Sunday, July 31, 2011

Barrel Tasting Recap

The good: 
Unlimited wine, catered food, and GREAT company made this an excellent night. And, I didn't spend any money because I decided to hold out until my purchases from last summer become available. Which I couldn't get a solid timeframe on, hence my apprehension. Will it be really really good or is it so bad they are afraid to release it? This years Cab Franc will only spend 6 more months in the barrel before it is bottled. WTF?

The bad:
I accidently threw a glass of wine on my mom. Doused her in the most expensive wine they were serving. I wish I could blame it on the alcohol, but pretty sure it was a result of being silly and would have happened even if I was sober. Made sure to stain treat it as soon as I got home to be a better daughter. I also will be her slave for the next week to make it up to her. Whoops. Not looking forward to tomorrow morning.

The ugly:
Drinking a cup of coffee when we got home, staying up late putting cheddar mohawks on Pringles with a can of easy cheese. I tried to convince someone to stay up with me and get biscuits & gravy at 2 am, but no one was having it. This is why no matter how much I run I will never loose weight.

Wine futures are expensive. And they are risky. Until I know ho my first gamble turned out, I am not ready to make future investments. I do know I need to further develop my palate and take advantage of all the tasting opportunities Napa has to offer. After reading this, don' you miss you could hang out with me so I could douse you in wine and make cheddar mohawks together at 1 am?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Whining, wine-ing, and winning

6 miles/ 1:09:26

Hot and humid, this run had it's ups and downs. I probably made it harder than it should have been by changing course mid run and opting for a more hilly 3 miles back. Had to stop to cool down a few times, which might have been avoided if I had left the house before 8 am. Whoops. But, with an average pace of 11:35/mile, I am happy that even with major hills I am still improving. That's 15 seconds/mile faster than my 5 mile run last week. The best part is, I am just running what feels god and not pushing it. I never really know how I did until I check the Garmin stats when I get home.

On a side note, I am getting a pesky ache in my hip. It isn't there when I run, but if definitely bothering me when I am standing around the house or in the kitchen. I am not sure if being in flip flops all day is helping. I should probably start looking into icing and stretching because I am 90% sure it is a hip flexor thing.

Tonight I'm looking forward to picking up some wine futures! We'll be heading up to a local winery for their annual barrel tasting event where they bring out a barrel of the each of the 10 varieties they plan on bottling at the end of the summer, with food pairing for EVERY ONE. Seriously, it is like I have died and gone to heaven because there is so much good food. And they serve the wine directly from the barrel, all you can drink. AMAZING!!!!

Last year I had such a good time and my parents had to drag me home when I wanted to stay until the last employee left. I also bought  half case of their white Field Blend (Riesling/Viognier/Muscat blend...a sweet little treat!) and a half case of Cabernet Franc, which is aging so well they still haven't released it from the barrels! Usually the longer it stays in the barrel, the more expensive and tasty it is when they release it. I think I paid around $12 a bottle (futures and DEEPLY discounted because you are taking a gamble), and anticipate it going for AT LEAST $50 a bottle when released. In the past we have gotten deals where we paid $25/bottle and when the wine was released it went for $125. WOWZA!!!!! I was the only one who took a gamble on the Cab Franc. Maybe I know more about wine futures than I lead on ;)

Until then, I am off to the Nike Outlet to spend a gift card given to me by my fabulous Boston Bride at the Boston Marathon. Mama needs some spandex! Maybe there will be other back to school treasures at the outlets as well!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A good morning to run

3 miles/ 33:03

Todays short little easy run was FANTASTIC. Contributing factors:

  • After a full day of not feeling sick anymore, I went to bed looking forward to my AM run. Alarm set, went to sleep early, I was prepared!
  • Left the tunes at home. Even though I though ahead to make sure the shuffle was charged, I was so excited to run I didn't want the distraction. First time running without music this training cycle, I was super focused on how I felt instead of just getting through it. A VERY good sign that more good things are to come.
  • Cool thick marine layer. I love running on grey mornings. This is typical of regions where wine grapes are grown, so I am glad that the regions I do most of my training are both known as wine country!

I am super stoked about the 11:00/mi pace. Today I felt like a runner and not someone slogging around imitating jogging. I know that many people still consider 11:00 miles "jogging" but for me it is definitely running. I didn't struggle with the running blahs I usually have to battle through for the first 3 miles of my run. I get a different mindset with shorter runs, non of the mental struggle of knowing you are going to be suffering running for 2-3 hours instead of 30ish minutes.

I doubt my 6 mile tempo will average 11:00/mile pace but I do think it is going to be a good run. I am getting excited about training again. Yay!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Running Blahs

This is the second time this week I have taken a day off because I feel puny the day after a run. No fever, but achy, sneezy, congestion, and a faint sore throat. Two thoughts on why this might be:

1). I am fighting off a cold and since running can temporarily bring down the immune system, the cold is flaring up the next day.

2). I am not doing something right in the recovery phase, such as not drinking enough water or eating enough/the right things after the run, so my body is turning on me.

It really could be either, as I tend to not really eat much after a run and have to force food down my throat because I am not hungry. I doesn't help that I also don't eat much when I am feeling icky. I wish that it was the other way around: when I don't run, I don't shove food down the hatch at an alarming rate.

Needless to say, no 5 mile run today. Instead, naps and fluids. I had this problem in 2008 when I was first starting training for races. It might be too much training too quick, but I really don't want to admit that yet. Not until I start getting the knee & hip problems back will I give in. I am on a plan and I am doing an OK job of following it (I am certainly not doing more than the plan calls for!), so I am still hopeful. I'll hope for 5 miles tomorrow morning before we go to the beach to celebrate birthdays, eat fried chicken, and bask in the sunshine!

Anyone else deal with this? Anyone have an easy fix? I am such a baby and just won't run when I feel like crap. It DOES NOT make me feel better.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting a little bit faster...

5 miles/ 59:08

Folks, thats about a whole minute faster than my last 5 miler. And this one had a doozy of a hill in the middle, HOLLAR!!!!!!! Needless to say I am pretty stoked about todays 11:49 average pace. Short runs are getting easier, which os good because they are supposed to be easy runs. I procrastinated/got busy/didn't feel great so I have to cram all my runs into the end of the week. Good week it is an easy week, only 2 more 5 milers. I might just try to see if I can beat 11:49! To put things into perspective, my pace for a sub 5 marathon needs to be 11:26/mi. Although 5 miles is nothing compared to 26.2, I am getting closer to my goal pace, and that is a great start!!!!!!

Today is a big day, my SPAM lovin' Dad's birthday, so I made an AMAZING ice cream pie. If death by chocolate exists, that sinful tin of dark chocolate terror is sitting in our freezer. I'll make sure to post pictures & recipe once we cut into the little devil.

To celebrate his birthday, mom and I went and got our toes done. OK, we are actually taking him to a pub in town, but we wanted to look good for him, yes? While they were grinding off the calluses and blisters from miles of running, I got to thinking about if lady runners get their toes done or if I am just wasting money. I get french tips, and they usually they look pretty haggard after a week, but I know how to touch them up at home. Does getting rid of the dead skin get rid of precious cushioning? I always have them cut them short so they don't put holes in my socks as fast. Then I got to thinking about black toenails. I have been blessed; 2 marathons and I've never had toenail issues. I have decided that if that day did come, I would just polish it dark red so no one would know. But I think I would do it at home instead of submitting some poor vietnamese man to that level of nasty.

Foot hygiene: as a runner, do you just keep them blister free or do you try to keep them pretty too?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Rip and Tear your way to CRAZY TASTY TOWN!

Living most of my life in California, spam has never been a dietary staple. In fact, we never had it in the house until my mom married a Marine. My only memory of Spam is a camping trip where an aunt who grew up in Arkansas tried to pass it off as bacon. OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!

But, needless to say, my step dad grew up on a ranch and was a career Marine so he has an affinity for this peculiar processed pork product. Which means we ALWAYS have spam in the house. In spam's defense, the ingredient list is more simple than most things people eat in a typical day (only 7 items) and I can pronounce everyone and have a vague idea of why it is on the list.

I wasn't looking to mock the meat wonder, I just wanted to look at the Spam Single package because it was so foreign and interesting to me. I was not prepared for the poetry of the packaging. You are in for quiet a treat. Behold, the Spam Single Pouch!

That's right... destination Crazy Tasty Town.

If it was a foreign product, I would think that this poetic packaging is just bad Engrish or something lost in translation. But it's not. It is made by Hormel in the good ol' USA.

The back of the packaging is where the real gems lie. At the top of the package is the dotted line where you rip and tear your way to tasty town with insightful instructions:

"A solid line would say 'NO! DO NOT CROSS!' but this one is dotted. Feel free to enter"

Alright, enter we will! Thanks for the clarification

Not sure how to prepare this pre-cooked gourmet masterpiece? I wasn't sure either because the baking instructions read:

"TO BAKE: Use your oven, turn the appropriate knobs, and bake at 475 for 10 minutes"

Crap! Our oven doesn't have knobs! I guess I will just have to use the microwave to "Nuke it until SPAM is good and hot"

I didn't bother reading the nutritional information because someone in my family actually eats this stuff and I don't want to be seriously concerned for their health.

Now this is where the best stuff lies. introducing the SPAM Idea o'Wheel. Not sure what to do with your SPAM single? Hormel suggests you "make a necklace" by threading a ribbon through the hole at the top of package and wearing it around you neck, like flava-flav. Our packages at home also suggest that you buy the larger can of SPAM because "4x the SPAM means quadruple the flavor". The judges are still out on that one.

And for the grand finale, I saved the best for last. Here is the insightful prose to the left of the Idea o'Wheel, the "Meaning of SPAM singles":

"Isn't this the most easy and convenient SPAM ever? SPAM singles are already cooked. This might just blow your mind. For your own safety, stop thinking about how easy SPAM Singles will make your life. It's time to enjoy. Take another bite and throw your head back and think wonderful thoughts of faraway places while you chew. Like a magical SPAM castle in the sky and what a delicious and convenient visit you'd have. This is the meaning of SPAM singles."

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Now go buy a SPAM single and put it on your coffee table as a conversation piece.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

At Last!

10 miles/2:02:13

FANTASTIC long run yesterday! My average pace of 12:13/mi was ahead of the 13:12 pace on my training schedule, but I just kept a pace that felt good. I really did feel great and didn't struggle with the hills as much, so it was a huge step forward. This week is an easy week, three 5 mile easy runs, which will have plenty of hills and hopefully I can keep a 13:08 pace.

Not going to lie, I was SORE and TIRED today. Naps and extra strength tylenol helped, as well as all you can eat sushi buffet. I am a glutton, it is no secret. Even with the pain today, it still felt good to get a double digit run in and not feel like I was going to die. I am very optimistic about my 12 mile long run at the end of the month. I might just finish this marathon sub 5 hours after all...

A couple of things probably made this run better:
  • New shoes. Well, same model, but fresh pair. More shock absorption, it was time for a new pair.
  • Hydration Belt. Brought along fuel and had gatorade in one bottle, filled the other with water and refilled both along the way. It is H-O-T even when I leave at 7:15, so I am going through a lot of fluids. 
  • Garmin. Beeps at me when I fall below pace and helps me keep track of distance because I ALWAYS take wrong turns and end up somewhere I didn't plan of being. 
  • iPod Nano radio. I am sick of my play lists so radio adds some much needed variety.
  • Country Roads. Ran a lot on undeveloped country roads, so I didn't have much traffic or pounding of pavement.
  • Nice people. Runners in the area keep hoses outside of the gates of their properties so runner can refill. Super important when the only thing around are sprawling horse ranches and gated estates. This kept me from drinking reclaimed water from a sprinkler at mile 6.

and one more little thing.....
  • Having a job. I was rehired back at the High School, so I will be doing another year of math, definitely with a better course load (some non-remedial classes!!!!!) and hopefully with a better classroom.

This means moving back up to northern California and finding furniture and a room mate because I sold nearly everything when I moved. This will be quite the daunting task, but I am so thankful to have work in this education-unfriendly economy. I was seriously getting worried, which is probably why my runs were so sucky. Running is a mental sport. If my mind is not in the right place, my body isn't either. People think I exaggerate when I tell them that the marathon is 80% mental, but for me, it is all about if I can get my head in the game.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


5 miles/ 1 hour exactly

When did running become so difficult? Today's run was dismal, even though I took a bunch of precautions to make it better than Tuesday's atrocity. I ate an english muffin with jelly to give myself some fuel before I went out, I carefully monitored my water intake, I did some little stretches, and most importantly, made it out when the marine layer was still nice and thick. I even had garmin on me so I could monitor my pace and make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard (although I knew that probably wasn't the case).

I am so stiff and sore. I think that the problem is the hills. There is nothing flat out here, it is all hills. Less than a mile in I wanted to stop, I felt like I was going to drop dead. If another runner hadn't passed me by I think I would have just walked home. Trying to do a tempo run on hills is impossible for me right now. I was supposed to maintain 11:33 but the stupid garmin just yelled at me the whole time. Average pace was 12:00/mi. The good thing is that if I can keep my chin up and stick with the training, all these hills are really going to help my improve my time for SBIM. Pretty sure the screaming beeps of the garmin are going to haunt me in my sleep.

I'm trying to channel positive running memories, but it isn't easy. I keep flashing back to Boston and the 4 miles I cried as I ran because I was in sooooo much pain. Thank goodness for this blog allowing me to look at past entries where I was celebrating running instead of complaining about it. I used to love the challenge of hills, and now I LOATHE them. I think I still have a lot more work to do to get my mind back into the right place for training. I think a job offer would help ;)

One more long run scheduled for Sunday but will likely be Monday morning due to travel. Supposed to be 10 miles. I might have to drive out to find a flat place for this one, not sure I can do 10 miles of hills at this point.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hardest Easy Run EVER.

The lucky winners of the training books are K who will be getting the Marathon/Half Marathon Training Guide and Steph (aka Anonymous) who is getting the Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women. Steph, I am bringing your book to Vegas and K I will be contacting this you for an address this week.

I would be a fool to think I could hide the fact I took last week off from training due to the physical/emotional stress of moving, so I won't pretend I did anything related to training over the past 7 days. oops. Looks like I am taking these PR's really seriously...

I am officially temporarily relocated indefinitely (read: no job, living with parents). It is true that you love your parents (and that your parents love you) so much more easily as you get older. So far I still can not see why I was so afraid of moving back home for so long. The running is (potentially) great, I have someone to rip on The Bachelorette with, we take turns making dinner, and I get to relax with a glass of wine and good conversation every night. Why get married when I can just live it up with my mom?????

Speaking of potentially great running....

Today I tried to get back into the training plan with a 4 mile easy run, which ended out being the hardest 4 mile run I have run in a really long time. This training tragedy is brought to you by sloth and procrastination!

What made it so difficult? Instead of getting out the door by 7 am when the marine layer is still cool and thick, I got out around 10:30 am when the fires of Satan are sweeping across the land. No problem, I thought, I'll just plan a route around parks with water fountains, bring a bottle, and drink plenty of water. Can you suffer from hyponatremia on a 4 mile run? The answer to that question feels like "YES!!!" at this moment.

So after slothing around the house, not eating breakfast or doing anything to help this run be a good one, I took off. About mile 2 I learned the dotted line on map my run meant "dry river bed trail" and proceeded to run in the sand with full sun exposure. Not the nice sand by the water at the beach, but the ankle twisting shoe filling sand by the beach parking lot. I got lost and had to backtrack at least 3 times to find the trail that didn't dead end in a rattle snake death pit. I could see the rich people sitting in their air conditioned mansions looking down on the stupid girl running in death canyon and laughing as I kept getting lost, but I was still trying to be positive and kept running in the sand even though it was ridiculously hard. At mile 3 I had to stop regularly in the shade to cool off, I was already through about 24 ounces of water. By the end of a very hilly mile 4 I stopped because my chest was hurting and I felt dizzy, so I used the last half mile as a cool off and walked home.

I didn't bring the Garmin because I want my easy runs to be easy running: no paying attention to pace and just enjoying the miles. I have no idea what miserable pace I kept, and I am just happy to be alive. Upon my return I battled the potential hyponatremia with the saltiest thing I could find in the pantry: beef jerky, mini saltines, and easy cheese (cheese in a can). And a glass of chocolate milk. Within about 10 minutes the weird headache/pain behind my eyes has pretty much gone away and I don't feel like vomiting and passing out.

Next time I am going in the AM and bringing a camera so you can see the new sights!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moving makes me SICK!

There is something about packing and moving that is physically revolting to me. I hate doing it, and have done it nearly every year for the past 10 years straight. Packing boxes and making moving arrangements makes me sick to my stomach, literally nauseous and sucking the life out of me. At first I thought it was dehydration and now I am quite certain it is stress. It just isn't my time to become settled yet. Boo.

The only way I can escape it is to get out of the house and see people. So once a day I try to plan a little something to keep me from feeling like puking my brains out all day long. Get out and chat with people who make me smile and help me forget the stress of sorting through past memories and dealing with the aftermath of a really long year.

Moving the training schedule back a day this week and dropping a cross-training day. There were not enough hours in the day to get in my 4 miles, so I have set my alarm to rise bright and early for my easy run. Hopefully it will help me prepare for a little more packing and make it all a little less sickening.

Am I weird? Does moving/packing/major changes make anyone else sick? Like food poisoning feeling, stomach sitting in your throat, extreme yuckiness?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Free Book Giveaway!!!!

So, as many of you know, I am moving. Part of this process is getting rid of stuff I don't need, which includes 2 books on marathon training for beginners. Which means free books for you.

The Books:
Don't click to look inside, I am "borrowing" the picture from Amazon.
The NonRunner's Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais. This book is hilarious and is written by a young woman who is training to run a race for charity. She views herself as an unlikely runner and tells her tale while giving you training tips in a very comical way. The first book I read when I decided I was going to run a marathon. You'll love it.

The click to look inside arrow is point to the guy's shorts. Gross. 
Marathon and Half-Marathon The Beginners Guide complete 26 week training program by Marnie Caron and The Sports Medicine Council of British Columbia. This book is very informative and much more structured than the other book in the give away and has information on everything from  nutrition to information and also includes a very detailed training plan. Great for someone who has never ran or is really intimidated by running and wants solid information about how to be successful without feeling pressure to be a super fast runner.

I am a big believer in reading books and passing them on for other's to enjoy, so if you want either/both books leave a comment for me by Wednesday at midnight telling me why you want the book (I don't care if you make up an elaborate lie, just tell me something). I bought the books myself so there is no sponsorship or anything involved. No one is paying me to get rid of them, I am only motivated by the need to minimize the amount of junk I am hauling into storage until a job comes around, which means liquidating nearly all 400+ books in my collection. I'll figure out some way to choose a "winner" if more than one person wants one. The odds are in your favor since only 18 people read this blog. Heck, if you know someone who you think might want them, enter for them. Since it is a give away, I'll even ship the books to you if you or the person you want to have them are in the US. Sweet deal, no?

A Covey of Quail!

Masters of camouflage, surprised I saw them!
Seen on my long run, a covey of quail! Tiny quail are so cute, they just bop around like little feather balls. No wonder everyone wants to eat them up!

A day delayed, today ends my first week of training for SBIM. I approached it as a "get your life together and just get out there week" and it went over quite nicely. Getting back into a training rhythm is a little challenging, but it is turning out to be very rewarding, as always.

Week in Review: 15.5 miles run 
Models make it look easy.
Monday: Crosstraining. Paddleboarding on the American River. Awesome core workout, you gotta try it! Made me want to learn to surf and windsurf.

Tuesday: Easy run. 2 miles on treadmill, supposed to be 3 but I pulled up the wrong training plan. whoopsie!

Wednesday: Rest. Had to save my energy for the DMV.

Thursday: 5 mile tempo. Warm up, 3 miles @ 11:32/mi pace, cool down. Had to break it in half because there was a dude hovering near the treadmill only 15 minutes into my run (HATE THAT). Of course, I stick to the time limit (30 minutes) and when it is his turn he totally goes over. After 40 minutes, I started to hover to give him a taste of his own medicine. It felt kinda dirty, but it worked. Did 20 minutes weights, 10 minutes core, 5 minutes stretching while I waited for Mr. Hoversby.

Friday: Rest. It's week 1, so I needed to not get too excited and over-exert myself. Especially since I crammed in weights and core with my tempo run Thursday. However, I did play some frisbee at the park, which got my heart rate up for a few minutes. Any activity counts for something, right???

Saturday: Epic hike. Palomarin trailhead to Alamere falls, 7.5 miles 600 ft elevation gain. Waterfall goes right into the ocean. Anyone in the bay area MUST do this hike. You can even lay out on the beach after. We were a fast moving bunch, practically trail-running, so it was a really good workout.  

Sunday: Rest. My legs and butt were hurtin' from the hike, which is how I knew it was a good one. Planned to run 8, but my running buddy was too sun burned from the hike so we just ate pancakes her husband made instead. After a beautiful drive up the coast and over the Golden Gate bridge to get home, it was too hot to make up the run. So I took a nap instead!

Monday: 8.5 miles. Supposed to be 8 but took a detour to stop by a school to refill water bottle and soak my hat. Running hats are terribly dorky, but they sure get the job done! It took me 2 years to break down and wear the goofy thing, and it has changed my life (or at least my body temperature). Supposed to be run at a 13:21 pace, but I didn't bring the garmin. With water stops and breaks in the shade to cool down (I slept in too late and had to run in the heat), the average was 14:07/mi. Which means my actual pace when running was probably around 13:00/mi. 

Today wasn't about hitting the paces, but committing to the miles so I can get into my training plan. I know that if I want to hit my goal of a 5 hour marathon I am going to have to really pay attention to my times, but for the first week I think i am off to a promising start. I was not in a good mental place for my Boston training cycle, it is really affected my ability to log good miles. Now I am in a much better place. I could immediately feel the difference today on the long run. Of course the first few miles were really crappy, but I fell into a great rhythm and really enjoyed the miles logged. Best of all, the past week I really feel like I have returned to my old self again, and it feels great!

Week 2 training plan:

Tuesday: Easy run 4 miles @13:17
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4 miles speedwork including warmup, 2x1600 in 10:58 w/800 jogs, cool down
Friday: Crosstraining (probably pool with some core & weights)
Saturday: Moving day, so lots of lifting!
Sunday: Long run 9 miles @3:17

Excited for speedwork (although 10:58 isn't really speedy at all) and I am loving crosstraining. My final week in Napa so I am going to have to take advantage of the beautiful scenery!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Next Marathon Stop: Santa Barbara!

After weighing the pros and cons, I have registered to run the Santa Barbara International Marathon (SBIM) November 12, 2011. This is my last shot to fulfill my 2011 goal to complete a marathon without having to stop and walk. After knocking 20 minutes off my last race time, as well as choosing a course that is less challenging than San Francisco and Boston, I think I have a really good chance of getting this done! I also have a secondary goal, which is to finish in 5 hours or less (a VERY tall order!).

Thats 3 races lined up for the fall, September-October-November. Heartbreak Ridge Half, Temecula Half, and SBMI. I have never had such an intense line-up! There is something about actually being registered for a race that YOU have to pay for that makes training easier. Call me cheap, but I don't want to see that entry fee go to waste!

I think the biggest difference between this training cycle and Boston's training cycle is stress. I am much less stressed in the summer (school is out) and I have less financial stress since I'll be packing up and moving home with the parents. Finishing grad school also is a huge burden removed. The past 2 weeks I have felt so much like my old self, nothing like the I have the past 9 months. I find myself smiling when driving, laughing out loud at TV shows, excited to see people and go places. You never really realize how crummy you felt until you start feeling better. I am really looking forward to my first long(ish) run of the training plan (8 miles) which had to me moved to tomorrow AM due to heat. I bet it is going to feel GREAT.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hard Corps!

So, I talked to mi madre a day after I told her about the 13.1 heartbreak ridge race. She thinks I am crazy.
Race website course description (no map or elevation profile available):  13.1-mile course, 90% gravel off-road through the breathtaking rolling hills of Camp Pendleton in the 43 area. Course is on packed fire-roads.  This course offers a little bit of everything - it’s an out and back course, including rolling hills and some flat and fast stretches intermixed throughout. 
Not so scary sounding, right?  Maybe a little challenging, but no western states endurance challege.

Mom's description (has a vague idea of where it takes place, more than I do at least): I talked to a guy I work with who does triathlons and ironmans. He was talking about that race. There is a reason they call it heartbreak. Marines train there. It is not going to be easy (imagine it a tone of intimidation).

My response:  It's only a half marathon so it can't be as difficult as a full marathon. Boston had a hill called "heartbreak" hill, so if I could do that, I should be ok.

Mom's response: But that was a hill. This is heartbreak ridge.
(awkward pause)

My response: you are saying I probably won't PR?
(awkward pause)

Mom's response: Well, I'll be there to cheer you on anyway. Maybe after we can go down to the beach and I can lay you out on a stretcher next to me while I lay out. First we can put you in the water and see what you attract. Go shark fishing.

My response: You need to have a fishing license for that.

I am so lucky to have family that supports me in my running endeavors, even though they don't really fully understand why anyone would want to be a distance runner. And knowing my mom, she was probably using some reverse psychology on me to make me train harder so I do PR at the race. She knows how competitive I am, and knows that anytime someone doubts my ability to do something it pretty much guarantees that I will get the job done. After all, if people hadn't expressed doubt about my ability to run a marathon, I probably never would have stepped up to the plate and got it done. Call it the Type A in me, but I am a goal/challenge oriented person who has a controlling desire to prove that I can do anything.
...and then I found this race picture. Maybe mom is on to something...
So, gotta train harder to make sure I PR on this breathtaking hilly/flat course that I now have a reason to be very afraid of. Good thing my new training ground is crazy hilly!