Pressing On

On April 2, I ran the Oakland Running Festival half marathon. It was a hard run for me… It starts later than I am used to and the weather was quite warm. Half way through the race, I felt dizzy. I had to walk for a while, then went back to running. I didn’t feel particularly good for the rest of the run, but I did manage to finish at about my regular time, and shaved off 1 minute from my previous half. And, I finally had a friend doing the same run!

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We finished! Oak Town FTW!

This is my 4th time doing the half in Oakland. The race was very well organized and I liked the way they changed up the start/finish area this year. However, after my run, I was thinking that this would be my last. After thinking about it for several days, maybe not. If I do this again next year, I’m going to train differently… While I can’t control the weather, I can control when I do my weekend practice runs. I think I will start running later in the mornings to get used to a later start time. I’m used to a 6:30am start time, not 9:10am (the time the half starts).

That being said, I’ve been feeling a bit worn down lately. Last week, I took 2 days off from any exercise (Monday and Tuesday). Then, I did my indoor cycling class on Wednesday, light running on Thursday and Friday, weight work on Saturday. I tried an open run on Sunday, meaning I decided to run as far as I wanted, didn’t matter what the distance was. I ended up running 4.5 miles and got to check out a vista point that I’ve been curious about.

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There’s a teeny tiny San Francisco out there

The most important thing to note is that my speed increased. I’m starting to wonder if I am running too much right now. Adding more recovery time between runs seems to be giving me more speed and endurance. Anyone else find this to be true? Sometimes? All the time?

Stay healthy!

Random Wednesday Musings

On Sunday, I went running. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But, I encountered two women running with an off-leash dog. I’m going to pause there because a) it’s not legal and b) dogs can be unpredictable and c) good thing I’m not afraid of dogs… The dog was well-behaved and kept pace with them several feet ahead. The first time I saw them we were going in opposite directions. Second time, they were coming up behind me. The second time is the reason I decided to include this in my musings.

Blurry dog running off-leash

I was running along minding my own business, lost in my own thoughts, when suddenly I felt something bump into my right leg. I kind of jumped to the left a little, looked down and saw the dog. Then I could hear one of the women calling the dog and it slowed down, but then kept encroaching on my space time after time, until they passed me. Again, glad I’m not afraid of dogs. So, appropriate or inappropriate? Not much of a bother to me, per se, but I am pretty sure that would have been a bother to someone afraid of or not fond of dogs.


I went running on Tuesday. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. But, then I saw this on the trail!

A message on the trail

A friend of mine moved to Arizona last year, but comes back now and then to run half marathons in the old neighborhood. She was in town this weekend to run the San Francisco Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon… And, she left a note. I didn’t get to see her on this trip, so I thought it was extra cool that I found this.


This bird.

What are you trying to tell me little bird?

Yesterday, this bird drove me crazy for the better part of 30 minutes. She was at my kitchen window pecking away. It sounded a little like morse code. Whatever she was trying to tell me, it was urgent. But, sadly, I wasn’t getting it. I even went outside to see if something, like a cat, was after her. Nope. Just really, really wanted to be inside. After about 30 minutes, she moved to a nearby tree. Hopefully, she was feeling better… or something.

Speaking of birds… About a month ago, I was working at my desk and heard some kind of noise. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was so I opened the blinds. From my desk, which is on the second floor of my two-story house, I can see the roof over the garage. There was a crow shoving something under one of the shingles. Seriously. So, I can only assume that my roof has become some kind of storage unit for this bird. One of these days, maybe I’ll go out there to see what I can find. I’m guessing multiple hiding spots. Crows are crafty.

Stay healthy!

A Bittersweet Moment on the Trail

Last week, I went for a long training run (11 miles). My preferred trail is along a beautiful reservoir – a little bit of peacefulness in a hustle-bustle kind of place. I noticed an older man standing in front of a bench. He was standing. Maybe that’s why I took notice. He was looking out at the water lost in his thoughts. As I got closer, we made eye contact. I said good morning as I passed by. He seemed noticeably sad. I’m sometimes lost in my own space when I’m running, but it wasn’t hard to pick up on the vibe. On my way back, I noticed that he had left a bouquet of yellow daisies. I wasn’t having the best run, so I noticed but didn’t look too closely.

Yesterday, I went to the same trail – another long training run (12 miles). I came to the bench. He wasn’t there… But, a fresh bouquet of flowers was. I stopped to look. That’s when I realized there was a plaque on the bench. A dedication.

I took a picture because it was truly sweet. I imagine that the daisies will be new next Sunday as well. I looked out from the bench – it’s a serene, peaceful view and I hope it brings him some comfort.

The View from the Bench

Why March is Hard for Me

I wrote about this last year. I’m writing about it again this year because I can be moody, sad, and easily frustrated this month. March 30 will mark the third anniversary of my mom’s death. And, that’s only 19 days away. I’ll get through it, my moodiness will pass, but it still sucks.


It was hard right after she died because 5 days later my son turned 1. Turning 1 is a big deal, so it needed a celebration. On the heals of losing my mom. Party prep, the party – it was fun, but kind of a blur. I had been hoping, hoping, hoping my mom would recover enough to visit again and see him turn 1. That wasn’t to be. Maybe the saddest thing to me right now is that the two things can never be separated.

My mom was very sick with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bones – pretty much through her entire body. She struggled with painful bony growths and went through radiation to shrink them down so she could manage the pain. After the radiation treatments, she decided not to keep up the chemo drugs. It was her decision to make and she made it. I had begged my parents to move closer to me, but my mom was hell bent on living and dying in their house on a lovely lake. I did get them to come out and spend a little over 2 months with us in 2013 – November and December.

I’m going to pause right here. Anyone who gets breast cancer and then sees it go into remission needs to make sure their doctor is following up with all tests. ALL tests. My mom diligently went for her checkups and they NEVER found this bone cancer until it had spread all through her body. They only found the bone cancer because she took a fall and was in intense pain after. Grrrrrr.

While my parents were visiting, I watched my mom get on the floor to play with her grandson. I remember fretting over her health and whether it was a good idea for her to be on the floor at all. I was so focused on her physical issues, I wasn’t thinking about the mental part. That trip was her last chance to do things with him. To touch him, to feel him, to shower him with love. I get it now – she knew it was her last chance. I frequently tell my son how much his grandmother loved him, but I know he’ll never FEEL it. He was too young to remember. We only have pictures and stories.

This past November, we finally held my mom’s internment service. It took a long time because she was interned in a different state from where my parents had lived. It had been so long and yet it made it final for me. Like somehow it wasn’t before? I can’t exactly explain it. I spoke during my mom’s funeral service, but couldn’t bring myself to speak during the internment. It was freezing cold (literally) and yet I was warmed to see so many family members and friends come to give their final goodbyes.

My cousin gave a speech and it hit me that there are so many stories I don’t remember or never knew. Parts of my mom that are unknown to me. I’ve been thinking about that ever since… And, I just listened to a great podcast about the death of a parent. It’s called “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” and the episode is called “Semper Fi.” Nora McInerny’s dad had been in Vietnam and she talked to some of the men he served with to learn more about her father. What struck me was the angle. I really want to talk to more friends and family about my mom to hear stories – the ones I know and the ones I don’t to see what they saw. So I can preserve more of my mom’s memory. Maybe that will be my 2017 goal.

Thanks for reading. Stay happy and healthy!

My Shoe Has a Problem

Before I get to my shoe problem, I’ll share some good news. This morning, I was able to run 8 miles. I’m behind in my half marathon training, but that’s ok. I’ve been dealing with an ankle problem after running in new shoes without properly breaking them in. Right now, I’m wrapping my ankle and putting KT tape on my calf. The KT tape was helping my ankle, but not quite giving me the level of support I needed. Broke down and bought a proper ankle brace… Very helpful. Very excited to have run 8 miles without issue.

Added bonus: I got to play a great game of “dodge the snails.” I think every snail in the area was on the trail this morning trying to get out of the puddles so they wouldn’t drown or something. The big ones were not much of a challenge, but so many baby snails… As far as I know, I didn’t cause any deaths. No snails, slugs, or worms were harmed by me this morning.

 

Interesting double bonus: I brought some Gu with me and realized about 3 miles into the run that I had dropped my Gu somewhere. I was disappointed because it was one of my favorite flavors. On the way back (straight trail), I started scanning for my lost packet of Gu about the spot I realized it was gone… about a quarter of a mile later, I actually found it! Woot!

Ok, now to my shoe problem. The reason I bought new shoes is because my right shoe has 2 small holes in the mesh on top. After today’s run, one of those holes is a little bigger. 😦 So, I am not particularly interested in trying out my new shoes again until after the half marathon on April 2, but need to figure out how to keep my shoe from developing a bigger hole and rendering my shoe useless or embarrassing. Any ideas on how to stop this hole? Any suggestions welcome. Right now, I am considering some kind of glue or duct tape solution, but I don’t want to look stupid… Any advice? 🙂

2017 So Far Has Been Tough

I haven’t posted much lately. After a rough January, I thought February would be better for me. But, here I am on the last day of the month nursing an ankle injury. I recently got some new running shoes, but didn’t break them in properly and now I’m paying the price. Ah, well.

Lesson learned: A 4-mile run is not the way to break in new shoes.

New Running Shoes

What should I have done? Half a mile, maybe 1. Then, gradually build up distance. Got it for next time.

I’m about a month away from the Oakland Half Marathon and am really hoping things improve on the training front. Maybe the bigger lesson here is that you still have to be careful even when you think you know what you are doing.

Me in taped up glory

Too bad you can’t see all the tape under my shoe… I will say that the KT tape has helped a bit, but would really like to be 100% pain free soon. Stay healthy!