Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thicker Than Water

A street construction area sign posted in front of my house yesterday.  Not very clear.
The construction isn't only going on outside my house, it will be going on within myself.

I have not run since the SDRNR Half Marathon on June 3.  This makes it a record for me not running in a non-injured, non-sick state of being.  I need the break, but I'm also feeling like a slug since I haven't really cut back the calories I eat when I run.  I had no plan in place for after the half marathon, especially with nutrition, but I've been doing a little research since then.

I've been looking for some sort of "cleanse" that wasn't too extreme.  I don't want to be a slave to the restroom.  I wanted something where I could actually eat real food in addition to whatever supplements I would need to take.  I also don't want to feel deprived.  I have come across something that sounds doable, but I won't post about it just yet.  I plan on doing this "cleanse" after the 4th of July.  I'll post about it when I'm done, just so I can give a fair assessment of it.

I'll also be  looking into doing some sort of exercise regimen, probably incorporate a lot of what I used to do before I became more serious about running, which was weight training, but more of a HIIT workout. On my cardio days I'll probably run, but only for 20 minutes worth of high intensity intervals.

The whole reason behind this reboot is because I feel like I've lost a lot of strength.  It wasn't that long ago that I could bust out 50+ push-ups with no problem, but now I feel fatigue at 10.  It's not just the push-ups, it's every thing else as well.  If I don't take care of myself now it will be harder to get everything back later. In addition to losing strength, my head just isn't in the whole workout, running, fitness thing.  I know this is all normal and we all burn out at some point. I'm just hoping to reignite whatever it was that kept me going.


The house is quiet with my daughter and the kiddo moved out.  As much as I enjoy my grandson's cheery voice, I'm enjoying the quiet time in the evening.  I do miss them, but I've wanted them to be out on their own for a while, and because it was time.  I think they'll be fine. The kiddo is set up with swim lessons and summer school.

We had an intervention of sorts with my Dad.  My dad is 83 years old and still lives in the house our family lived in for many years.  The house is too big for my dad and, due to his macular degneration, he really can't see what needs to be fixed with it, and there's plenty. He doesn't want ANYONE  touching his stuff, not even a family member, but we need to get a crew in there to start making repairs and a housekeeper to keep it clean and tidy.  Right now it's a matter of baby steps and we're trying to get a contractor to at least get started with painting the exterior of the house. Herding kittens is easier than dealing with my dad.  My dad is in denial and doesn't want to discuss his living conditions, but wants to go on another cruise instead.

The City of San Diego is finally replacing the sewer lines in our neighborhood.  The old cast iron pipes were from the early 1900s, perhaps even earlier.  The pipes seemed to systematically burst, one right after the next.  Thank goodness they're replacing the pipes on our street before that happened, and I felt our street was ready to have some sort of sink hole happen at any second.

New pipes!  I hope they get rid of the overhead power lines next...

I've been in back in Mizunos for about the past year, the Wave Prophecy, and have purchased a second pair. The first pair has well over 200 miles on them and are not ready for retirement, but I have the new pair just in case.  I like that I've been able to wear a shoe for running and not have to think about how it feels -- No hot spots, not weird rubbing, no blisters, no discomfort, no "wearing them in to get used to them" time. These just work for me.

I've been contacted by Mae at Mizuno News and the Mezamashii Run Project to discuss joining the Mezamashii community and enter to score a pair of Mizunos.

If you're interested in an invite, and, perhaps scoring  a pair of shoes in their giveaway, click on THIS LINK then click on "apply for an invite."  I'm not a part of the Mezamashii Run Project (yet) since I just applied, but I hope to be, and I also hope to score a new pair of Mizunos.

6/27/2012  EDIT - I won and selected the Mizuno Wave Creation!  (Not my first choice, but MY Wave Prophecies weren't included in the choices, but, still, I won a pair of running shoes!)  Woo hoo!  They should arrive around July 20. 

Song from Friday, June 8, 2012:
With a Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles, Joe Cocker - Run With  the Black Knight


Friday, June 08, 2012

With a Little Help From My Friends


The week of my aunt's services was also the same week my daughter and grandson moved out and the same week leading into half marathon #19.

My daughter did not move out in one fell swoop.  The first day she rented truck and moved her larger items, then slowly boxed and moved everything else in the days to follow.  I was so consumed with my aunt's passing and the upcoming half marathon that I didn't have time to digest that my daughter was FINALLY going to be on her own, with her son.  Hubs and I had some concerns at first, such as her finances, but she needs to learn and grow and make her own decisions.  This move was long overdue.  It didn't hit me that both my daughter and grandson were gone until that first Saturday morning without the sounds of my grandson's cheery morning voice and the voice of my daughter inquiring about his breakfast desires.  The house was way too quiet.  It was a little bit sad that I didn't get to see them off the way I wanted to, but before I had the chance to become overly melancholy, they were back at the house for another carload of things to move.

Half marathon Friday evening was the track club's annual pasta dinner.  It's so much fun to see that everyone cleans up so well. John Bingham, better known as "The Penguin," was our guest speaker.  I never laughed so much at one of these pasta dinners.  He was hilarious. Sometimes that evening track club friends Michelle and Cathy were discussing PRs, and we all made a pact to break 2 hours.  I've never made a pact to break a time barrier.  I guess I'm committed.  The good thing is that we didn't give ourselves a time frame to break 2 hours.  Both Michelle and Cathy are within close reach of that goal, but I have my work cut out, even though it's not an impossible feat.  I was close at one point, with an unofficial 13.1 mile training run clocking in at 2:02, and ( post surgery) official half marathon time of 2:13 and change. 

Saturday and race day eve, Jill  (Run With Jill)  came into San Diego and we planned to rendezvous for an early dinner at PF Changs.  I know, not the most original place in town, but at least it was centrally located and relatively easy to get to, except for the unusually dense traffic that day at the mall that afternoon.  Mary (Journey of a Running Green Girl) and Jill's daughter Abbey also joined us.  During the course of conversation, Jill mentioned that she would run with me.  I was a little perplexed because I'm currently running the slowest I've EVER run due to on going fatigue issues, and Jill is faster than me - even at her slowest, but I wholeheartedly welcomed her company. No one has ever offered to run an entire half marathon race with me.  Ever.

Race day - Sunday morning, and my friend Rich is at our front door at about a quarter to 5 AM.  I bribed Rich into driving us to the marathon starting area with a bag of whole bean coffee and the use of my car.  I'm pretty much good to go, but as usual, Hubs is still fumbling around with something.  We probably leave the house just a couple of minutes before 5, and shortly thereafter text Jill that we're on our way to pick her up at her hotel.  Getting to the hotel and driving to the starting area was relatively seamless since we went the back way, and was way less congested than if we took the main route to the start.   We had time for a photo op with the track club and a short warm up run, which I cut even shorter because I wasn't quite awake yet.  Jill stayed with me. 

I didn't stick around for the track club stretch, I wanted to dump my stuff at bag check and find a port-o-potty.  We lost hubs somewhere after the warm-up run since he ran the entire warm up run and did the group stretch, but I knew we'd see each other at the end of the race. 

Jill could not get over how many people there were.  I don't think this was the largest San Diego Rock 'n' Roll event, but it was still pretty crowded.  Even though Jill was slated for corral 3, she joined me in corral 10.  Hubs was slated for corral 19.  FYI - there were over 40 corrals.  It wasn't long until we were off and going.  Jill asked if the crowd would ever thin out.  It became a little less crowded as we went, but by crowd standards it was the usual busy SDRNR race.   Jill kept me posted with pace, which was fine at first, but I became fatigued and I just didn't want to know any more.  I wasn't racing, I was just checking off half marathon #19. Jill stopped to take photos along the way and easily caught up with me since I was going THAT slow. There was a rare port-o-potty stop for me somewhere into mile 6, but it only took a minute and a half off of my already slow pace, so no major loss there.  Jill did a lot of sight seeing on the race and also notice that there wasn't a lot of rock 'n' roll music being played until we passed a band playing "Freebird."   During the race I was trying to spot my cousin's wife who was going to be somewhere into mile 7 cheering on her running group. Apparently, I did "see" her, but she had a straw hat and sunglasses on, and I didn't recognize her.  I later found out through Facebook that she was there and I looked right at her, but she said nothing to acknowledge me.  She probably thought I was some crazy runner until after I passed.  Ah, well.  A really cool thing to note is that one of my track club friends, Kelly, was running people in at the end.  She ran with Jill and I for about a half mile stretch before the finish line.  Kelly is pretty chatty anyway, so it was fun to hear her talk and tell corny jokes. (Q - What did the doe say when she came out of the woods?  A - "I'll never do that for two bucks again!"  LOL.)  After a few turns towards South Shores Park, just adjacent to Sea World,  I sort of picked up the pace for the finish, just to make it look good at the end.  Jill was right with me.  We clocked in at 2:33:01.

Done.  Check.

The race weather was rather humid and a little warm, but once we stopped running the marine layer remained and cooled the temperatures way down.  For whatever reason the race peeps were being stingy with mylar blankets. We made our way through the usual post race medals, photo ops, water and food.  We still had to wait for Hubs who insisted on getting his free beer.  Jill was cold and left her jacket in the car with Rich.  Luckily I had an extra jacket in my bag.  As soon as Hubs was done we walked to meet Rich at the volunteer parking lot area and took Jill back to the hotel, then we weaved our way back home around road closures.  (I live near the marathon route.)

At the SDTC tent.  There is a chilly Jill behind me!

Certainly, there are a lot of details that I left out, but each race is definitely a learning experience.  I've learned that running an entire race with a friend did help me.  I was so ready to walk somewhere before mile 10, but with Jill next to me I kept running, albeit slow. I've  also realized that I still have it within myself to have faster, better races because I was able to pick up the pace at the very end.  I just need to get back to basics and get strong again.  I also need to work on getting excited about races.  Yes, the head isn't quite there, either. Once I get my head and body in sync, then I'll be back at it.  I believe I have a sub 2 hour half marathon in me, still.   

I also realized that I got out of the habit of taking pictures.  I guess I had just assumed that someone would always be taking pictures, which IS true, but there were a lot of missed photo ops from my perspective.

This race was also my last race of age 52,  as I always celebrate my birthday about a week after the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll event.  I'm looking forward to 53 and for all the exiting things life has to offer.

Song from Wednesday, June 6, 2012:
Whatever Will Be Will Be - Doris Day


PS:  I went and signed up for a fun run, not a race, but it's The Color Run in San Diego, November 2, 2012.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What Ever Will Be Will Be

I feel as if I've lived a few months in the past couple of weeks.  Bear with me. This is a be a two post, two parter, maybe even three, well, just two. 


During Mother's day week I changed my Facebook profile picture to my mother's picture, as I've done before.  This time it received more reaction and, because of that photo, I was able to reconnect with several long lost cousins who are scatter throughout the United States and Europe.  The timing of that photo bringing long lost family together could not have been more perfect due to the set of circumstances that followed.

One of my closer cousins had called and wanted to see our aunt who was in a care facility for Alzheimer's patients.  My cousin was without any transportation and asked me to drive her to visit our aunt.  I didn't hesitate for a second, and we went to visit my aunt the very next day.  My aunt appeared mostly non-responsive, until my cousin began singing to her in Spanish.  I'm not sure if it was a reflex or if my aunt recognized the song, but her eyes welled up with tears.  We spent time talking to her, stoking her hair and arms, and said a prayer for her.  We probably spent about an hour just being with her.  We noticed that my aunt was well taken care of, and that the staff seemed very friendly and caring.  They even had a resident cat, who visited us as we talked to my aunt.  We knew she was nearing the end and asked her to say hello to everyone in heaven for us.

My aunt passed away two days later.

My aunt Catalina was the last surviving sibling of my mother.  She was (technically) the youngest.  There was the eldest sister, Concepcion, who was only a couple of years older,  then my mother, Gloria, was born in January 1929 and Catalina and her twin sister Lucia were born in December of that very same year.  The sisters were extremely close.

Lucia's wedding photo.  My mom is seated at the front left and Catalina is seated at the front right.  We can't figure where Concepcion is.

My aunt Catalina or "Tia Cata" (as we called her) was the jokester of the family.  In photos her family found for the service, she was the one who had the silly expressions. Her own kids remembered her practical jokes.  She also loved to be surrounded with music.  Even though her body was taken over by Alzheimer's, her care takers said she would always hum or sing certain songs, like "que sera, sera, whatever will be will be."  One of my cousins would visit her at the care facility with his iPod and headphones so that she could listen to music.  The music would brighten her day, and she would perk right up.

We attended the visitation and funeral services, which were very understated, but lovely.  My cousins had white balloons to release at the grave-site service, which was quite touching.

We reunited with stories from our mothers, and what we remembered growing up.  We all remember the story our mothers told us about when they were young teens -- when a man broke into their house with ill intent, and the man had no chance against four tough sisters who beat him up in self defense. It's not that the break in or ill intent was funny, it's that the sisters had a reputation for toughness after that.  We all laughed that our mothers used the threat of a house slipper  (or "chancla")  for discipline.  You never wanted to see that "chancla" being thrown at you for any reason.

The weird thing about reuniting with long lost family  members is that you realize, even with all the differences, is that how we all looked related.  I know, duh, but their kids looked like my kids and my brother's and sister's kids as well.  Even though we were together under somewhat sad circumstances, we had a good time reuniting, and it was as if we didn't miss a beat.  We just melded as if so many years had not slipped by.  My brother in law even commented how easy it was to be around each other, which doesn't always happen when you reunite with family.  Perhaps our mother's did something right for us to all get along so well.

There were other commonalities.  Some of my cousins participate in endurance sports such as tris, half marathons, obstacle course races, and Crossfit, etc.  Another cousin's wife runs and runs long distance races, such as marathons and half marathons and lives in the area.   I had no idea. 

It's funny how Facebook had started as somewhat of a novelty for me, but being able to reconnect with family has been a bonus.  I'm glad this hall happened before my aunt's passing.  I just hope we can keep in touch.

Song from Friday, May 18, 2012:
 Changes - David Bowie