Aside

~A change in plans~

~A change in plans~

Today is my Friday and that makes me smile :)  I have the next 4 days off, woo hoo!  The original plan was to run a half marathon on a local army base on Saturday.  Packet pick up would have been tomorrow, so I took the day off.   They were also giving tours of the course.   However, with my ankle a little sore and getting the chance to be an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon, I adjusted my race schedule.  My first half of the year will be March 23 and this weekend I will be racing a 10K at a nearby college instead.   I will then spend the day enjoying SLO.    But I still have tomorrow off.  :)

Yesterday, I packed everything I needed to hit the gym after work.  I was planning on 4 miles with some sort of speed drills thrown in.   The weather was amazing throughout the day and I was dreading the treadmill.   On a last minute whim, I decided to chance it.  I didn’t have my Garmin, I didn’t have my running belt and I only had my Wave Riders.  I had never run in them outside only on the treadmill plus one puppy walk.   But I was running outside!

scenes from the run

scenes from the run

I checked the sunset time and knew I could get in 3 miles.    Maybe 3.5 if I pushed it.   I had an armband, so I shoved my phone in it and was off.   Seriously, I have never changed that fast and I was walking up the block before everyone else was in their cars.    I had a 3 mile route planned, out and back.     The first 1.5  miles are slightly downhill so in this route I am usually quicker going out than coming back.  The first mile felt a little rough, I was breathing heavier than usual.   I took that as a sign that 3.5 would not be happening.  That is until Nike chimed in at mile 1- 9:00.  Holy crap, that’s race pace not training!

Change in plans, now I wanted to run 4 and hold that pace.    Mile 2 came in at 8:57, then the turn around.  Here I did stop for a few pics, also to lose the sweatshirt I had started out in.    I ran past so many photo opportunities but I wanted to hold pace and beat the setting sun.   Then it was back the way I came, uphill.  I always walk a part of mile 3 as the road in the state park gets super narrow.  The return route has a blind corner on a downhill for cars, so I slow down to pay more attention to the cars.  I figure it’s easier to jump out of the way when I am not huffing and puffing.  :)

Heck Yeah!!!

Heck Yeah!!!

The sun set just past mile 3.  The last bit of uphill was hard and I knew I was slowing.  I hit my car and was only at 3.8 so I ran around the block again.  Luckily I hit 4 and stopped Nike before walking a cool down.  Which was cool because I was not running around the block and the police station again.   Figured that would look a little odd.  :)

I was so pumped after this run.   I had no idea I could do that in a training run.   I think racing the sun was a huge part of that.  That pace would not have happened at the gym.    Nor would it have been so pretty.  Plus I could smell the ocean and the eucalyptus while running.  I may have to try that again next week.

Poor Shoe

Poor Shoe

On an annoying note, today my favorite boots decided to lose a bottom.  I almost took a header while walking across the tile floor.   Now I am trying to decide if they are worth repairing or if they should be retired like a pair of running shoes.   They probably have a similar amount of miles on them.  :)

Now I just need to decide how to spend my four days off.  Is it bad that I kind of want to have an Austen marathon?  Jane Austen, that is.  Or maybe I can get my friend to actually go to the movies.  Hmmmm.  And somehow, I agreed to help my mother with tennis practice tomorrow.   One thing I know, I will be sleeping later tomorrow morning.  :)

Anyone have big plans for Valentine’s day?

Who’s racing this weekend?

Low Tide + Running= Squishy shoes

Rock to Pier 10K

So I set out for this race this morning feeling like I usually do; a little green around the gills.  Seriously, I should be past the nervousness by now.   I didn’t even have a huge goal set for this race.   Today’s goal was just to finish.   I was really nervous about the sand, having never run on the beach, I was kind of freaking out.  Also they said that the race was going to be a wave start, I had never done that before.

The Rock

The Rock

It didn’t help that even though we left with plenty of time we made it to the start line like 30 seconds before the gun. I wasn’t even in the chute when the starting gun went off, but luckily neither were another couple hundred people. Luckily it’s all based on your chip time, :).    And as for wave starts, there were no pretty colored flags waving anywhere, so maybe next time.

The first hundred or so yards of the race were across the soft sand to get to hard pack exposed by low tide.  I thought it was going to suck my shoes off, hehe.    Once you got to the hard pack, it was so much easier.  And a little softer than pavement, nice!!  So then you just got to run along with the waves coming in at your left and making you sure you dodged clumps of seaweed or the random unattended fishing rod.  Or the people who were still trying to surf through this crowd of runners.

Hard to take pictures and run:)

Hard to take pictures and run:)

Other than the overcast sky, the weather was perfect, about 58.  Of course, I felt cold before so started out in a long sleeve shirt over my tank.  At mile 2, I wanted it gone, but it wasn’t until mile 4 that I was slowing down to walk.  I shoved my water bottle in sports bra and tried to lose the shirt and get it tied around my waist as quick as possible.  Still took too long, next time no long sleeves! Or maybe just my arm sleeves, easier to lose while running.

Since my goal wasn’t to push it,and with my recent ankle twinges,  I just took my time and tried to maintain my pace without taking another walk break.   So other than the wardrobe issue, I ran the whole race:).  It was nice not stressing too much, and the change of scenery was awesome too.  Seeing the pier come into view at mile 5 was a great feeling, finish lines are usually that visible from far away.   That was also about the time that people running the half marathon were coming back our way.  So you go from feeling like “yes I ran a race this morning!” to “oh they are running more than me, now I feel lazy”.  Hehe, mood swings at mile 5.

The Pier

The Pier

At the finish line, we left behind the sand dollars and crabs, and water getting into your shoes to cross another stretch of soft sand.  Even harder when your shoes (and socks) are wet!   Crossed the finish line at 58.21, Nike said 56:47 but it was being glitchy, so now I just have to wait for the chip time to be released.  I am happy with that finish:)

hmmm, not bad!

hmmm, not bad!

Met up with my race photographer (my mother) at the end, where she always relays her people observations from the finish line:).   It’s great having support there for you.

So now I have run my race, had a nap (slacker!), CPR done for my shoes, I think it’s time to celebrate yesterday’s birthday!!!

The finish!

The finish!