Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wordle of the Day

Here's my Wordle shot of the day... Thanks to Leslie!

This could be addicting!

Did a 5 miler after work yesterday and it was pathetic. I couldn't have asked for better conditions... It was in the mid 60s and nothing really hurt. But I had a hard time warming up. My body felt very stiff and heavy for the first mile or two and felt like I need to walk. (Why did it feel like I had 10 lb ankle straps on each leg?) Good thing I came to a traffic light around the second mile. It gave me some time to recooperate. The rest of the run was ok. Usually 5 miles feel like a breeze but it wasn't the case last night. At this rate, I am not expecting to PR in the Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday morning... Going for another run after work today and I am hoping it will be better!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Hype on Trail Running

So I got my first taste in trail running this weekend... and I have to admit the jury's still out on this one for me. Sure, there are the obvious benefits of using various muscles in your lower body due to wide range of motions, the variety in scenery and the softer ground which is better for your joints. But I'm just not crazy about walking up the hills, change in elevation (ear popping) and getting really dirty. Oh and I wasn't really all that crazy about the rocks and shrubs that kept getting in the way. And the biggest thing for me is the slower running pace. The picture to the left in this post is me walking up a steep hill on Angel Island. Maybe I'm just not used to the changing elevations (and I was taking it easy on the Achilles tendon) but I ran my 9 miler significantly slower than usual. I didn't like that very much. Maybe it's my competitive spirit but I want to run faster and beat my personal records. Do I have something to prove? Maybe. Am I just obsessed about my PRs? I hate to admit it but that could be true, too. I'm just not ready to give up the road races, not quite yet. I know some of you are avid trail runners. Do you do both trail and road races? What made you give up road races (if you have, that is) and run for the hills (so to speak)? And here's the most nagging question: If you do trail runs on your long runs while you're training for a marathon (or half), does it affect your race time (benefits or detrimental)?

I just read an article on benefits of trail running and well, it makes me want to go at it again. It was fun, after all. But not sure if I'm going to give up road running, anytime soon...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Warriors

Duane and me trail running on Angel Island!
I had another fantastic "weekend warrior" weekend. Friday night, Duane and I went to go see Chris Botti live at the Mountain Winery! We had bought these tickets back in May and were really excited to go see him play his trumpet. One of our favorite songs by him is "Look of Love" with Paula Cole! His concert was better than expected... he is funny, charming and very talented. And looked fabulous in his black suit and trumpet. Why are trumpet players so sexy??? (And Mr. Chris is so good looking!) He is coming back to the Bay Area in December and can't wait to see him again. ;-)

Saturday morning, Duane and I got up early, drove over to Sausalito to meet up with the Bob and Rick's Fun (BARF) Run group for a 9 miler trail run on Angel Island. The BARF Run is organized by Bob and Rick (obviously) who don't belong to any particular team or race group... they just go on long trail runs and invite interested runners to come along to enjoy their trail runs in various locations of the Bay Area. I've been on their mailing list for a few months now and never really had any interest in going on a trail run... I mean, trails runs are mostly all about climbing hills, running on lots of dirt and well... it just sounded DIFFICULT. But, when I got the email saying that they had 2 spots open for their 3rd Annual Sail & Trail run, I just had to respond! Fortunately for us, they still had spots open for us. Yay! The 10 of us sailed from our chartered sailboat from Sausalito, which is about 5 minutes north of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to Angel Island. Which was a very short "drive" from the marina. Soon after we docked on Angel Island, we took off for our 9 mile of trail run. They did reassure me that they were going to go slow and really, walk up the hills. Not that I was really afraid of the hills, I was more concerned for my Achilles tendon. I hadn't run ALL week and wasn't even sure if I could keep up with these guys. For the most part, I did take it easy and did walk up the hills... and surprisingly, the tendon didn't bother me at all. My knees sure did but the Achilles tendon behaved quite well. (The photo above is the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Angel Island.)

Most of the BARF runners that I met on Saturday are seasoned road racers and marathon runners but they found that once they got started on trail running, they never looked back. And most of these trail runners were really into the ultra distances - anywhere from 50k to 100 MILES. Wow. But, they also took the time to walk up the hills, if they had to and stopped to enjoy the scenery. Thank God! (The photo to the left is the group at the summit of the island before we ran back down.) They were all very inspiring and really fun to run with. Duane and I had such a great time with them. And the trail part really wasn't as bad as I thought! Trail running and ultras is very possibly in my near future, I think... :-)

After the trail run, we changed/cleaned up and quickly ate our brown bag lunches on the sailboat. Then we headed out to the open waters! There was a buzz of excitement in the air because the Maltese Falcon was making a historic voyage into the Bay Area waters! Maltese Falcon is supposedly the largest (289 feet clipper yacht) and most expensive yacht ($100 million +) ever built!! The yacht's sails are over 200 ft tall and they had to wait to very low tide to enter under the Golden Gate Bridge. There were TONS of sailboats and other boats on the water to witness the maiden voyage into the SF Bay... It was like paparazzi trailing Britney Spears! I had never seen so many boats on the Bay before. Not sure if you can see all the boats around the Maltese Falcon in the photos here... When the Maltese Falcon made it under the bridge, other boats were honking and people were shouting! It was wild. There was even a helicopter circling around the yacht. Many boats tailed the Maltese Falcon around the Bay (us, being one of them) just awed by the size and grandness of the man made wonder. I'm not a yacht fanatic or sailing connoisseur... I mean, this was only my 2nd time sailing. But I felt like I was part of something historic and I think we all caught the excitement in the air, happy to witness something out of the ordinary.

The Maltese Falcon right after it crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge... successfully!
The Maltese Falcon up close and personal... without the sails.
Duane at the helm*! (He looks so good! ;-)

Duane and me on the sailboat

D and I ended the evening strolling the streets of Sausalito, eating fish & chips and clam chowder... and of course, topped it off with very large ice cream cones. (Yes, as you can see, I fell of the no-sugar wagon again! But then, we did run 9 miles... Ok, starting over again tomorrow!) But we had a really really great day!!

Sunday, I rested again. I had thought about doing the Almaden Classic 10k but since the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Jose is next week, decided not to push it. I'm just happy that my Achilles tendon didn't act up on Saturday. D and I ran bunch of errands, instead. And spent a nice quite evening having dinner with my family, remembering my maternal grandmother who passed away a year ago.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, too!

* The sailboat was chartered as a group and one of the guys (Dan) from BARF is a sailor and he sailed for majority of the time. On calmer waters, he gave others the opportunity to "drive" the sailboat and Duane jumped at the opportunity!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TIART: 26.2 Words

Here's my first contribution to the Take It and Run Thursday (TIaRT) at Runner's Lounge! I think TIaRT is such a great idea!!

Today's theme is to share "How to Conquer the Marathon in 26 words (or less)" Mines more like 26.8 words of insight rather than advice:

Crossing that finish line at 26.2 miles shows the passion and commitment to running, overwhelming tenacity to achieve success. Completing it gives a high like no other!

I asked my husband, too and his immediate response was:

A grueling testament to one's will, discipline, stamina, perseverance and insanity. But once completed, the most satisfying sense of accomplishment experienced by a mere mortal.

He's a bit of a drama queen. Hehe.

This was fun!

Another day of resting my Achilles tendon...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Achilles Heel

And I'm referring to my real physical Achilles' heel, here. I'm not referring to a metaphor to my fatal weaknesses (I do have a few) or the mythological reference. But my Achilles tendon... is hurting. And I don't actually know how I caused this. Well, not really. I was doing my usual thing at work yesterday (sitting, typing, eating, on the phone, eating, blogging, eating, etc) and felt this soreness in the back of my right ankle in the afternoon. I thought maybe I wasn't sitting properly so I shifted a little but, stretched my ankle and ignored it. I also thought it could be my very cute black slingback heels that were pressing into my ankle. But the dull pain didn't go away. I got home and I iced it and it felt better. And this morning, it felt fine. Sometime this afternoon, the ache returned. Aron told me that her husband had suffered from Achilles tendonitis, too! Apparently, Achilles tendonitis is caused by from lack of stretching (especially calves) after running. Oh and as soon as she mentioned this, I had flashbacks of the few long runs that I did in the past week where I didn't stretch after! (I was rushing off somewhere after I squeezed in a run here and there.) My husband also told me that your Achilles tendon gets shorter and shorter as you get older. I just didn't think that would happen to me! And now, I'm paying for it. Dammit, dammit, dammit. My Achilles tendon is very sore and I have a hard time bending it forward and back. Walking is kinda painful, actually. And I'm really worried. I have races coming up! Aron did give me a stretching tip to alleviate the tightness... I just tried it but I looked kinda silly doing that in my cube at work. Ha!

So yes, I am planning on resting it, YET another day. This will be my 3rd day of none running. But better off my feet now than be out for 6 months.

With this new injury, I'll have to be flexible with my running schedule. This is now my TENTATIVE upcoming running/race schedule:

9/27 - Sail & Trail Run at Angel Island 10 miles (With a local running group - Yes, sailing again on Saturday!)
9/28 - Almaden Times Classic Run 10k (Was planning on signing up today)
10/5 - Rock n Roll Half Marathon San Jose (I'm signed up!)
10/19 - Nike Women's Marathon SF (I gave up the idea but wanted to throw that in, I don't know why...!)
10/26 - Metro Silicon Valley Marathon (Contemplating the half)

Now, I have to play all of them by ear and see... :-/

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Diets Stink

Why are diets so hard? Since my commitment to cut out sugar and white flour (see post on 9/15), I have fallen off the wagon so many times, I've lost count. It's been only 8 days! Just to give you an example, I failed yesterday after visiting the Miette Confiserie (fancy bakery in SF) due to their chocolate bundt cake (I was bringing the deesert for my book club last night). Which really was worth the calories. And today, I failed because of the leftover pizza in the work kitchen area. Damn those lunch meetings and left overs. I not only ate the leftover pizza, which is forbidden on my diet but I ate 3 slices. That's like 15 Weight Watchers points (at least!) and would have to run at least 12 miles to burn those off. And I'm not even running today! I should have ate my lunch on time then I would have eaten the chicken salad that I brought from home. Then, I may not have been tempted. Ok, I can start over again. I promise to eat the salad for dinner...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Roundup

What a great weekend it was. It was action packed, fun and memorable. I got up early Saturday morning for a 12 miler with the Nike Club Run SF. I originally started off with the 10:30 pace group and after the first water stop I decided to run ahead to catch up to the 10:00 pace group. I felt really good and felt I was running at a good speed. Unfortunately, around mile 5, I lost the pace group ahead of me. Turns out, as I was chasing after them, I missed a turn. And they had turned around at the correct 6 marker (somewhere else!) and they were running towards me at that point. :-( Anyhow, I figured out I was going the wrong way but just ran to the 6 mile point and turned around myself. The rest of the way back was good, though. It was a great morning for a run (slightly overcast but not too cold) and felt I was almost back to normal. I finished the 12 miler a little under 2 hours. According to my Nike+, I ran 12 miles (exactly) at 1:54:20 and at 9:31 min pace. I was tired but when I finished i felt great!

After the long run, I went to a gym and showered and rushed off to Sausalito for a day of sailing on the San Francisco Bay. It was a gorgeous day (the sun came out later) and mild waters. It was freezing on the water though, but we really enjoyed the experience. A friend of mine was able to charter a boat and we were all able to enjoy a beautiful day on the bay. I finally got home after 5 hours on a sailboat... and when I did, I promptly passed out. I was exhausted!

Sunday morning was the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5k! It was another great day in the city, perfect for the short run. Last time I did Race for the Cure was in 2004 and with the change of location, a much better place for such a large crowd. 5ks are great! They are short and quick. But the problem is, you pretty have to sprint the whole time. I didn't sprint today but my time wasn't that bad.

Chip time 25:28.4
Pace 8:13
Place 187 of 791

It was great knowing that the run was for a cure for breast cancer and that we all were doing something about it. Walkers and runners alike, great job today! And, I got to meet *Aron* finally. Who ran like the wind and seems like left like 90% of us behind her! You go girl!

After the run, my team headed for brunch... San Francisco style: dim sum! Yum. Then, my husband and I went to go check out the Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park. If the Chihuly exhibit ever comes to your town, go see it. It's amazing!

It was a great weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Friday!

I had a great time at the Sunset Run in the city last night. I made it in good time after work and the weather was quite decent. I was practically frozen at the last Sunset Run. I got an extra mile in before we started the run because I had to use the restroom and the nearest public one was half a mile away! So with the warm up, the 5 miles was pretty easy, even though, I did slow down towards the end. I got to meet some of the Students Run Oakland's staff and volunteers before the race, too. It felt really good knowing that 100% of the race entry fees going to this organization. After the run, I put my name on their volunteer list to see if I can involved in some way. This non-profit organization is right up my alley and would love to give my time in the near future.

The Fleet Feet SF Sunset Runs usually have a raffle at the end of the run. Last night, they were giving away 2 entries into the Nike Women's Marathon and 8 Nike+ Sportbands. They were giving away 2 entries to the marathon this time because the winner from the last run decided she didn't want to run it. Hello, give it to someone like me!!! Please! So, even though I've pretty much given up running the Nike Marathon, I was still hopeful and well, if I got the entry, I would have run it. But, no, they didn't call my name. Not once. They actually pulled out 6 names before they had any takers for the race entry. Can you believe it? No one wanted it!! Most of the people in the raffle were more interested in the Nike+ Sportband. I thought it was funny that they had such a hard time giving away the race entries. It's just not meant to be for me!

I plan to run 12 miles tomorrow morning with the Club Run SF... and the Race for the Cure 5k on Sunday. Our team name is "Boobies-r-US"! Aron is also running the 5k with her own team. :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I seem to get tired of my blog "look" way too quickly. So here's goes another look. Does it look too boring?

Also, look what I found! PaceTat! These are super neat running tool to keep track of your race pace. PaceTat is a durable transfer that applies to your skin and displays all your marathon and half marathon pace information. It sure beats writing them on your forearm with a Sharpie or wearing a paper band around your wrist. And it's only like $3.00! It looks like it's pretty easy to apply. I just Googled PaceTat and even saw a YouTube video of "how to" apply. I am thinking about getting one for the Rock n Roll Half in San Jose!

Anyone seen this before? Anyone tried it, yet?

Oh by the way, tonight's run is a non-competitive fun run. 100% of the Sunset Run's proceeds go to charity! :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunset Run #2

I just signed up for another Sunset Run hosted by the Fleet Feet in San Francisco! The Sunset Run is a 5 mile social/non-competitive fun run benefiting local charities. This time, 100% of the proceeds will go to Students Run Oakland! What a great organization! I think I need to look into volunteering at SRO. Here's SRO's mission statement (that I got from their website):

Students Run Oakland (SRO) is a unique youth development program. Our mission is to improve the overall health of young people through structured physical fitness training, mentoring, and nutrition education. SRO uses the challenge of training for a marathon (26.2 miles) to help students develop long-term goals, improve their health, and overcome obstacles. SRO builds confidence, resiliency skills, and reinforces the values of commitment and hard work. Students can then draw on these values for achievement in academics and other areas throughout their lives.

Basically, the run starts in the Marina Green and go to Hopper's Hands at the base of the Golden Gate and back. The fee to run is $10 and you get a nice tech Nike shirt, too. The last Sunset Run benefited the LiveStrong Foundation (by Lance Armstrong). It was fun last time so I'm looking forward to it again. AND, this time, Fleet Feet is giving away TWO Nike Women's Marathon entries!!

I know I said I gave on that dream but... it doesn't hurt to see if I can get in, right? And on top of that, it's for a great charity!!

It's tomorrow night at 6:30pm, if anyone is interested!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For All You Lunchtime Runners

I don't know how many of you run during your lunch break but today I went out there for the first time! I did the San Toma Creek Trail again. The weather was beautiful, there were lots of walkers and few runners on the trail. Good thing that the trail is an easily accessible considering there are bunch of business parks and companies near by. Whizzing by the walkers and few runners made me feel totally hardcore running at lunch time! It felt great! I feel revived and refreshed. Of course, I had to rush through the dinky shower at work to get ready but it was all worth it. For all you lunchtime runners, you rock! I see why you do it. ;-)

Also, the 5.5 miles that I ran yesterday turned out to be correct. I guess I didn't read the Nike+ screen correctly when I thought I turned around at the 3 mile marker... Today, when I turned around at the 2.5 mile point, it wasn't too far from where I turned around yesterday. Anyway, Nike+, I take back what I said yesterday!

My foot did bother me a little bit but I ran through it... It wasn't too bad, actually.

And I'm so glad so many of you feel the same way about our unoffical running blog community. You guys are awesome!

Running Alone

I run alone. There are days when my husband comes out with me for a 5 or a 6 miler and OK, for the longer runs, I drop in a local marathon training group if I can. But for the most part, I'm out there pounding the pavement by myself. But, for the past few months that I've been blogging about my runs, I feel like I have been part of a running support group. And that would be YOU! Sometimes, during my runs, I think about the things I want to write about or capture during the run (although, most of the time, it never makes it on the screen). And knowing that I have a small group of runners that read my blog and give their comments have been really really encouraging. I feel like I have my own personal running coaches and partners. Believe it or not, you guys are all out there with me when I'm running. And it doesn't feel so lonely out there! This post might be a bit cheesy but I just wanted to share. :-)

Also, I went out for a 6 miler last night after work and it felt really good. Maybe it's running on flat roads but it felt really good!! However, my Nike+ said I only ran 5.5 miles!! Which is really odd because I stopped the Nike+ when it read 6.2... So strange. This is my "broken" Nike+. The replacement hasn't arrived, yet. According to this map of the San Tomas Creek Trail, I started near the starting point and went out to the 3 mile marker and turned back. (This is the route the Sports Basement running group goes out on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. I love how it has a legend at the bottom of the map. Also, a great bike path... well paved and clean!) But my sensor didn't capture it that way. Hmmm. Anyhow, this morning, the top of my foot was a bit achy and looked a bit swollen, too. I thought my shoelaces were too tight but i think I must have done something to it yesterday. I iced it this morning before I came into work and it's feeling better but I'll have to play it by ear to see if I can run on it today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My New Commitment ("Not Calling It a Diet" Diet)

As I wrote in my earlier post today, I plan to cut out sugar from my diet. As well, as refined white flour. *sigh* It's my plan to lose the excess 5 lbs and hopefully another 5 from there. It was really inspiring to read the Pieces of Me (POM) blog... who lost 40 lbs running! And she looks fabulous! I've always had a losing battle with my weight and well, it's time to do something about it. AGAIN! I've been on various diets ranging from Weight Watchers to using the counting calories methods to low carb diets. When I'm not training for a race, I usually stick to a low carb diet (something like a South Beach) but when I'm training, I do tend up up the carbohydrate intake. I'm going to try something in between this time. Limiting the excess carb and sugar intake (which I've been overdosing on lately) and still do my regular running. I do know how my body reacts when I tend to limit my carbs during training so I'll have to pay close attention. And when I'm watching what I eat, I do tend to eat more vegetables where I do get my much needed carbs and fiber. Of course, on days when I do my 20 miles runs, I may allow myself a burrito... just not the whole thing. ;-)

I know the formula to lose weight. I've done it before. It's just so difficult to maintain and keep up the lifestyle change. I really need to commit to this. I was really motivated to lose the weight for the wedding but now... not so motivated! Of course, for my health and happiness, losing 10 lbs is a great reason.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Icebox Cake

I don't bake often. To tell the truth, I hardly ever bake. But, for my friend's birthday this weekend, I decided to "bake" the easiest cake ever: the icebox cake from Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village, NY. When my husband and I were dating long distance (before we got married) we used to go check out all the Manhattan bakeries. For a year and a half we dated long distance... he lived in Northern California and I was in NYC. We had our favorite baked goods from various places but the icebox cake from Magnolia Bakery was one of our favorites. (Their banana pudding is another greatest hit from there. My favorite cupcakes came from Billy's in Chelsea and Sweet Sugar Sunshine in Lower East Side.) Anyway, when I came to visit him out in California, he would often make THE icebox cake from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook recipe that he found on the Oprah.com site. It's a very easy no-bake recipe that I often said I wanted try. I finally was motivated to "bake" this cake! I was a bit worried about how it turn out but it turned out great!! My girlfriends all asked me if D had made the cake (since they know I don't bake) and all wanted the easy recipe. Gosh, it's a good thing I got some this weekend since I plan to cut out sugar from my diet going forward...

And, thank you for the encouragement on my decision to focus on the half marathon! You guys are great!! :-)

Change of Plans

Today, I decided not to pursue running the Nike Women's Marathon on October 19th. It's not that I don't want to. I'm not sure if I *can*. I am not in any shape to run a marathon and don't want to injure myself. I ran 5 miles on Thursday but haven't run since. My performance level isn't up to where I'd like to be. I've been struggling through my short runs all week! Also, my right ankle has been bothering me, due to a little twisting action in my heels on Friday. It's not serious but it is a little bit swollen and I've decided to give it some rest. Better off a few days than few months! And it is looking better tonight. Also, the outlook on running the Nike Marahon in my name seems a bit bleak. Taunya offered me her sister's bib (who decided not to run) but I decided not to run under her sister's name. I would really like to get credit for running 4+ hours! Anyway, I am going to go for a short run tomorrow and see how my ankle is.

So, I am going to focus on the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Jose on October 5th! Yikes, 4 weeks to go. The half marathon is more palatable and chewable at this point. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Defective Nike+ Sportband

I have another defective Nike+ Sportband on my hands again. More accurately, on my wrist! I can't believe the LCD segments of my Nike+ is broken for the second time. See my previous failed experience with this running tool. The screen looks like Etch Sketch on the right hand corner and I can barely make out the last digit. Unfortunately, it's been over 30 days and 24 Hour Fitness wouldn't take it back. (I also can't find my receipt.) I looked on the Nikeplus.com forum and posted a cry for help. The other users pointed out that there are dozens of other cases where people have had similar issues. Some users complained of screens that blank out completely, or disappearing segments and etc. Thankfully, one of the Nike+ customer reps posted the customer service phone number. I called them immediately and the woman that helped me was extremely helpful. She was happy to exchange my Nike+ Sportband and apparently, a new one is on it's way to my house! They're sending me a new one and I need to return my broken Nike+ in the box that they're sending. Otherwise, they'll charge me full price of another. Yep, she took my credit card #. But still, I'm happy that I won't be without one while I'm out running. As much as I love my Nike+ Sportband, having 2 defective ones is rather frustrating. And turns out, I'm not the only one having to deal with this issue! The customer service rep also told me it could be due to water exposure or moisture getting into the watches. You would think Nike would do a better job doing reliability testing before they start selling their products! The thing is, I don't get that sweaty!! At least their warranty is good. Just in case anyone else has issues and need to return for an exchange or a refund, here's their telephone number: 1 (800) 379-6453. (7am to 4pm PST)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Weight Creep!

I wrote a few weeks back that I would like to lose about 10 lbs to shave off about 10 minutes off my next marathon time... Unfortunately, my plan to lose 10 lbs somehow never actualized. As a matter of fact, I've gone the opposite direction! I've gained 5 lbs since the wedding!! Yes, it is true that I've been eating carelessly and not been running regulary. But the extra 5 lbs is really demoralizing. I guess I've been ignoring the telling signs: my pants have been fitting snug around the waist and thought my running bra was a bit tight the other day. But then, 5 lbs??? Honestly, now that the wedding is over, I haven't really been motivated to be "good" about eating and exercising. And I should know better! I am one of those people who smell food and my fat cells start multiplying. I've been out running this week and it was a big of a struggle. I guess the extra lbs is slowing me down.

Now, here's a recap of my running the past few days:

9/5 - I ran 5 miles around my neighborhood. The hilly route and it was a difficult run again. I walked more than I ran. :-(

9/6 - I ran 14 miles with the Nike Club Run SF on Saturday morning! We got there a bit late and ended up running with the 11 min pace group, which was probably a good idea for me to get warmed up. Around mile 3, I caught up with the 10:30 pace group and kept up a good pace with them. It felt really good (even with the extra 5 lbs) during the run and even though I pushed myself harder than I should have. I am thrilled with the 14 miles. The route was a bit reminiscent of the SF Marathon course, actually. Can't wait to go back next Saturday to do the 19 miles with them. Side note to Audrey: Hey, I looked for you!! :-)

9/8 - I ran 5 miles after work yesterday on a flat route and did about a 9:30 pace. I was quite winded after my run but I felt like I could have ran another mile or so. It felt good. I love flat routes!!

Today, I plan to run the same flat route and try to take it easy. I feel like I'm finally getting back to normal. Now, I just need to lose the unwanted to 5 lbs first and tackle the additional 10 lbs later!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

8 Miles on the Bay Trail + Nike Marathon

My hubby and I sloughed through 8 miles on the Oracle Bay Trail last night.

It was warm but once the sun started going down, it cooled off considerably. Considering most of the trail is flat, it was a much easier run. Around mile 5, I had a rather insistent urge to go to the bathroom... If you know what I mean! I actually stopped to look for a restroom at a local elementary school but everything was locked up and closed. I barely made it back to D's work!! (I don't know how I held it in for so long! Sorry, TMI!) Again, the first 4 miles was fairly easy but the return route back wasn't. What did help us run faster was that it started getting very dark and I think we ran a lot faster to finish! It was hard to see out there on the trail, though. It felt really good to go 8 miles, though. I think slowly but surely, I'm getting back into the swing of things. By the way, this is a great route! Very pretty and serene. I love the view of the San Mateo Bridge on the trail!

So, many of you have been asking how I plan to get a slot for the Nike Women's Marathon on October 19 in San Francisco. I don't really have a sure way of getting in to the full marathon. But here are my 3 ways of trying:

1. Craigslist - I posted a wanted ad for a full marathon bib. I've seen a bunch of other wanted ads for half but none for a full marathon. Someone actually contacted me last week to see if I was interested in buying off her bib! I responded yes but I haven't heard back.

2. Jamba Juice - They're one of the corporate sponsors for the Nike Marathon. They get a bunch of slots for their corporate employees. I have a friend in HR there who put me on their waitlist. We'll see if anyone drops off!

3. Taunya - Her sister might not be running? I'm still waiting patiently!

Honestly, I don't know if any of these are going to work out. I don't even know if Nike lets transfer of bib #s, either. But, I'm keeping positive and see if it all works out. If anyone has any other brilliant ideas, please let me know!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Off and Running... Finally!

So I finally put on my running shoes on Monday morning and went for a run. I haven't run since the marathon (really) so I was a bit concerned about my performance. I haven't gone this long without running in a really long time! Monday was a nice day so I dragged D out with me and we set out for 6 miles. Our usual neighborhood route in the East Bay. The thing is, the first 3 miles is virtually downhill. Which is great. The problem is the return route. The 3 miles back home is an uphill battle. Even when I was in decent shape it was a tough climb. But out of shape... it was no joke. Like I said, the first 3 miles was downhill so it was easy breezy! Even thought, my lungs did feel like it was going to burst around mile 2! It was the uphill 3 miles that kicked my butt. I was already tired by the time we turned around and around mile 4, I had to walk... And we pretty walked the rest of the way home. In retrospect, maybe I should have set out with an shorter goal but I was told once that muscle memory goes a long way. Maybe my muscle memory isn't as good! Even after the regrettable run on Monday, I tried the same route again. It wasn't as bad. It was still tough. But I went much slower this time and walked every mile or so just to catch my breath. I ran about 5 miles yesterday. I was really sore last night from tackling those hills but I am feeling much better today. I am planning on an 8 miler tonight. Yeah, probably crazy but I have a lot of ground to cover! My Hal Higdon marathon plan for the Nike Women's Marathon on October 19 is not pretty. (No, I am not registered, yet but I am keeping positive!) As you can see, I am supposed to be running 13 miles this weekend which I don't know if I'm even physically able!