Sunday, February 22, 2009

Running Outside of my comfort zone

I have a race report to write and a recap of some great runs last week but right now I want to write about my run this afternoon.

Brenda had mentioned at the awards ceremony on Saturday that they were planning on running at 1:30 on Sunday. I knew my regular running partners wouldn't be running on Sunday so I told Brenda I would meet them. We discussed a meeting spot and possible routes. I was kind of nervous about meeting them, but Brenda also posted it on the Forum and sent an e-mail so I thought maybe someone else my pace might show up.
When I pulled into a parking spot at the Community Center I see quite a few runners gathered around the front. Holy crap... there is Ginny, her friend Danielle, Natalie, Mark, Cindy, Andrea. Sheesh it was all fast people!! Oh well I had my i-pod in my pocket and I had already decided that I was probably going to be running alone anyway.
While discussing possible routes teh prevailing consensus seemed to be we wanted to run on roads with less traffic. Hmph!
So Mark pipes up with an idea to run to and over a new bypass that hasn't opened yet.... sure no traffic on a closed road. I had my reservations from the beginning but started off with them anyway. We ended up running across a field that led to a stream that had a fallen tree for us to cross over it. As soon as I saw it I said NOPE... I'm running to Michele's house and started to turn around but Lisa wouldn't have it and she grabbed my arm and coaxed me into crossing over the stream. Robert and Mark gave me there hands and I made it across but I wasn't too happy about it!! LOL actually that was probably the funnest part of the run. We end up on a residential street for just a short bit and then we turned onto HWY 38, a VERY busy road. I was still with the group for a little while on this road but with Mark in the lead I knew I wasn't going to be able to hang on. Mark's wife had also joined us and this was just her 4th run.. ever I guess.
As we approached the new bypass all I could think was @#$%..%$#@..!##%#.... It was my least favorite kind of hill... long and curved with a slant in the road. I just trudged along watching the group get farther away. I was a little panicked at that point, I had not idea where the bypass was going to end. I was afraid I was going to be lost! Mark's wife was a little behind so I circled back for her, she is from Cabot so I was hoping she would know where we were going. I also don't like leaving people behind, especially new runners! Once we got over the bypass I was very relieved because I knew where I was. I wasn't thrilled that we were now on one of the busier roads in Cabot, but hey at least I knew where I was! I circled back again for Rachel a couple of times and then soon enough we were turning onto the road that would take us back to the Community Center. I got a rock or something in my shoe normally I probably would have just left it but were had run through quite a bit of glass and I didn't want to take the chance that it was glass! I stopped to take my shoe off and get it out.. Rachel kept running but it didn't take long for me to catch backup with her. Once we got close to the Community center I could see the main pack running down the side walk in front of the High School. Rachel was done once we got to the Community Center, we had 3 miles but I wanted 5 so I decided to run to Michele's house. I didn't walk but I slowed down quite a bit so I could call Michele to make sure she was going to be home. After I talked to her briefly I plugged in my i-pod and enjoyed the rest of the run. I saw Cindy running in the opposite direction I think her foot was bothering her. I also saw Danielle, her stomach was bothering her.
I really did enjoy my last couple of miles, having the ipod really made a difference I think!!
I had 5.25 miles when I got to Michele's... I walked the cul-d-sac to cool off, the last mile there was no wind and full sunshine so I got a bit hot. It was a beautiful day.. sunny about 46 degrees and pretty breezy.

This was not a comfortable run for me but I am so proud of myself that I stepped out of my comfort zone and met up and ran with (sort of) a different group of people. I rarely ever run alone and it was really good for me...I really did enjoy it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day 5K recap

I had been dreading this 5K for a couple of weeks. I haven't really done speed work in months and I have been pretty slow since Memphis! That was until last week when Arland and I used our lunch runs as tempo runs. I was feeling a little more confident and ready to take on the 5K. Friday morning as I was having coffee with Michele I found out that her son Alex (7) was going to be running the 5K too. He was going with his dad, Michele and Abby had a birthday party to go to so were not going to be going to the race with us. I thought about Alex all day and in the afternoon decided to call him and see if he would like me to run with him in the race. He seemed pretty excited about it and we discussed what his goals were and what our stragegy would be. I WAS very excited! The pressure was off for me to run a certain time and I could just go and have fun. Russellville is about an hour and a half drive from Cabot but since the race wasn't starting until 9:00 we didn't have to get up at 4:00am! I made myself a bowl of oatmeal but only ate maybe a quarter of it. Jane came over about 6:30 and after one last trip to the bathroom we were off. Having Jane with us made the time just fly by and before I knew it we were in Russellville. It was chilly and pretty windy, I was wearing a skirt and a long sleeve tech shirt with my Cabot Cruiser singlet on top. As we were walking to the packet pick up table I hear a young voice call out "miss Annette" I turned and there was my buddy Harry C. actually it was the whole C. family. We chatted for a few minutes and I got some hugs and then we were off to get our race numbers. There was quite a big turnout for this race and a lot of people were doing race day registration, so many in fact they had to move the race start to 9:15. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal but it was pretty chilly so an extra 15 minutes of standing around kind of sucked!
Alex and I headed towards the back of the pack but realized we were with a group of walkers so we moved up a bit.
Alex had a very ambitious goal in mind for this race, his fastest 5K was a 32:59 and he wanted 29 minutes. His dad told him that probably wasn't realistic and I also talked to him about it a bit.
I had to really hold him back the first mile but I have run with Alex before and I know he goes out really fast and then when he gets tired he gets cranky and can sometimes shut down so my goal was just to keep him going.
First mile was an 11:06... perfect right where I wanted us to be. There was a group of people running with us most of the race, it looked like a mom and three or four kids, they were older than Alex but he made them his competition. They would run fast and then have to stop and walk, so we did the leap frog thing but eventually we passed them and they never caught up.
Second mile was 10:39. We were passing lots of people and I know that made Alex feel good, he was holding up really well, I would check on him, how are you feeling etc. Every now and then I would have to make him slow down a little bit.
Alex was constantly asking "how far-how long" so I was constantly looking at my Garmin. When we were at 17 minutes he said Josh is fnished now, and then at 18:30 he said Gary is finished now. When we were around 25 minutes he said my dad should be finished now. He knew everyone's goal times... he is a numbers kid!
We had steadily been picking up the pace, not pushing too hard but just a gradual build up. I could tell Alex was getting tired but he never complained. He had started asking about time and distance every few seconds... finally just before we hit the three mile mark I said lets just run. I was really pushing him but he was tired, he kept running and was running a good pace but just didn't have that last sprint to the finish I was hoping for. We finished in 32:56 a PR and a good race. He seemed pretty happy with it. I was very proud of him, he ran every step no walk breaks. The third mile was 10:04, I don't know what the last .1 was because I forgot to turn my Garmin off until we were out of the shute.
I really really really loved every minute of this race. It was such a joy to run with Alex and help him run a good steady pace.
They also had a kids 1 mile race so it was quite a bit before they got to the awards ceremony and then they had some glitches with placement. I was VERY dissapointed because instead of having the 5-9 age group they lumped 1-14 all together so Alex did win an award. On the online results listing they have it broken out and he should have gotten a third place trophy. Alex and James didn't get to stay for the awrds ceremony, Alex had a basketball game at 12:00 so they had to rush back to Cabot.
Quite a few of our Cruiser's won trophys :) Jane 2nd place grandmasters, Gary 1st place grandmasters, Bailey 2nd 25-29, there was a problem with the 35-39 female results, Gabby was announced as the second place but might actually have been third or fourth and Jackie was right behind her. Josh won his age group and Russ was third in his age group. I don't think I left anyone out???
It was a great race and I think everyone was really happy with their results. Oh I almost left out Caitlyn C. she won 1st in her age group! All the C. kids won trophys in the the one mile run.

After the race We met Jackie, Phil and the kids at I-hop, Judy and Steve also joined us. Breakfast afterwards is always my favorite part of any race!!!!

Arland and I spent a quite day at home yesterday... it was nice not to have to fight the Valentines day crowds!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back in the Groove

I promised myself before Surf City that I would take a week off of running after the Marathon. It was really hard but I stayed true to my promise and I did not run for an entire week. The first few days it was easy not to run but by Thursday I was starting to feel the itch and by Saturday it was almost killing me!
Although I didn't run I still worked out... Run club with the kids, Buns n Abs and Jane's class. I did do a little bit of jogging with the kids but Kylie fell and scraped her hands within the first few minutes and it was almost all I could do to keep her walking for the alloted time. It was a struggle but we did manage to get our mile completed.

Friday night Kylie spent the night and on Saturday morning she went with us to meet the runners at the Diner for Breakfast. It was good to see everyone and Kylie showed off my super cool surf board medal.
Saturday afternoon Michele and I went to the Sporty Runner in Conway and I finally got a new pair of running shoes. Well actually I just bought a pair a couple of weeks ago, but those didn't work for me. I got the new Asics Kenyano 15's... I LOVED the 13's but can no longer find them in my size. I tried the 14's but did not like them, they actually really hurt the top of my foot.
I have heard good things about the 15's and they felt good when I ran in them at the running store.

Finally Monday rolled around and it was time to run! Arland and I had decided to run at lunch.
The weathermen were calling for rain later in the day but at lunch it was perfect. It was actually very warm but I am not going to complain about warmth in the middle of February!!!
I was so excited to put on my running clothes and new running shoes. It was a good run, my left leg calf/ankle area felt pretty tight and at first I thought oh great these shoes suck, but then I remembered this was my first run in a week and my last run had been a marathon. By mile 2 everything started loosening up and I was enjoing the run and then... my stomach :( the last mile ended up being a combination of stopping, walking, and running. It didn't matter I was just so happy to be running and I was kind of expecting stomach problems, especially since I was still drinking coffee at 10:00am.

Monday evening I went to Pilates at the Community Center, the instructor is great and I am so glad I have included it in my workout schedule. In just a few weeks of going back to buns and abs and adding the Pilates I can feel myself getting stronger, especially my core!

Tuesday the weathermen were calling for rain through out the day and storms in the evening. Jane and I were texting Monday night and she said she was going to run on the treadmill the next morning or at least she was hoping to. Jane and I are a lot alike and I knew the chances of her going were probably slim, so I offered to meet her. As usual the treadmill was torture and I only managed 2.25 miles. Still it felt good to be working out and jane and I always manage to make the best out of any situation. Running on the treadmill wouldn't be so unbearable if it weren't so stinking hot and they only have one fan for five treadmills. We usually walk on the indoor running track afterwards so we can cool off enough to put or jackets on and go outside into the cold.
The kids running club was moved inside because of the rain. The kids were split up into 3 seperate groups, one group would walk through the halls, one group played Wii, and another group was in the cafeteria where Jackie was giving a nutrition seminar. My group the kindergartners and first graders were walking the hallway first. It is quite the challenge to keep the kids motivated, they start off gung ho but after about five minutes they were getting very whiney... when can we stop, I'm hot, I'm tired, my side hurts, when can we stop, I'm tired, when can we stop, when can we stop!!!!!!!! Kylie was whining just as loud as the others and then you add in the fact that several of the kids were fighting over who got to hold hands with me well let me just say she was not a happy camper!! They were all very happy when they "finally" got to go to the cafeteria. Jackie asked the kids "where do you get most of your vitamins" one little boy quickly blurted out Wal-mart. I thought that was pretty funny but I bet a lot of adults might have answered the same way! The right answer was of course bright/dark color veggies and fruits.
By the time the time my group got back to the gym parents were there ready to pick kids up so they didn't get to play with the Wii. The rain had stopped by the time we finished run club and the sun was actually breaking through a little bit, so I called Jane and we decided to try to get a run in around 6:30. Karen also met us and we ran a very easy 3 miles, it felt so great to be running outside, actually I think Jane and I ended up with 3.25 miles. As we were stretching it started sprinkling, it almost felt like we were meant to run since the rain held off until we were done.

Wednesday the rain finally cleared out but the wind, oh the wind! Arland and I wanted to run at lunch but the wind was pretty intimidating, a couple of times at work the wind would blow open the front door and cause all the ceiling tiles to do a little dance! We had almost talked ourselves out of running but I knew I would be sorry if we didn't so I said, let's just do it, if it is awful we will just cut it short.
I think it was in the mid 60's but with the wind it felt cooler. I suggested a zig zag route so that we wouldn't be running into the wind for 1.5 miles. One of the advantages of this route is very little traffic, but it is kind of tedious running up and down lot's of dead end streets, it is also pretty "incliny". I guess we were both feeling pretty good because we ended up with a pretty speedy run and it felt especially good since we had to deal with the heavy wind! 3 miles 9:25 avg. pace.
Wednesday evening was Bun's and Ab's and Jane's cardio/strength interval class. Kelly our regular insructor was not there and I guess they had to scramble to find a substitue instructor, one girl started the class and about five minutes later someone else came in, well you could tell she wasn't too happy about having to teach the class... it was so bad that Michele left in the middle of class to run home. I stuck it out and it did get better but by the end I was in a bad mood and almost didn't stay for Jane's class. As soon as I saw Jane I knew i would stay and by the end of her class I felt ton's better!

Thursday... although I had plans to run with the girls Thursday evening when Arland mentioned running at lunch I was all in!! It was another beautiful day, 64 mostly sunny and breezy but not too windy. I didn't think I could run as fast as I had the day before but decided to just run however I felt and not worry about pace. We started off fast right away I didn't think I would be able to maintain that pace for the whole 3 miles but decided to just run it as long as I could. The last .75 of the run was the hardest, it is a long incline and the breeze was at our back so it got hot!! I really thought any second now I'm going to fall apart but I held it together and we ran 3.1 miles with a 9:19 avg. pace. I was very happy!! We have a 5K on Saturday and I had been thinking I would be happy if I could finish in 30 minutes. After two days in a row of speedy (for me) runs I knew I wouldn't be setting any PR's but at least I could probably finish under 30 minutes. Thursday evening I met Jane and Karen at Michele's house, I was wearing a skirt and short sleeve shirt but had thrown on a jacket before I left the house. When I got out of my car at Michele's it felt pretty chilly so I decided to leave the jacket on. It didn't take too long for me to warm up and I was starting to get uncomfortable, luckily we were running back by Michele's house so I threw my jacket off... not a moment too soon!! It had been decided early on that we were only going to run 3 or 4 miles, I had orginally wanted 5 miles but since I got to run at lunch I was fine with the shorter distance. When I was leaving the house Arland told me not to run as fast as I had at lunch, my response... ha ha don't worry, I don't think I could even if I wanted to. Well I was running with Jane and Michele and those girls are fast and next thing you know we were speeding along. I did slow down a couple of times and whined about them trying to kill me! but it was great and we finished 3 miles with a 9:28 avg. pace. I don't remember the splits exactly but the first mile was a 9:40 and the third was 9:14... the middle mile was a 9:20 something but I don't remember the exact number and I'm too lazy to go get the Garmin to check!! LOL
We ran one more mile at a cool down pace and ended up with 4 miles. It was great to run with the girls, and I was very happy that Michele was able to run with us!!

My legs were very happy to have a rest day today!!
Tomorrow we are headed to Russellville for the Valentine's day 5K. Although my runs this week gave me more confidence about the 5K I have decided that I am going to run with my young buddy Alex (Michele's son) I called him today and asked what his goal was for the race. He said 29 minutes but I think his fastest 5K was 34 minutes. I told him I didn't know if we could do 29 minutes but I would help him get as close as possible. His main challenge is pacing himself so I'm going to try to reign him in the first half so he will have the energy to run the whole thing. I'm pretty excited to be running with Alex hopefully we will have fun.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Surf City Marathon - Race Report

This time last week I was running the Surf City Marathon.......

We had no clock in our hotel room so Bailey and I both set the alarms on our cell phones. I set my to give me a 5 min snooze. I slept a little better Saturday night with my new pillow but still now as well as I would have liked. I kept waking up wondering what time it was, does anyone else think it is weird there was no clock in our room?? The alarm finally went off and I just hit the button, fell asleep and woke up about 15 mins later in a bit of a panic. I jumped out of bed and put my contact in and brushed my teeth. I was starting to get my breakfast together when Bailey started making waking up noises. I asked her if she knew what time it was and then informed her it was 4:35 and time to GET UP!! Bailey is not a mornning person and she was grumbling and moaning a bit but she was getting up. As we were talking about why my snooze didn't work she said well i wonder why my alarm didn't go off. I plugged in the coffee maker and had just poured the water in when Bailey said to me IT IS 2:48am. At first it didn't register in my brain what she was saying, and then I was like ummm no my phone says it is 4:whateveram. WELL.... For some reason Blackberry's don't change time when you change time zones so all weekend I would just subtract 2 hours whenever I looked at the time on my phone, but when I set my alarm on Sat. night I completely forgot about the time difference. We both started cracking up and I immediately turned off the lights and got back in bed. I laid there and laughing for a long time before I finally was able to fall back asleep.

It was just as hard waking up at 4:30 as it was at 2:30 but we got up and started the pre race preparations. I had brought oatmeal with me to have for breakfast but with all the shopping at Target and Trader Joe's that we did on Saturday I never thought about the fact that a bowl and spoon might come in handy for preparing and consuming my oatmeal. Bailey suggested using the coffee carafe so that solved one problem... now what to eat it with. We had bought some kind of corn chips for after the marathon. So I used the coffee stirstiks to mix up my oatmeal and I used a tortilla chip as my spoon.

I haven't had oatmeal as pre run nutrition in a very long time. I ate about 1/2 of it and I can happily report that it didn't cause me any stomach distress and I really think it helped with my energy levels during the race.

We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the race and it was a good thing too because we had to make a few u-turns, but we made it in plenty of time. We parked in the Beach parking lot and had about a mile walk to the start. I actually didn't realize we were that far away until after the Marathon! I like walking at least a mile before a race, it seems to help things loosen up and I'm usually able to have a successful port a potty trip.
It was pretty chilly at the start, luckily I had accidentally brought a pair of throw away gloves and I bought a throw away shirt at Target on Saturday. We wandered around and then went into the expo tent for a few minutes to stay warm.
When we got back to the start it was packed!! We headed towards the back of the lineup we were right next to the tape dividing the full and half marathoners so we thought we were at the back but turns out they didn't give us enough room and there were still a ton of people behind us.
The announcer kept saying if you don't have a bib on get off my course and yes if you didn't have a big/tag you shouldn't be on the course but he kept looking out in the crowd and saying he saw people with no bibs... well I don't think he realized that a lot of people had warm up clothes on and there bibs were underneath.. like me!!

Finally the race starts, and within the first 100 yards or so there is a very large lady with walking sticks and a friend. I was tryng to get around her and on the ground is a large water bottle so I'm trying to dodge the lady and the water bottle when this young guy just about tackles me trying to get around all of us! Not the best way to start a race, but we settled down and into a comfortable pace pretty quick. The first miles were on the Pacific Coast Highway and although it was cloudy and grey I could see the beach and smell the ocean air so I was happy!!
The first 6 miles really passed pretty quickly, I think it took that long for Bailey to warm up, she had brought a short sleeve t-shirt as a warm up and it wasn't doing a very good job of keeping her warm. I warmed up within the first 3 miles and had thrown my gloves away about mile 2. I felt terrible that I threw them away instead of giving them to Bailey but I wasn't thinking luckily I was using my brain and when it was time to take off my shirt I gave it to Bailey.
After the PCH we ran through some park and around a lake. This section was FULL of kids cheering us on! It was great having them out there! We also had a little bit of trail running while in this section, it was just a short stretch but the hard dirt felt good, not so much the sandy section on the little uphill.
When we got back out on the PCH the sun had come out in full force and I was very thankful I had bought my new sunglasses on Saturday!! and very very glad I had brought along a visor!
The miles on the PCH are kind of a blur, Bailey took pictures every mile and most of them had me in them.

You can see I was feeling pretty sassy at mile 3
And what is up with that guy still wearing his trashbag at mile 5?? LOL

Oh and I was right not to trust the course description. This was not a hilly race at all BUT there were more than the one hill that was mentioned in the race course description!!

We did a good job with our nutrition, we did get started on our gels a little later than planned. We were going to start at mile 4 or 5 but next thing you know it it mile 6. I brought 5 gels 4 Accel-gels and 1 orange vanilla Roctane GU. The first time I had the Roctane I hated it so I'm not sure why I brought it but I liked it better this time so I will keep it in the lineup. I had a new flavor of AccelGel, Raspberry Cream, I took half of one early in the morning right after my oatmeal just to see if I could handle the flavor. It wasn't bad, but of course none of the gels taste good to me, it is more a matter of what isn't just flat out disgusting! I really like the Accel-Gels because they have the 4 to 1 ration of protein to carbs and I can tell the difference.

So I never did get new shoes before the marathon, I think I might have blogged about they New Balance 1224's that I bought a few weeks ago? They suck!! They are probably great shoes but they just don't work for me. I ended up wearing my Kenyano 13's, they have been through a lot of miles, 2 marthons and a big part of the training for 3 marathons. I put in my new Berry Super Feet insoles and hoped for the best. Well I know the insolses probably helped a lot but by mile 13 my feet were hurting, specifically my big toe on my right foot. I get that pain a lot during longer runs but usually it doesn't start that early and the pain was worse than I have ever felt before!

The Marathoner's started about an hour earlier than the 1/2 marathoners and at about mile 9 we all met up we came from opposite directions and turned onto another road, well at first I was kind of excited to see them, but once we turned it was awful... there were thousands of them and they were at mile 3 of their 1/2 marathon so they were all running a lot faster than we were and they just overtook us and were coming at me from all sides and I actually had a little bit of a panic attack!! I couldn't breath and just felt really out of sorts! I also was running faster than I needed to be trying to stay out of there way. I can imagine it must have pretty frustrating for them having to dodge the slower marathoners!!

Eventually it calmed down and I was able to get back into a rythmn for a while, but the pain in my toe and the little panic attack were taking their toll and I was having to take some walk breaks. I really just wanted to get on the beach!! and then finally we are turning onto the beach path and it is just the Marathoners again. This race course was full of out and back loops so we were constantly seeing other runners and it was the same on the beach path.
We had taken a Gel just before turning onto the beach and within the first little bit there was an aid station and they had "uncrustables" PB&J sandwiches. We were thrilled... we were on the beach and we had PB&J sandwiches!!!! We walked we ate our sandwiches, we giggled we were just in runners heaven! BUT Hell was waiting for us a little ways down the path. My calves had been cramping for several miles already but it was really starting to slow us down and I was having to take more walk breaks which actually made it worse i think.
Bailey was GREAT!! we lauged and talked the whole time and As much pain as I was in it never erased the good feelings I had. Heck we were together, we were in California and we were running on the Beach!!!
We saw lot's of interesting people in the race!! The barefoot runner, Forrest Gump, the lady hacking up a lung! The lady in the interesting leopard print outfit!
During one of the out and backs we got to see the Marathon Leaders... that was pretty exciting especially seeing the Female leader. She had the biggest smile on her face!!! I hope she won!

Finally we were getting down to the last few miles... but I swear mile 17 lasted forever and had to have been at least 5 miles long! Mile 18 I finally had to use the port a potty, I think it was the combination of the GU and PB&J.

Bathroom Break
Bailey took so many pictures!!

We finally get back to where we first entered the beach path and are now headed in the opposite direction, DAMN it is another out and back and a guy running beside us, or maybe walking at that point just lets loose with a few angry cuss words!! Of course I start laughing because I am feeling the same way on the inside, but then I feel back because maybe he is hurting or something.
We talked to a girl in this section who had run the Barcelona Marathon and she said it was very hard because you passed the finish line several times before you really got to finish! plus it was really hot... it definately made me want to NEVER run that marathon!!
Finally the last miles....

I had called Brenda at about 19.5 miles. I was really in pain and was starting to hit the wall and needed to hear a Brenda pep talk and she didn't dissapoint!! After a few minutes with her I felt much better...still hurting physically but uplifted mentally! I also called Jane a little later, she didn't answer so I left a voice messge and she called me back.

Although it was just Bailey and I who made the trip to Huntington Beach we were not out there alone!! We got so many text messages and phone calls the whole weekend!! When you are a Cabot Cruiser you are never alone!!!

Finally we are back on The Pacific Coast Highway with about a mile left. I was still in pain but I was getting excited! My Dad, Stepmom Vonda and Aunt Leni were are going to be at the finish line and I couldn't wait!! I also couldn't wait to get that cool surfboard medal around my neck!!!

Bailey and I crossed the finish line together with hands held high above our heads!! We both got to hear our names announced, that was cool!!

I love the D-tag system they use in the California they don't have to be turned back in so no having the hassle of getting your chip cut off!! I hope everyone starts using them soon!

I called my dad and unfortunately they were just arriving so they didn't get to see us finish. My Aunt Leni was somewhere around the finish line but I don't think she saw us either. Oh well they were there and all had traveled at least an hour just to see us!!!
We chatted a bit and then made plans to go to my Aunt's house in Menifee to watch the Superbowl.

The mile walk back to the car felt like 10!! I honestly didn't know if we were going to make it! Once we got back to the car we headed to the beach for our Pacific ocean ice bath!! The walk across the parking lot barefoot was excruiating but once I got to the sand it was great!!! The water was soooo cold and we were squealing like little girls the whole time!! At first it was just the feet but little by little we went further and further out until our legs were also in the water. It hurt but we knew it was going to make us feel better later so we endured!!
We saw a few other people doing the same thing but they were a lot quieter about it than we were!! LOL

After we left the beach we headed to find an In-N-Out burger... it took a little while, a few u-turns a little frustration but it was SO worth it! We took our burgers back to our room, somehow made it up the 2 flights of stairs and then devoured our food!!

More about the rest of the day later....this post has taken me over an hour to write!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It was Fun.Fun.Fun!

I don't even know where to start with my Surf City race report. Do I start with the pre-race fun or just skip to the race???
I actually started a post last night and then I accidentally deleted it.

The weekend seemed to be one adventure after the other. We started the trip by holding up a whole plane full of people as we were dilly dallying. The great thing is we had no clue until we got to our gate and were informed we had 30 seconds before they closed the door so there was no stress. I am usually very concious of time so it still surprises me that we cut it so close. We giggled the whole time we were running to the plane.
Once we got to L.A. we were the U-turn girls... the wrong exit girls... the just plain wrong way girls. It might sound bad but really we laughed through it all and had fun, well almost all of it!

I had been nervous about our Hotel ever since I booked it back in November. The host hotel was sold out and thankfully so since it was pretty expensive. We paid for 3 nights what it would have cost 1 night at the Hitlton. You know the old saying "you get what you get pay for" well it could have been much worse but we definately weren't living it up in high style. The good news it was clean and no bugs. The bad news our pillows weighed 10 pounds each and were as hard as bricks, no elevator, etc.
It was late by the time we checked in Friday night and got settled in our room. Midnight in California but 2:00am Arkansas time. We pretty much fell into bed, normally when I'm that exhausted I don't have a problem falling asleep but with the brick pillows I could never get comfortable and did not sleep well.
Saturday morning we didn't set our alarms and just woke up when we were ready. We were both anxious to explore our surroundings and go to the Expo so we were awake by 8:00am.

I was pretty impressed with the Surf City Expo I would compare it to San Francisco maybe just a bit bigger,definately better than Memphis or Little Rock!! We got our race packets and made sure our "D" Tags were working and then it was off to explore.
I didn't really find anything I couldn't live without, except for a new pair of sun glasses. I also got Michele some cute Marathon Girl running pants, oh and I almost forgot I did buy myself a long sleeve t-shirt.
SCAM ALERT... Maybe scam is too strong of a word for this but I don't know what else you could call it.
I wish I could remember the name of the running skirt booth.. Jazzy skirts or something like that, I picked up a skirt to look at it, and the sales person came over when I questioned where the pockets were. She was very perky and told us the skirts had some kind of special energy/balance thingy sewn in. She asked if I wanted a demonstration. She had me stand on one leg and put my arms out sideways, she then proceeded to push down on on arm until I lost my balance, she then grabbed a skirt and had me hold it in my hand and once again raise my arms our to the sides and stand on one leg, once again she pushed on my arm and lo and behold I didn't topple over. I was so impressed I had her do it again and it was then that i realized she was a shyster. I guess I was so nervous about having a strange person manhandle me while balancing on one leg that I didn't noticed that when she put the skirt in my hand she pushed down on both arms not just one. Well of course equal pressure you aren't going to lose your balance. I just smiled and walked away...I wonder how many people fell for that???

After the Expo we headed out to find Target so I could get a new pillow! We were also starving since we hadn't had breakfast. Normally a burger would be the last thing I would eat the day before a marathon!! I told Bailey since we are just here to have fun and our only time goal for Sunday was to finish before the cut off and there would be plenty of port a potties we decided to live dangerously and have what our hearts desired and that was In N Out Burgers! We were in California we had to have In N out!! AND it was so worth it!!
After our burgers we made a trip to Trader Joe's and bought some water and banana's ... along with a few other goodies for after the marathon.

After several hours spent driving and shopping we finally made it to the beach!!! Bailey and I both have strong ties to California and we were in heaven the whole weekend!!

Saturday night we went to main street and had dinner at ???? darn I am drawing a blank :( Anyway it was a pretty long wait out in the cold...We had bruschetta for an appetizer and then I had salmon with rice. The best part of the meal was the bruschetta! After dinner we went to a chocolte store and bought some fudge for after the marathon. Bailey got a caramel apple and we shared it on the way back to the hotel... something else I would usually never do the day/night before a big race!!

Ok... my eyes can't take anymore. I will have to finish this later!