Loving this Light

I mentioned in my previous post that this week is inspection time at work.  I thought I was prepared but what I was not prepared for was for him to show at 8:05 on Monday morning.  Seriously?!!?  I hadn’t had my coffee or my soda; I was in a sudden panic that I hadn’t crossed my I’s or dotted my T’s.  Aargh!!!!   By the time the day was done, I was just stressed and cranky.  I needed to run but I knew it wasn’t going to be awesome; my brain was tired.

I may have been stressed but I was so excited to take advantage of the time change!   I changed after work and headed for the lake path that I haven’t been able to run since the time changed last year.    My commute is a narrow two lane highway going through a canyon which is prone to rock slides.  The road has no shoulders, blind corners and is heavily shaded.  Seriously I think my hips are bigger than the “shoulder”.  The speed limit is 55 but most treat that as a suggested minimum.  Imagine my surprise rounding one of the corners to find a man running with traffic wearing black.   Seriously, dude?!   I get that you want to make the most of the extra daylight, but this is not the road for it!

lakeCollageOnce I arrived at the park, the weather was amazing.   I was aiming for 5 miles.  The path is a little over a mile around so I was hoping that 4 laps would be 5 miles.  That would be perfect, right?  Not so lucky.  Lap 1 came in at 1.18.     Lap 1 included my warm up but I could tell I was sluggish.  I was ok with that because I just wanted to run.    I was also a little sore from Saturday’s long run, wearing new boots all day hadn’t helped either.

Miles 2 and 3 were a little rougher than I would have liked; this trail is flat after all.   I feel like it was just after mile 3 that I settled in.  Mile 4 felt good and 5 was better.   Since I was on the backside of the lake when I hit 5 I kept running until 5.5.  I figured that still gave me a quarter mile to cool down before hitting the exercise equipment that I use to stretch.   I didn’t have any real goals with this run, just to enjoy the weather and the path and run off some stress.  Mission accomplished!

IMG_3383The lake was not as low as I thought it would be.   We still desperately need rain but the ducks and geese had some water.  There were plenty of people taking advantage of the weather as well.   I saw other runners, walkers and plenty of dogs.   Some were running solo, some with friends.    Everyone was friendly too.   I had a conversation going with a guy as we passed each other on laps.  He was out walking and saw me pause to take pictures.  I told him I needed a little break.   :P     I also loved that there were 3 guys who looked like they had just come a jam session with their garage band doing laps.

A little traffic on the way out.

A little traffic on the way out.

Today, I had to remind myself that rest days count as training too.    The weather was awesome again.  The inspection is still going on and I am discovering the meaning of stress sweat (TMI?).   I have been through so many of these before but this one just seems intense.    Leaving work I had to go return the previously mentioned new boots.  They ripped yesterday, classy right?    Then driving home, I passed no less than 9 people out running.   Against traffic on wide roads, yay!  I was so jealous.   But rest is good, plus I had classwork to do.  :(    Besides tomorrow is another inspection day, more stress to run off!!!

Moving along

Moving along

I am thankful that the extra daylight brings the lake back into play.    It is outside and flat, both dirt and paved.   More fun than a treadmill but better for my ankle than all hills.   It also brings me back to be being a 3 town runner.  I don’t know why, but the fact that I can run in 3 towns on a weekly basis just makes me smile.  :)

I am 11 days out from the Wine Country Half and we are officially 46 days away from SLO Marathon.  I am so excited for both but I am getting nervous.    I still have a discount code for the SLO Marathon- anyone want to come run with me? Or faster than me?  :)   Check out the amazing town and people too!  Check out this bling for SLO Marathon-

Sweet!!!

Sweet!!!

Who is ready for hump day?

Anyone taken advantage of daylight savings yet?

Am I the only one who has formatting issues?  Thanks WordPress, thanks.

A little chalk art

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art

A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   :(  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot

Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  :)

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  :(

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?

Running Uncomfortable

 

Monday morning rolled around, and I greeted the day with a sore throat.  Umm no, I do not have time for that.  I have a race in 5 days!

By mid-afternoon Monday, I was feeling better, having a case of the Mondays but better.   Leaving work I headed to the lake to get in a few laps.  I was aiming for 3.5 miles.  I also had another odder goal in mind.

 

The lake path, dry now :(  Where's the rain?!

The lake path, dry now :( Where’s the rain?!

I set out to run uncomfortable.   Races rarely ever go exactly according to plan, so why not run with random issues on purpose?  So I had packed my shortest shorts and a t-shirt to run in.   Shorts that ride up drive me bonkers, I spend more time fixing them then running.   I also dislike running in sleeves as they irritate my arms.   Apparently I have sensitive arms because running used to make them bleed.  So now I am very particular about the tank tops I wear.  Plus after 13 miles, what started out comfortable can often turn ugly.

I have to admit that the t-shirt served a secondary purpose as well.  I was already wearing tiny shorts, a looser shirt made me feel less exposed.  Oh, the things we tell ourselves.

Anyways, I set out in uncomfortable clothes with no water for 3.5 miles.  My goal was to maintain pace even while dealing with wardrobe mishaps and a warmer day than planned.  Was it comfortable? No.  There is a very valid reason I don’t run in those shorts. I felt the urge to yank them down every 3 feet.  As an added distraction, it turned out that the material was a little slippery and my belt slid around more than usual.  The t-shirt actually didn’t suck.   All in all though, mission accomplished.  Granted, the 10K on Sunday is 2x as long and a lot go wrong in 13 miles.  But I feel slightly more prepared for it.

Awkward but done!!

Awkward but done!!

Tuesday was supposed to be the start of a new volleyball season.  I packed my clothes the night before and dug out the Nerd socks.    Woke up this morning with the same sore throat, WTF?   The pain eased up and went away by midday.  However, then my lunch decided not to like me.   With a race in 5 days, I chose to bypass volleyball practice.  :(

 

Tomorrow brings work and work school and then back to work for the monthly meeting.  The only miles I will be putting in will be driving.  However, maybe that is a good thing with mysterious sore throat.  So, as of now, I have not planned my next run.  Again, :(

 

Coming up, though, my favorite race!!!!! The HOB Fun Run.  This will be the 7th year that I have participated in this race in some form or another.  The first 3 years I volunteered at a water table, wondering why anyone in their right mind would be running down the street on a cold Sunday morning.  After 3 years watching, I ran it the 4th year; it was my very first race.  I was wearing the shoes my friend C had helped me get for my birthday that year.  She was training for the Nike Women’s marathon that year, so she did not run it.  I had other friends run it and they all finished ahead of me, but I finished! Last year during the 5K was the first time I broke 30 minutes.   This will be my 4th time running it and my first time running the 10K.  I am so excited!!!!!  This will also be my second year working the packet pick up the day before.

 

So rest is on the menu to prepare for an awesome weekend ahead!  So I am typing this from my very comfy chair!!

 

Happy almost Wednesday!!!! Almost halfway to Friday :)  Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

 

Races!

If you’re reading this, you came back! Thanks!

 So I have to admit that part of what I love about running is the races.  Nerdy and kind of needy, I know but I love the prerace jitters and the feeling you get when you cross the finish line.  Doesn’t matter if you were slow or fast, you still did it.   I mean yes I still like to improve my times and get better, but even when I finish slower than the last time, I still feel good.  Plus you get cheesy finish line pictures to show off or hide.

Plus having a race to train for ensures I don’t spend too much time in my comfy chair, binge watching Doctor Who.  So it’s good to have goals:) I have two races in July that I hope to complete, so fingers crossed:)  While in one I do hope to PR ( personal record, FYI), the other I just hope to finish, hehe! I have never run on the beach before so it should be interesting to say the least.  That water is cold!