July 4, 2011

Summer running

This isn't really a patriotic post, but I did wear a blue and white tank top on today's run :) We're actually/finally having some hot, sunny weather in the Bay Area, which makes it feel like it's really summer.

I went for a fantastic run on my birthday and thought a bit about how my running-life has unfolded....A year ago, I was training my tail off for a half marathon, including waking up very, very early to do tough workouts in the heat & humidity of New Jersey's summer. Two years ago, I was gearing up for the SF Marathon with long runs in SF and Tiburon. Three years ago, I was learning all about trail running, and Jenica & I celebrated my 30th bday by running up Mt. Tam :)  Four years ago, I was on my honeymoon and being oh-so-lazy on the beaches of the Greek Islands (no complaints about that!!). And, this October will be the 10th anniversary of running my first marathon, which was the Chicago Marathon that I ran with Carolyn.  Finally, it's been almost 20 years (eeeek!) since I started running high school cross country with Coach Heiser.

May 23, 2011

Swimming gear

I totally love my running gear, and I've joked that my favorite outfits involve running clothes.  Really, what can beat a running skirt, racing shoes, and a good ponytail??!?  I've been more consistent with my swimming and feel like I should review a few pieces of swimming gear. After a very good morning swim involving plenty of breaststroke and some freestyle, I thought swimming deserved a blog post.

I have a Splish swimsuit that I love.  It fits well, it covers everything up, and it has a fun design. I rate it an A (it would get an A+ but their swimsuits aren't cheap).

I use Tyr goggles.  Part of the strap broke, so I have to repair it by tying a knot in the strap. Thus the goggles get a B/B- rating. But the goggles fit well and let me see in the pool.  I would NOT be able to swim laps without goggles.

I like doing some kicking practice with fins. The pool provides Finis Zoomers, which work great.  I give the fins an A+ and would like to get my own pair of fins at some point!

I do my swimming at Oakland's public pools, and I give them a hearty A- rating.  The pools are well maintained, and the staff is friendly.  Sometimes lanes get a tad crowded. And the bathrooms are functional but nothing to write home about.

May 18, 2011

Gratitude



Yesterday, I had gratitude for a perfect avocado and for getting to blab to my husband.

Today, I have gratitude for a good run---breathing and sweating are my meditation.  I have gratitude for seeing blue skies.

And, tomorrow, I'll have gratitude for something else---large or small.

April 22, 2011

Found in my drafts of blog posts

Apparently, I wrote this about a year ago:

With precisely one month until Avenue, I had a deep thought during my steady state run this morning...We all have marathons. Everybody's marathon is different. Maybe your marathon is to cope with your job, or to take care of child or aging parents, or to jump through the hoops of graduate school, or to figure out your place in our wide world....


Amen--those words from 2010 sum up my current feelings and issues. I'm coping with marathons right now, and they're not the 26.2 mile variety :(  I'm doing my best to hang in there.  I went for a long walk on Wednesday and had a nice, short jog this morning.  I will go swimming next week.

March 29, 2011

March just marched on by

Parts of this month have been dreary---with tons of rain and work and unpredictability.  Yeah, I ran when I wanted to.  And I went swimming. And I even did a few long walks.  Today it was quite a bit warmer, and I savored running by the track....It reminded me of high school track practice.

Now I need to decide if I'm going to run any races in April....there's a trail race that looks interesting :P

February 22, 2011

Foodie February

Over the week or so, I've gone for a few nice and easy runs to savor some tastes of springtime, and I've done yoga a couple times.  I'm getting better at flowing through the warrior poses and downward dog, and I even did the eagle pose yesterday!

I've been eating really, really well.  I discovered Bob's 10 grain hot cereal and am enjoying it as a new, savory breakfast.  I also made crepes this weekend, and we definitely enjoyed the sweet French treats :P  I'm loving snacking on citrus, including grapefruit and oranges. For dinner, some recent recipes include arugula pesto and a killer stirfry with a variety of organic greens plus rice.

February 11, 2011

Kaiser 5K

Last weekend, I raced the Kaiser 5k in Golden Gate Park.  Gracias to my friend, Jenica, for helping me out with parking/driving/coaching.....Of course, she also convinced me to race in buns, which contributed to narnar race photos :)

It was unseasonably warm for February in San Francisco (60s & sunny), and I was happy that I wasn't doing the half marathon.  At the start, I lined up very close to the front and went out pretty hard. For the first mile (7:05 pace), I settled into a good groove and let myself work hard on a couple short hills. There were mainly men running around me, and, of course, I enjoyed passing them! I tried concentrating hard on each individual mile.  In the second mile (6:55 pace), I focused on staying close to people around me and kept driving my legs.  I relished the downhills, too.  A couple times, I looked at Garmalade and really didn't believe my pace :> Frankly, I don't remember the 3rd mile (6:43 pace), but I believe that I kept telling myself that the race was almost over!

I know that once I hit 3.0, I left it all out there (6:29 pace) and knew that I couldn't accelerate even one more tiny bit.

Best news, I have a new 5k PR of 22:26 on a loooong course (Drat! It was almost 3.3 miles long!). I was the 9th woman in a pretty big race.  So, according to my Garmin, I ran at 6:53 pace.  I was SOOO excited after the race to average sub-7 for a 5k :)

February 4, 2011

Mixed Up

On today's run, I wore mismatched socks---one white with pink and the other purple.  I used to color coordinate my socks with my outfits. Now it's a victory to get out the door!  In other fashion news, I'm not sure what I'm wearing on Sunday's 5K.  I'm considering being brave and wearing my Nike buns....They should motivate me to run fiercely  :>

February 1, 2011

February

January flew by!!  I did some hardcore workouts and relished training for shorter distances :)  Now it's February, and I'm feeling ready to race hard again.  So, this weekend, I'll run the Kaiser 5K in Golden Gate Park. I've run the Kaiser half marathon several times, but I think the 5K will be an outstanding challenge.

In February, I'd also like to get back to the trails for some long runs--perhaps Briones or even Marin....

January 25, 2011

More speed workouts

Today I did a 5K prep workout that involved some arm pumping and huffing and puffing around Lake Merritt.  I did a longer warm up and then started up on 3 minute intervals.  I tried doing them at 5K effort, which was sub 7:07 pace today :) The first couple intervals almost felt too easy. And I let myself go all out for the final interval---6:58 pace.  This was a tough workout, but I'm really having fun with the workouts that my coach is giving me!! I think my winter-running has also been aided by the downright balmy weather that we're experiencing in the Bay Area.  


January 20, 2011

Good ole January

January has been kind to me as runner.  Dear East Coasters, please don't hate me.....But I just ran in shorts & a short sleeve shirt. And, when I finished, I was a bit warm ;)  I've had some strong runs this month, including some fast 800 repeats that felt, well, too easy at 7:00 pace.  For that reason, I've been tempted to do some sort of time trial to figure out what my current PR would be for an 800 and 1600!!

January 10, 2011

Windmill 10K

On Sunday morning, I ran another DSE race in San Francisco.  This was a 10K race that went up and back down Golden Gate Park, starting and finishing at the windmills near the Great Highway.  I'd trained quite well for the past few weeks and tried my best to do quality workouts while on blizzard-cation in New Jersey  :> In addition, my coach had planned some tuning-workouts last week that were hard in a very good way.

I ran the race in 46:36 (7:29 pace) and was the 5th overall woman!! This is a personal best for me, and it represents a breakthrough in my race pace since the Fall.  Soooo, what does a breakthrough race feel like?

Well, I did a good warm up and lined up near the front.  It was a clear, cool, and crisp morning for a race. I worked hard but not too hard in the first mile.  I checked my heartrate and trusted my coach that Zone 4 was okay for racing, and that I could hang on for 40+ minutes in Zone 4. I focused on people in front of me and closing the gap. I also paid attention to the terrain---if it was flatter, I pushed myself, if it was the end of an uphill, I'd work my arms, and if it was a downhill, I'd let myself cruise.  I reminded myself it was only 6 miles and celebrated getting to the turnaround at 3.1 miles :) I also reminded myself that it was supposed to hurt and to go that "hurty" place :O

With less than a mile left, I just told myself to bring it in and keep moving.  I was pretty out of it for the last 1/2 mile and really could only concentrate on one stride at a time.  There's something about driving down to the finish line in which your vision ONLY sees the finish line. Woh, I think I might be addicted to 10Ks!

January 6, 2011

2010 and now 2011

This is what 2010 looked like:
Yup, I was running higher mileage in February and March before the Avenue of the Giants marathon.  I trained hard with my coach in July and August---even PRing at the Santa Rosa 1/2 marathon!!  The last couple months of 2010 were tough for training because I was collecting dissertation data, a crucial step toward completing my PhD (woohoo!).

Now it's time to consider what 2011 will look like.....Well, I'm actually resolving to be open to all possibilities, to go with the flow, and to bequeath control in a nice & calm way :)  Is that zen-enough for you?!???  I'm enjoying training for shorter distances and know that I'm still a runner, even if I'm not training for a marathon. I'd like to try more trail races. And I definitely want to keep on connecting with other runners. So, happy 2011---let's make it a wonderful one!
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