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!

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!

Running At the Happiest Place on Earth

This isn’t really much of a post, but I’m super excited and wanted to share… I just registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September 2017. How crazy is that!?! Registration opened today and I wanted to make sure I got my spot, though. So, it’s done and it’s on! I also registered my son for a kid’s run and he’ll get a runDisney hat with ears. With. Ears!

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Now that I have my spot reserved, feel free to sign yourselves up! I’m really excited about this one. There will be Disney characters along the course… And, really, I needed a good excuse to finally take my son to Disneyland. Woot! Woot!

Do you have a destination race you like? What is it? What would you recommend?

Stress + Training = Exhaustion

It’s hard to separate the stress and the training… Part of the stress was my training, or lack thereof. I’ve been in physical therapy for my right knee and had a half marathon coming up.

While I wasn’t able to do much running, I did a lot of cycling. That definitely helped me keep up with my cardio training, but… It doesn’t help with the actual running part. Finally, 1 week before my half marathon, with the help of my physical therapist, I was able to do a couple of 5-mile runs with no pain. But, I had a 13.1-mile run in a week. And, I hadn’t been able to do any trail running since July. Only paved. Yikes!

On top of that, I was the auction chair for a non-profit fundraiser and the auction was a week after the half marathon. That means, I was neck deep in trying to secure donations and either collect those donations or make sure someone on my team collected them and brought them to the event. I have never done a silent auction before. That probably showed. But, the good news is that we raised a fair amount of money despite my bumbling and fumbling.

The Yosemite Half Marathon

On October 7, I did a short 3-mile trail run.


All good. Later that day, we headed up to Bass Lake, CA. That’s where the race ended. It started up in the mountains, not far from the Yosemite National Park entrance.

On October 8, the day of the race, we had to take shuttle buses up to the start, which was the best way to handle getting that many people up through windy mountain roads.

That being said, there was a major traffic jam in the small town of Bass Lake at 4:30am the morning of the race. Everyone was trying to get to the buses. The buses that were supposed to leave at 5am sharp.


My husband was dropping me off and about half a mile from the bus pick-up spot, we decided it would be faster for me to get out and walk. That was probably around 4:45am. And, it was faster. I also managed to get myself onto a bus from a closer location (I didn’t have to walk the full half mile. I totally lucked out) – Not sure how that even happened because when I got there, there were only a few people standing around. By the time my bus left, around 5am, there was a HUGE line… And, no more buses. I am sure the returning buses were going back to the pick-up locations to get the remaining folks, but it looked dire.

Here’s what the course looked like:

Yosemite Half Marathon 2016

Yosemite Half Marathon 2016

I  spent about an hour freezing. It was dark and in the upper 30s F. So maybe I wasn’t LITERALLY freezing, but it felt pretty darn close. I had on 4 layers of tops. 2 tank tops, 1 long-sleeve running shirt, and 1 jacket. I also wore gloves and long running tights. About 30 minutes prior to the start, I went to bag check and reluctantly took off my jacket. While that seemed like the right thing to do, I wish I had known their process better. There was a truck collecting all the bags right at the start line, so I could have thrown my bag in as my wave was getting closer to the start. I would have been a little warmer a little longer. I know now. 😉

I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes for the first 3 miles or so. Oh well. It was worth it. I did manage a couple of pictures:

Before:

During:

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And after:

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Later that night!

The Silent Auction

We came home and I turned all of my focus to the charity event and the silent auction, which was this past Sunday. I was a little manic as I secured items and then organized bid sheets and worked on the checkout process.

I spent all of my spare time last week on the auction, including all day Saturday. My 3 1/2 year old son told me I was working too much and I had to agree with him, but I had no choice! People were depending on me. The day of the event went pretty well despite a downpour and rain off/on the rest of the day.


We raised a fair amount of money, which made me feel good. I was riding high on adrenaline through the remainder of Sunday. Yesterday was a decidedly different story. I was exhausted. So much so I had trouble focusing on work and actually had to take a nap – Good thing I was working from home. I’ve learned a lot about running a silent auction, so if I do this again next year, I will kick some serious butt! And, will procrastinate less. Wish I could say I wouldn’t procrastinate at all, but I know me pretty well! Bid sheets, displays, checkout… It’s a crazy amount of work.

Glad it’s all over though and I can get back normal. Loved spending time with my son last night – with no distractions. 🙂

And, I’ll leave you with this… The face of exhaustion (from yesterday):


Stay healthy!

Settling In With My Road Bike

I’ve been biking a lot lately, but it’s been road biking with a mountain bike. It didn’t feel efficient, but I thought maybe it would be ok. It wasn’t. I finally had enough. I took the plunge and got a proper road bike. And, like I have with my mountain bike, I got clip-in pedals.

Last weekend, I went on my last road ride on my mountain bike (mostly)!

Me on my Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ Mountain Bike

Well, you know that saying that things come in 3s? I’d say my first 3 rides on my new bike were less than stellar. I’m really hoping those are out of the way now. On my first ride, I somehow got off of the trail I meant to follow. Turns out that was a good thing… After stopping to consult my map a few times, I made it back to the original trail. Yay. Maybe. I stayed on the trail going back and found that I should have stuck with the “wrong way” because I ended up on gravel. On my road bike. Not cool. Made it back… But, sigh!

On my second ride, I fell close to the end of my ride because I couldn’t get my right foot out of the pedal. What’s worse is that people saw me, so in addition to a small bruise on my arm, I had a big bruise on my ego!

Oops!

And, then there was the non-existent third try. I went to go for a ride and my bike was listing and wobbling… at 6am. Oh, great. A flat tire. I rode my mountain bike instead. Wow, it seemed super heavy after riding the road bike only a couple of times. Later in the day, I pumped up my tire only to realize that there was a slow leak. I found something had pierced it so I had to take it in for repair – I haven’t even gotten a repair kit yet.

And, that brings us to today. A successful ride of nearly 23 miles. No falling, no getting lost. (Hopefully nothing else in my tires.) Even the hills felt pretty good on this bike! It’s so much lighter than my mountain bike… Burned some calories and worked on my sprints. I highly recommend getting a proper bike for whatever you are doing or want to do – it makes a big difference. More on that and my bike in my next post.

Me and my Specialized Roubaix Road Bike

A Proper Road Bike!

I am participating in a half marathon this Saturday. My training has been pretty impacted by a knee injury, but I think I can run half, maybe most of it. We’ll see how it goes, but after a 5-mile run yesterday, I am feeling more confident in my recovery. All of this biking has certainly helped. I’ve been able to keep up my cardio while not over-straining my knee.

Stay healthy!