Friday, November 30, 2012

CIM and Stormaggedon

  Less than 2 days to go. As I look out my window I see my future. And it includes grey skies and down pouring rain. I have heard our storms described as Stormaggedon and an Atmospheric River. Prepare for flooding, gusting winds and power outages. Perfect. I am trying to stay optimistic. Really I am. But I do find it ironic that when I found CIM I thought it was perfect. Mostly downhill, and over 30 years the weather is close to perfection. Well jokes on me. Ha!

My husband came home yesterday from his business trip and tried to cheer me up. He said I should view running in this storm like Lt. Dan in Forest Gump. Remeber him yelling "Is this all you got!?" So that will be me on Sunday, yelling to the heavens "Is this all you got? Bring it!" is what it is. 

So in a perfect world, my best case scenario goal would have been to double my best half time (2:20) and my goal would have been 4:40. But I was realistic, I knew it was my first full. I'd get fatigued, so I would add some time. So my next goal would have been under 5. Sounded reasonable and obtainable. Even 4:55 would make me happy. 
Now with Stormaggedon upon us, (and my left shin still feeling wonky) my new goal is to be alive. Yep. Just finish. Maybe finish before they take down the porta potties and finish line. 

Just kidding. My goal is still is to just finish but hopefully right around 5. Give or take 15 minutes.  I plan now to meet up with a pace group. I might find a Clydesdale to draft behind :) Maybe they won't notice I'm back there. 

I was looking for motivation today and I found this. It's awesome. 

I especially loved the kid in the bike helmet.

My new mantra will be " Look up. Get up. And never give up."

That, or "Which way to the arc?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CIM Countdown Continues

  Taper crazies continue around here and it's been a bit of a hectic week. My husband is out of town so I've been a single parent all week. I usually don't mind when he goes out of town because its kinda fun and I don't feel the pressure to stress about cooking, etc. But this time I was bummed because I had some short runs planned and I was just overall stressed about CIM.

Speaking of CIM I saw this today and definately freaked out:

Two weeks ago I ran 20 miles and felt great but now I've lost my confidence when my shins started giving me grief.

I got off work early today and decided to go for a quick 3 mile, very easy run just to test out my legs. Mile 1 was fine. No problems. But then my left shin felt super tight. I stopped and tried to just move my foot in circles. First to the right then the left. That seemed to help a little. I pushed on and I can't really tell if its better, the same, or worse. Maybe I'm just freaking myself out. 

On my run I was trying to decide what to do with the shin splints. Should I just continue icing, massaging/pressure points, foam roller, ibuprophening? Or should I see the doc and can she do a cortisone shot for shin splints? Would that help? What about acupuncture? A massage? I have tomorrow to take action on something.

I also wanted to get in a run today because California is finally having some weather. You know if it is on the national news than its something. Today was the first of three storms expected this week. Warnings about flooding, power outages, etc. (usually I take it with a grain of salt because its never that bad...we just aren't used to anything other than sun and occasional sprinkles. ) When I was on my run I definately saw the clouds but luckily no rain. And I got done before the sun went down. Score.

I saw this on Facebook and I laughed so hard. :) 

I wanted to get a shirt with "You just got passed by a Grandma" on the back but my family just rolled their eyes at the idea. This shirt is great though.

Any tips from anyone that's ever had shin splints? Or has known of anyone with shin splints?  

Monday, November 26, 2012

CIM Countdown (Taper Crazies)

  Six days til CIM and I am officially freaking out. 

I did the Big Sur Half  (+7) for my last long run last week. I rested Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I ran 5 and was glad I did. Like always, the first run after a long run sucked. My legs felt heavy and I was slow. But at the end I was glad I went and felt good. Thursday I pigged out and felt like I gained 10 pounds. On Saturday I went for another run. I wanted to run 10 but holy moly I felt like crap. My calves felt tight and my shins were killing me. So I hobbled along and ran 3.5 then I talked my nine year old into walking 2 with me and the puppy. (She moaned and complaining the first mile ....grr) I felt so discouraged. What was wrong with my legs?!?!?  I spent time diagnosing myself (thank you World Wide Web) and now I think I have shin splints. I have been icing, stretching, massaging, ibuprophening and foam rollering. 

I found some great You Tube videos with pressure points, stretches, etc. and I'm hoping it gets better quick. I wanted to run today just to see how it felt but now it's looking like tomorrow will work out better. Which is probably better because my left leg still feels sooo tight. The massage and foam roller seem to work the best. 

I'm also freaking out about the weather. As I sit here enjoying our 70 degree weather I'm also checking the weather for this weekend and apparently a big wet, windy storm is coming. Yikes. I don't run in bad weather. Not wind. Not rain. I even try to avoid over 70 or below 50. I'm a big weather wimp for sure and have no idea what to wear for the marathon. Maybe shorts, short sleeves with arm warmers. Still can't decide on which shoes to wear. My well worn tried and true Brooks? Newer Saucony? New Newtons? I'm leaning toward to Brooks especially dealing with my shin issue now I think that might be the best bet. 

As I mentioned above I feel like I've gained at least 5pounds. That certainly can't be good for a marathon so now that all the leftovers are gone I'm going to really watch what I eat this week. I'm also trying to drink a ton of water. 

So there it is. I've looked forward to this for so long. I've visualized each and every mile marker. My long runs have mostly gone ok. Argh!!!!!! Tapering stinks!!!

(Sorry for all the complaining. I will add some pictures to cheer up this post some:)

So pretty. This is down the street from my house. 

My yard. The apricot trees look beautiful this year. 
Here's another :

Neighbor's vineyard that I was messing around with the editing...

And here's me (in the midst of crazy tapering):

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Sur Half Marathon Recap

  I'll begin my Big Sur Half Marathon recap with the expo. On Saturday, my friend Maribel and I drove to Monterey to pick up our bibs. The Expo was at the Monterey Convention center and it was the biggest expo I've been to.  There were very short, quick lines to pick up the bibs.

Then we checked out the vendors. It was was twice as big as any expo I've been to but all the races I've done so far have been pretty small. 

Basically lots of booths for shopping and they were having runner workshops. We didn't stay for the speakers but we did shop around a little. 

Sunday morning Melissa, Maribel and me all met at 5am to drive over to Monterey. It was very well organized and their website and the emails they had sent us had lots of information about where to park to get the shuttles to the start. Parking was no problem, shuttles were all waiting for us and it was a quick 5 minute ride to the start. This was my first experience with corrals and we were way in the back in corral I. We hit the porta potties twice and there were tons of them so the lines went very quick. 

That night we kept checking the weather because it had been raining and every weather report we saw said rain throughout the morning. I was not looking forward to a half marathon in the rain. Luckily when we got there the clouds were disappearing and the day ended up beautiful. I just wish I had worn shorts instead of capris because I was expecting cold and wet. And it ended up bright and beautiful. 

Here we are waiting to start.

Here is the start as our corral inched its was up. There were 9000 runners!

After running thru the small downtown area we made it out to the water. It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect. It was a realatively flat course with a few rolling hills. Water/Aid stations about every 2 miles. Lots of volunteers , support and lots of cheering crowds. 

There was also some bands along the route and these drums were super fun right along the water. 

Toward the end of the race, maybe around mile 10 or 11, I saw a lot of walkers so I was passing a lot of people. That really boosted my spirits and I just kept at it. I don't think this would be a good race to PR at due to the crowds. There were a lot of people and when people decided to walk they just stopped in the middle if the road which was annoying trying to dodge around everyone. It is also so pretty a lot of people (myself included) stopping to snap a few pictures. (The key is to step out of the way though :).   

It really was so breath taking running along the water and Big Sur puts on such great events.  Now I am motivated to try the marathon in the future. Next years marathon is sold out so maybe 2014. Everything was very organized, plenty of water stops, some music, great crowd support. The expo was also great and the after party was huge and packed with people meeting up with their families. 

Interestingly, the winners were newlyweds Ben Bruce and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce. His time was 1:04  and she came in at 1:12. So his overall pace was 4:56!!! When he passed us he was flying! Amazing. On the news the next day they said they were going to use their winnings on their honeymoon to South Africa. 

I was using this as part of my long run so I had to go home and run 7 more. I was dreading it but it worked out perfectly and I felt really good. I ran the half in 2:33. Not a PR but I stopped to take pics and once for the potty. Then when I can home I ran the 7 more. Overall ran 20 miles in 3:50 (slow , I know) but good for me! Then I walked one more mile home because I just couldn't run it. 

Now I'm into the taper crazies surrounded by Thanksgiving leftovers...very odd combination. 8 more days to CIM!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Day my Work Burned Down

  This week has been a weird one for sure. Let start with fitness. I did another DIY Crossfit workout  after work on Tuesday.  It was simple Dirty Thirty.
30 of each:
Box jumps
Chair dips

I broke them up into tens and did three sets. It was a good little work out. I also did a 1 minute plank. 

Wednesday morning I went for a five mile run before work. But when I came rushing in the door about to go racing around getting ready for work my husband tells me there's no need to rush. I look at him crazy like of course I need to rush don't you see the time. He smiles and says no, no work today. I'm a dental hygienist so I think hmm, did all of my patients randomly cancel all on the same day?  My husband says no, no work today and maybe not for awhile. What?!?! Am I fired? Did something happen?!?! Then he tells me the phone has been going crazy and my job burned down!!!! Holy moly! Yep. It sure did. 

So we drove over to see it. 

Hard to see the damage but its pretty much gone. Everything destroyed. We didn't get too close because they had it all taped and waiting for fire investigators. 
So I found myself with the day off and my mind swirling with questions. Now, as a dental hygienist I work at two offices. So this office I only worked at 6 days a month, every Wednesday and every other Thursday. So I do have work at another office too. This is bad and it will hurt our monthly income for sure but thankfully I do have another income source. 
Luckily no one was hurt. This fire started in the middle of the night and no one was there. It was limited to one building in the office complex but it affected three different offices all connected in this building. So alot of employees out of work right before the holidays. Yikes. We are looking for temporary space to work in until it can be rebuilt. 
Here's a funny little story. So when we first heard about the fire and the whole family is in the kitchen scrambling around to get the kids off to school my nine year old daughter hears about the fire and says "Oh no Mommy! What are you going to be now?"  Not missing a beat I say, "Mommy's gonna be an astronaut!!"   She seems quite happy with my career change. ;)

So the week has been a bit strange. Here's the rest if my week in random ramblings:

-my husband has been sick so I've been avoiding him like the plague. Then I got a sore throat and was cursing him all week knowing I was going to get sick. Starting taking Airborne which I believe to just be a placebo but it worked! Sure throat gone and no other symptoms. Yay! But now the 9 year old is sniffling. Ugh

- the rain has started and I wish we had a treadmill. Still need to get my miles in but dread trekking thru the rain. Now that income is not as it was I can't really justify joining a gym . 

-My church is having a Hoilday Boutique tomorrow and I volunteered to bake 6 loaves of pumpkin bread to sell at the bake sale. So lots of baking this afternoon. 

-Tomorrow I'm heading over to Monterey to the Big Sur Half Expo to pick up my bib. Looks like rain for Sunday's race and after the race I plan on running 7 more. That will be my last long run before CIM. I really need to find a treadmill if its raining. Maybe I can get a guest pass for the gym .

Well, I think that about sums up my week. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favorite Health and Fitness Apps

Before I get started let me show you this weeks homework. It was a project for the whole family but ended up just Beth and I working on it. (Which was actually nice to have some one on one time) 

She brought home this turkey and he's super scared because Thanksgiving is coming. The mission is to disguise him. Past disguises have included hula dancers, Santa, football players, etc. Beth decide on a princess and then half way thru she added bride so it ended up a princess bride. Here is the final project after much hot glue and burned fingers (mine, not hers). 

So I've been meaning to post this for awhile now because I'm always looking for useful apps for my iPhone. I'm super cheap so I usually only buy the free ones so I can delete them without guilt if I'm not using it. 

So lets get started:

My first app I want to share is Fooducate. I use this app just about every time I'm at the store. You scan the barcode and it rates it for how healthy the item is. It really comes in handy when comparing items and you'd be surprised at some of the things being advertised as "healthy" and then you find out its not so healthy. 

This is a great app and you can browse similar items or find out why it got a low rating. Since I started using the app I try to only buy "A"and"B".  Snack items are tougher so my kids don't get a lot of snacky type items anymore. But it has really helped clean up our diets. They also have a new Gluten Fooducate if you are gluten free.  I haven't looked into it but it might be helpful to people sensitive to gluten. Check out their website as well. Fooducate.

The next app is Couch to 5K. I love this app as it got me off my ass and convinced me that even I could be a runner. Love love love it. Super easy and you can listen to music and just wait for the little British accented voice to encourage you to run for a few minutes. 

After I finished the program I ran my first 5K and seriously hoped they had a Couch to Half Marathon (sadly they do not). 

After I graduated from Couch to 5K I got Runmeter. I didn't have a fancy Garmjn watch so this worked perfectly. I could listen to my music and similar to C25K a voice told me my distance and pace. It logs all runs and has elevation, maps, pace. Everything. 


JogFM is great for music. It analyzes your music and then matches   BPM to your pace. Totally awesome. Go check out their website for more info. JogFM. On their website you can enter your pace and it gives you playlists that match. The app has a bunch of options that I really haven't explored it all but I really like it. 

Cool features. Check it out. 

If you are really watching/tracking your diet and exercise check out Nutrition Menu.

You can track everything you eat, exercise, even water you drink. I don't use this app for tracking but love it for eating out. Here in California chain restaurants are required to have nutrition info available which comes in handy. But if you are trying to decide what to eat when your out and about this app comes in handy so you can make better choices. 

That journal is neat if you are tracking your diet. We had to do this in college in Nutrition. For days we had to track out diet, enter it into a computer program on campus and then it analyzed it, and we had to write a paper on the findings. Very insightful. Now years later this is so much simpler. Instant feedback to see where you are meeting your needs and what you are lacking. 

If you are into Crossfit or just looking for some DIY workouts check out the WOD app. At Crossfit their workouts are named after people. Mostly heroes, soldiers that have lost their lives, or have other inspiring stories. 

So the app tells about the hero the workout is named for and some of them (not sure if all of them) have a video and a description of the workout.

Ok this one was chosen at random. Lol. Not all of them are this hard. But a lot of them are able to be done at home or traveling with no equipment needed. It also has news stories, timers (tabata, stopwatch, and interval).

Ok. I think that's about it. The only other recommendation I have isn't for an app but a website for free downloadable playlists. It's called Rock my Run. 
You get credits that go toward downloading the music. Great way to get new music. 

Any suggestions for healthy apps?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DIY Barn Workout

  So happy today knowing that when we wake up tomorrow there will be no election ads! 

I've been recovering from my long run on Saturday. As long as I keep moving I feel good but if I sit too long and at night I feel still. Sometimes my hip is sore, sometimes my left IT band,sometimes my hamstrings or quads. I've been using the foam roller and trying to be diligent with it as it seems to really help.

Today after work I wanted to come home and run but I saw this as I was driving home:

I heard it was a controlled burn (which would surprise me because we've been having a heat wave here in California. And I also heard it was a house fire that spread)

It wasn't near my house but the smoke was all billowing toward my town and I heard it was pretty smoky so I decided to do a Crossfit WOD in my barn. We stopped going to Crossfit for several reasons. 1) hard to fit in schedule with more running. 2) too sore after some workouts so it made the runs really hard. And 3) too expensive if we weren't going very much. So here is my barn/gym and my workout.

Here is where I did my pull-ups (I actually did jump ups). See my stool :)

I did my push-ups on these towels. And box jumps on that green box:

My phone was on the hay too the left so I could time my workout.
Here is what I did :
AMRAP  in 10 minutes
5 pull-ups (jump ups)
5 push-ups
10 box jumps
10 squats

I completed 8 rounds with some company watching me.....

Jake the goat. (Blurry because he's quick)

Shotsy our austrailian heeler.

And Beth was riding her pony Splash while I did my workout. We also saw 3 deer walking around while we were out there. 

Planning a 5 mile run tomorrow with my friends after work. I've really been enjoying running in town with the girls because there's so much to see in town. I've been so bored out here in the country seeing the same route. 

25 days til CIM!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Challenges and a Long Run

  Where to begin.....hmm. Well I've been glued to the news watching Hurricane Sandy news. The devastation has affected so many and I certainly hope that power and services get restored soon and people can start to rebuild their lives. 
In the midst of all the storm coverage was the whole NYC Marathon fiasco. What a mess that was. I think cancelling was the right decision but I wish they had called it off earlier, before so many people had travelled so far and invested even more into a race that never happened. 
I saw on Crazy Running Girl yesterday about a Virtual Race for Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross. 

Basically you pledge at least $10, run any race during the month, send them results and pic after you do the race. For all info click here.

I'm already signed up for the Big Sur Half  so now I will be running it to benefit those affected by the storm. Living 3000 miles away while we are enjoying 80 degree weather   you feel so removed from it so I think it's important to get involved and see how you can help. (So sign up!!)

On the lighter side:  I am doing a Plank Challenge thru Carrots N Cake. It's a 4 week challenge and its hard. On Mondays we do a plank on elbows for as long as you can hold it. On Wednesday she posts a plank workout that takes less than 10 minutes. Then Friday you do another timed plank to see if you've improved time. I started at 1:20 and I'm up to 2 minutes now. It's hard but you sure feel it in your abs. 

I'm also doing the Pile on the Miles thru Run Eat Repeat.  It's a challenge to pile in extra miles instead if pounds during this holiday season. I figure I'm already doing this little marathon training counting the miles should be easy. I'm just going to add more easy walking as recovery from longer runs. 

You may be desperately wondering how my long run went. It went fantastic!!! 18 miles!!! WooHoo! Saturday morning I met up with my friend Melissa (who is running the Big Sur Half with me) and we ran 11 miles all around our tiny town. I went home and needed to run 7 more but it heated up to 80 degrees so I waited for it to cool down a bit. Those 7 miles were so daunting and my little mind was trying to figure out how to get out of it. I just went for it and kept going. It really wasn't too bad. I did walk a bit at the end and I certainly was slow. I've decided to really not focus on speed at all anymore. I'm all about getting to the start healthy and uninjured and then just finish. Hoping for an awesome experience and if I ever run another marathon I will work on speed next time. 

All last night and this morning I'm rocking the compression socks and shorts and resting. Tried to enjoy my extra hour of sleep but my 9 year old was up at 5am! What the heck!?! (May e I can sneak in a nap later?

Have a great day!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Morgan Hill Half Marathon (or The Race that Killed me)

On Saturday I drove to Morgan Hill to pick up our bibs. This is a small town race (a little under 2000 signed up for both half and full) so the expo is pretty small. Just a few booth selling stuff. I did pick up a cap with light on the brim, some socks and some GU. 
This year you had a choice of colors for the t-shirts. I think they had green, pink, grey, maybe purple. I got pink because I don't own any pink and grey for my hubby. 

After the expo my daughter and I went to the outlets to look for a new sports bra because I've been having the worst time with chafing on any run over 14 miles. Ugh. It's horrible! We went to Lululemon, Under Armour and then finally Nike. I picked up a Nike Pro Compression bra. It worked out ok but just the slight beginning of chafing so next time I think I need to try some body glide. 

Had a horrible night sleeping and woke up at 1 am and don't think I slept much after that and we got up around 5. We got to the race around 6:30 and hit the porta potties right away. Last year there was a huge line so I wanted to use them right away. My daughter's boyfriend was running the half as well (his first race!!).  And we also met up with a couple of my friends Terese and Michelle. I was glad to have running partners and wanted to just have a nice run because I was planning to run another 5 miles later so this was just a training run. It was nice until about mile 7. The beginning of this race is gradual uphill. I ran this last year so I remembered the gradual up. What I don't remember was the steep downhill at mile 8. Almost immediately it went down and my knees just screamed! Terese and Michelle had pulled ahead of me and when the downhill killed me I knew I had lost them. 

All the way down the hill my IT was just so painful. I don't know what happened. It wasn't this bad last year. I stopped several times and tried to stretch it. A very nice lady was also in pain and tried to encourage me . (She was also at the finish waiting for me and gave me a big hug. She was so sweet.) So anyway....the rest of the race sucked. It hobbled along and I knew I wasn't going to be able to go home and run 5 more to complete my long run. Fail. Fail. Fail.

I did beat my time from last years race. Last year was my first half marathon and it was 2:45. Super slow. This year a barely beat it at 2:38. Oh well. 

I searched for the elevation map online but couldn't find one. I do have this one for RunKeeper on my iPhone from last year.

I know it looks a little dramatic and really isn't that bad. But it was miserable. 

The best part of the race was getting another medal but I tell you the rest of the day I was not a happy camper and I think my whole family (and all my running friends I kept texting and whining to ) we're sick of me. 

So I didn't do my 18 miles. I iced and took ibuprofen . I drank some wine. And whined. I didn't even want to read any blogs hearing about how fast everyone is and all the PRs. I know it was pathetic. 

I rested for a few days and just did a few exercises at home each day. Thursday I went on a short run. Meh. IT band seems better but on my left knee right in front of the knee under the kneecap feels sore. Hope it doesn't become a problem as I am planning my next run tomorrow.