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.