Tuesday, October 30, 2007

running with strangers

So...i went to my first workout with the tri club here...and it was good. I met some new people which is good since I can be a bit of an introvert at times and sometimes meeting new people can be exhausting. So far I've found that in many spheres of my life, here in S.Cali everyone has made it really easy to meet new people, which has been great. I even ended up meeting Paul, fellow blogger who had quite the race at SOMA on sunday. (check out his RR for some awesome racing and drama).

It was a 5ish mile workout. I haven't been out for a run since my 1/2 marathon two weeks ago, so it was good to get out and the air quality was good and the weather was great. But I realized, I've never been to a 'group' run before...and in someways its a little weird to just run with random strangers. Over the past 4 years, I've either had a dedicated training partner who I did almost every work out with, or other running buddies, or I just ran country roads all by myself...but I've never joined a sports organization like a tri-team either. I've only ever played on sports teams so doing workouts in an organized way just has a different feel to me. I'll be back for sure...even though I'm super slow. It'll keep me running over the winter.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

what would you attempt...

I made it to a yoga class on Saturday...which is a start. My arms are sore as they always are when I start back into yoga, but I'm excited to start shaping up a schedule of sorts. I've found a pool and the sorts of things I'm looking for with a gym these days. I managed to make it to a tri-club meet some other members thingy which was a good way to meet a few people and I am planning on making a few workouts with the club this week so I'm looking forward to meeting a few more.

I've started to think/plan what my next season A races should be...but I'm going to be honest...the more I think about it the queasier it makes me. I've started to realize that when I hang out/talk with/read about endurance bla, bla, bla...i'm starting to discover I am getting what some people refer to as 'distance creep'. If you talk about/think about a particular distance long enough what once seemed insanity starts to seem almost reasonable. Here I'll say it...OK my thinking just freaked me out in the "what in the world am I thinking" kind of way. And then...i look up at this little metal plaque I was given, I don't know when that sits on my desk and says:

'what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail'

It doesn't say what would you do if you knew you could not fail...it says what would you attempt, implying that whatever deep down you are dreaming about has to be big enough that it is currently unknowable if you can achieve it on your first try. Your first attempt. It leaves enough room and grace that attempting yet falling short is still very noble...but it also leaves a sky full of possibilities to dance in your head and dream about and attempt.

So those thoughts echo through my head as I think about next season while I try to challenge myself to push my boundaries a little more and think further about things that would grow me as an individual as I try to plan some things that I can attempt and be brave enough to go for it.

Monday, October 22, 2007


The fires down here in S.Cali are raging fast. Here is a decent link to a map of the fires. To give you an idea of how fast they are moving, the large one up in Ramona started Sunday sometime during the day and has spread 30-50 miles to the west...in basically 24 hours. They have evacuated people to places they thought were out of the fire's way, only to have to re-evacuate again. The reason for the fast moving fires is because it is so dry down here combined with some gusting Santa Anna winds that have gotten up to 50+ mph today. It is a bit unreal how fast these fires are moving.

I live in an area away from the fires, so I haven't had to evacuate. But work is canceled (Although I already had taken today and tomorrow off before all this happened)...and I have no idea when we will be back to work as my work is in the middle of some of the evacuated areas. Many of my co-workers live in areas effected by the fires.

Even though I haven't been that close to an evacuated area it is pretty gross here. My eyes, throat and head hurt from the ash and soot in the air. I had a gross layer of ash on my car this morning.

>250,000 people have been evacuated and unfortunately the winds don't look like they will abate any time soon...many don't think they will stop gusting until Thursday. Many have lost their homes and many will be displaced for awhile as this firestorm rages. Keep those fighting the fires and who have lost their homes to the fires in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Long Beach Half Marathon RR

ALRIGHT ALREADY ! Paul and Benson are a little antsy to hear all about the race report ;-)...can't a girl lie around all day after the race not feeling like moving and then walk around all of today like an old lady feeling exhausted without having to turn around and write? OK...maybe not...so I need a little encouragement to get the report out. So thanks guys for reminding me.

Short version: Race went well, mentally it 'flew by'...it was my slowest 1/2 so far, but I've only run 3 so really who cares. And as a friend put it...I really was 'training for a dissertation' not a 1/2 marathon while I was training for this race. The main point of my training was to mitigate the stress eating weight gain of dissertation writing and it did its job. I only gained 5-7 lbs during dissertation writing which I have since lost due to being sick after getting back from Asia and returning to normal eating. So...final result: 2:25ish including a 3:19 minute "must pee" break...so without the break 2:22ish. Overall...reasonably happy with everything.

Long version
:So I realize I have been bemoaning this race for awhile. My thoughts have been focused on "not enough training" "not caring enough" "focus is elsewhere (dissertation/moving/traveling to Asia)" "Am I even going to finish on my training???"...I realize i have sorta gone ON and ON about it. But anyway...it went pretty well despite my huge worries of training.

I was staying with a friend up in long beach so I didn't have too far to go race morning. Got up early enough to sorta eat some food, I usually eat two Luna bars, a banana and drink some gatorade. Unfortunately I started to feel a bit ill. I felt a bit on the queasy side and did choke down one luna bar a banana and some gatorade, so I probably only had 350-400 calories on board. Unfortunately, my queasy stomach got the better of me at the race and I ended up actually throwing up part of my breakfast. Sorry if that grosses you out...it grossed me out too. Since I hadn't lost all my breakfast I really wasn't too worried about the situation...the whole thing was weird because it wasn't about nerves. I just felt a little yucky.

I had enough time to use the porta-potties, and warm up around the parking lot, but not too much time where you end up just wandering around trying to stay warm. So...we got ready, and go...the first mile I was flagging a little. I felt flat, but just tried to take my mind off of it. The race was a little warmer and more humid than I was expecting as it had rained a lot on Saturday. By mile 3 I realized I was starting to be uncomfortably warm and would take two cups at the water stops, drink one and pour one down my back. It wasn't super duper hot...but hot enough that if you didn't realize it was warm and do something early you could have overheated.

As the race began and I got into a grove...the time just started to click by and I realized the miles just flew by. UNFORTUANTELY right after the gun went off I realized I had to pee...again. I was mad because I thought I had timed the pre race porta-potty correctly...but I was wrong. I did have to stop between miles 5 and 6.

Mentally it was a 'speedy' race...the miles flew by and didn't take much mental effort. I had planned to run-walk the whole thing but hadn't figured out quite how to do the whole run-walk issue as I get a little too competitive with myself for my own good ...but I also didn't want to DNF if I could help it, injure myself so I was in PT for 6 months or get to the last 3 miles, completely blow up and want to crawl home and then not be able to walk for a week afterwards... so I wasn't quite sure what to do up until a few days before the race. I took a suggestion from Joe of walking the water stops and running the rest and seeing how it went and trying to control the 'damage' as I went. In the end I was able to run the whole thing and only walk the water stops. I only had two miles where I really was wishing for the next water stop so I could walk...miles 7 and 8...but I stuck to the water stop walking plan and that was the only time walked. My other part of the plan was for the first 5 miles to keep my hr between 150-155, miles 5-10...push it to 158-162ish...and the last 5K push it in as I could.

Mile Break down:
mile time avg HR
1 11:30 153
2 11:50 154
3 11:48 153
4 11:16 154
5...missed the sign...then I had to stop to pee and lost 3:19 of time (so subtract that from my final time)
So...mile 5+ was 16:51 hr156
rest of mile 6 was 5:47 156 (2 mile 22:22, 11:11mpm)
7 10:24 161
8 11:09 158
9 10:54 160
10 10:28 163
11 10:07 167
12 9:33 173
13.1 10:26 176
Total time including the break: 2:25
Without the potty-break included was: 2:22 which looking at my results, it appears that if you subtract the break I still was running 10:xx min/miles on avg....which is great. Nicely negatively split the race, pushed my HR relatively well. (although you can see in mile 7 and 8 where I was losing focus :-) but nicely gained my focus back)

My thoughts...maybe I could have gone a little faster...maybe not. But I learned a TON from this race. I am stronger than I acknowledge sometimes. I also realized how AWESOME last year's sub two hour result was when I was at the 10 mile mark and saw 2 hrs...and realized I still had a 5K to go. I realized how strong I can be with focused training(when I thought of my previous year's sub 2 hour race)...and I still had room for improvement last year.The main goal of this race was to aid in my dissertation writing as a way to mitigate the stress eating...so the training did achieve that end. I still finished the race and no seizing of the hamstrings. I realized how running also has a cumulative effect...if I had run my first 1/2 mary, 3 years ago on the training that I had this last time around, i would have probably been a puddle in the middle of the road around mile 7. I ran that one in 2:13:02, yes...almost 10 mins slower this year, but it still proved what I could "pull it off" with only minimal training.

Overall...i was happy with it. I was happy with how 'fast' it went by mentally...that really took me aback. Learned a lot and had a great day overall.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


YEA...my apt is finally wired for the internet. FINALLY...any how making me happy...so more posting from me...soon.

Alright...heading to Long Beach...getting excited for tomorrow...and hoping it won't rain.

It'll be an interesting race...that's for sure

Thursday, October 11, 2007


And after that post on Tuesday...YESTERDAY...the check engine light in my car came on. SUWEET. Unfortunately it actually appears to be something important...related to the catalytic converter....sometimes that light is just the gas cap not tight enough. But I guess I'm not lucky like that these days. :-)

But on a brighter note..second week on the job is going well. Although I've had a few days at lunch where I feel like a nerdy teenager with no friends because I have to sit by myself :-). It actually makes me laugh more than anything else.

Yea...tomorrow is friday :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bad day blues

So...YESTERDAY...I was swelling with pride over how much I got done after I got home from work. I mean, I picked up my nicely tuned up and assembled bike (as I just got it in the mail last week from shipping it from MA...not a new bikes...same bike, just didn't have it til now), got a run in, did two loads of laundry, went to the grocery store, got my laundry put away. I felt rather smug about the super focused and tons of things I got done yesterday....

But sometimes there is a certain 'balance' in life if all is going well...then some stuff needs to go bad too...and well...today I'm paying for my monday going so well after work.

Now...being a new person at work and only on my 2nd week I still have massive numbers of computer gliches...i've tried not to be too annoyed with them...but...sigh...today the system thought I was hacking it. I was just trying to take Lab training...and it thought I was hacking the system. Over. And OVER...same error...unless you kept pushing the button and well eventually it would stop being lame. But overall the servers have been...how shall we say...stupid.

And then there is that whole...signing up for benefits like health insurance. I discovered that apparently I have a husband/spouse who is listed on as a dependent...and is 207 years old. Yes...born jan 1, 1800...that was pretty funny.

Then today the internet person to help me be connected and online who showed up 'on time' at 330 but I was given the wrong appointment time of between 5-7 pm...yet when I confirmed what time my appointment was they said that my appointment was between 5-7 and claimed that the technician had come at the wrong time and my appointment was correct. Yet when i called back after NO ONE SHOWED UP, I discovered that the internet guy came at the right time he was scheduled for (they scheduled him between 3-5...but never told me this...not that I could make that time), .. and then the phone person went to the wrong house and therefore never showed up at MY house...and when I called and talked to the people on the phone...sigh...there was nothing they could do about the glich as by the time it was all said and done...it was after hours. Now I get to wait for them at 7AM on a saturday. WOOHOO.

Oh...and i'm trying to put together a desk and one of the parts of the desk got machined incorrectly and I can't put it together. nice


On training notes: Sunday I'm running a 1/2 marathon up in Long Beach...and after being sick for a week right when I was supposed to be peaking my running...and then doing all that I have been able to do in the last week or so...which has been reasonable recently, just not steller, I've decided that I will do what I can come Sunday. I will probably run-walk a lot of it...and if my back or hamstrings start to act up...i'm going to have to call it quits. I've considered DNS the race, but i've decided that if I don't 'race' it...and merely use it as some training with the knowledge that if things start to go poorly I will call it a day.

Life can be a bit bizarre and out of control at times. I'm trying to learn how to just roll with it. Some days that is easier than others.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

busy busy

Things are well...busy and crazy and I can't really catch up with much of anything at the moment. Next week I will have actual internet in my apt, so then I can hang out and finally catch up on all blogs and maybe even leave a few comments on older posts....until then, it'll be sporadic.

I have a 1/2 marathon in a week and a half. I had done some great training while in Asia, got my running up and around 100mins...no idea how far (i'm guessing due to my currently slower speeds and the amount of hills...that was 9 some odd miles). And then I got an un-fun stomach bug. I'm over the bug now, and have been able to run this week....sigh..whatever...it is what it is.

I am now in day 3 of the new job. I am enjoying it...meeting new people, learning about what I will actually do. It's pretty cool so far.

All in all the move has gone well...still need a lot of furniture, but with time, with time.

Hopefully will be able to check out some tri club stuff here soon, i've been too crazy, busy and tired lately, that's how life goes sometimes.

Fun times.