Thursday, March 31, 2011

Long Run FAIL

Ech, went out for my 10 mile, 11:50 pace run today and failed on all fronts.  Well, I  did manage to get out there, but that's where the success ends.  10 miles?  More like 6 something.  11:50 pace?  Well over 13:00. Nice circular loop and come home with head held high?  Naw, sheepishly call for a ride home.  I'd have my head hung low but when it comes down to it, I don't usually fail quite so stunningly so I see this one as a gimme.

I dunno what happened.  I started out with lotsa sleep, a happy stomach, beautiful weather (it must have been 60 out there, lots of melting happening!), the right clothes, all the time in the world . . . and I never got anywhere with it.  Just never had the mojo.  Never got the "high".  I got super bored.  I stopped like every three minutes, not for any reason, just to stop.  Look around.  Put my hands in the snow (it was hot out!).  Decide which turn to take next.  Start running again.  Till I stop.  Again.  Eventually, I didn't get going again, and walked.  A bit more, then what the fuck am I doing out here? and I called, oh yes I called Tom for a ride home.  If every run were like this one, I would not be a runner!

Happily, this run is now behind me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's a warming trend in town, so maybe someday we'll see the yard again.  It is melting fast and furious around these parts and soon all the snow will slide off the roof.  Hopefully, this year it does NOT take out half of our walkway.  I think we'll have snow in the yard well into June.  Let's say, June 7th is the last day there'll be appreciable snow in on the ground at our house.

Two big changes on the running front.  First, and perhaps the most interesting, is I am picking up my pace a bit.  I have never paid much attention to pace, except mostly in an after-the-fact kinda way.  Or, having a glance at the Garmin, I'm running that slow, really? realization in a very idle way.  While I am NOT laying down any even remotely quick miles, I AM paying more attention to how fast I am going.  Not that I'm necessarily succeeding: each of my runs these days has a given pace, though I find myself using that pace as a suggestion rather than a mandate, and I'm averaging about 30 seconds slower than my "goal" pace.  Overall, though, my running speed has definitely improved over the past month.  I'm much more consistently averaging a a sub 12:00 pace.  Seems like it, anyhow.

I don't know where I intend to go with this.  I can't imagine ever going out to run a sub 4 hour marathon, or anything even approaching that.  I guess I'd like to think that maybe I could trot out a good 5 hour one, though, and finish strong and easy.  Maybe I'll pick a nice pace and learn how to just churn it out, hour after hour, and be solid and consistent with that.

The other big thing is that I am finally managing to run while I'm working in Marin.  These five days, every other week, have always been my Achilles heel.  I always chose sleeping or reading or just not moving for a while over any kind of run in the midst of working a whole lotta shifts.  The past two times I have been there I have gone running, and no, it hasn't killed me.  So I don't know why I've had such a hard time in the past.  I feel much better for banging out those runs.

Another thing?  I seem to have forgotten how to blog, or at least how to write a funny ol' post.  Jeepers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springtime in Tahoe

Someone said something about it being spring now?  I think maybe this means different things to different people.  It has meant different things to me at different times of my life.  When I was growing up in New England, it meant soon it would be warm and rainy and green and flowers.  When I was living in the Vigin Islands, it meant the sea would warm back up from the cold cold 75 degrees up to 78 degrees and I could swim again (my blood got thin, I think).  Now that I'm living in Truckee, spring means . . . not a whole lot.  Not this year, anyhow.  Here's our house . . . 

. . . it's somewhere there, under all that snow.  (Compare with this photo from back in February, which I thought was a lot.  Little did I know). Know that our house, like many in Tahoe, is elevated well above ground, and the part that's in shadow in the pic is an elevated walkway from the garage, and is perhaps 15 feet or so above the ground.  So that, my friends, is a shitton of snow.  A couple feet of it is snow that has already been shoveled or has fallen from the roof, making it higher right along the house, but we must have at least 8 or 10 feet in the yard itself.  I guess we'll have snow in our yard well into June!

This is the view out of many of our windows.  Again, the ground?  Is at least 10 feet from the bottom of the sill.

There's another 4 feet or so forecast between now and Saturday.  Spring?  Hah!

All of this snow, of course, has had an impact on my running.  I don't mind running outside in the cold, but visibility is crappy when it's snowing so I don't go then.  Usually the day of and the day after a storm, there is so much snow in the road that there's just no shoulder to run on.  On these days I can run in the gym, but can only manage at most 5 miles before I lose my mind.   We've had a load of snow this week, so I've pushed my long run and tempo run to the weekend, while I'm in Marin.  This is a terrible strategy, as I can barely manage to run while there, but I have to change that habit damn quick and get three (!) runs in this time.  Yeepers!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Skiing

It was epic!!! Light powder, fat skis, good friends. Now onto a sushi party. Running? Did not happen. Powder days are one in a million, or so.

Today's activities

Two feet of fluffy fluffy snow has fallen, the truck is loaded with skis, and we are off to play in the powdah!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011


And I totally went on that shopping spree . . . my friend Debbie and I went to an upscale consignment shop, Target and then Macy's, I dropped a wad of cash (mostly at Macy's, natch) and got all kinds of cool clothes, came home and readied for donation three garbage bags full of ratty clothing (nearly every item I owned).  Now all I have left is new, much nicer stuff.  My closet hasn't looked so nice in years.

I never did The Great Race (the 30km skate skiing adventure).  The night before and day of the race was warm and rainy rainy rainy, perfect conditions for a really sucky skate ski.  I'm not that committed.  I bailed.

The Ladies Night Party?  Was a blast!  Few (publishable) photos exist, but here's a blurry one of me before all the hoopla started:

My hair (a wig) was about a foot tall!


At least I've been running (somewhat) more frequently than I've been blogging.  I don't know why I've been so lax, both in writing and in reading.  Blog slump?  I guess so.  At least my other slump, alluded to in previous posts, is over.  Them February blaaaahs . . . so much better now with the time change and (perhaps) the light at the end of the winter tunnel is just barely perceptible (I guess so, anyhow; as I type this, we are just getting the first inkling of the "weather pattern" that promises maybe 5 feet of snow by Monday.  What fking light am I talking about??).   Meanwhile, I've been filling my days with lots of skiing, a healthy (if not excessive) amount of running, plus there's some new interests on the horizon.  I've managed to more or less get some of my physicality back, hopefully I can do the same for my blogging!

The running?  I've been following my coach's plan, with my own standard modification.  The "modification" consists mainly of running about 80% of what's prescribed, a percentage that has held steady through 5 years of running.  Underachieve much?  Actually, I had a bit of a slow start with the plan, but am getting more on track every day (I say this having missed -- so far, there's always tomorrow -- this week's long run, as I settle on the couch for the afternoon.  Denial is a way of life!).  I even managed to run (twice!) in Marin, which has been unheard of, and I think that'll be a jumpstart.

The other very cool thing about my running plan and all is that I have been running to a pace, or at least attempting to, which is something my lazy ass has never managed to do before with any consistency.  I'm even doing tempo runs for crying out loud!  Surprisingly, I am actually enjoying this, at least after the fact.  I usually just go out and run, just, whatever pace comes naturally, and on the road that's usually around 12 minutes, or slower even.  Plod plod plod.  Now I'm not laying down any blazing times or anything, but every run I do has some kind of goal pace that I try to stick to.  Reasonable paces that are just challenging enough but not unattainable (thanks, coach!).  This is where it takes some getting used to.  My last tempo (ha ha! me running tempos, hee hee!) run was supposed to be at 10:50, fine, then, run at 10:50, no big whoop, running running along then I look down a minute or so later and damn! I'm running 11:45 or something, I've just naturally slowed down without even knowing it.  I guess the more I run the better I'll get at keeping to a pace, an accurate one.  I've thought about setting Gary's alarm to beep at me if I drop below the prescribed pace, but then it would probably beep at me so much I'd disown it.  I'll just be working on consistency, thanks.

So I would have gotten my long run in yesterday, but halfway through I get a call from Tom asking me to join him and a friend for lunch.  Did I continue running, or go have a tasty Cobb salad?  What do YOU think?

The other interesting thing as of late?  I've been a little bored with yoga lately, and haven't managed a class in a week (or three).  Lots of social stuff, skiing, running, working and other things going on and I've just not been really interested enough to force myself to go, even though I always feel better after I have gone.  Yesterday, a friend brought me along to her CrossFit class and ooooh, I think I've found my new obsession.  Basically, a gym-type place where you come in for an hour class wherein they run you (and a few other folks) through a brisk warm-up, KILLER workout that changes every day, and a bit of a cool down.  The focus is on high-intensity weightlifting, cardio and bodyweight exercises.  There's a lot of personal attention, and modifications for jiggly middle-aged women like myself.  The people in the class are FIT, man, doing pull ups and handstands and all kinds of enviable shit.  Stay tuned, because I think I'm gonna swap yoga for this.  It's pricey, which is why something else has to give.  Unlike, say, a few years ago, I think I can handle this super-intense kind of thing, and am ready for more challenges.  This will provide, in spades!

So, omg, between yesterday's (albeit aborted) run and intense Crossfit class, and today's downhill ski rampage and the freaking blizzard going on outside (things have progressed since I began this post, snow is falling fast and furious, holy shit), any thought I might have had of running today has been shelved.  Honestly, I can barely walk down the stairs without pausing at each step.  My thighs are toast.

Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up with my schedule!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where it's at

Pretty much nowhere, actually.  I am in a big huge ol' puddle of "I suck!"  I just returned home from Marin, where I did not run one iota (what the fuck is wrong with me??), where I got all bitchy at my job, where  I got next to nothing accomplished due to . . . malaise? indifference? burnout?  Now I'm home, and things are looking up, as the house is clean, the bills are paid and the boyfriend is more awesome than ever.  I got my tax refund back, and it's substantial (for me), meaning another HUGE bill can be that much closer to being paid off, I can go on a little shopping spree (I haven't bought any new clothes in, literally, years), I can breathe a little easier.  Our carpets are being professionally cleaned as I write this, and happy flooring = happy house, yes?  Skiing with the Master's tomorrow (or friday, perhaps), fun ladies' night party on saturday, Great Ski Race on sunday, my ugly cold sore face (you've been spared, mercifully I didn't post any pics) is getting better and oooh! the new iPad comes out next weekend (I've been waiting for 6 months for the new one before I leapt in the fray with the purchase).  Plus I've got new followers here and new subscribers on Google Reader even though I haven't bothered posting regularly in, like, months, so some people are interested, at least.  I'm in a big physical funk for no real reason at all (except we're in the bowels of winter, there is that) and getting fatter by the second and I'm really looking forward to . . . looking forward, and to spring, and to getting off my fat ass and getting some physicality done.  Some yoga, some running, some skiing and some blogging.  I'm in a big rut and I Want Out!