Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taking a Break

i'm seriously beginning to question the wisdom of planning a vacation at the height of my "training"...if you could even call it that these days. i've been working fact going in today for a few hours to help pay for this trip and it's leaving precious little time for much is suffering.

i'm also questioning the helpfulness of this blog. in fact it's become more a source of irritation than inspiration. i find the act of writing to be helpful when sorting out my thoughts that hasn't changed. i just don't know if i need to do it here.

it's no coincidence that as my training started to stall so did my enthusiasm for blogging.

a training buddy would be helpful but apparently it's just not in the cards for me.
maybe my expectations are too high. maybe i have some serious social flaws that i am oblivious of. maybe i have bad breath. beats the hell out of me but i'm just so over trying to connect with people who can't commit. so sick of doing all the work.

if i sound a little bitter...i am.

so i will be taking a break for awhile. try to regain some of my training momentum and get through the next couple of weeks of working overtime with the Kona Coast as my inspiration.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm in transition

i'm a little stiff from yesterday's misguided track work-out. seems i need glasses. the (8) 100 meter "sprints" in reality should've of been "strides" followed up by 200 t0 400 meter intervals at my 5k race pace (ideally 9 mm)....

oh well, i got a little taste of the's been awhile....despite my moaning and groaning about it...there is something about the track that makes your training more legit. it definitely get's you out of your comfort zone...and misguided as it was yesterday's effort wasn't a total bust...i've got a taste for it now. there is definitely a methodology to it.

i hit the books lastnight (runners world book of running for women) and it was a good touchstone for reality...i tend to be impulsive with my speedwork...too much too infrequently...if i approached runnning that way i'd still be wondering why running never sticks.

making the transition from mindless recreational runner to becoming more concentrated on what i'm doing will take patience and time...i'm not as far along as i "ought" to be but hell, i'm basically a self-taught runner. as with quilting, mostly self experienced family member to guide me...i'm a trial and error kin've learner and while it may (usually does) take me longer the satisfaction of learning and finishing is just as profound.

my trainig has been far from stellar, i've lacked serious focus and have mostly focused on endurance rather than speed...which is fine as i have no illusions of "racing" in october. i understand the need for track work at race pace as it pertains to shorter races, i'm not so sure how it relates to a trail marathon, the the terrain is so much more erratic.

i'm curious how much time trail runners spend on speedwork.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

need for speed

1:36 mi warm-up
100 meter sprints x 8
1:36 mi cool-down

i've been struggling with the speedworkouts...i decided to scale back and found this work-out to be challenging without killing myself.

it's not much to write about but for the first time i feel hopeful as opposed to deflated. makes sense to ease into speedwork . i have with everything else.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

El Cerrito

i wanted to run somewhere between 12 and 15 today but in the end was only able to pull off a little under 12 (11.76 in 2.5 hrs) i got a rather late start thanks to an exceptionally obnoxious mosquito who thought my exposed limbs were the latest entree at an all you can eat buffet, that little fucker kept me up all night! i didn't drag my ass out of bed until well past 9 am.

while lacking curb appeal El Cerrito hills rival any hill in Berkeley. i ran parallel to the BART trail towards Richmond to add a little bit of elevation. Seaview was a nice surprise and the view of San Francisco was well worth the climb. i haven't figured out how to upload graphics from my garmin onto my blog yet.

while this run didn't suck it's left me feeling hot, tired and a little cranky. time to hit the showers and figure out how to clean up this house without exerting anymore effort.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The things that matter most

at work the topic of unhealthy relationships came up. a woman that i do not know very well (i wasn't in my regular facility this week) stated that she didn't understand why people stayed in unhealthy relationships. i suggested that sometimes people don't think they deserve better. this woman went on to say she still didn't get that because she's never felt that way...and was incapable of relating. she goes on further to say that she's never had self esteem issues and that she thinks she's great. in disbelief i shook my head smiled and walked away. clearly she's confusing a mutated ego for self esteem.

i've been thinking about this alot since then. i have had my share of unhealthy relationships and self esteem issues. i've spent way more time than i care to admit obsessing and worrying over my various relationships. marriage, parenthood, career,extended family and friends have all caused me to doubt myself.

maybe i'm too introspective at times but i like to believe marriage and parenthood evolve, there's highs and lows. work isn't called work for nothing. dysfunctional family relations are manageable provided proper bounderies are set. people come and go. it's just the way it is and believe you me that's one BIG HARD ASS PILL to swallow. i'm getting better at it. it's a constant work in progress.

when i was younger, being the eldest of 3 i always wished that i had an older wiser sibling to lead the way. i didn't get that support from the adults in my life and i often felt overwhelmed and in over my head. despite the progress i've made in my adult life i've never really squashed that insecure girl inside. she makes regular appearances especially when i'm feeling misunderstood or ignored.

i recently spoke to both my brother and sister. my mom and brother have had a rather prolonged falling out and the other day he announced that he and his wife are expecting their third child via a mass email.

our mom doesn't have a computer.

up till now i've managed to avoid getting in the middle of their beef. i know them both well enough to know that their both extremely stubborn and incapable at this time of moving forward. i e-mailed my brother immediately with the obligatory congratulations yada yada...but added the question. did you tell mom?

i waited before calling our mom hoping that my brother had at least called to tell her himself. when i didn't hear from her i called and another e-mail recipient had gotten to her first to congratulate her. she was shocked and a little more than upset.

once again i found myself wishing there was an older wiser sibling to step up and make things right. i realized that it was me. i called and let him know that while we were happy for them i was a little hurt that he hadn't told us personally and that our mom was pretty upset. i kept my cool and managed to not get into with him and hung up feeling like i did a good thing.

my sister called the other night, she has had less inclination to be calm with our brothers choices. she called me to find out what i said and then proceeded to rehash her beef with him. i just listened as she rambled and once again i found myself wishing i had been born last and not first. still i managed to keep my cool and without getting emotional said i just wanted our brother reconsider and allow mom access to the kids and to set his issues aside.

relationships are tricky to say the least. god knows i'm no expert and i struggle with them on all levels. i will say that instead of beating myself up i am more inclined to go for a run, read a good book or immerse myself in some kind of project. this is very good progress for a girl whose natural tendencies border on masochistic self scrutiny and doubt.

so i made a few small gains in the familial sector this week. todays is T's birthday and for as much as i complain about the in-laws they really are a good example of love and family. something i'm proud and happy to be a part of.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Good Start

i finally had a really decent run this morning. runs after work have been convenient but they never feel really great like in the mornings. i felt energized all day. my little 4.5 miler in 47 minutes felt awesome and served as a good reminder to get to bed earlier.

did anyone in the bay area feel the earthquakes? i sleep like the dead so i missed out.

it's T's birthday tomorrow, we're having a party and this place is a colossal mess!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Note to Self:

i was all dressed and ready to run this morning but then i got all involved with on-line reservations for our upcoming trip that i told myself i would just run after work....because it's been getting easier not to mention more convenient.

by 6:30 pm i knew it wasn't going to be pretty. i felt like crap and rightly so, poor sleep and even worse hydration. felt like i was barley moving the first half. i then got the brilliant idea to fartlek...aka...random bursts of speed which only served to push my tired ass over the edge.

note to self:
speedwork it's hard enough when you're fully prepared, demoralizing otherwise.

i felt lame and unfocused, not at all like a person training for a marathon. my confidence waivered. and for the first time ever i seriously questioned whether or not i was really going to be ready for golden hills. bouncing from plan to plan, low mileage the past couple of weeks, the negative thoughts stacked up one on top of the other. i was a little spooked to be honest.

note to self:
negative thoughts are to be expected, particulary when your tired.

and then while waiting for the signal to turn green a fit looking man walked up and asked me if i was running in the marathon and w/o a moments hesitation i said "yes!" and he said "me too!" i then learned he was doing the SF marathon this month and i told him about my race in the fall. the light turned green and as i trotted off i turned to him and said "rock the course man!" and with a little more pep in my step i jammed the rest of the way home feeling very much like a runner.

i feel a little bit dorkish admitting what that 20 second exchange did for my head. i was on the tail end of a sucky run and when that guy acknowledged me as a fellow runner, one who appeared to be training for a marathon it felt pretty darn good.

note to self:
it's going to be ok

Sunday, July 15, 2007


the last time i ran here was by mistake. i was trying to hook-up with a trail running group after work and was annoyed at missing them and had to really fight the urge to just go home. today i wanted to be here and wanted to explore some new trails.

as i gathered my gear i realized i hadn't charged my ipod....surprisingly though i didn't panic and it didn't really phase me, though i did think for a split second that 15 miles might feel ALOT longer than normal without my tunes. onward and undaunted i hit the porta-potty grabbed a map and plotted my route.
the weather was pretty mild at this point, bright blue and sunny but not too hot...though that would change before too long.

Briones for the most part is hilly and very exposed with an occasional oak tree to offer a little respite from the sun. after Abrigo, then past Santos, the first major climb, you have a choice to stay to the right and follow Briones Crest or go to the left and follow Lagoon Trail, i veered left in favor of something new.

for a change of pace i ate half of a pb&j sandwich before on the drive in. i decided to give the sport beans another try...i don't really like them but i had more of them than gels. i tend to go overboard on the fluids, a hand-held and 2 more bottles in my waist pack but better than running out midrun as there are no faucets along the trail. the weather did start to get a bit hotter but i think the lack of shade was more of an issue than unbearable heat.

i was grateful when the seemingly endless Lagoon trail tapered off into a nice shady spot where i stopped to eat a few more sport beans....that seems to be the trick ...stopping and chewing them vs trying to keep running like you can with gels.

Lagoon eventually intersected with Black Diamond (i think) and then Mott's Peak....this is a fiercely long ass hill...again i was happy to be on the downside . after another seemingly endless descent i was through with hills in favor of the flat valley trail. i was disappointed when i saw the trail begin to ascend...i was through with hills for today and turned around in search of flatter ground. i had a few side stitches, nothing a short bit of walking didn't quell, i just felt hot and wanted to be done. ten hot hilly miles would have to suffice for today.

this was a good run, not as far as i needed to go today but i was glad to be running on dirt again. i missed not having my tunes, but it was good training out of my comfort zone.

Mojo Interuptus

ok,ok, i've been in "party" mode for the past couple of weeks. but hey what the hell, a gal's gotta do what a gal gotta do to feel good about turning ...gulp...44, seriously!

for the first time in well over a month i jumped on-line this morning without any problems. i have only been able to acess the internet in a timely fashion between the hours 9 am and 4 pm, anytime before or after has been impossibly slow and i just didn't have the time or energy to call my server (sbc or att whateverthefucktheircallingthemselves) for assistance. yesterday i finally took the time and dicked around with 3 different people and in the end (no pun intended) was told that somebody else would call me in 2-4 hours to set-up an appointment.

needless to say i wasn't happy about it. in fact after i hung i sat there and stewed, proceeding to get madder by the minute. i then called back, waded through the same stupid teleprompts and once a person answered i said i wanted to discontinue my internet service.

apparently, i should've came to this conclusion sooner, because suddenly they became all sorts of interested and helpful. within moments i was on a 3-way call w/tech support on one line , a field guy on the other ...a technician came withing 2 hours ....problem solved.

so, the true test would be in the morning to see if i could get on line w/o's been a major PITA trying to log on before 9 am. i think that's contributed to my lack of motivation in the mornings whole routine revolves around a couple cups of coffee and a little internet intervention. sure i have books, inspirational quotes tacked up but i really like logging on super early reading blogs visiting various running gets me going.

right now i'm getting ready to hit the trails , probably Briones. the schedule calls for 20 but my last long run/hike of 17 miles was on 6/27....and with all the slacking off i've been doing since then i'm thinking more like 15 miles.

besides i'm too lazy to try to pick-up where i left off.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hang Loose!

it's been over a week since i've run long. nothing but a few short runs over the past week or so...this mornings runs was pretty decent. i hadn't run 3 miles in under 30 minutes for awhile and this morning i did it in 28 mins...3.82 in 35 mins. i'm good for about 4 miles at this pace, something to build on for sure. tomorrow i tackle hills.

vacation plans took a turn for the better this week. what started out as trip to Seattle turned into a trip to The Big Island, that's right KONA. not sure where we're staying yet, i picked up a few guide books and am pretty much winging it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

inspiration of another kind

todays 3 miler and wednesdays 4 miler is all the running i've done this week. M and i met up with my cousins at the boardwalk in santa cruz for some fun in the sun. the weather was beautiful. i hit a few rides but mostly doodled while i waited for the family to go on rides. i was so inspired by the bright colors and beachy boardwalk vibe. i jotted down several ideas for future quilt and fabric designs. i think if i was brave at all i'd really pursue a career in textiles. i.LOVE.them.

on wedenesday T joined us and we headed over to Monterey Bay Aquarium. i really like turles, i'm especially fond of the Leatherback. i found a really interesting book about them, Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina. while the book is certainly written from the perspective of a scientist, the narrative style is totally readable and engaging. from the moment the creature is born life is a full on struggle. the power and strength of these animals cannot be denied.

tonight T and i are going with his sister and her boyfriend to listen to zydeco music at Ashkenaz, a world music venue here in berkeley...should be fun AND we have backstage passes to the green room.

getting out the door was hard. the first 1/2 mile or so was stiff and my right lower calf is still tight. with brandy in tow i had to pay extra attention to her not veering off after wind swept leaves. still i pushed the hill on lower marine and maintained a sub 10 minute mile.

on the way home from santa cruz, we stopped off at Bamboo Giant and added 2 more fine specimens to our growing bamboo forest. they didn't fare very well on the trip home and we had to splint quite a few of them. working with T on saving the bamboo was exciting, we both just dove into the project and both wondered out loud how cool it would be to have a nursery.

the Giant Bamboo in Aptos was awesome and inspiring as well. with every kind of Bamboo imaginable. T let the vendor know that the plants didn't do well on the trip home and they are going to compensate us and we worked out a good deal for 2 more....which will be properly shipped. T has always had the green thumb in the family but i seem to be getting a knack for it too. i've planted a few different flowers with my patients back in april in the patio off the rehab gym that are starting to bud and the other day a patient brought me a scrawny mint plant for "rehab"...too funny, no?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sibley Volcanic Preserve

the bridge just before the long climb to Sibley A.S.
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Redwood Regional


A Redwood Grove along French Trail
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Birthday Cheer

also a sneek peak at M's quilt
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