Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kicks and giggles

I went running this morning. Not that that's a surprise or anything. I do have a race in about six weeks. No, what is noteworthy is that I found a nifty new trail that gives me a second six-mile loop with which to mix things up with and just because I wasn't quite fulfilling my masochistic tendencies, and I needed 9 miles, I threw in the Butte for good measure.

Pilot Butte is a random hill popping up in the midst of my neighborhood. A random hill that is a one mile steep climb UP and then one mile steep downhill. Ouchie. But I did it and it was much needed...seeing as how NWM is in San Francisco and that town has only a couple gnarly hills.

I got new shoes again. I may have told you this already.

But I didn't run in them today.

I got new shoes because my feet are grody with calluses and blisters upon blisters and apparently that's not supposed to happen if your shoes fit properly. So I spent and hour at the local running store getting shoes to make my feet better. Then I ran in them all week, and apparently "fitting correctly" means I don't pronate as much as I have been for the last oh, ten years or so. Which is a really good thing, but it means my calves are being used differently which is a whole mess of pain.


So I did my long run in my old shoes to give my poor muscles a break. My feet were looking prettier after a week of not rubbing or callusing. Hopefully one run won't set them back on the path of ugs.


TODAY: 9 miles
MONDAY: 4 miles
SATURDAY: 3 miles
FRIDAY: 4.5 miles
THURSDAY: 6 miles

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winter on the way?

Everything is saying winter is on it's way. The calendar, sweaters in the stores, shorter nights...everything that is, except the weather. It's almost nine o'clock at night and it's 75 degrees outside. My run was hellish in every sense of the word. Painful AND hot.


Well, snow will be here soon enough. No sense in speeding it up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Running hard

After a stint at home, boyfriend has left again, this time to go home to Arcata to do some work for my parental units. He was very cute before he left, very concerned about leaving me alone again. We have done long distance, and as you know most of the summer he was off at camp leaving me bereft and alone.

Okay, so not really bereft, but it sounds good right?

It's important to remember, and something that I have learned after long consideration (not to mention trial and error), is that if you are really truly meant for each other you'll make it through anything. Doesn't make distance any easier, but as I pointed out to boyfriend before he left, if we're going to be together for our whole lives one summer isn't going to hurt us.

I meant for that to sound more poignant and philosophical than it came out. I think I'm just tapped out for poignancy.

Instead, I'll move on.

My running buddy kicked my ass last night. She's done it before but this time was on purpose. Last week we ran really fast because we lost light and needed to get our mileage in. Apparently it wasn't a one time thing like i thought it would be. Last night when I got to her house she seemed nervous.

"What's up?" I asked her.

"Well," she began, wringing her hands, "I have though about it and I really need to work on my pace" -- she's running a marathon the week before NWM in October -- "so I'm shooting for 9 minute miles so we really need to run faster..."

And keep in mind, folks, that we've been running 10.5-, 11-minute miles.

"Okay." I said. "You set the pace. I can't promise I'll like it or be able to keep up, or that I won't whine, but let's do it."

Famous last words.

Four miles. Averaging 9:28. Holy crap.

It's a good thing I like her. One thing that I realized though is that I run for fun. I'll let her kick my butt, but for a split second I thought about dedicating myself more to speed and hardcoreness, and then I just realized that I run because I enjoy it. I don't run for speed, or glory. I run for me, to feel good, to look good and to finish.

I'll let her push me and kick my butt, but that's all I'm gonna do. Just my regular workout. I mean, with her busting my butt a couple times a week.

I gotta go tackle my list for today!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Runner's Ear

I don't think I ever truly talked about my race a week (and a half?) ago. There was so much going on, it kind of got lost in the miasma of family, friends, work, and all the fun things we were doing. For the second time in a week I find myself confused as I have (a) time off and (b) nothing pressing that needs to take up my time.

Except maybe that ginormous pile of laundry that is sitting clean on my bed and needs to be folded.

But who really needs to fold laundry anyways right? I blame my mother for that oversight in teaching me domesticity (not really, just folding laundry for some reason has ever been the bane of my existence).

And for the record, the first time in a week where I've found myself confused was last Tuesday when my family all left and I came home to...nothing pressing. It's an odd feeling after several weeks of go go go go even on my weekends.

Anyways, my race. I started the race seconds after the gun went off because the line for the restrooms was half an hour long and at the point when everyone was lining up, I had reached the very front of the line and was not about to run for two and a half hours with my bladder bitching at me. I was going to have enough things bitching at me, I didn't need one more.

I needn't have worried (not that I did) though because the first several miles of the race were bottlenecked as only two people side by side could run on the trail. There were several points where runners (myself included) bushwhacked a bit just to pass people because we were slowed to a crawl. Not that I'm speedy or anything, but we were pretty backed up. And then people started walking around mile 3 in the middle of the trail and slowed things further. Idiots.

Around mile 7, while bounding down a particularly technical piece of trail (mountain goats would have found it easy peasy, but humans? not so much) I thought to myself that I was feeling pretty good for where I was at. Time-wise, I was slow, but where I expected to be, and my body felt good and the run felt strong.

Then at mile 9, my feet went numb.

It's an unfortunate side effect of my job being on my feet all day. There are some morning where I'll have pins and needles for an hour or so when I get up, and in the evenings when I get home the balls of my feet will be numb and my arches pins and needles. What I should have done was taken the day prior off as well to give my feet a break.

Once the feet went numb, all havoc broke loose. My knees started bitching and no amount of, "Nothing hurts, nothing hurts, nothing hurts" (my mantra for races when my body whines more than I do) made it stop. Mile 10 was rough as I reached the bottom of the trail that entered Shevlin Park, which was the end point for this point-to-point race (interesting concept I might add) and looked up at my nemesis from training — the hardest trail in the park — and thought to myself, "Really???"

At mile 11.75, a finished runner stood by the side of the trail telling us we had two more miles to go. Luckily, my Garmin knew that was wrong, but for a race that was taking everything that I had mentally and physically, it was the last thing I wanted to hear.

Mile 12 saw me at the entrance to Shevlin, mildly confused at what looked like the finish line until I realized that the course shot us back up the road and down another trail to finish the race. Longest mile of my life.

At mile 13, I put on a burst of speed thinking — wrongly, I might add — that as the race was supposed to be 13.1, I only had a tenth of a mile and should finish strong. That speed petered out at 13.15 when I realized there was no finish line immediately in sight.

Luckily, the race ended at 13.3 and I found an unknown reservoir of speed (from where, I have no freaking clue because I thought I was tapped out, finished, finito) and managed to sprint the last 100 yards, finishing the race dead-on at my predicted time of 2:30:00. A lot slower than my past races, but reasonable considering my shape and the technicality and challenge of my first trail half. 

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I spent last Wednesday sitting next to my tomato plant eating all the ripe tomatoes off of it. All 8 of them. Tiny, juicy and sweet. Yum yum.


TUESDAY: split 9 mile ride
MONDAY: 4 miles (really fast as it got DARK!)
SATURDAY: split 9 mile ride
FRIDAY: 4 miles
WEDNESDAY: 5.5 miles

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Too much corn

So this past weekend we hosted a host of people in and around our little home. Mom, dad, dog and sis bunked with us, horrifying Maddie into a weekend long sulk in our closet. She still hasn't quite forgiven us and doesn't quite believe us when we assure her that the dog is in fact gone.

Grandparents galore and cousins too stayed at a nearby hotel, and the whole posse gathered to watch me run an excruciating and highly technical half marathon and sister to run a successful 7 miler. Then we all trooped off and I'm pretty sure all we did was eat after that -- though mom, sister, boyfriend and I enjoyed a relaxing float down the river.

They have all departed now and I am left with a fridge full of....corn. Apparently none of the ten people we guested ate any of the ten ears we cooked. What am I going to do with all that corn? Well I'll tell you what I did do.

Corn and Tomato Salad

3 or 4 ears of cooked corn, kernels cut from the cob
3 good sized tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

Mix 'em all together and you have a delicious summer salad that uses all your extra corn! Or some of it anyhow. Mine is a little too garlic-y. My cloves were a little large and I used 4 instead of two...which will keep the mosquitoes away!