Friday, November 27, 2009

A Day Without Rain

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

No 5k Turkey Trots.
I thought about, but with my toe still sensitive and Las Vegas looming, it was better to sleep in this year.

No computer.
I'm stealing a few moments on my son's computer just to catch up on a few e-mails and blog reading. Sorry about not visiting your blog and commenting. I miss my daily does of catching up with everyone. My computer is rebooting every 3 minutes with an error message. We just shut it off and hope that our daughter's computer tech-y boyfriend can fix it.

No Black Friday Sales.

I worked too many years in retail where I had to open or close on Black Friday. I avoid the malls on Black Friday unless I absolutely need something.

No Rain.
It has been well over 100 days without measurable precipitation. Normally, a sunny day is a good thing, but it's so dry and the threat of fire is looming. Rumor has it that we might see rain over the weekend. I hope so.


I am thankful that I was able to spend the holiday with my family, and that, in spite of things way beyond our control, we are happy. You just can't buy a day like that.

Tuesday's song:

Lost and Found - Taking Back Sunday - Run-DMZ


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lost and Found

I took Lucy for a test run today, a two miler. It took me a while to remember where all the applications were, such as turning on the GPS, hitting start and locking the bezel. She's pretty sweet and I don't need reading glasses to read her face. I didn't think about using the heart rate monitor, which is supposed to give me a more accurate caloric burn number, but I'll try it next time.

I was walking back to my car and found a Garmin just laying there in the middle of the parking lot. No one was around or even looking for it, so I brought it home. I sent an e-mail to Garmin with the serial number, so that the rightful owner MIGHT be found. I only hope the owner of this Garmin registered their serial number. I know I would want to be contacted if someone found my Garmin. Unless you're swimming in money, they aren't cheap. I thought about posting A "FOUND GARMIN" sign out at the park with a temporary e-mail address for contact info, but I'm going to wait to hear back from Garmin first before I post any signs. I don't want to risk being contacted by a bunch of weirdos wanting a freebie. I'm not posting pictures of it or saying which kind of Garmin it is, since it can be identified by the serial number. I will say that I found it out at Mission Bay Park.

Monday's song:
I Should Have Known Better - The Beatles - She Do Run Run


Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Should Have Known Better

With some underlying paranoia about my foot, I sent an e-mail to Justin at RU (Bryan was out of town) with my concerns and if there were anything else I should be doing. I really shouldn't be surprised, but he said I should be keeping up my cardio (recumbent bike and/or swimming) plus lunge and squat matrices. I should have known. It seems like that's the fix it for everything. I'm not kidding. If I said my eye hurt I'm sure I'd be told to do some sort of lunge or squat matrix. I'm beginning to think the lunge and squat matrix is sort of like the Windex in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It fixes/cures everything.

Gus and his Windex

Last night Michael and I attended the San Diego Track Club's award dinner at the Hall of Champions - Balboa Park. I've never been to the Hall of Champions before. It's the home of many local athlete's awards, uniforms, gear and Sports History in San Diego. It was quite impressive and still had that"new" feeling to it, even though it has been there for a while. Monique Henderson, an Olympic gold medalist and local athlete, was the keynote speaker. She was kind enough to stand for photos with her gold medals and let us hold them. Wow. The medals are beautiful. I suppose it will be the only time I'll ever get to hold an Olympic medal. Monique was so gracious. An event photographer was present, and I'll see if I can post the photo with Monique once it's available.

Keynote speaker - Olympic Gold Medalist, Monique Henderson

There was also a large floor area set up with round banquet tables decorated in blue and white linens with the SDTC logos and flower arrangements. The set-up was quite lovely. Track club members slowly trickled in, and we began to see many of our friends. I felt very fortunate to share a table with the wonderful people pictured here:

Anne and Gilbert

Jesu and Patricia

Dan and Jody


Just like other SDTC dinners we've been to, some people are difficult to recognize without donning their running gear. Someone came up to me and said that she almost didn't recognize me without my hat and sunglasses.

Unlike other SDTC dinners we've been to, they served alcohol, and not just wine and beer. I'm not a big beer drinker and I'm allergic to many wines, so whoopie for me. I could have a vodka-cranberry.

Awards were given out and many were no surprise, but there were a couple of awards that were a surprise to the recipients. Our coach Paul Greer received a Presidential award for promoting fitness. He was overwhelmed and emotional. I can't think of a better recipient. I understand that there were only 6 of these awards given out, nation wide. Another award, the Spirit of SDTC, went to a track club member who we often run with, Marison. I was quite thrilled for her and it felt like a family member had won. This past year she has been more involved and has really come through for the club in a pinch. She's also one of the nicest people you would ever meet.

The foot is feeling better, *whew* but still a tiny bit sensitive. I'll attempt an easy, slow run on Tuesday morning.

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? Me either.

Yesterday's song:
Get Over It - The Eagles


Friday, November 20, 2009

Get Over It

Wednesday night, at the RU group workout, we were running an 800 and I tweaked out my big toe on my left foot. I was wearing the wear test shoes. At first it felt like a cramp, but then it got worse. I couldn't do the 800 to my full potential. As I ran by one of the interns, I yelled out that my foot was cramping, but he just said to run through it. I listened to him, but I'm sort of kicking myself for not listening to myself. You would think that, by now, I would know better. After my crummy 800, I continued on with the strengthening exercises without shoes on, but skipped any running, even if it were a slow lap. At the end of the session I put my shoes back on without tightening the laces and hobbled to my car.

Once at home I spent some time RICE-ing my foot/big toe and took a couple of analgesics. I figured I'd give myself a couple of days to see how it felt before seeking any medical advice.

Yesterday I was having my hair cut in the same neighborhood as my chiropractor's office and decided to see if he would see me with such short notice. He fit me in. Not only was the right foot off, but the left foot was more off, and my back was also rather tight. After some massage, he did the necessary adjustments and I felt relief. My foot/toe is still sore, probably from over compensation, but at least I can put a shoe back on my foot without wincing. The foot isn't swollen or bruised, it's just sore. I'm still doing the RICE thing.

This foot issue puts a kink in my plans to attempt a PR at the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon, but I'm pretty sure I'll be OK to start and finish it with no intentions of a PR. At this point, I think I'm allowed to slow down and just enjoy the scenery. It's not like I'm giving up. I'm being realistic.

This also means I don't get to try out Lucinda this weekend. Oh, that's my Garmin's new name: Lucinda or Lucy for short. When I signed up on the Garmin site, it actually asks for a name, and Lucinda was one of the suggestions someone gave me on Facebook. It was the only name I could remember when I was stuck at the Garmin site. I hope I love Lucy...

Tuesday's song:
Cool As Blue - Tina Bridgeman & Hearth


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cool As Blue


They've posted the results today:

22/62 1571 2173 IRENE M 50 SAN DIEGO 2:13:30 10:12

Yesterday I had a workout at RU. It was all about getting back to business, even THE DAY AFTER RUNNING A HALF MARATHON. Sometimes I think Bryan can be a little masochistic, but there really is a method to the madness, as I've said before. He even had me doing heavier weights than I'm used to for certain exercises. I was toast after all that, but, wait, there's more...

My Garmin Forerunner 405 CX arrived!

I think Bryan was more excited about my Garmin than I was. I'm still in a post run event haze* and he couldn't wait for me to start using my Garmin. He charged it and set it up for me, then had me run to try it out.

Yeah, he had me RUN.


One thing I've learned is to not complain or make snarky comments about anything I'm doing at RU, because Bryan will just give me more of what ever it is I've just said I've groaned over.**

I ran 3 laps around the complex without the heart rate monitor strap, then another 3 laps with it. Amazingly, I was a wee bit faster the second time around. I went about 1.25 miles total.

I still need to read the instructions manual and download the disk to my computer, etc. I also need to come up with a name for the Garmin, other than the Garmin. She's a shade of dusty blue. (Yeah, I said "she.") Any suggestions?

Today I'm taking off from any working out or running, but getting caught up on my blog reading and laundry, oh, and babysitting.

Sunday's song:

Good Day Sunshine - The Beatles - Nine-Oh-Nine


*Post run haze = sore and tired.
**Which is why every exercise I do is my favorite exercise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Day Sunshine

Silver Strand Half Marathon complete!

I've been patiently waiting for the official results. I checked the posted results sheet before I left the finish area and it showed were 2:13:29 chip time. That's only 18 seconds off from my half marathon PR of 2:13:11. My BiM stats gave me a finish time of 2:13:34, but I turned off the GPS after I passed by the finish line. Here's my splits.

MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 50-0' 186.1+0.2+9 ft
29' 29-0' 396.3+0.4-9 ft
39' 22-0' 466.4+0.50 ft
49' 49-0' 196.1+0.20 ft
510' 06-0' 025.9+0.0+6 ft
69' 57-0' 116.0+0.1-7 ft
710' 17+0' 095.8-0.10 ft
810' 05-0' 036.0+0.00 ft
910' 33+0' 255.7-0.2+7 ft
1010' 40+0' 325.6-0.3-3 ft
1110' 45+0' 375.6-0.3+13 ft
1210' 46+0' 385.6-0.4-17 ft
1310' 12+0' 045.9-0.0-7 ft
end8' 42-1' 266.9+1.0+6 ft
Versus average of 10' 08 min/mile: Slower Faster

I haven't had splits like that in ages. I even had something left for the end!

This is one of those races that went off without a hitch. It began at Sunset Park in Coronado, and ended at the Imperial Beach Pier. There's no mile by mile synopsis because I felt pretty good the entire run, I didn't need to push hard, and it was straight forward. I also saw a ton of San Diego Track Club Members, plus a few folks from Rehab United. It was like one huge party since live music, beer and snacks were provided at the end.

Not a lot of twists and turns, except once we arrived in Imperial Beach, we had to run for a couple of miles through a small residential section, then do a backtrack run on a rather barren section of the military base just to fit in the last 4 miles.

HOWEVER, Somewhere between miles 5 and 7, there was a rather large bush people kept going behind, since the port-o-potties were a ways up. I immediately thought about AKA Alice's bush story, and it just so happened that at that same time the song she suggested for my SDRNR Marathon 2009 mix came on a- Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush. How coincidental! I had a good laugh.

At the end of the race, the guy right in front of me in the finishing corral gave me a hug. That was kind of funny... I got a hug from some (cute, young) random guy.

We did get a few photos from the day:

Michael, me, and Michelle from the track club waiting to start at Sunset Park, Coronado.

Me, Michelle and her husband Bruce

See? Very straight forward. The San Diego bay is on the left and Silver Strand State Beach is on the right. It was a GORGEOUS morining to be running.

Finished at Imperial Beach.

Worth the effort.

Thursday's song:
Baby, What A Big Surprise - Chicago - Rookie On The Run


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby, What A Big Surprise

About three weeks ago, I had noticed on Meg Runs blog that she put on her sidebar a pair of gently worn men's Nike Lunar Glides, size 12, for free. At first I didn't think much about it, until about a week ago it occurred to me (after seeing the photo of the Nikes several times) that my husband wears a size 12 and likes Nikes. I contacted Meg and the shoes were still available. She said she would mail them out at no cost to me. I knew the shoes would be on their way soon, but this has been a busy week and had other things on my mind. Today the UPS driver stops at my house. UPS? I didn't order anything. Then I saw the shoe sized box and realized what it was. I opened the box, expecting to see only shoes and perhaps a note, but this is what I saw:

Upon opening the box I found the glittery leaves, the bag of chocolates, the little note, and the shoes.

How cute is that?

This package totally made my day. I was feeling as if I was slogging through the mud today, and this package lifted my spirits. I'm sure it will make my husband's day, too. Thanks Meg! You make a difference!

I'm taking the next few days off from running and working out, so (hopefully) I'll be fresh for the Silver Strand half marathon on Sunday.

Tuesday's song:
What It Takes - Aerosmith - Barbie2be


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What It Takes

Even though I ran the 5k on Sunday, Bryan at RU showed no sympathy on Monday. I had a hard, sweaty workout. Oh, don't get me wrong, it was good workout and it wasn't long before I ready to be done.

Speaking of working, I filled in at work on Monday. It was nice to be back, in spite of having to learn their new computer programs and fee schedule. It wasn't difficult, just different. Everything else was just like riding a bicycle and it was good to see some of our regular patients again. I keep hinting that I'm available to put in more hours when they need me, especially since my coworker (who is on maternity leave) may not want to return to work so quickly.

Monday was also another Runner's World wear test shoe event for March 2010 issue.* Even though this event is now (supposedly) by invitation only, people start lining up for this event at 3:00 PM, and it begins at 5:30 PM. There are always new people in line, hoping to get something after the people with invites go through, and sometimes they do score some running shoes. Since I worked I couldn't leave the office until 5:30 PM. I showed up at 6:00 PM, placing me at the back of the line. I am so thankful that they decided to check IDs a few times (I was on their list) and I moved up to the middle of the line. Whew. By the time I made it to the front of the line, there were only two pairs of my size left. I ended up with Brooks Switch 3.

I've never tried Brooks before, nor have I ever worn a stability shoe. I normally take a neutral or neutral plus. With my inserts for high arches, they seem to be OK. I took them for a test run on the gym treadmill today, and immediately noticed that they had a lot of heel cushion, and that's a good thing. Time will tell how these shoes will fare for my bones. Bonus points that these shoes aren't Easter egg colored. It's difficult to see in the picture, but the trim is royal blue and dark purple.

I'm also trying out a new sport's bottle.* It's from Smash Sports. The concept is similar to that of a Playtex nurser, which is what my husband immediately pointed out. The bottle holds the liquid inside a biodegradable liner. Just hold your finger over a small hole on the bottle and squeeze. It took me a few times of squeezing the bottle before I realized I had to cover the small hole, but once I did that, everything worked great. Since the bottle isn't super hard, it's ergonomic. There's also hand strap available to place on the bottle. I'm not sure if I'll go the strap route yet, until I become more familiar with this bottle. I'm also not 100% sold on the idea of the liners, since they have to be replaced, but it does prevent that sloshing liquid sound that can be rather annoying.

Activity: Run
Date: 11/10/09 10:00 AM
Distance: 3.31 miles
Time: 0:32:00
Speed: 6.2 mph
Pace: 9'40 min/mile
Calories: 304

I put in my intervals on the gym treadmill. As sore as my body was from yesterday's workout, I felt really good on that treadmill. Being plugged into some really good tunes helps. I did pyramid intervals and took one minute walk breaks between sets. Walking pace was 4.2 mph and built up to a sprint pace was 7:50 mph. My goal for intervals is to get rid of the walk pace completely. I'm not quite there yet. I still need that walk pace to recoup from the sprint. At least I can now hold the sprint pace for a minute without wanting to pass out or throw up. I know, I'm still not super speedy, especially when compared to the women in my age group who can run 6 minute miles, but, hey, it's good for me at this moment.

Sunday's song:
Dancing In The Streets - Martha and the Vandellas - Run-DMZ


*Disclaimer - I reviewed these on my own. Other than receiving the products for free, I didn't get paid to give my two cents.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dancing In The Streets

...well, running in the streets.

7th Annual Shelter Island 5k

This event is one of those "must do" events. The race starts at the Shelter Island Holiday Inn and ends at Humphrey's By the Bay in the concert venue with a champagne brunch. It's very social and people are generally in a great mood. It's a flat route, mostly scenic, and can be competitive... or not -- Plenty of people opt to walk. It offers a champagne brunch alongside the bay, which is reason enough to get up very early on Sunday morning.

The thought of a champagne brunch was quite appealing to my friend Rich, who ran his first race with me, the Fire Run 4 Miler of August this year. He also talked his reluctant wife, Mayra, into joining us. This would be her first 5k. They also brought their very sleepy 2 year old daughter Alessandra.

Pre race photo op - Me, Rich, Mayra, and Ale in the stroller

Ale stretching with her mama

Me & the hubs

Ale and her daddy at brunch

It's amazing who you'll run into at some of these races! Blogger Glenn of Running Fat Guy drove down from Newport Beach for the event and, of course, any event with champagne, er, mimosas would not be complete with the day-glow green race shirts of Blogger AKA Alice of Heffer Blog and the Heffers. We also encountered several very happy* SDTC friends and members.

Glenn, Mik, AKA Alice, me & Michael

Here's the scoop:

I woke up at about 5:15 AM feeling tired. I slept, but it was anything but restful. My stomach also felt off and I was hopeful that I'd feel better after I had some coffee and a little something to eat.

Once we were at the event I felt just OK, but still not quite right. Even though I stretched and tried to warm up, my legs felt really heavy from the start. Yes, I was pushing harder than the day before, but I still felt like I my legs never warmed up for the entire race. I had no chutzpah to sprint in at the end. None. Nada. Zip. Regardless of the chutzpah-less finish, I still had a good, consistent pace and finished with a 27:59. I squeaked in under 28 minutes. One second under 28 minutes is peachy. Last year this 5k was my post-surgery comeback race, finishing at 33:30. What a difference a year makes!

The ironic thing is that the final race results match up to my GPS results, which never happens in a non-chipped race.

What my BiM GPS application recorded:
Activity: Run
Date: 11/08/09 07:58 AM

Distance: 3.15 miles
Speed: 6.8 mph

Pace: 8' 53 min/mile

Calories: 304

Actual race results:
403 IRENE M 208 50 6/53 F San Diego 27:59 9:01

After (sort of) a nap, I am feeling better. I think the lack of sleep really messed with me today. Next race - Silver Strand Half Marathon, November 15, 2009... next Sunday.

Yesterday's song:
Your Long Journey - Allison Krauss


*Perhaps it was the champagne?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Your Long Journey

Activity: Run
Date: 11/07/09 07:1208 AM
Distance: 6.08 miles
Time: 1:08:46 Speed: 5.3 mph
Pace: 11' 19 min/mile
Calories: 586

I ran with the track club today, for a change. RU was doing the train run, which is about 16 miles, and I didn't need that many miles. The track club met at one of my favorite places, Tidelands Park in Coronado. Since I have the 5k tomorrow I decided to take things easy. I ran with one of my track club friends, Kate, and we chatted the entire 6 miles. Chatting also prevented me from going too fast. I felt amazingly invigorated after this run, I'm not sure why, but part of it is probably being back with my SDTC running friends. It was somewhat therapeutic and exactly what I needed. This is not to say that running with RU isn't good, because it is, but I'm usually running alone because most everyone is faster than I am in that group, but they're all much younger, too. I am FAR from being the elder runner in the SDTC.

I've been struggling since last week on a how to handle some news I received. My last blog post was a bit fragmented, and just bits and pieces of random things, but I was avoiding what really was on my mind.

One of my closest friends informed me (through e mail) that her only son, only child, passed away last week. Nick was 29 years old. I'm not sure what happened. I don't know if he was ill, was in an accident or something else. I can only imagine the devastation and heartbreak my friend is feeling. We exchanged a couple of e mails since I heard the news, and I've asked her to call me when she's ready.

From all appearances, things were going well for Nick. He worked in the radiology department at a hospital, had an active social life, and was a very caring and thoughtful person. The last time I spoke to Nick was during the time I was in Chicago to spend some girl time with his mom (my friend) and my sister. It was a brief phone call, but he sounded like the same sweet and charming Nick I knew when he was a kid, but with a much deeper voice.

"God's given us years of happiness here
Now we must part
And as the angels come and call for you
The pains of grief tug at my heart
Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey"

Farewell, Nick.
October 4, 1980 - October 28, 2009

Tuesday's song:
Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

In case you haven't heard Meb Keflezighi, representing the USA, won the New York City Marathon. I understand that he resides in San Diego. He also came back from a hip fracture, which took him two years to bounce back from. Hmmmm.

I didn't post earlier about my craptastic run on Halloween morning. It was a 12 miler. The good thing about it is that I ran with one of my RU friends for the first 3 miles, then she ran a different route. I did an out and back from the Jetty at South Mission Beach to La Jolla near Wind and Sea beach and back. It's a scenic route and normally quite doable, mostly flat with a few hills in La Jolla, but nothing treacherous. The out was OK and at talking pace. The back was just crappy. Even my husband said I was leaning to the right when he saw me come in at the end. My legs felt heavy and my back was feeling pressure. It felt like I ran way more than the 12.12 miles I actually did run. I suppose I can't get away with skipping a run on vacation. I could have put in at least a 3 miler on the hotel gym treadmill, which was brand new, but I didn't. Hindsight...

Yesterday at RU Bryan had me do a series of exercises that had nothing to do with running, pylometrics or jumping, but it helps all of those activities. It was all about stretching and doing slow exercises that get my legs, hips and joints back in gear. It really helped.

Today I redeemed myself and ran intervals on the gym treadmill, and was quite pleased with my overall performance.

Should I be concerned that my 80 year old father has a Facebook account? I'm not sure how Facebook savvy my dad is, and I'm sure he'd be calling me up all the time asking about things I post... I'm not even Facebook "friends" with my own kids, and that's on purpose.

My daughter just assumed that we didn't need the leftover Halloween candy - all chocolate and all my favorites (on purpose - I never want to be left with candy we dislike), so she gave it ALL to her stick figure boyfriend. I had a fit. Of course we need chocolate. I could not survive PMS without it. To get over myself I made a batch of brownies with semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.

I heard this quote today from LL Cool J, a guest on the Bonnie Hunt show, when refering to doing what you are passionate about:
"What you do speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying."

I'm finally coming over to the other side. I ordered a Garmin 405CX through RU. They managed to get a good deal on a large order. Even with tax, it came out way less expensive than if I were to buy it from Road Runner Sports with my track club and VIP discounts! Sweet! I should receive it in a couple of weeks, after the entire order is placed.

I've been selected for Jury Duty, again. I think it has been less than two years since I've served on a jury. Still, I probably won't be able to get out of it. (Yeah I know all about civic duty, but I've been through the process several times already. Give someone else the opportunity!)

My sister brought this to my attention:

I must go finish off the last brownie.

Friday's song:
Hay Amores - Shakira - Barbie2be