Tag: puppy

GREW From the Vines 5K- Recap

A top 20 finish!  I got lost!  Have I peaked your interest?  🙂

Having been feeling under the weather for a week, hearing the alarm go off on Saturday morning was rough.   It was cold outside, I was tired and my bed was so warm.   What was I thinking?     Oh I know, it was my pride.  I wanted to prove to myself that even feeling crappy all the time, I could still pull a 30 minute 5K in a race.    Stupid, I know.  IMG_7259 Since it was a cold morning and I was fearing asthma issues, I layered up in clothing.  Yes, I know it’s cold air I breathe in that causes my issues but I just felt like the layers helped me be mentally prepared.   As I still wasn’t feeling great I told myself 31 minutes would be a good adjustment.  Like that made a huge difference.  Head games, much?IMG_7229It was a smaller local race so I headed out around 8:15 for a 9:00 start time.  My mom and the puppy were with me as well.  I knew what winery it was at and its general location.  Driving out I never saw any signs that said Villa 46, we came up on another winery that I had a run a race at and I knew that we had gone to far.   We turned around and headed back the other way, this time paying attention to the street numbers.  We find what we are looking for but it says Villa Toscana… and we couldn’t pull in the main drive.   Continuing on a little farther we found a delivery driveway with yet another name but same street numbers.  We pulled in there and parked next to some trucks that had already parked.    Seeing the number of cars parked and then seeing the page of pre-registered runners confirmed that this was going to be the smallest race I have ever run.  Only 17 people pre-registered.  I think we barely hit 20 by start time.  IMG_7212After a little announcement, a race volunteer told us there would be kids guiding us at each turn so we wouldn’t get lost.  He also mentioned staying inside the fence.  Then we were off!  The first mile started on a dirt road but it fairly flat and wide so it was easy to run on.  The kids directed us right and we headed out towards the street.    As we got to the street I saw an arrow pointing right again but it kind of looked like it was telling us to run on the uneven grass.  That didn’t seem right and everyone was running on the street so I followed.  Let me clarify that the grass was on the inside of the fence.

Wow, that looks like bad form
Wow, that looks like bad form

As we ran down the street, we passed the delivery driveway.  Some people turned up it only to turn around and run back to the street.  A volunteer was yelling something towards us but we couldn’t hear him.  A group of us chatted, figured they told us to stay on the street and all kept running towards the main driveway.  Turned in there, headed back across the start line and back to the first Y.  This time the kids sent us left.  Mile 1- 9:22.  I was feeling good so I was very happy with that time.

Then mile 2 came.  Going left this time sent us down into the vineyard.  Gorgeous views but I have run trails up mountains that had better maintained paths than that.  I should have worn my trail shoes.   By now I had decided to try to pace a tall guy wearing red in front of me and a woman in front of him.   Then the inclines started.  Ok, all were less than 100 ft but all were short and steep and on loose ground riddled with divets.    I know I have maintained an average base lately but I don’t have it in me to run hills right now.  However, I can power walk them faster than I can run them.   So that is what I did.   I lost red shirt here but was able to pass the woman who was struggling with the climb too.   From there it was another small climb and out on a grassy section.  Mile 2- 10:54.  Ouch.

Mile 3 led us around another set of vines and through the actual vines.  Have you ever tried to run between vines?  It’s hard!  Then a little down hill section that I flew down before heading back to the first set of vines.  This is where I passed a woman in blue, caught up to red shirt and passed him too.  I could have sworn we were going right and up that hill again but the kids waved us left.  Wait, what?  We should be close to done not running the opposite way of the start line!

I was also way too damn hot.  Capri’s and long sleeves were way too much for high 50’s.  I passed a guy in white shirt before rounding a corner and another little incline.  Red shirt caught back up.  No!  I sped up.   Another trek between two vines and it was up the last biggest hill and back towards the start.   I briefly checked my watch because I knew I had to be close to 30.  32:something, ugh.IMG_7261Then I noticed the mileage.  3.2 miles and I still had more to go.  What?!  Rounded a corner to the start and a woman waved me on through another gate and up the main drive way and finally to the finish.    Finaltime- around 34:4?  It took me a moment to stop my Garmin.  Finalmileage- 3.44.   My mileage was echoed by other runners watches as well.  According to my mother I was the second woman across the finish line.

Leading up to the finish line
Leading up to the finish line

So no, I did not hit the arbitrary time goal that I had set myself.  But I felt good throughout the race, my lungs and my stomach behaved for the entire thing.  And I passed people!!!!  It has been so long since I have done that, it felt kind of awesome.  Childish, I know, but still awesome.  🙂 IMG_7255The finish line was kind of gorgeous so we took enjoyed the scenery for a while before heading home.   There was a man who ran the race with his chocolate lab so we let Zoey and her meet.   Zoey was so excited to meet a dog that wanted to play and not attack her.   The lab was small for the breed and super sweet.    She put up with Zoey’s hyper level well.    So it was a good morning all around!  🙂

Can you guess where we all got lost?  The kids did a good job directing us which way to go.   However there were no kids at the corner where we went on to the street.    When we were supposed to stay inside the fence.  Yeah.  Oops.   Poor listening skills aside, getting lost driving there as well, it was still a good race.   I felt a little bad for the poor turn out.   I hope they try it again next year.   This time, I’ll wear my trail shoes.    Oh and blogger fail, I didn’t go back down into the vineyard to get pictures of the course.

Ever get lost at a race?  This makes my 3rd time.

Ever run a super tiny race?

Sleepy and Slow

After waking from my third power nap of the week on Saturday afternoon, I realized that my planned 10 miler on Sunday might not be the best idea.  Sleep was not my friend then and it still is not now.  Saturday wasn’t even a stressful day.  It was a day of relaxing shopping and yummy food.     I had a generic gift card to blow so I treated myself to a ridiculous pair of flip flops.   They’re black and basic but super supportive, I have high arches and for the first time, I feel like these actually support them.    But the price did make me a little squeamish, they better last forever!  And of course, I had to spend money at Dick’s.  🙂

This color may be an obsession
This color may be an obsession

I was still tired after my little nap, but I followed through with my no excuses plan and completed my yoga dvd.  I almost let myself believe that walking around while shopping could count as my days’ exercise but unless you are running from store to store or aggressively trying on clothes, it’s more of a leisurely stroll.   I felt a little better by the end of the DVD though. Since going to sleep at the usual time hadn’t helped and neither had earlier times, Saturday I flipped it, I stayed up reading until 2 hoping I would be so tired I would sleep. Yeah, not so much.

Not bad considering all the walking
Not bad considering all the walking

I headed out Sunday afternoon for a run. Since I had decided that running the full 10 wasn’t the brightest, I thought that a least a 10K was 10 of something. I also met up with my mom and the puppy at various points, so those were opportune walk moments or miles.  🙂  Since I was so tired, I made sure to take as many walk breaks as I needed and not care about my pace. The weird thing was that I felt like my form was spot on for the first time. I felt like I was running tall and strong. Of course no one was watching so it could have all been in my sleep deprived head.   According to my watch I spent 2 different ½ mile sections at around an 8:00 minute pace. What? I can’t do that when I am fully rested. I was still tired but I felt good after my run.6-16

That feeling did not translate in better sleep last night and I was dragging butt this morning. Work was straight up chaos, more so than the usual Monday but we got through it. I admit to 2 sodas getting me through the day.   After work, I hit the park for a very short 2.5 miles. I just wanted to get moving. Plus I had a new visor to break in. I bought the visor to be a spare on Saturday only to discover Sunday that my month old purple one was broken. Ugh. Talk about good timing. The run was ok, nothing great but nothing bad either.  No complaints here!  If I don’t sleep well tonight, tomorrow will be a complete rest day.   I would like to do a kettle bell workout but we will see how it goes.  I used to be a night owl/ insomniac (2 AM was the norm) so you’d think I’d be used to this.

How was your weekend?

Ever have rough periods of sleep? Help!



A Little Indecison

Happy Friday!!!

I am so ready for this weekend.  I haven’t slept well all week and the tossing and turning is getting to me.  So bad, I took a 15 minute break yesterday, set a timer for 12 minutes and took a power nap.   It only slightly helped.   That being said, I was still looking forward to running after work.

Once we were done for the day, I was suddenly struck with indecision.   I had planned on running in work town, aiming for an easy 4 miler, but I didn’t want to wear pants.   For some reason I feel uncomfortable running in shorts in work town.  I am not sure why but I never said I was always logical.  🙂  I had both shorts and capris packed in my bag, so I chose the shorts and headed to the lake path.  Halfway there, I decided I didn’t want to run the path.  I don’t know if it was because I have run it so often lately or if it was lingering, uneasy memories of the lurker from Tuesday.  So I kept driving.   I thought about driving home and running from there but that didn’t sound enticing either.  I tried to think of another option.

I finally settled on a path I knew over by a friend’s house.  It was an out and back that I had run portions of at various times, but I had never run the whole length before.  Walked/ran parts during my first horrible 10K but never run the whole thing.   There’s a new portion now that connects to the original, so I was hoping that it would be around 2.5 miles to the turn around which would give me 5 for the day.  It would be uphill to the turn around, but I figured that would just ensure that it was an easy run.

Random bench along the way
Random bench along the way

I started off with a warm up walk, that was probably too short, before picking up the pace.  I felt pretty good going uphill actually.   Even though this was supposed to be an easy run I was looking forward to some faster running on the return downhill.    I haven’t run this path in well over a year but for the first time I ran the whole way up.  I was stoked but also tiring as I neared the turnaround.  I was also disappointed.  The turnaround came at 1.75 miles, boo.  😦   I turned right and ran until the sidewalk ended but it didn’t add a lot before heading back down.

About to go back down
About to go back down

Then it was all downhill, literally and figuratively.  I suddenly felt like someone had hit me with a tired stick.   I felt like I was running through water, and as a result crawling.  I actually took a walk break just before mile 3 because I just felt rough.  A break going downhill?  After that I told myself that the faster I ran, the sooner I would be done, so I just pushed on.  Hitting the new path section was the hardest, the sun was setting right in my eyes, the trees are still saplings so no shade, it felt like I was running in a desert.  I hit the street finally and was only at 3.75 miles.  Ugh.  The path picks back up on the other side of the street so I ran a little more until I hit 4.   And I was done.    Later I checked my Garmin and noticed that the elevation gain was only 127 ft, man, that’s barely a hill.  I think that first 10K 2 years ago really traumatized me, I remember it feeling so much bigger.  Ha! 🙂   I also noticed that my last mile was 8:40, sweet!

Here be desert
Here be desert

Even though I had some lovely sudden onset tiredness, I liked the path, I may run it again.  I just wish it was longer.  The path actually runs all the way to the other side of town, but that involves running under a bridge.   Ummm, no thanks.   I did it once with my mom and ML and I felt like we needed protection.  puppyjog

After another poor night of sleep last night and a busy day at work, I was looking for something low-key today.  I was also wishing I hadn’t wasted my 1 lazy day on Wednesday, stupid stomach.  So it was time for a 5K puppy walk!  I headed out with my mom and the puppy.  We were dodging graduation traffic, so we kept it pretty leisurely.    We had a scare though when some crazy large poodle rushed a fence, barking and growling at us.   The fence was useless because the poodle almost cleared it in one jump.  Meanwhile the owner is sitting there watching.  Really?!  Zoey never barked back, just looked at us like “what’s his trauma”?  I have to say the dog was actually pretty scary.

Now I am looking forward to a hopefully relaxing weekend.  A little shopping, a little reading and a not so little run.

What are your plans this weekend? Anyone racing?

Any crazy dog encounters on your runs?  I’ve been attacked before, that’s actually why I started carrying pepper spray.


May Recap = No Excuses Summer

May was a long, kind of rough month that also felt like it passed in the blink of an eye.   But enough whining, lets move on to the numbers-


Run or Dye–                   ?????
Bands on the Run 10K- 59:28May

May turned out to be my lowest mileage for the year so far.  This was due to a variety of reasons but at this point I calling bullshit and saying that they were all excuses and poor planning on my part.  Which leads into my summer plans-


As of June 1st, I am done whining.  This is going to be really hard so I may need your help.   🙂  What this means is that going forward I will do at least 10 minutes of exercise six days a week.  Doesn’t really sound like anything at all, but considering all I do right now is run and sit on my butt, it’s a step in the right direction.

  • So I will run a minimum of 3 days a week, 4 if I’m feeling feisty.  But I will focus more on quality than hitting a mileage goal.
  • The yoga DVD has made it’s way into the dvd player and will be done once a week, the kettle bell dvd should be done once a week as well.
  • Also on the plan is to start using the gym I pay for but haven’t been to in 3 months. And by use I mean something other than the treadmill 🙂

As for the no excuses, I have made a lot of them lately.  Work was crazy, it was hot, my stomach hurt, I had the paper to work on, etc.   Enough is enough.   Work is going to be crazy until at least the end of the year, so I may as well get over it.  The heat?  As someone pointed out, I live in central California, it’s just a fact of life.  I should be thankful that we don’t have humidity.   I don’t know how anyone runs in that.  My stomach? Well, realistically, it’s never going to work right, I’ve been told that, so why wait in vain for it to be perfect?  As for the paper, it’s done and the class is done.  Not my best work.  😦

There are 24 hours in a day and really I have next to no obligations.   There is nothing stopping me from exercising before or after work other than my Slacker-ness.   While it may be hot in my home town, my work town usually runs about 25º cooler.  Granted, to run more than 4 miles I will have to find roads with actual shoulders but I’m sure it can be done.   And if not, well then there is the nice air conditioned gym.  🙂pupyhike

In keeping with this new attitude, Sunday I completed the yoga dvd and day 1 of the AB challenge that is floating around right now.  After the race on Saturday followed by a 3 mile hike with my mom and the puppy that night, I gave my legs a break from running.  We did the same hike as the Firehouse 5K race, it’s still hard just walking.    But yoga equals exercise so day 1, done!

The view
The view

Monday was a vacation day for me, which was awesome.   I had planned to run 6 miles in the AM and followed by a busy day of errands and helping my mother with her tennis banquet that night.   I woke to find that day 2 was going to be a challenge.  My stomach was horrible and there was no way I was running then.  I did some thinking and knew I had a small window around 1:00 to squeeze in some miles, so I slept a little longer.  By 1:00, my stomach was barely better but I couldn’t quit after a 1 day streak so I went out for a slow run.  I kept it easy and walked every time it got a little worse.   I came to a complete halt at 3.5 miles for a few moments but I pushed though.  4.5 miles completed!    Normally, I would have blown off all exercise for the day.6-2

I was supposed to help my mother hand out the awards during the banquet but the puppy was not doing well with the unusual crowd at the house.  Finally to calm her down, I took her for a walk.  It was supposed to be short, but she had energy to burn and maintained a steady pace for 2.5 miles.  She never does that!  So in a hap hazard way, I hit my mileage goal for the day anyways.  🙂  I only completed half of the ab challenge though, my stomach was in no mood to do sit ups or crunches.

woah, throwback
woah, throwback

Today was another vacation day, yay!  I met a friend for lunch to celebrate her birthday tomorrow ( Happy birthday ML!).  It was yummy.  My stomach is still not happy so I was planning on taking it easy and doing the yoga dvd in the evening.   Then I ended up helping my mother with tennis practice.    It’s spring practice for fall right now, and she has like 30 girls out there.  She likes when I come help because I am more of a drill sergeant out there.    I lost count of how many times I yelled bend your knees.   Even though that could have counted as my exercise of the day and Tuesdays are a usual running rest day, I couldn’t pass up a vacation day and not run.  So I set out for 4 miles.

I don’t know if it was my stomach or just because I mentally think of Tuesday as a rest day but it was hard.  I ran so slow.  Then I got stuck behind a truck doing an awkward 5 point turn in mile 2 and a phone call in mile 3.  Ok, I get it, not a fast run day, but still got it in.  🙂  So 3 for 3 so far!   Let’s see how far I can go!

It’s back to work for me tomorrow.  😦  Plus I have to get a few miles for National Running Day!   I might check out the gym equipment too.  But seriously? How do you use that stuff?

What are your goals for June?  

No really, any gym tips?


Someone Kick Me

I had good intentions about getting in some really good runs over the long weekend.  You know what that saying about good intentions?  Yeah.  I had hoped to run a few miles Sunday evening after the hike but it didn’t happen.    There was some drama with the mother’s puppy and that made a perfect excuse.  Monday was a day off from work, perfect opportunity to get in some miles, but nope, saw Godzilla instead.     May has been a pretty off month for me; I am kind of nervous for my race on Saturday.  I feel completely unprepared and it’s just the 10K.  I am so glad I didn’t sign up for the half this time around.


I did get in a few miles after work on Tuesday.  But honestly, starting in 96º was not the best idea.   4 miles turned into a 5K, a slow, hot 5K.    I ran at the lake so I am still walking the construction section and I was so thankful for those walk breaks.   I even tried to take a picture to show how hot I was.   I felt like I was panting like a dog, ugh.

poor puppy
poor puppy
This is how we hung out
This is how we hung out

Speaking of dogs, my mom had a banquet thing for tennis, so I hung out with the puppy for a bit after my run.   She got hurt on Sunday trying to protect her yard and had to go back to the vet Tuesday.   She does not like her medicine.   Plus she is sad that she can’t play with her toys for a few weeks.  😦  We just chilled on the patio.   She would doze off next to me, then wake up to see if I was still there. It was kind of cute. 🙂

what the hell am I doing with my hand?
what the hell am I doing with my hand?

I once again hit the path for a few miles tonight.  4.5 sluggish miles.   The goal was a nice, easy pace of 10:00.  Pace met, but it didn’t feel easy.   I don’t know why running feels so hard lately.  I haven’t even run over 6 miles since my last half marathon.  Apparently May is synonymous with Slacker.  I was very happy to see the walking sections tonight as well.  But sooner rather than later, they will finish the construction and I will no longer be able to rationalize the walking so easily.   Wah Wah.  I really need to kick this- whatever this is.

Ok, it no longer be called a lake
Ok, it can no longer be called a lake

Tomorrow I hope to get to packet pickup for the race on Saturday.   It’ll be tight with work but I think I can make it.  Less stress for race morning then.  🙂 Is it too much to hope that this race will be the kick in the pants I need?   And a cookie counts as carb loading right?  Now if I can just hold myself to 1.

How has your week been?

Anyone else have a rough month or so of training? 

What are your weekend plans?