Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back From the Dead

OK, that’s a little dramatic. I was never even close to dead. Though work has lately been trying to eat me alive, or rather, bore me to death via meetings upon meetings upon meetings. Then after surviving the meetings I have to pound out some actual work (so, little to no lunch break). I am an adamant opponent to after-work working (after a 9 hour day, I think you should able to have the evening to yourself) but I even went against it in recent weeks. Thus why this blogging thing as gone to shit. I used to have time to run at lunch, but lately, I haven’t had spare time, so I’m going to attempt early morning running otherwise I fear I will fall off the wagon. This morning, I cranked out 8+ miles and it turned out to be less awful than I expected. Though my legs were seriously moving through molasses the first half mile or so.

So, two weekends ago, I ran a little 5K in my town. It was flat and very well organized. I actually PR’d (possibly PR even considering high school since we rarely ran that distance) – 23:32. I finally broke that stupid annoying 24 (what’s funny is that I had been busting my rear in late 2009 to break 26 – which didn’t happen until Feb 2010). My splits were within 1 second of each other, it was like I was running on a treadmill or something.

Anyway, it was the day before my 7 year anniversary, and since I had a full day of workshops and meetings scheduled for our actual anniversary, we figured we’d celebrate on the Sunday. Thus, I was in no mood to hang around after the race. Especially since last year, the attendance was really high – local elite runners showed up, so I figured it would be the same this year and I’d have no chance of placing. Smooth move, ex-lax. If I had paid attention during the actual race, I would have noticed that there were few women ahead of me at the turn around. That would have been an indicator that age group placement was likely. But no, I went home, and ran another 5 on the TM at the Y. Two days later, results post and I was 10th overall female, 2nd 30-34. I have no idea what bling I missed out on but it is still annoying me (I emailed them last week asking if there was some medal or something and if I missed the boat, but have heard nothing. Probably SOL on this one).

Moral of the story is pay attention to the leaders as you approach the turnaround, wait for results, and don’t try to speculate based on previous years’ results.

This past weekend I hauled my butt up to Cypress for a cheap, flat, chip-timed 10K. I also got to meet my twitter buddy, Partner-in-Harass-Oual-on-Twitter-Crime Giraffy. It was her birthday so as she ran toward the finish the volunteers heard me call her “birthday girl” and wished her happy birthday, too, which must been weird to hear as you are trying to bust your ass to the finish. Hopefully it wasn’t too distracting! I couldn’t help myself I knew it would get them to cheer, too.

This race was run well, but my main beef with it was the fact that it was long (6.29 – WTF – that is like 40 seconds for me) and the age groups were 10 years. As we ran by the markers, I knew it was long, so I was telling myself that I had better keep pushing it or I wouldn’t even make my low-end goal of under 50:00 (anything over 50 would have ruined my day – which is funny because in the past I would have been happy with anything under 55:00). I finished 49:37. Probably would have been 48:5x if the course had been 6.2. Still off my PR of 48:17 in February, but, whatever. I’ll take it. Unfortunately, the age group thing bit me in the ass again, this time I finished 5th, but 5th in 30-39. Had they done 30-34, I would have been 3rd.

That will have to be all for today – I have hijacked my lunch break to brain dump this half-assed post. Not that any of the rest of my posts are ever better than half-assed. Well, they are at least 65%-assed.

Oh, and too bad Faster Bunny’s Bachlorette contest didn’t involve just picking the top two because I would be winning! I knew it would be Ben F. and JP at the end.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dumb Run

Today’s run was dumb. Almost as dumb as the Hamburger Helper Hand.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Hand just decided one commercial to just give the bird the family making the meal? “Make your own damn beef sludge!” He’s always so damn happy to be making some awful pre-digested-looking food.

Anyway, so, today I wanted to do 6 miles easy, but the loop I usually do from the office is 5 and I didn’t want to do an out and back, so I devised another loop via Google Maps that went through UCSD. Unfortunately, I failed to add 2.6 and 4.6 to make 7.2 – instead my brain was like “Oh! 2+4 = 6!” That Ivy League engineering degree is working wonders up in this brain.

Besides hitting 18 millions intersections and the aforementioned bad math, the other party to the dumbness is the Civil Engineer who designed the UCSD campus. Apparently, sidewalks weren’t really valued. What kind of major college campus doesn’t have sidewalks on both sides of major thoroughfares? I was flabbergasted. As I was leaving the campus, I twisted my ankle running on grassy slope and swore out loud very near two of those misguided “Shame On [insert company name]” labor sign-holding people (I say misguided because usually the company they have on the banner simply hired the crap-tastic third-party company that actually screwed them over and has nothing to do with the issue).

I ended up running 7.47 miles. 1.5 more than planned. And yesterday I did 6.85. Definitely taking tomorrow off!

Speaking of dumb runs (for me, other people had brilliant performances here), here is a picture of the only part of the Coronado 15K I feel good about:

coronado_2

Now, they may have beaten me with the whole chip-time thing but that last .1-.2 miles I was going as fast as my short stubs would take me (5:30 pace). I passed at least 4 people in that last stretch. The rest of the race was a resounding “MEH”.

And I’d like to draw your attention (not to the fact that I look like I want to die) to…

coronado_3

No, not the boobs which I realize I am pointing directly at, but the fact that in a picture taken from 20 feet away in bright sunshine you can see the sweat marks. Seriously, it was the sweatiest race ever. I’ll bet if the photographer took from a few more angles you’d see my swamp ass butt-sweat as well.

Time to sit on my butt with my crochet and Diet Sundrop (which may or may for sure have vodka in it)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Restful, It Was Not

This past weekend was a prime example of needing a vacation from my vacation. A possible culprit to my ultimate sh*tty showing at the Coronado 15K.

Thursday evening, my husband’s college buddy came to town. Friday evening they had a “Dude’s Night” at the Angels game. Which meant that they didn’t get home until midnight-ish, and the entire time, because it was just me, the dogs were in high alert, barking at any little noise. Apparently, I am not so much their Fearless Leader. Little sleep was had as I had to be up the next morning to teach yoga.

Saturday:

Following yoga, we tried to have lunch without reservations at Stone Brewing. Tried being the operative word. Apparently July 4th weekend means a 75 minute wait. So we ended up at Panera, which, really, was completely fine with me because it was 90 degrees and humid and Stone is not really known for light fare. The ultimate score (well, if we ignore the fact that we were in sweltering Escondido) was that right next to Panera was Yogurtland. I had never tried but heard all about it all over “running blog land”.

Turns out, it is the Mac Daddy of froyo. Way smoother and tastier than the other froyo places. Taro flavor is heavenly!

From there we hit up Lightning Brewery (owner was kind of a mad scientist beer dude – literally a former chemist), Ballast Point, and Alesmith, in that order. At Ballast, we tried one beer, Smoke Screen Helles that tasted like smoked whitefish. Not a fan of the beer + smoked fish flavor. I kept trying it because I really wanted to “get it” but, I just didn’t.

Then it was home to feed the dogs and then back out for Sushi at my favorite hole-in-the-wall joint, Sushi N Joy. We bid adieu to my BIL and hit up a karaoke night so I could be a HAM for two songs. The bummer was each song I picked from her list would not play when I got up to the mic, and I had to make last minute switches to other songs. Booo. But I still got to sing and, really, I can sing all day long until I have no voice left.

Late night, and, again, crappy-ass sleep.

Sunday:

Husband’s buddy’s flight was 10:15am, so, we had to get up early to get some grub before he took off. We hit up the little street cafe at Buccaneer Beach before dropping him off. We got back and I decided to use my 4th-is-as-good-as-3rd gift certificate to get some performance trainers – I ended up with the Mizuno Precision 11’s and they are snazzy!

On the way to the running store, my 6 month old car decided it was going to give me the finger with the Check Engine light. Seriously. The whole point of coughing up the dinero for a new car is to NOT have this crap happen. And, yes, I always tighten the crap out of the gas cap. I have to open the hood to see if little critters decided to eat my car wires again before I drag it into the dealership.

I hit the sac at like 10pm for a 4am wakeup, adding still more hours to my sleep deficit.

Monday – Race Day – A “PM”:

I strap on my Mizunos (I know, breaking the “no new stuff” rule – turns out they had no bearing on the outcome). My friend (running the 5k) and I leave for Coronado at 5:10am, which is apparently not good enough if you want decent parking for this race. We got there at 6am and it was already ridiculous. We ended up parking on a street, half a mile away, that had a sign  posted “Road Closed.” Since there were cars parked all up and down it, we figured we wouldn’t get towed or ticketed. On the walk over I hit up a parade porta john that was brand-spankin’ new. Sweeet. However, I could already tell this race was not going to be awesome – it seems that whenever I have to, well, “go” more than once or twice in the morning before a race, it tends to be an “eh” race.

I pick up my bib, and, not surprisingly, there are no more ladies small tech tees. Rather than get a ladies medium which is too big when you’re smurf-sized, I got an XL for the Husband. I hit the portas – again – and then head over to the start. Here, I spied Haute Running Mama, identified by Kinvaras and Rock Runners tank, and made a mental note to find her at the end.

The race official counts us down – no air horn or gun or anything – and we’re off. My first two miles are 7:56 and 7:54 which I was actually fine with, but thought to myself: “Maybe you should ease up so you have something left at the end…” I think this was a big reason this race was a PM (Personal Mediocre).

Next mile was 8:11 and then, unknowingly, I ended up easing down into a slow-ish half marathon pace, with miles around 8:25-8:35. I wanted to slow to like 8:10-8:15 but, it’s like I don’t know how to run in that range. It’s either fast, or slow. I never recovered from this except for the last .4. The last .4 was 7:51 of which the last .1-.2 miles was 5:30 pace. It was the only part of the race I felt good about – the fact that I passed some people that had caught me in the last mile. I must have looked like dog-turd when I crossed because one of the race officials asked me “Are you OK?”. Official time: 1:17:45.

For me, this course was .1 miles long – which translates to 48 seconds at 8:00 pace – which would have been the difference between 1:17 and 1:16. A tad annoying. Regardless, this was 1:35 slower than December’s hilly course. And the same pace I ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon this year. FAIL!!! It was hot and I don’t train in 75, sunny and humid, so I was a sweaty, red mess. I swear, it was the sweatiest race, ever, for me. My eyes were burning because my eyebrows (which are not thin or manicured by any stretch of the imagination) were just completely saturated.

After catching my breath, I stranger-stalked Haute Running Mama who ran like a crazy person (1:12!!!) and is as super cute and nice as you would expect from her blog. I feel like the lone running blogger up in North County – if I lived down in San Diego Proper I’d be imposing myself on her workouts to try to catch some of her fastness!

Shortly after that we met up with another friend who ran the 15k and then made our way back to the car to find that “Road Closed” meant “Blocked in by Parade Floats.” We were lucky enough to be in one of the first roads to feed into the parade, but we had to kill a good hour walking to Boney’s Market and back before we could get out.

I got home and proceeded waste the day away – I was totally pooped. Got about an hour nap on the couch until 8pm when the fireworks started and freaked the bejesus out of my dogs. So Monday night was also, another night of crap sleep as our female Aussie was wound up, wracked with worry, all night through the morning. We had meant to give her one of the sedation pills but realized too late. Next time, 7pm (a good hour before go-time), gotta drug her or else suffer the rest of the night.

So, that was the weekend. Fun and exhausting!