Sunday, December 28, 2014

San Diego Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap

Today I ran another half marathon. It was fun in that it started at the Albertsons just down the street.  The not so fun part was that it was 39 degrees outside when it started.  But actually that wasn't as bad as it seemed it would be.  My coach had me run a 20 minute warm up prior to the race so I ran straight out of my house and the running warmed me up quickly.  I ran twice around the park near my house and then down the street to the start of the race.  Once I got to the race I saw that the line for the bag check was super long so Kelly, nicely, drove down to pick up my bag.  Then there was the wait for the bathroom.  It was, as usual, quite long.  The race was supposed to start at 7:30 and I was still in line at 7:29.  There was a near brawl in the line next to me.  Some one was taking a long time in the bathroom and the man waiting for the stall started pounding on the door.  The lady came out and started yelling at him and actually hitting him.  He was about 6 foot 5 inches and she was probably a foot shorter.  They continued to argue/fight right in the outhouse stall until the crowd started yelling at them to move along.  Anyway, pretty silly, when this is supposed to be a fun activity.
People lining up, not the best picture, sorry.

Finally, I got to the starting line. The race started at least 20 minutes late and by then we were all noticing the 39 degree temperature.  Every race starts with the National Anthem, which I always like.  It settles the nerves and in some ways changes the focus outside of running to bigger things for me.  And then ready... set... go.  There was one big hill at the beginning but after that it was mostly down hill and I was able to run faster than I ever have for a 13.1 mile race.  I set a personal record and felt great at the end of the race.  No chafing, nutrition was good, feet felt fine, body strong. It was all good.
A photo taken of me by a fellow runner

A bathtub full of ice, waiting for me to drop in with a loud scream.  Can't do it any other way.

So, I know I can do a 13.1 mile race, no problem.  But, the big one awaits me in just 3 weeks. Last weekend I ran my longest training run of 19 miles.  It wasn't too bad.  My feet hurt by the end and my body was definitely tired   But even at 19 I think I could have kept going.  I hope so because I will have to do 7 more miles.  I was pleasantly pleased though about my recovery after the 19 mile run.  I  did all the usual stuff: ate a healthy meal soon after the run, took an ice bath within an hour, rolled my muscles and then took another bath, this time hot with Epsom salts, that night.  And the following day I got a foot massage.  Overall, my body felt pretty good.  I have been worried about my right big toe, my left hip and my old plantar fasciitis.  And all of those felt ok.  Yay!
Blue Sky Preserve, mile 10-12 during my 19 mile run

Mile 10.5, a welcome sight!

I have had the last week off from work.  I go back to work on Tuesday.  Man, I love being on vacation.  It makes me really look forward to retirement.  I have no problem not working.  It has been so relaxing to have a staycation.  I have enjoyed family time, Christmas festivities, movies, cooking, cleaning out my closet (so exciting since I have needed to do this for a long time) and a lot of time laying around reading books or watching tv on my ipad.  I don't want it to end.
I love this boy!

I got my schedule from my coach for the next 3 weeks.  Next Sunday I have to run a 22 mile run!!  That will be my last long run until the 18th.  I will have two weeks of a taper to give my body time to recuperate and strengthen.  I can't wait for the taper!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Woe is me

Sunset Cliffs, the end of my 16 mile run last Sunday

Can I just say I am sick of running.  This is a bit of a problem because I still have a lot of running to do before January 18th.  And I don't really like to complain for a couple of reasons; one, I am doing this to myself, I could quit anytime and two, there are other people that I know and don't know with much much bigger problems.  So I feel like a fraud complaining.  But I am going to do it anyway.  So, as a warning read this only if you don't mind hearing about all my sorrows.
Aiden had a band performance last week, Grandma came to watch

I am sick of running.  Well, not really.  I still actually like it when I am doing it.  I am just sick of the time it takes away from doing other things like watching TV or drinking alcohol or staying up past 8:30 at night. 

I am super tired of getting up before the sun rises to run.  It's dark and cold.  Sometimes I have to drag my husband with me because I am afraid to go to the track alone in the dark.  And I am tired of making him do that.  I do like the feeling, though, of having run 9 miles before I even have breakfast or before I head to work.  So, there are good parts and bad parts to that.

More than anything I am sick of my body hurting.  Right now my left big toe joint is throbbing.  I hate not knowing exactly why and I hate worrying if it will keep me from accomplishing this feat.  And most nights when I go to bed my legs ache all over and my feet hurt. It makes it hard to fall asleep.  Sometimes I take Motrin to help me sleep but then I wake up with a tummy ache because I am too lazy to eat before I take the medicine.  When I get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night my calves are so tight I have to hobble.  So I do stretches at 3am.  It's ridiculous, really.
Decorating the tree
Another selfie, since I am the one always taking pictures

Oh and did I mention that I had a nice rash under my right arm pit?  That hurt. After the rash,  I switched from the natural deodorant that I liked (because I prefer not putting toxic aluminum crap on my body) back to the Prescription Strength Degree Antiperspirant.  And I liked the natural deodorant, it was the first natural one I found that actually worked.  But I guess it didn't work well enough for 10 miles of running.

Today I started my morning in the operating room at Palomar Hospital for a quick 30 minute procedure then I came here to my office for a day of seeing patients.  This afternoon I will go home for a couple of hours and then return to Palomar again for a night shift delivering babies.  The best news, though, is starting tomorrow I am on vacation until Tuesday 12/30.  Of course, I will be running during a lot of that time off and then there is that little holiday on the 25th but still... I'll have more time to relax and recuperate. I think I need it. 
Peace and beauty

Monday, December 8, 2014

Really...another run?

Oh my, this training is a lot... a lot of running, a lot of getting up early, a lot of aching muscles, a lot of time, a lot of ice cold baths and steaming hot baths.  Just a lot.  I am still liking the training and not "over it" yet but on the other hand I do look forward to not having to think every day about running in one way or another.

Over the last months I have run in a lot of different environments: the hills of Austria, the streets of Portland,  the beach in Mendocino, the avenues of Paris,  and most recently the sand trails of the local desert.

We spent a few days before Thanksgiving out at the desert near El Centro camping in our RV with some friends.  Aiden rode his motorcycle, did a little BB gun shooting and we all relaxed a lot.  And, of course, I ran.  I love running in the desert.  I got up fairly early, 6:30ish (much better than 4:30), and ran along a straight road.  It was still cool but not cold.  The sunrises were beautiful. I saw a few trucks go by towards the nearby shooting range but otherwise it was just me and my music.  By the time I got back to camp everyone else was up and ready to enjoy the day.
This year's table

Last year's table

Thanksgiving was super simple and quiet this year.  My mom was out of town in Hawaii with my brother and his family so it was just Kelly, Aiden and me.  And I didn't feel like making a big meal so I ordered a fully prepared all Vegan Holiday Meal from Jimbo's.  It was great to be able to eat everything on the table instead of just a few things on the other hand the food was not quite as good as homemade.  We had a nice day riding our bikes before dinner and then watching Maleficent on TV after dinner.  I don't think I would want all my holidays to be as small but for this one it worked just fine.
Selfie on our bike ride

So, now we are in December and Christmas is just around the corner.  The house is decorated, most of the presents are ordered (online is the way to go), and Christmas cards are ready for pick up.  We still need to get the tree, put up the lights, wrap presents and buy a few more gifts.
Kaylie and Kyle at the game after Thanksgiving

Soon after Christmas is my 50th birthday and then The Race.  I have a lot more running to do before then.  This Sunday I will run 16 miles, my longest so far.  I am not sure what will be the longest distance my coach will have me run before the big day.  My body is holding up so far and for that I am super happy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Silver Strand 5 Minutes Faster

I PR'd at Silver Strand.  Runner's lingo for setting a personal record. Which is great.  2 minutes faster than my last half marathon.  And 5 minutes faster than when I did the same half marathon 2 years ago. So by mile I ran the race at a 10:10 pace and 2 years ago at a 10:35 pace. It seems like such a small difference; 25 seconds per mile faster.  But man is that hard.  I ran as hard as I could the whole race.  I spent a lot of time looking down at my watch checking my pace.  And at the end I felt a bit nauseated.  All for 5 minutes.  Have I mentioned that this running thing is hard?  Not that I am complaining.  I had a good time.  And I actually ran close to 16 miles this race as my coach had me run for 20 minutes before the race and then 20 minutes after.  Though I was so wasted by the end of the race that I only ran about 13 minutes after the race.  Really I hobbled for 13 minutes after the race.
The starting line n Coronado

Before each race they have the National Anthem

One amazing thing about this race compared to other half marathons I have done is that 2 days later I ran 5 miles, the next day 4 miles and the next day 7 miles.  All with no issues or pain or soreness. (well almost- my right big toe still hurts a bit).  It is exciting to see improvement and to develop strength and endurance I never knew I had. That is probably what this is all about.  I like pursuing a goal.  Right now it is a physical goal.  And I love having a coach take away the mystery of the process and just lay it out for me.  It was the same with pursuing a medical degree.  Just do this and do that and you will get there.  (with just a bit of work, of course).
I run with my hands open like that. It looks funny.

Here are some interesting statistics from Runner's World in 2012.  I like the first statistic the best. If I actually accomplish this thing, and that is still an unknown, it will be pretty cool to be in that 0.5% group.

Marathon Statistics
Percent of the U.S. population that has run a marathon0.5 %
Record time for the fastest marathon ever run2:03.59 hours
Total number of U.S. marathons held annually570
Total number of people who finished a marathon in 2011551,811
Average amount of people who finished an individual marathon in 2011171
Total percent of people who finished in a top 10 marathon in U.S. and Canada37%
Total percent of decrease in marathon runners in 201145%
Total number of marathons ran on May 1st, 201124
Total number of marathons ran on October 16th, 201123
Total fee the for the New York City marathon$255
Average cost to run a marathon$67
Number of marathons that cost over $100 to enter41
Average number of sneakers a marathon runner goes through during training2
Average number of calories a woman burns during a marathon2,880
Number of miles in a marathon26.2 miles
Average amount of time per mile for the fastest marathon ran5:10 minutes
Average number of miles ran per week during marathon training40 miles

Tomorrow I will be doing a training run called Yasso's 800s. First I will do a 20 minute warm up and then I will do 8 rounds of 800 meters at a 9:04 pace (ouch, that is fast for me!) In between each 800 meters (2 laps around the track) I will jog or even walk 800 meters as, per my coach, I need to be fully rested between each fast round.  Then at the end I'll run another 20 minutes of a warm down.  I'm looking forward to doing it.
The guy behind me with the pack on played his music out loud and it bugged me but I ran ahead of him.

Then we are off to the desert for a few days for a little vacation.  I'll be running out there too, of course.  Hopefully I can find a safe place to run.  I need to run 100 minutes on Sunday and 70 minutes on Tuesday.  I get freaked out in the desert when I get too far away from camp.  But I am sure I'll figure something out.
Greeted by my favorite fan right before the Finish Line

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am super excited. It is going to be a different celebration this year.  More on that to come.

what is the average time it takes to run a marathon?, how many people run a marathon each year?, how many people finish a marathon each year?, what is the most expensive marathon fee?, what is the average marathon fee?, how many miles does a marathon runner travel during training?, how many miles are in a marathon? what percent of the population has run a marathon

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Still running...

Cross training with the family in Austria

Kelly keeps bugging me on why I haven't written on my blog and how annoying it is when people start a blog and then don't keep it up so here I am once again.  And though they have nothing to do with my running or what I am writing about below I put in a bunch of Europe photos since I haven't been taking very many running pics lately and besides Europe is the best!
Beautiful Salzburgerland

So much has happened since my last post many moons ago.  Let's see... how many injuries from running can I discuss in tedious detail.  Hip, ouch that one hurt, sharp and also dull.  Visits to the primary care doc and to the physical therapist and lots of focused exercises on my butt and the hip is surprisingly and happily much better.  And the plantar's fasciitis, again, involved the primary care doctor and the podiatrist and lots of exercises and stretching and also has almost completely disappeared.  And now my big toe hurts but I am pretty sure that will get better too.
I loved running in the morning in the streets of Paris
Mummies at the British Museum

It probably seem ridiculous to non runners.  Why do this when one injury seems to pop up just as another resolves?  Oh, and then all the mornings of waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 to get a 6 mile run in the dark before work starts.  How is that fun?  And then there are the aches and all the time spent rolling my muscles and taking epsom salt baths or even better taking ice baths.
Somebody photo bombed my selfie at the Louvre!

All of this just to run 26.2 miles.  Twenty six point two long miles.

Taking a break on a long bike ride

Nutella on a waffle as a bribe to visit Westminster Abbey

The best thing I have done though was to get a coach.  I, honestly, think I would have quit this quest by now if it wasn't for her help.  She has guided me through the aches and pains.  And every day she has a training run set out for me in detail.  Last week I ran a total of 49.3 miles.  I never thought I would run that much.  And we are just starting to up the ante as we get closer to the big day.  The Carlsbad Marathon, January 18, 2015.  Five days after I turn 50.
At The Lion King, which was AWESOME!

As seen on my run in Vienna

But first a lot more miles in the dark, on the track, on the trails and around the neighborhood.  And I will also be doing a couple of half marathons (Silver Strand this weekend) before Carlsbad.  I just pray not too many more injuries come up before then.  I hope my 49 year 10 month old body can make it as the miles pile up.
I love these boys!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day # ONE

Enjoying ice cream at a shop in Portland (they had vegan options!)

Okay now we are back in real time. Since my last post I went on a very nice vacation and have been slowing increasing my runs to 3-6 miles each.  I had some great runs in Portland, Crater Lake, Mendocino and around San Diego too.  But the main news is that today is a big day for me. 

It is day #1 of my official training for the Carlsbad Marathon in 26 weeks.  Yeah, I am starting early.  But this gives me extra time to start slowly, back off if needed (due to the plantar fasciitis or whatever), space for our 3 week trip to Europe and time to build back up to where I was last January after my last half marathon.
Biking in Portland

I have hired a coach.  Her name is Megan Lund Lizotte.  She has a lot of experience with coaching and running and winning races.  I found her through the Competitor magazine.  She had me fill out an extensive evaluation of my running and health history.  She reviewed it and now has given me the start of a plan.  I am going to have her guidance through this whole thing.  However, I hired her for just one month to start to see how my feet behave.  (and whether I can do what she asks).  The first week has me doing this:  Monday run 40-45 minutes, Tuesday ride bike 60 minutes, Wednesday run 35 minutes, Thursday off, Friday run 60 mins (20 mins at threshold pace), Saturday ride 70-75 minutes and Sunday run 60 minutes.  Okay and that is just the first week which is easy as there are no strides, hill work, intervals etc.  She will give me 2 weeks of workouts at a time.  She sent me a very long email describing each workout and how to perform it.  My first reaction after reading the email was Oh My God what have I gotten myself into.  What was I thinking getting a coach?  Was I thinking she was going to suggest what I have already been doing?  (3, maybe 4 runs of varying length each week).  Um, yeah I kind of was thinking that.  And this is the easy, start anew, week.  
Spending the night at the Fire Lookout in Oregon
See Aiden by the falls we hiked to in Oregon near the Fire lookout.

After my initial freak out,  I decided I want to give this my best effort.  I will just take each day and figure out how I can do what is expected that one day.  I won't worry too much about the rest of the week or month.  After all, as Kelly said to me this morning, I could just do the marathon in 2 days, crawling through the finish, cramping in my legs, diarrhea, passing out etc.  But no, I want to do this thing the right way!  
In Mendocino we biked...

We canoed...

and I ran!

4 mile run today-check.  Only 180 days, 13 hours, 3 minutes and 43 seconds until the big day.
Back to San Diego and Jr Lifeguard camp. Aiden was so excited to see his friend Mack