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!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It amazes me

Yesterday afternoon I picked up Lil Man from preschool. It was special Meme time. As soon as I walked into preschool he came running up to me yelling "meme!" with the biggest smile on his face. Typically he comes home after preschool and takes a nap but today he had a special request. He wanted to go Target of all places, on my vacation. But what was I to do? So we headed to Target and he played and played with the toddler toys. He even scored a new Handy Manny front loader. As we headed up to check out he had me pick him up and he put his head on my shoulder. It was the cutest thing. Not only did he score a new toy but he enjoyed some fresh popcorn.
We headed home and played in the back yard with Trail dog and Ramsey his beagle. He played with his new baseball tee that he got for his birthday. Who knows maybe a future major league.


Look he is even calling his hit!

After all the excitement with baseball I thought it was time for his special treat. Chocolate milk!!!! He even asked for it which didn't surprise me. He was listening and doing everything I asked so I thought he deserved it. Along with his chocolate milk he wanted to show me how fast he could ride his new bike around the block.


Trying to make it up the driveway with his chocolate milk, he didn't want to put it down.

His favorite part about the entire ride was going over the speed bump. This time he added a little flare to it and put his arms in the air. Wonder where he got that from. Maybe Disneyland and going down splash mountain. Just a thought.

Lil Man was really fast, I had to run to keep up with him. One great thing about Lil Man is he has a big heart. As we had just left for the ride he stopped and turned around and made me bring Trail dog along. Trail dog enjoyed it even though Lil Man tried to run him over.

Lil Man and I had a blast together. We spent a lot of quality time together having those great conversations that only a three year old will have. You know like the "why Meme?" and the "I don't have to go to the bathroom." and then two minutes later he is pulling his pants down and going in the backyard. His response, "I need to water the grass." I only hope he doesn't try it at preschool.



Yup we even went around the block in his Halloween Costume. Sometimes he is such a ham! I think the best part of the entire afternoon was when I was sitting on the couch and he came up with a book and crawled into my lap and had me read to him, not once but twice. He just melts my heart!

Now onto this mornings six mile run. I was kind of in the mood of do I want to run, no not really. I can run later this afternoon, then I sat there and wrestled with the idea and finally came to the conclusion that I should just run so that way I can have the rest of the day.

Just like yesterday this morning was pretty chilly. As I was getting ready I decided that I wanted each mile to be faster then the previous mile. I needed a bit of a challenge this morning since I was not really motivated to run and what better way to motivate myself then a challenge.

Mile 1: 8:59 umm OK, it wasn't too fast but I hope I can do this.

Mile 2: 8:55 nice, a little bit faster but nothing that is going to kill me, and my legs were still feeling strong and it didn't feel like I was putting out much effort.

Mile 3: 8:45 OK not bad! The weird thing was during this stretch I was thinking about how I could improve my Logistics process at work specifically P-fresh.

Mile 4: 8:52 that is OK, I will just tell myself it is a little recovery and I will make it up the next mile. Still feeling strong.

Mile 5: 8:32 Not what I expected but OK, now I just need to finish strong!

Mile 6: 8:07 WOW!!! I did it. And I felt like I could keep running which is even better.

Overall pace: 8:42.

It is just amazing how my body is responding to a stress free zone. My chest wall pain is gone, my day to day activities are pain free and after my runs I am still pain free. Makes me really think about what my next role should be. Am I staying overnight in Logistics or should I continue with Remodels. That is still the question I need to answer. But for now I am just enjoying this faster pace of running for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Carnival

Yesterday since I had Lil Man's Halloween Carnival I ran early. Early as in before the sun came up. I met Trailmomma in her neighborhood. We ran 4 miles together before she had to leave and get and ready for work. During those four miles, she lead me through the neighborhood by street lights. "We are turning at the next street light." Umm OK, but which street light. All in all it was a great 6 miles to start my day.

Later that evening Lil Man, my sister, and I headed to his pre-school for the Halloween Carnival. Lil Man was supper excited. There was going to be games, a cup cake walk and a costume contest. It was really cute to see Lil Man interact with his teachers and friends. He didn't hang on us in fact he just went from game to game like he was on a mission. He even did the cup cake walk where he won the very first time he played. The teachers at his school are great. They took the time to make sure to say hi to all the kids and they even dressed up in costumes. It was a great atmosphere for all filled with energy and excitement.

When we came home later that evening he was wired. He played and played and played. He only had one cookie at the party and 2 cups of special soda, which was a huge treat for him. The great thing about the Carnival was the prizes weren't just candy, but pencils and eye balls and spider rings and a whoopee cushion. His favorite by the way. It was a great evening.

The next morning Lil Man woke up very happy and excited to be heading back to pre-school, but he also knew that after lunch I will be picking him for some special meme time. Since it was special meme day this afternoon I decided to get in a early morning run. Only it wasn't as early as the other day the sun was out, but it was cold. I ran around my neighborhood, which was nice for a change. Sometimes change is good and I really enjoyed the change of scenery. My legs felt strong the entire run, I even challenged myself and picked up the pace from time to time. I even laughed out there just remembering the last time I ran this route. It had been a long time. I am glad I was able to get my run this morning because now when I pick up Lil Man we can really enjoy the afternoon.

"Yes! I win"

Cupcake Walk

The spinning wheel, one of his favorites

Hopscotch
All smiles after a great Carnival

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catching Up


I had an amazing week up in Tahoe. This was my last night out on the pier. But I was glad to be heading home, because Lil Man and traildog missed me. I came home on Friday, Lil Man and his mom were getting ready for a Halloween party. He had a blast at the party.

He is really into Woody from Toy Story, even mom got in on the action and dressed up!

Saturday I ran for the first time in a week. I did six steady miles. Overall my lungs felt great, I had no chest wall pain and no back pain, my legs were a little sluggish but that was due to all of the hiking I did in Tahoe. After my run it was time to get ready for Lil Mans birthday party. We were hoping the weather would hold because he had a bounce house at his party. There was a small window and the kids took full advantage of it and jumped until they couldn't jump any more.

What a awesome looking cake. My sister made it.

He couldn't wait to jump.

Cousin Q

Happy Birthday Lil Man

Some more bouncing.

It is great to be home after being gone for a week. I am lucky though I still have a week off from work. I do not have any major plans, tonight Lil Man wants me to go to his pre-school Halloween Party. I am looking forward to it and on Wednesday it is special Meme day which for him means chocolate milk. Or that is what he told us special meme day means.

I have been running since being home, I ran 11 miles on Sunday with Trailmomma. We braved the fierce wind. Luckily we managed to get our run in before the torrential down pour.
Then today we woke up bright and early before the sun came out for an easy run around her neighborhood. It was cold this morning. Trailmomma lead the way and directed me around her neighbor by light post. We turned at light post, don't ask me to do it myself for I was lost the entire time. After trailmomma headed home I ran back to my car and continued on running getting in a few extra miles. It was a different experience waking up early to run.
Once work starts back up for me I am going to have to figure out how to get my runs in. I will be working the night shifts. But for now I am enjoying as much sun shine as I can because once I go back to work I wont be seeing much of the sun.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cascade Falls/ Bayview Trail Hike

 My time in Tahoe is coming to an end. Only a few more days left and the next few days it is suppose to rain. Last night I walked down to the pier to catch the last bit of the sunset over the mountain.
Here it is a full moon.

After enjoying a peaceful evening I was ready for my next adventure.

Cascade Creek Fall Trail


Spectacular views of the 200-foot high falls and Cascade Lake.
Cascade Creek Fall : Easy
                                 Elevation 6800' / 6910'
                                 1 mile-one way

If I remember correctly Cascade Lake is a private lake for only those residence that live on the lake.



 

Cascade Lake in the back ground. I am glad that I started my hike early. It is about 1 mile to falls on a very narrow trail. On my way back the trail was getting really crowded and I found myself stepping aside so others could pass. If you plan on visiting the falls the best time would just after the snow melts.

Cascade lake and Lake Tahoe in the back ground.

I spent some time here just wondering around the huge rocks. It was peaceful and calming. After Cascade falls I hiked the Bay view trail, this would take me to Granite Lake, and eventually if I kept hiking it would connect with the Eagle Falls trail head. The loop would be a total of 10 miles but I decided upon a out and back.

Bay view Trail


Offering magnificent views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe, this steep trail lead me up the side of Maggie's Peak into Desolation Wilderness. I stopped at Granite Lake for a short rest .
Bay view Trail : Strenuous
                        Elevation 6910' / 8440'
                        1 miles to Granite Lake




 
On my way up Bay view trail, Emerald Bay was formed by a glacier.

Granite Lake

As I kept hiking and gaining in elevation my views were incredible. They just got better the further up I went. Can you see the white spot in the middle of Lake Tahoe? That the MS Dixie making it's way to Emerald Bay.

At the saddle. Mountains all around

Hey, look it is Eagle Lake. I saw that yesterday.

This is what I had to look forward to once I finished my hike.

The hike was great. It had a ton of switch backs and was very steep. But it was worth it just for the views.
Over this past week, I haven't done any running. I have done a lot of hiking. I am looking forward to my run on Sunday with Trailmomma. I am sure we have a ton to catch up on. I am also looking forward to Lil Mans birthday party. He turned 3. It is going to be a blast. Last but certainly not least my trail dog Toby. I am sure he is missing his mommy as I am missing him.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eagle Falls Trail Hike

Eagle Falls


Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous

The hike to Eagle Lake is moderate but once I continued on it became a vertical climb for about 2.5 miles. Then I reached the switch backs and then more climbing. After yesterdays hike my quads were feeling it today.

Elevation: 6,600'/8,500'

Mileage (one-way): 1 mile to Eagle Lake, 4½ miles to Dicks, Upper & Middle Velmas, 5 miles to Fontanillis

My hike totaled 9 miles. It took me 2.5 hrs to climb and 1.5 hrs to get down.

Leading into the heart of Desolation Wilderness, this steep trail offers majestic views of the Sierra high country. Eagle Lake is a popular short hike. Eagle lake is only a 1 mile hike. A longer hike took me almost to the three Velmas, Dicks and Fontanillis lakes. I turned around after 5 miles. .5 being a hike back and then I climbed a huge rock boulder to get some gorgeous views.

 Wilderness permit required.

I did the small loop as seen on this map. It would be great for anyone with some children. The views are awesome, and along the way there are little placards with history about Emerald Bay. After the small loop I went into Desolation Wilderness and just hiked until I felt like turning around. I had packed some food and warm clothes but I didn't my warmer clothes today. I did enjoy an apple and of course a payday.


This bridge took me over Eagle Falls. I can't imagine what the falls look like during the snow melt.

This is the start of my 2.5-3  mile vertical climb, might I add it was on the ridge line so please no wrong step! Luckily for me the trail was empty on my climb but on the way down it was getting crowded. I can't imagine this trail during peak season. I wouldn't want to be on it, but it is beautiful.

I can just make out Emerald Bay in the distance.


Eagle Lake, it was pretty and calm.


Still climbing! But doing it with a smile on my face.

This is where I turned around. In the distance you can see the lake I was shooting for, but it was about another mile away with some nasty climbs.

On top of a huge rock formation. I could see for days.

This is John, he showed me the "rock bowl." I talked with him for awhile just enjoying the views. All 360 of it.
Emerald Bay

Vikingsholm Trail is about .4 miles up the road and is a easy hike.  

Elevation 6230' / 6630'

1 mile

Vikingsholm Castle


You can view an authentic replica of a Viking castle. I have hiked the short trail to Lower Eagle Falls which begins directly across from the castle. Again this would be a great hike with kids. Maybe I will take Lil Man here the next time we come up.
All in all it was a great day, I did have some trouble getting motivated this morning. I started a little later then usual.
 I have been having a lot of difficulty with sleeping this week, I just can't seem to sleep. Insomnia is tough and it is wearing on me. I go to bed but 2 hours later I am wide awake. That is how my nights are going, me not sleeping. Maybe it has something to do with making a choice when I return to work in a a week and half. I still don't know what I am going to do. If I will continue doing remodels or Logistics. But for now I am just enjoying slowing things down and actually enjoying this vacation.