Monday, November 26, 2007

Spin, Spin Sugar

Went to spin class today. It's not the cardio that's a problem; it's the butt hurting. I did hang in for the entire 45 minutes of class which made me proud. And sore. Then I managed to hit the weight room.

If you need me I'll be over here. Standing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Easy Rider

The century ride continues to become more likely. We went to look at bikes yesterday.

I had no idea how complex and precise performance bikes have become. Let me explain - if you asked me to describe a bike, I'd be telling you about a basket on the front, tassels on the handle bars and a banana seat with flowers on it. That's the bike I owned as a child. I've certainly ridden and owned bikes since then, but nothing fancy. My last bike was bought at Target. And trust me, it didn't have carbon anything or Shimano gears or whatever else.

So I showed up at Cal Coast Bicycles like the village idiot and asked a ton of questions. Luckily, we had George, the world's most patient salesperson, help us. He put me on the right size bike and gave me some advice on how to balance myself better on the saddle. Viola! It wasn't uncomfortable like the bike in Ireland. In fact, I road tested the bike for so long that I got lost and George had to come out and fetch me.

During the ride back to the bike shop he gave me a few more tips. And then I almost took out a guy who stopped dead in front of me while crossing the street. How typical for me. I don't have a single problem riding on my own. As soon as someone is available to see me be uncoordinated my doofus gene makes a spectacular appearance.

In other news: On Thanksgiving Day I did the Run for the Hungry 10K and averaged 13:30 minutes per mile. That's a vast improvement from the 13:52 minutes per mile I did in the Iron Girl 10K in late July.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sarcasm Can Be Fun!

Thanksgiving morning I'm doing a quick 10K in downtown San Diego. The run is called the Run for the Hungry and it benefits food banks and some such. The food kitchens are always flooded with newbie volunteers on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of going to try to volunteer at the shelter, I'm doing this run.

The Thanksgiving run/walk is a tradition that my friend started for us in Dallas. Our whole group would go and do the Turkey Trot, complete with all of our dogs, friends, and cups of Starbucks. It was pretty laid back. In fact, we always parked about a half of a block ahead of the finish line. We skipped the finish line and went home. That way we didn't have to put up with traffic delays on the way to our big meal.

I'll be doing this one alone and I'll miss the happy vibe of the Dallas peeps. It's still worth doing. I'll do a little bit to help the food bank and get in a workout before heading off to give gluttonous Thanks with friends.

Here's the sarcasm part. I told someone, and I'm not sure who, that I was doing this event. And their innocently sarcastic reply was, "A run for hungry people? That's mean! And they won't be able to go fast, because they are hungry." Tee Hee!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Itinerary

I'm not saying that I'm doing any of these marathons but, here is a list of some international marathons that interest me.

March: Rome, Monte Carlo,
April: Paris, Z├╝rich, Madrid, Vienna,
May: Prague, Edinburgh, Stockholm, Beijing,
June: Mount Kilimanjaro, Saint Petersburg, Mont Saint Michel,
July: Perth, Gold Coast,
August: Reykjavik, Berlin, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Isle of Man,
September: Sidney, Warsaw, Moscow,
October: Venice, Istanbul, Auckland, Munich,
November: Athens, Florence, Palermo,
December: Milan,

I'm just putting that out to the universe.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'll Take This Under Advisement

Steve has been advocating skipping the Spring Marathon season and training for a Century Ride instead.

A century ride is -
100 miles.
On a bike.
That I would need to pedal.

Actually, the pedaling is fine. I like pedaling the bike. On the other hand, I have a rather delicate tush. Steve and I rented bikes to explore the Aran Islands in Ireland. After about 90 minutes on the bike I had a tender bruise on my butt bone. Do you see how happy Steve looks in the photo? That's because he doesn't have a sore bottom. A day later we flew home to San Diego. The 12 hour flight was an adventure of fidgeting trying to find a sitting position that was both comfortable and not putting weight on my bruise.

Today was the Team In Training Alumni Celebration. It was great to see everyone again, especially since everyone did really great in their marathons. Over the course of the party several folks came over to tell me that me ride in the Aran Islands should not deter me from the Century ride. Amicus briefs were filed to point out that my problems in Ireland were the result of a poorly fitted bike, a saddle designed for men, and lack of appropriate cycling shorts, etc..

Personally, I think it's that I have a super sensitive "Princess and the Pea" tush. Unless I can find some sort of super soft, Lazy-Boy recliner bike saddle I'm not sure this Century ride idea is going to work.

However, I'm willing to listen to arguments to participate in the Century. Potentially, I will be riding in "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride" in Lake Tahoe on June 1, 2008. Just be sure you understand that I have not committed to this.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hey Babe, Take A Walk on the Wild Side

This morning was the Walk on the Wild Side 5k to benefit the San Diego Zoo. It was a "race" only in that there was a start/finish line and we did probably walk 5k. Other than that, it bore no semblance to a race. It was more a stroll through the zoo.

We started early, 7:30 a.m. That's actually the best time to visit the zoo. Most of the animals have night jobs as hunters, If you go during the heat of the day all the cool animals are asleep. This morning even some of the big cats were awake and walking around. The zoo staff also had a bunch of animals out in the crowds so that you could pet them.

We dawdled in the zoo so long that we almost completely missed the food and goodies they had after the "race". Poor Steve had to listen to me recite nearly every animal fact that I learned watching Animal Planet with my nieces. It's fabulous to have one of the worlds greatest zoos down the street from my house.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Silver Strand Half Marathon ✔

Finished.

That might have been the boring course ever. I'm probably more sensitive to that after the Dublin Marathon. There every turn lead to another fabulous sight - Phoenix Park, Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College. Also, in Dublin people were out cheering. Today, there were maybe 100 spectators on the entire course.

All in all, today wasn't my best day. It wasn't that I felt awful or even uncomfortable. I just wasn't at my best. That said, I think my time was about 3:05 or 3:07. Certainly not bad for a walker, but I think I could have easily beat 3:00 if I'd been a bit more together.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just when I think I'm out...

they keep pulling me back in.

I thought I'd selected all of my events for the year, then I saw this:
How can I possibly ignore a half marathon that has such a fabulous finishers medal? I'm not that strong. Must.Get.That.Medal.

Looks like a good course. It's a lovely area of Pasadena - partly road, partly trail, some hills. Who am I kidding? I wouldn't care if the race went through the town dump and alongside the sewage treatment plant. That medal is awesome!

Cross-Training Navel Gazing

Slowly returning to real life - post-vacation and post-marathon.

For the last few months, I've really focused my workouts on getting ready for the marathons. I've let other types of workouts slip - very little weight training, Pilates or yoga and zero cross-training cardio. In fact, I didn't even join a gym in San Diego; I just walked and walked to get ready for the marathons.

This week I finally joined a new gym. It's nice and it's huge. Yesterday I did some weight work and I was heartbroken by how much weaker I am. I couldn't even bench 70 pounds. Of course, logically I knew that would happen but I'm still bummed.

Now I'm studying the gym's class schedule to determine what I can work into my schedule. This gym has really varied offerings - a LeMond cycling studio, a Gravity Studio, Feldenkrais. I took a Gravity class today and it was a killer.

Here's what I'd like to squeeze in: 1 session traditional weights, 1 Gravity session, 1 advanced Pilates class, 1 pool workout, some other cardio (maybe Tae Kwon Do). I'm also going to take some Feldenkrais classes, but I can't count them toward my workout total. Plus, I'm going to keep up my long walks on Saturday or Sunday. I still need to be ready for the Carlsbad Half Marathon in Janaury.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hello Reality, Did you miss me?

We're back home from Ireland. It was a busy trip with the marathon and the zigzagging across the Emerald Isle, but we managed to see a lot of country. Hopefully, Steve got some good pictures. I always forget to take out my camera and snap a photo.

Now I'm trying to get my head back into my real world. That involves mountains of laundry and getting ready for another half marathon this Sunday. In other news, I start a new job on Monday which is 95% yippee and 5% worry. This was the first vacation of my adult life where I didn't have to go back to my old job. I've spent most vacations worrying a bit about the work that was piling up at home.

Here is a photo I took at one of my favorite spots in Ireland. It's at the Meeting of the Waters in Killarney National Park. We spent a day walking on the trails there. It was a glorious place. Kudos to Steve for insisting that we spend an extra day hiking there.