Sunday, October 19, 2008

If ever running were therapy... was the day. I so badly needed a run this morning ~ both physically and mentally ~ that not even a stressful weekend and 5 hours of sleep could keep me from my long run. It was a NECESSITY.

Without talking about it much (because it's just too draining) my oldest son had some sort of relapse of his Perthes Disease on Friday night. Just stood up from the couch and couldn't walk. I don't even have to explain how much that breaks a parent's heart to see your child in pain. Combine that with Hubs being out of town, and it speaks for itself that I was a ball of nerves this weekend. He still can't walk on his own and has extensive pain in his left hip. Tomorrow we head to his orthopedic specialist and will determine if this is just a routine flare up, or a more long term problem. Please keep all your fingers and toes crossed for the former.

So the running plan for this morning was 8 miles ~ 4 by myself and then to meet Lisa for the second half of the run. I'm sure Lisa's blog will have a glimpse of some of the goofy pictures we took this morning (some of which we sent to Eileen as she was running her first half mary in San Fran this morning!! WOOT!), but I'm just too lazy to upload them here ;)

My first 4 miles were good, slow and consistent. Then I joined up with Lisa and she kept me truckin'. We did do a lot of walking ~ half out of physical necessity, the other half just because we had a lot to talk about and our speedy pace didn't allow for both breathing and conversation. We hit about 3.5 miles together and then parted ways. I was happy to report a big fat 11:25 split on my mile home (awesome for me on a long run), finishing up at 8.4 total miles. SUCCESS.

Later in the afternoon I was pondering some of my upcoming race goals (based on some conversation Lisa and I had this morning) and I was reminded of something that I often allow myself to forget. Two years ago about this time I became a runner. I picked a goal out of thin air and decided that I wanted to run a 10K race by the time I turned 40 years old (and I was 34 at the time). My friend Micheline jumped on my ambition and helped me form a love for the sport that simultaneusly both frustrates and inspires me on a daily basis.

So today, as I celebrated my 36th birthday I relished in the reality of not only meeting, but exceeding the goals I had pulled out of my wildest imagination. I am only 36 today, and have completed not only a 10K, but three half marathons. I'm not a great runner, and the finishes weren't necessarily pretty ~ but I've accomplished more than I could have ever imagined back then. My 10K by 40 has now turned into a marathon.....and those who know me know well that it just might take me the next 4 years to train for it! ;) The lesson of all my years of wisdom: don't ever underestimate what you are capable of. And dream BIG! And then dream BIGGER!! ;)

Happy Running!!

PS: Congrats to Eileen for finishing her first HM at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco today! I heard from Eileen via text message, so I don't have all the details...but am anxiously awaiting a race report!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Movin' in Maui

Had I known earlier that the "kick start" that I needed in my running resided somewhere in the South Pacific, I would have bought plane tickets to Maui much sooner!!! Aside from having a fabulous time (vacation wise) last week, I had an even better time RUNNING. Short runs, mind you....the things that are a constant struggle in my running life!

I ran 4 out of the 6 mornings we were there ~ just over 11 miles in total. I don't think I have ever gotten in that many short runs in a week ~ even when I was in "training" mode! Yes, I'm that lousy at the mid-week runs. It's funny to me that the biggest treat for me during this whole vacation was the ability ~ the time ~ to go and run almost every morning. I treasured it like at one time I would have treasured the vacation opportunity just to sleep in and enjoy coffee on the patio. Don't get me wrong ~ there was plenty of coffee on the patio to be had by me ~ it just came AFTER some really great runs :)

Day 1 ~ the Exploratory Run

The first day I headed out with the intent to find a nice path, or boardwalk of sorts, along the beach for my run. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed to find that the area we were in did not have any such pathways along the beach ~ only sand.

I have serious disdain for running in sand (unless it is like the hard-packed stuff like I found in Mexico last year), but I gave it the good old college try. That lasted about 50 yards. Thank heavens for the amazing view to keep my mind off the pounds of sand that crept its way into my shoes.

So I left the beach and hit the streets. Most of my runs looked like this.....

Run 2 ~ The More-of-the-Same-Run

I was pretty still disappointed about not having an ocean view during my runs (I mean I'm in Maui for goodness sake!), until the next time out I happened upon this little gem. It is unknown how many visits I actually made to this little venue during my time there :)

And even along the same route, I noticed many new things along the way ~ my favorite of which was this cute little church that just really warranted a photo opportunity.

Run 3 ~ A New Direction

It wasn't really my first choice, but by my third run I ventured out in a new direction (to the south of where we were staying in Kaanapali Beach) and hit the highway. Yes, the highway. It was the only option in this new direction.
The first half mile or so was pretty crappy ~ lots of construction going on in the resort area of Maui, so I ran past plenty of half-finished hotels and tried not to get hit by oncoming traffic. The sun had just started to peek up over the West Maui Mountains (which happened to be to the East of me as I was running), when I looked over to my right side and caught a glimpse of my shadow on a tarp that was blocking off one of the construction areas. As I ran along, I realized that I actually kinda liked my shadow! Good running form, cute pony tail. this calls for a picture!!!

I had to stand still since I wasn't coordinated enough to actually snap the picture while running, but you get the idea of my vanity ;)

It was during this brief running stint along the highway that I learned something new about motor transportation in Maui ~ more specifically, that motorized scooters are treated like bicycles, not road vehicles. I learned this rather quickly after almost getting run over by two different scooters while running in the bike lane!!!

I'm from Arizona where bikes mean BIKES. The cycling kind, you know? Well, not so much in Maui. I learned a whole new respect for the motorized scooters. And I just LOVED these signs posted everywhere. Watch for bikers, but plow over runners. Sheesh....the injustice!!!!

Run 4 ~ Uphill on Purpose

My last run took me back out on the fearful highway again (this time much more successful at dodging scooters) just as the sun was coming up again.

I had run past this road on my previous run, and wondered what lay at the top of this gigantic hill. There was never any traffic coming down the road, and it was just winding enough so that I couldn't really see where it went. So I decided to do the unthinkable. Run UP the hill. ON PURPOSE.

(gasp! those who know me will find this portion disturbing and highly unlikely.....but true! ;)

Cell phone cameras just don't do this kind of sunrise any justice.

It was a beautiful trudge up the hill, and the thought of actually being able to run about intentional hill-running on my blog may have even given me an extra spring in my step! About halfway up, I came upon this sign which gave me false hopes...

There was not really any coffee ~ just estate lots for sale. *sigh* MAJOR disappointment. I'd run up a hill any day if there was a great latte waiting for me at the top ;)

But my reward came just a few moments later when I reached the highest portion of the road. How can you not love a view like this???

I stood for quite a while taking it all in (and catching my breath) and was just so happy that I had decided to venture up there that morning. And just to prove that I was really there, I snapped a shot of my trusty running partner and her long supermodel legs ;)

There's plenty more vacation babble and pictures to come.....hope everyone had a great time while I was gone....have lots of catching up to do!

Happy Running!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Hui Hou

If you need me ~ I'll be HERE

We are leaving on Saturday ~ me, Hubs, the Boys and the In-Laws ~ for some sun, sand and (hopefully) a little R & R. I am being realistic in knowing ahead of time that I certainly won't have time to post between now and then, thus A Hui Hou. It means "see you later" or "until we meet again" in Hawaiian. I know. I'm so linguistically advanced :)

Running has been in the crappy department this week, as in ~ there has been none. Still crazy busy, not feeling 100%, and just being lousy at working it into the priorities. I've already beat myself up mentally for it, so I'm done. I have a corrective plan of action once we return from Hawaii, and I'll deal with it then.

For now, I'm planning an early morning 5 miler tomorrow morning, a looooooong ass plane ride on Saturday, and then some running on Sunday morning when I wake up at the crack of dawn Hawaii time. And if I can get a short run (3ish miles) done every other day while I'm there, I will call it a success.

Good luck to my buddy Lisa who is tackling the 70 mile Tour de Scottsdale this weekend, and to any other peeps who may be racing!! ALOHA!!!