Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nothing worth doing is easy...

Tomorrow will be my first day running with my new running group (yes, I finally found one). I'm excited about the opportunities and the challenges that a running group and coach will provide. After my injury during the San Francisco Marathon (7/2007) and how hard it was to run 20 miles on an injured foot, I know that CIM (12/2007) will be a much easier run that San Fransisco and provided this injury heals up nicely I will have a good race. I am looking forward to the coaching and the companionship this new running group will provide. Training for my fifth marathon is more than I ever hoped to accomplish and I am pleased with my progress thus far. I know I have what it takes to be a runner... it's not easy though, in fact it's a lot of hard work and yet it is one of the primary reasons I run really ... the hard work and the challenge.

I found a new podcast this week at It's a mixture of running philosophy, cool music and even a bit of comedy. Steve also profiles different runners every week and it's very inspirational. He makes a great running buddy. The title of his show is "Pheidippidations."It's worth checking out.

So.... results of today's run:

Date: August 18th, 2007
Distance: 5.76 mi
Time: 59:19
Pace: 10:19

I needed to pick up the pace but my right foot is still hurting. I am still noticing how it hurts the most when I run on uneven pavement/ sidewalks of any kind. Even turning corners, where my right foot has to do most of the stabilizing, hurts a lot.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's run with the running group. This running group is set up by Fleet Feet by the way - a nice little running store here in the area.

Back on the road...

OK. So I haven't run in 10 days. Ben came into town and we were in San Francisco for his conference/sightseeing etc... and so I didn't run that weekend. That is definitely no excuse and we both need to stay on our schedules despite other things that come up, however we had a blast in the city (look for pics up on Picassa soon...). That weekend was probably the best time I have ever had in SF, and even though we didn't make time to run we had a great time together. It would have been awesome to have run in the city though. Next time for sure ... By Sunday night it was pretty clear I had the flu/stomach flu and I preceded to stay sick for 5 days. I did my first run yesterday:

Date: August 17, 2007
Distance:1.86 miles

OK. So it wasn't my longest run, but it felt good to get back on the road. A pace of 9:06 also wasn't bad considering I had been laying on the couch for the previous four days. I guess I haven't completely lost it.

I was also recently introduced to Airborne. Works to help build the immune system back up. Invented by a teacher (of course!!!) no less ... Nasty stuff and I mean nasty.... but sure helps to put one back on one's feet so to speak ..... I probably would have been back on my feet sooner had I been a more .... shall we say .... less "difficult patient." Thanks Ben for taking care of me ....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summer is over...

My Summer has come to an end and tomorrow I go back to work to start another school year. Fall will be here before we know it and we will heading to Thanksgiving dinners and there will be Christmas decorations out in the stores before you have had time to clean up the turkey mess (one of my pet peeves actually but I'll save it for another blog). I am looking forward to a good year with lots of challenges to be met along the way.

I went out today for my second run since SF Marathon. Here are my stats:

Distance: 7.05
Time: 1:09:07
Pace: 9:47 min/mile

Not too bad I suppose considering I am still hurt but it irks me that I have to wait for this injury to clear up. I am not very patient ... I had no burning sensation like I did during the marathon but the dull ache is still there and prevents me from picking up the pace. I also noticed that whatever surface I was running on (blacktop, sidewalk or gravel), if it was uneven or slanted, it made the pain much worse. As soon as I found flat surface, the pain nearly subsided. I know that when I ran San Diego Rock 'n Roll (June 2007) there was a part of the run that ran on the freeway and it was very slanted to the point of effecting ones knees and feet so I am wondering if that is not what is making the pain worse. I'm still taking the drugs and taking one day at a time. Stay tuned ....

Monday, August 6, 2007

Training Day Success

CAUTION!!!! If you are the sort of person that gets easily grossed out you might want to navigate away from this blog....
The above picture is a huge blister on my pinkie toe of my right foot. This is the same foot where I had the injury on the ball of my foot. This foot just can't seem to get a break. The date on the photo is wrong because my camera was messed up but it was taken yesterday August 5th. It will pop soon, I'm sure. This is nothing.......... it doesn't even compare to all the toenails I have lost; some of which have still not grown back ..........What can I say? It's a day in the life of a runner ......

First training day is over and I am pleased with the results. I ran from my house to the bicycle shop 4 miles away (Nike + helps me keep track) and picked up my bike then rode my bike back home. The first half mile I aready felt the pain coming back and that awful burning sensation in the ball of my foot. I knew it would happen only because the injury is too recent but I held on and eventually the burning subsided. The pain was still there but at least it wasn't on fire. I wore two pair of socks today and I liked the added comfort. I am going to look for some Woolsmart running socks the next time I am at Sports Basement or REI. The Woolsmart hiking ones are fantastic and do an amazing job of not only cushioning the foot but also absorbing the moisture. The running ones I have seen appear to do the same.

I kept a 9:50 pace the whole time and I am definitely pleased with that considering the recent injury.

I have inquired about running clubs around here and unfortunately it is the same as it has always been. There are groups training first-time runners for half marathons and full marathons but no groups for runners seeking to improve their time for a fifth + marathon. I need to kick it up a notch and I may need a coach to do that. Question is: Where do find one? Modesto has some awesome training groups but I did that last year and the 45 min. + commute to get there got old very quickly. Now, with the added gasoline expense it just isn't worth it.

So......... in the meantime I will follow Jeff Galloway's marathon training guide and see how I progress.

I have no running events in August and my first running event will be September 3rd when I do Disneyland Half Marathon with Ben. At the end of September I will be doing the marathon relay with Melanie in Tahoe. I have nothing planned for October or November yet. Stay tuned ...

Training Day

It's Monday August 6th and training day has finally arrived. This past week has seemed long and not running for a whole week to recuperate from the SF Marathon has been hard. Smart but hard. Today I will go out and see how the foot feels and come back only if it hurts. CIM (California International Marathon) is four months away and I plan on making every run count. I am currently running alone (no coach or team) and while I do not have trouble staying motivated, I do seem to have trouble bumping it up to the next level. Major difference this time around is that I will take one day a week to train on the track. I did no track work for San Diego Rock 'n Roll and while I finished in 4:33 I know I could have done better had I maintained the track training I did for SF Nike Women's Marathon (10/2006). Stay tuned for today's run.

OK. So this is me...

Funny way for Google to get one to upload one's picture to their profile but this is one way of doing it I guess..... Hope it works.

My Beautiful Daughters

Stephanie and Vanessa bring me so much joy. At 13, Stephanie is entering into the wonderful world of teenagehood (OK, I just made that up, but I'm allowed 'cause I'm the English teacher), and it has been amazing to see her blossom into the beautiful young woman she is today. She is sweet and kind and has a beautiful smile. She is also smart, a great student, and loves math (she didn't get that from me I'm sorry to say). To top it all off, she is an avid reader (she did take after me) and devours books much the same way I did when I was her age. She has been in GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) since fourth grade and this year in the eighth grade is doing some freshman and sophmore level work. I could not be prouder of my firstborn. She will begin soccer this year for the first time and my hope is that she falls in love with the sport so she can continue with it through high school. If not, I am sure she will find another sport that interests her. I have invited her to come running with me but she is not sure she is ready yet to try it. I am so proud of you Steph!!!

Vanessa, my second born is my "wild one." She is the one who never runs out of energy and who plans on "running a marathon someday so I can win you lots of money mommy." She probably will too. Vanessa is highly competetive and does not take losing well. True, she is only seven, however I doubt her competitive streak will fade with the onset of "maturity." Hopefully she will learn to do it with slightly more grace than she does now. Vanessa is in the second grade and while not in GATE yet, will undoubtedly follow in her sister's footsteps by the time she reaches the stated-mandated allowance for entrance into the GATE program (4th grade). She is already reading at a fourth grade level so she too is devouring books. We recently had to clean out her bookshelf and pass the books on to her younger cousins and she proceeded to make her way into Steph's room to see if there was anything on her shelf she could read. She did come away with a couple of selections that Stephanie had forgotten to remove from her shelf. Vanessa too will start soccer in the fall so both girls are very excited. They've got their shorts, shoes, socks and are just waiting to get their jerseys.

I am proud to be their mom and am thannkful that I am privileged to raise them. They bless and amaze me everyday. I love you girls!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A week after SF Marathon

So here I sit a week after the SF Marathon, my right foot still hurting, wanting to lace up my shoes and run but I am holding steady to my promise not to run until tomorrow. I did a four-mile hike yesterday in Calaveras Big Trees and my foot felt great until the very end of the hike. I had on my Keens and had I had on my hiking socks as well, I would have been in heaven but the Keens (depite being the most comfortable shoes ever) did require the added support and comfort of my Woolsmart hiking socks. Live and learn I guess.

I will begin training tomorrow for CIM. Yes, the foot still hurts but I am going to run anyway. I will do as my orthepedic surgeon says (who also happens to be a crazy ultramarathoner and a cyclist) and keep on taking my drugs (Ibuprophen - 2400 mg a day) and only run as far as my painful foot will allow me to go. In the meantime, I will be logging miles on my bike to build up muscle that way. Different muscles, I know, but one, I must relieve the stress and two, I simply cannot go a day without exercising and three I need to build up those "different" muscles. Have you ever looked at a cyclists legs? They are to be envied for sure. Don't get me wrong. Runners have awesome looking legs (and butts) too but a cyclist's legs .......well..... just take a look the next time you're out on the road and you pass a cyclist.

This is my first official blog and I owe it all to Ben who has inspired me to do things I had dreamt of but often not thought possible. Thanks for being a friend. Stay tuned for more in the the life of a runner......