Yesterday, I wrote about my new plan:  To run a 5:30 marathon.  I know.  It’s a 30 minute PR.  But.  I spent hours crafting my paces and types of run, and finally, finally.  Wrote. It. Down.

Losing 10 pounds made a difference.  I’m told a gallon of milk weighs 7 pounds.  I had that on my back, my thighs.  Seems like not a lot, but it has made a huge difference.  And, I still have some to go.

This morning was the California 10K in Stockton.  I signed up at the last minute, but for $25 you couldn’t go wrong, and I had done this before, although it was the California 10M.  It’s a great local race, and where all the people my age who’ve been running forever, come out and support the cause.

I got to the race early-ish, and found Row, and my new gal pal Alexis.  We quickly added each other on Facebook, and started snapping our “before” pictures.  This one, was in front of the ambulance.  I LOVE IT…Wore my Husker hat so that Lisa would be proud.

I was already having a blast, and the race hadn’t even started.  I do what I do at the beginning of every race.  I look for the 50 year olds, and try to put a target on their back.  Cuz I know they will be faster.  But.  Not today.  I know I have the volume needed for the 10K, but do I have the speed?  5Ks are speedwork, Half Marathons are slower paced…but the 10K, you really have to burn for 6 miles.  I love finding them!

My PR for a 10K had been set in October of 2008, with a Sacramento area race.  It had been over 3 years since I had done anything really good on a 10K.  But, today as I toed the line on the levee, I knew I had it in me.  The only thing I am going to try to do differently is to run negative splits next time.  I burned a lot at the beginning, and had very little at the end.

Mile 1: 10:18

Mile 2: 10:47

Mile 3: 10:42

Mile 4: 10:56

Mile 5: 11:12

Mile 6: 11:04

This course is an out and back, up and down race.  I learned from my old coach how to run down hills, so I just let my arms go and let gravity take me, and I would again have use my arms to run up to the top.  The main thing I’m doing in my training this time, is never EVER walk a hill.  I hear SLO is mighty hilly…so I need to prep for that.

I really enjoyed this race.  It was sunny and 40 degrees, near perfection.  I had my Zensah sleeves and dollar store gloves, but those were off by mile 2.  The volunteers were great.  I took a sip of water and kept running at 3.  I could feel myself slow way way way down at mile 4-5.  I had tried a Chocolate Cherry CLIF shot, and my stomach was doing somersaults.  A girl who had run with me the whole way, suddenly took off running.  Turns out she was 28 years old, and got 2nd in her AG…I was pretty stoked about that!

Then I saw them.

An older couple.  My age.  Slowing down.  I had a half mile to go.  I put the target on her back, because I had seen her at the turn around, and quickly assessed her to be in my age group.  Slowly, methodically, I started talking to my feet.  Catch. Her.  And.  About 20 yards from the finish, I sped ahead of her.  Got in moments before her.  But, that was all I wanted.

As I crossed, I felt Puke Threshold coming, and knew I better walk.  I hadn’t burned that way in a long time.  In fact, my last 10K in May was an 11:46 pace, and VERY slow.  Only 8 months later…a minute faster.

I couldn’t be happier with this race today.  I’m almost 53.  My last PR for this course was set when I was 49.  Who says it can’t be done?

Not. Me.

dala horse trot 10k race report.

The Dala Horse Trot 10K was to be my first race of the TNT fundraising and training season.  I hadn’t run much since the LA Marathon on March 21, so it would be interesting.  I had two 3 mile runs during the week, but hadn’t run more than 5.  So, it was with great trepidation that I started my nervous trek to Kingsburg.  My first order of business:  List my donors for Support A Mile.  On my arm. 

We got to Kingsburg, and here I must mention my Harley Guy who supports me unconditionally.  For the first time, I realize I have someone to help me, to get me in the car, to the race, to the Starbucks, etc.  I’m so used to doing this on my own, that I’m inordinately self centered and focused.  He was pretty patient, as I first got us to the wrong fire station, and then he asked a question that I didn’t even hear because I had the Linda chatter going pretty well.   So, thank you so much Bill.  I love you!  INORDINATELY!! 🙂

At the gun, I started a 10:45 pace, but knew I could not hold on to that.  Even a little bit.  My paces slipped to 11 minute miles for the first 3 miles, but then I only had one goal.  Do. Not. Walk.  There was a stretch of road that was all grapevines.  For a mile.  At one point it got HOT.  Like, 75 degrees hot, which is normal in the central valley, but when you’ve been enjoying 50 degree runs, you get toasty.  There was a guy in front of me that ran and walked.  And walked.  And I could NOT catch him.  Even at the end, I couldn’t push past him.  My last few miles were 12ish minute miles, and I ended with a PW of 1:13:13, 6 minutes off my PR for a 10k.

The volunteers were great.  The race was great.  The medal.  I got third, out of 4th place.  It was exciting.  I tend to judge myself against 35 year olds, and I was excited to know I didn’t get DFL out of all the 50-59 year olds. 

I’m excited for this training cycle, because it’s all about fundraising and focusing on TNT and running for a higher purpose.  Next up:  Tough Topanga 10K next weekend in LA.  This weekend:  Don’t walk…Next weekend:  Don’t die!

hope is the dream of a soul awake.

Tuesday, I ran a sluggish and sad 3 miles, at a 11:52 pace. 

Today, I ran a less sluggish and less sad 3 miles at a 11:27 pace.

This gives me hope.

Hope that, even though I’ve not really trained for 2 months, that I can run.  That I can still run.  Even though I’ve gained and lost 5 pounds and stayed up late and ate cake and pie and homemade strawberry sauce, I can still run.

Even though I am facing maybe the scariest time in my life, I can run.  Less than 2 weeks away from saying goodbye to my students…and my career for the time being.  Waiting for the house to foreclose, for PG&E to come knocking at my door, for hot dogs and beans…

And yet, I have hope… People look at me and say things like, man if I were in your shoes I’d be so scared, and what are you going to do, and where are you going to live?  Harley Guy tells me it will all be okay…and I believe him.

My first race of the season is Saturday, the Dala Horse Trot 10K in Kingsburg.  Then I meet fellow friends Penny, Row and Kristy at Five Restaurant and cheer support the next day at the Fresno Half Marathon.

Putting a race on my schedule.  This gives me hope.  And, I carry on.

Cheese & Wine 10K Race Report

Today is a gorgeous day in Northern California.  Fall is here!  I spent last night doing laundry, my regular Friday stuff since I’ve been doing long runs on Saturday mornings.  I know, exciting, right?

We got information this week that our regular Saturday long run would be the Cheese & Wine 10K in Riverbank today.  I really didn’t want to pay $25 to run.  However, I talked with SpeedySasquatch over at Twitter, and he convinced me that this would be a good thing to run.  He advised me to do a 2 mile warmup, then run, then do a cooldown.  *Note: I don’t cool down…my cool down consists of changing into shorts and a tank*

I had a bagel late in the afternoon yesterday, then had some scrambled eggs and a couple frozen waffles for dinner.  I know, right?  Crazy boring food, but it works for me.

When the alarm went off at 5:30, the first thing I thought was…I am so sick of running.  This will be 4 days in a row…Then, tomorrow, Tues & Thurs for 30 minutes each…then Nike.

Came to Riverbank (home of German Fernandez, celebrated college running athlete), the place I taught last year.  None of my old students were there…thankfully. 

1 M warmup, then we all gather like lemmings…and no gun, just started running (I’m sure there was one, I just didn’t hear it)

Mile 1 and 2 my legs were like lead.  Couldn’t really get them going.  First song was the same first song from the Midnight Half Marathon and it doesn’t hold great memories for me…HOWEVER, I had great music for most of the run.

My legs finally came to the party at Mile 3.  Mad props for the Riverbank Cross County High School team, all in their uniforms and volunteering at the aid stations. 

One of the weird things in these local races is always passing the elites as they are running back…which means by the time I get there, it will have been a long time…and it’s a head trip.

At Mile 4 & 5 we went down a long hill (sweet!), but I know that what goes down, must come up.  Then the route went all wonky in between parks and train tracks and houses…and I was pretty much alone, just trying to stay up and follow my teammates.  It was not a pretty run…

Mile 5 was going up that long hill, and finally I woke up.  Overtook the 70 year old Grandma who had been ahead of me the whole way.  I chased into the chute at 1:08:35, although I do not know what the official time was.  All I have to say is that Mile 5 to the end was the best run of the day.

Nice run, no porta potties…The movie theater opened up for us to use restrooms.  Weird snacks:  chips and apples…

I never stopped for the aid stations.  I wanted to just finish.  I have 8 days until Nike. 

I’m ready.

*Note: This is the picture Tommy LaSorda tweeted after Game 2.  I’m on my way to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, if we win just one more.*


10K Race Report

This morning was the 10K MJC Cancer Awareness Run/Ride .  I got up after 6 whole hours of sleep, which was amazing and fabulous, considering I’m averaging 4 these days.

I got there and met our team, and Isolda, who is running the Nike Half with me.  She asked me why I hadn’t run? Was I sick? Was I okay?  I told her the whole sordid story, and her response was, well…you should be able to leave all that anger out on the road today…I had some time with the team, and I rarely do that.  I usually stay to myself.

Mile 1 was like running through water.  It was hard.  Then, the whole thing got very easy…for the most part.

Mile 2 I started to feel the rumblings of my stomach.  I had wheat thins late last night and it was probably not a good idea.  This was a fun mile, because all the fast runners were coming back, and they looked like butterflies, gliding through the run.  This was a farm road, and on the side of the road, barns, fields…I started to look for a good place to stop.  I knew I would not make this race unless I could relieve myself.  At the mile 3 turn around, I decided to hit a corn field.  Did you know you can’t go INTO a corn field?  Well, you can’t.  I was at 31:00 at mile 3, and felt confident.

I thought I would get a PR today, but I was 35 seconds slower.  No matter.

Stopped in the corn field.  Got back on the road, and thought I had better get a sip of water at Mile 4.  This may have been a mistake.  Mile 4 & 5, the last month of my life flooded my running, until I was yelling out loud.  “That Mother Effer is NOT going to take me down.”  Yelled it over and over.  Got running.  Hoped there weren’t any kids around.

Mile 6 was an effort.  Don’t Stop Believing came on my iPod.  I listened to it twice. 

I finished, but had a stitch in my side.

Kudos go to the organizers of this event.  Amazing and great registration, good water stations, quiet but accurate Mile Markers.  Pleasant and happy volunteers.  My favorite part were the signs along the road…what a great idea.

I am having chemo, my husband is just bald.

It’s the Journey, not the Destination.

There’s never too many friends when you are battling cancer.

It made me so grateful to just keep running.  I was slugging the air, crying again at Mile 5, and yelling.  I was present though.  I had a great time…and I left all that stuff on the road.

Happy Saturday.

Elk Grove 10K Race Report

Date: 3/29/2009 8:30 AM
Type: Race
Course: Nutrition Fuels Fitness 10K
Distance: 6.2 miles
Duration: 1:09:09
Pace: 11:10 / mile
Shoe: Mizuno Wave Renegade 4
Weight: same
Misc: Quality: 6/10, Effort: 5/10
Field Placement: 306 / 370 (82.7%)
Age group: 7 – 79
Group Placement: 8 / 14 (57.1%)
Weather: 60° F, Sunny, Windy
Event URL:
Statistics: Calories: 867
VO2 Max: 27.2

We left our town at 6:30 this morning to get to Elk Grove, about an hour away.  When we finally got to the park, we had to park FAR away from the course.  Not realizing how windy it was, I didn’t even bring a sweatshirt, because it was a gorgeous sunny day.

Thank goodness for the Headsweat visor I won from Quadrathon.  It saved my run, because it was VERY bright!

I have sort of a head trip running a 10K, because I have visions of just turning and running into the 5K chute, except for the bright green number I have on my chest. 

Mile 1:  Hello strollers.  Is there a reason why strollers can’t start 10 minutes later?  We had people yelling, “left!”, “left!” as they ran by with their children.  I was secretly pleased at one point when one fell off the side.  The stroller derailed a bit.  Kim was far ahead of me.

Mile 2:  Jack Daniel Running  I was doing 10 steps hard, 10 easy…20 hard, 20 easy…but I couldn’t keep up with the music I was listening to.  It was a good mile.  I also read in one of my books, The Quotable Runner,

Run the first third of your race with your head, the second third with your personality, the third with your heart.

I tried to stay focused here.  I was at 10:45 pace for both of those miles.

Mile 3:  Houses.  Weaving in and out of streets, I slowed down.  It was then that “ponytail girl” starting back and forth running with me.  My thought was, man I can totally take her.  Um, not for the next 2 miles, however.

Mile 4:  Nausea.  What?  I had no idea why, but I started feeling sick.  I got a cup of water at 4.5, but the wind, the sun…I don’t know.  Ponytail girl and I were doing a bit of a dance, but seeing she was like 30, I needed to stay with her. 

Mile 5:  No Volunteers  Back in the houses, and no volunteers, and very few runners.  You can see how far back in the pack I was.  I was confused, but followed the white arrows.  I saw a new OLDER runner who was smoking me.  I would run up to her as she was walking, then she would sprint so I couldn’t pass her.  And I couldn’t.

This is when I got crazy.  The next set of volunteers started shouting,

You’re almost there!  You’re so close!

I almost slugged this girl as I passed her, because I knew we had almost a mile more to go.

Mile 6:  I’m Dizzy from Ponytail Girl’s shadow.  She is right on my tail.  At one point, I had to look away because her shadow was literally making me dizzy.  The sprint/walker was ahead of me, and I just thought I could maybe take her.

6.2:  Right as we neared the end, I kicked hard and beat both of these ladies.    I was so excited, even though I knew I wouldn’t have a good pace.  Overall, I was 8th out of 14, but not my greatest race.

At Mile 4, I could feel my feet on the pavement.  We took my shoes to Fleet Feet after the race, and the Mizunos have just tanked.  The Half Marathon is three weeks away.  I wonder if I need to gut it out, or if I get new shoes before the Half.

A good time, as always.  I love races, because I love the people.  It gives me the fix I don’t get from a gym anymore.  The schwag wasn’t good here though, and the food had pollen all over it from the windy trees.

10K.  It’s only my second, but we are in Week 11 training now.  It’s crunch time.