Thursday, April 28, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday back on the trails!

With all the rain we've had this winter here in NoCal, we've not managed to do much of the trail running.  But we were back out there Saturday and thank god for that.  I realized how much I miss it.  And my legs realized how much they missed it too....they weren't all that pleased on the switch backs but they'll come around.  I'm sure of it.

But ah.... so nice to be on dirt vs. street/sidewalk/biking trail.

This Saturday is relay at BSIM....should be fun.  Somehow I got stuck with two legs -- but still only a 9 mile run which seems positively doable.  Still a bit disappointed the road fell in and they had to come up with new course.  Was looking forward to running through the redwoods.  Ah well -- fantastic event so that is one nice thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Great Race (Saratoga to Los Gatos)

Last Sunday -- but before I forget, I wanted to get a few things down for next year.  First, do this race again.  Super fun little 4 miler with a fantastic fast downhill finish.  Second, get others to do it too.  Third, remember that that there are rolling hills for the first three miles.

I think that's it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Santa Cruz Half

Belated race report for second half marathon of my life!!

I went into this race pretty relaxed which for any one who knows me, knows that is an amazing accomplishment all by itself.  I was about a million times more relaxed than when I did SJRNR last October.  This time I knew I'd finish and I wasn't trying to break any records (SJRNR was my first half ever -- and I'd only started running about 5 months before but I'd gotten a sub 2 finish as my goal and wouldn't let go).  With spotty winter training behind me, I was just hoping to get in the range of my first half and let this be the start of the official training season (Disneyland Half in Sept and NWM - half in Oct).   I had managed to keep running over the winter but I don't think I had a week over 20 miles.  A friend and I did pull a couple of  longer (8,10,10,12) training runs out of our hats over the last month before the race so I knew I could do the distance.  But still, not seriously trained by any stretch of the imagination.

So there me and my relaxed self were.  Ready to have a fun race and that is exactly how it turned out.  

First off the course is fantastic and it was a beautiful day.  By the 8am start it was probably low 50's and sunny so perfect race conditions. Now let me tell you, Santa Cruz is an amazingly beautifully place...and the course took advantage of that.

This is a picture I took about a year ago of the coast line:

And it kinda looked like that on Sunday.

So me and 2900 others start the race with a little incline and all in all it is pretty uneventful.  We are running along this road you see here but going the opposite direction of how this picture was taken.  Then we turn inland and at the 3 mile mark the 10K'ers turn around and we head out to a place called Wilder Ranch.  And that's where the fun began -- suddenly there were hills!!   And trails!!  Having done a bunch of trail running last summer, I wasn't unfamiliar with all that however, I hadn't checked out the course before the race so I wasn't expecting it here.  Silly me.  The course and elevation clearly show that there will be hills and trails.  Lots of little ups and downs and really no trouble except that I wasn't particularly trained for it.  So I just ran along and looked for someone to talk to but most people seemed busy just running.  So I left them alone and tried not to kill myself on the rocks.

But then I kept noticing that my time wasn't so bad.  Not stellar, but pretty good for me.  So I started thinking that this could be a respectable finish -- not PR but a fine and dandy time. The hill between miles 8 and 9 was fairly annoying and I had to get mad and it for a few minutes.  And then mile 12 to 13 was just exhausting but I managed to pull it together for the camera:

And this was a half a mile later where I really attempt to be happy:

I've yet to learn to run and take pictures at the same time so I don't have any of my own which is really unfortunate because I may not have mentioned it but the course was fantastic.

Anyway, finally the 13 mile marker appears before me and I start heading down the final stretch before I turn into the finishers shoot.  My two friends who had run the 10K were standing there yelling and cheering as well as a lot of other people.  Amazingly how energizing that is so I picked up the pace a bit, rounded the corner, hit the sand (yes, this is Santa Cruz and they have you finish in the sand!!) and make a 2.02.58 time.  Which for me is like lightening speed.  Only a smidgen slower than my SJRNR time of 1.59.02 and on a tougher course so I was feeling like superman.

I was pretty damned proud of myself.  I stayed relaxed, didn't let the other racers bug me (in ever other races I've done (all 4 of them) I'd get so wigged out by all the people), kept remembering to smile, enjoyed the scenery and had an all around great time.  Being relaxed is pretty cool (who knew?).

So that was my Sunday.  Extremely pleased.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Last weeks recap

I really ought not to read the running blogs of cute adorable late 20 year olds. I can handle the cute and adorable part but what kills me is that they are fast.  Paces I'll never see because I didn't start running until I was 45 freaking years old.  But good old competitive me gets all jealous.

Oh well.

In the past week there hasn't been a whole heck of a lot of running going on.  Thursday morning I managed to do a small run before I got on a plane to Vegas -- which sounds like the start of a great story.  But alas, it is just the start of a very busy weekend that involved renting trucks and emptying houses and driving truck home.  Crazy.

So the boy and I flew into Vegas and cabbed it to the place where I'd rented a 12ft. Penske truck to drive down to Ft. Mohave, AZ (for purposes of emptying house --  more on that later).  Boy had never been to Vegas before and I guess when you are 19 and there are lights and you've heard how wonderful it is, well, you want to experience that.  But alas, he's stuck with his mother and a truck.  A truck she had no idea how to drive mind you.

So we get rental all sorted and hop in truck.  And I realize that you have to rely entirely on side mirrors and apparently I'm a rear view mirror kind of a girl.  Boy wants to cruise the strip and I can barely pull out of the parking lot.  So we manage to get on road -- and he agreed I was a terrible truck drive so it wasn't such a good idea to cruise anywhere and he proceeded to find us the quickest way out of town.  Bless him.  I managed to only once almost crash so I figured that was good (thank you cab driver who managed to stay out of my way when I tried to change lanes on top of you).  Boy said "mom, you really need to pull yourself together" and I say "Boy, I'm trying."

We arrived about 2 hours later in Laughlin, NV.  Not quite Ft. Mohave, AZ but where we were meeting my stepmom and both my brothers.  I finally convinced everyone that feeding me would be the most appropriate thing they could do and then it was lights out.

Two days of going through cupboards, closets, drawers, filing cabinets, medicine cabinets and then boxing up things up and loading them and various furniture pieces into one of three trucks ensued.  I have to admit that when it comes to doing stressful things, these are the people I'd pick anytime.  Lots of memories were packed up and some even given away or thrown away.  It was tough to run across signs of when my dad was alive and we all had out moments.  But we got it all done and loaded and we're all still speaking.  Success.

By 7am Sunday morning, boy and I were on the road.  Laughlin to San Jose.  Hell of a drive really but we managed it and boy said I improved dramatically with my truck driving.  He was great to have around because even though he couldn't help with the driving, he got gas, manned the iPod, told me I was doing a good job and was generally pretty decent company.  We pulled into my driveway at 5pm just completely exhausted but managed to get truck unloaded (with his dad's help) and turned back in and all was right with the world.

I was getting some bedroom furniture and ended up taking a bunch of stuff back and now that it is in my garage I'm not sure why.  More fun to deal with.

So that was the weekend.  The week was spent working.  Just that.  Working. One small 5 mile run in and that's it.  Half on Sunday so we'll see how that goes.