Friday, December 31, 2010

Recharging!

When I last wrote I was not running much, I am still not running much. But I am hoping that is going to change because this week has some exciting news. Regular business hours!!!! I was so happy when Monday night came and the store closed at 10pm instead of midnight. This means that if all goes well overnight I can get my team out the door and done by the latest 3:30 for filling the floor and around 5 for back room, sometime earlier. OMG!!! How happy am I????? Very happy, the only done side is when P-fresh trailers come, I really need them on time but with everything else in the store being done that means I can blitz out the p-fresh push and be done by 6am or 7am. This is exciting stuff for me.

Work has still been draining. Just because Christmas is over doesn't mean things slow down. There are still a ton of people out there returning gifts, getting the great clearance deals on Christmas items and toys, and a ton of gift cards going on. Busy, busy, busy. But soon enough it will all slow down because next week I am taking a personnel day. That means a four day weekend for me and I might be able to meet up with the Fleet Feet Ultra Training group for the Wednesday night speed work.

Speaking of Fleet Feet Ultra Training, we are still meeting tomorrow morning for our long run. This time though we will be starting from Twin Rocks and heading out 6 miles and then turning around. No fire road this week. YES!!!! Double bonus. But this section of the American River 50 miler course is a bit more technical and the last time I was out in this area was back in September for the Sierra Nevada Double. Going to bring back memories.

I am trying to find the motivation and passion again for running. I believe that once I re-charge my batteries from this holiday season all will be right again. It is just going to take time, I just hope not to long. But I guess this would be a great time for me to practice patience. Right Trailmomma? patience is hard for me, I am so go go go that having to slow down and re-charge is difficult but I know it is needed. Re-charging is what is going to help keep me healthy in 2011. I hope! Here is to finding the passion and motivation again.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

It is amazing how quickly things can get crazy busy. I have not logged as many miles in the past 2 weeks as I normally do. In fact I think I ran only four times in four weeks. Wow, an all time low for me. Typically I am running no matter what, no matter how much pain I am in I run, but recently I have been too exhausted to run. My sleep cycle is all out of whack. I sleep for a few hours then I am up for a few hours then I sleep for a few more hours and soon enough it is time to go to work only I do not feel rested. So running has taken a back seat right now.

The Fleet Feet Ultra Training Group has been meeting on Wednesday evening for speed work, but I haven't been yet. One day soon enough. I have been making it out on the weekends for the scheduled long run, but after that run I am totally drained. This past Sunday was our 12 miler.

We started at Cavitt and headed out on the fire road. My love hate relationship with this road as Trailmomma would say was still there. This time though on the way out I was running with GPS Michelle. Our group was large but by the second rolling hill we were already spread out. GPS Michelle took the lead and I followed. I really wasn't in the mood to be leading I just wanted to follow. We hit the single track and there were four us just cruising along splashing through the puddles, stomping in the mud and trying to stay on our feet.

The weather was a bit cool with a few light sprinkles but it was absolutely gorgeous on the trail. It was peaceful and it was a place where I could quiet my mind and just be without all the hustle and bustle I have at work. Soon enough we hit the turn around spot and I took in a GU and headed back. I took the lead with Happy Chuck. But soon enough Happy Chuck was off and GPS Michelle was right behind me. She passed me on a climb and I found myself all alone. I was coming upon the fire road and I just embraced it and ran when I felt like it and walked now and then. The end was near and it would soon mean that I had to return to reality.

It was great to be able to let go for a few hours, it does the body good. I felt re-focused and re-centered and ready to tackle to what ever this week has in store for me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Windy 10 on the Trails

This week the weather had decided to turn. First it became really cold, as in when I left from work on Thursday morning there was at least an inch of ice on my windows. Then it rained, and now it is windy and rainy here and there. So with all this weather today's run was going to be interesting because who knew what we were in for. For all we knew it was going to be a swim.

Today the Fleet Feet Ultra Training group met at Cavitt and headed out to Los Lagos roughly round trip 10 miles. When I arrived everyone was still in their cars. It was cold, the wind was howling and it was lightly raining. Captain Kirk was out marking the last little bit of the trail so I chit chatted with Wonder Woman and soon enough everyone in the group slowly showed up. Their was roughly 40 of us out on the trail this morning. That is a huge group. Captain Kirk took the lead, Wonder Woman stayed in the middle along with Coach Nikon.

The group started off and I was up front, which last year I was in the back. It was a nice change for me. I haven't been back on this trail since September, and I had forgotten how much I hate the fire road leading out of Cavitt. It is fine heading out but on the way back in it just feels like it takes forever.

The fire road was really windy, so windy at times it stopped me in mid stride but once I reached the single track things calmed down and became muddy. There was a ton of slipping and sliding but luckily I stayed on my feet. The trails today were muddy and had a ton of puddles. At first I was running around the puddles but I soon found myself running through them.

I had a lot of interesting thoughts running through my head, I was singing Christmas songs one second and the next second I was cursing myself for carrying a bottle instead of my using my pack and then the next second I would be thinking about work. Probably a good thing this run was only 10 miles. Who knows what else would have gone through my head. But I did enjoy running in the puddles and mud and the trail felt so much better then the road.

As I neared the turn around point Captain Kirk was there waiting, I didn't stick around too long as I didn't want to get to cold. I turned it and headed back. On my return it looked like everyone was having a good time with smiles on their faces and mud on their legs. I ran the return by myself and just kept a nice and steady pace. Once I hit the fire road though the wind really slowed any forward progress. It just howled and blew fiercely the entire time. It was slow but I made it back to the cars and I quickly changed out of my wet clothes and shoes and into some warm dry clothes and waited for the rest of the group to get in.

It was a good run I stayed within myself and didn't get caught up in going out to hard. It can be hard to do that as running in a group the competitiveness comes out in me, but I kept it in check today. Can't wait for more great runs like this on the trails in the weeks to come, just maybe a little less wind. Keep on running everyone!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's to come in 2011

For 2010 being my first official running year I am very proud of the races and results I managed to achieve. It took a lot of hard training, dedication, stubbornness, heart and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Just like last year I will be training with Fleet Feet Ultra Training Group for Way to Cool 50k and American River 50 miler.

 What else is to come in 2011 you might ask?

I didn't get into Western States as the lottery selected 219 runners out of over 1500 that applied. I knew my chances were slim, but I am very excited for those who are running in States. 2011 is going to be about going for Pr's and also redemption in September.

I have already achieved my first PR in my second marathon a few weeks ago. I ran in CIM and PR by 24 minutes. Up next and my first time running in this event:

-Way to Cool 50K on March 12, 2011. This race is going to be off the hook with a brand new course. I am excited to see what I can achieve out there as long as I stay healthy. Followed by,
-American River 50 mile Endurance Run on April 9, 2011. I am aiming for under 10hrs. I am sure the training group is really going to push me so that my fitness is there.
-Tahoe Rim Trail 50k on July 16. This is a beautiful race with breathtaking views but also a very tough course. Love the challenge of it.
-Sierra Nevada Double- This race is for redemption on September 24, 2011. I dropped at mile 47 ish after battling some major injuries where most runners would not have even started I did and fought my way on the trail for 13.5 hours before dropping.

These are the 4 races I know that I will be running in. It is time to get serious about my training as I have been slacking recovering from CIM. The spark needs to get fired again.

 I have been exhausted from work and I think that is playing a good part my motivation department. But this morning I did force myself out the door at 6:00am for a 5 mile run in the cold, wind, and rain and did I mention it was dark and the neighborhood dogs like to bark and scare the crap out of me.

Here is too hard training, even more dedication, and more heart and a positive attitude and a healthy me in 2011. Enjoy the trails everyone and keep on running!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Kitchen Restaurant in Sacramento

My sister and her husband

The twins

Cousin Q, spent the night with Lil Man

The birthday girl and my brother

The Kitchen!

As soon as we walked into the front doors this is what we saw. The Kitchen where the chef prepares the meals fresh and right in front of you. It is a unique and exciting experience and the food is just amazing. The chef and staff will cater to whatever the individual needs. The meal has six courses with a intermission of Sushi and Sashimi and right before dessert a white gloved tea service and fresh brewed coffee.
 The great experience about the Kitchen is it has one service a night so there is no pressure to hurry up and leave. It is truly a unique dinning experience!

Chef Noah Zonca

Taste, taste, taste

The birthday girl in the wine cellar

The sous chef preparing Act I

Act I:
Preparing and selection of ingredients presented by Chef

Fresh Lobster

Act II: Opening Dish
 Randall's French Onion Soup with Aged Swiss Gruyere

This dish was just fantastic. The onions were not over powering and it was a great opening dish.

Fresh Salmon

Fresh Brussel Sprouts

Act III: Second Plate
The Kitchen's Maine Lobster
Mac 'n Cheese

This was the best tasting Mac 'n Cheese I have ever eaten. The cheese wasn't over powerful and the Lobster was fantastic.

Preparing the Salmon

Cold Saki Bar with Intermission

Intermission: Sushi and Sashimi served outside by the fire pit.
I loved the crab cakes and I even adventured outside my comfort zone and tried the oysters.

The birthday girl with the special birthday belt!

Act IV: Third Plate
 Wild New Zealand Salmon with Truffled Hollandaise
Local Dungeness Crab. Tarragon and Buttered Brussels Sprouts.

The sauce was unbelievable. The Salmon tasted great and was seared.

Preparing the strip loin

Act V: Fourth Plate
Grilled Angus Beef Strip Loin with Bone Marrow, Toasts, Parsley, and Red Wine

Act VI: White Glove Tea service and fresh brewed Coffee

"Mr. Tea" prepared fresh tea.

Act VII: Dessert is Served
Navel Orange Tres Leches Cake with Ice Cream, Walnut Infused Maple Syrup and Sugared Cranberries

This was by far the best dessert I have eaten. The sugared Cranberries were fantastic the ice cream was refreshing and the cake was fabulous.


Our ride the rest of the evening. Happy Birthday Lianne!

The Kitchen shares their passion for food. It brings fresh ingredients in and only serves the best. This by far has been one of the best dinning experiences I have ever experienced. The food was excellent, the service splendid and the passion from the chefs could be felt and the attentive staff made me feel like I was the only guest in the restaurant that night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

First Official Training Run




This morning was the first official run with the Fleet Feet Ultra Training Group. There were a few familiar faces and a lot of new group members. All in all there is roughly 32 group members plus our awesome coaches Captain Kirk , Coach Nikon and Wonder Woman!!!!


Photo by Trailmomma
Garmin, Molasses, Miss P., Boss and me Pigeon!

Today since most of us ran CIM last Sunday the group spilt up into two groups. One would run 6 miles and the other would go for 10. I ran in between and choose 8 miles. The first mile was nice and easy, I was running with Hawaii Mark and we caught each other up on what has been going on since the last time we saw each other.

 Once the first mile went by we picked up the pace a bit. I didn't want to go to hard as my quads were still a little tender and I was still recovering from CIM. By mile 3 I knew I was only going to go one more mile and turn around and make my way back. Hawaii Mark continued on and I turned around. I saw some of the group members and said Hi. It was a good thing I only went out 4 miles because my legs were a little tired on the return trip. Another thing that flared up was my chest wall. Today I carried my hand bottle and that aggrevated my chest wall just a bit. Note to self, do not carry hand bottle!

After the run we hung out and waited for the 10 mile group members to come in. I met some more of the runners in the training group and shared some of my experiences. After everyone was back in a few of us decided to head over to Coffee Republic in Folsom. There we shared our experiences and talked about what the training is going to look like over the next few weeks. We mainly listend to Coach Nikon who has a ton of experience including a Western States 100 finish. I am really excited about this group and I can't wait to continue to train.

Back at home Trail dog has been enjoying some quality time this week with me and he has been following me around the house. What ever room I am in he is there. What a good boy such a momma's boy. He has been enjoying afternoon walks with Lil Man around the block and playing fetch in the back yard and his speical new treat, a new bone!

What a good boy!!!!

This week we went to Wise buys and bought a chrsitmas tree and today Lil Man and his dad are decorating it.

Lil Man helping with the lights. Not a bad tree for 10 bucks!

It has been nice enjoying some quality time with the family because I know once we really get into the heart of the training program time at home will be short.

Tonight the family is getting together to celebrate my older sisters birthday. We are going to The Kitchen. I have never been but I hear it is delicious and very entertaining.

Happy Birthday to my sister Lianne and a special Birthday shout out to Trailmomma!!! I hope each of you enjoy your very special day!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rest and Recovery

I have not run since the Marathon on Sunday. It is a good thing, I am letting my body recover for once, my chest wall pain has flared up a little bit and I don't need Costochondritis to return. Costochondritis is a condition that causes chest pain due to inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall, and I suffered from this for a few months. This condition is thought to be best commonly due to repetitive micro trauma, or overuse. Activities are causing repeated damage to the cartilage of the chest wall leading to inflammation. Not a pleasant injury to have. But I have healed nicely since seeing Dr. Chu from Elite Spinal and Sports Care and also receiving weekly massages from Lily. Rest and recovery this week is what it is all about.

There is some very exciting news though, Fleet Feet Ultra Trail running program starts up on Saturday (tomorrow.) Thursday night the group met at Fleet Feet the sister store in Roseville and enjoyed a introduction to what to expect over the next few months. It was great to see the returning members from last years running program. We caught up and and enjoyed a few beers together and laughed. I remember last years meeting, I was so nervous. But this year I was laughing and had a bit more confidence.

Saturday is our first official run. We will be running anywhere from 6-10 miles depending upon on how we are feeling as most of us had run in the marathon on Sunday. I am really looking forward to this ultra training group. I had such a blast year with so many memories. I am looking forward to the next 18 weeks! It is going to be awesome! Don't forget to sign up for Way to Cool 50k and American River 50 mile Endurance Run. AR 50 is half full and will fill up soon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

California International Marathon Race Report

What a year! It has been a great year and what a way to finish up the 2010 season then with a PR at the California International Marathon. I ran CIM in 4hrs and 14 minutes. Wow!!!! I still can't believe that I made my goal for this race.

Just like last year I stayed with Anthony and Lily and we car pooled to the start. As I was getting ready and putting on my race bib a little bit of anxiety came flooding through me. This is the first race since my DNF at the Sierra Nevada Double back in September. The anxiety didn't last long but long enough for me to remember. I told myself to calm down and just to enjoy this day. Run the race as I had planned and if it is meant to be a PR then it will happen.

The weather at the start was unusually warm. Last year it was freezing cold and a bit windy. Not today, it was was actually a bit warmer then anyone had imagined. Which meant I had over dressed just a bit.

At the start I had planned on heading out with the 4:05 pace group, but had planned to trail them a bit. I didn't want to push to hard in the start and have nothing left for the second half. The first mile was within my time frame about a 9:36 pace, probably due to the congestion. I stayed calm and relaxed knew that the field would open up. I remained comfortable and in control working my way to the far side so that I could have a little room to maneuver when I needed to. By about mile 3 I found Ralph and we ran a few miles together just chit chatting and cruising along. At this point I noticed that I was going out a little bit too hard and was running around 9:20 or so, so I slowed it down a bit. I was feeling comfortable but I also knew that there was a lot of miles left in this race.

The biggest delima I had was where to shed my clothes. I had on gloves, sleeves and a vest and I wanted to dump them. I had a few options and a few miles to think about it. I ended up taking the gloves off and just holding them, they came in handy as when I would eventually be able to get some water it went all over my face instead of in my mouth. Maybe I should practice how to drink out of a paper cup while running. It is pretty tricky. I had opted not to carry a bottle as it would put too much strain on my chest wall. I didn't want to strain my muscles because they were actually healing and just about 100%.

By mile 6 I was still feeling very comfortable, I found a nice rhythm. I didn't drop my clothes where I had intended to but instead decided to drop them at the Fleet Feet Aid Station which was at mile 8.9. As I approached the aid station I had already tucked my gloves in my vest pocket and had my vest and sleeves off and was ready to throw it. I saw Kirk and tried to get his attention but he didn't hear me. I heard "Melisa, just give it to me." It was Pam, I hadn't even seen her. I had such tunnel vision. I said "ohh thanks, I didn't even see you." I gave her my things and I think I grabbed some water from her and I was on my way. Thanks Pam, you rock!!!!!

9 miles down, my legs were feeling good, mentally I was focused on the task at hand and I also noticed I was still pushing a bit too hard. I had to reassess my situation, I know there was still a long ways to go, I needed to back off a bit. But that is so hard especially since I had a nice rhythm going. I backed it off just a bit and was very glad I did. The course was coming upon "the big hill" for CIM. I just cruised up it and fueled as I went.

I became a little over anxious approaching the half way point because I knew my family was going to be there waiting for me with some more gels and some coke. Last year I was walking when they saw me, but not this year. This year I was looking strong and I looked like I could keep going at the rate I was running. I could see my family, my sister Kristina, Brent and Lil man and some friends were also there. I stopped and took some GUs from them and drank a few gulps of coke and I was off again. They said I looked great and wished me luck. What support, it was great to see them and the good news was I was right on schedule. I came into the half way point at 2:03. There isn't a better feeling then knowing that I am on track to reach my goals. Now all I have to do is keep it together. Because here is where the race really begins.

At 13 miles I took in 2 GUs. It was good thing I did. Because the next few miles were a mental and physical battle. By mile 15 my legs were feeling a bit funny. You know the feeling, it is not a good feeling. I was trying to keep a steady pace, but things drastically slowed down. Uhh ohh, not good. I took in another GU but that didnt' help. My pace was really slowing down. I could hear the 4:15 pace group slowing catching me. I knew if they passed me it would mentally defeat me. Then I had a thought, I needed salt. I saw the medical tent and immediately ran to it and asked for salt. Thank goodness that medical was there because once the salt hit my system my legs felt better and my pace was back. I was once again hitting my goal pace.

It was also at this point that sheer panic hit me. As I was getting my salt the 4:15 pace group had passed me. Crap that is not good. I had a adrenaline surge and took off. I just kept thinking, no I have to get back in front of them. I need to stay in front of that group to have any sort of a chance to make my goal. The salt really helped me because my legs were back. What a feeling to have my legs back. I started to make my move. I regained control of my frantic pace and within a few miles I was back in front of the 4:15 pace group and still feeling strong.

Sometimes during the lows of running all it takes is someone to call my name and smile. That is what kept me going through out this race. It is so uplifting to have such great support from family and friends and it was great that they were there during those moments where on the outside it looked like I was doing great but on the inside I knew I was hardly holding it together. Just a simple "Great job Melisa" and a clap and that would give me the confidence to push just a bit harder. To find the next gear. Thank you so much everyone!

I was in front of the 4:15 pace group but once again my legs started feeling shaky. My quads were burning and I was again having doubts. Then I saw it, the medical tent. I made my way to it and asked for 2 salts. I was cramping again. This time though I was able to stay in front of the 4:15 pace group. The salt again helped with my cramping and my legs began to feel better which brought me more confidence.

Once I hit mile 20 I told myself only 6 more miles, I run that all the time. No problem! Only this was going to be where I had to dig deep and find my inner strength. It could have been easy for me just to say ohh well and stop pushing myself, but that is not who I am. I wanted to reach  my goal and if I was going to reach that goal I was going to need to push myself these last 6 miles like never before.

I ran hard or as hard as my legs would go. I kept my eyes on the prize. The 4:15 pace group kept pushing me. I could hear the cheers as I ran by and then I would hear the cheers and the crowd yelling "go 4:15" and I would panic and push harder. I kept looking over my shoulder and man they were still there not fading at all. I kept pushing, but my legs were tired but my goal was so close to me. I dug deep and kept moving. I knew that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to get moving again. I was slowly giving myself some distance from the 4:15 pace group. But I knew I couldn't relax I had to keep pushing. It was almost like they were chasing me the last 6 miles and I didn't want them to catch me. Try playing chase for 6 miles, it is draining!

3 miles to go. This would be the longest 3 miles ever. Longer then the dam hill during the American River 50 mile endurance run. I kept pushing, pushing to stay in front of 4:15. Then out of nowhere I hear "Melisa!!!! Great job!!!" another friendly face. 2 miles to go, I can do this. I am going to do it! Again the longest 2 miles ever. It just kept going, the end was not near, I don't know if I can hold on any longer. But I kept pushing. 1 mile to go. .50 to go, almost there, keep going. Then there it is. The Finish. I can see it. The final turn and the finish chute is near. I crossed in 4hrs and 14 min. I did it!!!! I finished but not only did I finish I made my goal.

It was a great feeling overwhelming knowing that I didn't give up, I had recovered from cramping and that I had executed my race plan. I Pr by 24 minutes. Wow!!!! I still can't believe it. I had a goal and I achieved that goal. What a day! Thank you to all of my family and friends who were there encouraging me along the way. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recenter and race goal

It has been a crazy week for me especially at work. Granted it was a short work week for me, I worked three nights and have four nights off. I have been feeling burnt out. Saving everything I have just to get through the nights. Planning, strategy's, driving my team, motivating them. It is exhausting mentally always having to be on top of my "game" and physically always having to have the high energy because if I am off the entire team is off. But that is also why I enjoy my job, the excitement of the new challenges day in and day out, the planning and looking at the numbers and crunching the numbers to ensure a completion of the trailer.

Every night is different the plan has to be different every night as the plan that worked so well say on Sunday wont work on Monday. It is about knowing my team and their individual strengths and how to motivate individuals as everyone is motivated in a different way. What works for one may back fire on someone else. The real question one of my team members asked me is "How does one motivate the motivator?" That is a very good question.

What motivates me? Challenges motivate me, high expectations, or when someone says it can't be done I like to prove them wrong that it can be done. What motivates me when I run, the same thing. Challenges, having a goal, the feeling that I pushed my body and mind, that I left everything out there. Sometimes it is as simple as getting me angry, but be careful as that is a fine line that could lead to disaster. I push myself, I strive for completion, I look forward to achieving my goals it is what keeps me going. I am still figuring out what motivates me. What motivates you?

With everything at work I am burnt out. My body has been tired and it is telling me so. But I am still ready for CIM on Sunday. I am excited and it is going to be a way for me to recenter myself. I am off balance. I saw DR. Chu on Wednesday for my pre-race adjustment. Everything was out of whack. My hip was out of alignment, my back was out alignment, some ribs were out of place -yes I am still having rib problems but not as bad as a few months ago-, and my neck was the tightest he has seen. He fixed me up and realigned everything.

Then on Thursday I saw Lily and she gave me my pre-race massage. I didn't realize how heavy everything was. She said that my legs were so loaded that if she didn't know better she would have thought I had run a marathon already. She spent a lot of time on my legs getting them lighter. It is interesting how I hadn't really noticed any of this but after each appointment I felt a huge improvement. I could move my neck for one, and two my legs felt a lot better.

I have also figured out my race goal, a goal that I believe is attainable. I am aiming for a 4:10 finish. That is a 9:30 pace overall or for the first 13 miles I am taking it nice and easy with a 9:45 pace and the second half I increase my pace to a 9:20. My friend Anthony has been helping with my race strategy. I know that I need to stay contained during the first half, I have a tendency to go out to hard. I will most likely stick with a pace group and as Kirk mention if at mile 22 I am feeling good to go for it. Either way I plan on PR on Sunday. That is the ultimate goal to PR. Hope to see you out there!

Western States Lottery is Tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One of those days

Have you ever had one of those morning where things just don't go as planned? That was me this morning. First off I woke up later then I thought and I had to rush around to get ready to meet up with Fleet Feet for the morning run. Only I didn't rush around, I sat down with my coffee and chit chatted for a bit and when I realized it was time to go I then decided to get ready. I took my time changing my clothes getting my things and next thing I knew I had 15 minutes to get there. Only it wasn't a 15 min. drive more like 20 min.

As I am driving I look and see that I am low on gas. Hmm I wonder if I can make it, then just as I finished that thought the gas light goes on. Should I chance it? No, I had to stop to get gas.

First I wake up late, leave the house late, and now have to get gas. One of those mornings for sure.

I arrived about 10 minutes past 8 this morning. Good thing was I saw which way the group was running, bad thing was I had to run by myself. But I made it, even though it seemed like sub consciously I didn't want to run.

This week has been one crazy week. I ended up working thanksgiving night which means I had to eat and run that day. I drove up to Vacaville to do our usual family get together, it took about 1hr and 30 min. to get there, traffic was bad. The day was alot of fun with a lot of good food. But it was also a short day in as soon as dinner or early lunch was over I had to get back to try and get a little rest before the real chaos begins.

I arrived at work a little after 10:15p.m. and there were people all ready waiting in line, about 40 or so. By the time the doors opened at 4a.m. the line wrapped around the building. It was chaos but in a good way. I had prepped my team for what to expect and what my expectations were. They executed their task perfectly. They stayed one step ahead of me as I had wanted. Great Job. It was a exhausting day and I didn't get home till after 9a.m and I was due back in 10 hours. No rest for the tired.

With it being thanksgiving week my days off were adjusted and instead of three nights off in a row I worked two night, off two nights, back for two nights off one night and back once again tonight. It was a good thing that this week was a taper week because I only managed a 6 mile run on Wednesday and then 8 miles today. CIM is a week away! Off to work.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lessons Learned

This weeks begins my taper before the California International Marathon (CIM) in two weeks. I am really excited as this marathon will bring me full circle from when I started running a year ago, and what a journey it has been. My journey doesn't end with CIM in 2010 my journey continues into 2011 and what a year it will be.

Sunday I headed to Old Folsom and hooked up with the Fleet Feet group and ran with them around the lake. It was cold, but the weather held and the rain stayed away. There is nothing worse then running when it is really cold and raining.

Mile 1: 9:41- Nice warm up, chit chatting with Michelle and Paula
Mile 2: 9:09- Didn't even notice the speed had picked up
Mile 3: 8:56- Staying relaxed and enjoying the company
Mile 4: 8:55- Just cruising along
Mile 5: 8:37- Whoa, where did that come from
Mile 6: 8:47- Hmmm, I should probably slow down a bit
Mile 7: 8:53- Yeah, defiantly need too
Mile 8: 9:18- Bringing it back down
Mile 9: 9:07- Feeling more comfortable
Mile 10: 9:02- Nice and relaxed
Mile 11: 9:20- Cool down

Overall Pace: 9:00

I learned a lot on this run. I learned that I could push myself, but I also listened when I should slow it down and regroup. That is going to be really important for me. I learned that it is really fun to run with friends, but it is OK to let them go when they increase their speed. The past couple of runs have me re-thinking race strategy with Anthony. But then again it is also going to depend on the conditions of race day and how my body is feeling.

Looking forward to my taper as work is going to be crazy busy this week. Crazy busy because Black Friday is just around the corner. It seems that November has flown by and I only hope that December will also.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where did that run come from?

I have been enjoying a nice four day weekend but Sunday night it is back to retail and all the chaos that comes with it especially around this time of year. Secretly though just between you and me, it is a exciting and challenging time and I love challenges. The challenge is in being able to find space for all of the freight that is coming in and keeping up with all of the extra trailers all the while getting it done so I am not working 12 hr shifts. Challenging yes, exciting yes, exhausting yes!

To get away from all of the challenges at work I run my little heart out. I challenge myself and sometimes I just run to run. Friday I went out for a 10 mile run. This time I ran my normal route but in the opposite direction so that I would be able to take some pressure off of my already tender foot where a blister had decided to exploded a few days ago. It worked, running the other direction didn't put as much pressure on my blister.

I am not sure where this run came from, but it felt awesome. My legs were strong and I was focused. I went out a little bit to fast, but I didn't let that worry me I just went with it and re-adjusted. I know when it is time to run the marathon I will have to keep my eyes on going out to fast. I want to run a conservative first half and then turn it up the second half.

Mile 1: 8:50- Little fast, but I wasn't worried
Mile 2: 9:00- Feeling really good
Mile 3: 9:03- Was relaxed and focused
Mile 4: 8:43- Time for some threshold
Mile 5: 8:46- Legs were still feeling good nice and relaxed!
Mile 6: 8:48- Just a few more miles
Mile 7: 8:49- 4 miles of pushing it, now for a nice and easy cool down
Mile 8: 9:09- slowing cooling down, still feeling relaxed
Mile 9: 9:19- Not bad
Mile 10: 9:20- nice run this morning

Overall Average: 8:59- like I said I wonder where this run came from

I was pretty excited about this run, it felt really good.

I took Saturday off but plan on heading out Sunday for a 2 hr run which will be nice and easy. CIM is right around the corner two weeks away! I wonder how I will feel at work after running 26.2 miles? Yup after the marathon I have to be back at work that night. It should be interesting.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A few runs with bloody socks

November seems to be flying by. Just yesterday it felt like it was Halloween. Thanksgiving is just around the corner which for anyone in retail means Black Friday is near. I am not one of those frantic shoppers trying to get all the deals I am in fact that retail manager trying to keep the shelves full for those of you who will be shopping on Black Friday. I will say that my back room is bursting at the seams so I am actually looking forward to black Friday because that means my back room will empty out. If I can only get through the next couple of days.

On a different note I went running on Wednesday. I didn't push my body to hard because it just didn't fell right. But I wanted to get a few miles in to get my legs loose as I had taken 2 days off. What I wasn't expecting was the excruciating fire like pain coming from the sole of my foot. It lasted for about a mile and just as quickly as it came it was gone so I was able to complete my run. Once I got home I took my shoe off and my sock was a bloody mess. My blister had exploded, even though I had drained it earlier in the week. The good news was, it felt better.

Thursday I went out early for my run. Only it wasn't early enough as my normal route I take runs me by a middle school. So when I reached the middle school there was so much traffic and kids walking to school that I needed to run a different route. Instead of my 1 lap to reach 6 miles I had to do 2 laps of 3 miles. I wasn't really in the mood to do 2 laps. But I did, all the while holding a 9 min pace for each mile . This run I again had a bloody mess on my sock. It is still a little tender when I walk on it and I am hoping it will heal up 100% by the time it is time to run CIM in a few weeks which I am aiming to PR.

Not only did I run but I also had a massage from Lily. Yes, I am still very tender especially my IT band. I love it when I am about ready to jump off the table and she says one more time then works on my IT area more then once. But I know I need it and no matter how much I am squirming  she continues to work on me. Thank you for putting up with all my squirming and me begging you to stop. I don't think I have ever asked her to stop before, that is how much it was hurting. Ohh IT band will you please loosen up.

 The other area I had some difficulties with was my neck. It was as hard as concrete. It had no give. Would you believe me if I told you she had fixed my neck during my last massage. Guess I have been under a lot of stress.

She originally had me on my back, but then had me turn onto my side. As I was on my left side my right shoulder wouldn't give. It was locked into place. She tried to stretch my shoulder but my body was in protective mode and guarding my shoulder. The last time my body was "guarding" was when Dr. Chu from Elite Spinal and Sports Care was trying to adjust my back and he couldn't because it could have caused more damage. When I turned onto my other side I noticed a huge difference. My body was more comfortable and relaxed, there was give in my left shoulder. Not sure what is going on with my right shoulder, but the massage was awesome. I always feel like a new person after getting a massage.

This next week is going to be off the hook. Thank goodness it is also a taper week because I am not sure when I will be able to run.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sleep at last

Sleep, sleep at last....Ok it was a 6 hours of sleep but it is sleep. Probably because I finally hit my exhaustion point and had nothing left in my tank.Oh how great it was to sleep. I turned my phone to silent turned on the ceiling fan for a little circulation and passed out. I didn't even hear Lil Man and my sister come home.

 I haven't run in two days, a blister on the bottom of my foot has derailed me. It is just not any ordinary blister but a blister over a blister and it is on the weight bearing portion of my foot. So after being on my feet for over 10 hours at work running probably wasn't or wouldn't be a good thing especially with CIM just around the corner. I did try today but I went maybe 4 strides before I said No. It is amazing how I ran with some busted ribs but a blister takes me down for a few days.

I could use a little rest this week as work has been crazy busy. With just two nights so far this week I have taken 2 general merchandise trailers plus a grocery trailer and tonight I have 2 general merchandise trailers. The last time I worked lead a team with 2 trailers was 2 years ago because last year I was day side and ummm well the year before that I was on a LOA. So it has been awhile since I have had to manage this large of a workload. Ohh how I love the holidays!!!!

Note to the DC- please bring me some more trucks I love getting additional trailers when I have already written my schedule for the week and now I am begging team members to come in tonight. -insert sarcasm here-

The joys of retail, the many challenges and obstacles! The good news is I slept. Yeah!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time Goes By

Lil Man looked so cute yesterday in his tuxedo. He was the official ring bearer and he did a great job. He looked so grown up, I remember holding him when he was first born. Time sure does go by.

Us before the wedding

This is my favorite, he is so focused!

Job well done Lil Man! So proud of you

Sunday I had made an appointment with Lily. I really needed a massage but I have been putting it off. But before my massage I decided to get in a early morning run. Sleep has been a huge issue for  me so why not go and run. I only did 6 miles just to see where my legs were after my 20 miler on Friday.

Mile 1: 9:11- legs were feeling really good
Mile 2: 9:12- Nice and consistent
Mile 3: 9:17- Still feeling pretty good
Mile 4: 9:09- Back on track again
Mile 5: 9:14- Staying nice and relaxed, except for that blister that came out of nowhere
Mile 6: 9:09- Finished Strong

Overall Average: 9:12


After my run I headed over to Lily's. The last time I had a massage was a few days before SNER and that was 5 weeks ago. I knew I have been needing one but I kept putting it off and next thing I knew it was weeks later. I am gluten for pain, I just keep going pushing my body and in Lily's words I am a mac truck. Nothing will stop me. So I guess this was just a tune up for me.

I was really tender where ever she worked. My IT band, calves, hamstrings, piriformis, and back. Pretty much my entire body. I was will overdue for a massage. Lily works magic, I remember not to long ago when I was in so much pain that I couldn't turn over on her table, she put me back together. I laughed about that, it was maybe a few months ago. Today, my back was really tight. She worked on it and gave me as much pressure as I could stand which wasn't much, but by the time she was finished my entire body felt so much better. I made another appointment for Thursday. I know that after I see Lily no matter how much pain I am in before afterwards it is all gone.

I head back to work tonight, but I have a short work week. I only work three nights so I am really looking forward to my days off.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nice and Easy 10

This morning I was a little sore from yesterdays 20 miler. But not too sore that a nice easy 10 miler couldn't fix. I had every intention of just going out for 10 miles nice and easy, letting my body run as it felt. I did, but I was a little surprised when I finished with a pace 8:41. What?!!?? How is that even possible. I wasn't trying, I was just enjoying the early run. It sure didn't feel like I was going that pace.

The first mile was a bit tough. I was tight, I needed to get my legs loose so I took it pretty easy. When Garmin beeped it showed a 9:07 pace. Again I was shocked, but went with it. I was feeling good at this point and just kept running. For the rest of the run I didn't look at Garmin, I just ran as I wanted. I was still cruising nicely into mile 2 and mile 3 with no major complaints. I had a smile on my face and was very relaxed. I even managed to let my mind go and just take in the beautiful fall colors and being alone.

Mile 4 and 5 I was still feeling very comfortable. My legs were feeling strong and I was just focused on staying relaxed. I have found that I get very tense when I run. I also learned that I need to remind myself to relax my shoulders and pump my arms, if my arms are pumping my legs will follow. It is a lot easier to run when I am relaxed, my stride comes together and it is very comfortable.

As I reached mile 7 I was still feeling strong, which was very surprising especially after running 20 miles yesterday. Only 3 miles to go! The last 3 miles it felt like I slowed down but I just kept pumping my arms and staying relaxed. I finished strong, again letting my body just run and it was a very enjoyable run. My over all pace for 10 miles 8:41. Nice!!!

I had to change my running schedule around a little bit because this afternoon I am heading to my friends wedding. It was a good thing I was able to get my long run in yesterday as I didn't want to be pressed for time. Lil Man is in the wedding and gets to wear a tux and he is the "official ring bearer." But he says he is going to stay home and watch the dogs. Haha Lil Man. Enjoy this gorgeous Saturday everyone!

Oh, by the way, I put my name in the lottery for Western States 100. Drawing is held on December 4.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Last long run before CIM

Today was my last long training run before CIM which is in two weeks. Running for 20 miles gave me a lot of time to reflect on this past year and what a year it has been. When I started my run this morning I wasn't planning on running 20 today but my legs were feeling good and I thought why not. My first loop of 7 miles was pretty solid. I was holding a nice steady pace around 9:00-9:15 min. pace. The rolling hills were no obstacle for me.

As I started my second loop of 7 miles I started to laugh a little. It just dawned on me that this was the exact same training run I did last year for CIM. I guess I am truly a creature runner of habit. The second loop I was holding 9:15-9:30 min per mile. That is still faster then last year. This loop I felt the hills and had to put in a good solid effort to get up them. But I pushed on.

The third loop was only 6 miles I told myself. 6 miles I run that almost every day. I broke it down which helped me mentally. I pushed myself to run to a fixed object and then when I reached my goal I said just a little further until I was finished.

I am glad that I didn't have any repeats like last weeks disastrous 18 miler. That is probably due to the fact that I took yesterday off. Which for me is unheard of. Two days off in one week. I am glad I did though as yesterday was special Meme day with my nephew Lil Man.

I worked Wednesday night and when I got home Lil Man was ready to spend some quality time with me. It all started with chocolate milk, that is our thing. Then we headed to Target so that he could play with Toddler toys. Usually I am pretty good at saying No to any new toys, but yesterday he walked out with a new toy. This new toy had Mater from Cars and had a loop and launch ramp to Mater could fly. It is actually a pretty cool toy and kept entertained for the rest of the morning.

When we returned home he played with his new toy and enjoyed his pop corn. He played with it outside while I played fetch with Traildog. Traildog also received a new toy, it was a Frisbee. We played for an hour and then it was time for lunch, only the best for   my Lil man. Chicken nuggets!!!! He asked for them and who am I to say no on special meme day.

It was a great day yesterday but I was tired as I had just been up for 24 hours. I crashed on my bed around 3:00 p.m. and awoke around 7:00 p.m. where I stayed up for a few hours and then returned to bed still exhausted.

This morning before my run I had an appointment with Dr. Chu from Elite Spinal and Sports Care. I am healing but still have the occasional shooting pain. Usually when I am trying to open up the trailer door or when I am pulling huge pallets of freight at work. He worked on my chest wall this time focused on the right side. My right side was extremely tender and while he was working on me it was very painful uncomfortable  and I wanted to squirm off the table. But I know that with this treatment in the long run I wont be in as much pain.

Looking forward to my taper for CIM. But not looking forward to the craziness of black Friday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just Drained

This afternoon when I woke up I was not in the mood to go out and run. I was tired mentally which made me tired physically. Work has been challenging and draining me fast. But that is to be expected during 4th quarter and with thanksgiving a few weeks away it is only going to to get busier. But regardless of how I was feeling I went out and completed my run. I actually worked on some threshold training again.

Mile 1: 9:07- was suppose to be my warm up. I was thinking about work and didn't notice my pace was slowly getting faster
Mile 2: 8:20- Now if I can just hold this pace for a few miles while hitting the rolling hills that would be great!
Mile 3: 8:34- I am ok with that, the hills actually were tough today
Mile 4: 8:39- Legs were tired, mind was tired
Mile 5: 8:54- I am going to listen to my body, not going to push it any harder
Mile 6: 9:02- Felt good to be done, legs were really strong on the final mile

It was a struggle to even start this run, but again after completing it my mind is clearer and my body is energized. I find it really interesting that after I complete this type of work out it seems easier to run and hold a 9:00/ 9:20 min per mile pace.

Tonight is my "Friday", yeah!!!! Tomorrow I have a date with Lil Man. We are going to be hanging out in the morning once I get home. I haven't seen him much all week, as by the time I get home he is heading to grandma's or preschool. So I am looking forward to spending some quality time with Lil Man.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sleepless Nights

After taking yesterday off I headed out this afternoon after waking up to run and to get the legs loosened up. Nothing hard just a nice comfortable steady pace. At first my legs were really sluggish and heavy. But as the miles continued on my legs found their stride and I began to enjoy this run. I held a 9:20 pace during this run. I am glad I made the time to get this run in because the past 2 days at work have been challenging.

I am still struggling with my sleep, it seems that I sleep for maybe 5 hours but I wake up every hour and once I finally do wake up I do not feel rested at all. But I think the worst is when I return to overnights I try and take a nap Sunday afternoon, but it doesn't happen so I end up being awake for 24+ hours. I would think that I would sleep really well on Monday but I guess I am on sensory overload by that point and also the fact that I can't turn my brain off. I will say this, that with all this exhaustion I have not increased my caffeine intake. I am being very disciplined on that matter.

I get this question a lot "How do you stay awake?" The answer my friends is I keep moving and I keep moving because once I sit down it is all over. Just like in ultras, be aware of the chair. The chair is my enemy. So basically once I get to work I am on the go, constantly in motion never slowing down. My team has a hard time keeping up. Maybe that is why I am so exhausted once my days off come around. Only 2 more days, I can do it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cold, Windy and Raining, what more could a runner ask for?

Have you ever had one of those mornings where it is just really hard to go out and run? That wasn't me this morning even though it was cold, windy, and raining. Not just a small few rain drops here and there, but a full on rain storm where it soaked me to the bone.

Since it was raining so hard I thought I would meet up with the Fleet Feet group and run 10 miles with them. I have been running the past 3 weeks by myself and thought that running with a group would be a lot fun since it was raining so hard. Misery loves company.

I arrived a little bit after they started and immediately jumped out my car and caught up with Lily. She had just run Nike Women's Marathon 3 weeks ago and was planning on only run 8-10 miles. I chit chatted with her for a bit and then I was off and cruising up Beals hill. This hill never ends it just keeps going. My leg turn over was really strong here. I was flying up the hill with ease.

 It seemed that the miles were ticking by and pretty soon I only had 1 mile left before the turn around and my legs were still feeling really strong. The rain was still coming down and the only people on the bike path were runners, I didn't see any bikers. I had passed quit a few of the FF runners and was keeping a very steady pace, I wasn't breathing too hard so I knew my effort level wasn't too high.

 I hit the turn around and Coach Dan asked when I started running? As he hadn't seen me start. I told him I was about 3 minutes behind the group, I had caught up to the front group, they were less then a quarter of a mile ahead of me.

I turned around and started back, still keeping a really strong pace. It seemed that my legs were getting stronger and not weaker. Another good sign. I enjoyed the return trip because for the most part it is all down hill besides a few easy climbs.

On the return I saw Coach Nikon and we planned on going to the coffee shop after our run as Lily and I had made plans to do so. I was still cruising at a great pace and as I approached the final hill to the bridge I had caught back up to Lily. As I ran past her she said "Finish Strong." and with that another gear was found and I pushed hard through the final stretch.

When I finished I felt like I could have kept going. My legs were still feeling strong I was just soaking wet and cold. Luckily I had brought a shirt to change into. Glad I wasn't running anymore, but also glad to know that I could have kept going if I wanted to.

Mile 1: 11:36- Talking with Lily
Mile 2: 9:48- off I go
Mile 3: 9:23- Cruising up the hill with ease
Mile 4: 9:44- The wind was strong at some points
Mile 5: 10:09- It was windy and the rain was pelting me in the eyes and I was soaked
Mile 6: 9:15- Not bad
Mile 7: 9:07- hit the down hill part
Mile 8: 9:35- still feeling good
Mile 9: 9:24- One more mile to go
Mile 10: 9:43- Not bad for 10 miles, with 40+ miles in my legs this week.

After the run Lily and I headed over to the coffee shop in Folsom and Coach Nikon met us there. It was good to spend some time with them as I haven't seen them in a week or so. We talked and were both getting excited about the lottery opening up for Western States 100 miler next weekend. Oh did I mention I want to run Western States 100 next year. I must be crazy!!! We even made plans to attend the Lottery drawing on December 4. Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!! But first my goal is CIM, I would love to do better then last year. Last year I ran it in 4:30 minutes. This year I would like to finish it in 4hrs. If not that then at least better my time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Leg Turnover

This morning I knew I was going to head out for a run. The only question was for how long? I had a miserable 18 yesterday so today I decided on only 8 miles but with a some of the miles at a quicker pace to work on leg turn over.

Mile 1: 9:20- Warm up mile, still pretty quick for me

Mile 2: 8:37- Leg turnover
Mile 3: 8:37- Nice, not bad
Mile 4: 8:29- I thought I had a bit more in my tank

Mile 5: 9:09- recovery mile

Mile 6: 9:00- work harder, I know I have more
Mile 7: 8:25- There it is

Mile 8: 9:35- Cool down

Overall pace for all 8 miles: 8:54 in 1 hour and 11 minutes

This run was a lot more exciting for me then yesterday's run. I enjoy seeing how far I can push my body. My legs are little tired today, but I do have a lot of miles in this week. Trailmomma had encouraged me to run some tempos and to also work on speed. I will continue to incorporate some of these work outs in my runs as I would love to get faster. It is pretty surprising how when I increase my speed my body isn't as achy or sore as when I run long and slow. Even Coach Nikon and Captain Kirk were impressed with some of my splits in my earlier runs.

Tomorrow is a new work week for me, only 3 weeks till the madness of thanksgiving and black Friday. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Now I know

Now I know that my body needs a few days to recover from working nights before I even attempt a long run. Running 18 miles today was not a good idea, but at the time it sounded like a great idea. I could get my long run in and still have a day and half to allow my body to recover before heading back to work Sunday night. Sounds great right?

I had forgotten how re-adjusting to days affects my body. I am lethargic and mentally drained. While working nights remind you I do not sleep very much and I also put in some long hours. I should have allowed my body to rest today and completed my long run on Saturday. But now I know, though this lesson was learned the hard way.

When I awoke this morning I was surprised that I had slept in as late as I did. It was 7:15 a.m when I woke up. Yes, I know 7:15 is not that late but when I was up and about at 4 a.m. in the previous months that is sleeping in for me. I didn't wake up with my normal energy level, that should have been clue number 1. I took my time in getting ready for my run. I enjoyed some breakfast with Lil Man as I haven't seen him in a couple of days. By the time I was ready to run it was 9 a.m. Clue number 2 should have been that I wasn't as mentally focused as I usually am. I was a little foggy and still very low on energy.

As my run unfolded the first few miles were tough, but I just thought I needed to get my legs loosened up a bit. As the miles kept going and the further I was from my car the legs became more tired and heavy. I was still keeping a nice pace roughly holding 9:30 on the way out but it wasn't easy. The effort was too high, but I still just thought I needed to warm up.

Then I realized that this was run was going to be more mental and that just does not make for a enjoyable run. My legs were hurting more so then usually. I decided that maybe a s-cap would help. It did help. I found a new life in my legs. Maybe that was also due to the Tylenol I took. Now I was cruising, but it wouldn't last for long. As I was on my way back I was struggling. By 14 miles my stomach was upset for some reason. And then it happened. I threw up, but only a little. Really!!!! Who throws up in a training run? Me that is who.

I figured this was my body's way of telling me it needed one more day before even thinking about a long run. I should have listened to my body or clued in on the warning signs, like waking up with low energy and mentally not focused. Mistakes on my part, but the good news is 18 miles in the book. Though it was not a pretty 18 miler it still counts as time on feet.

Next time I will be listening to my body and allowing it adequate time to heal/recovery before putting any added stress on it. Now I know!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Survived

I survived my first week back at work, on overnights non the less. A total of 3 general merchandise trailers plus 2 grocery trailers in a matter of four days. It was busy needless to say, it was non stop action, I don't even think I sat down to eat, it was pantry food for me because there was no time to sit and eat a real lunch.

I enjoyed this fast pace but it brought back memories of why I burnt out not to long ago. For now I am taking it one day I mean one night at a time because that is all I can do.

Not only did I survive my first week back but I also survived my running work outs which incorporated an increase in speed. I can't remember the last time my work outs were this efficient and consistent. Today's run was an average pace of 9:20 for 6 miles. Nice little recovery run after yesterday's hard work out.

My body so far seems to be responding well to the increased effort I am putting into my work outs. It is actually really refreshing to be running differently. It has brought new challenges to me and goals to reach for. I can't wait for California International Marathon in December.

Meanwhile back home Lil Man, rode his new bike to the park. He was very excited when his mom/my sister asked if he wanted to ride his bike to the park. His response "oh Boy!" I chuckled when I heard him say that. He was very excited. He ended up riding/walking to the park. It took them 30 minutes to get to the park, which is 1 mile away. Nice work Lil Man. Then he played at the park for an hour and half. WOW! The ride/walk home I am sure was very exciting but he made it. A total of 2 miles riding and walking. Before the longest bike ride he had completed was around the block, now he is riding 2 miles. The great thing about all this activity was he fell asleep on the couch as soon as he got home.


ahh how cute! That is one exhausted boy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finding the Time

It is amazing how time goes bye and how sometimes time does not go bye as quickly as one would like. Let me back up a little bit. This past Sunday I went to back to work after a two week vacation and a 4 month remodel project. A lot has changed with the process in the time I was not there. It felt like my process was a derailed train and I was going through the rubble and picking up the pieces. I needed to start with the basics and that is just what I have been doing. Once the basics are back on track I can move the process from there.

With that being said my first night was a shock to my body. After not being on grave yards for 4 months it was really hard mentally and physically to return. But as the days nights continued it was a little easier but not much. Easier because I was finding my groove again, but harder because I have a really hard time sleeping. Maybe 5 hours a night day. Which is not a lot when I wake up every other hour. And just as I figure out my sleep situation it is my day off and I return to normal a regular sleep cycle. The craziness of working grave yards.

I did manage to get a few quality runs in. I took Monday as a rest day but in looking back I probably should have run a recovery run because on Tuesday my legs were really heavy and I didn't have the turn over I was hoping for. That also could have been due to me working 10 hours on my legs all night. Here is the break down on Tuesday's 6 mile run.

Mile 1: 9:16- just a nice warm up here, legs were really heavy
Mile 2: 8:58- a bit faster but I wont be pushing myself to hard.
Mile 3: 8: 55-When is this run going to be over, my legs are soooo tired
Mile 4: 9:05- Just keep running
Mile 5: 9:02- almost done!!!!
Mile 6: 9:07-Yes!! Finished- that was a tough run

Overall Pace 9:04

Wednesday I was debating with myself if I was going to run. I was tired, it has been a long first week back at work and my body was feeling it. It is aching and tight, but I finally decided I should run as it helps to get me mentally ready for the nights activities and it just makes me feel better and more awake. So I headed out and ended up running 7 miles. I took a route I hadn't taken in awhile and it was a rolling terrain. I pushed hard on the hills to help increase my leg turn over and then I just pushed hard.

Mile 1: 8:45- legs were feeling really good!
Mile 2: 8:41-Wonder how long I can keep this up?
Mile 3: 8:35-I guess a bit longer
Mile 4: 8:37- OK, still feeling good
Mile 5: 8:53-legs were getting a little tired
Mile 6: 9:12-Still a good pace
Mile 7: 9:12- Not bad for 7 miles

Overall pace was 8:42. Not bad for a 7 mile run. Wasn't trying to hit that mark, but hey when the legs feel good why not.

This week it has been about finding the time to get my runs in. I haven't been able to run with Trailmomma this week as she has been super busy and I have been trying to survive this week. I managed to find the time and mustered up the energy to get out there and run. I am really looking forward to my days off. Only one more night.......

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Interesting Long Run

Today I really wasn't motivated to go running, let alone by myself especially with it being my long run of all things. A 6 mile run when I am unmotivated no problem, I just put my head down and get it done, but with 16 miles that is a totally different story.

I headed out a little later then I would have liked, I was just slowly getting myself ready this morning. I enjoyed some coffee some breakfast and then I took my time picking out what I was going to wear. I mean I am never this slow at getting ready. But I knew once I was out there my attitude would change.

Originally when I headed out the door I had no clue on how many miles I was going to run, all I knew was it had to be longer then 11 miles but not too long. Nothing crazy like 20 miles that is next weekend. 

This run was a little bit different from all my previous runs as I had to carry a water bottle. I haven't been able to carry a hand held water bottle since SNER due to stress it put on my chest wall. Good thing was it didn't cause me any discomfort, but tomorrow will tell the real story.

I headed out and there were a ton of running groups out this morning. The good thing about this was I paced off another runner who was setting a pretty comfortable pace. I paced off her for a few miles to loosen up and then she increased her speed and I knew I didn't want to push myself to hard this early in the run. I let her go, which is usually really hard for me. I kept my pace holding a 9 to 9:15 minute mile. Pretty soon though I was all by myself as the running groups had turned around and I was still heading out.

Once I was alone my pace stayed consistent, I wanted to keep my pace between a 9 and 9:30. As I was cruising along so did a few cop cars. Three to be exact. I was on the American River Bike path. They were looking for a person in the bushes wearing only a yellow rain jacket. One can only wonder what someone is doing in the bushes as runners/bikers/walkers are going by.

As I neared my turn around spot I knew I only wanted to do 16 miles. Probably a good decision for me. I hit my turn around took in a Power Gel -raspberry cream- and took off. My return trip wasn't as exciting, but I did keep my eyes open and I was more aware of my surroundings. The return trip I held roughly a 9:15 to 9:30 pace. Not too bad.

 I can say though that running a marathon is totally different then running an ultra. I had forgotten how it felt to keep a constant pace on a flat running surface. I enjoy getting my runs completed faster but I do not enjoy how much it hurts to run on pavement.

Meanwhile Traildog and I have enjoyed alot of quality time together this week. We have spent a lot of our afternoons in the back yard playing. Just check out some of the clips of us playing. Sometimes he listens and other times he does his own thing, but either way I enjoyed every minute of it.

video
Playing with his favorite toy! He is fast


video
Sometimes he is just a big tease.

Keep on running!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Go Run for Me!

Recently I have been enjoying an early morning run, but today I had to put my run back until the afternoon. This morning I saw Dr. Chu from Elite Spinal and Sports Care. He has been treating my rib and chest wall injury for the past few months. When I first saw him I couldn't move my arms without pain, when I took a breath I was in pain and I couldn't sleep because I was in so much pain. Now that I have been seeing him I am almost pain free.

The past few weeks I have been on vacation, which means no heavy lifting, no pulling, no pushing freight, and I believe that has helped me heal. The past few weeks I have had some pretty strong runs and some times I haven't seen in awhile.

Today at my appointment he focused on my chest wall, he did notice it wasn't as tender as it has been in the past. He also spent a lot of time on my middle back on the left side and then my gluts to help release my right side of my back. My back was really tender. I am still a wreck but one that is more manageable.

For homework I am to go run for him and he told me once I return to work Sunday night I need to document if any of my pain returns and what exactly I was doing when the pain happened. He thinks that this injury may not be running related, but rather work related since my job is very physical. He thinks that if my pain returns it is a repetitive motion injury. I am hoping my pain doesn't return because I know I don't want to ever be in that much discomfort again. But I guess only time will tell.

After my appointment it was off to Apple Hill with my nephew Lil Man and my sister. We went to our favorite spots and Lil Man enjoyed the trip even though he kept asking to go home.
Ah how cute!

riding the school bus

"Can I go fishing please"

Just for you trailmomma

He was the smallest, but rode the biggest horse


"All Aboard"

even had time to go flying

I would say he had fun

The best part was the fresh apple doughnuts!

It was a great mid morning trip to apple hill with the family.

Once we got home it was time for me to run. Lil Man reminded me on the drive home that I needed to run today. How he knows these things I will never know. I went out for a quick 6 mile run. My legs were really tight at the start and they never loosened up enough for me to stride out. I had to stop and stretch my hamstrings as that area was causing me the most problems.

 The worst thing about the run today was when I rounded the corner and saw that the middle school had just gotten out. The side walk was inundated with kids walking, riding bikes, skate boards. I couldn't run on the side walk and when I looked around I noticed it wasn't safe for me to run on the street. This was due to the fact that there were a ton of cars parked next to the sidewalks, cars moving in the street so I had to walk against the school kids and make my way. As I rounded the next corner I was hoping for some space so I could start running again. But yet again all I saw were kids and cars everywhere. UGH this sucks. I ended up running in the street, yes I know not the safest but at this point I was frustrated and just wanted to be running.

Today's run took me 53 minutes being an overall pace of 8:50 per mile. After my run I focused on stretching for a bit. I wanted to get my hamstrings to release. Tomorrow is my long run, I am not sure how long that will be. But I do have doctors orders to go run. So that is what I am going to do, I am going to run. How great is that, I have a doctor that tells an injured runner to go run. SWEET!!! Now Go Run For Me!