Monday, March 26, 2007

The Good and the Bad

I'm trying to do a better job following the training schedule. By better I mean, follow it at all. This showing up on Saturday having done nothing all week is starting to get me into trouble. At the the higher mileage, I can't fake it. I'm not a 20 year old; I don't spring back.

Per the training calendar yesterday I was supposed to go for an easy 30 minutes and today for an easy hour. Yesterday I went about 45-50 minutes, but at a slower pace than I'd have liked. Then I stopped at Starbucks and walked home. Ah well, it's something.

This morning I was all set to do my hour - then I realized I'd scheduled a phone interview for 8 a.m. That's when I made decision that was good and bad. I thought something is better than nothing - I'd do a fast paced 30 minutes then phone the candidate. It started well enough, but I was really hustling (for me). Then there was a rather sharp pain in either the front of my hip or the tippy-top of my thigh. I thought I'd be able to walk it out so I kept moving for another 20 minutes or so, but it never felt significantly better.

It still hurts a few hours and a few ibuprofen later. I'm hoping I can do the 8 miles tomorrow, but that may be an overly optimistic view of my body's ability to recover.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Okay, I'm barely halfway through training for my first marathon. Yet, I've just signed on for my next marathon - The Nike Women's Marathon, October 21, 2007.

Here is why I couldn't resist -
  • San Francisco. muah!
  • There is a candy mile - an entire mile of the race is people giving out Ghirardelli chocolates. Candy!
  • Pedicure stations.
  • The finisher's medal is from Tiffany's and it's given out by San Francisco firemen wearing tuxedos.
  • The entire event benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Post Where I Whine and Ramble

I was decidedly unhappy during today's workout. I love TNT and I wouldn't discourage anyone from joining but sometimes things just suck. That is mostly created my own attitude, but still - sucky.

Here are all the things that made me a grump today.

We started late. Normally we get to the site at 7 a.m. and we're on the trail at 7:30. Today we didn't get out there to 7:56. Anyone who knows me can testify that I'm not a fan of the early morning. If you make me get out of bed at 6 a.m on a Saturday you'd better be ready to move.

My whining aside, some of the pre-workout commentary is excellent. I loved hearing from today's honored teammate. Her 10 year battle against cancer is inspirational and she really highlighted the difference that research money has made in the level of care blood cancer patients receive. Her story was only a few minutes long, but it made a huge impression on me. While I love the part of the morning when people tell their personal stories, the rest of lecture can go on way too long for me because I'm itching to get moving. Action Item: At 7:30 grab the course map and get started. There's no reason stand there and pout.

We always stretch cold muscles before we workout. A lot of modern research indicates that cold muscle stretches increase injuries and fatigue. That stretching worries me every week. Action Item: Don't stretch with them. This isn't the military; they are not the boss of me. Don't stretch and don't feel guilty about not stretching.

I intensely disliked the trail. It was rocky - not "a little pebble here and there to get annoyingly in your shoe" but "watch out or you'll sprain your ankle". Also, it was at the bottom of a canyon so there was No-Breeze-At-All. It was also dusty, muddy, and smelly at varying points. When we climbed out of the canyon, it was a perfectly lovely, breezy day. Action Item: Not much to do here, but I can remember that the race course is actually quite lovely.

The heat. Between the later start and the lack of breeze I was pretty miserable. I did drink more than a liter of water so I wasn't dehydrated. I was still hot. The only other training session where I was truly miserable was on a very hot day. Action Item: Dorky as it is, I'm going to need to use my neck coolie thing. I know it looks like I've got a wet, drippy sausage around my neck, but it makes a huge difference in how comfortable I am.

All that whining complete, the company was wonderful and it was nice to be back out there. Afterwards we went to breakfast at Le Peep and I had the Granola Blueberry pancakes with tons of butter and syrup - a caloric splurge in honor of a 12 mile workout. Le Peep will always remind me of my old house in Texas. We'd walk to the Le Peep on Sunday mornings and read our New York Times over breakfast. Good Times. Today I read the Times while I soaked my sore muscles in the tub after my workout.

Friday, March 23, 2007

And This Is Where You Start Paying - In SWEAT

I am the slug of all slugs. I missed last Saturday's training session. My sister came to visit and Friday we went to Disneyland - whee! But we didn't get back to San Diego until 2am - boo! So that 7am training session was not going to happen. Honestly I have done sessions when I'm tired and it's just not any fun at all. I'm too old and too stubborn to be doing things that I don't enjoy.

For those of you following along at home - most of last week I slacked because my sister was in town and most of this week I slacked because I was traveling and trying to catch up on work from last week. Two weeks ago I slacked because I was traveling. Who sees a pattern? Oh, and since I'm starting a new graduate class I'll be missing 4 training sessions between now and June 3. And yet, I still believe that I will complete the marathon.

Tomorrow morning it's 13 miles in La Jolla - that's nearly half of a marathon. Tomorrow evening my legs and butt will be bound to the couch by the ties of soreness.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moonlight Beach

Another week of mostly skipped workouts. I had to blow through Fort Worth this week - when I travel it's always tough to squeeze in a workout. However, I did get to see the DFW peeps which was better for my heart than any cardio.

Today was our workout at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. It was eleven, beautiful miles of cool ocean breezes. I'd never been anywhere that was so stuffed with surfers - old dudes, kids, everything between - all walking around in their wetsuits. Wetsuits are either incredibly sexy or just ridiculous.

The air was so cool and crisp that the warmth of my face was fogging up my sunglasses. Even the 7am starting time didn't really bother me. I mean I was late and all, but I wasn't too bothered by getting out of bed.

One thing that I've changed, is that I super-hydrate on Friday and I think it really helps. I also try to add some more carbs. Today, I could have easily gone another mile. We had a blast today and our pace was consistently strong. In the past we've maintained a good pace for the first few miles then slowed down a lot for the last few miles. Today our pace was consistent right up until the last mile.

The team breakfast was at Swami's Cafe. Yummy in that wheatgrassy, Açaí berry way. Feel the health.

Monday, March 05, 2007

When You're a Girl...

Tonight was the team bra fitting. Actually, it was the down and dirty story of the marathon. As in - where do I go to the bathroom during the race? (Bush, tree, bridge abutment - or wait for a port-o-let.) Where do you carry tampons? (In a plastic baggy in your race shorts. Plastic baggy is essential so you can dump water on yourself and not destroy the tamps.) The thing about women is that our bodies freak out when we hit puberty so we're used to asking each other about this stuff.

Oh, did I mention that this was at San Diego Running Institute. And who do I see but the sales guy I flashed when buying my running shoes. My thighs and my boobs - I think that might count as third base! Actually, you can tell these guys have seen all this a million times and they do not care.

Then we got to the fun. First we were all measured for bras. Then we got to select a few for try-on. There are two running bra styles: the uniboob (compression) or a home-of-their-own (encapsulation). I like the home-of-their-own style. Then we all jammed into the communal dressing room and started trying on bras and swapping them between us. Trust me, it wasn't as sexy as it sounds.

I ended up with an underwire sports bra in mesh - super breezy, not stick to the body mesh. It's the Moving Comfort Cara Bra. I won't be pulling off my top and running it just my bra, but I think it's probably a great fit. I also bought some Injinji running socks with special toes. And I bought some Body Glide to prevent chaffing in case the bra rubs.

Whoever said all I'd need is a pair of shoes is full of crap. Eventually, it's all about shopping.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Two Digits

10 Miles! That's 2 digits people.

Oh, and we started at 7am. We'll be starting at 7am for every Saturday until the marathon. Are you kidding me - I can't get to work at 9am. Why do you hurt me Team in Training. Why? I wanted to stop at my neighborhood Starbucks on the way to the training, but it wasn't even open yet. I'm now out and about on a Saturday, before Starbucks is open. That's not right, yo.

We started out with a timed mile to determine our pace. I think I may be doing this marathon for 10-12 hours. That's an exaggeration, but I really wanted to be much faster.

It was a really nice trail in Carmel Valley, but there were horses. And where you have horses you have dookie. So we spent a fair bit of time trying to sidestep the piles. Of course, I do love the earthy smell of horses. Other people think horses are stinky, but it doesn't bug me at all.

All three of us had taken the entire week off from training - they had been sick and I was working like a fiend. Choosing to do the full 10 miles might not have been super smart. We were good until the last 2 miles. Then we just got slower and s l o w e r. It wasn't nearly as bad as Lake Miramar, but we were slow. The entire last mile we stopped talking so you know we must have been dragging.

Breakfast at Pacifica made it better. You know, I really like these women. They're funny and smart. I love the workouts. I love the cause. But mostly I love that I've gotten to know some really special people through this experience.