Monday, August 30, 2010

August's Rhapsody

This is a longish post, but far from my longest post ever.  My blogging will be sporadic at best until after Labor Day. 

It has been a little tricky getting time for myself these days, which cuts into my blogging.  I'm mostly kid sitting, and it's  hard to get in a few words without him peeking over my shoulder asking when he can get on the computer.  His mommy started classes again last week and he doesn't go back to school until after Labor Day.  I love spending time with my grandson, though, and we've been working on reading and spelling (easy for him - he reads at a 3rd grade level) and math concepts (a little tougher). I'm also getting him outside to play games in the backyard and we've had a couple of trips to the park.

Last week it was suggested that I take my grandson with me to the park so that he could ride his bike or Razor along side me as I ran.  He's speedy on wheels, and I thought  I would have to chase him down.  He can handle 3 miles on wheels.  It sounds like a good idea, right?  We get to the park and barely make it a third of a mile and he wants to turn around and play at the park with all the kids.

The park was packed with day camp kids and I couldn't let him out of my sight, I just sat there for a bit, trying to figure out the best plan of action since I was already there. It wasn't long, but the day camp kids were all packed on their buses and left, and the park was quiet and manageable. At that point it occurred to me that I could run laps around the park's playground area and keep an eye on my grandson while he played. Two laps around the playground was about 400 meters. I ran enough laps to fit about 2 miles. (I had a little GPS bouncing - I didn't run through the middle of the playground.)

It still wasn't exactly what I had planned.  I couldn't do sprints due to the fact that I had to make sure I knew where my grandson was as I ran, plus I had to navigate around small children playing on the walkway around the playground. A few parents/adults with their kids just sort of watched me run, like I was nuts, however I'm not the type to just sit idle and watch my kid(s) play, either. If I didn't run I would have been on the swings with my grandson.

My grandson had a good time playing with a couple of boys about his age until the boys had to leave.  By then I had put in my two miles, cooled down and stretched.  As much as I enjoyed watching my grandson play and have fun, I remembered why I (most of the time) run solo.  It's my "me" time.  It's the time I need to be a bit selfish and take care of me and clear my head.*

Meanwhile, back in the garden, I actually grew eggplant without killing it!  See?  This was my first attempt with eggplant, and I was happy with how well it did.  Bonus points that the gophers didn't touch it

It was yummy, too.

Hubs and I ran in the Fire Run on Sunday, August 29, 2010.  It's advertised as an end of summer run.  The run starts in La Jolla and ends in Pacific Beach, and is mostly at a slight downhill route.  Each year this event grows, perhaps because of the direct route that is mostly flat with the slight downward hill , and the promise of two free beers at the end of the race.  I asked hubs to bring the camera, but when we got to the start line, he said he left it in the car. I have no pre or post race photos.  My friend Rich snapped a few photos right after the race,  one with me finishing.  I also forgot my Garmin.  Since the race organizers finally added D-tags, I figured I could even go without timing myself, although that would mean I wouldn't know my splits, or if I would need to kick things up a notch.  I wasn't feeling 100% ready due to the lack of enough sleep (4 hours) and girl issues. My legs felt like lead from the get go, but just kept going, hoping I'd find my fast gear.  Much to my amazement, I broke even and finished in 36:24 (9:06 pace), just one second faster than last year.

 Me on the finish line.  Photo credit to Rich.

I'm pretty happy that I broke even, but I'm far from a PR. If I could only stay injury free for a whileI could be smashing some PRs.   My friend Rich, who ran this with me last year and finished several seconds behind me, finished this year in 32:58 (8:15 pace), a PR for this race and a race pace PR.  Hubs also amazed me and finished with a PR at 41:06 (10:17 pace). 

At this race I also saw my PT Bryan with some of his RU posse, AKA Alice and most of the Heffers, and several SDTC members, including Michelle and her husband - who I began the SDTC Rockin' 'n' Runnin' marathon training program with two years ago.  Since Hubs was denied beer at the end of the SDRNR marathon earlier this year, he wanted to claim his two beers, so we waited (in an actually short line) retrieved our beers and met up with track club friends.  I ended up giving my second beer away and only drank half of the one I did have.  We didn't stay very long in the bar, and found our way back to the shuttle bus area, where we ended up on the disco bus, complete with bumping music, disco lights, and dance floor**.  I managed to get a couple of not so great cell phone pics,  but you get the idea:


After getting on our groove in the disco bus, we had a short walk back to the car and made our way to the High Dive to meet up with AKA Alice, Walter and some of the Heffers.  They skipped the beer crowd and made it to the High Dive well before we did.  They were just about finished up as we arrived with evidence of mimosas, but we were still able to enjoy each other's company for a little while.

They all looked well rested and clean!  Hubs and I were still grungy from the run.  Hubs played photographer.

Even though I was not into the idea of having any (more) alcohol, Hubs took it upon himself to order a bottle of champagne and cranberry juice so that we could make mimosas, too.  I obliged, but these made me even sleepier than I already was.  The Heffers and Walter were soon off, and Hubs and I had a leisurely breakfast.  The Challa (French) toast with loganberries hit the spot.

Once we were home I crashed and felt flu like for most of the day.  I was achey and a little feverish until much later on, sometimes before sunset, when I began to come back around and everyone was asking about dinner. Figures.

In my feverish stupor, I signed up Hubs and I for two half marathons and a 5k. I would have gone for a 3rd half marathon but I need to be mindful of that credit card balance.  Besides, I can't sign up for that 3rd race until late January, when sign ups are open, and that would be the America's Finest City half marathon.   The events I did sign up for are the Shelter Island 5k, Carlsbad Half Marathon and La Jolla Half Marathon.  I completely missed the sign ups for the Silver Strand Half Marathon, but I'm going check around and see if some groups (like RU) have extra entries. I'm still considering the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half in December and will most likely sign up through RU.

Right now I have the kid over my shoulder reading, which means it's time to bring the post to a close.  Other than a possible Wordless Wednesday post, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing for the next 8 days, unless there is something so blogworthy that it can't wait. 


Wednesday's Song:
Anywhere - Evanescence, 122, Stacey Clark, The Priests, etc...

*I went through this tug of war with my own kids and me exercising.  It sounds great to get everyone out doing the same activity, but, as a parent I would always end up slowing down or stopping to make sure my kids were safe, not beating up each other, not too far ahead, not crashing into other people, etc.  I had to make the activity THEIR activity, and do mine separately. 

** Yes there was evidence of a stripper pole on the dance floor.  They took it out for the shuttle service.  Darn.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Thursday's Song:
Funny The Way It Is - Dave Matthews Band


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Funny The Way It Is

Don't pass out or anything, but  it's a real blog post about running!

I'm starting to get my mojo back. Perhaps it was the crummy weather we've had since June. I was sort of going through the motions, but not really feeling anything towards running, good or bad. It was just kind of meh. Even my non running workouts were meh. A few days with sunshine and it changes everything. Today I got out to run a little later than I wanted to, but I still got out there. The sun was out and I spent most of the run going into the wind, which kept me from burning out. I also ran a different route than normal. Instead of running my usual Mission Bay Park route north, I ran more southwest, towards the South Shores parking lot, the same area where the last SDRNR marathon/half marathon finished. I also put in three laps around the parking lot just so I wouldn't have to navigate around the hoards of day camp kids visiting Mission Bay Park. I was really sweaty when I was done. Even though this was an "easy" run, it wasn't exactly an easy ride. My body was feeling the DOMS from my Wednesday workout at RU. I also have a mild case of shin splints brought on by wearing heels. Aren't I special? It seems I have more running related boo-boos caused by non running activities.

Hubs wants to go to Disneyland this weekend. It's not my idea of the happiest place on earth at the moment. The next couple of weeks people are fitting in the last of their summer vacations, and Disneyland is going to be packed.  I'd rather go during a less busy time.  I would much rather be relaxing on a tropical beach* (Ixtapa, perhaps?) drinking an ice cold beverage with umbrellas in it, and that would be my happiest place on earth.

Thanks to those who voted for my nephew.  It seems like a silly contest, but it could land him a job.  If anything, his name is getting out there.   If you haven't voted ("liked" it) yet , there's still time.  Voting ends August 31, 2010.  In case you've missed it, you can check it out here.


*We can no longer drink on most of our San Diego beaches and parks due to a booze ban. The actions of a few drunk idiots blew it for the rest of us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Up To You Now

Not quite a Wordless Wednesday.

My nephew, Kyle, needs a job... like yesterday. Meanwhile he entered a contest for a job. Check out his youtube summision on Facebook and  vote for him by selecting the "Like" button. The winner (hopefully Kyle) will be a job finalist. Thanks.

Monday's Song:
Rush Hour - Ani Difranco


Monday, August 16, 2010

Rush Hour

Hubs and I volunteered again for the America's Finest City Half Marathon water and electrolyte station #1. I brought my camera, but only two pictures turned out as they were supposed to. All the other still shots were videos -- All but one video turned out odd. A still shot doesn't translate well on video. Everyone is just standing there, posing, with background noise.

We trekked to Point Loma, right near mile 4 of the half marathon course, helped to set up water and electrolyte tables and waited for the masses to run through. I was able to catch up with some of my friends who did not run in the summer program.

Patricia, Jesu, Michelle, Me.  It's August and we're wearing jackets and long sleeves!

We were set up, and then we waited...

Hubs waiting for the hoards of runners.

One of the main sponsors of this event set out a sound system and had some pumping tunes for us as well as the runners. I still have "Humpty Dance" in my head.

It wasn't long until the front runners ran by so effortlessly and gazelle like. Seriously. Poetry in motion. None of these runners took water or electrolyte drinks. Then the mayhem began. Hoards of runners began running through and soon water and electrolyte drinks were everywhere, but our group of volunteers kept on top of it. Before we knew it, the hoards were through, and the back of the packers trickled in, then the lag wagon and police. Rush hour was over, the clean-up went like clockwork, and we were finished.

Hubs and I went through a fast food place for breakfast foods and coffee, then drove over to Balboa Park to the finish line to look for friends. Here's the only video that made sense, although it's only a few seconds long:

That's Rich in yellow running in for the finish, and Hubs and I yelling in the background.

Thank goodness for Anne. Not only did she set up the track club tent for the end of the race, she took some wonderful post-race pictures which you can check out HERE.

Many of my friends ran PRs, and I believe that their diligent training and cooler than normal weather helped. The skies were overcast, a little misty, and the temperatures were in the low 60s.

I really don't have any cute anecdotes or weirdness to report on, maybe because I was half asleep due to the early wake up to make it out to our volunteering destination before the streets closed.  Hubs and I weren't firing on all cylinders until well after we had coffee.  The only thing that comes to mind is we heard a couple asking the bus people  if there were shuttles back to the San Diego Zoo parking lot (where many people parked), which is probably a half mile (or less) walk through the park  from the finish line.  Really?  They didn't seem injured.

I didn't have any odd feelings about not running in the AFC half marathon, maybe because I knew I wasn't really ready for it.  I did have fun volunteering with friends and watching everyone else run through -- and that was enough.

Friday's Song:
Show Me What I'm Looking For - Carolina Liar


Friday, August 13, 2010

Show Me What I'm Looking For

I didn't realize that the last run with the track club session (that we've paid for) was last Sunday.  We slept in and woke up way too late even think about running. I'll have to drag my husband out for a run somewhere tomorrow morning just so we can keep moving.  We're not going to join the second half of the track club's "Half Mad or Whatever" training program, although we might  see about running with a few friends on the weekends near by just to keep things going.  We also have some half marathons in the Fall and Winter, but I'll be training with RU again.

Last week I attended another Runner's World Magazine's Wear Test distribution.  This time  I received a phone call for the invite instead of a general e-mail, and this time they only had about 25 pairs of shoes total.  I was selected by Runner's World Magazine based on shoe size and that I turn in my reviews to the magazine on time.  Sometimes these distributions can be a zoo because it's first come, first serve (even for regular wear testers), and people line up for a few hours to get a good spot in line.  This time there was no line.  We were all guaranteed a pair of shoes.  I came away with a pair of Nike's Lunarglide+ 2. 

I've wanted to try the Lunarglides ever since they came out a couple of years ago.  I did try on a a pair of the first Lunarglide versions Nike had, but, at the time, another pair of shoes fit better.  The Lunarglide+ 2 do fit my foot better than the original version, as they've made a few improvements to the toe box area (not as long) and they don't feel as stiff.  My custom orthotic fit perfectly in these shoes.  I took them on a 3 mile run in the 'hood, and they felt rather comfortable.  The real test will be when I put on more miles.  I've had issues with past Nike running shoes not lasting more than 100 miles, and if I'm training for a half marathon or further, that's not a lot of wear.  I wore out the treads of the Nike Air Pegasus with about 70 miles on them.  With only three miles on these new Lunarglides, I can't really judge how well they'll do on a long run, but that will happen soon.  I'll give my two cents about wear and durability later.  I'm  hopeful.

I'm still 'trolling the net for a stationary upright bike, perhaps a spin bike with mileage gauges.  I'm open to suggestions, if anyone has any thoughts or recommendations.  I'm looking to buy new.   I do own a real bike, but I need to be doing a V02 max workout, and the only way to do that without killing myself is on a stationary bike. The gym's craptastic stationary bikes aren't cutting it for me. I've tried.

Hubs and I will be volunteering this Sunday at the AFC Half Marathon, water station #1 with the San Diego Track Club. I'll try to say hi to you as you run by, provided that you are running in this race.  *wink*

Wednesday's Song:
Happy Feet - Paul  Whiteman, John Altman, Abbie Garnder, etc.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Feet

Monday's Song:

Hang On Sloopy - The McCoys


Monday, August 09, 2010

Hang On Sloopy

Life has been a whole lot of busy, which means I'm a whole lot of tired today, but that doesn't give me a day off since I'm hangin' with the grandkid today since his Mommy is on a mini trip out of town.

Friday the hubs and I traveled a whole 6 miles or so to Humphrey's by the Bay for a concert evening with Ringo Starr and his all star band.  When I booked this concert  back in April I did not realize Ringo was playing with an "all star" band.  I mean,  "all star" can be just about anything.  I didn't do any research prior to the show to see who was "all star."   It turns out that "all star" was really impressive:

Edgar Winter, Wally Palmer (The Romantics), Ringo Starr, Gregg Bissonette, Rick Derringer, Richard Page (Mr. Mister), and Gary Wright.

First things first, though.  When we checked in, the front desk person upgraded us to a mini suite.  It turns out that the mini suite faced the concert venue and stage.

Hubs and I on the balcony area of our room.

The venue view from our room.

We've been to quite a few concerts at Humphrey's, but we've never had a room this close to the venue, so we began calling friends to see if they wanted to hang out in our room during the concert, and (basically) see the show for free.  During dinner at Humphrey's restaurant*, we were calling friends just to see who could join us. It was such short notice, but two couples said they were on their way!

The view from the balcony... Seriously!
One of the couples we invited, Bruce and Liz, are HUGE Beatles fans.  HUGE.  Hubs decided that he actually liked sitting on the balcony to watch the concert, so he gave up his 4th row center seat to Liz.  She couldn't believe it.  She kept asking if Hubs was OK with it, and " are you sure?"  Hubs was happy to hang out with the guys and enjoy the drinks he brought instead of paying $6 to $10 for drinks on the floor.  The guys decided it was OK for the ladies to have the floor.  Liz and I found our 4th row center seats and danced and sang pretty much the whole time. Liz was in constant awe.  Even more awe-some was that this was a concert where we actually knew 99% of the songs.  I couldn't get over that Edgar Winter was singing and playing the Wally Palmer - Romantics hit "What I Like About You."  Edgar Winter, of course, played "Frankenstein."  Richard Page from Mr. Mister sang his hits "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings." Rick Derringer did his "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo."  Gary Wright  headed up "Dreamweaver."  Remember those songs?  Of course, Ringo did his hits "It Don't Come Easy", "Photograph," "Yellow Submarine," amongst other well known hits.  It was fun sharing this particular concert experience with Liz just because she was so very much into it and constantly saying  "I can't believe this!"  The other couple who joined us brought their three year old daughter since a babysitter wasn't available, but they were able to hang out in our room and balcony area, were able to order room service,  and still enjoy the concert.

 Cell phone pic - 4th row center.  That's Ringo, center stage!

 Edgar Winter playing the sax  - "Frankenstein"

After the concert, local band Rockola** was playing in Humphrey's lounge, and admission was free if you showed your room card. Bruce and Liz are followers of Rockola and even had a fundraiser at their home with Rockola donating their musical talents for the fundraiser. Of course, we went to the lounge to dance and listen to a few sets!

Liz and Bruce still dancing!

At the end of the evening, Hubs and I were pretty wiped out and crashed. The next morning were were, uh, slightly hung over. We managed to get ourselves together enough to walk a few blocks to The Red Sails Inn for breakfast. Upon sitting down, Hubs decided to take his wallet and cell phone out of his pockets.

Cell phone and wallet... What's that third thing?

Yep.  Slightly hung over.  The hotel remote control made it into his pocket!  The people at the table next to us were just busting up over this! Of course, this warranted a blog- worthy picture, and a mention on Faceboook.

We had a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast and plenty of coffee, then we were back in business.  One thing about eating on the outdoor patio at The Red Sails Inn, is that of the seagulls was rather brazen.  While we were dining one seagull swooped down and stole bacon or sausage right off of people's breakfast plates.  That seagull stalked a particular plate and would just suddenly swoop down and grab exactly what it wanted in the blink of an eye.  This occurred about  five times while we were there, and Hubs was even a victim.  My plate wasn't interesting to the seagull since I had huevos rancheros -- no breakfast meats! 

Because we slept in we didn't run, even though we brought our running clothes and shoes.  Who were we kidding? We did swim a few laps in the pool before checking out, which made our little respite seem more vacation-like.  We needed a few more days, but we'll take whatever time off we had.  It was great.

Now it's back to reality, sidewalk chalk, marbles, Legos, baking cookies and paddle ball with the kid. Running?  Maybe later this week.

Friday's Song:
Missed Opportunity - Daryl Hall & John Oates


*Dinner at Humphrey's is fabulous, by the way.
**Known for paying homage to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and other 60s/70s bands.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Missed Opportunity

Somehow, I completely missed making note of my 1000th blog post.  Now it's at 1012.  How did THAT happen?  I missed it. I was planning on doing a look back at some of the highlights (and low-lights) of what I've posted since day one and maybe even do a give-away. Maybe I'll make up a new landmark number and celebrate that.  Hmmmmm.

I haven't been blogging much about running, but that's going OK.  I'm back in the mid 9m/m to high 9 m/m range without feeling like I want to hurl.  Honestly, it is a little bit of a push, but I'm not killing myself, either.  My long runs are still about 6 miles or under and I'll be adding more mileage as fall rolls around. I'm posting on Daily Mile, which automatically links to Facebook and Twitter.

Bryan has written out a workout/run schedule for me.   I'm trying to adhere to it as best as possible, but I'm just not feeling the bike love. He has me on a bike once or twice a week. I use the craptastic upright stationary bikes at my gym, which are certainly not contributing to my bike love. Last week I rode for 40 minutes and the readout said I went about 26 miles. This week I rode 45 minutes with the same intensity and the readout said I went 16 miles. WTF?  In addition, the upright bikes are scattered through out the gym and not all in one place with the rest of the cardio equipment, as if that's supposed to make us not notice how crappy the bikes are. I've mentioned before, but the good bikes are all in the spin class section in another room and cannot be used unless you're in a spin class. The spin class times don't work for me.  Bryan suggested using the elliptical, but I'd much rather run up and down stairs for an hour, use the Stairmaster, or even slam my hand in a door* before even considering an elliptical. The elliptical is my least favorite piece of gym equipment. I'll use it if I have to, but I'd prefer not to. Now I'm 'trolling the net for upright stationary bikes.

This weekend Hubs and I are going on a  staycation. We have dinner/room/concert tickets at Humphrey's by the Bay once again.  This time it's for Ringo Starr. Even though we purchased these tickets back in April, the timing of this little respite couldn't be more appropriate.  Honestly, we could use a week or more, but an escape for an overnight is just fine with us.

Live at the Greek Theatre 2008

Wednesday's Song:
Courage To Grow - Rebelution


*A bit dramatic, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Courage To Grow

Thursday's Song:

Chloe - Spike Jones