Monday, November 30, 2009
It was one of those silly moments that inspires further thought. This morning we (my running partner sister and I) went for a nice little run. I did 2 miles and decided that I didn't want to push my luck after shin discomfort a couple weeks ago and then running a 5K on Thursday. I figured a nice little run would be just right to get me back into the swing of things and building my program back up after having to tear it apart and reconstruct it to work around and then fix the shin problems. Anyway, it was a very nice little run, my sister, who is further along in her running, met me right at an intersection of our loops and joined me just in time so that she could repeat that loop and we finished pretty close to together. We still had a few blocks to go for cool down and were really enjoying the slower pace and the nice morning, even if it was still dark and chilly, we had both gotten nice and warm during our run and had both gotten to the point of appreciating having a layer to undo for a little bit less warmth. As we are walking I could hear somebody running up behind us and turned to see who it was and what their intentions were. It was just another person out for a morning run, doing quite a good job of it too, not a novice like us. Suddenly I had this urge to shout out "hey, we ran two miles this morning! We are just cooling down now!" This sudden insane thought made me laugh so I shared it with my sister. She shared that she had had the same thought!! I found this absolutely hillarious. Is it our competitive natures? Is it because we are novice runners and haven't gotten past that "new running shoes" feeling? (You know kind of like when you get a new car and you want everybody to know you have a new car-when you buy running shoes and you want everybody to know you are using them as running shoes and not fashion statements?) Or was it because we "got caught" walking and didn't want this other runner to think we were "just walkers"? Not that there is anything wrong with "just walking" we do it ourselves 2-3 times a week and still get a great workout by walking. I don't have an answer for why we felt the need to justify ourselves as runners. For me, maybe it is still that old insecurity of not "looking" like a runner. I am not lean, and could not be considerd lithe by anyone's definition, but I am still a runner. And wanted Other Runner (that's his name as far as I am concerned) to know that I belong to his club. I am a runner too and just because I was walking when he saw us didn't change that. So, here it is world, I didn't shout it out to Other Runner, but I am going to shout it out to the rest of you now. " Hey, I'm a runner too!! I don't look like you and I am not as fast as you, but I am a runner too!! I have two 5K finishers medals to show for it!! Each time I run a 5K my time gets a little bit better. So you better watch out, no need to cry, but this runner is coming to town and one of these days I will not feel the need to justify myself as a runner because you will see me for what I am-A RUNNER!!! So there!! Now maybe next time we are running Other Runner will see us while we are running and not in cool down mode and he will think- oh hey, there are those other runners I saw the other day, good for them, glad I am not the only one out here freezing my pattootie off!! LOL!!!!!!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
WooHoo!! I can blog today about the Turkey Trot!! It was a WONDERFUL race. The race was held in Oceanside California, which is roughly one and a half hours drive from Hemet. We got up at 4:15 Thanksgiving morning, got everybody dressed and in the car and off we went to the beach. We made good time and arrived in plenty of time to pick up our bibs and timing chips. The race was EXTREMELY well organized and everything, for us, went so well we were ready at the start line with time to spare. The race organizers did a staggered start. They did this by posting, at intervals, different split times-9 min, 11 min, 12 min and walkers. They asked each runner to judge where they should be in the starting line up behind their time and be honest with themselves!! LOL!! Jogging strollers had a separate start lane next to the regular running lanes. This race was VERY well organized. We put ourselves at the very back of the 12 minute time but in front of the walkers.
The race started, I got to the start line and started Robert's podcast on my ipod and was all prepared to do intervals. Well, long story short, I was feeling so good at the end of the first interval I started ignoring Robert!! LOL! I decided I would run until I felt like I needed to stop and then do some intervals. Well, I knew shortly past mile marker 1 that it would take a lot to make me stop running. Most of the first interval was a very slight and gradual uphill and seemed kind of long for just one mile. But then we got to turn around and do that same stretch on a very gradual downhill!! After mile 1 we turned down toward the beach with a great view of the ocean straight ahead. This stretch contained a surprise short but very steep uphill as we crossed under a street (or bike path or something). Guess what? At this point I was still running and I was not about to let that hill beat me!! I chugged, quite literally up that hill and made it to the top and kept running!!
A quick left and now the beach is only a few hundred feet away and on our right. One surfer risked his life dodging through the runners to try and get to the beach-LOL. Mile 2 mile marker showed up right after a water stop. I need to practice drinking on the run because by this point I knew if I stopped running I would be walking the rest of the race. I could tell there would be now regaining my momentum. The best part is I was feeling GREAT!! Tired and exhausted, it had been weeks since I had run a consecutive 3.1 miles and we hadn't even been walking the 3.1 most mornings so this was kind of a lot of exercise-giggle (I've done enough LOLs). Not quite 1/2 way through mile 2 we turned right, went down another hill and now we are running yards from the beach, on an asphalt track not sand. Way down the road I could see the pier that was our goal. I kept telling myself "it is just like our runs at home, way down the street you can see Kristen's house, there is the finish line, you are almost there, just keep going." By this point C25K week 5 was over and to get some sound piping back through my headphone (I always wear only one for safety) I just started punching buttons and ended up getting C25K week 1!! So I told myself I would run at the pace I had been running during the walking intervals and pour on the power during the running intervals, granted me pouring on the power did not look much different than me at my regular pace, but I noticed the difference. I was still feeling good and poured on the juice for the last stretch and woo hoo crossed the finish line at 48 minutes 20 seconds. Now, I know there will be some of you who will say to yourself "48 minutes was running???" but I also know that you will remember I still weigh over 200 pounds and I was experiencing shin splints two weeks ago and more charitable thoughts will immediately crowd out that totally understandable one. And here is the kicker that at first had me scoffing and then had me thinking and then put a light bulb over my head.
Back at the start of the race, just past mile 1 I found myself sort of by myself for a stretch, all the more accomplished runners (I had to search for just the right term there- I almost said "real runners" but I am a real runner too!!) were a distance ahead and I had left the slowest of the walkers behind. It was at this point that a few walkers passed me (uggh), but one of these walkers was an older gentleman who slowed for just a moment and said to me "you are inspiring a bunch of runners back there". My reply was a chuckle and "watching my big hips?" His reply is what got me thinking. He said "they see someone ahead of them." He was not being condescending of those who were even slower runners than I, or who had opted to walk, but he spoke the truth. Here I was, me in all of my untypical runners physique glory, and I was ahead of some others and maybe some of the walkers were thinking "look at her go, she is running, maybe I could too" and yes maybe they will too. Maybe next year some of them will be running a 5K instead of walking it!!! 48:20 is a time I am proud of and I ran the entire thing!!! I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT!!!!
I had plenty of recovery time while waiting for son's race to start. There was a playground right by the finish line so the kid's played there and older daughter had a blast throwing sand in the sea. Both older kids had a blast playing "run from the wave". The Pacific is absolutely freezing this time of year and both of them were forbidden from going in the water, but that didn't stop the feet from getting a little bit wet anyways. Before long it was time for son's race to start. We had to go back up a hill to get to his starting line and quite a ways down to the start. Son was a little nervous about the whole thing. He generally does not enjoy jumping into the great unknown, but once there he always has a blast. The race started and he went full blazes!! It took me quite awhile to catch up to him and then only when he slowed to a slow walk (basically waiting for me which I told him not to do because Daddy was ahead waiting to meet him at about the half way point). We walked for quite a bit of the way and then near the finish line Grandma and sisters were on the sidelines cheering him on so he put on another burst of speed!! He finished his first 1 mile race in 16:50!! Really not bad for a six year old from a new to running family. Some of the kids at the race had obviously been a part of the running scene since birth (one of the 5K runners was pregnant and sporting a marathon finishers shirt so this baby is being introduced to running in the womb!!), but not my son and I am also very proud of the job he did. The first thing he wanted was his finisher's medal and HORRORS, this is the only part of the race not superbly handled, they had RUN OUT OF MEDALS!!! EEEK!! I was so prepared for the melt down of the century and it never arrived. He handled it so well and then it worked out because two things-a) Grandma gave him her medal and b) the race volunteers started taking names and addresses and/or phone numbers in order to mail a medal to the finishers who did not receive theirs!! So in the end even that snafu was well handled. Son already decided he would be wearing his race t-shirt to school on Monday and now asked whether he could also wear his medal to school!! I made a deal-he could wear it to school until his teacher came to the playground to take the students to class and then he has to ask her if he should put it in his backpack. I think I will stay until his teacher comes so that I can take it home with me though. Safer that way. It was a terrific day!! Friday it was up before dawn for Black Friday shopping and I snagged every bargain I was after. Plus an absolutely adorable skirt that is just a tad too small to keep me working even harder over the holidays-the goal is to fit it by Christmas which is perfect since it is a present to myself!! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This morning we had a great walk. It was quite the chilly walk, but still awesome even though we had to make some adjustments. I blogged Monday about our minor run in with some loose dogs. They were only an inconvenience on Monday. One of them came at me but backed off when I yelled at him. We had to shorten our route so that we didn't go back around past the dogs again and that was kind of a bummer. Yesterday was a walking day and we had to seriously shorten our route when we encountered yet another loose dog. This was not either of the dogs we met on Monday but an entirely different dog. My sister scooped up her little bischon and we kept going straight and this crazy dog decides to follow us for about 100 feet before he finally turned around. Fortunately he seemed very friendly, but we are not sure he noticed Daisy since she was scooped up so quickly. This dog forced us to cut out two big loops of our route and by the time we got back we had no where near the steps we wanted. Today we set out again full of hope for a great workout. We got through our first big loop without any problems (WooHoo) but, as we are coming around for our second loop there is this same dog from Tuesday!! What the heck?!! This dog appears well cared for and completely docile, down right friendly in fact, but what the heck is he doing running around in the dark?? We couldn't finish our second loop and turned around back the other direction once again Daisy is toted along until Fido decides to head back home. The good news is we totally salvaged the workout by adding in a whole bunch of cul de sacs that we usually skip and taking a loop that we ususally only use on "long run" days.
The thing is I am upset that these dogs have been running around ruining our workouts all week, but my real isssue is that loose dogs are not safe dogs. There are so many different issues in play here that it could make for one long and boring blog if I got into all of them. So all I'm going to say is it is safest for all involved if pet owners keep their pets within their own yard!!! I won't be seeing Fido tomorrow because it is RACE DAY!!!! But, if we encounter this dog again I'm going to try to look for a tag. I'll let Fido come to me and not chase him down, but if he has a tag and I can get a look at it his owner will be getting a phone call, but then again an owner who lets their dog run loose during cold, dark mornings probably wouldn't outfit their pet with a tag. Hmmm, worth a try anyways.
So, Happy Thanksgiving everybody and "see" you all on Friday with an update on the Turkey Trot!! To all the crazies like me who go shopping on Black Friday-I hope you snag all the bargains you set out for and may your ankles be saved from rude shopping carts!! Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!!
Monday, November 23, 2009
This morning's run was AWESOME!! I still did C25K week 4 and it went great. I only experiencedthe mildest sensation of tightness and only at the end of each interval andby the time it was time to start running again the tightness had gone and I was ready to actually start running again. I even ran extra I was feeling soooooo good!!! I am going to keep on with the C25K because it is really helping and it is kind of fun because I can look back and see how much better a runner I am now than I was when I first went through C25K. I know lots of people have done the program a second or even a third time and I would really recommend it for anyone who has finished and still thinks they could be a better runner. I started on week 4 and would recommend that week as a good week for anyone who completed the program and wants to do it again. I think starting back at week 1 would be a little too easy for most people who finished the program. I can tell I am getting faster and now that my shin difficulties are mostly resolved I can really see how going back through the program is making me a better runner. Did have my first experience with loose dogs this morning. I was coming down a street and could see a medium sized, light colored dog farther down the street. He stayed to watch me (at this point I was on a recovery and walking) and then I noticed a smaller darker dog with him. The smaller dog came running towards me and barked a couple of times so I stomped my foot at him, then when he kept coming, I yelled "NO" and he backed up. I did yell too, even though it was barely past 5 am and still dark. I don't care if I wake someone up if I am about to be attacked by a dog!!Unfortunately, it was at this point that I was supposed to start running so I put a couple more feet between us and then started running but glanced back a couple times to make sure the dog wasn't taking this as a sign of weakness and that he should attack. He stayed back though, apparently my "no" was forceful enough that he got the message and he wasn't a vicious dog. So far this has been the only drawback I've had to running outside. It is a little chilly here now (low forties most mornings), but it isn't really a problem once we get warmed up. I did wear my capri pants today and short socks instead of long ones so my legs got a little chilly, but I really LOVE running outside. Except when we meet loose dogs-LOL!!
Last week, on Wednesday, I received a packet in the mail. I was kind of confused about what could be in this packet. I wasn't expecting any special deliveries. I looked at the return label and it was from the event manager handling the Turkey Trot!! WooHoo something from my race!! I took the packet inside and it was my race socks!!!! I splurged just a little and ordered the special socks designed for the Oceanside (city name and description all rolled into one) Turkey Trot!! I have NEVER in my entire life been so excited about a pair of socks. Well, I'll have to put a modifier on that. While I was in Germany, 17 years ago, one of the things I bought before coming home were German wool Trachtmoden socks. Trachtmoden is the Traditional German dress-think lederhosen (you know the leather shorts the men wear) and green wool skirts and jackets with beautiful embroidery. So, the socks are traditionally a men's item worn cuffed over the top of a low cut boot but I couldn't resist the lure of a pair of beautifully made wool socks. Even back then I loved camping and imagined wearing them to keep my feet warm during hikes and during cool moutain evenings. I actually bought two pair, one cream and one grey. The grey ones are still my favorite socks in the entire world and I still get a thrill when the temperatures dip low enough to warrant a pair of socks on my nippy toes. Yes, I actually LOVE my German socks!! And now I LOVE my Turkey Trot socks, though I am sure they are going to wear out a lot faster than my German wool socks because I will be wearing them so much!!! They are cool max socks, designed for running, the tops are white with three little running turkeys on the back of each sock. On the front of the right foot sock it says "Move Your Feet" and the left sock says "Before You Eat" !!! The heels and toes are Turkey brown and the soles are orange, there is an additional turkey on my toes!! I love my new socks!!! I wore them this morning and they are now my lucky socks!! They are by far the most comfortable socks I've worn while running. Despite an odd affinity for socks I do have a hard time forking over more than a few dollars for a pair of socks and I really considered this purchase a splurge but I have been totally converted to the idea of running socks and will HAVE to splurge a little more often because I suppose it will look kind of strange when I wear my Turkey Socks at a Bunny Hop (an Easter time race). Sorry to go on so long about socks, but there is just something about a really good pair of socks!!! I came back to edit this, by request here is a picture of my socks-I got the pictures from the Turkey Trot website-those are mannequin legs-not my legs!! In case you can't tell from the leg cut off and turned side ways LOL!!!
This will be a busy week. Today we have a play date at the kids' best friends' house. Luckily my son's best friend and my daughters' best friend are also brother and sister. Nice how things work out that way sometimes. Tomorrow is open, but Wednesday is help MIL get ready for Thanksgiving day and then on Thursday we have Turkey Trot!! Race Registration opens at 6:15, I just have to pick up bib and t-shirt. Race begins at 7:00 then we get to hang around until my son's race at 10:00. I thought it was at 9:00, but turns out they've broken down the age groups into seperate races with 6 and under beginning at 10:00. Then it is back home (about an hour and a half drive) to go back over to MIL's and help with any last minute preparations. They may have to do without me until I can go home and take a shower. Luckily MIL is only a few minutes away by car. Well, I suppose the fact hat she is so near can be considered lucky in some situations and unlucky in others LOL!!!! And then, of course, Friday is Black Friday!! Yes I am one of the insane who goes out to get shoved, stepped on and run over by shopping carts!!! Wouldn't miss it for the world!! Even better is the fact that this year my Mom got a seasonal job at Macy's so now I have an excuse to go out to Temecula to a REAL mall and do some Macy's shopping!! I usually have no reason to visit the King of department stores. Depending on the sales I will probably have to limit myself to a new tie for hubby, but hey it is also a chance to initiate my children into the world of Black Friday. We will hit Macy's later in the day and they can come with to pick out the tie since it was son who suggested a tie as a gift for Dad. Don't worry, I will point him in the right direction while still leaving room for him to make an individual decision. I've learned that hubby is kind of picky about his ties. The hard part is knowing what he will or will not wear. He will wear a Micky Mouse tie (uggh), but not certain in fashion ties. Pastels are a big no, no unless blended with more "manly" colors. Some "manly" colors are also out. The burgandy shirt and silver tie I bought a couple Christmases ago have only been worn twice and that was pretty much because I told him that was what he was wearing!! MEN!! Okay....I've blabbered enough. I am just soooo excited about my Turkey Trot!!! I am planning on taking the ipod and letting Robert direct me through the race. Since I am still experiencing some tightness I plan on doing day one of week 5 during the race-all 5 minute runs, with the back up plan of doing a quick switch back to week 4 if needed. I want to make sure that I make it through the race and am able to keep up with the progress I've been making. I'll use the time before the race starts to get in some warm up walking and stretching and have the ipod on pause at the first run and push start as soon as I cross the starting line. This is a hugely popular race and the attendance will be in the thousands so it will probably take me awhile to get to the start!! Okay, gotta do a few other things before it is time to go to our play date....hope everyone has a terrific Monday!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Quick update on yesterday then on to business. My daughter's "dreadlock" came out with LOTS of detangler (which we always have on hand since a) older daughter (the one who gave herself a dredlock) has curly hair and b) the younger daughter has straight, but baby fine hair so we are constantly dealing with tangles) and lots of tugs which did equal lots of squeals of "ouch". She did, however, learn her lesson and says she will not put twirly mechanical devices in her hair again!! LOL!!!
So, after more than a week of foiled workouts due to my shins not cooperating and getting too tight to let me run I finally had a GREAT workout!! So what defines a great workout? I accomplished everything I set out to do and possibly a little more!! Was it at the same level I was working out at two weeks ago? No. But, that is okay because this whole thing is just for me anyways. I'm not in a race. I won't be trying out for the Olympics in a few years. There is no penalty if I don't run a certain distance by a certain date. The important thing is that I keep working on it and not totally give up. I told someone months and months ago that the battle is not lost until you give up the fight, or something like that anyways. This has been a good time to remind myself of that. I've kept trying. I've changed things. I've been open to new ideas and today that all paid off.
This morning I went back to C25K which I had "graduated" from back in September. I didn't go back to the begining but I did go back to Week 4 which takes you through a 3 minute run with 90 seconds of recovery and then a series of 5 minute runs with 2.5 minutes of recovery in between each run. There was definately a feeling of deja vu with Robert talking me through the workout and then there was the moment of deja vu too when my ipod gave out half way though the workout-LOL!! I forgot to charge the darn thing and apparently it is time to send it in for a new battery because I can get about two good workouts in and then it dies even if it shows half a battery. My ipod quit after the first 5 minute run so I kind of just made it up after that. After the very first 3 minute run I felt a little tight but was feeling ready to run after the 90 second recovery and so I went ahead with the 5 minute run and was feeling pretty good. Once again I was a little tight but thought I would walk through the recovery and see how I felt at the end of the recovery. About 30 seconds into the recovery though I found myself in the street to avoid some overzealous lawn watering and found myself passing one of those extra large group mail boxes right on the curb so I went ahead and put Robert (Ulrey-the ipod C25K narrator) on pause and used the mail box as support to do some calf raises and used the curb to stretch out the other leg muscles a little too and that's when my ipod gave out. I gave myself a landmark to start running again and finished my recovery, started running when I said I would and gave myself a new landmark to start my recovery and kept that up for two rotations. I probably ran more than C25K would have had me run but after stretching after that one recovery all was well. It felt so good to complete a successful workout!! What is more satisfying than chocolate? A successful workout!! So, I am going back to C25K and we'll see how it goes from there. If things go really well maybe I will skip a week and jump ahead a little since I have already been through the program and had been running more than half an hour 3 times a week and was building my distance. But, even if I follow the program through week by week I will still complete it by the end of the year and will be on track to continue with the training goals I already had in place. Namely to start training for my 10K in June. Happy Wednesday everybody and have a safe and happy workout!!
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