Monday, March 28, 2011

Favorite Marathon T-Shirts

"Not high maintenance, just high mileage"
"My sport is your sport's punishment"
"All marathons are 26.2 miles"
"It's that damn .2 that really kicks your ass"
"Find your happy pace"
"The only good race pace is suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die" (Steve Prefontaine)
"If you can read this, I'm not last!"
"Any idiot can run. It takes a special idiot to run a marathon"
"If your going to run cross country, start with a small country"
"If I don't get a runner's high, there's always plan Beer"
"Not tonight honey, I have a race in the morning"
"26.2 pass the weak, hurdle the dead"
"Ultra Running: Because Oprah killed the marathon"
"I have a run track mind"

All of them can be found at Cafe Press. I obviously couldn't sleep tonight due to sunburn and sore legs. Someday they will all apply to me. Enjoy!

3 weeks until Boston!

32 miles of training this week (wow)
17.5 mi long run @ 11:05/mi, lotsa hills, no music

2 of the last 4 runs were in the rain. Today was the first sunny day. Forgot to wear sunscreen, which is going to make recovery even more pleasurable. With Boston only 21 days away, there is no time for nonsense. Only one more long run between now and the race, and I feel really good about it. No pain or numbness, no chafffing or blisters, no urge to barf. However, this run might take a day or two to bounce back from. Planning a good run Wednesday morning before the long drive to Southern California for Me and the Mags Disney Adventure.

Today I practiced running with the camera to get used to holding it in Boston, where I am going to want to take TONS of pics. I thought I would share how AMAZING the scenery is on my runs. I love Northern California:
OKD, home of world class Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot.
Luna, one of the wineries I run by in the OKD
Why they call it Oak Knoll District
Silverado Country Club, one of the golf courses I loop around
Where the wine comes from
Mustard in the spring makes the vineyards breathtaking
My future residence
Rain + Sun means vines will bud soon
Pretty much what we are all about up here: Wine, Cheese, Art
A friend I made along the way
I didn't run down the street with all the pigs and goats and sheep because I had to widen my loop to add miles. I was kinda sad not to see as many different animals. I also saw deer and a cow, and heard a couple roosters. Best part of the run? When a guy who I passed by an hour earlier passed by me on his bike again and told me I was doing a good job. The kindness of strangers is the best fuel on a run. When I got home, had a huge glass of chocolate milk and a ham and egg sandwich. Oh, and a little treat to reward myself for not giving up: Godiva Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel. I didn't even have a full serving; 2 squares was satisfying enough this stuff is so rich. 

Training this week:

Tuesday: MAYBE an easy 2.5 miles, if my hips feel up to it
Wednesday: 4 miles, easy
Thursday: lots of walking (DISNEYLAND!)
Friday: MAYBE an easy 5 miles, if I don't have shin splints from Disneyland
Saturday: REST, travel day
Sunday: 20 miles

After this week, it's taper time!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You look fit. What was your BQ time?

I have to admit, I feel really guilty running the Boston Marathon without a BQ time. I didn't expect to feel this way, and I feel shameful when I have to explain that my last marathon was nearly 6 hours. Boston is an elite race, and I am not sure if I deserve the bib, but I have it and I am going to run it. And try to break 5 hours. Not only that, but it is a serious goal to get a BQ time and EARN my bib. Thats what this is all about, right? Working the race inspired me to be a runner, and running the race is going to inspire me to be a FAST runner. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

This morning was my first run with the local running club, The Vinerunners. Because of the rain and another race that was going on in the valley, only 3 members showed up. I swear, these are the nicest people I have ever met. They ran with me and filled my ego head with all sorts of word of encouragement. They cut the distance down to 4 miles for me (keeping it short to stay fresh for tomorrow's long run) and kept an easy pace as well. 4 miles in 39 minutes. Although this is not fast, it is much faster than I have been running, and it felt GREAT. It reminds me of the faster paces I would run when I had a running buddy.

After the fantastic run with the club, we went and got coffee. What we talked about:
Physics of light (seriously)
Plight of American schools
How I can run a 3:30 marathon in no time at all (double serious!)

A running club is exactly what the doctor ordered to get my out of my funk. Despite the funk, March will still be my highest mileage month of 2011. Excited for my long run tomorrow!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NWM 2011 Group?

No miles this week. I totally suck.

Why? I am having a really hard time coping with work and life stress. I thought that once my Master's work passed committee, I would be free and happy, but the vacuum was immediately filled with other challenges. So is life.

Last year I had to prepare for not having a job in the fall. Part of being a teacher. Well, I find myself potentially in the same position again, and I am not dealing with it with as much grace as I did in the past. Nothing is more frightening than failure. And it seems at the moment failure is confronting me from MANY different angles.

To help myself cope and give myself a distraction, I registered for my first marathon. Training for the Nike Women's Marathon gave me something to focus on when the going got tough and a goal to work towards if I found myself unemployed. Seeing myself in a similar place as last March, it makes sense to register for the race again and hope it helps carry me through a potentially anxious summer. Maybe it will be the good luck charm that helps me keep my job for another year.

So, I am going to make a group for the NWM 2011 and get a group of people together to run the race. I have a guaranteed entry, and I hope that if I use a group ID it will mean my group will have an entry as well. No matter where you are or if we have met before, if you follow my blog I would LOVE it if you would consider getting together to run this race! If this sounds good, leave a comment and we can figure out how to make this happen. I plan on getting the group ID in the next few weeks and I will post more about it when I get it.

This race was a ton of fun. The course was challenging, and I liked that there is a half marathon option than that your team can be a mix of half and full runners. Even in the rain, I had a great time. My goal this year is to not hit the wall and limp around the lake miles 18-22, as well as set a new course record, hopefully sub 5 hours. I am slow, I know.

On a final note, I was reading the McRunner's blog (the guy who ran the LA Marathon after eating a diet of McDonalds for 30 days), and a quote really stuck out to me:

"At 4:16 I ran 3-4 days per week, for a peak of about 35 miles. To run 2:36:54 last year, I put in 10-13 runs per week (ran 7 days per week) and hit 105 miles. While the numbers are just for reference, I have seen everyone around me improve with additional mileage. Arthur Lydiard hit on something when he said, 'Miles make champions.' "

I am a slow runner. But I am a new runner. I have no formal training. Everything I know about running is from reading 2 books, my subscriptions to Runner's World, Google, and the blogs I follow. I am running 2-3 days a week and will peak below 30 miles. I never played sports. I hardly worked out before I started running 2 years ago. He is well on his was to cutting is time in half. If I cut my time in half, I could EARN a BQ. My new Mantra is "Miles Make Champions". It make take me a while to put the words into action (I need to learn some stress management first), but I am determined to make it happen. 

Not only will I break 5 hours for a marathon, but I will someday break 3:30. And I am going to do it one  mile at a time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Welcome to my big, fat pity party

5 weeks until Boston
14 miles of training this week
3 easy runs, rest week

This has been a bummer week and I have let it get the best of me. I am in a TERRIBLE funk. Luckily all my favorite blogs posted great weeks, and this is helping me put things into perspective. I am not there yet, but I am starting to turn this frown upside down. 

Because I am in a funk, I haven't felt like blogging or running. Thankfully I did more running than blogging, but fell short of my mileage goals. My mind is just not in the right place to marathon train. I need to change this fast. So I am going to try to take this advice, posted by one of my favorite bloggers (the blogger I won my Boston entry through). Man, does she come through when I need it the most. Straight from SUAR's blog:

"Whatever you are battling, patience is your friend. When we’re in the thick of hard times (and I’m not just talking about running) we think it will always be this way. It won’t."

Right now I am feeling like I can't get a break, but that is just my pity party talking. I did get a break: I got an entry to Boston, I have the means to get myself there and the physical ability to get myself over the finish line. That's big. I also just finished my Master's Degree. That is huge. I am the first person in my family to obtain a Master's Degree, and that is an accomplishment for all of us. I have to remind myself of this every day.

"The wonder of life is that there is ebb and flow. Highs and lows. Just as much as you can count on the low points, you can count on things turning around and heading up. Your “normal” might be different, but so be it. The only true thing we can count on in this life is that there will be change."

Whenever things get tough, I always cry and complain that I just want things to be normal and constant. I am not sure when I am going to realize that this is just not reality, but I need to get a better grip on that. Without the lows, we would never appreciate the highs. Instead of bumming, I need to embrace them to make myself stronger. That is the person I want to be. So I need to just suck it up and do it!

"Don’t waste energy comparing yourself to the next guy/gal/transvestite. Use all of your energy to keep moving forward with your goals. It’s overstated, but true: there will always be someone faster, stronger, thinner, richer, fitter, less constipated whatever. There will also always be someone slower, weaker, fatter, poorer, more out of shape, more constipated. The only way you can truly win is when you exceed your expectations for yourself. However that looks."

This week's training schedule:

3 miles Easy
6 miles Tempo
16 miles Long Run

My new diet plan requires that I exercise at least 30 minutes a day. This being a crazy week where I have to work late, I am not sure that is going to happen, but when I can do it, it is going to be great for cross training. Hopefully I can slim down and drop a few to make Boston easier.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sugar-Busting Goal

My goal this week: no sugar after dinner. Godiva will go into hiding and I am going to be STRONG. When I get to Boston, I want to look like a runner. All this hard work should be paying off in the form of a hard body. As much as I would LOVE to eat back the 1500 somewhat calories I am going to burn today on my run (which I am SUPER good at... eating... not running). I think I can do it, and I am going to take it one day at a time. I'm going to tell JF and I know will keep me accountable. I am thinking he is going to rejoice in the opportunity to tell me no and deprive me of my most favorite thing :)

This morning was a coffee morning since we had guests for breakfast. I made french toast with a baguette, topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar. It is my favorite breakfast I have made in a long time, it was so pretty! What I love about coffee is that it makes me feel like I am wearing a jet pack. I can just go and go and go! And studies have shown caffeine to be good for distance running. I love the euphoric feeling it gives me without the side effects of a cocaine addiction.

There are three things that are totally therapeutic for me: reading, cooking, and running. I am such a geek, I would much rather read a book than watch TV (except when The Bachelor is on, of course). Cooking, especially for the enjoyment of others, just makes me feel grounded. I think this might be redeeming factor in motherhood. And running helps keep my self-esteem balanced and my eating habits in check. Running is the only thing that keeps me healthy. It is my lifeline to a healthy lifestyle. If I couldn't run, I seriously don't know what I would do. This is one of the big reasons I am easily frightened by injuries. It is the one thing I have some control over. Until I can learn to control my eating habits, I have to be able to run.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

6 Weeks until Boston (Holy Crap!)

21.75 mi of training this week
14 mi long run @ 11:16/mi, with HILLS and NO MUSIC!

I seriously got lost today when I was running. Who does that!?!?!?! Took a wrong turn on some country back road and went a mile out of my way. I didn't mind because this was the most beautiful run I have ever been on. I saw goats, sheep, pigs, cows, roosters, chickens and horses. All the daffodils are in bloom and there was a light rain, which to my surprise was very refreshing. The birds were super chirpy and the creeks were high and bubbly. I felt really good on this run, no numb feet or pain in the knees or calves. I spent 2 hours and 37 minutes on the go, not including the mile cool down because I got lost. I have to say, this run was a 10!

The best part of this run was how little traffic there was on the roads (I practically ran in the center of the road most of the time) and all the unexpected hills. This was the PERFECT training run. Logging more than a half marathon, having plenty of hills, and having it be a great run is exactly what I need 6 weeks out from Boston. This week I feel really really good.

This week's training (Easy Recover Week):
 Tuesday: 6 miles Easy
Thursday: 6 miles Easy
Sunday: 7 miles Easy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Still Learning....and some Good Things

Truths of the morning:

  • I am still a rookie making rookie mistakes.
  • Icepacks are cold and the burn reminds you to make better decisions
  • Fast miles are only fast if they don't injure you for your next run
So, I cut the 6 miles run short after a three quarter mile jog irritated my calf. After I sprinted 1.2 miles at a pace a minute faster than my usual, my right calf started feeling strained. Not tight like usual; this was a completely different feeling. I think the sacrifice of 1.5 miles towards my weekly training goal will be worth the RICE that will get me back out for 14 miles Sunday.

So enough of my stupid runner habits. Time for some Good Things!

Perhaps the best thing of 2011 is that today I present my research and hopefully get the thumbs up for my Masters Degree. WooHoo! FedexOffice processed my poster wrong, and mistakenly gave me the deluxe package, so my research poster looks AMAZING! It seriously look professional, which gives me a huge confidence boost. I feel really good about today, and so happy I am almost finished!

Second good thing is that we will have our first guests for the new apartment tomorrow night. An old college roommate will be in town for dinner and drinks so I will get to wine and dine. I LOVE entertaining and can't wait to see her!

Lastly, I am going to do a little shopping this afternoon to help ease my anxiety before my presentation. Nothing like a little retail therapy. I wish I could tell you what I am looking for, but I don't want to spoil any surprises. I have been wanting to buy presents so bad recently, so this is going to be fun!

On a side note, I am trying to find someone to help me make a financial plan for myself and figure out how to manage upcoming student loans, set up retirement, and begin saving for a home. I want to focus more on paying off debt and saving for big ticket items. Any advice on finding a financial planner who can help me reach these goals?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Today I was given the opportunity to apply for a grant that would allow me to get my general science credential for free. Which would be awesome if I end up teaching a physics/algebra block class. Only trouble is that it would start as soon as I got back from Tahiti and I would have to spend a lot of time studying for the general science examinations. I haven't even finished my Masters and I am already thinking about going back to school... thats a real teacher for you.

I had hoped to step up my running big time and do a ton of experimenting in the kitchen this summer. Scheduling more classes is totally going to ruin that. On one hand it is free, and I bet I am going to get bored just running and cooking; on the other hand, I have NEVER had a summer in my adult life where I wasn't insanely busy. Will I be foolishly missing out on a great opportunity or do I just need to relax? I have until the end of the month to decide.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

100th post: February Recap

I have finally reached my 100th post. Hooray!

I am so happy that I made it to 100, especially after Google temporarily deleted my account earlier this week. And what better way to celebrate my centennial post than with a training recap!

My 2011 training journey has brought me all the they across the bay area to Cupertino, home of the aforementioned company that almost destroyed my blogging dreams and email archives. This is also how far JF drives once a week to go to school. If I had to drive 90.75 miles to school once I week, I don't think I would be getting my Masters this month. What a trooper!

February racked up 49.25 miles. I wish I didn't miss the training run that would have brought me past 50 miles, but I am just going to use that as motivation in March. February brought good things: Boston Marathon entry, more miles, and  double digit long runs. Unfortunately, it also brought on weight gain, half of what I lost in January gained back. I think the stress of work/school is leading me to develop TERRIBLE eating habits, and I am looking for a diet that will make me a better, healthier runner. I am a terrible dieter, but I am in need of an intervention for my hamburger and sugar addiction.

Ever had success with a diet? Know anyone who has found a healthy diet that supports a marathon training schedule? Got any advice on how to break my sugar addiction?

Off for more Godiva to celebrate my 3 miles run in March. Lol.