Thursday, February 24, 2011

Into the Wind

North end of the levy where we shouldn't have been
 There is a crazy storm headed our way. Some people in other parts of the country think its beaches and sunshine all over California. Well here in Chico we don't have a real beach but we have lots of creeks with wonderful watering holes to jump in. We have lakes all around us to go explore too. But this week we are expecting snow all the way to the valley floor! SNOW! You know because all the people who already shouldn't be out there driving will be F-L-I-P-P-I-N-G out! I'm excited though. I love running in the rain and I'm sure I'd love running in the snow although I do not like running in the wind. The whole run today felt like it was running right into the wind. So I haven't even looked at my splits but I'm sure they aren't good.

I swear she found every mud puddle
I took the kids to school and came back and ate breakfast. Gotta love Cheerios with strawberries and blue berries. I know they aren't in season yet but I couldn't resist them on my Trader Joe's trip. They did not disappoint. I love me some blueberries. They are most definitely my favorite fruit. Strawberries are yummy but just can't compare. I can't wait for summer fruits and veggies.

I didn't get out the door until 9:30 but the wind had already picked up and the clouds were threatening rain. I grabbed the leash and Cindi went crazy. She was so ready to go. I knew that she was going to either drag me or that I was going to spend the first few miles correcting her. Off we went and we hit our first hurdle when we crossed the first major street with two puppies that Cindi assumed were there to play with us. I had to drag her away from them but they all did look pretty cute playing together. Off we went to the walking path behind a local subdivision that leads to the levy. Its just over a mile to get there and Cindi was so happy to be off leash for a bit. There are houses to our right but all open fields to the left so she felt very free and I had to keep calling her back so she wouldn't run off. When we hit the levy we decided to add some mileage by turning left instead of right and seeing where it lead. I probably should have told someone I was going there since I doubt enough people go out there that if something bad happened it would be days before anyone found me! So no more going back there by myself but we will be heading back there with friends for sure. It was pretty though.

Just past the ball fields along the levy
We turned back into the wind and ran to Wildwood park along the levy but the wind was so bad and my hip was hurting a little I had to stop and stretch a few times along with the "snot rockets" and coughing along the way. The wind took my hat 3 times along that mile stretch alone. We turned the corner and checked the water fountains that are apparently still off due to this freeze and decided to take a leashed loop around the path that is just over half a mile long then over the road to the other side of the levy. Cindi was pretty tired by then and our run was starting to warm up. We ran along Centenial then turned around at the 5 mile mark and headed back with a water stop for us both at 5 mile, me at the fountain and her in the creek then ran back along the levy and home. Those last 3 were almost effortless. Finally found my happy place and even the parts where Cindi was on leash she was behaved. At the point to turn off the path behind the houses we did run into a German shepherd who was loose. We ended up leashing up and heading into the neighborhood to avoid a confrontation. This ended up adding more than a half mile to my projected route but we didn't even care! Well I didn't care and I didn't hear Cindi complaining so when we slowed down in front of the house and noticed the hubby wasn't home yet I almost headed back out for a few more miles. Instead I did dishes and laundry and stretched.

Chico Creek by 5Mile

We do have a few miles to make up for since i didn't run yesterday. I'm thinking of heading to Paradise and running in the snow because I'm so jealous of you mid-westerners who have been battling it for months. ;) We got in with 8.81 miles in but I'm not telling you how long it took us with all that head wind.

Do you take your dogs on your runs? How far do you run with them? Cindi has run anywhere from 3 and up to 12miles with me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It Snot Pretty

I did now want to get up this morning for our scheduled 14 mile run but today was a little special and we ran from C&M Automotive. My friend Kosmo and his wife own the repair shop and also sponser a local race series here in Chico. You could not ask for more supportive and sweet people.

Kosmo had a route laid out for us based on a cycling route with some little extra loops to make up some mileage. We started out from C&M and I kept up with the 10m/m pace group but it wasn't pretty. The first 5 miles were at an incline with some rolling hills at the top. We went up by the airport then along Ryan by the ball fields where Hollywood plays Little League. I kept Susan, Liz and Becca in my sights and TDD right behind me. There were a lot of "snot rockets" and "super spitting" going on from all the morning gunk from this cold. It was GROSS! We did have a few fun little things happen along the run though. About mile 4 a cow and and its calf came out over a hill headed in the same direction as us at a run. It was like they were running with us. It was very funny when my friend made an attempt to run faster than them up the hill. We also saw a bunch of great creeks and slews rushing with water. I wish I would have stopped to take pictures.

At mile 5 we turned off of Cohassett Highway and onto the Keefer road. The houses along this road are pretty amazing. I would love for someone to buy me one of these $500k-$1million dollar homes then come clean it for me. :) We took a few of those loops off the side streets including running past Aaron Rogers parents house. I didn't take a picture because I was respecting their privacy but it was green. Not GB Packers green either but that's OK. It was pretty cool. That kept me going past the half way mark and I was just hoping to make it to the 10 mile mark. I was all about climbing in coach Paul's truck and giving up but he went to rescue another runner by the time I got to the aid station meaning I was going to have to finish the last 4 miles. Now I'm glad I did but I probably would not have regretted it if I hadn't finished.

Levy shot of the rushing water. This is usually dry

Liz on the levy

I felt like CRAP! I took GU shots (the new peach tea ones are THE BOMB) at mile 5 and 10 and hoped they would kick in quickly. The last 4 were plagued with moving streams right over the road on Hicks and that makes for some wet socks which even with Body Glide makes for hot spots or even blisters. We turned off onto the levy at mile 12.5 and headed towards home. The wind was a bitch all day. My head felt like it was going to explode from the pressure in my sinus and every time I stopped for something I started coughing. I just wanted to get back to Kosmo's shop and drink coffee and eat treats. So although I felt like I was flying I saw on my Garmin I was struggling to keep it at 10 minute pace against a 10-15 mph head wind.  That uneven surface isn't too pleasant on wet squishy shoes and socks either so I was ready to be home and out of the wind. I'm just thankful it didn't rain on us! I did like TDD's version of my cold. Its like a little green gremlin in there trying to get out... and the snot and gunk is like that character from the commercial we all love don't we? LOL

I'm looking forward to a good easy hill run with my friend Cheri tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feelings on Boston and Lance's Retirement

I'm not a fast runner, marathon or otherwise. I'm more of a mid to back of the pack runner. I like to run with my friends and my biggest goal is to someday finish under 4 hours. There's not age I need to be when I do it. I don't need someone to tell me that I'll have to run faster to achieve that. I'm not sure how I'd be feeling if Boston was a goal of mine. I would probably disheartened, discouraged and upset or maybe I would feel just like I do now. I do know that I have heard from some runners who are not happy about these changes. They will have less of a chance to register if they are close to their BQ cut off time. They will lose that 59 second grace time on the minute cut off. They will have to work so much harder to drop their times low enough to qualify in the future. I don't disagree with the BAA practices and changes I just feel for those people who have worked so hard to get close and may loose their chance. I do think that with more people running, and running faster for that matter, it is making the chances of meeting the current/old times more attainable with a good strong consistent effort. That is a lot of runners who qualify,  a lot more than the number of qualifying spots available for the Boston Marathon. As a runner with a young family I don't see it in my future. I don't have the time or ambition to put into it and my heart is more about getting others into running than running marathons fast myself. I have a hope that coaching will bring some of that competitive energy back to the future but its not a burning desire yet. So If you want to qualify for Boston you have a lot of work cut out for you. Go out there and do your work... and I'll watch your times as you cross that Boston line.

Lance is Re-retiring from cycling to spend more time with his family. His name is on one of the most successful charitable organizations to bring funds and education to one of the deadliest diseases in the world. He obviously adores his family and his fame on the bike has given him a name to use for a good thing. I personally don't think that he is a selfless, humble, innocent man. I think that he wouldn't be the kind of man I would want to marry or have a family with (although I do adore his ex-wife Kristen Armstrong's blog). I do think that his body was made to do amazing things and he did them... with or without doping. I really could care less if he did or didn't use drugs. I think his children are old enough to read the information that is out there the truth, the theory, the lies, the not so subtle comments that some people might be making about their father. Lance and I are very different but we have a few things in common, we ran a marathon (although he was A LOT faster) and we are both cancer survivors. So I'm not going to bash him. I'm going to forgive without knowing all his faults. I'm going to keep wearing my yellow bracelet and running or volunteering for the LiveStrong run in our little community in October. I'm going to tell my kids that being the best they can be without using pills or shots or drugs is the only way to truly win and you are not only cheating yourself but your friends, your coaches, your peers, your competitors, by "doping" in any way. I'll tell my children the truth, that dignity and honesty are more important than winning. I only hope that Lance knows that too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When it Rains...

post 8 mile hilly, wet, windy run

... it pours. I've feeling so cruddy that I finally broke down and got a script for this yucky gunk that has taken over my body. My PA gave me the script as a last ditch effort if it all goes south and that's exactly what it did. So much for the "allergy/Reactive Airway Disease/possible virus theory he had going. After taking the first day of the z-pac on Tuesday night I started feeling like ME again! I hadn't run since Sundays Grand Mother F***ing hill workout on Sunday with Liz  where I actually had to stop and walk because I was coughing so hard. I took Monday and Tuesday off because I was a wreck and a half.

Any who... I used my usual Monday rest day to do some core work then I skipped Tuesday nights speed workout to get better. Our beautiful California weather took a vacation somewhere else and the rain and wind made a reappearance. I hate the wind more than ANYTHING else. I would rather run in the pouring rain than in the wind. Yuck. I did make it to Book club on Tuesday night at the crepe place here in town and the food was yummy and the book was "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I tried really hard not to read it but once I started reading it I couldn't stop. It was a great discussion for a blustery wet night speed run that was scheduled for the exact same time.

I did get a 4 mile run in on Wednesday night with Liz. Apparently I was feeling pretty good because Liz was sore from the 3x 10 minutes at interval pace she had to run on Tuesday night in the rain and wind that I had to be reminded to rope it in for her. She did kick my butt today though.

stretching post wet, hilly, windy run

I woke up this morning to pouring rain and crazy winds and got dressed this morning and left the house at 6:40 to meet with her, Susan Z, and TTDas we met at 5 mile for an 8 mile hill run up in Canyon Oaks. I had some relative "ups and downs" during the hill run and not always during the hills either. I did master the "snot rocket" and I'm not so good at spitting out the gunk in the back of my throat. Yuck again. This may be a little TMI but that's what runners talk about when we run anyway right? Well that and food. We ran the "GRANDmother F***ing Hill" today again and I only had to walk long enough to clear out the snot in my nose and get going again. It was a little better than Sunday. We did get back to 5 mile and get our stretching in under the little overhang. I took some pics of the fast moving creek then us stretching. I need to make up some miles tomorrow then a 14 mile run on Saturday and probably a Sunday hill run again. I'm looking forward to Monday's off day again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things I Love...

  • my hubby
  • my boys
  • my puppies
  • my parents, sista, nieces and nephews
  • my amazing friends
  • running with my friends
  • hugs and kisses
  • reading (my Nook rocks)
  • movie theater popcorn
  • BBQed ribs
  • corn on the cob with lots of butter and salt (see movie theater popcorn. I'm sensing a theme here!)
  • Dirty Dancing (gotta love Patrick Swayze... RIP)
  • swing dancing
  • Jiminy Cricket, Tinker Bell and Disneyland
  • the sound of the guitar or saxophone
  • Christmas (and Christmas music)
  • Giving people the perfect present
  • that runners high I get on that perfect run
  • late night talks with my bestie
  • watching my oldest play baseball
  • watching my youngest read Harry Potter
  • watching them both swim like fish despite my fear of the water
  • eating the food my husband hunts (especially wild pork!)
  • cuddling with my husband on the couch
  • camping at the lake
  • laying in the hammock with my hubby
  • riding my cruiser around town
  • book club
  • runs with Cindi (makes me feel safe too!)
  • Puppy play dates w/ my red headed friends and their fur babies

Saturday, February 12, 2011

restart #gagillion

is gagillion a #?

 I've started a ton of posts but they all seem so HEAVY and needed a lot more processing in my brain before I could share them. So they sit in my Edit folder and don't see the light of day. I'm OK with that but I do regret not sharing anything with you guys for a while.

What I have been up to:

first time skiing in the last 18 years or so

1) The hubby took us skiing last month as the boys big present for Christmas. They got all day lessons at Homewood and they did amazing! I on the other had got a "crash course" on the mountain. I was actually doing well until I got tired in the afternoon and fell a bunch. I came home not a happy camper but I'm glad the kids and hubby had a good time.

2) I spent weeks with soreness on my left side (normally its my right side that gives me issues). All my push off muscles were not happy at all. I had been running hills 2-3 days a week in preparation for Big Sur 21 in May. Dr. John fixed me up though. He has magic hands. ART really works.

3) I started coaching Girls on the Run with one of my running friends "Daring Donna" and another friend "Lively Lisa"! We had a coach meeting for all the coaches in Butte County a couple Saturdays ago, then last week had our first two meetings. I cannot tell you how much I love being a part of this organization! The girls are amazing. One girl's mom approached Donna worried about her daughters self confidence but that first day she came up with her own nick name, "Make It Happen M"! Isn't that great? I'm getting lots of great ideas from Caitilin over at Healthy Tipping Point. Thanks Caitlin!

4) I signed up for the RRCA coaching certification seminar in Las Vegas the weekend of my birthday. I also started some coaching meetings with Susan so I can help coach the half or full programs this Fall for Fleet Feet. I had my second meeting with her and Laurie yesterday. I can't even start to explain how excited I am for this opportunity. As much as I love running I also love to get others on the path to a healthy relationship with themselves through running. I've trained with our local group in 10 different programs from 10k to 3 full marathon programs in the last 3 years. I would definitely say that running has been the biggest positive change I have make in my life. I love that I can share that with others.

5) Habitat for Humanity Home Run was today. Its a local 5k that my friend Vicki organizes to raise funds to build local homes for families who choose to invest in their futures by helping to build their own homes. I would say that today was a success! I hope Vicki though so too!

Deer at the golf course on our 10 mile run Thursday

6) sickies... We have had unseasonably warm weather for the last month. Everything is blooming early. I noticed an increase in my allergies but I have never had a problem running through them. I've noticed for the last few weeks that I've had a tickle and coughing after my runs, especially after runs up by the airport where there are large expanses of grass growing. Monday it seemed especially bad and by Wednesday night I was wheezy and my nose was draining like crazy. I thought I was dying by Thursday and went to the doctor. He said he didn't think it was bronchitis but "Reactive Airway Disease" which essentially seasonal allergies on asthma crack. He gave me a Rx for an inhaler, nasal spread and cough medicine as well as  a regular daily allergy meds. so far I think the cough medicine is the bomb and the inhaler is a life saver. The strange thing is that I feel great when I run. its when I stop or try to sleep that I fall apart.

7) Lots of miles including getting my long 10 mile run in on Thursday morning starting at 6:30 with Liz in the park. It was nice to finish before 8:30 and get on with my day. We went to a friends that night with a bunch of other running friends too. What a great community we have here! I've done no kettlebells. Still working on my thyroid med levels that seem to affect how I throw my weights around.

So I'm going to be better about posting because there are some important things I want to talk about and share with you guys. But for now this little tidbit will have to do.