11/29/09

Run Wild for a Child 5k

Run Wild for a Child 5k

I love 5ks! They are over before you know it. Add costumes, music and a toy drive and you have a really great time called the Run Wild for a Child 5k! This is a good run for kids and teens, and there are runners of all ages, from 1 to 83! I dressed up in a Twister costume, and saw that another lady also had a Twister costume, so we teamed up and became the Twister Sisters! Having the costumes added a whole new social aspect to the race. I met a bunch of fun runners, and we all got medals just for running in a costume (actually won a gift certificate to Sports Basement also!) I also got 4th in my age group, added bonus since I did work hard and ran 100% plus my maximum heart rate. Thanks to all the awesome volunteers!

For toy donations in San Francisco call (415) 777-0440 SFFD Website




Diabetes cases to double and costs to triple by 2034

Health, Diet & Recovery
Having witnessed family members go through type 2 diabetes this is troubling news. Another reason to keep moving and eat veggies.

11/25/09

Distance Disparity

Here are three different distances for the same 47min 30 sec run on hills and stairs:

Garmin Forerunner 305: 3.33 mi
Nike + : 4.56 mi
Gmaps Pedometer: 3.6 mi

Which one is the accurate one? I think the disparity has a lot to do with hills and stairs because yesterday's run wasn't so hilly so it was only off for about 3/4 mi for a 6 mile run. Whatever. I'll run on effort, though I'm supposed to log my miles for the USAT Triathlon National Challenge Competition.

On another note, I raided the farmers market this week and came home with three pounds of persimmons for Thanksgiving yumminess. Hope you have a good one!

11/22/09

End of November already?

I can't believe the year is almost over! It has been tough at times, especially with the recession hitting everyone I know including myself, but in the parallel universe of run/bike/swim, it's been pretty darn awesome. It keeps me going and my spirits up. Not to mention yoga which is extremely grounding...and marathons of A Bit of Fry and Laurie which are freaking hilarious.

Recap:
Saturday: Bike Expo! Watched friends racing in cyclocross and wondered if I can haul my bike up these steps.
Sunday: Swim & Run!
Countdown: less than 2 weeks away from ultra, next weekend fun 5k!

Why exercise makes you less anxious

11/18/09

Motivation for Hill Work



This is the next course profile for the ultra in 17 days and a little motivation for me to do hill running today. I'm going to try to maintain and extend the fitness level gained from the last marathon into the 50k before the final taper.

FYI There is a Presidio Coastal Trail Improvements Project underway. I missed the information meeting but you can send in your feedback. ***I love this trail!*** They are planning to remove the sand ladder and add improvements for pedestrian access to Baker Beach which include expanded car-parking facilities. I hope they aren't going to cut down too many trees for this and also that it doesn't create even more traffic on the road there. Many cyclists use the adjacent road. Also, with the upcoming work, access to parts of the trail might be temporarily closed. What will I do?

Coastal Trail

11/15/09

Recovery Week

It's been a good week. I survived without injuries! The calves were hella tight and sore by the achilles tendon, so I took it easy and mellow and slowly eased back into it with some power walking, then light flat jogging, then back on trails. Had some great swimming in the bay. At 56° F, the water doesn't seem as cold as I thought it would. I am going to try to keep swimming through the winter. I didn't think I would like swimming this much, I'm hooked! On Saturday went out with couple peeps from GGTC to join the Swim Art swim, and we jumped off the pier! Coach Leslie gave me some great stroke pointers and we did some technical drills. My friend Irene ended up doing her 2nd Alcatraz crossing that day! On Sunday went out with Water World Swim and had a great inside to outside cove swim. On both days there were strong currents, but it is calm in some areas and then little jet streams in others. It was good practice for me to swim into these and practice getting over the panic and swim through it. Today I was caught in a water treadmill near the jacuzzi and could not get anywhere. I think the water was collecting at the wall and built up alot of pressure there. Pedro directed me to go to the right a bit and I was freed. Sometimes you just need to take it at a different angle.

I saw an amazing NatGeo doc called Stress: Portrait of a Killer about the brain and how stress affects us. It points to Professor Dr. Robert Sapolsky's lifelong studies of baboon behavior and you can find several of his lectures online. In one of the interviews he recommends ways of coping with stress:

1. commit to consistent stress management
2. don't displace stress on others
3. maintain perspective
4. don't get gored (does this mean avoid overly stressful situations?)
5. friends

Now I know why I love to exercise so much, see #1. Gimme Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins, and just little dash of controlled Epinephrine on occasion during a hard bout to push the endurance a little farther and I'm alright!

11/8/09

Stinson Beach Marathon

Stinson Beach Marathon
This was a challenging and BEAUTIFUL course. I still can't believe I did it! (Yes I can, because I'm totally sore today!) It was beautiful day to run and the weather was PERFECT! It had rained a couple days ago so their was some dampness and wet leaves on the trails. I'm glad I got some new trail shoes with extra grip. Wearing new shoes on a marathon is not recommended.

Stinson Beach Marathon

We started off in the sand of Stinson Beach after Dave delivered his pre-race meeting instructions and jokes (which is very entertaining btw). Then we headed straight up the Dipsea Trail and Steep Ravine for about 3-4 miles of steady climbing. It took me a while to warm up, and I was carrying a 7lb Camelbak full of water, so was a little out of breath. It was a relief to reach each downhill approach but then I remembered that downhill can be just as challenging and painful if not more than uphill. Some of the runners are very good at descending and were able to speed past.

Stinson Beach Marathon

Lot of lush switchbacks heading in and around Muir Woods. Every now and then there was a babbling brook or moss-covered bridge to cross, and at one point, a ladder! At times I would find myself running alone and stunned by the remarkable silence and peacefulness here. Even though the trails were well marked I would have several moments of - omg am I going in the right direction? Then I would see another runner or orange ribbon and be relieved. I stuck with fueling and hydration the way I trained. Take a sip of water every half mile, and gu every 45 minutes. They had salty snacks, gatorade and water at the aid stations. I unbelievably made it to 11.75 miles the first 2 hours, considering the elevations. In my mind I thought "whew, the hard part is over". NOT.

Stinson Beach Marathon

The Coastal Trail on the ridge seems like a cakewalk on the elevation graph but it is not. It is very rolling, which means, watch your step or you can roll down the mountain! Going north, my right ankle had the opportunity to become sore. Coming back, my left ankle. So, I feel balanced now. It's also baking. I was cheered on by the cry of the hawk that you hear in movies. There were other marathoners coming back on the same track and hikers! Lots of stopping politely to let others pass. Some of the hikers on the way back were stunned that I stopped for them and were complaining that other runners didn't stop. It gave me an opportunity to rest, though. But - I can understand why runners didn't stop. Some people looked like they were hanging on by a thread and were in zombie mode. Others were wild-eyed and in their zone. We would cheer each other on and others didn't say a word but I know how they felt. I was cursing to myself alot on this part of the trail. Remember all the pounding and work that had been done on the first 15 miles? I can feel it now. And I still have to get back down. I started praying to the Envirosports Goddess "Timing Chip" on my bib logo to help me. I thought of my wonderful support team, my family, friends and fellow bloggers, and how thankful I am that I can do this, all the training I put in, etc. I'm not going to make record time by flying down the mountain. Maybe if I hang-glide.

Stinson Beach Marathon

On the Matt Davis trail down I could hear the reassuring sound of the waves. I wanted to cry every time I came to another round of steep stairs, and walked gingerly down them. My feet at this point felt like bloodied stumps (hahaha new shoes). I can't risk falling and injuring myself because I'm doing another long trail run next month! Yes, I will forget about all this pain and do it again. The mental mantras kicked in. My "fresh legs" mantra that I used in the beginning was a joke now, and basically used humor to get me the rest of the way down. Somehow I finally made it to the finish line in 5 hours. Dave was there to shout our times and record them himself. A cold foot dip in the ocean never felt so good. Marathon #3. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Stinson Beach

This year Mt. Tam, next year maybe Mt. Diablo!

Results: 5:00:25. 3rd in AG

11/5/09

Catch the Sunrise

Catch the sunrise a different peak a day on Twitpic

Run/Bike/Swim/Yoga, etc. to catch the sunrise and post your pictures on fb, flickr or twitter! #catchthesunrise

Only a handful of sunrises left of 2009!

11/2/09

Bicycling Problem Solving One Intersection at a Time!



This is a problem area in Alameda that cyclist encounter on the new detour heading to Alameda from the Posey Tube. There is a construction site that is blocking our straight shot into Alameda on Webster St, so we get routed around into a dangerous roadway and into an intersection that has a lot of Marina Village traffic. On the top right there is a bike lane, and cyclist can connect to the bike lane on the left side of the map on the left green arrow. Problem is, there is a right turn lane here and cars are not letting bikes have right of way. I almost got hit here by a truck last week, and another cyclist WAS hit here this morning. Why not paint a big green stripe (or pink!) across the whole intersection to show what the cyclists' intentions are? Or put the mini bike sharrows on the far left turn? I have a feeling the cars just don't realize what the cyclists are trying to do here.

Right now it's safer to try to cross in "L" fashion like pedestrians.

11/1/09

Week 13 - Deep Taper

I wasn't expecting the first week of taper to be such a bummer, but it was. It's beyond my control: Hard to eat enough, eat right, sleep right, think straight, too much anxiety, PMS, emotional rollercoaster, dead tired, and the Bay Bridge has been down this week, adding extra time to my commute... What shook me out of my doldrums is I volunteered at the Marin County Tri today and that was a great cheerup. This one has a beautiful course and fun people in one of my favorite parks. Several people tri'd in their halloween costumes! The bike part has a lot of windy rolling curves, and it also became the run course this year. I got to ride it on my way to check-in after the road was closed off. I heard some of the trails inside the park were washed out because of the heavy rain. I had a great 2.5 hr bike ride back to SF - no big loss of fitness despite having not done these rides in a while (so nice to be on a bike!!!) Also, there is nothing like a good dinner out with bffhuzby and a dog lying on his back next to you with his feet up in the air and snoring to help you to relax and enjoy life.

Marin County Tri

Next Saturday's marathon was going to be my "A" race, but my pre-race ritual is to always have the next goal or event lined up. I added an ultra in December so then that one will be the A+ event. I added it when I was at my peak in "A" race training. It's amazing how goals change with your fitness level. Oly distance seems doable now. I'm looking forward to miles of beautiful trail running. Also, with the time change, will switch from sunset runs into morning sunrise runs. These are my favorite times to run.

Preparing for 2010

April Recap

Spring is here! Proceed with caution!  I managed to ramp up my activities, adding in more bike rides and swims, and taking the time to d...