Thursday, August 29, 2013

Is it lack of motivation or just giving the body a rest

The family at the Color in Motion Run at Qualcomm Stadium 

I haven't posted for a few days because I haven't really done much running this week.  Since my long run last Thursday I have only done 2 runs (not counting the Color Run Saturday morning which was more like a Color walk).  One run was Monday morning before school/work for 3 miles and then another on Tuesday at the gym for 3 miles.  The run on Tuesday was especially disappointing since it was my day off and usually I get in a long run on those days.  With Aiden in school now my day off is a designated day for me to take care of myself. 

I bought a new computer a couple of weeks ago.  I am now completely Apple in my house.  I have an iphone, ipad and now a Mac computer.  Tuesday when I was supposed to run I was playing on my Mac.  Not really playing but trying to get my music set up and my documents transferred.  2 hours on the computer went by in an instant and before I knew it was 11am and waaaay to late to run outside in this heat.  So off to the gym I went.  I have a membership at 24 hour fitness that I keep paying and hardly use.  It costs me $30 a month so that run on Tuesday was a $30 run because I probably won't go back for at least a month.  I love to run on beautiful trails like Torrey Pines or Lake Hodges and I strongly dislike running on a treadmill in a crowded gym with stinky people running next to me.  Well, most don't stink but this one guy got on next to me and he was pretty offensive.

My question, though, is on these weeks when I run lightly am I lacking motivation i.e. being lazy or is it a good natural break for my body?  I do stress out when I go more than 2 days without a run and I worry I will slack more and more if I don't get out there whenever I have the chance.  I know many serious runners (am I a serious runner??) run 5-6 times per week.  I find I get resentful of the run if I do more than 4 a week.  I feel like it is work then.  But I do want to improve and when the time comes to really step it up for the Marathon, which I am thinking will be about 6 months prior to the race, I will probably have to run more often.  Will I be able to do this? 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What makes a good running partner?

 Icing my knee

As I write this I am icing my right knee.  I ran 10 miles this morning at Penasquitos Preserve.   My knee didn't hurt during the run but after and throughout the day it has been aching.  So I am icing it for the second time today. I think it may hurt more than usual because as I ran longer in this hideous heat my running form started to suffer. The 10 was hard as usual but the fringgin heat just about killed me.  I had to stop twice and walk up the hills and the last 2 miles I had to chant to myself " you can do it", " almost there" " just a little bit more" etc.  But I made it.  I think, though, I will wait until it cools down before I attempt more than 7 or 8 miles again.  

Self portrait at the 5 mile mark in Penasquitos, before the pain began

What makes a great running partner?  Well, let me tell you. First of all when they make plans to run with you they always show up.  Unless something huge comes up, they arrive.  They would never not show up just because they were tired or  didn't feel up to it.  This way you have to do the same.  And you can't skip a run when they don't show up because they always do.  Remember they are a great running partner.   Next, they run about the same speed as you.  Sometimes a bit faster which challenges you and sometimes a bit slower which makes you feel like you're an awesome runner.   But overall you're evenly matched.   And I like a talker.  I love a run that goes by quickly because I am happy listening to my partner.  However, I can't talk too much.  Some but not a lot, especially on hills and very long runs.  And it is especially nice when the talker is someone you like a lot.   

My water belt posing at a stream crossing in Penasquitos Preserve

Yesterday I ran at Torrey Pines with a pediatrician friend from work. She is all of the above in a running partner. Along with the fact that we, of course, have a lot in common.  And she may want to do a race with me too.. Icing on the cake.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Silver Strand Runs

Kelly and I relaxing

I ran 3 out of the 4 days of our camping trip at Silver Strand, Coronado beach.  The first morning I did the 8 mile run which was smart because I felt just a little less inclined to run as the days went by.  The relaxation of the beach life was happily getting to me.  I rested on day 2 and then ran Saturday and Sunday mornings, 5 miles and 4 miles respectively.  On Saturday I ran with a friend, Shayna.  She has two young kids: an almost 3 year old and and almost one year old.  They came with us in the double stroller.  This worked well the first 2.5 miles but then the older one started to complain (though she was pretty easy to placate) and then the baby started crying and basically continued until we finished.  It wasn't a big deal. As the kids cried Shayna sped up and so I sped up and we ran the second half of the run a full minute per mile faster than the start.  God bless her with two little kids.  I am so glad to have a 9 year old that easily entertains himself much of the time. 

Shayna, my running partner and her son and her sweet dog, Pearl

I ate way too much on vacation like usual.  The problem (or not) with camping and RVing is the most social time is usually happy hour and that entails drinks and appetizers.  It's those appetizers that get me.  It's not a huge deal to eat more on vacation but I tend to get stomach aches easily and this was no exception.  Though it wasn't as bad as in Hawaii when I went crazy with food the first few days and ended up in agony with cramps and vomiting all day on the 4th of July.  Not my favorite way to spend our Independence Day or any day for that matter.  Anyway, this time I just ended up waking up at 4 am with a stomach ache and then feeling a bit off all weekend.   I want to be able to have the carrot cake and ice cream when the desires strikes without paying for it later.  But more than that I want to eat vegan and healthy the vast majority of the time. But, it seems like the more I do that the less able my body tolerates the times I don't. So, should I eat worse more often so I can tolerate it when I splurge or just finally learn to not splurge? 

 Aiden learning to surf

I didn't do enough strength building this week.  I will make sure to do it next week. 
Finished Run: Aug 17, 2013, 8:59:26 AM
Route: New Route
Run Link:
Import Link:
Run Time: 51:33
Stopped Time: 1:00
Distance: 5.10 miles
Average: 10:06/mile
Fastest Pace: 8:32/mile
Ascent: 98 feet
Calories: 520

Finished Run: Aug 18, 2013, 8:52:27 AM
Route: Silver Strand North
Run Link:
Import Link:
Run Time: 41:50
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 4.05 miles
Average: 10:20/mile
Fastest Pace:8:44/mile
Ahead of Best Run: 50:04
Ascent: 190 feet
Calories: 426

Friday, August 16, 2013

Camping and running at the beach

Each August a group of families from the neighborhood camp at Silver Strand in our RVs for a few days. There are 4 families with boys going into 4th grade so Aiden has a blast playing nonstop from when he gets up to when he falls asleep late at night.  Meanwhile as he plays so do the adults.  It's a great vacation when you don't have to spend time or money to entertain your kids. Plus for $40 bucks a night we have beachfront property.  Reading a book on the beach all day long constitutes a perfect way to relax.  I'm reading Steve Martin's autobiography.  As you can imagine it is pretty funny.  At one point he was struggling so hard to make it that he was performing at a drive in theatre in the afternoon before the movies started and if the customers thought he was funny they would honk.

Aiden at our turning around point

As for running this week; I worked 24 hours on Monday so that day was out.  As was Tuesday since I was tired. And I don't know what my excuse was for Wednesday but yesterday was an excellent run here in Coronado.  Aiden rode his bike along side of me as I ran the strand from the camp to the Hotel del Coronado and back. It totaled 8 miles and I felt great the entire time. I ran about an 11 minute pace which is so much more comfortable than 10:30. I looked at my splits from the other day at Miramar when I tanked and saw that I ran super fast (for me) the first few miles (in the 9's) which I think hurt me later.  That was a good lesson.

I love being on vacation and I love running on vacation.  It breaks up the monotony of life and of running.

Finished Run: Aug 15, 2013, 9:36:51 AM
Route: Silver Strand
Run Link:
Import Link:
Run Time: 1:31:55
Stopped Time: 4:05
Distance: 8.32 miles
Average: 11:02 /mile
Fastest Pace: 7:52 /mile
Behind Best Run: 57:55
Ascent: 217 feet
Calories: 862

Saturday, August 10, 2013

If 10 is hard what will 26.2 be like?

Me before the run

Yesterday I ran the 10 miles like I had planned.  But I hadn't planned on it being so HARD.  Can I really run 26.2 miles?  That is 2.6 times longer than yesterday's run and I was struggling by the end.  The good news: my legs felt strong, my knees were fine, and I have recovered physically quickly, feeling great today.  The bad new: running just a little faster than normal for my long runs killed me. Wait, I just looked up my running log and reviewed a run from January 2013, not that long ago.  I did a 10 mile run that day and my average was 11:19 min/mi  and yesterday was 10:38 min/mi.  That is a big improvement!   So I guess I shouldn't feel too bad that I almost collapsed at the end.

 Lake Miramar

We had a yummy vegan dinner with some friends last night but we did go off our cleanse a bit to enjoy some wine.  And then I woke up in the middle of the night with a hot flash.  Pretty much whenever I drink I sleep like crap.  It is so hard to give up alcohol though.  I know I would sleep better and it definitely has extra calories.  I think the key is to limit to only one glass.  But when you are hanging with friends that can be difficult and also kind of boring.  Still trying to figure this one out.

 Me after the run
Finished Run: Aug 9, 2013, 11:31:11 AM
Route: New Route
Run Link:
Import Link:
Run Time: 1:47:29
Stopped Time: 11:38
Distance: 10.11 miles
Average: 10:38 /mile
Fastest Pace: 6:26 /mile
Ascent: 262 feet
Calories: 1056

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What does a runner look like?

A few months back at a meeting with all the doctors at Kaiser San Diego the Physician of the Year was announced.  (spoiler alert it wasn't me)  The presenter of the award spoke of this doctor's many achievements including third world travel to do surgery.  And then he continued on speaking about her athletic accomplishments. She had run a marathon and also recently completed an Ironman Triathlon.  As the presenter spoke about her she was still sitting out in the crowd and I didn't know who she was.  In my mind I imagined her though.  She was tall and lean and had really long legs.  She, in my mind, looked nothing like me.  But then she came up to accept the award and she was shorter then me and not particularly skinny (although I am sure she has a lot of muscle and very little fat) and her legs were just a regular length.  It was inspiring.  I thought if she can do it so can I.  So, we'll see.

We started week 2 of our cleanse today.  We get to add back fish, beans and tofu to our diet of veggies, fruit, nuts, oils and spices. Kelly made the best dinner tonight.  Here are two pictures of it. Above is my vegan version with tofu.  The tofu was marinated and was delicious.  Below is his Salmon version which I am sure was excellent too.  I am so lucky to be married to a wonderful cook.  He even cleaned up tonight!!

Here is the recipe from Whole Living Cleanse 2012 Week 2 Dinner


  • 1 navel orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 (4-ounce) fillets wild salmon
  • 3 heads bok choy, halved
  • Olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a medium bowl, combine orange segments, avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Season salmon and bok choy with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Grill salmon, flipping halfway through, until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill bok choy until bright green and slightly wilted, about 1 minute per side. Spoon avocado salsa over fish to serve.

    For the Tofu he pressed it first and then marinated it for a couple hours in Rice Wine Vinegar, garlic, Braggs Aminos, Toasted Sesame Oil, Asian Chili Sauce, Salt and Agave.  And then grilled in a pan and served with the above avocado salsa.

    I did get a run in this morning, by the way.  I ran about 2.5 miles in the hood before work.  I didn't run far but I ran up a very steep hill twice.   I need to get a long run in this weekend.  I am planning on doing Lake Miramar twice which will be 10 miles.  I am hoping to run a pace of 10 minute 30 seconds which would beat by just a few minutes my PR for my half at the Silver Strand which was 2 hours 19 minutes.  I would love to get under the 10 minute mile for long distance some day.  I am hoping that the strides, hills and strengthening exercises along with running more mileage will get me there along with getting me to the marathon down the road.  I am off work tomorrow so the weekend has started.  If only I could have a glass of wine.  That is week 4...


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The boy home alone

Aiden learning how to do a back dive

I ran early this morning.  Kelly had left to visit friends in Pasadena and tinker with motorcycles.  I had the day off from work so it was just me and Aiden today.  I left a note where he would see it saying "gone running, be home soon" with his cell phone I bought just for this purpose.  He is 9 years old and I am only comfortable leaving him home alone for a short time.  I warned him the night before I would be out running in the morning and hopefully be back before he even woke up.  I locked all the doors, reassured myself the dog  and the million warnings of "do not open the door" would protect him and rushed off for a short run.  Do you think it is okay to leave a 9 year old home for 30-45 minutes?  I have my cell phone with me at all times and we have practiced having him call me.  But I am still nervous.  Of course, not nervous enough to prevent me from running.  

Last night when I went to sleep my right knee was aching a bit.  I am super nervous about this because I injured it after my first half marathon from an over use injury and I had to take off 6 weeks from running and start back super slowly.  I had physical therapy and doctor visits.  Eventually with rest and exercises it got better but I really don't want it to happen again.  In fact, my right knee feels like my biggest impediment to fulfilling my goal of completing a full marathon.  I think though it might have just been aching from doing some squats I did yesterday.  It felt great on my run this morning.  I ran 3 miles around the neighborhood and then did 4 sets of 30 second strides at the park on the grass.  And when I got home,after vacuuming a ton of dog hair from the carpet and furniture, I also did my core exercise routine.  Next was Aiden's diving class and then piano and shopping etc etc.  My days off are never really "off".  Now at 7pm I finally think I can sit down and relax.  No wine though as Kelly and I are still on our cleanse.  I'll let you know more how that is going soon.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Haircut Photo (scroll to see)

Lake Hodges, Escondido, CA

I worked a 24 hour shift at Palomar Hospital yesterday.  I delivered 2 babies and did one circumcision.  Not a lot of work for 24 hours so I also watched the last 3 or 4 episodes of Orange is the New Black and the movie I AM.   They were both excellent viewing.  Orange is crazy messed up and blows you away. (I'm using messed up instead of the other word that really works better for this show but trying to keep this PG).  Many scenes in that show have stayed with me as I relive them in my head.  Watch it if you like intensity.  On the other side of the universe from prison is the movie I AM.  It covers philosophy, science, social issues all in a moving entertaining way.  Desmond Tutu and Howard Zinn and others are interviewed.  Watch it, it's good.  

But anyway, this is a blog about running so back to Lake Hodges.  I was supposed to leave work at 8:00am this morning but a last minute semi emergency found me in the operating room at 7:45. Why does that always happen??  So I left the hospital a bit after 9 and wasn't on the trail until 9:30.  It was still foggy which was heavenly but unfortunately that only lasted until around mile 2 when the sun came out and it got warm.  A bit of a cool breeze though kept it from being too hot and it was a very nice 5 plus mile run.  My right knee was hurting just a little which scares the bejeesuz out of me because I so don't want to slow down or stop running. 

Two observations from my run:  1) to the guy with no shirt (he was wearing it on his head, I told you it was getting warm out there), very lean body, and belt with multiple water bottles: Your furry dog that was practically being dragged by the leash doesn't want to run miles in the sun.  Take him to the dog park instead of the trail.  2) Lake Hodges isn't going to be much of a lake if we don't get some rain soon.  See picture below: (last year all that green was covered with water)

 One last thing.  Here is a picture of me with my new haircut.  It is a self photo and I only took about 20 (and erased 19) before this one was chosen as decent.  I am actually liking the haircut.  It is so nice to have shorter hair.  Feels freeing.  And here in suburbia, mommy land, short hair feels a little unique and daring.  Though my stepdaughter did ask "Don't old ladies get their hair cut short?"  Perhaps but maybe they are on to something.  
Have a great week.   
Today's run:
 Finished Run: Aug 4, 2013, 10:31:36 AM
Route: New Route
Run Link:
Import Link:
Run Time: 1:03:25
Stopped Time: 1:38
Distance: 5.73 miles
Average: 11:04 /mile
Fastest Pace: 9:31 /mile
Ascent: 361 feet
Calories: 611

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 1 of the Cleanse

 photo from my first half Marathon March 2012

It is the evening of day 1 of our cleanse.  I feel okay but Kelly has a headache.  We'll see how tomorrow is.  We had a smoothie for breakfast, avocado with a bell pepper tomato relish for lunch, fruit for snacks and a sweet potato stew for dinner.  Perfect day for me.

I ran 4 miles before work this morning.  I like seeing people I know when I run.  I wave and it feels nice to live in a friendly neighborhood.  After my run I did my ITB (iliotibial band) exercise routine.  I got this from Jason Fitzgerald's website Strength Running where I got my core routine also.  It is to strengthen my hips and buttocks in order to support my knees better.  This is to avoid my past season ruining injury in my right knee.

It was a crazy busy day and I am off to bed now to watch one more episode of  Orange is the New Black. If you haven't watched it you should.  It is an interesting drama about a woman like me or my friends who ends up in jail for 15 months and what that is like.  It's a Netflix series.

In September we are doing a 5K for a great neighborhood cause. Check it out and join us.

Sienna's PlayGarden 5K Run/Walk

De Anza Cove, Mission Bay

Sunday, September 8, 2013 @ 9:00 AM