip was the return home. It took us almost 2 HOURS to get back across the border, which was NOT fun. I was miserable with my cold and I just wanted to get home. Sadly, I had to call Pat when we were just outside of Gila Bend and bail out on him for the Race for the Cure on Sunday. It was just too late, and I was feeling too lousy. I couldn’t even fathom the thought of having to get up early the next morning to go run with thousands of other people. I am a really *team* person, and my motto is to never bail on your team at any cost….so I felt like a schmuck. I had been looking forward to this race for quite a while, but I had to be smart and listen to my body…..I needed sleep more than I needed another race tshirt. Sorry again Pat for being a party pooper!

I felt better my Sunday night, just in time to tackle the piles of laundry that awaited me on Monday morning. Sometimes I swear that there are 30 extra people hiding in our house that wear our clothes while we are gone. I have no idea how a family of 4 can produce so many dirty clothes. So that is what I did ALL day yesterday. Blech.

I was tired last night after finally getting the kids to bed….and was actually laying on the bed with hubby watching TV at around 8:30……wanting so badly to climb under the covers and call it a night……but I drug my butt outside for a quick run….probably just over 2 miles. I had to do SOMETHING since I hadn’t run since last Wednesday. Oh yeah…and there is something about a wee little half marathon looming over my head in 26 days. HOLY CRAP.

Which brings me to today. I had to work(blah) and D had football tonight, so we are back on the rollercoaster. I need to get another short run in this week, and a long run this weekend. I know Lisa’s TRI is on Sunday, so I’ll have to see if Pat wants to SlowPoke around with me on Saturday morning. Otherwise, it will be solo. I have no choice but to get in a MINIMUM of 8 miles. Then I am planning for 10 miles the next weekend. Then……..well, we’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Time now for me to catch up with you all and see what I missed over the past week!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Adios, amigos!

Remind me again why I DO NOT have 4 kids? Oh yeah, I just got done babysitting my 14-month old TWIN niece and nephew this morning. *sigh* I am definitely ready to go lay myself on the beach.

If you're wondering where I am during the coming week, I'm under here

Unless of course, I'm busy running along the beach. :P

GOOD LUCK to Pat, who is going to kick some tail at the Casa Grande Half this weekend!

See you all soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Warning signs of an impending run

Last night I had all the signs: I was tired, exceptionally cranky, fed up with both my husband and my boys, had a day of lousy food choices, and didn't even have the teeniest desire to go out for a run.

THAT is when I know that I NEED to run. All he warning signs were present, so it was time to move my tail out the door.

So amazingly enough, I did.

It ended up being pretty good, despite its lousy beginning. I started off on a leg of road from my house that, for the past year, I had deemed a .25 mile section. When I looked at my watch and it read 4 minutes, I nearly lost my mind!!! I couldn't figure out how in the world I was running a 16 minute mile!!!! :( That set the tone for the first couple miles of the run, and I ended up turning off my watch so that I wouldnt continue to frustrate myself.

Funny enough, when I got home after the run and mapped the route, the segment in question ended up being just over .31 miles, LOL!!! So a 12 minute mile was much more acceptable to me!! So I guess I got frustrated for nothing really....at least it didnt make me mad enough to quit the run.

I ran one of my tried and true 3 mile routes, and then continued on for some more since I was feeling good at that point. It's crazy to me that the first 2-3 miles of all my runs really STINK until I find a groove. I know that if I can move my tail for at least 2 miles, it usually gets better. I guess I just have a really long *warmup* period! :)

By the time I made it home, I felt much better. Kids were in bed, and I was actually able to speak to Hubby without snapping at him. Ahhhh, what a difference a good run makes.

Total mileage: 4.62 miles
Pace: pokey style...no one really knows :P

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

They must have been hard up

How funny is it that my silly ramblings got included on this Top 100 Health and Wellness blogs on this nursing website? I think they are a million other bloggers with more profound things to say......I think the *slow poke appeal* is what did the deal, LOL! Thanks to Emil (whose blog is also on the list), for pointing this out. Definitely made me laugh!!

So here's what I've been up to today....

Gotta love Playhouse Disney Live! I took T (along with two other girlfriends and their kids) and we just had a blast. My just-turned-3-year old has probably been to more concerts in his short young life than I have! He's seen the Wiggles, Doodlebops...you name it. It's funny the money we will pay, the crowds we will battle and the utter chaos we will endure to allow our kids to see their favorite heros. I am a real sucker for kids' shows.

Now the fun is over and I get to start packing. I need to get a run in tonight, which won't be feasible until after 7pm when Hubby gets home.

Any locals need a slow poke run tonight? I need someone to kick my butt.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Short Run

Due to some technical difficulties, Lisa has bestowed upon me the honor of posting our run report from last night….which will be about as short as the run itself! ;) Rest In Peace, dear Java-Computer….you will be missed….but hopefully soon replaced! :)

Last night we met up with a group of other women in our neighborhood, a group that happens to be training for the Komen Race for the Cure in a couple weeks, and knocked down a 2.2 mile run. I have no idea how fast or slow we ran.

It was pretty much uneventful, other than it was humid than all heck and I made a GREAT sweaty, stinky first impression on these women that I ran with for the first time! I thought it was cooler outside than it was, so I wore a cotton t-shirt. Very BAD IDEA. Oh well, a little sweat never hurt anyone to my knowledge.

I got to meet Java-Son, who ran circles around us…..literally. The child is fast. But what kid his age isn’t? They live to run (and it shows) and have tons of energy. Last night I deemed him our Energizer Bunny.

On my lengthy .75 mile drive home, I contemplated parking and getting some more mileage in. It was nice to not be tuckered out by a 2 mile run, and I felt like I needed some more.

But then the image of my disastrous house, along with piles of pre-vacation laundry waiting anxiously for my return popped into my head and I went home. Duty called.

I was glad to find that the kidlets were in bed and I could get some things done. My little son had made me feel bad about leaving to go run with the group – a classic case of Toddler Induced Guilt. “I not want you to run” he pleaded as he watched me get dressed. Most of the time I run when my kids are in bed and they don’t see me leave. They are not used to me actually leaving the house for some MOM time.

I am glad in many ways that running has forced me to be a bit more selfish. It forces me to take time for me, just because I want to. I am a working mom, although I don’t work as much as one might expect. I am afforded a great salary, with great flexibility to put my family first, while only working a few days in the office each week. Yet still, I hate leaving my kids once I am home. Last night was good for me. It forced me to tell my son that, YES…..mom IS going to take some time for herself. And it felt good.

So, let’s see what the rest of the week brings:

Tonight – I might try to go to the gym for some weight training, or a short run
Thursday – short run
Friday – rest
Saturday – run with GGT – no real mileage goal, I think we are planning on an hour run (30 min out, 30 min back) since that is really all the time I have that morning.

Saturday afternoon we leave for Mexico. I am taking all my running paraphernalia with me, in the hopes I can at least get several short runs in during the week. We get back the day before Race for the Cure.

By that time, it will be 28 days until Big Sur and 6 days until my 35th birthday. YIKES!!!!!! I had wanted to complete my first half marathon BEFORE my 35th birthday, but the folks in Monterey just weren’t very accommodating. :P

Monday, October 1, 2007

I hate Mondays

I wish I had time for some deep thoughts today, but I'm just spent. Tired, cranky and ready for vacation....which happens to be in 5 days! ;P

I am hoping for an easy, short run tonight with a group of gals in my area....if that doesn't pan out, then I'm doing it solo. I am big time on the motivation train after Saturday's run, so I have to keep up the momentum!

I was wondering if this is what the farm animals along the canal were thinking on Saturday?