Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wait, there goes the nice weather

Ha ha ha!! The fog has rolled in!! And it's getting cold now! Thank goodness I went running while it was still nice out!!

Today was my easy run day...

...but it seems there is no such thing as an easy run when I have to push the ginormous jogging stroller!!

Don't get me wrong, I love having the stroller. When I first started running in November, I had to go at night when hubby got home because I only had a single stroller and couldn't just leave a kid at home. But sometimes I wish I had a babysitter to watch the kids to I could go running alone. Right now, the only time I get to do that is on the weekend.

Anyway, today was my easy run following Saturday's race. It wasn't too bad, and I was glad to get out. The weather has been awesome this month: lots of sun and almost no rain (very strange for Humboldt County!!). Today was another wonderful weather day. think I may have been a little overdressed because about a mile into it I had to pull my sleeves up because I was getting too hot.

Today's stats:
distance: 2.26 miles
time: 28 minutes, 51 seconds
pace: 12:46 mile/minute

Monday, January 29, 2007

I can't believe....

...I just signed up for a 10K!!

Here's a link:


Sunday, January 28, 2007

My official race results

Since I didn't really put them in the last post, I thought I'd put them here.

Chip time: 36 minutes, 47 seconds
pace: 12:16 minute/mile
39th out of 117 total three-mile runners
22nd out of 81 female three-mile runners
third (of six)in age division -- received award

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, I did it!! Race report!!

I'll try not to make this too long, as I am tired and spent most of my day in beautiful Trinidad, CA. :)

I woke up a little before 8 a.m. so I could have a small breakfast before leaving for the race. I had to drive about 50 minutes one-way to get to Trinidad, as our plans to spend the night at the inlaws' fell through. So I left the house around 8:45 a.m. because the information packet said to get to Trinidad by 10:15 to catch a bus to the starting line.

I got there before 10, so I was happy. There's nothing I hate more than being late!! Caught the first bus to the starting line, where I spent more than an hour waiting as other runners trickled in. Our bus arrived before the Porta Potties did! Many of us stood around looking at the ocean view, which was breathtaking. The 3-mile and 8 3/4-mile races both started from the same point, so there were more than 400 people milling around in the cold.

A few minutes before the race was to start, everyone gathered at the starting line. A man was counting down on a loudspeaker: "thirty seconds....fifteen seconds...ten seconds...five seconds..." I was so nervous!!! But I also was tired of waiting and ready to run. I was near the back of the pack at the starting line: blame the long line at the THREE portable toilets. Yes, only three!! I was talking to a couple women who were running the longer race when the gun went off. So I started jogging! It took me more than 30 seconds to get to the real starting line because there were so many people ahead of me.

For the first five minutes or so, many of us were moving in this large crowd. But then people started splintering off from the pack. Some started running really fast, while others started walking. I wanted to run the whole way without walking, and I wasn't changing my game plan now!!

Oh, a little back story on this course. It is situated in the redwoods on the coast, but the longer races end on the beach after crossing a small river. The three-mile finished in the town of Trinidad itself. While waiting for the start, I heard several people who had run this race before comment on how tough of a course it was. Uh oh. Yeah, I was a bit worried. They said there were many hills, and that scared me.

They weren't kidding about the hills. Within the first mile or so, I counted four of them. And they weren't slight inclines. They were pretty large hills that snaked around corners and seemed to never end. But I kept running the whole time. Others around me walked up the hills. By the second hill, I was passing many of the other three-milers. Oh yeah, very cool!! And not many people were passing me. I kept going the same pace and made sure I didn't burn myself out on the downhill portions.

There was no marker for the first mile, so it wasn't until I saw the two-mile marker that I knew how close to the finish I was. I looked at my chronometer: 24 minutes, 34 seconds. Not bad, considering all the hills! It was just before the two-mile mark that I had found my pacer-setter. Her bib number was 3001, one number ahead of mine. She was running fairly fast for a while, but then started slowing down to more of my pace. I locked on her and just stuck to her like glue. I guess it wore her down, because less than 1/2 mile to the finish I overtook her and she never caught up. I hope it's not wrong, but I was so happy about that!

Less than 1/4 mile left, and I see a photographer taking pictures of all the three-milers. Neat! I think I look fairly poised as he snapped my picture. I'll have to wait to see how it turned out, but I think they eventually put them online.

Anyway, I finished the last hill and rounded the turn for the finish line. I saw the clock, and it was almost 37 minutes. Crap. Then it was over 37 minutes. I was a bit upset about that. My finish time was 37 minutes, 19 seconds. But that was the gun time, not my chip time. My chip time was 36 minutes, 47 seconds. I was quite happy with that!!

My poor hubby, though. He got the kids all ready and drove up the Trinidad in hopes of seeing me cross the finish line. He missed it by about one minute. I was cooling down, walking down the sidewalk with a bottle of water, and he pulled up. He felt so bad he missed it! It was OK, stuff like that happens. I told him a photographer took my picture and he seemed to feel better.

I waited around for a couple hours until they posted the official times for each race. Heck, it was a nice day and I didn't want to rush home. At 3 p.m. they finally posted the results. I couldn't believe it. I finished 39th out of 117 in the three-mile race!! And I finished third in my division (out of six). The first three in each age division got a little award, so that was neat. I was so happy when I left that I started to get a little teary. Thank goodness I had sunglasses on!!

I plan to do this race again next year, but I'm aiming for the 5 3/4 mile race. And my hubby said he'd train and do it with me! I had a great time!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's almost go time!

Tomorrow is the big day! After two months of training, I will be doing my first race in years. I am excited, but nervous too. I know it will all be fine in the end, though.

I had this bizarre dream last night about the race. First of all, the race transformed from a running race to a swimming race. In the ocean, nonetheless. Three miles of swimming. Mind you, I am NOT a swimmer. So I asked my dad (in the dream) if I could borrow a life jacket because there's no way in hell I could swim three miles without something holding me up. He said no. What??!! So I spent literally hours (in dream time, not real time) looking for either a life jacket or kickboard I could hold onto in the water. I finally found a kickboard for sale at this weird flea market-type sale, but the lady wanted $150 for it!! So I didn't get that, either. I finally looked at my watch and realized I missed the start time for the race. That morphed into me looking for my car so I could get my kids. Strange. So I'm hoping everything goes smoothly tomorrow and I actually make it to the starting line on time. ;)

Tonight I go to pick up my race packet. I can't wait to see the T-shirt. I'm hoping the strap for my timing chip fits around my huge ankles (cankles, if you will) . Even when I was thinner, my ankles have been a problem. I remember one regatta I went to while on the rowing team. We had to wear a plastic band around our ankles to get into the venue. Guess whose band didn't fit around their ankle? Yep, mine. I had to wear it on my wrist. Talk about embarrassing!!!!

OK, enough rambling for now. The hubby, kids and I are planning on spending tonight at his parents' house because it's 30 minutes closer to the race course than our house is. That means I won't have access to the Internet until sometime Saturday afternoon when we get home. I'll post a race report then. :)

Oh, if anyone's interested, here's a link to the race I'm running tomorrow:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

They can't all be easy....

Today was a tough run. The weather was getting icky. The rain clouds rolled in today and it got cold. Luckily it didn't rain, but it was still hard to get my head and body to cooperate today. I decided to run to the Rite Aid to pick up a prescription. It's about 1.15 miles one-way. I had an ache in my left hip before I even took a step out the door. Ick. Maybe that's why it felt harder to run today.

There are two big hills on the route I took: one on the way there and one the way back. Of course, that means there are two big hills to run down each way, too. Let me tell you, pushing that heavy jogging stroller up those hills just about killed me!! And going down isn't much easier. Thank goodness there's a hand break on the darn thing.

Anyway, I got there, picked up the 'script, and ran back. It didn't really feel great while I was doing it, but after I had finished running I felt good. I just wanted to get one more run in before my race on Saturday, so I am happy with that.

On a lighter note, I am going shopping for a some new jogging gear tomorrow!! Woo hoo!! Good timing, since one pair of my running pants now have a huge hole in the crotch. And I didn't even notice until I came back from my Monday jog. I was wearing pink underwear, too. Classy. I have decided to wait until after the race to buy new shoes, though. Not long ago I found a pair of Adidas runners in my closet that I wore maybe once a few years ago, then put away. So they're practically brand new. And they seem to be working fairly well for me now. Better than my old, worn-out New Balance shoes were.

Oh, and as of today there are 84 people signed up to do the three-mile race this weekend. And there are only six in my division. LOL! Meanwhile, 250 are currently signed up for the 5 3/4-mile race, 273 for the 8 3/4-mile and 99 for the half-marathon. Crazy that the shortest course would be the least popular!

Wish me luck for Saturday!!

Today's stats:
distance: 2.32 miles
time: 29:32 (slow like molasses!!!)
average: 12:44 minute/mile

Monday, January 22, 2007

An unexpected run

I wasn't planning to run today. I was thinking tomorrow and Thursday would be the running days this week leading up to the race next weekend. But the weather was so gorgeous today that I couldn't pass it up!! And I am really loving running now, too, so I just couldn't resist a nice jog.

I took the kids to the park first. I loaded the jogging stroller in the back of the van (yes, I drive a minivan), figuring I would just leave from the park for my run. After Kara played on the swings a bit, I buckled her in the stroller and off we went. I jogged through the streets of downtown Fortuna, not a route I usually take since I live on the outskirts of town. It felt invigorating, though.

I wasn't planning on pushing myself at all on this run, but things just seemed to come naturally and it all felt really good. I had no idea how far I was planning to run, so I just picked a spot and turned around to head back. But instead of going straight back, I veered off onto more of the side streets and zig-zagged my way through the residential areas. It was nice. And fairly quiet, considering it was near the heart of town at 3:30 p.m.

I finally got back to the park and checked my chronometer: 23 minutes ,47 seconds. OK, not bad for a leisurely run, I thought. It was a shade under two miles total. Originally I had traced it through mapmyrun and it said it was 2.18 miles, but I didn't think that sounded correct (I know I am just not that fast!) so I took my car and traced the exact route. It said 1.9 miles. Oh well, at least I know I really DIDN'T push myself, which was exactly what I was hoping for. ;)

Today's stats:
distance: 1.9 miles
time: 23:47
pace: 12:31 minute/mile

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Three miles!

Today I ran three miles to prepare for next weekend's race. I haven't run three miles without stopping in years. The first 1 1/2 miles felt great! Then I got a cramp in my side. Ugh. But I kept pressing on and the pain eventually subsided. There was one hill that was pretty hard and a steady incline that lasted about 4/10 of a mile. I was so happy to be done with that part of the run!!!

So now I know I can do the three miles and I am feeling much better about the race. It should be lots of fun. I just hope I don't put undue pressure on myself to run fast, but I probably will.

Today's stats:

distance: 3 miles (not including warm-up or cool-down)
time: 36:20
pace: 12:07 minute/mile

Friday, January 19, 2007

My baby's three!!

Yes, today is my firstborn's third birthday. I cannot believe it. I took Kara (my now-big girl) and her little bro Matty to the park today. It was cold and overcast, but she had a good time. No workout slated until tomorrow for me when I do my three-miler practice run. Then next weekend is the big race!!

Oh, yeah, tomorrow I will celebrate my running accomplishments by having a slice of Kara's birthday cake. Her "official" birthday party is tomorrow. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's a beautiful day!!

Wow! Today is just gorgeous!!! The sun is shining, it's not freezing cold and, best of all, there's no rain!!! I wasn't the only runner taking advantage of this great weather. I passed by a handful of other runners on my jog today, but I was the only one pushing a giant jogging stroller filled with kids. ;)

Even with the stroller of death, I managed a good run. I decided to extend it by .35 miles today, although I didn't know how much farther it was until I got home and traced it on mapmyroute.com. I actually went a bit faster today, as well, which makes me feel more confident going into my three-mile race (only nine days left!!). I am planning a three-mile jog on Saturday to test the waters, then next week I will only be jogging two days before race day. I don't want to burn myself out before I get to the starting line!

Today's stats:
distance: 2.35 miles (once again, not including warm-up and cool-down)
time: 28:32
average 12:09 minute/mile

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My daughter, the runner

I think I might have a future training partner in the making. ;)

My daughter, who will turn three on Friday, is a running addict!!

We (the two kids and myself) take walks as a family a few times a week. My son isn't old enough to walk yet, so he goes in the stroller. But my daughter refuses to sit in the stroller on walks, which is fine. It's good exercise.

Well, on Monday and today my daughter has decided she'd rather run the whole time than walk. I have never seen a three-year-old run so far at one time!!! She kept exclaiming how she loved running and wanted to run races with momma someday. Ha ha!! So cute!! She'd better watch out, because I will likely take her up on that offer when she's a bit older. ;)

Today we covered 1.18 miles, and she ran almost one mile of that!! It's amazing her little legs didn't give out!!

Break day

Today is a non-jogging day for me. I might take the kids on a walk, but I'm too tired to do much else. The kids have been keeping me up at night, and last night was awful.

I was originally going to look for new running shoes today, but I think I will do it later in the week. I really need some proper shoes now that I'm getting more serious about running. I want to sign up for a 10K in May, but I know my current shoes suck and I wouldn't like running that far in them.

Since I'm going to spring for new shoes, I've decided to treat myself and get some new running pants. It's far too cold here to wear shorts this time of the year and all my other running pants are OLD. And most have paint stains on them. Not cute. I have so many shirts that I don't think I'll need to buy a new one, but the pants issue is something I need to rectify.

OK, enough for now. I have another 25-minute run (and stroller push) scheduled for tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back from my run...

...and it wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be.

It rained the first half and eased up a little during the second half. The kids kept dry and comfy in the stroller and I didn't suffer too badly. But I also didn't run as fast or as far as I did on Sunday. Pushing all that extra weight really is a workout in itself!! The stroller and kids (I have a three-year-old and a nine-month-old) weigh approximately 80 pounds. I could really feel the strain while pushing them up the hillier part of my run.

But I still feel good that I did it and finished. Heck, I felt GREAT when I was done. ;)

Today's stats:
ran 2 miles exactly (not including warm-up and cool-down walks)
Time: 25 minutes even
pace: 12:26 minute/mile (per mapmyrun.com)

Rain, rain, go away!

I was really looking forward to my run today. Until it started raining! It's already cold here (in the high 30s right now) and the rain on top of that does not make me happy. Thank goodness the jogging stroller has a rain shield on it for the kids. The last time we used it a couple weeks ago the kids stayed nice and toasty and DRY in the stroller while I suffered in the elements. *Sigh*

I will still go running, but not until the afternoon. I'm hoping the rain will ease up a bit first.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Now it's real

I found out today what my race bib number for the Trinidad to Clam Beach Run will be. Number 3002. Race officials have also posted the current list of who's participating in each event. There are four race courses: 3-miles, 5 3/4-miles, 8 3/4-miles and a half marathon. Since it's my first race I opted for the shortest course.

So far there are 46 people signed up for the 3-mile. It seems most are doing the 5 3/4-mile race. I think there are about 130 signed up for that one so far. And there are only four people signed up, to date, in my age division for the 3-mile. Talk about making me feel competitive. I am naturally competitive anyway, but seeing that my "division" is so small (they give out awards to the first finishers in every single age division for every distance) makes me want to go out and win!! Of course, I know that probably won't happen, but I'm going to give it my best shot. :)

I guess seeing that bib number made everything feel so real all of a sudden. And in a way it's scary. But it's also exhilirating and gives me something to shoot for in the near future.

I go out for Day 2 of Week 7 of my 5K training tomorrow. I'll be pushing the kids in the jogging stroller, which makes it much harder. But the good thing is race day should feel like a breeze in comparison!!

Well it's about time!!

I am guessing I'm about the last person in the universe to have a blog. So it's about time I started one!!!

This blog will allow me to keep track of my running progress, as well as (I'm hoping) meet some other runners along the way.

It's only been seven weeks since I started running again. It had been years since the last time I did it (I'm thinking the year 2000 may have been the last time). I just needed to do something for me again. I have two wonderful children, but they are time leeches. After spending the day doting on them, I felt wiped out and a bit like a slug. Plus, the extra weight I was still carrying around from being pregnant the last time didn't help.

When I started running again in November, I could barely do 90 seconds without getting winded. Yesterday I ran 25 minutes uninterrupted and it felt great!! I traced my route with mapmyrun.com (not my warm-up or cool-down walk, though) and the total I jogged was 2.34 miles at a 10.41-minute/mile pace. I am quite happy with that, especially since I don't think of myself as a speed demon.

I am preparing for my first 3-mile race on January 27. I am excited!!! Back in college I did a 10-mile race when I was on the rowing team. But the whole team did that race, so it wasn't a big deal. Well, this IS a big deal to me. It's the first time I've been brave enough to enter a race by myself. After this one, I plan to do a 4-mile race in March.

Enough for now. The kids beckon. ;)