Saturday, January 31, 2009

In a League of My Own

January 31
Group Run: 6 miles

WCRR Group Run
It's Saturday! That means group running day for the West Coast Road Runners. We met near the beach again and broke up into our pace groups to run the six miles scheduled for today. It was another beautiful day... sunny and perfectly warm.

If you read my blog about last Saturday's five-mile run, you know I had a miserable run. I'm happy to say that today's run, although a mile longer, went much better than last week. I did not run the whole way but I did run most of it (walking the hills).

I have to admit-- and I do so without shame-- that I am a slow runner. I don't mind that I'm slow. I really don't feel the need or the desire right now to run fast. I figure I can work on that after I get more running experience under my feet.

West Coast Road Runners has names for each of their pace groups. I can't remember all the group names but each is named after a marathon. For example, there is the Chicago group (for faster runners), the Boston group (for those working on qualifying for the Boston Marathon), the LA group (for the walkers), and the group I signed up for- the Catalina group (for those who run between a 10-13 minute mile).

The problem I have found is that I'm somewhere in between the LA group and the Catalina group. I would put myself in the LA group except that I don't want to walk. I would rather push myself to catch up with the Catalina group pace.

So, what do I do? I run by myself. In the past two weeks of training, I have found that I prefer to run by myself. It's not that I'm anti-social, I just don't feel the need for company when I run. I really enjoy the solitude in running... just me, my music, and my mind. I also don't like worrying that I'm slowing someone else down.

Introducing the San Pedro "Group"
During my mostly solitary, quiet run today I came up with my very own group name. I am now part of my one-person group called the San Pedro group. I'm not in LA... I'm not on Catalina Island yet... I'm somewhere in-between. So, San Pedro it is. That's a port where people board a ferry-type boat for the short trip to Catalina Island. As far as I know, San Pedro does not have a marathon of its own... but like me, it's on the way to Catalina.

Here are some pictures of the area in which we ran today:

"Good things come slow - especially in distance running."
~Bill Dellinger,
University of Oregon coach

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm Walking... er, RUNNING... on Sunshine

January 29th
Assignment: Run 40 minutes

America's Finest
At some point in history, San Diego was given the title of "America's Finest City". I once heard that the title was actually given to San Diego by one of its city leaders as a way to promote tourism. I don't know if that rumor is true or not. And I don't know how deserving San Diego is to own the nickname, but there can be no doubt that San Diego and its surrounding suburbs are a fine place to live!

Especially on days like today. I woke up to beautiful, sunny, blue sky. The temperature was probably about 70 degrees at 9:00 am, when I finally started out on my run. I prepared for the run by putting on SPF 50 sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, running shorts, and sweat-wicking tank. I filled all four bottles on my running belt, applied about 10 layers of lip balm, and forgot my new watch.

Music Motivates
I love music. I've found that I run best when I'm enjoying the stuff coming out of my iPod Shuffle headphones. Last night, I downloaded a bunch of new music to listen to while I run. I found a lot of the songs by typing in "marathon" as a keyword in the playlist section. It's amazing how many marathon playlists there are!

A lot of my songs are worship songs. I like to listen to these as I run because it helps me focus on God, instead of my aching legs. I also have Dave Matthews Band, Stereophonics, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lyle Lovett, some oldies (like from my high school days!!), and several other artists. What the songs in my iPod have in common is that either they tell a story or have a good beat.

Over the Hill
Not me. I'm not over the hill... I'm nearing the top but I have a ways to go before I'm over it. I'm referring to a hill I knew I would encounter on my run today. I chose a new route... a longer route. This route is pretty flat except for a few slightly sloped areas and one big hill.

I loved this run today, in spite of the hill. This route offers a wide range of interesting sights... horses, ponds, ducks, a golf course, nice houses, dilapidated houses, people walking their dogs, schools, and green, grassy fields.

Anyway, back to the hill... I was able to run all the way to the big hill (almost 2 miles) and even ran part way up it. I walked it up to the top and ran again non-stop to the 2.8 mile mark, where I had planned to walk in order to cool off.

The funny thing is, I ran all this way (well, it's a lot for me!) and I felt like I could have kept going! I am starting to really love this whole running thing! Who would've thunk it? Not me!

Tangent: I Feel Good!
When I had my second child (four years ago), I was sucker-punched with a bad case of post-partum depression. I cried everyday, had anxiety attacks, and even wondered if I made a mistake in wanting to have another kid.

After going on meds when my baby was 5 months old, things got much better. With that said, I have to admit that the depression that hit me left its residue on my soul and spirit. Since I've been running, however, I have felt so incredibly good!

I'm sure it's a combination of eating right, sleeping more, drinking less, and the training that has been helping to clear away the fog that settled on me. Running has been good for my spirit... makes me feel like I've got something to call my own. Something to work for and feel good about. I can see the results of my hard work and carry myself with confidence.

I didn't plan to go into all that. This blog was meant to make everyone else wish they lived in San Diego (just kidding!). I did want to blog about the beautiful day, and how my new music helped me run. I also wanted to be able to use the title of one of the songs on my running playlist because it seemed so fitting today.

So, I've done all that and now here's a picture:

This is the big hill I was talking about... but now I'm looking at it and laughing at myself.
It doesn't look so big in the picture.
But it is when you have to run/walk it! Just trust me on that! :D

"To me, the runner's high is a sensational reaction to a great run! It's an exhilarating feeling of satisfaction and achievement."
-Sasha Azevedo

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


January 27
Day 9 of Marathon Training
Assignment: Run 35 minutes

Quick Update
Even though today was gorgeous, I ran on the treadmill for my 35 minute training today. I am so happy with myself! Except for the 2 minute warm-up at the beginning and the 3 minute cool-down at the end of my run, I ran the whole time. Last week I couldn't run the whole time without walking. It's so nice to be able to see the progress!! I love that about running.

This Old Body
I am glad tomorrow is a non-running day, my hips are not too happy with me today. I think I need the day off to give my body a break. Since I've been running, I have noticed that my body parts seem to take turns letting me know how they feel about their exertions.

The first day, my ankles felt bad until the chiropractor yanked on them; the second day it was time for my inner thighs to yell at me (didn't send the chiropractor that direction!); the third day my back hurt... and so on.

I'm waiting for the day that all my joints and muscle-groups band together to form a coup. I hope I don't wake up one morning to find that my body hurts all over, as its parts work together to keep me from making them hit the streets. I won't allow that to happen until the day after I run the marathon.

Until then, get over it body!

You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Did It!!

January 26th
Day 8 of Marathon Training
Assignment: Run 30 minutes

Up & At 'em!
I woke up this morning pretty easily... I went to bed early the night before. OK, early for me which is before 11 p.m. It was still dark out but I could see that it had been raining. I debated going to the gym to run on the treadmill but I didn't want to have to do that. So, I ate breakfast, stretched, and waited to see what the weather would hold.

It looked pretty clear when the sun came out so I decided to skip the gym and run the route I had planned. I went outside and gasped because it was so stinking cold!! It was probably 45 degrees Fahrenheit**. I almost turned around and went inside but I was stretched-out, dressed, and ready... and too lazy to want to undo it all.

Victory- Short, but Sweet
I am so glad I decided to run! It was my unofficial goal to be able to run the 30 minutes/2+ miles without stopping to walk. And I did it! I just kept telling myself that I'd run to a certain point ahead and then walk. When I would get to that point, I'd tell myself that I was doing fine and to run to the next "landmark", and so on. Before I knew it, I was almost home and hadn't stopped to walk once!

I see progress and I love it!

Beeping Butt
Yay! The sports watch I ordered from Amazon finally came this afternoon. Good thing, too. This morning I set the timer on my cell phone for 33 minutes- not hours this time- and put it in the back zipper pocket of my running shorts. I was so into my run and must have had my iPod on loud enough that I didn't hear when the timer went off. Based on the time I got home, I probably went a few minutes over the 30 minutes I was supposed to run.

I'm pretty sure my rear-end must have been beeping for the last few minutes of my run. This wouldn't matter one bit except I run past the middle school at the same time the kids are walking to school. Knowing middle schoolers, I may have earned myself the nickname "Butt Beeper". I can picture it now... "Look, dude, there goes Butt Beeper! Dude, I'm never going to be stupid enough to run... I'll still be shredding on my skateboard when I'm that old."

By the way...
It started pouring down rain as soon as I walked into the house. Then it hailed for a bit. At least my beeping butt didn't get wet!!

**I apologize to anyone who might be reading this in Canada, the Midwest, or anywhere not in SoCal or Florida. I realize 45 degrees is probably warm considering what your winters are like but for a San Diego native, 45 degrees is COLD!

"Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can."
-Lowell Thomas

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blood, Sweat, & Tears

January 24, 2009
West Coast Runners Group Run
Assignment: Run 5 miles

I'll go ahead and apologize for the overly-dramatic title for this blog... only two-thirds of the title actually happened. Catchy title, though, huh?

I woke up this morning at 6 o'clock. It was tough to get out of bed... true to my nature, I went to bed too late. I got ready for my 7:30 meeting time with the WCRR. I was looking forward to running the five miles we were to complete today.

I met my friend, Mitchell, at the local park & ride and we drive the half hour it takes to get to the beach where we were to meet the rest of the group. We were a little early so we took some time to chat, make jokes, and stretch before the group "talk" and run.

When our group did finally meet, we were to introduce ourselves and tell everyone the longest distance we've ever run. I listened as each person said their name and their longest distance. As people shared their distances, it became apparent how much of a rookie I am! Out of a group of about 20, only one other person had run a whopping three miles! That may have been the first discouraging part of the run.

The next discouragement came after we started out on our run... and I mean right after we started. We started the run on an incline and I felt pooped out right away! I felt like one of those fire-crackers that only hiss when you light them and then fizzle out.

I don't know what happened... I had been doing much better on my own during the week! I could not keep up with my two friends who were running with me. I told them to go on without me and they reluctantly did so after I hooked up with a couple other ladies who were going at about the same pace I was.

It was torture!! I felt so sluggish and out-of-shape. I was literally in last-place (after the other two ladies turned around about half-way through). I started to wonder if there could some sort of honor in being the very last person to cross the finish line during a marathon. I mean, how many people can say to their grand kids, "Yes, kiddos, back in the day, Granny was the very last-place person in the 2009 Rock & Roll Marathon. And let me tell you, that's not easy! Why, I had to shove a 95 year old man across the finish line just so he would finish ahead of me."

As I was pre-living this very touching moment, my thoughts were interrupted by a surfer standing next to his car in his underwear. It's not uncommon to see surfers changing out of their wetsuits along the side of the road but usually, they try to be discreet by wrapping themselves with towel as they do it. So, my mind switched from granny mode back to thirty-something mode as I pondered this interesting sight.

That cleared my self-doubting mind enough to realize that it will be practically impossible for me to be in last-place in the marathon. Way more possible than being first... but still extremely unlikely.

So, I kept on. Running and walking. Running and walking. I was certain the coaches had to have the mileage wrong! Just as I started to think I was going to have to stop and throw up over the beach wall, I saw my two friends coming towards me, on their way back. They had reached the 2.5 mile mark and were on their way back to the starting site. I wasn't as far behind them as I thought, but I still had a stretch to go before I could turn around... and it was the turning around and doing it again that made me want to cry.

Mitchell and Lee Ann encouraged me to keep going, saying I was almost to "the man" who would tell me it was time to turn around. I saw The Man ahead of me but as I drew closer, I could see he was walking backwards- away from me. Really! Now, that's just cruel! I thought, "What the &%$#%$ &%$ kind of mean thing is that to do?!"

I finally caught up to him and asked him if he was The Man. He said yes, but I still had to run to the corner. I ran to to corner, cursing The Man in my head. I turned at the corner and headed back. That's when I saw Mitchell running back towards me. It turns out Mitchell and Lee Ann decided to wait and walk/run the rest of the way with me.

By the time Mitchell got to me, I was practically in tears. The thought of the running back the way I came seemed over-whelming. By the time we caught up with Lee Ann, I was in tears. I hardly ever cry but I was so frustrated with myself!

I trained during the week, I exercise, I try to eat right- I couldn't help but wonder why I am such a wimp! I wiped the tears out of my eyes so I could see and so I wouldn't make a freakin' fool out of myself. Both Lee Ann and Mitchell did their best to encourage me and cheer me up. It worked. I felt better about things by the time we got back to the starting point.

They say every runner has bad days. Why did it have to be this day... the day I was looking forward to seeing how much progress I've made? It was like I was worse than before I started the training.

The good news is, it can only get better and better. I also got to know Lee Ann a little better and that was a nice benefit. I'm also using this run to see how I might do better for the next run. I think I need to eat more good calories and less empty ones. I also need to get more sleep. I need to learn what to eat before a run... I had only had a Cliff Bar for breakfast. Those are yummy but I'm wondering if I should have had a more balanced breakfast.

I also started my period this very morning (sorry, guys, but it's life) and I'm really hoping that was the biggest factor in how difficult this run turned out to be. I don't get crampy but I do get tired easily and a little loopy this time of the month. So, maybe next week will be better since that won't be an issue. We'll see.

Mitchell and me before the run... Mitchell has been a buddy
of mine for almost 20 years.

With Lee Ann (also before the run). Lee Ann and I went
to high school together but I'm really only just now
getting to know her. She's great... and makes me feel tall! :D

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tomorrow's Run... 5 Miles

So tomorrow is our first Saturday run as a group. Five miles. Sounds like a lot to me, but I know I can do it. My goal for the next couple weeks is to be able to run five miles without stopping to walk. Tomorrow's run will be a good indicator as to how close I am to that goal.

One nice thing is, I'll be running with other people... some I know and some I don't. It'll be great to have company while I run. We will be running near the beach, which will also be a nice change.

I'm a little disappointed, though, because I was hoping to get my fuel belt and sports watch in the mail before tomorrow. That didn't happen. I'll have to make sure I hydrate myself before and after the run since I can't do it during the run. I'm sure I'll have my fuel belt for our next Saturday run.

Here's to a great run tomorrow!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gimme My Watch!

January 22, 2009
Training Day #3
Assignment: Run 35 minutes

Today started off a little less than ideal for running. My four year old has a cough that only seems to be around in the wee hours of the morning. At 5:15 a.m., I heard him coughing. And coughing. And coughing. I got up an hour before my alarm was set to go off in order to get my son some water and find a decent kid show for him to watch.

The thing is, I'm a night-person. It's is very difficult for me to get to bed before 11:00... and last night, bed-time for me was around midnight. So I really only got about 5 1/2 hours of sleep at the most. I was worried how this would affect my run this morning.

In spite of my lack of sleep, it was a good run! I was able to run much farther before having to stop and walk. I'm not sure how many miles I ran in my 35 minutes but I'm certain it was more than earlier in the week. Ah... sweet progress!

Did I mention before that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer early in the morning? Here's further proof: This morning, I decided to utilize the little zipper-pocket on the back of my running shorts to hold my cell phone. I figured I could just set the timer on my cell phone to keep track of my time.

I set the timer for 40 minutes in order to give myself time to kiss my little guy good-bye and warm up for a couple minutes. Part way through my run, I unzipped my cell phone to see how I was doing on my time. The darn thing still said 40 minutes... at least that's how it looked. Then I noticed that I had set the timer for 40 hours- not minutes. It was a struggle for my early-morning brain, but I was able to do a little math to figure out my time in minutes.

Don't worry, folks-- I hope to have this timer thing under control soon! I ordered a sports watch off of (along with a Nathan fuel-belt). I am still waiting for it to get here. I hope I get it soon... my brain is NOT a morning-organ!

"Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don't think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made."
- Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lazy Day

Wednesday, January 21st
Non-Training Day
Assignment: Catch Up

Today is a day off from running. That's why I'm sitting here, catching up on my blogs.

I actually almost miss having to run. It's getting kind of fun! I do realize, though, that it's important to take a break in order for my body to take care of itself. Hopefully tomorrow, I will be rejuvenated and ready to run my 35 minutes without having to take a walking break. We'll see.

Friday is also a non-running day. I'm a little nervous about that because we are supposed to run five miles on Saturday as a group (with WCRR). I worry that I won't be ready and I'll totally wimp out on the run. I worry my friends, Susan and Lee Ann, will take off running tirelessly without me while I'm left behind throwing up on the sidewalk.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes. I know I can do this!!

Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.
~Charles Schulz, Peanuts

Training Day Two: Inauguration on the Treadmill

Tuesday morning, January 20th
Training Day #2
Assignment: Run for 30 Minutes

I decided to do my running on the treadmill at the gym for this day of training. I like to mix things up a bit. Besides, the treadmill keeps better time than the timer I had been using (which was my timed-test timer from my teaching days... now the boys use it to play BOMB... uh, don't ask).

I prefer to run outside but this was a great day run at the gym because I got to run and watch TV at the same time. What was on TV? The inauguration of President Obama. No matter your political preference, this was an inauguration to see. So that's what I did- I watched it while I ran. I think it made time go faster to focus on squinting in order to read the closed captioning, rather than think about how tired I was.

And I was tired! I think my biggest lesson for this day was to not spend an hour at the gym the night before, doing weight-lifting exercises for the lower body. I enjoy strength training but I guess I'll have to cut back a little on the lower body until I get better at this running stuff!

Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.
~Jimmy Carter

Training Day One: Trial and Error

Monday Morning, January 19th
Training Day #1
Assignment: Run for 25 Minutes

I got up on Monday morning, ate half a Cliff Bar, drank a bottle of water and got ready for my fist official day of marathon training. I put on my new moisture-wicking shorts, moisture-wicking running bra, moisture-wicking shirt, and my-yes-moisture wicking socks.

In case you are wondering about moisture-wicking panties, I'll let you in on a little secret... most running shorts have built-in moisture-wicking undies.

Trial/Error #1

I put on my new, specially selected running shoes and noticed that they felt weird. The right shoe had what felt like a lump on the right side. What?! That wasn't there in the store! I took the shoe off, checked the insole and didn't discover anything wrong. I tried the shoe on again and the lump was still there! Ugh!!

I took the shoe off again and decided to inspect my new socks. That's when I noticed the little "L" on the sides of both of my socks. "L"? Are these Laverne's socks?? Then, I remembered that the other day, they had "R" on them. I'm not the brightest spark first thing in the morning and it slowly dawned on me that my fancy running socks had a left and a right. Cool.

I found a sock with an "R" on it, put it on my right foot, tried my right shoe again, and -voila!- problem solved. Whew!

Trial/Error #2

I started running... kept running... past the houses... past the horses... feeling great... enjoyed the quiet of the morning... decided to check my timer... I had been running for 18 minutes non-stop! I was impressed with myself. It sure was going fast!

I ran a little more... checked my timer again... expected to see twenty-something minutes... saw 14 minutes... Wait! 14 minutes?! How did that happen? Then I remembered- I set the timer to time down, not up! No wonder my 18 minutes went by so quickly, it was really only 12 minutes! That took some of the wind out of my sail and I decided to walk for a couple minutes.

In all, it was a great run! I didn't go for 25 minutes, like I was supposed to... I went for 30 minutes (due to the fact that I did not read the schedule very carefully). I went about 2 miles in that 30 minutes, running most of the time but walking some of the time.

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon Winner

Cotton is NOT My Friend!

I used to think cotton is the best material to run in. It's natural, breathable, soft, and comfy. Well, I now know that cotton is big no-no when running. Why? It soaks up and retains sweat.

The last thing you want to deal with when running is a wet, heavy shirt. Who wants their sweaty shorts clinging to their legs? Wet, smelly socks? Icky!

The solution to the problem of sweat: Run naked.

If you're like me, however, and are not comfortable with the idea of running around the neighborhood in your birthday suit, try clothes made out of wicking material. This is mostly/usually a synthetic fabric made to take sweat, pull it away from the skin, and dry quickly.

There are lots of brands that make wicking apparel. You don't have to spend a lot of money for it, either. But you can if you want to do your patriotic duty and help boost the economy!

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."
- Steve Prefontaine

Good Shoes- A Runner's Best Friend

I knew I would need a good pair of running shoes in order start the whole training process. I also knew that Road Runner Sports in San Diego would be a great place to get them. I have only heard positive things about the place.

What I didn't know, was how thorough the staff at Road Runner is when fitting people for shoes! I figured they would just measure my feet, give me some advice, and point me to the most expensive pair of running shoes in the store.

The first step (pun intended) in finding the right pair of shoes involves walking on some sort of scanner mat. The mat picks up an image of your foot and computerizes your pressure points, weight distribution, etc. This information helps the shoe person know where you might need the most foot support.

Those are my feet walking on the scanner mat.
Remind me to schedule a pedicure appointment.

This is how my feet look on the computer...
don't know what it all means, but they sure are colorful!

Part two involves a quick run on the treadmill. While running on the treadmill, a camera takes a video of how your feet move. When the shoe-person plays the video back, he or she can get even more information as to what kind of shoes will be best for your foot.

My feet in action.

After all this, the shoe-person measured my feet and explained that it's important to have a little bit of wiggle room, since my feet will swell during a long run. So, instead of my usual 6 size shoe, she recommended I try a size 7... or maybe a 6.5.

Road Runner Sports separates their shoe inventory into color-coded groups. Each color group represents shoes that benefit certain types of feet. My feet needed more stability and a higher arch. I needed shoes in the green section.

After a bit of a wait (the store was very crowded), a nice young man recommended three different pairs of shoes for me, based on the information gathered earlier. I was pleased that he did not try to sell me the most expensive shoes in the store. The three pairs of shoes varied in price, color, and cuteness.

The Asics 2140 (size 7) I decided on felt great on my feet! They have blueish and silverish racing stripes. Cost-wise, they were about what I was expecting to pay. I have been very happy with them, so far.

One of the best things about buying shoes through Road Runner Sports is their return policy. They give 60 days to try out the shoes they recommend for you. They encourage their customers to wear the shoes, run in them, make sure they're right. If not, bring them back! How awesome is that?!

In case you can't tell, I was very happy with my experience at Road Runner Sports!

"Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right."
-Henry Ford

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

West Coast Road Runners & the Lure of a Free T-Shirt

Saturday, January 17th
Sign-ups and Orientation for the West Coast Road Runners (WCRR)

7:15 a.m.= Met my good friend, Mitchell, at the Park & Ride in Escondido.
  • Why? So we could drive to San Diego to attend the orientation meeting for the West Coast Road Runners' spring training session.

Mitchell has run eight marathons... he's not only my buddy, he's my inspiration. We've been friends for almost twenty years. I used to date his twin brother. He is like a big brother to me and a partner in crime. Mitchell has trained with West Coast Road Runners (WCRR) for a few years and he recommended them highly when I told him I wanted to train to run a marathon.

WCRR trains runners of all levels (from beginners to those who know what they are doing). I qualify as a beginner, of course. WCRR puts their runners into pace-groups, ranging from fast runners to the slower runners/walkers. Naturally, I am in the slow runner group. And I'm fine with that... I'm certain this has to be the fun group!

While there, I decided to go ahead and sign up for the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon. What I haven't mentioned is that I initially planned on running a half-marathon... not a full marathon. On Mitchell's encouragement, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for the full 26.2 miles!

I love music, love San Diego, and figure that if I can run 13 miles, I can run 26... so it just seemed to make sense-- scary, crazy, what-the-heck-am-I-doing sense. Plus, they were offering a free T-Shirt for those who signed up that day. I'm a sucker for a free T-shirt.

I have to say... it is a cute shirt!

There's my cute T-Shirt.

That hot blond next to me is my friend Susan. She's going to run with us! She's in the slow-poke group with me. I'm so happy she is going to share this experience with me!

That's me... I had just signed up to join WCRR. It was a beautiful morning! Cool enough for long sleeves & warm enough for shorts. Gotta love San Diego!

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

What?! ME?! Run?!

I am not a runner by nature. I've never enjoyed running. Other than the occasional run to burn a few calories when I can't get to the gym, I have always viewed running as a last-resort tool to get from one point to another as quickly as possible. For example:

  • My son falls on a concrete bench, splits open his chin & he's screaming... run!
  • Wait too long to use the restroom... uh-oh, run!
  • Realize I forgot about that last batch of cookies in the oven... run!
  • The cat is making signs that she is going to hack up a massive fur ball on the new couch... run!
  • Kick a ball into a bee-hive... run and wave arms frantically!!
I assume you get the idea.

So, why run a marathon? I'm not really sure. Maybe I'm bored and need a challenge. Maybe it's mid-life crisis (a very early mid-life crisis). Maybe I want to push myself more than I ever thought I could. Maybe it all goes back to my parents... they are the ones who told me to eat my mushrooms and eventually I would acquire a taste for them.

Whatever the reason, I'm committed- I'm doing the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon!

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer