Monday, November 28, 2011

The Time I Recapped My Thanksgiving Weekend

Many of us have dealt with people close to us preaching the reasons we shouldn't run.

Many of you made really good points -- I loved SweatyKid's input (paraphrasing) that of course runners comprise the group of people who are vocal about joint issues in their later years -- after all, they are the people who are trying to run on those joints!  The dude who never ran in his life doesn't complain about being unable to run in his 60's because he still isn't trying to run.  And if he tried running for the first time at age 60, he would also probably have joint issues.  Harumph.

Still, the fact that so many people commiserated with my "running-is-dangerous" warning from a loved one made me wonder -- not about how nice it was to have a lot of support in the form of shared experiences -- but wonder whether we are all huddled in this little circle of nodding heads, assuring each other that running long distance is SO healthy and everyone else is an AMERICAN who loves couches and McDonalds (exaggeration for effect).

I wondered this, but I don't believe it.  I can't.  Listen, you don't run at least once EVERY SINGLE WEEK of every single year of your life for 15 years (give or take 5 multi-week injuries) and suddenly give it up.  I will never give it up.  I can run more smartly, and goodness, I have.  I went from running 7 days a week in college, to 3-5 days a week the last 4 years of my life.  It works for me.  I have a guaranteed good dose of anti-depressants and happy-heart medication constantly.  

Non-segue segue attempt: here is the recap of the rest of my Thanksgiving weekend.

First, extra pictures of Thanksgiving.


The pretty table

Hanging out

Somebody's jealous of my blurry face

I'm full just looking at this


After The Thanksgiving That Sucked, I sneezed through Friday (sickness zenith) and watched The Muppets movie (I only mildly appreciated it, and because of a whopping 98% rating on rottentomatoes.com, this translated into me HATING the movie due to high expectations.  If you think it is cute when a character constantly looks at the camera to remind you that it knows it is in a movie, then solid.  You will love it). 

I also hit up Target in the evening to enjoy the spectacle of lingering Black Friday-ers at 10:00p.m., and brilliantly bought a new bright shirt to wear to CIM on Sunday.

This is more purple-ish in real life.


And professional $2.50 arm warmers (long socks to be scissored for my hands).  Who's smart now? (Hoping they don't slide down and become a horrible nuisance).




Saturday: friends and the movie Hugo.  Visually beautiful.....plotwise, pointless.  I should just go see Moneyball, Super 8, or Harry Potter again so I can leave the theater satisfied.

Sunday: Costco trip, to show my mom the LCD TV we want for Christmas.  We currently rock a TV from the late 90's that is as deep as it is tall (i.e. NOT flatscreen).   My mom convinced us to take the TV of choice home that day as an early gift....so we did....and the strangest thing happened.

We set the TV up in our simple little living room.  We stared at it.  We turned it on and watched 20 minutes of Iron Man 2.  We got.....really....uncomfortable.


47 Inches and $650.  And, uh, that creature is adorable.


It was painful.  We went stir-crazy.  "What is going on!? Why do I feel so strange?! This TV is making me feel bad about myself!"

The pressure to look at this enourmous black box was sucking away at my soul!

What did we do?  We decided it would have to be returned.  Then we got the heck out of our suffocating living room to regroup in the fresh air of Longs Drugstore.

It worked.  I felt so much better away from the TV.  We came home and realized it wasn't so scary after all, and we just might keep it.

And then we both had nightmares about the TV.  Specifically, I had two nightmares about the number 47 (ahem, the size in inches of the TV).


Psychologists in the house: what the heck was this episode all about!?  It wasn't buyers remorse -- I left Costco happy with the purchase.  It was something so much stranger.  Any comparable stories to share?

RUNNING

If I blogged solely based on what I was thinking, this post would look like this:  "Ugh my hip.  It felt good for 16 minutes! Nope, I was wrong, my hip still sucks.  Wait, I found this stretch on the internet, I think my hip is better! Ope, ouch no, no my hip still sucks."

But I blog based on my thoughts, mixed with an attempt to not be boring, and simply, injuries are boring to read about.  Also boring is runners' anxiety and dithering about body issues prior to races.  So you are sort of spared.  Sort of, because I will still say that for those of you looking out for me and truly curious: the hip issue is stagnant.  I am approaching the 5th week of it feeling exactly the same.  First 3 miles of any run is stiff and uncomfortable -- then it loosens up and feels good through about mile 10 or 12. 

I've taken all sorts of days off.  Tried strange yoga poses and sat in bathtubs for MINUTES.  Aaaand scene.  No more hip talk.

Thursday: 15 miles; 3 laps around Lake Merritt, run to the track for one 6:13 min/mile, run home.
Friday: 6 miles; sinus headache demands that I cut this short.
Saturday: none
Sunday: none
Monday: 8 miles on the treadmill, 5 at 6:58 min/mile pace (thinking 7:00 min/mile might be my goal marathon pace?  Still debating my goals....)

TBA: how to track me at CIM if you are interested, and what the heck my plan/goal is for the Marathon in....tick, tick tick... 5 days,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Don't Run Unless You Want to Die

This will be a good post for you to read if you are tired of hearing about what everyone is thankful for.

I have a ton to be thankful for -- oodles and oodles to be thankful for -- but I will spare you a post about how wonderful my life is, and air my dirty laundry instead.

Strangely, I can write about this because despite the fact that every member of my family is aware of this blog, not a single one of them chooses to read it, so I can safely write about family drama without further instigating family drama.

From left: sister, me, niece, sister, mom


I can also write about this with some  degree of appropriateness because.....the family drama started with a discussion about running.

My Thanksgiving week began with so much promise....I was giddy with excitement over a 4-day weekend, could not wait to see my family and especially my two sisters who live in San Diego and my 4-month old niece.

These three are the ones I don't see enough.  I was eating pumpkin bread while trying to smile.  DON'T TOUCH ME GEMMA, NOOOOOO! (Because I was sick.  Read below)

San Diego sister-sandwich

Also trying to eat pumpkin bread while smiling


Tuesday morning I woke up sick.  This was aggravated by a long work day, still in the office at the time I should have been tucking under the covers.  By Thanksgiving, I had lost most of my ability to taste food, but really this wasn't much a bummer for me as I consider Thanksgiving food to not be awesome.  Seriously, if the food was soooooo good, then why wouldn't we eat cranberry sauce and green been casserole all year long?  (Answer: cause it's not that good).

The part that was a bummer was that I wasn't allowed to touch my niece, Gemma.  I was germy.

Awwwwwww


Still, I was happy, munching away on cornbread and sweet potato dishes and lentils, when my dad asked me if I ran that morning.

Yup, I did run!  As a matter of fact, I continued, I am running a marathon in 10 days!  (Yes, my family is clueless as to when I have a big race, unless it is in their home town of Napa.  They have supported my two marathons in Napa).

I didn't mention my hip issues -- I was hoping to bring that up at some point, as he is a doctor, and might have some words of advice.

How did my dad react to my news of a marathon in 10 days?  Was he excited? Encouraging? Curious?

Dad: You know, someone just died in the Baltimore marathon.  In fact, anytime there is a marathon with enough people running it, someone dies.

I have known since my first marathon in 2006 that my dad thinks 26.2 miles is unhealthy.  It doesn't help his opinion that I ended up in the ER 3 days after running the Napa Marathon in 2010 (chest pains, which were diagnosed as esophageal spasms).  So for a minute or two, I permitted a discussion about how to not be that person at a big marathon who dies (Answer: there's no predictability or warning signs, so you are SOL).

This conversation flowed into the next anti-running discussion.

Dad: You know, every single person who runs a lot has joint problems in their 40's, 50's, or if lucky not until their 60's.  There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but in my 45 years of experience as a doctor, all runners have trouble and pain by middle age.

I decided at that point I would not be bringing up my hip issue.  :(

This discussion escalated slightly as I tried to defend running.  I'm not going to share anymore details, as I will probably regret saying what I want to say.  Suffice to say, the rest of Thanksgiving sucked, really sucked, and it ultimately had very little to do with running and more to do with someone's pride (not mine).

After dinner.  Not in a good mood.

So.


How do you handle people in your life who encourage you not to run?  After 15 years of running should I seriously just....not run?


Are you someone, or do you know someone, who has run for many years and is now over the age of 40?  How is your/their body holding up?  Do they have any regrets for running long distances?


Monday, November 21, 2011

It's All in Your Head

Let us take a moment to celebrate the 100, most intelligent, beautiful, loveable people to grace the internet:

I have 100 followers. 

If the box of followers was on the left side of this page, this would be awesome


I think I'm supposed to throw a giveaway or something, but the only thing I can think of to give away is this Homer Simpson rubik's cube thing that we don't want, but I won't led the Gentleman throw away.  I keep thinking it is going to the PERFECT gift for someone some day.



Fact: I don't officially "follow" any blogs, so I don't even know what it means.  I exclusively read blogs in my Google Reader.  So more than anything, I am truly and absolutely grateful to you 100 who choose to support this blog by clicking "follow," even -- and especially -- since I don't reciprocate.  But I promise, if you leave a comment I will always check out your page.  I'm pretty sure that if you like me, I will like you.

Goodness.  Edited to add: at some point shortly after posting, the number fell back to 99 followers.  Someone get on up there before this post gets any more inaccurate.

Now.  Let's get mental.

I attended a social event in my law firm office a few weeks ago.  Gentle schmoozing turned into a serious conversation about running with a young guy from a bank office that came to the event.

It slowly, humbly came out of him that he ran an incredibly hilly marathon in 2:47...and that he has an extremely rare degenerative arch disease (1 in 30 million people have this.  Basically, his arches collapsed).

He talked a lot about how he was able to do this because running is primarily mental.  You train your body to do what you want it to....but even more than that, you are training your brain.  And if you can't train your brain, well that is a huge part of why you won't succeed with your goals.

I was cheesily moved by this conversation.  He was such an unsuspecting runner, just looked like an ordinary dorky banker.  Something even slightly autistic about him -- the way he talked about how he trained for runs and races through photographic memory.  For example, instead of pacing himself by miles on a Garmin, he paces himself with a normal watch because he can memorize that from a certain tree to a certain stop light is one mile....after driving a marathon course just one time.

And the way that he described mentally pushing through the last mile of a marathon was brilliant.  Despite a 6:25 average pace (with hills!), he ran his 26th marathon mile under 5:00 minutes, because he mentally escapes his body.

If it's all mental, are all these hours and hours of runs leading up to races just training our brain?  Are we adapting our brain to think that 20 miles at xx pace is safe and comfortable, and then training our brains to accept that the last 10k will hurt no matter what?

He said when you hit the last 10k, you have to convince yourself that you are fresh.  You have to believe this.  He also mentioned other mental tricks, such as having debates in his head.  Making points and counterpoints.  Thinking about his work. 

This may be an obvious aspect of training for some of you, but it is a new idea to me.  I want to approach races with this new strategy.  I want to toughen up my mind and learn how to trick it from it's urge in the second half of races to tell me I'm wiped and to ease it up.

Unfortunately, going into a marathon in less than 2 weeks now, I am mentally deteriorating.  I have no excitement at all about this.  I have a lot of fear for how painful it will be with a hopeless hip (yet I refuse to withdraw my bib -- I will stand at the starting line no matter what).

I'm going to try my best to build a strong mind and attitude towards this marathon, and to battle defeating thoughts while running.   I think this is something that may take a very long time -- years even -- to really master.  Especially with a stubborn brain like mine.

Do you actively train your brain when you run....or just your body?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Best Thing Ever

Sooooooooo

This week I have had no interest in listening to/writing my inner blog voice, so I avoided making a trip up in here.  Do you ever re-read your own blog and think, "oh, shut it already."  Sometimes it strikes me as terribly ridiculous and vain to write out and make readers read about the trivial.   But....there are blogs with 208374,83749823 readers who exclusively write about the trivial, so what do I know.

I still have nothing to say today, but a quick update is probably warranted.

Running has sucked this week.  My hip keeps teasing me that it might be feeling better after 2-3 days at a time of resting it; so I run, and while this strange hip issue allows me to actually run (something that other injuries simply deny), I can only give about 70% effort before it becomes too strained and painful to run at a greater effort.

In other words, I am able to run, but slowly and with an undecidedly concerning amount of pain.  Sprinting is out of the question.  I'm terrified that I am losing all my "fast" muscles just in time for a "slow" marathon in two weeks.

Since this doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that is going to disappear before December 4th, marathon day, I may have to write up a new (read: slower) game plan.  I will have to face this issue later....maybe December 3rd.   At all costs, I will still aim for a PR, but I may realistically have to lower my expectations.

In the meantime, this week has been glowingly fun thanks to the wedding and pre-wedding events for a wonderful pair of friends. 

Weddings are officially the best thing in the whole world.  I can't believe I'm rude enough to insist that I will never have one (too afraid of all the attention, among other concerns) given that I owe it to the world and friends to have one of these best-thing-ever events.

I had such a blast.  We danced hard, drank mildly, ate happily, hugged generously. 


If you thought I would learn how to post quality pictures as any quality blog should, you were wrong

Just go with it.  It's art.





The Gentleman played the first-dance-song with 5 of the groom's friends


My finger was jealous and tried to get in the band

This dress....I wish I had a better picture.  All my shots of the bride and groom are video.

Hope to have more time and inspiration to post during the Thanksgiving weekend.  Happy 3-day work-week!  Does anyone have to work on Thursday or Friday? :(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Unwise Runner

What do you do the day after posting on your blog about how are suffering hip issues!?

Run 22 miles!!

This morning, after behaving and taking several days off running, I decided I (ahem, my hip) was feeling decent and set out for a long one.

From miles 4 through 21, I didn't notice my hip at all.  Running clearly "warms" it up, as it feels stiffer when I am sitting or walking.

I ran 6 laps around Lake Merritt (about 3.5 miles/lap), plus the distance to and from my front door, for a total of 22.13 miles in 2 hours 46 minutes.  Pace: 7:31 min/mile.

6 laps was pretty monotonous, but I listened to Mike and Tom Eat Snacks (Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh, both of whom amuse me to no end when I run) and felt really good until mile 22.  As I approached mile 20, I was happy to find that each mile was ticking away at the same pace, if not faster, than the first 10 miles.  Like so:

Miles 1-10:    8:11; 7:34; 7:22; 7:37; 7:32; 7:38; 7:30; 7:39; 7:24; 7:27
Miles 11-20:  7:36; 7:28; 7:32; 7:20; 7:27; 7:24; 7:24; 7:29; 7:22; 7:31
Miles 21-22:  7:24; 7:29; 1:00 for 0.13 miles.

Mile 22 was the only rough mile.  Both hips started stiffening up, it felt almost like I had to shorten my stride to deal with them.  There were also brief moments in that last mile which forced me to recall the feelings of the last horrible-but-lovely miles of a marathon.  That's something that I can't say I have ever experienced in a normal run, so it was a miniature test of facing THE WALL.  Shudder.

Water stops not included in the total time.  My Garmin auto-paused when I stopped at water fountains (4-5 times).

Overall, I'm glad I got a long run in despite the fact that a wiser runner may have continued to nurse their hip.  I have never claimed to be the wisest runner.  I still have 3 weeks to get this hip happy... I am really appreciative of your stretching, icing, and foam-rolling advice.  I don't have a foam roller, but I DO have a Tiger Tail (hehe....such a silly name).  So I will attack with the Tiger Tail.

A couple non-running pieces of fun.

Last weekend I visited the niece Gemma again, and practiced restraint by only kissing her 23 times.


She drools a lot....real immature


Yesterday, I went to our annual Friendsgiving (or Friend Thanksgiving, whichever term your prefer).  Conversations were flowing, food was in abundance, and I wore my $18 Costco Kid's dress.




I was told it looked Presidential, which is hilarious when I think about the fact that Costco is trying to make little kids dress like Hillary Clinton.


Doing my best Presidential pose. 


Friends eating

eating and making spiderwebs out of my hair

A lot of toys made their way to the dinner table, as there were at least 6 toddlers


This is my second year partaking in the Tofurkey, and I have to say, it does not suck at all.  I truly like it more than real turkey.  Real turkey always tasted slightly...I don't know, raw or something.

I'm getting giddy for the holidays!  Fingers crossed I get some days off work....

Do you celebrate a Friend Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Track Love, Angry Hip, Free Shoes

Somebody pleaaasse tell me it's ok to start tapering 4 weeks before a marathon?

Because my hip demanded that I take this week off.  3 weeks left until CIM.

I had an amazing start to the week after the Jets half, attending a track workout at Piedmont High School with the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders on Tuesday evening at the invite of Merilee.   I wore a sports bra to work and busted out of there just after 6:00 p.m. in order to intrude on the track warm-ups at 6:45 p.m.  

I can't even begin to tell you how moved I was being there on that track.  I haven't stepped foot on a track since I was 18 years old (ok, I casually jogged around the UCLA track a couple times, but not for a real "workout").

16 or 17.  This track was made of dust, not that great rubber stuff.


The field inside the track was flooded with about 40 high-school soccer girls.  I stared at them as I circled the track, nostalgically remembering my soccer years, and thinking, "were we really that beautiful??"  Those girls looked so beautiful.  Running through drills, throwing their body at the soccer ball, socks falling down around their shinguards....gave me chills, I tell you.  But it also pushed me to run as I was bubbling over with their energy that was contagious in the air.

I very, very rarely run in the evening, but I was happy to find it felt so nice!  I caught my groove in a sub-7:00 pace for about 4 miles, jogging slowly for 200 meters twice.  The energy out there was just fantastic.  So much cooler than staring at the farting (literally) adults on the treadmills at my gym.  Goodness my gym always smells like a fart.  WHO is doing this!?

Track.  So it went great.  Merillee, you are a deeeelight.  However, my hip was giving me gentle warning signs that it was not happy.  Warmed up as my hip was at the end of the day, it wasn't warning me so loud that I thought it was worth stopping.

But Wednesday morning, it was over.  Stiff as a board (not light as a feather).

If you recall, as my legions of loyal readers should (joke), I get an injury scare before every every every marathon.  Every.

Nope, I know what you're thinking, you're wrong.  It's not because I increase my mileage -- I don't.  Virtually nothing changes between my "training for a marathon" phase and my "running because I like to run" phase.  This time, I have done more speed running than in the past, and sure, we can blame my hip on that.  But I will blame the RoseRunner Marathon Curse.

If I can run in three weeks, or if I can't, all will be fine.  There are 8732498234 other marathons in my lifetime that I can run.  knock on wood.

Ok lets seriously move on to the coolest thing ever.

THIS. PICTURE.


Ignore the fact that running-photo-stills create cellulite where none exists, and look behind me....at the Gentleman!  I love that this was captured so much.  The good old support crew and personal photographer, still and smooth on the sidelines.

This is near the finish line, and if you're interested in the Gentleman's view:

I spy the photographer! Behind the finish line


A couple other professional race photos.


I think this is right before the halfway point turnaround.  At this point, I had NO idea Christina was right behind me.  She went on to win 1st place woman 2 minutes ahead of me.  Maybe it's because she doesn't bite her lips when she runs like me....and doesn't wear headphones with wires 25 inches too long.


Right out of the start

Sexy.  No, I will not post a larger version of this.


Now the other coolest thing ever.

ANOTHER NEW FREE PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES!!  That makes 4 pairs this year....all from half marathons.  I'm definitely in the black in terms of recouping all my race entry fees :)

The most wonderful bearer of good news, Jen Maravillas, placed 3rd woman at the Run with the Jets Half, and left a comment telling me she bravely saturated in her sweat after the race long enough for the award ceremony....and learned that the top 3 women got free shoes.  Congrats to you Jen! Let's go get some shoes! 

I followed up and the prize is a pair of Mizunos -- a brand I have never tried before, but I am looking forward to it.  One of these days I will try and be a little more selfless and hold a shoe-giveaway on the blog. 


Any advice for a tender hip flexor?  

Anyone else belong to a gym that always smells like a hot fart? 

Which do you prefer: the track, or a treadmill?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reflections on Running With the Jets

Official Stats
Time: 1:26:34
Pace: 6:36
Overall: 10th place of 406.
Women: 2nd place of 234.

A few loose thoughts regarding the past weekend's half marathon, and regarding the comments on my recap.

First, I really appreciate every time I receive a comment supporting my race result.  Some of you are over the top nice, but I learned long ago that the best way to react to a compliment is to accept it, so thank you.

Now, I don't really know if anyone actually believes I am as rad of a runner as might be suggested from the number of exclamation points in a congratulatory comment.  In fact, a quick study of every running-blogger race recap will reveal that everyone thinks everyone elses race was incredible/awesome/ amazing/Herculean.  And I can get behind that -- a personal record for time or distance is a Big Freakin Deal no matter who you are.

Where am I going with this....I think I'm trying to walk a fine line between coming across as phonily humble, or rudely ungrateful.  Because what I want to say is that despite the gorgeous time on my Garmin reading 1:26:29, my reflections on this race still have me feeling....unsatisfied.

Hear me out.

I interpreted a couple reactions to my last post to suggest that the fact that my Garmin recorded a "short course" to be a problem.  I don't know whose problem this is.  I did go under one overpass, and my Garmin read 5 seconds shorter than my chip time (1:26:29 v. 1:26:34), making it possible the watch did drop out at some point.  But it still makes this feel like less of an accomplishment, when my 1:30:00 in Oakland was on a course that read 13.35 miles on my Garmin.  If I factor in all these discrepancies in distance, my pace improvement is.....meager.

Maybe my times aren't improving....maybe the races are just getting shorter.

Enough of you agreed that this photo is rad, so I am going to post it on my next 50 posts.  Deal?



Chillin before the race


Next, I am disappointingly not sore.  I say disappointing because for miles 8-through-12 of that race, my legs refused to give me more.  My legs were puttering out.  I thought for sure I had shredded through my muscles giving it all I could.  I thought my hip was dying.  And then I woke up the next morning to learn that as far as my legs were concerned, I had just gone out on a normal Sunday gentle jaunt.

My hip does feel tender.  I am hopeful it will recover on its own by being nice to it.  Sounds like an amateur plan, but I don't visit doctors because I have a 100% record of doctors telling me that as a birth-bearer, I shouldn't run -- stick to gentle activities, like the elliptical. 

But my bigger concern while reflecting on the race at this point is: why do I fade so hard when I feel so good during the first 7 miles?

I want to be stoked about the weekend's race, of course I do.  But I can't help feeling stagnant.  Same old thing: I can easily hang onto a 6:30 pace for 5 miles, maybe a couple more, and then jhdfljaheur.

Well, I randomly flipped to the back of my Runners World desk calendar to find this Racing Tip for the Half Marathon: "Every week should include three types of workouts: speed drills, tempo runs, and your long run.  Speed drills make you faster.  Tempo runs raise your lactate threshold, which will help you maintain a racing pace in the second half of the event..."

I have not had the pleasure of participating in any "tempo runs."  I cannot maintain a racing pace in the second half of a half marathon.

Thanks for the tip, desk calendar!  Now I need to ask you: what distance is appropriate for a tempo run while training for a half?  what about while training for a full?  And does tempo pace mean "Race Pace"?  I can't promise I will adopt the "tempo" into my unscheduled running life, but I may throw it in the mix at some point.

Finally, this post is meant to be reflective.  I'm just pondering.  It's not like I sat around all day wallowing in my post-race thoughts -- I had a busy and invigorating day at work, followed by a spontaneous and fun evening with the Gentleman. 

Now I leave you with a montage of the Famous Stick.  Vote for your favorite if you wish.










Sunday, November 6, 2011

Run With the Jets Half Marathon

The REMIX! I mean, the RECAP!

written by: the eternally 2nd place woman RoseRunner.

Garmin time: 1:26:29
Place: 2nd place woman
Pace: 6:35

Official stats to come....

I made the choice to sign up for this on Friday.  The forecast was showing 30% chance of rain, and I figured I had a 70% chance of having an awesome dry race.  I was right y'all, no rain at all this morning.

As a runner-blogger, I always have something to blame for not having a perfect race, and in the week leading up to this one, it was my left hip.  Being a little bitch like "RoseRunner, you never stretch me and you never strengthen me, we can't withstand this kind of relationship, I'm going to make a fuss until you figure out how to treat me right."

So the rain was working with me, my hip wasn't.

Also working with me: the time change. Ahhhhh, blissful to wake up at "7:20" (shhh, it was really 6:20 but it felt like 7:20 to me) for a "9:00" race.  Do you play these mind tricks too? I'm going to act like I get to sleep in an extra hour for at least a week until I cave and catch up to the real time. 

I drank half of a 5-hour energy which was a freebie from my last 1/2 marathon; a banana; cherry juice; some gummy chews; and then we left for a 40 minute drive to San Mateo.

Perfect timing arrival.  The bathroom wait was about 2 minutes.  +98 points for the race already.




The race started at Coyote Park with this beautiful view.  +3984 points for the race already.



This was my serious and official running gear.  OK, it was my PJ's.  It was about 49 degrees.

Picking up my bib was a cinch.  +4,000,000 points for the race already.

I was quickly realizing it would be too warm for my long sleeved shirt and gloves, so I did a little strip dance and put on this purple shirt, which is the purple version of the same blue shirt I wore 2 weeks ago at the Livermore 1/2.


We waited until 8:08 for the race to start [9:08 if you know what I mean, hehe, time trickery]


Getting my dates in ready position





Lots of men, and then me. 

Get to the RACE already, I know, sorry.  Ok so the race started.  The course was an out-and-back, along the water.  I went out "too fast" or whatever, but that's my thing and I was feeling good so I didn't cry about it.

mile 1: 6:11
mile 2: 6:23

I was thinking "no ladies in sight, if my hip behaves and I can finish this thing, I might actually get first, wouldn't that be lovely."


 Acting like I can keep up with the guys who will run a 6:11 pace the whole time.



My new favorite running picture of all time.

My hip started hurting at mile 3.  No one wants to hear about it I know, but that is what was going through my mind for the next few miles.  Just wondering if I will be able to last without seriously injuring myself.

Mile 3: 6:32
Mile 4: 6:22
Mile 5: 6:35

I was so thankful that I stripped off my long sleeved shirt before the race.  With the sun out in full force, it felt warm.   All the way through the turnaround at mile 6.55, someone was drafting right behind me and I could hear their footsteps forever.  It didn't bother me, it actually made me keep my pace up.

I ate a date around mile 5, and continued to scare/annoy the water volunteers by not stopping to grab my water, and instead grabbing it mid-run and splashing them in the process.  Does nobody warn these sweet volunteers that this is common?  In smaller races, I always hear someone laugh or comment with surprise that I kinda....make a mess.  Sorry.

Mile 6: 6:35
Mile 7: 6:38

When we hit the turnaround, my world changed.

First, I realized that there was a woman right on my tail.  I had no idea.  We ran side-by-side for about a mile after the turnaround, and then I watched her leave me in her dust.  I was fading fast....because...

WIND.  Oh my goodness, I had not noticed what a handicap I had in my favor for those first 6.55 miles.  The wind had been at my back the whole time.  No wonder it felt so easy!!

I plowed into the wind for the entire remaining half.  That, combined with my fatiguing legs, left my time drop-drop-dropping.  I was pushing it pretty hard (I think).

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering what the wonderfully supportive Gentleman was doing while waiting for me, he was taking pictures of this stick.


 There are a dozen different versions of this picture.


And the reason this was called "Run with the Jets" -- the planes flying into SFO were by our side.

Mile 8: 6:52
Mile 9: 6:59
Mile 10: 6:58

Mile 10 is a nice point.  I can mentally deal with having 3.1 miles left.  Miles 7-through-9 are generally pretty tough for me mentally.  I usually feel like crap, and knowing I have 5 miles or so left sounds unbearable.

Unlike two weeks ago at the Livermore Grape Stomp half, I did not have that burst of energy saved for the end.  I trudged on through the last three miles, begging the wind not to be so cruel.  And begging for my hip to shut the front door (the worst of the hip was mile 10).


 Right before the finish, daintily avoiding the puddle.


FINISH! I was very happy to be done.

Mile 11: 7:01
Mile 12: 6:54
Mile 13: 6:38

Once again, my Garmin came up short from a full 13.1.  Blerg.  I don't know who to trust anymore; Garmin, Google maps, or the soreness of my butt (I will be sore this time).

I pranced (or waddled) over to Ms. 1st place and we chatted for a while.  She was lovely, and I may have a little girl-crush on her.  She finished somewhere in the low 1:24's, had just moved to the Bay Area from New York, and was a Central Park running-club member with Megan -- so I dropped Megan's name as if we were old bff's, even though I just stalk her blog.

New 1/2 PR, so I'm happy as can be.  Thanks for listening.