Thursday, October 30, 2008

Postcard from Pennsylvania

I've been in Pennsylvania for a few days visiting my family. Some notes, in no order:
  • Phillies Phinally! After waiting 28 years, the Phillies deliver a World Series. It's pretty much Christmas x your birthday + 4th of July fireworks in all of Eastern Pennsylvania. A three day final game? Just a little more time to wait for the eventual win.
  • My nieces and nephew have gotten so much bigger in the last10 months. There's a new baby too. They are adorable, sweet and perfect. Also, they are little germ factories and I'm sick.
  • Living in California I've been insulated from the most hateful political ads since California is definitely Obama-land. Pennsylvania is a battleground state and the ads stink of desperation here.
Heading home to California tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Last night as I was at one of the TNT information sessions, I realized that the Peak Performance team starts with a fitness assessment. In less than 2 weeks, someone is going to assess my core strength, flexiblity, etc.


Two years of marathon training has left me with little time to do other gym work, such as core work or weight training. (Excuses, excuses. I could have made time.) My pride decided that a few preparation workouts before my fitness assessment are essential. This morning I grabbed a Pilates DVD from my extensive collection and got down on the mat.

Pilates is tougher than you think. I used to share an office a former Army Ranger. He was a very fit guy and tough as leather. How tough? The man was in a grappling league. When I told him I did Pilates he said, "Pilates! I did that once. They should call that Man-Torture. That Pilates is how they get prisioners to talk."

I used to be good at Pilates - not great, but respectable. Today, I couldn't do one teaser and struggled with jackknifes. Not good news.

The Peak Performance team should be exactly what I need. Twelve weeks of focus on my overall fitness should make me a much stronger marathoner in the long run. (In the long run - I'm punny!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Praise of Efficiency

Sometimes, the world runs exactly as it should.
  • A quick call to Nike got that whole half marathon/iPod nano problem resolved. Rock on Nike.
  • My new passport arrived in under 2 weeks. Get down with your bad self State Department.
I'm on a roll here people.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Challenge

You all know that I love Team In Training, right? Then it should come as no surprise that I want to contribute some time and effort to make the TNT experience awesome for other participants. I volunteered to become a mentor for our Peak Performance team.

Peak Performance is a special team for dedicated people who want to have their best marathon, triathlon or century ride (or for people who just want to increase their overall strength, explosiveness, flexibility and balance). It's several nights a week of training at different training facilities in San Diego and it's run by excellent coaches, trainers and a nutritionist.

As always, TNT isn't about endurance sports. It's really about raising funds to find a cure for blood cancer and for helping patients and their families. My donation page is on-line, if you're inclined to donate.

Nike+ iPod nano = Suckage

I did my 13.1 miles to complete the Nike+ Women's Half Marathon. For the Nike+ Half Marathon, you need to run with the Ipod nano running kit. Here's the rub. My iPod nano locked up and had to be reset at about mile 10.5. The entire workout is gone from the nano's memory. I can verify that I did the workout, because I have it on my Garmin 205 - a product that does work reliably (unlike the POS iPod nano).

I bought the iPod nano specifically for the Nike+ Women's Half Marathon. Reading through the forums over at Nike+ it seems lots of people struggle getting these things to work. My nano is the new 8g and maybe that's part of the problem; maybe it wasn't fully tested. I'm not sure if it's the nano that sucks or the running kit that sucks. Maybe they just suck synergistically. All I know is there is some heavy duty suckage.

Honestly, when my nano crapped out, it really upset me. I was completely devastated and in tears. I was having a good run putting together some quality laps at Lake Miramar. Then the nano locked and it was all gone.

I tried to email Nike+ to get some help. When I clicked the email link at Nike+, this is the error message on the site.

Can you believe that - I'm not allowed to email unless the customer service agents are there. Gee, has Nike+ not learned that email can flow even if you're not there to read it. It will wait for you in your inbox?

Sad. Crappy, worthless and sad.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finisher - Long Beach Half Marathon

Nice race. Not my best day, but it was a fun race. That's 2 of the California Dreamin' series complete with 1 more.

Thanks go to these people -

The lady at the expo who used The Stick to work out most of a cramp in my calf yesterday. Thanks to her today was a lot better than I hoped.

The person spraying KOOL ‘N FIT on tired and cramped muscles at mile 10. I was a doubter, but your product is awesome. Sorry I pulled up my running skirt and asked you to spray my hip too. Be grateful I didn't pull off my skirt and ask you to spray my butt.

The drummers at mile 12.5. You are awesome. Especially when you stopped drumming for a sec and pointed at me with your drumsticks. You totally, absolutely lifted me to the finish line.

The people on mile 9 who gave out free beer. I love you. No, I mean I Love You. You are my bestest friends.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sweet Home Chicago

Elite Racing announced the new location today.

Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Marathon & 1/2 Marathon - August 9

Chicago is August? Won't that be humid and yucky? Who am I kidding? I'm SOOO there.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Where Will They Rock Next?

The Rock N Roll Marathons are on a roll. They are taking over the running world and I love them for it. For 2009, they are already adding Seattle and it looks like they're adding another one too.

Woo Hoo. Register a guess now and they'll send you an awesome promo for the race. (For Seattle it was half off the cost of registration (which I missed due to a hotmail snafu).

So Long Rose Bowl Half Marathon

It's been swelteringly hot here which can only mean one thing - I've got a race this weekend!

We're off to the Long Beach Half Marathon. This one is a girls trip and I'm looking forward to it. Honestly, other than my weekly long runs I haven't been running much lately. Instead I've spent a lot of workouts in the pool. It's been almost 2 months since my last half marathon and that's too long for me. Having a race on the immediate horizon keeps me focused.

In other race news, I've changed my race calendar again. I'm dropping the Rose Bowl Half Marathon. They are doing something I find annoying which is forcing everyone to pay fees. The race is $105 dollars total, $85 race registration + 10 bucks in mandatory registration fees + 10 bucks for parking. I emailed them a few times about mailing a registration and by-passing the fee and they never bothered to respond. If you want to charge 105 bucks, fine, but don't bury additional charges in parking and Nothing against; they're a local San Diego company and they provide a good service. However, given the choice between a 10 dollar fee or a 42 cent postage stamp, I'll use the stamp.

So that's it for the Rose Bowl Half Marathon. We did the inaugural Rose Bowl race last year and it was a nice event, but not worth $105 bucks. Dropping the Rose Bowl half makes room for the Pasadena Half Marathon and the White Rock Half Marathon in Dallas. Both of those races look good. No regrets on dumping Rose Bowl.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Celebration of Cheese

Since Steve posted a photo of me in front of the celebration of cheese, I thought I'd offer a few words in my defense.

On the drive up the coast, Steve and I stopped for dinner at the Andersen's which claims to be Santa Barbara's Best Danish Restaurant & Bakery. (How many Danish Restaurant & Bakeries are there in Santa Barbara?)

For dinner I ordered the Celebration of Cheese. I like cheese, and yeah, I'm wiling to celebrate it. I was expecting a nice fruit and cheese plate. I was not expecting so much cheese that the table couldn't hold it all and they'd have to put the cheese on a lift like they do with pizza. There was so much cheese that they needed to have architecture to put it on the table - the downstairs was for croissants and breads. The upstairs was for Danish Havarti cheese, French Brie, Danish saga, blue cheese and some strawberries, oranges and pineapple.

I mean, I celebrate cheese and all of it's dairy brethren. I just didn't expect to receive an entire catering platter. I was in lactose heaven and it was delicious.

But I have one question. Why no Gouda?

Celebration of Cheese