Saturday, May 29, 2010

Final Long Run Before The Race!

Today was our last long run before the BIG race in 8 days! It's almost here! I alternate between jumping out of my seat in excitement and wanting to puke from anxiety!

We met at Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores with the purple and north teams (since the San Diego chapter has so many people training for Rock n' Roll, we break out into three teams- I'm on the green) to do six miles and discuss the race logistics afterwards. It was such a beautiful place to meet, right on the ocean although who ever decided this would be our last run before the race was a cruel person, ha ha ha! It was almost all hills, including some REALLY steep hills, so needless to say I was walking a fair amount of it. We went from the La Jolla Shores to just beyond the Children's Pond where the seals are. Did I say how much I love training here? I actually felt pretty great, although I played it safe and walked back from the aid station and kept my ankle wrapped up in an ace bandage for the run. If I could wrap myself up in bubble wrap until the race to keep myself from getting injured again I would!

On the walk back, I saw a couple in a pickup truck hanging out with their cockatoo. I asked if I could take his picture, and just then the bird walked over to me and landed on my arm, fluffed his feathers, bounced and said, "Happy bird! Happy bird!" What an amazing moment- the couple were so happy and so was I, and they took my picture while the bird said, "Pretty Bird!" Training for this with Team in Training has given me so many moments of grace and extreme beauty, not to mention happiness!

After the run, we were given the run down on the race and final information. Alisha, the LLS coordinator told us to practice our finish line photo (arms UP!) and whenever you're lagging during the race to practice it! Coach Ronnie told us that this week first and foremost we are an athlete and to take it easy on the booze (lesson learned from last week) and hydrate hydrate hydrate. No heels, wear athletic shoes if we can all week, take it easy at work, and don't wear new clothes, shoes, or eat anything new for the race.

We're meeting at 5:15 am (yes, you read that right) at the start by the UPS trucks. We were told to first wait in line at the port a pottie and then when we are done, go back in the line and THEN meet with the team. Spending $100 on Brooks items to use their VIP potties sounds awfully tempting right now! If we're going to take the shuttle from Qualcomm, we have to be there by 4:00 am. Major sucking up to my sister and husband for a ride to the race line begins NOW.

So far the San Diego team has raised over $700,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!!!

The view from my run/walk back from the aid station. Not bad!

Our awesome coach Ronnie telling us that we are meeting at 5:15 am at the starting line. Yay!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Twelve Days Till The Marathon!

And....I'm training by spinning! My left ankle is still a bit swollen and the top is also sore, some sort of overuse injury by doing the 12 mile run I'm sure- or 9 miles in beaten up trail shoes, take your pick. I was thinking of running on the treadmill but I don't want to take any chances since the race is so close. I'm soooo bummed that I can't run and I'm losing my training/ endurance/ chance for getting faster but such is life. Better to cross train and get my cardio in by doing the eliptical or spinning class.

I do have to say that I enjoy spinning. The instructor is this cute little thing that sweats her butt off and sporatically yells, "C'mon. You can do this!" "You got this- just one more minute." "Come on come on..." I think during the race I'll think of her voice saying, "you got this- you can do this!" There's something really nice about the group of us all biking at the same cadence, to the same music, collective consciousness. I also think the reason why spinning is easy(ish) to me versus running is because I am not pounding 150+ pounds on the road with a stationary bike...

Monday, May 24, 2010


The half marathon is just under two weeks! Yay! My ankle is still really bothering me! Boo!

A weird throbbing pain, just above my inside left ankle bone. Odds are it's my shin splints that have been haunting me all season. My left achilles heel problem has also been rearing it's ugly head, which stinks since I barely ran three miles on Saturday. So bizarre to have the run in less then two weeks and not do any running for fear of hurting myself further. I took the week off in between runs, which sucked for my cardio on Saturday, but didn't seem to help with re-injuring myself. I do think jumping from 6 miles to 9 miles then to 12 miles from one weekend to the next just did a number on me. I'm wondering if I just do spinning before the half marathon counts?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lesson Learned

Went to Vacation Isle for our long run today, only six miles (how funny to say "only 6") as a taper for our race in TWO WEEKS. There weren't as many people there- I think people are still pretty banged up from the long run last week, or they figured they could do the six miles on their own. Much easier to do six miles solo then 20! Everyone was also a bit more subdued too, tired. For myself, I'm ready for the race to get here and a bit tired from a long season.

I ran with my awesome running partner Sara, but I felt like CRAP! She had said she heard the first ten minutes are always the hardest because of your blood glucose level, and then after that your body goes into it's reserves...something like that. So I felt like crap the first ten minutes, then twenty minutes, then felt like I was going to puke for another mile. Finally I said it's just not my day and had Sara go on with the others as I walked to the aid station to get a powerbar and some citromax and walked back with another injured teammate. In the name of full disclosure I was still most likely hungover from Thursday night when I went out with my awesome Happy Hour Crew. Lesson learned, NO MORE WINE until AFTER race day. Wow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spirit Award

I forgot to mention, on April 3rd I got the Green Team's weekly Team in Training spirit award! It was because of my volunteering on the aid station when I was injured, the video I made for the Team, and blog...and I like to think overall enthusiasm for Team in Training. As a reward I got to wear this absolutely ridiculous and AWESOME hat which is covered in flair for a week and add my own bit of fabulousness- which was sewing on a little plush Shrek at the top.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Eye of the Tiger

We met at Crown Point this morning to do our longest run of the season before the big race, 12.1 miles for the half marathoners and 20 miles for the marathoners. HOLY MOLY! I was super nervous about doing it since my shin splints were acting up again after the last long run (no doubt due to wearing worn out trail running shoes) and twisting my ankle on Thursday, so I figured I would run a couple miles, walk back and suck it up until the next long run.

Since I'm a member of the "A" half marathon team (meaning, we're the slow group) we had a staggered start of 7:15 alongside the "C" marathon team (rockstars) versus the 6:15 start of the "A" full marathon team. There's a core group of about 6 other runners who I've been running with all season, sharing easy conversations and keeping each other distracted from the run. I particularly love running with Sarah, who I met on one of our first runs as a team- there's something really nice about finding someone who is your pace. Lately since I lost time due to injuries, she's gotten faster then me so I'm usually about 100 yards behind her. Today since we were both nursing minor problems we decided to stick together for as long as we could, and walk back if we felt anything act up.

The run started in Crown point, which is the southern (?) end of Mission Bay, along the Mission Bay boardwalk, into Pacific Beach and along the boardwalk and back. Sarah and I unofficially named the run "The Run to the Potty and Back" since we ran 6 miles to her house to use the bathroom which just so happened to be two blocks from the turnaround. It was a beautiful run- so many things to look at, between the ocean, the incredible houses along the boardwalk, the various dogs with their owners, the woman who jogged in a teeny sports bra and rolled down running shorts so we could see a little TOO much...eeek! I'm dying to go back for breakfast and more people watching.

I can't say that the run felt great- I felt crummy for about a third of it. Weird things started acting up- I was like, HELLO hips, hello right ankle, hello calves! Luckily we took some stretching breaks during our 5 minute run/ 1 minute walk intervals which helped. And I did get into a groove of the running where it was like a moving meditation, effortless. When I was training for the marathon back in 1999 that's what I loved the most- it would take me two hours to finally stop thinking about work and just get into the run.

By some act of God, Sarah and I FINISHED RUNNING 12.1 MILES! We were both absolutely shocked, thrilled and speaking for myself, slightly disoriented. We did the run in about 3 hours, talking the whole way. There's something to be said about running alongside someone for three hours- I think we're going to be friends for life : ). We talked about running the marathon together, which I would really, really love! It was great to see mentor Tina at the end, giving us a high five as we finished the run and joined the rest of the group. It was also amazing to see my other teammates come to the end after their 12 or 20 miles, elated and exhausted and so proud of themselves and each other!

The halfway point around Sarah's home in Pacific Beach- sooo beautiful!

The wooden rollercoaster in Mission Bay- personally, I think it looks like a death trap.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Injury Prevention, anyone?

I twisted my ankle AGAIN and therefore has been icing, wrapping and elevating it. No fun. It's amazing how something that happens within a split second can hurt for hours and days afterwards! : (

Have been taking it easy this week otherwise, I think I was out of my mind thinking I could go from 6 miles to 9 miles without some sort of repercussion. Mine were in the form of my left achilles heel acting up again, as well as my shin splints in my left leg. Oh, and the twisted and slightly swollen ankle is also on my left side- I am assuming it was weak already which made it so easy to get re-injured. So I didn't run at all this week, just walked and did some biking at the gym. Bummed out, wanted to do the Harbor run tonight with the group as the season's winding down, but I knew that I would just be asking for trouble if I did.

Tomorrow is the longest run before the half marathon, 12 miles. We'll see how my ankle looks before attempting it. Boo, hiss.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to the Gym

Since I did 9.2 miles yesterday (yeah, that's RIGHT!) my shins are barking- but only when I walk. It's a sharp pain that thankfully stops when I get off my feet. Time to ice up and do some RICE.

Went to the gym today and tried to get some use of the membership dues I've been paying- I'm lucky if I get in twice a month- and spent about a half hour on the bike. Was happily surprised that AOL radio that I downloaded on my Iphone had my favorite radio station on there, how bizarre? Radio Woodstock, 100.1 DST. It was so great to feel connected to my home so far away.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Coronado Run

I've got three weeks until the 1/2 marathon. Three weeks! Today was supposed to be a back down week and only 6 miles for the 1/2 marathon group, but since I've got to make up my miles and the longest I've really done is 6 miles, I decided to do the marathon training run and did- gasp- 9.2 miles. 9.2 very long miles, but along Coronado so I can't complain. We met at Tidelands Park at 7 am along with three other marathon training groups- I guess it's a popular place to meet!

I was doing 5 minute run, 1 minute walks, then met up with a group that was doing 6 minute miles, two minute walks and quite frankly I LOVE my recoveries so I joined them. I swiftly went to the rear (I know I'm getting faster, but so is everyone else!) and was joined by the sweeper, Tina, who helped me go for miles while chatting. I said I should be the sweeper (the appointed last runner who makes sure everyone's okay) on the runs from here on in since I'm so good at it! I felt like absolute garbage the first couple miles, but then my body went, oh, okay, I guess I can do it, and I just plugged through it.

After Tina went back with the half marathon group, my buddy Joe came on as the sweeper and joined me for the other part of the run. Did I mention how much I love running with other people? It just makes the miles fly by, and so much more pleasurable. At the aid stand just before the 9.2 mile turnaround, I was going to head back but I had everyone there cheer me on to get to the turnaround point, which was two rocks leaning towards each other like a butt. Imagine hearing six people yell, "Touch the butt! Touch the butt!!" Of course it was like a mirage and so much further then it looked, but it was awfully satisfying to touch the butt : )

The last three miles I was joined by the TNT mentor David, who is doing the Rock n' Roll marathon on a hand bike. I had never really talked to him before, just knew he was from Indiana and was very friendly, and whenever he goes by me in the handbike it makes me go faster. Turns out this is his twentieth race with Team in Training and has been part of the group since 1998. He had done numerous marathons and two ironman triathlons and in 2001 (?) he did the Alaska marathon with TNT, went hiking a few days later, fell, and crushed several vertibae in his spinal cord. He said he had done NYC the year before, and when he was in Alaska was supposed to do NYC so was able to transfer his entry to his nurse, and did the race the next year in his hand bike.

I can't even begin to tell you what an inspiration David is. He has a wonderful, cheerful outlook on life, and while we did the last three miles together he was telling me all about his races. He was also constantly checking on me- how are my feet, how are my made me want to cry (I did a little but hopefully I was able to hide it). I feel so blessed to have been able to spend that time with David.

Afterwards we went as a group to the Beach N' Diner on Orange Ave in Coronado for a celebratory breakfast! Here's Assistant Coach David having his post run meal of chicken n' waffles and a chocolate shake- ummm!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Running With the Dog

I was supposed to run five miles tonight, which I knew I wouldn't be able to because it was a long day at work- and honestly who can do five miles by themselves, with no ipod? My beloved Pandora is no longer working on my iphone, which is a tragic, tragic thing. I was heading off to the gym when Bailey, my sister's big, 90 pound lab, was bouncing off the ceiling and I realized he needed a run.

Granted, I had never run with Bailey. And he had never run with a person while attached to a harness. So it was a "learning experience". At first it was good- albeit hard to keep up with a dog that's naturally faster then I am, times ten. It was fun to run with him, not to mention I felt safe since he's almost as big as I am. I did 4 minute runs with 1 minute stops, which he really appreciated. Then he would stop abruptly while running to sniff other dog's pee, which is no good for my injury prone self. Then he took a large dump, (did I say what a large dog he was?) and I did the rest of the run while having dog poop wafting in my nose.

I think it was about 2 miles, walking for half of it when I saw Bailey foaming at the mouth. Nothing to write home about, but at least I was out there.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fanual Park, Mission Bay

Had a great 3 mile run tonight alongside Mission Bay with another Team in Training teammate, Holly. Great to have a training partner to run with who is patient and doesn't mind going slow with me. She's really nice and very smart- so much like my old high school friend Krista Wilson. So wild to spend time with someone who looks and acts so much like someone I was close with 20 years ago!

Glad to say the run went very well, did 5 minute run, 1 minute walks on the boardwalk along Mission Bay which was flat as a pancake.