Monday, January 25, 2010


Sometimes I need to take the same advise I give to my kids. If something isn't working... change direction. In terms of running, I'm lacking that motivation I talked about yesterday. I don't want to give up running... I love it, how it makes me feel, how I get to enjoy my friends, how my body has changed and gotten stronger over the last two years. We all need to exercise, some of us take it a little more seriously, I enjoy that I fall somewhere in the middle... well in my mind anyway. The husband things I'm a little fanatical about it.

My main motivation for being a runner was that my bone density scan showed that at the age of 29 (at the time) I was already into osteopenia. I had a strong family history of women on my moms side with severe osteoporosis. This is something I desperately wanted to get a handle on. I chose running because it was something I enjoyed in High School but it kinda interfered with my other health issue, I was a survivor of Malignant Melanoma. I had avoided the sun for a decade and a half. After a visit with my dermatologist where he said, "You should wear sunscreen... and run", I jumped on the bandwagon. I started running 2-3 miles a couple times a week then in December 2007 I signed up for the half marathon program through Fleet Feet. It was hard and I loved it.

I love the programs, I've done 8 of them from 10K to Marathon with Alan, Susan, Angela, Paul and Dave as my coaches. The programs are getting so big though (a testament to how wonderful our local running coaches are!) and I feel a little lost in the group. I'm thinking its time to strike out on my own a bit. I bought Jack Daniels Running Formula... I just have to figure out how to formulate it to work for me. I'm going keep signing up for the programs and just modify the workouts a little and not feel the stress if I can't make it to a Tuesday night run. I've been running on the "dreadmill" a lot and that seems to work for speed work that I can't make at the park.

Mostly I just miss how I felt about running when I trained for the Marathon. So dedicated and motivated. I don't know where it all went. I hope it comes back soon though. In the mean time I'll do some strength training, keep running for fun, and look for a race that truly motivates and puts me back into that frame of mind I miss so much.

What do you do when you find yourself unmotivated to run or do whatever workout works for you?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Motivationally Deprived

I have not have the drive to get out there and run. I thought maybe it was the weather, Nor Cal has been the target of storm after storm for since last Sunday, so I ran on the "dreadmill" all week. I thought maybe it was not running with my friends but I had little drive out there yesterday even though I ran with TTD but apparently she was short on motivation too. I don't have any races that I'm really excited about and I think I'm going to keep running and doing local races (maybe a half in May) but take some of the pressure off. I've been running consistently for two years and I think I need a break from the hard training before I start training for a fall marathon. So TTD and I decided to keep running with the half program to keep the social aspect and mileage up then just run the Bidwell Classic as a relay. Last year we did and came in 2nd place for the FF group.

Goals for the Non Training months:
strength training. I really really really need to find the $ to go back to KOR but I don't think it will come to be until March unless I can get on the ball and sell my car. I love my car. I just hate having 3 of them and mine is the easiest to cut.
Writing: Id like to work on this blog and my kids blogs a little more. I'd like to work on writing here about the changes I'm trying to make in our family eating habits and about enjoying running just to run again.
Eating: I know many of my blog friends out there are Vegans or Vegetarians but we're omnivores around here. Most of our meat consumption actually comes from wild game though. Very rarely (mostly if we go out for a nice dinner or something or an occasional rotisserie chicken from Costco) will we eat food not from what the FFP brings home from the hunt. That being said, we are getting low on Wild Pig and Elk. Guess its time to think about going to Colorado this Fall again. Duck and Goose season is almost over and that's been nice this year with a couple easy recipes in the dutch oven and Turkey season starts up again soon.

I am going to purchase the cookbook "The Conscious Cook" and try to make one Vegan main dish a week. I think it will help bring more veggies in different ways into the household. I could write a book about the things Blondy WONT eat... like the yummy Chicken and dumplings I made tonight. I also think I'm going to join the Natural Foods Co-op and use our wonderful local Farmers Markets more often.

So I hope these things get me Jazzed about running again. Right now I think that the only thing that keeps me going is my friends out there running. For so long it was about training and I missed them as I grew more confidant in my speed for the marathon and moved ahead. Now all I want is to run and chat with them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Down by the Bay (to come)

In my head I have a great blog floating around but not the time to actually write it all down. My Grandma fell earlier in the week and broke her hip so I went down Wednesday Night and got up Thursday to run by the bay before going to see her. The Mtz marina was covered in fog and a million memories flooded my senses. This where I spent most of my years growing up, riding my bike, fishing with my dad, flying kites, going out on the boat. I took lots of pictures and I'll post them with my running recap soon. I got 40 minutes and almost 4 miles in.

Frost or Fog 1/4 marathon Recap

Under the Sun Events puts on this awesome run called Frost or Fog (although most people end up saying it Fost or Frog he he he he) in January every year. You have the choice to either do the 5k or the 1/4 marathon course. Yesterday during packet pick up I gave in and signed up. I'm sad I waited so long since the shirts are so dang cute and all they had left were adult Larges. Ugh.

This morning I went to the pace talk at Fleet Feet and the marathon and half marathon groups took off from there. Those of us running took off for 5 Mile and to warm up. The race isn't until 9am in hopes that if it is SO stinking cold and frosty it might be tolerable to run by then OR So stinkin' foggy you will be able to see the runner in front of you and not cause a colossal crash. Luckily today it was BEAUTIFUL! Got to 5 mile and left my bag at the Fleet Feet tent with Kristina (her hubby Paul was our coach for both marathon programs) and took off to warm up with Lori. I stopped back by the tent and called the hubby and his specific directions were to "Kick Liz's Ass". I told him that I would try my hardest to keep up with her but dang is she fast and those ALL those shorter races! Lori and I took down the levy and back bringing my first warm up to 1.5 miles, then ran into Liz and Kosmo (more about the amazing things Kosmo is doing for local runners in a later post when I also talk about how great Vicki and Ross are ). I went back out for another mile warm up with them because (the Lord knows he made me so I don't warm up until mile 15 or so) I need it. Liz and I did strides in the parking lot because we like to look like those hard core serious runners wearing $300 watches and $100 tights and LOOK fast and think they just might win. We might fool somebody and I'm totally OK with that.

Then Liz and I dropped off sweats at the sweat check and we lined up at the start at the levy, stretched and tightened out laces. Standing next to me was Debi who coached me from the first time I did Women With Weights a million years ago after the kids were born and I felt (FAT) out of shape. I said hi to other runners who I don't normally see then got lined up and we started the 1/4 marathon group on time. We took off up the levy and Liz creeped in front of me. Then Kosmo passed me. Then I gave up. No ,not really, but I just watched them get closer then farther away, closer then farther away. UGH. I went out way too fast. 8:20 my first mile, 8:40 my second mile then all (down hill) uphill, literally, from there and I never looked at my watch again. I splashed through mud and felt it all mucky in my socks. I slipped and slided through the trails... and that ended up being my favorite part other than the finish. We headed through the slippery mucky trails on the other side of the levy then across to the asphalt path and up to the fire road by horseshoe lake. I kept thinking "we have to be at 2 miles" but we weren't. When we finally got there I was wondering if I would ever make it the whole race since most of the first half, including the next mile and a half, was a sometimes not so gradual up hill and I was having flashbacks from Nike Half in October. Not a good place to be in my head. I just watched my feet and kept going, not caring how fast I was or wasn't.

After the "green gate" there is a pretty good downhill to pick up momentum and chase down Kosmo and Liz if they didn't speed up too, then that "gradual up hill" to the turnaround marker at about 3.5miles. I said Hi and Good JOB to many of my speedy friends as they passed me going the other way including Paul who was chasing down that leader bike while he held the first place all the way home, and Sarah who took 1st place for the girls. She's super speedy! We went to High school together so that puts her in my age group and kicks me WAY out of any chance to place at any local races.

Finally got to the turnaround I grabbed water and tried to put my head in a good place for the 3 or so miles back. Although its mostly downhill unless you count the hill back up to the "green gate," its pretty technical with lots of rocks and funny gravely areas and tilts far to one side many times. I'm not good on this stuff, I have to watch right in front of me because I can't tell you how many times I have twisted my ankle or tripped, almost falling on my face, on this road. I'm sure if you are watching me I would be entertaining with all my hopping and jumping over loose rocks and finding a place with footing where I won't twist something. I got a stitch at 4.5 and every time I sped up it came back so I backed off for a little bit and let a bunch of people pass me and finally Liz disappeared into the distance. I took the long steep hill to the "green gate" with my head down and a fierce determination because I wasn't sure if there was actually anything left in my body to give to a hill like that. I pushed over the hill and into the water station where I didn't stop and walk at all. Downhill, thank God. I finally got back on the asphalt trail and its a pretty good downhill clip to pick up speed but I was tired. I could heard Debi closing in on me and I just stayed just in front of her all along. When we got to the turn off (just after mile 6) there is a little road that takes you to the bridge and over the creek I picked it up again and pushed past my limits. Final turn and she's on my tail. Its a pretty steep downhill and I turned to Debi and said "Catch me and pass me Debi" then I flew, big long fast strides down the hill and across the bridge. She was right on my heels, right through the shoot. She wanted to throw up. I love those finishes. That means you gave it your all. I turned off my Trusty Garmin and looked at my watch. It said 57:33. Average pace 8:58/mile. Liz came in at 56 minutes or so. So she "Kicked My Ass" again. Oh well. Then she said most of the people who came in in front of her were women from out age group. LOL. I guess that means we don't have to wait around for awards but I tell Sarah (holding her baby in her arms as she passes by me) Congratulations and head home.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Run into the New Year

So far I've tallied about 22 miles for the week. I didn't run last Saturday with group because I just wanted to sleep in and hang out with my kids after being gone to LV the week before. I knew vacation was coming to an end and I wanted to not have to worry about getting up and about for just one morning. I took up an offer to run with Susan (owner of FF and 5k, 10k and 1/2 mary coach), Ed and Katie (both helping to coach the 1/2 mary group). I love my running groups but not sure how "special" I looked running with 3 coaches, either I really needed it or I'm damn lucky. I'll take the latter "Thank-you-very-much". We took the trail to upper park and the levy around to the bridge, back through 5mile and down the trail to 1 mile again. I love our not so little park. I had missed my running buddies now that we were all running different speeds during training. It was so nice to chit chat with them again. 6.89 on the books and the first for the new year and new decade.

Tuesday: Speed work. I got there early and ran an easy lap around the 1/2 mile or so loop at WW park. The fog was setting in as we did our plyometrics and warm up. We got done as the pea soup feeling settled in around us. 6x800's . Wahoo! But I kinda suck at figuring out what my threshold pace is. My marathon pace is actually about the same as my half and my 10k pace... because well, I don't really know why its the same. I feel like I push the same effort at any distance some are just farther than others I guess. TTD and I settled into a 8 minute pace (for me in hopes of speeding up by teaching my body that faster is not a bad thing) and Liz and Ross were on our heels. Diane is new to the program and she stayed right with us too. The fog was so eerie. I really liked it up until someone mentioned that it seemed like a set for a horror story... eek! Then I ran faster thinking about things like men in hockey masks and chainsaws and before I knew it the speed work was over. Did a cool down and some stretching with David. 5.5 miles in the books for my second run this 2010 season.
I took Wednesday off and ran Thursday hills with Liz, Katie and Kim. We met at 5pm after work and it was already mostly dark. We had fun with the rolling hills in CalPark and Canyon Oaks. If you stick to the main road, and don't climb the biguns, then the gentle up and downs feel like work in a good way. The fog looked beautiful hanging into the nooks and crannies of the canyon and the light finding its way through the dark foggy night in beautiful and magical ways. I <3 my good friends and a good run. Another 4.04 miles in the books.
Thursday: Ed FBed this morning that he wanted to run in upper park this morning. I took him up on it and we had a blast. We trudged through dirt and mud and muck and talked and talked and talked. I haven't had a run alone with Ed since his "unemployment days" not so long ago. Today his job was on a furlough day like most of our friends in any govt. or upper division school position holds. So glad to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL day with a wonderful friend. 5.5miles today.
Sheesh I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing running community.

2010 Welcome!

I wrote the breakdown of the CIM but didn't post it because it just seemed dry and sad. I had a great first 20 miles until I used the port-o-potty for a much needed break then struggled and never got my groove back. I came in at 4 hours 7 minutes and 47 seconds. Not as good as I had hoped but I know I went out too fast and held that too long. Oh well. I still took 18+ minutes off of last year and I'm looking forward to using that knowledge for this year. I believe that an amazing group of friends and coaches as well as kettlebells at KOR made that happen. I can't wait to use their knowledge again this round.
2010 is a new year, a new decade but I'm not putting forth resolutions but small goals I have written on a piece of paper. I'm not ready to open that up and post it. Somethings are a little too personal and I hold close to my heart. I have every intention of fulfilling them and maybe I'll be sharing when I feel more comfortable.
Running: Oh my goodness. I'm doing the Bidwell Classic on March 6th. Its a half marathon here in our very own Bidwell Park. I hope to take some time off my PR. We'll see if that is in the cards. If its not I'm not devastated. I enjoy half marathons... at least I did until I got sick last year and missed Shamrock'n then totally bombed Nike Women's in October including puking at miles 6 and 7.5. I'd like to redeem that now. LOL
Marathon training will start in June if I plan on doing Chicago. I think its totally cool that it is run on 10-10-10! Training is kinda freaking me out though. It gets really really really hot in Chico. I don't do well in the heat. I don't do well in the cold either for that matter. Give me 80F all year round and I'd probably be as happy as a clam. Maybe that's a clue that I should be on a beach somewhere.