Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring in Tahoe: The bright side

What an awesome day of skiing!! Without a doubt the best day of powder skiing that I've ever experienced. I'm finally figuring it out. Right now we are having lunch and bloody marys, then I'm trying for another winter triathlon, so I'm looking forward to hot yoga and a medium length run. Then I'll prolly die.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring in Tahoe

. . . is looking like this today:

It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but it's snowing like a mother out there.  Over the weekend we had temps in the mid to high fifties, snow melting all over the place (except, of course, our yard, which holds snow until May), trails starting to clear out . . . but apparently it's gonna snow from now (maybe 2 feet by tomorrow?) on and off through the weekend.  Such is Tahoe.  I'm actually into it, because it means some powder skiing (which I am finally starting to figure out) to round the weekend out with, then next week it's back to work, followed by an east coast visit, more work, and by the time I return home towards the end of April, spring should be here for real (though there will still be snow -- lots of it, too -- in our yard).  

Yesterday it was raining in the afternoon, which left me running 'round and 'round the community center track, 4 miles worth.  I did take the arch inserts out of my shoes, and had no cramps or foot pain at all.  Granted, only 4 miles, but I think I'll continue to run without them (as I have done for the past 4 years) unless the feet continue to hurt.  I don't think I need them.

Today I had planned for a longer run, but it's slippery as hell out there and I figured the best place to be is right here at home, feeding the woodstove.  I've also been feeding the regular stove, and have (for the day) turned into Suzy Homemaker.  Right now I've got dinner (chicken adobo) marinating in the fridge, a stock pot simmering on the stove, and these cookies cooling on the counter:

These super-simple to bake cookies are among the best cookies I've ever eaten.  Yeah, they're that good.

Pfeffernusse Cookies

3/4 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. dark molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. cloves
3/4 t. ginger

1. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Roll cookies in confectioner's sugar while warm.
2. Eat and enjoy! 

Monday, March 29, 2010

For reals, now

March has been a bad month for this blog, an ok month for my running, a pretty damn good month for yoga and a really fine month for me.

Started on a bad note, with a week of intestinal trials, a  great time in the Bidwell Classic half (2:22, 1 min off of PR -- I haven't totally given up the thought of a race report, but . . . yeah) considering the illness leading in to it.  Various things happened, bad weather, life conspired and for much of March I was considerably under my running goals and somewhat neglecting my training (me?!?  Never!!!!).  I know this is really poor preparation for my first marathon but hell, why change now?  Somehow I am justifying my slackiness with the fact that while I have missed a bit of running here and there, I have not missed a single long run.  Even if I did nothing else that week, I went out and did my 16 miler or whatever.  Gotta be better than nothing, right?

Regarding those long runs . . . ok so this is really obvious to anyone who is living and breathing, but, . . . running long distances is hard, people.  Here's the math problem:  Running 9 miles is three times as easy for Bootchez as running twice as long.  How will she run 26.2 (or 27, with all the staggering that I'll be doing)?  Discuss.

Seriously.  9 miles is pretty much old hat these days (and don't think THAT's not a huge deal for little ol' me, I'm still amazed I can run even a mile), I bounced out that 16 miler a few weeks back that was tough but ultimately doable and even a little enjoyable, but last week?  I did my 18 miler (only 17.4;  my intentions were excellent but my math sucks, even with Gary) and pretty much stumbled the last 3 miles, wondering what happened to my legs and hips.  I don't know if it was just the day or what, but that 18 was so much harder than the 16.  Low back sore, thighs sore and sorest of all was right where my legs join my torso, owwwwie!!  I tried to do some shopping afterwards (I had driven to Reno for the run, looking for trails, I've HAD IT with winter!) and just had no mental capacity to manage it, never mind physical capacity.  I have a new respect for long runs, is what I'm saying.

In retrospect, I think a bit of my problem might have been my new running shoes.  More specifically, on the advice of the woman who precipitated my change from Saucony to Asics, I also got some Arch Mold (or something) inserts to swap out with the standard inserts, due to my overwhelmingly flat feet.  Looking back on my running since I've switched, I've had a lot of foot cramping in the beginnings of my runs, and a lot of residual fot pain in the hours after.  Instinct tells me (after 2 weeks, but I'm a little slow) that these pains might be from these inserts.  Today, I'm off to run 9 miles or so (my new favorite number) and I'm trying it with the standard inserts.  We'll see how that goes.

So I've totally dialed in what I like to run with, regarding shorts socks shirt etc.  It only took 4 years, but I've finally figured out my ideal outfit.  Under Armour tanks, Champion sports bras, Asics shorts, compression shorts underneath those (completely solving any chafing issues), Asics shoes (probably, the jury's still out), Pearl Izumi socks, Camelback waterbelt, Nathan handheld, Garmin, hat, iPod, I'm good to go.  I've tried numerous shorts and shirts, and did settle on these brands.  In celebration, this past weekend I went on an internet spending spree and bought like 4 complete outfits, dedicated a dresser drawer to run/yoga clothes and am now feeling like a fashionista, all lookin' spiffy and matchy-matchy.  This, of course, will last for 2 runs, until I a. fall down, b. eat something (anything!), or c. breathe, after which it'll all be stained, faded and lookin' like all my other clothes.  But those 2 runs, man, I'll be looking quite the fitness model.

And, O my, I'll keep this short but I am really getting into my yoga practice.  I still fall down, fall over and fall out (and yesterday I cut a big fart -- in a silent class! -- when I did a between-posture sit up), but less so of everything.  I'm starting to notice improvements in my flexibility, in my overall body tone (finally!!), and especially in my spinal arthritis.  I'm trying to practice every day when I am home, and am  starting to put that first on my Things I Must Do Today list.  Today I even got up and made a 7:45 am class (I rarely get out of bed before 9am), just because I wanted to.  That's something!

Between the running and the yoga, I feel like I've found the perfect fitness cocktail for me.  This has only taken me 40 years, but I'm happy to have finally arrived.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I miss you! Yes, you!

So this weird thing seems to happen on this here blog.  It happened when I did the Donner Lake Tri, I believe it happened when I did the Marin Tri, definitely when I did the Bidwell Classic, probably every other race I've run . . . I write these really great race reports in my head, promise you a great race report, then . . .        ::crickets::         . . . an absurdly long time passes, I get feeling all guilty-like that I haven't posted the promised hilarious report -- seriously, the ones I write in my head are giggle-worthy, sometimes -- more time passes, I stop commenting, sometimes stop reading all together     ::crickets::         . . . and then . . .       I miss everyone.  

I've reached the tipping point.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Race report is coming . . .

It's amazing how life interferes with blogging.  Had a great weekend in Chico for the Bidwell Classic (race report is coming, sometime this week, lame lame), got home and had somewhat unexpected house guests for a couple of days, and today I'm off to Marin for work.  In the middle of all that, I managed to get my photos together from the race, but that's about it.  More to come!

Meanwhile, yesterday I busted out my longest run yet . . . I ran the last half (plus some) of the Reno Marathon route that I'll be running in May, for a total of 16 miles.  Running along a bike path, through Reno and Sparks along the Truckee River, it was pretty flat and scenic.  I saw everything from casinos to lots of homeless people, a big ol' mental hospital, lovely river scenes, the end of the bike path which devolved into dirt, and then ultimately turned around at mile 7.75 by a train trestle (which I considered crossing -- it was really short -- but during said consideration I actually fell over for almost no apparent reason, and thus decided to run a little loop to make up the half mile, as opposed to tackling the live train trestle over the rushing river waters in all my klutzy glory).

I was "supposed" to run this at about a 12:00/min/mile pace, which I did for the first two miles.  As I settled in, 12:30 felt a lot more comfortable, so I hung out around there for the rest of the run.  I felt really good and strong until about mile 11.5, where my legs started saying Whaaa???  I still held on around 12:30 until the beginning of mile 13 or so, and then everything just kinda dropped down to 13+ miles.  As it all turned out, I ran 15.8 miles in about 3:20, which left me with an average pace of 12:38.  I was definitely in the groove for most of the run and feel really happy about my time, but have some lingering questions, like Holy Shit how am I gonna run 26?  and the .2?!?  I'm sure as I build up more endurance this'll get easier, but 16 was pretty darn hard, or at least the last 4 of it was.

I drove home, had a shower, popped my legs into some Recovery Socks and went out and had a nice dinner.  I dunno if it's the socks or what, but today I am virtually pain-free, with no real evidence (outside of a little chafing) that yesterday I ran such a long distance.  Either I'm getting more used to these longer distances, or tomorrow I'm gonna be one sore puppy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I held my shit together

Yes, I managed not to "lose it" in the Bidwell.

I actually awoke saturday morning feeling relatively good, and went on to run a 2:22 ... About 2 minutes off a PR.

I am VERY happy with this result. Full report to follow in the next couple of days.

Friday, March 5, 2010

This should be interesting . . .

I've had a tough time of it since my last post, crazy shit at work affecting my head, then MORE crazy shit . . . Monday night I came down with what I thought was food poisoning (thanks, hospital cafeteria) and spent the night in one of the rooms in my own ER (not as a patient, though, thankfully!) puking into a bucket for 6 hours.  Lovely!  Then I drove home and proceeded to, well, run off at the other end for . . . days and days and days!  It has not abated.  This last bit makes me think it's NOT food poisoning (sorry, hospital cafeteria, but you DO suck!) if only because of the (still undetermined) length of the illness.  Seriously, it's time to stop, now.  I've barely eaten a day's worth of food in the entire past 5 days, due to lack of appetite and the peculiar phenomenon of experiencing the passage of food through my entire digestive system in, oh, about an hour flat.  Hello again!

So my new kicks are untested, and I've barely left the house in 4 days.  No running, no yoga, no nada.  For almost a week and a half.  What's in store for tomorrow?  Besides more Pepto, Lomotil and/or sporadic adherence to a BRAT diet?  Some (more) rest? IV fluids? a diaper?  the slightest hint of embarrassment at my delicate condition?

O, no no . . . I've got the Bidwell Classic Half Marathon to run, and I plan on being there.

Most of the usual Bootchez Racing Conditions have been met:

I'm travelling to get there Chico is about 3 hours from home.

I'm woefully undertrained Actually, I'm ok on the training, but have experienced an extreme taper, kinda like I did with the Marin Triathlon and hey! that worked out ok.

I have someone to go with me  Usually this is Tom, but this weekend it's my friend Debbie, she of the mountain biking group.  I asked her on a whim last weekend if she'd like to go, she said yes (yay!), and now it's turned into a whole Girls Runaway Weekend, and who knows what we'll be doing but we're not coming back until Sunday.

My only goal is to finish  I might have previously had a goal for this race (PR?), but given my physical state and lack of food intake as of late, just being able to finish will really be an accomplishment.

There's a high probability that I'll shit myself  Granted, this has been less of a problem recently than it was when I first started running a few years ago.  If the activities of the past 3 mornings are any indication, however, whatever portapotty situation this venue might provide will definitely be inadequate for my needs.