Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekend Adventures

This was another jam packed weekend... well at least Saturday was!

Clear Mountain 5K
This was my first ever race, Kim and I had only been running for about a week when she found this race and talked me into signing up. It was pretty scary at the time to go from just starting to run to running a 5K. My time that first race was 33:10. I remember that Kim and I talked through the entire race and I only had to take about a 30 second walk break. I was beyond thrilled with my time!!
Last year I finished in 28;25 and it was a a pretty big PR for me so again I was thrilled with my time.
This year not so much... 28:40
It was pretty hot and humid and we didn't get in as good a warm up as I would have liked, but ultimately I just seem to have lost speed lately! I also gave up mentally a little bit in the last part of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd mile.
I did pick it up in the last 1/2 mile but it was too little too late... OH well it is still a very good time!!
I helped run a couple of friends in during the last bit of their races and that was a lot of fun!!
I also got an age group award and that is definately something to be proud of.
And there was a large group of Cruisers in attendance which is always fun!!!
We stuck around for the awards ceremony and lot's of Cruisers won awards.

Vicki had sent out an e-mail a couple of weeks ago asking everyone to participate in the Clear Mountain 5K to help celebrate her birthday and because the proceeds are going to help build a restroom on the River Trail near the Dog Park.. woo hoo!!! VERY worthy cause!
She also was planning a bike ride starting at the River Trail and ending in Mayflower where we would all gather up at Sonic and have lunch. At first we thought that translated into about a 36-38 mile ride but after g-mapping it we realized it was closer to a 50 mile ride. Brenda had e-mailed me on Friday that she didn't want to do the whole 50 so we decided we would just go out 20 and turn around find someplace to rest and wait for everyone else.
Once again I had to change into bike shorts after a sweaty run, but I am getting better at it!
We had a pretty large group for the bike, it is always fun to see so many bikers gathered! Of course they never stay in my sight for very long. Gabby and her Husband James were riding with us :) Gabby had a great 5K and also got an age group award.
There were ton's of people out on the River Trail but it was a good ride to Cooks landing, very pretty and a nice breeze.
After Cooks Landing we get on Maumelle Blvd. and this is where the "adventure" starts. It is a very, very busy road and we have to cross over an entrance and exit onto a major interstate. The lead group had circled up at one point and it was here when we realized that Bailey, Phil and Rock were not with the front of the pack. Arland started making some phone calls and the rest of use headed onward. One good thing about parts of Maumelle Blvd is we did have nice wide shoulders for a good section of it, and then we turned off on Carnahan this road leads to an industrial aread and cuts out a little bit of the traffic. Unfortunately it was here that Vicki got a flat tire, luckily she wasn't very far behind us and was able to get our attention... even luckier David Smith was close too and came back to help change the tire. While we were waiting on the tire change here comes our wayward bikers, Phil, Baily and Rock. The first thing Rock said when they pulled up was "IT WASN'T MY FAULT" Rock is famous for getting lost. It was Bailey this time, she thought Cook's landing was the parking area out on the trail that leads to I-430. They had gone over the Big Dam Bridge twice!!! and Phil was none to happy about it! LOL
I think it might have taken 15 minutes or less to change the tire and then we were on our way again. It was Me, Brenda, Vicki, Lisa Ford, David and Linda a friend of Vic's from Russellville. Brenda and I were riding together the whole time, we had gotten a little ahead of Vic and her group but it wasn't until we had turned onto hwy 365 that we really lost them. This highway was where the hills really began, oh sure we had some on Maumelle Blvd. and a couple were pretty good one's but they were baby hills compared to what we were about to face!
This road was also very rough with narrow shoulders and lot's of traffic. I was really proud of Brenda and I we just put our heads down and got up those hills.. I'm not saying there wasn't a little bit of foul language coming from our mouths, but hey sometimes you gotta let it out! I am very lucky to have Brenda we are so similiar in so many ways... she is a way better runner than I am but we are very close on the bike and just personality wise very close!!
We mostly had to ride single file on this road but we still tried to talk as much as possible. It was kind of scary when we were going through the section known as Palarm.. I guess it's a town, not sure but all I really know of it is it's the first place to buy liquor before you get to Little Rock coming from Conway. As we were riding by all the liquor stores I told Brenda I didn't think this was the best stretch of road for two girls to be by themselves!! But we didn't have any real problems. The worst part was when we got to the section of highway where the shoulder was really rough asphalt, you couldn't ride on it at all so we had to stay on the road, and the cars seemed pretty peeved at us and a lot of them would hardly move over so there were quite a few times when I could have just reached out my hand a little bit and touched a car going by. I know they were thinking why don't those bikes move over but we really couldn't!

As we were getting close to the 20 mile mark I was starting to worry about us going back by ourselves... mostly worried about getting lost. When we got to 19 miles I told Brenda our mileage and it turns out she was thinking the same thing I was. We decided we would just go ahead and go on to Sonic, it was a long way back to Maumele Blvd. and we hadn't seen any decent gas stations or anyplace really that we would feel comfortable stopping in. Of course right after we made that decision what do we see in the distance... a HUGE hill!! oh and to make it worse we hit 20 right at the base of the hill so if we had been turning around we could have avoided that hill and all the others that followed!!
Finally we made it to Sonic!! A large group was already there including Jackie and the Clinton children. It was nice to get off the bike but hard to walk at first..LOL
I ordered a cheese burger and a powerade slushy. I am not a big fan of powerade but I felt the need for an electrolyte replacement drink and it was a slushy and it turns out it was pretty good!
We all had a good time talking and eating, but as more and more time passed we started to get worried about Vic and her group. Finally David tells us that Vicki has had another flat tire and they are back on Maumelle Blvd. headed to Riders Ready. We were all pretty bummed, this was supposed to be Vicki's birthday lunch and she wasn't even there!
After about 20 minutes it was time to head back... by the way the service at the Sonic in Mayflower was very fast!!
We were refueled but knew what we had facing us and we were not looking forward to it.. at all!!!
As usual it didn't take long at all for Brenda and I to be left behind. Now we had not only the hills but a pretty strong head wind.
By the time we got back to Maumelle my shoulder was killing me from the hills, and the ball of my right foot was starting to go numb. The whole time we were on 365 I kept thinking I can't wait to get back to Maumelle to the nice big wide shoulders... but then when we got there, no wide shoulders :( and now even more traffic. We had to stop at lot's of red lights, and several of the nicest down hills we didn't get to enjoy because we had to brake for the lights. Bailey had kind of hung back and rode part of the way back with Brenda and I, although usually she was a pretty good ways ahead of us.
Once again we saw the lead group was circled up waiting for us... they had chosen a nice shady spot and there was also a nice breeze. Turns out that Brenda and I were not the last riders, Gabby's husband James who doesn't really bike very often had fallen behind. It wasn't too long and we see him coming and of course we didn't want to just take off as soon as he caught up so we let him catch his breath and have a chance to get off the bike for a second. Once again crossing over the entrance to I-430 was the scariest part but once we got past that we knew were were almost at the River Trail and home free!!
Once we got back on the Trail is was such a great feeling.. we could breathe easier and we could actually talk again.
I don't remember exactly where we were on the Trail when we saw Vicki coming towards us but I was so happy to see her on her bike!! Even with all her problems she still ended up with 40 miles. We all rode back together and when we got back to the parking lot, Joan and several other bikers had all waited for us. Of course none of them or Vicki and her group had eaten anything so they all wanted to walk over the Junction Bridge to the River Market to get something to eat.
Bailey and Rock really needed to get home so they went on, and I told Arland to just drive over because he said no way could he walk at that point.
I was actually glad to walk, I was feeling stiff and although it was kind of rough at first, we knew the walk was good for us and at least we weren't carrying our bikes this time!! Brenda and I also decided to be rebels and take the elevator up.. we could hear the others laughing at us as we were waiting for the elevator and of course it took forever! The rest of the group was halfway across the bridge by the time we even made it up, and of course they LOVED that and made fun of us for quite a while!!
Brenda and I just had coffee since we had lunch at Sonic.. while ordering my anti-frappucino Arland called and said he didn't really want to park the truck with the bikes on it, so he just went on and I got a ride home with Brenda and Vicki.
It was almost 3:00 by the time we got home!!! I was so tired and so hot and sticky that I just stripped off my shirt and jumped in the pool in my sports bra and shorts. I swam a few laps and stretched a little bit before going back in to take a shower. So I kind of did a reverse Triathalon, run bike, swim not that you could really call what i was doing swimming! LOL

After the swim and shower Arland and I headed out to buy some beer and head over to Bailey's for her birthday BBQ.
August was a busy month for birthdays...
Cheryl, Tracy, Bailey, Vicki and Heather Happy Birthday ladies.
The plan was to spend an hour or so there and then head to Magness Creek for Jeff's birthday BBQ but unfortunately we were so wiped out from our day that we never made it to Jeff's house.
We were home by 8:30 and I was in bed by 9:30... had to get some rest for my Sunday long run!

Totals for Saturday
Run - 4.5 this includes the warm up and running in other runners
Bike- 47 miles

Friday, August 29, 2008

Name Change

As I was thinking about what I was going to blog about today it occured to me that I have been posting about Biking almost as much as Running so I thought it only appropriate to change the name of my Blog to Running and Biking with Annette. Of course I might have to change it back to just Running with Annette during the winter. I am pretty sure I am going to be a fair weather biker. It is hard enough sometimes to just run in the cold and wind I can't imagine biking in it!!!!

So now onto yesterday's workouts.

I was a good girl and rested the foot on Tuesday and Wednesday. I still don't know exactly what I did to my foot but the pain is mostly gone, every now and then I feel a little twinge but nothing compared to that first day.

Thursday morning I met Jane, Heather, Kelly and Michele at 5:00am for our normal run. Jane and I had discussed several times we just wanted an easy run, we have a race on Saturday and we wanted to be rested for it.
So of course we start off and Michele is in the lead and we are definately not running easy!! Occasionally we would back off and say oh yeah we are supposed to be running easy but then as usual the next thing you know we are speeding up again.
We chose a route that would take us back to the Community Center within the first mile in case I needed to use the facilities... and I did.. and it was an emergency :( Oh well once that was over we headed up our favorite hill and into the neighborhoods.
Jane, Kelly and Heather had to be done by 6:00 so we ran 4 miles with them and then Michele and I added on another mile. I was down about a half mile because of my bathroom break so I ended up with 5 and Michele had 6 or something like that.
It was a good run hot, humid, speedy and my foot never hurt!!

A group of us had gone to Chili's Wednesday night to suprise Gary before he left for his Ironman in Kentucky this weekend. Rock did all of the arranging and Gary was very suprised and very grateful!! I think we helped calm his nerves a little bit and of course we had to have the now traditional Pickle Shots. The Clinton children were also there and were so excited to get to do shots with the grown-ups!!
While we were at dinner the subject of a Thursday night ride came up... I heard the names of those attending and knew there was no way I was going, but Rock talked me into going anyway. I told her I can not keep up with you guys and she said she would ride with me.

Thursday evening Arland loaded up the bikes and we headed to SSE to meet for the bike ride... it was a group of really strong riders and I was intimidated!
Cindy, James, Heather, Arland, Mark Nettles, Phil Clinton, Rock and myself. I don't think I left anyone out...
So right away I am getting passed by everyone!! Rock comes up beside me and asks what speed do I want to ride... well I don't know?? So I said I guess about 17mph so she set the speed and I just stayed on her wheel. It was actually great because it felt pretty easy except for the hills, and we actually sped it up a bit. We were riding Hwy 89 out to Furlow and then back. 89 is a busy hwy but it has a decent shoulder so it is fairly safe, it isn't flat and it isn't hilly. Well it is kind of hilly to me anyway! LOL
On the way back I led and Rock stayed on my wheel and I really wanted to keep a good pace so I pushed pretty hard. I do great on the flats but I still really suck on the hills!!!!
Phil rode with us for part of the way back, he has never ridden a road bike before, he is borrowing James Martin's bike and I think he really enjoyed last night, he is definately a natural!! I don't know how tall he is but he is pretty darn tall with very long legs and he made it look effortless.
I was very excited when we got back to the school and I had averaged 16.5 mph for the entire bike ride :) Of course Arland the the other's all averaged 19-20+!!
Rock would have been right up there with them if not for me but I think she enjoyed a more leisurely pace. She even mentioned at one time about how pretty certain parts of the route were, she said when she is with Gary she never gets to see the scenery!
Between the 5am run and the great ride I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch a little after 9:00! Arland was also pretty wiped out he also ran yesterday morning and we were both in bed by 9:45.
I slept great and am ready for the weekend!
Saturday we have the Clear Mountain 5K and then a bike ride to Mayflower and back which should be about 36-40 miles. It will be hot and hilly but I'm looking forward to it. Sunday is our long run, we only have 10 on the schedule this week but I might add on and make it 12, of course afer Saturday I might just be thankful to be able to finish 10!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Run... Bad Foot

I left work early on Monday so I could go home change and be at Michele's house by 5:15. The plan was to run to the Community Center to meet Jane and whoever else showed up at 6:00. It was very hot and very sunny at the start of our run, and I was feeling all 41.3 miles of our bike ride the day before in my legs. I wasn't hurting anywhere just a little fatigued. Not very far into the first mile my phone rang, it was Jane, good thing I answered because there was a little bit of confusion on the meeting place.. all my fault!! About 1/2 mile into the run I heard my text message beep, I had to check it in case it was about someone meeting or not meeting us at the CC. It was Brenda she had gotten delayed at work and wasn't going to be able to meet us :( I sent her a quick message and on we went. It was a pretty quick pace to the CC, about 1.5 into the run I felt that familiar twisting sensation and I had to stop in the middle of the road and cross my legs until it calmed down... luckily it did calm down and it lasted until we got to the CC. I really don't think we talked that much during the run, we both needed to get to the CC as soon as possible so we just ran!!
2.3 miles later and we make it to the community center, use the facilities which by the way it was so stinking hot in that bathroom I felt like I was in a sauna!!!
So we wait for just a minute for Jane and then the three of us take off, Michele is starting to panic, she needs to be home by 6:30 so James can go on a bike ride. Sara S. pulls up and tells us Heather is coming to meet us too... ut oh I forgot to tell her about the time change. OH well I knew they had each other to run with so I told Sara we had to head out.
Of course Michele is on a mission and speeds away, Jane is just warming up and I'm just trying to hang on for dear life!! Finally we had to let her go, but we were still maintaining a good pace. Once we got to Michele's we got some water and headed back to the CC. It was still hot, the sun was still shining but now we had a breeze that made it a little more bearable!!!! It was funny we kept saying we can slow down now, and we would for a few seconds and then would soon realize we had sped up again.
Just before we got to Linda Lane we saw Heather and Sara go by, we kept them in sight the rest of the run but we could never quite catch up with them. We took one quick walk break and then had to wait for traffic crossing from the High School back to the Community Center. When we did cross we saw the girls running towards us and they had picked up another runner.. it was Rock :) We did this funny little circle jog thing and then decided we would all run around the tennis courts. I had almost 7 miles and Jane just needed .3 more to have 5 so we kept running until she hit 5. We decided to do a cool down walk around the tennis courts again and Rock walked with us.
Jane was kind enough to give me a ride back to Michele's house :) I could have run back but it was much nicer riding with Jane!! We had all the windows down, I think we were both worried we might stink the other one out. My pony tail was steadily dripping sweat onto my shoulders and back and my face was beet red. Jane was pretty much in the same boat. As we are sitting at the red light a truck pulls up beside us and I just glanced over, the young guy driving looks over at the same time, a split second later the light changes and he yells out "hey mama"! LOL
Jane and I both got a huge laugh out of that!!!
Karen's car was at Michele's house when we got there so I figured they were out running. I said good bye to Jane and Alex and Abbie came to tell me where their mom was. I thought I'll jog over say hello and then go home. Well Michele talked me into running with them for a little while. I turned the Garmin back on and had a nice easy run, it was actually good for me because I felt looser after that run.
Too bad I didn't leave it at that!! I ran a little over a mile with the girls and then said good bye and headed back to my car. Alex went with me and the little speed demon talked me into racing with him. He is going to be quite the runner some day.. heck he already is!! So we raced about 5 times and of course he beat me every time. Finally though it was time to call it quits and head home. I felt really good!!! My first run was 7.3 miles and my second run was 1.25 so I was pretty happy with the mileage. I didn't turn my garmin on for the sprints with Alex but it was probably another .25.
I was very happy when I got home and saw that I had an average pace of 10:17 for the 7.3 miles. That 10:17 included a phone call, a text message and return text message, a stop in the middle of the street to cross my legs, 2 waiting on traffic crossings and 2 walk breaks!!!!!!

So I was feeling really good when I went to bed, slept well... then when I got up early in the morning to use the bathroom I did something to my foot. Well I don't really know what the deal is, but when I stepped onto the tile in the bathroom I felt a stabbing pain in the ball of my foot kind of below the second toe. OUCH OUCH OUCH what the heck was that!! I got back in bed and stretched and rubbed and tried to go back to sleep. When I got up an hour or so later my foot was still hurting, not quite as intense but painful. I have iced several times today and for a little while when I was home for lunch I didn't feel any pain at all. Unfortunately it came back and I decided to skip the speed workout tonight.
I'm a little concerned but trying not to freakout!!!!!
I was planning on running at 5:00am tomorrow but... I think I'm going to pay attention to this pain and take a little break even if just for one more day.

Darn. Darn. Darn.... I was feeling so good :(

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Bike Ride with the Girls

Michele and I at the end of our ride.

Oh what a glorious day Sunday was! Not only did I get to sleep in until 7:00am I had an awesome bike ride with a few of my favorite biker chicks!

Brenda and I had talked Saturday about riding at 9:00am on Sunday, there is a standing 1:30 ride but neither one of us wanted to go that late in the day. Arland, Rock and Gary were also planning on riding at 9:00 but I knew we wouldn't be riding with them. Brenda and I planned to do the 27 mile route we had done a few weeks ago when Mark and Perry came to Cabot to ride with us. It has some hills, and some rough roads, but there is also a great stretch where we can ride side by side and chat for quite a while.
Vicki heard us talking and decided she would also join us, and I was also able to talk Michele into joining us.
So at 9:00am we were geared up and ready to go, we said goodbye to the the guys and Rock and we were on our way.
The first few miles are on Mt. Carmel/321, this is a very busy stretch of highway and very hilly mostly rolling hills but a couple of good climbs. Pretty much this section of road we ride single file and pretty hard just so we can get done with it. I did get to chat with Brenda a little bit on this road but for the most part the traffic was too heavy for much socializing. Once we got to Lemay though we all regrouped and were able to chat a bit more. We took turns riding with each other and then there would be stretches where we were all kind of strung out. On one of the roads Michele had been riding with Vic and Brenda and I were in the lead, a little bit later Michele caught up with me and we road together for a while, finally she said I was having more fun with Vicki, I was like HUH??? she said you are pushing me too hard... HA.. No... you are the one pushing!! LOL
We rode like that for a bit and then turned onto another kind of busy road and the next thing you know Michele is off like a rocket!!! Zoom she just sped away!! at first I was going to speed up and catch her but decided that was too much work so I slowed my pace just a bit and Brenda and Vicki caught up... we were all marveling over Michele!! I think this was her 3rd maybe 4th bike ride and she is already awesome!!!
Finally she got tired of riding by herself and we had turned onto hwy 236 which although chip sealed and bumpy in a few spots is one of my favorite stretches of the route because of the low volume of traffic. I tried to practice my aerobars some on this road but they just didn't feel right. I don't know if I will ever get used to those things!!
It was really windy on Sunday and for the first part of the ride we had a lot of cross winds, and even had a tailwind for one section but all that was about to come to an end at our next turn. I'm not sure what comes first hwy 89 or Kerr station road, and it doesn't really matter because they are both busy and we had a vicious head wind on both of them.
It felt like we were trying to push through a brick wall pretty much the rest of the way back to the school!! We had a few more climbs and a few downhills but you couldn't really take advantage of the downhills because of the wind!!
I tried out my aerobars again and Vicki was riding beside me encouraging me, but I just don't feel secure enough in them!!
Vicki on the other hand has them down pat!!! She really makes it look easy.
Brenda had to be finished with the ride at 11:00 and we had 27.3 miles when we got to the gas station across from the elementary school. Michele had run out of water and we all wanted something else to drink besides the hot water in our bottles!! I grabbed a diet mountain dew to share with Michele.. she had been out of water for awhile and she looked kind of rough, I'm not used to seeing her like that so it kind of worried me. She was ok though once she drank some water and mountain dew.
Vicki was planning on meeting the 1:30 group so she and Brenda ended their ride. I asked Michele if she wanted to ride a little bit longer so we could get 30 miles, sounded good to her so we were off. We decided to go down one of our normal running routes, 89 to Bradley, Dietrich, through the neighborhoods over to Michele's house. We made a pit stop while there and also refilled our water bottles. We were going to head over to the high school and headed off in that direction when inspiration struck and I said hey why don't we go to Mountain Mudd!!!!! Oh hell yeah Michele was immediately on board and luckily I had some money so we headed to MM and got Sugar Free White Chocolate, Fat free, double shot of espresso on ice!! WOW what a way to refuel!! There was one dilema... how to drink it and ride???? Luckily for me Michele is brillant and suggested I empty one of my water bottles and pour my coffee in it. I know that doesn't sound so brillant it really just makes sense, but at that time it sounded like the smartest thing Ive ever heard!! LOL
Michele on the other hand just rode with her's in her hand... no way could I have done that!!!
We were at 31.3 when we got to Mountain Mudd so after we got our coffee we said well now we have to get 35 miles, Michele lead us all over Cabot and then we were headed back to the school. I looked down and we were at 36.4 miles .. I looked at Michele and said hey how about we just make it 40.. so again she lead us through town and when we got back to the school we had 41.3 miles! We did have to contend with a lot of traffic and had to cross a couple of busy highways a couple of times, and there were a few stressful moments but it was all worth it!!
When we got back to the elementary school I saw that Arland, Gary and Rock had just beat us back from their 50 mile ride.
We all chatted for a bit and then I was anxious to get home and get a shower and something to eat. I had sprayed on sunscreen before I left the house and between the sunscreen, sweat, dirt and salt I was a mess!!!!
I stopped at Sonic on the way home and got a big cup of ice with lemons for me and a coke for Arland. Oh that ice was heavenly!!! funny how everything is better after an intense workout!

After a shower and lunch with Arland I headed to Magness Creek to spend a couple hours with Kylie and Livia :) It was another perfect day!! What a great weekend!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Adventures On The River Trail - Part 2

Can I just tell you how hard it is to change into bike shorts immediately after running 12 miles in the Arkansas humidity!! Not easy to put it mildly but very funny, especially since I had to do it in the truck!
Once everyone was ready we headed out onto River Drive and back towards the River Trail, the plan was to ride to the new Junction Bridge that connects the North Little Rock River Trail to the River Market in Little Rock.
See all those flights of stairs... we had to carry our bikes all the way up!! There is an elevator but Vic decided that was too sissy and the rest of us just followed along. It became pretty comical but was also pretty painful, especially to my wrist and shoulder.. I told Francesca she was going on a diet!! Almost forgot there were several more flights of stairs we had to take just to get to the Bridge.
Actually the most painful part because of my aching legs was going down all those stairs on the Little Rock side.
The Bridge comes out right by the River Market. The Farmer's Market was in full swing and it was kind of fun to ride our bikes through there as we headed to Boulevard Bread Co. We parked the bikes and then all headed in different directions to get breakfast, but we met again to sit outside near the bikes and eat. Kelly and Robert drove over and joined us for breakfast.
We had been hearing loud thunder throughout most of our run and it was cloudy but we never saw any rain until we all had our food and had sat down at a picnic table that didn't have any cover. We quickly found a table with an umbrella and enjoyed the rest of our breakfast.
Coreen Fraser who is a Cabot Cruiser although she lives in Little Rock was waiting for us at the River Market she was going to ride with us and she knows all the roads in Little Rock she she was a blessing!! She is a very cool lady, she has biked all over the United States and Europe and is a Cancer survivor.
After we all ate she lead us through the streets of Little Rock down Cantrell and over to Titus Trail. We basically were biking the same route that we ran most of our long runs on for San Francisco just backwards and a few different turns since we were on bikes and not feet.

Arland, James, and Cindy went on without us after we made it to Titus Trail, they were playing cat and mouse and really riding hard!
Vicki, Brenda, Bailey, Jackie, Coreen, Emil, Iron Lisa, and myself rode together for most of the route, we would sometimes have little split off's but we always would slow down or stop to regroup. Arland just reminded me that Bailey played with them for a while until we all regrouped at the Bridge.
As hard as the Big Dam Bridge is on foot it is even harder on the bike, but I have gotten much better on the hills and it wasn't a problem. The hardest part was just staying safe with a ton of other bikers, runners, walkers and dogs all sharing a pretty narrow bridge!! Also the downhill is pretty scary!!

Actually the Bridge wasn't the hardest hill of the day!! No Vicki had a suprise for us, she wanted us to go up the hill leading out of the socceer fields onto Arlene Lahman or something like that, anyway this hill is STEEP and the last time I went up it with Arland, Curtis and Bailey I ended up in the grass and had to walk up. This time was much better, it helped that I had Coreen and Vicki with me coaching me on my gears the whole time... they truly made a big difference!!
After we made it up that hill there were a few more hard climbs but also some great downhills!!

I was able to ride the last couple of miles in with Cindy C. she is such a strong biker and she had been playing with Arland and James but then they met back up with us and she rode the rest of the way back to the Skate Park with us. We were about 3 miles out when the sky started looking pretty dark and we were concerned we might get caught in a thunder storm, but luckily we made it back way before the rain came... if it even did??

We ended up 18 miles on the bike and honestly I didn't want it to end!! It was great to get to ride with everyone I spent time with almost everyone during the bike and that was cool. It was such a perfect morning, a good longish run and a great short ride!!
Even better we were home by 12:00!

Gabby I wish you could have been with us!! And sorry to hear you are having some of the same problems with your stomach that I do!

Adventure On The River Trail - Part 1

Saturday morning we met 15 other Cabot Cruisers at the Skate Park. Jackie and her running group had met early and were already the trail. I cant remember exactly how many of them there were but I know at least 5 so altogether we had about 22 or 23 Cabot running people out on the trail Saturday morning.
It was very very humid and in the low to mid 70's and dark when we started. My legs were still killing me from the Wednesday night leg torture and my Thursday massage. The first steps were awful and I was seriously worried that I might not be able to complete the run.
We all started together but everyone had different mileage and pace plans so it didn't take long for people to start splitting up.
Miss Vic was doing a trail run in Emerald Park, she is getting ready for Lake Tahoe next month. She was the only one who was planning that route and I was a bit worried about her going up the trail alone but Dennis decided he would run up the hill with her and then come back down and find Andrea. One less thing to worry about!
Arland and James were just running 3 miles and then biking (Arland just got his orthotics in on Wednesday and has to break them in) they ran with Kelly and I until time for them to turn around.
We weren't that far behind the main group but I was really struggling with the leg pain! I knew it was going to be a rough run.
I was also worried about my stomach since I didn't really have a successful bathroom trip before we left. One of the many great things about running on the River Trail is I know there are quite a few port-a-pottie and restrooms avaliable.
The first one was right after Arland and James split off, the way everyone had been talking before we started I thought there was going to be a crowd there but luckily Kelly and I were the only one's who stopped.
That was the first of three "pit stops" during our 12 mile run.
Considering the leg pain the run was going well, we were maintaining a good pace and my lungs and heart felt good.
Bailey is coaching a few people from the AF Base to run the Air Force 1/2 Marathon and one of the people was supposed to meet her at the Dog Park. Bailey wasn't a 100% sure they would show up and they didn't but that's ok cause we got to run with her for the rest of the 12 miles.

We ran into Jackie and her group on their way back and they all looked great!! I'm not sure how many miles they were running but I think it was 9 or 10. Just before we got to the Big Dam Bridge we saw Andrea she was running 9 miles.
Soon we were at the Bridge I wasn't sure if I was going to need to take a walk break or not, so far we hadn't taken any breaks and I wanted to keep that up. I did slow down to walk during the steepest part but then after about 3 steps thought this is stupid I don't need to walk so I ran the rest of the way. We did take a water/fuel break right after that, and as we were approaching the water fountain we saw Lisa F. (Tri-Lisa or Ironman Lisa) I had already started running, walking just seemed to make the legs hurt even worse. Lisa ran with me for a few minutes until we saw Brenda and Robert and then she turned back to run with them.
I was feeling fine and we hit 6 miles just a little bit before we got to Murray Park, I didn't really feel like I had to use the bathroom but there was one so close and I was afraid if I passed it up I might be pressing my luck and end up with an emergency. I think I could have skipped this bathroom break although it was successful I think it could have waited.
I again ran all the way up the Bridge slowly but always at a running pace. The River Trail was very very crowded this morning there were hundreds of bikes out, at first I thought it seemed like so many more than usual because we started later, but then later on I remembered that the Big Dam Bridge 100 is in a month and everyone is training for it.
It felt like for most of the 12 miles we were constantly hearing on your left and then bikes wizzing by us.
We are always very considerate of the bikers and we would go single file when we would hear them coming, too bad they don't always return the favor!!
There were some very friendly bikers out yesterday though and we did get some nice comments, but those are usually the exception not the norm!
We took another water/fuel break and then when we got to the Dog Park I had to stop again for the port a pottie :( The one good thing I can say is that I never had an emergency, but I don't think I needed to stop at often as I did. I think because I have had so many emergencies in the past I am paranoid and almost afraid to pass up a restroom.
It was a very good run even with the bathroom breaks we had a 10:40 avg pace for 12 miles. I did stop the Garmin once I got into the port-a-pottie/restroom but at the first stop I had to wait for Kelly and it was about a minute or more before my turn and I remembered to turn off the Garmin. Once we get into our longer training runs I won't turn it off for bathroom breaks anymore.
It was a good run and I was very happy with our pace considering the route, the bikes, the bathroom stops and my pitiful legs!! LOL
This was Kelly's longest run in at least 2 months and she did great!! She has really gotten faster and stronger in the last year!!

As soon as we got back to the Skate Park it was time to change into bike clothes and get ready for our bike adventure.

I have to stop for now so I can get ready to meet Brenda, Vic, Michele and Jane for a 30 mile bike ride.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Great Run x2 - Bad Run x2

It has been a mixed up week!! Good days and bad days but I guess that is how life is so it's best to roll with the flow. I can say that today now that it has been over 24 hours since my crappy Thursday morning run where I drove home practically in tears I was so dissapointed. But today is a new day, it is a rest day and I had a wonderful Massage yesterday evening that was both painful and pain relieving at the same time. Like I told Christy that hurt so good!!

Let's start with the GREAT runs!!!!

Monday I met Kelly, Jane, Brenda, Michele and Karen at the CC. Kelly, Jane and I had met at the CC and the other girls ran from Michele's house to meet us. We made up a new route, that would take us back to Michele's house with 4 or 5 miles and then we would get an additional 2.25 miles back to the Community Center.
We have been blessed with mild weather for most of August I give Cheryl, Michele and myself credit for this, I think we must have brought back the wonderful San Francisco weather with us.
It was warm Monday night kind of humid but cloudy and a little breeze. From the very beginning of the run I felt good, breathing, legs stomach everything was working the way it was supposed to. It was a treat to have Brenda with us and I think that added to the overall greatness of the run.
Everytime I looked at my Garmin when we were running we were running under 10 minute miles and sometimes we were quite speedy. The more animated the conversation it seems the faster we got!! We didn't take any walk breaks except for when we had to wait on traffic to cross over hwy 89. We did do a lot of circling back which had an effect on our overal avg. pace but the best thing was just how good I felt the whole time!!
We ended up with 7 miles at a 10:19 avg pace I was very pleased!

Tuesday night was our Running Clinic and again it was warm and humid but cloudy so that helped some not much of a breeze for most of the run but hey we can't have everything! Most of our summer the temps were in the mid to upper 90's with blazing sun during the clinic runs so 80's and cloudy feels like heaven!
We had a very small group Tuesday night just Me, Brenda, Kelly and Andrea, Rock and Karla. Rock and Karla had done the Lake DeGray Sprint Tri on Sunday so Dennis had them do a couple miles with some strides.
I warmed up with the fast girls which usually spells the kiss of death for my actual workout but not tuesday night it was great. I kept up with them for a mile and then I stopped at the CC to use the facilities and then back to the track on my own... well it would have been on my own but Karla also needed a pit stop so we ran back together.
My workout consisted of :
1x800 at interval pace
2x400 at interval pace
2x200 at interval pace
Pretty easy workout but when at interval pace not so easy. I did add on one more 400 after the 200's.
I hit all of my paces was actually fast on most of them especially the 200's but I was very happy.
After that I ran a 1 mile cool down with Kelly at a 9:47 avg. pace which is excellent after a workout!!
Total 4 miles.

I was feeling wonderful and so happy that I was getting a little speed back, I always slow down in the summer.
Well then comes Wednesday :(

Wednesday I met Michele at 5:30 for Bun's & Ab's, it was my first class back since the week before the San Francisco Marathon. I knew that I would be sore but I didn't realize I would be sore before the class even ended.
We start off with 120 squats of different variations wide legged, toes in, toes out etc. Not sure how many lunges probably around 60. Next was the half bosu ball where we did even more squats and lunges.. still not done, next we used the "gliders" they look like frisbee's you put half your foot on them and then do even more lunges, I love the gliders I really feel it in my glutes it hits spots I never even knew existed. She added a few new things into the routine some jumping jacks with the gliders etc. finally we are on our mats and we do donkey kicks with resistance bands I think 30 on each leg or something like that.
After she felt like we had tortured our legs long enough we went on to torture our abs for the rest of the class.

Immediately after class we met Kelly outside of the community center for a run. It was rainy and very humid, and although my legs felt like chunks of concrete I still thought it would be good to run down East Main which is nothing but hills!!
From the very first step I knew it was going to be a rough run and it was!!! My legs were killing me and my breathing and heart rate were erratic. The first 2.78 miles we did not take any walk breaks, we just kept plugging away at the hills and would try to regroup on the down hills. Michele had surged ahead from the very begininng of the run so it was me and Kelly. When we got to 2.5 miles we were ready to turn around but didn't want to leave Michele out in the middle of nowhere alone so we kept going. The road eventually dead ends and she had turned around, we were at 2.78 miles and that was our first walk break, but unfortunately not our last. It was just before we saw Michele when my stomach started really rumbling. We were far away from any restrooms so I just slowed down and would take walk breaks every now and then to let it calm down and thankfully I didn't have an emergency. I think I only had to stop and cross my legs one time.
It was a pretty discouraging run but we ended up with 5.75 miles so at least one bright spot.

The whole time I was running on Wednesday night I kept thinking Annette you really shouldn't run at 5:00am tomorrow, it just isn't enough rest inbetween runs which wouldn't be a problem if not for the leg torture. I had that thought in my head the whole time but then I also thought wouldn't I rather get my done early and not have to think about it later???? plus Jackie C. was going to meet us and I haven't run with her in ages and I thought surely it will be better in the morning......
Thursday morning the first step I took I felt a sharp pain from my left glute all the way down my leg.. OMG that hurt!!! but I kept going and it went away after the first few steps. Again my legs felt awful and I couldn't get my breathing and heart rate into any kind of normal rythym so I struggled the whole run... well then add in the stupid stomach thing again and it was just a crappy run!!!! I only ended up with 3.75 miles and lot's of walk breaks. I apologized to the girls and tried to get them to go on once we got back to a more well lit area but they wouldn't leave me and they told me over and over it was NO PROBLEM.. but I still felt terrible that I had ruined their run!! It turned out that Jackie coudln't meet us Phil had to go into work at 4:00am for an Exercise on Base.
Although the run was pure torture I am glad that i got it over with especially since i was able to get in a last minute massage appointment.
Christy did some new stretches on me and really was able to get into my hips and glutes even deeper than normal. I have this thing where sometimes I giggle uncontrollably during pain and i was doing a lot of giggling during that session!!! She said my IT band on the left side was really tight, well that freaked me out because i've seen too many people sidelined or running in a lot of pain because of inflammed IT band's so I am borrowing Michele's IT band strap to use for my long run on Saturday morning.

Oh almost forgot one bright spot in our Wednesday night run as we were running down East Main in a steady rain a guy in a car slowed down, rolled down his window and said "now that's dedication" and gave us the thumbs up as he drove by. It's not often we get those kind of encounters so that felt good!
Most drivers around here would rather run over us than give us any encouragement.

We have a big run and bike planned for Saturday morning at the River Trail, I'm really looking forward to a change of scenery and getting back on Francesca.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chasing Skirts

Yesterday was our 2nd annual Guy's v. Gal's competition with a little twist added in for this year. Miss Vic thought it would be a lot of fun to add the "skirt chaser" element to our fun little race, so the girls who wore skirts got a 1 minute head start and the guys who wore skirts got 2 minutes. There had been a lot of big talking about who was going to wear one and one or two of our guys chickened out.... but the real men wore their skirts proudly!! Arland, Phil, Dennis, Robert, Jason, and "Jimmy" were our daring manly men!!

The race was starting at 7:30 but I met Bailey, Brenda, Andrea and Jimmy at the school admin building to run 5 or 6 before the race.
The meeting time was set for 6:15 but we were all really early and everyone kind of just ran around the tennis courts to warm up... well actually Bailey was the earliest and already had a mile in when I saw her. After warming up we headed up Bellamy to do the 5K course and whatever else we needed to get our mileage. The warm up did it's trick and I stopped at the port-a-pottie at the high school. I begged Bailey and Jimmy to go on without me so Bailey said they would run slow. I took care of things and headed out, it was a very nice morning, not the low 60's they had forcast on the evening news, more like 71 but hey that's better than 88! It was though very humid!
I had on tri shorts under my skirt, and the skirt I was wearing is the heaviest one of all my skirts, it is a champion and I love it because it has a pocket with a zipper in the back. Anyway I felt like I had 10 extra pounds strapped to my butt and it was trapping the sweat big time!!!!
I had just made it up the big hill when Bailey and Jimmy who had turned back caught me. I would have been ok running by myself but I'll admit I was pretty darn happy to see them :) Of course that meant i was going to have to run harder. It was really a great run, the 5 K course which has several nice hills and one long gradual incline. We took one small water break on Honeysuckle on the way back but otherwise ran the whole thing at a pretty good pace.... well it was a good pace for me, but slow for them!
About the 5th mile my stomach started grumbling again and I knew I would need to use the port a pottie once again. Hills always seem to make my stomach worse and so I took the last two slower so that I wouldn't have any emergencies!!!! I hit 5 miles about .25 before the port a pottie and ended up walking slow jogging it in.
So glad we had those port a potties at the High School!!!
5.11 miles
9:56 avg.
5-10:31 this was where the stomach thing hit.

When we got to the school track a lot of Cruisers were starting to arrive. I needed to run back to the community center to my car to get my water and I wanted to keep moving. I didn't record any of my running back and forth and I'm not going to count it in my total for the day but it was at least half a mile if not more.
Finally it was time to get started on the 5K. Jane and I were running together and she said I'm just running this like a normal weekday run... and I said oh me too!! I just want to have fun!! And we did have fun that is. Actually we started off with Victoria Clinton, she was going to run with me until Bailey who didn't have a skirt on because of a bet with Jimmy caught up to us. Tori really wanted Bailey and didn't want to run without her... Jane stuck with us but once Bailey caught up we went on. So we had a pretty slow start but then we started picking it up and every time I looked down at my garmin the pace was around 9:30ish. I wish I would have looked at my Garmin a little closer and maybe I would have realized sooner that I had forgotten to turn it on! We were over a mile before I noticed so I don't have true avg. pace or splits for this run which is a bummer because I know we were doing well. We really weren't racing we were talking the whole time but we weren't running our normal easy pace and there were not water/walk breaks.
Also pretty much the whole race I had to pee.. it wasn't so bad at first but by the last 1.5 miles it was really starting to hurt a little bit.. oh well at least it wasn't the OTHER problem!! LOL
When we finally turned into the gate to the High School there was a table set up and people were standing at it and saying good job... well Jane and I thought it was the finish so we came to a complete stop, before people started yelling at us that we werent' done yet, and Charlie was passing us so Jane and I both sprinted it in, but the damage was done and a stupid boy passed us :( LOL
OH well it was fun!!!
I don't have good stats for the race since my Garmin was only on for 1.9 of the race but in that amount of time which didn't include the sprint at the end since I turned it off when I thought we were done we had an avg pace of 9:45 which although not really fast I was thrilled with especially since I had already run over 5 miles before the race.
We ran back over to the Community Center and used the bathroom and got our stuff ready for the bike ride.

Luckily Arland had taken us on a preview of the bike route on Wednesday and Bailey and I rode part of it on Thursday. It is very hilly with rough roads and several intersections. I some how ended up towards the front during the start so I had to GO... but once the really fast people went on I slowed down, I was not riding this alone!!! Gabby passed me and said come on Annette lets show them how tough we are and I said "I want YOU to go show them how it's done" LOL Gabby is an awesome biker and I didn't want to slow her down!! Soon Jane was behind me and I was looking for Brenda.. I asked Jane if she had seen her and she said she was with Vicki, so we went ahead and rode on.
We didn't ride easy but we also didn't hammer it.. well ok occasionally we did! I told Jane that I guessed we were a little more competitive than we thought!
Just like in the 5k run we talked the whole time, except when we were on Campground and Mt. Carmel where you have to ride single file and we were hammering on those roads because we wanted off of them!!! We lucked out and the traffic wasn't quite as bad as we had feared so it was a great ride!!

After the race we all headed back over to the admin. building which is next door to the Community Center.
It was really a great event and it was great to have quite a few new members in attendance!!
I had a few too many homemade chocolate chip cookies courtesy of Lisa Ford.. they were so good I had a hard time controlling myself!!
We didn't get to stay too long since we needed to head home to get ready for Kerri's wedding.

The wedding was very nice, Kerri was a beautiful bride and she and Cliff were both glowing.
Kylie caught the bouquet so she was thrilled... her daddy not so much!! He told her she has to wait 30 years before she can get married.

When we finally got home around 4:00 I was beyond exhausted. I don't really remember much about the rest of the afternoon until around 6:30 when the Women's Marathon came on. It was really sad that Deena Castor had to pull out within the first few miles. She said she heard something pop and pulled over to the side of the road.
BUT wow hasn't Michael Phelp's had the most amazing Olympics!!!! I'm sad that he is finished with all of his events!

I tried to go to bed early since I had a 3:30am wake up call for the next morning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now What

It feels like I have been training for Marathons for over a year, and well I guess I have. We started training for Chicago in April 2007. As most people know Chicago did not turn out as planned, yes we were all able to finish but it wasn't what we had expected so several of us wanted to find another Marathon right away. The first pick was PF Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon. We tentatively started training with that goal in mind, but for several reasons we decided it wasn't going to workout. In the meantime I started doing Cheryl's long runs with her while she was training for the Little Rock Marathon. Finally we decided we were going to do the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. It was perfect by training with Cheryl for her marathon I was building a great base for my own Marathon training.
Pretty soon Michele and Kelly were also running with Cheryl and I and we had our own little training group going on. We occasionally had guest runners who would join us and Cheryl also came to Cabot to run with the Cruisers on a few occasions.

Nashville training went well and our last big 20 miler was duirng a torrential down pour with thunder and lightening in the distance. It was a tough run but when it was a rainy start to the Nashville Marathon we were grateful we had already experienced way worse!!!

Well before we even got to Nashville I had signed up for the San Francisco Marathon. My new friend Bailey and I were having lunch one day and the subject came up.. well before you know it I'm signed up and soon after with very little arm twisting Cheryl and Michele also commit to San Francisco.
During the Nashville/CMM Marathon around mile 18 I was really kicking myself for signing up for another marathon before I had even completed this one. I was having a lot of self doubt and swore I was NEVER doing another marathon, or at least not for a very long time.

I had to back down on my mileage and then eventually take almost two weeks off after Nashville to let my calf heal so I was a little worried about San Francisco but before too long we were back in training.
Although we had some really great training runs especially the long runs I kept thinking I can't wait to take a break from Marathon training. We had planned on running the Disney World Marathon in January, I thought I could take it easy for about a month, keep up a long run base of 10-12 miles and just like I said take it easy. WELL Arland and I decided that we were not going to do Disney after all. It would have been a very expensive trip and Arland really had no desire to go to Disney World plus with his PF we really don't know if he will be able to run a full marathon this winter.
I was pretty bummed... I was still floating along on my San Franciso high and I knew I didnt' want to wait until Spring to run another Marathon. What to do. What to do?

After mulling over it for a few days it hit me... why not just do the Full Marathon at St. Jude in Memphis instead of the 1/2. We already have rooms reserved and there are a ton of Cabot people going. So now I am going to be jumping right back into Marathon training!!! I guess I'm just addicted!! I've also signed up for another marathon in February but I'm not going to post about it right now... I have to tell Arland first!! LOL I hope I get to talk to him before he reads this!

I have a pretty full race schedule leading up to Memphis.....

Clear Mountain 5K
Sarah Low 5K
50 miles of the Big Dam Bridge 100 miler Bike Ride
The Great Duck Race 10K
Spa 10K
I'm sure there are others but these I know for sure off the top of my head.
Oh almost forgot I might possibly go back to Spring Field MO. and do the Bass Pro 1/2 Marathon.

A full schedule but it makes me happy and it keeps me running!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bailey's San Francisco Marathon Race Report

San Francisco Race Report

It's been over a week since the marathon, but I think I've finally got it all worked out in my mind. And the overall feeling I have is: disappointment. That's right. I'm disappointed. I had fun, I enjoyed the city, I loved that my mom and my best friend were there every few miles, I ran with the best girls in the world. It's hard to describe. So let me start at the beginning...

Training for the marathon began on a sour note as I was injured with a supposed "stress fracture." I still wonder about that. Once I got on the move things just fell into place. I had wonderful long runs (except for that last 15 miler...) coached by Coach Annette. Truthfully, my marathon happened the day we ran our 21 miler. I'd never run that far before and I was anxious and nervous. So when Michele and Annette told me I ran 21 miles I was over the moon. I did it. And felt good. I'll never forget that run.

So the girls flew in on Thursday, I flew in on Friday and Mom picked me up. We met the girls at the Expo who then showered me with gifts and love which I very much appreciate and am grateful for. I still wasn't really feeling the excitement of the marathon. Not dreading it, but just wasn't feeling it. But I was trying to pretend it didn't exist either, so goal accomplished!

Race morning began with getting my Medusa picture taken, getting dressed, and STILL trying to ignore what I was getting ready to do. How long can you really do that? Apparently you can do it up through 25 miles of a marathon. We walked to the starting line with a wonderful little chill in the air. The four of us did our bathroom thing and the nervous dance while waiting for our wave to start. I was looking around checking things out when I see the girls hop into wave 7. I figured out later why we did, but I was confused at first. Which is normal, if I know what's going on before a race I might be dangerous!

And off we go! The marathon shuffle had begun! It felt that way until mile 10. I passed by In N Out while we were running through Fisherman's Wharf and you would think I found the Holy Grail. I moved from California to England to Arkansas so In N Outs are hard to come by... The view running up to the Gate was cool, brought back memories of my brother asking his fiancee to marry him. Running across the bridge was painful. It was hop scotch over the crappy road, frogger trying to get past the walkers/talkers/iPod listeners, and some internal politics within myself. I didn't get to enjoy the fun of looking up at the railing and swoops and redness of the bridge because I was worried about stepping on the heels in front of me. I told Annette at one point though, I never thought I'd be running on the bridge. I've driven across it hundreds of time, but never ran it. And I probably won't again. Once in a lifetime chance there. Cool.

After the bridge Cheryl and I were looking forward to seeing Amber with the pretzels! And I was ready to shed my awesome sweatshirt- don't worry, it's still hanging around for the next marathon. Cheryl and I caught up to Annette before the end of the bridge and we ran up to Amber wondering who the heck she was talking to. It was Michele standing there like she was on a walk through the park. We got loaded up on snacks and smiles before we headed off again.

The half way point was great because the crowd thinned out. I mean- thin. Were we on the right course? There's the half way point... where's the crowd? Where is anyone? Helloooooo? The course through the park was unending. Honestly. How many times can we turn without leaving the park? I made sure we took our drugs and hydrated. I had started to loosen up and work it out by then so I was able to stop for Cheryl but run up to Annette. Did you know there were Buffalo in the Golden Gate Park? For serious! I lost Cheryl while she was taking pictures so I caught up with Annette. I truly felt good and could have ran past her and finished whenever I would have finished, but you know what? I didn't train by myself and I was sure as heck not going to finish my very first marathon by myself. Plus I like Annette. :) I didn't expect her to match my energy level, but I just hoped she would tell me to shut it and calm down. She never would though. Around one turn I saw a reflection of myself in a blonde girl who jumped up and down to cheer for a marathoner that passed. How irritating, but amusing. I imagine that if I were the one receiving her cheers I'd love it.

Towards the end (I think)of the park there was a guy sitting on a motorcycle and a friend sitting on a blanket next to him. I had some ants in my pants so I told them they were looking good or holding down the spot or something smartassed and the guy on the blanket said, "yeah, right on sister." I thought How very San Francisco. Loved it. FINALLY we exit the park up a hill (no kidding!?) and through a gate that opened onto a fountain people were sitting on. I did a mini Rocky move, how could you not?! Then we went on to Haight Street. My favorite street in the city. SO MANY memories running down this street. It was so nostalgic. From Ameoba records, to Arddvarks, to Idle Hands... it was all still there. If I knew how to cry I'd probably have shed a tear or something. We met up with Mom and more pretzels a couple of miles later and SHE IS SOOOO STINKIN' CUTE! I love her. She started crying and told me how proud she was. I know that she's always wanted to run a marathon, but the three kids she had sort of put that on the back burner. So this race was dedicated to her even though I didn't announce it to anyone. Again, if I knew how to cry, I would have probably shed some tears.

We keep on moving. I'm not wearing my Garmin so I have no idea where we are on the course. Oh, those huge mile marker signs? You look at those? Not this runner. I was cognizant that they were going by, but not really the number on them. After leaving Haight Street all I remember is bad music, steep hills, and scary streets until we turn by the AT&T stadium. I thought to myself, who in the world would volunteer or want to run the second half. Honestly? I was a little concerned for our safety more than once on this part of the course.

Anyway, there is a ridiculous step up around mile 24-25. Now was the step ridiculous or was the fact they put the step in front of a bunch of weird dancing people who are distracting you ridiculous? Who WERE those people?! And where did I miss the ecstasy handout? I got the Cytomax (yummy but makes you pee), the cold beer, and the gus, but missed the ecstasy. I ALSO missed my little nephew Austin dancing WITH the weirdos. Thankfully Amber took some pictures/videos and I could catch up. I remember looking at mile marker 25 and it sinking in that it was almost over. My smiling and grinning and kicking and laughing and joking and encouraging of Annette was almost over. I was sad. I truly was sad. Where was the wall? Where was the miserableness? Where was the soreness? And why are all these people walking backwards?

Mile 26ish the Roman Gladiator fights death and I'm super bummed. I know Annette was upset that she had to stop so close to the finish, but I wasn't. I got to spend more time running. :) We cross the finish line and it's over. I get a hug from the best running partner ever and go through the chute. And that's it. It's over. The training, the miles, the early mornings, the bathroom breaks, the aches and pains. Over. Done. Cheryl said it best when she said it was anti-climactic. This must be where the marathon fever hits you.

Was I disappointed in my time? Nope. Upset that I didn't push myself? Ha ha! So what was disappointing? I don't know. I just feel like I didn't get the full marathon experience because I didn't hit the wall or have any issues. I mean, I was upset it was over! I could have run another 5 miles easily. Maybe next marathon I can be miserable for the last 6 miles. But as for this one maybe the good memories are all that I need to keep me signing up for more.

Thoughts from me:

When I think about my first marathon experience I want to punch Bailey in the stomach for having such a great first marathon and not realizing how lucky she is!!!!
Of course not everyone's first marathon is called off in the middle of it because of heat related issues such as running out of water etc. although I did get to finish, it too was very anticlimatic.
Seriously though I'm very happy for Bailey and she did suffer through a lot of her long runs so I guess that makes up for it!! ;) Besides I can't punch her in the stomach because she is way to fast for me to run away from and I know it would break her heart to have to beat up an old lady!
You know I love you Bailey!!! Great Race Report!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Bonk On The Head.....

I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my last post.

Saturday morning we are riding down Kerr station rd you have to make a left turn and go over railroad tracks to get back to 1st street. As we are approaching the turn the railroad crossing starts clanging and the lights are flashing. Bailey and Arland say we can make it... I freeze and say NO I can't. Well.. I stop and am about to get off my bike when all of a sudden I get hit in the head by the railroad crossing arm. It scared the life out of me, not only did it hit me in the head it was pushing me down and I couldn't get off my bike fast enough, luckily I didn't fall off my bike. I looked up just in time to see that Bailey had seen what had happened and was laughing her ass off!!
I was mortified.. I really can't even describe all the emotions going through my head. So Arland and Bailey are on the other side of the tracks and have to wait for me. I totally could have made it but I have this thing about railroad tracks.
I walked my bike back away from the tracks and when the train finally passed I walked my bike over the tracks and was then walking it across the street. My legs were really shaky and I wanted to be away from traffic before I got back on. WELL... out of the clear blue I crashed... yes I crashed my bike while walking it. It fell I fell it was just humiliating!! Of course you know Arland and Bailey were lauging their heads off.
I'll admit I did shed a few tears but not because I was hurt but because I was embarassed!! After I was on my bike I did get a good laugh out of the whole experience but good grief!!!!!

Back in the Saddle

I still have more pictures and thoughts of the San Francisco Marathon but for now I thought I would do an update of this week.

We got home Wednesday afternoon, it was a long trip home! Our wake up call came at 2:48am Wed. morning, Cheryl was up first then I was up right at 3:00 or so. We had already packed the night before so just really needed to get dressed and throw on a little makeup.
We were down in the lobby about 3:45ish and our shuttle pulled up almost immediately. We didn't know how long it would take to get to the airport and we wanted to be there by 5:00... well we were there at 4:40 and the Southwest ticket counters weren't even open yet!!
I closed my eyes as soon as we got on the plane and I was still kind of awake when we took off but pretty much slept all the way to Vegas.
We had about an hour and a half lay over since our plane had arrived a little early. I was really tempted to play the slot machines but I spent enough money in San Francisco I really didn't need to throw anymore away!!
When we boarded for the flight to Little Rock Cheryl gave us each a free drink coupon and once we were airborne we all ordered a Bloody Mary.. it was YUMMY!!! Thanks Cheryl!!!!!
It took forever to get our baggage, in San Francisco they were almost the first bags off, but not in Little rock!
After we dropped Cheryl off we headed to Team 1 where Kylie had been playing with Daddy all day. I was anxious to see her and although I was pretty worn out I wanted to go there instead of straight home.
When I did get home I walked into a sparkling clean house courtesy of Livia :)

Thursday morning I was up at 4:00am preparing to meet Jane for a run. When the alarm went off I was thinking to myself "why do I torture myself like this"!! LOL - BUT it was a great run Jane wanted to hear all about San Francisco so I was talking the whole time! I was happy that everything felt ok, my breathing was ok etc. It wasn't overly hot but it was very humid.
Just before we hit the 4 mile mark my stomach started acting crazy but it never became a big problem, maybe if we had planned a longer run it would have!
Kylie came by Team 1 in the afternoon and she went home with me... she swam in the pool, we drew pictures on the driveway with chalk, we danced with the "So you think you can dance" dancers and pretty much she just wore me out!! She really wanted to go on a bike ride but she didn't have a bike at my house. She is so funny and smart she kept trying to think of ways that she could ride with me on my comfort bike. One of her ideas was to put her car seat on the little luggage rack... I have to give her credit she tries!!

Friday is always a rest day so I went ahead and kept it that way even though I didn't feel like I deserved a rest day. It's amazing we ran a Marathon on Sunday and walked a million miles all over San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday evening I was feeling like a slug!

Saturday morning Heather and I made plans to meet and run five or six miles at 5:00am. She lives in my neighborhood and no one else was joining us so we just ran from home. It was great and once again I talked the whole time because she wanted to hear about San Francisco. The poop monster did hit me again, this time it was at about 1.5 miles. Luckily we were very close to a gas station but I had that same old problem, the bathroom is just feet away but I can't move!! :( Oh well once it was taken care of the rest of the run went really well.
We were back at our neighborhood waiting to cross the street when we see a truck approaching so we stopped to let them pass but they wouldn't go. Finally I can see they are waving us on and just as we are crossing I realize it is Bailey!! She was on her way to my house so we could ride together. We ended up with 5.5 miles for our run.
Several groups were doing different runs on Saturday morning. Brenda and Andrea were running on Lila Loop with Danielle and then Vicki and some others were meeting at 7:00 for a 5 mile run and then everyone was meeting at Sonic at 8:00 for breakfast/drinks.
Bailey, Arland and I started our bike ride at 6:30 and got 20 miles in before we headed to Sonic to meet everyone. It was great to see them after being away for a week and it was fun to talk about San Francisco.
It was really nice to have completed a 5.5 mile run and a 22 mile bike ride, breakfast, chatting and home all by 9:20am. It was also really nice to not have to drive anywhere to make that happen! As a matter of fact I didn't get in my car at all yesterday.
The bike ride was great but it was also hard, I could tell I hadn't been on the bike in over a week, and I guess maybe running a Marathon might have also contributed to the fact that my legs just felt kind of dead... oh and maybe the run before the bike ::sigh:: who knows, it just kind of sucked to feel like I had lost some of my bike fitness.
It was also great to spend time with Bailey and get to rehash the Marathon. We didn't really get to spend anytime together after the Marathon so we never had that chance to talk it out so we did that on the bike ride. She had a few interesting things to share... you know how sometimes when running you can sometimes be in your own world and you miss things that other people see.. or hear.

This morning was the Bike Time Trials... Arland had been working hard on this for several weeks but wouldn't you know it mother nature decided to wreck havoc on his plans. All day yesterday they talked about the rain chances for Sunday and Arland was constantly checking the radar and trying to decide what to do.
I was meeting Brenda and Bailey at the water station for a 4 mile run and then we were going to help with the timing. It started raining a little bit on my way over and I knew we probably weren't going to get to ride but I also knew rain wasn't going to stop our run.
We had a GREAT run! We started off nice and easy and just got to catch up with each other. At the 2 mile mark we took a "water" break and turned around. The rain started to pick up a little bit on the way back as did our pace. We ended up with a 9:54 avg pace I was thrilled with that since I felt great the whole time and that included a walk break.
When we got back Arland was there and so was James B. but he never got out of his vehicle and a few minutes later he drove off. It wasn't pouring but it was raining enough to keep everyone but Arland and Russ V. away. I felt bad for Arland because he had put a lot of thought into this and I know he didn't sleep much last night worrying about it.
Russ went out first and Brenda was timing him and then it was Arland's turn, he started about 2.5 minutes after Russ. Once they were gone we got under the porch of the Water Dept. and talked some more :) 30 minutes later we see the first rider coming in, and I can see the second rider is not too far behind. They were both really flying and breathing hard when they crossed the finish line. I was really proud of Arland he started well after Russ but he finished just behind him.
Poor Bailey she had actually ridden her bike to the Water Dept. in the dark and the drizzle, she had also run 1.5 miles before we got there, so she was pretty tired and ready to go home and go back to bed. It was too cold and rainy for her to ride home so Arland gave her a ride and Brenda and I headed to Mountain Mudd.... problem was they didnt' open until 8:00!! Oh well our plan had been to get Mountain Mudd and take it to Waffle House so we just decided to go straight to waffle house and drink their coffee.

It has been a great weekend :) I've had several good runs, a hard but good bike ride and most importantly lot's of time with friends!!!!
I have also made a decision about my next Marathon... or at least I think I have. I talked about it a lot to Brenda but I'm not 100% yet.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

San Francisco Race Pictures

Starting Line

Me & Michele
Cheryl and Bailey running up
Bailey running down

You can barely see the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog
Runners on Bridge

Just a few pictures taken before and during the race.

The first one is Bailey at the start line, you can see the nervousness in her eyes but she is smiling!
One of my favorite pictures is the 4 of us with the Golden Gate Bridge behind us, my hair looks crazy because of the wind and bondi band but I don't care it is a great picture!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

San Francisco Marathon Race Report

A little bit of history before I get to the race report. I was a California girl growing up, we moved a lot, lived in several different states sometimes for just a 6 moths to a year and then we would always end up back in Southern California. That was the pattern until I turned 14 and my parents seperated. My dad went to China and we moved to Arkansas my Mom's home state.
A few years later when I graduated High School my sisters and I went to San Francisco to spend the summer with my dad, the year was 1978 and here I am 30 years later in 2008 running a marathon in San Francisco. That chubby, shy 18 year old girl would never have imagined running 1 mile let alone 26.2!!!!

The Race

Having 4 women in one smallish hotel room you might think it would be chaos on race morning, but it really wasn't. We had prepared everything the night before so it was really just a matter of getting dressed.
Our wave wasn't starting until 6:25 and we wanted to be at the race by 5:45ish to have time to use the port-a-potties etc. The walk from the Hotel to the race start was the perfect warm up, when we first started I was a bit nervous but it didn't take long until we saw other runners headed in the same direction.
After taking care of our bathroom issues we headed towards our corral, I saw the 5:00 hour pacer, she was in wave 7 so we decided to tag along with that corral.
I am always emotional at the start line and I warned the girls I might cry, so i'm teary eyed and Bailey is just plain terrified! Cheryl and Michele seemed calm but I'm sure they were dealing with their own emotions.

We all started out together but I knew from the start that Michele wouldn't be with us for long. My plan was as usual to start off very conservatively so as not to burn out during the 2nd half. I was feeling really good, loving the cool crisp air and just trying to take in all the sights around me.
At mile 3.5 or close to it Cheryl said she needed to find a bathroom fast... well what do you know just ahead is a real bathroom, it was a little off the beaten path but we saw other runners headed in the same direction and followed them. It was pretty crowded and we lost quite a bit of time waiting in line but I knew that early in the race that we would have had to wait in line wherever we stopped.
Michele called right while we were in line and she was about .5 a mile ahead of us also on a bathroom break. She waited for us and we caught up with her in time for us to all run over the Golden Gate Bridge together.

The Bridge - I never even felt the incline I was so excited to be running on the bridge, the only negative was how crowded it was, you pretty much were constantly weaving around people and sometimes having to almost stop trying to manuever around some of the bigger groups of people. When you are doing that much weaving it it pretty hard to stay together but the girls were always somewhere around me and then when we ran off the bridge to the turn around we were all together long enough to take pictures. I know it seems crazy to some people to stop for a group photo, but when will I ever run on the Golden Gate bridge with the girls again??? probably never, I hope we have many more marathons together in our future but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn't let it pass undocumented!!
There was also a water stop at the turn around, we all kind of got strung out here. I ended up running most of the Bridge back by myself... but I enjoyed every moment of it. I truly had the "runners high" going the entire time I was on the bridge. I thought a lot about that summer of 78 and I thought a lot about my life now and I was just so happy I can't even describe it. I called my son but he didn't answer so I left him a voice mail letting him know his mom was running on the Golden Gate Bridge :)
I had been by myself for a while when I saw Michele ahead of me so I sped up a little to catch her. The whole time we had been in San Francisco Cheryl had been singing part of an old song "clang clang goes the trolley ... ding ding goes teh bell" Corny I know but hey we had a good time with it. So anyway when I caught up with Michele I sang that to her... I wish I could have taken a picture of her face! She was pretty suprised to see me. We ran together for a few minutes but with the crowd and weaving I lost her again. I knew that Bailey and Cheryl were right behind me somewhere so I just kept an easy pace waiting for them to catch up. Just before the end of the bridge they went flying by....
I did a pretty good job of remembering to eat my Honey Stinger chews, and I got water at every aid station. I also would get just a little bit of cytomax.
Somewhere around mile 9 or 10 Bailey's friend Amber was manning the first Team Bailey aid station. She had a big sign with all of our names and most importantly pretzels!! Those pretzels saved my life or maybe just my stomach but about a mile before we got to her my stomach was starting to feel like it was going to rebel on me and cause a major problem. Having something solid really helped calm my stomach down and I really don't even want to know what my race would have been like if I hadnt' had the pretzels.
I couldnt' stop for long and gave Amber a hug grabbed a cup of pretzels and was on my way, Bailey and Cheryl stayed behind a few seconds longer so I was on my own again for a little while. My thing with running is I just can't stop for too long, so I would have to keep going but it never took the girls long to catch up with me. When Cheryl and Bailey did catch up Cheryl was in dire need of a port a pottie again. I had been feeling the need myself so was relieved to know that they needed to stop too.
I don't really remember much about that stop other than the fact that it took us forever to finally find them!

The miles had really been ticking off pretty easy, I felt great mentally and physically. My stomach was behaving and all was right in my world. It was so nice to reach 13.1 and split off from the 1/2 marathoners, it definately got a lot less crowded!! It was also nice to be feeling so good!

I have to say that as far as crowd support goes San Francisco was definately lacking in that department!! We really got spoiled in Nashville with all the cheerleaders and other crowd support....BUT we had our own cheering team. Bailey's mom spent a lot of time studying the course map and came up with a plan for provide aid and support at 5 or 6 different locations. I will never be able to thank her enough, it was always so nice knowing that up ahead we had people who cared about us who would be excited to see us and who would provide us refreshments!!
Each and every time we saw them it was a physical and mental boost!

It's funny now days later a lot of the details are kind of blurred, I think it was around mile 16 when Bailey an dI were running through the park and we saw another real bathroom.. I wasn't really feeling the need but had that feeling that if I passed it I would soon regret it. It was a very good thing we stopped, I had a bit of business to take care of!!!!! We had lost Cheryl earlier and this also gave her a chance to catch up with us.

This course had lot's of hills, and lot's of steep downhills. On one of them Cheryl and I 'stirred the pot" and flew down. Bailey kept telling us to slow down but we didn't listen... well I suffered for it later. Around mile 20 my left calf seized up with a cramp, I have never felt anything like that before, oh believe me I get my share of injuries, pain etc. but this felt like my left was going to explode. I had to slow down quite a bit and was worried that I had really hurt myself, pretty much as long as I kept it kind of slow I was ok. I tried to pick up the pace several times but that sensation would always come back. I decided better safe than sorry and just kept it slow and steady after that.
Bailey stayed with me, I tried to get her to go on, I had actually been trying to get her to go on ever since the 1/2 way point but she said "I didn't train for this alone so I'm not running it alone".

We were going up one of the last big hills and a volunteer was saying this is the last hill, it's all downhill after this. When we got closer I asked her if she was telling the truth, she said absolutely and if it wasn't true we could hunt her down after the race. Lucky for her I was too tired after the race to look for her, because she was lying, maybe not on purpose, but there were a few more smaller hills after that one.

Somewhere around mile 24 Bailey turned to me and said with a sad face "it's almost over". Here I was suffering with my calf, and big toe pain just so happy that we were almost done and Bailey is sad.

At mile 25.5 my stomach which had behaved pretty well for most of the race dedided it had had enough and it stopped me in my tracks. If you have read this blog before or if you have run with me before you know what happens when my stomach has had enough. I had to stop and cross my legs in the middle of the Marathon course. I wanted to cry but instead I yelled out "shit"... Bailey turned around and I said.. REALLY.. SHIT!! She laughed turned around and walked with me for a bit until it calmed down. Luckily it did calm down, and I made it to the fnish without incident.

When we hit mile 26 Bailey again turned to me with a sad look on her face and trembling lips, she was really said it was over. I am SO happy that she had such a great first marathon!!!
When we approached the finish line she grabbed my hand and we ran through the finish together it was such a great feeling, sharing that moment with her!!!
Right after we got our medals I saw Michele, she had been in touch through the race and I knew that the slanted roads and rough asphalt had taken it's toll on her IT bands but I was suprised to see her and to find out that she had only finished a few minutes before us.
As we went through the food line I grabbed a banana ate a few bites and threw it away, next came bread, I grabbed a roll but could only take a bite before I had to throw it away too, but it was enough to make the dizziness go away and help my stomach.
I had been keeping my eyes open for Cheryl but didn't see her, we went to the dry bag pick up and I called her, turns out she was right behind us.
We all regrouped and then headed back to our hotel. After Nashville I know how important walking as much as possible after the marathon is so I was happy to walk back... my shoulders were killing me but otherwise I felt pretty good.

In the years to come when I think about this Marathon I believe what will always come to my mind first will be the way I felt on the Golden Gate Bridge and Bailey's face when we hit mile 26 and she didn't want it to be over.
There will be many other memories but those two are the biggies.

I have a lot more to say about our trip and toughts from the race but I'll save that for later.

Thank you Bailey, Cheryl and Michele for making this such a memorable experience!!! I also want to thank all of our friends who were sending us positive text messages and good thoughts through the whole race. It is a pretty awesome feeling knowing that you have a big support group at home who are keeping up with your progress and sending positive vibes. I couldn't do this without all of you!!! And the biggest thanks goes to my hubby Arland for always supporting me and cheering me on no matter what!!
I love you all!!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hello From San Francisco

Day three of our San Francisco Marathon trip and we are having a great time!! Bailey got into town yesterday, she and her mom met us for lunch on Delancey Street and then we all headed back to the expo, well back for us we had already spent the morning there and now were going back for more.
This Expo is much smaller than Nashville and Chicago but WAY better than Little Rock and Memphis.
We felt like we spent the entire day there yesterday but it was fun and we got a few new things.
We have actually been doing a great job getting around and haven't gotten lost yet... yet!!!!

We are in San Jose at Bailey's mom's house, she and her husband Mark have been great hosts!! They took us to a local Italian restaurant last night and have stocked up on banana's and pickles for us :)

This morning Bailey, Cheryl and I went on our two mile run loosen up/warm up run. It was SO nice!! The weather here is a little warmer than San Francisco and it was perfect, low humidity nice cool breeze... Cheryl even had on a long sleeve shirt.

We will be headed back to the City soon .. we are going back to the same Hotel we were in Thursday night.
We have been on our feet the whole time we have been here, maybe we will get some rest this afternoon!

Arland and Cheryl have some pictures on their blogs