Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lazy Slug Award

And the Lazy Slug Award goes to...

SARA JONES of Running through Life!

Acceptance Speech
"Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! I- I can't believe it! I don't know what to say except, er... um... thank you?

There are just so many- so many others I'd like to thank for helping me achieve this... this... honor?

First, I'd like to thank my 'right hand man'... Left Foot! I couldn't have done it without you. You've been there for me since before Right Knee Pain left me. Every time the sun comes up, there you are! Your multiple visits with me throughout the day are constant reminders that I can't get out there and run. So, I owe much of my Lazy Slug success to you.

Next, I'd like to thank Sleep Les Ness. Sigh...What can I say about Mr. Ness? You usually travel with others when you come to visit. You especially like to show up with my sons when they sneak into my bed in the middle of the night. Or when they wake up early. Sometimes you even surprise me by showing up when my cat attacks my sleeping feet. Ha ha! You're a funny guy, Sleep Les Ness. Thanks... I couldn't have done it without you.

Oh- and of course there's Miss June Gloom. Heck, who needs sunshine when I've got you to keep me feeling gray?

And who could forget my dear Aunt Flo? Aunt Flo can't be here tonight, as she is off visiting her other nieces at the moment. I'm sure she's hearing this speech somehow, so thank you Aunt Flo... even before you make your appearance you send my bad moods into overdrive and my ambition into underdrive. See you soon, Auntie!

And lastly, I would like to recognize someone I've only recently become acquainted with... Mr. Post-Marathon Blues. Our relationship has been a short one but he sure makes an impression! I spent six months preparing for my big day. The big day came... and went. That's when I met Mr. Blues. I know you won't be around for long, Big Blue- you have to go away as soon as I start training for my next race. I have to say, though, you and all your cohorts mentioned above have done a great job of zapping all the energy and drive from me.

Thank you all, again! I have worked so hard to be recognized for my talent at being a Lazy Slug all week! This award is yours as much as it is mine."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Artist Rendering of The Cytomax Incident

In my previous blog ... the revised version... I wrote about a runner who carelessly tossed their half-full cup of Cytomax right next to my feet. As a result, I ended up with a wet, yucky shoe for part of the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Since lots of us rely on visuals to fully comprehend a point, I sketched out the whole incident for you. Note the lack of about 19,998 other runners... that's because I have a life.

In spite of many missing details, I hope this helps to clarify my point. If you happen to recognize the runner who Cytomaxed me, please let her know that I have no hard feelings toward her. Even though I refer to her as "Evil Runner". And gave her bad hair. And fangs (which are easier to see if you click on the picture).

Copies of the above masterpiece are available for sale.
All proceeds will be donated to the purchase of extra trash bins for next year's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bring Woodsie back! (Revised)

I am most likely dating myself here, but I can't help but think of Woodsie the Owl for this next blog post.

Like some of you, I grew up with Woodsie's wise admonition, "Give a hoot. Don't pollute!" I practically lived by those words as a child... pollution and litter were BAD! Bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD!

There can be no question that Woodsie's brain-washing techniques worked. At least they worked on me. To this day, I cannot litter. I cannot pollute our land with my trash.

When I find myself considering disposing my trash inappropriately, that owl Woodsie sings to me... speaking words of wisdom,"Give a hoot, don't pollute."

So, my question is this: Where was Woodsie during the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon? We could have used his big-eyed, feathery figure glaring down on those runners who had no problem at all tossing their disgusting trash all over San Diego.

Seriously folks... at every water station there were plenty of waste bins. Many of them unused. Why? Because 76% of the runners ahead of me casually tossed their crap (cups, empty gel packages, Sport Beans bags, etc.) on the ground. Didn't they learn anything from Woodsie?!

I actually ran a couple miles, holding on to a sticky, oozey, near-empty Gu pack because I could not, in good conscience, throw it on the ground to become someone else's problem. As soon as I found a trash can, I threw it away. Easy-peasey!

The worst of the litter bugs were those who ran through neighborhoods, leaving their trash for the kind residents to pick up. A few neighborhoods on the route passed out items like oranges, water, and Otter Pops. The residents offered these items out of the kindness of their hearts. How did many of the runners thank them? They tossed the trash in the street. If I lived there, I would tell the city that I do NOT want the marathon route to pass through MY neighborhood!

I could excuse littering for those who are truly racing. If you are one of the top three runners, don't take the time to find a trash can! If you are the rest of us... use the bins provided by the race organizers. How hard can that be?

OK. That's all. I'm stepping off my soap-box... and I'm signing off. But not without a few simple words first:

Give a hoot! Don't pollute!

The Revised Part
**There were a few comments on this post clarifying that the city does the clean up after the marathon. Whew! The neighborhoods are not left to clean up all the trash on their own. That is great news! I felt so sorry for the people who live in those neighborhoods. Now I feel better.

I still hold to my opinion that people need to use the trash bins, though. Mainly for these reasons:
  • Out of courtesy to the volunteers. They donate their time and energy to make the race a great experience. Much of that time is spent raking up trash. For a runner to go past a trash bin and still choose to toss their cups and/or wrappers on the ground in front of the volunteers is pretty rude.
  • Out of courtesy to other runners. I was pretty irked when someone threw their half-full cup of Cytomax right at my feet. Guess who ran part of the race with wet, Cytomaxy shoes and socks? Me.
  • For safety reasons. Slippery Gu-covered street= Potentially slipping runners.
  • Just because. It is the epitome of laziness to run right by a trash bin and choose the street as a dumping ground. That is what my kids do when they are being lazy. I know most 4 & 7-year olds are faster than I am, so maybe they were way ahead of me... but I didn't see any of them on the course.
OK. Stepping off of soapbox again.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where To Go From Here...

“The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them, and then make our plans with confidence.” -Henry Ford

Now that I've done my marathon and I don't plan on doing any half marathons until the fall, it's time for me to reflect on my running up to this point and where I want to go from here.

Half Marathons & Me
I've mention before that I plan to stick to half marathons from now on... I still hold to that. The only for sure half I have on the calendar right now is the Surf City Half Marathon. That race is not until February of next year, however, so I really hope to fit another in before that. I'm hoping for either the Big Sur Half or the San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half. If I don't do those, I will try to get in on the Silver Strand Half Marathon.

I joke a lot about being slow. I laugh at myself, but it's true... I am slow. Slower than I want to be. I really want to work on getting faster. I don't expect to become the next Kara Goucher (although I would love to have her legs and a butt like hers!). I don't even expect to be faster than some of those amazing elderly women I saw at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I just want to be faster than I am now.

I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish this yet... I have to go through all the piles of information out there on the subject. I am confident I will have the help of all you more experienced runners out there, as well.

Cross Training & Strengthening
One thing I have learned, thanks to my injuries, is how important it is to cross train. Now that I love to run, all I want to do is run. Well, that's not good for me. I need- and plan to- mix up my running routine with cross-training at least twice a week. I also will incorporate strengthening exercises to help prevent future injuries.

Trail Me, Baby!
Once I can run again (after my foot/heel is better), I am excited about doing more trail running. I love running on trails! I think trail running is a little better on my bones, joints, and muscles.
Even if it turns out to not be any better for me than street running, at least trail running offers a more scenic atmosphere. I love nature!

I scoped out some new trails today that have great running potential:

Must get out there... heal heel, heal!

You have to be careful where you step
(or use nature's "facilities") out here...

Today I tried spin bike class for the first time. It was tough! But it was fun. I think it will help strengthen those areas of weakness and keep my cardio health where it should be. I hope to do spin class twice a week.

That's all for now! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friends!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We Belong in the Zoo... The San Diego Zoo

As a stay-at-home mom, there are days when the monotony and the isolation make me crazy! Yesterday was one of those days. I made a quick decision that getting out of the house would be good my grumpy four year old, me, and my mental health.

I picked up my first-grader from school at his lunch time and we played hooky for the rest of the day. As a former teacher, I know how wasted these last few days of school are in terms of education. My sons and I went to McDonald's for lunch and headed downtown to the amazingly beautiful San Diego Zoo.

It was just what we needed! I used to get out of the house with the boys all the time... before my oldest started school. After that, we had to cut way back on our local tourism. The current economy has also played a big role in staying close to home. I've missed our spontaneous little excursions around the county.

Our San Diego Zoo & Wild Animal Park annual membership passes are the only memberships we've kept going since our family budget crunch. We live about 15 minutes from the Wild Animal Park so not having an annual membership is practically a crime in these here parts.

We haven't been to the San Diego Zoo in a long time. The Zoo has opened a new Elephant exhibit... and I LOVE elephants so I had to see it. As it turns out the new exhibit is just "OK". The best part of the day was the Insect House in the Children's Zoo. Very cool. The boys loved it!

There are two running links here, albeit loose ones...

If you've been to the San Diego Zoo, you know how hilly it is there. I ran up one of those big hills with my four year old (who is pretty fast, by the way). And I loved it! It felt so good to run past people huffing and puffing up the hill. It felt great to push my legs hard. I remember when I hated hills. I remember being amazed when I finally started to like going up. And I am still amazed at how much I enjoy it.

As my sons and I playfully bounded up the hill, I overheard a lady comment to her companion, "I need to get to the gym." I smiled inside as I realized I would have been thinking the same thing about myself a year ago.

Another fun part of the day was being downtown, driving on the same streets I ran through less than a week before. I pointed out the streets and landmarks to my boys, saying things like, "I ran past that on my big race!" or "I ran on this street during my big race." My boys were impressed when I told them how I got to run down the very freeway we were driving on. Fun stuff!

My kids are probably tired of hearing about Mommy's "Big Race".

Anyway, here are some pictures of our fun day:

My seven year old

Cute bird in the Aviary

The boys LOVED the Skyfari!


View of Balboa Park and Downtown from the Skyfari.

Have a wonderful weekend, Running Blogger Friends! Good luck to those who have races!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Blog Formerly Known as Rookie on the Run

OK... Maybe Not "Improved"

In case you haven't noticed, I changed the name of my blog. I still consider myself a "rookie" and probably always will. But I figured this would be a great time to make changes.

I started this blog in order to share my challenges, triumphs, and failures as I trained for my first marathon. Now that that I have accomplished that goal- and find I am still a runner- I wanted to shift the focus of the blog to running in general. I wanted the title to reflect running's permanency in my life.

So, ta-da!! Introducing... Running Through Life!

New title, new look (eventually), but still the same old Rookie... wait, isn't that an oxymoron? Sort of, maybe?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Journey & Beyond

Lobster Head
No, that is not the name of a garage band (although, it's a good one). That was just one of the many names I came up with for fellow runners during the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I love people-watching and this was a great opportunity to do so! There were lots of Elvises Elviss Elvi. There were superheroes. There were wigs. There were people in funny hats. There was a man wearing a hat similar to the one below. I ran behind and/or ahead of him for enough miles that he earned the nickname "Lobster Head".

I can only imagine why he chose this particular hat to wear for 26.2 sweaty, grueling miles. Maybe he is from Maine. Maybe he loves lobster dipped in butter and that butter has made his arteries so clogged, now he has to run. Maybe his kids gave him this hat and expected him to wear it during his big race.

I don't know. All I know is that he was not going to beat me to the finish. I lost track of him around mile 18. He was probably clawing his way through the finish line long before I got there.

There was a woman I noticed around mile 4 who was legally blind. She was probably in her 60s and was using a white blind walking cane to guide herself along the route. I was humbled when I saw her. She was amazing! There was nobody running with her, calling out directions... at least not that I noticed. As I ran past her I said, "You're doing great!" I hope she didn't mind.

Then there was Old Guy. I only named him that because his shirt said, "Old Guys Rule". I figured if he can wear a shirt like that, I can call him Old Guy. He and I ran almost the whole race together. By together I mean, I'd pass him... he'd pass me... I'd pass him... he'd pass me. Hmmm... maybe he nicknamed me. I wonder what he called me... maybe "Snail Lady". I liked Old Guy because he is obviously a trooper and has a sense of humor.

My last favorite person was a lady I called Green Grandma. She was wearing a greenish shirt and was probably someone's beloved grandma. She was right behind me at the start line. She and I kept passing each other all along the route. I think I lost her around mile 13... she probably finished ahead of me too! I noticed that she had very awkward-looking form. But she was doing great!

Then there were those that became annoying around mile 20. But then everything and everyone became annoying around mile 20.

Like Stretchy. I called her that because every time I saw her, she was stretching her legs on the side of the road. I don't even remember seeing her run! I would pass her as she stretched. A few minutes later I would pass her again... as she stretched. How did she do that?!

Then there was Bouncy. Do I need to expand on the reason for that nickname? I have to say, she bounced much better than a lot of women I've seen. And I saw a lot of her bounciness because she kept running backwards. I think she was running with a less perky friend, as her coach or motivator. I'm sure she "motivated" many of the male runners behind us. Her backward-running bounciness got on my nerves big-time at around mile 24. You know... I'm pretty sure they make running bras in her size...

Back of the Pack
Being at the back of the pack is interesting and inspiring. It is there that you see the non-elite runners... those who are running to prove something to themselves, those to whom running does not come easy, those who make me want to keep running... without regard to obstacles, age, and ego.

I am SO tired! Yes, I'm sore... mostly in my thighs. But that's the "good" kind of sore. Yes, my heel still hurts. I expected that. And, I'm happy to report that my bad knee feels fine!!

My biggest hurdle right now is that I am physically tired! I think I could sleep for a couple days, wake up, drink a cup of coffee and sleep for a couple more days. I'm sure this is normal. It is, isn't it?

A Dingo Ate My Baby!
No. Not my baby... don't worry. That quote pops into my head just about every time I think of Australia. After Crocodile Dundee and Men at Work, that is. I had the great honor of being interviewed by Melanie Tait of Mel Tries to Run for her radio show at 105.7 ABC Darwin in Australia. She interviewed me about my experience as a new runner, as a mom, and as a first-time marathoner. She is as lovely in person (phone-person) as she is on her blog. I was apprehensive about doing a phone interview (I was super nervous) but she made me feel comfortable right away. I have to say... it was fun! Check out Melanie's blog if you haven't already!

That's all for now! I have to get to sleep. I really hope to catch up on everyone's blog posts by tomorrow! I've been so busy and tired that I have fallen behind on keeping up with my blogger friends' posts!