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San Francisco Marathon Race Report

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Some of my Spark friends have been asking when they're going to see my race report from last Sunday's 1/2 marathon... and I've been avoiding writing it, because I've been struggling with my feelings about this race. I went to SF with trepidation (since I was injured) and determination (since I was injured!) and I spent my entire weekend thinking about my body and the race. Would I be OK? I never doubted that I would finish the race, I just feared what kind of pain I might have to contend with. As it turned out, I was actually OK during the race. My pain was nominal and I took it easy, but more on that later...

The morning of the race I woke up at 4 a.m. as planned. I had plenty of time before I had to leave at 6 to meet Mary (Lilhlfpint - who is to be credited for most of the photos in this blog - Thanks Mary!!). I spent over 45 minutes going through my physical therapy stretching routine and then applied topical anti-imflammatory cream to my knee and ankle, and then taped myself for good measure. Before I knew it I was already 10 minutes behind schedule! I had planned on walking to the marathon start line a little over a mile away, but I decided that if a bus came along I'd just hop on it to save time, which in fact I did. Mary and I met at the start after the marathoners and 1st 1/2 marathoners had left and we walked to the shuttle buses to take us to the start line for the 2nd 1/2 marathon. The ride over was uneventful if you ignore the fact that the driver couldn't figure out how to get into Golden Gate Park since so many of the roads were closed! We arrived fairly early and were able to watch some of the marathoners run by. I saw people who were running a sub-3:30 pace pass and let me tell you, they looked strong! It was quite cool (maybe 56 degrees?) and misting, so I tied my space blanket on for warmth.

My friends from home Sol and Terri met us and we all lined up together in the 2nd corral.

Terri is a walker and Sol can run with me although he usually chooses to walk quickly, so my plan was to stay with them and run in short 30 second-1 minute bursts when necessary to maintain a 16 minute/mile. Mary had a slightly different plan so we agreed we would all just run our own race, and then we started.

It was interesting to start our race and immediately mix in with the marathoners who were just reaching their half-way point. These runners were much faster than us so I needed to stay all the way to the right and out of their way. I started out walking but within feet I felt like I had to run a bit, if only to let the pack dissipate around me... so I ran a 2 minute interval and felt pretty good...hmmm... as I walked for about 5 minutes I realized I was at a 13:30 pace, and thought it might be smart to try to stay around that average for the first half so that I could "bank" time for the second half when I would surely slow down. The first mile and a half I couldn't seem to warm up by just walking so I kept my blanket on... people could hear me coming from the rustling noise it made - and I felt like I was in the middle of a forest during a windstorm! I decided I just needed to ditch it and run a bit to warm up! Just before mile 2 there was a short out-and-back, and since Mary was ahead of me she caught this pic of me:

We spent the first 6 miles running through Golden Gate park, which was beautiful but full of rolling hills. I don't remember too much about this run because I was so focused on my average pace and trying to decide when to run, and how much to run. I was balancing my pace with my fear of injury and it was all I could think about (which really wasn't a bad thing since the miles seemed to fly by!). I caught up with Mary and we chatted a bit before I ran ahead of her. I do remember needing a long potty break at one point - imagine my frustration as my interval beeper kept going off, one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four - and all I can think of is how this is going to affect my pace LOL! But as soon as I got back on the road I found myself running with the 2:45 pace group (roughly 13 m/m) and decided I would run with them until my average pace was back to 13:45 or less. It was a pretty comfortable pace to keep, I just didn't want to run more than a mile at a time because of my knee, so when we exited the park I walked and watched them take off ahead of me.

Outside the park the scenery turned from green and lush to urban almost immediately. We entered the Haight, a neighborhood made infamous during the '60s as a place to tune in, turn on and drop out.

The streets are still lined with smoke shops and "hippie" boutiques, but now there are also tattoo parlors and vegan cafes. There are also some serious hills!!

I usually love running downhill (gravity is my friend!) but I felt like I was hiking down a black diamond ski run on some of these hills! And for every downhill there is eventually an uphill... Still, this part of the race was more interesting to look at than what came next - the hilly part of the city between Potrero Hill and South Beach - a deserted, HILLY, industrial area - oh, and did I mention that it was HILLY?!? The sun was up by now, the temp had climbed, and we had over 4 miles of blech to run through. I noticed this woman who seemed to be keeping a similar pace as I was since we kept yo-yo-ing past each other, so I started chatting with her on one of the hills and we kept encouraging each other the remaining 6 miles. I also saw Mary again and we chatted a bit, and then I ran past two of my running club friends who were doing the full marathon, and that was a nice surprise. Finally we reached the water!

We only had about 2 miles to go and I was feeling pretty good, so I decided I'd try to run more than I had the whole race, and switched to my 1:1 intervals. Mile 12 was on the Third St. Bridge, right outside AT&T park and once we rounded the stadium we could see the piers along the water and feel the cool breezes. I met up with Patty (Run.Or.Rust) with about 1 mile to go and I got to offer her some support on the way to the finish line... and then, there it was! Marathoners to the right, 1/2 Marathoners to the left, and we're done! According to my Garmin I finished in 3:02:55, well below the course cut-off of 3:30. While it was about 25 minutes slower than my last 1/2 marathon I'm finally starting to feel pleased with my results, especially now that I'm paying the price for them... I have to admit that I have been as sore, if not worse, than after my last marathon. I definitely do not recommend running a long race after a 7 week hiatus from training!! But its nice to know that I can...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 8/13/2009 9:23PM

    Congratulations on a well-run race. Your description was wonderful; felt like I was there. I could picture you running in the space blanket and it made me emoticon. After visiting SF for the first time a few years ago, I've marveled at anyone who races in that city. It must take a lot of extra strength to tackle all of those hills. The photos are wonderful--I have a picture of me at the corner of Haight & Ashbury. I was on a business trip and we were on the way to the airport. When I saw where we were I yelled for the car to stop, threw my camera at my colleague, and jumped out of the car for a quick picture.

You mentioned having an interval timer--where did you get it? I'm training for a marathon using Jeff Galloway's interval training program and keep track of my time by watch, but when I get really tired I lose concentration and sometimes get screwed up on my timing. Sure would be handy to have a timer to remind me.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVETROY 8/11/2009 7:34PM

    Your perseverance is inspiring. emoticon

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    Way to go Tammy wammy!!Rah, rah, rah (that was me cheering you on) :)

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MYTURN11 8/2/2009 8:29PM

    Thank you! Fantastic to read and congratulations to you on your time. I can only dream in my wildest dreams of the day I might even attempt such a run! emoticon emoticon

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SUBSMITH 8/2/2009 5:33PM

    Awesome Job!

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RUN.OR.RUST 8/2/2009 3:55PM

    woo hoo we did it!! You did a great job, thanks for your help on that last mile! I hope your soreness is gone and you're feeling better.


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JEM0622 8/2/2009 3:53PM

    Way to finish and in good time! emoticon emoticon

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ETTEZEUS 8/2/2009 12:06PM

    Congrats on finishing even with your struggles! You did great.
I enjoyed reading your race report. And loved the pictures too!

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    Great job. Glad you did well, considering all the challenges you were facing. Thanks for sharing your story.

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KAYAKID 8/2/2009 10:20AM

    You Rocked it! thank you for sharing it with us.. You did great and you can tell that you really enjoyed it. Keep up the training and you'll do great! You are an inspiration tos us. thanks for being a friend and here is a hug for completing your race.... emoticon

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JIBBIE49 8/2/2009 9:27AM

    WOW, I've heard of running and needing a "long bathroom break" so glad yours didn't last any longer than it did. Those "innards" can really act up at the worst time. emoticon

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DDOORN 8/2/2009 9:11AM

    Wow! Super race! Sounds like you took good care of yourself, paced it well and SPARKED the day away...woo hoo! :-)

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TEAMDIRTDOGS 8/2/2009 12:31AM

    this is too funny. somehow i missed that you were doing the second half. since i started at 6:18 and finished around 11:10 so i am going to guess that we met that day! van started at 6:30 and finished about the same time.

tammy, i have the greatest respect for everyone out there.....the runners who sub3, the walkers who take their time and enjoy the scenery a little longer, and everyone in between. nobody was *forced* to be there.......we are all out there bc we *want* to be......a little stronger, a little faster, a little healthier, a little *better* than we were before. and i honestly dont think it is ever all that easy for any of us. most of us have something. a couple of friends were able to conquer drug addictions by running. one, as you know, used running as his comeback goal when undergoing cancer tx and surgery. another developed heart problems(irregular heartbeat) and almost went nuts while getting that treated, but called me to tell me that he was on the podium. some of us just want a medal to hang on the rearview mirror.

ok, so my first marathon, catalina 05. i was running solo bc coach/partner in crime had gotten sidelined with IT band. i made it to the top of pumphouse hill, mi 18, just to hit dense fog, and i am trying not to cramp up, but am having a great time w/ this big foolish grin on my face. at mi 21 i am thinking "this is farther than i have ever gone bf", and i see this little old guy, right? he has got to be 70, but tough looking. with a stater bros plastic grocery bag taped to his ankle. i asked him what that was all about and he chuckles and says "well, i have a bad ankle, but as long as i rub this ointment on it and tape a bag to it i'm all right" then he took off and i didnt see him again!
i have posted this bf on another thread, but i have to share w/ you this quote from my hero, emil zatopek, a man who ran w/ his wife on his back to train.....and who is the only man to have gold medaled in 5k, 10k, marathon in a single Olympics. (first time he ran that distance, btw).

"When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical.
Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either.
Then willpower will be no problem."

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FHAMWEY 8/1/2009 10:12PM

    Good Job! It seems like you learned a lot at this race about yourself. AND your time was great! considering all the challenges I am glad that the pain wasn't as bad as you thought it might be. Thanks for sharing.
emoticon emoticon

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You may know me, but I'm still learning about myself...

Monday, July 27, 2009

A few days ago I rhetorically asked "Do you know me?" and went on to describe what I imagined would be my experience in the San Francisco 1/2 marathon. My plan was to walk as much as possible and run only when necessary to maintain the minimum pace allowed for finishing - 16 minutes/mile. I'm injured and was told to minimize my running time as it would only slow my healing (or make my injury worse...).

I learned some truths about myself as a result of this injury and race:

I am competitive. I couldn't stand to think that I couldn't run at all in a RACE.

I have a big ego. 16 minutes/mile was a blow to my ego, since in my last half marathon I maintained a 12 minute/mile pace. I finally admitted to myself that I couldn't be happy just doing the minimum required, I was driven to do more. (Back to being competitive...)

I have a high tolerance for pain when that pain is standing in the way of my goal.

I am goal oriented when it comes to athletics. (So how come I'm NOT as goal driven when it comes to housework, weight loss, employment, etc.?????? I think that's the subject of another blog...)

I am stubborn.

No matter how many races I complete I will always be affected IN SOME WAY by nerves in the week leading up to the next race.

I believe that I can run a race even when everyone else thinks I can't.

I am willing to suffer for a medal and bragging rights.

I am less satisfied with a medal when it comes with a slower finish time; however, I do accept that I can't continually PR and must accept the race that's in me on any particular day. (It just won't be my favorite medal...)

I can hardly walk today, but I'm already thinking about my next race (6 weeks and counting!!).

Finally, I learned that support from my loved ones (including my Spark Friends)(ESPECIALLY my Spark Friends! Thanks Bev and Jen!!) before and during a race makes the difference between slogging through the pain or forging ahead with a smile on my face emoticon

So while you may know me, I'm still learning about myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Good for you for taking the opportunity to look inside during this last race. I love how this journey we're on reveals so much about us if we just take the time to listen and pay attention!

Yes, I suspected some of those qualities in you and find them to be intriguing and real strengths! I think they are what drew me to you and what keeps me inspired when I'm virtually around you! So glad you were able to see them in yourself.

Can't wait to meet you, Tammy!

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HUSKERGAL27 7/30/2009 3:28PM

    It is powerful that you can learn this much about yourself. I love the eye opening revelations that come to us. You continue to be an inspiration.

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BIKINIDREAMZ 7/30/2009 1:57PM

    You are a true inspiration...I am so glad we met!

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LILHLFPINT 7/29/2009 5:32PM

    (::hugs:: i was very impressed by how stubborn you were!

you are one tough cookie!)

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KAYAKID 7/29/2009 1:39AM

    It is hard when we feel that we haven't put our best foot forward. even with an injury - we are so competitive. I think we feel like every time we race we should get a PR. Every race that I have done - 4 in total I have always gotton a PR. I am sure this weeks race I will run hard but I might not get that PR. I am I going to feel about the race. I will feel I think that I did my best and that should be the victory and not if I PR.

the same is true with your race - we should be happy with the results knowing you did your best because of injury. Keep it up!!! I have a 10k on Saturday and we have 11 sparkers joining us for running/walking the 10k,5k. It will be great!!!

good luck to you

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SPRING4FAL 7/27/2009 5:28PM

    Way to go on completing the race. This life is full of self-discovery and you are on to so some "aha" moments! You should hold your head high, take care of your injury and press on! You continue to amaze me with your pursuits!! Keep on keepin on my friend!


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BOILERINAZ 7/27/2009 4:18PM

    I know that feeling! it's annoying and while a slower race (especially due to injury) shouldn't be any less of that feeling of accomplishment it is! But I have to say I probably would have done what you did...b/c one thing I KNOW about me is that if someone says you can't or you shouldn' drives me to want it more! not getting a PR in every race is tough...I'm learning that in my summer 5K series that while I improved last year in each one...this year I'm holding consistent b/c I don't have the amount of room to progress like I did last year! I have to accept that heat plays a big part in a 10-20 second pace difference when last year I was improving by minutes each race! The closer we get to being the racer that we are meant to be the smaller the difference between PR's and the easier it is to not reach one b/c of all of life's factors!

This medal you should be VERY proud of b/c when other said you can't - YOU DID! you gutted this one out through the pain and so it should mark an even bigger achievement in your string of medals! You'll pay for this race in recovery time and pain so it took more from you than other races! This medal stands for the fighter in you that is your inspiration to all of us and that should make it just a little shinier than ones next to it!

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WOLFKITTY 7/27/2009 4:08PM

    It's never-ending discovery! HEhee.

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EVETROY 7/27/2009 3:55PM

    emoticon on doing your best and learning they won't all be PR!

I am very proud of you!!!!

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Do you know me?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm the walker at the back of the pack.

I'm the runner-wannabe with the knee brace, ankle wrap and ibuprofen bottle.

I'm the slow one who keeps thinking "Maybe I should try running?" but know that I really shouldn't, at least not today.

I'm the one who's blocking your way (Sorry about that!) and hobbling along at a snail's pace.

I'm the one who's worried that I won't finish before I'm forced off the course.

But I'm also the one who has completed two marathons, five half marathons, assorted shorter races (5k-10k-15k), a duathlon and two cycle centuries (100+ miles each). I didn't walk those, I didn't worry about being last in those, I didn't get in your way during those - I finished them strong and swift and sure, and loved the sense of accomplishment after each one.

Today is different. Today, I'm injured, but I'm here. I came a long way for this race, and I'm giving it my best effort within the limitations my doctor has given me.

So smile at me as you run past me, offer a word of encouragement; someday you too might have to walk a race you had planned to run -- and if and when you do, then you'll know just how much harder it is to walk it. And when I pass you, I promise I'll cheer you on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPY92003 8/12/2009 5:26PM

    This touched me...I got injured and sick in my very first marathon (RNR San Diego 09) and felt so bad for walking 1/2 of it. Prior to that race I had done exactly 1 5K and 1 1/2 marathon (did fine in both of those), but not being strong in the marathon makes me doubt myself for future races...and I really don't like that! For some reason it helps to know that even the die hard true racers have a bad day once in a while too...thank you for sharing:)

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JENNIFER124 7/26/2009 7:13PM

    i love this blog Tammy!!! here here.... you are a strong woman and with that strength comes a sure determination that you WONT be denied your right to start this race -- any race for that matter... i am cheering for you and for me and for all of us runners that have the same courage to start.... hugs.. jen emoticon

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EVETROY 7/26/2009 6:30PM

    Yes I know you! And you amaze me! Thank you for the eloquent reminder to look beyond what we see today. Each person is so much more than just that moment!

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JENALEX1 7/26/2009 3:43AM

    "I'm the runner-wannabe with the knee brace, ankle wrap and ibuprofen bottle. "

This is exactly me right now. I'm slowly learning how to run again, but I can't believe how well you nailed me.

Don't worry you'll feel better soon. ;) Then you can offer me a word as you run past me!

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KAYAKID 7/26/2009 12:05AM

    I love you blog! I don't know you very well yet. this is something I do know though. We are runners at heart and will do whatever it takes to run. Sometimes we have to walk - the reasons are many - it doesn't matter WE ARE RUNNERS EVEN IF WE HAVE TO WALK!!!!!.

I also think it is important th cheer others on. I recently ran a 10k on the 4th of July. it was a loop of 5k. the 5k went out 15 minutes before us. My son and DW walked and I when I went by them I cheered them on and they shouted my name as I went by them. that kind of support is what we need. on the backside of the loop I came upon a 5k runner that was struggling - I told her she had only about 1/2 mile to go and told her she could do it. when the race finished she came up to me and thanked me for the encouragement.

when I am running a race, I think of all my good buddies on spark who are cheering for me. when you walk we will be cheering for you!!!!!


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SORGIN 7/23/2009 12:47PM

    I know you AND love you! Indeed I will smile, wave and walk a while with you!

I read something a while ago (and sorry if you've heard it already) but it talked about seeing two people running. One is struggling/walking at the end of a marathon and the other is flying along at the end of two miles. Which one is working harder? Which one is more of a runner?

Looks can be deceiving. Just because someone is walking it doesn't mean anything except he/she is walking at that moment in time. Like your blog so eloquently puts it, there is a rich history with every person who competes on that course. It means there have been weeks of training, attention to nutrition, injuries, the upending of family life and more. So the walking means NOTHING! It means you still had the courage to put yourself on the starting line. And it means that you are smart enough to run the race you're in and not blow yourself out just to prove something.

This endurance running has really taught me a lot about patience. I am not the most patient person in the world but I am learning (especially this summer) to look at each day, each run, each race as independent events. Some days are better than others and it doesn't mean anything more than that. I KNOW I am a runner. And that's what matters.

You ARE a runner. Just because you need to walk this half doesn't negate that in any way shape or form. I know that I was so surprised with my first race, that there were people of all shapes and sizes. There were plump speedy people and skinny slow people. I learned real quick that you can't size up a person just by looking at them on the starting line. There are a million reasons why someone decides to walk or run or crawl at a particular time. It's not my job to figure it out. It's only my job to run the best race possible and to be supportive/kind/considerate to my fellow competitors.

This is such a great blog, Tammy. We are ALL competitive runners!

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BOILERINAZ 7/23/2009 11:11AM

    You have a lot to be proud of! Whatever happens today you are still a winner, still have accomplished so much, and it says a lot that you are willing to hold yourself back and still do the race. You've accomplished SOOOO much and are an inspiration for me to follow! Take care of yourself...don't push past what your body is telling you. Even the best need a break when their body tells them to slow down. So slow down today, just enjoy the atmosphere, the experience, and use the slower pace to reflect over everything you've accomplished while you walk this race. Have a wonderful trip!

Comment edited on: 7/23/2009 11:12:44 AM

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BECCACOATS 7/23/2009 10:42AM

    Tammy ~ Thank you for sharing you with us!
Yes!! I know this person and boy, it was like you were telling my story. a lot of us are walking in these shoes and darn it!

It's hard to listen to ourselves and slow down when we need to isn't it!
We do have to take care on our bodies though. I have to remind myself that if I don't listen now, I will only get worse and do I want to be a crippled up old Woman? NO!!!

So here is to Happiness, Encouragement, Cheers and walking when we are great grandparents.

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GLOBALKEEWEE 7/23/2009 10:15AM

    Please please please take care of your body...don't be overcome by your competitive spirit and think 'this stinks, I could totally be running this' only to do some permanent damage!

You're such a's very inspirational. Just choose your battles wisely and live to fight another day!

Best of luck and safe travels-

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NAVYMOM133 7/23/2009 9:06AM

    This is what it's all about!! Good for you, going to the race and participating within your doctor's limitations. Great attitude Tammy, just great!! I am taking a page from your book - right now!

Thank you, Melly emoticon

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    I feel like I should print this on little handbills and distribute them at EVERY athletic event I attend. Yes, I know you because I too have been there AND I see you at every event I participate in. Thank you for reminding us all that everyone in a competition arrives with their own story...and deserves respect for being there.

Have some fun this weekend...

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10 p.m. and I've got a confession to make:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I hate house cleaning. I don't mean the spring cleaning - attacking the whole house and making it fresh kind of house cleaning, although I'm not a big fan of that either - I mean the everyday, run of the mill dust/vacuum/scrub/mop kind of cleaning.

I blame it on my mother (Isn't that why mother's exist? To blame for everything wrong in our lives? My kids certainly seem to think so...) because she liked to clean, found it therapeutic, and therefore never really taught me how its done. OK, I know how to clean a toilet bowl, scrub a sink, wipe down mirrors and glass -- I'm not a big fan of dirt either so I do have to do the basics -- but mopping floors? As soon as I finish sweeping up all the dog hair and crumbs and dust bunnies (which seems to never end, I might add) I get the mop (hmmm, which one should I use today? The electric wet vacuum thingy that is supposed to make my life easier but never quite sucks up all the water? The one with all the strips of Sham-Wow type cloth? The spongy one that never really scrubs off the dirt? The rubber squeegee one with the rag wrapped around it? The Swiffer wet jet with the pads that keep falling off? - yes, I own them all. Kept buying new ones thinking THAT was the key to getting the job done easier and faster!) and the bucket and begin in the corner of the kitchen.

Problem is, by the time I get out past the breakfast nook I've run out of steam and I still have the family room, hallway, dining room, bathroom and entry to mop. Not to mention the two bathrooms upstairs... Just the thought of it has me exhausted!!

What prompted me to write this at all is that I have a house guest coming Friday morning for the weekend and I had to make up the bed in my daughter's room for him. That led to me dusting/cleaning off her vanity because when she left for college she left all kinds of makeup dirt and hair care product stickiness. So I cleaned that and noticed the window shutters were filthy - they collect a ton of dirt and dust when the windows are open - so I started wiping them down (both sides, of course!). Then I realized I needed to vacuum the floor and empty her trash can, and oh, how did I forget about the bathroom?

That's another story altogether. My two teens share the bathroom and my son is a pig. There really is no other way to describe him. He ignores every effort I make to teach him how to clean up after himself (heaven forbid I make the same mistake as my mother and just do it for him - then he'd never learn how!!) and he seems completely blind to any and all dirt, hair, soap scum, toothpaste and worse... My daughter managed to leave even more makeup, hair care products, hair and lord only knows what else on her side of the sink than she had on her vanity - so I had to tackle that too. All the while I'm grumbling. I don't want to be doing this, I don't ever go into these rooms (kids' bedrooms or their bathroom), out of sight/out of mind was working just fine thank you, but that dang guy from Australia had to come to stay with us... and I'm not even going to be here this weekend, why isn't my husband helping?!?

I've got a real problem here because I hate housework. I love company though, and I WON'T have guests stay in a dirty room. So the room/bathroom are now ready for Peter but I've started looking around and getting overwhelmed by how much still needs to be cleaned everywhere else in the house...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSJARI 7/27/2009 2:27PM

    I also suggest flylady She can be found at online, and she has a book, Sink Reflections, that you can buy or check out from the library and read and follow. Your house didn't get messy overnight and it won't get clean overnight. Just start in one area, and continue from there. I know where you are - I'm there too and working my way out, one babystep at a time.

You can do it!

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TARAP525 7/27/2009 12:48AM

    i hate cleaning, but there's times i get OCD about everything and get the mentality that it has to be perfect. actually i do that everytime i get to cleaning. that quickly snowballs and becomes more than i can chew at the moment and for some reason or another end up not having the time, energy or get interupted and it doesn't get finished how i wanted it to be done. for example, a few weeks ago i was going to dust my daughters room and somehow that turned into me rearranging her closet (including getting totes for and seperating all the clothes that she's grown out of or that she needs to grow into and reboxing all the christmas stuff), finding room for all her quilts and comforters that was in her toy chest so i could move all her toys from the living room into her room (there's some still in the LR that wouldn't fit in the toy box) and re arranging her dresser drawers (had to find room for those darn quilts somewhere). i finally called it quits after 4 days of working on her room and i still haven't dusted it yet. that 'depresses' me and causes me to give up for a while because i'd rather it be all messy than half done. it was sooo much easier to have a clean house when i lived by myself without a man or child to clean up after.

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JENNIFER124 7/26/2009 7:21PM

    you want confessions??? Jay does most of the housework,,, i hired a cleaner for years until i left my job... i just couldnt do it all... I HATE TO CLEAN!!! so Jay made a deal with me to do the big stuff... and it works -- he cleans and he cleans fast.. i do other house stuff... with house detail, comes so much "STUFF" -- not sure why... but i hate that too.... thanks for sharing this blog.. jen

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GODINMYHEART 7/26/2009 9:10AM

    we have some challenges related to house keeping- very short ones, that could help. Check our team:

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SUBSMITH 7/25/2009 5:15PM

    Chuckle. I enjoyed your blog. I totally relate and my grown DAUGHTER set me up on It did help, but I reeeally am bad about cleaning. As for your son, well, I tried that out of sight/mind attitude 'cause some parenting class in college inspired me 'that's a good idea'. Rubbish. Didn't work. I'm sure there's a balance to it all, but I don't have the answer.... so good luck. Though flylady has a plan of attack for kids too. I do like her way of helping me think differently about housework; but the biggie pitfall for me is that I love living and don't care to spend it cleaning. Period. Striving for the balance though to keep things clean enough to love living IN my own home.

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JUNEBUG4967 7/23/2009 3:13PM

    This does sound like me too - b4 I found You learn routines which help with the day2day stuff and a way to work on the headgames that make all this soooooooo much worse than it really is.


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2WHEELER 7/23/2009 10:57AM

    You were reading my mind!!! Monday night I started cleaning the "guest" room, which I don't normally touch since we don't often have guests. But we're going on vacation and having someone house-/dog-sit and they'll be staying overnight for 2 weeks.

When I looked in the room I thought--that's not so bad. But I was surprised at how much dust I picked up with the Swiffer. So then I damp mopped the room and wow, was it ever dirty. Then I noticed the little dust bunnies & cob webs that were hanging on the woodwork. So that had to be wiped down. That led to running the Swiffer over the walls to get the cobwebs out of the corners.

Then the furniture had to be dusted & wiped with a damp cloth. Next was to change the sheets--they were clean, but had been on the bed forever and I figured they were as dusty as the floors & walls.

Now I'm working on the bathroom. Just everyday dust & a bathtub ring that has to be scrubbed.

I don't like house cleaning. Our house definitely has that "lived in" look. It's a good thing that neither of us gets too excited about it except at times like this. We tackle the job when it reaches a breaking point. I love the look and smell of a spotless house, I just don't want to be the person who gets it to that point.

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SORGIN 7/23/2009 9:21AM

    Now I KNOW we're related! Some days I like housework because it makes me feel like I've accomplished something. Those days are few and far between because it means nobody is home. Every day, I hate it. It seems futile because the dog hair, dirt and accumulated crap just pile up again. And let's face it; it's not fun. The payoff is a clean house - big deal. And then I feel guilty because my house is never clean enough. I should always be doing more. Sound familiar?

The kids are impervious to the mess. They could care less. I will occasionally go on a bender where they look at me like I'm crazy (because I am). I will say things like, "You guys leave your crap all over the house and do NOTHING to help clean it! That's it! I'm not doing one more thing for you!" But it never lasts. I'm still the chief cleaner and complainer.

I think it's okay to let your son wallow in his mess. At some point he will decide it bothers him, or it won't bother him. In either case, it won't be your problem. Just close the door to the bathroom and bedroom and tell your guest, "I wouldn't go there if I were you." That's what we do here. Let it go. Pick your battles.

I am married to a guy who was a complete slob when we were dating. I don't think he cleaned a toilet, floor, shower, or vacuumed once. The dishes were always growing vile things all over the counter and around the house. He could live in absolute filth. His roommates hated living with him. Every time I complain about him I have to remind myself that I knew what I was getting myself into. He knows how to clean. He did chores when he was growing up. It's just not important to him. He's perfectly happy living in dirt. There's no payoff for him so he doesn't do it. Now, if I ASK him to help, he will. That's as good as it gets.

He married a woman who flew off the handle when her feelings were hurt. He knew what he was getting into. There are tradeoffs.

On the other hand, I have a son who was headed in the same direction. He never put a thing away in his room, left his stuff everywhere and I could never vacuum because of all the crap. This past year he's suddenly into organizing his room. It's his little kingdom so he is busy trying to make it his own. Posters on the wall, favorite CDs to play. He is making his own mancave. He started complaining because my daughter's bathroom stuff was all over the place in their bathroom. That made her start cleaning up her act a little. He did it on his own. (For the record, I don't dust their rooms. They have so much stuff on their dressers that I'm not going there. People can think what they want. )

For the record, I hate mopping too. I have all the different mops you mentioned, none of them work. In fact, I use a good old-fashioned sponge mop and bucket and to dry the floor (and get up stuff stuck in the water or on the floor) I take a huge towel, step on each end of it and skate my way around the kitchen. It's a workout! But it's a workout I hate. Five minutes later the dog slobbers or the kids walk in a bunch of dirt or spill something sticky. Futile.

My husband and kids think cleaning is my job. That's partly true since I'm the one who's at home more. And it's what they see me do and hear me complain about. So I struggle with not wanting to do it and thinking I should do it and that I don't do it well if I finally do.

You are not alone. I have no magic answers other than to recognize that your house IS clean. If you are doing the basics, then you're fine. If you feel like you aren't measuring up, then you're admitting what probably every woman feels. And that has nothing to do with your cleaning skills, those are fine. It has to do with how doing or not doing (or how nobody is helping with doing) that sort of work makes you feel. It makes you feel like you're not valued. And then when a guest comes, you feel like crap, like the very stuff you FEEL like you can't seem to get under control. But you DO have it under control. You're just not ready to let go of the feelings.

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    AAAHHHHH! Dang. Now you've made me look at my house. See...I usually just fill my day to the brim so I'm never home and, so, the dirt and disgusting stuff just doesn't exist for me.

But, now...I've taken a good look. My bedroom floor should not really be walked on in bare feet. My kitchen...gack...we actually cook in here? I'm not even going to OPEN the doors to my kids' bedrooms. Uh uh...not going there. The only clean room is our living room...'cause my dh resides in there and dusts/vaccums it daily....I love that man.

Sigh...guess I'll be cleaning this weekend.

Glad to know I'm not an aberration though. Thanks for 'fessin' up.

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_MAOMAO_ 7/23/2009 3:07AM

  I can relate so much - I'll actually let stuff get too cluttered or dirty, knowing that when I start cleaning, I make it into a thesis. Then I hate to broach the subject at all. Balance, that's the hard part. In my workspace, you'd almost never guess that I'm not that obsessively clean and organized at home.

Never could the cats trained to clean while I was gone. What were they doing all day while I was earning the cat food, sleeping?
emoticon - what we'll look like after our houses are completely clean!

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BANTAMOM 7/23/2009 2:10AM

    May I suggest a site that has totally changed my life?
>Give it a look.

Comment edited on: 7/23/2009 2:13:24 AM

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JENALEX1 7/23/2009 1:16AM

    Sounds like what I have to do around Christmas for family. I'm in college, but I somehow got the cleaning obsession gene from my mother. I hate to do the work, but I HATE the dirty house more.

I'd say crack down on those kids of yours and make'em clean. It isn't fair that they are taking such blatant advantage of you! Plus tell your teenage son, that girls don't like messy boys. A disgusting room is a total turn off!

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My first duathlon and the Angel who found me

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today I completed my first duathlon (run, bike, run). It was an all women's event held at and around Disneyland. I entered it about 2 months ago during a moment of insanity; at the time I had only been running but I was lured by the promise of a free ticket to Disneyland... in hindsight I wonder why that even mattered, since I used to be an annual passholder and don't even care to go anymore... but there you go. Offer me a "freebie" and I become a different person. I just love a bargain!!

Since I completed the San Diego marathon 2 weeks ago I have been having all kinds of knee trouble. My knee hurts intermittently, it buckles without warning, it locks up on occasion and my IT band (where it attaches to the outside of my knee) hurts all the time. Add to that the fact that I still have achilles tendonitis and I've felt like a wreck! As this day approached I became more and more stressed about participating. I didn't want to do any permanent damage to my knee or ankle but I also didn't want to lose the $100 I paid to enter (so much for the "free" ticket to Disneyland LOL). Since it is a "beginners" event I knew it would be low pressure and I could take my time, so I decided to get up and go, figuring I would walk if I needed to.

Did I mention that I haven't ridden more than 12 miles on my bike in the past 10 years? Oh, I guess I skipped sharing that little tidbit tee hee. Since my bike was stolen after completing a century 10 years ago I have not cycled. At all. I bought a new bike a few months ago thinking it might be fun to start again but honestly, I was intimidated to get out there. I couldn't even remember how to shift gears, let alone deal with traffic, flat tires, pedal clips, and saddle soreness... but since I had this new bike, I should start racing, right? My triathlete superstar girlfriend Jo got me out there last week and helped me get through my jitters, so I figured that part of the race would be OK.

I went to the expo yesterday in a knee brace and had the Trek techs show me how to change a flat tire. I got to meet famed Triathlete Sally Edwards and heard her speak about the monkeys on our backs -- fear, doubt and negative self talk -- and how to get rid of them. She spoke about the tone of this event, women helping and supporting women, and encouraged us to find our inner athletes and have fun!

So at 2:45 this morning I got out of bed, limped into the bathroom to dress and put on my brace and headed out the door. Jo suggested I get to the race as early as possible so that I could rack my bike at the end of the rack, where it would be easier to find during transition. When I showed up at 4:15 a.m. I couldn't believe someone else was already there!
I was really early, so I set out my helmet, gloves, shoes and drink and met some of the other women around me. Everyone was really nice, although most of the people on my rack (determined by race number) were part of a local Triathlon group and had raced before. A little later on I met some gals I had spoken to at the expo yesterday and we chatted a bit about our nerves and encouraged each other. Finally it was 5:15 and time for us to start our 15 minute walk over to Disneyland for the start of the race.

By the time the gates opened at Disneyland it was light out and we were greeted by Disney staff. The race was set to start on Main Street, facing Sleeping Beauty's castle. Being a race for women the first mad rush was not to the corrals, but to the "real" restrooms! I was going as fast as I could but still wound up behind 30 other women on line when someone suggested we just use the men's room since there weren't any men around... you didn't have to tell me twice! I was the first one in that bathroom! By the time I left the line was was equally as long as it was for the ladies room hehe. I made my way up Main Street and found that I was in the first Corral... what were they thinking?
It was really cool being up at the front for the kickoff ceremony and start of the race, but I chose to hang back in my corral so that I didn't hold anyone up. I met 4 really nice ladies who run with a club not far from me and we compared notes about other events we'd been in and our running intervals. They were all about my age and it was such a good feeling to know they ran about my pace and used the same 1:1 intervals as I did :D We were treated to a brief warm-up by Minnie Mouse and then the gun went off ... along with tons of confetti and a finish line ribbon held above our heads as we started. I thought about the people in the other corrals who would have to wait at least 3 minutes per wave to start - they wouldn't get the confetti or ribbon to run under - so I was counting my blessings.

I decided to ignore my interval watch and just try to run as much as I could. My knee was hurting but as soon as I started running my ankle pain distracted me LOL. I just kept going, thinking this hurts but its not bad enough to stop... a few minutes later I was running around Frontierland and into Fantasyland when the runners from Wave 2 started passing me... I realized that I had to focus on MY race, not theirs and walked a minute with the gals I had met at the start line. Then I ran again, thinking its not far now... I can rest on the bike...

I got to the transition area and couldn't get my shoe untied! I pulled on my helmet, kicked off my shoe and slipped into my bike shoes, grabbed my gloves and tried to pull them on with my teeth as I started to walk my bike to the "bike out" area... it wasn't until I was underway that I realized that I had forgotten to remove my running water belt! I never intended to cycle with it on, but oh well... after the whole race was over I realized I also never tightened my helmet in the back - good thing I didn't crash!

The bike course was mostly flat, with just a couple of small hills over the freeway. I found myself passing people and feeling pretty good... suprised, I started loop two of the ride as I saw people from the final wave just returning from their first run. That really gave me a second wind! I think I made up a lot of time on the bike leg, which made me start thinking about finish times and placing... not a good thing to think about with the second run looming ahead... As I entered the transition area the second time I dismounted and could hardly walk on my left leg. "Oh NO" I thought, I'm done now... but I sat down and changed my shoes and just started walking. Its only 2 miles... I can walk 2 miles... just need to finish...

I tried to run a bit but really struggled. So I told myself I would try to run for 1 minute, and then I could walk for 2 or 3 minutes.... and so it went until I was nearing the exit from California Adventure. We had about 1/2 mile to go and I was trying to run but was obviously favoring my left leg... I limped a bit and a gal named Nancy (who I think was really an Angel sent to help me!) came up from behind me and said "C'mon mama, lets run it in together. I'll run with you, we can do it!"... that was all I needed to hear - someone was there with me, for me, beside me - and believed in me! So we started to run... and we crossed the street, passed the water stop, kept going ... I finally said "Nancy, I need a walk break" and she said "I'll give you 3 traffic cones (about 15 feet), then we'll finish this!". In my last blog I wrote about my demons - the ones that always want me to quit trying as I near the finish line - well today, Nancy chased them away!! We ran the rest of the way in together and I urged her to run the last 15 feet ahead of me, but stayed right behind her (I finished 1 second later). After we crossed the finish line I hugged her and told her how much her being there helped me ... she said "that's what its all about!". What a cool lady!!!

I hung around to talk to some of the people I had met along the way, and then wandered over to the results table to see my finish time... imagine my surprise when I found out I finished 12th in my division!!! Holy Cow!! I know it was a small field, only 32 people in my division finished, but still... got me thinking, I wonder how I could've done if I were healthy?... dangerous thinking, that... that's the kind of thinking that gets me spending more money on more races hehe!

I loaded up my bike and came home to my ice packs. I am now officially "on a break" for 2 weeks before I start training for the San Francisco 1/2 marathon... but maybe I'll do some cycling in the meantime... emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 7/5/2009 8:22PM

    Great blog--I felt like I was there with you and could feel your struggles. It's surprising how a total stranger is willing to step up and help a kindred athlete. Makes me have great hope for the human race (no pun intended). Hope you're feeling much better by now.

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PAMTHEDREAMER 6/17/2009 4:22PM

    Congratulations Tammy wammy!!You're right you did have an angel on your side in that Nancy. Thanx for sharing your story.
I am concerned about your knee and your tentonitus-one needs to rest these things ya know in order to completely heal. Please take care. Pamper yerself. Okay?
Congrats again! emoticon
Pam :)

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GLOBALKEEWEE 6/17/2009 3:32PM

    Congratulations on doing "your first" least of this type of race!

How hilarious is it that the part you were most nervous about and trained the least for was a total highlight!? I think you're definitely on to something big here - imagine what you can do w/ a little training on the bike??

As for your knee, Dr. Keewee says SIT DOWN. You clearly sensed that something was wrong with it and did the duo anyway (I hear ya on that one), but now take the time to recover properly. That way you'll be healthy for years and events to come!

Kudos again on your race.


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EVETROY 6/16/2009 7:47PM

    Wow! an angel really did come your way! Your spirit is amazing - a lesser person would have quit!

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LILHLFPINT 6/15/2009 10:57PM

    (aw, that was a great race report. ::hugs::

i'm so sorry you are plagued by the injuries from san diego but 12th place? you did awesome.)

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BOILERINAZ 6/15/2009 6:20PM

    you are a complete rockstar!!! great job! I just did a 5K and still felt the san diego marathon effects...can't even imagine how you did this!!!

great recap! so if all is in perfect alignment then your angel should run into me at some event this week right? lol! I'm so glad there are angels on the race tracks these days!

I'm considering a triathlon but never considered a duathon -but now I'm intrigued! lol!

Rest up well! enjoy the time off you deserved it! oh and I think I'm doing the Philly marathon in november!

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AROSPCGL 6/15/2009 5:42PM

    Congrats!!!Every race has its own unique challenges. As a friend of mine always says - "we can beat the monkeys". Suzanne

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JENNIFER124 6/15/2009 9:54AM

    congrats!! Tammy!!! amazing placement in your category!! thanks for paving the way for all of us regarding trying something new with the cross-training aspect... i want to learn to love my bike--- i too bought a really nice bike that sort of gets neglected... the event of course SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL!!! you have some great races out in CA... and i truly believe she was an angel who really helped you and supported you.. we arent alone in this!!
i really hope that your leg feels better.. that you can heal and be that much more stronger for it... your body is VERY wise!!! remember that!!! honoring it with all that it does for you by providing it with REST!! as Melly asked, is the biking less stress to the knee?? congrats again and enjoy the time with your daughter!! much love, jen

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SORGIN 6/15/2009 9:30AM

    That is awesome, Tammy! That's it. I want to sign up for a duathlon (but only after I learn what pedal clips are and this thing where you have to change your shoes and rack your bike.)

This sounds like it was so much fun and to do it with other women is really cool. I cried when I read about your angel. Sometimes that's all it takes is for someone to plant the seed. I am so focused on myself during races that I'd probably not hear it if someone tried to encourage me. That's something I need to think about, my ability to HEAR.

I love the photos and you really give a sense of what it was like to be there. YOU ROCK! 12th?! on your first time out?! That is incredible and probably gets you thinking about doing more????

I am taking a two week rest too and plan to bike/swim and keep it low key. Rest is good, right? Right? Right?


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NAVYMOM133 6/15/2009 8:50AM

    I am always so intrigued by the ins and outs of these races. I find I just love the preparation and frame of mind comments, and all the editorials about 'race day' in general, as well as the details about the race itself.
Of course, I'm now zooming in on the biking part. That's what I worry about - crashing - LOL. I am pretty wobbly till I get going, with the front tire veering left and right - yeah, the person who'd probably scare other racers to death.
Here's a BIG congrats to finishing this last race in this wave in 12th place for your division!!
Big emoticon emoticon emoticon
Now, rest woman!! emoticon

I am very curious to hear how your sore knee felt while you were biking. Does biking really make a difference to a sore knee?

Great report, friend. You DO IT!!
emoticon Melly

Comment edited on: 6/15/2009 8:53:43 AM

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    You are such a sweetie! Again, I appreciate you sharing the emotional aspects of your experiences as well as the practical. Good for you sweetpea! Now, go rest those're making me hurt just thinking about it.

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    WOW - that sounds like a really cool race! And what a great experience with all of those women - especially your angel. Sounds like a race to do again in the future. And you ROCKED it coming in 12th even with all of those injuries! Congrats on a race finished and NOW IT'S TIME TO REST AND RECOVER! I'm worried about you! You really are an inspiration!

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KAYAKID 6/15/2009 2:20AM

    Great Blog! thanks for sharing it with us.... You are the desire to finish - even with some injuries. I think if I hurt that bad I would have quit. You did great!!! Running at disneyland that must of been kindof cool! Have a good week. You rest and take care of yourself. I have a 5k race on thursday!

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