Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 FIGURE & RACE CRAZINESS

JANUARY FUN: Well kids, the first 4 months of 2011 have been wild and certainly merit a new blog post.   Kicked off January with 10 races, including the second of the Northstar at Tahoe snowhoe race series, which was a half marathon and the longest I'd run in snowshoes by far. Conclusion: that's too far on snowshoes! The real January highlight for me though was my first ever track meet where I actually did field events - I'm pretty sure during my one season of track in h.s. I may have done only long jump or no field events at all perhaps...as I have no recollection of them. So, I made up for that lack by trying the javelin, hammer, discus, shotput and long jump at the Chabot College all-comers meet. It was great because the only people there were  me and one other girl (who was a college field athlete) and her coach who showed me how to do everything right, and I tried to mirror what the other girl did. Now, I must stress the word "tried" because I don't think any glory awaits me in field events! bahahha. But they are so fun - my favorite by far was the hammer. I ended January with a new 5k PR, but the course was not certified and the distance was in question, so I decided to wait to call it a PR of 21:04 until I had a certified course.

FEBRUARY BLAH: February didn't start off on a good foot with a DNF at Jed Smith. I have to say it was kind of a wussy DNF. I had no real MAJOR issue. I just felt like crap mentally and physically. My heart wasn't in the race. And my IT injury from the old broken foot reared its ugly head. So at mile 22 I was out. I curled up and slept for a bit then felt fine.  Strangely, I don't regret the drop.  I really like the old Jed Smith course around the farm much better than the new one and question whether I will even sign up next year. I did only 7 races in February, 2 of which were orienteering races in Red Rocks park, which was amazingly beautiful but tearfully frustrating for me (as I'm not very good at orienteering yet). Only the orienteering races were longer than a 10k.  This was mostly because I was gearing up for 2 figure competitions in March and wanted to ease back from the longer running distances. For that same resason, I only did 4 races in March, 2 5ks and 2 10ks - and ended with a new 5k PR on a certified course in LA the day after my second figure competition - 21:05. The balancing act required for the figure and racing is quite a challenge. I'm still trying to nail it down as I like to do both things - and of course folks ask, why not focus on one to do your best - well, it's the same answer I have for when people ask why i dont train six months for a marathon to get my best time = not nearly as much fun as doing lots of things - and anyway, so what if my marathon PR could be a few minutes faster - who cares? it's not like I'm on the edge of elite times or something. So it's all about what I want. Which is to do it all, obviously ;)

MARCH FIGURE: The figure competitions, as usual, were fun but frustrating. I liked the set up for the first one in San Diego a bit better, but it turned out that strangely there was only one other girl in my height class (this is very unusual for my height) -  I asked to combine the classes to have a better competition, but they didn't want to do that. So, I won my class against the other woman, which isn't very satisfying because I prefer having competition. However, the San Diego provided a good warm-up for the LA show, which had a normal sized class. I felt more comfortable on stage in the second show and was generally happy with my performance, though I definitely have identified several areas I need to improve upon in order to win an overall. The girl who beat me in my class ended up winning the overall so that made me feel a bit better about a second place in my class.  

APRIL RACE CRAZE: April's when things got a little crazy. Kicked off with American River 50-miler out of nowhere really. I hadn't been running training miles as you might think given the lack of race distance I had been doing. Somehow, AR wasn't too bad - I kept a decent pace mostly but around 12 miles from 26-38, I slowed due to some stomach/bathroom issues and was worried I wouldnt be able to finish well, but I managed to pick it up again and felt strong at the end - even ran up that crazy hill at mile 47.5! AR was my second 50-miler (Firetrails was 1st), not including the 12 hour race I did where I went 56 and change. I felt much better after AR then after Firetrails recovery wise so I wasn't too worried about being able to do Boston a week later - I was just concerned that it would be a really slow marathon since my legs were feeling heavy. Or that my knee would get re-injured.

So, AR50 was last Saturday, then I flew to Massachusetts Wednesday night and on Thursday I conquered the little woodsy 5k where I had dnf'd 2 years before due to a hamstring pull. Saturday J & I did a 5 mile trail race up to a buddhist pagoda in the middle of nowhere (okay, it was outside Amherst but felt like the middle of nowhere!).. I liked how volunteers were banging gongs up the steep hill to the end and how the finisher's medal was an origami crane. After that race, I was feeling okay for the marathon despite battling intense allergy attacks all week - was just hoping that would clear up during the race (usually does from race adrenaline, etc). We stayed in Boston, rode the bus hella early to the start and got a short pre-race massage to stay out of the cold before it started.

The 115th Boston provided me with the opposite experience from the first time I ran Boston - the first time I went out way too fast (classic boston error) and crashed hard in the later miles. This time I couldn't seem to get going, even on the downhill! My splits were below pace and I was more than a little worried that a good time was completely out of reach. Turned out the wind at my back (awesome tail wind) saved the day - I got a PR (with a big tailwind asterisk) of 3:37:54.  My previous best (at CIM) was 3:39:28 - so not a large PR at all and I give credit to the wind, but I'll take it anyway and at least I technically have a Boston 2012 qualifying time, though I'm pretty sure due to the new wave registration I won't get in (I know girls running 3:20s who are worried). I'm not complaining, I'm just planning for next year!

So, you thought I was done? Well, so did I, until I decided to run a little Mass XC 5k the day after Boston.  I didn't really think I'd pull off anything faster than my marathon pace to be honest. My calves were tight, my knees felt a little rickety. But I had a great first mile - sub 8 pace which was surprising to me. But then I felt a spasm in my left hammie that made me walk and jog the rest. Goin to the sports massage master now to work that out.  Not sure if Ruth Anderson will happen - if not, I'll just hit the figure training hard...after all, Contra Costa is around the corner now (not even sure if I'll be ready since I can't see any abs after all that marathon and vacay food!)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 YEAR IN REVIEW

2011 is going to be EXCELLENT. I can feel it. I expect great things to happen. And believe they will. Because I will make them happen. I think it will be a stronger faster year altogether, partly because 2010 was such a struggle.  In mid-September of 2009, I broke my fibula during the Stephens Creek 50k. The bone healed quickly, but led to an onslaught of various compensation injuries. I fought hard to recover and get back to racing, but at the beginning of every race I was never sure how it would go - whether something would force me to walk to the end.  




I still managed to beat my time at the Pike's Peak Marathon, achieve my goal of completing two swim-run races (swimming being the hard part for me), complete my first 50-miler and get several PRs and good times along the way! I also threw in some orienteering races, which are ridiculously hard but fun. On top of everything, I bought my first house in the Woodside hills, and I love living there very much.

  

The injuries also led me down an UNEXPECTED path, ending in a BodyPump instructor certification while I was coming off the cast. One thing led to another, and I found out how much I love lifting weights. This led me into the world of bodybuilding, where I ended up competing in four figure competitions during the summer of 2010, getting some great photo shoots and ending up on the cover of the September issue of Hardfitness online magazine!  While I love lifting, the whole high heel, glittery bikini, dark tan, hair extensions, and graceful stage walk was a big challenge for this tomboy! But in the end it was fun and definitely something I want to keep doing. Also, since I had the break from racing a bit, I had time to start learning to snowboard last season, with a good friend by my side.  This year I'm trying to continue to learn and improve and I find it very fun and relaxing to escape to the Tahoe mountains.  2010 provided a real lesson in determination and turned out to be a great adventure! 



2010 Highlights:

Figure Competitions: 4 - 3 local, one national (local level, 2 firsts in class, one 5th; national; 13th in class, out of ~32)
Number of Races: 58
Total Race Miles: ~593
Average Miles per Race: 10.231
Ultras: 5 (50k x 2, Quad Dipsea, Firetrails 50, New Year's 12 hour (~56M))
Marathons:  2 (CIM, Pike's Peak)
Swim Races: 2
PRs: 12k; 4.5M; Half M, 50M
Other: Competed in XC series for first time; started snowboarding; started orienteering races!
Favorite Race of 2010:  Whiskeytown 50k (pouring bursts of rain through an amazingly lush green forest with about 20 rushing stream crossings - it was awesome!)


2011 - GAME ON!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Racing Journal (January 2010)

Weeks 1-4 (1/1-1/31)
January miles: 11.2
January race miles: 11.2
2010 miles: 11.2
2010 race miles: 11.2
2010 races: 2

I've finally gathered up the enthusiasm to begin the 2010 year blog as my injuries are finally on the mend, as of this week only! It's taken much longer than expected for them to heal, but in the meantime I've been: lifting like crazy, doing and teaching BodyPump (weights class), swimming like crazy, and, this week, taking spinning classes! I'm psyching up to do the Contra Costa figure competition in late May. It will be a whole lot of work and a strict regimen during the weeks prior, but hopefully it will be fun and I'll do well :) Also, getting better in the pool, though I know I'll never be a fast swimmer - I do hope to be a good swimmer though. As far as running, well, I haven't been at all really, with the minor exception of a random new year's day race and the JazzTrax snowshoe race, both of which hurt my knee a lot to do... but were still fun. I ran a mile on the treadmill without pain for the first time the day before yesterday...hoping to keep up that trend and get back my running. After all, I'm registered for, get this, way too cool 50k, AR 50 and Boston! At this point I'm hoping to be able to do Boston, slowly... one can hope.

Pics and article about JazzTrax:
http://www.snowshoemag.com/viewContent.cfm?content_id=615

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Racing Journal (November - December 2009)

2009 Year in Review:

2009 Highlights:
- 809.83 '09 race miles; 88 '09 races; 1,033.84 total '09 running miles!
- 5 ultras; 3 marathons! 1st Boston!
- Series places: 3rd in 30-39 PCTR; 4th 30-39 PA Ultra series (next year!); DSE [to come]
- 3 mud races; 3 snowshoe races; 1 all women's trail race; 5 night races!
- 1 broken fibula!
- Favorite race of the year: Pike's Peak Marathon!!!
- Lease favorite race of the year: Ohlone! I'll get you someday my nemesis long ass hill climb!
- Favorite new sport: Snowshoeing!

2008 & 2009 Combined Stats:
- 1,434.72 total race miles to date ('08 & '09); 156 total races to date ('08 & 09)
- 6 Ultras
- 5 Marathons

Week 52 (12/21-12/31)
Week 52 miles: 8.1
Week 52 race miles: 8.1
2009 TOTAL MILES: 1033.84
2009 TOTAL RACE MILES: 809.83
2009 TOTAL RACES: 88

Wrapped up this year with a fizzle and a drizzle, well, drizzly weather anyway. Despite being in recovery, thought I'd jog a Christmas race in Richmond (5-miler) and proved to myself I can't jog races anymore - I ended up sprinting out a girl for second place female in the last 50m of the race lol. I did have fun with the Mission Rock 5k, mostly b/c I pushed it only to about 90% and also because Chikara was eating hot dogs then running and then eating again so that was interesting and also Jason decided to run the entire race BACKWARDS! LOL. He told me he was planning to do somethingthat would make him run slower than me by a lot, but I didn't guess what he was planning til just before the race started when I saw he was not donning any funny costume. He was around 8-10 mins slower than me - it was pretty funny.

Race Stats:
Richmond Christmas 5-Miler: 2nd F; 3rd Overall; forget time, somewhere slow around 40.
DSE Mission Rock 5k: stats to come

Week 50-51 (12/7-12/20)
Week 50&51 miles: 7.5; 9.07
Week 50&51 race miles: 7.5; 9.07
2009 miles: 1025.44
2009 race miles: 801.73
2009 races: 86

Running: Well almost to the end of 2009! Not exactly how I was planning to end the racing year but it's not that bad either. Knee's still injured, foot's on the mend but not there yet...trying some new things, thinking a lot about foot strenthening in general and experimenting with different types of shoes. I think I'll save the running highlights of '09 for the next post. For now, I think I'm on an official race break for a bit since a) need to rest foot/knee anyway; and b) no good races during this time of year around here. I'll continue swimming. Added one new workout, below.

Race Stats:
Coastal Muir Beach 5M (actually 4.4M):
DSE Rainbow Falls 5K: 23:14; 7:28/M; 46/144; 7th F
PCTR Rodeo Beach 8K: 41:42; 8:31/M; 21/106; 2nd F Age; 4th F
Christmas Classic 1M: [to come]
Christmas Classic 5K: [to come]

Swimming:
After same warm-up:
1x50, 100, 150, 200 w/RI 15
30s rest
1x200 kick
30s rest
1x200, 150, 100, 50, RI 15 with 200 and 150 moderate and 100 and 50 fast
then same cooldown

Week 49 (11/30 - 12/6)
mini post:

Running: Well, I decided to test out the running again with a very slowly jogged Ferry Building 4-miler...ran a 10 minute mile and then gradually sped up - unfortunately, after 2 miles, same issue with the left knee tweaking out, so I sped up because going faster hurt less, but overall, not ideal! Means my right foot and calf is still not strong enough I guess - not going to run again for a while, til I get more strenth in the right leg...it's so odd because I can lift a ton on it doing squats, etc. and swim with no issue...

Swimming: Have done 2 more of the swim workouts (described below), adding on 3 100s and 100 extra for the kick, so it's now the below workout, plus warm-up and cool-down, and I'm totally digging it! I'm going to change it up a bit soon though just to keep things interesting :) I'm feeling better in the water after a few of these workouts. :)
8x100 free w/20s rest intervals (RIs) @ med pace; 2 min rest
1x200 kick; 2 min rest
5x50 free w/45 RIs @fast pace


Race Stats:

DSE Ferry Building 4M: 37:15; 9:18; 70/123; 21st F - note, going faster felt better on injury





Week 47&48 (11/16-11/29)
Week 47&48 miles: 8.1
Week 47&48 race miles: 8.1
2009 miles 1014.87
2009 race miles: 781.16
2009 races: 80

Week 47 I had to reign in it and not run at all so I thought I'd be good for one of my faves - the Turkey Trail Trot in Golden Gate Park on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, every thing felt screwy, my ankle/foot hurt and my knee on the other side flared up around 3 miles in. I was running all wonky. I still managed around an 8:30 pace, but that doesn't make me happy, and in the 5K on Sunday I had to walk the last part. I need to take a real break from running until foot is healed up all the way!!! So, in the meantime, I'm converting this blog for a little while into a NEW NEWBIE SWIMMING BLOG. that's right. I've been swimming inconsistently for a little less than a year, teaching myself freestyle (couldn't do it really before), reading up on the subject and getting tips from masters swimmers in neighboring lanes...that being said, today I did my first real pre-planned swim workout, and I liked it better than what I've been doing. I did:
Warm-Up
50 breast stroke
50 free (with hand gloves)
50 kickboard
200 free + stretch triceps, lats, forearms
100 freestyle kick + stretch quads, hams, calves & feet
Work-Out
5x100 free w/20s rest intervals (RIs) @ med pace
2 min rest
1x100 kick
2 min rest
5x50 free w/45 RIs @fast pace
Cool-down
100 free with gloves
100 free @ easy pace
50 backstroke
I really liked this workout, especially adding in the sprints, which was hard for me. I thought I could do more at the end though, so next time I'll do 8x100 free w/20s RIs instead of only 5, and 1x200 kick instead of the 1x100kick.

Race Stats:
Turkey Trail Trot 5M: 42:51; 128/709 overall; 12/157 Age
Run Wild For a Child 5K: 26:26; 157/1016 overall; 44/594 F; 8/40 Age

Week 46 (11/9-11/15)
Week 46 Miles: 13.8
Week 46 Race Miles: 10.1
2009 Miles: 1006.77
2009 Race Miles: 773.06
2009 Races: 78

Back in action! Well, kind of. What a lesson in patience this past two months has been! Thursday the 12th was the first day I could run again (3.7 on the dish) and then I followed it with 2 races this weekend, one trails, one paved. And...it was too much. My foot swelled up and still hurts (as of Wednesday). So, I learned my limits for now - no doing 2 races in a row, must ice after a race and rest and maybe 7 miles is a bit long right now. And of course my cardio endurance is down and my speed, but it will come back in time...Anyway, enough about that. What have I been doing for the last two months, you ask. Well, I've been:
- lifting like crazy to prepare for a figure competition next May (hopefully);
- endeavoring to swim (better); and
- training to be a BodyPump instructor (this is totally new to me and out of my element entirely), for which I have to prepare a video of me teaching an entire class (lots of memorization involved)!
Now that my foot's better in general, these are my weekly workout goals:
- Run - 2-4 times per week, short, gentle;
- Swim - 2-3 times per week, learn the swim workouts in the book I have;
- Lift - 3 times per week, twice with trainer, once on own;
- Bodypump - at least 3 times per week - learn all fo the class tracks and film video!
- Maintain 10 overhand pull-ups; get to 15 underhanded - hit 100 pushups before end of year!!! (see my pullup club on Facebook);
- Yoga - aim for 2 times per week, but at least once per week - I've let this slip some and I'm not happy about it;
- Once foot gets better, soccer and more running!

I can handle all of it, really!

Race Stats:
Folsom Lake 7M 11/14: 1:03:28; 4th Overall (including males); 4th Female
DSE Rockaway Beach 5K 11/15: 25:12; 8th F; 2nd Age

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Racing Journal (September 2009)

Week 37 (9/7-9/13)
Week 37 miles: 11.7

Week 37 race miles: 2.6
2009 miles: 994.97
2009 race miles: 762.96
2009 races: 76

And...out of commission with a broken fibula due to roll at around mile 12 of the Stevens Creek 50K. I was in the lead and thought I had a chance of maintaining it, was feeling great and was going downhill when I stepped funny on an evil little twig. Hard cast for 4 weeks and who knows how long recovery back to running will take after that. I'm trying not to dwell on the missed races (Firetrails! Whiskeytown! Probably Quad Dipsea/CIM!) and the missed fall soccer season that I was really looking forward to. This shit happens sometimes. My goals now are to work on my pull-up goal of 10 overhanded, my push-up goal of 100 in a row and getting a ripped upper bod! At least in 3 weeks (as I write this) I'll be able to swim a little. Forced rest is not good for the psyche. Prior to the Stevens Creek race, I ran the Mt. Tam Hill Climb, my absolute favorite race of the year, and I managed to get 10th place for the women (you get a shirt with your place number on the back) and in that competitive group, I was pretty happy with that! I can't wait for that race next year. :) May not be updating this each week like usual since I'm out of commission for a while but check in just in case!

Race Stats:
Mt Tam Hill Climb - [to come]; 10th Female

Week 36 (8/31-9/6)
Week 36 miles: 37.25
Week 37 race miles: 24.25
2009 miles: 983.27
2009 race miles: 760.36
2009 races: 75
Awesome triple race Labor Day weekend! I'll include the Labor Day race in next week's numbers since I usually count Mon-Sunday as a week. Made it to the Mather Mud Race, which they called a 5-miler but based on times was clearly more like 4.25, which is what I'd call a significantly short course! The race itself was fun - you had to do 5 ("1-mile") loops, so that meant going through all the obstacles 5 times, including the giant mud pit, a couple wall climbs, tires and crawl shoots. I think I was the second or third woman, but I can't be sure since everyone got mixed up and then they didn't announce top 3 overalls (or even top 1 overalls!) just age group results (without times)...still waiting for results. Run on the Sly 20M was good but not "awesome" - I loved Jenkinson Lake, but didn't really love the fact that we ran a lot of fireroad and horse trails (maybe that's all they have out that way??) I mean, rough on the feet, sandy and not as pretty as nice single track, but maybe I'm just a bit spoiled here in the Bay Area!
RACE "BEST PRACTICES" #1:
I think since I do a bunch of races I'm starting to build a list in my head of some race "best practices" that I feel compelled to list out a few at a time:

1) please announce top 3 overall male and female, or at the very least the first place male and female - it is very frustrating to come in, for example, 2nd place female overall but then only get an age group award (that may or may not be a first place);

2) if overall awards are done, award the next 3 at least in the age group categories who didn't place in the overall - it is really encouraging for runners to get these awards so a few extra awards to people who placed relatively well is a good thing;

3) more races should give a discounted "no t-shirt" option, or else they should stop asking me my size and then running out of them before I get my shirt! what a waste!

4) if you have a trail run, try to pick the best trails available if you have a choice! I mean, if there is gorgeous single track, don't pick the ugly, sandy, smelly horsed up fireroad right next to it! but if you do pick it, it should be because you needed to locate an aid station someplace!

That's it for now....

Race Results:
Mather Mud Race 5M - 32:27.25*; 24/152 overall; 4th F; 2nd Age *this race was probably more like 4.25M per my guess...
Run on the Sly 20M - [to come] 6th F; 1st Age

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Racing Journal (August 2009)

Week 35 (8/24-8/30)
Week 35 miles: 30.7
Week 35 race miles: 30.7
2009 miles: 946.02
2009 race miles: 736.36
2009 races: 73

Well, seems like some high altitude training effects lasted through this week as I ran a slightly faster time at Lake Merced than last week - this is the first time in any race I've run an under 7 minute mile average! I hope I can keep up the speed with some work. Saturday's half marathon was blazing hot and I didn't like the course much - open, steep farmland with horses and flies. Sunday's race was the dead opposite - beautiful, cool redwood forests with runnable mudpacked singletrack (my favorite). I ran almost 20 minutes faster the second day. I'm trying to double up on longer races to prepare for Firetrails (50M)... not sure I'll be ready for that one no matter what I do but pyschologically I'm ready so I'll try it. Also this week I went cycling with some friends for the first time in a really long time (first time ever on hills) - my conclusion: I'll never be a competitive cyclist because even though I love the uphills, I really hate going fast on the downs and I'm pretty sure that's a requirement for competive cycling. Anyway, very fun for recreational purposes. Kind of like the soccer I'm playing.

Race Stats:
DSE Lake Merced #12 4.5M - 31:35; 7/mile; 19/47 overall; 2nd F
Bear Creek Trail Half Marathon - 2:18:09; 9/94 overall; 1st Age; 2nd F
DIRT Inspires Women's Trail Half Marathon - 2:00:41.1; 23/242; 9th Age


Week 34 (8/17-8/30)
Week 34 miles: 26.68
Week 34 race miles: 25.58
2009 miles: 915.32
2009 race miles: 679.98
2009 races: 70


Well, this week I reaped the benefits of some high altitude training by getting a serious PR at the Lake Merced race despite tired quads and then topped off the week with a first place finish in one of my favorite little races and then a second place finish in another small local race up in Elk Grove, not to mention I managed to squeeze in two soccer games and our team won the division championship - I can't wait to play more soccer in the fall! Looking forward to some nice trail half marathons this weekend and hoping to hit the trails for an actual training run this week (for the first time in a very long time)!



Race Stats:


DSE Thursday Night #11 - 31:32; 7/M; 17/44; 4th F
Mt. Madonna Challenge 18K -1:44:42; 12/37; 1st F
Vine Crusher 10M - 1:19[?][to come]; 1st Age; 2nd F





Week 33 (8/10-8/16)
Week 33 miles: 30.7
Week 33 race miles: 30.7
2009 miles: 888.64
2009 race miles: 679.98
2009 races: 67

Wow - what a week! Had an amazing time in Colorado. Arrived Friday morning and drove up to the top of Pike's Peak (14,110-115' depending on which source you use). Was a little light headed and dizzy after 11,5' but felt a bit better after spending a while at the top. During the trip, I hiked through Garden of the Gods, saw ancient cliff dwellings and cave formations, the famous Seven Falls (during the day and lit up at night), hiked up the crazy steep wicked stairs of the "Manitou Incline" (1M took around 35mins on a 38-45% incline!!!) and, of course, ran the Pike's Peak marathon! I ran probably 1/3 of the way up total and power hiked the rest, but couldn't run in places I might usually due to the altitude. The altitude really hit around 12,5 for me though when I know I kept moving (much more slowly) and was lightheaded and a more than a little out of it. Made it to the top in around 4:09, which was a decent time. They say to aim somewhere around your marathon time - that's about 25mins off my best marathon time, but I figure still within an acceptable range. The top third of the mountain trail was much more technical than I was expecting, with many rocks and roots to navigate around, so the return top one third of the downhill portion was rather slow. After that though, as I descended, I felt like I got a burst of energy and whipped down the remaining 7 miles or so, for a downhill total time of 2:27ish, finishing in 6:36. I can't wait to do this race again and try to beat this time and hopefully my quad dipsea time of 6:14ish. What a ride! :D

Stats:
DSE Lake Merced #10 - 32:23; 7:11/M; 16/50 overall; 2F
Pike's Peak Marathon - 6:36:19; 270/709; 45/171F; 10th Age (out of 23)
(splits: 4:09:12; 2:27:07)

Week 32 (8/3-8/9)
Week 32 miles: 25.7
Week 32 race miles: 25.7
2009 miles: 857.94
2009 races miles: 649.28
2009 races: 65

Before talking about the races this past week, I'll just stop a sec to say how excited (but nervous) I am for the Pike's Peak Marathon this Sunday!!! First, can't wait to explore Colorado and second, pretty psyched to try climbing that high (14,115'- the highest I'll have been). Sometimes life seems really good, you know?
Races: Well, cranked out four races this week, three of them within 24 hours of each other. Wish I could say they all went perfectly, but that wasn't really the case. What I will say is that I liked the triple set and I would do each of those races again, schedule permitting. The Dammit Run was fun but harder than expected (short but steep uphills) and the Modesto Midnight Half M definitely required a headlamp despite what the website said! Got sick at mile 8 (stomach issues) and had to walk the remaining section! Some kind of food issues caused it, it wasn't due to the runnning - too bad too because I might have placed in the top 5-10 women (and it was a big race) - maybe next year, assuming a ton of fast girls don't crash the party :) Was able to muster up some energy for the DSE XC race but despite putting all my effort into it, ran more than a minute per mile slower than usual...again, will fix that next year!

Race Stats:
DSE Lake Merced 4.5M #9 -33:15; 7:23/M; 19/63; 3rd F
Dammit Run 5M - [to come]
Modesto Midnight Half Marathon - 2:19:29 (walked last 4M); 94/253 F; 33rd Age
DSE GGP XC 5K - 25:41; 109/211; 16th F; 4th Age




Week 31 (7/27-8/2)
Week 31 miles: 31.1
Week 31 race miles: 31.1
2009 miles: 832.24
2009 race miles: 623.58
2009 races: 61

Well, this week's highlight was split between a magnificent climb up Half Dome on Friday and a great 50K on Sunday. Due to the Sequoia injury, I had been limping around work and taking baby steps walking - my heel area hurt really bad when I put pressure on it. I saw Dave the miracle worker on Wednesday and didn't race the DSE Thursday night race - if I had, it would have been my 15th race in July alone, but 14 is still good enough I say! It was a good thing I took it easy because on Friday, my foot was feeling much much better and I was able to hike up Half Dome. There were ominous thunder clouds in the distance, but they didn't seem to be moving closer, so we decided not to sepnd too much time at the top. We were by ourselves for the entire climb up and down so it was strangely desolate (compared to last year when lots of people were milling about at the top). I crunched down maybe the best apple of my life and then it was a mad rush to beat the darkness down. On Saturday, we explored the museums and then decided to hike over to what was liberally referred to as a "lake" (it was actually a shallow pond of sorts because it had dried up for the season). We swam around a bit and then headed back home. I went to bed around 1am and awoke around 5 for the Skyline 50K. It was one of those days where everything goes right - the weather was cool, I felt strangely happy and excited to run it and then I ended up with my best time for a hilly course like that! In the last ten miles I even picked it up and was doing high 8s, which is fast for me at the end of a race like that. This week so far I've been lifting, swimming and sleeping, which feels great, and I'll try to hit the DSE Thursday night race again.

Race Stats:
Skyline 50K - 5:39:29; 60/122; 12th F; 7th Age - PR

Monday, July 13, 2009

Racing Journal (July 2009)

Week 30 (7/20-7/26)
Week 30 miles: 20.62
Week 30 race miles: 20.62
2009 miles: 801.14
2009 race miles: 592.48
2009 races: 60

I loved the PCTR Salt Point course and can't wait to run it when I'm in better (non-injured) shape. I think it had the widest variety of running surfaces I've encountered in a single race: pavement, hard dirt trail, fireroad, mud packed trail, creek crossing, rocks, beach, grass and stairs, not to mention it was exceedingly scenic and I liked how close we got to the crashing ocean waves - so close I could smell the seaweed and was scared I might fall in! All that being said, my heel/achilles or something is seriously messed up from the Sequoia 30K last week and I'm just doin' what I can to fix it up before: 1) thursday (DSE race - havent missed one yet); 2) Skyline 50K (sunday); 3) Dammit Run and Modest Half (same day) or 4) Pike's Peak - these are in sequence so maybe I'll have to miss DSE this week! On top of that, I've had to skip a couple soccer games (playing soccer again after fifteen years of not playing and loving it).

Race Stats:
DSE Thursday Night #7: 32:53 (7:19/M); 22/44; 2nd F; 2nd Age
PCTR Salt Point 26K: 2:57:43 [2:55:19 on my watch due to late start]; 22/61 overall; 6th F; 3rd Age

Week 29 (7/13-7/19)
Week 29 miles: 24.1
Week 29 race miles: 23.1
2009 miles: 780.92
2009 race miels: 571.86
2009 races: 58

Well, this week's Thursday night DSE race confirmed my belief that counterclockwise is faster on that course as the total distance you are traveling downhill is much greater. At PCTR"s Sequoia (30K), I started off easy and was really enjoying the race through the shady redwoods, just not worrying too much about race place etc, conserving energy for the second half of the race. I was thinking how the Sequoia race is the quintessential northern California trail race, with shady and exposed trails, sand, dirt, technical ups and downs, beautiful vistas and little critters, tons of poison oak and generally happy runners. I made the mistake of counting my blessings that I wasn't injured and only had some minor aches when, right before the turn around, my right ankle started hurting. I don't recall rolling it or anything. It just hurt. So I figured it would go away like all the other aches and pains that come and go on long runs. It didn't. It got worse. Not so bad I couldnt finish or had to walk (at least not b/c of the ankle) but by the time I did finish, I was limping. And now it's Tuesday and I'm still limping. Doesn't really hurt, isnt swollen or discolored, just doesnt like being used to walk. My sports massage guy worked out some of the kinks yesterday, but it's not back yet. The whole thing made me mad because I had to miss my absolutely favorite DSE race - the Daly City Scenic Run and, on top of that, some people double up and did the 5K then the 6.8M, which I might have done if I werent injured. Grrrr. At least I volunteered. Next year Daly City hill antennae - you're mine!

Race Stats:
DSE Thursday Evening #6 - 32:03; 7:07; 18/48; 2nd F
PCTR Sequoia 30K - 3:30:31; 18/58; 6th F; 4th Age

Weeks 27 & 28 (6/29-7/12)
Week 27 & 28 miles: 47.06
Week 27 & 28 race miles: 40.86
2009 miles: 756.82
2009 race miles: 548.76
2009 races: 56

Whirlwind of races! 10 races in two weeks - a record number for me by far, though they were all short. DSE Thursday evening, three in a row (1M, 5K, 10k) Friday night in Florida, 5K Saturday morning, a beach 5K Tuesday evening, a regular 5K Wednesday evening, back to SF for Thursday evening DSE race, Sklyand Mountain 10K Saturday and DSE 8K Sunday! Highlights were the night 10K in Florida with the frogs (we think) croaking (though someone at the race was sure it was some type of insect), my first race on a beach (not as hard as I thought it would be), the amazing breakfast spread after the Skyland 10K in Los Gatos (highly recommend this race) and my new 8K PR (by over a minute)!

Race Stats:
DSE Thursday #4 - 32:26; 7:12/M; 14/48; 1st F
Kiwanis Midnight Mease 1M - 6:30; 3rd F
Kiwanis Midnight Mease 5K -23:24; 18/585 F; 3rd Age
Kiwanis Midnight Mease 10K -54:20; 29/173 F; 4th Age
Lutz Independence Day 5K - 23:05: 5/132 F; 2nd Age
Jim Fixx (Siesta Key Beach) 5K -
Summer Series Challenge #2 (Al Lopez Park) 5K - 22:23; 2/29 F; 1st Age
DSE Thursday #5 [stats to come]
Skyland Mountain Run 10K - 48:05; 3rd F
DSE Kennedy Drive 8K - 36:07; 7:16/M; 53/158; 4th F; 1st Age - PR



Monday, June 8, 2009

Racing Journal (June 2009)

Week 26 (6/22-6/28)
Week 26 miles: 28.33
Week 26 race miles: 28.33
2009 miles: 709.76
2009 race miles: 509
2009 races: 46

On pace for over a thousand race miles in '09! Races this week included a track meet, the thursday night DSE race, the Double Dipsea and the Fourth Sunday LMJS race, which I can't usually do because most DSE races are on Sunday. The track meet was ridiculously hard as usual and my first time on the track for months, but I love the Tamalpa track meets because they are so low key and okay for non-track runners like me, as well as some speedsters. And, of course, I did every event right in a row so that doesn't make it feel easier! Thank god the Double Dipsea went better than last year or else it would have ruined my birthday! It was hot and sunny, but nothing like last year. I went about 6 minutes faster than last year and was happy to outkick a dude at the end. I think I should do some dipsea training runs in the fall because I want to have that course completely memorized. I think I can take some time off of both my Dipsea and Double Dipsea, and I'd like to go under 6 hours in the Quad this year if possible. As for LMJS's race, well, I think there is room for improvement (ie, don't make us wear those weird wristbands and for g's sake have some fruit, water or something at the finish!), but at least it was only $5... Really looking forward to Florida vacay this week and the 6 short 5Ks I plan to run in the heat :)

Race Stats:
Tamalpa Track Meet - 1 mile: 6:35?; 400: [___]; 800: [___]; 200: [___]; 100: [___]; 2 mile: [14:10?]
Lake Merced Thusday Night #3 - 32:47: 7:14/M; 11/45 overall; 1st F
Double Dipsea - 2:51:11 [actual time]; Place 153 [handicapped], 254 [actual]
LMJS 10K - 48:13; 14/41; 6th F; 4th Age

Week 25 (6/15-6/21)
Week 25 miles: 23.03
Week 25 race miles: 23.03
2009 miles: 681.43
2009 race miles: 480.62
2009 races: 47

I'd like to note that compared to last year, this same week, I've only run a little less than 20 miles more (including racing and training miles); however, at this time last year, I had raced only 19 races for a total of ~165 miles, averaging 8.7M/race. As you can see, I've raced now 42 races and ~480 race miles, with an average of 11.4M/race currently. So, I'd say I've got a lot more quality miles in this year so far! I'm on pace for over 1100 race miles, but we'll see how the year plays out. I almost got a 5K PR on Sunday so I'm looking forward to hitting the track and trying to get a little more speed goin'. Next weekend: double dipsea - my Bday race!

Race Stats:
DSE Lake Merced #2 4.5M: 32:49; 7:17/M; 17/45; 1st F
PCTR Angel Island 25K: 2:29:45: 31/131; 8th F; 2nd Age
DSE Conservatory 5K: 21:53; 50/171; 3rd F; 2nd Age

Week 24 (6/8-6/14)
Week 24 miles: 32.2
Week 24 race miles: 16.6
2009 miles: 658.4
2009 race miles: 457.64
2009 races: 39

It's funny how some Mondays I'm on such a high after an amazing weekend and then others are just, well, super low. The races all went fine last week. I had a fun first Thursday evening race in SF (I was just glad I managed to make it there considering I work in Palo Alto and I usually work past when the race starts!) and kept pace with Mark Mooney until the end - we'll both try to go a little faster each week. Saturday's race was a bit silly, but I liked the local feel of it even though it had an unexpectedly competitive field racing... It was on a dairy farm in Hilmar, CA (where is that, you ask - well, half way to Yosemite in the middle of nowhere really - the cows were the highlight and they are famous for cheese there). Jason even won a pound of free cheese for being first in his age gruop. I was only second in my age group but I did get a nice medal with a running cow on it for that :) hah. Of course, the good ole Dipsea was Sunday. It was a very different experience for me this year since I ran in the invitational. I went only a minute faster than last year, though I thought being in the invitational would have allowed me to take more time off than that! Part of it was the fact that I ran horribly on the downhills as my left leg is bothering me in multiple places - it was not like Diablo where I felt confident and strong on the downs, on the Dipsea downhills I was tottering and fearful of falling...I actually had a lot more fun last year in the open trying to pass lots of people and the adrenaline that comes from that - in the invitational, it felt more like a normal race and I'm pretty sure I was passed much more than I passed others...no way did I make the top 450 to lock in an invitational race again (prelim results say I was 511th and I would've had to run 8 minutes faster to be #450), though I can't say I'm sorry for it as I have much more fun in the runners section. I just hope I get into the runners section for the centennial next year! Think I'll try to hit the hot tub to soak this left leg if I can. Strangely, I'm actually looking forward to the Angel Island 25K, which I usually don't like - I want to see if I can beat my last time there.

Race Stats:
DSE Thursday Evening #1 4.5M - 33:12: 7:22/M; 18/52; 2nd F
Udder Run 5M - 37:44.72; 27/93 overall; 6/45 (F); 2nd Age
Dipsea - 1:19:11 -511/1416 (across finish); 700/1416 (actual time based); [other stats to come]


Week 23 (6/1-6/7)
Week 23 miles: 22.3
Week 23 race miles: 18.8
2009 miles: 626.2
2009 race miles: 441.04
2009 races: 36

Note I've changed the name of my journal entries from "Running Journal" to "Racing Journal" since I realized I don't usually write about training runs... This weekend was totally fun and the races went well. Saturday was the Mt. Diablo 25K and after three 50Ks, I was more than happy to be doing a nice short race. It was one of those days where everything goes well and my mood was good - the weather was cool for Diablo and I was just loving the course the whole way, even on the steep up. The real high point for me was being able to run fast on the downs, which isn't usually the case as it's usually jarring on my body when I'm tired. I didn't feel tired at all really, at least until about a mile from the end when I couldn't quite catch the girl ahead of me. Nevertheless, I was really happy with how I did - under 3 hours when I was expecting around 3:15-3:25. On top of that, Sunday's Muddy Buddy race ended up working out great and I had a lot of fun with it. My biking legs were easy and generally downhill so that part wasn't bad, and between me and my teammate (also named Erika), we kept up a decent clip on the runs. For a relatively non-competitive race, I think we did well. I'd like to do that race again next year...

Race Stats:
PCTR Mt. Diablo 25K - 2:57:56: 48/181; 11th F; 4th Age

Muddy Buddy (Run 3.3M) - 52:31; 124/~1100 overall; 5/66 Age (also included 3M bike)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Running Journal (May 2009)

Week 22 (5/26-5/31)
Week 22 miles: 37.3
Week 22 race miles: 31.1
2009 miles: 603.9
2009 race miles: 422.24
2009 races: 34

Ohhhhhlone. I just didn't have it in me for this race. Long. Grueling. Lots of climbing. The one good thing I liked were the seemingly pristine untouched by mad lily pad ponds at the top sof the hills along the course. I made it to the end (finally) and am doing my best not to question my entire running plans due to one bad race, but in general I'm really ready for a break from ultras, which I'll have now for the next couple of months. Too many ultras in a month makes for slow and painful races! Time to concentrate for a while on shorter races, speedwork and long training runs on my own! Also taking swimming lessons and doing more yoga. Makes for a good summer plan I think :)

Race Stats:
Ohlone Wildnerness 50K - 7:54:05; 110/155; 11th Age

Week 21 (5/18 - 5/25)
Week 21 miles: 18.6
Week 21 race miles: 18.6
2009 miles: 566.6
2009 race miles: 391.14
2009 races: 33

Triple race weekend completed! I didn't have high hopes for the Morgan Hill race going in, but it turned out to be a great little race. I did suggest to the race director that she include the directions to the start on the website link (it only appeared on the hard copy application), but I managed to find the start thanks to my friend's early arrival and timely phone call. The DSE race is on a course I absolutely love; in fact, it's my second or third favorite DSE race (after the Double Dipsea and Practice Dipsea). Unfortunately, this year I'll miss the Practice Dipsea due to Ohlone, which I'm feeling hesitant about doing... It'll be hard, long race but I'm hoping to finish better than in Silver State. After races on the two days before, the Marin race was slow for me and I finished middle of the pack for my age group. But that's what I get for pushing myself on the first two races - I have no regrets. The best part of the Marin race was the party at Eduardo's house after where bbq became synonomous with jumping pics. :D

Race Stats:
Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras 10K - 45:57; 2/22 Age; 3/64 F overall
DSE Golden Gate Vista 10K - 50:20; 39/111; 3rd F
Marin Memorial 10K - 47:08; 337/562; 22/40 Age

Week 20 (5/11-5/17)

Week 20 miles: 41.3
Week 20 race miles: 38.55
2009 miles: 548
2009 races: 30

Had a great time up in Reno for the Silver State 50K, which was definitely the hardest ultra I've run so far I'd say. It's a climb of 5800 feet and hit an elevation of 8,266 twice. On top of that, it was fairly hot out and I had just done the Quicksilver 50K the week before. I went in anticipating a slower time than usual and I guessed around 7 hours, but ended up finishing in 7:36:34 for my longest running time ever (by a lot)! I really felt the altitude as I "power hiked" up the big climb - I was breathing as hard as I would in a fast 5K even though I wasn't moving very fast at all! The course was very scenic with snow-capped peaks (Rose Peak, etc.) off in the distance and the trails wound through many wild flower covered fields. The trail was rocky and rooty, causing me to completely fall over once (first time on a trail to fall like that) and gash my hand (which is still infected). But overall, it was a good race and I'd do it again... On the way back, I saw Lake Tahoe for the first time and soaked my feet in the icy cold, while the crazy guys I was with decided to jump right in! After Silver State, I was ecstatic that I was able to run Bay to Breakers, my favorite SF race and I even managed a decent time despite starting way in the back! Love that race and the bbq at Fred's house after :) Can't wait 'til next year!

Race Stats:
Silver State 50K - 7:36:34; 30/39 overall; 8/11 F
Bay to Breakers - 1:04:59; 1649 overall; 269/11403 F; 96/3141 Age


Week 19 (5/4-5/10)
Week 19 miles :40
Week 19 race miles: 34.2
2009 miles: 506.7
2009 race miles: 333.99
2009 races: 28

My triumph this week was actually being able to recover fast enough from the 50K on Saturday to be able to run the DSE race on Sunday - not fast, but I could do it so I was pretty happy with that. I don't know if I'm building up recovery or if it was my shoes or the fact I walked a lot in the 50K (up the hills). Quicksilver was hot and hilly this year - I felt great for the first 15 miles or so but lost steam after that, finishing in a little over my skyline to the sea time, which I guess makes sense since it's a harder course and I certainly didn't push myself to my edge. I think I need to get consistent 40M training weeks going to be better prepared for these, but I still had fun and was glad to see Chikara win the 50-miler claiming a course record! He was already in when I finished! What a speedster :)

Race Stats:
Quicksilver 50K - [stats to come]
DSE Marina Green 5K - [stats to come]


Week 18 (4/27-5/3)
Week 18 miles: 32.9



Week 18 race miles: 18



2009 miles: 466.7



2009 race miles: 299.79



2009 races: 26





The Relay!!! What a ride! Thanks to Janet's amazing leadership, we all had a great experience (except for maybe Janet due to injury!)...I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone on the team and our drivers and volunteers for being so wonderful! We really couldn't have done it without you guys. I think our team did really well, placing 34th overall out of 222 teams and placing 13th in our competitive open men's division (despite everyone on the team being over 30 except for our 19 year old friend) out of 75 teams, with a finishing time of 27:38:34! Also, congrats to the other DSE racing team and Steve's team as well - great races all around. Some highlights of the race included Mike's wicked steep hill climb in leg 10, the mucky but fun cross-crounty like trail I ran in leg 8, the sleeping spot we found with amazing views of the GG bridge, Vincent and Rick's super speedy legs, Chikara and Kenley's high energy at exchange for leg 31 where we ran into them, Janet's amazing finish despite her injury and the Olallieberry jam and fresh strawberries I bought at the farmer's market at the finish! I'll post more pics on my facebook page.







Race Stats:



The Relay - 27:38:34; 34/222 overall; 13/75 division







My Relay legs: Leg 8 7.4M: 57:47 -7:49/M; Leg 20 5.9M: 51:15 - 8:41/M; Leg 32 4.7M: 34:07: 7:16/M














Monday, April 6, 2009

Running Journal April 2009

Week 17 (4/21-4/26)
Week 17 miles: 3.6
Week 17 race miles: 3.1
2009 miles: 433.8
2009 race miles: 281.59
2009 races: 25

Takin' it easy after Boston. Had a nice 5K at the Polo Field with DSE on Sunday, but that was it this week. Went down to San Diego and spent a great day at the zoo and at Sea World - I loved Shamu and I got to pet a dolphin :) This coming weekend's the Calistoga to Santa Cruz Relay so it should be interesting...

Race Stats:
DSE Polo Field 5K - 23:03; 7:25/M; 38/147; 2nd F


Week 16 (4/13-4/20)
Week 16 miles: 27.2
Week 16 race miles: 26.2 - FIRST BOSTON
2009 miles: 430.2
2009 race miles: 278.49
2009 races: 24

Well, wow, Boston's over and done with! What a wild week. The Artichoke Half Marathon the Sunday before left me with a sprained hamstring that was a major source of stress leading up to Boston - I tried to run a really scenic Massachusetts 5k on the Thursday before Boston and I actually had to DNF out of the race (for the first time ever) after a mile because it hurt so bad! I was pretty sure I wouldn't actually be able to run Boston at all, but I had to plan as if I would. So, come Monday morning, I ate well and had my coffee and a handful of advil (not really that many, about 4). I got to the race and got psyched up watching the elites take off - very cool to see. I took off in the third corral of wave 2 and did about an 8:28 first mile due to the crowd, but my hamstring felt fine so I picked it up. After that I kept up an 8:05 clip for way too long. I kept telling myself to slow up after the downhill ended, but every mile that went by was just another 8:05, resulting in a 1:46 first half - way too fast for me. Sure enough, I was tired by the time I was approaching the hill and battling a bonk for pretty much the rest of the race. I think next year (since I'm already qualified) I'll definitely try to control that first half pace a lot better! My second half was around 20 minutes slower than my first, which is ridiculous. But, that being said, despite my lack of training and series of injuries leading up to the race, I still did way way better than Phoenix so I'm actually happy with my time. I think I'm learning a lesson about stupid races pre-important races though. And I'm gonna let myself rest after this marathon - no skyline to the sea 50k this time (i wanted to do it b/c it was my first ultra last year, but oh well). Looking forward to the Relay and Quicksilver...
Race Stats:
Boston Marathon - 3:46:52; 12,236/23,162; 3,552/9432- female; 2522/5093 division (female 18-39)

Week 15 (4/6-4/12)
Week 15 miles: 43.8
Week 15 race miles: 29
2009 miles: 403
2009 race miles: 252.29
2009 races: 23

Well, finally, I had a couple of decent races after a while of blahhh. Saturday was the Envirosports Muir Woods 25K and, I have to say, it's one of my favorite courses around. I especially like the part after you finish the tiny road section after the pantoll aid station and you're winding down for what seems like forever through the ewok forest! Although, this year, I managed to fall down during this part, probably b/c I was letting myself go pretty fast, faster than my usual conservative downhills. My knees felt fine, which makes a huge difference! In fact, for the whole race, I went almost a minute faster per mile than last year's race - I cut 13 minutes of my April '08 time! I'm pretty jazzed about that. The whole time, I kept thinking, just try to beat last year's time (~2:38), I was even going fast down the last set of stairs, and proud that I didn't hurt myself, when I popped out into the easy downhill trail, and rolled my ankle like you wouldn't believe - I heard a snap! After a bit of limping, I was able to run the rest of the way without too much pain so I figured it was either nothing or it'd swell up later after the race adrenaline vanished. It did end up hurting later, but not so bad, I iced it and elevated it over night, and was able to run the half marathon the next day. The half was in Pescadero and the course ran along hilly paved roads and into a redwood forest for a bit. I tried to stay with the lead woman most of the way even though I knew I was pushing a faster pace than I planned, but figured I might actually be able to kick at the end and beat her. Around mile 8, the third place woman just came whizzing by out of nowhere (apparently she had been holding back) and zipped past both of us - the lead woman tried to stay with her, but couldn't hang. Meanwhile, I knew I couldn't speed up enough to stay with either, so I was good with third and thought I might be able to catch up to second, but it wasn't meant to be. Around mile 9, I got the sharpest most awful burning pain up the back of my left knee. I tried to keep going and ignore it thinking it would go away, but it proceeded to get worse and somehow I managed to keep a decent pace during the next four miles, but three other women went by, which was disheartening to say the least. I knew I couldn't go faster though, so there really wasn't much I could do. It felt like a real injury and all I could think about was whether it would affect Boston on the 20th. My time through the end was around a 1:47, which was decent considering the course was about .4 long (the race director said it was long at 13.5M), so that means my time at the half was around high 1:44-1:45, which I'm happy with considering I ran the day before. I did cook and eat the free artichoke we received as our race swag. Anyway, going to see my sports massage guy to work out the kinks and then I'm out to Mass this Thursday with the somewhat pyschotic intent of doing four 5Ks and the marathon while I'm there - we'll see! Can't wait to eat my old law school staple while I'm there - an Anna's black bean burrito! :D

Race Stats:
Envirosports Muir Woods 25K - 2:25:57; ~9:25/M; 34/157; 8th F; 1st Age
Artichoke Pescadero 13.5M - ~1:47:25; 6th F [other stats unknown/race director doesn't post]

Week 14 (3/30-4/5)
Week 14 miles: 31.9
Week 14 race miles: 13.1
2009 miles: 359.2
2009 race miles: 223.29
2009 races: 21

This weekend was a blur. I woke up early Saturday morning and drove up to the Marin Headlands for the envirosports trail half marathon I was racing. The race went well enough. I liked how at the end of the race, there was about a mile of fast downhill road and then at least a quarter mile on the beach at the very end. The sand was deep and pebbly, the kind that swallows your feet - so it was very difficult to run through, but I was proud of myself for passing at least three people on that part and finishing strong. Then, I didn't tarry at the finish because I wanted to speed over to Auburn to try to catch Jason's finish at the AR 50. I thought that race started at 6:30 so I might make it, but it turns out it started at 6, so both Chikara and Jason were already there when I arrived after great races for both of them. After hanging out in the sun and watching the racers coming in for a while, we drove back to San Bruno and then I headed up to Berkeley to meet a relative - it was around 9:15 by the time I arrived and around 11:30 I got home and just crashed. Unfortunately, I didn't set my alarm right and I woke up the next morning way late for the DSE race that I really wanted to run! Turned out okay though since I volunteered and got a good run in along the Great Highway when it was sunny there for once. It was so nice I pondered moving closer to SF. After that I went and visited a friend - a visit long overdue since her baby is now talking and walking and the last time I saw her, she was basically a newborn! Well, my foot is slightly better than last week, and I'm thinking I might try some different shoes, even though the ones I'm using, I've used forever...just never know.

Race Stats:
Envirosports Marin Headlands Half Marathon - 2:03:54; 48/254 overall; 13th F; 5th Age

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Running Journal March 2009

Week 13 (3/23-3/29)
Week 13 miles: 28
Week 13 race miels: 15
2009 miles: 327.3
2009 race miles: 210.19
2009 races: 20

The highlight of this week was the Big Sur Mud Run, which was down in Monterey the CSU military base. The race was 5 hot miles of mostly trail and sand with a hill climb one giant woodchip pile that had to be climbed and four mud pits, one with a balance beam and pushups at the end! Jason got fifth overall and won a nice plaque, but I didn't quite make top five. The day was nice and sunny and cold mud actually felt good. Also this week, after the Presidio 10 miler, which was enjoyable because of the sun in San Francisco and interesting (but slow) course, Jason and Chikara and new DSE friend Mark went to run/climb up Mt. Tam and back down. Jason and Chikara went up ahead so Mark and I hiked most of the way up and ran down, exploring as we went. Great views for once off of Tam in the sunny clear skies. It was a good weekend! My foot's still off but I think it's on the mend (crossing fingers).

Race Stats:
Big Sur Mud Run [stats to come]
Presidio 10M - 1:23:58; 245/764 overall; 15/80 Age


Week 12 (3/16-3/22)
Week 12 miles: 29.75
Week 12 race miles: 26.05
2009 miles: 299.3
2009 race miles: 195.19
2009 races: 18

This week, I went to see Dave the torturer again. He worked on my hips a long time, but again, I wasn't sore the next day. I tried to run the dish on Friday and it was a bit painful, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull off a Pirate's Cove race the next day. Strangely, on the day of Pirate's Cove, nothing hurt all that bad. I mean, I knew I couldn't go crazy on the downhills, but other than that, I felt okay and my foot didn't bother me too much. My time was only a few minutes better than last year's, but that was plenty good enough considering my expectatons going in. The 12k on Sunday hurt a bit more and was in the middle of the strongest winds I've ever run in! I was sandblasted around mile 4 as the wind rolled in from the Bay and kicked up the beach sand! My time was still okay. And, today, as I write this, my foot isn't terrible, so maybe I can get a few decent runs in this week before next weekend's wild mud run. I heard of a dirt track in sunnyvale I want to check out. I want to try to do some faster short runs for speed for Boston purposes...we'll see how it goes.

Race Stats:
Pirate's Cove 30K - 3:14:11; 10:20/M; 40/116; 9th F; 4th Age
DSE Ft. Point 12K - 59:?; 4th F [stats to come]

Week 11 (3/9-3/15)
Week 11 miles: 16.5!
Week 11 race miles: 7.45
2009 miles: 269.55
2009 race miles: 169.14
2009 races: 16

Got a totally awesome deep muscle sports massage at F.I.T. by Dave, my new favorite guy - it hurt so bad I swore out loud at least 3 times! But after, I felt my muscles were so much more relaxed and fluid. My foot issue was still there, though, so I took it really easy and swam a lot last week, not to mention the few crossfit workouts I threw in. I ran the Emerald Across the Bay again and basically ran the same time as last year, which is fine considering I haven't been training for that kind of thing. I forgot how hard that course is! On the fast New Balance team (excluding me!), I was the fifth team member so we could officially score a women's open team, which was great considering how well the other women ran - they are amazing! NB hooked me up with a pair of racing flats that I can try out in one of my road 5ks, which made doing the race totally worth it. My conclusion - it's time again to do some speedwork and get my legs spinning.

Race Stats:
Emerald Across the Bay 12K: 59:19 (minus 10 secs at start); 7:57/M; 521/2860; 155th F; 31st Age

Week 10 (3/2-3/8)
Week 10 miles: 24.25
Week 10 race miles: 7.75
2009 miles: 253.05
2009 race miles: 161.69
2009 races: 15

Snowshoeing pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/hillrunner08/Snowshoeing2009?feat=directlink

This week ended with a wonderful trip to Portland and Mt. Hood for the National Snowshoe Championship race. The course was straight uphill and then back down a windy single track. I felt like I ran a lot harder than at the Bear Valley qualifier, but my time wasn't much different, so either it was a harder course or I have no idea what's up. We got a ride up with a fellow snowshoer named Rick and ended up running the relay event 3x2.5K as well with a guy named Andy as our third member. We were the only mixed team out of 7 teams, and all I could think was, with all those elite women racers there, how could not a single other woman want to double up and do the relay? Even as a cooldown. I was disappointed by that a bit. On the relay uphill, I ran in probably the worst weather I've ever run in - was pelted with icy snow and wind and had to hold my coat over my face, but it all cleared up at the top of the hill. I managed a good time and had lots of fun, though I preferred the feel of the Bear Valley race more. Looking forward to next year's snowshoeing season.






Race Stats:


U.S. Snowshoe National Championship 10K - 1:13:25; 2nd Age - 1:13:25; 13/36 overall; 2nd Age (excluding top 3 women)

U.S. Snowshoe Relay 3x2.5K - between 1:02:46 and 1:07:43 (only mixed team)








Monday, February 9, 2009

Running Journal February 2009

Week 9 (2/23-3/1)
Week 9 miles: 24.5
Week 9 race miles: 22.54
2009 miles: 228.8
2009 race miles: 153.94
2009 races: 13 - One Year Anniversary of Racing!

The Sequoia 30K marked my one year anniversary of racing - I can hardly believe it! Last year, I remember prepping for the 20K and being pretty worried as I pulled headphones on; now, I don't have to think or prepare that much to run a 30K and I would never wear headphones! It's dangerous and who needs it anyway? This year I took the 30K slow and easy and had a good race. What else is there to say? Other than I hope all my little annoying injuries go away so I can actually train!

Race Stats:
PCTR Sequoia 30K - 3:23:16; 10:56/M; 34/100; 9th F; 6th Age
DSE Great Highway 3.95M - 29:58; 7:29/M; 43/110; 6th F; 1st Age


Weeks 7 and 8 (2/9-2/22)
Weeks 7-8 miles: 31.7 Weeks 7-8 race miles: 28.6
2009 miles: 204.3
2009 race miles: 131.4
2009 races: 11

Week 7 was shot - life got in the way - busy at work, tired and my hip/leg were being weird. I just rested, which is fine sometimes. Not to mention all the rain... it rained for the Ballpark 5k, for the President's Day race and for the Embarcadero race. I don't mind running in the rain sometimes (sometimes I even like it), but enough is enough! I went swimming this week, which I'd like to do more of, and I'm thinking about checking out a new weight training center where they do cross-fit classes. I'll go check it out. I'd like to get back in the swing of some weekday running, but I think I need some time.

Race Stats:
DSE Ballpark 5K 2/15 - 22:45; 7:19; 29/78 overall; 2nd F; 1st Age
President's Day Coyote Point 10K 2/16 - 46:40; 2nd F; 4th overall (out of 24)
Buzz Half Marathon 2/21 - [to come]
DSE Embarcadero 10K 2/22 -47:28; 7:38; 42nd/1327th F; 2nd Age


Week 6 (2/2-2/8)
Week 6 miles: 31
Week 6 race miles: 31
2009 miles: 172.6
2009 race miles: 102.8
2009 races: 7

Well, despite the fact that after the Kaiser half my right hip was out of whack all week, preventing me from running at all, Saturday morning rolled around and I felt almost better, but not quite. I really wanted to run Jed Smith though so I decided I'd wait until the very last minute to decide whether to run or not. Literally, after running around the grass a bit minutes before the race, I just decided to go ahead and run it and if my hip hurt too bad, I decided I would drop and not feel bad about it. So, I started the race, which consisted of a a tiny extra leg and then a 3.3 mile loop 9 times around a flat farm north of Sacramento, in a type of figure 8 with one paved loop and one dirt trail loop. I thought it might be boring, but because there were so many people I knew running the course and I saw them a lot, so that was entertaining, plus you got to count down the loops to go and have your bag of stuff along the way. My hip didn't really hurt that much actually and I ended up enjoying the course, thinking that it pretty much looked like Michigan where I grew up and it was nice for once not to have to do any hills. I didn't go all that fast, but I was pretty sore afterwards so I ended up getting some volunteer points at DSE's Sawyer Camp races, which is too bad because I like running that course. I know I need more consistency in my training to avoid this type of soreness. I'll try not to spend this entire week in recovery mode, maybe some swimming or a massage will jump start me out of it.

Race Stats:
Jed Smith 50k: 4:52:42; 9:25; 28/70; 7/20 (F); 2nd Age

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Running Journal January 2009

Week 5 (1/26-2/1)
Week 5 miles: 35.6
Week 5 race miles: 13.1
2009 miles: 141.6
2009 race miles: 71.7
2009 races: 6

Nothing so exciting as snowshoeing this week, but I did manage a PR at the Kaiser half, which I think was long overdue considering my Phoenix marathon split beat my old PR and my old PR was from the San Francisco half (the first half), which is hillier than most halfs and definitely hillier than Kaiser (net downhill). I liked the course - it was a combo of different DSE races I've done, so I felt comfortable and was able to just enjoy myself. I also liked the out and back piece along the Great Highway because it gave you a chance to see the front runners as well as faster friends go by on their way back. It's an expensive race though, so I think if I do it again, I'll try to register in advance. The bad news is that, even though I was fine during the race and after, I sat down to do work on the couch that day probably for way too long without standing , and so when I finally did stand up, my hip/glut hurt...and they still hurt, and it's Wednesday now. I wouldn't care, except I have the Jed Smith 50K this Saturday...and I really want to be able to run it - it's a flat, fast, trail/pavement mix around a 3-mile figure 8 loop, so what's the point of doing it if you can't run well??? I just hope this hip issue dissipates before Saturday...

Race Stats:
Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon - 1:42:02; 7:47/M; 890/5816 overall; 42/630 Age (30-34)

Week 4 (1/19 - 1/25)
Week 4 miles: 15
Week 4 race miles: 6.2
2009 miles: 106
2009 race miles: 58.6
2009 races: 5
I LOVE SNOWSHOE RACING!!! It was so incredibly hard, but after the first half mile of figuring out how the heck to do it and trying to get enough oxygen at our 7,000 or so foot elevation, it was tons of fun and absolutely gorgeous scenery - deep snow and pine trees everywhere you looked. I think the Michigan girl in me appreciated this little taste of winter. I think I have at least some idea of how to snowshoe now, but I could use more practice for sure based on my almost 12 min miles - keeping an eye out for other snowshoe races at this point. Even though it's a bit of a trip to get there, the race itself was great too, with tons of food, prizes and awards after. And, I won! First female (out of six)...Mark McManus was the first male in a time of 50:26...the wonders of small races! :) I'll take what I can get!

Race Stats:
Jazz Trax Snowshoe Stomp 10k - 1:14:47; 6/19 overall; 1st F

Week 3 (1/12-1/18)
Week 3 miles: 26.2
Week 3 race miles: 26.2
2009 miles: 91
2009 race miles: 52.4
2009 races: 4

Well, what can I say about the Phoenix marathon? I can say that the red rocks of Sedona were beautiful (climbed up Bell Rock the day before the marathon). I can also say I now have the experience of running a marathon when things don't go exactly as planned. I started out fine, and hung with the 3:30 pacer group for the first ten miles or so when the stomach issues hit and I had to make the first (out of six) pit stops! When things aren't going well, 26.2 miles seems really, really long. Especially when I was expecting a more interesting course - there wasn't much rock in the rock 'n roll marathon and it was a pretty boring course overall. In the end, I still broke 4 hours with a running finish, but it was a physically and psychologically painful race - oh well, many of them are! I'm not sure why my stomach tripped out so all I can take away is that I think I might be able to do around a 3:30 if things were going perfectly, which is not often the case. I could be all depressed about missing my goal by about a half hour, but a runner I know with lots of experience reminded me that marathon times vary a lot and every one can't be a PR race so I'll take that statement to heart. Maybe I'll try to do more 8 min/mile long tempo runs as part of my training. 'Nuf on that - majorly excited for snowshoe racing next weekend and even for Jed Smith the weekend after.

Race Stats:
Phoenix Rock 'N Roll Marathon - 3:58:31; 9:06/M; 1838/6411 overall; 591/2972 F; 131 Age


Week 2 (1/5-1/11)

Week 2 miles: 41.4
Week 2 race miles: 15.5
2009 miles: 64.8
2009 race miles: 26.2
2009 races: 3

I added spin to my normal training regimen on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and by Thursday I felt like I had run an ultra! I decided I like it, but need to do it less often so my quads don't feel so tired at the beginning of my weekend races! Considering how I felt, I'm okay with my Angel Island results, even though they weren't that great. The first 10K of the race was basically on hilly pavement, which was really difficult for me since my knees had been bothering me from the new spin addition. I don't love the Angel Island course, so I think in the future I should really consider skipping any races in the Baylands or Angel Island. I guess I'll be running the Phoenix marathon this Sunday, which I am feeling ambivalent about. My goal is a 3:35 (~8:12 pace), but there is no 3:35 pacer group so it may be tricky, plus the course is flat, not downhill like CIM, so maybe my goal is unrealistic. We'll see.

Race Stats:
PCTR Angel Island 25K (2,035' gain) - 2:23:21; 6th Age [other stats to come]


Week 1 (1/1 - 1/4)
Week 1 total miles: 23.4

Week 1 race miles: 10.7

2009 total miles: 23.4

2009 race miles: 10.7

2009 races: 2

On your mark - get set - go! A new year.
(I'm three from the right, to left of guy in red)
















I've been thinking about my running and racing goals for 2009 and what I hope to accomplish. Aim high, I say.

Here are some highlights:
- snowshoes races!
- 10 ultras, including one 50-miler (if possible)!!!
- Boston,
Phoenix, Alaska road marathons
- Pike's Peak marathon
- DSE series

- PCTR trail running series
- PAUSATF ultra series
- 100 races
- 1,000 race miles

Race Stats:

New Year's Day Run for a Healthy World 10K (mostly flat trail + paved)- 47:31; 7:39/M; 31/182; 2/22 Age; 2nd F overall (out of 85)
DSE Lake Merced 4.5M (paved, mostly flat) - 33.19; 7:24/M; 45/136; 9th F; 4th Age