Monday, March 3, 2014

Lesson Learned

Coronado Valentines 10K
I've been on a lot of runs since I wrote last.  No big surprise there.  Running gives me many things.  Not only does it give me good health and a more peaceful mind but it teaches me valuable lessons.  One of those is how to face setbacks and how to persevere and overcome them.  This is a huge lesson for all areas of one's life but is clearly exemplified for me in my running journey.

Our getaway to Coronado, feeling no setbacks here.

For instance,  a few weeks prior to my last half marathon in January I bought new shoes.  They were Mizunas which a person I admire on a running blog wears with good success.  But that isn't why I bought them though it probably played a bit of a role in it.  My previous shoes, Asics, were great in all ways except in long runs I got a blister on two of my toes.  Everything else felt fine with them, my knees, my feet etc.  But blisters kind of suck so I decided to try new shoes.  The guy at Road Runner Sports suggested the Mizunas and they felt good so I gave them a try.  At first I loved them and I think I posted about how excited I was to finally find the "perfect" shoe.  I even went on Amazon and ordered a second pair so I could have them when these wore out.  I ran the 13.1 mile race and felt great in them.  But... a few days after the race I developed plantar fasciitis.  My heals hurt a lot. So I did what we all do now when something is wrong I scoured the internet and read lots of articles about PF.  And I did what they suggested.  I iced my feet, I stretched my calves, I rolled my feet, I backed off a little on running.  And I even bought this ridiculous contraption called a Strassbourg sock.  You wear it to sleep at night and it keeps your foot flexed so the plantar fascia doesn't get tight and hurt when you wake up in the night or morning.  I did all these things and my feet were getting somewhat better.  I also read that the problem might be your shoes.  I went back to my old shoes that gave me blisters on long runs and lo and behold my feet felt much better.  So, I took my new shoes back to Road Runner sports and traded them in for my Asics.  And I bought new socks and inserts to help with the blisters.
Aiden and I in San Francisco

This was a lot of writing to exemplify the power running makes me feel.  It makes me feel strong to overcome a problem.  When I first started running and I had challenges to face I got scared and depressed.  I remember when my knee hurt.  I was so thrown by that and scared it meant I would never run again.  But experience has taught me that if you really want to do something you can do it.  Figure out what the problem is, learn as much as you can about it, do what needs to be done and most of the time things will get better. Granted this example is a small problem and some problems we face are huge but I think this may apply to those also.
Today at Lake Miramar

When I first started running about 3 or 4 years ago I would go to Lake Miramar and run to the 1 mile marker and turn around and run back.  Sometimes if I was tired I would just go to the 1/2 mile marker and run back.  But usually it was the 1 mile marker.  Today I ran around the whole lake and then to the 1 mile marker and back totaling 7 miles.  And it wasn't hard.  It wasn't easy either.  In fact, it is never "easy".  You keep doing it and you get better.  It is almost impossible not to.  And that makes you feel powerful too.

If you get lost, hug a tree!

During my recent runs I have started to listen to podcasts.  If you do anything that gives you the time to listen to the radio check out pod casts.   My favorite is Rich Roll.  He is an ultra runner vegan but he doesn't just talk about that.  He interviews all sorts of interesting people that are doing amazing things with their lives that excite and challenge the listener to grow.  Another excellent podcast is The TED hour on NPR.  They present four 15 minute segments of TED talks that relate to each other in some manner.  The talks are inspiring and moving.  You won't regret tuning in.
I am trying to eat a huge salad for lunch everyday. It feels good!

Keep on eating those veggies people.  My new advice I give to my patients is eat so many vegetables you won't have the space for anything else.
Hiking in Muir Woods

Recently I heard the two most important things to give your children are LOVE and EXPERIENCE.  I like that a lot.  What do you think the 2 most important things you give to your children?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feet and Vegan Blues and Waterfall Bliss

Penasquitos Waterfall
More PQ preserve
I spend a lot of time thinking about running.  In fact, I may think about it almost as much as I actually do it.  I plan my next run.  I plan my next race.  I plot out for weeks in advance what days I will run and what kind of runs I will do on those days.  I spend hours reading about running.  I nurse injuries. I read blogs about running.  If I didn't have running in my life I would have a lot of free time.  Of course, I would then fill it up with something else to obsess about.  Gardening anyone? 

Max, just because he is so darn cute
I also focus a lot of time and effort on veganism and health in general.  I think about everything I eat and really try to live by the mantra, you are what you eat.  I'm not perfect in my diet and I know by my readings that there are a lot of people who eat better than I.  For instance, people who only eat raw fruits and veggies.  In fact, I just ate a handful of pretzels.  I would find it hard to never eat processed food.  I like tortillas!  However, I find it easy to skip the truly crappy food.  McDonalds or Burger King have not seen the light of my eyes in over 20 years.  But then again, a diet Pepsi on a rare occasion can really hit the spot.  And I know it is horrible for you.  But once again I ain't perfect.

Super bowl day was hard for me though.  Not just because it was a horrible game.  Who cares about that anyway?  And yes, the halftime show was good.  It was hard because of the food served.  And it was at my house!  We had a lot of chicken.  Chicken wings.  Not even organic or cage free because I couldn't find any.  And that depressed me.  I hate to complain because really my life is awesome and there are people with such larger problems.  But, it is hard being a vegan.  It is hard being in the minority.  I just wish everyone was a vegan.  The world would be such a better place.  For me, for the animals, for the environment, for every one's health.  Oh well.  I can dream.
Love this thing

Back to running.  So as I mentioned in my last post I am now seriously contemplating and planning on a marathon in the next year.  After such a great experience at the Carlsbad Half Marathon I decided I was ready to go for the full in May.  However, since then a few things have come up.  One,  I poured over the details of different races in May and June and could not come up with one that fit the bill for what I want.  The things important to me are crowd support, no super big hills, no heat, and nice terrain/views.  Second, a few little nagging injuries are coming up making me think I need to stick to my original plan of the full Marathon in 2015 right after I turn 50 (!).  The physical issue I am dealing most with right now is a mild case of plantar fasciitis.  My heels hurt, especially at night.  So, I am doing a number of things to help with this like icing the bottom of my feet (not very fun when the house is already 60 or so degrees), rolling my feet and stretching my calves.  The one thing that would really cure my feet I am not doing and that would be to take a week or two off from running.  But that is too painful.  I have cut back a little on the length of my runs and also have avoided hard surfaces more consistently.  So, with this new foot issue and not finding the ideal race I have decided that I will spend the next 11 1/2 months really getting in the best possible physical shape so hopefully that 26 miles next January at the Carlsbad Full Marathon will be the best it can be for my first marathon experience.
My new medal hanger in my office

There are other things that I want to write about.  I have been thinking about body self image issues and how we are all hurt so much by our negative thoughts.   I have been reading and listening to pod casts about nutrition, specifically the book Eat to Live.  A colleague at work lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks after reading Eat to Live.  He was telling me how great he feels being mostly vegetarian. (He was raised on a farm in middle America so this is a big switch for him).  And I want to answer the question a friend posed to me in a letter, "What does running do for you that you like it so much?"  But this post has gone on long enough so I will save these topics for later.  One last thing though.  A few days ago I went for a run right after it had rained all night.  I ran out on the Penasquitos Preserve trail.  The air was clean and crisp after the rain.  The stream was flowing way more than normal and the "falls" were big for Southern California anyway.  I was one of only a few runners out there.  I felt such bliss to be alive and to have the opportunity to experience these moments.  When I finished the run a woman was getting ready to take her bike out for a ride on the same trail.  She asked how it was and I told her how great it was.  I felt my positive energy flow to her too.  It was sweet, that's all.  Maybe I just answered that question from my friend though of course there is still more to say.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Carlsbad Half and oh yeah I turned 49

The Carlsbad Half Marathon was my best yet.  It was amazing because everything down to the last detail went perfectly.  Pre run: a decent night sleep, a 5am wake up call with a banana and date smoothie and a half a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, evacuated the bowels (tmi but super important on a race day), carpooled with a good friend and left on time and arrived with a a perfect amount of time to wait, not too much not too little, quick line at the outhouses, weather a bit chilly but not freezing.  So far so good.  The race: It was full, thousands of people but didn't feel too crowded.  It started on time.  I felt good.  The whole entire time.  My newish shoes felt good.  My newly purchased spibelt to hold my phone and gels felt good.  My watch Kelly gave me for Christmas paced me perfectly.  My nutrition ( Vega pre run 8oz drink 20 minutes before and Vega gel at mile 6 and mile 11) didn't cause any nausea and gave me energy.  My support team of Kelly and Aiden cheered me on at mile 4 and 10 which I loved.  I ran harder the second half than the first.  And I finished strong.  I beat my Personal Record by 4 minutes.  Post race: Met up with my friends, sampled drinks and food at the expo, and then had my traditional veggie burger at the Habit (or Burger Lounge).  Nothing really hurt just a bit of soreness.  It was awesome!  

I feel so happy that my training has made me improve.  It is only a 4 minute improvement but I also feel strong and have no injuries.  So....  now for the big one?  I am nervous.  Should I just keep doing half marathons?  I enjoyed it!   I don't think a full will be enjoyable.  In fact it will probably be grueling and the risk of injury is much higher.  But still...  It pulls at me.  I feel the urge, the tug to go for it.  Perhaps I should wait until next year like I had originally planned, when I turn 50.  Two momentous events at once.  Ugghh.  I don't know.  I want to go for it and I don't want to. But,  I think I have to at some point or I will feel a sense of regret.  A missed chance.

One small thing I am super happy about are my new running shoes.  Running shoes are pretty key to running as you can imagine.  And I love my new ones.  They are Mizuno Wave Riders.  I have never had Mizunos before but they felt great.  They gave me support for my feet, knees, hips etc and no blisters despite that this was only my 4th run in these shoes and first long run.  So happy.

I haven't posted since my birthday.  A surprising theme came up during my birthday and guess what it was?  Running!   Kelly gave me a roller device to massage my feet which I have been using all morning today.  He also gave me compression socks for my calves (which I haven't tried yet as I didn't want to do anything new on the run) and most amazingly some sandals called Oofos.  Now these sandals are not exactly beautiful but they are the most comfortable things my feet have ever touched.  They are "therapeutic" for after running but I may never wear anything else.  They felt so good yesterday after the run.  My number one fan brought them for me to wear right after.  

For my birthday last weekend Kelly and I went to the Westin Hotel in San Diego using a voucher we bought at the Rolling Hills Foundation auction last year.  It was so nice to get away with just my hubby.  And on the morning of my birthday I got in a fun run along the harbor in San Diego.  It was almost 5 miles and a beautiful morning along the bay.  It was such a great way to start my last year in the 40's.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bittersweet Holiday Season

 The holidays were bittersweet this year for me and our family.  It was the first season with out my Dad and the anniversary of losing my brother in law Frank.  My dad used to give us one special present when we were young and it was often shoes wrapped in brown packaging paper.  I always thought my Dad did the wrapping but recently found it out it was probably his secretary at work.  I liked that present, though.  It was special because it was from him.  Not that I didn't love everything else (shopping, wrapping, cooking etc) that my Mom did, of course.  It is that way in my immediate family now.  Is it in yours?
Thanksgiving with the Lynd Pugh Family

My brother Steve and his grandchildren 

The bitter was the absence of my Dad and Frank.  The sweetness was spending time with family and friends.  Kelly, Aiden, my Mom and I went to Yosemite for a few days before Thanksgiving and then spent the holiday with my brother Steve and his wife Dayna and her family.  It was different but nice to be a part of another family's traditions.  And Christmas eve brought us to my church, Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  We have a new minister and I enjoyed her homily that night.  The morning was the same as usual with gifts and breakfast, again we missed my Dad.  And dinner seemed more relaxed than ever before with a nice meal at my Mom's.

After Christmas we went to the desert for four nights with some good friends.  We had a lot of fun hiking, biking, shooting bb guns, launching rockets and more.  One special celebration we did was let off paper lanterns that were like mini hot air balloons.  We lit and sent off one each hour starting at 9pm and all made wishes for the new year.

AND another great thing about vacation was I ran a lot!!  I ran in Yosemite. I ran in the neighborhood. I ran in the rain.  I ran in the desert.  Uphill and downhill and around a lake.  Okay now I am sounding like Dr Seuss.  But really,  my running has been going great.  I am feeling strong and determined.  I haven't had any injuries and have been slowly increasing my mileage.  I have been pretty much faithfully following a plan that includes interval runs, tempo runs, core work outs (though I still need to do that more often), easy runs and long runs.  Friday I will run 10 miles with Alisa in PQ preserves.  Then I will do a few more short ones and on January 19th I have my 5th Half Marathon.  If that goes well then I am signing up for the real deal on May 4th.  I am super excited and scared to tackle this endeavor.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Self talk and Marathon Plans

X-training on the bike

My training has been going great lately. I downloaded a training program I purchased from the No Meat Athlete website. It has me doing tempo runs and intervals along with easy runs and slow long runs.  Mixing it up a bit has helped with the boredom issue. I think it is also helping with strength.  Tomorrow morning I plan to get up before work and go do an interval session at the park down the street.  It only takes 30 minutes which is sweet to be done so quickly. I do 5 minutes of an easy warmup run then do 1 minute as fast as I reasonably can then 2 minutes slow jog and repeat a total of 6 times followed by a 5 minute cool down.  My legs have been a little sore from this workout which is good.

Our friend Rick taking a jump

I'm about 90% sure I am going to sign up for the marathon in the redwoods up by Eureka CA.  I think I am ready to up the mileage and training. My pediatrician friend, Alisa, is going to do some of the long runs with me. She had surgery on her leg for an ileo tibial band injury not too long ago so isn't ready to do the full marathon yet but she is ready to do some training runs. I love running with her. She is fun to talk to and the miles fly by. We ran 8 on Saturday morning at PQ preserve and it felt easy as pie.  My body was a little sore after but mostly I felt great.

Sunday I cross trained on the bike.  Well, really we just did a family bike ride at PQ preserves also.  We rode 3 miles to the waterfall and back.  Kelly got a nice new mountain bike which I hope he uses a lot. His knees hurt so he doesn't like to run but hopefully the bike will work well for him.
My Man

I really love to run. I was thinking about it the other day and wondering why this is so. Why do I love to run mile after mile.  There are a lot of reasons but one that I think is big is the fact that to do it at all you have to believe in yourself .  You can't run 5 miles or even one mile if first you don't believe that you can. And then while you are doing it you have to be nice to yourself and say things like, "you can do this" and " keep on going you've got this".  It's nearly impossible to run and tell yourself negative words. And this may be true in other activities as well but for me it is very apparent in running.  

Christmas traditions are awesome!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Yosemite, motivation and the ever present nagging of injury

A dog ran out from this run down house along the road and scared the heck out of me

Thanksgiving week seems like a long time ago now even though it has only been one week back to work.  The week off was great for running, nice for family time and over too fast.  I ran fairly often on vacation.  Taking a run in a new place is always exciting and I have no problem motivating myself to run in these situations.  It is a day like today, Saturday, no one home, lightly raining and cold outside that I find it hard to get out there.  Plus I am so bored with the runs in my own neighborhood.  While on vacation I ran along a small back road just out side of Yosemite, on a trail in the trees up and down hills and then long distance on a flat highway in Hollister near my brother's house.  They were all new and had a lot of scenery and it felt good.  

The very steep hike to Vernal Falls

Since I got home last Sunday I have only run once.  I ran around Lake Miramar for perhaps the millionth time.  How does one get over the boredom factor?  I have seen articles in Running World and on running blogs about this very subject.  They mention running with friends, which does help, but that takes planning and scheduling.  They also mention new trails or locations.  I should try that some more.  Another thing mentioned is listening to podcasts.  That actually might help a bit.  On our long drive in the motor home up to Yosemite I listened to quite a few podcasts on iTunes.  Mostly about running.  No Meat Athlete and Rich Roll have good ones.  They talk about veganism and running and health and other areas that interest me.  I like them too because the guys who do the podcasts seem like nice people.  
A farm along Highway 25 on my 8 mile run

Running my last half marathon and running on vacation really inspired me to get ready for the full marathon.  My only concern, though, is the recurrent orthopedic issues I have.  I'm worried my body might not be ready for the training.  I just have these nagging issues like mild pain in my right knee.  It isn't bad but it bothers me a little when I run more than usual.  And then the groin pain on my left.  This is what I ran on vacation: Sunday-4mi, Tuesday 4 mi, Thursday 8mi, Saturday 3 mi and then back home on Monday 5 miles.  Tuesday night I had to take Motrin to sleep because deep in my groin back to my hip and butt it ached.  It wasn't severe, more like when you are a kid and you get growing pains.  It wasn't aching muscles, that is a good feeling.  More like a ligament/bone/joint ache.  I felt fine the next day.  I just worry that if I step up my mileage one of these issues will really manifest itself.  But I can't run longer with out running longer!   I have a half marathon scheduled on January 19 at Carlsbad.  I think I will see how that goes and decide from there.  
A double selfie on our hike at Pinnacles National Park

I still need to figure out how to incorporate strength training in to my routine.  I have a 15 minute workout doing 2 sets of different exercises to strengthen the core that I like.  I decided on December First that I would do these exercises every day until my half marathon to try to make it a habit.  I lasted 3 days!  Then I had a really long day at work with an overnight shift and I quit.  So now what?  I guess I will start again and see if it can stick?  Any suggestions?  I am also going to try to vary my runs with intervals and tempo runs which hopefully will help with strength too and also maybe with the aforementioned boredom issue.  Well, I've written long enough and now I have to convince myself to get out there and run today!   I can do it, yes I can.  Uggghh.  We'll see.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marathon Plans

My New Piano

I've been thinking a lot about the marathon lately.  Even though the half was hard I feel even more inspired to pursue the full marathon.  In fact, I am wanting to start training for it soon and not wait until 2015.  So, I have been looking at the different options.  One that interests me is the Avenue of Giants Marathon in the Redwoods up by Eureka California.  It is absolutely beautiful there.  The only issue is it doesn't have a lot of spectators and not a lot of different sights except for the amazing trees.  There are a lot of reviews of the race online.  Some absolutely love it and others mention the lack of people and some poor organization.  It is in May which I like as this gives me time to prepare but also the chance to get started on the training soon.  Also if I get it done in May I can relax over the summer.  Plus I was thinking of being a little more involved at Church next year (I'd like to be a worship associate-the one who leads service) and this would give me more time.  If I wait to do the race next winter than the fall is shot as far as taking on any more activities.  

We are getting solar power put on our roof!

But... I really like spectators.  Their cheering helps keep me running and I think with 26.2 miles I am really going to need it.  Ok, so there is the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon on June 2nd.  Good spectators, sights, music, support services.  But a lot of the reviews mention a nasty hill at mile 21!  Omg, that doesn't sound good.  Chicago marathon is in October, it is supposed to be great, especially for first timers,  but that is pretty far and expensive.  Marine Corps marathon is also in October in Washington DC.  Pretty cool.  But again, there is the expense and I would still have to wait until October.  And waiting until then would wipe out any significant travel in the summer or fall unless it is to the race itself.  I was sort of considering going to Europe with the family in the fall too.  


Well, the Avenue of the Giants is starting to look better.  Plus there is this amazing sounding eco-vegan-resort in Mendocino that we could go to after.  And if we did that perhaps it would just be Kelly and me which would be nice.  On the other hand I love having the whole family there to support my run. But then the resort would be kind of expensive for a family of 4. (or 3 if Kaylie has school which she might and Aiden would too of course.)  Oh my.  I just can't figure this one out.  I guess I will give it some more time and see what unfolds.