Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tough Love is Still Love

Moving right along, right?  Tuesday I went to the gym after work and started with a run outside.  I ran for 25 minutes, taking it sort of easy but pushing myself enough that I felt like I was working.  No Garmin, just free and easy running.  I got back to the gym feeling ready for my strength routine, chest/triceps/core.  I started in on pushups and body felt so heavy, like I had the body of a lumberjack.  For whatever reason a lot of my exercises were harder than usual.  I whined to myself for a moment or two and then dug in my heels and fought the good fight, getting all my stuff done before a nice stretch.

Unfortunately Tuesday night after the kids were in bed I started munching on some Pirate Booty (if you don't have kids you might not be familiar with this stuff), basically glorified cheese puffs, "baked rice and corn puffs."  We'd had a bunch leftover from Marek's birthday party and I was so glad when we finally ran out (so I could stop munching on it).  And then Miguel took the kids to Costco to get some stuff and came home with a fresh bag.  Ugh.  Anyway, I sat watching bad TV and eating it like a bottomless bucket of popcorn.  No wonder the scale is up, it's not rocket science, I'm taking in more calories than I need.  I plan to watch things for a bit and if I hit 145 the alarms will go off and I'll start tracking again whether I like it or not.  Tough love is better than no love.

Wednesday was a rest day from the gym and I really needed it!  After the 10k and then two gym days I was ready to let my muscles take a break.  I had a work training so I wasn't home as is usually the case.  The weather was so nice, it was hard to be indoors.

Today I hit the gym after work. I started with a 25 minute ride on the upright bike.  Triathlete guy was there again so he kept me distracted by telling me about a 50 mile ride he did over the weekend, part of the Sea Otter Classic.  He turned it into a getaway weekend with his wife, which is a fun way to do an out of town race event.  And I got to talk about my 10k.  I like race talk and the time just flies by.  After the bike I did legs/shoulders/core.  I pushed things a bit on the core work and now my lower back is sore.

Ok, that's all I got.  I'm off to get some much needed rest.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4 Things on my Mind

1.  The official results came in from the Presidio 10k and I am amazed at my placement!

Erin Clark = Me
Obviously I'm not Erin Clark, she's the original owner of my bib (thanks for the bib Erin!!).  So my overall placement was 511/1522, just a few spots shy of being in the top third.  But I was in the top third for female overall (229/988) and for my age group, F40-44 (22/94).  Blows my top 50% goal out of the water!!  I'm not getting that much faster so these must be races with more casual runners. (While writing this Kristy pointed out I'm actually in the top quarter in some placements - woot!!)

2. The scale is up.  I was over 141 this morning.  I think I mentioned we hit two birthday parties this weekend, one on Saturday and another on Sunday.  All that cake and party food is catching up with me.  I haven't been over 141 in ages.  Maybe it's time to buy that total cleanse Groupon is always pushing on me.  Neh, I'm not a cleanse kind of gal.  But maybe it is time to stop with the after dinner snacking that has been out of control.  I think I needed the scale to go up to motivate me.

So I hit the gym yesterday after work.  I was feeling kind of tired and wondered if I should skip it in light of the 10k.  Then I remembered that I was only running for an hour and that's not significant enough to warrant a rest day.  Plus I felt fine physically, not sore or anything, just a bit stiff.  I rode the upright bike on level 8 for 25 minutes, which felt pretty good.  Then I did back/biceps/core.  My back is almost back to normal, still some slight discomfort now and then.

As far as food I continued to make some poor choices last night (that was before the 141+ weight check this AM), digging in to leftover party-favor-candy.  And later a bowl of granola cereal.  At least I didn't have the dinner roll with butter that's been my bad habit of late.  Today I'm going to Thai food for lunch with a friend.  That won't help.  Good thing I'm hitting the gym later.

3.  So we've been having a bit of record breaking warm weather here in the SF Bay Area the last few days.  That means summer clothes!  I've been sporting shorts, tank tops, and skirts and enjoying every minute of it.  I'm still getting accustomed to wearing tank tops in public but with each bare-armed outing I'm getting more comfortable.  I was in the city for lunch last week and I saw a woman with my arms.  She was fit and trim and had my exact disproportionately large arms.  And you know what?  She didn't look bad.  I stared and stared and hoped she didn't notice.

I mentioned this to my lunch date and he said, "yeah, but she's got a different body type than you do."  How so, I asked.  "She's just big boned overall."  I 'bout fell out of my chair laughing.  I'm big boned, aren't I?  Do people really see me as small now?  Reminds me of the person who said, "That's because you have a petite frame" in reference to how clothes fit me.  Anyway, this woman was obviously fit, maybe a bit bigger than me overall but I couldn't see it, and with arms just like mineAnd she was wearing a sleeveless shirt, and it looked good.  I wonder if I'll ever see in the mirror what others see.  Decades and years and endless days of seeing a big girl in the mirror, maybe my eyes are too distorted to see what's there. 

Speaking of summer clothes, I snapped a picture of my outfit today to share.  The weather is forecast to start cooling off again starting tomorrow so I took the opportunity to wear a skirt.  I brought a sweater to wear over when meeting with clients.  I've seen women wear sleeveless shirts in a professional setting but I'm not convinced it's a good idea for me.  I think the strappy sandals and flowery skirt are about as far I'm willing to go.  Oh, my toenail is just about grown back enough to get a pedicure.  Might be on my to-do list this week.

4.  Ok, last thing.  I think I've mentioned there's been mention of me and some mom/runner friends doing a full marathon in October.  This idea was cooked up by Deb and Laurie over a couple post-run beers after the Emerald 12k.  I don't think any of us thought it would really happen.  And then Deb goes and loses her mind, registering this morning and throwing down some serious peer pressure on Laurie and I.  And then Laurie throws her hat in the ring.  Holy cow!  Is this my year for my first, and possibly only, full marathon?!

We'd be doing the Humboldt Redwoods Marathon, set amongst the towering giant redwood trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  I found this race report on Road Bunner's blog (cute name!) and the whole thing sounds doable.  Easy to say from the comfort of my chair.  I did a quick poll of my FB peeps and...

Love all the support, thank you!!  With a deep breath and probably not enough time to consider what it means, I'm in!  Can I start carb-loading now?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Guardsmen San Francisco Presidio 10 Race Report

Race report?!  What race, you might wonder.  Weeeeee!!  I feel like I'm on a fun roller coaster these days.  A little scared, but enjoying the ride nonetheless.  Thursday was a gym day.  I started with a 25 minute ride on the upright bike on level 8.  This is my first time doing my full bike since the pneumonia and it was plenty tough.  Fortunately there was a fellow triathlete on the bike next to me and he kept me distracted from the suffering by telling stories of races gone by.  After the bike I did chest/triceps/core.  Pushups and the whole routine and while it was a challenge, I met it with a smile on my face.

And on Thursday evening a friend posted on my FB page about a bib for a 10k this Sunday that her friend couldn't use (Thanks Danielle!).  Did I want to take it?  The bib was for the Presidio 10k in San Francisco (put on by The Guardsmen, an organization that raises funds for kids to go on adventures - so cool).  I did a quick review of the race, noted the route includes a trot over the Golden Gate Bridge and I was in!  Here's the course.  They don't show the bridge on this map for some reason.

More on the race in a bit.

So Friday was a gym day that called for a 25 minute run and legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I wasn't sure this was a good idea considering I was doing a 10k on Sunday.  But in the end I decided it was more important for me to stick with my routine with all the change I've had lately.  The weather was gorgeous so I ran outside for 25 minutes.  I didn't have my Garmin on so no idea of pace/distance but I enjoyed myself and ran free and easy, which is just how I like it.

After the run I did legs/shoulders/core.  This is the second time doing this routine since pneumonia and things went smoothly.  I hoped that I wouldn't be sore on Sunday but since the race was so impromptu I had no expectations.  If I was sore, I'd have to run slower is all.  Saturday we took the kids to mini-golf and enjoyed the nice weather.  I packed my gear up Saturday night but went to bed a little later than planned.  Oh well, seems I never get a good night sleep the night before a race anyway.

Race day!  I was up shortly before 6am and getting ready.  I had my coffee and cereal, some ibuprofen (sore back) and an allergy pill and hit the road.  I wore a yellow top and a blue running skirt, yellow and blue being the colors of the Boston Marathon.  There were shirts, hats, handmade signs and bibs all honoring that beloved city.  I've never even been there but feel running connects us all.  Today's race seemed very well organized and included a 10-mile and a 5k option.  I used my inhaler and had an AccelGel about 30 minutes before we started.  A few words were spoken on the Boston tragedy (this being the first big SF race since then, it was featured in the SF Chronicle) and then the national anthem before we were off.

There I am!
I ran in the 9+ minute mile group.  I had no idea how I might do but figured if I can stay under 10 minute miles I'd be happy.  The weather was pristine, even better than when I ran the RnR half a couple weeks ago.  Much of today's race route was covered in the half.  We started out on flat road but were quickly climbing, winding our way up to the bridge.  Hills, inclines, hills and inclines.  Ugh. You can see by my 1st and 2nd mile pace that I was working hard.  The bridge is a steady, slight incline for most of the way over.

Mile 2 felt harder than 9:37 but I think that's because I was really pushing myself.  The run over the bridge was beautiful...

Navigating around slower runners adds a challenge during the narrow spots, though I'm not exactly flying by people so it's not so arduous.  On the other side of the bridge we went down some stairs, through a tunnel and back up stairs.  Everyone walked and it was so crowded it was hard to keep running but I tried.  I got a few snarky comments, "really, where do you think you're going?"  Past you. Oph, snark!  "She must be going for a PR."  Nope, I just don't like to walk if I can avoid it.  Once we were on the other side of the bridge I did my best to keep up my pace.  I was working hard, no doubt about it.  My average heart rate for the run was 165 so that tells me something. 

I hit the point on the bridge where you go from climbing slightly to descending slightly and I knew it was all downhill (or flat) from here.  I dug in and tried to keep the best pace I could maintain, reminding myself it was only 6 miles.  I hardly looked at my Garmin, not wanting to get too much in my head with the numbers.  But I was closing in on finishing mile 6 when I saw my pace for that mile was 9:01 - gotta get it under 9!  So I picked it up and finished that mile with an 8:58 pace. 

With the exception of mile 5 I got faster and faster, most of that being attributable to the route.  Climb, climb, descend, descend, flat.  Wouldn't want to do the reverse.

I was closing in on the finish line and really pushed myself to run hard.

I ran the last 1/4 mile or so with an 8:15 pace.  Go runner girl!!  So I finished with an overall time of 58:21, at least according to my Garmin (official times are not up yet) for a 9:23 pace overall.  I'll take it!  I was hoping to finish in under an hour and was happy to meet that goal!  I hope the official results show the same.  My full Garmin stats with route here if you're interested.

I have a lot of work to do if I hope to break the 2 hour mark for a 1/2 next year (closer to a 9:05 pace).  Hopefully my body will be up for it.  After the run I waited for a massage and had a nice bit of ART done on my quads.  Then I started looking for food.  There was a guy handing out ice cold oranges.  Yum!  Your race entry includes breakfast.  I got my food and found a shady spot next to the band to relax for a bit.  I think I could have had a free bloody mary too but I passed on that.

pancakes, sausage, eggs, orange and a banana (the latter of which I never ate).
Did I mention how nice the weather was?  Gorgeous!  I hung out for a while, chatting up some runner girls sitting next to me, picking up some runner swag (including a cool sign from Athleta) and just taking in the running love.  Then it was time to head home and pick up the kiddos.  My mom/runner friend Catherine was watching them (thanks mamma!) so I could do the run.

I give this race a big thumbs up!  Very well organized, a good deal - $45 for the 10k, breakfast, t-shirt and a great after party/band - and big enough to be festive but not massive.  I really liked it.  I might have to do it again next year.

The rest of the day is a blur as I shuttled them to the soccer field, then home for a quick shower, and then off to a birthday party in the late afternoon.  I had a couple glasses of champagne at the birthday party, probably not the best idea ever.  Oh, and I met a person who reads my blog but we'd never met.  That was fun (Hi Debbie)!  By the time I got home I was so tired I felt like I might collapse.  Thankfully Miguel took the kids to dinner with some of his soccer friends so I could rest a bit (while I write this post).   It's going to be an early night for me.  Tomorrow is scheduled to be a gym day, I hope with a full night sleep I'll be up for it.

Thanks for all the comments on my last post (and FB page).  It's nice to know I was missed :)

p.s.  don't I look kinda hard core?