Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This lack of interest is not unexpected, though. I am always a slow starter, especially after taking a couple of weeks off. It is sooooo easy to slip back into that, "What?! Me exercise?" frame of mind. I'd hate to think of 40 years of lazy-dom all gone to waste. I've just gotta get out and run a few runs, then my feeble brain'll kick in and be all "Remember? You loove this stuff!" And I'll be well on my way.
With that in mind, yesterday I checked out my town's new Recreation Center, which is so new it barely has a website. What it DOES have, however, is an indoor running track, 12.something laps to the mile, 7 days a week, $3 a pop or $20 per month (along with Nautilus-type machines -- I am sooooo regretting my hugely expensive, 18-month-commitment gym membership right now!). Way back when, I began my little running career on just such a track, just this time of year. I don't remember being particularly frustrated with running around in little circles (over and over and over again), though at the time I think I was primarily frustrated with making my body run for 90 seconds WITHOUT STOPPING(!!), so who knows how I'll feel about trying to crank out 5 or more miles. Right now, the cold is too much for me to face (I know my tune will change quite soon, I *really* don't mind it once the first mile or so is under my belt), so I will be hitting this track later this morning for my first go-round. Yes, I will.
Instead of running yesterday, I bit the bullet and signed up for some serious Bikram Yoga. Thankfully, I have quite a bit of experience with this discipline, having spent about a year or two (years ago) going to class 3-4 times a week. If yesterday had been my first time, I might have been a little dissuaded from returning because the guy in front of me had the worst case of farts I have been witness to in such a venue. No exaggeration, in a 20 minute span of time the guy must have farted more than 5 times -- big, loud, ass-fluttering windy things that precipitated a HUGE giggling fit on my part. Seriously, farts are funny just about all the time, and if it's inappropriate for a 42-year-old woman to laugh out loud when the 3rd boom comes flying out, well then so be it (at least I've got the right kinda job!). By the time the 5th or 6th (who's counting?) slipped the questionable hold of his cheeks, I could barely hold the Tree Pose due to my increasingly audible giggles. If you know anything about Bikram, you know the next pose is "the corpse" pose (more fits of laughter from me), followed by -- I shit you not -- the "wind removing" pose. I'm all, "Well, that ship has sailed . . . " and it was pretty much over for me at that point.
I am very mature.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I'm starting to think of 2010 and what goals I'll have for the year, running and otherwise. I am not much for New Year's resolutions (and, in fact, hate the holiday so intensely that I would MUCH rather spend it tending to puking drunks of all ages in the ER than do almost anything else) but I think I'll be preparing a goal list anyhow, because somehow writing things down and then letting the world (or whoever!) know about them does seem to make it that much realer and maybe make it that much likelier that I stay committed to the goal.
I have already committed to my very first goal, running a 10 for '10 10K on January 1st, a virtual group run being hosted over at Of Running and Parenting. This seems like a good way to start!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Now I'm back in Marin, and while I have my computer, plus access at work, I don't have internet where I live so I still have plenty of excuses reasons while it's still difficult. Waah waah waah, I know.
Also, I am taking a break from running for a bit. I finished the last half happily, did a few runs here and there after that, but don't start my marathon training till the week after christmas. I decided a week or three of minimal (if at all) running just to give my ol' bod a little break would be a good idea. I dunno if that's part of the "training" that runners do, but I have taken up to 2 or 3 months off every year (that winter stuff is a BITCH) and feel that I have been the better for it. So pretty much no running for me until dec 28 or somewhere's around there.
Meanwhile, I am trying to get caught up with my Google Reader (400 posts? is that possible?) and back to commenting on everyone's posts. I have over 500 (!) pictures from my road trip, and will work on putting together some posts with those as the backbone, 'cause MAN O MAN did I see some lovely sights, and had a great time to boot.
So whilst the scarcity of posts of late might appear to be an indication that I am loosing interest in this thing, nothing could be further from the truth. First I think I'll get caught up on what everyone else has to say, then I'll try to get caught up on what I have to say.
I'll be back!
Oh, and check out Rachael's blog, where she's got a cool giveaway going, and because she's got a great, funny, inspiring bit of blogging to read.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
us snowblower that underperforms, a tree across the road taking down
power and phone lines, no power, no Internet ... Happily, after a few
(!) hours of shoveling, we cleared the driveway enough for the truck
to fit (just), the power came back on maybe ten minutes after we
finally called it quits and headed indoors, the fallen tree did no
damage (even though it did fall partially in our yard) -- and we even
hacked off the top and now have a Christmas tree!
So now I sit in my pleasantly warm home, freshly showered and in comfy
clothes, STILL typing crappy blog entries from my phone, no other
Internet (damn!!!), contemplating future blog entries, studying
vacation photos, so glad to be home after the snowy drive here from
Bishop! I'll try to get some interesting posts up in the next few
days, get caught up with everyone elses' blogs, get my fat ass back
into the gym and the yoga studio, and try to remember how I managed to
run in this weather last year. I've got nothing on my training
schedule for the next couple weeks, but my training plan for the
marathon starts right after christmas.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
there's a photo here!
I just returned to cellphone range (temporarily, anyhow) after a week
of communication blackout ... Aaaahh, relaxation!
Short, sweet update ... Death Valley Half? PR, baby, at a blazing
(unofficial) 2:20! Death Valley?? I love the dessert more and more
every time I go. Lots of 4 wheeling, hot spring visitation, fine food
and beautiful vistas.
I hate typing these on the phone, mostly because every time I post to
the blog it does either texts or photos but not both. So I'll save
race reports and lotsa photos in the next fivesix days, plus omigod
I've probably got hundreds of posts to read! I will, and, by the way,
I'm not dead!!!
(a few people thought I was. Sorry, guys!)
Monday, November 30, 2009
scoping out some excellent petroglyphs on Mt Irish in southern Nevada,
some of the best I've seen (outside of Perfect Kiva in Utah, that is).
I've got some great photos of my favorite for later, I only caught a
few on the phone camera. We checked out a bunch, then spent the night
about a half mile away. There were more petroglyphs to see this
morning, then I was off on a GREAT run -- 10 miles through the
awesomeness that is the Nevada desert.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here's a horizon pool with quite the horizon; this tub is a new discovery for us.
And some neat bubbles (from the hose acting as an inlet; it's NOT boiling!)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thanks for hanging in there!
Monday, November 23, 2009
> while I'm down here in my week o' work --I just don't have a whole
> lotta energy for running, and I lack a wireless connection for
> blogging (about my nonexistent running). I do have my iPhone
> though, and thus all things are possible!
> I've received a couple of requests for the hair update, and as I am
> presently sitting in a near-empty emergency room (which almost never
> happens), well, here's a few photos -- in full RN riot gear, no less!
> I think I'm really lucky to have my hairstylist! I'll have more to
> say when I can actually use a keyboard to type, but hopefully this
> soothes some wondering minds.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When I have it pulled back you can really see how kinda meh. it is:
But I don't really hate it or anything, so I'm not sure what I'll have done today. I know that I'm definitely NOT going back to dying it brown (its natural color) every 3 weeks in the sink anymore. I might just go and get it bleached blond (the roots don't look nearly as bad growing out with the blond) every 6 months or so until it's gone a lot more grey. We'll see what Vicki has to say . . .
(I can't believe I did this whole post, photos and everything, laying on the damn couch, with bedhead and all. Fuck, I'm lazy! And I don't know why my eyebrows look so hairy, they're not! Ok, I'm done now.)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
, or this, , or a half dozen other similar poses that require one to stand on only one of one's legs (there's an awkward construction) for a ridiculously long period of time, twice! while sweat literally runs off the body with a force greater than some showers I've been in. I spend more time falling over than standing up, concentrating more on trying not to crash into my neighbor than on "yogi breathing." No exaggeration, I think your average 3 year old has more coordination than me. Klutzy klutzy klutzy.
Which is why yoga class is pretty much exactly where I belong (oh, and the running thing? took away the one advantage I might have had, flexibility. Gone.). Last night's class was the worst so far, I maintained hardly a single posture and I was sweaty and heart-racingly short of breath right till the very end, which seemed an hour later than usual. After class, I asked the teacher for some insight into why I had the balance of a wet noodle and she said exactly what I knew she was going to say the following:
It's all in your head.
That balance comes from within and I had to find it within myself, yadda yadda yadda. I guess this means I'm unbalanced? Listen, lady, this is NOT news to me, haha!
Seriously, though, I know -- to a certain extent -- that balance and klutziness are learned behaviors, and can be modified. When I was a child and a teen, I was dangerously klutzy, like flirting-with-disaster klutzy. I then lived on a sailboat (and spent drearily long passages at sea) for 10 years and let me tell you that you learn really quickly NOT to fall over or trip or bump your head or slip or do any manner of things that previously were daily occurrences, because the consequences were just that bad. So I went from being dangerously klutzy (omigod she's gonna die!) to humorously klutzy (look, she fell into a box! again!)
All of which is a round-about way of saying that while I feel that someday, maybe, I can learn to stand on one leg (after all, someday I'm gonna run a marathon!), that day is NOT today OR tomorrow and meanwhile, fellow yogi's, please forgive my sweaty bod slipping over in your direction. One day, I'll figure it out.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
So, in the intervening time, here's a short synopsis of what's happened lately: I've run a bit, including a great trail run up in Graegle (running with the mt bikers) that TOTALLY deserves its own post 'cause of the great photos, but o well, worked a bit (and even managed to run while in Marin, a feat not accomplished in over a year), didn't run quite a bit (notice my running goals over on the sidebar; last week? not so good), have done lots of hot yoga and am planning on going at least twice a week forever and ever, baked some more pies, got out the winter gear 'cause it's freaking COLD here the past coupla days, and today I ran a race!
So now that we're all caught up, I guess I can get on with it then.
Yesterday, after missing my planned 8-miler, I took a look at my run calendar to see how I could make up for it and, lo and behold, I saw that I had a race scheduled for today. Surprise! Turkey Trot time! This is a nice local fun run around Donner Lake, a favorite run of mine especially in the winter, when there's not a ton of running options in Truckee. It is usually run counter-clockwise, which is NOT my favorite way to do it, as it begins immediately with a steady group of silly hills that are not that steep or long but are soul-crushing nonetheless. I much prefer to tackle them from the other direction, as they present as one really long steep climb and then lots of little descents -- much more my style. In any case, I was prepared to go around the dictated way, but wait! There was an email this morning saying due to ice on the road (the back, hilly side is very shady and not well-travelled) they were going to run it the other way so that the ice could be dealt with by single runners as opposed to everyone being all bunched together in the start. Sweet! Not overly keen on the ICE part of that equation, I was heartened to run it the way I like.
So we get to the start, 1/2 hour early as usual. I get my bib number and Tom and I talk a bit with some of the local runners that I am slowly but surely getting to know from other pre-race talks, and jeepers creepers but it is COLD out there. When we left our house (aka Ice Station Zebra -- while all of our surrounding neighbors are enjoying sunshine and melting snow, we still are covered in shade and 2 feet of the stuff!) it was something like 22 degrees. Granted, in the sunshine of Donner Lake it was warmer, but still probably sub 30. This presents a problem for me, because just standing around I am always freezing, but I run very very hot; choosing what to wear is a bit of an art form. Do I wear tights and a jacket so I don't freeze in the beginning, or just shorts and a tank so I don't die of heat stroke 3 miles in? Decisions, decisions. I first take off my tights and try that out for a while.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, first day post-tri, forget it. I was super spent, going shopping for groceries presented the conundrum of How do I stand up for such a long time? Nothing hurt, per se (except for that right calf), but it just seemed like my blood wasn't flowing fast enough or something. I had ideas of going for a little run or something, but those ideas just kinda fizzled and I spent the day just putzing around. Tuesday I went to a morning yoga class (oooh, definitely my new addiction) and went for a late afternoon run.
Apparently a "recovery run" for me entails running at a extremely slow pace (even for me! -- like 14:30 even), taking a multitude of walk breaks, pee breaks, drink breaks, look-at-the-view breaks and breaks just because I've been running for a while. My schedule called for a 4.5 mile run, and I guess I fulfilled the milage if not the spirit of the schedule. No worries, though, the weather is just amazing here right now and it was a lovely run through the woods in the fading afternoon light (I found that it now gets dark at 5:15. I think I gotta start carrying a headlamp with me).
Wednesday started with another round of yoga, then in the afternoon I did the unthinkable and actually went running with someone. Wow! So this entirely new experience was pretty darn good, and all the conversation really makes the time go zipping on by. I went with Nora, a woman I met through my running club, and whilst I think she is a faster runner than me, she's aching with IT band issues and was more than willing to run at my pace. There's another woman from the club who's expressed an interest in running with us, so this might turn out to be a regular event.
In the end, I think I prefer overall to be a solo gal (I love my iPod), but I really appreciate the change and the variety of running with a friend.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Lest I try to claim innocence in this matter,
I did get a great night's sleep -- thanks daylight savings time for the extra hour! -- and got up at 5 am. Tom and I head out for McDonald's for my reliable pre-race sausage egg mcmuffin breakfast, then we headed out to McNears for the start. We found I couldn't get dropped off right at the start, so we pulled over as close as we could, I got all my stuff together and biked in about 1/2 mile.
By the time I get my transition spot set up, though, I have pretty much pushed all the doubts aside (what good does it do at this point, anyways?). The weather was perfect, the venue absolutely beautiful (I wish I had taken more pics) and I was determined to just enjoy that and the race no matter what. So I started acting like the goofball that I am.
It was about halfway into the swim that I began to feel a little, ... strange? This is where I'm supposed to start to tire a bit, to flail around a little, to start eyeing the finish with a sense of urgency, like I have in Every. Other. Swim. However, I just felt . . . fine! Like I wasn't going to die anytime soon. Even though I had another half mile to swim. What the hell? I kept swimming along, trying to deal with swallowing *salt* water, blech! No big deal though, and I finally rounded the third bouy and headed for the swim out. I think the current must have been assisting quite a bit, because the swim up the beach was considerably more difficult (though strangely I still didn't see death over the next wave). I was chugging along when whammo! Out of nowhere my right calf just seized up like an old Chevy, hard as steel with my toes going all wonky in different directions beyond my control. My first thought was Don't Panic! (ok, my first thought was really AaaarrrrrggghhhhhOwie!Fuck! but close on its heels was Don't. Panic.) This actually worked, and I calmly rolled over onto my back and floated there for a second (thanks wetsuit!) then reached down and jammed my thumb in there for all it was worth, causing infinitely more pain but also the eventual release of the seizing muscle. Ouch! I tentatively took a few strokes and found that I could move forward as long as I didn't use the right leg much. I paddled along for another few minutes, then started adding the right leg to the swim and everything seemed ok, if a little sore. Disaster averted! When I got out of the water I saw my time of 39:something and thought I really must have been helped by the current, because that's pretty damned fast for me, especially considering the cramping episode.
On to transition, which took something like 3:35 (the top female finisher did this transition in :39, how is that even possible?) The grass was really wet, but at least I didn't have any sand between my toes.
Oddly enough, the bike was probably my worst event this time. The course was a 6+ mile loop, once we rode out there, repeated 3 times. An interesting way to do it, I thought, because hey! I didn't ride alone and got passed all kinds of times by leaders and everyone else. I usually never even see those guys on their fancy bikes with the loud carbon wheels and the aero bars . . . hello! The road was rolling hills, never flat, and quite twisty. It was closed to traffic, and coned off into 3 lanes, 2 for the bikes and one for the runners. At one point I almost got clocked as a rider coming from the other direction came careening into my lane just a few feet in front of me. I cried "Lane! Lane! Lane!" and we both jigged and jagged and narrowly avoided each other. Whew! She might have been distracted by the scenery, which have I mentioned was awesome?! The course paralled the bay shore and every corner offered up a new vista of the sea . . . so very cool. 5 stars for scenery! Plus, there were something like 3 different bands along the course, playing drums and steel drums and marimbas and whatnots.
I say the bike was the hardest, because this was the only leg that I kinda struggled on. My quads were hurting and I just didn't seem to have much fire. I wasn't worried about it, though, and I had a gerat time dodging the fast bikers and hooting and hollering at the runners starting to appear, encouraging a whole bunch of them and acting like a goofy freak all at the same time. I was happy to finish, and did so having completed the section with an average pace of 14.7 mph.
And then the run, the run! Right after transition I ducked in to a nearby lockerroom type thing and had a pee, then I was off! Right up a damn steep hill first thing, no time to get used to being a runner. I flew up the thing (granted, "flying" for me is like an 11:00 pace, but hey!), ate a gel and some water, popped on the (surely illegal) iPod, and prepared to suffer. Every tri I have done to this point has included suffering and generally breaking down on the run, as evidenced by grimacing and walk breaks. Not today! I just kept truckin' along. Up hill, down hill, nothing slowed me down or discouraged me a bit. Now I really got to take in that wonderful scenery . . . I think I ran half the run with my head turned to the side to see what there was to be seen. Really pretty. I was happy to find a little trail beaten in a foot off the road, and ran mostly on that (and had another near collision with a racer, but this time we hugged instead and went on our seperate ways). I got passed by a few people right off the bat, then settled down and ran the next coupla miles mostly by myself. I had my own water with me so I ran through the water stations without stopping. I did walk maybe once or twice so I could sip some water, but then started just sipping on the run. I hit the turnaround in about 40 minutes, slower than I had hoped but I felt so GOOD! The return 3 miles was definitely more uphill, and I started passing singles and groups of people walking -- this is what the back of the pack looks like, folks. Lots of walker-up-the-hill people. I think my increased hill running of late paid off and I trotted by all kinds of walking people. Me, passing people, what a concept! I think I kinda like it! Anyhow, as I headed towards the finish line I really felt like I could run another 5 miles easily. In fact, I sprinted across the finish line with lots of energy and cheered myself like an idiot (Tom and friends were off on another mt bike adventure at this point, a far more interesting way to be a tri spectator, IMHO).
I totally blew my (shelved!) sub 4:00 goal out of the water with a nice 3:49:17, which I was inordinately pleased with. I got a finisher's medal (oh wow, BLING!) and a really sweet steel water bottle (oh wow, MORE schwag!), and then got myself a nice 20 minute massage. Then I proceeded to dance around to the music for a while until my friends arrived.
A totally fun race and my best perceived performance yet. A few thoughts about THAT:
1. I live and train at altitude, 6200 ft. I didn't think this would have much of an effect this time, as I had been at sea level for a week (to work), and only back in Truckee for 2 days. Then back in Marin for 2 days prior to the race. I thought the advantage would be really small considering so many recent days at sea level, but really that's the best explanation I have for feeling so strong (not fast, just really STRONG and kinda invincible) given the ENORMOUS lack of training.
2. I have probably posited this before, but I am really beginning to think I am built for endurance rather than speed. Speed just seems so foriegn and out of reach, but endurance seems attainable and kinda natural to me. This upcoming marathon training oughta really prove if this is actually true, or if I'm just smoking crack (again).
3. Perhaps the 3-month-taper concept IS a good one?
4. Today, I don't feel so strong. I feel very un-energetic, and my calf still hurts a bit. I haven't done much all day. I will NOT let this turn into a month-long avoidance of anything physical (as I have done in the past). To that end I am making plans to run with other people (gasp!), and will stay on-target with a training plan for the Death Valley Half Marathon in December, soon after which starts my training plan for the Reno Marathon in May.
After the race, we headed out to a really nice seafood restaurant and had a fantastic early dinner with Tom's lovely family. I proceeded to eat like crazy, and had a delicious 4-course meal and ate every bite. This has to be the best reward for racing in a triathlon, the license to eat whatever and LOTS of it (this is perhaps why I haven't lost a POUND since I started running etc 3 years ago, but that's a while 'nother story). Some triathlete, eh?
I'll leave you with the view from the restaurant:
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Not so!!! 3:50, people, 3:50!!!! An excellent time (and a PR) for me. The absolute best thing, though, is that I felt totally strong throughout the entire race, which is a first for me. I have some theories about this (stay tuned for the race report -- there will a actually be one this time!), but Tom thinks the 3 month taper is a concept that just might catch on in the triathlon community. Worked for me!!
3:50! I can't believe it. And the course was stunningly beautiful too.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Managed a yoga class today (and yesterday!), a little running here and there, and later today am off to the Bay Area for the Marin Tri. We're meeting up today and saturday with some great friends, so that oughta lead me into the race with a better mindset than I have right now, which, like my training, is poor poor poor.
I'm very apprehensive going into this race with the crappy training I have devoted to it. I think I'll interpret this lack of interest as a sign that I should focus on running (interested) and therefore feel less guilty about all the swimming (not so interested) that I am not doing. And the biking.
I'll have fun at this race -- I always do -- but any goal I had of an under-four-hour finishing time is being shelved for now. Goals: Don't Drown. Don't Die. Don't Quit. Finish with a Smile. In that order.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I am looking forward to having this race over with, and would probably bow out if it weren't for the $$ I have already paid for registraion. Plus all the talky-talky I have done.
I am looking forward to just focusing on running.
And oh! Tomorrow is the date for my drawing in my give-a-way, and so far it looks like you all have a 1 in 6 chance! Good luck!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The hardest job was probably running the loaded wheelbarrows the mile back to the cars. The trail was mostly flat, but did have some difficult spots. It was, however, a beautiful day and the colors bright yellow and very fall like and yay! Sage Hen trail looks like the PERFECT running trail, like I said mostly flat and running right along this lovely creek all the way out to Stampede Resevior. I think I will find my feet there soon.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I was bummed to see no sign of my running buddy, and re-adjusted to the idea of running without a dog. I was disappointed, though. Even though I have only run a couple of times with a dog as a companion, I've always thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
It warmed up a bit, and as the start time became SOON I jettisoned my warm clothes and froze my way on down to the line.
Next up is us, the 10K group which I'm astonished to see seems to consist of 3 people, really? As the time winds down, no one else shows up and it really seems to be just me and two other guys. I'm all like, wow! I could WIN this thing (and that kind of opportunity does not come along ever very often!) Right about this time, a minute or less before the start, this wonderful woman says Hey! Would anyone like a 10K dog? which I am all over, of course, and that's how I came to run this race with Chopper:
This was just a really fun run. The temp, once I got moving, was perfect, nice and sunny and all the aspens are turning golden and OK I guess I'm ready to say goodbye to summer. Chopper was the best running companion, though he was a little nervous, especially at first when he kept looking back over his shoulder for his human. He got used to me soon enough, and was happy to trot right at my side. The whole run (the whole EVENT) was super well organized, marked all over the place even though it mostly just was along a fire road. There were policemen-type dudes at every possible juncture, but they were happy police. OK.
I think running in Tahoe will, in the end, make me a much better runner. I mean, check out this elevation profile, y'all:
And then, o wow! the best post-race meal I've yet seen in my nascent racing career:
Friday, October 16, 2009
Yes, I've all but bitten the bullet in my heretofor tentative plan to run a marathon next year . . . now I've got the event, the date, the training plan and I guess I'm committed. Alls that's left is to actually sign up for the thing, which I'll work up to shortly.
Oh, yeah, and all the running.