Sunday, September 30, 2007


last week started out so well and then M was home for 2 days sick and T was out of town and well my lazy ass just doesn't need much to go into sloth mode. i missed 2 runs and i had to work yesterday. today's 12 miler turned into a brick work-out instead: 10 trail miles plus 3 more on the mountain bike. riding was actually harder then running . i had to walk most of the steep stuff but what goes up must come down and i love me some fast downhill.

this bay area weather keeps me guessing as to what race day will be like. out on seaview today, this section is some of the most exposed part of the route and it was warm at 9 am. i used my camelbak and i think i'll be going with it and a handheld on race day. the handheld used to bother me because my hand got so slippery but a bandana wrapped around it helps.

soooooooooo, since i've been in taper mode since like july...i'm not even going to stress. my stratedgy is pretty simple.
take walk breaks early and often.
gels every 4 miles
drink a little allot
have fun...and don't break anything

when i'm feeling low and struggling i'll remember these pearls of wisdom i came across once in a race report..."fun doesn't have to be fun to be fun"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

All is well

on sunday i met Mia and we scoped out on our bikes (illegally in some parts i might add)the last 6 miles of the course...actually the last 4, we didn't get as far due to time constraints. it is as beautiful and gruelling as the rest of the course.

today i got up extra early and had a really good run at Tilden. i added a coffee extract packet to my coffee before heading out, i picked it up at some race i volunteered at earlier in the year. i really got the engines going, and i know that i will NOT be using anything like that early in a run or race as it is really intended to revive the dead....i was too amped up and had to work hard at slowing down in the beginning.

i was committed to 6 miles but flirted with 8 in the back of mind. things were feeling really good still as i approached mile 6 but due to time constraints i opted to head towards Lake Anza rather than a 3rd lap that would've stretched it out to 9+ miles instead. everything about this run served to remind me that i am a trail runner.

this route has some pretty rugged sections, you really need to watch your footing or your liable to go flying face first . i tripped once but recovered without incident. i did get a tinge of guilt though for not spending enough time on trails. i ran into one of my triclub mates from last year, Carlo and we chatted for a bit, it was nice to see him again.

the signs of fall are here. i felt soooooo good out there this morning. the fire has been rekindled. i was telling Mia i was anxious for this race to be behind me. the amount of time and effort required to get ready for this race has been more daunting than i expected. both sundays excursion and today's run reminded me why i was drawn to this race. i feel alive and whole and free on the trail. i am strong and powerful and most of all happy.

i knew i would have to really hustle at work to make up for the time off this morning but it was worth it just for this feeling of renewal and excitement for my race.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

we'll see

it's a little past 6 am and i can hear the soft pelt of rain. i have choked down my oatmeal and am dressed. batteries are charged, new tunes added to my ipod. there shouldn't be any technical issues. we'll see.

i can't think too hard about the distance i'm about to cover, but i have to cover at least 22 miles. this will be my last long run and my last chance to find out what 26.2 feels like before race day. we'll see.

the rain is starting to pick-up and instead of dread i feel relief. rain is better than heat...but not too much. we'll see.

The Run.

i did a loopy loop at Tilden that resulted in 20 muddy trail miles in 5:05 hrs.

i've been overdue for a long trail run. most of my longer runs have been on flat roads. Tilden has a good balance of flat and hills. i started out at Lone Oak (the race start) the soft rain i mentioned earlier was just enough to turn the topsoil all sticky and the clay clumps made me feel like i was wearing wedgies. i found a small sturdy stick and held onto it so i could scrape off the shoe goo periodically.

the short but slow section was a blessing in disguise. it forced me to go out REAL SLOW.

taking walk breaks early and often has made it possible for me to work this course, otherwise it would chew me up and spit me out.

the mud wedgies eventually gave way to the paved surface and gravely side trails of Nimitz trail. the rain slowly began to build...causing me to eventually pull on my rain jacket...i was cold earlier and thought my long sleeves would be too warm under the rain gear. i'd rather be wet than hot. which meant that before putting on said jacket i had to pull off the long sleeve and that meant dicking around with everything in the pouring rain. blah

i have a bad habit of not zipping my pack after fishing out a Gu or whatever. it's how i lost my car key at Briones. well around mile 16 after first only noticing that my lip balm was gone, that i sort've remembered my phone being in the pack.....and then at mille 16 it wasn't.

it's times like these that i know i'll be the one with Alzheimer's. i just blank and can't remember shit like "did i or did i not have my phone?" i was rushed this morning when i got to the trail head i went to porta potty back to my car . i just got a new phone last week at wanted to see if i would get a signal. i did and after that i couldn't remember if i returned the phone to my pack or if i tossed it in my gym in the back of the car.

i had another 4 miles back to my car. the thought of retracing my steps was out of the question. oh yeah, did i mention i was kinda hurting at this point. in my haste this morning i forgot to throw advil in my pack. this run is sucking big time right about now. compounded further as i kicked my own ass over the next 4 miles not being able to remember WTF did with my phone.

there is a silver lining however. this long run is officially ending at 20 miles.because if the phone is not in my car i have to get home and deal that bullshit OR if it's by some small miracle in my car after all, i'm still not going any further because i'm hurting like hell . legs just too achy and heavy, not to mention just mentally wiped out.

on the way to the car a small flicker of hope crept in and i wondered if maybe someone would find it and do the right thing. however, this was no match for the dominant darker thought that it was gone. besides, i already used up that luck with catra on mission peak earlier this spring, when i dropped my phone on the trail and her friend found it. what's the chance of me getting that lucky twice? i then wondered if it had insurance and if i should go to the phone guy on solano myself and not even tell T...just to spare him from more of my scatterbrainess...all these thoughts whirling in my head those last few fucking miles. blah blah

so i could live with only 20 miles (that just sounds absurd) i was dead on tired, in pain and in a hurry...not that you could tell. my mind was racing but my legs were in death march mode. i could not stand it, i just wanted to get to car.

as i approached Little Farm, the car wasn't too far off and this was as it turned out to be a bad thing. i had to walk away today with at least 20:22-26.2 miles and by the time i reached the car it was only 19:25. aaaarg. i had to run past the car and loop again to cover 20 miles. geesh, talk about a being screwed with body,mind and spirit.

i rip off my pack the key is attached to the keyring. i learned that lesson the hardway, and unlocked then re-locked the door...goddammitsonofabit....i finally get it opened and tear through the everything to no avail. i start to hyperventilate and have to sit down.

this has been one sorry ass year for me as far a losing and having to replace stuff. after a couple of minutes my breathing slows and yell out at the top of lungs fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!! now before you judge me too harshly over the outburst, like i said i've had some rotten luck and combined with my own stupidity and an early signs of dementia it ain't been easy or cheap being me!

driving home in dread as i have to tell T i've lost my brand new phone. he's never as mad as he could be he's always really good natured ...i just was mad at myself for being so careless...again. i pull up to the driveway and i sit for another minute before entering the house. i am greeted by M, who is telling me in a teasing tone, mommy lost her phone, mommy lost her phone....ihuh? then it dawns on me that someone has found the phone and called and is DOING THE RIGHT THING. corny as it sounds it just renewed my faith in humanity.

we played a little phone tag but then about an hour or so later I was standing on her doorway. part of the lesson today was intent on reminding me to slow down. first a guy answered the door then he went back inside and i waited on the porch for what seemed a long time before the gal that called came to the door, we chatted a few minutes and she was still holding my phone, 2 Gu's and my lip balm ...i actually reached out before she handed it over...not my most gracious moment for sure despite a profusion of thanks you's before during and after!

then it was off to the mall. if ever there was day that i did not feel like being on my feet at the mall it was today. but i promised M and because of my covert rendezvous with Mia WITHOUT OUR CHILDREN (we[re gonna check out the race finish and find that last 6 mile section from reverse on our bikes...woohoo! but then again the title of this post is "we'll see" right? not sure how peppy i'll be)i wasn't getting out of it.

after bra shopping and manicures, M shopped and i searched for the next place to sit. i was sitting on chair in the food court, a prime seat i would soon discover. it's across from Claire's very least favorite mall store, M takes forever in there. an elderly man asked me if i was leaving. "uh, no i just sat down" he then tells me this is his seat and he sits here everyday to people watch. he wasn't rude about it. i could just tell he really liked this particular seat so i just moved to the one across from him and we chatted about kids these day's, babies having babies, what a shame it is, kids with nothing to do roaming the malls....he seemed sweet enough and it was no big deal to move...ironic ...but no big deal. deferring to elders is a my life. at 6pm i dragged M out of 21 Forever and we headed home.

i figure 20 miles followed up with a trip to the mall, i put in the required time on my feet today. pardon the poor grammar it's late and i have to get up again in like 5 hours, oh gawd.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


the past couple of months have been ...for lack of a better term...surreal. you know i've got this little race coming up in less than a month and i really should be freaking out about the fact that i've been so lax but i'm not. if anything i've become less interested.

bella commented on yesterday's post and i think she totally nailed the cause of my malaise: lack of cross training. i think as much i like running i burned my self out early on during base training. for awhile i swimming then that grew problematic logistically and i've really only ran all summer.

nevertheless, i'm looking forward to see what day will bring. i will LOVE being out there. eastbay regional trail offers some of the finest trail running in the state and while i may not be in top form i'm ready to give it shot and just enjoy putting in a good effort.

hopefully i'll get a chance to meet olga, she has been such an inspiration to me. she is the very essence of perseverance.

i'm just gonna do my best and have fun out there. it's liberating not to be stressing too much. though i still need to check out the last 6 miles of the route and there is a little fear now that i've been stung the last 2 times along the huckleberry section.

oh well come what may. it's definitely going to be an interesting not to mention long ass day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

4 weeks to go

i had my share of technical difficulties this week. plagued by malfunctions and dead batteries i grew agitated and impatient allot during training. even this computer has gotten on my last nerve.

ok it's not a serious issue when you compare it to REAL problems but still i have had to really dig deep not to abandon training and blogging about it all together. i wake up every morning with a stiff back. stretching and light running seems to help but i haven't really pushed myself since last sunday. with a handful full of easy runs and my last long run (26) this week this will be the last really tough week.

4 weeks to go

Saturday, September 15, 2007

this little light of mine

for me the hardest part about training is well training. as you know training is not the same as running. i've never been a hardcore athlete. not even in the midst of my hardest workouts did i ever love it. i know some people really like being in the zone, pushing their limits and leaving it all out on the course. i on the otherhand am more of the mindset: let's-see-how-little-training-i-can-get-away-with-and-still-do-this-thing.

i've been thinking allot about what kind of runner i am. i register for races to motivate myself to get the runs in but i'm not a "racer" per se. it helps to have something on the calendar to keep active. when i find it hard reconciling the different aspects of life training tends to take the back seat however not so with running. i'm quite content to substitute a training run with a shorter neighborhood run. any guilt i might have about it is easily soothed by the fact that something is better than nothing and i have taken the adage "do not be slave to the schedule" to heart.

does this make me lazy or uncommitted. a little i suppose, but i do like to run. i am totally converted . and while i may not dabble or be interested in some of it's deeper doctrine i have a testimony of it's power. i know i am happier when i stay active. i know i'm less so when i get off track. i am content with this little light of mine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


i reached for a long sleeve shirt today...and my 3/4 length tights. i haven't needed them in awhile. the cool morning lent itself well to a little fartlek. it's by far my favorite form of speed work, totally suited for my preference of loose structure.

last week whilst showing off my handiwork to my sister-in-law i managed to strain my back...the right didn't interfere with running and seemed to calm down after a few days of ice and heat and motrin.

i re-aggravated it yesterday pulling out portable oxygen tanks at work...twisting and lifting, very bad body mechanics!!!!...i had to pull over with an ice pack for a bit before resuming work. i seem to have a knack for non-athletic injuries. my short run this morning didn't seem phased by it luckily, it actually felt better afterwards did the hot shower...shoulda followed that with ice...hmmm.

i'm loving this weather right now...if this can just hold out until after my race i may actually have decent time (for me) out there:) i still haven't checked out the last 6 miles of the course. i want to get out there this weekend.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

piecing it all together

training is going well. i had to switch things around here and there but for the most part i'm feeling pretty good about things. i started things off easy with a pre-work 5 miler on monday. i had a great run on wednesday, a double scoop of Strawberry Canyon, for a total of 14+ hilly miles in 3:26. yesterday i got about 16 seconds into my run when the garmins battery died. it must've got knocked off the charger while M was rocking out to Rhianna's "Breaking Dishes" on itunes.

i was unenthusiastic about a 20 miler to begin with and when the battery died i immediately started coming up with excuses to shorten my run. i know better than to decide too early how far i'm going to go...especially when i'm feeling lazy. i gave myself permission to "see what happens".

i found my groove somewhere between miles 4 and 5 and passed through the cattle gate at the end of Nimitz and continued on towards san pablo ridge then wildcat canyon. this eventually looped back top my car . i know this route well and it's 11 miles. i finished in 2:46.

this morning the weather was PERFECTION. i slept well but still had a hard time mustering up much enthusiasm for that overdue 20 miler. with my cup o'courage in one hand i jumped on the internet for blogspiration. i am remiss to omit the blog credit here but sara of hooked on trails and jack of running with jack both gave me a good dose of "get your ass out there and get in done" like sara my marathon is mere weeks away and like jack i didn't care how fast i was going i just needed to get twenty miles in.

i refuelled every 4 miles and felt pretty good the whole time. by mile 16 i was looking 3:26 it suddenly dawned on me that i was well under 5 hours i had given myself for this run. i pulled off 20 miles in 4:13. yeah, i know road miles are faster than trail miles but still it was a boost to my confidence for sure and a major deposit in the golden hills account. boo ya!

on the quilting front i am super happy with how M's quilt is coming along. over the labor day weekend i finished the quilt top and have it sandwiched. my fingers are still a little tender from all the pinning involved as this is by far the biggest project i've ever tackled. i know i know, pictures would be nice. i still need to get the cd rom looked at but i'm so disgusted with this computer i'm secretly holding out for a notebook....i

description: mostly flat paved urban trail, sandy along bayside section,
not allot of traffic

the route: BART trail to richmond
richmond to home
home to ceaser chavez park,
ceasar chavez(1 loop)to bayside trail
bayside trail to chevy's
chevy's to home


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Un-Labor Day Weekend

a minute or two ago i was contemplating attending the 9 am Pilates class at the Y....i'm now sitting here eating eggs and spam ...clearly Hawaii continues to wreak havoc on my "training".

truth be told i actually logged 30 plus miles during the trip. being a runner adds so much to travel. most of the my personal highlights of the trip were spent exploring red dirt roads and black lava rock coasts. pictures are forthcoming as soon as i can figure out why the cd-rom is jacked up...again.

T and M are off to Nevada for the weekend and i have the whole house and most importantly the remote to myself...

long run on the schedule tommorow